Reviews written by registered user

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294 reviews in total 
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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Please switch off and enjoy, 22 January 2017

Most people hopefully know the storyline is not entirely accurate (but it is based on actual events and actual people). However this movie is all about this delicious comic book style and the epicness of a long lost era.

For us Greeks it also hits a nerve as a (quite idealized) depiction of what we are taught in our schoolbooks about the Persian wars. Watching a movie with the heroes of our history makes us proud and it is a very welcome positive reference to our country especially in the context of the last years.

For all the 1/10 reviewers please relax, it is cinema, the great escape from reality. I'm already looking forward to the next one.

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A worthy sequel, only wish we had less outsiders, 22 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I admit I am a huge fan of the Before series. I was eagerly anticipating this movie for many years. Since 2004 to be exact. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy have hands down the best chemistry in the history of cinema. I am not exaggerating. Their interaction and mannerisms along with the masterfully crafted dialogues should be obligatory material in acting schools.

So again this time, when they were on screen they managed to perfectly convey the joys, concerns and frustrations of people (and also couples) in their early 40s, just like they did with the early 20s and early 30s in the other two films. Their acting calibre allows them to stay on the fine line between maturity and insecurity.

This leads me to the only issue I have with the film and the reason I gave it a 9. Unlike the previous two installments, a lot of screen time is wasted in conversations with or between third parties. I was simply not interested in what everyone else had to say, this is a movie about Jesse and Celine and how they see life through their own eyes. Thankfully the issue is rectified in the second half, but I still wanted to enjoy our two protagonists a bit more. I could even go as far as saying some parts especially in Patrick's table border to corny and bland, but without using spoilers this may actually be intentional.

A side comment: I may not think her role (or any supporting role for that matter) was key to this particular movie but as a Greek it was a delight to see the beloved Xenia Kalogeropoulou again on screen after so many years of absence. She has aged gracefully. Please check her movies, she is an extremely skilled actress.

Now in terms of the location, as with the rest of the films, it is really secondary. I'm not sure why they chose Greece in the first place, but in any case Southwestern Peloponnese is a great place to visit and actually using the house of Patrick Leigh Fermor is a fitting homage to the great traveller (the host's name being Patrick surely not a coincidence).

As mentioned above, the movie really takes off in the second half, the hotel scene and the very last scene are pure Oscar material (hello Academy, you skipped them twice, it is about time don't you think?). Intense magnetism was emitted from the screen and nobody really wanted this movie to end. I could easily sit a few more hours watching them interact.

Once more, thank you Ethan, Julie and Richard for giving us another amazing film. I know I will be revisiting again and again.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Meryl Streep gives credibility to a bad movie, 14 January 2012

What a missed opportunity.

One of the most controversial figures of 20th century politics, a plethora of great stories from her life and career to be told, a multi-dimensional character to be explored and what do we get? A senile person hallucinating and babbling for more than half the movie. What an injustice to Margaret Thatcher and to the audiences. Both those who love her and those who hate her would leave the cinema outraged that they only caught a glimpse of all that is relevant in Lady Thatcher's life. Not to mention the utter lack of respect for a person who fights with Alzheimer's.

Meryl, we all know you're the best actress alive and you prove it once again, but why you accepted this? This is just a show-off of your skills, no substance at all. Is this all you're about now? How about the cinema?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Menopausal student series (if such a thing is possible), 1 June 2011

Of course it is possible when Mirella Papaeconomou writes the script and supervises production. She manages to create a badly crafted, pseudo-intellectual dialogue, which distances the viewer in an instant because of its sheer unbelievability and shallowness. This is usually paired with a slow, painful tempo. And this package is her "expertise" in almost every series she's involved with. I guess it is obvious by now that I try hard to stay away from anything she's ever done, but this series was inflicted on me again as it is repeated ad nauseam on the channel that has its copyright. So I thought I should remind myself why I wanted to stay away in the first place.

I still remember when it was first released (in '96) everybody was saying how late 80s it looked like and how hard it was trying to appeal to the younger audiences, although so obviously written by someone with a superficial contact with the target group. I think sophomoric fits perfectly here as a description. Papaeconomou was trying so hard to mimic what she thought would tick the younger audience boxes, that she didn't bother to check if it really resonates or not. It was already out of date and even if it weren't it was simply badly written.

OK is there anything good?

In general I would say the actors were good. Some kicked off their careers after this, while for some others, although they were pitched as sex symbols, their career didn't really fly. Now unfortunately, they had to utter extremely cringing lines and over-act, but a job is a job so well done for delivering and keeping a straight (or a melodramatic if needed) face with such material.

Then the premise is good and was refreshing. A group of students and their adventures in life is good material, especially in the context that there was no homemade series about students in the Greek mid-nineties and people were longing for a 90210 equivalent. And here's why I'm so annoyed with the quality of the scenario and script, because this could become a landmark due to originality and topicality for a whole generation.

Hands down, the best part of the series is the soundtrack, composed by the great Dimitris Papadimitriou. Although the title music was the most popular song, the real gem is called "To Skaki" ("Chess"), with lyrics from a poem by Manolis Anagnostakis.

7 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
Too much for me, 15 May 2011

I'm not conservative, I'm not a puritan, I'm tolerant and liberal, but I do have some limits and this film surpassed them.

I want to emphasize I do not mean the transsexual theme, which is absolutely fine, after all I did enjoy The Crying Game. I mean the twist in the plot, which I do not want to reveal for those who haven't seen the movie but it did make a very bad impression to me. This was WAY too much and spoiled my movie experience. This was bordering sickness. I can't believe such a sick twist was airbrushed in all the reviews I happened to read about this movie. And for what is worth, I also enjoyed Oldboy.

Anyway, art is art, but be prepared. For me only redeeming aspects if you manage to take the scenario out of the picture is Mina Orfanou's performance and the competent direction.

Dogtooth (2009)
0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Haneke meets von Trier, 27 February 2011

One can certainly claim Dogtooth is disturbing, but I don't think anyone can really claim it is original. These themes have been explored before. Trying to isolate the truly original aspects of the film one is left with few instances of black humor and the gratuitous sex and gore element (aka refuge of the uninspired).

I think the best part of the movie is Lanthimos great "pastel" cinematography and I will also give credit to the actors (all newcomers to the industry) for competent delivery, although I think the script could be stronger.

Overall, not impressed, but this film is still worth seeing.

16 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
Unbearable, 19 March 2010

This is a dumbed down excuse of a movie. Honestly, I felt a physical assault on my brain cells. Obviously the producers are trying to target the Christian republican rednecks, who ironically, will probably not like it anyway. For the rest of us, it is simply unbearable to watch.

I like Sandra Bullock. No I really do. But it is completely beyond me how she got an Oscar for such an awful movie. Is portraying a stereotypical character with corny lines worthy of an Oscar? Is delivering the clichés we've seen hundreds of times before worthy an Oscar?

I feel sorry for my lost time watching this, although thankfully it was just on the plane, so I didn't pay a cent.

Avatar (2009)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Good CGI, dumb dialogues, 14 March 2010

In terms of the visual department, Avatar is a pleasure to watch. It is an achievement and it rightfully got the Oscar. This is the only reason - and by all means a sufficient one - to go to the theatre. The overall story is also relatively believable although surely not original. However, given the investment this movie got, the huge potential was only partly realised.

And why? Because at some point they forgot they were making a movie, not a CGI demo. The dialogues are so annoying, childish and empty, it makes sitting through the movie with the sound on a real challenge. I don't want to hear exclamations of 10-year olds if I'm to get interested in the plot. I don't want to be force fed what's going on, I don't want one dimensional characters and so little respect for the intelligence of the audience.

So I have to admit very mixed feelings on recommending this movie. The reality is, you cannot miss Avatar, since it sets today's standard in visual effects. But please, do not have any more expectations than that, or you will be disappointed.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Sweet but with an edge, 8 March 2010

I loved this film. First it is the amazing performance of Sally Hawkins. She is an absolute delight to watch. Her face and mannerisms after a bad day can cheer you up. In fact she did exactly that to me today. However, we soon understand that Poppy has a relative inability to deal with the darker side of the world. The tramp and the boy at school episodes hint to that.

Also, as in real life, not everyone wants to have happier people than themselves around. They consider this either patronising or immaturity. Enter Scott and Helen respectively.

Now while Helen is the proverbial big sister who has gone further in life and looks at Poppy condescendingly, Scott is a very complex and well written character and perfectly brought to life by Eddie Marsan. The driving lessons scenes are by far the best part of the movie, with the very last one topping it all. This scene brings a revelation to both Poppy and Scott, one that could possibly change their lives forever. It is when their two universes collide.

A very good film, that many people did not give it a chance.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Major nostalgia attack, 7 October 2008

Have no doubt, this is a silly movie. Bearing the Dalianidis' signature, it was bound to be. So the value of this movie does not lie in either the jokes, the scenario or the failed effort to make a movie that is "in" (by using supposedly cool youth-speak and gestures).

The real value lies behind all of that.

For everybody who grew up in late 70s - early 80s Greece this is a nostalgic extravaganza. It's the background in every scene, the buildings, the cars, the clothes, the radio amateurs (the "pirates"), the "discotheques", the music, the atmosphere and even the all-star, ever-present cast of 80s cult actors like Psaltis, Gardelis, Mihalopoulos, Bostantzoglou, Finou, Pagrati, Pikoula and Aliberti. Also an unforgettable Adamantidis afro look!

So what more really to say? While you as a 30-something know it is silly, you will not leave your eyes from the screen since it offers a direct link to your youth.

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