The most violent Hitchcock film I have seen (including Birds!). Screenplay is very good and so is cinematography. However, a serious drawback is the ridiculous lack of perplexity of some characters after they know about the tie crimes. It is both a problem of acting and (sorry, Alfred) direction! Though, the movie is nice.
Skyfall (2012)The best 007 film ever
31 March 2020
This is by far the best 007 film I have watched, including the films since Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Skyfall showed that it would not be just one more already in the opening scene and initial credits. Afterwards, with the very best script and a competent direction it did achieve a higher level probably no James Bond movie ever reached. It is much deeper than all of them, previous or tepid Spectre. Bond and M's lives and relationship are dealt in a more mature and complex way 8n Skyfall than we are accostumed to in 007 franchise. Besides that, action scenes, original Adèle's song and locations are breathtaking. The villain portrayed by Bardem is also the best nemesis for James Bond ever. To resume, Skyfall was able to, being a much deeper and seriously developped movie, be true to the character and to the franchise, in many elements present in the story until the end.
Coco (I) (2017)One of the best Pixar/Disney films ever
30 March 2020
Wow! Pixar did it again! Deep, delicate, moving. And what a wonderful animation and great songs! So charming trip through Mexican culture (they only forgot fútbol-soccer and mural painting). It is a beautiful film to cry (a lot), not beacause it emphasizes the drama (it does not) but because it touches what is the most important.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)A film about age that aged well, about the history of cinema made by professionals who have been important in that history, and about bad scripts with an excellent one
24 March 2020
Great film! Amazing direction, script, cinematography, acting. Interesting drama and quasi-thriller, as the ageing issue is there, but also a noir-type situation in which the leading role character gets increasingly trapped. Gloria Swanson is perfect for her role. The manor is beautiful and kind of creepy at once. It is a film about age that aged very well, a motion picture about the history of cinema made by professionals who have been important in that history, and a movie about bad scripts with an excellent one. Just one final commnent: I could not help but, throughout the movie, I saw Tom Hanks's face in many of William Holden's facial expressions!
Casino Royale (2006)It is a Bond movie; one of the best
20 March 2020
I was skeptical about a 007 novie with an actor who does bot have a face of James Bond (nice actor but perhaps too bully and not ebough classy). Anyway, Casino Royale is certainly one of he best movies of the franchise ever (no masterpiece, but much above average; probably my second favorite till now, after Octopussy). The story, possibly with a record of plot twists, has all you expect from a 007 film: the Bond girls are there (Eva Green shines but Caterina Muriino is also stunning), the weird villains (Casino Royale may be the 007 movie with the best villains, and Mads Mikkelsen is by far better than tthose gold-something from XXth century), the gadgets (although less charming than in previous films), the unconventional fights. There is also beautiful footage and special effects are very well used.
The Congress (2013)Wonderful animation went further than Matrix
16 March 2020
In this Israel-German-Poland-Luxembourg-Belgium-France-USA production, real world is a place of abandonment and most people drug themselves do flee, living as avatars in a dream out of reality. The story is very nice and innovative (perhaps accomplishing better what Matrix aimed 14 years before), but the end, which is nice, could have been better prepaired, as it is too sudden. Anyway, the very best of the movie is obviously the gorgeous animation work. Besides beautiful and technically perfect, animation has a charming vintage flavour, reminding Tex Avery. The constrast between live action and animation also worked well, highlighting distopy. The references and homages in the shown avatars were a particular delight for espectators.
Tale of Tales (2015)A film on fairy tales as brutal as original faity tales
14 March 2020
What a wonderful fantasy film! It is quite innovative, as it keeps original brutal and macabre spirit of old fairy tales instead of softening them as most movies do (Disney is the most obvious example, but almost all the others do the same, with less competence). It is interesting that instead of chosing a dark cinematography, as the film is so sinister, the choice was for a colorful one, which emphasizes the magical envirionment. Director Matteo Garrone and the other writers did a good job adapting some tales of Giambattista Basile's 'Pentamerone'. Instead of bringing to the screen the most famous - Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella -, they chose to merge three others in which they could highlight women issues in different atages of life: youth (The Flea), mildlife (The Enchanted Doe) and elder age (The Flayed Old Lady). All actors perform very well, costumes and makeup are perfect, director Garrone was able to explore that dazzling discomfort Terry Gilliam portrays so well in this films. Sone monsters appear, and they are organic and fearful as we would supposedly consider them if they were in front of our sight in real life. The movie is violent, not only for some explicitness, but also because it pulls out, viciously, deep feelings and concerns of human beings and exhibit them for expectators, naked and undisguised. This is not obe more fantasy flick, this is unique and memorable.
Overland Stage Raiders (1938)Cowboy John Wayne and a plane
10 March 2020
A 30's Western where there are cars, there is a train... and there is a plane! Well, a Western with an airplane is quite unusual. Despite that, it is a very conventional and unpretensious Western, whitout any deepness or subtancial innovation. This B-Western from "Three Mesquiteers" franchise is starred by John Wayne as the leading man of the three (the three raiders changed from film to film, but the two other actors were the most frequently recurring in the series; Wayne played Stony Brooke in seven other flicks). Young and still cheerful John Wayne, with his long white good-cowboy hat, and with his equally white horse to highlight him among all the others (as if his height were not enough!), has all opportunities to ride, chase, flirt, fight, shoot, propose partnership in aircraft business, investigate, and protect mining company's gold, followed by his two sidekicks. In the very latest film of her career, silent cinema star Loise Brooks has a unremarkable supporting role.
Octopussy (1983)My favourite Bond movie up to this moment
28 February 2020
This is the 8th James Bond film I have watched and it is the best of them (followed by You only live twice and Dr. No; I did not like Goldfinger). Pre-title sequence is one of the best scenes I have seen in a 007 film. After that, there is a completeley different and independent story, also with memorable, amusing, funny scenes, such as chase scene in India and Magda's scene in Bond's room. Besides the villains, Bond's assistants, Vijay and Bianca, are pretty nice minor characters. Off course there is some silliness and no deepness, and it is not slightly realistic, all these traits typical to the series, but the story is nice and it does entertain! Roger Moore has great gags and is very inspired in this penultimate time he portrays iconic 007 agent. It is a quite charming Bond movie, and less because of its Orientalism (and even less for its anti-communism) than for its dialogs and action.
The Wind Turns (I) (2018)Well developped drama
15 February 2020
Joker (2019)The Joker is born! A masterpiece.
12 October 2019
The most important supervillain has a perfect dramatic biographic movie I did not imagine that DC Heroes would ever allow to be made. Deep, shocking, sometimes quite sad, very well developed, it shows a credible and socially serious backgrounded path of an outcast in an individualistic capitalist ill society towards sociopathy. It is the most realistic film ever made for a superhero universe. Not only the existence of the Joker, but also dangerous Gotham and the murder of the Waynes make much more sense now than in the usual simplistic moralist explanations. Superb movie! Amazing Joachin Phoenix!
1994 (I) (2019– )Netflix decided to waist time instead of making an important documentary
20 July 2019
Important issue, nice footage, could be a nice documentary... but it is a horribly edited and unfocused piece that aims to make spectators waist their time instead of just telling well that important story. It is boring even for politics affictionates like me. They made interviews with important people, such as former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari and guerrilla spokesman Subcomandante Marcos, but they could not capture useful quotes, leading to nothing.
Fightworld (2018– )A punch on my expectations, a waiste of a great opportunity
25 April 2019
Off course the issue of this TV series is quite interesting: traditional fights from different parts of the world. The approach of showing culture and people's lives and not only fighting techniques is also the best choice, in my opinion. Therefore, seeing this TV series in Netflix brought me high expactations. However, it failed miserably. Most of episodes are too superficial, and boring host Frank Grillo makes everything worse with his vanity and narrow mind (he is the worst element of the series). The narrated text is often full of prejudices, with silly self-help moments (particularly in the first episode, the one on Mexican boxing, the worst of them). Cinematography work is excellent, the best thing in all documentaries. Interviews are generally uninspired, even though important people have been interviewed: most of them just said obvious and superficial things, nothing out of conventional wisdom (the episode about Senegalese laam has the best interviews, and it is my favorite; it has the worst IMDB rating because many people became angry about the bad choice of not showing the end of the main fight). My ranking of episodes, from best to worst: Senegal > Thailand > Israel > Myanmar > Mexico.
The best episode of a TV series which brings more expactations than it delivers
25 April 2019
In spite of not showing how the main fight finished (what is indeed an anti-climax), it was a nice documentary, the best episode of quite irregular Fightworld series. As a matter of fact, the least the arrogant host Frank Grillo appears, makes stupid analisys and disturbs the documentary, the better it is. Cinematography, as in all episodes, has high quality. The text is not bad and full of of conventional wisdom (and prejudice) and self-help, as in most of previous episodes. Interviews were more interesting too.
Memória (1990)Films, sweepers, and corruption busters
29 November 2017
A non-linear and somewhat experimental documentary. This short film has been launched after Fernando Collor de Mello has been elected president of Brazil and is a movie clearly of opposition to his government. Collor reminds in many ways demagogic former president Jânio Quadros, who weirdly renounced not much time after he had been elected, opening the crisis that lead to conservative military coup in 1964. Jânio Quadros had a sweeper as a symbol of cleaning the country and fighting corruption - the struggle against corruption in common as a political speech that deceive real programmatic intentions, and Collor would also emphasize it. Sweepers have been made of destroyed films. Collor would destroy Brazilian cinema industry. Quite innovative and political short film.
A Flying Jatt (2016)Slapstick Sikh Superhero
17 October 2017Warning: Spoilers
This is a Punjabi slapstick superhero movie, better than the other Bollywood superhero flick I have watched: Krrish. By the powers of the menaced sacred tree, the martial arts children's teacher is turned to a Sikh superhero with extraordinary reflexes (but still clumsy, anyway), superspeed (among other moments, there is a copy of Quicksilver scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past), invulnerability to shooting, fast healing, flying (though without losing his fear of heights, what always allows gags), superbreath... and the uncontrolled ability to get for some seconds the skills of other people whose picture he touches, such as playing violin as his rival teacher or sexy dancing such as Sunny Leone. Although silly in general, quite campy, there are some funny moments and the hero is charismatic. The film is not bad, but there are obvious problems: cheesy aesthetics, happy people dancing with no deed for story, cliché kitsch soundtrack, overacting, a recurring bad Bollywood formula meets stupid slow motion exaggeratedly used in superhero films. Story is also too much simple, predictable, not innovative. Wrestling toxic supervillain is not very good because actor is a sportsman/pro fighter and not a real actor. The other antagonist, the businessman, is much somewhat interesting: a lovely father but a harsh greedy businessman.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)The worst Spiderman movie
9 October 2017Warning: Spoilers
Just the last two sentences of this review may be considered as spoiler. Let's begin: This is the worst official Spiderman movie ever produced. Indeed, it is much more a mix of a silly high school film and a Iron Man film. This Spiderman has very little of Spiderman. First of all, instead of having extreme reflexes, he is quite clumsy, what is nonsense and made the film a bad slapstick comedy. Besides that, what the hell is that Iron Man-like suit with many powers not traditionally related to the spider? Therefore, the fact that this is not really a Spiderman film is bad enough not to consider it a good movie. Though, there are many other problems: most of the action scenes are confusing (like the scenes Transformers franchise bad recent films use to have), there is an excess of jokes with more than 90% of them being bad and silly, acting is unconvincing for most of the main roles (Michael Keaton is clearly an exception)... The movie gets better in the final part, but it is definitely not enough to save it. SPOILER ALERT: By the way: MJ's name is Michelle? Really?!
Joaquim (2017)Real history, with no heroes
31 May 2017
The movie shows who has been the man Joaquim behind the character Tiradentes who entered Brazilian History. To say more, the film shows what was Brazil in colonial times. Mud, blood, sweat, slaves, natural chats, blacks, natives, mestizos, Portugueses, power relations. Camera does not show the distant sight of historian, but, moving, it throws spectator in that real Brazil which does not make Brazilians proud, in spite of gorgeous cinematography. Even though the story is romanticized, this is a real History, with no heroes. Slavery was the rule, corruption and exploitation were the way things happened. Blacks and Indians were not much more than oxen or horses, although human relations could have various paths and their position could change according them. Direction is amazing, as the film shows impressive control from innovative filmmaking to quite natural speaking in good dialogues.
O Porão das Condenadas (1979)Bad Brazilian Neo-Western
27 April 2017
This is a bad Brazilian Neo-Western, in a story that does not take place in USA or Mexico, but in Brazil (in the small town Avaré, 270 Km from São Paulo) during late 70's. It is a quite typical revenge story in the genre: the father of the main character has been murdered by rich criminal landowners when he was a 4 year-old child in 1947 and he gets trained for three decades to kill them. All actors are horrible and dialogues are unintelligent. The villains are only shown as traditional elitists in the very beginning, but afterwards the become (or this trait is revealed) mobsters, owners of brothels and casinos, and also misogynists and sadists (the scenes of torture and rape are grotesque). Sexploitation appears as it was common in almost all Brazilian movies from those years.
Luz Obscura (2017)A waste of fantastic testimonials
26 April 2017
The testimonials are amazing (both the ones which show how the New State in Portugal destroyed families and the one that describes torture from political police PIDE) but the way director chose to show them is very problematic. The usage of pictures is generally a way of compensating the lack of recorded moving images, but she chose to show very little the three siblings who speak. That made the film too boring for the so interesting testimonials she had in her hands. Besides that, there was no convincing usage of those pictures (perhaps the only exception is the change from a picture of the mother before and after prison), what becomes more serious as the same images were shown for a long time without any change to another one. Basically, a blind could enjoy more the movie than those who also see. Director also shows interesting footage of nature, not always very clear, and with no literal meaning - that was nice and could really work, if it happened for much less time!
Memória em Verde e Rosa (2016)A true history of samba and its metamorphosis
27 March 2017
This documentary is amazing, one of the best movies I have watched as a portrayal of Brazilian culture ("culture" understood in broad sense, not only as art). The film is beautiful and moving, but also technically precise, as has a very consistent historical research and a very careful cinematography. The pace is also quite appropriate, with many interesting and moving stories and testimonies. The movie shows the history of samba and of slum (traditional Mangueira is the samba school and the neighborhood shown, but, besides being interesting itself, the film's conclusions may apply to other samba schools). It is a surprising element of the film, for most of the people, the origin of samba as something of outlaws and bums, despised by society and haunted by law enforcement officers. Situation changes as well known singers keep in touch with samba composers and record their songs. Further changes happened while middle class began to attend samba school parties in the slums and while composers who did not belong to the neighborhood because responsible for most of the songs in carnival parades. As these parades were turned into big business, also samba lost the leading role to the allegorical cars (floats). The movie worth seeing and deviates from conventional exoticism and obvious narratives.
Batman (1943)The first live action Batman!
2 January 2017
Surprisingly good! Much better than I could expect. It is very well filmed and there are very nice action scenes, particularly for a production from the 40's: footage of fighting, climbing, spying, falling down, disguising... Although lightly plump, Lewis Wilson not only did a good job as the dark knight but also had one of the best representations of Bruce Wayne ever in my opinion, as the fake playboy. Batman was already frightening on the eyes of the criminals, as he intimidated them (the bat's cave has been created for this movie serial, though it was not his back office yet, but kind of a psychological torture and interrogation room, accessed through the clock). Batman fights a lot, most of the time against two or three thugs, but he is far from the skillful martial artist he would become in future versions; indeed, he receives lots of punches and loses the fights a lot of times, not dying by luck. There was already a charming black car, though it was not properly a batmobile, but a 1939 Cadillac, generally driven by Alfred. Douglas Croft was a typical Robin, and although his visual was true to the character, we got accustomed to the hair and the mask of Burt Ward decades afterwards, making his upright curly hair and his pointed-nose mask a bit strange. Batman and Robin were already skillful investigators, but there are two very important differences in their way of working against crime: first of all, chief of police has Bruce Wayne as a partner in law enforcement, although he does not know Batman's secret identity and has a dubious position on his vigilantism; besides that, the dynamic duo works much time spying without their masks, as Bruce and Dick, using the superhero personas much more for combat. This version of Bruce Wayne had great acting skills, like Christopher Reeve's Clark Kent, and could disguise himself deceiving even people who know him very intimately. There are other differences from more recent versions concerning other main characters. Instead of commissioner Gordon or chief O'Hara, Gotham police counted on chief Arnold. Linda Page was Batman's love interest, before the creation of Vicki Vale and other crushes. Butler Alfred appeared for the first time not as fat but as slim, what became his usual representation ever since. The main criminal here was a Japanese scientist, in a quite obvious usage of the character in order to support USA foreign policy (what always happened with the most famous superheroes, not only due to that World War); unfortunately the way characters referred to him was often racist and xenophobic against the Japanese people. The repetition of the same formula - criminals phone to the victim pretending to be someone else and setting up a meeting, but Batman and Robin suspect and go there to save the day - bores a little, as it is too much recurrent and the movie serial is too good to insist in a so simplistic solution. The same may be said about the too many times villains believe that they have killed Batman; once or twice it is OK, but in every episode?! As a matter of fact, the movie serial is nice and entertaining, but it would be better if edited shorter as a feature-length film. It worth be watched, anyway, for sure.
Deadpool (2016)A Hollywood superhero movie out of the exhaustingly repeated fomula
29 December 2016
Funny dark humor, very sarcastic about superhero movies in a way Hollywood does not use to be. As there are jokes all the time, not all of them are nice, but many are. The first half hour is excellent. The rest of the film is nice, but does not keep the same level. There are also some too obviously predictable scenes. The main villain, Ajax, is a major drawback, as a much better actor was needed to be casted for this important role. The usage of visual effects is extreme but very well done, with interesting outcomes (as the opening credits and scene show). Violence is also extreme and not taken seriously, in a way Tarantino's films are the main examples.
Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)Far from the awesome comic book's level, but a nice animated film anyway
29 December 2016
The adaptation of astonishing Alan Moore's comic book is far from having the same excellence and strength, but I strongly disagree with most critics who consider it bad. It is still a very nice story, very well animated. In spite of agreeing that Barbara Gordon's story added in the first have of the movie is disconnected to the killing-joke second part (although I consider it a nice strategy to highlight the character's own story before showing her fate in the tragedy), I think it was a fine addition. The humanization of the Joker was also very well done. On the other hand, his craziness, so dire in other animated films, is not that remarkable here (while it reached its higher point exactly in this comic book).
Justice League of America (1997 TV Movie)Underrated innovative superhero spoof comedy sitcom pilot
29 December 2016
This was a pilot of a TV series that has not been approved. It uses to be panned as a ridiculous film with the worst costumes and visual effects ever. That is very unfair. To begin, it has a different format relatively to other comedic superhero movies, as it is a sitcom. And, although not brilliant and often silly, it works, with funny moments and some good ideas. The special effects are not very good, but you can find worse in many low budget motion pictures and in most TV series until the 90's. The idea of showing testimonials in between the story as if it were a documentary is also nice, a quite creative innovation. People use to prefer to see the same conventional formula than innovations; that is a shame. This was a pretty nice attempt, which unfortunately did not have the chance to be produced with a higher budget.