Tag Archives: 2006

Efter Brylluppet / After the Wedding (2006)

Director: Susanne Bier.
Starring. Mads Mikkelsen, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Denmark/India/Sweden. 2h 2m.

There’s a strange sense of duty and a unique stiff upper lip with Scandinavian culture, often associated with bravery and wisdom, sometimes things get a little sharp and precise with the Northern European restraint, and it unfolds with a glorious and bitter results.

The film opens with Jacob (Mikkelsen) a good Samaritan who has cast off all the luxuries of Denmark and is running an orphanage in India which is in dire need of funding. A mysterious man Jorgen (Lasagard) insists on giving the a large sum of money to the cause but only if he gets to meet with face to face, at first he’s hesitant but then soon realises the fate of the children rests on his shoulders. Continue reading Efter Brylluppet / After the Wedding (2006)

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Pelts (2006)

peltsMasters of Horror Collection.
Director : Dario Argento.
Starring: John Saxon, Meatloaf. USA.

Not quite sure where to put this, it’s too long to be a short but not quite a movie either but it was excellent to watch so here goes a quick flick review.

You’ll have to excuse me as I don’t watch television so when I find me series randomly on DVD I kind of go through the missing one movies.

Pelts is a twisted gore episode in the masters of horror collection from Dario Argento. Not necessarily a horror but a thrilling bone crunching, flesh tearing fiesta, starting Meatloaf as a pervy fur trader who is infatuated with a stripper and gets more than he bargained for when he’s offered a set of perfect pelts.

Of course there is a snag.

It’s a brilliant story about well, a set of haunted pelts that eventually get turned into a coat,  killing anyone who comes into contact with it along the manufacturing process and for the most part it’s not a horror but just out to gross and disgust it’s audience, which isn’t a problem at all. Meatloaf is excellent in the lead of a pretty dire cast apart from John Saxon who pretty much starts this ball of terror rolling by trespassing and killing the mystical raccoon’s (pine lights), in the first place, and boy does he have a cute technique “You gotta stamp on their necks”!?!

It’s been ages since I’ve watched any of the masters of horror minis and they do seem to be the perfect length for a horror,  without too much sentimental gumph to fatten it out into a full length feature. It takes forever to warm up and there is a heavy dose of porny scenes but it makes up for that in the later half with tons of gore and nastiness.

Argento’s earlier works are legendary but i lost a lot of respect for his more modern works but this does redeem a little bit of faith that he hasn’t completely lost it, the tension and mystery has gone but this is very watchable if you don’t mind the smut.

aofa04

Rating 4/10

Seraphim Falls (2006)

seraphim falls

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A tortuous, violent and heartbreaking revenge film, superbly acted by two of Ireland’s best. This movie was a pivotal point in my life and actually got me watching westerns again.

Starting out in the snowy mountains, Gideon (Pierce Brosnan) is running for his life from a pack of inexperienced bounty hunters headed by the relentless Carver (Liam Neeson). after being shot he evades escape and heads down into the warm valleys while the group are constantly hot on his trails until they encounter a couple of very unusual characters in the hot desert who tempt them into their destruction or salvation. It’s brutal throughout it really doesn’t ever let up the violence apart from some strong dramatic scenes.

Both leads in this film are charismatic in their own rights and seeing them play off powerful emotions was very impressive. Neeson as the quick tempered and domineering Carver was akin to having Captain Ahab on a horse chasing down the one single thing that destroyed his world. in this instance the white whale is a hardened ex soldier, Gideon who got caught up in one mistake and brought down the wrath of Carver. Once you discover the backstory you can understand things from the points of view of both men and it’s a case of righter and wronger neither are right in their actions but both are doing what they feel is right by doing wrong. Continue reading Seraphim Falls (2006)

Abandoned (2006)

 

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Directed: Nacho Cerda
Written: Karim Hussain/Nacho Cerda (screenplay)
Starring: Anastasia Hille, Karel Roden, Valentin Ganev, Carlos Reig. Spain, Bulgaria. 1h 39m.

I must admit that I missed the very beginning of the movie but it was literally 5 minutes or so, and I have been reliably informed that I didn’t miss much!

The epic opening that I missed involved a peasant family who are eating dinner when a truck stops outside, the patriarch of the family goes outside, opens the truck to find a murdered woman and two crying infants. Marie Jones (Anastasia Hille) discovers her Russian roots and returns to the family home to find out more about her past and family after information that she has inherited a property in Russia and the advice that she should visit it. Upon arriving in a alien and hostile land, she eventually gets to the property where she is soon abandoned and has to make the best of a bad situation. With limited supplies she tries to get comfortable in the run down family home, looking for clues about her past, after discovering a few clues to some past violent events, an estranged twin brother, Nicolai (Karel Roden) and a dead version of the siblings who stalk them at night.. Continue reading Abandoned (2006)

The Prestige (2006)

prestige hugh jackman christian bale

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Christopher Nolan, devised this tangible and progressive account of the battle between two ambitious magicians and somehow manages to write in a very real history about a similar battle between Tesla and Edison and an insight into various magic tricks and stage shows of the 19th Century.

The film is based in one of the darkest revenge stories of the year and a novel by Christopher Priest , two young wannabe performers are soon baying for each other’s blood after a mistake is made and a stage assistant and wife of the soon to become Great Danton (Hugh Jackman) drowns on stage. Danton then does everything that he possibly can to destroy Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and his rough English accent…

The workings of various complicated tricks are all brought to life and detailed in lavish sets with beautifully dressed stars, with  the glamorous Scarlett Johansson on the stage and the more refined Rebecca Hall who is perfect in any period piece.There is a great attention to the details of the Victorian craft and apparatus,

“Dark stylish and creative revenge story with a epic twist and many tragedies”

 

As the intensity of hated grows between the two men, they personally attack each other while trying to build a career, Alfred has his secret and family and is trying to his career, while Danton becomes obsessed and travels the world to become the best, and with the help of  John Cutter (Michael Caine) a rugged London ingenieur.

Even though the story is adapted from a novel, it’s so very much in Nolan’s signature style, as with Memento (2008) the story shifts through the timeline showing past and present but doesn’t lose the plot of the viewer, and it successfully adds intrigue and depth.

This consuming movie is abundant with character, bravely filmed and boasts a strong acting cast even David Bowie holds his own as Nikola Tesla (it was great to see my hero play my hero!) and this character adds in more twists as the movie starts to get darker and twisted. Also with the addition of electricity and huge devices, the film takes on a SteamPunk feel which is straight from left field but if you allow Nolan to take you on this mysterious and fantastic ride,   the narrative rewards you with thought-provoking moral and dramatic exploration of the issues raised.

A truly first class movie that has to be watched twice to see the twists and turns. I remember when it first came out it was rivaled between The Illusionist and as far as I’m concerned this wins hands down. There is a lot to take in but you will lap it up.

8/10

full review, post discussion to come.

Altered (2006)

Altered

(Horror, Sci Fi, Comedy,  2006) (18) D: Eduardo Sánchez W: C: Adam Kaufman, Catherine Mangan, Brad William Henke 1h 28m. USA

TAGLINE : They will find you…

Fifteen years ago, a group of men’s lives were forever changed by a strange occurrence. Now, the same group of men will spend a night together … in terror.

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I went into this one totally blind, a friend, The Gavster recommended it, I’m not quite sure why, heck I can’t remember how it got mentioned but I have to admit that it’s not a movie I would have normally picked up in the Rental Shop. I would have guessed it was a movie about Red Neck mutants, something between Wrong Turn and Cabin Fever (2000).. maybe?

Instead I get an alien abduction movie, but the major difference is that the alien is being abducted. I love it when a cliché gets turned around.

So the movie starts with a bunch of red necks running around a field, at first I thought there moonshine bootleggers but it turns out they are alien hunters!! After being abducted by aliens and returned to earth slightly altered, a group of pissed off young men seek revenge.

From the snippets of conversation and interactions give a pretty clear indication that one of the party died on board the ship, this no doubt was the fuel for this attack. So they hatch a (drunken) plan to kidnap and torture their abductor, or possibly just an alien in the wrong goddamed corn field. YEEE HAA!

 

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The guys are pretty clued up on how crazy ass shit the alien is gonna be once captured and no doubt from their previous encounters they know how to capture and hurt the pissed off little guy. Much to everyone’s enjoyment things get crazier and stranger as the movie progresses.

The acting is great, I do believe the characters have a good level of depth and are very believable . I did like hot they tied in with the characters from Fire in the Sky (1993) and from the impression you get from their life after the abduction stories this movie could be the black comedy sequel. Yes I said Comedy.. this is the kind of movie I put in the comedy box… tongue firmly in a dark cheek.

Don’t let the comedy tag deter you, it’s not all shits and giggled, there is a dose of gore, some intestine tug of war, explosions of the cranium and some cute and bizarre alien schit, the lil green guy is a cross between a Gremlin (1984) with a big chip on his shoulder and the mask from Satan’s Little Helper (2004) toss in a can of Monster and away he goes.

All in all I actually liked the movie, there isn’t much to it, but it’s fun while it lasts, the story is pretty original and has a dose of everything you need for a entertaining movie. There is a lot of jumps, scares and tension but it’s loaded with a few sick jokes. I do admire when a movie doesn’t rely on a prequel or hundreds of dreamy flash backs to illustrate past events.

T: Was originally planned as a horror/comedy with the title “Probed”.

Q: a lengthy one…

 

Cody: [wielding harpoon] Let’s do it!

Otis: Hey, I think we oughta wait a minute.

Duke: Don’t go pussy on me.

[cocks his gun]

Otis: I’m not man, I just think…

Duke: Don’t!

Otis: This is the stupidest goddamn thing I’ve ever done.

BS: I really did like the guts tug of war. it was lacking some blood but totally hilarious and scary.

RGremlins (1984), Fire in the Sky (1993)

 

6/10

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