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Skyfall (2012)
3/10
Bitterly disappointed...
27 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
What where the critics thinking? It really amazes me to read the accolades they poured over this really below average movie, probably the worst Bond film ever... The only decent (but only decent) part of this movie is the sound and sound editing. Everything else is really, really bad. Worst of all are the special f/x. Really? A Bond movie with bad special effects? Unfortunately yes. The CGI effects on Silva's 'island' and those at Skyfall mansion are so bad they are ridiculous. In the 21st century we have gotten used to much, much better. I dare to say that the special effects in the Roger Moore movies of the seventies where much better... and they had no computers back then! Then we come to the screenplay... Oh my god, I do not even know where to begin! The plot is so full of holes and inconsistencies it is not even funny... It makes no sense whatsoever. In the beginning the issue is retrieving a stolen list of MI6 agents, but this is completely 'forgotten' half way through the movie... The villain (Silva, who by the way is so unconvincing it hurts) wants to kill 'M' because of an alleged past betrayal, but basically does everything else but. He could have killed 'M' in a hundred different ways in a dozen situations in the film, but somehow he always chooses 'the hard way'... In the second half of the film, Bond drags 'M', a frail old lady half way across Britain in order to get away from the villain, with no backup, no outside support (apart from an old and also frail Scottish gamekeeper), only to get her killed at the end of the film... Give me a break!

In my opinion, the main problem with all the recent Bond films (especially those of the 'Daniel Craig era') is that the authors have tried to make the movies 'realistic' which is in antithesis to what Bond is supposed to be. Bond is supposed to drive cars that double as submarines, he never gets shot, he is never dirty, unshaven or sweating. He is a superhero, not a common mortal. Well, in the new Bond movies, this is all gone, he is dirty, unshaven, ill behaved, etc. All for the sake of 'realism'. But then, very 'realistically', he gets shot in the chest and subsequently falls of a bridge plunging into a 500 ft. gorge, landing in a river... and survives! Really? How realistic is that? In this film, the only 'gadgets' Bond gets from the new 'Q' (who by the way is outright laughable in the role) is a Beretta handgun and a radio transmitter. Really? Nowadays, we can all buy those items anywhere for a couple of hundred bucks! Another major issue with the new Bond films is Daniel Craig. I think he is the worst Bond in history (even worse than pierce Brosnan). He would probably be better in a 'Die Hard' movie, but not as James Bond! He does not have any of the Bond stile, the 'Savoir Faire', the charisma... He doesn't even even have a decent British accent for Christ sake!

To sum it up (but i could really go on for ever), a pitiful plot, horrible special f/x, below par cinematography and a cast of for the most part horribly miscast actors make for one of the worst Bond films ever! Lets hope the next one is better.
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Warriors (1999 TV Movie)
9/10
This was by far the best made-for-TV movie I have ever seen!
27 May 2018
This was by far the best made-for-TV movie I have ever seen.

Totally politically (in)correct in its rightful criticism of the rules of engagement of the UN 'peacekeepers' mandate in the Bosnian war, this movie boldly goes on to depict the harsh reality of what the war was really like and what it was about. For somebody who has intimate first-hand knowledge of the happenings, of the people involved and of the land where it transpired, I cannot but be awed by the realism and truthfulness of this film. Everything has been done perfectly, right down to the local actors who are all faithfully who they claim to be, real Bosnians, speaking with their local colloquial accents, not just some second-hand stand-ins summoned from god knows where on the cheap, as is usually the case nowadays. Everything in this movie is outstanding, the Direction, the screenplay, the cinematography, the acting, etc.

A very powerful movie, but definitely not for those squeamish politically correct souls who abound today and who believe that the world is a peaceful, wonderful place where there is no evil and where everybody loves each other. Highly recommended.
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Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes (1990 TV Movie)
3/10
A garbled, emotionless mess!
26 May 2018
I thought this movie was completely missconceived. First of all, the Japanaes residents of Hiroshima speaking english makes no sense... Then the American POWs running around town after the explosion... Please, give me a break! The characters in general where all very shallow, we never get to feel anything for anybody. Some characters are downright ridiculous, like the catholic priest played by Max von Sydow and his (comical) assistants. Scenes featuring the latter are almost farsical. All in all, this motion picture comes together as a garbled mess, one that is boring and emotionless (for a film on such a topic, hard to believe). And the ending.... No comment.
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Doves of War (2006– )
5/10
Bosnian War Crimes in Kiwi sauce...
22 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Not bad at all, but if they had made it more realistic, it would have been much, much better. If they had taken out many of the useless murders, added some legal issues into the plot, maybe some investigations by the Court's appointees in Bosnia, some more background information about the Peacekeepers' rules of engagement, their predicament in Bosnia, etc...

Alas, with too many unnecessary murders, no police involvement, it all seemed too easy, thus making it difficult to identify with the characters. No matter what, we always knew there was going to be a happy ending and it therefore turned out to be not much more than decent Sunday afternoon entertainment. Sound and cinematography could both also have been better. Good try though...
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Phantom (I) (2013)
4/10
How can they make a movie without knowing what they are filming?
2 September 2017
Now, this is one of those rare occasions where I disagree with Berardinelli's review. I found this movie to be way below par, not researched, without any attention to historical detail, poorly written and horribly miss-cast.

The end result is a totally unrealistic and unbelievable motion picture. The problems start right at the beginning... The submarine sails out of a 'Soviet' port to begin its mission. The camera gives us a panoramic view of the port, complete with ultramodern cranes for container lifting, cranes that do not exist in ports in Russia today, let alone the Soviet Union in 1968! Immediately afterwards, the sub goes under the keel of a cargo ship (called a 'tanker' in the movie) which actually turns out to be an ultra-modern Ro-Ro vessel for carrying cars! Vessels like this have only existed since the 1990ies, and this one was blatantly brand new! Again, immediately thereafter, we see the Captain (Ed Harris) looking at his watch, a modern model from Ulysse Nardin, something that did not exist in 1968, and definitely something a Soviet submarine skipper could never possess in those days. Then there where other 'inconsistancies' such as the the Russiam captain consulting a priest, or his lieutenant getting married in a church. In those days, there where no priests on military bases in the Soviet Union, and an officer (who at that time was also always a member of the Communist party) seen conferring with a priest or (worse) getting married in a church would have inevitably ended up with a one way ticket to a Siberian Gulag). It is painfully clear that the filmmakers have no idea about history, the Soviet union, or the time in which the events take place.

Last but not least, the cast... While Ed Harris puts in his usual professional performance and is not so bad as the Skipper of the sub, all the other actors' performances are far below average. Starting with Duchovny, who as a KGB Special Agent in 1968 is just as believable as if he would be cast to play a Geisha in a movie about medieval Japan.

Sad really, this could have been a good movie if somebody had actually taken the trouble to do some real research.
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CSI: NY (2004–2013)
6/10
Probably the more 'realistic' of the three...
31 May 2017
I slightly disagree with most of the critics who highly praise this show... Yes, this is the more realistic of the three CSI shows, and I also like the fact that it deals mostly with 'normal' people (contrary to the other two), but it is also plagued by the same flaws of all the other CSI's.

The main issue being: CSI's are lab rats, not gun slinging superheroes! Having said that, I personally find Gary Sinise miss- cast and his performance even a little annoying. Melina Kanakaredes on the other hand as Stella Bonasera is excellent, she basically carries the show single handed. Carmine Giovinazzo as Danny Messer also provides a good performance.

To cut a long story short, if you are inclined to take the CSI franchise seriously, CSI NY will probably be your favorite. But do not expect miracles...
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CSI: Miami (2002–2012)
6/10
You can look at this in two ways...
30 May 2017
I quite agree with those who say that CSI Miami is the best of the three series in the franchise. Not for anything other than it is more entertaining. It has beautiful cinematography, and beautiful people are sprinkled throughout as eye candy. What sets the show apart from the other two is that CSI Miami doesn't attempt to take itself very seriously (hence the negative comments of many others who do try to take the show seriously), and if you as the viewer do the same, you will probably enjoy watching it.

If on the other hand, you start looking for 'reality' and for inconsistencies, you will find plenty: - CSI's do not wonder about shooting people and catching criminals; they are essentially lab rats. - David Caruso's character and his famous one-liners are preposterous (but are intended as such) - CSI's and ME's do not wonder around crime scenes dressed as models and wearing 6 inch stilettos - Crimes take months to solve, results take weeks to obtain, not everything is solved in one day etc., etc...

I for one, decided to turn my brain off, poor myself a beer and enjoy the show!
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City of God (2002)
7/10
Not nearly as good as advertised...
28 May 2017
I saw this movie with a couple of friends, and none of us had any prior knowledge of the film. Interestingly enough, none of us where overly impressed... I only realized afterwards, when I went on to IMDb to write my review, that this is considered by many to be one of the best motion pictures ever made! I was shocked. Not to say that it is a bad movie, because it isn't, but it is nowhere near being very good, let alone a masterpiece.

What is it missing? Well, in my opinion, a lot. For starters, the script is very weak. We hardly get to know any of the characters well enough, and consequently do not care what happens to them. This is a major flaw, a 'conditio sine qua non', I cannot imagine a good movie that does not transmit emotions. The same is with the cinematography... The camera is too hectic, the cuts too frequent, the movie looks too much like a video spot or a commercial. I know it is modern, but I find it unfit for a full length motion pictures.

So why then all the hype? In my opinion, most people living in the developed world nowadays are so far removed from the harsh realities of life, so used to living their comfortable, politically correct, protected, cuddly lifestyles that seeing something like this is so far from their understanding that it 'shocks' them and they believe they are experiencing something metaphysical, highly artistic... Consequently, they praise these movies in the belief that by doing so, it also makes them more 'artistic', because they can 'understand'. How sad.
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Gallipoli (2015)
7/10
Highly recommended
21 April 2017
Now this is what I call a good mini-series. It is interesting, realistic, believable and touching. Very well directed, filmed and acted.

Above all, it also gives the viewer an insight into one of the great battles of the first world war, which, especially for the Australians, has legendary status. It is also very interesting how the movie vividly depicts the divide between the classes present at the time. The film's portrayal of the generals is phenomenal... The generals and their staffs where so distant and alienated from their troops that most of the time, they had no clear idea of what was really going on on the battlefield!

All in all, mini-series very well made. Highly recommended.
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Aftermath (2016)
2/10
Oh my God!
20 April 2017
Oh my God! There is bad, and apparently then there is really, really bad! I cannot even imagine who sits up at night and thinks up all this nonsense... It is unbelievable. And then, in the morning, there is somebody in a studio somewhere that actually reads this trash and gives it the go ahead... Then there is actually someone who funds the project, and someone who then actually films it... How this is possible is beyond me.

It is difficult for me to even try to write an actual review for this series. This show has 'everything'; zombies, different zombies, mythical monsters, cataclysmic volcanic eruptions, pandemic virus outbreaks, the plague, black holes, and so on and so forth... There is absolutely nothing to salvage: the script is completely ridiculous, the acting is nothing short of farcical, the cinematography and special f/x look so cheesy they are almost funny, etc. etc.

It is so bad it is beyond words.
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Critical (2015)
3/10
If you like blood and guts (and nothing else), this one is for you!
20 April 2017
If you like blood and guts (and nothing else), this one is for you! Other than a constant showing of gory scenes from the OR, this series has absolutely nothing in it. We do not get to know any of the protagonists or any of the victims. Consequently we are left emotionless, we do not care what happens to any of them, if the victims live or die, for in this series they are reduced to nothing more than lumps of meat.

One more mishap was that Lennie James in the principal role was totally miss-cast. He comes through more like an NFL linebacker than a surgeon. He is outright intimidating... Only Catherine Walker is salvageable as Dr. Fiona Lomas (and she looks very sexy as well). I do not know how realistic the OR scenes in the series really are, but even if they were perfect (which I doubt) that is nowhere nearly enough to salvage the series. No wonder it was axed so soon. Sad really, we have gotten used to great made for TV products coming out of the UK. This is definitely not one of them.
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5/10
A series without a 'purpose'...
20 April 2017
Professionally well made mini-series, with some decent acting, but with something missing... Apart from the copious inspiration of the series based on the life of the Clinton's (only barely masked by the fact that in the series they have two sons instead of a daughter), the series lacks purpose, has no 'raison d'aitre', is going nowhere. It started of quite well, but then very fast we see that it is going nowhere and we are subsequently not surprised when the ending is totally anticlimactic, without meaning. The series simply ends, period.

On the bright side, Sigourney Weaver is very good (as usual) in her portrayal of Hillary, and so is Ciarán Hinds as Bill Clinton (albeit a little over the top). Noteworthy is also the performance of Carla Gugino as the seasoned white house reporter. All in all this ends up being an average TV flick, nothing more, nothing less. It could and should have been much better.
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6/10
Better than expected, even 30 years later...
30 January 2017
I watched this movie for the first time over 30 years after it was produced. Considering its age, the fact that it is essentially a Chuck Norris film (whom I really never liked), and the numerous clichées in the premise and story-line, this motion picture was a rather pleasant surprise. It was decently scripted, decently acted (except for Mr. Norris, of course) and well filmed. Even the cheesy special effects don't take away too much from the overall viewing experience.

Do not misunderstand me, this is no masterpiece by a long shot, but it definitely makes for some decent escapist entertainment on an evening with nothing much better to do. Definitely above average.
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6/10
A pleasant surprise!
8 October 2016
When I started to watch this movie, I hadn't heard anything about it and didn't expect very much. I was therewith pleasantly surprised. Make no mistake, this is no masterpiece, but a well done entertaining piece of work which (even) makes you think a little at times.

I found the acting to be uniformly quite decent, even though the VietCong are mostly closer to being cartoon characters than real people. What carries the movie though, is the performance by Ermey, R. Lee. Once again he shows there is nobody better than him for roles like these. He is simply excellent! The camera and sound are both satisfactory, and the special f/x as well, considering we are talking about a motion picture made in the eighties (no CGI, etc.). All in all, after almost 30 years, this film withstands the test of time and is definitely worth a look.
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Iron Man (2008)
6/10
A good movie (only) for kids...
8 May 2016
In my opinion, not nearly as good as everybody says. In a nutshell, a very good movie, but suitable only for kids (but rated PG13...?)

Why, one would ask? Well, for starters because of its moronic plot and one-dimensional characters. Granted, I am not a fan of superhero pictures (I think that they are much better printed in comic books, where they belong), but having said that, there are some outstanding movies based on comic books out there that are far, far better than Iron Man (the Batman and Spiderman franchises come to mind). Iron Man's story is so simple, so childish, I am certain even many kids will find it uninteresting.

But then again, what do I know? The majority of the critics and an overwhelming part of the viewing public loves the movie! It's probably just me again, I just don't get it... As usual.
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3/10
I beg to disagree...
3 April 2016
I beg to disagree with almost everyone on this one. There is nothing overtly 'artistic' about this movie. It treats real, tragic events with total superficiality and no feelings. The mafia bosses are pathetic caricatures, not bloodthirsty killers and cutthroat businessmen. It all looks like a 'see no evil, hear no evil do-good- er' cartoon...

I was there in those years, and I can assure everyone, there was nothing even remotely funny or entertaining in the affairs pictured in the movie. In this film everything is pictured as if it was all a joke, as if the dead weren't really dead, as if the mafia was a bunch of unruly kids, and nothing 'really' ever happened. Well, it all might be good in today's politically correct environment where all is forgotten and forgiven, but as I said at the beginning of this review, I beg to disagree...
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6/10
Very good for kids!
3 April 2016
Every time that I sit down to watch an animated movie nowadays, I inevitably end up surprised by the visual quality of the animations, and this film was no exception. The visuals are stunning (I watched the motion picture in 2D, as i am no fan of 3D for the time being). You could see many of the effects are intended for 3D, but even as 2D they are uniformly excellent and very exciting to watch. The story itself is rather simplistic and intended mostly for children, as are the dialogs.

I watched it together with my wife and 8 year old daughter who found the movie to be excellent. My wife on the other hand thought it to be extremely boring. Myself, I am probably somewhere in-between the two extremes. I found this to be a very decent, professionally made animated movie mainly aimed at a younger audience, and in that it fulfills its purpose totally. Recommended.
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4/10
Amusing, but below average...
28 March 2016
Relatively amusing, below average movie. It's OK for a rainy afternoon if you want to turn your brain off and have nothing better to do.

The acting is quite good throughout, and the script is passable. Everything else like the cinematography, sound, etc. is done quite professionally, in the best tradition of modern Italian comedies, but there are many clichés, there is nothing original or extremely funny about this movie.

In the end, it is still mildly entertaining though, and never boring, so I suppose it shouldn't be shunned altogether. Watch it if you enjoy such movies, just do not expect too much.
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Omnivores (2013)
3/10
A very original premise, but...
28 March 2016
This is a movie with a fantastic, very original premise. It avoids (considering it's main theme) the 'easy' path to the slippery slope that leads straight to the trash / slasher type of B- movie that most such productions end up being. Yet, it also falls far short of its potential.

It never manages to go 'deeper' and explore the reasons that lie behind it's premise; 'what is there left when one has and has tried everything there is to have and to try?' This is such an interesting and philosophically exhilarating topic that it could and should have been exploited. In doing this, it would have raised this film to an entirely different level. If it had spent time in the characterization of the protagonists, the motives that drive them and the omnipresent influence of our exasperated consumer society, this motion picture could have been a masterpiece. Alas, this wasn't even attempted, which leaves it stranded somewhere between a 'tame' slasher movie and a potentially great but thwarted artistic accomplishment.
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3/10
Essentially, rather boring...
27 March 2016
Oh my god, this one is hard to review... Yes, the acting is good throughout, there is nothing wrong with the cinematography, the dialogs are not bad, the characterization, etc, etc... The problem however is that this is in essence a boring movie, 90 minutes of a story about nothing. We never get to care about any of the protagonists, what happens to them or not. Very much like the art of the main character, the movie is an abstraction we are supposed to call art, because some critic or other says so. In the movie, even the artist is waiting to hear from the critic if his accomplishments are to be 'art' or not.

Furthermore, if the film was to be a depiction of the roaring seventies, it is lacking in all aspects, it is far too much engaged in a mass of unnecessary details to paint for us anything of real relevance. I read somewhere that this film is supposed to be an autobiographical biopic of Lucchetti's childhood. If this is the case, I can understand how it can be interesting and compelling for him and his immediate family, but hardly to anyone else.
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The Invasion (I) (2007)
6/10
A high budget version of a Sy-Fy made for TV movie...
17 October 2015
Half decent thriller, I wasn't bored, so I decided to give it a 6/10 which is probably slightly more than it deserves. Basically, this was just a slightly better, high budget version of a Sy-Fy made for TV movie. The science is bad (or non-existent), there is little (or no) attention to detail, etc... What the movie has going for it however is Nicole Kidman... Even though this is certainly not a role she will be remembered for, she carries the movie almost single handedly. Daniel Craig is basically wasted here, I don't even know what he was paid for in this film, his role is so marginal it makes no sense in my mind to enroll such a star and then do nothing with him... The rest is all average, the music, the cinematography, the script, etc. It will kill an hour and a half of your time decently though, so what the heck!
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8/10
Spielberg has done it again!
17 October 2015
I agree with almost everybody on this one: this is definitely a very good film. The first part is excellent and is almost certainly destined to become part of cinematic history. The original music score and the special effects are uniformly excellent and the cinematography very good.

Having said all the above however, I did also find some faults (albeit small) hence the rating of (only) 8/10. Let's try to explore some briefly: I think the story was a bit lacking, slightly oversimplified. More in- depth characterization would have improved the movie in my opinion. Apart from this, I also think (and i am well aware that most will disagree with me here) that Tom Hanks was completely miscast here. To me (even though he is undoubtedly a great actor), he never even remotely resembles the tough, no-nonsense, war hero he is supposed to be playing. Just think of John Wayne in a very similar role in 'The Longest Day' and you will probably see what I mean.

Havind said the above though, this is and remains an excellent film. Spielberg has done it again!
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Rogue (2007)
3/10
Remember 'Jaws' anyone?
29 September 2015
I totally disagree with most of the critics on this movie. This was simply a below average 'creature' horror flick, and nothing more. Oh, and I almost forgot; the finale is one of the most ridiculous and over the top I have ever seen (and I have seen some, believe me)! The only positive comment I have would be for the cinematography which is uniformly very good, especially the spectacular shots of the scenery of the Australian outback.

Anybody still remembers 'Jaws'? Now that was a real horror movie! People must have very short memories in order to give this motion picture such high marks.
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Rango (2011)
6/10
Good, but...
29 September 2015
It's hard for me to review this movie. I have mixed feelings about much of the film. Yes, the visual experience is fascinating, the movie has flashes of pure genius, some of the dialog is witty and entertaining, etc...

But, then there is the nonsensical story, the absence of anything resembling a real plot, and... the sickeningly politically correct last part of the motion picture. I will not explain further what it is about in order to avoid any possible spoilers, but it is typically 'green dogooder' Hollywood, inserted into the movie without any plausible reason whatsoever other than to subtly impress upon the viewer a political opinion without seeming to be openly doing so. This is what I call 'brainwashing', and it is despicable, the worst sort of propaganda.

So there you have it, certainly a good movie, but also one that leaves a (very) sour taste in the mouth (at least for me).
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Anna Nicole (2013 TV Movie)
3/10
Simple, trashy soap...
29 September 2015
I agree with most of the critics on this one. This was a very basic, shallow biography, by no means a serious attempt at telling a compelling true story. The movie offers no reasoning, no explanation into the happenings, there is no insight into the psyche of the main characters, the motivations driving them to do what they do.

On a more positive note, the sound and cinematography are pretty good, clear, very professional. Agnes Bruckner is well casted as Anna Nicole, albeit as mentioned above, lacking in 'depth'.

A pity really, because Anna Nicoles' life could have made for a really compelling movie, if someone had taken to making a film seriously. This way, it turned out to be just another trashy soap, soon to be forgotten.
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