Tag Archives: Stanley Tucci

Fortitude

When we last saw Sarah Lund, she and her jumper were on the way to Iceland. Whatever else you might say about Sky’s Fortitude, we now know they have arrived, in some kind of Ice Land. Actually, not the jumper. There appears to be a jumper embargo for Sofie Gråbøl this time round.

As Governor of Fortitude, the strangest fantasy Nordic outpost you could imagine, she is a little disappointing. Though not as disappointing as many of the others. I suppose it’s what you get when Americans jump on a bandwagon that has already left, and mostly also arrived. They write what they admire, or at least what they hope will win them viewers, but which they know very little about. They seem to know the Nordic countries and their peoples much like fans of The Killing and Borgen reckon themselves to be fluent in Danish.

Fortitude

It was beautifully filmed, and they have an interesting collection of actors, ready to pretend – or not – to be Nordics. Some are, and are acting in their non-native English. Most of the others are native English speakers, but not in the slightest Scandinavian. There is sex, and drinking, and saunas. We ‘know’ this is the way of us Scandis. And it is, but perhaps not quite like this.

I almost liked the detective from the Met in London, American though he was. Can’t say I liked any of the other characters. It is possible to like both criminals and stupid people; just not these ones. Michael Gambon’s old and drunken cancer sufferer was perhaps the closest to feeling real, which I put down to Michael being a terrific actor.

When I wasn’t wincing, I found I couldn’t get Virus au Paradis out of my head. I do hope it’s not bird flu, or mammoth flu. With a bit of luck all the gruesomeness will be mere crime and human greed, with a bit of stupidity thrown in.

I don’t know whether I want to watch more of Fortitude. I have no curiosity regarding the what or the why or the who, and because I didn’t like them much, I won’t even want to visit an old friend, even one who is boring. But we’ll see how I feel next week.

(Actually, a few brownie points to Richard Dormer for being more of an obnoxious Danish policeman than most Danes.)

Captain America: The First Avenger

I seem to be watching the Avengers films back to front. Having started with The Avengers a couple of weeks ago, Daughter then sat me down to watch Captain America. As she put it, ‘you liked him, didn’t you,’ so there I was, watching the previous film before I knew what was happening.

Not that I suffered, but I don’t expect I’ll watch all of them. And I don’t think the order matters. I knew nothing about Captain America before these two films, but the second film did rather give away the fact that he wouldn’t die. On the other hand, it’s not something heroes normally do.

This is good, simple, adventure stuff. Not totally realistic, but close enough. And fun. We had a discussion about the size of Chris Evans, which I felt was Hagrid in reverse, and that seems to have been about the right guess.

Some of the scenery struck both of us as very familiar, and before we’d even investigated it, Daughter reminded me that I had, actually, blogged about this once before. And I had. Memory like a sieve, is what I have. They got blown up in our home town, so to speak.

The plot might not be terribly original, but the writing’s good, and offered many useful quotes: ‘I thought you were dead.’ ‘And I thought you were smaller.’ Nice period feel, with something of Where Eagles Dare about it.

The Hunger Games

Our calculations were correct, and by hitting Cineworld before the end of school on Friday we avoided most of the noisy clientele you’d expect for The Hunger Games. It really is quite a film!

Not having read the books, I was looking forward to seeing the film, both as a shortcut to the story without the need to read, and also because it has actually been said to be a good film. That’s not the norm for YA novels, these days.

The Hunger Games - Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth

It’s refreshing to find an actress like Jennifer Lawrence whom I don’t dislike on first sight. She couldn’t have been more perfect for the part of Katniss, and many others were also really good choices. I’m still working on what I think of Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth as the boys who will get to fight to the bitter end over the lovely Katniss, but Woody Harrelson’s boozy mentor was great, and I even stopped hating Effie Trinket after a while.

Gushing show hosts are always off-putting and none more so than the sleazebag they had in for the Hunger Games, at opposite ends from Donald Sutherland’s president. But whatever anyone was there for, they seemed to be just right.

The Hunger Games - Josh Hutcherson

The premise of a competition between teenagers who have been forced to take part, where the winner is the one surviving until the end, is a disgusting one. But just as the competitors have to harden themselves, so the audience grows more callous, and you don’t seem to mind so much. The bad ones ‘deserve’ to die and the good ones who die do so for ‘the greater good,’ which is for Katniss to survive.

We know she has to. Not only because she is the main character, but because there are more books, and presumably more films to come.

It’s a glittering future dystopia, where the well-off fools rule the real people. The question is how long until we get there ourselves. Perhaps we’ll be all right. We’ve got our Mockingjay pin.