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All reviews - Movies (28) - TV Shows (2) - Music (1)

Pixote, the Law of the Weakest review

Posted : 11 years ago on 8 July 2007 07:03 (A review of Pixote, the Law of the Weakest)

I liked the movie. At the beginning it started as documentary as some guy was talking about the tough conditions in Brazil. What actually impressed me was that as the guy mentioned all the kid actors including the main character Pixote played by Fernando Ramos Da Silva were coming from the real world – from the poorest neighborhoods, with one mission in life – to survive.

Drugs, rape, prostitution, murder – Pixote has seen them all, and after reading the biography of the actor I am inclined to think that he has seen this things much before the idea of crating of that movie came up. You could actually sense that in his acting.

Not only the horrors of the street life are shown, the cruelty of the police and people who are in theory responsible for people for problems which have found themselves arrested for some stupid crime – do they deserve to die for it ?!? Any why does no one cares – but instead the police and the director of the brostel in which Pixote is taken are trying to cover everything up – to avoid any responsibility, blaming everything upon the people they are supposed to help. In the movie when a boy asked his mother to take him out of the place where he was locked up – she said ” what could happen to you here ” – only she didn’t know and he did not want to tell her – to describe the dimensions of the hell surrounding him – invisible to the outside world but existing. And I have to tell you that this is just as things are in the real life – but no one cares…

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Birth (2004) review

Posted : 11 years ago on 8 July 2007 07:00 (A review of Birth (2004))

Remember the movie “Sixth Sense “– well “Birth” is a bit like it, trough the plot is different of course- and so are the actors. In Six Sense we have two stars Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment, while in “Birth “we have Nicole Kidman and Cameron Bright ( who is actually a pretty good actor judging by his filmography ) . The acting was fine – and the only think that I didn’t like was the scene at the theater, when for like 30 seconds or more I was watching the face of Nicole Kidman – I got what the director was trying to emphasize in that scene , but 10 seconds or so would have been just enough. Birth is a good Mystery film, because it really keeps you interested in the story. It is full of symbolic of life and dead and has a lot of meaningful scenes. I was surprised to see that is has an R rating for sexuality – as there is just one sex scene, fairly short and honestly the movie would have been even better if it wasn’t in it. The soundtrack was good – made of classic music and suspense – typical for this genre – trough I felt that some scenes could use some more music on the background.

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Godsend review

Posted : 11 years ago on 8 July 2007 06:58 (A review of Godsend)

When you have several good actors, a producer who knows what should be done and an extremely interesting timeline – the good movie is guaranteed. After seeing “Godsend “, the movie took its well deserved place in my all time favorite titles list.

While watching the movie I there were few moments when my heard miss a beat – the bathing scene is for sure one of them, but that it is just one amongst many. I happened to watch half of the movie on my notebook while waiting for a bus – and it was just a bit embracing watching my emotions. I did notice that the soundtrack was chosen very carefully. Soft piano music is probably the best for this kind of movies. And then there are those moments in which the music itself could make your hair stand on end.

Robert De Niro is playing really good (as always); trough seeing him with a beard in the role of genius scientist is a bit unusual experience. Here is the place to mention that Cameron Bright truly amazed me with his fine performance in “ Godsend “ – I have watched 3 other movies in which he plays “ The butterfly effect “ , “ Birth “ and “ Ultraviolet “ but his performance in “ Godsend “ is so far his best role – trough I have heard that he does well and in the movie “Thank You for Smoking“ – but I still have to watch that one .

The ending wasn’t that good trough I could say and the opposite since it left me wanting for more.

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Saint Ralph (2004) review

Posted : 11 years ago on 8 July 2007 06:52 (A review of Saint Ralph (2004))

I really liked “Saint Ralph “. It is great movie full with inspiration. Ralph is a fourteen years old teenager who choose to chases his own miracle – winning the Boston’s marathon. He believes that since people say that such achievement will be a miracle – his mother will wake up from the coma. It is a drama movie and as such there are quite a few scenes which can evoke emotions in its viewers.

The movie starts with a fun scene in which Ralph is having something to confess – what – well he is a teen and have teen “ sins “ . I like the attitude of Ralph – the way he handles girls for example, or accusations …etc. He is a cute kid as well – and probably one of the reasons for me liking this movie is that I somehow relate to him.After all I have been in the Cross Country Team while studding in the States and when I was his age I took part in many running competitions. You should have seen me watching this movie, as another reviewer (samurai2347) wrote “I was cheering Ralph on as much as the other characters in the film were.”

The soundtrack was really good – and the music contributed to the overall good impression that the movie leaves. Looking at the storyline – I find similarities with Billy Elliot, trough of course this movie has its own uniqueness.

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Goodbye, Children review

Posted : 11 years ago on 8 July 2007 06:47 (A review of Goodbye, Children)

One movie of Louis Malle , Au Revoir Les Enfants was an OK movie – but probably only because of the excellent acting of Gaspard Manesse in the role of Julien Quentin who is an eleven yearld old boy sent to a catholic school in the countryside away from the bombing of Paris during the WWII. In the school Julian meets Jean Bonnet – who is actually a Jew boy who is hidden in the school under fake name.

The issues of the friendship and betrayal are the main pillars around which the acting evolves. There are quite a few social issues explored as well. Looking at the latest movies I have seen I notice a trend – most of them are French movies , about friendship and have something to do with a boarding school or some similar institution – and I guess can be all characterized as coming out of age ones.

Not the best movie I have seen , but still pretty good one and I am glad that I had the chance to see it.

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Jesus Camp review

Posted : 11 years ago on 8 July 2007 06:46 (A review of Jesus Camp)

Watching this movie made me really, really sick – it is like a horrible fairly tale or even worse that that – because what thee movie showed is actually happening – in the US and in other countries. I am watching how the kids are being manipulated and wonder why there is not anyone there with some brain in his mind – to stop all that madness. How can these people do that – religion – playing with the feelings of the people, with their beliefs? Organizing weird shows – getting the politic involved with the religion and vise versa. Honestly I am glad that this is not happening near me – but it will soon – just few months ago there was an American organization advertising a movie of Jesus for kids – and after seeing this movie I feel really shared that someone is trying to plan those filthy weeds . There are normal churches, and normal people who are Christians or not – have believes and live by them, but do not manipulate other people – especially kids – this is so sick.

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Duma review

Posted : 11 years ago on 8 July 2007 06:43 (A review of Duma)

Duma reminded me of one of my favorite books “Rules of the Bone ‘. It is a movie about friendship between a boy living in South Africa and a cheetah named Duma. At first the story line may seem a bit simple, but then you will notice all the serous issues Duma deals with. The role of the young Xan is played by Alexander Michaeletos – he has really cute English accent which made me seek some more information about him. I found out that he is leaving in a farm in South Africa like the character he plays so well in the movie – real you can almost sense his feelings and fears. Duma is also a fine example of a coming out of age movie – I would like to quote some of the dialogue:

" Change, yeah. That’s what happens. All the time.

The little boy that left home……is not the little boy that is with me now, eh?

See? Change.

Duma is a movie you would enjoy watching with your younger friends and relatives – they will like it and learn many things from it.

The cinematography is brilliants –you will enjoy the beautiful nature scenes or the animal scenes – I almost felt like I was watching a documentary about animals at times – so believable were those scenes.

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Close to Leo review

Posted : 11 years ago on 6 July 2007 10:57 (A review of Close to Leo)

This movie was for a while in my collection, but it wasn’t before a friend of mine reminded me about it – until I decided that I should watch it. I did not know much about Close to Leo – just that it was supposed to be excellent coming of age movie and it deals with a very serious topic – Aids.

Although the person who has aids – is Leo – the scenario wraps around the way in which Marcel (the youngest brother of Leo) coupes with the sickness of his relative. At first everyone is trying to hide the truth from Marcel – he is believed to be too young to understand the sickness of his brother – the fact that Leo is also a homosexual contributes to the unwillingness of the parents to discus the matter with the young Marcel. I know from experience that on many occasions most older people do not want to accept the fact that sometimes even when someone is young this does not automatically means that he will not be able to accept the reality and act in more adequate manner then even themselves .

With exception of the fact that the family tried to conceal the truth from Marcel, they have left quite an impression for me – the way they supported their son – even after discovering the truth about his sexuality and his sickness. The fact that they allowed the young Marcel to travel along with Leo to Paris to meet his ex boyfriend was quite a gesture from them– most families I know will be reluctant to do that.

There is a lot of warmth in the scenes in which the brothers spend some time together – you can see them being real friends , concern about each other.

" Can you spare a ciggie? It’s my first ever. You’ll always remember me. Yeah."

Close to Leo is an excellent drama, which I strongly recommend

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Torzók review

Posted : 11 years ago on 6 July 2007 10:49 (A review of Torzók)

Abandoned also known as Torzok is a powerful movie. It was made in Hungary and is a fine example of the East European cinema. Its director Árpád Sopsits shows the reality of a reformatory school during a communist regime in the country. He uses the yellow color to separate the dream like scenes from the rest - this color technique is later used in the movie Traffic. The movie portrays the harsh reality of the live in Hungary from that time because it is actually based on the writer/director’s own childhood.

The main character is Áron - a boy send to a reformatory school not because he has some something , but because his mother is sick and the father does not want to take care of his son. Once in the school Áron has to face the initial hostility of the lands there towards the newcomers - including beatings and hard words .He manages to survive through all those harsh moments and is soon accepted and befriended by the boys from the school.

The actors in the movies are exceptionally talented despite their young age and the characters they portray come to live - each with its own uniqueness. The overall atmosphere is dark and the movie can be considered as hard to watch by anyone - probably the only one witch harsher atmosphere on a similar topic was in the movie Song for a raggy boy . The few moments of hope which the viewers can observe are directly related to the friendship between Aron and another student Attila as well as the one with his melancholic teacher Gálffi - who seems to be the only teacher from the reformatory school who cares of his students and opposes even the despotic director of the institution.

Some of the scenes are really cruel - in one of them one of the teachers makes few boys to beat a friend of theirs themselves because he prayed to God - which was forbidden during the communist years.This boy however is able to prove a great deal to the other boys through his faith in things un-seen. [1]The cruelty in which the boys in the school are treated is awful and I do not buy the statement of their directors - that this is the only way to prepare them for the reality outside .

The soundtrack is very powerful -classic music mostly - a bit of melancholic as well - it really contributes to the overall atmosphere.

A must see coming of age masterpiece - I highly recommend this movie.

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Il sapore del grano review

Posted : 11 years ago on 6 July 2007 10:46 (A review of Il sapore del grano)

My guess is that this movie is going to evoke different feelings in different people. I felt disappointed- not of the movie – I like it a lot, but of the way the leading character (a first year teachers) choose to follow – I almost screamed “ how dare you “ – even trough I know that some people would say that he did the right thing.

The scenes were filmed very professionally – the river, the barn, the fields – you just have to see it for yourself. There is one thing that I find strange – the open minded people that live in the rural Italy in the 80s – this is almost unbelievable - for its time I am sure that this movie was considered very controversial – I won`t be surprised if it is considered controversial even today . Feeling such as friendship and love are portrayed very good and there is a lot of romance – even trough sometimes it gets between all that clusters of the routine live.

Trough I enjoyed the movie – it made me sad – it did not surprised me much , as I know that there is rarely a thing which one could consider perfect – even if thing is called love – and probably especially if that thing is love. I can only hope that someday people will realize that the important thing is the love itself…

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