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Donnie Darko (2001)
OK, so this is mostly for those who are considering watching this movie
I will be short and sweet.
1. DO NOT watch this movie without reading Wikipedia after. It is kind of a double package. You will get confused otherwise and will scratch your head after the movie. Those who claim they absolutely got this film were definitely high on something. You can go that route also, but make sure your imaginary friend does not clash with the movie's imaginary friend.
2. DO watch for its acting, cinematography and killer 80's music and somewhat underdeveloped/not as defined, potentially could have been awesome if expressed better story as well.
3. DO find the main actor actually hot. First time I can say that about him (sorry Jake).
That is all. Enjoy.
A brutal and philosophical tale of Russian prison system
I got sucked into this show almost immediately. It does not have any glamorous special effects by the standards of the American Television. In my opinion, lack of any effects makes this show work. The gray, sad reality of the people who live or work in a Russian jail is portrayed in these TV series. Though the script is not of the award winning material, the dialogues get very philosophical at times, hinting at the life of post Soviet Russia in general. The stories are consistently interesting and keep the viewer on the edge. The theme of forgiveness runs a lot throughout the story, and, mostly... from the ones you would expect it the least- the criminals.
Brutal prison cops who beat up their wives and throw them in with the criminals, innocent American caught in a corrupt system of Russian underground scams, deputies making illegal money on the side, intrigues, honest detectives,layers and layers of secrets brewing inside the jail mixed with occasional humor, and even the priest trying to protect people's souls, make these series very interesting.
A great attention should be paid to Lousia Mosents, an actress who plays Svetlana Kolesnikova, an attractive mid-age woman who is something similar to a Sheriff. Mosents steals the series by her solid acting abilities and the complex character she develops.
In Zona, the traces of the psychological games the "cops" and the "robbers" play with each other and within their own circles are similar to a game of chess, only without a board. There are the kings and the bishops and simple pawns. And everybody in the story knows the rules. The questions is, does everybody follow them?
In general, Zona TV series is a great ride if you are in a mood for some adrenaline rush and have an interest in knowing how jails are run in some countries. Believe me, you will not regret watching ZONA!
Beautiful and sad film
I do not remember who, but some critic, complained about not knowing what Malena thought and not being able to see her act and speak more in a movie...
I am sure all of us, especially in our childhoods, were once so deeply infatuated by another human being, that they were as sacred and as untouchable to us as Da Vinci's Giaconda.
That is why Malena is portrayed as a work of art who always looks down, burdened by her beauty. We can only suspect what she feels and we can enjoy the sight of her sad gorgeous face.
And absolutely no words are necessary!
This film compliments the saying: BE BORN HAPPY RATHER THAN BEAUTIFUL
I do agree that Monica Belucci, who I consider to be the most beautiful actress alive and one of the most enchanting beauties in the world, was perfect for this part!
Master i Margarita (2005)
Unfortunately, Margarita here is the weakest link!
It should not be "surprising" that people like Basilashvili play well. They are GREAT ACTORS. However, although I respect and believe Basilashvili's choice in approaching Woland's character, I see the devil a little kinder and more alive. I also think that Abdulov, along with Fillipenko were the strongest players in the series. They portrayed their characters just as the book intended to present them.
The cat played Sharikov more than he played clumsy and somewhat cute Begimot.
But the biggest failure of the story was, in my opinion, Kovalchuk. Grunting and flaring of the nostrils does not necessarily indicate great acting. She did not grasp the essence of Margarita and that is a great shame!!! She is a lovely woman but has no emotional range to play such fragile characters.
Overall, very good film!
Lost in Translation (2003)
Beautiful cinematography, not the greatest plot.
Well, the movie was shot very beautifully.
I do wish ,however, that at the end of the film, the Japanese culture could have been explored through the eyes of less shallow, changed American people.
Why should I feel sorry for a girl who is bored with her life and who is a snob? And why should I feel sympathetic towards a man who is making 2 million dollars and is whining about it? Right there, one can easily see how unhealthy the modern American society is! At the end of the film, I do not see them changing their internal worlds. He is not any happier or nicer, she is still a confused person. The truth is these people were not working on making their family lives happier and I doubt that Bill Murray's character would go home and try to be a better husband or a happier father.
What was so bad about Giovanni Ribisi's character or his friends' that Scarlett's character had to laugh at them openly? I, as a viewer was not given a reason to think that she was any better than them. I understood the whole searching for spiritual life on Scarlett's side, but for somebody who was Yale educated, it was foolish for her to think so low of people. The problem with a storyline is that it had two lives that intersected for no purpose but for some unrealistic hanging out! The story line started well, but the characters could have taught each other something useful.
My comment of the Amphibian man. Minor Spoiler included.
A a former Soviet Citizen, I will take my responsibility seriously and will start commenting on as many stories behind the wonderful heritage of Soviet cinema as possible.
This film is based on the novel written by a great Russian sci-fi writer Alexander Belyaev. It was a record-breaking film when it came out in the cinema houses all over the USSR in the early 60's. Even though the beautiful star of the Soviet film era, young Anastasia Vertinskaya (Gutierrez), was known to the audiences from her previous works, theater actor Vladimir Korenev ( handsome Ixtiander) "woke-up famous" and instantly became a desire of almost every woman in the country. The title song about a SEA DEVIL was on everybody's lips ever since.
In order to closest resemble the scenery of a beautiful Latin country, the movie was shot in sunny Baku, Azerbajan.
The idea of a sea-devil lurking in the waters near the shores and scaring people sets up the mood of the movie. However, the devil turns out to be a handsome young man with an inhuman trait- he is an amphibian. A romantic story starts to unfold when he falls in love with a gorgeous girl. Matters become complicated as the girl is about to get married to somebody else...
It is a beautiful movie which is a pleasure to watch even today. If some parts of the film seem poor compared to today's film-making standards, they are easily forgiven due to the beauty of the scenery, interesting plot, striking-looking actors and their sincere acting approach to their characters.
If you appreciate good international cinema and want to familiarize yourself with Soviet pop culture and the work of one of the world's best sci-fi writers, I highly recommend this film. It is full of mythical mood, great scientific fantasy mixed with true portrayal of human emotions.
I recommend this film to every romantic at heart!
A Magical Film
Orlando became my favorite film from the first time I saw it. It has a sense of mystery in it. The acting, the costumes,the music, and yes- the story are extremely captivating. It is also dear to me, because Orlando, in the stage of being a youth, travels to the far East (as the Ambassador, on the orders of his native Enland). He sees the magnificent cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and meets the brutal Timurland). I come from that part of the world and that is why I liked seeing present day Uzbekistan in this film.
But aside from that, Orlando's going through the centuries and turning into a different sex is so abstract, yet powerful. HE/SHE gets to be an immortal contributor to, and the witness of the evolution of humanity.
Tilda Swanton was perfect for this part.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS MOVIE. I think anybody who considers oneself and intelligent movies admirer must not miss out on a chance to see this enchanting film.