January 22, 2009

Oscar's 2009

And the nominees were announced today... with no big surprises for me... if you want to listen to the nominees click here...
In the mid time I'll only right down some of my winner's guesses: (in red)
After the cermony I wrote the winners in green and when I guessed half half :
Motion Picture of the Year:
The Reader (but I think the academy will give it to Slumdog Millionaire)
Slumdog Millionaire
Actress in a Leading Role:
I will give 3 Oscar's here to Leo, Streep and Winslet but my winner isssss...
Melisa Leo in Frozen River (but I think the academy will give it to Winslet)
Kate Winslet for The Reader
Actor in a Leading Role:
Sean Penn in Milk
Actress in a Supporting Role:
Amy Adams in Doubt (but I think the academy will give it to Viola Davis in Doubt)
Penelope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Actor in a Supporting Role:
Heath Ledger ... NO DOUBT!
Animated Feature Film:
Wall-E ... NO DOUBT!
Foreign Language Film of the Year:
(I'll write the list of nominees as I can't vote on this one as I only have seen ONE! uuugggrrr!!!!)
The Baader Meinhof Complex, Germany
The Class, France
Departures, Japan
Revanche, Austria
Waltz With Bashir, Israel
Achievement in make up: (I put this category as I think this film was just AMAZING on this:)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Greg Cannom

The Award Ceremony will be on February 22nd.
so, any guess from you guys?!

January 17, 2009

Letyat Zhuravli

English Title: The Cranes are Flying
Letyat Zhuravli, Russia, 1957, imdb
Review: 2.5 Uchuvas
Comment: Before saying anything (and before Hrishi finish his friendship with me), I have to clarify three things here: First, I'm not fan of black and white films; don't ask me why but they make me feel sleepy somehow. Second, I'm not fan of 50's films either; It's a pity as I know that the are great films on those dates but... sorry, can't help it.  And third, I don't like war movies and that's a fact!. I think I got tired of watching so much Vietnam's war films in the 80's and 90's that somehow I just can't stand them anymore; I know that there are a lot of war types and a lot of stories' war types but... I just had enough of war!. So, considering that this film is a combination of the three things I don't like, you can understand why I didn't like it. However the film has great reviews and won some good awards (including my beloved Cannes). So, you go, have a look and let me know what you think.... Hrishi, you own me your review on this one!

January 15, 2009

Y Tu Mama Tambien

English Title: And Your Mother Too
Alfonso Cuaron, Mexico, 2001, imdb
Review: 1.5 Uchuvas
Comment: I am terribly sorry but I think is the worst movie EVER! (don't tell anyone but I'm just exaggerating!... I've seen much worst! but trust me! it's very bad!).  To start with (and to finish with) the acting is sooooooooo but so so so so so bad that I still can't believe that these two great current actors started over here.... Gael Garcia Bernal (yes! acting bad!!) and then Diego Luna (yes... bad). I have to say that I think they both are great actors now; Gael has an unfinished list of great films and Diego Luna just did an astonish performance in MILK but nonetheless I wont forgive them for this film!!! I even bought it!!! I saw the film a long time ago and totally forgot how bad it was and then I bought it last year, saw it and almost go to Virgin for a refund! But the winner was Maribel Verdu... I don't even know what to say about her acting!!! I am giving some Uchuvas ONLY for the story that if you have the ability to forget about this horrible acting you will realized that the plot could have brought a great film out of it. Ok, tell everyone I am exaggerating but ... I warned you!! Don't forget that this is what I and only I think... The Oscar's, BTAFF and lots of others (but no Cannes, that's why I love Cannes!!) gave nominations to this film... so, again, you have a go and let me know!!!

Das Leben der Anderen

English Title: The Lives of Others
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Germany, 2006, imdb
Review: 5.0 Uchuvas
Comment: There are some movies that I never get tired of see, not even after watching them time after time after time. This is such a beautiful film that although it's sad, it's a film full of hope and best wishes... it's a film full of undiscovered love, full of the most sweet drama. Ulrich Muhe makes an impeccable work! His rigidity is almost unreal! The sets are also really well done. A must in Germany's films! well... a must for film lovers!!

Cidade de Deus

English Title: City of God
Fernando Meirelles-Katia Lund, Brazil, 2002, imdb
Review: 5.0 Uchuvas
Comment: I better start posting some films that I have in my old list; I will start with this great film! I really think is a great film for lots of reason but more important: the way the story is told, the amazing edition, the great photography and the superb music! Do you need any other reason to see it? Ok, here I go with another reason: The good acting.
Going back to the edition, I think it's one of the best ones I've seen! to top the camera's shoots and the music helps a lot to end up with such a great edition! I loved the power of the color too!(the poster's color says it all!) I agree that the story is really tough and raw but, oh well... when you have such an ability to direct films like this one you are totally entitled to talk about any subject you want!... plus... what's wrong with tough films??!!

Sundance Festival 2009

I guess this post is just to let you know that Sundance Festival has started today, January 15th! They have 200 films that will be presented in over 10 theaters in Utah. The awards will be held at the end of the Festival (January 25th). I wish I was there... but no, I'll keep one of my new year's resolution: Not to wish impossibles! so, maybe, next year I'll go. In the mid time I'll keep my idea of giving me as a 40's birthday's present, the "little" trip to Cannes Film Festival!!! YES!!
aaaanyway... So, enjoy Sundance (the ones that can) and let's keep in mind the winners for future references. BTW, Dwight... What are you doing here??!!! Go home and enjoy the festival!!!

January 14, 2009

Krotki film o Zabijaniu

English Title: A Short Story About Killing
Krzysztof Kieslowski, Poland, 1988, imdb
Review: 3.5 Uchuvas
Comment: And then I saw this other one...! and yes...I confirmed that Kieslowski is great! and I haven't seen "The Decalogue" yet! apparently is quite good too!! ok, about this film I found it quite tough! The story behind the guy is heartbreaking and in any scene you can feel the sadness in every single person! How bad! I liked very much the edition and also the great photography! he captured some strange but great perspectives.

La Doble vie de Veronique

English Title: The double life of Veronique
Krzysztof Kieslowski, France, 2001, imdb
Review: 4.0 Uchuvas
Comment: I wanted to take my time to comment this film as I just loved every single part of it!!!!! I only have seen the trilogy from Kieslowski before (Blue, Red and White) but after watching The double life of Veronique I think this Polish director is just great! They are such a beautiful films! They are soooo delicate and powerful. I think not only the story, the actors, the photography was good; one VERY important component was the AAAAAMAZING music!!! I just felt in love with the singer (Elzbieta Towarnicka) and the composer (Zbigniew Preisner) !!! I just love these two tracks from the movie: Veronique singing (I won't put the real scene as I would spoil the film if you haven't seen it) and The puppets scene.  I love love love the puppet sequence... just looooove it! I also loooove when a director don't tell you the story in black and white... he just give you some ideas of what happen but he never tells you what in fact happen! I love when a director knows that we are cleaver enough to imagine things, or even better, to invent things!!! I spent a lot of hours trying to find who is the real puppeteer!? Any idea anyone?

This is England

English Title: This is England
Shane Meadows, UK, 2006, imdb
Review: 4.0 Uchuvas
Comment: It's a really tough film. It's about a group of British's skinheads guys, in fact it's more about the... why am I talking about the plot?! Oh well... I just remember that the film was really good, really worth watching and ... I remember all these haircuts that I don't like! ... that's why I start talking about the plot so I don't end up talking about the haircuts... Aaaaanyway... Have a look, it's really good.

January 11, 2009

Tokyo Monogatari

English Title: Tokyio Story
Yasujiro Ozu, Japan, 1953, imdb
Review: 4.0 Uchuvas
Comment: Hrishi (an Indian friend, or shall I say a beloved American?! ;-)) lent this film to me after writing a great comment that I posted last month. After reading his comment it was impossible not to be in love with the film even before watching it. To be honest, when I finished seeing it I wasn't very sure that I liked it a lot.  After a while and after re-picturing the film in my head I realized why the film was good.  I learned to appreciate the softness of a film. I learned what delicateness really means in films. I started to appreciate more the the absence of color. I love, about the story, how the characters were introduced; You only realized who they really are after a long while. Soft and delicate, two words to describe it. Don't see it if you don't like slow films.

January 10, 2009

Zivot je cudo

English Title: Life is a Miracle
Emir Kusturica, Serbia&Montenegro+others, 2004, imdb
Review: 1.0 Uchuvas
Comment: I used to be fun number 1 of Kusturica after watching Black Cat White Cat and Underground but after seeing this film I lost more than half of the sympathy I ever felt for him. Those two films I mentioned before plus When father was away on business were very bizarre (VERY!)but the three of them were so well developed around one clear story. What I felt with Life is a Miracle is that he was trying to keep the bizarre atmosphere, typical in his films, but loosing all proportions. I felt hi forgot that bizarreness doesn't mean being grotesque for just the fact of being grotesque. The movie is, for me, anything else but an effort to keep an style without thinking what has made the style good before. I have to say anyway that for a reasons that I don't understand, as I'm not professional on the subject, this movie has won several awards including one nomination to the Golden Palm, Cannes (Festival that I like and believe in). So, there you go... have a look if you like and decide whether you like it or not.

January 9, 2009

Golden GLobes 2009

I know, I know!! it's not a foreign film awards and maybe it's not worth paying attention to them (do you know that only 92 people vote for the winners??!!) but I thought I should include in the blog some festivals I like to follow so here you go.
Any guess for winners here??!!! some of my guesses are (in red): (winners and comments in green after watching the ceremony)

Best Motion Picture-Drama
The curious case of Benjamin Button imdb (great effects!)
Frost/Nixon imdb (not my cup of tea but it was good)
The reader imdb (Excelent film! great acting)
Revolutionary Road imdb (tough and great!)
Slumdog Millionaire imdb (I have some doubts but it was good) (No way!!)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama
Leonardo Dicaprio, Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The curious case of B.B.
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler (haven't seen it) (again, Penn is just amazing but can't say if he's better as I haven't seen this film)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture -Drama
Anne hathaway, Rachel Getting married (haven't seen it)
Angelina J, Changeling (haven't seen it and not planning to)
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kristin Scott Thomas, I've love you so long
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary road (I like her better in The Reader) (agreed, she is great!)

Don't miss these other nominees!!! they are great films!
Doubt, pity the trailer! it shows all the film but it's a great film!
Milk, excellent... specially all the acting! Penn is superb!
Burn after reading, I loved Pitt acting here!
In Bruges, so funny! Winner Best Actor Commedy
The Dark Knight, just to see the Joker is worth it! Winner supporting Actor
Wall-E, great animation. Winner Best Animation
Waltz with Bashir, worth watching. Winner Best Foreign Film

and you? any guess?

The Syrian Bride

English Title: The Syrian Bride
Eran Riklis,France-Germany-Israel,2004, imdb
Review: 5.0 Uchuvas
Comment: It's an amazing film!!! It really is aaaaaamazing! When I saw the film I didn't know very much about the conflicts around the area where the film is set: The Golan Heights. It was "undisputed Syrian territory until Israel captured the region on 9-10 June 1967 during the Six-Day War..." (whole story here). Apparently when Israel took the region, a lot of Syrian families got stuck in their own territory; Israelis didn't allow the Syrians, that were living in the taken territory, to leave unless it was for good. DO NOT WORRY... This is not the plot of the film!! not at all....it's just that I'd have loved to know this before watching the film!!! The photography is great and the actors soo good! It's a great combination of history, drama, comedy and surrealism (for the situation itself). Great film! Have a look!

January 8, 2009

Tulitikkutehtaan tytto

English Title: The Match Factory Girl
Aki Kaurismaki, Finland, 1990, imdb
Review: 4.0 Uchuvas
Comment: Before saying anything about this film I have to say that Kaurismaki, from my point of view, is mad! No mad in a bad way at all! It's just very unusual to see the types of films he made. He should pay the actors by the number of words they say in a film, so he can save lots of money!!!! L O T S! Anyway, the film: It's Kaurismaki's film that I've liked the most so far! Simple (as his films), black, direct, tough and short... short enough so you don't get bored with the simplicity of the film (I normally get bored with his films after a while). The actress is great! I don't know why I never felt sympathy for her... oh well... I know why now!
Chechu (a Spanish friend) sent this link about Kaurismaki filmatography, if anybody wants to have a look!

Azul Oscuro Casi Negro

English Title: Dark Blue Almost Black
Daniel Sanchez, Spain, 2006, imdb
Review: 4.0 Uchuvas
Comment: Director debutante!! super! Me gusto bastante esta pelicula. Me gusta muchisimo cuando una pelicula sabe combinar el drama con partes comicas. Me parecio muy buena la historia del amigo... Los actores fueron super! sobretodo "Jorge". La pelicula me puso a pensar en la mala suerte que implica no tener experiencia laboral... es como la historia de quien fue primero: el huevo o la gallina... si no te dan trabajo por falta de experiencia como diablos se hace para tener experiencia sin trabajar primero??!! Tambien me gusto mucho los primeros 5 minutos de la pelicula que dan el abrebocas para mostrar la inmensa frustacion de Jorge con todo el resto de acontecimientos a lo largo del film. 5 minutos que no pueden pasar al olvido. 

Withnail & I

English Title: Withnail & I
Bruce Robinson, UK, 1987, imdb
Review: 3.0 Uchuvas
Comment: I really don't know what to say about this film! It's so....mmmm....don't now! In any case the film has its moments! very funny moments. Two of the characters are just great! Withnail is superb!! and Danny!!! hahahha! they do the whole film! I just loved when they try to cook a chicken in a tea pot! great! It took me a lot of time to realize that I wouldn't see a story but a way of life of a pair of young guys where his only worries would be... not to "mix drinks".


English Title: Hunger
Henning Carlsen, Denmark, 1996, imdb
Review: 4.0 Uchuvas
Comment: I have to admit that this is my second comment on the film. I wrote a very foolish comment but deleted after reading IMDB's comments. I normally don't read them before posting my films but this time I was curious about why it has very good reviews as I didn't like it that much. I was happily surprise by the profound comments and after reading them I started to feel more sympathetic with the film. Yes, I agree that the actor is really good (he won 4 awards for his performance including Cannes). I didn't know, for example, that it's an adaptation of a book by Knut Hamsun ("book based entirely on his experiences of suffering, moral degradation, starvation and humiliation at the hands of the bourgeoisie of Oslo...") The film is very touching and makes me think how many people will die of starvation before admit their hunger. I like a lot how the director create the feeling of hunger all along the film... I guess it's very difficult to show AND perform that feeling! How will it be to write it!?

January 7, 2009

3.5 or less are great films too!!

Every time I post a new film I go over the reviews to make sure that the number of Uchuvas really mean which movies are better; sometimes I have to change the review in some films to make the whole thing fair. Lately I've noticed that the films that have 3.5 Uchuvas or less are really really good films! That makes me realize that I've been tough with the reviews but it needs to be that way as the range is too tight, so do NOT think that because it's 3.5 Uchuvas or less means that it isn't a good film. That's not the case for the movies that are 2 Uchuvas or less... Having only 0.01 Uchuva it REALLY REALLY menans: PLEASE don't see it!

London to Brighton

English Title: London to Brighton
Paul Andrew Williams, UK, 2006, imdb
Review: 4.0 Uchuvas
Comment: I like this film a lot.  Its a tough sad film. The edition is really good! As I said before I love when the film doesn't follow a linear time. The actors are very good... really good I'd say! The photography is good too. What I love from British films is the realism of the movies.... they look so so real!! Films where actors look like real people! ... looove them!

January 6, 2009

The Story of Stuff

English Title: The Story of Stuff
Annie Leonard, US, 2007, click here to see the short story
Review: 5.0 Uchuvas
Comment: I just wanted to start this year with something different and this story was a great opportunity to do it.  Juancho Mesa (a Colombian friend) sent this story to me and I like it a lot not only because it makes me think  about the planet's deterioration and consumerism all over again but because the graphics are really good too... Have a look!! It's not a film but a 20 minutes short story launched online really worth it!
From Juacho email: "...Hoy me ronda tambien por la cabeza una frase que sale en Discovery Channel: TODO LO QUE HAGAS, MUCHO O POCO, CUENTA."