ABC Film Challenge – Crime – D – Dark Crimes (2016)

Director: Alexandros Avranas

Writer: Jeremy Brock (Screenplay) David Grann (Article)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Marton Csokas, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kati Outinen, Vlad Ivanov, Robert Wieckiewicz

 

Plot: A murder investigation of a slain businessman turns to clues found in an author’s book about an eerily similar crime.


Tagline – It takes a dark mind to solve a twisted crime.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Terribly Boring

 

Story: Dark Crimes starts when Tadek (Carrey) still investigating the murder of a police officer, gets a new lead when Kozlov (Csokas) writes a new book which has an eerily similarity to the murder, leading him to take a dangerous road investigating the murder, which includes challenge the former girlfriend Kasia (Gainsbourg).

The investigation has plenty of ties to the secret sex club known as the cage, where the men get to do whatever they want to the women, Tadek must put his professional and person life on the line to get to the bottom of this investigations.

 

Thoughts on Dark Crimes

 

Characters – Tadek is a police officer, he is preparing for retirement (I think) only he wants to solve one final case, which involves the murder of a fellow officer, he goes down dangerous paths which put his career on the line, his marriage on the line, hoping to find the answers. Kozlov is an author that has written a book that sounds too similar to the unsolved case, he becomes the target of the investigation because of his history with the known sex club. Kasia is a former worker in the club, she does have a connection to Kozlov and the victim.

PerformancesJim Carrey is an actor that I like seeing him doing serious roles, sadly, this is one of his worst performances in a long time, he can keep the accent up jumping around all over the place. Marton Csokas usually does well in film, but because the character isn’t very interesting, he struggles to keep our attention. Charlotte Gainsbourg disappoints too, she does everything we expect her to without making the impact.

StoryThe story follows a detective that is investigating the murder of a fellow officer that could have found the confession inside a novel, which leads him to target the author in search for the truth. The problem here is we get slow moving conversations which don’t go anywhere, we don’t get into the evidence of the case, it just seems to be watching one man starting to go too far in his search. The case doesn’t seem long enough to make feature film story either.

CrimeThe crime side of the film follows the investigation into the murder of a police officer which might be opened up again, it never feels urgent either.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show how the club could be easily accessed without needing to be too far away.


Scene of the Movie –
Nothing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The dragging story.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the worst crime stories because it just never feels like the case is that important.

 

Overall: Just a drag.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

I Think We’re Alone Now (2018)

Director: Reed Morano

Writer: Mike Makowsky (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Paul Giamatti

 

Plot: The apocalypse proves a blessing in disguise for one lucky recluse — until a second survivor arrives with the threat of companionship.


Tagline – In the End…Chaos Will Find You

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bleak & Beautiful

 

Story: I Think We’re Alone Now starts as we meet Del (Dinklage) who after a sudden apocalypse which has left everybody in his town dead, is in the middle of cleaning up the neighbourhood, burying the dead, cleaning up their homes, this has been the best thing to happen to him.

Del’s perfect life gets an unlikely visitor in Grace (Fanning) a young woman who is also looking for her own place in the abandoned world, the two reluctantly decide to help each other, which only forces Del to change his ways, can he cope with having someone else around.

 

Thoughts on I Think We’re Alone Now

 

Characters – Del is a recluse that never got on with people and with the apocalypse giving him the chance to be alone, he spends his days cleaning up his home town, moving the dead bodies, cleaning the homes and trying to make the town livable again. His quiet life is turned upside down, when a stranger arrives, he is left with the question of deciding whether he can live with someone else or just keep his lonely life. Grace is the young woman that turns up in Del’s town, she is just looking for more people in the world which brings her to try and help bring Del out of his lonely way.

PerformancesPeter Dinklage is fantastic in this leading role showing us just how content his character is because life hasn’t changed too much in his characters life. The idea where he can make us care about this lonely character going through the motions shows his talent. Elle Fanning is great too, she brings life to the film because of her energy to this bleak world.

StoryThe story here follows one man that has been given the perfect life in his eyes after the world goes through an apocalypse, he is cleaning up his town making it how he believes it should look even with all the people dead. This side of the story is portrayed perfectly because never have you seen someone so content in this world, even Wall-E was depressed in this type of world. his life changes when a stranger arrives and he is torn between wanting to be left alone and having somebody else around who might not follow his method of living. This story doesn’t give us the full explanation to what killed everybody and strangely enough we don’t need it, just be thankful it isn’t a zombie one. The idea that the world hasn’t always been as accepting as Del would have liked is clear too, which makes us understand why he likes being alone, while having that craving of human interaction once Grace turns up in his life. We tackle ideas of isolation through the apocalypse and address how people can be affected by this in normal life, almost becoming accepting of it. The story does go down a road we have seen before which never reaches the full levels of similar films, which is nice because it keeps everything grounded from the views of Del and the world he is happy in.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery side of the film comes from seeing and wondering just what caused the apocalypse, why Del survived it and whether he is the only one left, this only gets more questions for the audience to ask when Grace arrives in his life. The sci-fi element of the film comes from seeing just what the world would look like with a sudden death apocalypse.

SettingsThe film creates one of the most haunting towns possible for being empty, Del marking up houses, to his visits to the library show us just how empty the world is, though full for Del.


Scene of the Movie –
Watching Del go about his day.

That Moment That Annoyed Me People could be annoyed by not knowing the true reason why the people got died.

Final ThoughtsThis is a beautiful and bleak apocalypse movie that keeps the story simple, the performances fantastic and you just wanting to see more of the world created.

 

Overall: Dinklage shines bright here.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Nymphomaniac Vol 2 (2013)

Director: Lars von Trier

Writer: Lars von Trier (Screenplay)

Starring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth

 

Plot: The continuation of Joe’s sexually dictated life delves into the darker aspects of her adulthood, obsessions and what led to her being in Seligman’s care.


Tagline – Forget About Love

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darker, but Not Interesting

 

Story: Nymphomaniac Vol 2 starts where the last film finished as Joe (Gainsbourg telling the story, Martin acting the story) is feeling lifeless when it comes to sex and even after having a child with Jerome (LaBeouf) the two start to become distant in their relationship as Joe still requires her sexual times. Now we are watching the older Joe only as she gets involved with risky sexual experiences.

When her body starts to struggle with the sex in her life, she starts going through treatment for her sex addiction and what she goes through next shows just how addiction can take over the lives of people.

 

Thoughts on Nymphomaniac Vol 2

 

Characters – Joe continues her story in this one we look at her taking on more extreme sexual encounters as she does continue to take on daily encounters to satisfy her lust. We see the affects on her body as she grows to the middle aged woman. The rest of the characters we meet don’t get enough screen time, Jerome is here only to try to take Joe’ child away. Seligman does have a bigger secret about him.

PerformancesCharlotte Gainsbourg does take the centre stage this time around going through the sexual encounters, she does commit to the performance. We have new actors joining this film and they do a good enough job when given the time.

StoryThe next chapter of the stories of Nymphomaniac Joe, this does show her going into extremer formers of sexual pleasure which has cost her child, but found her a career she could never have imagined, one which lets her use her sexual desires. The thing with the story here, is that you do need to have seen the first film to have any idea what is going on, while most two part movies you can miss or get recap this offers us nothing to help.

SettingsThe settings continued to show us just where Joe finds herself through her different encounters, none become the most important to the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The new job for Joe.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It’s just unrealistic conversations.

Final ThoughtsThis is the second half of a film, that if you don’t make it through the first one, you will not enjoy the second, this might be darker, but it just isn’t enjoyable enough to sit through.

 

Overall: Still difficult to watch.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Nymphomaniac Vol 1 (2013)

Director: Lars von Trier

Writer: Lars von Trier (Screenplay)

Starring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Stkarsgard, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Connie Nielsen

 

Plot: A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.


Tagline –  Forget About Love

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Uncomfortable at Times

 

Story: Nymphomaniac Vol 1 starts as a beaten Joe (Gainsbourg) is rescued by Seligman (Skarsgard) taken back to his home to hear her story. Joe gives her story about how she is a nymphomaniac and how she became sexually awoken at a young age, flashback to a younger Joe (Martin) who goes through men for her own pleasure with her best friend B (Clark) in a competition level.

As the sexual stories compare to Seligman’s love of fishing we learn how Joe finds herself in this situation, well for the first chapter of the film.

 

Thoughts on Nymphomaniac Vol 1

 

Characters – Joe is the nymphomaniac, we do meet her at different stages of her life, from her first sexual encounter to her stage where she is left beaten up. We learn how she enjoys sex and has her whole life, she has only followed the idea of sex though, never believed in love, telling her story show where she is now. Seligman is a fisherman that takes Joe in to help her fix up, he listens to her story comparing it to his desire to fish. Jerome is one of the first true lusts that Joe has one that she might have loved, he was her first lover and soon becomes the pretend boss in her life, the one she can’t have. The rest of the characters we meet are those that are involved directly or indirectly with her sexual stories.

PerformancesCharlotte Gainsbourg is good at the telling the story side of the film, she does show the regrets of her characters past, but it is Stacy Martin that does sexual side of the story and as a newcomer does become the star of the show. Skarsgard is always a man you could listen to tell a story, this is all he does though. The performances are fine but no one outside of Martin really stands out.

StoryThe story here follows Joe a nymphomaniac that is telling her story to a man that offered her help in her time off need. Now this is a story about addiction, this time her addiction is sex and how it has affected different moments of her life. The story does give us lots of comparisons between sex and fishing which is weird and does try to make a big statement about people vision of life.

SettingsThe settings show us the different locations that Joe has been having sex and what it means to her life, none of the settings become the most important part of the film though.


Scene of the Movie –
Chapter 4.

That Moment That Annoyed Me LaBeouf doing an accent.

Final ThoughtsThis is part one of a double header, I am not looking forward to part two as this film doesn’t become the most interesting when it comes to everything going on.

 

Overall: Not the most interesting.

Rating

 

 

The Snowman (2017)

Director: Tomas Afredson

Writer: Hossein Amini, Peter Straughan (Screenplay) Jo Nesbo (Novel)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Chloe Sevigny, Val Kilmer, J.K Simmons, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jamie Clayton, Toby Jones

 

Plot: Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.


Tagline – Soon the first snow will come, and then he will kill again.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Twisty Mystery Thriller

 

Story: The Snowman starts as we meet alcoholic detective Harry Hole (Fassbender) a once great detective that is lacking the motivation because of the lack of murders and his break up with his long-term girlfriend Rakel (Gainsbourg). He gets a new member of his team Katrine (Ferguson) who has embraced the latest technology in police work and the two start an investigation into a missing woman.

The two have very different backgrounds and the story does jump back to a previous serious of crimes that were being investigated in a different part of Norway, but as the women continue to go missing we are thrown a list of different suspects and mixing this with the personal backgrounds of the two characters we wait to see who the killer is.

 

Thoughts on The Snowman

 

Characters – Harry Hole was once one of the best detectives in Oslo, his cases have been studied be the candidates in the academy, but he has fallen on bad times with a drinking problem and a relationship ending. When the case does come up he is still the first man selected to lead the investigation, this is where we get to see his true skills. Katrine is a rookie that transferred to the department, she uses the technology to make the work easier but slowly we learn about her past and her reasons for being transferred to this department. Rakel is the ex-girlfriend of Harry who they still remain close due to Harry building a relationship with her son. Arve Stop is a political figure running the campaign to get Oslo the Winter World Cup, he does become one of the many suspects. We do meet at least a total of 6 potential suspects which could all have motive for the crime which is nice, but this also means we don’t focus enough on the mind games between the killer and Hole.

PerformancesFassbender is great in the leading role, giving us what we would expect from him without reaching his best of the best level of ability. Rebecca Ferguson is good too, she doesn’t steal the spotlight like she did in Rogue Nation but shows she does have more to her in ability wise. The rest of the cast do well with what they have to work with, even if they don’t get enough screen time to make the impact they could.

StoryThe trailers made this out to be a true mind games based serial killer versus cop movie, this is in fact a lie, we have the slow processes of trying to solve who could be behind this with plenty of suspects along the way. The tease with the note does feel confusing though because it sets up the mind games but doesn’t seem to follow through on them. We do have a lot of side stories going on including Harry’s relationship with Rakel and her son, Katrine’s past and just who is Arve Stop, which doesn’t help us focus on what should be the biggest factor the killer.

Crime/Horror/MysteryThe crimes do look horrific when we see the full effects of what the killer is doing and his weapon of choice is fresh and terrifying at that. The mystery does keep us guessing through the film but the lack of final punch takes away the horror for me.

SettingsThe settings make this film look beautiful, we have stunning shots of the Norwegian snow cover countryside but once we are in the big cities it all looks the same.


Scene of the Movie –
First learning of the killer weapon.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It was confusing to figure out if the characters were Norwegian or what.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good crime thriller, it does keep us guessing but it does get confusing trying to balance too many side stories, unlike Wind River which deals with the problems head on.

 

Overall: Good but not great snow flake.

Rating