Saturday, February 28, 2009

Funny Quotes of the Week 13

"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much." (Oscar Wilde)

"How is it possible to find meaning in a finite world, given my waist and shirt size?" (Woody Allen)

"If living conditions don't stop improving in this country, we're going to run out of humble beginnings for our great men." (Russell P Askue)

Movie: Ladykillers

Alec Guinness, Herbert Lom and Peter Sellers. Not many movies have such great actors as this one. Sadly, I don't think any of the actors are up to their best in this movie. It's a funny story, though. Five guys rent a room in an old lady's house to do the robbery of their life. It's a cunning plan, but nothing goes exactly according to plan...

A little bit of slap-stick, a tiny bit of action and quite a lot of humour - that's the main ingredients. I wonder how the Coen brothers' version (with Tom Hanks) is...

The Ladykillers (1955)

Director: Alexander Mackendrick

Main actor:
Katie Johnson as The Old Lady
Alec Guinness as Professor Marcus
Cecil Parker as Claude (a.k.a. 'Major Courtney')
Herbert Lom as Louis (a.k.a. 'Mr. Harvey')
Peter Sellers as Harry (a.k.a. 'Mr. Robinson')

Friday, February 27, 2009

World Championship skiers

The skiing world championship in Liberec is about to end. Here's the Norwegian team for today:


(And by the way: John Andresen has more photos on his website now, this time of David.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Movie: The Departed

In my efforts to see more of the "top movies", I've come to The Departed. Of course, it's strange that I haven't seen it before - the actors should be enough to draw me to it. On the other hand, gangster movies is not really my cup of tea.

Of course, there is something slightly ridiculous in the set-up of this movie. One gangster has infiltrated the police while a policeman has infiltrated the gangsters. Both are among the world's sexiest guys, and both fall in love with the same girl. In the same police unit there's also another guy who has previously been considered one of the world's sexiest guys - Mark Wahlberg...

Okay, if we manage to ignore this, there's much to be happy about. The actors are brilliant, the story is fast-paced and with plenty of twists and turns. There are lots of violence, but I know there are people who enjoy that as well...

All in all, it's well worth watching. But the best movie of 2006? I hope not.

The Departed (2006)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Main actor:
Leonardo DiCaprio as Billy Costigan
Matt Damon as Colin
Jack Nicholson as Costello

Movie: Braveheart

The epic story of William Wallace, who took it upon himself to free Scotland from the rule of England. His success secured by the combination of skill and luck in war and his charm.

It is always interesting to see movies that have been great successes (this one even securing an Oscar for best movie and best director), even when I can't really see what's so wonderfully great about it. Granted, it's a well told story, probably with correct costumes and weapons, but other than that, to me it's just another "superhero" movie.

Of course, it might have helped if I thought Mel Gibson was handsome...

Braveheart (1995)

Director: Mel Gibson

Main actor:
Mel Gibson as William Wallace

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Movie: Povest plamennykh let

Movies may be interesting even when they are - by no means - good. It is terribly interesting to think that this movie was a serious attempt to say something meaningful about the second world war, and that those who made it probably believed that it would lead to patriotic feelings. If it actually did lead to patriotic feelings, that's even more interesting.

It's also interesting to see a movie from a different system of government, from a different time and a different culture. The idealization of rural life is striking, but it must also have been strange for those who lived in rural areas and knew that life was different. The main character in this movie, Ivan, is a hero of ridiculous proportions - the kind of guy who always wants to go first when someone needs to attack tanks empty-handed. The number of times when he looks into the distance and speaks "uplifting" words are large.

The movie is interesting - but it's also funny. It's hard to take it seriously today. The funniest scene is perhaps the one in which Ivan is on the operation table, and the doctors are discussing how heroic he is.

The first half of the movie is both funny (in hindsight) and also has quite impressive battle scenes. The second half is not all that funny, and also less impressive.

By the way, I saw this movie in the 70mm version, which is supposed to mean that the picture quality would be great. On the other hand, the copy was quite damaged. It was also a bit annoying that the Danish (!) subtitles was not translating all the Russian dialogue. (I also got a bit suspicious of the accuracy when "Lenin" was once translated as "Engels"...)

Not a great movie. If you only want to see one Soviet-era war movie this year - you can probably find better...

Povest plamennykh let (1961)

Director: Yuliya Solntseva

Main actor:
Boris Andreyev

Monday, February 23, 2009


Have a look at these cool new interfaces - seems great, but needs the great applications...

(Thanks to Tor Espen.)

Mamma Mia! again

Saw Mamma Mia! for the third time this weekend. It's still as funny and life-embracing as it was the first time...

Here's two photos from one of my favorite scenes: "Does your mother know?" (with Philip Michael and Christine Baranski).

Alexander Rybak - Fairytale

This year's winner of the Norwegian part of the Eurovision Song Contest: Alexander Rybak with Fairytale. Vote for it in May!


John Andresen has photographed yet another Norwegian: Mads:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Funny Quotes of the Week 12

"A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies." (Oscar Wilde)

"How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?" (Woody Allen)

"Homosexuals represent a threat to the community in that when they commit suicide by jumping from buildings, they sometimes hit passers-by." (The FBI Training Manual, 1968)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cities I've visited

Here's a view of the cities I've visited:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Movie: Max Manus

"Max Manus" is widely regarded as last year's best Norwegian movie, seen by more than one million Norwegians so far (out of a population of less than five million people). It tells the story of resistance hero Max Manus, who took part in several important sabotage operations during the German occupation of Norway. It's a useful reminder that many people risked their lives (or even gave their lives) in these efforts.

The movie is very well produced and the actors generally do a good job. The events are well-known, however, so there is no suspense to be found there. This is a problem with filming historical events, I'm afraid...

There's been some complaints in the media about the sound level that Oslo Kino prefer to use on this movie. I have to agree. The sound was almost painfully high, and higher than what the director intended.(*) A small detail, maybe, but distracting enough.

(* What I've learned is that the sound of normal conversation should be easily heard. If that means that explosions or music sound too loud (or not), that's the director's decision, and should not be interferred with by the cinema.)

Max Manus (2008)

Director: Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg

Main actors:
Aksel Hennie as Max Manus
Nicolai Cleve Broch as Gregers Gram
Agnes Kittelsen as Ida Nikoline 'Tikken' Lindebrække

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Movie: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

There was no way I would not see the new Indiana Jones movie - the previous movies have been great combinations of action and wit. Sadly, this fourth movie is almost a parody of the previous ones. The story is nowhere near believeable, the narrow escapes are silly and the number of machine gun bullets shot in the direction of Indiana Jones (but of course always missing) is ridiculously high.

So why the high grade of 5 out of 10? Because there is still a little witty dialogue at times, and I really tried to be positive and get carried away by the story...

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Main actors:
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones
Shia LaBeouf as Mutt Williams

Teddy for Joe Dallesandro

gaysir has an interesting article about Joe Dallesandro today, on the event that he got the Berlin Film Festival's Special Teddy Award yesterday.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Funny Quotes of the Week 11

"Of those who say nothing, few are silent."

"Beer: The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems." (Homer Simpson)

"You could move." (Abigail Van Buren, responding to a reader who, after commenting negatively about a gay couple's moving in across the street, asked "How can we improve the quality of the neighbourhoood?")

Monday, February 09, 2009

Freedom To Marry Week

This week is Freedom To Marry Week, "the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide".

I got married on Tuesday. It was the most wonderful day of my life. The law giving me the right to get married was passed last year, and started working from January 1st. It feels quite strange that the basic right to marry the person you love (and who loves you) has only been with us for a bit more than a month. And I feel sorry for everyone in other countries that still do not have that right.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Great moments in presidental speeches

Funny Quotes of the Week 10

"Life in Lubbock, Texas taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth. And you should save it for someone you love." (Butch Hancock)

"A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her." (Oscar Wilde)

"His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." (Woody Allen)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Nude water polo players

Ewoud Broeksma has a few new photos on his site - now of water polo players. Have a look!

Movie: The Apartment

The Apartment won five Oscars, including best movie and best director (Billy Wilder). So obviously, it must have been considered very good when it was new. Today, it's decidedly dated.

Baxter works behind a desk at a huge company, but works his way up by lending out his apartment to bosses who needs it. However, when Baxter gets romantically involved himself, things get a bit more complicated.

There are many laughs in the movie, but it wouldn't be too difficult to cut half an hour (of the two hours) to make it a bit more fast-paced...

The Apartment (1960)

Director: Billy Wilder

Main actors:
Jack Lemmon as C.C. Baxter
Shirley MacLaine as Fran Kubelik

Movie: Thank you for smoking

Moderately funny movie about how Big Tobacco works to try to keep up their dangerous industry. Nick Naylor is a spokesperson, and has to put his own conscience on the side to be able to do his work well. And he is good...

Probably, the movie would have been more engaging if it wasn't made after Big Tobacco more or less has lost their fight - at least in the rich parts of the world.

Thank You for Smoking (2005)

Director: Jason Reitman

Main actors:
Aaron Eckhart as Nick Naylor