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Sobache serdtse (1988)
(the review contains no spoilers to the actual plot, but I am discussing a few lines from the movie, which while have 0 impact on the plot, but may not be appreciated by everyone).
I think other reviewers have captured the sense of this movie. Amazing story (obviously), amazing acting and dialogue. Great sets and atmosphere, but I wanted to mention something else...
After living in the USA for 20+ years, something made me wonder. The main point of the movie is to critique ussr/communism and the movie done so with implacable detail. One thing that made me wonder is that professor was very serious when he mentioned how they removed rug from main entrance, stole galoshes and such. It's either such veiled acting or the professor is truly ignorant (in this case, it was either done with the sarcasm or not, I think the result in the same). I completely agree with the communism flaws and such (not to go off tangent), but one thing stands out. When 90% of the country is hungry and can't afford to feed/clothes or keep themselves warm, and he comments how he has light goes out twice a day now versus twice before in 20 years, somehow his problems are just not as important to me.
Nevertheless, movie is brilliant in every way.
Trivia Night (2016)
I like trivia, so this caught my eye. The movie follows a passive aggressive loaner, a perfect example of an unabomber, if he was political. The dialogue is good, acting is good. Interesting questions. Overall movie is different enough that I liked it but not interesting enough that i'd watch it again.
Pretty good but comparing it to The Wire? Not really...
I think the story is good. It has good plot twists. I would say it's fairly unpredictable, new story. It has a few unnecessary sex scenes (no nudity). I am all for sex scenes, but some of these early on made no real sense, short of just being there to show off good looking women.
It mixes world of finance, corruption gangs with high tech finance. I think they mostly pulled it off. There were some moments where the directors could have said soul searching, devoid of dialogue drives for s2 or s3, but I guess it wasn't bad.
There is plenty to discover in s2, so Ill be watching. I think main leads played it well. Dialogue was good, blunt but good. Nothing too corny.
Edi Gathegi - pulled off cool, methodical 'dude' Adam Brody - was interesting. At first, I thought ht was too like a classic flawed hero, but he surprised me. Otmara Marrero - had the best one liner about living for a year with her boyfriend. I'll let you enjoy it. Martin Freeman - I almost feel like he was there for plot but not sure if I liked or could believe his persona.
Notable: Izzy's father, was done very well. He is there to support his family just for that, nothing else...
The Get Down (2016)
I was not there then but I can appreciate it. At times, it feels slightly overplayed (the gang scenes in EP 1 for example), but otherwise it's well done.
Music is exactly what you'd expect and the women are gorgeous. I also like the flashback elements. They were effective and not overly long or preachy, as flashbacks can get.
Story is layered, starts off at several ends and slowly weaves together. I have really enjoyed it so far.
The series also uses documentary to weave real life elements together as a political statement of the ghetto 70's NY. It's hard to imagine just how corrupted NYC was in the 70s. Just crazy
The Survivalist (2015)
Very well acted
I overall liked the movie. It didn't try to take on a large topic. It wasn't fun or nice or had a happy ending, just a well told story. Many movies are trying to be more than they are, and this wasn't one of them. It was very well acted and has great visuals. Often times, movie will go for 1-3 minutes without any dialogue, which I found to be an effective way to tell the story.
Main 3 characters didn't have any allusions of hope; they were just there trying to survive day-to-day. I am a fan of the Dystopian genre; however, often times, it ends up being unrealistic or trying to a franchise maker. This didn't try any of it, and just succeeded to be a strong movie.
Forgettable and uninspiring
This movie makes little sense. It seems to have no logical following or reasons for some things to happen. I felt bored and confused at times.
Script felt like a cop out where even for a bond movie nothing made sense. Even race scene (as is in every bond movie) is kinda stupid with an anticlimactic ending.
To me, that's creative non-sense. Mr Waltz's character is too stupid to be anything. He misses all the traits of the bad guys. he is not cold blooded or methodical or calculating. Someone who can't even be a mastermind of his own mind.
Bond is also boring, he looks tired and aged. There is not funny dialogue/comebacks or toys.
The girl is hot, but that's it.
The Americans (2013)
Excellent - quite possibly top 3 show on the TV
What differentiates a great show from a good show from a bad show? Well, many elements.
The Americans does many things well. Nevermind the costumes/cars/clothes which is on par with the era, nevermind the great acting, nevermind the subtle intensity where words not always are needed. Well, nevermind. The show does all of those elements well and combined, they create one of the best shows on TV.
Main characters are believable: they are cold, calculating, in full control of their emotions while putting their motherland ahead of their personal beliefs. Yet, when they are in privacy of their home, they act exactly like a devoted couple would. Their arguments are often are controlled, where silence mean more than screaming.
The series is deliberate and many may not like it's slower pace. Then again, as I am writing this Allegiance got canceled after 5 episodes. There we had a fast pace Russian spy show, which failed to seem authentic and plausible.
I hope their arcs will continue to be season long, full of intrigue and plausible. Oh, and music is great. This week's episode ended with "The chain" by fleetwood mac. Great, just great!
Zagadka Endkhauza (1990)
Faithful adaptation but lacks effectiveness
First time I watched this movie was more than 20 years ago. I had a chance to watch it again and decided to write a review.
USSR adaptations are known to be very faithful to the original work. This is no different.
While the movie wasn't too bad, I felt it lacked in several ways. Except for Mr. Poirot and Ms Buckley, the rest of the characters were boring. I felt like they were just there to say the words and lacked any point (as we all know, the supporting cast is there to raise doubt and create confusion in regard to the motives).
Each of her friends was there to create a motive, but it was not explored in depth. While I had doubts about each, there was nothing to help leading me down the wrong path.
Unless you are a fan of Agatha Christie's work, this is not a movie for you.
Gardemariny, vperyod! (1988)
A great mix of intrigue & melodrama
Before I go on, let me just say that v2 and v3 of this series is nothing like the first. Not even close.
This series keeps you on your toes: 3 Naval cadets in trouble from one side or the other. Yet, they have a key to Russia. But can they trust anyone, sometimes not even each other - or so it seems. Intrigue is what makes this series great.
Seeing it as a kid back in early 90's, I could not comment on acting, since I was neither qualified nor I had anything to compare it to. While, I don't think acting was that great, it was above average. The music and singing usually ruin a movie for me, but in this case, it was pretty good.
Overall I think it's 9/10. I am not sure what can make it better though.
House of Cards (2013)
Slow, underwhelming, overall disappointing
**update** Just finished watching s2 in one sitting and I have to say, it's a 9/10 for me. It's much tighter than s1. Pace is faster, and story line is much more complex.
The key to the story line is that you can't predict the reasons why certain things happen or pushed that way, but when they come together, you start to appreciate the depth.
In my opinion, s2 is much better than one... But, after watching s1 again to get ready for s2, I appreciate s1 a bit more. Yes, it was anemic , with poor dialogue but still fine series.
season 2, episode 1 has the shocker of the year! **update**
I finished watching this on netflix and felt unsatisfied. I think by far the worst in this series, is poor writing. Bad dialogue, no memorable lines or quotes. The pacing was slow, so bad, that at times I paused it in the middle of the episode to check my email... (I know, right)
I think Kevin Spacey did a good job with what he had. Too bad.
By far the best 2 characters were the women.
Zoe was a calculating young woman who'd go far to get the scoop. Her beauty and raw sexuality was captivating and enjoyable to watch.
Claire (Robin Wright) probably had the best character in the series. She had my favorite moment in season 1 when she felt ignored. She bit back with the vengeance.
It really needed to be about 8 episodes with tighter story and better editing.
4/10 from me.
Desyat negrityat (1987)
One of the best.
This is not the type of movie that a typical moviegoer will seek, so, instead I will give some other insight.
This was the only movie that ever gave me nightmares when I was a kid. Mostly, I think it's because the movie achieved a rare feat of actually transforming not only the book and it's characters to the screen but also the atmosphere.
Many people will not watch this movie just based on it's original name, but I can assure you, the name conveys no negative information. That leads to believe that it's P.C title, is just a cop-out.
As far as adaptations done, there are no better versions of any ever made.
TASS upolnomochen zayavit... (1984)
Intricate, detailed, spy drama of Cold War
I seen this movie some years ago as a child and now I have the chance to re-watch it again. Many movies that we loved as children now become silly and lose its charm, not this time though.
The movie is set in the early 1980's, and while the Cold War is over, this remains by far the smartest movie ever made.
The premise is the following: In a fictional African country that is now supported by USSR, an uprising (that is supported by the USA) is about to depose its leadership. Because USSR has an agreement to step in, the CIA has to find out exactly what will USSR do in order to make their move.
All this was promoted by the anonymous letter that was given to the consulate of the neighboring country, which the author claims to witness CIA meeting its Russian Agent.
The other main plots are these: 1 - In Moscow KGB General (Tikhonov) has to find a an American spy, a Russian who is leaking classified information. He sends Colonel Slavin (Solomin) to the African country in order to figure out who the author of the letter is, who the spy may be as well as other CIA related actions.
The parts that set this movie apart from many others is the details that are missing anywhere else. For example, when Slavin arrives to the country, in order to find out about a previous accident, we see him masterfully banter with few locals. He does not press them for answers but merely uses his superior intellect to slowly massage the conversation to get information he needs.
Another situation is when KGB General (Tikhonov) is analyzing known information in order to make decisions...The detail given to the back story and the facts and the reasons, makes me plausible and paints realistic view of how such decisions are made. In separate episodes, 10 minute shots were shown in details to not give the audience answers but merely to guide them through the process.
Yes, I will admit, that at times the movie can be a bit slow, such as during some of the ethical or sociological conversations, where for good 10-15 minutes, nothing really happens except two people quoting famous thinkers of the past in order to push western or socialist reasoning.
I find that to be the difference between quality adaptations and Hollywood money making layer-less flicks. Yes, you can cut 10-15 minutes from each episode because nothing really happens there, but there is actually something happens.
***spoilers**** That conversation Slavin had with another person in earlier episode, was just 15 minutes of nothing really, except it achieved 2 things. 1 down the line when it came to the point to judging that person's motives & reasons to betray his country, Slavin was able to determine that it was unlikely. ***spoilers****
The last reason why I really enjoyed this movie is because it's the most realistic one, where each side KGB/CIA are treated as smart counterparts. The movie does not try to push agenda or paint one or the other as unpatriotic, it simply stays away from that. Instead of shows both sides thinking, methods, and reasons for doing what they do.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
I will not be getting into the gist of the movie...book sold 60mil copies ..and by now you all know...
I also will not argue the possibilities...but simply judge the movie on the merit..having read the book so... here are my thoughts I think ian mckellen was not really believable as a bad guy/mastermind...he could have been...but he seems to smile throughout the movie...didn't really give me a badguy feeling(like in x-men) silas was very good...although i'd prefer a bit more brutal/gory (like in the book).
Hanks and Tautou were fine, although there was no chemistry...u would expect them, as they solve the riddles, to more finish each other's words..
jean reno's role was BS...in the book the way he was described and the dialogue went..you could feel his presence...in the movie he basically had useless dialogue...
I think special effects/flashbacks were by far the best part of the movie...they weren't confusing or scrambled but fairly clear...
I know what you gonna say....you cannot compare book to a movie..and its true..where are very very few movies that are as good as a book my guess.
The biggest problem is with the adaptation and cutting material...they left out a lot of flashbacks...so that the terror/anticipation you feel when you read, you don't feel it here(the whole scene with opening the safe box...was a joke/could have been done a lot better).
Also, i didn't like the french speaking policemen or Latin(Italian?) cardinal/silas...least they could do is give us some kinda translation in the subtitles (the whole 2nd plot about betrayal or the cardinal and such would have made it a lot more layered, like in the book)...
like that scene when they found them at mckellen's place..obviously the armored car had a GSP..i guess they talked about it in the policy office...but its a guess...if they had some sort of subtitles it'd been clear.
perhaps making this a 3 hr movie would have been implausible since most ppl who did not read the book won't sit through a 3 hr movie and producers who put that kinda money for it,...wont risk it a nice.
director's cut would be nice...adding 30-40 min of footage..more flashbacks to her childhood would have added necessary ambiance.
also...in the end when they show the reason she stopped talking to him...i always thought it was different than in the movie...more of some sort of sacrifice or the killing or maiming perhaps
very much underrated for such a high quality story
These 5 movies(1st few i guess are better than others mostly as we all know rarely u can keep high quality over same series...) are done with such a beauty that once you see it, it reminds you all those classics from usa
The story is such that its reminds me of era of count of monte christo or 3 musketeers, while story here is a lot more prolonged its still very captivating
Most importantly i think that because the era and some parts were truthful to certain extent(you really get the feeling on how it was then, how people acted and such) that you just get lost in that world
i seen this movie in europe maybe 10-12 years ago and yet to see in usa, but i feel that this is 1 of those movies which should get a grand remake with perhaps straight to video type of release(you cant really put this all in 2 hr movie its more like 2 hrs per book)
movie itself gets 4 out of 5 for being very good but not exaclty honoring the movie though
American Me (1992)
Lot of people compare this movie...
I think that when people compare this fine movie to blood in blood out they are right partly
While story is very similar and stunning(i loved both movies) blood in blood out has something this fine movie doesnt
This movie is more documentary type where they tell a story with general development while personal relationships are never really developed. For example, main character and j.d they are shown as life long friends, yet we never really see the side how they became or how their friendship developed.
Now about blood in blood out, while it has very similar story, the interpersonal relationship between main 3 characters as well as montana and other gang members are lot more detailed. This gives you a lot bigger insight on why the characters would do what they did(what drives them and such).
Anyhow this movie gets 8/10 from me and if they had lot nicer personal development it would have easily been a 10
About Schmidt (2002)
Little too much of trying to be something else
Ok flick with great performance by jack nicholson of course
only problem i got there was that this movie was trying to be made so it will win an oscar and more be in style of american beauty which is extremely popular movie not because of the story but because thats how lot of men think(ie got along with the audience)
for the detailed movie review read some others :)
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
Probably the sweetest comedy in a long time
I wont write a lot about this movie since its a comedy except to say that probably most original(well not original but perfectly acted with great chemistry between actors) since meet my parents, most comedies have been pretty stupid.
You have your usual humor with dumb blonde jokes, falls, slips etc. This movie happens to be very romantic as well as extremely hilarious as the 2 main actors match perfectly well with each other. Even the cuddle/kiss scenes aren't overly pushing but slowly developed to let the viewer actually keep like they are really passionate about each other but don't have to display it to everyone.
Now the funny things weren't the jokes the developed over the movie, but they were the small reactions that character goes through against other actions.
As kate's character tries makes him leave her, most men can put themselves in his shoes and totally go nuts over this, however for him with big plans on the line, he has to take it all in, but can he?
The Rules of Attraction (2002)
A poor attempt to resemble greatness
This movie is my view was a poor attempt as making something which required a lot better story, and acting
The movie tried to have the type of atmosphere that Reservoir Dogs, Pulp fiction and memento had(ie start at the end and guide the audience by the story.
If the story was less confusing and acting was lot better(believe me faking sexual acts and doing drugs and being drunk isnt acting) this maybe have had a chance
waste of my time...
Ladies and Gentlemen, may i present to you the best comedy ever
Not much to add except this is kind of like friends except dialogue about 100x better, acting 10x better, lot more funny and story is way more complex with unbelievable and yet extremely funny twists.
If you can get bbc or bbc america, you MUST see this 11 Out of 10
This is rated R with some adult humor so keep kids away:>
Best of the best
contains spoilers from gladiator and braveheart
There has been several of this 'type' of movies done lately
They are no exactly the same but have similar type gist
braveheart the gladiator the patriot first knight and more
Point is all of them were good movies gladiator being the best
but braveheart stands up in my mind far ahead of everyone else
i felt that story developed in movie was much better(war scenes authentic, dialogue, backstabbing all written and acted great)
am comparing it to gladiator since other movies werent even close
other things i really liked in this movie compare to gladiator was smaller things which were developed much nicer and deeper
for example: in gladiator when emperor asked his gladiator to show his face i would much rather prefer in gladiator to say his name MUCH louder so people to hear/see who he was and they should have been outraged, yet nothing happened
i wont go on and on but i think that braveheart is a movie that anyone who enjoys a series movie should own!
Uznik zamka If (1988)
Best of the books made in great movie
*update* I originally wrote the review in 2002, but I have had a chance to watch it again. Mostly the movie was faithful to the book, but I think there are still some elements that weren't done well.
1. The prison scenes, I think the flashbacks were done exactly how it should but the rest wasn't. For example: In several years that they spend together, we should have had a clearer idea of how the abbot was teaching Edmond to be and behave like Count. 2. The part where he was rescued by the captain after escaping and until the scenes of 10 years later, the missing parts were important. For one, the book describes how they had a falling out and in a knife duel he spares his life, thus gaining a loyal friend for life. 3. The ending was not too clear as some parts were a bit confusing.
Anyway, I think it's about 7/10 out and with few chances/additions, it could be 9/10. I just don't think anyone can make a 10/10 movie, that's as good as the book.
*update* Since this movie was done in Russian not many people who aren't native to Russia may not have have seen it
I seen most euro/USA remakes of this wonderful book, however none of them even come close to the excellence of this version.
While its a big long (almost 4 hrs) i think its fair length, since the book is about 1600 pages
the 4 hrs you spend watching the movie are 4 hrs that you are unable to move from your seat until the movie has ended. It relays the intrigue of the book almost as well as the book itself
I have to applause ussr filmaking of the past time for not caring for size but caring about the quality
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
Fairly decent adaptation of what could have been better
This article might have some spoilers from the movie so read it at your risk..
First of all i have to admit that making a movie from one of the greatest stories(in my humble opinion) had to be pretty hard.
While this movie only about 2 hrs and few min long, i believe that if it was maybe a bit longer (perhaps 2 1/2 hrs) it would have been much better.
The reason that the book was 'soooo' popular wasnt only the story it was also those intricate details which made the story so good. In the movie it was pretty hard to show such affection for mercedes to dantes in few minutes that they show them together.
The other parts of the movie were only shown at short periods to portray the gist of the book without the feeling of it. The years that dantes and faria spend together as dantes learned to read and write, to fence as well as other subjects which made him a very smart person in the future...
If i can use a movie like shawshank redemption to show an example of how a movie can show a person being in jail while to be similar period of time(13 and 17 years i believe),i believe shawshank redemption made a much better point to show the main characters struggles, and his masterminding of the plans of the future.
I dont really want to go and b***h along as you dear readers might assume, but maybe i do so since i enjoyed the book much more than the movie and i feel that this movie was entertaining but same time didnt do justice to the book.
Now, dont get me wrong movie was pretty good, nice adaptation, good action, mediocre love story, but thats all it was, when it could have been a great story..
If you least liked the movie but want 10 times more then i urge you to read the book
i given this movie 6 out of 10(since they did try to stick to the story not like other people who wanna use it name and make a new story)
Bound by Honor (1993)
great story, great irony, great epic
i was bored one evening and someone mentioned to check this movie.
i rarely like movies which are very long but i figured what the heck i'd try it
since then i have ordered dvd of the movie and seen it 5 times in 2 weeks
this movie only might have 1 real problem, is when actors kinda overact their roles, which you could see in the movie, however its pretty acceptable in this movie
great movies usually defined by great actors acting out the roles/story as well as other features(irony/etc)
well this movie had a real great story, well written script which at any point in the movie was never confusing(often problem with long movies, you loose the track on some heroes and movie jumps a lot)
i think that most great movies should have good irony, well this was no exception! i will not go in to the details but anyone who seen this movie will agree with me
i think everyone should at least see this movie once, but thats just my humble opinion
Cast Away (2000)
good movie which could be much better
This review contains some spoilers, nothing direct, just some references
I expected cast away to be an oscar winner. I do not believe it is going to win an oscar after i saw it
The beginning was too long(they spend 10 useless minutes at the start which can be done better)
The ending was very weak with no point. Usually after someone thought to be dead for (a long time) company least going to keep his job
The island part i thought was the best part i seen this year. If they added more to it like him building home/adapting to the environment (maybe build some part where he keeps caught fish and other food(you cant expect him to only eat what he catches same day))
If they added those parts i think it be a great movie
Volleyball scenes were very good cause it kept him communicating(while some think of it as insanity, i believe it saved him from going insane (he believed the volleyball was like a person, so his decisions were based on them two (more rational/considerate))
I still think its a very well made movie, just not perfected as i have come to expect from Hanks movies