Posts Tagged ‘foreign film’

Headhunters

I’d never heard of this movie, but after watching Sin Nombre, the fine folks at Netflix suggested I might like this one.

Headhunters is 2011 film coming from – of all places – Norway. Roger is a short, wealthy businessman who’s married to Diana – a tall model-type . But what Diana doesn’t know is that a) Roger is cheating on her and b) he’s not wildly rich from his job as a corporate headhunter, but rather from his side job as an art thief. He’s got a somewhat elaborate system where he replaces the art with a knockoff printed from a large-format printer and has a security guy as an accomplice.

I don’t want to give too much plot away, but the look, feel, and style of the movie reminded me a lot of other European filmed movies like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Bourne series.

The movie is much bloodier than I expected, but watching this movie reminded me why I hate a lot of mediocre American thrillers. A quote from Roger Ebert that really sums up my thoughts on the movie : “It entertains with story elements, in which the scares evolve from human behavior. Unlike too many thrillers that depend on stunts, special effects and the Queasy-Cam, this one devises a plot where it matters what happens. It’s not all kinetic energy.”

I know a lot of people are into movies and a lot of the same people are into sports, but nobody has developed a sabrmetric-style scoring system for movies. We all know that Albert Pujols is good at baseball, Kobe Bryant is pretty good at basketball, and Tom Brady knows how to toss the pigskin. In the same way, we all know that The Departed and the first 99.5% of No Country for Old Men are great movies. The key is finding and correctly identifying diamonds in the rough. For example, I would like to know that the value over replacement thriller (or VORT) for Headhunters of +25 or a wins above replacement foreign film (WARFF) of 2.7. Someone needs to make this happen.

Tangents aside, Headhunters is an extremely intense and well-made movie that is well worth your time. It’s currently available streaming on Netflix.

8.0

out of 10

28

11 2012

Retro Review: The Spanish Apartment

This review originally appeared on brenthanson.net on September 22, 2004

Movie
Xavier (Romain Duris) is a graduate student from France who is trying to find his place in life. His parents sort of boss him around and his girlfriend (Amelie’s Audrey Tautou) isn’t the most pleasant towards him. He’s at a crossroads in his life and he’s confused at to what to do next. After taking some of his father’s advice, he decides to move to Barcelona to finish up his economics degree with an emphasis in Spanish.
On his way to the airport, he runs into Jean-Michael (Xavier De Guillebon), a brain surgeon, and his new wife Anne-Sophie (Judith Godrèche). After figuring out he doesn’t want to live with a friend of his mother, he gives Jean-Michael a call and moves in with them temporarily sleeping on the couch.
Eventually, he finds an apartment along with a few other “Erasmus” students all from different countries. Wendy (Kelly Reilly) is a quiet redhead from England. She’s also joined later by her loudmouth brother William (Kevin Bishop). Isabelle (Cécile De France) from Belgium is probably Xavier’s best friend in the house and also is studying economics. Alessandro (Federico D’Anna) doesn’t seem to do a whole lot other than hang around the house, but he’s from Italy nonethless. Rounding out the house is Lars (Christian Pagh), who is from the Netherlands, and Soledad (Cristina Brondo), who is from Spain, are a couple living together.
To be honest, not a whole lot happens in term of plot. The group of people get closer. There are fights, cheating, crushes, and just about everything else that goes along with any good episode of the Real World. Actually, the Real World analogy is almost appropriate for this movie. Much lke the Real World, most of the characters will be forgotten as soon as you turn the movie off, but it still is a cute, fun movie. I found myself relating to Xavier quite often. I’ve oftened found myself questioning if what I’m doing with my life is right. Part of me wishes I would’ve went over to Europe for a full year during college. Think of this movie as a European version of the Breakfast Club. It’s smarter than your average teen movie, but it keeps all the fun of one.

Video & Sound
While it didn’t look unbelievable, the look of this film was good. It actually looks like a well-shot indie film. Both 1:85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 1:33 full screen are available on this flipper. The language is in 5.1 French, but there is also quite a bit of Spanish and English thrown in as most of the characters are bilingual.

Extras
Nothing… not even a trailer.

Closing thoughts…
The movie tries to spit some knowledge on the viewer about how Europe needs to be more unified. In the end, it’s not an unbelievable movie or anything, but it’s better than 95% of movies you’ll see in theaters here on this side of the pond. It reminds me about the memories I have just hanging out with friends not doing much of anything.

Movie – 8
Video & Sound – 7
Extras – 0
Overall – 6

11

10 2012