Tag Archives: Review

Movie mini review: Defendor

I just watched the movie Defendor, which is a drama comedy starring Woody Harrelson. He plays a slightly mentally challenged person who roams the streets at night dressed up as a superhero. The movie follows his struggle to reach what in his mind is his arch-enemy, Captain Industry, using quite unorthodox methods. It is a very funny film, but has it’s dark (and quite gripping) moments. Woody Harrelson does a wonderful job of portraying the protagonist, and not once do you see him as an actor playing a role, but as the character he plays. While some of the supporting actors does seem a little flat, Michael Kellys performance stands out and his character feels genuinely caring.

All in all, I would strongly recommend this film.

Movie mini review: Watchmen

Earlier today I finished reading the last issue of Watchmen. This is the second round I do so, and it makes so much more sense now. Not that it didn’t the first time, it’s just that it is filled with such nuances and hidden clues that you could probably read it five times and still get new aha!-experiences.

This evening I watched the movie. I’ll try to keep the review spoiler-free and mainly focus of what isn’t in the movie instead of what is.

What I disliked:

  • I found that Carla Gugino was completely wrong casted as Sally Jupiter/Silk Spectre (I), at least when older. She didn’t look like a 67-year old, but just like a 35-year old with bad makeup. And I missed the hair.
  • Matthew Goode was also bad as Adrian Veidt for two reasons. First, he is way to young. In the comics, Adrian appears to be in his late fourties. Matthew Good is born in 1978 and has yet to turn 31. Second, he is too thin and wimpy, not at all the build or features of his drawn counterpart. The gay flirting for the character was a bit too much as well.
  • The ending. Even though similar results was achieved the way it was done, it was not to my liking. I miss the squid! I disliked Dan’s behavior after that, which is the complete opposite of that in the original.
  • The added dialogue of Dr. Manhattan. There is so much he says that is simply fantastic in the comics. They don’t keep it in the movie, but instead add other things that to me seemed out of place.

I can understand why they had to shorten the story. The original graphic novel is 12 numbers filled with graphics and text, and to have all that in the movie would add another few hours. Still, I hope for an extended version that spans over 4 hours. That would be enough time to explain why Laurie moves in with Dan (aside from what is shown in the movie), the Island, a lot more from what Manhattan is trying to show on Mars (along with a rough grasp of his understanding of time), the significance of the watch, an explanation of the Keene act, Rorcshach’s mask, coffee and music on archie, the newsstand, the open dome with the butterfly, Ozymandias history and a full explanation of his behavior.

What I liked:

  • Uncensored. They didn’t seem to skip of the violence or the nudity shown in the graphic novel. And they not only showed Dr. Manhattan’s junk – they made it about twice the size of that in the comics (which was a bit disturbing). But what can you expect from the man who’s last project was 300? 😉
  • The casting for Rorschach, Comedian and Nite Owl II. Spot on. Dr. Manhattan is a bit on the stiff side (looks animated/dubbed when he speaks), but I liked his gentle voice.
  • Footage was good and the effects were nice, as was the soundtrack.

Final thoughts:

As usual when I look forward to a movie that I have earlier read in comic or book form, I tend to get my hopes up. I expect that the movie version should be at least as good as the original, and hope that all my favorite scenes will be there, shot in the same way as I’ve imagined them when I read the original. When I then see the movie, I am a bit dissappointed even though the movie might actually be good. It’s just that the comic/book is so much better.
This happened with Watchmen. As it happened with The Dark Knight, Let the right one in, Spider-Man 3, Alien Vs. Predator and many more.

Should you read the graphic novel before watching Watchmen?
I’m not sure. You will probably understand a whole lot more of the movie if you do, but it won’t nessecarily make you enjoy the movie more – the opposite is quite possible.

In what order I cannot say, but you should definitely read the graphic novel – at least twice.

Movie mini review: Hercules in New York

Hercules in New York is a movie from 1970 starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (under the name Arnold Strong) as Hercules. Tired of Olympus, he goes against his father Zeus’ will and travels to New York where he befriends a timid pretzel salesman and an aristocratic young woman and her father.

Adventures arise, and we see Arnold fighting thugs, gangsters and the worst fake bear on film (a man in a bear suit who walks and looks more like a gorilla than a bear).

The acting is incredible stiff, especially from Arnold (this was his first movie) who has absolutely no feeling whatsoever when he is speaking. In the original theatrical version, they actually had a voice actor dubbing over his audio track. The original soundtrack with Arnold’s voice wasn’t reintroduced until the DVD release, by the time Mr. Schwarzenegger was already a well known actor. Speaking of sound, this has to be one of  the worst sound mixes in a major (if you can call it that) movie ever. The scenes in Olympus is shot in a park in a city, and you can hear heavy traffic and car horns in the background. There is a loud hiss/buzz in many scenes which suddenly disappears and comes back – this is from when the director was shouting something to the actors and only that sound was cut out. This is particularly obvious when a scene is cut back and fourth between two angles. When this happened, the camera was also out of focus from time to time.

The props are terribly done; when Zeus is throwing lightning, the lightning arrow is made out of bent concrete steel rods. The makeup is also very bad, and Zeus’ fake beard is obviously made from wool.

All in all, this is a lousy movie. But that doesn’t make it unwatchable – quite the opposite! Me and my friend Martin (with whom I watched this movie) laughed a lot and were grinningly shaking our heads even more.

Hercules in New York is a perfect example of a movie that is so bad that it becomes good, almost on par with Batman: The Movie from 1966.

Highlights: Arnold in Hercules in New York

IMDb: Hercules in New York

Six weeks with the Asus Eee 1000H

It is now six weeks since I first got my Asus Eee 1000H.

At the same time as i collected it I bought 2GB RAM, which is twice the amount of the original RAM.

Since then I have also bought a nice skin from laptopskins.net, making it look a little more original (can be seen briefly in the Einstein Tattoo gallery, next to a Mac Air).

So what do I think?

I think it’s lovely. The screen is great, the keyboard is good for a netbook (although the keys can be a little hard to read in a completely dark room), the performance is better than expected and the battery is absolutely fantastic, especially if you use the built-in under-/overclock button to lower the processor speed to 1.2Ghz (Normal mode is 1.6Ghz and Super Performance mode is 1.9Ghz).

Watching DivX/XviD movies while traveling, the battery lasts over six hours on a single charge. That’s at least three full movies. And the 160GB HDD is big enough to store 100+ movies if you want (I currently have around 70 movies on it and a few seasons of my favorite TV shows).

Playing older games like Sam & Max, the WarCraft series and Knights of the Old republic I & II, it handles very well. Photoshop CS4 starts in about 6 seconds. Sleep and Wake-up is pretty much instant.

What I probably have used it mostly for is reading comic books and ebooks. I just hold the Eee like an open book, with the screen to the left, and navigate with the arrow keys.

For comics (.cbr and .cbz), I use CDisplay Comic Reader (also called CDisplay Sequential Image Viewer).

You can set it to always rotate the screen in a certain direction when a comic is opened, and to also fill the screen to fit an entire page. The size of the screen is just perfect for this. Even if the resolution is the same as on the Eee 900, the screen size is bigger. Personally I find that the 900’s screen is a little bit to small for comics. Readable, but not without an effort (not that I didn’t manage to read the whole limited series of Watchmen on it). Not so for the 1000H.

For ebooks, Adobe Reader works just fine. I have set the icon panel to always show the Rotate and Fill icons, and there is also a setting that lets you remember where you last ended your reading without the need to manually bookmark. I am currently in the last quarter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, most of it being read while in bed.

For reading in this matter, I actually find it easier on the eyes reading on the screen than on a printed paper book. The text is very sharp, and the background brightness is usually set to the second lowest setting, giving an even light all over the screen.

So what’s bad about it?

Pretty much nothing. Compared to the Eee 900, if feels a little bulky and heavy, but compared to a regular laptop it is extremely light and portable.

Again compared to the Eee 900, the 1000H actually produces some noise. The fan is inactive 90% of the time or so, but in a silent room you can hear the drive spinning. When the prizes of SSDs gets lower, I will likely buy one to replace the mechanical one. But right now I don’t feel it’s worth spending more than 3000 SEK for a 128GB drive.

I do not regret buying the Eee 1000H. Not in the slightest.

[Written on an Asus Eee 1000H]

Movie mini review: Alien vs Predator – Requiem

I just watched Aliens vs Predator – Requiem. I knew that it would be bad. I even knew that it would be really bad, but in spite of my better judgment, I decided to watch it anyway.

And man, it sucked.

The script was lousy and the acting horrendous. The Strause Brothers who directed this has previously worked almost exclusively with special effects, and watching this movie it comes as no surprise. Because they sure can’t direct people.

The story in short:


After the first AVP movie, one Predator gets infected by an Alien. The result is for some strange reason that is never explained an Alien-Predator hybrid. For some other reason that is never explained, the ship carrying this hybrid is returning to earth, along with a bunch of Alien facehuggers. One single Predator tries to stop them all, but also kills some humans in the process for some reason. A town where you get to see four minutes each of a bunch of two-dimensional characters is attacked by a swarm of Aliens (who has now proliferated) and the hybrid. Instead of actually stockpiling the food (humans) for eating and such, they just seem to kill everybody at random for some reason. People die, including most of the ones you have been introduced to. The government finds out, tells the people to gather in the center of town and drops a nuke. Everybody dies, except for four people in a chopper who for some reason decided to fight their way up through an Alien-infested hospital to get to the chopper on the roof instead of simply driving out of town with the perfectly good armored car/tank they just had. The end.

In short: Alien vs Predator – Requiem is a movie that really, really, really sucks. Hard. And not in a good way.

If you have any good memories that you don’t want to ruin from previous Alien (or Predator) movies, avoid this at all cost.

Aliensnail vs Predatorsnail - Requiem

Movie mini review: Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda is an animated movie from Dreamworks, starring major voice actors as Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu.

The main story revolves around Po, a clumsy panda who dreams of being a kung fu master while having to work in his fathers noodle shop. After some curious circumstances, he is given the opportunity to learn kung fu by a grumpy kung fu master. Without spoiling to much of the story, a big threat is later revealed and unexpected things happen.

I didn’t have the highest expectations, and was maily expecting a slapstick parade. I was pleasantly surprise how good the movie was. Granted, there was a fair deal of slapstick in the movie, but (almost) never too much. There was also a more serious side about not fitting in, not wanting to be yourself.

As a fan of eastern cinema, I have watched a fair deal of kung fu movies (as well as practiced kung fu myself). It was a delight to see so many clichĂ©s and homages as they could fit into the movie, most executed with a twist. The voice acting is most of the time very good (though I didn’t think Angelina Jolie really fit the role as Tigress).

On a whole, Kung Fu Panda is a warm, engaging and very enjoyable movie. Recommended.

Trailer: Kung Fu Panda

p.s. Martial art turtles rock. d.s.

Movie mini review: Bye Bye Monkey

Today I saw a movie from 1978, starring a young GĂ©rard Depardieu. It is French produced, but takes place in a semi-futuristic New York and everyone speaks English.

The story centers around GĂ©rard’s character (also named Gerard), finding and taking care of the child of the now dead King Kong. This, along with the fact that it was labeled as Comedy / Drama / Sci-Fi, was enough for me to want to see the movie.

I was deeply dissapointed. There is no real red line in the movie to follow, nothing to look forward to and the whole thing is utterly unengaging. The script is meager and staggly, the dialoge is strange and stiff, most of the acting is plain bad and the DVD transfer is low quality (especially the sound where the S sound are often distorted).

During most of the 113 minutes I just waited for it to be over. Avoid if you can (shouldn’t be too hard).

Movie mini review: Hell Ride

A few days ago I had the pleasure of watching Hell Ride, the Quentin Tarantino-produced, Larry Bishop-written-and-directed biker movie.
It’s a good mix of sex, drugs and violence – the kind of movie you’ll enjoy watching with a few friends and a few beers.

Larry Bishops character Pistolero is leading the motorcycle gang Victors, where Michael Madsen and Eric Balfour also has their allegiance. The rival gang, Six-six-six (led by the character played by Vinnie Jones) is basically out to eliminate the competition, and hard feelings arise. Throw in a 32-year old murder, a safety deposit box with three keys, David Carradine and Dennis Hopper, and you get yourself a Hell Ride.

It’s not a great movie. But it’s a darn good and entertaining one.

Trailer: Hell Ride

Movie mini review: Let the Right One In

Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to see Tomas Alfredson’s screen adaption of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s superb novel.
It is a drama about a harassed 12-year old boy (Oskar) making friends with what he thinks is a girl (Eli). It soon obvious to the audience that Eli is in fact a vampire. Sounds cheesy? It ain’t. It is a gripping film which gets into your skin. Never boring, always keeping the pace. Since I read the book two or three years ago, I knew about what was going to happen. However, I still found it exciting and didn’t want it to be over.
There were a few scenes however that I sorely missed from the book – mostly the flashback where Eli’s origin from the 18th* century is explained. The scar is shown in the movie, but there is no explanation for it. Several main characters are also missing or radically reduced, but since the movie already spans almost two hours, it is understandable that didn’t incorporate them into the screen version. But it did make me want to read the book again.

To cut it shourt: Let the Right One In is the best Swedish movie that I have seen in many years.
The book is (as in most cases) better than the movie, but I am still very happy with the adaptation.

* Don’t remember exactly, +/- a century.

Trailer: Let the Right One in