I just came back from the movies, where I watched “2012“.  Initially, when I heard about this film, it sounded awesome.  I even posted the trailer in the blog, when I first saw it.  But then, it came to the cinemas and pretty much everyone I know went to see it, and I haven’t heard any exciting reviews yet.  Yes, the special effects are awesome.  Yes, they destroy the US and even pretty much all current Earth population.  Yes, it’s breath-taking at times.  But there was no excitement in those comments.  No thrill.  No sparks.  It almost felt like the movie was boring.  So, I wasn’t hurrying to see it.  But today I finally did.  First, because I had to.  Second, because all the other movies I’ve either seen or they suck.

So, I went to see “2012” with lower expectations than I initially set.  And maybe that was exactly what I needed.  Because I quite enjoyed the film.  There were, of course, a few tongue-in-cheek moments, such as mobile telephony working when everything was falling under ground or a doctor with 2 hours of practice flying planes or a computer simulation being able to predict wave impacts up to the second during the time when nothing was certain.  But that doesn’t matter.  You get these in pretty much every movie these days.

What’s important is that the movie had something to show that you haven’t seen before.  Yes, everyone saw the end of the world movies.  But not at this scale.  Ground was falling, building were collapsing, giant waves were playing ping pong with huge ships, trains were flying over airplanes, and on, and on, and on.  Some of the scenes were so realistic, that I was grabbing my armchair’s handles.  And that happens rarely.

If you are not into huge scale special effects films, then this one still has some drama, romance, and comedy to offer.   Comedy especially.  I think it actually made the film so much better.  If everything that happened in the movie would have been given with the serious attitude, it would be way too boring and unrealistic.  But an occasional joke here and funny face there brought this film to life.  As did some of the acting.

Overall, I’d recommend this film to anyone who expects entertainment from a movie.  4 stars.

P.S.: If I still haven’t convinced you to see this film on a big screen, consider this: it was directed by Roland Emmerich, who also directed movies like “10,000 B.C.”, “The Day After Tomorrow”, “The Patriot”, “Godzilla”,  “Independence Day”, “Universal Soldier” and a few others.



I rented “Syriana” when I saw George Clooney and Matt Damon on the cover. Not that they are a guarantee of a good film, but they are a pretty good sign of one.  And indeed they both did a nice job in this film, however it wasn’t enough for me.

This time though, my criticism (critinism?) is not of the film itself, but of that particular DVD that I rented.  It didn’t have English sub-titles (although I don’t know if it didn’t have them originally, or if this DVD was a pirated copy).  Half of the movie takes place in Middle East and there is a lot of non-English talk happening.   I couldn’t make much sense out of it, except for the general dramatic mood and some people over there not being very happy with some people over here and vice versa.

Other than that, the film looked to be very nice – it has a certain mood, there is some good photography, and there is also a lot of human appreciation, which is something I like seeing in the movies.  That is when people appreciate other people for just being people.  There aren’t enough films out there promoting appreciation.  It was nice to see this one did.

I’d rate it as a 6 out of 10, with reserving a lot of space on either end of this rating due to not understanding half of what was said.

A Lot Like Love

I try to avoid romantic dramas with a touch of comedy as much as I can. But I knew from the start that I won’t be able to skip “A Lot Like Love“.

Directed by: Nigel Cole
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Cast: Amanda Peet, Ashton Kutcher, Taryn Manning, Aimee Garcia, Lee Garlington, Birdie M. Hale, Tyrone Giordano, Melissa van der Schyff, Theresa Spruill, James Read, Molly Cheek, Sarah Ann Morris, Gabriel Mann, Kathryn Hahn, Ali Larter
IMDB raintg: 5.5
My rating: 7.0 *******

There are two good reasons for me to be interested in this movie – Amanda Peet and Ashton Kutcher. I really like both of them. Not just the acting, but rather that charm and energy that they have drives me towards their work. Well, and the acting as well. I knew that they would be excellent together in a film like this, and they were.

Everything else doesn’t matter – story, music, all that stuff is just unimportant. I’ve seen it all before and I will see it many times more. But the teamwork of Peet and Kutcher is a different story. They basically glued me to the screen. Yeah, I know that’s easy to do, but it doesn’t happen all that often.

Resume: if you are even a tiny bit centimental – watch the movie. It was very very good.

Something’s Gotta Give

I ‘ve just watched “Something’s Gotta Give” in the movies. Was it good? I can not say that. Was it bad? Well, not entirely. There were some really good moments, but overall it lacked a lot. There was no point in the movie at all. And it was going in such waves that you could actually stop it anywhere after the first 30 minutes without loosing anything. With the same success you could chop of the real ending and put it anywhere in the movie after the same first 30 minutes and it would look natural. Yuck!

There was some great acting done to save the film. If I would to break 4 pounds that I paid for the ticket, I would give all 4 just to actors. 2 pounds would go Jack Nicholson, 1 pound to Amanda Peet, and 1 pound to Frances McDormand. Both Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves were terrible. Keanu was an emotionless brick wall as always. Diane was simply horrible. Especially her crying after breaking up. Production was also below average. There were virtually no scenery in the movie. It seemed like all the actors are straight in front of the camera and that nothing else exists. There were so many opportunities though – the house on the sea beach, Hawaii, hospitals. None of it is important to the filmmaker. Not even for 3 seconds. But all that crap that goes on for two hours without going anywhere is. That’s sad. There is a very strong feeling that there is a woman in charge behind all these. And in fact it is so – Nancy Meyers (writer of the screenplay for “What Women Want“). She is both the director and the writer of the screenplay for this movie. I don’t think that I will see any more of her movies anytime soon. In fact, I’ll try to avoid them as much as possible.

After I’ve almost finished this post, I thought that I am getting too negative about the movie. So I went around and tried to find opinions of some other people. Just to compare, you know. And what was my surprise when I came across the revision by Alex Exler, who wrote almost exactly what I did, but in Russian, longer, and better. If you can read Russian, read his revision here.