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gsic_batou

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35 reviews in total 
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Warrior (2011)
On the hall of fame of sports movie, 17 February 2012
9/10

The warrior feels like a different sports film from the beginning. It's the movie that "The Fighter"(2010) tried to be and fell short of being: a truly great sports movie with real family drama behind it.

Although everyone plays their part beautifully, it is Tom Hardy that makes himself shine with an amazing performance of a very contrived character. The script and directing manage to conceal the character from the viewer until that(inevitable) final fight, where so little is said in words and so much is communicated through the punches.

I don't want to spoil anything. Just go see it, you won't regret it.

9/10

9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Outstanding is an understatement, 17 October 2011
10/10

Television as a medium rarely rises above mediocre levels of quality, concerned only with ratings to up its publicity income. Yet, every once in a while a truly remarkable achievement flashes briefly before the eyes of those carefully looking. Game of Thrones is such an achievement. Its carefully chosen location and cast, the seamlessness of its narrative and character development and its unrestrained but cautious building of its own fantastical world work so well together that a viewer could not be blamed for thinking it all came together magically.

Fantasy is a complicated genre. So much of it is clichés and replaying of old ideas, and yet, when done right, its worlds can successfully reshape our entire thinking of our own. Game of thrones begins with a beautiful introduction of its world in its opening credits, which in these days tends to be reduced in so many shows to the series titles and the producer and director credits. In the opening, we understand the layout of the terrain, and immediately perceive the importance of the divide of the map by "The Wall". This introduction is very clever, as it helps to visualize all the movements of the many character in the game of thrones.

As for the characters, rich in detail and significant and intertwined story lines, they are one of the biggest treats. You care about them the moment they come on the screen, and even if most can be identified as good or bad the moment you see them, the narrative manipulates both them and viewer enough to carry us constantly into unforeseen narrative developments.

Without spoiling its hard to speak of its themes, but all that is common in fantastical stories you will find here, from betrayal and honor, and manipulation and love, but with a more brutal and uncompromising view than most other shows. Even if dragons play a part, this is not a child's show. It's themes are that of adults.

The winter is coming, and it will be a long wait until the next season.

Black Swan (2010)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Darren Aronofsky plays it non-stop, 12 January 2011
9/10

If anything must be said about "Black Swan", is that it keeps a high note throughout its length: it is engrossing, bold, and simultaneously seamless. It is definitely one of my favorites from last year.

I won't waste time with plot line, as the information abounds here on IMDb, but this is a movie that will leave a long term impression on me. It is dramatic and beautiful, conveying grand themes of betrayal, selfishness and sacrifice.

Sad as I was to realize Mila Kunis has too small of a role, Natalie Portman carries itself to another level with this performance. She is irrecognizable and is able of conveying the slightest feelings.

The greatest awards however are due in direction. Forget Fincher, this is Aranofsky year. This movie would never work in any other hands, because if one scene had failed, the ensemble would be nothing as it is.

Extraordinary achievement.

9/10(and only because, for a 10, I need to see it again).

4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Overyhyped, but will be loved by many, 6 January 2011
5/10

I love film. I watch many films, many genres, from the most experimental to the most formulaic. And good or bad, I always enjoy the experience, because most movies, whether they execute their ideas well or not, revolve around some aspect of the human experience. No matter how fantastical its world or characters might be, there are always anchors to reality; usually a theme central to the human experience: love, war, despair, happiness, depression, hopes and dreams, regret, etc.

I also love videogames for the experience that they offer. They are fun and engaging, and they can be a fun social experience in the right amount. And although narrative wise they usually don't offer much, that has been changing the past few years.

Why this introduction in a review? Because "Scott Pilgrim vs the World" offers none of what is great about film and none of what is great about gaming. It's like a video game you don't get to play. It is, in one word, boring. I actually had to turn it off the first time, because I was bored out of my mind. The second time I watched it in full, but I didn't enjoy it.

It is a technically well made movie and it has some solid acting, but not only is the script completely devoid of anything interesting, other than childish word play and the regular sarcastic jokes that are so overplayed these days, but it actually doesn't even has a finished story. There is nothing behind it and the characters are so limited in their interactions that they don't even feel like people. They feel like characters in a video game, but since I'm not playing it, I don't care what happens to them.

This is a flashy movie, that moves fast and will please a lot of(young) people, but that ultimately offers nothing to dwell on or appreciate.

I rarely give any move less than a 6 rating, but for sheer boredom and mind numbing action, I give this a 5, and only because I love Edgar Wright's earlier work and hope he will get back on track.

6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Great fun, even for adults, 2 January 2011
8/10

Here's an animated movie that has everything it should have, an inspired, but simple story without jokes intended for the adult parents who have to sit with their kids in the theater. In "How to train a dragon", it is the majestic artwork that keeps the viewer engaged, with a mix of funny, colored characters and a less heavy handed screenplay than those of pixar. In some ways that should detract from the movie, but somehow it all works into great fun that takes a grown man back to the fun of childhood.

Simple, beautiful and a lot of fun.

8/10

Monsters (2010)
3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Don't expect a lot of action and you won't be disappointed, 1 January 2011
8/10

Reading reviews here on IMDb, it's clear to see the hate/love extremes represented in them. Another interesting thing about the reviews is that the lower rated reviews are, on average, poorly written. That, I think, derives from the fact that the movie title and some of its marketing material seem to represent another "District 9"-type film, where aliens and humans have prolonged interactions. "Monsters" is a bit more contemplative than that; it is not about an alien invasion, as much as it is about the vision of a biological infestation which does not attack us directly, but which acts as a biological hindrance to our continued development as "kings" of the world. Something which has an aggressive development that we cannot stop or provisionally halt. And that is the theme of "Monsters", which many people seem to view as a motif, because the aliens are rarely and briefly seen and their interactions with humans are mostly coincidental, but in reality this possibility is the main focus of the film, even if delivered through the eyes and expressions of the two main characters in their travel through the infested zone to get to the safety of their home in the US.

That this movie was made with so little money, with only a few people, and looks as good as it does is nothing if not extraordinary. That it manages to achieve the core of what science fiction truly is about by presenting us with a possibility, with a 'what-if', is nothing if not inspiring to each and every filmmaker out there looking to make their movies.

The parallel between the Mexico-us border wall and the one in the movie is really the only political reference; the rest lies strictly withing the realm of science fiction, even if in a far less outrageous and less spectacular thrill ride than any other science film in the last two decades.

For filmaking guts and unflinching sci-fi vision, this movie is unbeaten by any other in the past decade.

Gareth Edwards is a talent to follow.

8/10

5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Compelling film, extraordinary performances., 26 December 2010
9/10

This movie tells a story of 17-year old girl who must find her drug-dealing father to prevent losing her home and keep her brothers and mother together. The girl's incredible tenacity will drive her through the difficult relations between her and her father's former partners.

The part of Ree has to be the best female part in a movie in years, and Jennifer Lawrence, who I'd never heard of before, is absolutely amazing in her performance, filling the character with a subtlety that never allows Ree to become a super hero; her feelings seem always uncertain, even the most dangerous situations. The story is simple, but the script develops each character well and yet never loses focus. The remaining cast is just as brilliant as Jennifer.

What amazes me the most about this film is how well it avoids over exposure, allowing the scene and the actors to tell the tale without following the common trend of trying to serve the lowest common denominator, and sensationalize the drama.

The cinematography is truly remarkable and uses well the rural backgrounds to create a sense of desolation and entrapment that this young girl experiences. The directing is pitch perfect.

This is a terrific film and a truly well made drama; and, if the Oscars were truly a measure of greatness in film, this film would not be overlooked. 9/10

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Hard to dislike, impossible to love, 7 October 2010
6/10

In the realm of film and other assorted arts, its rare to find a piece that propels a conflicting feeling. Usually you like or dislike something, with varying degrees of each, but "Man on Fire" excels in its beautiful direction, acting, photography and then falls face down into mediocrity when it comes to script and plot.

If feels almost a waste that such a beautiful work offers little more than the cheap thrill of a vengeful chase. Its purported intelligent twist, which I guessed with certainty past one hour of its 2:30 running time, is nothing if not the old Hollywood compulsion of tying up all the knots and leave people safely satisfied.

Another reviewer on IMDb states this is a violent film and that it ignores 30 years of social blablabla, but the only violence in this film(other than the cartoonish deaths and bullet wounds), is the ease on which they turn the very serious issue of kidnapping into a thrill ride, all the while pretending they are serious in their approach.

This movie has a lot of good things in it(Denzel is top form in this one), and there are far worse offerings, but it really only works in the shallowest of ways.

How this has a 7.7 rating in this site is beyond me.

PS: for a truly good film on vengeace, try "Oldboy".

[Rec] (2007)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Best use of documentary style horror movie ever, 7 October 2010
9/10

Rec is a direct descendant of "Blair Witch Project", but with a more solid setting, plot and script it manages to work beyond its stylistic gimmick and offer a truly eerie film experience.

Made on a small budget, it never feels cheap, containing great acting as well as being technically perfect(some may complain about the lightning, but I feel it is a stylistic choice that works well).

Ultimately, a lot of the scares are old tricks, but they are included in such a seamless and logical way, that they never feel out of place. The thing I liked most is exactly how it begins in a fun mood and manages to not only get more and more claustrophobic, but how the plot seem to gain speed as it approaches the inevitable conclusion, making you as confused and out of breath as the character themselves.

Highly recommended.

Salt (2010)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
For what it is, it's great fun., 21 August 2010
6/10

Salt is filled with ridiculous ideas, plot holes the size of the sun, and completely overblown action. So, is it worth you time? If you can accept it for what it is, a vehicle for action, then it absolutely is.

Its a movie that is honest with itself; it doesn't try to be something that it isn't. If, for example, the characters had been developed beyond the shallow point in which they are, then it might have been impossible to appreciate the film. But the film never pretends to be more than a vehicle for ridiculous action and as such, it works.

Angelina Jolie is effective, but her efforts again play against the silliness of the film.

Comparisons with Bourne are inevitable(especially the end scene), but this is a silly movie for the silly season, and as such, it compares favorably to the rest of the drivel.


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