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Flash Movie Review: Downhill

I AM REPEATING WHAT WAS TOLD to me because it has been decades since I have eaten red meat. A friend and I were deciding where to eat for dinner one night. For the fact they enjoy steak, I suggested one of those steak restaurants that reference the state of Texas for some reason. Usually, these places always have other options I can choose for my meal. Before I tell you what my friend said, I want you to know I am not conveying a negative message about any restaurant; this is simply one person’s opinion I am sharing with you. My friend asked me why I would suggest such a place; I told him the reason I stated above. He said if he wanted a steak, he wanted a “good” steak; he was not going to settle for a cheaper brand/cut of meat for his meal. I asked him if he could really tell the difference and he said absolutely. I did wonder if everyone thought the way he did, how would these types of restaurants stay in business? Does one need to be a connoisseur to know when one item is better than another I wondered? When it comes to food, I call myself a low rent eater; I enjoy going to diners and other restaurants that do not do anything fancy to their food. The bottom line for me is I want something that not only tastes good but that I enjoy as well.      I AM THE SAME WAY ABOUT movies. As you know, I simply want to be entertained when I am watching a film. I do not pick pictures apart down to every detail. There have been times I have gone to see a movie that the critics have raved about and I wind up sitting in the theater bored out of my mind. These esoteric films that suit a small group of people, where I am sitting in my seat totally confused, are a waste of time for me. Yet I feel compelled to sit through them so I can review them. I try my best to find something redeeming to talk about when I review such movies. In a way, I tend to do the same thing when it comes to food. I have no problem going to a fast food restaurant for a meal. If it tastes good and provides me some type of pleasure, then I am fine with it. Unfortunately, with this comedic drama that was inspired by a Swedish film, I would have rather sat through the original one again and avoid this current production.      A FAMILY VACATIONING IN THE ALPS find themselves in the direct path of an avalanche. Though the physical aspect of it was scary enough, it was the aftermath that would be more troublesome. With Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said, Veep-TV) as Billie, Will Ferrell (Holmes & Watson, Daddy’s Home franchise) as Pete, Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings franchise, The Thin Red Line) as Charlotte, Zoe Chao (Where’d You Go, Bernadette; Strangers-TV) as Rosie and Zach Woods (The Other Guys, The Office-TV) as Zach; this movie was painful to see. The original film called “Force Majeure” I reviewed and absolutely loved it. The idea for the story was so smart and thought provoking; the writers and director of that film did a wonderful job in telling the story. In this picture, I only enjoyed Julia’s performance; she really tried her best to make something out of this movie, but it was not enough. There was no finesse or nuance to the acting from the rest of the cast and the script did none of them a favor. There was a heavy-handedness that prevailed through most aspects in the making of this picture. As with my food, I am fine going to a lower end place; I do not have an issue going to an updated version of something I have already seen. However, in the case of this film I would only go see Force Majeure and skip this poor version of it.

 

1 ½ stars  

Flash Movie Review: Force Majeure

It is easier to proclaim what you would do in a particular situation than participate in it. I am guilty of doing this; though in my defense, I believe I would carry through with what I said. This is because if I did not do it I would be acting out one of my biggest pet peeves: saying I would do something then not doing it. That and someone grabbing food off my plate without asking first are two of my top pet peeves. Now there have been times where I have listened to someone say what they would do in a certain scenario, but I knew they would never follow through if the experience actually happened to them. I would rather a person just be honest and say they could not do such a thing, instead of pretending to be something they were not. I admit I become annoyed when someone spouts off what they would do if they were in a dangerous situation, such as someone trying to steal something off of them in the middle of a crowded train car. It is hard to say what one would do in another person’s situation without having walked in their shoes first, is a motto I periodically say to myself.    WHILE on holiday skiing in the French Alps Ebba and Tomas, played by Lisa Loven Kongsli (305, Fatso) and Johannes Kuhnke (The Inheritance, Real Humans-TV), and their two children Vera and Harry, played by newcomers Clara Wettergren and Vincent Wettergren, were enjoying a leisurely lunch out on the veranda of their hotel. Suddenly an explosive controlled avalanche of snow veered off its course and headed straight towards the hotel. Fear took over the family and changed everything about their time together. This film festival winning drama really stayed with me after I was done viewing it. Such an intense, emotional story; I was still going over the story later in the day. I thought the acting was so well done, even by the newcomers. Whoever casted the film picked a group that was able to convey so much emotion with simply a facial expression; I was glued to my seat while watching this wonderful film. Besides the glorious scenery that was beautifully captured by the camerawork, I thought the soundtrack added an extra dimension to the story. Speaking of the story, it really presented the dilemma in such a way for the viewers to react with an immediate emotional response. I cannot imagine anyone watching this picture and not having some type of reaction to it. Swedish and French language was spoken with English subtitles.

 

3 1/2 stars

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