Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Movie review: Paradise Hills (2019)



[Post published by Liviu, on Liviu's [Personal] Blog]

Nota bene: for other movie reviews, click for the dedicated page with movie reviews.


Paradise Hills (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]




Entertaining overall.

Starts well - the initial 10% of the time displays a good storyline, is well paced, keeps the viewer focused etc.

Then for the next 50% of the time it turns bad, really bad - it's like the Middle Ages in history - not much of a storyline, almost nothing interesting or mildly relevant happens... it just drags, gets rather boring etc.
Not sure on their intentions here, but they have certainly failed - it simply doesn't resonate with me.
Certainly the movie feels a lot longer than it actually is because of this rather bad part.

Then, for the remaining 40% of the time, it suddenly turns really good: the storyline develops rapidly and gets more and more interesting & captivating, you get action & adrenaline etc. - basically you get the whole package. This part saves the whole movie - congratulations to whoever's been in charge on this part!

There are 2 nice twists and turns. First, regarding the school's real way of accomplishing its objectives and what/who The Duchess really is. Second, regarding Markus - indeed, this one is rather obvious, but I won't spoil it :)

I really enjoyed the cinematography + the choice of costumes & colors + the rather weird, but subtle soundtrack that blends in perfectly.

The cinema experience is a must, since TV would ruin the whole experience.



Conclusions


Paradise Hills (2019) is a good watch and I consider the time has been well spent with respect to the initial 10% and the final 40% of the movie.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Movie review: Ad Astra (2019)



[Post published by Liviu, on Liviu's [Personal] Blog]

Nota bene: for other movie reviews, click for the dedicated page with movie reviews.


Ad Astra (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]



Entertaining.

Coherent and Consistent storyline.
Smart.
Linear, straightforward, yet smart - quite an awkward combination.

Slow paced, but it doesn't drag.
The story develops nicely throughout time and seems stubborn enough to keep going and keep the viewer focused despite the slow pace.

A bit sad/pessimistic, but it's the right choice in order to fit the story.

Really good acting, soundtrack, post processing etc.
Discreet, yet complex special effects that perfectly blend in and complete the story.

For some reason it reminds me of Syriana (2005) [IMDB] - the same slow pace, the same soundtrack style/pattern, the same sadness/pessimism etc.

The cinema experience is a must.


Conclusions


Definitely worth watching. Time well spent.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Movie review: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)



[Post published by Liviu, on Liviu's [Personal] Blog]

Nota bene: for other movie reviews, click for the dedicated page with movie reviews.


Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]



Kisses the asses of Hollywood just like La La Land, so it might get some Academy Awards nominations or even win some! :))

Its only merit is it offers a glimpse into the inner workings of Hollywood, on what happens behind the scenes etc. It's only a glimpse, keep that in mind, so nothing thorough!


Long. Too long.
Boring. Too boring.

Pointless. Really, what's the point of it?
Stupid, I'd say.
I cannot describe the story... I cannot imagine their original intentions regarding the story...

Good acting, that's for sure - it deserves some Academy Awards nominations with respect to acting...

Good cinematography.

The cinema experience is a must, so you can fully comprehend how stupid, bad, pointless the movie is :), yet how good the acting really is :))
TV would only make the movie seem less bad :) and the acting less good :))


Conclusions


A waste of both time and money to me regarding the story, yet a good watch regarding the acting performance.
Well, at least now I can finally say I've watched a rather bad Tarantino movie :))

Others praise the movie...

Monday, 22 July 2019

Movie review: Anna (2019)



[Post published by Liviu, on Liviu's [Personal] Blog]

Nota bene: for other movie reviews, click for the dedicated page with movie reviews.


Anna (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]



Great.
Entertaining.

Great story.
Smart.
Much more than a Coherent & Consistent storyline.
Best story of an action movie I've watched in years.

Great acting.
All characters get the right amount of screen time.
Helen Mirren, Luke Evans and Cillian Murphy really shine.
Sasha Luss does a good part. However, must note the other 3 carry part of the load, so her task is easier than carrying the whole movie by herself.

Quite a lot of action, well packed, spread nicely throughout the movie.
Obviously, I would have liked more action, but there's plenty already.

Really good editing and post processing.

The cinema experience is a must.


The only major flaw is the time range - given the technology displayed in the movie, they should have added at least 5 years, if not 10, to the chosen time range, i.e. instead of the late '80s / early '90s, they should have chosen the late '90s. But, hey, all action movies are flawed to some extent, so I don't mind :))

Anna (2019) feels like Atomic Blonde (2017) done right... So, my best guess is Luc Besson has started all this to show everyone how Atomic Blonde should have been done - and he definitely succeeds at that! - but he adds elements and technology available only 5-10 years later :))



Conclusions


Worth watching. Time well spent.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Review de teatru: UAU @Cuibul Artistilor (Bucuresti)



[Post published by Liviu, on Liviu's [Personal] Blog]

Din nou la Cuibul Artistilor - piesa de teatru:


UAU


Scenariu genial.
Interpretare geniala.

Si da, piesa e grea - pare usoara pentru ca e comedie si trece timpul repede pentru tine ca spectator, dar pentru ei e greu sa sustina acel ritm rapid si replicile super bune si ironice...

Deci, da, super piesa - probabil cea mai buna piesa de teatru pe care am văzut-o de nu mai stiu cand!

Pret: donatia recomandata de 20 ron merita!



Concluzii


Foarte tare. Jucata foarte bine. A meritat!

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Cica am semnalmente de infractor



[Post published by Liviu, on Liviu's [Personal] Blog]


Mergeam Luni, 18 Februarie, seara, in jur 21:15, retras cu gandurile in universul meu spre statia de metrou Lujerului - in fata intrarii 2 agenti de Politie (am mai vazut si altadata agenti stand pe acolo, si au fost multi candva cand a fost inchis seara tronsonul Lujerului - Preciziei, nu stiu de ce?) - anyway, ma uit la ei, ei la mine, unul zambeste si ma intercepteaza:

Imi cere sa prezint buletinul - din reflex il dau, evident. Politia are dreptul sa te legitimeze. Isi noteaza datele mele in agenda lor etc.

Ma intreaba de unde vin - de acasa, le arat adresa din buletin. “A, da!” - abia atunci isi dau seama ca locuiesc in zona - au notat adresa, dar nu au recunoscut-o?!
Inteleg scopul intrebarii, sa afle o informatie noua (poate veneam din alta parte?), DAR din comportamentul lor clar nu si-au dat seama ca adresa e in Militari. Am citit surprindere pe fata lor cand au facut conexiunea...


Revin incet din universul meu si intreb care e scopul?

Aflu ca s-a comis o talharie in zona si am semnalmentele dupa care opresc si legitimeaza lumea: caciula si fular...

Wtf?! Mi-a venit sa rad, dar mi-am dat seama ca nu e cazul. Sa le spun ca e o tampenie aceasta descriere sumara? S-ar putea sa primesc amenda - judec eu institutia de mentinere a ordinii publice?!

Deci faptul ca am caciula si fular - cand afara e frig, mie imi e frig - si cand istericii din mass media tipa ca e epidemie de gripa (vai, cati morti de gripa!)... ma face sa par _infractor_?!


Evident ca au vrut sa vada ce am si in ghiozdan - poate aveam vreo sabiuta de 30 cm, nu de 1 metru cum au smecherii in BMW luat la mana a doua din Germania. 30 e mai mare decat 1, deci sabiuta de 30 cm e mai mare decat de cea de 1 metru, right? Stiu, nu aveti logica de “caciula si fular”.

Cand ai niste cutii & borcane goale de mancare in ghiozdan, niste hartii, o sacosa... dezamagire...

A trebuit sa pun ghiozdanul pe marginea aceea mizerabila de marmura pe care altii lasa pahare de cafea sau sticle de suc, se varsa pahare de cafea sau sticle de suc, se lasa tigari, sunt enshpe scuipati etc.
Well, daca nu deschizi ghiozdanul, se cheama ca obstructionezi legea, right?
So, il deschizi in locul infect - te gandesti ca poti sa stergi lucrurile ulterior!

Ca paranteza, cand am fost demult la Parada Militara de 1 Decembrie era un filtru pe Bd. Constantin Prezan in zona Arcului de Triumf - aveau o masuta pe care puneai lucrurile, frumos, civilizat - din pacate, atunci am nimerit o viitoare agenta (avea ecuson cu "student" or something) si a insistat ca ea sa deschida/inchida fermoarele si mi-a stricat un fermoar! L-a fortat, s-a stricat, asta e! Mda, you cannot have it all! :))


Stiu ca legea permite Politiei sa te legitimeze daca au suspiciuni rezonabile, e ok, s-ar aplica in cazul de fata...
...DAR m-as astepta ca _filtrul_ sa fie un pic mai _restrictiv_...
...iar daca tot avem un filtru _larg_ “caciula + fular” atunci _sa vad_ _mai multe_ _echipaje pe strada_, pentru ca e de lucru! sau oprim oamenii din 10 in 10 si ne facem ca muncim?!

Cu mine au pierdut 4-5 minute - cati au mai trecut cu fular si caciula intre timp?
Cam ciudat, nu?
Daca in timp ce ma conversam cu ei, m-as fi gandit la asta... si m-as fi uitat stanga-dreapta in continuu sa vad altii cu “fular + caciula”... ar fi fost semne clare de comportament dubios, clar individ nelinistit, right? Are semnalmente, e nelinistit ca se uita stanga-dreapta, clar suspect!


Cand aveam ghiozdanul pe marginea de marmura, am vazut prin geam trecand 1 ceva cu "fular + caciula" - l-am vazut accidental, ca nu ma uitam activ. Eu l-am vazut. Ei nu, intrucat erau ocupati sa evalueze ce am scos din ghiozdan - normal.

Deci, in cele 4-5 minute - cati au mai trecut cu fular si caciula?



=> Deci, cine a organizat toata plasarea in teren a organizat-o prost. Foarte prost! Ar trebui avansat, ca sa nu mai organizeze si alte lucruri la fel de prost.



In metrou mi-am dat seama ca despre nici unul eu _nu stiu_ nici _grad_, nici _nume_, nu am vazut nici _legitimatia_...

In mod clar, _verbal_ _nu_ s-au prezentat. - ar fi trebuit, cred ca invata la Scoala de Agenti asta?

Era intuneric, nu stiu daca aveau insigna in piept, nu am vazut niciun ecuson cu numele lor, iar epoleti cu grade nu retin sa fi vazut pe geaca.
Data viitoare sa scot lanterna de la telefon sa le luminez pieptul ca sa vad ecusonul si insigna? si umerii ca sa vad daca au epoleti sau nu?

Oricum, _verbal_ _nu_ s-a prezentat nici unul.

Teoretic, trebuiau sa se prezinte, apoi sa-mi spuna scopul opririi si apoi sa ma legtimeze - well, nu s-au prezentat, iar pentru scop am intrebat eu explicit.



Deci, Tudorel Toader cu toata nebunia cu amnistia & gratierea le-a dat curaj infractorilor (era de asteptat!) si le-a dat de lucru celor de la Politie, iar Carmen Dan i-a zapacit complet. Iar logica & mentalitatea de Gadea (pastor cu discurs religios adaptat la orice e nevoie) Antena 3 ne cam tampeste pe toti.


Ca fapt divers, bunicului meu i-a fost furat buletinul (prin toamna, cred) in Piata Sudului (inainte sa se apuce Primaria s-o demoleze) - la sectia de Politie din zona nu i-au dat niciun numar de inregistrare, apoi l-au convins sa declare buletinul pierdut, ca sa-l primeasca mai repede pe cel nou - uite asa scade criminalitatea!


Iar eu acum am semnalmente de infractor?! - caciula si fular?! - really?

La vara port pantaloni scurti. Daca si astea sunt semnalmente de infractor?

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Review de teatru: Experimentul @Cuibul Artistilor (Bucuresti)



[Post published by Liviu, on Liviu's [Personal] Blog]

Ultima oara am fost in Martie 2018 la Cuibul Artistilor - a fost frumos, mi-a placut; intre timp, si-au schimbat site-ul (acum merge super bine!), au avut multe piese/reprezentatii (pe care nu le-am vazut), au facut si turneu prin tara etc.

Au ramas cu aceeasi adresa, si de Internet https://www.rezervari.cuibulartistilor.ro, dar si fizic: Facultatea de Inginerie a Instalatiilor, București :)

Mi-am amintit de ei si am fost din nou - piesa de teatru:


Experimentul


Interesanta povestea. Rasturnari de situatie. Un pic filozofic din cand in cand.

Bine jucat.
Imi place ca se simte ca intotdeauna pun suflet, isi dau silinta, transmit mesajul etc.

Mi-a placut.

Pret: e cu intrare libera, nu esti obligat sa platesti. Totusi, e frumos ca la iesire sa faci o donatie in cutia special amenajata, daca oamenii au facut totusi efortul de a organiza totul etc. - acum recomanda 20 ron.


Concluzii


Piesa interesanta, jucata bine. A meritat.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Movie review: Glass (2019)



[Post published by Liviu, on Liviu's [Personal] Blog]

Nota bene: for other movie reviews, click for the dedicated page with movie reviews.


Glass (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]



Disclaimer: I admit (1) I have not watched Split [IMDB; en.wikipedia] (but I am familiar with the story behind it) and (2) I were too young to fully understand Unbreakable [IMDB; en.wikipedia]... so, let's dive into the 3rd installment of what appears to actually be a trilogy! :)


Entertaining.
Smart.
James McAvoy is the real star. Samuel L. Jackson is funny & crazy as usual. Bruce Willis is kind of old... but more on acting later.


Coherent and Consistent storyline.
Smart.
Several twists and turns.

Develops nicely over time.
The pace is fast enough (but not very fast, though :D) during the first half.
Then the pace constantly slows down and the story drags...
... and during the final 15 minutes the story drags badly, in order to build a large expectation for another sequel :) This approach hurts the movie overall, if you ask me.


Obviously, James McAvoy (as all those 24 personalities) is the real star. Everything gravitates around his character / personalities.

Samuel L. Jackson (as Elijah Price) - funny & crazy as usual :) He just forces you to side with his evil mastermind character :)

Bruce Willis (as David Dunn) is kind of old. Why, but why did he get old? I'm a huge fan! Anyway, he does a good part.

Sarah Paulson (as Dr. Ellie Staple) acts as if she's about to burst into tears any minute now :))


Good cinematography, special effects, soundtrack etc.
Kind of cheap and dull background - however, given the $20 million budget it's great what they have accomplished!

I hope they don't do the so much anticipated sequel. The story is just fine as it is now.



Conclusions


Worth watching. Time well spent.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Movie review: The Mule (2018)



[Post published by Liviu, on Liviu's [Personal] Blog]

Nota bene: for other movie reviews, click for the dedicated page with movie reviews.


The Mule (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Entertaining and boring simultaneously.

Coherent and Consistent storyline.
Linear.
Predictable.
The story drags sometimes.
It displays some funny moments / situations from time to time.
It subtly criticizes the way people categorize and address other people with respect to race etc.

Slow paced - when Clint Eastwood acts.
Fast paced - when Bradley Cooper acts.

Clint Eastwood is old, really old, but also stubborn enough to get the job done well - indeed, the part suits him perfectly.

Bradley Cooper does well, as always.

No special effects or at least no obvious special effects :)

Good cinematography, but cheap - what is that $50 million budget for? :))

You can safely watch it on TV. The cinema experience doesn't add anything special.


Conclusions


Time well spent. Worth watching.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Movie review: The House That Jack Built (2018)



[Post published by Liviu, on Liviu's [Personal] Blog]

Nota bene: for other movie reviews, click for the dedicated page with movie reviews.


The House That Jack Built (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Entertaining for those who understand it, but probably boring for those who don't.
Crazy.
Mind blowing.

Sadistic.
Unnecessary explicit European style violence as opposed to Hollywood's.

Horror & Comedy simultaneously.

Nota bene: the movie might make many viewers feel uncomfortable. This movie clearly is for open minded, mentally sane people. Probably not recommended to average viewers.

Coherent and Consistent storyline.
Lots of old school difficult to swallow European philosophy.
There are some funny moments from time to time.

Lasts for 2.5 hours - feels shorter if you understand it, but also an eternity if you don't :)

Average special effects, but they do get the job done perfectly.

Matt Dillon is great.

The closest thing I can think of would be Nocturnal Animals starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

Definitely to watch at the cinema.


Conclusions


Worth watching to me, but probably a bad experience to most average viewers. It's the kind of movie that you either understand (and therefore can enjoy) or dislike, there's no other option.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Movie review: Mary Poppins Returns (2018)



[Post published by Liviu, on Liviu's [Personal] Blog]

Nota bene: for other movie reviews, click for the dedicated page with movie reviews.


Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Entertaining. Fun. Nice. Sweet.
Great musical.
Great to both children and adults.


Coherent & Consistent storyline.
A few small twists here and there, but I need to emphasize there only are a few of them and really small :)

My major objection: the resolution to the debt problem is incredibly stupid, it's like writers’ creativity has suddenly vanished.

Fast paced. No time to get bored or lose focus :)


Nice special effects.


Great acting.

Emily Blunt acts well, sings well - she does a really good job, congratulations!
If Emma Stone has got an Academy award for the part in La La Land (2016), then Blunt certainly deserves one, too :)
I just can't stop comparing her against Catherine Zeta Jones and Renee Zellweger in Chicago (2002) :) and conclude that Jones and Zellweger are better :)

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a revelation to me - great acting, great singing. He deserves a nomination to the Academy awards. He's better than Richard Gere in Chicago (2002) :)


Nice, catchy songs. Some are even educative :) I really enjoyed all of them.


Great musical. Definitely better than La La Land (2016).

I'm still debating which I like more: A Star is Born or Mary Poppins Returns?

Please remember my review on Christopher Robin (2018) in which I state: “Winnie-the-Pooh has the voice of a castrated dying European old man. And he surely behaves like a dumb & always hungry old man.”
Well, Mary Poppins is just the opposite. She’s a young, smart, resourceful, good looking, fertile, optimist/positive lady. That's the right way to build a character!

Mary Poppins Returns reminds me a bit of The Sound of Music (1965) - there's the same joy that really gets into you and you just can't fight it :)


Conclusions


Definitely worth watching at the cinema. Entertaining. Fun. Sweet. Time well spent.