Freddie Quell is a violent and often drunk drifter who, whilst going through some of the most intense struggles of his life, meets a charismatic and scholarly gentleman on a boat called Lancaster Dodd who writes books based on a new religious organisation that he founded following World War II. Quell becomes his main partner and the new religion begins to grab the nation's attention earning it a keen following. However, some of the members believe that Quell's erratic behaviour is beyond the help of the organisation despite Dodd's insistences that he can be helped. Quell begins to question the teachings of the man the calls himself the Master and starts feeling as if everything that he is being made to believe is one big made-up story.
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By Rich Cline
For the final chapter in Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, the plot is really the thing. And while the events are fascinating and entertaining, the film itself is less emotionally involving or viscerally thrilling.
As Lisbeth (Rapace) recovers from her injuries, Michael (Blomkvist) and the Millennium magazine team (Endre, Ericksson and Ledarp) are finalising the special edition about her, which they hope to publish before her trial starts.
But a secret network of spies is doing everything they can to stop them, and Lisbeth's murderous half-brother Ronald (Spreitz) is still on the loose.
Continue reading: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest [Luftslottet Som Sprangdes] Review
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest is the concluding part to the trilogy written by Stieg Larsson. Like the first two films (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire) The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest stars Noomi Rapace.
By Rich Cline
The second part of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy details another spiralling mystery, but this time it's even more personal for the protagonists. Which makes it more subtly involving for us as well, even though it's the middle chapter.
It's a year later, and journalist Mikael (Nyqvist) has lost touch with young hacker Lisbeth (Rapace). Suddenly she's in the news as the suspect in a double murder that's connected to his work as an editor at Millennium magazine. As the cops look for her, Mikael tries to get to the bottom of the story. But a ruthless, gigantic goon (Spreitz) is also after her, and he's working for the elusive Russian mobster Zala (Staykov) who seems to be behind everything that's happening.
Continue reading: The Girl Who Played With Fire Review
Following on from the cinematic success of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the first in Stieg Larsson's trilogy of Millennium novels comes a cinematic adaptation of the second book The Girl Who Played With Fire.
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By Rich Cline
Even without reading the book, you get the sense that the filmmakers have been almost unnaturally faithful to the first in Stieg Larsson's trilogy of Millennium novels. It's over-long and almost pathologically detailed, but it's also an extremely effective and well-made thriller.
Mikael Blomkvist (Nyqvist) is a journalist who has just lost a libel case. He has six months before he has to report to prison, and the wealthy Henrik Vanger (Taube) hires him to look into an old family mystery involving the disappearance of a 16-year-old girl nearly four decades earlier. What Mikael doesn't know is that a shadowy young woman, Lisbeth (Rapace), is following his every move. But soon they start working together to unravel a scandal that gets creepier with each discovery.
Continue reading: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo [Man Som Hatar Kvinnor] Review
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
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Liv Ullmann takes a 1000-page novel and turns it into a 187-minute movie, with predictable results.Hardly known for her directorial abilities (though Faithless was passable), Ullmann's work here is pretty much rock bottom. Sigrid Undset's novel is a historical epic, following one Kristin Lavransdatter across a life in medieval Norway. Her dad is a wealthy landowner and wants to marry her off to the son of another local wealthy man. But Kristin has eyes on a lower-class man. These two tussle, Kristin ends up in a convent, then falls in love with a knight. The original fiancee tussles again with the new guy, and it all ends in hopeful despair. With elements of Moll Flanders and Romeo and Juliet (and not the good elements, mind you), Kristin tries to muddle a story together where one barely exists. How Undset got 1000 pages out of this is a mystery to me.
Continue reading: Kristin Lavransdatter Review
Liv Ullman may get the directing credit, but every line in Faithless is stamped Ingmar Bergman (who wrote the script). Between the immoral souls of the characters twitching with desires they can't control and the extended two and a half hours to endure, who else could it be? (Bergman's original Fanny and Alexander was close to six hours long, though the American version is two and a half).
Bergman showed a penchant for family drama with Fanny and Alexander and Wild Strawberries, among others. He enjoys mixing the imaginary world of his characters with their reality. This can lead to a deeper emotional entanglement with the characters; it's human nature to reflect and react based on internalized stimuli. Unfortunately for Faithless, Bergman is revisiting territory he excelled in some 40 years ago, without shedding any new light on his subjects.
Continue reading: Faithless Review
For any film aficionado familiar with the intimate personal history between late Swedish writer-director Ingmar Bergman and actress Liv Ullman, it's hard to watch "Faithless" without one's mind racing with questions about the autobiographical subtext.
Written by Bergman and directed by Ullman, the deeply intimate film is about Marianne (Lena Endre), a beautiful middle-aged actress subverting her passionate marriage to a celebrated orchestra conductor, Markus (Thomas Hanzon), by beginning an affair with struggling film director, David (Krister Henriksson).
Even more revealing, the catalyst for the story is a series of brainstorming sessions in which a frail, aged director (Erland Josephson) -- not so coincidentally named Bergman -- is working on a screenplay. He imagines long, emotionally charged conversations with Marianne, who joyously rehashes the beginning of the affair and painfully recalls the demise of her marriage.
Continue reading: Faithless Review