Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mad About Mads

He's not just "the bad guy in Casino Royale"...
 Mads Mikkelsen has slowly begun to attract more of my attention. I mean, just look at him ;) . He recently starred as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in NBC's 'Hannibal'. And when I say starred... he stole the show ( Hugh Dancy is also incredible as 'Will Graham'). What a brilliant portrayal of such an evil man.WATCH THIS SHOW!!! Can't wait for season 2!

Okay, I admit I didn't know much about him past Casino Royale. I knew he was Danish, that he has a brother named Lars... that he was HANDSOME!... and that's about it. Here's where my friend Heather comes in. We began talking about Mads and how wonderful he is. We then decided to watch Mads movies.

 I bought King Arthur (2004), where he plays a character named Tristan. He dies (seems to do that in a lot of movies) thanks for not telling me that he died horribly!... still an excellent movie. Good action, fantastic story, Hugh Dancy, etc.  

Mads as Tristan in King Arthur
Next Mads movie? "En Kort en Lång/ Shake It (2001)" in which he plays a gay man that falls in love with his future sister in law, and she gets pregnant with his child. A super heartwarming movie about love, as he struggles with the decision to be with his fiancé or a woman. Has it's fair share of comedy as well. I loved it.
Mads as Jacob in Shake It
"After the Wedding (2006)" was our next movie. Another very underrated movie in my opinion. Mads Mikkelsen is again, quite brilliant in his portrayal of a manager of an orphanage. He is sent to Denmark to try and acquire money for the orphanage from a donor, only to discover a "life altering family secret." That's as far as I'll go when explaining this movie. Just watch it. Well worth your time. I promise. The ending is heartbreaking. I get teary eyed just thinking about it.
Mads as Jacob Pederson in After The Wedding
We now come to the most recent in our "Mads movie marathon".
"A Royal Affair (2012)" my favorite so far!
Based on the true story of King Christian VII of Denmark, Mads plays the character of Johann Friedrich Struensee, physician to the king and his wife, Caroline Mathilde. Caroline, married to a king that was considered insane (look him up, he was actually crazy), falls in love with Johann, and together they start a revolution that changes their lives and the future of a nation forever. I actually haven't finished this one yet. Too sad. Lots of happy (and let's be honest, SEXY) moments... but too much sad.

Mads as Johann in A Royal Affair

Up next?

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009)

Adam's Apples (2005)



Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Wolverine, Review Part I

"Your grandfather called me a Ronin, a samurai without a master..." - Wolverine

Oh Hugh Jackman... you will NEVER stop being The Wolverine. NEVER. Don't even try to tell me anything different. This movie was everything I expected and more. After the debacle of X-Men 3... Also, don't read this if you haven't seen the movie. Please. I hate when people ruin movies for me and I don't want to be that person for any of you.

I liked X-Men 3... the story anyways. The director however, can go throw himself off a cliff for almost ruining a Marvel Comics movie for me and millions of fans. The story was essential to continuing the saga of the X-Men and I suffered through it.
Ok, back to Wolverine. After his fantastic cameo in X-Men First Class (tee-hee) I was left... thirsting. For more Wolverine, more of his internal conflict after having to kill Jean Grey, more of his awesome adamantium claws, can I say awesome one more time?! Wolverine is one of my favorite Marvel Comics characters. Clayton, this picture is for you... 

We'll just try to forget about X-Men Origins: Wolverine... another case of essential story/INCREDIBLE after credit scene, but the editing and direction left a lot to be desired. Hugh Jackman ( and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool) were the only things that made me see that movie. I was however, glad they showed how he got his adamantium claws... and a sort of "origin" story.
The movie starts in Nagasaki, Japan, right as the atomic bomb is being dropped. I love all the historical connections they give for Wolverine to show how old he is/ might be. Anyways, he saves this prison guard from the blast. Jump to present day, where Logan is having a nightmare of sorts where he thinks that Jean is still alive and in bed with him. These scenes of him seeing her are scattered throughout the movie and actually made me feel bad for him. He hates what he had to do to her. He struggles with it everyday, struggles with the fact that he can't die. Wolverine will have to live with what he did for eternity.
The introduction of Yukio (played by the absolutely stunning Rila Fukushima) was amazing. Wolverine has never really been a "follow me we're going on an adventure" person.

But, when she shows up to tell him that the man he saved all those years ago wants to thank him and say goodbye. He kinda has to be that person.
By the way, she is a mutant, that can see the future. Logan doesn't know this yet.
He goes with Yukio to Japan to meet Yashida, the man he saved. He is dying, and wants to help Wolverine. Wants to help him end his eternity, In exchange for Wolverine helping him live. Logan actually struggles with this decision. He thinks they can't undo what was done to him. Boy is he wrong...
He has another nightmare. He is kissing Jean, but comes to just in time to see that it is not Jean, but a woman he doesn't recognize. The thing with his nightmares is that it appears he doesn't always know that what he is seeing isn't real... 
Logan took too long to make the decision about helping Yashida. He is dead. 
Yashida's funeral.
A spectacular fight scene with guns, samurais, ninjas, etc, ensues. All the action I expected from the movie. And blood, unexpected, but appreciated in a PG-13 rated movie. They could have gone R and it would have been a lot better. Wolverine gets shot, which would normally be no biggie right? But he isn't healing normally, and it terrifies him. Logan has NEVER been vulnerable, and you could see the terror in his face as he actually struggles against the enemy and the barrage of bullets.

It was so fantastic to see him vulnerable to damage. Vulnerable even, to the emotion of fear. He has never had to worry about his strategy in a fight, always being able to go in "claws blazing" because Logan knows he cant get hurt. He had sworn that he would never care about a human again, but when he sees Yashida's granddaughter being kidnapped, there is something that makes him get involved.

I usually cringe in movies when I see that we will have to watch our hero escort a helpless girl through the whole thing. But in The Wolverine, it worked. You begin to see that Logan actually cares about her, and after what happened with Jean, you just want him to finally be happy with a women that is normal. 
Stay tuned for Part II!!! I will be uploading the rest tomorrow, and finishing my review of Star Trek Into Darkness at a later date. Hope you are all enjoying this even a little. If not, I don't really care. I'm mainly doing this for me. I see so many movies that I need to write down my thoughts or they just swim around my head, and I explode into random quotes from movies (ask anyone I work with :) 



Monday, August 5, 2013

Movies I can't wait to see...

The Iceman
Thor: The Dark World
Only Lovers Left Alive
Much Ado About Nothing
American Hustle
The Fifth Estate

Star Trek Into Darkness, Review Part II

After being convinced by Scotty ( Simon Pegg) to not use the torpedoes to kill John Harrison, Kirk decides to instead take a landing party to the province on Kronos where they believe Harrison is hiding. The Enterprise is damaged by an unknown problem, and they are left at the edge of Klingon space, unable to warp.

 Another of my favorite parts of the movie is a conversation that occurs between Uhura and Spock:

"You mistake my choice not to feel as a reflection of my not caring, while I assure you the truth is precisely the opposite." - Spock

The area is supposed to have been uninhabited, but they are soon discovered by a patrol of Klingons. One of the most tense scenes of the movie follows, with Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and two other crew members narrowly escaping the Klingon ship through a small opening between two HUGE structures. They didn't really escape, and are ordered to land. Uhura convinces Captain Kirk to let her try and reason with the Klingon patrol.

[Speaking in Klingon]
"Why should I care about humans killing other humans?" - Klingon
"Because you care about honor. This man has none." - Uhura

Uhura's technique fails, and just as the Klingon is about to kill her, a man, John Harrison!!!, shows up out of nowhere to save them. He single handedly takes out the entire squad of Klingons.


Go Benedict!!! I loved this part of the movie! Every time I saw it, I would find myself cringing as well as cheering for him because he was such a bad ass. His combat skills were incredible, and watching him mow down Klingons and then jumping off the structure in the picture and stabbing a bunch of them was just... AWESOME!

John Harrison surprisingly surrenders without a fight... well, after Kirk says:
"On behalf of Christopher Pike... you are under arrest" and then punches him until he can barely stand. The hits don't even phase Harrison. Harrison is taken back to the Enterprise, and marched through the corridor in handcuffs (like they seem to do with most movie villains?)
I don't know why they feel the need to do this in most movies, (ie: Avengers, Man of Steel, BBC Sherlock, etc) but it does look really cool! :)

And what is it with them always putting British villains inside glass prisons? They did it in The Avengers with Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston) I guess British men are too attractive to be obscured by bars :) ... Allow me to gush about Benedict Cumberbatch, again. This next monologue of his was delivered so perfectly menacing that it actually gave me chills.


"Let me explain what's happening here: you are a criminal! I watched you murder innocent men and women, I was authorized to END you! And the only reason you are still alive is because I am allowing it, so SHUT YOUR MOUTH!" - Kirk
"Captain... are you going to punch me again, over and over, until your arm weakens... clearly you want to. So tell me, why did you allow me to live?" - Harrison 
"We all make mistakes." - Kirk
"No... I surrendered to you because, despite your attempt to convince me otherwise, you seem to have a conscience, Mr. Kirk. If you did not, it would be impossible for me to convince you of the truth. 23 17 46 11. Coordinates not far from Earth. If you want to know why I did what I did, go and take a look." - Harrison
"Give me one reason why I should listen to you." - Kirk
"I can give you 72, and they're on board your ship, Captain. They have been, all along... I suggest you open one up." - Harrison 
Surprise! After sending Bones and Admiral Marcus's daughter to open a torpedo, they discover that there is a man in a cryogenic tube inside.
This is when the entire theater erupted in whispers... just wait until you find out why the man is inside the torpedo... :) 
"Why is there a man in that torpedo?" - Kirk
"There are men and women in all those torpedoes, Captain. I put them there." - Harrison
"Who the hell are you?" - Kirk
"A remnant of a time long past. Genetically engineered to be superior so as to lead others to peace in a world at war. But we were condemned as criminals, forced into exile. For centuries we slept, hoping when we awoke things would be different. But as a result of the destruction of Vulcan, your Starfleet began to aggressively search distant quadrants of space. My ship was found adrift. I alone was revived." - Harrison
"I looked up John Harrison. Until a year ago, he didn't exist." - Kirk
"John Harrison was a fiction created the moment I was awoken by your Admiral Marcus to help him advance his cause, a smokescreen to conceal my true identity. My name is... KHAN." - Harrison (Khan)
The 8th time I saw this, a man sitting close to me had the biggest grin on his face as Khan said the last line. He must have been a long time "Trekkie". I knew enough about the older Star Trek movies to know that Khan is a bad dude. :) 
Stay tuned for Part III !



Sunday, August 4, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness, Review Part 1

Let me start out by saying that I never thought I could consider myself a "Trekkie" , but after seeing this movie 8 times :) ...  Star Trek Into Darkness is possibly one of the best, and most beautiful movies I have ever seen. From the stunning visuals to the superb acting, I was drawn in from the very opening sequence, where we find the crew of the U.S.S Enterprise on a previously unexplored planet with a volcano that is "highly volatile".

 As was the case with Star Trek (2009) the opening sequence of the movie is very action packed and emotionally charged. This time, Spock's life hangs in the balance and Kirk has to make the decision whether to break Starfleet regulations, thus revealing the Enterprise to the locals, and save his life, or leave him to die. There is a great moment between Bones and Kirk that seems to make up Kirk's mind.

"If Spock were here, and I were there, what would he do?" - Captain Kirk
"He'd let you die." - Bones

Spock is Kirk's closest friend, whether he wants to admit it or not, and Kirk saves him, just before the volcano is neutralized by a cold fusion device that Spock had activated.

My favorite moment of the movie is the introduction of John Harrison, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. The best villain introduction, ever, made possible by the films superb soundtrack and Cumberbatch's captivating... voice.

I will warn you now that I am a huge fan of Cumberbatch, and might be apt to gush over his perfect performance in this movie...

We go to Starfleet headquarters, where Spock and Captain Kirk have been called before Christopher Pike to talk about the recent events. Kirk being the headstrong individual that he is, lied on his Captain's log, and he has to pay a heavy price. They take the Enterprise away from him, and he is demoted to first officer. Perhaps one of the funniest lines in the movie occurs in this scene, as Kirk finds out that Spock also submitted a report, and that is how Pike knows that Kirk was lying on his.

"...What's the lesson to be learned here?" - Pike
"Never trust a Vulcan." - Kirk

John Harrison saves a Starfleet officer's daughter, at a price. The officer is forced to attack what we are led to believe is a "data archive" and 42 people are killed. An emergency meeting is called. Kirk questions Harrison's motive, and smartly so, as the meeting is about to be attacked by Harrison himself.


Christopher Pike is killed. For me, It was one of the most upsetting deaths in a film that I have ever witnessed. I bawled. Not just one tear, but genuinely bawled. He was such a father figure to Captain Kirk, and all of a sudden, he is gone, killed by a man named John Harrison, that we know little about... for now.

I'm lucky I was the only one in the theater the first time I saw this movie...

Harrison escapes, to Kronos (cue dark and ominous music, anybody that knows Star Trek knows how bad this is) and Kirk is given back the Enterprise and given permission to go after him by Admiral Marcus (played by the impeccable Peter Weller ), who seems to have an alternate agenda. Kirk is given 72 prototype torpedos by Marcus and is told to lock onto Harrison's position on Kronos and fire all of them.

Kirk again questions his orders... as he knows that firing torpedos at the Klingons could mean all out war...

Stay tuned for PART II !!!