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Malá morská víla (1976)
Of course, this Czechoslovak film ranks among the best of the 70's. The movie came to being at the time after the ominous 1968, the directors were allowed to shoot either political (i.e. communist) propaganda pieces, or if they did not want it, they chose fairy tales. Kachyna tried the Little Mermaid and he did right.Time has not washed away its magic and inner beauty... The Safrankova sisters are excellent in their competing roles, the depiction of the Deep Blue Sea is flawless. The score is also fitting. The whole mood of the film is rather sad, the end, of course, tragic. If I compare the Czechoslovak films coming from those days to the films that are shot at present, it is clear that despite all modern computer methods and tricks the present ones lack the atmosphere of those in the past. It is not only the production that makes them worse but also the quality of screenplay and acting. Very sad.
On the Loose (1985)
Quite a bad movie but unique for all Europe fans
Those who like Scandinavia`s best hardrock export ever - the band Europe will find this movie a very interesting piece. Otherwise, this movie is not a big quality. It`s just a 30- minute film intended for schools, produced by the Swedish "Landorganisations". But as I have said, Europe fans will find there a very rare insight into their pre-The Final Countdown period - a concert performance of Rock The Night, held in a far-northern Swedish town from On The Loose Tour `85, the early version of the song On The Loose and the most unique track - the ballad Broken Dreams, which has not appeared on any Europe official album... So Europe fans go ahead and get this film! It`s in Swedish, though...
A breathtaking spectacle
I really do not understand how it is possible that one of the greatest movie series of 1960`s has got such a small amount of comments on this site. This opening movie of the five-part series is in my opinion one of the best. We can see a successful portrayal of rural France of 17th century, the splendour of the golden age of Lous XIV., the debauchery of the court of Versailles etc. Michelle Mercier is simply beautiful, Toja as Louis XIV. is very good as well. The film features some very well-acted scenes. I can recommend it to anyone who loves historical spectacles. This is one of the best ever filmed, I have doubts whether the present film-makers would manage to match it!
Nesmrtelná teta (1993)
This is said to be the most expensive fairy tale film that was ever shot in the Czech Republic. I appreciate especially the beautiful setting of Vranov and Dyji /a gorgeous chateau standing on a steep rock/. Of course, Jirina Bohdalova as The Envy /Zavist in Czech/ has no doubt managed to present one of the best performances in her actress`s career. She is able to play in various dresses and masks, and she does that in a brilliant way. She has proved her unique position amongst other Czech actresses in this film.
Not bad, but the ending
I would not consider this fourth Nightmare to be so much worse than its predecessors. I mean, the story is good, acting even in minor roles is quite satisfactory /I loved Brook Theiss as Debbie/ and Freddy`s "new image" or "new behavior concerning his victims" is quite funny sometimes /I laughed at the beach dream scene, the sun glasses went with Fred quite well/. Why shouldn`t Freddy be sometimes entertaining?
The special effects are really up-to-date /watch out for the Freddy`s resurrection from the grave amidst the wrecked cars!/, however, the logic of the plot is not perfect. Who brought Freddy again alive? The dog? Was it only in a dream or in reality? In the previous parts the plots were sort of heading for Freddy`s defeat, surrender or death. In this one we do not know how the last surviving heroine wants to beat Freddy until the very scene with the little girls` advice in the church. Therefore, it is not so thrilling and "understandable".
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A horror classic...
The "Nightmare" has been recently on in our TV and I must admit that even after those fourteen years it made a deep impression on me. I saw the film for the first time in 1989 and at that time I was scared because I was just a teenager then. But now, I can see that the film has got something unique, which makes the film different from other horror movies. I think it`s down to the basic idea of this film - dreams and everything that can happen in our dreams sometimes become true. The authors of this film did not have to be bound with the need to stay realistic and that opens a free way to their wildest imaginations. Charles Bernstein`s music in this movie has become clasic and we can hear the basic melodic motive in some of the sequels. Original music composed by different authors in the sequels to this first Nightmare stays far far behind Bernstein`s masterpiece.
A disgrace to the original
The second Nightmare features some very good scenes and plot arrangements, however, the basic system on which the first Nightmare stood was broken by Freddy`s killing a few people in reality without their being asleep. This produces a lot of confusions and unclear moments throughout the film and spoils the whole impression. But it is still very thrilling and scary unlike the fifth or sixth Nightmare.
S certy nejsou zerty (1985)
A brilliant film version of a classical fairy tale
This film is based on a classical story "The Devil`s Brother-in-law" written by the famous Czech fairy tale author Bozena Nemcova. The film, however, does not trace the story in every detail and has many interesting original episodes. One of the best features of this wonderful movie is the beautifully presented setting of Hell. Karel Hermanek as Lucipher is quite persuading and Jaroslava Kretschmerova as Peter`s stepmother cannot have played her role more authentically and in a more funny way than she did. Watch out for this movie, I guess it has not been on only in the Czech TV but also in Germany, Austria etc.
Panna a netvor (1978)
Most thrilling version of the Beauty and the Beast
Although I doubt that this film was ever on in the U.S., since I live in the country where it was shot, I can warmly recommend it to anyone who loves fairy tales taken in a harsher and darker manner. The atmosphere of the film is gloomy and the camera is very original - we can see the Beast /who has here gruesome bird-like looks/ only in the middle of the film. In the first part of the film we feel his presence only through his eyes. The beginning of the movie has nothing to do with a fairy tale, it is a pure horror - a dark forest, amazing church-pipe tones, chilling to the bone, mist all around and a sudden sound of hoofs getting nearer and nearer... The dark atmosphere of the whole film is weakend by a dream interlude in which the Monster is shown as a normal human being dancing with the heroine in rooms full of glare and light. Fantastic music again. Perfect acting /best Czech actors whatsover, great choreography/,a super setting /a dark palace of the Monster/. The film will give you a totally different approach to the old well known fairy tale.
Thrilling, but the ending...
ALIENS is no doubt the best and most magnificent part of the Alien saga. It is a pity that the publishing company has not released the full version of it /with the episode about the life of the colonists on LV before the attack of aliens/. What I find a bit diminishing about this great movie is the ending of it. I cannot imagine such a huge alien queen to be capable of getting on the "plane" just behind Ripley. The queen could not have caught it. And one more thing - Ripley climbing the ladder while the outer door of the spaceship being open. That`s really funny.