Law of Tehran
I never expected an Iranian film to be the best crime thriller I've watched in ages but it was. It got great reviews and really lived up to it.
Tehran detective hunting the city's biggest drug dealer. It's got that same documentary-type feel that The French Connection had and it's clearly a huge influence on the film. It's all shot on location and the poverty and depravation gives it a realness that stops it being just a run-of-the-mill police drama in a foreign language. The film doesn't gloss over the brutality of the Iranian legal system or government regime. The film just accepts that human rights abuses are just a day-to-day fact of policework. 8/10
Art house remake of the greatest film ever made, Conan The Barbarian. Alexander Skarsgard is perfect as Amleth but it's also hard to not think of the Techno-Viking which kind of makes him hard to take seriously. Beautifully filmed and if you are into history or archaeology then there are lots of really nice touches with the props, especially for things most people wouldn't notice. The locations are stunning and the fight scenes are really well done. Skarsgard plays such a physical role really well too.
But I never made it to the end, it started well but the middle third bored me rigid. I stopped caring and couldn't be arsed with another hour of it. There is a great supporting cast but nobody is in it for more than a few minutes so hard to care when Amleth gets a bit moody about them. It's worst of all for the main villain who has such a small role that it's really hard to understand why he's even bothering to try to kill him. The timeline doesn't work either, he was a teenage boy when his middle-aged uncle killed his father. Now he's clearly a middle-aged man himself but the actor playing his uncle isn't much older than Alexander Skarsgard. And I never understood why he waited 30 years for his revenge.
I don't know if they were deliberate or accidental but there's also too many Conan references. The start is straight out of Conan. The same snake symbol is used by the baddies. The scene where he finds his sword in an ancient tomb. There are some clunky Shakespeare/Hamlet references too that don't really work.
Watch Conan The Barbarian, it's still the greatest film ever made. 5/10