Jun 30, 2010

Carriers, 2009

Carriers, 2009
Directors: Alex Pastor, David Pastor
Cast: Lou Taylor Pucci, Chris Pine, Piper Perabo

Stage: Home theatre

Carriers in short: Four friends fleeing a viral pandemic soon learn they are more dangerous than any virus.

Preps: None in perticular - one of the ones that remain to be watched some day and on a day like that seemed a cool selection. But I don't know the cast, or anything about the movie.

Reality: Bljah, yuk. Something that's trying to top some good ones in this topic - for instance Outbreak - well.. it fails in an instant. No dynamics, no action, just a plain getaway from the virus and struggle for life. Cast is awful, dialogs trivial, well, I did stare at this piece till the end, however, I didn't enjoy it even a bit. So in my opinion - total waste of 1,5 hours. The good thing about the movie is that it doesn't last a long time :)

A shame that the director exploits the topic which is really modern in sense of all of us watching the world wondering when something of that kind is about to happen. Unfortunately the operational part of the movie, where you turn the idea into something worth seeing, fails from the first until the last minute.

My personal rating: 1,0 (1 for the modern topic and being short, not anything else. Don't watch it - a definite waste of time!)

Carriers on IMDB

Carriers home page

Celda 211 - Cell 211, 2009

Celda 211 - Cell 211, 2009
Director: Daniel Monzon
Cast: Luis Tosar, Alberto Amman, Antonio Resines

Stage: Home theatre

Celda in short: The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot -- the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal.

Preps: I found it on my disk, thought it would be worth seeing something spanish again, since I am fond of the language and every now and then you find something interesting just falling from the clouds

How do you turn from a good cop to a bad one? Or a good prison guard to a corrupted one? It can be a simple act by coincidence, when someone murders someone you love and you lose your brain, your mind and you don't care for nothing any more. Could it be that the violence is planted into every person just waiting to burst out? This movie is playing with those topics and you will definitely enjoy seeing good turning into evil under stressful circumstances. The jailbreak or shall I say rebel yell in the cells is amazing, drives scary thoughts down my veins - and the good guy is trapped in the cell 211 - hence the name of the movie. It is also metaphore for the place, where good turns into evil, in my opinion.

At first I try to imagine how the good guy is going to get out of the trouble and find myself wondering why he doesn't when he has the chance to walk out. It is all in vain after the murder of his lady, because after that point he turns into violence himself, being more dangerous than the leader of the pack in the prison.

My personal rating: 7,0 (pretty decent piece, worth a bit of philosophy at the end or it will give you something to dwell about in a rainy night)

Celda on IMDB

Celda original webpage

Jun 22, 2010

Sex and the City 2, 2010

Sex and the City 2, 2010
Director: Michael Patrick King
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Catrall

Stage: Local theatre near my job, Planet Tuš (got an amazing price for the tickets when going with the girls from my work!)

Sex and the City in short: While wrestling with the pressures of life, love, and work in Manhattan, Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte join Samantha for a trip to Morocco, where Samantha's ex is filming a new movie.

Preps: Hmmmm.. I am not really excited about this. I told several times I don't buy sequels, at least not from unknown directors. And this one smells like glamour, but nothing more. So I expect to see a parade of shoes and clothes without a real story to tell or some excitement when I leave the theatre. Why are all the girlfriends I have so anxious to see this piece? Well, least it will probably get me a new set of ideas for evening gowns or shoes. Maybe that's worth something after all.

Well.. it's a bit better than I expected. I thought it would be all about fashion, but I have to admit I am impressed by the scenery, the vivid colours and the costumography. The scenes, however, and the script, is somehow naive and reflects an underestimation of the viewer. The problems the girls face, are real, however, the movie doesn't offer any solutions and leads to the ending where all the milk is white and the sky is blue and everything falls into its place. In real world, you don't get to live like this and you don't get the solution to your problems that easy.

The huge problem of being a branded movie is that you need to wear brands on and on and change them constantly. I believe the girls exchange at least 100 different clothes and pairs of shoes in the movie, which suits well to the consumer industry, but offers extremely poor sight to the viewer. So all the girls rush after the movie into the shops. Nothing extremely wrong about this - I did it also, but in my opinion the movie could offer a lot more. The stories could have evolved and some alternative solutions or philosophies could be offered. But that would be too hard on the viewers that definitely have to "check out", what is in nowadays and what is expected to be worn at the parties. And I have to admit, in this field I give the director a straight 10. From the perspective, what I gained from the movie and what philosophy it awoke, a straight 1. Maybe it shouldn't be a sequel, but in my opinion it will be followed by number 3.

What is marriage all about? The movie offers a trivial solution: Me and you, just us two. How to make it work all the time? I wonder, when I leave the cinema..

P.s. the girls are extremely old. I cannot get over their old skin and their worn out eyes. Beautiful still, but old. How do they look without the glamour? I don't dare to estimate..

My personal rating: 4,0
(well, a decent fashion movie. But nothing more. Some of the ideas you might have in married life. But no solutions offered unfortunately. A small dissappointment, however, a bit better than I expected)

Sex and the City 2 on IMDB

The official site of the movie

My favourite brand of the shoes (yes, I am a fanatic like Carrie Bradshaw)

Jun 21, 2010

Trapped, 2002

Trapped, 2002
Director: Luis Mandoki
Cast: Charlize Theron, Courtney Love, Stuart Townsend, Kevin Bacon

Stage: Home TV selection on a rainy Sunday evening

Trapped in short: When their daughter is kidnapped by experienced nappers (Bacon and Love), the Jennings' (Theron and Townsend) turn the tables on this seemingly foolproof plan

Preps: None in perticular - I have just caught the TV movie and I loved the cast, seemed intriguing. Theron just doesn't go with lame movies and neither does Kevin Bacon (in general, I believe it's so). However, the movie is unfamiliar to my knowledge and I am curious.

I am deeply dissappointed in this piece. The topic can be strong and the story can be written in an intriguing thriller-kind, maybe even showing deep revenge and the excitement when a kid is kidnapped and the blackmailing begins. But not this story. Not the Trapped story. This one is really something pulled out when the director (or should I blame the screenplay writer) was on vacation, I guess.

The movie seems deep, but it's really shallow. I think about turning it down in the first quarter, but then decide to show some respect to Theron and Bacon, who I love watching in some pieces. However, I am deeply annoyed spending two hours on a vague movie, which doesn't leave a trace in me. Scenery is rotten, cast could be much better, it seems the creators of the movie took this one as a high-school assignement rather than a serious movie.

I don't recommend it - do something more useful with your time!

My personal rating: 3,0
(not even decent fun, really one of the worse versions of the topic.. truly dissappointed when seeing this)

Trapped on IMDB

Jun 20, 2010

Falling Down, 1993

Falling Down, 1993
Director: Joel Schumacher
Cast: Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall

Stage: Home theatre. Selection every now and then. I just adore this movie

Falling Down in short: William (D-FENS) just wants to get home to see his daughter on her birthday. Unfortunately, nothing seems to be going right for him. First there's the traffic jam, then the unhelpful Korean shopkeeper who "doesn't give change". D-FENS begins to crack and starts to fight back against the every day "injustices" he encounters on his journey home.

Preps: This is absolutely a masterpiece of Joel Schumacher, seeing the perspective of a native american, giving all around him a lesson. I want to see this in the same way I need to see Kill Bill every now or then, or Pulp Fiction, or the Matrix. So no preps whatsoever, I am more than ready every time!

Reality: As said, from the start to finish, a masterpiece. The walking sculpture of black humour, sarcasm and things that don't make sense to most humans but don't have the guts to say it in front. Michael Douglas has one of his best casts here and I cannot stop laughing or admiring the point he's making. Let it be by the Korean guy at his store, or in the Whammy Burger, let it be on the hill with the latino guys or later on at the phone booth. The scenes that are shown, while this guy is trying to come home to his kid's birthday (at some point you realize he is a fanatic and got divorced a while ago, having a kid and a restriction order), however, the facts you realize about this man get you tho think about how calm he really is :) and how slow he's taking his anger out of his pockets.

The side story about a retiring cop / Duvall, here just seems something inbetween to calm your laughing centres and get ready for the next scene. Each time Douglas appears on the screen, you get a fresh dose of clean, ironic humour and it is just pouring in my veins more and more. I am sure you will love this movie and the true irony it posesses.

By the way, D-Fence is the licence number on Douglas's car! And for this reason from the middle of the movie he gets this nick by all the people chasing him.

One of my favourites is definitely at the Whammy Burger. It's one of the most hilarious scenes I have ever seen. However, the first one before that is when he hits the pine with a korean guy, not giving him the change he wanted:

Mr. Lee: Take the money.
Bill Foster: You think I'm a thief? Oh, you see, I'm not the thief. I'm not the one charging 85 cents for a *stinking* soda! You're the thief. I'm just standing up for my rights as a consumer.

My personal rate: 9,5
(absolutely brilliant in terms of black humour and sarcasm. Everyone that's into it like me will surely adopt and adore this piece. One of my favourites - I see it from time to time - the Whammy burger scene with "the customer is always right" attitude)

Falling Down on IMDB

Black Book, 2006

Black Book, 2006¸
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch, Halina Reijn

Stage: Home theatre

Black Book in short: Israel 1956. Set during the end of WWII, Black Book is the story of a Dutch Jewish girl who narrowly survives the war in Holland. She joins the resistance to find out who betrayed her family after all of them were killed in an attempt to reach the liberated south.

Preps: none in perticular. Found this piece and didn't have a clue about it. What it was about, who are the protagonists, nothing. So I decide on a rainy day to see it. Paul Verhoeven gives me moral satisfaction at the beginning, I adore his work.

Reality: Who is really making a war happen? And who is influenced by it? The whole world is involved everytime. You cannot just shut your eyes and think it will dissappear. So many people die in vain and so many unjustified crimes occur while little men are walking around with their pistols making the barriers move or making the governmental new territory official.

This piece strikes in the very heart of jewish escapes, this time in Holland and this time the way you have never seen it before. The story is more than believable (and yet in this sense, a bit used), the cast remarkable. Ellis is the sinonym or let's say, a metaphore for all unjustice in the world done to the jews at that point. From extortion, to betrayal, from unjustice, to coldbloded torture. Imagine having the person that killed your family, touching your breasts and trying to eat it up, because you know you will get your revenge later and at this point you have to gain this person's trust. Imagine sleeping with a german officer and falling for him, although everything in your mind and body tells you not to. and after the end of the war, having your citizen spitting on you and calling you a whore, but all you did was work in the resistence during the war.

The Black Book has it all, drama, romance, despair, hope and death. Verhoeven made one of his better pieces with this one. War really shows on the nation and predators are still present when it ends. Nice people turning into beasts, killing your own ego and belief to do the right thing, surviving when it's impossible, taking coincidence into your hands.. I am deeply moved and impressed by this one. Deep recommendation! However, not for softies :)

One of the things to think about:

Gerben Kuipers: Ellis, a girl didn't show up today. Would you replace her?
Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: Work is work, right?
Gerben Kuipers: Even if it is dangerous?
Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: What have I got to lose?
Gerben Kuipers: Your life...

My personal rate: 8,0 (not really schindler's list, however you will get touched by it, and see there were also "reasonable" germans, if you can call them this way.)

Black book on IMDB
Black Book Official Site

Jun 16, 2010

Little city, 1997

Little city, 1997
Director: Roberto Benabib
Cast: Jon Bon Jovi, Penelope Ann Miller, Annabella Sciora, Josh Charles

Little city in short: Adam is a painter who works as cab driver and blames his difficulties with women on his former girlfriend Kate who left him for lesbian Anne. As a result he doesn't pay much attention to his current girlfriend Nina, who leaves him for his best friend Kevin. New girl in town, Rebecca, who works in the same bar as Kevin, turns their lives into even bigger chaos.

Stage: Home TV selection

I see the cast and I am impressed - I haven't seen many good movies with good cast (if there are plenty of normal or upgraded actors). This should be one of them / the not good ones, at least to my humble opinion. I have a hunch. However, our local national TV tends to pick movies for Wednesdays very thoroughly -this means you usually end up with a good one afterall. Still - Jon Bon Jovi (he should stick to the guitar which he does best!)

Reality: Somehow it reminds me of Burn without reading or some other movies that deal with relationships, how to handle them, how to handle loss or a somehow corrupted theme (maybe ungrateful for the directors) - gay theme. Here the relationships revolve around lesbian women and their way of finding recognition, personal luck or happinness or something worth living in life.

The movie makes me think about the values we all cherish, about typical family and what it's worth, maybe another perspective. I hate the town they are in, it's not the little town, it's New York - the town I have always wanted to see once for real. However, in the movie it has the connotation of being little, of having single people in and that something is wrong with you if you cannot eat up the pace the town lives with.

Something about being OK, if you are undecisive, or maybe if you don't know exactly what to do with your life, asking yourself about the steps you took, well, it gives me shivers, but with anxiety and I am totally open to this perspective. I love the way the main cast builds up the relationships and I absolutely adore short scenes the main actors have among each other. How important is raising a child together? Is it ok, if you have feelings for women, if you are a woman yourself? How about cheating someone with his best friend? Some important life questions here, I love to think about similar topics. And this is precisely why the movie is cute and worth seeing.

By the way, I was right about the cast - too glamorous to make it work. I love all of above mentioned - Bon Jovi should stick to the guitar and definitely - Penelope Ann Miller is adoring in those kind of romantic screens :)

About the destinations we go to in one of the scenes:

Adam: People who are tragically ambitious and smart go to New York and people who are just tragically smart come here.
Rebecca: Oh. Well what about people who are just tragically ambitious?
Adam: They go to LA.

My personal rate: 6,5
(being a cute movie and make me think about the relationships, how it's supposed to work out and being open to gay themes)

Little City on IMDB

Jun 11, 2010

Double Jeopardy, 1999

Double Jeopardy, 1999
Director:Bruce Beresford
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Ashley Judd, Bruce Greenwood

Stage: Home TV selection

Double Jeopardy in short: A woman framed for her husband's murder suspects he is still alive; as she has already been tried for the crime, she can't be re-prosecuted if she finds and kills him.

Preps: Remembering I have seen this one a while ago, and I liked it. Since it's a Thursday evening and I don't feel like going anywhere, I think this is a good selection.

The movie is a good setup of betrayal/vengeance/lost love/prison charm. Ashley is playing an innocent (maybe naive?)framed wife, that sits her sentence for a few years for a crime she didn't commit. Finds herself among other cons being tutored what she's supposed to do. Finds out she can kill her husband (who is still living and for whose murder she was convicted) again and noone can touch her. So we pursue her in the other half of the movie while she's trying to find the liar (husband), get back her teen son and live again.

The movie has some decent action, some great dialogues - the scenery however is poor and you can see that the director had to cut down his budget for some of them (you can practically see the picture instead of the sea in the first few scenes by the house), then also later in the movie. This is a pity, because even though the movie has potential, those "savings" cost it a preminent spot among others.

The cast is good, however not brilliant. The story will fill you with empathy for the girl and a quest to find justice. But nothing really more from this. For people that love the genre, it will be solid and good. For other population, maybe even not worth seeing at all. Jones has a way of making an act brilliant or really average. Well, in this case it's a bit average. The same goes for Judd.

However, you do learn how to lose a guy you don't want to date in an instant:

Handsome Internet Expert: Hey, so after this is done, do you wanna go get a drink or something?
Elizabeth 'Libby' Parsons: Yeah, sure. I just have to check in with my parole officer.
Handsome Internet Expert: You were in jail?
Elizabeth 'Libby' Parsons: No, prison. There is a difference.
Handsome Internet Expert: Why? Too many parking tickets?
Elizabeth 'Libby' Parsons: No, I was convicted of murdering my husband.

My personal rating: 6,0 (a pretty decent piece also to see again. I like Lee Jones and adore Ashley Judd, not a tremendously great performance, but very watchable :)

Double jeopardy on IMDB

Jun 8, 2010

Wake up, Sid, 2009

Wake up Sid, 2009
Director: Alan Mukherjee
Cast:Ranbir Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma

Wake up Syd in short: In Mumbai, Sid Mehra is, in the words of his father, an arrogant, spoiled brat. He lives with a doting mother and a father who pays his expenses and credit card bills. Sid takes his college finals then starts work at his father's business; he lasts less than a week before walking out. At a graduation party, he's met Aisha, newly arrived from Calcutta, set on becoming a writer. He shows her the city and helps her refurbish a rented flat. He asks if she'd like to progress from friend to something more; she says no - he lacks ambition and isn't her type. Will her words, his exam results, a confrontation with his parents, and a break with his friends be enough to wake Sid up?

Stage: Home theatre
Preps: The movie was recommended by one of my colleagues, really crazy about indian way of life. I appreciate the critics so I decide to check it out on my own.

Reality: The movie is really cute and positive, it shows exactly how one can be spoilt if bred in the right family (with a huge amount of money), where everything is taken for granted and you get all on a silver plate. Once the life hits you with something and you are left with nothing, you need to build everything. The problem with Syd is he doesn't know how or with what. He doesn't know how to work, he doesn't appreciate each penny he receives, he never had to do anything in his life, so he needs to grow up in terms of independence.

My strong belief is that if you decide for something, you will find the way to get to it. And with strong will, you will meet the right persons (or have luck when going through this path to meet right people) that will help you. Sid finds his luck in image of Aisha, a beautiful girl, striving for her own independence, that shows Sid values that girls (or normal people, that didn't have a money push from the start), appreciate. And Sid finds himself a job, falls in love, his prior values (partying, spending money) are now being an adult, being independent - doing things that sometimes aren't cool or fun, but doing them because it's the right thing to do. While Sid is growing up, he also builds a new relationship to his existing family and shows some appreciation afterall. And of course, this cute movie cannot exist without the romance.

India is shown in a different perspective here. Maybe even a stronger message than the one in the notorious Slumdog Millionaire. Definitely worth seeing.

My personal rating: 7,5 (the unique and inspiring way of showing how one can grow within himself as the result of growing up and being independent).

Wake up Sid on IMDB
Wake up Sid official site

Brokeback Mountain, 2005

Brokeback Mountain, 2005
Director: Ang Lee
Cast: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Randy Quaid, Michelle Williams

Brokeback Mountain in short: In 1963,two young men hire on as ranch hands in the Wyoming mountains.During the long months of isolation,an unusual bond starts to develop between them, one which they are only vaguely aware of--until one night when it rises to the surface in a passionate encounter.When the season ends,they part ways,only to realize the true depth of their feelings.Thus begins a decades-long affair that the two of them desperately try to hide from those around them--one which will prove simultaneously beautiful and devastating.

Stage: Local theatre, home theatre (2. time)

Preps: Seeing this at the movies for the first time, I was in the Oscar fever - wanted to see the finalists before the real award ceremony, as I did each year. Now, when I am aware of the greatness of the movie, I am thrilled to see it again at home. I always discover something more in the movies I liked before. This one has also a strong message, that can relate to any kind of relationship.

Gay theme is something that drives masses in the theatres, as I go and see it. It's something that isn't exposed very often and when it is, it isn't as vivid and direct as it is here. The scenery, chosen for the cowboy romance, is amazing. The scenario is not only believable, but also put in times, when you truly buy it. Hiding behind a "real" family or what the public expects from both of men, they do get married and they do have children, but all along, they find themselves as soul mates that cannot forget what they shared that summer on the mountain.

Against the policy of those times, they are crucified by society and misunderstood, finally the viewer is faced with depressed actions that might happen, if the society finds out about man's "status": one of the couple drinks, loses the family and loses everything he had in his life but his love and unwillingness to admit it. The other one is beaten to death by people in his town. Sadly enough, they never decide to move together and they never are truly a couple.

At the end, everything that remains, are the memories of that summer and the mountain. Because they never had the courage to make something out of the special gift they were given with the love, they are left with nothing.

The movie is sad and inspiring in terms of making something out of things you can influence on (not leaving it to the fate anyway) or building your relationship, even if the crowd doesn't accept it, even if it's not the right time, place or energy. The important thing is, that the person is.

My personal rating: 9,0 (Although it is long and sometimes lacks dynamics, it is a very strong one with a good message. One of Ledger's best performances in my opinion. Worth seeing).
Brokeback on IMDB
Brokeback natural official site

Away we go, 2009

Away we go, 2009
Director: Sam Mendez
Cast: John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph

Stage: Local theatre Dvor, premiere
(and pinepple and melon afterwards, accompanied with wine)

Away we go in short: A couple who is expecting their first child travel around the U.S. in order to find a perfect place to start their family. Along the way, they have misadventures and find fresh connections with an assortment of relatives and old friends who just might help them discover "home" on their own terms for the first time.

Preps: I got the ticket from a friend of mine (the invitation). Knowing it is Mendez directing this piece, I think I might see something good again (I just adored his American Beauty and admired the Road). I have seen the trailer and this might be cute even for my critical sceptical eye.

Reality: Somehow the movie makes me depressive in the end. Finding the true selves within seeking where they might stop and live forever with their baby, Veronica and Burt seem to be one of the more normal couples living there. The road they decide to go on reflects all sorts of human hybrids (in the sense, such weird couples, weird choice of how they are living, weird conditions..).. Each time they face another couple of friends or relatives, they seem more normal. In the beginning I thought Burt and Veronica were the weird ones, however through ironic set of scenes I change my mind completely.

I find myself feeling deep sorrow or at least sorry for all those they met on their voyage to face the destination of their living. Choosing the right environment afterall seems not so important as it was at the beginning. The message, that the right choice of the location is the one you are there with your partner (soulmate), and not where your friends/relatives/action/vivid environment is, gains importance throughout the movie.

The weird couples and the scenes in the end are something the movie is worth watching for. I laughed my ass off at some of the ironic dialogues and felt really depressed and sad at stories of the others. The movie shows you the strong and the weak points of each relationship and each environment. And finally brings the initial couple back to each other.

In some way, it lacks action and it lacks dynamics, but Mendez fills this space with place for thinking about the lives you just were faced with and relationship dilemmas once you are in front of them. In some sense, one of the good ones - in terms of follow up activities, going on in my head - I thought about this piece a long time after seeing it.

One of the best dialogues, while they are driving in the car:

Verona De Tessant: I can't believe you told your mother about my tilted uterus!
Burt Farlander: I didn't know your tilted uterus was a secret.
Verona De Tessant: Yes, my tilted uterus is a secret!
Burt Farlander: Your tilted uterus is a secret. Your fucking uterus is a fucking secret!

My personal rating: 8,5 (road drama as I think it is supposed to be :)

Away on IMDB

Away we go online