BeneCumb

IMDb member since March 2012
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    IMDb Member
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Reviews

Chasing Unicorns
(2019)

True or not, but that is how the general public tends to understand startups
Apparently, the writer/director has deep knowledge of this... And the depiction is catchy, with alternating funny and sad moments, decent/good performances (stars were up to their task)...

Well, based on my age/interests/knowledge, I am definitely not within the target audience, but thanks to explanations provided I could follow the events in full and both giggle and have my smiles of recognition. Plus the ending was to my liking - not a trivial one as it could have easily been.

Ükssarvik could be a film for wider audience outside Estonia as well. Then the beautiful city and landscape could form an additional layer for attracting tourists.

Mehed
(2019)

Far better than expected, but hardly for wider release
The three male stars of the film are well known in Estonia, Tiit Sukk probably most, but the others are also frequent performs in local films and series. And in this peculiar half-road, half-water movie they perform under own names, although their background and context is "amended"...

Their journey is pleasant to watch, several situations-scenes make you giggle, all surrounded by beautiful Estonian nature... True, the starting point of the trip was a bit strange and the inclusion of "profound" visions at times was not to my liking, but for me, as an Estonian, the course was pleasant to follow, as the frame of mind was kindhearted, and even "realistic" reasoning about women and relationships did not become rude or sinister.

In spite of several general ideas tackled, I am not sure Mehed would be liked and understood in countries far away. Still, remember this: the director/screenwriter is a woman!

Kaikki synnit
(2019)

Surprisingly intense and meaty crime drama
/refers to Season 1/

Although the Finns entered the Nordic thriller field later than the Danes and Swedes, some 5 years or so have shown talented approaches with several catchy series. And Kaikki synnit is another pleasant example, with distinct characters, beautiful nature, closed community issues and internal/external solitude have been skilfully combined. One can ponder on and over different modern perspectives and backgrounds - even in a remote area like Oulu´s vicinity.

And the performances are great, both leading and supporting, with relatively new faces I have not noticed in other similar series (particular wow! to Tuula Väänänen as Lauri´s mother Maarit).

"Only" 8 points from me as I liked Sorjonen a bit more. But still - worth watching and recommended. Next seasons will apparently follow.

Winter
(2015)

Better than I expected, a good series
Being a fan of mostly UK and Scandinavian crime series, I sometimes like to widen my horizons and find out what other countries have to offer in a similar area. Prior to start watching Winter, I had some qualms regarding approach and possible easy solution, but it soon turned out to be a versatile story having its twists and turns throughout the 6 episodes.

True, there were some common leitmotifs and predictable character relations, but as I did not surmise the wrongdoer and potential crime motives, I am pleased that I took/found approx. 5 hours for this Series.

Vanamehe film
(2019)

Over-the-top stuff, yet uneven and sometimes protracted
I have not seen many of the cartoons forming a kind of basis and starting point for this film, but I had some ideas what to expect. Well, this three-dimensional animation was created with peculiarities (it seems that the creators enjoyed the process), and some really funny elements were used for characters and background. There was a lot of actions, funny lines, twists and turns, distinctive and matching choice of music, but the story itself was not too catchy and not too elaborate. The milk topic and related good vs. bad characters made me just shrug my shoulders and follow the events in a laid-back manner. True, I can hardly regard me as a member of its target audience.

Several references to Estonian notions and expressions apparently hinder the film being popular abroad, but locals (particularly below 40 years) interested in Vanamees-cartoons would probably value this narration with already known characters as well.

Rédl
(2018)

Catchy series - with era well captured
I tend to prefer UK and Scandinavian thriller/crime/... series, but from time to time, for the sake of curiosity and comparison options, I search for similar series from other countries. As I remember the 1990ies in my country rather well, I was not afraid to delve into the world of post-socialist gloominess and misrule not always understandable to the Westerners and younger generation.

The first scenes were a bit arid and with many technological explanations, but the line of crime began and tensions and excitement enhanced quickly. The characters are also versatile (particularly Rédl, as well as Jirí who provided also giggling moments) and all the leading performers were up to their task. The visibility of women in the series is rather limited, but so was all post-socialist camp - all dominated by males.

Thus, a recommended series, especially if you know the period when the events took place, and are able to enjoy law enforcement operating without hi tech and balancing between "old" and "new" thinking.

In Plain Sight
(2016)

Somewhat "hashed" - in spite of good leading actors and true event roots
Seemingly, everything should be in place - the script based on true characters and events, leading roles performed by good character actors (Douglas Henshall and Martin Compston), apparently realistic observance of the era, 3 episodes only... But something was not there - and I am unable to express what exactly; or perhaps I am spoilt by so many good UK series, including with the presence of the actors mentioned. Usually I tend to eagerly wait for the following episode, but not with this series. Partially because the solution was known anyway.

Still, In Plain Sight is above average and if interested in realistic crime with historical touch, then your time is not wasted.

Talve
(2020)

Not a great round-up of the tetralogy, but no flop either
One can definitely argue several aspects here, starting with the need for it and possible twisting of Oskar Luts´s grasps and ideas, but the approach is pleasant, performances good, and the beautiful scenery emphasizes the mood of "good old days" - in spite of World War II around. True, in Talve, the main characters are the young trying to live and dream within the present German and previous Soviet occupation, the older generations are in the background, with Harry Kõrvits as Ollep being an interesting and mostly humorous addition...

Talve is apparently not a film for wider international audience, but Finns and Latvians might find something in common at least. Particularly, if they have seen Kevade, Suvi and Sügis as well.

8 for performances, 6 for script = 7.

Young Wallander
(2020)

Not bad - although the title is misleading
I started to watch this series "unprepared" - well, I thought it is a kind of series like Endeavour, about "real" Wallander´s youth, but I soon realised that it is contemporary Sweden/Malmö - with issues created by last century socialist governments and pseudo-empathy of people not seen wars for centuries...

But Adam Pålsson is good as usual. With not so versatile character as e.g. in Innan vi dör, but still pleasantly mastering the scenes (unlike e.g. Ola Rapace who tends to seize them). In fact, through his name I decided to watch this series and realised that although not conceptual and with a few fresh ideas, it is still better than e.g. many US series. And the round-up of the case was pleasantly realistic.

PS Apparently everything in English means "copying" the Wallander series starring Kenneth Branagh - similar approach. Most of actors are Brits anyway.

Seizure
(2019)

Over-deep and under-catchy
Besatt started interesting and promising, but then the dreams and flashbacks began to add confusion (some remained totally unclear), and the course of events and construction of scenes became too far-fetched. Well, Oslo is not among the biggest city in the world, but the intertwining of past and present was a bit too much within a small group of people, and several supporting characters did not provide additional value to the Series. So, suddenly the final episode had to finalise stuff not properly dealt with before, becoming a hasty round-up of otherwise protracted scenes. The main cast, the 2 (Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Anders Danielsen Lie), are well performed, not talkative and pensive as Norwegians tend to be,.. But the best performance is apparently by Marius Kolbenstvedt, although his character had too little significance for the whole narration. So, Besatt is not a flop, but rather mediocre, as Norway has produced many really interesting and versatile series this century. It is not a must to see.

Fartblinda
(2019)

Not conceptual, but seems realistic
At present, almost everyone has a bank account, but the number of those interested in more advance level of banking and the people in charge there is far lower - or it is automatically associated with wealth and power. Thus, it a sophisticated task to develop a series emanating from specific topics and terms with the aim to attract a wider audience... That is why, also in Fartblinda, the scenes are arid at times, with universal human issues coming off second best, and the next steps may be difficult to predict and understand. Some links became fully compherensible in the final episode only (it was more to my liking as crime and thriller elements were more visible here).

Not all characters include versatile dynamism and "maturity", and sometimes the supporting cast tend to overshadow the stars. My favourite here is Claes Månsson as Otto Rehnskiöld; the duo Bea-Peder had probably too much chemistry for such a troublesome series of events.

All in all, not bad, but Sweden has produced dozens of more interesting crime/thriller series. So, the rich cry too - but the poor cry more often... Apparently in Sweden as well.

De Dag
(2018)

Undoubtedly the best Belgian/Flemish series I have seen
It is characterised by novel approaches, witty twists and turns (yet reasoned), versatile team play, unexpected ending - without maintaining bare realism and uneasy relations usually occurring with events like this. Preparations of heists, hostage taking, negotiating and the like are never glamurous, all sides can make mistakes, and the results are seldom as expected. But most of viewers need still more that arid documentary, so the alternate storytelling here is a great way to keep up the thrill and ponder on and over what really happened when a episode e.g. ends with a gunshot...

Thus, a really good series, highly recommended. I wonder if Season 2 comes as well...

Kohtunik
(2019)

An inside out half-Nordic film about following (moral) path
Both Mait Malmsten and Märt Avandi are well-known in Estonia, with various roles both in theatre and films, usually starring... Kohtunik is largely a solo film for Malmsten, he most of time seen alone or with random people in random scenes - and his performance is really excellent. Director Andres Puustusmaa has obtained special film education - and this is clearly visible here, with different approach from "ordinary" Estonian filmmakers... As for script and concept, Kohtunik has its witty and funny findings, but as the plot progresses, its sophistication goes too far... Not boring, but just incomprehensible, with the not-so-interesting round-up.

Well, this film might provide non-Baltic/Nordic viewers with odd information about Finns. And the beautiful landscape is not seen due to black-and-white depiction... This film could enhance Malmsten´s international fame, but I am afraid the scope of its distribution is too limited for this.

Thus: 9 for performances, 8 for directing, 7 for concept, 6 for script. Yet, 7.5 not 8 here, but still 7.

Maskineriet
(2020)

Not conceptional, but defnitely not a flop...
Some viewer revies of this Series amaze me... Have you never seen most of e.g. US series with related themes, with focus only on funny lines, cute performer faces, politically correct characters and totally happy ending? True, Maskineriet has its flaws, including some breach of logic and arid female characters, but the thrill is maintained, and Kristoffer Joner as Olle Hultén and Gabriel Gunerius Fevang as Jimmy are far above average.

The thing just is that Sweden more and Norway less have dozens of catchier and more versatile series, and of course, Maskineriet is no Innan vi dör or Øyevitne, for example, but if you have seen them already, you are definitely not wasting some 6 hours of your life!

Mihkel
(2018)

Some events are just not too fit for a longer film
The events depicted are sad and bad, but not really uncommon, and undoubtedly increased during the last decade. The approach is versatile, with flashbacks paving the way for understanding the motives to do so, but Estonia-Iceland in this kind of intercommunication is a bit minor and without much action. True, the performances are good (including Tómas Lemarquis, who has obtained some international fame already before), but the pace is slow and even the beautiful nature of Iceland is seen sporadically. As for the script, the clause "based on true events" adds some value, but as mentioned - the storyline is just too trivial for a film around this topic only, not going beyond and showing some other aspects.

Un village français
(2009)

A versatile and multidimensional narration about years and events not too much known outside France
/refers to all seasons and episodes in a sequence/

Well, it really took some time, but for the sake of understanding and the logic of events, I think I made the right choice. I did not "gobble" them, I let some time to ponder on and over, trying to minimise the fatigue related to same characters-performers-scenery (not fully available though). Not everything is balanced and equally interesting, some people and stuff perhaps exceeding, but the Series fill the terms collaboration, Vichy regime, occupation, resistance, etc. with comprehensive content. As created by the French, everything seems authentic, the landscape, the language (although many Vallonian performers were used), and I try to think that the scenes are depicted without taboos and playing up.

As to performances and characters, it seems that the bigger share of wickedness paves the way for catchier performance. To me, Audrey Fleurot Hortense Larcher, Nicolas Gob as Jean Marchetti and Richard Sammel as Heinrich Müller were the most interesting to follow (although I mostly disliked their attitudes, thoughts and deeds). The active members of the Resistance, however, seemed a bit static and arid, somewhat always living in the state of escape and sabotage.

The post-WW period seemed less interesting to me, and the method of depiction used in last Seasons was not too much of my liking. but still - it is a well-created series recommended to anyone keen on the period in question and understanding the roots of French politics in the 1950ies and even later.

Ellery Queen
(1975)

Pleasant "oldie" to watch in the modern world of assisting gadgets
/refers to all episodes/

Post-WWII New York... Novels and radio shows in full force, TV making its first steps, police has cameras and tardy labs to use only... Such is the world where the Queens have to act and solve complex cases. Mindtwisting all over, multiple people with motives, guided by ancient vices (greed, envy, resentment, etc.). Somewhat static characters and trivial reactions by wrongdoers when revealed, but good acting (incl. lots of them becoming famous decades later), realistic environment and witty humor.

I would have avoided the brief overview together with some suspects in the beginning of each episode - for the sake of guessing who is going to be killed.

The Outsider
(2020)

Apparently well performed and produced, but supernatural elements are not my sources of zeal...
I had not read the book by St. King (well, he is not my idol anyway), so I started to follow the story as a real crime stuff, but alas not for long... IN spite of some disillusionment, I still continued to watch, focusing on other issues, such as venues, performances, camerawork... Well, not bad at all, but no "spark" to remember as a must to be followed in the future. With some performers known from other works (Bateman, Camp, Mendelsohn), but most not, and the realization who the wrongdoer was came too soon.

The two last episodes included most policing elements and even thrill, but all in all - The Outsider was not a series I was longing for the next episode to see - just professional craftsmanship.

Forhøret
(2019)

Wow - the Danes frontrunning suspense and originality again
The approach is really something: the subdivision of episodes, the wrongdoer is almost maintained until the very end (which could have been more sophisticated, though), catchy twists and turns (well, sometimes at the expense of realism as Denmark is among the least corrupted countries in the world), the inclusion of 5 of Top10 contemporary Danish actors (Thomsen, Dencik, Mikkelsen, Lie Kaas, Dyrholm)... Really nice - and intensive, following the real traditions of Nordic and British Noir.

Perhaps not as meaty as e.g. Bron/Broen, but close. And another good opportunity for Ulrich Thomsen to show his greatness and versatility.

Six Feet Under
(2001)

In spite of topic, catchy and versatile
I was referred to this Series through Michael C. Hall whom I had enjoyed in Dexter and Safe, plus I was interested in the approach and events around death and funerals as, in general, they are depicted with triviality or sanctimony... And I began to like and share the feelings from the very 1st episode (of course, I watched all episodes and seasons in a sequence, otherwise is rather pointless). This Series includes several distinctive features, e.g. beginning of each episode and its smooth convergence into further scenes, the role and depiction of the father´s character, witty alternation of tragic and comic, among others. And the very final scenes are really great. As for characters and performances, they are equally strong, although Michael C. Hall and Frances Conroy caught most of my attention; plus, there are several recurring characters bringing about some pep and variety when the main cast tends to delve too much into their problems.

Six Feet Under is a really good series, but it is perhaps recommendable to watch it with "pauses", extend it over to a longer period. Death is an unavoidable part of life and any means trying to avoid or conceal it are hypocritical.

The Fall
(2013)

Intriguing? Yes. Intens(iv)e? No...
Apparently, it is a versatile and realistic series, but for me, it included too many elements I disliked. The pace was slow and disjunct, the wrongdoer was revealed too soon (less pondering on and over guilt), Season 3 started somewhat as a medical drama - and those I tend to skip... Jamie Dornan is great, Gillian Anderson - above average (I have never followed her career as avoided X-Files), the rest are just good artisans trying to get the most out of trivial characters... Based on the run of Season 1 I thought that next seasons would bring along different cases but lingering all this Gibson-Spector duo into 17 episodes of 1 hour soon became filled with unnecessary scenes and characters.

True, compared to many US series, it is good, but I can name dozens of British series far catchier and more versatile... And the environment of Northern Ireland could have been more visible place in the Series.

The Stranger
(2020)

Intriguing and meaty series - with several strong performances
As I have not read the book, I had no idea about the developments, events, outcome - and it was good. The Series caught my attention from the 1st episode, I really wanted to know what was going on, and the final scenes in each episode urged me so start with the following one as soon as possible. There were pleasant twists and turns, no wtf! ones, and there were so versatile performances - Richard Armitage, Siobhan Finneran, Stephen Rea, above all (the latter is always in my centre of attention if present - in spite of his duration on screen).

True, the solution and ending could have been more sophisticated - still, a British series - but no blah! feelings, probability and realism in strong domination. These who consider The Stranger a flop, should watch and compare more :)

Chernobyl
(2019)

An "ode" to ignorance, whitewash and uncredited heroes
In 1986, I was young, but I remember how this disaster and its provisional consequences were expressed... How many countries were in panic and hundreds of thousands had to leave their homes. But as some other big events followed soon and perestroika had not really begun, all this somehow faded away for me.

As for series, I am usually not into these with the results well known, if so, there should be fine actors and intermediary focusing on other issues and relations. As in Chernobyl, with lots of episodes unknown to me, and actors like Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson never disappoint. The inclusion of performers from different countries and depiction of real characters brings this production to the higher level.

To those who say most of it was hyperbolised to "discredit the Soviet Union", then, however, the background is often nicer as it was then (most of scenes were filmed in present Lithuania and I could see that some yards, houses were not as shabby as they used to). Nevertheless, the creators have tried and succeeded, although it is hardly a series you would watch over and over - it is painful, as lot of misery would have been avoided if the public order was different; the knowledge was there, but as totalitarian regimes prefer pleasant appearance to human life, then such tragic is inevitable - sooner or later.

Bäckström
(2020)

I am astonished at its relatively low rating here... It is more than okay!
True, as for profundity and tone, it is no Bron/Broen, Innan vi dör, or Springfloden, but Kjell Bergqvist is still excelling! And the story is there, with its ups and downs and "rattle", but giving food for thought, opportunities to ponder on and over different elements of police business... Well, I am not sure about the real use of taxpayers´money and the inclusion of a young boy to such investigations, but the story remained in its tracks and had its twists and turns - and complex ending.

If Season 2 is created, I will definitely watch it.

Hamilton
(2020)

Somewhat uneven and over-sophisticated, but still above average
Even in the topsy-turvy of thrillers dealing with terrorism, cyberattacks. betrayal and individualistic heroes, it is often difficult to expect something fresh or wow - or then it is implemented at the expense of logic and realism. In this sense, Hamilton is "average", still with some twists and turns, but generally in the "ploughed furrow" of similar series. The performances are pleasant, with some actors performing in many Swedish productions, but the are characters not providing much complement, and their background is rather uninteresting (refers mostly to female characters). To my surprise, the Series includes 2 of my countrymen in the 1st grade supporting cast - Reimo Sagor and Rein Oja, both well known film/series actors here.

Well, the Scandinavians have set the bar high and Hamilton is definitely no Innan vi dör or Springfloden, but it excels many e.g. US series. Thus, do not exert too much criticism :)

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