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High Maintenance (2016)
Not funny, not coherent.
I've been a fan of most HBO-series, and my expectations were definitely up there, when I started on the series; high maintenance.
Each episode of the series shown a number of very different persons, each in their own story line. The story lines have one thing in common though, that the persons involved at one point or another buy weed from the same dealer (a pretty likable dude who rides around New York City on his bicycle). The different time lines represent a broadness in the show, and the weed-dealer are the thing that should connect it all.
This could potentially be at pretty great setup for the show, but one of the big advantages series has over movies, is the ability to carry on a story line through hours and hours of screen time, build characters, and hence give the audience the experience of growing, with their favorite cast.
None of that is done here!
Each episode introduces a brand new story line, with all new characters and personas, and virtually none of the history from previous episodes are carried on, nor build upon.
First episode features the story line of an "over the top" macho guy who's fighting with his girlfriend (some irrelevant argument), while chilling with his buddy, looking to get stoned. at the same time an extremely gay guy is doing drugs and having loose sex with strangers.
Second episode features a young Muslim girl living with her aunt and uncle, trying the stay away from problems. We also follow Leo and Gigi, a couple preparing for Leo's birthday (a theme party / orgy), the orgy part though is called off, because had gotten an STD.
Third episode features Gatsby, a dog, whom falls in love with his dog walker Beth. (this is where i decided to stop watching anymore)
There is absolutely nothing tying the episodes together, and when the producers made the 3rd episode entirely about a dog, I have simply stopped watching any more.
HBO, you can do better than this!
Great, but wasted cast
Looking at the some of the main cast for this movies; Beyoncé Knowles, Jamine Foxx, Eddie Murphy, and Danny Glover, I really thought "this is going to be good!" and that is exactly how it started. We are first introduced to the 3 beautiful ebony girls, Effie, Deena & Lorrell, whom are fighting to make a career within the music industry. The story quickly picks up as the girls get a manager, goes on a tour with the already established artist James Early, and while fighting against the racial discrimination of the 1960's America ends up breaking though on national radio and TV. We follow the girls from their early beginnings in the ghetto, on their way to fame, but the road is not without its bumps, as different ambitions, managers, internal intrigues, and love-affairs all play a role in making this road especially hard.
Now, the plot and story seems quite good the cast looks good so what is the problem: Is this a musical or an regular movie? I have no idea.
The initial 30-40mins of the movie was quite pleasing, acting is good, and the music is used on stage or in recording studios, and compliments the store and regular dialogue quite well. But at some point the characters turn from talking to each other, to instead singing to each other. And at this point the story starts to get confusing, the music feels forced, and unpleasant. This goes on for quite a while, and peaks with a 15min nonstop song that is so bad that I actually turned down the sound of my TV, so I could still be in the room. Coming towards the ending of the movie, the musical theme fades out, dialogue is once again used, and music in once again used as music.
This shifting between regular movie/musical/regular movie, is really confusing, and it breaks apart the story to a level where I just don't care about it anymore it's highly annoying. maybe it makes more sense if you watch it again, but honestly I don't feel like watching it again, ever.
The Queen (2006)
Change of Hearth
I have never been following the royal British family very closely, so I don't really remember how the situation was back then, in relation to the untimely death of Princess Diana. The actual reaction of the individual members of the family is difficult to assess, compared to the real history, but the overall reactions of the royal institution are spot on. This stubborn, old-fashioned, cold & cynical clinging to tradition and protocol that; inhibits the family from reacting like human beings is both outdated and outrageous. And it offends me grossly.
The queen, Elizabeth II, is shown as a woman, raised by these beliefs and hence very correct, and seemingly emotionally detached from reality. It is difficult to hold it against her though, when you look at the company she's in: married to Prince Phillip who almost aggressively protects these protocols, and the child of Queen Elizabeth I, a firm believer in the old-ways. The only one in the Queens family that questions these traditions is the Queens oldest son, Prince Charles. Regrettably the relationship shown between mother and son might just as well have been that of strangers.
The only one, (with the power to do something about it) that opposes of this system, is the newly elected prime minister, Tony Blair, who throughout the film tries to salvage the situation for the royal family.
The story is already well known, so the outcome couldn't be a surprise, but it still pleases me to see how the prime minister and his staff finally gets through to the royal institution, and how the Queen finally chooses to go against tradition, and partake in the public mourning. She redeems herself as a human being, showing a Queen in touch with her subjects, instead of the detached cynical woman showed first.
The Shining (1980)
36 years later, I finally got to watch the Shining, and what a thrill.
Kubrick delivers to us; this masterfully crafted thriller that by its release date in 1980 must have been an absolutely horrid experience. And for generations after its release horror writers and directors have used and reused so many of the elements that make this so wonderful.
The secluded settings, a mountain pass hotel with a gruesome history, well and thoroughly cut off by any outside intrusion due to its location high up in the mountains. And a "snowstorm of generations" to trap anyone who unknowing of its dangers have placed them self at this hotel. (cue our distressed family)
The kid who start experiencing flashing visions. At first mere images and voices of people, but as the time goes by, increasingly more disturbed, grim, and finally to a point where the visions turn physically violent. Once again the viewer is kept guessing; is this visions of years past? Or warnings of an ominous future?
The long winding corridors throughout the hotel that for the viewer feels claustrophobic, and with an uneasy sensation of being trapped. And the camera movement that follows the kid throughout said corridors leaves you constantly guessing what might be around the next corner.
And of course the protagonist turned antagonist, as the already passive-aggressive family father, slowly turns into a full-blow psychotic murderer, thirsting for the blood of his own wife and kid.
These classic elements are what makes this movie so great.
San Andreas (2015)
At bit too generic
I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy watching this, but perhaps some of my enjoyment came from accurately predicting so much of the dialogue and events of the movie (this can in some cases be amusing). The Day after tomorrow, 2012, Deep Impact, Armageddon, Twister, Volcano, The Perfect Storm, The Core, and the list goes on and on. I have watched them all, and my recipe for a disaster-movie is as follows:
You need the following ingredients: The "hero dad" from a dysfunctional family who was recently separated from his wife because of generic hero-reasons. His daytime job has a vital role for his survival in the following events (firefighter, cop, engineer, specialist, scientist), and hence qualifies him as the protagonist. The "kid" who at some point gets in the middle of the unfolding disaster, and then needs saving from the hero-dad. Luckily the kid have learned a lot of survival skills from the dad, so before being rescued, the kid has to save a few other characters of the movie (preferably a stray child). The "scientist" who pretty much single-handedly predicted the magnitude of the coming events, but nobody would listen to him/her, because of the absurd scale of his theories. When the world now is in peril, the scientist is accredited with endless power to command with both the media and army alike. The "scientist-aid" has to be young, naive and good-hearted, and die under tragic circumstances so to fuel the scientist motivation for solving the situation. The "Stage", needs to be a densely populated area, any metropolis in either the US or Europe will do. other great cities (e.g. in India or China) can be added, but only so they can be leading up to the real disaster.
The scientist and his aid is just on the brink of a breakthrough in whatever field they are studying, and at the same time the kid is traveling to the midst of what is to become a disaster-zone (this can be college, going on a camping-trip, or just hanging out with friends). Meanwhile the hero-dad is out doing his bad-ass job, or having an argument with his ex-wife. When the disaster strikes, the scientist-aid is tragically killed off, but at the same-time this provides the final data needed by the scientist to prove his theory. Before an official warning can be issued all hell breaks loose, and now the media and government has no choice but to trust the all-knowing scientist. While all this is going down, it becomes apparent to the hero dad that he needs to save their child, and at the same time mend his broken marriage. When the disaster is over, the hero-dad is once again back with his wife, the scientist gets a girl, and in this specific case even the kid manages to get a new boyfriend in the process all is well.
Mix in a bowl, and add plenty of mind-boggling effects of entire cities being demolished. Inset random scenes of people being destroyed by the disaster, but remember to leave space for the important "family-bonding" parts throughout the movie. Season with one or two scenes of main-characters barely escaping dangerous situations, and at some point during the end, you need to have a main character "die", so he/she can be revived again.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
2001: a space odyssey has long been a movie I wanted to see, perhaps mainly for the reason of it being one of those classics you have to see.
In general I have enjoyed Stanley Kubricks work on The Shining, A Clockwork Orange & Full Metal jacket, and I guess I still do but:
In this case there are way too many drawn out scenes of e.g. an astronaut floating through space for almost 5 minutes, while we listen to his breath, or the endless scenes in the space station where background music is substituted with a series of high frequency noises (this was actually so much that I had to turn down the volume), or again the full 5 minutes of a music track, that is used to show a spacecraft land.
I am completely aware that this movies was groundbreaking in visual effects at its time, and most of its content where based on the amazing visuals, and well-crafted scenery made for it.
But, the fact that I, multiple times, actually ended up fast forwarding through scenes, or had to turn down the volume because of obnoxious sounds and music, spoiled it for me. Sorry.
Black Swan (2010)
Innocent & Sweet, Seductive & Cruel
Watching this movie made me thing of Whiplash(2014) another movie where a young talented artist strive to achieve greatness and in the process of doing so, gets pushed well beyond any limits they might have. In Black Swan we are introduced to Nina Sayers, a very young and very talented ballet dancer, whom, by the strict supervision of her mother strive towards perfection on the ballet scene.
Responsible for a new production of "Swan Lake" is Thomas Leroy, and when Nina is auditioning for the lead part of the ballet, it becomes obvious for Thomas that the fragile and innocent Nina is a perfect match for dancing the part of the white swan. But to complete the entire show, sweet Nina will also have to dance the part of the black swan, a ruthless, seductive creature. Relentlessly rehearsing for the part, Nina is introduced to a new girl on the set, Lily, a girl who is everything Nina is not. As a strange relationship develops between the two girls, Nina starts to embrace the darkness and slowly gives in to the lusts and temptations lurking inside her.
Dreams slowly turn into daydreams that turn into hallucinations, a creeping sense of paranoia emerges as her personalities slowly split, and the more she lets the darkness take her, the more her sanity fades away. And when the show is on, and the final act is done, it becomes agonizingly obvious that there is now nothing she won't do for perfection
Black Swan is in its story as predictable as it is shocking, in my mind it is both breathtakingly beautiful and horribly ugly, and it leaves itself as innocent & sweet as it is seductive & cruel.
Ip Man (2008)
I had never heard about "Ip Man" before, so I didn't have any expectations what so ever. Initially I thought it would be yet another generic, martial arts movie about some protagonist fighting to regain his honor, that for some reason have been lost.
Well, was I in for a surprise.
The Chinese city of Foshan was widely known for its many martial arts schools, all lead by Masters of their own specific branch of Kung-Fu. One day a band of southerners come into Foshan to establish a school of their own, and to build a reputation for themselves their leader Jin sets out to beat each and every Master in town. But when faced by Master Ip, the invaders are forced to leave the city, they are no match for Master Ip and his mighty Whig Chun Kung-Fu. Years before the outbreak of the second world war, Japanese troops invade parts of china, the city of Foshan is subjected to genocide and starvation, and Master Ip is forces to live a cumbersome existence with his wife and young child. To support his family, Master Ip is forced to work at the coal-mines, but one day Japanese troops show up, searching for anybody who is willing to fight for food, in the arena against Japanese martial artist. The Japanese general Muira soon realizes what great skills Master Ip possesses, and wants him to train his soldiers. When Master Ip refuses to follow the Japanese command, he is now forced to escape the occupied city, but not before facing off against general Muira himself.
I was genuinely surprised by this movie. The fighting was beautiful and art-like, and never "over the top". The story line had much more to it, and definitely more than I expected for a martial arts film.
Funny alright, but hyped way too much.
This was a strange experience watching this movie, because it is neither a purebred comedy, action flick or superhero movie. By creating a movie like Deadpool, filmmakers merge these three genres into one, for me at least undefinable genre. The movie is funny alright, no question about it. From the very first shot of the opening scene we are introduced to Deadpool who is a fast mouthing mercenary on a quest for personal vengeance.
Mixed in between the countless snappy comebacks, hilarious one-liners or downright retarded comments, Deadpool's quest is a violent one, and still within the opening scene of the movie he shoots, stabs, crushes, decapitates, and in general just kills a bunch of other mercenaries. While on his quest, Deadpool is in an open dialogue with the audience, narrating his own origin story. Many times he refuses the idea of this being anything related to a superhero movie, but the attentive watcher will notice countless references to different parts of both the DC & Marvel universes. At some points during the movie, it feels like we are supposed the feel bad, or feel sorry for some of the movies protagonists, but when the same scene is presented with a goofy one-liner, the whole empathy thing is dropped to the ground. For a brief moment I loose complete track of what feelings the scene is supposed to create, and it's mostly because of these scenes I cannot rate Deadpool higher that I do.
I didn't really have any high expectations for this movie, since the initial impression I got from the poster/description reminded me of movies like "The Golden Compass" which is basically just a bad children's fantasy movie.
But I were definitely brought to shame by making that comparison.
The movie spends quite a lot of time, establishing the entire foundation of the story, which makes for a rather convincing storyline, and even though it's a fantasy, and a lot of it is science fiction, it actually makes a lot of sense. The only downside of this thorough introduction is; I could have used a 30min longer runtime in the end (the end felt a bit rushed).
But I walked away having genuinely having enjoyed watching it.
The story is brutal, but we're missing out.
I can tell that like many other early reviewers of this movie; I already knew most of the story by heart.
Having watched many of the early documentaries of the '96 disaster, and having read multiple of the written accounts from the survivors, including Krakauers book several times; watching this movie, I can't help the feeling that there is so much we are not shown
Any disaster is always the result of a series of unfortunate events or decisions, and following '96 there have been so many conclusions to why this one in particular unfolded so violently.
The decision of trying to drag Sandy Pittman to the top, even though she should have been told to go back long before; this decision was resulted partly in the missing ropes near the Hillary step; and hence the long line who kept everybody else up the for far too long a short scene shows Pittman being dragged up the mountain by one of the Sherpas, but the movie never explains anything about it, nor does it try to explain why this is a very bad idea.
It is shortly mentioned that Anatoli Boukreev does not wish to use bottled oxygen while guiding on the mountain, today this would actually be illegal, but back in'96 it was just not well seen. Because of oxygen deprivation Boukreev has to leave the summit fairly quick, and hence abandons his clients there. In the movie he is (fair enough) depicted as an hero, since he alone rescued multiple people. But if you think about it, a number of these people might not have been in need of saving, if Boukreev had just stayed with them in the first place.
The movie does actually use an amount of time to show the large number of climbers on the mountain, and how this were actually creating "traffic jams" up there, this was an extremely contributing factor to the chaos that happened.
Don't get me wrong, I like the movie it's well directed and shot, the views are wonderful and breathtaking, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the production crew to actually shoot most of the movie on the mountain I would just have liked it to have a 45-60min longer runtime, so it could more accurately tell the many aspects of the story.
Do we accept mental abuse?
Initially I was fascinated by this inspirational story for all who strive for greatness. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that what this actually is; a really sad story of the young, narcissistic and self-centered guy Andrew, who will literally sell out on everything to get a shot at pro-drumming.
Andrew has no friends and apparently no interest in his family. He lays off Nicole, a girl he dates; so she could not limit him in his search for greatness & he moves his mattress to the basement, so he can do nothing but eat, sleep & practice.
All this is because; as Andrew explains at dinner "I would rather die at the age of 30 and have everybody talking about me, than die at the age of 90 and nobody knowing who I was".
If that is not narcissism, I don't believe I know the meaning of the word.
To push Andrew even further, we are introduced to Fletcher: a ruthless music-teacher whit the emotional span of your average psychopath: One moment he is kind and caring, and the next he is throwing chairs at your head while shouting and threatening to cut you from the band. He publicly plays students out against each other, and whenever a "weak" student breaks down in tears, the stronger student is congratulated not by his own success, but by the failure of others. Fletcher is obviously a man who will not deviate from any kind of psychological terror or abuse. In my opinion, Fletcher is truly a despicable man.
Combining these two characters in Whiplash; the young mentally unstable boy Andrew, and this manipulative teacher: the movie somehow glorifies the mental abuse going on here – and I am not okay with that!
Besides my obvious opposition to the story content of the movie, I still enjoyed watching it; and even though I'm not much of a jazz fan, I still think the music where chosen really well. Miles Teller plays the role of Andrew a bit too emotionless, but casting J.K.Simmons as Fletcher – Wow, that was a perfect choice!
Jurassic World (2015)
Family friendly and Disappointing
Let me initially say that before watching it, I had already heard quite a bit about this movie, so I might have been prepared for some of the letdowns it has to offer. That being said, I still "enjoyed" it as a simple piece of action: but please don't expect more.
In the beginning of this movie we meet the two brothers Gray; a hyperactive walking encyclopedia, and Zach; an indifferent teenager with "girl issues", whom are sent to visit their aunt Claire. Claire happens to be a highly organized, suit and stiletto wearing, and in every sense of the words; professional manager of the theme park which is Jurassic World.
Initially the kids are left with her incompetent assistant while Claire is busy entertaining investors, handling the financial situation of the park, and also greeting the visiting owner of the park, the idealistic Mr. Masrani, who has come to witness his new main attraction, "The Indominus Rex". "Indominus" was created in a lab, as a hybrid cross of a number of species, but mainly the notorious "Tyrannosaurus Rex"; this was mainly done to secure a steady stream of visitors to the park.
While inspecting the cage now containing a fully grown Indominus, Mr. Masrani feels it might be a good time to do a critical final inspection of the security measures taken to encage this huge, highly intelligent and murderous beast; Claire is therefor sent to retrieve Owen.
Owen is your run of the mill, motorcycle repairing, leather west wearing, former navy seal with a big heart for living things, guy: Who also just happens happens to be an authority on breeding and training velociraptors!
Second upon arriving at the new facility, Claire and Owen concludes that Indominus has escaped the cage, and everybody carelessly walks into the cage, just to be confronted by the hiding predator. Some ingenious designers decided to put a manual override button on the inside of the fence, and in no time has a panicking security guy opened the gate, and hence released this fierce monster.
Besides the obvious idiotic idea of even opening a public park with 20.000+ visitors and freely roaming dinosaurs that are only restricted by an occasionally failing "implanted chip": we, the audience are from here on out witnessing an endless series of progressively worse ideas and even more clichéd cinematic plot turns.
Let's make Mr. Masrani a novice helicopter pilot who thinks he's an Air-general!
Let's have the two lead characters have a history of a really bad date, and the still end up together!
Let's have a beautiful bonding moment between the two brothers after jumping from a cliff, oh and lets also try to make everybody feel bad for them because their parents are getting divorced (or well, one of the kids googled something, and now the parents are apparently divorcing each other)!
Let's have a secret weapons development facility directly in the middle of a family theme park. And let the shady "weapons researcher" do a hostile takeover of the theme park, and turn the entire thing into a real live weapons test with 20.000+ people in the park!
Also let's have none of the employees panic and raising the alarm, or in any way question the fact that some of them are sent out into the forest, with stun-guns and nets, to capture an enormous monster.
Oh, and finally let's have a Tyrannosaurus Rex in a cage, which by the push of a single button opens directly into the main street of the theme park!
This piece of cinematic pop culture is so filled with plot-holes, that by the end of the movie I couldn't even remember half of them anymore.
There are though, still a few worthy scenes to notice: When the kids wander into the original buildings of Jurassic park, they walk past the notorious "Velociraptor painting on the wall": a scene I specifically enjoyed from the first movie. And also in the final minutes of the movies, during the big fight of "Indominus VS. everybody else" there were some quite good action sequences.
All in all, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I though, perhaps a bit naively, that this movie would try to honor the legacy of the original Jurassic Park, but instead of a dark, thrilling and suspenseful movie with dangers lurking around every corner, we are presented with a somewhat cheerful, family friendly, PG13 "Action" movie with the occasionally cheesy one-liners.
12 Years a Slave (2013)
Decent, but slow.
These stories; be they about slavery, child abuse, murder, war & or any other un-pleasantries, needs to be told for the public to debate them.
e.g. Related to the recent (post 2000) wars in the middle eastern region, there have been made a number of movies & documentaries, depicting very closely the brutal realities of the soldiers fighting there, and how some of them come home, mentally shattered, and unable to return to a normal life again These movies have had a great role to play, in the way we think of post war-trauma.
That aside; it feels like "12 years a Slave" wants to be a movie that in the same way creates debate, by depicting the horrible realities as it were for the slaves in the mid 1800's it's just 20 years late for that
This is not a new nor relevant topic, and considering there have already been so many movies related to this, it's not even that interesting any more.
With this in mind, "12 years a slave" is a simple piece of entertainment: and unfortunately a very slow paced, not especially touching or dramatic, and for most parts forgettable piece of entertainment.
I have to acknowledge though, a well performing cast and good cinematics!
A decent film... but i do not believe i will be watching it Again.
Clichéd & predictable, but decent entertainment.
The righteous, "straight as an arrow" tax lawyer Michael Helge, are about to have everything he ever wanted; soon he is to marry his young fiancé the daughter of Michael Helge's boss, whom is soon about to make him partner in the law-firm
There is just the small matter of some unfinished business in the southern part of France.
Michael is, reluctantly, sent to deal with the form case of a millionaire divorce; even though he doesn't feel the idea of drinks, beaches & vacation has anything to do with a serious business-trip.
Upon arriving in the French airport, Michael is briefly reacquainted with his old classmate Theo, but has no intents of wasting his time, so he quickly hurries on his way.
The trip turns out as a complete disaster, and within 24 hours, Michael has his wallet stolen, had an affair with the clients soon to be ex-wife oh, and he lost EU 1,3mill of his company's money - He has been thoroughly scammed.
With nowhere else to go, Michael now has to seek out Theo; a professional poker player living off his boat in the marina, where he picks up easy girls, party, and snorts coke on the side.
A simple plan develops to get back the money Michael lost; Theo will enter a highly illegal underground poker tournament, but the entry fee has to be paid from Michael's pension funds now he truly has everything on the line.
The movie is easy to watch, and delivers a series of more or less humorous scenes. But the story is clichéd and predictable, and it builds up towards the "climax" at the poker tournament which turns out to be (in my opinion) a bit disappointing.
Do not watch this movie as a great masterpiece of cinema, because you will end up being disappointed. But watch it for what it is; as a piece of easy entertainment, with a somewhat subtle "love-story", spiced up with a number of enjoyable, laughable scenes.
3 Idiots (2009)
Aal Izz Well
10 years after finishing college, the two friends Farhan & Raju go searching for Rancho; a dear friend of them, who throughout college slowly made them realize what matters in life.
Rancho mysteriously disappeared shortly after graduation, and while driving from destination to destination in their attempt to find him again, the old friends reminisce of the years they spent with him.
In a society where the highest honor in life, for women are to become doctors, and men to become engineers, we meet the freshmen students at the highly esteemed college of ICE. Students at ICE all strive to become the best of the best, by following the norms & and endless repetition of the trivia in traditional engineering.
Rancho comes to the college as a free spirit, his mind always searching for alternative solutions, and his heart always thinking of others before himself; and from the very moment he steps in the door things start to change.
on their journey, Farhad & Raju are both reminded of the countless times where Rancho helped them to improve their lives, even if they did not realize it at the moment: like when his quick thinking saved the life of Raju's father, and when he after-wards would rather miss his exams than leave his friend in the hospital alone, or in his constant challenges against the "system".
His alternative ways and desire to help everybody ultimately wins over even his old nemesis, the college director Dr. Viru: by also saving the life of his daughter and newborn grandchild.
The title, the picture on the promotional posters, and the description of the movie made me expect a, perhaps forgettable, goofy comedy; something like the "American Pie" movies (no offense meant). But boy were I in for a surprise!
The story is very well told, the music is beautifully composed, and even though I didn't understand half of the lyrics; some of the songs are still imprinted in my long-term memory.
There are certain comedic aspects to consider, but what really stands out as my main impression of this movie; is how deep it manages to touch the subjects of social acceptance & friendship.
Well thought, deep & moving.
(The thing holding me back from rating this 10/10, are primarily some of the more goofy scenes, where you, for a moment, are ripped away from the thoughtfulness of the movie, and forced to watch an e.g. "highschool-musical" shower song)
But still: Aal Izz Well.
Django Unchained (2012)
I guess my relationship to Quentin Tarentino's movies is one of equal love & hate.
Definitely I enjoy watching most of his movies; Inglorious Bastards, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs & Four Rooms are all pretty good. But on the other hand I believe the Kill Bill movies to be overrated, and now I can add yet another movie to my "Quentin Tarantino's – Black List": Django Unchained.
Excessive violence, blood and gore are all fine trademarks to put in one's movie, but in this case it's just too much. And then there are the endless combinations of weird cutting sequences, strange colors, and sounds/music/noises from a 4th grade child in a music instrument shop, and what about a blue velvet suit with white laces; I mean come on; really?
in combination with an almost 3 hour runtime, i were not impressed!
My believe is, that the very same things that make some of his movies so very good, are the same things ruining this movie, when they are overdone. And they truly are; overdone.
No more "teenage stoner comedies", please.
The idea of two peculiar and out of the ordinary persons, falling in love with each other, and then suffering a breakup that causes both of them to get the other erased from their memories: is actually not half bad.
Unfortunately there are a few things that steal too much focus, like:
The part of the story regarding Stan & Mary getting wasted while dancing around in Joel's bedroom, is absolutely useless, and doesn't add anything to the story. Actually the entire sub-plot about the two are completely out of place in a movie like this, and I would have liked a more elaborate story of Joel or Clementine, instead of adding this piece of "teenage stoner comedy".
The second sub-plot about Mary & Dr. Mierzwiak does at least affect the story, but it still doesn't feel like it's actually changing anything.
I know many people are having trouble accepting Jim Carrey as a serious actor, myself included. Well I watched "The Number 23" from 2007, where he played the obsessed Walter, a role I believe he did quite well; Unfortunately by 2004(Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind) he was not yet at that level, and I would rate his performance as mediocre at best.
But despise what other reviews might say; I believe Kate Winslet played her role really well!
I can feel the sub-plots annoys me though, perhaps also more than they should; but they rip apart what could have been a beautiful story and keeps me guessing at what kind of genre this is? A Serious drama, or a forgettable comedy.
Donnie Darko (2001)
I Felt Everything..!
I'm actually quite surprised that this movies isn't rated as a thriller here on IMDb, because the combination of a dark and twisted theme, a creepy ominous soundtrack, and Jake Gyllenhaal performing at his very best; literally kept me on the edge of my chair during most of the runtime.
Donnie really is a good-hearted boy, and not long into the movie the only thing you want is for him to be okay. That is why I especially enjoyed following the developing relationship between Donnie & Gretchen. It seems like Gretchen becomes a sanctuary for him, a place where he can truly open himself up without feeling like there is something wrong with him (like in therapy). It's a part of the story that really touches me deeply, and so torrential are my feelings that when Gretchen died, my heart simply fell apart.
And then everything changes, when moments later the entire storyline collapses around you, and the reality of the movie is suddenly changed to another, back at the beginning. When the movie ended I felt, well I felt: Sad that Gretchen died and confused of the changing time line – Happy that Gretchen didn't die after all but on behalf of the family powerless over the tragedy that struck them – Angry at the bullies, but relieved that nothing happened to the rest of the Darko's – Wondering of how grandma death was involved in this, and devastated by the death of Donnie himself, and hence him never experiencing his life with Gretchen. All in all – I felt everything!
After watching Donnie Darko for the first time, two things popped into my mind.
First – Wow that was intense!
Second – I need to watch this again!
After all this, I guess I don't need to point out that the acting of course is flawless – Sound, music and cutting were done perfectly, and the story is written with so much subtext that it will take me many more views before fully understanding what I'm watching.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Disturbingly good, but a bit "overplayed"
When watching this movie, and comparing it to some of his other work, I have no doubts that this is the work of Stanley Kubrick. And in this movie (like in some of his later work), Kubrick gives us a quick glance into the twisted minds of the psychopaths he depicts.
As we follow Alex through all his bad deeds, be they rape, murder, or just the beating of an old man for the fun of it. It gets increasingly more difficult for me to feel anything else for him than a combination of fear and loath. He is shown as an extreme sadist with a deeply worrying lack of empathy, e.g. when he carries on in raping a woman while smiling and singing still.
I have read several reviews here on IMDb saying that they hate Alex at first, but later on they feel sorry for him. But I'm sad to say, that no amount of bible studies, mistreatment from the government, or beatings by the police, is ever going to make me feel sorry for him - Period!
A decent story (a bit disturbing perhaps), Production is fair for an '71 movie.
Sometimes though, it feels like some of the roles are "overplayed" (especially Alex, Dim & the Chief Guard Barnes).
Siu Lam juk kau (2001)
Soccer & Martial-Arts, Sided with a story of love, and topped off by a pinch of Goofy humor
I remember watching this movie when it hit theaters 15 years ago and I remember it as a quite good movie.
By experience I know that childhood memories of movies tend to be a bit better than reality, so naturally I was a bit cautious when I decided to revisit Shaolin-Soccer last night.
Luckily this is not the case, because this movie is still quite good!
I'm not really into movies about sports, martial arts or love, so for me this mixture of soccer and martial arts, sided with a somewhat subtle love story, and topped off with a pinch of goofy humor, creates an refreshingly original and interesting movie about those same subjects.
I'm pretty sure I don't always understand the Chinese form of humor, and most likely some of it is also lost in the subtitles as well but still, it makes me smile, and it makes me cheer for the good guys!
In every sense of the words, a movie easy to watch, and easy to enjoy.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
plenty of everything that is Action
I watched this movie in the theater on my brothers request, since I have never had any relation to the Mad Max universe
and to be honest, this movie is not going to plant any seeds for me to grow into a "fan". (at some points during the movie, i just though to myself "this it too much")
But that aside, it does contain all the basic ingredients for a great action Flick: Weapons Cars Explosions Violence Women and more Cars
Don't watch this movie expecting a long, sophisticated, and well though-through plot but watch it for what it is: a fast paced, action packed story of a man's fight for survival, in a future wasteland where dominant warlords rule the few habitable areas left.
I did consider giving it a lover rate due to the lack of a better plot, but then i remembered how it was to watch all the best action movies of the 80's & 90's... and i realized that none of them had a better storyline. (and i still enjoy re-watching Rambo)
Too little content, spread over too many minutes
Without going too much into detail with the actual story, the movie starts with a group of teenagers going on a weekend trip in a private plane. A (not very subtle) side story explains how two of the teens both lost one or more of their parents at a young age.
A somewhat decent start.
But for the following 40 minutes everything that happens can pretty much be summarized in a few choice words: mysterious dark clouds failing instruments random and pointless fighting and screaming Then the next 20 minutes can be summarized by: Evil tentacle cloud squid Hysterical Teens fighting And even more screaming Then we get 10 minutes of the movie Inception (as it turns out that all the events are just the result of one of the characters imagination/nightmares). And as soon as the nightmare is over, and the cloud clears, the surviving teens nearly miss hitting another plane (which as it turns out is them-selves and parents from another reality)
The movie ends by none of the parents ever dying in the first place, and hence this movie never happening.
Just to be clear, I have nothing against the plot itself, it think it could be a great short-film. (20-30min)
But I do have a problem with a very thin story being told over a period of 90 minutes, combined with somewhat terrible acting and even worse CGI, and then all of that being crammed into a small Piper-Aircraft for 85% of the movies duration.
Long story short: if you want the story of the movie, watch the initial 20 minutes, and the final 15 minutes, and skip everything else!
Black Sails (2014)
Has potential, but fails to deliver.
I was thrilled by the possibility of a real pirate series
but ended up being rather disappointed by un-relatable and uncharismatic characters played somewhat poorly (the acting is not bad, per se
but it's definitely not good either).
First of all, as others before me have pointed out a show about pirates, that in reality are more about small-town politics and intrigues in a brothel and tavern, is just not working for me...
And then the list of your typical personas:
John silver, the young charismatic thief who is not in any way charismatic, but seems overly fake in every sense of the word. He is definitely the most clichéd character on the show, with endless stupid one-liners like "trust me to do what's best for me" etc. etc.
Captain Charles Vane, the antagonist is actually not a part of the history, even though he's a part of each episode, and most of the time he's just a sorry excuse of a homeless drunk.
Eleanor Guthrie, the strong independent woman, who will do anything to see the island thrive but, again and again, she convinces me that she has no sense of reality whatsoever, and I truly believe that with her as manager of the island, it would sink burning to the bottom of the sea! (so far, everything she has done, ended up being a mistake and still she is just as stubborn as ever)
Captain Flint should be the protagonist who makes mistakes but is forgiven Flint is shown as a gentle man, but is still an utterly a**hole towards everybody around him, and at no time it seems like he actually has the support of anybody. it feels like the show want me to forgive him for his actions, telling me they are all justified because of a sweet love story, but since this "love story" is not really present in the show, it's really difficult to see why Flint shouldn't be the shows antagonist instead!?
To be fair, I didn't know the story of Kurz & Hinterstoisser before watching the movie, and hence I had no idea of their struggle or the horrible result of their endeavor. So when I watched the movie, I believed it to be portraying a first ascent of the Eiger, not a miserable demise.
I was stunned by the simplicity in mountaineering back then, and even more by the personal strength and courage it must have taken for them to do what they did but even though they were real manly men, they all suffer agonizingly and slow deaths, and it just left me with a strong sensation of empathy, for their powerlessness, and futile efforts against the mountain.
I can honestly say that I (naively)believed it to have a happy ending, but the reality of the movie left me in awe and deep respect for the forces of the mountains, and the effort of those trying to conquer them.
Truly an amazing movie!