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Not polish proverbs
"Banacek" has also been aired in polish TV during seventies. Polish people were partly proud, partly disappointed watching these series. People were laughing watching it and started to make jokes about this TV series. Main reason of jokes were "typical polish" proverbs often cited by investigator.
I can assure you - none of his proverbs really exist in Polish. All of them were invented by script writers. Many years later, when someone tried to "invent old tradition" saying something which sounded archaic but in fact was invented by him people used to say "Do not be such Banaczek".
Btw. proper polish spelling of his name is "Banaczek" and should be pronounced as "Bana-check"
Go and see performance first, later see DVD
It is my favorite musical and one of my favorite DVD. But I made mistake. I had seen DVD before I saw London performance. The problem is, that this performance is cut comparing to stage score. Not to much, but significantly. I understand of course, that score was to long for TV broadcast. But in my opinion too many important songs were cut. F.eg. solo of Valjean from "Thenardier Waltz of Treachery" and ending of this song (with young Cosette), first meeting of Marius and Cosette (The Robbery), and definitely duet of Marius and Valjean in "The Wedding". Lack of these songs and lack of stage movement causes understanding of full show difficult. So do not watch this movie before watching theatrical performance.
Stop complaining. It is really extraordinary performance. Singers are doing their best - Wilkinson, Quast, Henshall, Galloway, Salonga, Ball and Armstrong are simply breathtaking. Definitely best performances I have ever heard. Chorus consisting of 200 singers singing a cappella is incredible. 17 Valjeans ending show give you unique impression how different tenors might be good performers of this score. This DVD is perfect reminder of stage show. I hope 25th Anniversary performance planned on 3rd October 2010 in O2 Dome will contain stage movements and will be recorded for DVD broadcast too.
Who rated this movie?
It is definitely one of the best American movies, I saw during last year. I was watching it with eyes wide open. What a masterpiece, I was thinking. Let's check the review on IMDb. Surprisingly, I realized that average vote is only 6,5. Astonishing. Why so underrated? To European, too sad, no special effects, to slow? Sorry, not every movie should look like 'Dark Knight'. Some moves are made for people, who like to think and to feel. Main idea of this movie is inevitable truth. There is no redemption for conscience. One cannot turn back time. One will regret one's sins forever. Perfect Billy Bob Thornton, good Morgan Freeman, touching Holly Hunter. Even Kirsten Dunst (who is not my favorite actress) is reliable.
Falsification of history
This movie is huge falsification of history. First of all - Polish mathematicians and cryptologists decrypted Enigma several years before WWII. Decrypting machines were already built. You may read about it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptanalysis_of_the_Enigma But Polish contribution to the story in this movie is mentioned in this movie in one single phrase. But there is even worse point. The only bad character of the movie is a Pole! Author of this stupid scenario invented Polish guy who would be able to betray allies and become a German spy. What an absurd ! This 'author' probably knows nothing about polish attitude to Nazis during WWII. Poland during WWII had two occupants and two enemies - Nazi Germany and Soviet Union. But no one would join one enemy against the other. It was impossible. But not for makers of this movie. If Pukowski were a real man, after revealing the truth about Katyn, he would probably commit suicide.
I watched today this movie having real pleasure. I have never seen for a long time such mixture of hilarious humor and serious drama. Once you laugh loudly, one minute later you may have tears in your eyes. Main characters are excellent, Fay as 50 years old prostitute is marvelous, James Earl Jones plays the way we did not used to - simple, not too clever bartender. I was very surprised, why this movie is so underrated, 5,5 is much too low score. But I have checked it closer and I understood. This is movie understandable for women, they give very high scores close to 9. But guys mainly do not appreciate this firm. Big mistake. I can feel some atmosphere of "Steel Magnolias" in "Scorchers".
Der schweigende Stern (1960)
I realized that nobody from behind 'iron curtain' decided to comment this movie. So do I. This movie is treated by people from this side of Europe as communistic propaganda of its times. Leading role of Soviet scientists, international crew makes me sick. Characters are flat, artificial, they declare but not talk. Story is based on book ("Astronauts") of famous Polish sci-fi writer and philosopher Stanislaw Lem. But I would like to admit, that:
- it is early book of Lem
- author treated this book as 'mistake of childhood' and was never proud of it
- he did not like this movie,
Wszyscy jestesmy Chrystusami (2006)
Avoid this movie.
My recommendation: this is SECOND movie in my life I left cinema in the middle. Why ? This is not comedy anymore like previous movie "Dzien Swira" - with same director, main character and actor. This is unfortunately taken seriously. Very poor story. Badly played. Stupid dialogs. Builded correlation main character = alcoholic = Christ is flat, boring and too simple. Very poor child acting - typical in polish movies. Director simply spoiled good idea making very bad movie. He tried to tell story about his life - son of main character is played by director's son. But he failed. Woody Allen shows much better his phobias than Koterski. I feel 'appreciated' by 2 of 47 people agreeing with me. It seems Polish movie maniacs will accept even s*#t, but made by their favourite director. Sorry guys, this movie is BAD, despite of previous Koterski's movie. Black is always black, even if other people declare it shines brightly.
Pope John Paul II (2005)
great performances, good TV job
I dare to think, that my opinion (I am a Pole, coming from Krakow) might be interesting for other watchers of this movie. So here are my remarks.
Polish historical background is shown properly, although movie only marks milestones of Polish history after 2nd World War. Krakow is shown in realistic way, main scenes are shot in REAL historic places f.eg.:
- Pope 'window' chat on Franciszkanska street
- Krakow's ghetto 'cleaning' on Pilsudski bridge
- meeting with Wyszynski in Corpus Christi church's garden
I am under impression of Cary Elwes performance. I always regarded him as a comedy actor. But he shows very good picture of young Wojtyla. On the beginning he is rather 'flat'. But he is getting better getting 'older'. He is in fact very similar to young Wojtyla. Very good job, Cary.
If Cary did good work, Jon Voight have done excellent work. Producers have chosen conclave as the moment of replacing main actor. It is very good idea. Jon Voight perfectly studied mimicry of old Wojtyla, his way of walking (before and after hip operation). He showed us in realistic way growing influence of Parkinson disease. I fully agree he deserves Emmy award. His last public 'dumb' appearance on Vatican window is very touching and memorable picture.
Authors of movie did extremely good research work. Movie quotes several well known memorable pictures of Wojtyla, f. eg:
- reading a book in canoe - canoe altar mess - making a 'glasses' from hand by Pope - described above last public appearance
Sometimes (especially when light dimes and Voight is taken from profile) main actor became so similar to Wojtyla, that you might have impression to watch documentary.
Unfortunately special effects are bad. Pictures of crowd (f.eg. Warsaw mass, St Peter Square) are artificial, flying doves are artificial, German airplanes over Krakow are also too artificial. Maybe it is not visible in TV, but it looks really bad in theater.
And finally last remark. This movie is now distributed in polish cinemas (Poland is probably the only country in the world which broadcasts this movie in theaters). I do not know exactly what is the difference between versions shown in USA in TV and 'polish' theatrical version. I can see it is much shorter (127 min) Unfortunately it is also dubbed. I could not hear polish accent of Jon Voight. If I could vote for main actors only my score would be 10/10. But whole movie (although very good as a TV movie) is not perfect for reasons described above. It deserves strong 8.
Lola rennt (1998)
Inspired by Kieslowski
People watching "Lola rennt" probably do not know that concept of movie is inspired by Krzysztof Kieslowski movie "Przypadek" (Coincidence) http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0084549/plotsummary . Tom Tykwer was always a big admirer of a Kieslowski's legacy, he even made a movie based on his writing credits (Heaven). But it is Tykwer's own brilliant anyway. What makes this movie unique and a masterpiece: * perfect and precious story, * modern cinematography sometimes splitting a screen into 3 parallel shots * incredible good music (btw. songs are recorded by actors)
This movie also breaks two of my superstitions: * I hate techno, but I cannot imagine other soundtrack correlated to this movie, * I also hate sound of German language, but I cannot imagine to watch it in any other language version. And, thanks God, this movie is so far from Hollywood standards...
Lulu on the Bridge (1998)
It is unique opportunity to see good American movie. For thinking, not brainless people. I haven't seen for a long time an american movie I wouln't be able to guess the ending. This one really surprised me. I see two parralels to other artists.
My first impression - this film has a lot of Krzysztof Kieslowski spirit. I can see the same sadness of loneliness in Mira Sorvino's eyes as in Irene Jacob eyes in "Double life of Veronique". LULU tells the same story - how lonely we are on this planet.
Second impression - the movie is similar to "The Sixth Sense" in matter of post mortem life. It's hard to guess what is real, and what is imagination.
Great movie for thinking people. Very positive surprise. And Lou Reed as "not Lou Reed" - great joke.