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American Psycho (2000)
Playful, but mysterious little movie
Do you like Mary Harron?
Her early work was a little too TV for my taste, but when "I Shot Andy Warhol" came out in '96, I think she really came into her own, commercially and artistically.
In 2000, Mary Harron released "American Psycho", her most accomplished movie. The whole movie has a clear crisp '80s look, and a new sheen of social satire, which really gives the movie a big boost. In terms of writing craftsmanship, the sheer scriptwriting, this movie hits a new peak of professionalism. The movie is so catchy, most people don't even try to understand the meaning, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity, importance of trends, hollow yuppie lifestyle and murders, but it's also a personal statement of a director herself!
Do you like Christian Bale?
I've been a big Bale fan since the release of his '94 movie "Prince of Jutland". Before that, I really didn't understand any of his work. Too artsy, too intellectual. It was on "Prince of Jutland" where Christian Bale's presence became more apparent. I think "American Psycho" is Bale's undisputed masterpiece. It's an epic meditation on intangibility. At the same time, it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding movies. His acting is as positive and affirmative as anything I've seen in any movie.
The brilliant ensemble of other actors makes "American Psycho" great,great movie, a personal favourite. You can practically sense the empathy between Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon and Samantha Mathis.
So, to sum up, the movie is extremely uplifting, it shines with hope that it's not too late to better ourselves, and contains a crucial message - since it's impossible in this world we live in, to empathise with others, we always empathise with ourselves. It's beautifully stated in the movie. And now excuse me, I have to return some videotapes.
Triumph des Willens (1935)
A cinematic gem
This is the movie featuring the most beautiful visual and audio sequences ever done. Leni Rifenstahl does truly unparallell job transmitting the unique atmosphere of unity, pride, joy, love and compassion of 3 days in Nurnberg onto the screen. Her ideas of camera work, sharp editing and close-ups served as example for most modern directors.
Since it's a documentary, the movie revolves around prominent Nazional Socialist leaders delivering speeches in a large party meeting. Most of the speeches deal with then-current events in Germany, so it's a good idea to read a history book if you're not familiar with them, to fully understand the movie. Some scenes are absolutely fascinating: Hess's opening speech, Hither addressing Labour Movement and the SA/SS meeting.
P.S. BTW, despite popular beliefs, there are no antisemitic or chauvinistic remarks or propaganda speeches in the movie, so it's no more offensive than history channel. A must-see for everyone, who's interested in history and sociology.
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
Well, this movie cannot be rated as drama of sci-fi anymore, its's a documentary, maybe yet a little inaccurate, but still a factual depiction of reality.
We don't have Big Bother, but we have hundreds of political puppets. There is no Inner party, but there are international "brotherhood" of wealthy and powerful. Instead of Outher Party, there are politicians and top managers. Instead of perpetual enemy Goldstein, there are non-existing "terrorists". There are spy satellites, email scanning, wiretaps, and almost vanished privacy. There's a little of free speech left, and the censorship is strenhtening. The Orwell's concepts of party "doublethink" (believing something you know is wrong because the government says so) and "goodthink" (believing anything party says and acting only the way government want you to act) is embodied in so called "political correctness". There is no Miniluv, but there is CIA and secret prisons and elimination of unwanted dissidents.
But most importantly, there is a monopoly on media, which turns 90% of world's population into Orwell's "proles", who can never rebel and overthrow the party, because they simply are not informed enough to direct their anger against their government.
The book/movie was an early warning, yet nobody seemed to listen, so it seems that we may be doomed to reach the worst end of Orwell's reality.
The movie itself is flawless, with powerful acting and directing, but it's not the form it's the message that matters.
Seed of Chucky (2004)
A triumph of Jennifer Tilly.
What can I say, this movie is the greatest part Jennifer Tilly ever did. She demonstrates unbelievable courage and sense of humor by playing herself in the movie which is just a big joke about her. She also delivers her usual more than decent performance, since comedy is her natural gerne. Other members of the cast also do a good job, especially Redman, since he also got a chance to play himself. The plot is fair enough for a movie parodying a horror movie, so all the blood and deaths don't actually scare anyone. Some humor is also in place, most of which deals with Tilly's appearance. So, to sum up, a very good satire, a decent comedy, and a great performance of Jennifer Tilly - all in one.
This is a truly great movie, both from artistic point of view and regarding its political correctness. The plot is quite simple: a bisexual girl Violet and a lesbian Corky (played by Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon) decide to steal 2 millions which belong to mob. However, the money is guarded by Violet's boyfriend Cesar (Joe Pantoliano), so they set him up, have him killed, and provoke a small internal war in Chicago mob in the process. Surprisingly, they manage to trick the whole Manzone family, and get their happy ending. The best part of the plot is that it doesn't accent the lesbian part,but instead it focuses on character development and suspense, thus being truly neutral and politically correct. Directing is great, the whole flashback sequence is well-thought and entertaining. Acting is almost perfect, Jennifer Tilly especially excels, getting out of her typecast "bimbo" roles. Joe Pantoliano also does an incredible job, especially in scenes when he's going paranoid. So, to sum up, the movie has great directing, acting, no stereotypes, and almost perfect plot (in real world, Violet definitely would have been killed, as an unwanted witness), so it's a true masterpiece.
This is truly the best Russuian movie since Brat 2. It is very realistic, bloody, and it precisely depicts one of the most dramatical episodes of the history of the modern Russia. Directing is flawless, the usual Balabanov style rocks. Acting is just superb, especially part by Dmirty Dyzhev, who played psycho hit-man - the new version of fairy-tale folk hero Ivan. All other parts, even the smallest ones, are played by the top Russian actors - Nikita Mihalkov, Viktor Sukhorukov, Andrej Merzlikin, Sergei Makovetskij, you name them. The movie has tons of black humor, but the best episode is the one, in which gangsters with "strategic vision" become member of the Russian Parliament, and those without it lose everything. The soundtrack, consisting of Russian gangster-era pop and alternative, is just as good as OST from "Brat 2". So, to sum up - a true modern masterpiece!
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Excellent B-grade movie
"Dawn of the dead" quite a good movie. it has a good budget for FX (there is not much to watch in zombie movies except for FX, is there?, however it keeps the unique atmosphere of the 1978 original. The plot is naturally bad, but it's unlikely that a zombie flick will ever produce a decent drama or room for character development. There are fixed standard characters, like a cop, a black guy with a gun, redneck security guard and so on. Most of them die in quite entertaining way, so the audience is never bored. Casting is good, however, it doesn't really matter, since most characters are quite flat. IMHO, they should have replaced Sarah Polly with more...ehm...typical nurse:) So, to sum up - a good piece of commercial entertainment. Not a Lynch movie, but it's never been positioned as such.
Liberty Stands Still (2002)
A waste of time...
God, I wish, I could get back those two hours I've spent watching this ridiculous piece of...cinematography. Almost every aspect of this movie is remarkably bad. First of all, it's the plot. I mean, c'mon, watching this movie is like watching 2 hours long politically correct (which in fact allows discrimination of white gun-owners) anti-gun commercial. So, let's see, what do we have here. Oh, it's the black guy, whose daughter was shot in school by some fun freak (bet he was from Alabama, right?). So the only way a father can retaliate is by kidnapping a businesswoman, who's in gun business (guess he didn't have the stomach to deal with a man) and playing some sick twisted psychological games with her. Anyway, afterwards he shoots a major gun manufactures and commits suicide. What can be more of a self-advertising for anti-gun groups? Acting is average. Fiorentino is not bad, but this part is just not her type, IMHO, she should stick with femme fatale parts. And Wesley Snipes as crazy-yet-honest-gunman-blinded-by-rage-but-still-politically-correct ? Give me a break! He is good as Blade, but this character is too complicated for him. Anyway, the movie as as whole is awful.
And this being an awful movie, the question is - do you feel lucky, that you came across my review and decided not to watch this garbage, punk? :)
This is one of my favourite TV shows,and certainly, one of the best Sci-Fi shows around, except maybe for "Dark Skies". It has all the characteristics of a great entertainment, however, it also excels in creating dark and twisted atmosphere. The plot is unique with its integral existentionalism, which makes it watchable from the first to the last minute. Directing is good, however, there's not much action, so it doesn't matter much. Cast do a great job, especially Xenia Seeberg a.k.a. Xev. Kai is also portrayed quite good, however the script doesn't give him a chance for a proper character development. And of course, Stan is great as typical role of a "no-good-covard". All in all, a great sci-fi show, I give it 10/10.
The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)
This is what I call an honest movie.
After reading a large number of negative reviews, it finally became clear to me why this movie is so widely hated - because it honestly depicts the modern biased race-based American society, in which uneducated crowds are ready to devour an honest person, and punish him for a crime he didn't commit. The acting is great, Tom Hanks does an admirable job, however,it isn't acting which makes the movie great. The superb directing, creating realistic and horrible scenes of dirty political games and black (literally) PR, capture my attention. So, to sum up, a brilliant political satire. The movie could make a laughable comedy, if it wasn't so terrifying...