Thursday, 3 May 2012

Movie reviews: The King of Devil's Island and The Avengers

So far this week I've gone to the local cinema twice. First for a preview screening of The King of Devil's Island, a gritty Norwegian film and second for The Avengers, which we all know is the latest Marvel comics installment. The two films could not have been more different, but I highly recommend going to see both.

First off, The King of Devil's Island. This film, released in Norway far back in 2010, is set in 1915 and tells the true story of events on the island of Bastoy which housed a centre for 'mal-adjusted boys'. Boys and housemasters alike are trapped on this gods-forsaken place as the boys aged between 5 and 19 receive 'treatment' as an alternative to prison. The Governor, played to righteous stoic perfection by Stellen Saarsgard, seems to really believe that what is done on Bastoy can bring out the 'honourable, noble, useful Christian' inside each supposed delinquent.

The simmering tensions between boys and housemasters provides most of the dramatic tension as the harsh treatment and abuses pile up. Reviews I have read about this film present it as 'dour', 'grim' and 'bleak', but having watched the trailer before the film that was just what I expected, so I had the luxury of sitting back and just enjoying what is really an excellent film.

So - The Avengers! I won't waste too much finger-energy on this one. Chances are you've seen it or are going to anyway. Point is: Marvel comic action movie with hot super-heroes defeating less-attractive evil guys and destroying large amounts of city in the mean time. Big CGI, big evil guys, big green man whose pants seem to stretch even if his shirt doesn't (does this plot-hole bother no-one else?) and a whole lot of entertainment. Oh, yeah, and Robert Downey Jnr get 90% of the good lines. But that was also expected. Go see it with a group of friends, it's a fun night out.

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