Saturday, March 4, 2017

Quarry (2016)

I hate detective shows. Can't stand them! It always comes down to the same outcome of the least likely suspect being the "mysterious" killer. And once you realize this, it's just about figuring out who is the most likable character, and the rest is always a boring trek until it's finally revealed that, yes, the murderer is indeed the character which you suspected all along. It's the same in absolutely every detective show, film or novel ever made, and even worse are the shows where some heroic policeman or woman is chasing some monstrous killer, only to finally catch him. The end.

BOOOOOOOOORING!

I cannot for the life of me understand why there are so many shows like this, when it's infinitely more interesting to flip the tables, and make the killer the protagonist. Remember the first season of Dexter? That was something else. And Quarry is basically the same setup, only this time the killer does not murder out of some fucked up mental issues, but rather because of a much more primal need: money. That's right, Mr. Quarry is a hitman who will kill anyone he gets paid to kill.

And as dark as that might sound, the show somehow manages to make this killer for hire into a very likable character, which has you rooting for him to get away with murder every episode. Add to that an incredibly true to life 70s setting, some amazing performances, groovy music and great cinematography, and you've got a one-of-a-kind experience that you don't want to miss out on.

The first season was amazing from beginning till end, so here's hoping it will be renewed.

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Midnight Special (2016)

Remember back when science fiction wasn't all about selling toys to kids, but rather worked as a very adult way to satirize current events, and provoked existential discussions among the audience, thus making intellectuals of us all?

Midnight Special is one of those magical movies that doesn't strive to make things easy, but rather challenges the audience by holding back the explanations. It's a weird, wild ride, that only gets more alluring, the further you go, and even though it provides dazzling spectacles a'plenty, the most intriguing parts are still what you don't get to see.

Though it received generally very positive reviews, it somehow got rather little attention, and apparently didn't even manage to make back its relatively modest budget. It feels like it was made in the wrong decade, as the clever writing, adult themes and great performances (most especially by stone-faced master minimalist Michael Shannon) would certainly have made it a huge hit had it been released in the 70s or 80s. Still, it has all the trademarks of a future cult classic, so I guess we just have to wait for someone to rediscover it and declare it a misunderstood masterpiece too far ahead of its time, in 30 years.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Inside No. 9 (2014)

Have you ever wondered what goes on inside some peculiar house? This show will tell you. At least if the house in question is number 9.

Each episode is a stand-alone story, telling what goes on in another house on another street, and the genres change from slapstick to thriller to mystery to pure horror. However the actors are always the same, and there's always a darkly comedic twist which fans of Black Mirror are sure to appreciate.

Clever screenwriting and creative storytelling, makes it into a fantastic showcase of what can be achieved with just a handful of characters and very little resources, that's highly recommended for anyone who tries to write a sellable script themselves.

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Utopia

Utopia is one of those series that just has to be seen to be believed. Part of that comes from the fact that it tells a story full of twists and turns, making it difficult to reveal even the slightest bit, without spoiling the experience. But also, there's simply nothing I can say, that will make you understand what an unique and amazing show it is.

And not only is it wonderfully weird, it's also rather thought provoking, and might actually make you rethink some of your own values.

Add to that the fact that it features a stunningly saturated world and one of the greatest soundtracks of the last 20 years, and you know you've got something really special.

IMDB

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Wailing (2016)

Hot damn!

I just finished watching this and I'm still wrapping my head around it, but right now I'm surfing on that mushy feeling you get once in a rare moon, when you see something that simply has you in awe.

Following in the steps of Chaser and I Saw the Devil, The Wailing keeps building tension, while constantly twisting and surprising, and beautifully weaving layer upon layer to create a truly satisfying experience which caters to both lovers of atmospheric menace as well as those who appreciate graphic brutality. The cinematography, acting, screenwriting, direction and music are all equally awesome, and makes for what I think is probably the best film I've seen of 2016.

If you haven't seen it, I implore you to not check out the trailer or read anything else about it, because this is a rollercoaster that only gets better the less you are prepared for what's around the next corner.

IMDB

Saturday, April 23, 2016

High Life (2009)

You just gotta love stupid criminals. There's a simple, but oh so compelling and poetic justice in seeing people fail at being bad.

Take for example this bunch of washed up junkies trying to rob a bank, when they can't hardly stop fighting amongst themselves. Contrary to the super-cool heist films where slick criminals pull of the most intricate plots while being chased by a bumbling detective, the fun in this one comes from knowing their ploy is doomed to fail from the very beginning, and wanting to see just how much they'll fuck up.

If you enjoyed Weirdsville or Contact High, you'll definitely love this one too.


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Friday, February 5, 2016

Cross My Heart and Hope to Die (1994)

The coming-of-age-genre is a difficult beast to tackle. While some such movies are made as safe and sound moral lectures, I often find they insult the audience's intelligence by being way too childish and on the nose, as if everyone watching were dumb kids who believe anything you throw at them. On the other side, part of the genre's appeal is providing a nostalgic remembrance of the naivete of youth, and nobody wants to watch a movie where children acts way too smart for their age.

However this Norwegian classic just manages to balance the line, by being both cute and juvenile, while at the same time being somewhat dark and out of place. It also includes some pretty great performances by Norways most prolific actors Bjørn Sundquist and Bjørn Floberg, in addition to a spellbinding soundtrack by A-HA keyboardist Magne Furuholmen (famed for the 80s hit Take on Me).

It turns out someone has actually uploaded the whole movie with English subtitles to youtube, so don't hesitate and watch it now, because it'll probably be taken down pretty soon.

EDIT: aaaaaaand it's gone.

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bronson (2008)

These days, everybody and their pet monkey loves Tom Hardy. It seems there's nothing the British actor can do, that doesn't get drenched with global appraisal, even though nobody can really understand a word that comes out of his mouth.

Everybody loves Nicolas Winding Refn too. The Danish director always had a cult fan following from his Pusher trilogy, but after the success of Drive, his name got etched into the minds of movie buffs world-wide.

Following these statements, you'd think it natural that the only cooperation these two idols have done, would also be highly cherished. And yet, Bronson somehow managed to slip through the cracks, and exists only in the murky world of unrecognized gems. Which is a real shame, as it's truly a fantastic movie.

The film has it all: There's fighting, there's laughter, there's growling, there's nudity, there's more fighting, there's madness, there's sex, there's elaborate face-painting, and did I mention that there's also fighting?

Be sure to watch it with subtitles though, because if it's one thing Tom Hardy is known for, it's mumbling every word into a mangled slush-language.

IMDB