Tag Archive for Review

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.

HTC Hero vs. iPhone, a beginning

SO I AM ONE of the lucky few who got my hands on both an iPhone and a HTC Hero. This makes it possible to actually compare the two phones on a day to day basis to see which one of them makes the best handheld.

TO START OFF by some numbers and comparisons the iPhone is the expensive one of the two. The HTC is running Android and the iPhone is running the iPhone OS. They have about the same screen, the same size and the same battery-times. But I have to say that the battery in the HTC actually delivers a bit more punch then the one in the iPhone. Battery between the two is quite hard to compare though because I use different things on the two phones. For example I run my Facebook-app on the iPhone which makes me use that phone more then the HTC (yeah I know, I should be ashamed).

SO WHAT ARE the pros and cons after just a weekend with the HTC and about a month with the iPhone? Well first I have to say that the camera on the HTC feels quite a bit better then the iPhone equivalent.

iPhone
+ Design
+ AppStore
+ Simplicity
– Battery-time

HTC Hero
+ Personalization, you can change about everything
+ Camera
– Trackball, no use really with a touchscreen this good
– Android store, hard to find what you’re looking for but good when you find it

I WILL DO MY BEST to revisit this comparison when I’ve been using both phones for a bit longer. Most likely will there be more features or lack thereof I will find until then. But as for now, I have to say that the iPhone still is the champion of smartphones out there, even though it is one of the most expensive ones.

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!

Into the wild

During the last week I have read the book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer which is a story about a boy giving up his entire life to live a simple life in the wild. Christopher McCandless was the boys name and throughout the book Mr. Krakauer try to identify what is was that drove a more or less common boy to abandon his family and life without a feeling of remorse.

The book was written in a very simple language and the soul of the book remain in the story. After finishing it the reader is left with split feelings about who Christopher McCandless was. One way of looking at him shows an almost religious hunt for understanding. But on the other hand his hunt for answers did inflict massive amount of pain on his family and friends and I can not grasp the utter sadness it must be for a parent to lose ones child and not getting an explanation.

The story has also been made into a movie and whether you read the book or watch the movie I recommend you to do one of them. The story is sad but interesting and deliver questions for you to answer.

More information
Into the Wild at IMDB
Into the Wild at Amazon

Terminator Salvation

So I just got back from the movie theater after watching Terminator Salvation. I am one of the people who didn’t really like the old Terminator movies but still am really fond of the back-story of the movies. Due to this I had quite high expectations for this movie because of other reviews I read which said that this was a movie not like the others. A bit darker interpretation of the mythology and also a bit more theatric instead of just plain action.

My first thought after the movie was done was that they did in fact show off to much of the movie in the trailers they have been showing both in movie theaters but also online and on TV. There are spoilers within the trailers that would have been better of if the audience were to discover them during the movie itself.

“The world is a bad place and there is really no light at the end of the tunnel…”

This aside though it is a quite good movie. As with most re-visited movies in the action genre now days the story has been darkened down a bit. The world is a bad place and there is really no light at the end of the tunnel, much like the latest Batman movies where they have totally revamped the story to be more raw. In short there are terminators everywhere and the war is raging on for the survival of the human race. Special effects are everywhere but the raw feeling make them blend in just fine. There is a number of flaws in the story itself where one can clearly see that they had to improvise to get the plot going which does lower the overall score of the movie.

terminator-salvation

Image is from The Internet Movie Database

Christian Bale really do pull of the role of John Connor and his charisma is great for the character and also Sam Worthington is doing a good job being Marcus Wright, not as strong as Bale but still good. Mr Bale was reluctant on taking the role for quite some time before shooting but I am glad that he did do it in the end.

To sum it all up, if you are looking for a good action movie which gives you mini-guns, swollen muscles and big explosions all mixed within a story of annihilation and judgment – this is a movie for you. Of course it makes the best appearance at the movie theater due to powerful sound and graphical effects.

Best part of the movie is the long consistent scene in the beginning of the movie which opens up the story and introduce John Connor. Beautiful piece of art created by a camera and backpack of GFX! The least appealing part of the movie I’d say is the poor way of telling the end of the story, which I am not to tell here, and it feels a bit like they ran out of time and had to wrap it all up in a bit of a hurry.

The flaws in the story is the major problem with the movie and what needed to be fixed for it to become a better movie then it was.