Posts Tagged ‘Sverrir Gudnason’


Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the return of Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl In The Spider’s Web,” the sub-sub-sub-sub genre of Nazi zombie movies and “Overlord,” the sun dappled noir “The Padre” and the historical drama “Outlaw King.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


A weekly feature from from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at Lisbeth Salander’s return in “The Girl In The Spider’s Web,” the Nazi zombie flick “Overlord,” the sun dappled noir “The Padre.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB: 2 ½ STARS. “More James Bond than Elizabeth Salander.”

Lisbeth Salander is back. The lead character in the Millennium film and novel series, she’s the leather-clad computer hacker with a large tattoo of a dragon on her back, an eidetic memory, and, if you are a movie fan, an ever switching identity. The look—dyed black hair, body piercings—hasn’t changed but the actresses playing her have.

Noomi Rapace became famous playing her in the Swedish franchise and Rooney Mara was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress as Salander in 2011’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Now another face takes on the role. In “The Girl In The Spider’s Web” Clair Foy trades the tiaras and trinkets of “The Crown” for cyber criminals and car chases.

Since we’ve seen her last Salander has been exacting a very specific kind of revenge. Using her hacking skills and some other, more physical life hacks, she, as a self-styled righter-of-wrongs, evens the score between cheating husbands and their wives.

Her life is thrown into chaos when she gets a call from her handler. “There is a client asking for the impossible. Interested?” Of course she is. It’s ex-NSA employee Frans Balder (Stephen Merchant) who created a power program called Firefall. It can’t be reproduced, only be moved. Balder has lost control of it and wants it back. In the wrong hands a single user on the single computer could “be imbued with Godlike powers.”

She agrees and easily steals the program but when she misses the drop off Balder thinks she’s going rogue and alerts law enforcement. Her involvement also attracts the attention of The Spiders, a terror group who want the program and want her out of the picture. With an NSA agent Edwin Needham (Lakeith Stanfield) and journalist—and former Salander love interest—Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason) on the case things get complicated, especially when it turns out the big bad villain may have a direct link to Salander’s troubled past.

“The Girl In The Spider’s Web” is a thriller set to a slow simmer. The action comes in bursts, a car chase or an exploding building, followed by lots of atmosphere and shots of Salander’s brooding face. The Millennium film franchise are dark thrillers with overtones of murder, pedophilia, incest and even self surgery and while all those elements are on display here the tone of the film feels different than the previous films.

Set in Sweden, with all the trappings of an icy Nordic noir, the new film feels more American in its style. Salander is a little too much like James Bond and not enough like Elizabeth Salander. Foy is up to the task but the character, once edgy and daring, has become a Ducati-straddling superhero. In addition to being a world-class hacker she’s also a skilled hand-to-hand combat artist with a web of icy blonde girlfriends to do her bidding and a way with a Taser. But sometimes she’s a little too capable. An escape on a bridge works simply because it has too. Not because it makes sense. Her operations are timed with split second precision. There’s no real sense of danger, just boilerplate thrills. Things blow up real good but by the tenth time Salander has too easily and conveniently tamed an out-of-control situation you wonder why she’s wearing black leather and not spandex and a cape.

And don’t get me started on Blomkvist. Once a layered interesting character, he’s there simply because he’s always been there.

“The Girl In The Spider’s Web” is a serviceable action thriller with enough action to entertain the eye but too many twists and turns coupled with drab characters it feels generic when it should make your heart race.


Richard has a look at Lisbeth Salander’s return in “The Girl In The Spider’s Web,” the Nazi zombie flick “Overlord,” the sun dappled noir “The Padre” and the historical drama “Outlaw King.” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the return of Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl In The Spider’s Web,” the sub-sub-sub-sub genre of Nazi zombie movies and “Overlord,” the sun dappled noir “The Padre” and the historical drama “Outlaw King.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

BORG/MCENROE: 3 ½ STARS. “wisely focuses on the journey, not the destination.”

Shia LaBeouf’s reputation serves him well in “Borg/McEnroe.” The story of one of the all-time great sports rivalries, this film from Swedish director Janus Metz turns the actor’s hotheaded persona into a terrific performance as John McEnroe, the “superbrat” of tennis.

A non-traditional sports movie, “Borg/McEnroe “ ends with the Wimbledon matches in the 1980 final but spends the vast amount of its running time as a behind-the-scenes character study of polar opposites. On the court their games were as much psychological as they were physical, and this movie delves into the backstories that fed their individual styles.

We learn of McEnroe father’s unrelenting push for perfection. Whether it was doing complicated math tricks for dad’s friends or on the court, young McEnroe developed a perfectionist streak that lead to extreme discipline and a hair trigger temper when his lofty standards weren’t met.

In public life Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) was nicknamed the Iceborg, a play on his chilly demeanour but flashbacks to his early life with coach Lennart Bergelin (Stellan Skarsgård) reveal a similar upbringing to McEnroe. The difference between the two competitors came with Borg’s ability to suppress his anger, unlike the combustible McEnroe, who became famous for his on-court outbursts. “They say Borg is an iceberg, keeping it all in,” says one commentator, “until he becomes a volcano.”

The film digs deep, accentuating the similarities between the two players, not their differences. It’s an unusual take for a sports film. Typically sporting films play up the differences between competitors to amp up the conflict but this isn’t a standard sports story. It’s more an existential drama concerned with the why’s of their personalities not the how’s of their game. Many people will know how this story ends—and no, it doesn’t rewriter tennis history—so director Metz wisely focuses on the journey, not the destination.

Perhaps of his own history of public behaviour LaBeouf brings fire and empathy to his portrayal of McEnroe. A performance that could easily have drifted into caricature instead offers a nuanced look at the demons that fuelled the champion’s antics.

Gudnason is a dead ringer for Borg and does a nice job of hinting at the self-doubt that was always just under his icy exterior.

“Borg/McEnroe” gives insight into the lives of these two gold star athletes, revealing the men behind the game.


Richard hosted the press conference for the Toronto International Film Festival opening night film “Borg/McEnroe.” On the panel was director Janus Metz and stars Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård and Sverrir Gudnason.

“It’s quite cathartic,” said LaBeouf, who plays the hotheaded John McEnroe, “watching this. I knew it when I read it, it touched me when I did it. To watch it now is something I’m very proud of, I’m very proud of the movie. I think it expresses something I feel deeply. I’m honoured to be able to have been a part of this, and to be able to share it.”

Read all out it HERE! And HERE!

Watch the whole thing HERE!