Mar 30, 2010

A serious man, 2009

A serious man, 2009
Directors: The Cohen brothers (Ethan, Joel Cohen)

Cast: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Sari Lennick

Serious man in short
: A black comedy drama centered on Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern professor who watches his life unravel through multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking for meaning and answers he seems to stay stalled.

Stage: home theatre
Preps: none in perticular, just came on its row one day. And I knew it was a Cohen thing, plus I was in the ironic mood. I figured it might be a good thing to see.

Reality: At least half of the movie is brilliant. The scenery, impossible scenes (like in some russian hard novels), especially in some dialogues, when the vanity comes out like pouring rain.
The professor Larry is somehow a puppet in his own life, watching it happen while he cannot do anything about it. A poor character, yet brilliant act from Michael Stuhlbarg. Cohen brothers really put the best performance for him on stage and the stage is really his own life. It reminds me in some way on The Truman show (in a sense that you firstly seem gullible, then it turns out that things are happening without your real influence on them).

You will love the first scene, if you like black comedies. Old german (barely recognizable in understandable way) and just the scene, that you cannot put anywhere else in the movie (you don't realize why even bother with the first scene up to the end of the movie).

One of the best scenes in my opinion (arguing about a bribe Larry got to give a student a better grade):

Larry Gopnik: We had, I think, a good talk, the other day, but you left something that...
Clive Park: I didn't leave it.
Larry Gopnik: Well - you don't even know what I was going to say.
Clive Park: I didn't leave anything. I'm not missing anything. I know where everything is.
Larry Gopnik: Well... then, Clive, where did this come from? This is here, isn't it?
Clive Park: Yes, sir. That is there.
Larry Gopnik: This is not nothing, this is something.
Clive Park: Yes sir. That is something.

My personal rating: 7,0 (a good black comedy, however, be in the mood for black humour, otherwise you might find it depressing)

Serious man on IMDB
Official site

Mar 28, 2010

The blind side, 2009

The blind side, 2009
Director:John Lee Hancock
Cast: Sandra Bullock (Oscar 2009, main female act), Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron, Jae Head

Short synopsis: The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.

Stage: Home theatre

I have always adored Sandra Bullock's filmography. In spite of the fact that mostly she acts in chewy romantic comedies, or something that pretends to be more serious (like Speed), she has been my movie star since my childhood. The surprise when she won an oscar thoroughly dried my brains. I need to see this.

Reality: The movie grasps me and doesn't leave me breathing until the end. The story is so unique and so emotional, Bullock is absolutely brilliant - the highlight of her career, I think. This powerful woman that she plays, and brilliant in everything that she does, well, for once, I want to be that woman. The idea of doing something out of the blue and get this world to be a better place, is something that will touch anyone. I am sure that it cannot be that perfect, you don't get such mental health in the family, and perfect kids, and you don't get to learn something in two months to replace the missing ten years, but it is based on a true story and I believe that most of it must have happened. And that yet alone stands amazing in my head. After seeing this, I know why Sandra Bullock got the oscar. This time, with no political dilemma, deserved.

My personal rate: 9,0 (I loved it, truly. If it weren't so romantic in a sense that you don't get this perfect family that is shown here (yes, I know it is based on true story, but still), it would have been a straight 10.

The blind side on IMDB
Official site of the movie

Mar 27, 2010

Whip it, 2009

Whip it, 2009
Director: Drew Barrymore
Cast: Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Drew Barrymore

Stage: Home theatre

Whip it synopsis: In Bodeen, Texas, an indie-rock loving misfit finds a way of dealing with her small-town misery after she discovers a roller derby league in nearby Austin.

Preps: None in perticular, I don't know the name, the movie doesn't ring a bell to me, however it is in a row and eventually I come to it.

Reality: I like the high school/maturing/young adult age/growing up movies. And this one is packed in sports and competitions, major part of growing up. The cast isn't really splendid and the dialogues are a bit boring, apart from some irony and black humour, my soul remains a bit unsatisfied.

However, it also pursues some other things, like following the dreams of your mother and dying while doing it, lying among family, relationship and forgiveness afterwards. In my opinion, the positive values are exposed in a tutoring kind of way, so that the viewer is somehow satisfied and glad about the ending. A decend kind of fun. Of course, age at those sports is always verified at the beginning of a contest, so I guess in this sense it's a bit of a lie that Drew Barrymore as director pulls of elegantly. But, in my opinion, one has to make a choice, either to be a director or an actor in one piece. For this, some parts of the movie could have been performed way better than they were, or some parts of acting for that matter.

My personal rate: 5,5 (decent fun, but don't expect too much of it. And an interesting sport shown, also combat of the ladies)

Whip it on IMDB

Shrink, 2009

Shrink, 2009
Director:Jonas Pate
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Mark Webber, Keke Palmer, Robin Williams

Synopsis for Shrink: Unable to cope with a recent personal tragedy, LA's top celebrity shrink turns into a pothead with no concern for his appearance and a creeping sense of his inability to help his patients.

Stage: Home theatre

Preps: Just another one in the row. As I start to watch it I remember I had some attempts of seeing it but none of them ended in actually seeing it. So I figured I should try it. I see Kevin Spacey in the first five minutes and since he's a god of cast in some movies, seems a fair enough reason to try and see it by the end.

Reality: Spacey also here plays the god, this time in the shrink role, for the celebrity patients. The movie offers a short walk through some of their lives, implying that they can be gods on screen, but true weirdos or even not normal in their private lives. Furthermore, it exposes Spacey's personal tragedy as he tries to cure others for a disease he has on his own (dying of his wife is something he never came over). So we watch a fall of once powerful and influential person, that is wasted all the time and cannot find a way out of his misery.

A good and quality show of personality fall and ego disaster, wrapped with celebrity world. Filled with irony and gayish scenes, however a good and remarkable Spacey piece. Can and will make you see past celebrity cover. The inner is rotten.

An impressive quote (at the beginning and at the end of the tragedy): Happiness. Happiness is a word for a feeling. Feelings are rarely understood; in a moment they are quickly forgotten and misremembered.

My personal rating: 7 (quite enjoyable and I absolutely adore Spacey's cast. An insight into star's personal life, and admittance that they are wacky)

Shrink on IMDB
Official Site

Mar 26, 2010

The Gladiator, 2000

Gladiator, 2000
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Russel Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix

Scene: home theatre

Genre: hystorical drama/action/adventure

Short synopsis: When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by a corrupt prince, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.

Preps: Finally I get to see it again, this time in home theatre in dolby, how cool is that. One of the greatest ones, in terms of movie technique, also a strong story that keeps your feet burning long after seeing this.

Reality: Scott makes a dramatic hystorical action movie, one of the greatest in the last 15 years that I've seen. As I see it for the fifth or sixth time, I still find a lot to look at, a lot that I haven't seen yet and again, the remarkable strong story inspires me. I love hystorical movies, and if they are packed in such a good photography/scenery/costumes, the better cannot get, I can assure you. The music is also brilliant, it brings out the best from the scenes. If I compare it to Troy, the "true" story about the long fight, in my opinion, this one will be closer to balkan people - from my side of the continent, as it is a struggle for life, justice, war and piece, love and conquer of the kingdom. The politics in its rotten roots. And the act of Phoenix (you have to hate him, but he acts brilliant) and Crowe is inspiring.

My personal favourite quote: What we do in life, echoes in eternity
I even have that on my google account ;)

My personal rating: 9,5 (one I have to see every now and then. Everyone wants to be him at least once in a while).

Gladiator on IMDB
Gladiator official site

Iron man, 2008

Iron man, 2008
Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: Robert Downey Junior, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard

Stage: home theatre/home TV

Short synopsis: When wealthy industrialist Tony Stark is forced to build an armored suit after a life-threatening incident, he ultimately decides to use its technology to fight against evil.

Preps: a recommendation from a friend + suggestion from the newspaper. Since I am in the mood to watch something on TV after a long week and need to relax, seems like a reasonable idea.

Reality: Ufff.. I am dissappointed. Since I am not really a fan of McGyver, James Bond and genre, where male ego points out like the Eiffel in Paris, or I don't acknowledge added value in building cars, weapons and having sex with multiple women at the same time, I don't appreciate the movie. Even the superb cast doesn't make me taste the difference. Well, in this case, the woman drinks martini with lots of olives, dry and shaken.

The movie represents the wealth that creates weapons and one man that stands alone against evil. eh.. maybe it wasn't such a great idea. And of course, government issues regarding Afganistan, etc. I would say it's mocking the system with its view of the things and in such cases I tend to have ironic thoughts. However, I stop watching at the middle, I think. Even the gorgeous Downey can be repellant if put in such a role.

My personal rating: 3,0 (or maybe it's just me not seeing the real value of the movie?)

Iron man on IMDB

Green zone, 2010

Green zone, 2010
Director: Paul Greengrass (Bourne Identity)
Cast: Yigal Naor, Matt Damon, Nicoye Banks

Green Zone in short: Discovering covert and faulty intelligence causes a U.S. Army officer to go rogue as he hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction in an unstable region.

Stage: local cinema/colloseum

Preps: None. I haven't got a clue what a friend of mine got me to see in the movies. Since I am a big movie fan and usually we share the taste, I don't mind going blind folded in the movies.

Reality: I am thoroughly surprised. Since seeing The hurt locker lately I am yet again not convinced in the war movie genre. They really hurt my ROM, I guess, trying to figure out what the hell drives men to run around with weapons and hurt each other on the battle field. And not even being LOTR or some other sci-fi. A bit of irony there, since I have trained martial arts for a very long time. However, I do understand the combat rules, I don't understand wars. The hurt locker proved it to me one more time and the sigh of dissatisfaction runs through me as I figure this one is a war movie too.

However, it is a good one. A bit american-ish, especially in the end, but a splendid piece, compared to the hurt locker. Or Saving Private Ryan (my god, Hanks really isn't talented for war movies, let him dispair in some romantic dramas as he is used to them) or some similar wrecks in my opinion. Or some others in that genre. Matt Damon plays superb hero that disobeys the rules. Very unreal in real life in my opinion, but still I like it. It's not really in soldier's nature to disobey the rules, since they are fit to their skin and burned in their soul while they are doing their job. And precisely not to question commands, not to ask yourself why do this and that, why kill someone or not. Basic soldier training is broken here and questions like "why are we even fighting" are asked. "This is the reason we're here", referring to seek of the atomic weapons, and with it, the viewer knows it's a big lie.

You lose the hunt in some chases shown, but overall, you feel like there's a lot of action going on. The subtile story about the purpose of having americans in Iraq is quite visible and transparent. The action seems real. The reality of having mutiny in armed forces is not believable, but the second level reception of intel (the data that they received and they showed on) is.

I think even the female population might enjoy it a lot. If not for other reasons, for the empathy for the population in Iraq, nonsense that the war poses and yess, the Matt Damon in his charms.

My personal rate: 8,5

One of my favourite quotes in the movie:
"You will not decide what happens to this country"; Freddy to Miller, when Miller gives him hard time about killing the haunted criminal

Green zone on IMDB
Official sites
yummy Matt Damon pics

Mar 21, 2010

Bandslam, 2009

Bandslam, 2009
Director: Todd Graff
Cast: Alyson Michalka, Vanessa Hudgens, Gaelan Connel

Bandslam synopsis: A new kid in town assembles a fledgling rock band -- together, they achieve their dreams and compete against the best in the biggest event of the year, a battle of the bands.

none in perticular. And I didn't know anything about the movie, was one of those waiting patiently for my attention

cosiness of home theatre with pop corn :)

Reality: I really enjoyed this one, just the right thing for a cosy Sunday rainy afternoon. The actors are unknown, for sure the reason is in high school scenario. I love to see one in genre from time to time. It reminded me of The school of rock, 10 things I hate about you, maybe also the Twilight saga in its high schoolness.

There's some great music pieces involved. Anything I own in its ska version - brilliant. And implication / realization of dreams I also once had, to be in high school and to have a rock band there that would actually go to some talent shows, competitions, etc. I wonder, can this really be real? I mean, even for USA it seems a bit overdose - high schools aren't really that student-friendly. Or maybe in Europe we have a different perception of university and high school in general and we easily buy such movies as this one is. The mocking scenes and the classes (with overdose enthusiastic teachers with different projects) are a bit over the top - I mean, it certainly doesn't work this way in real life, I am sure. High schools in my country don't support anything but good grades (even though they say they do). I strongly believe in other countries the idea is the same - to seamlessly produce brilliant future students to work hard for the rest of their lives.

In any case, the movie was a refreshing surprise. I loved the music, the idea of having a rock band (rocks my brains out) and the way it's presented. A bit surrealistic to expect to switch the main song in the last minute (right at the end of the movie), but I bought it, it was presented somehow romantic. I need to have the OST as soon as possible, some good tunes in it! And check the official site - link below.

My personal rating: 7,5 (to my surprise, a decent high school movie :) You will love it if you like the genre.)

Bandslam on IMDB
Official site

Mar 20, 2010

Love hurts, 2009

Love hurts, 2009
Director: Barra Grant
Cast: Carrie Anne Moss, Jenna Elfman, Johnny Pacar, Richard E. Grant

Love hurts in short: A newly separated father has to learn how to date again with help from his teenage son who himself dreams of conquering one girl's heart.

Stage: Home theatre

One in a row. I didn't even hear about this one, from none of my friends or acquaintances. But I see Carrie Anne Moss (the Trinity) is playing and I like it more already.

Reality: The movie has a biorhythmical curve of viewer's satisfaction. The beginning of the movie is somehow predictable. I believe the idea is to show that the feeling of being inlove cannot last a lifetime, and yet in the second half the director tries to persuade you vice versa.

Ending the relationship of your life is namely shown as the disaster, where you try to recover and fail, try again and fail again and then discover you need that relationship really back, because none of the life that's left, can substitute what you had.

The movie has some extremely funny scenes and some good act. Also serves some black humour and irony while trying to convince me to understand male and women relationships.

And you never get such a smart kid.. I am totally convinced. I don't buy it, although I would love to have one ;)

My personal rating: 5,0 (decent Sunday fun.. but nothing more. You won't miss a thing if you don't see it).

Hurt and love on IMDB
The official site - very good one (from all I've seen a more creative piece

Edge of Darkness, 2010

Edge of Darkness, 2010
Director: Martin Campbell
Cast: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic

Stage: Home theatre

Edge and the darkness in short: As homicide detective Thomas Craven investigates the death of his activist daughter, he uncovers not only her secret life, but a corporate cover-up and government collusion that attracts an agent tasked with cleaning up the evidence.

It's running currently at our theatres, so I have seen the trailer. Seemed like one of the Bourne trilogy movies, or somehow connected to the genre I love usually; investigation of a homicide, cops running around, corrupted governmental issues, etc. Something seemed worth seeing. And I haven't seen something really good from Gibson in a long time.

Reality: The beginning is fascinating, powerful, gets your adrenalin down your veins. Discovery of a secret life a beloved daughter had, is intriguing, the thin red line of corruptness increases my heartbeat. But in the other half the movie lost me. I was actually bored and thought of leaving it at the first initial feeling, removing the thing from my disk and forget about it.

The story is sad, but not so powerful. The action is like my biorhythm - increasing and falling again, the scenes don't have the power to keep me in front of the TV. Thank god I didn't watch this in the cinema.

However, you will find it good to see that some people (that we aren't aware of) are actually investigating cases we never get to see or hear about. The story around father and daughter (the past deeds) could have been separately shown and go even deeper, in this case I would feel more connected to all of this. And the understanding of the movie story -- hmmm, you need to be alert all time. Because if you aren't, you lose it.

My personal rating: 5,0 (I did have a hunch this was to be a good one, but it lost me in the second half. Not one of the best Gibson casts anyway. And he's become a bit old :)

Darkness on IMDB

Mar 19, 2010

Dorian Gray, 2009

Dorian Gray, 2009
Director: Oliver Parker
Cast: Colin Firth, Ben Barnes, Rebecca Hall

Stage: Home theatre, home cosiness

Dorian in short: A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty eternally, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.

Preps: Dorian Gray was a notorious high school reading, we had it at our degree exam. At that point it was something I couldn't fully understand. I figured if I read it again like 10 or 20 years after, it would be a totally different experience. Well, this is an opportunity to see it live. And think how I imagined it at my teen age.

Dorian is in a way just as I pictured it. It carefully follows the story I remember and shows a remarkable flip over a picture and a young man, trading his soul for youth image, to go continuously in the future as it was, depicted in his 20-ties. While being young, Dorian nurtures his life and experiences all possible pleasures or assumed pleasures. However, pleasures at that point in history represented mostly indulging women, drugs and drinking. We cannot tell where he got his experience, poetry, reading, since it seems he's doing nothing to upgrade that aspect of his life.

The price is vigorous.. the picture gets old instead of him and in some masohistic kind of way, Dorian watches his corrupted soul (that is represented on the picture) over and over again and tortures himself while looking at it. And in the mean time he treads on people he knows and loves. To spare his soul at any price.

In the english dark way, the payment day comes and is encrypted into a love he finally meets, but has to give away for the sake of good and what's right to do. In my opinion, a very good live version of the book. Still, I am glad I read it.. and I see a different meaning in all of this.. at the teen-understanding, I envied the man for keeping his youth and wanted to figure a way to do it myself :) Now it's a whole different story. I want to keep my soul and who I am, the virtues I have grown now and things I believe in now. Not the youth. It's not important. However, soul is.

My personal rating: 8,0 (an extremely good version of the classic Wilde book. Plus you will enjoy the good dialogue and witty remarks. Dorian is really brilliant, not only young and good looking)

Gray on IMDB

Did you hear about the Morgans, 2009

Did you hear about the Morgans, 2009
Director: Marc Lawrence
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Hugh Grant

Stage: Home theatre
Morgans in short: In New York City, an estranged couple who witness a murder are relocated to small-town Wyoming as part of a witness-protection program.

Preps: one of my friends told me it is somehow interesting and maybe worth seeing. Apart from that I am aware about Grant, nothing more

Reality: Cissy boring re-make of long known story - for instance Doc Hollywood. Hannah Montana in a way she comes in a village, so called small town, where the virtues of living in a small town compared to a big one (in Morgans New York), are being put on a piedestal. And in this case, also some old romance is lit on again.

Very boring, but in some way it has some fruit to eat - some dialogues between old couple are quite amusing. Also some good music. Scenery.. hm, practical, but doesn't get my attention. Neither do Sarah Jessica and Hugh Grant, who I see in all kind of romantic comedies, like Nothing Hill, etc. Wasn't he also in the Valentine's day? He would have fit there like a glove.

Nevertheless, you will enjoy it on a rainy Sunday evening, even more if you are a chick and even more if you see it with a friend. I had a serious consideration of turning it off. However, I managed up to the end.

My personal rating: 3,0 (if you don't have anything more exciting to do and just love Sarah or Hugh in any role - this definitely isn't one of their best. And their romance is only in the script, not on the movie.

Morgans on IMDB
Official site

An Education, 2009

An Education, 2009
Director: Lone Scherfig
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Olivia Williams, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina

Education in short: Jenny (Carey Mulligan) a very bright girl on the cusp of her 17th birthday, finds herself in a whirlwind romance with the much older David ( Peter Sarsgaard). Prior to meeting him, Jenny was working hard at secondary school to ensure getting to Oxford University. When she sees the lifestyle David can provide, one she never imagined could be hers, she's hooked and thoughts of Oxford are forgotten.

Stage: home theatre
Preps: None in perticular. Came in the row, wasn't recommended or something, just a thing on my disk from last year that I needed to see :)

Reality: Education has some really strong points to vote for it. It's an english movie. I just love english speaking (UK english speaking) cast. A bit naughty and lovely, the sound of it. Usually also the movies have some perspective or some dramatic scenes, some basic idea you should nourish after seeing it. This one is one alike - relatively unknown actors that come upfront with good dialogue and irony that pours out of them.

Jenny, living in a "normal" - to my standards, weird, family, is daily faced with stupidity her father pours into her. For instance, comments like "Knowing a famous author is better than becoming one. It shows you're connected.", with those, her father neglects all wishes Jenny has and fulfills his own dreams of pushing his daughter to the best university there is - Oxford. She, on the other hand, handles this with intelligence and shoots back like a rifle with witty comments and ironic/sarcastic piece of mind she posesses.

The irony breaks when this Mary Clarence (the holy child that is going to be at least world leader in her father's eyes) leaves the whole package for a man. It turns out that even her father thinks the prime goal of a young lady should be getting a husband and within this attempt, getting well situated. It doesn't matter what happens with university, education, as long as you have someone besides to offer you comfortable life without work.

Luckily enough, I got to see that milk and honey don't grow on trees. The men actually steal to get money and after that they can indulge life of beautiful restaurants, pubs, bars.. The way Jenny exposes her feelings about this to her father is simply remarkable. The director really caught some good scenes with this and some inspiring humour.

The movie also offers good music, nice yuppy-like places to visit, inspiring romance scenes and ideas.. and of course.. not to neglect.. how appropriate is an intimate relationship between a 16year-old girl and much older guy? (I never figured how old was he in the movie, but at least around 35 (with a wife and a kid that looked at least 7 years old) - The movie I think never touches this dilemma - or at least puts it aside, with some small scenes the parents have at the beginning. However, for me it was the thing I expected to be adressed at the movie at some point, unfortunately, I was dissappointed.

My personal rating: 6,0 (interesting in some aspects and very powerful in some scenes, however it might imply somehow corrupted message (give up education and you give up life.. and if you bring all back, you should consider yourself lucky if the system accepts you). But see it. It's different :)

IMDB for Education
Education official site

Mar 15, 2010

Law abiding citizen, 2009

Law abiding citizen, 2009
Director:F. Gary Gray
Cast: Jamie Fox, Gerard Butler,

Law abiding citizen in short: A frustrated man decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets one of his family's killers free. He targets not only the killer but also the district attorney and others involved in the deal.

Stage: home theatre, lovely Saturday morning

Preps: Some of the friends claim it's one of the best movies lately. It's also running in the movies in this moment. But if I have it home, why not take the luxury? And Gerard Butler, the yummy man. I need to see it. However, I don't have a clue what it's about.

Reality: My friends were right. The movie is somewhere between a cop adventure, cop drama, prisoner thriller, psychological masterpiece and Butler is the king of the castle. The scene for beginning is astounding - it tears up my heart and amazes me afterwards. Why wait ten years to get the vengeance?

The movie points out some important true facts. The law system has holes as big as the emental cheese. The judges can do anything they wish. The man can be helpless when watching it happen. And finally.. vengeance doesn't bring you pleasure or forgiveness. It just brings more anger and bitterness.

I admire the brilliance that Butler uses to lead the system puppets. I adore the way the governmental people are left with their hands tied up and helpless. I adore that one man can predict everything and the last piece of my brain cells is working to resolve the puzzle he's putting together. And in the end my ironic soul is satisfied. The ending fits the movie as a whole.

Right in the middle I wonder, oh, no, it's another Saw. We are going to watch someone being slayered bit by bit and it's going to last until the end of the movie. Respectfully, I am happy to realize I am wrong and even more happier that I saw it until the end. In my opinion, very much worth seeing. And Butler, one of his better acts ever.

My personal rating: 8,0 (very good one.. worth the time and effort)

Law and Gerard on IMDB
Official site
Yummy Butler pictures

Deadline, 2009

Deadline, 2009
Director: Sean McCornville
Cast: Thora Birch, Brittany Murphy, Marc Blucas

Deadline in short: Alice, 32, a writer recovering from a psychological breakdown retreats to a remote Victorian house to convalesce and focus on completing her screenplay in time for a fast approaching deadline. Shortly after her arrival, mysterious noises and strange happenings cause her imagination to run wild, sending her on a twisting and terrifying pursuit to find out what is behind the endless mind games.

Stage: Home theatre, the third one in the row. Had to be brilliant at least to catch my attention

Preps: Also a movie I don't have a clue about. I just got it somewhere and it was in a row of all those that seek my attention.

It drags my attention, as the cast shows up. Murphy, isn't this the girl that died just a few months ago, young and healthy? Well, the history proves that the work of someone that just died, can trigger interest or more interest than ever. I am inspired right away. The story is somehow good, the house is old and the saying - Old houses are like old people, they cry in pain, I love it. And it's the perfect scene for a horror.

Pursuing the original thought, I await anxiously to see something HItchock - like or even close. This one isn't even close. But it has some good turnovers and some good changes of the time and space. You float from reality (Brittany) to the past (Thora) and I love the way Brittany finally takes over the role that Thora Birch (Lucy) had in the past. Even has her dress and wears her jewelery.

Apart from the psychological aspect, the movie can be a bit boring, it loses my attention in the middle, but gains and repays in the end. Not a bad attempt, although a very american and Hollywood - praiser.

The idea, that loneliness drives you mad is perticulary highlighted in the movie. It reminds me of The Others (see it, a very good one!), The Shining (even more brilliant - Jack Nicholson's one of the best ones). I couldn't agree with it more, here it isn't evolved in a way I would buy it. And it turns out the horror is in flesh and bones. I would prefer it in a ghost shape :)

My personal rating: 7,5 (yes, a re-make. Yes, an attempt of horror. But I love the ending. Made me doubt about the whole essence and think about it all over again. And yes, it proves that music or lack of it makes the horror, not the actors or act itself.)

Deadline on IMDB
Official (Myspace) Site
Britt on Wiki

The men who stare at goats, 2009

The men who stare at goats, 2009
Director: Grant Heslov
Cast:George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges

Men and goats in short: A reporter in Iraq might just have the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady, a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army's New Earth Army, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions.

Stage: home cinema

Preps: It's currently running in cinema. I don't have a clue whatsoever about the movie. But the title is intriguing. I am curious what is behind men and what's the deal with the goats.

Reality: The movie is a parody - it is an antidose to currently popular the hurt locker. In my opinion it makes fun of war, soldiers and the system itself. The main actors are a part of the elite squad that are supposed to scare the enemy away with staring at them, seeding love and piece instead of guns and violence. They have long hair, look of a hippy from seventies and overall represent pure fun to the spectator.
The movie has some brilliant dialogues, however in my opinion, gets a bit boring somewhere in the middle. The idea of killing someone staring at him is somehow hillarious. The leaders of this year's oscars in fact stared at George Clooney at the show for about two minutes like he did to the goats at the movie- to make a point right out of the movie (or they wanted him dead? :)

The story about a journalist to come to Iraq just to prove to his wife (who already divorced him) is not only on the verge of believable, but also very pathetic. I don't really buy it. And it has also a non-existing (or very transparent) ending.

You will enjoy it if you like ironic views of some war movies you have seen (imagine Hot Shots and you will know what I am talking about). For me, decent fun, mostly in the aspect of mocking the system, but nothing more.

My personal rating: 5,5 (see it on a rainy day to make you smile a bit. And you will love the goats :)

The men and the goats on IMDB
Official site

Mar 12, 2010

Leap year, 2010

Leap year, 2010
Director: Anand Tucker (Girl with a Pearl Earring, participated also in Bridget Jones's diary)
Cast: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott

Leap year in short: A woman who has an elaborate scheme to propose to her boyfriend on Leap Day, an Irish tradition which occurs every time the date February 29 rolls around, faces a major setback when bad weather threatens to derail her planned trip to Dublin. With the help of an innkeeper, however, her cross-country odyssey just might result in her getting engaged.

Stage: home theatre, cuddly under the blanket. In mood for a chick movie

Preps: I have seen the trailer and decided immediately that it was a chick movie, perfectly suitable when I am in a romantic mood or on a Sunday evening, when you need something not to keep you awake at night.

Reality: Just as I expected. A cute atmosphere, with somehow romantic scenery. It brought a wish into my soul to visit Ireland, I just adore their english (the way they speak it).
However, I doubt that it's really fair the way a spectator after seeing this, can assume that all irish people are like this and that Ireland is the promised land. But it fits into the romantic genre this movie is about.

The girl, pursuing her fiance in order to propose to him, based on an old traditional habit/fairy tale, is somehow adorable, of course american liberal way of saying it's ok if a girl proposes. Luckily all irish people just make fun of this so it's edible, not too cissy.

Pursuing the one you love and trading him then for another you meet on the road, the destiny you have to follow, is then in a way showing love as in all the novels, that know nothing of reality. And the happy end fits directly to the story.

My personal rating: 5,0 Chick(ish), but cute somehow. If you loved romances, like Notting Hill, Valentine's day, this is also the right choice. Guys, stay away. I don't suppose it will touch you.

IMDB and Leap year
Leap year's official site

Mar 10, 2010

Alvin and the Chipmunks 2, The Squeakquel, 2009

Alvin and the Chipmunks 2; The Squeakquel, 2009
Director: Betty Thomas
Cast: Zachary Levi, David Cross, Jason Lee
Voices:Jesse McCartney, Matthey Gray Grubler, Justin Long

Short synopsis: The world famous singing pre-teen chipmunk trio return to contend with the pressures of school, celebrity, and a rival female music group known as The Chipettes

Stage: Home theatre
Preps: I am a big fan of Disney cartoons and I follow new age ones with a bit of skepticism. However, I loved the first part of this cartoon because of the funny voices. A good selection for a Sunday, I believed.

Reality: The chipmunks are still cute. As predicted, I loved it as a Sunday selection for a movie, and to one to be waking up with. All the children will love the return of the chipmunks and their active lives.

However, the cartoon reflects some of the things you can see in a supreme cartoon (if you compare it with this one - Ice Age 3). In third part of Ice Age, the director decided to put some romance in it and added a female squirrel. The same thing happens here - however, still cute enough for me to like the scenes and the comedy input the little ones gave in the cartoon.

I suppose that even if I don't really like the outlook of the cartoons nowadays, the humour in them can be indeed upgraded and adult. The cartoon genre is meant for children, however in the last decade I believe they brought it closer to adult target audience, simply by adding the black humour, irony and really clever dialogues. Truly amazing upgrades were for instance done in Ice Age, Shrek, Monsters and some clones of the above mentioned. The Alvin and the Chipmunks is a good one - not really a splendid, but a decent picturesque cartoon.

My personal rate: 6,5 (truly enjoyable, yet nothing really thrilling about it. If you like cartoons, see it at home ;)

Alvin on IMDB
Get munked with Alvin on their official site

Legion, 2010

Legion, 2010
Director: Scott Stewart
Cast: Paul Bettany, Lucas Black, Dennis Quaid

Legion in short:
An out-of-the-way diner becomes the unlikely battleground for the survival of the human race. When God loses faith in humankind, he sends his legion of angels to bring on the Apocalypse. Humanity's only hope lies in a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner with the Archangel Michael (Bettany).

Stage: home theatre

Preps: None in perticular. I saw it as one of the options in the local cinema. However I was told it was a disaster. I do give a deal about recommendations, however sometimes some movies can impress anyway. I was soooooo wrong :(

Reality: This is one of the worst things I tried to see in the latest movie attempts. I can fairly say that even standing on a cold rainy night out, freezing, would be a better choice than seeing this one. I have been very critical about a movie some time ago, with Wesley Snipes - The book of Eli, however, I claim that the book is far better than this piece. It took me 20 minutes to erase it. Without real story, without body, cast that could even for a second convince, nothing. In my opinion, a true NO NO. So .. don't bother. It's not worth it!!!

My personal rate: 0 (I haven't erased a movie this fast in a long time. What a pile of sh.. Do yourself a favour and don't watch it. Don't even think of going to the cinema or download, argh!)

Legion on IMDB

Lovely bones, 2009

Lovely bones, 2009
Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Saroirse Ronan, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci (Oscar nominee for best supporting actor 2010)

Lovely bones in short: Centers on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family - and her killer - from heaven. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal.

Stage: home theatre/hotel room on a business trip after a long day on exhibition

Preps: I adore and admire work of Peter Jackson. As he did a beautiful movie scenery for the LOTR, I expected the scenery and the photography to simply be beautiful and breath taking. As for the story, I was familiar with the trailer I saw at the movies and it reminded me of a CSI story mixed with a fairy tale. Good enough to watch. And also the cast got my attention.

Reality: As I predicted, the scenery and photography was amazing. Astounding, what photo shop brought us, unimaginative world before turns into reality. Jackson has put a lot of dream world and fantasies we all had as children into this movie.

The main story revolves around the murder. The spectator is carefully lead through the crime and follows the murderer and the murdered child each step. The focus is set on the things or better put action that happens after the murder; break in the family, drama and sadness of both, murdered Susie and her family. Carefully planned, the neighbour takes advantage of her naive and curious nature and brutally murders her.

The movie is a thoughtful reminder of the afterlife and one way we could picture it. It can comfort the ones that believe that all good souls go to a good place after the earth life. And a skeptical place for the philosophers that don't buy this. Both will however enjoy the picturesque image of the life inbetween.

My personal rate: 8,0 (I enjoyed it and it relaxed me - maybe more a chick movie afterall).

Lovely bones on IMDB
Lovely bones official site