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The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
Could be much better
Among the vast quantities of disaster movies USA made, this one is another failure !! The theme of ice age should go on other directions (philosophical, ethical, moral, etc) but the makers of the present movie selected the same bad formulas found in so many disaster movies...Just an example, that I really hate in American movies: in the middle of the worst situation we hear love declarations of the characters: "I want you to know I love you, Jack and Jack replies me too..." such a nonsense sounds like an old formula to make us cry or at least to sorrow the characters....The only good stuff are the visual effects, but for it we don't need a screenplay with false drama !!! Two stars is the most that I can give to such a piece of melodrama.
The Promise (2016)
"The Ottoman Lieutenant" early copy
Schmaltz (also spelled schmalz or shmalz) is rendered (clarified) chicken or goose fat used for frying or as a spread on bread in Central European cuisine ! This is Wikipedia definition for the first word that precisely describes this movie, that when cold it gives you a bad mouth sensation in the upper mouth cavity (sorry for the medical description...). This movie and "The Ottoman Lieutenant" belong to the same league of missing films for people that go to cinema to cry at the end ! This time with more sympathy for the Armenian side...But nothing can compare to the book "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh" by Franz Werfel, maybe one day somebody will take the challenge and produce a movie based on this marvelous book, despite Turkish government opposition!
The Ottoman Lieutenant (2017)
Melodrama and love in the middle of a Genocide !! In this case Armenian one...It is very disappointing to see atrocities accompanied by grand orchestra music and nice landscape ! This one as its former "The promise" both missed the point without any depth and real question (very superficial in essence...). One nice and handsome person can not clean the Turks from their guilt of genocide during WWI. However the landscape takes are very beautiful for the Ministry of Tourism in Ankara.
Toni Erdmann (2016)
I watched this movie due to its high mark (especially by the meta-score)and in the last seconds I asked myself: so what ? Like we never saw solitude, loneliness movies ever...The acting is OK, but the subject is stretched over limits, and at a certain time I stopped to watch and went for a cigarette ! My understanding about this movie is about two societies with their characteristics (the German and the Roumanian) both mixed in a capitalistic globalization, I won't say without mercy but without care for real people. Perhaps the last or one of the last sentences of the father was that we work all time to accomplish some targets (typically German !) and don't pay attention to details along our life and then is too late....As a Romanian born young person, the atmosphere of Bucarest is very well depicted as well people surrounding the personages. But one shouldn't wonder, as these days the Romanian cinema is among the highest in its achievements, for example Mungiu's recent film "Bacalaureat" (aka Graduation)stands much above the present one. Sorry folks, but I wasn't left with a great impression.
Mita Tova (2014)
one station before the end
In the past two decades the Israeli cinema improved significantly and some excellent movies were produced. The present movies can be rated at the highest end! The cast is excellent (most are theater actors)and the atmosphere is real (I know it closely). I was surprised by the dialogue, acting and human dilemmas raised by this excellent movie. Going through with my late parents, I lived it again before my own turn! It has an excellent sense of humor and above all it reveals humanistic and philosophical aspects. I would give it a 10 but the pace is a little bit slow (what should we expect with these elderly people?!),otherwise it is a masterpiece about getting very old, two fingers up!!!
La Ciénaga (2001)
Argentinian movie in its prime ! From the first scene one can understand with whom the spectator is dealing....a continuation of white people domination in an area that was formerly of its native Indians. These people don't belong to this place (the heat, jungle and even the local Indians bother them). As the title suggests, this is a real human swamp while in the background the catholic church is governing their paganism (the ghost virgin on the roof...). I felt nausea at a certain point of this movie and disgusted by its protagonists and their attitude. There is something pervert in this family with its many descendants, that in turn will became identical to their parents. Once a journalist called South America: America Latrina instead of America Latina, it seems that his mistake was intentional and not far away from the reality!
So weit die Füße tragen (2001)
To remain human with non-humans
After more than 70 years and with our historical depth of today knowledge, it is difficult to watch this movie with compassion ! The atrocities of the ruthless German side were no measure to the Soviet side, especially towards my people (children, women and elders !!), not to mention what the SS backed by the Wehrmacht did in Soviet territories till 1943...Indeed, the Soviet treatment can not be considered as "5 stars hotel" to say, but at least they were given the possibility to survive and not exterminated directly after arrival at Treblinka, Auschwitz, etc. by gas chambers and incinerated !! These people were soldiers and not helpless civilian population. If one wants to understand the Russian attitude (which I personally don't support as it was applied against their own citizens by Stalin)should watch the movie "Come and See" (1985) aka "Idi i smotri" by Elem Klimov and understand the Russian animosity towards the German soldiers (they were absolutely not gentleman). Let's put it in the right historical perspective!The roots of suffering started in Germany under Hitler were more than 90% of the population collaborated mostly willingly without a second thought or hesitation. On the artistic side the movie is too long and mainly a nice shot of the Asiatic part of Russia with a very melodramatic end...it makes new generations to think that in this criminal, unique phenomenon of the history all sides were equal in their maliciousness !
excellent, a continuation of the new generation of Romanian directors
Indeed, you have to know the 19th century background of Romania, however it portraits it in a very good manner: the atmosphere of the epoch and the subject is dealt with in depth! It seems that we already saw this movie (or its subject)with other slaves (mostly black people in other countries endorsing slavery)however this one is a special case.All actors are excellent and the black and white colors intensify the dramatic aspects (wonderful forest takes!). I am lucky to know modern Romanian, because the dialog is very important, revealing the behavior, tradition and prejudices of the time (that in some areas of the country are still there...)far away from so called "politically correctness" endorsed in the western culture!(watch the priest opinion about different nations, especially the Jews!). In relation to dialogue, the last sentences of the father to his shocked son are an excellent example of how most of the people behave in face of horrors and injustice!
Edward Hopper on cinema
I like Roy Anderson as he portraits his Swedish fellows on the absurd border. However it has an universal meaning about existence and the meaning of life. The characters are real zombies and the dialog is minimalistic. The scenes are taken from Hopper paintings of empty bars with lonely people, in general the "motto" is loneliness ! Yes, as others already pointed out it is sometimes funny to absurd... I would characterize this movie as a sentence without vowels that allows us to express more feelings and without we get a dry, cold and lifelessness expression ! I think that this one is less than the others but still very good movie.
Weakness and strength
An excellent representation of what the Nazi did in Russia, their arrogance, cruelty and fanatic believe in their superiority. Their obsession with Jews (even small children) it seems now like madness without reason that has to be taught in every school around the world. It's about conscience, cowardliness and human beings as we all are! Evil is everywhere and we have to choose, not an easy task for human beings. The landscape, the harsh winter (like a desert)the frozen forest all construct an excellent stage for this movie personages. The execution scene with all its cruelty is a great scene, including the sentence: Forgive me ! a direct resemblance of Jesus on the cross. Yes, after all WWII atrocities it can be said only: Forgive me ! Beside "Come and See" (1985)"Idi i smotri" (original title) is one of the best movies on second world war made by a Russian director. Four fingers up to Larisa Shepitko!
Tore tanzt (2013)
For Germans to think
It is amazing how people don't change ! It's about evil and perversion and the Germans are at the best in their comport. One of the scene where the mother helps the father to feed by force Tore, it says something about education, mentality and obedience (blind one !). The most important point of this movie is the collaboration of the adults among themselves, except the daughter which is still young enough to believe in good !I think that this movie is an accusation to German society and its education. It reminds me about an excellent documentary on the Wehrmacht filming crew posted in 1943-44 in Ghetto Warsaw to film Jewish population including the mikveh (ritual immersion in Judaism, the Jewish ritual cleaning bath) with naked women. When asked by the director if it was difficult to film there,the German cameraman replied: Yes, very difficult we didn't have enough light !....
I liked this movie. It is exactly what I felt about Putin's Russia: Nothing new in the eastern ! Vodka is the American cocaine for Russians...corruption is the same like in Tzar and Bolsheviks times, in spite of good "duh" of the Russian people. What stands above all is the violence, domestic and official. No wonder that Stalin eliminated so many people from his own population! As he already stated:"No people, no problems!The filmography is excellent, depressing by colors and the eternal cold and cloudy weather.The actors are excellent including the kid Roma.Finally the orthodox church does not get out nicely from this movie, as usual with hypocrisy... One major conclusion from this movie: both countries are similar in size and richness (I mean Russia and USA), but people make a country how it looks: with all its problems (mafia, drugs, racism, etc.) USA it is still more advanced towards an ideal country....there you can sing and mocker the president and not to end up in jail (i.e. Pussy Riot)!