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The Boss Of It All Review


Good
Lars von Trier seems like a smart fellow and to that end, I don't believe a word he says; at least not at face value. So, when he opens a film, in deconstructionist manor, with a proclamation that there is nothing up his sleeve and that he is trying to make a simple comedy, one can mull it over for a bit before realizing the man couldn't make a simple movie if he was handed the blueprints.

Ironically enough, the blueprints are handed straight to the audience: Von Trier's latest, The Boss of It All, basically lays out an office comedy while simultaneously instructing the audience on how a modern comedy should be made. Intermittently sprinkled through the narrative, von Trier's narration comes in to warn us of a change in plot that is "necessary," starting off falsely aloof and ending hopelessly irate. The man can't help himself.

Continue reading: The Boss Of It All Review

Mifune Review


Excellent
In 1995, Danish directors Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg established a code of ethics for an alternative form of filmmaking. The two directors were fed up by the way in which movie making was "raped" by technology such as special effects, expensive gear, cranes, filters, dollies, and spotlights. They wisely knew that they could never measure up to the Americans in that area, so they decided that European filmmaking should head in an all-together different direction. The result was a vow of chastity complete with the ten commandments of what they called Dogme filmmaking. Some of these groundbreaking rules included: on location shooting without the ability to bring in props, the rule that music will not be used unless it occurs where the scene is being shot, the camera must be hand-held, optical work and filters are forbidden, and the films must not contain superficial action such as murders, weapons, etc. The purpose was to force a director to think along unconventional and imaginative lines in order to create a Dogme film, and the first two attempts, Vinterberg's The Celebration, and Von Trier's The Idiots, were both successful.

Director Soren Kragh-Jacobsen's Mifune, is the third film from the Danish Dogme Collective. Subtitled in English, it is the story of Kresten (Anders W. Berhelsen) who has become an overnight sensation as a businessman in Copenhagen. The morning after his wedding to the boss' daughter, he receives a phone call that his estranged father has just died. He has trouble explaining this to his wife, since he has told everyone in the city that he has no living relatives, in attempt to disguise his humble origins. Now he must return to the family's run down farm to bury his father and make arrangements to hide the truth of his mentally retarded brother from his new family and friends.

Continue reading: Mifune Review

Old Men In New Cars Review


Very Good
I couldn't even get through In China They Eat Dogs, the film to which this serves as a prequel. But maybe I should have given it a bigger chance: Old Men in New Cars is a funny little thrill ride (despite the stupid title) that fans of that Guy Ritchie-fueled, ironic, post-Pulp Fiction action genre will probably get a kick out of.

Dave Attell lookalike Kim Bodnia is Harald, a Danish restaurateur who's fresh out of prison. He returns to his restaurant, which has been being run (sort of) by his inept assistants during his absence, and immediately demands they fry the sushi rolls they've been experimenting with. Harald's a no-nonsense kind of guy, and his abrupt decisions and absurd logic will drive the film forward. That includes a demand for 3.5 million kroner that he's previously borrowed, a jailbreak to help an old friend meet his son before the friend dies, a bank robbery to steal the money he owes the mob, and -- after that fails -- a plane hijacking designed to steal the 3.5 million plus money to buy the dying friend a new liver on the black market.

Continue reading: Old Men In New Cars Review

Flickering Lights Review


Excellent
Director Anders Thomas Jensen's previous credits includes Dogme 95 screenplays (The King is Alive, Mifune). He won an Academy Award in 1999 for his short film Election Night and has been nominated for two others. Jensen's impressive background translates into an equally impressive debut feature. Flickering Lights is dark and occasionally violent, but is a thoroughly enjoyable and often comic story of four childhood friends who confront their past and build a future together.

Flickering Lights boasts an impressive cast from a broad range of Danish films and television (Mifune, The Celebration, Pusher, The Kingdom), which is put to good use by Jensen's witty script and slow but deliberate direction. Torkild (Søren Pilmark) is the head of a small time gang, pulling small jobs for a gangster known only as the Eskimo. After his 40th birthday and a botched heist involving 4 million krones, Torkild and his gang are forced to hide out in an abandoned inn in the middle of nowhere. The gang has to wait only until Peter (Ulrich Thomsen), who was shot, is well enough to travel, so they can continue on to Barcelona. But after meeting some of the locals and finding moments of peace in this secluded hideaway, Torkild conveniences the rest of the gang that staying put may be the future for which they are all looking. The gang uses the money to buy the inn and renovate it, making it into quaint family restaurant that people drive for miles to visit, not because of the food (the boys apparently never learn to cook), but for the atmosphere.

Continue reading: Flickering Lights Review

Mifune Review


Excellent
In 1995, Danish directors Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg established a code of ethics for an alternative form of filmmaking. The two directors were fed up by the way in which movie making was "raped" by technology such as special effects, expensive gear, cranes, filters, dollies, and spotlights. They wisely knew that they could never measure up to the Americans in that area, so they decided that European filmmaking should head in an all-together different direction. The result was a vow of chastity complete with the ten commandments of what they called Dogme filmmaking. Some of these groundbreaking rules included: on location shooting without the ability to bring in props, the rule that music will not be used unless it occurs where the scene is being shot, the camera must be hand-held, optical work and filters are forbidden, and the films must not contain superficial action such as murders, weapons, etc. The purpose was to force a director to think along unconventional and imaginative lines in order to create a Dogme film, and the first two attempts, Vinterberg's The Celebration, and Von Trier's The Idiots, were both successful.

Director Soren Kragh-Jacobsen's Mifune, is the third film from the Danish Dogme Collective. Subtitled in English, it is the story of Kresten (Anders W. Berhelsen) who has become an overnight sensation as a businessman in Copenhagen. The morning after his wedding to the boss' daughter, he receives a phone call that his estranged father has just died. He has trouble explaining this to his wife, since he has told everyone in the city that he has no living relatives, in attempt to disguise his humble origins. Now he must return to the family's run down farm to bury his father and make arrangements to hide the truth of his mentally retarded brother from his new family and friends.

Continue reading: Mifune Review

High Fidelity Review


Good
There's nothing more annoying than a music geek. You know, the kind of guy who hangs out in record stores reminiscing about Camper Van Beethoven, Stereolab, and the roots of Green Day.

As such, a movie full of music geeks may seem a little unbearable, and in a lot of ways, High Fidelity is. That it manages to often redeem itself is the biggest surprise in the movie, and not for the reasons you might think.

Continue reading: High Fidelity Review

The Emperor's New Clothes Review


Weak
There is nothing wrong with fictionalizing history in the pursuit of creativity. Even documentaries, which supposedly capture "the truth," are put together by someone with a specific purpose in mind, to steer the audience towards a new perspective. So it's okay that The Emperor's New Clothes isn't attempting to unearth some new evidence on a historically enigmatic figure, as it even admits to hypothesizing what could have been for the sake of a touchy-feely portrait.

Sir Ian Holm stars as both the outrageous Napoleon and Eugene the impostor, who is put in his place of exile on St. Helena. While the real Napoleon is rediscovering how to be with normal people in Paris, opposite the lovely, recently-widowed Pumpkin (Iben Hjejle, High Fidelity), Eugene is enjoying the newfound wealth of food and beverage. Though the acting of these two fine veterans is spotless, what they are given to do comes off wooden, as if they were over-directed to punctuate a particular word or facial expression.

Continue reading: The Emperor's New Clothes Review

High Fidelity Review


Very Good

John Cusack plays the bitterness of being dumped with droll aplomb in "High Fidelity," an observant and acerbic dark comedy in which he is our overly-reflective tour guide through the farcical misery of a bad breakup.

Cusack adapted the screenplay himself from Nick Hornsby's underground best-seller about a London slacker who opened a used record store in his 20s and has employed it as an excuse to never grow up.

For the film, the action is moved to Chicago (the star/screenwriter's old stomping grounds), where Rob Gordon (Cusack) hangs out all day in his shop full of tattered record bins plastered with radio station stickers, composing musically pretentious Top Five lists (Top Five Side-One First Tracks, Top Five Formerly Great Sell-Out Musicians) with his equally idle and smug clerks (Todd Louiso and Jack Black).

Continue reading: High Fidelity Review

The Emperor's New Clothes Review


Good

I'm a big fan of an emerging film genre I call the historical what-if story. "Shakespeare In Love" is the most well-known example of these yarns that skirt around the shadowy edges of known fact to create a fanciful fiction featuring a well-known figure. Others include the current, brilliant "The Cat's Meow," about a murder on William Randolph Hearst's yacht, and "Dick," a great 1999 comedy which presupposed that the Watergate scandal's Deep Throat was actually two ditzy teenage girls who overheard Richard Nixon's conspiracies while working as dog-walkers for the presidential pooch.

"The Emperor's New Clothes" takes a similar approach to the last days of Napoleon Bonaparte. As you may know, history proper records that after his defeat at Waterloo, the distinguished French general and pompous self-declared emperor died in exile under British guard in 1821. But this latest gem of this entertaining genre imagines the diminutive duce escaping back to Paris with grandiose plans to reclaim the throne, only to get waylaid into a more humble life as a middle-class fruit merchant.

Driven by a fantastic dual performance from Ian Holm as both Napoleon and the peasant look-alike who takes his place on the prison island of St. Helena, the film is funny, insightfully human and a delightful lark for history buffs without actually requiring much prerequisite knowledge.

Continue reading: The Emperor's New Clothes Review

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Berlin House Where David Bowie And Iggy Pop Lived Marked By Plaque

Berlin House Where David Bowie And Iggy Pop Lived Marked By Plaque

The flat at Hauptstrasse 155 was where Bowie and Iggy lived between 1976 and 1978 in the city, which inspired the so-called 'Berlin trilogy' albums.

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Rupert Grint To Star In TV Re-Make Of 'Snatch'

Grint will star alongside Dougray Scott and Ed Westwick in a 10-part TV series for Sony's streaming platform Crackle.

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Coldplay Invite James Corden Onstage To Play Prince Tribute

The Brits teamed up at the Hollywood Rose Bowl to perform a cover of The Purple One's 'Nothing Compares 2 U'.

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Iben Hjejle Movies

Cheri Trailer

Cheri Trailer

Watch the trailer for CheriCheri is the story of a gorgeous retired courtesan Léa and...

The Boss of It All Movie Review

The Boss of It All Movie Review

Lars von Trier seems like a smart fellow and to that end, I don't believe...

Mifune Movie Review

Mifune Movie Review

In 1995, Danish directors Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg established a code of ethics...

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Mifune Movie Review

Mifune Movie Review

In 1995, Danish directors Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg established a code of ethics...

High Fidelity Movie Review

High Fidelity Movie Review

There's nothing more annoying than a music geek. You know, the kind of guy...

The Emperor's New Clothes Movie Review

The Emperor's New Clothes Movie Review

There is nothing wrong with fictionalizing history in the pursuit of creativity. Even documentaries,...

High Fidelity Movie Review

High Fidelity Movie Review

John Cusack plays the bitterness of being dumped with droll aplomb in "High Fidelity," an...

The Emperor's New Clothes Movie Review

The Emperor's New Clothes Movie Review

I'm a big fan of an emerging film genre I call the historical what-if story....

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