Reviews written by registered user

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12 reviews in total 
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44 out of 64 people found the following review useful:
I haven't seen a show this bad for a long time, 29 September 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let's get one thing straight right away - this show is a disaster. With a decent budget actually. It is beyond me why this mess was approved in the first place, but having seen the pilot, I'm really wondering who in their right mind OKed the script. Casting is poor and the characters are like card-board cutouts with zero common sense or natural reactions. The lack of realistic emotional reaction is so extreme you start wondering if maybe the main characters are losing their minds as well.

*** Mild spoilers ahead ***

Watching the pilot is a very strange experience. The amount of various disasters and strange events is so huge that the show feels like a disaster theme park. It's grotesque. It's like the writers couldn't settle for one challenge, so we get worlds largest hurricanes, fish and snakes and cars falling out of the sky, demon possessions, volcano eruptions, freezing oceans, flying people, zombies, earthquakes, mass paranoia, fires, food shortages... Seriously, I was waiting for aliens, because that's pretty much the only thing left.

Some of the characters actions were so unbelievable that it felt almost like this is a parody show. But it's not. And that's possibly it's biggest fault. Had they gone down the comedy route, than this TV show might have made some sense. As it stands, avoid this mess and spend your time on something better.

15 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
Visual experience like no other, 26 December 2015

I have no intention repeating what other reviewers have said about this film, but I do want to chime in with an often overlooked aspect of The Revenant - cinematography.

First of all, the whole film is shot on digital 65mm Arri camera with not a single medium or telephoto lens. Everything is shot with wide angle lenses and the framing is done basically by moving the camera either further away or very, very close to the main actors.

This super-close framing combined with wide angle lenses creates an incredible immersive effect, where you simply cannot help but physically feel the cold, the water, the dirt, the blood splatter, the nature. Many times during the movie the lens itself gets splashed in blood or dirt, it fogs up from the breath of the protagonists or even gets kicked during fight scenes. Also, the faces are so close they get distorted from the wide-angle lenses, which in turn creates an even greater effect of honesty. There are no masterfully lit beauty shots here. Instead, it's all very, very, very rough and very real.

Also, the movement of the camera is incredible. The huge sweeping 360-degree vistas right in the middle of massive combat scenes create the effect of the viewer being "in the middle of action", it is almost as if you're turning your head to look around. The fact that the whole movie is made with only natural light is an interesting factoid, but it's important because the DoP Emmanuael Lubezki suddenly isn't confined in his framing by where the artificial lights are placed. He's free to move any where and any way he wants and that sense of liberty is definitively something we don't get to see very often.

Every one of these visual aspects add a new layer of authenticity and what you end up with is an incredible movie that can almost be described as "an experience". It's a ride that's hard to forget and is certainly something that anyone interested in film-making is going to want to take a good, hard look into.

"Narcos" (2015)
10 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Goodfellas meets The Wire meets The Wolf of Wall Street, 31 August 2015

It's great when a show sinks it's claws into you from the very first minutes. Even before the show title came up, I knew this would be great.

The pacing is brilliant. Director really nails it on the head, guiding us effortlessly from the micro cosmos of Miami's DEA police hunting small time pot-smoking criminals to an already accomplished smuggling scheme of Pablo Escobar. We're served with a colorful economical, political and social global picture, but also introduced to the everyday lives of both the good guys and the bad guys. Truth and fiction are blended seamlessly with the help of archive footage and historical details from the era.

The main protagonists and antagonists are beautifully set up on the scenic backdrop of late-80's Miami, but also on the violent streets of drug-capital Medellin.

The voice-over and freeze-frame techniques as well as the dynamic soundtrack clearly borrow from hits such as Goodfellas or The Wolf of Wall Street, but make no mistake - the brutality of the drug-trafficking world is displayed without holding back. Headshots and tortured bodies hanging from trees are shown all the way through, giving an additional sense of credibility to the show.

With the blend of macabre realism and authority by which the show tells the story, it's almost impossible not to be dazzled by Narcos. It's an honest look at the rapid spread of cocaine into the USA, as well ass the futility of the law enforcement trying to stop it. Told in interesting way that mixes both drama, reality, violence and archive footage that gives it almost a documentary feeling, Narcos is definitively a treat for fans of crime shows.

2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Sensory overload of human will, inspiration, science, visuals and sounds, 7 November 2014

This is the movie future world's top scientists will refer to as the source of their inspiration. I have no doubt that somewhere in the darkness of the movie theaters there are awed kids seeing this film today; kids that will grow up and dedicate their lives to space exploration of tomorrow.

After a long time I have left the movie theater with that feeling of witnessing something special, something that really changes your perspective. And for that, I congratulate Mr. Nolan, because I have no doubt that he set out making this movie for that exact purpose. Influence. And this film carries tons of it. It's an instant classic, one that will fuel debates and ideas for years to come.

The visuals are stunning. You are literally sucked into the film. The scientific foundation is there, some will say it's too much to grasp, but I disagree. Even the basic knowledge of long distance space travel is enough to understand the concepts and issues we are faced with. Finally, the musical score, while strongly reminiscent of the Kubric's classic, is still incredibly powerful and further conveys the epic scale of what's happening on the screen.

Plot holes? Errors? Forget the nitpicking and look at the greater picture. You will not regret it.

Fury (2014)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Boiled down review, 22 October 2014

Let me just skip the "the director that brought us this and that" or "Pitt delivers a such and such performance". Everyone already wrote those lines, so I'll just get down to saying what you really want to know.

Is this a good war movie? Yes. It's not a masterpiece, but it's definitively a very good film. Experiencing it on a big screen is something I recommend.

There's a LOT of very realistic gore. Heads exploding like pinatas, body parts being taken, rotting bodies everywhere etc. If you're sensitive to this sort of stuff, this is not a movie for you. It's also not a date-movie. With that said, I brought my fiancée along and she liked the movie.

The action is gripping, it really draws you in and the battle scenes are spectacular. I will not say more, but they're definitively some of the best tank battle scenes I've ever seen. Also, the chaotic dynamics of war are pretty realistically displayed. To me it also seemed pretty detailed in historic realism, although I'm sure that trained eyes will probably note that some weapon has a wooden oak handle instead of pine or stuff like that.

Now onto the negatives. There are a couple of "Murica f*** yeah" moments, which didn't bother me, but a lot of people burst into sarcastic laughter in my theater. Some of the constant and loooong Bible quotations almost made me expect Samuel L Jackson himself will pop up to deliver the famous Pulp Fiction speech. One or two would be OK. This was over the top. Germans seem to be VERY bad at aiming, refilling their weapons and generally surviving.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Hipster cinema at it's worst, 10 March 2014

Seeing that "Contains spoilers" check mark while writing this review I thought to myself - is there anything in this movie that I could write that would actually "spoil" anything for other people. The answer I'm afraid is: no.

Inside Llewyn Davis is a pretentious, pointless and incredibly contrived film by two brothers that have obviously lost touch with reality. This is hipster cinema at it's worst. No plot, no development, no climax and no resolution. Now, I'm no stranger to less known, artistic films. I'll take anything from Korean, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Portuguese, Japanese, Polish, Czech, English or American cinema. I really do enjoy slow, intricate movies. And I love character studies! Except, this movie doesn't really study this self-destructive jerk of an folk singer that's trying to work his way into music business. Because there's nothing to study. The guy's a talented a-hole with issues. I know a lot of those in person. And they're all the same.

When the movie ended my girlfriend, a musician herself, simply said "what a load of bull". And I couldn't agree more. Even though I was desperately waiting till the very end for some kind of a big "gotcha" that would tie it all together and show that this movie does in fact make sense, that moment never came.

The only good thing is that the songs are okay and the atmosphere of the 60's seems well portrayed. So I'm giving 2 stars for each.

7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Slow paced, dark, tense masterpiece, 10 February 2014

15 minutes into the the first episode my only thought was - this is an instant classic. Now, several episodes later, I can only say this show is an absolute masterpiece of cinematography. The constant feeling of dread, despair and darkness is enveloping. You just can't look away from the screen. There's nothing bloody on the screen, there's no gore or the usual TV visual gratification, yet you can't shake that uneasy feeling in your stomach. It's one of those programs that take you on an emotional roller coaster with each and every episode and leave you desperate for more. It's also a great example as to why many directors are switching from film to TV. The contemporary TV format is allowing for a much more layered story telling.

The dialogs and camera work have been taken beyond perfection, and both Harellson and McConaughey deliver amazing performances. McConaughey is especially fascinating to watch as the storyline keeps switching from past to present. Overall, this is one for the books. A must watch for any serious TV aficionado! 10/10, up there with the likes of The Wire, Oz, Twin Peaks and The Killing.

14 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Go in open minded - and hope for a sequel..., 20 June 2013

Well, I've seen it today in 3D. First of all, I actually didn't mind 3D, although normally I hate it. I guess it's because the movie was obviously made in 2D, so the 3D effects that were added later on didn't really rape my eyes. And there are several of scenes in which 3D really gives you a sense of depth and scale.

Oh, I also read both books and knew beforehand that the movie doesn't really follow the storyline.

To sum it up: it's a really nice zombie flick.

Perhaps a bit too nice, since the aimed PG13 rating hides away something that is a staple of all zombie movies: gore. If you're a gore fan, there's NONE here. I mean zero. This movie is gore-free. Gore is implied, it's part of the storyline, but you don't actually get to see it. Kinda like soft porn.

The story follows Gerry Lane, an ex UN investigator who finds himself and his family engulfed in the developing world wide pandemic. The story quickly jumps from a nice family setting into running for their lives and we get a glimpse of how fast this thing is spreading, of the panic that ensues, the collapse of the modern society etc.

Gerry's skills as a UN investigator are his get-out-of-jail card, since he is rescued by remaining military forces and sent off with a SEAL team to figure out the source of the infection in order to procure a vaccine.

From there on, we follow Gerry around the world and learn little bits of information that help us paint the global disaster that seems to be getting worse by the minute.

The action is non-stop. There's really no slow parts, it's a jump from one action packed scene to another and just as we barely catch a breath, the zeeks start pouring over walls, ever eager to take a bite at the closest human.

CGI scenes are epic. There's no better way to describe it. We have never seen zombies like this, literally huge pouring masses of them, rolling through cities like an unstoppable river of hungry undead. This is a great concept and it's kind of a shame they showed some of those scenes in the trailer. Still, seeing them again is breathtaking.

The ride is really full of thrills, and while some of the plot devices seem too simple, it's easy to understand how hard it is to film a global story like this and still keep it in focus. There's not much time for character development, so except our hero and his family, we don't really get to know much about others. Which is actually also kind of understandable, because, as anyone who's ever been in a war, you basically don't have time to care that much about others. You're looking out for yourself and your closest family. Brad Pitt offers a good performance, as well as the supporting cast.

The bad things about WWZ... Well, there are several. First of all, I can't say the screenwriters managed to paint the global picture as much as I'd hoped for. I know it's very hard thing to do, but still. The climax is basically an anti-climax. It's a quiet ending that more then obviously states it's intention to reveal more in the possible sequel.

It basically tells us that this is just the begging, it even takes a couple of clear hints from the books, which leads me to believe that if they ever make a sequel, it will follow the books more closely. And I hope they will.

The lack of gore is disappointing. We live in a time when there's a split zombie head every week on The Walking Dead. I expected more. Also, I'm not too keen on the concept of super-fast, super-strong zombies. Aforementioned The Walking Dead proved that you can do very impressive stuff even with walkers.

The thing that strikes me the most is the fact that in terms of revelations, everything is really, really toned down. There's no epochal findings, there's no grand discoveries, or gotcha scenes, it all sort of happens... Well, like in real life, I suppose. And this is something that is also the underline of the book. While it offers much more details and stories from around the world, it deals with the subject at hand in a basic "trying to survive" way.

So, in the end, the 116 minutes went by very quickly. I was definitively entertained, scared and left wanting for more in the end. With all that said, I would recommend you do go and see the movie.

The Divide (2011)
301 out of 505 people found the following review useful:
Lord of the ... stupid, 29 March 2012

Well, yes. I'm another person who got suckered into watching this piece of garbage. The most important thing you need to know about this movie is that it's just not worth spending two hours of your life to watch it. It's just bad.

You already know the plot, so there's no need to go over that. What you don't know is that, after quite an interesting start, things simply go to hell in every possible way - the plot is thrown out the window, the characters start behaving completely stupid 5 minutes into the movie, and the are really no explanations for anything that goes on from that point.

The acting is actually not bad - it's simply that the characters these actors put life into make no sense. Their decisions and actions that get them spiraling into gore and violence, simply don't add up at all. Here we have a group of random individuals that start arguing, fighting and provoking each other just moments after a nuke bomb has taken the city apart. And most of them act like total a**holes every single minute. When they find out crucially important information, they don't share it, but rather keep it to themselves. They don't stop for a second to think about rationing food and water. They don't care how long before the power runs out, or the toilet fills up, or air is spent, or... Well, they just don't care about anything that's really important. And it get's really frustrating to watch - REALLY fast.

I'm writing this as a person who has actually spent time in a similar situation - stuck in a basement with bunch of neighbors while the bombs hit the city above you for days, even weeks. And I can honestly say that, while this movie clearly wants us to believe we're all sick f*cks ready to snap and start beating, torturing, beating and raping each other, it's just not true. Also, speaking from my own experience, people want to survive and actually talk constructively and work together while utilizing common sense and common interest. Yes, there are conflicts, yes some people lose it, yes there is trauma, yes there are groups formed, but this... This is simply over the top.

This movie desperately tried to be the new Lord of the flies / The Road, but failed completely. Because it didn't make any sense. The violence and the perverted situations are obviously more of a director's reflection of his own mind, rather then a portrait of a realistic situation. Which would be fine, but the problem is the movie is constantly trying to come off as a real possible scenario. It's just not.

Worse of all, even if you go through this mess, you'll get no answers to anything and no hope at the end.

Oh, and btw, just to clarify - I'm a big movie buff, I devour serious cinema from all over the world and from all kinds of genres. I have no problem with gore, violence, exploring the dark side of human nature, sci-fi etc.

So, that's why I am going to recommend to skip this awful pretentious piece of trash and watch a much, much, MUCH better Spanish post apocalyptic movie, called The cold hour - a film that has all the same elements and then some, ends up just as bleak, but actually works!

10 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Epic cinematic misery that will keep you grabbing the armchair, 30 December 2011

Two years after seeing the original Swedish films, I couldn't wait for the Girl with the dragon tattoo to hit the theaters. Ever since that incredible first trailer burned into my retinas, I had a feeling this remake wouldn't fail. And not only it didn't fail, it delivered with style, grit and dark edginess I was hoping for. The cast is pretty much spot on. Daniel Craig, with a few extra pounds, gives an impressive and convincing role of a journalist Mikael Blomkvist. Compared to Michael Nyquist from the original trilogy, which performance I enjoyed very much, Craig is definitively up to the task.

Of course, all eyes are on Rooney Mara playing Lisbeth Salander - an incredibly complex, solitary and traumatized hacker, who is hired to help Blomkvist solve a 40 year old mystery. Mara is simply amazing in portraying Lisbeth, both visually and emotionally, it's such a believable performance that after a while you simply cannot imagine her not being Lisbeth in real life.

Cinematically, Fincher leads the movie with strings of superbly done shots, great dialogs and occasional shocker scenes that will get the hair on your neck stand up. While the run-time of 2 and a half hours may seem long, the time simply flies by and you end up wanting the movie to never end.

I only have two small complaints: first is casting Sarsgard as Martin Vanger. While I love Skarsgard and have seen many of his movies, for someone who's even slightly familiar with his work, there will be no doubt about what happens at the end. Second is about Lisbeth Salander character. While I can not praise Mara's performance enough, I have to say that Noomi Rapace in the original movie was more "manly". I know that it may not make much sense, but little details in walking, expressions and gestures made Rapace even more detached from any feminine characteristic. Rapace's performance made me feel that Lisbeth was so troubled and traumatized that she had lost almost any feeling of connection to humanity. For example, I loved the fact that Noomi in original movie had unshaven armpits. It was such a small detail, but it instantly made you realize just how messed up her life is. While Mara is astonishing as Lisbeth, there's no mistake that she's a woman - albeit damaged, but still feminine enough.

Many have mentioned violence and some other "tough to swallow" scenes. Honestly, they will make you feel really uncomfortable, but that's the point. They are not gore, they're not glorified and are certainly there for a good reason. Ommiting them would be a big mistake.

One more thing - the intro scene is pure audio-visual orgasm. I can hardly think of anything I enjoyed watching more on big screen then those first few minutes.

Overall - 10/10. And watch the originals as well.

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