Be it the marketing of the films or merely misjudgment on my part, but I always associated the Swedish film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series with the Twilight franchise in terms of both content and target audience. An almost unforgivable blunder that only now, after having seen the first instalment of the trilogy, can I fully comprehend. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is the first in a series of three crime novels by Stockholm journalist, Stieg Larsson to be adapted to the big screen; the other two being The Girl Who Plays With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest.
Have you ever peered deep into the eyes of a parent or grandparent and thought about the life they had long ago? A life before kids; before grandkids. A life you’ll probably never know. For most, that look has nothing to hide, but for others the life they once lived and the atrocities once witnessed will forever be etched into the complexion of their faces. You understand that these are moments of their past that to bring up now would only evoke sorrow. But what if you did find out? And what if what you found out was something you’d rather have not of known in the first place?
The Sword of Doom was directed by Japanese filmmaker Kihachi Okamoto, who’s other notable works include Samurai Assassin (1965) and Kill! (1968). While Okamoto began his career behind the camera with melodramas, he quickly became known as a specialist in the art of the samurai genre. Several of these films were collaborations with legendary screen star, Toshirô Mifune, who also had a role in The Sword of Doom, all be it a supporting one. The story behind The Sword of Doom follows Ryunosuke Tsukue, played by Tatsuya Nakadai, as an unprincipled and brutal samurai with an unorthodox fighting style whose thirst for violence eventually alienates him from other members of his school and even his own father. With no sense of the samurai code or spirituality, he practically travels village to village, slaughtering everyone who gets in his way with no apparent motivation for his savagery.
Have you ever wondered if life is a sequence of predetermined events? The Adjustment Bureau is a very convoluted yet intriguing take on this age old question and addresses the most popular component about fate and free will: love.
From the creative mind of Gore Verbinski, the man behind The Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, comes the latest in computer-animation, Rango. In the title role, Johnny Depp lends his distinct voice to the character Rango, a domesticated chameleon trapped in a tiny terrarium who spends his days acting out short skits to keep himself entertained with whatever props are in his possession, ranging from a wind-up fish toy to the torso of a neglected Barbie doll.
Hungarian filmmaker, Béla Tarr, represents everything that is right with contemporary cinema and through the international film festival circuit he has garnered critical acclaim as well as developed a strong reputation based on his very unique sense of directorial style. Despite Tarr’s small scale successes, as Peter Hames points out, his films will forever run into funding problems and stand a zero chance of obtaining wide theatrical releases or airing on television (Hames, 2001).
I Am Number 4 is the latest in a series of teenage supernatural thrillers, as Hollywood production companies continue their attempt to cash in on the popularity of the Twilight franchise. Based on the science fiction novel of the same name written by Pittacus Lore, the film stars Burberry model Alex Pettyfer as an alien from the planet Lorien living a nomadic lifestyle under the false identity of John Smith.
Jeff Bridges won an Academy Award last year for his portrayal of fictional fading country star, Bad Blake, in Scott Cooper’s directorial debut, Crazy Heart. From the onset of the film there is a strong inclination that Blake’s best days are far behind him. The concerts in front of thousands of screaming fans have come to an end and have been replaced by gigs at local bars and bowling alleys in front of crowds of not more than a couple dozen. Though it comes so naturally to him, he no longer can find the will to write new material and instead he elects to spend most of his days alone in rundown hotel rooms with a bottle of liquor not far from his side.
The star-crossed love affair of Romeo and Juliet has been retold and repackaged to us in several different forms and variations over the years, but one thing is for certain, and that is, you’ve never seen an adaptation of Shakespeare’s heartbreaking tragedy quite like this. In Gnomeo & Juliet, the feuding Montagues and Capulets have been replaced by two opposing clans (the Blues and the Reds); the historic streets of Verona have been replaced by two adjacent backyards in modern day England; and the human characters who we have grown to love, envy, and despise have been replaced by cute little garden gnomes. All the English literature courses in the world could have never prepared us for this.