Nov 29, 2011

Pay it forward, 2000

Pay it forward, 2000
Director: Mimi Leder
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment

Stage: home TV selection on a fine Tuesday evening

Pay it forward in short:
Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor's efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him.

Preps: This is a must see. I have seen it several times and this time I am going to submerge the piece to my critical eye.

Reality: As said, this is one of Hollywood's classics. Most of my friends must have seen this already. It has the most exquisite genuine idea I have experienced again and again as I was watching this for several times. To give good and receive good should be one of the practical views in every person's soul. However, the idea starts with a teacher, brilliantly played by Spacey, where he wants to implement the seed into his young students. What can anyone do to change the world? And not meaning with this to flush the toilet once per day to skip water usage during the day. Or collect garbage. Per se, I do have an example which resembles Pay it forward approach. A slovenian youngster wrote some time ago about the movement, where you collect trash. A piece of trash per day. And more people joined in an instant, than he ever imagined. So we have collected trash every day and crowds are joining the movement. Ergo, we have a cleaner place to live in.
The analogy with pay it forward approach is inevitable. However, this piece describes doing a favor to someone that cannot do this or cannot achieve this by him/herself. Which means the responsibility of the carrier to recognize the things that come in question. And for the receiver not to put it on a silver plate. Normally these things have something in common with our fears, feelings, shameful stuff we don't want to disclose, etc. In some reality examples from this piece we face some prisoners being let go, some taxi drives being made for free, a homeless person getting a meal.. there is a lot of good that this movie spreads and you cannot help it, you need to let it also in your heart.
The side story (by this I mean love between the mother and teacher) becomes pretty irrelevant comparing it to the big deed this pay it forward approach can leave on the viewer. However, the story about a new potential relationship gets also profound, because we are dealing with very damaged individuals that are trying to put the puzzles of the life back together. Also a perspective you will think about when you see the piece.

Still, the main red thin line in the movie and also the thing to think about while and after watching is doing good to other people or live creatures. Finally, a pyramid that works for human wellbeing, as oppose to other commercial ones.

My personal rate: 8,0 (a classic must see. Will make you shiver within your soul at some scenes. And leave a warm feeling you need to do something as well).

Pay it forward on IMDB

The Twilight Saga - Breaking Dawn, 2011

The Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn, 2011
Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner

Stage: Local Colloseum, theatre with a lot of teens at that point. Late Sunday night

The saga in short: The Quileute's close in on expecting parents Edward and Bella, whose unborn child poses a threat to the Wolf Pack and the towns people of Forks.

Preps: As I adore the books, I am one of fans and I need to see it. I love love stories that aren't meant to happen but happen anyway. It's written so well that I need to see the piece.

Reality: wow. I am thrilled to see some genuine romantic shots for a couple that wasn't meant to be but still got to the romantic wedding Edward dreamt of. I love the movie interpretation of some dialogues that I have depicted in my imagination. It is obvious that they followed the scenario (the book) to the smallest details and I am sure that it could have been interpreted differently. Nevertheless, I am grateful it happens in such a mushy way (the way your romantic spirit melts as you watch it). But beware, no place for irony here. I am talking about the mere interpretation of what some authors call everlasting love, love that happens once in life and cannot be broken by eternity.
So, if you consider and accept this, you will love the first half of the movie. The beautiful wedding, a cliche and everything a dream wedding means to a lot of girls. With a perfect honey moon that dawns in a forthcoming birth. Now the dilemma, who is worth more, the newborn that you are not sure whether it's a normal baby or a monster, or the mother. In other words, can a couple decide together what to do (either to lose the child or bear it to its birth), or is it completely up to the mother. And is it egoistic for a mother to insist on having the new life, even though she's clear she's probably not going to survive this? The dilemmas just continue and expand. Can a family influence the decision. Is the newborn something that can separate the poles in one family.. and more important, can a best friend and someone you love, really influence on one's decision? The second half of the movie is the true antipod to the first half, as it brings action, depression, death and birth, decisions that are exceeding one's competencies.. and moreover, it brings also hope. And proves the world's eternal cliche, that still holds in Hollywood movies - hope is all we have and maybe, just maybe everything is going to be allright. As I have read the script, I know what happens, so no drama for me. And a true Hollywood ending. Maybe the author should consider bringing some poison into the development of the story. But.. on the other hand.. this is a world of vampires and werewolves - even miracles are allowed here. A good solid rate from me. Watch it, especially if you liked the previous parts. It's the most romantic and inspiring part of them all.

My personal rate: 8,5 ( I adored it. Could be better in some aspects, but a true version of the book. And a beautiful love story)

The Twilight saga on IMDB

Dave, 1993

Dave, 1993
Director: Gary Ross
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline, Frank Langella

Home TV selection, a nice Monday night.

Dave in short: Bill Mitchell is the philandering and distant President of the United States. Dave Kovic is a sweet-natured and caring Temp Agency operator, who by a staggering coincidence looks exactly like the President. As such, when Mitchell wants to escape an official luncheon, the Secret Service hires Dave to stand in for him. Unfortunately, Mitchell suffers a severe stroke whilst having sex with one of his aides, and Dave finds himself stuck in the role indefinitely. The corrupt and manipulative Chief of Staff, Bob Alexander, plans to use Dave to elevate himself to the White House - but unfortunately, he doesn't count on Dave enjoying himself in office, using his luck to make the country a better place, and falling in love with the beautiful First Lady...

Preps. I just see it's on. I remember seeing this on another occasion, but my memory doesn't serve me that well. Hence I need to see it again.

Yes, I remember. I liked some parts of it and disliked the romantic feeling you get. The one that can drive you nuts with Hollywood endings, as I like to call them. Is it real that we would get a stunt to fill in the position of the american president, and noone (even the first lady) couldn't tell who it is? We are brought into the politician's world and I believe most of people fall into the trap that they really buy the "we love our president". Come on. Who loves president? Isn't he like the statue of liberty, everyone is used to seeing it and that's it? Would we really feel lost without our leaders?

Sometimes I believe it would be better off without every politician I know, president included. I also pursue the feeling that people we elect aren't any good. In Slovenia, regarding latest achievements from the people we assume to love, I might be very right.

On the other hand, people in government, give us hope and give us certainty. That someone is responsible. Even though they really aren't. Or if they don't do anything. We still watch them, cherish them, want to follow the ideals they seem to pursue.
Well, this piece is about something else. It wants to give polititians a human face. with feelings. Yes, they are human too. They make mistakes. They fall in love. They don't act as if they were presidents or leaders. They are indeed human. In this perticular piece, I don't buy it. But I adore the overview I get when they take the audience behind the curtains. Because I don't have a clue what is reality, this is for certain one of realities I can accept. And maybe we should live in the dillusion the director is offering.

Aside from that, no real energy and no persuasion towards audience. Love? Maybe, but in a long run I don't trust these kinds of movies. They seem like a brainwash for the sheepish audience. In the election time, this is a mere hipocracy :)

My personal rate: 6,0
(you won't miss anything, but it gives a good perception on the way they think in government and lets you look behind the curtains of the White house in some way of imagining things)

Dave on IMDB

My name is Sam, 2001

My name is Sam, 2001
Director: Jessie Nelson
Cast: Sean Penn, Dakota Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer

Stage: Home TV selection, Sunday issue late at night.

My name in short: Sam Dawson has the mental capacity of a 7-year-old. He works at a Starbucks and is obsessed with the Beatles. He has a daughter with a homeless woman; she abandons them as soon as they leave the hospital. He names his daughter Lucy Diamond (after the Beatles song), and raises her. But as she reaches age 7 herself, Sam's limitations start to become a problem at school; she's intentionally holding back to avoid looking smarter than him. The authorities take her away, and Sam shames high-priced lawyer Rita Harrison into taking his case pro bono. In the process, he teaches her a great deal about love, and whether it's really all you need.

Preps: Also a back-comer; I have seen this beautiful movie several times. Need to take it under the critical eye

Reality: The philosophical question/statement around which the world is revolving in this case is - "You can only be a normal parent, if you are of average intelligence." or on the other hand "All you need is love" approach, which allows doubt in the first statement and lets a parent be parent, even if it has the mind of a seven year old child. Have you noticed a lot of intelligence in 7 year old children? Well, this movie implies they aren't as intelligent we want to expose them.

Anyhow, this is not the direction I want to head into. But the dilemma, what kind of intelligence you need to have to be the best parent a child can get, intrigues me to think about it a lot after seeing this. Is intelligence really a pre-requisite? It seems analogue to the problem most companies face, when they want to employ a graduate, when there isn't a single point of evidence that this person will act better or do better work/job/activities than the one that didn't come to this high level of education. Vice versa, number of cases really show that the characteristics of one person as oppose to one's intelligence will make that person prosper on that position. Still, there are some systems that define ability of persons in this very neandertal way. In this case the parent, Sean Penn takes action on the court of law, seeking justice and fighting against social service standards, which claim he cannot be a parent that a child would benefit from. Michelle Pfeiffer, on the other hand, in a brilliant role of a depressive attorney, never willing to give up or to claim that she is wrong or that she failed in any kind of way. Rushing through her life without noticing the colours around her, she becomes posessed in bringing the young child back into her father's arms.

A story to remember and a story that takes a special place in our hearts, similar to Philadelphia, Dangerous minds, The story of Us, Erin Brockovich, etc. These are all similar movies (if we just look at them from a perspective of a message they bring.). My name is Sam won't bring any proper solutions, I am sure such stories happen on every day basis. Still, spreading the idea in the viral way (and as a media, movie is more than appropriate), will make people think and impact tem in a long run. This is one of the goals of the movie.
Is it pretentious to think that children love their parents and don't care if they are rich, poor, intelligent, witty, etc, regardless of their age and political views? No, I think it's reality. A child at the age Lucy is in this movie, loves a father without prejudice. It's the system that labels him and as depicted, because of the lack of intelligence, even a high-end lawyer cannot help him to get treaded by the system. Under pretentious mask that they are helping what is in child's best interest. Not likely. Watch it and think about it. What could a parent do more than fight to the very end?

My personal rate: 8,5 (a brilliant case, brought to the court, fighting virtues and ideals, what's wrong and what's right)

My name on IMDB

Nov 20, 2011

Erin Brockovich, 2000

Erin Brockovich, 2000
Director: Steven Sodenbergh
Cast: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, David Brisbin

Stage: Home TV selection, nice Sunday night

Erin in short: Erin Brockovich is an unemployed single mother, desperate to find a job, but is having no luck. This losing streak even extends to a failed lawsuit against a doctor in a car accident she was in. With no alternative, she successfully browbeats her lawyer to give her a job in compensation for the loss. While no one takes her seriously, with her trashy clothes and earthy manners, that soon changes when she begins to investigate a suspicious real estate case involving the Pacific Gas & Electric Company. What she discovers is that the company is trying quietly to buy land that was contaminated by hexavalent chromium, a deadly toxic waste that the company is improperly and illegally dumping and, in turn, poisoning the residents in the area. As she digs deeper, Erin finds herself leading point in a series of events that would involve her lawfirm in one of the biggest class action lawsuits in American history against a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Preps: Seeing this marvellous piece several times, it's an honor to see it again.

As said, Erin Brockovich is a superb piece, taken after a real story. In the cast selection, Sodenbergh took a wild shot and employed Roberts, who just excells in this. Being on top of the lawyer world and betrayal of a gigantic corporate which is trying to exploit local citizens, I am just stunned. As Julia Roberts wasn't really a character drama actress up to this point, I am more than happy to see her energy, smile, outlook and wits, as she waltzes through the scenes charming everyone and winning everything with her intelligence, strongly supported by her two eminent pair (They are called boobs, Ed - as she claims herself in the piece).

A good learning point on several things - how to succeed if you don't have anything going on for you beside your looks (and you are verbally prostitutized by everyone else that is surrounding you). Furthermore, how to deal with pricks that fall on boobs and other women features. Besides this, how to deal with an international fraud, like this corporate actions seem to be. One more important point - lawyer world is work work work. And rarely fun. Plus, you need to gain trust from those that employ you, in this case, the citizen. This means loads of research and rarely victories, this means falling hard on your ass and crawling back. Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich does this a lot of times and crawls also in the heart of the viewer of this piece.

Anyone should watch it for several reasons. I am sure that most of the general audience will find something inside for themselves. Plus, a row example on winning the big gigants like depicted here gives you optimism that there can be also justice.

My personal rate: 8,5 (splendid job Roberts did, Sodenbergh won big time.).

Erin on IMDB

Faust, 2011

Faust, 2011
Director: Aleksandr Sukorov
Cast: Johannes Zeiler, Anton Adasinsky, Isolda Dychauk

Stage: Cankarjev dom, Liffe stage

Faust in short: Winner of the Golden Lion Award at the 2011 Venice Film Festival. Deriving inspiration from Goethe’s eponymous dramatic poem, Faust completes Sokurov’s monumental tetralogy on powerful men.

Sokurov’s Faust is not a film adaptation of Goethe’s tragedy in the usual sense, but a reading of what remains between the lines. What is the colour of a world that gives rise to colossal ideas? What does it smell like? It is stuffy in Faust’s world: earthshaking plans are born in the cramped space where he scurries about. He is a thinker, a mouthpiece for ideas, a transmitter of words, a schemer, a daydreamer. An anonymous man driven by simple instincts: hunger, greed, lust. An unhappy, hounded creature that issues a challenge to Goethe’s Faust. Why stay in the moment if one can go further?

Preps: I have seen many versions of Faust, mostly on real stage and not movie ones. I am wondering about this interpretation.

Reality: The movie starts with a dillusion and you have the feeling you are drunk. The camera is making a blury image, so you think you are dreaming this (or you are high on something). The dialogues don't lead anywhere and it's really painful from the very beginning. I don't seem to find any sense in this piece and I struggle very hard. Faust finds a "soulmate", so to speak and they wonder around in this hungry violent world, seeking for god knows what. I don't seem to find the clue. Besides showing some extreme medical situations and cutting down some pieces of flesh out of the corps, some scenes of people being hungry as hell, which is really typical for that period.. the movie lacks.. well everything. I think someone was high when doing this, or I am really weird.

The conclusion is simple. I observe for an hour and after that I leave the show. Not worth my time. Not worth yours as well. And I sincerely think it is weird in a way it cannot pass even the really tiny audience. Among all the people leaving the room, I am the tenth, a lot of them follow the example. I am deeply sorry to have spent any kind of money on this.

My personal rate; 0,0 (arrrrrrgh. And I payed for this piece of s....)

Faust oon IMDB

The greatest movie ever sold, 2011

The greatest movie ever sold, 2011
Director: Morgan Spurlock
Cast: Morgan Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick

Stage: home theatre

Greatest movie in short: A documentary about branding, advertising and product placement that is financed and made possible by brands, advertising and product placement.

Preps: Recommended by various individuals. Some difficulties at download. Still, am curious, though I don't have a clue about the piece. I love the title and makes me expect more.

Reality: Ever thought about all the brands you see in movies? How do the directors choose them. Are they influenced by brands giving them money to have them in movies or vice versa? How much money are we talking about? And what do viewers get besides brand washing from pushing the brands?

Spurlock takes a deep breath to get into this world and dares to challenge major brands to take a part in his greatest movie. Everything the viewers will see will be their brands and it could be a great marketing opportunity for them. As a challenge, the major brands don't want to take the challenge. The interesting part is that the brands that are on the edge welcome the challenge, whereas major brands don't dare to. Spurlock gets the funds in a spectacularly quick manner and most impressive way (a good way to learn from indeed!). Also the way he mocks the brands that don't want to be in the movie, is truly excellent. We can learn a lot from the moves he is making and the way he exploits the shots he made while he had the meetings, to make his documentary. The complete pitch to acquire the brands becomes the movie.

The idea of pursuing the brands in a movie was already taken. Just remember Truman show. However, there we didn't know much about branding and how it's done in the movies. In this piece we have a transparent insight, where the money is coming from and how slick the directors can be. Spurlock in some scenes shows a variety of brilliant ideas that the people that are paying are not willing to take, but he delivers them anyway somewhere in the movie.

I adored it. As a marketing person I am very delighted to see a documentary talking about the added value branding can give to a movie I am watching. Moreover, I was more than satisfied to see major brands getting their asses kicked in this piece.

My personal rate:9,5
(I need to see the real movie :) joking. Loved the intro, loved the outro, the content is accurate and makes another perspective in ways how we look at the movies and the brands within).

The greatest movie on IMDB

A dangerous Method, 2011

A dangerous Method, 2011
Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen

Stage: Kino Šiška, Liffe

A dangerous method in short:
In his latest film, the iconic director David Cronenberg goes back in time to the dawn of of psychoanalysis. A look at the intense relationship between the fathers of psychoanalysis, Jung and Freud, and their patient to whose charms they both succumb.

On the eve of World War One, Zurich and Vienna are the settings for a dark tale of sexual and intellectual discovery. Drawn from true-life events, the film takes a glimpse into the turbulent relationships among fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung, his mentor Sigmund Freud and Sabina Spielrein – the troubled but beautiful young woman who comes between them. Their personal exploration of sensuality, ambition and deceit drive Jung, Freud and Sabina to challenge and forever change the nature of modern thought.

Preps: Well, apart from relationship Jung/Freud, I don't know much other things about this piece. But I am eager to find out.

Reality: The movie strikes me with its energy which draggs me into this world of Jung and Freud - from its beginning to the end. I am thrilled to see how scientists once exchanged their ideas and how once life was. Writing letters for real, not emails as nowadays. Seeing each other once per a month or even longer. Having a relationship for the sake of a marriage and kids, on the other hand, having mistresses and letting everyone know you are pure and prudent.

Plus, an excellent way to describe the turbulence between two friends, in some cases caused by two dividing paths they chose to take, sometimes driven by Sabina, a deluded woman, excellently played by Knightley. I was excited to see her in an unusual not Hollywood-like piece and she did an excellent job. The mimic she used to depict the illusions and horrors inside her soul is extremely good and it gives me shivers. On the other hand, I am sure she must have done hell of a job just trying to get under the skin of this role. I am surprised how well the three characters interact with each other and the viewer can almost smell the fear and anxiety when they show it, can feel the love when it's on the stage and can most definitely take position in disputes Freud and Jung have between each other. The sexual analysis that Freud is pursuing can be a bit annoying (you cannot explain everything in sexuality, or can you?)

What is real love and is something you have at home (just for the sake of being there and make you a man to admire, because you are a family man)? Do you take what's on the plate in front of you or do you stay clean in front of yourself? This is one of the dilemmas, depicted in this movie and not solved in favour of the young Sabina. She is betrayed, although deep inside aware that she cannot have more than just a romance. On the other hand, Jung doesn't want to get involved, yet he gets involved and he regrets it on the outside, on the inside he would repeat it in a second, and so he does. The love story is sad, because both parties get wounded and not find a way out to make both or at least one happy. As Trier would said.. no true love unless you suffer greatly.

My personal rate: 9.0 (a splendid piece, filled with documentary facts and things that will make you think about this long after you leave the cinema).

A dangerous method on IMDB

Potiche, 2010

Potiche, 2010
Director: Francois Ozon
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini

Stage: Kino Šiška, Liffe stage

Potiche in short:When her husband is taken hostage by his striking employees, a trophy wife (Deneuve) takes the reins of the family business and proves to be a remarkably effective leader. Business and personal complications arrive in the form of her ex-lover (Depardieu), a former union leader.

Preps: I was actually going to see the Shame, however the movie was misplaced or something and wasn't running here on this date. They put Potiche instead. So I haven't got a clue what I am about to see.

Reality: well, I am deeply surprised and touched by this piece. With elegance, it strives to outburst as one of the attempts for fight for women rights. It is placed at the beginning of the emantipation fight, in late 70ies, when women didn't have any perticular role in politics, yet alone in the boards of directors or in a role of CEO. The "housewife" takes a deep breath and puts up with a challenge to lead a factory. Which does perfectly, until the husband returns. All the rivalry and bad feelings arise - the same stuff that was flushed down the toilet before, becomes the obstacle between a husband and his wife, and also creates a dispute in formerly united family.

In this sense, I see this as one of true pieces to describe the fight for equal rights and the rise of women on different important positions, like presidents, chairmen (chairwomen) and finally, also as mayor of one city, or a delegate.
In this piece the transaction is done smoothly and romantic, with a fine sense of humour, so that the viewer has fun viewing different scenes and indulging the past or the scent of how it used to be like. I loved also the dialogues, witty and profound, they seize in depths of relationships these people have between each other. With a slight retrospective every now and then, the movie also jumps through time. The plot is simple and the story convincing. Maybe a bit too romantic - we are aware that negotiations usually aren't as smooth as depicted here. Still, a relaxing and fun way of thinking of making women part of what once only the men world was.

My personal rate: 8,0 (a surprisingly intelligent and simple piece at the same time. With a clear message. Women can turn everything upside down in all senses).

Potiche on IMDB

Elite Squad 2, The enemy within, Tropa de elite 2

Tropa de Elite 2, Elite Squad 2, 2011
Director: Jose Padilha
Cast: Wagner Moura, Irandhi Santos, Andre Ramiro

Stage: Kino Komuna, Liffe. A late afternoon, everything packed.

Tropa in short: After a bloody invasion of the BOPE in the High-Security Penitentiary Bangu 1 in Rio de Janeiro to control a rebellion of interns, the Lieutenant-Colonel Roberto Nascimento and the second in command Captain André Matias are accused by the Human Right Aids member Diogo Fraga of execution of prisoners. Matias is transferred to the corrupted Military Police and Nascimento is exonerated from the BOPE by the Governor. However, due to the increasing popularity of Nascimento, the Governor invites him to team-up with the intelligence area of the Secretary of Security. Along the years, Fraga, who is married with Nascimento's former wife, is elected State Representative and Nascimento's son Rafael has issues with his biological father. Meanwhile Nascimento and the BOPE expel the drug dealers from several slums but another enemy arises: the militia led by Major Rocha and supported by the Governor..

Preps: Elite Squad 1 was one of the more preminent movies on the last Liffe. I am eager to see the second part, it should be an upgrade. Which makes it exceed the competition.

: Well, the movie is filled with anger and action. With corruption and war per se between the locals and the military or police. Between the good and bad. Between bad and bad. Bad and worse. The prospects for people that live in this areas there is no perspective. Either you become a corrupted cop or someone they extort, or someone that fights them and deals heroin on streets. These people grew up on the streets not having a choice and not having any other perspective.

It's a movie filled with a feeling that it must be so and that it will be this way forever. And there's nothing you can do about it. Which made me very sad and pesimistic with the movie and the violence it was showing. Does it show any way out of this, any way to fight it? No. In this sense, it serves as a documentary so that even a person living on another side of the world can depict how it's like to live in a community like this. To people that live in a country like Slovenia something like this can be pretty unimaginable. Therefore I claim the movie has documentary value. Still, I would prefer to hold a position, where it also offers some sort of escape or a way out. Or a historical background. How did it come to be like this and how did all the people arrive on the level of nurturing violence? What does it take to trigger this violence and what does it take to end it? Violence for sure not.

In any case, the images from the cages are spectacular, it really gives me shivers to see this and in no imagination would I want to be there. And after seeing this, even Rio de Janeiro doesn't trigger the same interest to me. A lot of people on the world are posed to similar suffering. I guess this is a realistic South America image and we should all think about it. How to influence all of this? A movie without a call to action. Just closing the eyes won't make this dissappear, unfortunately. As said, I leave the cinema with a pesimistic and really depressive mood.

My personal rate: 7,0 (a true documentary. It will make your cells shiver with fear and disgust).

Elite Squad on IMDB

In time, 2011

In time, 2011
Director: Andrew Niccol
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy

Stage: Kolosej, local cinema

In time in short: In the not-too-distant future the aging gene has been switched off. To avoid overpopulation, time has become the currency and the way people pay for luxuries and necessities. The rich can live forever, while the rest try to negotiate for their immortality. A poor young man who comes into a fortune of time, though too late to help his mother from dying. He ends up on the run from a police force known as 'time keepers'.

Preps: Well, one of the hot ones in the movies. A friend draggs me to the movies. She claims it's worth seeing. Hmm.

Reality: What happens if time becomes currency, you divide people in chaotic casts (time zones) and rich people (filled with time)dictate the way you are going to live? Well, in my eyes, the realistic picture of the world today, being put in the level, where you can take it as a game. With a sub joker, that is written on your hand just above your wrist - the clock that serves as your ticket to another day.

The poor are really poor. Live one day to another, chasing minutes and working double shifts to pass time to people they love and need to keep. Your limit to the given time makes all sorts of discrepancies - namely your mother can still look 25 years of age, whereas your grandchildren can look also the same age you have. The boundaries of age are erased, and physically you can only imagine this. However, one becomes fed up being locked in a body for eternity. What would you do if you had eternal amount of time is very similar to the question what would you do if you had eternal amount of money? And eternal youth is something a lot of directors pursued in some movies I have already seen. Nevertheless, this is one of the more interesting ones, even though it keeps me cold. The scenes (dialogues) are trivial, the cast isn't convincing. There is absolutely NO energy between the main actors and no energy in the other relationships. At least not visible to the spectator.
And as far as the story goes - mix Robin Hood, the Matrix, The fifth element, Men in black - and you will get this piece. Obviously the main villain resembles the main villain from Fifth Element. Unfortunately Justin cannot be Bruce Willis in a million years. So it doesn't really work. The main time keeper resembles a renegade that needs to get his priorities straight. To be good or to confine the law. Two very different options. Can't do both, so he stays in the middle, so does his act.

The music.. not recognizeable. Which means I don't even notice it. But I notice a lot of holes in the movie, as the emental cheese it falls apart. The woman is running half the time in so high heals your knees tremble when I imagine running like that. Or jumping from the roof (in the high heels) and continue to run afterwards. Right. Seconds in this movie seem like minutes (No way you can run this far in ten seconds. But I accept we need to be flexible in our mindset).

As my friend is so thrilled to see it, I am more or less dissatisfied with this version of Robin Hood. If everything was of everyone, noone would work. No production means no goods to buy. No money (time) to spend. Unfortunately we are not designed to work in a world where everyone would have everything. As the animals in the zoo, if you took them out, wouldn't survive, we also wouldn't. True as it can ever be.

The thing that is the most destroying in my rate is the lack of idea what to do. The movie shows no solutions, it just points out the problem. The only solution it poses is give every resource to everyone. When even a teenager can cleary see it's not supposed to be like this. Not nowadays. Maybe in prehistoric time, but not now. So no idea how to solve this unevenness in the world. Plus, if I ever see this image of Lara Croft (or did they want to depict Leeloo from Fifth element?), in the same role, it will be too soon. Unimaginative, unreal.

My personal rate: 2,0 (ehm.. not really worth your time and thinking about it afterwards. Not convincing at all).

In time on IMDB

Izlet, 2011 (A trip)

Izlet, 2011 (A trip)
Director: Nejc Gazvoda
Cast: Luka Cimprič, Jure Henigman, Nina Rakovec

Stage: Kino Šiška, Liffe. After the superb Listy do M.

Izlet in short: Ziva, Andrej and Gregor are best friends since high school. Gregor is a soldier who is about to embark on a mission to Afghanistan and Ziva is going to study abroad. Andrej is their gay friend who hates everything, himself included. They decide to go to a road trip to the seaside like they did when they were in high school. When they arrive, they get drunk and Ziva and Gregor kiss each other, what brings tension to their relationship, while Andrej doesn't know anything and just makes fun of everything, mostly of Gregor and his army ideals. The conflict erupts when Ziva, in a fit of rage, destroys their tent and tells a secret that enrages Andrej. Only then the true problem is revealed - Ziva is not going to study abroad, she was lying because she didn't want to pity her.

Preps: the slovene movie on Liffe. A must see, I don't care about the plot, the actors, anything. A slovene movie is something we need to support, at least on this international festival. Plus, the brother of one of my friends plays a gay figure in the movie. A must see definitely. Naturally I am curious about it.

Reality: The movie I saw before this piece makes me a bit late. Not a lot, but still I miss the intro and enter the movie as the young people on the scene are pissing from a highway bridge to the cars that pass by. Obviously something you could only do when provoked if being young enough to think it's cool. Cleary the symbol of what the movie is going to talk about - freedom of youth and the everlasting feeling that you can rule the world if you want - the feeling only young people have before the system crashes them down and makes them slaves to the system (we call it responsible adults, but it's the period before you enter family life, careers, pushing for credits, etc. The time you can get drunk in the middle of the week and survive with distinction. The time you aren't tired to death of everything you NEED to do instead doing something you DESIRE.) Clear difference in the mindset, this is what I am going to get.
The movie is a bit pale at its beginning. Static up to a point. Ok, they go to a trip. Stop for two dark scenes; First: Stopping in the shadows to have a break, chatting about life. Andrej expressing his impatience with many things: Germans, Scottish, Spanish people, RTV Slovenia, dogs, dog owners, gypsies, gays. In my opinion, one of the most adorable and funny scenes in the complete piece. The three end up with expressing their inner fears and hatred with demolishing an abandoned car. I hate my father because he doesn't realize who I really am. I hate my mother because she never lets me do anything. Some of the words of young people when kicking the car and making it a wreck.
The other point of depression is running over a cat and giving it a funeral. The girl obviously makes the guys "do the right thing". Touching scene - however contradictory to the messages the guys give. Andrej wearing a shirt (I eat pussies - contradictory to the funeral and the fact he's gay). Gregor, the soldier, only indulging to the girl he hopes to get laid with.

After a non promising start, the movie starts to escalate with depth it tries to make with analysis of friendship of the three. Being at the seaside, the three relax, get drunk, party in the near by city and are depicting every aspect of being young and careless. Something we all strive for from time to time or miss as we were once also like this. On the other side, you can smell something isn't quite right and that they all have their own drama that is being delivered in their heads. Some traumas from childhood you can only imagine, as you smell it from their comments and fun they make out of each other.
As the movie seems light at the beginning, it starts to get its dramatic moment as traumas try to escape their heads and convert a "fun trip" into a revealing activity where the friendship is at stake and they more than once, fall apart and return to one another. Do the bonds from their childhood make them return or the fact that a lot of time has passed and they feel more mature about this. Something they need to leave behind, yet haunts them from the past.
Why doesn't Živa want to get close to Gregor, is a riddle to the viewer. What happened in the wardrobe when some so called schoolfriends stripped Andrej, remains mistery. Why does Gregor act like a jerk towards Andrej, when it's obvious he loves him as a friend. Mistery reveals one by another and we see the depth in which one must seize to reveal it and deal with it. The hurt it brings upfront and how it conflicts with the initial idea to have fun while being on a simple trip.

On one hand, you have the platonic friendship, taking its debt when the deeper secrets sneak out in the open. On the other side, you have deep connections that make friendship last despite these horrible deeds these friends did one to another and survive all the quarrels and doubts. It is obvious that people that are together (or are together on a holiday) for more than one day, quarrel. Or get on each other's nerves. However this was only the trigger in this case to make these young people face their problems.
Is it important to have friends as we depict them in our imagination, or should we take people that love us as they are and make it count every second we are spending with them? In some sense, mainaining a platonic friendship is really trivial. However, if the connections exceed the platonic level, you need to nurture them. Are you a friend if you lie to your friend or someone you are close to? How about if you do it to spare your close ones to pity you? Or to save yourself before anti-gay campaigns? Or just doing it to create a fence, noone gets by so they don't have the chance to hurt you?

A lot of philosophy in this piece, neatly assembled in culmination of events that drive three friends to even deeper level of friendship. Filmed with a digital camera/very moveable camera which made some of the scenes hard to watch. Sometimes you cannot hear Andrej speak, even though you want to know what he said. English subtitles might be in order here. Slovene movies should cross borders. Scenes carefully chosen. And I absolutely adore recognizing the scenery. Ending predictable and finally.. the audience was held until its end and made a good applause. I could also do it. I loved it.

Some words from the director, Nejc Gazvoda: “In filmmaking I am not interested in the stories of common people, as common people do not exist – there exist only people worth telling about and the three characters in A Trip are like that. Although seemingly problematic, bored youths, they are really persons with real-life problems, a lost generation of the 1980s that distrustful of everything occupies its own frolicking world and fosters the illusion that it would always stay young and untouchable.”

My personal rate: 9,0 (a good piece, worth seeing and worth of an applause. A good act, true energy between the main actors and a good point to take home with you.

Izlet on IMDB

Listy do M.; Letters to St Nicholas; Pisma Sv. Nikolaju, 2001

Listy do M., Letters to St. Nicholas; Pisma Sv. Nikolaju, 2011
Director: Mitja Okorn
Cast: Maciej Stuhr, Roma Gasiorowska, Tomazs Karolak

: Liffe, Kino Komuna. With the director in the room

Listy in short: Five stories of five women and men intertwine in Warsaw on 24 December. Different priorities, different lifestyles and different things they have lost in their lives. What they have in common is that they all wish for a change. How will each one of them spend Christmas and how it will affect their lives?

Preps: A lot of media fuss around this piece. Obviously, because of the good diplomacy and anarchy we live in in our beautiful Slovenia, local cinemography isn't supported as it should be. Even the prospects like Okorn, don't get the funding, unfortunately. With scientists you call it flee of brains, with directors, flee of good movie directors to another country. To cut the long story short, he got the funding at Polish government, after proving himself with a series shooting in Poland. The movie exceeded 600.000 viewers in its first week of screening. Obviously I am more than a supporter to slovenian movie directors and whenever I am on LIFFE, I will certainly go and see all the slovenian, croatian, bosnian, serbian movies. A lot of patriotism running in my cinemascopic veins, but merely in this area. So I am curious what the fuss is all about.

Reality: Wow. So cute my heart melts. From its very beginning to the end it keeps me happy and curious how it goes on. Therefore I claim it has a flow, a realistic story one can easily embed in his/her own life, regardless of the country you come from. The universal Christmas celebration brings a lot of people together and drives even more souls apart. How come everyone needs to be happy and everyone should be happy at Christmas?
A lot of people just aren't happy around Christmas period. So many reminders to push the true family love spirit and things you should do around Christmas. It isn't a surprise, a lot of suicides happen in this period and if someone measured the depression some people feel being alone in this festive season, there would be a huge surprise I guess in the actual number of people that aren't happy. If you add those that pretend to be happy and have a family, you would come up with a surprising figure. The matter of fact is, rarely people get to be really really happy about their lives and the period of Xmas is the period that inevitabely reminds us about the things one should have to be perfect and to be "human" - among those is also someone to spend the Xmas evening with, waking up with perfect man/woman beside you, having your child at the table when the dinner is happening, spending the evening chatting with the persons you love truly expressing you love them..
The movie in its very beginning shows the true opposite. Not all people want to celebrate, because they feel there's nothing to celebrate. On the other hand, a lot of people are working on this evening, their bosses don't care about their wishes. A lot of people seek work so they would forget being alone on this holy day. Furthermore, when I see someone making a suicide, later on surviving by a strike of luck and trying to convert his unhapiness to hapiness by force (obviously fail in the first xxx attempts, but at the end of the movie - predicteably wins his game). The movie depicts different really sad and real situations, that occur on the christmas day in Warshaw. And tries to convert them into real happening afterwards, that in some cases leads to hapiness, in other leads to more misfortune.
Sane humour inside, a lot of black ironic scenes, where you need to laugh, even though the scene is truly sad. The kids pouring water to turn into ice before the doorstep to make people fall. The man throwing out the TV. St. Nicholas falling down the floor, later on chasing a young man across the store, just to get the hot chick's phone back. The radio guy wearing a frosty costume to make his kid smile while he's working the Xmas eve/night. A lot of others that make the audience shiver with laughter and positive optimism that doesn't end until the end of the movie.

A brilliant movie in its genre, something true and real, yet inspiring and romantic. Something you need to see in the festive period. Something that will make you want to have your own Xmas tree. Something Slovenia should be grateful to Okorn for. I loved it.

My personal rate: 9,5 (in its genre, something so smooth, funny, romantic and excellent you truly need to see it!)

Listy do M. on IMDB

Nov 17, 2011

La piel que habito, 2011 (The Skin I live In)

La piel que habito, 2011
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Jan Cornet

Stage: Kino Šiška, stage of Liffe. Hard and tight seats :)

La piel in short: In honor of his late wife who died in a flaming car accident, scientist, Dr. Robert Ledgard, is trying to synthesize the perfect skin which can withstand burns, cuts or any other kind of damage. As he gets closer to perfecting this skin on his flawless patient, the scientific community starts growing skeptical and his past is revealed that shows how his patient is closely linked to tragic events he would like to forget.

Preps: again, Liffe selection cannot go without Almodovar. I don't have a clue what the movie stands for. But I expect not to be dissappointed, responding to the fact that we are dealing with Almodovar.

Reality: I am excited from the beginning until the last second. Almodovar keeps up the pace and breaths with the expectations I have from one of his pieces. Still, an annoying thought runs through my mind - I have seen The human centipede a while ago and I must say that I am thinking about what was first - the centipede or this one? Or some other piece, on the approximately same topic. As we enter the dawn of movies that need a special thrill to keep the exciting mode on (like The Saw, etc), there have been several movies lately on this topic - a mad scientist (surgeon), living in oblivion or like a normal person, makes some sort of testing on live people.

This movie fits into one of these "Fritzl from Österreich categories. Since the stories about kidnapping some people and keeping them in basement, abusing them, making tests on them, have started to arise in public, also the respect/judgement for these cruel actions has started to reflect on movies. In this case, it's the case of vengeance of a father because a young man, under influence of drugs, seduces and "half"rapes his young daughter. "half" in sense, that up to a point it was an agreement, after that she loses her mind. And in vengeance seeking point, father kidnaps the boy and as a plastic surgeon he makes a woman out of him. Firstly, with vagina input, later on with complete transformation. And as a cherry to a cake, taking her in as his mistress. Now here most of the audience would get some sick signs in their stomachs. Nevertheless, the transformation is brilliant. Banderas in this piece as a great surgeon, trying to find a perfect uni-skin, that could resist to fire and everything that could hurt it. In this "ginny pig" test, he tests the skin on the real corps (breathing new woman called Vera).

There are many ways to depict the surgery. In Human Centipede you can vomit right in the middle of some scenes, if your stomach isn't that dandy. In this case, Pedro takes us on a slightly lighter mission - you can only imagine, what the operations are like, because you see the post effect and are not really there when he inserts the vagina, etc. So in some sense, a lighter version in comparison with others. However, things we depict ourselves in our imagination can be even tougher on soul than the ones that are on a plate in front of us.

Now, what is the father experiencing, is another thing. One sight of him as a scientist, and you are sure, he's in love with his profession. Being with the new Vera, takes us on a tour of a harmed, damaged ego and soul, because sadness and grief is reflecting from every pore he has. The third thing, seeing him as someone that tortures someone else for his sins, makes you convinced that every person can be cruel, if the terms are in favor of being harsh about something.

The middle scene with Tiger coming in, raping Vera, can be observed from a completely different perspective once you realize it was once a man this Tiger now is raping. And gives a dark influence on the complete scene. Do you applaud to the deserved punishment of persons? In this case, you cannot resist the flavor of revenge, because most of us disagree with violence in shape of raping women or men. However in this particular scene you don't feel with the raped man (now woman). You feel as if he deserves to get what he did to a girl. Eye for an eye. However, how severe must a punishment be? That's really up to individual to decide. Here you feel somehow deeply disturbed, and you never reach peace.

Somehow the kid manages to escape and appears before his mother as Vera. I feel that in this moment the movie is not really over, however, Almodovar decides to end it. Shame.. it would impress me to see the story afterwards. Now I only imagi how a person like this faces the new reality. And the people around it, obviously. A prime piece, worth seeing. And worth thinking about things we do and the way they echo in eternity.

My personal rate: 8,5
(worthy of every second)

La piel on IMDB

Nov 16, 2011

Melancholia, 2011

Melancholia, 2011
Director: Lars Von Trier
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland

Stage: Kino Šiška, Liffe, late evening /sold out/ screening

Melancholia in short
: Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide into the Earth.

Preps: a lot of criticism, a lot of good and bad commercial about this piece. However, to my choice of Liffe, it's no brainer. A Von Trier is a must see, I always do.

Reality: What would you do if you had two hours to spend before the world comes to an end? How would you spend it? This is one of the questions arising from the mere predisposition that a planet is coming with a good chance to swallow the Earth and life as we know it. Or bypass it and give us a big scare.

The second topic is the distinction /connection between beauty and death, which is also one of the things Melancholia stands for as a word expression. Trier shows a variety of scenes with unusual elements falling from the sky, a picturesque environment where he shoots the movie and beauty in the perception of young dilluted Justine. She needs to escape from everything she perceives normal and yet, the environment forces her to turn in normal. Which means that she needs an evidence to prove to the society she's also normal. Precisely this is why we have the big wedding at the beginning, yet everything seems wrong about this wedding. Based on every pre-assumption one might have in ways to create a beautiful (cliche) wedding, this would be one of it. The tuxes, the ties, the people being cheerful and elegant.. and the bride, lost and confused, not able to follow her own decision. The break of her inside comes slowly, but surely. At the beginning the audience sees what choaks this young beauty - her veil in shape of grey coat, surrounding the legs, which she is pulling behind herself and suffering while she does it, because it's very hard. It could be interpreted as the burden she's carrying in her soul while being alive.

Justine feels out of the planet, out of "normal" perspective, and she shows so much depression it hurts to see her demolished this way.
The part of the story that is missing is the "normal" component - she used to be a good copywriter. Was this because she's living in her own world and perceived from all others as weird? Or did she had any kind of accident and turned this way? We don't know, and Trier doesn't show us. But the pain, which embraces the beauty is real. Everything else - material things, things that satisfy us for a moment, they are just a dillusion. Pain, sadness, Beauty. I think this goes hand in hand with the plot and the main Trier message in this piece. Longing is the most prominent feature of Melancholia.

The next thing is that Earth is according to Trier, the only living breathing organism in the universe. So the destruction is complete. It's not perfect if everything doesn't go. In some sense, like the extreme beauty - Justine. Every little part fits. And photography is exquisite. You can only stare at one scene for a really long time and not get bored with it. Plus, the music can give you thrills as it is chosen so carefully it rocks your bones. The dialogues are wittily chosen and the irony shows on each step of the way. And the triviality of everything we normally strive for (yet seems in this perspective, quite unimportant).

The movie is constructed in two parts. The first, Justine, trying to fit the unfitted into the system. And the other part, Claire, exposing the "normal" sister to the fact that the life she dearly appreciates, is going to be destroyed. The horrible way she faces it and tries to run, when there's nowhere to run to. To drink some wine, to have a stroll just before you die? Up to individual. This story emphasizes one way to go. And appreciates non - normality.

My personal rate: 9,0 (splendid work .. again I am out of my breath.)

Melancholia on IMDB

Melancholia (about it) - a short interview with von Trier & official page

Nov 11, 2011

Podslon (Shelter), 2010

Podslon (Shelter), 2010
Director: Dragomir Sholev
Cast: Tzvetan Daskalov, Silvia Gerina, Irena Hristoskova

Stage: Liffe, the movie festival. Cankarjev dom

Podslon in short: While they have been changing TV channels, making pickles or discussing politics, the parents of 12-year-old Rado have missed their son's growing up. Now they cannot understand why, after disappearing for two days, he isn't sorry for the nightmare he has caused them and why is he ready to run away from home with the first junkies he has met on the street.

Preps: Seems alternative enough to my taste according to the description. Plus, I don't remember when it was the last time I saw a bulgarian movie.

This story is based on a biography per se. Which means that the director grew up in an environment like the movie is depicting and must have grown strong feelings in the time he wanted to become like the row model he had back then. The real philosophy of the movie deals with a constant and never too old question - what to do if your teenager suddenly starts to dilude from the path you chose for him?

In this sense, puberty is something all parents experience at some point. Are they prepared for it, is another question, and furthermore, are they prepared if the child starts dealing drugs, runs away, chooses alternative society which empowers him with tools to do some criminal activities, etc. Or if it's just in the shape of listening to a certain band or following some rituals. Do you as a parent get worried, get in the middle of this, do you have the limit in your head (up to where you leave your child wander and experience the world, and when it is that you are going to say stop - it's enough). A lot of dilemmas are revealing in this piece, as you follow the simple plot (child leaving for two days, appearing with some punk friends his parents despise in a moment).

The parallel story about the parents, living their lives pretending as if their child never grew up (seeing him as a young boy he once was) and not acknowledging something dramatic is happening with the mindset of the junior.
The punk couple the young boy brings home represent almost everything the father of the son would never dream of that his kid was about to become like this. He doesn't see it (or put it better - doesn't want to). Therefore we come to funny scenes, like the "lunch", where the observer merely expects that the punk kid will get a slam from the father - the father just staring at him and trying to choak with the fact that this 18 year old boy his own boy admires in such a way, really believes that anarchy is the way to a better perspective, smokes, drinks, looks awful with his haircut, clothing, appeareance,etc. And yet his own kid would love to be just like this. It must be a nightmare to any parents, however, in perticular this couple that never dreamt of having such a problem.

Anarchy puts in perspective everything that is done by work and hard time we are all experiencing. Living on your own, paying and supporting yourself, being independent. To this punk kid, electricity is the benefit of us all, therefore we shouldn't pay for it. School is for dumb people. Learning also. Work also. And yet, this kind of approach leads to living in a garage, on cold, asking for food, stealing from those that live "sheepish - working and being independent".

A lot of personal touch and traumatic moments are embedded in the movie. However, when we come to a some sort of conclusion, the ending isn't where it's supposed to be put. I don't see the ending where the director sees it. In other words, this movie has a shitty ending, which spoils the complete picture and complete mindset that I have made before it ends.

My personal rate: 6,0 (from different perspectives, very interesting.)

Podslon on IMDB

Nov 10, 2011

We need to talk about Kevin, 2011

We need to talk about Kevin, 2011
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Cast: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller

Stage: kino Komuna, Liffe at its very beginning. The first movie. Sold out.

Kevin in short: The mother of a teenage boy who went on a high-school killing spree tries to deal with her grief - and feelings of responsibility for her child's actions.

Preps: When I bought the tickets, I have already read the description. But as I am sitting in the theatre, I don't remember a thing. I am eager for a surprise.

Reality: Surprise indeed. This piece will open your mouth wide open. A thriller as I haven't seen in a long time. Are we born like a blank leaf that gets filled with information or can we be born evil? This is what this movie is dealing with on one side. On another side the miracle story on how to survive if you have a child that is born not only a menace, but the devil himself. And the third part, guilt, remorsement and dealing with questions like "Could I have done something to change this" or "Would it be any different if..". The fourth, not so obvious thing is, how far can we go to swallow bad things or things we don't like (and not be selfish) on behalf of being brave and accepting what fate has brought.

The movie culminates and the climax is as the horror is revealed. What has this kid done in order for everyone around him to suffer? The director jumps from one period to another smoothly and wisely. Just enough to keep your thumbs up and just enough to get you to be even more curious. Vivid interpretation on how horrific one's life can be because of another human being she's supposed to love forever. Horrible, what kind of debt this takes for the complete family. With the arrival of new child,a new chapter opens - jealousy of another child and the first child attacking everything he knows - psychologically and phisically. The only moment of connection with his mother (when you have the distinctive feeling that this is when something will break and the movie will change to more optimistic one) - this is the moment when everything even gets harder by .. well, beyond any imagination. I just imagine what kind of psycho you get if you need to live this and swallow it all.

Scenes, dialogues, even mere portraits are excellent choice of the director. The story is breathtaking and it keeps me alert for complete two hours. One of the better ones at the moment. Couldn't wait to recommend it. Will make you think about how grateful you should be for "normal" children. Or think about having them at all.

My personal rate: 9,0 (brilliant!!!!!!)

We need to talk about Kevin on IMDB

Nov 9, 2011

Disclosure, 1994

Disclosure, 1994
Director: Barry Levinson
Cast: Michael Douglas, Demi Moore, Donald Sutherland

Stage: Home theatre

Disclosure in short:
With his company about to merge, a happily married and successful computer expert is expecting a promotion. Instead the job goes to a woman from another plant with whom he had an affair in his bachelor days. His new boss, not only dangerously sexy but equally dangerously ambitious, has climbed the corporate ladder by exerting undue influence on the CEO. She apparently tries to pick up where they left off but he just about manages to resist. This liaison is soon revealed to be part of her master plan to consolidate power and use Tom as a scapegoat to cover her technical misdeeds. As his position at work comes under increasing pressure he decides to file charges of sexual harassment. This is the last thing the company needs.

Preps: I can watch this on an very awqward evening, as I am thinking about someone getting on your ass over something you weren't a part of. So it seems a nice suggestion someone from TV has made on my behalf.

This is an excellent piece on getting hit by your own management and your own boss. It is amazing, how (for a change) a guy gets swollen by system and his own weaknesses. A fine learning point for anyone that gets involved with this kind of deal and needs to know what is he/she fighting against. Douglas here is the swollen man by a woman as a superior. To get weak is one thing, to abuse power, something completely else. Defined by a brilliant Crichton script, the movie has its flow, its protagonists and main message - screw or get screwed. Or put it another way - if get screwed, fight back. Don't be a small ant, be the ant with the attitude. Even though Douglas fights, he simultanously loses the game by losing things he feels dear about. Regardless of the outcome of the dispute he's having with the company, he's unemployable, man with a mark, man that will always wear a shadow, and most important, this despute importantly reflects in his personal life.

How far can the company go to cover up for something and find a guilty person among those that don't know they represent collateral damage? And how many people really have time, energy and money to back it up? Put it on the other side of coin - what is worth more, honor or normal life? And, is the life really normal, if you swallow something like that? A very old and still fresh question, fits perfectly into nowaday environment in business.

My personal rate: 8,0 (solid, straight piece. Will keep you to your knees and with mouth open until its end).

Disclosure on IMDB

The Three Musketeers, 2011

The Three Musketeers, 2011
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast: Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfayden, Ray Stevenson

Stage: home theatre

The three musketeers in short: The hot-headed young D'Artagnan along with three former legendary but now down on their luck Musketeers must unite and defeat a beautiful double agent and her villainous employer from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war.

Preps: Hm.. another remake. Am a bit curious. Though I don't expect a lot. I might be wrong.

Reality: This must be a joke. A young D'artagnan, running around chasing a dream and something the three musketeers once represented. The dialogues are awful, the costumes look shitty and out of place. Placement seems like taken from another movie, actors likewise. The story isn't believable and it jumps from one scene to another like from one time to another. In other words, it's without a real clue and out of reality. I am not sure what makes directors want to make a sci-fi version of something that once was a good movie with a good theme.

When a "space ship" in the shape of a giant balook enters the stage, that's it. I am out of patience and just erase this. Not worth my time. Yuk.

My personal rate: 0 (don't waste your time, not worth it)

The musketeers on IMDB

Nov 1, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love, 2011
Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Regua
Cast: Julianne Moore, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling

Stage: Home theatre

Crazy, Stupid in short:
Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) have the perfect life together living the American dream... until Emily asks for a divorce. Now Cal, Mr Husband, has to navigate the single scene with a little help from his professional bachelor friend Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Make that a lot of help

Preps: I got a hint from a good friend of mine, she saw this one at the movies. Nevertheless, I do watch a lot of "hints" at home.

A promising start. However this is it. Now, the meaning of searching true love through an escapade of first changing the looks, then start working out, and then all of the sudden women fall at your feet. Cliche. Don't like it.
Are guys really in for making love over and over again, night after night with a different woman? And where is this bar with gorgeous women, that are waltzing around? No such thing. Nowadays, if you go to a bar, not likely that you will meet a hot chick or a hot guy, hitting on you with all the right words.

OK, we go through different steps of transformation of this ridiculously gayish guy. Which village did he come from and how come Julianne Moore is the one that got stuck with him when being a teenager (you just don't let a woman like that waltz away, or do you?) Not enough background in the marriage to see that. However, one of the points this piece is trying to is everlasting love, the one and true love you meet once in a lifetime. Well guess what. Some of us do and a lot of us don't. And that's the reality. No point of making this a big thing on the screen. And if you are making it, why distroy this image with this loap through the wild with the good women chase all of the sudden? The directors could have made up their minds earlier. Either go the true love cliche or go with a stud that goes around dazzling women like James Bond.

Not enough meat. Or if I paraphrase one of the good speaches. My god, you look like you have been photo shopped. The complete piece has been photoshopped.

My personal rate: 5,0 (well, there are good looking persons of both sex. And you will have some laughs with the plot and the complications. Is one of the messages that the world is a small place? Least I buy that).

Crazy, Stupid, Love on IMDB

Midnight in Paris, 2011

Midnight in Paris, 2011
Director: Woody Allen
Cast: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Cathy Bates

Stage: Home Theatre

Midnight in short:
Gil and Inez travel to Paris as a tag-along vacation on her parents' business trip. Gil is a successful Hollywood writer but is struggling on his first novel. He falls in love with the city and thinks they should move there after they get married, but Inez does not share his romantic notions of the city or the idea that the 1920s was the golden age. When Inez goes off dancing with her friends, Gil takes a walk at midnight and discovers what could be the ultimate source of inspiration for writing. Gil's daily walks at midnight in Paris could take him closer to the heart of the city but further from the woman he's about to marry.

Preps: Oh, the new stuff from Woody Allen. A must see. I don't care what it is, but I am a huge fan of Allen's movies and could swallow them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Am definitely curious who the protagonist will be and what his main pain will be.

Reality: MMMMMMMMMM, a balsam to my romantic soul. The real question is are we satisfied in the present or are we living somewhere else (with our minds), letting it argue with our present being and just watching the present run away. Are we trying to escape into another body, soul, time period? And how does it conflict with who we are today. Where to stay, in your Avatar or in your present, this is the question this piece is struggling with.

Is Clive Owen the best protagonist you could imagine? Being used to romantic comedies, the genre fits perfectly. However, I am dissappointed in Allen's choice for the main cast. In some aspects, however, it perfectly fits to the purpose. Does he imperson Allen as Woody decides not to break the ice again with playing in his own movie? Probably yes. Is he really like Allen? Well, the character is like Allen, lost, then found, lost again, then dragged away by an idea. So the job, given to Owen, is actualy driven perfectly. Even though I despise his lack of mannly behaviour, I am deeply intrigued by the story. What a great idea, to travel into the world of people you embrace in your deepest desires. And what an upgrade, to find out that once you are in that world, the protagonists or the Einsteins of that time, think that they aren't living in the proper era.

Is this the question we all keep asking ourselves - how would it be to live in something else, someone else's trousers, a different setting, different points of certainty.. and for how long would it last? The main characters in 1920 also want to escape to some other period, just for the sake of being able to live like the people they admire. And after some time, they would get fed up of that time too and give it away for another jump. In some dillusion, it would be great of having the power to jump any time given, to the period that drives you the most at that moment. The inspiration then, must be to live your life the way it could move and switch through different drives we all seek within something else. It's not the neigbour, whose grass is always greener. I think we should find it within our own backyard. And that would be the leading point of the piece.

Brilliant in many aspects. Light and entertaining. And yet, extremely deep. Applause.

My personal rate: 9,0 (truly good plot and way to think about the present).

Midnight in Paris on IMDB