3 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Noodle (2007)
Don't let the title mislead you.
22 August 2009
I certainly let the title of this film mislead me for quite some time. Even after viewing the trailer, I still had absolutely no desire to watch this flick, that was my first mistake.

My second mistake was Mili Avital. Based on some of her past films - many of which I could not sit through, I just didn't think she had the acting chops to pull off an interesting character. How wrong I was on both accounts. First of all, the trailer (as the case with many Israeli films) just does not do justice to this movie. From beginning to end, this movie is excellent. I commend the director Ayelet Menahemi for this quality production - from the direction to the pace of the movie and excellent all around cast.

But the real compliment belongs to Ayelet Menahemi for bringing out the realistic and raw talent of the films leading lady. In Ms Avital's prior films, she was always cast as the pretty girl. Many or rather most of those films were horrendous along with her performances. But not here, her performance was believable, honest, raw and pitch perfect. She was rightfully nominated for an Israeli Oscar (Ophir) but lost out to the highly dramatic Ronit Elkabetz. This one film changed my entire perception of Ms Avital and now I highly anticipate her next Israeli project.
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Mashehu Matok (2004)
Simple yet enjoyable
19 July 2009
I saw a clip of this movie and quite frankly it didn't look too particularly interesting. Ignoring my first impression, I ordered it anyway. What a pleasant surprise! This has become one of my favorite Israeli movies.

Along with the story I also enjoyed the incredible scenery and lush landscape of this section of Israel. This movie failed to garner much attention probably due to the simplicity of it.

The one fault I have with Israeli movies - many contain the unnecessary comedic inclusions. Most of the time the actors brought in for a few funny scenes are a nuisance and take away valuable moments that could have been utilized elsewhere. Thankfully not here, the director as well as lead actor Dan Turgeman actually utilized the two or three comedic characters seaming them nicely into the plot - which did not make them appear as an after thought.

This movie was my initial introduction to the middle and younger sister played by actresses Tamar Kenynan and Avital Abergel. All one can expect from actors is to make you believe they are who they are portraying, and these two ladies did this quite well. As for the older sister portrayed by the wonderful Ayelet Zurer, there just aren't enough adjectives to describe the talent of this lady. Actually, the entire cast was good.

For a nice easy watch, I recommend this movie (which does have English subtitles).
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Ish HaHashmal (2003)
Better than expected
18 July 2009
This is one of those films that takes you by surprise. You realize 20 minutes into the film, you're actually enjoying it. From the summary, one wouldn't think that this is a very interesting film. But in the hands of a great director and great cast, this uninteresting topic, becomes interesting.

Most of the movies with the big budgets basically lack a developed story/plot. When you have a film with a small budget, the story/plot becomes pivotal. And that's where this film gets it right. Don't expect to be overwhelmed with high intensity and heavy drama, just expect a well paced story. There were a few light moments and a few tense moments that were both enjoyable and unexpected.

The primary cast: Menashe Noy, Ayelet Zurer and Lior Ashkenazi were all very good.
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