Movie saturday: Nightmare

Peppi (Sara Parikka)

Nightmare (IMDB) is a finnish horror/thriller movie from 2012 which is directed by Marko Äijö. On roles there is seen many actors and actresses from Salatut Elämät which is a very well known TV serie in Finland. On main casts there is Sara Parikka, Venla Savikuja, Tero Tiittanen and Sara Lohiniva.

The story of the movie tells about friends who goes to the cruise to celebrate marriage of Sergei (Tero Tiittanen) and Peppi (Sara Parikka). Sergei has got tickets to nice boat trip which – as it is easy to guess from the title of the movie – turns to totally different. Sins of the past comes haunting and soon people starts to disappear and there will be fight between life and death.

Heidi (Venla Savikuja) and Jiri (Mikko Parikka)

Story of the Nightmare is quite ok. It has clear story with surprising or at least should-be-surprising kind of plot changes, love, fear and drama. Sadly none of those good aspects of the story is shown in any good way in this movie.

Scenes and acting on those scenes are incredible unnatural and it is impossible to get any kind of touch of the events as a viewer of this film. Characters lacks the depth and every person in the movie are totally insignificant and the meaning of the character feels totally zero. Happenings in the movie are quite predictable and cliches (which itself is not a issue if used well). Sadly the way those are used in this film is totally terrible.

Plot is developed too much with telling which is not mostly very good thing, normally it is better to give enough hints to viewer and let them build the puzzle themselves about the events. Dialogues in this movie are unnatural and without any feelings so as a viewer there is not much to enjoy about.

Sampo (Sampsa Tuomala)

As it is (sadly) very often in finnish movies there is issues with audio. This movie is no exception – dialogues are too quiet and you have to put lots of volume to hear what they are talking about. Also some scenes dialogues sounded like they were recorded too far so it is just hard to hear the conversations.

Also what thing felt totally wrong for me was the colour scheme of the movie. If this is said to be horror/thriller then colour scheme is very important to build the environment for the viewer right way. Normally in horror movies colours are bluish and/or cold in general but in this movie it was totally too bright to give any kind of impression of the horror movie.

There were issues with camera as well since many times there would have been need for more depth in the scene, but I guess it is not the desicion made by the cameraman. Too wide depth in picture with wrong kind of colour scheme for this kind of movie genre is something what totally ruins the feeling of any kind of horror/thriller.

Sergei (Tero Tiittanen) with others.

Even I have listed lots of negative things from this movie, there were couple of good things at least. I liked that at least the basic elements of the editing, camera angles and pannings worked like they should. Also the story itself was quite ok and there would have been potential to make it work as a movie better.

It’s not very nice to give bad scores for the movie – especially for the finnish movie – but with this movie I have no other choice. It is totally rubbish.

Score: 2/10 (IMDB: 2,7/10)

Movie Saturday: The Others

Grace and her kids

The Others (IMDB) is a horror/mystery/thriller which was released on 2001. It is directed by Alejandro Amenábar and main role is acted by Nicole Kidman.

The Others tells a story about a family who lives their own but quite strange life in their mansion. In the family there is mother Grace (Nicole Kidman) and her two kids, Nicholas and Anne. Charles, kids father and the husband of Grace has gone to the war but he hasn’t returned even the war has ended some time ago already.

One day three persons arrives to the mansion doors and ask if there is any need for helpers. Grace will employ them and servants will move to the mansion with them. Life of the family is quite different than normal life since kids of the family are fearful of light and only one door can be kept open at time in house. When somebody opens a new door the old one must be closed because Grace has made this kind of rules. It is good to notice that even the kids are fearful of light this is not a vampire movie of anykind even it could have be easy to believe otherwise.

Servant Bertha

Anne tells that she sees a Casper, a kid who nobody else see. Anne scares his brother with Casper and because of that Grace gives her a punishment – she must read out louds the Bible couple of days. Anne says that she does not lie and soon the Grace herself can see that everything is not right in their house – piano will play itself, noises are heard from upstairs even there is nobody there, doors will open and close itself and other unexplained things starts to happen.

The story of The Others is one of the most interesting (or maybe even the most interesting) what I have seen in horror movies. Story is interesting, it keeps up the thrill and it gives enough space for the viewer to create own interpretetions about the plot. I also liked how the ending was different than I thought and how the plot was kept interesting through the whole movie.

With good story line it was great to see excellent directing as well. I liked how camera angles were used and how it stood out from the crowd in its own genre. It was versatile and it helped to create the atmosphere of the movie.

Anne (Alakina Mann)

In the end The Others is a hidden treasure in the horror movies genre. Of course it is not very scary and it is mostly just thrilling but it is thrilling enough. It has excellent story line, great direction and it does not use too much basic cliches what we see too often in horror movies. Also the acting is good without anything bad to say about it.

The Others is excellent movie and it is first horror/thriller movie which has found its place on my Recommendations-page.

Score: 9/10 (IMDB: 7,6/10)

Movie Saturday: 27 Dresses

Jane (Katherine Heigl)

27 Dresses (IMDB) is a romantic comedy from 2008. It is directed by Anne Fletcher and lead role is acted by Katherine Heigl.

Fletcher has previously directed for example The Proposal so it wasn’t the first romantic comedy where we can see Fletcher’s touch. Also Katherine Heigl has been on multiple romantic comedies and I have reviewed two already here on this blog (finnish version only), The Ugly Truth and New Year’s Eve so it was easy to wait good and safe romantic comedy from 27 dresses as well.

Story of the 27 dresses tells about the Jane (Katherine Heigl) who seems always stay as a bridesmaid and never will marry herself. She is still secretly in love to her boss George (Edward Burns) but never have courage to tell it to him. Janes sister Tess (Malin Akerman) comes to visit to Janes place for couple of weeks and without knowing her sister feelings towards to George she meet George herself and fells in love with him. The feeling does not stay one sided so soon Jane has very uncomfortable situation to handle in her life.

Tess (Malin Akerman)

Soon in Janes life comes also a reporter Kevin (James Marsden) whose wedding articles she has read quite long time. When they start to know each others Jane finds that Kevin seems to be much more cynical than she would have guessed about his texts. Later there starts to be some spark between Jane and Kevin and same time her sister and George has love between them as well. George and Tess decides to marry and soon the bridesmaid has marriage to arrange between her sister and the man who she has loved quite long time herself.

27 Dresses is very traditional romantic comedy in every aspcect and it does not differ much from other movies in this category, neither in good way or in bad way. Plot is mostly easy to guess what will happen, it is quite cliche, there is surprising elements which in reality are not so surprising like in almost every romantic comedy and above all there is warmhearted good mood in the middle of all the drama.

Acting is basic good Hollywood level. Katherine Heigl is a good actress and she fits very well as a main star in romantic movies and there is nothing bad to say about James Marden either. Of course persons in the movie feel distant which is somehow normal in every romantic comedy which is done with light and entertaining aspect, but this should not be counted as a flaw – it is just a feature characteristic of genre and it should be this way.

Kevin (James Marsden)

Techincally movie is normal good Hollywood level stuff so all the basic elements are well made and keeps the movie in good package. Camera angles are used traditional ways which helps viewer to follow the plot of the movie without too much thinking, there is enough characters but not too many, there is enough plot to keep movie interesting but little enough so you can just sit back and just relax in the corner of the sofa watching good traditional romantic comedy.

As a whole 27 Dresses is a good movie in its own genre. It is fun and entertainment and it is easy to watch multiple times. If you like romantic comedies at all then this is a good and safe option to watch, but if you don’t like romantic comedies then you don’t miss anything if you then skip this as well.

Score: 6/10 (IMDB: 6,1/10)

Movie Saturday: Jurassic Park III

Jurassic Park III is an action/adventure movie from 2001 which is directed by Joe Johnston. Another famous directions from Johnson is Jumanji (1995) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). On main roles there is Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni and Trevor Morgan.

Scene of the third Jurassic Park is located to Isla Sorna, an island where dinosaurs walk free living their own life. Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) which is known from first Jurassic Park movie meets a rich couple whom makes a deal that will benefit Grant financially very much. With this offer Grant has possibility to continue his normal archeological works without too much financial issues. Couple asks Grant as a guide when they fly over the Isla Sorna to see the dinosaurs.

During the trip Grant can see that the rich couple has not stayed totally in truth and they do not want to stay only in the air wathching the life of prehistoric creatures. Soon the party is on the ground and they are looking for their missing son Eric (Trevor Morgan) on the land of dinosaurs.

Original Jurassic Park from 1993 which was directed by Steven Spielberg was a huge and quite revolutionary in many sense on its time. Sadly the same cannot be said from Jurassic Park III. Dinosaurs had seen couple of times already and on the third time there were no such big wow-factor anymore for anyone who had seen previous Jurassic Park movies. It does not mean that those dinosaurs were boring tho, they still were well made and they had style which just works and it still was a pleasure to see those on the screen.

Jurassic Park III is quite neutral in many sense and there is no reason to watch this movie if you want to find a great plot or something like that. Still it is a good enough to give an explanation and reason for the things that will happen in the movie. Also it is as good as most of movies have in this genre anyway, so nothing new under the sun. Sometimes it is actually very fun to just watch a movie without need for deep and breathtaking plot and acting which tries to be greatest art ever made.

Johnsons direction is working without any issues. As a viewer it is easy to watch this movie, events are easy to follow, you don’t lose the track of the story, emotion between the scenes stays very well in a good package and cuts and musics fits very well. Technically there is nothing bad to say about this movie, it just works.

In the end Jurassic Park III is a very light but entertaining movie which works on those days when you just want to watch a movie which is good enough and you can just sit back and relax.

It does not offer deep and great plot and it does not make you thing anything deeper about the movie and what it was all about. It just give you dinosaurs and make a good and entertaining movie in it’s own genre. And best of it all, it just works.

Score: 6/10 (IMDB: 5,9/10)

Movie Saturday: Sunshine

Sunshine (IMDB) is a sci-fi thriller released 2007. It is directed by Danny Boyle who has directed for example a Slummdog millionnaire. On main roles there is Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans and Hiroyuki Sanada.

Story of the movie is about how the sun has started to fade away and it makes a threat for the whole humankind to be destroyed. To fix the issue and save the mankind people sends Icarus II rocket to the space with a crew. With rocket there is some kind of nuclear explosive which is meant to be sent to the sun to wake it up again with new fire and save the planet earth and its citizens. However on their trip they find a signal on space which later is detected to be from Icarus I which was previously sent to the space but which just dissappeared on its mission.

Waking up the sun is quite uncertain task and another nuclear explosive could help on their mission so after some pondering crew decides to go and see if they will find Icaros I and its explosives.

In many ways Sunshine is a well made movie. Its story is entartaining, visual side is quite showy, acting is basic good level stuff and directing works most of the times. Even with all the good sides there is still some traits which would have required a little bit different kind of expressions.

Mostly the acting was credible and natural until the point when crew lost some people. It just felt unnatural and unrealistic that crew doesn’t shed a tear at all when they face the loss of fellow travel partner and their behaviour didn’t change on any way. Hard to say if crew was so coldhearted that losing a long time travel partner does not make any kind of humane reaction.

Direction was stylish in many places and its visual side was beautiful. Unfortunately even on this garden of direction there is still a place for its snake which ate the potential the movie had in its hands. If the directing would have been more moderate it could have been much better for viewer. For example on some parts the cutting was too fast and too confusing so it was easy to lost the general bigger scale picture what was happening. Especially on the end of the movie there were multiple scenes where cutting were so fast from part to another that it was confusing to follow what just happened.

Despite the quite interesting story part of its meaningfulness was lost with the plot twists which just totally felt unnecessary for the bigger picture. Of course those twists were added to make more tension for the accomplishment of the mission. For example the scene when the crew finds out that there is no enough air for all of them and they start to ponder if they would put somebody cold.

Even with all the negative sides Sunshine is entertaining movie with stylish expression and it is good enough to see it on another time as well.

Points: 5/10 (IMDB: 7,3/10)