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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Radio Review: Taken 2

This week I got the pleasure of seeing Liam Neeson back in action. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even remember a time when I didn’t think Neeson would make an awesome action hero.

Taken 2 isn’t as great as the original. In fact, it’s just an average action flick if you forget Liam Neeson is starring. I feel like they wasted too much time explaining the characters, when we should all be familiar with them by now.

It’s an average dice roll 3 for this sequel.

Read and listen to the full review in Norwegian at! 

Old Movie Review: Inception

This is an amazing film. There, I said it. It’s certainly not flawless (no film is), but it’s closer than most films I’ve seen in recent memory. It engages the mind and senses, and the emotions – at least it engaged mine. After I watched it, I read some reviews, and I felt myself disagreeing with a lot of them.

Most people know the plot to Inception even if they haven’t seen it: a dream within a dream within a dream, all so a group of dream-spelunkers can implant an idea that might lead to the dismantling of a large corporation. Let’s be glad Google can’t do this (yet?).

What I found myself reading from reviewers is that, while beautiful and technically masterful, the movie lacks emotional appeal. All the characters are simply there to explain something, or to stand in for the audience.

I disagree. I found Dicaprio’s character, Cobb, to be a complicated character. You could see him as selfish for going on missions even though he knows his subconscious could be a danger to the others. You could characterize him as a lost romantic, still mourning his wife. You could say he is a loving father who will do anything to get back to his children. Or perhaps you just think he’s an asshole for ever agreeing to enter people’s dreams for money at all. All of these characterizations are true, and I don’t think that’s a flat character.

If you don’t find Cobb to be engaging, so what? For me, it wasn’t the characters who impacted me the most, but the film itself. Isn’t awe an emotion? Isn’t admiration, surprise, excitement? I felt all those things and more while watching Inception, and I wasn’t lamenting the fact that we didn’t hear more about the motivation and back story to the “forger” or “architect”.

Inception gives us more depth than a blockbuster has in years, but of a special kind. It’s not a character study, it’s not a personal drama, but it’s deep all the same. I’m not talking about the endless debates you can have about the nature of self and dreams, but the simple enjoyment you get from watching this movie. It’s wonderful, in the true sense of the word, with just enough drama thrown in.

Dice roll: 6