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karmela

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13 reviews in total 
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Joshua (2007)
17 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
A great old-school horror movie, 3 July 2007
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sick of too much gore and too little plot? Longing for a smart and scary movie in the mold of "Don't Look Now"? Well,here comes the movie you're going to enjoy. In great tradition of "bad seed" sub-genre, George Ratliff's well-written, aptly executed, wonderfully acted movie is a gasp of fresh air among today's typical, dumb, in-your-face, gore-saturated horror flicks. Although there's no supernatural element involved, the mood is genuinely scary: the intensity relies mostly on great script, truly great acting (hats off for great Vera Farmiga, really amazing as a troubled mother -- but the rest of the cast also does an absolutely terrific job!)and on smart, well-balanced directing. There's no shockers here, no pools of dripping blood - just a weird kid with auburn hair and unsettling gaze and a spooky huge Fifth Avenue apartment, which reminded me a little bit about Dakota suite of "Rosemary's Baby"... and it works, big time. And it gets even better: the director achieved a great balance between spookiness and wonderful, off-beat humor (much of it is especially tasty for New Yorkers, but I'm sure the rest of the world would enjoy it, too) - a touch of tongue-in-cheek stuff makes the movie even more enjoyable. Most importantly, "Joshua" is a great story about troubles and insecurities of modern day parenting and revolves around the theme rarely picked up by movie writers, especially not in the horror genre - namely the fact that there's no golden recipe for a perfect child. The title character is even scarier by the fact there's nothing that would explain his meanness: quite the opposite, his privileged childhood in a loving home of dedicated parents had all markings of a perfect setting for happiness and success. I'm sure it'll resonate with anyone who ever had or even contemplated bringing up baby in today's complicated world. It certainly scared me, amused me -- and got me thinking. Great job!

Madagascar (2005)
3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Not a New Yorker? Well, you won't quite get it., 3 June 2005
10/10

What can I say? I had a great,great time at the movies! "Madagascar" is a well done, smartly written piece of animation. Cleverly stylized and and excellently executed on the formal level, it is also one of the smartest animated things around. Still, as much as I enjoyed it - I don't blame people from outside the Big Apple who don't quite get it. The humor in this movie is very precisely targeted towards relatively small, but very influential piece of population: those of us who have ever lived, live now or are planing to live in The Greatest City on the Planet (does the phrase 'you're on the Jersey side!' sound funny to you? Well, you get the picture.) Never heard of New York minute? Never had a bagel and a cup o'Joe to go in the morning? Never rode the #6 train uptown on the rush hour? Fugheddaboudit! But if you are in love in the Naked City as much as I am, you're going to love this movie. The characters are very much an animated version of Woody Allen's characters; the settings are as beautiful as New York can be when you see them through loving eyes... and Hans Zimmer's variation on "Rhapsody in Blue" will make your spirit soar. However, for those of you who have kids you want to entertain, or those who think the whole New York thing is just a bunch of rubbish - take my advice: go watch "Robots" or the like.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
THINK - it's patriotic!, 25 June 2004
10/10

i sincerely wish someone else's name was above the title - because moore's name puts off a lot of people who really should go and see the movie because their votes can make a difference in november. and i can tell you - every American should see this movie. if for nothing else,just to have a chance to make one's own opinion, as opposed to be told what to think by our politicians or/and the media.

but enough of that: as a movie, F 9-11 is the most disciplined, inteligent and powerful movie MM has ever made... although it is still more of a personal essay than a documentary. if there is something i could wish for, it would perhaps be better if the director/writer would stick to one issue instead of trying to point out all things that have gone terribly wrong in the last four years; moore should have focused more on how bush and his people handled 9-11, and used it to justify a war which American people would never support if they were not mislead about iraq's connection with al-quaida. still, it is a great piece of work, almost free of MM's (in)famous wisecracking jokes and the presence of the man himself. most of it is really not funny at all: it's as bitter and harrowing as a movie about war and dying can get (forget the sanitized TV coverage). and is guaranteed to get you angry, no matter what your politics. but in this case angry is good: if only 1% of those people who left their theater as upset and shocked and moved as I was will do something about it, maybe there is still a chance things will be set right again in the home of the brave.

14 out of 35 people found the following review useful:
pointless exercise in mysoginy, 18 March 2004
1/10

i did not suspect in my wildest dreams that michael haneke would ever dissapoint me so much - especially that the wonderful isabelle 'pianiste' hupert was his leading lady again. unfortunately, except from a z(tepid) prise for mrs. hupert rendition of a single mother in distress, there is really little good to say about the movie. the film starts with a very intense scene, resembling some of 'funny games' best moments - but quickly descends into pointless mess. the director shows us a post-apocalyptic world where everyone tries to survive no matter what, but there is no explanation as for what happened to why are characters put through such ordain. the characters themselves seem driven by most unprobable and dubious motives and do what none of us would ever done under the circumstances. it seems as the director was hoping the shock caused by the gory details would prevent viewers from asking qyuuestions.

30 minutes into the movie you can feel that somehow the cast have lost their heart for the project - and this is the sentiment the audience come to share very quickly. the ending was the most dissapointing of all: it seems almost as if the production ran out of money half-way through and it has been decided to end th movie the cheapest way possible. if you admire michael haneke for his excellent observation skills and understanding of dark sides of human nature - you'd better pass on this one.

Rocks (2003)
8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
deserved the oscar big time!, 24 March 2003
10/10

memorable, smart, funny, original, flawlessly executed... what else can i tell you about 'das rad', without spoiling any future viewing experience (if there will be a chance for one)? this one really stood out among this year's oscar contenders. i am truly disappointed the academy decided to give the golden guy to yet another big studio product instead of rewarding this little (but by no means insignificant) movie. i was really touched by the story: i think what we (humans) really need in a trying time like that is a proper perspective towards what our species is getting itself into. 'das rad' gives you that, and manages to make its point despite its short running time. a real gem, go see it if you have a chance. bravo stenner & uidel!

requiem for a dream, 10 February 2003
9/10

it is always excruciating to watch somebody's dream fall apart, and if we are talking about terry gilliam's visionary project dying before his very eyes - watching this happen is particularly heartbreaking. gilliam, the uncompromising dreamer, can be seen here in his most painful moments as curious combination of sudden acts of god and failed human actions literally buries his brain child under the spanish mud. what is special about this very saddening film is - however intense and emotional the situation gets on the set, you don't feel any kind of exploitation-minded manipulation on behalf of the filmmakers who were there all the time, documenting the events. and however there is no way to argue that the film's success is a result of the makers being in the right place at the right time rather than of their extraordinary abilities as documentalists, 'lost in la mancha' remains an unique film and is definitely worth recommending as an inside look at less known side of filmmaker's life as well as a beautiful tribute to a daring and sadly failed vision. boy, i wish someone gives gilliam enough money to get this film made. from these bits and pieces you can see in 'lost in la mancha', 'quixote' could have really blown our minds big time.

sad and beautiful, 7 August 2002
10/10

don't be misguided by the plot outline: this movie delivers much more than another mocumentary on how corporate development destroy lives of ordinary black folks who want just to preserve their humble homes and their community which was built with their own hands. although the motif of greedy developers is of great importance for the plot the main thing about it it is - through a series of insights on quite ordinary people's lives it shows the whole sadness of the world we all live in. this is the world where there is virtually no place left for big, romantic dreams: everything has been divided, measured and labeled with a neat price tag with many, many zeroes. watching the sayles's character struggle to go on with their lives against all odds is sometimes funny, sometimes bitter - but overall experience is deeply rewarding. the story is terrific and very believable, acting - awesome, cinematography remarkable... and those one-liners just stick to your mind for long, long time afterwards. 'sunshine state' is a real gem. don't miss it.

Gandhi (1982)
13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
'ghandi' in 2001, 30 December 2001
10/10

this great epic has - without any doubt - exquisite value as an achievement in the field of moviemaking. the movie is really great by every means and has definitely deserved all the nine academy awards it had won back in 1982. one watches it, breathless, for all three hours, as if it was just 15 minutes long. but there's more. after 9-11 and all the things we have seen happen recently, this great biopic about this extraordinary man is especially worth recommending. it is worth seeing especially for this one line ghandi says in the film: 'eye for an eye will make the whole world blind'.

The Hexer (2001)
4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
what a waste of terrific material, 29 December 2001
1/10

not many people outside poland have had an opportunity to become familiar with andrzej sapkowski's brilliant writings. he's very popular in poland for his fantasy short stories ( i believe none of them has ever been translated intrto english. alas!). to make a long story short, wiedzmin - the main character of sapkowski's books - is a traveling monster slayer, a man of extraordinary strenght and skill: he's pretty much your favourite tolkien-style cool guy. unfortunately, no one would figure this out after watching the film. 'wiedzmin' the movie is nothing but a collection of random scenes, featuring wiedzmin and other characters from sapkowski's writings, but not eben remotely resembling the plot and dramatic pace of the original. event the fact that some of the shots in the film show attractive naked women does not add any quality to it. the movie gets worse and worse with every minute, and does not even meet the requirements of 'so bad it's actually good' category. if you really are into fantasdy and want to learn something about wiedzmin, read the books instead.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
for what audience is it, anyway?, 1 July 2001
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

[contains spoilers] you have probably read a lot about this film as 'the last stanley kubrick's project'. well, what you are going to see is not quite that. poor SK, may he rest in peace, probably wanted all the best for this project, and his trademark bitterness combined with brian aldiss' short story would most likely result in a beautiful, bitter tale of human selfishness and moral dilemmas of science. what you see in theater is probably less than a pale shadow of his original concept. my impression is that the only thing SK and steven spielberg shared was the interest for a 'science-gone-awry' scenarios. 'A.I.' is a SS film with all the consequences of this fact (remember 'jurassic park'? remember 'e.t'? so you should know what i'm talking about). you may watch its first part with pleasure (especially given that big budget, ILM, stan winston's creatures and artistry of janusz kaminski's cinematography almost guarantee a great visual experience). the problem is, this film refuses to end when it should, i.e. after david gets stuck in an underwater trap with a carnival wooden blue fairy. alas, the movie continues for another 40 minutes and turns into oversweetened, unbearable futuristic soap opera (ridiculous skinny creatures from the outer space included). i could have understood where this pathetic happy end came from if that would have been a kid's fairy tale from the day one. but in my opinion some of sequences in the movie are deeply disturbing, almost nightmarish! (example? scenes in this circus-like place where human torture defective androids). rating such a movie a PG-13 is a big misunderstanding. 'A.I.' is too violent for kids and too stupid for adults, so for what kind of audience is this movie, anyway? one thing is certain: this is not for average new york city crowd. it never happened to me before to hear people boo after the movie ended.

want my advice? see 'blade runner' instead.


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