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Bro' (2012)
18 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Tattoos, tattoos and more tattoos, 1 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A college boy gets involved with his girlfriend's tough, bike-riding brother and his drug business.

The sentence above may look like a summary of the plot, but actually it's the biggest compliment one can make for this work of absolute incompetency: to treat it as if it has a plot.

Let's start with the characters. They are all one-dimensional cardboard characters you've seen in a million movies, though I can't really consider that a fault. Many movies have been suffering from that for the last 15 years. But this film takes the concept of cliché to a whole new level.

First of all, we are constantly subjected to tattoos. I don't mean tattooed people, but tattoos themselves. In many scenes we don't see the faces of the actors, just their tattoos. As if the director is trying to make a point, "if someone has drawn pictures on your skin, you're tough." We also see many scantily clad girls, who are supposed to be hot, but I very much doubt if any of them can actually spell the word "hot." Everybody is doing cocaine or other drugs, starting and ending every sentence with "dude", wearing sunglasses, riding motocross bikes, and then doing more drugs. In one scene, a character shouts at his sister for not sleeping with his friend. "Hey sis, quit being a b**ch and show this guy a good time." Wow, how wildly unconventional. This is the main theme of the movie, since the plot I explained above never actually develops. There's drug-dealing, and that's it.

Don't let the bike poster fool you. The movie has motocross scenes only for about a minute or two. Any sports program intro montage has longer biking scenes, and probably more interesting. All you'll see here is a couple of basic, no-trick jumps that 15-year olds do easily nowadays.

Danny Trejo, who's always a wonderful presence in any movie he's in, only appears for a couple of minutes. There's a love story between the lead actor and his girlfriend which never starts or gets anywhere.

Then there's the acting. Where to start... I hate those people who use the expression "worst actor ever" so frequently on IMDb, as if they've seen all actors and made comparisons. But really, try to catch on video sites just a few seconds of the tough biker bro' character and see his acting. I don't want to say anything bad myself, just see it and judge for yourself. I've never seen actors more uncomfortable, nervously waiting for their cue, looking at their toes, or maybe trying to hide their faces for appearing in this film. They look like high school kids in a play who suddenly notice their parents grinning in the audience.

This is probably the most "die" of indie films, if you know what I mean. It has more clichés than your average "dependent" film. The so-called virgin girl looks like she's slept with more men than Cher and cannot even hold a straight face when she says she's ready for her first time. The tattooed biker boys look like the background nodders in an MTV hip-hop clip, probably cursing their fate for not being born black. There's the token devout religious mother, the token "Everybody has given up on you, but I won't" speech, the token laughter at the coughing of a first-time weed smoker, the token foot close-ups like any Tarantino wannabe, even the token "I'm sorry for everything, ma" letter that reads itself aloud. Let's not forget the soundtrack, with songs using the f-word every two seconds, because cursing makes you tough.

The whole movie is all about this bad boy image, but one that only 12-year old, gangsta-wannabe confused kids would appreciate. Everything about it is so inept, so extremely simple, so childish. It's almost like a parody.

As I did in my review of another bad movie, I did a word count of the f..word and "dude" for this film. The result is appalling.

"Dude" is said 118 times in 80 minutes, roughly once every 40 seconds.

The f word is said 273 times in 80 minutes, roughly once every 17 seconds. That may be a record.

Indie, indeed. If this is the direction indie films are going, considering profanity and drugs without any plot "a crazy, wildly unconventional film outside the boundaries of Hollywood" I'd rather stick to Hollywood. Or Bollywood, Jollywood, whatever. Anything, I mean literally anything is better than this. For once, I agree with the ratings (8 votes, all of them 1, by the time I wrote this review).

Project X (2012)
16 out of 32 people found the following review useful:
a real achievement in un-comedy, 22 September 2012

I worked on the subtitle translation process of this film. So instead of boring you with stuff you already read elsewhere, here are a couple of stats.

- The film uses the f-word and its variants 208 times. Which means once about every 26 seconds.

- The film uses the s..t word 86 times.

- "Dude" is said 70 times.

Also I noticed that the film tries too hard to be politically incorrect. There's animal abuse, a little person is abused, all females (and sometimes guys too) are referred to as "bitches", a lot of drug use... You'd think that with such a devil-may-care attitude, you'd at least get some crazy scenes with over-the-top humour. Well, think again. Running in just about 80 minutes, this so-called comedy manages to keep the viewer with a blank face all along. Not even a gentle half-smile. Not even a twitch of the lip. Nothing.

In that aspect, the film is a success. It's not easy to find a film so completely devoid of any humour, of anything that's remotely funny. It's as if a team of scientists thoroughly scanned the film, frame by frame, removing any hint at comedy that might make someone chuckle.

Plus, the writers seem intent on making a statement by using so much profanity. Last time I checked, only 10-year olds were laughing at that. The average dialogue goes like this:

-S..t dude, f..k this bitch. S..t.

-No way dude, f..king s..t. F..k.

You wouldn't believe how many times this intelligent exchange of ideas is repeated in the film. Apparently, some people thought this would be funny, or this is solid entertainment, or this is what the world needs to see right now. So some people spent millions of dollars on this.

Partying teenagers, crazy high school days, losers and nerds wanting to get laid... this has been quite an endless source for comedy in the 70s, 80s, 90s, even in the new century. But even the worst, most inept of those films managed to make you smile once in a while. Be it genuinely funny scripts, or funny actors, or fart jokes. You found something to laugh at. But this Project X is a miracle. It's as interesting and as funny as a 2-day insurance seminar, and seems just as long.

By the time of this review, the film has a rating of 6,7. It'll be interesting to see how far it has dropped in about a year.

122 out of 200 people found the following review useful:
Wow... this actually got made?, 17 October 2011

It's rather difficult to write a review for this kind of film. One is instantly inclined to use words like: childish, superficial, racist, moronic, pointless... but none of them come close.

Recent events in our times are bound to produce stuff like this. Among the many documentaries, news footage and commercial films, some are bound to play the "America: the guardians of world peace" card. But I never expected to see such a shoddily done film.

Without giving away much, I'll try to explain the plot. There are the good guys, i.e. Americans, looking neat and handsome, ready to do everything for peace on Earth. There is the Israel prime minister, although who is only seen on TV news, who gives tearjerker speeches about world peace. And there is everyone else, who are all ugly, growling, mumbling foreigners, who want to change the world order, do bad things, because they are ugly and evil and cannot stand nice, peace-loving Americans do good deeds.

I'm not saying these with any anti-American sentiments, mind you. This is actually what the film is about. It's appalling that some people approved this script and spent money for its production. It doesn't work even on a racist, "America is good, everyone else is bad" frame of mind. Your average 10-year old would approach the topic on a more intellectual level.

I realize that even the worst films require planning, time, effort and money, so I don't want to bash it all, but... who ever is responsible for this film? Responsible for the "suspect who mumbles prayers and snickers knowingly in the interrogation room" scene, done only in one million other bad movies, for instance? Or why do the foreigners write Arabic words in huge letters on the walls of the house they rent, when they are hiding dangerous stuff there? So that the neighbors would see from the windows? Oh well, I guess Arabic = evil in the childish minds of the people who approved and made this film.

I intentionally used the word "foreigner" instead of Arab or terrorist, for we really don't know who they are (although we suspect they are from Iran or Russia). One of them looks Chinese or from some Far-East country, the other looks like an Arab but could very well be Indian... doesn't really matter, for they are not American, and they are not even white. So they are evil.

I was also sorry to see a talented actor like Stacy Keach in this piece of wasted film material. Being a non-American, foreigner, evil, euro-trash, baby-eating, peace-hater myself, I haven't had the chance to see his works on theater, but I know he is vastly talented as an actor. He has been in his share of bad films, like The Class of 1999, but that was enjoyable bad. This one is just plain bad.

70 out of 111 people found the following review useful:
I know this comment will be bashed, but... awful beyond words., 28 March 2009

Like a kid suddenly dropped in the middle of Disneyland, I don't know where to start.

Make a TV series full of boring, one-dimensional characters, lots of nudity and cussing, and you've hit the jackpot. You'll be number one, you'll make millions. Plot? Hey, we have naked women, drugs and swearing, who needs a plot? Would it work? Of course. The proof is here: Californication.

Where to begin? We have a writer, Hank Moody (yes, the name gives a hint from the beginning) who has problems with the woman he loves. He does love her, but has lead such a carefree love life that it's hard for him to give up. After all, it's California I guess. Every episode, we watch hunky Hank's suffering (he's an artist after all) and the women dying to steal a night (or 10 minutes?) from him.

That's the whole plot. The main character is played by David Duchovny, who proves that any signs he had shown about being a decent actor(on the X-Files) were totally coincidental. Here he has the acting abilities of an average tree. He is a writer but we never see him write or work. (WORKING? LIKE REAL JOBS, AND ON TV? HEAVENS FORBID!) Like all TV characters, his job (e.g. artist, writer, fashion designing consultant, artist, aromatherapy counselor, artist, creative department head expertise fumgubator, and did I mention artist?) allows him to drift all day long, without doing one bit of the work that %99,9999 of the world does.

During his driftings in his fancy car****, he comes across some woman from his past every five minutes. And boy, do they want him back. Apparently Hank has a habit of changing his bed partners more often than his facial expression. Also apparently, apart from his writing abilities, he is so gifted in bed that all women are desperate to have him back. And the ones he hasn't met yet are so turned on by his wooden acting and porny name that... you get the idea. They are all ready to do it right there and then in 30 seconds.

The whole Hank Moody character, in every aspect, is right out of some 14-year old's horny dreams. He has a cool-sounding job that does not require him to do anything, he is rich, and all the women are wet and hot for him. But please don't get me wrong: I don't mean that he is popular, or well-liked among women. I mean women are ready to open their legs for him the second they see him. Yes, even without foreplay. Doesn't this strike as porn to you as well?

America must be full of women who are dripping wet and horny for the only real man: Hank Moody. Those puffy cheeks (which make him look like a Charles Bronson - Santa Claus hybrid, or a mutant squirrel-man), constant smoking, drooping shoulders and never-changing expression must be the biggest turn-on for women. Also, it seems these women have not had any happy relationships at all. Like there are no real men in America other than Hank Moody. The women are all unhappy, unsatisfied, un-everything.

The writers (yes, this stuff is actually written) try to blend in some drama, but it does not go beyond your average soap opera. Hank's gf still loves him and wants him to be faithful. Hank wants it too, and at one point he actually gives up others for her. But somehow, for some unexplicable reason, in every episode she catches him in a rather naughty-looking position with another woman. So finally she dumps him, and he goes to live with another rich-but-not-working guy, rock producer Lew Ashby (whom he's writing a book about). Hank is out of his home and desperately in need of consoling, so we have more excuse to see the token pubic hair and orgasm scene (at least once in every episode).

Other characters include Charlie, the something-producer (who looks very much like a twisted, retarded version of Peter Lorre. Also contender for the most annoying, pointless character in TV history) and his coke-snorting wife, etc.

I have nothing against sexuality, profanity or drug use on movies, or TV. As long as they are in the right context, proving a point. As long as they are a part of the plot. (Like Deadwood, or Entourage) But in this case, they are not. I guess Californication was supposed to be a series about some people's lives, involving their affairs, sex lives and drug habits. Instead, it is a series about sex, with no characters in it. And you may tell yourself it is not so, but there's a name for that: porn.

I'm trying to imagine the target audience for this show. Certainly not kids. There's almost no action, in fact, no story at all; so I'm guessing not men either. Women? Only bored housewives who'll watch any dull fantasy, I guess. Although no fantasies here either: just Hank exchanging dirty implications with women and trying to give the "It's oh so hard to be rich and loved by every woman, I'm sooo artistic and world-weary" look.

I try to find one bit of entertainment, at least one ingredient that works in this hodge podge of a series. Yes, the soundtrack. The songs are cool. That's it.

Final word: I've read quite a few hundred, perhaps thousands of comments on various movies and TV shows, but no show's fans use the word "witty" as often as fans of Californication. It seems to mean: "I love seeing breasts, but I'm too sophisticated to admit it, so I call this 'witty' instead of 'titty' ."

**** Hank has a Porsche but it is always dirty and one of the headlights is broken, yet he never gets it fixed. WOW! How profound. He is soooo artsy, sooo different from the rest of us.

16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
hard to believe this isn't released on DVD, 10 January 2006

When you look at all the junk that comes to DVD stores every month, it's hard to believe that this movie is still lost. Or maybe it makes perfect sense, considering contemporary producers' and distributors' idea of "good cinema." No spoilers. Simply put, this is one of the best handful of movies you'll ever see. And I say that very rarely.

I was 9 or 10 when I first saw it, ironically right on the day I received the book as a gift. There's not a single flaw, not the least bit of detail that can be improved. Very catching story and telling, and although you will definitely need a box of Kleenex for the ending, the movie is much more than that. It's one of those movies that will move your heart when you remember, even years later.

I must also add that the adaptation is superb. Rarely before (or never?) has a movie caught the spirit of the book so well, so intensely. Definitely a 10 out of 10, if art can be judged that way.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
funny little film, 23 April 2005

This is a funny little French film which delivers just what it promises: 90 minutes of entertainment. There are some moments that will make you laugh aloud, and many that'll keep a smile on your face. The plot is simple, and one that's been done a lot lately: What would happen if everything went wrong, in just one day? It's not the funniest picture out there, but it's a refreshing one after the dozens of moronic Hollywood comedies. It puts a nice European touch of style. The leads are very good, story simple, and the jokes are funny.

Contains a few scenes of nudity (not sex) and some language, but nothing extreme. Anyway, watch at your own risk with your kids.

24 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
simply perfect, 19 June 2004

This very hard-to-find mix of animation, music and comedy is a real treat for those who can appreciate it. I recorded it from TV some years ago, and it's still one of the most valuable articles in my archive. Very clever use of in-between b/w passages, great classical music and animations of totally different styles, concepts and attitudes, but each so well-blended with the music and the whole picture that you hardly get distracted.

I don't agree with the comparisons to Fantasia, this is something different. It deals with things (and uses imagery) that a Disney product would never dare, let alone in the days Fantasia was made.

If you have the slightest admiration for art, and can stand movies without the standard hollywood cliches, grab this one (though that won't be easy) and you'll not be sorry. 10 / 10

Zerograd (1988)
24 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
unknown little treasure, 18 March 2004

An unknown little treasure of the Soviet cinema, based on the story of a man sent to a town where nothing seems real. Definitely a feast for lovers of true cinema, while slow at times, is an intriguing, minimalistic piece of work. In fact this slowness, added to the lack of music and dialog at parts, becomes a plus for the film in a strange way. The whole movie has a dreamlike, Eraserhead-ish atmosphere, so slyly given that you often feel like you're watching someone's dream on the screen.

I can't help but agree that, as one other reviewer has mentioned, there are quite a number of references to the Soviet way of life of the period, but naturally they may be hard to catch for everyone. Still, this does not detach the audience.

Certainly not for fans of hollywood crap, but movie fans who want to see something unique should see Zero City.

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A rather realistic review of an unreal movie, 15 January 2004

Anyone who has seen this movie can't help but give a wide grin upon the mention of its name, but it means more than "just another low budget Turkish rip-off" to me. It is an artifact of great pride, the proof of what can be achieved despite (or because of?) having no money to make a film.

Movies somehow have a great effect on contemporary Turkish culture, much more than in any other country. Turkish people love movies. They love their actors, themes, they never get tired of watching the same movies over and over. Like anything else that has the "Turkish" brand upon it, this is rather difficult to describe to someone who's never been to Turkey. But let me just say that, an old Turkish movie which has been run, say, 50 times on TV, still gets the highest rating on its 51st run, and even if it's broadcast a second time within that week, again it will be the most-viewed program.

Cuneyt Arkin, probably the best-known and loved Turkish actor, is known for such movies. Although most of his movies are no less cr*ppy than the linguistic skills of some of my fellow reviewers here, he has also made some remarkable films and has won awards. He can do circus acts (he's worked in a circus) like no Hollywood actor can do, does his own stunts, he's very good-looking and a better actor than most of his contemporaries. However, most of his filmography consists of no-budget films (Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam is one of the highlights) therefore he sometimes gets reviews that he never deserves, which is the case about this movie.

In a period when making a high-budget Turkish movie was virtually impossible (even if you had the best actors, producers, directors) Arkin took the low-budget to an art form. All funny stuff aside, the so-called Turkish cinema (!) of the 90's-2000's is virtually no better than Arkin's films. Apart from a handful of exceptions, these late-era Turkish movies have never been able to reach the audiences' hearts and minds, and will probably be forgotten in a few years. But Arkin's films, no matter how ridiculous they may look at times, have caught the spirit of his people, grabbed their hearts and benumbed their senses, and are being discussed on the internet even 20 years after they've been made.

As for the movie itself... It's unbelievable, that can't be denied. And unless you've lived for at least some months in Turkey, some of the things you'll see will pop your eyes out of their sockets, like scenes copied/pasted from Hollywood favorites (something that will shock the copyright-sensitive Americans and Europeans). This movie is certainly something that no modern moviemaker would dare make, and although a truly unforgettable experience, it's not Cuneyt Arkin's most incredible film.

That's right, at least in this movie there's a rather straightforward story, you know who's good and who's bad, what they're trying to do, etc. But Arkin has some films (the populist reviewers who only know Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam must surely be ignorant of these) in which you never know if he's good or bad, if he's the brother of the star actress or if he's her husband, in some movies even his character's name is never mentioned. He's Cuneyt, he beats the cr*p out of everyone and saves the girl, that's enough. He doesn't need a name. In some films, the plot twists so radically that you sometimes wonder if you're still watching the same film. Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam is not that bizarre, but it experiments with something that Turkish cinema rarely deals with: special effects, and perhaps that's what makes it so funny. Other than that, I (and probably most of you) can name quite a few Hollywood movies which, in terms of content, are far worse than this movie.

Laughing and making fun of something are not the same. This movie surely will make you laugh, but it deserves respect.

I must also add that I was sorry to read that almost all the Turkish reviewers added to the insults about this flick, but very few actually bothered to defend its originality. I wish they'd read my review and think again. I highly doubt it, though. It's not the Turkish way to think again.

X-Men 2 (2003)
151 out of 193 people found the following review useful:
why all the underrating?, 8 January 2004

A lot has been said about this movie, as is the case with many recent Hollywood comics adaptations. While I truly respect everyone's opinion, I really don't see the point in some criticisms brought up against this movie.

(Definitely NO spoilers ahead.)

First of all, we must realize that X-men comics have been around for decades. They existed before many of you were born. Still, the producers had to assume that the average audience had little or no idea about the mutant phenomenon, but Bryan singer did a very good job (as always) in the first film, and introduced the audience. Besides, adapting such a story with so many characters to the screen is no easy job, and is also risky, considering it's Hollywood and it must return all those millions. So the mutant phenomenon was well explained, the characters and their abilities introduced, and the plot (which actually had a story, unlike many action flicks) was carried out smoothly. All in the running time of one film. good job.

The second film, however, had to concentrate (naturally) on more characters and a more thorough story. This is why I object (in the title) to people criticising this film for "lack of character development" etc. Many of the characters WERE developed in the first film. If you never read x-men comics, and did not even see the first movie, and see this one right away and still expect the director/writer to spell things out for you, well, you'll be disappointed. "Where did Colossus take the kids during the attack?" someone asked. To hide them somewhere, THAT'S where he took them. I don't think people would like to see the director spell out everything, such as Colossus' inner voice saying, "Well, let me take these kids somewhere beneath this multimillion dollar facility, to hide them from the bad guys."

And the newly-introduced characters were introduced well enough. You see their abilities, you see whose side they're on, you even learn more about their personalities as the movie progresses. What else do you need to learn? Which team he supports?

The highlight of the film was definitely Mystique's transformation scenes, very well done.

The movie had many shortcomings, of course, the pace slowed down more than once, some main characters, especially Cyclops, were almost lost, but the plusses were way more than minuses. Especially Nightcrawler, who almost stole the lead from Wolverine. I must also add that Wolverine is much more violent in this film than the first, much more like the original comic character.

As for the people who complain about the abundance of characters. Well, bad news for you. X-men is not a story of a couple of guys and their girlfriends. There are much more characters, hopefully to be seen in the next sequel(s). Jubilee, Pyro and Colossus were all hinted in this one. Though I'm eager to see Gambit also, I can't wait to see how they will do the Beast. Of course, I can see the "no character development" people asking each other, "Who is Beast?"

In short, this movie does what it's supposed to do: Gives us entertainment, and shows us our favorite characters on screen.