22 Bullets (L’immortel) (2010)

A decision to end the past is consciously made. But the blood never dries up. There has to be a code of honour, a promise that once given must be kept: a code however, that not everybody wants to adhere to. Friends which are no longer friends. Rotten games that one does not want to play. A past that haunts you down. Snakes exist not only among the criminal but also in the authorities. It is not surprising.
Acting is great, plot keeps you on your toes: an excellent action movie. Would I feel sorry for an old criminal who decides to retire? No. Would I sympathise for the sam man who tries to adhere to a code of conduct despite all odds? May be. That’s the catch of the film.

My rating: 07/10

PS. If you cannot stand bloody scenes don’t go to see it.

Inception (2010)

Inception is one of the best Science Fiction  movies made. The script and direction by Christopher Nolan are amazing, the cast is excellent, actors performances are superb.

Although all ideas are not original (eXistenZ has explored the idea of the dream within the dream) the story has a lot of new elements that are elegantly combined. Psychology, Dream Function, Human behavior, Logic,  Motivation and Guilt  are blended together in a stormy plot execution, where each scene must be carefully observed to avoid missing a piece of the unfolding puzzle.

This is a film that after you enjoy once, you’ll want to see again, may be more than once. It is not just the originality of the mixture presented and the non-stopping action on top of the carefully designed story but also the completeness of the characters presented.

My rating: 10/10

Tetro (2009)

Tetro is a movie which did not get much attention, although directed by a cinema master like Francis Ford Coppola. The story is an original one (as far as I know at least). The plot is excellent, plot turns are numerous, actors are excellent in their roles.

A younger brother, Bennie (Alden Ehrenreich) visits his older brother Tetro (Vincent Gallo) in the house where he lives with its companion, Miranda (Maribel Verdú), trying to get some answers about the family where they grew together. Tetro, in itallian means gloomy, this being an understatement for the character represented. Things are much more complicated than they appear at first. Coppola is indeed a master, placing each tile of the puzzle beside the other as he reveals the reasons for the behavior of the characters presented.  Presenting the past in color and the present in black-and-white (in contrast with the usual practice) seems like stating that the past is what ultimately defines us and our behavior. The mix of ballet scenes within the flow of the movie (as was used in “the red shoes“) looks like poetic intervention in a book. The light, used in every part of film (the insect flying near a light bulb at the beginning, the halogen light-bulbs igniting from their ends till they make everything white, the mountain glaciers reflecting sun rays, the car head-lights to the end), has a central meaning to the film, allowing for more than one interpretations.

The film is, at least, a statement about the family as it functions now within society, the genius mind and how it may create havoc, the struggle of the individual to find its way within the havoc, the truth and how hard it is to look at it in the eyes. There may be many more things to see, as it is a film that may be read at more than one levels. If you like to analyze a film from the psychological point of view, you’ll adore it.

My rating: 07 / 10

The Expendables (2010)

Well, if you go to see a movie like “The Expendables“,, you know what to expect: an action movie that you’ll enjoy for all the unrealities, tricks, tag lines, shooting, fighting and all that … jazz (!!!). Sylvester Stallone created something better than I expected. Sometimes (good or bad) expectations distort the observed item. The plot may not be so great, the characters are naive (as they always are in movies like this), but for its very specific kind of movie, it is a good one.

My rating: 06 / 10

Arlington Road (1999)

Arlingtom road, has a very tight story, excellent plot and plot turns, great actors playing the leading roles. An American professor (Jeff Bridges) teaching “history of Terrorism” in an American University saves the life of a young boy he finds bleeding, walking on a road near his house. The boy is the son of some neighbours of his, which he never had the desire or time to meet. Although initially the boy’s father (Tim Robins) seems a very nice typical American, something seems not right…

The film could be titled “Your next door terrorist” (!!) OR “you do not know from where the next terror hit is coming from” (!!). It simply states that you really do not know who your neighbour really is even if you have dinned together, if your kids are playing with his kids. It really does not matter. Be careful: if your neighbors starts questioning the way the government works, then there chances for him being a terrorist highly increase!

From this point on, my comments refer to the plot of the film.

One is really impressed by the alleged number of terrorists on this film: two making pictures of Jeff Bridges while talking to the FBI agent, three at the delivery service, millions (!!!!) stated by Time Robins during their fight!

In “Doubt“, Amy Adams as a the teacher, mentioned a quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself“. This eleven year old film is one of the many that followed (From Paris with Love, Unthinkable)  which promote in a subtle way the notion that terror is everywhere. In “Bowling for Columbine” one understands where that leads to.

My rating: 01/10 (for reasons analyzed in previous post: “From Paris with Love”)