Reviews written by registered user

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139 reviews in total 
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
My favorite episode yet, 31 January 2017

Earlier in the series Rodrigo says the only reason to do something is out of love. He announces to the donors that the NY Symphony will open a free program for children. He has no plan, he just says what he feels in the moment. What ensues is a hilarious attempt to get a loan from the bank. Rodrigo mostly acts with his heart. He may be disorganized or too direct, but his heart is in the right place. There are three scenes which really stand out in this episode. The first is the one where Rodrigo opens the children's appetite for music getting a donation from an unexpected source. The second is the old Maestro struggling with the premiere of his composition. He is conflicted and humble and as the composition is finally presented to the audience he experiences a brief moment of bliss mixed with what he perceives as unreciprocated feelings from Gloria's part. Malcolm McDowell truly shines here. A great actor sadly mostly underused. The third moment is the one where Hailey directs for the first time in font of an audience. I believe this moment will be a turning point for her. Also a great direction of the episode by Gael García Bernal.

Being familiar with Jason Schwarzman's previous work I can see a lot of influence on his part in this series. The one thing that surprises me is the lack of commentary on the series on IMDb. It took me some time to discover this show not because it's unpopular, but because there are so few opinions here. In the age of super heroes and cheap thrills from violence this is one is about passion. Beautiful music also.

My favorite episode yet.

Great episode, 15 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A masterfully executed episode exploring New York's high society scene behind the curtain. A human spectacle which to a worldly man such as Rodrigo would in essence look the same on all continents. The new Maestro navigates elegantly thru this jungle and reveals a couple of more layers to his character. He encourages Hailey to look and feel for inspiration, meets a child prodigy and gently publicly humbles a snotty board member when he tries to demean their pecuniary endeavor collecting donations. The Maestro exits the episode on a stretcher after a soccer accident, and even if not being a master in all arenas of life, he embraces life with a child like sense of wonder.

This show is growing on me with each episode.

Comet (2014)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The Ending, 12 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The concept of eternal recurrence is ancient. Basically is says that anything that exists will do so forever and ever, the same way, repeating infinitely. The concept of wheel of time known in Buddhism as Kalachakra expresses the idea of an endless cycle of birth, existence, knowledge and death. By relying only on the elements provided in the movie, the comet-which is cyclical and the fact that Dell has multiple sensations of déjà vu, as well as the fact that it takes place in a parallel universe, suggest that Sam Esmail has taken the concept of eternal recurrence into account. Also during the movie we have the debate that a painting as opposed to a movie can be looked at any time and can convey the whole message at once.

The love story is in fact presented as a painting. All the elements presented are meant to make up the "image" of their romance, trapped in time, trapped into existence. However, the fact that we are not shown what happens at the very end can logically only mean that we have not been given all elements. The puzzle is incomplete. Also, the fact that we are being shown the apocalyptic scene in the end (where Kimberly practically closes all possible ways of reconnecting with Dell) can only mean that the missing piece is one of climax regarding their story.

Also, Kimberly is clearly lying at the end when she says that she just likes Roxette. When we see her singing along while driving she is exuberant, in love with that other guy. I'm not saying that her starting listening to Roxette is an indication that the relationship is ending, but she is lying. The Roxette song says : "It must have been love but it's over now" - clearly stirring mixed emotions within her regarding the ending love with Dell, as she felt at that time, and the beginning love towards the other guy.

Finally, if we look at their story as a painting, the beauty is that even if it ended in apocalypse it's still trapped into existence to replay endlessly until the end of time.

Prometheus (2012/I)
14 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
Tail spin into the ridiculous for Ridley, 11 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Gee, I seriously fear for the up-coming Blade Runner 2, now. I get that it's all about the money these days, that he has to squeeze as much 3D technology possible inside his product, however ludicrous and unnecessary it may be, because they finally decided that for future marketing purposes tinsel is all that the younger generation should be accustomed to (like the control deck hologram meant only to tingle our retina, because for practical reasons it couldn't possibly have been made), and I get that they hire TV level writers because they're hip (and thus expose the public to sub par story writing, where all logic goes down the drain), but what I don't get is why it had to dirt-splash the Alien series. I can already see this topping the Alien Blu Ray 5-pack.

Now on the unintentional comedy:

1 Somehow they found the oldest cave paintings in Scotland and not the middle East where we had the oldest civilization.

2 The drawings are so complex that they have to superpose them to show us that they are the same.

3 Our creators didn't write much nor did they like math, they preferred to dribble little men pointing up. They invite us just to play a prank on us. When they have the chance to explain their actions they instantly turn Hulk Hogan on us.

4 Robots are more unpredictable that humans, and also act better.

5 Even in the 2090's explorers will split up like second graders on a school trip.

6 They send a team of humans when they have the technology to send robots which do not tire or get sick.

7 Our creators don't have robots to wake up their last sleeping beauty.

8 Our creators fly in dough nuts very effectively designed for rolling ans squishing morons.

9 The crew has no weaponry on board except a flame thrower.

10 Gravitation is coincidently the same as on Earth but our genetic identical creators are 2 times bigger and stronger even woken up from hyper sleep.

11 Future scientists like surprise parties which involve at least 4 years of their lives.

12 They cannot operate females mechanically on board of the ship, but they send them on missions nevertheless because the machine is easy to fool and override from the inside control panel.

13 They have machines that can read our own kind's thoughts but not those of our creators 100% identical to us, but still designed like Renault Twizy. They don't even try to read our creator's thoughts.

14 Our creator's ships are quite easy to steer. Even by a non pilot scientist seriously injured and with an infected wound.

Oh, and the old man routine they flat out lifted from John Hurt's character in "Contact"-1997. Plus we do not create robots because we can, but to work for us as loyal servants.

To those who liked Alien 2, I suggest seeing the much idiotic, but extremely fun Guy Pearce vehicle "Lockout" 2012.

Time to cut your losses and call it quits, Rid. This one will stay with me like a sand grain in the eye.

36 out of 77 people found the following review useful:
A Hundred cigarette butts, whiskey and a vibrating camera don't equal art, 25 May 2012

This movie was supposedly made to illustrate Kerouac's novel but I will comment only on the movie. There is one comment on the message board made by gadjoproject which I find extremely compelling. Swl1019 makes a strong case also.I am not going to judge the content of Kerouac's novel, but swl is right. Who wants to watch a 100 minutes couple of guys riding in a car? In depends on what they do, or talk about, I guess. The problem is that these guys here just wander about. There's nothing interesting happening on the screen, narration wise. I've never seen a longer slide show of backs of heads in my life. So they threw about 25 sitting in front of the typewriter sipping whiskey scenes in, about 100 smoking expertly squinting while contemplating the endless mystery of the road and then nothing happens scenes, and some nudity, of course. The few times where Sal associates with the common man are lifeless and simplistic. The problem with novels made to movie is that if they're not done by somebody with vision, they can ruin the image you as reader had created in your mind while reading the book. That's the beauty of a book as opposed to a movie, the book creates intimate, personal images in your mind while movies are made by somebody else. If that somebody happens to misunderstand or filter the information differently you get "On The Road", a slide show of cigarette butts put out in a pretentious, diluted and hollow account of who cares. In all fairness I'm not going to ask for my whole two hours back, because with the complicity of the script, I was able to doze off at least 5 times.

Only plus: Garrett Hedlund's performance.

Twixt (2011)
10 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
Experiment which if taken out of context offers little else than pure waste of time, 13 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Movie critics in France generally embraced and praised this new approach to film making attempted by Coppola. in fact this is how he himself calls this latest work. A labor of love, free of big studio involvement. For those who are just now discovering Coppola, Twixt can easily look as the work of a demented film student with little talent, direction and means, but I believe there is something else there in the mix. I don't know when he discovered the work of philosopher and writer Mircea Eliade, but he directed the adaptation of one of his works for the big screen five years ago. I think of Coppola as one of the truly great empirical film makers. His sensitivity lies in the depiction of the true to earth human experience. He is not a poet. When I saw "Youth without youth" a couple of years ago, the same thing striked me, that he discovered the great work on mysticism, dreams and myths, but lacked the sensitivity and maybe understanding to bring it to the screen. Hall Baltimore is sort of a clumsily constructed re-interpretation of the professor Dominic from Mircea Eliade's "YWY" who enters into the onirique where recurring Coppola obsessions merge into an incomprehensible mess comprising vampires, Edgar Allan Poe, religious deviants, personal exorcism and most of all Coppola's need to evolve as an artist and maybe more important as a person. So, in conclusion, Twixt should not be seen for the incomprehensible dribble of a movie that it is, but in the context of the character arc of Coppola himself by those truly interested. Ironically for a quest into the greater depiction of reality and time, it ultimately ends up wasting it.

29 out of 48 people found the following review useful:
Cardboard cutout with a twist of Woody Allen wannabe, 10 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just a couple of minutes in, I realized that Delpy has suddenly gotten older. That's not a problem at all, but now she reinvents herself as a sort of Diane Keaton while still Woody Allen's muse, with the glasses half way down her nose and constant verbal notes to self, and all the insecure, but kind of intellectual but still crazy enough to say a dirty word hihi, with all the New Yorker do not care how I dress attitude and wardrobe. Other than lack of originality, still NOT a big problem, until she conveniently portrays the french visiting relatives as some sort of peasants who are always either high or drunk, and which smell because they don't bathe enough and are generally loud and obnoxious. To create some comical situations, no doubt, but with little success. Talk about narrow minded preconceptions, but what do you call it when it comes from a compatriot!? I guess Delpy saw fit to remake the bland Very Bad Trip into a pseudo intellectual cross culture cardboard cutout. Well, mission accomplished, mamie. The terminal disease bit deserves a special note just for how stretched and juvenile distastefully it is done. All in all a weak effort.

One last foot note: I've never been a great Chris Rock fan, but between the rest of them, he truly shines.

Bullhead (2011)
9 out of 43 people found the following review useful:
Just a heads up. It's bull and dull, 29 February 2012

Nothing against a little national pride in supporting a movie, but I feel the need to add a comment just to inform and add a little balance to the discussion, as for small movies comments tend to be mostly favorable. This is how sometimes they seem to be masterpieces when judged by the average of just a few grades. Anyway, 12 comments so far for this one, all favorable. You can find more negative comments on any widely regarded masterpiece. IMDb grading system becomes increasingly relevant by number of votes.

Yes, the action takes place in the Belgian countryside, the overall feel is cattle ranch documentary shot with an old Nokia phone, and it's bleak, pointless, stretched and insipid. I believe it resonated with Belgians which commented because they related to it on a geographical level. In order to call it a movie it should be stimulating or entertaining either for the intellect or the senses, in my opinion. This one fails in every respect. No talent here, just abattoir atmosphere. If that's what you're looking for, then it delivers. One comment said you cannot truly appreciate it if you're not Belgian or never visited Belgium. Maybe he is partly right, although I have visited Brussels, but on the other hand I have never visited or lived in the USA, yet I can appreciate Scorsese, Jim Jarmush or the Coen Brothers for example. I think true cinema should transcend. What I saw here was neither artistic nor remotely interesting, and the only place it would be worth mentioning as a story would be the aggressor character's police record maybe. As for the scarce humor many comments raved about, well, let's say it's all inside jokes for Flemish farmers, just not my brand.

Detachment (2011)
7 out of 35 people found the following review useful:
Bleak just for the sake of arty shmarty, 7 February 2012

I felt detachment from the screen while I was sitting in the theater watching this movie. While finding Brody's performance see-worthy once more, I couldn't really buy the movie as a whole. From the very beginning we are being guided into joining the depressive state, the general mood of the movie, which gravitates around exaggerated and uninterrupted sufferance of all characters involved. I am not saying that the general state of education isn't alarming. I have never been to the US, but from what information I have access to, I can draw the conclusion that they have been in need of reevaluation of their educational system for quite some time now. However, just that fact can also be emphasized in a humorous way, like Jay Leno's Jaywalking for example, and it has been treated in numerous movies like "To Sir, with love", "Dangerous Minds", "Music of the Heart", and some more light ones with James Belushi or Louis Gossett Jr., to name but a few. Detachment doesn't really have anything to add to the genre. Here, we are fed with all the clichés you can think of. The characters involved, have no hope, no humor, they remain trapped inside the bleak and depressive state of mind of their one track mind creator, but worst of all, they seem fake, and are, because they are just figments of a depressive mind. To me, it felt like a melodramatic video clip of James Blunt crying and moping from start to finish, and I find that all actors involved indulged in overacting on more than one occasion. Felt like a visit of a depression clinic. Also, most actors involved are underused, while the whole production seems to lay on Brody's facial expression. In fact, just see the poster instead and spare yourself an hour and a half.

35 out of 60 people found the following review useful:
What a jip...the story, characters, and altogether movie experience, 26 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Blabber about the Swedish versus US version, standing in line, all that hype. I manage to squeeze myself and my girlfriend in one of the smaller theaters in the city, as the large ones have been under assault since the beginning of the phenomenon. Movie starts, they start speaking English with a reverential accent toward the European and Nordic chef d'oeuvre. The enumeration of Swedish cities starts, just to state that this is not an attempt to dampen the color and depth of the original masterpiece. We meet the male lead David, who just got his arse handed over from Goliath. Needs to get away from the hassle. Lick the wounds. No cliché there. I notice a wall light is not working along the narrow hall way in the theater. Pretentious introductions of the very special family follow. Just like in a wrestling event we are being introduced with all the participants and prepared just for how twisted and awful they are. Then more stalling. More landscape. This is where I first look around and notice the led lights around the steps. I start finding them fascinating. I'm thinking about going out to smoke a cigarette. I remember, I don't smoke. DAMN!

No doubt the light must affect the psyché of people in a Nordic country, I'm thinking. Let's see the monsters now. There's the rapist, but most importantly the only character in this story who ever outsmarts punky girl in a supposedly smart thriller, because from now on it's mission impossible for her. She turns into bike-hacker extraordinaire. Back to the storyline. More landscape and sterile interior design. The end.

Just kidding, I purposely left the most important aspect for last. The cat and mouse game with the killa. There's a cat in the movie, does that count? No mouse. No game. The killa...what's special about him? The actor is actually Swedish. Hmm, just another layer to the story, better said trivia section. I remember I forgot to buy a bottle of wine for this evening. DAMN!

Next: Punky beats Goliath Jane Bond style, THE END. Or is it? I remember, it's a trilogy, DAMN!

You think my comment was long? Try watching the movie. You'll wish you were in attendance at an insurance seminar. At least there you would have a window to look out of.

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