Review: Black’s Game (2012)

Missing good movies? Why not rewatch? Why not European movies?

In our first years we were taught that only Romanian films are good, with few American exceptions. Years have passed, and we discovered that films can be seen in the exact year they are released, through that magical thingy called cinema. Some more years have passed, and we discovered the internet and it’s power to deliver information in a second. I remember the first years of the internet, after the 00s, when CDs with films that became cult movies were passed between brothers and colleagues and neighbours.

Those were great movies, because we had easy access to them and because most of them were original scripts or good adaptations from other books and media.

Year have passed yet again, and after 2010 I don’t seem to recall that many titles of great movies. I sometimes watch European movies, because of their ingenuity and realism, because they don’t rely on special effects, because they want to tell a good story really, really well with great actors.

Last night I saw a good movie. After failed attempts with Rise of the Zombies, Horrible Bosses and few more titles, I watched Black’s Game.

Stereotypical as it sounds, the first thing I thought was „hmm, Icelandic, must be good”. I am a little bit judgemental and I am sure that, if I had the cance to see the same movie, made in USA, with the same action and title, I wouldn’t have made the effort.

So, on a Sunday night, after walking our handsome pouch, we hit the play button, expecting good cinematic experience.

Yes, it’s violent. It’s about drugs and sex and rape sometimes. It’s about the traps we set for ourselves, about our bad choices and consequences. It has great music, resembling the soundtrack of The Boondock Saints (but just at times, not always).

I loved the casting. All the actors were credible, especially Thor Kristjansson (Stebbi) and Damon Younger (Bruno). Even though the film was doubled in English, it was great. I usually preffer my movies in their native tongue (this is how I found out what a great language Swedish is), so I will check out the original version with English subtitles.

They said the story was inspired by true events and it felt real and cold. The editing and they way they filmed certain scenes were great.

Black’s Game is a crime thriller, not Reservoir Dogs good, but with a strong story, with believeable characters, a great director and a great soundtrack. It’s rating, of only 6.7, reflects the reality, it’s a good movie in a sea of really, really bad Hollywood work.

Django Unchained – a review of some sorts

I know I am late to the party, but I just saw Django Unchained and it exceeded my expectations.
In a fit of fury, I went to the cinema Saturday morning, at 11 am, to meet my beautiful Tarantino. At first, I thought I have the room all to myself, but in the end I found out that 3 is indeed a lucky number.


Warning! This will not be a review per se, but I will list what I loved and what I didn’t about Django Unchained.

I loved the acting. I found Christoph Waltz a bit overrated, even though funny, but one-dimensional in his role as Dr. King Schultz.
I found Jamie Foxx‘s role as a taciturn, sensible and perseverant nigga, a man of great strengths with few weaknesses, very realistic, even though a bit exaggerated.
I found Kerry Washington unexpectedly good. I thought she was just pretty, but the whipping scene really made me cry.
I thought Leonardo DiCaprio was playing himself, an arrogant SOB with money, boredom and semen to spare.
I found Samuel L. Jackson amazing as a racist slave, but when is he not amazing?

I found the story believable. Love and slavery don’t go hand in hand (for practical reasons, of course), but sacrifice and love do.
It’s all about principles, whether you’re a dentist turned bounty hunter, or a slave turned bounty hunter, or a slave and that’s all, or a white rich boy without a soul.

I really loved the scenery. It looked almost vintage and so not-professional. I liked the rolling credits, rolling credits everywhere!

I loved the music and the costumes, but I must admit I loved the music more.
I loved the fights, and all the shooting.
I loved its pace, cause I knew there was something wrong with the pace in the second half of the movie (thank you, internet!), but I found no such nuisance.
I loved its ending, perfect for the story. I felt that everyone who needed to be dead (yeah, including Schulz) was dead. It did the whole movie justice.

What did I not love? Easy to say. Tarantino as a dead beat guy – he acted horribly and his belly was fat. Also, Jonah Hill playing himself: a big fat doofus.

All in all, a 10 from me. Best movie in years.

PS: I think, just think, that it was better than Pulp Fiction. I will re-watch them both to have an honest opinion.
PPS: I like it when Tarantino (re)writes history.

Pic from here.


De sâmbătă, de când ninge, s-au tot întâmplat lucruri:
• am fost la shopping, dar reducerile nu m-au ajutat
• am băut ceai
• am fost la film – The Darkest Hour
Poets Of The Fall au piesă nouă
• mi-a înghețat nasul
• am purtat căciulă.
Ce se vede de la geamul meu:

Stake Land (2011) – Review

Stake Land (2011)

Directed by: Jim Mickle
Written by: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici
Starring: Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Danielle Harris

While watching Stake Land, one might get the feeling it’s just another Zombieland, without the fun and the zombies.
The movie itself has been compared to horror gems, like Romero’s movies, or Mad Max, I Am Legend, The Road and Book Of Eli. Even though it drags enough elements from each of them, I think Stake Land manages to show to the world what Romero was trying all these years with his zombie flicks.
When you watch Stake Land, you get the feeling of loneliness, that aching pain that doesn’t shut up when you go to bed, the constant fear you have to fight for every breath of fresh air. You also witness the decay of human society – a lesson which you should’ve learnt with the first Night Of The Living Dead films, or along with The Descent and 28 Days Later.
It’s a sharp and sincere movie, with clean cut scenes, but filled with human filth – the real threat out there is not the vamps, but the humans. People have gone crazy in search for a god, mistaken any voice with some kind of power for a Messiah.
It’s a coming of age movie, where the central character gets tougher with every step he takes, but inside he is still the same innocent child missing his family. His companion is a rough man, who barely speaks, motivated by his hatred for vampires, but he is also a noble man, who tries to help anyone he can, keep them safe and not get them in trouble.
I’ve heard a lot of praise for the acting, and when you watch the movie itself, you understand that there are no other actors who could’ve done this job better. Begining with Paolo (who plays Martin) and Damici (Mister), and ending with Cerveris (Jebedia), I think they were all great in their respective roles and they couldn’t have been cast better. Every character is very realistic, their pain seems real and their happiness, though rare and short-lived, is sincere and intense.
What might strike you as a problem – the lack of special effects – I view it as a plus. Special effects distract you from the film as a whole, you don’t get to notice the actors, the director’s hand, the writer’s script. Instead, this movie is based on outdoor shooting, leaving little to the imagination of the viewer, forcing him/her to take the story as it is. We are acquainted with a dry land, almost deserted I might say, inhabited by vampires and crazy religious followers. A land where humanity and humanism are just lost concepts, and
where every turn might be a last turn.
I really thought the music was great for the movie. I only observed it during Martin’s trail of thoughts, although I might be wrong. It’s soothing and peaceful, almost like his inner self, only to be disrupted by vamps or other villains. This brought back memories from The Last House On The Left (1972), where the same kind of music was used, in a slightly different way.
All in all, this film was a great way to spend a boring Sunday afternoon and I would recommend it not only to horror flicks fans, but to drama lovers also – if they can get past all the blood and violence.
In the end, all you have left is hope.

Despre un film…

L-am vazut – intr-un sfarsit. Mi-a placut de Alice Ayers. Care era Jane Jones. Parca eram eu, fara sa fiu eu.
Asa as fi facut si eu, daca eram in locul ei.
E o poveste veche.
Nu e cu nimic mai frumoasa.
Ar fi bine daca as putea deveni alta, o data cu numele nou.
Si totusi, cred ca n-o sa-l mai schimb niciodata…
Azi as vrea sa fiu Jane Jones, sa ma metamorfozez in Alice Ayers si sa adorm pe o perna uda.