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The Woman in Black (1989 TV Movie)
REALLY??? so NOT scary at all
17 October 2009
I read a few reviews before watching this (a friend had sent me the youtube link telling me that it was supposed to be really scary). I only read a few reviews because sometimes people forget to say they are writing spoilers when they do... so all I knew was that people had nightmares after this film and that there was THE SCENE in it...

well it was nicely atmospheric, like a Henry James story, as one comment put it.. and some nice tension, but SCARY???? really maybe if I was 10 or 12 years old, but as an adult.. nah... if I was alone in a big house on a windy night, okay maybe a little creepy...

The Haunting will always be the big scary non-bloody film for me (the original, not the horrible remake), The Others for new creepy ghost stories and the 80's film Ghost Story, that gave me nightmares. But this one.. don't think so.. to each his own
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Beautiful slice of Patti's life
9 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
While this is not a perfect documentary, it IS a nice insight into all the spaces of Patti Smith's life, as others have said, we see her as performer, mom, daughter, friend... just being herself. She's amazingly candid and gentle, hard to believe such a quiet soul is so wild, angry and volatile on stage!!!! I saw the film at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic, a place Patti often plays since her one-time band member and collaborator, Ivan Kral is Czech. Audience seemed to have a mixed reaction, not sure all were familiar with her work.

*****SPOILER BELOW ******** The film is full of poetry, hers and others.. and ends with a quote I know so well I couldn't help mouthing as she said it... ".. Peace peace he is not dead, he doth not sleep he hath awakened from the dream of life... " --- Shelley, Adonais -- a poem that has a rock and roll connection as Mick Jagger read it a Brian Jones' funeral. and of course contains the title of one of Smith's LP's and the name of this film..

This might be a film just for serious Patti Smith fans, not sure, since I have been a fan since "Horses" came out, it's hard for me to say if the non-fan would find the film as interesting, since it does tend to ramble.

Hard to believe she's 61... wow.... worth seeing if you are a big fan you will be touched.
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Van Helsing (2004)
Good silly fun
27 October 2007
I have to agree with the first poster here.. the film's beginning just caught me and reeled me in for the rest of the film.. I was really interested in seeing this film when it came out for many reasons.. 1)another spin on Dracula;2) Hugh Jackman and 3) I was just about to move to the Czech Republic, where most of the film was shot.

I live there now and am watching the film on TV, dubbed, sadly but it's what lead to this comment.. the film does offer up some fun references to other films - and as mentioned gives us one of the best Frankenstein's monsters since Clancy Brown in the horrible "The Bride".

I have to say the only thing I really didn't like about this film was the werewolves.. way to much CGI -- I really haven't seen a werewolf that I liked in recent films.

Hugh's character looks like Vampire Hunter D, the really wonderful Anime vampire hunter, so that's a nice touch.

For doubters of the quality of this film.. it's worth taking a look. It's anachronistic, a bit over the top, but good fun and some good performances.. Much like Sommer's Mummy films.
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Pravidla lzi (2006)
Good but hard to watch film
10 May 2007
shot in a realistic, almost documentary style, Rules of Lies, is tough look at drug addiction and different attempts at recovery. It is the story of a group of people who strand themselves at an isolated farm to do manual labor and engage in group therapy to try to overcome their drug addiction. They have many rules which they must follow in order to achieve this goal.. I won't tell you more but it's gripping and harsh.. no make up, no fancy lighting.. just brutal real life.

Fine performances all around, especially Jiri Langmejer acting against type, playing a hard boiled addict and dealer.

Well worth a look.
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Beautiful and sweet film
3 February 2007
While filming a novel is always difficult.. I think this film captures the spirit of the novel.. one man' life as he succeeds and fails and survives and never seems to be really touched by the world events happening around him (the story starts in 1920's and ends mid-1960's) The actors are perfectly cast, especially the two actors playing Jan Dite. The cinematography is wonderful, as is the music. I have read the novel and I live in the Czech Republic, so I have familiarity with both the story and the culture, but I think the story is universal enough for all audiences to enjoy this film.

This is one of the biggest budget Czech films ever and you can see ALL of the money on the screen, costumes, sets and locations (including the beautiful Hotel Parziz in Prague, which is unchanged from when it was built!)

highly recommend this film to anyone who loves melancholy, sweet stories with a bit of political commentary thrown in for good measure....
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