Just return from the cinema where watched “Rango“, a cartoon that I’ve been waiting for a bit after seeing the trailer.  I have to say that trailers for this animation are slightly better than the final result, but not by too much.  It is a rather brave take on westerns with way more blackness and drama than most other kid’s animations allow.

It was a bit slow at places, and for Maxim’s taste there was a bit too much talk, but the story was good, the characters were interesting, and the whole feel to it was … unfamiliar.  If it was a movie, it would probably be one of many.  But being an animation, it stand on its own.

Music deserves a special attention.  There was as much of it as you could squeeze into a film without making it into a musicale.  It helped with atmosphere, entertainment, and more.  It changed from Mexican el mariachi to classical orchestra and back.  It faded from background to foreground and back.  And it was by my movie measures exceptional.

Overall, I’d rate the animation as 4 out of 5.  Recommended for adults and for older kids mostly, but anyone would probably enjoy it.

P.S.: If you are watching it in K-Cineplex Limassol, make sure to pick up your portion of nachos with cheese sauce at the cafeteria, which are a special served for this movie only.  Helps with the whole Mexican atmosphere, and they are indeed yummy.

Public Enemies

Public Enemies

A couple of days ago I went to the cinema to watch “Public Enemies“, also known as “Johnny D”.  I’ve been waiting for this film for a few month now, since the first time I saw its trailer.

Sadly, it turned out to be a disappointment.  There were a few good moments, yes, but overall it was rather empty.  The story wasn’t interesting or engaging.  The characters were many and shallow.  There was practically no drama.  And there was very little of action.  Relations between different characters were also very vague, partially because there is very little dialogue and nothing happens.  So you can’t really make it out who thinks what of who and how they all are getting along.

It was also a disappointment technically.  First of all, I am getting pretty irritated by the shaking camera these days.  It wasn’t fun back in Blair witch times, and it isn’t fun today.  Soft focus and purposeful mistakes which are aimed at creating an old film effect were destructing and annoying.  Also, the choice of sound effects and music was strange at best.  During the rare gun fights, the sound was quite crisp and surrounding.  But during some other scenes it was either too distant or too quiet.   Frequent moments of no music and no dialogue without dramatic pauses felt very much like an amateur cinema.  And on top of that, the film runs for 2 hours 20 minutes.  Way too much.

My overall rating – 3 stars.  There was a lot of potential though.

Donnie Brasco

Donnie Brasco (1997)Finding movies from my wishlist is getting harder and harder and I get to watch lots of crap. Sometimes though I get lucky. Like today, when I finally watched “Donnie Brasco“.

Directed by: Mike Newell
Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Cast: Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo, Anne Heche, Zeljko Ivanek, Gerry Becker, Robert Miano, Brian Tarantina, Rocco Sisto, Zach Grenier, Walt MacPherson, Ronnie Farer, Terry Serpico
IMDB raintg: 7.6
My rating: 7.0 *******

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Ed Wood

Ed Wood (1994)Ed Wood” has been the first movie on my wishlist for more than two years now. None of the local DVD rentals had it. I couldn’t find it in the shops. And I haven’t seen any trace of it online. That all was very surprising considering a high rating of this film at IMDB. Finally I managed to get my hands on the copy of the film.

Directed by: Tim Burton
Genres: Biography, Comedy, Drama
Cast: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, G.D. Spradlin, Vincent D’Onofrio, Bill Murray, Mike Starr, Max Casella, Brent Hinkley, Lisa Marie, George ‘The Animal’ Steele, Juliet Landau, Clive Rosengren
IMDB raintg: 8.0
My rating: 6.0 ******

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Nick of Time

Nick of Time (1995)I’m lately very interested in the acting of Johny Depp. He’s young, but he has a whole bunch of excellent movies. I am trying to find more, so I’m renting everything I can find. “Nick of Time” was long on my list and finally I managed to see it.

Directed by: John Badham
Genres: Thriller, Drama, Crime
Cast: Johnny Depp, Courtney Chase, Charles S. Dutton, Christopher Walken, Roma Maffia, Marsha Mason, Peter Strauss, Gloria Reuben, Bill Smitrovich, G.D. Spradlin, Yul Vazquez, Edith Diaz, Armando Ortega, C.J. Bau, Cynthena Sanders
IMDB raintg: 6.2
My rating: 5.5 *****½

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The Man Who Cried

Watched “The Man Who Cried” on DVD. It is amazing how little this movie missed to be on my favourite list. It has to stay with the average ones now. Pity.

Good things about this movie are: story, pace, casting, acting, photography, and music. I liked how one small girl from the first part of the movie was used to bring in three more main characters. That was an interesting move. I liked the acting of all four main actors – Christina Ricci, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, and Johnny Depp. All of them did really good jobs, but they weren’t pushed to the limit or anywhere closed. I’ve seen all four of them doing much better.

What I think this movie needs is more dramatism and depth. It almost touched me. But when it almost happend the closing credits started rolling. First half of the movie with the little girl had a lot more sadness and sympathy to it.

I’ll rate it as 6 out of 10. Good, but could have been so much better!