Ready or Not
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
Got more questions about news letters?
Already have an account? Log in here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
No user info supplied.
Full review on my blog movie-discourse.blogspot.com: Tropa de Elite (international title: Elite Squad) is a crime drama set in 1997 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and focuses on two new recruits of a paramilitary police squad. The movie raises some interesting questions about the ethical situation in the favelas and tries to contrast police brutality and organized crime. However, due to the uneven pacing and the inconsistent plot, these aspects are neglected in the latter half of the movie – leaving the viewer with some thrilling action scenes and middling character drama. Technically, the movie looks good and the raw pseudo-documentary style helps to create a tense and thrilling atmosphere; but these features are also overused during the movie's runtime and sometimes even distract the viewer from what's happening.
Snezhnaya Koroleva (international title: The Snow Queen) is a 1957 Soviet animation adventure movie based on the popular eponymous fairy tale by H. C. Andersen. It is mostly faithful to the original story but omits darker passages. The memorable characters, strong pacing, and the entertaining score make the movie fun to watch. Although the overall animation is solid, the movie never reaches the level of the likes of Sleeping Beauty . Still, this version of the fairy tale is atmospheric, entertaining, never too simplistic for an adult audience, and overall a very worthwhile adaptation of the classic tale.
Check out my full review: http://movie-discourse.blogspot.com/2019/11/snezhnaya-koroleva-su-1957.html?view=flipcard
Angst (international title: Fear, also known as Schizophrenia) is a psychological horror movie about a psychotic middle-aged man who, after having served 10 years in prison, again seeks to fulfil his compulsive and sadistic needs and invades a house to torture the inhabitants. The movie is exceptional because of its innovative camera techniques and the heavy use of interior monologue, that comments the character's actions in a clever way, referencing real-life serial killers. Thus, the audience shares the perspective of the psychopath, leading to a more tense, thrilling, and repulsive viewing experience than many other slasher or home invasion movies.
Full review on: http://movie-discourse.blogspot.com/2019/10/angst-at-1983.html?view=flipcard
Read the full review on my blog max4movies: Cam is a techno-horror movie about a young woman who finds herself unable to delete a fake account of herself on an online platform for sexual content. While this doesn't seem like a typical premise for a horror movie, the setting and the plot work well in depicting topical themes like identity theft and online harassment in a tangible and menacing way. The characterization of the antagonists and of the side characters might not be as convincing as the performance of the main actress, however, the movie is still a thrilling ride. Yet, as with most movies focusing on the technology of their time, Cam is best enjoyed now, as several scenes might be outdated fast.
Der Mondmann (2012) (international title: Moon Man) is based on the traditional children's story of the Moon Man visiting Earth and his misadventures to travel back to the moon. Although the movie is mainly targeted at a younger audience, more mature viewers will notice the many references in the movie and how it sensibly deals with topics like friendship, trust, and commitment. Production-wise the movie is made very competently with beautiful backgrounds, vibrant colors, and sharp contrasts. However, sometimes the pacing feels off and the movie features few elements that seem out of place in a typical children's movie (e.g., the romantic scene). Thus, the movie is generally entertaining, highly imaginative, and beautiful to look at – but could also use a slightly better focus. Read the full review on my blog: http://movie-discourse.blogspot.com/2019/09/der-mondmann-de-2012.html?view=flipcard
Full review on my blog max4movies: Kanashimi no Belladonna (international title: Belladonna of Sadness) is an experimental animation movie for an adult audience. Its plot focuses on Jeanne, a young and beautiful woman, who after being raped, has visions of the devil. It features extreme graphic content, like naked women, rape scenes, and an orgy with animals. This, alongside with Jeanne being mostly naked and the omnipresence of phallic imagery, will be appalling to some - although the movie never indulges in voyeuristic pleasures like other erotic movies. Still, the movie features undeniably beautiful images with a unique art style, ensuring that the colorful depictions of rape and torture not only fascinate but also highlight the rich underlying thematic concepts, like open sexuality, criticism against religion, and a social commentary about totalitarian regimes.
The Man Who Laughs is a drama about a man, Gwynplaine, who was disfigured in his childhood to have a perpetual smile on his face. The story is based on Victor Hugo's 1869 novel "L'Homme qui rit" and focuses on Gwynplaine as a young adult being torn between the love for his blind girlfriend Dea and the inheritance of his father, a member of the House of Lords. The performances are mostly great, and the set pieces are atmospheric, reminiscent of German expressionist movies, like Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari . However, many elements from the original story have been stripped away, like the political and philosophical notions regarding the power structures at the time, and the last act feels more like a run-of-the-mill adventure movie. Still, The Man Who Laughs is an interesting and worthwhile movie.
Full review: http://movie-discourse.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-man-who-laughs-us-1928.html?view=flipcard
Liu lang di qiu (international title: The Wandering Earth) is a Chinese science fiction movie about transporting planet Earth to another galaxy by attaching thousands of huge rockets to its surface. The premise is in a way ridiculous, but the movie does a competent job in focusing on the thrilling and action-packed moments. Therefore, the movie can be compared to other disaster movies, like 2012 (2009) or Armageddon (1998). And just like these examples, the movie is somewhat plagued by inconsistent writing and an unbalanced quality of the visual effects. However, the ending pulls together the narrative strings quite nicely and overall the movie is enjoyable for the time being. Full review on my blog movie-discourse.
Den brysomme mannen (international title: The Bothersome Man) is a dystopian dark comedy about a man who mysteriously finds himself in a seemingly perfect society, with the only drawback that the people there are completely detached from real emotions. The performances and the cinematography are great and support the general notion of isolated loneliness, which the main character experiences. Thus, the movie's premise is a clever allegory for how people constantly keep themselves occupied with superficial objects and activities, while ignoring what makes them an emotional and social being. The shift in tone after the opening and the lack of a successful combination of the main character's fate with the overall social commentary of the movie, does mean, however, that it's not as competent as previous, comparable efforts, like Brazil (1980), Anomalisa (2015), or Her (2013). Read my full review on my blog movie-discourse.
Horror Express is a horror movie about a scientist who transports a prehistoric, frozen creature from Shanghai to London by train. As the creature arises from its hibernation-like sleep, it starts to kill the passengers of the train, sucking the memories out of their brains. The movie is quite atmospheric, as it features impressively decorated settings and a moody soundtrack. Also, the cast is very believable, and the performances make the hunt for the murdering creature entertaining. Still, the actual narrative is relatively shallow and only the last third is genuinely thrilling, which makes the movie unbalanced between horror and mystery thriller. Full review on my blog movie-discourse.
Dog Soldiers is an independent horror movie about a group of soldiers on a training mission in the Scottish Highlands who accidently stumble into the territory of werewolves with superhuman strength. The movie sometimes relies on campy humor and features a shallow plot but the atmosphere in the latter half is surprisingly thrilling. The score and the cinematography make up for the otherwise poor production values â" nevertheless, the movie works as a decent and entertaining horror movie, especially when one is fascinated by werewolves. Read my full review on my blog: http://movie-discourse.blogspot.com/2019/05/dog-soldiers-gb-2002.html?view=flipcard
Technically, Sita Sings the Blues is a wonderful achievement. It is an unconventional animated musical that was completely produced by one person over the course of 5 years. Also, it features three cleverly interwoven segments, involving unconditional love and being rejected by a soul mate. There are countless scenes that ooze creativity and are simply fun to watch and entertaining. However, the actual plot might not work as well as it should, because the actions and motivations of the characters are never relatable. The weak writing in the real-life scenes and the heavily truncated story of Ramayana also donâ(TM)t help in making the plot more accessible. Thus, itâ(TM)s a deeply personal and important movie that is more challenging than it should be. Full review: http://movie-discourse.blogspot.com/2019/03/sita-sings-blues-us-2008.html?view=flipcard
Moebius is a mystery thriller about a young mathematician who examines anomalies in the Buenos Aires subway system. On a philosophical level, Moebius makes the statement that a system can expand infinitely within its own dimensions. This transhumanist question is explored through a young mathematician who searches the subway system of Buenos Aires for a seemingly missing train. The movie references the Moebius strip for explaining how a system can reach a higher order within itself, effectively stating that a network created by humankind can become too complex to be understood by the human mind. As with the visual style, the editing, and the acting, the movie is very consistent in this central theme and therefore makes a clever viewing, only partly weakened by the uneven pacing in the second third. Read my full review on movie-discourse.blogspot.com
Dag is a good example for an efficient war movie, as only few locations, characters, and action scenes are featured. By creating an impressive scenery, the movie does give the viewer a sense of the dread the two main characters are facing. It's basically an independent movie, shot on a low budget with a small crew, and amateur actors; the lack of production values often shows and the actors often don't carry the more complex scenes. Generally, though, the characters are authentic and relatable, and the dialogues are mostly well-written. Together with the amazing scenery and the decent pacing, this makes for a worthwhile experience. However, the viewer should keep the nationalist perspective in mind. Full review on my blog movie-discourse.blogspot.com, Overall Score 6/10.
Ging chaat goo si (international title: Police Story) is an action movie with comedic elements about the misadventures of a rookie cop, who goes after a local drug lord. The movie starts on a high note with fast-paced action scenes and greatly choreographed stunts â" however, parts of the plot that can be considered the second act, really change the mood of the whole film and never convey a sense of excitement. The middle part seems narratively incoherent and insignificant to the main plot, slightly marring the otherwise fantastic action movie. The movie may be what brought Chan worldwide fame, making the actor a household name for outstanding stunt work, fast action scenes, and comedic elements.
Full review: http://movie-discourse.blogspot.com/2019/01/ging-chaat-goo-si-hk-1985.html?view=flipcard
O-bi, O-ba: Koniec Cywilizacji (international title: O-bi, O-ba: The End of Civilization) is a post-apocalyptic drama about a group of survivors who live in a decaying bunker shielding them from the outside nuclear wasteland. The movieâ(TM)s technical production values can be regarded as independent, lacking professional visual effects or a complex scenery. However, the characters are believable in their motivations, and the world building is extremely efficient: Within its short runtime, the plot features rich character motivation and an atmosphere that is as gritty as it is captivating. (full review on movie-discourse.blogspot.com)
Manos: The Hands of Fate is a horror movie about a young family being trapped in a lodge in the desert, while its owner summons the evil demon Manos. Conventional criteria of quality can't really be used for describing the movie's features, as there are countless apparent flaws in the production, e.g., the plot, the acting quality, and the editing. However, in a way, all these problematic technical aspects sum up to a fascinating experience that doesn't bears any resemblance to what most come to expect from movies in general. Therefore, it can be watched for escapist entertainment, mocking the low quality or even for technical analyses. Ultimately, as a movie, Manos: The Hands of Fate, can only be recommended as a prime example of what not to do.
Full review: https://movie-discourse.blogspot.com/2018/11/manos-hands-of-fate-usa-1966.html?view=flipcard
Viy is a Soviet horror movie adaption of Nicolai Gogol's short story of the same name, which itself is heavily influenced by dark Ukrainian folklore tales. It is about a young philosopher who is forced to pray for three nights for a witch he previously killed. Due to its great atmosphere, the powerful performances - that are, however, mostly apparent in the latter half of the movie - and the eerie score and chanting of the people, the movie is a great example of a low-brow, yet effective horror movie.
Full review: https://movie-discourse.blogspot.com/2018/10/viy-su-1967.html?view=flipcard
The main problem with Princess could be, that some viewers might not like that such a mature plot was realized as an animated movie. For others, who are intrigued by its style, Princess is a thoughtfully crafted revenge movie. It focuses on its two main characters, August and Mia, who both suffer from how the porn industry used Mia's mother until her untimely death. Thus, the movie deals with revenge, sexual oppression, and grief, making it a tough watch. How the movie deals with these topics and how the characters are presented is exceptionally well handled. Never are any simplistic characterizations and messages used to tell the plot, which gives the viewer the possibility to really think about the characters' motivations.
Full review: https://movie-discourse.blogspot.com/2018/09/princess-dk-2006.html?view=flipcard
A Wednesday is a fast-paced action thriller about a terrorist bomber with ulterior motives. The plot centers around two strong protagonists in a frantic game of cat and mouse. Yet, from a technical standpoint, the movie is rather flawed: it features too many repetitive shots and tired camera techniques, mediocre editing, and weak fight scenes. These drawbacks simply don't match the quality of the great pacing, the strong performances of the main cast, and the deeper themes. The movie raises important and timely questions about terrorism and how the "common man" (= name of the protagonist) relates to acts of terrorism. This is relevant for India, but the movie also depicts terrorism as a global issue, thus making a strong statement about what actions we see fit for the fight against terrorism.