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The Orville (2017)
The Orville is a science fiction TV series set in the distant future and chronicling the adventures of the star ship U.S.S. Orville and its crew. The series was promoted as "both spoof of and tribute to the classical sci-fi TV shows". Yes, it sounded crazy but taking into account that the guy behind The Orville is Seth MacFarlane - the man who gave the world Family Guy - I expected this series to be crazy, wild, filled with gags and mind-blowing plot twists. Alas, what I saw was a failure of epic proportions. The Orville is not funny at all, there are very few jokes and they are really lame. I watched the first episode and never laughed, not even once. The plot is naive to the point of pure stupidity. It looks like as if the writers had taken the story from some ancient children's show (I think that's what they actually did), adapted it to a 40-mn long live action episode, added some boring dialogues (most lines are just fillers), spiced it with adult jokes (again, not funny) and this is it! In the very first episode of the show we see the Orville crew facing some hostile aliens. Poorly directed skirmish sequence follows and our heroes triumphantly return home. What on earth was that? Yes, the show boasts lots of special effects. The Orville was made on a very big budget. But you know, the special effects are not news nowadays. There are tons of TV series packed with CGI. We watch TV shows for funny jokes, interesting plots and colourful characters but The Orville has none of those things.
Call Me by Your Name (2017)
An escapist fantasy
Of course all gay men have been there. You spend your summer holiday on your father's estate, meets gorgeous young man, fall in love... Call Me By Your Name is a well executed movie which is actually nothing more than an escapist gay fantasy. Long before gay-themed movies and books became mainstream, stories like this one were abundant in LGBT periodicals. Of course this story (like practically any other story) has already been told. The very first example which comes to my mind is Brokeback Mountain. The recently released BBC produced mini-series Man In An Orange Shirt is also worth mentioning. Elio is handsome and young, his father is rich and owns a luxurious villa in Europe. When spending his summer holidays on his father's estate Elio meets Oliver who is also handsome and young and just happens to be gay. The guys spend a lot of time together, swimming, bicycling and visiting neighboring cities. Eventually they have sex. But wait! The story is set in the early 1980-s. So, they can not be together. And their lives take them in different directions. The end. I have no idea if gay man who will watch this movie (and they definitely will watch it because Armie Hammer playing Oliver is very hot even from my straight point of view) will be able to relate to these characters and their story. After all as I said it is a well executed escapist gay themed fantasy. Watchable but not memorable.
Descendants 2 (2017)
Descendants was a very popular fantasy comedy released by Disney in 2015. The film told the story about the Fairytale Kingdom divided into the land of Auradon, where only good people live who do good things, and the Island of the Lost inhabited by the villains. A group of evil kids is sent to Auradon on a secret mission to steal the magic wand and conquer the world. The film was such a huge success that the studio immediately announced the sequel. Crowds of fans (me among them) were waiting to the second installment of the story. Well, I really hate to say it but much to my regret Descendants 2 disappointed me. The sequel turned out to be a global scale disaster. The plot is just reused from the first film. Another batch of villain kids arrive on the scene and, yes, they again want the magic wand. Come on! We have already seen it all! Can not Disney find writers who are able to come up with brand new ideas? But the biggest problem is the characters. They are blank. In the first film the characters were multidimensional. The bad guys were not just bad, they were grumpy, they were cowardly and they were funny. And the good guys (and it was the most interesting part of the story) appeared to be not so good after all. They were prone to the bouts of vanity and jealousy. And that was what made them alive and helped the story evolve till the unpredictable twist ending. The sequel has none of the above. The characters are cardboard cut and the story is just boring. And where is the humour? It is gone! The jokes are few and far between. All in all I must report that Descendants 2 fell flat on its face and even the magic wand could not save it.
Decline and Fall (2017)
Great adaptation of a classic novel
DECLINE AND FALL is a three-part series based on the novel of the same title by Evelyn Waugh. Perhaps you read his masterpiece Brideshead Revisited but at the tender age of 25 he produced a comic novel Decline and Fall partly based on his teaching experience. The principal character is Paul Pennyfeather who is sent down from Oxford for indecent behaviour and goes on a series of strange adventures including obtaining a teaching position at a chaotic school and an engagement to high society beauty. Waugh's novel is generally considered to be a high-society satire exploring the topics of elitism, racism and xenophobia. Although sometimes the point might be difficult to get and some people say that the novel written in 1928 is not relevant at all (but some say the story is still relevant and has many links to today's society) the story retains its universal appeal due to flamboyant characters whose eccentricity borders on insanity. Dr. Fagan who runs the school is afraid of his students, despises his daughter Florence (because she is fat and good-hearted) and adores his daughter Diane (because she is butchy and bitchy). Some of the teachers are literally crazy and some are miserable. The very first episode contains a brilliant line:
We class schools into four grades - leading schools, first-rate schools, good schools and schools.
Dare not to say that it does not ring any bells with you! The cast is great. Paul is played by Jack Whitehall, he is a popular stand-up comedian and you could see him in a hilarious sitcom Bad Education. Legendary David Suchet is Dr. Fagan and high-society beauty is portrayed by luminous Eva Longoria. All in all the series is well made, funny and boasts solid budget with some of the scenes having been filmed in the real medieval castle.
Hooten & the Lady (2016)
HOOTEN AND THE LADY is the British comedy-adventure series following the exploits of Lady Alexandra (she is of noble descent, so, she is the real Lady) and the tough guy named Hooten. These thrill-seekers travel around the globe in search of the lost and priceless artefacts. Lady Alexandra is bored with her job at the British Museum. Instead of sorting out papers she would rather run around in the jungle, facing the cannibals and hunting treasures. And that is what she does! Because she is a modern, independent, brave women who always gets what she wants. In the jungle not only does she face the cannibals and find the artefacts but she also meets Hooten. He is so tough, so handsome and, yes, he has got perfect hair... The series features great scenery with filming locations including South Africa, Namibia, Cambodia and China, helicopter and bike stunts, some really impressive (by TV standards) action sequences and solid budget. The whole series is a nod to the classical adventure stories and films ranging from the Allan Quotermain books to Indiana Jones. The thing that pleases me most of all about the series is that it does not pretend to be something serious or substantial. It is pure fun and it wants to be seen this way. I would compare watching this series to spending a sunny summer day on the beach. Or if you want to bring back all those sweet childhood memories of watching Indiana Jones / Lara Croft/ Romancing the stone films, go and see Hooten and the lady.
Agatha Raisin (2014)
Entertaining but a little bit clumsy
Agatha Raisin is a lighthearted crime comedy about a PR guru turned into amateur sleuth. The titular Agatha, having spend years working in PR industry, abandoned her career to enjoy simple life in a remote village. The place she moves to is quintessentially British - tea parties, garden competitions and so on...everybody is happy and friendly. Oh, this village made me wanna cry and scream. I wanna sell everything I have and move to England (dream on, after all these refugee crisis and the Brexit referendum it is hardly possible). OK, life seems perfect for Agatha but time and again some of her neighbors are found dead. The bumbling police officers are of no use and Agatha investigates the murders on her own. The problem with this series is that it just does not work as detective. All Agatha's investigations follow the same pattern: she sneaks into the crime scene and finds some important clue the police fails to notice. Then some brilliant idea suddenly comes to her and she knows who the murderer is. This is it. If seen as comedy the series is well done. There are lots of funny situations and dialogues that made me laugh. Some of the characters are really funny. But if compared to such masterpieces as Midsomer Murders or Inspector Lewis, Agatha Raisin may look rather silly. But all in all the series provides the audience with 45 minute worth of light entertainment.
The Durrells (2016)
Irritating characters make it unwatchable
England. 1930-s. Louisa Durrell is desperately trying to save her family from falling apart. She is a widow with three grown up children none of whom wants to work and help her make the ends meet and her youngest son Gerry has just been expelled from school for being "different". The family's only income is her pension. The only way out of this pitiful situation is to run away from England to the exotic Greek island: it is warm there all year round and everything is so cheap that they will never have to worry about money and food again. So this is what downshifting was like back in the 1930s. From the technical point of view the show is great. It is a big budget production, well acted, brilliantly written and etc. But the biggest problem with the series that made it practically unwatchable for me is the characters. They are absolutely unlovable and very irritating. Louisa Durrell is a heavily drinking woman who borders on the edge of neurotic breakdown and sees herself as failure. It is easy to see why. Her children are self obsessed morons who run around screaming and shouting at one another and constantly abusing and bullying one another. I dropped watching the series after two episodes because I was really tired of this never ending family scandal. Young Gerry Durrell who will grow up to become world famous zoo-keeper (and on whose autobiography the series is based) is portrayed as some sort of autistic child who prefers spending time with animals rather than with people. Actually no wonder he thinks animals are better than people. Only his mother sometimes finds time and good words for him. His two brothers and sister ignore him at best or simply hates him at worst.
Silly story with dumb characters
Dave and Kenny are brothers and robbers. After a failed robbery attempt Kenny goes to prison, he kisses his girlfriend Sylvie good bye, she promises to wait for him but ultimately abandons him and starts dating his brother Dave (without telling Kenny anything, of course). OK, these things do happen. When Kenny is released from prison, Dave and Sylvie decide to keep their relationship secret (just for no reason). Kenny gets suspicious, confronts Sylvie but she still does not want to tell him the truth. Eventually Kenny finds out, goes insane and kills Sylvie. This is it. The end of the story. Why on earth was this movie made? What is the point? No answers. The characters are really dumb and lacking the kind of psychological depth or anything else that might make us sympathize with them, the plot is thin and unconvincing. Tec contribution is solid although the movie was made on a relatively low budget.
Wonderful but sad story
We Can't Live Without Cosmos is a 15-minute long animated film nominated for the Best animated short film Academy Award.
It tells the story of 2 guys, who are life long friends, undergoing training preparing for space mission. 10 minutes into the film it's revealed that only one of them is a "real astronaut" while the other is just his backup / reserve astronaut. When the first guy blasts off into the space, his friend watches him leave while holding in his hand their photo.
After a sudden plot twist the story turns into a drama. The space ship disintegrates and the astronaut is presumed dead. The second guy can not deal with the trauma of losing his best friend and literally goes insane. Eventually he is confined into medical facility from where he mysteriously disappears.
The end of the story looks a little bit cryptic and leaves much to the viewers imagination. Well, I must say that this film is an absolute tear jerker, It is impossible to watch it without breaking into tears. From the technical point of view the animation might seem clumsy of dated but the excellence of the film lies within its plot. The art-house / festival public will be pleased with this short film.
What a mess...
This movie, released in the English speaking world as The Life In A Fishbowl (the original Icelandic title just refers to the street name where all main characters live), was a huge success in Iceland, showered with praise and awards.
However I was deeply disappointed by what I saw. The movie is supposed to be some sort of a puzzle with many plot lines and characters coming together to give us a portrait of the modern Iceland. But it just does not work. The pieces do not fit. Everything is falling apart. First of all, there is a story about Eik a single mother who works at nursery school and moonlights as prostitute. Why is she doing it? Does she want to quit? No answer. Yes, she has a dark secret. By the end of the movie it is revealed that at the age of 6 she was molested by her own grandfather. What on earth does it add to the story? Nothing. This tragic accident does not seem to have affected her life in any way. She is very pleased with her life. She is happy she gets paid for having sex with ugly old men. So, why should we care? Then there is Mori. He is a washed down writer. His daughter died in a drowning accident many years ago. Presently he roams the streets and drinks vodka. At least this guy can evoke some sort of sympathy from the audience. But in the end he sells his big house, gets lots of money and leaves cold Iceland for warm Italy to start a new life. So, why should we care after all? And there is Solvi. He is a businessman who tries to buy a large patch of land to build a hotel. His story is in the movie just for no reason except for we can get a glimpse at the luxury lifestyle some Icelanders enjoy (mansions, big cars, yachts). So, why should we care? All in all The Life In A Fishbowl looks like one of those over clichéd, standard art house dramas you can find in dozens at any European Film Festival.
Lissi und der wilde Kaiser (2007)
Michael Herbig's third comedy is not as impressive as expected
Once upon the time in the Kingdom of Bavaria lived beautiful princess Lissi who enjoyed luxurious, outrageous lifestyle with her handsome husband Franz and his eccentric parents: crazed, wheelchair bound father and dominant mother. They threw wild parties, practiced target shooting, using priceless objects of art as targets, and everyone was happy until one dark night the princess was taken away by a horrible beast. The beast turned out to be The Abominable Snowman and he had his reasons to kidnap beautiful Lissi. "Lissi und der wilde Kaiser" is Michael Herbig's third comedy in a row poking fun at Hollywood blockbusters. The 2001 "Der Shuh des Manitu" spoofed Westerns, was a huge box office hit and was followed in 2004 by "Traumschiff Surprise", which mocked at superheroes stories. "Lissi" is a spoof of period dramas and saccharine soap operas about the rich/bold/beautiful. As it is always the case with Herbig's movies it moves very fast with a new joke being delivered to you every five seconds. The plot develops very quickly and Herbig again manages to tell us the action packed story in just 90 minutes. Alas, there seem to be some problems. Firstly, the story. It is not as amusing and coherent as it used to be in Herbig's previous movies. It also somehow appears to be vague. "Der Shuh des Manitu" was about the buried treasure, in politically incorrect but hilariously funny "Traumschiff Surprise" three gays found themselves on a mission to save the world. But what about "Lissi"? What is it about? The plot seems to have been lost, or rather, buried under the avalanche of jokes and gags, which is not very bad after all but not very good either. Secondly, the characters. Not only did naïve Lissi and dumb Franz fail to get my attention but at some point they started to irritate me. Franz' parents, on the contrary, might have been the real protagonists of the story especially dominatrix style mother who can think only about sex but they have few moments to shine. Unfortunately "Lissi" can not go on a par with Michaels Herbig's two previous movies, but nevertheless it will entertain his fans and will in no way shatter his position as one of the highest paid, most influential, popular and beloved film maker in the history of German cinema. If you like what Herbig makes, watch "Lissi". You will not roll on the floor laughing but a big smile is guaranteed. After having watched "Traumschiff Surprise" I wrote the review titled "Michael Herbig superstar". Well, he still is. But I am sure that his talent can give us more and he can do better movies than "Lissi" is.
The Oblongs... (2001)
Very funny and cynical
Phenomenal success of The Simpsons triggered a wave of animated series centered around a middle class family in distress, pillorying the middle class values. The Oblongs is one of them. As far as the form and the content concerned the show is modeled on The Simpsons (they all are after all): there is a premise story not directly linked to the main plot line, the show combines satire with consideration of important issues (environment, widening gap between the rich and the poor, corruption, etc.), sometimes a famous movies is spoofed and each episode ends with a sort of a "thought of a day" message, like "to be generous is better than to be mean". But it is all done in a rather unobtrusive way, alter all it is entertainment. What makes The Oblongs different is its anger. Yes, the show is very angry, bitter and even aggressive. Actually compared to this show The Simpsons look like The Mickey Mouse Club. The Oblongs is filled with amazing characters: mother who is bald and has to use a wig, father who lost both hands and legs and can move around by long kangaroo-like jumps, three sons two of whom are conjoint twins and a TV obsessed daughter. Oh, why are they so ugly? Personally I think it is a sort of a metaphor. They stand to represent/symbolize the ugliness and distortions our world is full of. And there is a herd of kids next door (they are devastatingly ugly and I dare not give their description). All in all The Oblongs is a very good show. It is funny, cynical and the characters are lovable. Yes, their true beauty lies within and has nothing to do their looks. And this is what the show is about after all: no matter how terribly wrong the things are going, no matter how dirty and distorted our world seems to be, there is always some hope. Sad to say the show did not run very long. It was canceled after 30 episodes but anyway The Oblongs rule!
Less Than Perfect (2002)
Very good sitcom
I caught Less Than Perfect during one of its reruns on Russian TV and was amazed how funny it is. The main character Claudia Casey (Sara Rue) arrives in New York and manages to get a position of a personal assistant to TV news anchor Will Butler (Eric Roberts). The show chronicles Claudia's triumphs and failures as she climbs the career ladder. Her two best friends neurotic Owen (Andy Dick) and pleasantly plump Ramona (Sherri Shepherd) will teach her to survive in this "beware of your office mates" world. Zachary Levi and Andrea Parker portray model-looking Kipp and Lydia- two self-centered, ego-driven office villains who can not wait to see Claudia up and go. There is a lot of talking about relationship, dating, shoes and "how to shut up that guy standing near my cubic and speaking so loudly on the phone". Very funny and all actors are very good. All in all very good sitcom.
Tea for Two (1950)
Silly but funny and still watchable.
Doris Day (I mean the character she portrays) is trying to win over her uncle to sponsor a new Broadway show in which she is going to star. Needless to say that her uncle is less than happy about the prospect: he is sure that the show is going to be a failure and he is going to loose all his money. Doris bets him that she can reply "no" to every single one question she is asked within a 24 hour time frame. If she wins, he will have to give her the money she needs. Of course, this bet is followed by a series of funny situations. Some are brilliant, some are silly but still there is a lot to laugh at in this film. For example, when Doris is asked by a police officer "Do you know your name?", she says with dignity "No". Sure, it is not a masterpiece but some will find it very amusing. If there is no better prospect than spending a lonely evening at home, why not to watch Tea For Two. S z Sakall is very funny as uncle Max, Eve Arden who plays the secretary is very good, she's got the best lines in the film and says them in the way which Goldie Hawn would be proud of. Why did not she get the Best Supporting Actress Oscar?
One of my favourites 2 (Michael Herbig Superstar)
A year and a half after its premiere in Germany (T)Ramschiff Surprise finally came out on DVD in Russia. I have waited for this movie to be shown down here since I read the first review on it about a year ago. Yes, it happened at last, two days ago I bought the film and this is what my commentary says: The year is 2304, a long and exhausting war between Earth and Mars is nearly over. The Martians are ready to strike the Eath the final blow than will bring the history of the humankind to its untimely end unless.. Unless we use the time machine, travel 300 years back and prevent the people's first encounter with beings from the space.With human resources on the verge of depleting two gorgeous gays are chosen to fulfil the mission (if the first 10 minutes of the movie do not make you laugh, this is definitely not your movie). The film chronicles the fabulous journey of these innocents through time and space during which everything that can go wrong, goes wrong. (T)Rauschiff Surprise is not another stupid parody, when you sit and count on your fingers: this scene is taken from the Star Wars, and that one is from Shrek, etc. etc. Herbig's movie offers you much more: the plot is complicated, the characters are interesting and the dialogues are witty. Unfortunately Herbig could not refrain from poking fun at himself and the film does have some references to his masterpiece Manitu's shoe- if you have not seen it, you won't be able to appreciate it- Santa Maria makes a short appearance and we have a glimpse of Vinnehuch (I dare say the first and so far the only gay Indian ever shown in a movie). These scenes seem to be out of place and could have been left on the cutting room floor. Anyway, it is the only problem I saw in the film. All in all, to my taste, (T)Raumschiff Surprise is awesome, light hearted, the film has everything to leave its viewers in a good mood and with warm memories that will last for a long time. The cast is brilliant: Michael Herbig is a superstar, to see Christian Tramitz playing gay was such an experience!! Til Schweiger is not known in Russia, I have never seen him before but he is a great actor! Recommended
Lost in Translation (2003)
A cheap art house style fake
Lost in Translation is a film about an ageing actor (Bill Murray) who arrives in Tokyo to star in a couple of commercials. He happens to be staying at the same hotel where a noted American fashion photographer is occupying a room. While the photographer is away at work, his young wife (Scarlett Johansson) explores Japan's capital on her own. She meets the actor and
No,no,no do not expect anything from this movie because nothing really happens. The main characters just aimlessly wander through the streets of Asian megapolis, enjoy Japanese cuisine, share some jokes. What is Lost in Translation about? I wish I knew. Why did Sophia Coppola make it? I wish I understood. The film is plot less, extremely slow moving- do not pop in this movie at 9 pm, you are sure to fall asleep long before the story ends-by the way, I am exaggerating, there is no story there. SPOILERS Nope, there is not story and there is no end. If you think something happens at the end, you are wrong. The film exactly ends where it starts. The actors have nothing to work on, that is why they do not play, they just wander around in silence. The film is very silent, Coppola, who also wrote this movie, gave the characters only some vague lines. "I want to be a writer but I hate what I write"-this is what Scarlet Johansson says after a 30 mn silent scene. As for directing, Coppola did what any good film school graduate would have done. No matter what she planned to make, what we have is a cheap art house style fake.
Der Schuh des Manitu (2001)
One of my favorites
A wonderful comedy about Abahachi and Ranger who upon escaping from the hostile Schoschone tribe embark on a quest to find buried treasure of the Apache people. Little do they know that they are followed by the notorious Santa Maria gang but everything changes most unexpectedly when Abahachi's twin brother Winnetouch emerges. Yes, I know, this film was not just a hit, it was a smash in the German speaking part of the world. They should definitely have done it in English, only this way could it achieve a wider release and, I hope, recognition it really deserves. Down here in Russia Manitu's shoe came out in a single ( can you imagine it ) movie theatre in Moscow! No wonder, it went unnoticed. It was not until two years later that the film hit TV and we realized how much we missed. The movie became the top selling DVD overnight. I remember dropping at some video store and asking if they had Manitu's shoe, the salesman told me that this DVD was unavailable then because of an overwhelming demand. He said: Whenever we get this film, it is sold out within a couple of hours. Personally I love this film immensely. Very entertaining, with snappy writing, it pokes fun at an all too familiar genre. The cast is excellent, I enjoyed every moment of this movie and I want to see it again and again.
Urban Angel (1991)
Not bad crime show
URBAN ANGEL Not bad crime show I remember watching Urban Angel back at the beginning of 1990s. It is not a masterpiece but not a garbage either. Lorne Brass plays a crime reporter Luke nicknamed Urban Angel who has a unique talent of getting into trouble while trying to investigate the crimes he routinely reports on. Well, the police are not at their best again, so who will care if not our brave guy, Luke. Another person joins the parade of a thousand and one amateur detectives. The results are not bad. Sure, there are lots of clichés without which the show would not be so old fashioned, so typical. Luke does not want to be a detective but sometimes he simply has to because time and again not he looks for trouble but trouble looks for him. So, it is not the case "I am tired of what I do, I want to go beyond it". This show is good enough, I would compare it (to some extent) to The Midnight Caller If you saw it you will understand. As far as I know Urban Angel was on only for 1 season, and there were not any major reruns of it.
Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2005)
so nostalgic, so wonderful
I saw Winnie's Heffalump a couple of days ago. A nice story based on well known characters created by A.A.Milne. Although Winnie, Piglet, Tigger and Rabbit are all present in this animated feature, the main character is Roo this time. He befriends with scary Heffalump who proves to be not scary at all and shows everybody that friendship knows no boundaries and everybody wants and deserves to be happy. I love this film and I would love it even more were I 10 or 15 years younger. Alas, I would like to become a kid again to enjoy this Heffalump story much more but all I am left with is a sense of sadness at the loss of a sort of childishness and innocence of which this movie is full
I was glad to hear Carly Simon sing, Joel McNeely provided great score.
Hollywood Ending (2002)
Woody is getting old
Woody Allen stars as a well noted film director whose fame has already passed its zenith. Suddenly a chance to return to public and critic favour arrives. He is wanted to direct a low budget, art film which is supposed to hit all prestigious film festivals. The biggest problem he faces is the fact that the lead is taken by his ex wife who is now sleeping with the producer. This problem however seems so insignificant really soon because much bigger obstacle is on the way. To see his ex wife is such a psychological torture for the poor director that he develops a very strange neurosis. Arriving on set he gets blind. The only way out is to look for good therapist. Here Allen's genius stops. He outlined the topics and the characters at which he is going to jest heartily: film making, Hollywood lifestyle, psychoanalysis, sex, art films. It is good old Woody Allen, yes, too good and unfortunately old. One genuine joke per a dozen ones borrowed from his previous movies, and this time he has two sexy blondes around him instead of one as he used to do before. Hmmm, Woody is really getting old.
To Spielberg always
An unexpected film from the director who made his name with box office hits like ET, The Jaws (to say nothing of Indiana Johnes series). Always comes from this period between all these kids' stories and a new wave of escapist fantasies about dinosaurs. When a kid I loathed this film because I did not understand it at all and was a big action special effects movies fan. Time changes a lot. I learned to appreciate this magnificent picture and it is one of its biggest secrets at the same time. I love this movie but can not clearly explain why, there are lots of films which appear to me to be much more interesting, lots of film which appear to me to be much more intellectual but still I can not help loving this simple low budget love/friendship story. I just want to tell you about some scenes from Always which are my personal favorites:1.The fire pilot club scene when Pete "remembered Dorinda's birthday wrong", He says:"Why do not we try signaling to the band, it works in the movies" and then everyone present wants to dance with Dorinda while Pete is watching the whole affair from upstairs. It is so
..so perfect. 2.Hepburn Dreyfull dialogue in the field with her telling him about Spiritus "something they get when they need it most".3. Dorinda and Ted dining with Dorinda dancing to Platters tune. Words fail to describe it.4 The final scene in the aircraft, and these Pete's last words:"You are going to have wonderful life". JohnWilliams' score is awesome, especially the closing titles theme-a sound of a lonely piano echoing
. Away with the pretences this film weights 8 on my great movies scales because it moves me, inspires me and I keep 9 and 10 only for all time classic like Bergman's Virgin Spring or Griffith's Intolerance.
Treasure Planet (2002)
what a disappointment
Based on R.L.Stevenson's Treasure Island. A children's classic adapted for a modern Sc-Fi stories adoring audience. Instead of the 19th c. Britain the story starts somewhere in the outer space on a tiny planet where Jim Hawkins comes in possession of a map showing the way to captain flint's treasure. If you read the book or saw any of numerous screen versions of Stevenson's masterpiece made previously, you know the rest. Jim and Doctor charter a ship, I mean. a spaceship, they get John Silver as cook without knowing who he really is, they travel to the Treasure Island
I mean, Treasure Planet. What else to say? No sudden plot twists, everything is so familiar. No jokes, no good song to whistle after the movie. Is there a point is seeing a film if you know the story from the beginning to the end by heart? Making this story more modern brought the screen writers the idea of creating some female characters. This way Captain Amelia was born: strong, independent, career oriented with the voice provided by Emma Thompson. They also made Silver less evil. He befriends with Jim and there are some father to son talk scenes. But all in all why on earth was this animated feature produced? They definitely should not have put this ad on DVD box: from the creators of Aladdin. Aladdin was brilliant. Treasure Planet is not half as good.
The Fugitive (1993)
One of the bleakest movies
Why do people love this movie? Lots of my friends keep on saying that The Fugitive is "so cool", none of them being able to provide a clear explanation of what this "so cool" means. First, the story of a respectable doctor-turned-wrongly accused fugitive is not convincing at all. The character portrayed by exceptionally gifted Harrison Ford manages to hide from police, forge ID papers and lead an alternative crime investigation of his own tracking down real murderer unbelievably easy. How and where could this upper-class, a pillar of a community surgeon have learned all these tricks? Did he take a course in surviving skills? Second, Tommy Lee Jones plays a hard-boiled gun-waving cop, nothing special, a stereotyped character seen so many times before. Some lines, some chases. And he got an Oscar for the Best Performance in Supporting Rol;e
The plot develops slowly, dragging to the happy end we are sure must be. And last but not least, the court room scene when the prosecutor uses the answering machine tape with the last words of the main character's wife as the key evidence to prove that the defendant is guilty is so soap operish. It just makes me laugh.
Funny, hysterically funny movie
I did not think too highly about the 1970-80s European comedies shot in English (in a desperate attempt to attain a wider release). Lots of such films have been made and practically none of them appeared to be of any interest or significance. And my expectations were not high when I was about to sit down watch this one but I was wrong! Yes, and I am not ashamed of avowing it. Who Finds A Friend Finds A Treasure is a great comedy, a hysterically funny "treasure hunting" story. In short, two fellows go on a daring quest to discover a buried treasure hidden on a tiny island in the South Pacific by Japanese soldiers during WWII. On their way to the treasure they face (besides their personal disaccords) sharks, pirates, aborigines and last but not least a crazed Japanese still living in the debris of the Japanese military base in firm believe that the war still goes on. And be prepared for a great surprise at the end
. The dialogue is witty, the actors do very good work. These are namely brilliant comedians Terence Hill and Bad Spencer. Even their appearance can make you smile: naive, tall, slim, agile Hill ideally compensates level-headed, fat, moving with a slow motion Spencer. They make plenty of fighting all the way and all these fighting scenes shot in a cartoon style will make you roll on the floor laughing. Yes, very funny, family friendly film with no brief language, sexual references or crude humor. Recommended.
The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
Schumacher and Webber in one combined
In the mid 1980's a startling new musical was put up at the Her Majesty's Theatre in London, which went on to become one of the most famous musicals of all time. The Phantom of the Opera-exceptionally successful production of great British composer A.L.Webber and lyricist C.Hart, evocative melodies, simple but charming story-the temptation to adapt the musical for the big screen was strong. Such a show could not have passed unnoticed by the Hollywood people. Being fair to Schumacher, he did his best, although it is not a trifle making a movie version of the play that has become a true legend . The director did not attempt to amaze those of us who enjoy cinema going and musicals. Actually, it is all London Phantom stage production again from the beginning till the end with all main mise-en-scenes carefully kept (and no wonder since Webber himself is a producer hence the money man). Yes, this is very theatrical movie, very exuberant and a high budget one with state-of-the art costumes, make up effects and prop. The story is set in a pure artificial glittered world, which reminded me of Coppola's Dracula, although Schumacher's film lacks something of the stylistic elaborateness of the latter. And if you still treasure a 1987 Phantom record album you are likely to feel a sort of disappointment because Rossum and Butler singing pales as compared with that of Brightman and Crawford.. Finally, I must say it, Webber must have been very pleased with the idea of providing new songs for his old musicals. He did this with Evita-writing a new song for the movie version- and here he goes again. A new song for the Phantom- Learn to be lonely. The song is completely out of place and there was no need for it at all.