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Reasons why you should watch Star Wars if you haven’t

Today in Poland (and many other countries too) is the day of the big premiere of the Star Wars: Force Awakens (2015), the 7th part of the iconic saga. We’re just witnessing a major event in the world popculture.

I never considered myself to be a part of the sci-fi fandom. It was only this year that I have seen my very first Star Wars movie. And boy! Was I surprised! Turns out, it has much to offer, even to those of you who stay away from futurism and space fiction.

For you, dear sceptics, I listed below some reasons why you should give it a try and watch Star Wars* after all. You’re welcome.

1. The characters: whether he or she looks like human, has metal robotic heart or is an alien with fairly odd appearance – it can earn your  favor (or antypathy) suprisingly fast . There are plenty of strong personalities,  fascinating creatures, incredible beings (both from the visual and the temper-point of view) in the saga. The variety of roles is striking – as it covers inhabitants of different planets and races.

Again, many of them has become legendary over the years. Some have complicated background story. Some are just one of many. Some Jedi masters are. Do watch for Han Solo. Do watch for master Yoda. Do watch for Wookie. Do watch for… your pick!

Most of the roles are well-played. MOST.

characters

2. Leia: okay, I just made a whole separate reason for one character. But she is worth it! Intelligent, courageous, brave, beautiful. Good- hearted! Elegant. (And… pretty!) That’s all I could ask for when it comes to perfect female part. Seriously, Leia is one of the best lady character in the whole story of cinematography. Plus – she’s good at combat! My heroine. Feminists out there – you’ll be delighted!

leia

3. The relationships: if you are fond of romances – you will find a good one (Leia and Han Solo). If you hate romances – you will laugh out loud sneeringly at Anakin and Amidala’s poor flirting in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002).

Now, if you’re looking for a movie about true friendship – do watch the saga. It’s full of (often funny) buddies who may not always agree, but truly love each other. My favorite couple of pals are two droids: R2D2 and C3PO. You cannot watch their ‘dialogues’ and not laugh or at least smile sincerely. Do watch for them, do watch for Han Solo and Wookie.

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4. The visuals: firstly, Amidala’s incredible outfits, hairdos and makeup. This is truly a heaven for fashion-oriented moviegoers. Her style is outstanding and delightful! Her appearance surely has been inspired by the Orient but still is original as it could be!

amidala

Secondly, costumes and characterisation. In the old trilogy (episodes IV – VI), the aliens of strange appearance are played by the actors wearing fantastic costumes. It works great! And – surprisingly! – seems so natural! In the episodes I – III most of these wonderful alien costumes has been replaced simply by computer effects (CGI). The audience didn’t like that as it took away much of alien’s charm. In the newest episode the actors wearing costumes are said to be back! 🙂

Thirdly, special effects and scenery. Spaceships, planets, cities. Explosions. Races and chases. Nicely done! Very nicely done!

5. Epic battles and fights: frigging lightsabers! Fighting with lightsabers! Double lightsabers! Not enough?!

figths

Fine combat styles. Fighting with space vehicles. Boom! Boom! Tatatat-tata!

The force! Jedi knights! The dark side of the force!

6. Real-world problems in the imaginary one: the ups and downs of the parent-children relationship (oh, boy!). Not always so perfect work of parliament (yup). The eternal good vs. evil conflict. Lust for power. Greed. Slavery. Death.

slavery

Well, these are the reasons that came to my head. There are probably even more. So why not give it a try?

Still having doubts?

May the  force be with you!

* – I suggest you start your space journey with Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

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Down with Love (2003)

Down with Love (2003)

down with love

USA – comedy, romance – 101 min

Written by Eve Ahlert and Dennis Drake

Directed by Peyton Reed

Women vs. men. Men vs. women. This war lasts quite a few years. Or centuries. Or millennia.  ‘Women are so…’ in the eyes and mouths of men, while ‘Men are just too… and not enough…’ according to women. The movie makers take on this seemingly risky, but oh so entertaining and engaging subject. Also, quite widely used.

The female army in the movie is lead by Barbara Novak (Rene Zellweger – flawless), an author of the best-selling advice book Down with love, in which she calls for women to be strong, career-oriented and independent, not those falling for the opposite sex with their hearts open wide and fully devoting themselves to men. (Yes, Barbara has had her heart broken.)

On the other side of the conflict here we’ve got a playboy journalist Catcher Block (Ewan McGregor who fit just right in the role). No, not a typo – they really named the character like that! Note the hidden meaning! Needless to say, they fight, irritate each other but are they really down with love? We sure Know (inside joke for those who have seen the film) that Block’s friend is not and he desperately tries to get something going with Novak’s friend and no. 2 in the female army.

Down with Love is a funny reflection on the whole thing of the war of the sexes. It tries to find a suitable, harmonic agreement between the two ‘enemies’ at least a few times. However, it seems as if the film makers have run out of ideas and finally leave the matter unsolved. Or, have they…?

The movie is above all the ideological features a nod to the 60’s and a parody of its ridiculous style and characteristic way of film-making. It’s so pleasant to watch it just to spot all the details, starting with iconic room decoration, clothes and hairdos, ending with the studied poses of the actors and the ludicrous behaviour of the characters. Well done!

If you miss the 60’s, want to watch something light, amusing but also thought-provoking – there’s no better choice than this piece of cinematography. Prepare for plot twists!

My rate: 8/10

P.S. Are you down with love?

Scoop (2006)

Scoop (2006)
scoop
USA, UK – Comedy, Mystery – 96 min

First of all, I must admit I am not exactly a huge fan of Woody Allen’s works. I always thought there were just too many, too long dialogues that ruined the whole idea of a movie.

However, this time it is different. The movie is I&E – intriguing and entertaining. Of course, the wordy talks has been included, but they do not strike so intensively. As a matter of fact, they go along with the story and the character played by the director himself.

What’s the plot then?
Allen’s muse – Scarlett Johansson – plays a young journalism student who happens to meet a ghost of a journalist during a magician’s act. The ghost tells her that the infamous Tarot Card Killer’s identity is a famous millionaire’s son. And so the investigation begins.
But can this gorgeous, sweet, kind, intelligent man be such a criminal? And what’s with that ghost anyway?

Are you intrigued yet?

The story gets you totally soaked up in, also the fine piece of acting and (alright, Woody, you won) directing. The film’s funny, not too funny, but maybe that’s best as I heard of a man who died due to laughing too much…

All in all, have a great time watching it!

My rate: 7/10

A Serious Man (2009)

A Serious Man (2009)
seri
USA – 106 min – drama, comedy, slice of life
Directed and written by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Work. Students. Home. Children. Wife. Brother. RESPONSIBILITY.

Larry Gopnik sure is a serious man. He leads a proper life (in the 60’s), being fair and square, conscientious and single-minded. Long story in short, he meets both society’s and religious expectations.
Despite this, people won’t stop demand more and more from him, straining a point in a way you wouldn’t expect.

On one hand, it’s extremely sad to watch a good, good man’s life getting so complicated. On the other, well, the ridiculous amount of Larry’s problems in contrast to his kind personality, with addition of overdrawn, memorable characters creates quite a ludicrous world, giving you more than just a few laughs.

This fine piece of cinematography by the Coen Brothers is not another drama comedy. It provides an intelligent and funny criticism of: religion – not adjusted to modern people’s concerns, society – calling for being an honest, honorable human, who cannot actually deal with the unfair and the egoistic.
How bitter, yet how true.

My rate: 8.

Valentine’s Day: 14 very different movies for 14th February

As everyone is unique, we all have distinct taste in cinematography and various esthetical needs to be satisfied by a film.
Here you can find the movie list I’ve made with a view to this diversity.

Whether you celebrate it with your beloved one, or on your own – have a happy Valentine’s Day and enjoy your film(s)!

1. For those who are fond of unusual and creative stories (not to say: ‘strange’), despite the difficulties the characters must struggle with, I recommend Rumba (2008).
2. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005) – not exactly the most romantic movie, but hey, who said there must be flowers, kisses and flying hearts in every scene?
If your man is fed up with all romantic comedy stuff that follow the common scheme, make this day special and watch together some action!
3. However, supposing you feel like getting some of motion pictures that burst with drama and true love, watch The Vow (2012). So sweet!
4. Yearning for a good Bollywood love story, but you’ve already seen Kal Ho Naa Ho and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham? Vivah (2006) is the answer!
5. Drama, romance, drama, romance… Urgh! To laugh out of the Valentine’s Day, choose Date Movie (2006) – a hysterical parody of well-known romantic movies.
6. The followers of carpe diem philosophy who are keen on drama movies should be satisfied with Now is Good (2012). If you liked A Walk to Remember (2002), you’ll be delighted!
7. Got your heart broken again? Here, let me explain you that He’s Just Not That Into You (2009). He may be into that film, though.
8. Byôsoku 5 senchimêtoru /5 Centimeters Per Second /(2007) is my suggestion for the fans of animated masterpieces. This beautiful story with breath-taking graphics deserves to be your must-watch!
9. In case that you’d rather have goosebumps than a tear of emotion in your eye and you’d still like to follow Valentine’s Day theme, the movie for you is The Loved Ones (2009). Suits for Halloween as well.
10. Splendid costumes, outstanding music, admirable scenography and exceptional actors that sing as good as act – all this creates a theatrical, marvelous world of Moulin Rouge! (2001). Dear musical lovers and those who like to feed their eyes with glamour – 127 minutes of heaven awaits! Dear other people – watch as well, you certainly won’t waste your time!
11. Looking for a light, French romance-comedy? Seek and you shall find! 20 ans d’ecart (2013) is perfect for having a good time.
12. Neither life, nor love is easy. A movie doesn’t always have to entertain, characters may not lead a successful, happy existence. Gegen die Wand/Head-On/ (2004) tells a bitter, uneasy story that may be shocking or touching at times, but definitely worth watching.
13. At a certain point, some people engaged in long lasting relationships wonder if the love is gone. Romantic comedy-drama Hope Springs (2012) takes on this hard topic. Excellent plot, excellent actors (Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell), excellent movie!
14. And for the last – Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986) to add some sensuality and spice to the list. Oh boy’ it’s going to be hot! Therefore, perfect for a cold winter’s evening.

If you liked the list, please let me know. In case you didn’t, please do so as well.

And do not hesitate to put your own ideas in comments!