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Under the Skin (2013)
a near perfect journey.
One of the few films ever, that looks at us people, from an outside point of view. Like a child, growing up to a teenager and an adult, corrupted at the end by the human mind. Very raw movie, not many dialogs, lots of introspection. But somehow a huge metaphor about ourselves, how do we see ourselves, how someone else sees us. But also how about things that never change, no matter layers we put on it.
and glazer turned all of this into a beautiful film: An hitchcockian atmosphere together with a lynch vibe. Under the skin is a wonderful movie about ourselves. If this was a mainstream American film, they would have a nice detective falling in love with an alien, to make a more "comprehensible" story out of it, and then a conflict because she wasn't human after all. It would have ruin the magic of discovering ourselves by small steps, and the main strength of this movie: a naive controlled soul wandering around, trying to know what she is. And the journey for that is beautiful.
À bout portant (2010)
good fast paced ride
point blank doesn't have very deep characters (but still it's amazing how the dramatic scenes work) , nor a huge complex plot, and it's not about metaphors or cultural references. It's a fast paced action ride, that changes all the time, that knows very well how to manage their timings in the scenes. It's really a cool action flick, and you realize how short it is when it ends. It was conceived as a thrill fun, short ride, an after that you just take a deep breath, because you saw people running during the 80 minutes.
It's not the most amazing film ever, but if you look for a nice film keeping you on the edge of the seat, this is widely recommended.
Cetvrti covek (2007)
a really good tale with a shocking truth
First things first: the ending is one of those we say "oh f*ck" kinda shocked. it's great.
The IMDb description kinda sums it up. It's a crime story, around the main character, trying to discover who he is, trying to understand what happened to the family he doesn't remember. It's well paced, even though is nothing fully original, these gimmicks were already made. But it is quite intense and powerful, and the main character is very well built.
It's a story every thriller fan around the world will enjoy for sure, just don't expect to finish with an awesome mood. This pain feels real.
Go and see it it's way better than most Hollywood thrillers you saw until now. for sure.
The Wicker Man (1973)
a hell of a ride
the wicker man is like a theme park. or it could be. it's amazing everything that is happening in the island, the strange rites, the music,the strange and free sex in the grass, the educational system. It's a feast to our eyes and senses first of all, even if we all deny it.
Then it comes the metaphor of a judgemental society turned against itself. The police man is the whole film judging what he is seeing, because it's different from what he knows - the prejudice all around yes.and then, when he feels the risk he starts to talk to Jesus, even if before that we didn't find him THAT Christian. It works pretty well.
So the film has that message, even though it works more as a bizarre ritualistic horror film, or whatever it may be called. And it's fun, the characters are somehow wicked. The only criticism for me is how the things are shown to the viewer. Of course that WE are the policeman, but we feel him like a stone coming to one event to the other. Maybe i saw the shorter version, i believe the longer cut would reveal more about the character. The guy is not explored as he should be.
So we have a good film, very attractive visually, questioning our own beliefs, while is entertaining us. A great classic i may say, with a top notch ending that is basically making fun of us. A lot.
The Congress (2013)
really good dystopia about modern days, but lacks a bit of focus
It's a great allegory about the avatars of ourselves, on the social networks, on the smartphones and ipads. while, in the real world, people are getting poorer each day, wars are declared, people don't have water to survive. But this is mostly about identity. we sell it really easily, we want to be someone else, and someone can profit from that. Robin wright character is very well built, all her pain, her realization of being "old" for the job, the love for the kids.
The problem is that the dialogues are too expositive sometimes, at certain parts it can get confusing it's truth. but it talks about today, it wants to amaze us visually , and makes us think about all the virtual networking we're having now a days. we are selling ourselves each minute on the internet,
Really good stuff, highly recommended.
American Hustle (2013)
a failed attempt to be in the league of directing legends
i think this movie it's the most direct attempt to David o.Russel, from producing a genre film that could be iconic somehow. the photography, the cameras, even the music and the costumes are in that level. the problem is the lack of substance in the characters, and the level of dialogue that leads nowhere. we understand the characters temper at the beginning, and they all act in the same way until the end. that's it: you're always expecting the character in behaving in a specific way, and he behaves: no one surprises or amazes us, even though o.Russel wanted that in that twisted but no twisted ending.
maybe Jennifer Lawrence's character is the only one that changes yes, but not that much and in a predictable way in the beginning. Bradley cooper is not enough actor to play a role like this, bale and Adams are good, but they don't have much to work on.
anyway, that's why if you see it like that, you can get nice entertainment for it. nothing fancy or special, but not a bad way to spend the 2 hours. but it's not a Oscar movie, it's not even a movie that should have any kind of hype. i don't think history will remember this, because it needed way better dialogues, it needed stronger characters, it needed a narrative structure lost in all the style, and lights, and camera movements. not a big deal.
The Bling Ring (2013)
shallow portrait of a selfish society
what counts is to own: "the bling ring" may not be the best essay about character depth and development, but it is surely a good portrait of what's going on with the igeneration. if you own you are important, no matter how you get it. you have facebook likes, instagram shares, people care about you. the bling ring is about glorifying someone who just owns. is about people who were swallowed by their own world, their own language, the TV shows and magazines, forgetting absolutely that everything is a rearview mirror. is mostly about how easy life should be for them.
it's not the best movie in the world, the characters are obviously shallow, leslie mann is a really scary portrait of a completely mistaken mom, but lack of communication now a days is a huge reality. Especially because we are surrounded by million ways to communicate. did coppola make a movie about nothing again? yes maybe. but in a way that's a scary and very critic way to see ourselves in 2013. and it's a movie about who we are right now. that's why i liked it so much. more than being useful or to change your life, is about that taking things for granted because everything is teaching you that. it's what you see on TV. is what your role models do.
probably the most accurate film about present days, this year. too bad not that many people saw it that way.
13 Tzameti (2005)
great dark and tense human tale about not having anything to lose
a very dark tale about lost hope and entertainment. that's it. the characters are all driven into the same goal, so we can relate to them easily. i think the main character was presented too slowly but i didn't mind much. i also think they played too high with the probabilities - i have doubts if anyone could be so lucky to survive 3 times to this - but in the end that's gibberish . mostly because its main idea is nicely explored, with logic, and with worries to relate the viewers to the characters.
it has a huge dramatical atmosphere, the viewer feels the pressure of the characters, we got scared with the light, the movie is not amazingly surprising but i did like the ending, and it proposes some questions to us: why the hell do we have people capable of kill and die basically for nothing? who are the viewers of this show, making bets, rooting for the "athletes"? i think the answers for both is "us". now we are at the viewer side, comfortably sit, while we see people killing each other on the screen. but we'll we have our sofa forever? if we become desperate is it impossible for everyone to do this? don't think so.
an accurate social commentary, with a well-built tension and characters we can understand. great cinematography also, and overall a very good movie. go watch it, you won't regret.
so, i'm not talking about the (poor) characters, or the predictable narrative. both are mediocre in this movie, but that's not the major problem. done.
i got scared two or three times, the atmosphere was OK, and the storyline wasn't bad. the thing is, a movie can scare you with the power of suggestion. we are scared of things we don't see, we don't know. that's mostly why we are all afraid to die. when the film decides to show what we've been fearing, most of it is lost. we don't get scared anymore, the plot gets a little silly, the characters reveal they're a hand full of nothing, and even the end is not as catastrophic as it could be.
if you want to see a scary film about sisters, go ahead and see "a tale of two sisters" instead. way better.
Janghwa, Hongryeon (2003)
very good horror drama, but not the most iconic
A tale of two sisters has a gentle and delicious slow-pace, that drives us into troubled guilty minds all along the way. Is a good story - well written, well acted, with a fantastic directing and cinematography. No one can deny that.
But i think is more like a good and clever idea that results well but in the end is not amazingly original. the characters that matter the most aren't that developed, because the film is more worried in scaring and amaze visually the viewer, than to create more complex characters. Don't get me wrong, the scenes were like art pictures, delicate and scary at the same time, but the tricks and gimmicks were pretty much the same. The main twist is not very original even in 2003. It was a great scary ride with one compelling character but in the end that's not much different from other movies before this one.
It's a great emotional puzzle, but i think there are some better Asian thrillers. Given that, Jee Won Kim is an amazing director, and has some fantastic films. I just would've have liked a slightly different script for this one.