Wednesday, February 29, 2012


By D.E.Levine

A film from Sweden that is delightfully funny as well as beautifully done. Lately we've been innundated with murder/mysterys/dramas from Sweden so this story about six anarchist percussionists who decide to use their original piece of "Music for One City and Six Drummers" to thwart the establishment is a definite change of pace.

The skullduggery takes place in four movements and includes invading a hospital and playing on a patient's resonant belly, playing on money shredders at a bank, using forklifts at a concert hall and playing on live wires of the city's electrical system.

All the movements are creative and original, at least I've never seen them in a film before.

Adding to the humor is Amadeus Warnebring (Bengt Nilsson), a senior detective assigned to track the anarchist/percussionists down.

Born into a prominent family of musicians and named for that other Amadeus (Mozart), Warenbring is tone deaf. Besides the continuing angst of his name, there's the added angst of his talented, famous, arrogant conductor brother, Oscar (Sven Ahlstrom).

With the discovery of a metronome at one scene, Warnebring knows the case is destined for him.

We tend to think of Swedes as being serious. They certainly take a serious approach in the film to investigating and apprehending the culprits, and the result is hilarious.

Since this did come direct from Sweden viewers have to read English subtitles but it's well worth the effort.

Friday, February 10, 2012


By D.E.Levine

Nicholas Cage stars in this revenge-based thriller which turns out to be quite good. Cage has made a lot of bad choices in film roles, but this time he's chosen well.

Will Gerard (Cage) is a low-key high school teacher whose cellist wife Laura (January Jones) is assaulted on the way home from rehearsal.

Seething with anger and concern, Gerard is ripe for the plucking when a stranger (Guy Pearce) approaches him and asks whether, in exchange for a future favor, he wants the protagonist dead. Shades of Faust indeed. This age old theme has a new twist.

The rapist is indeed killed by the New Orleans vigilante organization that has approached Gerard. And, in return the favor he's asked for is to kill a total stranger who is labeled an unpunished criminal.

Mild-mannered Gerard doesn't like the idea of killing anyone, much less a stranger, but he's forced by the vigilantes into taking action.

Directed by Roger Donaldson, this thriller is well-paced and believable, even if the theme is a bit old. This is a film that's pure escapism and entertainment with some unexpected twists that heighten the tension.