Tuesday, 25 December 2012


In 1979, the American embassy in Iran was invaded by Iranian revolutionaries and several Americans are taken hostage. However, six manage to escape to the official residence of the Canadian Ambassador and the CIA is eventually ordered to get them out of the country. With few options, exfiltration expert Tony Mendez devises a daring plan: to create a phony Canadian film project looking to shoot in Iran and smuggle the Americans out as its production crew. With the help of some trusted Hollywood contacts, Mendez creates the ruse and proceeds to Iran as its associate producer. However, time is running out with the Iranian security forces closing in on the truth while both his charges and the White House have grave doubts about the operation themselves. (© IMDb)

The story is a dramatization of the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation, and this one is the best example of a situation when the real life story is much richer and much more fascinating than what film plots can offer you. And having the story ready to use, the suspense is the king. It is extremely easy to fall into the trap of retelling the story rather than giving an interesting spin to it, leading to a boring and difficult-to-watch-without-falling asleep kind of film.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Cloud Atlas

6 stories spanning into the distant past and even more distant future. The people who shape their present, not realizing that they actually shape the future for many years and generations to come. An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution. And simply a new movie from Wachowski, who gave birth to the Matrix, which became philosophical thought for many film-goers for years to come just as Star Wars did.

Friday, 14 December 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

One day, a curious Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, meets wandering wizard, Gandalf, who persuades him to share an adventure. Bilbo embarks on a journey to the Lonely Mountain with a vigorous group of Dwarves to reclaim a city stolen from them by the dragon Smaug.

Anyone who has read Tolkien’s beautifully crafted books might recall that “The Hobbit” is incredibly thin, especially compared to the classic trilogy of the Lord of the Rings. Thus I found it hard to believe hat Peter Jackson, the acclaimed director behind 3 Lord of the Rings movies, which won lots of different awards and made New Zealand famous, managed to collect enough material to make 3 movies out of “The Hobbit” book. Honestly, this looks more like a filthy attempt to steal the money from Tolkien fans around the world than a diligent way to condense the book which sets the scene for the LotR trilogy which still is the golden standard in fantasy writing

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Georges and Anne are two retired music teachers in their eighties. Their daughter, Eva, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack. The couple's bond of love is severely tested.

This is probably the most concise plot outline of the year.  Behold; there are no master plots to deceive or give a spin to some weird relationship; there are no unnecessary complexities of the modern drama; there is a pure emotion flying, that is, love. The plot outline, however concise, actually tells it all – and says nothing at the same time. Yes, it is the story of struggle. It is the story of a man who watches his love fading away. It is the story of a woman who suffers even more as she helplessly waits for her consciousness to leave her. It is the story of a woman who witnesses tragedy of love and can do absolutely nothing to help, forced to the sidelines to observe her parents in the battle against death which they are waging alone.

Friday, 2 November 2012


Cecily, Reggie and Wilfred are in a home for retired opera singers. Every year, on October 10, there is a concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday and they take part. Jean, who used to be married to Reggie, arrives at the home and disrupts their equilibrium. She still acts like a diva, but she refuses to sing. Still, the show must go on... even though it is unclear whether it will.

Monday, 29 October 2012


It has been a while. 4 years since feeble Quantum of Solace, 6 years since solid Casino Royal, and finally, Bond is back on the screens, just in time to celebrate 50 years of Bond franchise. And it delivers, despite it not being, strictly speaking, a Bond movie. It is actually totally different from what has been done with Bond before.

Now, meet the biggest innovation in Skyfall: Bond movie finally has an atmosphere. Even though the film still is not even remotely as atmospheric as, say, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it is a giant leap for a franchise that has been infamous for the lack of real, believable characters and presence of cardboard environment. At last, you can see human beings in Bond movie, vulnerable, intimidated, desperate to survive, and this makes wonders: it actually forces you to follow the plot, rather than watching from fight to fight. It is possible to empathise to not-so-perfect Bond on his losing streak, as opposed to some flawless guy in tuxedo.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


Time travel has been invented, but it is so expensive that only criminals can use it. So the new trade has appeared: in 2072, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun awaits. Someone like Joe, who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by transporting back Joe's future self.

There are two easy ways to tell whether the movie is good or not. Firstly, you should ask how many times during the showing you have been distracted from the storyline and the action. Good movie, quite obviously, will easily manage to grasp your attention from the start to the very end. Secondly, after watching a good movie one always realises how crappy the other movies recently watched were. That happened, for example, after watching the Artist: how awesome that movie was compared to all the other staff that went off the press previous winter?

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

End of Watch

The film follows the life of two young officers, showing us their work, fears, aspirations, love, rest, happiness and grief. They are marked for death after confiscating a small cache of money and firearms from the members of a notorious cartel, during a routine traffic stop.

The trailer to the film was very promising: one could not tell from those couple of minutes as to what was going to happen in the film, or what the film is about. It all looked just tense, bloody and sweaty ode to policemen – something to look forward to. The problem is that even after watching the movie I cannot tell what the film is about, or why on earth it appeared in the way it did.

The whole movie is done in the mockumentary style: at the very start the main character flashes the camera that he has, and then most of the film the action is shown “as seen” by him – all the talk, all the jokes. It was supposed to give the audience the intimacy and the from-the-first-hand feeling of actually sitting in the police car with the cops or joining them in their operations. Those casual cameras are everywhere: one in the hand of Brian Taylor, two on their uniform, couple in the car – the life of those fictitious cops has been carefully documented.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution

The story of the resistance of the only survivors of the catastrophic virus release continues. Alice fights alongside a resistance movement in the continuing battle against the Umbrella Corporation and the undead.

The fifth installment of the Resident Evil franchise is on the screens, and here is the peculiar thing: the plot outlined above could have been copy-pasted from the previous 4 parts. Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction and Resident Evil: Afterlife – just to remind you the names, because the stories were absolutely the same. Screenwriters just took the action to different places, gave Alice new weapons, introduced new super-bosses and here we go.

With the business idea like that, the rational thing to do would be to predict the soon end of the franchise. People could not watch the same staff all over and over again, one would say, there are limits to patience. But here is the second peculiar thing: despite the super-predictable movie, it is still good fun to watch.

Friday, 14 September 2012


I spent around a week trying to find internal strength and summon all my abilities to write a couple of words about this movie. I was pondering about deceitful marketing, lying trailers and tough destiny of ordinary picturegoers, who have to put up with the fact that you know nothing about the movie until you actually see it, and thus they take immense risks of watching something they won’t like. To cut the long story short, I was trying to come up with the way to explain why Branded is the worst movie I have seen in my life.

Should I talk about actors? Ed Stoppard is simply not good enough for this role, he looks lost; Jeffrey Tambor does not convince as the US spy; Leelee Sobieski only impresses in the undress scene. Style? The movie tries to copy Generation P (2011), lively and hilarious story about Russian advertising market in 90s straight after USSR broke up, but Branded is not even close in its emulation. Directors? Although there were two directors, I didn’t notice major contribution of either of them. If anything, they only ruined the film by amateurish execution.

Monday, 10 September 2012

The Bourne Legacy

Following on the previous three films in the Bourne Universe, the main character, Aaron Cross, finds himself targeted by the CIA people who are trying to contain the damage caused to the system by the actions of Jason Bourne.

Let’s start from the basics: why do producers do sequels? The most popular – and the most sensible – explanation is that they are trying to bank on the same, popular, liked characters, trying to get money from people who miss the universe and will be happy to pay to see the continuation of the story. This is why we see never-ending Twilight saga – producers (correctly) believe that 14 year old girls will be happy to see the next portion of adventures of Edward (ok, this is a massive stereotype).

So the idea of The Bourne Legacy as the movie was flawed from the very beginning. Bourne movie without Bourne? Seriously? 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

21 Jump Street

Meet two very unusual in real life, but so common in the movies, friends: Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum). One is stereotypical nerd with no personal life whatsoever, and the other is…well, Channing Tatum. They become a pair of misfortunate cops, and their last chance to prove themselves is to participate in the undercover operation: they go back to high school to try to bust the drug-dealing ring.

To say that the preview sounds slightly unpromising is to underestimate the cause. We have seen it so many times in so many bad comedies: two good friends going back to school for some reason, with mandatory tear-squeezing moments of absolute reconciliation of everyone and everything. So yet another comedy about again same things did not give me any excitement of anticipation.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

A young scout Sam, bored with the performance at the church, escapes to the backstage, where he finds Suzy, a girl with whom a very romantic relationship is going to develop. Pair of lovers decides to escape from the town, triggering a chain of events that will put the whole island into disarray.

There are some movies which bring you some kind of warmth and unexplained happiness. Moonrise Kingdom is one of those. During the whole showing I was sitting with a silly smile on my face, feeling like I was drinking a huge cup of hot chocolate, sitting in a huge armchair near a fireplace. The movie is so comfortable and easy to watch, it reminds of Amelie or Hugo. All the ingredients are in place and appear at the correct time, playing to the overall impression of warm, velvety, irresistibly charming and cuddly atmosphere.

Sunday, 10 June 2012


The Christmas 2012 is definitely something to look forward to.
Here are the two trailers:

1) Great Gatsby

Promising cast, strong underlying story, beautiful visuals - what else is needed?

2) Django Unchained

Just one name: Quentin Tarantino

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

The fairy tale that we all know from our childhood. Beautiful princess, evil stepmother, dwarves – sounds familiar, doesn’t it? But here is the twist: take this story, add a lot of gothic style to it, pepper it with stunning visuals, make it slightly creepy, invite the most popular actors and actresses to produce dark story, which won’t even remotely remind of the original tale. This is Snow White and the Huntsman for you.

In a search for some interesting plots, the movie industry has gone crazy. Any story that can be turned into a movie is snatched at a snap of fingers and transformed. Sometimes this is good, and we see really exciting impressions of old stories, Watchmen being my best example. But I personally believe there are stories that should not be touched – and fairy tales from the childhood is just one of those stories. So I definitely did not like the fact that there are two (!) movies based on Snow White – this one and Mirror Mirror. And I am glad to admit that I was wrong.

Friday, 8 June 2012

The Dictator

Sacha Baron Cohen is in this again. After brilliant comedy Borat and absolutely terrible Bruno, he brings another comedy, where he plays Aladeen – the head of small Arab country, who opposes any kind of democracy and will never let anything looking like freedom to sneak into his kingdom.

Cohen got an absolutely unique niche in the entertainment industry. His characters become something more than just fiction. Borat was outstanding in some sense; the jokes from the movie were quickly learnt and quoted by almost everyone who bothered to watch the movie (despite the notorious quality of the jokes, which exploited practically only a couple of topics). Bruno, on the other hand, failed badly. Partly because of the high expectations, partly because of the poor plot, but the movie failed to amuse in the same shocking and provocative way. This is why I was a bit worried about the Dictator – the movie could have gone in both directions.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Marvel Avengers Assemble

The crossovers are the biggest fun that is there in the world of comics. Superman is fighting along with Batman… Wolverine takes on Spider-man… What can be cooler than that? Little surprise then that Marvel Avengers is one of the most awaited movies this year. It brings along almost all the heroes: Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man – only to fight for the good cause and bring some destruction along. No doubt this movie will be compared to the Dark Knight Rises and the Amazing Spider-man, which are soon to hit the screens. The year 2012 is pretty rich on super-heroes saving the world!

To start with, this is a good action movie. It does its best to keep us on the edge of the chairs with mouth wide open. There are fights, flights, a little bit of suspension, explosions, more fights. There are super-heroes, super-heroes and even more super-heroes. Sounds like the recipe for success? Well, it is all not so clear cut.


It has been a while since I last posted anything here... Things have been pretty hectic.
Here is the trailer that caught my attention this week. It brings some hope that Cronenberg gets back to proper business, stylishly depicting the sins of the world. Even Pattison will find it hard to ruin the movie - definitely something to wait for.

It will feature on the Cannes festival this year.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Hobo with a Shotgun

Initially, it was one of the fake trailers shown before the Grindhouse, the movie by nostalgic Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. Inspired by the style of 70s, it was an ode to good old times of small cinemas, small screens and bad quality tapes. The trailers that were shown before were the masterpiece themselves. The fake trailers gave rise to two real movies: Machete and Hobo with a Shotgun, fully absorbing the ideology of Grindhouse, yet still being completely different.

To start with, Hobo with a Shotgun is still an ode to good old times. The movie looks like 70s, sounds like 70s, feels like 70s. Only true fans of the style were able to recreate it so close to reality, yet keeping it alive, rather than just a mummy. Movie is captivating, interesting and (sometimes) funny. But don’t get me wrong – there is nothing in the movie itself that is good. It is the atmosphere that it brings along, the characters it lovingly recreates. Take the main antagonists: they are cruel and scary, yet charismatic and charming – in their own way, of course.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Best Promo Ever

If only every ad campaign would be like that!

Catch Me If You Can

When we were children, we used to imagine who we want to become: astronauts, firefighters, top-models, whoever. We would change our dream jobs almost every single day - simply because it was more fun to do so. Apparently some people live their lives as if they are still playing in the courtyard; they easily change their occupations, looks, even characters. Catch Me If You Can is about such a man.

This is a true story about Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars’ worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor. He admires his father and from him he learns how to manipulate people and systems. Of course, he attracted attention of the police forces, and in particular of Carl Hanratty, man in charge of falsifications in the US. The pursuit that ensues is the main focus of the movie.

Friday, 30 March 2012

The Ides of March

The politics is a dirty business. This assertion goes without proof, it is an axiom. And this assertion also means that politics is a perfect topic to explore in a movie: it is only natural to recall Shakespeare and the tensions and emotions of his plays. The topic, I believe, remains underexplored despite the lack of good and fresh ideas obvious in the cinematography now.

The Ides of March is based on the play “Farragut North” by Beau Willimon, and the influence of theatre can be sensed throughout the movie. Relatively short at approximately 100 minutes, it sets fantastic example to numerous recent movies in terms of how to keep attention of the audience. Just like in a theatre, the movie throws you right in the middle of the action, gives you a couple of minutes to familiarize yourself and then quickly throw a few problems in, and before you even decide for yourself what would be the best course of action, the movie proceeds to catharsis, leaving you pondering about the nature of human beings.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

John Carter

Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War vet discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior.

The success of Avatar keeps the heads of the world movie corporations awake at night. Cameron managed to create another world, populate it with unusual yet charismatic creatures, create a conflict with humans, drop the main character in and let us watch the development of the story. What sounds simple in theory found a great response in peoples’ hearts, allowing Avatar to take in a lot of profit and leaving fans waiting for the sequel. John Carter is so obviously trying to be the second Avatar, it is impossible to escape from comparisons. And comparisons are, unfortunately for John Carter, not in its favor.

Friday, 23 March 2012

The Hunger Games

After the rebellion in Empire somewhere in a future, the punishment is set for 12 rebelled districts. The Capitol selects a boy and a girl from each district who fight to death on live television. Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match.

The movie is based on the first novel in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, published in 2008. It was probably the most advertised film of the spring, and, given the bestseller nature of the books, the film to wait for. And the fans will not be put down.

Art always follows the mood of the crowd, reflects it and tries to satisfy the desires of the majority. This is why the occurrence of the anti-utopian and post-apocalyptic movie was actually predictable given the world-wide movements like “Occupy Wall-Street”. The society filed a demand for another “V for Vendetta”, and the movie industry (as well as book-publishing) rushed to satisfy it.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Super 8

It is the summer of 1979 and a group of friends are filming an amateur movie for the contest. During one of the scenes they witness a train crash which put the start to the chain of events that are going to change the lives of all people in their small town.

I was not intending to watch this movie based on what I saw in the trailer. I am not a great fan of horrors or anything like that, and given the fact that 2011 was rich in good movies, my conscience did not object much. Anyway, as the flow of movies came to a stall, I got back to the Super 8.

Well, J.J. Abrams, writer and director of the movie, fooled me. It is beyond the understanding come the trailer to the movie is so detached and different from the movie itself, as if the trailer was a completely independent unit of cinematography. In a way this is good as it does not give away all the catches of the movie, but the fact remains that based on the trailer you would expect something completely different.

Thursday, 8 March 2012


Eddie Morra is an unsuccessful writer who suffers from never-ending misfortunes. One day, he meets a drug dealer who sells him a top-secret drug which bestows him with super human abilities. And he is soon to find out that “with the power comes great responsibility”…

This movie made a buzz in 2011 when it launched provocative and smart advertising campaign, which featured a guy hacking into the screens on the Time Square in New York. That was brilliant move, fresh and interesting, and it is probably the only thing which is good about this movie.

It should have been called Brainless. Yes, to hope that this movie would be smart and brainpower-demanding would have been completely unreasonable. After all, from the first frames of the trailer you could guess that this is yet another pop-corn action about difficult life of people with superpowers. However, even these low expectations did not save me from brutal truth: you have to turn your brains off to watch this movie.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

A Dangerous Method

Sabina Spielrein, Russian with extreme psychological disorder, arrives at the clinic where young Carl Yung is working. This is the start of a difficult and intense relationship between Sabina, Yung and Sigmund Freud, which will enrich all of them and will give birth to psychoanalysis.

I am a great fan of Keira Knightly, and I have been waiting for this movie since its release in September 2011 on the Venice Film Festival. Eventually, it arrived in Britain almost half a year later, and it was almost impossible to find it in the cinemas.

The movie is an adaptation of the book "A Most Dangerous Method" by John Kerr, and it is a very poor adaptation. There are some movies adapted from the books that run smoothly, without considerable losses of cohesion or plot details. Just recall the last Harry Potter movie: despite pretty poor source, the movie itself is easy to watch and still interesting even for those who read the book several times.

Monday, 27 February 2012

The Oscars 2012

Couple of words about the Oscars 2012. Overall, I think this was the fairest distribution of the prizes on my memory. The Artist and Hugo were my favourites, and I am glad they were both given considerable amount of Oscars. The Artist got the important ones, whereas Hugo got the technical ones, but this is perfectly justified. And this dog, Uggie, is now a legend!

I am also glad that the Descendants won almost nothing - it was well below the level of the other movies nominated. And yes, Muppets got the Oscar as well! Nevermind it is for the best original song only, it is still such an achievement for generally not-for-oscars movie.

Rango was also my clear favorite to win the best animation, especially considering the other nominees.

So, overall, that was a very good, and, in my opinion, just ceremony. I can only hope that the tradition of giving the Oscars to the movies that can be understood by wider audience is going to be continued in the future.

P.S. Sacha Baron Cohen was as provocative as usual.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Sacha Baron Cohen's Dictator

After being banned from attending the Oscars ceremony as the Dictator character, Sacha Baron Cohen filmed this awesome reply - worth watching, he makes sure we don't question his sense of humour.

P.S. "Planet of the Rapes" - how does he manage to come up with these jokes?!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Descendants

Matt King (George Clooney) is the chairman of the family trust which owns massive piece of land on Hawaii. After his wife suffers from the boat accident, he tries to overcome the pain and re-connect with his two daughters.

As somebody correctly put it, this movie is the living evidence of how flawed the new concept of the Oscars is. Previously, each category had only 5 nominees, strictly, whereas now they include “between 5 and 10”. This resulted in movies being nominated, which are clearly not up to speed with the rest of the nominees, and that only highlights their mediocrity. And yes, the Descendants is one of those movies.

Monday, 13 February 2012

The Muppets

The old Muppets’ theatre is in danger: greedy oil businessman Tex Richman wants to get control over it to dig for oil reserves that are under the theatre. Walther, who is on the trip to LA with his brother, accidentally hears the plan, and now it is the race against the time: Muppets have to reunite to raise $10,000,000 to save the theatre.

When I first saw the trailers for the Muppets, I was amazed. Finally, good old-fashioned parody is coming along, with nice little subtle jokes about almost just everything on Earth! “The Immigrant Song” trailer was probably even better than the original one. However, the actual movie lacks this grit, and it is easy to understand why.

Sunday, 5 February 2012


Brandon is a 30-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life. After his wayward younger sister moves into his apartment, Brandon's world spirals out of control… And this is it. The whole storyline of the movie can be summarized in 2 short sentences, and trust me, you cannot add much to the description – and that is probably the biggest shame of the whole film.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


The Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane finds himself in a very unfortunate position of losing the three star players to other teams. Now he has to assemble a new team on a limited budget, and he employs young Yale graduate Peter Brand to employ statistical analysis to find the undervalued players.

The story is based on the real events and tells us about the real Billy Beane, making it almost semi-documentary. The case study of Moneyball technique is pretty common in business schools and in general on economic courses, and thanks to the book by Michael Lewis it became known to wider audiences.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Oscar nominees 2012

So, here we go again. The Oscars 2012 are going to be hard-contested, competitive and fabulous. This year's ceremony is miles away from 2011, when there were only two real good movies which were actually up to the benchmark. This time there were many very good movies, and in particular it will be hard to decide between Hugo and the Artist.

I am personally delighted that Hugo got 11 nominations, closely followed by 10 for the Artist. Hugo was the best picture I saw in 2011, but apparently it was little understood and watched. We will see whether the justice will be served. It was also refreshing to see Moneyball in nominations - the movie is pretty distinct from all the others, but I will blog about it in detail a bit later. However, the best actor of the year, I believe, is Gary Oldman. His Smiley is one of the most distinct characters of the year, and the iconic scene recreating the talk between two spies is absolutely brilliant.

The showdown between the Artist and Hugo will be an interesting one, don't miss it on 26th February!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Jeeves and Wooster (TV Series 1990-1993)

Sometimes I get very nostalgic about good old British series, which had great sense of humor and a very light approach to entertainment. Whenever the nostalgia sets upon, I usually re-watch Sherlock to remind myself of the inescapable glorious walk of the progress, but this time I opted for Jeeves and Wooster instead. And I loved it.

Bertram Wooster is a wealthy gentleman who manages to get himself into trouble whenever he tries to solve other people’s problems. Then it is the time for his smart and psychological butler, Wooster, to help to resolve all the troubles.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Rango is a pet chameleon always on the lookout for action and adventure, except the fake kind, where he directs it and acts in it. After a car accident, he winds up in an old western town called Dirt. What this town needs the most is water, but they also need a hero and a sheriff. The thirsty Rango instantly takes on the role of both and selfishly agrees to take on the case of their missing water.

You’ve got to love London Tube’s ads of the movies. During the year, all the movies that were advertised in the underground were great – think Drive, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Hugo, Artist. It may be that good movies have impressive budgets and can afford buying the space underground, or it may be that the Tube workers are actually critics who choose the film adverts on the merit of the film. Whatever the reasoning, Rango was advertised quite a while ago, and yes, in my opinion it is the best animation of 2011.

Movies From An Alternate Universe

Movies From An Alternate Universe on the Behance Network

Great stuff! I laughed on Avatar poster for about 5 minutes.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Artist

Hollywood, 1927: Silent movie star George Valentin is famous and wanted by his fans. He meets Peppy Miller, a young dancer, and propels her to the top of the movie industry. But as the sound enters the Hollywood, will George Valentin stand up to the challenge or surrender?

I will definitely remember the year 2011 as the year of extreme nostalgia about the old movies. It seems to me that suddenly that feeling overwhelmed all the major producers, and as the result we saw so many films heralding how good the times were. The suit was started with Drive, the movie that initiates a time travel into 1980s movie production with all the main attributes in place: pounding soundtrack, violence and L.A. Then there was Hugo, in which Martin Scorsese took us back to the very beginning of the film production and has shown the fate of one of the pioneers of the industry, Georges Méliès. This time, the nostalgic Michel Hazanavicius take us to 1927, the era of silent black-and-white movies and booming movie industry.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Movies to wait for in 2012

This is the list of movies not to be missed in 2012. Not all of them will be up to expectations, of course, but we will hope for the best.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)

In the 4th installment of the Mission Impossible series, Ethan Hunt and his team are racing against time to track down a dangerous terrorist named Hendricks, who has gained access to Russian nuclear launch codes and is planning a strike on the United States. An attempt by the team to stop him at the Kremlin ends in a disaster, with an explosion causing severe destruction to the Kremlin and the IMF being implicated in the bombing, forcing the President to invoke Ghost Protocol, under which the IMF is disavowed, and will be offered no help or backup in any form. Undaunted, Ethan and his team chase Hendricks to Dubai, and from there to Mumbai, but several spectacular action sequences later, they might still be too late to stop a disaster. © IMDb

I do not consider myself as the great fan of Mission Impossible franchise. The first part, released in 1996 (!) was action at its purest, with the small intrigue set up by the question “Who betrayed the group?” and the soundtrack which pretty soon was installed on 95% of mobile phones as the alarm clock signal. Since then Ethan Hunt became iconic spy, even though the franchise overall was going downhill. The second part was an absolute failure, already too surreal for a serious action movie but still not surreal enough for Matrix-style movie. The third part improved a little bit but generally it was still laughable.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Hugo (2011)

The movie is set in Paris in 1930s and closely follows the storyline of “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick and tells the story about a boy who lives on the train station, his father, a robot called automaton and dreams which never really leave us.

This is the work of well-known director Martin Scorsese, which is notably different from his other works. The Departed, The Shutter Island, The Aviator, Bands of New-York: those are the most famous ones and they have one feature in common, they are not movies for kids or fairytales. Scorsese’s choice of genre for the next movie, Hugo, caught me by surprise; I definitely didn’t expect him to take on the Christmas tale. I had a bad feeling about it (I am a great fan of the 3 movies mentioned above), and I am so glad that I turned out to be wrong. The genius of Scorsese shines in whatever movie he decides to make.

Friday, 6 January 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

This English-language adaptation of the Swedish novel by Stieg Larsson follows a disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), as he investigates the disappearance of a wealthy patriarch's niece from 40 years ago. He is aided by the pierced, tattooed, punk computer hacker named Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). As they work together in the investigation, Blomkvist and Salander uncover immense corruption beyond anything they have ever imagined.

This was probably the most waited-for movie of this winter, and you can quite understand why. David Fincher, the director behind the Fight Club and the Social Network, took on the bestseller detective by Stieg Larsson and invited Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara to play the lead roles. On every account that should have been a good movie.

The best movies I have seen in 2011

Little warning to start with: the movies mentioned are not the best of 2011 – simply because I have not seen all the movies that were released in that year. These are the films that moved me most, that intrigued me and fascinated me. I will probably write something about them at greater length later on.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his longtime trusted associate, Doctor Watson (Jude Law), take on their arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), with the help of Holmes's older brother Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry) and a gypsy named Sim (Noomi Rapace). © IMDb

This is the second installment of the Sherlock Holmes franchise starring Robert Downey Jr. as the great detective. The first installment, which I saw exactly two years ago, was very impressing. That was a completely new take on Sir Conan Doyle’s never dying detective story, full of style, fascinating action, humorous dialogues and amazing soundtrack. Robert Downey Jr. reinvented Sherlock; his Holmes is arrogant, sociopathic but nevertheless absolutely loveable. The movie was peppered with something called “flash-forward” – which is how Sherlock planned his fights. Overall, the movie was easy to watch, the storyline kept attention and visually it was very organic.

No doubt, after the success of the first part producers had to start working on the sequel. Lucky for them, the arch-enemy was mentioned only briefly and hence there was the storyline left unexplored. Clearly, there was pressure to deliver the same kind of Holmes, but more of it. And this is where, I think, the whole myth broke down.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Hello World

Thank you for reading my blog. After long contemplation I have decided to start the blog about what entertains me the most - movies.

That's me, by the way:
Or maybe not exactly.