yaizapez

IMDb member since November 2006
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    IMDb Member
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Reviews

Dhanak
(2015)

Lovely.
I'm watching this movie with my 6-year old daughter as if it was a TV series: Bollywood movies are too long for her. We're watching it for the second time now, and we're loving it as much as the first time. She as a child, because the film is an adventurous fairytale, and me as a parent, because it shows the ugly world while giving the chance to believe in a better one, it praises beautiful family values, and it encourages girls to go for their dreams. A lovely movie. Bollywood did it again!

Doktor Zhivago
(2006)

Finally
Finally a series that does justice to Pasternak - and to the Russian people. Other versions of this rich, complex, terribly human, and deeply Russian story, focus on superficial aspects, both of love and political history, and make use of clichés to represent what some consider exotic. Here we see through all of that, this series takes you to the human beings beneath the surface and shows their development, their dreams and their despair unfolding together with those of their land. Fantastic acting, excellent cinematography, efficient editing, good photography. This is not a huge Hollywood production, it's a sincere and long due tribute to Pasternak's masterpiece.

Jodaeiye Nader az Simin
(2011)

An exciting thriller disguised as a realistic movie
I had not idea what to expect when I started watching this movie. The title suggested something like a romantic story, and as the film is Iranian, I thought maybe it was about a forced separation of two lovers because of political reasons? It's quite the opposite. And the fact that it is from Iran gives only a background: This is not an "exotic" movie. And it's not romantic at all. At least not in the traditional way. This is a movie about how two people grow apart, how a relationship deteriorates because of the circumstances and communication gives way to misunderstandings, about how hope and a project together turn into disappointment and exasperation. And this is told in a way that makes the film so original and thrilling I'm still thinking about it some days after I watched it. There is a brilliant dialog in the movie that condenses all the drama of a separation: - But you said it wasn't serious. - Well, it became serious. Perfect.

El ministerio del tiempo
(2015)

Exciting, smart, fresh
How accurate these series are, I'm not sure. I'm no expert, but so far all the historical facts seem quite correct, and that is part of the fun. This series is funny, and also smart and exciting. Well written, well acted, decently edited, professionally directed. I'm really enjoying watching it!

Even for those not familiar with Spanish history, many of the characters are fictitious anyway, and those who are not are big names. And in case someone in the audience wouldn't recognise those big names, they are all explained so the plot makes sense for everyone.

So give it a try, you won't regret it!

Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados
(2013)

Predictable feel-good movie
Predictable feel-good movie based on the true story of a school teacher in Spain in the 60's. It's a story of hope, perseverance, and coming-of-age, told through the road-trip of three sweet strangers. Nothing strictly wrong with that, although sometimes the predictability is just too much, and the feel-good vive gets way too cheesy. The story in which the film is based is actually an amazing one, and the movie could have benefited from that raw material in a better way. Instead, it is full of clichés and flat characters. Spain is depicted as if on a tourist guide from the days of Franco: Beautiful landscapes, naive peasants, pretty girls, and a closed, narrow-minded society. Parents are severe, children are rebellious, and... strawberries are eaten in Almería. The actors do a decent job, but the direction is almost embarrassing at certain points. Seriously, the girl who sings as she has sex?! The handicapped boy with whom everybody gets on really well just because? The tough guy who is plainly mean without a reason?? The whole thing could have felt more real, more natural, if only the characters and scenes were treated with a bit more depth. I learned that this movie has been selected to represent Spain at the Oscar's. OMG. But OK, considering the films that have been awarded in the past, anything can happen, I guess. And yet, where are the days when Spanish cinema would leave you breathless? What happened to the young Garci, the solid Medem, the brilliant Berlanga, the elegant Saura, the fresh Almodóvar, the audacious Amenábar? Ay!

The Wire
(2002)

Simply amazing in every sense
This is not just a TV series about cops and drug dealers in the city of Baltimore, this is a rich, nuanced fresco showing the reality of our society. It's complex, fascinating and exhausting, all in one. No clean cut characters, no good-guys / bad-guys, no straight forward stories. Each season deals with a different subject: illegal drug dealing, international criminal organisations, social problems related to drugs, political corruption, the media. All of it pictured with such attention to details, in such a realistic and unbiased way, supported by such high-quality acting and writing, that you can be sure you won't be disappointed at any time. The series is slow-cooking style, with little especial effects and a rather conventional editing. This might sound old-fashioned, but the approach to the themes and characters is so honest that the result is simply classical, timeless. I read somewhere that, if people want to know about society in the 19th century, they should read Dostojevsky, and if they want to know about society in our times, they should watch The Wire. There you go. Enjoy it.

Django Unchained
(2012)

Tarantino, what happened here? :-(
What happened here? Where is the magic? The unique Tarantino's touch? Where the originality, the fresh dialogs, the smart plot? This movie is boring, flat, badly written and worse acted. The story is predictable to the point it's annoying. The good guy is so good, the bad guy so bad. Why? We don't know, as they are not 3D characters but cardboard puppets. In fact, the whole movie feels like a puppet show. And then those cheesy flashbacks showing the sweet couple during their sweet days! What is this, a telenovela? I am sorry Tarantino, because obviously the loss of Ms Menkes has affected the quality of his production terribly. I hope he will recover it soon and give us again the special films that made him one of the greatest artists of cinematography. Django, what a disappointment!

Homeland
(2011)

Feels like a draft of what could have been a really good show.
This is a good show, no doubt, but to me it is a disappointment. I was expecting a smarter product, a serious depiction of a complex subject. Because they had it all: an interesting story, good actors, a huge production. Instead they deliver this flat soap-opera, full of clichés, bidimensional characters, weak concepts, predictable lines... Really disappointing! What a shame!

I'll throw some examples to illustrate my point. Regarding the characters, for instance: The mother, Jess: such a simple-minded housewife, selfish and cold. Can this be a real woman? It makes me think of Mad Men's Betty Draper; they have attributes in common, but Betty is 3D, so complex and subtle, whereas Jess is just an annoying character, boring to the limit. Then you have Mike. Is this a man or a monkey?! Can he think at all? Amazing. To say nothing of Dana, the daughter. In a bad mood for two seasons. Unbearable. And she has absolute power over practically every grown-up! WTH. And "the Arabs". All of them weird by nature, it seems. Com'on! And Ayleen. Do they really expect us to believe this character?! Insulting. And Saul ie the good guy. So good he's terribly predictable. I know you need to have a good guy in the story, but this is almost Disney!

Anyway. Then there is the way these characters talk and move. Carrie is exhaustive, overacted. Jess is such a perfect American housewife it makes you laugh. The CIA guys are so devoted is beyond reality. Those lines, please! Some dialogues are so Western-hero they are almost naif...

Of course the settings are great, and the effects, that kind of things. But when it comes to the cinematographic stuff, the script, the editing, it just seems this was a draft for what could have been a really good show. I wish the team behind "The Wire" could have had a look at that draft!

Un cuento chino
(2011)

Enjoyable but a bit sentimental
It's happening a lot lately with Argentinian movies: They tend to be a bit too sentimental, it's been the trend since "El hijo de la novia". This "Cuento chino" is no exception. It is a classic reconciliation story, the reconciliation of bitter Roberto with life and love through a meeting with a stranger which makes him reconsider his attitude. It is rather predictable all in all, both in the structure and in the content. A pity, because there are some fresh, surprising components in the movie which could have been used to a larger extent, and maybe the result would have been more original. But it's OK, the film is charming and enjoyable. Not a masterpiece, though.

The Da Vinci Code
(2006)

Flat
I have been reading some of the reviews written here, and I have to say I strongly disagree with the two main lines of opinion I've detected: You will love this movie if you are an educated person with an interest for culture, or you will hate it because of the religious controversy. No, it's rather a combination of those two lines: You will hate it precisely because you are an educated person with an interest for culture. Because the movie is flat and shallow, mediocre. The story is decent, although they are including way too much information for a movie, which is a typical error when adapting a book. If you haven't read the book (and I have not) you might find yourself drowning in a historical essay rather than enjoying a movie. But well, this doesn't really matter because there is little to enjoy: The direction is so bad that the movie is simply annoying. The actors seem to be there by coincidence, puppets of a crazy script. Things happen to them all the time, but it's like they are not touched, they are just watching. So when they are forced to show some kind of life or feelings, it's almost ridiculous. Take the love story between the two main characters: Where did that come from? Zero chemistry. Not credible at all. So bottomline: Much ado about nothing. Puff!

PS- The issues some people might have with religions or opinions about them have nothing to do with cinema and shouldn't be taken into consideration when reviewing a movie. Please!

Amarcord
(1973)

Honesty and humour
I was laughing out loud while seeing this movie in the theatre yesterday, and so was much of the audience. But of course! There are scenes in this movie that are so honest and so clean that you can only laugh at them, or laugh at yourself, which would be the same thing. Because this movie is about you, me, all of us: Our dreams, our frustrations, our desires, our disappointments. Denying it would be hypocrisy, which we see a lot of in movies today: The obsession of hiding harshness, of being politically correct (and I have to say that the fact that the majority of very negative reviews on this title come from the USA speaks for itself...). We have all been there, actively or passively, maybe only watching, but there. People are the same everywhere! And it is just wonderful to see these portraits of people made with such honest love, without bad intentions or double morals, without prejudices. Maybe a little bit too much nostalgia, but hey, this is a movie of reconciliation with life, after the disillusion of La dolce vita and the sour sweet 8 e mezzo. Fellini is now accepting life with all its beauty - and its miseries. Fantastic. And great fun!

The Social Network
(2010)

A classic.
In these days of special effects and parallel realities, this movie shines like a rare jewel. No fantasy worlds, no bullets, no explosions, just old-fashioned feelings. Human beings facing life, making choices and coping with the consequences. And facebook? Oh, it's a minor detail. The mcguffin, as Hitchock would call it. This movie is not about facebook, strictly speaking. It's about self identity, friendship, values. Sounds weary? But of course, this story has been told so many times! That's why this movie is great: It's so good to see that some people out there still believe that what counts is not the story but how you tell it! It's a fact: there is no new story. No matter how much make up you put on it -blue like in Avatar, or dreamy like in Inception-, every story is an old one. So you better get an amazing script to tell yours, and you might want to have some solid acting too, and of course a serious editor, and some cool music. And there you go: you have a classic.

The American
(2010)

Great movie! Don't let peers' votes discourage you!
How can this movie be rated 6.6/10? I can't understand it! It's not the best movie ever, but it's a more than decent film. The story might not be the strongest point, but still: although it's not an especially original plot, the progression and evolution are not predictable. However, the best about this film is the way this story is told. Every shot has been thought of and is full of meaning. Photography and art direction are amazing, locations are very well chosen and shown, and actors are not bad either. The rhythm is slow but never dull, as each scene is loaded with tension. And the ending is refreshing, unexpected. OK, sometimes there are some almost embarrassing clichés that spoil the movie here and there, but but let's not forget this is a Hollywood product after all! And if these clichés are so obvious it's also because the rest of the film is so fine it makes them even more evident. All in all, a very good movie indeed. So where does this 6.6 come from?! Don't let that rating discourage you: this is definitely worth watching!

Sex and the City
(2008)

Shallow. Can't take this seriously.
It makes me sad to see the effort put in making this shallow, utterly commercial movie. All these people working on such a project, all the money and the time put into it. What for? What is this movie giving us? Nothing. I am still shocked. So empty it is almost insulting. Or rather worrying. Do some people really want to live like this? Is this a model for someone? I can't believe it. I am still shocked. Did I write that already? The clothes and all that stuff is ridiculous but it's almost funny. But the dialogs, the characters, the values! That is disgusting, simply disgusting. Discouraging. I don't want to believe that this movie reflects a reality of our days. This cannot be us! I want to puke.

Whatever Works
(2009)

Are you kidding me?!
I love Woody Allen. I have seen most of his movies, I watch them again and again. I think he is brilliant both when he makes crazy dark comedies like Zelig and when he makes serious stuff like Match Point. Also his delicate dramas like Hanna and her sisters or his cinematographic movies like The purple rose of Cairo. I just adore him, he keeps on surprising me, and every year I look forward to his latest production. And then... Whatever works, what?! Can't believe it. Couldn't even watch it till the end- that's why I'm giving it 6/10: the benefit of the doubt... The plot is not interesting. It doesn't matter if it's believable or not (which is not), the story is not well told. The main characters are so empty and boring. That girl is just annoying, that man is just predictable to death, and the conversations they hold are random and pretentious. What is happening here? Where are the magic dialogs, the fascinating characters, the sparling situations? Whatever... It doesn't work :-(

Una giornata particolare
(1977)

Great performances, great story, great photography. A treat.
Just loved it. A bit tired of the so called Italian comedies, where overacting is the rule and characters are way too close to parody, I found in this movie the necessary counterpoint to that kind of easy, predictable cinema which is so popular. So popular that even Mr Mastroianni and Mrs Loren are better know for their roles in any of those movies than for their amazing performances in a little jewel like this one. Because that's what this film is: a little jewel. Simple and discreet, yet complex and rich. The plot is quite straight forward, but that's not the point. What's important here is not the story in itself, but the way it's told. Behind the rough appearance, a lot of technical thinking, ideas, decisions. Beautiful performances, studied photography, surprising soundtrack: nothing is left to chance here, though it might seem so. That's what makes masterpieces so special: they look light but they are loaded with humanity. PS- Loved also the comment by the self declared Art Barbarian. At least the guy's aware of his condition! Mamma mia…

The Dark Knight
(2008)

Basic entertainment - nothing more
I'm sorry but I don't get it. Why is everybody so crazy about this movie? Is it because of the effects? We have seen better, even in old movies. This one didn't impress me. Is it because of the story? We have seen better! The story and the characters in this movie seem to be taken from an old-days Disney fable. OK.. Is it because the actor who plays the Joker died in real life after finishing it? If that's the reason, why is that exciting? And anyway, then it has nothing to do with cinema itself! I admire the performance of the two main male actors: both Bale and Ledger play very well indeed, as usual. But unfortunately their job can't compensate for the flat performances of their colleagues, specially that of Maggie Gyllenhaal, nor for the many deficiencies of the script. The result is an unbalanced movie: the interactions between the characters is awkward, they move around in a world that doesn't seem to fit them. A bit predictable, a bit overloaded. For a movie to be a classic, it has to give you something, it has to make you grow and it has to grow in you. This movie is definitely not in this category.

The Reader
(2008)

Powerful story told badly
It's not I had great expectations on this movie: whenever a title is announced as "the film of the year" or "a movie that goes to your heart" and things of the kind, I tend to be on guard, ready for the worst. But the fact that Kate Winslet played the main role, and that many serious reviewers had said so many good things about this one, gave me some hope. Alas! How innocent of me! This movie is full of clichés, it's almost unbearable. The dialogues are unnatural. The story is powerful, but the way it's told is an offence. What a pity! The first 20 mins of the film are already a warning. Why do the two main characters develop a relationship? It seems totally theatrical, unbelievable. Where does the kid's fascination come from? The woman is a stranger to us, we never get to know her, her character is so erratic and inconsistent: one day she is sweet and sensitive, another day she is a rude bitch. Then the grown up man, who is he in reality? We get a glimpse on his family problems, but are they relevant to the story? In a more technical ground, the film is slow and redundant. OK, the kid is reading to the woman. We don't need to listen to him reading for hours to understand the concept and its impact on the characters. OK, they have good sex. We don't need to see them doing it all the time to get it!! And then OK, he is reading again. And again we are forced to listen to him for endless minutes! I was terribly disappointed by this movie. Pretentious, clumsy, affected. 6/10

Meet Joe Black
(1998)

Bad script, bad actress, bad experience!
I remember when this movie came out. I wanted to go and watch it in the cinema but then I missed it, and well, after 10 years I watched it on the TV. Uf, I'm happy I didn't pay to watch this!!! Why? Well... The story is full of gaps, clichés and pointless episodes. Where are these characters going? For instance, why does the girl fall in love with Brad Pitt? Because he is weird -Joe Black? Or just because he is cute -the guy at the coffee shop? She does't really seem to care... Very superficial. And why does Brad Pitt fall in love with her? That's even more mysterious. Her character is so flat, or at least the the actress make it so flat. Such bad acting, oh my! And the ex-boyfriend, the bad guy. Why does he become so bad all of a sudden? Cliché, cliché, cliché. And what about the character of the father? What is wrong with him? He admits that he prefers one daughter to the other and he's OK with it. Sweet. Why is he considered such a good father then? Anyway, this makes us conclude that the main problem with this movie is the script. Mamma mia, those lines! Terrible, boring, a lot of nonsense. No no no. I watched the movie to the end, fascinated by its low quality, curious to see what would be the next demonstration of cinematographic pathetism. Meet Joe Black? No, thanks.

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