Manny's Message Wall

michael limbaga 5 years ago


L B 5 years ago

We have similar tastes so I added you. Excuse me for my English, but I'm Italian.

aisha kassala 5 years ago

About Manny

Favorite Movies:
A Clockwork Orange, Cabaret, Rebel Without a Cause, Casablanca, Singin' in the Rain, The Seventh Seal, Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries), Såsom i en Spegel (Through A Glass Darkly), La Dolce Vita, Jules and Jim, Blade Runner, M, Metropolis, Freaks, Meet the Feebles, Heavenly Creatures, Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Amélie, The Neverending Story, Ran, Kumonosu Jô (Throne of Blood) (Macbeth), Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, GoodFellas, North by Northwest, Notorious, Vertigo, Do the Right Thing, Babel, Amores Perros, Requiem for a Dream, Trainspotting, High Fidelity, Airplane!, Road to Perdition, Naked Lunch, Pan's Labyrinth, All About My Mother, Y Tu Mamá También, The Maltese Falcon, Oldboy, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Double Indemnity, The Godfather, Batman, Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands, The Philadelphia Story, Bringing Up Baby, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Far From Heaven, Velvet Goldmine, Seven (Se7en), Love and Death, V for Vendetta, Nashville, Short Cuts, This Is Spinal Tap, The Last Picture Show, The Lady from Shanghai, Fanny & Alexander, Viskningar och Rop (Cries and Whispers), Hairspray, Sleeper, Ordet (The Word), Akira
Favorite Actors:
Katharine Hepburn, James Dean, Humphrey Bogart, Robert De Niro, Bette Davis, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Clive Owen, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Catherine Deneuve, Gary Oldman, Christian Bale, Ewan McGregor, Cary Grant, Helen Mirren, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Audrey Tautou, Marion Cotillard, Daniel Day-Lewis, James McAvoy, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Peter Sellers, Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Jack Nicholson, Naomi Watts, Gael García Bernal, Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti, Laura Linney, Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Jude Law, Clint Eastwood, Johnny Depp, Catherine O'Hara

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Manny's Ratings

  • Hercules

    Hercules (2014)

    July 30, 2014

    Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson as Hercules? Sounds like B-movie heaven right? Well, it almost is. Brett Ratner's Hercules is a refreshing revisionist take on the mythical character adapted from the comic series by Steve Moore in which the world of Hercules is set in reality, where the titular hero isn't a demigod and centaurs and hydra monster don't quite exist. Indeed the plot reads like a modern day heist movie, with Hercules and his team of mercenaries taking on one last job before the man himself, accused of killing his wife and child, can settle down for some peace and quiet. The role is tailor made for Johnson, and he lets loose, ready to roll. Too bad he's saddles with mostly lackluster action scenes, uncharacteristic of the usually able Ratner. The Rock came ready to roll, but Ratner's just on autopilot.

  • Lucy

    Lucy (2014)

    July 30, 2014

    Lord knows I'm all for a good Luc Besson femme fatale, from Anne Parillaud in La Femme Nikita, to Natalie Portman in The Professional to Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element, but Lucy left me wanting. Lucy is essentially the same movie as 2011's Limitless, with Scarlet Johansson in the Bradley Cooper role, but it's nowhere near as fun and enjoyable.

    Johansson's Lucy is perfect in the ass kicking department, but other than that she's merely a student in Taiwan who is conned into becoming a drug mule for sadistic Mr. Jang (Choi Min Sik). When a drug placed into her intestines leaks, Lucy is turned into a lethal killer with a superbrain, capable of just about anything.

    It only sounds cooler than it actually is. Johansson, on a roll with terrific turns in Her and Under The Skin, is dynamite, but Besson's hardly bothers to give Lucy the film a real sense of fun, especially when Morgan Freeman shows up as a scientist going all philosophical on us. Buzzkill. Lucy could have been batshit mayhem and terrific female revenge laced with psychedelics. But that's what could have been.

  • A Most Wanted Man

    A Most Wanted Man (2014)

    July 26, 2014

    We'll see the late Philip Seymour Hoffman again in the next Hunger Games movie, but A Most Wanted Man marks his final starring performance and it's a doozy, a master class in acting. Director Anton Corbijn's tense, twisty, amazing spy thriller, from the 2008 novel by John Le Carre, is all kinds of marvelous. Hoffman, who passed away in February, plays Gunther Bachmann, a German intelligence operative stationed in Hamburg, where, since 9/11, he's been heading a small-scale spy unit tracking the Muslim community, where the September 11, 2001 attacks were formulated.

    Corbijn (Control, The American), working form a terrific script from Andrew Bovell, masterfully takes his time building suspense. Things focus on Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin), a newly arrived Chechen-Russian who seeks the aid of human rights lawyer Annabel Richter (Rachel McAdams) to collect an inheritance from a German bank run by Thomas Brue (Willem DaFoe). Is Issa's motive to fund terrorism?

    That's what Gunther wants to know, as does every other player in the spy racket, including the CIA, in the form of Martha Sullivan (Robin Wright). This sets up an amazing cat-and-mouse game between Hoffman and Wright that is just riveting to watch.

    But with Hoffman, every move he makes warrants close attention, from the accent to the boozing to the chain smoking and subtle glances he gives his assistant (Nina Hoss) to the secret life he leads and the betrayals that even he can't see coming. Hoffman is outstanding, and A Most Wanted Man serves as a damning reminder that we'll never see his likes onscreen again. Bravo.

  • Begin Again

    Begin Again (2014)

    July 26, 2014

    There are no terminal illnesses or dying teens in Begin Again, the latest enchantment from from writer-director John Carney, whose 2007 feature Once captured the hearts of all who saw it, but the film nevertheless hits a romantic sweet spot with its ravishing romance and humor, not to mention its infectious original music. Yes, you could say Begin Again is just Once with bigger stars and more money, but why complain when the results are this good?

    Begin Again is a winner because it's so understated, a film not afraid to let some feelings go unexpressed. Dan, a record producer played by Mark Ruffalo with easy charm and aching emotion, is in a career rut. His partner, Saul (Mos Def, terrific) has fired him from his own company, his music journalist wife (Catherine Keener) has left and even their teen daughter (Hailee Steinfeld), barely tolerates him and his antics. All this has basically left Dan to stare longingly at subway tracks.

    Then one night in New York Dan ends up in a bar and there he sees and hears her. She would be Greta (Keira Knightley), a Brit singer-songwriter whose shy guitar playing and hesitant vocal elicit yawns and shrugs from the crowd. But her lyrics strike a chord with Dab, speaking directly to his own crises, and as he watches her he produces her song in his head, allowing for Carney to create a scene of surreal, mesmerizing loveliness.

    You can pretty much see where things are going from there. Dan will make Greta a star, they'll fall in love, happy ending. Well, not exactly. Though Dan raises the money needed to record Greta's album live in different New York locations, the two can't leave their own past lives behind them. Greta lived for years with songwriter Dave Kohl (Adam Levine) until he broke through, got famous and became a cheating asshole.

    Knightley, who boasts a surprisingly soulful voice, is flat out excellent. And Levine, of Maroon 5 and tv's The Voice, is pretty damn good, giving the role all the nuance it needs without being cheesy. He's revelatory, especially in a scene where tries to win Greta back by performing one of her songs, 'Lost Stars', with absolutely no hint that his version sacrifices the purity Greta strives for and thrives upon.

    Rarely do you find a film that so effectively uses music to define romance and love. Begin Again, with original songs written by Once's Glen Hansard and Gregg Alexander of the New Radicals, is just extraordinary. Ruffalo and Knightley make sweet music together. While sitting on a bench, both with buds in their ears, lost in music, they craft a connection that is palpable. Begin Again hits just the right notes, and will take your breath away.

  • Third Person

    Third Person (2014)

    July 26, 2014

    Third Person is terrible. It's rare you find a film stuck so far up its own ass. It's downright infuriating. At the same time though, it's a film that was very much touched by human hands, a film with real ambition, and one that should definitely be seen, at least so that it can spark conversation. Director Paul Haggis, also serving as screenwriter, is no Hollywood hack. This Canadian rogue and Scientologist gets under people's skins for different reasons. Many still can't forgive him for his 2005 film Crash winning the Best Picture Oscar over Brokeback Mountain. Haggis is quite adept as a screenwriter too, having crafted scripts for Clint Eastwood's Million-Dollar Baby and Letters From Iwo Jima, and he has made some fine films in the form of 2007's In The Valley of Elah. But even Haggis' screenwriting can go from fantastic (his script for Casino Royale) to maddeningly dull (his other Bond script Quantum of Solace). His last writing and directing feature, 2010's The Next Three Days, was a veritable piece of shit. And his latest, Third Person?

    It will drive you crazy. But its theme---creation, creativity and the struggles behind it-- is something worth grappling with. Haggis begins with Michael (Liam Neeson), a Pulitzer-prize winning novelist dealing with writer's block in a chic Paris hotel room. Michael doesn't need room service. He just sends for Anna (Olivia Wilde), a young writer he's been sleeping with since he left his wife, Elaine (Kim Basinger). Neeson imbues Michael with a terrific sense of carnal vitality and caged-animal heat, and Wilde stuns as the willful muse he exploits for sex and inspiration.

    And then of course, Haggis piles on the sub-plots. In Rome we have Scott (Adrien Brody), who makes a living stealing ideas from fashion houses. But then he meets Monika (Moran Atias) and denounces his every instinct as a selfish cad to help her get her daughter back from Romanian kidnappers. Then in New York, we have Julia (Mila Kunis) who is working as a hotel maid trying to finance a custody battle with her ex-husband, Rick (James Franco), an artist who can't get past an incident of child neglect, despite the case from Julia's lawyer, Theresa (Maria Bello).

    Neeson and Wilde are great, but the rest of the cast are trapped under plot overload. Do all these differing plots connect in any way? They sure do, in ways that strain credulity and are even rather demented. It all adds up to nothing all that worthy, which is the most frustrating part. Haggis has ambition to be admired, but it'd help if what's onscreen wasn't such a wandering mess. You get more pleasure out of analyzing and examining Third Person than you do in actually watching it and taking it in.

  • Tammy

    Tammy (2014)

    July 26, 2014

    It's hard to hate on Melissa McCarthy, even when the material she's given fizzles. Such is the case with Tammy, co-written by McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone, who also directs. Tammy is another of McCarthy's great characters, a down-on-her-luck gal who, in the course of one day, loses her job, her car and her husband (stolen by a toothy Toni Collette). What's a girl to do? She h its the road and enters all kinds of hi-jinks with her boozy grandmother (a lovably frazzled Susan Sarandon). It sounds like a winner and yet Tammy falls short. Even when it's funny, the gags ad story rarely gel together well. Tammy comes off like an SNL character who got her own movie since the film seems to be a series of skits. Pity many of them aren't funnier. Tammy is never meant to be admired, she's loud, lazy, impulsive and boorish, but McCarthy is a comedic force of nature and makes sure you can never take your eyes off her. Even with material that's sub par, McCarthy is never not worth watching.

  • Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

    Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)

    July 13, 2014

    Seems like not long ago we were all shocked by how much 2011's Rise of The Planet of The Apes didn't suck. It seemed like there could be no life left in the franchise after four sequels to the 1968 original and Tim Burton's horrid 2001 remake, so expectations were low. And then bam, Rise got us all excited about the apes again, this time with actors playing apes in motion-capture suits, using digital technology to help register real feeling and nuance, even in the eyes. It's impossible to resist.

    There's good news too with Dawn of The Planet of The Apes, set 10 years after Rise. The apes look as amazing and cool as ever. They run, they stomp, they wield guns, ride horses, speak English. Things is there are such high expectations for Dawn that there was no way it was gonna meet them all. For starters, there's the human actors, who are mostly dull as shit.

    But even with the human actors, Dawn is mostly a rousing experience, especially in its first hour. In for Rise director Rupert Wyatt is Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) who gets us right into the action. The simian virus concocted by James Franco in the last film has enhanced the brains of apes but has decimated the human population all over the world. The apes who fled into the woods near San Francisco are thriving. You see it in alpha male Caesar, again played by the amazing Andy Serkis, as he leads his fellow apes in an attack on a herd of elks and fighting off a bear. The film's digital wizardry is astonishing. Rise was largely shot in a studio. In Dawn, Reeves and cinematographer Michael Seresin take things right onto the locations, shot in real space, with the forests of Vancouver standing in for Northern California. It's an awe-inspiring feat, making you wish Dawn could just be about the apes.

    So it sucks when the human actors crash the party. The apes are suspicious of them. So was I, despite the talent on display, including Gary Oldman as a fanatical ex-cop who blames apes for his family's deaths. Jason Clarke is on hand as an architect and widower trying to raise his teenage son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) while romancing a medic (Keri Russell) and rebuilding a power plant that can power the city once again. But nothing they do can transcend the script from Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver that veers from needlessly profound to downright silly when the apes engage in broken English.

    I'll say no more on plot except that the climactic battle is a doozy. All props to Serkis, who continues to be the model of motion capture acting in yet another triumphant performance. Caesar's desire for peace between the species puts him at odds with number two ape Koba (Toby Kebbell, superb), who wishes to see all humans dead. The same splits in ideologies plagues the human population, not that you won't miss that since the script whacks us over the heads with it. As a piece of profundity and social commentary, Dawn of The Planet of The Apes falls short, as entertainment and spectacle, it's groundbreaking and electrifying.

  • Life Itself

    Life Itself (2014)

    July 13, 2014

    America's most iconic film critic, maybe the world's, is celebrated with wry humor and heart in Steve James' extraordinary documentary Life Itself. Cancer ravaged Ebert's body and took his voice, but he continued to blog and wrote about film up until the day he died last year at the age of 71. The films is love story. One between Roger and his widow Chaz, and a love story between Roger and the movies. He let all the pleasures and wonders of the world seep into his reviews, seeing film as 'a machine that generates empathy'. This is a chance to see what made one of our most brilliant and beloved critics and cultural commentators of our time. Life Itself is a total warts-and-all portrait that Ebert himself didn't live to see or review, but it's not hard to guess his thumbs would be going way up.

  • Transformers: Age of Extinction

    Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

    July 13, 2014

    Michael Bay does it again. With Transformers: Age of Extinction, the beginning of a second trilogy, Bay has crafted a movie that can truly be described as absolutely worthless. You think that no summer blockbuster could ever be as dull, stupid and soulless as the first three Transformers, but here we are.

    Bay, with screenwriter Ehren Krueger, is telling the same goddamned story he's told the first three times, only he's taking longer to do it. Just short of three hours, Transformers: Age of Extinction, whether seen in 2D, 3D or IMAX 3D, is an endurance test that even migrant children from South America would cringe at. Even fans of the franchise, and they're out there, have to know that the toys from Hasbro are much more vibrant and complex than these putrid movies.

    Plot? Four years after the war between the alien robots leveled Chicago (Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, are good, Decepticons, bad), the robots in disguise are nowhere to be seen. None of it matters though, since even the Autobots are being hunted down and destroyed. The government has a plan to create their own race of Transformers, which means Bay can begin the whole process over again with the robots fighting over their own clones. Ugh.

    Am I being unfair? There is some new things. Bay has discarded his old human cast, so there's no more Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, teen pal to Autobot Bumblebee. In his place is Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager, a Texas robotics freak who buys an old truck that ends up being Optimus Prime. So this mean there's no more Megan Fox or Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Bay's camera to ogle? No worry, there's newcomer Nicola Peltz as ade's 17-year-old daughter Tessa, who wears heels and short shorts, no matter what is going on, so Bay can leer at her like a creep. So no, not being unfair.

    As far as acting goes, it's nowhere to be seen. I give props to Stanley Tucci as Joshua Joyce, head of Kinetic Sciences Institute (KSI) and the man who has isolated a metal substance called 'Transformium' that can mutate just about anything, except turn Bay into a filmmaker of talent on par with Chris Nolan or Guillermo Del Toro. Joshua is in league with CIA villain Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammar), who does a grisly experiment on Galvatron, a Transformer created from the evil DNA from Megatron's decapitated head. Tucci is the only one in the film who seems to have a pulse, delivering every line he's given as if he's laughing inside.

    The rest is all mind-numbing sound and fury. You can get more entertainment and stimulation from playing with toys or video games, where you could do whatever you wish. With Transformers:Age of Extinction, you're just stuck with Bay's toy sets. There comes a point in the movie where the Dinobots are introduced, which are apparently there to remind us of a time when something referred to as the seed was unleashed to turn 'organic life into metal'. That's whats' at Bay's disposal, and we're all suffering for it.

  • Snowpiercer

    Snowpiercer (2014)

    July 13, 2014

    How could I not have been pumped up for Snowpiercer, the first English-language film from the great South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho (Memories of Murder, The Host, Mother). Picture this: the year is 2031. The world has literally frozen over, and all of the survivors are living aboard a high-speed train, known as the Snowpiercer, that zips through arctic blocks all over the planet. But not everyone is equal. There are the have-nots, led by Curtis (Captain America himself Chris Evans, remarkable) and his second-in-command, Edgar (Jamie Bell), are stashed in the back, fed black bars of protein mush, while the privileged classes, overseen by Mason (a wickedly terrific, over-the-top Tilda Swinton) ride up front in luxury that includes a schoolroom, gardens, an aquarium, beauty saloon, sushi bar, even a night club for drug-fueled orgies. The very front holds Wilford (Ed Harris), who invented the eternal engine. Things come to a head when the folks in back begin pushing their way forward, egged on by Gilliam (John Hurt), in a nod to Terry Gilliam's landmark 1985 Brazil, and that's when Bong starts firing on all cylinders. Wilford's troops literally start cracking heads, and a massive battle in near darkness as the train races through a dark tunnel is thunderously exciting. Sure, the train is a microcosm of society, but Bong transcends ham-fisted commentary and profundity with sheer visionary dazzle. Adapted by Bong and Kelly Masterson (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead) from a 1982 French graphic novel, Snowpiercer is the summer's coolest movie, a brilliant antidote to Transformers bullshit. It's sci-fi with brains and a heart and a strong sense of purpose. It's a ride worth taking.

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