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You Gotta See This: Headhunters (2011)

In this weekly column, I’ll be reviewing movies that I’m guessing very few of you have seen…but should. You already get more than your fill of reviews of reviews for all the current first run theater movies, and in this reviewers humble opinion, only a handful of those are ever worth the price of admission.

I watch a lot of movies. And a lot of them suck. That’s the truth. I am in a constant state of despair these days in regards to the desolate wasteland that is American cinema. It seems that a large chunk of film studios think you, the average movie goer, are ignorant of what a “good movie” is. So they give you Transformers and Twilight. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! You sir…in the Mountain Dew t-shirt from Target. Driving a ’92 civic with that cool spoiler attached to the trunk with JB Weld. And you Ma’am. Yes, you…the 38 year old mom who just returned from Dairy Queen after picking the kids up from Gymnastics. DON’T LEAVE YET! I’m sorry my comments regarding Transformers and Twilight angered you. But I’m trying to help you. There is so much amazing cinema out there…you just have to know where to look. And if I’ve done my job, I will spare you that pain you feel in your gut when you walk out of the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation forcing a teardrop down the cheek and chanting “that was sooo good!” all the while wanting to throw your liter of Coke at the ticket lady, grab your $8.50 and run for the hills.

I said all that because a large chunk of the movies I watch these days are foreign. And I know subtitles scare a lot of you. GET OVER IT! You are missing a very large portion of the film world if you rule out everything with subtitles. YOU CAN DO IT! I BELIEVE IN YOU! And you will be better for it.

While Hollywood is pumping out mindless explosions and remake after remake…countries like Japan, South Korean and Sweden are carefully crafting wonderful films year after year. Some of those I will share with you. No, this isn’t a “foreign-movies-only” column. But it’s where I’m going to start. And may return to from time to time.

Headhunters
Headhunters/Friland

That brings us to our first film: ‘Headhunters’ (2011)

This is a film out of Norway that stars people you’ve never heard of. With the exception being Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who some of you might know as Jaime Lannister in ‘Game of Thrones.’

The story follows Roger Brown, a headhunter for a large corporation in Norway. He has a bit of an inferiority complex due to his small stature that he makes up for by stealing high-priced works of art. This is also so he can keep up an extravagant lifestyle that he feels is necessary for his super model wife to stick around.

Our guy gets word of a priceless work of art from World War II that Jaime Lannister may or may not have something to do with.

I realize that was maybe the shortest movie synopsis in history, but to say anything more about the story would do it, and you, a great disservice. But to give you an idea of what to expect, I’ll reference a few movies of the past.

Remember the first time you saw ‘The Sixth Sense’? Or ‘Blair Witch Project’? And then, how every filmmaker in the known universe tried to copy their “big twist” secret formula in the subsequent years and the schtick got tired REALLY fast?

I feel like it’s been long enough that a film like ‘Headhunters’ is able to give us something new again. I’m not necessarily saying there is some groundbreaking new element that will blow your mind (and I’m also not saying this is anywhere near a horror story – in case the ‘Blair Witch’ reference made you sick to your stomach. Again).

What I am saying is this is a really smart thriller that doesn’t insult the intelligence of the viewer and doesn’t pull any punches. There will be punches. And they will be aimed squarely at your kidney.

If you’re tired of the usual drivel found at the rental joint nearest you, give ‘Headhunters’ a spin. You won’t be sorry.

Currently playing on Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime Instant Video

Jason has been a student of film for quite some time, having studied acting in college and more recently researching directing and screenwriting. He wrote and directed his first short film in 2010. This is meant to inform and simply fill you, the reader, in on some of Jason’s background with film and that he may not be your average run-of-the-mill, grab whatever is new at Redbox kind of movie watcher. Jason is insanely in love with movies and devours cinema from all over the world.

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