REVIEW: Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019 – Documentary)

Theatrical Release Poster – Magnolia Pictures / Camera Film

The following is a review of Cold Case Hammarskjöld — Directed by Mads Brügger.

In Mads Brügger’s Cold Case Hammarskjöld, a Danish filmmaker and journalist teams up with Swedish Göran Björkdahl who has inherited a particular obsession from his father. Björkdahl is obsessed with the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld, the UN General Secretary who died in a plane crash in Northern Rhodesia in 1961. Together, Brügger and Björkdahl hope to uncover what exactly happened to Hammarskjöld by investigating the theory that he was murdered. But, in doing so, Brügger and Björkdahl come upon a complex conspiracy theory about a mysterious paramilitary organization, the so-called South African Institute for Maritime Research (SAIMR), with sinister plans for the continent. Continue reading “REVIEW: Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019 – Documentary)”

Exploring an Auteur’s Short Films: Ari Aster – Special Features #53

I don’t normally write about short films unless it’s a special occasion. This is a special occasion. I recently watched and reviewed Ari Aster’s follow-up to Hereditary, the daytime horror fairy tale Midsommar. I have become a great admirer of Aster after having seen those two films, both of which I believe to be amazing works of cinema.

Since I saw Midsommar, I haven’t been able to get it off my mind. So, on Friday, I spent the entire day watching Ari Aster’s short films. Today, I want to talk about his flawed short films, some of which didn’t speak to me at all. In five separate sections, I want to describe the experience of watching Aster’s short films, as well as make some general observations as to what it is like to watch the raw material of a future auteur. Continue reading “Exploring an Auteur’s Short Films: Ari Aster – Special Features #53”

REVIEW: Midsommar (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – A24

The following is a review of Midsommar — Directed by Ari Aster.

As a Scandinavian, any film that revolves around Scandinavia or a specific part of Scandinavian culture, naturally, intrigues me greatly. So Midsommar already had my curiosity, but Ari Aster’s involvement pulled me in and seized my attention, as it were. Ari Aster is one of the most interesting new filmmakers. He is a gifted director whose first narrative feature — Hereditary — was one of the best and most disturbing horror films of the decade. With one of the decade’s best films in the genre under his belt already, his second feature film had a lot to live up to, and even though Midsommar isn’t quite as accessible as his directorial debut, Aster’s slow-burn second feature film showcases his distinct visual style, has thematical depth, and it proves that he is one of the most exciting new auteurs. Continue reading “REVIEW: Midsommar (2019)”

REVIEW: Replicas (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures

The following is a review of Replicas — Directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff.

Jeffrey Nachmanoff’s Replicas follows William Foster (played by Keanu Reeves), a research neuroscientist who experiments with the concept of transferring a human mind — even that of a deceased individual — into the body of an android. William and his colleague Ed Whittle (played by Thomas Middleditch), however, are not finding much success, seeing as their best experiment ended with an expensive android speaking and then ripping its own face off. But the success of their experiments becomes much more important to William when he loses his wife (played by Alice Eve) and his three kids in a violent accident. As a direct result of the accident, William decides to secretly attempt to transfer his family’s minds into new bodies using the technology that his employer has provided the research division with. But William is faced with a tough decision when he finds out that he can only transfer three members of his family into new bodies. William has to not only decide which family member to let go, but he also has to wipe their existence from his family’s memories. Continue reading “REVIEW: Replicas (2019)”

REVIEW: The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros. Pictures

The following is a review of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part — Directed by Mike Mitchell.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s The LEGO Movie was, frankly, not just one of the best surprises of 2014. It was also one of the best movies of the year. The film’s first follow-up was the Batman spin-off, The LEGO Batman Movie, which, surprisingly, did not ‘exist in,’ so to speak, the real world like Lord and Miller’s hit did. The LEGO Batman Movie was a clever animated hit that I enjoyed greatly, though not as much as I enjoyed Lord and Miller’s LEGO-film. Then they released The LEGO Ninjago Movie which I couldn’t care less about when it was announced. I did see the film eventually, though, but it didn’t speak to me, and I didn’t enjoy it at all. Now we finally have a proper sequel to that first LEGO movie-hit. And although I don’t think it lives up to my expectations, it is a perfectly fine animated sequel. Continue reading “REVIEW: The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)”

REVIEW: Stranger Things: Season Three (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of the third season of Netflix’s Stranger Things — Created by the Duffer Brothers.

Today, Stranger Things is, alongside The Crown, probably the original show that has become the face of Netflix. The first season of the series was a surprise hit that seemed to have significantly overperformed. It was a nostalgic 80s science-fiction drama with children in the leading roles that made people think of E. T., The Goonies, and many other films like those. It was a 2016 breakout hit that gave career boosts to David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, and Finn Wolfhard. The much anticipated second season, which was released the following year, wasn’t met with as much acclaim, but still succeeded in developing characters’ relationships satisfyingly while still bringing pleasant references to the beloved 1980s-era cinema, with Aliens now being the primary inspiration. Continue reading “REVIEW: Stranger Things: Season Three (2019)”

REVIEW: Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Sony Pictures Releasing

The following is a review of Spider-Man: Far From Home — Directed by Jon Watts.

Do note that this review includes spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.

Isn’t it crazy that Tom Holland has already played Spider-Man in five movies? Holland hasn’t even been Spider-Man for as many years as Tobey Maguire was, and Maguire only appeared in three films. Even though Tom Holland’s first solo film only came out two years ago, a lot has happened since Tony Stark first took Holland’s Peter Parker under his wing and presented him with a snazzy suit powered by Stark Industries technology. Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame happened. Parker was snapped out of and back into existence, he lost his mentor, and, somehow, five years went by in the blink of an eye for your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Continue reading “REVIEW: Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)”