Archives For TV

The first episode of ‘Hannibal’ premieres here in Norway in just a moment. I’m tremendously excited! The series is a sort of prequel to ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ (1991), showing the life of serial killer Hannibal Lecter before his dark deeds were revealed to the world.

'Hannibal' (2013-)

Bringing horror classics to the TV screen seems to be the thing this year. Another show has just aired which does the same thing: in ‘Bates Motel’ they introduce us to an adolescent Norman Bates (played by a near-adult and impressive Freddie Highmore) living with his mother (portrayed by Vera Farmiga) in a healthier – or should I say marginally less bleak – manner than we know he ends up doing in the legendary ‘Psycho’ (1960).

Taking on some of the biggest and most memorable horror movies of all time is a risky move, but with the increase in interesting projects and ever more impressive cast lists in recent TV productions, as admirably demonstrated with the recent Netflix success ‘House of Cards’ starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, I’m optimistic. With Mads Mikkelsen in the title role as notorious Dr Hannibal Lecter, how wrong can things possibly go? With him are actors Hugh Dancy and Laurence Fishburne, as respectively serial killer expert agent Will Graham and agent Jack Crawford (the latter name should ring a bell if you’ve seen the movie).

Bring out the Chianti and let the fun begin!

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February has started off pretty slow in the movie watching department. After a fairly ambitious 7 visits to the cinema in January (four new titles and three classics), and despite the list of watch-worthy releases steadily growing, the last couple of weeks has left me in something of a winter hibernation mode where movies are concerned. Well, to be honest, my priorities have had to be elsewhere. An interesting Netflix stunt, therapy sessions and this totally insane whim that had me signing myself up for a French exam (apparently, therapy is only so effective), has held most of my attention lately.

House of Cards

What I have gotten around to watching this month, has been about as varied as it gets. As I mentioned, Netflix pulled an interesting stunt at the start of the month, by releasing the entire season of a new VoD-exclusive series, ‘House of Cards’. I can happily confirm it really is worth watching, and as such quite the marketing stunt for Netflix. A sassy political drama series with a great script and engaing character development, this is the best show to have been released for quite some time. Of course you’d expect a certain level of quality when the cast list is composed of the brilliant Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Spacey plays a bitter, calculating and clever politician with a plan (a role we already know he’s nailing); Wright plays his equally calculating and cool-headed wife. Kate Mara is the up-and-coming journalist who pushes the boundaries of morality in her pursuit of recognition.

As for movies, I’ve only watched two this month. The first is last year’s remake of ‘Dredd’, which despite limited expectations and all reason, I was actually a little disappointed by, as I had let myself be convinced that it at least possessed a certain amount of self-irony, which in the end I felt it lacked. Still, as Saturday past-midnight entertainment it served its purpose more or less satisfactorily, not least because of the endless [sleep-deprived and wine-induced] fascination of a very diffferent-looking Lena Headey (Cercei in ‘Game of Thrones’).

Meanwhile, several movies have snuck their way into Norwegian cinemas, and the second movie, and this month’s first cinema visit, is one I have been feeling extremely ambivialent about for a long time, due to my 16 years worth of memories and associations tied to the source material: namely the screen adaptation of ‘Les Misérables’, in musical format for the first time. Expect a full, rambling report on this in a separate post. For now I will say that it didn’t have quite the emotional impact on me that I’d hoped, but there were some award-worthy (and indeed nominated) performances in there that completely blew me away.

Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables

As for the other February releases I’m anxious to see, I will put them up in a separate post tomorrow.