Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
ListsAn error has ocurred. Please try again
Mighty Mike (2019)
Uninspired and derivative
Everything about the animation screams "low budget", from the shading, the atmosphere, stock-looking models, the unimpressive, stiff animations.
While the story itself does ape the formula of Tom and Jerry cartoons, Tom and Jerry had its charisma, movement, creative depictions of pain and suffering characters inflicted upon each other, its visual storytelling. You wanted to watch what they would come up with next.
Here it's just frustrating and tedious.
Watch something else instead.
Blood, sweat and mutant tears
It's definitely one of the best Batman features I've watched in a while (not a big fan of Christopher Nolan's "Gotham's Jesus"). It's a different Batman, faithful to the character tailored by Frank Miller. This Batman is old, angry and not a bit soft. He knows what he needs to do and he does it.
The animation is dynamic and nicely drawn (not in the anime- influenced style of Flashpoint: Paradox). This is exactly how comic book adaptations should be made.
Sad thing is, best DC adaptations come in direct-to-video format. Recently I tried watching Flash and Arrow, huge letdowns, if you ask me. But "The Dark Knigh Returns" is the real deal. It isn't fake, it has the spirit and the atmosphere.
Now I'm off to my Batcave to watch the second part.
The Flash: Fastest Man Alive (2014)
Conservation of mass, anybody?
OK, it gets worse. Now I know exactly what it looks like - silver- age obsession with science by people who don't understand it (let's throw in some badly understood terminology and they'll thing this is complex scientific stuff). Let's give attempted scientific explanations to the villain's powers, even though the result will defy the law of conservation of mass. Add bronze-age pursuit of cultural relevance - particle accelerators, internet, cellphones and twerking. And let's make Iris "Miss Unnecessary Backstory in Dialogue".
Worst of all, the character has absolutely no backbone, no integrity. Then we have all this American clichéd pep-talk by authority figures. And why do they make his hood drop as soon as he runs fast? Why the hell does he need a mask that opens his face every now and then? Imagine Batman's mask falling off every time he jumps off a roof.
The series is decidedly weak.
The Flash: Pilot (2014)
A sad experience
Thankfully, there was less "Twilight" in this one, than in "The Amazing Spiderman", but still, it's way too fake. The problem is, like the beginning of the Bronze Age of comic books, the series is looking for cultural relevance. I understand they have a budget and need ratings and $$, but when the overall quality of the series suffers, it's not an excuse.
"The Flash" lacks personality. Before starting the first episode, I watched the direct-to-video "Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox". "Flashpoint Paradox" wasn't amazing; it was clichéd and predictable. But it was fun to watch, and it had a story to tell. And it moved me. "The Flash" failed. Actually, it failed the very moment twerking was mentioned. There's enough twerking in the world without it entering superhero comic book adaptations, goddammit. This is escapist stuff, it should have that feeling, atmosphere. The stuff those dumb "Kick- Ass" comics and movies lack. A soul. Class. Imagine Batman in JLU singing "Wrecking Ball" instead of "Am I Blue?".
Instead I get an origin story mostly copied from Sam Raimi's 2002 "Spiderman".
I'm still going to give this show a chance, they say it gets better later on. But seeing how Green Arrow was portrayed - pretty sure I'm not wasting my time on Arrow.
It was... a sad experience. I had high expectations.
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
About that special place in hell...
Remember I said there was a special place in hell where they torture Hitler with Twilight and Nicolas Sparks movies? Yo dawg, we based a movie on a book based on a Twilight fan fiction so you can remember the horror of Twilight while memorizing the new horror of 50 shades of gray.
While advertised as a BDSM erotic movie/book, 50 Shades is rather a rape fantasy. I am thankful the tampon sex scene was not included; that would be an extra nail in the movie's coffin.
But I guess the bad writing is not so visible in the movie form; and the average sexually dissatisfied overweight housewife might still enjoy it.
The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012)
A realistic movie about... stuff
Why about... stuff? Well this is one of the movies that you think you have it figured out, then the topic ends, and the movie continues. And in the end you can't pick one single thing the movie was about; it was about a lot of things. That brings to the first part. In most cases this and the non-linear narrative would make the movie hard to focus and less personal; here it makes the movie realistic. Because life isn't about something particular either.
The movie is realistic to the point you get to know the characters, argue with their decisions, share what they feel and then even love some of them.
The problem was, the film lacked in cinematography. Maybe I've been pampered by films like "Don't Come Knocking", but I like when the visuals are on par with the plot, and participate in the storytelling. It felt like the film's visuals had a lot more potential. There could have been a more unique style, and more scale. In terms of scale, I know it usually comes with experience. But this movie was... claustrophobic.
Hence the rating. It was realistic, enjoyable, if a painful movie can be one, had its weak points - but overall, it was a worthy movie and I didn't regret a moment of watching it.
An inspired effort
Kytice is a good film; it may suffer from being too literal about interpreting the source material - Karel Jaromír Erben's "Kytice z pověstí národních" ("A bouquet of folk stories"). I even felt some "kindred spirit" with Parajanov's "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors", especially when fantasy elements were represented not by expensive VFX work, but grotesque, almost surreal scenes.
The film has its atmosphere. The stories worked together as a coherent work. The music was marvelous, and the acting (except for the prince in "Zlatý kolovrat", the weakest performance if you ask me) was good too. It might be a bit more cinematographic - but I'd rather not give the director advice post-factum.
What matters is - Kytice is a good film. Not one of those with life- changing ideas. Not one of those that make you marvel at its scale (1927 "Metropolis" comes to mind). It's just a beautiful and sensual experience, an insight into Czech culture and folk stories, but also the author's unique view.
Man of Steel (2013)
A Shallow Eye-Candy
Let's make it clear - I like Zack Snyder and I like DC Comics, though my favorite imprint is still Vertigo and my favorite series is Neil Gaiman's Sandman. And naturally I'm familiar with the Superman storyline arcs included in Man of Steel. Namely - "All-Star Superman", "Superman: Man of Steel", "Superman: Birthright", also a plot point from Superman vol.2 #22 "The Price".
I do consider Superman a dumb and overpowered hero. And making a good film about him is really a challenge - especially finding a good adversary for him. So, basically, Snyder did all he could, and visually the film is stunning. Yet, I find the movie wasn't serious enough. Depiction of Superman's early life made him much more humane than his previous incarnations - to the point when it was said "Zack Snyder proved Superman can be a pussy too". It's the common modern look on superhero reboots - much more realistic and earthly. Still, I miss the charming and self-confident acting Christopher Reeve used to show in the 1978 original.
Mass destruction in the movie and the ending, if done properly, wouldn't allow the film to get a PG-13 rating - and many directors are afraid of getting the dreaded R. Still, if you've read "The Price", you'd know the crisis the same action drives Superman into, while the ending of the movie is treated too lightly.
There is no emotional depth past Superman's childhood in the movie. Lois Lane's character, though not the stereotypical damsel in distress as in previous treatments, is underdeveloped. The ending - unconvincing. Visuals - stunning.
And yes, at last the man learned to wear his undies properly.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
A bit simplified, but still spectacular
Well, the special effects and the no-nonsense take on this alternative time-line James T. Kirk were good (though the explorer aspect of Enterprise's mission wasn't used in both new movies, which is sad).
What I have a problem with is the introduction of Khan. While Benedict Cumberbatch showed solid and convincing acting, the idea most tied to Khan in old movies is that he was misunderstood and misjudged. While an old Trekkie like me would seek this concept and Khan's background and fate from the old trilogy in this movie, I believe, the creators of the movie didn't do him justice with the newcomers to the Star Trek universe.
Not to make a spoiler here, watch the original feature film trilogy: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), and you will be pleasantly surprised and also gain more insight with old Spock's words.
Let's just not forget that Star Trek series isn't about war, it's about exploring the space and going where no-one else would dare to go. And hope there will be more of that aspect in following films.
There is a special place in hell where they torture Hitler showing him Sarik Andreasian films
Modern Russian mainstream cinema is comparable with Bollywood. When they find they won't be able to sell the same trivial and vulgar stories once again, they steal or remake successful movies. And "Office Romance: Our Times" relates to the original Ryazanov film as the 1987 Indian "Superman" relates to the 1978 classic - "Superman: The Movie".
The worst part is - rewriting the very same script, replacing "dated" situations and dialogue with "modern" cliché and stereotypes, which is supposed to sound "cool" and "familiar" to the modern public. The acting is really terrible too. Yet, money keeps flowing to horribly untalented Sarik Andreasian and he makes 4-5 films a year.
Verdict - dangerous for your mental health. Though not as terrible as his other works.
Tres metros sobre el cielo (2010)
Kill it with fire
Cheap and cheesy, overfilled with cliché - this movie is Nicholas Sparks bad. Sadly, such films have become popular these days.
I would put it into the same box with such masterpieces as Sparks' "A Walk to Remember", "The Last Song" and Meyer's "Twilight" series. And kill it with fire.
There's something they usually say about twilight, but it could be generalized for all of the aforementioned films - they have something in common with German porn. Whereas in German porn the storyline is a plot device to switch from one porn scene to another, in these films it's the plot device to go through cheesy romance scenes.
Federico Moccia - the author of the original novella - is another persona non grata in my library.
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
When putting good stuff in a movie doesn't make a good movie
When I watched 500 Days of Summer, during the first 20 or so minutes of the movie I thought I had a great find. It was like the characters really had something in common with me. Too much, I understood when I looked closer.
It was like the creative team had brainstormed on what is cool with the current generation's intelligent youth - not being members of the generation themselves. Like creating a product for a profitable market. Instead, they got a movie that had nothing natural or convincing about it.
The idea is, if you look beyond catchphrases and the music the characters listen to and the rest of "decorations", 500 Days of Summer is actually Twilight for hipsters.
Hence the grade - 1 out of 10.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Not everyone's movie, but a good one
"Moonrise Kingdom" isn't for everybody, it's not one of those dumbed down children's comedies with elements of mini-tragedy - "The Hobbit", "How to Train Your Dragon", etc. It's like the old ones I used to watch when I was a kid - the film quality, the soundtrack and the rest of the atmosphere were nostalgic (reminded a bit of the original "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" movie), but the content is much more mature and darker.
This is not a film that's likely to leave a deep impact; like American Beauty and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind did to me. Yet I believe in a couple of decades I'll have a nostalgic urge to watch it again. And it doesn't mean I'm not gonna watch it again tomorrow. Not at all.
Soulless commercial ride on the Hollywood roller-coaster
THE QUALITY OF THE FILM Imagine "Spy Kids" with elements of Tolkien's writing. Technological demonstration, a large budget at the hands of a tasteless creative group. The CG animation of trolls was almost as ugly as in the Lord of the Rings. The only reason of making it 3D was making me cope with the uncomfortably of 3D. The dwarf parcour and scenes copied from the Lord of the Rings (compare the fight of Thorin and Azog with that of Isildur and Sauron), artificially added action-scenes and castrated non-action scenes spoke of lazy, commercial, mainstream work. Radagast's animal companions were Walt Disney's "Snow-white" bad.
THE PLOT The poor novella (yep, Lord of the Rings is a novel trilogy, The Hobbit - only a small novella, yet both amount a trilogy of films) was so stretched out that the original and added material could be equal to each other. And whatever was taken from the book, was mutilated for reasons unknown: in the book, Azog is a goblin, not an orc, and is killed by Dain, not Thorin, and his son Bolg replaced him in Moria. The "stone giants" are only a dwarf legend about thunder. Radagast isn't a main character in any Tolkien work I know, because he doesn't give a damn about the wars of humans, elves and the rest. The Dol Guldur conflict and the ousting of the Necromancer actually has nothing to do with "The Hobbit". There is no toilet humor in the scene with trolls - in the book, Gandalf gives the trolls advice in troll voice, makes them change their mind so many times that dawn comes. In the movie - a troll blows his nose on Bilbo, then Bilbo starts a lecture on tapeworms. An awful lot of cliché ("NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!", "I'm sure we're through the worst" *Dumb Dumb Dumb* DRAGON'S WOKEN UP!!!). It was made so it would please a diaper-wearing kid, but don't make them sad. I hate the tragic scene->happy end formula, which was abused, raped, killed, buried, taken out of the grave, raped again in this film.
THE HEROES The heroes were lacking any defining traits so intense in the book. Only a Hollywood template - smart-mouthed guys with tactless jokes. They were given one-liners/catchphrases to define them instead. It wasn't always easy to see the difference between certain dwarfs and the Great Goblin. In the book dwarfs are polite, but dry and greedy. In the book - kind-hearted heroic men, a bit stubborn, and loving to troll people now and then. Bilbo's not a conservative gentleman hobbit, who gets carried away by his curiosity for adventure, but a timid teenager. Gandalf isn't a powerful mage, but a well-informed homeless guy, Radagast is another one, and a schizophrenic in addition. Might as well fit in in Terry Gilliam's "The Fisher King" (awesome movie btw). Actually, there was no Bilbo character at all: there was a combined character of Frodo, Sam, Mery, Pin from LOTR.
Verdict - if you want Tolkien, read the book. The movie isn't worth watching even once.