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Thread: Winter doldrums FILM JOURNAL Jan.-Feb. 2019

  1. #16
    Join Date
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    COLD PURSUIT (Hans Petter Moland 2019)

    Cold Pursuit is a remake of Fupz Aakeson's In Order of Disappearance, the Norwegian tale of a vengeful father at a wintry outpost, moved to Colorado and with Native Americans as the outcast rivals instead of Serbians. It's been rewritten, with Hans Petter MOlland back as director aiming only, he says, at "a second chance at making scenes even better." Many little details are copied and very little besides the settings changed. I can't complain; I loved the original. Liam Neeson (who else?) replaces Stellan Skarsgard as the snow-plow operator dad who sets out to kill off a whole drug gang to avenge the wrongful death of his son and touches off a gang war that leads to a massacre. Probably in the foreign setting and with a bigger budget Moland has lost some of the lightheartedness and briskness of the original. Going by Metascores (74 vs. 59) the critics liked the first version quite a lot better. The two aren't all that different. It must just be that violence seems more elegant and less crude displaced to another language, I guess. This is good Winter Movie Doldrums relief. It's wintry to an extreme, and nasty fun. But the astonishment of the original is hard to repeat. Watched 8 Feb. 2019 at Hilltop Century.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-16-2019 at 10:53 AM.

  2. #17
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    ARCTIC (Joe Penna 2018)
    Want to chase your Winter Doldrums with somebody else's winter horrors? Joe Penna is a Brazilian musician who became famous on YouTube, and this, his first feature film, debuted as a midnight showing at Cannes. It's a rigorous, sparsely told, grueling-to-watch survival story with few audience satisfactions other than to make you glad you're not spending winter stranded at the North Pole. Actually shot in Iceland, it stars the handsomely weathered-looking Danish veteran actor Mads Mikkelsen as the lone survivor of a small plane crash. A grimly ironic event leaves him with somebody else to save. The monotonous and repetitive action has been compared to Bresson's A Man Escaped. It's Beckettian too, also Sisyphean; sometimes just plain boring, but overall, agonizing. Like Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Overgård (Mikkelsen) is stranded, dogged, competent and methodical. But where Crusoe is endlessly chatty, Overgård rarely speaks. Cinematography and digital effects, including an awesome giant polar bear, are great; the score, though overbearing, is at times welcome for filling the void. The storytelling is stingy. No intro crash; a final rescue barely hinted at. Its mere 97 minutes will not be time you'll get back. Cannes May 10, 2018 debut (Out of Competition). Metacritic 70. Watched at Albany Twin (Landmark) Feb. 15, 2019.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-15-2019 at 10:20 PM.

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