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valadas

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417 reviews in total 
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Such good players so ill-spent, 30 June 2016
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Such excellent players like Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are ill-spent in this not better than fair movie. The best of it is the Victorian London atmosphere in interiors, exteriors and clothes, aristocratic and popular. The story in itself is somewhat abstruse. A corrupt judge is aroused by the beautiful wife of a barber and to be able to take hold of her has her husband imprisoned on a false accusation and sent to deportation. He comes back fifteen years later with a false identity and wants to take his revenge on the judge. The next episodes are grandguignolesque and somewhat incomprehensible filled with several murders of the barber's clients in the barber's shop he had installed in the first floor of a confectionery owned by a woman with whom he starts a love relationship. He cuts their throats while pretending to shave them. The victims' bodies are used by that woman to bake meat pies. Among other things, what is strange is that no friends or relatives ever turned up to query about those disappearances. The barber ends up by getting hold of the judge after attracting him to the barber shop on a false promise and he cuts his throat there. And from horrifying scene to horrifying scene everything turns out badly to the barber, his companion and even his wife that appears in the end and who he thought was dead a long time ago. He cuts her throat too since he didn't recognize her and thought she was the beggar in whom she had changed herself. Awful indeed.

5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Fanciful indeed, 22 June 2016
7/10

In what concerns special effects it is the most stunning movie I have ever seen and only for that it is worth to be seen. Scene succeeds scene in hallucinating speed. In a society where humans live together with mutants not always in very friendly terms, the first mutant is awaken after thousands of years (he was worshiped as a god in Ancient Egypt where the movie starts) and seeing that the world is not good he decides to destroy it to create a new society and a new world order above which he would reign. Then a group of young X-Men (boys and girls) start a fight against his purpose in order to save mankind from destruction. This struggle unites humans and also a few mutants who have extraordinary superpowers they use in the amazing scenes above referred. A movie that keeps you rooted to your seat from the first to the last image.

Good movie, doubtful story, 7 June 2016
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In fact during the whole projection the suspense keeps us rooted to our seats while crime succeeds crime (there is a serial killer in action), investigated by an odd couple of a paraplegic (due to a previous accident) super-detective (Denzel Washington) and a young policewoman (Angelina Jolie) who past the first moments of hostility (from her side for judging him too bossy) reveals herself an intelligent and active working partner. The new communication technologies allow the detective to run and orient the investigation and the action outside in the field for the policewoman and the other assistants while he stays bedridden at home. This is all presented in a sequence of images, sequences and dialogues that keep the viewer very interested till the end. The story (as it is fully revealed in the end) is however weak and rather unbelievable in what concerns the investigation developments chiefly by the too quick way our super-detective runs into definitive conclusions and follows successfully clues based on very weak material elements of evidence. Finally a movie to be seen for lack of something better.

Identity (2003)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Very stupid movie, 28 May 2016
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

And too ambitious and ridiculously pretentious. A stormy night assembles a lot of characters in a motel: a couple and their kid, a driver who has knocked down this couple's wife, a girl who is traveling to work in an orange garden, a policeman who is taking a handcuffed convicted killer who was about to be executed but whose lawyer has managed to get a judge's reevaluation of the case on the ground of his mental insanity and a young couple recently married. Add to them the motel manager, a young man not very convincing. This leads to a lot of murders that keep occurring successively. There is a permanent heavy rain outside and since the characters keep walking in and out they are wet to the skin. To this succession of not so explicable events a fanciful imaginary nonsense psychiatric explanation is invented and forced in the end through a succession of unconvincing images. To watch this movie is a sheer waste of time.

Has Life no meaning?, 27 April 2016
7/10

This looks like to be the message of the movie or at least the opinion of its main character, Jep Gambardella, a journalist who has failed as a writer. He has nevertheless ambitions and opinions about life and the world in his beautiful house in Rome with a view to the Colosseum. But when he reaches 65 he realizes that he has wasted his life in mundane high society parties being much endeared by the women even at that age. He becomes then very disillusioned and seeks often refuge in memories and nostalgia of the past. All this develops itself in beautiful images and scenes of interiors and exteriors and beautiful film framings including of mundane parties and balls. There are also discussions sometimes superficial, sometimes deeper about human nature and the life and behaviour of this or that character. We must not forget that we are among high society members. No worker or proletarian is ever seen. We see a lot of characters sometimes very strange in terms of faces and behaviours. A good movie about life or at better its vacuity for those who think so.

Horrifying all the same, 20 April 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Maybe I am wrong but I think I have read somewhere that Holocaust survivors who still exist, say that of all the films made about the Holocaust till now this is the one that better and more authentically reproduces the real atmosphere of a nazi extermination camp. In fact to begin with, the shooting technique puts us the viewers inside the camp among its inmates because it uses almost all the time the close up image mainly focused on the protagonist's face while he walks and wanders among the prisoners and meanwhile we hear the noises off made by the terrified people penned up in the gas chamber, their desperate cries and loud weeping, the bangs and clangs on the chamber doors and the yelling orders of the German officers who utter the cry of "schneller" (faster) all the time. The protagonist is a Sonderkommando (an inmate who is treated less ruthlessly because he is employed by the Germans in collaborating with then in the task of herding the other prisoners although a few months later Sonderkommandos could be killed themselves). His main purpose is trying to give a proper Jewish religious funeral to a young boy that survived to the gas inhalation to be afterwards smothered to death by a German officer. For that he hides the corpse and tries to find a rabbi to perform the funeral in a secret way of course. All the time we can feel the brutal and intensely dramatic atmosphere of the camp. Despite not showing much the usual particularly awful images of other Holocaust movies, it is horrifying all the same.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Not so funny, 13 April 2016
4/10

A Hollywood fixer exerts a tough authority upon all those who work in the studios slapping their faces inclusive. He has also problems with two lady journalists. This is supposed to be a comedy but it is not so funny indeed. It deals with earnest things such as religion and communism. Two excellent actors like George Clooney and Ralph Fiennes are ill-spent in this movie. I went to see it because I have read some favourable reviews on a newspaper including from critics I respect but frankly I don't know what they have seen in this movie that I cannot see. Some scenes are even ludicrous. The main story is about making a film about the life of Christ. We see also there shootings of other movies such as a musical and a western. The characters are faint and unconvincing.

Zootopia (2016)
2 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Full of imagination, 22 March 2016
7/10

This animated movie can be appreciated both by children and grown-ups. It shows a cast of anthropomorphic animals living in a big town who are shaped and conceived like humans also in behaviour, virtues and vices. Their facial expressions and body movements are truly human and very varied. Their conception is full of imagination and originality. The story is very human also, simultaneously funny and thrilling: a conspiracy that tries to convince the town inhabitants that a biological change has occurred in predators till then peaceful making them again wild and dangerous. This conspiracy is investigated by the strange pair of a sly fox and a zealous rabbit police girl which results in some funny episodes. An enjoyable movie to spend a couple of hours watching it.

The dishonour of politics, 16 March 2016
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We are on the full campaign in Ohio for the primary nomination for the presidential election in USA. This movie shows us with remarkable realism what goes on in the backstage of the campaign of the Democratic Party in case like it could happen with any other party. The difference between the principles and values publicly proclaimed and what is done behind is enormous. Even an apparently honest candidate is caught in an intrigue plot provoked by a sexual slip blunder of his own that makes him to put aside those good principles and values he has always defended and yield to a blackmail by a collaborator he had fired for supposed treason and now wants to be hired back. Curiously this collaborator begins to be presented as idealistic and supporter of those good values and principles however not to be followed tactically in the campaign as we see. Looks like that the ends justify the means although that same idealist had already been victim of a dirty trick by another member of the candidate staff. All intervenient performers do excellent roles and the story is full of authenticity and well and convincingly shown. Politics is dirty and dishonourable indeed in most cases.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A too ambitious movie, 3 March 2016
6/10

That it does not come up that ambition. First of all the main character is rather uncongenial, a truculent and arrogant man who hostilizes almost everybody often without reason. The story is an acceptable one but not particularly moving or dramatic: an actor who was famous for his role of a comic book character and that now ends his career by trying to put a play on a Broadway theatre stage. In doing this he meets a few obstacles such as a bad relationship with another actor and some unfavourable newspaper critiques. And personally he has got a conflict with his daughter. All this is rather ordinary in human terms. Besides that he seems to confuse himself with Birdman his former character that has made him famous, hearing and listening to his voice. This is a bit inadequate. The movie is nevertheless rather good in technical cinematographic terms.


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