2004

L'analphabète

8.0
Agotu Kristofu kā viegli franču mēlē lasāmu rakstnieci man ieteica Kžištofs, kuram tulkošana no franču valodas ir viena no dzīves pamatnodarbēm, līdz ar to bija pamats pieņemt, ka viņš zina, par ko runā. Kā labāko lasāmvielu no Kristofas daiļrades viņš ieteica autobiogrāfisko "Analfabēti", kura turklāt izceļas ar ļoti nelielu grāmatas apjomu. Un zināms, ka man ir piesardzīga attieksme pret biezām grāmatām (ja vien to autors nav Umberto Eko vai vismaz Haruki Murakami). Tā kā izrādījās, ka šo grāmatu nav tik viegli dabūt rokās, pasūtīju to lietotu no mana iecienītā resursa AbeBooks. Grāmata atnāca pārsteidzoši ātri, es jau sapriecājos, tūlīt lasīšu. Un tad nāca atklāsme - kā īstens analfabēts biju pamanījies šo grāmatu pasūtīt nevis franču, bet gan spāņu izdevumā. Man nav principiāli nekādu iebildumu pret spāņu valodu, ja neskaita vienu mazu problēmiņu - šo valodu es nepārvaldu tā kā nemaz. Līdz ar to - ja nu kādam vajag, labprāt šo grāmatu atdošu. Bet neveiksme ar lasītprasmi nekļuva par iemeslu, lai es padotos un paliktu bez "Analfabētes". Atradu kādu francisku Interneta veikalu, kurā varēja šo grāmatu e-formātā iegādāties, tādējādi man tiekot pie droši vien trešās vai ceturtās grāmatas, kuru Kindle vajadzībām iegādājos par reālu naudu. Nekas gan neliecina, ka tā varētu kļūt par tendenci, bet tomēr - vērā ņemams notikums.
2016-02-04 13:37:07
book, 2004

True Love

8.0
Tūtss un Meitali ir uzskatāmi vienlaikus par vieniem no regeja un ska aizsācējiem, kas pats par sevi ir gana saistoši, lai man būtu vēlme ar šo grupu iepazīties tuvāk. Vēl jo vairāk to veicināja apstāklis, ka šajā konkrētajā ierakstā viņi savas slavenākās dziesmas ierakstījuši kopā ar visnotaļ leģendāriem dažādiem mūzikas pasaules darboņiem: Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams, Bootsy Collins, Bunny Wailer, Keith Richards, Manu Chau, No Doubt u.c.
2015-02-02 14:29:04
music, 2004

Songs We Should Have Written

6.5
Par tādu grupu kā "Firewater" uzzināju pirms vairākiem gadiem, kad nejauši pa Radio Naba dzirdēju viņu dziesmu "The Man on the Burning Tightrope". Neatceros, cik ļoti man toreiz patika viņu tāda pat nosaukuma albums, bet šodien kaut kā sanāca, ka noklausījos citu viņu ierakstu - koverkompozīciju apkopojumu ar nosaukumu "Dziesmas, kuras mēs būtu gribējuši uzrakstīt".
2015-01-08 15:29:20
music, 2004

Seda. Purva ļaudis

8.0
Pēc paviesošanās Sedā bija grēks nenoskatīties filmu par šo visai īpatnējo Latvijas mazpilsētu. Ar ko Seda ir sevišķa? Skaidrojumam šeku diagramma:
2012-11-12 08:53:12
film, 2004

Hopes and Fears

6.5
Skaidrs, ka īsti veči "Keane" neklausās. Īsti veči dzer šņabi no graņonkām uz sliedēm "The Jesus Lizard" muzikālajā pavadījumā, un ļauj par pupsiku no Keane fanot savām vecenēm. Es pat neesmu drošs, cik lielā mērā es piekrītu pirmajos teikumos rakstītajam - man vienmēr "Keane" ir šķituši pārāk bezpersoniski saldi, lai es spētu ar šo grupu jebkādi identificēties. Līdzīgi kā tas ansamblis, kuru viņi atdarina - "Coldplay". Taču likteņi ironija ir sarūpējis to, ka šogad es klātienē redzēšu abas šīs grupas. Uz Coldplay koncertu Polijā brauksim rudenī (Liene ir fane, un es šoreiz piekāpšos, par spīti manai visai vēsajai attieksmei pret šo grupu. Varbūt kādreiz nākotnē to varēšu iemainīt pret došanos uz Tom Waits vai ko līdzīgu), savukārt "Keane" būs galvenās zvaigznes šī gada Positivus festivālā. Un būtu tikai loģiski, ja pirms festivāla es kādu drusku laika veltītu tajā pārstāvēto grupu daiļrades iepazīšanai, tajā vietā lai vienkārši paziņotu: "Viņi visi ir pidari!"
2012-05-17 14:53:36
music, 2004

Melinda and Melinda

8.0
Šī ir pēdējā Vudija Alena filma, kas tika uzņemta pirms sākās viņa "Eiropas periods". Filma ir īpatnēja ar to, ka tajā ir divas sižeta līnijas, kurās abās parādās viens un tas pats personāžs - sieviete vārdā Melinda, tikai viens stāsts no šiem ir traģisks, bet otrs - drīzāk komisks. Šī nav gluži tāda filma kā "Veronikas dubultā dzīve", jo jau filmas ievadā mēs uzzinām, ka ne viens, ne otrs sižets nav "patiess" - tās ir variācijas, ko no vienas un tās pašas premisas, sēžot restorānā, attīsta divi dramaturgi - viens komiķis un viens traģiķis, mēģinot pierādīt, ka dzīve savā būtībā vairāk atbilst komiskumam vai traģismam.
2011-09-22 07:06:55
film, 2004

Jonathan Creek: Season 4

6.0
Vienīgā pilnā Jonathan Creek sezona bez Megijas Magelanas, manuprāt, ir visai izteikti sliktāka par iepriekšējām trim. Nē, pie vainas nav tikai Julia Sawalha, lai arī viņa seriālā diezko labi neiederas, drīzāk jāatzīst, ka scenāristi ir zaudējuši pēdējās iedvesmas atliekas, sižeti kļūst arvien neticamāki un neticamāki, un arvien vairāk šeit parādās action un ja tā turpinātos, piektajā sezonā Džonatans jau pāris reizes "izslēgtu" kādu sliktuci, izmantojot roundhousekick no Čaka Norisa krājumiem. Joprojām nav tā, ka seriāls būtu kļuvis garlaicīgs un pavisam neskatāms, un ik pa reizei tajā atgadās kaut kas pietiekami smieklīgs, taču - tas nav gluži tas, kas iepriekš, un, manuprāt, Džonatana stāšanās arvien biežākos sakaros ar sievietēm seriālam arī dara drīzāk sliktu nekā labu. Es pat nevaru iedomāties nevienu sēriju šajā sezonā, kas man būtu kādu drusku palikusi atmiņā, visai vienmuļš un neizteiksmīgs ir kļuvis viss saturs, tik neizteiksmīgs, ka man pat vairs nav sevišķas vēlēšanās kritizēt katrā sērijā atrodamos loģikas caurumus, varu vien pateikt, ka to ir kļuvis vēl vairāk, nekā bija iepriekš, bet noziegumi kļūst arvien briesmīgāki un nežēlīgāki, ja salīdzina ar pirmajām sezonām, kuras kopumā ar smagumu neizcēlās.
2011-09-07 07:21:57
film, 2004

Smile

8.5
Braienam Vilsonam nevajadzēja daudz laika, lai pabeigtu savas dzīves lielāko veikumu, savu magnum opus - albumu "Smile". Kas gan attiecībā pret Visuma vecumu ir tie 37 gadi, kuri pagāja no Braiena emocionālā sabrukuma līdz "Smile" izdošanai? Cilvēka mūža skatījumā tomēr šis laiks bija pietiekoši ilgs, lai Braiena iecerētā "pusaudžu simfonija Dievam" pārvērstos par "pusmūža vīra simfoniju Dievam", turklāt mūžībā šajos gadu desmitos bija aizgājuši abi Braiena brāļi - Deniss un Karls, kā rezultātā šis albums, protams, nav gluži tāds, kādu Braiens to bija iecerējis sākotnēji.
2011-06-15 17:03:22
music, 2004

Churchill: The Hollywood Years

4.0
Amerikāņiem (gluži tāpat kā krieviem) ir ļoti raksturīgs dažādas vēstures epizodes pārspīlēt savu spēlēto lomu. Šī filma mēģina šo paražu izsmiet, pasniedzot jaunu skatījumu uz 2.Pasaules karu - atklājot, ka patiesībā Vinstons Čērčils nebija vis Anglijas premjerministrs - pusmūža vīrs ar nedaudz matiem, bet gan fiziski spēcīgs amerikāņu ierindnieks, kurš gandrīz vienpersoniski (tikai ar sava melnādainā drauga Eizenhauera) palīdzību) uzvarēja Kaujā par Angliju. Filma atļaujas ne tikai bezkaunīgi mainīt vēstures faktus, bet arī Holivudas filmām raksturīgā manierē atklāti blēdās ar filmēšanas vietām - cita starpā norādot par sīku muiželi, ka tā esot Bekingemas pils, bet šķūni laukā nodēvējot par Hītrovas lidostu. Filmas centrālā sižeta līnija vēsta par to, kā Čērčils ieradies Anglijā ar Enigma mašīnu, kuru viņš pašrocīgi atņēmis vāciešiem (cik sapratu, vienā šāda stila Holivudas filmā patiešām tika rādīts, ka ar Enigmu galā tika amerikāņi), bet nav atradis dzirdīgas ausis nekompetento angļu karavadoņu vidū, paralēli šim attīstās love story ar princesi Elizabeti (tagadējo karalieni, kura, protams, atbilstoši filmas vajadzībām padarīta vecāka par viņas tā laika 14 gadiem), bet Hitlers ar Bormanu, Gēbelsu, Gēringu, Evu Braunu un savu sunīti Waffles ir ieradies Anglijā, kur viņam rodas plāns apprecēt Elizabeti un tādā veidā sasniegt kaut kādus absurdus mērķus.
2011-06-08 07:33:31
film, 2004

The Libertines

8.5
Pagājuši jau seši gadi kopš "The Libertines" otrās plates iznākšanas. Šogad grupa apvienojās un nospēlēja vairākus šovus, par ko visi bija sajūsmā, līdz ar to ir pamats cerēt, ka Dohertijs un Barāts varētu kādreiz vēl kopā doties studijā un radīt maģiju. Tādu kā grupas otrajā albumā.
2010-12-16 09:11:26
music, 2004

Enduring Love

8.0
Pagājušas jau vairākas nedēļas kopš skatījāmies šo filmu, bet kaut kā nekādi nebiju saņēmies par to uzrakstīt. Tagad šī diena beidzot ir pienākusi.
2010-09-03 13:12:15
film, 2004

Garth Marenghi`s Darkplace

4.0
Izrādās, ka pirms viņš kļuva par Morisu Mosu, Ričards Aioeids jau bija izmēģinājis savu roku komēdijseriāla režisēžanā. Diemžēl jāatzīst, ka "Garth Marenghi`s Darkplace" nav tieši tas šovs, kas man būtu licis smieties līkam.
2010-07-21 23:15:18
film, 2004

Vodka Lemon

6.0
"Vodka Lemon" ir alkohola tirgotuve, kurā strādā Ņina - atraitne armēniete, viena no filmas galvenajām varonēm. Alkohols, ko pārdod "Vodka Lemon", patiesībā nav nekāds šņabis ar citronu, jo kam gan Armēnijā vajadzētu īstu "vodka lemon". Ņina kapos iepazīstas ar savu bēdu brāli Hamo - viņš arī ir atraitnis, pēc tautības kurds, un tāpat kā Ņina - pilnīgi bez naudas. Viņa pensija ir mazāka nekā 10 dolāri mēnesī, un vienīgais veids, kā viņš spēj izdzīvot, ir laiku pa laikam pārdodot utenī šo to no savas iedzīves - pamatā krieviem un par cenām, kas ir ievērojami zemākas par to, ko viņš vēlētos saņemt. Vienīgā cerība uz labāku nākotni viņam saistās ar dēlu, kas dzīvo Francijā un no kura viņš cer beidzot saņemt kādu naudas pārskaitījumu, taču šī cerība nešķiet sevišķi pamatota. Vienīgais, kas Hamo dzīvē tagad notiek, ir došanās uz kapiem, lai atstāstītu savai mirušajai sievai pēdējā laika ievērojamākos notikumus. Un kā jau tas filmās notiek, starp abiem visai bēdīgajiem varoņiem rodas mīlestība, un tā viņu blāvajās dzīvēs ienes vismaz nelielu saules stariņu.
2010-05-05 16:44:19
film, 2004

Memories of My Melancholy Whores

6.5
Gabriela Garsijas Markesa uz šo brīdi pēdējais romāns "Atmiņas par manām skumjajām maukām" ir grāmata, kas droši vien (es tam īsti nesekoju) bišķi furoru sacēla, un Irānā tā pat tika aizliegta. Kas gan nav nekāds super sasniegums musulmaņu valstī, kur tiek aizliegtas ari daudz nevainīgākas lietas nekā grāmata par veci, kas uz savu deviņdesmito dzimšanas dienu izlemj pārgulēt ar jaunavu. Jā, tu nepārklausījies (neizlasīji nepareizi). Romāna galvenais varonis patiešām ir deviņdesmit gadus vecs, un viņš vēlas savā dzimšanas dienā pārgulēt ar nevainīgu meiteni. Nekad iepriekš viņš šādi darījis nav, bet pircis prostitūtu pakalpojumus gan ir ļoti regulāri. Un pat gadijumā, ja sieviete, ar ko viņš pārgulējis, nav bijusi prostitūta, viņš tāpat vienmēr ir maksājis. Tāds, lūk, cilvēkam princips. Bet te viņam patrāpās jauna meitene, ar kuru viņš patiesībā nemaz nepārguļ, jo viņa ir tā pārgurusi darbā, ka vienkārši ir atrubījusies. Un te notiek šim vecim kaut kas pavisam nepierasts - viņš šajā meitenē iemīlas. Turklāt viņš iemīlas tieši viņas aizmigušajā gformā, jo viņš lieliski saprot, ka nomodā viņiem diez vai varētu būt daudz kas kopīgs. Viņš ir mūžsens intelektuālis, bet viņa - jauna lauku meitene. Un te - mīlestība. Dīvaini, vai ne?
2010-05-01 12:03:04
book, 2004

Am Hang

5.0
Ar šo grāmatu sāku pildīt uzdevumu - 25 grāmatas vācu valodā 1001 dienas projekta laikā. It kā jau lasīšana vāciski man sevišķi grūti neiet, bet vienlaikus visbiežāk problēmas rada tas, ka vācvalodīgā literatūra mani biežāk garlaiko nekā izklaidē. Līdz ar to grāmatas vāciski lasu salīdzinoši maz, kas, savukārt, nozīmē vienu - man vajag sevi papildus motivēt, lai šo valodu uzturētu pie dzīvības.
2010-05-01 10:53:14
book, 2004

Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d`enfants

8.0
"Viņi apprecējās un viņiem bija daudz bērnu" pilnīgi noteikti ir viena no vismazāk zināmajām Džonija Depa filmām. Un nav jau brīnums - franču lente, kurā Džonijs redzams ne vairāk kā piecu minūšu garumā, nav tieši tā filma, par kuru varētu rakstīt, piemēram, "Privātā dzīve". Taču man gribētos teikt - a zrja! Šī izrādījās (man) negaidīti saistoša filma, viena no pēdējā laikā labākajām noskatitajām franču filmām.
2010-01-04 07:59:52
film, 2004

Return to the Mysterious Island

7.0
Manam iecienītākajam "kvestu" žanram nudien aizvadītā desmitgade nav bijusi sevišķi laba - kādreiz viens no populārākajiem spēļu veidiem tagad atrodas kaut kur dziļā dibenplānā un diezgan drošs šķiet apgalvojums, ka visi šī žanra šedevri jau ir radīti.
2009-12-06 20:06:09
game, 2004

Innocence

8.0
Lusilas Hadžihalilovičas "Nevainība" ir viena no visgrūtāk novērtējamajām filmām, ko man ir pēdējā laikā nācies redzēt. Tā ir viena no tām noslēpumainajām filmām, kurās tu no pirmās minūtes jūti - tiks atklāts kaut kas baiss, kaut kas pretīgs, bet tas mirklis kā nenāk, tā nenāk, un pēc kāda laika tev jau sev jāvaicā - vai tik es pats kā skatītājs neesmu samaitāts un perverss, ka šeit saskatu kaut ko sliktu? Bet varbūt tieši to vajag saskatīt un es neuztveru pietiekami tiešus mājienus? Galvenais filmas triks ir - atstāt situācijas karājamies gaisā - tā ka tu nesaproti, vai neparādītais ainas noslēgums ir kaut kas labs vai kaut kas ļauns.
2009-11-23 16:49:20
film, 2004

Love Me If You Dare

5.0
Ja tev patika "Amēlija", tev patiks arī "Love me if you dare". Tā vismaz apgalvoja šīs filmas reklāmas. Un tiesa kas tiesa - "Love me if you dare" pamatīgi kopē vienu no pēdējo 10-20 gadu veiksmīgākajām franču filmām. Jūtams, ka Jans Samuels pamatīgi ietekmējies no Ženē stilistikas un arī Mariona Kotiljāra šeit ir visai līdzīga Odrijai Totū "Amēlijas" laikos. Taču sajūta man radās tāda, ka formu Samuels no "Amēlijas" uzķēra labi, bet domu - ne visai. Šī filma ir kā tāda konfekte - skaista, krāsaina, vizuāli saistoša. Bet tās saturs varētu būt labāks. Mani ieintriģēja filmas nostādne - par puisi un meiteni, kuru dzīve sastāv no vienām vienīgām derībām no kategorijas "vai tu uzdrīkstēsies", bet īsti filmu ar to pacelt neizdevās, un pamazām galvenie varoņi sāka krist uz nerviem. Nē, man nav nekādu iebildumu pret Gilema Kanē un Kotiljāras saspēli, bet filma kā tāda man nepatika. Un ne tāpēc, ka man būtu iebildumi pret tās morāli (man ir nospļauties par morāli) vai tādēļ, ka tā nebūtu ticama (kāda man daļa gar ticamību), bet gan tādēļ, ka tās dzīvums bija pārāk uzspēlēts, un viss tajā bija kaut kāds neīsts. Nav tā, ka man nekas filmā nebūtu paticis, bet trūkumu tai tomēr bija pārāk daudz, lai es to varētu pa īstam izbaudīt.
2009-10-26 23:45:31
film, 2004

After Dark

8.5
Redz - esmu izlasījis vēl vienu Haruki Murakami romānu. Un redz - viens no maniem mīļākajiem mūsdienu rakstniekiem joprojām saglabā savu vietu manā sirdī. Un tas mani, protams, tikai priecē.
2009-10-09 20:27:05
book, 2004

Crash

8.0
"Crash" ir viena no daudzajām filmām, kuras visi ir redzējuši, par kurām visi runā, un tikai es to kaut kādu neskaidru iemeslu dēļ biju palaidis garām. Ok, varbūt ne tikai es, bet šī ir ļoti populāra filma un tā atrodama arī IMDb top 250 filmu sarakstā, turklāt vēl 2006.gadā tā saņēma Oskaru kā gada labākā filma.
2009-07-27 11:07:09
film, 2004

The Barbarian Invasions

8.0
Apstākļi, kuros es vakar skatījos šo filmu, pilnīgi noteikti nebija īsti šai filmai piemēroti. Pirmkārt, visu iepriekšējo dienu (un daļu nakts) bijām pavadījuši mūsu visai maniakālajā braucienā uz IKEA. Otrkārt, paralēli filmas skatīšanās procesam nodarbojos ar mēbeļu montāžu. Principā apvienot filmas (vai televīzijas) skatīšanos ar kādu darbu ir iespējams - vēl skolas laikos mēdzu skatīties tramplīnlēkšanu, paralēli gludinot veļu, bet 2002.gadā - Olimpiskās spēles, paralēli pāršujot bikses. Taču šādos apstākļos diezgan svarīgi ir, lai skatāmais materiāls nebūtu grūti uztverams, un šī konkrētā filma diez vai labi atbilst šādam kritērijam. Pirmkārt, tā ir franču valodā un līdz ar to es šo filmu skatījos ar angļu subtitriem. Otrkārt, filmas saturs prasa iedziļināšanos filmā.
2009-07-20 13:13:31
film, 2004

Primer

7.0
Kā tev šķiet, cik daudz naudas ir nepieciešams, lai radītu filmu, kas prestižajā "Sundance" festivālā saņemtu balvu par gada labāko drāmu? Miljons dolāru? Simt tūkstoši? Piecdesmit tūkstoši? Šeins Keruts pierādīja, ka ar septiņiem tūkstošiem zaļo pilnībā pietiek, jo tieši šāds bija budžets šai filmai, kura savos septiņos tūkstošos pat pamanījās būt piederīga zinātniskās fantastikas žanram. Es varbūt neteiktu, ka šī ir viena satriecoši iespaidīga filma, bet - vai tu patiešām gaidītu pretējo?
2009-04-14 17:21:46
film, 2004

The Machinist

6.0
Nav šaubu, ka "Mašīnists" ir viena ļoti īpatnēja filma. Un viena no tās centrālajām dīvainībām ir tās tapšanas apstākļi. Cik daudz tu zini filmu, kurās amerikāņi būtu izpildītāji, bet spāņi - pasūtītāji? Līdz ar to šī ir Spānijas filma, kurā galvenās lomas (un arī režisora funkcijas) uzņemas amerikāņi. Filmēta tā gan ir Barselonā. Galvenajā lomā šeit ir Kristiāns Beils, bet pateikt, ka tas ir tas pats aktieris, kura nākamā loma bija "Betmens", tu noteikti nevarēsi. Proti, šajā filmā Beils ir tik tievs un slimīgs, ka uz viņu pat skatīties ir pretīgi. Un viņš nav arī vienīgais ne pārāk jaukā paskata personāžs filmā - Ivans, kuram zaudētu rokas pirkstu vietā piešūts kājas īkšķis.
2009-04-14 12:32:48
film, 2004

Transmission

6.0
Hari Kunzru romāns "Mijiedarbība" tika britu presē ļoti atzinīgi novērtēts un pat nosaukts par vienu no labākajiem veikumiem angļu literatūrā 2004.gadā. Tikām es pirms pievērsties grāmatas analīzei, vēlos mazliet pakurnēt par tehniskajām lietām šajā romānā.
2008-12-11 12:02:36
book, 2004

The Plot Against America

6.0
Vai kāds man varētu pateikt, vai tik gadījumā šis romāns nav nedaudz pārmērīgi izslavēts? Un vispār arī pats Filips Rots vai tik gadījumā nav kaut kāda nedaudz pārspīlēta literāra personība? Gluži kā Ians Makjuens.
2008-11-26 14:14:56
book, 2004

Saw

5.5
"Zāģa" pirmā daļa ir viena no tām filmām, kuras visi ir redzējuši, izņemot mani, un tagad tas beidzot ir mainījies. Arī es esmu redzējis Zāģi, un nevaru teikt, ka šī filma mani būtu pamatīgi pārveidojusi.
2008-11-25 11:43:35
film, 2004

Diarios de motocicleta

8.0
Kā jau rūdītam Če Gevaras cienītājam vismaz kādreiz man vajadzēja šo filmu noskatīties. Nē, es neapgalvoju, ka Če būtu bijis izcilākais divdesmitā gadsimta varonis, kuram nevarētu pārmest nevienu vienīgu kļūdu. Es apzinos, ka faktiski viņš bija diezgan ekstrēmistiski noskaņots un ka daudz kas no viņa darbiem nebūt man nešķiet simpātiski. Un vienlaikus - viņš bija patiešām liels vīrs un ja arī kļūšana par mārketinga elementu viņa dabai galīgi nav piemērota, tad pats fakts, ka par viņu runā un viņu atceras, nebūt nav nejaušība. Taču "Motociklista dienasgrāmatas" nemaz nav par Če Gevaru - nežēlīgo un paštaisno revolucionāru. Šī filma ir par kādu 23 gadus vecu jaunieti (omg! viņš ir filmā jaunāks kā es tagad), kas kopā ar savu sešus gadus vecāko draugu Alberto dodas ceļojumā ar motociklu apkārt gandrīz visam Dienvidamerikas kontinentam. Un saukts viņš šeit tiek nevis par Če, bet gan par Fūzeru (tāda iesauka). Šis Če, kuru tu redzi filmā, vēl nav sevī uzņēmis lielus daudzumus marksisma ideoloģijas, viņš ir vienkāršs ideālistisks jaunietis, kurš vairākus mēnešus ilgajā ceļojumā iepazīst pasauli.
2008-06-04 17:53:06
film, 2004

Machuca

8.0
Čīles filma "Machuca" stāsta par laika periodu Čīles vēsturē, par kuru līdz pavisam nesenam laikam es nezināju ne nieka. Taču tagad, pateicoties "Global history of football", mana zināšanu bagāža ir nedaudz uzlabojusies. Vai nav interesanti, ka futbola grāmata bagātina arī vispārējās vēstures zināšanas? Par to varu Deividam Goldblatam (un Ziņģim) vēlreiz izteikt pateicību.
2008-05-23 17:09:42
film, 2004

House of Flying Daggers

7.5
"Lidojošo dunču nams" ir Ķīnas pienesums manam kino projektam. Kādu laiku es gan izvairījos no Ķīnas kino skatīšanās, motivējot to ar saviem iebildumiem pret Ķīnas politiku Tibetā, tomēr vienā brīdī atklājās, ka manā rīcībā nebija nevienas filmas no vēl "nenosegtas" valsts, un šādā brīdī arī Ķīna izrādījās gana laba (kā tas parasti izrādās šādās pseidopolitiskās situācijās).
2008-05-06 13:50:59
film, 2004

Up and Down

7.0
Tiem, kas mani pazīst, droši vien mana tāda kā apsēstība ar čehu filmām nevarētu būt noslēpums. Un "Horem pádem" ir tieši viena no čehu filmām. 2005.gadā čehi to nominēja Oskaram, bet fināla balsojumā filma neiekļuva.
2007-11-30 11:14:33
film, 2004

The Namesake

8.0
Kad es paņēmu bibliotēkā lasīt šo Džumpas Lahīri grāmatu, es pat neiedomājos, ka šī ir grāmata, pēc kuras tapusi filma "The Namesake". Droši vien tāpēc, ka šo filmu neesmu redzējis, lai gan no vismaz diviem cilvēkiem (tai skaitā no kritiski noskaņotā Māņa) biju dzirdējis (lasījis), ka tā esot laba. Līdz ar to varu teikt, ka manu grāmatas izvēli un manu iespaidu par to neietekmēja citu cilvēku iespaidu bagāža (nedz sliecoties viņiem piekrist, nedz iebilst).
2007-11-12 12:28:21
book, 2004

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

6.5
Šī filma tiek uzskatīta par bez maz vai vienu no izcilākajām pēdējo gadu komēdijām. Tajā piedalās vesela virkne pazīstamu komiķu, gandrīz viss tā sauktais Frat Pack (neskaitot Ovenu Vilsonu) - Vils Ferels, Stīvs Kerels, Vinss Vougans, Lūks Vilsons, Bens Stillers un Džeks Bleks. Plus - Kristina Aplgeita, vislabāk zināma (vismaz kādreizējiem TV skatītājiem kā blondā Kellija no "Precējies. Ir bērni". Iespaidīgi, vai ne?
2007-09-11 11:03:19
film, 2004

Maps for Lost Lovers

5.0
Tā kā pēdējā laikā lielākā daļa ierakstu šajā faktoīdā ir bijuši izteikti negatīvi (vai vismaz salīdzinoši negatīvi), es varētu pārmaiņas pēc kaut ko paslavēt. Diemžēl šis nebūs tas gadījums - Nadīma Aslāma gramata "Zudušo mīlnieku kartes" nebūt neizrādījās tik burvīga, kā es biju cerējis.
book, 2004

RRRrrrr!!!

6.5
Šo filmu mēs iesākām skatīties pie Lienes jūrmalā pa televizoru, bet tad aizbraucām uz Ķemeriem ar riteņiem, tāpēc filmu vēlāk iedabūju datorā un mēģināju ar to uzmākties N&N, bet N teica, ka viņam riebjoties Žerārs Depardjē un ka šī filma vispār esot sūds (pēc IMDb vērtējuma).
film, 2004

Us, Gods

7.0
Nesaprotu, kā tas atgadījās, ka manā faktoīdā trūkst ieraksta šim Verbēra romānam, tagad šo situāciju ņemos labot.
book, 2004

Medieval Lives

7.5
Es apzinos, ka Terija Džonsa dokumentālu raidījumu par vēsturi skatīšanās ir slima. Šis vīrs IR zināms kā kādreizējs Džona Klīza (komiskā Mesijas) kolēģis, kas neizbēgami nozīmē, ka viss, ko viņš savā dzīvē var izdarīt, ir tikai parodija par beigtā papagaiļa skeču (kurā Džonss gan nepiedalījās).
film, 2004

The Final Cut

6.0
Vakars vakar pie NxN izvērtās ļoti jauks un to nebūtu bijis prātīgi sabojāt, skatoties kādu smagnēju "gruzilu", līdz ar to izvēlējāmies labi zināmu vārdu - Robinu Viljamsu, kas vislabāk zināms kā muļķīgu un ne pārāk kvalitatīvu komēdiju varonis (protams, ir arī izņēmumi viņa biogrāfijā - piem., "Dead Poets Society"). Filma gan neizrādījās gluži komēdija, bet sagruzīties no tās skatīšanās vismaz es arī nevarēju.
film, 2004

Himalaya with Michael Palin

9.0
Beidzot noskatījos otro no Maikla Peilina ceļojumu raidījumu cikliem - 6 sērijas jeb 360 minūtes ar Maiklu Peilinu Himalajos. Es nez kāpēc biju domājis, ka raidījumu ciklā galvenokārt varēs redzēt kalnus, bet praksē vairāk varēja redzēt cilvēkus, jo Peilins jau nav nekāds rūdīts kalnos kāpējs un pat Everestā tālāk par pamatnometni viņam tikt neizdevās. Toties viņš piedāvā ceļojumu gar Himalaju dienvidu robežu, sniedzot īsus un ļoti interesantus zibšņus par daudzām tur dzīvojošajām tautām. Maršruts ved cauri Pakistānai, Indijai, Tibetai, Ķīnai, Nepālai, Butānai, Mjanmai un Bangladešai un par katru no šo valstu civilizācijām šeit var uzzināt diezgan daudz. Piemēram, mēs redzam, šķiet Nepālā, sievietes, kas ar groziem ķer zivis un pēcāk tās uzglabā zem sava apģērba. Peilina vadībā mēs paviesojamies ciemā, kas kā pēdējais Āzijā atteicies no godpilnās galvu mednieku nodarbes un sastopam tur vairākus cilvēkus ar pieredzi šajā profesijā. Mēs viesojamies mājās pie jaku (govjveidīgu radījumu) audzētāja, kas ir pateicīgs Ķīnas komunistiskajai partijai par visu to, kas viņam ir. Mēs viesojamies pie Dalai Lamas viņa mītnē Indijā. Uzzinām, ka iepriekšējā dzīvē Maikls Peilins ir bijis zilonis. Peilina galvenais pluss ir tajā, ka viņš spēj lieliski un bez britiem raksturīgās arogances saprasties gan ar Indijas princi (ok, viņam droši vien bija cits statuss), gan ar ganiem, gan vienalga ko citu. Tāpat viņš savā stāstījumā nekad nepaceļas pārāk augstu, nenostāda tevi kā skatītāju muļķa lomā, bet vienmēr ir gatavs arī pasmieties par sevi pašu, pamuļķoties ar bērniem, kas mācās angļu valodu, uzspēlēt pret pakistāniešiem kriketu, apmeklēt Indijā aizdomīgas kvalitātes teātra izrādi vai... nevaru izdomāt, ko tieši vai. Un kas viņā ir labākais - Peilins izvairās no kritikas, pat par ķīniešiem Tibetā viņš iespēju robežās izsakās korekti. Šajā viņa ceļojumā skatītājs var uzzināt, ka patiesībā šajā nebūt ne milzīgajā reģionā mitinās tik dažādas tautas, cik vien iespējams. Jā, un te bija arī gana liela raidījuma daļa par noslēpumaino valsti - Butānu, kura visiem iespējamajiem līdzekļiem cenšas apturēt tūristu ieplūšanu savā valstī, vadoties no moto, ka liela iedzīvotāju laime ir svarīgāka par lielu nacionālo kopproduktu, lūk, lieliska budistu filosofijas izpratne. Turklāt, salīdzinoši ar "80 days around the world", šim dokumentālo raidījumu ciklam, ir vēl viena priekšrocība - ļoti kvalitatīvs attēls, lielisks platekrāna lielbudžeta dokumentālais kino, kas atļauj izbaudīt Himalaju skaistumus (jā, kalni te, protams, arī parādās) visā to pilnībā. Vispār te ir viss, kas man patīk - skaista daba, interesanti cilvēki, un, protams, klāt tam nedaudz drāmas un humora.
film, 2004

The Book about Blanche and Marie

8.5
"Grāmatu par Blānšu un Mariju" pēc ļoti ilgām pārdomām izvēlējos kā pirkumu par dāvanu karti Jāņa Rozes grāmatnīcā. Lai gan es esmu diezgan intensīvs lasītājs, grāmatas izvēle man bieži sagādā nopietnas problēmas (izņemot Gētes institūta bibliotēkas apmeklējumus, kad man principā nospļauties, kādu grāmatu ņemt, ka tik vāciski un nav dzeja). Enkvistu pagājušogad iepazinu kā biedejošās "Magnetizētāja 5. ziemas" autoru un šogad viņš savu reputāciju manās acīs vēl nav zaudējis. "Grāmata par Blānšu un Mariju" uz aizmugurējā vāciņa gan nodēvētā par stāstu par mīlestību, bet patiesībā tas atkal ir vēl viens vairāk vai mazāk patiess šausmu stāsts. Tā centrā atrodas Blānša Vitmena - reāla sieviete, kas 19. gadsimta otrajā pusē tika dēvēta par "histērijas karalieni", kuru ārstēja Zigmunda Freida skolotājs profesors Šarko, bet vēlāk viņa kļuva par Marijas Kirī asistenti rādija laboratorijā, kā rezultātā viņai amputēja abas kājas un kreiso roku, bet ar savu atlikušo roku Blānša Vitmena trīs burtnīciņās aprakstīja šo to iz savas dzīves uzskatiem un tieši šīs burtnīcas ir pamatā Enkvista romānam. Otrs centrālais personāžs ir Marija Sklodovska-Kirī, ar kuru Vitmena bija sadraudzējusies un kura Vitmenu izmitināja savā mājā līdz tās nāvei. Marijas Kirī dzīvē centrālā vieta līdzās rādijam šeit ierādīta viņas sakaram ar kolēģi Polu Langevinu (jau pēc Pjēra Kirī nāves), kā rezultātā Kirī krita totālā nežēlastībā franču sabiedrības acīs kā ārzemniece (un "iespējama ebrejiete"), kas izbojājusi franču zinātnieka laulību un pat bija baigie protesti, kad Kirī saņēma savu otro Nobela prēmiju. Grāmata strukturēta tā diezgan neskaidri, gluži hronoloģiski tas nav, turklāt pa brīžam tajā iesaistās arī pats Enkvists, kas šeit stājas priekšā kā teksta analizētājs, brīžiem viņš mazliet pārspīlē ar seksu, kaut gan nē, patiesībā nepārspīlē gan. Īstenībā viņš ir ļoti saistošs stāstītajs, jo esmu pārliecināts, ka ne kurš katrs rakstnieks spētu man radīt interesi par mirušiem fiziķiem. Both thumbs up!
book, 2004

Vielleicht ist es sogar schoen

8.0
Es ist Bemerkens wert, dass auch das zweite Buch bein Jakob Hein, dass ich gelesen habe, mir sehr gefallen hat. In seinem neuen Roman bleibt Hein seiner Welt eines ex-Ossies treu und schaut mal wieder an die Geschichte Deutschlands mit den selben Augen, wie in "Meinem ersten T-Shirt". Diesmal ist es das Buch noch mehr autobiographisch als sein erstes Werk, aber wie man schon viele gesagt haben, ist das Leben manchmal noch ueberraschender als Erfindung. Das Buch ist die Geschichte des Lebens seiner Mutter, die waehrend des Buches Handlung an Krebs stirbt, aber es ist kein Buch vom Tode, es ist ein Buch ueber das Leben, ueber Juden und Judentum (Hein ist ebenso wie ich 1/4 juedisch), ueber Menschen, die von Nazis zu Kommunisten werden, ueber die Mutter, die immer was gutes zu sagen hatte, obwohl es ihr selber nie brilliant gegangen ist. Ich weiss eigentlich nicht, was ich so stark an Hein`s Werken mag, aber er schreibt so, dass ich ihn nur bewundern kann. Ich verstehe auch, dass er nie besonders beruehmt werden wird, aber gerade dass finde ich so toll, dass ich vielleicht einer der ganz wenigen seiner Fans bin. Ich moechte doch nicht immer einer von der grossen Masse sein.
book, 2004

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

8.0
If Umberto Eco is to be trusted, this will be the last of him I`ll be reading. On one hand I can understand his position - he`s 73 now and you rarely write your best work when you`re beyond such age. Since 1983 when "The name of the rose" came out Eco has been loved and respected in the world of the reading public. He has also enjoyed quite a lot of success as a historian of the Middle Ages, so he has nothing to regret about. Yet his decision can do nothing but make me sad. When one of the greatest voices of a generation decides to write no more, it is always sad. And if it`s one of your favourite writers of all time, you can only regret it.
book, 2004

Syberia II

8.0
Līdzās "Broken Sword", "Syberia" tiek uzskatīta par vienu no pēdējām kādreiz tik populārā žanra adventure/quest virsotnēm. Noteikti šāds spriedums nav bez pamata - bez lielo studiju līdzdalības veidotā Kanādas-Francijas spēle bez šaubām ir viens no jaunās tūkstošgades labākajiem kvestiem (vajadzēs droši vien uzmeklēt rokā arī spēles pirmo daļu). Galvenā varone Keita Volkere ir Ņujorkas juriste, kas apsolījusies palīdzēt vecajam Hansam Voralbergam nokļūt mītiskajā Krievijas ziemeļu zemē Sibīrijā (nejaukt ar reālo Krievijas ziemeļu zemi Sibīriju), kurā dzīvo dīvainā jukālu tautiņa, kas audzē mamutus un nepazīst mūsdienu pasauli. Taču nokļūt tajā Sibīrijā nav tik vienkārši - Hansa veselības stāvoklis ir visai vājš, pārvietošanās līdzekļi ir ierobežoti, turklāt kaut kādi divi krievu bandīti visu laiku maisās varoņiem pa kājām. Patiesībā jāatzīst, ka no vecā Hansa labuma ir ļoti maz un viss darbs jāveic Keitai vienai pašai, ko viņa arī dara. Mīklas spēlē nekādi nevar nosaukt par vieglām - vienkārša bakstīšanās šeit bieži nelīdz, turklāt lielākoties ir visai plašas teritorijas, pa kurām var pārvietoties, padarot kaut kā atrašanu diezgan sarežģītu. Būtiskākākā panākumu atslēga - rūpīgi izstudēt mācītāja Aleksija grāmatu par Sibīriju, ar tās palīdzību iespējams atšifrēt daudzas mīklas, vienīgi mums ar Lieni tam pacietības bieži pietrūka. Jā, hintus nākas izmantot diezgan regulāri, turklāt ir arī gadījumi, kur bez tā iztikt ir gandrīz neiespējami. Spēles galvenais pluss - vizuāli tā ir vienkārši perfekta, ir ļoti daudzveidīgs un baudāms arī audiālais noformējums. Tomēr grafikai ir arī viena vaina - spēle izteikti sastāv no ekrāniem (salīdzinoši Broken Sword pārejas no vienas vietas uz otru realizētas daudz veiksmīgāk). Spēles ilgums - tā kā standarta kvestam, kopumā diezgan paliels. Principā "Syberia II" ir kvests "na ļubiteļa" - atšķirībā no mainstream auditorijai paredzētā "Broken Sword" šī spēle kuram katram varētu nepatikt, action šeit aizstāts ar piņķerīgām mīklām, humors - ar ļoti māksliniecisku noformējumu.
game, 2004

Skupinova terapia

6.5
Turpinu savu ekskursiju Slovākijas mūzikas pasaulē. Ja var ticēt Wikipēdijai, Desmod ir viena no šīs valsts ietekmīgākajām rokgrupām, tādējādi ir tikai dabiski, ka es mazliet iepazīstu tās daiļradi. Albūms "Skupinova terapia" (Grupveida terapija, ja ticam automātiskajam tulkotājam) tapis 2004. gadā un tas patiešām pieder rokmūzikai un nevis, piemēram, trance vai hiphop stila mākslai. Albūms sākas ar klavieru/sintezatoru partiju, kas izklausās kā no Linkin Park albūma nozagta, taču tālāk dzirdams slovākisks vokāls vīrieša ar spēcīgu balsi izpildījumā, kas ir pārāk melodisks un ne repīgs, lai būtu "Linkin Park" līdzīgs, tad jau drīzāk varētu vilk paraleles ar "Pearl Jam" vai kādu no tās atdarinātājiem. Pati dziesma saucas "Aby bolo jasnē" ("Lai būtu skaidrs" vai kaut kas tamlīdzīgs) un man nav skaidrs, kam tieši ir jābūt skaidram, vajadzētu varbūt tomēr mēģināt apgūt čehu/slovāku valodu. Arī tālākajās dziesmās turpinās pirmās aizsāktais stiliņš - starplaikos starp dziedāšanu dzirdamas skaļas un pat ļoti jaudīgas ģitāras skaņas, kamēr pantiņi ir tādi vieglāki un popsīgāki. "Zemly plyn" izmanto nelielu skrečošanu un kaut kādu smieklīgu MC iesaistīšanu, lai gan pati dziesma ir ļoti līdzīga pirmajām divām. Vispār par visu albūmu var teikt, ka turpina jau sākumā radušos asociāciju Linkin Park + Pearl Jam ar nelielu čehoslovākisma piedevu, lai gan nekā nacionāla mūzikā nav. Toties tur ir kompozīcija "PlayStation 2", kas sākas ar atklāti zagtu klavieru ievadu, tikai es nezinu no kā tas ir zagts. Kas tieši tiek dziedāts par PlayStation, man nav skaidrs, bet varu nojaust, ka tas ir kaut kas pozitīvs, vismaz tā izklausās pēc dziesmas noskaņas. Protams, Desmod nav no tām grupām, kuras gribas klausīties atkal un atkal, it īpaši, ja tev nav ne mazākās sajēgas, ko tieši tu klausies, taču skaidrs ir viens - tā nav arī tāda grupa, ko nevar klausīties. Patiešām izteikti viduvējs ieraksts, kur nav nekā ko paslavēt un nekā, ko kritizēt. Tas vienkārši ir.
music, 2004

The life aquatic with Steve Zissou

7.0
This is a very bad film from the very beginning. It has little to tell, its characters are mostly boring, the soundtrack is recorded by some fellow who performs David Bowie`s songs in Portuguese and Steve Zissou wears a silly orange cap. So why should I like this bad film? First, because it`s a tribute to the legendary Jaques Cousteau (if that`s how you write his name). Steve Zissou is a Cousteau like character - a man of the see who`s legendary for his documentaries. Still the last years have all gone downwards - as Zissou is getting older, his movies get worse very fast. His team on the ship contains mostly different kind of idiots and the only sane person around him is Eleonor, his ex-wife. Things get even more complicated when Steve decides to go an a mission of revenge and kill a tiger shark that ate his best friend. He`s accompanied not only by his great team but also by a fellow named Ned who supposedly is Steve`s son (but that`s not a fact) and whom he has just met, and by a pregnant reporter (who`s played by Kate Blanchett). Concerning the acting, I have to admit that the cast contains lots of brilliant actors - next to Kate there`s Bill Murray as Steve Z, Willem Defoe as Klaus from Steve`s team and even the son is played by the famous yet not that brilliant Owen Wilson. I doubt that it would be reasonable to go more into details about the story line for there isn`t much of that in the film, for it`s rather a film of images than a film of a story. It`s a parody of Cousteau`s work at some times, but it`s not parodic at other times. To be honest, I didn`t enjoy this film too much for the level of entertainment in it wasn`t particulary high. Yet, that`s a thing one has to expect from parodies of sea documentaries.
film, 2004

When time was dying

6.0
If there is such a thing as B literature, Robert Clausen doesn`t qualify for it. I mean there are bigger writers and smaller writers, but Robert Clausen is best viewed through a microscope. For instance, if you type "Robert Clausen" in Google, you`ll get 813 replies. Bernard Schlink gives you 21800 replies. Jenny Erpenbeck - 67900, Irmtraud Morgner - 28200. And as you can see, those aren`t the most popular German writers either. Thomas Mann can be found on more than 3 million pages, therefore you can see that Robert Clausen is very "alternative". This novel of his is actually a crime story where a man (named Lenz or Lorenz) falls in love with a prostitute and then kills the prostitute, her boyfriend and himself. The main hero (Philip) is the friend of the murderer. As a book of such genre it`s quite easy to read and mostly - very easy to forget. I have nothing against unpopular literature really, but this Clausen person seems a bit too unpopular for my taste.
book, 2004

I Heart Huckabees

8.0
Now this is what I call a strange film. Probably not as strange as "Mulholland Dr" but at least as strange as "Being John Malkovich". Albert Markowski is a nature supporter who fights for saving a marsh from it being destroyed by a big company. Still he can`t succeed by himself so he joins forces with Brad Stand of the Huckabees company which becomes the main force in saving the marsh. Albert isn`t sattisfied with his life so he hires a couple of existential detectives who would help him find the meaning of his life. He`s introduced to Tommy Corn - his "other" - together with whom he tries to learn how everything is connected. The male detective (played by Dustin Hofman) says that the universe is like a blanket where everything is different and still is the same. A strange film.
film, 2004

Bring It on Again

2.0
Sometimes it just happens that you watch a film like this one. This was a very crappy comedy about cheerleaders, boring and silly. Lots of shabby humour, useless sacharine and everything else one can expect from a comedy that went straight to video. By the way, this was a sequel to another crappy film - "Bring it On", that had at least Kirsten Dunst in it; and it also has a sequel "Bring it on: all or nothing" which seems to be even worse than the one I watched.
film, 2004

Unlocking DaVinci`s Code

5.0
This one hour long film was supposed to reveal some part of the mystery around the mysterious things in Leonardo Da Vinci`s works. Contrary to the Dan Brown novel, or the film, this is supposed a documentary, yet in fact it`s a conspiracy theory thing, of course. Every argument one might have against the 9-11 conspiracy theories, stands here even much firmer. I remember watching a similar documentary last year and some of the "experts" from that film reappear here. So it seems that the number of people willing to participate in this sort of stuff is quite little. As for the extent of how believable this all is - it`s very, very far from believable. An old man presents us with words that seem to note that the film intends to reveal some secrets, but it doesn`t do anything. Basically it retells all the conspiracy theory elements Dan Brown employed asking some "grail experts" and "symbolic sex experts" and "lunatics" to comment what they think about it. Unsurprisingly they all agree to their conspiracy theory, still they don`t manage to show anything worthy. Had I not been working paralelly to watching this film, I`d call it wasted time, as it is I call it just a crappy documentary.
film, 2004

Versuche, den Morgen zu beschreiben

5.5
A man returns from a war and stays at a woman`s place. He is a bit mentally disturbed. She is a doctor herself and tries to help him. They stay together. Boring.
book, 2004

A Very Long Engagement

8.5
The latest at the moment film by J.P. Jeunet reconnects him with the biggest star of any of his film - Audrey Tautou whom he made really big in "Amelie". As it`s quite characteristic to Jeunet most of the other actors have also appeared in his films before, most notably in "Delicatessen" and "City of the lost children". "A very long engagement" is probably the most realistic of the major works done by Jeunet (I`m not counting "Alien: resurrection" as a major work for obvious reasons, for it`s merely a try to get more money). Five French soldiers are condemned to death in WW1 for trying to injure themselves in order to get away from the war. Those include an ex-carpenter, a former peasant, an ex-pimp, a technical worker and a young boy named Manech, who`s fiancee Mathilde is waiting for him at home. They are sent to no man`s land where they are bound to be killed either by the Germans or by the French. Now, when the war is over, Mathilda still wants to believe that Manech is alive and she finds to find any survivors from the group of five. She is being helped by being rather wealthy from the money her family`s lawyer got her when her parents died in an accident when she was litte. She is a bit limited because of her legs that don`t work really because of some injuries that she has suffered. And then she learns to know that she isn`t the only one looking for survivors - so is Tina Lombardi, a prostitute and lover of the pimp of the group. Could she be on to something? I don`t want to tell much, I only want to say that this was one of the best war movies I`d seen so far and that I would now even be ready to see "Cold mountain" although I have some belief that the latter would be a bit more patriotic than "A very long engagement".
film, 2004

Hausaufgaben

7.5
When you take a book from a library just by looking at the cover and the size of the book you can never know whether it`s gonna be any good. On one hand you can accidentally jump into some novel that even Joyce would have considered a masterpiece but you can also find yourself in posession of a complete waste of your time. Jakob Arjouni luckily or luck-killy if you like it better that way proved to be a decent writer. He doesn`t aim too high - what he gives the reader in his novel is just some days in the life of a schoolteacher who had some great plans for the weekend but in the end he must face his son in coma, his daughter suspecting him for being a pervert, his wife has been in a mental hospital for quite a while already but now he`s also very close to losing his job. Oh, his car is crashed, his face is damaged after his son attacked him, a middle age woman called him a stinky anti-semite on the phone and he`s found out that he`s gay. No, the last thing isn`t really true. I just made it up so it would be even prettier than it already was. Anyhow, the book starts with a lesson at school where Joachim Linde (that`s the hero) asks his students to utter how the deeds of nazi-Germany affect the Germany of today. The discussion goes extremely wrong when a girl starts naming some boy`s parents nazis and the boy utters how sad it is that the girls grandparents hadn`t been gased in a concentration camp. And after that everything that hadn`t gone wrong already goes wrong after all. What this book lacked in my opinion was a bit of uncertainity - I would like to have my doubts about how clear Linde`s conscience was, but the author didn`t provide enough of that. A good book still.
book, 2004

3-Iron

8.0
This is a film that I almost went to see when I went to King Kong instead. After failing to convince my girlfriend to go and watch this film I had to watch it at home and all by myself. I am personally far from the most Eastern-oriented person in the world but I thought: why can`t this Korean movie be great if everyone who has seen it claims that it is. A young fellow lives by breaking into empty houses and living there for a few days (or until the owners return). He sometimes repairs some stuff in the house which he has broken into and he also waters the plants. But what he doesn`t know is that when he breaks into a huge mansion is that the house isn`t empty at all... If you thought this was supposed to lead you to a horror story about dead chicks you`re dead wrong. A woman is in fact present in the house but she`s neither dead nor haunted, she`s just sad, unhappy and she doesn`t speak very much (neither does the lead character who doesn`t say a word during the entire film). When the husband of the woman arrives the young fellow hits him with golf balls (using a 3-Iron club) and escapes together with the woman. Eventually they get arrested and the guy is charged for murder (they find a dead man in one of the houses they`ve broken in). In the end he`s freed from prison and he returns to the house where the woman lives with her husband but he has achieved some ability of being invisible to people so the husband doesn`t see him. Therefore the husband thinks that his wife has suddenly come to her senses and started to enjoy the life with him but in reality she`s cheating on him with the boy. The film suffers from its main strength - the untrivial attitude and choice of techniqe - it`s brilliant but it`s boring. I`m surely happy that I didn`t watch it at a cinema for I`m sure that almost everyone whom I might have dragged along would find this a terrible way to spend his/her time.
film, 2004

The Revolutionary Quest

5.0
I`ve been a fan of quest games since I don`t know. Probably since I first played "Kings Quest 5", a very fine game for sure but it may seem a bit dated in the modern cyber-crazy world. And so after a long starvation with no quests at all I decided to give a try to a relatively new Russian quest. Although Russia may be far from the most progressive country in the world no one can deny that it has lots of potential in the area of programming and in the past I`ve enjoyed some of their quests - games like "Bratya Piloti", "Shtirlic", "Petjka" and other stand up proudly even in the presence of "LucasArts" or "Sierra Games". Sadly "The Revolutionary Quest" fails to deliver much joy into my life. First, the graphics are a bit plain and fail to convince me that 3D quests are bettern than those in 2D. But I`m not the kind of fellow to dislike a quest because of the graphics. It may be a perfectly logical decision by the makers of the game - an artistic trick so to say. What I want from a good quest is an interesting story. Although "The Revolutionary Quest" promised to have one it delivered very little of its potential. A modern student Vanya is sucked into the year 1917 while preparing to an exam on the October revolution. What he has to do is saving Vladimir Lenin from his enemies and help the Revolution to start. This would in theory provide a background for a perfectly funny partly historical game (similar to that of "Shtirlic" or "Day of the Tentacle"). But it doesn`t turn out to be that. There`s very little possibility for the player to decide for Vanya what he hero can do - there`s never a big number of screens where to go, you can`t pick up an object earlier than you`ve used the previous one - therefore the games becomes too simple for a quester like myself. Humour is present in the game but it isn`t particulary funny. So all we have is a simple game with plain graphics.
game, 2004

The Polar Express

6.0
Since iceage there have talks around whether computer graphics have reached/will ever reach the level of reality that you won`t be able to tell the difference between a film done by living actors and a film created entirely in a computers lab. Being a born sceptic I usually spend a lot of time trying to convince every living soul that computer animation sucks and that no polygons will ever be as pretty as the rear of JLo (although I wouldn`t be surprised if her butt was surgically improved after all) but since I`m trying to be a different kind of myself this time I`ll critisize "Polar Express" for completely different reasons. After all, you don`t dislike Salvador Dali for his pictures not looking real enough but you dislike him for being an asshole. PE could have been a brilliant cartoon had it been circa 25 minutes long, but as a normal length feature film it just doesn`t have the story to back the visual setting up with. A little boy without a name doesn`t know whether to continue believing in Santa Clause or is it time to accept the truth that there is no Easter rabbit. As he is full of doubt he gets an opportunity to go on a train to North Pole to see Santa. So he does. And he finds enough belief for his whole life. End of story. Tom Hanks speaks most of the voices behind the characters and, if I got it right, he also does the motions of most of them (which explains which children move quite creepily in this film).
film, 2004

Franz Ferdinand

8.0
I`m not sure why I had never listened to this record in its entirety before but that`s a solid fact. While listening to obscure and occasionally completely unknown bands I somehow missed the most popular record of the previous year. Probably it`s for the best for I can judge it now more clearly than at the time when "Take me out" was constantly played on the radio. Still I don`t have much to say - FF did have a really fresh sound on this album, the provided some bombastic tracks which meant fun, fun, fun and the opening "Jacqueline" sounds like Leonard Cohen for the first minute. Yes, and "This fire" is my favourites song on the album.
music, 2004

Da Vinci Code Decoded

6.5
This documentary provides a lot of insight on to the material behind the "Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown. It features interviews with some of the writers who inspired Brown for his bestselling thriller and it makes much more clear that there ain`t too much substance in Brown`s theories. Basically the main ingredient of everything seems to have been "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" - a bestseller from 1980s, one of the books that also inspired Eco for "Foucault`s Pendulum" - only he didn`t take "HBHG" too serious. Then there were some books on templars and some other books about Mary Magdalene. The film itself is done quite conventionally, without any narration, just some 5-6 people talking. Among the talkers you should see Dan Brown himself yet since my version of film unexpectedly ended after something like 95 minutes (instead of 135) I didn`t get to that part. Of all the talkers only the author of "Holy Blood Holy Grail" seemed to be an interesting person to me - he didn`t appear to be one of the crazy maniacs willing to change the world. Quote from him: "Any document proves only that it has been written and nothing more. Everything else is speculation." (ok, that`s not a direct quote, he used some other word and not speculation but I don`t remember it). What I found particulary amusing the way those posessed people mess with material using only fragments which they like. For instance, a lady mentioned a non-canonic early Christian writing called "The Gospel of Thomas" which supposedly was much more in Mary Magdalene`s favour than the canonic ones. She quoted a sentence from this gospel: "Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don`t deserve life."" By this she meant to show how jealous Peter was of Mary and Jesus` attitude towards her. From this fragment the reader/viewer might conclude that in reality there were HUGE reasons for Peter not to like Mary. Yet I wasn`t too lazy and found the whole text on the Internet. And what do you think was Jesus` reply to the accusation? "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven." That sounds particulary feministic to me, doesn`t it? Usually that`s quite similar to what one would say about his beloved wife whom one wants to give his reign over? Still I`m not going to rate this thing upon whether I believe it or not. It`s quite a decent documentary, perhaps not too deep but quite interesting.
film, 2004

Alles auf Zucker!

8.0
Jacky Zucker (full name Jacob Zuckermann) is a Jewish fellow living in modern Germany who`s life hasn`t been particulary successful after Eastern Germany ceased to be (he was a sports journalist back in the days of the GDR but has become some sort of a sluthouse owner nowadays). Jacky has a very bad relationship with his wife, his daughter doesn`t speak to him and he doesn`t seem to have too many friends. He also has a lot of debts and his only chance to stay over water is to win a billiard tournament that`s gonna be held in Berlin the very next week. Yet everything changes when a telegram arrives that his mother has died and that he and his religious brother Solomon will get a heritate only if they make up and spend a week together as a good Jewish family. The problem is that Jacky doesn`t feel Jewish at all, and his wife isn`t Jewish even by blood not only by heart. But what doesn`t one do for money? So the whole thing gets kinda silly but it`s perfectly good for a person like me - a one that knows enough about Jewish traditions, about Germands, and for a person that doesn`t have anything against a good laugh. And a good laugh you will get from this film without a doubt.
film, 2004

The Notebook

8.0
I`m not exactly the most romantic person in the whole wide world. But that doesn`t necesserialy imply that I can`t enjoy a good film "for ladies only". "The Notebook" is a typical example of such a film. An old man reads a romantic story to a woman that has lost her memory. The whole thing happens in a nursing home. It`s no big wonder to learn that the characters in the story and the old pair are the same people. Yet once again you don`t really need to be surprised. It`s interesting to watch even if you know what`s going to happen. This film ain`t flawless for sure - and I doubt that any melodrama in the whole wide world is. And it`s not a film that I would want to watch over and over again (not that were are many films I would). You can`t say that too many famous actors are involved in this film but that`s no problem either. So - watch it if you want to shead a tear while watching a film. In case you don`t and in case your eyes are hurting from sitting at a computer all day long - don`t. I`m going home, that`s for sure. And there`s no use stopping me.
film, 2004

The Merchant of Venice

7.0
Why do people still make new films after William Shakespeare`s plays? Maybe because they`re really good. Maybe not. I don`t know. I`m not a fan of good ol` William`s work. For instance I haven`t even read the play on the jew of Venice. This film has Al Pacino in the role of Sheilok, the jew. Who were the other actors I don`t remember. Some people claim this film to be antisemitic. I claim those people are out of their minds. Ok, they may go and crucify good ol` William Shakespeare, but it won`t change a lot. The film was done quite professionally, without having too much of political correctness and the wit of Shakespeare was still there. Probably I could have enjoyed it more were I a huge fan of classical literature. Yet since I`m not I can say that despite being a good costume film it wasn`t much more than that - a good cast + a good script don`t make a great movie. You need some magic in order to feel the touch of god in a piece of cinematography.
film, 2004

Secret Window

7.5
Stephen King meets Johnny Depp. "Good day I bid you" says Stephen King. "Howdy, partner!" says Johnny Depp. Not likely to happen? Not likely to write a correct sentence. Sentence me wrong or sentence me right I don`t mind.
film, 2004

The Football Factory

6.0
A film about football hooligans. Man, are those people stupid. They don`t care about the team who`s supporters they supposedly are, they only care about kicking each other as hard as possible. I may be a fan of footy but I`d prefer to have at least a single goal on screen when I watch a football film and not only a lot of fighting pricks. The message of the film may be a positive one, but I don`t care. Some people claim that the film is meant to be idolizing those hooligans but I really doubt that, I`d rather say that the film had quite a lot of struggle in terms of a plot which is close to non-existant. At some stages the film tries to be funny but doesn`t quite succeed at that, at others it tries to be a lot like "Trainspotting" but it ain`t trippy so it`s mainly silly. Yet I can`s say that I didn`t like it, I just don`t think that there`s a need for films like this one in the world.
film, 2004

Mar Adentro

9.0
Alejandro Amenabar was the director of a film that got one of the first records on my factoid - "Open your eyes". But "Mar Adentro", his latest, brought him even more acclaim than that film. He even got an Oscar for the best foreign film. Ramob Sampedro is a man who`s been paralysed for 28 years and who wants to have a right to die, but Spanish law doesn`t give him such a right. Now he`s found a lawyer woman named Julia that is also suffering from a disease that will kill her, thinking that she might help him. A weird love story starts between the paralysed man and the insultic woman. Some sort of Romeo and Julia. Then there`s Rosa, a simple working class woman that wants to convince Ramon that he needs to live. But Ramon says that the woman that loves him will help him die. Which one will it be - Rosa or Julia? The one that could die with him together or the one that will live on after his passing? The film isn`t only about whether it`s right to die if you want to, but about what`s worth in life and what isn`t. It`s so sad it makes you cry, and at the same time it`s so uplifting that you can smile through your silly tears.
film, 2004

11 commandments

3.0
This was one perfect time for me to start reviewing films for my work. What can be better than a French version for the infamous stupidity of "Jackass" - the greatest TV show for teenage masochists MTV has ever come up with (apart from maybe a "Bon Jovi" marathon and the rise and fall of "Kiss"). A plot do you ask from me? Why of course not the case in this situation. (like my spelling and the word orded you might not but siht is the plot of the film). A porn flick would probably have more substance than this one. Naked bodys are present in this film but sexy they are not. Cameo appearances by Jibril Cisse and Amelie Mauresmo don`t really change the whole thing to be much better. It`s good that I didn`t pay for watching this film. It`s bad that the organisers didn`t pay ME for watching this film.
film, 2004

The Child of Noah

9.0
The third part of the religion cycle. This one goes about judaism. You know I`m not particular interested in stuff that goes around the subject of Holocaust, especially since it`s been ridiculised by the money-grabbing morons of the world. It luckily ain`t the case for Mr. Schmitt who knows perfectly well how to separate what`s good from what`s bad. A boy at the age of circa ten has to leave his family in order to become a christian boy. He lives in a catholic school and becomes almost a christian child. Not really though, for he`s guided by a catcholic priest who thinks that it`s his mission to save things that are in danger of being no more. And jews are a collection of his, for which he`s ready to do almost everything. It`s probably senseless to say that once again humanity is the main thing that Schmitt gives us. It`s not really about the jews, as it isn`t about christians or muslims for him. It`s about the humans, and what`s human in them. Schmitt rarely writes about really evil people, and that`s good, for I don`t need more evil in this world than there already is. A touching book. Is the day coming when I`ll write something negative about one of his books? I doubt that.
book, 2004

The Flight of the Phoenix

6.0
A group of people is stranded in the Gobi desert after their plane has crashed. Since they have no other hope of surviving they decide to create a new plane out of the dead one. This film is not the original from the 50s but a remake from the 00s. And it ain`t very good. Probably because most characters in it are too "smart" - they talk in phrases. And I hate prophets. In terms of tension - there is none. In terms of plot - it`s about as simple as a flat tyre. In terms of quality - it ain`t bad.
film, 2004

Closer

7.5
This time I don`t know what to say. You see, I didn`t like this film at all. It was horrible. For a person like me I mean. I don`t really know why but I found everything about this movie disgusting. I may be just a stupid, stupid, stupid dreamy teeny weeny child but I don`t want life to be like this. I know that ideals are a thing of the past and that I should be laughing at myself but I can`t. I don`t find it particulary great that every character in the film has a somewhat "accident" sexual intercourse with another persons partner and after that becomes attached to that person. It`s like sex is stronger than love, and not only stronger but more important. Especially to the male characters of this film. I can`t identify myself, I can`t like anyone in this film, I don`t want life to be like this. Yet I can imagine that this could be a very sincere film that reflects life on earth better than almost anything else in this world. But I don`t want this to be a part of me, because to me this film gives no hope. And hope is essential. I don`t even know how to rate this film. On one hand I didn`t like it at all, probably more than any silly teen comedy. On the other hand the film is certainly good - both in terms of realism and quality of acting. So what will my final verdict be? Rate it as if it was average? But average doesn`t leave you so overwhelmed with emotions. Rate it high? But I hated it, I wanted it to end all the time, I couldn`t really bear watching it and only my attitude that I must go over this kept me watching. I`ll probably pick a random number between 3 and 8, who cares how high or how low, I want to get past this for sure. Oh, I`ll leave it blank!
film, 2004

A Love Song for Bobby Long

8.0
Can you imagine John Travolta as an old man? Isn`t he the young looking fellow you know from "Grease", "Pulp Fiction" and that Brian Da Palma film about the sound engineer? You bet he is. But nowadays he`s just an old English professor who has given up teaching for a nobler thing to do - to be an alcoholoic. He lives together with his former assistant named Lawson (a he and not a she), and everything is cool until Perslaine (Scarlet Jochansen) arrives and messes his live up auite strongly. Perslaine is 18, out of school, working as a waitress and not giving a damn about olds perverts like Bobby Long. In fact she doesn`t even have a relationship with him in this film. She only tries to find a life which she never had. The film doesn`t fall in the over-the-top category. In fact it`s a slow faced and gentle film about the man, the bottle, the girl who doesn`t want to go to school and about country music in New Orleans. And those are the ingredients for what I`m asking for.
film, 2004

Supersize Me

7.0
This is a documentary film about a man eating hamburgers. I has nothing to do with the legendary documentary film "Man getting hit by football" where an old man gets hit by a football in the groin (you can watch this film on an episode of the Simpsons). I have to admit that I never eat burgers anyhow so this film couldn`t have a huge impact upon me. But it was interesting to watch it, although I probably wouldn`t want to do it again (as it happens with most documentaries). This surely isn`t art, but it is good.
film, 2004

The Unquestionable Truth Part 1

5.0
Limp Bizkit never was a particular favourite band of mine. I`m not really in all this new-metal shit, but even among performers of this not-so-hip-anymore genre I could name several others that I`d prefer to Fred Durst&Co. After both critical and commercial of their previous record, "Results may vary", which they indeed did, the bizkits have got their guitar player Wes Borland back and are now as powerful as ever before. The riffs are back and so is the anger, the only problem is that the songs aren`t very interesting, there`s not a whole lot of them and the lyrics are as dumb as a pet gorilla. You see, Fred Durst has decided that he`s a wise protagonist and that he must share his vision with millions of his fans all around the world. The only problem is that his vision isn`t particulary interesting - he raves and rapes about media being corrupt, about terrorists blowing up buildings and about pedophile priests. Basically Mr. Durst has probably thought to himself like this: "Those kids don`t love me anymore because I`m not as hip as I used to be. To know what`s in and what`s out I`ll watch some TV and writes songs about what I saw there. And they`ll be buying my hotcakes like rubbers." Probably they will, but I`m not that sure about it. Yeah, and Mr. Durst doesn`t have a good singing voice which can be perfectly felt on "The Surrender" where he tries and he tries but he fails just as Marion Jones does it right now.
music, 2004

The Sun Shines for Us

5.0
I don`t mean to be rude but I`m just too lazy to say much about this book. It is a somewhat creepy story about 5 people being put inside a building which hasn`t been used in decades. They have to find the sun or something like that inside. One of the fellows dies very quickly and the job they have to do suddenly turns into a nightmare. Still there`s a problem worse than one of your fellow dying under bizarre circumstances. It`s your book being boring. And that is just the case of Georg Klein. I got so bored with the book that I really read it just to read it till the end, not caring about what was going on. So if you`d ask me what the moral of this story is or what happened to each of the characters I`d tell you - I don`t know. I only know that 3 of them stayed alive, one of the three - partly alive. So did I.
book, 2004

Man on Fire

6.0
I watched this film right after the experience of "the Son of Mask" or "the filmmakers sucked on doing their task", and this probably had some influence upon my attitude towards this film. It`s a partly real story about Mexican mafia people who are kidnapping people. Denzel Washington plays a man of criminal past who`s now a bodyguard for a little girl who`s father is a latino pop singer Marc Anthony (at least the guy playing him is Marc Anthony). When the girl is kidnapped and killed, he starts his own inquiry trying to get the people responsible for that. It turns out that the whole police of Mexico City is totally corrupted and there are criminals in every hole, but he does his task quite masterfully. I wouldn`t say that this film was unpredictable, not at all, but at least it was solid and was quite interestingly filmed. And there were no babies with super powers! That`s just a miracle!
film, 2004

Together We`re Heavy

8.0
I just love those titles most indie bands have. How can anyone write them down more than once? And remember them? You gotta be krazy with a kapital K to be able to differ between "Dogs die in hot cars" and "The flaming lips". Why can`t they come up with a simple title that anyone could remember? Like "Limp Bizkit" for an instance. Still this is one very strong record, never mind the stupid band title. It sort of has some reminescences of the rock music of old - having an orchestration like a sixties band would want it to have. Overall it`s very smooth and relaxing, althoug I would appreciate a bit more energy, but as a moody record its almost perfect. I can`t really say which of these songs are highlights, probably the opening "A Long Day Continues/We Sound Amazed" but probably something else as well. This record seems to me being a timeless thing if not music for every occasion.
music, 2004

Play Zig Zag Zillionaire

6.5
I`m not particulary sure whether I have ever bothered to review a record by an obscure unknown one-man band from Down Under, where the only member is famous for participating in an other band which I don`t know anything about. This record by the Zillions contains whole 6 songs with the summary length of 22 and a half minutes. You say that ain`t very much? Well I say, knowing that that guy - Nick Craft - did all the playing on the record, and it ain`t no easy task for an Australian, why would he bother to write many songs? Out of those six songs "Don`t waste your tears on me" is probably the best one. Mostly this stuff is just basic indie rock, without any real surprises. It`s solid but it ain`t interesting, unless you`re in for every single indie band that comes around just because your average Britney wet-dreaming friend doesn`t listen to this kind of crap. I can`t think of many reasons why one shouldn`t listen to the Zillions, but neither can I think of one reason why one should.
music, 2004

Shaun of the Dead

8.0
Hilarious, man! Ok, probably this isn`t the intellectual kind of comedy you would predict I would enjoy, but it`s just so goddamn funny! Shaun is the average man in town - he has a lousy job, a best pal who lives with him and pays no rent, and has no life of his own. Shauns girlfriend ain`t happy with him for he`s too boring and useless, so she dumps him. And Shaun doesn`t even notice that at the same time dead people have arisen from their graves and started eating the living. But when he finally realizes that he picks up Ed (his pal), Liz (his former girl), two of her friends and his own mom. So they start their own campaign against the zombies. Basically this film is about the little details - LPs you can throw at a zombie that`s going to kill you and LPs you would never throw at anyone, a zombie doing the refrain to "White lines", etc. I liked it - a very good quality truly British comedy.
film, 2004

The Choir

7.5
Them French never change. It`s been 50 years since "400 blows" came out but they still do films about the cruelty of school. Of course, this film has nothing to do with "400 blows", but I still thought it a good situation for me to shine with my exceptional high IQ level. A middle aged unsuccessful composer ends up being a prefect in a school for children with problems - not mental or physical, but in terms of behaviour. Being a good fellow he doesn`t try to help them by hitting them with a big mallot on the head but making them sing in a choir. And there`s one child who`s exceptionally hard to handle but who happens to have a voice an angel. But the director of the school doesn`t support anything like this, because he`s an old fox and an old fart. This film doesn`t try to go particulary deep, there even ain`t no sexual abuse of the angelic singer in the film, which seemed to be a coming up thing. But someone this director ain`t no Pedro Almadovar (I don`t really know what`s the name of the director). It`s a nice French film, with some good choir singing, if you want to go psychological you`re knocking at the wrong door, but it doesn`t mean that the film is half bad.
film, 2004

The Aviator

7.5
Martin Scorsese is a total loser. Even that guy in the film "Loser" was luckier than him. He at least got this hot chick that was featured in the video of the band`s Wheatus only hit. Of course, I don`t remember anything about this film, because I never watched it. But still - Scorsese has got so many Oscar nominations and not a single award. And even the films of his rarely receive many significant awards. So this year the Aviator had something like 11 nominations and got only 5 of them, the best one for a secondary female role. Still, this film isn`t that good so you need to start raving for it failing to impress the academy. The film is about Howard Hughes, a supposedly legendary person, I never bother to know about until this film came out. Apparantly this Hughes fellow was an amateur film director and an amateur plane builder, who succeeded much at that thing at the beginning. He was also quite good at screwing underage actresses. And he got made for hygiene and stopped washing and shaving because he thought that even in watter there were germs. Leonardo di Caprio of "the Titanic" plays him. I bet you hate if this fellow is considered a titanic-one-trick-pony, but I don`t care, `cos I`m listening to the White Stripes right now, and I don`t care. Oh, I already mentioned that once... This is probably not Scorsese at his best, so they say. The film is a movie for the oscars and not for the heart, at least I think like that. Actually his probably best movie - "Taxi driver" - didn`t impress me much as well. But Scorsese is a living legend, and he will never receive an Oscar, if only for being a legend...
film, 2004

Million Dollar Baby

7.5
I was just too lazy to review this earlier, for I had worse things to do, but no I can state my case clearly, if you want to listen. This film is done by Clint Eastwood, and he got a very good actor to play the leading male role in his film - a guy who once was popular in westerns, you know - shooting dice, taming wild horses and loving them big breasted women of the wild west. You want to know who this fine fellow is? It`s a guy named Clint Eastwood. Oh, he`s got the same name like the director! It`s so cool, man! Oh, no, it IS the director! Anyhow, Hilary Swank is a young (almost) wanna-be boxer and Clint Eastwood starts training her, despite the fact that he never trains girls. And Hilary almost becomes the champion of the world, but after an illegal punch by a german prostitute she falls into a coma never to fight again. By the rules of boxing in movies she is called the loser of the final battle, by the way, and the chick that delivered the illegal punch retains the title. You know how it goes. If the ending were a lucky one, you could say that this was a remake of Rocky. Although Eastwood does dig deeper, and he has Morgan Freeman on the cast. But even if Hilary Swank never became world champion she at least got her second Oscar in 5 years, despite the fact that she still holds only two good films under her belt. But the Academy works in mysterious ways, you know. By the way, this film is quite good but certainly not exceptional.
film, 2004

The Village

7.0
You know what the worst thing in life is? It`s spoilers. For example, you want to see the horror film/thriller "The Village". But one day a pal of your says: "Oh, that`s one cool film - especially when it turns out that those you don`t speak of don`t exist and are created by the govermnent!" (I hope you still plan to watch this film! mu ha ha ha haaaaa!) So, you decide nevertheless to watch it. And what does this flick prove to be? It has some quite horrifying images of the village. But to me every village is full of horror. And so is every creepy wood, even if there are no huge hedgehog-like creatures fiddling about. Ok, they don`t fiddle about, just wander, but who cares `bout. What are the disadvantages of the film? The fact, that the screenwriters didn`t add a second twist at the very end - it would be much more powerful had the creatures existed after all. But they don`t as a matter of fact. This film had James Newton-Howard doing the soundtrack. Not that it`s that important. Oh, to note the story - there`s a village of 19th century people that`s surrounded by a wood where those they don`t speak of live inside. But when a dude named Lucius is almost killed by a crazy fellow his blind girlfriend Ivy goes on through the woods to the towns for some medicine.
film, 2004

The White Stripes Under Blackpool Lights

9.0
I don`t know whether the White Stripes will last as an important act of alternative music or they will fade into background like you name who, but right now it seems to me that they can`t just go wrong. Before watching and listening and enjoying this DVD I thought the Stripes had only a few really good songs under their belt. But now I`m sure that it`s not the case - "Apple Blossom", "You`re Pretty Good Lookin` (for a girl)", "Hotel Yorba" are probably the best performances of the night, but the band is impressive in deed. They even don`t do some of their most popular numbers - there`s no sign of "Fell in love with a girl" or "We`re going to be friends" or "Sugar never tasted so good". But we still get the mad Jack White slashing the guitar like he was some sort of Slash, and we get Meg White playing the drums with bare feet, and sometimes even with one hand. And if you say that a really great concert can`t happen if the band has only two members for they won`t be able to make music intense enough, you`re goddamn wrong. There`s no limits for this band, or at least it`s what it seems. Now I`m sure that one day I`ll see them live, because it would be a sin not to.
concert, 2004

The Ladykillers

7.5
Oh, dear, it`s the Coen brothers again! And this time they happen not having got George Clooney in the cast, but they somehow managed to sneak Tom Hanks in. What`s weird is Tom`s beard. I never imagined that he could have a thing like that on his face. But - he can! And it looks good. I gotta admit that at the beginning I thought he was the devil himself who went to ask a room from this nice old black lady, but I was proven wrong. He and his comrades from different backgrounds were planning taking a whole lot of money from a riverboat casino. And everything would be good if it weren`t for the black lady. The needed to kill her but not one of them could. Of course, there were circumstances to that, but she still happened to survive. What`s interesting about this film is that despite it being set in modern times of hip-hop most of the characters (except for the one played by Marlon Wayans of the Wayans clan) seem to be living in a world of yesterday. There`s a professor of philosophy (Hanks), there`s a mountaineer, an asian general and a stupid football player on the squad, and Marlon Wayans, of course. This film is somewhat similar to "O brother where art thou" in the fact that no one really gets the money in the end, but while that other film was inspired by "The Odyssey", this film here has a lot to do with Edgar Allan Poe. It`s funny, of course, because Coen brothers don`t do shit, it`s entertaining, probably it doesn`t have too much value, but it`s ok.
film, 2004

Ella Enchanted

6.0
Hey, this is a fairy-tale! It is not based on true facts, if you want to know! Like a fellow I know said: "Sweet Mushu the honey baby!" Ok, I don`t know the fellow who said that. But I do know the guy who called this film a remake of Shrek with live actors. There was no donkey, though. And that`s a big minus. Damn, how could anyone forget about the donkey? Still, there`s an elf named Slannen who plays the donkey part. I think, of course, that a donkey would have done a much better job, but it`s not me who`s opinion you`re after. No, sir-ee! Ella has a gift from her fairy godmother - she has the gift of obedience - and if someone tells her to do something she does just that. And I mean literary! Since this is a film for children nobody orders her to perform a fisting or golden rain, but she still does lots of silly stuff. She falls in love with the beautiful prince Charmont but his evil uncle Edgar wants them both to die. Yeah, and that Edgar fellow has a perfectly terrible CGI snake. Man, even I could create a snake like this for a couple of beers and a free edition of 3D Studio Max! Ok, I don`t drink beer, but you get the point. Ella has to stop Edgar from killing her and her pretty boy (who ain`t that pretty at all, if you ask me) and find the fairy to take her marvelous gift back. What`s good about this film is that despite not having a donkey (a very stupid decision) it has a Monty Python member Eric Idle. Whopee! I`d probably prefer this film not having anything but Eric Idle, and a donkey, of course, but a bit of Eric Idle and no donkey is surely better than Richard Gere having sex with Julia Roberts. So, this film is okay, if not better than that. A fairy tale with a silly plot and silly actors, but that`s all right with me.
film, 2004

Sideways

8.0
Am I turning Japanese or is this the second film with Paul Giamati I`ve seen over the last couple of days? I guess the last option could be true. My first experience with this film wasn`t a positive one - upon watching the trailer to this film at a cinema I expected it to be a boring mediocre piece of crap. You know, something like "Road Trip" for middle-aged people. That does seem a bit disturbing, don`t it? There`s those two fellows - one of them is a teacher at school and a wanna-be writer, while the other one is a TV commercials actor, who is going to get married in just one week, and his pal organizes a bachelors party for him. The party isn`t that much of a party - Giamati`s character has planned a week of wine and golf, but it happens that his pal wants some real action, and they hook up with some girls (ok, none of them are boys or girls by my standards - the youngest of chicks is 33 by now, the older one is in her 40s already). But nobody tells the women that one of the party-goers is getting married in just a couple of days. Giamati`s character is quite similar to the one he played in "American Splendor" but the film is much better constructed, and less of a comedy and more of a drama. This ain`t surely a mainstream Hollywood film - it has very few "for your consideration scenes", not too much pretty faces, and a realistic view of life. Probably, there`s a bit too much information about wine for me but this still is the best candidate for Oscar as the film of the year I`ve seen so far (beating out "Neverland" and "Ray").
film, 2004

Genius Loves Company

7.0
Together with the film "Ray" it`s certainly neccessary to listen to the last album by Ray Charles. Ok, probably there will be 20 more last albums by Ray Charles - but this one was the last album he was planning as an album and not just some hogwash collection of songs found in a garbage bin. This, if you can trust the people that give out Grammies is an astonishing album which brought Ray Charles 7 or 8 prizes. Why is that? Because, he`s dead for sure! The man had been around in the music business for more than 50 years and it would be a very bad thing to do not giving him a lot of posthumous awards? And the record? It`s ok. All the songs on here are duets, many of them even I do know already. The partners he chooses are quite good - there`s Diana Krall, Norah Jones, BB King, Van Morisson and some more, but this still is just a good album, that is good enough to be called good but not the album of the year as some people want to tell me. "Here We Go Again" with Norah Jones is surely my favourite song on the disc.
music, 2004

Ray

6.0
Trying to be living up-to-date and not in some imaginary world, I`m on my mission watching some of the films that are after this seasons Oscars. And one of them is this film here - "Ray" is a celebration of life of music genius Ray Charles. He was a blind black young man who went from the very bottom to the very top. Women, drugs, money, fame - he had it all. He almost lost his life to cocaine but was able to return back. He combined different styles of music together creating his own mix of r`n`b, gospel, country and jazz. And he died last year, that is probably the main reason for the success of this film. Ok, Jimmy Foxx is a very good actor, and I really believe him, so do all the other actors also seem very real. But the film has nothing more - it`s actually no different from "The Doors" - we get a drug addict who has lots of women, and still is a genius. Oh, no, we got one thing here - you see, all the problems with drugs came to him because when he wasn`t on drugs he had hallucinations because when Ray Charles was still a kid and was still seeing he saw his little brother die in a bowl of water. And this is it - the problem of childhood was the source of all his problems. And then - while the film about his life was made - he died, and - shebang! - a film that would probably never make no noise becomes a massive hit and goes for lots of Oscars! Isn`t that a bit silly, or is it just me?
film, 2004

Mars

5.5
Ok, I am a bit of a fan of Russian (or Eastern European) movies, but I never try to be particulary generous while rating them. This "Mars" film isn`t gonna be big in the West of course, and I`m not really sure whether it was big in the East - although it has Gosha Kutsenko - a famous russian toughguy playing a boxer who`s run away from his sport. He lands in an obscure little town named Marx (which is spelled Marks in Russian) but it`s more like Mars to him than anything else. All people in this town work in a factory that produces stuffed toys and they don`t get money for their work - but fluffy money instead. He meets a girl working in a library and a young man who wants to marry her. Boris (that`s the boxer) doesn`t have to do anything to steal the woman away. But when he leaves she commits suicide. Overall this film isn`t particulary deep and it isn`t particulary interesting. It has its moments though. But at the beginning some of the actors seem to have been prepared for at theatre performance and not a film. But it`s not bad. And I keep contradicting myself. Ok, let`s add the rating and end this discussion for good.
film, 2004

Lemony Snicket`s A Series of Unfortunate Events

8.0
Harry Potter, beat it! You are nothing but a useless second hand magician living in a world of fairies and bullcrap! Now Lemony Snicket`s creation is a really good flick for children. First, it`s the choice of the actors - Jim Carrey as the main villain is superb, and his villainy character is much stronger than that Voldemort loser Rowling gave her hero. He is funny, and that`s the most important thing. Then there`s Jude Law as the narrator, who repeatedly offers the audience to leave in order to see a cartoon about the smallest of elves. There`s also Meryl Streep who plays the good aunt, and Billy Conolly (man who sued god) as the snake scientist. The plot is not particulary smart, of course, but it`s fun to watch at, and it`s more inventive that Harry Potter for sure. The Baudelaire children - the main heroes - can`t escape from their unfortunes by waving a stupid magic wand, `cos they don`t have one. Of course, this ain`t no Shakespeare, this even ain`t no "Lord of the Rings" but as a film for children this certainly is a very solid example of the genre.
film, 2004

Life is a Miracle

9.0
Emir Kusturica is considered to be a great filmmaker, and after this film I have absolutely no doubt that he really is one. "Life is a Miracle" is a film about the Bosnian war in early 1990s but it`s probably the weirdest film about war I`ve ever seen. Like an army man says to the main hero: "This isn`t your war or my war, it`s the war of some idiots." (or something similar to that). Luka is a railroad man, although there are no trains on the railroad, his wife is a half-crazy opera singer and his son wants to play football at Partizan Belgrade. But the war changes their lifes dramatically - Jadranka goes completely crazy and runs off with some Hungarian accordeon player, Milos (the son) is drafted and taken war prisoner, but Luka has a war prisoner of his own - the beautiful Sabaha that`s given to him planning to exchange her for Luka. But it proves that he falls in love with her and doesn`t want no change. The film doesn`t show the good people on one side, the bad - on the other, Luka doesn`t have anything to do in his position with Milosevic or anything like that. The film is apolitical. It doesn`t show any battles. It`s very warm and heartfelt. It made me cry, if you want to know. This certainly wasn`t the first very dramatic comedy I`d seen over the past years, but this certainly ranked among the best films I`ve seen - the images, the sounds, the characters, the dialogues - it all made perfectly good sense.
film, 2004

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

6.5
Whoopie! We`we entered the marvelous world of comic books! Ok, this film isn`t really based on a "Batman" or something like that but it does show what the comics world looks like. The actors department is more impressive than you can probably imagine - Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Gambon, Lawrence Olivier (that`s a totally cool thing to use a dead man to play a dead man), Angelina Jolie - that is certainly more than enough for a really good film. Visually it`s also stunning - clearly imitating what future was projected to be in the first part of the 20th century - but with the advantage of technologies year 2004 provided. The film has very little colour and most of everything is done with the CGI - although at some stages this CGI looks a bit flat (especially with Paltrow in NYC). What`s the story about? A mad scientist has some weird plan of destroying the earth and starting a new civilization. In the process of bringing his plan to life he himself has died. But Sky Captain who`s happened to be called Joe thinks that the world can not end this way, and Polly - his former girlfriend - comes along. By the way, it somehow resembles to me "Broken Sword 2" - the computer game, there was also flying and there was a former girlfriend of the hero, whom he at least partly got back. Anyhow, this film is fun to watch but not particulary memorable.
film, 2004

Vanity Fair

5.5
Ever been Legally Blonde? Some of us may have been, while the others not. The leading star of this film certainly has - for she`s the one who played the lead in the film about the girl with not-so-dark hair. Reese Witherspoon is her name. The story - somewhat similar to Thackeray`s novel but with a few changes, the most important among which is the fact that Becky Sharpe is a romantic person. That`s a thing I don`t like, ok, she`s not over-the-top romantic but still she was this i-know-what-i-want character in the book but here she`s just not that strong. The rest of the heroes is probably similar to what I had imagined, maybe Amelia isn`t as silly as she was in the book but that`s only because nobody would believe nowadays that such a loser person can be possible. Of course, this isn`t much more than just a costume film. You watch it, you probably even enjoy some parts of it, and in two days you don`t remember what the actors looked like and you don`t even remember the ending. Ok, I`m a bit overreacting here, but you probably get what I`m try to say here. It`s average - no more, no less.
film, 2004

The Passion of the Christ

7.0
There are some things about this film that showcase that it`s not a very simple film - for example the fact that it isn`t spoken in English but in the original languages of Jerusalem of 33 AD - Hebrew, Aramaic and Latin. I guess only a complete dumbass would consider it a good idea to tell the story that happened to Jesus in the last day of his life - I don`t mean that a film would be silly - but telling the plot of this film would be just that in deed. What`s weird is that the film despite being controversial for some reasons unknown to me doesn`t have anything in it that would make me jump out of my socks and start shouting: "Now that`s not in the Bible!" Hell, everything in this film IS in the Bible! Jesus doesn`t make love to anyone, he speaks only what he`s supposed to and he even has a resurrection. Damn, except for the fact that you can see various people beat Jesus up like he was a sack of potatoes there`s nothing controversial in here. Mel Gibson of "Braveheart" is the director of this little funny film, of course, therefore bloody scenes shouldn`t surprise you very much. Still this is a good film, it`s perfectly honest and for those who say that it`s antisemitic I can say just one thing - you are freaking morons, my dear lads!
film, 2004

Finding Neverland

7.5
Let`s start with a simple question? Have I read "Peter Pan"? Have I watched a film about "Peter Pan"? Do I at least know the story of "Peter Pan"? Well, what do you think? Of course, I haven`t done single one of those things. So, watching this movie I wasn`t thinking all the time - oh my God - Johnny Depp is James Barrie - the creator of Peter Pan! My pants are almost wet already! Ok, let`s cut the crap! The film is a supposedly partly true story about how the idea of "Peter Pan" came to Mr. Barrie`s mind. He meets Sylvia Davies and her four sons, and the meeting is bound to change their lives. What surprised me was that this film had no developed love story - Depp and Winslet didn`t like even kiss a single time! That was cool I must say. No wonder this film is only PG rated! Still what was wrong with the film that it had quite much resemblance to Tim Burton`s "Big Fish", thus the originality wasn`t particulary high. But nevertheless the film is beautifully made and perfectly acted. What more can you ask for?
film, 2004

Napoleon Dynamite

6.0
This is a rare thing when at the beginning of a review I`m not sure whether the rating for the film is gonna be good or bad. You see, Napoleon Dynamite is a weird film. It`s a comedy for teenies and partly about teenies, of course, but it`s not what you`d usually expect from a film like this. For example - there`s like a hundred situations in this film when you`re sure a stupid thing is gonna happen - for example that someone will receive a blow in the face, but then - it doesn`t happen. And another thing - for at least the first half of the movie it`s totally pointless. It just goes nowhere. Probably it`s because everyone in this film is a jerk (dork, freak) of some kind. Napoleon himself is just a weird looking and stupid acting flegmatic dude, his brother Kip (who`s 32 by the way) sits all day long in the chat on the web, Pedro is a weird mexican fellow with close to no emotions, and Deb - the girl, she`s like totally shy and flegmatic as well. It`s not too easy to describe the scene, for pretty much nothing happens most of the time - just like in real life. Well, probably, the film is good at doing what it tries to do. Probably not. I`m not really so sure.
film, 2004

Garden State

8.0
Andrew Largeman returns to the place of his birth for the his mother`s funeral. In the small town everybody thinks that he`s a Hollywood actor, but in fact he`s just a waiter at some Vietnamese restaurant. When visiting a doctor he encounters Sam (Natalie Portman) - a weird and quite funny girl. A romance starts between them that`s bound to change Andrew`s life which has been a bit of problematic ever since he injured his mother when still being little. In some ways the film is similar to "Eternal Sunshine" with the difference that this one doesn`t have erasing memories and cool morphing. It`s somewhat romantic, and it`s somewhat funny, but I still wouldn`t call that a romantic comedy, because it`s more than that. Music in the film is awesome. So are some of the dialogues, and the characters as well. Was there something I didn`t like? Probably on that Ian Holm (Biblo Baggins) didn`t have furry feet and never mentioned the Ring. But that`s not really a complaint.
film, 2004

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

6.0
To start with - my expectations for this film there pretty low. What else could one await from a film like this? First, it`s a sequel. Second, I never ever bothered to watch the original film. Third, Bridget Jones - isn`t that this for-ladies-only film where you can see the world just like any woman sees it? Sorta "Sex and the City" style? To continue: I don`t know whether this is similar to "Sex and the City". Why? Because I`ve never watched a single episode of the series. To continue even further: the film wasn`t thad bad. Ok, it was a comedy that very rarely made me laugh. But - do I often laugh while watching a comedy? Not so often for sure. And that goes for good comedies as well. Bridget Jones`s relationship with Mark Darcy falls apart because of her thinking that she`s cheating upon her. So she has nothing better to do than to fall back into the hands of Hugh Grant (what`s the name of his character? wasn`t it Hugh Grant?). But Hugh Grant still is an asshole. And Mark Darcy isn`t one. That`s basically it. Of course, this is a romantic comedy. Of course, most of the jokes aren`t particulary good. But, since this was the next film I watched after "Meet the Fockers" I can compare these two films. In terms of actors the F word film was better. In term s of plot - I`m with Bridget.
film, 2004

The Werewolf`s Sacred Book

7.5
Once there was a time when I considered Viktor Pelevin my favourite writer. When I got hold of this book I thought this time to be over, never to return back. Now, a few days after reading this one I`m not sure what am I to expect from Pelevin now. On one hand, the book is thrilling, it has some very interesting strokes of word, but, on the other hand, the basic ideas are not more than recycling from Pelevin`s previous works. He doesn`t come up with very many fresh ideas, although the plot is twisted enough. What is it all about? Actually it`s a bit of a love story - she is a were-fox at the age of more than 2000 but looking like a Lolita. He is a were-wolf who works for the Russian FSB. He wants to become the uber-were-wolf but she already is the uber-were-fox. The language in the book is pretty explicit, although there`s no "explicit content" sign on the cover. I guess this novel is quite good at describing what life in modern Russia is like. Probably Mr. Pelevin is no optimist, his vision is one full of sex and drugs, but he doesn`t become too pesimistic and he certainly doesn`t preach what he wants the world to be like - that`s a very positive thing indeed.
book, 2004

Meet the Fockers

5.0
It`s been a few years since the first part of this film "Meet the Parents" came out, and now the makers of that film decided that the right time has come to milk the cat once again. Milk the cat, get it? I`m so good at recycling jokes that I truly believe that one day I`ll have my own recycling company. But until that day I`ll watching stupid romantic comedies just like this one. Mr. Gaylord (aka Gary) Focker and his fiancee that probably also has a name of her own are planning to get married but first their parents must meet. And knowing the fact that Gay`s father is a house-husband while his wife is a sex therapist, but Mr. Byrnes worked his entire life for the CIA some problems may arise. And so they do, as a matter of fact. The good thing about the crap is that Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand play senior Fockers (not that I liked any of them, but they are good, aren`t they?). There`s a baby involved, a baby that`s not even born yet, and a child at the age of 15 is also here. Why do I tell so much about them kids? Hell do I know, I just want to write something more. The film wasn`t utterly disposable, but it was still pretty lame, and a bit too romantic for my perverted mind. Give me blood, guts and pussy (trademark of the Dwarves) you morons!
film, 2004

National Treasure

7.0
Boy, do we get a whole lot of templar and mason shit nowadays! Like this film for instance - there are those weirdos the Templars that take hold of a really massive treasure but they don`t spend it on drugs and women, oh, no, they hide it somewhere where noone could find it for the treasure is too huge for any living man. And when the chance comes they (already having become masons after the templars were eliminated) smug the whole thing to the US of A (which weren`t the US of A at the time yet). Since they don`t want the British to take hold of the treasure they hide it and make some weird clues for themselves to remember the place where they hid it (including a secret message on the back of the original Declaration of Independance). And nowadays a guy named Gates (just like good ol` William) who`s family held a part of the key to the secret goes to rescue the treasure before the bad guys get it. He`s accompanied by a weirdo who`s brilliant with computers and a sexy chick. What can you do without a sexy chick? Nothing, absolutely nothing. So, what good is this film? First, if you`re into discussing whether what happens in this film could be real, whether the conspiracy of the masons could still be living - my answer to you, Sire, is: buzz off! This film isn`t about the templars - it`s about action and adventure. If you can`t tolerate something like this - don`t! I found this film as a good piece of entertainment, with pretty solid acting and one lovable character - the computer guy. Oh, by the way, the beginning is extremely American patriotic and the ending is extremely cheesy and over-the-top optimistic... as if you couldn`t guess that without me telling you that.
film, 2004

Collateral

5.5
Can you make an action film deep and insightful? Never mind the answer, the creators of this film certainly try to achieve that. Tom Cruise who calls himself Vincent is a hitman who must kill five people within a single night. To do that he hires Max (a black taxi driver) to drive him around. As you can guess, Max doesn`t know from the start the mess he`s in. The whole movie leads to Vincent killing a young woman that Max met before Vincent got into his cab, and about Max saving her from the vicious killer. The action part isn`t actually particulary interesting, but the most time Max and Vincent just are driving to a location where someone must be killed and with them talking about moral, the meaning of life etc. Vincent is absolutely cold blooded but he isn`t that simple as you could have probably guessed. Still he uses words to destroy Max`s life thus provoking his own death. As you probably know, I`m not particulary into action films, some moments of this film were certainly predictable, it wasn`t very realistic, but on the other hand - I`ve seen much worse films that this one.
film, 2004

The Incredibles

7.0
Why are 3D animated, computer generated cartoons better than the ones that are drawn by hand? Is computer already better than an artist? Of course, not. But artists working for 3D cartoons receive more money, and that makes the difference. The Incredibles, for instance, despite being a cartoon about superheroes somehow manages to leave the impression of being quite fresh. First, we get a bit of reality when superheroes need to turn down their actions because they always get into trouble with lawyers. Then we join the life of a perfectly normal superhero family which has an incredibly strong dad, a very flexible mom, a dissapearing daughter and a ultra-fast son. By the way, just like it usually happens - the daughter is older than the son. What`s this supposed to mean? After being fired from his non-super job Mr. Incredible starts working for a stranger, which just happens to be the supervillain planning to take over the world. It sounds silly, doesn`t it? And it partly is, and partly isn`t. First, there`s perfect computer graphics. Then there`s enough of humour. And then - although the characters aren`t particulary deep they are easy to accept as what they are. If you`re not for something particulary "mind shaking" The Incredibles is quite a good choice for you.
film, 2004

Resident Evil: Apocalypse

3.0
I have never played the computer game "Resident Evil". I have never even seen somebody play it. I haven`t watched the first part of this movie because I thought it would be bad. And what do I do? I watch a sequel of a film that`s made after a computer game! And now you probably think that I`m gonna say - man, it was awesome, I never expected anything like this. But I`m not gonna say it. First, because I want you to feel embarassed, but that`s not the main thing. The film just wasn`t that good. It was no good at all, to be short. Milla Jovovic (calling herself Alice) is a woman that got "upgraded" by a virus (biological weapon) that kills people and then turns them into zombies. The bad company that runs the city where the virus is closes the city down and lets it go down. But Milla plus one another cool chick who looks like Lara Croft, a silly rap talkin` black guy and some others try to win the battle versus the zombies. And there`s a huge super zombie as well (named Nemesis). Well, if you want dumb action - you got, but on the other hand every action film can provide you with dumb action. And there`s nothing except that in this dissapointing film.
film, 2004

Who Killed the Zutons

8.5
This is a band similar to `the Coral` but the debut album by the Zutons left a better impression upon me than the latest disc recorded by their elder colleagues. This style of music is, of course, mainly influenced by British bands from the sixties, but I like the sixties, so it`s no problem for me. The arrangements on this album are pretty good, not too intensive, of course, but memorable. "Moons and Horrow shows" is something that you can listen to when being in your car on a country road and you don`t need to hurry but you can look at the landscapes slowly passing by. "Zuton Fever" has a very solid starting riff. "Remember me" is a partly rare kind of song - it`s about a guy who`s unhappy that his best friend doesn`t care for him anymore now when he`s got a girlfriend. I personally consider this album a very good one not only in terms of music but also in terms of music. "Railroad" is nice. So is "Pressure point". There`s surely this thing that most of these songs remind me of something, seem familiar, but they still sound good, even if this isn`t a breakthrough in the world of music. By the way, "Pressure Point" has something from "Deep Purple". It`s probably the best thing I`ve heard this year that has been recorded in 2004 (although I haven`t been following the music industry too tightly). And I certainly must change my position that there`s no new good music in the world. You just have to look for it in the right places.
music, 2004

Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker

6.0
This is one of the relatively new bands coming from Liverpool, with a style of something like British garage rock. They are apperantly quite big but I don`t care who`s big and who`s not. And the Coral aren`t particulary interesting (at least judging by this record). Not that it doesn`t try to be diverse but it`s plainly not too interesting and not too listenable. I read somewhere that the band tried to be a bit more alternative than it had been on the previous records, but I don`t think that it did them much good (not that I had heard anything else by them). For example, "Venom Cable" almost made my ears bleed with some silly unlistenable sounds. "I forgot my name" on the contrary is fairly good, reminding me of "The Monks" - an obscure sixties band. "Sorrow or the Song" is a nice romantic piece. But "Auntie`s operation" is a fest of bullshit. It`s something like an easy version for "Catholic Schoolgirls Rule" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers mixed together with some song that the Kink could have done in the sixties. "Grey Harpoon" with a rhythm coming from the hip hop world is something quite amazing. But the biggest problem of the album is - it`s just too short to have the amount of bad songs it has. If there was something like 10 minutes of nonsense on an album with the lenght of an hour it would be ok, but this album goes on for only 28 minutes.
music, 2004

Happiness in Magazines

7.5
I have never been a huge fan of Blur - the band that brough Graham Coxon money, fame and glory. And that`s the reason why I didn`t fall extremely fast for his latest record. What can you expect from a guy from a band that you don`t particulary like? Probably a record that you will find ok, but certainly not much more than that. Probably it would be just the case, hadn`t I recently found some interest for Britpop and similar kind of music. I don`t really know whether this record had any hits, but for good ol` me it`s a nice 45 minutes of easy listening mostly upbeat rock music. "No good time", "Hopeless Friends" and "Freakin` out" are the best songs on the record to my bet. This album probably can`t shake no big ground and make Graham Coxon the coolest guy on the planet Earth (this title already belonging to Vanilla Ice), but I can`t make me say that I don`t like this kind of music. So, it`s probably nothing terrific, but I like it, and why shouldn`t I?
music, 2004

Please Describe Yourself

8.0
Although this album was released in midsummer I never heard anything about the band. Come on, do I have to know of every single band with a stupid name? It seems, that I should have heard about this one. For this album is really good, certainly better than most new British or American bands can come up with. It`s a bit sad, of course, and a bit optimistic, of course. When I was completing the list of the best songs of 2004 I had a hard time deciding which of the songs from this album I should choose. Just because most of them are really good. The album has solid and interesting melodies. What about the lyrics? I haven`t really though about the meaning of the songs yet, for there`s no need to. What are the highlights? First, it`s "Paul Newman`s Eyes" - which reminds me of something like "Madness" - a very nice and optimistic little thing. Then there`s the pop/punkish "Pasttimes and Lifestyles" - with that bit of britishness that makes it sound fresh despite being quite a simple song in terms of melody. And, of course, there`s the romantic "Somewhat off the way". The least interesting songs are "Modern woman" and "Apples and Oranges", but they`re still ok. This is one of my guesses for the best album of the year.
music, 2004

Alexander

7.0
Hurrah! I have watched one of the endless row of big-screen epics about a hero from the days of old! And this film not only got bad reviews, but it failed to score at the box office and was presumably a piece of trash. Which was a surpise to many, since it had Oliver Stone as the director and Anthony Hopkins on the cast (although not playing Alexander, which would be a silly thing knowing that he died at the age of 32). Still, this film shows almost the entire life of Alexander the Great. What is the biggest controversy is his love to his male-friend Hefastion, although the film has no bed scenes between those two characters. What it does have is two quite solid fights, a beautiful city of Babylon, and something to think about. Alexander`s father Phillip (played brilliantly by Val Kilmer) is an agressive and quite rude man but he isn`t really a negative character, and that`s a good thing that there are no real villains in this film, just as there are no real heroes. Angelina Jolie looks certainly funny as Alexander`s mother being at the same age as her son - Colin Farrell. This film isn`t certainly the best thing that could be made from the life of Alexander the Great, but it`s pretty solid and I certainly found it to be much better than the average rating it`s supposed to get.
film, 2004

Peachtree Road

6.5
I guess I had never listened to a whole Elton John album that came out later than in mid 1970s. For it`s known to most people that he`s nothing more than an old fart who records piano ballads. But somehow I got the news that this album here is a fairly good one, so I said to myself - why not give it a try? The album starts off with a typical Elton John ballad "Porch Swing in Tupelo", which clearly showcases all the pros and contras of this album. What`s good is that Elton doesn`t try to be hip and record something cool-sounding, he just sticks to his known winning formula. And the contras? He sticks to his bloody formula. While the songs may be not bad as such - on the contrary they`re moody and beautifully sounding but they are absolute rip-offs from John`s older stuff (especially "Your Song" and "Candle in the Wind" come to mind). Sometimes he records a bit more rocky tracks - like "They Call Her the Cat" - which reminds me of something from his early recordings. Of course, his old songs are good, therefore the new ones don`t come out bad as well. But listening to this record you can`t be sure that you haven`t heard everything on it sometimes before.
music, 2004

Barenaked for the Holidays

6.5
Why am I so rarely satisfied with what I read, watch or hear? I`m not really sure about that. Probably, my standards for the world are plainly too high, otherwise I may be an ego-obsessed maniac. Still I can`t find force within me to say that this album is particulary good. Barenaked Ladies is a fun pop/rock act that got popular (at least I got to know about it) with the titles "One Week" and "Alcohol". And since they are keen on recording goofy songs, so is this Christmas album full of goofieness. And it`s all right with me, for I wouldn`t give up my life for blasphemy upon hearing a funny version of "Jingle Bells". Which by the way, is one of the best songs on the entire disc - switching to a sappy and sad beginning into a funny ending with silly lyrics. Then comes "Green Christmas" - an original composition of the Ladies and it`s also quite good. Everyone says it`s cool that they used Casio sintesators in some songs, but I say - it`s ok. Still, all the songs about Hannukah are lame (and not because of the context but because of the music and singing). And if I needed to compare this album to "Warten auf das Christkind" by `Die Toten Hosen` which also is a parody X-mas album, I`d say the Germans come out on top. There`s simply not enough diverse songs on this album here. (but while relistening to it right now I decided that it actually isn`t as bad as I thought it was)
music, 2004

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

3.5
Oh, boy, welcome to the horrific world of teen comedies! You know, the kind of stuff where you get two stupid jerks going on something like a roadtrip and encountering everything you can name on their way. There`s this Chinese dude Harold and his cool Indian pal, and they decide to go and have some burgers after smoking some weed. But it turns out that getting the right kind of cheap untasty burgers isn`t as easy as they would like it to be. So they get bullied by some assholes, they encounter a cheetah that has escaped from the zoo, their car gets stolen by a celebrity, one of them gets put into jail. Then there`s the problem of getting laid which is quite important to Kumar, and which is complicated for Harold for he loves a girl he has never dared to speak to. Of course, in the end everything turns out to be great, everyone is happy, hurrah! About the jokes: most of them are completely stupid, not in the league of "Dorm Daze" though but not much better. The plot is stupid, even for a teen comedy. The characters - not particulary interesting. I don`t really know what`s good about this film. Probably that it`s better than "Dorm Daze", but not anything else.
film, 2004

Kill Bill 2

5.5
Since I didn`t like the first part of the film there was no real reason for me to watch the second one. But since I did watch, why can`t I write about it? First thing that strikes you in this film by Quentin Tarantino is how little it has to do with the first part in terms of style. While the first one was ultra-bloody this one is ultra-nothing-happening. To be frank, it`s a bit boring. Beatrice continues her mission of killing Bill, encountering his brother Budd and a one-eyed chick who`s name I have already forgotten. And in the end she also finds her daughter. Some of the stuff is, of course, unimaginable to happen, but I don`t really care about that. As much as I can tell this film reminds of Japanese movies which I have never seen and am not sure whether I want to see. What was bad, was the music. Tarantino was once famous for having a perfect soundtrack to his films, but in this one except for a cover version of "She`s not there" from the Zombies catalogue, there`s nothing to offer.
film, 2004

The Girl Next Door

4.0
Welcome back to the amazing world of teen comedies. This dude, who`s name I have already forgotten, who`s the school president but overall - something between a geek and a dork, he notices a sexy chick that has moved in next door. And as he watches her undress, she notices him. And what do you know? Something remotely similar to a romance begins between them. But problems arise when the guy finds out that Danielle (that`s the chick. yeah, I remembered her name!!!) is a porn actress, even more than that - a porn star. And her producer who`s a cool and tough guy comes to town. And everything starts going wrong for the guy, as he does many things he shouldn`t have done. In the end though, as you could guess without even planning to do so, he gets the girl and earns a whole lot of money by making a sex education film for schools. And this is it. What about the value of the film? It`s one of those films that`s not too easy to watch, for the hero does everything to make you feel sorry for him - acts more than like and idiot, like an imbycile or even worse. The plot is stupid, of course, and for people that don`t like romantic teen comedies, this is not a film to watch. But what`s amazing - is that it features some of the best music ever written - I have no idea how a film of this quality managed to get "Under Pressure", "Sweet Home Alabama", "Purple Haze" and "Baba O`Riley" on the film. Not that these songs fit well in, but it`s still pretty cool to hear something of this kind in a film where most of the time you hear contemporary shite.
film, 2004

The Inspector General

7.0
The get-up of Nikolai Gogols` play "The Inspector General" aka "Revizor" at the New Theatre of Latvia has got spectacular reviews in Europe and has won quite a lot of awards. So, going to watch this play my expectations were higher than usual. And no wonder - the play itself is a classic, and if the performance is that good - what could stop this from being an unforgettable experience? The fact, that it wasn`t that good. The scene has been transformed from the 19th century Russia into something like 1960s Soviet Union, with everyone looking Soviet to their bones. That isn`t a problem for me, I don`t look for blasphemy everythere, and I liked the artificial nudeness of some characters, but overall the whole thing was not too interesting. So, there were some chicken on the stage. Ok, no problem. So, Hlestakov is a little whiny loser, that`s still no problem. So, the actors do a "Stomp" impersonation, that`s still ok. But where was the magic they told there should be? It`s just professional, and nothing more. I gotta admit, it may be no deeper meaning to find, what turned me off, but still there was something missing - that wonder potion in the air that makes your knees totter after leaving the theatre. Something that makes art art. Otherwise I may read aloud the writing on the wall in the foyet of the theatre: "Fuck the art!"
theatre, 2004

Team America: World Police

6.5
Do you know why guys with puppets get chicks? Because they are totally cool. And how cool is a cartoon full of puppets? Way cooler than a cooler you would require for a 3GHz processor. So, this is brought to me by the guys who also brought "Southpark" to the bigger and smaller screens of the world. There`s Gary, this Broadway actor, who likes singing about people having AIDS, and he gets drafted by "Team America" - an organisation specialising in fighting terrorism and destroying everything in their way (Paris, for example). The North-Korean leader Kim (I have forgotten his last name) is planning a world wide terrorist attack, 9/11 times 2000 or something like that. Gary wouldn`t normally participate, for his idol Alec Baldwin is on the other side, but for his love to Lisa he does. And he saves the day. The film is a spoof, of course, and it has all the cliches you want to see in an action film. Oh, and there`s a funny sex scene in the film. Dolls having sex? You bet! The humor is quite crude, and there`s quite a lot of explicit texts in here, but there`s also a hero`s speech which I`ll give in the end as a quote. What`s my opinion? Those guys are trully daring, and their take is an interesting one, but a) I don`t like to look at dolls for this long; and b) huge parts are not funny.
film, 2004

Garfield the Movie

4.5
That red cat is driving me mad - how cool he is. Sadly Garfield isn`t as cool in the movie as he`s in the cartoons. He`s simply not lazy enough. Sure, he talks most of the time how lazy he is but he runs around like he was Hicham El Guerrouj. Of course, he has a reason for that - his master John Arbuckle (who by the way is too cool to be himself) takes a stupid puppy to impress his beloved female. First Garfield does everything to get rid of the annoying Odie but after he`s the one responsible for the dogs dissapearance he goes to rescue him (hey, this movie is just like "Labyrinth" only there`s no David Bowie in here). But a moneysucking no-good villain has already taken the dog away. I don`t really want to say anything about the ending - it`s even more predictable than what`s gonna come after this word "than". Judging the animation - I don`t really like the 3D Garfield in comparison to the 2D one - he looks to computerised to me. But what stood out and earned at least a whole extra point for the film was a thing that had absolutely nothing to do with the filmmakers - I watched it in some weird Russian translation - and it rocked! A wacky weirdo spoke in this translation using a whole lot of Russian words none of us watching had ever heard. Man, was that cool
film, 2004

The Man Who Was Thursday

8.0
Having already read the novel behind the theatre performance, my expectations to it were quite high. Will the cast of my favourite Latvian theatre be able to recapture the spirit of Chesterton`s most ambitious work? Since the novel is already on this factoid, I`m not gonna go into details about the story. Let`s better discuss the performance as such. Decorations: close to none, since it`s quite complicated to recapture all the different locations and different objects on the stage there was an absolute minimum of everything - a few chairs, some piece of cloth on the floor that was sometimes elevated to be the sea or something like that, a table without legs that must be held by actors - and an image projector: that`s it. The acting was superb. No major changes were made in the plot (unlike what you usually see on Latvian stages). But one flaw was there - the performance went on for almost four hours and it was a bit too much, I guess cutting a few chase scenes would have been a good idea, thus the performance isn`t rated as high as it might have been.
theatre, 2004

EuroTrip

5.5
What do you think of teen comedies? Some of them are quite good, and I`m not sure about this one. Let`s try to determine what my attitude towards it is. First, there`s this guy Scotty whos girlfriend dumps him and he decides that Mike - his female German e-mail friend is the one for him. But he has already screwed up - thinking that her name Mike was a male name when she tried to hit on him, he pushed her away. And now together with three of his friends he goes on a eurotrip to save what can be saved. Unexpectedly there`s not that much cliches in the film as I could have expected - at least all Germans don`t walk around in lederhosen and there aren`t that many french people in striped shirts with a moustache and a piece of long bread walking around. But of course, there is a German kid preparing to be Hitler. In the end Scotty of course gets the girl of his dreams, and so is everybody else happy as well. There are lots of gross jokes in this film, as you could guess, and there are a few good jokes as well. First, the English football hooligans are cool, then I liked the way Bratislava is shown in this film, and, of course, this guy telling that Europe is so small that you could actually walk from London to Berlin - just what you could expect from an American. For a teenage comedy it`s not bad, although the story is an exact copy of "Roadtrip" but who cares?
film, 2004

I Love Your Daughter

2.0
Since USSR collapsed the Latvian cinematography has been struggling - there`s not enough money, there`s not enough ideas, there`s not enough anything. The expectations before watching the film weren`t especially high but the first minutes sent them below the ice mark. First, there was some shaky camera work, even if it was on purpose, it still looked like shit. Then, the actors - the leading male actor Regnars Vaivars who appearantly is a scandalous theatre actor and director wasn`t impressive at all, and his female counter part didn`t seem to be much of an actress either. Then there was Uldis Dumpis - quite a famous Latvian actor whom I never liked, and my attitude didn`t change during this film. What about the story - a poor guy from the country marries a rich girl but the day of their wedding turns into a nightmare for he employed an undertakers agency for the job. And in the end he sued the agency for not doing their work right. This is a comedy, so they say. To be honest - the jokes are there, and if at least 10% of them were funny it wouldn`t be such a disaster. But they are not, most of them are flatter than the Earth in the minds of medieval people, and much flatter than the singer of "No Doubt". Throughout the film only one idea constantly arose - how much longer is this nonsense gonna last. 80 minutes, if you want to know. But it`s very much.
film, 2004

Oh, Soviet Sun

6.0
I went there on a mission to write about this exhibition. Here you can see the original artefacts from an era in which most of us (the post-Soviet people) were living quite a long time. Pictures of Lenin on the wall, posters instructing people what to do and what not to do, red banners, and that kind of stuff can be found here. What I liked was that such an exhibition was made and that it didn`t only provide information on the KGB, concentration camps, etc, but also showed some moments from the everyday life of a typical soviet person. But it still seemed a bit tendentious - you could feel that the people who created this exhibition weren`t really neutral when choosing the objects - they wanted to show how grey and uninteresting life was in the Soviet Union, despite the fact that being in danger is a great adrenalyniser, that there`s no way the government can make people to have no fun at all (if it is not a concentration camp, a gheto or a prison we`re talking about, and despite what nationalists say nowadays - people didn`t live in a prison in the soviet times).
exhibition, 2004

Home on the Range

5.5
If I should believe what They say it`s the last hand-drawn Disney cartoon ever. Not that there`s no computer animation in this cartoon. The plot goes around three cows trying to catch a villain in order to get the reward money for the saving of their farm. On their quest they team up with a silly horse named Buck and an unlucky one footed rabbit. You don`t need to be a rocket scientist to guess, if the ending was happy. Therefore let`s conentrate on everything else. The plot is ok for a wide audience cartoom, I would probably prefer a bit of adult humor, but if there`s none I don`t mind it that much. The voices are also in order, although the cast is nowhere as spectacular as in Shrek, but it`s not a big problem. What I didn`t like was the animation - I`m not a huge expert of Disney cartoons but this is certainly far from the best level of animation I`ve ever seen. The cows themselves are ok, but not more than that, pigs are absolutely silly, the background images aren`t too impressive as well. I guess it`s a good thing they gonna move completely to CGI, of course, if it`s gonna be inspired CGI.
film, 2004

Anniversary Poster

5.0
I have absolutely no idea who the authors of this play are - I was just trying to find the Russian translation for the word "scene" in a play, and I somehow found my self downloading this play where I noticed that Stalin and Lenin where among the characters. It turned out that the play was kind bizarre - there wasn`t even a single real socialist leader in the "cast" but those were supposed to be actors impersonating the dictators. The situation was something like this - in the late eighties there was a demonstration against the Communist party in some little town, and those actors were on their way to buy some alcohol when they were stopped by the local police and sent to spend the night in jail. There were two major things going on - the actors were preparing for some anniversary while the local socialist leader was preparing for the first election where there were choices to be made, and he knew that he stood no chance in a free election. So he decided to cheat. This is not a very spectacular play, but in the context of modern Russian dramaturgy it`s at least normal and not full of perversion.
book, 2004

Pilnmēness

7.5
I can`t really believe a Latvian band recorded this album. Hospitalu iela is a relatively unknown band, but this record absolutely rocks. What does it sound like? A bit of pop, a bit of rock, a bit of reaggae, a bit of national elements - something like that. Most of the songs are easy to memorise and sing along, but that doesn`t mean that they are primitive. The arrangements are nice, I especially dig the violins. The best songs? "Par kiosku", "Vilcene", "Sinepes".
music, 2004

The Day After Tomorrow

4.0
Americans are fond of movies about the end of the world. I am not. In this film we see how because of the global warming the world could find itself in the middle of another ice age. A scientist unsuccessfuly tries to persuade the American government how grave the perspectives are, and then one day it begins. The temperature starts sinking, giant waves appear in the sea, killing everything encounter. The son of that scientist Sam (also known as Donnie Darko) is trapped in New York in a public library, and his dad comes to rescue him. The journey is long and complicated, but everything ends well for him. I don`t really want to go deep in the plot for it is full of stupid moments, but I guess that goes without saying for a catastrophe movie. What counts is that it is extremely politically correct: a black tramp, a black cop, an asian female scientist, a child with cancer. But talking about the content of the film - there`s only the CGI value, which I must say is good, but nothing else is important in this film. You can easily imagine the director saying "So, we spent all our money on special effects, now lets make some connection between them."
film, 2004

Bad Education

6.0
Do you like movies with lots of nudity? I bet you do, who doesn`t. Do you like movies with lots of male nudity? If there are enough naked women, I guess you have nothing against it. Do you like movies with lots of gay nudity? I bet you don`t unless you`re female. And this film falls in to the latter category. Pedro Almadovar has created a partly autobiograpical story about a guy who`s been sexually abused by a teacher in a catholic school in the Franco days. Ignacio has later become a writer. He wants to make a movie after his novel about his childhood, and his former lover Enrique helps him at that. But it turns out that Ignacio isn`t really himself but his brother who killed Ignacio with drugs. Anyway, it`s hard to explain, and it doesn`t make much sense either. What is good about such a film is that it shows to us, heteros, a completely different world from ours. What is bad about this film is that there`s nothing particulary spectacular about it. Well, of course, a film about Spain is never too grey or something like that but it still is nothing I would remember about in 10 years (except for one guy sitting up and down on another ones erected penis while that guy is asleep, and that`s not the best thing to remember from a movie).
film, 2004

Starsky and Hutch

2.5
Do you like films about cops? If you like them you`ll probably decide that you can watch this film. Starsky & Hutch originally was a 70`s TV series about two stupid but totally good looking cops. And now we have a full time feature film about these two characters. Starsky is played by Ben Stiller while Owen Wilson is Hutch. These two guys already worked together in "Zoolander" and in "Meet the Parents". And here we go again. The film actually pretty much reminds of the "Zoolander" but this time it isn`t very good. What about the plot? Some drug dealer has found a way to make cocain impossible to find by dogs, and he wants to sell a huge amount of this cocain to resellers. And here do the heroes step in. And they do it with style - killing a pony, showing their pretty body to a pervert sitting in the jail, participating in disco dancing competitions - you got it. What I don`t like is the fact that disco music sucks, that the film is stupid, uninspired, boring and not funny. Apart from that - there`s nothing that can save this film from being an atrociuos piece of garbage.
film, 2004

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

8.5
Quite for a long time I was preparing to watch this film. The expectations were high on one side and low on the other. I knew that this film was supposed to be a very good one - according to its reviews, to the peoples` opinion who had already seen it. But it also made me think - if the public opinion wasn`t wrong once again as it had already happened quite often (I don`t mean "wrong" as an objective word but wrong for me). In this film Jim Carrey plays Joel - a man who has decided to erase his former girlfriend Clementine from his memory (just like she had already erased him). And to achieve that he didn`t consume maniacal amounts of alcohol like most of us would do but visited specialists that provided erasing the memories by reliving them. But somewhere in the process Joel understood that he didn`t want to lose Clementine, despite all the problems they had in their relationship. And together with her he wanted to escape from his memories and return to the real world, but he never managed to succeed at that. But the ending was positive - Joel met her once again, without knowing who she was and they fell in love, after that they learned to know the truth about their past but decided that even the upcoming conflicts didn`t mean more than their love. A very beautiful film. A must see.
film, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

7.0
Michael Moore is the director of "Bowling for Columbine" and in this film he still shows his documental style to criticize American government, and George W. Bush in person. Of course, Moore isn`t particulary neutral, you can simply feel how much he hates GWB and how much support he puts into the democratic party thus showing that there`s a choice between good and bad in the states, and I can`t really aprove it. But what the film shows is some cool things - starting from 2001/9/11, switching into the war in Afganisthan, over to Iraq and to Bushes interests in the Saudi Arabia - a country which brought Osama Bin Laden to the world. This film certainly is controversial, and it didn`t win the palm at the Cannes film festival for no reason, but in comparison to the Bowlind movie it isn`t extremely strong, for it lacks the horrorous feeling of watching something unexpected. Most of these things Moore shows in this movie are already known to a wide audience, and for me in person. But what was good - it was an American soldier singing "Fire Water Burn" by the Bloodhound Gang as a patriotic piece of music in order to keep the spirit of the soldiers up.
film, 2004

50 First Dates

4.0
Can you imagine what it would be like if "Memento" had been a cheesy comedy? Here you have it, and it`s entitled "50 first dates". Henry Roth is a guy who lives in Hawaii and works as a marine biologist. But what he does best is making love to tourists from the continental States. Suddenly his life changes when due to unexplainable reasons he falls in love with a girl named Lucy. Everything would be great, if Lucy hadn`t suffered a serious accident some time ago that made her lose her long term memory because of which she never remembers what happened the day before and thinks that it always is her fathers birthday. Henry uses different tricks to make her remember him, and in deed she does, but only by seing him in her dreams, in the wakening on the contrary she`s incurable. Her father and her on steroids feeding wet dreaming brother at first try to keep Henry away from her, but later they become pals with him. And Henry starts every day by showing a movie explaining everything to Lucy, as the years go by. That`s what I like about the film - it`s the ending. And Adam Sandler isn`t that bad as well, as you could guess he could be. But it still is just a silly comedy.
film, 2004

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

7.0
For the third part of the Harry Potter series they changed the director. The first two parts were directed by the genius mastermind that was behind such a classic as "Home Alone" while for the Azkaban part Alfonso Cuaron (the latino who made "Y tu mama tambien"). Can you feel the difference? Mr. Cuaron knows how to create a really good movie, and he uses his powers to make something more serious than Harry Potter was before. The film changes into brownish colours, it features close to no cheeky stuff for your little baby brother, and the characters don`t look like they have jumped out of middle ages anymore. Harry Potter even wears a sweater with stripes on the side just like I do! And there`s a jah ghost in the bus! Certainly this still is a film targeted to a very young audience, but at least it can stand up to the opposing Hobbit saga. Although I must say that the werewolf looked like a rubber doll to me, but you can`t expect that a film whos previous part made me laugh could make me cringe from horror. I guess, something like the sixth part of the film will be a total masterpiece.
film, 2004

I, Robot

5.5
Isaak Asimov is not a Russian, and keep that in mind when you trash me to pieces with a pitchfork! He was just some Ami sci-fi writer that happened to be one of the best sci-fi writers ever. I guess it was just a coincidence that when Hollywood people wanted to make a brand new sci-fi film with Will Smith in the lead role they decided to call the film just like a collection of stories by I.Asimov. At least, there`s not too much of that book in this film. Ok, several characters have the names that have been mentioned in the book, but they don`t act in the way they should have, and neither do the robots. In the book robots never went on something like a war with the humans, and most certainly they didn`t have a red light to show when they were evil. But in the film we have a robot hating cop (the former fresh prince of Bel Air), a sexy shrink (which should be at least 60 according to the book) and an unusual robot fighting together to end the robots revolution. Yeah, and this film was inspired by "Who framed Roger Rabbit" and not by Asimov. There`s a human with a toon rabbit on one side, and there`s a toon villain on the other, and the good wins in the end. And everybody is happy once again.
film, 2004

Shrek 2

7.0
When Shrek episode One first came out, it was a hit, and now it`s back and not in black. Shrek is a green ogre who rarely is in a good mood, which is no surprise for someone looking like him. He`s a mean bone crushing machine, but he has married a princess who has given up being pretty just for him. But everything isn`t that simple for princess Fiona has her parents that want to meet her newlywed husband but aren`t informed about his looks. Fiona`s father is played (or let`s say - spoken) by John Cleese. I totally adore him, but in this movie he`s nothing special. Probably, it`s because you never actually get a chance to see him (although the king does resemble Mr. Cleese`s appearance). And there`s a donkey in the film! And an evil fairy godmother! And Puss in Boots who sounds just like Antonio Banderas! What more can you want? Not that much. If this wasn`t a sequel and the funny usage of characters from different fairy tales wasn`t already a familiar thing to me, I would rate this thing higher, but you see - you can`t milk the same fairies more than once. Although I do like the fact that both leading characters don`t use the possibility to become good looking, `cos they don`t need that to be happy.
film, 2004

Lielupe aquapark

6.0
Visited the new aquapark in Lielupe today. Nothing unexpected. Been there, done that - so they say, and so do I. Most of the stuff pretty much reminded me of a similar institution I visited in Germany near Vlotho. One thing that was totally cool were the lifeguards which didn`t behave in a pleasant manner and refused to tell the exact time because the ticket lasted for 4 hours and for extra time extra money should be paid (and don`t you even think that there would be some clocks on the wall, those people aren`t stupid, you know.
other, 2004

Soup... It`s lunchtime

5.5
What do you want to tell me? Nothing. A title similar to this one was added to most of the pieces of art at this exhibition. If it was only that, I`d say, it ain`t so bad. But there was also some crazy stuff about visions and something that goes with them. Gray forms on huge black sheets, disturbing sounds, video of tomography and a few quite bloody photos - that`s what I saw. I really don`t want to taste the soup although it is not that sour as it might seem. Yeah, and I`ve never been to something like this before.
exhibition, 2004

Erot 2004

1.5
Blimey! Hell! Yuk! Disgusting! I didn`t think that I would dislike it half as much as I did. If this sort of crap is erotical what the hell is porn in that case? If a fat ugly woman is hanged in some stupid chains and a whip is placed inside her you-know-what it ain`t sexy to my oppinion. I`d rather just not talk about it.
exhibition, 2004

Monolithic Baby

5.0
I don`t really know what I expected it to be - since I had only heard a few MM songs before and never ever cared much about the band. The record itself is no big deal - it ain`t very heavy or any memorable but it isn`t very bad either - completely average - that`s what it sounds like.
music, 2004

The Butterfly Effect

9.0
A man travels to the past to make life better than it was before. Sounds silly and familiar? No, in this case it doesn`t. Aston Kusher - Jesse from "Dude, where`s my car?" is good at portraying Evan, the guy with his blackouts. And the plot is also quite amazing. I probably can say that the ending was a bit too happy, but on the other hand - it was just perfect (although Evan ending up locked up in a mental hospital for life would be another good option). Anyway, the fat goth person is really nice. Sometimes there may be some dangerous plot holes around that could happen because of Evan changing his past but they are not too big and everything could be explained in the terms of the logic of the film. A heart felt film it seems to me, no matter what the critics say that decided to call it a flop. After all, who am I to obey the general critical opinion - to believe that `Citizen Kane` is the best film of all times, battling only with `Godfather`?
film, 2004

Radio Jah Jah

5.5
Oh my God, for the first time I`m rating a piece of Latvian creation. It`s a double LP by my favourite Latvian band. The impression on the record is somewhat divided - while the first disc consisting of self penned material is pretty good - songs like "Don`t Forget", "Disaster" or "Lullaby" could fit on an album by a major band (those wouldn`t be the best songs on such a record but anyhow) but the disc of cover tunes is mostly a dissapointment. For example, why would anyone bother to cover `Hero` by Enrique Iglesias or (sic!) "You`re my heart you`re my soul" by you-know-who. And what is a total disgrace - it`s the cover version of `Cocaine` by J.J.Cale (falsely credited to John Cale in the liner notes) which is turned into a silly disco piece of garbage. "These boots are made for walking" are ok, but not as good as the version by Megadeath. "Don`t worry be happy" is not relaxed at all. The only highlight on the second disc is "Cecilia" by Simon & Garfunkel which sounds really fresh and energic. There are also two songs by Beatles on the covers disc but neither "Rain" nor especially "I`ve Just Seen a face" sound good on here.
music, 2004