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Suburra (2015)
Quite average film of revenge
18 January 2020
During these few decades Italian film industry has been producing films for the local market and it shows. Of course ask any italian and they'll tell you that in italy the state, catholic church and mafia are the same thing.

I felt like an outsider during the two hours. All the characters were dislikeable caricatyres of anti-heroes.

What comes to a brief and funny sex scene, the director appears to underline that this is not a romantic affair and in that sense the raw material gets justification.

One could also argue that bad taste is taste like any other taste, however this film was obviously made for young men. Some other director could have made a far better film with the same material, focusing on the characters.

It's just mediocre at the best.
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Style over substance television series of famous novel
5 January 2020
Name of the rose is very well-known novel written by Umberto Eco and personally for me the only succesful version of it is the 1986 film Il nome della rosa with Sean Connery.

Television format brings sloppy storytelling, scripting and dialogue that leads to just another episode and probably a new season as well. A viewer is offered beautiful scenes of northern Italy, moving camera and fast cuts and of course lots of dialogue. There's many hours to waste before anything happens.

Also the real spoiler is in the dialogue, it's no longer a mystery what is going on behind the monastery walls if it's implied very directly within the first episode. It's given away, and knowing the plot already it feels like a very boring eight hour ordeal.

English actors do a good job but in my point of view this should have been italian only project with italian main actors and italian dialogue. Making everything so english is nothing to be proud of.

I found it boring but watch it if you have eight hours to spend and don't mind wasting time.
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The best movie in LGBT themed cinema for a long time
17 December 2019
Having seen a few of the very weak contenders in LGBT cinema category in these recent years, I thought that this film would be just hastily made smutty homevideo made at the director's summer cabin. I was in for a big surprise.

This is a real film made with real professional actors, with real strong script and a story to tell. It never reduces itself to being too graphic, even the intimate scenes have a meaning and develop the story further. Every dialogue, every scene has been made to perfection.

This is what LGBT cinema needs, real down-to-earth characters and stories that give better hope to everyone. It'd be easy to say that this is just one of those "context over substance" - films when there are an immigrant and gay theme involved. It's not, it's an expectional film that is well made and universal.

Highly recommended!
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Border (2018)
Hideously ugly masks, just creepy stuff that made me laugh
13 December 2019
Ugly masks and makeup didn't make me want to sympathize with the characters and it didn't engage and only made me laught really hard. It was probably supposed to be a funny comedy but i can see why some juries like the film. It has references to the immigration crisis and that's why many juries just love this one. Just add references to sexual minority and you get Oscar award. Oh and the film itself doesn't need to be good.

To me watching the hideous over the top makeup was just too much to bare. Even the thought of the main character in my worst nightmares just gave me chills and good laughs.

I didn't enjoy it as a film but it is very amusing and quite difficult to forget.
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An average comedy with gay main characters
28 September 2019
I have never seen Jim Carrey acting serious in any of his roles and he's always funny. However this film would have needed some seriousness and deepness on some issues it portrays. Although it's kind of hard to accomplish with Jim Carrey. He's a perfect comedian.

Now being gay is a part of the joke which is getting a little too tedious at times. It's an average comedy with a few good laughs.
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Perfect as a sexual fantasy but lacks good taste and script
27 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I had hoped to see a romantic gay film which is quite rare in the cinema. Love between two men is usually pictured as pornographic, physical and rough just to shock the viewer. It was a real disappointment to see that gay men really do live in a hyper-sexualized world of fantasies and it makes its way into the real cinema as well. It just makes a hopeless romantic like me to want to put off watching any queer cinema for a long time.

When do we see love between two men not being a brief explosion of lust, leading into an ultimate disappointment? Also gay sex could have been explored in a more romantic and loving manner. Now playing macho and using camera angles of adult films doesn't do any favors for the film's message if there ever was any idea behind this film at all. In my view it casts a shadow upon the whole film which could have been so much more than it is. I'm calling out for the feminists, what would they have thought if the main character was a woman and not a man. Indeed.

Also doing the deeds in the dad's bed probably doesn't help to build bridges nor does it help the viewer to actually like the characters which is usually crucial for the film enjoyment. After all I sympathize with the dad. It's difficult to co-exist with an about 26 year old son who just happens to yell back at you and just keeps destroying the bed sheets. Maybe it could make great comedy too. Joking aside, there's nothing prohibited in two equal adult men having a fling in the wrong place. That's sort of the issue for me. I don't think it's a taboo. If there was a man and a woman, this film film would just be unnecessary. It just takes a few decades for the queer films to progress to that level. Hey wake up, it's acceptable.

There's not much of a plot, neither script, everything has been improvised. It's just a surprise that it even merely holds together. Small films of this kind benefit of making well crafted scenes and dialogues. Now about 40 minutes of its running time could have been cut out without any loss to the story.

This film's like a bad romance one probably has once had. It's also very strong on the sexual fantasy part, leaving all the other drama to the shadows. It's a marginal film, certainly not for everyone's taste, not even for the queer audience if one happens to be of a romantic type. I just didn't like it, but you just might.
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Suspiria (I) (2018)
Fusion of Harry Potter and Suspiria which just sucks
27 November 2018
The director Guadagnino took the challenge after the other attemps by other directors failed to come to fruition. Let's face it, it'd be very difficult to top the original Suspiria. I see remaking a classic film very unnecessary and as a way to get fame just by its notorious name. I could also think of Dario Argento not liking the use of his name on the credits. However I don't even think that he cares about watching this film.

To make it short, this film is a fusion of Harry Potter and Suspiria. One who has seen the original can then decide for oneself if that mess is going to work. Some may see it as a work of art which is open for interpretation and any feeling that arise makes it an experience in itself. In my opinion it's a movie seriosly lacking on every aspect. It's not stylish, it's not scary, it has zero respect for the audience and their expectations and it's a movie that the director just made for himself alone and not for the audience. It could have profited from not having the burden of the notorious name "Suspiria" and high expectations. It should have been titled "Mysteria" or something similar.

It appears that many movie critics on the mainstream media are liking this film just because they see it as a mysterious art movie. I think of a conspiracy that these days movie reviews are just extentions of advertising. Cinema is struggling to get the crowds because these days hardly anything is worth watching on the silver screen. After seeing this film I'm just going to trust my instincs more than any reviews. Any movie receiving five stars and oscar nomination probably are the ones to avoid and any film directed by Luca Guadagnino.

Of course one could just enjoy the experience, because it is said to be art and have zero expectations of anything and have nothing better to do for two and half hours.
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Devil's Bride (2016)
Below mediocre film which fails on too many aspects
29 May 2018
Let's face it, movie reviews are all subjective. There is no such thing as an objective movie review because it's all about the tastes and they differ. There's no use dissing anyone's opinions.

This movie has high production values on every aspect but still it manages to be very sloppy. Its pacing is non-existent, it doesn't engage and touch when it should. It's also very hard to like the main character after she causes great pain to other woman. It's hard to have sympathy on that character when it was supposed to be the most likeable person in the film to sympathize with. In my opinion her fate was well earned.

Also the acting is mediocre, even spoken finnish is difficult to follow because of the strong swedish accent. I needed subtitles to make sense of what they were talking about. Better idea would have been to make them all speak swedish.

I was so happy that i never went to see this film on the cinema and paid nothing to watch it. It was such a waste of time that i was disappointed. Usually finnish movies aren't very good. Only Finns keep fussing about them while they don't usually get widely distributed (exception is Kaurismaki films).
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After a moment i didn't remember its name
24 February 2018
Despite the falling snow is a below average film in almost every aspect but its music is fantastic. It's unbelievable that such an uneven film was a result of obvious high production values. Not even a good musical score can save this film.

Its script just makes me wonder what they were thinking. Where did they get the funding for this. Well it appears that it was self-produced, self-written and self-directed. Whoa, what an effort. Sometimes this could work.

The biggest issue is that none of the characters are even remotely believable. Some might accept that soviets spoke perfect english in those times. Joking aside, it's such a shame that this could have been a lot better film because it only looks good from time to time.

I can recommend this to those who really enjoy spotting errors. There's plenty.
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Quite flat as a pancake, beginning promises too much
11 June 2016
This is relatively forgotten giallo and not very widely distributed. I was amazed by the image quality and high quality of production and the beginning certainly promises a bit too much. The long sequence in the moving bus is very clever and shows the early seventies city traffic. They used to film starting sequences like these in the 70's and 80's in Italy. The music's also very good.

It's all downhill from there as the film just declines to an ordinary mainstream film pancake. The film also doesn't have twists and surprises as everything is told and explained which makes quite tiring movie experience. The plot is very linear and easy and also the dialogue is very tiring to follow as it's not very well written and translated and there's plenty of it and on top of that it's all dubbed. By far it's not the worst dubbing that i've seen but certainly having lots of dubbed dialogue in a crime drama certainly hinders any film.

Also the group of the bad guys were very unbelievable and the final confrontation with them is really disappointing and beyond generic. Throwing a pile of dirty laundry on a villain who then suffocates and another one's head being pushed on a washing machine door who also suffocates. Looks too easy and stupid for the high production value this film has.

Acting's actually good if compared with other giallos but it can't save this dreadful film. How can such a wonderful starting sequence end up in a such a disappointing film. It's amazing.
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Superstition (1982)
Funny incoherence without sense of style
29 March 2016
Superstition is a film that i stumbled upon just recently here on IMDb. It looks just as if it was made with Dario Argento style but yet it lacks the sense of style which was evident in many of Argento's films.

Sense of style is something that the directer possesses, well this time there's none of it. Pacing between the kills is poor and the gore happens suddenly without sufficient tension building. It's a shame that the special effects are acceptable and look really good from time to time.

After all it's just a brainless slasher film which puts less effort in being coherent. Argento was known to be very incoherent and yet this film manages to make him look like more coherent than ever.

This movie is to be watched as a joke and it's great fun to laugh at. Can you just not laugh to the overdone witch laugh which is heard just too many times in the wrong places. This movie's such a mess that it's difficult to say if it's so bad that it's so good or not. It's still funny.
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We Are Still Here (I) (2015)
A decent and watchable horror film even for the fans of the genre
26 March 2016
"We are still here" is a very interesting piece of the depressed contemporary horror cinema. The state of horror cinema has been declining and there hasn't been many films worthy of watching in these recent years. The whole genre hasn't reinvented itself, it has been copying the same formula time after time.

What's so good about this film that it actually has a quite decent script and dialogue and some OK actors. The dialogue is quite dumb to be honest as it spells out everything to the viewer. Know to expect trouble, yes sir. The first scene in the car was quite funny to be honest. Do you really need to spell out that you're on your way to somewhere. The viewer can see that quite clearly.

After the atmospheric beginning, it gets quite tiring. The horror is made of dozens of jump scares which lead to an expected bloodfest. There's some gore in this film. It's said that this film is a homage to Fulci. I can honestly say that it's pretty hard to top the most notorious Fulci films made in the late 70's and early 80's. In comparison, this film doesn't get up to that level in terms of atmosphere, suspense, cinematography and music. In those films it seemed just as if every camera angle was made to perfection and suspenseful moments were made by slowly building up the tension.

One other thing to learn from Fulci films is that how the right choice of the music can really make a film much better than it actually is. It goes without saying that the experience would have been different with this film, if the soundtrack and music had been better thought of for the tension building.

All in all this film's still a decent one to watch even for the horror cinema fans. Its biggest drawback has to be that it declines to just being a generic slasher. It also looks promising that the decline of the genre is over.
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Machete Kills (2013)
The new dimension of trash films is here.
18 February 2016
Machete Kills must be one of the most violent films that i've ever seen but actually it's also so light to watch that it makes me wonder if the director has ever got hang of the idea of tension building. There's none of it. It's like watching a violent scene after another that follows shortly without any tension, just cartoon-like characters making tired jokes and that's about it. Just about everyone gets killed, but Machete somehow manages to get out alive.

I did find several scenes funny but that's no good if the idea wasn't used further. This movie just rushes hastily from one idea to another and it's perfect for those who can't concentrate while watching a film.

Well, honestly this movie is the new dimension of trash and yet many people will enjoy it. It's still watchable and still it's one of the dumbest and lightest violent film there is. It's a Tarantino film without the character development and coherence. It's a mess. Still someone's going to love it anyway.
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A theater of the miseries of life. Horror fans will be pleased.
15 February 2016
I had never heard of the film and it doesn't appear to be very well distributed and received. Now and then i stumble upon a movie gem that's really been hidden from me. I could honestly say that i didn't expect too much from it and I had prejudices as today's horror films have really hit the rock bottom. Now this film gives some hope that we'll see better films in the future.

Most of the stories revolve around sexuality, adultery, divorce and death. Now that might upset a few people and most certainly it's not made for children. I can see references to Fulci style of horror and cinematography, also the last segment resembles some Italian art film of Fellini and more contemporary Sorrentino but with gore included.

The acting varies from bad to mediocre to acceptable. I found many scenes to be really laughable but at least i had great time watching it. There's always some hidden humour in there. The last segment should have used a fat suit, but that cost a lot. Or they could have hired a fat actor instead. I loved to the symbolism of waking up in the same bed with a toad. That's really a perfect idea and found myself laughing at it.

Even though it has its moments, many people won't be pleased with this film. It's just a shame that it doesn't have a wider distribution.
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Brighton Rock (2010)
A return to the classic ways of film making. Perfect musical score!
22 January 2016
It appears that this film divides as people seem to hate it because it's a remake or you just love it like me who had never seen the original film before. I thought that this film is a return to the old ways of making films with style and good score. It's got that classical style in it and it appears that the makers have really put an effort in studying the old films. The music is used like they did in the old "gialli" films. That's just a perfect way to get me hooked completely even if the film wasn't that good. This movie is better than good and i can recommend it to those who prefer slower pace in films and perfect acting and good script.
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The Midwife (2015)
Average finnish war drama with same spices and clichés
21 September 2015
This is just another finnish war drama which are made every year with the same clichès and spices. The package is just a bit different every time. I wonder when they'd stop supporting patriotic films and put the focus on different kind of films that are completely absent in Finnish cinema. There's so much talent that gets wasted if they make the same stuff over and over again.

Knowing the director's background in music videos, it doesn't really surprise that the film seems like a two hour long commercial music video rather than a film about love and war. The problem is that it doesn't touch at all when it should. Character development is non-existent and characters are left vague. All the atrocities are bypassed quite swiftly just as if nothing bad had ever happened. The main character is pregnant but the development of pregnancy is not shown at all. As a viewer i was left with a role of an observer. I was supposed to just admire the scenery.

The film is technically perfect but that's all there is to it. The sex scenes are actually so amusing and lack a good taste so much so that i think it will never get an international release.

To sum it up it's an average finnish war drama from a capable director who gave us Puhdistus some years earlier. It remains as his best film in my opinion. Finnish audiences who've seen war films over and over again might find this film quite tiring. I find Puhdistus more awarding to watch than this.
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Looks like a film school project to me. Nothing to see here
20 July 2015
A small budget horror film from an unknown female director is something that is not often heard of. It may be even unique but the sad thing is that the film wasn't good and it looks quite amateurish. I can't believe it took over one million dollar to make it when it looks like that it was made with no money at all.

One third of it had passed and yet nothing had happened. Nothing engaging. Too much time is used for useless scenes with really bad dialogue and yet every character is just as distant as they were the first time you saw them. I had enough after a half an hour and quit watching it. It has nothing to give, no story nothing really interesting that hadn't been made before. So why was it made? Today's technology make it possible to shoot films like this too easily. As a film school project this would be outstanding and still very tacky but no it's supposed to be a real movie.
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There's no boundaries to push, yet tries to shock and fails
9 July 2015
I was surprised to see anything coming from Italy these days and oh well, I was very disappointed to see how distasteful this film is. Many B- movies of the 60's and 70's were made with a sense of style and with a heart. Most of them didn't feature pornographic nudity and are now pretty much innocent by today's standards. Still they're not movies for the whole family.

The makers of this film surely didn't think twice about what kind of nudity in a film is acceptable if they're making a serious film. It's really an insult to say that this is a homage to the old B- flicks. The old movies were made professionally, they had professional writers, even professional directors, professional actors, professional crew. Many even had high production values of that day and still look stunning and many films were Italian. And when you compare to this, 2 million dollars doesn't appear to be money well spent if that was the budget.

I can't understand why the makers obviously wanted to push the boundaries in this day and age when just about anything is acceptable in a film. This movie even makes contemporary Argento films look so much better.
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Hanna (2011)
Outlandish, stylishness in just another action film.
28 January 2015
I just watched this film because the beginning was filmed in Finland. That's just a bad excuse to watch an action film if I don't really like action genre in general. So what i just saw was an action film with lots of carelessly easy violence and lots of running around. There's cartoonish cardboard characters that are just plain evil or just totally on the good side and a plot that is quite obvious and there isn't many surprises on the way to the end.

Lots of films like this have been made with outlandish elements that were supposed to stand out and make the action film unique. I felt that the film was too childish, too predictable and the synth score just makes it sound and look cheap.

I have to question which age group was the intended audience for this film. It's way too juvenile at the same time and very violent. I may have become an old dinosaur but i feel that it's plain wrong that the violence has been made so entertaining in contemporary films. Some decades ago it wasn't made so easy. Yes I may be a hypocrite but if films are this demented it's not such a surprise that there are headlines screaming every week.
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Perfectly shot beautiful film which lacks substance and strong script.
31 December 2014
Missed this one when it ran in the cinemas and after having seen this on TV, I don't regret ever paying anything for the pleasure. It is just as bland and simple as a finnish film can be and I don't wonder why these films never make an international success. They're just damn boring to watch as they make the plots so simple and everything is given away in the very beginning. Sure we Finns aren't complicated people so we can't write complicated plots.

The male lead actor is just one perfect example of a male model who went into acting and never forgot to how to pose. Unfortunately this time it wasn't a photo-shoot for the catalog. Matti's just bland and vague just like most of the characters in this film. Maybe it's the lack of direction, lack of script or something else, but these characters don't seem too genuine for me.

All that combined with lots of running around endlessly, trying different ways to accomplish the ultimate goal just makes the film a tiring 120 minute experience. It's a classic example of a film that favors style over substance. No heart, not too much passion just business as usual.

Of course technically it's perfectly shot and the production values are high. It's just a pity that it isn't as good as it could be.
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Fantastic atmospheric music score but the film isn't that fantastic
1 November 2014
Argento had seen his better days as a movie director and surely it's not easy to top such masterpieces such as Suspiria and The Inferno.

Asia Argento as detective Anna Manni isn't the best casting choice but as an actress she certainly did her best. It's difficult to believe that she really is a police detective at such a young age. It's obvious that a more mature actress should have been cast. Nevertheless that obscurity could have been used to make the film better. Would it be a better film if Anna Manni was just a woman living in her delusions.

The film certainly had it's moments but on the other hand it has some annoying flaws such as very bad cgi effects. Why use experimental effects if they look dumb. They should have gone back in time to the 70's or 80's how they made the effects without computers.

Ennio Morricone's score is amazing though and certainly does a big favor for the film's atmosphere. To sum it up this film is watchable even for Argento fans but it isn't anything like his films used to be. It's really evident that Italian film industry had been in a recession since the late 80's.
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Black Widow (1987)
Femme fatale theme recycled and trashed
24 October 2014
I had seen Body Heat from 1981 with the similar femme fatale theme and that film just comes to my mind after seeing Black Widow on TV tonight.

Actually Black widow tries to copy some elements from the earlier film with very little success. I can give this film 1 point for high production values, 1 point for the score and 1 for good sets. That's just about it and it's such a shame that if this film had had a really good intelligent script, the outcome could have been much better.

The film's actually really dumb and there's plenty of things that make very little sense. The pacing is actually so dull that nothing seems to happen in it for the first hour. It's just tough to watch when everything is so obvious from the very beginning to the very end. It's like watching a daytime soap opera that never ends.

The main character's quite tame and uninteresting just like everything else in this film. Plot twists in the end of the film are just a little too late to save the film. It appears that there was very little substance but it still had to be made to last 102 minutes.

Save yourself from an obvious disappointment and watch The Body Heat instead. It's got very similar story and it's the original.
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Screaming and distracting sound effects in the editing room
13 September 2014
I have watched many giallos and find many of them quite good. There's not so many other film genres that have so much oddities and as a distinctive feature they have very good musical scores and chilling audio effects and atmosphere.

Even the old giallos were much better than this film. At least they had substance and somewhat plausible script. In Berberian sound studio there's just a man who works at the sound department and that's all. I couldn't believe how slow the film was and for the most of the time just screaming was being recorded. That appeared to be the shock effect used in this film. It's sort of tiring to realize that the film's not going to advance anywhere. It didn't appear to have an ending either.

I have to say that this isn't much of a giallo homage and it's actually made in the UK, not in Italy. It's got nothing to offer for the fans of giallo. Distracting sound effects, ambient and screaming in the editing room. That's really everything what there is to this film.
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Stoker (2013)
Mysterious uncle comes to stir things up
12 September 2014
I had never heard of the director and his name is so hard to remember that it's best left unmentioned.

A grieving mother and daughter meet a mystery uncle who comes to live with them for a while after the funeral. They'd not heard of him before and it's unclear what his motives are.

There are some likable things in this film. For example it resembles many European films that have slow paced storytelling style that centers upon the characters. That's just about the only thing that i liked but the characters aren't very likable so it sort of ruins it.

Pacing is problematic when the usual bad guy is revealed just after the first third and there's an hour left. There's not so many surprises left in the rest of the film. All in all it's quite bland and conventional that i've just grown to expect from American films of this kind.

I don't think that i had become his fan after seeing this film. I think the Asian director was just told that you can't do this and that and it in American film - anything else goes if it doesn't make the viewer feel too bad or excited.

In overall i can't really recommend this film. Teens will probably find any horror film exciting.
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Such a delightful Hollywood movie that isn't tough to watch at all
21 June 2014
An American crime has been incredibly well received film even though it resembles a bad movie made for TV. It's really watered down version of what happened.

It has so many things that make no sense. The family doesn't appear to be in deep financial trouble as they have a colour TV and every gadget that was so 60's. The children are well dressed in clean clothes, their home has everything that a well-being family needs. Just the money for food is lacking. Their mother is a beautiful, positive and smiling Gertrude played by Caroline Keener. She just suddenly goes crazy just like women usually do every month. What could be so horribly wrong with such a postcard family? I have to question the choices made by the makers of this film. The subject was supposed to be extremely hard but they made it look like an entertaining Disney movie for all ages. Isn't it just sick that the film tries to make a point how hard it is to be a single mother taking care of so many children and tries to make it an excuse for murder. Why would anyone need to sympathize with the murderer? It's just disgraceful.

I encourage everyone to research the case of Banizewskis as most files are available online and read the story from crimelibrary site. I was just amazed what a contrast there is to the true story and this film.

So many things are wrong with this film. It's just somehow that viewers are protected from the harsh reality. Why'd anyone want to feel anything when a hard movie can be entertaining and just a delightful experience. That's just what is wrong with Hollywood these days.
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