Entertainment

Listen, see and hear

Hunt for movie pirates pay off

In Sweden there has been a wide debate the past year about what is called Ipred. This is the laws on which personal information can be demanded by police if a private person is a suspect of software or movie piracy. Even though this is how the law is written there has not been any pirates caught using the law this far. The law that so many was yelling would tear down the very foundation on which our freedom of speech was standing on has proven to change nothing at all. This is not the case in all countries though.

9 – The movie

Lately I have grown into a fan of Tim Burton. I’ve come to adore his way of creating an environment which you either love or hate. The story will in either case touch you. With the new movie “9”, Mr. Burton delivers a piece of perfectly coordinated destruction wrapped in a fuzzy shroud.

The movie let us follow 9 (voice by Elijah Wood), a torn and rugged doll created out of burlap and with lenses for eyes. 9 enters the world without any understanding for why he is or when. Soon it become obvious for him that he does have a purpose in the time to come, not alone however. Together with the eight other dolls (voices by Martin Landau, Christopher Plummer and Jennifer Connelly to mention a few) the path clears on the task at hand. The movie has a few parts which may be a bit to strong for the younger audience and it seem that it is created more for an mature audience just as the movies of Tim Burton often are.

A post-apocalyptic wonderland

The first thing that did amaze me was the wonderful but eerie environments created in which the world exist. The destruction of the world just occurred and all that remain is scorched homes and wrecked cities, all entangled by sandbag-shelters and dug out trenches. The destruction becomes almost beautiful even though the entire setting is created out of darkness.

All the characters we meet throughout the movie has an arsenal or personality, which make me as a view to completely surrender the thought on small dolls who can speak to be something out of this world. Not many minutes pass until I can enter into the world which I’m seeing.

The only downside of the movie which I did notice would be a somewhat lack of crescendo. The later part of the movie could be even more dramatic to intensify the feelings of the characters. The movie still make sense but a more intense later part of the movie would have raised it even further.

9 gives us a very good start of the new movie-year and I highly recommend it for the more mature audience. Tim Burton has become one of the greater creators of our time in my opinion.

Resources
9 at IMDb

Outsourced

In a time where allot of companies choose to outsource their workforce comes this romantic comedy by fairly unknown John Jeffcoat. The story is set around a man who find himself being outsourced to an Indian company and we get to follow him on his adventures in being an American in Asia. What really made this movie interesting was that I could set it in perspective from my own stay in India a while ago.

OutsourcedTodd is a call-center manager who quite frankly do not like his job. Nevertheless he get upset when he find out that his company is outsourcing him and his team to an Indian company. He even get the task of learning his own replacement about what to do. All from his first views of the Indian society to the clash of cultures is coated in a warm and fuzzy feeling as it is a romantic comedy.

So how does the movie compare to my own observations then? Well first of all, there is more people – everywhere. In Outsourced all that was shown was these calm suburban streets found in the US, and those was not the case in the India I was located in. What was perfectly shown though was the amazing warmth and kindness of the Indian people. You did see smiles and colors almost where ever you went which was an amazing experience for me, coming from the cold and a bit reserved Scandinavia.

If you are ot for a general feel-good movie with no real surprises this is a movie for you. Eventhough the movie can be a bit predictable in parts it will deliver a couple of smiles.

Resources:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0425326/

Knowing

Back in the fifties an elementary school named Willian Dawes Elementary School decides to use a time capsule to record the children’s thoughts on how the future might look. As most children draw robots and spaceships one of the pupils named Lucinda draws what looks like full pages of random numbers. The teacher question the reason for this but still decide to let it pass into the time capsule and be sealed for fifty years.

KnowingKnowing is a new movie just out featuring Nicolas Cage. This time Mr. Cage takes on the role of a singe-parent astrophysicist named John Koestler who is struggling to handle his life after he lost his wife. The story evolve surrounding John and his son Caleb (Chandler Canterbury) who attends the William Dawes Elementary School. At the day when the time capsule is opened Caleb receives Lucinda’s sheets of numbers and brings them home because he think that they have a higher purpose. Drunk and broken down by his loneliness after his wife, John find a pattern in the numbers and the plot takes of.

As the first half of the movie goes the tension really builds up and they hold the audience in a great grip, as a viewer one feel that the story can take many different turns. The problem is that this twist never really arrive and when it does, I think almost everyone in the theater has already figured it out. For some this might actually be a good sign but for most people I think it will be more of a turn off.

Also, the special effects of the movie did halter in a few places which made me question the production a bit. Because at the same time there was other pars of the movie which was incredible in both effect and realism. Especially the part which involves a plane crash which was shown during a full continues two-minutes shoot.

Knowing currently hold a score of 6.5/10 at IMDB, and 33% at RottenTomatoes and a user-score of 6.4/10 at MetaCritic which can be seen as “OK” but nothing more. Personally I’d go for a score of 5/10. I feel the story had a great chance of blowing the audience away but did instead settle for the easy way out.

Tropa de Elite

Ever since I got back to Sweden after my trip on the Transmongolian railway I have had the song Rap das armas by Cidinho & Doca on my head. The song has been played on radio and tv back and forth for the entire summer and for quite some time I was under the impression that the song was a new one-hit-wonder kind of thing. I thought this was the truth up until a good friend of mine (Thanks Ola) told me the song was from a movie called Tropa de Elite (2007) – A movie about the conditions in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

From the first moment I got the movie in my hands I noticed the obvious references between the story in the movie and the documentary I saw a while ago called Ross Kemp on Gangs. A documentary where the actor Ross Kemp travelled the world to understand the gangs around the globe. In one of the episodes he visited Rio de Janeiro and I got a view of the city that have ever since lingered in my mind. I was surprised on how it was possible for a city in such decay just could go on.

150px-BopeThe movie is based on the book Elite da Tropa by Luiz Eduardo Soares together with two BOPE-officers (Major André Batista and Capten Rodrigo Pimentel). The story is about the elite police-squads roaming the streets of Rio de Janeiro trying to keep the druglords of the favelas at bay. The toughest of the squads is called BOPE or Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais and it is the people in this squad the movie follows.

The feeling of the entire movie is about more or less meaningless killing and power-struggles between people that have nothing but their own life. The only way of surviving is to get into the buisness of drugs and violence. Young kids beeing used as runners and lookouts and the older people not yet shoot as soldiers and hitmen. The only thing uniting all these people is the hatred against the police who themselfs is extreamly corrupt. And in some way the corruption feels like the main reason for the entire situation because if the people could trust the police the hatred would never grow as fierce. But as the situation is today it seem that all with a gun can be bought.

The movie is increddible violent and graphical and categorized as an action-movie but I would call it and action-drama due to the underlaying story of the movie. For all that have been reading about the gangs of Rio before it is a quite interesting story to get the words of the police instead of the criminals. The disturbing violence can cause quite some people to look the other way but for me the social aspects of the movie really opened my eyes and I hope to be able to learn more about the situation.

District 9

District9Poster265_000Just a litle time ago I wrote a preview of the movie District 9 and showed off my great expectations for the movie. There were both concerns and expectations in my mind when I yesterday went to the cinema downtown and had the pleasure to watch it.

Most of the times I watch movis which I have been looking forwad to for a long time the eyes I see it with gets filled with ever more criticism. This makes movies like these sometimes loose a small portion of their glance because of the expectations that is needed to be fullfilled for it just to reach the surface. I was afraid that this would be the case with Districs 9 but I was happily surprised when the movie really did deliver a great show!

When dealing with aliens, try to be polite, but firm. And always remember that a smile is cheaper than a bullet. –MNU

Sharlto Copley (main antagonist) did an awsome interpretation of his character Wikus Van Der Merwe and the downfall of his personality was beautiful. If Van Der Merwe had been casted using a known actor I think that a great portion of the mocumentary-feeling of the movie would have been lost. The raw gruesome feeling was kept intact by disturbing images of war and terror which also did strengthen the feeling of the “mockumentary”.

I can greatly recomend the movie for all into sci-fi with a twist. A word of warning is needed though for the movie do include some really disturbing images and can be seen as upsetting. Already looking forwad of seeing it again as soon as it is released on Bluray!