Jan 31, 2010

It's complicated, 2009

It's complicated, 2009
Director: Nancy Meyers
Cast: Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin

Complicated in short: During her son's college graduation, Jane hooks up with her ex-husband, Jake, who's married to a younger woman...

Preps: I was in a spirit to lift up my behind and go to the movies. Just scrolled what went on at our theatres and decided on cast basis. I generally like Meryl Streep, Alec used to be one hell of a guy and an actor. I really don't like Steve Martin, but I think I remembered the trailer, where he appeared as a weirdo, which might just suit him. So thumbs up, I am going to see this. Just a quick rewind as I don't remember the trailer that well. Is it about old romance or marriage getting the flames back? I just don't seem to remember.

Reality: It's one of the cutest movies in the near past (if a movie can be cute anyway). I admire Meryl's performance and I am absolutely crazy about the idea that a woman follows her youth dreams after a terrible divorce. And enjoys it and becomes a professional. The twist, however, isn't in putting a life back together, but in a crazy black-humour action in shape of a love affair, she's having with her ex-husband, now married to the woman he had an affair with (and that cost him his marriage).

Some beautifully put dialogues, fine sarcastic feelings you get when watching it. Also some cheasy stuff with the non-grown up kids, that simply look still as if they had 12 years (also with the reactions they pull out).
And, getting back to the basics with weed and being high on it, no bikini wax (She has gone native). Very amusing and in some scenes, inspiring. Of course, it had to also add some american mumbo jumbo - parents just aren't invited on the juvenile party (in a sense party is being organized now); kids at 21 just don't sleep in the same bed and cry, etc.

However, I enjoyed the complication ex-ex being together, one of them cheating the wife he has now to be with his ex. Truly divorced with benefits. Enjoyed for the funny feeling we all nurture deep inside.. you don't get to find the soul mate again and again. Usually it's just one.

And.. Steve Martin is still a weirdo to me. Here he plays a nerdy architect and the director couldn't put it more beautifully even if I told her how he looks in my imagination. For all of those that don't really appreciate the movie when he appears, you will continue to do so even after this piece.

My personal rate: 8'0 (you will enjoy the funny scenes and it will make you stop and think a bit. Even the guys. I am pretty much sure most women population should love it).

p.s. IMDB peak: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1230414/

Alec Baldwin in better years:(some beautiful images in suit - I just love suits on men :)

and something cool about Meryl Streep -
a good blog article on her and you get to see her in her youth :)

Official movie site: http://www.itscomplicatedmovie.com/

The Road, 2009

The Road, 2009
John Hillcoat
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Robert Duvall, Guy Pierce

The Road in short: A post-apocalyptic tale of a man and his son trying to survive by any means possible.

Preps: None in perticular. I came up to this movie as one of suggested ones from my friends, and since it's Viggo Mortensen acting I don't have any serious objections seeing it (I just adored the man in LOTR as Aragorn). Also Duvall gives me hope that this could be good. Duvall is especially good at drama genre, it brings the best out of his performance.

Stage: Home cinema

Reality: The viewer is thrown into a broken world (or let's just narrow this to the noble USA, because you don't see the world actually). Without any knowledge what happened you need to follow a man with his son, drowning in desire to get to the east coast where the sea is (no idea whatsoever, what is so cool on the east anyway, the director doesn't let us in in this big secret.

All the refugees come from somewhere, there are some villains running around. I don't get where they get the food, anything to survive. In a whole there is this big lack I need to fill in - what the hell happened and what is the purpose of this wonderous trip.

Apart from some good scenes of torn houses or buildings, some fine jumps in time (where you see the mother of the child as she ran away) and a good dilemma, when is the point where you say it's not worth it and just shoot yourself and your child, because nothing good is ahead.. well, maybe this is why you would see it and in some fantasy even enjoy it.

But don't bother.. I think it's a waste of time :) Aragorn should just stay in LOTR and be proud of his act there :)

In which world do such movies get nominations? This one was nominated for BAFTA, some best actor awards, best scenography, best young actor,.. hmmm. I wonder what kind of potion they drank before nominating this. Or giving it the award, which is one step further from nomination.

My personal rating: 3 (barely stayed and watched it till the end. I hope you do better :) and not watch it at all)

p.s. IMDB peak: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898367/

Jan 24, 2010

Up in the Air, 2009

Up in the Air, 2009
Director: Jason Reitman
Cast:George Clooney (Ryan), Vera Farmiga (Alex)

Stage: Home theatre

Short Synopsis: With a job that has him traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham leads an empty life out of a suitcase, until his company does the unexpected: ground him.

Preps/expectations: I am one of those wackos, watching a piece just because one of the actors I admire is inside (ok, or is cute enough for me not to worry about the content too much). There are some interesting actors in this special club, including Sean Connery, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt and also George Clooney. However, the last guy is always attached to the ER period he had and will always be a sexy ER doctor in my head. And god forbid taking me this imaginative image. The "tube him", "give him a CT" and "55 mg of something" while him being a doctor there always sounded sexy coming from this guy's mouth.

Anyhow, I am seeing this as one of potential oscar holders and because I believe Clooney made some interesting movie pieces ever since ER and has grown significantly (take Ocean's 11, 12 for example -ok, 13 is an exaggeration anyway). So I am excited to see it, even though in home theatre.

Reality check: The idea of having a company coming around to fire your employees is superb. Takes off the guilty moral aspect from a boss that doesn't dare to let you go or has another reasons not to look you in the face. And he pays for people coming in and telling you this, giving you the goodies pack and telling you how your life is now one big opportunity. So sarcastic it's really cool. When Clooney does it, you actually have the feeling that he cares. Mistake. Those kind of companies don't care. It goes so far they don't even care for the atmosphere in their own ranks. Seeing a younger, perspective-filled woman, coming in the company and revitalizing all working process without the management even discussing it with their own employees, gives me the sad feeling that they don't even perform in their own house what they sell to the outsiders.

Another story is occuring here - the one, where someone is so caught up in his career and shows and conferences etc, that he doesn't have a life of his own. No serious romances, no home, no family. And for half of the movie I am totally convinced it suits him this way. He neglects all so called family virtues, but everyone around him is married, on the way of getting married, he just seems so calm and satisfied with the way his life is. As a spectator, you don't get the backgrounds for this, just the pure image that he chose this way and he's happy.

The complication begins with a nice lady he has a romance with. Alex is this strong woman he runs into on one of his trips, where they have a hot evening and even a sexier night. And he likes her. He likes her in such a way that at the end he wants to create what he tried to deny existed in him. He actually wants to be with her, romantically, spiritually, maybe even a family? We never see that. It turns out that she's already having a family, kids and he is suddenly a puppet he always thought women were for him. Fortunately, the drama moments are spared until the end of the movie, because it's really depressing seeing someone, being "grown up" and alone. And the moral of this.. I don't actually get it. Maybe, don't be alone? He says it in the movie (one of more inventive quotes: We all die alone, make no mistake about that).

However, I like more this one, that she (his unexpected goddess), tells to his junior colleague: Life is more fun if you can share it with someone.

My personal rating: 7,5 (you will like it, if not for Clooney, then for the message. A more chick movie really, but inspiring in a way that you can even change your deepest values you nurtured for the whole life). I don't suppose it will get the oscar, but it's more than decent fun.

p.s.: IMDB peak: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1193138/

See also this, really cool movie site: http://www.theupintheairmovie.com/
Now, something for the ladies -collection of Clooney footage: http://images.google.com/images?q=george+clooney&rls=com.microsoft:sl:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7SKPB&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=H3dcS6SdONWM_AbA3KigBQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CB0QsAQwAA

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, 2009

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, 2009
Director: Jan Kounen
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen (Igor), Anna Mouglais (Coco)

Stage: Theatre Dvor, one of Ljubljana's remaining antiques or momentums of art cinema. The rare exception, where you cannot buy popcorn and don't see trailers. How cool is that?

Coco in short:
Paris 1920, Coco is newly wealthy and successful but grief-stricken after Boy's death in a car crash. Igor, following the Russian Revolution is now a penniless refugee living in exile in Paris. Coco is introduced to Igor by Diaghilev, impresario of the Ballets Russes. The attraction between them is instant and electric.

Preps: Since seeing the bio of Coco Chanel in the same-titled movie, I have been eager to see more details on Chanel's life. Being impressed by the bio (watch it, it's really inspiring - especially for the ladies), I am truly looking forward to see it. Before going to Ljubljana LIFFE - the movie festivals this was one of my first choices.

Reality: The movie is indeed a small fragment of Coco Chanel's life. Because I have seen the Coco Chanel Movie before, I know that this feministic, strong, modern woman, used to be a fragile girl. The observer, only seeing this piece with Igor Stravinsky, cannot know that. Here she comes, with the great attitude, success and madly idea of entering Igor Stravinsky's life without any chance of something stepping in her way. I love this power, the energy she brings, and somehow, I hate it at the same time - she treads on everything that stands in her way, no matter the price or means. In a sense, with dedication she has built in her life, she might as well deserve it, that now other people are bowing to her, while in her younger years, it used to be more than vice versa.

The movie, however, in my opinion, is not really about Chanel's life. It's about getting something you want regardless the price. In this sense, ruining Igor Stravinsky's personal life in biblical sense and adding passion into his tunes just because of this romance they had in her house, while he is living there with his family. A sense of sickness evolves in my veins, as I watch this. Deception and misbehaviour in a true non-romantic aspect or in its pure version.

The miserable, yet strong position of Igor's wife at that moment, played beautifully and heart-taking, connects with my inner feelings about the situation. I can't imagine how it is moving into another person's house, where this person flirts with the husband and also is having sex sith him there, and still show a dignified face in the public.

It might be, that Stravinsky needed the romance to keep the flow in his artwork, but I also believe that the story implies, he really needs his wife. Not because of the children. But because she understands his work. Not just admires, is his best critic.

The behaviour of Igor, shown in the movie, reflects the lack of energy in a male person, not being able to decide what he wants and when he wants him. Igor fails in recognizing values or is recognizing values that aren't there. It all reflects as a dirty trick a woman performed in a man. And yet, the final scenes show, that he really did care for her even when he was really old, and she remains alone, after playing with everyone in her life.

In my opinion, a superb fragmental show of piece of Coco's life.

My personal rating: 8,5
(truly enjoyable, yet a true drama. It will inspire women to be more decisive, and make some men think about the virtues ;))

p.s.: IMDB peak: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1023441/

District 9, 2009

District 9, 2009
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope

Short synopsis: An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.

Stage: Home cinema, without dolby surround :)

Preps: None in perticular. I watch this on basis of recommendation or let's say an opinion that counts in my head. Something about the aliens anyway. In my history I admired the imagination of different directors trying to cope with this vague idea of aliens and what the interaction with them could be like. With a strong idea, that I could never be as impressed with something now like I was as a few - year - old small girl in the cinema watching ET, I lack true believable story in this genre. I mean, something you can relate to or even make it believable in your brains. Somehow I prefer seeking some philosophical challenge in the genre and try not to condemn the directors for the masterarts they are doing with the alien/earthling battles. Everything there can be perceived real. Earthlings do have master experience in wars, so..

: The beginning and the first half of this is somehow exciting and different. Imagine having aliens living in slums, like we know from major cities all over the world. To be even more sarcastic, they get high on cat food and deal weapons with Nigerians to get it at unreasonable rates. The beginning makes me think this is going to be a documentary, but then it turns out to be the for-play and at the end, the after-chapter, put into documentary.

The story is actually simple, once you get the point. The aliens come over Johannesburg with their gigantic ship that just stays there for three months and then the brave Earthlings (americans, who else) break in and find the aliens. They are called Prawns and they are domesticated after that - in a shape of a governmentally lead slum, called District 9, with population 1,8 mio aliens.

Government people then try to move the aliens to District 10 - more distant from Johannesburg (presumabely safer for locals). Within the process of moving, the observer is faced with series of funny eviction dialogues, made by governmental team and aliens. It reminds me of some war - related movies (mostly about the former yugoslavia wars, let's say Nikogaršnja zemlja or ), where it's not important if the people you are talking to, even understand you. But they have to do what you tell them. As long as the brave americans wave with their shotguns and yell at those people /aliens in this case, what they should do.

The amazing turnover that drags my attention is the evolution of alien - human hybrid that the leader of the eviction team is exposed to as he gets the virus inside his body. There were many movie attempts trying to create this and this one is one of more disgusting ones - if you think of it purely physically, mentally the observer unfortunately doesn't know enough. So disgusting it actually makes me more interested in what a person feels like being exposed to something like this. Unfortunatey the director evolves this purely phisically and lets the psychological aspect aside.

The movie loses its flow in the second half, where I am lost in all the fighting scenes. The battle for life or death just distracts me and I am reaching out for some beer/chocolate/other things to keep me happy.

The ending is brilliantly put in a shape of documentary and line of interviews - letting the observer assume there could be similar projects going on right now around the world. Maybe not in Africa (or even there) and maybe not with cat food (this is such a splendid idea - however I cannot tell where the Prawns come to the idea that the catfood is good and how they tasted it in the first place - there I show some respect to the given facts in the movie, such as this one with the cat food is, and don't worry about the background).

My personal rating: 6,0 (decent fun, at least first half. I think the movie will suit the skin of those movie fanatics, that really enjoy alien attempts of various directors and enjoy PS fights alien/earth/other things. In my head, it isn't something truly amazing.)

p.s. IMDB peak: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1136608/

Jan 17, 2010

The invention of lying, 2009

The invention of lying, 2009
Director: Ricky Gervais
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner
Genre: comedy

Shortly: A comedy set in a world where no one has ever lied, until a writer seizes the opportunity for personal gain.

Preps: no special. I got the hint that the movie could be good and that it embraces this unique idea of a world without lies.

home cinema

Reality: This is one of better movies I have seen lately. Just the idea, that there could be a world where everybody would tell the holy truth and it would be so common that they wouldn't even know the meaning of a lie, is pure and amazing. Imagine that. Really refreshing and yet, so cruel and mean in some ways.

The movie flow honors the spectator with a rollercoaster of funny sarcastic /or black - humour like scenes, where the complete truth in personal /business /any kind of relationships, common talks, or common daily routines, well, unleashing the complete honest truth, strikes in the centre of the spectator's heart. How else can you imagine meeting for instance, the new potential for boyfriend/girlfriend, and let him/her know at the first glance that the physical aspects he/she posesses, aren't worthy enough to have sex tonight. Or having a chit chat conversation with a neighbour that passes you by in the morning, when on a normal question (how are you) - when we normally say fine and leave it there, well, on this the neighbour tells you sincere he's really bad and that he's just been googling how can one strangle himself if he tries to kill himself by chance this evening.

The loop in the movie is set when the main character explores one simple lie. And series of following scenes just explode the meaning of lies in this perfect world.

There are some inspiring thoughts running through my mind when watching this. Telling the absolute truth in adverts is just amazing. Shown in the movie, you could just erase the complete advert industry. I mean, how many people really want to hear that for instance, coca cola really destroys your liver. Or that the anti wrinkle cream really doesn't work. Or that cats are addicted to Whiskas, and it's not really the taste they are after, but some thing the producers put inside the package.

Apart from showing where truth could be easily accepted, the movie also offers variety of chances, where also a lie creates something inspiring, but cannot be controlled and in the end, doesn't do any good. I think that in absolute the movie poses the idea that complete truth is not only necessary, but can come in various shapes. Why saying to a guy that he's the last person in the world to be with because of his ugliness - if you can say also that he's kind and open and this also is the absolute truth?

One of my favourite quotes at the beginning of a random date:
Anna McDoogles: I was just masturbating.
Mark Bellison: That... makes me think of your vagina

My personal rating: 9,0 (numerous satiric scenes, black humour, truly good perspective of sincerity. You will enjoy it a lot!)

p.s. IMDB peak: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1058017/

Avatar, 2009

Avatar, 2009. Director: James Cameron
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana (voice of Neytiri), Sigourney Weaver

Stage: Colloseum, movie Theater. Technique: 2D

In short: A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home

Pre-expectations/Preps: A sudden rush/herdes of people massively moving to slovenian theatres, crowding the box office windows. When you have that sheep-ish instinct of going because everyone else is and all without exception urge you to go, because it's the greatest thing lately and worth seeing in 3D. Even though you need to invest approx three hours in seeing this. A new masterpiece, expected to win approx 50 globe awards and oscars, mostly on effects and less on cast and scenario. The trailer is amazing, takes you somehow to two oldies - Labirynth mixed with Neverending Story. And of course, avatar as the symbol of the new era. Who doesn't have a sexy avatar? Who wouldn't want it? Well, in this world you cannot exist without it.

Reality: The tickets for the 3D are long gone. Again, made the mistake of assuming they would somehow be available. With the sheep-like rush of the people at the time of seeing the movie, pretty naive of me. However, I was glad not to be standing in a special queue just to get the glasses (and pay for them separately - only god could probably assume what those weird managers in theatre were thinking when organizing this)

Why see it?

Avatar amazes with its scenes, photography, costumes, all the technical details I expected to burn my brains. I am missing a pre-scene /or lets say background. What year is it that this is happening? why don't we see where we stand on earth at that moment? The action is pushed to the moment of landing on the moon and then proceeds in a stampedo of battles that are determined to be lost.

The story

Range of associations come with the scenario. Similar to Gorillas in the mist or Dances with Wolves, maybe some ideas from Stargate (the transfer to the avatar for a person is brought through a tunnel, quite similar to that one they used in Stargate to come to another world)

So why is the story, compared to technical aspect of Avatar, so poor? You have "brave" and greedy Earth people (ok, american people :) ) that land on a rich land, property of someone else. And if they cannot get the goodies free of charge and by friendly persuasion, why not just blow the natives away and just take everything away. And the battle, (how american really), if it's done with heart and soul, some help of gods, the battle for the natives cannot be lost (and in this case they surprisingly win). The scenario obviously isn't what thrilled me anyway. The story is too much of a cliche to pour in my veins effectively.

However, the perfect avatar world, the amazing scenes that were created up to the last detail, hanging mountains and a big tree that hosts so many users, the idea that you can be born as an avatar and create another reality, this is actually the thing worth seeing. This is where the movie has its lungs. The creators made an impressive dreamworld. So good, that it sucks the main character fully in and makes him change his reality, switch sides, determine good from bad. Interesting also from philosophical perspective. If you dislike your real world, you can live in this alternative. Gain legs, if you don't have them, create romance under flashing blessed tree you never get to see in your real life, you can fly, catch dragons. Sounds excellent, right? All the stuff you only get to do in video or PC games.

It's not really believable for the spectator, that we would have only a few boxes and only a few people that could be transferred into Avatars - even though it is a government/military secret. Unless you think of this Matrix - like (if you remember, there were newborns/cocoons in bubbles, grown only to feed existing persons in sub-reality of Matrix). In this sense we would probably have numerous Avatars just being in some boxes stashed somewhere on Earth, wired to the electricity and connected to an Avatar world they would probably choose for themselves - and I mean probably all population on Earth would go for it. Who wouldn't at least for some time, live in a fairy tale he could create by himself? Everybody, of course. And this could easily be sold at a very high price, so I guess from marketing perspective it's an idea worth putting on a market, if it could be developed. That's why it is not very likely or believable, when you watch the movie.

How about the main flow of the movie?
I think that the main idea I see in the movie can be narrowed to the thought main character made just as he realized that he's really living the Avatar life (the dream) and doesn't really want to turn back to his real life outside the box.

Everything is backwards now, like out there is the true world, and in here is the dream.

The "love" in this world. True or false?

Maybe a practical dilemma .. ever imagined that an avatar falls in love? At least when you are plugged in :) Here the love scenes somehow remind me of a Disney cartoon (for instance Pocahontas :), but they are also used to show the spectator beautiful scenery the creators draw and is really worth seeing. The hurt, deriving from frustrating thought, that you can fall in love with a person you can not be with for real and exists only as a plug-in choice, that's something new for this genre. And, also a benefit - if you ever get fed up of this person, you can just plug yourself out and make the world dissappear for as long as you please. Also some liberating feminist thoughts occur in my mind when seeing supremacy of a woman, fighting, jumping and flying better than at least half of other Navi's or earthlings. Very modern.

My personal rating: 8,5 (you will enjoy it for sure, just don't expect too much of the story). I thought of going on another occasion to see it in 3D. I didn't. I have at least three hours of reasons :) But it is a movie I will see again on an occasion.

p.s. IMDB peak: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499549/
other interesting articles on the topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatar_(disambiguation): Avatar is the graphical representation of a user.

Official Avatar site: http://www.avatarmovie.com/

Jan 10, 2010

Invictus, 2009

Invictus, 2009. Director: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon

Short synopsis: Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup

Stage: home theatre

Pre-phase: the new Eastwood wave inspires me to see the movie regardless of the cast, scenario, etc. The name is enough. Seeing the topic (or the trailer), I am convinced, I am going to see at least half of Mandela's biography or at least an important part of his life. A political then, I think. Rivalry, competition, bribes, etc. Classic political. I couldn't be more mistaken, as the movie is something completely else.

Eastwood dances with both separated parts of complete nation of South Africa, divided by apartheid and fighting amongst each other. In an attempt to solve this, a "devine" hand is given, in shape of Nelson Mandela, beautifully performed by Morgan Freeman. I am a bit lost in the weird english that is used at first, however it seems pretty much genuine and you get used to it. Despite the fact that I really expected a political saga (and in this way also the movie begins), Eastwood tricks his way through the most frequently used tool to connect nations, I suppose - sports. In this case rugby. The quest for winning the championship overruns the complete movie and represents the mainframe for the spectator as the perfect way to make people happy and neglect everyday problems. It glorifies the efect of sport to the nation and at least for a second or two you can sense the nation unified.

Some of my key "grande" thoughts when watching this..
Is sports truly the way to handle a nation's tolerance among the people? (from the president's perspective) Or is just like in roman times, when you need some bread and games to make the crowd happy not to see everyday worries.. in a sense I can see the similar thing happening in my homeland, with the football and basketball euphoria. Or in the last two months, the glorification of winter sports and unifying the nation in front of tv and celebrating in the streets. In some cases also I am not an exception to this charming happinness. Maybe it's the simplest way for the leading party in the pairlament to catch some votes. In my country, sadly enough, we only want to stand behind sports when they are doing splendid. The point is.. if we think of Mandela, do you really suppose he would cast his votes this way? Invictus is a movie, based on true story. During the movie, I am thinking constantly, which president would really take the time and come and cheer for the team, come to the practice, invite the captain of the team for a cup of tea. On the other hand, it was our head of pairlament that cleaned the shoes of our football team when they won and entered world championships (ironically - also in South Africa).

I believe that many people will find the movie inspiring. In my country also, the happening in the movie could be easily transported or also applied to balkan countries in general.

Morgan is working magic with his performance, also Damon has one of his better rolls. I still cannot get rid of the feeling that I wanted to see more of Nelson Mandela, not just a fanatic rugby fan. The energy within the movie is somehow similar to the one, made in "Remember the Titans". And also the ending. I have to remind myself, that is based on the true facts. And that Invictus, by the way, means unconquered. A poem, written by William Ernest Henley, that inspired Mandela during his prison time to change his perspectives.

More reviews on the movie: http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/reviews/2009-12-10-invictus10_ST_N.htm

I am sure you will like the concluding tunes, president thinking to himself..
I am the captain of the beat,
I am the master of my soul.

My personal rating: 6,5 (enjoyable). + some of the match scenes on big screen take your breath away. Still makes me wonder, why do this to oneself and one's body (rugby I mean) :)

p.s. IMDB peak: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1057500/

Sherlock Holmes 2009

Sherlock Holmes, 2009. Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Jude Law, Robert Downey Jr., Rachel McAdams
Genre: action/adventure

Short synopsis: Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England.

Movie set: Colloseum, Ljubljana.
My mindset at going to watch to the cinema:
I have studied Sherlock Holmes my entire childhood. Always wanted to be as clear in judgement, smart, attentive, dedicated, excellent and brilliant in logic. Also went to see the memoriam house in London, have all the books and watched also all the series, etc, revolving around the guy. The highest expectations possible. Could be compared with those I had for the LOTR.

I didn't do my homework. Didn't see the background of the movies and was thrilled to see the best born detective in action. In the right timeframe. That at least what I thought I would see. The reality hurts deep inside. The movie is going to be appreciated by those that seek no deeper meaning in Sherlock, by those, that didn't study the guy and sure didn't see what his lab looked like.

Overall experience
The Director's play is put in a pretty much genuine remake of Holmes's appartment in London (yes, the one you can even visit today). At first I thought it was filmed there - however I doubt that, because it's a good London tourist attraction and I believe they made just a remake of that studio. The scenery is pretty much taken from that time - they did their homework. I believed it was the impression of London in that time. The spectator lacks in seeing Sherlock's brilliance and logic (some rare and precious exceptions are in the movie!), but gains in seeing so many fighting sequences I thought it was a kung fu movie I was watching. Since I come from a martial arts background I don't mind the fighting sequences (very similar to The Fight Club, combined with the Matrix technology of stopping the sequences making them more hard to swallow and better to look at). The fights occur at least half of the movie, which surprises me. Plus they are accompanied by irish folk music. It is supposed to be a detective movie, rising from my expectations (see above). Downing's performance isn't stunning, but Law's is. I recommend the dialoges and also believe that the way he poses the humour and opens to the spectator is magnificent- because of Law some scenes in the movie and some dialogues are truly wonderful to watch.

Somewhere in the middle, the movie loses me. It wanders towards sci-fi and suddenly I am wondering what am I doing in the theatre. Like Harry Potter, we wander from the pure logic or a logical criminal case to the X-Files and by myself, I am wondering, how the director is going to solve this. It is supposed to be a movie about a superb detective that solves everything by pure logic and brilliance of a mind. However, the movie poses some evil forces of devil to come along to destroy England? The forces, that can raise from the dead and scare everything that comes up their path?

In the last fifteen minutes, I am relieved somehow. The movie returns to what it was supposed to be. Somewhat a Poirot ending. Where Sherlock explains everything and makes the spectators dumb and ignorant to the obvious logical truth.

I would kindly leave the inner 45 minutes out. Keep the superb sequences: the dive from the parliament, the fight on the 100 meter high bridge construction; the butcher pig sequence (The puzzle they have to solve there and the punishment reminded me of the Saw saga; definitely the dialog between Watson and Holmes - I believe these two actors bring the best out of themselves while rattling around about a piece of evidence or a friendly fight about the clothing, proper wording, etc. Apart from that.. the story is dissappointing, the flow within also.. from a lot of expectations I was growing.. well, I am not sorry because of the dialog I saw and some of the scenario parts.

There is something puzzling in the movie I keep wondering about. Something with the pigs, butchery, dialogues, etc. As said before, I didn't do the homework - didn't know the cast, directors, background. But the movie itself reminds me of something I have already seen. Maybe Inglorious Bastards? I am not sure. The scenes, humour, the way the irony is presented - I see it on the outro - Guy Ritchie. Of course. The best humour from Snatch and Lock, Stock, Two Smoking Barrels pours out here also. Not in the same way, but in the way that makes me smile at the end, when this mystery is solved.

My personal rate: 6,5 (decent fun)

p.s.: IMDB peak: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0988045/

Old Dogs, 2009

Old Dogs, 2009, director Wall Becker.
Cast: John Travolta, Robin Williams.
Genre: Family, Comedy

Short synopsis: Two friends and business partners find their lives turned upside down when strange circumstances lead to them being placed in the care of 7-year-old twins

This is one piece now heating up our cinemas' seats in Slovenia. To be quite sincere, I expected a good performance least out of John Travolta. As he is getting older, the frequency of movies he sets his mind into, decreases, but in the same time, the performance increases. Or is this just the director that can bring out the best or the worst out of him? As for Robbie Williams, he's been more involved with drama/romances lately so I didn't expect anything really.

Theater: mine own at home

Because of the lack of the real theatre experience, my tolerance is indeed smaller and decreases by each moment of non-action or non-drive experience.

The movie is pretty much a disaster - judging by the first 19 minutes (which is what I gave to this piece - and if I judge correctly, only because of John Travolta. Seeing him in Pulp fiction was a good drive to watch him perform anything else worth seeing. Well, this one isn't.) A downfall from something that seems to be a story that could drive you through, but loses you in the first battle with japanese people, sitting at the restaurant and a business deal being made. Robin Williams makes a wreck out of himself in these first 19 minutes which is good enough that I stop watching and delete the movie. Not worth my time and disk space. And definitely not worth yours.

It's a shame because it wasn't the poor estimation rate that IMDB gave to this piece (4,9) that made me watch it. It was the cast. And it lacks everything it can lack. Unfortunately.

Maybe you could try it by yourself. It could mean a decent Sunday fun for someone. Definitely not for me.
My personal grade (scale 1-10): 1. (because I have the deepest respect for Travolta :)
Should you choose to see it - at your own risk. In your place I wouldn't bother.

p.s. IMDB peak: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0976238/

Jan 4, 2010

The American Beauty, 1999

The American Beauty, 1999. Director: Sam Mendez
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning
Genre: drama

Chosen theatre:my home (for the seventh time in a row, I guess, I catch the movie on TV)

Short synopsis: Lester Burnham, a depressed suburban father in a mid-life crisis, decides to turn his hectic life around after developing an infatuation for his daughter's attractive friend.

General impression:
This is definitely a piece worth seeing even every once in a while, not only once. I have just seen it a few days ago once again and it inspired me. I truly believe it will bring out the best of the black irony you have left in your cells. The scenery, the placing, the characters and superb acting by the leading actors are worth seeing and thinking about. The movie offers oldest philosophical dilemmas you are faced with in reality: aging, breaking up and building relationships, gay relationships, authority in the family, teenage rebellion.

The beginning scene already rocks my black ironic brains. Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) stands under the shower jerking off and describing it as the highlight of his day, everything else that would follow would simply be a downfall. The scene, following the ironic description of the perfect wife and the "perfect life" he set up in the last 20 years.

Normally, I give the movie 15 to most 20 minutes. Should it fail to impress me in this timeframe, I usually give up. In this case, the movie wins my heart in an instant and it just never seems to end with a rollercoaster of ironic scenes. In my opinion it is one of the best movies with the insight into male mid-life-chrisis. Lester desperately tries to win some of his youth strength and claims to be the guy with nothing to lose. Smoking weed, lifting weights, listening to American woman while driving in the car and sudden change of career to fast food employee. The sexual edge is given by (at that time one of the most highly recognized models) Mena Suvaru, that inflames his imagination in superb scene with the roses. Concurring with his attempt of getting his lost years back, also his wife loses her edge with a rising affair with a business partner.

One of the best scenes in the movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okaWTEnU4j0,
followed by http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciZxGhJJWGU&NR=1

Imagine the ultimate message a mother should give to her daughter - like a true living sentence that will help her survive in times, when mother won't be around anymore. You have to admit that each movie at least tries to make a step towards giving a message (in some cases even I am not sure about my last claim :) - because the message is hard to be understood or even hard to be seen) And what does in this case mother give to her daughter?
"You can only count on yourself" - somewhere in the last third of the movie. True and yet pathetic. So generic. However, the path that leads to this saying by the nerve-wrecked perfect wife (Annette Benning), is dramatic and crowned in irony. Being mocked at (the spectator admits that Lester has the right to do it) and not being understood, she finally snaps. The perfect world she lives in, the matching gloves to the boots she uses when ironing her perfect roses in the garden, the plastic she uses to cover her expensive sofa not to be ruined by her heartless family, etc, all this perfection is burnt because her husband is having his second spring and is returning to his roots.

The highlight: catching leaves turning around in the wind. Superb scene, making you drull around the point the director was trying to make.
Apart from that: all the irony the movie is rich with. Can't avoid it.. and after a while, if you haven't, you will start absorbing it and enjoying it.

My personal rating: 9,0.(it will rock your boat to the neck)

p.s. IMDB peak: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0169547/


Is there an ultimate movie? The best of the best? The one, that rocks your brains and turns your nerves inside out? The one that makes you think even the day, the week after you have seen it about one small sequence that was in the movie and doesn't really click your clickers, or even worse, clicks them up to your spine? Should there be different categories and different movies that could fit the description?

I wonder what is it in so many different movies that burn my brain cells down to the bottom and make my imagination fly beyond the limits of unimaginable. I really need to see Kill Bill at least once a year. Both of them. And.. What is it in every Tarantino movie that every time I watch the same movie, I am seeing a new movie all over again? And why the urging need to see as much of european movies as possible, because they seem to wave the flag of maturity? How about scratching the film scenes to the bones and making you see a different perspective that might inspire you to see it once again?

The Movie Perspective dedicates its core to various movies in different categories. Lots of fun.. and a new spark of irony for each individual.