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Viy (2014)
9 February 2014
Viy comes from east slavic legends. Based on these legends Nikolai Gogol depicted Viy in his story back in 1835. There were several film adaptations, but the most notable is considered the one filmed in 1967 in USSR.

I can't say that Viy 3D is an adaptation. It is a story which uses Viy legend just as background. And this is the first problem with the film. When you talk about Viy, you talk about fear. The legends are about that, Gogol's story is about that, 1967 film is about that. So how can a film, which places Viy in its title, and even mentions Gogol story, just throw away this spirit of something unknown and frightening, and instead suggest some stupid explanation for the story and challenge the existence of Viy.

Another problem of the film is its ugly propaganda constructed from old clichés. Orthodox church is for enslaving people (wow, have you seen this 'new' idea before?), ukrainian сossacks are drunk and live in dirt, the English scholar is smart and can handle everything. In general you can see the contrast - bare and dirty Ukraine vs rich and beautiful England.

OK, so maybe for someone who doesn't care about Viy concept and propaganda, is this film good?

The story in film is very similar to Sleepy Hollow, but is worse. Plot doesn't offer something new, but fails to provide some solid story. It is a mess without any reasons. I can recall the most effects-loaded scene of cossacks transforming into devils and trying to frighten cartographer. Are there any reasons for this part of plot? No. Are there any consequences of this scene? No. The cartographer wakes up next morning and just continues his work. So you can just remove this scene from the film and you don't lose anything as far as plot is concerned. Same for many scenes.

Effects are OK. You can enjoy some scenes.

The film is not scary, there are some exciting moments, but the film never crosses the line of a real horror.

Acting is decent, everyone did a good job.

Conclusions: 1) If you like the story of Viy and want to see some adaptation - the film is not for you. 2) If you want some horror film - this film is not for you. 3) If you don't care much about a new story and would like to enjoy the effects and acting - you can have a good time.
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Toy Story 3 (2010)
Best part in trilogy, best (animation) film of last years
7 January 2012
I'll go straight on this: I didn't really like the second part of "Toy Story". Not that it was a bad movie, but in my opinion it had weak story. The problem portrayed in it was unimpressive and plot details often appeared far-fetched. It was just like ordinary second part of something, the thing which doesn't aim to deliver something new, but just to bring something old and present it again in a slightly new manner for an amazing and good time.

But when I've watched the third part I realized this was a completely another approach. How surprised I was to see the same team that created Toy Story 2 to change their "set problem->get adventure" algorithm to a something deeper and metaphorical, something that while being portrayed in toys can be easily seen in us, humans! This valuable ability of a movie about toys was there, in the first part, was almost ignored in the second part, and blossomed into brilliant drama in the third part.

Besides the drama, Toy story 3 still preserves its style of breathtaking adventure and wonderful humor. The things that are equally appealing to children and adults. And this is another wonderful notice about this film - you will have real fun while watching it, and yet have the things to think about when it ends.

It was hard for me not to cry at the end. There were several such strong moments in the film, but that last scene brought the main idea and feeling a toy story could bring to us, adults - that feeling of saying goodbye to your childhood.
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