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6/10
disappointing
6 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Although an enjoyable movie, there were certain parts that didn't live up to my expectations. The movie is inconsistent with previous ones in terms of how hard is to train as a Jedi, and how hard is to master the light saber . It used to take years..., remember when Luke trained with Yoda, while now people just pick the light saber and are able to fight already? These characters all looked like a bunch of amateurs as compared to the "old" masters. Then it's the light saber duels... which are quite boring, mostly look like some medieval heavy fights, in which you move slow because your weapons weights 30 Kilos! I also expected for the bad guy to be more of a man honoring his grandfather, but somehow, Kylo Ren looks like he just landed here from the Twilight series and gets humiliated in the final scene. By the way, no force push, no lightning? Where are the dark force features? Remember how elegant was Dooku when he dismissed both Anakin and Obi Wan in a memorable fight? As a SW fan, I can only hope that for the next movies, both good and bad guys get some serious training from their masters and give us some real fights.
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The Punisher (2004)
7/10
A true action movie
13 April 2014
A movie that stands out in its category: Marvel sequels. The movie has it all: cool main character, funny and sympathetic side characters (Dave and the fat guy), cool action scenes (oh... those were the times where CGI was not yet the cost saving solution for everything) and also cool bad guys, starting with Travolta himself. Although you know what's gonna happen from the start, you don't guess it how! There are also some "tarantinesque" scenes, like the one in which Frank enters the bank and spreads the money on the window, or the ending fighting scene, which only get's it better. The main character is likable by its short talking and dark mood. There is also an undefined erotic tension between Frank and Joan adding some spice to it. Overall an entertaining movie, at least you know what you get!
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5/10
Disappointing continuation of the well known franchise
13 April 2014
I saw it yesterday on TV and must say I expected some more. It started with some bad CGI effects on that planet where Spock saves that civilization by stopping the volcano from erupting. Then it features a dreadful plot. They could probably live for another 20 movies with such simplistic plots. Some bad guy from the past, or from the future occurs and, obviously wants to destroy the federation, while Enterprise with its captain will save it. But wait a minute... haven't we seen that already? Yes, in 1982 they made "the wrath of khan" but the stories are not at all connected in this one. As a fan of the series I would have preferred reignition of the "next generation" series and character instead of the wash out Kirk and his bad English crue. So let's see what's left to see from this movie: Acting ... as I said it before, todays movies don;t need acting, you get ordinary dialogues and film action scenes (oops, you don't they either use stunts, of CGI directly). And one more thing , I would like to see just once an ugly woman in the role of the brilliant engineer/scientist. I mean all the "admiral's daughters" must be models? I would also like to see this directors getting away from the federation bureaucracy fixed idea. In all the movies, the federation leaders were completely stupid and annoying. Honourable mentions for Spock and Khan in acting. Also the cheap humour displayed by Scott in the tightest moments make the whole plot ridiculous and pushes the production not far from Marvel comics inspired movies. BTW fix that god*** reactor for good! I haven't seen just one movie in the series where that piece of cr** would function well, and I am tired of that pseudo-science explanations of what happened and why isn't working. Man... I have never seen one screwdriver in the whole series. All the technical issues are caused by a "damaged plasma pipe" which can be fixed "from software" using that touchscreen. That was cool 20-30 years ago, but today they should think of something else. However, the movie gets some good points by the way it resolves the conflict, in a "biblical" way I would say. The "sinner" is not killed, but saved for redemption. My advise: if are a fan and have seen other movies, don;t waste the time. If you're new to it, go for it.
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Divergent (2014)
5/10
mediocre
27 March 2014
I went to see this movie misled by the high rating on IMDb. Unfortunately it looks like Hollywood makes movies for people with short memory. I admit I haven't read the source book, but I guess I wouldn't, judging by what came out of it. I hereby venture myself in saying that the book is also a bad SciFi novel. It has way to obvious imports from well known themes that have been exploited to the brim by today (like the "perfect" society that sacrifices diversity for peace, the "different" guy that stands-up to the system, the genuine technology that controls individuals (poorly described, by the way), the fear confrontation ad the list could go on and on. It is not essentially bad to bring these themes in a movie, but I see nothing new, original here. So... if you have seen Equilibrum and the Hunger Games then you know it all. Movies today are just mobile phones... keep reproducing "features" from the competition, while it is supposed to be an art. Another thing can't stand in movies in general is the poor IT incursions. I am talking about the scene in which Jeanine is asked to turn off the "control system" which consists of a huge touch screen in which she just hits some "cancel" button. That was really pathetic... Anyone could have done that right? Another thing that I can't stand, is the cheap psychology things in these movies. They are all based on some sort of psychoanalysis which is long time deprecated in therapy. But it is somehow considered to be "cool" and "trendy" by producers to insert these kind of flavour into the movies to make it more profound. Or are they just as stupid and ignorants as the target viewers? Anyhow... to me, this is bad taste in art. If you want to really go for it, you must do way better that that and if you can't, then at least make it more interesting. It is also true that movies like "Inception" don't occur every month, but once they do... they set a trend and everybody will just take a byte of it. Don't get me wrong, it is a "watchable" movie, perhaps a little too long for its story, which, by the way, is very predictable and full of clichés. I read some users claiming it resembles "The Hunger Games" and so it is, especially with the modest ending that awkwardly announces a sequel. I could predict how the story developed and ended after the first 15 minutes and that's what makes this movie mediocre. Script is mediocre, but at least it does not abounds in stereotypes so it's bearable. What can be said about acting... there is no acting in this kind of movies, you only need to be young and good looking, be able to learn your part and you're done. It's not that the actors are bad, but the movie itself is not based on any acting mastery and just because of that, the girl gets a plus for making something out of it. I am curious if the ratings will stay as high as now in time.
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The Grey (2011)
5/10
full of clichés
3 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie with high expectations, as I like Neeson. But the movie disappointed me in most aspects. First of all, the plot is simplistic and predictable, with non important surprises. The script is mediocre and lines are stereotype, to give more substance to the main character. Neeson as usual, is doing a good job, but if I were him I wouldn't have accepted such a role. No matter how the actor tries to convince, he is limited by the script and direction. There are weak points in this movies, that makes it hardly believable. Not only that the extreme survival situations presented are simply not possible for humans, but the construction around this survival is poorly done. We never get to know why the plane crashed, where it was going to, or why did the main character wanted to suicide. It is indeed very common in American blockbusters that the main character is a macho man, that has suffered some trauma in his past, is depressed but not enough to kill himself (ironically... he is the last man standing in the end) and rarely speaks. He is cold blooded, experienced and with an unclear past. But there is still good inside him huh? Seen that before? The heavenly music and mixture of "gore" with memories of a past happy times just before the next action scene. Ridley Scott looks like he does it all the same, I could almost see the Gladiator coming to kill the alpha male of the wolfpack. Going to other unreal scenes, surviving at -10 after you have falling into a river and wet all your cloths is a bad joke for me. Overall, if you like adrenaline and want to be "scared" then go this movie, but if you passed that age and expect some more substance you can skip it.
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The Past (2013)
9/10
My praises to this movie
7 February 2014
I saw "a separation" a couple of years ago in the local film festival TIFF and was impressed by the profoundness of the human situation described. Then, someone recommended this title. I recognized the main actor, but haven't realized the director is the same. Indeed, "A separation" was rightfully an Oscar winning work, but this one does not disappoint in any way! The plot is relatively simple, but has some unexpected twists. the pace is slow, but dialogs and acting are superb by all means. Ali Mosaffa seems to be a true Iranian movie star. he is not some "muscle man" or some James Dean. He looks like an ordinary man, and his character is an ordinary man, but I would dare to add capital M in front. He acts mature and convincing and his masculinity comes from the inside. I wouldn't know much about Iran, but this man makes me interested in their culture. Berenice Bejo boosted her career by co-staring Dujardin in "he Artist". She plays the neurotic mother tormented by her past marriages and difficult relations with her children. Tahar Rahim has also remarked himself in good movies like "The prophet" and does a fine, but not outstanding job here. Last, but not least, teenager Puline Burlet is absolutely astonishing in the role of confused daughter Lucie. It is possible she played a role very closed to herself, as she seemed so natural in all scenes. To me it was the most pleasant surprise. The children all did an outstanding job as well. To summarize, this is a great movie, superbly directed, scripted and acted about complex life situations dealt by ordinary people. Highly recommended!
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Day of the Falcon (II) (2011)
7/10
surprisingly good
12 July 2013
I saw this movie yesterday on TV and I was instantly captured by its slow start showing the remains of the battle between the two kings. The movie tells the story of the beginning of oil extraction somewhere in the Arabic world. The clash between the strong traditional Islam and the modern western culture is the main thread of the movie. In the end these two worlds blend leaving hope for the best of each to occur. This is a movie contradictory with "classical" anti-American orientation of the Islamic people. Quite a story to tell about honesty, trust, greed, love and friendship. There are several actors to remark in this movie: - The well know Banderas as Emir Nessib is performing as expected for a star of his caliber. His portrays a deceiving king that becomes addicted to become reach by selling the oil from the "Yellow Bent", a piece of desert disputed for centuries between him and Namar. He makes use of everything to argue his actions, including the Coran, his daughter, his sons. - Mark Strong as king Namar produces the biggest impression on me. If I were to imagine a Bedouin warrior king, that would be him. He speaks words of memorable wisdom (a plus for the script) and portrays the "just" leader who keeps his word, lives in honor, respecting the tradition of the Coran. He is also the rigid traditionalist, imposing stupid rules to his people through questionable interpretation of the Coran (like western medicine prohibition). - Tahar Rahim - is the main character of the movie, seeing him evolving from the geek prince Auda surrounded by books to the true leader uniting all the tribes in the end. He is a versatile actor and performs very convincing. - Freida Pinto as princess Leyla is not so convincing, apart from her beauty, keeps alive the myth of "beatiful Arab women", takes part in the conventional end of the plot. - Eriq Ebouaney is remarkable in the secondary role of long time loyal general Hassan Dakhill. The scene in which he is discovered to be held prisoner by Nessib and freed by Auda is memorable. In conclusion, this movies deserves a 7 out of 10, not a masterpiece, but certainly a good movie with minor flaws proving that you don't need a swarm of good looking stars and special effects to make a good movie.
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8/10
they just don't make it like this nowdays
13 June 2013
This is the kind of movie that requires time to "digest" what you see and time is something we can't afford today, perhaps not really time, but patience. The movie strikes by its beautiful music and by superb acting of Beart and Auteuil. Also strikes by not having a conventional ending, a predictable one. The portrayal of the young violinist star by Beart is breathtaking. She captures the whole picture with her facial expressions, giving deep substance to her character. Camille is not a common woman, superficial with well known "needs" that are/aren't fulfilled by the end of the plot. She teaches the audience about the mysterious woman soul. Their meeting is that kind of a chance you got only once in your life. Her eyes says it all, most of the times. Auteuil plays the (also) mysterious violin crafter master, a rather discrete character that never exposes his intimate feelings. This is something remarkable on this movie, that we never know if Stephane is really good in hiding his feelings, or simply doesn't have them to the extent that he is supposed to. I mean... who could resist Camille? Another thing I love about this movie is the "undefined" relationship between the 3 main characters. Socially we know exactly how they are, but in reality, the delimiting lines are dotted. The movie allows its characters to live a "life on their own" and does not lead to any conclusion, does not judge them in any way. I have to mention Cesar's winning (!) Dussollier's performance of a middle aged man in love with a much younger woman. He is... wise and allows the plot to develop. It is also remarkable how the author manages not to fall into the prosaic love triangle by constructing Maxime. He could have easily force it one way or another, make Camille chose (how many time we saw this in movies...) or confronting Stephane, but these are all clichés that you won't find it here. For all of this I rank it 8 and recommend it to anyone tired of superheroes and fast paced special effects.
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5/10
an "almost good" movie
27 May 2013
Although I am a fan of both lead actors, I think that Al Pacino is not suitable in the role of a lover. He is simply too persuasive and while desperately trying to convince Frankie about his love he anticipates his upcoming brilliant performances as devil's advocate or merchand of Venice. The movies is saved by some humorous scenes and by Michelle Pfeiffer who plays the role of the lonely woman in her late 30's disappointed by love, but still hoping for the miracle in her life. Some of the dialogs seemed very unnatural in the context and the sex scene between those 2 is simply horrible IMHO. I got the feeling all of the time, that Frankie is trying to convince herself that this is it, just because she is out of options at her age, so she ultimately accepts this big mouth guy in her life. I am rating it 5 because of the failed romance due to Al's exhaustive talking and predictable "happy end".
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Amour (2012)
6/10
much overrated these days
25 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I believe there is nothing in this film than pulling some tears from the audience by showing the decay of human body at old age. Indeed let's give some credit to Emanuelle Riva for her effort at 86, but some scenes intended to bring serious drama really made me laugh (e.g the "sur le pont d'Avignon" singing). Let's call it like that... at 86 it is (relatively) easy to play a role very close for your age and state of health (probably). Sure nobody expects her doing a role in "expendables" sequel, but I must admit her interpretation is pretty accurate, at least from a medical point of view. I find the final poorly made, like the author ran out of ideas. He should have "killed" her half an hour earlier, make the story shorter and embrace the "dying in the arms of the beloved" scene. Overall I rate it 6 out of 10; still a watchable movie, but way to overrated for winning Cannes and lately the Oscar. It fails due to clichés. I have seen too many movies about old people suffering strokes, this one brings nothing original.
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7/10
interesting for fans, but not only
14 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"and I've playin'... yeah I've playin'..." this is how it starts. First of all this is a documentary on a much underrated musician that had significant influence on many other bands and musicians. I won't talk here about the musician and his music, but about the film itself. Although it can't be considered a "masterpiece", it succeeds to render emotions in the viewer and raise interest on this lost gem. There are no "actors" in this documentary, but former or actual members of legendary group Fleetwood Mac and other musicians to pay tribute to this man, considered by many to be a genius. For me, I must admit I was a fan before I watched it, it was very nice experience to learn more about the man, his life and most of all his struggle with drugs and their psychotic effects and most of all his recovery and return to music. The music is of course beautiful as the master plays it himself:) and it deserves to be watched even for enhancing your musical horizon. To convince the sceptical, the great Santana said about Peter Green (approx. quote from memory): even if he would only wrote "Black Magic Woman" he would be remember in the music history as great.
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Kuma (2012)
8/10
highly recommended
11 June 2012
I recently saw this movie at TIFF in my hometown. Although it gets a little time to get into the slower pace it deserves every inch of it. It is also a good insight of Turkish traditional family, although emigrated with strict rules that are carried on even in western countries. The film develops the drama slowly until the climax towards the end. The acting is very solid, although they are all Turkish actors. I don't know how famous are they in their own country, but I would give credit to Nihal G. Koldas as Fatma, the authoritarian mother of the family, and Murathan Muslu who plays Hassan, the hard working son hiding a secret that wouldn't be tolerated in such conservative environment. The biggest surprise is the 21 year debut Begüm Akkaya in the role of Ayse , a young Turkish woman sent out for marriage abroad by her family. Her performance is stunning, incredibly fresh and brilliant. I hope to hear more of her in the future. If you have the chance, go for it, you won't regret for sure. andrei Cluj-Napoca, Romania
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Kiddo (2012)
6/10
very interesting interactive experiment
11 June 2012
First of all, this is an interactive movie, like in the role playing games, depending on your choices you get different paths to follow. I watched it at TIFF festival, and every viewer received a pair of lighting sticks, one red and one blue. In key points of the movie, we were able to "vote" using the sticks which path to take. The movie had 2 alternative endings. The story is simple, the acting is decent, but not exceptional. The main actress is a "wanna be cool&bad" girl tattoed and an aspiring boxer. Indeed she is cool, and the producer also placed some cool stuff in it, like the crow, but we saw that before didn't we ? Good that he didn't made the mistake of forcing some sort of surreal relation between the crow and the main character. I only rate it 6 because of some bad taste Hollywood like clichés, but other than that it is an accomplished effort.
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7/10
Very enjoyable movie, I had a good laugh
11 June 2012
This is indeed a well made dark comedy. Although the subject is very serious and the action is dramatic in the end, the dialogs are so hilarious that you can't hold yourself and burst into laughing. You also have the chance to see in secondary roles some of the most respected Romanian actors of the last decades. I am talking about Mihai's parents (Alexandu Arsinel and Stela Popescu) and especially Tamara Buciuceanu-Botez as "the badger", playing the old mother is law of the main character. The movie treats a very serious subject, of a dysfunctional family, custody and impact over minors. But it seems to me the authors just wanted to jeopardize life and problems and it succeeds with such humour! A last mention is Gabriel Spahiu as Aurel, the "replacement" father for Mihai. He is the funniest guy. He plays brilliantly the role of an accountant, responsible and loving stepfather, delicate to his gf/wife, but in fact he is a coward, doesn't even know to throw a punch and ends up lamenting pathetically. Watched it on TIFF festival in Cluj-Napoca.
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A film that haunts you afterwords
6 June 2012
IMHO there are two categories of movies: the ones that impress me when I see it, like Hollywood blockbusters which shock me with stunning visual effects, or action scenes, or dramas. There is another category, that don't produce much of an impression when I see it, I get even bored wondering myself why did I pay the ticket for it. But.. suddenly after a couple of hours, or days, they become alive inside me and haunt me after. "Cafe De Flore" is one of those! It doesn't have a story to tell, it is pure art. The authors plant a seed that is intended to grow inside the viewer. It doesn't try to convince you of anything, doesn't draw a conclusion in the end, just places frame after frame and leave the interpretation to you. I would rate it 8 out of 10. regards, Andrei
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a very touching story, also meaningful
16 October 2011
I saw this movie 2 years from now on local cable TV, and decided to write this review after I have been contacted by the producer. It is one of the independent gems around the market that definitely worth a try. My wife, being a psychotherapist, also enjoyed this movies as being educational for youngsters. The tattoo the girl is wearing on her face, although I find it very cool is a symbol of her abused childhood that she eventually overcomes in the end. Anita Gillette is simply adorable in the role of an eccentric rich old lady, but very kindhearted afterall. Also I noticed the splendid music soundtrack made by Cara Tower. So, in conclusion, I highly recommend that you support this kind of independent artist and go see this one if you have the chance, or buy the DVD that went out. andrei turcu, romania
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Cartagena (2009)
a romantic movie after all
3 October 2011
The movie pleasantly surprised me. Characters dramas and atmosphere are the keys here, not the plot, which is rather thin. Noticeable is the subtle, but constant erotic arousal between Leo and the 3 female main characters, who, at certain point all seem to be falling for him. Don't expect explicit scenes, romance is just suggested and that makes the movie worth. C.Lambert is acting very well IMHO, bringing to life an unexpected mixture of manhood, loser, romance and sensitivity. Sophie Marceau is ravishing as a very beautiful woman condemned in the wheelchair, but still aspiring for love and fulfillment in her life. She is an educated woman, even sophisticated, having high expectations from the people surrounding her. She reminds of a noble from other century sometimes. I found very nice to watch how such a character played by Marceau ends up falling for the sometimes rude Lambert, and also, how this "rude" boy, a former boxer now drinking all his pennies, can display such profound and delicate feelings. In conclusion I would give it 7.5, which is good, but not great.
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