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Visually intense and eerie
III is a mysterious and allegoric tale about two sisters, AYIA and MIRRA, who live in a little village infected by a contagious and fatal disease. After their mother's death MIRRA also falls ill and, helpless, her sister calls for Village's priest assistance. FATHER HERMAN (played by Evgeniy Gagarin) will help them but not in a conventional way...
I watched this film in a world première at FANTASPORTO (film festival from Oporto, my home town), precisely one year ago, in March 2015, and there were present the director, the producer and both actresses.
Visually the film is very strong and I must say I was impressed with its cinematography. From the mysterious and allegoric sets, the contrast dark vs light, to incredible shots of landscapes, everything looks visually beautiful. The ambiance created is very dark, intense and eerie but the characters are depressive and melancholic. Death surround them as they go deep on the dark side of their souls...
The Prince of Darkness...
BLIGHT is a great short film about a priest who is sent to a remote island in order to execute an exorcism in a young pregnant woman.
The cinematography is very good for a short.
It makes us submerge in a dark and moody atmosphere the entire plot, and there's a great final twist, which turned it even better in my opinion!
It can create more tension and develop a solid and coherent plot than many long features...
The production and the CGI are also good for a short film.
I score it 7/10
Blind Sun (2015)
A true slow burner!
Water as precious as gold! It's not a new idea and it might be quite a reality in a future not so far... BLIND SUN begins with this premise. In a remote region of Greece a strong heat wave make portable water a precious thing. To reinforce that idea there's a multinational company, which distributes water to the population, called "Bluegold"! The two elements, heat/fire and water are constant in the movie, as they represent two main forces of life! And healthiness... including psychological healthiness...
The heat wave and the lack of water are just the plot background to what truly is a psychological thriller and a perfect slow burner! In fact BLIND SUN is a mystery thriller where the pace is really slow and many scenes are almost contemplative (look at those beautiful landscape shots and that sunshine!) but the tension is growing scene by scene in a slow but effective way!
The characters aren't many, it's all around ASHRAF, the main character, and about what he sees and thinks... we "see" the plot through his mind... but it's not easy to understand a mind affected by extreme heat and thirstiness...
To sum up BLIND SUN is a mystery thriller with a great cinematography (nice camera details and beautiful scenarios) and a (very!) open ending...
Córki dancingu (2015)
To be honest I have very little patient for musicals, it must be a great musical film to call my attention and have my appreciation... But, in the mood of FANTASPORTO (a fantasy film festival from my home town), I decided to give a chance to this Polish film. I knew it was a musical but I thought it wouldn't be SO musical, and I mean so annoyingly musical, with singing and dancing scenes in the most ridiculous situations!
The plot is about two beautiful mermaids who become the singer stars of a nightclub and then one of them falls in love for a human boy, and that wasn't supposed to happen... It's all a story about love and how to stand out boundaries for love... The main idea is not bad I must say and I even think it could have been a nice movie if it wasn't so... musical!
OK, it's true I'm not a fan of the genre, but enough is enough! I score it 3/10!
A surreal and puzzling nightmare
Surreal, phantasmagoric, enigmatic! HORSEHEAD is a visually stunning puzzle full of symbolic figures where each one of them represent one particular icon related to imagery of dreams. We can notice, for instance, the clear inspiration in some previous and notable works about the allegories of dreams, as the Henry Fuseli's painting THE NIGHTMARE. And this inspiration is not denied, it's even reinforced when at the beginning of the movie appears a picture of that famous painting... On the other hand it made me remind some surrealistic and artsy films of the 70's, in particular those from European cinema (also French cinema...). The kind of cinematography used, the short but puzzling plot, the enigmatic symbols and characters, the twisted eroticism, the camera work - focusing on certain plans and details... All of this truly make me compare this film to those remarkable movies of the 70's. But of course HORSEHEAD has it own value, in fact it's a great film that we could resume as a frantic journey into the depths of the subconscious, a dream that crosses two dimensions, ending both in one same reality...
In the name of Asmodeus
Based in the Mayan mythology that the year 2012 would be the beginning of a new era, ASMODEXIA is not the typical film about exorcism. In fact as the viewer will see along the plot it has not much to do with Christian faith... At the beginning it seems it has but then we start realizing that priest is not a disciple of Christ! At the end there is a nice twist in the plot that shows it clearly.
The production is very good, in the great level we are used to from recent Spanish cinema. It's suspenseful, mysterious and it's filmed in some abandoned places that are really spooky. The acting could have been better though. It's not generally bad but it could have been better at parts...
Overall I think the positive features of this film are the nice production and the open ending with that final twist. Asmodeus was set free...
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Well, it did result for me...
Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort this movie show us how greedy and vicious the sub-worlds of financial markets can be. It's like a lions lair waiting for the next victim... Greed for money is above everything and you must do everything to get it, otherwise you can get a job on McDonalds, as it's said in the movie...
I liked the way Martin Scorsese directed this film, but I also agree with some people who say it's a bit long. 3 hours is a bit too much indeed, even to a story like that! But, on the other hand, I did enjoy the aggressive way he built the plot, with lots of explicit scenes of sex and drugs. I think he shows these worlds of corruption and greed in a hard but vibrating way, with great doses of enthusiasm I would say... Well, it did result for me...
Leonardo Di Caprio also does a great job, he really seems like a lion on those speeches!
Besides there are a lot of funny scenes. I can remember so many from sexual dirty jokes to the most silly and pathetic situations. This movie is hilarious at parts! In fact it's one of the main reasons why I score it 8/10...
Storie di ordinaria follia (1981)
Madness is your destiny...
It's a sad and melancholic story about a promising writer, CHARLES SERKING (played by Ben Gazzara), who has a terrible addiction to alcoholism. His life is a constant adventure through the borders of sanity, but he never cares when he's in the end of the line, crossing the edge of madness. He lives in a permanent rush for alcohol and sex, to satisfy his instinct. When he meets a young and beautiful prostitute – beautiful as an angel in his words – called CASS (Ornella Muti) his life won't change, because she's also a lost soul, a girl which injuries herself! It's in this mood of extreme depression and madness that this story goes until a tragic end. But then, comes redemption and a new beginning, with a new angel...
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Society is a rotten orange!
Today I've watched A CLOCKWORK ORANGE for the very first time. I had already seen other films from Kubrick as SHINING or EYES WIDE SHUT but I had never picked up this one, which is called to be one of his greatest masterpieces. Today I did it and I didn't regret as it is in fact a very good film! It stills not my favourite from this director since I liked those I did refer better, but it's a great movie with a great message.
It's not the best film ever made as some people say but I would not mind to call it a masterpiece because it really has some brilliant scenes, messing up with the "standards of modern society", religion, politics, and some of them are done with great sense of humor! One scene I recall, to be against the "correct standards" - and it should have been a "shock" back in 1971 - was that one when the leading character, by reading the bible, imagines himself whipping Christ on his way to the Calvary, wearing a Roman centurion uniform! It's done in such a way that it's even a bit humorous!
On the other hand I did appreciate the final message of the movie (at least what I understood from it...), which is either you play right or wrong, you do good or evil, you are always protected if you are with the mighty ones... Not that I agree or follow this, but it's in fact what happens in real life, and I see this film and this message as a way to criticize our "modern societies" and the way they are ruled nowadays. 1971 or 2015, at this issue the difference isn't that much...
The soundtrack is superb, it's based on classical music, but they put some "futuristic" electro-synthesized pieces of Beethoven in the most improvable scenes (violence, WWII...)
A great movie from a master called Stanley Kubrick!
Strange Days (1995)
"I'm the Santa Claus of the subconscious"
And if your memories could be recorded in a disc and you could see and feel everything again as you were right back on that specific moment? That's the premise for STRANGE DAYS!
We are in L.A. at 30th December of 1999 and the new millennium is about to begin. In the black-market you can buy a new "drug" which can drive you into POV experiences of other people's lives, seeing, hearing and feeling what that person recorded. And it could be anything, from someone making sex, running at the beach, making an assault or even the "blackjacks": violations, murders and even the death of the person who was recording! That's a voyeuristic kind of experience but also an addiction that could be easily compared to a drug...
But that's just the premise of the movie, and the most interesting part of it in my opinion (In fact I watched this film for the first time back in 1996 and that was the only thing I remembered from it...). So the 2000's new years eve and this "new drug" are just the context to what is in fact an action thriller about cops, the abuse of authority, and the tension between cops and black people in L.A...
I enjoyed the movie, but also the soundtrack! It has some nice kicking rock songs of the 90's (including the ones sung by Juliette Lewis!) and it made me feel like 20 years ago listening to those songs. The acting is also fine, especially from Ralph Fiennes and Angela Bassett. I score it 7/10.
" but they were twins! What was I supposed to do?!"
It's a little and simple movie entirely shot inside a coffee shop in London but it's quite entertaining and funny.
The plot is all about the crossed talks between the costumers and also the employees of the coffee shop and all type of hilarious and absurd situations happens! From the girl who broke up with her boyfriend because he had a threesome with two identical twin girls to the crazy old lady who is shooting a gun inside the bar!! Not to mention the story of the guy who dresses with his wife's underwear
Well there are a lot of crazy stories in this film It just proves one more time that each person is a book full of chapters and that everyone has his little secret written in one of those chapters I appreciated this movie especially because of that and also because it crosses many characters, stories, funny and crazy moments in a simple and unpretentious way.
The cast is good and includes some known actors like Mena Suvari. It was nice to seeing her "practicing" her British accent I enjoyed this film and I score it 7/10.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
I Know I'm the one who is out of context here
Not being a fan of superhero movies
I watched a few days ago this Spiderman with a friend
and the great conclusion I got was that I really don't appreciate this genre, at all!
The good part was that we watched this film in an IMAX 3D theatre
and the action scenes and the 3D effects were pretty good.
Even so I can't score it higher that 1/10 because of the plot, the characters and all this "superhero thing"!...
I Know I'm the one who is out of context here though,
because it seems to be a good film to the Spiderman fans
The Family (2013)
It tastes like an American burger a.k.a. plastic food
While watching the most recent film from Luc Besson, THE FAMILY, I felt like I was eating a burger, tasteful and juicy at parts, but a bunch of plastic food in the end
In fact this metaphor seems perfect to me to explain this movie because it really is tasteful, when it has some good funny moments, with nice black humor; but on the other hand it's so "artificially" made and full of clichés that it really seems like American fast food! Not to mention the amount of "wooh! How could it happen this way??" scenes! One that really called my attention was that one when a little scholar newspaper of a small town in France goes right in the hands of the mafia's leader who was in jail in New York OK I know that a few centuries ago some people used to send a message inside a bottle into the ocean but
I also know it's just a movie and more than that it's a black comedy but enough is enough
Besides it has a lot of "artificial" scenes often used in Hollywood cinema.
So, to sum up, the burger was tasteful with some nice funny moments and a great cast (we don't use to see Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones together in a movie every day!...), but in the end it was just plastic and "artificial" cinema like fast food!
At the same time a sweet remembrance and a sarcastic and humorous satire.
Depicting what happens in an Italian little village in the middle 30's, Federico Fellini's AMARCORD is, at the same time, a sweet remembrance and a sarcastic and humorous satire. In fact this film describes very well the desires and irreverence of the youth (and probably here Fellini is depicting himself, when he was a young teenager) but it also portrays some social problems, the raise of Fascism in Italy and the difficulties of dysfunctional families. All of this with intense sarcasm and hilarious moments! The flatulence scenes for instance, can be disgusting to some, but I found them funny!
I think there isn't a real main character in this film, because there're a few important to the plot. Of course the entire plot circles around TITTA (Bruno Zanin), but characters like MIRANDA or AURELIO, his parents, or even GRADISCA, his muse, are very important as well.
Here Fellini does a film which is pure, intense, sarcastic, at parts grotesque, but essentially humorous and real! I score it 8/10!
A different film!
GRAVITY is a different film. At least it's not similar to any other movie I've ever seen and it clearly has some particular issues which turn it into a different and unusual film. Some of them are good, I would say even excellent, some of them are not so good
The good things: GRAVITY setting is beautiful! The views of the Earth from outer space, the sunrise scene, the cosmonauts floating on space, all of this is done with beautiful images and scenes and with incredible CGI. The special effects are just amazing, superb, I would say! And I also did watch it in 3D and it was wonderful! A magnificent 3D experience, the best one I've had so far (I didn't watch too many films in 3D though ). The acting by Sandra Bullock is great; she does an excellent job, but she's alone The soundtrack, it's also very good and every single track fits very well in the film.
Now the bad issues: The plot! It's so tiny so little that it almost doesn't exist There's one plot in this film of course but it's so simple and short that I think that a movie with all this visual greatness and excellent CGI would deserve a better and more elaborated plot, even if it was around the same thematic! It could have been done with more characters, more subplots, etc I think it fell a bit too short that way (One example that this movie is too centred in the character performed by Sandra Bullock is when she arrives either on the ISS and the Chinese stations and there were nobody there, dead or alive! Why weren't there any cosmonauts? Did they were taking a walk on space? I don't think so :)
So, together with some usual and typical Hollywood clichés, this lack of plot and the absence of other characters are the most let-downs in this movie to me. But as I said in the beginning all the rest is pretty good!
It's a nice suspense thriller but it also has an intense dramatic tension!
What initially seems to be just an AMITYVILLE rip-off is in fact an excellent movie that has almost nothing to do with that film. Except the fact that it's about a house LA CASA DEL FIN DE LOS TIEMPOS has a totally different plot, and it's a very good and imaginative one in my perspective!
It's mostly a suspense thriller but it also has an intense dramatic tension in a very well built plot. Along the movie we watch what happened in two different periods, 1981 and 2011, and the ending is absolutely dramatic, but amazing! I appreciated the way this story was built, because it's like a slow burner, creating suspense, and then, in the end, it clarifies everything, in a convincing and remarkable final disclosure.
This movie surprised me a lot because I was expecting an average horror thriller, in the line of AMITYVILLE, as told, but it was a lot better than that, mixing horror, suspense and drama in a fabulous way!
I watched this Venezuelan suspense thriller (claimed to be the first one in this country! If is that so, I have to congratulate them!) in FANTASPORTO - a film festival from my hometown - and I easily score it 9/10! Excellent surprise!
Miss Zombie (2013)
A zombie with heart
This film starts somewhere in Japan when a wealthy family buys a zombie to be their housemaid. They know it can be dangerous, so together with the user's manual there's also a gun in the "zombie's kit", in case of the zombie turns aggressive. But they were told that this particular zombie is peaceful because there're many kinds of zombies, it depends on the degree of their zombie infection
Does it sound bizarre?? Well, this movie is bizarre! But it's also interesting on the point it uses the zombie issue as a metaphor! It has nothing to do with any other zombie movie I have ever seen. It's almost a poetic zombie film! In fact zombies here have feelings and emotions and in the end we don't know who is human or who is zombie
The main idea is quite interesting but the movie is too slow paced and turns a bit boring at parts. The shot is entirely in black and white which increases the melancholy and the poetic feeling. I appreciated the concept but won't score it more than 5/10 because it's too slow paced!
I was amazed with the strange colors of this film!
Being visually stunning this movie is great essentially for its amazing cinematography and the way the camera is used.
Detailed and wonderful plans, vivid colors, amazing sets inside Art Deco buildings; it all have an astonishing visual effect.
The plot is mysterious and complex.
It's all about a murderer that is killing people inside their houses, but without breaking anything or leave any clue. But who is this murder anyway?
It's one of those movies you can't figure out the entire plot at the first sight! At least I didn't!
But I was amazed with the strange colors of this film!
Modern tale of vampirism
After an accident in Romania, the native land of his girlfriend, ALEX (Yannick Rosset) received a blood transfusion in this country. Back home he starts noticing some strange changes in his body and also hallucinations when he watches himself on the mirror. At first sight he thinks it's just delusions but then a weird appetite for blood appears
CHIMÈRES is a modern tale of vampirism. It follows the same lines of the traditional vampire story but it's passed nowadays, with some new elements. It's also a story of love and altruism, so in that point of view, I didn't appreciate too much that ending of revenge.
It's beautifully shot and has nice scenes of suspense and a good soundtrack, effective to create tension! I score it 7/10.
Para Elisa (2012)
The Doll house
PARA ELISA is a Spanish horror film which enters in a world that is supposed to be naïf and innocent and turns it into a blood bath, a game where innocence turns into creepiness!
It all starts when ANA (played by Ona Casamiquela), a Fine Arts student, answers a job announcement to work as a nanny, in order to get some money to her finalist trip. She goes at the address and enters in a sinister old house full of dolls and other antiques and a sympathetic old woman, DIAMANTINA (Luisa Gavasa), invites her to take a tea She accepts and after a little conversation the old woman takes ANA to meet her daughter, ELISA (Ana Turpin), the child but when ANA notices that this "child" has her age (or is even older ) she regrets the job, but it's too late
It's a nice horror film which creates some tension and has some gore, but it also falls in some typical clichés of the genre. However I appreciated the soundtrack very much, it's effective to create suspense and have some nice and sinister sounds! The acting is fine but not great.
- Hey ghost mate, want to be my friend??
Expecting an atmospheric and moody ghost story, I watched this movie supposing it would be an average horror movie with lots of clichés in the ghost genre but at least entertaining. Well, it has nothing to do with what I was thinking about! It's creepy worse!! The suspense and the chills quickly were transformed into boredom but the really good stuff comes when a "beautiful" (I would say ridiculous, but OK
) story of friendship between AUNDREY (the main character) and DOUGLAS (her ghost friend!!!) arise. I mean, can you think of a more idiotic idea than a love triangle with a
ghost??! I can't!! The main idea of this movie is ridiculous by itself, but the way the plot develops turns it even worse: The lost love; the old romances; jealousy; the girl who is lost in her life and is helped by the ghost's friendship; the ghost that falls in love for the living girl and wants to be with her forever
God! What crap is that?? This plot is absolutely ridiculous and makes no sense!! Besides this "great" plot, this movie is terribly slow paced, with lots of boring scenes, and the acting is not convincing as well. A straight 1/10!
Cold Comes the Night (2013)
It's clearly a low cost movie, but it's well done! Well produced and acted. COLD COMES THE NIGHT is a little story about money, crime and betrayal where nobody can be claimed as innocent
Money is the centre of the entire plot and what a person can do for money is its main message
In fact, CHLOE (played by Alice Eve), the main character of this movie, seems, at the beginning, just a "normal" mother which has a hard life to sustain her daughter (and herself) working in a Motel as a receptionist; but along the movie we see she's as manipulative, greedy and criminal as the mafia's guy (TOPO, played by Bryan Craston) or the corrupt cop (BILLY, played Logan Marshall-Green), her ex-boyfriend. During the plot she proves she can do everything for money and even the excuse that it's all in the name of her daughter – to get some money to start a new life and give her better life conditions – seems a very little excuse to me. She did the same crimes for money as the other guys
I did appreciate this movie because it was quite entertaining, well-acted, and tells us a dark story about money and corruption in a very simple but realistic way.
Bringing the good and the bad side of Human nature
UNFORGIVEN is a story of death and revenge in the Old West. It's a classic, in the western genre, and it's considered by many as a masterpiece. I watched it today for the very first time, in spite of been hearing about this movie since it was release in 1992. I didn't use to appreciate westerns, it was not the type of movie that used to call my attention, but a few years ago it changed. Today UNFORGIVEN was broadcasting on a Portuguese TV channel and I decided to give it a chance. For a while that I was wishing to watch a good western movie... I guess I picked up well!
UNFORGIVEN is in fact a very good film. It's mostly a retaliation story as told but it depicts very well the most basic Human feelings as friendship, fear, anger or the willing for revenge. The cast is superb and the performances too, and I sure did appreciate the realistic way all story and characters are portrayed. It's more than a "typical" western, UNFORGIVEN is a movie that brings out the good and the bad side, the strengths and the weaknesses, that are inside of every human, even of those who are supposed to be villains! Nice work from Clint Eastwood indeed (direction and acting)!
Metallica Through the Never (2013)
Essentially (and essential!) for Metallica Fans!
As a Metallica fan for more than twenty years (since I was a young teenager back in 1991) I didn't know what to expect from this METALLICA THROUGH THE NEVER. I heard a few little things about it but nothing too specific because I wanted to go see it with a fresh mind, without any previous ideas. That said and by what I've seen I think it's mainly a concert with a parallel plot that it is in fact a bit confusing and unclear. I don't know if it was just a hallucination (since he took some pills in the beginning, before he went to his mission) or not but the guy dies and rises again like an immortal! In fact it really seems to be just an amount of stuck scenes to illustrate the songs which were being played in the concert, more than a solid and coherent plot. But if it was the case I think better "scenes" should have been chosen to "illustrate" the songs, exception made just for two or three, like "Fuel" or "Ride the lightning". Nice FX were used though and technically the scenes are well done, I just feel that if we separate the "concert" and the "movie" this last one would be very short, incoherent and almost with no sense
So I think this feature is essentially (and essential!) for Metallica fans as it is mainly a concert, and as a live performance I think it was great! I also did appreciate the final credits when the play "Orion" all dressed in black. I quickly understood it was some kind of memorial, but unlike I initially thought it wasn't dedicated to Cliff Burton but to Mark Fisher instead (famous stage architect who died last year). As a "concert" I would score it straightest to the top but as a "movie" I don't score it more than 7/10.
Le conseguenze dell'amore (2004)
Dark and unusual drama with a great camera-work
Unlike the main title may suggest THE CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE is not your typical romantic comedy or even romantic drama
no, it's well far beyond that! It's mostly a drama for sure but where love enters in a very dark and unusual way
It tells the story of an unsympathetic and lonely man TITTA DI GIROLAMO (played by Toni Servillo) who lives in a hotel room for about 8 years and has a very solitary and monotonous live. He has some dark secrets as well Nothing changes his routines until he falls in love for the incredibly beautiful green eyes of SOFIA (Olivia Magnani), the girl who works in the Hotel's bar.
The plot is straight to follow but the kind of cinematography used and the way the scenes are mounted turn this movie a bit puzzling at parts. The camera-work is excellent and the way the director shot some angles and details are simply brutal! I'm talking about the scene in the hotel room when the camera passes over DI GIROLAMO's head and then stops shooting his face upside down! Or even the very two last scenes of the movie. These are just two examples of this great directing work! The soundtrack is quite nice as well.
This story doesn't end unsolved but I think there're some questions that still without answers at the end, like what happened to the mysterious SOFIA To sum up, it's a good film with a great performance from Toni Servillo.