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Missione finale (1988)
North Korean action filtered through the Italian porn industry
I can't believe that there actually are five other people who have seen and bothered to rate this film. I saw It a few years ago at the Gothenburg Film Festival in their section for Korean film and had a blast.
The story in short: Some kind of evil people, I forget who or why, have found out a way to extract bodily fluids from the base of the brain of unsuspecting victims. This fluid is then used for some reason or another. A couple of western heroes have to stop this in true 80's action style, big explosions and violence ensue.
The only real reason to see this extreme turkey is that it is actually financed by the North Korean state! True! They apparently gave money to an Italian director who brought along what must be a bunch of Italian porn stars and tried to make an action extravaganza. Just an example: There is a car chase, but it really isn't that exciting since they drive around on an empty high way (I doubt there are that many vehicles in the country to begin with) and the ancient cars sway like they hadn't even heard of suspension and could topple over at any time. Also the cars top speed seems to be 50 kph at the most so you could probably catch them with your bike. This is the only film ever where you have people running around showing up outdated communist hardware and where you have so many hilarious moments of unintended homo eroticism and a female porn star proving why they never, ever even try to act in porno.
Seriously, this is so bad it's good but yet still gives you angst for seeing it. Actually, when I think about it, you should see it. If you can.
The Island (2005)
End the terror of Bay
Such a stupid film. Simply feeble. Someone should stop Bay from directing anything ever again. Plot holes? Could make a great drinking game. Take a shot of vodka for every inconsistency you find. At least you'll pass out before the end.
I suppose Ewan got lots and lots of cold, hard cash for his efforts. That's good. Sean Bean, underused as always. But Michael Duncan Clark. Why do the directors keep misusing him? First his all too brief appearance in Sin City and now this. Cash for him too I suppose. And Scarlett. Looking good. As usual.
I just felt insulted by this film. It deserved to bomb. It really did.
I saw Predator for the first time back in the late 80´s. And I must say that it scared me half to death. It was so effective and, at that time, unique that I could hardly believe my eyes. Hold in mind that I was about 14 at the time but still, the memory lingers on. Since then the film has been shown over and over again on tv so I really can´t judge whether it has aged well or not. You really can´t be scared when you know what´s coming.
I suppose that like with everything else there has come so many other films copying the style of the Predator so that anyone seeing this for the first time might not be as impressed as I was some 15 years ago.
And just a comment for the guy who thought the scene where one of the marines chooses to meet the predator with his knife, instead of using the very weapons that have been totally inadequate during their previous encounters. I don´t claim to be an expert but it seems to me that the guy knows he is going to die a horrible death. So he challenges the Predator to meet him "mano a mano". To go out like a man so to speak. This is a macho film so it sounds reasonable to me. Or maybe he just lost his mind? Who knows, it´s still pretty good stuff.
Sure it´s trash, made on a low budget and so forth. But still, it´s pretty good trash.
Harrison's Flowers (2000)
Its a matter of feeling
I just saw "Welcome to Sarajevo", a film that got a lot of press and positive remarks when it came out. I only suspect that much of the press was based on the fact that it came out only a couple of years after the end of that terrible war in Bosnia.
Just as in "Welcome" this film also depicts the life of journalists, trying to understand and convey the happenings in a country once believed to be almost western. (Which, I suspect, is the reason that it had such an impact on the western psyche.) As everbody else has pointed out this is where the best characters are found, especially Adrian Brodys character.
Several others have already pointed out that the main story revolving around a lost love and an heroic wife trying to save her husband is really awkward. But since you need somekind of story, that might just as well be it. I saw this film a second time just recently and actually managed to ignore the plot and focuse on the description of the madness that was eastern Croatia in the early 1990´s.
This film has an incredible feeling, the settings, the photography and the score makes it come really close to being in an actual war. I cant really praise this enough. Compared to "Welcome" this film hits you in the guts as it shows the brutality of urban warfare and the senseless killings that occur in all wars.
Other films about Bosnia that are recommended if you like this one, "No mans land", "Pretty Village, Pretty fire" and "Savior". And why not give "Welcome" a chance too.
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Well, it didn´t suck.
Ok, what can I say. The second film was at times laughable. It had bad acting, poor scripting and silly speeches that made me laugh out loud.
This one has less silly speeches, good action but still suffers of bad acting. Laurence Fishburn must have been addicted to valium while shooting his scenes. So, it is full of cliches but it is still an ok film. I recommend you rent it on DVD.
The Wachowski brothers turned out to be pretty uninteresting filmmakers in the end. Sad, it seemed for a while that they might have something going on.
Ghosts of Mars (2001)
Please, no more.
I can only say this: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE stop making more junk. Carpenter, that very name carries the inner meaning of shame. Cavemen wearing some kind of prehistoric hides and covered in bodypaint? Such imagination, such terror. This is simply too awful to even comment.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Not the greatest film of all time.
I have to admit that when I first went to see Matrix I wasn´t really that impressed by the film. I had just seen Dark City, a truly intelligent film. A couple of years later I had to rent Matrix because my girlfriend had missed it and this time I finally realized that Matrix was a great action film and truly entertaining. It may even be called innovative. So I had some hopes for Reloaded.
I realize that the Wachowski brothers felt the need to explain their universe in this film. I also realize that they had an need for trying to explain the motives of the main characters but still. Reloaded has some great action and amazing effects but it is also an extremely uneven film. It felt like at least half of the film was made up of endless and pointless monologues, (Morpheus was worst, talk about pretentious.)I also have a huge problem with this kind of parodichal acting, especially when you have a corny dialogue. And believe me, it really is corny.
I have a degree in philosophy and always find the kind of fake philosophy that Reloaded represents as a bit naive and funny. But one wonders why they made such a fuss about the philosophical aspects of the story when it is clearly made to entertain teenagers? The 16 year old I went to see Reloaded with simply didn´t have a clue what they where talking about. And when it comes to alienating your audience, that might be the worst thing you can do.
And when it comes to suspense, how exciting is it with an character, Neo in this case, who simply can´t lose? And in this film he really is the Matrix version of Superman.
I have to say that my expectations are considerably lower for the next outing.
Southern Comfort (1981)
Background: A group of national guardsmen on a simple training exercise. Bad things start happening, caused by the stupidity of the arrogant soldiers. Who is the enemy, why do they try to kill the soldiers? The hunt is on...
I love this film! It is creepy, scary and has an fantastic atmosphere. It is set in a fantastic environment, the Louisiana swaps, that gives it an outlandish, almost out of this world, kind of atmosphere. There is an almost colourless feel to the scenery and the anonymity of the pursuers make this an extremely suspenceful film.
But what really makes this film so fantastic is the incredible soundtrack signed Ry Cooder! Is the man a genius or what? He combines creol music and the violence in the film in a way that makes Bueno Vista Social Club seem dull. ¨ Ok, some of the acting is subpar and Walter Hill could have found some more charismatic actors, but still.
I own one DVD and this is it. Judge for yourself.
But one point: My girlfriend did not like the film. She asked the following question: "Why are the creol always evil?"
The Lost Boys (1987)
I just saw this "Teen classic" on tv. I had to get up at 7 to go to work but I still stayed up until 1 o´clock in the morning to see this trip down memory lane. California in the 80´s seems to have been such a fun place. All those outrageous clothes and bombastic music! We have to wait for another period of cultural breakdown in California until we get another one of these fantastically silly films!
Two thumbs up! It´s truly not art, but it´s period entertainment of the higher order.
A nice, somewhat tame, film that seems to make people think.
I truly enjoyed this film and it´s light social commentary. As I understand it the film is about the fact that accepting change and diversity is something valuable. The main point is that confronting your own prejudices and accepting the diversity in our lives make it so much easier to enjoy and appreciate.
The fact is that every society throughout human history that has stopped evolving, and focused on preserving the Status Quo, has broken down. This is especially true to societies that refuse to accept new ideas and intellectual independence. And as I understand it, keeping the social Status Quo and protecting an abstract idea called "the American way of life" was the main goal of the 50´s U.S. culture. Remember that this was a time in U.S. history when people were punished for their ideals and thoughts via the oppressive structure called McCarthyism.
In this, very light and in my opinion surprisingly tame, film this is shown in the way people react to the coloureds, i.e. the people who start to brake social conventions. And it is not until the people of Pleasantville start accepting change that they can see the problems in their society.
Now I have to admit that I have trouble understanding all aspects of U.S. culture. That is why I have a hard time understanding the critique that some commentators have posted against this film. I know that, especially in the U.S., sexuality and rebellion against social tabu´s is a touchy subject.
But that is what makes this a good film, it actually manages to make people think and that is all too rare in contemporary American cinema.