Author Archives: Roy

Kraftidioten – Hans Petter Moland (2014)

The international title “In Order Of Disappearance” is a bit dull compared to the original, which would compare to something like ‘power idiots’. However, the international title does refer to the story.

In the “Fargo”-like snowy landscape of Northern Norway plays a story in which a young man is found dead and his father goes after the men responsible for that. The atmosphere of “Kraftidioten” reminds of “Fargo” with similar black humor. There are long shots and slow scenes that remind a bit of “True Detective“.

The story may have little surprises, but Stellan Skarsgård is great as the father going after the cocaine traffickers that killed his son.

A very good film I do not know what to say more about.

Le Cinquième Élément – Luc Besson (1997)

So why had I not seen this film? A nice over-the-top sci-fi action comedy.

“The Fifth Element” begins as a somewhat corny mix between “Indiana Jones” and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy“. Then we go fast forward to a weird future which could have come from the pen of Terry Gilliam. Well, the film is not as good as the “Hitchhiker’s Guide” or “Zero Theorem“, but it sure is entertaining.

Bruce Willis is amusing as taxi-driver Korben Dallas who literally catches a girl called Leeloo and then has to save her in order to save the world. Of course some bad guys are after her as well (Gary Oldman as Zorg) which results in space chases through weird cities and with odd characters.

The Maltese Falcon – John Huston (1941)

It does not work out too well, looking for old “noire” films…

“The Maltese Falcon” is an alright detective / crime film from a long time ago, but I did not find it really much better than alright. The story is well enough though. A private detective is hired by a young woman who soon proves to have other plans than the one she gave the detective. But so does he! And everybody else in the film. The plots twists and turns nicely.

Not bad, but not really what I hoped for.

The Watcher – Joe Charbanic (2000)

A descent serial-killer-thriller in which Keanu Reeves is the bad guy playing his sick game with FBI agent Campbell (James Spader).

The story may not be too surprising, but it is worked out well and the predictability adds to the tension in some scenes. The film contains some tense scenes and some action. The acting is good, the ending perhaps a bit too sudden.

Missisippi Burning – Alan Parker (1988)

I am not sure how this film came on my watchlist, but I may have been looking for films with Frances MacDormand. Besides her, we also have Willem Dafoe and Gene Hackman.

Dafoe is a young FBI agent who is sent to Mississippi with his senior partner Hackman to investigate the disappearance of three young activists. They come to a small community in which the Ku Klux Klan reigns supreme and the FBI stirring up the status quo leads to a massive increase of violence against the black half of the population.

Parker shows the hatred of the whites towards the black and the powerlessness of the blacks in a disturbing way. Unbelievable that there are people who think and act in such a way. Of course towards the end all major clan-members are put to trial and convicted, but this was not exactly an easy process.

A very good film about a very black page in American history.

95ers: Time Runners – Thomas Gomez Durham (2013)

The film looks older than it is. While watching I had the idea that I was watching an older sci-fi with an elaborate story, but the film is actually recent.

The story is fairly good. Told by Horatio (or rather: Horatio’s diary) we follow Sally who Horatio fell in love with. Jumping back and forth in time, we learn that Sally is an FBI-agent who candidly tries to investigate her husband’s death and the mysterious happenings afterwards. This is a bit of a Dana Skully (X-Files) type story.

There is more to Sally though: she is “a 95er” which I will leave the film to explain to you.

In some shoot-out Star Wars type future, people are looking for Sally. This is not entirely clear to me, but I think they try to prevent Sally from using her abilities.

All good and well, were it not that the acting is quite stiff and the CGI looks a bit cheap too. This makes the film look unconvincing. It seems that a bigger budget would have benefited the film.

The “95ers” in the title is not on the box, but it does suggest that some sort of film-series is (was) intended. IMDb.com has a “95ers Echoes” listed, but this title simply refers to the present film.

Leather And Iron – James Archer (2002)

I had some hope that “Screaming Metal”, as the film is called on my box, would be ‘so bad it’s good’. Actually it is just corny. According to the box the film is for people who like motorcycles and beautiful women. A little better acting would have done some good…

Some motorcycle gangs run the local drug distribution and a strip club. When one of them steals something from a wholly other type of criminal group and two people get caught in the middle, a cat-and-mouse game unfolds in which everybody is after “the package”.

Like I said, the acting is unconvincing, especially fighting scenes. The story is not too bad after all, but mostly seems like an umbrella for lengthy motorcycle parades and strip club scenes. In the first part mostly, because after a while the story needs to be told.

Nope, a not too good film and not fun enough to be ‘so bad it’s good’.

Pearls Before Swine – Richard Wolstencroft (1999)

This film had been on my wishlist for over a decade. Every once in a while I would see if I could find it. A while ago I found it cheaply at Amazon. The DVD release seems to be from 2005 so I wonder if it just recently came into distribution or if I never paid enough attention.

The box compares the film to “A Clockwork Orange”, but to me it seems to fit perfectly in the “new violence” wave of films started by Quentin Tarantino and co. It contains brutal and meaningless violence and lengthy dialogues and monologues The director said that he had been toying with the idea for the film since 1994/5 and I can hardly imagine that “Pulp Fiction” (1994) has not been one of its sources of inspiration. He does state that he did not want to make a Hollywood or Australian film though and in a way Tarantino presented something new as well.

This film is of course best known for containing people from controversial music scenes. Boy Rice (NON) plays the main part. There is also Douglas P. (Death In June), but you may see other familiar names and faces. Wolstencroft even managed to get filmmaker Kenneth Anger for the film, but he had other occupations around the time of shooting the film, so he had to decline. People familiar with the scene that Rice and P. come from will hear some familiar tunes in the soundtrack too by the way.

There is not too much of a story to the film. A group of contract killers (or are they killers for pleasure) first kill a group of homeless youngsters and two of them are then hired to kill a writer. We mostly follow Daniel (Rice) showing a decadent lifestyle with S&M and intelligent sounding monologues and dialogues about (counter)culture, philosophy, politics, etc. In a way it seems that the film mostly revolves around these controversial scenes and almost two decades after the release of the film most is no longer really controversial than perhaps Daniel’s ideas about things.

Wolstencroft wanted to make an ‘un-Hollywood’ movie, but it is hard to not make comparisons. The acting is not always too strong and the same I can say about the camera work and montage. Still there are some very descent scenes here and there. It is not like this is a completely amateurish film. It is one of these films to just watch some time when you wonder what the controversy is about and discover that in a couple of decades nothing much of it is left. “Pearls Before Swine” is not a high flyer, but an amusing watch with a couple of uneasy scenes.

Upstream Color – Shane Carruth (2013)

What a weird film! In the first scenes a woman is abducted, drugged and hypnotised apparently for some experiment. The kidnapper seems to have other strange experiments. Later we find Kris back at her house where it soon becomes unclear if the events actually took place.

After this she runs into a young man. Was he her abductor, was he a victim of the same man or is the whole film built of suppressed memories of either of them?

“Upstream Color” appears to be a collection of scenes that either or not have something to do with each other. The film does not really appear to tell a coherent story. I usually do not mind that, but in this case I have the feeling that there might be a story that I fail to grasp.

The film is slow, meditative and fairly minimalist. It is alright, but the vague impression it made, prevents me from saying that it is good. Perhaps I should just watch it again some day.

Dunkirk – Christopher Nolan (2017)

I did not expect to receive this film so quickly from my DVD rental. I have the feeling it is just out of the cinemas. Nolan made some of the best films I know, but war films are not my genre, so I had no haste in seeing “Dunkirk”, but here it was.

“Dunkirk” is a good and pressing film about a small part of World War II. The British decide to evacuate soldiers from a small, French harbor. While thousands of soldiers are waiting for the ships, the Germans come in with fighter planes to throw their bombs.

Nolan managed well to give an idea of the tension. A droning, minimalistic soundtrack. He also managed well to give an idea of the drama on a larger scale, but several personal stories are interwoven to give the viewer characters to identify with, adding to the drama.

Indeed a good film. Not much like previous films of Nolan and war-films remain not my genre, but this is a film to get a glimpse of the atrocities of war.