Dec 31, 2010

Due Date, 2010

Due Date, 2010
Director: Todd Philips
Cast: Robert Downey JR., Zach Galifianakis

Stage: Home theatre

Due Date in short: Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) must get to LA in five days to be at the birth of his firstborn. He is about to fly home from Atlanta when his luggage and wallet are sent to LA without him, and he is put on the "no-fly" list. Desperate to get home Peter is forced to accept the offer of Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) to hitch a ride with him cross-country. Peter is about to go on the most terrifying and agonizing journey of his life.

Preps: Hot in cinema, a little less warm in my living room. I only know it by its fame, not by content.

Reality: Yuk. One of the worst movies this year. How come actors accept stupid comedies like this? This one is a Roadtrip wannabe. Not even close to being as funny as that one, that is in my opinion, pretty decent movie. Well, this one will only get on your nerves. Downey in role of this nevrotic guy that urges to come to the labor of his newly born child. Zach in a role of a big child. Should be at least amusing. In my opinion, it underestimates the intelligence of a viewer. Therefore I need to give it a strong disrecommendation. I still feel a bit annoyed for even standing this for 45 minutes. This was at least my level of tolerance, before I shut this one down.

There isn't a good saying deriving from this. Or a good note, that you could appreciate. I strongly believes that it mocks US people and makes fun of their stupidity. At least that is something that would amuse an EU viewer.

My personal rating: 1,0 (you truly won't miss a thing missing this)

Due Date on IMDB

Wall Street 2 - Money never sleeps, 2010

Wall Street 2 - Money never sleeps, 2010
Director: Oliver Stone
Cast: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin

Stage: Home theatre, HD version

Wall Street in short: As the global economy teeters on the brink of disaster, a young Wall Street trader partners with disgraced former Wall Street corporate raider Gordon Gekko on a two-tiered mission: To alert the financial community to the coming doom, and to find out who was responsible for the death of the young trader's mentor.
Preps: I wanted to see the sequel badly ever since the first part. It inspired me into economy and I wanted to feel the broker's thoughts while bidding, selling, buying, and feel the taste of that much money. So, in my case, pretty expected piece that I hardly waited to get my hands upon. Let's see some Wall Street action..

Reality: What is to follow after the brainwash the first part of this movie offered? Absolutely brilliantly set (with many economical mistakes - as my professors claimed at the university and afterwards tried to explain to us, eager students), gave me the inspiration to study economy. It is rare that a movie gives inspiration to a certain profession. It definitely happened for instance in Top Gun, this is another good example of having a movie inspiring people to go to be brokers or at least, economists.

Therefore, the sequel draw my attention for several reasons. And one of the most important ones - to see Douglas in action again. This piece only proves that the man is made of steal. His energy will drive you like on a rollercoaster from the beginning to the steep ending. Broker world is closed for emotions and the people getting on its bus with feelings, tend to get broken along the way. The plot is quite easy to follow, again you are faced with numerous expressions, that are only used in this broker language world and that I am sure most people cannot follow. But you get the main idea how to create a distortion and scam someone.

The cast creates a good synergy - I would put someone else in the role of his daughter. The girl seems to be crying all the time and makes me wonder whether this was made on purpose. There aren't always scenes where she would be crying, although she seems as if on drugs each time she appears.
I absolutely adore the idea to connect the protagonists from the first part (Brolin - Douglas) and I cannot switch the movie off because it progresses all along the way. No time for picnic there, I cannot just go and fetch something from the fridge, I am curious about the next part all the time. Therefore, I strongly encourage future economists or the ones that wanted to be ones, to see this piece, as it will provoke inner spirit again and make you believe in this green entity that all of us are shutting our eyes from - money, but all of us need. But as said at the beginning, broker world, a.k.a. Wall Street, is no place for mushy feelings, mushy people. No place for emotions either. Roll down your sleeves and get into the game :)

My personal rating: 8,0 (made me nostalgic about the first movie and I absolutely love this economical đibrish - talking in words noone seems to understand).

Wall Street on IMDB

Dec 30, 2010

Buried, 2010

Buried, 2010
Director: Rodrigo Cortes
Cast: Ryan Reynolds

Stage: home theatre

Buried in short: Waking groggy in pitch darkness, Paul Conroy, an American truck driver working as a contractor in Iraq in 2006, slowly realizes he is trapped inside a wooden coffin, buried alive. With his cigarette lighter, he can see the trap he is in, and he quickly realizes that there's not enough air for him to live long. He finds within the coffin a working cellphone, which allows him contact with the outside world. But the outside world proves not to be very helpful at finding a man buried in a box in the middle of the Iraqi desert. Paul must rely on his best resource--himself.

Wanted to see this piece on LIFFE, the movie festival, but I missed it. Heard a great deal about it and wanted to see it badly. Now I get it at home..

Reality: A strong reminder, how little we are to the society and how the importance is being measured as long as we are valuable. To be blackmailed is nothing really new, but to be buried underground, figuring out how long your cellular is going to hold and not being able to get to anyone that could help, is another story indeed. The plot seems vague and empty in the beginning, but later on the movie turns out to be a critic of US staying in Iraq, all the innocent people trying to get money for their service, turning out in hands of terorrists to be blackmailed - the movie is filled with negative pesimism, that can drive the viewer mad in thinking, how did we get this far.

Having governmental bureacreacy up to this level, tailored to serve the citizens, ending up in serving themselves, is simply to ironic to handle. Too much of black humour /irony - or shall we say or admit truth in this piece it will rock your soul. What would you do in order to get out of the box is one thing - Paul in this case can do nothing really important. Who to call, who to say goodbye from.. those are the questions popping in Paul's mind. How unimportant he really is, is shown by the attitude of various institutions that he tries to call. The main idea I am left with is, may I never turn up in a situation like this. With only government with its great attitude to help me or to assist me with something. The administrative procedures that serve themselves are simply too much. Vividly shown in the piece, dramatically cast by Ryan Reynolds.

One of the masterpieces, made on a very static position. It is extremely hard to fill in the movie if you are limited to one position or one location (for instance, brilliant job at Phone Booth). Nevertheless, I keep wondering, what the government is all about. About citizen not, for sure.

My personal rating: 8,0 (a truly unique piece of work, showing us, how little and unimportant we are..)

Buried on IMDB

Buried official page

The Family Stone, 2005

The Family Stone
Director: Thomas Bezucha
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Diane Keaton, Dermot Mulroney

Stage: Home theatre

The Family Stone in short: The Stone family unites in common cause when their favorite son brings his uptight girlfriend home for the Christmas holiday, with plans of proposing. Overwhelmed by the hostile reception, she begs her sister to join her for emotional support, triggering further complications.

Preps: None, I don't think I ever heard of this. I just popped onto this piece when circling around my movie database.

Reality: One of less attractive scenes of all times - the point when a guy brings his high girlfriend to his home, wants her to feel welcome and all sorts of funny activities happen or actions being taken in order to make her feel pleasant or in this case, unpleasant.

One of less attractive in my opinion, because the dialogues lack courage or intelligence, the family simply doesn't seem to fit (they aren't really convincing) and I lack interest in half an hour to see where the piece is taking me. It would be better to invest some more funds into the story and the flow of all the actions, instead of focusing on other things. It is hardly impossible to bring this to a satisfactory ending. I think the only card played here, is the one where the crowd indulges in the bad scenes and bad things that happen to the new girl in town. But it's an undecent way to go. I have seen many better versions than this one - of the same story. I think Meet the parents did a good job in this field and set some standards, that this piece doesn't meet even by far.

My personal rating: 4,0 (there are some amusing scenes, but you will not lack anything if you skip this movie).

The Family Stone on IMDB

Troy, 2004

Troy, 2004
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Cast: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom

Stage: Home theatre

Troy in short: It is the year 1250 B.C. during the late Bronze age. Two emerging nations begin to clash after Paris, the Trojan prince, convinces Helen, Queen of Sparta, to leave her husband Menelaus, and sail with him back to Troy. After Menelaus finds out that his wife was taken by the Trojans, he asks his brother Agamemnom to help him get her back. Agamemnon sees this as an opportunity for power. So they set off with 1,000 ships holding 50,000 Greeks to Troy. With the help of Achilles, the Greeks are able to fight the never before defeated Trojans. But they come to a stop by Hector, Prince of Troy. The whole movie shows their battle struggles, and the foreshadowing of fate in this remake by Wolfgang Petersen of Homer's "The Iliad."

Preps: I have seen this piece several times and it is one of my favourite ones. In terms of genre, the actors, the scenery, the music. Each time I find something new.

Reality: Troy as always inspires me and doesn't leave me breathing up to its end. All the historical or antique fans worldwide will be dragged right in the middle of the movie, historical scenery, beautiful music and powerful cast. You cannot decide which root to follow, which side to take, as they impersonate glory and rage on one side and pride on the other side. A woman to be inbetween as the ultimate reason to kill and to die for. At least to some extent to some of the involved ones, the "management" of the war.

On other side, pure rage and following the leader in ranks, seen violence and harmony in ways the greeks or troyans fight. Beautiful mask, costumography makes me want to be a woman at that point. And in no dream a man. It is simply not realistic to die for honour or to die so you will be written about somewhere in the future. Nowadays, the idea seems outdated, still, in this movie it will dry your brains and leave you with your mouth wide open. What is worth to die and fight for? Love, romance? Country? Your dead relatives? Or the ones, that died side by side fighting with you?

I believe this to be on the same level as one of my most popular ones - Gladiator. The protagonists are so powerful I think about all of happenning way after end of the movie. Although very long, lasts only a minute in my mind. And I beg for more.

My personal rating: 9,5 (one of the best impersonements of my all time favourite greek heroes and stories)

Troy on IMDB

Troy home page

The Grudge, 2004

The Grudge, 2004
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, Clea DuVall

Stage: Home theatre

The Grudge in short: Karen Davis is an American Nurse moves to Tokyo and encounter a supernatural spirit who is vengeful and often possesses its victims. A series of horrifying and mysterious deaths start to occur, with the spirit passing its curse onto each victim. Karen must now find away to break this spell, before she becomes its next victim.

Preps: none in perticular. Another one to follow in my movie line

Reality: Nothing is what it seems. In the movie, the basic plot is easily understood. The essence isn't. In a sense, that you absolutely don't have a clue, what is going on in the house. The whole horror is based on the viewer's imagination, which proves to be a great thing, only done by best horror japanese directors. In this piece, somehow american people are being mocked, I sense this in ways young girl is shown and ways she presumabely intelligently follows the mystery in the house.

In my opinion, a lot of blood doesn't make a horror movie. A lot of unseen and predicted scenes in the eyes of a beholder, well, this makes an excellent movie, filled with terrifying horror. Japanese are the experts in the field and I must admit I have never seen a truly great (remembering type) horror, done by an american director. No disrespect whatsoever, but I see that US is building horror on blood, whereas asian countries build on fear of unknown and unproved.

For this piece.. It is said that houses are being haunted sometimes and noone would like to experience something like that. Being a girl, alone, trapped in a house like that - the mere idea of this makes my blood chill.

Is the house secret revealed? Yes, to some extent it is. After leaving some bodies, burning imagination of a viewer, horrific music (in a good aspect as in a good horror movie) and a cat, running around, to make your body shiver in terror. Briliantly put two-dimensions between a cat transforming into a boy. The leftovers from prior life that went on in this house. The scene is obscure to the point that even a simple walk on the stairs seems difficult to handle (without something terrible happening inbetween).

I am more than impressed by the piece. And the fact, that I recognize "Nathan" from the series Lost, gives me a homerunning feeling.

My personal rating: 6,0 (for the sake of following japanese style of horror - it seems to be more effective than any american horror movie)

The Grudge on IMDB

The official site

Julie and Julia, 2009

Julie & Julia, 2009
Director: Nora Ephron
Cast: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Chris Messina

Stage: Home theatre

Julie and Julia in short: In 1949, Julia Child is in Paris, the wife of a diplomat, wondering how to spend her days. She tries hat making, bridge, and then cooking lessons at Cordon Bleu. There she discovers her passion. In 2002, Julie Powell, about to turn 30 and underemployed with an unpublished novel, decides to cook her way through "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in a year and to blog about it. We go back and forth between these stories of two women learning to cook and finding success. Sympathetic, loving husbands support them both, and friendships, too, add zest.

Preps: I have seen this piece at the local theatre one year ago and I urged to see it again as this movie inspired my blog anyway :)

Reality: I am overwhelmed again. Living in France in this matter is something extremely cool and I love the insight the movie gives me. And also exposes the problem the women (housewifes) had when living in a way that only the guy gets to go to work. In much sense, a very realistic picture of the historical France and the way to go active.

On the other hand, present tense shows Amy Adams in a role of a different housewife, with a somehow terrible job (or she is terrible at performing it), that is inlove with cooking. So cooking after a bible of cooking in her opinion, gives her the chance to share experience via net - through a blog. Blogging each day seems a burden after a while, and obsession with cooking drives her friends and boyfriend crazy(as a difference towards french Julia, who is praised by her cooking success all along the way).

It is a genious way to make a cookbook work, in my opinion. Every housewife or at least everyone that cooks has an enormous amount of cooking books, recipes, and there is no way that you are going to cook the book if you don't follow a recipe like it is shown in the movie. To blog about it, makes it even more special. Following Julie in the kitchen seems provocative and revolves weaknesses of a person, wanting her expertize to be acknowledge by a deeper audience, showing respect to all the great chefs along the cooking way. In some sense, truly inspiring piece that I wish to see every now and then. And of course follow the steps shown in the movie.

No deeper meaning further than the points mentioned above. To have a project to keep you alive and finishing it in a certain amount of time, seems very modern and the way we need to keep our lives, if we decide not to sleep after we start working in business environment.

My personal rating: 9,0 (I am a huge fan of cooking and this is something so inspiring I would like to do it myself)
Julie and Julia on IMDB

Everybody's fine, 2009

Everybody's fine, 2009
Director: Kirk Jones
Cast: Robert De Niro, Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell

Stage: Home theatre

Everybody's fine in short:Frank Goode lives by himself in Elmira, NY, a recent widower with heart trouble, retired from a factory job, proud of having pushed his adult children toward success. In the summer, all four kids bail on a reunion, so, against doctor's orders, Frank decides to surprise each with a visit. He sets out to see his artist son in New York City, his daughter the ad exec in Chicago, his son the conductor on tour and presently in Denver, and his daughter who's a performer in Vegas. None are as he imagines or hopes. Will they let him see themselves as they are, and can this dad adapt?

Preps: I only know De Niro being a lead cast in this and it's enough for me. As I admire the man, I am sure he doesn't underestimate a movie script and I should be satisfied.

Reality: Well, probably I expect too much of De Niro anyway. It seems that every now and then he goes with the family comedy flow (Fockers, Analyze that, etc), and sometimes it works - sometimes the fall is deep. The comedy part is absolutely brilliant. De Niro has this tremendous grime on his face that I am really nuts about. Therefore it's funny either way you put it. But there's a slight distinction between an amusing comedy and a true intelligent comedy he sometimes performs so brilliantly.

Now, for this piece. A romantic/family comedy/drama - you can find elements of all the stated in this one. He is desperate for kids abandoning him and not really caring about him (the funny side would be in movies that market something completely else - the situation, where the children don't want to leave home and are attached to their parents all the way through life). Here you have five grown ups, that lead their lives, and only after the wife is dead, he decides to take some sort of a roadtrip to prove the point. Everything's fine up to here. Everybody seems fine and even though they don't like the surprise, his soul is somehow satisfied to see them. Underflowing, a story where everything isn't peas and carrots and everything's not fine. The search for the drug addicted brother, the charade the elder daughter plays with her former husband and a rageous son, the dancer in Las Vegas, pretending to be in her own appartment to show daddy some independence and afterwards, proving that it isn't so pink as it sounds (her life)... All sorts of not so trivial understories are circling around the main roadtrip one.

Conclusion won't satisfy those that look for an answer. Do you need to stay in touch with your family or is it just something that is a part of your childhood and after that you are supposed to live independently, regardless of the roots? In some cultures, this is virtually impossible, as the people are brought up to take care after their relatives as long as they live. And in other cultures, like european or american, it seems pretty much normal to lead your own life and to move out as soon as you can. The big distance, however, is only the psychological divide. You can be neighbours and be even more distant. Does De Niro get his satisfaction? I doubt it, as the movie shows deep remorsement about his behaviour when the children were young that lead to the status quo. Will he repay his debt afterwards? Doubtful again, as the children are distant and even the death of the brother doesn't really bring them closer, only more honest.

My personal rating: 6,0 (a good reminder of the virtues you tend to forget in the everyday life)

Everybody's fine on IMDB

Philadelphia, 1993

Philadelphia, 1993
Director: Ron Nyswaner
Cast: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell

Stage: Home TV selection on national AIDS day

Philadelphia in short: Andrew Beckett, a gay lawyer infected with AIDS, is fired from his conservative law firm in fear that they might contract AIDS from him. After Andrew is fired, in a last attempt for peace, he sues his former law firm with the help of a homophobic lawyer, Joe Miller. During the court battle, Miller sees that Beckett is no different than anyone else on the gritty streets of the city of brotherly love, sheds his homophobia and helps Beckett with his case before AIDS overcomes him.

Preps: I have seen this movie several times. And I am a huge fan of Hanks and Washington - I believe I need to see this piece every now and then just as a reminder of what the world can become.

Reality: It's a fact that people with all sorts of handicaps are being handled differently in business environment. How about having AIDS? The virus HIV was in the beginning of the nineties just heading towards an explosion, therefore, the topic was at that time very current and upfront addressing the companies that unlegally fired people with HIV.
Now, with the knowledge we had at that point, there was a lot of fear circling the virus, the infection, possibilities of getting the disease from a person already infected by this.. fear caused prejudice and after that it's just a step away from misjudging the situation and running for your life, whenever there's a person with HIV on the horizon.

Nevertheless, it's still illegal to fire people based on their handicap, disease and Philadelphia was the first really notorius movie that caused dilemma and spread a different message, with regards to people with AIDS. Now, in present time, the amount of knowledge of the disease is much extensive and there are ways to cure it long after receiving it. Up to 30 years, the doctors say. In 1993 the estimated time was only 10 years. It's quite unique how the topic and the misbehaviour was prosecuted in this movie, giving a positive example to all following cases and all the companies that would undergo the same struggle. To look from the economical point of view, the customers don't want to interact with people with AIDS and it would seem quite natural to let them go. But it's illegal. Why not forcing them to leave (either based on their conscience or framing them, like this movie shows). Now, is it up to the company to look from a human perspective, or should it follow simple economy logic? Up to the viewer here to decide, nevertheless, I have a sense that the company exposed in the movie wasn't sorry of letting Hanks go, but they were so so sorry they were caught.

The piece accompanies a good music and a great stage. You will enjoy the moral dilemmas exposed here and it will make you think about shaking hands with a person with AIDS and not having any prejudice while doing it.

My personal rating: 8,5
(a truly unique piece, the first of its kind that sets grounds for judging this sort of behaviour towards people that have AIDS)

Philly on IMDB

Nothing but the truth, 2008

Nothing but the truth, 2008
Director: Rod Lurie
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon, Vera Farmiga

Stage: Home theatre

Nothing but the truth in short: Thinking Pulitzer Prize and hoping to bring down a President, D.C. political columnist Rachel Armstrong writes that the President ignored the findings of a covert CIA operative when ordering air strikes against Venezuela. Rachel names the agent, Erica Van Doren, a woman whose young daughter is in Rachel's son's class at school. The government moves quickly to force Rachel to name her source. She's jailed for contempt when she refuses. She won't change her mind, and the days add up. Chaos descends on Van Doren's life as well. First Amendment versus national security, marriage and motherhood versus separation. What's the value of a principle?

Preps: I don't know the movie, but I reckon since the cast seems more than decent, it should be a finer piece. Also, the title is intriguing.

Reality: The movie makes a strong point when following someone's principles and to what extent. The journalist that doesn't want to reveal a source is treated normalwise as a saint and noone can make him/her tell about the source. But not when it's in the interest of a state. Which in my opinion can happen every time the state makes up its mind that it's this perticular case that drives danger to society.

The movie could be a relic to all the journalists that have been treated similar, but to the normal crowd perspective, it's simply unfair to go to that level with principles to neglect all the aspects of the family this journalist has.
The following of the idealism is so severe that when she stays in the prison for such a long time, the crowd outside forgets about this case and it's only her, living this horrible reality behind the bars, that gives a damn about the idea. When idealism is overrun by time, the crowd / people are merciless - noone cares and noone will do anything about it. All that has been a great idea, just vaporizes in void. In this movie, the journalist takes the burdon of media messiah - however, even though she is praised, she is also soon forgotten. Like the people fighting for some sort of a cause in political emprisonment in Ireland, for instance. There are a lot of ways to make a point. But if you try to make it, maybe you should reconsider how many people you are dragging into this and whether it's also worth losing a family over a dead body - or a principle in this sense.

My personal rating: 6,5 (it will make you think about your principles and how much they are worth to you. Philosophically speaking, the movie is worth seeing).

Nothing but the truth on IMDB

Dark Matter, 2007

Dark Matter, 2007
Director: Shi-Zheng Chen
Cast: Meryl Streep, Ye Liu, Peng Chi

Stage: Home theatre, TV selection of a random Wednesday evening

Dark Matter in short: Liu Xing is a scholarship boy from China, newly arrived in Salt Lake City, a graduate student in cosmology, in Utah to study in Professor Reiser's prestigious program. Back in China, Liu Xing's parents are proud of him, and he dedicates himself to fulfilling their hopes. All the graduate students in the program work on projects that extend and further Reiser's model of the origins of the universe. Liu Xing does well until his own theories move him away from Reiser's. Will Reiser and the department recognize Liu Xing's brilliance? Can the young man's benefactor, Joanna Silver, intercede?

Preps: None in perticular, as I don't know the movie, nor the cast. I might be surprised in positive way, as normalwise, the selection on Wednesday suits my taste.

Reality: The movie strikes with a true and ironic story of a young person wanting to suceed - based on his previous region or location, he comes from, also something inspiring. There are a lot of asian students arriving in EU or USA educational institutions, willing to work harder, try longer, dedicate all of their time in order to achieve the education and in the end, being much more grateful than most of local students. In Asia, education is something that is worth as much as being a millionaire. I also believe, the charma or dare I say, the mindset is completely different as oppose to european or US standard. Therefore, in the end, the students tend to be much more successful just because of this mindset. Normally, they would have a sponsor - in this piece, briliantly cast of Meryl Streep, naive and supportive, as I would see them without knowing any in person - but they often strike me as optimists, following an inner reason to support students from other cultures. In this case, she dedicates her life to Chinese students for the simple fact that she likes and is inspired by China in general.

The movie exposes another problem all students are facing - failure to admit that the scholar or student exceeded his tutor. This happens all the time and in some sense doesn't stimulate science at all, it does have the antieffect. In this piece the student cannot understand, how he came from the top position in tutor's or menthor's mind to the last. The brilliance, through which Liu gets to his ideas and to his discovery that he pursues, is absolutely unique. For ordinary people (with normal ways of interaction, thinking, etc, the process of creating unique and breathtaking ideas is simply something you cannot dare to imagine. In the movie, it reveals, that the breathtaking ideas in some cases can be driven by a simple every day task like cooking.
The main dissappointment, deriving from unability to at least listen to Liu (from his menthor) and furthermore, not confirming the thesis for Ph.D, is devastating to the student, it makes him fall down on his knees, not knowing what to do, lying to the parents that have a "famous son" on the other side of the world. On one hand, the escape from normal asian life that he tries to avoid or surpress, on the other hand, the unability to make the menthor listen and praise another science discovery.
The downfall unikely shows how a person can be destroyed externally and also internally, burying his soul over a thing he cannot bring out in the open. Dark Matter in this sense appears obscure and ununderstandable to the viewer, absolutely something too profound to understand. But you get the sense it must be something too scientific to handle for a normal human being.

My personal rating: 6,0 (a classic "wannabe this person" movie, but only in the first part. The second part of the movie will break your heart).

Dark matter on IMDB

Dec 7, 2010

The Human Centipede (First Sequence), 2009

The Human Centipede (The First Sequence), 2009
Director: Tom Six
Cast: Dieter Laser, Ashley C. WIlliams, Ashlynn Yennie, Akihiro Kitamura

The Human Centipede in short: Two pretty but ditsy American girls are on a road trip through Europe. In Germany, they end up alone at night with a broken car in the woods. They search for help and find an isolated villa. The next day, they awaken to find themselves trapped in a terrifying makeshift basement hospital along with a Japanese man. An older German man identifies himself as a retired surgeon specialized in separating Siamese twins. However, his three "patients" are not about to be separated but joined together in a horrific operation. He plans to be the first person to connect people via their gastric systems. By doing so, he plans to bring to life his sick lifetime fantasy, the human centipede.

Stage: home theatre, late night selection

Preps: A recommendation makes me see this - not knowing anything about it. However the title sounds disgusting and yet intrigues my imagination

Reality: At the beginning, everything seems clean and without confusion. Two really stupidly acting girls wind up in Germany, and afterwards, lost in the forest. Find their way to a house somewhere in the woods and like Hansel and Gretel - they are lured into the house by a mad scientist.
The horrifying story that follows with the pure fantasy world of a deraged scientist, is actually a horrible upgrade of the mentioned fairy tale. However, the victims don't get to be burned in the oven, they get to be stitched together in a humble pet, eating their own shit and lacking their knee caps. This piece is definitely for a good stomach and for the viewers without prejudice or with the ability not to fall into the scenes for real. Imagining this could be happening somewhere for real and that we have such crappy pieces of human beings in the world, can make you even cry and can touch your soul in depths you never thought it can be touched. The movie was hard to swallow and hard to follow up to its end. Which isn't really the ending - I truly believe it will have the sequel (and let's forget for a moment that it's already pointed out in the title) - the way this movie ends, reminds me of the Saw saga somehow. The idea, followed here, is as wacky and sick, as those in the Saw are. But.. here we have the fairy tale add-on - the people, trapped in this, are here by coincidence, whereas in the Saw they were there to pay their debts to their souls.

The idea of making one being out of three and making them have the same gastric system, eating shit from each other, is sick beyond belief.

My personal rating: 6,0 (watch it if you have a good stomach. Apart from the interesting and horrific idea, there's nothing edible in the movie.. and made me cry.)

The Human Centipede on IMDB

The Centipede home page

Nov 29, 2010

Mirrors 2, 2010

Mirrors 2, 2010
Director: Victor Garcia
Cast: Nick Stahl, Emmanuele Vaugier, Evan Jones

Stage: home theatre

Mirrors in short: When Max, who is recovering from a traumatic accident, takes a job as a nighttime security guard, he begins to see visions of a young mysterious woman in the store's mirror.

Preps: I have seen the first part. Although I believe sequels to be something that should be law-forbidden, I usually take my curiosity upfront to the next one that only verifies my beliefs.

Reality: Sometimes I should just listen to my hunches. This sequel is really not worth watching as it doesn't give anything new or doesn't upgrade the experience from Mirrors 1 in any way.

The scenes that are used at the beginning, are traditional - showers, lost rooms with dust and mirrors. A lot of blood, a lot of vivid inner parts of body, quite frankly, in these times, don't have a real effect. As said many times on this blog, the music and imagination of the beholder is the key element to create a good horror movie. Furthermore, the movie should have a reason why these people are being haunted, but in this case, it doesn't posess anything like this. The people die in vain and unprepared, not really knowing what the connection between them is. Is it more likely to attract masses, to have a model in the shower, dying, instead of a normal person..
A thing to discuss I guess. In this piece I haven't seen one good reason to continue with watching. The idea was simply too painful to my eyes. Therefore, I decided to erase this. Nothing I could benefit from, no added value whatsoever. Horrible cast, horrible scenes and really dreadful script. Bljak!

My personal rating: 1,0 (don't see it volunteerly :)

Mirrors 2 on IMDB

Nov 21, 2010

28 Days, 2000

28 Days, 2000
Director: Betty Thomas
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Viggo Mortensen, Dominic West, Elisabeth Perkins

Stage: Home TV selection on a rainy Sunday evening

28 days in short: A big-city newspaper columnist is forced to enter a drug and alcohol rehab center after ruining her sister's wedding and crashing a stolen limousine

nothing in perticular. Remember seeing this ages ago. And I adore Sandra Bullock, nothing more I could want from a Sunday evening.

Reality: Now let me think. How hard is it to accept to be an alcoholic and how hard it is to decide to go back. To think about your life, your decisions and your way of living and making it right. Are you entitled to make it right? Who will believe you are for real? Who will make your path easier and who will support you when being down? The movie is supposed to be somehow a romantic comedy (the relationship between the "alcoholic" Sandra and her spouse. The problem is he doesn't see her as and alcoholic and furthermore, doesn't really support her. No problem here, but she really wants to get better after spending some time in an institution.

How about making friends in an institution? A hard way to follow. Hard talking, hard problems.. but.. they can get to the core of your soul and in the end make it allright. The problem is that most re-habs don't want to change and even the best institution won't make them feel better or change the way they live their lives. In a sense, makes them go back to drinking instantly when leaving the institution.

I believe there is a lesson to be learned here for anyone. We are all walking from time to time on the verge of insanity, that is connected with alcohol. And some of us go through this. The others are so brave that they ended up the better path and didn't need an institution to cure them. Nevertheless, a good piece to think about how you solve your problems in past and how do you do it now. Is it connected with alcohol? Is this a backyard, where you drown your problems, or just an escape for a few hours that you can control? The piece implies you better not turn into a pool where you sink your problems. Because it is a long and painful way to come back.

My personal rating: 6,0 (a decent fun for Sunday. Plus: will make you think about the drinking nights and the sense they make. Or not any sense they make. And the problem you have when starting to get cured)

28 days on IMDB

Kynodontas - Dogtooth, 2009

Kynodontas - Dogtooth, 2009
Director: Giorgios Lanthimos
Cast: Cristos Stergioglou, Michele Valley, Aggeliki Papoulia, Mary Tsoni

Stage: Home theatre, the middle of the night.

Kynodontas in short: Three teenagers are confined to an isolated country estate that could very well be on another planet. The trio spend their days listening to endless homemade tapes that teach them a whole new vocabulary. Any word that comes from beyond their family abode is instantly assigned a new meaning. Hence 'the sea' refers to a large armchair and 'zombies' are little yellow flowers. Having invented a brother whom they claim to have ostracized for his disobedience, the uber-controlling parents terrorize their offspring into submission. The father is the only family member who can leave the manicured lawns of their self-inflicted exile, earning their keep by managing a nearby factory, while the only outsider allowed on the premises is his colleague Christina, who is paid to relieve the son of his male urges. Tired of these dutiful acts of carnality, Christina enlists the elder daughter for some girl-on-girl action, carelessly disturbing the domestic balance. Soon enough, sex has spread throughout the household like fire. Next stop: rebellion.

Preps: A good recommendation made me watch this as I was unable to sleep and have just got this on my PC. But I don't know anything about the movie as I enter play.

Reality: Confusion in the first ten minutes continues with a weird feeling that I know what I am watching. Although I still don't want to believe this. But it is. The story of Austrian Fritzl, just thrown in a greek environment and entering a couple decision instead of single decision (of a single man). The greek couple decide to raise their children isolated. Teaching them words that are supposed to mean something completely else, making them dance in front of their parents in the weirdest way possible, renting a security guard female prostitute to make sure the boy remains sexually satisfied.. more and more weird scenes enter the stage as my feelings boost and my wondering increases. The way the austrian kept his family in the basement is pretty much similar, although the children here have the big garden with a pool and to some objective level one might think that they lack nothing.

Nothing but human touch per se - they don't have interactions with other people.. Amazing to what you can convince people (the cat is the deadliest animal ever and we need protection; we need to vacume clean to get rid of bacteria "xxxalis", a zombie is a cute small yellow flower.. there is no limit to what those kids believe to be the truth. And honestly, if someone that you respect and is your father/mother is the only person you see the entire life, who are you gonna believe - of course them. And accept silly punishment because you think you deserve it.

On the other hand, it impresses me that a couple would decide to go this far with the raising of the kids. I cannot imagine this to be the work of two individuals. Merely one, convincing / or blackmailing the other to do the same. In this sense, I am still confused and thinking about this piece. Although filled with silly situations and weird sexual scenes, the movie gives me the creeps and makes me being grateful for the liberty I am indulging.

My personal rating: 8,0 (for the sake of weird ending and some impossible-to-believe scenes. Apart from that, a superb piece, makes you think about people like Fritzl even more and appreciate liberty)

Kynodontas on IMDB

Kynodontas home page

Me too - Yo tambien, 2009

Me too -Yo, tambien, 2009
Director: Antonio Naharro, Alvaro Pastor
Cast: Lola Duenas, Pablo Pineda, Antonio Naharro

Stage: Movie Theatre Vič - official stage of Liffe festival

Me too in short: Daniel - a recent university graduate with Down's Syndrome - falls in love on his first day at work in the Department of Social Services. Laura is an outsider who spends her nights in the city's crowded clubs and singles' bars, escaping her problems in the arms of total strangers. Yet despite their apparent incompatibility, the two strike up a moving, bittersweet friendship that touches them both and eventually sets them on the road to happiness.

Preps: I know this is a movie about a man with Down's syndrome, living his way through life. But nothing more that I am aware of. Some good recomendations make my expectations rise in clouds.

Reality: Hm, truly, as Laura in the piece says; why would you want to be "normal".. I see that normal people aren't angels at all, as I march through the movie following the soul of a man with Down's syndrome. Making the way harder each day from all the people surrounding him..
I am surprised to see he has a normal job and can actually make his own living. As I was once a bystander when a child with the syndrome was born to a family I knew, I upgraded my knowledge on the disease. Since that point, I have always admired the courage of people with the syndrome to try to make it on their own and also the support of their families should be tremendous. As the movie points out, the families can sometimes be very disrespectful to the rights of an individual with the disease for a simple fact of trying to protect the member of a family and making it impossible for him to get hurt.

It is sad watching every day scenes that simply cannot be applied to a life of an individual with a Down Syndrome. Because they are so different, most people just get prejudicial or judgemental before getting to know them or before giving themselves a chance to know them. Sad enough, making fun of people that want to get to know them. As Laura in the movie does, the viewer is dragged from one red sign to another. Is she nice and open or is she only exploiting the situation for her own ego reasons? In the end, the good perspective wins and the movie has somehow Hollywood ending.

Nevertheless, I am convinced most of the stories don't end this nicely. A good piece to watch, because it will bring positive values on the surface of your soul.

My personal rating: 9,0 (a touching movie, reminding us to be grateful that we are "normal" and reminding those that are "normal" that it's not as splendid to be "normal" as one would want)

Yo tambien on IMDB
Me too official page

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows, 2010

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows, 2010
Director: David Yates
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Stage: Local Colloseum, movie theatre. The morning edition

Harry Potter in short: As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows.
The story plot: Voldemort's power is growing stronger. He now has control over the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts. Harry, Ron, and Hermione decide to finish Dumbledore's work and find the rest of the Horcruxes to defeat the Dark Lord. But little hope remains for the Trio, and the rest of the Wizarding World, so everything they do must go as planned.

Preps: Haven't read the book really. Remember starting it, but so far haven't finished it. In these times sometimes you can see a better piece on screen than printed out. In many cases this isn't so. I am curious, as the masses are running around to see this.

Well, it's the seventh part. As I claimed in the saga Saw, this is something a bit different. In a sense, you can watch each part by itself, because they are pretty much independent. Nevertheless, the seventh, the last part was made actually in two parts. A good marketing perspective. Reminds kind of on LOTR. On the other hand, it makes the movie too long in its first half and making the viewer swallow the dead ends (sitting in the forest, doing nothing, main actors dealing with themselves - and not including viewer into this - in a sense, remaining boring in its middle.

On the other hand Potter now upgrades action, everything moves to 3D and I am surprised Potter isn't filmed in 3D, because some scenes are truly meant to be in this technique. Why would a snake bite into the middle of the screen if not? And for many other reasons too. Witch world is fantasy world, therefore the director can pretty much depict everything he desires, because the viewer will believe this.

The haunt for the hollows is deadly and some scenes make you fly through them, on the others (more static ones) you dwell and wait for some action to happen. The love story between Hermiona and Ron remains in secret, the story between Potter and Ginny is also in clouds, but I see this as a good point, as the movie should really focus on the deathly hollows, as it does. The muggle scenes are hideous, as you imagine the rage with which they are haunted, and the magic scenes are incredible, as you wish you were capable of going into an institution like this to learn something a bit similar to those spells that the kids use. Definitely worth seeing for all Potter fans, those that read it and those that feel a citizen duty to see it even though they didn't.

My personal rate: 7,5
(an upgrade from the other versions of the Potter, however, it lacks some action inbetween and more comprehensive script in many cases.

Harry on IMDB

Harry official page

Saw 3D - The final chapter, 2010

Saw 3D - The final chapter, 2010
Director: Kevin Greutert
Cast: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russel

Stage: 3D movie theatre (with special glasses :)

Saw 3D in short: As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw's brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror.

Preps: Hm, seeing all the Saw's so far and liking the biblical sense of the movie saga (the redemption), I am anxious to see this sequel as I expect even more. Not that I am a huge fan of the saga, in fact I thought first part to be innovative and brilliant, but can't say this for those that followed. Maybe some movies weren't meant to have sequels at all.

Reality: Well, I think I made an excellent point when I claimed some movies weren't meant to be made in sequels. The first six Saw's exceeded in the amount of blood spilled during the movie and hard psychological jigsaw puzzles, endless row of tuff choices and endless amount of violence that people did one to another. This one is an upgrade only in terms of blood and hurt the people get. But it lacks brains in the script. There aren't many things here to think about, the trauma, caused to individuals, here ends in death and not in making the hardest decision of your life to hurt yourself in a way to redempt yourself from your sins. On the contrary, only a few individuals are put in front and the main protagonist is punished due to his lies, but makes everyone around him suffer. The severity of the "crimes" the people around him commited, seems to be overestimated and doesn't get enough of my attention. Overall, a strange puzzle when trying to get from one point of the movie to another. One thing is certain, this movie still will have sequels, because it was done in the way that allows sequels. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of supremacy in just putting more and more blood in the movie. People are genuinly used to watch suffer or blood, so no more sweat and tears here for the public. The director could really get some ideas when watching something more asian, like "The ring", for instance. No blood. Just imagination, that can make wonders and the only thing that can really make a horror movie.
Saw is a mixture of some decent jigsaws, but on the other hand lacks content in terms of cause - where did those people come from? And how come the main character is always invincible. Or gets outsmarted in a way noone buys.

A decent rate for this is that you shouldn't expect nothing more than a sequel that shows a bit of imagination in field of puzzles, but lacks in cast, script, scenery, belief that it might give extra value to the viewer. Unfortunately, not really well spent two hours. However, it was 3D, applause for this, because new technique adds something more. I truly believe the director thought it was enough just to add 3D and a few puzzles. Commercial, it will be a success. But in terms of making a good movie.. a failure.

My personal rate: 4,0 (even though I don't ever want to see it again or don't feel like seeing this again, I still think you might pull something useful to think about. After all, it was thinking of redemption that made me watch this. However, a huge empty hole remains in the movie, as the content remains shallow and vague. But a plus to see the 3D technique afterall, and in a "normal" movie)

Saw 3D on IMDB

Official page

Nov 19, 2010

Biutiful, 2010

Biutiful, 2010
Director: Alejandro Gonzales Innaritu
Cast: Javier Bardem, Hanna Bouchaib, Maricel Alvarez

Stage: Cankarjev dom / Linhartova dvorana - official stage of Life

Biutiful in short: This is a story of a man in free fall. On the road to redemption, darkness lights his way. Connected with the afterlife, Uxbal is a tragic hero and father of two who's sensing the danger of death. He struggles with a tainted reality and a fate that works against him in order to forgive, for love, and forever

Preps: I adore the cast of Javier Bardem. And spanish movies seem so truthful and dramatic - at least the ones shown on LIFE. This year no Almodovar. Nevertheless, I need to see at least some of them. And this was the selection.

Reality: The movie strikes hard with its honesty, sincere approach and a solid, difficult story. Javier Bardem is the main protagonist, seeking the way to forgiveness, from the people in his life towards him and vice versa. In his deep an emotional and soft man with a good heart, on the outside a hard negotiator, difficult to live with and ready to argue every time something falls into his lap when he's unprepared to face with it. Living alone with two kids and finding out he has a deadly disease which leaves him a few months to live, makes the story hard to swallow and with mouth wide open you can merely watch him pull off with everything he planned until the day he passes away. This includes several attempts of making up with his divorced wife, trying to live with her and leaving her the kids she's incapable of taking care of.
On the other hand, making business with his brother (that is messing up with his ex wife behind his back), business with chinese labour (exploited), but still he's trying to make at least some comfort for them, as he knows some of them personally. Making the wrong decision in buying heating devices they all end up dead, and his misfortune and depression even deepens and takes an endless downfall that you can only stare at, shaking your head in misbelief.

The movie touches in many departments you never want to think about. What to do in this situation? Forgive and forget, move forward, leave everything behind? How much pain can one stand.. and when to tell the children you are going away forever. Hard decisions, a true drama that will rock your guts and make you very pesimistic about the things you think you can change but in reality cannot, or even influence a bit on them. No go.
A strong recommendation for this piece. It amazed every last bit of me.

My personal rating: 9,0 (an intriguing deep drama about misfortune will make your heart wanna cry sometimes. It can drag you so deep into its core - the movie - that you need to think it all over again - several times. And the supreme cast of Javier Bardem).

Biutiful on IMDB

Spanish official movie site

Porto of my childhood / Porto da minha infancia, 2001

Porto of my childhood / Porto da minha infancia, 2001
Director: Manoel de Oliveira
Cast: Jorge Trepa, Ricardo Trepa, Maria de Medeiros

Stage: Kinoteka / official stage of Life festival, one of the eldest theatres of Ljubljana

Porto in short: It's a movie about seeking of the lost time. The director in fragments of memories, statements from still living citizen, photos and old song lyrics, makes an image of his city of birth - Porto, which is also the cradle of portuguese cinematography.

Preps: I love movies about cities, however they need to be embedded into a story for me to like them. I am not sure about this one, but it drags my interest as I see the plot.

Reality: Hm.. the scenery is amazing, reminds me somehow of the Buena Vista Social Club approach. However, no such music and no real life in the movie - in sense of cast. If you want a documentary, you have it in its wholeness in this piece. Seeing comparison between the town as it used to be and the way it is now, is impressive. I would be more impressed, if the director had the will and power to combine this comparison with a strong story. I have seen a lot of movies on the topic and am aware how good it can be and how it can drive masses to see such a movie and be amazed beyond belief. However, this piece in my opinion, doesn't show this. It merely focuses on the scene and virtual comparison between present and past status of familiar places, people, placements, as the director remembered it. Kind of like a diary, when you try to open it after 20 years and laugh about the naiveness you posessed so many years ago.

I think it will bring an interesting insight to all those that want to explore historical roots of a town like this. But in my opinion, nothing more. And nothing less. It shows beautiful places one should definitely go to when visiting Porto. Like a monument in cinemography, dedicated to this town. A nice gesture. But not a great movie to my senses and in my opinion.

My personal rating:5,0 (for the sake of beautiful scenery and tries of comparisons.. )

Porto of my childhood on IMDB

Porto mojega otroštva je film o iskanju izgubljenega časa. Režiser z drobci spominov, pričevanj, fotografij in besedil starih pesmi stke podobo svojega rojstnega Porta, ki je tudi zibelka portugalske kinematografije.

S pomočjo starih fotografij in rekonstruiranih arhivskih posnetkov režiser gledalcu ponudi slikovit portret mesta, ujetega med starim in novim. Večino krajev, ki so zaznamovali njegovo otroštvo, je izginilo. Bordeli in kavarne, kjer se je srečeval s svojimi prijatelji, so že davno zaprli svoja vrata. Celo od hiše, v kateri je odraščal, so ostale le ruševine. Z mojstrskim prepletanjem fikcije in dokumentarca je Oliveira obudil utrip mesta v dvajsetih in tridesetih letih prejšnjega stoletja.

Roma / Rome, 1972

Roma / Rome, 1972
Director: Federico Fellini
Cast: Peter Gonzales Falcon, Fiona Florence, Pia de Doses

Roma in short: A virtually plotless, gaudy, impressionistic portrait of Rome through the eyes of one of its most famous citizens. blending autobiography (a reconstruction of Fellini's own arrival in Rome during the Mussolini years; a trip to a brothel and a music-hall) with scenes from present-day Roman life (a massive traffic jam on the autostrada; a raucous journey through Rome after dark; following an archaeological team through the site of the Rome subways; an unforgettable ecclesiastical fashion show)

Preps: As I am generally a fan of Fellini's work, I think this one shouldn't get pass my critical eye. And as the festival turns slowly to its end, my choice should be at least something in historical eyes. Hence, I think this might be a cool thing to see.

Reality: The pictures of Rome are somehow neglected in my eyes. I expected too much, reading about this movie and in my opinion it doesn't offer as much as it is promised in the plot. The italians are italians - in the movie they are too loud for me, but emotional and filled with family love and family passion. Where nothing else comes to the every day routine but food and talking. And passing through the town to another place to drink another drink or eat something else. And pasta pasta pasta. A thin red dot throughout the movie.

The piece is in my opinion overrated. The story doesn't even begin in the first 45 minutes. On the other hand, as it is a picturesque image of Rome, maybe I should indulge in this instead of trying to seek a story no matter what. In a way I am impressed, but to be quite sincere, no interest in perticular evolves within watching this. Maybe you need to be in the right mood to see this. Or my preference simply goes to a solid story and a good background. In this movie I sense, besides photography, there's nothing really special. The scenery of Rome is amazing as it is and praised in the movie. And I don't really like the changes present/past, they don't seem to fit into my perspective and are like a bad theatre show - badly played.

My personal rating: 4,0
(for the sake of beautiful and thoughtful scenery. Maybe a must see for Fellini's admirers, however I didn't indulge into this piece in perticular. And the voices, the loud voices just made me nervous)

Roma on IMDB

Na sončni strani ceste / On the sunny side of the road, 1959

Na sončni strani ceste / On the sunny side of the road, 1959
Director: Matjaž Klopčič
Cast: silent movie. Music: Jure Robežnik

Stage: Theatre Kinoteka, official stage of Life, movie festival

Na sončni strani ceste in short: A short silent movie about a man that cuts profiles of people passing by as silhouettes for money.

Preps: I don't know a lot about the movie as I enter the stage. The only slovene director this year on Life makes me proud and makes me see this piece. No expectations as I don't even read the plot before seeing this.

Ljubljana in short - as the director saw it in 1959. It is the first movie he ever made (Klopčič) and it is only 17 minutes long. Still, it gives an emotional insight into what Ljubljana looked like in that time. The market, the people collecting vegetables and fruit in endless gardens near centre, then going to the market to sell it. The amazing image of an elder man, making his money like today artists still do, at that point, cutting silhouettes of by-passers with scissors, creating interest from a large crowd and waiting for the next customers. Traffic where today isn't anymore, tram as a means of transport. Different fashion, different time. Your mind dwells away and makes sure you really get emotional, especially if you are a citizen of this town, like I am and are looking for familiar spots all the time. A beautiful insight that definitely caught my eye and heart. Worth seeing and thinking about the time that passed away.

My personal rating: 8,0 (although short, a superb insight - genuine and sincere).

Life official site on the movie

Nov 17, 2010

Hanyo - The Housemaid, 2010

Hanyo - The housemaid, 2010
Director: Sang Soo Im
Cast:Yeon Do-yeon, Lee Jung-jae, Seo Woo

Hanyo in short:
Eun-yi, a middle-aged divorcee, is hired as an upper class family housemaid. But soon enough, master of the house Hoon takes advantage of his social position by slipping into her sheets. Hoon's visits become frequent and Byung-sik, an old housemaid, reports the affair to Hae-ra's mother, Mi-hee, who plots to give Hae-ra the control over her husband. Soon Eun-yi miraculously becomes pregnant and wants to keep the baby. This is discovered by the family and she's forced to have an abortion by Mi-hee despite Eun-yi's plea to let her keep the baby and leave the house. Mi-hee's plot backfires when Hoon scrutinizes her for terminating his child, even if that child is conceived illegitimately. Her forced abortion turns Eun-yi's mental condition for the worst and she decides to take the matter into her own hands.

Stage: Movie theatre Vič, official stage of LIFE, movie festival in Ljubljana

Preps: korean erotic thriller? Sounds exciting. I don't even have to read the plot to like the idea of seeing this. Even though at late hour, I anxiously wait for the show to begin.

The movie strikes with a suicide of a young girl and floats towards its mid with a genuine and light story about a new nanny, joining a household to watch over a small girl and two not yet born kids. The family life as it is shown here, suits normally to the higher class, nevertheless, for an european, it doesn't say a lot what it stands for. To a Slovene, this perspective is really rich and filled with things you desired of your whole life. To the rich class observer, it might seem pretty normal. I would bet that from korean perspective it's a vivid show of differencies between low and high class and tough road an employee such as this nanny, needs to walk on, to get situated.

The side story about moral dilemmas - whether to reject your boss or to make your desire for him visual and obvious; how bad can it get? In sense, is it OK, if noone sees this and thus doesn't hurt? The movie shows rage and anger upon betrayal, but is pointed obviously to the weaker link (or dare I say, poorer link, not weaker - as the husband turns out weak in the end, and not the housemaid). All involved in these scenes are hurt in the end; however the reasons for being hurt are really different. The jealousy of the beautiful wife. The sadness over the forced abortion. Betrayal of her own kind (the older housemaid). Escaping the responsibility (husband) and ending up in pretending everything is ok, settling everything with money. The price is high, having to pretend all your life. In my opinion, not really worth it, because the soul will remain empty, just the shell will be beautiful.

The movie exposes a lot of questions, more or less all of them are not answered and left to the interpretation or sane mind of the viewer. Is it OK or acceptable, to cheat? Or to submit to your boss's wishes, no matter what they are? How to accept or abort your own child.. do you need to say the truth to the land lady even though it doesn't bring you any benefits besides money?

I adore the idea of walking around in your house with high heals. I do it occassionally and feel really good. And being neat and well dressed in your home, taking care of your body.. the misfortune is that present time often doesn't allow us to do so. The movie shows the usual upper class behaviour and consequences that can derive from this. Of course many of us would have something like this. But also most of us would get bored in one month tops.

Revenge after betrayal is the major impact of this movie. Being punished and not being sure you deserve it. Afterwards, fighting for your soul and being able to look yourself in the mirror - a noble idea, but a very limited edition of people, being able to do so.

My personal rating: 8,5 (the extreme message, given in the movie, makes it up for the really messy ending. If the ending was at least slightly different, the rating would be going towards sky. A good entertainment + a chance to think a bit differently about everyday situations)

Hanyo on IMDB

Hanyo Wiki page

Korean official website

Nov 16, 2010

Besa, 2010

Besa, 2010
Director: Srdjan Karanović
Cast: Miki Manojlović, Iva Kranjc, Nebojša Dugalić, Rašo Bukvić

Stage: Theatre Dvor, local scenery of movie festival Life

Besa in short: At the very beginning of the World War I, Filip, a Serb and the principal of a gymnasium in a small Serbian town, is summoned urgently to Belgrade to serve in the war effort. He has no one to leave his wife Lea with. She is a young and pretty Slovenian woman, a teacher of rhythmics and dance he met while studying in Western Europe. Azem, an illiterate, patriarchal Albanian, the school custodian, gives Filip his solemn oath, his 'Besa' (in the Albanian tradition: when someone gives their word which must be kept even if they lose their life in the process) that he would look after Lea and see to it that nothing happened to her. Two Europeans, from two entirely different cultures and habits are forced to an awkward cohabitation in the empty school. While the war rages in the background and gets menacingly closer, their interaction develops from hatred, through intolerance, to tolerance and an unusual friendship. Circumstances gradually draw Lea and Azem, a Christian woman and a Muslim man, into a complex forbidden relationship - something like love! More than merely a romantic story, this movie is a paradigm of profound ethnic and class divisions in Europe in the early 20th century which some of them prevail to this day.

Preps: The topic interests me, and there aren't any movies on this lately - Life is the right place to see different movies in all kinds of genres. Since I haven't been this lucky in the past few days, hopefully this will alter my day.

Reality: I am perfectly correct with my assumptions. The movie is a deep insight into prejudicial world as we know it. Cultures that despise other cultures just for the sake of past historical events or even unknown reasons. In balkan area it's quite common to give names to different nations. Or that a name of a nation is actually used as a bad word or a curse word (for instance Bosnian, named so in Slovene area, means something worse or something not honest, same thing as a gipsy. In Serbia, the same goes for an Albanian - they virtually despise them. Historically, the nations mixed among themselves, however almost all of the combinations retrieved hatred or misunderstanding from other citizen, or village inhabitants). No differences in this movie. The relationship (or marriage) between a slovenian and a serbian is treated badly and people don't like the slovene lady. Clasically, they think that she's an austrian spy, that doesn't belong in the environment. On the other hand, she wants to be a part of this society, as she left everything behind. A substory begins as the husband leaves for the war and she is protected by albanian school servant, that gave a promise of honor (Besa) to the husband to keep her safe.

The scenes dwell from humorous (he ties her with a string to keep her near; bringing a goat to get milk to the house; sleeping like a dog beside her door and afterwards, bed,..) .. to very serious and dramatic. She is under rape attempt from two locals, there is army trying to infiltrate as many people as possible to the school, taking all the food and exploiting the lodging,etc.

The differences between albanian and slovene are tremendous. Nevertheless, the movie floats from misunderstanding and hate between the two individuals, to weird friendship and love in the end. There are some limits that can be broken, when the time and opportunity are in place - I believe this is the main theme of the movie, maybe the main idea and the final thing that runs through my mind after seeing this and wondering home to bed. And a deep sigh for not living under these circumstances and living in present. Sometimes it amazes me how people lived in different areas, and how some virtues were grown or treated. This movie honestly shows a real picture of that time and the decisions people had to make or sacrifices. And deeply, it also reminds me of the great hatred that some nations hold for other nations, just because they are different. Strong cast and direction make this movie really worth seeing.

My personal rate: 8,0 (one of better insights that I have seen for the period, embracing differences in opinions, cultures and prejudice. Excellent interpretation, extremely good cast. A bit heavy to the end, or a bit prolongued, however got my full attention)

Besa on Wikipedia
Besa on IMDB

About making Besa
- in slovene magazine Obrazi - a full article

Nov 15, 2010

A Real Life - Au Voleur, 2009

A Real Life - Au Voleur, 2009
Director: Sarah Petit
Cast: Guillaume Depardieu, Florence Loiret Caille, Jacques Nolot

A Real life in short: Reacting impulsively to an inappropriate crush, a respectable young teacher lays her safety on the line for a grubby petty thief. Before she knows it, she's on the run - Bonnie to his Clyde, appropriately accompanied by Depression-era American folk tunes.

Stage: Theatre Dvor / official scenery of Life festival

Only seeing the synopsis I think it might be interesting. Furthermore, I enjoy french movies as i am keen on the language and I love the sound of it.

Reality: Again, a too static movie, not showing the real connection or the energy within the two main actors. Some classic faults - he robs her of her jewelery (bracelet), and we don't see it how she gets it back, however she carries it in the second half of the movie. And some idealistic things that couldn't work IRL - how come that if you get shot in the stomach, you survive the next night and day.. and how come you get to row in the middle of France and not coming anywhere for quite some time..
The main problem in this movie I see is not really these few comments I made upper - I actually didn't like neither the story nor the flow the director chose to follow. The romantic scenes are far from romance. The idea of love between them compared with Bonnie and Clyde is really funny - it cannot be compared, as it shows underestimation of the Bonnie and Clyde ideal. And is a bit insulting, too - to the main characters of B&C.
First half of the movie I spent waiting for the real action. And the second half with the slow sliding through the nature, with waiting for its ending. Nothing really adventurous in this piece. I felt choosing Panter from Rainer Maria Rilke as the entrance to the movie was touching, but in no way the pair should be compared with the gracious animal or the perspective of the famous song. How do two live in nature together, apart from another life? I don't think we are able to. The only thing the movie inspires is me, is this philosophical approach - how could we function, if there was nothing but your spouse and you? Most couples would fall apart, as they wouldn't know what to do with themselves or the time they had. Instead of indulging it and embracing it. I believe the world nowadays just wasn't meant to function this way.

My personal rating: 4,0 (nothing really special to see - and no real adventure. The ending is missing and the idealistic approach definitely doesn't charm me - doesn't happen in real life).

The IMDB page
Au voleur official page

Cold Weather, 2010

Cold Weather, 2010
Director: Aaron Katz
Cast: Cris Lankenau, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Raul Castillo

Cold weather in short: A guy who moves back to Portland, Oregon becomes involved in the mystery of his ex-girlfriend's disappearance.

Stage: Life - Cankarjev dom, official stage of the movie festival

I only see/am aware according to the schedule of Life it should be a criminal / detective movie. No recommendation whatsoever, I have a strong feeling it won't be one of the best movies (some feeling in my guts). But, my friend chose this one and since she's coming from a town a bit distant, I submerge to her gut feeling and accept to see it.

Reality: One of the worse detective movies ever - I mean in my opinion it is by far one of the worst movies this year and don't think I could stand seeing this for another time. Unfortunately my friend drove and she seemed to enjoy it, so I didn't want to be a burden and vaporize out of the theatre, but it was constantly in my mind.
The story that we followed, was underestimating the viewer in all levels possible. If the director wanted to show a complex twist or a good investigation, he failed badly. If he wanted to emphasize the relationship with the ex girlfriend or difficulties when meeting her, or on the opposite - the relationship between a brother and a sister, he failed too. It was as if he couldn't decide which path to follow and in the middle of deciding just wanted to emphasize some photography he thought it was worth observing. An impossible, static movie, with a lot of time inbetween, where the viewer should think about the movie and not where the next brewery on the way home is. A strong NO for all of you that think of seeing this. No energy, low level story, horrible dialogue, a No No, if you want.

My personal rating: 1,0 (I swear if I had my own car, I would drive home immediately after the first ten or 20 minutes. Do not recommend it and don't know what the director was thinking.. )

Cold weather on IMDB
Cold weather on Life home page

Nov 13, 2010

Ostavljeni (The Abandoned), 2010

Ostavljeni (The Abandoned), 2010ž
Director: Adis Bakrač
Cast: Tony Grga, Mirsad Tuka, Mira Furlan,..

Stage: Life, movie festival (Kosovelova dvorana, Cankarjev dom)
The Abandoned in short: A drama about a boy that seeks love in the hostile world. How many chances does a child, that is born under tragic circumstances, have? Living in the shadows of the past without the parent love? 13 year old Alen is growing up in the orphanage in Sarajevo, hoping to find his mother one day. As they claim in the institution, his mother was supposed to work in the decade of Yugoslavia fall as a french war media journalist. Alen is working his allowance with small thefts for a local shop manager Sento. As the new manager of the orphanage reveals Sento, Alen wants a pay for his service - he demands his file from him, where the address of his mother is. However, the truth revealed is far different from that one that he expected.

Preps: Seeing this in the "sold out" section of movie festival, it occurs to me that it might be one of the better movies at the festival. Still, the topic about the orphans from the war is intruguing to me and very interesting.

Reality: The movie strikes deeply in the wounds that the war has left. The specific story about identity search after the devastation is truly impressive and so sad it makes me shiver. The children are put in the institution - the movie doesn't reveal whether all of them are war orphans or not but the mere fact of being abandoned by the parents or being left behind is breath taking.
Alen's strong character brings him from one situation from another, finding the way to the heart of the viewer, even though his actions opose to the law. Mira Furlan plays children's "nurse" or better put, children's stepmother in the real sense - being strict and representing a fine thick barrier between herself and them. On the other hand, having a relationship with the donor of the institution makes another point in hating her for being the way she is - uses the situation, on the other hand obsessing about discipline makes children hate her too.
Orphanage in a way resembles prison. The children often become rebels to the system, in some cases presenting this part of their souls in theft (shown vividly in the movie), or on the other hand, as other sorts of crime activity. But in this perticular piece, you are on the side of the children and feel they have been molested or neglected, thus they need to express this in a way. And a deep sorry, you feel for them and what has happened to them. Because deep inside, they show optimism, hope for better life, and a chance they would have to embrace the world, even though it's worth spitting on it from their perspective.

My personal rating: 9,0 (touching, revealing, up to the point. Superb interpretation of children and what the war might swing into later on)

Movie PR about its success in Karlovy Vari

Nov 12, 2010

Več nas bo, prej bomo na cilju - The more of us there are, the faster we will reach, 2010

Več nas bo, prej bomo na cilju - The more of us there are, the faster we will reach, 2010
Director: Janša & Janša & Janša
Cast: Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Dražen Dragojevič

Stage: Theatre Cankarjev dom, Movie festival Life

I know about the controversial trio Janša and I am curious what kind of performance this is or documentary. As I am not sure, where one would get such an awkward idea of renaming himself into one of the most notorious politicians in Slovenia, I really wonder what this is all about.

Reality: The movie is a performance. A live actor (two of them, actually) split various scenes from the movie and interact with the picture. So you have this live/filmed image that pushes your brain to think about things you normally don't. What is a name? Who does it define? Are you a greater/poorer/different person if you change your name? Why would someone change his/her name, still remains a mystery to me. Nevertheless, the unique idea of evolving three people with the same name - of a famous polititian is picturesque and brings irony in the brains when I see it.
There are several statements from more or less "famous people" in Slovenia - or media exposed - on the topic of changing name, precisely changing it into Janez Janša and they bring joy to the audience in the theatre. Salvations of laughter and somehow also admiration. Curiosity and non-understanding also find their way into this. By the end of the show we are all fully aware, that they don't want to reveal really why the change.
Furthermore, the main political party of the right side in Slovenia - SDS proves itself to be rigid and immature in their responses. And the action of the trio is praised in some circles and deeply judged in others. In my opinion, the main idea of this is making people think about this and no other profound message.
Is Janez Janša really the same Janez, if there are four of them? Do they exclude or complement each other? How about the families the people, that used to be someone else than Janez, left behind? The name is really something that distincts one person from another. So that you know who are you talking about. But it says nothing about who that person is for real.

My personal rating: 8,0 (brilliant philosophy and a lot to think about. Performance, not only a movie. A strong way to interact with screen activity)

The official festival page

Les Amours Imaginaires - Heartbeats, 2010

Les Amours Imaginaires - Heartbeats, 2010
Director: Xavier Dolan
Cast: Monika Chokri, Niels Schneider, Xavier Dolan

Movie theatre Cankarjev dom, Life - movie festival

Heartbeats in short: A story about three close friends who are involved in a love-triangle and the obstacles they have to face when trying to get along with each other.

Seeing the description of the movie makes me believe that this will be one of the more preminent movies of the festival. Plus, the director of my personal favourite from last year - J'ai tue ma mere - makes this belief even stronger.

The story about love, deception, rejection, jealousy, trading friendship for love or vice versa. A unique way of showing how a person can enter your life and posess your thoughts. A modern approach in terms of philosophy, accepting different views of sexuality in an individual.
The lovely thing about the movie are the distortions from the main story. The main love triangle story is broken down in four parts, each defined by three individuals that are not a part of triangle, saying realistic experience with their spouses, couple or love breaking. Funny sit-com ironical scenes with a lot of reality that can break your heart, because you will feel involved with the story or be part of it instantly.

There are some backdrops in the movie, as it get a bit statical or unbelievable. Is it really the way it would go, goes on and on in my mind. Baring in my head, that it's the director's cut and his point of view, I find myself in many occasions, feeling hard to believe this is real and this might be alternative truth the viewer might find in the movie. Nevertheless, the story is unique and very classy for this present we live in. The topic highly neglected in cinemography, now gets its place in the universe. Dolan, however, dissappoints me a bit, because in my opinion, his last year's work exceeded my expectations on a very high and barely reachable level. Well, this year the expectations were set higher, but overall achievement seems on a lower level. Plus, I wasn't aware that he also did the act of young Adonis - I only see it when reviewing the cast and thinking about the movie a lot. In some sense, this is what a movie should trigger, thinking about it or the topic it represents. In this case, a fine job. But nothing more than that.

My personal rating: 6,0 (worth seeing in philosophical view - if you want to think about possibilities in a relationship and how to involve third person might not be such a great idea for the initial couple. However, the script is somehow poorer than this topic deserves, also the direction)

Les Amours on IMDB

The home page