Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
10 Absolutely perfect or extremely close to complete perfection, a genuine masterpice
9 Excellent, very rare, almost perfect, very special, mostly a masterpiece
8 Very good, already a superior film , way above average, a partial masterpiece
7 Good, most content is above average, partially very good
6 Solid, OK, partially average and above average
5 Average, passable, sometimes dissapointing, some of it is allright
4 Bad, pretty flawed, below average,
3 Very bad, still not watchable
2 Still crappy, can hardly tolerate it
1 Complete crap, lord have mercy, I have no words to describe it
1/10 is -1/5... COMPLETE CRAP
2/10 is 1/5... STILL CRAPPY
3/10 is +1/5... VERY BAD
4/10 is -2/5... BAD
5/10 is 2/5 and +2/5... AVERAGE
6/10 is -3/5 and 3/5... SOLID, OK
7/10 is +3/5 and -4/5... GOOD, ABOVE
8/10 is 4/5 and +4/5... VERY GOOD, A PARTIAL MASTERPIECE
9/10 is -5/5 and 5/5... EXCELLENT, ALMOST PERFECT
10/10 is +5/5... ABSOLUTELY PERFECT, A GENUINE MASTERPIECE
My vote history:
My comment history:
The astounding art of MANIPULATION
I think I finally came around this movie after months. My first review was sloppy and superficial. I've seen it months ago and since then I haven't give it much of a thought. But now it hit me from nowhere, I finally see what the essence of this piece of art is- it's about the art of manipulation.
There are only a handful of movies, every now and then a new one is made, for which it can be truly said that it represents some kind of a "document" or at least an amazing meditation of how we already live today and how we will live in the near future. In this regard I would put Inception right next to the Matrix. The later is in essence a film about a completely ignorant super-used workforce of humans, who haven't actually moved from their wombs yet, but at the same time they have computer generated illusions about how they reached "the peak of civilization". This kind of humanity is completely immature (but not pure, or innocent) until a New man comes from somewhere and decides to move from this cave of ignorance and unconscious slavery. Most of them stay there, some by their own free will, because it's pleasant.
Now the key thing about this movie, is not just that it's a long "journey into the mind", but what matters is what comes out. It takes inception to make perception. That's the whole trick. The conciseness is a product and the subject of manipulation doesn't know a bit about it. He wrongfully thinks that his consciousness "mirrors" the world "as it is", but it doesn't, it never did and it never will.
Inception is a pure and plastic example of how we live in the 21. century. We live in a world where there is an infinite amount of media inception of ideas on a daily level. All of it is very well planned and targeted, nothing spontaneous about it. And yet we still egoistically think how our minds "mirror" the world as it is and how independent we are. We cannot except or even know that our minds are a product, that our perceptions are a product. To realize that, one would at least need to "plug off" for a substantial amount of time from this. But that is costly, so nobody does it. In the end our own defense mechanism screw us up, because we refuse to recognize what kind of fools we are.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
A sequel that doesn't bet on "twice the action" formula.
This is one of the very few blockbuster franchises that I have followed so far. I usually see them fast, or I don't see them at all. And following the Iron Man franchise has "payed off", so far. But this part is different and does feel different than the first, and for some reason it's not so easy to immediately answer why exactly.
The first thing that came to mind is that despite the bigger budget of the second part, the "level" and the time of action is the same if not shorter than in "Iron Man 1". I never thought that I will ever caught myself thinking that there should be more action and less talking in a so-called "summer film".
The real substitute for all the chasing, shooting and blowing up that is a bit missing in this film, is an array of new characters. The constant talking of everyone, especially Tony Stark of course, gives the film a dynamic pace and probably makes those 2 hours go by much quicker. But from my view, the most silent character of all, Vanko, was the most interesting one.
What is also specific for the Iron Man franchise and many of this kind of big films of the new millennium, is the skillful adding of "counter-culture" elements in a very mainstream product. This part left me down here quite a bit. The first trailer for the film had me thinking and hoping that we'll see some kind of a critique of war-profiteering and that it will all lead us to a path of at least some moral dilemmas. But sadly, all of Vanko's motives for vengeance are reduced to some old family rivalry. I guess it is (still?) too much to ask for more from a king-size summer opening film like this.
Die Welle (2008)
The makers probably has good intentions making it, but mostly it doesn't seem to reach further than A, B and C.
Just the first thing I noticed here is that the only thing that makes this movie "German", is the German language. Visually it completely matches American films, the cinematography, the cuts, the style and even the content itself, just about anything I can think of, looks "American". If the actors would speak English, it wouldn't have been a "European film", which is known to be different than Hollywood pictures.
This makes me think that the Germans have a peculiar love/hate relationship with American culture and also politics. For instance you cannot miss the sign on the teachers mailbox that says F Bush. I wouldn't call it "anti-Americanism" so quickly, because anti-Americanism is something that in my opinion is more related to cultural, life-style things, than politics. And about cultural, life-style things, there doesn't seem to be a dispute here. They show teenagers doing the same things you see in American movies and the stereotypes also look the same. Jocks, nerds, anarchists, minorities and very boring and annoying teachers.
The cultural things are basically identical, the political, national pride which is kind of quietly present in some, even if critical American films (flags waving) is on the other hand, absent. And you see a little bit of vulgar critique of American politics that you normally don't see in American films. In this film, political idealization of (for instance American) politics is absent, of course, it's Germany, but all the rest, is basically the same. The problem I see, is that politics and culture are not so easy to separate, they are interlinked. That is why I think this German-American relationship or attitude is kind of peculiar.
There is talk about politics here of course, not just autocracy, but a small bit about more present political and economic issues, about capitalism and democracy for instance. So therefore it leads to the crucial theme, is it possible in today's age, when people are so "individualistic", when they don't seem to care about anything, is it possible to bring them together for a common goal and at the same time, is it possible that the goal and the group activity would be in a large dispute with current "civillizational" norms. And the answer, which you can predict, is yes. And this is where the other part of the problem starts.
I think a better film about this sort of issue, would make us think during the start and the end, a lot better about it's topic. Instead we mostly see gang activity, too simplistically portrayed "brainwashed" teenagers and in the end it all leads to the kind of obvious "I told you so" conclusion. The road to that conclusion could and should have a lot more curves and stops than it has here.
I still think that this is a decent picture. It could be considered learning material for high school kids for instance. But sadly it doesn't say much or too little about the complexity of authority, autocracy, group psychology, obedience, politics and more. It seems like it's American style makes it show more and say less. Or to cut the long story short, we see WHAT is going on, and then HOW it's going on, but practically nothing about WHY is it going on. Although there is guessing in the beginning of the film about the rise of Nazism, but those reasons don't apply to the situation and the behavior of the pupils.
The picture should explore better both, the topic and it's characters, but it stops somewhere in the middle or even in the beginning and goes sideways.
In Bruges (2008)
Hit men with a conscience.
Great, sad, brutal, funny, pardon me, I meant f***n' funny, are the first things that I can think of just after seeing this quite simple but effective movie. As the title says In Bruges, the story is set in a medium-sized Belgium town with a very rich historical background, an earthly paradise for tourists of a more "cultural" type. Just one of the last places on earth where you would put a story that involves professional hit men.
"Bruges dangerous" doesn't seem to make any sense, but there are enough elements thrown in that make this concept work so well, you almost wish to go there someday for yourself. But let's face it, off-screen Bruges itself must really be kind of boring if you are not a "cultural" fan, that's why it is apt to throw in American dwarfs, movie scenes, prostitutes, drug dealers, some of the crudest humor you can think of, etc, all that to go with those Gothic churches and make the story more exciting to follow.
But what also makes it appealing is that our two protagonists, especially Farrel with his bleak feelings, almost couldn't blend better with the cold, dark and depressive atmosphere of the town. But like most good comedies this film also builds it's story on certain contrasts. And the main contrasts that seems to exists is this notion of hit men that have a sort of a conscience, which is what it's all about. And I have to say that at times this idea does seem a little unbelievable, but without it the bleakness and guilt would disappear, the atmosphere wouldn't have it's effect and the story would have to be mostly rewritten.
Yet this is clearly not a motion picture for everyone, since the R rating is very much in place. It isn't always a plus, because there seems to be just a scene or two that is almost ridiculously violent and that mildly spoils the otherwise very, very thoughtful story.
It should have been on several kinds of top movies lists.
I saw it minutes ago, I know it's not very "objective" to write comments right after seeing a film, but here we are commentators, not established critics. I was sure I would find this in the Top 250, but I was a bit negatively surprised, again.
Before seeing it I didn't know what it was exactly about, I just knew that it's a story at the time of World War II. I really did not expect such a gripping and twisted thriller, more of a drama and luckily you get all of it. There are moments when you are at the edge of your seat because of the brutality between the Germans and the Dutch resistance, the filmmakers do not spare much with the violence. I haven't seen exactly every movie about WW II, but this one is such that it can really make you squeeze your teeth when you think of the Germans at that time. But I wouldn't say it's in any way offensive of Germans, because by the time of the third part, it seems that the blood is on each and everyones hands.
The story is really one of the most intriguing ones I've seen in a long time. And everything is enriched with the acting, for which the main credits go to Carice van Houten as Rachel Stein/Ellis de Vries. Speaking just out of the blue, she seems to have buckets of talent and if she can handle this, she can handle anything. The supporting cast as well. This film really seems like a quite heavy thing to pull of so authentically as it was. In the end it made me feel exhausted and shaken.
There is also one other thing that is worth mentioning, and that is that this film is not American, which shows a lot in the way it's made. There are scenes that are those by-the-way scenes, pulled of so easily and naturally, but you would probably never see them in a Hollywood picture with similar content. Think of the conversation between Ellis and Ronnie in the toilette, to give just one example. It's true that a lot of American films are adult-oriented dramas, but in a different style than European films. But this kind of difference of European cinema is just another plus in my opinion. All I can say is that Zwartboek is simply a "two thumbs up", to express myself in the usual critical manner.
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Perhaps it's a little "too American" to be really funny for a worldwide audience.
I'm not from the US, but I admit I had a few good laughs while watching this at a theater the other day. But there were just these few quite good laughs, probably not more than five. It made me think that the film is a bit "too American", it happened quite a few times when something was supposed to be funny and people didn't take it as such. One good example is the "DVD comment" from Downey Jr., people didn't laugh much, probably because they didn't get it. There are more of these examples, but I don't want to mark my comment with spoiler alerts. Or sometimes people laugh at the accent and not at what't actually said.
A lot of the jokes get "lost in translation" if you are not American and if you read subtitles. The other problem in my opinion is that there isn't a peak laugh, or a really big laugh in the end. Because of that I think a lot of people left the theater a bit disappointed. When I saw such high marks for this film I was a little negatively surprised. It almost seemed to me that I didn't watch the same movie. Some would argue that despite the lack of grand laughs in the end it's "overall" funny, but in my view, more mildly.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Honestly, I haven't felt this excited in a theater since The Matrix
I will let out the synopsis of the film this time, since almost everyone knows it. Instead I would just like to simply express some of my impressions.
First off, I think the best thing about this film is not "The Joker" as many say, but the short little moments when Nolan, Ledger, Hans Zimmer & James N. Howard (the composers), join their forces and create these little tense and anxious moments that are slowly rising the tension and leave you in limbo. Anxiety contrary to phobia, as you may know, means the absence of a feared object and the anticipation of something. My personal favorite: the scene with the Joker and Rachel at Wayne's party. And there are a few more. I think the instrument that is used during these scenes is some sort of a horn and it's getting slightly louder and louder and joined by other instruments, combined with the actual happening in the film of course.
And a few words about the Joker. If I would describe him it would be excessive enthusiasm, pathos, or even immortality. There are two opposite situations where you can't possibly put the Joker, because he wouldn't be the Joker anymore. One situation is being dead, the other is waking up. Why? Because when people are waking up they are always serious, I can imagine the Joker sleeping and snoring, it would still look kind of funny, waking up no. Except if it would happen extremely fast, with the speed of light. The Joker is always in FULL conscience, contrary when we are waking up we are in these states of, how would I say it, vulnerability. We can easily start to ask ourselves about what is the purpose of our doing, the meaning of our life, etc... And that is the last thing that a psychotic villain like the Joker would do. Try to imagine it for yourselves. Ledger played him 100 percent proper.
There are so many more things I could say about this film. All the elements just seem to collide, there are basically no big flops in my opinion. I just don't give 10's very often, I don't know exactly why, It's just this "rule" I have and I'm quite invariable about it. I think the film has to be "tested", viewed many times before you can consider it perfect and in time you might change your opinion and I would feel stupid if I would go from 10 to 9 later or something like that.
The fear of what?
One mind, one consciousness, two worlds. At the beginning it is clear that we are going to take a trip into isolation. Linda Hanson has it all. A loving husband, two healthy young children, and a prosperous life with not that little time on her own. Seems like a pretty good picture of a well-off middle class home. Something we've seen on film like ten thousand times before, which is probably why the film isn't treated that good.
When suddenly we find ourselves in a different world, seeing it all from Linda's point of view. Although she knows a lot more than the rest of the people, there is still something that remains unknown. It's because of this "unknown" thing that Linda is seen as a mentally unstable person, although she remains completely normal. It delves her further into loneliness, and this is what I think the film is best about.
The middle-class perspective probably makes it easier to relate to her and also to get absorbed into hear fears. After all, like it or not, in the back of our heads we're all probably daydreaming of a life similar to her's. But this "unknown" thing, a premonition, remains. It doesn't only make her look frail in front of others, but it can make her feel bad even about her self.
I think that this is a good film about loneliness, isolation and some of the darkest fears we have. And how no living standard can make these feelings go away. It's about the fear of loss. The loss of love. It's no coincidence that in the end, she remains a widow. The important thing is that this time, she accepts it differently. She accepts it.
Are people really aware of how inaccurate this is?
Or should I say how much does it really matter to us? I think it really should. You know I've thought a little about all the historically based films I've seen in recent years and how careless I've been about the facts that appear (or should appear) in them. But before seeing Apocalypto I looked into some of them.
Gibson basically put 600 years of time into a few days. I've read that the classical era of the Mayas was in the 9th and the 10th century. That's also when their civilization actually went into decline. All the major centers in Mezoamerica were falling apart, and to this day it isn't exactly clear why it happened. But it's known that it was a partial decline. So by the time the Spanish conquerers came (the beginning of the 16th century) there was nothing like that going on. No decline. The conquerors destroyed them entirely.
So that means that the starting quote, that you can only conquer a civilization once it's decline began from 'within' is more or less a hoax. And a huge discrimination. People bitterly protested against the film in Gvatemala. It's also known that the Mayas were by far not as savagery as they appear in this film.
I mean what was Gibson trying to do? A little more than two years ago he made The Passion of the Christ. He often said that the reason for doing it was very personal. Some kind of cleansing through religion. Was he afraid to show us that religion can also become a reason for (ethnic) cleansing? That it's not always just good and purifying, but it can also play a part in brutal deeds? Who knows.
But if we ignore the facts (which can't be done lightly) I think that the film is pretty high on an artistic level. The Maya language makes it feel pretty authentic. The brutal scenes do make it kind of hard to watch but they contribute to the dramatic events towards the end. That's when 'Paw' runs away from his capturers. The scenery also makes you feel as if you were sent back five centuries, and gives a really stirred up feel for danger. It conjures a kind of race for survival perception.
It's just too bad that it's so incorrect, that even it's main purpose becomes meaningless. It just can't reach it by definition. Historical facts really should matter here. So I won't rate it. There's just too much ambivalence here. If it were more correct I'd probably gave it a 7 or even an 8, but it just seems too cynical to do that. So I'll stay cool this time, which seems a better option than thoughtless appraisal that some people are giving it. For the wrong reasons in my opinion.
I'm sure it's about something mutual to all of us.
First, why I think it's called Babel (Babylon). Check out the 32nd parallel of geographical latitude. It goes right from beneath the US-Mexican border, thru the mountains of Morocco, and thru Japan's most southern island Kyushu. And geographical coordinates are a system which was invented by the Babylonians. The point of it is to express every location on earth.
I think that's what the director was mainly trying to do. I don't think that it's just a dumb coincidence that the characters are at the places they are. The director was trying to express different places and meanwhile showing that there's a common dimension within them and people. The dimension isn't just latitude, but perhaps fate. On all three places people are experiencing something very similar.
The tag line goes: If You Want to be Understood...Listen. The ancient tower of Babel is also a very important allegory. It's known that it's used in Judeo-Christian context to explain the existence of many different languages and races. In the allegory God destroyed the tower to prevent the efforts of humans to create a unified language and race. The point of the film isn't that we have to learn different languages to understand each other, but we have to LISTEN.
The poor Mexican woman will get sent back 'home', because nobody listens to what she's saying. All because of her nephew running away from the boundary patrol. She is very much misunderstood and accused. At the next location an innocent man get's beaten up and an innocent boy gets killed, no fault of theirs. All because of one pointless shot. They are both misunderstood and accused. A girl in Japan is as lonely as can be, because she cannot speak to 'ordinary' people. They don't listen. She is getting accused with filthiness, although she wants something completely pure. She is as much as others, misunderstood and accused.
If we won't listen carefully, innocent people will keep getting hurt. I think Iñárritu prepared us a very humane story. Something that's very apt for consideration. I guess that's what makes a movie great. That it's worth to consider it, instead of seeing and forgetting all about it. And by now this is honestly the best movie I've seen from the previous year. I wish there were more...
........ +4/5 ........