9 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Split (IX) (2016)
Our hopes in Shyamalan's films have reawakened
19 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Ah, Shyamalan. What a complex opinion I have of you. "Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable" had made such an impression on me that as an eleven-year-old I had decided that you were my favourite director. Little did I know that your following films would steadily disappoint me over the years to a point that I had almost completely given up on you.

"The Visit" was a spark of hope. "Split" is a flame.

This thriller turned out to be much better than I expected. A trio of teenage girls are kidnapped by a mysterious man who suffered from multiple personality disorders. There are a whopping 23 of them, and the ones responsible for the kidnapping are three: the stern-faced Dennis, the calm and collected Patricia, and the child-like Hedwig. However, a far more dangerous personality is threatening to emerge, and it is a race against time for the girls to escape before their luck runs out.

The film is intense and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The viewer feels the pressure and you will be trying to connect the dots throughout the flick. The Shyamalan twist (or, more accurately, the reveal) explains a lot and is satisfying.

After 16 long years, I think I can shyly say: Shyamalan is back.
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Hick (2011)
Excellent acting and a plot that did not reach its full potential
5 April 2016
I had relatively low expectations for this film - the negative reviews were not promising, but it features two well known actors whose other movies I liked, so I decided to give it a shot. After seeing this film, I would rate it somewhere between 6 and 7.

The strongest feature of this film is the acting. The actors are fantastic - Chloe Grace Moretz plays a sassy, irritating, ignorant little hillbilly girl but manages to balance it off with cuteness and naivety. Most actresses would easily take it too far and just come off as plain annoying, but Chloe at such a young age knew just how much she could get away with such behavior before switching back to remind you that she is just a vulnerable girl. Great job.

Eddie Redmayne perfectly pulled off a southern accent and the mannerisms of a redneck, which is a complete contrast to his British background and Eton school upbringing. But that's not all: despite playing a role where he is supposed to be a creepy villain, he injects a good dose of quirky vulnerability to it, making you sympathise with his character. I was never so undecided about a fictional character before, as I did not know whether to feel sorry for him or despise him. His face and voice displayed so much raw emotion that you simply cannot hate his character. This wasn't an easy task - his character Eddie was a one dimensional villain in the book, and Redmayne's performance gave the movie an advantage over the book in my opinion. Therefore, I would recommend everyone to watch the film solely for his acting.

Now the downside to this movie was the story, which had so much potential. The dialogue and the huge number of coincidences make it seem like the script was based of a fan-fiction story and it doesn't get very exciting. The climax of the tale was dampened with a rushed scenario that did not leave an impact when it could have. More things could have happened which would make this film richer but the potential was unfortunately never exploited.

I notice that most people complained about the sexual undertones of the story and the fact that such a young actress plays a role where she is a target to predators. I do not understand such complaints, because sexually exploited prepubescent girls is a very real problem in every country which needs to be addressed instead of being ignored in the media. If anything, every teenage girl should see this film to reminded of what dangers await for them out there, especially since many girls romanticize the notion of running away from home and hold idealistic views of falling in love with a 'bad boy'.

I personally think this film is better than what the critics say about it. I'd give it a 6.5 if I could, but I rounded it up to a generous 7/10.
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Put Ruzama Posut (2013 TV Movie)
Expected more. Way more.
12 January 2015
I was really looking forward to this film - there are not too many films where the storyline takes place immediately after the Battle of Kosovo, and about Princess Olivera nonetheless! The princess is a rather mysterious figure in Serbian history, as not much is known about Tsar Lazar's youngest daughter who married the Turkish Sultan in order to protect her people.

This TV film was an absolute disappointment, and let me count the ways:

The quality: Though I do understand this is was a television movie, it more of a documentary rather than film. In fact, it cannot be even called a documentary as there is not a single scientist or historian who appears and enlightens the viewers on interesting true facts. Instead, it is like a fairytale, without any evidence or explanation of how the princess helped her people or even her so- called 'wisdom'. You might as well have read a Wikipedia article about her.

The scenes were so painfully low budget, that in the Battle of Kosovo scene, there was only Tsar Lazar and two soldiers guarding his tent on the battlefield. Some cheap CGI to create an army would not have hurt, even the Turks have done it for their low-budget 'Suleiman the Magnificent' soap opera.

Acting and narration: There are only a few time-period scenes featuring actors who barely say a single word and the actress who plays the teenage princess has the same blank expression on her face throughout the historical sequences. The narrator is especially annoying, as all he does is walk around aimlessly, mumbling his lines without properly pronouncing the last word of his sentences.

Music: This was the worst of all. Whereas the whole movie consists of silent narration, choir music suddenly blares loudly in between scenes, shocking the audience. I had the mute the TV a number of times because I got tired of lowering the volume every time that 'music' came on.

I really wanted to like this film, but I couldn't. Bad film-making is bad film-making. One would expect national TV allocating a bit more money and professional hire to the creation of a movie about an important chapter of the country's history, rather than wasting it all on advertising.
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Man of Steel (2013)
So many clichés that they ought to be ashamed of themselves
20 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This movie ripped off so many other movies that it got ridiculous.

The beginning looked like a Star Wars setting with angles and lighting from the new Star Trek movie. When Jor-El shouted, "This is madness!" I was immediately reminded of 300. When the bad guys come to Earth and the lights go off while the TV becomes static it looks like it ripped off The Ring and then later on the living machine space ship was reminiscent of The Matrix. There were several other instances, but these stand out fresh in my mind.

The dialogue was corny with the forced notion of God vs Evolution to be drawn parallel with Good Vs Evil. The good guys believe in God, the bad guys in Evolution. "In the end, evolution always wins." What? That's not how evolution works at all!

Also this movie upholds some questionable morals. To name a few:

A) You should always support royalty and tradition, even if they brought about the end of your world.

B) Superman's foster father tells Clark that it's better to let people die than save them. Really? You couldn't advise Clark how to protect his identity while saving people or the fact it would look very suspicious if Clark kept surviving all the tragedies while everyone else died?

C) In what way was Zod a monster? He tried to ensure the survival of his people (and couldn't help it because he was programmed that way) through any means necessary, something we humans did on numerous occasions. Clark's exclamation of "Kypton had its chance!" was shallow and so unfeeling I found myself sympathising with the so-called bad guy.

I gave this a 5/10 because of the good special effects and enjoyable action scenes (even though most big budget movies are expected to have them now), but story-wise this needs a big clarification for whom we are actually supposed to root for. Oh, and please stop ripping off other movies.
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Stop Americanising everything!
26 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Yes, Americanising. With emo kids, animals who work in companies, a failing marriage, all the drama.... just please stop.

Roald Dahl is my favourite writer. It was thanks to his books that I became an avid reader as a child, and Fantastic Mr. Fox was his first book I read that lead me to discover the joys of reading.

It had witty humor and the reader would savor the idea of eating plump chickens, juicy geese and syrupy cider. The point was that simple animals could outwit man and his machines - it was about survival from a wild creature's point of view, of course with all the humour thrown in.

The movie completely tramples on this point and instead portrays the animal world much like our human world, with lawyers, loans and mortgages. What is going on here? What made it worse is that the movie dumbed everything down into an American soap opera - Mr. Fox has a worn out marriage with his purple-eyed wife (?) and they have only one child, who is a rebellious teenager. The weird cousin comes over, and I seriously don't comprehend what he contributes to the plot - he just stands there awkwardly and behaves like victim of abuse with all his frightened stares.

The story barely focuses on the delicious food but instead on the drama and making it look like the overused Ocean's Eleven shtick. Instead of rooting for the characters like in the book, in the movie I didn't bond with them and I didn't care about their fates.

I give this a 2 out of 10 because it takes a lot of effort to create a decent stop animated movie, but plot-wise it was a complete disregard for Dahl's work and wit. Let your child or younger sibling read the book, it is a very entertaining read, while the movie is very forgettable.
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Porodicno blago (1998–2005)
Way better than the rubbish that plagues Serbian TV nowadays
27 May 2012
Please do not listen to the reviewer 'Crveni Krst' - he has given negative reviews even for classics such as 'Bolji Zivot' as he has a preference for foreign films.

Pavic-written series were not mindless soap-operas that currently plague the US, India and Spain, but series with intelligent dialogues and witty caricatures of common people in Serbia. I personally find 'Porodicno Blago' a better series than 'Srecni Ljudi'.

What is notable about 'Porodicno Blago' is the good dose of realism it possesses without being dark. It is happening during the difficult times in Serbia (that unfortunately exist to this day) where Serbs face the issues of high unemployment, the rural-urban divide and the young generation dreaming of leaving the country in a delusion that they might find a better life abroad. We have the Gavrilovic family where the heads are trying make ends meet while the children are faced with issues of their own: one is trying to find a job, the other is a tomboy who finds love and the third child struggles to finish school. These are very common problems that are portrayed in a manner where we sympathise with the characters and root for them. Even the people from the countryside are hilarious, a refreshing change from Serbian movies and series that were at the time this was aired were heavily focused on Belgrade.

My favourite character was Churchill, the loud, jealous husband who is actually a good man that tries to protect his family using methods that may seem brutish at first sight.

Give this series a chance, it is good fun!
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Vojna akademija (2012– )
Americanised rubbish, a thinly-veiled campaign by the government to get people to join the army
23 April 2012
There are several things wrong with this series, and I need to address them point by point.

1. Do not expect to learn anything about the military. All the characters there merely exist to fall in love, so it could very well be labelled as a romance. The girls are giggly and physically unfit, clearly not army material. As a woman, this is quite disappointing because women in this series are portrayed as individuals who will never be as good as the men in the army and serve as token recruits.

2. This is very Americanised, lacking any Serbian authenticity (if you want so something remotely close to the Serbian army life, checkout Bolji Zivot - Boba doing military service). From the whistling theme tune (which was the anthem of American soldiers in Vietnam) to character dialogues, everything was clearly ripped of from some American series like JAG and simply looks awkward in Serbia's setting. In the first episode, one female plays American football. I would understand maybe basketball, an American sport popular in Serbia, but this isn't popular anywhere outside the USA! The next point would shed light on why this irritating Americanisation exists.

3. Since required military service has become non-existent recently in Serbia, the government (Democratska Stranka in particular, that is fond of adopting Western values) has been trying to encourage people to join the army. What is particularly disgusting in the series is that these recruits will assist NATO operations - yep, the very NATO that bombed the country in 1999 and pressured it with embargoes. Shame on the creators of the series for trying to make Serbs forget the past - we would never see Americans cooperate with Al-Quaeda since 9/11 happened will we? Overall I gave this 3/10, merely because it loosely holds my attention so I wonder what happens next.
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Thor: Tales of Asgard (2011 Video)
Quite fun and a nice 'bromance'
26 May 2011
This film was much better than I expected. True, it does have some anime influence (like slim bodies and expressive eyes) but most contemporary cartoons have that anyway.

In short, this movie is about a teenage Thor embarking on a quest to prove his manhood to his father, who still considers him immature. With the aid of his brother Loki and the Warriors Three he travels through different realms to complete his quest.

What I liked in this film was that it showed a different, refreshing perspective on Thor and Loki's relationship. In this film we actually see Loki as a caring brother who is a loyal Asgardian. He and Thor share a special bond, trust each other and, when times get tough, provide each other with support. Seeing this just makes it even more heartbreaking as the viewers know that in the future these two would become mortal enemies.

Some dialogues were actually funny without relying on simple humor - even giving room to a bit adult humor when it came to Fandral. There is romance (concerning both brothers), and there are notable number of dark scenes and dialogues which concentrate on the topics of genocide (yes, genocide!) and character death. Unlike most children's cartoons nowadays, it has quite a few mature themes which adults may like.

All in all, it was a pleasant surprise and more mature than I expected. I warmly recommend this film.

PS - the music was epic!
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DC Comics should be thankful to this series....
15 November 2010
... because this series developed some of the most famous Batman characters and spread the popularity of the comics.

Batman The Animated Series developed:

  • Mr. Freeze: before the cartoon he was just a useless character in the comic books. The cartoon developed him into the complex tragic hero whom we all know and love.

  • Mad Hatter: the series actually gave him a backstory where he was madly in love with his secretary and tried to make her love him by mind controlling her

  • Scarecrow: the series described what his previous profession was, that he was bullied as a child and actually revealed the meek side of him during 'Lock Up'

The list goes on. This is a brilliant children's show, I can't remember any show similar to it while I was growing up. The stories were good, the characters had depth and even the villains were sympathetic. I'm a girl, and I really enjoyed watching a so-called 'boy's show' while I was growing up. It had a dark and morbid edge to it, and it wasn't dumbed down for children (that is perhaps why I liked it). It can be said that the show had a serious tone to it, but that made me feel as if I, a child, was for once taken seriously. I really appreciated it then.

However, I must admit I preferred the first character designs to the revamped ones in 1994.

This is a great series that is sorely missed and I wish future generations will get to see this amazing show, in spite of children's TV shows going down the drain these last few years.
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