REVIEW: Stowaway (2021)

Daniel Dae Kim in Joe Penna’s STOWAWAY — Photo: Netflix.

Directed by Joe Penna (Arctic) – Screenplay by Joe Penna & Ryan Morrison.

Back in 2019, Joe Penna released his feature-length directorial debut, the Mads Mikkelsen-vehicle Arctic, which was a gripping story of survival in the face of a hopeless and cold wilderness. I was extremely impressed by Penna’s debut film, as it felt real, as it had a lot of heart, and since it rarely felt Hollywood-ized. It also helped that Mads Mikkelsen delivered one of his best performances in Penna’s underseen debut.

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Mads Mikkelsen’s Top 10 Performances: Ranked

I hold the Danish thespian, Mads Mikkelsen, in high regard. I think of him as my nation’s finest actor, but also possibly the finest actor of his generation. He has proven himself both in his home country, overseas, and even in Hollywood. He’s a Bond-villain, a Marvel supervillain, and Hannibal the Cannibal. But he is also so much more than that. He is a skilled actor of many talents, who can be more than just a villain. He’s a star. Today, let’s take a trip through Mads Mikkelsen’s glorious career, as I rank his ten best roles and performances. Continue reading “Mads Mikkelsen’s Top 10 Performances: Ranked”

Best of the 2010s: Directorial Debut Films

There is something very exciting about a directorial debut. Obviously, the filmmaker is excited about their first chance to step behind the camera on a feature film, but, as an audience member or film writer of any kind, it is so fascinating to see the choices being made. Sometimes some of the boldest and most imaginative filmmakers present us with instant classics, other times newcomers deliver a product that may not be extraordinary filmmaking but which may still be a moving or exciting motion picture. In this month’s best of the decade list, I’m honoring the very best directorial debuts. Some of them are first works for potential auteurs, while others are impressive blockbuster entertainment from untested new filmmakers just learning the ropes. Continue reading “Best of the 2010s: Directorial Debut Films”

REVIEW: Arctic (2019)

Danish Theatrical Release Poster – United International Pictures

The following is a review of Arctic — Directed by Joe Penna.

To some, Mads Mikkelsen, known outside of his home country for his roles in the NBC-series Hannibal and the James Bond-film Casino Royale, is the quintessential villain. A European character actor that, from time to time, takes on roles in blockbuster films and elevates the material. To others, like A. O. Scott once wrote, Mads Mikkelsen is the face of Danish cinema. The Copenhagen-born dancer-turned-actor has earned himself a strong reputation outside of Denmark, with such successes as winning the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor for his performance in Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt. Continue reading “REVIEW: Arctic (2019)”