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72 reviews in total 
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Blindness (2008)
233 out of 325 people found the following review useful:
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind, 25 December 2008

It's very easy to understand why people hate this movie.

Blindness is directed by acclaimed film-maker Fernando Meirelles, with a story based on a novel by award-winning writer Jose Saramago. It stars Julianne Moore and Gael Garcia Bernal. What could go wrong?

Well, this is one the most depressing movies I've seen in recent years.

Don't be fooled, the genre of this movie is Horror, albeit done in an ultra-realistic way, much like the Brazilian movie wave of the 70/80's - gritty, violent, dirty, and ultimately hopeless.

However it's not a horror movie in the common sense. It's not scary because it has ugly monsters. It's not frightening because there is a lot of gore and blood. What freaks me (and others) out over this movie, is that it tells a story that could happen, and actually, is happening. If one can't see that, then one is as blind as the characters in the film.

The movie is technically brilliant, with great acting and top-notch effects. The story takes place in a non-specific city, but some of it was clearly filmed in São Paulo. The movie poses the question, "what if suddenly everyone in the world became blind"? This is a practical question as much as a metaphorical one.

I don't think this movie can be "enjoyed". The violence is suggested rather than seen (which IMHO makes it scarier). It can, however, be appreciated, as its shocking nature is nothing more than a wake-up call for humanity.

Having said that, Meirelles took a huge risk (the novel was considered to be un-filmable) with this film, and the result was a lynch-mob reaction from both critics and audiences. I wonder how this will impact Meirelles' future works.

I will dare to suggest that, if this had been filmed in Spanish or Portuguese, it might have been hailed as a cult movie. As it is, it's too alienating for audiences that are used to happy endings and fake-violence, or people who watch movies solely to pass the time.

This one is for 'hardcore' movie fans - don't watch it if you're depressed or sad. And it offers the viewers very little in the way of comfort. However, it's so well-executed and disturbing, that you can't help but agree that their goal was reached. Unfortunately, the marketing and the names involved with 'Blindness' misled many viewers who otherwise would never dream of watching this.

It's not a perfect film by any means, though. The music (specially in one crucial scene) just feels out of place sometimes. And If you can't picture yourself as a blind person, some things may not make a lot of sense, too. There is a scene however in which one of the characters sings a very popular song in a slightly different way - one you are not likely to forget anytime soon.

Approach with caution, and preferrably, alone. You don't want to lose any friends or potential dates. But I also think that to miss out on this movie is like losing a chance to watch one of the most thought-provoking films of this year.


Big Stan (2007)
41 out of 49 people found the following review useful:
Rob Schneider is...Unrapeable!, 26 August 2008

So, after becoming a gigolo, a teenage girl, an animal and making a lot of copies, Schneider becomes unrapeable. And it works for me.

One thing will dictate whether you'll like this movie: 1 - Rob Schneider. I like him, but he's made some real turkeys (Animal comes to mind), so I was unsure of what to expect. If you don't like him, you probably won't like this. Probably, but not surely, because this is one of his best movies.

Here he enlists the help of a good ensemble cast AND David Carradine, who steals every scene he's in, by playing a parody of himself straight-faced. This is essentially a prison comedy movie, and the best one I've seen since "Mean Machine" and "Life".

This time, instead of becoming a Stapler as his previous movies would indicate, he becomes a martial arts expert in order to cope with life in prison. You know, because he doesn't want to get raped. That's pretty much his only agenda, of course until he gets to know the inmates better and the usual clichés unwhirl.

The irony in seeing the diminutive actor kicking more ass than Chuck Norris is what makes this movie so entertaining, and in a way, even inspiring (if completely unbelievable). There are several laugh out loud scenes here, including one in which he "bans" rape from prison.

The only real problem with this film, aside from being deliciously silly and a tad too long, is that is pretty much divided in two extremely different parts, the buildup and the actual prison scenes. But in the end all is well, because laughter is what Schneider wanted, and that's precisely what he got out of me with "Big Stan".

So, good job, Rob, and try to keep it up.

36 out of 47 people found the following review useful:
You wanna get high?, 20 April 2008

It's 4/20 and I couldn't have found a more appropriate date to watch this movie. It stars comedian Doug Benson, who I knew from The Marijuana-Logues.

As Benson describes in the beginning of the film, the basic premise is like the one in "Super Size Me", but with pot instead of McDonald's.

He goes through 30 days of "detox" only to spend another 30 days smoking marijuana non-stop. He has 'tests' done, interviews a bunch of other comedians and his stand-up routines all intertwined with the 'experiment'. This makes for a nice, light-hearted, fun movie. There's offensive language, but it's what you'd expect from stand-up comedians.

Stoners will certainly find something to enjoy here. And although this movie is a comedy and Doug claims he just wants to get stoned, there are a few key moments in the film that show people who actually need medical marijuana and the ridiculous state of affairs in which the DEA violates state laws and makes things difficult for folks that are in pain - these moments are intense and sad. One can only hope this will change in the near future.

Had this movie turned into a more political direction, it would be deserving of a much higher mark, in my opinion. As it stands, it's a nice and funny movie about pot and I'm glad I had the chance to watch this today and celebrate.

Peace out, 8/10

31 out of 41 people found the following review useful:
Very good, 15 April 2008

I can't praise this film enough. It had a lot of that hand-held, first-person shaking camera which I love (and some hate, because it makes them sick), like REC, Cloverfield and Blair Witch Project.

It is a long movie for its kind, but I didn't even notice because the film was so interesting. By just showing the footage from a paranormal reporter's work the movie keeps up the pace, making it a real-time experience for the viewer.

While I would never call this film the "scariest horror ever made", I'd have to say it's certainly one of the best I've seen. The fear factor here is constructed by details in the images, camera glitches, events linked to one another which lend a very mysterious and haunting tone to the movie. The horror is more in what is not shown, but left to our imaginations. The ending is perfect, and be warned that you might have nightmares afterwards. A second viewing is highly recommended, though.

Watch this one alone in the dark, don't expect anything and you'll have fun.

21 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Light hearted, spiritual drama with a few comedic elements, 28 August 2010

I found the above description on this movie's board on IMDb, and it's better than anything I could come up with.

This is relevant because anyone expecting a typical Rob Schneider movie (The Hot Chick, Deuce Bigalow, Big Stan) will be very disappointed, or worse, depressed.

Rob Schneider plays Paul, a depressed alcoholic car salesman who tries to kill himself after being dumped by his lady. 3 shamen and a girl from Colombia find him, claiming he's the chosen one who will save their mountain. Paul then faces a series of situations at work and in life which help him make an important decision.

I certainly didn't expect a movie like this, as it is very bittersweet, and potentially a career-destroying move. But it has its heart in the right place, it feels honest, and I believe it must be commended for that.

Unfortunately, I can't say it's very good movie. "The Chosen One" looks cheap and feels very disjointed, with special effects that look like the ones found in Discovery Channel's documentaries from ten years ago. The pacing is weird, everything seems a little bit "off" and "direct-to-dvd".

The few comic moments are mostly black humor, and almost all of them are in Steve Buscemi's scenes. He's a top notch actor, and his superior quality clearly shows here when he elevates the whole movie to a whole new degree.

But I did like it, amazingly, and can certainly recommend it to people who need a little more light in their lives.

Just don't watch this thinking it's a comedy.

Dante 01 (2008)
41 out of 63 people found the following review useful:
Experimental Movie, 28 August 2008

I'm usually a very 'nice' reviewer. The kind that usually overlooks some faults in movies because the 'experience' is truly what matters to him. So, 'tis with a heavy heart that I say; I have to agree with the majority of reviewers here.

This movie feels like it was obviously cut short because of money or deadline issues, so it is painfully frustrating in that sense. The story is interesting, and the visuals and sound are astounding, although very influenced by older sci-fi movies (Alien 3 and Resurrection come to mind), but the religious overtones are rendered abstract (at best) by end of the movie.

This is a beautifully well-made movie with awesome visuals, but it has to be taken as an experiment, just like inside the story. Or as an experience, if you prefer.

That's because essentially, the last part of the movie was completely lame. And by lame I mean obviously rushed, incomplete and unfinished. Similar to "The Objective" in that respect, but even worse.

So allow me to present this movie in another way - as an experimental movie. As an audiovisual spectacle for the senses. And as such, Dante 01 is a marvel.

Having said that, the average casual moviegoer will probably not appreciate it in that sense and thus ask for a refund.

13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Instant Fun, 9 April 2010

After watching "Adrift In Tokyo", I couldn't wait to check out other works from director Satoshi Miki. So, hoping for the best, and intrigued by the one review I had read, I decided to risk this. I was not disappointed.

"Instant Swamp"'s masterful hyperactive opening lets you know right away that this is not your regular quirky movie. However it's a bit of a red herring, at least in the beginning, as it takes some time to get used to the not-that-fast pace and the characters' mannerisms. But once I was in, I was hooked.

This is full of surprises, and I was glad to see a movie that wasn't either too predictable nor too weird. It's hilarious too, some times very subtly, but still packed with gags. I can't say enough good things about the acting, specially Morio Kazama (Light Bulb) and Kumiko Asô (Haname), who carries this movie and really makes it work.

As in "Tenten", half the fun here is in experiencing the events unfold, in a sort of free-form mode. The plot is about Haname, a (very) lively young woman. Among many other things, her mother goes into a coma and Haname wants to find out about her toys which she threw into an allegedly "cursed" swamp. Doesn't help much, right? Don't worry though... one thing I can guarantee is that there isn't a single depressing or boring moment in this film.

This isn't for everyone, that's for sure. Those with low tolerance to people constantly screaming in Japanese, fantastic/ridiculous events and somewhat aimless humor will be quick to dismiss this one. But if you like Miki's style or you're a fan of over-the-top quirkiness and fun, chances are you'll be satisfied.

12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
We're never gonna survive, unless we get a little crazy, 13 August 2008

Just like Seal's 90's hit, "in a world full of people, there's always someone to fly". I would describe this movie as both an expression and example of the people who 'try to fly' - and they are usually considered crazy in society. They try different, previously unheard of things, and sometimes it's genius and sometimes it's a dud. But hey, at least they try.

This movie is absurdingly complicated in a first viewing, yet it delivers with, yes, absolute style. On a second viewing the themes become more apparent, and this is a movie you'll want to see (at least) twice.

Five stories are intertwined, sometimes subtly and others obviously, Tarantino/Ritchie mode, and they all deal with crazy stuff. This is a visual and stylish delight, as well as little bit of a mindtrip. There's symbolism if you look hard enough, but the joy of the movie is the way it deals with different themes - homosexuality, identity, love and death - and shows us that life is indeed a little bit crazy.

Recommended. 8/10

10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Underrated Comedy Classic, 26 June 2008

This is one of the best comedies I've seen. Bill Murray not only stars but directs this one, and he should be damn proud of his accomplishment. This movie is a laugh-fest.

You won't regret watching this one. The three main players are all in their apex. Murray is fantastic as usual and Randy Quaid is hysterical. Tony Shalhoub has a small but VERY memorable part.

This is one of those rare, great, infinitely "quotable" movies. There's irony, sarcasm, slapstick, you can find all kinds of humor here, and even some suspense to keep things interesting. This is great to watch with friends, there are a couple of scenes that will almost certainly make you spit your soda.

You want to laugh, watch this. Definitely an underrated comedy classic.


Believers (2007) (V)
11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
It's Okay, 26 August 2008

After watching Myrick's "The Objective", I wanted to check out his other films that went straight to DVD and this was my first pick. The premise is interesting, two paramedics are "abducted" into a suicide cult of sorts and must get away before it's too late for them.

There's a layer of religion (also seen in movies like "Frailty") that is really the crux of the movie - which makes us question the true motives behind religious preachers, missionaries and insane cults, as well as presenting us with an atheist point of view.

The ending is the movie's strongest point, and it again poses the viewers with an important question. Myrick seems to like to ask more question than answers in his movies and "Believers" is no exception. This is a low-budget flick best seen with low expectations.


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