Reviews written by registered user
|61 reviews in total|
This film was Rafi Bukai's graduation film in the Tel Aviv university
cinema studies. It had almost no budget, and it was misunderstood by
many as a self hating anti Israeli anti war movie. It's not it's
probably the best movie ever made in Israel by a great cinematic mind
with a deep understanding of the limitations of a students film budget,
and how to use these for your own advantage. With very little means
this movie creates a series of unforgettable images that speak in every
language. It's not anti Israeli, it's anti war, and it uses the war in
which Israel has won its biggest victory ever, because it helps
delivering the point. Yes it does show some Israeli characters which
aren't very nice, but it also shows some which are much nicer. and of
the three Egiptian characters in the movie one is very bellicose, and
his role is next to insignificant considering his screen time, but much
more significant when considering the fact that he's one of the only
three Egiptians shown in the film. Their nationality is not the issue
here, that's the reason the film is named after the anthem of the
Italian Communist party, an anthem heard on the radio during the film
and getting sung as a marching tune in one of the greatest scenes ever
seen in Israeli cinema.
If you can keep an open mind regarding some very touchy spots you'll have to see that this one of the best anti war films ever, made in Israel or at any other country. This one is a real must see.
It does have its faults, not all the characters are evenly built. Some
are super, complete human beings presented on the screen for us to
watch others are fleeting images present on the screen only as space
fillers. But for me it's the only fault of a very well constructed
movie, beautifully shot, beautifully directed, superbly acted by all
the leads, and if you do live in Israel and you knew Israel at the time
the movie takes place and it still feels real and genuine, it's a huge
compliment. On top of that one can see that the director knows what
he's doing, things make cinematic sense.
In my private book, this one of my top five films made in Israel ever, though people should know that my top five list could easily include 10 films - I'm not for splitting hairs over silly little details. If a movie is good, most of the rest is insignificant, this one is really good.
It becomes a regular issue with recent films, especially when we're speaking about films that highly depend on CG and super fast action scenes. It's not a necessity but it's been proved repeatedly that building proper characters is getting a lot more attention than constructing real good plot. I can understand the reasoning behind it, when the characters are appealing, the actors find it easier to relate and do their work better. And almost everybody here excels though Tom Hiddleton as Loki deserves special notice. But the story could definitely be built better. And I'm not speaking about the plausibility of the basic premise, as I said more than once the entire idea of a living super hero calls for some suspension of judgment, but if this super hero operates inside our own world, some other laws of logic must apply, and many of those are ignored here. Which I find to be regrettable since everything else is of a very high quality. And yes once again - no real need for 3D, in fact even less so than in the original Thor movie. Bottom line - good fun that could've been much better.
I liked Asa Butterfield in Hugo, but there he played a child, a special child, true, but still a child. He was acting and reacting to things that exist in our world, some more fantastic than others but at the base they were all things that one can find in the world. Ender Wiggin is nothing like anyone he could encounter. A kid, a genius, a master of strategy, an intellectual grownup trapped in the body of a child with compassion and understanding far surpassing his tender age. And he pulls this one off superbly. As he's now Asa Butterfield is one of the finest actors around. The rest of the film is not important, it is a shallowing down of the book, but it does keep the core plot intact. It does some stupid Hollywood changes like hinting a budding romance between Ender and Petra, and since the child employment laws force the age of the actors a few years above the age of the characters in the story, it almost makes sense to shift the prepubescent friendships of the book with a post pubescent budding romance. Luckily they didn't lay to much story lines on this change, and didn't push it too far. I guess the Orson Scott Card masterpiece is such a classic by now that even Hollywood scriptwriters didn't dare tinkering with it too much. Visually the film is of a very high class, despite not using the 3D trick that could be easily justified in this case they still made me feel slightly disorientated more than once when entering the weightless battle room. The bottom line is a long one in this case, it's not the masterpiece the book is, but it treats the story with due respect; it eliminates some of the brightest aspect of the book like forecasting the internet and social networks as early as 1985 and understanding their implications before they were there to see. And still the lead character of Ender is so strong and its portrayal by Asa Butterfield is so amazing that everything else pales into insignificance, which makes this movie worth seeing even as a prelude to reading the book itself.
Lets be honest, Thor Freudenthal the director and his script writer Marc Guggenheim, were faced with a daunting challenge. After their predecessors (Chris Colombus and Craig Titley, correspondingly) butchered the previous movie of the emerging franchise, and they were the starting team. So they were put in a bind from the very beginning, having to introduce two key factors in the movie that had to be there from the very start, the roles of Clarisse and the not less important role of Kronos, the hand pulling the strings behind Luke. Considering that predicament, they did fairly well. I mean they did introduce both of these characters, they did it very nicely with Clarisse, and were much less successful when they got to Kronos, starting with the fact that they botched the mythological background, which is a sin the original series of the books would've never commit. They did do some other serious mistakes but nothing as bad as the original team, and if they could fix the mistakes of the Colombus Titley team, maybe they can fix their own mistakes on the next production. All the rest was done as well as can be expected, the action is as one expects from the books' series which explodes with constant action. The special effects are in accord with the common standards in the industry at the moment. The acting is all right, and sometimes even above par - Tyson's role is performed superbly even though his introduction story is not exactly as the books spelled it, his character is right there in the movie and Douglas Smith has a lot to do with this fact. The bottom line is - it's a move in the right direction, but it should cover a lot more distance to reach the quality of the books' series.
It's a nice film adaptation of a fairly nice teen fantasy. It follows the book fairly well at least in the spirit, until about two thirds of the film are done with. But then it goes too far, and even commits the unforgiven sin of adding a spoiler that the books kept as a secret for almost full three volumes. The rest is fairly well done. The acting is all right, the story as has been mentioned is not the most original but it's not all that derivative too. The look is true to this era of cinematic magic, in which CG can make everything look real enough. The whole thing would've been so much better if only the script showed a bit more respect to the original story. There are no real excuses for a few very significant changes from the original taking place in the last 30 minutes or so of the film. I've already complained about this Hollywood phenomenon, but it seems to me once again that the script writer's ego simply got in the way.
In my review of the first RED movie I said it was a fairy tale, well this one is a cartoonized fairy tale. But what a super cartoon, and how can a super cast and well written roles work wonders with silly cartoons. Yes the plot has king size holes, and some of the solution offered in it are definitely forced, but it doesn't matter, everybody is having so much fun one can't help but join the party. The director Dean Parisot, is showing once again his talent for action and humor combinations, I loved the fade into cartoons at the scenes' ends, they suit the film beautifully. Asking this film to show common sense is simply being a killjoy, if you can't enjoy it as is, it's a shame, but don't demand it of everybody else.
Yes it's often preachy, yes as others have mentioned it has moments of pure straightforward propaganda. But the story is told with so much real naiveté and the leading actress has so much charm, that it all works. The underlying humanity of it all simply wins you over. You may laugh at certain minutes as some lines reek of propaganda so much it's simply funny, and it still wouldn't hurt the overall effect. I think every viewer belonging to the human race will simply have to root for Yong-Mi on her road to fulfilling her childhood dream and becoming an acrobat. It makes sense that she wins the hurts of anyone trying to stand in her way, simply because she works her magic over the entire crowd too, you know that being in their place you wouldn't be able to resist the enthusiasm and drive of the coal miner who wanted to fly. As I said this has a lot to do with the leading actress, Han Jong-Sim, were she born anywhere else she'd be a global sensation by now or at least a well known star. As it is she's just one more reason to regret the fact that North Korea is practically disconnected from the entire world. A few good words must also be extended to her supporting cast some of these are doing very nice roles too, and to the triplet of directors who succeeded putting the whole thing together, I know I'll be waiting for more at least from the lovely Han Jong-Sim.
A big family is a catalog of problems, a big family at the holidays is a catalog of problems reaching its boiling point. If you've lived in a big family you know it, if you've seen one or two films about big families, you probably know it too. Here lies the failure of this nice little film. Don't get me wrong, it's fairly well acted, the director choosing a low key approach that suits the genre well, so it's not a catastrophe, in fact it might be a good pastime if you can relate. Thing is the plot is not only loaded with cliché, it's devoid of any refreshing surprise or plot twist. And it tends to solve most of the problems it's looking into in a superficial almost casual manner. An abusive husband, falling for a creepy old man, falling for a girl who's too young for you, everything solved nice and easy, like it was no more than a ploy to cover a few more minutes on screen. It's not a good feeling to end with after a film with which we're suppose to relate.
It's very close to perfect ten, but I won't dwell on the reasons I've got this one rated 9.5 rather than 10. I simply want to point out the aspect that most people forget when referring to this movie. Everybody notices the wit of the script, everybody notices the superb acting of Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro. Well I want to point two less noticed aspects of this movie. Anne Heche, doing a perfect job as the perfect yes woman, the counterpoint of Hoffman and De Niro, the audience of their escapades, admiring them when they work their magic, getting angry at them when it all seems to fall apart - being the exact balance against which the two are to be compared. The other hardly ever noticed aspect of this movie is the brilliant work of Barry Levinson - it's not only the guiding of every actor and every actress, not only the perfect pacing of the plot - it's the amazing control he exerts over the look of the film. The lighting and color control of this film are of the highest class ever achieved in cinema, an aspect not commonly present in American cinema who pays much more attention to the story and often neglects its design. Have one more look at this film and pay attention to the way people are getting swallowed by the background shadows or of how they emerge from these shadows and then think of the fact that the entire film is about the shadow game of politics.
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