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The emperor's new cloak
The story is more or less known: An emperor hires two crooks to weave a fine cloak for him. The crooks claim that the cloak is magic and only those worthy can see it. Officials parade, but they see no cloak because there is no cloak and the tailors just lie to everyone and pocket the gems and gold that's suppose to go on the cloak. The officials pretend that they can see the cloak, because only those worthy can see it, and they don't want to be branded unworthy. As more and more officials fall into this trap, the more difficult it is for anyone to say that simply there's no cloak at all...
Dogtooth is based on the same idea: It's UTTERLY RUBBISH, nothing happens, there are some random dialogues which are delivered in a surreal way, some pervert sex (there's no good crap without pervert sex!) some random violence... you get the idea...
BUT NO! There's a deeper meaning in it, just like the emperor's cloak is fine! And if you can't see that deeper meaning it's because something's wrong with you!
So what do you do? Like the emperor's officials, you pretend that you see the meaning, you're amazed by the film, and the crook who directed it wins an Oscar.
Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)
The reason I didn't walk out
...is that there was no "out" as I was on a plane. Is it because there's no escape that they show rubbish on flights? This is just a random collection of clichés, put together to fill a reasonable length of time to call it a "film". The so-called "plot" is both unbelievable and predictable, at every step. The main character's obsession with shopping is fake and does not convince anybody; so is her job interview for an economics' magazine, where by some coincidence she takes the job even though she has no idea of economics, and by some other coincidence she's... successful! Her romance with the boss is equally fake, as well as the happy ending. As for the so-called "jokes", nothing original there either. I wouldn't be surprised if the so-called "scenario", was written at the pub, after a few drinks and on a pack of cigarettes. Then why I give it a 2? Because I have had the misfortune of having seen even worse.
Stuart Little (1999)
Mustard on a chocolate cake
Basically this is about a couple who want to adopt a second child. At the adoption agency they meet a mouse (Stuart) and they decide to adopt him. If you think that this is stupid, hold it, because it's getting worse.
Stuart arrives to his new home, where he is treated like a human child. (Spare me!) The rest is pretty much the usual cliché, about family problems, jealousy from the elder "brother", and at the end all issues are resolved and they are all a "happy family". Boring and worn out as this is, it is also shown in the most blunt and unsophisticated way.
I don't know if the director believed that he was being creative by introducing a mouse to the cliché, or he was just trying to fill in minutes, but he only upgraded the cliché from boring to abhorrent.
Then why I gave a 3 and not a ZERO? Because of the family cat, who loves Stuart as much as the "brother". And because of some funny gigs, where Stuart makes good use of his small size.
On the overall I believe that the film would work reasonably well if: a. Stuart was a PET and not a "sibling". b. It had kept to the funny gigs, like Stuart trying to outwit the cat, and had left out boring clichés which don't even match with anything else.
A Cock and Bull Story (2005)
I watched for a whole 50 minutes until I walked out, hoping that something will happen. But nothing really happens in this film. This is just a pitiable collection of "jokes" not even kids laugh to.
Take for example the scene where the main character's mother is about to give birth. The poor woman is screaming, but the doctor politely accepts the father's offer of a drink. While at first you might grin, the scene goes on and on and on, alternating for 15 minutes or so between the woman in pain and the doctor discussing the details of a particular battle with the father. OK I got it, what's next? Or when the baby is finally delivered, but it is feared that he won't survive. The priest decides to baptise him urgently and the elder daughter is sent to ask the father for a name. Faced with the emergency the father takes his time to think carefully of a right name... Excuse me, was I supposed to laugh? Do yourselves a favour and don't watch it; better have your fingernails pulled out....
The Postman (1997)
(Maybe) the best film ever made!
"A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step" "Opportunities are all around you" "Nothing takes the past away, like the future" "Life deserves a chance"
These are the feelings I was left with after the end of the film.
In a post-apocalyptic America law an order has vanished. People live in small towns, with no contact with the outside world and terrorised by warlords who roam the countryside. They expect nothing and if they're alive it's just because they happened to be.
The postman (Costner) is an ordinary guy who wants to do something with his life. Not knowing what that would be he travels around the country giving performances of Shakespeare. He gets pressed-ganged by warlord Bethlehem, who rules his men with fear. While the others are too afraid to run away, Costner gives life a chance. He then finds a fifteen years old post bag and exhausted of Bethlehem's chase he pretends to be a postman of "the restored government", in order to be accepted in a town. This is enough to change the world...
The delivery of letters from long forgotten relatives reminds the inhabitants of the life they used to have. Suddenly they find an interest in life to write letters to the lost loved-ones and wait for news from them. But a young boy wants more and asks to become a postman himself. The next time Costner meets him, the lad has established a proper postal service, manned with young people with a thirst for life...
Having found an interest in life the people gradually come to understand how nice it is to be alive. From then it's only a matter of time until they decide that they deserve better than being terrorised by psycho warlords like Bethlehem...
What I particularly liked in this film is that it's not about a great leader who defeats the bad guys, or does something good for the people. The postman does nothing and the people's lives change exactly because they do it themselves - once they only decide to. This is about the power of hope, the power of "getting out and do something", the power of "taking things in your own hands", the power of believing in yourself. This is about the blessing of life.
The last scene, where years later the statue of the postman is revealed and the crowd applauds (I couldn't help joining in), clearly implies that the end of Bethlehem was only the beginning of even better things, in the same way the first arrival of the postman once was. Making life better can become a habit...
I was shocked to read that the critics didn't like this film.