24 (series 2) * Robert Cochran & Joel Sunrow * 2002

Another review that required 18 hours of watching. The second series of 24 are again good, but not quite as surprising as the first series. Better this time is that the speed of the events is much higher, but this kind of let to the fact that the logic and fitting-the-concept had to be kept in a little lower degree. This time a nuclear bomb is going to be set off by terrorists in LA and of course Jack Bauer is the one to prevent this. Like I said, the logic and credibility are not always guarenteed and in particular the story of daughter Kim is roundout irritating this time. Still the series are interesting enough to keep the attention for 18 hours. Some unexpected changes and the tenstion is well-done.

Series 3 are already playing in the USA, but it will take some time before I will see them on DVD I guess.

24 (series) * Robert Cochran & Joel Sunrow * 2001

Launced with a lot of publicity, these series. They were supposed to be some of the most thriller and addictive series. I watched the first episode and decided that 24 weeks of having to following one series was a bit too long. But then the thing was released on DVD and stories about people who watched the whole series in one sit start to rise. DVD is of course a lot handier than having to be in front of your TV at set times, so I decided to go for it as well (with a borrowed 6-cd-DVD-box).

The series are said to be filmed in ‘real time’, so one hour is one hour. Therefor you have 24 episodes for one day from 00:00 to 00:00. In fact, one episode is 40 minutes, so the total time is 16 hours. I suppose the other 8 hours are for commercials. Also you get a ‘previously’ before every episode and the same introduction (which you can’t skip by jumping to the next title!).

16 Hours of TV is too much to say much about in detail. The bottom line is that there is a murder attempt on the first black candidate for the American presidency that makes a good chance. A special anti-terrorist division of the government is assigned to protect Palmer, and the main character Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is in charge of the operation. It proves that the goal of the terrorists is not just to kill Palmer, but also to ruin Bauer’s family. Of course the series had to be kept interesting for 24 episodes and they sure did their utmost to! Every episode is loaded with info, new clues and turns of the plot. A bit too much the makers tried to make you have to guess who is the bad guy, what is going on etc.

All in all a nice series, but very American and not exactly brilliant.

Right now series 2 (“day 2”) is being shown on different channels and apparently also already on DVD. The future will tell if I will see that one too.

300 * Zack Snyder * 2006

Another graphic novel of Frank Miller put to film, but however this brings too easy comparisons with “Sin City”, don’t let yourself be fooled by that. “300” Is not a visual comic, but a film with actors and indeed most of the scenes come out of a computer, but they do (fortunately) look nothing like “Sin City”. “300” Has risen some discussions. Is it just a spectacular semi-historical action film like “Gladiator”? Is it a glorification of violence? Is it the glorification of the ancient warrior ethos? There are even people seeing political layers, where a Western elite fights an invading power. For some reason Iran has chosen to identify itself with a gayish Xerxes that organises orgies and who in fact ‘represents’ the pre-Islamitic religion of Persia, but apparently, when things can be turned to their use, they will complain. In any case, “300” indeed is a glorification of the ancient warrior ethos in my opinion. The king Leonidas is shown in a boyhood and the violent initiation into the world of the soldier is shown (not completely unlike the ancient reality I might add). The Spartans are shown as the elite warrior troop from Greece and only 300 raise against the millions (a minor exaggeration) of Persians that come to invade Greece. The Persians have all kinds of monsters to reach their goal, but the supreme technique of the Spartans make that they withstand almost any attack. The fighthing scenes are shown in a Matrix-like fashion with irritating fast-slow-fast-slow shifts, but spectacular (and bloody) computer graphics and the Spartan übermenschen are shown in all their glory. Politically incorrect? Perhaps. Most people will watch “300” as a spectacular fighting film, some may look for more behind it or connect the film to current tendencies, it is just what you make of it. I don’t know if the makers had a message and actually I don’t care. “300” Is an alright film that is well put together, but in the end, it is just another action film with an original twist. <15/4/07><3>