duminică, 19 februarie 2012

10-16 February

Battleship Potemkin(1925)-7/10->Although it's dated,Battleship Potemkin stills is an important film,for it's innovative editing and some incredible scenes.

Strike(1925)-6/10->Even though it has a complex story,Strike tries to enforce its message too hard and some scenes are out of place.

October(1928)-7.5/10->Much more focused on its subject than Eisenstein's previous films and the action scenes remain as unsettling and iconic as before,his message becomes quite simple and repetitive.

Alexander Nevsky(1938)-4/10->The acting isn't good and the story is ruined by Eisenstein who tries so hardly to fit the propaganda in,but what this film loses in these departaments it makes up for in photography,music and mostly technicality.

Ivan The Terrible(1944-1958)-7.5/10->This is a bizarre,but special and epic rendition of a great story,with fascinating cinematography.

La Vida De Los Peces(2010)-4/10->The good acting,cinematography and soundtrack can't overcome the story which is slow,predictable and cliched.

Bleeder(1999)-7/10->The acting,Refn's great and stylized direction are enough to beat the almost average writing.

Flickering Lights(2000)-7/10->Even though it succesfully blends humor with drama and the premise and the acting are great,the conclusion is unsatisfying.

He Who Gets Slapped(1924)-6/10->The story isn't too good,but the visuals and Chaney's brilliant performance make it worth a watch.

The Wind(1928)-4.5/10->Even though it's cliched and too melodramatic,Gish's performance is stellar and the ending is great.

Straw Dogs(1971)-10/10->With Hoffman's performance and Peckinpah's direction and script,this controversial masterpiece doesn't only excel as a study in violence,but also one in psychology.Visceral.

J'Accuse(1919)-4/10->Although it's beautifully shot and Gance's direction is good,J'Accuse is incoherent and too long for its own good.

Lock,Stock And Two Smoking Barrels(1998)-7/10->The script isn't too focused,but Lock,Stock And Two Smoking Barrels benefits from plenty of good  black humor,well used violence and great stylized direction.

The Last Laugh(1924)-9.5/10->Murnau's innovative filmmaking techniques and Jannings's performance make this a classic,but still,there could have been a better ending.

Sunrise(1927)-10/10->A beautiful love story,backed up by wonderful cinematography and good acting,Sunrise is one of the last great silent films.

vineri, 10 februarie 2012

3-9 February

The General(1926)-8/10->Funny and heart-warming,Keaton's film uses subtle humor and a compelling story,the sort of a winning formula.

A Night At The Opera(1935)-8.5/10->Not as funny as Duck Soup,but much more concentrated on making art than Duck Soup,it shows major improvement from the Marx brothers.

The Gold Rush(1925)-10/10->Combining poetry with comedy,The Gold Rush succeeds in being one of the funniest films of all time.

The Great Dictator(1940)-10/10->This satire against fascism does not only provide a very important message,but also unique and subtle humor.

Monsieur Verdoux(1947)-6.5/10->While this concentrates more on the story than the gags and the script is very well written,Monsieur Verdoux is one of Chaplin's weaker films,being boring and quite disappointing in humor.

Limelight(1952)-8/10->Even though Chaplin makes an improvement on the balance between the humor and the drama,Limelight doesn't compare to Chaplin's best work which is only comedy.

The Brown Bunny(2003)-3/10->Although the premise is good and Gallo gives an amiable performance,this is a dull film,suffering from horrible direction.

Sherlock Holmes(2009)-4.5/10->Even though Downey Jr. fits the role perfectly and he gives a good performance and it's an entertaining film with great action scenes,Ritchie's signature direction has become flawed,him concentrating more on the fights than the plot.

The City Of Lost Children(1995)-5/10->The film is visually stunning and it has a lot of good ideas,but it never does develop them fully.

Roger Dodger(2002)-6/10->Even though the direction isn't too inspired,the script and the acting are great.

Monkey Business(1931)-7/10->It's quite disjointed,but this features the Marx brothers at the top of their comedic genius.

Summer Wars(2009)-4/10->The plot is incoherent,but Summer Wars is enjoyable because of its wonderful animation.

Helvetica(2007)-7/10->Although a bit overlong,Helvetica still is a fascinating and really insightful film on a seemingly small subject.

Trust(2010)-4/10->Trust benefits from a great cast which gives compelling performances,but Schwimmer doesn't develop anything new to this controversial subject matter.

24 Hour Party People(2002)-6/10->It does just brush over some important things,but Coogan gives a great performance and the atmosphere built by Winterbottom is fantastic and actually takes the viewer in those times.

The Trip(2010)-4/10->Coogan and Brydon give good performances and they do have some chemistry as friends,but except for their natural humor,this is a pointless and unengaging film.

Wuthering Heights(2011)-6/10->The cinematography is beautiful and the performances are good,but this slight adaptation of the famous novel is a bit too pretentious and unfocused.

Shotgun Stories(2007)-7.5/10->Poetic and benefiting from a great cast,Nichols's debut is a strong and compelling one,if not too clicheic.

The Royal Tenenbaums(2001)-7/10->The great cast and the quirky humor surpass the characters which are one dimensional.

Wet Hot American Summer(2001)-3/10->It's funny,but it is acted terribly and it never adds up to a coherent story.

High Fidelity(2000)-7/10->High Fidelity benefits from a great performance from Cusack,a strong narrative and a fantastic soundtrack,but the humor isn't that good.

A Man Escaped(1956)-10/10->Bresson builds a terrifying and suspenseful atmosphere with the use of only good performances and an excellent narrative.His second masterpiece,in a way.

vineri, 3 februarie 2012

Movie Review:Take Shelter

Take Shelter is the unsettling story of Curtis LaForche,a man who starts having nightmares and visions about different disasters,so he tries to rebuild a storm shelter in his backyard,an act which makes his family more distant and unsure of who Curtis really is.

(Michael Shannon)

This is indie helmer Jeff Nichols' second film.Haven't seen the first one,but this sure is one of the best indies to come in a while.While he doesn't really engage the viewer a lot (the film lags a lot in the middle and in the end it feels somewhat overlong),he knows how to build proper suspense,not only with the sudden and short visions,but also through the mediation of its characters relations,the most intriguing character link being the one between Curtis and his mother,which is sadly,quite short.

(Jessica Chastain)

The performances are great,especially Shannon,which gives his strongest central performance until now.Chastain is pretty good,as the overly protective mother which she also played in Terrence Malick's The Tree Of Life,but the difference here is that she is actually given material to work with.My advice is to see her in this one,not in The Help or The Tree Of Life.As for the secondary performances,the best one is given by Shea Whigham (who worked with Shannon before on the terrific series Boardwalk Empire) who gives a violent and grim performance.

(Michael Shannon and Tova Stewart)

The visions are accentuated with the gravity of the situation the LaForche family goes through,another evidence of Nichols' great direction.The people who think this is only a story of paranoia are completely wrong,Take Shelter doesn't stand out as a movie about that subject matter,but as a movie about the hardships of a family which collides slowly and the patience and commitment of a mom and her daughter to her father which breaks bad.

(Michael Shannon)

All in all,Take Shelter is one of the best indies of 2011,with impecable direction,great acting and a ravishing ending.


joi, 2 februarie 2012

27 January-2 February

SLC Punk!(1998)-6/10->Although SLC Punk! lacks coherence,it has its moments of brilliance and originality and also Lillard gives a great performance

The Birth Of A Nation(1915)-2/10->Racist,overlong and pretentious,The Birth Of A Nation is a completely wrong vision on the actual birth of a nation.

The King Of Kings(1927)-4.5/10->The film is tedious,the characters and the way the story weaves out seem to be morally incorrect and the film's only praisable features are the imagery and art direction.

The Public Enemy(1931)-10/10->Cagney gives a fantastic performance and the film itself is one of the greatest and one of the first gangster movies ever made.

Angels With Dirty Faces(1938)-8.5/10->Cagney and Bogart's performances,Curtiz's direction and the ending make this a great film.

The Big Parade(1925)-10/10->Vidor combines a love story with war battles.The result?A fantastic film with great acting and iconic moments.A landmark in cinematography.

J. Edgar(2011)-5/10->Although DiCaprio's performance excels and the script is quite good(except for its extremely flawed narrative),J.Edgar loses a lot of points in technicality:horrifying make-up,bad lighting and sound editing.

The Crowd(1928)-8/10->A gripping and depressing movie,with touching acting from Murray and Boardman and a brilliant ending.

Delicatessen(1991)-7.5/10->Blending satire with horror,with futuristic and beautiful sets,Jeunet and Caro's film tries to be a tribute to 3 different genres and it could have totally succeeded if it were more coherent.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas(2011)-5.5/10->Although it's much better (in humor and sort-of in filmmaking) than the second installment,but it certaintly it isn't a good film. It's a fun film.

The Navigator(1924)-9/10->Surprising in story and funny,The Navigator's only flaw is that it is too short.