Oct 31, 2010

Lost Season Five - there and back again


Number of episodes / Days it took me: 17 / 5 (...Haha. That season 6 boxset and all those unseen extras sure are motivating... Also, I have a week off from school so that helps too. Oh well. Excuses, excuses... I'm just no-life.)

What goes on on season 5: As Ben turned the wheel, he 'dislounged the island from time' (don't look at me, Daniel Faraday's words, not mine...), so the remaining Losties are now jumping there and back again in time. Fun, right? Well, not quite so. See, they start suffering from something that Dan calls 'like really bad jetlag', so their noses start to bleed and stuff. Luckily, Locke follows Ben's footsteps and turns the wheel again, thus leaving the island and stopping the time-jumps. The thing is, he left the island believing that he needs to bring everyone who previously left back there. So, after three years, when they actually do return, they only screw things up, as it turns out no one really needed rescuing - they had built good lives for themselves in the island, in the 1970s. The Dharma Initiative sure is a good employer! Meanwhile in the 21st century, Locke (who died off the island) seems to be alive and kicking again, but really it's just Jacob's evil (?) brother (who I'd like to call Flocke), who uses John's body for some evil (?) business that involves Jacob being killed. Back in the 1970s, Jack believes he is destined to detonate a hydrogen bomb, positive it'll prevent the crashing of Oceanic 815. So all five season would be in vain? Nice, Jack.

Coolest new characters: Pierre Chang, though he's not really new. And that's the coolest thing! That slightly creepy dude from the old Orientation tapes is back, and in a way no one would've guessed back when we watched him babble about the Swan Station in season two. Awesomeness, I say...

Coolest storylines: The time travelling, telling us a lot about the history of the island, the Others and good old Danielle Rousseau. + The Dharma times, because that was just so deliciously genious. It's awesome enough that we get to meet old buddies like Dr. Chang, Radzinzky (who's such an a-hole I'm only happy to know he'll end up blowing his own brains out) and little Ben face to face, but we also get to witness the constraction of our very own Hatch, meaning the Swan Station. And of course Jack the janitor wiping blackboards is something worth seeing. + After seeing the last season, it was also very enjoyable to watch the Man in Black (or Flocke or whatever you like to call him) work his magic and plot his evil schemes behind the face of John Locke.

Coolest foreshadowings: Faraday says that the rules don't apply to Desmond, that he's special. + It's not foreshadowing, per ce, but the church where they meet Eloise Hawking is the same church where they... hang out in season 6 finale. Cool! Never realised it before. + After Ben 'summons' the monster, he hears something moving in the forrest and he tells Sun to go inside, because "What's about to come out of that jungle is something I can't control." ... And Locke appears. I remember chuckling at it in the first time around, but actually, it was just spot-on. + The word 'candidate' is mentioned for the first time. + The battle between good and evil is ready to start for real. Only we're not sure who's good and who's bad.

Coolest character developments: Sawyer, I mean James, I mean LaFleur. In three years he did some serious growing up, worked his way to a position of a respected leader, and found himself some true love. I love the new, mature James, but I also love that the old chain-smoking jackass is still in there somewhere, ready to kick some ass when necessary. I also ADORE Miles this season! In Some Like It Hoth, we get to have a look behind that facade of awesome sarcastic comments, and I like what I see. I also get a kick out of Ken Leung's acting. The way Miles acts around Dr. Chang, avoiding eye contact, pretending to be respectfully indifferent, is fantastic. (Also Jack, going all man of faith, but I'll write about it more in the season 6 post, after the transformation is complete.)

The "...meh" moments of the season: Sayid says that the nine months he spent with Nadia before she died were the best of his life. NOT the two steamy weeks on the island. Guess the writers forgot this when working on the series finale... Meh. + Hurley witnesses the numbers being put on the hatch lid - which would've been totally cool, only the numbers weren't on the lid, you idiots! It's always so dull when they make such obvious errors. Like in season 6 they say Charlotte is an archeologist. NO SHE'S NOT, she's an anthropologist! This is serious business for us Lost geeks.

The "OMGSFRgtrh"#¤#T%TY!!!11" moments of the season: Charles Widmore was an Other?? ... And so was Dan's mom?? ... And Widmore is Dan father?? Gee. + The end of The Little Prince, when we meet... a French-speaking science team and a French-speaking pregnant lady, who says her name is... well, we guessed it already. Oh and JIN! ALIVE! WHOO! + "This is your captain, Frank Lapidus..." OMG, YES! Everyone's favourite Yahoo is back! He won't be doing anything useful but dropping awesome comments, but I welcome him back with open arms! + Sayid shoots little Ben. That was a bit cruel... + Ben being judged. That's a very good scene, a bit OMG, a bit WTF and a bit snifsnif. The biggest OMG factor is that the CGI in this scene is amazing. Haha. No offence, but I didn't think they had it in them. And Michael Emerson rocks once again. + Eloise shoots her son, Daniel. And she knew it would happen before he was even born. Confusing, but so harsh.

The "WHAT-THE-F..." moments of the season: Through most of the season, Sayid is wearing ladies' clothes. That purple blouse and a tank top with a plunging neckline. I could wear that. WTF, costume designer? (Er, okay, I don't have enough WTF moments. Had to write something here. But seriously, that outfit is ridiculous.) + (Okay, one real WTF thingy.) When we were led to believe that John came back from the dead, I was very WTF and confused. Also, I didn't like it at all. That was just too... freakish. And I didn't like the 'new John'. (Terrific work by Terry O'Quinn, by the way, the way he played Flocke... Still a bit like John, but something was... off. He was just too sure, too confident.) So when it was revealed that he actually was dead and there was just some other dude playing around with his appearance, I was quite relieved.

The "snifsnif" moments of the season: Kate tells Claire's mum the truth and hands Aaron over to her. It was quite touching though Kate seldom makes me feel anything at all. Maybe it's because Aaron is so damn cute. + In the end of Some Like It Hoth, Miles sees his dad and his baby-self and he realises his dad actually cared about him. Aw, poor Miles. + The 'first death' of Juliet. God, that's just heartbreaking every time. Great acting.

The "HAHAHAHAHA" moments of the season: Hugo, when talking about Jeremy Bentham: "I need a cool code name." + John (who apparently wants even more mystery in his life): "What is it?" Richard: "It's a compass." J: "What does it do?" R: "It points north, John." + Carmen Reyes: "Why is there a dead Pakistani on my couch?" She shows up once a season and sweeps the board clean! + Ben: "Hello, Hugo." Hugo: "Yaaaaargh!" I've watched this video like ten times in a row now. + James, Juliet and co. are being shot (by whom??) while they're canoeing, then they feel a flash coming on and James goes: "Thank you Lord!" They travel in time and end up in the middle of a storm... "I take that back!" + Jack to Ben, in the plane when they're going back and waiting for something to happen: "How can you read?" Ben: "My mother taught me." Coolest thing is that he lies even when he's joking like that - his mother died when he was born. Another example comes later when Flocke says: "Mind if I ask you a question?" And Ben goes: "I'm a pisces." Bet his not. + Hurley and Miles discuss time travel. + Hurley: "We car-pool, help global warming, which hasn't happened yet, so maybe we can prevent it." + Hurley to Miles, about the ability to talk to the dead: " You're just jealous because my power is better than yours." + Dr. Chang's quiz show and Hurley, who just never learns how to lie. Brilliant!

The "awwwwww" moments of the season: Hugo's I <3 my Shih-Tzu t-shirt. + Hurley tells his mom the truth, in a very Hurley-ish way. ("...Well is was never really clear on that.") + Des and Pen named their son Charlie! And he's cute, with those blond curls and all. + When they are jumping in time, James sees Kate in the jungle, delivering Claire's baby. Then he tells about it to Juliet and they bond. Aww. + Reunion in the beginning of Namaste - James, when hugged by Hugo: "Easy on the ribs, Kong." Hurley: "'Kong'... I actually missed that." And when Jin says something he goes: "Dude, your English is awesome." + Rose, Bernard, Vincent and the peaceful, 'don't get involved' way of life. + Sun finds Charlie's ring! Shame it ends up in the bottom of the ocean after all.

The "WHOO! Kick ass!" moment of the season: This isn't literal ass-kicking, but it makes me go HA HA. Young Charles Widmore, after escaping John and co: "Their leader is some sodding old man. You think he can track? You think he knows this island better than I do?" Well, Charles... ha ha!

The moments I can't fit under any other category but want to mention anyway because they are simply awesome: Locke by the Beechcraft, both times. Wonderfully complex. Flocke told Richard to tell Locke that the others have to come back and that he needs to die. And Richard told Locke what Flocke had told him to tell him, because he thought Flocke was Locke. + Hurley gets tips from Ana Lucia. "Libby says hi." Aww. + Jack & John destiny talk vol. 3, as John is brought to Jack's hospital and John says that they have to go back. He doesn't get Jack convinced (though he plants a seed of doubt), which leads to... the suicide-turned-murder of John Locke. What a great scene. Ben did it once again, took us totally by surprise. + Hurley making suggestive conversation with Miles and Miles' dad, who doesn't know the adult version of his 3-month old son is sitting next to him. Later on the episode, there's this awesome chat between Hugo and Miles, spiced up with a little Star Wars. (Like Miles says: "That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard." And yet, somehow it works just splendidly.) + All the flashback in The Incident, Jacob visiting Kate (it's almost freaky how much the little girl looks like Evangeline Lilly), James (the letter! Poor little boy), Sayid, Jack (the true 'count to five' story revealed... It was a lot more humiliating that he let Kate believe) and John. + Ben kills Jacob. It's cool how Jacob lets Flocke to manipulate Ben and has short of accepted that he will die. "What about ME?" "What ABOUT you?"

A few more random but ever so awesome quotes: Jack, when his putting his dad's shoes on dead John, like Ms Hawking told him to: "Wherever you are, John, you must be laughing your ass off that I'm actually doing this." I hope he is. I hope he's like HA HA. + Frank: "We're not going to Guam, are we?" That comment was born to be a legend. + Ben: "You're a killer, Sayid." & "You were right about me. I am a killer." + "Hello, Ben. Welcome back to the land of the living." A killer line, definitely. + Flocke as Locke: "I was hoping we could talk about the elephant in the room." Ben, quite matter-of-factly: "I assume you're referring to the fact that I killed you." + "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" + Sayid about Jack's hydrogen bomb plan: "If this works, you might just save us all. And if it doesn't? At least you'll put us out of our misery." That's the spirit, Sayid...

Dumbest Jack moment of the season: Refusing to save little Ben. And thus causing Ben to 'lose his innocence' or whatever and making him the wonderful evil Ben we've all grown to hate and love. Tables turned, jackass...

Funniest Sawyer nickname of the season: Plato, referring to Daniel. Because well, he was even more difficult to follow this season. To quote James and Miles: "Is he still crazy?" "It's on a whole new level, man."

Best openings: The season opening (though it doesn't quite reach the coolness level of the openings of seasons 1, 2 or 3. Or 6.) - we see Pierre Chang get up at 8:15, feed little Miles, go to work, talk fancy science stuff. When his gone, this guy says "Time-travel? How stupid does that guy think we are?" to another guy, who turns out to be Daniel. Yeah, pretty stupid... + 316 - it begins pretty much like The Pilot, which is always cool. And it's also cool how they first show us that they got back to the island, and only after tell us how. They do that a lot. I like it. + And of course The Incident - the introduction of Jacob. Again, they first show us the answer and only afterwards tell us what the question was. Who knew they'd show us Jacob just like that? That's so typical of Lost. (Just like the mystery of the hatch in the season two opening.) The scene is the main key to the last season. It's as close to perfect as it can get.

Best endings: LaFleur - after convincing Horace that three years is definitely enough time to get over someone, he gets to test his claim as he meets Kate (and Jack and Hurley) again. And most of all, The Incident. When I watched it for the first time and that screen turned white instead of black, I just freaked out - jumped around, banged my head against the wall numerous times, ran a few circles on our backyard, possible screaming a little. Now that's what you call a cliffhanger.

Best special features: Making up for LOST time. It sums up quite nicely what's so cool about season five. And why time travel rocks.

Best of the Blooper Reel: Kate and the horn. Jack and Hurley and romantic comedy. Sayid's head.  Ethan: "Where are you?" Charlotte and Dan dancing. Hurley's dad, sweep sweep. Haha.

Best episodes: LaFleur (because that's where the season really gets going), Dead Is Dead (because Ben is awesome), Some Like It Hoth (because Miles is awesome), The Incident (because... because).

The questions I wanted aswered but they never were: I always wanted to see those 'Others 101' lessons - as Juliet called them - where they are thought Latin and Kung Fu (or whatever) and how to not leave tracks and move gracefully in the jungle and general badass-ness.

The quote to summarize season 5: "Three years, no burning cars. You're here one day... Get on that hose!" or maybe Richard's "I'm starting to think John Locke is gonna be trouble." (Followed by Ben's :"Why do you think I tried to kill him?") "Do you have any idea how badly I want to kill you?" kind of summarizes the whole series, in a way...

Overall how it felt like to watch season 5 again: During the first watch of season 5, I remember feeling quite nostalgic about the early seasons. As awesome as the storylines now were, I couldn't help missing all those little character moments that I'm so very fond of, and that I was now getting less and less. But true as this might be, I like season 5 a lot. In addition to all the praise I've already given, there are a few more things.

As I've mentioned before, I love Juliet and James together. I was rooting for Kate/Sawyer before, but after LaFleur, it was bye bye Skate and hello Suliet! But I still like the scenes between Kate and James, because the chemistry is still there. For example there's that one scene where they discuss Clementine, James' daughter Kate looked up for him, and how their (Kate and Sawyer's) relationship would've never worked.

The Lamp Post is such a cool station! I wanted to see more of it. The pendulum swinging eerily on the background and the map on the floor... Also, I almost added a new category, 'The coolest intertextual reference of the season'... Narnia, anyone?

One more Ben-related thought, then I promise I'm done. There was a time during this rewatch, when I felt sorry for Ben. There is that cool moment when Ben looses his temper, because no one appreciates the work his doing for them to get back to the island. I thought, "Yeah! And no one ever thanks him." I didn't remember anyone ever thanking him. Then, my memory was refreshed. In The Life And Death Of Jeremy Bentham, John thanks Ben for talking him out of killing himself. A minute later Ben strangles him. Hmm, I wonder why no one ever thanks him...

I was supposed to make this post shorter than the previous ones, but oh well. I tried, okay?

What's next: My next week looks unpleasantly busy, with various deadlines (which I soon have to stop ignoring...), baby-sitting duties, extra lectures, and party preparations, so I don't know when I'll be able to start with the final season. But as soon as I do, it won't take long till I'm done. The end (/The End) is near...

Oct 27, 2010

The Social Network (2010) - Eeva likes this

 directed by David Fincher / starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rooney Mara

... And she likes it a lot! When I first heard that there would be a 'Facebook movie', I was like 'oh MAN'. When I heard it was going to be directed by David Fincher, I was like 'okay, man'. Then I saw the trailer and I was like 'YEAH, man!', and now I'm running out of man-related ways of expressing my expectations. Anyway. I liked it and I liked it a lot.

In the fall of 2003 Mark Zuckerberg is dumbed by his girlfriend. So, he sits down in front of his computer in his dorm room at Harvard university, and does what every self-respecting gentleman does after a break-up - creates a site where you can rank the girls of the campus according to the level of their hotness. Of this fierce, drunken session of programming, begins Mark's accidental journey that leads him to becoming the world's youngest billionaire. Oh, and facing a teeny weeny law suit, filed by his (ex-)best friend. And that's The Social Network for you!

What do 500 million people do about two hundred times a day? Well, a lot of things, but certain 500 million people go to a certain website called Facebook and see what their 673 friends have been up to lately - like what did they have for dinner or did their pet hamster have a birthday or whether they're planning to take a shower before or after Grey's Anatomy - and in return, they do those 673 people a favour and describe their own plans of the day in great detail. And yeah, I'm one of those 500 million people, and even though I don't have 673 friends (only 165 - I've lost one again, I just noticed), I'm still an active user and not all my status updates are hugely informative and necessary so I just stop mocking now.

Facebook is obviously a huge phenomenon. It's become such a natural part of our world, that you just assume that every person you meet is on Facebook and it's easy to forget that there are still people who don't like telling their real name or posting pictures of themselves online. Remember that time when you didn't dare tell your first name on an internet forum? Because I hardly do, but that was just a few years ago, really. The film really got me thinking, among various other things, about when you put something in the internet, there's a good change you never get it out again. "The internet's not written in pencil, Mark. It's written in ink." Indeed. I immidiately started thinking if there's something in my blog that my future employers, or future ex-best friends who want to sue me, could use against me. This is serious stuff. Just think about the chicken.

Back to the movie, now. I could babble about FB a lot more, it's just a fascinating and funny phenomenon, it somehow tells a lot about the world we live in, the need of popularity, selling of the self-image and satisfying the need for social contacts with a touch of a finger (because sometimes "Liking" something is all the nurturing your relationships need...). Anyway, I want to babble about the movie too. Because it was gooood!

A story about creating a web page paralleled by a story of a law suit doesn't sound like a movie many people would like to see. Throw a former boy band member to the mix and you've got the perfect ingridients for a guaranteed flop! Or you can give the project to David Fincher and let him make it a real gem. I'm not sure how he didn't, but I enjoyed every minute of the origin story of a web page, I even got a kick out of all that geek talk I didn't understand a word of. And I enjoyed the popstar, too. Hats up for David Fincher. Seriously. One heck of a superman, he is. (I first wrote 'hell', but then thought my future employers might disapprove that. Please hire me, I'm really not as bad as I sound.)

Jesse Eisenberg is AMAZING. He pretty much has only that one expression on his face throughout the whole film, but that's all we need because he damn rocks that expression! I loved those bone-dry, sarcastic, harsh comments he kept throwing around. His character is a socially handicapped a-hole, really, but Eisenberg plays it so damn well that he never annoys you - too much. Please someone give this guy some awards. Also, Justin Timberlake was surprisingly good! I mean, not that surprisingly, since Fincher hired him in the first place, and sure I'd heard a lot about him beforehand, but anyway. I didn't have to Cry Me A River, because he pretty much Rocked Your Body.

However, it wasn't Mr Popstar, who Brought Sexy Back (yeah, yeah, that was the last one, I promise. I don't know any other songs, anyway). I keep falling more and more in love with Andrew Garfield! That guy is just so freaking adorable and so freaking talented it almost hurts! Plus he's so freaking likable I bet I'd like him even if he played Hitler. (... "I'm really hoping it's 'Cats that look like Hitler', because I can never get enough of that." Hahahaha. Oh god.) I don't need to beg anyone give this guy awards, because they'll be pumping them out for him long after he asks them to stop. Cuz he's just that good, y'all.

The Social Network is unexpectedly dramatic, fascinating, compelling, intelligent, profound, looking past the programming and web sites and status updates, and telling something rather timeless about friendship, success, power and loyalty. I also want to compliment the music and the editing and the dynamics of the film. All that over-lapping dialogue was just genious.

Last but not least, the humour of the film was awesome. Unexpectedly so. (The film was unexpected in many ways...) Mark's sarcasm went down with me so well, and the twins, the 'Winkelvi'... "I'm six-five, 220 pounds, and there are two of me." They were played by one single guy, by the way! (I just looked the actor up and the he's name is Armie Hammer. I've decided not to use smileys on my blog posts because there'd be no end once I'd get started, but I have to make an exception. Armie Hammer? :D:D:D:D Seriously? :D:D Oh, I don't know, maybe it's funny only because it's way past midnight and my head's a bit sore. Anyway, he could play Prince William. Same jaw.)

The Social Network was so enjoyable I don't want to flatten my post-cinema experience by pondering about truthfulness of the story or trying to find something to criticize. Though it'd be interesting to know how the real Mark Zuckerman would react on the story of his own life (not going to happen, I guess, I remember reading he's not planning on seeing it - I understand why) and sure, it wasn't a perfect movie. But let's not go there, today. The Social Network will quite certainly be on my top 5 of 2010. It's been a very good year, and I'm already looking forward to the Oscars, so I can once again watch and curse while they award movies I don't like or haven't seen. But let's not go there, either, not yet.

Finally, two trivial facts. 1) While writing this post I've been checking my FB profile every five minutes or so. 2) When we left the cinema today and said goodbye, my last words to my friend were: "I'll talk to you later... on Facebook." Funny world...

"A guy who makes a nice chair doesn't owe money to everyone who has ever built a chair."

Oct 25, 2010

Mamma Mia! (2008) - thank you for the music, indeed

directed by Phyllinda Lloyd / starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Amanda Seyfried

Today wasn't my day. I sat in front of a blank page with a blank mind, and after some desperate pondering (that went nowhere) I closed the document, left the computer, picked a DVD from my shelf and put Mamma Mia! on. Because sometimes there are days, when that's all you can do - forget about deadlines and enjoy one and a half hours of pure joy.

In the movie version of a hugely popular stage musical hit, Sophie invites three men to her wedding, wishing to find her real father. She bases her hopes to her mum's, named Donna, old diary entries. Figuring out which one of the three candidates shares her DNA turns out to be quite a ride... So Mamma Mia, here we go again.

It's really quite amazing how all those ABBA songs seem to fit so well in the story, without hardly any changes in the lyrics. Donna is having Money Money Money problems. Donna best friends Rosie and Tanya want Donna to let out her inner Dancing Queen again. The father candidates Sam, Bill and Harry reminisce Our Last Summer, when they all met Donna. Sophie's soon-to-be-husband Sky urges Sophie to Lay All Your Love On Me. Sophie wants to know What's The Name Of The Game. Pierce Brosnan gets a duet and it's only approapriate that the song is called SOS. Donna is afraid that time is Slipping Through My Fingers. And When All I Said And Done we can only Thank You For The Music.

ABBA music is just awesome. For the hundredth time I have to humbly swallow my pride and admit that the damn Swedes did it once again. What ever song they are merciful enough to play on Saturday nights, you can bet I'm on the dance floor within that second and once again happily making a fool out of myself. I just can't resist those tunes.

 Meryl Streep is a wonder woman and I adore her and I want to be her! In Mamma Mia! she is again phenomenal, bubbling with great energy and presence. She might be in her 60s, but damn girl, senility isn't something you have to worry about just yet. And if anything else, her Winner Takes It All performance proves that she can sing the crap out of everyone if she wants to!

The actors all do their own singing, obviously. They might not all be qualified for stage (which gives me a good excuse to mention the stage musical. Which was so much fun. There's nothing like that final Waterloo singalong...), but I appreciate them for sticking their necks out and not taking themselves too seriously. Of course there's Amanda Seyfried (with that gorgeous hair I have to mention every time I talk about her), who sings just beautifully, but then on the other hand there's my dear Mr Firth and most of all Mr Bond, James Bond. Seriously, when Prosnan sings, even he himself looks like he's in pain. Oh well. I'm not the one to judge, really, haha. Of the rest of the cast, I want to mention the jättehärligt Stellan Skarsgård, the super hot Dominic Cooper with that super hot accent and Julie Walters, whom I love even when she's overacting.

The movie is silly, alright. There's a lot of screaming and jumping up and down and running around almost to the extent of being annoying. And yet it's just wonderful. It's an exlploding package of joy, fun, music and dance. The exlamation point is in the title for a reason! Mamma Mia! is a stimulant that never fails you. I've watched the movie on numerous rainy days - both literally and figuratively rainy - and every times it manages to light up the skies, bring a smile to my face and make my feet restless.

There's no guilt in this pleasure.

"I grew up."
"Well then grow back down again!"

Oct 23, 2010

Amazing Black Swan posters!

Now I'm even more excited about the upcoming Black Swan movie! These are so cool. (See the other two here.)

Oct 22, 2010

Lost Season Four - a boatful of dull supporting characters on the way!


Number of episodes / Days it took me: 14 / 13 (Pathetic! In the good old days I would've been done with it in a day.)

What goes on on season 4: A group of scientists from the freighter parachute into the island and for a while they pretend they're gonna save our friends, but of course they aren't. There're some differences and they split up to Team Jack and Team John. Then some real E V I L guys with bad-ass super guns come to capture Ben and kill everyone else. There's some shooting and other shady business, but luckily Ben turns a wheel and the island disappears and everyone's happy! Also, Desmond travels to 1996, but only temporarily, Jin's English is improving FAST, and Michael makes a comeback, which might have been an OMG moment, if the actor's name hadn't been in the opening credit for the whole season. (I never thought Mike as a particularly cool character, but this season he kind of is.) Then we say goodbye to Claire and never again see her without a wig.

Coolest new characters: Despite the harsh title of the post, there are a few characters that prove themselves quite worthy, though most of them only later on. Of course there's Miles "Awesome, the ship sent us another Sawyer" Straume, Frank "Yahoo" Lapidus and Martin "What does it look like we're doing? We're shooting things" Keamy. And then there's Daniel "Half the stuff he says goes way over my head. The other half goes way, way over" Faraday. Charlotte is okay, too, I guess, but I can't come up with a good quote to describe her.

Coolest story lines: The most interesting thing this season is to follow the forming of the Oceanic 6. You know, who got rescued and what happened to them. It's also a joy to watch Ben work his magic - manipulating, talking his way out of tough spots and getting what he wants... most of the time.

Coolest foreshadowing: Dan and the cards, implying that there's something wrong with his memory. Hmm. + Time-travelling 101. "You can't change the future" and so on. + The name of Dan's rat is Eloise. + Charles Widmore's connection to the island. Him buying the logbook of the Black Rock and saying to Ben that the Island is his, it always was. + "Nice day for a swim" and Juliet and Sawyer getting drunk after the freighter explodes. So the bonding begins... Me likes.

Coolest character developments: Ben, probably. He goes through a lot - he's a captive, he talks himself free, he watches his daughter get killed and finally he does an unusually selfless thing and leaves the island to rescue it (sure, just before that he caused the death of a boatful of people, but anyway...). We also find out he has/had a serious crush on Juliet, which is weird and also creepy. It's also cool that in the flash-forwards we meet Hugo crazier and darker than ever. Good old fun-time Hurley is only a distant memory... 

The "...meh" moments of the season: Something Nice Back Home and Jack's appendix. That was a totally boring plot for an episode, especially at this point. OMG I wonder if Jack's going to die of a ruptured appendix!! + The beginning of the season wasn't very good. I'm especially disappointed at the opening shot - no eye! Just mangoes, or papayas, or whatever that fruit was. A funny opening, yeah, but I wanted the tradition to keep on going... (Anyway, it's cool that Hurley got the opening episode.)

The "OMGSFRgtrh"#¤#T%TY!!!11" moments of the season: Sayid's hair in the flashforwards. OMG man, who's your hairdresser? Also, he's working for Ben. How did that happen? + Kate is Aaron's fake mum in the future! So where's Claire? + The end of Ji Yeon as we learn they tricked us with mixed flashbacks and forwards and Jin never got off the island. + Karl and Danielle are shot. That was a fast and brutal ending for those characters... + And the person in the coffin is... OH MY GOD, HOW DID _HE_ END UP IN THERE??

The "WHAT-THE-F..." moments of the season: The polar bear skeleton in the desert. + Ben waking up in the middle of the same desert, wearing a lovely, warm parka. + Ben somehow 'summoning' the monster. (It was weird then, but after seeing the last season it's pretty cool.) + Christian and Claire in 'Jacob's' cabin. The brainwash has already begun! + "He wants us to move the island." Um, okay? + Hurley playing chess with dead people. "Checkmate, Mr. Eko." That was creepy. + Ben turns the 'Frozen Donkey Wheel' (after saying: "I hope you're happy now, Jacob." Gee, that Jacob must be quite a character...) and the island vanishes. Alrighty then...

The "snifsnif" moments of the season: People grieving over Charlie's death. Especially Hurley's sorrow is always hard to swallow. + The phone call in The Constant. Oh dear god what a scene. Des&Pen is true love, y'all. + Sun on Jin's grave in the end of Ji Yeon. + The death of Alex. That's just the most brutal death in the whole series. For once, talking didn't get Ben out of a tricky situation. And the last words she heard were his father saying that she means nothing to him. That Keamy is an E V I L dude... + Oceanic 6 reuniting with their families. I was supposed to place this under the "...meh" category, because I always thought that was a bit anticlimactic, considering how long we'd been waiting for that moment. But this time it made me teary, so I guess it's a "snifsnif" moment, then. + Jin (and the freighter) go BOOM. Sun's reaction makes it sad, despite the events of next season.

The "HAHAHAHAHA" moments of the season: Miles when pointed out he doesn't seem too affected by Naomi's death: "Sure I'm affected. She was hot and I dug her accent." + "Can you fix it?" Sayid: "I need a minute." Just classic, haha. The gadget is literally slaughtered to death but Sayid needs only a minute. + As the freighter people attack the Barracks, Sawyer tells a man to go back inside and right after he gets shot. Alright, not funny, but it happens three times in a row - "Get back inside, now!" Bang. "Get back inside!" Bang. "Go back!" Bang bang. Haha. + John gives Hurley a box of crackers from Ben's stash and Ben tells Hurley they are 15 years old AFTER he's stuffed his mouth full of them. Aw, Ben. + "Jesus Christ is not a weapon!" Aw, Carmen Reyes. + Sawyer, Hugo and John in a seemingly tense strategic conversation, and then Sawyer says he's attacking Siperia. Haha. + Rose: "Who told you you can eat those peanuts?" Miles: "May I eat these peanuts?" And Miles to Dan as he's trying to signal he wants to talk to him: "Something wrong with your neck?" Ah, Miles The Awesome is emerging! + Frank as the helicopter's fuel tank is leaking: "I'd feel a hell of a lot better if we were a few hundred pounds lighter." And cut to Hurley looking awkward. Haha, ouch.

The "awwwwww" moments of the season: Hurley doing a canonball. + Charlie visiting Hugo. Some wouldn't consider it particularly aww, but I just love seeing those two together again. Charlie slapping Hugo and all that. Aww, I miss him. (And Dom looks pretty good in the scene.) + The Lost Christmas Special, meaning The Constant and the Christmas tree in Penny's house as the make the phone call. So damn sweet. + Jin & Bernard and the marriage talk. + Sawyer worrying about Hurley: "You harm as much as one hair on his curly head, I'll kill you." Aww. LaFleur is on the way. + And of course, Ben and Hurley sharing the Apollo bar. (Or granola bar or whatever.) That was totally random, but aww I love that little moment. They would make a good team. Woudn't they...? + Ben saying goodbye to John: "I'm sorry I made your life so miserable." He actually sounds completely sincere for the first time ever. Don't know if he was. + The reunion of Pen and Des. Aww, damn, the joy is killing me!

The "WHOO! Kick ass!" moment of the season: Sawyer going Rambo - fighting a group of professional soldiers with supermega guns, by hiding behind garden furniture and shooting with his little handgun. I call that kick-ass.

The moments I can't fit under any other category but want to mention anyway because they are simply awesome: Jack lying for Kate in court. + In The Shape of Things to Come there's a wonderful little moment as Ben learns the Freighter people are attacking the Barracks: he pulls a gun out of some secret hiding place, Sawyer goes like WHOA and reaches for his own gun, but Ben just hands it to him without paying any attention to his reaction or breaking off the hasty instructions he's giving. I just like that moment. + The Oceanic 6 press conference. + Claire's mum telling Jack his father had a daughter and that daughter was on the plane, too. And then she goes and tells Kate she has a lovely baby. Ouch. + Jack and John meet after a whole season and have another cool chat about destiny. Then John tells Jack that he will regret leaving the island and that they are gonna have to lie. John always knows best! + Sawyer being a hero - jumping off the chopper to save the others.

This post is becoming ridiculously long considering the season has only 14 episodes, but I have to add a paragraph of its own for the scenes with John and Ben in the Orchid station. Because there're a million great moments in those scenes! Or at least... five. 1) Going down in the elevator. Silence. John: "How deep is this station?" Silence. Ben: "Deep." Silence. 2) John: "Is THIS the magic box?" Ben, annoyed: "No, John, it isn't." Forget the damn magic box, I was just messing with your head! Haha. 3) John, after watching the Orchid orientation video: "Was he talking about what I think he was talking about?" Ben, with a amazingly straight face: "If you mean time-travelling bunnies, then yes." A line like that proves that Lost is kind of a unique TV show, doesn't it? Haha, awesome... 4) John, as Ben keeps carrying metal objects in the time-travel device: "You know he said specifically not to put anything metal in there?" Ben nods, slowly, in a how-dumb-do-you-think-I-am kind of way. And finally, 5) after Ben lethally stabs Keamy, and thus triggers the bomb in the freighter, John says, horrified: "You just killed everyone on that boat!" And Ben just goes: "So?" Oh Ben, the lovely Ben.

A few more random but ever so awesome quotes: John about surviving Ben's attempt to shoot him: "I'd probably be dead if I still had a kidney there." + Dan's diary: "If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant." + Juliet: "It's very stressful being an Other." + Ben about a rabbit John's cooked him: "This didn't have a number on in, did it?" + Ben to Michael on the phone after he's agreed to work for him: "Then consider yourself one of the good guys." + Ben: "Because destiny, John, is a fickle bitch." + Jack when returning to the 'real world': "It's okay. They think that we are in shock." Sun: "We are in shock, Jack."

Dumbest Jack moment of the season: He's shaved his chest. Why, man?

Funniest Sawyer nickname of the season: Yoda, meaning Ben, of course. And Yahoo. Because that fits Frank so well. No offence, of course.

Best openings: Cabin Fever - we see a young girl preparing to go out, dressed in 60s clothes and listening to 60s music. She's hit by a car and in the hospital she gives birth to a boy she wants to name John. + There's No Place Like Home pt 2, continuing the 'Jack and Kate meet at the airport' scene from season 3 finale.

Best endings: The Other Woman (I like that clever title, by the way!) - the previously captive Ben strides cheerfully to his house, smiling at Hugo and Sawyer (who look quite puzzled) and singing out: "See you guys at dinner!" + TNPLH pt 1 - the O6 scattered all around and Ben surrendering to Keamy, ever so cooly. And then there's that quote that just defines Ben quite perfectly: "How many times do I have to tell you, John? I always have a plan."

Best special features: The There's No Place Like Home pt 2-3 commentary by Darlton. It's funny! + The Island Backlot : Lost in Hawaii, describing how they turn Hawaii into Tunisia, Iraq, Korea, Berlin... Those people are quite handy!

Best of the Blooper Reel: "...I'm not making much sense, am I?" When do you, Daniel, when do you? + "This is Kate, this is Sun, this is Naveen... Oh fuck." + Des and Jin running. And screaming. In a girly way. + That sound Josh Holloway makes as Kate says: "I'm not moving in with you." Hilarious! + The same guy posing with the backgammon board. + "If I was a dictator, I would just shoot you and go about my day." That's an awesome line anyway. Oh, these guys... This could be the funniest blooper reel of them all.

Best episode: The Constant, of course. I haven't said much about it, except for the phone call, but it should be praised, a lot! However, I'm only going to praise it a little, this time. Desmond is awesome and Henry Ian Cusick is awesome and whoever edited the episode is awesome. I love how the transitions have been made! It's simply an awesome episode. One of the best, if not the one. Also, The Shape of Things to Come, Cabin Fever (cool things like Richard in John's flashbacks, the teenage John - who was already familiar with the character's catch phrase - and all the talk between John and Ben...) and There's No Place Like Home.

The question I wanted aswered but they never were: What are the rules between Ben and Widmore...?

The quote to summarize season 4: "Rescuing you and your people... I can't really say it's our primary objective."

Overall how it felt like to watch season 4 again: Season 4 is a mini season (because of the damn writers' strike), which I think has a negative effect on the overall coherence of it. They obviously had to change some plans, and it seems like the season is missing something. It might sound a bit mental, but I''ve always felt a bit distanced from season 4 - by 'distanced' I mean distanced in the same way you might feel distanced from a person. It just never felt as close to me as the other seasons. (Ah, the joys of blogging! Nowhere else could I have claimed I feel distanced from a season of a TV series, without getting funny looks. Thanks for understanding. If you do. Haha.) Anyway, despite the weak early episodes and the fact that my marathon was stuck for days because I didn't feel like watching Meet Kevin Johnson, season four is good, and interesting, mixing flashbacks, flash-forwards and some time-travel. And it has The Constant and The Constant has the best scene (emotionally, at least. One of the best, at least) ever, I dare say.

What's next: My Season 6 box set arrived today, and suddenly I'm in a hurry to get season 5 over and done with! Season 5 is very enjoyable, too, but I just can't wait for the never-seen-before extras and commentaries! That's the last Lost-related thing ever I can wait for and then that's that. Boohoo, I have to say goodbye one more time! (At the same time, as I paid the bill today, I was glad it was the last time ever I have to spend money for this purpose. Gee, good shows make you poor.) But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Next, some crazy time-travel, yippee!

Oct 20, 2010

Case 39 (2009) - ...right, that's why I don't like horror

directed by Christian Alvart / starring Renée Zellweger, Jodelle Ferland, Bradley Cooper

Okay, so I decided I'd push some boundaries today. I wouldn't see a drama or a comedy or even a comedic drama, I'd see something completely out of my comfort zone instead. So, horror it was! Though Case 39 is quite thriller-y, it was still scary. And it was a great reminder why I don't watch movies that are scary.

My experiences of horror are pretty much confined to "bad scary movies" you watch with a group of friends. You know, when someone says, "hey, let's go rent a bad scary movie!", they really mean bad. That's how I like them a - nice simple plot, amusingly lousy CGI, and a couple of good scares, but not so much that you can't laugh at it the minute it ends and say "man, that was one crappy scary movie". In my wilder days I even saw Ring 2 and Grudge in cinema, but honestly, today I'd say no to such opportunity. Yeah, please call me a sissy!

I'm not talking about scary movies because Case 39 was a traumatic experience or something - it wasn't, and I'll probably sleep quite well tonight. I'm just talking about them because I've never had the chance before, obviously, as I rarely watch any, and when I do, they are even more rarely worth writing about. But as I'm currently stepping out of that safe, comfortable box of mine, here's a post about a scary movie!

Case 39 is about a social worker, Emily, who saves a girl from an abusive family and becomes her guardian. Emily clearly hasn't seen enough movies to know that the innocent, sweet, silent ones are always the worst. And what do you know, it turns out she got a bit more than she bargained for with the cute little Lillith.

I don't really know if I like Renée Zellweger. She's awesome in Chicago, but on the other hand, I can't stand Bridget Jones. Bradley Cooper is quite hot. I never really understood what everyone was fussing about, but I'm beginning to. Jodella Ferland was very good! Creepy. I think it's always amazing when a child actor manages to be that creepy.

There was obviously a lot of similarities to The Orphan. The scenario was exactly the same: a negleted girl arriving to a new family. The Orphan did it better, I think. I actually liked the movie a lot, a lot more than I usually do when it comes to films of this genre. Anyway, there are a massive amount of scary movies with children as the source of horror, and I've got to admit, they are always quite effective. There's just something about those seemingly innocent little people seeing and hearing and talking weirds thing and turning into killers and stuff. Always so cheery.

Case 39 was an okay film, I guess. I bit ridiculous, but yeah, I had to hide behind my fingers at times and cover my ears (for some reason, the voices are always the most scary thing for me) and I did jump pretty badly a couple of times. But in the end, it didn't give me much more than a couple of jumpy hours - and a confirmation that horror just isn't my thing.

(And yet, the new adventurous me would like to know if there's a horror film YOU think I really should see! I'm open to suggestions, even if there's a risk I might pee in my pants...)

"Everybody has fears... now, what scares you?"

Oct 19, 2010

"I only really dance sitting down." - James McAvoy

(The title is from a YouTube video, an Unscripted interview with James and Keira Knightley. He gives a demonstration of his best moves as he tells about the song he likes to dance to the most. Aww, isn't he adorable...)

James Andrew McAvoy was born in 21 April 1979, in Port Glasgow, Scotland. Before inspired to go into acting, he thought about becoming a missionary or joining the Navy. He worked his way through gueststarring in TV shows and little roles in little films, into leading roles and the hearts of audiences. For his role in the 2007 film Atonement he was nominated for a Golden Globe and BAFTA. He's established a small-ish, yet loyal fanbase, which I'm proud to be a part of.

Like many others, I first became acquainted with James McAvoy around Christmas in 2005, when I saw him in the first Narnia film, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in which he played the faun, Mr. Tumnus. Though the role is not that big, he caught my attention. I walked around in my red, hand-knitted scarf a lot that winter... (It's actually still my favourite scarf. I'm almost happy it's getting colder, because now I get to use it again!)

Next I saw him in The Last King of Scotland. I took a film course in English in high school (or whatever I should call the Finnish 'lukio'. I never really got the hang of these terms...) and we got to choose which film we wanted to see in cinema. I voted for this one, because "it has Mr. Tumnus in it!" and fortunately we ended up seeing it, instead of Nic Cage's Ghost Rider.... Gee. The movie is very very good, and James is very very good in it. Everyone always talks about Forest Whitaker and his Oscar-worthy performance as the dictator Idi Amin (don't get me wrong, I know he's phenomenal), but James' performance as the young Scottish doctor, who becomes Amin's personal advisor, shouldn't be overlooked.

What did it for me for good, however, was Atonement. Robbie Turner, a housekeeper's son, who falls in love with Keira Knigthley's rich girl Cecilia - and who then are ripped apart by a terrible lie - is a great, multidimensional character, whom James plays just beautifully, in his journey from the easygoing, goodhearted, lovesick gardener boy to the sick and tired, mentally unstable soldier. He's brilliant and funnily enough, James has been my favourite actor ever since. He was also a major contributor in the process that made Atonement possibly my favourite film of all time. Or at least one of the Ultimate Favourites.

After James established his position at the top of my Most Wanted list, I began to hunt down as many of his films as I could, determined to like them, no matter what. Not very surprisingly, I've liked every one of his films I've seen so far, more or less. I even like him in Wimbledon, as the idiotic cyclist brother of Paul Bettany! Not very unbiasedly, I admit.

Inside I'm dancing, or Rory O'Shea Was Here as it's called in US (I like the UK title so much more, I think it's brilliant and and one of my favourite movie titles ever), is one of James' earlier films. He plays Rory O'Shea, a young disabled man, who arrives at a residental home and turns things upside down by his sarcastic, foul-mouthed, rebellious attitude. Inside I'm Dancing is a genuinely funny and touching little film and it's nice to see James in a slightly less traditional role.

Becoming Jane is a light, harmless, a bit dramatized story of how a young woman named Jane Austen became the great, famous Jane Austen we know today. James plays her love interest Tom Lefroy, who charms Jane with her arrogance and that city-boy-ish recklessness. It's a romcom, really, set in the late 18th century! And James is as drool-excreting (yep, just coined a new word...) as ever, ah! That library scene (James handles himself very well in libraries, just think of Atonement...) is wonderfully electric and of course the dance scene - hearts skip beats everywhere as he emerges out of nowhere (happens at 1:10, approximately, if you're impatient), and that smile, oh man...

Then there's Starter for 10, a silly little romcom about a nerdy college kid and a trap of two girls. It's quite funny, actually, but if James wasn't in it, I probably never would have watched it in the first place, let alone bought it on DVD. Haha. Favourite actors make us do crazy things.

In Penelope James plays the love interest of Christina Ricci, a girl under a curse. You know, she has a nose of a pig, and so on. I know it sounds horrible, but Penelope is quite charming and sweet, really, a modern fairytale, one could say. James' character is a young man with a serious gambling problem, and he rocks that awesome straight, messy, long-ish hair. Great hairdo, okay film.

Before seeing Wanted I wasn't entirely sure wheter he would be able to pull it off or not. Let's face it - when you think of an actionhero, James McAvoy is the last thing that comes to your mind. At least before Wanted. James plays Wesley Gibson, who's just so thoroughly bored with his life, he doesn't even bother doing anything about it. Then he's trained to be an assassin and he kicks ass and bends bullets and kisses Angelina Jolie. And, what do you know, he turned out to be a totally believable badass! The film is just ridiculously absurd but highly entertaining and that one action scene towards the end kind of made me drool as I worshipfully stared at the screen. Damn, my little James was all grown up.

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I lived in England, near London, for seven months in 2008-09. During one of my numerous trips to the wonderful, lovely, awesome capital of UK, I walked past a poster in the subway. I only had spotted the name 'James McAvoy' on it, before the flow of people forced me to move on. That was enough, though. I soon found out he was performing in a play called Three Days of Rain. This was obviously far too good an opportunity to be missed - I probably never would've forgiven myself if I had. 

So, I bought the ticket for a price that almost made me grimace (but only almost!), and the last week before returning to Finland, I sat down in an uncomfortable seat in row 12 (too far from the stage for my taste - I wanted to see every pore and every drop of perspiration!) in Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue. Minutes before the play started I began to sweat and my pulse raced, as I was suddenly certain James had become ill and I'd be forced to watch an understudy do his role. Luckily, my worries were all in vain.
The play was... okay. I blame the damn language barrier for the fact that I didn't enjoy it too much - there was a lot of talk, rapid talk, and the language was quite difficult. I mean, I knew what was going on, but not understanding all of the dialogue deprived me of the biggest possible indulgence, damn it. But it was quite a good play, and interesting acting-wise - act one was set in the present, and the second act in the past, so, for example, in act two James played the father of his other character. And guess what? I thought he was amazing. There were only three actors, so he really had a chance to shine. Also, there actually rained on the stage for a couple of times, which was cool. There was fire, too!
Afterwards, I went to the stagedoor with a bunch of other people (mostly young-ish females... go figure) and got his autograph. It was so weird. I condenced all my feelings of awe and years of admiration into one highly clever and witty sentence: "I hope my pen works." Plus I muttered it so quietly I doubt he even heard me. Then I walked away, stopped after a while and thought about going back because the whole thing had happened so quickly - I'd hardly had a good look at him - but I kept going in the end and sent my friend a message saying that my hand had just been an inch away from James McAvoy's. Damn, it still feels so surreal... I have the autograph hanging on my wall, and every now and then I stop to look at it and just think "oh MAN".

Next James lents his voice to a cartoon Gnomeo and Juliet. It's Romeo and Juliet... with garden gnomes....... It sound very, eh, tired, but the trailer looks actually kind of fun. Then there's two big-budget sequels (or the other one is a prequel), Wanted 2 (haha. Okay. Bet it'll be twice as ridiculous) and X-Men: First Class (so I guess I have to do some magic and become interested in X-Men, then...). Last year he starred in The Last Station, which I haven't yet got my hands on. But anyway. Life looks quite good.

Wrap-up, then. Now I should explain why I really like him so much. These things don't really follow any rational pattern, not in my case at least. I'm sure there are many actors with as much or more talent, better looks and more successful careers, so why on Earth is some random little Scot my favourite actor? Maybe because of this or this. Because he's so funny and charming and genuine, and he has a lovely lovely accent and lovely lovely blue eyes and a messy hair, and he seems so amazingly down-to-earth (I'm a sucker for down-to-earth), and when I briefly met him, he seemed - though quite relaxed, polite and kind - a bit awkward, as if it'd felt as odd to him as it suddenly felt to me, that I was asking this totally normal guy to write his name on a piece of paper. I like normal. Normal rocks. Therefore I like James McAvoy. And James McAvoy indeed does rock.

I finish with some quotes and my favourite picture of my favourite actor. Oh, how I adore him.

"I always believed that I never wanted to be an actor. I only did it because I was allowed to do it and I had to do something."

"We're in a horrible, repugnant place now where kids are told it's their right and due to be hugely famous. Not good at their job, not good at anything, just hugely famous. This is not sane. Little girls think they'll be famous if they have vast breast implants and might as well die if they don't."

"The minute you start to strategize too much, the more you start to think you're in control of your own fate. And you're not, really."

 (So that was 'the big  secret', haha. Hope it was worth the epic wait... Also, if you made it this far... I salute you, mate! This was a pretty, eh, lenghty post. It had to be.)

Oct 18, 2010

Napapiirin sankarit (2010) - isänmaan epätoivot

directed by Dome Karukoski / starring Jussi Vatanen, Jasper Pääkkönen, Pamela Tola

 I thought about writing this post in Finnish, just because it'll probably feel a bit silly writing about such a 'Finnish-y' movie in English, but I'll give it a try and switch languages when it starts to feel too unnatural.

Napapiirin sankarit, or Lapland Odyssey, is a road trip film set in wintery Lapland. It's about a guy, who has one night to buy a digibox, or his girlfriend breaks up with him. Might sound like a piece of cake, but he lives in the middle of nowhere and there are a few, hmm, variables along the way. The journey down the icy, isolated roads of Nothern Finland contains a lot of snow, beer, reindeer, new accuintances from the neighbouring countries, cops, karaoke, bar fights and pink car seat covers.

Us Finns are peculiar people. Just recently Finland was announced 'the best country in the world' by Newsweeks. Most contries would probably take an announcement like that with pride and with a "Duh? Hell yeah we are the best" attitude. But the Kalles and Maijas and Liisas and Pekkas of our dear motherland just sneer and roll their eyes and make a sarcastic comment about a calculation error. And yet somewhere deep inside they still feel a touch of pride and maybe next time in the Canaries, when asked where they're from, they might actually look the questioner in the eye while answering.

 Napapiirin sankarit is quite a funny and apposite potrayal of that unique Finnish mentality and view of life. Especially that 5-minute introduction is brilliant, summarising the nation's trademark melancholy and making it unexpectedly funny, too. I got a real kick out of that slowmotion 5-6 goal, too. (Some people might mug me for saying that, haha. Sorry, not a big hockey enthusiast... For me, 1995 is just another year. Sure, I was in pre-school at the time, but anyway...) I also liked the scene with Jasper Pääkkönen and the Russian guy in the tub. And got to admit, the wintery Lapland is really quite beautiful.

I don't watch a lot Finnish films. I think Napapiirin sankarit was actually the first movie since Menolippu Mombasaan (One-Way Ticket to Mombasa, still remains my favourite Finnish movie. Legendaarinen Suomi-iskelmä on mun heikkous!) that I saw in cinema. They just rarely interest me enough... Though I'm sure there'd be some real gems there if I just bothered to look. Napapiirit sankarit turned out to be a pleasant surprise, for one. (It's also presented in the Toronto film festival. Which is cool... but can a non-Finnish person, unfamiliar with Finland and Finnish-ness, fully understand it with all that culture-related stuff? I really doubt it.)

There, managed to do it in English, after all. I'd also like to take this opportunity to ask what are your favourite Finnish films? I'm ready to reshape my opinion about domestic cinema!


edit // Whoops, I lied. I did see Joulutarina in cinama. Guess I'm subconciously trying to forget the whole experience, haha...

"Se kittuu, tapa se!"
"Töki sitä!"

Oct 17, 2010

For IMDb is a jolly good fellow!

It's IMDb's 20th anniversary today! The Internet Movie Database has been my homepage since forever. It's like my unholy bible - it's always right and it knows everything, and if it doesn't, I don't have to know it either. For some history and other interesting facts, here is a letter from Col Needham, the founder of IMDb.

Without further cheesy words, congrats to my favourite page in the World Wide Web. I'm still very fond of you, even though the new actor pages are not as good as before, and you've began to speak Finnish (keep your damn 'Sovitus' and 'Leijonakuningas', I want my Atonement and The Lion King back!).

PS. Sorry for the silent treatment! I had an unusual weekend, meaning I was away from my dear laptop. We are extremely happy to be back together, the separation was hard on both of us!

Oct 12, 2010

To materialism and beyond!

Who wouldn't love buying things? ... Okay, that was a rhetorical question. Anyway, most people would agree that owning things it quite nice. At least when they are new, in one piece and not in your way.

Materialism topic 1: Yesterday I finally got around to buying a new cellphone - the last one was literally dying in my arms. So I bought the phone that matched best to my strict criteria: 1) cheap 2) not ugly 3) comes is a nice colour, and most importantly 4) has a place for a cellphone strap. You see, I'm not a big fan of cellphone jewelry, but this summer is bought the most awesome strap from the Helsinki airport, as you can see in the left. Mörkö rocks!

Materialism topic 2: Today I went to buy a warm cap, because I couldn't find any in my flat and my brain was freezing as I cycled to school this morning. Anyway, I walked past the toy section, and what did I see! A Buzz Lightyear! I real-size Buzz Lightyear! Would it be too embarrassing to ask one for Christmas, haha? I wouldn't play with it (much), just put it on my shelf to 'complete my room' (as they said about the bowl in Remember Me). And it freaking SPEAKS! Buzz Lightyear to the rescue! It speaks Finnish though. Anyway. I haven't been this excited about a toy since those awesome Darth Vader helmets!

Anyway, now I'll go maybe eat my sixth joulutorttu. My roommate baked lots today and aaah aren't they heavenly! Then we lit some candles. And maybe played some Christmas carrols on Youtube, but I'm not telling you that because that's slightly embarrassing. It's never too early to start Christmas, right? After all, it's only two months away...

Oct 11, 2010

My TOP 5 favourite male bonds in movies

Well, the title says it all, doesn't it? Here's a list of my favourite male twosomes (platonic bonds only)! Please, feel free to protest.

5. Gay Perry & Harry (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, 2005)

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is quite a hilarious movie. And most of the comedy emerges from the interaction between the characters of Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer. RDJ's small-time crook Harry babbles away in a pace that is quite a challenge to keep up with and Kilmer's bad ass gay detective Gay Perry rolls his eyes and tells Harry to shut the fuck up, you fucking idiot. For a little taste of that excellent team work, see the 'eight percent chance' scene, and the film's gag reel, too, because those two just crack me up.

"Look up "idiot" in the dictionary. You know what you'll find?"
"A picture of me?"
"No! The definition of the word idiot, which you fucking are!"

4. Gordie & Chris (Stand by Me, 1986)

These two might no crack me up much, but they certainly do melt my heart and make me wish I was a 12-year-old boy. (And just to be clear, that doesn't happen too often. (I mean the latter.)) Gordie and Chris, played by Wil Wheaton and River Phoenix, are so good buddies in such a profound and mature way that all you can do is envy them... and then melt away. So, whether it's about messing around with big boys' toys or opening up about your sorrows, they can always count on each other. As long as they are twelve, at least... Growing up sucks.

"I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?"

3. Holmes & Watson (Sherlock Holmes, 2009)

(Another RDJ, sorry.) Once I heard someone say that if RDJ had as good a chemistry with Rachel McAdams as he has with Jude Law, the film would've worked so much better. Haha, can't argue that. Holmes and Watson know each other very well, too well, even, and they constantly piss each other off, but still can fully rely on the other in a tough spot. And yeah, there's that slightly homoerotic vibe. That old-married-couple-ness is so much fun, really.

"You've never complained about my methods before."
"I'm not complaining. How am I complaining? When have do I ever complain about you practicing the violin at three in the morning, or your mess, your general lack of hygiene, or the fact that you steal my clothes?"

2. Merry & Pippin (The Lord of the Rings, 2001, 2002, 2003)

Of all the amazing friendships The Lord of the Rings has to offer, I chose this twosome without hesitation. Why? Because they have been friends like forever. Because they will be friends forever. Because if you separate them, they are just two lonely and lost and miserable halves. Because they are goofy and cute and adorable. Because Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd just click, and it shows. Because they appreciate the value of second breakfast. Okay?

"Are we lost?"
"I think we are."
"Shh. Gandalf's thinking."
"I'm hungry."

1. Anakin & Obi-Wan (Star Wars, 1999, 2002, 2005)

They shouldn't be number one. I mean, the way they potray this friendship in the films, and the way Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen act it, isn't always winner material. However, behind the occasional new-generation Star Wars horridness, there is a great and powerful story about a long, deep, strong bond that breaks apart under world-shattering circumstances. So that makes Anakin and Obi-Wan worth this ranking. (PS. Don't get me wrong, I like the prequels. Even I and II, kind of.)

"You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you."


Consolation prizes go to Woody & Buzz from Toy Story (1995, 1999, 2010) and Gerry/Daphne & Joe/Josephine from Some Like It Hot (1959). Sorry guys, you didn't quite make it. It was close, alright. I finalized the list before Toy Story 3, and afterwards I thought about cheating and making it a TOP 6, but I didn't. Maybe I should've. Still, Woody and Buzz are great (Woody and Andy, too!). And none of these guys would look so good on a dress as Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis did! Ewan McGregor, maybe? Anyway.

So... Who did I forget?