Monday, February 11, 2013

Movie review roundup

I watched these on Netflix streaming:


Phantoms: A schizophrenic monster movie starring young Ben Affleck, Rose McGowan, and Liev Schreiber. One minute, it's a ghost story, then it's an evil cop movie, then a shape-shifting alien invasion.  Why copy one classic horror movie when you can just copy them all?  Some decent chills.




Valhalla Rising: Did you watch Drive and think the pesky character development got in the way of the exciting violence?  Or maybe that it was too uplifting?  Then you might enjoy Nicolas Winding Refn's Valhalla Rising.  In the movie, a Norseman (the villain from Casino Royale) kills several men in Europe, and then joins Christians on an expedition to North America, where the Norseman kills several more people.  There's nearly no story, or even dialog in the film.  It's more like watching a very long heavy metal music video.  In fact, at times, it's more like reading a slightly animated comic book, than watching a movie.

9 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed Phantoms as a teenager, but I watched it recently and it doesn't hold up as well. It was more disjointed than I remember. The first third is nice and creepy though.

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    1. Yeah, I wanted to watch the ghost story it started out as.

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  2. I love Valhalla Rising! So beautiful... best evisceration scene ever!

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  3. I liked Valhalla Rising for it's hallucinatory art-house violence. I think it substituted a kind of meditation on the final days of paganism for plot, but maybe my love of the director is causing me to read a bit too deeply here.

    I think your points are all valid, but I didn't consider them to be negatives, I guess I'm the kinda guy who would watch and enjoy a very long heavy metal music video.

    Bronson is all characterization, Valhalla Rising none, while Drive seems to find the perfect balance.

    Have you seen Bronson or posted your thoughts regarding it? I'm definitely interested in hearing your take.

    Your "slightly animated comic book" comment made me think of the rather well-done Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers motion comic, also streaming on Netflix. (and here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuOSrIisA20) Not sure how you feel about motion comics, but maybe worth a look.

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    1. I haven't tried Bronson yet, picked this one instead.

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  4. Mads Mikkelsen, the main character from Valhalla Rising, is playing Hannibal Lecter in the upcoming TV series. I'll check it out for this reason alone. Nicolas Rfen is awesome! Valhalla Rising was great, as was Bronson, Pusher 1+2, and Drive! I'm very excited for Only God Forgives:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Only_God_Forgives

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  5. Also, GO WATCH BRONSON! Tom Brady is excellent in it, and is the only major character. This note popped up on wikipedia recently regarding the film, and regardless of whether or not its true, i'm very amused:

    "During their meetings Bronson was so impressed by how Hardy had managed to build up his physique for the role and how good he was at imitating him that he shaved off his trademark moustache so that it could be made into a loose-moustache for Hardy to use in the film."

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  6. VALHALLA RISING is so good-- A bleak, atmospheric drudge, kind of like the band SLEEP through a prism of Frank Frazetta. An awesome score and a whole lot of pain. I really do like your categorization that it watches like a 'slightly animated comic book.' I may have to borrow that ;)

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  7. The film is amazing and it is on You Tube as well but the Norsemen in the picture never intended to go to North America - they thought they were travelling to Europe to go fight in the Crusades. (Wrong turn during that overwhelming fog bank.)

    Wiki link with references

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valhalla_Rising_(film)

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