Aug 31, 2010

Blood Diamond, 2006

Blood Diamond, 2006
Director:Edward Zwick
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connely

Blood Diamond in short: Set against the backdrop of civil war and chaos in 1990's Sierra Leone, Blood Diamond is the story of Danny Archer - an ex mercenary from Zimbabwe - and Solomon Vandy - a Mende fisherman. Both men are African, but their histories as different as any can be, until their fates become joined in a common quest to recover a rare pink diamond that can transform their lives. While in prison for smuggling, Archer learns that Solomon - who was taken from his family and forced to work in the diamond fields - has found and hidden the extraordinary rough stone. With the help of Maddy Bowen, an American journalist whose idealism is tempered by a deepening connection with Archer, the two men embark on a trek through rebel territory, a journey that could save Solomon's family and give Archer the second chance he thought he would never have.

Stage: Local theatre at the opening, twice at home, TV selection or DVD

Preps: At the opening none in perticular, another times no preps. The movie should be seen at least a few times :)

Reality: One of Zwick's masterpieces, the truthful and remarkable story that will crack your brains and make you think whether you really want to be one of the greedy EU citizen or rich people around the globe, chasing the small rocks. The main question or dilemma, how much a human life is worth or to look from the other perspective, how worthless the life is, when you want the crispy rocks that only mean something in the rich environment.

The movie is filled with emotions and energy, bad influence and the effect of greed. The sad story you follow with Djimon Hounsou or on the other hand, the different (also sad one) with DiCaprio makes your heart burst with tears and grief for the evil things happening to the people that didn't deserve it.

Another, quite political shock in seeing how children are being put against the wall and designed to shoot other children, or elder people, will pour hate in your veins - truly incredible to eat the idea that something like this can be happening, while we are mowing grass and drinking cocktails on the other side of the world. I honestly believe the movie will move something in your soul and make you want to do a good deed or at least never look at the bloody rocks again.

My personal rating: 9,5 (a strong remark or a statue of what liberty should really mean and what virtues one should nurture)

Blood Diamond on IMDB

Official site of the Diamond

Aug 11, 2010

The Expendables, 2010

The Expendables, 2010
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis

The expendables in short: A team of mercenaries head to South America on a mission to overthrow a dictator.

Preps: It's the premiere in Ljubljana, a must see, because of the fabulous cast and the topic. It just seems good when you see the trailer, and it is definitely worth a shot. Maybe it turns out the way Ocean's 11 did.

Stage: Local Kino Dvor event

If Ocean's eleven was a splendid idea and a good performance in terms of cast, directing, script, stage, etc, well, the Expendables is nothing like this. It was one of the disastrous pieces I chose to see and spend some time on. The only thing I was impressed about was the amount of good actors, that were in this movie and the fact that the oldies (Arnold, Willis, Stallone) actually stood on the stage together (Imagine Rambo fighting Kindergarten Cop as we did when we were really young). The fact that all of the Rambo sequels were in my opinion better than this one (and I don't like either of the sequels of Rambo) tells a story.

It is maybe a good idea to combine a movie with good cast and some strong explosions, but nothing (and I mean nothing) can really substitute the lack of the story, music, scenery, everything else. I thought about leaving the stage and getting a beer, because I couldn't stand the macho scenes, in which without a shadow of a doubt, the only purpose can be to shoot as many bullets as possible, destroy as many buildings as you can find on the way and tell stupid jokes alongside. I couldn't bare the lame scenario and I couldn't listen to Stallone, because I constantly looked at his facial make-up, which I found repulsing and non-repellent to attraction of the viewer(I mean here that the make up was so poor that I kept on looking at his face, instead of watching the movie).

If I could give 8+ points to Ocean's eleven because of all exclusive elements that the movie posessed, I cannot bare to come up with more than 1 for this disaster. Yes, they all showed up in one place. Yes, they destroyed everything, the whole set exploded zillion times. And yes, the movie involved one great looking woman that kinda needs to be protected against villains. But that's it. No real enthusiasm when seeing this and definitely, none left when it finally ended. Maybe some actors should leave the director's seat to a real director. And choose scripts more wisely. It's not all about appearing again on the big screen, even though the best make-up artist made you look 10 years younger and did a facial lift.

The last thought.. I was actually glad to see Stallone with a gun. I think the genre suits him best. But he would need to decide, what to do - act or direct. Rare persons can do both great.

My personal rating: 1,0 (just for the sake of the cast. The movie really sucks and I strongly recommend you find something else to do or go for a beer :))

Expendables on IMDB
The expendables home page

Aug 9, 2010

Das weisse Band / The white ribbon, 2009

Das weisse Band - eine deutsche Kindergeschichte / The white ribbon, 2009
Director: Michael Haneke
Cast: Christian Friedel, Ernst Jacobi, Leonie Benesch

Stage: Local theatre under stars Dvor

The Ribbon in short:Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery

Preps: I wanted to see this movie on Liffe - the movie festival in November 2009 in Ljubljana. I never got the tickets. Now I found another opportunity. Despite the fact that the topic seemed somehow depressive or it could get me in a bad skin, I wanted to see it.

Reality: The movie is static and has a lot of lost stories. You cannot track them easily, as they all seem uncorellated and yet you feel they are. The black and white technique in which the movie is made, draws my attention more to the story rather than on the scenery, which is more or less supposed to be like this.

One hour after the beginning, I am wondering, what am I doing in the theatre. I am bored, nothing seems to be going on - the great "mystery" around the kids doesn't seem to have an ending. I am lacking patience and the director didn't put anything in the movie to keep my curiosity satisfied.

I decided not to see this piece until its ending. The only thing that sparkles my attention is the rough way the parents have been handling things before WW1 and the obedience children needed to follow. To have it in german language, gives the movie the edge that it needed to make it more naci or harsh one, so you get the idea and a deep sigh for not being there and being one of the children. In my opinion, a true and honest exposure of the habits in raising / teaching young people how to behave. But as far as the great mystery is concerned.. my curiosity remained unsatisfied. I didn't care anymore, after one hour the only message in my head was.. thank God I live in present.

My personal rating: 4,0
(suitable for a special state of mind and different mindset. My brains just explode when seeing violence, especially upon children or animals)

Das weisse Band / The white ribbon on IMDB

Its home page

Cop Out, 2010

Cop Out, 2010
Director: Kevin Smith
Cast: Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Juan Carlos Hernandez

Cop Out in short: A comedy about a veteran NYPD cop whose rare baseball card is stolen. Since it's his only hope to pay for his daughter's upcoming wedding, he recruits his partner to track down the thief, a memorabilia-obsessed gangster.

Stage: home theatre

Preps: Hmmm, seeing Bruce again would be nice. I have seen not so impressive trailer on this piece, however, due to respect I have for Willis' work, I tend to see everything he produces. Hence, the decision is fallen. How bad can it be?

Reality: It can be worse than you expect afterall. Bruce Willis is out of his shape in the piece, striving to get at least some attention of the viewer. The script must have been written in five minutes, as it doesn't give anything besides some weird comedy scenes, that I don't find half that amusing as the actors did. The cast is awful and the story doesn't achieve my blood stream even a bit.

I always am suspicious about movies that have the smell of cheap, yet beneficial to the older actors that still want to be a part of the game. I am used having Willis in more adult roles, and less making fun of himself. I think he never wanted to participate in this movie - at least that's the energy his character shows in Cop Out. I am sorry to say this is one of more disastrous pieces that Willis showed his face in. I didn't watch it till the end, because I thought there might be a better way to spend my time. I don't recommend it, however, to the viewers that enjoyed light humour comedies and for non-demanding audience, this might bring some fun. Sure didn't do the trick for me.

There were several comical moments, this is one of them (the quote):

Paul Hodges: Why did you smack me?
Jimmy Monroe: I was in the moment and the moment said smack ya.

My personal rating: 1,0 (just for the sake that I saw Die Hard hero again, even though in one of the worst roles ever).

Cop out on IMDB

Cop out Home page

Aug 4, 2010

Inception, 2010

Inception, 2010
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Leonardo Di Caprio, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine

Stage: Local theatre, third row :)

Inception in short: In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a highly skilled thief is given a final chance at redemption which involves executing his toughest job till date, Inception

Preps: After screening for several weeks now and all my friends almost went to see it already, all of them thrilled and excited, after reviewing some of the excellent critics, my mind is set to experience something beyond borders and am so anxious to see it. I don't care anymore if I go on a child show (in terms of hours of seeing this piece), I definitely need to see it. I don't care even sitting in the third row.

Inception means the beginning or creation of something.From Latin inception-, stem of inceptio, from inceptus, past participle of incipere (to begin).

In this sense the Inception implies returning to one's roots and implementing an idea into someone's brains on the shore of his/hers subconscience - dreams. Therefore a spooky thing to think about - if you can hire people to do it, make you dream and enter your alter reality you can see only in your dreams.

The movie is an absolute upgrade to anything I have seen so far. The idea / scenario fresh as it can be, absolutely stunning effects and the perspective for the viewer definitely makes your eyelids wide open and your mouth filled with saliva, wanting more and more of this. Two hours and a half of action, changing scenery, making impossible possible - the viewer is sucked into the center of the action which never stops.

All the turnovers amaze, unexpected action when you think there isn't any action left, wrestling on the walls and physical aspect of time floating - as you enter each level, the time slows down, same as it goes in the animal kingdom with the life expectancy or height perspective.

The music is so powerful it enhances each moment of the movie. The cast is superb and exclusive - seeing Di Caprio in yet another supreme role he plays after Shutter Island makes me impressed in every possible way. Imagine the mixture of Matrix, Memento, three best science fiction movies you have ever seen, Mission Impossible, and several others and upgrade them for five levels in difficulty of scenes, impressive scenario, absolutely fabolous photography and cast - there you go, you have Inception.

To imply at least one drawback of the movie - I mentioned Mission impossible - like in Matrix, if the viewer doesn't accept certain facts or physical stuff that seems to be beyond understanding of an average person - well, then you might have a problem tracking this. The mathematical idea - you get it in general, but not in details. In terms of understanding, how this can be even possible. The director never shares with us what stands behind the Architect, but maybe this is a topic for one of the sequels.

The viewer is left in doubt, what is the reality. The symbol / totem Di Caprio (Cobb) uses to determine dreams from reality never seems to stop at the very end of the movie, which would imply that he's still left in one layer of his dreams. And in Nolan's style - makes you wonder philosophically, what is a dream and what is reality. The same way as in Avatar or Matrix - some aspects of one's dreams can be so tempting, you never want to leave them and would sacrifice everything just to live there where you cannot.

Nolan scores big time with this piece. One of the best movies lately or shall I say ever. However, I need to see it several times (funny, had the same idea with Memento or Matrix). The movie is so rich that in my opinion you can watch it several times and each time discover a new perspective. A MUST to see, definitely.

My personal rating: 9,8
(it's not a perfect ten for me, as I seem to be not so clever as I would like to be and don't understand the different physical and mathematical levels on which the movie operates. So I am satisfied with a general overview and I accept everything. The same thing as happened with Matrix when you watch it for the first time. But definitely one of the better movies I have ever seen, worth seeing several times).

Inception on IMDB

Looooots of details on Inception on WIKI

Inception Home page