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Calatoria lui Gruber (2008)
To say the least, a necessary picture. Furthermore, a very subtle point of view, and an interesting, original approach to such an equally difficult and terrifying subject. Well-paced, intelligent, and immensely telling on the subject of the delicate balance between the forces at play in the historical moment in point. A wealth of information delivered subtly gives the film body and weight. Great performances from most artists with a - by now - expected yet amazing power of transformation from Claudiu Bleont, this very versatile actor. Good debut for Mr. Piersic Jr in a star role, and a nice guest appearance from Mr. Iures. Needless to say I am sad that the film's reception so far in its native country looks cooler than should be. I hope it will win in the international festivals circuit the respect and exposure it deserves.
The least entertaining, most gratuitously violent, most blatantly uninspiring film I've seen for quite some time.
It's sad. So much publicity. Such glorious reviews. And for what? I wish I could coat my downright disgust for this movie in something less obviously antagonistic but there's not much I can do for such a predicable script, overblown special effects-laden, obviously computerized silliness. There was nothing that made me care a second for the underwritten characters, nothing that made me give a damn about the outcome of the battle. The cold philosophy of the Spartans - much remains to be said about it - was shadowed by the obvious glory the makers wanted to bestow upon them. I can't believe Hollywood can still come out with such nonsense in this day and age and even get 50% of audience approval (as seen at least on the IMDb board). I hope this is not the real situation, I hope the reaction to this movie doesn't characterize the bulk of IMDb voters whom I always thought more astute and more clearer-sighted that that.
A beautiful coming of age story during Communist Romania
Not too strong on plot, "How I spent the end of the world" is strong on mood and feeling, and it very well compensates. I usually don't go crazy about "mood pieces" but this is definitely more. I caught the film at the up and coming Transylvania Film Festival (Tiff for short) where the film had its national premiere after a decent reception at Cannes only a few weeks earlier. The film is a MUST for any Romanian who has lived through the Ceausescu years as the filmmakers went through great pains to accurately depict the mood of those days from general landscape to the toy trucks, school uniforms and furniture all Romanians possessed and shared during an era of uniform mass-production. The film stands out as the harbinger of something historians will hopefully refer to as "the Romanian New Wave." With films like this, and "Marilena from P7" as well as Porumboiu's "Has it Been, Has it not Been" (another personal take on the shattering Revolution of 1989), Romanian cinema is finally entering the world circuit, and will hopefully stay there for a while.
Marilena de la P7 (2006)
Amazing little story
Considering its length, Marilena could well be thought of as a little masterpiece. The reason: it naturally captures the essence of life in a Bucharest ghetto: a gypsy Elvis impersonator (who sings Love me Tender in gypsy), the dirty facades of the projects built in the Ceausescu era and forgotten in that dilapidated state, and the people who inhabit them all remind one of a nightmarish atmosphere no one would even want to come close to. Nemescu's gift is in rendering that atmosphere not only accessible to anyone, but even attractive and interesting. Got a great reception at Cannes this year, and if it ever finds a distributor I am sure it will get a similar one in the States.
Seraa fil Nil (1959)
Interesting, well-made drama from Egypt with Omar Shariff before he made it big in the West. Although a bit slow by today's standards, the story unfolds in a pretty entertaining fashion, and thus, it is accessible to Western audiences. The plot concerns a a voyage on the Nile from Luxor to Cairo, filled with intrigue. Characters are well written and believable, the plot is solid. It's a pity international cinema is so unknown in the West. Egyptian cinema is one of the most prolific in the Middle East. Struggle on the Nile is a good drama, with a slight "film-noirish" quality to it. It's great to see such good cinema in late 50's Egypt. Give it a watch if you catch it.
IMDb Grade doesn't reflect real quality of this film
I was disappointed with the grade on this film. I heard a lot about the film, finally got around to see it, and was surprised with its accuracy, reality, and courage this film displays. It is a true-to-life depiction of teenage America, which, although some may find offensive for language or morals, in my view does complete justice to today's culture. Unfortunately, The tag line does not paint a realistic picture of the story either. Story is based on realistic development of characters, filmed in a quasi verite style, which increases the story's veracity. Characters are uncontrived, real. Rare story coming out of the 90's, a time when AIDS was still considered taboo. Not scary or depressing. Heartly recommend!
Im Juli (2000)
Light hearted, original, entertaining
Please, can someone at IMDb be more careful about which review gets displayed on the main details page of each film? It is simply not right to have to read someone's wrongfully deprecating comments just under the main details. Especially if the rest of the reviews are so obviously positive. Every film should be displayed with a comment that represents the opinion of the majority of viewers. If IMDb simply selects a random comment, a great film (like this) can be overlooked by someone who doesn't have the time to read the entire literature posted under "comments". As to this film, light, good-natured, new, original, funny, even if at times it finds refuge in the banal. Otherwise, a 9 out of ten.
Forget special effects. Forget complicated story lines with killers looming in the dark while desperate Nicolle Kidmans scream their minds away in front of the cameras. Forget your run-of-the mill Hollywood film made and remade a hundred times. See 'The Debt' instead. This little and unfortunately unknown Polish film doesn't need any of the above artifacts to impress you: only the true story it was based on, a hand-held camera, and a couple of strong performances. The rest makes itself. And what you get is mind-numbing. The film might well contain the most believable murder scene I have ever seen depicted on screen outside of war contexts. Realism is so stark it makes you feel you're part of the storyline itself. You watch this film unfold and you might as well be watching your own life, God-forbid should you ever end up in a situation like that of the characters'. Highly recommended!
Garden State (2004)
Too much hype about it
Cute yes, part of IMDb's top 250 no. Un-enticing acting by director/protagonist is only partially helped by great performance from leading lady. For a no-plotter relying on mood and introspection, not as thought-provoking as one might expect. Good points though: the brain-washing of coming-of-age New-Jerseyates, such as character working in department store - clearly says something about a consumer culture gone a little too far. Funny moments, script continuously on the border between acceptable and forgettable, can't quite decide where to go. Interesting as a travelogue piece by writer/director/protagonist, but unfortunately, again, not a top 250. Just a predictable coming-of-age story from suburban New Jersey, which definitely might appeal to a certain age/demographics group.
Yes! More than a sequel! A stupid sequel! Wait! A stupid sequel to a stupid movie!
Give me a break! How many times can Hollywood serve us the same receipe before we get tired? How many cliches can they pour down our throats like we were a bunch of dumn insensitive idiots! Those who can watch this to the end deserve a gold star for patience! As for those who take the time to write a review... well.. oh, whatever!
Phone Booth (2002)
Useless dull joke
The confessions of this self-important arrogant rising media star whose personality is as interesting as a piece of dried meat just can not create an hour and a half of film whichever way you want to look at it. Not with its impossible to believe premise and monstruously ridiculous consequences. But it looks like the entire world has gone blind, and alas, who could hear me shout in a roaring crowd? I am sad that cinema came to this.
Owning Mahowny (2003)
Deserves better that that
I'm not saying this is an Oscar winning masterpiece, but it deserves better than a 4.4. First it is a movie about the fascinating and complex world of money. Of making money, of transferring money, of turning nothing into money. The protagonist, consistent in his flat play throughout the movie convinces me enough to follow the plot beginning to end. If there is something I would criticize it would be the fact that the writer assumes we know more about the world of finance. If not, he assumes the plotline is too interesting. Because what does make this story good is the mechanisms Mahoney employs to actually make money - and if I don't understand them, I lose something. But overall, a commendable film, not about your everyday subject, and admirably carried out.
One Hour Photo (2002)
Starts OK, goes nowhere
Promising premise, set-up, characters... the power lasts about 15 minutes in the beginning until the plot gets lost in the woods, the characters become ridiculous. The ending - deplorable. Too bad. A good idea - the loneliness of the one-hour walmart phototech guy, a bad conclusion - why guns? why kidnappings? why cover it all with boom boom when youre unable to do anything else?
Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
Simple, straightforward, beautiful
The slow-moving plot (or almost no-plot as a friend called it) might determine some members of the audience to lay their heads on the back of their seats and go to bed.
Still, for others, the slow plot is no deterrent from following the simple story unfold with the energy so easily created onscreen by the talented and uniquely photogenic young actresses that carry the movie from beginning to end.
Rabbit-proof may here an there annoy with just barely over-wrought issues about social injustice, but on the whole it makes up for it through the on-the-dot pacing, beautiful cinematography, uniqueness of subject-matter, and expert acting.
A film worthy of its medium, that film-lovers will thoroughly appreciate. Why can't the general public?
Red Dragon (2002)
old plot, artificial
Although saving the series after conspicuous and shameful failure "Hannibal", "Red Dragon", unless you're easily sucked in by dramatic music and blood-smeared walls, doesn't click as a clever, or for that matter even interesting movie. The cliched story line (told one time too often) is not only too carefully thought over to be spontaneous, but the subliminal message is tailored like a glove for dim-witted mass psychology that does not satisfy on any other level.
American Beauty (1999)
The run-of-the-mill view of American suburbia with a little bit of an angle gained much too much attention for this filck. There's nothing oustandingly new about this film, the tone is depressing but not in an intelligent way, the plot is "norm" at best. Sorry, I just couldn't see the je ne se quoi that apparently charmed everyone about this film.
Say Anything... (1989)
Not as good as it looks on paper
I may be way off here, especially in this laudatory context, but this flick is as far from pure genius as we are to the nearest galaxy. If this is the best of the so-called "teen movies" of the 80's and 90's, I'm afraid to think of what those movies looked like. This film did not impress me with its flat plot, flat dialogue, or flat acting. I'm sorry to be so negative, but I'm surprised this film could have been so over-rated.