Tag Archives: Ingmar Bergman

Top 100 Films #3 – Annie Hall (1977)


annie-hall#3. Annie Hall (1977)
Directed by: Woody Allen
Written by: Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman
Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane

Woody Allen is a writer-director who I’ve always revered – his incredibly amount of output and passion for the arts is a great source of inspiration for me as a writer and film enthusiast. Even when his films are bad or mediocre, there’s passion and heart to them. His 1977 film Annie Hall is arguably the greatest film he’s ever made, featuring a great love story, hilarious Woody Allen dialogue, and terrific performances. Annie Hall stars Woody Allen as Alvy Singer, a neurotic comedian reflecting on his relationship with Annie Hall (Diane Keaton), which we find out has ended a year ago. Alvy chronicles his childhood in New York, where he obsessed over the meaning of his existence, and was punished for his early sexual curiosity. Through a series of flashbacks, Alvy and Annie meet after a doubles tennis game with friends, and the two awkwardly hit it off. Things progress wonderfully until Annie moves in with Alvy, which creates tension in the relationship. The two eventually break up, date other people, and reconcile shortly after when Annie needs Alvy’s help with killing a spider in the middle of the night. Soon after their reconciliation, the relationship once again falls apart, this time permanently – both characters are glad to have loved one another, even if it wasn’t always filled with good times. Annie Hall is one of the most beloved romantic comedies in Hollywood history – it even beat Star Wars for Best Picture at the 1978 Academy Awards. The screenplay by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman is highly intelligent and often morbidly hilarious, playing on Woody Allen’s fascinations with death, existence, and the creative process. Even through the script’s intellectual and neurotic nature, Allen and Brickman manage to create one of the most genuine and heartfelt romantic stories ever told on film – one that doesn’t just focus on the best moments in a relationship. The use of flashbacks and non-linear storytelling allows for Allen and Brickman to explore the past of Alvy Singer, including the failed marriages and relationships that have shaped his views on romance. Both Woody Allen and Diane Keaton shine throughout Annie Hall, carrying dramatic and comedic weight like no other on-screen pairing could. Woody Allen’s Alvy Singer is his usual highly neurotic and obsessive, but still confident and arrogant, self, while Diane Keaton’s Annie Hall is adorably goofy, strong-willed, and highly intelligent. The two had such obvious on-screen chemistry in their many collaborations, undoubtedly aided by their brief real life romantic relationship. Annie Hall is Woody Allen at his absolute funniest as a writer and a performer, somehow managing to make both Ingmar Bergman and holocaust documentary The Sorrow and the Pity humorous. The writing and storytelling feels personal and genuine, and the film’s ending feels groundbreaking for the time – not giving the audience the “fairy tale”-esque ending they might be asking for. Annie Hall is Woody Allen’s greatest achievement as a writer and director, and may even be the film where he finally found his voice. It’s hilarious, romantic, heartbreaking, genuine, and smart – everything a Woody Allen movie should be.

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Top 100 Films #12 – Winter Light (1963)


Nattvardsgästerna (1963) Filmografinr: 1963/03#12. Winter Light (1963)
Directed by: Ingmar Bergman
Written by: Ingmar Bergman
Starring: Ingrid Thulin, Max von Sydow, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Gunnel Lindblom

My favorite Ingmar Bergman film is one I hesitate to call a “favorite” simply due to the nature of the subject matter explored in his 1963 film Winter Light. The film is the second in a loose thematic trilogy of Bergman-directed movies exploring themes of faith and its effects on people of all walks of life. The trilogy also includes Through a Glass Darkly and Silence, both of which are excellent films in their own right. Winter Light follows Pastor Tomas Ericsson (Gunnar Bjornstrand) over a day as he prepares for his afternoon service in a neighboring town. Over the course of the morning, he has interactions with Jonas Persson (Max von Sydow), who feels depressed after reading about China developing an atomic bomb, Marta Lundberg (Ingrid Thulin), an atheist who is in love with Tomas, and Karin Persson (Gunnell Lindblom), the distraught wife of Jonas. Tomas, who is struggling with questions about his own faith in God, fails to help Jonas with his depressive feelings, which eventually leads to his suicide – leaving his wife Karin alone with their children. Ingmar Bergman is a director who is notorious for exploring difficult themes, most notably about death and faith – two things that almost nobody likes involved in their escapist entertainment. Winter Light is Bergman at his most uncomfortable and instigative – it’s a film with almost no hope and no light. It’s a cold, bitter, challenging, and deeply personal experience in every sense. The bleak nature of Bergman’s script allows for serious questions about God’s silence and one man’s struggle with his once rock solid faith to come across as urgent and deadly serious, especially after it leads to the death of a member of his congregation. Gunnar Bjornstrand’s performance as the Pastor Tomas Ericsson is terrific, allowing members of his congregation to speak at him about their worries and troubles even when he is not sure about his own future with the church. His internal struggle throughout the film is palpable, and makes his interactions with others seem cold and businesslike. Max von Sydow’s performance as the mentally tortured and horribly depressed Jonas Persson is erratic, panicked, and absolutely devastating. When Jonas’ final moments come, the little light truly begins to drain from Winter Light. While it truly is a difficult moviegoing experience, Ingmar Bergman’s film is also one of the most intellectually-challenging experiences I’ve ever had – nothing has ever resonated in my mind quite like Winter Light. I can’t recommend it to many readers, but if the experience sounds like it may be for you, then I can promise you’ll never forget your short time with Winter Light – it’s an unsung masterpiece from one of cinema’s greatest.

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Top 100 Films #25 – Wild Strawberries (1957)


1200#25. Wild Strawberries (1957)
Directed by: Ingmar Bergman
Written by: Ingmar Bergman
Starring: Victor Sjostrom, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Bjornstrand

Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries is the film that introduced me to international cinema, and showed me just how powerful foreign-language films could be.  It was my first Bergman film, and immediately hooked me and turned me into a lifelong fan.  I saw Wild Strawberries at the perfect (or possibly the unfortunate) time in my life – I had just begun my fight with anxiety and depression, and for the first time I could truly relate to a character on screen. Wild Strawberries follows an aging professor named Isak Borg (Victor Sjostrom), who has learned that he will be honored with a jubilee doctorate award fifty years after his graduation from school.  Borg sets off on the long trip to the awards ceremony with his pregnant daughter-in-law Marianne (Ingrid Thulin).  Along the way, Isak begins to reevaluate and reassess his life and his own decisions – brought on by a series of nightmares and daydreams.  His increased sense of mortality combined with run-ins with several hitchhikers leads to Isak having a far more interesting road trip than he ever expected.  Wild Strawberries is chock full of Ingmar Bergman’s famous themes of death, mortality, life, and age, with the main conflict in the film being a man’s own existential crisis.  Bergman employs the use of atmospheric dream and nightmare sequences, giving much of the film a thick, uneasy tone.  The dream sequences are incredibly well-realized and haunting, with the most memorable coming early on in the film and involving Isak having a run-in with Death.  The film’s emotional payoff is absolutely worth the often bizarre and surreal journey, turning Wild Strawberries into one of the most beautiful and poignant movies Ingmar Bergman ever made.  The film inspired another of my favorite filmmakers, Woody Allen, and its influence can be felt in many of his best films, including Stardust Memories, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Deconstructing Harry. Though all those films are excellent in their own regards, none of them come close to the masterpiece that is Wild Strawberries – one of the very best films from one of the all-time great directors.  Wild Strawberries certainly isn’t an easy watch, but viewers brave enough to tackle its heavy subject matter will find solace in its incredible finale.

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Top 100 Films #33 – Scenes from a Marriage (1973)


image-w1280-1#33. Scenes from a Marriage (1973)
Directed by: Ingmar Bergman
Written by: Ingmar Bergman
Starring: Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson

While Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage is one of the longest films I’ve ever dedicated my time to, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had with the medium.  The television miniseries version of Scenes from a Marriage runs for 281 minutes, split into six parts.  The film follows the lives of Marianne (Liv Ullman) and Johan (Erland Josephson), an affluent Swedish couple who have just celebrated their 10-year anniversary together.  Johan eventually reveals to his wife that he is having an affair with a younger woman, and requests a separation from Marianne.  After he leaves the house for an undetermined amount of time, Marianne learns that many of her friends knew of the affair long before she did.  Eventually their separation leads to a divorce, and both parties remarry.  Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s films are notorious for their contemplative looks at life, death, love, and faith, and Scenes from a Marriage is no different.  While it may not be as dream-like or atmospheric as some of his films, many of his famous themes are still very apparent, especially with how the story plays out over its 4.5 hour run-time.  The commentary it provides on love is almost entirely unique in the medium of film, giving a bleak and honest look at marriage.  Bergman pulls no punches with his screenplay, examining in depth the banality, frustration, and dissatisfaction found in many marriages.  While I can’t personally relate to the circumstances that Johan and Marianne find themselves in throughout the film, Scenes from a Marriage still somehow manages to connect with viewers.  This is done by Bergman not “picking sides” in the film, instead treating both parties as equals and openly criticizing them both, and allowing the audience to make up their own minds about the events taking place before them.  Bergman’s script is intelligent in this way, using long scenes of dialogue to push the story forward – using its minimalism as an advantage, rather than as a cheap source of exposition.  While Scenes from a Marriage is undoubtedly bleak and harrowing, its closing chapter is surprisingly romantic and intimate in its notions – something I have rarely felt while watching a Bergman film.  Scenes from a Marriage is a 4.5 hour epic about the pitfalls of marriage and love in general, and while it may not be the best starting point for an exploration into international cinema, it’s an undoubtedly affecting and progressive picture that will leave viewers reeling in the best way.

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Top 100 Films #49 – Autumn Sonata (1978)


lead-autumn-sonata#49. Autumn Sonata (1978)
Directed by: Ingmar Bergman
Written by: Ingmar Bergman
Starring: Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Lena Nyman, Halvar Bjork

Sweden’s Ingmar Bergman knew familial drama like few others before or after them, and his 1978 film Autumn Sonata may very well be one of his most powerful late-career projects.  Starring the always marvelous Liv Ullmann as a pianist named Eva who invites her aging mother Charlotte (Ingrid Bergman) – a world class pianist – to visit her and her husband Viktor (Halvar Bjork).  Eva’s disabled sister Helena (Lena Nyman) makes an appearance in the home, shocking Charlotte and bringing about a wide range of difficult feelings.  Eva feels as if Charlotte has never truly loved her daughters as a mother should, which also brings with it a simmering tension ready to boil over at any moment.  Autumn Sonata is a beautiful, small film that likes of which are hardly seen anymore, especially from auteurs like Ingmar Bergman.  It deals with the usual Bergman themes of death, regret, and sorrow, but also delves deep into themes of reconciliation and the reconstruction of relationships, and does so very elegantly. The familial unit of Eva, Charlotte, and Helena feels genuine and depressing for a number of reasons – each character desperately wants to express themselves fully and say what they need to, but can’t for fear of furthering the chasms between them.  Eva and Charlotte’s subtle rivalry over their achievements and talents as pianists furthers the tension and Bergman uses it to produce some very subtle moments of building angst and bitterness.  The performances in Autumn Sonata are incredible, as they often are in Bergman’s best films.  Ingrid Bergman’s commanding performance as the cold Charlotte is one of the film’s strongest points – making viewers flip-flop between sympathy and genuine dislike of the woman.  Her chemistry with co-star Liv Ullmann is palpable and is a large part of why Autumn Sonata is such an affecting piece.  Ullmann’s more emotionally fragile Eva is terrific – she gives the audience a real sense that her current life is truly unsatisfying, living with constant regret and a desire for more. Lastly, Lena Nyman’s Helena stands out as being a very good performance – her character’s disabilities feel genuine and cause her and her family a great deal of real frustration and empathy.  If you’re unfamiliar with the films of Ingmar Bergman, Autumn Sonata may not be the best starting point – but it sure as hell represents everything great that the director tackled during his prolific career.  It features great performances, an emotionally charged script by Bergman himself, and excellent, un-shaking direction.  When the emotional fissures between the lead characters finally begin to widen, Autumn Sonata becomes a true masterpiece.  

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Lightning Round (week of 6/30-7/6)

June 30, 2013

MV5BMTc0Nzc5MDEzN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjc2NTEyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR7,0,214,317_As Good As It Gets (1997)

Director: James L. Brooks

Writer: Mark Andrus, James L. Brooks

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr.

Runtime: 139 minutes

Views: 1st Viewing

As Good As It Gets was my first exposure to the films of James L. Brooks, whom I’ve heard many good things about (specifically about Broadcast News), and I wasn’t completely let down when the credits rolled.  Nicholson is incredible here as Melvin Udall, a slightly racist and homophobic writer, and is easily the highlight of the entire film.  Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt both deservedly won Best Actor and Best Actress respectively at that years Oscars, with Greg Kinnear also being nominated for Best Supporting Actor.  After a solid first half of the film, As Good As It Gets unfortunately suffers from an unbelievably cliched and silly last act, somehow leading to Nicholson and Hunt’s characters eventually falling in love.  Even though I still enjoyed the film, its bloated runtime and horribly cliched last act detract from the film.  7.5/10.

July 1, 2013


Sawdust and Tinsel (1953)

Director: Ingmar Bergman

Writer: Ingmar Bergman

Starring: Ake Gronberg, Harriet Andersson, Hasse Ekman, Gunnar Bjornstrand

Runtime: 93 minutes

Views: 1st Viewing

Ingmar Bergman’s Sawdust and Tinsel is definitely an interesting film in all respects.  It features a travelling circus stopping in a small town for a show, where the ringmaster Albert Johansson (Ake Gronberg) is trying to reconcile with his wife while maintaining a relationship with his mistress.  The group and mostly Johansson are humiliated by a local acting troupe, soon leading to what might be the end of Johansson’s circus.  The film features a few of Bergman’s familiar faces, but was made before Bergman seemingly found his voice as a filmmaker.  The themes, ideas, and atmosphere are all there, but the film just never becomes the great piece of art it could have been.  Definitely a film I need to re-visit at some point in the future when I may be able to respect it more.  Still recommended to fans of Bergman!  7.5/10.

we_and_the_i_ver2The We and the I (2013)

Director: Michel Gondry

Writer: Michel Gondry, Jeffrey Grimshaw

Starring: Michael Brodie, Teresa Lynn, Raymond Delgado

Runtime: 103 minutes

Views: 1st Viewing

Michel Gondry seems to be an incredibly divisive filmmaker, and with a catalogue including films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind and The Green Hornet, it’s easy to see why.  The We and the I is definitely an interesting idea, but the execution is significantly less interesting, unfortunately.  The film takes a brief look at the lives of several teenagers who have nothing in common other than the fact that they take the same city bus route on a regular basis.  Some of them are mean-spirited and cold, while some of them are caring, passionate kids.  The problem with the film is that it’s incredibly unfocused, and doesn’t feel like a Gondry film at all (at least not one he’s passionate about), in fact it feels far more like the work of somebody like Spike Lee.  The acting, done mostly by non-actors, is passable, but the film is just too impersonal, too long, and far too unfocused to ever amount to anything significant.  Can only recommend it to fans of Gondry.  6/10.

Some Like It Hot (1959)220px-Some_Like_It_Hot_poster

Director: Billy Wilder

Writer: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond

Starring: Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe

Runtime: 120 minutes

Views: 2nd Viewing

The American Film Institute (AFI) voted Some Like It Hot as the greatest American comedy of all-time a few years ago, which is an incredibly difficult decision to argue with.  The film is the perfect example of 1950’s comedy, with most of its major jokes delivering huge on the laughs.  The performances from legendary actors Jack Lemmon (who earned a Best Actor nomination for his performance), Tony Curtis, and Marilyn Monroe are all incredibly funny for their own reasons, and the writing is a perfect example of long-time collaborators Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond at the top of their game.  Some Like it Hot feels slightly overlong at some points, but that seems to be a common problem with the films of Billy Wilder.  This is one of my all-time favourite comedies, and one I’ll be revisiting a lot more often in the future.  Just as funny the second time around.  Very, very highly recommended!  9.5/10.

July 2, 2013

Poster-Apartment-The_01The Apartment (1960)

Director: Billy Wilder

Writer: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond

Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Jack Krushchen

Runtime: 125 minutes

Views: 2nd Viewing

The second of Wilder’s films I’ve taken the time to re-watch this month certainly didn’t disappoint.  In fact, The Apartment might be one of my all-time favourite films after this viewing!  Jack Lemmon is absolutely perfect as the down on his luck C.C. Baxter, and Shirley MacLaine is incredibly lovely as his co-star, Ms. Fran Kubelik.  Incredible supporting performances from actors like Fred MacMurray, Jack Krushchen, and Ray Walston round out the film and make it one of the best acted movies I’ve ever seen!  The script by Wilder and Diamond is hilarious, touching, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking throughout the film, rightfully earning Diamond and Wilder an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.  The film also won Best Director for Wilder, as well as Best Picture in 1960, going down as one of my all-time favourite judgement calls by the Academy in its long and storied history.  I could go on and on with my love for this film.  If you haven’t yet seen it, do yourself a favour and check out this gem of a film.  10/10.

July 3, 2013

These Amazing Shadows (2011)These-Amazing-Shadows-poster

Director: Paul Mariano, Kurt Norton

Starring: n/a

Runtime: 88 minutes

Views: 1st Viewing

These Amazing Shadows is an incredibly informative and interesting look at the world of film preservation and the National Film Registry.  It features interviews with industry professionals such as Martin Scorsese, Peter Coyote, Steve James, John Lasseter, Leonard Malton, Rob Reiner, etc. as well as incredible archival footage of the films featured in the Registry.  I highly recommend this documentary to anybody interested in the history of film, as well as its future.  A much better effort than 2012’s Side by Side, which was a massive disappointment.  My only complaint about the film is that it could have gone on for two more hours, and I hate the fact that it didn’t.  9/10.

July 4, 2013

evil-dead-poster-hi-resEvil Dead (2013)

Director: Fede Alvarez

Writer: Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues

Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci

Runtime: 91 minutes

Views: 1st Viewing

Fede Alvarez’s remake of Sam Raimi’s horror classic Evil Dead is a film that seemed to split audiences immediately upon its release.  Some loved the serious nature of the film as well as its non-stop violence, and some saw it as a slap in the face to all horror fans.  I think I fall somewhere in the middle of these reactions.  Evil Dead certainly isn’t an example of a bad horror film or even a bad remake, but it certainly falls short of ever becoming a great one.  Evil Dead is impressive in its acting and special effects, but the screenplay seems to slowly degrade as the film wears on.  One thing I did love about the film was the detox of the films main character, which felt very fresh and original, but also felt like it could have been used much more.  One I would watch again, just based on how much fun it can be at times.  7/10.

Strange Frame: Love & Sax (2013)MV5BMTg1NjUxNzY3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODM3MzQ0OA@@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_

Director: G.B. Hajim

Writer: Shelley Doty, G.B. Hajim

Starring: Claudia Black, Tara Strong, Tim Curry, Ron Glass, Cree Summer, Alan Tudyk

Runtime: 98 minutes

Views: 1st Viewing

Where exactly can I possibly start with this film?  Strange Frame might be the most unique film I’ve ever had the pleasure(?) of experiencing, both in the best and worst ways possible.  Described as a “Lesbian sci-fi jazz film” on the DVD cover, I had no idea what to expect going into it (other than the three things listed above, which /do/ sound intriguing).  The film features some great sound design and voice acting, but the compliments stop there.  The nonsensical plot, completely inconsistent animation styles, and incredibly flawed logic stop (and absolutely derail) this from being an enjoyable and fun film.  Despite its many, many, many flaws I highly recommend it to fans of science fiction, and those looking for something to laugh at with a group of friends.  5/10.

July 5, 2013

The-Place-Beyond-the-Pines-Poster-UKThe Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

Director: Derek Cianfrance

Writer: Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Darius Marder

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper

Runtime: 140 minutes

Views: 1st Viewing

Wow.  After seeing Derek Cianfrance’s film Blue Valentine in 2011, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into a film like The Place Beyond the Pines, and I can’t say I saw anything within the film coming.  The film tells the epic and yet incredibly intimate story of a motorcycle stuntman who is trying to provide for his newly born child, a rookie police officer trying to take him down, the corrupt department he works for, and the future families of both men.  While I didn’t enjoy it as much as Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines establishes Cianfrance as a force to be reckoned with, and solidifies the working relationship between he and Ryan Gosling as an incredible team with endless potential.  Gosling is great as Luke (although never quite reaching the heights of Blue Valentine), Bradley Cooper gives his second incredibly impressive performance of the last two years, and the film is almost impossible to predict.  The only weakpoints of the film are its slightly too-long runtime, and the presence of leading lady Eva Mendes.  I highly recommend this film, as it’s easily one of the best of 2013.  9/10.

July 6, 2013

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010cameraman-the-life-and-work-of-jack-cardiff

Director: Craig McCall

Starring: n/a

Runtime: 86 minutes

Views: 1st Viewing

Cameraman is a very respectful and well-earned look at Academy Award winning cinematographer Jack Cardiff.  The film explores the man’s incredible career in both cinematography and direction, and features interviews with some of the industry’s finest.  Highly recommended!  8.5/10.

hot_coffeeHot Coffee (2011)

Director: Susan Saladoff

Starring: n/a

Runtime: 88 minutes

Views: 1st Viewing

2011’s Hot Coffee is a documentary that takes a look at the infamous “hot coffee” McDonald’s lawsuit, as well as similar cases in the United States.  The first half of the film is incredibly interesting and informative, but it soon crashes and burns into a boring mess of near conspiracy theories and unrelated cases.  I can’t recommend Hot Coffee because of the last half of the film, when it turns into an almost completely different documentary.  6.5/10.

42 (2013)forty_two_ver5

Director: Brian Helgeland

Writer: Brian Helgeland

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Alan Tudyk

Runtime: 128 minutes

Views: 1st Viewing

42 is one of the most well-received films of 2013 by critics and audiences alike, and it’s easy to see why.  The film is about the life of legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson (played by Chadwick Boseman), the first African-American to ever play baseball in the United States.  The film unfortunately dips into highly sentimental territory more than once over its two hour runtime, making the film feel like many other biopics.  The performances are mostly memorable, with the supporting performance from Harrison Ford being the standout of the film.  I don’t have much to say about 42, but I can certainly say that I was slightly disappointed when the credits rolled.  There’s a lot to admire about the film, but at the end of the day it feels like an incredibly standard and safe biopic of a very important figure in sports and civil rights history.  I recommend it to anybody interested in seeing Harrison Ford actually acting, and those interested in biopics.  7.5/10.

hansel_and_gretel_witch_hunters_ver6Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

Director: Tommy Wirkola

Writer: Tommy Wirkola

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen

Runtime: 88 minutes

Views: 1st Viewing

When I first saw the trailer for Hansel & Gretel, I must admit that I was rather skeptical about the fairy tale duo hunting vampires and living in a darkly comical world.  Luckily, writer-director Tommy Wirkola makes the film work for the most part.  Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters certainly isn’t a flawless film, but it is certainly the most fun I’ve had watching an action movie in a very long time.  Hansel & Gretel (played by Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton respectively) are set up in record time, and unleashed into the hilarious world of the film.  The special effects are admirable, as are most of the moments of comedy within the film (most of them not quite being laugh out loud funny, but being respectable enough).  This is a film almost anybody can watch with a group of friends and have an amazing time during.  I must admit that I am looking forward to the potential of a sequel film where more emphasis can be placed on action set-pieces and special effects, rather than setting up our titular characters.  Highly recommended, but only if you know what you’re getting yourself into.  This isn’t a /good/ film, but a very, very fun one.  6.5/10.

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