Archive for September, 2010

Rope [1948]


“We killed for the sake of danger and for the sake of killing.”

Quite possibly one of Hitchcock’s best movies, telling the story of two young men who strangle their classmate, hide his body in their appartment, and throw a party for his friends and family in order to test the perfection of their crime. Despite the feeling of watching a stage play rather than a film, “Rope” is actually very entertaining and effective. It’s also one of Hitchcock’s most unusual work; it was shot in 10 takes, and was actually banned in a number of American cities because of the implied homosexuality of the two leads. But still, it’s undeniably great, which proves once again that Hitch might well be the best director of all time.

 

Rating: 3.5/4

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The Damned United [2009]


Interesting piece of english football history tells the story of Brian Clough, the manager who led Derby County to glory in the 70’s, and how he failed to do the same with Leeds United a few years later. The story focuses on his 44 days of reign as Leeds manager, but cleverly takes us back in time aswell to his years at Derby. This well made movie is a great showcase for the talented Michael Sheen, who’s incredibly believable as the small time manager who believes in “fairytales”. It’s also a must see film for every football fan out there. And if you stick around till the end, you get to see some real footage of real life Clough and his assistant coach Peter Taylor (they both became champions with Nottingham Forest years after the Leeds disaster).

Fun fact: The scenes in the film set at the Derby County training ground were actually filmed in Leeds at a football pitch ironically overlooking the Leeds United stadium.

 

Rating: 3/4

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Orphan [2009]


“I think people should always try to take the bad things that happen to them in their lives, and turn them into something good. Don’t you?”

Another horror movie in a time when scary movies aren’t that “scary” anymore. “Orphan” is the story of a family that decides to adopt a 9 year old girl who eventually turn out to be a twisted…wait for it…murderer. Oddly watchable, this isn’t as bad as some earlier horror flicks we’ve seen these past few years, but it isn’t that great either. Average crap I would say. Horror fans might find something here, while squeamish people will definitely skip it (and it’s probably for the best).

Fun fact: “Esther was originally written as having fair skin, delicate features, and platinum blonde hair. Isabelle Fuhrman doesn’t fit this description. However, the filmmakers were so impressed with her auditions that they cast her anyway.”

Rating: 2/4

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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps [2010]


I always have my doubts when it comes to sequels, mainly because 90% of the time, they’re never as good as the original work. “Money Never Sleeps” is no exception: it’s a well directed movie, beautifully shot in Manhattan, but as far the story goes, it’s nothing great. Gordon Gekko is now out of jail, and he’s a mess; his daughter won’t speak to him, his son died of a drug overdose, and he’s out of Wall Street for good. Lets put it this way: he’s not really the “villain” anymore. Some bigger sharks have taken over Wall Street now, and all what Gekko wants is to repair his relationship with his daughter, and help her fiancee (played by Shia LaBeouf) get revenge on the man he blames for his mentor’s death. Michael Douglas reprises his role in style, and he is truly surrounded by a first rate cast, especially 95 years old Eli Wallach who’s still as amazing as always.

The movie goes on a bit too long, and even if it reaches a satisfying conclusion, I still think the story could have been more interesting. But it’s still entirely watchable, with great performances all around. Charlie Sheen makes a small appearance as Bud Fox (from “Wall Street 1”).

Rating: 2.5/4

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Valkyrie [2008]


Interesting slice of German history about an army officer named Colonel Claus Van Stauffenberg (well played by Tom Cruise) who is convinced that Germany must rid itself of Adolphe Hitler after things got out of control during the events of world war 2. He is recruited by German officers and politicians to mastermind an assasination plan. If you know your history well, then you probably have an idea of what happens next. We all know how Hitler really died, and that the plot will eventually fail; that’s not really the point though. “Valkyrie” works more as a suspense movie;  it’s entertaining, with plenty of “edge of you seat” moments, even when you know there’s nowhere else it can go. What’s even more interesting is the striking resemblance between Cruise and real life Van Stauffenberg…Judge for yourself.

Rating: 3/4

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Che [2008]


Never expect too much from a movie, otherwise you might end up disappointed, or in my case, frustrated. From the moment I heard that Benicio Del Toro was playing the role of Ernesto Che Guevara, I knew it was going to be big. Boy was I wrong. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved Del Toro’s performance. But what really bothered me was the weak storytelling. Some scenes didn’t make sense at all, while others were simply boring. I really wanted to like this movie, and I was even surprised that it didn’t get much attention from the oscar jury. But after watching it, I totally agree with the jury: “Che” isn’t oscar material, not even close actually…

 

Rating: 2/4

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Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen [2009]


One of the biggest flops of 2009: a big budget movie with nothing to offer at all (even Megan Fox looks rather bored). This lousy sequel to the 2007 movie made me want to puke. Confession: I enjoyed the first one a lot so  basically I had high expectations for “Revenge Of The Fallen”. But get this: the plot is so dumb and confusing that you’ll end up wondering what the hell is going on. The fight scenes? mindblowing (not in a good way though); I seriously had a problem following all the action with only 2 eyes (people with 4 eyes: this one’s for you apparently). Hell I could talk all day about how bad this sequel was, but I won’t, simply because I decided to forget about this mess and move on with my life. But I’ll say this anyway: Transformers 2 is long, loud and boring. A huge disappointment…

 

Rating: 1.5/4

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