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Friday, December 31, 2010

Well, it's been an interesting year for the silver screen. I'm not a professional critic by any means and thus don't have equal opportunity to see as many films, but I have to say that for me of the movies I did see, Inception was clearly the best film of the year. If Oscar nominations don't come knocking, the gala's already shaky credibility will reach new highs. And by shaky credibility I mean, just to name a couple, the lack of crucial nominations for The Dark Knight and the fact that Stanley Kubrick never won a statue himself. That's just gotta be embarrasing.

I have a couple of questions and it would be interesting to hear my readers' opinions..


A) What did you think of Inception?

B) Which men-on-a-mission film was better?
 - The Expendables
 - The A-Team


C) Your own personal favorite for 2010?

Send your answers as comments (link on the top left corner of this post).


Thank you all for reading my dribble. I'll be back at it next year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Directed by Steve Barron
Starring Josh Pais, Michelan Sisti, Leif Tilden, David Forman, Judith Hoag, Elias Koteas, Kevin Clash, James Saito, Michael Turney, Toshirô Obata, Sam Rockwell

Yes, that's right, four statues. I kid you not. I decided to give this childhood classic from 1990 a new watch with mature eyes (which isn't always a good idea because most films tend to be shit when you see them again later in life). Jim Carrey's The Mask is good example. Geez, that movie sucked ass when I saw it again. Luckily and believe you me, surprisingly, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was as good as it ever was. And even better.

 Four baby turtles end up in the New York sewer and through contact with mysterious substance called the Ooze they mutate into intelligent humanoid form along with a former pet rat called Splinter. Years later the turtles, now teenagers, are experiencing growth pains and after being trained as ninja warriors by Splinter, they also have to face a youth consuming criminal gang called The Foot Clan lead by a mysterious and very dangerous ninja The Shredder.

 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is obviously a family film, but as such it doesn't follow the traditional rules of the genre, meaning that the film is not corny, tasteless or worst of all, cute. There are serious themes at hand like family, not only from the point of view of the turtles, but the young teens who are drawn into this criminal gang by attraction of togetherness and sense of belonging. After all, that is how real gangs lure young people into their ranks. The tone at times is surprisingly dark but it also allows the film to be taken more seriously. The make-up and design of the tutles are what they are but one, it could be a lot worse and two, at the time it was the best available. I really enjoyed this film after years and years and even though the two sequels this film gained in the early 90's were not as good, they too still delivered the fun. Watch this if you have a chance, you just might enjoy it. I know I did. By the way, there's a remake slated for 2012.


KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
Teini-ikäiset Mutanttininjakilpikonnat on viihdyttävä ja dramaturgisesti yllättävän laadukas perheleffa vuodelta 1990, kun nämä önkkimönkit olivat ensimmäisen kerran muksujen suosiossa. Vauhtia riittää, mutta parasta tässä on silti se viimeksi Transformerseissakin nähty lähestymistapa perheen pienimmille suunnattuun leffaan, eli korni söpöys ja mauton älykkyyden aliarvioiminen on karsittu minimiin ja leffassa on keskitytty vilpittömään viihdyttämiseen ja onpa mukaan ympätty ihan aitoa henkilöhahmojen kehitystäkin. Usein nämä lapsuuden klassikot on parempi jättää unholaan hyvien muistojen seuraksi, sillä muistojen verestäminen saattaa vain päätyä huonoon kokemukseen, mutta tämä filmi oli edelleen yhtä hyvä kuin muistinkin ellei jopa parempi ja se on jo aikamoinen saavutus leffalta jonka nimikin on realistisesti Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Vitun hyvä leffa.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at IMDb

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

THE COLLECTOR

Directed by Marcus Dunstan
Starring Josh Stewart, Michael Reilly Burke, Andrea Roth, Juan Fernández, Karley Scott Collins, Madeline Zima, Haley Pullos, Robert Wisdom

I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship this so called violence porn. Meaning horror films that are wall to wall blood and guts executed by serial killers each one more deviant than the previous. The Saw-movies are a prime example.

Arkin (Stewart) is a man down on his luck. Pressured by his ex-wife to pay his debts, Arkin plots a heist on his new employer's country home but is unaware that a serial killer has also targetted the house and is planning to off the family in gruesome ways on the very night he's set to rob the place.

The traps which end up mutilating the victims in films like this are usually clever and give the film the gruesome entertainment value, but at the same time I can't help but wonder how many endless serial killers are we going to see? Seriously, has there ever been killers like this in real life? Guys like Ed Gein, Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer were indeed fucked up but very practical. I know it's just a movie, but a little realism really wouldn't hurt! Serial killers are sick and twisted people but has anyone gone through these lengths to off their victims?! Highly doubtful and it really is a stretch to get into these Collectors and Saws at this point because honestly the continuous suspension of disbelief is getting a little fucking boring. Even the most glorious gore can get old if it's packaged poorly. Eli Roth's Hostel-films were more than a welcomed breath of fresh air to this genre but nobody seems to have taken a lesson or two from them. Pity. There's a sequel in the works for The Collector called The Collection. Let's hope they freshen it up for part deux.

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
Yhdeltä näkökannalta The Collector on viihdyttävää goremättöä Saw-leffojen tyyliin, mutta toisaalta nämä kikka kolmosia käyttävät sarjamurhaajat alkavat olla niin nähty juttu, puitteet liian epäuskottavia sekä itseään toistavia ettei kunnon splatteristakaan saa enää täysiä kierroksia irti kun huomaa haukottelevansa mitä kekseliäimmillekin dekapitaatioille. Ihan kelvollista lahtaamista sunnuntaikankkusen ja hyvän pizzan seuraksi, mutta odotukset olivat silti korkeammalla. Tiedän toki näiden olevan täyttä fiktiota, mutta jatkuva ylilyönti ja massiivinen realismin puute alkavat väkisinkin jo hiertää. Keksikää jo jotain muuta kuin näitä loputtomia ansoja askartelevia sarjamurhaajia!

The Collector at IMDb

Thursday, December 16, 2010

THE RING

Directed by Gore Verbinski
Starring Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Lindsay Frost, Brian Cox, Jane Alexander, Amber Tamblyn, Rachael Bella, Shannon Cochran, Daveigh Chase, Adam Brody

The Ring (2002) is really the film which started the string of American remakes of eastern horror films. The Ring has been followed by others such as The Grudge (2004), One Missed Call (2008), Shutter (2008) and The Eye (2008). The remakes themselves have varied from excellent to fucking shit, but this American version of Ringu (1998) remains an effective and impressive opening act.

Watts plays a journalist Rachel who stumbles upon a videotape after her niece is killed under mysterious circumstances. Rumor has it that the tape kills anyone seven days after seeing it. After watching the tape herself and after some disturbing occurrances, Rachel becomes more and more convinced of the tape's power. She must dive into the mystery and origin of the tape in order to save herself and those close to her.


I for one have no problem whatsoever with remaking films as long as they are made with appropriate taste by talented people who know what the hell they're doing and the films have enough own spin to them so that they are not straight out copies of the originals. The Ring falls safely into that green zone of fantastic remakes. It is a very effective psychological horror film and improves on the original in terms of visual creativity and tension. Director Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean 1-3) has created a very unique atmosphere of uneasy but pleasurable viewing because the whole time you have that gut feeling that something terrible and disturbing is boiling under the surface. I've seen this film about four times now and it really hasn't lost much of it's energy as a result of repeated viewing. That's quite something for a horror film. In the end though, horror is like comedy in the sense that it either gets you or it doesn't. I have friends who've considered this a dull film, but I can't watch The Ring without cringing every once in a while. And thankfully from the atmosphere of fear and not because the film's a piece of shit.


KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
The Ring aloitti kokonaisen virran amerikkalaisia uusintaversioita itämaisista alkuperäiselokuvista. Olen huomannut että useimmilla katsojilla on jonkinlainen ennakkovaraus aivan kaikkiin uusintaversioihin ja tuomitsevat ko. leffat edes näkemättä niitä, mutta itse en ole kokenut ainakaan vielä tarvetta moiseen, sillä yleistäminen on etenkin näissä asioissa typerä siirto. Kenties myös siksi että pääasiassa nämä uudet versiot ovat olleet erittäin onnistuneita kauhuelokuvia. The Ring on visuaalisesti kekseliäs, hieno ja aidosti ahdistava. Verta filmissä ei ole miltei nimeksikään, mutta psykologista kauhua senkin edestä, sillä koko elokuvan ajan katsojalla on tunne ettei kaikki ole aivan kunnossa ja että pinnan alla kytee jotain järkyttävää. Se mitä et näe on toki melkein poikkeuksetta pelottavampaa ja The Ring käyttää tuota taktiikkaa mestarillisesti vaikka lopussa hieman leikitäänkin tehosteilla. Kauhu, kuten komediakin, on silti hyvin yksilöllinen käsite. Se mikä on pelottavaa yhdelle saa toisen vain haukottelemaan, mutta omasta mielestäni tämä leffa on melko harvinainen helmi ja aidosti (mitä parhaimmalla tavalla) ahdistava.


The Ring at IMDb

The original Ringu at IMDb


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Directed by Marja Pyykkö
Starring Ada Kukkonen, Sara Melleri, Anna-Leena Uotila, Seppo Pääkkönen, Kristiina Halttu, Heikki Nousiainen, Santeri Kinnunen, Niko Saarela

You know what fucking pisses me off (among a variety of things)? There is no such thing as fresh perspective when it comes to teen drama in Finnish cinema. These films have been somewhat of a trendy item ever since Sairaan Kaunis Maailma (internationally Freakin' Beautiful World) back in 1997. They just all seem to follow that same dotted path and the characters are almost always irritating know-it-all assholes. Sisko Tahtoisin Jäädä (or internationally Run Sister Run!) ends up being no exception to that.

Emilia (Kukkonen [the blond one]) is a responsible teenager who looks after her little sister and does well in school. At a pool party, she meets Siiri (Melleri), a youth rebel who likes to party and doesn't give a shit about rules, what anyone else thinks and wants to live her life to the fullest. Emilia is enchanted by Siiri's freedom and after the two become friends, Emilia's success in school starts to go down hill and she has a falling out with her single parent dad (Pääkkönen in good form). Emilia struggles to find her true self in the new emotional environment that's fallen upon her.

That synopsis sounds like a thousand other teen flicks and in the end that's exactly what this film is. First your characters go out into the world and have fun and are without limits but then some kind of cataclysm comes along and they find out that life is hard but friendships last forever blaah blaah blaah! It's shit. How are we expected to identify with, let alone care about these characters when all you'd wanna do is hold them down and beat the living hell out of them and scream in their face "why are you so goddamn fucking stupid"?! And who the hell are these films made for anyway? The kind of teens it depicts? What are they supposed to draw from them? Life lessons or pointers on how to vandalize and be a loser boozer? Or are these films aimed at a more mature audience in hopes they know what the fuck their idiot kid is doing at the mall. In the end, whoever it's made for, Sisko Tahtoisin Jäädä is just a chronicle about two irritating teenagers. Take it or (as recommended here) leave it.

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
Sisko Tahtoisin Jäädä on juuri niin vitun ärsyttävä ja kliseinen nuorisokapinadraama kuin sen teatteritraileri varoittikin olevan. Huudetaan mäen päällä kun elämä ahdistaa, dokaillaan, örvelletään ja opitaan sitten kovin kourin elämästä virheiden kautta ja sitten itketään. Vanhemmat on näiden mielestä aina jotain saatanan vajakkeja eivätkä tajua nuoren tuskaa. Kyllä ne tajuaa (ovathan itsekin olleet nuoria), mutta ovat jo sen verran kypsiä että kun tietävät vastauksen ahdistukseen, se menee kuuroille korville sillä sehän on vain ihan clueless faija. On se sitten tämä, Kielletty Hedelmä (2009) tai jokin muu kotimainen nuorten kapinakela, nämä leffat ovat ytimeltään aina aivan identtisiä. Pienet päälle liimatut, koristelua tarjoavat sivuseikat tuovat ainoan eron toisiinsa kotimaisissa nuorisodraamoissa. Ensin on hauskaa ja sitten tulee itku pitkästä ilosta ja lopussa opitaan enemmän tai vähemmän. Samaa leffaa uudestaan ja uudestaan. Tylsää. Ainoat pisteet menevät pikkusiskoa herttaisesti esittävälle Uotilalle, Emilian faijana viisauden äänenä seisovalle "Jasperin isä" Pääkköselle ja Kukkosen perseelle.

Sisko Tahtoisin Jäädä at IMDb

Monday, December 6, 2010

STREETDANCE 3D

Directed by Max Giwa & Dania Pasquini
Starring Nichola Burley, Richard Winsor, Sianad Gregory, Ukweli Roach, Charlotte Rampling, Patrick Baladi, Sacha Chang, Flawless, Diversity

First off, I didn't see this film in 3D but the official title includes the "3D". Not that it would've made a difference one way or another. A flawed movie is still a flawed movie if you drag it to the 3rd or the 15th fucking dimension. Also, is it just me or are these characters (the "nice" ones included) mainly just arrogant as shit?

Carly (Burley) and her dance crew are aiming to win big time at a high profile competition which would give them a greater chance in the US. Key member (Roach) of their crew takes off and the rest of them are left to withering chances for a win until an esteemed ballet school teacher (Rampling) offers them a place to rehearse in peace under the condition that they include her failing and reluctant students in their dance crew.

There's been a considerable trend for these dance movies in recent years and at the beginning the thing seemed endearing and sincere but since all subsequent films have been just the same shit over and over again only with different choreographies and casts it's hard to swallow the garbage whole. And why should we? Well, if you have understanding and invested interest in the streetdance culture, these films may please your ticker but otherwise they are badly written shit with hammy acting at best. Rampling (Life During Wartime, Spy Game) is the only real professional actress in sight and it shows especially in the scenes with Burley. Then again, naturally inexperience is cured with experience but it's a shame the audience has to bear the development. The dance scenes (which a few of them are really just cleverly edited montages) are the core and the "story" around them just an excuse to put those said scenes on the screen. Again, that is all fine if you appreciate the culture but if you don't, like myself, there's really very fucking little to enjoy in StreetDance 3D or any other dance flick for that matter. The film was shot beautifully, that I can say as positive. Watch at your own consideration or just watch the greatly more interesting and fun Run DMC ft. Jason Nevins video It's Like That instead.

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
StreetDance 3D jatkaa viime vuosien trendiä tanssileffoista joissa heilutaan ja vatkataan saatanasti, mutta unohdetaan luoda edes nimellisesti kiinnostava ja kekseliäs tarina mukaan. Nämä filmit ovat kuin toimintaleffoja, joissa vauhdikkaat takaa-ajot ja räiskinnät on vain korvattu koreografioilla, mutta kylmä totuus on silti että jos katukulttuuri vinoine lippiksineen ei kosketa pätkääkään (kuten allekirjoittanutta), niin näissä leffoissa on helvetin vähän jos ollenkaan mitään viihdyttävää. Myöskin, olenko ainoa jota vituttaa ankarasti näiden hahmojen selvä ylimielisyys? Kässäritkin näissä filmeissä ovat aina sitä samaa tyttö-kohtaa-pojan huttua, jossa ei ole mitään eloa ellet sitten kenties ole romantiikankipeä teini jolle kelpaa Twilightitkin aidosta tunteesta. Katsokaa mielummin alle lisätty huomattavasti viihdyttävämpi Run DMC ft. Jason Nevinsin video It's Like That.

StreetDance 3D at IMDb

Enjoy:


And then there's the traditional trailer:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Directed by David Yates
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Alan Rickman, Julie Walters, David Thewlis, Michael Gambon, John Hurt, Brendan Gleeson, Evanna Lynch, Rhys Ifans, Bonnie Wright, Peter Mullan, Fiona Shaw, Richard Griffiths, David O'Hara, Timothy Spall

Geez, look at that cast list.. like the who's who of legendary actors and actresses. I'd also like to start by pointing out that once again I haven't read the original novels in which these movies are based on, so in my humble opinion that puts me in a very good position to rate these movies as stand alone pieces and not adaptations.

Harry Potter (Radcliffe) with his closest friends Hermione and Ron (Watson and Grint) are mourning the loss of Professor Dumbledore (Gambon) and preparing for the ultimate showdown against Potter's sworn enemy and the murderer of his parents, Dark Lord Voldemort (Fiennes). As the stakes get higher, the trio must also stay true to their friendship which is straining under the pressure.

Personally, I hated the first Potter movies The Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and The Chamber Of Secrets (2002) mainly because director Chris Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire, Home Alone) made them out to be cheesy family movies with clichéd lessons towards the end, but now that the saga has advanced to it's 7th outing things are looking way up because Harry Potter isn't the simple fare it used to be. There are real, important themes at hand and the tone is dark, very dark. In fact, it might be a stretch to call these family movies at all since there are real scares which almost cross the line over to real horror. When the film adaptations of J.K. Rowling's books kicked off, I was pissed because somehow they had managed to collect the cream of British acting community under this childish lable but even that doesn't bother me anymore. The tone is very mature and these great legendary screen icons get to shine like they didn't before in the earlier installments (though I'll still take Hans Gruber and the Sheriff of Nottingham over Severus Snape any day of the week). The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 has been criticized for having a slow pace and being without action. Two arguments which are both completely without merit. There's constantly something happening and the screenplay by Steve Kloves (Wonder Boys, The Fabulous Baker Boys) moves along nicely. That's more like it!

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
Harry Potter ja Kuoleman Varjelukset, Osa 1 on loistava leffa saagassa, jota on ainakin ensimmäisissä elokuvissa painaneet raskaasti perhe-elokuvien kliseet ja mauttomat, rautalangasta väännetyt opetukset yms, mutta mitä pidemmälle tarinassa ollaan päästy ja nyt kun pääosatkin ovat varttuneet, on tarinankerronnalle ja elokuvien sävylle onneksi käynyt samoin. Potter-filmit ovat alusta asti olleet kyllästettyjä näyttelijän ammatin kermalla ainakin mitä sivuosiin on ollut katsomista, mutta toisin kuin sarjan alussa, nyt nuo legendat pääsevät ihan oikeasti näyttelemäänkin sen sijaan että olisivat vain tylsiä marionetteja taustalla kukkakepit kourassa. Tätä leffaa on moitittu tylsäksi ja vain aiempia tapahtumia kertaavaksi, mutta omasta mielestäni kumpikaan ei pitänyt paikkaansa. Kuoleman Varjelukset, Osa 1 on vauhdikas ja itsenäinen elokuva, jota voi suositella nimenomaan perheen varttuneemmille.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 at IMDb

The following trailer is in fact a combination of Parts 1 and 2:

Friday, November 26, 2010

PREDATORS

Directed by Nimród Antal
Starring Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Topher Grace, Danny Trejo, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Laurence Fishburne, Carey Jones, Brien Steele, Derek Mears

The now legendary filmmaker Robert Rodriguez (Desperado, Sin City) conjured the plot for this sequel back in 1994 but couldn't get it into production because the budget was considered too high at the time. Predators finally saw green light 15 years later and ended on the big screen this year. Rodriguez was originally going to direct his own script but later settled on producing with his script heavily altered and with directorial duties appointed to Antal (Vacancy, Armored). First mistake. Rodriguez's original script was much more based on the strange new world the characters find themselves in at the beginning of the film but Antal saw it fit to strip the script down to the more traditional hunting scenario. Second mistake.

A group of various elite warriors find themselves in a strange new world with no recollection of how they got there and soon realise that someone or something is hunting them for prey and sport.

Predators is not that bad. It starts off brilliantly and keeps rolling nicely accompanied with fresh ideas and genuine thrill of awe and wonder for the new world but then slowly and disappointingly starts to slip into the (perhaps way too) familiar set-up of rolling in the mud and running in the jungle. That familiar scenario might have worked fine with a better director but Antal isn't great with action and looses the momentum in the third reel and Predators somehow falls to pieces which are then desperately stitched together, hopelessly, thanks largely to a certain "shocking" and shitty character revelation. In the end the film isn't the worst action pic for the sunday hangover but a disappointment when you wonder what it could've been with Rodriguez's original script and direction.

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
Kaksikymmentä vuotta Predator 2 -leffan jälkeen sarja täyttyi trilogiaksi ja vaikka lopputulos on allekirjoittaneen mielestä saagan huonoin, on tämä silti ihan kelpoa mäiskintäviihdettä. Se ettei Predatorsia voi nostaa korkeammalle jalustalle johtuu suurelti ohjaajansa, Antalin kyvyttömyydestä pitää homma kasassa loppuun asti. Leffa hajoaa viimeisen kolmanneksen aikana ja vaikka sitä yritetään epätoivoisesti tikata kasaan, ei lopputulosta voi silmäänpistävän onnistuneeksi kuvailla. Tuottajaksi vetäytynyt Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Planet Terror) loi Predatorsin alkuperäisen käsikirjoituksen jo vuonna 1994 ja sen värikkäästä monipuolisuudesta on tässä esillä vain radikaalisti karsittu ötökkähippa vieraassa viidakossa. Suurin menetys tässä on ajatella millainen Predatos olisi ollut Rodriguezin alkuperäisellä kässärillä ja ohjauksella.. *huoh*

Predators at IMDb

Friday, November 5, 2010

SEX AND THE CITY 2

Directed by Michael Patrick King
Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth, David Eigenberg, Evan Handler, Jason Lewis, Willie Garson, Mario Cantone, Art Malik, Alice Eve, Max Ryan, John Corbett, Omid Djalili, Liza Minelli, Ron White

Well, there had to be a sequel. Sex And The City has become an idea, a concept rather than just a TV show not to mention a film based on a TV show. The first film, though by no means a disaster, left no need for a sequel but now here we are just two short years later with another tale of the fantastic four from the luxury life of Manhattan. And I must admit, it could've been better but I guess it could very well have been a lot worse.

 Carrie and Big have now been married for two years and the day to day life of that said relationship is bearing down on her. She misses the glamour of the nightlife and wonders why the man of her dreams settles for sitting on the couch and watching TV. Samantha is invited to a trip to Abu Dhabi where her ex is filming his new movie and she invites her three friends to tag along.

 That's really pretty much all the story there is to be had. The TV show had the strength to give each of the four girls solid story lines for almost each episode throughout it's run but given the film's lengthy 146 minutes running time there really should've been more interesting shit for Miranda to do and not  to be reduced to a simple comic relief. Samantha is going through menopause and though she's desperately trying to cling on to the handsome stud at the hotel, the end result just comes off as a woman on the very end of her lavish and free lifestyle. She's still having fun fucking but the reality is catching up to Samantha and like it or not, her time is almost up. The film might not give that message but it's obvious. The relationship between Big and Carrie really doesn't go anywhere where it hasn't been dozens of times before. Then again, does it really need to? I understand that some women just watch these kinds of films alone in their apartment, wearing sweatpants with a t-shirt and eating ice cream straight out of the carton. They are a substitute for romance that they don't have or have found it but it has faded. I get it and won't beat you up about it any further. Sex And The City 2 doesn't offer anything special or new to anyone familiar with the show so naturally it's been a huge hit around the world.

By the way, how in the hell did (the brilliant stand-up comedian) Ron White find his way into Sex And The City 2?! A small role, granted, but it still made my evening to see the guy.

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
Sex And The City - Sinkkuelämää 2 on yhtä harmitonta höpönpöppöötä kuin oli ensimmäinen elokuvakin ja siinä kai sen suurin rikos onkin. TV-sarja johon tämä kaikki perustuu oli rohkea, nokkela ja kantaaottava, kun taas siihen jatkavat elokuvat ovat tylsähköjä, pikkuhauskoja ja ennalta-arvattavia suhdedraamoja joissa vain toistetaan sarjan käyttämiä ideoita. Voisi käsittämättömän pitkän (146 min) kestoajan kai jotenkin huonomminkin viettää, mutta suosittelisin tätä silti vain SATC-faneille. Tätä leffaa katsoessa kun huomaa välillä ajattelevansa että miksi koko filmi on edes vaivauduttu tekemään, sillä se ei tuo hahmojen eikä tarinan kannalta todella mitään uutta sen säihkyvään, mutta sisältä onttoon maailmaan. Ei siis ihme että Sex And The City 2 on ollut maailman laajuinen hitti. Geez!

Sex And The City 2 at IMDb

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson
Starring Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller, Kim Coteas, Boris Kodjoe, Shawn Roberts

It's the fourth chapter of the Resident Evil saga and the series has come a full circle in a way. The director of the original, Anderson has returned to his chair after making an ok action film (AvP) and a very good action film (Death Race) in between. 

 While still (sigh!) trying to bring down the evil Umbrella corporation, Alice (Jovovich) joins a band of survivors in L.A. who've set their goals in reaching a safe haven and virus free place known only as Arcadia. The undead are still everywhere and the diminishing perimeter starts to effect relations of the last survivors.

 Anderson also wrote the first two sequels to this series, Apocalypse and Extinction. Personally I thought the first film was mediocre at best and all the films after that have been even more boring and and without any vision at all with the exception of a few clever action beats. Afterlife is no exception. The only thing that separates this film from doomed straight-to-DVD fodder is the fact that they had more (wasted) money and a couple of C-list movie stars. Shawn Roberts' character, the main antagonist might just be the worst creation in years since he's obviously a cheap and evil knock off of Neo from The Matrix. At times it's almost embarrasing to watch Afterlife since it just wonders on and on without any direction of where it wants to go. And a memo to mr. Anderson: thousands of slo-mo's do not make good action scenes. Maybe if you're a fan of the game series I can understand if you hold this film up in high regard, but otherwise it's just dull and boring gun fire without soul. The only high remark goes to the gruesome character Axeman. Although we already saw that as well in another (and clearly perkier) game adaptation, Silent Hill (2006).

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
Resident Evil: Afterlife on erittäin sieluton toimintaraina, josta voisin kuvitella nauttivan ainoastaan niiden katsojien joille Resident Evil-pelit ovat olleet kova ja omaa sydäntä läheinen juttu. Ohjaaja Anderson joka aloitti leffasarjan vuonna 2002 (ja on naimisissa Jovovichin kanssa) on saanut tällä kertaa aikaan vain todella päämäärätöntä räiskintää ja haukotuttavaa säikyttelyä. Ainoa hieno seikka leffassa on brutaalin ja aidosti hieman ahdistavan näköinen, jättiläismäinen Kirvesmies. Tosin samantyyppinen heppu heilui jo selvästi paremmassa peliadaptaatiossa Silent Hill (2006). Eli se kai siitäkin sitten. Ainoa mikä tämän turhuuden erottaa suoraan DVD:lle saapuvasta kuonasta on hivenen isompi budjetti ja pari C-luokan leffatähteä.

Resident Evil: Afterlife at IMDb

Thursday, October 28, 2010

VALHALLA RISING

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Maarten Stevenson, Gordon Brown, Andrew Flanagan, Ewan Stewart

Now this is what I call an artsy fartsy picture. I've only seen Bronson from director Refn's previous films and it was an okey film, but in my opinion needlessly dragged on and embedded in weird subliminal flashes and metaphors. That apparently was nothing compared to Valhalla Rising.

 Set around 1000 AD, for years One Eye (a charismatic and mute Mikkelsen, Casino Royale, Clash Of The Titans) has been held captive by Norse chieftain Barde. He manages to violently escape captivity and with the aid of a slave boy Are, the two begin a journey that leads them on board a ship of Christian Vikings heading for the holy land of Jerusalem. They stray away from course in a thick fog and soon find themselves in a strange land where the crew starts to suffer from crisis of faith.

 Now, on the count of Bronson, Refn has been compared to Kubrick for that film being like a modern day A Clockwork Orange which was understandable though Bronson NEVER reached the brilliance of Clockwork. Valhalla Rising in turn brings Terrence Malik's war epic The Thin Red Line to mind for it's glorified depiction of the new world and it's pure nature. The film is beautiful, there's no denying that, but where it hits the rocks is the slow and pretentious pace. Refn described Valhalla (and I'm paraphrasing here) as a viking scifi from a metaphysical point of view. Wow. Okey. That's definitely what it is but a very boring and needlessly cryptic one. This film will surely split the audience clear in two. See for yourself. I wasn't expecting an action spectacle to begin with but this is ridiculous. You have two characters staring at each other muttering a line of random dialogue every six seconds after each other against a stormy backdrop. That's not art, it's pretentious boring shit. Refn wants to use silence in the same way Kubrick did but the thing with Kubrick's films was that he always had a good emotional reason for it kicking in the background whereas Refn almost seems to trust the audience to randomly find or invent one themselves.

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
Valhalla Rising on tanskalaisen ohjaaja Refnin viikinkifilmi, jossa pohditaan uskon asioita ja olemassaolon tarkoituksia. Aivan helvetin pitkästyttävällä tavalla. On yksi asia tehdä kiinnostava elokuva elämän järjettömyydestä tai järjellisyydestä, mutta vaikka leffa on käsittämättömän upean näköinen ja Mikkelsen on karismaattinen mykkänä soturina, niin koko filmi tuntuu teennäiseltä eikä ollenkaan vangitsevalta. Refn yrittää käyttää hiljaisuutta kerronnan keinona Stanley Kubrickin tavoin, mutta siinä missä mestarillinen Kubrick piti tilanteessa aina, aina henkisen yhteyden hahmoihin ja kerrontaan, tuntuu Refn vain randomisti heittelevän niitä toivossa että kyllä yleisö keksii itse syyn miksi madellaan eteenpäin. En voisi vähätellä rankemmin kun sanon ettei tätä kannata katsoa ainakaan vauhdikkaan seikkailun toivossa.

Valhalla Rising at IMDb



Sunday, October 24, 2010

Directed by Samuel Bayer
Starring Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Jackie Earle Haley, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Connie Britton, Clancy Brown, Kellan Lutz

Up until now I've been somewhat on board the horror remake boom by Michael Bay's production company Platinum Dunes because the films have been good (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) and some even excellent (The Hitcher, Friday the 13th). You have to remember that these are absolute classics that they are remaking and the new ones can never surpass the originals but what's the harm with having fun with the consepts if there's some new perspective and fun to be had? A Nightmare On Elm Street continues the series of new versions but this time something's way off.

 Teenagers on Elm Street start dropping like flies and after their friends confide to each other about their fears of the horribly burned man who stalks them in their dreams, they realise that these dreams and the man in them, Freddy Krueger (Haley, Watchmen, Semi-Pro) is out to get them and if he's able to kill them in their nightmares, they die in real life as well.

 The original film from 1984 is an undying classic and in my personal opinion one of the best and most effective horror films ever made. It is still something that's almost uncomfortable to watch (in the best sense of the expression) thanks to Wes Craven's ingenious writing and unforgiving direction. Even the sequels which always get a bad wrap were effective though they were much more loose and laid back but in the end still very entertaining. This new Nightmare is none of that. It's a very lazy effort free of any actual psychological horror. All the horror in it is based on cheap and easy scare tactics and nothing more. They've basically stripped the original's powerful underlying tension away and replaced it with stupid predictable teen dialogue and ineffective camera tricks. There's nothing to fear here. Jackie Earle Haley gives the legendary Freddy all he's got but in the end he's just simply not Robert Englund. The demise of Krueger is not his fault, but largely of Bayer's who's had no real vision for the film. Colorful visuals alone don't make good horror. Not the worst movie ever made but it does have very few redeeming qualities which aren't even enough on themselves to be mentioned here. The original launched Johnny Depp. This remake will launch a mandatory sequel. Trust me, it's just as sad as it sounds.

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
Alkuperäinen Painajainen Elm Streetillä on edelleen väkevä ja täydellisesti toimiva kauhuklassikko joka aikoinaan esitteli Johnny Deppin ensimmäisessä elokuvaroolissaan ja teki ohjaaja Wes Cravenista (Scream) legendan. Nyt kyseessä oleva uusintaversio on piloille laimennettu pikkupelottava teinihippa. Originaalin aidosti ahdistava ilmapiiri on vaihdettu helppoihin ja tylsiin säikyttelytaktiikoihin ja oikeasta kauhusta tai sympatiasta hahmoja kohtaan ei ole tietoakaan. Watchmenissä vakuuttanut Haley yrittää kaikkensa painajaisissa murhaavan Freddy Kruegerin kengissä, mutta ei huonon käsikirjoituksen takia täytä niitä samoin kuin roolin historiaan viillellyt Robert Englund. Kannattaa vilpittömästi katsoa mielummin se oikea alkuperäinen, vaikka se nuoremmalle polvelle saattaakin vaikuttaa jo elähtäneeltä. Hyvä elokuva on silti aina hyvä elokuva yhtälailla kuin tämä tulee aina olemaan alempiarvoinen ja pian todennäköisesti jo unohdettukin.

A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010) at IMDb

A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) at IMDb


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Directed by Oliver Stone
Starring Michael Douglas, Shia LeBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin, Susan Sarandon, Austin Pendleton, Frank Langella, Eli Wallach, Vanessa Ferlito, Charlie Sheen

The first Wall Street (1987) was a very hard look on the quick-buck financial culture of the 1980's. It was a typical Oliver Stone film in the sense that it presented a very cynical look of the greed for wealth and power over simplicity and honest labor. Over two decades have passed and Stone brings the sequel at the most appropriate moment and bases it on the world wide 2008 financial crisis.

 23 years have passed since the events of the first film and Wall Street legend Gordon Gekko is being released from prison. At the same time a young up and coming trader Jacob Moore (LeBeouf) is getting engaged to Gekko's estranged daughter Winnie (Mulligan). Jacob suffers a personal tragedy when his boss and mentor commits suicide and as a result he sets out to seek revenge on the calculating investment banker Bretton James (Brolin) whom he thinks is to fault. Gekko wants to rekindle with his daughter and he and Jacob start helping each other on their respected goals. Gekko hasn't yanked his green tooth though and trouble brews.

 Before I say anything else, I'll admit that most of the trader lingo and business manouvers of these films go right over my head. It is fairly easy to follow the basic plot though because it's quite like watching Star Trek. And by that I mean that I have no idea what the hell it means when someone yells that they have a disrupted plasma coil. You still understand that it means the fucking Klingons have the upper hand, you know?

 I've liked LeBeouf ever since I first saw him in films like Constantine and I, Robot and now Wall Street 2 continues to prove his rightful place among the most talented young stars in Hollywood. The man can act, there's no question about it. Most importantly, he can take on different roles and adapt according to director and genre like in Transformers for example. LeBeouf and Douglas play well together and as great as LeBeouf is, there's no way he can out shine Gordon Gekko, the role that pretty much defined Douglas' career. Stone continues to question the greed which rules the lives of these characters and rightfully so because I too have always wondered what is it about money that turns people into these cold, arrogant bastards. At one point in the film Jacob asks Bretton what's his figure at which the money he has is enough to lay down and live comfortably. The given answer perfectly summarizes the mentality of these hollow suits: MORE.

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
Osakemaailmassa luultavasti jo miltei käsitteeksi noussut alkuperäinen Wall Steet (1987) sai ennalta-arvaamattomasti jatko-osan 23 vuotta myöhemmin ja lopputulos on Oliver Stonen tapaan kriittinen ja koruton katsaus ahneuden ja sen tuoman kyseenalaisen moraalikadon lopputuloksista, sillä pohjana filmissä käytetään erittäin fiksusti vuoden 2008 finanssikriisiä. Douglasin uran määritellyt Gordon Gekko on taas vapaalla jalalla ja raha pistetään virtaamaan hinnalla millä hyvänsä. Vaikkei monimutkaisista pörssikikkailuista ja kuplista metaforina tajuaisikaan mitään niin leffassa pysyy silti mukavasti kärryillä, sillä tuo kaikki siansaksa on samanlaista pilkunviilaamista kuin Star Trekin teknolöpinä. Ei esim. tarvitse ymmärtää kirjaimellisesti mitä "revennyt plasmakäämi" tarkoittaa tajutakseen että Enterprise on paskana, kohta läski tummuu ja Klingonit tulittaa perseeseen.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps at IMDb

Sunday, October 10, 2010

THE SWEETEST THING

Directed by Roger Kumble
Starring Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, Thomas Jane, Jason Bateman, Parker Posey, Frank Grillo

Geez, where do I even begin?! It's obvious that this piece of shit was made to be the chick version of American Pie. In the Making Of reel the main female cast goes on about how great it was that for once someone put on paper how women really think and act. I don't know whether to panic right now or two seconds ago because these characters are fucking annoying idiots. Please, let this not be an accurate depiction of the female psyche!

 Christina (Diaz), Courtney (Applegate) and Jane (Blair) are best friends who love to go out, have drinks, party and pick up men. Christina bumps into Peter (Jane) and spends the rest of the movie pining for that cute guy she missed out on. Courtney really has no story and Jane hangs out with a hunk with a big cock which gets stuck in her throat. Funny? Nay.

 These kinds of women tend to overanalyze everything related to the men in their lives. Analyze them to death I mean. "Well should I call him or will I seem too eager if I call him? Why hasn't he called me? You think he'll call me? How long should I wait till I call him..?" SHUT THE FUCK UP! Relationships are not that complicated. They only seem to be if you always magnify every little meaningless detail. It doesn't mean shit if he called you now insted an hour from now. At one point Christina blurps out "I'm so tired of the game" which brings us neatly on to the next point I've always had a problem with: the phrase don't hate the player, hate the game. That has got to be the most dumbass, vainest, idiotic line ever uttered. How are we supposed to not hate "the players" (which in itself is a very self-flattering, brainless term) when they're usually superficial, egomaniacal, shallow pieces of shit who only use that said phrase to excuse their rotten core and who only care about a favorable outcome for their little dicks. Literally. I say fuck the players right up their bling bling asses and hate them as much if not MORE than the fucking game!

 The Sweetest Thing is a horrible mistake. Maybe it really is the case that we guys are immature idiots and expect you girls to be the mature ones and roll your eyes everytime we fuck something up. If that is the case then it's easy to point out why this film is such a piece of bat shit. I don't think it's that complicated however. The bottom line is that the script is terrible with it's bad and overly stupid dialogue and LAME jokes. The cast makes it even worse with the exception of Jason Bateman who has the only few amusing moments. Director Kumble (Cruel Intentions, College Road Trip) has boldly shown me the limit of tolerance when it comes to bad comedy. For that I guess I'll thank him. But enough about the greatest abomination to the history of cinema, The Penis Song..

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
The Sweetest Thing eli suomalaisittain Radalla on jotain hirveintä ja epähauskinta paskaa mitä Hollywoodin "luvattu" maa on koskaan kehittänyt. Vahvoissa naisissa ei ole mitään vikaa, mutta nämä bilehileet ovat vain ärsyttäviä, typeriä ääliöitä. En keksi mitään säälittävämpää tai surullisempaa kuin tällaiset ikääntyvät bilepissikset. Antakaa jo olla ja kasvakaa aikuisiksi. Leffassa mennään pitkälti myös "älä vihaa pelaajaa, vihaa peliä"-mentaliteetin mukaan, mikä on idioottimaisin fraasi jonka olen aikoihin kuullut. Kysympä vain kuinka voin olla vihaamatta "pelaajaa" (joka jo itsessään on itsekehuskeleva bling bling fraasi), kun he usein ovat itsekeskeisiä, egomaanisia tolloja, jotka vain naamioivat mädäntyneen ytimensä moisten onttojen iskulauseiden taakse?! Minä kehoitan vihaamaan "pleijeriä" yhtä paljon ellei ENEMMÄN kuin sitä perkeleen peliä. Ja sitten on vielä se miltei kestämätöntä myötähäpeää synnyttävä Penislaulu..

The Sweetest Thing at IMDb

Sunday, October 3, 2010

BRAINDEAD

Directed by Peter Jackson
Starring Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, Elizabeth Moody, Ian Watkin

Everytime I think about Peter Jackson's career pre-Heavenly Creatures, I laugh myself silly because who in their right minds would've EVER figured that the guy behind such gore classics as Bad Taste (1987), Meet The Feebles (1990) and Braindead (1992) would become the Oscar-winning helmer of the LOTR trilogy and other more "respectable" productions like The Lovely Bones and the remake of King Kong?! I wouldn't and to tell you the truth I personally prefer these over his new endeavors.

 Lionel (Balme) is a sissy mamma's boy who has a huge crush on the girl who works at his local corner store. Lionel's mother is a vicious old hag who submits him to her own will. Well wouldn't you know it, she gets bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey (!!!) and starts spreading a disease around that turns everyone into a blood spewing and really very ill-mannered zombie. Lionel must now overcome the undead and let go the emotional grip of his dead mother.

 That sounds fucking crazy and that's exactly what the film is but in the most glorious way way over the top fashion. You seriously can't watch Braindead with a straight face because you'll either walk out on it with total disgust or you'll cheer and applaude and piss yourself laughing as I almost did. Braindead has been called the goriest film ever made and it very well could be just that. There's so much blood, guts and other disgusting shit that your brain is on the verge of rebooting from sheer disbelief. And let me remind you folks that I sincerely mean all of this as a good thing! Sometimes you need to blow off steam by watching classy films like Elizabeth and Quiz Show.. and.. sometimes you also need to go for other extreme and watch something so incomprehensible that you have to stand in awe and respect the celebration of chaos and brilliant madness. Besides how many films include a fucking ninja priest?! "I kick ass for the Lord!" Geez! After watching this The Lord Of The Ring can kiss my tubby ass.

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
Voi näitä goreklassikoita nuoruudesta. Ne lukijat jotka eivät ymmärrä mitä hauskaa tai nerokasta on verellä ja suolenpätkillä, eli lyhyesti ilmaistuna gorella mässäilyllä eivät tule tajuamaan tästä senkään vähän vertaa jota ovat tajunneet jostain Screamin tyyppisestä höyhensarjalaisesta. Me muut nostamme käden lippaan ja teemme kunniaa tälle kaikkien goreleffojen äidille ja ihmettelemme vain niin perkeleesti kuinka tällaisen taideteoksen ohjaaja on myöhemmin löytänyt tiensä Taru Sormusten Herrasta-trilogian maestroksi. Hilloa (siis verta eikä mitään helvetin bling blingiä!), oksennusta ja kaikkea muuta inhoa shittiä lentää ja koko sirkusta tuijottaa vähän väliä monttu auki ihmetyksestä että kuinka tällainen älyvapauden riemujuhla on koskaan saatu tehtyä. Sitä paitsi, monessako leffassa muistat nähneesi *ninjapappeja*?! En kaiketi voisi vähätellä enempää kun sanon ettei tämä leffa luultavasti uppoa tosikoihin.

Braindead at IMDb

The very cleaned up Braindead (aka Dead Alive) trailer..

SNEAKERS

Directed by Phil Alden Robinson
Starring Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix, David Strathairn, Mary McDonnell, Ben Kingsley, Eddie Jones, Timothy Busfield, Donal Logue, Stephen Tobolowsky, James Earl Jones, Bodhi Elfman

Sneakers (1992) is one of those movies I grew up on. I used to watch this almost once a week but hadn't seen it now for at least a decade and it couldn't have been better after all this time. Don't you find it refreshing when time hasn't ravaged the memories you hold dear..? It sadly isn't always the case but holy shit how I loved this film still!

 Redford plays Martin Bishop, a man who with the aid of his team of mixed experts tests high security facilities by breaking into them. On one fine day the NSA knocks on his door and let's Bishop know that they're onto his illegal activities from his distant past and are willing to wipe the man's record clean if he and his team pull off a job for Uncle Sam. What they're after is a brilliant code breaking device which turns out to be an extremely dangerous item to anyone who hold it in their possession.

 Sneakers is a perfect mixture of masterful tension and humor. Results on said balance that are as brilliant as this have been attempted by many but they've failed almost without exception. Sneakers is that exception. Director Robinson (The Sum Of All Fears) uses his top notch cast to their best abilities and all other departments are firing on all cylinders as well. Especially brilliant is James Horner's (Titanic, Braveheart) at times haunting and on the other very relaxed and humorous score. The one thing some anal-retentive geek might critique is that the techology is badly dated. I actually heard this as a serious argument for trashing another film dealing with computers and hi-tech, called Hackers. That is NOT a valid argument because A) you don't trash Star Wars either for it's effects being old and not on par compared to recent action films and B) it really has fuck all to do with what's essential in the actual core of the film itself. Sneakers is a brilliant feel good film with a dark and very intelligent edge. A rare gem to find these days.

Whistler: I want peace on earth and goodwill toward men.
Abbott: We are the United States Government! We don't do that sort of thing!


Priceless.

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
Sneakers (1992) on kohta parikymmentä vuotta vanha elokuva, joka ei ole menettänyt yhtään charmiaan eikä tehokkuuttaan. Allekirjoittanut on tuijotellut tätä leffaa ipanana alituiseen ja luojan kiitos, se nerokkuus jonka muistan leffasta ei ollut vain hyvä muisto vaan jotain ainutlaatuista ja loppujen lopuksi filmi, jossa näyttelijät ovat parhaassa terässä, ohjaus on häkellyttävän taitavaa ja James Hornerin nokkela musiikki viimeistelee huolellisesti kelatun komediajännärin (äärimmäisen harvoin ja näin letkeästi toimiva genreyhdistelmä), joka myös nuoremman polven kannattaa katsoa mahdollisista ennakkoluuloista huolimatta. Suokaa anteeksi karkea ranskani, mutta aivan vitun hyvä leffa.

Sneakers at IMDb

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Directed by Mike Newell
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Toby Kebbell, Richard Coyle, Ronald Pickup, Steve Toussaint

I don't play video games. Never have and can't see a future where I'd really get into it either. That's partly why movies based on them have never really been that exciting for me because I'm not a member of the built-in audience. Partly though, it may also have something to do with the fact that films based on video games have mostly been shit. And gamers can hardly argue against that themselves.

Gyllenhaal plays a prince on the run who's been framed for the murder of his father and all of this is due to a supernatural dagger that can turn back time but destroy the world in the process. He's joined by a princess (Arterton) who is entrusted to protect the dagger and while they can't get along at first (can you see where this is going?), they must ultimately stop the true guilty parties of using the damn thing.

The plot is filed comfortably under Who Gives A Shit because honestly we're here for the action and thrill of adventure. Sadly this is realised only to a modest degree since director Newell (Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, Pushing Tin) doesn't know how to do mind blowing action set pieces which at the end of the day is what these kind of films are all about. Prince Of Persia plays like producer Jerry Bruckheimer tried to start another Pirates Of The Caribbean type franchise but Gyllenhaal - though he gives it his best - is no Johnny Depp. The effects are glorious and the film is visually stunning but since there's a little thing called a soul missing, the film feels mostly a bit hollow. There are some redeeming qualities like Arterton's (Quantum Of Solace, Clash Of The Titans) elegance and beauty and the ladies will probably enjoy Gyllenhaal's rugged looks but best of all is Molina's (Spider-Man 2) hilarious supporting comic relief, a small time hustler obsessed with conspiracy theories, ostrich races (?!) and really really weird anecdotes such as "Did you know ostriches have suicidal tendencies..?"

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
Prince Of Persia on videopeliin pohjautuva toimintaleffa jossa menoa riittää ja fantasia jyllää. Se on myös hieman tylsä sillä toimintakohtaukset juonesta puhumattakaan ovat tylsiä ja koko leffa tuntuu olleen tuottaja Jerry Bruckheimerin yritys luoda uusi Pirates Of The Caribbeanin tyyppinen elokuvasarja, mutta ensinnäkään Gyllenhaal ei kaikesta ahkerasta pinnistelystään huolimatta ole Johnny Depp, Jack Sparrow'sta puhumattakaan. Kyllä tämän silti kerran katsoo mielellään, sillä visuaalisesti leffa on näyttävä ja sivuosassa hyppivä Molina (Spider-Man 2, Boogie Nights) pitää hauskaa salaliittoteorioista ja strutsikisoista (?!) nauttivana pikkurikollisena.

Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time at IMDb

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

KNIGHT & DAY

Directed by James Mangold
Starring Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Viola Davis, Jordi Mollà, Paul Dano, Maggie Grace, Dale Dye

I've always appreciated Mangold (Copland, Girl Interrupted, Walk The Line) as a director but I fucking love him now. It is one thing to direct deep, character driven drama but to be able to do films like this as well..? That shows multi-talent and deserves to be applauded. And by the way I don't wanna come off as if directing Walk The Line would be easy compared to this - it's not - but to be able to do both so well, that takes a special kind of guy.

June (Diaz) meets a nice guy at the airport on her way to her sister's wedding and that guy turns out to be Roy Miller (Cruise), an agent on the run and on a mission to protect his friend who has developed an energy source capable of solving the energy crisis. Naturally it is a hot item to multiple interests and June soon finds herself in the middle of an international hunt for the coveted invention.

Knight & Day is the best offbeat action comedy since the terrific Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005). The humor is exactly on the same level as that of Smith and the action is never too serious yet without being campy and constructed the same way as a side dish for character development. In fact, chances are if you loved  Mr. & Mrs. Smith, you'll most likely love Knight & Day but if you thought Smith was badly executed, irritating and too simple, you might wanna approach this with causion because while K&D has much in common with the Mission: Impossible franchise it is never as serious as those films. The action sequences must be mentioned separately because they really are stunning, innovative and fuelled with adrenaline. Bravo, mr. Mangold.. who would've thought?!

KITEYTETTYNÄ SINIVALKOISILLE
Knight & Day osoittautui lopulta olevan juuri niin hyvä kuin olin uskaltanut toivoakin. Vakavaa Medusan Verkko-leffojen kaltaista vibaa etsivät katsojat tulevat pettymään, mutta letkeästä ja aidosti viihdyttävästä toimintakomediasta nauttivat tulevat kaiketi ihastumaan. Knight & Day on hyvin pitkälle saman tyyppinen elokuva kuin loistava Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005). Toisin sanoen toiminta jyllää täysillä ja huumoria ei ole unohdettu ilman että kumpikaan tekijä kumoaisi toista vaan homma on kudottu kasaan miltei täydellisellä harmonialla ja tylsää hetkeä ei ole koko leffan keston aikana. Henkilödraamojen ohjaajana kunnostautunut Mangold (Girl Interrupted, Walk The Line) on tehnyt mallikelpoisen aluevaltauksen toiminnan saralle. Toivottavasti ei jää viimeiseksi yritykseksi.

Knight & Day at IMDb