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The World of Strawberry Shortcake

NinadeLThe World of Strawberry Shortcake(1980) 

inglés The World of Strawberry Shortcake is pure charm. This phenomenon started as a series of holiday cards and greetings with typical illustrations of a little cook in a puffy skirt. In the 80s, along with Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake was among the most popular cartoons for preschool children, who then moved on to He-Man and She-Ra. To this day, new animations are still being produced, along with toys and souvenirs, of course.

Beekeeper, el protector

3DD!3Beekeeper, el protector(2024) 

inglés A delightful B-movie with a demented script by Kurt Wimmer, with extreme and bloody action. I don't understand who consulted and explained to the filmmakers the general workings of computers, how phishing takes place, what the lairs look like, where the millions disappear from the retirement accounts of American pensioners, but the result presented here is so over the top that I suspect Wimmer and David Ayer of making a satire of sorts. And Jason Statham is something of a force of nature. A hurricane that takes out the amoral call center fuckers, while looking like my dad watching cycling on TV. Ayer and Gabriel Beristain keep the visuals in check, and that's what makes the film look great. Josh Hutcherson, unfortunately, is not ugly enough as the vile perpetrator of all evil. He tries, but you just don't believe the self-absorbed prick. Jeremy Irons has virtually nothing to work with. And that security guard at the end, that's something. But what I enjoyed the most was the role of the FBI agent, a stay-at-home dad who figures out how to get out of work and all of Statham's destruction, only to have his stupid partner (Emmy Raver-Lampman) drag him into the hardest shit, only to change her mind about the whole thing. Maybe it's not even a B, it's a C. It's terribly bad, but I had a royal good time in places. Guilty pleasure? To bee or not to be?

El terror de la torre

LimaEl terror de la torre(1953) 

inglés Already ridiculed in its day, this film is based on a derided novel by Maurice Sandoz, interesting perhaps only because it was illustrated in 1945 by Salvador Dali himself. It's hard to write about this film and not to spoil the plot twist at the end that is the only memorable thing about the whole film. Until then, or rather until the 'intermission' two-thirds of the way through (yes, even such a short film had its 'Intermission'), we are in a drab castle setting with five actors and only two bats on strings and one gimmicky view of a maze out the window to break us out of our lethargy. There's woefully little to work with here at all, we only see one entrance corridor for almost the entire film, but it's understandable, there wasn't much money involved (it was only 2 months from pre-production to final release). Well, at the end, a monster appears... well, let's say a monster, but one you won't forget till the end. Even in its time, which was rich in naive films, it provoked volleys of laughter from the audience. It may have been meant to be scary, I don't know what the filmmakers intended, but you want to feel sorry for it, hug it and pet it. That's all I'm going to say :o) The film was shot in simplified 3D, which was just beginning at the time, so in some scenes the objects and actors "throw themselves in your face" (the opening dancer, the bats, the monster jumping out the window). Summary? I'll give an overrated 3 stars, I actually miss oldschool naive B-movies like this nowadays. They don't scare or disgust you, they caress your viewer's soul

La muerte os sienta tan bien

StanislausLa muerte os sienta tan bien(1992) 

inglés  Death Becomes Her is a film with a perfect stellar cast, an imaginative premise, and a fairly funny script, but I personally felt there was something missing, some kind of charge that would have given the film some juice. The special effects are well handled for the time and the makeup of Hawn and Streep is impressive, no question about it. In short, a film that makes its mark mostly with its top-notch cast, but it just didn't scare me, make me wonder, or make me laugh as much as I would have liked, which is a bit of a problem with a horror comedy fantasy.

El gran Gatsby

StanislausEl gran Gatsby(2013) 

inglés I haven't read Fitzgerald's book, so I went to the cinema full of anticipation, and not just because Baz Luhrmann, whose (much reviled) Australia took my breath away, was in the director's chair. The Great Gatsby is an incredibly evocative orgy on the audiovisual front, and I enjoy these visually arresting and artful films with decent soundtracks like a pig in shit. I may have been a little bothered at first by the overly computerized camera shots and the somewhat modern (techno, disco?) music that didn't really fit the 1920s, but on the other hand it just belonged in the film. The images and music only supported the glitz, bombast, hope, longing, dishonest machinations, love and disappointment that accompanied the film. "Young & Beautiful" by Lana Del Rey - Oh mein Gott! - an incredibly flamboyant harmony of instruments and charismatic voice. Otherwise, I have no complaints about the actors - DiCaprio is a stud, Mulligan is sheer panache and Maguire is so stiff. In short, I got a lot more out of the cinema than what I went for, and that's what counts in the end.

Chased by Dinosaurs - The Giant Claw

StanislausChased by Dinosaurs - The Giant Claw(2003) 

inglés As far as documentary content and technical execution go, Giant Claw is on a pretty high level. But at times I was strongly irritated by Nigel Marven's "clever" observations and "acting". I don't want to damn this film here because of him, though, because my primary interest was to learn about the owner of that "giant claw", which eventually happened. In short, a documentary that is both informative and entertaining, with the latter component spoiling the overall impression at times.

Iris

StanislausIris(2001) 

inglés Iris is a very (really very) moving story about a woman who, due to illness, begins to lose her own personality and the very essence of her life over time. The intertwining of the two timelines feels a bit chaotic at first, but this settles down over time and the end result feels good and purposeful. I found the more impressive line to be the one from the present day, as it was much more challenging in terms of acting, and both Judi Dench and Jim Broadbent played their roles to perfection and gave breathtaking performances. Of course Kate Winslet and Hugh Bonneville were convincing too, but the "older couple" wins. In short, an incredibly sweet and sad film with a slight musical component that is all about love in its most devoted and purest form. Rivals

Star Trek: En la oscuridad

StanislausStar Trek: En la oscuridad(2013) 

inglés My second encounter with Star Trek (after the first film by Abrams) was again excellent. I went to the cinema for an experience, and I really enjoyed it, so I am exceedingly satisfied. Star Trek: Into Darkness is an incredibly fun audiovisual orgy with a perfect cast and script. Of the cast, I was of course most entertained by the "emotionless" Spock played by Zachary Quinto and the "fix-it-all" Scotty played by Simon Pegg. Benedict Cumberbatch was a hell of a villain as Khan, plus he has an incredible voice that added more juice to his character. There might be a few quibbles (Khan's slightly more expressive speech and a few illogical scenes that are actually allowed in sci-fi), but it doesn't affect the overall impression. In short, an amazing space sequel that is really worth going to the cinema for. P.S. (Spoiler!) And I was thinking twenty minutes before the end that there probably wouldn't be another sequel, but it wouldn't be Hollywood to turn everything upside down in the next few moments - which didn't bother me at all. I want a sequel!

Hitchcock

StanislausHitchcock(2012) 

inglés I really like Alfred Hitchcock as a director, so I definitely couldn't miss a biopic about him, and with such big names in the lead roles. Even though it didn't get any significant ovations, reviews, or awards, I still enjoyed it. Perhaps I was blinded by the cult surrounding Hitchcock, or my favorite Helen Mirren, but I was impressed by the film. I enjoyed both the professional (the making of the film) and personal lines (the marital crisis, the "affair"), and the two intertwined in a purposeful way. I found the insertions concerning Hitchcock's ideas about the original killer who became the model for Norman Bates to be very original. I also increasingly came to like the acting of Scarlett Johansson, who was dazzling and likeable as Janet Leigh. In short, for me, a very well made film that stands especially on great performances and a compelling subject.

Hansel y Gretel: Cazadores de brujas

StanislausHansel y Gretel: Cazadores de brujas(2013) 

inglés The fairytale of the Brothers Grimm is quite different, in both the good and the bad sense of the word. Hansel and Gretel is a very brisk film with a likable cast, mixing wit, action and romance, and it's watchable in the end, but it doesn't dazzle, nor does it leave anything deeper (which is to be expected, but still). Örvarsson's music reminded me terribly of Sherlock (Zimmer as executive music producer) right at the beginning, which maybe bothered me a bit, but then it fizzled out. The plot wasn't bad, but I'm sure the overall theme could have been fleshed out more. That said, the primary purpose of the film was (probably) to serve up a crazy action-packed take on a fairy tale classic that was meant to entertain, which it did. In short, an average Hollywood film that stands out from the rest perhaps only in its approach and relationship to the source materia

Phillip Morris, ¡Te Quiero!

StanislausPhillip Morris, ¡Te Quiero!(2009) 

inglés I was quite looking forward to seeing I Love You Phillip Morris, but after watching it I have to say that I could have done without this film. I kind of don't know what my overall impression should be. I was very entertained in places, moved a few times, but in the end it all kind of evaporated like steam over a pot. Ewan McGregor was really great, I trusted his role 100%, but Jim Carrey often irritated me a lot with his efforts to play a convincing gay man (he was really annoying). The story wasn't bad in itself, but the plot kept kind of cycling, so by the end I was getting a bit bored. All in all (for me) a mediocre film that almost failed to impress me (except for Ewan) with anything enough to consider a higher rating.

Sasha

StanislausSasha(2010) 

inglés I found Sasha similar to Summer Storm, also a German production about coming out. I was very impressed by the subject matter and the performances. While Summer Storm had a great soundtrack, Sasha has a funny side, which is provided by a line from the main character's family life. It's a really emotionally charged film at first glance, but as I said, everything is balanced out by the comedic interludes (otherwise it would have been a tragedy). Of the actors, I was most impressed with Sasa Kekez and of course Predrag Bjelac (he's probably all over the world).

Back to Black

MattyBack to Black(2024) 

inglés Fifty Shades of Grey, but done a bit differently. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh could have used Amy Winehouse’s story to construct an emotional drama about fame, addiction, voyeurism and the excessive demands placed on how famous women are supposed to behave and look (mainly decently). Instead of that, they decided to take an absolutely dull, mediocre approach to telling a bittersweet fable about a girl unhappily in love, who wants to be a mother (which is her main desire and greatest vulnerability). Only a minimum of space is dedicated to the process of composing and recording music or to any effort to understand the deeper causes of Amy’s predisposition to addiction (no, I really don’t think it was because of a broken heart and the death of her grandmother). It’s as if the film wasn’t made for Amy and her fans. The main point of Back to Black seems to be to clear the name of the two men who opportunistically exploited the singer’s vulnerability and contributed to her tragic demise. Here they behave – at least toward the protagonist – in an exemplary manner with exaggerated concern (for comparison, watch the documentary from 2015). Even if we set aside the ethically questionable retouching of reality and laying blame on the victim and her impulsive behaviour, Back to Black remains a below average film that is unnecessary in every respect (including Marisa Abela’s performance, unfortunately). It gains depth and veracity only once, during the closing credits, which feature Nick Cave’s heartfelt performance of his ballad “Song for Amy”. 40%

Love to Love You, Donna Summer

NinadeLLove to Love You, Donna Summer(2023) 

inglés I discovered the disco queen, Donna Summer, in the movie Spinning Gold. This extraordinary singer, whose American career was preceded by one in West Germany, has a story that practically wrote itself, requiring only the presentation of all its elements. As a child, she was bullied and bore a scar from barbed wire on her face for life. At the end of the hippie era, she became the face of the German production of the musical Hair and experienced liberating times as one of the few black women in Munich. She married Helmuth Sommer and had her first daughter with him. After their divorce, she entered a golden era with that incredible erotic hit, which in its full version lasted 17 minutes. The rest is just the classic ups and downs: domestic violence, a duet with Barbra Streisand, and a new marriage... If this isn't material for a full-length documentary, then nothing is.

Argylle

NecrotongueArgylle(2024) 

inglés If someone had told me face-to-face that Matthew Vaughn could make a movie that would disappoint me, I would have laughed them off. Well, not anymore. This movie was bad in so many ways. The script was desperately weak, and I can't fathom why Vaughn got involved. Sure, I can see the financial appeal, but did he really think it was worth it? Apparently, he did. Initially, it felt like a rip-off of The Man from Acapulco, and I definitely enjoyed the French version more. As the story unfolded, it took a different direction, which could have been fine if I had actually enjoyed the movie. But between the digital overload and the mostly unconvincing performances (except for Sam Rockwell, who couldn’t save it alone), I just couldn't find the fun. This movie just didn’t work for me. / Lesson learned: If you want to become a secret agent, train a cat.

Los tres mosqueteros: Milady

NecrotongueLos tres mosqueteros: Milady(2023) 

inglés The French filmmakers' approach to the second part of their story noticeably lagged behind the first installment but still felt like the best adaptation of Dumas's often nonsensical inventions. It seems one of the creators actually did some research on French history in addition to following the book, because Cardinal Richelieu didn't come across as a bloodthirsty power-hungry beast. I'm not saying that creative license wasn't involved, but that was okay since it wasn't a historical documentary. But... King Louis XIII's African godchild was really too much for me. The current politically correct propaganda increasingly reminds me of a totalitarian regime where you are told what to think because the party and the government hammer it into your head. / Lesson learned: You'd never believe how much action and dialogue someone with a broken back can pull off. 4*-

Monster

EvilPhoEniXMonster(2023) 

inglés I haven't seen a worse film this year that's for sure, so there's no point in commenting on the film at all, rather I'll comment on the making of it as it might have been. A little girl is unhappy that her father spends his time in a dingy lonely house for a few rupees rather than spend time with her, so she sells his gold watch on the sly so she can at least get a camera with it. With that, she approaches her uncle to see if he'll make a film with it, of course he'd be behind the camera and occasionally add some sound design. He tries to talk her out of it, but the girl has a good argument. The script is only two sentences long and we won't need any dialogue at all, we won't need any make-up artists because we won't have any gore here, we'll give them everything out of frame, we won't need to pay any actors because the main actors will be me, my little brother, my dad and my mum and what will the film be about? My uncle asks... Well, nothing really, I'll be running around our house for 80 minutes hiding from my dad. I'm gonna fulfill my dream that my dad will spend some time playing hide-and-seek. And that's how the indie film Monster was made. Enjoy!!! 10%

The Worst Evil

EvilPhoEniXThe Worst Evil(2023) 

inglés I just got through the highest rated Korean series of last year (8.3 IMDB) and it's another quality Korean ride full of violence, great actors, a packed story, emotions and twists. Honestly I'm not a fan 12-episode series, too long for my taste, I prefer 8 episodes but when it's a Korean gangster series you can take anything. The story is set in the 90's where we follow the rise of a new drug syndicate, where a disco DJ works his way to the top in a short while by eliminating the competition and becoming the biggest capo in town. Soon, however, an undercover cop infiltrates the gang and undergoes an incredible transformation (the scene where he's covered in blood and slashes his enemies with a machete while being watched by his wife, who thinks he's a decent cop, was insane! Nice example of how violence can change a person). The acting is perfect, both actors are very young, the future of Korean films, so I'm a big fan in that respect. Visually, it's sheer cinematic peak, the cinematography is top notch, the music is amazing, the action is breathtaking. The sequence from episode 9 is like cut from The Night Comes for Us, there's a whole house and absolutely every Korean soaked in blood! Machetes, knives, axes, baseball bats. There was also international drug trade, so both Japanese and Chinese get involved and that made it nicely spiced up. The series doesn't lack decent plot twists and plenty of suspense, with the viewer keeping their fingers crossed the cop doesn't get caught every episode. I was a bit annoyed by the romantic line with the gangster and the policewoman, but it had its merits. I was expecting an action climax in the finale and unfortunately they peaked in episode 9, so in the end only a strong 4 stars, but it's very good. There's a tear at the end and that counts. Fans of Korea, gangsters and violence should definitely not hesitate.85%

Adagio

EvilPhoEniXAdagio(2023) 

inglés Is this the same Sollima who did Sicario 2 and is an expert on European gangster movies? The beginning still looked promising, the protagonist is at a disgusting gay party full of drugs and alcohol, where he is tasked with filming a minister, blackmailed by the cops, only he fails to complete the task and goes on the run. And then the whole film staggers in place, offers nothing of interest (no action, no violence, no twists) it doesn't go anywhere story-wise and as a result you are so fed up with the film that you just want it to end. It wasn't fun. 3/10.

Godzilla y Kong: El nuevo imperio

KakaGodzilla y Kong: El nuevo imperio(2024) 

inglés Delightfully deranged madness that you'll forgive most of its ills, like the fact that it doesn't make any sense at all. Skull Island may be far from surpassed in its imaginative visuals and original retro atmosphere, but Godzilla x Kong takes itself far less seriously than previous films in the Godzilla multiverse, so all bad things are forgiven. As an absolute no-brainer, it's easily watchable.

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