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1/10
Parody on "No Country for Old Man"
15 April 2018
A Parody on "No Country for Old Man" - also an idiotic and pretentious artsy fartsy - naked emperor. This one spiced with "war veteran" excuse. I am sure the creators of this "suspense-wanna-be" shlack meant well. Wished I could talk to a director. I would listen and, who knows, I may have some angle I didn't see. Heavy gate and some kind of erotic asphyxiation - peculiar masturbatory repetitions don't bring about more sophistication either.
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The IMDb Show: Ep. 102: Alan Tudyk (2017)
Season 1, Episode 2
3/10
Speaking of Roman J. Israel.
26 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Speaking of Roman J. Israel. Sentimental and 2x2=4, good man seduced by the snake. I was hoping he'll return to the sister - would make some sense. A lot of people, like me, would be disappointed. Denzel is a great actor. But here .... What for? Awkwardness squared. Waste of time and money. Don't go - you'll be angry.
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Denzel plays well - as usual. Story sucks
25 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Sentimental and 2x2=4, good man seduced by the snake. I was hoping he'll return to the sister - would make some sense. A lot of people, like me, would be disappointed. Denzel is a great actor. But here .... What for? Awkwardness squared. Waste of time and money. Don't go - you'll be angry.
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Mother! (2017)
1/10
Pretentious as "Black Swan", "Pi" etc
17 September 2017
Some people even liked this shshtaff. I believe that for some of them it's a result of projection coming from their personal history. Others are afraid of appearing not sophisticated enough - "the new emperor's clothes" type of phenomenon.

I should of looked at the info. If I knew it was Aronofsky's b a b y (Err), I would've saved 2 hrs, CAN $11.50 and myself from feeling disgusted.
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10/10
Shakespearean proportion, but many people may not want to admit it.
3 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
It develops like contemporary production of Greek tragedy - takes off with gentle suspension, which culminates for a viewer in empathetic co- experiencing and ends as a fairy tale. Solid, seemingly a "small film", but almost all human relational realities encompassed in this pretzel of passion, confusion and fog of existential searching for the meaning of Life - only to find it in simple humanity right at home.
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Get Out (I) (2017)
1/10
"..would have voted for Obama a third time if they could have." My foot!!
13 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Despite being an entertaining and well played by actors + skillfully structured by the director and the crew, it is a terribly biased and divisive film. There is no even one positive white character. Not even neutral. Just black (good/victim) and white (menacing/racist/predatory...etc).

Besides, the medical/neurosurgical premise is ridiculous. Although, it's not that important.

Some reviewers, gullible and well meaning, overlooked this central point and effect of the movie.

These "people" would vote for Obama?!

Pleeeeease.
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Incendies (2010)
10/10
Greek x Shakespearian tragedy
22 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Not what you "believe", but what is believable. Eternal truth - our ability for good AND evil. If you want to see this in 4D (such thing must exist)- see also Waltz with Bashir.

The most important part is - the life being so much more bizarre than fantasy.

This film shakes you up to the core. Whether this is a "true story" or not literally makes no difference. It is a metaphor on ANY hateful relational process, but especially on so called "religious" confrontations.

Take facial tissue and don't be embarrassed by your tears.
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Chloe (2009)
9/10
Not "Daphnis and Chloe", but ......
28 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The "midlife crisis" in a life of a couple turns into a tragic story of "fatal attraction" of a "borderline personality". What makes it all worthwhile is the exquisite performance by Julianne Moore. She saves this rather less than perfect screenplay. Atom Egoyan in the scenes which follow the behaviour and nuances of Moore's character rises his film to an almost a masterpiece quality. This writer experienced a resonance and excitement of observing a woman's love. Even the triviality of an end of the film didn't create a disappointment because of the gratitude one experiences for those scenes. Sexual content of the picture doesn't feel erotic and is almost chaste and definitely tasteful. I was glad I went.
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A Prophet (2009)
8/10
Deer in headlights
22 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The lowest common denominator of Life. "Tabula rasa" of a young punk thrown in contemporary jail in France. "The population" reflects the society as a skeleton of it. This film is a masterpiece, which presents a reality of the struggle between group of interests for profit, power, privileges, comfort etc. The "Big Zone" is reflected in a "Small Zone". The world outside is a continuation of the "inside system" and visa versa. In a rather simple and almost minimalist style Jacques Audiard paints with a technique resembling etching. Interesting how the jail milieu dominated by quest for sex, food, some degree of comfort are not the realm of interest for César Luciani - the organized crime boss. He is interested in power only. Malik - with his agility and instinct for survival of a sewer rat - turns out to be the ruthless wheeler/dealer/murderer capable of camaraderie and spirit of friendship, compassion and pride. Good, but hard and sobering film.
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When in Rome (2010)
2/10
What a fluff..
7 February 2010
Actors seem OK. Some - even memorable. Even in this kind of flick.

Screenplay is demented. Mish-mash of other flaky movies.

Director - amateurish. Camera, though - not too bad.

Time and money - waisted.

Danny Devito and Anjelica Huston - run out of options?

IMDb seem to miss Danny Devito in the Cast list. His double is mentioned though. There are so many talented screenplays and directors, but others get the chance.

Don't go - you'll be disappointed.

Oh, well.
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Avatar (2009)
10/10
Out of body... yet in the gut experience
7 February 2010
"Avatar" is not just a movie. As such it would be rather weak and declaratively inept. If you think it's about environmental issues, perils of corporate greed etc. ...it is not. If you think it's about good guys vs. bad guys … it is not.

It's an experience. You are immersed in a whirlpool of images and gut responses. If you are a mature male and find yourself surprised that tears are rolling down your face, it means that you got it. It's a rich and emotional experience. I have seen it twice in regular 3D and then in IMAX. That was yet another enhancement of the intensity of the immersion into the world of "Pandora" with its intertwined interconnectedness of the living beings of Flora and Fauna comprising the united divinity of Life.

Cameron seems to lift the name "Pandora" and it's natives from the Russian sci-fi authors Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. From The British Guardian newspaper: The Strugatskys call their world Pandora, and it is warm and humid and heavily forested. So is Avatar's alien world. The books take place in the 22nd century. So does Avatar... In the books, the natives of Pandora are called the Nave. Avatar calls its aliens the Na'vi. More from the Guardian: Strugatsky, 76, appears to have shrugged off suggestions of similarities between Avatar and his Noon Universe, and denied reports circulated that he was accusing Cameron of plagiarism.

This is not that important though. Avatar is a phenomenon and, in my opinion, everyone should see it.
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3/10
Bones? Where is the scull? Hopefully with the brains.
17 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
But this time I didn't ask for my money back, because the director was clever enough to make me hoping to see something more substantial. It was my responsibility that my optimistic hopefulness let me down.

Let me "spoil" it for you from the onset (so I can, hopefully, help you to save some time and money, as well as avoiding frustration): the 14 y.o. murder victim, after all kinds of disjointed, though picturesque, equilibristic created by Peter Jackson, gets revenge on her killer "from beyond" by sending him to his demise by the rather not too large an icicle. That's it. That's the story.

The book, apparently, was good. The film, evidently, is bad. What can you do?! Not to watch it - that's what.

Although it's difficult to compare "The Lord of the Rings" (1st of which I have watched and was bored to tears) with magnificent and significant "Blow up" - the flop of the "The Lovely Bones" can be compared with the box office flop of the "Zabriskie Point". Antonioni got "carte blanche" after his success and made a film, which was less than the expectations. So happened with Peter Jackson, who, apparently, is no Antonioni.
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Crazy Heart (2009)
4/10
"My name is Jeff and I played alcoholics before...."
16 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
And he played them well. Here he is too very good. So are all the actors and the director. The theme and the depth though .... This moving picture not that much of a film. It's a touching story with redemption. So is a/the theme of the son abandoned and unobtainable now vs. almost adopted one, lost, found and lost again ... Corresponding, as well, with his process with Tommy. That all was a little too much.

But the picture's sentiment appeals to everyone. It helped me to better control my eating tonight. Honest.

For those who love and know well country music it must be a real delight. Some people applauded after it ended.

For others it definitely worth to watch,... if there's nothing else. There is no risk. You will not necessarily regret it.
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9/10
Bad Lieutenant - Good Captain....
5 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This film must be a representation of the director's dilemma; the tortured process of trying to resolve the internal ambivalence and ambiguity of the struggle between Good and Evil. The cynical bravado of a 'seasoned' cop unexpectedly committing a good deed and injuring himself in the process leads to his transformation into a junky. Sadistic set-ups with abuse of power, misuse of position of authority, degradation of generally innocent young people and cooperation with murderous gangsters. This chain of events is eventually crowned with yet another dutiful deed and career reward.

The humaneness of the protagonist's sincere admission that he has good days and bad ones brings tears to the eyes of this writer at least. I can't fathom how the author of the leading comment called it a comedy - dark or not.

Probably unexpected for some I associate this picture with another one - The Crying Game. That masterpiece, too, was about the paradox of life where whatever you touch immediately turns into its opposite: the beautiful, seductive woman in the beginning happens to be the only woman in the film and yet she is a most cruel and violent one. The big burly protagonist happened to be the gentle lover of a person, who happens to be not what she seems. He, at first being a captured prisoner, in his demise, 'imprisons' his Fergus for life leading him into captivity.

The Bad Lieutenant is also a stream of unconscionable actions of an individual who commits deeds which could be characterized as intertwined opposites.

Good - thought and emotion provoking - film.
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9/10
Crying is not a game
5 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This film must be a representation of director's dilemma, tortured process of trying to resolve the internal ambivalence and ambiguity of straggle of the Good vs. Evil, Musculine vs. Feminine.

That masterpiece is about the paradox of life where whatever you touch immediately turns into it's opposite: the beautiful seductive woman in the beginning of the film happened to be the only woman in the film and yet she is the most harsh cruel and violent one. The gorilla like big burly man happened to be a gentle lover of a person, who happened to be not what they seem. He, at first being a captured prisoner, in his demise - 'imprisons' his captive Fergus for life leading him into factual captivity and imprisonment. The actions of the individuals, who commit the deeds which lead to the outcome, which could be characterized as intertwined opposites.

Good - thought and emotion provoking - film.
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A Single Man (2009)
10/10
A film about attachment and sadness of loss.
17 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is a very chaste presentation of the essence of attachment. The gender of the leading characters matters, but it is not the main issue. Sixteen years of love, intimacy, and fusion of two soul mates. It is believed by some that when one swan dies the other flies very high and plunges to its death. If it's true that the pair of swans can't outlive one another, then this story is about that.

As far as the "gay theme", this film has made it possible to de-sexualize the theme and to further the insight which was presented in "Milk" to a higher plane.

Firth plays impeccably. Only the scene with the sleeping bag was slightly and unfittingly comical and somewhat distracting.

The main emotional experience for me was a profound sadness. The nostalgia for a perfect match of the mother and the child must be familiar to all of us. Exactly this instinct made the people and the dogs resonate with George's death-bound drive. The more fortunate of us encounter another person, whom we feel such a bliss of joining with; and the potential tragedy of loss.

I'd be very surprised if Colin Firth doesn't win for "Best Actor" in all the awards there are for 2009.
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Brothers (I) (2009)
10/10
Brethren.. brothers (including sisters) "я" us.
7 December 2009
White becomes black, and black becomes white... and both fade into grey soaked in blood and tears. That's how life is sometimes.

As I have said elsewhere: Most of the comments on IMDb contain the story line. I don't think it is necessary or advisable. But sharing your personal experience and analyzing it from the vantage point of your subjective reality could be enriching potentials of perception and preparing the one who didn't see the film yet. Equally it may give the confirmation of their own feelings, or a totally different angle to the they had. Naming who is playing whom is not necessary either - it's all on the title page.

Goodness vs. badness - the split cardboard reality of a commoner's philosophy is masterfully challenged by this film.

Sibling rivalry usually means for us, in a flat two-dimensional view, a competition between the brothers and sisters. The parents, superiors and other types of authorities are an intricate part of this process.

The two pairs of same sex siblings and the interactions between all four of them is the real essence of this drama of Shakespearian proportions.

I have not seen yet the original Danish film 'Broder', but in this remake the depth of the gap between integrity and opportunism is strikingly and powerfully illustrated.

Great film. Take lots of facial tissue.
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Up in the Air (I) (2009)
9/10
Is grounding possible for a flake?
7 December 2009
Most of the comments on IMDb contain the story line. I don't think it is necessary or advisable. But sharing your personal experience and analyzing it from the vantage point of your subjective reality could be enriching potentials of perception and preparing the one who didn't see the film yet. Equally it may give the confirmation of their own feelings, or a totally different angle to the one they had. Naming who is playing whom is not necessary either - it's all on the title page.

I would have given this film 10, but still can't figure out whether the predictability of the most dramatic moment in this film was necessary or not. On the one hand it gives the viewer a sense of bitter satisfaction ("I knew it!"), but creates a feeling of double disappointment and sadness on the other.

The film is about and soaked in the existential essence of life commitments vs. self-absorption and detachment. The cruel process of severing people from their lifeline - firing someone from their job, depriving them of their livelihood - coats the sometimes literal executioner in an almost sadistic aura of impotent or inevitable omnipotence. The skillful HR consultant type who specializes in terminating people's employment flies around in business class comfort as a utilitarian Angel of Death personifying the vampire-like nature of his source of wellbeing through the process of taking it away from others. Isn't it a circular conspiracy of the "everybody against everybody" nature of our culture? The earthiness of the texture of life, family, partnership, sharing, empathy and consistency (the grounding of a human being) is too real for this individual, who can't afford it - otherwise he can't do his job. Imagine the surgeon feeling the pain, fear,and anguish of the patient. How long will he last?

The film is full of the paradoxes of life - fake vs. real; commitment vs. separation, abandonment and betrayal; discovery vs. loss.

Good and timely for the contemporary society masterpiece enhancing our appreciation of life process. I wonder if, at least for some while,the rate of the weddings will rise and the divorces - diminish.

Hilarious comedy/drama too.
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3/10
I got my money back
29 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Brilliant technology. But what good does it do if the content is hollow and foolish. I have left after < than 30 minutes of watching, being bored and irritated.

The theatre administration returned my money, but the time waisted and aggravation remained. I have been had and no thanks to the stars whose names were the main attraction.

George, Meryl, Bill - I hope you were well paid. You might have even liked it. So I apologies for my limited mind. A lot of people seemed to like it too. Look at the comments. Oh well...

Wish to know - what is remotely redeeming in a story about Mr Fox the husband, the father, the citizen, the ...whatever.
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Precious (II) (2009)
"The Color Purple" of the 21st Century.
23 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
It is interesting that Oprah's debut was "The Color Purple" and that her announcement that her show will be ending, is adorned by this film "Precious".

A young woman (girl, actually) is brutally abused and deprived. Her humbled courage and patience is tested over and over again. There is her vengeful and sadistic mother who masturbates her level of comfort through the shambles of her horrible pitiful life.There is also her robot like, seemingly indifferent cardboard kind of a grandmother and the cruel senseless garbage quality of her environment. All of it cannot crash down on her to squash her spirit. And, if all of that was not enough, she is handed an almost certain death sentence which infects the viewer with sadness, guilt and ....yes, optimism.

A miracle!

The film presents almost nothing cinematographically new. It has the "cookie cutter" "cold cuts" of miserable/deprived/crude/ungrateful bunch of inner city kids and a kind, loving, do-good teacher. Mind you, she is a lesbian, therefore goodness gracious etc. What else is new? "Precious", that's what. The heavy gold persona of this huge/little girl (her mother is of lead) makes all the difference. We do love her. We sympathize, empathize, resonate with her misery, defiance, resistance and applaud her resilience and the steadiness of her soul. I can't recommend this film - it makes you sad and upset, but I don't regret seeing it and, as I write it, I cry for yet another time.
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10/10
The other Color Purple.... of the 21st century.
22 November 2009
________________________________________

It is interesting that Oprah's debut was "The Color Purple" and that her announcement that her show will be ending, is adorned by this film "Precious". A young woman (girl, actually) is brutally abused and deprived. Her humbled courage and patience is tested over and over again. There is her vengeful and sadistic mother who masturbates her level of comfort through the shambles of her horrible pitiful life. There is also her robot like, seemingly indifferent cardboard kind of a grandmother and the cruel senseless garbage quality of her environment. All of it cannot crash down on her to squash her spirit. And, if all of that was not enough, she is handed an almost certain death sentence which infects the viewer with sadness, guilt and ....yes optimism. A miracle! The film presents almost nothing cinematographically new. It has the "cookie cutter" "cold cuts" of miserable/deprived/crude/ungrateful bunch of inner city kids and a kind, loving, do-good teacher. Mind you, she is a lesbian, therefore goodness gracious etc. What else is new? "Precious", that's what. The heavy gold persona of this huge/little girl (her mother is of lead) makes all the difference. We do love her. We sympathize, empathize, resonate with her misery, defiance, resistance and applaud her resilience and the steadiness of her soul. I can't recommend this film - it makes you sad and upset, but I don't regret seeing it and, as I write it, I cry for yet another time.
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2/10
Why?
15 November 2009
"Burn after reading" multiplied by "The limits of control" and divided by "Syriana" + many other films.

Absurdism parading as humour and becoming an absurdity itself.

Lured by the star studded cast - George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey - one finds himself watching those stars floundering in a poor slap-sticky script.

It's alluded in the beginning of the film that they know something about the real mind control research and developments funded and conducted by the Government. And then they show this clownade. Upsetting.

Government bureaucracy (not unlike in "Burn after reading" ) may and needs to be scrutinized and criticized, but just making mindless and awkward fun of it isn't really worth the effort.
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Cold Souls (2009)
2/10
Chickpea indeed.
25 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Soul shrinking and extraction is a swell idea indeed, but it depends on what it is for and how it is implemented. Unfortunately this important, rich and potentially exciting topic of soulfulness, was simplified and impoverished in the film. The focus on consumption vs. creativity and spirituality is a common topic for many documentary and feature films. The idea could have been executed much better and certainly could have been more believable, especially when it came to the Russian theme. Thankfully, most of the "Russians" speak real Russian. Katheryn Winnick, who according to IMDb.com "is fluent in Ukrainian" – is really not fluent in Russian. Her Russian is so heavily accented, that one wonders: could they not have found a real Russian for the part? It would not be a significant issue, if only it wasn't a metaphor for the whole movie. The story of her character's abduction is much more fantastic than the film's sci-fi premise: Sveta, the wife of the head of a criminal organization, a rich and powerful individual, could not have been abducted by a lone person, as she would have be accompanied by a pack of heavily armed body guards. The film starts with the declaration and promise of the creative development of a significant idea and finishes with a vague and bleak streak of desperation and pointless sadness.
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1/10
Shtupid shshtuff...
23 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is definitely not a Sci-Fi … may be "FiSci"? where Fi means nothing and Sci … well - a sigh, I guess. I felt there was neither rhyme nor reason; just boring disjointed haphazard episodes.

I was bored and frustrated - wanted to walk out, but - you know - decided to wait. Who knows - what if they found some meaning in all this somewhat nauseating drivel.

The final revolting implosion was the scene where "Republican" (apparently a bad word) father-in-law shoots his son-in-law (not in the face though).

I wished I could get my money back ($16.95 for a ticket in the VIP viewing room!). May be even to charge my hourly fee....? :-)

Oh well...
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Julie & Julia (2009)
8/10
Yammmm....
9 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The texture of this film pleasantly melts on the taste buds of your senses.

Two truly loving couples, half a century apart, celebrating their love and sensuality in the context of their respective times.

Meryl Streep is phenomenal and it is impossible to say which of her roles is the best. They all seem perfect. Amy Adams is cute, genuine and appealing as always .

Nice and heart worming film about creativity and meaning in people's lives. Truly 'post-feministic' theme: how un-emancipating cooking may sound and, yet, how inspiring, liberating and meaningful it becomes in their so separate, but parallel realities. Interface between these realities is not always smooth in the film, but, somehow, it feels right.
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