Sharpe’s Rifles

Sharpe's Rifles

I spent the weekend watching Sharpe’s movies.  I’ve heard a lot of good words about them, but couldn’t get my hands on the copy.  Finally, I managed to get 14 films.   I’m missing the last two episodes which were done recently, but I’ll get them too eventually.

The series are a collection of full length films – 1 hour 40 minutes each.  It’s a history action set back in 1810’s during the Napoleon invasion of the world.  A soldier by the name of Richard Sharpe (played by Sean Bean) is making a military career, being raised from the ranks (as opposed to being born a gentlemen).  Each episode has some sort of a mission, or a situation to deal with, some romance, and lots of fighting.  The films are also full of moral values, setting good examples.  Except that one situation involving a French woman, which is of course arguable.

Each film is on its own and the series can be watched in random order, but if you do it sequentially, there is a little bit more to enjoy of it.  Also, one thing that I wanted to note is the quality of the films – all of them are done like they are a one really long movie.  No episode is better or worse than any other episode.

Overall, really good stuff – 5 stars.

Quantum of Solace

Some days ago I went to see “Quantum of Solace” in the cinema.  This is the continuation of the James Bond agent 007 series.

It ended up being a pretty good action film, with car chases, boat and airlane fights, shootings, and explosions, etc.  But, on the other hand, it has the least to do with James Bond series from all the episodes that I ever saw.  Bond movies always had plenty of style, spy gadgets, sexy ladies, and English accent.  In the one, most are either totally absent or overminimized.

However I still enjoyed the action and all the special effects – well suited for the big screen.  I’ll give it an overall 6 out of 10.

Road to Perdition

I’ve seen “Road to Perdition” when it came to the movies.  A couple of years later I bought the DVD and saw it few more times.  But somehow it happened that I never described on this blog how beautiful this movie is.

It’s a piece of art.  Nothing more, nothing else.  It feels like nothing happened by itself in this movie.  Everything has its reason, and everything has been placed appropriately by the makers of this film.  The story, the acting, the directing, the sound and visuals – all of these work in harmony with each other.  And like any other talented piece of art, “Road to Perdition” can be watched over and over and over and again.

I  particularly enjoy the atmosphere of the 1930s.  Clothes, hats, cars, buildings – these all worked very well for the film.  It was also interesting to see how modern faces could be transformed into personalities of the past – Tom Hanks, Daniel Craig, and even Paul Newman, although he is a bit of a veteran.

Overall, a solid 9 out of 10.

Casino Royale

If you walk into a DVD rental, pick up four movies without much consideration for your choice, and the worst one is the James Bond movie, you know you are out of touch with cinema.  Have things changed so much?

Seriously.  I am not a big fan of Bond movies.  I like a good action and a good spy movie, but I don’t like extensive advertising and propaganda in my entertainment.  Also, I think if the actor isn’t very good at holding dramatic pauses, then he shouldn’t be forced to do so.  There are enough evil guys to kill for any James Bond.  There are enough ways to kill them with.  And there are enough camera angles to show it from.  That’s all there is to it.  Run, shoot, drive, shoot, kick, shoot, cut.  Done.  Add a little bit of style, a few gorgeous women, and some gadgets – and you got yourself a nice James Bond movie.

Casino Royale” failed at that. Daniel Craig is a good guy, but he isn’t a James Bond kind of good.  Even Matt Damon taken directly out of his Bourne trilogy would have made a better James Bond. Craig is a better substitute for John Rambo. Here, insert a lot of gadgets.  Didn’t happen in this film.  Guns with silences, a couple of bugs, and a CD-player like electric shock.  At least the ladies should have saved the situation…. But not for me.  All the women which were featured in the film, aren’t my types.

The best scene of the film is in the beginning.  Chasing the parkour guy down to the embassy and then a huge gun fight.  After that it was all downhill.  Almost like they were out of budget.  But I doubt that they were, because then they wouldn’t have made a film 144 minutes long.  Two and a half hours is just too much for what was going on in this movie.

6 out of 10.