Maxim and I went to the cinema yesterday, in hopes to see “Tangled”.  But unfortunately it was in Greek only.  We checked both Rio and K-Cineplex cinemas.  Since we were out anyway, we decided to go for “Megamind“.  Which, despite the 3D advertising, was in 2D.  (Maxim prefers 3D, while I am a 2D man).

“Megamind” is a cartoon about superheros and about the fight of good an evil.  It is somewhat original in the story though.  While most other stories accept the fight between the good and evil and spend most of the time on the details, “Megamind” takes a different route.  It explores the world after the fight of good and evil.  And not just that, but the world where evil won the fight.  I thought it was an interesting twist, even though it required slightly more talking than usual.  And, as every kid knows, talking is boring.  Bring on the fight!

The story is well balanced though.  Surprisingly, there is still plenty of fighting and other types of action.   Bonus points from me are for having a geek (wearing geeky t-shirts) and for the soundtrack that included AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, and Guns-n-Roses.  I think that’s the first mainstream animation to ever do that.  Kudos!

And while this flick wasn’t a jewel that by now everyone expects from Dreamworks, it is still a pretty good entertainment choice.  Overall rating from me is a 4 out of 5.   Not bad.



A few days ago I watched “Sleepers“.  I guess the title of the movie makes it sound like a horror film and that’s why I missed it for all these years.  Somehow this time I decided to check the cast and was very surprised to find so many celebrities in – Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, and a few others.

The film turned out be excellent.  First of all, the story, which is fascinating.  It is said to be based on a true story, however there are only so many people who can back it up.  But it’s not really important if it is true or not.   It’s realistic enough and has enough unexpected twists and turns.

Secondly, plenty of good acting.  There was enough freedom given to each of the actors, and there was enough to explore and enough screen time to show the results.

Thirdly, the technical part.  While the film didn’t need as much of special effects as any modern action film (which it is not), there were quite a few challenges, which were solved nicely.  The back in time feeling, boys’ memories, and the atmosphere for each scene, varying from childish fun to adult sadness – all were done excellent.

Overall, a highly recommended movie with 5 stars from me.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Watched “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in the movies yesterday.  Excellent film!

First of all, an original story.  Secondly, interesting historical recreaction and mix of times from beginning of the last century to these days.  Thirdly, impressive technically – acting, make-up, camera work, special effects, etc.  Fourthly, the film is both entertaining, as well as philosophical.

And if that all sounds like way too perfect, maybe it is.  However there were a few things that could have done better.  I thought that the film was a bit too long, and that the ending was somewhat unrealistic – which is fine, but just doesn’t fit the rest of the film.

Overall, an excellent experience.  Much recommended.  5 stars.

Burn After Reading

I went to see “Burn After Reading” a couple of weeks ago.  I had a feeling that it should be rather good, because it was directed by Cohen brothers, who directed, produced, and wrote screenplays for quite a few good movies (“No Country for Old Men”, “O Brother, Where Art Though?”, “The Big Lebowski”, “Fargo”, “The Hudsucker Proxy”, and more).  Also, the cast for this film was interesting – George Clooney, John Malkovich, Brad Pitt, and a few other names you know.  And, of course, there was a cool trailer.

The film was excellent, but it wasn’t quite what I expected.  I thought (based on the trailer) it would some sort of comedy action, with a bit of crime.  And it sort of was.  But.  I don’t even know how describe it.  It was funny but very sad film.  Or a very sad film, which was funny.  I guess that just doesn’t make any sense, but that what it was.

Overall, I really enjoyed it.  Especially with all the good acting, interesting story telling, camera work, and even more good acting.  An 8 out of 10 and strongly recommended.

True Romance

Late television features many nice movies recently. I wonder why. And for how long they will keep it up. Today one of my favourite crime movies of all times was PIK2 – “True Romance“.

Directed by: Tony Scott
Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Romance, Thriller
Cast: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Bronson Pinchot, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rapaport, Saul Rubinek, James Gandolfini, Victor Argo, Frank Adonis, Paul Bates
IMDB raintg: 7.7
My rating: 9.0 *********

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Meet Joe Black

Meet Joe Black (1998)I’ve seen “Meet Joe Black” so long ago, that I decided to watch it again. I remember that I liked that film a lot and was wonderign if it was really that good.

Directed by: Martin Brest
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Drama
Cast: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani, Jake Weber, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeffrey Tambor, David S. Howard, Lois Kelly-Miller, Jahnni St. John, Richard Clarke, Marylouise Burke, Diane Kagan, June Squibb, Gene Canfield, Suzanne Hevner
IMDB raintg: 6.6
My rating: 9.0 *********

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Twelve Monkeys

Today I watched or rather rewatched “Twelve Monkeys“. It’s been a long time since I saw it last time and I practically forgot it. I couldn’t even remember who was playing in it except for Bruce Willis.

Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Genres: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Cast: Joseph Melito, Bruce Willis, Jon Seda, Michael Chance, Vernon Campbell, H. Michael Walls, Bob Adrian, Simon Jones, Carol Florence, Bill Raymond, Ernest Abuba, Irma St. Paule, Madeleine Stowe, Joey Perillo, Bruce Kirkpatrick
IMDB raintg: 8.0
My rating: 6.0 ******

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Mr. & Mrs. Smith

One of the films that I was waiting to come out, but never managed to go to the cinema, was “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” Finally I saw it and can now participate in all those discussions…

Directed by: Doug Liman
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Romance, Thriller
Cast: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vince Vaughn, Adam Brody, Kerry Washington, Keith David, Chris Weitz, Rachael Huntley, Michelle Monaghan, Stephanie March, Jennifer Morrison, Theresa Barrera, Perrey Reeves, Jerry T. Adams, Melanie Tolbert
IMDB raintg: 6.7
My rating: 7.5 *******½

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Thelma & Louise

I just watched the DVD with “Thelma & Louise“. This is an excellent criminal drama.

While the movie itself is very relaxing and enjoyable to watch, it does stimulate for some thinking on the subject of equality of men and women and “head of family” issues. I do believe in the equality in the relationship. I don’t mean a blind equality. Men, from one to another, are way too different to make them equal, not to mention equality between men and women. But I think that neither of them are better. They are just different. And so they should relate, like equals but each allowed to their own differences. Repressing and framing other half will not go unnoticed and will eventually go out of control. And when it will you better be somewhere else.

Anyway, I got carried away… The film is nicely done, with a good story, acting, sound, camera work and photography. Don’t go see it just because Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, or Brad Pitt play in it – there are parts are rather small and unimportant. But go see this film because both Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis delivered excellent performance.

If you are still not convinced, I’ll tell you that this film was directed by Ridley Scott, the same guy who produced “Matchstick Men“, “Black Hawk Down“, “Hannibal“, “Gladiator“, and few episodes of “Hire” with BMW. Does that ring any bells?

8 out of 10.

Legends of the Fall

Sometimes I get the impression that I have seen on the movies of this actor or that director. If something turns up that I missed, I get really surprised. It happened today again. “Legends of the Fall” was showing today on TV. And I thought that I have seen all the films with Brad Pitt.

Not only it was an unseen movie with one of my favourite actors, but it was also a very nice film. Brad Pitt wasn’t the only star – Anthony Hopkins was helping him, as well as few other celebrities. The story behind the film was dramatic enough for all of them to be able to show their talent. Many of them did, so there is plenty of excellent acting in there.

There was another surprise for me. I usually don’t like the films that are about the beginning of the 20th century. Somehow they feel distant enough not to have any comforts of the modern civilization, like the Internet, electricity, cars, and stuff; but, at the same time, they are not distant enough to be interesting like historic films about earlier ages. In this movie though, time was flattened by a more-or-less universal story that could have happened at any time. Neat.

Basically, a good story with a fair amount of drama and loads of good acting are enough for me to give 7 out of 10 to this film.