Reviews of Film, TV, and Music
Their Messages and Methods, by Stefan Stenudd
The arts inspire - also to comment and reflect on them. I've been a newspaper critic of music, books, drama, even restaurants. In the reviews here, I focus on what is being said by the artists and how they say it. Their messages and methods. That's the essence of any art.
TV-series bluntly plagiarizes Harry Potter and The Mentalist. Its main shortcoming, though, is its poor understanding of magic.
There are several trailers for Star Wars VII – The Force Awakens
, but they look very much the same with minor variations. I bet that's significant of what the new movie will be: same same, with nothing but minor alterations.
The Writers Guild of America has chosen the 101 funniest screenplays ever. Not only is it odd that they should, but also the result is questionable.
The Simpsons and Family Guy have lots in common. The most striking – and tiresome – similarity is that of Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin.
What's with the withering of rock stars, when they become adults?
In The World's Strictest Parents
, troublemaker teens are shown the way. The teenagers are narrowmindedly blamed for just about everything.
Searching the web for versions of Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say) from Jesus Christ Superstar, I came across Luka Zaqariadze
on a Georgian Idol show.
The grand finale of the Batman films, The Dark Knight Rises
, is a complete mess. The 2.5 hours have a plot that is a maze.
The film Taken
is a decent action movie, but it fails mainly in its dramatic curve. So, the end can be nothing but disappointing.
is a film playing with the idea of time travel – but doing so with a dramatic nerve that leaves the intellectual paradox far behind.
Underneath the spectacular surface, the film Chronicle
is all about the torment and rage of male puberty.
In the TV concert of Paul McCartney singing a handful of evergreen covers, what stood out the most was what a delicate singer he can be.
A few thoughts on the lyrics of the Queen anthem Bohemian Rhapsody. They're just as impressive as the music.
The Mentalist, the police procedural TV series, is catchy. But it's not about a mentalist. It's about a raving narcissist.
We Need to Talk About Kevin fosters the myth of the innocent parent. That's not believable even in fiction.
The London Olympics opening ceremony was spectacular, but where was everybody? Not much of a line-up, considering what Great Britain has.
In the 9th season of Two and a Half Men, uncle Charlie is replaced by Walden. It's not working. The money keeps it running, but surely not for long.
The Game of Thrones fantasy drama would have pleased even William Shakespeare. Its foremost quality is that of words, words, words.
Those who master the art of acting know to play on the opposite of what is called for, thereby enhancing it, as if real acting is counter acting.
The TV writer and producer Chuck Lorre puts in Vanity Cards at the end of every TV sitcom episode he produces. It started already in 1995.
The 2009 remake of Fame was just a bunch of scenes. The film makers might have watched the 1980 original, but they didn't learn from it.
I've become addicted to Inside the Actors Studio. Like any addiction, it's a combination of delight and agony.
It might be blasphemy, but I have trouble appreciating the Harry Potter stories. The Deathly Hallows is a gloomy end to them.
A research team presents a formula to predict what songs will be hits. But they ignore one of the top components of a song: the lyrics.
Breakfast of Champions, the film based on Kurt Vonnegut's novel, turned the wonderfully absurd novel into a tiresome burlesque.
Tim Minchin's comedy consists of satirical songs. So, his music is parody, but it doesn't matter. It's still sweet, sweet music.
I wonder about musicians who go for the most unwieldy instruments. What were they thinking?
The naked take on fake religion suddenly becoming real in the film Leap of Faith - that is my favorite Steve Martin movie.
David Bowie lost his edge in the 1980's. Is rock'n'roll something reserved for all the young dudes?
Hollywood came to my street in Stockholm, shooting scenes for the Stieg Larsson crime story The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Without Charlie Sheen, the sitcom Two and a Half Men can't continue. That perfect set of characteristic characters can't be rearranged.
I often wonder why those who get to play the lead roles are frequently chosen as if failure is the goal. Glee is a typical example of this.
In the film Ratatouille, it's amusing for me to see the portrayal of Ego, the restaurant critic, since I was one for twelve years.
Some songs have an element of magic. Lyrics have a lot to do with it, too. One such song is Handbags and Gladrags from the 1960's.
Sweden stops censoring movies. It's the last of the democratic countries to do so, and it was one of the first to start it in 1911.
Ingmar Bergman confessed that he had punched a critic to stop him from writing any more reviews about Bergman's work. He seemed quite proud of it.
Most things we humans do adapt the form of drama. Not only fiction, but so do sports, religious practices – and every reality show on TV.
Movie Reviews in Short
In 2003 I got the impulse to write movie reviews for the IMDb website
. There were many movies at that time without reviews or very few of them. This was partucularly true for Swedish movies, so I kind of specialized on those - though not exclusively.
I also wrote about movies I regard as particularly significant, and some I just happened to come across.
The reviews are rather short. In old newspaper terms I made most of them a sheet and a half, circa 20 lines, which was the normal format for short reviews when I worked as a rock critic. A full review was twice that amount. Newspaper writing is all about being comprised, and that's very good exercise for any writer.
It was great fun to write these short movie reviews, until I had done almost 50 of them. Then I ceased doing it - on IMDb, that is. They are still around on the IMDb website, but I thought I might as well have them on my own website, too, now that I have a reviews section on it. Here they all are:
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My reviews of film, TV, and music.
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Click the header to get to the webpage where I present all my books in English. Click an image below to go to that book's page on Amazon.
I'm a Swedish author
of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist
, an historian of ideas
and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor
. Click the header to read my full bio.