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Teachers, Leave the Audience Alone
Story of first African-American detective in the city's police department as he sets out to infiltrate and expose the local Ku Klux Klan chapter sound so incredible that it just has to be true.

There are so many interesting and subtle elements in movie that make great addition to story. Spike Lee does good job in portraying situation, surroundings and reasons why it's so hard to make a change - even with a people willing to make one, it's dangerous turn it into reality. He also dares to start questioning the individualism of movements - when does "me" become "we" and individual becomes idea (even if it is for good cause) undistinguishable from the rest of crowd? Footage from Gone with the wind with "wounded" Confederation flag and Ku Klux Klan part in The Birth of The Nation is provocative remainder (although not first to mention it) of past times and raises interesting question.

There is just one problem with movie that for me makes all the difference. Films (and plays) are there to give experience, not to teach. The thing Lee avoided so elegantly in the past films is exam he fails so clearly in this one for one simple reason: in his best work it was never about teaching audience, but simply telling the story. This is what he does in first 1/3 of BlakcKkKlansman and when the movie is at its best with no pressure in "making the point". As soon as he tries to make one (in fact in moment when any director tries to make one) it starts to fall apart and falls into cliches he is trying to avoid. It starts with Trump miniatures in dialogues that seems as nice auteur expression at beginning, continues with inserting "change the world" parts in otherwise engaging dialogue (something director would say, not characters), Harry Belafonte giving monologue about African American suffering that seems so obligatory and culminates with Charlottesville footage, for all people who didn't watch the previous 98 minutes of movie.

Loosing respect for audience intelligence is one of the worst things that can happen to film director. He resembles parent who wishes to teach children by lecturing them, while children at same time crave for real life experience. It will not work for simple fact that we all have organic adversity of being programmed by other people. We are truly touched by other people's experiences that makes us think.

Ironically, but not illogically, Lee does his best with limited sources. I remember accidentally stumbling on Do The Right Thing on TV many years ago. I signed up for comedy, ended up with movie that stuck with me till today. All it tried to do is tell a simple story about hanging pictures in one pizzeria, and ended up telling story about human character, relationships and love. I kept thinking about it hours after it ended. BlackKkKlansman took different approach - it's more direct story that tries to be larger than life. I was doing my best to be touched, I honestly did, but there was nothing left for me to do since Lee did it all the thinking for me.

There is one thing I was left with, although not sure director did it intentionally. As I scrolled against the list of Oscar nominees for last couple of years I couldn't help noticing it was less and less about movies and more about political correctness. Let's be honest - Oscar never was about auteur cinema, but in most cases it had respect for quality that would stand the test of times. I hope that after it pays its due to all movies with agenda, it will turn to filmmakers in pursuit of telling the story. I cannot help myself thinking about Paul Thomas Anderson, caucasian middle aged auteur from San Francisco who usually tells interesting stories about "ordinary" people. It's just about character's lives and relationships, nothing more. It's something Spike Lee used to do.

There is parole in BlacksKkKlansman that says: All Power To All People! (which actually doesn't make a sense if you properly think about it). I propose another one: All Power To Story Telling Filmmakers!

The Family Man

Well worth yur Christmas time
Jack is a wealthy alpha Wall Street businessman who is, due to important merger, about to make his coworkers have a working Christmas day. During his visit to the local store he encounters mysterious man who gives him a glimpse into what his life would be if he made different decision in past. Next morning, to his surprise, Jack wakes up in suburbia house next to his former girlfriend Kate, now his wife, and their two small kids on Christmas day. Alternative Jack drives old minivan, works as tires retail seller in his father in law small local firm and spends his time outside work changing dippers, driving kids to kindergarten and hanging with family friends. Could his alternative life be more worth living that his current one?

Christmas drama/comedy/romance, just as any other film, depends on having secret mixture of genuine characters, interesting plot, transformation of main character and interesting situations, which are not necessary realistic, but believable, creating empathy connection with audience. When you think about it, its not so easy, just as it isn't easy to make people laugh.

Nicolas Cage is convincing as a man put into alternative reality angry and confused but at the same time puzzled - is his life all it could be and could it be that the alternative Jack is genuinely happy? He and Tea Leoni look and feel good as couple, you wan't to see where there relationship is going to go and you cheer for them. Jack's family life put opposite of fast pace manner glamour will make you laugh at the moment and you feel his frustration.

Director keeps away film going over the edge with cheesy parts and cliched dialogue. But most of all you care about Jack's and Kate's problem's because they are believable. I am not sure if director, actors or both experienced it but they got the feel for marriage and family life good with important questions - How to appreciate everyday routine and what you have? How do you exist as individual person in marriage and family? What do you sacrifice for unity and how do you do it willingly and freely? And how can sacrifice make you a better man?

And that's what makes all the difference because you will not notice that supporting characters are sometimes there just to push the narrative further or to serve as a provider of information for audience, neither you will mind side stories that didn't get the conclusion.

Family Man feels like a honest work with cast that enjoyed making it. It will usually not be on top 10 Christmas films, sometimes in even isn't in a list, but it should be, because it makes the mixture mentioned above work together and makes you forget about its flaws. It makes you look at yourself and at least make you wonder how's your life lately. I even red of people's life getting changed after watching this film on IMDB. I don't find that hard to believe. It certainly made me want to change mine. What more could you wish from Christmas film?


Good Old Action Movie
In dystopic future hit by nuclear disaster on the edge of social disorder, judiciary system is held together by judges, the only force for order who act as judge, jury and executioner.

Judge Dredd is assigned as supervisor to rookie Anderson, a powerful psychic who marginally failed the aptitude tests to become a Judge but, is given one more chance as she can be a valuable asset for Judge Order in future. Their visit to notorious slum tower block called Peach Trees turns into bloody mission for survival as they get in the way of Ma-ma, gang lord and main dealer of new powerful drug...

Director Peter Travis wastes no time and in 15 minutes introduces us to main characters, plot and atmosphere. It is a violent world where life is worth nothing and survivors are those who are lucky or rough, and in most cases both at the same time. Action and Dredd's coolness packed with his one liners leads him up the slum to Ma-ma, with packs of bodies behind.

In couple of moments film tries to touch ethical dilemmas of simplified justice judges use to efficiently punish offenders, as well as world in which people are turned into piece of meat system needs to deal with, but does not go into much depth. According to its setting, same is applied in aesthetic with explicit violent scenes of combat or death.

Karl Urban is convincing and never goes over the edge trying to over show what he can do, as Stallone did in 1995 adaptation. Effort he put in physical training as well, as micro expressions, are nice touch to the role as it is to see Dredd moving like a pro and not waving his gun like gang member. Urban put his heart in his role and showed that hard work works, even if as an actor you don't have half of your face to show. Thirbly is solid as rookie that tries to pull herself together but gets shocked by real world outside combat simulator.

There are things that could have been better. Some gang members look like they've just gone out of "want to be gangster" fashion saloon - tattoo, dirty talk, Kalashnikov, but at the same time seem so naive they cannot wait to be fooled by Dredd, or simply try to catch the bullet. Also, especially at beginning, it seems that Dredd and Anderson are taking too many bad guys with their smart gun that it makes you wonder what they would do without it. Luckily, as they progress there are couple of action scenes that show why Dredd is No 1 judge in town. Character of Ma-ma is puzzling but as narrative progresses does not go much into depth of her motivation. It is shame as this makes her convincing, but not one of the greatest villains we've seen.

Mentioned above are common headaches most action movies of this type have and will not spoil your enjoyment if you are fan of action films, since Dredd does everything he promises - good action, believable characters, avoids most clichés and has good atmosphere.

As I watched Dredd couple days ago, it came to my surprise that's third time I've seen it. It's that kind of film you will not see twice in a row but after a while it will be your pick after you been through all action classic, as a fond memory that does not fade as time goes by. I guess Dredd is that kind of movie they don't make anymore. And will not anytime soon as Dredd world wide's earnings managed to barely cover budget expenses. Shame, as Dredd is excellent adaptation that is praised by fans and is appreciated by everybody else. And rightly so.

Max Payne 3

Disappointing story, great action
Max Payne 1 and 2 was one of those (rare) action games with good a la Mickey Spillane stories told very neatly in comic novella style packed in noir surrounding .

So what has changed and is Max still filled with pain?

9 year after NY events Max is still drowning his sadness in alcohol and painkillers when his old colleague Raul pays him a visit and proposes a new job. Shooting in bar takes Max to new chapter in life where he together with Raul starts a bodyguard job for wealthy Brazilian family. After mysterious attacks at members of family Max is once again being involved in situation that requires his skills...

First that the players will notice is that Max has turned from comic like storytelling to animation. Depending on individual taste, some will see it as step forward. To me, it seems like more thing of going with the flow – noir setting is lost together with imagination that was required of player. Stylized comic noir with good sound design worked perfectly. In this one, all the fails in animation that try to resemblance action movie surface so easily – stiff faces of characters in moments of their emotional peak, attractive semi naked woman that don't look like that at all because of their robot moves etc.

And the story does not help. After nine years Max is still in pain from loss of his wife and child, motive the new players will not understand and screenwriters use it to fill the story gaps and connect it to cliché family thriller of people Max is protecting as seen in B class thrillers with all the soap opera betrayal. Unfortunately to fill story with scenes of Max drinking and taking painkillers in his apartment gets boring after 4th time and so does Max delivering Bogart liners just for their sake. As first two stories avoided to look funny in overusing this stuff here you will find it fake. After half the story you will stop caring and just focus on action...

...and action is done close to excellent. Controls are responding great, arsenal adequate to one's gaming preferences so that you can bravely get into the action using bullet time with double Berettas or make your way tactically advancing from cover to cover with assault rifle. Enemies AI is also good, so that you will take out the light armored street guys easily and on hard level have problem with SWAT team that will try to smoke you out of the cover applying team work.

Game design varies from average to excellent, but you won't get bored. It took me approximately 14 hours to finish the game campaign taking my time which is decent for shooter.

If this Max appeared first it would have been great shooter which lacks story, like this we will ad minus for implementing nothing significantly new and plus for upgrading good shooting.

Good shooting with disappointing story when taking in mind its origins 8/10.


Academy, shame on you!
Chiron is a boy growing up with his crack addicted mother in suburbs of Miami. One day, running from school bullies he meets Juan, drug dealer who with his girlfriend Theresa becomes shelter from violent outburst from his mother. His troubling childhood continues through adolescence as is his strange friendship with his classmate Kevin that could grow in a relationship. As Chiron is growing up and becoming man we witness burdening past defines gap between who he is and wishes he is.

As film picked up excellent reviews and 8 Oscar nomination, I went on blind date with this movie and didn't want to know anything about it. Huge disappointment.

Cliché is written in too many places starting with characters tied up with screenplay. On moments you can guess what next line is going to be, symptomatically it will be confirmed with camera and music. So when you see sad character, you're going to have close up, violin in the background and Chiron saying I am sad. When it's romantic time, groovy Barry White like music will accompany Chiron looking madly in love eyes in close up etc. To the point of comic, and I am not joking. Shots of Chirons six pack that looks like gym commercial is not shot of man longing for physical closeness with other man. Somehow mysterious relationship with Kevin without anybody else in scene is not necessary sigh of troubled relationship, it is often a signal to the audience that it might be that Chiron is imagining Kevin, which I thought through the first half of the movie. As it is obviously not deliberate, it is fail in directing.

Action takes place as it fits screenplay and because of that you have feeling as it has been staged, thus creating feeling of artificiality. As story composes of three chapters in Chieron life (boy, adolescence, man) there are many storytelling parts as characters inform others and us what they have done in the past, of which many we would rather see than hear about, as they seem more interesting than what we are looking at. Characters are build as clichés without any variety, so you see crack mother, suffering child and drug dealer with golden heart, not real persons. That makes actors go overacting and storytelling. Camera is intriguing at moment playing with sharpness on the edge of closeups, flares and neon style, but what is it worth when everything else fails to deliver.

Pros is cinematography described above and physical look of actors as Chieron and Kevin have striking physical resemblance in all three different periods in their life.

Seeing 99 on meta-score, more than positive rate from IMDb, and 8 Oscar nominations in acclaimed categories I rushed to see this movie. First time in my life ever I am positive to say – shame on you Academy, as this film does not deserve it. What went through critics mind who should at least be bearer of our consciousness I also don't know.

Movie which wishes to speak about homosexual growing up in African American suburb of Miami should not be automatically praised just because of its agenda. It should have been praised for its capacity to speak of love, truth, inner battles and society we live in. It was done in Brokeback mountain and Adelle. It was not done in Moonlighting, which is, at its best, average TV movie.

Hardcore Henry

Interesting idea, puzzling trailer, terrible movie
I was puzzled to see execution of a movie that looked like a first person shooter. What a mistake. I left theater after 40 minutes and only regret I have is not walking out earlier.

First and unfortunately positive sign that you're going to watch something bad is opening scene which shows close-ups of gunshot and knife wounds, without any point, just showing how far prognostics went. Sad reminder that single nice shot does not make a movie.

Story? Henry is a man who wakes up with super power in secret lab where nice looking female scientist claims to be his wife. Not long after that lab gets attacked by Russian mobster. Henry goes to find out his past and something else we do not understand by killing dozens of enemies...

Movie used the worst of what movie and games have to offer. You do not participate (play) in action, which looks attractive first 10 minutes, until it all goes in the loop. Story is 2nd rate, even for game industry amnesia story. There definitely is effort put into story-boarding scenes and filming and editing movie shot in such specific way, but there is also big waste of time creating concept that does not work and leaves you with nothing more then a headache.

Characters are bad clichés with bad acting for which you don't care since there is not emotional involvement due to poor story. Even action flicks get boring since there is only one perspective and few WOOOO moments (eg falling down the building from Henry's point of view) can't make up for repetitiveness.

I'm trying to find positive characteristic of HC Henry but cannot see even one. If you're going to see it for action scenes after first excitement you will be bored, and there are plenty of good short action videos on YouTube.

As far as Henry, I didn't stick around long enough to find if nice looking scientist is his real wife, did he find what he was looking for, and who the heck Henry really is. And to be honest I couldn't care less.

Save you're money and precious time and avoid Henry at any price.

Terminator Genisys

Unsuccessful Avengers like transition
Kyle Reese is sent by John Connor to the past to help protect his mother against terminator that was sent by machines to kill her. As he travels to 1984 he finds that past has been changed and Sarah not so helpless as she is under protection of Guardian. Yet, another challenges arrive as they team together in effort to destroy Skynet for good.

Story-line aims to restore trademarks of first two sequels and succeeds as first 20 minutes of film are replica of T1 and T2 in relatively successful way (with smart footage from young Schwarzenegger). After it leaves safe harbor of fist two Terminators problems with story and acting surface.

Problem above would be bearable if story was in general interesting and made you care for are leading characters, but that is not the case, as after a while you accept that they are going from point A to B (for some reason), kill few terminators on the way and try to destroy Skynet.

Story is adjusting depending on planed action scenes, and Schwarzenegger's role is to explain illogical plot with time traveling theory, although you will notice many illogical parts, including existence of two Kyle Reese at the same time that no one seems to mind.

Emilia Clarke's and Jai Courtney's characters of Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese do not work, since he constantly does not now what is going on (despite fact that he spent his whole life with John Connor), and makes you feel that he's not the right man for the job, and Sara repeating all the time that she does not want to be with Kyle, although he does not ask that of her nor does he act in that direction, and says so few times. Despite that, Sara is constantly rejecting him. Schwarzenegger's role is also to deliver funny lines that after a while become recycled and forced as you feel film was composed as bad sandwich from overused joke, forced action scenes and unsuccessful romantic plot. J K Simmons is good actor, and besides that I really fail to see what does his character do except transport leading actors from point A to B, and what is his character's motivation.

There are small but significant things that may bother die hard Terminator fans such as facts that it turns out that Terminators get destroyed as flies in this movie, and thus feels they are not real terminators.

Good things? Action scenes look descent, although you will be surprised as you remember 1992 T2 and liquid scenes with T1000 that do not look much worse than here. Small things in relationship between Guardian and Sarah, and rivalry between old Guardian and Kyle Reese may put small smile on your face, and serve as reminder that it takes skills and talent to build evergreen action movies in the class of masters such as James Cameron, John McTiernan and Walter Hill that works as full feature movie and holds your attention from beginning to the end.

Terminator Genisys is unsuccessful attempt to make Avengers like franchise from Terminator movies. Except for the CGI and Terminator in its name it should be straight to DVD movie.


Season 7 - far from perfect, saved by good final episodes
Handsome writer, irresistible to woman (and neither can he resist them), his ex wife who is true love of of his life and still has feelings for her, who is about to marry another man. Sex, drugs, lots of alcohol spiced with rock 'n' roll and California. But most important the theme - true love, no matter how corny it sounds, and done with honesty and balls, straight from the heart. That's what made Californication so popular.

After watching final episode of season 1 couldn't help thinking - what a perfect ending it would be, and most surely put series to path to immortality. Of course it got so popular they filmed another season, so we got very good season 2, good season 3, OK season 5, and big fall in quality in seasons 6 and 7.

To be honest, seasons 7 in many episodes felt something this kind of show just can't afford - boring. Yes, there were gags, but they turned out to be about being controversial (being controversial comes out of good humour, as shown in s01 - s04, not other way around, ask Monty Python), not funny. Situations seemed kind of forced (appearance of Hank's annoying son), so sometimes many times you just didn't care for the plot. Actors seemed to struggle, since they didn't have something to play on, recycling old Runkle gags, and supporting cast, except of Michael Imperioli, just don't stand real as characters of Lou Ashby or Richard Bates.

Karen and Becca were given such small significance in plot until the end of show we almost forget about them, which leads us to the main problem - the lack of thing that made it so great at beginning - story of Karen and Hank. True obstacles to their love didn't exist any more, so writers got the task to make them - tough work since through six seasons almost every possible obstacle between man and woman of free choice who care for each other have been mostly used.

Things began to move around 9th episodes, sadly near the end of show.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm going to forgive boring, and sometimes soapoperish episodes of season 7 (and 6) saved by charismatic David Duchovny, take them as part of bumpy road Hank has taken us in the tour of his life, remember good and not pathetic love story between Hank and Karen, packed all together with California charm you just can's resist finished with pretty satisfying series finale and say - it's been a good ride.

Californication: Blind Faith
Episode 10, Season 6

Horror, horror
I remember first season of Californication as one of the best surprises ever with great characters, humor and romantic, and yet not soapy story between Hank and Karen that made sense.

When I see a quality drop between that and season 6, it makes my stomach hurt.

Many religious people found Californication offensive. I disagreed until this episode. It's all about smart and witty humor that makes people think, not insulting somebody or his beliefs, if you don't believe me ask Monty Python.

Being provocative as self purpose, and not result of humor is a cheap way around. On top of it, writers added black and white characters with poor, undereducated redneck Christians driving cheap cars, and enlightened rock muse Faith coming home in big style in Porshe. This and horrible cliché dialog made this episode look like bad liberal propaganda. I wrote bad, because liberal is supposed to have something with liberty and equality, not prejudice. This propaganda is nothing better then religious one.

One should also mention support cast that looks like it's been borrowed from some 3rd class soap opera filming near by to that degree that looks like actors playing Faith's mother and father are mocking with themselves. Maggie Grace playing Faith looks like she's having trouble with having faith in dialog written for her. David Duchovny is trying to hold things together, and partially succeeds because of his sense of humor and due to fact that he doesn't speak so much, but again - it's a short way around.

Problem with this episode and general problem with season 6 is little but important thing called story - there is not one in here. Karen holding distance between her and Hank is here for one purpose only - to create space for situations that are supposed to be funny but feel kind of forced. When writers don't now what to do they put Charlie Runkle on stage, but jokes he throws have been worn out. Tim Minchin as Atticus is often overacting and looks like poor substitute for Lew Ashby played by Callum Keith Rennie in season 2.

I'm trying to find something positive in this episode and season in general but failed to do so.

Crew should do some praying for season 7, it's about only thing left after this season.

3/10 (just because of sentimental feelings for first 3 seasons)


Cancelled to soon
When Enterprise was announced, it was presented as revitalization of Star Trek. It run on big budget and high expectations, but was initially received with mixed reviews from both fans and critics, by my opinion to harsh.

Producers took big bite - to connect generations of Star Trek series and events, such as alliance between Vulcan and Earth, introduction of Romulans,Andorians etc. and all sorts of technicalities - transporters, tractor beams, weapons. Not easy task.

In many ways they were successful - Scott Bakula was convincing as first captain in charge of warp ship, Jolene Blalock gave nice contrast as Vulcan representative aboard Enterprise and the rest of the characters formed interesting crew (especially good performance by Connor Trinneer as Trip and ). The show was given extra touch of realism with space suits, contamination chambers and technical details trying to give audience feeling they were there, nice.

Start of Enterprise was a little bit slow but eventually episodes became more and more complex. Significant raise in quality was seen in third (season lasting story) and fourth season, where some of the stories continued through three episode, which worked surprisingly well. Unfortunately, reception was getting worse by each season until it was decided it will end with fourth season. First cancellation in history of Star Trek that was determined by studio and not producers was ended in, what was seen by critics, fans and cast as lousy series finale.

So what went wrong? The main problem was detected by Jolene Blalock (T'Pol), who is also Star Trek fan. She criticized the early stories as boring and lacking intriguing content. She felt that early Enterprise scripts ignored basic tenets of Star Trek chronology, and offered "revealing costumes instead of character development", which is true. By the time things started to change, scripts becoming more interesting and beginning to take advantage of Star Trek universe, it was to late. However, huge increase in quality of last two seasons shows that Enterprise could have been great series. One should not forget that The Next Generation was getting better by every season. I'm not implying that Enterprise came even close to TNG, just that it lack of luck a little bit.

Overall, Enterprise stands at approximately same level as Deep Space 9 or Voyager but leaves all fans with bitter taste in their mouth as they realize that it never reached its full potential.

In Bruges

Bruges is a stage
If I had to describe "In Bruges" in one word it would be - theater. Because that's how I felt after I saw it.

Story about two Irish hit men (Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell) who were sent to hide in Bruges by their boss (Ralph Fiennes) is dark comedy with brilliant screenplay. Dialogue is just fantastic, it's incredible how you can be pulled to screen watching dialogue about midget war or touristic attraction of Bruges. But don't be fooled - behind, on first sight, irrelevant conversations and witty dialogues lie existentialistic questions about life and death and everything between. Why theater? Well, through this brilliant dialogue (base of every good play), in Bruges as stage, develops relationship between four main characters - nihilist Ray (Collin Farrell), experienced Ken (Brendan Gleeson), energetic Harry (Ralph Fiennes) and Bruges itself. Besides this there are great supporting characters - hotel owner Marie (Thekla Reuten), midget Jimmy (Jordan Prentice), Ray's girlfriend Chloe (Clemence Poesi) and many others. Acting is excellent with actors fitting roles perfectly. Very nice surprise is Collin Farrell who has proved he can carry film as leading actor.

With European touch of Martin McDonagh "In Bruges" became one of the best films I saw this year, if not the best. What needs to be mentioned again is outstanding script.

So, was the play good? Brilliant.I even think Shakespeare would like it.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Faraway, so close
Oh, and what kind of game it could have been. And many things they got really good, even dare to say excellent. Story is great (with influence and approval by George Lucas himself), fitting saga very good, voice acting is excellent and animations well synchronized with story, sound and music almost at the film quality.

Did they got the feeling of being a Jedi right? Yes, to the certain point. It's cool using light-saber, force (abilities develop by collecting points and experiences in battles) and especially light-saber fight with other Jedi.

Unfortunately, there are two big flaws: camera and character controls and in this types of game they are crucial for comfortable game-play.

Camera sometimes gets weird and makes you feel confused, which doesn't go too well with dozen of enemies in screen. E.g. you're fighting boss and have to avoid certain object while running. Camera focuses on boss so you don't see objects which you need to avoid. It's little frustration that you'll notice.

Controls are also not good and precise, especially force power that you use to move objects or enemies. You can see that game developers invested great amount of time in it, but unfortunately it just doesn't work so well. Just imagine, you're fighting enemy and trying to throw object on him, but it grabs other object or doesn't grab anything. It looks cool but with time you'll find it more practical to use light-saber and other force abilities and this leaves one segment of the game unused.

How do camera and control flaws influence game-play directly? Remember those epic x300 combos in God Of War when you exactly knew were you blew it? Well, in Force Unleashed it's not only you but certain amount of luck regarding on controls and camera.

However, those problems are not huge obstacle to beat the game so you won't have big problems with that, especially if you're Star Wars fan and story holds you even tighter to the game. However, although I like Star Wars I didn't have enough enthusiasm to beat it second time.

When I look at the game I have feeling it should have been developed a bit longer to correct those flaws that make so much difference in this genre. It's shame because we could have had the best Star Wars game since The Knights of The Old Republic.

Considering game flaws I'd recommend it to Star Wars fan. Others - try it before you buy it and if you like this genre and have PS2 I'd rather recommend God of War instead, it beats Force Unleashed in every segment (if you still didn't play it, of course).

Oh, and what kind of game it could have been.

From Hell

Very different, very good, very atmospheric
There are many horror-mysteries which take their inspiration from historic events that are memorized as one of the most horrifying deeds man has ever done. Most of those films are so occupied with the perpetrator that everything else regarding films becomes less important and so does the film in its entirety. That is not case with this movie.

The Hughes brothers made very impressive film, faithfully creating 19th century London and well build up characters and atmosphere from graphic novel. What I liked in particularly was depth that was achieved in explaining (or said better examination) motivation behind murders - madness and motivation of murderer are done in very impressive way almost trying to get inside his head. Portrait of low and high class London was presented is not less impressive way. Everything was spiced with little bit art approach that fits perfectly - European influence worked very well in this movie.

Acting is on high level, starting from Johnny Depp who, as usual, gives unique touch to his character to Robbie Coltrane and Ian Holm, all giving good performances and fit their roles very good, except Heather Graham. I must admit her acting wasn't so convincing, it's very hard to believe her character is a prostitute (but not because of her charming performance).

There are few explicit scenes but directors mostly rely on formula "things you don't see makes you even more scared when left to your imagination", although I wouldn't recommend this film to children or those with really weak stomach. Without those scenes, I think, film would loose some of its "creepiness", and does not leave you with feeling directors put it there just so the film would be described as horror.

For all those who fancy mysteries and don't mind few harsh scenes, go ahead, From Hell is more than decent film.


The Best PS2 shooter - HEAVILY underrated
After I finished Killzone I was really surprised by low rating the game got in most gaming literature. But lets start from beginning.

Story sets in future where human race is in war with Helghasts - human descendants who colonized the planet Helghan many generations ago.The player takes control of Captain Jan Templar, fighting off the Helghast invasion - OK, nothing special but decent story for one FPS told in good directed animations with shaky camera - nice.

Controls are very natural and easy to learn but what is special is game's physique. When you begin to play you'll notice (or maybe even complain) that your character is too slow, shooting not accurate and when you sprint there is gauge that allows you 10 sec sprint - exactly how it is supposed to happen when you carry 60 lbs of military gear and not a superman or heavily doped when shooting. Perhaps it takes s little time to get used to it but it's definitely worth it - very unique gaming experience.

Other fabulous element of Killzone is game play and key word is cover. Forget mindless assaults - only way to breakthrough is taking cover and destroying enemies one by one.

AI is also on high level. Enemy takes cover, alerts and avoids your grenades and attacks in groups. Your comrades are actually helping you, nice refreshing after few games where they were more obstacle than help. Also, as story develops you can choose between more characters you can take control of (balanced Templar, sniper "elegance" Luger,heavy armored Rico and spy Hakha) - although it does not have big influence it's nice refreshment.

Graphic is very good, among best on PS2, but even more important game engine doesn't twitch and textures do not burst in distance. Level design is excellent - leading you from open battlefields where it's important to save your head to urban confrontations where you can break your way with sniper riffles. Dark-gray color dominates through game and creates good atmosphere.

Also, huge plus is duration of the game - it will take you about 35 hours to finish it. These days when average FPS single player lasts about 10 hours this means a lot.

There are few things that could be better, of course (e.g. more types of enemies)but are not significant. I also red that many didn't like online mode but since I didn't played it I can't be judge of that.

Killzone is, by my opinion, the best FPS for PS2, even would dare to say that it's one of the best ever. It's shame that Guerrilla Games didn't get deserved credit for their work. Hopefully, that will be changed with Killzone 2, everyone who played beta knows what I'm talking about. In meantime, if you'd like to know how it all started you know what to do.

Killzone is definitely must-play title.

La Femme Nikita: Catch a Falling Star
Episode 16, Season 4

One of the best episodes
La Femme Nikita did go a little bit of track after season 3, but this episode is one of the best in whole series.

Michael and Nikita are on mission to retrieve fallen satellite in small village. Soon they discover there is something strange about whole village and about their mission.

This episode is a lot different from La Femme Nikita series style, without SF gadgets, and classic Section vs terrorists action and more isolation feeling.

Moody music, strange and bizarre atmosphere, interesting story and good directed episode.

Bitka na Neretvi

Saving Private Ryan on Yugoslavian way
There is something special about big films made in commanded economies. Because they had not only artistic but also educational and "raising national spirit" function, they were filmed with big budget and almost national participation (on more or less voluntary base)- forget Hollywood free market film.

This film is not exception - it's one of the biggest Yugoslavian projects made with dream team - most famous and appreciated actors and actresses, respected director and episode roles of famous international stars - Yul Brynner and Orson Wells.

The other side of the story with such films is theirs success. Most of them are to pathetic and politically made to be accepted anywhere beyond the borders of their own country. The Battle of Neretva is different - it became well accepted broad wide, mostly in third world but even is some high developed countries like Italy and even got nominated for Oscar.

So if you got lost and somehow find yourselves on this page and wonder what kind of film this is here's the summary - expensive Yugoslavian epic story with LOT and LOT of action in less explicit but Saving Private Ryan type spiced with Partisans (good guys) vs Nazis (bad guys) story.

Give it a chance - you may find it refreshing, original and interesting compared with Hollywood war films. Spielberg probably learned a lot watching it.

The Beach

Phi Phi Leha
First thing to write at the start: don't be influenced by critics bad review on this one. Danny Boyle is one of my favorite directors and it's true that The Beach is different that anything he's done before, many would say too commercial. The idea was to put together Boyle's talent with Hollywood budget and keep best from both.

Perhaps Boyle did loose a bit of his harsh style, but not so much you couldn't recognize it's Boyle - especially in the Duffy's monologues and wacky part where Richard is loosing himself. Actors gave good performances, Richard's ( Leonardo Di Caprio) cocky style and Francoise's elegance (played by Virginie Ledoyen) work good together for romance part. Screenplay is good, supporting Boyle's way of directing with sometimes raw, "youth way" monologues and conversations that fit good.

The biggest lack, in my opinion, is a "ideal society" part. In Alex Garland's story, on which is film based, it's one of the main questions and occupations of the writer. Boyle should have gone deeper on this subject, this way I had feeling that the end is a bit incomplete.

And here is the best part - cinematography with heavenly beautiful landscape (I couldn't resist to move my rating from 7/10 to 8/10 just because of it). Yes, for all those who thought (including me, I admit) it was digitally supported - the beach and the island are real - it's Phi Phi Leha island in Thailand. It's probably the best landscape I've ever seen in any film. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by tsunami in 2004., so this is the only way to discover its beauties if you haven't seen this paradise personally.

Ocean's Twelve

Stealing your time
When I watched Ocean's 12 couldn't believe it was the same crew that made first one. Nothing is good in this one, so it's hard even start from somewhere so lets start from initial plot - it seems somehow too forced, just to make number 2.

Director was not occupied with the plot and robbery so you kind of forget what it's all about, but input, that I guess was supposed to be seen in other elements, is just not emerging - sharp, smart and funny lines are gone and characters that were just shining with elegance, humor and charm are there just to be there (if you look a little bit closer you'll notice that most of them are not even needed for the job).

With such flaws from the start it's pointless to talk about anything else because that were supposed to be main qualities of the film. Steven Soderbergh changed his directing style, with more blurring effects, but nothing that would influence film a lot.

Final touch on everything is Julia Roberts impersonating herself. It's hard to say if it was supposed to be funny or just wanting to make audience feel stupid. It was that moment when I realized that if you, for a moment, forget all names behind this film and budget of it, it feels like B production Hollywood film.

In the end you'll realize that Danny Ocean and his crew did succeed in stealing something - your precious time.

American Gangster

If you liked Departed you'll enjoy Gangster
The point is: American Gangster isn't revolutionary film - if you expected never-seen before gangster story. But there is main reasons why you'll never notice it: everything is superbly done.

Ridley Scott did amazing job: everything is on its place and fits perfectly - his way of directing carries script without any problem and you'll never have feeling you're bored although film runs over 150 min. Scott did great work with putting together main story and characters personal lives in a way that makes you interested in both. There aren't additional explanations of something viewer already knows - problem many films of this kind have and you'll notice many interesting lines in script that lead to questions director left for audience to think about - very nice. Fact that there are few action scenes shows what kind of director Scott is because film hold its dynamic tag line till last minutes, something to silence those who thought Scott isn't able to successfully direct anything except action.

Russel Crow and especially Denzel Washington gave great performances. Washington would probably earn Oscar nomination if his role wasn't so close to his Training Day bad guy role. Fact he used "My Man" line from same film didn't help a lot, although it fits very good.

So, here we are with (over)valued Oscars. Gangster earned 2 nominations and could earn much more without anybody asking any questions. Departed did earn more so Academy could redeem itself to Scorsese for not appreciating his earlier work. They should watch out - they could be redeeming to Scott one day.

Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead

Not a Scorsese, but you won't mind
Jimmy "The Saint" was a successful mobster who quit and runs unsuccessful legitimate business. His ex-boss offers him to do one more job. Jimmy assembles his old crew for this job but things don't turn the way they were supposed to so boss puts a contract on their lives – giving Jimmy the option to run. However, Jimmy stays to make sure that the rest of the group get safety into hiding.

Plot is nothing special on first look, but everything is surprisingly smooth and enjoyable. Real quality reveals itself when you realize that most of the time you can guess what's going to happen in the end but it holds you down with certain charm.

Andy Garcia outshines everybody else with his role, holding emotional intensity of film on high level, and is probably one of his best in career. Others (impressive cast) are not far behind, Gabrielle Anwar charming as always and excellent Steve Buscemi in role that, as usual, fits him perfectly.

This is truly exceptional movie (and surely underrated one). 90's were time of many gangster films with variety in quality and I have constant feeling that this was one that slipped through without good reason. People were (and still are) so fascinated with Scorsese's, Coppola's and Tarantino's work that they didn't gave anybody else a chance and this one, without hesitation, deserves one. Off course, they are top, but it's refreshing to see something different from time to time. Director Gary Fleder takes some from artists above, but not as copycat (and don't forget,at the time, it was his first big screen).

This film deserves more credit than it has been given so if you didn't see it I highly recommend it. I bet you'll like it. 8/10


Masterpiece underrated
I saw this movie few hours ago and I can't help asking myself same question: "Why is it so poorly rated?"

IMDb is the best movie site I ever saw and I noticed when it comes to ratings it's surprisingly how users ratings work good for me. In 95% cases rating over 7 means that the movie is worth watching. For me Titanic is without any doubt classic. It was brilliant film when I saw it 10 years ago and it didn't loose any of its quality when I saw it moments ago. Why is it so I don't intent to write because I thing many reviews here did that already. Shortly, lets just say that it was directed perfectly by visionary James Cameron in the way that 3 hours long epic film doesn't get boring, characters are played excellent by many talented actors (in that moment Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet were relatively unknown), story is also great and connects love story and Titanic's fate beautifully, special effects are impressive even today and Hans Zimmer did amazing job with music.

When I saw Titanic was rated 6.9 I was stunned, it should be rated over 8 at least. Why is it so? Well, few years after Titanic's release it became very popular to spit on it without good reason so it probably got even to peoples minds.

I guess even peoples opinions can be manipulated. It's just sad it affected this truly wonderful movie.

Evergreen 10/10



Perhaps you have heard of Fahrenheit (known also as Indigo Child), perhaps not. In video game world it is considered to be true and unique masterpiece, something that will be remembered for a very long time. So what's so special? Everything.

Base of Fahrenheit is detective plot considering three main characters you'll get to know: Lucas, Carla and Tyler. Lucas, ordinary guy murders man in diners. The problem is he wasn't aware of anything considering murder, he didn't really do it, but who's going to believe him? Carla and Tyler are detectives and they have a feeling that there's something very strange and bizarre about this case. Very soon they all find out that „things are never as quite as they seem".

Fahrenheit basically belongs to adventure genre but it's unique; your actions and decisions determine course of the game. Except solving murder you'll live „normal" life of your characters (you'll be able to control all of them) – eating, sleeping , watching TV, chatting with your friends, working out in a gym, playing basketball... Sounds weird and boring? It's everything but that.

Fahrenheit isn't type of game made just for game veterans (controls on PS2 are very natural and easy to get used to) so it's suitable for those who play occasionally or rarely. Also, puzzles aren't very hard so there aren't any obstacles that could hold you from enjoying this beautiful game.

Very important message for all movie lovers: you definitely have to play this. Why? Fahrenheit is interactive game in full meaning of this word: it's movie you play (saw it successfully done only in few games, e.g. Hideo Kojima's MGS trilogy).

Does it have any flaws? Sure it has and those who play a bit longer will probably notice them (e.g. some camera views), but they are small and compared with everything game has to offer insignificant.

Also, something that has to be mentioned is a story. Story and atmosphere are just amazing! Fahrenheit has one of the best game and movie stories I have ever seen!

You'll probably notice many references both to legendary movies and games but I'll let you discover them by yourselves. Fahrenheit takes elements from those games and movies and packs it into it's own world, but keeps being original and unique. That's what makes it so special.

After playing Fahrenheit you'll have the same beautiful feeling like when you leave theater with smile on your face knowing you've just seen something beautiful that you're going to remember for a long time. Do you need better recommendation than that?

True pearl 10/10.

Le grand bleu

Movie with a soul
When you watch some Oscar-winner movie with perfect acting and somebody-leaves-somebody screenplay you say: „It's a nice movie." You see it again 20 years later and you say: „ It's a nice movie." You see Le Grand Bleu and say: „Amazing!". See it 20 years later and all you'll be able to say is: „Amazing!". That makes all the difference.

For me Le Grand Bleu will always have a special meaning in my life. In fact, I realized that it is a reason (and there aren't many movies of that kind for me, perhaps just few) why I really love this art. I said reason because Le Grand Bleu is much more than a movie. You can consider it as a poetry in motion dedicated to the See, but it goes far beyond that.

Difference between this and other movies (even Besson's) is that director really „put" himself into it, he made it personal (see dedication), right from the heart. Result is a movie with a soul. I have feeling this is just the movie he wanted to make, without anyone forcing him to change anything (I'm talking about 163min version longer and original French version).

Beautiful story about love, friendship, connection between man and a Nature (See) and something we seek for all our lives goes much deeper than the spoken or written words can say. Just look what reviews people wrote about it!

However, here is technical part: Luc Besson did excellent job, camera is incredible (notice usage of blue colour), actors fit their role perfectly and screenplay is great (some would say there isn't any – yes there is, but sometimes picture reveals something words never could). It would be a shame not to mention incredible music composed by Eric Serra – one of the best soundtracks ever follows movie perfectly (nothing can beat original ending with My Lady Blue).

Of course, I can tell you that Le Grand Bleu belongs to the top 3 movies I have ever seen and believe me, I have seen a lot (forget „soulless", Oscar winners described above and top 100 classics people always talk about, this is something different) and that it is the most underrated movie on this site (it should be ranked over 9, at least 8.8), but when it comes to Le Grand Bleu, it really doesn't matter.

Without smallest hesitation, 10/10.

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