Category Archives: sweden
Sweden – “You” by Robin Stjernberg
It’s a nice pop tune, but I guess Sweden doesn’t really want to win two years in a row.
Spain – “Contigo Hasta El Final (With You All The Way)” by ESDM
At first it seems like Spain has gone traditional. I just wonder if the audience will still be with them by the time the song really kicks in.
Italy – “L’Essenziale” by Marco Mengoni
Wow, that’s some hair.
Germany – “Glorious” by Cascada
Germany is usually a strong competitor, despite most of Europe still hating them for that World War II business, and this year is no exception. It’s a great dance tune that would have won if it were from the Ukraine, but not Germany.
France – “L’enfer Et Moi (Hell and Me)” by Amandine Bourgeois
This is a great song, and per usual, it’s in French, but it’s much better than most years’ entries. It seems the French are in it to win it this year. I can’t wait to see what this looks like on stage. That will make or break it.
Along with the UK entry, “Believe in Me” by 1980s songstress Bonnie Tyler, the above finalists join Semi-Final winners Lithuania, Moldova, Finland, Belgium, Estonia, Belarus, Malta, Russia, Armenia, The Netherlands, Romania, Hungary, Denmark, Iceland, Azerbaijan, Greece, Ukraine, Norway, Georgia, and Ireland in the Grand Final tomorrow afternoon. Those of you in the States can watch it live here.
The First Semi-Final was held tonight in Malmo, Sweden, and yielded the following Finalists: Moldova, Lithuania, Ireland, Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus, The Netherlands, Russia, Denmark, and Belgium.
Now, here are the last of the Second Semi-Finalists:
Israel – “Rak Bishvilo” by Moran Mazor
Another ballad? Really?
Latvia – “Here We Go” by PeR
Kind of a happy 1990s vibe here. I like when it finally kicks in.
Malta – “Tomorrow” by Gianluca
This could be a dark horse. It’s happy, catchy, and memorable, and most importantly in a contest that includes so many different cultures – inoffensive. I think we’ll see this one in the Finals.
Romania – “It’s My Life” by Cezar
This guy’s voice, wow. A novelty, and a possible Finalist.
San Marino – “Crisalide (Vola)” by Valentina Monetta
One wonders two things, how will it translate to the stage, and will the audience still be awake when it finally kicks in?
Switzerland – “You and Me” by Takasa
This is another favorite, I hope it’s a Finalist as well.
The second Semi-Final will take place on Thursday, the 16th of May.
It’s that time of year again – Eurovision is coming. The United Kingdom just announced that Bonnie Tyler, of “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” will represent them at Eurovision this year.
The song is “Believe in Me,” and it’s not bad. Hopefully it will be good for more than two points this year.
Ukraine: “Be My Guest” by Gaitana
I’m digging the 1990s power dance diva thing, but how did she get the X-Men as background dancers?
Bulgaria: “Love Unlimited” by Sofi Marinova
More disco, but a decent little dance tune. I like the music video portion, but the stage show is boring. I have to wonder what the real performance will look like.
Slovenia: “Verjamem” by Eva Boto
Another power ballad reminiscent of Serbia’s entry in 2007, boring, but it could win.
Croatia: “Nebo” by Nana Badric
Like Bulgaria, great video, but what will it look like on stage?
Sweden: “Euphoria” by Loreen
Slow build, powerful voice, but turns frequently into house music. Could be a contender.
Georgia: “I’m a Joker” by Anri Jokhadze
Guilty pleasure here, it is sooo Eurovision. Where else in the world could you rhyme ‘joker’ with ‘rocker’ and do your worst Taco imitation at the same time? I love it.
The Second Semi-Final takes place on May 24th in Baku.
Now, hopefully, you’ve already read part one, where I introduced my experience with the HorrorFest movies and started on the three weakest movies (of which, I only felt one, Zombies of Mass Destruction was not very good. Kill Theory meandered in mediocrity and The Graves was decent, but could have been better.)
Before I delve into the three movies for this post, I wanted to touch base on what I look for in a horror movie. Okay, most of you are probably going to say, “It scares you, right?”
Wrong. I don’t scare easily… in fact, I don’t scare hardly at all. And this isn’t internet braggadocio, this is just me. Granted, I’ll jump if startled, but that’s surprise, not fear. True fear… it’s hard for a movie to capture that for me. So what I look for in a horror movie is suspense, is keeping my interest, is drawing me in and making me forget/overlook the flaws of the movie… and if at all possible, give me the creeps. And, most importantly, entertain me.
That being said, let us move on to DREAD. Dread is based on the short story (of the same title) by Clive Barker (who, in fact, is listed as producer, so it’s entirely likely he gave his approval for the changes from the story.)
I wanted to like this a lot more than I did. It’s not so much a horror movie, until the end; leading up to that, it’s a psychological-suspense-drama. And it’s a good one, no doubt about that. The acting is decent, the story is tense, several of the characters are (mostly) likeable.
In short, several students get together to work on a project, cataloging people’s fear, their dread, what scares them, what gnaws at their sense of security. From there, things get worse as the personal issues of Quaid (quite excellently portrayed by Shaun Evans, who’s done mostly British telly – including PC Kevin Hales in the second series of Ashes to Ashes) become a danger to everyone around him.
No spoilers, but the ending is pretty uncomfortable (but that’s a good thing in this type of story.) I felt the script could have been polished up a bit, maybe with a different director (Anthony DiBlasi wrote and directed this, and I wonder if that can be a detriment more than not. Not everyone can do it as well as Christopher Nolan and others.)
I give this a six out of ten – it’s well done, but has a sense that it should be been something a bit more. I feel that they were aiming for something special, something magical with this.. and it’s not.
The second of this post is THE REEDS. Highly touted as the cream of the crop of the recent Brit-horrors, The Reeds is directed by Nick Cohen, written by Chris Baker. Don’t worry if you don’t know their names, neither is (as of yet) prolific, though both seem to have experience in British telly as well as movies.
Again, we have a trope of horror movies – a group of (young) adults go out for a party weekend in a secluded area. This time, a boat trip out in the middle of nowhere of England. From the time they arrive at their destination, things go wrong – their original boat was made a mess and the proprietor won’t rent it to them, but they end up getting another boat from him, and after dealing with some punk kids, are on their way.
There’s a sense of unease, and when things start turning for the worse, panic quickly sets in. The story behind it all is rather interesting, especially once you start to figure out what really is happening.
The characters make a lot of the same stupid decisions that will grate on your nerves, but the acting is decent, the story isn’t bad… and the mystery, I really got into it.
My biggest problem was the ‘twist’ at the end. It seemed almost unimportant, unnecessary and made no sense whatsoever to me. I know I spoke before about how a good ending can save a movie, and I love a good twist as much as anyone, but this just seemed to have a twist just to have a twist, and that’s a shame, because for me, it actually degraded my whole enjoyment of the movie, and that’s why, where others are giving this high marks, I can only give it a six out of ten – had they done the ending differently, I would happily have given it a seven. Go watch it and let me know what you think.
Third, and final for the post, is SKJULT (HIDDEN), Norwegian psychological horror movie, written and directed by Pål Øie, which stars Kristoffer Joner, Karin Park and Bjarte Hjelmeland. It is the story of Kai Koss, a man who returns to his home after the death of his (cruel and twisted) mother, to take care of things. We learn that upon his escape, Kai inadvertently caused for another boy to lose his parents, and much of the drama of Kai’s return deals with that… as the movie goes along, we learn exactly what happened.
It’s a complex, almost convoluted story, one you have to stay focused upon. (Also, it is subtitled, which for some people is a turn off.) There are nuances which I suspect are cultural – as an American, I’m used to everything being explained in my entertainment. So many things are left open, and you have be able to just accept what isn’t and move on.
The cinematography is, as is common with Norwegian and Swedish movies, excellent. There is a strong sense of color, framing and contrast that you don’t see in every American film. If you’ve never seen one, I strongly recommend checking out some of the more recent films. (Another film, not exactly horror, but definitely graphic and suspenseful is THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. Granted, there’s an American remake in the works, but the original is astounding.)
Back to Skjult, this movie is a very good, creepy tale. I can’t go into too much detail, as there is a mystery to the story and I don’t want to spoil it at all. It suffers slightly from cultural differences, so I can only give it 8 out of 10.
That’s it for today’s post – one more to go, with the cream of the crop – The Final and Lake Mungo.
The voting is over and the results are in. While waiting we got to see a mad Russian stage extravaganza featuring a military band and a bad lipsync performance from T.A.T.U. – well, I suppose it could have been worse.
Here are the results:
Turkey, Sweden, Israel, Portugal, Malta, Finland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Romania, Armenia and Iceland.
I got a few right…