Archives for the month of: March, 2013


The other day me and my live-in boyfriend Tommer (no that is not a spelling mistake, it’s Hebrew) decided to celebrate the start of Easter by going out for the classic “Dinner and a Movie”. After a long and heated debate where I wanted to watch the new film coming out of my hometown Stavanger called “Eventyrland” (Fairytale Country), and he wanted to go watch “Jack – the Giant Slayer”, we decided on a compromise and went with the new British romantic comedy “I Give it a Year”. You might wonder how I managed to get a boyfriend to choose a romcom over a crime/drama or a fantasy/adventure… Alas I cannot give you any pointers as it was the trailer, which he found hilarious, that did the work:

specifically the dance… it is… hilarious…


appologies for the arrow. I will find better picture than a screenshot from imdb ūüėČ

The film is one of those romcoms where nothing is truly bad.

There are several points, jokes and characters that are rather good, and there are some scenes that I truly wish I had written myself as they put¬†conventions¬†of the romcom on it’s head and twist it around and shove it in your face for good measure.

The only thing I worry about is… it might be forgettable….

I haven’t yet had an urge to watch the movie again. Granted, it has only been a couple of days, but normally when I watch a romcom and I love it, I immediatly want to buy it,¬†chastise and curse¬†the distribution market for being so slow (then the prices for being high the first couple of weeks that it’s out) and then I will bring it back to my (rather large) DVD collection where I will give it a nice cosy place between “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Love Actually”. But I don’t have that feeling. I remember loving the film, but no other urges. I feel like I will forget I ever watched it and possibly buy it again on a bargain hunt years from now only to remember once I’ve put it on that “Oh yeah, saw this in the cinema, it was nice.”

All the four heroes of this movie in one big happy (read f***** up) double date.

All the four heroes of this movie in one big happy (read f***** up) double date.

However this evening was not a waste of our time and both of us really truly enjoyed ourselves. We laughed all through the movie. And that is a huge thing. ¬†This story never lets go of the comedy and dupes into 100% drama for the last 20 minutes, like so many other romcoms do (guys hate that). We cringed at the wonderfully¬†embarrassing¬†and hilarious situations our four (I will name them four) heroes get into. And obviously as a couple, there were more than one skit about the¬†dysfunctional¬†parts of a relationship that hit really close to home (the guy never takes out the trash, the girl always bitches about insignificant things, the guy asks for permission or advice on EVERYTHING like what to wear, the girl sings loudly to music but with the wrong lyrics etc. etc. etc.). If you go with your better half to watch this one, maybe some of your squabbles will be put in perspective. For better or for worse ūüėČ

There is also the best joke of the entire movie, which I will not give away, but it starts like the title; “I’m just going to the little men’s room…”.

I think what left at least myself wanting, was the total lack of a surprise turn in the story. You know where it’s going to end and it does end the way you think it will, and in a way that makes it good, but the way it happens is not spectacular, jaw-dropping or awe-breaking. It’s not memorable. It is just nice. Not disappointing. Just nice. Forgettable.

Having said that, Stephen Merchant (for non-UK¬†residents¬† he is Ricky Gervais’ sidekick in most things, notably a writer on the BRITISH version of “The Office”) playing the annoying best friend/best man, is worth the movie alone. I found myself waiting for the scenes where his blissfully stupid-looking face would show up, saying or doing something which is (in most settings) totally inappropriate. Just watching his gangly body and the self-confident¬†grin on his face is enough to make me laugh. There is a thin line he is playing with here where with only the slightest altercation of his wrist, he might be on the annoying side instead… But for me and my bf he balanced it perfectly.¬†Every time. No exceptions.

Ah, Stephen Merchant, you make us laugh!!

Ah, Stephen Merchant, you make us laugh!!

You will learn¬†several¬†things from this movie. You will learn that adding white turtledoves into a romantic gesture, might not be the brightest idea you’ll have in a century. You will learn to always check your USB stick before you put it into a digital photo frame at your in-laws christmas party. And you will learn that not all movies need to stay with you forever. Some just need to entertain us right now and then go away. And there is nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.

PS: For especially interested or nosy people, we went to Inside Rock Cafe and Bar in Bergen for dinner before we went to the cinema. This place is known for having great burgers, and they have about 20 different kinds you can choose from. One is a currey burger… With pineapple… (I should have tried that one). I was, however ,challenged on my capability to eat hot, spicey food by a chilidressing and jalapeno topped (no… not topped… COVERED) burger called Fireball. I did have to drink loads of water, but it was no match to Nando’s Hot chicken burgers which I have yet to defeat.

Tommer would also like to tell you all that the best potato wedges in town are here. He proved it by eating every last piece on his plate and the extras we got to boot. I approve of them too. Perfectly seasoned and a little crispy on the outside ūüėČ So get all your asses to Bergen and have a burger (cause the traditional Norwegian food really is nothing much to write to you about;) (notice how I didn’t mention anything about price… sneaky…;)


Mila Kunis does a wonderful Wicked Witch of the West

Everyone loves Oz. Americans especially (given that the box office results are kind so far). I however was never exposed to the delightful original until I was well into my bachelor degree in media. Forever and always will I wish for movie savvy parents who would have put me in front of the 1939 version as a kid because I know my love for it would have run deeper than it does now.

I love it in an “wow they used color for (one of the) first time and they decided to make good use out of it”. And there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t envy the moviegoers of the late 30s the experience of having the black and white screen be washed with a brilliant techni-colour. But alas the beginning only has the effect of mere curiousity, and in this prequel version of the land of Oz, it only serves as a nod to the original. One of the few nods that Disney could manage to do without being sued for all the gold in the wizard’s treasury by Warner Bros. (who holds the rights for the original movie). The wow factor when the screen (finally) goes cinemascope and the colours come back, and the 3D becomes deeper, would have been amazing back in the day. But it’s nice, you know, quaint.

If you are going to go watch this movie, and you do not have a child easily at hand to force to come with you, be aware that you should set your mind to childish. It is not that the film can’t be enjoyed by adults, because I did enjoy it, but half the movie is the wonder and awe at Oz itself in all it’s CGI beauty. I would have enjoyed having a child next to me,¬†gasping at the giant flowers opening as James Franco’s Oz walks by and giggling at the¬†sharp-toothed¬†water fairies. It’s like christmas. It’s just not the same.

The one thing I will truly commend Disney for on this one, is that it is the first time in years that I have decided that it was a good choice to go to the 3D rather than the 2D version. I always go to the 3D in the vain hope that someone has figured out how to make it worth my money, but I am most of the time left¬†disappointed. This time I had several instances of near ducking behind the seat because I thought spears and flying baboons were coming at me. And yes IT IS a cheap trick, AND it rips me out of the trance that is movie watching AND you feel more like you’ve mistaken and gone to Walt Disney World rather than your local cinema. But at least then there is a point to the 3D. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Now this prequel starts with the semi-talented magician/scientist, Oz, who is not doing so well in the real (black and white 4:3) world. Work trouble, girl trouble and personality issues in abundance. He is whisked into the land of Oz in the same way Dorothy was, that blasted twister, but in a hot air balloon so that we can get a nice panoramic view of the land of Oz (don’t get confused now) before our hero crashes into a terrifying river. This is where I can imagine the creative team at¬†Disney are solely putting in action sequences so they can justify later making an Oz¬†Theme park¬†and then have a water-splash ride, a temple run style ride, a Soarin’ (simulator of paragliding in EPCOT) type simulator for the hot air balloon twister ride and the bubble escape etc. etc. etc. There are so many instances that these thoughts pop into my mind that it almost ruins it for me. But then again I will probably go to the park when it comes so I can’t really complain ūüėČ


Emerald City. Loads of these panoramic views of Oz makes the movie a delight to the eyes.

What makes “Oz – the great and powerful” really worth watching is Mila Kunis’ transformation from the sweet, naive and neutral witch to the full blown green skinned Wicked Witch of the West that we know. Granted she plays the role of sweet witch horribly and has several corny dialogue bits that will make you¬†cringe, but once Oz says “ByeBye” to the “over attached girlfriend” that she is, we know from the tears that she cries, which leaves scars in her beautiful, spotless face, that this is going to be great. And she is. I can hardly tell it’s little Mila Kunis under that bent old witch’s hat.

The visual effects, which is why you are watching this movie after all, to see Oz in absolute¬†splendor, are impecable. As they should be after a budget like this. But the one animated character that stood out and really created an emotion in the audience (I could tell by child laughter that they liked this one) is the petite porcelain girl who is saved by Oz’ magic (read: glue) and who indeed is NOT computer animated, but if I read the credits right, is actually a marionette puppet. Kudos to Disney for getting in some old techniques as well. I am a firm believer that visual effects work best when blended with stop-motion, mechanical contraptions and other “real life” special effects.


In the middle we can see the petite porcelain doll whom you instantly want to take care of (she might break after all).

It might look a bit like I didn’t care for the movie, which is not true I did like it, for what it is. A fairy tale for children with little character development, some comic relief and loads of oooos and awwwws on the visuals. Kidnap a child and go and watch it (then please give the child unharmed back to his or her parents;). Maybe some of the magic will rub of on you ūüėČ

PS: My first encounter with the world of Oz was “Wicked” on Broadway in 2006. I cannot help that my insides are filled with fear that the plans for doing a film¬†adaptation¬†now will slow down to the trickle of a snail or be thrown out completely. “Oz – the great and powerful” doesn’t take that prequel story into account at all so it is a completely different prequel scenario. I pray to all the starlight in the univers that they will still make it. Just make it for grown-up sad musical lovers like me. I’m sure I’m not the only one… ūüėÄ

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