johnny-08

IMDb member since March 2007
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Reviews

Død snø
(2009)

Definitely maniacal, sometimes funny
'Død snø (Dead Snow)' is a Norwegian horror movie about group of students on Easter vacation in mountains, only to find that they're not alone. Zombies are here, but not regular zombies, Nazi-zombies! Yes, pretty crazy.

Now the good parts of this movie are most of the killings, they're done in convincing and sometimes crazy-cool way (like probably the best scene in the movie when Martin and Roy confront the Nazi-zombies). And Wirkola keeps the tempo of his movie right until the end; there is no stopping of action or slashing once that Nazi-zombies reveal themselves. As you probably guess these are all the good parts. The bad ones include illogical story about zombies; I know it doesn't matter in this type of movie but how did they actually become zombies? How much soldiers are there (cause it seems like there are hundreds of them and that doesn't work with the part where they tell us that villagers killed some of the soldiers and some escaped in the mountains)? To put these questions aside, 'Dead Snow' deals with typical slasher movie problem, where there is no room left to work on character development and so we end up not being sympathetic towards the characters, but it seems like that was the intention of the director (slash first, talk-questions second).

Nazi-zombies are well made, they act like tougher versions of Barbossa & his crew in first 'Pirates' movie where their curse needs to be broken with pieces of gold - here zombies search for the same thing. In all this slashing and killing there is time for some funny moments which I particularly liked and presumably slasher lovers won't be disappointed with this title, because it is better then most new American slash movies, but 'Dead Snow' doesn't add anything new to the genre but it does make a fun, maniacal 90 minutes of your life.

Niciji sin
(2008)

Very good
I had to see absolute winner of Pula Film Festival (best director,actor,music...) so I had high expectations about this one and I must say that I'm not disappointed at all. Since I also saw play "Niciji sin" from Vinko Brešan in theater in Rijeka, I was familiar with the script.

In short description, this movie is about Ivan, ex-singer and war veteran who lost both legs in war. Ivan also has to face with his broken marriage and son that he doesn't see. Ivan has no future, just like lot of his colleagues from war (who either kill themselves or end up in institution). His father, Izidor is political candidate and he wants to win on elections desperately. His campaign is disturbed when Serbian refugee Simo comes to his house and starts to blackmail him. Soon, all secrets will come out.

This movie is very interesting to people from this areas, who are familiar to events that happened in Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia during the war and after it. Foreigners who are not familiar with situation here in the war can easily learn something about it because the whole point of the story is about ex-soldiers who have obvious problems from war, and no one can help them. They are left to die alone and misunderstood (same story with American soldiers in Iraq - greatly told in "In the Valley of Elah"). Also I have to say that Ostojic movie is better then Bresan play because it's deeper in characterization (ironical parts are strong in both play and movie). Events are told retrospectively and the whole movie is carried by Alen Liveric in the main role. Liveric is brilliant and this is definitely the best acted role in Croatian movie for 2008. Liveric has support from legendary Mustafa Nadarevic and actors like Biserka Ipsa, Zdenko Jelcic, Goran Grgic and others. Everyone is great in their roles and I think this is the best Croatian movie in 2008. "Niciji sin" is Croatia's 2009 Academy Awards official submission to Foreign-Language Film category and it fully deserved that because it's a story about a family that is condemned to doom cause of stupid war. Recommended, especially for audience who likes festival types of movies rather then blockbusters with no brains.

Taken
(2008)

Let Liam Neeson take you into "Taken"!
"Taken" is not another stupid action thriller of B production with bad actors and low budget; "Taken" is what modern action thriller should look like, written by Luc Besson, directed by Pierre Morel and brilliantly acted by one and only Liam Neeson. Neeson brings completely new approach to his character and proves that you don't need to have tons of muscles to be an action star (he's 56 remember!!); he has the height, style, approach, in one word: he's cool! Above everything he is a great actor and he proves that once again. I could go on and on talking about Neeson but I want to say a few things about this movie. Following path of revenge Besson takes us on a ride that is full of action and the whole story is told in beautiful simplicity. It doesn't present nothing new, but the way the whole movie was filmed, with amazing action scenes (some of them brutal like electricity torture) and great actor in main role, you gotta' be satisfied with final outcome. And yes, you know that he's going to save everyone but then again Seagal also saves everyone but 95% of his movies are stupid. That is the magic of this movie cause Besson didn't present anything new. You just need to have passable script, good, young director, be European and have good actor in main role. All I can say, just let Liam Neeson take you into "Taken"!

Young Frankenstein
(1974)

Mel Brooks & Gene Wilder presents...
In times where good comedies are hard to find, and especially parodies, we can all turn to past and genius work of Mel Brooks. Few days ago I watched his "Blazing Saddles" and today I caught "Young Frankenstein" on TV. I must say that "Young Frankenstein" is my favorite and I don't remember when was the last time I laughed as hard as today to a comedy. I'm not going to re-tell the scenes cause words can't describe that but I am going to mention brilliant acting crew lead by great Gene Wilder. Peter Boyle is also great as The Monster, just like Marty Feldman as Igor. Three ladies, Teri Garr, Madeline Kahn & Cloris Leachman are brilliant and there is small role of Gene Hackman that I didn't notice, to tell you the truth, wile I watched the movie. There is no Mel Brooks as actor in this one but his presence as director and writer (with Wilder) can be easily recognized. That's his style and "Young Frankenstein" is movie made by group of comedy geniuses. It's not overrated nor overacted but it is bright and funny. So if you want to laugh...

Låt den rätte komma in
(2008)

European cinematography at its best
It's very hard to describe what I feel about this movie but I'm going to try. I've never read the book nor I've ever heard of it's writer:John Ajvide Lindqvist. I read that this is his first book and after watching this movie I must read it. I'm guessing the book is good and I can certainly say that the movie is brilliant. One of the best European and world movies of 2008. (at least an Oscar nominee for 'Best foreign film'...)

Plot is about 12-year old boy Oscar, who is very fragile and weak individual. He is bullied by his classmates and he takes all that quietly, without fighting back. Beside that his parents are separated and he lives with his mother. Oscar visits his father who obviously has drinking problems and the absence of father figure and friend makes Oscar so fragile and unable to stand for himself. Finally Oscar finds friend in his new neighbor, Eli. Eli is same age like Oscar with only one problem. She is a vampire...

In all other cases this would be a life drama but here one of the main characters is vampire so we've got a touch of supernatural (if you aren't fan of vampires don't let this plot alienate you from this movie). While Oscar parents are separated, Eli has a father who would do anything for her. What Eli needs is blood, to survive, so her dad kills people. But he is not a killer and he just couldn't go on killing people so he tries to kill himself with acid and later on, there is a great scene in the hospital where Eli's dad says goodbye to his daughter and then sacrifices himself for her. He really loved his daughter and he did all he could. The opposite is Oscar father, but I talked about that before. The relationship between Oscar and Eli is elaborated to perfection. They're both kids and maybe we cannot use word love but then again the actions they make shows us what love is all about. They need each other to survive and like it's said in the movie;they are the same. The ending shows what two kids feel for each other and it makes us think what will their future be like. I feel that from the beginning to end, somewhere on the way, Eli & Oscar have grown up and now they'll try to manage on their own (just my opinion).

All scenes are carefully directed so everything looks perfect, with minimum of computer staff, which makes it even better. Director Tomas Alfredson uses different angles, slow movements of the camera so the scenes like the hospital one or at the swimming pool are memorable and they will stick with you long after watching this movie. The actors are amazing. I mean we're talking about two kids, who never acted before and here they shine. Both Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson are great but really there is no one bad in the entire acting crew.

My opinion is that movies like this one, "El laberinto del fauno", "Oldboy" or any other non American masterpieces shouldn't be remade by the Americans just because someone is to lazy to read the subtitles. Please Hollywood, don't ruin something that you cannot do better. For all lovers of serious movies (cause this is much, much more then vampire tale), specially European ones, watch this Swedish movie. And if you do not see the brilliance of this movie then go back to your "Transformers" or whatever brainless fun you like. Cause this, and movies like this, can inspire someone to become director, actor or something that includes movies. Highly recommended!!!

The Skeleton Key
(2005)

Great surprise and brilliant Gena Rowlands
In the lack of good horror movies I turned to "The Skeleton Key" because of mostly good reviews on IMDb and very good grade for horror movie. For the first time, in a while, I didn't regret it. "The Skeleton Key" is very good movie with plot and twist at the end that will keep you awake and satisfied. Although the ending does not present anything revolutionary or something new, it's good, and the whole movie is packed up with capable direction of Iain Softley and good acting. It's a prof that still good horror movies can be made but only if you have good script. Kate Hudson is great surprise in this sort of movie and she's solid in her role. Peter Sarsgaard could be better and legendary John Hurt had nothing to act. Definitely Gena Rowlands steals the show. She's great actress and a bit forgotten star so watch this movie because of her and cause of good, round up movie.

The Hunting Party
(2007)

Perhaps if the International Community opened a summerstock theatre...
After solid 'The Matador'(brilliant Brosnan), Richard Shepard decided to direct a movie that is about catching war criminal in Bosnia. I must say that this is a very brave project and I salute Mr.Shepard on demanding to shoot the entire movie on places were its plot happens (alright there is no Serbia but it's clear why) and not in Czech Republic (it would be much much cheaper). What is great about this one is obvious critic to USA (advertise in papers and phone number that you can call but only from America...), UN (they're actually not doing anything;great scene when our main characters talk with Indian guy with donuts), NATO, EU, The Hague, secret services and everyone who are pretending that they're catching war criminals. Three journalists found out where is 'The Fox'(actually character of Radovan Karadjic who is caught few months ago) hiding and all secret services couldn't do that in 5 years (they obviously didn't want to). What I also liked is the end when Simon, Duck and Benjamin surrender 'The Fox' to people of town he bombarded and destroyed. In real life those people were hunted, killed and raped and no one couldn't do anything about it, nor great America, United Nations, no one. That is greatly described in movies like "No Man's Land" but "The Hunting Party" is American movie so I'm a bit surprised by the level of truth there is in this movie. Because of that I'm willing to pass over some minuses like thin script or very fast ending. Also the direction of Shepard is very good just like the acting. Gere & Howard are great together and those humor parts aren't faked so there is chemistry between them. I must say that Terrence Howard is better then Richard Gere in here but Gere always gets away on a charming card. 5 minutes of Diane Kruger as Mirjana are great just like the role of my country-men Ljubomir Kerekes as 'The Fox'. So if you want to watch a movie that presents only the facts then you have to watch this movie and maybe learn something about the war on these areas. War is now behind us and I think that this crew enjoyed themselves on beautiful locations like Sarajevo, Zagreb or at the Adriatic sea.

EuroTrip
(2004)

Tons of mistakes; when will Americans learn something that's actually correct about Europe??!!
Being European myself, I find this movie stupid. Yes, there are few funny scenes like Italian guy from the train, nudist beach, Absinthe (poor Americans don't know what they're missing:D) or Amsterdam scenes but the whole movie losses good grade when our group arrives in Italy. I'm not a believer, but scenes in Vatican City are idiotic. Two stupid Americans jumping all around the Pope's residence (in real life they wouldn't come near the Pope) or sex in confessional. It's really idiotic. But what hurts me the most is that the makers of this movie didn't even try to learn about Europe, or at least about towns where their plot is taking place. For example Bratislava; anyone who ever visited that city knows that scenes from this movie are ridiculous; I mean here Bratislava looks like the army passed few minutes ago (or our main characters staying in great hotel with 2 dollars; yeah right!!). In the middle of London Scott and Cooper are drinking with supporters of Manchester United. The name of the club is Manchester Utd. and that means they are from town of Manchester. Cause near Big Ben they would probably be beaten by supporters of Arsenal, Fulham, Chelsea, West Ham, Tottenham or 10 other minor league teams who's master town is London. At last most of the movie was filmed in Czech Republic!!! So Americans proved that they don't know anything about the world, except probably their own street where they live in but that's something that we all knew before this movie. Maybe group of people, not over 20, will like this movie but other then that I don't know who else would like to watch movie full of mistakes with 4 typical Americans visiting Europe and thinking that Paris is in suburb of Berlin (I know it's supposed to be funny but lots of Americans even don't know where are most of European towns in this movie and that's really sad)!

Iza stakla
(2008)

Trapped in a love triangle that had to break in a tragic way
"Iza stakla" is a movie from well-known Croatian director Vinko Bresan and it tells us a story of unhappy life that our three main characters are leading. Marriage between Nikola and Maja Jeren is falling apart because of lack of love and infidelity from Nikola side. Nikola is working as an architect and he's cheating his wife with his associate Ana. Here we've got love triangle that had to break at end, cause everyone wanted something. Maja wants her husband and father for their daughter back but she couldn't forgive him infidelity (although her mother and sister had the same problem), which makes her the strongest character in the movie. Nikola on the other hand is a weak individual and he cannot end his marriage even tough there is no love from his side; at the same time he cannot run away with the women he loves but he keeps on living in lie for over 6 years (Ana). Ana is between two fires, cause she loves Nikola but deep inside knows that he cannot be her man. That's why we've got tragic end (like "Babel" beginning, what happened to Pitt's wife), in which Nikola loses everything and there is no need to pity him because you can't go on pretending that everything is all right when it's not.

What makes this movie believable is a script and the characters that can be fund in every day life. Performances of Lucev, Djokic (bravo!!) and Lorenci are great and in supporting roles we can see all well known Croatian actors. Vinko Bresan's direction is very good and maybe this is the best movie he ever made and maybe it's the best Croatian movie of the year (must see 'Niciji sin' to make final judgment). A little minus is only length of this movie (only 80 minutes); I would add couple of scenes at the end. But I'm meticulous here; this is a great movie that I recommend for every fan of drama and serious movies. Good job done for everyone involved!

S.W.A.T.
(2003)

Silly Washy And Trashy (S.W.A.T.)
S.W.A.T. stands for Silly Washy And Trashy as far as we're talking about this movie. 'S.W.A.T.' fails to deliver on all levels so during the movie you keep asking yourself why? Why is this movie made and for what audience? I mean 12-15 will have a good time, but any one who is a bit serious will easily see that there is no script worth reading, no acting and directing worth looking. Script is stupid (why in the world would French criminal Alex Montel, wanted all over the world, enter in the U.S.A. and all alone??...), impossible (plane landing on bridge...) and predictable (we all knew that Josh Charles ((T.J. McCabe)) would be a traitor cause he always plays same type of characters...). But I'll put aside stupid and unrealistic plot that gives all the actors nothing to act and mention the fact that this movie is so slow. There is no action adrenaline or any action scene worth remembering so this really became just another missed action flick (Silly) with few known actors, cliché scenes (Washy) and idiotic plot (Trashy) = S.W.A.T. But I've seen worse so my grade is 3.

Bad Boys II
(2003)

Brainless fun that hurts no one
Although "Bad Boys 2" is no where near type of movie that I prefer, it came in a perfect time (on TV, for about third time!!), after hard day, when you don't need another drama or a movie where you need to think about. "BB 2" offers plain and simple fun action movie that won't stick with you after you watch it cause it's not special or innovative in any way. We all know that computer these days can do everything so car chase or loads of bullets all over the place aren't something (all Michael Bay movies are same) which makes directing very easy. That's why I cannot judge or rate this movie along with 'real' movies. But it's good to see Will Smith & Martin Lawrence back, after 8 years, in roles of cops Lowrey & Burnett and what's also good is that they still make a great team. Comical parts are very good, plot is maybe too much but no one expected any brains in this movie. There isn't much to act from main duo and supporting actors Pantoliano & Stormare made their usual impact. Bay is one of directors I dislike after viewing crappy movies like "Pearl Harbor", "Armageddon" and "Transformers" (I'm not supporter of certain blockbusters) but I have no complaints about "Bad Boys". Bay just took all that money and made a movie that popcorn audience will enjoy.

Mrtav 'ladan
(2002)

Mrtav 'ladan
"Mrtav 'ladan" is one of those movies that Balcan cinematography really needed. I'm not familiar with conditions in Serbian film very much, but I am with Croatian one; we make lots of very good movies and by the view in series like "Vratice se rode" or movies like this one,in Serbia things are also moving to better.

Milorad Milinkovic makes impressive directorial debut with black comedy "Mrtav 'ladan" and I hope we'll see more of his work on this level. I would recommend his first movie to everyone who wants to laugh to tears cause you cannot stay uninterested in characters like Lemi, Kiza, Limeni, Radovan, Mica... Story is great in its simplicity, characters are hilarious (in sea of crazy ones my favorite is Radovan), actors like Nikola Djuricko, Srdjan Todorovic, Nenad Jezdic or young Tara Manic are great (actually I would write down every single actor in this movie; there is also legendary Bata Zivojinovic) and Serbian humor, lines & curses (hope you don't mind that) are on high level. I don't want to say a thing about the plot, just watch this movie and see for yourself; hope people from Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia... won't regret it. Others with subtitles will not be able to fully understand how funny this movie is cause you can't translate curses and jokes to some other language. Highly recommended!!!

Miller's Crossing
(1990)

In my top 5 Coen brothers movies
"Miller's Crossing" is a mob classic that every fan of serious movie should watch. Coming from innovative Coen brothers, this movie will stick with you because of its brilliant lines, twists, acting and directing. There isn't much to say about the actors, top class names like Byrne, Finney, Turturro, Gay Harden, Buscemi and in here great Polito, speak for themselves just like brilliant script from Coen's. Also music is one of the reasons why I gave this movie excellent grade; version of 'Danny Boy' is just outstanding!!! To compare this movie with other gangster movies is all right but not to untouchable "The Godfather". Although I have a great sympathy to one of the best Coen brothers movies ever, I must also say that it doesn't touches sky high Coppola's "The Godfather". But "Miller's Crossing" is a movie that everyone should view and judge for themselves.

Tropic Thunder
(2008)

"I don't read the script. The script reads me."
"Tropic Thunder" is one of those movies that you either like or dislike, there is no middle. I liked this movie and it's one of the better Ben Stiller movies but here Stiller, as director-actor-writer-producer, turns center of attention away from him. In many scenes there is no Stiller, which makes stars like Downey Jr., Black, Cruise, McConaughey and others their share of time on screen. Stiller imagined this one to be a parody of every war movie and that's what this movie is all about. If you expect to see something other then plain jokes about everything (church - Maguire & Downey Jr., mental retardation - bothered me little, war, war heroes - Nolte, movie makers, movie stars - behavior of actors on the set before they were put in the jungle, studio head - Cruise, Oscars...) just don't waste your money to see this movie. But if you're in for fun this will be a great ride. Connoisseurs of war movies will easily recognize classic war movies like "Apocalypse Now", "Platoon", "Saving Private Ryan" or "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and if anyone felt offended about spoofing them, I say don't be. Although I am a big fan of those movies, this is a comedy, where everything is allowed. The whole movie also gets big plus in amount of very well known faces skillfully combined together; so we've got comedy genius Jack Black, very good Tom Cruise (not the best role like someone said), solid Jay Baruchel & Brandon T. Jackson (Alpa Chino :D), Matthew McConaughey as Stiller's agent, Nick Nolte as fake movie veteran, and cameo appearances of Maguire, Voight, Love Hewitt, Rooney, Banks... I purposely left out one name that really stands alone and raises above every single actor in this movie (at least in my opinion): Robert Downey Jr. He is such a brilliant actor, neglected because of his drug problems and in need for big blockbuster that would put him on A acting list. His hit blockbuster was "Iron Man", just like Johnny Depp's world popularity with Pirates; although they were brilliant before those movies in eyes of a true movie lovers. His performance as Kirk Lazarus, Australian, winner of 5 Oscars, that turned black for his new role, is one of the funniest roles in comedy ever. His appearance, attitude, accent and style is amazing and he should be the only reason why this movie should get a passing grade in eyes of those who disliked it (although I don't see the reasons why). To sum it all up, here we've got a great comedy coming from Ben Stiller, with memorable Robert Downey Jr.'s interpretation of Kirk Lazarus that will stay with you long after you finish watching this movie.

Lud, zbunjen, normalan
(2007)

Legendary Mustafa Nadarevic is the only invite you need to watch this show
Since the first episode of "Lud, zbunjen, normalan" in Croatia, this series has a cult status in my eyes. There are so many funny scenes, adventures of our main characters coupled with brilliant acting on top with legendary Mustafa Nadarevic. He plays the head of Fazlinovic family, Izet. Izet is a very enterprising pensioner who never rests, likes to invest in projects that rarely works, likes to drink and women are still his main interest, even in pose age. There is always something going on with him or around him so he is definitely the reason why this series is so popular and great. His son, Faruk owns a music studio with little profit. The only member of Fazlinovic family that actually works something normal is Damir, Faruk's son and a medical student. The name of the series comes from the main characters, being Izet (Lud-Crazy), Faruk (Zbunjen-Confused) and Damir (Normalan-Normal). They are main characters but how can I forget to add constellation of other brilliant characters like Sefika (maid), Ivana (secretary at studio), Dino (sound technician that always eats), Hadziethemcumurovic (neighbour with his line: '...inače, moj dobri prijatelj...') or Samir (relative of Fazlinovic family that always tricks them). Actors like Senad Basic, Moamer Kasumovic, Milan Pavlovic and others, with legends like Milena Dravic, Vanja Drach or Jelisaveta Sablic are all really great and memorable but the name of Mustafa Nadarevic stands alone. Mustafa is brilliant in this role and he's the only invite you need to watch this show, that has a stellar status in Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro. I just hope that this team of writers and actors will stay unchanged for many seasons to come. My grade for this one is of course 10 or like Izet would say par excellence!

Konjanik
(2003)

Story of tragic love in tragic times
"Konjanik" is set in 18th century on the border of Bosnia and Dalmatia, Ottoman Empire and Venetian Republic and talks about love story of two people, Muslim Lejla (Zrinka Cvitesic) and Catholic Petar Revac (Niksa Kuselj). Lejla is daughter of Dzafer-beg (Danko Ljustina) so she already has many of possible husbands. Lejla is promised to Mujaga Lulic (Mladen Vulic) who is a murder and robber but what is most important, a Muslim. Petar is in service of Venetian border unit and when he refuses to kill Mujaga, he is banished from service. Soon Petar decides to became a Muslim and joins Mujaga who sends Petar to watch over Lejla; but two young people falls in love, love that is forbidden. So Petar kills Mujaga and escapes with Lejla. Two lovers knows that they must separate to unite again; Lejla goes in Zadar that is under Venetian patronage and accepts Catholic faith while Petar goes to Bosnia in hope that they will meet one day in Austria.

This movie is very interesting because it shows, in very realistic way, what was happening in this area (Croatia & Bosnia) in 18th century and because of two different people (very different in that time) and their love that is torn between Christianity and Islam and two big forces in Europe - Ottoman Empire and Venetian Empire. Director Branko Ivanda managed to create atmosphere of that time with great landscapes shoot in Croatia and Bosnia and with behavior of every single character, actually of every side (Muslims and Catholics). There are so many characters and they are all important for the story and ending that is tragic. Just like life in 18th century on this areas, filled with death,robbery and poverty. Even love at the end didn't manage to survive.

I must mention some of these great, mostly Croatian actors. Zrinka Cvitesic (beautiful) is great as Lejla, Niksa Kuselj is not bad in main role and old school actors Danko Ljustina, Zijah Sokolovic and late Galliano Pahor are good as usual. Also I will say that this movie is very important for the new blossom of Croatian movie. Croatian cinematography needed historical movie like this that is not based on 20th century war and I advice everyone to watch it, especially for Europeans who are familiar with Venice Republic and Ottoman Empire; but also it's a good lesson for others to see what was happening in Croatia and Bosnia at that time.

Reign of Fire
(2002)

'Envy the country that has heroes, huh? I say pity the country that needs them.'
Watched this movie back when it was released and today I caught it again on TV and I must say that this one is underrated in eyes of most viewers. The whole story could be about man fighting dragons, if you want a short description. But if you look deeper you've got so much more. There is story that actually holds water (with today premises when we destroy world we live in - in the beginning Quinn says that the world leaders tried to kill dragons but only the made more destruction;instead of dragons today there is people (states) fighting people (states)), there is some great acting coming from McConaughey, Bale and Butler (before he went to gym) and capable direction of Bowman coupled with very good special effects. People who dislike this movie maybe can't pass over dragons, but some people can't pass over Hobbits so what? Just unlock your imagination and enjoy cause this movie is not silly and it's not like plenty of other movies that offers you only fun without using your brain (of course you can always turn your brain off). For example think about what Van Zan said: 'Envy the country that has heroes, huh? I say pity the country that needs them.'

In the Valley of Elah
(2007)

'Do you know what it means when a flag flies upside down?... Its an international distress signal.'
I rented this movie only because of Tommy Lee Jones, to see his Oscar nomination, but I also must say that this movie is amazing. With so many space left to talk about it, with such a brilliant acting from Jones and Theron, with brilliant script and direction from Haggis and so on and on.

Main protagonist of this story is Hank Deerfield, former Sergeant, who receives a call from army base that his son Mike is missing after he just got back from long time period fighting in Iraq. Soon the carved body of his son is found on outskirts of town. The case is first taken by the army but after young Det. Emily Sanders's intervention, she takes over the case. Hank makes investigation of his own but soon he receives help from Emily. Director and script writer Paul Haggis (with help of story writer Mark Boal) made a very powerful but also provocative movie where he puts father-son relationship in center through the army. We've got old soldier Hank Deerfield, who is distant from his wife Joan. Their relationship is not elaborated more but we can assume that things started to freeze when their first son died (also in the army) or that Hank is pretty cold person. Hank is personification of a real soldier - he gets up early, his clothes is always neat, his bed always made and his highest values is living by the book. Very important thing is army in lives of Deerfield family. His son Mike would feel less important in his father's eyes if he choose not to join the army and although Hank never forced his son to join the army directly, inadvertently he did that. Great line comes from Susan Sarandon's character (Sarandon really has very little material to work with but she's always good) when she says: 'You could leave me at least one son.' With that she said everything. And also the story about David and Goliath (Elah from the title is valley where they fought) is very important. At the end when Emily son asks her: 'Why did he (the king) let David to go?' It's a clear parallel to Hank and his son. Really, why did he let him go or why did he stay numb after his son desperate call? But to move from this topic, I would also say something about the army and war. Haggis presents war as something terrible and actions of soldiers (what happened to Mike) are justified by the fact that war makes animals out of them, with universal message that you must help those soldiers after the war by providing them medical and psychological help and not by putting a flag in front of your house.

I really liked the whole movie and also the end which can be interpreted on many ways. Flag is turned upside down and that is international distress signal like it is said in the movie. It's very clear that America is in trouble. Maybe that trouble is in way Americans approach to they soldiers after their return home(and not only America but every country) or maybe that trouble is idiotic (sorry for expression) George Bush who led America to war. To a war because of oil; so many people died because of oil and Bush that I'm sick of even thinking about that man. Indeed very brave and provocative movie about America, war, soldiers, fathers and sons. Maybe truth sometimes hurts and maybe that's why only 4000 US voters voted for this title. But those who have seen it know or I hope that they know that this is an excellent movie.

In Bruges
(2008)

'A lot of midgets tend to kill themselves...'
All I knew before watching this movie are the actors that are in it. I like all the actors involved and I thought that this might be a good movie to watch, but I really had no big expectations. But I was surprised at the end. "In Bruges" is a really good movie, with great dialogs and great actors and what I cannot forget to mention: brilliant photography that presents us all Bruges. There is no panoramic scene same like others. Just great! Movie is in some things similar to "The Matador". There, we've got only Brosnan shining in not so good movie; but here we've got Farrell & co. shining in very good movie. I must admit that I didn't expect such a good performance from Farrell after disappointing "Alexander", "Ask the Dust" and "Miami Vice"; at least disappointing to me. So about the script.

Movie is about two professional killers Ken (Brendan Gleeson) and Ray (Colin Farrell) who come in Bruges on some sort of vacation. There, they must keep low profile and wait for the further instructions of their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes). As the movie goes on we found out that Ray is troubled by his first job. He accidentally killed a young boy while he was trying to kill his target. Because of that he's got suicidal thoughts. And one more thing, Ray really dislikes Bruges. His older partner, Ken is enjoying in Bruges and its culture, with all that old houses, churches, towers and canals. Ray meets Chloë on set of the movie that took place in central of Bruges. But soon Ken is given instructions to kill Ray, because of his incident with the little boy.

"In Bruges" is first long movie of Martin McDonagh. McDonagh wrote a fine scenario, where he puts one younger and older killer in front and fills the movie with big doses of dark humor (mostly coming from Ray, who acts sarcastic about everything) and nice turn in a story. I must say that the ending is quite unexpected; it's not American happy ending where everybody lives happy after. That's why this movie is so good. With message that you must follow your principals and with lots of irony, humor and strange events (like dwarf war). Also McDonagh presents his characters like ordinary people, with all their problems. But what's most important is that he managed to combine humor and human tragedy (Ray falls in love but he must be punished because he killed a child) in a way that at the end you feel sorry for main characters even though there is no completely positive character (only that little boy). So, "In Bruges" is not a movie for everybody. If you expect action comedy, look somewhere else. Cause this movie has a big touch of drama and makes you think about it. Great debut for McDonagh, one of the best roles for Farrell and great movie for me (and I hope for all of you).

Cape Fear
(1991)

'Counselor, could you be there?'
Last night on TV there was "Casino" and today "Cape Fear" so I decided to take a look again at those two Scorsese movies. What I remembered from first viewing of "Cape Fear", about 8 years ago, is that that was one scary movie. I was only a kid back then, but even after all these years I felt again that this movie gives great doze of fear. Mostly it is because of brilliant portrayal coming from Robert De Niro (Max Cady is definitely not kind of guy who you wanna meet) and great Martin Scorsese ability to 'manufacture' terrifying scenes (for example when Nolte is hiding behind trash cans and when De Niro says: 'Counselor, could you be there?' - that one reminded me of Walter Hill's "The Warriors" and Luther in the same movie). Scorsese + De Niro (his all time favorite) never fails to deliver when they have as good script as this. Here, there is relationship between lawyers and clients, parents and children; also law in America is comprehended, where are holes in system, what can or cannot man do to protect his family and so on. I also read some of the comments that compare this one with the original and spits on this movie. To those people I say that this is an Oscar winning picture for some remakes I have seen in my life. If Mitchum and Peck (stars from the original) gave their blessing why can't you? So, I advise you to take a look at this Scorsese picture because it's scary, with Hitchcock elements and great acting coming from all actors involved. This is a great horror/thriller!!!

The Dark Knight
(2008)

"The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming."
I went on premiere of new Batman here in Croatia and as soon as I came home I wanted to write a comment about this one. The reason is obvious; I wanted to be able to write all what I need to say now, when I'm still 'fresh' and under impression of this great movie. Although my favorite director is Tim Burton and his way of presenting Gotham City is still my favorite, I must say that this is the best Batman movie made. It is way better even from the last Nolan's Batman.

My respect to Mr. Nolan goes way back to his first movie, and till today that man doesn't have a stain on his career. Not only that his movies are OK, but they are great and he really enriches world of movies. So that is all about Nolan, cause I'm eager to talk about the movie.

What I liked is well made story that will surely keep you awake right till the end (even though the movie is long - 152 minutes). I admit that at first I was bit skeptic about Joker entering in the Batman series again. For a long time Jack Nicholson had no competition and no one really dared to think about playing Joker. Not until now. Late Heath Ledger had guts to show the world what Joker is like. He created his own Joker, different from Nicholson, but equally or even more brilliant. You see, Nicholson has that 'crazy' face and smile and Ledger had to start from nothing. Sadly, one brilliant actor is not with us today but he will always live through his movies. The role of Joker made him world wide known (even to not movie or Batman fans) and in my opinion took his life. It would be a shame if Academy decides not to give him honor in a figure of nomination for Best Supporting actor, at least.

Every character in this movie is shown to us right to the bones. Bruce Wayne (Batman) is presented as hero, that is also only human (that's what I liked about Batman in general - he is only human, with no special powers, only gadgets). Human who acts by the emotions but hero who will take the responsibility on his back and became object of hate because he is the strongest. Not machine, but human. Christian Bale is only solid, cause he is out shined by Ledger and Eckhart (same thing happened to Keaton in very first Batman with Nicholson). Aaron Eckhart is another actor who shines here as Harvey Dent (Two-Face). His character is the most complex one in entire movie cause he became something that he despised - a criminal. Personal tragedy created lunatic from him who lets coin to decide if someone is going to be killed or spared. Acting and evolving of Eckhart/Dent is brilliant and for every price (specially one to screenplay writers - brothers Nolan). Women, Rachel Dawes, who makes love interest for both Dent and Wayne is played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. It is a great choice, over Katie Holmes from "Batman Begins", because Maggie is so natural actress that is great to watch her on screen and her character is the tragic one (I would say more then the ones of Wayne and Dent). Lt. James Gordon is played by great Gary Oldman with enough emotions that makes his character believable (specially last scenes with his family). Screen legends, Michael Caine & Morgan Freeman, are given smaller but very important roles. Caine as Alfred, Wayne's conscience and Freeman as Lucius, inventor and friend. Although the atmosphere of Nolan's Gotham is not as dark as Burton's, Nolan's characters are darker and stylish and in all that dark there is light at the end; people on those two ferries showed that even though there is lots of suffering and evil on this world (in Gotham), that when it comes down everyone can be united in life or death - that is also a great victory over Joker who never thought that that kind of scenario will happen. Everything is described in words of H.Dent: "The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming."

At the end, I will also add that this movie has some parts not explained till the end (like Scarecrow's appearance for only a minute or what happened to Joker - he stayed alive so some other actor would take Ledger's place; not like original script were Joker dies). Probably that is all done because of Ledger's death. But all in all, this is a must see movie for everyone and I'll give it the highest grade. Not because I think this is the greatest movie of all time (like IMDb list says) but because this is the best Batman movie and great idea that came alive by great director, actors, writers and all who worked on this special movie. Thank you all!

Final Analysis
(1992)

Hitchcock must be turning in his grave
I must say that I had high expectations about this movie because of solid cast and what it seemed interesting story in Hitchcock way. We've got ordinary man (Dr. Isaac Barr) who founds himself in strange situations and also blond female characters (both Heather and Diana). Also the end, the lighthouse, the fall of Heather Evans is a copy of Hitchcock style. I must say, after watching movie, that this is very bad movie. Beside Eric Roberts, who is always good as bad guy, all other actors are just acting it through (Gere was awful, Basinger funny when she tried to be bad and Thurman had nothing to act). Script was written on so stupid way that we've got numerous inversions but in a very predictable and dull way, so I waited finally to end. Very big disappointment for me and poor Hitchcock must be turning in his grave.

Jaws 3-D
(1983)

An insult to original and even second movie; but what to say about fourth one then
"Jaws" is cult movie and the only movie about sharks that I liked entirely. It was obvious that they are gonna make sequels after big success of the first movie. While second one is bearable, third one is idiotic for numerous reasons.

"Jaws 3" offers us two well known actors - Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr. and one of the worst sharks on the movie. This shark in "Jaws 3" barks, have you noticed that?; and he is incredibly slow, just like this movie. After first 10-15 minutes this movie sinks deeper and deeper and no one can rescue it. Thanks to heavens that this is one and only movie directed by Joe Alves and I don't know what screenplay writers were thinking or the actors. All I can say that this is an insult to original movie and even second one, and also an insult to viewers intelligent. But what is there to say about fourth one then???

Prepoznavanje
(1996)

Great acting coming from Natasa Dorcic
"Prepoznavanje" is one of those nice, little thrillers that you can watch in the rainy afternoon when you've got nothing better to do. Maybe you watched movies with similar story like this one but I can say one thing for sure; this is decent movie if we consider the amount of money invested in it. I can name plenty of movies with far bigger budget and with much poorer result. I will try to be objective, although I'm from Croatia, and say that Natasa Dorcic did an amazing job in main role and that all actors involved in this movie are well known Croatian actors; from Mustafa Nadarevic, Ivo Gregurevic... to world wide known Goran Visnjic in role of Ana's boyfriend and also in one of his first bigger roles. So this is a solid movie with great cast and bearable story that will probably not be 'picked up' by plenty of viewers. For those of you who watched it, I just hope that you didn't regret after. Cause there is nothing to be ashamed of for Croatian viewers. This was filmed in 1996., few years after war and it turned out fine. My advise is to take look at new movies coming from Croatia and all lands in this area (Bosnia, Serbia...). You'll be surprised with progress made in only 17 years after war has ended.

Red Dragon
(2002)

'Remarkable boy. I do admire your courage. I think I'll eat your heart. '
After watching this movie I have to get "Manhunter", the only movie about Hannibal Lecter I haven't seen. Also after watching this one I officially declare that this is the best Hannibal movie right after untouchable "The Silence of the Lambs". What I liked in "Red Dragon" is its great script, very good acting and music from master Danny Elfman.

While "Hannibal" takes Hannibal Lecter in the world, this movie keeps him in his familiar surrounding - cell with unbreakable glass and those spooky drawer. It also seems that in that cell Anthony Hopkins played one of his best roles in the entire career. He's scary, frightening and dangerous but yet so well mannered and with great phrases and accent coming from his mouth. Here, the object of our attention is not on the Hannibal, but on young detective Will Graham who is trying to catch a murderer called 'The Tooth Fairy'. Graham is the man who put Hannibal behind glass (in his case) and Graham seeks help from Hannibal in order to catch a killer. Edward Norton is that detective and he played his part well, with no ups or downs. I think that we all know that Norton is one of the most talented actors of his generation (Johnny Depp & co.). What is truly brilliant is acting of Ralph Fiennes and specially Emily Watson. Too a true movie fans of course that this is not a surprise, cause both of them are actors with huge capacity.

I really liked the whole story about 'The Tooth Fairy'. Yes, tormented childhood is nothing new, but his tattoo and connection to a dragon from Blake picture is great, just like his madness (don't get me wrong, I'm still under the impression of Fiennes powerful acting when he's about to kill Freddy Lounds or when he holds Reba in ring of fire). Also, the whole story with Reba is very important, cause she was the only reason he didn't kill more families. He fell in love and that was the only good thing in him. Even monsters fell in love, but at the end his dark 'dragon' side overcome. Really a topic to talk about.

The whole ending is suitable, as we found out that Agent Clarice Starling is visiting Hannibal. And what's next? Well, I would say a movie classic or at least a thriller classic, "The Silence of the Lambs". If you wanna' watch it, make sure that you first watch "Red Dragon", cause it's a great start.

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