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August: Osage County (2013)
"Oscar performances" in an American family drama
Didn't see the Theater performance, but in any way I prefer not to compare between film, book or theater play. Let us be clear about the cast, it had some promises, isn't it ?! And yes, Julia and Meryl are more then superb. There performance is better in any way I could expect. For Meryl you think it is normal, she is always that good, but that said : She is a superb actress with several Oscar nominations and she is a phenomena. Also now she plays that cynic drug slaved family "monster" spitting out all the true about her 3 daughter family, hurting and driving to the limit each of them. The family dinner is the max of the movie in which each actor can show what he is worth and they do so. Julia Roberts does her role as bitter woman as a super performance. She is that hard as her mother Violet ( Meryl ) and gives reply to her. 2 Oscar performances, nothing more to say about that. It has been a long time that Julia proves to be that actress we know from Brockovich or Closer. The movie is a straight family drama with some turns you don't expect and which makes all even more hard. Typical American ? I don't think so. A family from which father and mother have problems and from which the children move out to other states or countries in Europe. It sounds familiar. May be the typical is the American wide and lonely landscapes and sites, like Oklahoma or the West. I would like to mention Chris Cooper for his so sensitive performance in a hard shell, very good actor. No action, blood and action movie, but a real cast performance movie .. wasn't that the purpose of movies ?!! A must see and lets hope the Oscars will go where they have to go ...
The Physician (2013)
A good entertaining adventure movie made in the classical way
I am lucky I didn't read the book. In fact, the book and film of any story is always very different from each other and should be rated separately without comparing them. It is a 2:30 hours movie and it isn't boring at any moment. From the beginning till the end you are entertained by the story and the action. It is a big production, one of those you have to see in the theater due to the imagine, the landscapes, the special effects. And talking about the special effect; there are enough, but for once this movie is not an "ONLY and overloaded action" movie. Lately, most of the films are possible to see on the screen at home, because the imagine is not of that type a cine-screen is needed. This production is made like the classical big productions, like Lawrence of Arabia or The English Patient. So, enough action, not boring, entertaining and you can leave the theater in a relax status and not tired of all the car chases.
Tom Payne, Mr Kingsley and Skarsgard make a very good act.
Negative parts ?! Missing some link in the voyage between England and the Orient. Some unexplainable jumps in the story, which for sure are treated well in the book. But, it is not disturbing and quiet normal in a big story as this one.
Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (2013)
A documentary about a risky subject and made by Von Trier
Lets be clear, I am not especially a fan of Von Trier's work, either I am an artistic cinephile. But lately I am looking a bit further then the mainstream movies, which can be as well very good. That's why I was interested in seeing Nymphomaniac, in the same way that I saw Shame with Fassbender. These movies are not comparable due to the different objective, but treat the same problem experienced by a man or a woman. It is difficult to review the first part of a movie, which exists of 2 parts making 4 hours together. Even then, it is the censored version, NOT due to the sex scenes, but rather for the length of 5:30 hours, which is not THAT standard in theaters. I am sure I will go for the second part and I am as well sure that it will of the same level or better. Therefor the rate of 8/10. It is for sure not porno, even not erotic. Not be mistaken in that. There is no excitement possible. All sex scenes are more or less mechanical, short duration and treated as if it was a documentary. In fact, the movie is like a documentary, where a father type figure Seligman ( Skarsgard ) is the interviewer of the nymphomaniac Joe ( Gainsbourg ) in a way that she can tell her history from when she was 8 years old and onwards. The discussions between Joe and Seligman are metaphors between her sexual behavior and for example fly-fishing, music, etc
and they are sometimes quiet comic. So a laugh is possible. But don't be mistaken, this is a drama. We see how Joe's sexual life conditions her from child onwards, as well as all involved "partners". She is someone who does not feel anything and will do everything to satisfy herself independent of the pain that she will cause around her. A good example is the Miss H chapter, where an astonishing Thurman enters the screen. The situation caused could be like a Veaudeville one, but here it develops as a dramatic absurd situation. Different moods are created, sometimes you feel pity for Joe, then unbelief like with the train adventure, very dramatical situations like Miss H or the with her father causes sadness and anger, even a tip of the love issue
a different movie to see. If I have to mention a negative topic, then it is the cold atmosphere in the movie with only the Seligman metaphors and the sex life of Joe, not more. But don't misunderstand this, it is quiet a lot to handle. And even more, if you have 15 partners a day I suppose there is not that much time for other things to do then having a walk in the park like she does. Stacy Martin is the star of this part, as well as the discussions by Starsgard. Finally, I am certainly going for the second part of this movie. It is a very tricky subject to bring it on the big screen and Von Trier has had the guts to do it. The result is fine, a drama, a documentary about an illness ( as far it is an illness and when it is considered as one ), not a porno or sex movie like we understand it, showing us how it conditions a complete life and sometimes with a comic hint. Of course there is nudity and sex scenes in the movie, a warning for those who have problems with that ...
Take This Waltz (2011)
The non spoken part is the script of the movie
It handles many facets of love, but one thing is sure : This movie triggers you for thinking about the situation and making up part of the story ( the non spoken part ). You recognize situations of a marriage, any marriage, and you move in the shoes of Margot and what love is and can cause. It is about the routine actions, feelings, way of relationship and sex in a marriage, that can become annoying in a marriage. With the result that many at these moments are weak for other relationships, more adventured ones with other feelings. Margot finds that in Daniel, the neighbor, while her husband Lou is more "that what you have and know so well". Margot is searching for herself, to find a way to accomplish with both men, fulfilling her needs by both and giving her to both. What she misses with one she finds in the other. A no way out. The script is OK, but it are the non spoken parts, the body language which tells you even more about Margot's feelings. Michelle Willems makes the movie, without her there wouldn't be a movie. She is a good actress and makes this movie as another prove of it ( Don't forget Blue Valentine "). What I didn't liked that much (and therefor the 7/10 rating) is the last part of the movie, which goes that fast that the movie ends faster you could ever imagine. It seems the director saw the movie's running time and had to end it leaving you with the thinking and filling up of the final gaps.
Enough Said (2013)
A good romantic comedy with a bit of a special story
In Europe this movie has entered in the theaters around Xmas 2013 and that is a good moment for this type of films. A good romantic comedy, nice to see, a feel good film and with a predictable flow of the story. So, having a good time watching it during this holiday period. There is no rough tinted humor, it is not the target of the movie, but rather a subtle humor so close to reality and recognizable in some real world situations. The story is a bit special due to the relations of Eva with the ex-wife of her boy friend and that brings us some awkward moments. In fact, these situations are quiet good treated and brings some debt in the story for those who give it a thought. We have some heartfelt situations between people who are on the same wavelength, but not body attracted, providing sweet and mellow feelings. The 2 lead actors, Eva and Albert (Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini) do a very well job. As I mentioned : A nice to see movie.
Blue Jasmine (2013)
A glorious Blanchett in a good Woody Allen film
The idea is not to convince people of Woody Allen's experience of making fine and interesting movies. Some are pro Allen and some are contra and most of the time they won't give it a chance, not the pro and either the contra. Personally I am not a super pro Allen, but his movies ( mostly as director ) have my attention. Blue Jasmine is certainly one of the good movies of Woody Allen. At the contrary, To Rome with Love was quiet the opposite. But it does not get that excellent as Matchpoint, which was probably the best he made. Woody Allen is a master in handling human problems and typical characteristics of our society and in Blue Jasmine this is not different. Cate Blanchett represents a woman, Jasmine, who was once rich and adored by all the high jet people. She doesn't have a degree and was very good in fulfilling the role of the rich woman a site of her husband that she adored, that much that she just didn't want to see the dirty waters he was going thru, personally and in business. Then she falls to zero, no money, no profession. She struggles with her identity and self-confidence, her status and with a sister who is just the opposite of her. A lot of problems, all handled in a fantastic way. A typical way of Woody Allen to show us these human problems in our society. The movie represents as well the situation of many people in similar circumstances today, rich or less rich, but they do exist in our society in a time of crisis. Cate Blanchett is just superb. I suppose she makes a chance on an Oscar for this role. She handles these difficult situations, this role in an excellent way and believe me, Jasmine is very difficult to give life to her. So emotional, so many facets, etc
But besides Cate we have as well the sister, by Sally Hawkens and Chilli, by Bobby Cannavale, and Alec Baldwin doing a very fine role. If we have a good actor, well, Woody Allen will let him or she shine on the screen and show off the best of them. The movie has some humor tainted parts, but it is mostly a drama, although very good handled to avoid a sad story, which it isn't.
Let say it : A very good movie with realistic problems of our society. For Allen fans a must and for all the others : Really, give it a try.
The Company You Keep (2012)
A good movie, but with other actors and a script.
I saw the critics and they were not that swell. But, I like how Robert Redford acts and how he does the work as producer and director. So, it was a must to see this movie. I am sure that the book must be fantastic. It will describe the situation during the Vietnam period correctly, it will explain exactly how were the emotional relations between the involved people of the action groups of that moment and today. And moreover, I expect it will describe exactly the situation after 30 years ( which is not the day of today, but 20 years ago, although the movie is situated today ). May be it was my problem, but the lead in the story was not clear, it was like I missed parts of the story. I would say that the script was poor or even very poor. The movie had some discussions that could be interesting, but without some interpretation and imagination of the spectator they were very weak. The story in the movie seems simple, or simple handled, but in fact has many facets, which are not handled that well in this movie ( I suppose the book does ).
When in the '70 these people were about 20 years old or less ( university ), today they would be about 55 or 60 years old. Sorry, but Robert Redford and others of the group are just outdated. They really look 80, except Susanne Saradon. In fact, it is Susanne which does the better job of all.
It is a movie just to relax and let you take for the ride. Don't expect anything special. The story could be handled better and with other actors it could be a good movie. And of course a good script to make it interesting.
I saw Robert Redford again in a movie, but I won't repeat it. It was a very good actor, made a good movies and interesting ones, but it is time for him to relax.
The Butler (2013)
Taking a tour on the Civil Act Movement & Civil Rights
I am sure that our US citizens will find many mistakes in this film, topics not mentioned or not correctly, but this film is a part of the US history in a nutshell. Moreover, we Europeans experience exactly the same with foreign made movies about European subjects. The fight of the black population for their civil rights is handled in a very compressed 2:15 hrs. The main topics are handled, a very brief caricature is made from each president in about 10 minutes. The struggle of the black people is shown by Cecil's sun Louis and Cecil is our guide thru about 100 years of such an important part of the US history, beginning about 1925 and finishing with president Obama. It looks almost impossible to do, but it is achieved. There is no detail in any of the subject, but the total result is fine. Of course, I repeat, it is a compressed and a bit forced way to handle 100 years Civil Act Movement in 2hrs. Although it is about the Black struggle, it is not an action movie, it is either horrible, it is more a drama. The movie is for sure a mainstream one, one to satisfy all public. I can imagine that some Oscars will be regarded to this film. And talking about Oscars : Whitaker is just fantastic, he claims the movie, he makes it. Also David Oyelowo ( Louis ), Oprah Winfrey ( Cecil's wife ) and Cuba Gooding are doing a fine job, very good one. I can imagine a better cast for the presidents, but finally; They choose good actors doing a fine job and putting a presidents character on the screen. It is a "big" movie and very entertaining one. May be a TV series would be as well very useful and interesting and could take the subject more in detail for the audience. taking the expectation more in detail ! One more question
I missed the Bush presidents in the series and they were certainly President before Mr Obama.
La vie d'Adèle (2013)
An extraordinary Love story, applicable to all of us !!
I waited some days to review this title after seeing this film. This movie triggered me thinking about love and life and I waited to give it my neutral review. I am watching movies since the latest 30 years and I have to say ; This movie is special !! After 30 years of seeing all kind of movies I have narrowed my scope of movies to see. They have to be special, show me something different, give me ideas to think about or to evaluate in my own life. So, movies like World war Z is not directly my style. This movie although is one of the best love stories I have seen. No unnecessary emotional or cuteness parts, each part of the story is real and genius. It is the soft moments of a love story, the hard moments bringing to the screen. The movie is made in away you are in the skin of Adele and Emma ( can't remember the actress names ). They take you with them in their love story, their feelings. That is also the reason that the 3 hours of the movie is not too long at all. I was surprised it took 3 hours when the film ended. The movie handles the passion between them, a passion that many of us forget over the years in a relation. That passion is also expressed in about 3 sex scenes, 3 scenes which are quiet honest and direct. Some people will find these scenes too long ( one of them could take 10 minutes ), but I find it necessary to establish your follow up of the passion they have between each other, so that when things goes worse you also are one with the situation.
This movie, natural, honest about love, life and sexuality could be attended by children of 12 and more, if they are explained things of life ( they also can see all kind of war movies ). Many will say "Oh, lesbian movie, what the hell you are". This is a movie for all of us, independent of your orientation being gay, hetero, bisexual, It is a Love story.
Each feeling, being angry / disappointment / sad / etc , can be seen on the faces of Adele and Emma and by this I have to say that these actresses are just superb, in fact I don't know another word to say extraordinary acting. It has certainly been very difficult for them to make this film. The director : Bravo to him.
There are some scenes which are just fantastic : The first meeting between them, the encounter between them in the lesbian bar in which Adele is in a strange world as adolescent. The tree scene, where they actually get in love both of them. The level of a good love story with all it's feelings and situations has been raised to a higher one. Who can ever do this better.
And the last remark. The film treats the love story, it's personal problems, the passion, but does not handle the problems which can have their family or friends, not in detail.
And now, go and watch it !
Captain Phillips (2013)
Tom Hanks and Mr Greengrass
Without any doubt, this could be an award movie. The subject : Pirates of Somalia, a hot topic and I have to say
very good put in scene. I believe Hollywood is spoiling us. I am European and the US movies always have that kind of hero theme ( sorry because of this feeling ). But lately we have very honest movies without that hero theme. That is good news for the cine critics. So, a hot news topic handled with care. Mr Greengrass keeps the tense in the complete movie, you won't turn away your head. Even the origin of the problem is touched when a scene recalls the fishing problem in Africa caused by the richest industrial fishing "countries". Even that issue was handled. Mr Hanks and Abdi are doing a great acting job, really outstanding ! Hanks even doesn't have to have lines to say, he is just a good actor you feel the situation. To the end of the movie he is marvelous, just outstanding. It is a thriller, but not just that; at the end you get that feeling, that feeling even you get pity about the situation of these Somalian people, these pirates, and we have to feel pity. In one way, we have caused the their situation they are in. You understand the situation the pirated ended up, the "why". You understand the Hank's situation and to the end he is fantastic. Just a great movie. Of course, I couldn't imagine a Hanks doing the job of Mr Costa, the captain of the cruise ship sank near Italy. This must be one of the best roles of the Hanks''s career.
Best visual, 3D movie till today with a superb acting Bullock
I rated a 10, exceptional, and that it is. I have rated 3 movies with a 10, so it is not my custom way of doing. Certainly better films will come, but today it is one of the best I ever seen. The subject is unique and it is a very hard one not to make a boring movie. It is NOT, you are nailed on your seat. Only 2 actors, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, no site stories, no chases, just Sandra and George and their story to survive in outer space and to try to save themselves. Such a "clean" movie and such a thriller. Lets make it clear directly : This is a Sandra Bullock movie and she does a superb job. This time George Clooney is just George and providing the movie of some relaxing moments. Sandra Bullock is a good actress and in this movie she proves it. In fact she already did so in Crash, but this one is to confirm it. She has to survive, but she will also overcome her personal problems. Just good acting ! Why she bothers to evolve herself with some crap movies?! You have to see it in 3D, it is a must. The movie will loose a lot when seen in 2D. Their are some fantastic visual shots of earth, of the debris passing by the ISS, of the water floating in space, better said in the theater. The camera-work is done in an almost excellent way. For example when the camera moves in the helmet of Dr Stone, in 3D, it is like you are in her place. The visuals on earth and space is an eye festivity. The story is well done, not complicated, just find the way back you could say and 1:30 hrs is just the time to do so, not boring at all. May be you want to search for some mistakes in the movie. Well there are, obvious. But which movie doesn't have ? Example : On a certain moment it seems there is gravity in space when holding some objects ... OK, that is it. Just go to see it in 3D. It is a masterpiece of today's possibilities in movie making.
Not just a movie about F1 and racing.
I saw the movie poster and the title "Rush" and that made me decide to NOT see this movie. Then I read the critics and reviews at IMDb and I changed mind. I thought; give it a try. I like F1 and car racing, but a movie should have contents and that was indeed my doubt about "Rush". This is NOT a "Fast and Furious" movie, either a "15 minutes" movie ( Robert de Niro ). This is NOT just a movie about F1 and looking at the laps the cars make. The F1, although present in the movie, is not the main subject. It is the rivalry between 2 pilots, Niki Lauda and James Hunt, which started from the moment they met through 1976, the year of the F1 accident. Their different ways of living, their work and social life. 2 completely different characters put on the screen by Daniel Bruhl and Chris Hemsworth. Both not that well known, but they both make a great role, they work fantastic good. It was not a moment boring, it was a pleasure to see Daniel and Chris doing their job and they do it very good !!! Niki Lauda is Austrian and German speaking. Daniel Bruhl talks English with a German accent and parts of the movie is originally spoken en German. This means that it is highly advisable to see this movie in original version and not dubbed.
So, it is really a different movie of the other "racing movies". We have special effects, we have a bit racing, but moreover : This is a movie about 2 pilots, their life, their target, their professional attitude. And the movie is nice to see for everyone, I think children of +12 included.
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
3 Stories in 1, where from only 1 is OK
I read in some reviews done by professional press that this movie was one describing the life of several generations affected by one event, one crime. I missed that one. We have 3 stories, which could have been 3 movies, linked by a family threat which is not necessary. It seems the director has put this link in the movie just to go from one to another story, but there is no reason to be there. The why of the link in each part and why the family ties develop like this is independent of the origin. The first part of the movie is very good, action part, good plot, emotional situation, etc ... all played excellent by Ryan Gosling (Luke) and Eva Mendes (Romina). The start promises a fantastic movie, one of the better ones. The next part, the police part and corruption, we saw so many times in other TV series and movies. This part does not get any chance to develop itself, there is no time to do so. Bradley Cooper does really his best to accomplish, but fails due to the poor script. Then the latter part is again another movie about the problems of children ( drugs, divorced parents ) and there so busy parents. There is a link between the 3 stories, which is obvious. I felt as I didn't saw any movie, no subject, missing some depth in any story.
The movie takes over 2 hours ( and it could be 3 ) and ends up by a stop sign given to the director some 5 minutes before the end.
Rated a 5 due to the fantastic roles of Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes in the first 30 minutes ( first part ).
Excellent movie about love, the US-Mississippi life and life through child eyes
In fact, the complete movie turns around love and what people, adults or children, do for it. Ellis and Neckbone, the 2 children of 14, who find the fugitive Mud on an island of the Mississippi river, decide to help and protect him due to their current emotional situation. Ellis is as well in love as Mud, a child's love, his parents have their problems in their marriage and all this brings him to help and protect the fugitive Mud ( Matthew McConaughey). The fact that 2 children help a fugitive could be the most difficult part of the movie to believe, but just that part has been treated very good and it seems the only way to go for knowing the emotional situation of Ellis and Neckbone. The world is seen through the lenses of 2 children and that is done perfectly !!! Tye Sheridan puts the role of Ellis on another level. This child seems to be a born actor. He is just doing perfect. Then we have McConaughey. He has been in the movie business for a long time, but it is now that he convinces us of how good he is. In the "The Paperboy" he is good, in this movie he is excellent. A difficult role that he assumes perfectly. The way he talks, the accent, his love ... he is a Robinson Crusoe. All the supporting roles are very good put to the screen as well. Another aspect of the movie shows us the hard life of the people living and living from the Mississippi river; the nature, how adult children act for their age due to the hard life. It is another US that we normally don't see, not the one of heroes, money or small-village life. This movie is a bit different. It is as well a thriller, but not an action driven movie. Finally, I would say "A must see", astonishing.
Un plan parfait (2012)
A romantic comedy in the French way
Lately the French have a kind of patent on good comedies. Daniel Boon is very good in this role, we know him of Welcome to the North or Nothing to Declare and also in this movie he is superb. In Un Plan Parfait we have although some really absurd situations which let you laugh loud out. They are never disturbing and it is one of those movies that you laugh quite a lot, of course if you like the Daniel Boon movies. The 2 actors do the part of the beauty and the beast and the romance is total. I had a real good time with this movie and left the theater with a smile on my face and with a good feeling. The subject is absurd and the situations as well, so don't expect any reality in it. The jokes have a good setup and are not boring at all. Like I already said, the French have a good sense of humor, even when the movies have different targets like this one or the Intouchable. This movie cannot be compared although with the Intouchable due to the subject and contents of the Intouchable, which is quite serious and subtle.
Before Midnight (2013)
Before sunrise, sunset and Before Midnight : Just getting better
If you saw the previous 2 movies of Director Linklater ( Before sunrise and Before sunset ) and liked them, then this movie is just better, in case that was possible. It is life itself, honest without concealing.
When we saw Jesse and Celine as lovers with their in-depth discussions, well , in Before Midnight they are parents. They had their problems, they have children and all this day to day life is reflected in the movie. It looks like you are watching your own story, so real, so honest and with problems which occur in a 10 years marriage . Of course, being that honest and real, treating problems which you recognize can just be the reason for some not to like the movie. Personally I love it and when leaving the theater, and afterwards, you keep on that smile on you face, you talk about it.
Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are actors who are normally not in movies I like, but they are just fantastic in this trilogy. Not one remark on them, outstanding. The movie seems short, although it is one dialog. It is not boring at all. Of course there are no action shots, no thriller, nothing of that sort. It is a movie to pay attention to the dialogs and the situation. May be not that advisable to see shortly after a lunch or dinner and not recommended for strictly Action movie lovers. You should see the movie in OV ( Original Version without dubbing ) due to the different languages used. Anyway, I don't think there is a better version of a movie then the original one.
The East (2013)
Good subject, but missing something ...
Certainly a good subject and a touchy one. We have several movies treating this subject, the environment, the corruption. When I left the cine I asked me the question : Could this be true and yes, certainly. And that its all about, if you leave the cine and keep on thinking about the subject and discuss it with others. I didn't knew that much about Brit Marling and this film awakened my interest. Good acting and she has many opportunities to go as actress, writer or director. The movie is a must see, but ... it is not that much of a thriller, the action scenes are rather short and don't ask that much of attention and that is what it is meant to be, because the movie target is to show us how Brit Marling integrates in the East, her feelings, her changes in ideas. But also in the emotional part I find this movie rather general. It seems that they don't want to go a bit in depth on the subject, keep it simple for the spectator, the client. Keep it mainstream. So, it is not an action movie, but either enters in difficult matters. The subject is although unique and a must see. The end of the movie. Seems that it was time to finish and so they did, a bit in a rush.