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This is not your typical adventure movie. This is a marvelous drama about culture clash - the clash of civilization and nature. I will not spent time to describe everything here, because words are really not enough. Despite not being popular, this movie is among my favorites and a must-see I could say. Very very good story, amazing views, especially the aerial ones, wonderful music and great acting.
Speaking of acting, everybody love Tom Berenger and Daryl Hannah, but I must give credit also to Aidan Quinn and especially Kathy Bates, whose acting in this movie I like the most.
I am not aware who are the people playing the native tribes, but they deserve a great credit for good acting too.
This movie is greatly underrated, so do not consider IMDb or another score and just go and see it.
Triumph of technology in every way
I admit I was not familiar with the Disneynature brand, until one day I purchased a Disney blu-ray disk on which there was a trailer for "Bears". The trailer impressed me so much, that when I saw the "Bears" blu-ray disk, it was no brainer to buy it.
We just watched it last night, the whole family. The movie it a total triumph of technology in every way, so if you are an audio- and videophile, this disk is simply a must-have. First we begin with breath- taking views of nature in high-definition. Everything we saw was a pure honey for the eye - things we could not imagine to see on a screen when I was a kid. The movie uses a combination of different filming techniques for showing different sceneries, starting with aerial breath- taking landscapes of the Alaskan mountains, amazingly shot close-ups of different animals and wonderful slow-motions of swimming salmons.
Unfortunately I cannot say very much for the audio, as my two-years-old kid was making too much noise while we watched and also sometimes there was a narrator voice, however there was a pleasurable sound, especially I liked very much how the water and the footsteps in the shallow waters were recorded. Kudos also for the stone-falling and the claw-scratched mussels sounds.
As for the movie itself, kudos for Disney for few things. First, as this is a family movie, they managed very well to get rid of the violent scenes - animal fights were gently censored and only few delicate scenes were shown. Second, the bloody scenes were censored - there were almost no blood shown in the entire movie, with only very few exceptions - I noticed just one scene where a bear caught a salmon, but this scene was not really bloody. In general it is still appropriate movie for the whole family. Then we come to the story, which of course in a 100% Disney style was told very well, with both tension, some drama, action, humour and finally a nice happy ending, even with a moral of the story. The main keywords however, are "cute" and "heroes".
I cannot miss to mention, that this must be a well budgeted movie, as they seem to had plenty of good resources to use, both technical and human talents. The result is that we have the chance to see a movie about the brown bears, showing their life in a way only few other movies succeeded (like "The Bear" 1988). So for what I paid for this disk, it worth every cent, as I had a wonderful experience watching it.
I recommend this movie to every one, regardless the age. I will definitely look for the old Disneynature movies and I cannot wait for the "Monkey Kingdom" blu-ray disk to come out!
Jodorowsky's Dune (2013)
Spiritual enlightenment in a documentary form
This movie is a spiritual enlightenment in a documentary form.
Let us start with this: I own the blu-ray version of the movie. Never saw any Jodorowsky movie, but I am huge fan of both books and David Lynch's "Dune".
So far somebody would expect me to judge this documentary from the perspective of a "Dune" fan, but honestly I tried to be as neutral as possible. Of course, part of me was the "Dune" fan when I was watching, part of me was trying to get into the mind of this crazy genius, as Jodorowsky appears to be.
Some quick facts and impressions: I have never seen the theatrical version of the documentary, but the blu-ray version do contains additional footage, giving even a bit more insight from both Jodorowsky and Michel Seydoux on the events and relationships of Jodorowsky and the crew. I consider this bonus material a very valuable add-on to the whole story, so I do recommend you to buy the blu-ray version.
What to say... The movie pretty much speaks about itself. It is well done and very interesting to see, especially it touches such a mysterious subject in the world cinematography, as the never made movie about "Dune". What the movie shows however in addition, is a valuable insight on Jodorowsky's mind and we are given the chance to experience from first person perspective the creative process of the mind of a genius.
Yes, I said I have never seen a Jodorowsky movie. However experiencing the way this man thinks and creates, I cannot deny he is a true genius. While we are not given the chance to see the whole book he prepared for the movie studios, showing the storyboard of "Dune", we almost feel like we could watch the movie from some of his words.
Jodorowsky's "Dune" would have been a true spectacular movie. David Lynch's "Dune" is already spectacular - we have the monsters by Kit West , the same who created the monsters in "Star Wars", we have the music of the legendary TOTO and Brian Eno, we have a whole constellation of famous actors, including Sting in addition. Jodorowsky was about to offer much more - different music for every Dune house, starting with the cult Pink Floyd, even more constellations of stars - Mick Jagger, Amanda Lear, Orson Welles, H.R.Giger and even, oh my, Salvador Dali! And all this experienced in a totally different palette of colours trough the prism of Jodorowsky's mind.
Honestly, while I think the movie would have been very very different than everything we saw and maybe considered too "mature-rated", if not even little "pervert" by some, I think the world really lost by not having this movie created.
The moral of the story however, is that even true geniuses have to consider the budget and some boundaries in the end. Otherwise we are left with nothing, but legends.
The Maze Runner (2014)
Real good! Real amusing! Well done!
I must admit I really missed the kind of movie where a bunch of kids go for an adventure and here it is, The Maze Runner. Well not really that the kids want to be there, they are put there. However still the movie satisfies me.
To be precise, this is an adventure post-apocalyptic dystopian thriller (at least I would define it as such). And unlike Hunger Games, this one lacks all the political stuff (at least in this episode!) and instead focuses on the action and character development.
The movie clearly points out in the end that there would be a sequel, but that's all. Everything the end teases with is that the next episode will focus on putting the kids into another big trouble and that's it. So no spoilers really.
I will try to keep this out of any spoilers too, so will instead focus on only what the trailer suggests. And as the trailer shows, this movie is about a group of kids put into the centre of a maze which they have to explore and survive and meanwhile have to solve their own conflicts. None of the kids remembers anything, except in few days after they are put into the maze they remember just their name. From this point on starts the adventure. This is everything you will see in the trailer.
Based on this alone, the movie flashed three things inside me immediately - "Labyrinth" (1986, David Bowie) - The Maze Runner is written in 2007, but who does not remembers "The Labyrinth"? That was such a huge movie from my childhood. I still own it on blu-ray and the soundtrack on original CD and listen to it often. And I am not the only one, I am sure. And I am sure James Dashner, the author of the Maze Runner books was heavily been inspired by this movie, just he decided to make it darker. Nothing wrong really.
Yes, the movie is based on books, but I never read them. If you just watch the movie you will experience one well narrated story, enough dose of unknown to make you puzzled and wait for the answers to appear, nice effects and not bad music.
The most disappointing for me was the absence of a teaser after the credits. But I can live with it. After all I really enjoyed the movie.
Now as I said, the movie flashed three things inside me and "Labyrinth" (1986) was the first one. Okay, the difference was that in "Labyrinth" they put Jennifer Connelly in the outskirts of the maze, while here they put the kids in the centre. The other two things however were the kids themselves.
The main actor, Dylan O'Brien looks exactly like a very young version of Jean-Claude Van Damme. I am sure he can't do the Van Damme split, but he really does look like him. Maybe a version of Van Damme before "Breakin" (Yes, Van Damme does appear in "Breakin" too).
The other thing is, this movie really flashes back a resemblance to "The Goonies" (1985) to me, because of Blake Cooper. This kid really resembles Chunk from the Goonies (Jeff Cohen). I don't know why, but he is one of the most memorable characters to be from The Maze Runner. Maybe because he is so different from the others.
As I said, I really enjoyed the movie. What I miss is just a little more character development, which I hope to see in the next episode. And I really want somehow Blake Cooper back in the team!!
My final verdict - a very enjoyable teen movie!
Boring, boring, except for the actors.
I love Transformers and everything Transformers, but this movie is an exception. I also never expected to see a boring Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg movie, but here we are. I even have no words to express how boring this movie was. The writer should be fired.
It would be much easier for me to just list what I liked about this movie:
- Mark Wahlberg (of course) - but I love all Marky movies in general. - Nicola Peltz - this chick looks killing. Nothing else on her from me. - Bingbing Li - I must say she not only looks great, but acts great and does martial scenes great. She's the one which added a lot to the fun element of the movie. - Fun - despite being boring, they put lots of fun elements to the movie, mostly jokes.
Most memorable things about this movie:
- Nicola Peltz's eyes and lips. - Bingbing Li's cuteness, eyes, smile and hair. - The fact that they show there could be like two different new story lines.
Worst moment of the movie (***SPOILER ALERT HERE***):
- The resurrection of Galvatron when he rebels the humanity - we have a robot like two stories high, running around and at some point they show human guards which guard in standing position in the foreground, and the huge robot who just came in the background. At some moment the robot fires a projectile. The guards react like one second later. Why this is worse - we have a huge robot, whose metal heavy steps should echo within the building when he walks, not to speak when he runs, let's add he also roars and finally opens fire. Small explosions should be heard too, not to speak about the other noise. Should be code red and everybody should run around like ants, but no - they are guarding peacefully in tranquillity. Well, who knows - maybe they allow the guards in the super- secret facilities to use MP3 players during shifts, don't they?
I can't wait for the next Transformers movie, but please skip this one.
A true LMFAO!
If you haven't laughed recently is just because you haven't seen TED yet! I saw it today. According to the trailers I was expecting to see one of the freshest movies of 2012, but instead truly laughed my a** off! Cannot remember the last time I laughed so much... on "Biodome" (1996) maybe.
I used to die laughing at every TED trailer, which is very uncommon. But the movie has to offer much more. Very predictable overall story line with happy ending, but indeed the true power of TED lies in the way the story is developed, especially the dialogues. There is a very powerful situation comedy (sit-com) screenplay experience hidden behind the movie, in the best meaning of a sit-com. I mean the people behind the movie really put their best.
Speaking of the overall qualities, nice soundtrack, great computer animations of the Ted character and great play of Mark Wahlberg. Must say Mila Kunis appearance was great too. Not really a strong play, but a really sexy Angelina Jolie-esh appeal. Dialogues? Kick a**!
This is my first review where I will not reveal any spoilers and will keep it very short, because I really would recommend you to go and see the movie.
A 2012 must see!
The scenario lacks some things, but the film is still fantastic!
Seen: 3D in UltraAVX system, 7.1 surround sound
The good thing: New very interesting story. The new main character looks promising.
The bad things: Bad character development, copycatting, lack of attention to details (read below)
So today was The Day!! 33 years after the first "Alien" and 15 years after the last dedicated "Alien"-series movie, finally all fans of the great series are rewarded!
First of all, few words on the technical part.
I saw the movie in an UltraAVX system theatre. I don't regret. Unlike IMAX, my eyes were not tired so much. The 3D in the images were very good and I enjoyed it. It was not too much, but not too little either. I don't know if the credit here goes to the UltraAVX 3D imaging system or the movie imaging crew, but whoever it was it made it nice.
The sound itself was mellow and not too stressful. On some moments I felt very good basses flowing in.
In general the enjoyment from the technical part was very positive.
The movie itself is really intending to be a prequel of the whole Alien universe and pay attention to the questions "Who are they?" and "Whey they came from?". It is going to pave the way for new series.
I was watching with lot of interest. Everything appeared to be carefully dosed for a good dope shot for the real fan. It began with great imagery and mellow sound. I am not so satisfied with the rest.
The big things may have small beginnings, but all the greatest movies feature very good portrayed and individual characters. Something they missed here.
I was expecting to see more of "Who is Wayland?".
All of the greatest action/horror movies featured very well done chase. Especially "Alien" (1979) had a pinch of suspense on top, which was the winning recipe. Not in "Prometheus".
However, this movie was clearly to show us that this is a starting point for a new "Alien" story.
Some things really disappointed me:
First - the character development. The new Ripley is called Elizabeth Shaw. I was hoping to see more of her character. Still I am not disappointed with her. An accent was put on her spiritual strength and survival instincts, which is to reveal that (I hope) lot of action is about to come.
Michael Fassbender was not bad at all. I was expecting more action from him, but he was not bad. What appears in the end is that we will witness once more the tandem Elizabeth and the androids, just like it was with Ripley. Also what we saw was the typical Frankenstein drama - the creation vs. the creator, where unlike the original Frankenstein, Fassbender's character was not so noble.
THE BAD THINGS:
1. Lack of attention to detail
The android character seems an ultra-hacker! Strange how, every time the party was facing an alien door or mechanism, he opened/activated it with just a few clicks! Wow!
Somewhere at the end of the film, we see Elizabeth on the ground with her hand close to her heart. No bread-able atmosphere on the planet surface, she wears her helmet and - no gloves! From technical point of view this means suit decompression and oxygen leak.
Another weak point is the two left-behind guys and their first alien encounter. One of them tried to befriend the alien. That was childish, just like the Jar Jar Binks character from "Star Wars Episode I".
In "Alien" (1979) the space jockey was found in his pilot chair. Here he went out of it and died in another place. So either they forgot the first movie or they will show us another space jockey to link it to the first "Alien".
We see the whole spaceship sleeping, only the android goes around and wonders what to do. He is super calm and we hear beautiful classical music. Sounds familiar? Wait - at some point goes to the main computer and starts conversation. Nothing new here, in "Alien" they also spoke to the computer, but strangely the computer on "Prometheus" really reminds HAL 9000 somehow in the way he speaks. If someone still don't get it, I am talking about "2001: A Space Odyssey".
Charlize Teron was really cool I admit it. What was not cool is that she was almost an exact copy, both in look and often behaviour of the character known as the "Terminatrix" (the female terminator from "Terminator 3") - stone-cold and deadly beautiful.
What I would like to see next time is just more individual and strong characters, pinched with a bit more action and suspense in the next series. More attention to detail is a must.
What I was definitely not happy with, was the dead of the Charlize Teron's character. I would love to see her saved, because I honestly believe that she could become a platform for better plot development and would be far more interesting to see a future interaction not just between Elizabeth and the android, but also with Meredith, who surprisingly refers to Wayland as "father", no matter her second name is different. This fact itself could reveal far more interesting story - who is Meredith? Where she came from? Something that could answer is the Prometheus's captain "Are you an android?". All we need is her to be saved and plotted further.
So in general there is a lot more to be seen as it appears and everything looks very fresh and interesting. What I honestly hope for is this film to become another cult classic, just like the current quadrilogy is.
Enjoy the movie!
(c)2012 Stray Feral
This is the most controversial movie, I saw in last few years. I am bit rounded too, as my wife is. This is the only movie we watched for double its time, since all the time we were pausing it to discuss it (so consider it really worths watching!). For everybody in the group of rounded or anorexic people, this would be interesting to see. I will not reveal details of the movie, in short I will mention it is about an overweight and an anorexic women, trying to face and solve their problems. The movie is really well made, by script and performance. There are just two weak spots.
First, the script itself. The movie tries to tell that we should accept the way we are. Well - totally wrong! We should accept it just to a certain level. Then whatever we dislike, we can change. Yes - we can and must change ourselves - strive for perfection, because we could never be perfect, but in the pursuit of perfection is where we get better and learn to fight. So overweight and anorexic people should not satisfy and stay the way they are and ask the world to accept them - they should fight to change instead and there is where the world would accept them! I don't know about anorexic people, but fat people could do diets and same time go to gym/parks for workouts. The main character complains about gyms and this is totally wrong. (believe me as overweight, this is what I do - diets + gym and it works) Second, this movie should change its title from "disFigured" to "disFOCUSED!". This is the worse shoot movie ever. The camera man really need more practice. First the camera moves too much and then it loses focus with the objects very often. True - for less than a second, but it really pisses me off.
Apart of this, the actors are very cute and it really makes you think about the way you live. The interaction between the main characters - the contrast of the overweight and the anorexic woman is very interesting, so just go see it!
The Holiday (2006)
Today is just one of those days, when you get tired from work and just want to chill a little, with a beer in one hand and remote control in the other. It's been a month or two maybe, since this movie passed on our cinemas, but I was not able to see it on the big screen and here I am - at home playing it on the DVD player. I like Jack Black - this is the reason I got the movie. Like Cameron Diaz, Jude and Kate too, but of all those four, Jack is my favorite and what I was expecting to see was something more like "The School of Rock" (2003) or "Nacho Libre" (2006) - I wanted something funny to release the Friday work stress. Well... I got something else. "Different" is the actual word. I remember I saw the trailer few times months ago, but as I now remember it was little misleading. Jack Black plus Cameron Diaz should be equal to who-knows-what, similar maybe to "There's Something About Mary" (1998), I though to myself and that's exactly what I need this Friday night! Today is one week since I work for another company, some more stress as You may guess and I prepared for a little fun. First of all to say - it was not funny. There were some amusing moments, but this movie for me was not funny at all and not a bad one at all either! It just was not "comedy", no matter how some label it. Surprisingly for me, this is one of those movies who really could make You think of the world around You and the way we live our lives. This is like ordering a sausage with fries and getting a fine fillet au champignons instead or however some would like to compare it, because in this movie, we see Jack and Cameron in very serious situations. It's not all credit for Jack and Cameron, of course - Jude and Kate did great too, as well as the director and writer did. I almost cried in few moments. It is a long movie - my player stopped at credits at 2h and few minutes, time now is 2:40am but I wanted to write this anyway. As my girlfriend sleeps next to me and I was watching the movie, it really made me thinking and recalling different moments of my life with her. I do not know - maybe I am just too emotional, please tell me Your opinion. Anyway I totally recommend the movie to everyone, really. In brief: story is not bad at all, actor play at the end is great, music is great, great level of originality, make you recall of movies like "The Cable Guy" (1996) a little. Great work guys! Now all of You, go and see it!
Portrait of an ancient world
First of all I need to point out - the teaser was misleading, the trailer also does not really leads the viewer to what this movie is about. The poster does not help either. My impression was, this movie is some sci-fi/fantasy about Maya, probably something not close, but similar to "Stargate". The poster even made me think of "Alien vs. Predator".
Well, wrong. The movie is portraying the ancient world of Mesoamerican people, as well as tracking the end of the ancient civilizations, through the story of Jaguar's Paw - a captured warrior in a rescue to his family.
Few things to point out about this movie:
-This is action story narrated in good way
-Very good music
-Very good photography
-Wonderful recreation of the ancient life
-Not so bloody as described, but not for kids
Now few details.
Note: Previously, about this movie I wrote "Not historically precise", but now take my words back, since I learned, that both Mayas, Aztecs and Incas were conquered by the Spanish conquistadors.
First of all, regardless of what the trailer make you think of, this is a pure action movie. The story is mostly around the main character, than around the Mayas themselves.
What about the Mayas? Gibson did great job of showing spectacular images of ancient life. Especially the human sacrifice. The humor was very good too. But I was disappointed, since expected to see more of the cultural and probably spiritual life of these people. One impression I got is Gibson was inspired in some way by "At Play in the Fields of the Lord" (1991) or similar movie. My opinion anyway.
I have just deleted big passages of my previous posting, since the movie's historical precision is kinda questionable, so better just sit back and enjoy the movie.
Something I hardly could not notice, was Gibson was inspired by "Dune" (1984). Why? There is a moment in "Apocalypto", where a little girl is saying a prophecy, just and exactly like Alia in "Dune". Even the camera angle and girl's look were the same.
Since I do not want my review to contain spoilers, would just say that what Gibson showed, applies in my opinion, half to Amazon tribes, half to Aztecs. I know, most people do not care, so I say:
-Go see the movie, it's a good one.