Crimson Peak Review

crimsonpeakI have been waiting almost two years for this film. Expectations were high, but so was confidence. Guillermo del Toro would be taking on an old favourite of mine: the Victorian gothic ghost story. With Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska in the leading roles, to actors already familiar with the costume drama, I could not be more hyped.

Miss Edith Cushing is a young aspiring author who falls for the dashing baronet Sir Thomas Sharpe. He brings her home to his dilapidated mansion in the middle of nowhere, and of course there are secrets and ghosts lurking in the dark corridors. You might be inclined to think of Jane Eyre, but Sharpe is no Mr. Rochester.

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Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch Review

cumberbatch hamletI was lucky enough to see the live screening of Hamlet, broadcast all the way to my home town, thanks to National Theatre Live. When it comes to Shakespeare, I am always finding a “new favourite”. I therefore thought I’d take the opportunity to review the production with a comparison to my current favourite Hamlet. Keep in mind I’m no theatre critic, but I do love Shakespeare. This is obviously a stage production, but because it’s being broadcast it has the life and aftermath of a film/TV production. I’ve seen a couple such broadcasts and I highly recommend them.

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Review: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

manfromuncleI had been anticipating The Man from U.N.C.L.E. for quite some time, but it arrived in the theatre here in Norway with little fanfare and only two screenings on Saturday night. I doubt there were more than twenty people in the small screen, which is a shame because I do think this movie has a bigger audience than it’s getting.

The film is based on a TV show from the 60s, but there are (according to wikipedia) several novels and a few comic books. One of the novels is titled The Vampire Affair, and apparently involves not only vampires, but werewolves, and an investigation in Transylvania. It sounds delightful, and could easily be a case for the new film versions of U.N.C.L.E.

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Jurassic World Review

jurassic-world-posterFor many people, myself included, the original Jurassic Park is forever tied to memories of childhood. I remember everything about my first experience, right down to the smell of the pastry I was eating at the time. Not even the sequels could dull that thrill, though I must admit I have never actively hated either of them until later re-viewings.

Going into Jurassic World was like going into Star Wars: The Phantom Menace again. Would the nostalgia overshadow the flaws? Would it at least be better than the sequels? Short answer: Yes, and HELL YES. If you want explanations to go with that, read the review, which has minor SPOILERS.

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Avengers: Age of Ultron (spoiler-ish review)

avengers-age-of-ultronThe Marvel Cinematic Universe is steadily becoming comic-levels of complicated. It’s come to the point where I feel every review should begin with a synopsis of where we are in the timeline. Right now, it’s enough to say that we are post-Winter Soldier by some months. This review does assume you’ve seen pretty much everything that’s out (though I’m not going to spoil Daredevil for you).

The team is hunting down Loki’s staff, which we last saw being played with in a Hydra research facility. We have to assume Thor came back to Midgard with Odin!Loki’s blessing, which begs the question – did Loki as Odin order Thor to retrieve it? Probably. The reason he needs it become clear, and fans have already suspected it. But before it can be returned to Asgard the Avengers have to deal with the artificial intelligence that spawns from Tony’s tinkering: Ultron.

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Interstellar Review

interstellar3As the spaceship Endurance inched towards the horizon of the wormhole, I felt that bottomless “whoop” like when you’re about to go over the edge of a roller coaster’s first drop. My stomach clenched, and then we were through, now faced with visuals somewhere between a kaleidoscope and a hall of mirrors, both in deep space.

Interstellar is the long awaited next Nolan feature, and as with all long waits you really want the payoff to be everything you hoped for and more. With this in mind, I’d like to try to be a little more forgiving, and not factor in anticipation into this review. That said, Interstellar is not without its problems.

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

sincity2It’s been nearly a decade since Miller and Rodriguez took a trip down to Sin City together. As it turns out, the only reason to revisit the place is for a dose of nostalgia. 

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is a prequel and sequel, and can not be watched on its own, I would argue. It has probably been a few years since last I saw Sin City, so even I got my timeline mixed up. The main thing is, a lot of our characters are back, and the main baddie is still Senator Roake. The new Dame to kill for referenced in the title is played by Eva Green. She is an archetype femme fatal, who likes to screw with people both for power, and just for fun. Another new storyline is the one with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays a poker player trying to go up against Roake. 

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boyhood-posterWhen I was in my early teens, I saw Richard Linklater’s Waking Life. Today, it’s easy to look back and think the movie is more simplistic than it was, but I still have a strong nostalgia. It was a film that spoke about deep issues in an accessible way to teenagers. The same can be said for Skanner Darkly, my still favourite Linklater film. It’s weird and visually interesting, but not purposefully confusing. If I had not enjoyed his films at that impressionable age, I would probably never even try to enjoy films like Upstream Colour. Linklater was my gateway drug to all kinds of non-linear stories and alternative film concepts, and I will always be thankful for that. 

Boyhood, I knew, was not going to be another introduction course to alternative film, but according to the hype, it was very unique. Linklater has spent twelve years filming, using the same actors, who therefore age naturally. Ellar Coltrane, playing the 6-19 year old boy called Mason, said in his AMA on Reddit that every year filming was a bit like summer camp. The film also includes Linklater familiar Ethan Hawke as the father, and Patricia Arquette as the mother. 

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Only Lovers Left Alive Review

Only-Lovers-Left-Alive-Australian-Poster-copyDisclaimers are important I think, and perhaps never more so when writing about vampire movies. Personally, I enjoy them a lot, and have followed the vampire as a character, phenomenon and monster through half my life.

Vampires are more associated with sparkling, emo six-packs these days, but the vampires of Only Lovers Left Alive have much more in common with Anne Rice’s old pantheon of characters than Meyer’s more recent “evolution”. These are vampires who interacted with history, with the great writers, scientists and painters. Their endless, and sometimes tedious lives, punctuated by some cultural or scientific genius who can keep their attention for a few more decades.

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