Showing posts with label Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Show all posts

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


I’m a big fan of clever, great looking science fiction but wasn’t really excited by the prospect of the latest Tom Cruise vehicle, Oblivion. The trailer seemed to suggest the great looks but gave little indication of the ideas to back up the visuals. I was wrong. Oblivion is a film which I enjoyed much more than I anticipated and as an overall package is a pretty decent film. It’s 2077 and the Earth has been partially destroyed by a war between humans and an alien force known as Scavengers. Although we won the war, we couldn’t save the planet as the use of atomic weapons left it mostly uninhabitable. With most of humanity relocated to Titan and the rest aboard an orbiting space station awaiting their departure, the last two people on Earth live above the clouds and form a skeleton crew in charge of maintaining drones which protect vital sea based energy converters from the few remaining Scavs.

Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is drone mechanic 49 who spends his days servicing downed drones while dodging the occasional Scav attack. His partner is Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) who monitors Jack from the clouds and she reports back to Control (Melissa Leo) aboard the orbiting space station. Jack finds himself suffering unusual flashbacks to a time before his birth and when a craft crashes into his sector he discovers that its only survivor is the woman from his flashback dreams. As Jack uncovers new and disturbing evidence after an encounter with the Scavs, it appears that all is not what it seems on Earth. Oblivion isn’t a fantastic film but when science fiction blockbusters these days are either comic book based or just loud, shouty, exploding Michael Bay style affairs, Oblivion harks back to the 1970s period of sci-fi about ideas which are set in a fleshed out and realistic world. Oblivion not only looks brilliant but has an engaging plot which is full of surprises.

Sunday, 24 February 2013


I knew nothing of this film before entering the cinema except that it starred Jessica Chastain (Yes!) and was directed by Guillermo del Toro (Yes!). One of those facts of course turned out to be false. As is often the case with modern horror this film was not directed by but rather ‘presented by’ del Toro who was in fact the executive producer. Mama is a fairly conventional modern horror film which I admit I’m going to find difficult to review. If you want a review of the film as seen from behind my girlfriend’s shoulder or a review of the sound you can hear when your eyes are closed then you’ve come to the right place. I am a total horror wuss and as usual for a film featuring ghosts, it scared the shit out of me.

Following the 2008 financial crash a businessman murders his partners and wife before abducting his two young children. He crashes his car in a forest and ends up in a creepy cabin from where he is mysteriously taken. Five years later his twin brother (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is still searching for the girls when two men happen upon them in the same cabin they entered five years earlier. The girls now eight and six are half wild, move about on all fours and have an imaginary friend called Mama. They go to live with their uncle and his girlfriend (Jessica Chastain) where things start to go freaky weird.

Saturday, 7 April 2012


Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) is a top headhunter, working in Olso but he has a secret. He uses the information her gains from interviewing clients to break into their homes and steal expensive artwork which he then sells through back channels in Sweden. Brown thinks he has come across the heist of a lifetime when he learns that a long lost Rubens has been sitting in an Oslo apartment since the Second World War but he gets much more than he bargained for when it transpires that he picked the wrong target to mess with.

With the success of the likes of The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, Borgen and The Killing in recent years, it was only a matter of time before a Jo Nesbo novel was adapted for the big screen. I am currently reading a different Nesbo novel as I write this (though not at this very second) and am really enjoying it. This film captures the tone and style of Nesbo which will delight his hordes of fans. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his Harry Hole series adapted in the near future.

The film is a true thriller which had me on the edge of my seat. The first half is mostly a tense heist type of story with the second half being mostly one huge chase with a few rest bites thrown in to give those sweaty palms a break. The story is complex and interesting and made the film feel longer to me that it actually was. This isn’t a bad way however and I’d happily have watched for another half an hour. The film and its lead character are very clever and this should excite the audience and leave them thoroughly satisfied.

The acting from Hennie is superb. He shows great depth and cunning as well as despair and heartbreak. It’s a career performance from him. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, best known as Jamie Lanninster from Game of Thrones to English speaking audiences is also excellent opposite Hennie. The two have a real duel in terms of the action and the acting. Coster-Waldau is impossibly cool and suits his role to a tee. Every main character is given a fair amount of back story which really helps to give them their identity and drive.

Unsurprisingly a Hollywood remake is already in the works but I’d recommend seeing the original as I can’t see how having Mark Whalberg and Kiefer Sutherland or someone similar will improve the film. It’s just an excuse for lazy people not to have to read and for Hollywood studios to make money without doing anything original.

This film is smart, witty and original and even has a love story at its centre. I can’t recommend it highly enough. It is only the second Norwegian film I’ve seen, with Troll Hunter being the first, but if they’re all as good as these two, I can’t wait to watch my third.