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Another Life (2019)
A great fast paced sci-fi story
- I was very surprised to see all these low user ratings on IMDB. I very much enjoyed the First Season.
- Remember, this is TV, not reality! In real life, if an alien artifact landed on earth, governments would have nuked it. If it doesn't communicate nor attack, then it's hiding its intentions (not good) and is preparing for something. Therefore deserving to be destroyed, based on better safe than sorry reasoning.
- Life on the spaceship would have been very, very boring! No mutiny, no bringing aboard dangerous alien life or plant forms, no intercourse between an AI and a person (in realistic VR). It's highly likely, all the security protocols, discipline and procedures would have prevented that. The above problems are predictable and they can be mitigated. Problematic personalities would have been filtered out early, as in the first few weeks of the Space Cadet School.
But in case of TV, one doesn't have to care about reality.
- What I liked was that there was no unnecessary dwelling on a storyline. As in there was no uncomfortable writhing around insider threat and not too long painful obliviousness of colleagues about their evil alien comrade (a human with a chip in his head). Everything proceeded quickly, in the correct, enjoyable time frame.
- The lead actor Kathryn Ann Sackhoff was perfect for her role. She was the kind of sinewy, commander, marine, athletic type one would expect of a captain.
The Revenant (2015)
The Revenant is an unusual movie in a way that makes you look at the nature in awe and fear at the same time as sitting on the couch. Which I think is hard to achieve. And Leonardo Di Caprio is an unlikely character to appear in a western (remember the soft spoken guy in "Titanic"). I had some doubts before, but he pulled it off. I very much enjoyed his opponents acting too. This film contains just the right amount of violence to make it believable. It's quite long too, without becoming boring - another achievement.
Action is subtle, yet compelling. As usual, I would've have liked to have seen some characters survive, but yet they perished untimely.
I actually wanted to see a comedy, since Ben Stiller was in it, but it turned out to be a drama. Nonetheless I'm not at all disappointed, I very much liked the content, full of unexpected turns and beautiful, surprising images of icy, remote places - who could've thought that, when starting to watch the film. The funny bits are there too, to be correct. The plot, camera-work and acting all make it a very watchable piece. Ben Stiller plays a guy, many can relate to or have the same experience. However, his story has a happy ending. Some places stretch the imagination, but this is not really a problem, since a large share movies do that, most from start to finish, but in this case the first part was really credible, detailing the main characters' issues. The latter is done with humor - always a good way to solve all problems one can have.
The Internship (2013)
If you like lots of words instead of action, then you'll love this one. I knew that if I go for the duo of these two comedian actor - McMahon and Campbell, I wouldn't be let down. It's full of witty dialogue. And we get an inside look to real life Google Office complex. The movie has been criticized for too much coverage of Google, where the action takes place, but I still think it won't devalue the comedy. The story line consists of overcoming adversity, personal hindrances and a love story, all the while covering them in a humorous manner. A good approach. And the jokes are very good, one of the kind, meaning they won't get repetitive or boring. And in the end, all ends well for all the characters.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
I found this movie done in a very interesting manner, that differs from most others. Its characteristics are a peculiar camera-work and storyline. I think it's a good comedy,but nothing memorable nonetheless. It's worth watching though, one doesn't get bored I have a feeling few people would be disappointed afterwards. But no strong emotions remained after the experience for me. The storyline is logical, nothing makes one raise the eyebrow, because something doesn't fit. The chosen venues are close to me: an Eastern European country and its hotel in a bad time of 20th century. And the ending is appropriately sad.
As a disclosure it has to be told that I like science fiction movies and if you do, this is something obligatory for you to watch. The movie is best seen if nothing has been heard of the plot before, so I won't add anything of it here. That is the way I first saw this film
Suffice to say, that both visually and content-wise I have nothing critical to add - it is a perfect movie. And that'd be the only science fiction film, I could show my wife and get out of it respectfully. I haven't seen something that stimulating and enjoyable for a while, and that is something I say very rarely.
The characters are all very well developed and the action scenes enjoyable.
World War Z (2013)
Worthy of watching
World War Z is a fast paced film, like most zombie movies. But it is also very "detailed" in a sense, that it at times shows the Undead very up close and personal and they even have some interesting behavioral qualities. The zombie masses are surprising in their efficiency at and in their persistent strive to kill (recommended in 3D). In some tense episodes we can get acquainted with the personal qualities of individual zombies quite closely, like a clapper of teeth, inspired by hunger. Or something similar.
This film, like many other end of the world films, contains a good scene of a regular morning, when everything looks normal, but then suddenly a mass of people starts attacking other, peaceful and pacified, mass of people, who are unable to resist in any way. One can sense hundreds perishing (and then rising). The turning of fortunes towards the living is the story of this film.
Interestingly enough, I had the impression of a "green message" this movie was somehow supposed to convey - that the zombie epidemic was Mother Nature's punishment for the Mankinds "evil ways". At least one can get an idea like that from the opening scenes.
Double Jeopardy (1999)
I'd consider this film suitable to watch in a Sunday afternoon, which I did. Tommy Lee Jones was chosen well enough to be the right character for the parole officer in this movie, who makes a good duo with the pretty Ashley Judd. This is really not an action movie, but it contains a couple of sudden and enjoyable scenes. How to escape from a ferry, while handcuffed to a car? - there you go - you'll have your answer. I hate it when the action scenes are overplayed. Here you won't have that problem. You have the bad guy, the good girl (wife of the bad guy) and the misguided parole officer, who tries to apprehend "the (pretty) good girl"). Add an interesting legal aspect and one has quite an interesting outcome, worthy of watching. Nice thriller. Not worthy of top points, but I figure it wasn't even intended to be worthy of them. So it fulfilled its purpose. Only downside: the bad guy is simply not interesting enough.
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
It so happens, that when movie makers make a movie about movie-making, they are successful. That's how it happened this time. Woody Allen had succeeded again in creating a hybrid of comedy and tragedy, in a well unified form. The film is indeed like 'Crime and Punishment'. With very significant differences, but still, it is similar - with same psychological tension. Full of witty dialogue and jokes. Altogether I'd give it a maximum amount of points, because it was impressive. It contained scenes of unhappiness not uncommon in real life, and the ending was educational. A well spent 90 minutes in my opinion. The director obviously has a very distinctive style.
Melinda and Melinda (2004)
I liked watching this movie, it's very funny. It provides for a fitful afternoon full of witty dialogue and interesting sequence. The film is definitely original, all of it could've taken place in a theater. The director's done a good job, characters seem to know what they're doing and in general all of it provides a nice evolving story of about 10 people, who are amazingly easy to follow through the different options they have in choosing their partners. Indeed, all the options are pursued in this movie. I liked the way how fast and well all the characters spoke. The film itself is a quite fast-paced one.
All in all - it's a romantic comedy. That's what is prevailing, although there are very sad moments.
The Pianist (2002)
The Pianist is not a very spectacular movie. It is on a harrowing subject - the Holocaust - but lacks the depth, that makes you want to watch it further. The characters are not very developed. They just flash by one after another. On the other hand, this movie is based on a life of a real person.
What the film does make clear, is the miracle of how The Pianist survived against all odds. That is the one positive aspect of this movie. Other than that it is unlikely to be much of an experience, it probably scares faint-hearted people and likely isn't meant to be watched under 21. The movie depicts cruelty and hunger, but that's pretty much it. What it doesn't reflect, is how unnatural all of it is. It all seems too usual.
In a sense the film is realistic: shows death just picking people one after another.
The Dictator (2012)
I wish there were more comedies like that - crossing over the political correctness line, but not over the line of good taste, so as to make a movie hard to watch.
The film is quite pointy, it is for a moderate audience and will make all kinds of extremists quite unhappy. The plot is well thought out and funny. It'll nail you to the screen.
I like the unorthodox character of this film, Sacha Baron Cohen's movies are definitely one of the kind. I wouldn't consider the humor crude, but it is certainly honest. Some of the unthinkable things you see are likely to have happened in reality.
Death Race (2008)
Driving and shooting
This movie covers two basic ingredients of what is an action movie. A nice way to combine driving and shooting in an iconically bad environment - a prison. Not at all boring to watch, I'd say. A fight versus good and evil. David vs Goliath. Pure entertainment. The film contains fast moving scenes, not much talk and a few original scenes as well inside a plot, which in itself doesn't take too much of an imagination. It is a boy's dream: a mean-looking supercar with 50 cal machine guns. Add in pretty-looking girls as well.
A fantasy element is at the core of this picture. Despite the fact, what I've recounted as familiar elements of a fairy tale, this doesn't actually happen that often, even in films. I don't remember seeing any 'fight-to-a-death' movies, fought in cars equipped with weapons. So I think this genre requires some replenishment.
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
I gave an above average note to this film, as it provided for an enjoyable evening in the company of some friends. It was definitely not your usual entertainment movie. Not every one of those take place in the 1860s London.
I liked the historical recreation of the city, it was very subtle, meaning no direct lines indicating to the world-ruling Empire of the time. It stayed in the background, but powerfully so.
The plot itself is intriguing, fitting for a detective story. I think it'd be very wrong to search for comparisons with the Sherlock from the books. This is not the purpose of a movie, which is always limited in time and expression. The film has many surprises and twists. It'll nail you on the couch at times. But I've got to say - it's nothing more than entertainment for an evening with some snacks.
Just Go with It (2011)
I liked the film, as it contained lots of easy-going understandable humor - but nothing old or usual. Very witty. One doesn't feel bored even for a second. Even when the characters are acting repetitively, it goes over very quickly or was intended to be like that. There are unexpected twists and turns in the story. The plot is inventive. The characters in the film like think up their own movie on the spot, being creative in the process and there's the good happy ending. To surprise the viewer, it Does come unexpectedly! All actors do their part very well. The credit goes to Adam Sandler, who fits in his role like the hand fits in a glove. The movie certainly made my mood better, but I must emphasize it depends on a person. If you hate these types of comedies, don't see it. If you like them, or at least are neutral, then this is one of the best kind.
Cross of Iron (1977)
I think what is most interesting is the interaction between the two characters, who in reality are not so different: one being the hierarchy hating Sergeant and the other a traditionalist Prussian officer. I think the depiction of the officer (Hauptmann Stransky) was historically accurate, therefore the credit goes to creators of the film for having recreated what can be believed as an historically accurate representation of war's confusion and the characters in it. The film is highly unusual in itself for viewing the events from a German perspective, But it makes up for that by drawing a very clear line between Feldwebel Steiner's platoon and the rest of the Wehrmacht. At the same time though there is no doubt for which side he's fighting for. That's why for all practical consequences there's no difference between the traditionalist Prussian officer and the outlaw" /the good guy in the film.
I wouldn't rate it as a top ranking war movie, as it contains a bit too many clichés for me. The action scenes are overplayed and terrible. A lot is left for the viewers imagination. One doesn't get the general picture of soldiers' movements, just the endless scenes of artillery fire (and sound). A historically accurate confusion is not good in a movie.
What I absolutely don't get is the inclusion of a cute children's' song at the beginning and ending.
The Help (2011)
An emotional movie
The Help is a subtle film about black and white women. The absence of men is notable. It was also one of the few American films I needed subtitles for, as some of the language was hard to understand.
I guess questions of race, class and nationality are hard to describe, especially in a movie. This particular movie got the point across pretty well. It appeals to peoples' sense of fairness quite acutely.
The film has its good characters and bad ones, found some shades of grey too. It exhumed the wealth and lifestyle of the upper-class women of Jackson (site of the movie) in the 60s. It also pictures the society as tightly knit together: everybody knowing each other person. The underlying theme would the lacking equality of opportunity. The historical representation is interesting and seems right.
The Help is a very emotional movie and it succeeds in every aspect of it. It's very well focused on one or two topics, but doesn't go too narrow. I wouldn't recommend watching 'The Help' with pop corn and family, as it does get too cruel at times.
It is not so often one can find so few faults in a movie. I found 99% of it to be positive. There are a couple of things, that I'd like to emphasize and that perhaps stand out in comparison with other films.
First would be the music, which is slow and beautiful. Like the characters, action and other parts content-wise, it suits excellently with the theme – driving.
The beginning provides the undertone. Despite the later tranquil parts, one can sense the ominous nature of the cadres. The film is divided into two different chapters: one is homely and slow and peaceful, that all of us know, and the other is full of violence. But the movie doesn't overdo it with the latter. The racing bits are relatively short bursts that end quickly. They are nonetheless sharp and help create the overall atmosphere.
a family movie
The movie contains not much dialogue, a sad love affair, couple of new and original story lines and lots of stereotypical pirate types. J. Depp makes a big effort to not sound normal. The way he keeps talking like Jack Sparrow just doesn't make him connect with the audience in my opinion. BUT - this being primarily a children's movie (a Disney one), it is best suited for them - getting exited about exotic places, mystique, mermaids, seamen talking funnily and making funny faces. No place for rationality or hardships of life, which are still to be taught at (life) school. Only few people of today's padded environment would be capable of dying of old age either being a soldier or a pirate in early modern age Europe.
Unfortunately this particular pirate movie doesn't contain any educational angle for kids - none of the pirates were hanged. Only a couple were shot by the Spanish (who also shot the English). Truth be told, the bad will get punished, but one just doesn't have the feeling of it having been done.
If I'm not mistaken, Disney has made a movie or movies about mermaids before. Anyway they seem to be a rather underused resource at Hollywood, meaning a complete surprise. Other stuff were old - think of Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail.
This was an okay movie, not that I would have watched with the benefit of hindsight. It contained some elements that I liked, namely it was quite fast paced and peppered with some juicy justice, remarkably lacking in violence, from the part of apes that is. For years the anthropologists have wondered, why the evolution favored the less agile and slow way of walking on two legs, instead of four. I guess the evolution made a mistake. We can all see it firsthand in this movie, when the apes move around speedily with ease, overpowering the firepower of the police force, who inflict remarkably little damage on the apes - even with a chopper.
It's also a cautionary tale of how far the science can get you. I should call it the 'scientific-industrial establishment', whose carelessness and disregard (in the film) for procedure caused the ape race to become supreme. The film itself doesn't emphasize the bad quality of relations between humans and apes.
Anyhow, it doesn't matter how unbelievable all of it sounds. When watching the movie, the evolution of the story sounded pretty good. It even has its cast of evil characters. If they'd only been less evil, all of us would be saved from our destiny in the hands of the apes.
The Thing (2011)
A very good horror movie
When one is looking for suspense without boredom, then there is no necessity to look further. The movie contains some horrifying cadres and quite an original plot. I would even consider it a classic in a sense that it was tightly packed, not rushed - it will be good to watch 30 years from now, just like the sequel. The best part of a movie, especially of an horror movie, are the parts where normal life is displayed before everything goes haywire. The moments, when initial surprise is displayed by people who witness the turning events or realize the things won't go on as normally as they have before, are the most enjoyable. Of course, you know something they don't. I loved the mystery part in this movie. And contrasts