Lars von Trierâ€™s Antichrist is sure to confound most viewers. Consider myself among them. The film is a horror film sort of mash-up in an avant-garde, art house, independent style. The first few minutes are incredible, with Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg engaged in porno style intercourse. The camera shows it all. They are so caught up in their activities, that their young child decides to bolt out of the window and fall to his death. Shocking and heady stuff. The rest of the film devolves into a moody game of cat and mouse between Dafoeâ€™s doctor and Gainsbourgâ€™s patient adding to their complex relationship. The horror begins to take place from there on out, with elements of Saw series mixed in. Itâ€™s a weird vibe that is difficult to recommend. The first five minutes are appointment viewing and may hook you, but the rest of the film will leave you feeling confused and disappointed if you are anything like me. Take that for what its worth.
Headhunters (Hodejegerne) (2011)
Jo Nesboâ€™s Headhunters is a very strong film. I will get that out of the way up front. The Norwegian pic combines thrilling and dramatic elements to create its own very unique space. Itâ€™s a Fatal Attraction meets The Fugitive sort of combination, without me thinking too much about it. Headhunters is about headhunters, who are hiring specialists. Roger Brown is a headhunter who steals art and sells it on the black market to significant effect, fleecing his clients to support his statue-esque wife. A plot is hatched against Brown to infiltrate his company and everyone from his wife to lover to cops to reporters and the list goes on are involved. Itâ€™s a who knows what and who can you trust meets chase film. Fun stuff. The violence is in your face and hilarious (some scenes are too great to giveaway) and the tension is gripping. Strong direction, a cool plot and some unique circumstances make this a canâ€™t miss film, assuming you can handle subtitles. Not an issue, this one is well worth your time.
The Game (1997)
The Game is Fincherâ€™s newfound classic, which was recently released on Criterion Blu-ray and DVD. The film is a fun one with Michael Douglas playing a man (Nicolas Van Orton) who has too much money, nobody to share his life with and needs the game to shake up his boring life. Douglas has never really been better than he is here. Sean Penn, strong in a supporting role as Douglasâ€™ brother, gives Nicolas a birthday gift that is the last thing that he would want. But he needs it and the game begins in a wild manner with Nicolasâ€™ life turned upside down. He tries to remind himself that the things that happen (his near drowning, being shot at, left for dead in Mexico, among them) are part of a game but they seem far too elaborate to be really setup. Truth is, they are and I think thatâ€™s why the film was not received to great effect upon its initial release. But Fincherâ€™s brand is strong and the performances are epic, making this one gain a popularity now (its been among my favorite films since its release) that is past due. If you havenâ€™t seen it, you must do so and if you have, itâ€™s certainly worth reliving. The Game may not be one you want to play but its sure fun to watch.