Apr 30, 2012

Armageddon, 1998

Armageddon, 1998 

Director: Michael Bay 
Cast: Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck

Stage: Home TV selection, a holiday day

Armageddon in short: It is just another day at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a few astronauts were repairing a satellite until, out of nowhere, a series of asteroids came crashing into the shuttle, destroying it. These asteroids also decimated New York soon thereafter. Then, NASA discovered that there is an asteroid roughly the size of Texas heading towards the Earth, and when it does hit the Earth, the planet itself and all of its inhabitants will be obliterated, worse, the asteroid will hit the Earth in 18 days. Unfortunately, NASA's plans to destroy the asteroid are irrelevant. That is when the U.S. military decides to use a nuclear warhead to blow the asteroid to pieces. Then, scientists decide to blow the asteroid with the warhead inside the asteroid itself. The only man to do it, is an oil driller named Harry Stamper and his group of misfit drillers and geologists. As he and his drill team prepare for space excavation... 

 Preps: Bruce per se. Don't need to say more. There is energy in the piece by default if you know he's in. Something he changed with Die Hard and let the trace in our hearts. Plus, superb cast. Have seen this several times and am aware of its faults. However, no action like saving the world, that can brighten my evening. 

  Reality: Storyline is similar to tons of pieces on the topic. Something is flying towards Earth and it will cause a great crash, up to the extention that it will blow the hell out of us and make us all freeze to death, if we somehow survive the crashing. Now, obviously you know that US has a backup plan and yes, Bruce is the man to save the world. Drilling oil, this is the US back up plan. Now, as we have seen Die Hard already, we know he can save the world and I believe the average viewer doesn't have anything against it. The crew, the training, preps, everything is upside down, but the curiosity speeds up as the movie delivers to the very end. Will they make it or die trying :) Another jewel in this piece is the music. Aerosmith gave a good taste to the movie, as well as some other performers. Crash itself and stages before it comes to the crash, are equipped with some nice pieces of instrumental music. Plus, we get to see how Nasa is supposed to work inside out. A special mentioning also goes to the effects of some crashings of the tall buildings and impacts some of the stones that are falling down, are depicted and vividly shown. Some great deeds are shown, as a some token just before they go on the mission. The day when you know you could end it dead and saving the world (which doesn't really bring redemption to your soul given you are dead and cannot inhale the fresh air anymore. Who wants to be a dead hero anyway. However, in this mission it is clearly shown what kind of assignements we sometimes need to cope with, even though we don't like them or accept them truly. Love between his daughter and one of his crew members is shown loveable and a bit naive. Still, it is a perfect role for Liv. I haven't seen her truly in some serious casts (in the sense she fits in the roles of sensitive dames, depressive women, touching spirits, etc. She feels fragile and should cast also in movies that support this. On the other hand, Willis as her dad, is the antipod in every cell he posesses. " I address you as the citizen of humanity", the glorious words of US president before he lets the wild 14 bunch on stage. No doubt, they will succeed. With a bitter taste of some lost souls. But what would a true heroic US movie be without fallen heroes, right;) ?  

My personal rating: 6,0 (solid adventure, no hard feelings when you leave it in the middle to get something from the fridge. On the other hand, Willis rocks the boat as hard as he can to escort you to the end of this piece).

Armageddon on IMDB

Apr 29, 2012

The Other Sister, 1999

The Other Sister, 1999
Director: Garry Marshall
Cast: Tom Skerritt, Juliette Lewis, Diane Keaton, Giovanni Ribisi

: home stage, evening TV selection

The Other Sister in short:
When Carla Tate, now a young woman, is 'graduated' out of the training school where she has resided for many years because she is mentally challenged, her hope is that she will be accepted for all that she can now do for herself. But Carla's family is wealthy which permits her mother, already blinded to her daughter's rather high-functioning abilities, to try and provide for Carla beyond her needs or desires, bringing forth the inevitable confrontations... for what Carla may lack in mental ability she certainly makes up for in her insistence on being independent, even to living in her own apartment. But if this isn't enough, into the mix comes a young man, equally challenged mentally, who moves Carla beyond anyone's control...

Preps: I have seen this already, a touching drama with a mentally challenged person in so called perfect family. I am in the mood to see it again. Plus, I remember superb Keaton and Lewis inside their skin.

Reality: What curse the mother of the so called perfect family, must feel, to have a mentally challenged daughter in her cherished portfolio of members in the family. How to handle her, if she wants the same as all the others, to be independent and have her own life, own appartment, own boyfriend. How dissappointed is she when the daughter somehow succeeds to have everything she wanted. She pretends not to want this burden, on the other hand I think she loves the idea she is the rescuer of the day and she needs to be in control. Anything else drives her to anxiety and rivalry with herself. The father is proud, though, it's a shame that in this perticular relationship he isn't exactly the one carrying the pants.
The mother hardly leaves the daughter alone. Worries all the time. Burdens all around her with this. Leaves the "to do" list to her daughter what to do before she leaves the appartment. Obviously she is the sane voice of the audience, saying - hello, you cannot leave a girl like that to live independently. Maybe this girl only wants to live without prejudice. Like Nell in a movie I looked before this one.
Now, Miss Tate finds a real boyfriend and it's touching how she interacts with Daniel. In sense, how this kind of relationship works, because they are both mentally challenged. The movie increases the tension with the couple wanting to live together and parents trying to find the right path inbetween. Should parents (or public) even get involved into this relationship? In this piece, everything we perceive "normal", is a challenge, or is viewed from another perspective. Sex, for instance, the couple doesn't realize what is happening to their bodies. It is refreshing how they describe the anxiety and really show it. No act, just pure honesty.

It is hard to imagine living like this. On the other hand, I believe the people that are mentally challenged, can live a happy and completely normal life. I don't think anyone should be the judge in this, and I am aware of the issues that come in place in these cases. In the piece, some of them are named, and I know it's the tip of the iceberg.

The piece will make you grateful for the "normal" state you are in and grateful for all the things you can do without any fuss. Juliette Lewis is brilliant, truly remarkable cast in this piece. Diane Keaton, on the other hand, also brilliant, shows an anti-dose of the optimism and desire Juliette is showing. Keaton's role is to be the "sane, smart person" in the show and run it safely. Not entirely sure it's the right thing to do. Keaton is.

My personal rating: 6,0 ( a good vibe about "special" persons we need to acknowledge and let them breathe)

The Other Sister on IMDB

Apr 27, 2012

Nell, 1994

Nell, 1994
Director: Michael Apted
Cast: Jodie Foster, Liam Neeson, Natasha Richardson

Stage: Home Theatre, lonely Friday evening

Nell in short: Nell is a girl who's been brought up in an isolated world. The only people she knew were her mother and twin sister. They lived together in a cottage in the forest. Nobody has ever met Nell. After her mother's death, she's discovered by the local doctor Jerome. He's fascinated by her, since she speaks a mangled language, developed by her sister and herself growing up, "twin speak" if you will. But Paula, a psychology student, wants her observed in a laboratory. The judge decides they get three months to observe her in the forest, after which he'll decide about Nell's future.

Preps: Wow, a long time since I took a shot at this one. Have seen this a long time ago and I need to review the position :) Plus, I am in the mood for Foster and Neeson.

A breathtaking drama, with some standards we are ready to pursue until the court, later on we see, they don't hold value. Is taking someone from the environment he's used to, justified.. I mean this with every breath of my spirit.. the movie shows how devalued our standards are and how ashamed we should sometimes feel with ourselves. On the other hand, the movie shows deep respect to simple life, simple ways and means. And a touching story of a girl (now a woman), left behind when the mother dies and she being discovered by accident.

The first half of the movie is dedicated to us, reminding us what the life could have been, without it being complicated with things we are familiar with nowadays, and even more, used to. Like electricity, running water, cable, etc. Nell lives without it. And manages to get by quite easily and in a life, rich with other values. Obviously the storyline of a wild thing being caught in a scenery that can be easily discovered by "well behaved society", is intriguing, yet it shows how we are forcing everyone live up to our standards. Yet noone asks him/herself, whether our standards are good or are they just intimidating to someone's way of living. Should Nell be brought into an institution or should she be like a wild beast, with us just observing her? This is the main story inside this piece. A side story, love romance, obviously happening between the two doctors. Could have been avoided, still it gets somehow inside the main stoy in the and, so I can feel good about it.

Nell is a good thinking about how we treat wild and unknown entities that come on our path. And I believe this outcome we see in movies cannot be real. Because we are worse, we would never have left a person like Nell intact. We would really bring her into an institution and let her rotten there. Sadly, but probably more true than what was shown in the piece. Still, loved it. Jodie Foster is brilliant in this role.

My personal rating: 7,0 (solid, good piece, makes you wonder what the real virtues are and what are we ready to fight about)

Nell on IMDB

My Week with Marilyn, 2011

My Week with Marilyn, 2011
Director: Simon Curtis
Cast: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Watson

Stage: Local theatre Komuna, afternoon screening

My week in short
: Sir Laurence Olivier is making a movie in London. Young Colin Clark, an eager film student, wants to be involved and he navigates himself a job on the set. When film star Marilyn Monroe arrives for the start of shooting, all of London is excited to see the blonde bombshell, while Olivier is struggling to meet her many demands and acting ineptness, and Colin is intrigued by her. Colin's intrigue is met when Marilyn invites him into her inner world where she struggles with her fame, her beauty and her desire to be a great actress.

Preps: Hm. Two oscar nominees. Michelle Williams, who I adore ever since Brokeback Mountain. Marilyn Monroe, the icon I respect deeply. Need to see this. I get on a byke with one of my best girlfriends and drive to the nearest movie on a nice sunny afternoon.

Reality: Marilyn Monroe drives deep in veins. I am not so fond of the movie for the first thirty minutes, however, later on I get used to Williams' interpretation of Marilyn and I truly start to enjoy it. Marvellous. The cast of Williams is truly something you can only bow to. I am amazed of the interpretation, the sexapeal she shows and I cannot let the eyes of the screen. One of the best interpretations of someone I have ever seen.
On the other hand, I see Emma Watson (Harry Potter) growing into roles. Deep respect also for this girl, she has a shiny career ahead of her, obviously. Not really a great role, however, she stayed in my radar and I noticed her ways of expressions.
Now, the main topic, being naive or smart? Or on the other hand, being a celebrity brings glory and pleasure, or pain?
In this case, I believe it's a good showing of the special world celebrities live in. No place for real life there. Deadlines, schedules, normal walking through the streets.. forget it. Was Marilyn Monroe really such an icon? I suppose she could have been. Have the guys really fallen down to her knees without having the ability to say a word? I suppose so. Something that works like the Beatles. She came in the room, she shot some screens and all people in the room just fell to their knees. Now how brilliant and amazing is that? There weren't many icons in our world that could brag with something like that. I believe that this is something you cannot teach yourself to be or pretend. Either you are or you aren't, and that is the way things are. You are either born such a star or not.
The story of Marilyn is sad and depressive. Was she really that naive? Hm.. striving not to say unintelligent.. The scenes you see in this piece are a surreality show. I am in the skin of the director and I can identify completely. I couldn't stand such a team player in a project. I am striving to see how you achieve coping with this. When you need a celebrity ass and you cannot stand it. The movie is a struggle, from the start to its end, yet, at the end, I am satisfied.

My personal rating: 9,0 (splendid piece, I am sorry Williams didn't get an oscar for this. She bloody deserves it :)))

My week on IMDB

Apr 23, 2012

Iron Sky, 2012

Iron Sky, 2012
Director: Timo Vuorensola
Cast: Julia Dietze, Udo Kier, Peta Sergeant

Stage: Kino Šiška, the premiere. With Laibach concert following :)

Iron sky in short: The Nazis set up a secret base on the moon in 1945 where they hide out and plan to return to power in 2018.

: Hm. Am not aware of anything in this movie. I just want fun.

Reality: Well, for once, my expectations have been fulfilled. It is fun, pure fun and black irony, deriving from the facts of the world today. Even though the projection of the year is 2018.
The idea of bringing nacis into the present world is brilliant. From all the people they could have met in the Moon script, they find a black man. From all the places, they could have landed on the Earth, obviously it is NY, and in this segment, it's the growing spot /field of weed. The movie is filled with similar irony and present humour. Bringing out the elections with the great fuss, where people just embrace what seems to be the next bluechip of the marketing or something that seems to be dragging out the crowds from the depression.. well the nazis represent quite a challenge to present people. Not only that they aren't really taken seriously, it is the black guy that gives them a kick in the ass.
The amazing script gives more life to the piece than I supposed. The characters are taken from the best imagination ever. I haven't enjoyed a piece quite like this in a while. I believe it is a parody to all existing political systems as well as our processes, a black humoured side of what we find real or reality. The black side of humanity we can all laugh from, if we are intelligent enough. The parliament of all nations, driving out the best weapons that all have been developing under cover, is simply brilliant. It turns out that US wants to stay on the top, but has a hard time doing so, because all of the non believers had their own agenda. The battle runs out in favour of humanity and nazis go back to be straight, smart peasants, learning about how dreadful nazis have been in WW2 and what could they have done to improve.
I believe the story is one of more original ones I have ever seen. Again, truly enjoyed it. The scenery, the music is brilliant. The delivery excellent. The costumes.. I would have given an oscar for this. Really worth seeing.

My personal rating: 9,0 (a superb ++to this. A must see to every person)

Iron Sky on IMDB

Patch Adams, 1998

Patch Adams, 1998
Director: Tom Shadyac
Cast: Robin Williams, Daniel London, Monica Potter

Stage: Home TV, late night selection

Patch in short:
Patch Adams is determined to become a medical doctor because he enjoys helping people. Unfortunately, the medical and scientific community does not appreciate his methods of healing the sick, while the actual patients, medical professors, and hospital nurses all appreciate the work *he* can do, because they are unable to do it.

Preps: Home, nothing more important to do. I have seen this several times and love Williams in this role

Reality: How much is our life worth to a bunch of degrees in medicine? I mean the board you trust your health to, when you are in the hospital. Do you ever wonder how they are trained and if the right persons got the job? In Slovenia, medical university is one of the most demanding ones (if you dragged a poll of this, you would surely get the feeling it's the most demanding one and not just among those). Compared to an average study (in years), it takes twice the effort, and after that you get a job in a place you never heard of, etc.
Patch Adams sees other alternatives, challenges the ways medicine has always been taught the doctrine itself and the ways to address the patients. He reminds us that the patients are human beings and makes us filled with faith that most of the doctors in the world have seen this and will make it their way.
Enough with vain expectations. The hospital the piece is showing, is a surreality. No way in this world, with the existing politics, bribaries, governments.. this couldn't happen in my opinion, even though I am a strong supporter of all the systems that could work like this. The movie shows the good sides as well as the downsides. It is a good thing it doesn't demolish the image of the existing system, because we need it and I believe it also brings good with all the bad, that is exposed in this piece. Patch Adams challenges everything and almost gets expelled, which leaves the viewer with fulfilled expectations. In sense, that Adams is fighting for a greater cause, for something the complete medical section has forgotten in long years of training. Sometimes people need talk and compassion, instead of high medicine. And if they need high medicine, it should be delivered professionally, which means, with soul. This is a part of training that was left behind because all the obstacles medical world is facing. I believe it's beneficial for both parties to see the piece. The medical staff, as well as the patients. To understand and maybe build a bridge somewhere inbetween.
The movie will touch your soul and won't leave you empty. It could make you cry, because it gets deep within your soul, especially with the death of the only student that gets in Adams's skin, despite her true dedication. Lovely scenes, lovely scenario. A sight to see, especially if you are in a romantic spirit.

My personal rating: 8,5
(this piece came to my heart every time I watched it. Bullet point. )

Patch Adams on IMDB

The girl with the dragon Tatoo, 2011

The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo, 2011
Director: David Fincher
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer

Stage: Home theatre, late night on an available evening

The Girl with the dragon in short: This English-language adaptation of the Swedish novel by Stieg Larsson follows a disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), as he investigates the disappearance of a wealthy patriarch's niece from 40 years ago. He is aided by the pierced, tattooed, punk computer hacker named Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). As they work together in the investigation, Blomkvist and Salander uncover immense corruption beyond anything they have ever imagined

Preps: I am not inclined to see the american version of a good swedish movie. But I am curious. Hence, need to see it.

Reality: Now, it's one thing making an american version of something existing. But a true copy? Come on, Fincher. It's lame, pathetic, it's not dignified. Why would you make the EXACT copy of the swedish original, only with the american cast? Bljah. I despise the approach. If you want to see the review of the movie, see my review of the swedish version of the same movie. It is a fact that the story rocks, the delivery is great, and the cast is superb (in both cases). Even both Blomkvists are similar. How low can you go.. if you are a genuine director, do a piece of your own? I have seen many people copying things, however, I never thought Fincher would get so deep. I admired him for his other pieces and was convinced he would make something apart from what we've seen in the swedish version. I was wrong. To me the swedish version is better, because it was first. This one is a lame follower. The exact copy. Only with James Bond. I cannot bow to this. I can only despise pure copying for the american (world market). Readers, check out the swedish version, it is better delivered.

My personal copy: 3,0 (only for the sake of the fact that I actually love the script, love the swedish version. However note this is only a copy. )

The girl on IMDB

Apr 18, 2012

Keeping the Faith, 2000

Keeping the faith, 2000
Director: Edward Norton
Cast: Edward Norton, Jenna Elfman, Ben Stiller

Stage: Home TV selection, nice Wednesday evening after an exhausting day

Keeping The Faith in short: Best friends, a priest and a rabbi, fall in love with the same girl. However, neither of the men can pursue the relationship due to their religious beliefs: the priest cannot break his vow of celibacy and the rabbi cannot marry her since she is not Jewish.

Preps: Well, I have seen this piece in the local theatre. And I think I have seen it afterwards. I am in the mood for this also this evening. It has been hell of the day and I need something relaxing and funny.

As said, I know the point of this piece and the storyline. It is memorable and nice, so you don't need some kind of special state of mind to watch what you know already. I know it won't burn my braincells anyway, but I will have fun. Know this for sure.
So we have a threesome, the funny point deriving from the "old friends come together again, two guys fall for the same woman", kind of plot. The situations that come from two friends fighting for the same woman, can come up either a disaster, funny you could die from, or the average fun stuff. This piece definitely has some highlights and is above average. Most of the situations are closely connected with the fact that one of the guys is a rabi, the other is a priest, the girl is a serious business woman. They know each other from the time they were kids and from a fling two of them turn out to have a more serious affair. When she wants to continue experimenting, he backs off. The point is about getting over burdons (or pre-requisites) you are wearing with you at the time of getting involved with someone. How long lasts a fling, how far can you go before you claim this is a relationship?
I don't usually believe you can do a good cast and be a good director at the same time. In my opinion in this piece Norton did quite a good job. OK, I like Norton by default, however in this piece I cannot complain that some cast was hurt or affected by his directing the piece. While I am watching, I cannot decide, whether she is attractive as hell, or does she have in teeth what Julia Roberts posesses in hers as well, magnitude. The teeth of Anna are enormous. When she laughs or smiles, the smile is through the whole screen. Not that this is something bad. However, it's as unique as it can be and definitely drags attention.
The movie is filled with good script and phrases you need to remember when trying to communicate with your next/existing/previous partner. Plus scenes you need to laugh to. Nice music that keeps you relaxed. Makes you think the movie is supposed to make you enjoy it. The boy practicing and singing at his guy bat mitzvah, for instance (the announcement he's becoming a man, not a boy anymore). Or priest making a scene at that same bat mitzvah. Going to the movies with Anna and half the church members, waiting to catch you doing the wrong thing. The movie is filled with this stuff and I love it.
Up to some extent the story relaxes, on the other hand reveals things are never simple, even if you want to put them or claim them simple. Which job is more important, to the god or to your soul? who do you betray, if you don't follow, him or yourself? And what do you do if you are unlucky and need to leave your faith to be with the one you love? Complicated things, if you want to think about them. However, the movie doesn't reach the depth of this and certainly can leave you just laughing, not thinking deeply about all emotions that are handled in this one.

My personal rating: 6,5 (nice, relaxing, funny. Also deep, if I choose to take it this way. I love the music and I love the energy between main cast).

Keeping the faith on IMDB

Apr 13, 2012

Jurassic Park II - The Lost world

The lost world: Jurrasic Park 2
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Julianne Moore, Jeff Goldblum

: Home TV selection on a tired Friday night

The lost world in short:
After a small girl is attacked by a small group of compsognathus, Ian Malcolm discovers that there is a second island full of a variety of dinosaurs. Dr. John Hammond decides to send four adventure to monitor the dinosaur's lifestyle before INGEN move forward in controlling the island. Ian Malcolm doesn't like the idea and wants to contact the other three members, but before he can contact them, he finds out that his girlfriend, Sarah Harding is already on the island. Now, what was supposed to be a natural viewing of the incredible creatures in their habitats, has turned into a rescue mission with everyones life at danger.

Preps: Well, I don't have anything more important to do this night. Am tired as hell after a hell week and want to see something nice. I hsven't seen this piece yet, to be honest.

Reality: Well, there is always a second plan. Second tier. One wolf that is left behind. One member of the family that stays evil. In this case, one island more. The one where they breed animals in order to fill the original island with species. Now, the storyline is quite simple. A documentary versus hunting for special zoos. Money is in the end again, the ruler of the world. And it sets the pace.
Now, the good thing about the movie that I would definitely like to emphasize, is the relationship and respect the people who are supposed to do the documentary, nurture towards these gracious animals. The second team on the island represents evil, in this sense, the human greed in its worse personality. I am ashamed to be a part of the species that acts like grasshoppers, just thinks we can tread around and take everything shameless from the nature and expect nothing will bounce and hit us back. Really very prudent and irrational. Obviously most of the humans are opportunists and take the money and the chance to grab it while it tags along. The "documentary" team leaves some hope that there might be some that don't share the same opinion. In some sense they act as the good/bad voice of humanity.
Now, how sensible is raising a bunch of dinosaurs anyway? The problem is the same as in the first movie, although I need to admit this one has an enhancement (as a real sequel should really have). With some deeds, like leaving the dinosaurs out of their cages, or rescuing a baby tyranosaurus, you grow an attachment to the team which obviously takes your vote in the decision who should win the race. On the other side.. are sequels really only supposed to be about more action, more blood, different sceneries, etc? I sense this in the sequels of Saw. However, I did enjoy the riddles, I couldn't resist the feeling the complete heptology (parts 1-7) could be introduced as series :)
Anyhow, you will get to know more acquainted with the dinosaur world after this piece and believe me, will grow a big sense of respect towards something we cannot (or should not) perceive in science.
The music is great, the scenery is detailed. Spielberg did a good job again. I cannot claim this is one of the better ones, however, it is above average. And that is maybe why we should watch sequels, to find an extra mile, compared with the first part.

My personal rating: 5,5 (a solid choice for family adventure. Bit of a horror, but definitely a sci/fi in family way).

Jurassic on IMDB

Crash, 2004

Crash, 2004
Director: Paul Haggis
Cast: Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton, Matt Dillon

Stage: Home Theatre on a lonely night

Crash in short: Over a thirty-six hour period in Los Angeles, a handful of disparate people's lives intertwine as they deal with the tense race relations that belie life in the city. Among the players are: the Caucasian district attorney, who uses race as a political card; his Caucasian wife, who, having recently been carjacked by two black men, believes that her stereotypical views of non-whites is justified and cannot be considered racism; the two black carjackers who use their race both to their advantage and as an excuse; partnered Caucasian police constables, one who is a racist and uses his authority to harass non-whites, and the other who hates his partner because of those racist views, but who may have the same underlying values in his subconscious; a black film director and his black wife, who believes her husband doesn't support their black background enough, especially in light of an incident with the racist white cop; partnered police detectives and sometimes lovers.

Preps: I am not familiar with this piece, although it must have been in local cinemas a while ago. The cast sounds splendid, the storyline also. Mmm, my Sandra Bullock. A must see then. Let's check it out.

Wow. One of the better ones lately on the racism topic. Or to be more exact, prejudice topic. It emphasizes the meaning of all prejudice we are born, raised, burdened with. And what it may lead us into. In perticular, the piece addresses violence towards black people and mixed people (half black, mexicans, etc). The whole US knows they steal, rape, make violent moves all of the sudden.. However, is this for real? My heart shook all evening because the movie gave me the thrills. The negative ones. The ones where your soul wants to crumble back in deep shame of being a white person. Because if we want it or not, because of limited individuals of our colour and race, the rest of the world looks at us as if we are the biggest barbarians there is. In some sense, I might agree. However, violence because prejudice cannot and in reality isn't limited to race, sex, genre of music, height, etc. It is limited to areas, where it's praised and taught, where you are doing right when threatening people that look, feel, taste, smell differently.
The movie faces us with numerous important scenes. We are supposed to take the good deed out of it. The line. The one thing we cannot do to each other. In some cases it's verbal violence. In others shooting around just for fun. In some physical abuse of black man's wife. It doesn't matter if they are famous.
The one thing that is indesputeably gorgeous about this piece is the 36 hour slot, where the paths of all those people, who even don't know each other, somehow collide. So they face each other in situations they could never imagine. The cop, molesting the wife of the famous director, gets stuck with her under a burning car, rescuing her. Life is a funny thing and world a small place - eventually you could run into the one you molested one day ago and would be forced to help him or even worse, would be in the position of asking a favour of that same person.

The piece will make you respect life and its diversity very much. It will make you think about all the abuse, anger, everything you express to the persons that surround you or some unknown people. Spectacular script, good delivery. I didn't notice some highlights on other effects, however they weren't needed. The moral of the story - if you have a powerful story, it doesn't need much enhancement. Same as in music with the lyrics :)

The crash is obviously named after the collision point - where some cars crash and some fates definitely change forever.

My personal rating: 9,0
(superb movie, a solid story with one of the best possible deliveries).

Crash on IMDB

The Crash.

Apr 11, 2012

Jurassic Park, 1993

Jurassic park, 1993
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum

Stage: Home, late night TV selection.

Jurassic park in short:
Huge advancements in scientific technology have been able to create an island full of living dinosaurs. John Hammond has invited four individuals, plus his two grandchildren to join him at Jurassic Park. But will everything go to plan? Especially when one of the parks own workers attempt to steal the dinosaurs embryos, and have to shut down all the electricity in the process. It's now a race for survival with everyone located all over the island.

. OMG, again on TV? This is a classic, need to review it one more time.

: This was a masterpiece at the time of creation. Spielberg made a breakthrough as he was the first guy to offer dinosaurus and dino world with its glory and disaster. I remember standing in a queue for a decade before I got the tickets. Therefore I admire the classical aspect of this piece. The same impact as the first King Kong, I might add. Maybe the same as Titanic.
Now, the real story behind isn't about the magic park where you get to play with the dinos. The real story is two layered - first layer: Should you play with science and make things that are extinct? Does the nature know the reason and has cause that this species is extinct? Can we make same measures in climate conditions and can make the world as it is now, to resemble the world at that point?
The second layer, I see here, is in the spending the money rich people have. Making (building) things they believe the world is yearning for, but no real evidence. Still, the movie proves there is no simplicity in life and things really get complicated, especially if being underestimated. The human nature, greed, can never be overunderestimated. The movie proves the concept where greed feeds the island to become the torture place for all that are there just by coincidence, on the grand opening. To make the emotional bondage to the viewer, we have grandsons of the main owner of the island, which connects emotions to the simple story.

Obviously the park turns into disaster, we have the chance to see what it must have really looked like with predators beyond control in an environment, where power reigns. Therefore you are in the middle of action, waiting, how many souls there will be at the end and who will win, vicious dinos or humanity (money). For no apparent reason, you would want everyone to die, maybe for the sake of giving a point. You shouldn't mess with the nature, you shouldn't wake what has been sleeping for a long time for a reason and yes, you shouldn't buy what can't be bought (the love of your grandsons for instance). And you should definitely divide between the time where you can do what you want and the time, where you are a good dinner to a fine predator.

The movie is a classic, I love seeing it, yet I am aware of its issues and limitations. But think about the time it was made. We all ran to the movies to catch it.

My personal rating: 6,0 (more than decent, a classic and one of the rare movies on the topic. One of Spielberg's finest works in terms of story and technical delivery).

Jurassic park on IMDB

Mystic Pizza, 1988

Mystic Pizza, 1988
Director: Donald Petrie
Cast: Annabeth Gish, Julia Roberts, Lili Taylor

Stage: Home TV selection.
Luckily that night at least croatian TV had some choice

Mystic Pizza in short:
Sisters Kat and Daisy work along with Jojo at the pizza parlour in Mystic, Connecticut. Kat, shortly off to Yale, finds herself drawn to a local architect she is babysitting for, while her more tearaway sister starts dating a guy from the money side of the tracks. Jojo leaves her man at the altar; she loves him but shies away from commitment. Meanwhile the fame of the pizza continues to spread; it seems to contain something almost ..... mystic.

Preps: One of the first movies I saw when my mother bought the VCR. It stood in my memory as a sad drama and nothing nice to remember.. now let's see.

Reality: This is an oldie. Not really goldie, but everything in this piece appears in a way you need to switch to a mindset of the eighties. If you do that you don't mind. A similar story to the one we saw in The perfect storm. A small city where you need to get a good reason or mindset to escape, either by yourself or with the marriage. An oldie, because it poses the issue most young girls had and the challenge - to get the right guy, get married, maybe finish off college, and obviously.. how to get acquainted with your own romantic expectations and the reality you end up with.
How important it really is to divide between standards the society poses and your own ego /self conscience, is maybe the best shown with one of the best movies on the topic so far - also with Julia Roberts, Mona Lisa Smile.
In any case, we follow the story of three friends, two sisters and the third waitress at Mystic Pizza. The famous pizza is only a side story for the bigger bang upon a relationship versus career debate, which is going on all the time. When is the time to get married, should you even get married, should you get involved with a taken guy.. should you take care of a career? A very suitable movie with the right taglines for a girl, who is in the middle of same decisions, best if she is thinking of college. Keep in mind, she needs to derive with a mindset of the 80ies, because nowadays, such a movie couldn't make a dive at all, because it would be swallowed by better and more original pieces.
Still, a catch to the eye, seeing Julia in her early roles, because later on she got notorious. This is one of the rare times the director doesn't use her smile yet, therefore worth seeing also in this sense. Always admire when the cast is praised for the acting abilities and women aren't just some sort of sex symbols.

My personal rating: 5,5
(not bad, a memory well surpassing the real image of the piece. Still, a good Sunday night entertainment).

Mystic on IMDB

The Rock, 1996

The Rock, 1996
Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Nicholas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris

Stage: Home TV selection, late night with nothing smarter to do

The Rock in short:
Stanley Goodspeed, who lives in Washington D.C., is a biochemist who works for the FBI. Soon after his fiancée Carla Pestalozzi announces that she is pregnant, Stanley gets a call from FBI director James Womack. Womack tells Stanley that San Francisco's Alcatraz Island has been taken hostage, along with 81 tourists, by marine General Francis Xavier Hummel who, for years, has been protesting the government's refusal to pay benefits to families of war veterans who died during covert military operations. The death of his wife Barbara Hummel on March 9, 1995 drove General Hummel over the edge, and now he's holding hostages in order to get his point across. Stanley is needed because General Hummel has stolen some VX gas warheads and has announced that he will launch them onto San Francisco unless his demands are met. Stanley knows how to disarm the bombs, but Stanley needs someone who knows Alcatraz well enough to get him inside..

Preps: Hm. I have seen this at the movies in that year. I was a fan of action movies and this was just the one to fit the description. However, it never left me with a desire to visit this place. Which means I didn't have it in a good memory.

Reality: Well, this is a clear evidence that sometimes even a good cast cannot make a good movie. Not without a good and solid script and in these days of mass production of such movies, without a differentiation from same genre.
There were some standards set for this type of movie from 1988 with Die Hard. It was a lot harder to make a remarkable piece ever since that standard. Not speaking merely of Willis, but of the complete story, setting, trace it left behind. To be exact, in my mind almost none movies that came even a decade later, couldn't live up to the expectations Die Hard has set. Part one and two. Not the later versions, which were a mere dust to what first and second part represented.
Now, The Rock has a story of once good people that got pissed off by actions of their own government. Should veterans get paid or not? A debate for another place or time. Is really so great if you can say you were a part of war and killed dozens, now you need a pension? Whose fault is it anyway you were sent to the battlefield? And who is to pay? Somehow the movie resists average taste with the unique placement. To be quite honest, a lot of people globally want to see the famous cage. And a lot of movie directors must have dreamt of doing a piece there. Anyhow, now we have it, but it leaves me cold. Connery and Cage are the stars, yet I only feel their egos running around and fame from other movies I saw them in. None of that famous energy pours in my veins. I don't know, what is missing. But there is some spirit lacking that could bring up the potential of this piece high above average.
Ed Harris is the rage, Connery and Cage the voice of public, government and themselves at the same time. Fortunately enough we have an emotional distraction, because the viewer subconsciously wants Cage at least alive, because he has a pregnant girlfriend. Now, the time to speak about morality of this fact is somewhere else. Should FBI bomb stalkers, agents with high risk, high mountain climbers, people that have a job or a hobby with a life risk, have a girlfriend even? This makes them vulnerable (and in my personal opinion, a bit egoistic). True, that you cannot choose your missions or visions in life. We are what we are. But we can at least have a bit of an influence on the people around us and maybe the fact if we form a family or not.
As said, not really the essence of this movie. But it slipped my mind while watching. As claimed before, only average action, average scenario and setting. And cast. So gracious, yet so dissappointing.

My personal rating: 5,0 (watchable, if you really are a fan of Cage or Connery, or if you don't have anything smarter to do).

The Rock on IMDB

Apr 10, 2012

The Iron Lady, 2011

The Iron Lady, 2011
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Cast: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant

Stage: Home theatre, a good easter evening with a few of my girlfriends.

The Iron Lady in short: Elderly and a virtual prisoner in her own home due to her concerned staff and daughter Carol, Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first woman prime minister, looks back on her life as she clears out her late husband Denis's clothes for the Oxfam shop. Denis is seen as being her rock as she first enters parliament and then runs for the leadership of the Conservative Party, culminating in her eventual premiereship. Now his ghost joins her to comment on her successes and failures, sometimes to her annoyance, generally to her comfort until ultimately, as the clothes are sent to the charity shop, Denis departs from Margret's life forever.

Preps: Meryl got an oscar for this one. The piece I need to see. I am a fan of Streep, however not in this sort of movies. She somehow gives me a perception she might be better in lighter movies. This is a drama, a notorious one, because none of UK (nationalistic spoken) citizen want to acknowledge/praise this piece. It's supposed to be telling quite the opposite from the truth. Therefore, one way or another, I need to see it and am anxious about it.

Reality: Well, one thing is certain. I get the part where UK people don't want to express any gratitude towards this piece. None of us wants to be portrayed in this manner - being helpless and having memories of the past chase you up to the point where you cannot tell the reality from your hidden past. In some sense, the movie portrays a wrecked human being, being so ill that she can no longer deliver what she once could.
The devastating and really realistic part is when you are trying to figure how hard must it be for the family, friends to acknowledge that one person is not the same anymore. That it is sick beyond belief. And what to do about it. Lie to everyone? Accept that this is a fact most of us are faced with at some point in life? And that also strong polititians are just humans and cannot avoid it. Obviously in political world, the stamina of an image (in terms of what the perception of a crowd for this person is), is the most important one. For this image, some polititians are willing to cross any border possible, only to maintain the image. At any cost. Is this a good thing or not, is a matter of a discussion. However, in my eyes, the "human" touch that this movie poses to the iron lady, doesn't influence on my opinion of her deeds in past. In some sense, it only portrays the everlasting effect of getting old and having to live with it. Surpassing the pride and accepting that some positions are going to slip from us once we are too old /incapable of living up to the expectations. I just want to point out that I am aware that the hatred of UK towards the movie shows their deep admiration and loyalty towards a polititian, which isn't a bad thing, however in some cases it may not lead to the wisest decision on the political floor.
The other thing that is really intriguing about the movie is the simple walk-through through Margaret's life from the start. How she ended up in politics anyway and how hard it must have been, being the first lady on the floor. Having a room where you cannot have whiskey, but you do have an iron and a desk to iron something (how weird is that)?!?. The negotiations, where you cannot be equal to men, like it or not. A hard path, yet necessary to improve the position of a lady on political dance floor.
This piece isn't really dynamic and could be shorter. Hard piece to watch, especially if your mind trembles with fear of once getting to that point, where you can see ghosts from the pasts that chase you and are trying to persuade you they still exist, advise you and talk to you. In some sense, one of the hardest movies lately, showing reality as you are clinging to the position you are probably no longer able to maintain.

My personal rating: 6,5 (hm. interesting in terms of surpassing the image when getting old. Definitely a too long and non-dynamic piece. But Streep is marvellous).

The Iron Lady on IMDB

Apr 2, 2012

17 again, 2009

17 again, 2009
Director: Burr Steers
Cast: Zach Efron, Matthew Perry, Leslie Mann

Stage: Home TV selection, Monday evening.

17 again in short: At 17 Mike O'Donnell is on top of the world: he's the star of his high school basketball team, is a shoo-in for a college scholarship, and is dating his soul-mate, Scarlet. But at what's supposed to be his big game where a college scout is checking him out, Scarlet reveals that she's pregnant. Mike decides to leave the game and asks Scarlet to marry him, which she does. During their marriage, Mike can only whine about the life he lost because he married her, so she throws him out. When he also loses his job, he returns to the only place he's happy at, his old high school. While looking at his high school photo, a janitor asks him if he wishes he could be 17 again and he says yes. One night while driving he sees the janitor on a bridge ready to jump, and goes after him. When he returns to his friend Ned's house, where he has been staying, he sees that he is 17 again. He decides to take this opportunity to get the life he lost.

Preps.. Think I have seen this already. Am not sure. Or I started it.. nevertheless, I know the story so it seems a good substitute for my spanish (cancelled) class.

Reality: Arh. Again, one in the range of movies about the same topic. Becoming young again. Getting a second chance. Something you blew when you were young. Or think you did and get a remorsement and a good shot to repair the damage.
In any case, the movie sets off really teenagish, if I may say so. High school drill, homerun or a basketball game, the man of the game leaves the life behind because his girlfriend is pregnant. Gets a second chance 20 years later, which he lives being depressive over the thought he blew it all away because of a pregnant girlfriend.
In any case, waking up as a teenager again means loads of things. Once in a while I am surprised with the way a new creature is represented and placed into the story. Usually, these types of a movie come up with a substitute (either adult playing his teenage son/daughter and vice versa). So in some sense, this is an upgrade. A nephew, a lost son, coming to town for a school year.
Now the fun can begin. He still has a mind of a 40 year old, hence he chases elder women (inappropriate for his current age anyway). Now, what does he seek.. to upgrade the basketball career, to fell in love again.. as a spectator you are not sure. But for a fact, this piece is about getting close together with your family again, cherish what you have achieved and not aim for the stars, because you are going to miss the current fun. It is funny, how we spend lifetimes dreaming about things we think we could have, but in fact never achieve them, plus, we never indulge things that are at the touch of our hands. So close, yet, we never appreciate given things in our lives and current achievements.
Numerous funny scenes derive from simple momentum where you have an adult thrown into the pimple high school world again. World, where you get your ass literally stuck to the toilet, because your friendly schoolfriends used some superglu on you. World, where there is no alcohol yet, and no real parties. World, where you get to study hard and do not have any real legal rights. So untattractive, it seems, once you get to think. For me, I would never get back to my high school. However, I would go back in the years I have studied. Those were better years, with means and measurements, with fun and work, with almost being adult problems and solutions. When you are bold. When you dare. When you think you can be the president if you wanted.

The moral of the movie is really Hollywood like. I mean, come on. If a couple needs a divorce, it should get one. For the better of all involved. In this case, the remorsement or the second chance takes place. Women are obliged to forgive. Should I say inclined to forgive? Hm..
A semi average comedy. Amusing to watch. Won't give you any depth or any solutions. In this case, a weirdo with a beard saves the day. And a happy ending is inevitable. But in this piece, I kinda like it.

My personal rating: 6,0
(a decent vice versa comedy. Funny and thoughtful. Plus, a super excellent neatly assembled piece of a young man. Almost illegaly handsome young man).

17 again on IMDB

Riding in cars with boys, 2001

Riding in Cars with Boys, 2001
Director: Penny Marshall
Cast: Drew Barrymore, Steve Zahn, Adam Garcia, Brittany Murphy

Home TV selection, late Sunday night.

Riding in short: Seriocomic story based on the memoir by Beverly Donofrio, the movie follows a young woman who finds her life radically altered by an event from her teen years. Born in 1950, Beverly grew up bright and ambitious in a working-class neighborhood in Connecticut; her father was a tough but good-hearted cop who listened to his daughter's problems, and her mother was a nervous woman eager to imagine the worst. From an early age, Beverly displays a keen intelligence and an interest in literature, and dreams of going to college in New York and becoming a writer. However, she also develops an early interest in boys, and at 15 finds herself madly in love with a boy from her high school. However, an attempt to get his attention leads to an embarassing incident at a party, and Ray, a sweet but thick-headed 18-year-old, steps forward to defend her. Beverly and Ray end up making out, and after one thing leads to another...

Preps: Hm. Drew Barrymore, Brittany Murphy. I am interested. Plus, seeing the trailer, kinda draggs my attention. I would like to see someone in a role of a "single mum", making on her own.

Reality: Well, the movie has a strong message. Don't get pregnant at 15 if you don't have any means to support your family. It happens to two best friends, each one with a different background, hence, different Chances to succeed in life. To marry because you are obliged to due to a child seems nonsense, however, in some environments or time, the only thing possible.

I personalize with the movie, because I am a child deriving from the same environment. My two got married because of the pregnancy, disregarding the fact they weren't meant to last (which they knew when they got hitched), anyhow, it ended up in a divorce and me being the only child with a single and very poor mother. Somehow very similar to this storyline, depicted here. In some sense, I believe people with a similar story, will find this one to be extremely deep and filled with emotions, without any possible escape to live up her dreams, as Drew Barrymore (Beverly) so intensively wants to. The difference is that having a child and making a decision when you are 15 (when you almost completely depend on the parents) is one thing. My mother in this case was fully adult and way beyond 18 when this happened. The point is, that no matter when it happens, it's never a walk in the park, if you don't have the financial backup and are a single mother (or father for that matter).

In some sense, the movie wouldn't be as emotional if the roles were given to a single father. I believe the target audience for this piece to be women, beyond 30, possibly with a child. So you can easily interact and depict yourself in the same situation.
I must confess I wanted to stop watching the movie after 20 minutes. It didn't have any energy, I thought the dialogues were awful. As if the movie was from 1980, not 2000. The characters were lame, Drew or Murphy were awful. I thought this would be a painful experience, I hated the scenes, found the words outspoken, stupid as hell.
Then something changed. When the couple decides to have a baby despite the youth and get married, I am suddenly interested, whether they would make it and how the flow is going to continue. Hence, I didn't stop watching, and was deeply rewarded for this. The movie directly reminded me of my deceased mother and was indeed painful, however in true dramatic sense. I was amazed by the way this mother and her child handled everyday truth and challenges, and how one or another made everything revolve around them, disregarding the world around. As I saw the wreck that the father became, it also reminded me on my own situation and my own feelings when I was just in my early twenties.

In any case, for me the piece brought some interactions with my history and therefore I liked it. I wouldn't disregard my first feeling about it. I think most of the audience, that cannot connect on this level, won't find it attractive enough to watch it to its end.

My personal rating: 7,0
(The movie was something personal to me, as I could personalize with the characters, the situation and I could see my mum carrying the same burden for my complete childhood)

Riding in cars with boys on IMDB