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Nanga Parbat

The true story about the Meissner brothers is so exciting in itself, that it ought to have been possible to make a really suspenseful, exciting, dramatic and emotional movie out of it. This is, however, not the case.

The movie is amateurish, low budget (to its disadvantage), and even at times boring. Also, things were not explained enough for those of us who are not into mountaineering, and who did not know the story of these brothers beforehand.

I got the impression that this was merely a collection of loose scenes, made as illustrations in moving pictures to a story, that the audience was already supposed to know.


Bad as a submarine movie, quite good as a supernatural thriller
CONS: life on board does not seem realistic. The men are hanging about too much, have too much time to play, discipline is too lax etc.. And the period atmosphere does not feel right. They are using too modern a language, and the attempts to shoehorn period slang into it, do not work. The references to Creepshow, and the twist in many modern horror movies that the characters are already dead - did not exist yet, so the men would not have come up with that thought.

And OF COURSE the script writers have to put a young woman in there as well, and of course she must play a major role in the happenings - although one has to give them credit for not making her super sexy or constantly well-made up etc..

PROS: as a supernatural thriller it is quite good, if in no ways original. There are some good scares too! Worth watching if you are a horror buff.


Beating about the bush
I have now watched four out of six episodes, and I think that is enough. It is not getting any better. This production is slow, uninteresting, and seemingly very low-budget. More like some student production. Also, several of the actors are not right for their parts.

I think the main problem is that this production was made too soon after the tragic events. Because of this, the producers have to beat about the bush at all times. For instance, the suspected perpetrator Peter Madsen is never mentioned by name, and he is never shown (no actor is playing him). This becomes completely absurd - you cannot make a criminal series without showing the suspect! If you think you cannot, why not wait 10 or 20 years, or however long it takes, until you think that you CAN show him in picture?

There are also other things that are odd, such as that they try to push the story forwards and divulge the events, by letting some unlikely person - for instance Kim Wall's mother or father - utter something random about it. Which they most likely did not do in reality.

The submarine does not look right either, and Madsen's workshop (which in reality is/was an old hangar) certainly does not look like that in reality. And what has Jens Møller's and his daughter's personal lives got to do with anything?

Also, everybody knows the outcome of this story, and many people also still remember the details, so there is no excitement or mystery factor. It is not _impossible_ to make an interesting movie or TV-series about events that everybody knows of - but in that case it must be much better than this, if it shall be worth-while watching it.

Snowroller - Sällskapsresan II

Warm, moving and very funny
I blushed and laughed alternately when I watched this, because I recognized myself and people that I know in the various situations. It is a very "human" movie that you can relate to. It is also a warm movie, with much heart and empathy beneath the amusing happenings. There is a lot of action; things happen all the time - it is not slow, as many a little older movies are easily perceived to be today. A must-see if you would like to understand us Swedes!

Last Breath

Boring in spite of potentionally great story
I expected much more of this, because the story - the subject matter - was there alright. But it was misused, so that the whole documentary became boring and uninteresting. I hope that the team behind the TV-series "I shouldn't be alive" will get their hands on this story! That would be something else!


Social realism and the supernatural do not mix very well
I think this movie could have been quite good, if they had skipped the supernatural bit altogether, and let it be a story about a dysfunctional family, feelings of guilt, the "social inheritance", patterns from your childhood family which are difficult to break when you have your own family, however much you wish to do this etc.. Because the setting was good, as was the characters and the actors.

But those themes do not work together with the supernatural, I think because you have to switch on different parts of your brain. And in addition to this, the supernatural bit was muddled and strange, and I did not get frightened one single time. Avoid this movie!

All About Steve

Warm and funny, but the end leaves a bad taste in the mouth
This was a very funny film, and it also had warm and heart-wrenching moments. It is easy to relate to Mary - especially if you have yourself been lonely and hopelessly in love with someone who does not love you back - to wish her success, to feel sorry for her... and also a bit irritated with her. But the ending left me with a question. Do the movie-makers want to say to all people out there who are lonely and "nerdy", that there is no use that they try to pursue love, if they happen to fall in love with someone handsome, charming, popular and "normal"? That this is not possible, and that they must stick to their own league? I would have wished for another ending, even if this was also moving.


Much better than I expected
Normally I do not like horror movies built on the idea that the protagonist is mentally ill, and that one does not know if what he sees is real or only hallucinations as an effect of his illness (or alternatively a side effect of his medication). That concept has been overused in horror movies from this century.

But apart from that, I think this movie was really good. There were many good scares, many creepy discoveries, good acting and generally high production values.

Eltern allein zu Haus

Good enough story, but with some strange and odd behaviour
I wasn't overly impressed with this movie (I watched it as a movie). Firstly, the marketing did not fit with the story: it was said to be about how a marriage can fall apart when the children have moved out, but in the movie the wife had already began the search for a flat of her own before their daughter had moved out...

And then, there were some odd scenes that I did not like. The husband spying on his ex-wife when she was having sex with a new man, for instance. And the fact that the wife and her boy-friend had sex with the blinds up, so that it was possible for every passerby to see... The instance of cruelty to a bird was not a favourite scene of mine either. The vet who used her work to get into contact with men, neither - that is a very unprofessional and unsuitable behaviour. Not to say odd.

But most of all I did not like to see Walter Sittler's naked, aging body. I have admired Mr Sittler, at one time I almost had a crush on him - that was when he played the leading man in "Ein Geschenk des Himmels". I have liked him a lot as the "Kommissar" as well. But now I feel that he has sunk, and watching him in the older movies will not be the same anymore, either... :-(

With this said, "Eltern allein zu Haus" is still a good enough movie, it is quite nice in parts and there ARE things here that you can relate to if you are in that situation yourself (middle-aged, long marriage, newly divorced, children moving out...). And that might be a help.

Schlaflos in Schwabing

Nice movie, probably made with middle-aged/older women in mind
The Germans are good at making movies on themes that middle-aged/older women like to hear and think about. I have seen many modern German movies now on the same theme as this: a middle-aged/older woman has been left for a younger woman. Sometimes (as here) the man has also got children with the younger woman. Which makes the older woman feel worthless, as she can no longer have children or be as attractive as the younger woman.

...but then it all resolves itself, as it turns out that the man still loves his old wife, that he misses her, regrets what he has done, does not like his new life with small children in reality, and does not find his young wife that especially attractive anymore. The young woman is often pictured as an egoistic and demanding gold-digger. So he tries to get his old wife back. Sometimes he succeeds, and they come to terms with the fact that he still has to take some responsibility for his new children too, or otherwise (as here) the older woman meets a new man who is much better in all respects. This gives comfort and hope to the very many women past 40-45 who are in this situation.

My Best Friend's Wedding

Very nice
I liked this movie a lot! It is both fun and sad; it awakens strong emotions and leave you with a feeling that you have experienced something important - in spite of all the Hollywood "sugar". Beautiful people, lavish props, staging, extras etc., high-budget, good visuals, fresh colours, many fine details to look at. But most of all I liked the ending. I am glad that the ending, just for once, was unhappy (for the heroine). Because that is what often happens in real life, and you have to go on even when you have lost - or never won - the person that you think about as the love of your life. Movies with "unhappy" endings - but which still show a heroin or hero who is coping with that - give comfort and inspiration for yourself to go on, too.

Personal Shopper

Boring and meaningless
I found this movie slow, disconnected, and disappointing. If you are looking for a exciting, romantic, Gothic ghost-story - which I had been led to expect - this one certainly is not for you. This story is boring and depressing, the main character is unpleasant and unlovable, the technical effects are very simple, the pictures are grey and bleak, and there is no real ending. Almost no horror either, although it turned a little atmospheric sometimes in the nightly "horror" scenes, which is why I give it two stars and not just one.

Amateurs in Space

A must-see if you are interested in the person Peter Madsen
Peter Madsen is currently being investigated for the murder of a female Swedish journalist on board his submarine, including very weird and unpleasant details that I do not have to write down here. They are everywhere on the internet anyway. This crime is discussed everywhere in Sweden and Denmark since it took place in mid-August this year, and it was my curiosity about Peter Madsen that made me look for this movie. I am not really into rocket science! So for me it was only positive that so much in the movie was about the man, rather than about the technology.

One could say against the movie that it is episodic, that its continuity is not so good - but maybe it was the intention of the film-maker to deliver only bits-and-pieces here-and-there from Madsen's and von Bengtson's joint project? Be that as maybe, it was very interesting to get this insight into Madsen - now when everybody in Scandinavia is trying to understand and come to terms with what happened on that submarine in the night 10-11 August...

I think it was a great pity that the female journalist did not do her research properly before meeting her interview subject, because if she had watched this film she might have been warned by his behaviour here, and by the head injury and all his friends urging him to have his head examined - and never gone underwater alone with him. Another thought: if the doctor in the movie had done a more thorough job, when Madsen himself was in fact asking for help, maybe Madsen could have received treatment for his obvious psychiatric problems earlier, and in that case the tragedy would probably not have happened either. There are many "if only:s" in that terrible story!

I would not recommend this movie to anyone who is primarily interested in the work of Copenhagen Suborbitals, because they have themselves made much better informative movies that you can see for free at Youtube. But if you are interested in Peter Madsen as a person, during the years that led up to him becoming "Murder-Madsen" as he is often called now instead of his old nickname "Rocket-Madsen", this is a must-see. (You learn a little about the Danish and American rockets as well.)

The Haunting of Pearson Place

Incredibly bad
This was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. At first I thought it had to be a student production of some kind, or a horror-comedy, supposed to be a parody. But it was not supposed to be either. It was supposed to be a "real" horror movie on the haunted house theme, and I find it incredible that professional movie-makers can make such a flop of this theme NOW, in the 2010:s??! This would have been a bad and clumsy horror movie already in the 1930:s.

I do not even know where to start. EVERYTHING was amateurish: the script, the acting, the directing, the special effects... There were no dramaturgy at all. Even the real people who were not supposed to be ghosts, looked, talked and moved like zombies. ALL of them looked out of place. The ghosts, on the other hand, did not look like ghosts but like real people, there was nothing other-wordly about them at all, and they were totally un-scary. The horror music did not scare either, because it was too loud, blatant and obvious. Total flop, there is nothing redeeming here at all.

Call the Midwife: Christmas Special
Episode 0, Season 6

Very contrived
This was a disappointment. I have loved the "Call the Midwife", and I have looked forward to a new season. But this was just too bad.

To send off the characters to a faraway and (supposedly) exciting location, is an old trick to try to vary an old formula. But it almost always does not work. To mention only the most obvious thing: there were no real, believable reason for all these our beloved characters to go away to South Africa. ONE nurse/nun had died. But now, suddenly, almost everybody working in or for Nonnatus house has to go abroad. And nothing is explained, either, about who is going to take care of the Nonnatus house and the rest of the Poplars in the meantime. I mean: even the doctor, the janitor and the clergyman follow the call!

I am still going to try watching the new C.T.M.-episodes, but I feel that my heart has died somehow... :-(

Solbacken: Avd. E

Well-written and strangely fascinating about elderly care
This is a very good TV series, one of the best Swedish TV series I have ever seen! The fantastic thing about it is that its setting - an nursing home for the elderly - and its characters - elderly people and their carers, children who are themselves at the brink of old age etc.- sound so boring, uninteresting and definitely not cool. But after the first episode you are hooked! You want to know if Harriet is going to accept using her walker, and if the son she is boasting so much about is ever going to visit... If Olle will be allowed into the home, if Margit will have to stay although she dislikes it so much or if her daughter will take her home... If the new, young subs are going to manage the work, and stand it... And maybe there will even be a little love and romance at the home..? This is well-written drama at its best!

I have worked at these kinds of institutions myself when I was young, and I can vouch for that the situations that happen here happen in reality, and as do the attitudes from the different groups (adult children, young academics, bosses high up in the hierarchy etc..) I have heard many of the utterances in this series myself! It is EXACTLY like this, except for one thing: in reality (and this was so already in 2003) there would not be any people as relatively sound, healthy and youngish as Tommy, Margit, George, Asta or Olle at a home of this kind (if it is not private). The municipalities cannot afford it; you have to be like Saga or Per to get a place, and this of course makes the work even harder for the staff than it seems here.

The details in the various caring procedures are correctly pictured, the dialogue is intelligent, and the actors are also very good, most of them. A must-see for all who have anything to do with a nursing home, or who possibly will have in the near future!

Downton Abbey

Competent and educating but (almost) never exciting
I am not as over the top about this series as the rest of the world seems to be. There is no doubt that it is a very competent work with high production values and an enormous budget. But I never felt any "love" for any of the characters, and I never felt that desire that you can feel when a work of fiction is really, really good, to be part of it and live in that world there with them.

I think both the best and the worst thing with this series was its realism. For instance, the class differences are not so exaggerated as in many works of fictions that deal with castles, lords, nobility etc.. Which is a good thing if it is a correct period piece you want - but you never feel that magic and admiration that you feel for, for instance, Mr Rochester brooding in his Thornfield Hall... There is no romance here, and no mystery.

Also, some story lines took up too much time, for instance the elderly ladies' intriguing about the charitable hospital positions, and the Mr Marston-his son-his farm-Daisy intrigue. I found both of these stories very tedious. Also, I think it was a mistake to make a long-drawn out detective story about the Mr Bates-and-his-wife's death-thing. It felt out of place and as a cheap attempt to introduce something spectacular that would rise the audience' interest when it was waning.

For me this series was more education than anything else. For as such it is very good, because it captures the period perfectly: the social changes, the women from the higher classes starting to work a little outside home, the young people moving to towns to find work in factories, shops, restaurants etc. instead of working as hired farmhands or servants at private estates. I have had some relatives, now long gone, who were born in the beginning of the 20th century. This was their world when they were children and young people, and I feel that this series has made me understand their way of reasoning better!

I also much appreciate the great attention to detail in clothes, hair-styles, furniture, ornaments, cars, music, dancing, and other things. You really feel yourself transported to this time period!

Keeping Up Appearances

Witty and wonderful
I loved this series! Although every episode was built on the same formula - Hyacinth wanted to snob in some way, but was instead humiliated - it never became boring.

I think the reasons are several: 1) very witty dialogue, I laughed all the time! 2) characters that you can relate to, because we have all met them: the snobbish and dominant Hyacinth, her husband the long-suffering Richard, the lazy and unkempt White Trash-man Onslow, the over-sexed and mutton-dressed-as-lamb Rose, the nervous and submissive Elizabeth etc.. 3) very good actors that play their parts perfectly (the only one who was not right was the actress playing the Vicar's wife, she was somewhat wooden and unlikeable) and 4) the recognition factor. There are so many situations you can recognize from real life, for instance the women running after the handsome young vicar although they know he is married (this is happening in churches all over the world). Or the way Hyacinth is always boasting about her son, although everybody else understands that he is far from perfect...

But the most important thing is that this series has this strange, alluring quality of sucking the viewer into the world on the screen. I feel that I want to be there with them - yes despite of Hyacinth! The troubles they have are very small really, nothing very bad happens, it is an idyllic and almost old-English world, like an oasis in all the terrible things that happen in the world today. I want to have this world to flee to, when reality overcomes me! When I have forgotten the episodes a little, I am going to watch it all from the beginning again!

Monarch of the Glen

Beautiful, funny and entertaining, although silly and predictable at times
REVIEW FOR SEASON 1, which is all I have watched.

When I first heard of this series, which I had managed to miss all these years, I thought it sounded like a great idea! I mean: who does not love a Lord (or "Laird" in this case)! :-) Not to speak of old castles and the wonderful nature scenery in the Highlands, and all the special Scottish traditions you can use, such as Scottish country-dances, bag-pipes, kilts with clan tartans etc.. It does not seem possible to fail with those ingredients.

But in reality... it seems a bit trite. The jokes are too simple, there is too much slapstick, and in every episode it is obvious already in the beginning how it has to end.

I think the part of the young Laird almost carries the whole production, because he is very likable, with a little help of his elderly but feisty father, who does not want to let go of the past, and his beautiful and well-dressed but a bit air-headed mother. The other characters unfortunately I do not like, I do not think any of the three young women are suitable as new Lady of the Manor for instance, and the other men working on the estate and running around in the village all are generally uninteresting. Although I cannot say if the wrong lies with the characters or with the actors.

All in all, it is A LITTLE worth seeing if you are interested in the Highlands themselves, and I am now starting with season 2! :-)

October 24, 2015

Alright, I have now watched SEASON 2 AND 3 as well, and I have raised my marks to 7! I still find it silly, though. The solutions are always so very simple, and completely out of touch with reality. Of course you do not play games about the rights to an ancient big estate, and you cannot stop the bank from foreclosing your loan by refusing to help the bank employee to cross the stream...

But if you put your brain aside for awhile and only watch with your heart, it is in fact quite funny and entertaining, with beautiful scenery, and also sometimes deep with human interest and things you can relate to. I, for one, can very much relate to Archie's feelings after his father died with mine after my father died. I remember all the unresolved issues, everything that ought to have been said but was then too late to say... Another thing I can very much relate to is Lexie's worries of not being good enough for Archie. I have felt like that several times when I have become fond of a man - and it does not always have to do with social differences either...

All in all I would recommend this, if you just remember that it IS entertainment and escapism, and not realism.

November 6, 2015

Now I have watched it all to the end! I think it was drawn out too long, too many "heavy" characters disappeared and too many new were introduced - I felt I could not connect to them all anymore. Too much time was taken up by the teenagers - that is not interesting for an adult audience.

Also, there were too many repetitions of already used plot ideas. Such as women throwing themselves at the Laird, first one set of women with Archie, and then another set with Paul, and the silly contests about the estate and the title of Laird. And when they could not decently introduce another Laird-contest, they threw in a ghillie-contest instead...

The best thing should have been if the show had ended when Archie left. (No, the VERY best thing should of course have been if he had not left at all.) Although there were some nice stories and moments in the last seasons as well that I would not have missed. I think for instance of the misunderstanding when Paul thought Jess fancied him, and he was going to talk to her about it in a mature way... And the brief love story between Golly and Megan, and the son he finally got late in life... And the ending when Paul was going to give Iona away... but took repossession instead! :-)

I think the very best thing with watching this show, was that I learnt a lot about rural Highland life. I feel like going there on holiday! :-)


Stupid, slow, low-budget, quasi-psychological, amateurish
As this movie is Swedish, as I am myself, I would have liked to give it good marks. But this is not possible. This was a very slow, stupid and silly movie. Nothing really happens, you have to look at for instance people walking on a mountain road for several minutes. It is low-budget and amateurish. The only value I can see in it is some nature scenery (very sparse of this though despite of the location), and that you can relate to the things the characters do if you have yourself been to a skiing resort with your kids.

The plot in short: a Swedish/Norwegian family of four goes to a ski resort in the Alps. An incident happens that might be dangerous - but turns out not to be. The father gets into a panic and thinks only of saving himself. Then follows a lot of quasi-psychological stuff. In the end another incident happens that might be dangerous - but turns out not to be. This time the mother panics and thinks only of saving herself. This is supposed to be a happy ending, with everything evened out..?!! I can only say: poor kids with BOTH parents like that!!!

Without Love

A good idea and good actors, that could have been used much better
This movie was quite slow and drawn-out, silly and dated, and not very funny either. The main idea about a couple who marry for convenience, and intend not to share a bedroom, but then develop feelings for each other after all, is quite good though - although not original. So much more could have been made by it. What one wants to see in a story with that theme, is the sexual tension slowly growing between the man and woman, and some innuendo... that is the whole point. Instead there were too many other, uninteresting, people involved here, and there was too much running in and out through doors like in a drawing room comedy on the theater stage.

The whole movie is carried by the two leads: Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. I like it that Hollywood already in the 1940:s could make a love story with leads who were no longer young (especially that the woman is no longer young), and who did not have the traditional perfect handsome/pretty looks but instead more individual looks. The couple makes the movie worth watching once, in spite of all its shortcomings.

Plymouth Adventure

Beautiful and romantic with wonderful dialogue
This is a very fine movie! As I am not American these pilgrims have not meant so much to me - although I recognized a name or two - but now I feel I know them and understand them a little. Not only because of what I learned in the movie itself, but from the reading I have done after wards because it awakened my interest and curiosity. Good historical movies shall work just like that - and for a good cause a little poetical license is acceptable! Because without the unconsummated and tragic love story, also if it did not happen in reality, this movie would not have been half as thrilling.

Some reviewers here have complained that Spencer Tracy looks too old to play Captain Jones, but I find this strange as the real Captain Jones was the same age as Tracy... and as Jones also partook of the hardships on board, not only on this famous voyage but in a whole life at sea, and in fact died only a year after he returned to England, HE probably did not look like a spring chicken either... I also must admit that I at least find Tracy attractive in this part!

The best thing about this movie is the dialogue; there are many lines that are as beautiful as poetry. Captain Jones' words when he talks of his broken ship, his lonely nights and his feverish longing for Mrs Bradford, is some of the best dialogue I have ever heard in a love scene written for a movie. Very pungent and erotic with a feeling of impending doom...

The feeling of being transported to the time period is very good. The sailing part is as far as I can see accurate - you get to see a little of the sailors really working the sails, pulling up the anchor etc. (I would have wanted more of this). The photo is beautiful and there are impressive storm scenes etc..

There is one thing lacking though: I would have expected more religious ardor from the passengers. More spirit. After all: these are the founding fathers!!! I think they come out as too ordinary, too preoccupied with practical matters like any migrating peasants.

Room for One More

Quite boring, and not even Cary Grant can lift it
I did not enjoy this movie particularly. To begin with, it was not the least bit funny. It is slow, boring and very predictable. There are also obvious mistakes, such as the "newborn" kittens being several weeks old in reality (kittens are born blind and entirely helpless). I admit there are a few fine and moving moments though - such as the adopted boy's speech at the end.

If you love Cary Grant, it is worth watching this movie only for his sake - because he is at his most virile handsomeness here! I felt that he was wasted in this movie though. It was not good enough for a man with such looks and such star qualities, and he was not the right type for the part either, so he could not lift it. It was like taking the perfect Prince Tamino and dress him up like Papageno and force him to play that part instead...

The Weight of Water

The 19th century murder mystery part would have been enough
I think the 19th century part of this, after the real life murder mystery, was fine, interesting, well-acted and very believable - although no one can of course know if this was what really happened. But the culprit and the motive were an original and not impossible suggestion. I also liked it a lot that they used real Norwegian actors who actually spoke Norwegian, in the scenes that should take place back in Norway. That, and also the fact that the Norwegians wore Norwegian clothes from the right time period and had with them some Norwegian furniture etc. to America, gave it an authentic feel.

I did not think that the cutting between modern times and the 19th century worked, though. There were too many people to keep apart, and especially towards the end the cuts became too short and too fast and it all became just muddled. I am not even sure I understood what happened on the sailboat in the modern times. It would have been a much better idea to do the 19th century murder mystery only, and flesh it out a little instead.


Interesting and fun
This is a fine movie. I thought it was interesting to see how the Psycho set might have looked - with the backdrop while the heroin was "driving" the car in front of it, etc.. To see where Hitchcock found his inspiration to various scenes in the movie. And also to follow the intrigues behind the production and Hitchcock's devices to get what he had wanted all along.Anthony Hopkins' work is excellent as usual. He walks as Hitchcock, talks as Hitchcock... The movie was also very witty.

I also thought that there was much of general human interest here. Especially the Hitchcock spouses' small infatuations with others, age paranoia, pity envies and jealousies. I suppose most middle-aged people who have been married for a long time, come to this now and then. But in the end they often realize, just as Hitchcock and Alma, that the grass is not greener anywhere else...

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