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Much ado about nothing
To me, this was a disappointing movie. I anyhow wasn't that much inclined to see it, because of the popularity amongst the youngsters: that's invariably a bad token. So maybe I should rephrase my opening sentence. The movie was what I expected, but I'm always disappointed my bad expectations are so vastly responded to. This product is so obviously invented - with the help of some adequate stealing from the predecessors in the genre. To name a few examples: Jack Sparrows bearing clearly is a loan from Sandokan, the head figure of a popular pirate series in the 70's; the stern character of the commodore, rigid and uncompromising as in numerous examples before (the loosening at the end is a bland falsification); the Yankee Doodle type of the father of the heroine; and so on. The movie distinctly was made for commercial purposes, and has no historical traits whatsoever. The Zombie effect of pirates doomed to perpetual half-life is one of the many dispirited genuflections to modern taste and merely augments the mendacious value of the motion picture. I can give more instances of such unhistorical nonsense, but cannot do so without giving away the plot; so I'll avoid that error. All in all, if you like pure fantasy without any pretension of truth go see it, when you have nothing better to do. But don't you think things in any respect could've happened this way; life isn't a fairy-tale.
Fire Down Below (1997)
Seagals best whensoever, a loving movie
This film was a turning point for Seagal, and all the flat character fans didn't understand it. Steven isn't only a fighting machine, he also has the heart on the right place. His concern for the environment let him make a move that placed stress upon that topic. I admire the man for that. We see a story in which all things fall on the right place, with scenes, turns and music apt to create a summit in filmmaking achievement. It is your subconscious dream of doing things right. Seagal's the man here, in every way. He's handsome, strong, just, modest, devote, charming and responsible. He kicks ass when there's need for it, but is also very gentle with children and women. He plays the guitar and sings, dances and composes, and beats some thugs in the meantime. Where do you find such fellows nowadays? He should be an example to y'all. But since you didn't get it, Seagal was disappointed and got the picture himself. "I'll have to make a living," he must've thought, "and when people only appreciate sheer action without a thought, I'll give them that." So he left the line of honest messages and went for the money. I can imagine, really, but it's a shame all the same. If people had estimated Seagals move here, it would've produced more movies of such a strong nature. But the world is ignorant, and prefers flat characters. Steven got the message, and gave the people what they wanted.
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
This is filmmaking like it should be: profound, mature, masculine to that extent that I hardly can believe it has been directed by a woman. I only can praise the bewildering qualities of mrs Bigelow. It was an utter pleasure to see this movie: so professional and exciting that it takes your breath away. You really get impressed by the work of the FBI, the intelligence officers and the special troops. Mrs Bigelow has elaborately shown the step by step process of hunting down Bin Laden and it constantly keeps you on the edge of your seat. It also showed me once again the treachery of those Muslim terrorists, to whom nothing is holy: no honor, no humanity, no loyalty, no positivism. They are the Nazi's of our days and vigorously have to be dealt with. Why this movie, despite all of this, gets sharp criticism by some weirdos is a puzzle to me, but I gather these are the kind of people that only can grow by kicking down and spitting on others who really do have potential (a behavior the Nazi's were also good at, by the way). I'm looking forward to see more work from this qualified movie director!
De Marathon (2012)
Good story with footnotes
This is a tale of hope and perseverance, with moving and still humorous parts from time to time. It shows the straightforward, human character of ordinary people and succeeds in arousing sympathy for them, despite their regular coarse behavior and talk. Nevertheless, I have some objections. I liked the story and make my compliments to the excellent playing skills of all the main actors and actresses, let me make my point clear here. But I'm strongly annoyed by the obligatory swearing and other decadent expressions that apparently must be inalienable to most Dutch movies, from the late sixties on. Seems like filmmakers always need to proof themselves this way, as if they've got stuck in their puberty. It's such a stultifying effect, especially on our youths that take this for example. And the perpetual downgrading of everything religious from our own soil is all equally imposed; are the Dutch so frustrated and childishly unable to discover the positive side of the church? Why this inevitable mockery and cheap scoring on things holy to others? Mind you, I myself are not religious (that is, not in the common way) and I even unsubscribed from the church I was born into. But I deeply respect all those who make more of their lives by believing in a higher goal, and I strongly disapprove the caricaturing of such people. Moreover, I get bored with it because it's such a trodden path by now in our movies and tele- productions. Come on, can't you do better than that?
Running Scared (2006)
Fallout of mankind
It is significant that this movie gets such high ratings. It gives me little hope for humanity, as it signals to me the general 'rate' of people nowadays. How can you indulge so much unworthiness, inhumanity and degradation? Why is it that insisting on elevation and not depravation only meets with loathing and mockery today? For instance, is there no one who gets troubled by the increasing usage in movies of babies amidst violent situations involving screaming and other utterances? These kids have no conscience of the theatrical setting; they themselves aren't actors and will take the violence for real. Why is the monitoring of animals and not of small children normative? No doubt Running Scared is a skillfully made product and it gives your nerves the expected blow. But I get so tired and sick of all the negativeness, aggression, swearing and other subhuman behavior in our modern films. Do you still think this won't have any effect on our growing youths? Don't you see we're judging ourselves this way, bringing affliction to humanity by constantly consuming filth and gloom? I'd like to make an appeal to the movie industry for taking its responsibility in educating people, instead of merely making money out of life's darknesses. Methinks we weren't born to drag each other into the pools of obscurity, but to inspire one another in reaching for the stars.
Lo imposible (2012)
Hypersentimental and melodramatic
I watched this movie together with my wife, and we both found it laughable just because of the severely exaggerated character. The dark rising basses and sensitive piano play (one single tone per five seconds) when something occurs that is thought to be dramatic, it's all so forcibly meant to impress that it's one big gesture of bad taste. The wise and deep sayings that must incite you to take this very serious, as also with Ewan (the father) suddenly and grippingly bursting into tears... o how profound! Give me a break, will you. The real event itself was serious, not this monstrous production that clearly was meant as a tearjerker smoothly exploiting grave incidents. Why on earth was it rated that high? Are Americans so melodramatic, or is it political correctness that makes people believe that you ought to value and esteem any film about such a dramatic topic? Could you earnestly compare this to such quality movies like Collateral, the Godfather part 3, Munich, Dracula (Bela Lugosi, 1931), Love actually, Rabbit-proof fence, A room with a view, Never let me go, Steel magnolias, and many other films that were rated somewhat about the same level or even lower, but that are of a whole different (e.g. far better) quality?
Suggesting a lot, telling nothing
I hate these kind of films. You're obliged to be utterly impressed by them, and I bet even the actors themselves go with the common flow of appreciating them only because it's so right to be impressed by them. I get so weary with that everlasting overemphasizing of sex and all that has to do with it. Don't you see, it's mere poverty man, and we're nicely following the paths of nature. What's so special about that? Must I have heavy opinions about a man who is sexually obsessed (yawn) and get's confronted with all that's contrary to that, with life, with the bias development of events occurring to everyone? Get a life, dude! This is soooo boring... I have no commitment whatsoever with a person that behaves like an underdog, feels like an underdog, and actually IS an underdog. Where is an uplifting point; where is greatness; where valor?
Worst film I've seen since long
How they got the nerves to connect the real and profound drama of 9/11 to this dragon, is a total guess. Maybe because today people don't have that much reservations anymore. Anyhow, it's tasteless. And do Americans so much like annoying kids, that would be better off with their asses kicked? I absolutely loath that conniving, politically correct attitude of parents towards their children in American movies. They're spoiling them into arrogant wiseacres this way, like with this kid. Or with the one in Spielberg's Empire of the son, or that kid in About a boy (with Hugh Grant), and so on. Those children are terribly irritating, having been set way beyond their age. Children should be children, not little adults; the whole rest of their life they can be like that, not that it's so much a desirable status. But the whole picture of a kid reprimanding and raging against grown-ups, even towards an 80-upper, is utterly detestable. Furthermore, this film was artificial, with poor suggestions of some mystery, and boringly slow, without any gripping story to hold on. I cannot understand why Hanks and Bullock chose to play a part in this one. As able actors, they should have known better; such movies cling to your reputation. I can only hope they won't have to pay the piper too much for it.
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Another unhistorical depiction of the past
All those Italian made movies like Novecento, Malena and this one have such a wrought up vision of sexual behavior in former days! It's one big projection; like everybody anytime was so degenerated as we are nowadays. I really find this a very annoying falsification, and people massively swallow it like truth. Don't you get that this is pumping the hundredth lie in your simple-minded heads? This whole masquerade is only intent to suggest that there has always been the violence and lust we're used to, and thus lull us asleep: you needn't worry, all this isn't abnormal because people always were like that. Well, they were not. It's absolutely untrue and you're fooled when you believe that nonsense. The degeneration on this scale springs mainly from the seventies and has developed to a mode of complicity among film directors. Do not believe it; our parents and (great-)grandparents still had the decency the majority of us lack today. Church membership was common, and people wouldn't think of all that filth we display and welter in at present. We don't even recognize anymore how divergent it is and think it's the standard way of living. Anyway, I utterly dislike that kind of movies and have skipped the rest of this one just when I'd seen a quarter of it. It's a waste of my time, and I by far prefer to see really uplifting productions instead.
Knight and Day (2010)
How in the world does he stay that young???
Tom Cruise is about my age - well, that is to say: he's four years and five days younger. So I'm 53 now (although I still feel like 25) but look far younger. But when I look in the mirror I definitely see a man who fairly has passed his 40th year, grey and all. Why then is it that Tom still seems, say, 35? I wonder and find it unbelievable. And his play is always very skillful. Even when you may not like him as an actor (some people have their preferences) you must admit that he's convincing and has strong acting skills. A movie with Cruise always is enjoyable. And so with this one. There's action, fun, romance, humor, speed, and turning points. And Cameron Diaz is his worthy opponent; she's very suited for the role and plays it wholeheartedly. Go see this one, and you come to like Cruise and Diaz even better.