Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Like Jim Jarmusch said, Why waste time watching TV series when there's an abundance of films I haven't seen?
Or something along those lines.
Meli kai krasi (2006)
Low key drama with no purpose
A middle-aged woman, living alone and battling with loss, befriends a new neighbour, a young actress. The movie chronicles the flourishing of their friendship.
Meli & Krasi is a low-budget movie with good intentions, marred by an awful script that tries the viewer's patience. At some point, the younger woman confesses that she once committed premeditated female-to-male rape, to which the other woman responds rather indifferently. That was when the movie lost me completely.
So bad, it's good
Outrageously bad movie, that somehow ends up entertaining because of the multiple plot twists.
Directed imaginatively, action kept at a fairly good pace, Andhadhun is basically an unintentional comedy, mostly because of how seriously the over-the-top, ridiculous, needlessly convoluted plot has been taken by everyone involved. Which is a shame, because it's a movie with rather high production values.
If you're looking for a good crime film, avoid. If you're looking for yet another IMDB-overrated Indian trainwreck to laugh at, see this.
Europe, the Dream (2018)
Interesting but severely flawed
This film follows the lives of three adolescents who live in Patra, Greece. One of them is a native Greek, the other two are refugees from Syria and Afghanistan. Their stories are juxtaposed on the same basis: that they're all young with dreams about the future, but various problems prevent them from fulfilling them. And this is why the movie starts off on the wrong foot.
While the 2 young refugees have already fled their war-stricken countries, on their own, away from their families, in search of a better future, in an attempt to build their lives in foreign countries, with no-one but themselves to count on, the Greek youngster, comfortable in his family home, moans about not being able to go out for a coffee with his friends or grab something to eat as often as he wants, due to the financial difficulties his parents are facing - which he appears too busy to care about, while pursuing a career as an actor.
It is apparently unintentional that the Greek teenager's indifference to his family's problems (his parents need to remind him several times that he has to get a job) is presented in stark contrast to the images of young refugees living in abandoned factories and attempting to escape as stowaways hidden under some truck, because the directors somehow fail to stress that distinction between the anxiety to lead a proper life and someone's ambition to become an actor. To them, they are all problems, however grave or not. There is not even a hint of irony in the images we see to suggest the superficiality of the problems faced by a person who has a home and a family supporting them.
And, in the end, despite the directors' obvious good intentions, this comes across as vulgar.
Style over substance
Begotten is nothing more than an admittedly impressive exercise in style - and that is it.
Whatever the purpose of this movie is, it gets lost in interminable meaningless scenes, during which the viewer is at a loss trying to grasp some visual stimulation to start making some sense of what's going on. No, there is nothing to suggest that the creature committing suicide at the beginning is God, nor that the woman emerging from behind him is Mother Nature - I'm convinced the team made the film first and then made up some story to make it all stick together.
This is a purely masturbatory creation - I imagine the director in front of a mirror, one hand shaking the other, congratulating himself on his masterpiece.
Une femme douce (1969)
How to open and close a door.
Let me just say I am not a fan of Bresson's. His complete indifference to credible, believable acting, sometimes works for the movie, sometimes against it. In this one, the wooden deliverance of every single line ends up very distracting.
To top that, if you start noticing how much screen time is spent depicting the characters opening and closing doors, the movie becomes unintentionally funny beyond words. Has to be seen to be believed.
Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
3-hour soap opera
Three friends face the challenges of love, something which brings turmoil to their friendship and their relationship with their relatives.
Stereotypical characters uttering pompous lines, contrived plot lines that rarely intermingle, all seen before in better movies, or even worse, your favourite soap operas. The movie aims to please exactly those audiences, low-educated peeps looking for light entertainment. Nothing wrong with that really - everyone should be entitled to a little entertainment, however limited the expectations. And yes, there are people out there who believe this movie is a cinematic masterpiece. Why not? This movie serves a very specific purpose, and for that alone, it should be respected.
If you're looking for an intelligent movie, steer away. If you're looking for a long soap opera sprinkled with elaborate dance numbers, bingo, you found it.
Miss Violence (2013)
Disintegrating patriarchy: Dogtooth taken a step further
The movie can be seen as an allegory that utilizes what seems like an impossible plot to make some points about a patriarchal family system, that's ever so common in Greece (surely in other places, too).
I'm Greek myself and several of the situations the characters face in the movie are very familiar to me. The father enjoys ultimate and unquestionable respect by the members of the family. The mother stays passive, her role confined mostly to everyday chores. The kids are obedient little soldiers. Any thought of rebellion is suppressed by deep fear. These are all things I've witnessed and heard of myself, from friends and relatives. I remember various incest rape cases having surfaced through the years - they still do.
Avranas took his story to the extremes, to point out how rotten the institution we call the "holy Greek family" is. The apartment door is locked. To a patriarch, it doesn't matter what happens behind it, as long as it stays there. It's his family after all. What matters is his own face to society, to keep up appearances. What matters is the surface, not the substance.
I've heard so many women in my life saying "Oh yes, he may beat his wife up, but at least he doesn't cheat on her!" or "He may cheat on her, but he always provides food for his family!" What is pictured in the movie is the continued victimization of the female. The woman is rendered to an object for pleasure, for cooking, for cleaning, anything to satisfy the primary male in the family. The father must be obeyed and respected at all times, even though he's an unemployed middle aged man who can't provide much to his family - and this will not be questioned either: he's the MAN. It's so deeply ironic that the song he forces his little girl to dance to is, in fact, feminist at best, and a hymn to misandry at worst (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwbYEOKzBYo).
The females have learned to accept their degradation as something normal. The oldest daughter feels numb, not being able to wake up to reality. Her kids, her own brother and sister apparently, she knows will go down the same road themselves. When one of them understands the true nature of her family relationships, she commits suicide. Again, the family's priority is to save face - it was an accident, not a suicide.
This attitude, so prevalent in Greece until recently, is what I believe is the director's target here. Some scenes may be hard to watch, but he didn't really cross the line that much, or as far as he could have. From the moment I realized what was going on, the story made sense on so many levels, I was really at awe with what the director accomplished: a film that's both a psychological thriller and a cold, yet in-depth cultural study.
Why this movie is a winner
Humpday is supposedly about two straight guys agreeing to have sex with each other. Well, yes and no. Let me start by saying what this movie is not about, since both the title and the poster are completely misleading. Humpday is not a comedy - at least not a comedy in the Judd Apatow sense. There are some hilarious scenes though. Humpday is not about homophobia - everyone in the film seems to be accepting homosexuality as one more way to express your sexuality, nothing more, nothing less. Even when the wife of one of the main characters is informed of his intention to have sex with his best buddy, not once does she call him anything derogatory. She may be upset, but doesn't even wonder if he's gay at all.
So what is Humpday about?
It's about being 30+, settled down, conformed with society's norms and accepting the restrictions set within a heteronormal relationship or marriage. Or about being 30+ and living life like there's no tomorrow, enjoying yourself to the fullest, but also having that annoying little voice inside your head reminding you you're irresponsible and incapable of long-term commitment.
These two worlds clash in the movie.
When, half-jokingly, the two friends challenge each other to film themselves having sex for the sake of art, each of them has different lines to cross - apart from the obvious one, and apparently the one that matters the least: that they're straight. Ben feels the need to step outside his comfort zone and explore his "other sides", not necessarily sexually. When the chance comes to meet new people, smoke some pot and relax away from his wife, he grabs it like a man in the desert finding water. Andrew sees the challenge to hump his buddy as a chance to finally see a project to an end and prove to himself he's capable of doing something bigger than him.
At the end, it doesn't matter that they're both male, though. It could have been any woman they're not attracted to instead. The fact that they're best friends is their biggest obstacle, as it becomes more obvious in the final scene. The plot is clever enough to keep the viewers interested with its "will they or won't they" premise, steering away from many clichés you'd expect to see in such a movie. The dialogue is extremely well-written and takes the viewer away from the fact that he's watching an ultra-low budget, dialogue-driven film. The acting is amazingly good as well, so much it feels like there was no script in the first place - that's how naturally the lines are delivered.
Little does it matter whether Ben and Andrew do each other in the rear in the end. The movie gives you enough food for thought for a good while after the credits have rolled. These are characters that will stay in your head for a long time.
China Girl (1974)
An action movie meets porn? Or a plot-driven adult film? China Girl is a little bit of both and neither at the same time. Let me explain.
The story is simple. Two scientists are abducted and tortured by a high-profile crime gang, who are after some substance that supposedly allows you to control people's minds. The gimmick is that the tortures are sexual - and this is where the porn comes in.
While it's admittedly interesting to see actual characters that you begin to care for get naked and engage in sexual acts, the sex scenes themselves are too badly shot to excite and too long to maintain interest. The plot, on the other hand, suffers from being little more than an excuse for those sex scenes - and even if we accept the credibility of someone using sex as a method for torture, the victims don't really look like they suffer from it.
So, while trying to be a bit of everything, this film ends up being nothing worthy of note and even fans of James Hong or Annette Haven might be disappointed. The music is surprisingly good though, especially during the imaginative animation that accompanies the opening credits.
Boring 70s thriller
I'm not entirely sure that Deranged is what it claims it is - a thriller. There's nothing too frightening happening on screen and the agony is zero level, bar two scenes.
Then, there is the narrator. He destroys everything. If he'd just made a brief appearance at the beginning, he'd be tolerable, but no, he had to explain everything over and even enter the same scene as the killer at some point. Really bad direction choice.
The acting was awful - apart from Blossom, who was simply outstanding. His character was probably not meant to be scary really, but rather what the title says, deranged. Blossom's expressions, moves and mannerisms are spot-on, at least I was convinced. Basically, Blossom's performance is the only reason to see this.
Forced Entry (1973)
Cheap excuse of a film about a deranged Vietnam veteran who's also a rapist in his free time.
Shocking? To a nun maybe. Sexual? The juxtaposed images of the Vietnam war over the "rape" scenes make for a really weird viewing experience. The unnatural acting, the awful editing and the non-existent direction can never let you take what's happening on screen seriously. One reviewer noted that one of the victims was sodomized, which is not even true. The rapist claims to do so, but we only see him use the "front entrance", to put it mildly. The victims can't always conceal their enjoyment either.
Harry Reems is probably a better actor than one might think and he's the only reason I'm not giving this 1 star. Only for fans of obscure sexploitation.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
I've been avoiding Indiana Jones like the plague until tonight when I decided to see what it's all about. And boy was I in for a treat! I was laughing so hard at every action scene! The music was so laughable, Harrison Ford played worse than Paris Hilton sings and every cliché imaginable was there.
The plot is virtually non-existent during the first half of the movie and when the real action finally kicks in, you see Dr. Jones escaping from difficult situations with unbelievable ease, the ridiculous music score serving as another way of applauding his actions. Those were the best bits. Because then you have the totally random ending that turns your laughter into a WTF expression.
The characters are paper-thin - not to mention Spielberg's obsession with the Germans (or anyone non-American or non-Jewish) who have to be depicted as either superevil or superstupid.
Unintentionally funny, totally predictable and a waste of money and film. How anyone with an average IQ can enjoy this is beyond me.
13 Tzameti (2005)
Success on many levels
13 Tzameti will have you at the edge of your seat and bring out your lowest instincts. I don't want to give much away, so I'll just say this is a great movie that can satisfy and entertain both the artsy cinemaphile/movie buff and the casual viewer (with a functioning brain).
It's a black and white nightmare you never know when or how will end. You can feel the tension rising as the story unfolds. You can hear the heavy breathing. You can smell the blood. And most of all you pay attention - you care about what happens on screen.
Admittedly the main character could have been developed a little more, but see this movie for what it is, a very good debut featuring brilliant cinematography, acting and plot. Interesting and well-suited music as well.
Child's Play (1972)
Nice idea but poorly delivered
Boring so-called thriller about a seemingly possessed bunch of students.
The direction is totally unimaginative, while most of the characters are paper-thin. The students are like muppets with no personality at all during the second half of the film, despite signs at the beginning that they would play a significant role in the story - which unfortunately never happens. Beau Bridges is at his most unconvincing, but then again, the script doesn't help him much.
I'd say you better avoid this.
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
A fabulous package with almost nothing in it
A drama with comedy patches here and there? Or just a bitter comedy? Whatever this film is, it manages to surprise with good acting (especially from Paltrow and Stiller - two unexpected roles for both of them), its almodovar-esque colours and inspired direction.
However, I did not like it a lot. The wrapping seems much more taken care of than the package. There isn't a story to direct in the first place; the peak moments are few and not particularly strong. Some characters are lost while they strive to shine among the rest. It doesn't reach the limits of boredom, though, due to the direction and the acting of most of the cast.
Sose me (2001)
Slightly reminiscent of the excellent Evridiki BA 2O37 (especially in the beginning) on the grounds of analyzing the woman's behaviour when in need, Sose me is a very well made film, featuring a remarkable performance by Maria Zorba. Depression and humour are contradicted and rightly balanced. Even though the story is not 100% believable, the film is worth watching, naturalism and memorable lines certainly being two big pluses.
You don't have to be alone to feel lonely.
The Last House on the Left (1972)
You can't fool me, Wes!
"At last!", I said to myself today when I finally found Last house on the left at my local video store. I was prepared to watch one of the most horrifying movies ever made! And that's because I had read all the comments here. Well, I must say, the film didnt live up to my expectations almost at all; and I don't think it was due to watching the shortened version instead of the full one. The plot is fairly simple and could be intriguing had the stupid subplot with the sheriff been omitted. Then there's the music : it would be more suitable for a comedy! It didn't let me take anything I was watching seriously! The acting lacked credibility and there were holes in the plot (why on earth would anyone put up a bunch of strangers ???). I've made up my mind: Craven cannot scare me!
The Devil's Hand (1961)
Help me, I'm a devil worshipper...
Another amusingly simple thriller that won't thrill you at all. It's cheap, the story is ridiculous and can only bring a smile to your face. It's not totally unbearable; it's fun to spot all the mistakes and plot holes and laugh over them with your friends...
Very good, could have been great
I guess it's a hard task to make a film based on a novel, let alone an autobiography; not only should the director remain faithful to the spirit of the book, but also events must be presented from the writer's point of view. A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries has partly failed from that aspect. Moreover, most of the characters are not fully developed, while events are scattered within the movie, occurring with almost no linkage between them. That's probably due to the director's attempt to fit all the details of the book in a 2 hour film and thus I think that filming a mini series would have been more appropriate...
Be that as it may, I loved this movie for these reasons:
1. EXCELLENT photography and good representation of the 60s and 70s.
2. Superb acting by the whole cast
3. It's quick-paced, sentimental and even funny whenever appropriate, just at the right time.
4. Deals with issues one can easily relate to.
If you get a chance to see A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, don't miss it!
It's nothing like a good 60s western
Ridiculous western about the love of Casanova painter for an Indian girl. It was shot almost entirely in a studio, though the story is set outdoors, so it seems pretty fake, too. It also features a battle between, you guessed it, the BAD Indians and the GOOD whites. Oh, those bad Indians....
L'ultima chance (1973)
Deserves a remake by someone with more money :o)
L' ultima chance is one of those Italian films overdubbed in English in order to appeal to english-speaking audiences. It's about the love of a woman for a criminal who stays at the motel she owns. Well, it's a little more complicated than that, but it's an interesting plot. The movie, however,is poorly made, complete with lousy acting (Andress being an exception). Suspense is maintained throughout the movie, which is certainly a plus.
"You've been murdered..."
DOA is characterized by originality and freshness and is still quite enjoyable to watch now, many years after it was made. It's about a man who consumed some lethal substance that was put in his drink and his odyssey to find who did it while slowly dying. The story is complicated and demands concentration on the dialogues, otherwise you will surely miss the subtle details that are necessary for comprehending what's going on. The tension grows as you watch the soon-to-die man's building up anguish (portrayed excellently by O'Brien) and although you know his fate, you are still curious about what will happen. A very impressive film that's worth anyone's attention.
Strong points : performances and suspense
The story of Copycat contains a lot of mistakes; obviously the writers are not internet freaks and that's why Weaver's PC takes more time to send a photo (to no-one, apparently) than to receive a 30'' video. :o)
Seriously, if we overlook some flaws, we can appreciate how rapidly the scenes follow one another, the long, claustrophobic shots that add to the tension and two excellent performances by Weaver and Hunter. Quite suspenseful, even though you have to switch off your brain for a while so that you can enjoy it unbothered.
Night of Bloody Horror (1969)
Night of bloody what???
Horror? Hahaha! This is a trashy so-called thriller that is slightly reminiscent of Hitchcock's Psycho. Only that this one is totally predictable and full of gore. Gerald McRaney gives a good performance, but it doesn't save the film from mediocrity. There is almost no suspense, in fact waiting to see if the next scene is worse than the one you are watching is far more suspenseful. Really, one would try hard to find a movie with more fake special effects than this one; the sound is often unsynchronized, while the red paint you keep in the basement would have worked better in the gore scenes! Anyway, this one's for the cult trash fans, like me.
Isn't love what we all need ?
Dekapendavgoustos (August 15th) is probably the holiday awaited by most in Greece; cities are vacated while people resort to the countryside, escaping from the routine for a while. This movie (which I saw last night) features multiple stories about the experiences of several people the day before, on, and the day after August 15th. They are all inhabitants in the same apartment building and while they 're away on vacation, a burglar breaks in their apartments. The stories are shown in parallel and are knit together very cleverly. The camerawork is superb (there are only a few occasions where the camera is actually still) and is accompanied by tight editing, making the movie quick-paced, so that the viewer never feels bored.
The acting varies from hardly believable (in only one scene: the confession of the burglar to a girl - however, the actor's performance was excellent when he was mute :o) ) to excellent (Chilakis, Iatropoulos, Tzimou, and basically the rest of the cast) and even to stunning (Moutoussi, Kastani). Amalia Moutoussi was a very pleasant surprise (it actually took me more than half an hour to recognize her), not only on the grounds of her appearance, bur mainly because of her acting. What a performance! Kastani's performance also gave me goose-bumps in a couple of very well directed scenes. Generally there was good character development notwithstanding the number of characters involved.
I tried to find a deeper meaning to this film, because I think the director uses symbolism to express some ideas (it is not a coincidence that one of the most significant holidays in orthodox christianity was chosen as a time frame, nor is the frequent verbal use of Mary's name by the characters, nor even the ever-so-used scene of a girl washing some guy's feet), but the film on the whole hasn't grown on me yet, so I won't attempt to interpret the director's intentions. I have to say though that I loved the rainfall; it was put at the end of the movie, as if it was finally purging the characters' souls, washing away their pain, guilt, sorrow, or just giving them strength to move on.
Dekapendavgoustos is not flawless but very close to a masterpiece. One of the best movies I've ever seen.