Currently browsing the "Alexander Skarsgard" tag.

Quickie Review: The Hummingbird Project

If you’re looking for something thought-provoking, but less terrifying than US, The Hummingbird Project is the smart person’s financial thriller. That means, it helps to be somewhat of a geek to embrace what is surely meant to be a cautionary tale for our modern, digital world. The movie, from writer/director Kim Nguyen (War Witch) grew on me as it went along, even though the subject matter didn’t exactly thrill me and I didn’t particularly like the ending. Perhaps if it were based on a true story – which it seems like it would be, but isn’t – I’d have felt more invested in the characters and the plot, about two cousins who concoct a plan to build a fiber-optic cable line from Kansas to New Jersey to shave a millisecond from the transfer of stock information, thus enabling traders with access to the line to make millions. In case you’re wondering, one millisecond is the speed of a hummingbird’s wing-flap (at least, I think that part is true!).

Review: The Aftermath

I’m not normally one for period dramas but I was intrigued by the basic premise of The Aftermath: former enemies forced to reconnect on various levels of humanity in the immediate aftermath of World War Two. If that had indeed been the driving narrative, The Aftermath might have presented a fascinating exploration of a story rarely (if ever) told on the big screen. Alas, the movie merely claims a unique setting for a standard, superficial love story about two grieving strangers who find comfort in each other’s arms, sacrificing one relationship for another. It’s not a bad story; it just represents a missed opportunity to tell a better one.

Mainstream Chick’s Quick Takes: The Legend of Tarzan; The BFG; Hunt for the Wilderpeople

The Legend of Tarzan – Does the world need another Tarzan (movie)? No. But at least it’s way better than I – and most everyone around me – expected it to be. The Legend of Tarzan offers a new take on an old tale, with a healthy dose of eye candy. Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood) plays John Clayton III aka Lord Greystoke aka Tarzan. John has traded in the jungles of Africa for a gentrified life in London with his sassy and beautiful wife Jane (Margot Robbie). He’s perfectly content to be free of the Jungle (“It’s hot there”), but he is roped into accepting an invitation to return to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he’s being set up by a nasty Belgian dude (Christopher Waltz in his usual creepy, sneering role) who plans to turn Tarzan over to an African chief bent on revenge. The movie has elements of a lot of genres – there’s romance, drama, action, (CGI) animals, comic relief (from Samuel L. Jackson as an American, George Washington Williams, looking to expose an illegal slavery and mining operation) — but it all hangs together surprisingly well. The Legend of Tarzan feels a lot like a standard superhero flick, which makes it perfectly fine summer fare for the older kid/adult crowd.

What Maisie Knew

What Maisie Knew is a pretty faithful modern adaptation of a Henry James novel written in 1897, that just goes to show that there have always been people who shouldn’t be allowed to have children. The Maisie of the title is a 6-year-old New Yorker, through whose eyes the story is told and who you really want to kidnap to save her from her horrible, selfish parents. This is one of those films that makes you really uncomfortable from the first frame until the end, but is peopled with great actors and characters so you can’t dismiss it.

Battleship

I wasn’t blown away by Battleship, though a lot of stuff does blow up real good! So if you like explosions galore and a bloodless (though high) body count, then Battleship might be a ‘hit’. Otherwise, consider it a ‘miss’. B-10! Get it?

Battleship is “inspired by” the classic naval combat board game by Hasbro. That explains why there’s no real plot or character development. Just your good ol’ fashioned heroes (go Navy!) and villains (Aliens, go home!).

Melancholia

Danish director Lars von Trier is not known for happy movies (Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark) and with Melancholia he keeps true to form. The title clues you in to the mood of the film centered on two sisters Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), which is told in two chapters. The first is Justine’s story – the saga of her wedding reception at her sister’s mansion, in which she has a slow and painful meltdown, revealing herself to be a deeply disturbed, depressed woman, incapable of being in any relationship, much less married. The second part belongs to Claire. It concerns her growing terror that a planet called Melancholia that has been hiding behind the sun is soon going to crash into the earth.

Straw Dogs