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Siberia (2018)
8/10
A world with no exit, indeed.
15 July 2018
I guess most reviews are negative because the movie was advertised as a 'Keanu Reeves thriller' so they expected an action thriller. But John Wick this is not, and I'm really glad it isn't. This is a slow paced, very old school, psychological thriller. The air is thick with danger, the menaces are everywhere, the main character navigates dangerous waters, but there is no 'action' scene per se until the ending. The film follows its path, slowly but surely towards the inevitable. The script is basic and rather clicheistic, but saved by strong, nuanced performances. To quote two interviews, this is a grown-up movie about people and relationships. A bit of redemption, too.
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7/10
The simple act of paying attention ...
18 August 2016
can make this a movie enjoyable to watch. It's good; not without it flaws, but good. It needs patience, as it's quiet and slow-building. It delivers its first punch around the one hour mark. Then the second about 20 minutes later...then you're in the ropes (to borrow a metaphor from the movie). It's well acted... but that's all that's well about it. Directing, editing and script are the reason this is a passable but not 'good' movie. As with any old-fashioned whodunnit movie, it's all about attention to detail. And in hindsight, the trailer is pretty clever....especially the last line. Won't give away any spoilers, but the very first clue is in the trailer.
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Knock Knock (I) (2015)
9/10
biting satire
11 October 2015
This is no 'typical' Eli Roth fare. It builds slow (we're even warned about that in the beginning; both Roth and Evan like building up the anticipation). There's a lot said with images, not dialogue. Like any good film should do. Lots of subtext there - for those who can read it. It's contained. Minimalist. Almost restrained, for Roth. Twisted, dark comedy and underneath that, brilliant, biting satire. Roth and Lopez don't spare anything or anyone. And because of that, reading the audience's reaction in reviews and tweets is about as entertaining as the movie itself. It seems to have hit a few sore spots ;) Also, this movie features what is probably Keanu Reeves' best performance so far. He finally lets loose. So unrestrained, it's beautiful to watch.
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9/10
I think I just found myself a new favorite director
14 July 2013
It wasn't exactly a surprise, though. To paraphrase a character from the movie, I knew he had it in him. But knowing and actually seeing are two different things. The movie has an old school feel to it - and yet not. It builds slowly, maybe too slowly for most people's taste. Slowly, subtly, steadily; like the bass line of a Foo Fighters song. Like a lazy snake that uncoils in the sun. Like Chi in meditation. It picks up its pace only after 40 minutes or so. But until then, the audience is given plenty of details, hints and reference to work with - if so inclined. And when things do start happening, it's beautiful to watch. Yes, it does have a few stiff and/or formulaic moments but given the genre and it being a directorial debut, this was inevitable ;) Also, in spite of the genre and the references/homages to other movies,Reeves' directing style is original.He might have been inspired by the masters, but he doesn't borrow from any of them. Like Tiger, Reeves created his own style: ironic,realistic, minimalist, sharp, punctual, complex,subtle, multi-layered. Although being promoted as a 'kung-fu movie', Man of Tai Chi is much more than that. It's a meditation on many aspects and trappings of today's life. But none of them are spelled out in neon letters; it's up to the audience to recognize them. All in all, it's like... a Chinese menu: there's something in it for everyone, but some of the dishes are not everyone's favorites...

If there's one thing the movie fan in me wanted more of, it's real interaction between Reeves' and Karen Mok's characters. I would have wanted to see the sparks fly ;) But the more I think about it, the more I realize that by not including that element, the team made the right artistic decision which served the story, not the sheer entertainment factor. And that's a bold thing to do.

Well done, Mr.Reeves. very well done. Looking forward to the next one :)
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9/10
loved it, loved it, loved it.
22 April 2013
an almost unexpected surprise in today's world focused only on feel-good movies. a multi-layered little gem. a story about loneliness, disappointment, pain, despair, and ways to cope with all that. a story about human connection and lack thereof. a story about games of power, seduction and domination. a meditation on how people behave in front and behind a camera. And the camera becomes a fourth character; a silent witness that's central to the plot; a fourth player that changes the rules of the game. it's a story about finding hope - or not. no,it's not everyone's cup of tea. yes, it will make most viewers uncomfortable. but those who have patience with this movie will be rewarded with a story that sticks with them for days. it's haunting. as long as such movies can still be made, there's still hope. it means the moviemakingmagic is still alive.
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Side by Side (2012)
10/10
It's an ode to cinema,
10 June 2012
this film is. It's about marking a turning point in the history of cinema and raising awareness about it. Yes, it's a subject that's been discussed and bitched about for what, 10 years now, ever since Lucas proclaimed that film is dead. But maybe for the first time it brings all the opposite opinions together. Side by side. (Loved the editing - it was just like watching a tennis match) And for people like myself, 'civilian' moviegoers who while watching a movie often found themselves forgetting about the popcorn and instead wondering 'how it's made?', this film is like Christmas in June :) I mean, I've read a bit about film making; I've come across some of the terms and looked up their definition; I knew what a DP does; I've scratched a bit the surface of the whole wide world of movie making. But to have the main processes explained clearly, precisely and in a language I could understand, all this in a one-and-a-half hour film, was like... like attending film school but without the (almost always compulsory) elitism and snobbery ;) :D

And watching the documentary at a film festival was a special experience per se. It was shown in a small old-fashioned theater, with creaking seats and wood floors and velvet curtains and no air conditioning; and old theater where once I used to go watch old cinematheque movies in black-and-white. There was a bitter-sweet irony about it. The audience was formed mainly by film festival guests and film students; people with technical background in movie making, and a few lost souls like myself, who just wanted to watch the documentary we read so much about. And it was a joy to see them react to the technical jokes; to hear a few of them hoot when on the screen someone was talking about the operator and the DP losing their god-like status on the set, or to hear them snicker when Cameron rhetorically asks Reeves 'you've been on a few sets in your life, haven't you?'

It's a film about nostalgia and inevitability, with a very light note of sadness.

But this was just the first date, and I'm quite taken with the film, so I'd really like to get to know it better. You know, take it on a second date, then a third. I'll take it to the movies, the old-fashioned way ;) I'll wine it, dine it, maybe even take it on the obligatory weekend to Paris. It could be the beginning of a long lasting relationship. So, when is the DVD gonna be released ? ;) :)
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Somewhere (2010)
Lost in Translation all grown-up
20 March 2011
Watched Sofia's 'Somewhere'. Loved it. Loved everything about it: the sarcasm of the Foos' 'Hero' playing in the background of the opening scene; the press conference scene; the white mask; and especially the minimalism of it. The way Sofia uses her camera as a detached, silent witness. The way she observes everything, without judging, without blinking, just like Cleo does.

'Somewhere' is Lost in Translation without the glitz and cliché's and the star treatment that made the Academy pay attention; without the 'classic' plot development; without any attempt at humor, except the involuntary moments. It's Lost in Translation all grown-up.
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9/10
for once I agree with the Academy... and it scares me ;)
13 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Finally managed to watch 'The Hurt Locker'. And I say finally because I had to watch it in two 'sessions'. Taking a break of two days between the first hour and the second. Can't explain why. Maybe it was just too much. Too much of what? Sheer film, I suppose. There's something haunting and intense about Bigelow's minimalism - as opposed to you-know-who's pretentiousness and grandeur and megalomania. With Bigelow it's all about details. The bullet shell. The wind blowing the dirt. The hungry, dirty, three-legged cats. The Iraqi boys speaking rap slang. And then there's the mix of shaky camera images, documentary-style, and the 'classic film' shots... I also liked the way Ms.Bigelow teased us, bringing in Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes only to kill them 5 minutes after... ;) XD

There's probably a lot more to be said about this film, but I can't do it. Can't write about films I really like. Can't find my words. That's why I'll never be a film critic ( thank gods !)

Haven't watched the other nominees for 'best movie' , except for 'Avatar' and 'Inglorious Basterds', but I dare say that for once I happen to agree with the Academy.

And for those who said this film won the awards it did because it sort of glorifies war - opposed to what Cameron's extravaganza did ; WATCH both films, then think again. Most of Bigelow's films are about a certain part of the human psyche. About the need for the adrenaline fix. The way I see it, that's what 'The Hurt Locker' is about, not war per se.
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Legion (2010)
4/10
The film had potential. Too bad the angels got to it first.
21 April 2010
Just watched Legion (2010) It starts like Terminator. It ends like Terminator, Sarah Connor's bandanna included. And maybe even the guns in the back of the car. Several scenes cry out Matrix reference, but hey, it's almost a must. Besides, Matrix fan here, so I guess this could be a biased perception. The first half of the movie looks like an imitation of 'Constantine'. Francis Lawrence and his director of photography ( one Philippe Rousellot) should be proud. I guess. Heck, even Connie's lighter makes a cameo appearance in this film ! Then it's all a messed-up mix of various references. Matrix, The Seventh Sign (1988) Jet Li movies, you name it. Okay, I know it's a post-post-modern world out there. But there's a fine line between ( close) references or homage and heavy borrowing. And when I hear lines like " Why do you continue to fight? When you know all hope is lost?" and the hero's answer is 'Fuck you", my mind stops – and then in a split second pulls out of the archive the 'Oh! In two hundred years we've gone from "I regret but I have one life to give for my country" to "Fuck you!"? … I'm glad Neo isn't alive anymore to hear this. :(

And the above reaction/analysis could mean several things. One is that I should stop watching movies in Keanu Reeves movies terms. ( Although it's hard to see how this could be done, as, to quote a friend, I've got Connie engraved on my brain cells. ) . The other, far more disturbing , is that I've fallen into the (amateur) film critic's mind set. Which is something I promised myself – ever since listening to the film critics' commentary to the Matrix movies ( shrewd, the Wachowskis are ) - to never let happen. Begone, Satan !

Stop. Replay. The movie, I mean.

… and I still see all the above. But I like the idea of Michael being the rebellious one. To quote my friend ( again), "Gabriel is the decision maker, Michael the warrior.[…] decision makers learn not to second guess themselves - warriors just carry out the judgments […] which means that the warrior can take a moment to think it over - and second guess.." I wish the moviemaker would have played with this idea more. Instead, we're given action scenes over action scenes and just a "You gave him what he asked. I gave him what he needed" line. And Michael's little chat with Jeep in the still of the night. But I wanted more talk and less fighting. More food for thought and less action scenes. In the same time, a comment on these pages says : "Jet Li movies have a lot more "kung fu". In fact, so does The Matrix, and that also has gun-fu." (KentaroK) I had to smile. Oh well, can't please everyone…

Add to all the above the annoying, 'in-your-ears' too obvious score.

The film had potential. Too bad the angels got to it first.
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Avatar (2009)
7/10
entertainment ? yes. technical achievement ? yes . but...
26 December 2009
*The first duty of a movie is to entertain.* someone said on a blog's commentary section. and by all gods, Cameron's Avatar does that. pity it stops there …

It's a 3D special effects extravaganza. It's… a movie written and directed by James Cameron, post-Titanic. 'nuff said.

But the characters are sketchy, the lines are clicheistic, and the only one who saves the day, in more ways than one, is Sam Worthington. ( Ribisi is great too, but his part is more of a cameo than a real part ) Strip away the effects and the score and the beautiful CGI scenery of Pandora, and there isn't much to the story. At least not what I ask of a 'good' movie. It's entrancing to watch in 3D on the big screen, yes. But when it ends, I yawned and stretched and felt the need for a coffee. And that was all. Didn't make me want to take a deep breath and reconsider the reality around me. Didn't make me want to buy a ticket for the next show, just to see it again. Didn't make me almost miss a traffic light. Other movie(s) did that. Not this one.

"He's designed it to bring people back to the cinema. […] Jim has always said to me that he wants to bring people back to the movies, and he's a smart enough man for that to be tactical." Worthington said about Avatar. Yes, the movie does that. It's a return to the glorious Hwood kind of movies. It does bring people back to the theater. But I'm missing that 'something' ... the 'splinter' the first two Terminator movies left in my mind... Roger Ebert likes it, the Academy will like it… but it leaves me wanting more. More what ? Dunno. Maybe real quality storytelling over astonishing cinematography?

Okay, Cameron lured people back to the movies. Now it's time that someone uses this opportunity and gives them also some food for thought. Not only great visuals and popcorn.
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Watchmen (2009)
8/10
great sound editing ;)
18 June 2009
I'm watching the movie and I think 'darn, this guy (Snyder) really has an eye for translating graphic novels onto the screen ! he just makes the drawn panels come to life... ... and then I think better about it and realize I'm somehow disappointed. What he did with 300 and Watchmen was to film the drawings, frame by frame... guess I wanted more than that. guess I wanted a re-telling of the story, not just a translation... But it works. it catches the essence of the comics. Maybe Moore should watch the movie. Don't know what he'd think of it, but he should at least watch it.

And the sound editing is just brilliant!

oh, and people, get over the use of the "Hallelujah" song, it was a joke ;) :))
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not blockbuster material, but...
17 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Let me start by saying what this movie isn't . It's not the original. Obviously, it couldn't be. But it's an interesting re-telling of it. It's not yet another alien invasion movie. It's not Independence Day. At the end of the day, no-one gets to cheer that we kicked the big bad alien's taillights. Or that we blew up the big bad asteroid which was just minding its business… It's not a movie about aliens. It's a movie about US – and our paranoia. Our fears. Our hysteria.

And it's not a 'green' movie, either. I mean, Klaatu is actually eating a tuna sandwich…

But it's no blockbuster material, either. Or at least,doesn't seem like it to me.

It's got beautiful cinematography, though . AND little subversive lines. (And for those who complain this movie has images which remind us of The Sphere, Contact, or Close Encounters of the Third Kind… pop-quiz , what do all these movies have in common ? answer : they hold the mirror at US)

It doesn't preach, it just suggests. It gives us the test paper, but we're the ones who have to connect the dots and find the hidden figure in the drawing… It doesn't have any moralist speech at the end . we're past speeches. "They" have tried to talk with our elected authorities, but all we did in response was to wave our guns. So the message is given at an individual level. And there is where we'll have to look for salvation, in the end. Inside us. The change will start with each and every individual who'll make it.

It has an interesting parallel, too : in both versions, Klaatu learns what it means to be human mostly from the boy. But in the 2008 version, the kid mirrors the "us against them" mentality of the society. " we should kill them anyway, just to make sure" . Thing is, this kid is able to change. How about the rest of us?

As for Reeves' Klaatu… it's been said he's sinister, menacing… he might appear that way. But above all, he's simply… ALIEN. From the very first moment, you get a clear feeling that whatever's watching through those eyes, it's not human.
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Atomised (2006)
4/10
"you don't get points for trying' "
3 December 2008
... or what Ostrakosmos ( another poster ) said ;)

truth be told, the movie tries. it takes random scenes from the novel, it even translates them onto the screen line by line... sometimes. some other times, it rewrites them completely... and poorly. IMO, the problem is that we get only half of the story. or rather, one third... OK, one can't film social criticism - maybe- but at least one shouldn't butcher a splendid novel. we get part of Bruno's desperation and madness, but we don't get to feel or see Michel. what we are given instead is a mere caricature... and it's a pity. the two brothers were each at one end of the human emotions specter. we were given the lower end, but how about the higher one ? I agree, it IS a challenge to bring Michel onto the screen, in a believable way. a challenge the director and the scriptwriter took... and failed at. in the same way, Annabelle's story is ...not diminished, but almost nonexistent. her drama was the catalyst for Michel's drama, but...the movie does not show this. in any way. and on top of all that, the movie starts with the novel's ending, ruining the whole point ! AND it does not touch at all the revolution brought by Michel's utopia ... long story short, in Bruno's language, the novel "delivers" . the movie does not.

great soundtrack, though ;)

oh, to think what Wim Wenders could have done with this material...
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War, Inc. (2008)
8/10
hilariously brilliant
26 July 2008
... or brilliantly hilarious . or something like that.

haven't laughed so good since "Shoot'em Up" ...

it's been fun to try guessing all the references. it's been a joy to see the oh-so-classical-cliché's put to good use.

and what can beat the "I'm your father " line ? nothing, I guess...

and yet...it's not just silly fun. on the contrary.

and to think the humor was lost on some posters / reviewers... guess post-modernist sarcasm isn't everyone's bowl of soup ...

( unfortunately I have to type a few more lines in order to get the comment approved, as IMDb considers that a certain text length is an a priori condition for coherence... although everyday life and posted comments prove the opposite... and most of the times less is actually more... )

but, long story short .... thank you, John.
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Street Kings (2008)
8/10
it's not what it looks like
21 April 2008
first of all, must say that this is a movie that benefits from - and actually needs - a second viewing. at least. maybe even a third. then, in order to fully understand it it helps doing some homework. I know I did. read almost all Ellroy's novels. Watched almost everything Ayer wrote. and also his previous movie Harsh Times. there are a lot of influences in this movie. after all, this is the post-modernist age...or are we leaving that one behind as well ?

anyway...

the first thing that 'hits' you as you sit in the theater chair is the score . it just blends in with the images, as if it's organic. it just insinuates itself in your ears, wraps you around...and you're caught. and don't even know what happened.

The movie… It's not a masterpiece, it's not gonna redefine the history of cinema. But it's a well made, well-thought movie. It's not just another cop movie ; it's not "the poor man's LA Confidential" as someone wrote . If it were to be defined in such terms, I'd say it's "LA Confidential" and "White Jazz" ( the novels ) mixed, stirred, not shaken ( or was it the other way around ? ) filmed by the man that made "Harsh Times". It's Ellroy's writing, with all his classic trademark notes, and Ayer's camera. It doesn't glorify cops; it doesn't judge them either. It just puts up a mirror : if the reflected image looks ugly, don't blame the mirror… blame reality. If anything, it's an ironic ode to the last "lone ranger"- but in this case it's not Wyatt Earp, it's just an obscure LAPD cop. Times have changed, legal system has been overtaken by procedures and technicalities and lawyers that can twist words such as a murderer can walk out of court with a grin on his face, all based on a tiny slip of the law…LAPD's answer to all this is Tom Ludlow. He follows different rules ; he defines justice on his own terms. The ancient terms. The law of the street. But he does not enjoy it. It's a duty, not a passion. He takes no pleasure in the pain he inflicts upon others ; deep down inside, it hurts him too. All those images haunt him, but he never complains . Instead, he just goes more and more out of control. And we gradually learn that he was shaped to become that way ; that his mentor noticed his temper and turned Tom into his weapon. A weapon he uses according to his own agenda. And everyone manipulates him. And he's a loner par excellence. Can't relate to people, can't relate to his own emotions. So he drinks to drown them. Ludlow is not an alcoholic ; he doesn't drink to stop the shakes; he drinks to numb his feelings. And it's not working.

The movie also touches the "why's" of corruption. For some cops it's about money, for some it's about dope ; for some it's about power. For Ludlow, it's about the purpose justifies the means. He breaks the rules for justice – or his idea of justice. All he wants is to 'get the bad people', whatever it takes. The irony is that this wreck train, this loose cannon, this half-demented character is in fact an innocent. Ludlow is just a soldier, following orders, and a code of honor that goes only one way. He's just a pawn – and he'll have the fate of a pawn. Used both to open the game and to end it…

He's used and framed by the people he considers his 'family'. After all, he's a victim of his colleagues' actions, and of his own self-destructive nature. Survives betrayal, yet he doesn't really change. And as the movie develops, Ludlow's eyes begin to open…just to realize that what it looks like is not always what it is . he gets tangled in the spider's web…and there's no way out.

Acting : Forrest Whitaker's captain Wander was a little over-the-top…but it was only this character who could have won over Ludlow, and be accepted as a mentor. As for Keanu Reeves…he just WAS Ludlow… he was so believable it hurts. After Constantine and Bob Arctor, I thought I've seen everything. Well, I was wrong. He surprised and amazed me again. And I have a feeling there are quite a few more surprises in store for us…if we'll just be patient. And if lady luck will be on his side
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10/10
...can you hear the silence ?
23 March 2008
just saw the movie. In a cinema theater. Sunday morning, only four people in the audience, myself included.

I'm blown away.

here, normally, I would have added only another sentence to this post - but the IMDb rules state a post must have a minimum 10 lines.

so I might write that this is not just a movie. It's a tribute to all movie makers, of all times. It's a tribute to all the people passionate enough with an idea to be able to follow it until the very end. A tribute to those few people that do not sell their soul, or their ideals. In a way, one might read it as Caranfil's manifesto.

but ignore all the above. Ignore all the comments. Just go see the movie. It speaks for itself better than anybody ever could.

the rest is silence.
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Shoot 'Em Up (2007)
9/10
best laugh I had in years
26 January 2008
I watch the very first scene and I'm thinking " so it's 'Constantine meets Bugs Bunny' " . And then it gets better. Eleven minutes into the movie, I'm laughing with tears and counting all the references, noting down all the movies spoofed in this one...it's a beautifully funny tongue-in-cheek to the Matrix , Bourne, Bond movies ; it's got Blade Runner, M.I, X-files , Dirty Harry - like hints, North by Northwest -like lines ; Clive Owen's spoofing his own Sin City character...it's all the action movies ever made, all the comics and cartoons...it's such a treat for a movie buff ! and Clive's my hero. for being able to keep a straight face all through the movie. I've got a problem, though. don't think I'll ever look at a carrot with the same eyes again...
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9/10
reality without make-up
29 November 2007
after the first 20 minutes of the movie, my reaction was "...it's not 'really' like that..." . and that, although very often I pass by similar places, similar people ; similar tragedies happen a few hundred km away from my home... and I never paid attention, not really...

and then, as the movie ended, and the credits were rolling, it changed into "...in fact...it CAN be like that. it actually IS like that, for some people..."

thank you, Catalin Nemescu. for making me see the reality as it really is. without any make-up.

wherever you are now,thank you.
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10/10
This movie will surely find its audience. Slowly, but surely.
6 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Haunting. Heartbreaking. Sad.Ironic. Visionary. and the list can go on... It feels like I came too late to the party- everything there was to be said has been said. Besides, I'm not good with words...maybe there's something wrong with the two hemispheres of my brain...anyway, there are a few posters here ( reality_bites70, babubhaut, Chris Sparks , just to mention a few ) who described the movie and its atmosphere better than I could ever do it...

It's just...something else. It's ( the best adaptation ever of) PKD meets Waking Life. The animation is very important to create the atmosphere, it enhances the actor's performances, yet it's so subtle that after the first 10-15 minutes I barely noticed it. The acting...is right on spot. R.Downey Jr. may have overdone it a little ( but just a little bit), W.Harrelson is just great, Winona seems in great shape , and K.Reeves...well...he may have done one of his best performances EVER. It won't bring him any Oscar, but it adds another complex character to his accomplishments list as an actor. one issue about the script, though. I know this is an adaptation of the novel, so it won't follow the book exactly, but maybe some of the episodes that happen to Bob/Bruce inside the New Path rehab institution , during the first period, should have been presented. I would have helped us understand the character -and the "conspiracy" better. This last part of the script/movie seems to rush the events. And yet, for one who knows the novel, Keanu's final scene, the apparent blankness and void on his face, but contradicted by the look in his eyes, says it all. He picks up the stubbled blue flower. " A present for my friends, he thought, and looked forward inside his mind, where no one could see, to Thanksgiving"

It breaks one's heart.

This movie will surely find its audience. Slowly, but surely.
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9/10
"I used to be a prince"
1 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I looked for this movie for a long time. Took me two years to finally get my own copy and see it for the first time. And all my searching was rewarded. A beautiful bitter-sweet comedy. as another poster put it, it might be one of the best movies that no one has ever heard of. A story about rebel and misfit teenagers , messed-up adults, radical solutions , and finding out one's way in life..sort of.. the "prince" that becomes a "free man" ...An eighties' movie about teenagers, but witty, sarcastic and real, and in the same time funny and entertaining... Great acting, by all the actors involved.

Too bad this movie isn't more known to the public.
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Little Buddha (1993)
10/10
hard to find, treasure to keep
31 August 2006
After seeing this movie on YV several years ago, I started looking for it on VHS, DVD, whatever came available. And it was very difficult to find a copy in my country, even at rental stores. It's no novelty, no die-hard action, no Adam Sandler comedy, not based on comics, so why would they have it anyway ? oh, well, whatever...So I turned to Amazon - and trust me, getting deliveries from Amazon to my country is a real adventure. But I finally managed it. Rewatched it today. and trust me, all the waiting and the search were more than rewarded...

It's a Bertolucci movie. That alone should say all. It's a beautiful story told in an unique way. It made me ask myself a lot of questions. Gave me a few basic insights about Buddhism - and I feel so ignorant now, must start reading upon this , very soon... In a simple and beautiful way reminded us that there are so many thoughts and things in life that we aren't aware of... Some posters compare this movie with "The Matrix". not a fortunate comparison, I'm afraid. Instead, I would compare it to Linklater's "Waking Life". And no, it's not a 'Sunday School Buddhism". It's one of the most important stories of mankind. A story told in images. A story that matters. That could change our way of thinking, relating to everything around us.

It's one of the movies I would take with me on a desert island .

PS. Keanu, congratulations on your performance in this movie !
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Waking Life (2001)
10/10
"It's like I'm being prepared for something..."
27 August 2006
...probably the awakening of my cell brains ( or what's left of them)... I don't really know. All I know that this movie got to me . made me ask myself a lot of questions. too many, and too painful. kicked me hard in the ass, time to run to the library and hit those philosophy books. start with the ABC's, as I'm rather ignorant in this respect. it's not the first impulse, other certain movies and books pointed me the direction. but "waking Life" made the difference. it is the final stroke.

so, maybe it's a pretentious BS, as some posters called it. maybe it's a masterpiece, as others wrote. it doesn't really matter to me. what matters is that it changed my perceptions, it made me seek answers. was this in fact the director's intention ? I wouldn't know. But I thank him for waking me up.
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Munich (2005)
8/10
" home" . a sacred word.
9 August 2006
I kept postponing viewing this movie. Don't know why, just a feeling. And today seemed like the right time to see it. or maybe I was on "thinking mode"... To be honest, I didn't expect to much. Actually, I didn't expect anything. But I was impressed. Spielberg redeemed himself. I almost forgive him for War of the Worlds.

"Munich" is a well-written, well-acted, well-cinematographed, well-made movie. It's a story about history, politics, manipulation, human feelings , the definition of "home"... "home" a sacred word. yet defending one's home means sometimes loosing one's humanity. and one's home means other's exile...

as for the Israeli-Arab conflict...it will never stop. but that's a different story, which belongs elsewhere.

the message is simple, though : violence will only generate more violence.
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Day Watch (2006)
interesting. funny . witty. welcome.
25 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
...that's how I would describe it. and can't wait to see the third part... no, I haven't read the books. I'm not sure whether they had translated them so far in a language I could read- but I'll check. so I wasn't familiar with the plot , I just took the movies as they were. Night Watch seemed something new and interesting. a new non-Hollywood approach. Day Watch instead pays its tribute to Hollywood, but in a special manner... Both movies are filled with specific Russian elements, in terms of day-to-day life of the ordinary people, nightlife, references to products, items, habits... for me, as an east-European slightly familiar with some aspects of the Russian culture, it's a joy to watch this movie and try to get the hints... it's something else... of course, in Day Watch one can find quite a few references to "The Matrix"- but not as in "copied" , more like in a "tribute / parody" way ( the highway chase, the hotel hallway fight...some parts of the soundtrack...the door number -to name a few) ...and it makes you smile... just try to think the rave club scene from Revolution turned into a typical Russian restaurant party...with all the oh-so-particular cultural particularities...and you'll get the joke...eventually.... certainly, these movies have their special humour... they just don't take themselves completely seriously...and it's only adding to their appeal.... yes, as another poster wrote earlier, some of the references will probably not be understood by the Western audience. but for those with even a little knowledge about the Russian realities, these movies will be a treat... or at least I think so. a welcome breath of fresh air in this year of oh-too-serious super-productions...
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10/10
I'm speechless.
23 July 2006
...after watching the movie, I just sat on the chair, staring out off the window, for a long time. all kind of thoughts ran through my mind, but none could take shape. I couldn't even cry. so this is the human nature. at its best and worst... it's a sublime movie. and a terrifying one. oh, the images...the soundtrack..the performances...the story...the overall picture... some complained that it's too long. well, this is not a standard movie. he could have left it 9 hours long, for all I care. I would have watched them nevertheless. this is real art, at its best... but other posters have said it all, a long time before me. nothing more to be added, I guess...

I would dare say that in a way it's better that T.Malick didn't make too many movies. 'cause maybe they might have been more than we could take.
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