The Company Men

I have recently seen an excellent corporate drama – “The Company Men“.  It’s not your average office romance or Wall Street con action.  It is a film about people.  People, who find themselves in the middle of crashing economy, like we experience now.  And even though people in this film are a bit richer than average, they are still deeply affected.

In the beginning, I was a bit skeptical.  I thought, it’s the poor people who suffer the most and who deserve the most attention.  But soon I discovered that I was wrong.  Not wrong maybe, but inaccurate.  It is true that poor people are affected the most.  But if you think about it for a moment – each and every one of us has a certain level of life, certain things that he values, certain wants and needs, certain little things.  And when outside circumstances make you lose those things that you enjoy and value so much, you do feel depressed, disoriented, confused, and sometimes angry.  And it doesn’t matter what those little things are – an extra pint of beer with friends, furniture in your house, or private jet flights.

One other important topic this film brings up is mutual respect and kindness.  Certain types of connections are well exposed and explained.  Support for local workforce, ethical business practices, corporate goals beyond pure financial benefits, are just some of the topics of this film.

What I particularly enjoyed, was how light the film felt despite all seriousness.  I think a lot of it was due to brilliant cast and good acting.  Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner – all make this movie so much better.

Overall, while this film doesn’t necessarily fit into my definition of masterpiece, I really enjoyed it and catch myself thinking a lot about it.  That, in my book, is worth a 5 out of 5 rating.  Strongly recommended.

Men in Black II

Just a couple of weeks ago I posted a trailer for “Men in Black II” and said that I somehow missed it this movie altogether.  And here I am, holding a copy of “Men in Black II” in my hands.  Not that I was looking for it in particular, but I got it via a concerned reader of this blog.  Thanks Alex.

The film is a sequel to the first part and is very similar in a lot of ways.  It is a light entertainment with a few bits of sci-fi in it.  Both Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are in it.  With quite a few aliens and big guns.

This part however is not as good as the original movie.  It tries to be, but it’s not.  It is entertaining and funny sometimes.  But it’s much weaker in every way – less action, simpler story, etc.  I still enjoyed watching it and it also made want to watch the first film again.

Overall, 3 out of 5.  Watch it if you have nothing else in your queue, but don’t spend any time looking for this movie.  Don’t expect much either, and you’ll probably enjoy it.

Natural Born Killers

I just finished watching “Natural Born Killers“.  I’ve seen it before, but it was a really long time ago, and it was with a horrible Russian translation.  Plus, I don’t think it was a director’s cut version that I got my hands on today.

The film was shot back in 1994. That’s 15 years ago.  And it still looks quite well, despite all the advances in the moving pictures industry.  I guess that’s because the true values are hardly ageing – interesting story with drama, true love and romance as well as humor;  and tonnes of good acting and directing.  Of course, some special effects are outdated, but that doesn’t spoil the experience even a tiny bit.

Overall, a highly recommended movie if you haven’t seen it yet.  And still recommended if you saw it a long time ago.  5 stars.

No Country For Old Man

I went to see “No Country For Old Man“.  I’ve heard some buzz about this film – with it getting major ratings and collecting a few Oscars – but I never read too deep into it or even watched a trailer.

The movie turned out to be pretty good indeed.  An interesting story, nice story telling, good photography, pretty good acting on all parts, and so on.  But what really captured my attention was the quietness.  This is probably the most quiet movie I’ve seen in years.   Even though it has a few gun shots here and there, I was struck by an almost total absence of soundtrack, as well as how quiet actors are speaking. It almost sounded like real life, where people don’t argue, shout, or kill each other every 15 seconds…

This quietness wasn’t only in the sound.  It was also in visuals and acting.   Many modern films, especially those that involve guns, choose to go for stunning special effects with bits and pieces flying around, smoke covering up things, etc.   None of that happened in this film.  There were some special effects, but they were very moderate and appropriate, without destructing attention.  Same goes for acting.  Although there are some high profile actors, such as Tommy Lee Jones and Woody Harrelson, they aren’t shining.  They do their job and do it well, again, without stealing any attention from the film itself.

I rated the film as 8 out of 10.

Man of the House

Man of the House (2005)Man of the House” is one of the new movies that got in my hands.

Directed by: Stephen Herek
Genres: Action, Comedy
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Cedric the Entertainer, Christina Milian, Paula Garcés, Monica Keena, Vanessa Ferlito, Kelli Garner, Anne Archer, Brian Van Holt, Shea Whigham, Terry Parks, R. Lee Ermey, Paget Brewster, Shannon Marie Woodward, Liz Vassey
IMDB raintg: 5.3
My rating: 6.0 ******

Continue reading “Man of the House”

Black Moon Rising

For today I had a totally random choice of movie – no IMDB, no comments, no wishlist. I’ve got myself a DVD with “Black Moon Rising

Directed by: Harley Cokeliss
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Hamilton, Robert Vaughn, Richard Jaeckel, Lee Ving, Bubba Smith, Dan Shor, William Sanderson, Keenan Wynn, Nick Cassavetes, Richard Angarola, Don Keith Opper, William Marquez, David Pressman, Stanley DeSantis
IMDB raintg: 5.1
My rating: 3.0 ***

I guess all my research paid off. I’ve got as much as I spent looking for it. Really slow and boring film with Tommy Lee Jones non-the-less. Not only the movie was slow and boring, but it was dated 1986. I bet it was slow and boring even by 1986 standards.

The costumes and the haircuts were bad. So were the fights. So was all the acting. And the special effects. But the worst ever was the soundtrack.

It was a pain to listen even for me – a guy who doesn’t pay any attention to background sound. During the whole film there were these noises produced by different instruments. They weren’t notes or music. They were noises. Random and painful. I thought that maybe the musicians didn’t know how to play music. But when it got to some romantic erotic scene, they all finally started to assemble something. I’ve heard music, even if bad one, but it was music. It continued for approximately 20 seconds and than… back to noises.

Skip this movie if you haven’t already. We’ve got enough newer crap.