Star Wreck

I finally watched Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning (torrent) (IMdb) last night, a film which is self-described as the “first-ever Finnish science fiction adventure”, and declared by wikipedia to be “the most popular Finnish movie ever.”

Being a completely independent, home-made film, I certainly have to give these guys credit. They’ve done a wonderful job demonstrating the potential for grassroots artists to create media assets that not only rival more expensive productions, but also attract a strong, viral fan base. It’s excellent foreshadowing for the changes coming to the motion picture business.

As for the film itself, I found the story to be a bit odd (although after having seen the film and investigated a bit, I now realize that it is part of an on-going story, and I haven’t seen the previous segments.) What I found unique is that the main character is almost an anti-hero, but doesn’t actually do anything good. His motivation is to conquer the universe, but he has no plans or reasoning for doing so. By the end, I found myself not being concerned with the outcome of any of the main characters, neither rooting for or against them.

Even still, if you’re a fan of foreign cult and/or grassroots films, this one should be on your list. Especially if you visit Finland on occasion.

Before Sunset

I saw Before Sunset last night, and if you liked the first one (Before Sunrise) the sequel should be enjoyable. I won’t give away any plot points here, but the sequel does a great job staying true to the original while expanding the commentary on life and relationships. The story telling uses the same approach — the entire film is really just close up dialog of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), but it works very well. Surprisingly, a number of people walked out during the movie. I can only guess that they hadn’t seen the first movie and were thus lost in the story.