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..?"

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


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?!

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

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Directed by Dennis Dugan
Starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Maria Bello, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph, Colin Quinn, Steve Buscemi, Tim Meadows, Jamie Chung, Madison Riley

On the outside Grown Ups looks like the comedic equivalent of The Expendables with it's all "star" male cast but reality is sadly very far from the belly laugh inducing no brainer it should've been. And I put the word star in quotes because David Spade and Rob Schneider can hardly be called stars or comedic masterminds and for a good reason too.

The five leading men play childhood friends whose basketball coach has passed away and they all meet up on their old turfs for the funeral and bring their families in order to catch up on good old times.

What makes Grown Ups patricularly disappointing is the horrible fact it's actually a cheesy, sentimental family film advertised as an all out, no holds barred comedic event. The jokes bomb one after another and not because they're too stupid - hell, that's what we hoped we were in for! - but because they are easy and family friendly boring tosh! Come on guys, what the hell happened?! The Expendables was no masterpiece but at least they delivered on what they promised: entertainment in great volume. Grown Ups is mildly silly and irritatingly safe entertainment. What's happened to the likes of The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer or even You Don't Mess With The Zohan? Those films were fucking stupid but they were funny.

Oikeesti Aikuiset on ärsyttävän kiltillä ja turvallisella huumorilla kyhätty tylsä komedia. Itse asiassa leffasta voisi mainoskampanjan perusteella luullakin, että se on vatsanauruja teettävä, hulvaton komedia, mutta se on valitettavasti jotain paljon petollisempaa ja hirvittävämpää: pikkuhauska perhe-elokuva, joka on naamioitu hersyväksi komediaksi. Ja en nyt todellakaan tarkoita, että leffa olisi liian typerä ollakseen hauska vaan nimenomaan päin vastoin! Oikeesti Aikuiset ei ole tarpeeksi ääliö leffa toisin kuin Sandlerin kulta-ajan tuotokset The Wedding Singer, Juomahemmo ja jopa hiljattain ulos pukattu Zohan.

Grown Ups at IMDb

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Directed by Steve Pink
Starring John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Rob Corddry, Lizzy Caplan, Collette Wolfe, Chevy Chase, Crispin Glover, Sebastian Stan, Lyndsy Fonseca

I honestly didn't know what the hell I was in for when I started watching a movie called Hot Tub Time Machine. But you see there's a hot tub and it turns out to be a time machine. Hence the title Hot Tub Time Machine. Simple. And so is the movie by the way but who gives a shit since it's funny. The snobs might want to skip this one when cruising the isle at the local video store but for the rest of us, a new sunday hangover classic might be upon us. Also, it's great to see Chevy Chase back in action after a hell of a long absence.

Cusack, Robinson and Corddry play childhood pals with Duke as Cusack's nephew. The older guys decide to relive some golden memories by checking into a winter resort where they used to party and get down with the babes. They drag Cusack's nephew along and in a weird Chernobly-energy drink accident (?!) the hot tub in their hotel room transports them all back to the jolly heydays of 1986. The guys must now literally relive their awkward moments again and also figure out how to get back to the present.

The time travel consept has definitely been done before albeit minus a fucking hot tub but the script has good jokes and the four leads pull it off nicely with Corddry (Semi-Pro) and Duke (Sex Drive, Kick-Ass) stealing the best one-liners for themselves. Steve Pink might be a relatively new talent as a director but he knows how to pace and construct a joke so the punchline delivers the laughs. He also co-starred with Cusack in the masterful action comedy classic Grosse Pointe Blank back in 1997.

Hot Tub Time Machine - Kasarikankkunen on riemukkaasti ja letkeällä fiiliksellä koottu komedia. Tosikkomaista ja konsepteiltaan realistista komediaa etsivät snobit saattavat joutua suuntaamaan pakoon toiseen päähän vuokrahyllyä, mutta kivaa sunnuntaista krapulakomediaa etsivät katsojat saattavat löytää tästä jopa pienen helmen. Yhdessä vuoden 2010 parhaimmista leffoista, Kick-Assissä ja hulvattomassa, mutta turhan vähälle huomiolle jääneessä Sex Drivessä esiintynyt Clark Duke tulee vielä olemaan iso(mpi) nimi ja olipa muuten kiva nähdä Chevy Chase pitkästä aikaa.

Actor Clark Duke at IMDb

Hot Tub Time Machine at IMDb

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Directed by Joonas Neuvonen

Reindeerspotting is a hard hitting Finnish documentary which centres around Jani, a twenty year old drug addict from a northern town of Rovaniemi, Finland. He hates living in a town so remote from anything and spends his time shooting up Subutex and getting high on various pills and other drugs. Getting in trouble with the law is a regular activity as well because wouldn't you know it, he has to take down scores in order to pay his debts and finance the drug habit. Jani dreams of nothing more than to be able to leave Rovaniemi for something bigger.

I'm gonna come off like a heartless asshole I guess, but I just don't have any sympathy for Jani or his friends who are all getting high on various shit. I don't give a shit. Addiction is not a disease, it's a choice. They've made their's and that's it. There is so much information given to teens and children alike about the dangers of drugs and if they still want to get fucked up on them, hey, they're on their own as far as I'm concerned. It's like when some people always go on about Jim Morrison.. "oh isn't it horrible how he got into all that and died so young..?" no, no it isn't, ok?! With all that we know of the dangers of drug abuse, if anyone is still stubborn enough to shoot up, why in hell should I be worried about protecting a guy who's stupid enough to not wanna protect himself by just simply staying away from that stuff? We've all got problems, ok? Drugs are never the answer. Duh! It's like Denis Leary said "Life sucks, get a fucking helmet!"

As a documentary, Reindeerspotting is semi-interesting because on one hand it really does show the day to day life of a drug addict in 2003 very, very gruesomely and in your face. It is quite interesting to see how bad the youth of our nation is feeling at it's worst and how it deals with it by escaping reality with substance abuse. On the other hand it is just the drug abuse that we're shown for a good 83 minutes plus some travelling around Europe. The central character of this documentary film, Jani was found dead recently in Asia as he hung himself and the pictures taken by a local news agency were put up on the internet. This got the film some extra attention. The critics of Reindeerspotting have accused the film for presenting drug abuse in a positive light but after watching the film I cannot imagine where that argument comes from and all I have to say to them is that the fact that they clearly show someone shooting up really doesn't promote the activity itself, you morons.

Reindeerspotting on koruton ja lohduton kurkistus huumeaddiktin surkeaan ja rikosten kierteessä vietettyyn elämään. Tätä dokumenttia on syytetty huumeiden käytön ihannoinnista, mutta filmin katsottuani en tajua miten helvetissä tuo argumentti pitää mitään katetta. Se että näytetään jonkun tykittävän paskaa suoneen ei todellakaan provosoi ketään järkevää ihmistä itseään leikkimään neuloilla. Sitä paitsi ihmiset tulevat käyttämään huumeita jatkossakin ja sitä ei voi estää sensuroimalla dokumenttielokuvaa. Oma myötätuntoni näitä käyttäjiä kohtaan on kovin vähäinen sillä addiktio on AINA valinta, EI tauti. Elokuvana Reindeerspotting on jokseenkin kiinnostava, mutta se näyttää silti lopulta vain pelkkää kaman vetämistä ja vähän Euroopan reissaamista. Kauhisteltu hype on siis todellakin ollut liioiteltua.

Reindeerspotting at IMDb


Directed by Luis Berdejo
Starring Kevin Costner, Ivana Baquero, Gattlin Griffith, Samantha Mathis, Erik Palladino, Noah Taylor, James Gammon

Here in Finland this film was advertised as Costner's comeback which isn't true because he hasn't really been gone now has he? He's done a film per year such as Swing Vote, Mr. Brooks and The Guardian. The New Daughter was released here straight on DVD and after watching it I can see why.

Author John James (Costner) moves to a remote house with his son Sam (Griffith from Changeling) and daughter Louisa (Baquero from Pan's Labyrinth) after going through a painful divorce with his wife who's found new love and decided to abandon her family. Upon moving, Louisa finds a strange mound near the house and soon her behavior starts to shift and odd noises and happenings begin to manifest.

The New Daughter is mediocre horror fare. It manages to create tension within the first two reels but it is ultimately wasted since the final act turns once again into a creature hunt with some slimy mutated pieces of shit hunting down the main characters. This would be totally fine if it was executed in a fresh exciting and truly entertaining way but no, The New Daughter is finished off with clichés in a boring way. Shame. If you wanna see a good film of slimy mutants going to town on a group of unsuspecting lambs for slaughter, see The Descent part 1 and/or 2.

The New daughter on paikallisten mainosten perusteella Costnerin näyttävä comeback, mutta se ei pidä paikkaansa, sillä äijä ei itse asiassa ole missään vaiheessa poistunut kuvioista minnekään ja toiseksi, kyseinen leffa osoittautuu lupaavasti rakennetun alun jälkeen keskinkertaiseksi hirviöhipaksi. Alkupuolen muutama hauska idea ei riitä pelastamaan tätä syystäkin suoraan DVD:llä julkaistua huliviliä. Hyvää hirviöhuvittelua kaipaavalle suosittelisin mielummin esim leffoja The Descent 1 ja 2.

The New Daughter at IMDb

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Directed by Phillip Noyce
Starring Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, August Diehl, Daniel Olbrychski, Andre Braugher, Olek Krupa

For a good while now the centre of these spy thrillers (such as Body Of Lies and From Paris With Love) has been Middle Eastern terrorism and arguibly for a good reason. After all most films are a reflection of the times they are made in. But for Salt we go back to the good old archenemy of the US which is of course Russia.

Evelyn Salt is a CIA operative who is outed as a Russian spy and escapes her collagues in order to find her husband who's now been endangered by the circumstances. Soon Salt finds herself in the middle of a hunt for a rogue Russian militia group who are about to impose a major attack on the US which also involves an assassination of the Russian president who's on an official visit in New York in order to attend the funeral of the US Vice President.

As an action movie Salt is surprisingly perky and it goes straight to the point as it reaches almost Jason Bourne-like pace in it's action set pieces at the very beginning of the picture. Then starts the rug pulling from under the audience's feet and the film sadly loses some it's whit and hard built tension for the favor of shocking plot revelations. Director Noyce (Patriot Games, Clear And Present Danger) is an expert in this genre but sadly this time the script doesn't do him justice which is sad also because Salt was written by one of my favorite filmmakers, Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium). Without Jolie's involvement the film would've most likely stayed very much under the radar.

Salt on oiva toimintatrilleri, joka tavoittaa jo melko alussa loistavien Medusan Verkko-leffojen tiiviin tunnelman ja toiminnan nerokkuuden, mutta se valitettavasti heitetään hieman hukkaan, sillä pian filmi alentuu kovin helppoon ja vaivattomaan shokkipaljastuksilla mässäilyyn. Ohjaaja Noyce osaa vakoilugenren loistavasti, mutta muuten niin taidokkaan Kurt Wimmerin käsikirjoitus ei ole tällä kertaa ihan sillä tasolla jolla sen kuuluisi olla.

Salt at IMDb


Directed by Shawn Levy
Starring Steve Carrell, Tina Fey, Taraji P. Henson, Common, Jimmi Simpson, Leighton Meester, Mark Wahlberg, Kristen wiig, Mark Ruffalo, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Ray Liotta, William Fichtner, Bill Burr, Will.I.Am

I had really conflicting expectations of Date Night because on one hand it stars Carrell and Fey whom I personally consider to be among the funniest people on the planet (especially Fey thanks to the absolutely brilliant TV show 30 Rock) and on the other hand it is directed by Levy who in turn has an amazing ability to ruin otherwise extremely promising projects like The Pink Panther and Night At The Museum and turn them into safe, non-threatning and boring pieces of dry dirt.

Carrell and Fey play the Fosters, a boring married couple struggling to keep their marriage alive in the midst of everyday life. They go on a date night at a posh NY restaurant and steal some other couple's reservation only to find that as a result they now have killers on their tails because of a case of mistaken identity.

Date Night is not a brilliant comedy. There are enough laughs to keep spirits up and Carrell and Fey are funny even if the material isn't what they'd deserve. Levy leaves a surprisingly large room for his starring couple to navigate which is most likely why Date Night isn't the disaster it might've been. Wahlberg does his usual ego boost as he plays a hot, shirtless private contractor who helps the Fosters. I know there're people who think he's a brilliant actor but personally I think he's the same in every damn movie. Wahlberg has those two expressions and by that standard is no better than Steven Seagal. "But he was nominated for an Oscar!" Yes he was but that was simply because The Departed was the one film where his limited skills happened to work in favor of the character. Don't get me wrong, he's done some great films such as Boogie Nights, Three Kings and Shooter, but the films themselves were brilliant. I think his brother, Donnie is clearly the better actor as witnessed in The Sixth Sense and Band Of Brothers.

Date Night on paikoitellen huvittava ja toimiva komedia, joka saa suurelta osin kiittää menestyksestään sen pääosia, Carrellia ja Feytä. Käsikirjoitus lässähtää välillä junnaamaan tylsiä ideoita, mutta virhe yleensä korjataan tarpeeksi pian. Suuria tähtiä vilisee sivuosissa jatkuvalla syötöllä, mutta jos Carrellin ja Feyn naamat eivät ole koskaan miellyttäneet katsojaa, ei tässä filkassa luultavasti ole mitään nautittavaa.

Date Night at IMDb

I'm a huge fan of stand-up comedy and as it happens, Date Night features one of my absolute favorite comedians Bill Burr in a small supporting role, so in honor of that, here's a little taste of his stand-up material.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Directed by Patrick Lussier
Starring Jaime King, Jensen Ackles, Kerr Smith, Betsy Rue, Kevin Tighe, Tom Atkins, Edi Gathegi

I've had this film on Blu-ray waiting to be seen for ages. Now I finally got around to watching it and it's a tired piece of shit. The teen horror scene had been dead for a few years but then out of nowhere these remakes started to pop up. The Hitcher, Friday The 13th, A Nightmare On Elm Street and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre among others have been remade and some of them quite successfully but MBV is the true exception.

Ten years ago a mine worker went apeshit and killed a bunch of people and now 10 years later it appears he's come back and the oxygen mask wearing and pickaxe flinging killer is putting local residents of the small town in bodybags once again. But who's really behind the mask..?

Scream (1996) was a great film with it's conscious self parody mixed up with real horror gore. It opened the door for other teen horror movies, a genre that had been dead and buried for years due to lack of interest after the films started repeating themselves to, well, death. The resurrection spawned only two other great films which worked because they offered something different and those movies were Final Destination (2000) and The Faculty (1998). Now the genre is alive once again and ironically thanks to remakes.

My Bloody Valentine is dreadful tosh because it follows the same tired patters of movies made 30 years ago without having learned fucking anything from the recent more popular and better remakes. The film uses familiar scare tactics but badly even considering the circumstances because it totally fails to create any sympathy for any of the characters and is reduced to the tired cat and mouse set up. Even Betsy Rue's gorgeous full frontal nude scenes can't keep this turd afloat. And a note to the filmmakers: gore isn't shocking! It hasn't been shocking for 20 years! The mere sight of a body cut open and his or her heart placed on the table does NOTHING to scare the audience or to create dramatic momentum if there isn't some genuine psychological horror to back it up. Especially if there are camera tricks built into the action for the sake of 3D with tree branches and pickaxes coming towards the camera. You have any idea how boring that looks in 2D?! Director Lussier got his start as an editor for Wes Craven. A mentor like Craven and he still learned nothing..?! A shit film from a shitty director who also punished us with Dracula 2000.

My Bloody Valentine on turhauttavan ankeasti ja tylsästi toteutettua teinien lahtausta, joka kalpenee kohtalokkaasti muiden viimeaikaisten ja pääasiassa pirteiden uudelleenfilmatisointien, kuten The Texas Chain Saw Massacre ja Friday The 13th rinnalla. Huonot näyttelijäsuoritukset kohoavat luultavasti paskasta käsikirjoituksesta, johon käsittämättömän keskinkertainen ohjaaja ei saa puhallettua mitään henkeä tai toimivaa draamaa. Lussierin debyyttiohjaus oli armottoman paska Dracula 2000.. miten helvetissä kukaan edes enää antaisi kellekään uutta duunia sellaisen lemukasan jälkeen?! Edes Betsy Ruen kovettavat alastonkohtaukset eivät pelasta tätä uppoavaa laivaa.

My Bloody Valentine at IMDb

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I had to paste this absolutely brilliant video from the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. The best thing about it though was that it had nothing to do with Twilight which unfortunately ruled the awards.

And by the way, for all you rookies who don't know who the hell J.J. Abrams is, he's merely the brilliant guy behind TV shows like Alias and Lost and the director of films like M:I:III and Star Trek.

Oli pakko pastettaa tämä helvetin hulvaton video vuoden 2009 MTV Movie Awardseista. Parasta klipissä on ettei sillä ollut mitään tekemistä kimaltelevien ja huonosti näyteltyjen vampyyrien kanssa, jotka dominoivat gaalaa sinä vuonna! Viileet jäbät ei tsiigaa räjähdyksiä!


Friday, September 10, 2010


Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi
Starring Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Corey Johnson, Charlotte Milchard

If you've seen mocumentary horror films like The Blair Witch Project and Cannibal Holocaust and thought they were brilliant, you might get a kick out of The Fourth Kind. It doesn't follow the traditional way of dramatic storytelling because it mixes fictious dramatizations with "real" amateur film footage of the same events. The title is a reference to the classification of the fourth kind of alien entounters which is abduction.

The film centres around a small town of Nome, Alaska as it's habitants are experiencing extraterrestrial phenomena. The story is told from the point of view of the local psychiatrist, Abby Tyler as all her patients start to share the same experiences of close encounters and eventually she is abducted as well.

The film was marketed the same way Blair Witch was meaning that it was claimed that the events and characters are real. They are not. For instance, Jovovich plays Dr. Tyler in the dramatizations but the "real" Tyler from the real interview is actually also an actress by the name of Charlotte Milchard. She was initially simply credited as "Nome resident" but when her real involvement came to be known her IMDb credit has since been updated to "Real Dr. Abigail Tyler".

The bottom line obviously is if the film works or not regardless of all the hype surrounding it and it does work to some degree. The Fourth Kind does manage to give the chills on occasion but it's still no masterpiece of horror cinema because that's exactly all it's able to deliver, chills without any lasting effect.

The Fourth Kind on The Blair Witch Projectin tyyppinen mukamas oikeisiin tapahtumiin perustuva ja niistä "aitoa" kuvamateriaalia dramatisoitujen kohtausten lomassa tarjoava trilleri. Vaikkeivät tapahtumat pienellä taustatutkimuksella osoittaudukaan tosiksi, niin leffa sentään tarjoaa muutaman tehokkaan ja ahdistavan kohtauksen. Kivaa viihdettä, joka löytyy pian unohdettuna Anttilan alekorista.

The Fourth Kind at IMDb

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Directed by Stephen Merchant & Ricky Gervais
Starring Christian Cooke, Tom Hughes, Jack Doolan, Felicity Jones, Matthew Goode, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Ricky Gervais

After trying his hands on directing feature films with The Invention Of Lying, Gervais is now again teamed up with his The Office co-creator, Stephen Merchant. Cemetery Junction is a feel good movie whereas their previous collaborations have been based firmly on will shame. And very successfully so because in my personal opinion, the original UK series of The Office is one of the most brilliant shows ever produced.

Cemetery Junction follows three lifelong friends on the treshold of adulthood in 1970's Britain. Bruce (Hughes) is a young rebel who works at a local factory, Snork (Doolan) is a train station announcer and awkward with women and Freddie (Cooke) has just started a high paying job selling insurance door to door. Freddie also has looming feelings for his childhood friend, Julie (Jones) who happens to be his boss' daughter and engaged to his collague. Things unravel as the guys set out to break away from their familiar settings.

 I can't remember Fiennes playing a bigger asshole ever in his career and he played Amon Goeth in fucking Schindler's List! Geez what a douche his character is. I just hate these uptight upper class people who have no idea how to enjoy the fruits of their hard work but still find it necessary to brag about their statuses. I mean what the hell is the point of that?! 

The four relatively unknown leads do a great job as does Jones with her sweet and lovely Julie. The "bigger name" stars have taken a humble and an admirable back seat and give wonderful support for the up-and-comers. Especially Watson brings sincere warmth to Julie's mum who's being taken for granted by her husband. Merchant and Gervais should be proud of this effort.

Cemetery Junction on hyväsydäminen leffa alkuperäisen Konttori-sarjan tekijöiltä. Briteillä on homma hanskassa tässä genressä paremmin kuin kellään muulla ja piristävää vaihtelua tuo myös tuntemattomien lahjakkuuksien tuominen pääosiin samalla kun isommat nimet antavat hienoa taustatukea ja onnistuvat silti tuomaan sivuosiinsa vaivatonta kiinnostavuutta. Fiennes vetää uransa kusinuppimaisimman roolin. Ja hienosti senkin.

Cemetery Junction at IMDb

I had to, *I HAD TO* also include this fucking hilarious teaser! These guys are so funny and how much of a good sport is Ralph Fiennes, come on!

And then the official trailer..

Monday, September 6, 2010


Directed by Roman Polanski
Starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams, Kim Cattrall, Tom Wilkinson, James Belushi, Timothy Hutton, Eli Wallach

The Ghost Writer was still in post-production when Polanski was arrested in Switzerland in 2009 and caught in the middle of a media frenzy for his child molestation charges in America dating back to the late 1970's. The film did not suffer as a result since he was able to see it through and finish the film from prison.

A ghost writer (McGregor who's character name was never mentioned in the script so he came up with one for his own sake, Gordon McFarquor) is hired to complete the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister Adam Lang, after the previous writer was found dead from apparent suicide. When he digs into the book and begins to do research, he starts to uncover secrets in Lang's past that ultimately become dangerous to his own life.

Many people have said of this film that Polanski has brought the Hitchcockian style back, but while that may not be all made up, I'd still argue that Polanski has simply continued his own because his own style has always been similar to Hitchcock and The Ghost Writer is no exception. It would be fair to compare the film to Polanski's The Ninth Gate (1999) with Gate's religious themes having being replaced with those of politics. It's a brilliantly directed thriller with great performances from McGregor, Brosnan and the supporting cast all the way down to the legendary Eli Wallach (I'll always see him as Tuco, but whatta hell, right?). There are countless references of Brosnan's Lang being the film version of Tony Blair with Lang being treated as US' loyal poodle and a war criminal.

Following Polanski's arrest, the film received extra media exposure as well which was very fortunate because movies like this don't usually get any attention in the media. Sure, they may be well reviewed but they never reach larger audiences. When the finished film was released, the studio advised the cast to avoid commenting Polanski's arrest, but Brosnan still stated in a promotional interview that "It's sad for all concerned, but it's also heightened the movie. The movie's in the can, he's in the can." You can take the man away from Bond but you can't take the Bond whit out of the man.

The Ghost Writer on Polanskin Yhdeksännen Portin (1999) tyyppinen trilleri, jossa Portin uskonnolliset teemat on yksinkertaisesti (ja toimivasti) vain korvattu poliittisilla motiiveilla. Jotkut ovat moittineet elokuvaa liian hidastempoiseksi, mutta itse näin tämän vain mestarillisena jännitteen ja paranoian rakentamisena. Vertaukset Hitchcockiin ovat toki ymmärrettäviä, mutta Polanski on toisaalta rakentanut jännityselokuvansa näin jo Inhosta (1965) lähtien. Loistava elokuva ja Brosnankin vetää Tony Blairiin rakentuvan hahmonsa kunnialla kotiin.

The Ghost Writer at IMDb

Friday, September 3, 2010


Directed by The Hughes Brothers
Starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Jennifer Beals, Tom Waits, Michael Gambon, Malcolm McDowell

I've always personally liked films that deal with apocalypse and the world after that. Films Like The Road, Max Max, 28 Days Later and Waterworld. The vision of the future is always bleak to say the least and The Book Of Eli makes no exception.

 Washington plays a drifter, Eli who travels the wasteland of a post-nuclear war America. People do anything for survival and there are very few towns or communities left. In his backpack he also carries the last known King James' Holy Bible. Oldman plays Carnegie, a man obsessed with finding the book in order to use it to control the people of his little town. Eli manages to escape Carnegie's town with Solara (Kunis) and the hunt for the good book escalates.

 The Book Of Eli doesn't seem to be able to make it's mind up on wether it stands behind the message of the Bible or if it's merely just a way to control primitive minds. Carnegie's motives are clearly of those of right wing political conservatives who've used the word of God among other things to call people to war in order to reach their own goals. By the way a side note: I'm not making this shit up, this is the part that's frightfully real. Eli on the other hand wonders alone with his faith and draws his own strength from the book without bothering anyone (as it fucking should be!). Bottom line is that they are all in one way or another obsessed with the word of God and not much any good comes out of it in the end. I don't personally know if that was the message  intended, but it sure seems like that to me.

 Oldman is terrific with baddie roles and Kunis might seriously be the most beautiful woman on the face of this planet. Visually the film is absolutely stunning.. there is just something so poetic about the landscapes of these films. Perhaps I'm just fucked in the head, but I'd like to see some major cataclysmic event take place in my lifetime. The Book Of Eli is good, but if you want to see a better film from these directors, see From Hell and if you want to see better apocalyptic pieces, see The Road Warrior or The Terminator.

The Book Of Eli on vahvalla uskonnollisella alavireellä varustettu apokalyptinen toimintaelokuva, jonka parhaimmistoa ovat Oldman perinteisessä pahiksen roolissa ja upea visuaalinen ilme. Harrasta viestiä välittävä elokuva päätyy lopulta (vahingossa?) todistamaan jälleen ettei uskonnosta ole kuin riesaa, sillä se aina ajaa jonkun äärimmäisiin tekoihin muiden vastustuksen paineen edessä.

The Book Of Eli at IMDb


Directed by John Singleton
Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Christian Bale, Vanessa Williams, Jeffrey Wright, Toni Collette, Dan Hedaya, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Busta Rhymes, Lee Tergesen, Daniel Von Bargen, Richard Roundtree, Pat Hingle, Josef Sommer, Philip Bosco

If there ever was to be a remake of the 1971 blacksploitation classic by the same name, it was only fair that the godfather of cool, Sam Jackson would play the part. And so it happened and it is all good. After all, it is his duty to please that booty. And the audience.

A murder of a young black customer has taken place outside a posh New York restaurant and an obnoxious rich white guy Wade (Bale) is to blame. Detective John Shaft (Jackson) is on his tail but Wade skips bail and country. Shaft takes it upon himself to get the killer who has now also involved a local gangster (Wright in the role of a lifetime) to kill off the only witness (Collette) to his crime.

The original Shaft was a milestone not only in the black community but in 70's cinema all together. What followed was a massive boost on the self-esteem of the black community to see a fellow black man as the hero and the leading star of a major motion picture. It started a whole culture of blacksploitation cinema and was followed by films like Foxy Brown, Coffy and the two sequels to Shaft. Roundtree who played the titular role in the original has a supporting role as "uncle John" in this remake and proper cameos are aplenty. Also to show their faces are director of the original film, Gordon Parks and John Singleton himself.

Shaft is a very entertaining action film. It doesn't mean as much as the original in the way that it would appeal to a certain audience more than others because now it's underlying themes are of unity, especially displayed by the professional relationship between Shaft and his (at first seemingly racist) partner Luger (Tergesen from HBO's "Oz"). As perfect and comfortable as Jackson is as John Shaft, the cream of the crop is Wright who really goes all out with his hispanic drug gangster. The mannerisms and accent of his performance are what great and above all, unique performances are all about. This role is his Jack Sparrow if you will.

Legendaarisen blacksploitaatioklassikon uusintaversio on onnistunut toimintaelokuva, jonka pahisten sivuroolit nousevat jopa Jacksonin sinänsä hienon pääosan ylitse. Tämä leffa tuskin mullistaa yleisöään kuten alkuperäinen vuonna 1971, mutta toisaalta teematkin ovat vaivattomasti päivittyneet vuosituhannen taitteeseen.

Shaft at IMDb

The original Shaft at IMDb