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196 reviews in total 
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Bean (1997)
A zany disastrous movie (unlike the lame "Holiday"), 28 May 2008

One of the finest comedies. Definitely absolutely. The only thing I don't like about is one of the final songs (the nauseating "We love him"). But at least it is to the point here - so can't complain.

There are too few really funny comedies out there nowadays to skip this one. Every significant scene is quite notorious and ridiculous: Bean's arrival, Bean's mishaps in the entertainment zone, Bean's destruction of the painting, Bean's "mission impossible", etc.

Together with such comedies as "Dumb & Dumber" and "Nutty Professor" it belongs to the highest hierarchy of the funniest comedies ever.

If only Mr Rowan Atkinson were always as good as here...

A 10 out of 10 (a rare treat from top to toe; raised the mark from a 8 out of 10 after watching "Mr. Bean's Holiday" - that IS a turkey to be avoided at all costs). Thanks for attention.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The "Spiritual Kung Fu" I want to see is quite different from this lazy piece of cinema, 12 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The problem of this action flick is not the absence of money. Did you watch "Xtro" (a cheap "home-made" horror from the UK)? "Xtro" was amazing because it was imaginative to the core and had a very freaky atmosphere. "Spiritual Kung Fu" lacks such charm. I think that the problem lies in some sort of laziness of the filmmakers. What could have been done better? OK, here we go...

No.1 The opening scene is an example of frustration. Some sparkle falls from the skies and there is an earthquake causing a few funny ghosts to emerge from the monastery's vaults. The execution of this scene is awful. I would kick a football set on fire into the building, apply a set of metal sticks for some strange sound, and make the "ghosts" come out from the earth and fight each other for "warming up". Would it cost more money? I don't think so. But the final product would have been much more entertaining.

No.2 The scene where Jackie Chan's character is being tricked by the ghosts is slow and unimpressive. What would I do? I would set up a tougher scene with the ghosts making Chan's character suffer a few bad falls and a few hurtful kicks and punches. The ghosts would scare away all the monks beating some of them to unconsciousness and only our "clown" would not retreat. After beating him up the ghosts would teach him their type of "spiritual" kung fu as a reward for his masculine behaviour.

I don't have much time for all this kind of typing work but I can easily go on, while even the famous scene of Jackie Chan vs. the monks is far from being fantastic.

Watch "Dragon Lord" or "City Hunter" instead. Those ones were made correctly, in my humble opinion. As to this "Spiritual Kung Fu", I have a feeling that Mr Jackie Chan was not very interested in the whole production, was drowsy all through the movie, and did not want to fight. There is no fire in his eyes and no fire in his movements here. And the jokes suck. And camera-work too (the focus is constantly roaming and the right scenes are shot badly as a result).

2 out of 10 (well, it is not ultimately bad). Thanks for attention.

Se7en (1995)
7 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
"Se7en" out of 10?, 12 May 2008

Not on my scale. I choose "1" as a mark for this one. Why? Because it's sick and perverted, neither entertaining nor clever, neither beautiful nor comfortably ugly. Just oppressive. It's got very unpleasant atmosphere and imagery. Who are these movies made for? They are disgusting. When you watch this you feel as if you were bathing in manure. Is it supposed to be the development of cinema and taste of the audience since Chaplin movies? I'd rather keep with the old Chaplin ones.

One disgusting occurrence goes into another, then - another, and so on until the list of the deadly sins is over. This flick deserves to be a piece of entertainment for bored hit men, who can later discuss "the head in the box" with their buddies (remember "Max Payne"?).

If a movie is artistically weak and leaves an empty feeling - all because of some fiction created by somebody, what's the purpose of it all? I should also mention that many years ago I considered this movie to be wise. And of course I wouldn't bother to write a review, but, damn, it's on the top 250 list, which is depressing.

Watch our "Stalker", "Ostrov", or "Solyaris" if you want a clever film dealing with sins. That's all I've got to say.

1 out of 10. Thanks for attention.

Chinatown (1974)
7 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
A thriller-flopperoo, 12 May 2008

My opinion is that Mr Roman Polanski is one of the most prominent directors of our time. But "Chinatown" is a flop.

One day when it was shown over our local TV I tried hardly to enjoy it, but I could not. The same happened, when I watched "The Ninth Gate". I cannot mention a single thing, which I like about the movie. The movie just goes on and on and on, as if the director has nothing to say. As to me, I have certainly nothing good to say. I agree that it is a dark psychological drama but this film being on the top list is not right.

It is also an unpleasant movie (not ultimately though). There exist much worse movies and that's why.. . I give it a weak 3 out of 10, sorry, Mr Roman Polanski. Thanks for attention.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
My first "vision", 12 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this one in 1989. It was my first "video" watched in a "videozal". Quite luckily it turned out to be one of the greatest movies, which I appreciate even more as the time passes.

It has fantastic scenes - they can be called "groundbreaking classics". Among them are: the crawling meat in the kitchen, the attacking tree that grabs a child and tries to swallow him alive, the menacing TV-set which opens doors to another dimension (to hell maybe?), the dilapidating face of the scientist who takes a look in the mirror, the ominous clown that assaults the boy, the dead bodies floating in the mud and grabbing the woman, the ghost walking down the stares, etc.

It has light-hearted humour that for a few seconds lets the viewer forget that it is a serious horror film. One of the best such scene is the beginning, when the man on the bicycle is being fooled by a band of boys with a remote-controlled toy.

Finally it has food for thought. I know examples when in our modern heretic world the multi-storied buildings are being erected right near the cemeteries, the careless adults are buying dangerous toys to their beloved children (what is the new trend - "Bratz" or something?), the easy-going mothers and fathers are going to mediums for help instead of putting the ways straight and in the right direction, and the list can go on.

Nowadays I look at this movie as at a colourful snapshot of our hectic world. It is often treated as the old-school special effects fest only. My point is that it's a mistake to come up to this film with such an easy attitude. It's definitely not another "Gremlins" or "Star Wars" (no offence implied here but "Star Wars" to me is just a cute balloon of a movie).

A brutal 10 out of 10 - a rare mark for a horror flick. Thank you for attention.

4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
An awkward "steam-punk" movie (underground "art"?), 12 May 2008

The idea of the movie is not well executed, in my humble opinion. While it is quite unique, the movie is unpleasant and makes an abominable impression. The characters are ugly and disgusting. The shots are too dark. Certain scenes are utterly stupid (like the one when children are running along a copper who is stuck between the two waterfronts). The author's voice behind the screen is no good. The overblown performance and grimaces are goofy. If this flick could have been cleaned up, it would be an impressive and beautiful cinematic experience.

For a "kindermovie" it's too disgusting and complicated and for an adult one it is too goofy and over the edge. I sent this DVD to a trashcan whereto it belongs (it was a cheap DVD).

A solid and awful 3 out of 10 (it's not a complete waste and the complicated design of the set is of note). Thank you for attention.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
My favourite Akira Kurosawa movie, 12 May 2008

Artistically the film is superb. This is the case when I don't care much about the substance. Quite amazingly the substance is also present and it is quite intricate and mesmerizing (especially in the excerpts about a killed soldier, the child's misadventure, and the environmental pollution). From what I've seen, it is my favourite Akira Kurosawa movie so far.

Quite often when I watch a film I want to be able to change this or that but not in this case. If I had the power, I wouldn't have changed anything.

I really appreciate its abstract nature, which is also very concrete. If you've seen it, you can understand what I mean.

Now I'm trying to get it on official DVD, yet in vain though.

10 out of 10. Thank you for attention.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Once upon a time..., 6 March 2008

Once upon a time I watched this simple action flick at home with the help of an old CRT and a shabby VHS player. The quality was crap but the film... I also watched "RoboCop" that day. Both movies set initial frames in my system of cinematic action evaluation. They both are my favourites since and no CGI flick can beat them on my scale - the course of time does not change my view that this action deserves to be in "Top100 action movies of all time". Mr Chuck Norris is really showing off here. The composition (dramatic elements turn into peaceful tranquillity, which turns into bursts of gun-plays, which is followed by impressive fist-fighting, which moves to tongue-in-cheek humour, etc.), the music (the beginning reminds me of the best examples of "western" genre and first of all it's the haunting music of that unique trend), the fight sequences (the last one-on-one is excellent), the irony (remember that young buddy afraid of running under the ladder?), the tough dialogues (you know it when you hear it), the camera-work (nothing exceptional but every scene is professionally done), and the opening shots (remember red-tinted shots depicting a wolf?) - I like it all. Maybe, my point of view is a bit outdated but I think that this is how real action should be done.

Great in all aspects. At the same time "Walker, Texas Ranger" serial, which generally speaking borrows the idea, is dull. Perhaps, tough movies like this must not be "stretched". "Lone Wolf" is as captivating, as an action flick can ever be. Too bad that the official DVD seems to be still unavailable in our country. And too bad Mr Bruce Lee could never get his quick feet onto this… I give it a solid 10 out of 10 (exaggeration? maybe, but I can't help). Thank you for attention.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A depressing and boring late-Soviet era "karate" flick – it's no "Hong kil dong", 6 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this flick long time ago in a cinema. Those days we had a few martial arts movies running on big screen including "Hong kil dong" and this one. "Hong kil dong" was amazing but this one was a joke. One kid told me something like "You haven't seen "Hong kil dong"? Then go and watch this one!" What rot! A few Russian actors are running about, trying to show off their very limited karate abilities. And they really score in arranging a pathetic piece of movie-making. I guess, it is one of those examples, when our directors try hard to copy the famous foreign martial arts movies.

The plot is boring: a kid (not the kid who told me something like "You haven't seen "Hong kil dong"? Then go and watch this one!") gets kidnapped and his father, having a few friends, tries to solve this problem in a private way. The friends are making up a team of four (therefore the flick has such a title) and get to business. They have to face the criminal world of some macho-wannabes. The camera-work is boring too. The scenes are dark, the colours are faded, and the poor action scenes are poorly filmed. The "heroes" are also trying to joke all the way through the movie but it simply doesn't work.

Still, if you are some Texas boy who has no idea what the hell "a run-of-the-mill Russian karate action" is, then it can be quite educational and maybe even great fun.

All in all, I am sick and tired of the national criminal flicks, which are abundant on our TV and resemble each other. Therefore I simply cannot give it more than a hardly satisfactory mark: 3 out of 10. Thanks for attention.

A few silly things are spoiling the overall dramatic atmosphere, 4 March 2008

They are: - the initial "CID vs. SWAT" extravaganza with the cheap electronic soundtrack as the background (the scenes with all that acrobatic stuff are useless here - they have guns, damn it! and the neck-breaking scene looks absurd), - the overblown eyebrows of the SWAT commander (my! did they really have to do it?), - the proper fights, which were moved to "deleted scenes" section (even if they could not add anything good to the story, they should have been included into the movie, while they are great), - too little real violence (after reading about the brutality of the final showdown I was disappointed by the actual grand finale of the movie, while even the notorious "blade-into-the-neck" scene is too swift and too dark)... well, this is about it.

All the rest is great. I really enjoy the story and the performance of Mr Sammo Hung. A very neat job.

I can give it a definite 7 out of 10 (I wish the movie-making team could stay away from the comedy elements during this production - it would be, quite possibly, my favourite Jackie Chan film then). Thanks for attention.

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