tisdag 5 augusti 2008

Indiana Jones 4

The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

After being away for a while, Indy is back! This time Marion (a character from Raiders, if you have managed to miss that classic) is going along for the ride, as well as a bunch of other people.

As usual when Henry Jones Jr. is involved, those pesky Nazis are after him because they believe they'll be led to some ancient treasure, and they aren't wrong about that assumption.

I would call this movie the most outlandish of all the Indy movies, and it has been criticized for not keeping the action properly motivated. However, with a number of good acting performances - Cate Blanchett, John Hurt, etc. - I would say that this movie isn't at all bad as far as matinee adventures go.

söndag 13 juli 2008

Getting lost in a fairytale

Here's another movie review.

Pan's Labyrinth (2007)

This movie by Guillermo del Toro is a story of a young girl who goes by the name Ofelia, her pregnant mother and her stepfather. It's also seems to be about the Spanish Civil War, or possibly its aftermath.

Ofelia's stepfather is one of the most vicious villains to appear in a movie in a while as he wants to protect everything that's his by getting rid of the rebels in the area. Not only does he kill those he finds, he tortures surviving captives to get information as well.

That's one side of the story. The other side deals with a Faun (or Pan), other magical creatures and Ofelia's quest to fulfill her destiny. Your appreciation of the movie might depend on your ability to accept this as reality - or at least the reality that is presented in the movie.

As far as I'm concerned, both sides of the story work really well, and some parallels between the magical world and the actual situation for people during this time can be drawn. I believe I get what Guillermo was trying to show us with this movie, and it's something that a lot of people need to see.

onsdag 2 juli 2008

A Tale of Obsession

In an attempt to make this blog cover many diverse topics, here's a movie review.

Zodiac (2007)

When David Fincher returns after a few years without releasing a new feature film, he does so with what might just be his best work so far.

The plot revolves around the murders by the Zodiac Killer, and the people who are trying to find him. There are some similarities to one of Fincher's early films, Se7en, but there are differences as well. In Se7en the focus was on the aftermath of several murders, here we focus on the fear and reactions of the people who found themselves involved in the Zodiac Killer case.

If you haven't seen the movie yet, you should be warned that it contains one scene which I found really uncomfortable, and I generally consider myself relatively jaded when it comes to movies with acts of violence.

I think that this movie deals more with obsession than the actual Zodiac Killer case. The characters involved with the case constantly find themselves coming up empty when looking for answers, even though they do find many connections between a select few suspects and the killer. However, please remember that circumstantial connections isn't seen as very strong evidence.

The two reporters who find themselves looking for clues - Paul Avery and Robert Graysmith - gradually build an obsession that chips away at what they once had, their versions of normal everyday life. They aren't the only ones who are affected in this way, but their stories show this consequence most clearly.

Acting performances by the lead characters were really good throughout the film. While entertaining isn't the first word I'd use to describe this film, I'd certainly recommend others to watch it.

måndag 23 juni 2008

Welcome... and talking about swedes in hockey

Well, I've just started this blog and don't know exactly what it will be about - it might seem like it's all over the place. But, as they say, you should write about what you know and I believe I can say a few words about the game of hockey.

First off, while swedish people have been successful in many different sports for a while now, it feels natural to me to to talk about those hockey players that have won the Stanley Cup as players.

Let's mention those players that came close, but didn't win it all - or haven't won it all yet...

Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson with New York Rangers in 1979
Kent-Erik Andersson with Minnesota North Stars in 1981
Thomas Gradin (first in playoff scoring on his team) and Lars Molin with Vancouver Canucks in 1982
Pelle Lindbergh and Thomas Eriksson with Philadelphia Flyers in 1985
Pelle Eklund with the Flyers in 1987
Ulf Dahlen with the North Stars in 1991
Johan Garpenlöv with Florida Panthers in 1996
Mikael Renberg with the Flyers in 1997
Calle Johansson with Washington Capitals in 1998
Niclas Hävelid with Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003
Marcus Nilson with Calgary Flames in 2004
Dick Tärnström with Edmonton Oilers in 2006
Daniel Alfredsson (tied with two others for first in playoff scoring) with Ottawa Senators in 2007

Now, moving on to the Cup champions:

1980-1983: Stefan Persson and Anders Kallur, New York Islanders
1982-1983: Tomas Jonsson, Islanders
1984-1985: Willy Lindström, Edmonton Oilers
1986: Mats Näslund and Kjell Dahlin, Montreal Canadiens. Mats, "Le Petit Viking", was the leading scorer for the Canadiens
1987: Kent Nilsson, Oilers
1989: Håkan Loob, Calgary Flames
1991-1992: Ulf Samuelsson, Pittsburgh Penguins
1992: Kjell Samuelsson, Penguins
1995, 2003: Tommy Albelin, New Jersey Devils
1996, 2001: Peter Forsberg, Colorado Avalanche
1997-1998, 2002, 2008: Nicklas Lidström and Tomas Holmström, Detroit Red Wings. In 2002 Nicklas became the first swede to win the Conn Smythe trophy
1997: Tomas Sandström, Red Wings
1998: Anders Eriksson, Red Wings
2002: Fredrik Olausson, Red Wings
2004: Fredrik Modin, Tampa Bay Lightning
2006: Niclas Wallin, Carolina Hurricanes
2007: Samuel Påhlsson, Anaheim Ducks
2008: Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, Mikael Samuelsson and Andreas Lilja. Henrik became the second swede to win the Conn Smythe trophy.