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El Ardor (2014)
I really wanted to like it
The movie didn't work for me. It felt too artificial... forced. Almost like I could tell 'this is a movie' constantly. And it is not supposed to be like that, it has a kind of magical aura you are supposed to feel, and sometimes it works, mainly with sounds and the jungle images. But it doesn't work on how they managed ellipsis... for time to pass by they show you a dark sky with a full moon. Also it didn't work in acting direction, I think. The actors are good, but the tone is completely flat. It may have been a good idea, but it becomes somehow artificial while the movie advances. And the idea of man becoming one with nature felt also forced. The 'tiger'analogy with the main character. It has a great message and I think it was a strong bet. I'm glad they tried. Maybe Herzog's movies would have been a good starting point to think the mise en scene for this subject.
Relatos salvajes (2014)
Clever, dark and funny
The movie is actually 6 short films, all related by brutal violence motivated by different situations. Family. Society. Government. It works very well like that, lasting over 120 minutes that go by quickly. It feels very fluid. Szifrón's eye is very precise. You can tell everything was very well thought. I wouldn't say this is a philosophical film, but it is clever entertainment, that makes you think if this wild tales are actually that wild... Even though this stories are taken to the extreme, everything feels somehow possible when you look back.
Darkly humorous. Watch it.
Cornelia frente al espejo (2012)
Poetry in motion
Slow paced and vibrant. Classy. Poetic. Does justice to the rich text by Silvina Ocampo. Plot: Cornelia wants to die and needs help from the ghosts haunting the house to do it. But the film goes far beyond that...
The music, photography and art are great, but I think the greatest achievement is acting and direction. To tell such delicate text without sounding forced requires very good direction from the film maker (Daniel Rosenfeld) and very good acting (all of them), of course. The film reaches intense moments without being over the top Romantic. It also has very interesting montage scenes; specially one with old photos, Cornelia's voice over and The Swan (Saint Saens).
There's no need to say much more. It's a film to experience.
CoCo - The one and only
What is a guy from Argentina doing, reviewing this red haired freak talk show? Good question. I got to know Conan in 1996, thanks to an overseas life I was living, somewhere in Europe. I didn't speak that land's language but I did understand somehow a little English. So, I had no option. Gotta watch cable. MTV, NBC... Then one night I saw this weird guy (it came right after the funny looking guy with the big chin). I think his hair hypnotized me. I spent one year living there, and, seriously, I didn't have the best of times, I was only 17, far away from my family and culture, without the ability to speak or understand well, but every night Conan got me laughing. And every night it worked. Conan was actually important for me and when I came back to Argentina I missed the show. Internet wasn't such a useful tool those days (almost 15 years ago). Years later, a cable channel here started to show some Late Night with Conan O Brien and I was the happiest man on earth but then, like just one or two months after it started, BAM, Late Night was over because Conan was going to replace Leno. What the! I was so angry. Late Night was perfect and I didn't think Conan needed to do that. He is different to the other "important" talk show hosts and that is what we all like about him. I lost track of his new show and a couple of weeks ago I saw this funny image of Conan and an Owl and the TBS logo... Now, thanks to the internet, I'm watching his new show. I'm aware of what happened and I think it's sad that NBC did what it did and I have to say Leno I don't like your chin anymore and I'm so glad Conan's hair is still red and moves like a salsa dancer. I also watched his goodbye speech on youtube and I think Conan was a gentleman and I loved that. I've seen all the shows, with the moving moon and Tom Hanks getting wet and stuff and it all makes me feel so good, like when I was 17 (I'm 31 now) and I needed company and a good laugh. Thanks Conan. I'm also amazed with the quality of guests he's having. TBS, take care of him (and off course of his sidekick Andy... and the band... and I do miss Max Weinberg). Please excuse my poor English... no wonder, I learned it with TV and CoCo.
EDIT: I just want to add that's been 2 years since I did this review. I watch now the show every day on my Ipod, while doing a 1 hour bus ride to work... And I get there smiling. Thanks again Conan!
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Could've been something to remember; but we will all just forget.
If you don't mind to see Carroll's classic books torn apart, if you like CGI and films like Narnia, go watch this movie. You are going to have the best of times. The characters are lovable (even the ultra mean Red Queen), the CGI is beautiful and it has some of that Tim Burton feel we all like. Sadly, only SOME of it... the deeper meaningful part of Tim Burton is not here. This movie ends up feeling like an action film...
Now, if you are looking for the real deal: Lewis Carrol nonsense magic. Forget it. This is too 'hollywoodesque' for you. I really hated how they disfigured the Mad Hatter. And it's not Johnny Depp (he actually makes it entertaining) it's the screenplay. This movie (this sequel) has very little to do with the books, and even with Disney's cartoon adaptation. Yes, it has all the original characters and situations, but the characters appear almost all together, with no sense of pace, and some of them are completely wrong (Mad Hatter, oh my god what was that!, the Dormouse...). And the situations were changed to get some nice screenplay to make a movie for people just wanting to hang there, eat pop corn and have some fun. I did like the vibe of the Cheshire Cat, the Red Queen, and, at the beginning, the Blue Caterpillar.
So... I didn't like the movie. It's not bad at all, it's entertaining but... you know. It's just another movie. I think Burton made a big mistake here. It could've been magical if he just used the original book. It could have been something to remember; but we will all just forget. Carroll's writing was excellent and there was no need to try to beat him or disfigure his work. Disfigure sounds about right.
7.5 out of 10
The truth about Avatar
You have to be objective. First of all, Cameron invented the 3D cameras involved in the making of the movie. Add to this that he had been waiting years to do the film, because of the technology he needed. And they also created a new kind of motion capture system. All of this tells you something: You have to watch the film in a High Definition 3D cinema! It wouldn't be fair to judge it other way. That is what the whole movie is about; it's a ride, to feel for a moment that you are actually IN that marvelous land that is Pandora. And here is were the movie completely succeeds. All the fuzz that says "you have to watch the film to really experience what it is", that is true. You can't imagine how magical it is. IT IS A COMPLETELY NEW EXPERIENCE... But it doesn't last forever. It's true that this story has been told many times, but that's not the problem. There are hundreds of great films that don't have an original story, but they have original (or better) ways to present it. The problem with Avatar is that it's stuck to the worst clichés. It is not the repeated story, it's the repeated scenes. A whole phrase that you can actually think before the character says it. And I really liked the whole pro nature message and the anti USA invading countries thing... but it's too obvious and it doesn't make you think about it.
* So, is this a breakthrough movie of revolutionary film making? YES * A must watch? YES! No doubt * A movie that will make me think? NOT THAT MUCH * A great film like The Godfather or even Terminator? Mhmmm... NO
It's a mixed bag of bitter sweetness but very enjoyable and, for many moments, just magical.
8.5 out of 10
El secreto de sus ojos (2009)
This is what movies should always be
This is it. A film that you can't get your eyes off until lights are back on... and then it's still difficult to stand up. A thriller, with lovable main characters, that makes you smile and think. A movie about a crime and a love. It has one of best chase scenes I've ever seen, involving what seems to be real complex camera work, something that could've been part of a Lord of the Rings movie maybe (at least that is what it looked like from my seat). Simply amazing. The acting is perfect. The pace is perfect. The ending couldn't be better (and we have seen so many great films that spoil it all at the end!).
Just go see it and enjoy what cinema should always be. It's a 10 out of 10.
Let's do a slow pace dark movie about superheroes and hope it's art
This is one of the worst films I've seen recently. It starts with a nice action scene, well done, nice fx... And then it just goes DOWN. And when you think it couldn't get any lower, it DOES, and when it's at the bottom it goes even more deep... After all that, it has a very nice ending. Off course that doesn't justify the almost 3 hours I lost getting bored there; because the end of the movie could have been placed in a very different film. I have to say that almost all the dialogs are just plain stupid. Some people say that THIS is what superhero movies should be like... I think there is no point in doing such "realistic" characters and situations if it can only bore you. I prefer 1000 times over this movies like X-MEN or BATMAN. This movie feels like "I want to do some artistic stuff with something that isn't supposed to be art..." It could have been a good idea, but it was just a waste. Luckily it's gonna be out of Top 250 any time soon.
Broken Flowers (2005)
Silent, fragile and funny
I love Bill Murray doing this sort of role, something like his performance in Lost in translation or The Royal Tenenbaums. Much is said here with a silent situation or transition. You'll feel uncomfortable sometimes, but it won't be bad at all, it's just that it seems to be a conventional movie but it's not. It has very good performances (strange short appearances of famous actresses), funny bits and, after all that, a truthful ending. There is something for sure: you'll feel like Don Johnston, and you'll be looking around for clues eager to solve his mystery too. (I don't need to say more, but I had to write another line to get this comment posted)
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
A perfect film
Not much has to be said. This is an outstanding film, possibly one of the best films I have ever seen. All performances are perfect. Half drama, half comedy, and that very well done. It has deep thoughts about quilt and mistakes, lots of truth about relationships. It has laughs and a perfect ending. Every time I watch this film I just want to sit down and write, just write something interesting to leave behind. The film is already 16 yrs old and you wont notice that at all, it's one of those films that never age. I would recommend this movie to anyone who doesn't want to spend another two hours of his life watching yet another Hollywood crap.