Hercules (2014)

Hercules
Director: Brett Ratner
Writer: Ryan Condal, Evan Spiliotopoulos
Based on: Steve Moore‘s comic
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Rufus Sewell, Aksel Hennie, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Reece Ritchie, Joseph Fiennes, Tobias Santelmann, Rebecca Ferguson, Joe Anderson, Peter Mullan

Plot:
Everybody knows the legend of Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) and his heroic deeds, strategically enhanced by his nephew Iolaus (Reece Ritchie). Now that he completed his twelve tasks and after horrific past events that still haunt him, Hercules works as a sword for hire with his group – Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), Tydeus (Aksel Hennie), Atalanta (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) and Iolaus. When he is approached by Ergenia (Rebecca Ferguson) for help defeating warlord Rheseus (Peter Santelmann), Hercules takes the job. But it isn’t quite as simple as it appears at first.

Hercules had everything I wanted it to have: self-awareness, nice action, quipping, Dwayne Johnson in a skirt, an excellent cast and so much fun. It was utterly enjoyable.

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The ABCs of Death (2012)

The ABCs of Death
Director: Kaare Andrews, Angela Bettis, Hélène Cattet, Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, Jason Eisener, Bruno Forzani, Adrián García Bogliano, Xavier Gens, Lee Hardcastle, Noboru Iguchi, Thomas Cappelen Malling, Jorge Michel Grau, Anders Morgenthaler, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Banjong Pisanthanakun, Simon Rumley, Marcel Sarmiento, Jon Schnepp, Srdjan Spasojevic, Timo Tjahjanto, Andrew Traucki, Nacho Vigalondo, Jake West, Ti West, Ben Wheatley, Adam Wingard, Yudai Yamaguchi
Part of: /slash Filmfestival‘s Slashing Europe
[I’m saving myself from mentioning the cast as well, especially since, apart from Ingrid Bolsø Berdal there wasn’t anybody in it I knew anyway.]

Plot:
The ABCs of Death is an episode movie in which 26 directors each got a letter in the alphabet to which they chose a word from which they built their story/short film.

The ABCs of Death has its good moments, but far from all episodes were my thing. There is a surprising amount of toilet humor in the movie (which I minded less than I usually do, but still) and I generally had my issues with the structure. 26 short films are a lot to take in and I would have appreciated if the movie was broken up into two parts (A-L and M-Z or something). Also, because of the alphabetic structure, they couldn’t take the mood or the pacing into consideration, so funny is followed by sadness by gore by blood by horror by funny etc. So maybe one should be watching the entire movie in short film increments.

The-ABCs-of-Death

[After the jump, I’ll talk briefly about each of the short films seperately. If you consider knowing the words already as SPOILERS, don’t read any further.]

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Hellfjord (2012)

Hellfjord
Director: Patrik Syversen, Sebastian Dalén, Ole Giæver, Kenneth Olaf Hjellum, Vegar Hoel, Roar Uthaug
Writer: Zahid Ali, Stig Frode Henriksen, Tommy Wirkola
Cast: Zahid Ali, Stig Frode Henriksen, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Thomas Hanzon, Pihla Viitala, Maria Bock
Part of: /slash Filmfestival‘s Slashing Europe
[Hellfjord is a TV series. I usually don’t review those but since I saw the entire first season at the /slash, I thought I’d make an exception.]

Plot:
After a very unfortunate and very public incidence involving his horse, police man Salmander (Zahid Ali) gets relocated to the town Hellfjord where everything is just a little fishy. And that is not only because of the fish factory Hellfish, run by Bosse Nova (Thomas Hanzon). Soon Salmander literally stumbles on a body and teams up with local journalist Johanne (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) to solve the town’s mysteries.

There is a lot that I enjoyed about Hellfjord but there are also elements that didn’t work for me at all. The end result is a very mixed bag of beans.

Hellfjord

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Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Writer: Tommy Wirkola
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, Pihla Viitala, Thomas Mann, Joanna Kulig, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal

Plot:
Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have been witch hunters ever since they were imprisoned by a witch, when they were kids, but were able to free themselves by killing her. Hansel and Gretel come to Augsburg, where a lot of children have gone missing, suggesting that a lot of witch activity is going on in the area. But when they start to hunt them down, they stumble upon an even bigger event than they anticipated.

Hansel & Gretel has SO MANY ISSUES. It is one of the most stupid, absurd films I have ever seen. It is at the same time offensive to human beings as a whole, and hilarious as hell.

kinopoisk.ru

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Flukt [Escape] (2012)

Flukt
Director: Roar Uthaug
Writer: Thomas Moldestad
Cast: Isabel Christine Andreasen, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Milla Olin, Kristian Espedal, Tobias Santelmann, Bjørn Moan, Hallvard Holmen
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
After the black plague has ravaged the lands, Signe (Isabel Christine Andreasen) and her family are moving about, trying to find a new life – until they are caught by robbers, led by Dagmar (I who take Signe with Ingrid Bolsø Berdal). They take Signe hostage because Dagmar’s daughter Frigg (Milla Olin) would like a sibling and Dagmar can’t have children anymore. But it turns out that Frigg isn’t actually Dagmar’s daughter. Instead she sees a possibility for escape in Signe and together the two girls actually manage that. But Dagmar won’t give them up easily.

Flukt is an excellent, atmospheric film that, despite its not at all surprising story draws you in and won’t let go of your attention until it’s done.

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