The summer of Inception

August 5, 2010 at 8:43 am (Movies, Reviews)

I remember, many years back, going to the theater to see The Matrix. Back then, I wasn’t the internet freak I am today, so I had no idea what to expect from that film – I went in not knowing anything about it, and it managed to blow me away. More than a decade later, it’s becoming almost impossible to be surprised by anything anymore. Inception has been the most talked-about and the most anticipated film on the lists of pretty much everyone. I watched the trailers tons of times. I saw the 9.2 rating on Imdb, who already lists it as the number 3 movie of all-time. I think it’s safe to say this has been the most hyped movie of the last decade, and my expectations were through the roof.

Yet it still managed to blow me away – just like The Matrix did more than 10 years ago.

Christopher Nolan, obviously one of the most talented American directors working today, managed to create something that almost seems impossible: a smart summer blockbuster. Usually, these terms exclude each other. Not the case with Inception, a truly complex, original, intelligent heist film, that’s also breathtakingly spectacular and – surprisingly – pretty easy to follow. The story is indeed complex, but it’s never confusing. It assumes the viewer is always attentive, not allowing any breaks (I strongly suggest visiting the bathroom before the film starts), but it never tries to be impervious just for the sake of it.

Dom Cobb, the film’s main protagonist, is brilliantly played by Leonardo DiCaprio, a fantastic actor that recently became one of my all-time favorites. The guy sure knows how to choose his roles. Ever since Titanic, barring a few rare hiccups, all his roles have been amazing, and the fact that he stars in this year’s two best films (Inception and Shutter Island) says a lot about the guy.

Here, he plays a deeply troubled individual, broken by guilt, driven by remorse and always in search of redemption. DiCaprio nails the role perfectly, and this is clearly what makes the movie work. Without his outstanding performance, without the depth he gives his character, without us being able to connect with him on an emotional level, the whole heart of the film would be gone. He might not be an Oscar contender for this role (it’s not flashy enough for the Academy, and the fact it’s a sci-fi blockbuster doesn’t help either), but it is one of the best performances of the year.

And how about the technical aspect of the film? Well, needless to say, it’s fantastic. Wally Pfister, Nolan’s cinematographer, manages to create a visually stunning film, full of amazing sets, awesome shots and perfectly crafted action sequences. Hans Zimmer’s score is simply beautiful, especially during the film’s final hour, an intense spectacle of visual and directorial awesomeness. That scene towards the end, with the sequential kicks to escape the different dream levels, is one of the best scenes I have ever seen in movies. It’s such a difficult scene, so perfectly crafted and masterfully directed, it literally gave me goosebumps.

What makes Inception truly special is that all of the visual treats Nolan is offering are only used to serve a story, and not the other way around. It’s not about the explosions and the chases – it’s about using dreams to find redemption. Whenever a spectacular film has an actual story to support all the on-screen awesomeness, it’s something special – just like Inception is.

The only thing that keeps this from reaching perfection is a certain lack of polish regarding the secondary characters – they’re all underdeveloped and lack true motivations. A really minor setback that doesn’t influence the constant bombardment of freshness, originality, wit and spectacle Nolan is throwing our way. And it doesn’t influence the fact that, without a doubt, Inception is the movie of the year.

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Weekly movie wrap-up: Clooney, the goat killer

April 19, 2010 at 11:44 am (Movies, Reviews)

Another really slow couple of weeks – hence the lack of last Monday’s post. However, I did see a couple of interesting movies, so here’s the rundown.

Green Zone (dir: Paul Greengrass)
An Iraqi-set war film that drew obvious comparisons to Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker – not flattering ones, however, THL clearly being the better film. However, that doesn’t mean Green Zone is bad. Paul Greengrass knows how to direct action scenes – he showed it time and time again, especially in the Bourne films. This time, he got his star, Matt Damon, armed him with weapons and a rebel attitude, and followed him through the streets of Baghdad with increasingly annoying shaky cameras. The result is a surprisingly shallow film, with a weak plot, boring characters, but bad-ass action moments. A decent, fun watch, that never rises above mediocrity.
6/10

Hot Tub Time Machine (dir: Steve Pink)
I had a feeling this might turn out to be a really funny film – and it was. Never mind the silly premise that never gets explained (not that it needed to, anyway. What can you explain about a hot tub time machine?). The movie is funny as shit, the characters are brilliantly played by really funny actors, and the jokes are mostly spot-on – I didn’t laugh so much since last year’s The Hangover. I wish it would have offered better character development and more meat on its story, but hey, I’m nitpicking.
8/10

Cop Out (dir: Kevin Smith… not that it matters)
I have no idea why Kevin Smith accepted this project. Does he need money? Did he stop caring about what films he’s associating his name with? Did he really like the script? It’s disappointing that a talented director with a cult following, like Smith is, was lured into directing a movie that wasn’t his own and he obviously didn’t care about. This could’ve been made by anyone – the result would have been the same. But the complete lack of Smith’s touch and faith in the project isn’t the only issue. I have never seen Bruce Willis so fucking bored and boring. And Tracy Morgan… where do I start? His style fits his 30 Rock character, but when you see him playing this film exactly the same way – even the more serious scenes – it makes you wonder whether he is the worst actor alive. Despite all these rants, the movie isn’t 100% awful – it has some funny moments. But, at the end of the day, what we’re left with is nothing. KS should’ve thought about that before signing on.
3/10

The Collector (dir: Marcus Dunstan)
If you’re getting bored and frustrated with the latest entries in the never-ending Saw franchise, like me, but if you still don’t mind horror flicks with traps, torture and gore, like me, then The Collector might be right up your alley. Directed by ex-Saw scribe Marcus Dunstan, the film felt a lot fresher than it seemed by reading the synopsis. Yes, the Saw vibe is present throughout, but this is nevertheless different. I liked the whole beginning bit, with the guy and his girl’s issues, that make him decide to rob his employer’s presumably empty house. I liked the whole idea of pitting a thief against the masked killer. I liked the traps and most of the kills (yes – including the cat). And I really liked the whole mistery surrounding the killer – we don’t get to find out pretty much anything about him, and that was a welcomed change of pace after getting to know Jigsaw’s life inside out. Unlike most opinions I heard, I found The Collector to be fresh and entertaining.
7/10

The Men Who Stare at Goats (dir: Grant Heslov)
Well, here’s what just might be the weirdest film of the year. A really funny, awkward comedy about an army division that plans to develop soldiers with superpowers – including, yes, killing living things by just staring at them. Don’t let the synopsis fool you however – this has nothing to do with superheros and such. It’s just the story of a bunch of odd individuals, led by George Clooney in a hilarious role, doing odd things like trying to run through walls, convince their foes to drop their guns, or killing poor innocent goats, by simply using their heads. The film is a smart satire with goofball characters and surprising situations – unfortunately it is hurt by a bad and boring third act that lowers the overall awesomeness of the movie. Anyway – in terms of weird satires that are just.. well.. weird, it’s hard to find something weirder than this film.
7/10


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Weekly movie wrap-up: Chaos reigns!

April 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm (Movies, Reviews)

This week’s post comes a few days late – because last week was mostly about all sorts of events, meetings, concerts, walks in the park – you know, spring-related outdoorsy things, which made me watch only a couple of movies. The last few days however meant a bunch of good titles watched by yours truly – here they are.

The Fourth Kind (dir: Olatunde Osunsamni)
Milla Jovovich is the kind of actress that, by her presence alone, can turn crappy movies into something enjoyable – at least to me, anyways. If anyone else would’ve played the lead in The Fourth Kind, I would’ve probably hated it. With her in it – well, let’s just say I didn’t. To give credit where it’s due – in the avalanche of horror remakes, at least this one tries to be original, by claiming to have “real people” tell their stories about alien abductions in Alaska. If this was indeed true – it could’ve been great. The problem is, even the “real people”, that are presented in parallel with the actor “reenactments”, are fake, and every single frame is acted. Knowing this, the film loses its edge, and the whole “parallel” thing ends up working against it. However – it’s got some good moments, and it’s got Milla.
5/10

Antichrist (dir: Lars Von Trier)
Have seen this one before, have seen bits and pieces before, but this was the first time I actually watched all of Von Trier’s madness in crystal clear Blu-Ray. And I loved every second of it – including the bonus features: how about the fucking Phantom camera that shoots with 1000 fps? That’s insane. No wonder the slow-mo scenes look so brilliant. Actual movie review cooking & coming up later.
10/10

Did You Hear About the Morgans? (dir: Marc Lawrence)
I rue the day I decided to give this piece of crap a chance. Yes, it is as horrible as everyone says it is. Fucking horrendous story, boring characters that lack any kind of chemistry, and an absolutely pathetic Sarah Jessica Parker – whose acting literally made me laugh out loud a couple of times. Hugh Grant got a few smiles out of me, that’s why I didn’t give this one a 1 out of 10, however it gets a big fat
2/10

Brothers (dir: Jim Sheridan)
Shot-by-shot remakes of foreign films piss me off. This one does too – it’s completely useless, especially considering the original – Danish flick Brodre by Susanne Bier – was such a great film. However, if I were to ignore all of this, and think about Sheridan’s version as a standalone film, it’s actually really great. This is a well-written character drama about three people and the way war (any war) reflects on all of them, and influences their relationships.
If I were to give you one reason to watch this film, it’s this: Tobey Maguire. Ex-Spiderman is fucking fantastic, especially in the final half hour. He steals the film, transforming himself completely from the character he played in the first act – the guy actually ends up playing two different roles. Some scenes, after his return home, are pitch-perfect, from the way they’re shot, to the dialogue, to Tobey’s acting (Fuck it, the fact alone that my beloved Natalie Portman is in this and all I keep babbling about is Tobey, should be enough to make you realize how awesome his acting is).
7/10

She’s Out of My League (dir: Jim Field Smith)
A decent, predictable, sometimes funny comedy, that has drawn often comparisons to Apatow’s flicks – mostly because it’s a crude romantic comedy. However, comparisons stop there. This one lacks that extra layer of witty dialogue, and character insanity, that Apatow got us used with. This one is more straightforward, and never goes over the top – which might actually be a good thing. Anyway – a decent, funny watch.
6/10

Zombieland (dir: Reuben Fleischer)
A zom-com that isn’t as funny as Shaun of the Dead (although it still is pretty fucking hilarious most of the time), but makes up in memorable characters and brilliant looks. From Woody’s Twinkie hunt, to Jesse’s set of rules, to Emma being hot as shit, to Abigail kicking ass, to Zombie Kill of the Week, to BM reenacting Ghostbusters and regretting Garfield, this is as fresh and entertaining as zombie comedies are ever going to be. Have seen it last year at Sitges, in a packed theater (and by packed I mean 1.500 zombie fans), and an amazing atmosphere, with the cast in attendance. This was the first time I saw this at home, on Blu-Ray, and it didn’t lose any of its charm and awesomeness.
9/10

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Weekly movie wrap-up: Megan Fox awesomeness

March 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm (Movies, Reviews)

I haven’t seen many movies this past week, but I did see a couple that I really enjoyed – including the extremely underrated Jennifer’s Body. Here’s a quick recap of everything I have watched.

Daybreakers (dir: The Spierig Brothers)
Original, fresh vampire stories aren’t something you see every day. Daybreakers brings an interesting twist to the whole vampire issue, makes humans the outcasts in a vampire-run world, and does it in a film full of action and plenty of gore. I liked it for what it was – a simple, yet interesting vampire story that has a certain B-movie vibe to it. However, after the novelty wears off, it drags a bit to a bland conclusion, but that didn’t alter my initial feelings: this is a very enjoyable flick.
7/10

Nowhere Boy (dir: Sam Taylor Wood)
Here’s a movie about John Lennon that could’ve been about anyone else. It’s a biopic about the early years of Lennon, before The Beatles, before everything you’ve ever known. So why should I care? Music is secondary throughout the whole film – this is actually a soap opera-ish drama about an angry kid and his family issues. Yes, we do get to see a version of young Paul McCartney looking like a 10-year-old on crack, and we do get to see Lennon discovering rock’n’roll, but all of this is always left behind the main, boring, useless storyline. Big props however for the performances, especially Aaron Johnson, who steals the film and makes Lennon believable.
5/10

A Prophet (dir: Jacques Audiard)
This movie kicks ass. There’s no other way to put it. It’s a French crime thriller about an Arab guy in prison, who starts from the bottom of the food chain and builds its way up to becoming a true mob boss.  It’s superbly filmed and acted, gritty, violent, emotional. The characters are superbly built and the story is extremely compelling. I really cannot understand how this didn’t win the Oscar or the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Pic – maybe it is a bit too violent? Doesn’t even matter. You should check it out ASAP.
9/10

Jennifer’s Body (dir: Karyn Kusama)
Everyone I talked to, everyone I heard talk about this film, hates it. My answer: fuck you all 🙂  This is pure, smart entertainment, written by an improving Diablo Cody, who kept all that was good about Juno and left out the sassy unrealistic dialog bullshit. It’s super-hot Megan Fox going batshit in a high-school full of horny bastards who get killed in increasingly gruesome ways. It’s Megan Fox making out with Amanda Seyfried. It’s funny, it’s crazy, and – unlike most horrors nowadays – it actually builds interesting characters that care about what happens around them, the murders not being just statistics. It’s a teen high school drama with bite. Don’t get me wrong – this is not some hidden masterpiece, but I really loved it for what it was: a fun, witty horror comedy.
8/10

Che: Part One (dir: Steven Soderbergh)
I never, ever, ever thought a biopic about such an influential individual like Che Guevara could be so fucking boring. Well, Soderbergh proved me wrong. I barely made it through the first part of this 4-hour snoozefest, and you can bet your ass this first part is all I’m going to see. Technically speaking, there’s nothing wrong with this film. It looks realistic, beautiful cinematography, great locations, believable performances (although Benicio Del Toro didn’t blow me away as I was expecting). But the story is so tediously dull, so chaotic, and it completely lacks any emotional involvement from the viewer. This film failed to connect with me in any kind of way.
4/10

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Weekly movie wrap-up: Eighties horror is back!

March 16, 2010 at 10:35 am (Movies, Reviews)

Because lately I failed to update the blog with film reviews and opinions about what I’ve watched, I decided to start a weekly wrap-up post with a quick rundown of all films I’ve seen during the past week. Hopefully this will happen each Monday. This way, you’ll be able to stay in touch with the shit I loved, hated or couldn’t care less about.

So, without further ado, here’s the week of March 8-14.

Open Graves (dir. Alvaro de Arminan)
A straight-to-TV release that I watched only for Eliza Dushku. No hidden gem here. A toothless, formulaic, and often plain dumb horror that mimics The Final Destination, but fails miserably on all accounts. Some decent kills and OK cinematography save this from being a total dud.
3/10

Planet 51 (dir: Jorge Blanco)
Animated reversed “ET”, but with a script that completely lacks any personality. Once the novelty of the situation wears off, all you’re left with are the vibrant colors. Technically accomplished, with some funny jokes once in a while, but unfortunately way too dull. Pixar has set the bar so high, it’s very difficult for smaller animation studios to come even close.
5/10

My Life in Ruins (dir: Donald Petrie)
Another very bad romantic comedy that fails on both romance and comedy. It’s set (and shot) in Greece, which adds to the overall decent look, but the script is so awfully bad, full of uninteresting characters and horrendous dialogue, it’s really hard to sit through. Plus, it uses every cliche in the book, and lacks any kind of originality. The only good thing I can say about this film is that it looks somewhat decent, and that, because it sets the bar very low, it doesn’t actually disappoint.
4/10

Carol I (dir. Sergiu Nicolaescu)
Worthless piece of junk.
1/10

Alice in Wonderland (dir. Tim Burton)
Unlike most critics out there, I kinda enjoyed Burton’s Alice. I even found the 3D part to be well made – again, contrary to most opinions. The movie looks brilliant, is genuinely eerie, and teases you with flashes of Burton’s style. Unfortunately these are only teasers – cause at the end of the day, Disney prevails, and the horrific third act takes away some of the magic that has been spread throughout the rest of the film. I really wish Disney would’ve let Burton to make this flick his own. Not the case – but still an enjoyable film for everyone to see.
8/10

The House of the Devil (dir: Ti West)
Girl needs money. Girl gets gig as babysitter. Girl arrives at spooky mansion. Girl walks around doing nothing. That’s all that happens in this film, until the very last ten minutes, when all hell breaks loose. However, I didn’t find any of this boring at all. First of all, the film looks great. The action is set in the ’80s, but it looks like the film is made in the ’80s as well (and no, it wasn’t. It’s a 2009 film). Secondly, the awesome cinematography is complemented by the very spooky atmosphere set by (obviously talented) director Ti West. The film is creepy as hell, but without the fake gimmicks of pointless “boo” moments that today’s horror is littered with. Tension is built by atmosphere alone. Unfortunately, it drags a bit towards the end, and the payoff isn’t nearly as memorable as it should’ve been, after all the build up. I also didn’t like a couple of scenes that seemed out of character for the main protagonist (like the dancing scene – what sane girl puts headphones on and starts dancing by herself in a creepy house – after the character has been established as extremely laid-back?). But, all in all, for a low-budget horror flick, this is a great homage to the ’80s style of creepy, atmosphere-built horror.
7/10

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Shutter Island: a master at work

February 19, 2010 at 8:56 pm (Movies, Reviews)

I find it extremely comforting to head into a theater to see a movie directed by a brilliant, accomplished director. That sense of certainty, that conviction you’re gonna see something great – because even in their bad days, these directors still pull off something above average.

Martin Scorsese is one of these directors, and Shutter Island is the clear result of a master at work. Every frame is stocked with the confidence of a director who is well on top of his game, and completely aware of it. Sure, it helps having a great story, a great cast (yes Leo, you too) and a great DP to work with, but I am sure, even with all these elements in place, few directors would’ve pulled it off so successfully.

I’m sure you know the trailer and the idea behind the story – a US marshal heads to an asylum on a remote island to investigate the disappearance of a woman, only to find a secret bigger and darker than he had imagined. I’m not gonna say anything else about it, spoilers would kill this flick (and I’m actually glad this film is among the few whose trailer didn’t give important things away). I’ll just mention this: the flick is not a horror-thriller, as it’s mistakenly labeled by some websites. It’s a creepy psychological thriller. With an emphasis on creepy. And psychological. And boy, is it thrilling.

I loved the setting and atmosphere, and I guess I already mentioned the fantastic cinematography. The story is also solid throughout, and it keeps you guessing. And, despite somewhat sensing the big twist somewhere down the line, it all plays out beautifully and ends with a final fantastic scene that fucks with your mind and literally demands a second viewing.

Shutter Island is, by far, the best film of these first two months of 2010. Why its release date has been pushed back, thus missing the award season, is beyond me. Many feared it was a quality issue. Let me put your minds at ease: it’s not. And I’m really glad most critics agree. Now it’s up to the audience to help this great flick become a box-office hit. Make sure you’re also contributing, because trust me, it’s well worth it.

9.5 / 10

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Avatar: An IMAX 3D experience

December 21, 2009 at 11:41 am (Movies, Reviews)

This weekend I made my first trip to the brand new (and only) IMAX theater in Romania, for James Cameron’s Avatar. It was well worth it – but not the perfect, mind-blowing experience I was expecting.

Let’s start with the good things. Surprisingly, the first thing that comes to mind is the movie. Avatar is solid throughout. A compelling story with interesting characters, great visual effects and plenty of awesome action scenes – definitely the kind of movie you could enjoy on any format, anywhere. This doesn’t mean you should see it at home – because the 3D experience still adds a brand new level to an already great film.

The visuals are breathtaking, and the 3D is integrated seamlessly into the story, without the useless gimmicks of “throwing” things at the audience to get the desired effect. It all feels perfectly natural, and that’s entirely Cameron’s merit. The IMAX screen is really as big as advertised, and the picture quality was as great as expected, and as colorful as expected (despite the shady glasses).

However. I’ve seen many “normal” 3D movies lately (the RealD format), and I can tell you this: the image quality isn’t a lot better on IMAX. Actually, the only big (and obvious) improvement is the size of the screen. Don’t get me wrong: it’s a crystal clear image, it’s just not such a noticeable difference from RealD 3D. Even more: the frame rate was annoyingly low for some of the more intense action sequences. Frame rate issues also appear in RealD 3D, but I’ve never been so bothered by them (maybe because of the screen size).

…And another rant, this time completely unrelated to Avatar. The Samsung IMAX theater, as new and modern as it is, does NOT have cup holders of any kind. You’re pretty much stuck with your jacket, your Coke and your nachos in your lap the whole time, which makes everything, of course, very uncomfortable.

All in all, Avatar is a movie that you HAVE to see. It’s a great movie on its own, and an even better movie in 3D. It doesn’t even matter if it’s IMAX or not – just make sure you see it in a theater.

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Heartless wins Leeds + another French gorefest

November 30, 2009 at 1:56 pm (Movies, Reviews)

One of the films I really liked at this year’s Sitges, Philip Ridley’s Heartless, just won the Melies d’Argent award at the Leeds International Film Festival. This is great news – especially after the Melies in Sitges was won by an Irish flick I didn’t particularly enjoy, The Eclipse.

Each year, all 9 accredited fantastic film festivals in Europe give an award called Melies d’Argent to the best European fantastic film in their competition. All 9 winners will then compete for the main award, the Melies d’Or, in next year’s Sitges. This makes The Eclipse and Heartless the first two “nominees” for Sitges 2010.

This year’s Melies d’Or winner was French flick Martyrs. It was presented this June at TIFF @ Cluj-Napoca, but I missed the whole event, so I only got to see the film last night.

Despite being severely flawed, especially in its final third, Martyrs represents another piece of the fantastic new wave of French horror. It’s one of the most difficult to watch films I’ve ever sat through. Not only it’s gory and brutal, but it also acts on a psychological level, and is completely missing the fun over-the-top elements that made A l’interieur a much easier watch. Superbly acted, directed and edited, Martyrs is as sick as everything I’ve ever seen, literally defining a new level of shock and violence. The final third could (should) have been even more touching and unwatchable – if only the main character wasn’t so underdeveloped. Still, a great watch. 7,5/10.

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Halloween madness

November 2, 2009 at 11:47 am (Movies, Reviews)

alinterieurpic

I have seen plenty of horror movies this Halloween weekend – none impressed and shocked me as much as French gorefest A l’interieur. This uber-violent thriller about an insane woman terrorizing a soon-to-be-mother in order to take her baby is a flick as sick, twisted and gory as I’ve ever seen. It’s an exercise in excess, filled with scenes so tensed, gruesome and well done, it puts Hollywood puppies like Saw and Hostel to shame. And when, during the film, you’re thinking that’s as much as you’ll possibly get – the directors (newcomers Bustillo and Maury) come back with something even wilder. The film is also helped by its short runtime (less than 80 minutes), which leaves no time for fillers and keeps the madness rolling along at a super-fast pace. Even when there’s a more quiet scene (meaning – no sadistic violence and pools of blood), everything is so tensed you can’t help but feel uneasy. This remarkable accomplishment is also helped by a good engaging story, great acting and very interesting characters – the film’s killer is by far one of the most insane, memorable and fucked up villains I’ve ever seen. The cinematography is also top notch – the film is beautifully shot, and the claustrophobic feel you’re stuck with throughout also deserves praise. By far, the best horror I’ve seen this year. 9,5/10

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Sitges 2009: Final two days (aka Zombies!)

October 14, 2009 at 3:06 pm (Festivals, Movies, Reviews, Sitges)

Last couple of days in Sitges were hectic. I had no time to write pretty much anything – hence the lack of reports and this extremely short post. Saturday was Zombie Day, and that meant almost 10 feature films with zombies, plus the worldwide famous Zombie Walk – another huge success, almost 4.000 fans dressing up as zombies and roaming the streets of Sitges. The start of the walk was given by the Zombieland cast, meaning Jesse Einsberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, and director Reuben Fleischer. All four of them also had a press conference at noon that I attended and that I’ll be posting shortly.

In terms of movies – I’ve seen another four: a good-looking but somewhat shallow drama (Accidents Happen), a good and tensed French zombie flick (La horde), a very bad attempt at another British zombie comedy that failed miserably on all levels (Doghouse), and a superbly fresh and inventive zombie comedy that’s totally worth all the hype and top 150 all-time rank on imdb (Zombieland).

Sunday started with the Viggo Mortensen press conference – useless, cause the man speaks fluent Spanish so – again – there was no English translation. At least director John Hillcoat spoke English. Then the award winners were announced – you can check it out here – and, to my total joy, two of my fave movies received the main awards, Moon and Enter the Void.

In terms of movies, I started with the Scandinavian thriller Millennium 2, that was surprisingly average. Maybe the biggest disappointment of the festival was The Immaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, which is a good movie. However I was expecting awesomeness, and, except for some breathtaking scenes, didn’t get any. The film looks terrific, but that’s it. I found the story surprisingly weak.

Last film of the festival was also one of its best. John Hillcoat’s The Road is cinema at its finest. It’s a very bleak and dark drama about a father and his son roaming the American wasteland after the world as we know it ended. Very faithful to the source material (Pullitzer winner Cormac McCarthy’s outstanding novel), the film is exactly as it’s supposed to be, and – Thank God – plays exactly as it should, without choosing the easy way of emphasizing the action, but playing as a character drama in a beautifully dark post-apocalyptic world. The acting is top notch from both main protagonists, while some of the scenes are nothing less than memorable.

In this report: Accidents Happen 6/10, La horde 7/10, Doghouse 3/10, Zombieland 9/10, Millennium 2 5/10, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus 7/10, The Road 10/10.

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