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O Atlas dos Pássaros

NinadeLO Atlas dos Pássaros(2021) 

inglês Olmo Omerzu's Czech film is neither distinctly Czech nor global. It's an attempt to capture a fragment of a certain part of Europe, but unfortunately, it ends up being not very appealing to the Czech audience. Specifically, the theme of "Atlas of Birds" is a seemingly clever metaphor about the bitter downfall of a family business, whose head remains an arrogant alpha male until his last breath. However, the reasons for this downfall are as banal as classic infidelity can be. Additionally, the script focuses too much on a naive fraud involving a scorned ex-lover and neglects the broader context of the deception. Olmo Omerzu and Petr Pýcha do not seem to be mature enough creators to analyze the disintegration of a personality and instead prefer to hide behind dialogues among the treetops.

L'Autrichienne

NinadeLL'Autrichienne(1990) 

inglês Ute Lemper has a similarly well-sculpted face as Katja Flint, which is why both of these German actresses became icons, lending themselves to portray the most interesting women of the past in films. One such woman was, of course, an Austrian. In Pierre Granier-Deferre's film, the end of Marie Antoinette's life is depicted without unnecessary pathos, sensationalism, or other distractions that usually overshadow the life of this queen. Here, an excellent intimate drama focusing on her inner life before execution was achieved.

Ballerine

NinadeLBallerine(1936) 

inglês Ballerine represents for Machatý just a stepping stone between Austria and America, and it is "only" an adaptation of the then-new novel by Giuseppe Adami, "Fanny ballerina della Scala" (1935), but can you imagine a better theme for him? The theatrical setting, the endless beauty of dance costumes, and the graceful bodies of the ballet dancers... Of course, half of the aesthetic beauty of each shot is the work of cinematographer Václav Vích. In the lead role, we can enjoy the charms of Silvana Jachino, and in a supporting role, we once again get to see Maria Ray, the protagonist of Machatý's previous film Nocturne (and his then-wife). A luxurious, visually captivating experience. As for some interesting trivia, the lead role was originally supposed to be played by the real ballerina Irina Lucacevich, but she died in a traffic accident. Her replacement, Jachino, was not just a one-time stand-in but went on to have a very long career, managing to stay relevant even after the war, which was not easy after the regime change in Italy. Machatý did not have oversight over the final cut of the film and disavowed the film (probably because the first cut failed, leading to further edits of the film). Official reviews tend to be harsh, primarily because they do not consider the film itself but the conditions of its creation, the question of funding (a state commission), and its impact on Machatý's career. He is often referred to as the best director of his time, even though his artistically ambitious projects often did not achieve commercial success (and he himself functioned best in the Czech-German linguistic space, despite having European to Hollywood ambitions).

Tornados

EvilPhoEniXTornados(2024) 

inglês I went to see the new release of the week in theaters yesterday which is kind of being seen as a sequel to the 90's film Twister and it's not bad, but it didn't completely blow me away unfortunately. It was nice to see Glen Powell and Daisy Edgar Jones, who plays the sort of intelligent woman who figures everything out. Visually it's decent, I liked that it keeps things down to earth and there are no overblown CGI attractions or destruction, it's quite realistic, but there's not a lot of action and it could have been presented more impressively (there aren’t many buildings flying off, the body-count isn't high, either, and I expected the atmosphere to be a bit more unpleasant and intense). For me there were a few deaf spots, it doesn't have a very adrenaline pace and I wouldn't watch the film again, or I wouldn't mind at all if I kept the film until I got home, it wouldn't change the experience. Passable average and a plus for the fact that disaster movies don't come around much anymore, but maybe it's not my cup of tea. 6/10.

Love and Sex in India

gudaulinLove and Sex in India(2018) 

inglês Powerful not in concept, but in content and confrontation with Western lifestyles and values. It showcases a society rooted in traditions and a rigid caste system, which does not hesitate to harshly suppress liberal tendencies within relationships and family dynamics. Some passages offer a truly chilling account of the murder and torture of those who express a desire for personal happiness and freedom from religious and cultural rules. Overall impression: 90%.

O Passageiro da Lua

gudaulinO Passageiro da Lua(1988) 

inglês One star is for the inclusion of the music video Smooth Criminal. Otherwise, it is the ultimate essence of pathos and kitsch in a dosage rarely seen. A pop culture phenomenon that, due to the creators' lack of judgment, became annoying. Musical films usually have a problem with a script that can meaningfully connect the musical numbers. Here, it seems to me that the script is completely absent, or rather, it was created during one alcohol-soaked evening. Overall impression: 25%.

Leva-me Para a Lua

D.MooreLeva-me Para a Lua(2024) 

inglês I'm a bit squeamish about space movies showing/appearing to show astronauts boarding a rocket at the last minute, or that there's still a lot that can be accomplished just before the countdown begins (to avoid spoilers, I won't write more), and I don't think these things need to be even in a romantic comedy. But Take Me to the Moon is also the kind of film that doesn't take itself entirely seriously and that you'll be happy to forgive a lot, though not everything. Like Channing Tatum, who didn't quite fit the role. The film hinges on Scarlett Johansson, and if she wasn't convincing, all further efforts would have been in vain. Fortunately, she gives a great comedic performance. The script is funny, the period atmosphere supported by Daniel Pemberton's music is magically nostalgic, the whole thing has the flavour and aroma of romantic comedies of times past, when the leading couple would have been played by Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. So if you say the hackneyed "they don't make movies like that anymore" about Take Me to the Moon, it'll be true this time.

The Boys - Season 4

3DD!3The Boys - Season 4(2024) 

inglês After the attack on Trump and Biden’s Covid, Homelander's electoral travails may seem petty to us, yet The Boys has hit the current political mood perfectly. Unfortunately, Kripke commissioned the scripts during the strike (I can't explain it any other way), and the quality of the early episodes looks accordingly. Weird dialogue, bumbling heroes, uninteresting subplots. The crappy line Frenchie, completely disconnected from everything and leading to nowhere, the downright annoying Mother's Milk acting like an asshole, and the relegated Billy, who they're probably saving for last. So it's up to Homelander and his bloodbath to save the day. Antony Starr is fantastic in the role and I'm looking forward to the final clash from the bottom of my heart. The fourth season was pretty much a bust though, except for the very last episode.

Furiosa: Uma Saga Mad Max

LimaFuriosa: Uma Saga Mad Max(2024) 

inglês Mad Max is an Australian cultural treasure that should have only stayed at three or four episodes. For the first hour, it felt like a sequence of mini-stories, with the disgustingly overacting Chris Hemsworth twitching like a pigeon eating grain and his performance actually making it into a kind of interlocking semi-comedy sketches that I really don't want to see in the Mad Max saga. He was the weakest link in the film. The other one was the overuse of obvious green-screen and over-stylized colors. Back then, years ago, with the first two episodes, I admired the punk spirit that came out of them. A punkness that was related to the low budget, when everything was handmade, so to speak, when the wastelanders were played by real bikers, the cops by real cops, the props were invented in the breaks during filming, and it exuded a wildness and realness that George Miller partially revived in the equally wild Fury Road. This is rather closer Thunderdome, which was also over-stylized and implausible in its depiction of the post-apocalyptic world. I didn't believe it. Mad Max doesn't benefit from a swollen budget because then Miller can't keep it up and in trying to cram in as much as possible, it's like that dog and cat fairy tale where they cooked a cake with so many ingredients that it made them puke (the quarry scene is too over the top). As time goes on, you find that you don't really care much about Furiosa's fate because, unlike Mel Gibson, she's not a pivotal defining character for you, you don't experience it with her, and you pray all the while that there's as little Hemsworth as possible. In fact, the only thing worth singling out is the ten-minute attack on the tanker, because you can feel the punk genuineness of it, where the stuntmen have honestly worked their magic along with those who came up with the choreography. And that's not enough for me, George. Too little.

Divertida-Mente 2

MrHladDivertida-Mente 2(2024) 

inglês We've kind of got used to sequels to Pixar animated films being a level worse than the first parts, and unfortunately that's true for Inside Out 2. Yeah, it still looks great and I still think the concept itself is almost brilliant, but it's like the creators themselves knew that and figured they didn't have to try too hard when they had such an interesting world and characters. The main problem with the second part is that it's too similar to the first. In practically everything. Once again, the mind of the now teenage Riley wanders, wild things happen in her brain because growing up is not easy, and new emotions come into play. And with them, old problems. Again, it's more or less about the emotions the having to learn to work together, and they and the audience should ideally understand by the end that being insecure, sad, stressed out and nervous about what the future holds is actually okay and normal. Last time they were dealing with sadness, now this is it. It pretty much works, the touching scenes are touching, the funny ones are funny. Unfortunately, I got the feeling that Inside Out 2 was sewn with too hot a needle by someone who didn't try too hard to invent something new and instead just copied and that it was all a bit lazy, more or less from start to finish. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I was expecting a bit more effort. And more ideas.

Rag and Bone

NinadeLRag and Bone(1998) 

inglês Anne Rice's first work for television. It was meant to be a series, but it's nice that the pilot episode was reworked into a standalone TV movie. This time, Anne revisited her favorite themes of loss of faith and the supernatural in a new form. The result is an enjoyable spiritual crime drama with the then very popular Dean Cain in the lead role.

Earth Angels

NinadeLEarth Angels(2001) 

inglês NBC was apparently not ready to distribute a series of angelic stories set in modern times, repeating the classic fall of Lucifer into hell at the beginning of each episode. In hindsight, it was shown that viewers don't have a problem with such themes, as evidenced by the current popularity of the series Lucifer. So, we can typically summarize it as a project that was ahead of its time. A bit of religious mysticism, and a bit of detective investigation. For its time, it had an attractive cast and could have been a hit with minimal effort. Unfortunately, viewers never saw the pilot Earth Angels, and thus the whole project faded away.

Tornados

MattyTornados(2024) 

inglês The first Twister is still a perfect summer blockbuster that hasn’t aged even in the action scenes, which are impressive thanks mainly to their sound design and the well-portrayed characters. At first glance, the new Twisters appears to be only a superficial update, with younger and better-looking actors who are able to convince you that climatology is hot. The setting is the same. We again watch two teams of storm chasers rushing after tornados. The dangerous situations (and science) again serve to bring the protagonists together. This time, however, they are not separated spouses (so this isn’t a tense variation on the marriage comedy), but representatives of two very different worlds: a cultivated urban lady and loud dude from the American South. The Southern setting is crucial for the story, as socio-cultural prejudices are overcome along with the traumas. The film implies that without cooperation and without stepping out of the position of mere viewers creating exclusive content for our YouTube channels, we cannot face disasters (the climax aptly takes place partly in a cinema, the last refuge before the apocalypse). I found the plot-driving transformation of the two main characters from witnesses to participants in the action who pursue the collective interest rather than their own personal interest to be sufficiently compelling and emotionally and intellectually stimulating that I could enjoy the film, even with all of its cliches, as a pleasantly straightforward disaster movie from the Spielberg school. 75%

Tornados

MrHladTornados(2024) 

inglês This sequel to the 1990s classic doesn't bring back familiar characters, but it does bring back a familiar style. Lee Isaac Chung conceived Twisters as a 90s disaster actioner that isn't afraid to be a little silly and naive for the sake of fun, relies on likable heroes and big action scenes with good visual effects, and realistically doesn't surprise with anything at all. For the two hours, however, it entertains very pleasantly.

MaXXXine

J*A*S*MMaXXXine(2024) 

inglês Ti West once again convincingly fetishizes the horror subgenre of yesteryear, unfortunately this time I have a bit of a problem with it, because this particular slice of horror (80s trash set in the streets of a big city) is not one of my favorites. I guess subjectively I would have much preferred if MaXXXine had a more prominent role for the giallo elements that it is partly based on. I can tolerate a sleazy thriller with a charmingly demented satanic panic twist, but it won't become my favourite. And even though it's pleasantly refreshing in specific moments, uncompromising and, for all its stupidity, nicely contrived, the various motifs fit together meaningfully.

El campeón

MalarkeyEl campeón(2024) 

inglês A fairly average soccer drama where so many strange things happen that it would take a lot of coincidences for something similar to occur in real life. However, if you’re a football fan, you’ll enjoy getting a glimpse into the world of Atlético Madrid, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

Operação Fortune: Missão Mortífera

MalarkeyOperação Fortune: Missão Mortífera(2023) 

inglês This is exactly the kind of film that would have blown producers away in the 90s. It just needs better dialogue with at least one memorable line and a lead actor who captivates you from start to finish. Unfortunately, Jason Statham doesn’t quite hit the mark these days. He lacks both the charisma and the punchy lines that made 90s action heroes so entertaining. Still, unlike in the 90s, he’s one of the few actors who continues to make films like this.

Trigger Warning

MalarkeyTrigger Warning(2024) 

inglês Well, Jessica Alba is always a sight to behold. If she came back just to show off her curves, then okay, mission accomplished. However, this movie feels more like Sin City than a solid action flick, and since it's all meant to be taken seriously, that's not exactly a compliment in this case.

Jogo Justo

MalarkeyJogo Justo(2023) 

inglês I can't help but feel that every new thriller with a sexual undertone inevitably reminds me of Fifty Shades of Grey. It's hard to take it seriously after that comparison. However, Alden Ehrenreich, usually quite unremarkable, and the perfectly cast Phoebe Dynevor, both deliver stellar performances. Maybe it's the Wall Street setting — you're more likely to encounter a scoundrel than a good guy there. In fact, spotting two scoundrels side by side in the crowd is probably more common than you'd ever imagine.

I Like Movies

MalarkeyI Like Movies(2022) 

inglês From the title, I was expecting a heartfelt tribute to the craft of filmmaking. Instead, it turned out to be more of a typical indie flick, rather than something packed with film references to delight cinephiles.

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