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Farinelli (1994)
6/10
It's good, but it's not perfect.
29 January 2020
Carlo Broschi, known as Farinelli, was one of the most notable opera singers of his time, the golden age of baroque opera. He became the highest paid artist in the world. This film explores his life, his artistic career, the difficult relationship he maintained with the composers of the operas he sang (particularly Handel) and his problematic relationship with his brother, the composer Ricardo Broschi.

Well, what can we say? The film is good, but there are problems here. It has a good story, full of drama and moral and ethical issues of various kinds, but it is not captivating nor does it tie us to the film, and much of what is told is invention. For us today, the simple idea of men being castrated to sing in choirs and operas is controversial and the film explores this by showing the sexual difficulties of the protagonist, who shares his lovers with his manly brother. There are still dubious moments: who was that man who, early in the film, committed suicide naked? How, when and by whom was young Carlo castrated (the film suggests a theory but honestly I felt that even the script did not give it credit)?

The actors do a satisfactory job, but far from brilliant. Stefano Dionisi is a convincing Farinelli and had a good relationship with Enrico Lo Verso, who gave life to his brother Ricardo. The fights between them are some of the most dramatic and intense scenes in the film. Jereon Knabbe also shone like Handel, and I enjoyed hearing him speak the various languages that the great composer probably dominated (Italian, French, English, German).

Technically, the film satisfies. It is visually magnificent thanks to the pompous and exaggerated Baroque style. The sets and costumes are historically rigorous and pleasant to look at. The soundtrack is loaded with very famous Baroque tunes like "Lascia ch'io Pianga", from Handel's opera "Rinaldo" and many others, and that was a safe and sure bet by Gerard Corbiau. A single mistake: in more than a moment, the bad synchrony of sound and video made it evident that the songs were not from the main character but from a recording.
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Metropolis (1927)
10/10
One of the most visually appealing silent films I know.
23 January 2020
This is probably one of the greatest silent films ever made and one of the great classics of cinema before the Second World War. It is amazing how, in a sense, it is still up to date and influencing more recent films ("Elysium" is the name that occurs to me more quickly now because I saw it recently, but there are more). Its futuristic look has influenced most of the sci-fi films, such as "Star Wars", "Star Trek", the animated series "Futurama" and even the cartoon "The Jetsons".

Made with great quality, it is a film whose elegant cinematography already reminds us of the look of the first spoken films, in the thirties. There is some academic debate about whether this film belongs to the expressionist movement or not. Personally, I think there are clear expressionist influences on the story told, where paranoia and mistrust towards authority are constant, but visually, they are no longer expressionist.

The story told is deeply dystopian and mixes futuristic elements with biblical allusions: Metropolis is a huge futuristic city run by one man: Johann Fredersen, who lives in the New Tower of Babel. However, it is supported by an immense number of workers who, in the depths, operate a series of machines for hours on end, in inhuman conditions. Freder, the son of Johann Fredersen, decides to try to put an end to this injustice.

In the film, in addition to the good performances of actors such as Gustav Fröhlich, Alfred Abel, Rudolf Klein-Rogge and Brigitte Helm, production values stand out. The music is excellent and matches the film perfectly; the costumes are good and the sets, especially, are great. The special and visual effects are good and work very well. The scene of the creation of the Woman Machine is particularly stunning. Cinematography uses a lot of light and shadow and the film is very visually pleasing, one of the most pleasant in silent cinema, in my opinion.
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Faust (1926)
9/10
Very well done technically, has good performances and deserves to be revisited.
23 January 2020
Directed by F.W.Murnau, this expressionist film is a classic. For this film, the original tale immortalized by Goethe has been slightly modified, but it works quite well. Murnau skilfully directed the film, laden with shadows and games of light, which gives it a certain elegance, accentuated by the fuzzy and indistinct costumes and scenery. With regard to this more technical point, the scenes between the Angel and the Demon, as well as the scene in which Faust invokes the forces of evil are particularly remarkable, having used the best visual effects of his time. In the case of a silent film, music is important and works very well, matching perfectly with what we see on the screen.

Throughout the film there is a tense atmosphere, where the characters achieve a pleasant dramatic depth, especially Marguerite, which is played very well by Camilla Horn, who almost makes her a martyr to the nefarious action of evil. Faust, as it should be, is guilty of his vanity, but, note, he uses the forces of evil often for the benefit of others and not of himself. He is the center of the story and Gösta Ekmann, the actor who gave him life, knew perfectly how to capture the essence of the character. But even better than all of them is Emil Jannings, who gave life to Mephistopheles, the great tempter laden with malice and cunning. Probably one of this actor's best performances.

Despite being a little forgotten, like almost all films from the period of silence, this film has quality and deserves to be revisited by new audiences today.
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The Golem (1920)
8/10
A film full of cultural and historical value.
23 January 2020
A classic of silent German cinema, with great influence of expressionism, this film is the third in an authentic trilogy that Paul Wegener made about the German tale of the Golem, the first dating from 1915 and the second from 1917. It is also the best preserved, as we only have fragments of the first and strictly nothing of the second film.

The script broadly follows the traditional tale: in Prague, a wise Jewish rabbi creates a human statue out of clay, one that gives life using witchcraft. The creature, made to help the community and defend it from those who hate it, gets out of control and, when it starts killing, has to be stopped. The ending, I confess, displeased me a little. We are used to a final climax where the villain is defeated by a benign force ... it happens here too, but in a way we are not used to, because there is no real climax in this film. The film tells the story, but does not yet know how to make it truly dramatic and impactful.

Paul Wegener must have been a first-rate filmmaker. Not only did he make one of the first cinema trilogies (as far as I know) but he was the director, screenwriter and protagonist of each of the films. He was the Golem in this and the other films. The Golem was thus one of the first monsters to be taken advantage of by the then nascent horror cinema. It is a film worth seeing, mainly for its cultural and historical value.
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Bad Grandpa (2013)
1/10
In two words: no comment. What I said to the other films in the franchise is good for this one.
23 January 2020
Decidedly, cinematographic waste proliferates faster than a rabbit farm. After several shameful films and an equally stupid television series, Jeff Tremaine continues and presents us with another film. And this time, he brings the infamous Johnny Knoxville in the lead role, like a grandfather who deserved to be in a madhouse.

I will not dwell on the analysis of the script or cast because this film has none of that. Like all the other films in the Jackass franchise, this film has only stupid people who do stupid things and think this is funny and are making real money out of it. It is like my father says: living is not difficult, it is difficult to know how to live. They may be idiots, but they are smart idiots, and nowadays anyone who is smart, even if he is a fool, has the world in his hands because society worships stupidity at the expense of talent and merit.
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Jackass 2.5 (2007 Video)
1/10
Decadent.
23 January 2020
Decidedly, cinematographic waste proliferates faster than a rabbit farm. After two shameful films and an equally stupid television series, Jeff Tremaine continues and presents us with another film, convinced that he is making cinema.

I will not dwell on the analysis of the script or cast because this film has none of that, it just has stupid people who do stupid things and think this is funny. It is the type of film made to be seen by people even more idiots than the idiots who made it, and who are making real money at the expense of this. They may be fools, but they are smart fools.

I couldn't see the movie, it's too bad for me. It is decadent and degrading. Pure cult of stupidity. Enjoy it! I give a star because I cannot give zero.
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5/10
It's a good movie, but it won a lot of Oscars that it didn't deserve.
23 January 2020
Taking Shakespeare and transporting it to the cinema is always an audacious gesture, I have said it in other reviews and I repeat it. Here, however, what was transposed to the canvas was the author himself. At the end of the 17th century, we followed Shakespeare's struggle to survive in the artistic and literary world. Uninspired and in need of money, he tries to write a romantic play without success. Everything changes with Lady Viola, a young aristocrat in love with the theater who does not accept that women cannot step on the stage freely, deciding to enter the new production of Shakespeare disguised as a man.

Of course, the script is entirely fictional and none of this has happened to the real bard. Despite the fact that the film is set at the right time and has some historical rigor in relation to the sets and costumes, the historical rigor ends there. The characters behave like us, in the middle of the 21st century, and reveal our mentality, not that of people four hundred years ago. In fact, the film skillfully mixes the two, so skillful that it can be dangerous and give the audience the idea that all of this was true or based on real facts from William Shakespeare's life. The film combines a good romance, the absurdity of the story told and a kind of silly humor that works well and makes the film light and pleasant. If you think about it too much, everything will fall apart, so it is better not to do it and let yourself go.

Joseph Fiennes is good for the material he was given and what he was asked for. He knows how to be romantic when he has to be and funny when he has to. Gwyneth Paltrow is beautiful and makes a good pair with him, they get good chemistry. Ben Affleck is OK, Geoffrey Rush is funny. On the negative side, Judi Dench only appears because it is necessary and will play the queen.

Now let's face it ... the film was highly awarded at the Oscars, with seven statuettes (Best Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Soundtrack, Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction, Best Secondary Actress, Best Actress). But did the film deserve them? I honestly don't think so. The film is good, but not good enough to earn the highest award in the industry, especially when competing with much more serious and heavy films like "Elizabeth" or "Saving Private Ryan". Likewise, Paltrow doesn't look as good in this film as Cate Blanchet in "Elizabeth". Judy Dench almost won a career Oscar here because she doesn't even appear for ten minutes in the film. Personally, I think the film deserved only the awards for Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Soundtrack and Best Costume Design. But since I wasn't the one who awarded the prizes that day ...
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Moulin Rouge! (2001)
6/10
It's a good movie, but maybe if it weren't musical it would have been better.
23 January 2020
This film is a mind-boggling trip to the bohemian world of Paris of other times, when the city of lights was the capital of vice and art, in a Europe more interesting than today. The Moulin Rouge is a cabaret, one of the most famous in the city, and it still exists, but this film shows its golden age, when the choristers were also prostitutes or "suggar-babies" of the elite. The script is based on a triangle of love, sensuality and interest formed by the chorus singer Satine, the powerful Duke and the romantic Christian, an English writer who falls in love with her.

This film has a beautiful tragic love story to tell, and that was what I liked most here. The best scenes in the film are the most romantic and the final part. Nicole Kidman looks wonderful, knows how to be sexy without being vulgar, and has very good chemistry with Ewan McGregor, who is another great actor in great shape here. The film was good for both their careers and they both earned all the credit they got. In the supporting cast, Richard Roxburgh and Jim Broadbent deserve an applause for their good work.

The problem with this film is, basically, everything else. Instead of focusing on history, creating a romantic drama with tragic contours, the dazzle of Paris was stronger and decided on a Broadway-style musical. This can be pleasant, in other films, when it is done properly. "Les Misérables" or "Sweeny Todd" are good examples of films of this style that worked wonderfully. Here, the Broadway style and the comic touches came totally out of the question and only served to distract us. Of course, in the middle of the error there are good things. For example, the songs were excellent (Your Song is particularly striking) and so was the music. The entire choreography and dance department of the film deserved to be congratulated for the excellent work, at the level of the best that is done on Broadway. I just think that the film, due to the good love story it brings, did not ask for this cheerful style, especially if we take into account the tragic touch it has. I didn't like John Leguizamo either. He looked like a clown all the time.

The film was well directed by Baz Luhrmann, but the film may not be as good as other films of his career, like "Gatsby", which was one of the best films he directed, in my opinion. Here, I think he was too bold and followed a path that he shouldn't have followed. But despite that, the film has quality and is worth the time we spent watching it.
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1/10
A dull and presumptuous film.
23 January 2020
This film was directed by Night Shyamalan, who has already shown himself capable of going from incredible to incredibly silly in an instant. In this film, inspired by a series of oriental animation, there are four kingdoms that divide the world and hold power over four elements of nature. That is, a kingdom of Water, a kingdom of Earth, a kingdom of Air and an evil and imperialist kingdom of Fire, which decided to control the others. The balance existed thanks to a person called Avatar, who would be able to control all the elements. The Fire kingdom did everything to eliminate the Avatar but somehow it survives and will get the support it needs to face the oppressive military force of the Fire kingdom.

I didn't see or know the original series. I can only judge this film for what it is, and I'm honestly not convinced. To begin with, the entire history of the film, strongly influenced by oriental aesthetics, seems to be set exclusively in China or Japan, cultures that tell me nothing at all. This is not a defect, it just excludes me from the target audience of the film. Then, everything is so imaginative, so strange, that it's hard to believe or have any logic for me. And then Shyamalan filled the film with permanent grandeur, as if we were seeing something truly great, and if we are not able to like it, the problem is with us. Too much presumption. We can see this in the excessively vain way in which the actors behave and in the way the dialogues were thought.

The cast operates at two speeds. While the adults seem to be able to take the challenge, the younger squad is totally on their own and doing what they think is right. The guidance of a competent director was lacking here. Dev Patel does a decent job, as does Aasif Mandvi.

Technically, the film uses massively CGI and green screen for the usual special effects and computer visuals. At no time did they seem realistic enough, but they are one of the most positive points of the film, though. The film has good cinematography and good colors, but the action scenes and martial arts fights are, to say the least, exaggerated to the point of absurdity. The soundtrack is boring and the sound effects were well accomplished, but I am not going to see a movie just for that.

In a nutshell, this film is boring, tiring to watch and finds itself incredible, which is downright bad.
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10/10
One of the best adventure films of the nineties.
23 January 2020
In this film, the legend of Zorro, a Mexican masked hero who fights for justice against oppressive Spaniards, comes to life. And the film is excellent in all aspects. Here, the story of the film is intertwined with political intrigues involving the independence of the Republic of California and the American desire to expand from coast to coast.

The story is interesting and gives us good moments of romance and adventure. The time when everything happens is interesting and shows the decline of the Spanish Empire and the expansion of the USA. It is a historical time that allows for excellent costumes and scenery, and it was very well portrayed, almost as a compliment to Hispanic culture. Of course, there are certain things that didn't go so well and the historical details of the sets and costumes can be the subject of some debate.

António Banderas gained fame and projection, in good part, with this film. Besides being a handsome man, he showed talent and did a good job as an actor. Good moments of action, good sword fights and a certain rebellious boldness characterize his character and the actor was able to meet what was asked of him. Another very evident and very well accomplished thing was the intense chemistry with Catherine Zeta-Jones, with whom he acted and made a romantic pair. She, in turn, was also very well here, exuding sensuality and personality. Next to them, Anthony Hopkins, always impeccable. Stuart Wilson and Matt Letscher are good at villain roles and do their job very well here.

In addition to the very good scenarios and costumes, the film has good cinematography, good colors, an elegant light, good fights, good action and a permanent sense of adventure help this film to become pleasant and even memorable. In fact, it was one of the best adventure films of the nineties.
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2/10
A waste of time, this film was made to make money.
22 January 2020
Although not entirely bad, I reasonably swallowed the first film. This was a lot more difficult. The story is much more imaginative and, therefore, it was even more difficult to have logic for me. The script is essentially based on the search for the mythical Pandora's Box. Lara has the support of the British Secret Service and must reach the box before a dangerous villain.

If the first film was based entirely on the action scenes and the script was designed to support them, in this film this is even more evident, with the added fact that the action is much more boring and cliché than in the first film and the script is more than secondary. Even if those who watch these films are not looking for any revolutionary masterpiece, it would have been nice to see that some attention was paid to the script and there was a concern to make a decent story. But not. When trying to repeat the formula used in the first film without adding anything new or different or even better, the film resented and shows signs of wear, like a car that has not been seen by a mechanic in ten years. The film continues to be fast and the fighting action scenes follow each other without causing more than a few yawns to the audience. Bad boys, monsters, supernatural situations, we have it all. Only aliens and Indians from the West are missing. The ending is uninteresting, uses a lot of obvious and unrealistic CGI and never surprises or surprises us.

Angelina Jolie managed, with the previous film, to reach stardom and a sex symbol status that would open doors for more mature works. She also made a lot of money from these two films. However, after a good performance in the first film, in this one she does not do more than she needs to do to justify her salary. The support cast remains practically reduced to existence, so it is easy for Jolie to stand out, especially with those clothes making her breasts and legs stand out.

If the first film was still worth seeing, this film was made only to profit from the success of the first. Bored, cliché, sometimes confusing, it is not worth the time wasted watching.
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5/10
It is not as bad as it is usually said.
22 January 2020
I'm not exactly the type of person who likes movies based on computer games. There is always something that doesn't go very well. This film confirms that. It's not entirely bad, it has enough action to entertain us, but it's not the type of film I think is excellent.

The script is based on the travels and adventures of Lara Croft, a trained and beautiful English noblewoman who travels around the world in search of the rarest historical and mystical artifacts. It is a kind of Indiana Jones with skirts, or rather, shorts. Of course, archeology has nothing to do with theft and violation of tombs or temples or whatever, but the film, like the game, doesn't care about that. In this film, she has to fight the Illuminati, which seeks a long-lost artifact but, when reconstituted, would allow it to control Time. Without knowing it, she had a part of the artifact all the time, because her late father, whose death was never clear, had taken that object. Then, the adventure comes to her.

The plot is quite simple and not very credible, but those looking for these films usually don't care about that. It is all just a pretext to go to a jungle in a lost corner of the world and kick and shoot some bad guys. The fast pace of the film, associated with good action scenes where, as always, Lara Croft escapes danger by a hair, helps us to swallow and keeps us entertained. Without having to think too much (if we make the film it falls apart), the film goes on until the end, giving us a series of special effects that are not very interesting and clearly made on a computer.

Angelina Jolie needed money and notoriety. After a career started from the bottom, in short films and on TV, she had looked good in "Bone Collector" but it was "60 Seconds" that allowed her to become a sex symbol if she wanted to. This film consolidated that, giving notoriety to the actress' big breasts and allowing her to rise in her career and solidify her stardom. The fact that she was the only actress with some dramatic talent in this film helped her. The support cast was practically demoted to extras with lines. In fact, although the film took advantage of Jolie's generous physical attributes, she showed that she was not just a woman with a desirable body. There was talent there and the ability to do more, if given the right role. This was a sure bet, as the future would show.

The film is no wonder, but it is not as bad as it was said. If you look for a movie just to entertain without having to think hard and be watching it carefully, that kind of movie we see while talking to someone or doing something else, this will be a good bet.
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Anna Karenina (I) (2012)
4/10
Sometimes it shows quality but it didn't convince me.
22 January 2020
"Anna Karenina" is one of the classics of Russian literature. Written by Tolstoi, it is a truly colossal book, with long descriptions that details the mood of the characters. It is a very rich and complex book, with intense dialogues and some moments when the characters debate the state of the empire, moments where the author, apart from the story he wrote, inserted a hint of social and political criticism. Thus, it is a difficult book to transpose to the cinema. Something is always lost. It's not even worth comparing because we already know that.

In this film, the forbidden and sweeping romance of Anna, a woman trapped in a routine and conventional marriage, and Vronsky, the military officer who wants to live life as if each day were the last, has been fully transposed onto a stage, as if the entire Russian court society were a gigantic theater stage where everyone plays a role. The metaphor is not irrelevant. In this film, the importance of the social role stands out. For people like Anna or her husband, the opinion of others counts and affects the way they play their role on the "stage" of Russian society. Ana, Vronsky, Minister Alexei, each of them is just as or more concerned with the social implications of what is happening than with the events themselves.

Despite this, and although the film respects the essentials of the original book, it is quite weak. Joe Wright looks like a weak director, who takes a sugary romance, sweetens it even more and puts the audience to sleep by telling it... very... slowly... and without any emotion. To make matters worse, he was so excited to make a stylish movie with those theatrical artifices, visual effects and out of the box camera angles that he neglected everything else. The film is very slow without any reason, the story has no depth and is told almost in a gossipy tone. Some scenes are so stylized that a lot of their meaning is lost. For example, the ball scene at the Scherbatsky's palace, where we don't see Anna excited about the success she is making in Moscow society, and where Kitty's anger is justified by Vronsky's attitudes without taking into account the fact that the young girl, on her debut, was virtually overshadowed by another woman, older and already married!

It remains for me to speak of the actors. In one hand, I liked the performance of Jude Law, who gave us a very dignified, impassive and serious Minister Alexei. Matthew Macfadyen (who played Anna's brother, Stiva) and Domhnall Gleeson, who gave life to a rude but important Kostia Levin, are also great. But Aaron Taylor-Johnson never convinced me as Vronsky and Keira Knightley just don't have any chemistry with him.

Technically, the film is interesting. Special, visual and sound effects are good, the green screen and CGI were used and abused, there are some moments of tension, but are accidentally attenuated by the soundtrack, which has quality but is sometimes too much loud and shrill. A word yet for the excellent quality of the costumes and sets.
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5/10
A historical drama, suited to the taste of the time it was released, but with flaws.
22 January 2020
This film, a historical drama set in the Middle Ages, is one of the most striking films in the filmography of Leitão de Barros, together with "Maria do Mar" and "Camões", which is the film that became more popular with the passing of years. Even so, Leitão de Barros remains a little-known director.

Contrary to popular belief, and despite having made some very popular films during the Estado Novo (because of patriotism and the exaltation of the great figures of Portuguese history), Leitão de Barros was not always a beloved figure in power. But what may have hurt the director was the simple fact that his films with historical background have become so popular. For years, he was seen as someone linked to the Salazar's regime, which is not at all true.

"Inês de Castro" lacks, I think, the lightness of "Camões" and there are some moments when Leitão de Barros loses his hand. The sets are sometimes too imaginative and it seems like fiction. Obviously, much of what this film reports did not happen, almost certainly, but at the time it was thought so, and the film respects the canonical version of events. However, it was quite unpleasant to see António Vilar give King Dom Pedro I the image of a wicked, demented or cruel king, feared of the people by the hard hand with which he punish. In fact, Dom Pedro was a tough king who was liked to apply justice. But the people liked him! At a time when the most powerful barely paid for their misdeeds, the people admired a king who knew how to be impartial and apply justice without looking at who was in front of him.

There remains for the history of Portuguese cinema a film that, in the wave of historical dramas so much to Salazar's taste, was able to transpose to the cinema one of the most romantic and dramatic pages in the history of the Portuguese Monarchy.
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10/10
A landmark of German cinema, the expressionist film par excellence and a must-see film for any film buff.
22 January 2020
This is one of those silent films that any film lover should see, even those that tend to avoid old films. It is just one of the first great horror films and the most notable and most perfect film in the German expressionist movement.

The story could not be more attractive: in a small German town, an old stranger arrives willing to exhibit, at the annual fair that takes place there, a man who has been sleeping for twenty years, but who can answer whatever is asked and can see the future. And when he successfully predicts the murder of a villager, Francis, another resident, decides to investigate the newcomer.

Skillfully directed by Robert Wiene, the film represents the exponent of German Expressionism. The actors have heavy makeup and very theatrical and exaggerated attitudes. The strange scenarios seem to come out of a dream, or even better, a nightmare. The music that accompanies the film, which is silent as I said before, is predominantly atonal and resembles some of Alban Berg's compositions. There is a perfect harmony between the music, the scenery and the story told. Everything reminds us of a nightmare, a delusion, a great hallucination.

To understand this film and like it, you must understand why this film is like this ... We have to keep in mind that we are in 1920, Germany has just lost the First World War in a humiliating way, the country is destroyed, bankrupt, the basic necessities are expensive, the Deutsche Mark is a currency that has no value and a good part of the valid men lost legs, arms or other parts of the body in the war. Germany is a country that has everything to feel depressed, angry and living a nightmare. What this film does is to transpose that feeling to the cinema. In that sense, it is an incredible piece of art. As the war-winning countries begin to experience the Crazy Twenties, full of euphoria and the will to live life for as short as it may be, here we have the opposite, with the desire for escape translated in a pessimistic and negative way.

I could go on but I think this is enough to understand this film and to justify its unavoidable cultural and artistic value. Watch this film, at least once in your life.
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Cabiria (1914)
9/10
One of the first great successes of Italian cinema.
22 January 2020
This film, a masterpiece of silent European cinema, is a classic of Italian cinema. Launched in 1914, on the eve of the First World War, it is an epic set in the period of Ancient Rome that shows the last of the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage.

The action is simple: Cabiria is a child when her home in Sicily is destroyed by an eruption of Mount Etna. After several adventures, the girl is sold in Carthage to the priest of the temple of Moloch, a god to whom the Carthaginians sacrificed children. Saved from death by a Roman spy, he ended up handed to Sophonisba, daughter of the Carthaginian general Asdrubal, who raised her as a slave. Only the conquest of the city by the Romans and the death of Sofonisba will allow the final liberation of Cabíria.

The film is excellent. Taking into account the time, it was an advance in cinematographic technique, with the construction of grandiose scenarios at scale and the improvement of an epic feeling that had previously been rehearsed in "Quo Vadis" (1913). Directed by Giovanni Pastrone and with a script by the poet Gabriele d'Annunzio, the film had more than six thousand extras, was filmed in several countries and cost a real fortune for the time. The music accompanying the film, composed by Ildebrando Pizzetti, contains very recognizable opera melodies. But it was worth it. The film was a success, it was even the first to be officially shown at the White House.

The film used innovative light and sound elements for the time, and also had advanced editing and post-production work. The film would originally have been about three hours long, but the version I saw is half that long, which makes me wonder where the meters of film I haven't seen can be.

I have seen some critics maintain that this film is a kind of justification for the Italian invasion of Libya, which took place years before, in 1911. However, I disagree with this opinion. In fact, it is in North Africa that most of the action in the film takes place, and it is clear that the Romans are the good guys and the Carthaginians the bad guys. So far, I agree. But the film never claims that land for Rome historically, it is limited to presenting the Punic Wars and inserting the history of Cabiria in that context. There is no point in this film where we can say that Italy has historical rights over those lands in Africa. On the other hand, if we consider the heroic and epic tone, which is felt in this and other cinematographic productions of the time, and the accentuated nationalist tone, we can see in this film not a justification of anything, but a sample of how the Italian people at that moment, he felt. They had just conquered lands in Africa, they were one of the emerging powers in Europe, they were about to enter a great world war but they felt capable of winning it. They felt the greatest. The film shows this very well.
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Sleepers (1996)
9/10
Powerful, disturbing, it addresses disturbing topics.
18 January 2020
This film starts with a bad joke by a group of criminals and where a man ends up dying. The entire group is tried and the juvenile court condemns them to one year in a reformatory, which in practice is a prison for minors. There, young people will be humiliated and finally sexually abused by guards. Decades later, deeply traumatized by the experiences lived there, they finally have the opportunity to take revenge.

The film is intense. It is not at all recommended for a family afternoon as they have deeply difficult scenes, involving pedophilia and blasphemy against Catholic religious symbols. Skillfully directed and written by Barry Levinson, it has a pleasant rhythm, putting young people's lives in context and explaining how they end up falling into marginality. However, after a certain moment, it becomes basically a court drama full of amorality. The accepted film basically says that everything that happened in the reformatory justified the revenge actions years later, and never directly questions whether it was worth it for young people. Well, in a way, it does this discreetly by revealing each other's fate to us at the end of the film, but it can go unnoticed by many people.

Overall, the cast's performance is positive but it could be better. I particularly highlight the work of Vittorio Gassman and especially Kevin Bacon, who proved to be extraordinary. The children's roles were good enough, as were Robert de Niro and Dustin Hoffman who managed to make his character look incompetent and despicable. The worst was seeing Brad Pitt just show up and look too much like himself. I think it was not the most suitable film for this actor. The production values are within the standard that Hollywood has accustomed us to. Regular cinematography, discreet but effective soundtrack, credible costumes and sets.

Highly inadvisable to children or impressionable people, it is a film that, despite occasional flaws, is powerful and holds us to the end without tiring or making us regret it. Worth seeing.
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8/10
It erase the errors of its predecessor and recover the good quality of the initial film. Worth seeing.
17 January 2020
After the crap that was "Butterfly Effect 2" I think it was hard to do worse. Thus, it is hardly surprising to find that this film is weakly better. But, in fact, this film does not need these comparisons to deserve to be seen. I really enjoyed watching it and I think it has quality.

In this film we are invited to forget everything that we saw behind. It's a whole new story based on Sam, a young man who, after his girlfriend's death, dedicates himself to helping the police in complicated homicide cases and has a reputation as a psychic. What nobody knows is that he has the power to travel time, mentally, and to go to see the crimes and then say who it was. But everything gets more complicated when he breaks his own rules and decides to do more than see: go back in time to try to save his girlfriend's life.

The actors do a very satisfying job. Chris Carmack is good, but I confess that I loved Rachel Miner. Either way, both are excellent here. Carmack evolves delightfully into a madman as his character feels he loses control of things and goes into despair. Miner, for his part, always remains calm until the end, and that makes the end particularly striking: because it is not what we were expecting. The rest of the cast provides the necessary support but has no material to do more than that.

The production figures are not extraordinary, but they work well. Decent cinematography and good footage, good scenery helped by decadent Detroit, and little else. It is little, but it works and achieves the goal.
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6/10
Greater vanity and presumption than quality
17 January 2020
This film is the end of a trilogy that started very well but ended up derailing quickly. Extremely ambitious and very original, it was difficult to keep the flame burning throughout three films. This film, in particular, is the immediate continuation of the action of its predecessor, and suffers from the same problems and flaws, although it is slightly better, in my opinion.

The film continues to look cool and to rely heavily on the style that it created right at the beginning of the film. The action and the strong special, visual and sound effects are still there and continue to make everything look incredible, but it no longer surprises us and it just isn't the same anymore. The same goes for the soundtrack, which no longer has the power I felt in the first two films. The script continues to tell a strange story, but that is still not the problem. The problem is that the film seems to want to bet on everything without actually doing so. And so we have, for example, the Merovingian's reappearance without this bringing any positive additive to the film ie more than a cameo. This is just to give an example of how strange some of the script options were. The film also has a dissonant and uneven rhythm that makes certain parts of the film drag as if they were dying. The actors continue to look good, and I think they seemed to me much more human in this film than in any of its precedents. The problem was some of the dialogues, which just don't make any sense.

I think the directors of the film let themselves be carried away by the success and the recognition and, at a certain moment, they thought they were making a gigantic masterpiece of the cinema, and that this ended up being reflected in the film, giving the feeling that the film wants to be more than it is. And that is always boring. Instead of doing a job that could match the quality of the first film, the directors fell asleep under their own laurels.
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5/10
Much inferior to the first film.
17 January 2020
Okay, I expected much better. After a movie as inspired and as original as "The Matrix", the minimum expected was something equivalent, especially given that we have back the entire original team, including the directors, who also sign the script.

What we have in this film is the beginning of the ultimate conflict between machines and human beings. The film continues to bet on the style created earlier, and it continues to look cool, and trying to keep it up most of the time. The fight scenes have become even more impressive and stylized. The special effects are fantastic, all the actors' work is good despite being as impersonal and cold as in the first film. The actors do the best they can, but they don't always achieve the brilliance of the first film. There's just something missing. In addition, the film has moments that shouldn't be there: the sex scene was expendable, and I hated that kind of rave, with little clothes and more like the beginning of a gigantic orgy. Yes, in fact they are about to start a gigantic battle that decides whether everyone lives or dies ... and what they want to do is to be semi-naked and rub their bodies together, to the sound of an electronic beat. There's logic! So much logic as the strange and inexplicable ability acquired by the villainous agent to copy himself to exhaustion.

The film maintains the good production values of its predecessor, but is much weaker in script and storytelling. This ultimately harms it greatly.
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The Matrix (1999)
9/10
A lot of style, but that was good.
17 January 2020
This movie is one of those classics that even those who have never seen know to hear about. And I say it is a classic because I believe it has already achieved this status. I was young when it debuted, but I remember the impact it had and there is no doubt that it left marks.

I will not dwell on describing the story. I just want to say that I find it interesting the way it was developed. It's a good story and it keeps our interest until the end. The weakest part is the romantic plot of Neo and Trinity because the two characters never have any chemistry in the movie. In fact, the movie did not ask for romance. That was the biggest mistake of this movie. The characters have no humanity and look like machines most of the time ... The outfit, with those dark glasses until night and wearing clothes in various shades of black (I loved the cassock they got for Reeves, he could think of being priest if he ever gets tired of being an actor) gives the final touch. It's called "style".

Keanu Reeves is perfect for his character. He is one of those actors I hate because of his lack of dramatic expressiveness, here as in other films he has made. I've seen asses more expressive than his face, sorry for the words but it's the truth. In this movie, he hardly even moves facial muscles. And the other actors (Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss especially) follow the same path. It's called "style"! Luckily for everyone involved, the movie asked for this and it works well on the screen. Fishburne, especially, looks amazing. This is one of his best movies to date, in my opinion.

The production values are extraordinary. In addition to a great soundtrack, we have great special visual and sound effects. Cinematography is one of the best and best achieved I've ever seen in sci-fi movies, and that's no small feat. The camera and film work is excellent.

Okay, I may look a little rough, but I actually liked the movie. The biggest problem (and also one of its most striking features) is having so much "style". Not being a perfect movie, it has cleverly invested in creating a style of its own. Very superlative, here there is permission, even advantage, in overcoming the barriers of credibility and logic. There is no problem in that guy looking like a dancer when he fights. If it looks amazing on the screen, the film allows it, the film wants it. It's not about reality, it's about looking cool. And the film seems cool all the time, to the point that it is sometimes funny. It is no coincidence that the film yielded so many internet memes and humorous parodies.
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Spy Game (2001)
6/10
Not great, but worth watching.
15 January 2020
On his retirement day, Nathan Muir, a veteran CIA agent, must respond to an informal inquiry about his former protégé Tom Bishop, who was captured on a mission on China. For the US, which is in the throes of delicate trade negotiations with that country, the situation could not have been more inconvenient. Abandoned by the agency because of political concerns, its Muir's job to try to help his colleague.

This movie is not excellent but it was within what I expected. The pace is good, there is a good tension and a very nice suspense throughout the movie. There are also some action scenes, punctually. Nevertheless, the story told has flaws and problems with logic, which become increasingly evident as the film moves to its conclusion. The ending is truly unlikely.

Robert Redford is the actor who best disentangled himself in this movie. He is a veteran and the character is tailored for him. Without ever losing his pose and composure, he has a very good collaboration with Brad Pitt. The dialogues are good and work well, especially between the two actors. What didn't go well was the movie's romantic subplot, which is bad considering the relevance that will be given to it. Simply, that part of the story was never credible.

Good photography, good sets and costumes, a discreet soundtrack, good sound and visual effects, some good special effects, used with moderation. It's not the movie we're going to see because of its technicalities, despite meeting Hollywood's standards. Its a movie that is worth it for the interesting story it brings us and for the good work of the two main actors, very particularly Redford. But in fact there are better movies out there, and these will probably prove quite forgettable over time.
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8/10
A meritorious continuation.
14 January 2020
This fantasy movie is an expected sequel as the initial movie was a box office hit. It happens decades after the events of the first film (although the connection between them is discreet) and brings more of it: a mother whose husband went to war and who needs to unfold between work, her farm care and education the children she has at home, and the two spoiled brats from the city with whom they will soon quarrel.

In fact, here, the movie sins because it can't bring anything truly new or different from the previous one. What saves the movie is the fact that it is fun and has truly hilarious moments, like synchronized piglet swimming. It all happens in the middle of World War II, but it is too light a film to make it truly feel in the plot. The war only becomes palpable in the middle of the movie, a turnaround that, after all, was more or less expected.

Again, it is the children who are given the whole stage when it comes to making the audience laugh. They match entirely and are excellent. The direction of the film is once again in the hands of Emma Thompson, who continues to secure the lead role and the script's authorship, ensuring that this film can match its predecessor. Maggie Gyllenhaal is beautiful and captivates our sympathy, Rhys Ifans is quite entertaining and a bit stupid when trying to be a villain, opposite Sinead Matthews and Katy Brand very well. Ralph Fiennes and Ewan McGregor make brief welcome appearances and Maggie Smith, side by side with veteran Sam Kelly, is impeccable, as always.

Technically, the film still bets heavily on CGI and visual and sound effects, which is normal, but I felt that there was more restraint in its use. The sets and costumes are also better and more realistic, and that troublesome eye strain caused by too much color, so evident in the first film, was corrected.

In short, this movie is an excellent continuation of the first movie. But unless they decide to present something different in a hypothetical third movie, I think the revenue presented so far runs out of this movie.
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Nanny McPhee (2005)
8/10
A great movie for the whole family
14 January 2020
In this fantasy movie we find a widower on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Lonely since his wife's death, he has to divide his time between running his funeral home and raising his many children. To make matters worse, the kids are real brats who scare away all the mistresses their father arranges to look after them. But everything changes when a special nurse comes to that house.

It is a film clearly aimed at young audiences, but it will certainly be well tolerated by adults. Colorful, cheerful and very fun, has a good story where it conveys good educational values such as respect, friendship, family value. Of course everything is a bit predictable, but even so the movie proves to be catchy. Despite the strength of the kids, who are reserved for the hilarious moments of the movie, the movie is expertly directed by two or three very experienced adult actors who quietly steer it all: I'm talking, of course, about Colin Firth and Emma Thompson, but especially this actress who, in addition to giving life to the lead role, also ensures the writing of the script. She, better than anyone, understood well what the film needed and knew to be up to it. In addition, the film also features the brilliant participation of veteran Angela Lansbury and the sweetness of Kelly Macdonald.

Technically, the film bets heavily on CGI and quality visual and sound effects. A bet that surprises us nothing but does not detract from the final product. Good costumes and scenery help, although I had trouble digesting such an overt abuse of the almost ubiquitous green, yellow, and pink colors. This made the movie visually tiring. Patrick Doyle has signed the soundtrack, which looks beautiful in the film, though not exactly in the ear.
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Elysium (I) (2013)
5/10
A lot of money, good CGI and effects, good actors, but a simplistic script and lack of emotion are really a problem.
14 January 2020
The problem with films that are overly based on social criticism is that they almost always portray society in a simplistic way: on one hand the poor and marginalized, on the other the rich and powerful. There are no half terms. In such movies, the rich are usually cruel and egocentric, the ruling class. Likewise, the poor end up trying to organize and take away their power and money in the name of a fairer society. Karl Marx would approve of these films.

In fact, things are never that simple, and society, no matter how bad it is, is generally far more heterogeneous than the portrayal of this film. Even so, there are moments when criticism brutally approaches reality. For example, when the guns of Elysium destroy the ships with the people who want to reach it. At that moment, it was hard for me not to think about the ships loaded with illegal immigrants who cross the Mediterranean every month in the worst conditions, looking for an Eldorado they think exists in Europe.

Despite the unappealing simplicity of the plot, the film pays off with good actors doing a relatively satisfactory work. Matt Damon, while not one of my favorites, is quite good in his role. Sharlto Copley is a convincing and rude villain, Alice Braga and Wagner Moura, two good Brazilian actors, do not disappoint but I have doubts about their ability to accompany American colleagues, who have a whole different dramatic school. In any case, they do not disappoint and honor the credits of Brazilian dramaturgy. The worst of this movie, as regards the cast, was the artificial performance of Jodie Foster.

The movie has good special effects, state of the art on a big budget movie like this. However, the pace is quite uneven and unbalanced. But worse than that is the feeling that we are watching a cold movie, unable to emotionally connect us with the story or the characters. It's worth seeing, but it's not that kind of movie that stays in our memory and makes us spend our money on it.
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