Apr 30, 2011

Oceanworld, 2009

Oceanworld, 2009
Director: Jean-Jacques Mantello
Cast: Marion Cotillard (voice)

Oceanworld in short: A tribute to the ocean, "Oceans 3D" takes viewers on a voyage through, among others, Californian kelp forests, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and Roca Partida Island off the coast of Mexico, which is home to thousands of sharks. Audiences will witness some of the most spectacular and unforgettable scenes of life beneath the waves ever captured in 3D: the manta ray's enchanting ballet; the noble procession of hammerhead sharks; the lion fish's relentless hunt; a group of young dolphins playing algae-football; the astonishing beauty of the Spanish dancer sea slug; and a unique encounter with the largest cetaceans on the planet.

Stage: Local theatre Dvor, a good morning show, together with three kids and their mothers on a lovely morning.

Preps: I am mad about the ocean and the world inside. And, also a fan of Cousteau's documentary movies. Hence, a must to see.

Reality: A beautiful, picturesque scenery, showing hours of effort in filming everything and putting a concept together for the viewers. Alone, the scenes don't have a thin red line, however, thru a turtle voyage towards the beach where it lays the eggs, the concept shows and reveals many misteries of the ocean.

It is a must see for any fan of sea world and all those that think they know a lot about it. There are several truly endangered species put upfront, shown in their natural environment, shown as they react to other animals and moreover, the specifics of the world these creatures live in, is vividly handed to the viewer.

The music is something most important in a documetary, in this case, carefully chosen and put together to enhance the effect of specific scenes put together. As a piece, I absolutely adore it and recommend it to every fan of the nature. Also, very lively for the kids. All the kids in the theatre just ate from the turtle's mouth, virtually.

My personal rate: 9,0 (one of the most lovely documentaries I have seen lately, with a strong point about protecting the nature and showing respect to it).

Oceanworld on IMDB

Thor, 2011

Thor, 2011
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth

Stage: Local theatre, late Friday show. Just a pop in my head makes me run as hell to catch the show. As I miss the trailer part and commercial, I feel pretty satisfied with myself, as the movie begins in an instant, as I sit down.

Thor in short: This epic adventure spans the Marvel Universe; from present day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth. Kenneth Branagh directs this fantasy epic which stars Australian actor Chris Hemsworth as the ancient Norse god, Tom Hiddleston as his evil brother Loki, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, a young woman who befriends Thor on Earth, and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Thor's father and king of Asgard.

Preps: None in perticular, have seen the trailer, seems like a thing I would love to see in theatre, because of the effects and sounds.

Reality: Hm, it's fairly amusing, but that's it. Too much of photo shop and movie maker scenes make me not buy the scenery. It's obviously made in a computer room, and not by someone with a lot of imagination. I am not impressed at all. Normalwise, I prefer scenes that derive from imagination, to those that are filmed in real life. Here it's vice versa. Better constructed, with some vision and some energy. With real dialogues and some humorous scenes. For instance, imagine real god tremble into a real life with every day scenery - eating, sleeping, living like a human. All in all, this is supposed to be a punishment for Thor, for being too conceited and not ready to learn. With some help of a human mind, he turns into a good guy.. well, the transformation is too fast and I definitely don't buy it. If you have lived all your life as a conceited first son, ready to be a king, then you cannot really transform your soul and mind in a few days. Probably in a decade, or so, but in this piece everything is shown a bit too romantic - in sense of me trying to buy this and to accept it.

Natalie has definitely been a busy bee lately. I can see her in four movies at the same time. Unfortunately, none of them can raise up to the Black Swan - the cast here is poor and unsatisfactory, the same goes for Anthony Hopkins. Not enough energy coming out of this man. Hemsworth, on the other side, represents some sort of a back up of Brad Pitt in Troy. Nevertheless, the story is weak and too light to be seen in a real spectacle. It's more of a Sunday movie, when you have just eaten and just want something to amuse you and not knock you off your feet. And if you put into perception there is a divine world as opposed to normal human.
For Hopkin's cast - slightly better than in his other latest movie, The rite. In neither of both cases, an exclusive or impressive one. Nevertheless, always good to watch on screen.

The music shows respect to the scenario and to the scenes, wisely chosen and emphasizes the effect of some battles. Another thing that got me a bit cranky during watching this - the "doors" to other worlds. Just by coincidence taken from Stargate (the idea is the same, and the execution also almost the same). And the names of the world. Are we in LOTR or are we in some other movie.. well, it's a wise idea to be pulled on the ocean of other successful movies, but you need to draw a line somewhere and make your piece a bit more authenthic. Because to perceive viewers not so intelligent as some of them are.. is - well naive. I would prefer the worlds to be of another wording (Asgard - as in LOTR - Ares of Asgard); just a coincidence, that here it's one of the lands? ..

Anyhow, not really a splendid piece, but a pleasant Sunday one, as already said.

My personal rating: 4,0 (for the sake of the amusement).
Thor on IMDB

Apr 29, 2011

Somewhere, 2010

Somewhere, 2010
Director: Sofia Coppola
Cast: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning, Chris Pontius

Stage: Local movie Theatre in Ljubljana district Vič

Somewhere in short: Hollywood actor Johnny Marco, nested in his luxury hotel of choice, is a stimulated man. Drinking, parties and women keep a creeping boredom under wraps in between jobs. He is the occasional father of a bright girl, Cleo, who may be spoiled but doesn't act it. When Cleo's mother drops her off and leaves town, Johnny brings her along for the ride, but can he fit an 11-year-old girl into his privileged lifestyle?

Preps: Well I have heard a lot of good critics speaking about this piece - in a good way. Besides, Coppola is a famous name and I wanted to see this at Liffe, the movie festival, last November, but I never got the tickets. Now, finally, a chance to induge this.

Reality: Another one of the miserable ones. The movie, I mean. I run out of the cinema almost. If I had this one on my disk, it wouldn't have survived the first 30 minutes. Now, considering I am sitting in the theatre with two of my girlfriends, I have a bit more patience to see if anything happens. In my opinion, nothing. The world depicted is not real. It cannot go like this, even if you are a famous actor. The drive I see within the movie could be or derive from the sense of remorse for leading such a life once you are confronted with your kid, you left with your previous spouse. Nevertheless, the world where a famous actor shows his behind on the balcony and the girls are going mad about it - showing their tits, ass, and having sex at a glance, is not the one I am familiar with. Or I acknowledge.

The movie is too static and doesn't show the energy, nor the drive, vision, call it whatever you might want to. The lead actor, as gorgeous as he is, gets on my nerve with every minute more he spends on the stage. The others are so pale that I even cannot notice a part where they start really playing. I am dissappointed in many ways, I really expected more from the movie Coppola made. But, they cannot all come out as genious ones, true? The only philosophy I can follow is the one where you think about whether it's worth giving up your normal life and trade it off for some actor's fake life. Bad in any way I think about it.

Don't watch it. Neither a showoff of a Hollywood life, nor a showoff of a life of a modern Hollywood James Bond. For this is what I suspect the main lead actor is trying to pull off. In my opinion, a bad failure.

My personal rate: 0 (no comment, a total waste of time).

SOmewhere on IMDB

Chain Letter, 2010

Chain letter, 2010
Director: Deon Taylor
Cast: Keith David, Nikki Reed, Brad Dourif

Stage: Home theatre, late at night, when you are figuring what to do with no sleep ahead of you.

Chain Letter in short: Six friends receive a mysterious chain letter via text messaging and in their email accounts from a maniac who's hunting down teenagers who fail to forward his online chain letter. Who knew they should take the threats in the chain letter seriously? Or that chain letters using the teens' favorite technologies to track them can kill? This maniacal game pits friend against friend as they race to beat rules that seem impossible to escape. Break the chain, lose a life. Do you pass it on? Does friendship mean anything?

Preps: One in the row to watch on the disk, waiting for its turn. Well, maybe it is about time.

Reality: It is about time to get rid of this horrible piece of junk out of my disk. The truth is, that this is one of the worst pieces I have ever seen. Without a vision, clear idea where it's going (ok, besides murders), the sane mind idea you should get home with after seeing this,.. ( I could go on forever). It lacks cast, dialogues, sanity, it lacks soul. I am struggling to get a point of all the killing and all the murders. Is it really just because of a stupid mail? What kind of a reason to be assasinated is that? Yuk, I would delete it as fast as I could. Still, I watched till its end, figuring something else.

The movie poses an interesting and real idea about modern communication tools being able to hurt us. I don't believe in any dream that a junk e-mail can bring you fortune or put you in dispair. However, I do believe it has an alienating effect on people. Being able to be wherever you can in a second, speak with whom you prefer, even if the person is on the other part of the world - those are just a few to mention among numerous pluses modern world brings. Now, how about being able to track all people all the time? And access their personal data, photos, etc.. all thru this wonderworld of internet. I believe that in its core the movie wanted to reflect some of possible scenarios because exposing your personal data worldwide. Even though tempting, it might get you into trouble.

As said, this is one of the most shitty movies I have ever seen and in no wonderworld I would go and watch it again. I don't recommend it to you, either. However, do think about how vulnerable you might become just because of exposing more and more online. Least worth considering, as it might come to be a worldwide problem or challenge, depends on the way you look at it.

My personal rate: 1,0 (for the sake of thinking about this, not for the movie).

Chain Letter on IMDB

Apr 24, 2011

Burlesque, 2010

Burlesque, 2010
Director: Steve Antin
Cast: Cher, Christina Aguilera, Alan Cumming

Stage: Home theatre

Burlesque in short: The Burlesque Lounge has its best days behind it. Tess, a retired dancer and owner of the venue, struggles to keep the aging theater alive, facing all kinds of financial and artistic challenges. With the Lounge's troupe members becoming increasingly distracted by personal problems and a threat coming from a wealthy businessman's quest to buy the spot from Tess, the good fortune seems to have abandoned the club altogether. Meanwhile, the life of Ali, a small-town girl from Iowa, is about to change dramatically. Hired by Tess as a waitress at the Lounge, Ali escapes a hollow past and quickly falls in love with the art of burlesque. Backed by newfound friends amongst the theater's crew, she manages to fulfill her dreams of being on stage herself. Things take a dramatic turn though when Ali's big voice makes her become the main attraction of the revue.

Preps: I have heard roomers about this movie, yet was unable to see it. Now I have an exclusive chance, nevertheless I am not aware about the content a bit.

Reality: Whoa, news flash - we have Cher and Aguilera starring at the same movie. Can Christina act? Or Cher for that matter? (the surprise comes in the first round - at the trailer timing, at the beginning of the movie. My interest has just gone up 100%.

Now, the plot itself. Nothing really new. A "cow" girl, deciding she want's to see the Hollywood fame and taste stage. Leaving a waitress job behind and going to the big town to succeed. The upfall and the downfall of the same pattern we have seen in many movies. The first one that my brain surgically finds is Coyote Ugly. Very much alike in terms of plot.

Very different in execution. Coyote Ugly turns a performer into a waitress with an added value. Here quite the opposite. The way up for a waitress, shown in a romantic way. I assume that for most of the wannabe performance the reality check can be quite harsh. The movie definitely promotes Hollywood as the golden opportunity land. Forgets to mention that there are only a few that really succeed in becoming a celebrity or known, regardless of their talent.

The second idea that pops into my mind is the movie Cabaret from 1972, a classic that my mother used to watch over and over again. Hence, also me - always dreamed of starring in one of those shows. A splendid variety of stage cast, shown in the most bizarre and yet unique way for that time. Remember that in 1970ies there were practically no dance/singing movies, the cabaret seemed to be the first crossing of that border, or getting more in the musical direction. Now, Burlesque is in the same way, a crossing to the musical genre, however shown in the most profound way. I would love to be in a bar like this, in my honest opinion, it would be a good business idea also for states that not include Hollywood. And I am not aware if such a place (beside some good strip bars) actually exists. And if it was in reality, I would be there all the time, because I am really passionate about stage shows and would be willing to pay money for the entrance as well. Today when you go out to have fun, you only pay money to get into a bar, with no entertainment at all (usually this is the real case, at least in Slovenia). So as a business perspective, I cheer for the movie. From execution point of view, excellent performance of the dancers and singers. Truly amazing, what a good stage act can do for the viewer. Hence, if you are a fan of musicals / movies with a promotion of dancing, stage performances - you are going to fall in love with this one, because I think it is one of the closest connections to formerly mentioned Cabaret - only put into present tense and in a way you can find believable.

So, dancers, singers, fans of the genre, a strong recommendation. All the rest - there is more story in for instance Coyote Ugly. However, it is worth seeing as it touches the least known genre in the industry (or least abused one). And includes romance, personal challenge to succeed, business reality of running a club and last, but not least, great songs and performances. The ending is too much of a Hollywood, I guess. I am trying to say that rarely everything turns out OK, if you just wait and only look for a hideout in the mean time. We are not living always in a white house with a white fence. Sometimes such stories can occur. But mostly only in movies.

My personal rating: 7,0 (performance, voices, songs, stage acts. Lower on cast side and dialogues, strong on recognition in its genre).

Burlesque on IMDB

Apr 12, 2011

Rabbit Hole, 2010

Rabbit Hole, 2010
Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne West

Stage: Home theatre

Rabbit Hole in short: Becca and Howie Corbett are a happily married couple whose perfect world is forever changed when their young son, Danny, is killed by a car. Becca, an executive-turned-stay-at-home mother, tries to redefine her existence in a surreal landscape of well-meaning family and friends. Painful, poignant, and often funny, Becca's experiences lead her to find solace in a mysterious relationship with a troubled young comic-book artist, Jason - the teenage driver of the car that killed Danny. Becca's fixation with Jason pulls her away from memories of Danny, while Howie immerses himself in the past, seeking refuge in outsiders who offer him something Becca is unable to give. The Corbetts, both adrift, make surprising and dangerous choices as they choose a path that will determine their fate.

Preps: One of the hot ones in the cinema lately, also notorious for its Oscar chase. Nicole Kidman should have one of her premium roles to come - critics said this might be it.

Reality: Losing a child might be one of the experience none of the parents wish to have - ever in their lives. The pain seems to be too hard to handle for many people. There are several movies on this topic in the last few years, in my opinion the most harsh one would be from Lars Van Trier - Antichrist. The pain, shown in that movie, is beyond belief. This piece, however, does pose an answer how some people tackle the problem of not being able to trust themselves anymore, blaming themselves, placing blame on the partner, on the neighbourhood, etc. Rabbit Hole takes us a step forward. If at Antichrist the parents couldn't blame else than each other and the moment of unpaying attention when making love, the story in the Rabbit Hole makes us meet the guy that ran over the young Danny. Moreover, the viewer doesn't come to hate the young boy, but grows deep empathy for the mother that is trying to get connected with the young man.

Wreckage in the family, that is what is usually hidden behind the scenes of such a deed, and cracking of relationship - that happens also here. The piece is constructed with many powerful dramatic scenes, beautifully played dialogues, especially those that aim in dispair of the mother and lack of self control. The father, being placed a bit aside in this case, is left out of the focus, but nevertheless, doesn't leave you untouched.

The movie is a good example of what to think about when having a child in mind. Even though we are all mortal, it doesn't mean we can cope with this or accept the fact that our loved ones are gone.

My personal rating: 8,0 (a good drama, recommend to see).

Rabbit Hole on IMDB

Circus Columbia, 2011

Circus Columbia, 2011
Director: Danis Tanović
Cast: Mira Furlan, Miki Manojlović, Boris Ler

Stage: Local cinema, almost empty hall

Circus Columbia in short: A story set in the former Yugoslavia and centered on a guy who returns to Herzegovina from Germany with plenty of cash and hopes for a good new life

Preps: I really want to see this piece badly. I am familiar with the topic up to some extent, but it doesn't matter, because it's Tanovic's work I want to see over and over again. And the cast is brilliant.

Reality: An ambush for the feelings, is this piece. Drags your emotions out in the open, and if you are at least a bit familiar with the circumstances (or have been involved into something like this), you will be crying afterwards. The relationship described between a couple, that haven't seen each other for 20 years and the storyline that follows, is amazing and yet, very realistic. How much hate and anger can you possess after 20 years - an enormous amount and in this perspective you are dragged inbetween a family affair. The viewer decides which side to choose, but it's a lose-lose choice anyhow. In those cases who are you to judge what happened - because just at the end you can see at least some grounds for the bitterness that both are carrying with them.

The fighting between the husband and wife is so realistic and so harsh you keep staring with your mouth opened. Bringing the new spouse into the town you were born in and keeping everyone's eyes and souls to the actions you are taking (bragging around with the young beauty, kicking old wife and your only boy out of the house, taking over the place your wife is working at, and giving it to your new spouse - well, this just adds up to the irony, black picturesque humour and reality of the complete story. Maintaining a relationship with your children after the separation should be obligatory, in this case you see the consequences of this broken relationship and failure to see a father figure in the life of the young son. Living only with the mother gives certain edge to the acceptance of life and obligations you have, and also, her influence. The father returns just in the most delicate age of his son. Getting to flirt with the new spouse his father has, is more than just a challenge to him. It may represent a sort of an rebellion act and maybe also a try to humiliate the old man.

Also, the new spouse isn't imune to the charms of the young son. Trying to be friends with him, she ends up in flirt and afterwards, a relationship. The reaction that the old man undertakes, when he finds out, is simply balkan. You cannot understand it in my opinion, if you haven't seen it. It is a perception of a person that the nations here in this area have. Owning a wife, not being with her. Treat her like a queen - take her to restaurants, show her a good time, but no harm done if you don't give her the keys. Or if you hit her from time to time. So, a different perception, very known to women in ex-yugoslavian countries, but in average, all the people here accept this as a way of culture. In this movie, this perspective is realisticly shown and it will drive you crazy, if you are more liberal.

The war that is arising, contributes to the dramatic effect of this piece. Getting prepared to leave, leaving all behind, taking the new love or not. What is Germany, a land of opportunity or a land of failure? And why did in fact the father returned - because of the guilt or because he needs his roots to face his soul? The fact that he has the money, also buys him respect. The long history of his family of course, also contributes to the respect people are showing, but in my opinion, it's the money that in this case drives the poor people mad and willing to participate in this small game he's playing - with his own kin.

The search of the cat is definitely a sparkle in this piece. I absolutely adore the scenes, connected with that. And the marketing idea, of giving a prize and make all the village search for the animal - absolutely fabulous.

My personal rating: 9,5 (brilliant and realistic in many perspectives. And drove me to tears because I felt strong personal touch with the content. One of the best movies lately).

Circus on IMDB
More about the director - Danis Tanović here

Apr 11, 2011

No Strings Attached, 2011

No Strings Attached, 2011
Director: Ivan Reitman
Cast: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline

No Strings in short: A guy and girl try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it's not long before they learn that they want something more.

Stage: Home theatre, late Sunday night entertainment
Preps: Hm, lately I have become a huge fan of Portman's work and I am still curious what kind of roles Kutcher is capable of, because I need to see him also in something serious rather than a wide range of goofy comedies. Nevertheless, the perspective of this movie seems a comedy again, but let's see. Should be interesting and I am slightly aware of the plot/storyline.

Reality: Hm, a nice choice of a Sunday movie or to speak at least of the genre - romantic comedy. Portman is somehow lost at the beginning, but through the storyline and the script she holds to the arguments that she doesn't possess. I try to figure all the time she's on, what are the arguments for her decision - obviously she's the one, controlling the game and she's the one that needs to decide. Seems in this matter, Kutcher is not in the middle of deciding, he has already made up his mind - even at the very beginning of the movie, it's quite obvious.

The movie also has some delicious scenes and script candies - the scene at the beginning fills me with humour.

"I don't believe relationships are meant to last forever. I just don't."
"Oh..what a shame..Can I finger you?"

It's the mere perspective from two teenagers that drags me into this movie, filled with funny scenes and witty dialogues. And all in all, you buy the story and you buy the act between the two. Even though I wasn't convinced she could do a good comedy cast, she is good, Kutcher goes as we are used to him - in his friendly goofy style, the same way we are familiar for instance with Will Smith in those casts, and love him for that.

The idea of having a sex relationship and nothing more, is not really fresh (and as pointed out in some of the dialogues, he's living every guy's dream - according to his friends). That's argumentative, really. I don't suppose this is every guy's dream, even more, I don't buy that most of the people are dreaming about something like this. In my honest opinion I think this type of a relationship suits only to few, whereas most of people really want a steady, monogamous relationship. The movie poses an insight into a short term sexual relationship, where feelings pop out (nothing really unpredictable here) and you follow the main protagonists wondering whether it will be a happy ending or not. The funny part in all this, philosophically speaking, is, that the roles are slightly turned. She acts as most of guys probably would, and vice versa, he's the one that wants to cuddle and walk hands in hands, whereas she refuses any part of the relationship being serious. Now, the director could have chosen a less mushy (my idea of a cuddly or sugarly) ending, nevertheless, the movie has a soul and will get you in a romantic mood.

I always wonder in these sorts of movies - how come they always show doctors that are probably George Clooney clones - I mean all of the doctors shown in movies are usually dazzling, and so are female doctors. In real life I haven't seen a good looking doctor .. or have I - one in 200? But in movies all of them are witty, good looking, smart, etc. Ehm.. Hollywood perspective :)

My personal rating: 7,5 (a smartly put together piece, brought to life to sparkle a lovely Sunday evening. Perfect to watch at home and fun to have in mind even after the movie is long gone).

No strings on IMDB
No strings home page

Apr 10, 2011

I am number four, 2011

I am number four, 2011
Director: D.J. Caruso
Cast: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron

Stage: Local theatre, colloseum.

I am number four in short: Extraordinary teen John Smith (Pettyfer) is a fugitive on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him. Changing his identity, moving from town to town with his guardian Henri (Olyphant), John is always the new kid with no ties to his past. In the small Ohio town he now calls home, John encounters unexpected, life-changing events-his first love (Agron), powerful new abilities and a connection to the others who share his incredible destiny.

Preps: A friend of mine drags me to the movies. I haven't been there for a while, so I don't really care what she will pick. She claims this one to be a good sci-fi. Let's see.

Reality: Well, this isn't a sci-fi movie, just to be clear at the beginning. But it's a good high school adventure - I am not sure, but maybe we should come up with a new genre, that includes vampire movies and similar ones. This piece definitely reminds me of the Twilight saga. Does it come from the same root? Doubtfully, however it does circulate in my mind, everything about teenage vampire movies. This piece is again, located in an unknown city, filled with young high school teens, waiting for some action. And voila, it comes in a shape of extra terrestrial survivors from another planet, that are being chased by another bunch of ET's. The humans here are more in the role of an inhabitant of a certain planet (or playground) of these aliens and the chase until the death is on, while the viewer is pushed with an indefinite romance between an alien and earthling in shape of a lovely (yet wacky) girl.

It just happens every now and then, when I am in the middle of the movie, that the mind drifts away to this concept of a wild goose chase and an impossible romance. The concept is so similar to the Twilight, that in my honest opinion, if you are a fan of that saga, you will absolutely adore this piece. Nicely put together, a strong posture in terms of adventure chase/fight/battle scenes and good versus evil. However in this case, the saints are the one to be rescued. This is the distinctive competence in aspect of Twilight. There you should first adopt the idea of liking vampires and then the fact that they could have feelings too. Here you have an adorable kid that strives for true love and wants to be a member of a regular family instead of the one he's having, being tired of the chase and wants to settle forever (isn't it funny how we never are satisfied with the things that are ours and always want to have something that neighbour has (even if as in this case, it comes in a shape of a cheesy dinner with parents that are cracking unfunny jokes and making a positive attitude towards the family spirit - if you buy that, of course).

The ending of this piece is pretty predictable, yet another flash arrives in a shape of an avenger (the number 6), and the dog, transforming into chimera (or being chimera and transforming from a dog to a poisonous animal). It brings the last breath out of the spectator and yes, I recommend it to all of those, that die when watching something similar to lately popular vampire teen movies. Could it really be a new genre that we are seeing here? Most probably.

My personal rating: 7,5 (a very highly positioned movie in its genre and a good combination of teen love, striving for something new and unusual, yet old and traditional when trying to settle in. Fresh and new cast, new faces and a good act).

I am number four on IMDB

Apr 8, 2011

Notting Hill, 1999

Notting Hill, 1999
Director: Roger Michell
Cast: Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant, Richard McCabe

Notting Hill in short
: Every man's dream comes true for William Thacker, an unsuccessful Notting Hill bookstore owner, when Anna Scott, the world's most beautiful woman and best-liked actress, enters his shop. A little later, he still can't believe it himself, William runs into her again - this time spilling orange juice over her. Anna accepts his offer to change in his nearby apartment, and thanks him with a kiss, which seems to surprise her even more than him. Eventually, Anna and William get to know each other better over the months, but being together with the world's most wanted woman is not easy - neither around your closest friends, nor in front of the all-devouring press.

Stage: Home TV selection on a Thursday night

Preps: seeing this a few times, I believe it's a fairly good selection for this evening, since I am tired and quite frankly, adore Julia Roberts. And love the english accent.

Reality: Well, the eternal dilemma - what would my life be, if some famous person (actor, actress), would be my partner - it just get disclosed here in its general appearance. It doesn't dig into the stomach of the problem, however you get an idea how it's like, being followed by the press all the time, being dragged in any newspaper and being greated by totally unknown (and in some cases, dangerous) people. What does it take to have a date with a famous person and how does this person hide this, if he/she wants it. ..

Notting Hill takes you to the mistery of dating an actor and its glory. And also, a look from the perspective of a "normal" family - in this case, one of the most wacky and weird families I have ever seen (at least on screen). You will enjoy true english humour and funny scenes when a celebrity comes around and gives you a heartache. Also, the roommate Hugh Grant's having, is worth his money :)

Roberts' role isn't one of the most splendid ones, however in the category of making a romantic scenery, she wins..

My personal rating: 8,0 (in category of romantic comedy, this has a certain plus and optimism you need to make your day get better or improve your state of mind. Plus, an eternal mystery about being with a famous person, will make you think.

Notting Hill on IMDB

Beautiful pictures on Julia here

Apr 4, 2011

A walk in the clouds, 1995

A walk in the clouds, 1995
Director: Alfonso Arau
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Altana Sanchez Gijon, Anthony Quinn

Stage: home theatre, Sunday TV selection

A walk in the clouds in short: After returning from the war, Paul and a young woman meet on a bus as she's headed home from college to help with the grape harvest and face her Old World domineering dad. The woman has not married but is pregnant and she thinks her father is going to kill her. Paul proposes to pose as her husband to help her face her father. When their passion for each other is finally ignited and explodes, they realize they must overcome all odds to be together.

Preps: Normalwise (and I don't get it why), Slovene TV selection on a Sunday night poses something extraordinary or at least decent. On the other hand, Saturday and Friday nights are usually reserved for crappy movies. At least haven't seen one good in a while. So my expectations to finish up a lovely weekend with a movie, are now more than decent. And Keanu is one of my favourite actors anyway.. Apart from this fact, I have heard this piece is a strong one.

Reality: Well, the plot is quite good. And strong. However, the cast seems awful at the beginning. I seriously doubt that there are such gentlemen in the world, that would go and support a woman in that way. I think.. naaaah, not a chance. To lie to a family just for the sake of her facing the parents? Well, the relationship with her parents is built on a solid ground and has the factor of probability very well embedded inside. And I go with it, in a sense I buy it. But the relationship between Keanu and Aitana? Very shallow, yet inspiring. How much crap can a man take from the father of a girl he likes (or at the beginning he just feels sorry for)?

I am impressed with powerful scenes within family conversations. Have seen quite a few in reality and some entities are quite realistic. Therefore, a big plus for showing family values in such a way. I wouldn't buy it in any fiction, however the story allows Keanu to repeat and repeat his gentlemenism over and over again. Showing maybe that he has no backbone - or maybe that he has stronger than any average person? I am not sure. The dilussions he's having when drifting away into WW2 dream are a bit too much to eat up in this piece, in my opinion, quite unimportant and could be easily left out.

The romance deriving is very chick-oriented and I am sure most of the romantic souls should get it and embrace it. A bit too much for a guy when seeing this. Maybe in the arms of a girl he likes and regarding the fact she might like him for being so supportive and watch it with her. My strong opinion is that this piece should be seen in the company of a girlfriend (at least two girls). Too much teasers inside for a girl company. Guys, stay away.

For both genders, however, the movie poses some excellent ideas what to do on your next trip, family holiday or something. The place, where most of the movie is taken, seems like paradise and all the people inside act as if they are in heaven. Are they? Don't know for sure, but popped into my mind as one of the next wanna-be-holliday resorts for me and my piece. So, the photography is brilliant, the scenery is more than amazing. Almost no music at all and the dialogue is weak.

A beautiful and picturesque showing of picking up the grapes and turning it into the wine. The girls, barefoot, walking on the grapes - almost a bit of an erotic scene. Seems very real :)

My personal rating: 6,0 (you will fall in love with the scenery and for sure will want to experience this in one of your next vacations. And a scent of decent guy, that knows how to be a gentleman, will also drag your attention).

A walk on IMDB

Apr 2, 2011

Helen, 2009

Helen, 2009
Director:Sandra Nettelbeck
Cast: Ashley Judd, Goran Višnjič, Lauren Lee Smith

Stage: Home theatre

Helen in short: Helen has it all: friends, an attentive second husband, a cheerful teen daughter, musical talent, and a university teaching job. Then, something's amiss: is her husband cheating, does she have a fatal disease, does her past haunt her? There's a quick hospitalization, a disclosure, a bond with one of her students, Mathilde, and a dark chasm that seems to be opening in front of her: can Helen do anything about the problem she won't discuss, or will it swallow her?

Preps: I don't know anything about the movie, just a recommendation from a friend. It's good enough to check it out.

Reality: Wow, it can blow you away. You have a perfect job, family, relationship and all of the sudden, you go depressive, without any obvious reason. And try to kill yourself. Drive everyone around you crazy in caring about you, caring what you want and trying to help you. A difficult piece, making you think about these things. What if the fairy tale goes under in a few seconds, because you snip it out of the sudden?

Judd's role is perfect, and cast is brilliant. I am not familiar with such cases, so I cannot tell from real life, nevertheless, you will feel helpless and if this is the case, the director has done her job brilliantly. I love the tension she's making around herself, finally a true drama I enjoy watching. With the mouth wide open to what can happen to you just in a second, if you don't pay attention. Will make you also appreciate status quo and being healthy in a long run. Maybe also force you to indulge the moments you have and not wait for happiness to come by, but to grasp it with both hands as it is, in present.

You see some upgrade, as she recovers up to a point. But nothing is the same and nothing can change what she's done. Is remorsement and being aware enough? You can never tell. And it all gets so fragile you are just waiting for it to fall apart again.

My personal rating: 6,0 (what if you go nuts in a while, appareantly without a ground and lose it all due to your looniness? Worth checking it out. )

Helen on IMDB

22 bullets - L'immortel, 2010

22 Bullets a.k.a. L'immortel
Director: Richard Berry
Cast: Jean Reno, Marina Fois, Richard Berry

L'immortel in short: Charly Mattei has turned a new leaf on his past as an outlaw. For the past three years he's been living a comfortable life and devoting himself to his wife and two kids. However, one winter morning, he's left for dead in the underground parking garage of Marseille's Old Port with 22 bullets in his body. Against all odds, he will not die.

Stage: Home theatre

Preps; None in perticular - again one waiting for my attention. However, I have heard it's a good action movie.

Reality: The first twenty minutes consist of one of the strongest scenes regarding action and kill at sight. After that, a chase, you cannot really tackle. This means, that you keep searching the story and try to follow the line you cannot really determine.

This in some cases means the movie is very interesting, because it keeps your attention live and dandy. In some cases, such as this one, I get tired of trying to keep all the lines together and figure out what it's all about. Ok, I get that two mob communities are fighting each other and there are cops involved in one or the other as well. But no matter how I try, I still am confused after a long time (after the movie has begun).

Now, the movie shows some excellent violence scenes, as well as chase scenes and criminal moments. Jean Reno stars as in some movies Bruce Willis does. But all in all it doesn't convince me, it's one of the better pieces lately. Do get your mind focused before you see this one, because otherwise you might have difficulties in understanding the plot.

How can you survive that many bullets? Hehe, if you aren't Bruce Willis, you can't. And he just cannot die. A superman? No, just unrealistic..

And the director starring at the movie? Hardly ever successful! This one also proves this point.

My personal rating: 4,0 (I don't have any perticular feelings. But I don't rate it the lowest because after a long time, some decent action. Still figuring out the story, though :)

L'immortel on IMDB

Coming to America, 1988

Coming to America, 1988
Director: John Landis
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones

Stage: Home TV selection on a good evening

Preps: None, I have seen this many times and this just brings good memories. I have seen this for the first time at the movies, when being a child and I simply adored Eddie Murphy.

Coming to America in short: It is the 21st birthday of Prince Akeem of Zamunda and he is to marry a woman he never saw before. Now the prince breaks with tradition and travels to America to look for the love of his life.

Reality: Wow, it sure brings the memories.. I am eager to see this again. I remember the scene where a nice girl pops out of the water, claiming "The royal penis is clean" and remember that when being a child I really thought this was the type of treatment I would get if I were a princess. Very naive, I must say. Even though it's long after seeing this for the first time, it laughs me still and has a solid humour. A good story could be brought into these days, just with some slight adjustments. It is still real, that a father doesn't want his daughter to marry a poor and undecent man (or not a famous man in this case) and that his mind completely changes and goes bizerk about the guy when he finds out he's rich. In this sense, this story could have been taken in present time.

The roles that Murphy covers, are spectacular and were a breaking point at that period. You couldn't imagine how many different characters he and Arsenio Hall covered. It was just amazing and Murphy - although having second attempts with other movies, in my opinion never covered the task quite as efficient as in this movie. He had a lot of copy cats (for instance Martin in Big momma's house is the same thing - one actor playing many roles) - which means, he was in some aspects, the trend setter.

The movie is simply entertaining and fun to watch over and over again. Who wouldn't at least dream a bit about royal treatment at some point in your life? It brings several other obstacles (like selecting a bride, which is still the case in many countries globally).. but nevertheless, I wouldn't mind switching for a period with Akeem's perspective. In any case, only royalty could be so excited about working as a cleaning guy :)

My personal rating: 8,0 (fun to watch again and again. You will love Murphy every step of the way).

Coming to America on IMDB

Tenderness, 2009

Tenderness, 2009
Director: John Polson
Cast: Russel Crowe, Jon Foster, Sophie Traub

Stage: Home theatre

Tenderness in short:Three lives. Buffalo detective Lt. Cristofuoro, whose catatonic wife is in hospital, takes a special interest in Eric Komenko, a juvenile who killed his parents and will be freed on his 18th birthday. So has Lori Cranston, 15 or 16, her body fully developed and the object of lust by her boss and her mother's new boyfriend. She keeps a scrapbook about Eric, and when he's released from custody, she hides in the backseat of his car, insisting he take her with him on a trip toward Albany where he's planning to meet a girl. Cristofuoro is certain Eric will kill again, so he follows. It's clear early on that Cristofuoro's probably right, but what's Lori's motivation?

Preps: Again, one of the leftovers on my disk. The fact that Crowe is in it, diggs my mind. I just adore the man and want to see everything he has to give. Although I don't suppose it will ever stand up to be Gladiator again.

Reality: Wow, a huge dissappointment. The story is not as bad as it is represented. I mean, it could be driven much better, as a half criminal thriller. Instead of that, the movie has too long and static scenes, no real action and lots of questions unanswered. Why the detective pursues the young rebel, is quite clear, yet it could be more of a mystery, if the director walked an extra mile. It doesn't happen, unfortunately. The young lady just dissappears without anyone looking at her. At least when she drives everyone around her crazy, you have a gut feeling why. And all in all, you want to shut down the movie.
The dialogue sucks, the scenes are terribly put together. Crowe might be the only shining point in this piece, but even he doesn't convince me to watch it until the end. All the time I am waiting for the movie to develop into something interesting. Doesn't happen, unfortunately. Did the young man actually rape his dead mother? Now there's a story to follow. Well, I wait without any luck.

Even Crowe has his bad moments. This was one of them.

My personal rating: 2,0 (and this for the sake of Crow. Apart from that, crappy movie and I definitely don't recommend it.

Tenderness on IMDB

Date Night, 2010

Date Night, 2010
Director: Shawn Levy
Cast: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg

Stage: home theatre, being half dead of the disease, desperately seeking for movie entertainment

Date Night in short: Phil and Claire Foster are a couple who have been married for several years. Their days consists of them taking care of their children and going to work and coming home and going to bed. But they find time to have a date night wherein they go out and spend some time together. When another couple they know announce that they're separating because they're in a rut, Phil feels that he and Claire could be too. So when date night comes Phil decides to do something different. So they go into the city and try to get into a new popular restaurant. But when it's full and still wanting to do this, Phil decides to take the reservation of a couple who doesn't show up. While they're having dinner two men approach them and instructs them to stand up and go with them. They think the men are with the restaurant and want to talk to them about taking someone else's reservation. But it appears the couple whose reservation they took crossed someone and the two men work for this person...

Preps: hm, none whatsoever. I just have it on the disk and has been waiting for rainy days like this one. Me, being very feverish and in a terrible cold. Wow, I see Mark Wahlberg. Haven't seen this stud in a while. My curiosity increases.

Reality: Boy, this one is so predictable, yet entertaining up to a point. Now imagine being an old couple (not old in years, but old in the time spent together), bored to death and forcing yourself to go on a date. Yuk. Would never want to be in their shoes. Or skin, for that matter. And yes, you close the door to your bedroom and don't let your flesh and bones menaces to just walk in at five in the morning.

Apart from that, the red line seems adequate. A bit of wine makes everything sparkling, I guess. A bit of boldness in the relationship should spice it up a bit. The unusual adventure is a bit underestimating to the viewer, but for the mid of the night entertainment I must confess that there are several points in the piece that entertain me more than just the average piece. Yes, they again claim cops are pretty stupid. And yes, the movie implies that couple logic can be totally illogical. And implies old romances to just last and last. A lot of trivial information and hardly believable, are exposed in this piece. And a lot of "fortunate" events that cannot be real. However, the mission of this piece isn't really in reality of the stage and reality of the events happening.

In my opinion the movie on one hand implies that making a relationship work, means constant work from both sides and also points out where the point of no return should be (or how to recognize you are diving into this status). Point of no return would mean being fed up with the relationship and making it happen for the sake of relationship and not because you are comfortable within it. So not living the life, but being a mere observer.

In this sense, the movie makes me think about relationships. Whatever happens at the end, I am not really interested. And it doesn't bother me if I never know. I just know I don't want to be in the shoes of that couple - before their comedy starts.

Oh, yes, Wahlberg. A pure decoration in this movie. Nothing more, unfortunately.

My personal rating: 5,0 (can make you think. Apart from that, nothing special.. And Mark has even more muscles and looks as I remember).

Date Night on IMDB