On Netflix: Paradise Now (2005)

Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Language: Arabic and English
Cast: Kais Nashif, Ali Suliman, Lubna Azabal
Runtime: 90 mins

So I skipped through the “critically acclaimed” films on Netflix and came across this Palestinian film from 2005. I found the plot description interesting and after IMDB-ing it, I saw it was nominated for an Oscar, and decided to give it a try.

The story is about two best friends, Said and Khaled, living in a small town, Nablus,  in Palestine. One day they are chosen to go to Tel Aviv in Israel as suicide bombers, but the night before they’re leaving they question whether this is the right decision of fighting Israel or not.

Personally I do not know much about the conflict between Palestine and Israel even though i know people from both places, which is one of the reasons I wanted to see this film. It did give me an insight in to the conflict though, and the issues between Muslims and Jews in this setting. I think this film raise important questions, and this is why it was nominated for an Oscar. It had some holes in the story, and a bit confusing time line at times. I think the female character Suha (Lubna Azabal) is supposed to be a voice of reason and new thinking. She is cultured, has experienced the world and is an independent woman. On the other hand we have Said and Khaled from this little isolated town and raised in a refugee camp, only knowing what they’ve taught through family and their hard life. The film is nicely depicting friendship and family, and following what you believe is your fate.

Even if I found the beginning to be a bit slow, I enjoyed watching it by the end. I found it very interesting to get an insight in how, and why things like this happen. What drives people to do attacks like this, even when there is a chance to hurt innocent people. It is a good and very interesting film, and i recommend it to fans of international and political / historical films.

ylwstarylwstarylwstarhalfstar2whitestar

– CinaMonster –

P.S. I’ve started from now on to rate the films on a 5 star rating system 😉 Sometimes a rating is not necessary though, as it is all up to the personal experience. 🙂

What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?

Being a huge fan of horror films I have in recent years lost faith in this genre of film. Commercial horror films that is.

Some of my favorite films are the new-Hollywood horror films from around the 68 to early 80’s. Because this was the era after Motion Picture Production Code (film censorship laws), the filmmakers used their new freedom to create some of the most shocking (at the time) films. Of course i also enjoy Hitchcock, and a few 90’s films. Some of my fave horror films are for instance The Shining, The Exorcist, The Sixth Sense, and The Birds. Quadruple THE!

I believe it is hard to come up with an original idea these days, but still, how hard is it to make it scary? I mean, in a psychological way. The new horror films are only meant to scare you in the moment, and not after. These scares are made out of loud noises building up to moments that actually isn’t scary at all, if it wasn’t for these loud noises. It’s like the audience is frighten of the sudden loud noise, not the actual picture, character or situation in the film. Of course this is an amazing example of how important music and sound effects are in films, but i think it’s a cheap way of making a scary movie. It’s like there’s no thought put into it, as they only rely on these sudden noises. When I watched Sinister in the cinema for instance, I was so exhausted after the film because of the constant building-up-to-a-scare sounds and music. The actual “scare” that the sounds were building up to however, was just a few insects, or a lawnmower… LAWNMOWER! And what about Paranormal Activity? How many are they supposed to make! I know they make a lot of money on these films, and I find it sad that money controls this industry as much as it does. I admit i thought the first one was okey, idea wise. Not very scary, but I enjoyed the low-budget documentary Blair Witch-ish influence.. But that was many years ago! I’m tired of all these sequels and prequels and whatever. When I watched the last one in the cinema, I only got frightened because of all the 12 year old screaming around me. Another example is the films The Purge and You’re Next… I have only seen The Purge, because i don’t want to see You’re Next.. Why? Well, they look exactly the same!! People in masks, trying to get into your house, killing people… How exciting! I know the actual plot is different from each other, but it looks pretty much the same.. Only that the people in You’re Next would fit in the “What Does the Fox Say” video.

RING-DING-DING!

And of course, if it isn’t the loud noises they scare you with, it is the massive amount of blood, or grotesque killings that makes your stomach turn. It’s not about the story anymore, it is about the sounds and visuals. For instance, I find the two first Saw films to be very good. The last… million.. however, it seems like they only put in torture and blood just for the sake of it. The more the better! And i do understand that this appeal to their audience, the fans of Slasher films, but also having a story, would be highly appreciated. I’ve also seen that these torture/bloody scenes have moved out of the Slasher flicks and into normal horror, which means you can’t choose. I personally don’t have an issue with blood and torture scenes, I find it hilarious at times because it is so overly used.

I am not saying ALL new horror films are bad, but a lot of them are. One film I have found a bit scary in the last few years is Insidious though, so in between all the rocks, there are some gems! 😉 Other than that I favor the non-commercial international horror films at this time in history! Like for instance Ringu (JPN), Audition (JPN), and REC (Spain), and I actually find the Norwegian film Villmark to be pretty decent too.

So I mean, is this time the death of horror films? Are there no more original ideas, so we have to re-make all of them? Has the filmmakers and studios just become lazy and redundant? Or do they really just give us what we, the audience, want?

“What’s your favorite Scary Move?”

The next Paranormal Activity perhaps! No thanks!

– CinaMonster –

Cine-Review: Frozen

Title: Frozen
Year: 2013
By: Disney

Synopsis:
Princess Elsa has a secret power of controlling snow and ice. By an accident she hurts her sister Anna when she is young and is banned from using her powers again. Years later, after living in solitude, she is going to be crowned as Queen, but is annoyed by her sisters irrational attitude and end up freezing the whole town of Arendale. Else is mad and scared and runs up to the mountain so she won’t hurt anyone ever again. The film follows Ana on her trip to find her sister and get her to defrost their town.

Review:
I didn’t go into the movie theatre expecting much of this. Yes, it could be as good as Tangled, but after reading some reviews i doubted it. What made me happy was that Disney still holds on to their traditions of musical elements in their animated films. This film may not hold classics like heard in Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, but I found it heartwarming and fun to re-live these childhood memories of Disney films and songs. Some of the songs are also a bit long and weird to be honest.
Since I am from the North, what i enjoyed most in this film was the influences it has from Scandinavian-, in particular Norwegian culture! The music, the names, the scenery resembles my culture, and it makes me a bit proud that Disney has chosen to portray this in one of their films.
All in all, the film is entertaining, and has it’s fun moments. Especially the Snowman Olaf and the reindeer Sven makes the film very enjoyable! The songs however, are a bit long and out of place at times, but the overall impression is quite good.

So if you are into Disney, and musicals… this is the film for you!

– CinaMonster –

Zero to Hero: Day 1: Introduction to me!

I have decided to do the Zero to Hero challenge: 30 Days to a Better blog that I found on wordpress a few days ago.. may be a little late, but better late than never. Reasons for this is because I often forget to blog, and this will hopefully get me into a routine and motivate me 🙂

I chose to make a blog because I want to share my views on things with as many people as i can. It is not that i have chosen this instead of a personal journal, as I keep one of those too under my bed 😉

The topics I will write about is mostly the universe of film and music.. & some times TV and video games if I find a good one. I am also interested in health and may occasionally post some recipes and motivational videos and tips. Why film and music you may ask! Well, I do have a bachelors degree in film and cultural studies, and wish to use this knowledge in some way since getting a job in the field is very hard 😉 Also I am a self-taught guitarist, and loves music! Any music! Mostly rock, punk and metal though. I often go to gigs and would like to share this with you, as well as my favorite bands. From time to time I am sure i’ll post about some other things too of course, nothing is settled!

Through this blog i want to reach out to people who have an interest in films.. all kinds of films and music.

My goal for 2014 with this blog is to connect with some film and music lovers, and also become a better writer! =)

-CinaMonster-

I'm a Zero to Hero Blogger!

Films I look forward to in 2014

Tonight is the Golden Globe, and therefore I have chosen to list some of the films I am looking forward to see this year!

I have picked a few films from the 2014 list of films found on movieinsider.com and form VG.no. Some of these films may not look the best or get the best reviews, but I am still excited to see them all. 🙂 Sadly there is few international (non-US), and indie films on these list, so I think I will have to make another list for that later. Also, I didn’t get to read about all the films on the list, so there may be a few more i’ll wanna see… so the list may get updated when I have time!

P.S Other movie suggestions are highly appreciated! 😀

Films I’m REALLY looking forward to see:

  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • The Anchorman 2
  • American Hustle
  • Dumb and Dumber To
  • Nymphomaniac
  • Rio 2
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • 22 Jump Street
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
  • The Hobbit: There and Back Again
  • Dallas Buyers Club

Other films:

  • Exodus
  • Gimme Shelter
  • Her
  • The LEGO Movie
  • Pompeii
  • 300: Rise of An Empire
  • Noah
  • Godzilla
  • Maleficent
  • Neighbors
  • Transformers 4: Age of Extinction
  • Hercules: The Thracian Wars
  • The Expandables 3
  • The Maze Runner
  • The Interview
  • Fury
  • Big Eyes

For the complete list visit on movieinsider.com:
http://www.movieinsider.com/movies/-/2014/

VG.no
http://www.vgtv.no/#!id=76283&index=6

– CinaMonster-

 

What’s Eating Shia LaBeouf?

Yesterday I saw an article about Shia LaBeouf retiring in a Norwegian online Newspaper (Dagbladet).
I love Shia, so I found it a bit sad that this recent plagiarism war (also been written about in this newspaper earlier) he’s in has gotten this far. Then again, after reading around a bit, I am not sure if this tweet is really him “retiring” or just another paraphrased tweet copying Justin Bieber’s “retirement” not so very long ago.

As much as I understand why there is so much hate around him for this plagiarism issue, I also think it is ridiculous that this has gotten so much PR, and that the media is analyzing his every word! I’m sure if you look long enough, and dig far enough you’ll find that every idea has been inspired and seeded by some other persons idea. To be 100% original these days is extremely hard. We see it in music, film and everywhere else. Only because Shia didn’t mention this guys name in his film, he’s done something wrong. He was only 2 words away from not getting sued. Maybe just one phone call. Which was a rookie mistake.

So what is plagiarism?

(from google)
plagiarism (pleɪdʒərɪz(ə)m), noun
  1. the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own. 
I agree that he should’ve credited Daniel Clowes in his film.
And any other author he has copied bits from, or been inspired by in his other works, it wouldn’t take that much time to do.
Of course he should have, i’m aware of the copyright laws.
But he didn’t. Get over it.
Now everyone knows.. so what’s the big deal. Just let it go.
Why sue Shia when this guy has gotten so much PR from this incident, he should be happy. I’m sure even more people will buy his graphic novels now.

I also find it hilarious that people keep getting annoyed over his “stolen” apologies on twitter. Obviously he does it on purpose. Maybe I just have a temper, like he seems to have, but who wouldn’t if they knew people were watching and analyzing every step they took. It’s stupid that people care so much about a copied sentence, obviously put there to annoy, which also makes it a reason to do it.

But Shia isn’t the first one to plagiarize, is he?
Just the idea of ownership. How much longer can it last, when nearly every idea has been used.

Imagine if everyone would get angry for everything that was “stolen” from them. How about films. How many films copy ideas from each other? How many times have we seen clips almost identical to, for instance, scenes from The Shining. And stories, and characters and songs, and photos. Also, I wonder if every comedy sketch gets permission to make a parody of a film, scene, song or whatever (Of course if they pay enough money.)? They may of course credit the original most of the time, but not always. How many songs use the same chord progression? Anyone?
And can you sue the U.S (and others of course) from taking numerous film ideas (and usually destroying them) from other countries? I guess not, cause they pay for the rights. How about Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg getting sued because he “stole” a social networking idea, it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t so successful. It’s all about the money and fame, but we all know that.
How about photos. Visualize a paparazzi who takes all these secret pictures of celebrities, even when they don’t want to. Don’t you own yourself? No the paparazzi does.. at least the picture, of YOU. So just sue everyone who takes a picture and publish it without your permission!
Ex-to-the-Aggeration.

You can’t copyright an idea.

I once wrote a song that sounded exactly like a song from The Offsprings. I’d never heard the song before and I didn’t know that it was almost identical until years later. If I was famous, someone would’ve picked that up long ago and gossiped until it reached The Offsprings and I may’ve gotten sued too! Luckily, i’m not famous.

Point is, original ideas don’t grow on trees. Sometimes you may believe you have an awesome, never-ever-though-off-before idea, but then it turns out.. it’s not. But if you are able to inspire a person enough for him wanting to make a film out of your idea/story, try to be a little bit happy about it. Now you’ve got your credit, stop whining. And you’ll probably get some money too for it, so stop whining.

Oh yeah, and I read another blog post about Shia, plagiarism and that he wouldn’t make it in college.
Funny, cause yeah you can’t plagiarize in your essays in college, but you are aloud to paraphrase and use quotes. In fact you sort of have to. We are taught to use others ideas, and set them up against each other. We are taught that these are the correct theories, and if you think otherwise, leave these thoughts out of the essay, cause personal interpretations are not well for you grade, because you’re just a student with not enough knowledge to have your own say. So I think he would do pretty well in college if he remembered to write a bibliography and use quotation marks.

My point is:
Yes! Shia did wrong by not accredit this man, but!
Why blow up such a tiny thing, and why keep pushing it.
We all know he copied Clowes novel and others by now.
Give him a break. Most of you critics, he’s never even spoken off.

I’ve learned that if someone really annoys you, why spend time on them, just ignore them. They won’t find it amusing anymore to irritate you. So if you don’t like Shia, ignore him instead of writing mean, pointless comments, and analyzing his every word.

It’s like if you feed the bird in the winter, it will keep coming back. If you then stop, it’ll die of starvation.
In other words.. just don’t give him attention if you want his “stolen” tweets to die of the lack of recognition.
I’m still amazed these news have reached the cold north.

So my last words are:
LEAVE SHIA ALOONE!

and watch Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac when it comes out! 😀

– CinaMonster-

P.S. Sorry about the digressions. This is just my thoughts.

Hail to the King!

I’m so excited to hear the new Avenged Sevenfold album this month! It’s been a while since they’ve released an album and been on tour… but being one of my favorite band i am sure this new album will not disappoint. Even without the genius The Rev to help writing it, i’m sure this album will have its usual sexy guitar solos and beautiful music.
Also i can’t wait to see them in November, their live shows never fail to please me.

Check out this new inerview with M Shadows and Zacky V :oD

Interview with Matt and Zacky

Check out their new single: Hail to the King

 

– CinaMonster –

The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

Short Review

Cast: Ewan McGregor, George Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges
Director: Grant Heslov

So it was Sunday night and i felt like watching an Ewan McGregor film i hadn’t seen, and ended up with this film: The Men Who Stare at Goats. I remember trying to watch it with a friend right after it came out, but it wasn’t much of interest to my friend, so we switched to something else.
Anyway, I didn’t have much expectation for this film as a “laughing-out” comedy, as what i’d seen before didn’t strike to me as being my type of humor. The plot revolves around a reporter, Bob, who meets a former member of the U.S. Army’s New Earth Army. From there on they go on a mission together in Iraq, where Bob learns more about the psychic, Jedi warriors in the Army. I must say, the Star Wars references in this film is a bit awkward, and the story is a bit boring and hard to follow at times. There are of course some joy able moments in the film, Clooney’s character for instance comes off as an entertaining madman. But unless you really love the actors in this film (there are many good ones), and like a bit of dry humor, you won’t be able to enjoy it much.

Rating: 4/6

Trailer:

-CinaMonster-

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Review:

Voices: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler ++.

After having this film on my computer for a while, I finally managed to get around seeing this movie while waiting for my late train the other day.
I did not have much expectations for this film to be honest, but it absolutely caught my attention from beginning to end.
The main character is really easy to sympathize with, and the story is very entertaining and even emotional at times visualizing the relationship between father and son, and the main character and his pet dragon. This animated family film is a lot of fun, and I especially enjoyed them being vikings… as i am one myself 😉

I strongly recommend this film! It is really enjoyable, and I understand why it was nominated for an Oscar! Great film! =)

Rating: 6/6

Trailer

-CinaMonster-