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Finding Amanda (2008)
Why can't all Hollywood movies be like this one ?
Let me start by saying that this is an excellent film in almost every respect - clever dialogs which underlie a mature understanding of the psycho-dynamics of the characters, brilliant directing and overall very good acting. The main theme of the movie is denial - all characters lie to each other and especially to themselves about almost every respect of their lives. This is a fresh breath of air relatively to all those formula Hollywood movies where all characters only act according to some ridiculous higher ideology. I feel that for the first time in a long while I am actually watching the story of real people. Although the story in the movie comes to a solution, this is by no means a corny Hollywood like solution but actually is able to reveal some new insight into the story - which is always the sign of a great work of art. I am quite sure this movie deserves a larger audience than it got, I am certainly going to follow the next works of the creators of this film. Great job everyone.
Well written, slightly flawed directing
This movie is very well written, the drama is crafted intelligently and the humor is good. The only problem I found with the film is the decision to mix the humor with a somewhat serious portrayal of the hero's condition - the way it is shown, the viewer does not know whether to identify with the hero and feel sorry for him or to just laugh from (the good) comic situations he runs into. This made me feel a bit guilty for laughing which is quite strange for a film which should be comic. Other then that, everything in the film and especially the acting is quite professional and all in all the film is very enjoyable. I give it a 10 out of 10 because it is so much better than most other comedies which are shown currently in theaters but it would probably get much less attention which would be a pity.
Everything works in this movie : The direction, the acting, the shooting, the story and the script - one commentators claimed that it was limited and one dimensional but it is quite on the contrary : the script was written very elegantly with quite a lot of subtelties and these would probably be missed by those who are used the usual wham bahm great Hollywood films.
The only (small) flaw in the film was its so called "feministic" flavour, it was completely unnecessary - any, if all, "politically correct messages", would have been understood from the story itself - there was no need to shove it in the audience face.
All in all this movie is intelligent, interesting and exciting. I highly recommend it.
Poor Boy's Game (2007)
A work of art
This movie is the best I've seen for a long time. It is one of those rare movies where the technical details are so good that they are transparent to the viewer and the acting and directing is so good it gives you a chill down your spine.
*** the following might contain spoilers *** ( I have added the spoiler warning just to be safe but I don't really think it can be spoiled)
The moto of the movie is confusion and lack of borders, morally and psychologically, and it is expressed in a brilliant way in a lot of different levels : the hero who has to reconcile his homosexual behaviour in jail with his heterosexual identity outside it, the tense relationship between the black and white communities which come to a climax in the neighbourhood's club, the relationship of the hero to his absent father as opposed to the (black) father who adopts him, the relationship of the hero with his mother - a few times he has to listen to her having sex with her boyfreind which is a very strong way of portraying the collapse of his psychological borders, and most of all the confusion that is created when the father of the kid that the hero tried to murder adopts him(!) and trains him to a boxing fight so he will not die, even this fight does not come to any conclusion and is just blurred away with no winners or losers.
*** end of spoiler alert ****
It seems that in one short story, the movie succeeds in portraying a wide variety of complexities of life in a way which is not righteous or preaching. This is a beautiful and intelligent movie, I hope it will get the appropriate credit it deserves.