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The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018)
Fede Alvarez doesn't deserve Claire Foy
Claire Foy is one of the greatest young actresses working today, every single performance of hers I've seen is brilliant. To see her work with one of the lamest and cheapest directors to somehow find a way to even get a job in the film industry is both a tragedy and a mystery to me.
His films are sort of like the filmmaking equivalent to Jordan Belfort's penny stocks and I don't plan on being the sucker who falls for it anymore. If I do choose to see another film of his, which I probably will, I will not pay for it. So let this be a warning to you Fede Alvarez, I will never ever pay to see one of your little to no effort films ever again so you better move to Netflix or Amazon Prime or something if you're looking forward to me even giving it a one or two second thought as to whether I should give it a click, otherwise I will not even give it any consideration.
On the other hand, Claire Foy plays a damaged female equivalent to James Bond. I should write a role like that for her at some point soon. I also have to admit I thought this was way more entertaining than the Fincher adaptation of the book that came before and the Swedish version. However, with material this good I kept wondering why it felt so soulless. Then I thought of Timur Bekmambetov's career and how it turned into the filmmaking equivalent to penny stocks with all his cheap horror films and whatnot. Then I thought about how the same could be said about most thrillers, think of Silence of the Lambs. The first thing you think of might be Hannibal Lecter, who is framed inside of a portrait with little to no production design. Then I thought about Prisoners, same terms apply. However both of those films have something else going on and it's not style over substance.
To sum it up I don't exactly feel like Fede Alvarez is a lost cause, I just feel like I get sold on this idea that never really comes to fruition by the time the movie ends. Whether it is a case of one of the greatest artists of our time being restrained by the studio system or some guy just pitching anything that sounds like a cash grab and doing his thing is something I've been wondering about for years now. I just know there is more to the story that we don't know and I'm pretty sure he does, he just hasn't shared it yet.
Game of Thrones: The Door (2016)
How can even one word mean so much?
That's because George R. R. Martin, the master of worldbuilding, has unbelievably taken his incredible story to another level. Also known Sci-Fi writer, he's managed to do something amazing: Incorporate science fiction elements into a fantasy story that doesn't really need them but is even better with them.
The passion and attention to detail makes up for an epic adventure but not without substance. Characters so rich that could even have their own show, even saying the word "characters" doesn't feel right, these are people. No good guys or bad guys, just people doing whatever they think is right or best for them.
Why is Game of Thrones undeniably one of the best shows I've ever seen? Because it's one that cares so much about its story that even something as apparently meaningless as a repeated word by a seemingly comic relief character can mean more than meets the eye.
Sense8 reminds me of two things, that song I just mentioned by John Lennon. About the path to peace, everybody feeling connected to one another and doing things for the greater good. This makes it sound boring doesn't it? Well that gets me to the other thing it reminds me of.
One morning in Mexico, I remember reading something on the front page of the newspaper about Sense8, it was some controversy surrounding its LGBT themes (sorry Nomi, I know you don't like the term LGBT), completely ridiculous. It made me remember a scene from Easy Rider where Jack Nicholson's character says: "Oh, yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em."
Is Sense8 a TV show about superheroes? No. Its a TV show that has a powerful message, that says we are all superheroes, we as the sensates are connected, we also have the power to change peoples lives, we can also be there for them, change them in a good way, help them through tough times and helping them make difficult decisions. In a way, we are all Sense8.
The World's End (2013)
A cool Sci-fi Comedy about being stuck in the past.
Energetic and very fun to watch, but a little too silly when compared to the other two films in the "Cornetto Trilogy".
Gary King (Simon Pegg), an alcoholic, reminisces about the past when he and his four friends decided to do a pub crawl called "The Golden Mile". 20 years later, he decides it's time to give it another try and convinces them all to do it, but they soon find out that their home town is being invaded by aliens.
I enjoyed it thoroughly, but I realized that the humor was a little childish, as if Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have now become accustomed to American humor after doing "Paul" instead of doing their old ironic and dry British jokes. A bar named "The Famous Cock" would've never appeared in "Shaun of the Dead", it's something more of a movie like "American Reunion".
If I try and leave my critical baggage behind and try to see the movie on its own, it was pretty entertaining and funny, I enjoyed all the performances in it, specially Simon Pegg's as the electrifying Gary King. Nick Frost was hilarious as his character, I couldn't stop laughing during the over the top fight scenes.
Technically the movie was very stylish, the editing was brilliant as expected from an Edgar Wright film, using his trademark frame wipes. I can really understand Simon Pegg's character, he makes you feel the excitement and nostalgia he feels for being reunited with his friends, maybe he and Stifler from "American Pie" should hangout sometime.
Now bringing back my baggage, the movie sticks with the themes of friendship that the other films in the trilogy also dealt with and like them "The World's End" is also a great hangout movie (and maybe even a stoner comedy). It doesn't achieve the level of greatness of "Shaun of the Dead" or even "Hot Fuzz", but it might just be even more fun to watch, and I can bet it will hold up when revisited as well as those two.
I had a big problem with the last 5 minutes, they did to the movie what "Back to the Future Part III" did to the first two Back to the Future movies, but I can't be too harsh on it after getting to see Rosamund Pike drive a car like a badass. When compared to similar movies that came out this year, like Grown Ups 2, I can't complain, it's definitely one of the best comedies of the year.
I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good comedy, specially if you liked "This is the End", "After Hours", "Harold and Maude", "The Graduate", "Just Friends", "Young Adult", "Attack the Block" and/or "Django Unchained".
Y tu mamá también (2001)
Best Mexican Movie of All Time
"The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex". -Hugh Hefner
We could live without religion, but not without sex. Still, if seen as the most important thing to do in our lives, we become no different than animals. While the importance of reproduction is undeniable, we cannot let it distract us from other beautiful things in life.
"Y Tu Mama Tambien" is about two best friends (Diego Luna & Gael Garcia Bernal) who go on a road trip accompanied by an older woman named Luisa (Maribel Verdu) looking to seduce her. Don't let the porn film description fool you, it's one of the most thoughtful movies on adolescence you'll ever find.
Few movies give me the feeling I get when watching "Y Tu Mama Tambien", something indescribable I get when watching Hal Ashby movies or any kind of movie with the ability to leave a viewer profoundly touched. The natural camera-work and ambiance is something really hard to find, it's usually found in Lars Von Trier's earlier work, or Dogme 95 movies in general, yet the cinematography in this film is undoubtedly much better and easier on the eyes.
In a way, "Y Tu Mama Tambien" could be seen as a polar opposite movie to "Children of Men", while they're both movies with themes about sex, one sees it as fun and the other sees it as a necessity. The characters in this film are only doing it for pleasure, it's what they want the most and probably the only thing they think about, it's a journey about finding ourselves and the things that make us human.
I also love the narration, it makes the movie feel a lot more intimate than it already is from the opening scene (when we see one of our main protagonist's having sex with his girlfriend) by letting us know personal details of every single character. It's hard to make a sex scene easy to watch and even funny, it's usually shots of legs and some other body parts, but here we see our characters from an original point of view. It looks awkward, its never what they want it to be, which is one of the aspects that makes the film so unique.
It's not only a good film, it gets much better when revisited, the characters feel like good people to hang around with, making it what I'd say is my favorite "hangout movie".
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked movies similar to "The Kids are All Right", "The Descendants", "Dazed and Confused", "Rudo y Cursi", "Jules et Jim", "Harold and Maude", and/or "Boogie Nights". Go see it if you haven't already, it's one of the best Mexico has to offer (and my personal favorite).
*spoiler alert* By the way, in the last scene, the narrator lets us know that the two best friends will never speak to each other ever again. Why do you think that is? Because of them having slept with each others girlfriends or because of the awkwardness of knowing they had a threesome?
L'armée des ombres (1969)
It's interesting, but it's also slow and not very involving.
Based on Joseph Kessel's real life experiences as a member of the French Resistance, the head of the Resistance is imprisoned in a camp after being given away by a traitor. He manages to escape and kill the informant, but this leaves him without knowing who he can trust.
Technically its a good movie, the cinematography was really good looking, the acting was subtle in a good way. It reminded me very much of Brian De Palma and Quentin Tarantino films, specially of the films "Blow Out", "Carlito's Way", "Reservoir Dogs", and of course "Inglourious Basterds". It was very alike to those films, for its themes and also for some technical aspects.
I enjoyed the voice over narration, it really stood out and there was also a sense of realism as opposed to Hollywood action, like one specific scene when at the beginning when the protagonist escapes from the Nazis by killing one by stabbing him in the neck and instead of getting his machine gun and killing the rest and maybe even saving other prisoners (like what would happen in a Hollywood film) he just reacts like someone who just killed a man would, he runs away. While I have to admit there were parts that had me kind of bored, the film does end with a bang, which left me thinking a while.
This is my first Melville film and I'm anxious to see the rest, but I couldn't see anything great or outstanding from this film. I have to mention the DVD quality was pretty bad so that might have something to with me not seeing it as anything special, I already ordered my out of print criterion blu-ray though, so I will be watching it again in better quality later on.
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked "Au Revoir Les Enfants", "The Pianist", "Come and See", "The Deer Hunter", "Full Metal Jacket", and/or "Apocalypse Now".
Would You Rather (2012)
Just like others described it, it's Saw at a dinner table.
Just like others described it, it's Saw at a dinner table.
Willing to do anything to get the money she needs to help her dying brother, Iris (Brittany Snow) signs up for a game of "Would You Rather" unaware that it isn't just any typical party game, it's a competition to the death.
Alright, I have to admit it had my attention the whole time, something very unusual for dumb movies like these, it's just that a couple of characters in the dinner table were kind of cool people and not just the annoying cynical horror movie characters I'm getting used to by now.
I liked the moral choices the characters had to face during the movie, it wasn't paying that much attention to the gory aspects, but instead to what they're going to decide to do to get out of there alive. It wasn't that bad and my friend I saw it with seemed to enjoy it, therefore I'd still recommend it to an avid horror fan. What I didn't like about it was the performances, specially the bad guy who was trying too hard to rip-off Dennis Hopper's character in "Blue Velvet" and some scenes were just amateur and silly.
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked "The Hunger Games", "Saw", "Sinister", and/or "Battle Royale" (it isn't as good as any of those movies though).
Oh man, I haven't seen a thriller so breathtaking as "Buried" in some time now.
Oh man, I haven't seen a thriller so breathtaking as "Buried" in some time now.
An American truck driver, working in Iraq, is trapped inside of a coffin underground with a cellphone, a zippo, a flask, and a few other things looking to find a way out before his time runs out.
I still remember people ranting in the movie theater once the movie ended the first time I went to see it, all the while I held a big smile on my face, I felt heartbroken, but in a good way. The movie didn't only succeed in a technical level, I also felt genuinely scared by it and couldn't wait to tell all my friends to see it to have them feel the same.
The screen writing is just incredible, with the way it starts with a seemingly effortless plot and ends up expanding the story without really going anywhere. It's similar in a way to the TV series "Lost", with people stuck on an island, yet the writers kept on adding so much to what first seemed like a simple story, the only difference is that "Lost" was surrealistic and made great use of flashbacks, while "Buried" is realistic and doesn't cheat by showing us the protagonist's past, giving us the feeling that we're stuck in the coffin with him.
It's also safe to say that the movie, unlike other horror movies, does hold up to repeat viewings. I felt just as tense watching it this time as I did when I first saw it. The visuals were pretty good for a movie taking place in a coffin. I could feel Paul's (Ryan Reynolds) hope for survival and at other times I could also feel his hopelessness.
I recognized a few different things by watching it again, like how good Ryan Reynolds was in this carrying the whole film by himself, and apart from that I realized the real meaning of the film and the themes it's actually dealing with. Something tells me that deep in its core, this isn't just an above average suspense movie. What I mean is that, metaphorically speaking, "Buried" is just an anti-Iraq war movie as "Green Zone" or "Fahrenheit 9/11" like Martin Scorsese's short "The Big Shave" was about his feelings against the Vietnam war. I don't know if this is what director Rodrigo Cortes intended to do with his debut feature, but it was what I interpreted after rewatching it this time.
I'd recommend it to anyone in the mood for a gripping thriller, specially anyone who liked "Panic Room", "Saw", "The Call", "The Vanishing", "Rope", "Platoon", and/or "Kill Bill: Vol. 2"
It has a few "so bad it's good" moments
It has a few "so bad it's good" moments, but ultimately it failed to keep my attention and had me bored from the moment I realized it was a chick flick.
Two best friends who grew up together (Naomi Watts and Robin Wright) now find themselves in love with each other's sons.
I can't say it wasn't well made, it's just the story that was too ridiculous to captivate my attention. I love the actors in it (except for the guy from Twilight), they all give great performances no matter how lame the script is, specially James Frencheville who previously starred in "Animal Kingdom".
I was expecting to see something similar to "Y Tu Mama Tambien" or "Shame", but boy was I wrong, get ready to see something more like a movie adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel. The movie doesn't realize that it's just too bizarre, it acts like just any other chick flick and the characters fail to recognize that what they're doing is weird and just wrong.
It might be pretty funny to watch with a couple of friends though, some scenes were hilarious when seen as a sort of dark comedy instead of a drama. Apart from that I don't know how I could recommend a film like this to anyone, I was pretty excited when I saw that Ben Mendelsohn (from The Place Beyond the Pines, Killing Them Softly) was in it, but then got bummed out when his character left on vacation from the beginning of the movie.
I wouldn't recommend this to anyone really.
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Kind of like a good episode of Mad Men
I was expecting to see one of those "eat your veggies" type of movie, but it ended up being pretty fun, kind of like a good episode of Mad Men.
A cynical press agent anxiously looking to get attention for his clients has to make some guy he doesn't like a favor he doesn't really want to make: Break up his sister's relationship with a jazz musician.
I loved how well spoken the characters were, the insults were brilliant, the whole script in general was fantastic, a great example of incredible writing. The first 20 minutes or so were kind of slow in presenting all the characters, but once the on going insults and drama start it gets very entertaining.
My only problem with it was how anti-climatic the ending was, it left me wanting more, much more. I could've watched a lot more of what these characters had to offer, I wanted to see them all spiral down towards a tragic ending that I didn't get. It's still a great movie the film noir genre has to offer for any film lover who's a fan of that specific type of movie.
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked "The Network", "There Will Be Blood", "Magnolia", "Glengarry Glen Ross", "The Departed" and/or "Sin City".
Back to the Future (1985)
Maybe the most rewatchable movie there is
Maybe the most rewatchable movie there is, "Back to the Future" is great family-fun and one of the most entertaining movies I've ever seen.
Marty Mcfly (Michael J. Fox) is a teenager living in the 80's who's accidentally sent back in time to the 50's and after complicating his mother and father's soon to be relationship he must find a way to re-unite them for his own existence depends on it.
If only for the skateboard scene only, this movie provides some of the funnest scenes you will ever find. The performances are very energetic and are hard to take your eyes off. It's a 116 min roller coaster ride you'll want to get on again once it ends.
By the way here's an astonishing story I found online (I'm not sure whether it's true or not): ------------------------------------------------------------ I worked at Amblin' in the 80's when all this went down, and here is what really happened.
Bob Zemeckis was given a firm start date by Universal. This was before he had any real power in the business; they said 'you will start on this date or we won't make the picture'. Michael Fox was not technically available, and Universal refused to shoot around his sitcom, so Bob cast Stoltz.
Steven Spielberg then told Bob that there was a way to get Fox after all, which was to do this; don't give Stoltz any direction, print the least funny takes, and assemble a rough cut to show Sid Sheinberg and the Universal execs. It was a gamble he was sure would work - the execs would not be pleased, but they would be too far in to back out, and would then acquiesce to shooting around Fox's TV schedule.
To Bob's credit, he was uneasy with this approach, but it was a tough time for him. He was struggling with Bob Gale (who also wanted to direct), and going through a rough patch in his marriage, among other things.
I've kept my mouth shut over the years because this is how the business works- it's not for the faint of heart.
However, I find it a bit reprehensible that they are now making even more profit off this ugly little event by releasing the footage that by design was never meant to be good in the first place.
Harvey Keitel shot a considerable amount of Apocalypse Now, but why don't we see Francis Coppola releasing that footage?
Because he's got class. The one thing that all the riches in the world cannot buy." ------------------------------------------------------------
Whether the story's true or not, I still think no one could've been better as Marty McFly than Michael J. Fox, he's just too fun to watch.
I'd recommend it to anybody, specially anyone who liked "Star Wars", "Groundhog Day", "Looper", "Wall-e", or "Jurassic Park".
The Matrix (1999)
One of the coolest movies of all time
One of the coolest movies of all time, "The Matrix" has everything I could ask for in a movie. It has great action in it and thoughtful subtext that will keep you thinking after the movie ends.
The year is 1999... Or is it? It's actually closer to 2199 and humans are being controlled by machines, they have them stuck inside a program that simulates real life called "The Matrix" while they feed on them for energy. It's up to a group of people fighting the system and a new recruit, Neo (Keanu Reeves), to free the people from enslavement.
Director Darren Aronofsky thought that "The Matrix" redefined Sci-Fi movies, and I agree, what it did has yet to be matched by modern science fiction films that tend to lean towards visuals and give no importance towards action and fight choreography like what we can see here. The use of slow motion is perfect, it's used to highlight the action and give the viewer the feeling that he's right in the middle of it, unlike modern action movies with all the shaky cams.
The underlying themes it deals with are what makes it far superior than any other action or science fiction movies and leaves the audience with something to talk about. It deals with some of the same things Stanley Kubrick dealt with in "2001: A Space Odyssey" in the 60's, they're themes that are even more interesting now that we live in a society that depends on technology and for that it's a movie that's way far ahead of its time.
I'm not even going to mention the sequels, I see "The Matrix" as a stand-alone feature so I'm just going to ignore they even exist. As Quentin Tarantino said, the sequels ruined the mythology to it, I couldn't agree more, but I think that when you forget the sequels even happened it's a masterpiece.
It's hard to see how Hugo Weaving didn't get more recognition for his performance as Agent Smith, he plays one of the most terrifying villains of all time, his screen presence is always felt and the way he delivers his lines (specially when he says "Mr. Anderson") is something that would fit perfectly in a horror film.
If you haven't seen it yet, I'd recommend it to anyone it to anyone, specially whoever liked "Wall-E", "Terminator 2: Judgement Day", "Inception", "Equilibrium", "Dark City", "The Wolverine", "Twelve Monkeys", "Minority Report", "Sin City", and "Looper".
The Heat (2013)
A lot funnier than expected. Could Melissa McCarthy be the new Adam Sandler of comedies?
A lot funnier than expected. Could Melissa McCarthy be the new Adam Sandler of comedies?
A buddy cop action-comedy pairing a strict FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) and a more laid-back cop, played by Joe Pesci...I mean Melissa McCarthy playing Joe Pesci, to take down a drug kingpin.
I want to start out saying that whoever did the casting for this is a genius, every actor fit they're role perfectly and it had interesting choices of actors I wouldn't expect to be playing, like Demian Bichir playing Sandra Bullock's boss and Marlon Wayan's playing her love interest. I'm a fan of both actors and would be willing to watch them in almost anything.
One problem with it was that it grabbed too much from other buddy cop movies, for a couple of scenes I had a sense of deja vu, like I'd already seen it in either "Starsky & Hutch", "Showtime", some other action-comedy, or crime films. It might be predictable, but like with (early) Adam Sandler movies, audiences are always going to love this type of movie thanks to its funny cast.
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked the Rush Hour series, "This is 40", "Miss Congeniality", the Dirty Harry series, "Goodfellas", "Training Day", "The Other Guys", or "21 Jump Street".
Pain & Gain (2013)
Not bad, it could work as a fun little rental
"Pain & Gain" is Michael Bay trying to make something memorable and similar to "Goodfellas" in a way, but failing at it. That's not to say it's bad though, it can be kind of fun at times.
It's an action-comedy about three dumb bodybuilders who plan a kidnapping and extortion to take a guy at the gym's money. It's also a true story.
I kind of enjoyed it even though some jokes fell flat and made me raise an eyebrow. It might be that rise and fall stories are hard not to like or that the actors in it are just too fun to watch. Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Mackie were pretty good in it, but Dwayne Johnson was just terrible. I usually like him in action movies, but here he was trying too hard to be funny.
Michael Bay might not even read reviews for all the unnecessary hate critics have towards him, but my advice is that he stop producing bad movies, make "Bad Boys 3" and other films a little more thoughtful like this, maybe critics might even change their points of view on him and he could turn into a director kind of like Robert Rodriguez.
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked "Bad Boys 2", "Blow", Guy Ritchie crime movies, or Jason Statham movies.
American Beauty (1999)
"American Beauty" is one of my favorite films, for me watching it feels kind of like a pat in the back, like I've found someone who thinks just like me, one of the best feelings there is next to being distracted.
Its the story of Lester Burnham, a man who's going to die a year from when we first meet him. He wants to set himself free from everything that's making him feel depressed while also feeling attracted to his daughter's best friend.
It's one of the "self-liberating" films that came out in 1999, along with "Fight Club" and Office Space. A sub-genre I think first started with François Truffaut's "The 400 Blows", a film that isn't afraid to speak to its audience and really touch people. "American Beauty" is a film that turns to you and asks "How do you feel?".
Talking about this movie could go on forever, its obvious that movies like "Lolita" inspired it apart from others I'm not really sure of like "Kes", "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "Blue Velvet", "Citizen Kane", and "The Godfather: Part II".
I hate to mention every single technical aspect of a movie in a review, but this film sort of deserves having everyone who worked on it mentioned. The performances in this are all amazing, no character is left underdeveloped and we leave the film thinking that we actually know these characters, something very hard to find in films (e.g. Dazed and Confused).
I can find identify myself very much with the characters, specially Lester (Kevin Spacey) and Ricky Fits (Wes Bentley), and even the others I can understand up to some level. Like Lester's wife, a person who's lost herself to materialism while striving for perfection. Or Lester's daughter, someone who feels lonely and ignored by her parents.
The simplicity in the cinematography fits the story perfectly, unlike films like "Magnolia" that give a human story the wrong cinematographic approach and make it feel more like a thriller or comedies like "The Big Lebowski" that turn away from the comedy and give the film more style over substance. The score and the soundtrack also add a lot to the film, letting us know the state of mind of the characters or enhancing a feeling to the audience.
Finally, it's hard not to love the beautiful and poetic script by Alan Ball (my favorite writer after Charlie Kaufman), dealing with themes of death, materialism, and redemption. It's a film that shows the beauty in cinema as an art form, in the way that what the film says couldn't be said as well in any other medium. For example, had it been made as a play, we wouldn't understand the characters as well for the intimacy that cinema gives us would be lost.
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked "The Ice Storm", "The Virgin Suicides", "Little Children", "Lost in America", "The Kids are All Right", "Donnie Darko", "Lost in Translation", Wes Anderson movies, or any film I mentioned before.
A Dark and Twisted Tale Set in Mexico with Beautiful Cinematography
A dark and twisted tale set in Mexico with beautiful cinematography. It might be very hard to watch for its long takes and some incredibly disturbing scenes.
"Heli" tells the tragic story of main character (Heli), a teenager, and his sister's boyfriend, a soldier, who gets Heli's family in trouble when he tries to steal some cocaine.
The movie was pretty slow for the first two acts, its up until the third act that the action starts. I did admire the technical aspects of it (the cinematography), but it wasn't really anything special as the critics are saying. It felt like they were trying to emulate what Carlos Reygadas does in his films, but I did get what they meant when they called it unflinching.
It was really heartbreaking to watch, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone for the brutal violence and animal cruelty it contains. I would've liked it a lot better if they would've hurried up with the story by editing a couple of scenes out, had the actors showed a little more emotion, or had the film made a more satiric approach like "El Infierno".
As I said, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, at least not to watch it in a movie theater, but if you're looking for an artsy, realistic crime story you might like it if you enjoyed movies similar to "Irreversible", "Traffic", "Despues de Lucia", "The Hunt", or "Amour".
Idi i smotri (1985)
Russians sure do know how to make a boring movie, no matter how interesting the story is.
Russians sure do know how to make a boring movie, no matter how interesting the story is.
"Come and See" is an intense true story about a kind and quiet Russian boy who looks for a gun, which could be his ticket to join the Soviet Army. Little does he know the horrors that will come once he does join the army.
It started out pretty good, but it soon got to a point where it all felt messy and nauseating, kind of like the feeling I get when watching an overly artsy Nicolas Roeg film. My only problem with it was that I might've not been in the right mood to enjoy a film like this, but I can't disagree with others calling it a masterpiece. Apart from that, some parts were very uncinematic and the editing was horrible.
The best part of the film has got to be the natural cinematography, without it there probably wouldn't be much to talk about. I loved the point of view shots, they made me feel really uncomfortable. Some dialogue was pretty good and there were some scenes that were extremely tense, too bad they were followed by other scenes of boredom and nonsense.
I've got to also point out how I loved the way the movie established so many characters in no time by doing simple things like taking a picture and seeing their reactions as they walked towards the group and how they posed was enough to tell me who these guys were. Once again, I have to say the camera work was brilliant, it reminded me of the similar work in "Children of Men" and "There Will Be Blood".
Towards the end I kept thinking this would make a great double bill to watch before "Inglourious Basterds", for that way you wouldn't look away when the "Bear Jew" beats the Nazi who doesn't give Aldo Raine the information he asks him for. There's a sense of realism the movie brings that makes it so discomforting to the viewer, even the bullets used in the movie were real and they even killed a cow. I'm not saying it's just an okay movie, its actually a great movie, but it's not a movie I'd like to see ever again as it left me feeling real bad and might've just ruined my day.
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked "Apocalypse Now", "Full Metal Jacket", "The Thin Red Line", "Au Revoir Les Enfants", "The Pianist", and/or "Requiem for a Dream".
Just Friends (2005)
Nice light comedy to relax
I know, I know... It's just that I've warmed up to it after watching it every time it comes on. Ryan Reynolds can be very charismatic and Amy Smart knows how to play the perfect romantic lead.
"Just Friends" is about a guy who used to be fat in high school and got stuck in the "friend zone" for it when trying to tell Jamie Palamino (Amy Smart) how much he loved her. Now he's all grown up and living a successful life in LA as a record producer, and he can get any woman he wants, but he wants to go back to his home town. He wants to see if he can now reconnect with the woman of his dreams and get out of the "friend zone" once and for all.
We can all relate with Chris, Ryan Reynold's character, since we've all been there and therefore it makes for an even funnier experience when you can laugh at problems you've faced sometime in your life. The cast is great as they're all made for comedy, with Anna Faris (from the Scary Movie series and The Hot Chick), Chris Klein (from American Pie and Election), Chris Marquette (from The Girl Next Door), and Julie Hagerty (from Airplane).
If you're looking for a much funnier version of director Jason Reitman's "Young Adult", the movie that came out in 2011 with Charlize Theron, this is it. It's a nice light comedy, if you're looking a movie to relax to for a while, similar to early Adam Sandler comedies if you're into that type of thing.
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked "Van Wilder", "The New Guy", "Crazy, Stupid, Love", "American Pie", "Hitch", and/or "Yes Man".
La ley de Herodes (1999)
A Fun Mexican Movie about Cynicism and Politics
Herod's Law translates into "La Ley de Herodes" which is a proverb people say frequently in politics, meaning that you're forced to do something you don't want to, but you have to do it anyways for your own good. I came in expecting something simple and boring, but I was in for a fun Mexican movie about cynicism and politics.
This movie presents mexicans as lazy people and having lived here for most of my life I've become a bit lazy too so I'm just going to copy/paste the IMDb synopsis: Mexico, 1949. The fable of a janitor turned Mayor on a little town lost in the Mexican desert, who gradually realizes how far his new acquainted power and corruption can get him.
Similar to director Luis Estrada's previous work, "El Infierno", expect to see a satiric view on Mexican politics, its pretty hilarious. It's not only what I now recognize as one of the greatest, but also an important film in Mexico for how it helped Mexican people vote for the other political party (PAN) instead of PRI, members of which had all been presidents since 1929.
Here's some other information about it I got off IMDb: The movie release was forbidden for several years. Since filming started, the Mexican government wasn't very happy about it; mainly because it showed a bad image of that administration. Filmmakers fought back. This reached the press so the movie had to be released to avoid rumors about political censorship and released it just before the 2000 presidential elections.
I wish I had it seen it earlier, I now admire it as one of the best Mexican movies ever made. I think its on par with movies like "Casino", not only for its great dark comedy and cinematography, but for its story about people living for themselves and ending up losing it all. It might be hard to find, but I couldn't recommend this and Luis Estrada's more recent work "El Infierno" any more. The acting and cinematography are also amazing.
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked "Goodfellas", "Y Tu Mama Tambien", "Capitalism: A Love Story", "The Big Lebowski", "The Hangover", "Office Space", and "Bad Lieutenant".
Los cronocrímenes (2007)
Cool Time Travel Movie that David Cronenberg Fans will love
If you're looking for a cool time travel movie and you're a fan of David Cronenberg this is just the movie you're looking for. Time travel movies are hard to get right, but they usually make for very entertaining films you can't take your eyes off, and "Timecrimes" is no exception.
A guy is chilling in his backyard when he suddenly sees some girl take her clothes off with his binoculars, he then follows her and after a series of disastrous events ends up getting into a time machine trying to fix things he did wrong.
Does going back to our past make anything better? Or does it only make things worse? In this tragic story there aren't any answers, but instead just more questions the movie asks the audience. Unlike many time travel movies, it wastes no time in explaining which I thought was pretty cool and the twists in it are brilliant. I guess the best way to describe it would be to call it a fun and much more accessible version of Shane Carruth's "Primer".
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked "Looper", "The Butterfly Effect", "Videodrome", "Abre Los Ojos", and/or "Source Code".
Cabin Fever (2002)
It Feels like any Proper Horror Film Should Feel, like a Roller Coaster Ride
I wasn't expecting much from a movie coming from Eli Roth, who I've only heard bad things about, but I ended up being surprised by how good this film actually was. Unlike "Martyrs", "Cabin Fever" knows how to show just the right amount of gore, no more and no less. It gives enough fun and likable characters to make it worth the watch, this feels like any proper horror film should feel, like a roller coaster ride.
In this tale of survival, a group of five college graduates rent a cabin in the woods and begin to fall victim to a horrifying flesh-eating virus.
Quentin Tarantino was right when he called Eli Roth "The Future of Horror" after seeing this film, but not in a good way. Every movie now tries to emulate what they did in this movie with bad results, a recent example of this is the remake of "Evil Dead". If only modern horror movies stopped taking themselves so seriously or maybe if they were a little more creative. Its not that they remake other films, its that they put so little effort in doing so. "Black Swan" is practically a remake of "Carrie" mixed with "The Red Shoes" but that movie is something of its own, it gives a twist on the story we already know and for that it's worth watching, if only more horror movies were as enjoyable as this one I'd probably be watching them all the time.
If you haven't already seen it, I can't recommend it any more than I already have, reading the stories about it on wikipedia and IMDb just make the experience even better. Here's one little on-set story about Eli Roth and an actress that didn't want to show too much on-screen so they managed to reach a compromise - Cerina would bare one inch of her buttocks on camera, no more, no less. Eli Roth brought a ruler along to the filming and measured Cerina's buttocks, to be sure he got his one inch.
Here's another cool story: Peter Jackson stopped production on "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" three times to screen this movie for the entire crew. Jackson was so enthusiastic about the film he gave director Eli Roth publicity quotes.
I'd recommend this to anyone who liked "Contagion", zombie movies, "White Dog", "Evil Dead", "The Cabin in the Woods", "An American Werewolf in London"
Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
Equally Entertaining and Informative
I love Michael Moore documentaries, he makes them in the way that they come out being equally entertaining as they are informative. This is no exception for that rule, but it isn't as good as previous works of his (Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11).
Like in his other works, Michael Moore attacks the system as he looks for social justice, having been in a catholic school, I can understand that feeling of helping people in need. Here he attacks capitalism in general and has fun with ideas like "whether or not Jesus would be a capitalist".
Michael Moore uses art as a device to change the way people think, thats what I love about him. He knows how important art can be in people's lives and therefore makes movies that are important not only for the world in general, but for himself as he tends to mention his home town in his movies giving us a feeling of comfort, like we're talking to a friend and not just some journalist.
I wonder if Michael Moore has endangered his career with his socialist views, like Jean Seberg and Luis Buñuel have before him. I hope he does keep making movies, because every now and then in the middle of all these mind-numbing blockbusters coming out, I need to watch something thoughtful like "Bowling for Columbine".
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked "Inside Job", "Sicko", "Fight Club", and/or "American Psycho".
Nauseating Torture Porn movie
Why the hell did I watch this? Oh well, now I can recommend it to someone I don't like and that way he'll suffer the pain I had to go through while watching this.
"Martyrs" is about torture porn, plain and simple. Its pretty well made for a film in that specific genre, but thats not saying much when its competing with movies like "The Human Centipede" and "Saw 3D".
Just by writing this review I'm getting another headache, the movie itself is pretty nauseating. Its not fun to watch, as a matter a fact its actually one of the hardest movies to watch, any scene in it can be painful to keep your eyes on. The acting was pretty good and all (specially french actress Mylene Jampanoi), but after a while I kept on asking myself "What was the point in making such an awfully disturbing film?", or maybe that was the point. If it was they've succeeded, but I have no satisfaction in watching films like these.
Overall "Martyrs" is a disgusting film. How could anyone recommend this? I guess if you're looking for something really sick, this is the kind of movie you're looking for.
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked films similar to "Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma".
Katakuri-ke no kôfuku (2001)
Pretty light for a Takashi Miike film
Takashi Miike is an odd director, when approaching his films you've got to know what you're in for, violence and bizarre events. I hate when a director known for doing such things has his movie called shocking and controversial, like Quentin Tarantino with "Django Unchained", but "The Happiness of the Katakuris" is actually pretty light for a Miike film, even though there are a couple of bizarre events in it.
A family decides to come together after being apart for so long for personal reasons (e.g. one of them is a gangster on the run) and open a little hotel for people passing by the lonely place they live in near a volcano. Soon strange things start happening and the family does all they can to cover it up and not ruin their new hotel's reputation.
It wasn't really as crazy as I expected, so the friend I watched it and me were left wanting more. There are a couple scenes that stood out for their originality and a few parts in it are pretty funny, but it didn't have much of a story and it got a bit boring after a while. The two memorable scenes for me were one hilarious musical scene involving a suicide and another musical scene satirizing rom-coms.
Overall its a surreal musical comedy, its as family-friendly as Takashi gets, which isn't saying much since its rated R, but if you're looking for something weird I'd probably watch some other film of his.
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked movies like "The Trouble with Harry", "Heathers", and/or Harold and Kumar movies.
Stay away from this movie
I don't like when movies make me suffer while watching them, specially when:
- every single line of dialogue makes me feel like vomiting. - the main character is the biggest douche in the history of cinema. - unnecessary twists come up just to make the story feel worse then it already is. - the soundtrack sounds like one from a lame video game. - every actor seems to put as little effort as they can. - fight scenes seem like the actors are emulating Michael Jackson.
I feel sorry for the friend I invited to see this with me because I saw it on Quentin Tarantino's list of favorite movies from 1992 to 2009, only to then find out it wasn't this "Blade" he was talking about, he was talking about another movie called "The Blade" from 1995. I don't expect him to forgive me, nor let me choose another movie to watch ever again after this.
After watching "The Wolverine" I wanted to see what an R-Rated Marvel movie would be like (apart from "The Punisher", which is a guilty pleasure of mine) and I thought this would be a great idea, I was wrong and if you haven't seen it I can only ask you to please stay away from it.
I'd probably give it a 1/10 if it wasn't for a scene where a little Asian girl the bad guy, played by Stephen Dorff, is holding as a hostage gets thrown away into what seems to be a hot dog stand and from there to the steet, it was one of those Robert Rodriguez ridiculously funny moments and just because of it I'm giving the movie a star.
I recommend you stay away from this...please don't watch it.