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calin-radulescu

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5 reviews in total 
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Kick-Ass (2010)
5 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Not even worth seeing at home!, 19 March 2011
1/10

"Kick ass" is an absolute pathetic excuse for a movie. Just the other day, we were talking in school about how cinema is not cinema anymore, since it is constantly evolving and the boundaries of motion-pictures (and the subsequent visual representations) are broken.

Well, making an analogy with Evolutionism, this shouldn't even appear on the evolution scale. A total waste of money and resources. And you've got Nicholas Cage in it, to cap it off. It's all clichés and using classical music for such gross and distasteful scenes is a regretful. And it makes for a cheap movie.

Save your neurons and a few money, donate it to the Japan Rescue Fund or something!

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Big badda-boom, 22 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The story of the film is easy to anticipate. The main character is rather immature, wants to become a magician and still lives with his parents. Pretty lame Hollywood story, right? My answer is no. His first try at magic, a trick he volunteers his mother for, goes bad. Really bad: she ends up in the hospital. But it's then that you sense the black humor of it all. And soon follows a bevy of such displays. Tricks that go wrong, so you think, until the "script" catches you off guard and throws you off with a surreal ending. Even if it doesn't add to a gullible story, you still get a laugh out of it.

And let's not forget that truth is stranger than fiction.

The rising point of the film is the live show the main character gets to hold. He performs his trick with a volunteer and seems to have pulled it until the man collapses to the floor. The crowd is stunned and so are the spectators (of the film). But the dead man was in on the "plan" and he gets up. The magic trick was played on the audience, not on him.

Laughter ensues, and you ask yourself a question: Was the story in the movie played on the characters...? or on you? It's not the perfect movie, but it still surprised me an made me laugh. Aren't shorts about that?!?

Călin Rădulescu @ Shorts Up Romania, June 2010

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Got blood?, 22 June 2010
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all, I wanna start with a personal remark. I never thought I'd see Andi Vasluianu, whom I consider the best of this generation of young Romanian actors, cast as a "manelar".

But he makes it work. Not fully, I could still sense some moments where he would be cerebral and not "look" like a manelar; again, it works, if you look at the big picture. The script is rather linear - Robert pays a visit to a "local" musical producer, Dan Bursuc (cast as himself), to fulfill his son's dreams of becoming a singing sensation. Nothing out of the ordinary happens, you tend to anticipate what's to follow, but the scenes are put together in a good enough manner that you don't mind. It's still a short film...

What's to be lauded is that without trying to make it a universal or moral story, you still get a sense of how the world portrayed works. People, regardless of wealth or social status, have dreams and they are beautiful trying to fulfill them. And suffer when they fail... The one twist in the story can be found after the perceived "grand" moment. On the bus ride home, trying to cheer up his son, Petre pays local musicians to sing a tune. The one his kid likes. What happens is that Robert, the boy, is up to the moment. He sings along to them and other people start giving him money (think street musicians with a kid...).

It's not what they had hoped for, but isn't that the way life goes?

Călin Rădulescu @ Shorts Up Romania, June 2010

Great short about open mind ness..., 20 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The story is quite simple. A young couple goes to visit his (as in, the husband's) old friend's family house outside of Paris and then... let the action begin.

What stands out is the self irony of all characters. In short films, it can get difficult at times to catch the spectator's attention, so that he fully understands what you, as a film maker, want to transmit. It is no easy task and the cast handles is elegantly, each of them constructing a different character. There's quite a few clichés thrown in there, and the actors make them work. You can easily follow each one's chain of thought, and their faults, seen through a humorous perspective, come into play at exactly the inappropriate time. Which makes the movie very likable, as it shows that every society's values (in this case, the French) are somewhat ridiculous.

The scene where the two children crown their victorious father "Olympic" champion is a delight and it's very much representative of the movie itself. There's also a Hollywood twist in the story, where the visiting couple, sharing their true feelings about the hosts, are heard over the baby monitor in the guest room. However, you cannot fault it, since it makes for a great ending: everybody sitting down to eat, in awkward silence, and the visitor's realization that they had been exposed, when hearing the same baby monitor "in action".

There's no need for words, as the spectators laughter speaks volumes. And there's a bonus: the French song about friendship, used to accentuate the ridicule of the story, is a cliché with a twist.

All in all, a great sophisticated short!

Calin Radulescu @ Shorts Up Romania, June 2010

Logorama (2009)
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Clever and ultimately humorous depiction on a small planet in the Galaxy, 20 June 2010
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Bringing together all things that make run the much maligned global economy, Logorama is comprised of satirical characters, every single one representative of a well known brand and, of course, borrowing some of its traits / values. Making fun, intelligently none the less, of what we have come to recognize as (social) values is always a public draw, as you might imagine. Also having a moral to story is a plus, and it's probably what makes this movie so good and so appreciated.

What needs to be said is that the authors of this short film are French, I don't know how much they have come in contact with American Society, but their depiction of it is very accurate, even if at times hyperbolic. The script is constructed as that of a box office hit, complete with a villain (Ronald McDonald), tough cops (Michelin characters that make you think, image wise, of donuts eating police officers), and is somewhat chaotic, but I see it as an irony to the recipe of block busters grossing billions of $. The ending to the film - the earthquake followed by the "apocalypse of petrol" - make it seem like a very intuitive prediction (the film was made in 2009) of what has happened this year (Haiti + Balkan Petroleum). With the characters being profit motivated, walking clichés, violent and blood thirsty, the aftermath - destruction, disasters - is easy to anticipate, although sad.

And what the story amounts to, a Noah's Arch type of apocalypse, is very well put into perspective by the zoom-out end: we're just a dot in the Milky Way Galaxy.. Insert Registered mark logo here, of course..

When it's all said and done, the movie is well made, accessible to all ages and a great run of humorous inter-texts.

Calin Radulescu @ Shorts Up Romania, June 2010