ivanxviii

IMDb member since October 2018
    Lifetime Total
    5+
    IMDb Member
    2 years, 10 months

Reviews

Gamlet
(1964)

By far the best screen adaptation.
From the first scenes, implicitly conveying the fact of the royal death, and Claudius' monolog, split between a herald reading a decree at a town square, courtiers repeating "in equal scale weighing delight and dole" and foreign ambassadors echoing them in their respective languages, and finally the king himself addressing his advisors - you know you are watching a work of a master. Of the three most popular screen adaptations, the classic Olivier's, the roaring Mel Gibson's and the Kenneth Branagh's parody, none is even close to this one. The excellent set and costumes, great acting, outstanding dark, gothic-like black-and-white camera work, Shostakovich's music - everything tells of a masterpiece. Of course, limitations of a screen play are obvious - lots of great lines omitted, added scenes (such as Hamlet on his way to England forging the king's letter, which was borrowed later by Tom Stoppard for his Rozenkrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead) - but it's the ultimate screen play nonetheless.

Ten to Chi to
(1990)

So historically inacurate
While this film is a solid production with a nice set and costumes it's so historically inaccurate that anyone more or less familiar with the Sengoku period would find it appalling. First off, I don't understand why they refer to Kagetora by his old name throughout the film as he changed it to Uesugi Kenshin upon being adapted by Uesugi Norimasa shortly before the first battle of Kawanakajima. Now it's ok for the director to fantasize about Kenshin (Kagetora) falling in love with Usami's daughter, but the slaying of Usami by Kenshin in the course of a duel is nonsense. Usami drowned at the age of 75. Furthermore, the Lady Yae personage, while very poetic, is an absolute drivel, she never existed. Finally, the portrayal of the famous hand-to-hand combat of Kenshin and Takeda, the tale of valor and glory in Japan, is plain stupid (and the fencing is poorly rehearsed). It wasn't fought on horseback as Kenshin surprised Takeda by ramming into his headquarters by an outflanking manoeuvre. Takeda kept his calm, continued sitting on his chair while parrying Kenshin's mounted attack with his signalling fan until his retainers drove Kenshin away. BTW Takeda was only 40 at the time of the battle, and he was only 9 years older than Kenshin, not exactly an old man he is in the movie.

Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da
(2011)

Great director, great film
Tags like a cop movie, police drama, detective thriller, murder mystery are absolutely misleading here. This film is none of the above. The ongoing police investigation is just a background of the portrayal of life in a provincial Turkish town and rural areas around it. This life is dreary, dull and boring but Ceylan shows it so masterfully you are totally captivated by the narrative. The people are talking dreary, dull and boring things but those are their everyday matters. There's no grandiloquence, no prettification, no message, no hidden meaning, only Ceylan's perfect realism, his trademark. For completists - the prosecutor's story about his wife committing suicide is borrowed from a Chekhov's short story The Examining Magistrate

Quelle strane occasioni
(1976)

"I was happy but wasn't aware of that"
This film, a coolective effort by 3 masters of Commedia all'italiana, is a great example of the genre. While all three parts are good, the second episode, The Swedish Horse is the best of them. Terrific Nino Manfredi's acting really makes you laugh non-stop.

Yatsuhaka-mura
(1977)

Absolute junk
It's a primitive crime drama with a stupid plot. Ironically, the first 30-40 minutes of it were interesting, especially the captivating mountain scenery frames, but then little by little things got totally idiotic and made me laugh hysterically. A wealthy ancient clan locates its long-lost member and he goes to his birthplace village to meet his family accompanied by a beautiful widow of one of his cousins. Meanwhile a couple of his newly found relatives die under suspicious circumstances. And here's when the level of stupidity starts rising. People in the village begin dying left and right. The protagonist is blamed for those deaths and, to escape the crowd of vigilantes, roams a huge cave which would make a professional speleologist green with envy. Along the way he casually stumbles upon dead bodies of yet a few other family members and this entertaining walk of his is complete with passionate sex with the widow at the spot of his own alleged conception, right on the rocky floor of the cave. Shortly after sex on the rocks the elegant, fragile widow, who in the best tradition on the genre turns out to be the killer, chases the protagonist in the cave to finish him off with what else but a bulky tip of a stalagmite. At this point the cave bats, probably fed up with all this nonsense, manage to trigger a mini-earthquake conveniently killing the treacherous woman and sparing the man, of course. But not only the outraged bats are capable of shaking the ground, the little creatures fly to the family mansion and - listen to this! - in the true kamikaze spirit catch fire from burning candles and set the mansion ablaze. To make it even more ridiculous the man and the widow happen to be related sharing a common samurai ancestry. How can anyone invent such a convoluted scenario is beyond my comprehension.

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