sâmbătă, 29 octombrie 2011

21-27 October


Aliens(1986)-4/10->Well,it's far more entertaining and quotable,Cameron assembles a great cast and stages some good scares,but this is too long,overly clicheic,messy and it fails to reach the intelligence of its predecessor.

Alien 3(1992)-4/10->There are some good suspense filled scenes and Dutton out-acts everybody,but the ending is cliched to the maximum,Weaver is overly theatrical and Fincher puts a price more on explosions and yelling,than actual development of the story.

Alien:Resurrection(1997)-8/10->Even though the plot might seem preposterous to some,the quantity of the gore is a bit too high and it takes itself a bit too seriously,Jeunet's imaginative direction,the editing,the cinematography,Perlman,Ryder and Pinon make this a great movie and a perfect ending for a (classic) franchise.

Submarine(2010)-10/10->This a quirky and sweet chronicle of true romantic love,backed up by great performances,a strong narrative,mesmerizing imagery and a suitable soundtrack.

Comedian(2002)-8/10->This is an insightful documentary on creating comedy and the hard-ship of it,but it could have been a bit bigger.Plus,it's fun to see Seinfeld act a whole lot differently than on his show.

The Woman(2011)-5/10->The choice of music is completely parallel with the film and the script is weak in the beginning,but McKee makes this work through the use of relentless gore(not so many scares,but hey it's a slasher film) and the acting is surprising only in the second part of the film.Also,the editing might feel very confusing in the last 20 minutes.For horror-slasher fans only.

Atrocious(2010)-5/10->It has an interesting premise, with good acting and a great twist attached to it,but nearly nothing happens in Atrocious and the camera is way too shaky even for a film of this kind.

Chopper(2000)-7/10->Bana shines as Chopper,but this also benefits from good cinematography and Dominik's direction,but his script has a lot of flaws.

The Good,The Bad And The Weird(2008)-9/10->http://moviereviewsbymarcsolomon.blogspot.com/2011/10/movie-reviewthe-goodthe-badthe.html

I Saw The Devil(2010)-10/10->Bleak,relentlessly violent,well acted,smart,tensionate,this succeeds in making a point about the sick and sad world we live in.Also,for such a dark film,it's quite beautifully shot.

Margin Call(2011)-9/10->Chandor not only assembled one of the greatest casts we have yet to come across this year,but he has written tense dialogues and a script that rather focuses on the people involved in this situation rather than the actual situation.Probably the best film about the financial crisis up to date.

Galaxy Quest(1999)-7/10->The plot is a bit farfetched,but the cast is perfect and smart satire make this a great parody.

Fast Times At Ridgemont High(1982)-5/10->It's well acted,funny and these are some good stories,but their weaving together is unsuccessful and Crowe's script seems highly amateur-ish.

Dazed And Confused(1993)-9/10->Linklater has incredible interest for his movie's characters and he tries to make each and every one of them special.He succeeds,being sustained by a great ensemble cast,a good script and a far more than satisfying ending.

Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance(2002)-7/10->This is a very slow film and Park seems to have an eye more for gore than character development,but this is nonetheless,a rewarding film with bizarre, yet great performances.

Oldboy(2003)-10/10->Oldboy is a powerful film with a visceral performance from Min-sik Choi,Park's capability to turn even the most violent scenes into strange poetry.Full of gripping moments,unexpectedly great dark humor and great cinematography.Easily one of the best films made between 2000-2005.

Lady Vengeance(2005)-5/10->It is a compelling film with some sort of elegant violence attached to it and beautiful cinematography,but Lady Vengeance feels incoherent in the start and the main character doesn't seem as good(in terms of construction and development) as the previous two.

Infernal Affairs(2002)-9/10->A fierce and taut cat-and-mouse type of film,which benefits from short and tense dialogues,good acting and great twists.

Infernal Affairs II(2003)-7/10->This is not as well-written or unpredictable as the first one,but it still works as an average thriller.

Infernal Affairs III(2003)-3/10->Even though Leung gives a great performance,but this is surprisingly incoherent and it isn't a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.

vineri, 28 octombrie 2011

Movie Review:Best Intentions(2011)

Director:Adrian Sitaru

Writer:Adrian Sitaru

Bogdan Dumitrache->Alex
Natasa Raab->Mother
Marian Ralea->Father
Alina Grigore->Delia


Best Intentions is a film directed by Adrian Sitaru,director of such films as Hooked(2008),Waves(2007),Lord(2009) and The Cage(2010),which follows four days from Alex's life,which takes a strange turn,when his mother is put into a hospital,because of a cerebral stroke.

One of the main pillars of the movie is the main idea of the director.At one point,the main character,Alex,talks about some sort of tranzitive disease,which he suspects his mother has.This is the main line,the movie roots for.Alex,yearning to help his mother,fills himself with so much negative energy,that in the end,he becomes even more damaged than his mother,who is finally cured.

The second main pillar of the film,is Dumitrache's performance.He gives such a phenomenal performance(a rare thing for Romanian cinema,seeing that in the past year,no performance,has impressed me in such a manner),it even is comparable to Tilda Swinton's performance in We Need To Talk About Kevin(2011),another film about a family member which struggles with her family's difficulties(Review here:http://moviereviewsbymarcsolomon.blogspot.com/2011/09/movie-reviewwe-need-to-talk-about.html).It's very interesting to compare the two.Even though,the characters have almost nothing in common,the acting does.They are both capable to make their characters a puzzle,just assembling it,showing all their character's sides,alone,without trying to get help from the director.

Another fantastic thing about the film,is the variety of characters and the director's capability to conjure them all,in such a way,that every character gets his unique moment.The easily neurotic son,the happy-go-lucky sick mother,the father which is apparently very restrained,the girlfriend which tries to comfort the son and ultimately,sort of,succeeds,the female character resembling Frank from Donnie Darko(2001),the crazy woman which is strongly convinced that she is cured and a lot more characters.

A surprisingly innovative thing,which is the film's main gimmick,is the POV way of filming.A lot of people are not satisfied with this,because of the constant movement and that upsets.I think that this is a very good thing for a drama.It gives it more humanity.It makes it more natural and even,more special.

Best Intentions is a very well-made drama,with great performances,cinematography and directing,which will make you take a hard look at your own life after the film.


duminică, 23 octombrie 2011

Movie Review:The Good,The Bad,The Weird(2008)

Director:Jee-woon Kim

Jee-woon Kim
Min-suk Kim

Kang-ho Song->The Weird
Byung-hun Lee->The Bad
Woo-sung Jung->The Good

It's amazing what Kim accomplished to do in this film.First of all,he made this a ton more entertaining than the original.This film runs just under 135 minutes.There was not a minute when I got bored.All the stunts are mind-blowing.Even the ones in small scenes.Plus,it started off with a punch.In the first 15 minutes,a classic train chase scene is portrayed.

But,this is not only a commercial film.Kim develops his characters slowly and we figure out something about them and only in the end we can take the pieces and make the puzzle.But here is his problem.It's normal for The Weird to get most of the screen-time seeing that he is a new character and all,but The Good remains the same the whole movie.I mean maybe Kim tried to tell us that we have seen enough of him in Leone's film.Eastwood was the main character(Blondie/The Good) there and his character became so iconic,he had such great quotable lines.But here,he(Woo-sung Jung) does not only not get enough screen-time,but the film's main showdown is between The Weird and The Bad,rather than the whole three of them.

What I really liked about the film was its low quantity of blood.Most of the action films these days,feature tons of blood and gruesome moments.The Good,The Bad And The Weird features violence.Very little blood.It's somewhat of a grade of faithfullness towards the original.

Another impressive thing about the film is its unusual embracive nature about itself in the ridiculous or funny moments.It never takes itself seriously,but it does embrace its foolish nature when it has to.And there are not many films that do that.Kudos for that,Mr Kim.

What is The Good,The Bad And The Weird? Explosion-filled fun,backed-up by great humor,great acting and fantastic character development.This is what all action movies should look like nowadays.But then again...Which would we call special?

-1:For Kim's incredibly low interest for Jung's character.


vineri, 21 octombrie 2011

Movie Review:Alien(1979)

Director:Ridley Scott
Writer:Dan O'Bannon
Sigourney Weaver->Ripley
Tom Skerritt->Dallas
Ian Holm->Ash
John Hurt->Kane


First of all,this movie is for everybody.Not only for horror fans.And in my opinion,when you want to introduce someone to the monster-horror movie genre,you do a double-bill screening at your own place and you show this movie and Romero's "Night Of The Living Dead".Second of all,this is not only a huge influence on the monster-horror genre,but also the claustrophobic-horror/thriller[Buried(2010),Panic Room(2002),The Cube(1980),Phone Booth(2002),Descent(2006),etc.].And it kind of has everything.

I have a problem,though.I can't decide which is the best thing about the movie.Is it Scott's direction or the scene in which Ripley struggles to throw the alien in space?Well,Scott starts off with these people's daily life on a ship.Everything is nice and smooth.Tension starts to arise when they start questioning themselves,ultimately making us toss and turn.Now that's some good direction.Also,he really doesn't rely on the fact that this is supposed to be a horror movie.In the first hour and 15 minutes,this is more about them dealing with fear.Then in the last 35 minutes,he shows us the monster and everything becomes more alert and scary.

The scene in which Ripley struggles throw the alien into space,is probably the best scene in the movie.First of all,the way it's written is brilliant.Also,this is Weaver's best time to shine given the fact that is the best written material in the whole movie.And the editing is perfect.The suspense grows in parallel with the sound.At one moment it becomes unbeareable.Even after writing this,I can't decide.

Conclusion?A classic and nevertheless major influence on all horrors and thrillers(and more?) to come out of Hollywood in the past 30 years.One to watch.10/10

14-20 October

The Coast Guard(2002)-6/10->It's an original,powerful and poetic film sustained by a great performance by Jang's great performance,but it falls flat and tiresome in some scenes and the ending is very messy.

POM Wonderful Presents:The Greatest Movie Ever Sold(2011)-7/10->This is an energetic,witty film and it benefits from Spurlock's undeniable entertaining charm,but it's not as insightful as it should be.But,hey. It's really a lot of fun.

Silent Sonata(2010)-5/10->A strange film,but not in a good way,this war drama is disjointed and surprisingly boring,even though it runs just under 80 minutes.Otherwise,the cinematography is magnetic and the acting is either too theatrical or just right.

The Green Wave(2011)-5/10->The idea of combining animation with live-action isn't too bad and the topic it debates is interesting,but The Green Wave fails in making the most of it. 

Hadewijch(2009)-8/10->Sokolowski's acting is great,the cinematography is beautiful and the turn of events is unpredictable,but the explosion scene is ridiculous and the ending is rather unsatisfying.

The Driver(1978)-9/10->It's fun to see O'Neal and Dern have at it,the car chases are spectacular,some scenes are filled with great suspense and Hill's direction is sharp.

This Must Be The Place(2011)-6.5/10->Sean Penn gives a terrific performance,the cinematography is beautiful and the quirk is good,but Sorrentino's storytelling is very light.

Bullitt(1968)-6/10->McQueen is terrific,the cinematography in some particular scenes is great and the infamous car-chase scene is worth it,but it's a bit too long and it seems very uneven and the script is just too dull in some places.

Zatoichi(2003)-8/10->Kitano gives a hell of a performance,it's overly violent,entertaining and even it's not quite original or unpredictable,this still is a competent and compelling samurai movie.

Rundskop(2011)-8/10->It might start off dull and it might give you the impression that it doesn't go anywhere,but Bullhead benefits from great acting,a great turnout and an incredibly alert tone after the first 30 minutes.Also,the script part is fantastic because the dialogues are tense and it's the little details that make this a good cinematic piece.

Cirkus Columbia(2010)-6.5/10->It has a good premise,good acting and it's quite beautifully executed,but it feels too long and this should have been done a bit more special.

duminică, 16 octombrie 2011

Anim'Est International Animation Film Festival-6TH Edition

Crulic:The Way To Beyond(2011)-4/10->Ivanov is spot-on as Crulic and the animation is fairly impressive,but it starts off messy,it ends up utterly incoherent and it tries too hard to be a poetic melodrama,even though there are some hilarious moments.

George The Hedgehog(2011)-8/10->It has a good premise,its funny as hell and all in all even though it's a bit short,this is a great animation.

Tokyo Godfathers(2003)-9/10->Funny,emotional and even suspenseful,Tokyo Godfathers succeeds in telling a compelling story which is upped by the dialogue,music and capability to thread three stories that have the same amount of impact on the viewer.

Paprika(2006)-10/10->With a mind-blowing premise,story and eye-popping animation scenes,Paprika is a fantastic film.Also,it will demand your full attention. It will get it.

Midori-Ko(2010)-3/10->Midori-Ko has an original premise and it uses an original animation technique,but it's incoherent and at a point it just gets insane.Still,it could have been a short film.

Perfect Blue(1997)-9/10->A troubling story that will have you on the edge of your seat,this uses Lynchian logic and Hitchcockian suspense.The ending is sort of disappointing.

Le Roman De Renard(1930)-10/10->Incredibly well-made for it's time,this is an entertaining,yet intelligent animation film for everyone to watch.

Une Vie De Chat(2010)-9/10->Darker(even though there are a few humourous moments) and more exciting than most animations made these days,Une Vie De Chat's only flaw is its length(just 64 minutes for such an intriguing subject?).

Oblivion Island:Haruka And The Magic Mirror(2009)-8/10->The animation is top-notch and this is a very colorful,sad and joyful film,even though the outcome is not very original.

Piercing I(2010)-4/10->Good premise and good start?Yes,but this is poorly animated and it is completely dull.

Les Films De Cannes A Bucarest-2th Edition

Le Havre(2011)-9/10->http://moviestoonsandgames.blogspot.com/2011/09/movie-reviewle-havre2011.html

Habemus Papam(2011)-8/10->Even though it is quite predictable and it is a bit tedious,Habemus Papam is worth seeing just for Piccoli's fantastic performance and the grand finale.

Drive(2011)-10/10->A tense and overly violent thriller,that strikes us because of its very special cinematography,Refn's unique directing style and Gosling's powerful performance.This is the sort of films that should be made these days.Perfect.

Melancholia(2011)-10/10->Though the concept might seem ridiculous to some,Melancholia's visuals are extremely unique and the acting is fantastic.   

La Vie De Jesus(1997)-9/10->While the explicit sex scenes might not be stomached by some,this is a brutal,slow-paced film,with great direction,an interesting main character and great cinematography.A day by day drama that will surprise you.Also,it's a promising debut by Dumont.

L'Humanite(1999)-10/10->One of the most slow paced films i've ever seen.But that is minor compared to the acting,extremely harsh realism,satisfying conclusion,terrific character study and beautiful(though there is nothing beautiful in this film other than this particular element) cinematography.This will truly haunt you and it will change certain views you have.

Flandres(2006)-6/10->It doesn't have the emotional impact his(Bruno Dumont) previous films had,but it still is a nice try and the cinematography succeeds in bringing out the beautiful in Flandres.An OK film.

Play(2011)-5/10->It starts off pretty well and the acting is good,but towards the second half it feels tedious.Shame,because the subject was great. 

Elena(2011)-6/10->It has some powerful moments and Nadezdha is great as Elena,but it's a bit too simplistic,too slow-paced and the ending is unsatisfying.

Route Irish(2010)-4/10->Womack is OK in the main role and it is gripping most of the times,but it turns out to be extremely melodramatic and the writing is amateurish.

Dogville(2003)-9/10->Trier not only assembled one of the greatest casts in cinema in the 21st century,but he has written a three-hour piece that never runs low on steam,benefits from a strong narrative and the idea of this experiment is genius and very well played through,but the ending seems rushed.

Hors Satan(2011)-6.5/10->This is very bizarre and slow-paced,but it's unpredictable,the main actors seem to have some sort of weird chemistry and the cinematography is great.

The Tree Of Life(2011)-9/10-> http://moviereviewsbymarcsolomon.blogspot.com/2011/10/movie-reviewthe-tree-of-life.html

sâmbătă, 15 octombrie 2011

Movie Review:The Tree Of Life

Director:Terrence Malick
Writer:Terrence Malick
Brad Pitt->Mr. O'Brien
Sean Penn->Jack O'Brien
Jessica Chastain->Ms. O'Brien
Hunter McCracken->Young Jack

Where should i start?Well,first of all,I think I need to see this again.I was emotionally overwhelmed when i came out of the theatre.For the people who think this is just a philosophical film about life,they are wrong.The Tree Of Life is a deeply-emotional film.

Before the film(I saw the film during a film festival),a romanian director(Andrei Ujica) summed up Malick's history and he told us the origin of the script.Malick has studied philosophy at Harvard and he learnt german just to read a philosopher's book which he later translated.In the 80's Malick wrote a script about the basis of humanity called "Q",which hadn't been done back then because there were no resources back then to make a film so imaginative.

Malick's film is this century's "Space Odyssey"(an imaginary rejected title for this film being "1951:A Terrestrial Odyssey).It has a lot of eye-popping visuals(most of which are computer-made) which is combined with epic classical music.Also,Malick uses long-shots and has his characters pose ravishing philosophical questions in the background.And what surprised me about the film is that it didn't turn to clichees at all.

One of the problems(2 minor problems) I had with this film,was some of the acting.In my opinion,the kids were the best.Chastain fitted the role perfectly(or it seemed so),but Pitt was utterly ridiculous as the father.Not only the way he talked,but his actions were so cartoonish.And Penn.Well,I actually thought that after the 2 scenes he appeared in,near the beginning of the film,the audience will not see him again.Wrong.He appears again at the end.Here is a problem more of quantity of material featuring the character than acting.

The second problem(sort of) was Malick's storytelling bizarre technique.Sometimes,the movie just skipped to a random shot of something,stayed there for half a minute,then came back to the original shot.

What to expect from this movie?An emotional,philosophical film about life with mesmerizing shots(this is probably the best film of the year in terms of cinematography) that will overwhelm you.What will you do after this film?Probably hug all your family's main members. 9/10

7-13 October

NEDS(2010)-9/10->This is overly violent,raw,unpredictable and the performances are unbelievably great.This marks Mullan as a director to watch.

Millennium Actress(2001)-9/10->It has an original premise,plenty of impressive visuals and a big heart,but it might feel a bit too short.

Three Extremes(2005)-7/10->Fruit Chan's segment is interesting and Doyle offers us quality filled cinematography,but the ending is disappointing.Park Chan-Wook's segment is a psychological thriller that never disappoints in giving us suspenseful dialogue and a killer ending twist.Not as frightening as it should be,though.Takashi Miike's segment is very puzzling,scary and the ending is very good,but it might feel a bit too overtheatrical.All in all,it's a good enough omnibus.Edgy enough,but not scary enough.

vineri, 7 octombrie 2011

30 September-6 October

Les Petits Mouchoirs(2010)-5/10->The cast is great,the humour is priceless and the characters are developed,but it's too long and somewhere  near the second-half,it loses its "equal parts funny,equal parts dramatic" and it fails to accomplish setting the right tone.

America(2010)-2/10->Good acting.But that where the good in America stops.It's dull incoherent in terms of storytelling techniques.The premise was OK,but it's completely underdeveloped.

Ave(2010)-7/10->Ave is well-acted and unpredictable,but the main character feels a bit too underdeveloped and it should have been longer.

The Unintentional Kidnapping Of Elfriede Ott(2010)-9/10->Original humor,interesting premise,good music,this has almost everything a perfect comedy needs.The outcome might be predictable,but the ending is priceless.

The Furious Force Of Rhymes(2010)-8/10->As insightful as it can get,The Furious Force Of Rhymes is fast,loud and short.

The Artist(2011)-10/10->Dujardin gives an award worthy performance,in this partly sweet and funny  and partly dramatic film.Great use of music and cinematography.One of this year's musts.