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Knowing (2009)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Waste of pencil and paper, 29 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


OK, this movie is not as bad as it seems. It's tense, intriguing, and ends in a spectacular way. The problem is that it doesn't make any sense. The director had to keep only the scenes with Lucinda writing her numbers, Nicolas Cage telling his story about the Sun, and of course the final episode in a Ronald Emmerich style. The rest is completely obsolete. Thus he could have give us only a 10-15 min movie, but save us from a high risk of mental damage.

Why were these numbers written? The two children were to be taken anyway. There was no point of Lucinda writing these numbers, she just wasted her pencil and a sheet of paper. Everybody died anyway, Nicolas Cage did not save anyone, Diana died exactly on the day predicted by her freaky mother.

And, many people may have missed that point, but this was not a happy ending – two kids and two rabbits (presumably female and male) cannot repopulate a planet because of the "minimum viable population (MVP) size" law. So this new beginning in an Eden-like world was mildly speaking, naive.

Why were exactly these children chosen, why could only they hear the "whispering" people? No explanation.

How an astrophysicist (Nicolas Cage) could think that a small country house would save him from a global disaster? Some positive sides of the movie: as I already mentioned it's intriguing, but the end spoils it in almost the same way the final pages spoil the John Wyndham's "Chrysalids". Also, the irrational Diana's actions and behavior at the end were quite logical for a woman in such a situation. Nicolas Cage and Rose Byrne (I still remember her role in "Troja") played quite well, the special effects were OK. But all this cannot save the day for "Knowing" and it doomed itself just like it doomed the world. With a breathtaking, but unavoidable ending.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
My oh my, 16 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really didn't want to dislike this movie, but it was unavoidable. Having in mind that T4 succeeded such classics like T1 and T2, I expected something worth seeing. Alas. Bad plot, setting, special effects and dialogs.

>>>Abandon hope all you who enter here! <<<

WARNING: S P O I L E R S follow:

First of all, the plot lacks originality and it lacks it badly. The idea of an antagonist neglecting the "free-will" human factor and paying dearly for it dates back probably to the dawn of the movie era. Did anyone doubt that Sam Worthington would not do what Helena Carter told him to?

And I feel sorry for Skynet. This is the only inventive and progressive character in the all T-series, but the moment it invents some magnificent piece of technology, the humans break it. And this never ends - T1, T2, T3, T4, T5 (oh, no, dear Hollywood, I promise I'll be good from now on, do not do this). In this regard, I must say that the whole Terminator-thing begins to look and sound like a never-ending story or a soap opera.

The future in 2029 (e.g. in T2) looks like it is supposed to: like a nightmare. The future in 2018 looks dusty and unconvincing. What was this flawless sky after an apocalyptic nuclear war? I got the impression that the world had been devastated by a giant tornado rather than massed nuclear bombings.

In 2018 the human race fights the machines with fighter-jets, helicopters and even a submarine. In 2029 the remnants of the humans act like guerrillas with the bazooka being their most dangerous weapon. Obviously the war is going not quite well for us. How do we win at the end then?

Christian Bale is a good actor, but he tends to act too dramatically. Does he ever smile?

7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Simply magnificent, 6 May 2009

I am not much into this kind of stuff: worms, snails,spiders etc. but "Life in the undergrowth" has really enchanted me! A superb, captivating and informative storytelling,breathtaking scenes of a world beyond our natural perceptions and the genius of Attenborough: this is what the 5 episodes are about. It is astonishing how the new technologies can reveal the everyday life of creatures that we usually think of being too primitive to deserve our attention and interest. However, the actors in this series have roles in the complex interplay called life as important as ours or maybe even more. The solutions they found regarding their survival, reproduction and adaptation are really amazing, though in many senses completely different to what we are accustomed to in the macro-world.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
I cannot think of a worse end, 1 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

All in all, this is not a very bad movie, you can watch it once or twice except for the end. Wow, how can someone be so much out of his mind to end the story like that - it looked like a mixture between "and they lived happily ever after", "Natural born killers" and a documentary for blood donors. Do you really think this poor boy will have enough blood to cure ALL skinwalkers? And are his mother and redeemed father going to run a hospital for people suffering from skinwalker-ia? I hope there won't be a next sequel, where we can follow how their business is going. There were some amusing scenes though, like that with "Stop or my mom will shoot!" feat. the old lady and her hidden big gun. Or the scene with the eagle crushing the truck window (although when I think twice, this sucks a bit). And we have OF COURSE a nice looking female trio - Rhona Mitra, Sarah Carter and Natassia Malthe, although you'd better watch Sarah and Natassia in "Dead or Alive".

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A great Sci-Fi classic, 23 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After his success with "Re-Animator" Gordon made his next, maybe greater classic – "From Beyond". I like this movie and I think it deserves more merits. Gordon's talent manifests itself again and the music is awesome. The story is quite interesting and well presented. The director shows again his affection for Lovecraft's works. The concept of a mad scientist is again present but now it is less stereotypical – in her thirst for knowledge and naive understanding of what the real potential of science as a product of the human mind is, Dr. McMichaels seems as dangerous as the antagonist Edward Pretorius. With the simple recipe "If it appears, you make it disappear" she is sure she has found the answer to a problem that clearly is beyond her competence. I am a scientist (a physicist) and I assure you that this happens in real life on a regular basis. The lack of responsibility and naive perceptions of science are dangerously present on a very high academical level. And believe me, this is VERY SERIOUS.

The acting is excellent – the formula Barbara Crampton + Jeffrey Combs seems always to work and this movie is not an exception. In fact, I think that her role in "From Beyond" was Crampton's best and most interesting one – she acts quite convincingly and naturally and manages to play her character in her three highly contrast transformations. I think that Crampton is an underrated actress maybe because she decided to stick with horror movies and soap operas. Jeffrey Combs acts also quite well and again proves to be born for the Gordon's horror movies. Ken Foree and Ted Sorel are also great and act convincingly. I must admit I felt sorry for Foree's character when he got eaten by these bugs. He was such a nice and reasonable guy.

The special effects are quite well done even for the standards nowadays. Unlike movies like "Evil Dead", "Castle freak" and "Re-animator" you won't see much gore here, although there are really some disturbing scenes. Actually I prefer it this way, since I think that too much gore and flesh eating freaks don't make a movie a necessarily good one. Just another reason why I like "From beyond".

4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Greatly overrated, 16 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had so big expectations about "No country for old men" but having watched it, I was greatly disappointed. At first glance it seems that the movie has a lot to say and you can learn a lot from it, the acting was good and the story was kinda interesting but that's all. Actually the movie is just rather pretentious and it feels cheep and unfinished and full of pseudo truths about life.

So what do we have here? A psycho serial killer with state-of-the art principles teaches us the philosophy of life and how and why we should make our choices.If some people really think that this moron said a single item of useful information or wisdom, or that there is something in his deeds worth remembering, then they need a doctor. Of course such characters (deranged murderers with bright ideas or deeds) exist but you won't meet them in this movie.

SPOILERS: The sheriff's character was catastrophically developed (if such a verb can be used here) - he looked like living in a fifth dimension due to smoking too much pot, his police work was less than nothing, he looked and acted more like a weird preacher than a cop, and I was about to fall asleep every time he started his long conversations. Another philosopher - so we got two of them: a psycho and a melancholic cop. Many things and events are quite naive and defeat any logic like why did Josh Brolin get back to the wounded man after so many hours in the first place? He didn't expect to find him still alive, did he? And the way he understood that he was followed by just one man seems a little bit "magical" to me. Not to mention him staying in front of the motel room wooden door without taking any cover. The cops couldn't figure that the man on the road wasn't killed with a gun-firing device? Well, I'm not an expert but this sounds ridiculous to me. And many other details also made the movie far from realistic. Oh, yes, the bad guy got away, wounded but enjoying the help of two kids. How sweet, original and thoughtful !!! To cut the long story short, I was happy when this movie finally came to an end, because I know I won't watch it again. It left nothing in me worth remembering.

Eden Lake (2008)
32 out of 59 people found the following review useful:
An indescribable disappointment - this movie is full or irrational hate, 12 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really regret having watched this movie. I understand this is just a debut, but still, it could have been so good! OK, the movie really gives an explosive burst of genuine horror and terror. But that's all. Honestly I don't understand the positive comments here - there is no moral in the whole story at all (the movie is a product of art and should leave some message to the viewers). OK, we all have heard stories of underage or adolescent killers. So what?

We learn nothing about this phenomenon that is worth to be learned. The dark side of human nature is only slightly touched and this is worse than not exploring it at all because this is a rather rather rather (should I carry on?) delicate zone. To do this in the right way and with the desirable depth, one should be a good psychologist (the director is obviously not). The concept of the beast in man has been widely exploited and there are some very good movies about it but not this one. So if you are unable to do something, just don't do it. This movie just looked like a devilish reality show or a news report. OK, we have enough of this in our everyday real life, we want something original or some investigation why this does happen. The cut needed to reveal the reasons for human self-destruction is missing. What do we have here?

1. The plot, although potentially quite promising is rather shallow and the kids' violence is not motivated and comes out of the blue (we all know or at least should know the difference between cursing kids, smoking and drinking and kids who kill people). There is no explanation for these teenagers' hate, nor it is shown how it has evolved. Some boys and a girl who listen to nice music, smoke and drink suddenly become visitors from hell. You gotta be kidding me. The big WHY is just missing in this movie.

2. Every director as an artist (even of a horror movie) should love and respect his characters and the human beings in generally in the first place. Love and respect for man is missing here - the rather predictable end just proved it (I hoped though that the director had some piece of common sense left in his brain and we all could have been surprised). And what we need nowadays is really love (ok, it sounds like the 60's, but this is the sad truth). Instead, the movie fuels us with rage and hate. At the end you are turned into one of these kids- thirsty for blood and revenge. We want these children die. No, thanks, I have some other plans for tonight.

3.Justice should be present in every movie (we don't have it always in life, but cinema is art and art is not real life). I see a rather provocative trend in many recently produced movies of saying good-bye to the "happy ends". I am OK with this, but the trouble with an "unhappy end" is that you must make it brilliantly, otherwise you throw the whole movie down the drain. So the good end is not necessarily a happy-end, but you should really have the talent to make it right.

I am sorry but this movie insulted me as a human being. Мy personal advice to the director, probably he had an unhappy childhood: get yourself some pets and find another job!

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Much better than what I expected, 12 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm not really a gore-film fan (I like horror of the Steven King's type though) but I was quite positively surprised with this one. There is nothing special about the plot, we have again humans turned into bloodthirsty zombies, yet now the zombies look for the first time really horrifying, dreadful, and dangerous like starving wolves and not just like poor stinky folks, slowly decaying and moving like mindless robots (who you'd rather pity than be scared of). This time the zombies are like beasts - fast, deadly, with eyes filled with a mixture of hate and hunger. And here I think I can say there is more to this movie than just the blood and the torn flesh, because we see what is left of a human when his humanity (soul) and intelligence are gone - a pure predatory instinct, a naked hunger for flesh. This is nothing but our primordial nature - something we have hidden with the presumption that we are the state-of-the art beings on this planet. Remember movies like "American psycho" and also "Wolf" with J. Nicholson. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE HUMAN NATURE!!! This is not something that we don't possess, nor it is something we should suppress - it is something we should control.