Ran

ran-posterJapanese war drama from 1985.
Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Writers: William Shakespeare, Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Masato Ide
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

Reactions

Contemplations

Judgement

Epilogue

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Ran” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

66 movies down. 299 to go.

If you want to get “Ran” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “The rules of the game” (“La règle du jeu”). Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

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Star wars: Episode IV – A new hope

a-new-hop-posterAmerican sci-fi adventure from 1977.
Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

Reactions

Contemplations

Judgement

Epilogue

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Star wars: Episode IV – A new hope” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

64 movies down. 301 to go.

If you want to get “Star wars: Episode IV – A new hope” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Gran torino”. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

Star trek

star-trek-posterAmerican sci-fi from 2009.
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writers: Gene Roddenberry, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Bechdel test: Pass

Exposition

A space ship of unfamiliar design and origin charges Federation ships and changes the whole future. Now the familiar adventures of Spock, Kirk, Bones, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu and Chekov are changed. This time when they set out to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life-forms and new civilizations; to boldly go where no one has gone before, it is in unfamiliar and unexpected ways.

Reactions

This is a difficult film to talk about for an old Star Trek fan. On the one hand, it is a movie with high production values and a brilliant cast, and it is in such ways wonderful compared to some earlier Star Trek movies. On the other hand, seen as just a movie, with the same standard as the rest of the movies I watch this year, the judgement becomes slightly more negative. I will try to write a little about this movie from both points of view.

Contemplations

Visually this movie is mostly quite pleasing and shows the established universe in a modern tone without breaking with it. However the enormous amounts of lens flares are maybe a little unnecessary.

The characters are mostly well portrayed and the actors are well suited for their parts. The exception is Karl Urban as Bones who is unconvincing and stiff.

The audio is just fine, and there are some nice nods to the previous movies and TV shows.

The story is ridiculous and fantastically unbelievable, which is saying a bit for a sci fi movie. A quick googling would probably provide anyone with a summary of the plot wholes and strange choices in the story, and any listing or explanation from me is superfluous.

A worse sin, in my opinion, is the change in feeling of the movie. It is a straight action movie without the moralistic and overbearing attitude of the Federation. There are some more action oriented parts of the Star trek franchise from earlier, but there is also usually more then that.

The saddest lack in this movie is the change in relationship between the central trio in the original TV series; Bones, Kirk and Spock. In the original show Kirk was often dragged between the logic of Spock and the “humanity” of Bones. In this movie the Bones character is on the side, and the relationship between Spock and Kirk is the central idea. I feel like the trio is the main soul of the original series, and missed it here.

Judgement

I am glad to have watched “Star Trek” but it isn’t really worth watching a second time.

Epilogue

I will only recommend “Star Trek” to people who are fans of the franchise or wish to see the later movies in the reboot  and want the beginning of the story.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Star Trek” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

56 movies down. 309 to go.

If you want to get “Star Trek” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “The deer hunter”. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

Nine lives (Ni liv)

ni-liv-posterNorwegian language black and white biographical action from 1957.
Starring: Jack Fjeldstad, Henny Moan, Alf Malland
Director: Arne Skouen
Writers: David Howarth, Arne Skouen
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

Jan Baalsrud is part of the resistance during the Nazi occupation of Norway. During an operation all the other saboteurs are killed or captured, so Jan must get himself to safety, and the only place he can get away from the constant German patrols are in Sweden.

Reactions

“Nine lives” is based on a true story. If not, I would have found the tale unbelievable. Crossing the 200 km from Rebbensøya to the Swedish border would be quite a feat even in full health, with sturdy equipment and no one chasing you. Even springtime that far north of the Polar Circle offers harrowing weather conditions and the terrain across the mountains to the border is only for the more experienced hiker.

I have plotted an approximation of Jan Baalsrud’s route, as it is a bit confusing in the movie where he is and why he keeps having to use boats. His route is about the distance from London to Cardiff for reference.

And that is one of the movies weaknesses, we never quite know where Jan Baalsrud is. We are either supposed to know this information already, or it is supposed to not matter. I just kept wondering where he was throughout the movie. (So I tried to help other potential viewers by making a map. Take a look before the movie, no need to memorize anything, just get an overview, and rest assured, there are no spoilers in the map.)

Most of the “Nine lives” depicts the journey from the moment Jan Baalsrud is alone until he reaches Sweden, although there is a framing story where he tells his story to an official from the Norwegian government. This framing is very brief and doesn’t impact the movie much. Which is lucky as it falls flat and the big moment where Baalsrud gets respect for what he did just seems silly.

Contemplations

“Nine lives” is naturally a bit dated in some ways as it is now 60 years old, but for the most part it held my attention and told a story well. It is a shame that the beautiful landscapes in the area are shown in black and white, but the photography is otherwise excellent.

The resistance movement during the war might not be well exemplified by such an extraordinary feat, but all the help Baalsrud received does show a more general part of history. This makes the story more important than just one lone guy’s survival.

The acting is great in all the parts, and the only little annoyance I had with the movie was the overly dramatic music during the travel scenes.

Judgement

“Nine lives” is a good movie, but maybe not something to watch often.

Epilogue

I would recommend “Nine lives” to anyone, it is both good and important in some ways. Not a bad idea to watch it once.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Nine lives” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

47 movies down. 318 to go.

If you want to get “Nine lives” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “The celebration”. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

Gladiator

gladiator-posterAmerican action adventure from 2000.
Starring: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen
Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: David Franzoni, John Logan, William Nicholson
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

General Maximus leads the Roman army to victory over the Germanic tribes and conquers the empires last enemies. Now there is peace. Unfortunately he is caught up in the politics of Emperors and Senators, and seems to loose everything that matters to him.

Reactions

I have seen “Gladiator” before and was is awesome, then and now. I have the feeling I just watched a play written for stage by a great writer, only; all the action and war that often happens off stage was included. The drama and personal relations between characters effect a whole empire, and both the emotional development of characters and their resulting actions make sense. I was taken on a journey and it feels like a commentary on life and human character.

The look and feel of various locations in the Roman empire (modern day Germany, Spain, Italy and maybe Morocco) gave a feel and mood to each place that was unique and seemed appropriate for the time (180A.D.). The places gave the impression of being vibrant and living without giving a sense that the movie makers wanted to show off knowledge or cool props and buildings.

Contemplations

The actors were all marvelous but in particular Maximus (Russel Crowe), Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) and Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) were well played. The part of the story that can be interpreted to deal with human nature centers around these three characters and the story became powerful by these solid performances in these parts. (Though I was unconvinced by Maximus in one scene. The one where he speaks to his troops in Germany early in the movie. All the rest was excellent.)

I have started to notice how the camera goes from a large shot over a whole situation in to a focus on the person or persons the scene is about, and in this movie those openings of scenes were very beautiful. They also served their function well, and explained were the characters are.

The music was grandiose and befitting of the grand story. The pompous nature of much of the music accented the characters pompous nature and the central role they had in this enormous nation.

Judgement

I loved watching “Gladiator” again and the quote below still rings in my ears.

Below here there be spoilers.

My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.

Epilogue

I would recommend this movie to any adult, with emphasis on adult. There is quite a bit of raw violence and any potential viewers should be aware of this before they decide to watch “Gladiator”. But if anyone does decide to watch the movie, don’t be afraid to have expectations, it is amazing.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Gladiator” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

23 movies down. 342 to go.

If you want to get “Gladiator” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “12 angry men“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

Inception

Inception-movie-posterAmerican sci-fi action from 2010.
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan
Bechdel test: Pass

Exposition

Cobb is a dream thief who can take subjects into shared dreams and extract their secrets. Together with his team he decides to take on the ultimate challenge and do the reverse; plant an idea.

Reactions

I have seen this movie before and enjoyed it. On this second viewing it was better. There were some mathematical flaws in the plot (or my math is off), and that bugged me when I watched it the first time, today I was prepared for this error and relaxed more into the story. That might be the explanation.

Contemplations

The audio is unobtrusive and just fine. It is the second movie in a row with Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en rose”.

Visually this movie is very fun with the various dreams being created and falling apart. Quite fun.

The acting in the movie is very good, even though I didn’t think Leonardo DiCaprio delivered as well as usual. Still good, but I’ve seen him do better, I think.

The story is quite intriguing and kept me interested throughout the movie. And I still wounder a little about what the ending symbolises, if anything. And where do our ideas and inspiration come from? Food for thoughts. Maybe not something that changes the world, but intriguing enough to contemplate in the shower for a few days.

Judgement

I enjoyed the movie with all it’s action and even with all it’s faults. Time well spent.

Epilogue

I would recommend this movie to any adult with some time to kill. I would warn people about some math errors in regards to how much time passes in a dream, and tell them to just ignore the whole time aspect, or at least not think of the time in dreams as something precise.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Inception” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

19 movies down. 346 to go.

If you want to get “Inception” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

V for vendetta

v-for-vendetta-posterAmerican thriller from 2005.
Starring: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves
Director: James McTeigue
Writers: Lilly Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, David Lloyd
Bechdel test: Pass

Exposition

In a dystopian future England the Party demands obedience from it’s citizens, and the freedoms we enjoy today are mostly gone. Then one man, V, starts to challenge the Party’s regime and tries to wake the British people and make them see what the state is doing.

Reactions

I have not seen this movie before, but I really liked it.

I think many of the points made in the movie, is important in our world today. Several governments now tell us that we should sacrifice personal freedoms and privacy in order to combat terrorism. And that is just what have lead to a gruesome regime in “V for vendetta”.

What a wonderful antihero V is. He possesses everything, has every quality, I need to fall for the antihero. He has a horrible backstory, he has a noble goal and he wants love, but above all, he is very much an anti hero.

Contemplations

V is amazingly portrayed by Hugo Weaving. He gives the character flare and V seems genuine in a setting where it would be easy to play him overly dramatic.

It is nice to see Natalie Portman again, and this time as an adult. It was just a few days ago that I saw her as a child in “Leon: The professional“. (They grow up so fast.) She delivers in this movie too.

The bad guys are skillfully played by great actors as well.

The story is, as mentioned, quite important. It is also thrilling and kept my attention through the movie. There is a bit of a turn midway that failed to surprise me. Other than that, no complaints.

Visually this movie underwhelmed me. The places you can go with such a dramatic story and such strong imagery were not visited. The whole movie was mostly made to look ordinary with everyday houses and streets. It made the story seem closer to my current reality, and more applicable to my life. Maybe we need V?

Judgement

I would love to watch “V for vendetta” again. I would also like to read the graphic novel it is based on. (If you want that, here is a link to “V for vendetta” graphic novel on amazon.)

Epilogue

I recommend this movie to everyone. Not just because it is a good movie and a good story, but also because I think it is important that everyone reflects upon how much of their liberty and privacy they accept to lose. I do not suggest children under the age of 15 see this movie without a parent.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “V for vendetta” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

12 movies down. 353 to go.

If you want to get “V for vendetta” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s already on your shelf?

Tomorrow’s movie is “The Grapes of wrath“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

The Avengers

the-avengers-posterAmerican action movie from 2012
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson
Director: Joss Whedon
Writers: Joss Whedon, Zak Penn
Bechdel-test: Fail

Exposition

The earth is threatened by the trickster Asgardian Loki and the superheroes of the world must work together to stop him. This assembles the Avengers; Loki’s brother Thor, Iron Man / Tony Stark, Captain America / Steve Rogers, The Hulk / Bruce Banner, Black Widow / Natasha Romanoff and Hawkeye / Clint Barton.

Reactions

A fun filled action movie with snappy lines and nice relationships between the characters. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I was entertained, and it was mostly just that; entertainment.

I have seen the movie before and still had fun seeing it for the second time.

As a Scandinavian I had the usual problems with Marvel’s Asgardians and just how unlike the old Norse gods Thor and Loki are. However, if I manage to divorce myself from the idea that these are in any way related to the Viking beliefs, and just look at the superhero / alien aspect of these characters, it great fun.

Contemplations

The acting, and the sound and visuals are great, and I even enjoyed the action parts, which I don’t always do when watching these types of movies. It seemed like the characters all had their part in the action, and each of them had a task or tasks, and a logic to what they were doing, rather than someone coming up with cool action sequences that they needed to fit into the story.

The story was fun, but a little on the tame side compared to what I expect from Joss Whedon. My ability to connect to the story, the imagery that makes me relate and maybe  also the innovation where I am taken into an exciting, adventurous reality, in short; the qualities I love so much in his other work, is just almost there. It doesn’t quite hit the mark.  (Or maybe I just miss Buffy / Angel / Firefly.)

Judgement

Not a waste of my tame at all, and I would like to see it again someday. No problem.

Epilogue

I think most adults would enjoy the movie, but I would warn Joss Whedon fans that while his quality stamp is clearly there, that little something extra from the TV shows of old, is only almost there. “The Avengers” is a fun couple of hours.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “The Avengers” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

10 movies down. 355 to go.

If you want to get “The Avengers” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s already on your shelf?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Blade runner“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

The Bourne ultimatum

the-bourne-ultimatum_posterEnglish language action thriller from 2007
Starring: Matt Damon, Édgar Ramírez, Joan Allen
Director: Paul Greengrass
Writers: Robert Ludlum, Tony Gilroy, George Nolfi, Scott Z. Burns
Bechdel-test: Fail

Exposition

This is the third movie about Jason Bourne, and he still does not remember who he is. In search of his past he follows a series of leads towards the truth behind the program that made him an assassin, all the while being chased by the CIA.

Reactions

“The Bourne ultimatum” was an enjoyable action movie that kept me entertained the whole way.

I hadn’t seen this movie before, but I have seen the two previous movies about Jason Bourne. I also read the book that the first movie, “The Bourne identity”, was based on. Although that was a while ago. Through nicely placed exposition I was reminded enough about the story so far, even if the action started immediately. And it kept going non stop until the end. I think it would be more enjoyable to see the whole trilogy rather then just this installment though. Due to ratings however, this was the only one that made my watch list.

Contemplations

The best part of the movie, was the CIA chasing Jason Bourne and the bleak and scary image this paints of surveillance, regard for the press (or rather lack there of), and the US’s willingness to put their own interests above all else. Hopefully this image is far from the truth, but if we look at some of the leaks from the intelligence community over the last few years, this movie might be closer to reality than I find comfortable.

Acting, cinematography, audio and above all, the action scenes (witch make up a lot of the movie) was better then I often expect from a straight-up blockbuster. I see why this was one of the few action movies that have been hailed by audiences as more than just some entertainment for a few hours. It does have that little something extra.

Judgement

I would easily watch this movie again. Maybe not right away while it is still fresh in my memory, but I liked it, even though there were some minor annoyances and flaws, as there probably is in most movies. One of the better action movies I have seen.

Epilogue

I would recommend this movie to any adult, however, I suggest seeing “The Bourne identity” and “The Bourne supremacy” first, in that order. As far as I remember they were both a decent watch.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “The Boune ultimatum” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

Four movies down. 361 to go.

If you want to get “The Bourne ultimatum” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s already on your shelf?

Tomorrow’s movie is “The Reenactment” (Reconstituera). Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.