RegularFrank

Apr 232012
 

Director: Carl Theodore Dreyer

RatingN/A

Running Time: 167 minutes

Release Date: 1/24/1921

GenreSilent, Historical, Mythology

Cast

Satan / The Grand Inquisitor / Erneste / Ivan (Helge Nissen)

Jesus (first sequence) (Halvard Hoff)

Judas (first sequence) (as Jacob Texière) (Jacob Texiere)

Don Gomez de Castro (second sequence) (Hallander Helleman)

Isabel, Castro’s daughter (second sequence) (Ebon Strandin)

Don Fernandez (second sequence) (Johannes Meyer)

The Majordomo (second sequence) (as Nalle Haldén) (Nalle Halden)

Marie Antoinette (third sequence) (as Tenna Frederiksen Kraft) (Tenna Kraft)

Count de Chambord (third sequence) (Viggo Wiehe)

The Countess of Chambord (third sequence) (Emma Wiehe)

Lady Genevive de Chambord (third sequence) (Jeanne Tramcourt)

Count Manuel (third sequence) (Hugo Bruun)

Joseph (third sequence) (Elith Pio)

The People’s Commissar (third sequence) (Emil Helsengreen)

Old Pitou (third sequence) (Viggo Lindstrøm)

SynopsisLong ago God places a curse on Satan as he casts him out of heaven and says that Satan is to tempt people towards evil. For every soul Satan is able to claim, Satan will receive 100 extra years of torment, but for everyone that resists, Satan’s sentence will be 1000 years less. The film follows Satan through history as he assumes many disguises and tempts people, including; Judas as he betray Jesus, a young priest during the Spanish Inquisition, a young man helping aristocrats escape during the French Revolution, and finally a woman in 1918 Finland to betray the Finnish army against the Reds to save her husband.

AnalysisLeaves from Satan’s Book reminded me of a very long and drawn out episode of Quantum Leap, but with a sad and sympathetic Satan instead of Sam. As usual God seems like a jerk while Satan wants to stop hurting people while God just won’t let him stop.

While watching this film, one must remember that is was created during the early days of film-making where the technology and techniques of filming and script writing were still being worked out and that it takes many of its cues from stage productions.

Pro:

  • Great piano soundtrack in the restored version.
  • Ivan (Helge Nissen) looks like he was based on Rasputin.
  • Handcart to the Rescue!

Con:

  • Restored, but there are still bad flaws in the print.
  • Wait two seconds before you take drastic action!

Conclusion: My great grandparents could have gone out on a date and seen this movie in the theaters. I don’t think that most modern audiences would be very entertained by the film, but if looked at like a time capsule it is very interesting.

Score: 2/5

Apr 192012
 

Director: Gareth Edwards

RatingR

Running Time: 94 minutes

Release Date:9/30/2010

GenreScience Fiction

CastAndrew Kaulder(Scoot McNairy), Samantha Wynden(Whitney Able), Ticket Seller(Mario Zuniga Benavides), Homeless Woman(Annalee Jefferies), Marine(Justin Hall), Marine(Ricky Catter)

SynopsisIn the near future a space probe brings back alien spores that infest Mexico with giant squid-like creatures. As the United States is finishing a wall to keep the aliens out, Andrew Kaulder’s (Scoot McNairy) boss asks the photojournalist to find his daughter and get her home from Central America before the military closes the borders to stop and alien migration. After missing the last boat out, Andrew and his charge, Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able) must make their way back to American though the alien-infested areas of the Infected Zone.

Analysis: I thought that this film was pretty good for having such a low budget and I later found out that it was even lower than I had initially assumed. The director had a very small crew, filmed in many locations without permission and used random locals and asked them improvise the dialogue. Then he did all of the editing and special effects on his computer at home.

So it is pretty impressive that he was able to take all of this and form it into a coherent and entertaining film.

Pro:

  • Aliens look fairly realistic and a bit like Cthulhu!
  • Landscape littered with crashed planes and broken ships makes Infected Zone seem real.
  • Geographically wrong, but nice Mayan temple.

Con:

  • Not very many aliens.
  • Some of the dialogue seems like filler.
  • At times the characters didn’t seem to think the aliens were real even though they have seen them and are a fact of life for past 6 years.
  • Samantha has to pee too often.

Conclusion: I wasn’t expecting much , but this very independent film is about 10 times better than any of those crappy Mega Tornado vs Alien Shark films churned out for the Syfy channel.

Score: 2.38/5

Apr 182012
 

Director: Tomas Alfredson

Based On:Novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Rating: R

Running Time: 114 minutes

Release Date: October 24, 2008

Genre: Horror, Vampire

Cast: Oskar(Kåre Hedebrant), Eli(Lina Leandersson), Håkan(Per Ragnar), Erik(Henrik Dahl), Yvonne(Karin Bergquist), Lacke(Peter Carlberg), Virginia(Ika Nord), Jocke(Mikael Rahm)

Synopsis: In Sweden during the early 1980s, Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), a lonely and strange 12-year-old boy, has a problem with a bully at school and is unable to fight back. Eli(Lina Leandersson), a mysterious and equally lonely girl, and her ‘father’,Hakan (Per Ragnar), move in next door to Oskar. Soon they become friends and as they begin spending more and more time together, Eli convinces Oskar to stand up for himself but later he learns that she is a very old vampire and that her father is not really her father but her lover. Eventually Oskar must decide if he can find happiness with Eli or if he should go back to his old life.

Analysis: This and the American version of this film, Let Me In (2010), are both adaptations of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s book, Let the Right One In (2004 Novel). I saw the American version first, and then the earlier Swedish version, and I know that I am working backwards here, but I do plan on reading the novel once I can get my hands on it. That said, both films are very similar, but I think that the Let the Right One In (2008 film) does a few things better.

The relationship between Eli and her ‘father’ is more detailed It is easy to see that he is a normal guy that must do horrible things for the one he loves, instead of a being more like a serial killer. Even the bullies have more personality in this film. I did like the detective in the American version, but I think the locals replaced some of his role and they add some great color to the film.

Pro:

  • Darkly funny scene where Hakan is working on a victim and is interrupted by a dog.
  • Takes place in Sweden, makes more sense than New Mexico.
  • Hospital scene with Eli and Hakan is very touching.
  • Intense scene with bullies near end.
  • The subtitles are easy to read.

Con:

  • Oskar is so pale, that he could easily pass for a vampire.
  • It is too bright during scenes at night in the woods.
  • Swedish girls wear strange gym clothes.

Conclusion: Let The Right One In is a great film with elements of romance, and revenge. I think that most people would enjoy this film!

Score: 3.53/5