Timescape – David Twohy (1992)

An early take on the time travelling genre.

In this very 1980’ies looking film, the single parent Ben takes a few weird people into his house. The group says to be tourists and as the story unfolds, they are not from another place but of another time.

The fairly descent story gets somewhat weird in the second half, but of course ends with Ben doing the obvious and becoming the hero.

Not bad, but also not a must-see.

Crimson Peak – Guillermo del Toro (2015)

This is not Del Toro’s best. In fact, it is not a very good film in general. Del Toro made a way too Hollywood Victorian ghost house horror film with a very unsurprising story and yawn inspiring special effects.

The American Edith falls in love with the English Thomas who takes her to his gigantic mansion where he lives with his sister. Edith already saw ghosts and of course Thomas’ house is haunted, so Edith tries to get away.

It is not that the film is extremely boring or badly made, but it is but a Hollywood horror production with a very thin Del Toro varnish in fantasy atmosphere.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Misouri – Martin McDonagh (2017)

Frances McDormand is superb as Mildred, the mother of a teenager that has been killed seven months prior. The investigation seems to have gotten stuck and Louise rents three billboards to ask the police about the state of affairs. The local chief is Willoughby (an also great Woody Harrelson) who has his own problems.

The film is presented as a dark comedy, but in my opinion it is a heavy drama with some dark humor. The film shows how Louise’s actions divide a small community. Both ‘sides’ have their points and both ‘sides’ have their drama. The situation derails quite a bit leading to interesting scenes and more drama.

A very good film with great acting.

Arrival – Dennis Villeneuve (2016)

Villeneuve took at a stab at the sci-fi genre and wonderfully too! “Arrival” is an ‘alien encounter’ film rather than a ‘people in space’ one.

Twelve UFOs ‘land’ at twelve places at the earth. People are actually allowed on board to try to communicate with the aliens. Every country that ‘has’ a UFO tries to decipher the aliens’ language. Of course we follow the American encounter.

The story is well-written and at the end actually proves to be very complex as well. The film itself is very well-written too. The first time the viewer gets on the UFO together with scholars, scientists and military people is great. An interesting puzzle unfolds. The only thing I liked less is the drama at the end.

Mr. Nobody – Jaco van Dormael (2009)

Van Dormael made one of these Hollywood ‘new vague’ films. Think of a pretentious and strange, cut up story like that of “Interstellar” but with the soap of a film like “Magnolia“.

Mr. Nobody is an old man looking back at his life. This is shown in confusing montage. The same (young) man keeps dying and does not. It appears that the (senile?) old man tells different versions of his life, versions how things would have been, would he have made other choices.

The film contains well done adolescent (failed) romance, scifi, pompous philosophy and, like I said, confusing montage. Do not expect an easy film, but an ununderstandable clutter memories. This is done with a more than descent atmosphere.

Indeed, a ‘difficult film’. Not a bad one either.

Il Cartaio – Dario Argento (2004)

Argento has been one of the big names in the Italian horror genre “giallo” for a couple of decades. I have seen a few of those. The films are mostly marked by beautiful women, over-acting and bright-red-blood-splattering. With “The Card Player” I saw a more recent film from the genre.

The acting is still awful. The Italian actors try to speak English and Argento still seems to try to shock with brutality and weeping women. I am afraid it all is unconvincing to me…

The police from Rome has to play online poker against a kidnapper who kills his victims when he wins the game. The story unfolds with no surprises and the film only gets interesting in a vague scene about halfway.

Not my type of film I fear.

Closed Circuit – John Crowley (2013)

In the 1990’ies the court thriller was a real genre. “Closed Circuit” is a bit of an updated version of that genre.

In a contemporary story we follow the events after a terrorist attack in London. One suspect is apprehended and brought to court. Two ex-lovers are assigned to defend him, but it soon becomes clear that the man is already convicted.

Crowley made a descent court thriller that becomes a bit more of an action thriller as the film goes on. The film has wel built-up tension.

Perhaps an unsurprising, but certainly descent film.

Solace – Afonso Poyart (2015)

Another serial killer thriller in which an FBI team consults a psychic who is played by Anthony Hopkins. Of course the FBI team has a skeptical member who grows to being a believer.

“Solace” starts as an alright thriller. The story has no surprises, but the atmosphere improves when the film gets a bit vaguer in the second half. Hopkins is again good in his role as creepy old man.

A descent thriller in a milked out genre and with no surprises.

Mr. Holmes – Bill Condon (2015)

What a ‘normal’ and dull film. I suppose I read something good about it…

Holmes is an old man who has retired 35 years ago after a particular case. Now that his memory slowly fades away, he decides to reconstruct the story of that last case that caused him to retire.

This results in flashbacks and two interlacing stories. It is not badly done, but very drowsy. Perhaps the director wanted to keep the atmosphere of the Sherlock Holmes books.

Baby Driver – Edgar Wright (2017)

This could well be(come) a modern classic. “Baby Driver” is a hip and well-written action film with good humor and great use of music. Especially in the first part, the music and film are integrated to the extreme.

The title refers to a young man who drive getaway cars for bank robbers. He is a music addict who times his job with his music. Most other characters prove to be music lovers too, so that makes a big theme for the film.

The story is perhaps not really surprising, but it contains nice details and a lot of good and subtle humor.

Recommended when you are out to watch something light.