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Alien: Covenant (2017)
Agonizing like a boring meeting.
I actually though Promotheus was fairly good, in that there was a lot of mystery. However the bad part of Promotheus was how stupid the characters were. Well this movie has the bad parts of Promotheus and enlarges them. There are a lot of "Ex Machina" or stupid moments. The characters have no logical reason to act the way they do and the movie does not bother to explain it, a simple sentence can make the characters change their mind on something. They mention security protocols, only to break them for no good reason a few seconds later. Cinema-sins is going to have a field day with this. As a watcher you see every event coming from a mile away, every plot twist is signaled far in advance. I was not surprised at anything happening on-camera, I was not even jump-scared. I was sitting on the edge of my seat, but this was due to the movie being scary, but rather a feeling like when you are on a boring meeting and cannot wait to leave and do something else. Can't I say anything good? Well, the scenery and photography was great. And what I heard of the music was really good. The acting is not bad, but that does save the movie.
OK, I guess.
Entertaining, but not as good as #1. This feels like a middle movie, which it obviously will be. Some characters get some fleshing out, Gomora's and Peter's relationship takes a tiny step forward. Some bad jokes, some good ones, lots of action. An overblown epic quest. It felt like Star Trek V, if Star Trek V had been more entertaining.
Sista kontraktet (1998)
Wet dream of the left...
Major Spoilers. Let me start out by saying that the convoluted plot of this film plays out like the wet dream of the Swedish left. They cannot buy the boring history that the prime minister was killed by a drunkard by mistake. Instead we have this. The Swedish prime minister is killed by a an assassin. The assassin has previously killed anti-apartheid activists. Behind the killing lies Swedish nazi and an unknown people high in the government hierarchy, wanting him killed because he works against nuclear weapons. In the end the assassin gets his just desserts.
The movie is full of left-wing tropes. A bartender expresses his dislike for the prime minister...so he must be a right wing extremist. Who else could possibly dislike prime minister Palme? (FYI: Palme was a very confrontative and acidic person and roughly half the people in the country disliked him). The right wing are skinhead Nazis led by mysterious men in suits.
What did I miss? Probably a lot, there are huge plot holes. The protagonist, the young police, always seems to magically find himself near the assassin when something happens and can photo meetings and payoffs. The police magically get tips and have recordings. All this is hidden in a massive cover-up even before the murder. In a similar manner, the assassins hired help repeatedly finds himself in a sauna with the prime minister. In short the makers of this film put together a movie from their wet dream plot, made up with what they thought to be interesting scenes, without properly connecting the dots. Add the tropes of Swedish filmmaking with emotion being showed by swearing like a madman and what you have is simply not a very good film, but not bad enough to be a turkey.
PS. I hope I used "trope" in the correct manner.
Once Upon a Time (2011)
After seeing the first season I was intrigued. This looked interesting, weaving the characters from old tales together to form a modern tale. Seemed to have a good range of characters and let them build slowly. It seemed to lay the foundation for a great continuation.
But the series lost the storytelling, yet continued with episodes. Nothing happened in season 2, except the introduction of yet more characters. Now mid 3rd season, this series is truly going nowhere, I missed an episode and did not even notice it until much later. Nothing happens, except that new characters are introduced and old ones simply disappear. Nothing is concluded. All in all, this way more like a snail-pace soap than a fantasy series. Please put it out of it's misery and terminate it already!
Boring action movie with dazzling special effects.
This movie has several dazzling special effects. But other than that, what is there to say. Well, mainly....YAWN. Many comedy movies are just sketches strung together with the barest of threads to hold the plot together. Inception does the same thing for action movies, the action sequences are held together with a plot that pretends to be complicated, but in reality is wafer thin and yet full of holes that you could put Incepton's entire budget for special effects into each one of them. Inceptions virtual world does not impress because it is a work of beauty without any connection with dreams at all. Take away the special effects and you are left with substandard, uninspired acting and a boring movie.
Barbe bleue (2009)
A beautiful picture ruined by wooden acting.
The tale of blue beard told with beautiful visuals. But sadly the story and the film is marred by two unforgivable things. Mainly, the acting is so wooden you think the actors might catch fire from the open fires. It is impossible to discern any emotion at all from the actors. And secondly, the story is drawn out by being read by two young girls in a more contemporary setting, it does not add much but extra time to an already too long film. I watched the film anyway, hoping for a new twist, for some emotion from the actors, for some clue as to the relationship between Bluebeard and his new wife, but ultimately I was only disappointed. This is not a film for watching, this is a film for lying down and avoiding.
I also noted a jarring anachronism, everything in the story has the look of a medieval setting, but in this setting there are 17th century musketeers. Guess the filmmakers took any prop they could get their hands on.
The Real Da Vinci Code (2005)
The hunt for the grail.
Tony Robinson is mostly known for his comedy work in stuff like "Black Adder". This work was the first time I ever saw him in a serious piece, and a documentary at that. It was a very positive surprise. Tony (and his invisible researches) takes a look at the roots behind the myths in the bestseller book "Da vinci code". He hunts for the holy grail and examines some of the places in the book and also looks for the basis of some holy grail myth. Robinson manages to cover a lot of ground. This is a high class documentary, boring historians are given space, but it never gets boring because somehow the boring parts are edited out. This documentary is almost as fast-paced as the book. Well worth watching, I have seen it three times, twice before and once after reading the book. My only complaint is that they did not dig deep enough in some places.
Lightweight like a high school paper.
This documentary is like a high school paper, written without preparation. "What are some of the archetypal character or events of Lord of the rings and give some simple examples of similar characters or events in history?" 4 hours, at least 5 pages, no aids. I think my problem with this film boils down to that the creators have taken the path of least resistance and no examples are given taking Tolkiens background into consideration. Examples of people given are Benjamin Franklin (not a bad choice, but a very American choice), Lewis and Clark (also a very American choice), Edmund Hillary and sherpa Tarkey (which happened after Tolkien wrote the books. Faramir's charge is compared to Picket's charge. But the charge only takes place in the movie and does not appear in the books. In short, whoever made this documentary seems not only not to have read the books, but seems to lack basic knowledge about Tolkien. The execution of the documentary is well done, but it's basis lacks thought. There are no insights into the mind nor world of Tolkien. So the grade for this documentary can only be an F with the added comment "Did you even read the books, it seems you only watched the movie." The other documentary (Fellowship of the ring) is much better. This one is for "lying down and avoiding" (A monthy python quote).
So bad it is almost good.
"The new adventures of Robin Hood" can be described as a light-hearted, silly piece of recorded live role-playing. The actors(?) probably had a lot of fun playing out their own fantasies, but the result is lacking. The plots consists mainly of Robin Hood and his merry men (Marion, Tuck, Little John) helping people in need, resulting in fights against the antagonists of the relevant episode. As in similar series (Sinbad, Hercules etc), there is no blood. In fact the whole series is completely bloodless and soulless. Instead silliness rules. Robin Hood is flippant (for comic relief), Marion is haughty (for comic relief), Little John is stupid (for comic relief) and Friar Tuck is a fat fart (for comic relief). Topping off this silliness is a lack of credible plots and a long line of historical inaccuracies. For instance Vikings (ca 800-1000) and Mongols (Asia and Eastern Europe ca 1200-1400) appear in what should be an late 12th century England setting. A series like this should make you very, very upset that someone wasted even low-budget money. But you can also revel in all the silliness and play "Silly Bingo" and try to finds as many historical inaccuracies or ridiculous fight scene events as possible, say: Two Mongols (beep, inaccurate), slash at Robin Hood with their swords. Robin Hood blocks both swords with his bow (beep, ridiculous), which is made out of glass-fiber (beep, inaccurate). He then hits both Mongols over their metal helmets with his bow, and they go down (beep, impossible). And so on...
Troll 2 (1990)
Feels like a college project.
The whole feel of this is that of a college project. Some youths going together to do a scary movie for fun. Almost a parody on scary movies. And had it stayed in that college to be viewed at frat parties, it would have been a great movie, and the creators could have been proud. But this should not have been released to the general public. The script is non-descript, but the acting is completely without feeling. It is like the actors are reading their lines from the script, without taking into consideration what is happening around them. The only exception is Deborah Reed, whose acting is borderline comical and I think the borderline comical part of this film is the only entertaining part of it. Any good parts? Well the photography. So do not waster your time on this. Or watch it for the turkey value.