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BernardoLima

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233 reviews in total 
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Exam (2009)
132 out of 157 people found the following review useful:
Low-budget gem, 8 June 2010
7/10

Eight talented candidates have reached the final stage of selection to join the ranks of a mysterious and powerful corporation. Entering a windowless room, an Invigilator gives them eighty minutes to answer one simple question. He outlines three rules they must obey or be disqualified: don't talk to him or the armed guard by the door, don't spoil their papers and don't leave the room. He starts the clock and leaves. The candidates turn over their question papers, only to find they're completely blank. Soon enough, the candidates begin to uncover each other's background, prejudices and hidden agendas. Tensions rise as the clock steadily descends towards zero, and each candidate must decide how far they are willing to go to secure the ultimate job.

Exam is a gem of a film. This low budget psychological thriller is very clever, incredibly entertaining and the production values are all far better then you would expect from such an unknown film. It's tense, mysterious and has a great atmosphere, and more importantly it stimulates your brain. It's impossible to not get caught up in the story and try to figure out just what the hell is actually going on. It couldn't be more engaging.

There's not one well-known actor in this cast and yet, for the most part, the acting was great. One actor, Luke Mably, really stood out though. But what really made the film work was undeniably, the impeccable direction. In conclusion, Exam is a great low-budget thriller that puts many Hollywood blockbusters to shame. Definitely worth seeing and I'll be sure to check Stuart Hazeldine's next project after such a promising debut.

7.5/10

138 out of 172 people found the following review useful:
Not nearly as good as the original., 21 August 2010
6/10

The Experiment is a 2010 American thriller film directed by Paul Scheuring and starring Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker,Cam Gigandet and Maggie Grace.The film is also a remake of the 2001 German film Das Experiment, which was directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel. The experiment begins when 26 men are chosen to participate in the roles of guards and prisoners in a psychological study that ultimately spirals out of control. $14,000 for two weeks, it is easy-earned money. The study examines aggressive behavior in an artificial prison setting. At first the tenants are divided randomly into prisoners and guards, but soon a spiral of violence begins.

I had some hope for this film because I remember seeing the original Das Experiment more then a year ago and enjoying it. Although brutal the film was brilliant in the way it explored human nature, human instincts, and one's moral compass. It's actually quite surprising that it took such a long time (9 years) for Hollywood to assassinate, pardon me, remake this very interesting story which is actually based on the Stanford prison experiment that took place in 1971 and was highly criticized afterwords. The problem with this remake is that, as in most things Hollywood, it's all about big name actors and big fights and nice camera angles. What's most important, the characterization and the character development which are the things that make this story, were completely thrown aside. One of the consequences of doing so is that the film felt extremely rushed and therefor the payoff wasn't that great. I didn't think there was real tension, and the film lacked that gritty look of the original, instead it looks sharp and polished.

Also, it's one thing to put your own spin into a story but this remake eliminated an entire dimension of the original film. I'm talking about the people behind the cameras, the scientists watching and conducting the experiment. They played a big part in the original and in this remake they are nowhere to be seen and it truly diminished the story. Regarding the acting, I thought Adrien Brody did a pretty good job and Cam Gigandet was delightfully nasty as he usually is. On the other hand, Forest Whitaker was absolutely awful. In almost every film that see him in, he acts like he has a speech impediment and to be honest, it adds nothing to his performance. Overall, The Experiment it's somewhat enjoyable but not nearly as good as the original.

6/10

111 out of 171 people found the following review useful:
Silly and over the top, 27 February 2010
6/10

A personal aide to the U.S. Ambassador in France, James Reese (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) has an enviable life in Paris and a beautiful French girlfriend, but his real passion is his side job as a low-level operative for the CIA. All James wants is to become a bona fide agent and see some real action. So when he's offered his first senior-level assignment, he can't believe his good luck - until he meets his new partner, special agent Charlie Wax (John Travolta)...

From Paris With Love is an unrealistic, over-the-top action flick. The plot is extremely silly, the story quite implausible, and the action scenes are absolutely ridiculous not to mention that you can see the twist coming from the beginning.Both Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers deliver good performances and they had good chemistry but at the same time their characters are paper-thin and were poorly written. Something that appalled me was the editing of the film and the transition between some scenes. I thought it was rather choppy and not something I would expect from experienced directors like Luc Besson and Pierre Morel. The film does have its moments and can be quite entertaining at times but if you're expecting something along the lines of Morel's last film, Taken, which was a well thought and realistic action-thriller then you're gonna be extremely disappointed. Recommended for action junkies only.

6/10

68 out of 95 people found the following review useful:
Great cast, interesting premise, terrible direction, 29 August 2009
5/10

Liam Neeson plays Peter, the husband of a famous shoe designer named Lisa(Laura Linney). After some suspicions Peter realizes that his wife hasn't been faithful and when he finds the address of Ralf(Antonio Banderas), the man his wife cheated on him with, he travels to Italy to confront him. When I saw the trailer for The Other Man, I immediately thought the film had a great premise; a man finds out that his wife has been cheating on him and then he tries to track down this man and execute some kind of revenge. That is what you get from the trailer, however, the trailer is incredibly misleading, the story doesn't pan out like that. Not even close. But what really ruined this movie for me, was the direction. Most of the scenes seemed glued together. You're watching a scene and all of a sudden you're watching something completely different and you're left wondering if you missed the last 10 minutes of the film. The reason why the film is like that, is because the director introduced a twist near the end but, until that moment, nothing makes sense, and when the reveal finally comes, it's a terrible letdown. This premise and cast on someone's else hands could have been something great. Unfortunately, all Richard Eyre's was able to do, was a boring and poorly executed movie.

5/10

Chloe (2009)
51 out of 71 people found the following review useful:
Solid erotic thriller even if predictable, 23 May 2010
7/10

When David (Liam Neeson) misses his flight home from New York and, as a result, the surprise party his wife Catherine (Julianne Moore) has planned for him, Catherine is forced to swallow her disappointment and any suspicions and return to the waiting guests. Reading a text message sent to David's phone the following morning from one of his female students, Catherine's fear grows. More suspicious than ever that David is having an affair, Catherine seeks out Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), an escort, hiring her to test David's fidelity.

Chloe is a very solid thriller. Extremely engaging and incredibly entertaining, this story is ultimately about human nature and instincts. The film really grabs your attention and visually, it's quite a feat. The minimalistic sets and the way it was shot give this film a really modern and slick look. I feel like I should warn that there's quite a bit of nudity and somewhat graphic scenes but nothing outrageous or out of place.

Moore was absolutely terrific, she has proved her value already but here she delivers possibly one of the best performances of her career. Seyfried was quite a surprise. Her performance was subtle but very efficient and she seems a very promising young actress. Liam Neeson was not nearly as good as he usually is but it's understandable considering his wife died during the shooting of the film.

As I said, Chloe is a very solid and well done film. Unfortunately it has one major flaw, the predictably of the plot. I saw the twist coming from a mile way and I think any avid movie-goer will too. Still, it was a great watch, very entertaining and extremely well acted. Worth seeing.

7/10

41 out of 54 people found the following review useful:
Doesn't have the subtlety of the original but still an enjoyable remake, 10 January 2010
6/10

"The Stepfather" is a remake of the 1987 cult classic by the same name staring Terry O'Quinn. The story begins with Michael Harding (Penn Badgley) returning home from military school to find his mother (Sela Ward) happily in love and living with her new boyfriend, David (Dylan Walsh). As the two men get to know each other, Michael becomes more and more suspicious of the man who is always there with a helpful hand. Is he really who he says he is or could David be hiding a dark side ? Along with his girlfriend Kelly (Amber Heard), his father Jay (Jon Tenney), and Susan's friends (Paige Turco and Sherry Stringfield), they slowly start to piece together the mystery of the man who is set to become his stepfather, but they may be too late in getting to the truth... In the last decade we've witnessed a lot of remakes and spin offs, most of them unnecessary, and that's the case with this film. And the reason why it is unnecessary, is because it doesn't add anything to the original besides a groovy soundtrack. The film doesn't really have a voice of its own, instead it's almost a play by play remake with a few differences to make it up to date. Despite being unnecessary, this remake is still quite enjoyable, however, it doesn't have the subtlety of the original and also Terry O'Quinn was much better as a protagonist then Dylan Walsh. O'Quinn had more charisma and delivered his lines with much more impact. And then there's a few things that drag the film down, like the sexualization of Amber Heard ( numerous shots of the young actress in her bikini and underwear, which I wouldn't mind, had it been done more tastefully instead of being a deliberate attempt to please the male audience), plus the poorly done makeovers of David and the lesbian subplot which made absolute no sense to me and seemed out of place. Despite all this, The Stepfather is still a nice little thriller and quite enjoyable, just know that the original is far better.

6/10

44 out of 64 people found the following review useful:
An unsatisfying story saved by brilliant cinematography and soundtrack, 23 January 2010
7/10

New York, I Love You is a collective work of eleven short films, with each segment running around 10 minutes long. The shorts don't exactly relate but they all have something in common, love. Every short is about finding love, either if it's about a couple or just two strangers chitchatting.The film stars an ensemble cast, among them Shia LaBeouf, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Orlando Bloom, Chris Cooper, Andy Garcia, Christina Ricci, Irrfan Khan, Robin Wright Penn, Julie Christie, Ethan Hawke, Bradley Cooper, Rachel Bilson, and Anton Yelchin. With such a stellar cast and such an interesting premise, I was expecting a tremendous film; the problem is New York I Love You doesn't add up. It remains the sum of its parts. Some of the segments are funny, original and interesting but others are so meaningless (Orlando Bloom/Christina Ricci and Ethan Hawke/Maggie Q segments) that it's appalling. The film is definitely uneven and has a very experimental tone. Story-wise, it seems like something a few film students could put together. Having said that, the film has some great moments as well, one of the best being the segment about an old couple, played by Eli Wallach and Cloris Leachman, walking along in Brooklyn on their 67th wedding anniversary. And it's moments like this, that made me as a viewer, wish the film was more consistent, because, there's a lot of potential here. But, as unsatisfying as the overall story ends up being, for me, the cinematography and soundtrack saved the all thing. The editing was perfect, the way the film was shot was very impressive and the ethereal soundtrack, couldn't be more fitting. In the end, New York I Love You feels like an experimental film, and as in most experiences there's highs and lows. It's how one looks at the film as a whole that will determine if he enjoys it or not. It might be worthwhile for some and a waste of time for others.

7/10

28 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
So much potential..., 31 August 2009
7/10

Sleep Dealer takes place in tijuana,Mexico, in a not so distant future.The world is heavily militarized, the boarders are closed and there's a global computer network to which people connect(trough nodes in their skin) that makes several kind of experiences possible like upload of memories and cyber labor.When Memo, a young man, accidentally gets his father killed; he decides to go to the city and look for a job. Soon he decides to get nodes implanted...Sleep Dealer is a very legitimate take on the future by the director Alex Rivera and at the same time it deals with some interesting issues like globalization,immigration and the coexistence of humans and technology.Obviously since this is a low-budget movie, the special effects are not impressive and a bit dated but that shouldn't keep you from enjoying this flick.The acting is average, what is truly great here is the premise,the inspiration behind all of it and the very smart concept of the movie. With a big budget and more resources this movie could had been truly amazing. Having said that, if you're a fan of sci-fi movies this is definitely a must-see.

7/10

Management (2008)
31 out of 40 people found the following review useful:
Nice little film, 21 August 2009
7/10

Jennifer Aniston plays Sue Claussen, a lonely traveling saleswoman. In one of her trips she checks in in a roadside motel in Arizona.Mike,played by Steve Zahn, is the son of the owners and he feels attracted to her immediately.Trough little schemes Mike succeeds in seducing Sue and they spend a night together. Eventually Sue checks out of the motel;however Mike can't let go of her and flies across the country to meet her. There is a lot more to the story but I don't want to give anything away.But make no mistake, this indie is much more then your typical romantic comedy.It bursts with originality,humor and sweetness.Both Mike and Sue are looking for something meaningful in life but while Mike pursues what he wants(in this case,Sue) Sue holds back fearing for the complications of being involved with someone like Mike and for the complications of life itself. The soundtrack was good and Mrs. Aniston had plenty of charisma as always but the film belongs undeniably to Steve Zahn. Amazing performance. He plays Mike in a way that its impossible not to feel devoted for his character.

7/10

Trucker (2008)
23 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
An interesting film but lacks something, 6 January 2010
7/10

Diane Ford (Michelle Monaghan), a vivacious and successful independent truck driver, leads a carefree life of long-haul trucking, one night stands and all-night drinking with Runner (Nathan Fillion) until the evening her estranged 11-year-old son, Peter (Jimmy Bennett) is unexpectedly dropped at her door due to his father's recent diagnosis of cancer. Peter hasn't seen his mother since he was a baby and wants to live with Diane as little as she wants him, but they are stuck with each other - at least for now, while his father Len (Benjamin Bratt) is in the hospital. Burdened with this new responsibility and seeing the life of freedom she's fought for now jeopardized, Diane steps reluctantly into her past and looks sidelong at an uncharted future that is not as simple or straightforward as she had once believed possible... Trucker is essentially a character study of this woman, Diane, who's a bit of lone wolf but is forced to change her life and behavior in order to be something she doesn't quite know how to be, a parental figure, a mother. Despite her initial struggle, Diane's maternal instincts do kick in at some point as she gets closer to her son, and she also comes to certain realizations regarding her love life and general lifestyle. Trucker's cinematography is great and the soundtrack (composed mainly by country music) is very fitting. Michelle Monaghan was great as Diane and this was probably the most challenging role of her career so far. With no make up and stripped of most of her femininity, Monaghan really did personified this tough woman, alienated from society who's life has taken a toll from being constantly on the road with no real connection, no real relationships. Nathan Fillion did a good job too, giving a tender and genuine performance. Jimmy Bennett, the kid, was pretty good as well. Overall I enjoyed Trucker but I do think the film lacks a little something, I'm not sure if it's development, or if the film is too predictable but there's something missing here. Obviously, films about small town life are usually not very eventful and that's why Trucker relies so much on the acting and on its cinematography but I think the film needed something more. Having said that, Trucker is a pleasant surprise and a very promising debut by director James Mottern.

7/10


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