Reviews

Nine (2009)

Nine (2009)

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Musical, drama, romance – Italy, USA – 118 min

Written by Michael Tolkin and Anthony Minghella

Directed by Rob Marshall

 

How many women does it take to make a movie?

Nine is a cinematographic take on a Broadway musical with the same title. Taking place in Italy in the 60’s, it depicts a famous director Guido Contini who struggles with his new movie and his life, or rather, his life with women in it. As he is fighting in despair his inability to write a script and trying to get through diverse relationships with the gentle sex, we get to see and hear the musical parts.

A whole constellation of stars has been involved in the movie with Daniel Day-Lewis playing the main part, Marion Cotillard being his wife, Penelope Cruz – his mistress and Sophia Loren herself with the role of mother, just to mention a few big names.

For me, the movie’s a sweet candy with no filling. Though Rob Marshall brought us Chicago (2002), this one sadly does not live up to the heels. The women are beautiful, the choreography and costumes are beautiful, the cinematography is great, too. But that’s about it. Most of the songs are not performed as good as to be remembered, with the exception of those sung by Fergie and Cotillard (2nd one). The plot seems to be lacking something. It leads me to the feeling of incompleteness of the story, as it is not whole.  And the fake Italian accent of Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t make it better.

This is a movie about passion and if you seek emotions, romance and drama even more, you’ll certainly find much in it.

I give it 6/10.

P.S. Will do for Valentine’s Day!

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ME BEFORE YOU (2016)

Me Before You (2016)

Drama, Romance, Comedy (?) – UK, USA – 1 h 50 min

Written by Jojo Moyes (also the author of the novel)

Directed by Thea Sharrock

 

Me before seeing the movie: yay! Let’s watch this! Both the poster and the trailer look so promising! ;D

Me after seeing the movie: Meh.

 

The man: a good-looking, rich, in his early thirties, living a life full of extreme sports. Then, an accident happens (What a surprise! Wow! Who would ever expect this?) that lefts him paralyzed, practically friendless and stuck in his parents’ castle.

The woman: a good-looking, freshly fired from her waitress post, twenty-something wearing clothes either of a grandma or a fifth-grader, who is desperate to help her family financially (quote: We need that money!). She decides to go for an interview for the post of a companion/carer of a paralyzed man, the man. And, oh, she gets the job, despite her zero qualifications and none experience.

It was so unexpected that they won’t get on well at the beginning but fall in love later. Except for it wasn’t.

I was amazed how much cliche is that movie. I know that drama-romance films usually follow well-known schemes but really I was certainly not prepared for this.

It was funny or ridiculous in moments probably not intended to be. Take Mother of the Dragons’, erm, Emilia Clarke’s unbelievable eyebrow dance and forehead’s skin movements. It surely has a lot of comedy potential. However, it didn’t fit in the movie’s theme in my opinion. Instead, that features would be terrific in John Bean-like sketches.

I find it hard to believe how many wrongs are included in the plot and portrays of the characters. The main heroine seems to be retarded for, like, a half of the movie. Turns out she isn’t. The paralyzed man going for the wedding of his former best friend and his former girlfriend? That’s absurd and unreal! The strangest for me is, however, the conclusion.

The lesson taught by this  movie is as follows: be a poor but attractive woman -> fall in love (unwillingly!) with a rich man ->  spend some wonderful time on exotic trips with him -> get money from him and live happily despite tragical past of your love. The end.

I haven’t read the book but now I am definitely not going to read either.

Anyone has anything good to say about the movie? Please, do cause I only liked the appearance of one dress and the marvellous scenery of an exotic island.

 

My rating: 3/10

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

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Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci fi, Comedy, Drama – USA – 135 min

Written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, Michael Arndt, (George Lucas)

Directed by J. J. Abrams

 

It is said nobody’s perfect, nothing’s perfect on Earth. Well, then this movie must have been made on another planet, in a galaxy far, far away

Millions of people around the world, generations of fans have been waiting for it for 10 years, since the last Star Wars movie – Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) was released. Finally, here it is!

Let’s be honest – the bar has been set very high. The creators, however, jumped over it in a fine way.

The film brings out the very best of the old trilogy and leave the audience delighted. The classic Star Wars motives and gags are combined masterly with freshness and creativity. We’ve got a new strong female lead, a new ridiculously cute (and funny!) droid, a young man who decides to change his destiny, a man in a black mask who commands Stormtroopers and uses the Force. We’ve got a complicated parents-son relationship, friendships, a bit of love. We’ve got The Resistance, the First Order – a Nazi-inspired dark-side heir of the Galactic Empire. Finally, we’ve got some old friends, too! And… a chase after Luke. The Luke!

Fast, complex action, thrilling adventures, explosions, engaging fight scenes (yup, that’s the world- engaging). I laughed, I cried.  It certainly doesn’t lack surprises – both pleasant and not. I really enjoyed the plot, the marvellous shots and special effects. The awesome characters and their costumes add to the awesomeness of the whole. And that’s not nearly all. Watch it, and you’ll know what I mean.

Although the movie could have spared few minor mistakes, The Force Awakens is as good as it can be.

(I gotta tell you, Rey is my new favorite heroine!)

My score: 10/10 (!!!)

 

 

The Big Wedding (2013)

The Big Wedding (2013)

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Comedy (?) – USA – 89 min

Written by Justin Zackham and Jean-Stephane Bron & Karine Sudan (Mon frère se marie )

Directed by Justin Zackham

 

Big wedding? Big boring.

Take a bunch of great actors: Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Susan Sarandon…) and put them into a movie that’s a patchwork of many well- known romantic comedies/dramas/musicals. Be sure to include the actors who usually play in such movies and place them in their usual roles. Ta-dah! There goes our film. It is an american remake of Mon frère se marie (2006).

Don and Ellie used to be married. They had a daughter, a son and an adopted son Alejandro. After the divorce, Don’s partner, Bebe, has been like a mother to all his children. Now Alejandro is about to marry Missy and start his own family. His biological mother is coming for the event. She’s believed to be a very conservative catholic and her son forces everyone to pretend Don and Ellie are still married. Blah blah blah. Blah.

Is it a comedy? I hardly laughed once or twice. The only ones who seem to enjoy themselves are the actors (see the poster) but that’s probably because they were paid for it. However, I’m pretty sure The Big Wedding belongs to the “overly sexualized” movie section, which makes it even harder to appreciate in any way. And it’s still not funny.

Go ahead and watch it, if you’re desperate enough and dying for a mix of your favorite wedding-family comedies you’ve seen dozen times.

My rate: 4/10 (Guess big names and a big wedding do NOT result in a big movie).

Suffragette (2015)

Suffragette (2015)

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Drama, history – UK – 106 min

Directed by Sarah Gavron

Written by Abi Morgan

Today, you can do everything. You can be whoever you want to be. You can live however you like. You are free. (At least in some countries).

How much do you value your freedom? Have you ever thought what was the cost of that freedom? How much suffer, How much deaths It took (or it’s still taking).

Soufragette brings to your own eyes and soul the tough battle for women’s rights. And I’m telling you, It does It in a very fine way.

Meet Maud. A laundry worker with 17 years of experience. A wife, a mother. A 24-year-old woman. Surprised? Well, it wasn’t quite shocking in XIX century’s England. She’s one of the many. The underestimated, hard-working full people with no full rights. Just because they are women. Together, they give up much , give all they have for the sake of their cause. For gender equality we take for granted. Their path is as hard as bricks in the cells they are being imprisoned in. Their physical wounds are no match for the suffer of humiliation and injustice. Yet, so many people, both men and women, are against them.

Excellent storyline, great characters, marvellous acting (the boy!). Wonderful pictures. Just a pity mrs. Pankhurst’s story and character isn’t much developed.

A beautiful piece of cinematography. Not overy dramatized, not in a fake way. A must-watch. So that we can value the freedom more…

My rate: 9/10

Spectre (2015)

Spectre (2015)

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Action, adventure, thriller – USA, UK – 148 min

Directed by Sam Mendes

Written by John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth and others

They say it’s the most expensive of all Bond movies.

They say it has broken franchise record in Poland with 900,000 movie-goers within just a week.

I say: yawn!

Risky mission in Mexico. A funeral in Rome. C and “Nine Eyes”. Killings, many many killings. Expensive cars. And reveal of Bond’s past.

I’d rather not mention an unbelievably incongrous romance with a daughter of Bond’s enemy, a romance which stinks like pretentiousness (especially when you hear the three words, ugh) and fake. I’d better not tell you about an unforgivable, TERRIBLE sin that is NOT developing Monica Bellucci’s character which has such a great potential. Also, let me not get to the ridiculous and cheap (I guess not in terms of money…) opening which can give you nightmares.

Instead, let me focus on the advantages. There were, of course, thrilling chases, shots, fights, explosions and… tortures. An incredible scene of combat inside a helicopter gave me a hysterical laugh.  Stylish black-white colouring of the film (which noticed my BF) was certainly a nice idea, fits the usual outfit of 007. I loved stunning landscapes – mountains especially (a thing on the side, but oh, well ;p).

After all, it’s a Bond movie. We don’t watch it for logic nor particular moral qualities. We watch it for the action, for the excitement we get thanks to this absolutely non-human agent of many faces and his nearly supernatural abilites. We seek neat gadgets, cool vehicles, seductive women and amazing combat scenes. We year for  thrilling adventures to make us feel like we are Bonds.

And so we find it.

My score: 7/10

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

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Horror (?), drama – USA – 101 min
Written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour

A girl walks home alone at night.

Actually, no. She isn’t. She’s on the streets on purpose.

The girl’s after sinful blood, killing bad people. Or, if you’re lucky enough, she just warns you to change your sinful ways. Kind of a superhero, in a supertwisted manner. (She even wears a cape!)

Bad City with its few citizens seems to be full of various sins and poor life choices. A drug dealer, drug addicts, a streetwalker, her clients, a boy who tells lies, a spoiled girl from a wealthy family. Finally, a boy serving the rich house, whose father is both addicted to drugs and the hooker’s client. He, who adopts a homeless cat, takes care of his parent and seeks love. Almost crystal clear. He and the vampire girl fall in love. Or something like that – I mean vampires have cold, dead hearts, don’t they?

Regardless of what I had read in the reviews, I did not see a great story of forbidden love. The plot was alright, not really touching, not really eyes-opening. Nor did I see a horror. I’d rather call it a dark fantasy-drama with some western in it. Okay, there are some bloody, violent scenes but fearful events haven’t been much highlighted. The whole atmoshphere was mysterious, lyrical and hypnotising. Yes, that’s the most adequate word. The black-whiteness, in which the movie was created, paired with madly perfect-suited soundtrack add to the strange feeling about the movie. Or, is it a vampire’s trick? Now I can be scared. Perhaps it is a horror anyway…

Anyway, it is a beautiful piece of cinematography, made with mastery. Some scenes were simply amazing and addictive  (I want to do skateboarding with black cape on too!), some enigmatic and leave you puzzled.

My rating: 8/10.

P.S. Check out the soundtrack!