Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The martians - 2015

The Martians - 2015 (US)

How can you act like superman without being superman?
How can you deal with a terrible situation being human and credible?

This movie shows this in an amazing way.
The first approach to the scene is on Mars: the movie shows you wonderful landscape of what probably is living on Mars. I watched an exposition where they used images of the pathfinder and the result was very close to the one I can see here. Good job!
The costumes and scene were both amazing: not too far from what is possible or available today.
The only thing that is barely credible is how he could be healthy after the big incident happened at the beginning of the movie and not being sick for part of the first days.
This movie shows very well how sticking to the good news and not ceasing to the dark side of the situation creates miracles. This is fiction, but the approach they showed on the screen is amazing.
Matt Damon is great at his role and portraits a powerful character that is very strong and also pretty human.
Interesting all the politics and the dynamics on earth: a real mix of costs, emotions, resources and efforts.
The emotional part of the movie is finally not ruining the story: no one of the character goes in emotional loops that create a lot of silly situations, as seen many times in other movies like this one. I appreciate that this side of the story was pretty balanced.

The soundtrack is simply great! I love old stuff from the 70s and the 80s so I was delighted of all the music there. By the way, stay for the end title ... a good music track will be there that is also perfect in that very moment.

There are a few things difficult to believe (related to the production of what is needed to go on) because I didn't see any real planning for the resources needed there or that a plastic wrap can be good and enough in the situation where it was used to recover from an incident, but I can close one eye on them: the story is not about technicality, but about approach.

The story is credible and powerful.
I went out of the theatre happy to see that a movie is about a good approach to life (concentrate on the positive and on what it CAN be done), a mindfulness approach to a difficult situation (break down a big issue in smaller pieces), powerful images and great music.

Great casting for this movie: most of the actors are perfect for their part. Jeff Daniels is an amazing political chief in charge and he takes difficult and scary decisions.
Matt Damon is great and believable.
The aerodynamics geek is very close to a real one.

My vote: 4/5

Studio 54: director's cut - 1998

Studio 54: director's cut - 1998 (/2015) (US)

The difficult and amazing life at the end of the 70s seen by an ordinary, uncultured young man. 
The movie wants to provide the atmosphere and excitement around the king of the disco clubs of the 70s. The goal is pretty reached. I will only talk about the director's cut version of the movie that is pretty different by the original in the theatres back in the 90s.
I'm a great fan of the music of the 70s so this was the movie for me. I ignored what the studio 54 was (I was a kid at its time) but the movie provides me the electricity that was there at the time. 
The casting is amazing. Ryan Philippe acting is great: I really believe that he's a very simple, uncultured stunning man. Mike Myers is great at his portrait of Steve Rubell, but I admit that I don't  know if the real Rubell acted that way. 
The movie provides all the atmosphere that Rubell created in order to have people living a free sex and drugs lifestyle. The club attracted a lot of people from all over the world because of this. At the time this was unique and the freedom possible there was practically unlimited. 
The huge use of drugs is present everywhere and the many VIPs that attended the club are there as well (even if way less mentioned that what occurred). 

What I like of this movie is the great soundtrack and the show of the void of a life based on only cuteness in  world of sharks. I use you, you use me. This is the main theme and the probable main critic to the era. 
It's funny how I keep thinking that is unreal that Myers' character tells on TV about hiding money from the IRS, but this is the reality of what happened and it's simply crazy, probably Steve's judgment was clouded by the huge use of drugs he was doing. 
The scene around the bar and all the sex involved in the interaction with the customers is very well done. Not too much and pretty clear. Rubell was able to create a mix of culture (disco clubs), nightclub, entertainment that was really great even if terribly dangerous. 
Apart the main things about the club, the story-lines related to Shane's family and friends are pretty good. I recognize some mentions to Saturday Night Fever even if this weakens a little the plot. Maybe the situation with Shane's father are are shallow because Shane is pretty shallow himself , and probably is his father, but this is just a thought.
The costumes are amazing. Apparently the 54 was recreated pretty well, based on various comment I read on the internet of the usual customer of the club back in the days.
I like a lot that in this movie that we can have a glimpse of the crazy freedom that was around the world at that time: a lot of unprotected sex and a lot of mates, that nowadays looks pretty crazy (it was the pre-AIDS situation). 

my vote: 3.5/5 

Deep Impact - 1998

Deep Impact - 1998 (US)

A spectacular and world impact movie on a recurring fear the unknown from outer space seen from three different perspectives.

The movie has good rhythm and spectacular photography. The incoming slow Armageddon is coming by the usual big comet that promises to annihilate all the current life on hearth. Not an original plot, but this time we have a different perspective. There is the very young astronomical scientist discovering the comet and becoming famous (and also growing up very fast as a man); there is a crew of young and old astronauts that sees the issue as a mission to accomplish; there is a journalist that is all toward the career goals and has in this tragedy a moment of incredible boost of her work chances and career.

I like how the plot went toward all the story providing these different points of view: different levels of the society act and react in different ways, with different purposes, with different outcomes.

I find a bit weak that the cockiness of the presidential guards against the journalist ceases so strongly as soon as she has an agreement with the political administration on command.

Another thing I didn't like is all the emotional stuff going on with the young scientist. It's a deadly situation and they keep playing the card "I want to stay with my parents" even if this means sure death. In a good movie I'm expecting to see a parent in this situation forcing the offspring to keep going on and have a future and not the opposite. I imagine this has the favour of a part of the audience, but I prefer something less sweet and more plausible.
I like how the relationship of the astronaut is depicted. They mixed very well old style and new style together creating a good tension between two approaches to the mission that end up enriching themselves instead of breaking apart the mission itself.
The part related to the journalist is nice, but I think that the writer was too undecided with this character: is she a career oriented person that doesn't care to step on everyone else head or is she a professional who uses her own moral to evaluate her steps? I think for her they wanted both and that this weakened the character. I didn't see an inner evolution that can provide what they depicted for this character.
I was expecting all the "unforeseen issues": this type of movies often like to play very many unexpected events to made the resolver of the situation a god like human who play extremely smartly or extremely heroically. Or maybe because no movies end with the real destruction of the earth I had practically no surprise of the end of the movie. Personally the quality of the images in the space are compensating the lack of originality of the story.
The president, portrayed by a nice Morgan Freeman, is too much a sensitive human and not very credible, but I have to say that in the end of the 90s this was more credible than nowadays, so I won't complain too much.
Personally there was too emotional stuff on the story, but it's a movie that is nice to watch.

My vote: 3/5

Monday, October 5, 2015

Maleficient - 2014

Maleficient - 2014 (US)

I started watching this movie expecting a kids’ tale about white snow in a “once upon a time-sow” dress. I was wrong. 
The movie is an extension of the Disney’s "White Snow”, but way more things are explained here. There the origin of the evil witch and a very interesting epilogue about how the whole situations are resolved. 
It’s still a tale, but I like that it explains that there are causes and consequences on both sides of a war or a dispute and that they are both right and wrong, good and evil. 
The movie flows pretty well, using action scenes as well as funny moments and drama. There is a lot of action on blue screens, but the story is what makes through the end and keeps you there watching what's next. The castle is amazingly the one of the Disney movie and it’s very interesting how they re-imagined the magic realm where Maleficent is the sovereign. 
I like that you can read from this movie that no one is the bad one and the responsibilities for the choices are shared by everyone. They are all victims of the big evils that are power and greed,  and also vengeance. 
The dark setting is really great and many things are reproduced from the Disney’s movie. They did a great adaptation adding a new part of the story in a very good way.
Angelina Jolie, that I generally don’t appreciate much, is simply GREAT! .. she IS Maleficent and I can’t see someone more perfect for the role. She has the movie in her hands and her acting is extremely good. Her evil smile is nothing but great. 
Great casting also for fairies, white snow and the kings. They are very credible in their parts.

My vote 4 out of 5  

Tiger Orange - 2014

Tiger Orange - 2014 (US)

The movie opens with a boring expression of one of the characters. 
Don’t make this taking away to this good movie. 
It’s the story of two gay brothers who have a very different approach to life, sex and whatever else. Their differences will drive you all along the movie in painful and funny ways. The family roles and issues are the core of the movie and small town life and mindset are spicing all the drama. 
This is a nice movie that talks about growing up in a small place with your brother being gay as you are. It’s a movie where someone life for the others’ expectations and someone else lives at the exact opposite. It’s nice how the writer mixed up this in a very good way. 
We can see the two very different approaches to life and sex: one very outgoing and very out who doesn’t care what other people think, even if this made him being alone, but he expresses what he feels. The other always puts others’ feeling and perception before every choice of his. Both of them are alone and both of them are facing the daemons of the past. IT’s very good how in the end the bond of the brothers helps both of them to grow up and enter in a new chapter of their lives. 
Good casting: both actors who play the main characters are pretty good at delivering their emotions to the audience. The one playing the conservative brother is amazing at providing the feeling of being uncomfortable with his proper life and choices. Always dressing up and living in the same way. The one playing the outgoing brother is perfect for his part because his beauty and his careless look. Often naked and no caring for others’ reaction. He;s also pretty good on delivering his mood of loneless and 
Ghosts from the past and vintage scenes are the perfect cherry on the top of a good cake. 

one last note. The actor who plays the sexier brother is a former porn star. I am surprised about how good is at acting and I definitely approve his choice of staying in the entertainment industry. 

My vote 4 out of 5 

here's the trailer