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Themis Katz

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5 reviews in total 
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"Homeland" (2011)
7 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
It's '24' for old people..., 9 December 2012
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

... and I don't mean a more "mature" audience. I actually mean old people.

I've only seen season 1 and these are my thoughts on it:

It has half the cast of '24'. It has half the writers&exec. producers from '24'. It even has the musician of '24'. The twists and turns of the plot, on who is who, even the morals of the characters, are from '24'.

I don't know, if the 'Homeland' story development seems more plausible from '24' because it takes more than a day to see it through, but that doesn't necessarily make it better.

I've also read about how "good American TV drama" it is, and I would like to remind the fellow viewers, that it's a remake. It's "good Israeli TV drama", although, admittedly, I haven't seen the original one. But, it looks like an American remake of an Israeli remake of '24'...

The fact that it has less adrenaline-driven scenes and more f-words and sex scenes, doesn't necessarily make it better. And because of that alone, I summarize it as "24 for old people". If it was for a more "mature" audience, it would be half '24'/half 'Rubicon'.

In any case, all this, is my frustration for wanting something new and great and original and gritty and heart-stopping and I was led to believe that 'Homeland' was all that.

300 (2006)
10 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
It was about time..., 12 March 2007
10/10

It is apparent that Frank Miller's work, finally got the credit it deserves, now in the 2000s, instead of the poor translations to the screen , in the past decades. So after "Sin City", here come "300", to blow your mind away.

Never mind, "Troy", that chick flick, that took the savagest epic poem ever written, to transform it into a Pitt/Bana/Bloom gawk. If you ask my opinion, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", had more in common with "The Odyssey", than "Troy" had with "The Iliad"...

Never mind, "Alexander", that took the story of one of the greatest strategists of all time and his journey, to transform it into a quite perverse parallel to G.W.'s "fight to civilize"...

Here, is a movie, based on a graphic novel, that teaches history lessons, better than anyone else ever did.

Thanks to the pen of Frank Miller, the artistry of Zack Snyder, and the vision of them both, this here is a lesson as to how to treat an epic tale. The work that was done here, is amazing. Production design, flawless. The CGI, near perfection and speaking of which, I don't know if the film was shot on location, it would have the same impact as it did now. As, for the actors? Butler IS Leonidas. He simply IS. He exists. You believe him. Everyone else, played their part in perfection and stood by their character, as best as they could.

The music of the film, is a mixture of heavy guitars, orchestra and vocals and although it reminds of some other scores, (the rejected score of "Troy", work of Basil Poledouris, and perhaps "Gladiator") it stands as great as the 300 Spartans themselves.

Being Greek, this is the only film in recent memory that makes me being proud of my ancestors and our history. It's an ode to freedom and valor. Values that are forgotten in most of the world today although western civilization keeps referring to them constantly. It's also a reminder that when guns were invented, "balls" disappeared...

I watched the teaser trailer, once every day since its release. The anticipation couldn't reach a higher level and as is usual in a situation like this, you are always disappointed. Not THIS time. (If you exclude the Spartans' "HOO-HA", that is...) I'm not sure i can go to the cinema as many times as I'd like, to enjoy this masterpiece.

A big "Hail" to Miller, to Snyder, to Butler. I believe, that if I write anything else, I will only diminish the film's value.

...You know what? Just... go see the film. And if you already have, see it again.

I would also like to comment on other peoples um... comments..

How it stirs your primal instincts, it true, it does that.

How it takes the history and gives it a turn (not always for the best) that is bigger than life, true too. It's a movie. It is supposed to do that.

How the Persians were all deformed, mutated, and so on, and Xerxes himself a bit effeminate, "so they must die", in this "Racist" movie? Not so much. Don't forget they are the BAD GUYS of the film. Do you suppose that if Sauron and his legion of Orcs, were as good-looking as the Elves themselves, LOTR would have the same impact? Countless are the examples in that. STAR WARS, has the deformed Emperor and deformed Darth Vader. In BRAVEHEART, the true villain is Robert the Bruce's father, and he is a leper. The heir to England's throne is gay. In CONAN THE BARBARIAN, Thalsa Doom is a Snake. You want more? It's a movie and bad guys in movies look worse than good guys in movies.

Also a comment for the people who parallel this work to G.W's propaganda tools... That was "Alexander". As for this film, you are forgetting something crucial, that probably is genetically imprinted on US citizens DNA to forget... The Spartans were DEFENDING their land. Not INVADING somebody else's. So any talk made for freedom, is used in the very accurate and pure form. Not as a manipulative tool for US troops, dudes... US troops, don't defend...

And in any case, IT'S ONLY A MOVIE.

Mirrormask (2005)
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
not exactly that original?, 29 June 2006
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw the movie the other day and I have to admit, it was dazzling. To much information for the braincells. Eye-candy. But..?

The performances were as good as needed in a fairytale like this, but...?

I watched the extras, the comicon convention Q&A, in hope that the makers would mention it, but...?

Hasn't anybody noticed that this movie is Stephen King's and Peter Straub's "The Talisman" on LSD? or am I the only one?

The boy with the dying mother, (girl in this case), that has to travel to "The Territories", to find the Talisman (or, mirror-mask), to save his mother's life, and the strange world he is visiting. Meeting strange creatures as the story goes, from talking werewolves to flying men to whatever else.

Come ON, people!! you are using the media in it's finest form. DO SOMETHING ORIGINAL. And if you're adapting a story from the '80s, SAY SO. no one in going to blame you.

But unfortunately you didn't, so this movie no matter how good it is, falls in the "never-admitting-borrowing-from" category, as

reservoir dogs/city on fire. harry potter/Star Wars. Kill Bill/Lady Snowblood.

...and so on, and so forth. pity.

Very Well Done, 7 November 2003

When the lights came on, I felt I was the only person in the theater that enjoyed this movie. The bad comments started immediately. I can't understand why. It was the climax. It was the "catharsis". It was the third act of a movie, that wants the "hero" sum up all the efforts and knowledge from acts one and two, to confront the "villain". People speak of no storyline, and especially no "answers" to any of the "questions" placed in Reloaded. What questions? Questions that we created ourselves? Why should the filmmakers answer questions they didn't place? People speak of constant battle and nothing more. Have they ever read anything? have they ever seen another movie? From Lord of the Rings, to Stephen Kings' The Stand, to Star Wars, to The Matrix, to, to, to...the third act is the same: "People are fighting for their lives against the entire Evil Force, while the pure (or the enlightened ones) go to fight Evil on a different level, with different means". Annoyed there was no Bullet-Time this time around, and no over the top visuals? REMEMBER! This movie was shot in the "real" world. Only the finale takes place in the matrix. As for the visuals...wait 'till you see the war in Zion !! If there is anything that spoiled the movie for me, it was the Oracle. Unfortunately there is no way you can stop death in the real world, but there was no chance for us, (or the actors themselves) to connect with the new actress. And the fact that the movie seemed too short. I would enjoy another hour of it. As for the Suits humans wore to fight, and the woman with the twin rocket launcher, I take it as a tip-of-the-hat to James Cameron's Aliens, which gives another plus to the movie.

Aaaahhhh, something was missing there..., 29 April 2003

The road goes ever on and on....

And brings us in the human territories of middle earth. The images are great, the music a masterpiece at certain points. Peter Jackson's craftmanship obvious all over the project. But...?

This movie exists only to testify that "Fellowship of the Ring" was indeed a great movie.

I left the theatre with mixed feelings. I didn't know if I liked it or not. What did i see? what did it say to me? Well, the movie actually differs a lot from the book. But I'm ok with that. There are huge differences as to what works in a reader's fantasy, and what works cinematically.

But...? It looked rough. It looked like someone yelled "ok, let's get done with it" while filming. It looked disconnected.

This movie's actual intention, is to introduce us to the characters of Gollum and Faramir, because they have each a special part to play in act three, "The Return of the King". At a certain point you think that this could be accomplished by merging elements from the "two towers" in the "Return of the King".

Maybe though all this is because it originally was about an hour and a half longer and the producers at new line decided that Peter Jackson is nuts and cut it down to the core. I definatelly wait the Extended DVD Edition, with high hopes bestowed on Peter Jackson (who has never failed me before), and proving that the guys in the studio offices actually are wrong from time to time...

Woa! I almost forgot! My God! The Gollum effect is the most unbelievable CGI character that has ever existed on screen. The interaction with the human characters was breathtaking. Serkis' acting (body language) unbeatable. WETA Digital, diserves all oscars they can have. And it should put the fathers of the SFX, LucasFilm's ILM in serious thinking as to where are THEY going?

we only have to wait and see, while the road goes ever on and on....