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How did a series about the colonization of Mars become a cheap pamphlet for global warming?
I was really looking forward to seeing this series. I expected a realistic depiction of the possible colonization of mars in the near future.

Instead, we got a watered down, cheap melodrama spiced up with moronic comments about the evil of mankind, the dangers of global warming and the malevolence of private enterprise.

That same private enterprise that makes progress possible, and the enterprise of going to Mars as well, considering that the government entities seem uncapable or unwilling to commit to such a project.

It is disgusting to listen to all the preaching about the evils of fossil fuels and the companies involved in exploiting them. We should never forget that without the use of fossil fuels, our civilization as we know it would not be possible, let alone an expedition to Mars.

Now, having said that, to the flaws of the series itself:

1. The Science: It is totally flawed in the service of a Hollywood blockbuster.

Just a few examples:
  • After landing on Mars on a totally wrong location, where they have no access to the previously delivered hardware, our merry astronauts go to a Russian station with no resources.

What do they eat?

What do they drink?

Then they somehow find a lava hole 500m deep where they decide to create their Martian settlement. Five minutes later the settlement is finished with all the bells and whistles... Where did they get the materials needed to build the settlement?

How did they get it down a 500m deep hole?

  • In the settlement, all the characters are in private living quarters, the size of 5-star hotel suites...
I don't think this would be the expected living standard of the first group of humans to go to Mars.

  • Their living quarters are full of papers, books, printouts, manuals, etc.

I really don't think that ferrying paper (which is very heavy) would be a priority when shipping material to Mars, especially since all this could fit on a tiny usb stick which weighs 10 grams!

One character even has a Bonsai in her room, a Bonsai! Which is at least 20 years old, meaning it was shipped from earth in its entirety! Give me a break!

2. The story: Melodramatic to say the least.

There is nothing there about the science, the problems of colonizing Mars, or anything remotely realistic. The story revolves around how 'mean' the private contractors (who miraculously appear with enormous machinery, immediately after the first astronauts have landed?) sent to exploit Mars' resources are.

3. The special f/x are cheesy to say the least, the CGI is way below par for a modern movie.

All in all, a disappointment. I expected much more for a series with Ron Howard's name featured in the credits.

What a pity.

Osmi povjerenik

What a waste of a good idea...
A good idea but totally flawed in its execution.

I watched the movie in the original language and I am completely fluent in every dialect of the Dalmatian coast. Half the time I could not understand what people were saying the dialogs were completely inconsequential. The story makes no sense it could have been made much much better. One should watch the movie Mediterraneo from Gabrielas Salvatore's In order to see how such a movie can be made well. A pity really, this could have been a really great movie.

Jin ling shi san chai

Not nearly as powerful as it could have been...
I wasn't impressed... Excellent, high quality production, excellent sound, good cinematography and acting, but... The screenplay was very shallow, character development almost zero. The Japanese in the movie were basically cartoon characters, the Chinese all heroes. I understand that this was a Chinese propaganda film, and I understand and know the horrors of the Nanking massacre, but still, in order for this to be a great movie, a much more subtle approach was needed. The way it was done, this motion picture turned out to be not nearly as powerful as it could have been.

The 6th Day

Just Bad...
An interesting premise, but boy was it developed badly... This movie is a total train wreck... It cannot decide whether it wants to be a thriller, an action flick, a comedy or a cartoon! Schwarzenegger is totally miscast, the screenplay is childish (and it is rated PG-13), the ending is ridiculous, etc, etc. I have nothing positive to say about this motion picture, it is just bad!

5 Days of War

Entertaining and informing
I enjoyed this movie, and here is finally a motion picture that realistically depicts the true face of the Putin regime, with all that followed in Crimea, Ukraine, and yes, Georgia. Finally a motion picture that tells the truth, without trying to be politically correct. Great cinematography and sound. If I am to find a fault in this film, it is overly dramatizing the story with the memory cards, the unnecessary love story, the 'special forces rescue' and some other 'over the top' moments. Otherwise, well done!

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

No story here...
This movie has all the characteristics of the previous installments, the professional production, excellent sound, set decoration and special f/x, but nothing can save it from the lackluster, uninspired screenplay. This motion picture simply goes through the motions of the previous films, without ever even attempting to be a movie in it's own right. The plot makes no sense, the ending makes no sense, even the actors (most of whom are otherwise excellent) seem lost in this quagmire. This is a film that starts from nowhere and is going nowhere. Was Spielberg on drugs when he made it?

The Green Mile

What a disappointment! I was expecting a deep, introspective analysis of human emotions related to the death penalty, but instead I got a boring fairy tale! The only reason this motion picture is getting even four stars is because of the professional production, and exceptional acting. Otherwise I would have rated it even lower! I dozed off 3 times during the 3-hour screening of this overly extended doughnut of a movie! I cannot understand what so many people see in this... Maybe I just don't get it...

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Professionally well done, but not exactly my cup of tea...
Very professionally made. The sound, camera and especially the Set Decoration where really excellent. Some of the special f/x where a little cheesy though. The story itself is not exactly my cup of tea, I never liked stories with magic and wizards, not even as a kid, so i will refrain from commenting too much on that. Kids love it, and that is what counts in this case. The acting was excellent throughout, with a stellar cast, but also with great performances from the 'kids'.


Could have, would have, should have...
A garbled, inconclusive screenplay and story downgrades this otherwise professional production. A pity really, the movie started off exceptionally well, with a very interesting premise for a compelling story, but then gets 'lost' along the way. The 'love affair' really is ridiculous and steers the movie away from all reality, and it all goes south from there. Otherwise, the acting is excellent overall, the camera and soundtrack very good. All in all, a missed opportunity to make a great movie.

Muskarci ne placu

Politically correct... Again...
The biggest problem with this movie is political correctness... I will explain: The movie claims that they were all the same. Maybe as individuals, victims in the war, they were. But otherwise they were not.

What nobody seems to understand is that war yes, is bad, but the culprits are always and only those who started it, nobody else. Are all culpable for their nation starting a war? I say yes. Just think about it, was only Hitler to blame for WW2 or was it the German people that elected him, the German people who went to fight for him, the German people who cheered him when he defeated France in 1940? Every single one of them is culpable. And what about those (very few at the time) who opposed him? Well, they are also culpable, because as one wise man once said: 'The only thing required for evil to win is for good men to do nothing'.

The same goes for war crimes. All sides commit war crimes in a war, but the only culpable ones are the ones that started the war... Think about it: do you think the allies committed no war crimes in WW2? Of course they did. Just think of the British assault on the French naval base in Algeria in 1940. The British slaughtered over 2000 French sailors in cold blood. Was that a war crime? Of course it was. Where the British culpable? Of course not, they had to do it because they were forced into a war they did not want.

Otherwise this film was a decent albeit flawed attempt at psychoanalysis of war and its effects on those involved, because it misses the main point as mentioned above.

Ilaria Alpi - Il più crudele dei giorni

Could and should have been better....
Dramatically lacking. A true story like this could have been made much more compelling and interesting. The movie insinuates a lot, but never actually proves or asserts anything, remains inconclusive. The 'flash forwards' are irritating and if nothing else, confusing for the spectator not intimately 'in the know' of the actual true story. The only positive aspect of the movie is the usually brilliant Rade Serbedzija who makes an excellent portrait of Miran Hrovatin. Not the same can be said of Giovanna Mezzogiorno in the role of Iliaria Alpi who is lackluster and unbelievable. When comparing these two characters in this film, you can clearly see what a difference great acting makes compared to average actring. All in all, below average, could and should have been much better.

Memories of Midnight

Much better than most say...
Very good. I am sure the book is better, but this is nevertheless a well made thriller, with nice international implications, almost 'Ludlum-like'. If you do not notice that most of the movie was filmed in Croatia (then Yugoslavia) and that most of the 'Greeks' are actually Yugoslav actors (with their distinctly Slavic accents when speaking English), you will find this to be a rather involving movie, one that provides for some very decent entertainment. For 'connoisseurs' of Greece, this looks very much like the Onassis - Livanos story of the 70's, but then again, this may just be my imagination... The acting is very good throughout, especially the always egregious Omar Sharif (who basically plays himself) and also Jayne Seymour is also quite good (apart from being gorgeous as usual). They don't make them like this any more. Highly recommended.

Reilly: Ace of Spies

Far too short...
Believe it or not, for a Mini-Series running for 10+ hours, this feels extremely rushed. Each episode could have been a series on its own... Reilly had such an incredible and eventful life, that this mini-series could and should have been much longer in order to faithfully portrait all the events in it. Another small drawback for history buffs is that the script does not strictly adhere to the actual historical facts, which is a pity. Reilly's life was so eventful it did not need any further dramatization or embellishment. Otherwise, an excellent typically British production, theatrical in a sense, with some great acting (especially by Sam Neill), but as usual, a little lacking in cinematography, musical score and strangely enough in emotions. We rarely 'feel' for the protagonist (I think this was intentional, but his 'humanity' should have been explored much more.) All in all, rather entertaining, but it could have been much better.


Should have been much better...
Undoubtedly a large production, with a star-studded cast. However, the script is so muddled and nonsensical that nothing can salvage the feeling of a totally garbled series. There is no sense to what is happening, too many subplots are unclear, undeveloped and unresolved (notwithstanding the 12+ hour duration). I don't think anyone understands what the Russians are up to, what the resistance is trying to achieve and how, why certain things happen. I have a feeling that the filmmakers wanted to achieve too much and just got completely lost along the way. A pity really, this could and should have been much better.

Inside the Third Reich

Too many inaccuracies...
Average. Especially because of many historical inaccuracies and many of the actors having been really badly miscast (with the notable exceptions of Derek Jacobi as Adolf Hitler and John Gielgud as Speer Sr.) Rutger Hauer on the other hand, is so unbelievable as Albert Speer that it almost hurts... Other miscasts include Dr. Goebbels, Magda Goebbels, Herman Goering, etc., just to name a few. Also, the portrayal of some characters is historically completely wrong. The Best example is Magda Goebbels, who is portrayed almost as a regular, 'normal' person, even with moral doubts regarding the situation. In reality, she was a bigger Nazi than even her husband (if that is at all possible), who killed her own children single-handedly so that they will not survive the demise of the Third Reich. If you want to watch a better version of the same story, I suggest the German version 'Speer und er', which was much better. All in all, watchable, but nothing to write home about.

The Word

Confused, hurried, or...?
First of all a premise: I got to watch the 3-hour version, not the entire 8-hour version. This may be one of the reasons that to me, this was a confused, garbled movie that made almost no sense at all. It was very difficult to follow, to figure out who is who, why and when.

Granted, this was commercially a major effort, but it falls far short of being worthy of the money and talent spent to make it. Even the acting was below par, notwithstanding a stellar cast. I had the feeling that even the actors themselves failed to really understand the story and to believe in it. A pitty really, because this could (and should) have been much better.

Sword of Gideon

Not a bad made-for-TV movie, but...
Not a bad made-for-TV movie, but... I have a problem with the politically correct moral doubts by the protagonists depicted in this film. This seems highly unrealistic to me, not in sync with the times, the situation or the characteristics of an agent belonging to an elite Mossad hit team. Also, it seems highly unrealistic to me that the Mossad agents where so easily exposed and hunted down by the terrorists. The existence of a private 'do it all, know it all' intelligence organisation is also highly implausible. I would really like to read the true story, because this movie, as well as Spielberg's 'Munich' both seem highly 'dramatized' and adapted to modern viewers for my taste. I am sure this is not how it actually went down. In other, some decent acting and cinematography make for an entertaining 3 hours, but nothing more than that.

Nebeska udica

In ex-Yugoslavia, basketball was not a sport, it was a religion...
Wow! I watched two ex-Yugoslavian movies last night and I was amazed by both (something that happens to me only rarely). The first was 'How the war started on my island', a wonderful Croatian black comedy about the start of the war and the second was 'Sky Hook', a Serbian film set in the ending phases of the war. I had almost lost hope that modern cinema can still produce films that can rightfully be called art, but these movies, both produced during and immediately after the period of the Yugoslav civil war proved me wrong.

First of all, I have to say that I have an advantage in watching this film compared to a 'regular' viewer, and that is that I speak the language of the movie fluently. I can therefore fully appreciate all the nuances in the speech, the slang, the dialects, etc. Some of this will unfortunately be lost on non native speakers. The movie is essentially a story about life (and death), hopes, striving and disillusions. Without falling into the trap of using pathos, tears or any other emotional exaggerations, the movie still paints an extremely powerful picture of life in Belgrade in the late 90-ties. The characters are so real, one can really identify and feel for them throughout the film. The depiction of everyday life in Belgrade under NATO bombardment cannot be any better. Lastly, another very positive aspect of the film (very rare for films made during periods of war) is that it gives no moral or political opinions as to the reasons, 'rights' and 'wrongs' of the war. Kudos to the filmmakers for this. The Director, Ljubisa Samardzic, in his debut shows that he could be a Serbian Clint Eastwood. He has namely been one of the best known Yugoslav actors for decades, and has now made his directorial debut with a spectacular film. Well done.

Kako je poceo rat na mom otoku

Excellent! Having personally lived through those times in the then Yugoslavia and later Croatia, I can only marvel at how well the filmmakers 'got' the spirit of the time, the emotions of the people and the opposing army, their ideological divide, the propaganda, etc. To have packaged all the above in a delightful dark comedy was fabulous! The characters are so well depicted that I can almost 'see' real life characters in them. The only small drawback was the melodramatic ending (basically the last scene), which I feel was unnecessary. This is the only reason I did not give this wonderful piece of cinematography an even higher grade.


Bitterly disappointed...
What where the critics thinking? It really amazes me to read the accolades they poured over this really below average movie, probably the worst Bond film ever... The only decent (but only decent) part of this movie is the sound and sound editing. Everything else is really, really bad. Worst of all are the special f/x. Really? A Bond movie with bad special effects? Unfortunately yes. The CGI effects on Silva's 'island' and those at Skyfall mansion are so bad they are ridiculous. In the 21st century we have gotten used to much, much better. I dare to say that the special effects in the Roger Moore movies of the seventies where much better... and they had no computers back then! Then we come to the screenplay... Oh my god, I do not even know where to begin! The plot is so full of holes and inconsistencies it is not even funny... It makes no sense whatsoever. In the beginning the issue is retrieving a stolen list of MI6 agents, but this is completely 'forgotten' half way through the movie... The villain (Silva, who by the way is so unconvincing it hurts) wants to kill 'M' because of an alleged past betrayal, but basically does everything else but. He could have killed 'M' in a hundred different ways in a dozen situations in the film, but somehow he always chooses 'the hard way'... In the second half of the film, Bond drags 'M', a frail old lady half way across Britain in order to get away from the villain, with no backup, no outside support (apart from an old and also frail Scottish gamekeeper), only to get her killed at the end of the film... Give me a break!

In my opinion, the main problem with all the recent Bond films (especially those of the 'Daniel Craig era') is that the authors have tried to make the movies 'realistic' which is in antithesis to what Bond is supposed to be. Bond is supposed to drive cars that double as submarines, he never gets shot, he is never dirty, unshaven or sweating. He is a superhero, not a common mortal. Well, in the new Bond movies, this is all gone, he is dirty, unshaven, ill behaved, etc. All for the sake of 'realism'. But then, very 'realistically', he gets shot in the chest and subsequently falls of a bridge plunging into a 500 ft. gorge, landing in a river... and survives! Really? How realistic is that? In this film, the only 'gadgets' Bond gets from the new 'Q' (who by the way is outright laughable in the role) is a Beretta handgun and a radio transmitter. Really? Nowadays, we can all buy those items anywhere for a couple of hundred bucks! Another major issue with the new Bond films is Daniel Craig. I think he is the worst Bond in history (even worse than pierce Brosnan). He would probably be better in a 'Die Hard' movie, but not as James Bond! He does not have any of the Bond stile, the 'Savoir Faire', the charisma... He doesn't even even have a decent British accent for Christ sake!

To sum it up (but i could really go on for ever), a pitiful plot, horrible special f/x, below par cinematography and a cast of for the most part horribly miscast actors make for one of the worst Bond films ever! Lets hope the next one is better.


This was by far the best made-for-TV movie I have ever seen!
This was by far the best made-for-TV movie I have ever seen.

Totally politically (in)correct in its rightful criticism of the rules of engagement of the UN 'peacekeepers' mandate in the Bosnian war, this movie boldly goes on to depict the harsh reality of what the war was really like and what it was about. For somebody who has intimate first-hand knowledge of the happenings, of the people involved and of the land where it transpired, I cannot but be awed by the realism and truthfulness of this film. Everything has been done perfectly, right down to the local actors who are all faithfully who they claim to be, real Bosnians, speaking with their local colloquial accents, not just some second-hand stand-ins summoned from god knows where on the cheap, as is usually the case nowadays. Everything in this movie is outstanding, the Direction, the screenplay, the cinematography, the acting, etc.

A very powerful movie, but definitely not for those squeamish politically correct souls who abound today and who believe that the world is a peaceful, wonderful place where there is no evil and where everybody loves each other. Highly recommended.

Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes

A garbled, emotionless mess!
I thought this movie was completely missconceived. First of all, the Japanaes residents of Hiroshima speaking english makes no sense... Then the American POWs running around town after the explosion... Please, give me a break! The characters in general where all very shallow, we never get to feel anything for anybody. Some characters are downright ridiculous, like the catholic priest played by Max von Sydow and his (comical) assistants. Scenes featuring the latter are almost farsical. All in all, this motion picture comes together as a garbled mess, one that is boring and emotionless (for a film on such a topic, hard to believe). And the ending.... No comment.

Doves of War

Bosnian War Crimes in Kiwi sauce...
Not bad at all, but if they had made it more realistic, it would have been much, much better. If they had taken out many of the useless murders, added some legal issues into the plot, maybe some investigations by the Court's appointees in Bosnia, some more background information about the Peacekeepers' rules of engagement, their predicament in Bosnia, etc...

Alas, with too many unnecessary murders, no police involvement, it all seemed too easy, thus making it difficult to identify with the characters. No matter what, we always knew there was going to be a happy ending and it therefore turned out to be not much more than decent Sunday afternoon entertainment. Sound and cinematography could both also have been better. Good try though...


How can they make a movie without knowing what they are filming?
Now, this is one of those rare occasions where I disagree with Berardinelli's review. I found this movie to be way below par, not researched, without any attention to historical detail, poorly written and horribly miss-cast.

The end result is a totally unrealistic and unbelievable motion picture. The problems start right at the beginning... The submarine sails out of a 'Soviet' port to begin its mission. The camera gives us a panoramic view of the port, complete with ultramodern cranes for container lifting, cranes that do not exist in ports in Russia today, let alone the Soviet Union in 1968! Immediately afterwards, the sub goes under the keel of a cargo ship (called a 'tanker' in the movie) which actually turns out to be an ultra-modern Ro-Ro vessel for carrying cars! Vessels like this have only existed since the 1990ies, and this one was blatantly brand new! Again, immediately thereafter, we see the Captain (Ed Harris) looking at his watch, a modern model from Ulysse Nardin, something that did not exist in 1968, and definitely something a Soviet submarine skipper could never possess in those days. Then there where other 'inconsistancies' such as the the Russiam captain consulting a priest, or his lieutenant getting married in a church. In those days, there where no priests on military bases in the Soviet Union, and an officer (who at that time was also always a member of the Communist party) seen conferring with a priest or (worse) getting married in a church would have inevitably ended up with a one way ticket to a Siberian Gulag). It is painfully clear that the filmmakers have no idea about history, the Soviet union, or the time in which the events take place.

Last but not least, the cast... While Ed Harris puts in his usual professional performance and is not so bad as the Skipper of the sub, all the other actors' performances are far below average. Starting with Duchovny, who as a KGB Special Agent in 1968 is just as believable as if he would be cast to play a Geisha in a movie about medieval Japan.

Sad really, this could have been a good movie if somebody had actually taken the trouble to do some real research.


Probably the more 'realistic' of the three...
I slightly disagree with most of the critics who highly praise this show... Yes, this is the more realistic of the three CSI shows, and I also like the fact that it deals mostly with 'normal' people (contrary to the other two), but it is also plagued by the same flaws of all the other CSI's.

The main issue being: CSI's are lab rats, not gun slinging superheroes! Having said that, I personally find Gary Sinise miss- cast and his performance even a little annoying. Melina Kanakaredes on the other hand as Stella Bonasera is excellent, she basically carries the show single handed. Carmine Giovinazzo as Danny Messer also provides a good performance.

To cut a long story short, if you are inclined to take the CSI franchise seriously, CSI NY will probably be your favorite. But do not expect miracles...

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