Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dersu Uzala by Akira Kurosawa (1975.)

Dersu Uzala is a product of Japanese-Russian coproduction. The film is based on a book, written by Vladimir Arsenyev , based on a true story. Vladimir Arsenyev is a Russian explorer, ona mission to explore the remote part of Russian wilderness, eastern Siberia. He's send on a mission, along with a handful of soldiers, to mark the forests, mountains, mountain tops, rivers, lakes... Most of those regions have never been explored by any human, or so they thought... On his mission he meets a hunter named Dersu Uzala. Dersu's Russian is not that good, but they learn to understand eachother and Dersu becomes their guide through the Siberian wildreness. That's where an atypical friendship between a Russian military captain and a hunter who lives within the forests starts. I believe this is all I can say about the story without spoiling it.
I should say that Kurosawa is one of my favorite directors. This film, however, isn't typical Kurosawa, or a typical Russian film. It tells a hearttouching story of an encounter Vladimir Arsenyev never expected to happen. It is not a high budget film and one can easily see that, but when it comes to acting, directing and screenplay writing, this film is top class. Vladimir Arsenyev wrote a book based on his memories and it all seems natural. One can easily see that the only motive for writing this book is the friendship itself, not an agenda of any kind. That is one of the things that make this film so good. Kurosawa's directing is perfect, as always. He still uses his own style, even tho it's not 100% his film or Japanese. Being that the film is in Russian, all of the actors are Russian, or from Russia. They all seemed natural and good at what they did. It's a damn shame west didn't pay much attention to this film, because it was made in USSR, their sworn enemy. This film is so innocent and lovely, just like Dersu's soul, and it deserves everyone's attention. It's a definite must see for every living filmlover. If I was to rate this film I would give it 10/10 without spending 2 seconds thinking.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Shitlist 2011. vol. 1

I heaven't yet reviewed everything worth watching in 2011. but I feel like I should give you a headsup on what you shouldn't even bother seeing. Oscars are coming and I will make a post about the nominees, but not just yet.

Just Go With It (2011.) - I'm pretty sure I haven't yet seen a worse film in 2011. and I have seen three films made by Uwe Boll. The only thing I can say about this is "predictable and stupid". Duh, I know it's "just" a comedy, but even for a comedy it's too damn stupid. 

Jack and Jill (2011.) - Don't really feel like saying anything about this one. Is it worse than the previous one? It really doesn't matter. Just stay away from it and you'll be fine. 
Johnny English Reborn (2011.) - As much as I respect Rowan Atkinson, this film isn't even worth mentioning. If I was him I'd stop acting after being in a film such as this one. Get your shit together, Rowan.
Conan The Barbarian (2011.) - First of all, why would anyone go as far as remake the original film, second of all, it's one of the worst films that I've seen this year. Forget about it. 
Straw Dogs (2011.) - Another remake. This time, someone decided to remake Sam Peckinpah's classic, starring Dustin Hoffman. I'm gonna write a review about the original in the next couple of days. Remake of it made it to my shitlist because it's dumb, shallow and it really doesn't say anything. Seems like they took all of the story, but forgot to steal what really mattered in the original.
No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits (2011.) - Didn't wanna waste time writing about these 2 films separately. Well, both films are about a couple that decided to have sex without being in a relationship and how both of those couples failed. Nothing new, nothing original, nothing funny. So, unless you're in love with one of the actors, you should burn the DVD and forget all about it. 
Transformers 3 - I believe even kids hated this shit. The story is dumb, acting is terrible and it's directed by Michael Bay (again). So I don't feel like I should say anything more.
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Well, it really isn't possible to make a good film out of a shitty book. And those books are fucking stupid and shallow. If you've already seen any of the films from the series... I feel sorry for you.
Zookeeper - Don't wanna waste words. It's everything but funny.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Idi i smotri (Come and See) by Elem Klimov

OK, decided to leave English speaking zone and show you something out of the "box". This is a war film, made in today's Belarus. One would expect a film full of communist propaganda, but this film is nothing like it. I've seen 'Enemy At The Gates', an American film about WW2 eastern front, but that film focuses on all the wrong things. This film, however, focuses on what war really is, not what govenments want you to see.
This film follows a life of a boy, in the middle of the German occupation of his homeland. I don't want to spoil much, so I'll just leave it at that storywise. Every aspect of this film was made ingeniusly. I don't really know where to start. Elem Klimov didn't make many films in his liftime (which is a shame). The way he presented the war and everything that follows hasn't yet been seen in an english speaking film, so some people are right to call this film the best war film ever made. It doesn't have cheesy comments, military power propaganda, or lies... It's just raw perfection, served cold. Don't have predjuces about it because it's in Belarus, it's worth reading them subtitles.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lemmy (2010.) by Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski

Once I believed that it was impossible not to know who Lemmy was. Since then I've talked to a bunch of people who had no idea about Motorhead's work, not to mention Hawkwind and Lemmy as a persona. If you're one of those guys who spent most of their life living under a rock, this documentary is a nice way for you to get to know Lemmy, find out who he is and what he did.
I'm kind of new to reviewing documentaries, so I'll just focus on what I think matters. This film follows Lemmy Kilmister's daily routine, shows interviews with friends of his, regular people whom he encounters, ex band members (he was a member of a space rock band called Hawkwind before founding Motorhead.)... Personaly, I can't think of a more suiting way of showing who Lemmy really is. Both him and the interviewed people speak openly about everything. Noways it's quite popular to talk cleanly, excluding the dirty details when it comes  artist's life. Lemmy just doesn't do it. For him, everything that he's done is a part of himself in one way or another. Drug use, sex life, music... One can just see that he speaks nothing but the truth. He doesn't care what people will think of him, he let's everyone know that that's who Lemmy is and if they don't like it they're gonna have to learn to deal with it. This documentary made yours truely more of a fan of Lemmy as a person than ever before. I used to enjoy what he did in both Hawkwind and Motorhead. Both of those bands play kind of unique music, different and inovative in so many ways.
I hope you guys found this useful. If you're not fans of Lemmy to begin with, I'd go with this documentary as a good introduction to what Lemmy made in his lifetime. His music had a huge influence on what was later called music, but shamefully not as much influence to a music today (implying that music today sucks). Give it a shot and you won't regret it. Cheers!