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Inside No. 9: The 12 Days of Christine (2015)
Season 2, Episode 2
3/10
A mediocre work showing banality of UK existence
27 June 2019
British people may consider this a tragic portrayal of their peer, with whom they might be uniquely able to empathize, unlike with the countless masses thought the world who lead a much more tragic, if less banal and far more meaningful existence, with a lot of oppression traceable to imperialism and the very peers whose banality of evil turned into empty existence is shown in this BBC episode. The high rating of this shi te show shows just how deluded Brits are in overestimating their trash and elevating it above more worthy human specimens. Objectively, we can rate this slightly less than the very bottom, due to some manipulation tactics and especially a somewhat sincere portrayal of just how empty and shallow anglo-saxon way of life is. This is what plundering and ra ping quarter of the planet for 150 years has led to, a divine punishment of sorts of the petty arrogant hypocrites from the isles, albeit totally oblivious to their worthlessness.
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Chernobyl (2019)
8/10
Solid but ruined by cold war stereotypes and lack of true insight
6 June 2019
While the show is solid, and has some strong points, and some artistic liberties can be granted (English speaking does not really matter, its OK even to introduce a fictional character to represent many scientists), it turns too many times into a western cold-war propaganda caricature that is almost rac ist in its pandering to the worst and most insulting prejudice. Yes, Soviet system was broken, but not in a way they portray. The elite apparatchiks were not some low class bully thugs that threatened to throw an elite academic out of the helicopter (that more accurately portrays US marines dealing with some captured Vietcong soldiers, but can you imagine USA secretary of energy threatening Feynman during Challenger investigations in such a way - well, notwithstanding Soviet corruption, neither it was realistic in the Soviet system). The incompetence of the Soviet people was way overstated, some key plot points are insultingly invented. While the reality of the problems in Soviet Union were perhaps too subtle for the western audiences and directors and writers of the series (that are obviously marinated in anti-Russian prejudice, that blurred their "vision"), the crudity of the portrayal of the problems that caused the disaster is laughable.

Still, the series has some authenticity to it. Decision to portray Soviet living standard in a more realistic way than usual (hence avoid propaganda at least there), as well as some authentic facts that survived the rac ist bias of series' authors almost by accident, are strong points. The series has a sinister feel, though still a bit ruined by some liberties that authors took for entertainment purposes. While falls a bit short of shows like Breaking Bad etc, the series is pretty captivating for all but the dum best of viewers. The killing of pets scenes are hard to watch as are scenes of suffering, but the horrors were based at least on the reality.

Hence if taken with a grain of salt, and understanding that many events were plain invented for the purpose of drama and pandering to anti-Russian and anti -Soviet sentiment and bias, on the expense of authenticity, it still does show some sympathy for the ordinary men, and at least makes an effort to give a captivating, if biased and limited by the overwhelming intellectual shortcomings of its authors, account of the events. Worth a watch, but beware of the fake authenticity claims.
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6/10
A woman with BPD - a horror story
10 April 2019
This documentary shows some tragic consequences and shocking actions of a poorly treated borderline personality disorder sufferer as it touched the lives of filmmaker's friend and his family, and describes vividly a dysfunctional socialist system of Canada, through the smug US American eyes, and shallow interpersonal and dating system of anglo-saxon way of life. While the plot seems to be entirely predictable, the filmmaker and his documented subjects seem to be unaware of what they are dealing with. While tragic, the mundane lives and events that unfold pale in comparison to tragedies that beset many parts of the world that suffer under exported wars (to a large extent traceable to "respectable" members of anglo-saxon societies), but because they cut close to home, they implicitly reveal the rac ism of perspective of many awe stuck viewers. The cultural clash between the two northern American neighbors is amusing, misguided socialism and female friendly custody discrimination vs death penalty loving imperialism and gun loving hypocritical vigilantism. The "heroes" of the movie, to whom it is dedicated to ease the understandable pain, even openly advocate vigilante justice at one point. They did sublimate their loss by civil action, and made a lucrative bestseller out of the whole situation, in the best USA tradition. In the end, though unwittingly, the movie portrays a condemning picture of a shallow and cold mentality and sick society that sees problems only when symptoms come to surface and backfire. While technically rather poorly done, and tonally and intellectually disappointing, documentary is still worth a watch as a twisted perspective into hypocrisy, greed and mental illness.
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The Favourite (2018)
10/10
The most conventional Lanthimos movie
24 March 2019
This movie is great fun. Women, while always lacking in their contributions to science or art or philosophy, were never absent from the realms of power, as queens and female prime ministers, sometimes hysterical, but often extremely cruel, are well known through history. This movie sheds some light on the intrigue and backstabbing dealings on the court of Queen Anne, and shows that when sociopathy is concerned, women have it all over men, and that evil potential has been cultivated on the British isles, to the benefit of the aristocratic and powerful yet de generate, and via the violent abuse of the Indian and countless other imperial and later shrunken UK subjects, since Anne to Victorian age to Margaret the iron witch. A quirky, fun and cynical look into the British court, through the wise Greek eyes. Excellent!
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9/10
A harsh condemnation of American hypocrisy
24 March 2019
This movie, inspired by a Greek myth, delivers a harsh verdict on modern USA life. It is very unsettling to some viewers who hate the truth this movie is exposing as they too cannot face their failings, which are deep and disturbing. A rich surgeon, representing power without accountability, whitewashes his responsibility for "collateral damage" type of killing of a patient, a father of a whitetr ash sociopath with possible supernatural or terrorist powers, whom he chooses to appease with cheap gifts to lull his sense of justice for his kin, while feeding the fake narrative of benevolence, like "spreading democracy" serves as a shameless cover for brutal neo colonial expansion. However, the real price must be payed in order to make peace with the Gods. The selfishness, hypocrisy and lack of morality is present in all of the rich but glaringly banal and shallow members of the surgeon's family. In the end, he runs from responsibility, but manages to stay on top, for yet a little while more. A fitting analogy for dwindling USA power as they continue to kill people all over the world, and try to postpone their comeuppance for a while and continue their cheesy ways, filled with lack of true refinement and overabundance of ketchup.
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Prospect (2018)
4/10
Nothing much
23 March 2019
This movie is a simple treasure hunt survival saga. It does not bring much original in fact, no great subjects except of greed, no new angles, a bit of an atmosphere but that is all. Really, a small movie, not stupid but nothing much either. Well worth a skip.
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The Machine (I) (2013)
8/10
A decent very low budget movie about AI
31 January 2019
This movie is relatively good and it touches all the right buttons and themes when it comes to the impending singularity, but brings little original. It is decently done, is watchable, and has a nice atmosphere and is relatively intelligent. Its budget is surprisingly low - standing at only 1.5 million, ten times less than an already low budget Ex Machina, which was released a year later independently, and has some similarities (and is a slightly better movie overall). Though the movie is relatively strong, it does not bring anything really new, but all the pieces are brought together in a way not done before in this plausible way. Some of the references do feel pretty corny (HAL shutdown in particular), and there is something of Terminator, some Blade Runner, and similarities to some other movies. However, the story is decently underplayed (unlike over the top movies like somewhat prone to hysteric outbursts like Transcendence), and despite of it being a straightforward, direct take on the usual themes (consciousness, freedom etc) , it still makes a pretty good, understated sci-fi noir movie, well worth a watch if you are into these kinds of things. Acting, atmosphere and writing are all well done.
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The Witch (2015)
9/10
This movie is a research project
7 January 2019
This is one great movie, but it is not really a classical horror film with cheap thrills or jump scares. Rather, it is a much more serious exploration of all things related to the witches tale, from the folk stories to the very medieval mindset that gave rise to Salem witch hunts and the consequent atrocities. This is a work of love, and a product of years of very elaborate and tedious research into the historical context and origins of the concept, and the frame of mind of Puritans that made their primitive prejudices possible. The movie also skillfully touches on the related widespread folklore, that gave rise to the stories from brothers Grim to contemporary Disney rendering of the witches universe. But though there are many layers of interpretation of the movie, it is really in essence an exploration of the primitive Puritan imagination, that made supernatural interpretation out of even the most mundane occurrences, let alone the unexpected ones. This is the place filled with ominous witches, where sin is rampant, where Puritan oppression - sexual and otherwise - can find outlet in fantasy, leading to atrocities and abuse of all sorts. And this is the true horror, the truly scary thing about the whole thing. For, the medieval puritan mindset of New England and their folk tales of witches might be things of the past, but bigotry and close minded stupidity and prejudice are alive and well, especially in America. Salem witch trials and executions are long gone, but bigotry still gives rise to savage acts in the name of "spreading democracy", "fighting terrorism" or "communism", and to the unchecked USA atrocities all over the world. The origins of this horrifying, bigoted mindset are well explored in this movie. It is not supernatural elements that are appalling, but the palpable reality of human stupidity and wickedness of the nature of humans and their "righteousness", that is really the root of truly sublime horror.
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10/10
Great fun based on a real story
7 January 2019
This is one intriguing movie about a very fascinating real life sociopath, that, fittingly, works for the feds nowadays. Movie is fast paced, grips your attention from start to finish, Leonardo Di Caprio almost redeems himself for Titanic, in any case he is brilliant here. The Spielberg shows his talents too. There is also a beautiful opening credits animation as an icing on the cinematic cake.
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8/10
A solid adaptation
7 January 2019
This movie is a solid adaptation of the beginning of the Ripley universe. Jude Law is good, but Matt Damon is a bit unconvincing, as he does not come as either a sociopath or a person undergoing a transition. Not bad, but not Leonardo Di Caprio in "Catch me if you can" either. However, movie is nicely shot and the book the story is based on is great. It is just a bit off, but well worth a watch.
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10/10
Brilliant
7 January 2019
This is one of the most brilliant Woody Allen movies. Deep, dark and cynical, it speaks truth about the world around us. It essentially involves two plots, one about crimes (murder that goes unpunished) and the other about misdemeanors (involving Woody's character as a decent person who is inevitably a loser in such a world, and Alan Alda in one of his best roles as a memorable pompous villain with unforgettably mocked line "if it bends it's funny, if it breaks, it is't not funny"). Absolutely recommended!
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Match Point (2005)
9/10
A very personal Woody Allen film
6 January 2019
Woody Allen has made a very similar movie in the past, Crimes and Misdemeanors. Both movies are essentially this author's take on Dostoevsky and his "Crime and punishment", and might be called "Crime and no punishment" and contain a nearly identical pondering on the nature of conscience and how easy it is in fact to live with murder, as many people in the west, especially in the upper echelons of society, indeed do, both figuratively and, in many cases, literally, weather it is in the world of politics, military aggressions (the word "collateral damage" comes in this movie in the end spoken by one of the victims) or ordinary life, with extreme western hypocrisy as a great "resource" to ease the way. The similarities of the two movies (almost the same murder situation, and the same result, similar motives), and the director's penchant for autobiographical elements as inspiration, makes one wonder what aspects of his shady past gave rise to this story redone like this again and again. This movie follows more closely "Crime and punishment" and there is even an old (but being he is anti-Dostoevsky, a poor one) lady that gets offed like a rat in a peanut butter trap.

The characters in this story involve some rich inbred British people, an Irish protagonist (fittingly), and a femme fatale in its American version (Scarlet "Lucy" Johansson), a failed actress but worth every cent in other, less reputable, domains, according to her own words. Faithful to the stereotypes, Irish turn out to have terroristic inclinations (movie was sponsored by BBC after all), American is "innocent" and "likable", British are boring, and there is even a Scottish detective (of Scotland Yard?!) who figures it all out, but to no avail, because blind luck was on the side of happiness of the elite British cream (who had been joined by another worthy member set in their standards of "morality").

This, at last, is a new element to the story. Luck. In the beginning, we have a scene where a tennis ball hits the net, and which side - by luck - it ends up on, determines outcome of the game. Very similar scene in the end in turn also determines the final outcome, i.e. "happy ending" which is in fact a more realistic version of most "happy endings" and "missions accomplished" in the culture that did not bring us Dostoevsky, but did come up with infected blankets and rationalizations, conformism and hypocrisy to make it easier to quell whatever conscience is left in whoever is still not a sociopath. And brought us Woody Allen, with brilliant wit and experiences to match the point.
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Ripley's Game (2002)
9/10
Malkovich is perfectly cast
4 January 2019
This movie is perhaps the best of the Ripley movies out there. Malkovich, cynical sociopath, with cool but deadly presence, is perfectly cast. Movie takes a fresh look at some moral issues, and, as with other material from Patricia Highsmith's pen, challenges common morality. Movie is shot on location, which is only appropriate. A bit old fashioned and not for the masses marinated in social media "culture", but if you liked Silence of the Lambs this might be a movie for you.
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9/10
Becomes better after reflection
4 January 2019
This omnibus Western can disappoint on the first watch. Bleak and apparently uneven, it nevertheless becomes much better after the material has been digested a bit. The main connecting theme is death, which in the Wild West came in many forms. There are many in-jokes both in style and in substance (James Franco ogling the pretty girl does not end up well here either, much to the surprise of the shallow character), and one supernatural ride to the other side to end the all tales. Though most stories are bleak (and the longest and most developed and heartbreaking one stays faithful to the olden view of the natives, which, given that it mocks the stereotypes from such fictional stories, seems appropriate as trolling the public for their prejudice), one in the middle is uplifting and given in vibrant colors. The most depressing and (deliberately) tedious one involves depiction of the high brow art as being beaten by the proverbial chicken, and thrown out like a useless ballast. The movie is dark, cynical, but accurate and playful, and the stories become better the more you think about them. Brilliant cinematography adds to this stylistic collage and parody/homage to the wild west.
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Harakiri (1962)
10/10
True masterpiece, exposing hypocrisy of the ruling classes perfectly
16 September 2018
This movie is powerful classic, that is almost perfect. It was way ahead of its time, and comes from an era when Japanese cinema was one that brought us many timeless gems. The samurai story is eternal story of well placed revenge, hypocrisy, morality, it brings philosophical examinations to the forefront. Acting is exceptional, emotion is raw, film has many subtle yet brilliant moments. Certainly one of the great classics of Japanese cinema, not to be missed by anyone.
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6/10
Much lacking compared to original
16 September 2018
The Japanese cinema used to be much more powerful in the past. This remake of classic masterpiece Harakiri is far worse in many ways. It toned down criticism of authority, that is the core of the original movie. The central story is overdrawn, and it does not bring much new. What is new in this presentation is almost always at a loss, spare a somewhat simpler structure. Acting is also better in the original. But what is most annoying, is that some key subtle points are missing in this version, almost as if they were not understood, or worse yet, almost if hypocrisy of the authorities is to be whitewashed. It is far less powerful rendering of the story, it lacks authenticity that Kobayashi had with his then contemporary comments. By all means, if you can, see the original first. One of the least justified and worst remakes. However, when the original is so great, this lazy if not outright stupid remake still leaves us with a somewhat shabby but not too bad a movie. It is a disappointment coming from a director that had better days, and especially from a cinematography that seems to have grown tired, and has been surpassed by South Korea but also China to an extent.
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9/10
Powerful zombie movie with a heart
26 August 2018
South Korean cinema is so good. This movie is part 28 days later, part Snowpiercer and another part The Cassandra crossing. But it still manages to be very original. The morality tale is strong, and we see a transformation of corporate self centered father into a self sacrificing hero. The movie disproves his early maxim that everyone should look for themselves in no uncertain terms. The selfish coward corporate train manager and his refusal to help others is given its due. And in the end, humanity wins in the perfect if hopeful ending. Movie is fun, fresh and still manages to be a good zombie/outbreak movie showing end of the world of sorts, in a way much higher budget Hollywood crapies can only dream to achieve. Kudos, South Korea!
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10/10
Cynical, dark, beautifully shot
5 August 2018
This is one rich movie of one of the most respected Russian directors of the turn of the millennium (Cargo 200, Brother 1 and 2), in his most stylistic edition.

The movie has a Dostoevskian feel to it, and is extremely cynical. A psychopathic and art producing pimp and his menacing henchmen, his evil murderous sister, a corrupt girl and adulterous wife meeting their fate, a seemingly innocent but ultimately plagiarizing thief of a youth, a pervert maid and dirty old nanny, an alcoholic perverted kid who has a Siamese brother, perhaps one of the only three moral characters, who are all met or faced with death, all inhabit this fictional universe. Unloved unselfish husband and famous doctor, a good engineer with a weak heart and several other characters die or are offed in most leisurely and fun ways. This bleak but realistic portrayal of the human condition is a reflection of the Yeltsin perverted era in which this masterpiece was produced.

The movie is very reflective and well done. It has a well placed and impeccably paced misanthropy for which the now deceased director is famous, director who despite of his immense talent, probably rots in Hell. Not because he is necessarily evil, but because he is exactly the kind of amusing character Devil would like to have a company of. He feels quite at home there, if indeed there is such a place, observing the inhabitants of doom with the same detached amusement and artistic wit he demonstrated aptly in his cinematic gems.
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7/10
Hollywood level movie but with the look from the outside
5 August 2018
Turks are not Iranians, their Islamic cinematography has much to be desired. Yet even they, provided sufficient money, can reach Hollywood level entertainment quality, and this movie certainly proves that, so emulating Hollywood, which is typically even more shallow and stupid but shiny and bombastic, is really possible anywhere. What Turks bring to the table is realism, realism in portrayal of american war criminal mentality that plagues the world in the last decades. It is a satisfying antidote to Hollywood stupidity of patriotic shallow stupid pro-Amurican anti everyone else propaganda, and is both technically and morally superior to average CIA propaganda vomit like Black hawk down or Top gun. That being said, it is still a mediocre movie with only its objectivity to elevate it above it.
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Confessions (2010)
8/10
Japanese version of Scott Tenorman Must Die
25 July 2018
This movie is not bad, but it pales in comparison to a much more effective (and shorter) South Park episode. The consistency of this movie is not very high, and movie is not a thrillfest some assume it is. However, it shows nicely depravity of a teenage soul, and the wreck selfish mothers and females can impose on vulnerable teenagers. It has some twists and turns, and a somewhat satisfying finale. It argues for cruelty against children, cruelty Asians are famous for, and it does so in a somewhat artificial way, but the misanthropy of this movie is heartfelt. It also proves that at the moment South Korean cinema is superior to Japanese cinema. Akira Kurosawa, Japanese genius, is turning in his grave, one ash droplet at a time. Still, not a bad movie, full of sarcasm, cynicism and Japanese culture.
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9/10
Nice movie about psychopathic facebook founder
25 July 2018
Fast paced and interesting, this movie tries too hard to portray Zuckenberg in a better light than he deserves. He was not a good coder. He was much more exploitative than movie suggest, as his later love affair with CIA and selling personal data of facebook users for nefarious purposes proved. This guy is far less charismatic than portrayed (and he isn't portrayed as particularly charismatic to begin with) and far more calculating, menacing and Machiavelian than described. The only thing the movie did show worse than it was was Zuckenberg incel situation. Zuckenberg was dating a Chinese golddigger/smartdigger/Harvarddigger the whole time and they got married.

But despite being more positive towards its subject than they would warrant, the movie manages to capture part of the psychopathic nature of facebook and its founding. Artistic liberties were taken in order to humanize these monsters, to make us care and for plot not to be boring. In that it succeeded, but humanizing monsters like Zuckenberg or Hitttlerr is never a good idea in a movie. However, you at least get an idea about the depths of the cutthrooat depravity that was only confirmed by the fact that facebook abuses the trust of its sheeple all the time, and a movie is fun to watch, and deserves a praise even if it is an idealised/sanitized/overseksed version of the sorry reality this movie is based on, and as a movie is well worth a watch, but keep in mind the reality was much darker and more boring at the same time.
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8/10
Quirky but fun
23 July 2018
This Wes Anderson movie is very quirky but fans of Wes Anderson will not be disappointed. The movie is part a loving parody of Jacques Cousteau, part character study, with a lot of wit and understated acting. Beautifully shot, it is more complex and straightforward than some other Anderson movies, but still has a mesmerizing effect and grows on you upon repeated viewings. Justifiably a cult classic, it is perhaps not the best of Wes Anderson movies, but it is not the worst either, despite unjustly being panned by critics. If you have a functioning brain, give it a try.
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9/10
An almost perfect movie
21 July 2018
This movie has many things going for it. It shows the war in a sincere authentic and unique way, it is skillfully made, and it has lot of Serbian humor in its dark crudity. However, it is also a bit contrived and does not quite live to its pretensions. But it is a fun watch, accessible to wider world audiences, and gives a lasting positive impact. Dragojevic can be described as Quentin Tarantino of Serbian cinema, his movies have a bit of that vibe (not so much in violence but in how much it "borrows" and incorporates seamlessly), but this movie falls a bit short of the best of the best of the Balkan cinema.
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Office Space (1999)
9/10
A truly exceptional comedy
21 July 2018
This movie is original, perfectly captures frustrations and it does not take itself too seriously. It well deserves the cult following it gets. Perhaps not innovative in its cinematography but it has brilliant storytelling and wit. A classic
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Fight Club (1999)
7/10
This movie is overrated
21 July 2018
The Fight Club movie, like its more successful but equally troubled cousin The Matrix, has some philosophical themes, originality in presentation, and is also strong on satire. Another movie that it is similar in some ways is vastly superior and more intelligent and fun American Psycho. The plot is adapted from the eponymous book, which "borrows" ideas from Dostoevsky's "The Double" and puts some "Thus spoke Zarathustra" along a way. It is derivative and not very good, certainly not as good as its cult followers would suggest. In any case, given the hype, I was expecting more. There are some good points along the way - especially its anticipation of terrorism, and some good transformational scenes, like when confronting a boss, but overall, it comes across as much more shallow than its reputation would suggest. It is high on style and influence, has lot of ideas crammed in and it might have been even revolutionary in some respects for its time (like the Matrix, which I also find a bit missing), so perhaps its worth a watch, but it is not a perfect masterpiece some assume it is. It may seem so to perhaps teens, incels and millenials, but this is not the most successful nor sophisticated rendering of such ideas. Tone your expectations down, give it a try, this is a movie that can work in bits and pieces, has originality, but is sometimes given WAY too much credit.
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