Feb 28, 2010

Valentine's day, 2010

Valentine's day, 2010
Director:Gary Marshall
Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Queen Latifah,..... (amazing cast!)

Short synopsis: Intertwining couples and singles in Los Angeles break-up and make-up based on the pressures and expectations of Valentine's Day.

Stage: Colloseum, multiplex in Ljubljana

Preps: Where was the last time the cast was this amazing? How much budget did this movie have? I wanted to see it as a parade of all superb actors. The topic is a bit off, the surprising fact that it was launched after valentine's day, was a shock to me. What a disastrous marketing, that kind of movie should have been launched a month before, so you can get prepared.
And definitely a kind of movie you need to watch with a girlfriend (I mean two girls together). I don't suppose there is a guy in the world that would bare this.

Reality: It's a good one if you look from cast perspective. I love some of the dialogues, especially the Julia Roberts scenes and some of Ashton Kutcher. This guy's faces make me laugh the whole time. And he plays this naive florist, walking around in an outrageous pink sweater and T-shirt. The couples are so beautiful it takes women's breath away. And yes, you would walk home with that Eric Dane, of course he is gay in the movie. How ironic.

About the other, valentine's perspective - I love the fact that they outline also the ones that have noone to turn to on this glorious marketing day. A friend of mine once told me it's the festive day of florists and toy makers. And marketing. I have to agree on this one :) Within the movie you see a splendid show of the people that hate this day for any kind of reason, a sort of ritual I laughed even the day after about with the hitting stick and a heart, filled with chocolates, an anti-valentine's dinner and people burning pictures or memories of someone that hurt them.

Mushy couples might really enjoy this. And it's really pleasant to see such a cast in action :)

A good quote I remembered:
My closest relationship is with my Blackberry, Thank God it vibrates !

A cute one: When I was a kid, most of the advice that my dad gave me was crap. But there's one thing that he said that was pure genius... he said, if you're ever with a girl that's too good for you, marry her.

My personal rating: 6,5 (the story's not really brilliant, but you will enjoy the cast and laugh at some of the dialogues)

Valentine's on IMDB
Official site

Sin nombre, 2009

Sin nombre, 2009
Director: Cary Fukunaga
Cast:Christian Ferrer, Edgar Flores,

Sin Nombre in short: Honduran teenager Sayra reunites with her father, an opportunity for her to potentially realize her dream of a life in the U.S. Moving to Mexico is the first step in a fateful journey of unexpected events.

Stage: home cinema
Preps: I have been told the movie was superb. So it was on my to do list since last year (it has been a part of the movie festival in Ljubljana. One of the most perspective in the last year, they said. And a spanish one. Since I learn spanish, a challenge in any case.

Reality: a drama, kindly reminding all that are watching about the problems of migration in one country. Here, in perticular, moving to Mexico and further on to the promised land, USA. At least half of the crowd that is trying to migrate, dies when trying and the feelings when you watch this are truly sad, because you don't have to be a genious to realize this is nothing but the truth.

However, this is only one side of the plate in this movie. A paralel story about mob and gang politics is driving within this superbly chosen scenery in Honduras. When you are born, you are put into a district and every district has a gang. Either you are in and kill others (and rob, and do as you are told), or you are dead. Hell of a choice. Also will make you wonder and cherish the world you are living in. Because it is nothing democratical here, nothing someone would want for himself.

When I see this, I am glad that the world spot I live in, doesn't have this kind of decisions one would have to make. Makes me think about the power of one individual, excellent spectacle I see when the gang leader is shot to death and the gang is chasing the murderer, in this case a guy that kills for love and makes the viewer love him, instead of hating him as he would in normal world. Noone loves criminals. Bad girls love criminals. Here the criminal is perspected a good guy and there aren't bad girls. Just innocent and beautiful ones.

My personal rating: 8,0 (a small step for a human, if you live there, a good way of understanding this world for the one that sees that movie. Excellent photography, good story. Poor dialogues, but hard words that hurt the core).

Sin Nombre on IMDB
Official site

Feb 21, 2010

The Hurt Locker, 2008

The Hurt Locker, 2008
Director:Kathryn Bigelow
Cast:Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Guy Pierce

Stage: Home Theatre
Preps: None. I saw a trailer and thought well, why the heck wouldn't I give a shot again to one war movie. None of them sparkled me in perticular, however I have seen a few (Thin red Line, Saving Private Ryan - to name the ones connected to the topic this movie relates to).

Reality: The movie implies what kind of a nonsense the war is in general. The spectator sees numerous scenes of combat, intriguing scenes of bombs, local citizens in war with brave americans (once again we see them marching through a country and saving the world).
I was told by one of people I know and actually goes to missions like this, that this is a true picture of what happens there. It cannot be that... miserable?.. without any sense? I don't suppose war has any sense at all. Who are these people in the end? Who comes home, the one that left, or something that was corrupted in a way it cannot be restored? The men in the scenes sell their souls for a year to their country for what.. more money? Women that don't wait for them at home?

In a scene, the problem is emphasized. The soldier yells, that noone cares if he dies, and noone is there to wait for him. Yes, he is right. Those men rarely have someone to go to back home because noone can bare the burden.

A heavy movie, in any possible aspect. If it's true, I cannot judge. As told, it's supposed to be a very true aspect of what is really happening at the front. And I don't think the language barrier is what makes this conflict even greater. It is the mind barrier.

The final scene shows the mind one has when returning home. Away with thoughts, still there at the front, with the only desire to go back. Because all he saw also became a part of his soul he cannot live without.

My personal rate: 6,5 (interest I see in this is in hurting your soul when on a mission like this. What kind of person are you when you get back home? What did you leave up there in Iraq? Who really came back, you or your evil brother- all those that favour war movies, you are going to enjoy it)

Hurt Locker on IMDB

The Collector, 2009

The Collector, 2009
Director: Marcus Dunstan
Cast: Madeline Zima, Josh Stewart, Andrea Roth

The Collector in short: Desperate to repay his debt to his ex-wife, an ex-con plots a heist at his new employer's country home, unaware that a second criminal has also targeted the property, and rigged it with a series of deadly traps.

Stage: home theatre

Preps: none in perticular. One of the movies that you have to watch because it stands in line. I don't even do the IMDB check that I usually do. The title sounds spooky, so I guess it's a more action genre.

Reality:The movie has some pretty magnificent ideas, if you intend to catch a burglar of your house. Also hosts some ironic scenes where you cannot escape being amused. Such a tragedy, that a burglar is left alone in a house he is robbing at that point and by a coincidence, a collector of live human beings is in the cellar, torturing the family that lives in this mansion.

I admit that the traps that the collector put in the house would win an oscar by themselves. However they cannot be put in in one afternoon, as the movie implies. They are so well targeted, so well built together, precise and set in a way noone can escape out of the house.

The cast is awful, however if you look at this technically and simply black-humorous you might find it entertaining. To conclude, the burglar trades his life for a life of a small daughter, the rest of the family is slaughtered. A simple reminder of how quickly something really really bad happens to you and guess what, you cannot do anything about it.

It is a decent fun for a Sunday night, but nothing more. Those that beg for blood or scenes like you could see in Saw 1-7 or something similar bloody (I guess I am thinking about the House of Wax - the two movies have a lot of similarities.

My personal grade: 5,5 (if you have nothing to do really. It didn't sparkle my imagination. But I got some good ideas).

The Collector on IMDB:

Feb 14, 2010

100 Feet, 2008

100 feet, 2008
Director:Eric Red
Cast: Famke Jennsen, Bobby Cannavale, Ed Westwick

Stage: Home theatre
Genre: Drama/pop thriller/mystery/cop action

Short synopsis: After Marnie Watson kills her abusive husband in self-defense, she is condemned to house arrest... only to discover that the house is possessed by the enraged and violent spirit of her dead husband

Preps: none whatsoever. I find it on the disk, seems I must have got it one way or another, I don't do the IMDB checking, just watch it. Right after the Book of Eli. Cannot be that disastrous, my mind is telling me.

Reality: The beginning is promising. It takes me about 20 minutes to resolve the weird attitude the girl that is held prisoner at her own home and the cop that brings her there, have. I realize he's her husbend (who she killed in self defence) ex work partner. And she lives in a cop neighbourhood. How convenient and cruel to bring her home, give her a toe bracelet to keep her within 100 feet of her home and leave her there.

The weird things start to happen in the house that imply that the husband is still there. The director doesn't pay much attention to what the viewer might think it is still believable. Somehow the movie loses me at the half where I just wait how it will end, will the ghost kill her or not.

The relationship between the ex husband's partner and her doesn't evolve in any way, neither isn't the thing between the neighbour young man and her believable, or worth seeing.

You do get some useful tips for extorting the devil or the ghost out of your house. The movie does imply the greatest problem within police force - inner coverage and possible victioms of this (in this case the wife, when noone believes her and also the killing might have been prevented). There are some spooky scenes that catch the attention, but nothing more. Comparing to the book of Eli that I tried to see two hours before that, the movie is a jewel. But it's just something average, nothing above that.

My personal rate: 5,0 (if you have nothing else to do, truly :) or if you like cop drama movies regardless of the story).

100 Feet on IMDB

How to lose a guy in 10 days, 2003

How to lose a guy in 10 days, 2003
Director:Donald Petrie
Cast: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConnaughey

Tag line:
One of them is lying. So is the other.

Genre: Romantic comedy
Stage: My home theatre

Preps: I think I saw this one for the second time in a row. I took the liberty of watching it as the prime Saturday selection on the local TV. I thought I might have different feelings as I had when it arrived at the cinemas. There are several similar movies happening in the last few years, more on the mistakes women or men do when trying to hook up with somebody. Usually a decent watch, especially if you're in a light movie mood. Several similars: The Ugly Truth, Burn Without Reading, He's just not that into you. Usually this genre is not well appreciated among male ranks, however, for women I believe it's in the veins to see something like this every now and then.

Reality: As cute as I remember. More than decent fun, the idea that drives those two together is splendid. How much shit can one man take and not dump her (while making his carreer with this happen) and how many more weird and really funny ideas can she have while making sure he kicks her out of his life as the next thing following. Some superb ideas, should you need them. Some serious suggestions what not to do (and for some women it could be a real surprise).
For me, I adore the idea of the teddy bears and joint plant. Until you see it on big screen, you cannot know (from woman's perspective), how weird it must look to a guy.

The ending is typical american, so no surprise there. But as I said, decent fun and some reality stuff also in there. Matthey McConnaughey is obviously married to such romantic stuff. In A Time to kill he plays a sort of serious attorney, yet he manages to pull it off as a romantic guy, so the spectator has to see him. Here's no difference. The performance of both is sort of charming and the women will melt their hearts and wait for romance.

My personal rate: 7.0 (for women, it will be extremely romantic and funny. The guys will live if they want to - no hard feelings there, but there are some general truths in this. For more clues see He's just not that into you, same genre, or The Ugly Truth).

How to on IMDB

The book of Eli, 2010

The book of Eli, 2010
Director: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Cast: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, MIla Kunis

Eli in short:
A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

Stage: Home Theatre

Preps: I saw the trailer when seeing some of the latest movies in the cinema. I didn't like it, however I persued the inner gut feeling that it should be something extraordinary and unusual, something to my taste. If nothing else, Denzel is very to my taste.

Ufff. I struggle to see something. I don't finish the movie, since I find myself trying to do anything else but watching the movie. Since I feel a sense of contribution when writing these words, I try harder than I usually do. As I told you in one of my previous posts, if the movie doesn't sparkle me in 20 minutes, off it goes, away in eternity, no mercy whatsoever. Since I have starting to write this blog, I give it a few minutes more. I gave this one exactly 25 minutes too long (this was the end time of the movie for me).

I don't get the story, I don't get the desert and the guy, walking around, being a messia, Terminator, Sho-gun, Kill Bill (one of the girls) and God in one person. I see from the synopsis everything revolves around one book. But how disastrous, after 25 minutes the only philosophical approach turning in my mind is the path between my living room couch and the distance to the fridge getting a beer.

I turned it off, deleted it. In my opinion, not worth your time and effort at all. Where was Gary Oldman? Didn't see him. Washington can be the sexiest man on Earth, but no earthling should spend 2 hours looking at this. A definite no no.

My personal rate: 1.0 (0,5 point for seeing Washington again and 0,5 to inspiring my fingers to delete it and to get that beer).

If you see it, it will be at your own risk. Consider yourself being warned. How about those poor persons paying at our local cinema to see this, hehe :)

Eli on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1037705/ (can't believe the average rate is 7.2)

Feb 8, 2010

Grbavica, 2006

Grbavica, 2006
Director: Jasmila Zbalić
Cast: Mirjana Karanović, Luna Mijović

Grbavica in short: A woman and her daughter struggle to make their way through the aftermath of the Balkan war.

Stage: home theatre

Preps: A pure recommendation of a friend visiting + my natural curiosity about the topic of balcan wars. The best ones about this were No man's land, The hunting party, Lepa sela lepo gore, etc. Some of them already famous at some festivals, all implying anger, rage, sadness about the balcan situation.

Sad, truthful movie about the war orphan (so to speak). The mother was raped in the concentration camp during war and the child is the consequence. Doesn't know it but becomes fully aware of it at her age 14, when she digs into her father's past. The mother doesn't want to tell it but after all she cracks and admits everything in a truly dramatic scene, and beats hell out of her daughter while telling her the truth she must face.

It is a known story, responding to all war crimes that were made on balcan region during the war and absolutely a necessaty not to forget what some people needed to face. The depicted problem is one of those that wasn't properly addressed when it happened. Thousands of women were raped in order to have children that weren't bosnians, but serbians or croats (depending on the camp you were hosteged in and the keepers of the camp). And thousands of babies were born out of this, labeled at school and society and had to live with the idea that their fathers weren't war heroes, but war criminals. I don't know how one copes with this

A must see not to forget how rude, naked and disgusting these acts might get.

My personal rate: 8,5 / it will touch your heart, but I truly believe the people of balcan if they were a part of war, cry if they see such things. Because I don't think they can forget or forgive.

Official website

Gamer, 2009

Gamer, 2009
Directors: Mark Neveldine, Bryan Taylor
Cast: Gerard Butler, Amber Valetta

Stage: City's colloseum (multiplex cinema)

Gamer in short: Set in a future-world where humans can control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online gaming environments, a star player from a game called "Slayers" looks to regain his independence while taking down the game's mastermind

Preps: My colleague drags me on a culture day to see a movie. I don't really know anything about it. At first I think that I have tried to see this already at home and gave it approximately 10 minutes before erasing it, but I see it's something different. So I take part of this lottery gladly. You need to do something cultural and not why in cinema, on national culture day?


An interesting idea, similar to Avatar's - you get to see two dimensions in one world. One is the player and one is the action hero - this time in reality. In Avatar, it's vice versa. From real life to action hero. Here you are playing with real toys and it seems so logical, how it may have come down to this (in a sense, how did all this occur, that again a brilliant mind takes over the crowds). With all the social network, avatar, internet fuss going on in the last decade, seems even believable. Although I don't buy the technology. I am not a phisician or a medical expert, but I doubt that we could evolve a technology to be embedded into one's brains letting someone else guide the movements while the persons are still being themselves (switch on/switch off). The economy in this concept that movie shows fascinates me and I truly believe it to be a business success. A genious idea and yet, so disgusting it rocks the blood in my veins.

You get payed to be a part of the world where someone, that pays to guide you, actually guides you/controls your movements. In other words, has to do what you tell him/her to. A bit slavish, I think. But brilliant and creepy. All the dirty details some creepy creatures wanted to do for their whole lives (in this case, a fat boy experiences sex with a male, night clubbing, etc), and all the things one wanted to do and didn't dare to (make a tatoo, pierce your tongue 20 times, let the neighbourhood dog piss on your high heels while you are wearing them), well, all this now comes to reality. You pay one to do what you want, wear what you want to wear, speak what you are saying. Superb. Even hurt or kill yourself, if your godfather tells you to.

The whole movie is one of those that remind us where the world is going to - in sense of making internet, games, social networks, computer world not only popular, but essential to survive. And emphasizing what rich people are allowed and where poor people find themselvses in. Something apocalyptic in the whole story. But I buy it and it touches me.

Gerard Butler here is the survivor, the man on the path that (a bit usa stylish) turns to be a successful one. Gerard also excelled in The ugly truth (see it, truly funny and true!), I love his performance here. The new Bruce Willis, I presume.

My personal rating: 8,5 (inspiring, making shivers down my spine when I imagine the world like this). And I want to have a computer room just like that rich nerd - Simon. Who wouldn't anyway :)

P.s. Gamer on IMDB

Feb 6, 2010

The Box, 2009

The Box, 2009
Director: Richard Kelly
Cast: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella

The Box in short: A small wooden box arrives on the doorstep of a married couple, who know that opening it will grant them a million dollars and kill someone they don't know.

Stage: home theatre

Preps: Seeing the trailer, I want to see it. The story seems exciting, devilish offers and regrets after taking them often end up in a good movie. And it makes the viewer observe, what might happen to him, should he end up in such a situation.

Reality: Philosophically put, the dilemma in the movie is superb. A box that puts your bank account a new perspective, but the price is a life of a person you don't know. Now, can you live with this? For most people seems a stupid question, because one mio USD is a hell lot of money and financial worries seem to hit the jackpot lately for most of Earth inhabitants.

Turns out it's not that simple. The couple raises their hands, say aye, we want it and push the button (ok, the lady does). and the mill USD comes along. Very slick. They didn't read the post scriptum to the contract, however. Technically speaking, they didn't know about the consequences. With pushing the button, you too are in this game (become a precious member of the list) and can be one of the future dead persons dying when someone that doesn't know you pushes the button.

How to exit this? You cannot. You should have known better and not push the button. Those sins cannot be forgiven, the price is your life.

This is the most important message the movie brings. Everything else is a weird package of unexplainable stuff, weird scenes and bad acting. However, the director could drive this philosophy even deeper. Afterall, covering your body with ashes with guilty thoughts has been a grateful topic lately (see for instance Antichrist of Lars van Trier - guilt as a topic and splendid interpretation).

Think about it. Could you take the money and not worry about who gets killed, because either way, you don't know that person? I think I know some people that wouldn't mind that. I thought about it. I am not the one that would push it. Most probably. The charm is in the simple fact that you don't know until you have that button in front of you and it's not just hypothetical question :)

My personal rating: 6,0 (it could touch you in the philosophical sense, however, to expect anything more, is just pure fantasy)

p.s. Box on IMDB
Official movie site