2005

Olympos

8.5
Diloģijas "Iliona/Olimps" otrā daļa ir vēl apjomīgāka par pirmo, līdz ar to man ir aizdomas, ka tā varētu būt biezākā grāmata, ko esmu izlasījis pēdējo piecu (ja ne vairāk) gadu laikā. Ņemot vērā to, cik kopumā man ir skeptiska attieksme pret garām grāmatām, tas vien jau ir zināms kvalitātes rādītājs, ka es uz kaut ko tādu parakstījos. Un jāsaka - Simonsam labi izdodas noturēt lasītāja uzmanību, neliekot domāt par to, ka varētu jau šo visu pasākumu uz pusi noīsināt.
2018-07-16 19:34:50
book, 2005

Walk the Line

7.0
Ar šo filmu patiesībā es jau iepriekš biju pazīstams - pirms itin daudz gadiem noskatījos "Walk Hard", kuras varonis Djūiks Kokss bija apvienojums no Džonija Keša un Reja Čārlza (filmu "Ray" ar jau gana sen esmu redzējis, līdz ar to tagad komplekts šķiet pilns) un tieši Keša stila epizožu tur bija būtiski vairāk. Taču 500 filmu grāmatā dīvainā kārtā nav vis iekļauta tā filma, kurā pirmā dzirdamā frāze ir: "I Need Cox!", bet gan šī Džeimsa Mangolda režisētā filma.
2017-03-27 10:40:29
film, 2005

On Beauty

8.0
Zeidija Smita skaitās viena no ievērojamākajām mūsdienu britu rakstniecēm, un "Par skaistumu" ir viņas ievērojamākais romāns (vismaz gana būtisks, lai būtu iekļauts sarakstā ar 1001 grāmatu, ko izlasīt dzīves laikā). Grāmatā noteikti ir šādas tādas autobiogrāfiskas notis - kaut vai tālab, ka pati Smita ir uzaugusi jauktā ģimenē - viņas tētis ir anglis, bet mamma - jamaikiete, pati Smita domājams ir uzaugusi galvenokārt baltā vidē, un iederēšanās tēma viņai gan jau, ka nav sveša, tāpat nav šaubu, ka mātes (Kiki) tēlā viņa šajā romānā ir ielikusi ne mazumu no pašas mammas.
2016-08-19 04:35:49
book, 2005

Erotic Cinema

7.0
Kādu vakaru viesojāmies pie Normja un Noras. Pirms doties prom, ievēroju plauktā grāmatu ar saistošu nosaukumu - "Erotic Cinema". Dabiski, ka izlēmu, ka vēlos šo grāmatu aizņemties izlasīt (apskatīties bildes?). Liels bija mans pārsteigums, ka šo grāmatu Normis bija pirms itin daudziem gadiem dabūjis dāvanā no... manis. Lai gan... vienmēr esmu uzskatījis, ka man ir laba gaume, un te arī apliecinājums.
2014-11-10 16:52:27
book, 2005

Kloktat dehet

6.5
Jahims Topols esot viens no populārākajiem mūsdienu čehu rakstniekiem. Nezinu, vai tas ir liels vai mazs sasniegums, jo man galīgi nav skaidrības par aktuālajiem čehu literatūras apjomiem. Taču, ja jau autors ir gana ievērojams, lai viņa grāmatas tulkotu angļu valodā (šī konkrētā - ar nosaukumu "Gargling with tar", skaidrs, ka tieši angliski šo grāmatu lasīju), tad jau vērā ņemams viņš noteikti ir.
2014-09-30 11:44:53
book, 2005

Arthur and George

7.5
Reiz dzīvoja kāds anglis vārdā Artūrs. Viņam sagadījās kļūt par vienu no sava laikmeta (un, iespējams, visu laiku) populārākajiem rakstniekiem, jo tā sanāca, ka viņš radīja tādu personāžu kā Šerloks Holmss.
2013-11-11 05:44:34
book, 2005

Brick (film)

7.5
Reiz, ne pārāk senos laikos, šajā blogā jau bija ieraksts ar virsrakstu "Brick". Toreiz gan runa bija par ģeoslēpni, bet šoreiz - par filmu. Un šajā reizē ķieģelis ir no cita materiāla, kā pierasts, proti - no heroīna.
2013-10-30 09:12:26
film, 2005

No Direction Home

8.5
Bobs Dilans noteikti ir lielāks pats par sevi. Mūziķis, kura balsi pat lielākie fani nenosauks par skaistu un spēcīgu, kura ģitārspēles tehnika nav nekas īpašs, kurš tīri cilvēciski nav saucams par zelta gabaliņu, nekad nav bijis izcili skaists un visādi citādi būtu pelēks un nesaistošs, bet... pazaudēju iepriekšējā teikuma pavedienu. Īsi sakot, jautājums ir par to - kā no daudzām ne sevišķi spožām sastāvdaļām var rasties Dilana mūzika?
2013-08-11 09:17:22
film, 2005

Welcome to Dongmakgol

8.0
Ja nemaldos, šo filmu noskatīties ieteica amerikāņu kaučsērferis Marks, kurš dažus gadus ir nodzīvojis Dienvidkorejā, tā ka viņš zina.
2013-08-08 05:46:57
film, 2005

Be with Me

7.0
Līdzīgi kā Irāka, arī Singapūra neiekļuva 100 pirmo valstu sarakstā, kuru filmas noskatījos, kas apliecina - pasaulē ir vairāk kā 100 valstu, kurās taisa filmas, kuras ir iespējams dabūt noskatīties arī mūsu pusē.
2013-07-08 10:42:41
film, 2005

Ma vie avec Mozart

8.0
Šo grāmatu lasīju netipiski ilgi - teju mēneša garumā, kas būtu neattaisnojami, zinot to, ka tās apjoms ir ļoti neliels. Taču man attaisnojums ir, kā gan citādi! Proti, šī grāmata tika lasīta oriģinālvalodā, bet manas franču valodas zināšanas prasa tik intensīvu vārdnīcas lietošanu, ka par jebkādu lasīšanas ātrumu var aizmirst.
2013-03-31 07:01:02
book, 2005

We`re Not Happy `Til You`re Not Happy

7.5
Nule es kaut ko esmu pārstājis saprast. Kā tas nākas, ka šis albums pēkšņi vairs nepatīk Reel Big Fish apskatniekiem, ja ievēro to, ka grupa ar to ir atgriezusies tajā teritorijā, kur tā spēj izcelties, lielā mērā atvadoties no tradicionālākām roka formām, un atkal rūpējoties par jestra jandāliņa, ballītes un burziņa atmosfēru?
2013-02-22 03:27:56
music, 2005

Gespenster

5.5
Droši vien to esmu kādreiz jau šeit rakstījis, bet atkārtošana, kā zināms, ir sklerozes sievasmāte, tāpēc rakstu atkal: man īpaši nepatīk nekāda mākslinieciskā darbība, kas nākusi no Vācijas. Sevišķi nemīlu ne vācu literatūru, ne vācu mūziku, ne vēl jo vairāk - vācu kino. Ā, un tēlotājmākslu es vispār nesaprotu, jo esmu truls un aprobežots. Vai arī vismaz ieņemu šādu pozu. Un, protams, visam pastāv izņēmumi.
2013-02-01 06:49:33
film, 2005

Joyeux Noël

7.5
Šī filma manā skatāmajā sarakstā nodzīvoja vairākus gadus, dažādu iemeslu mēnesi pēc mēneša tā arī nepietuvojoties šī saraksta galvgalim. Tagad beidzot tā ir noskatīta, un atlikušas vairs tikai divas Francijas Oskaram virzītās filmas, ko neesmu redzējis (ignorējot tās, kas iznāca jau pēc mana saraksta sastādīšanas, par tām pagaidām nedomāju).
2013-01-30 08:19:37
film, 2005

No Man`s Land

6.5
Patiesībā man nav sevišķas skaidrībās, kālab šī grāmata Wikipedia tiek klasificēta kā Grema Grīna pēdējais romāns, bet lai nu būtu - īsti stāstu krājums tas nav un biogrāfisks vēstījums ar ne, lai būtu romāns. Patiesībā gan to veido divas patstāvīgas daļas, katra no kurām varēja kļūt par pamatu kinofilmai, un otrā šķiet, ka arī kļuva. Abi vēstījumi tapa laikā, kad Grīns bija savā slavas zenītā - "The Third Man" un "The End of an Affair" ērā. Pirmais miniromāns/novele ir visai līdzīgs garā un saturā "The Third Man" - tas stāsta par kādu britu aģentu uzvārdā Brauns, kurš šķērso Austrumvācijas robežu, mēģinot ievākt informāciju par urāna raktuvēm padomju kontrolētajā Vācijas daļā (darbība norisinās aptuveni tajā pat laikā, kad The Third Man - proti, pirms divu Vāciju valstiskuma noformēšanas), tur viņš sastop sievieti, kuru moka pretrunīgs jūtas pret Braunu un pret krievu militāristu Starhovu.
2012-01-23 09:34:59
book, 2005

Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike

9.0
Ja jau otrais Gogol Bordello albums bija lielisks, tad ar "Underdog World Strike" Gogoļa mauku māja trāpa Vilhelma Tella ābolam tik spēcīgi pa pautiem, cik vien iespējams. Protams, tu vari teikt, ka tas ir more of the same, bet šis neapstrīdami ir tas gadījums, kad viena un tā paša stila turpmāka izkopšana grupai nāk tikai par labu un nekādi savādāk. Šī ieraksta stāstu visai labi raksturo tā pirmā kompozīcija - mežonīgas rēkšanas piesātinātā "Sally", kuras ievadā Eugene dzied:
2011-03-21 18:00:30
music, 2005

A New Day in Old Sana`a

7.0
Saukt Jemenu par valsti ar plaukstošu kino industriju būtu vairāk nekā pārspīlējums. It īpaši, ja zina, ka "A New Day in Old Sana`a" ir pirmā mākslas filmas, kas šajā Arābijas pussalas valstī jebkad uzņemta. Protams, var gan teikt, ka tā Jemenā aizsāka kino bumu - pēc šīs filmas šajā valstī ir uzņemta vēl viena pilnmetrāžas filma - tādējādi filmu uzņemšanas intensitāte šajā valstī ir pārsteidzoši strauji pieaugusi.
2011-02-19 08:32:02
film, 2005

Ērik, atnāc!

7.0
Viens ir droši - kamēr mākslas kino Latvijā turpina nīkuļot un pat filmas ar spēcīgu aktieru ansambli visbiežāk iegrimst sentimentāla pseidopatriotisma muklājā, dokumentālais kino mūsu valstī ir tā kustīgo attēlu mākslas forma, kura ir gan dominējoša, gan kvalitatīvi pārāka par savu fantāzijas bagātināto māsu (eh, cik lirisks un vārdiem bagāts teikums padevies!).
2011-02-01 07:27:55
film, 2005

Sind sie nicht alle ein bisschen Paul?

4.0
No 29 cilvēkiem, kas uzrakstījuši šīs grāmatas aprakstus Amazonē, 21 to novērtējis ar piecām zvaigznītēm, nekautrējoties izmantot arī tādu vārdu kā "ģeniāls". Es neplānoju būt tik saulains.
2010-10-29 11:51:59
book, 2005

La Possibilité d`une île

8.0
Grāmatu "Varbūt ir sala" nopirka Liene, jo viņai patika uz tās vāka dejojošie cilvēciņi. Tikai jau pēc tās nopirkšanas viņa ievēroja, ka dejojošajiem cilvēciņiem ir arī ģenitālijas, bet tas jau nekas. Pati Liene, kamēr to lasīja, sauca šo par "seksa grāmatu" un dažas reizes man nolasīja kādas pikantākas epizodes priekšā, piemēram, par to, kā Estere sēž pie galda kafejnīcā ar nedaudz paplestām kājām (protams, bez biksītēm) un, kā komentē galvenais varonis, būtu pavisam dabiski, ja viņa paņemtu salveti un noslaucītu pežu. Taču es negribēju ticēt, ka šī grāmata būtu tikai par seksu. Lai gan - varbūt man nemaz nebūtu iebildumu gadījumā, ja tā būtu TIKAI par seksu.
2010-09-19 15:55:40
book, 2005

Adam`s Apples

8.5
Kad iepriekšējā vakarā pirms došanās uz Angliju iegriezāmies pie Normunda un Noras, mēs nemaz nebijām domājuši skatīties kādu filmu, bet gan tik vien kā aizņemties elektrības pārveidotāju. Taču sanāca tā, ka filmu tomēr noskatījāmies, un turklāt tādu, ka tās baudīšanas procesā smējāmies, vēderus turēdami.
2010-09-02 22:51:20
film, 2005

Keeping Mum

7.0
Kā cilvēkam, kam patīk melnās angļu komēdijas, man nemaz nevarēja nepatikt "Keeping Mum", lai arī vienā no galvenajām lomām tur ir manis ne sevišķi mīlētais Rovans Atkinsons. Taču šoreiz viņš ir pēc saviem standartiem pilnīgi normāls - viņš runā, netaisa debilas grimases un neizdod artikulētas skaņas.
2010-05-24 06:32:35
film, 2005

Saat po long

4.0
Skatoties šo Makau un Honkongas kopproduktu, mani pārņēma pilna pārliecība, ka šī ir viena no tām filmām, ko mēdz dēvēt par "Kārļa kino", proti, tāda filma, ko man nemaz nevajadzētu skatīties, bet kas būtu lieliski piemērota, lai N.R. to skatītos, kad pie viņa viesojas sievasbrālis (un es te nebūt necenšos aizvainot Kārli, vienkārši ir zināms, ka viņa attieksme pret filmām ar "gaļu" ir nedaudz citāda, nekā, piemēram, man). Taču Makau filmu izvēle nav pati bagātīgākā - kā gan citādi varētu būt, zinot, ka šī valsts izmērā ir (kā raksta Andris) pielīdzināma Jēkabpilij, vienīgi iedzīvotāju skaits tai ir radikāli augstāks.
2010-04-17 07:34:59
film, 2005

Me and You and Everyone We Know

8.5
Šo filmu N.R. piedāvāja skatīties kā vienu no "vienkāršajām" filmām savā vēl neskatīto kino lenšu sarakstā. Ja tā ir viena no vienkāršajām un ne pārāk izcilajām filmām, var tikai brīnīties, kādas tad ir labās šī saraksta filmas. Realitātē - droši vien ne īpaši labākas par šo.
2010-04-11 07:50:20
film, 2005

The Story of 1

6.0
Šī ir kārtējā no Terija Džonsa (Terry Jones) dokumentālajām filmām par tēmu Vēsture. Atšķirība no citiem viņa BBC raidījumiem šajā gadījumā ir tajā, ka par savas filmas tēmu Džonss nav vis izvēlējies sev tik tuvos Viduslaikus vai Romas impērijas laikmetu, bet gan ciparu (skaitli?) 1.
2010-03-22 12:31:10
film, 2005

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

5.0
Nez - vai būtu pareizi teikt, ka esmu pievarējis "Star Wars" sāgu? Pieņemsim, ka tā teikt var. Nekas, ka "Attack of the Clones" nenoskatījos, jo Liene to baudīja vienatnē, kamēr es izkliedzu visu rīkli (vai arī nē) Dinamo-Vitjaz spēlē. Dzirdētā atsauksme nelika man censties labot šo robu un vienatnē noskatīties šo daļu vai nu nākamās dienas rītā vai aiznākamās vakarā. Līdz ar to attiecīgo daļu tā arī neredzēju, bet palūdzu, lai man aptuveni izstāsta to, kas tajā notiek.
2010-02-10 21:21:40
film, 2005

Caché

8.0
Neesmu īsti pārliecināts,ka Mihaela Hanekes "Cache" ir īstā filma, ko skatīties piektdienas vakarā, kd tu guli mājās ar temperatūru tajā vietā, lai būtu aizgājis uz dzimšanas dienas pasākumu. Šādos apstākļos tomēr gribas skatīties kaut ko vieglāku, bet Haneke nav izslavēts kā viegla kino pārstāvis.
2010-01-30 09:14:33
film, 2005

44 Scotland Street

6.5
Aleksandrs Makkols Smits ir viens no tiem rakstniekiem, kuru grāmatas nepretendē uz augstās mākslas statusu un kuras vienlaikus nav arī tādas sēnalas, ka pēc to lasīšanas būtu nepieciešams pāri galvai vilkt papīra maisu. Protams, ja autors kopš 1998.gada ir izdevis 27 romānus, vienu stāstu krājumu, sešas grāmatas bērniem un četras akadēmiska satura grāmatas, ir skaidrs, ka nekāds super nopietns rakstnieks viņš nevar būt, un laikam gan viņš arī pats neapgalvo pretējo.
2009-12-31 09:07:36
book, 2005

The Girl in the Cafe

7.5
Sāksim ar pamatjautājumu: kas ir Ričards Kērtiss - šīs filmas scenārists un droši vien - galvenā persona? Sāksim ar pozitīvo - astoņdesmitajos gados viņš kopā ar Rovanu Atkinsonu radīja seriālu "Blackadder". Deviņdesmitajos gados viņš iemantoja lielu popularitāti kā romantisku komēdiju scenārists - radot tādas filmas kā "Notting Hill" un "Four Weddings and a Funeral". Jau jaunajā tūkstošgadē Kērtiss uzņēmās režisora pienākumus un uzņēma patiešām kolosālo "Love Actually". Taču ir viņa karjerā arī tādi punkti, ko labprātāk pat nepieminētu - "Bridžitas Džonsas dienasgrāmata" (sorry, bet tās filmas ir sūds), vesela kaudze Mistera Bīna projektu - gluži iespējams, ka viņa vaina manā izpratnē viena no kaitinošākajiem komēdiju personāžiem pastāvēšanā ir ne mazāka nekā tā ir Atkinsonam.
2009-06-13 22:57:24
film, 2005

Odgrobadogroba

7.5
Slovēņu filma "Odgrobadogroba" jeb "Gravehopping" neizrādījās gluži tāda, kā es to biju domājis. Pēc apraksta es biju gaidījis no tās traku melno komēdiju Emira Kusturicas gaumē, taču praksē tā izrādījās ievērojami rāmāka un klusāka. Lai gan par to rāmumu vēl var pastrīdēties. Tās darbība norisinās kādā ciematā (vai mazpilsētā), un galvenais filmas varonis ir vīrs, kura profesija ir teikt bēru runas. Un kā var spriest pēc filmas, par spīti no šīs apdzīvotās vietas nelielajam izmēram, darba šim vīram netrūkst. Jau viņš pats ir gana kolorīts tipāžs, bet cilvēki viņam apkārt lielākoties ir vēl īpatnējāki. Piemēram, viņa māsa, kurai ir visai īpatnējas attiecības ar viņas vīru - kruto jākli. Vai viņa otra māsa, kura ir nedaudz garīgi atpalikusi. Un viņa tēvs, kas vairākus pēdējos gadus kopš savas sievas nāves to vien dara, kā mēģina uztaisīt pašnāvību, bet katru reizi neveiksmīgi. Kaimiņš, kur guļ ar atpalikušo māsu un cauru dienu "tjūnē" savu mūžveco vabolītes izmēra auto. Vēl viens kaimiņš, kurš lien mucā, lai uzstādītu jaunu personīgo rekordu atrodoties zem ūdens. Jauna sieviete, kurai ir noslieces uz mazohismu un īpatnējas attiecības ar pašas tēvu. Tā varētu arī turpināt.
2009-03-19 10:43:11
film, 2005

Istanbul Tales

7.0
"Stambulas stāsti" ir Turcijas pienesums manā pēdējā laikā ne pārāk aktīvajā pasaules kino projektā. Dīvainā kārtā atklāju, ka par šo filmu biju aizmirsis uzrakstīt. Ievērojot to, ka šī filma man atmiņā diži labi nepalika, tas nebija gudri darīts. Patiesībā tā nebija gluži slikta, lai gan vilšanos tā man tomēr sagādāja. Atbilstoši Wikipedia aprakstam, tā ir tāds kā īsfilmu apkopojums, kur pieci dažādi ievērojami turku režisori izstāsta kādu stāstu no Stambulas dzīves, kaut kas līdzīgs kā "Paris, j`taime", turklāt katrs no šiem stāstiem ir sava veida alegorija par kādu slavenu pasaku.
2009-02-25 11:39:23
film, 2005

Saturday

7.5
Izlasīju kārtējo Makjuena romānu, tas jau sāk pārvērsties par tādu kā māniju. Šoreiz romāns iesākās tieši tādā veidā, kādā veidā sākas grāmatas, kas man nepatīk - ar stāstījumu par galvenā varoņa - veiksmīga neiroķirurga - darbu slimnīcā. Nezinu, kāpēc, bet grāmatas, kuru galvenie varoņi ir ārsti, diezgan bieži manā uztverē nav sevišķi labas. It īpaši, ja runa ir par grāmatām ar trillera/detektīva elementiem - tas velk uz Artūram Heilijam līdzīgu pseido-mākslas un pseido-komerciālo literatūru, kaut kas līdzvērtīgs otrās šķiras zinātniskajai fantastikai, kurai nav nekā vairāk par sižetu. Taču Makjuens par spīti tam, ka viņš ne tuvu nav mans elks, tomēr ir gana labs rakstnieks, lai vismaz par to pašu Heiliju būtu labāks. Vispār jau šādas tādas epizodes te tiešām ir diezgan "heilijiskas" - gan degošā lidmašīna, gan galvenā varoņa sadursme ar pustrako tipu pie BMW stūres (redz, arī Anglijā tādi mīt) ir no diezgan sviestainās literatūras kategorijas. Ā, kamēr neesmu piemirsis, gribēju pateikt, ka degošā lidmašīna lidoja no Rīgas - jā, arī mūsu galvaspilsēta tikusi pie pieminēšanas Makjuena romānā. Bet bija viena grāmatas daļa, kas manās acīs tai uzreiz iedeva vismaz vienu papildu punktu - proti, tā daļa, kad Makjuens pievēršas galvenā varoņa kaislei uz mūziku un iepin stāstījumā Džeku Brūsu no "Cream". Ir jau zināms, ka atsauces uz mūziku jebkādās filmās vai grāmatās mani parasti ietekmē ļoti pozitīvi, un arī šis nav izņēmums. Un vispār jau šī grāmata bija diezgan laba arī neskatoties uz šo detaļu. Varbūt nedaudz par Makjuenam tipisku (viņš vispār neizceļas ar sevišķu oriģinalitāti), bet bija te šis tas, kas man patika - ieskaitot referenci uz paša Makjuena romānu "Child in Time" - tā bija riktīgi glīta.
2009-01-09 17:28:53
book, 2005

West Bank Story

7.0
"Rietumkrasta stāsts" ir īsfilma un kā likums es par tādām individuāli nerakstu. No otras puses, šī ir īsfilma, kas 2006.gadā saņēma Oskaru kā labākā īsmetrāžas īsfilma, tā ka likt to maisā ar kaut kādām citām īsfilmām nebūtu īsti pareizi, turklāt skatījāmies mēs to arī kā patstāvīgu kino darbu (kāds tā, protams, arī ir), tā ka es par to tūliņ rakstīšu, tūliņ, tūliņ.
2008-10-17 16:43:52
film, 2005

The Chumscrubber

6.0
"The Chumscrubber" bija sākotnējais filmas variants, ko biju gribējis piedāvāt skatīties viesiem mūsmājās pagājušo svētdien. Tā kā treileris nepārliecināja, ka šī filma varētu būt sevišķi saistoša, atkārtoti noskatījāmies lielisko Vesa Andersona "Rushmore", bet šai filmai pievērsāmies divatā nākamajā dienā.
2008-10-01 16:55:20
film, 2005

Romance and Cigarettes

8.0
"Romantika un cigaretes" ir viens ļoti specifisks mūzikls, tik specifisks, cik vien mūzikls var būt. Sāksim jau ar to, ka varbūt tas nemaz nav mūzikls. Varbūt ir, tas grūti padodas definēšanai. Otrkārt, tas ir absolūti "netīrs". Nē, ne tāds asiņains un baismīgs kā Tima Bērtona un Džonija Depa bārddziņa filma, bet gan seksuāli netīrs. Faktiski šī ir filma par pusmūža vīrieti, kas iemīlas seksapīlā rudmatē, kura ir tik neķītra, ka maz neliekas. Jā, šī rudmate ir Keita Vinsleta (spriežot pēc "Extras" redzētā, neķītrību runāšana vispār ir viens no viņas jājamzirdziņiem). Savukārt šī vīrieša sieva nez kāpēc nav sajūsmā. Plus - viņa pusaugu meita ir ieķērusies dziedātājā ar nikneimu Freiburgs, tas varētu īsajā atstāstā būt viss, ko no sižeta šeit būtu nepieciešams pieminēt.
2008-05-30 10:25:11
film, 2005

Tsotsi

7.0
"Tsotsi" manā kino projektā, kā var jau nojaust, pārstāv Dienvidāfrikas Republiku. Tāpat, kā jau var iedomāties, DĀR kino ziņā ir vismaz galvastiesu priekšā vairumam Āfrikas valstu - šeit kino veido patiešām īsti profesionāļi nevis traki entuziasti, kuriem no kino mākslas ir ne vairāk sajēgas kā teiksim man. Līdz ar to nav ko brīnīties, ka Tsotsi nav pat vienīgā Oskaram nominētā DĀR filma. Bet tā ir vienīgā, kurai ir izdevies šo prestižo statueti savā rīcībā iegūt. Es gan nevaru apgalvot, ka tā būtu galvastiesu pārāka par citām attiecīgajā gadā nominētajām filmām (jo, izņemot "Paradise Now" nevienu no tām neesmu redzējis), bet prestiži tas, protams, ir.
2008-05-27 17:29:24
film, 2005

Paradise Now

7.0
"Paradise Now" manā kinoprojektā pārstāv Palestīnu. Protams, Palestīna reāli nav valsts, bet vienlaikus tā nav arī daļa Izraēlas, un Olimpiskajās spēlēs Palestīna var piedalīties, kāpēc tad lai tā nevarētu piedalīties manā kino projektā? I see no reason.
2008-05-20 15:37:40
film, 2005

Shopgirl

8.0
"Shopgirl" ir viena no filmām, kuras lejuplādēju mānijas "noskaties visas Džeisona Švarcmena filmas" ietvaros. Filma vēsta par kādu jaunu sievieti, kas strādā Ņujorkā piektajā avēnijā veikalā par cimdu pārdevēju. Viņas dzīve nav sevišķi piepildīta, un tajā vienīgo gaismu ienes viņas aizraušanās ar zīmēšanu un kaķis. Taču tad gandrīz vienlaikus viņas dzīvē ienāk divi vīrieši - gadus 30 par viņu vecākais miljonārs Rejs Porters un dīkdienis - viņas vienaudzis Džeremijs.
2008-04-11 16:42:16
film, 2005

Stoned

5.5
Vai tavuprāt Braiens Džonss mira dabīgā nāvē (t.i., no narkotikām un alkohola) vai arī tika nogalināts? Ja tava atbilde ir "nezinu", tad tā sakrīt ar manējo pirms šīs filmas noskatīšanās (lai arī patiesībā es nebiju nekur dzirdējis, ka viņš būtu nogalināts, bet ka viņš ir miris, to gan zināju). Ja tu nezini, kas Braiens Džonss tāds ir, tad varu mazliet pastāstīt. Viņš bija viens no grupas Rolling Stones dibinātājiem, cilvēks, kas šai grupai iedeva tās nosaukumu. Teikt gan, ka viņš bija grupas centrālais dalībnieks, diez vai varētu, jo savos gados kopā ar Akmeņiem Džonss neuzrakstīja nevienu grupas dziesmu un pēdējos gados arī ģitāru spēlēja arvien retāk, jo viņam narkotiku problēmas bija vēl smagākas kā pārējiem grupas biedriem.
2008-04-07 17:08:56
film, 2005

The Cave of the Yellow Dog

7.5
"Dzeltenā suņa ala" ir filma, kas pārstāv Mongoliju manā projektā "Ar filmām apkārt pasaulei". Nezinu, vai tev tas ir zināms, bet Mongolija ir pasaulē vismazāk blīvi apdzīvotā valsts (par to zemāks iedzīvotāju blīvums ir vien Rietumsahārā, Grenlandē un Falklendu salās, bet tās visas nav patstāvīgas valstis). Uz vienu kvadrātkilometru šajā valstī ir 1.7 iedzīvotāji (Latvijā - 36), tiesa pēdējos gados iedzīvotāju skaits valstī pieaug (lai arī es pāris minūšu laikā nespēju noskaidrot, kāpēc, jo dzimstība tur augsta nav, un par imigrāciju neko ar neredzēju).
2008-03-21 11:35:18
film, 2005

Forest of the Gods

7.0
"Dievu mežs" ir droši vien viens no līdz šim lielākajiem lietuviešu kino projektiem - pēc budžeta tas ir samērojams ar mūsu "Rīgas sargiem" un pēc tematikas arī gandrīz samērojams. Tā ir filma par kādu profesoru, kuru nacisti iesloga Štuthofas koncentrācijas nometnē par nepietiekamu lojalitāti Trešajam Reiham, bet vēlāk šis pats profesors ar stipri līdzīgu attieksmi pret sevi sastopas jau padomju Lietuvā. Par neko pārsteidzošu šajā situācijā laikam runāt nevarētu, tāpat nav pārsteidzoši, ka filma tapusi pēc lietuviešu rakstnieka Baļa Srogas autobiogrāfiska darba motīviem. Tāda bija tā laika dzīve, tādi bija tā laika tikumi.
2008-03-11 16:00:39
film, 2005

Time to Leave

6.5
Fransuā Ozona filmu viena no galvenajām iezīmēm ir to provokatīvā daba. Forma tam visam var būt dažāda - no viegli rotaļīgas tādas kā "8 sievietēs" līdz stipri skandalozajām "Ūdens pilēm uz karstiem akmeņiem" (filma, kas radīja lielisko 1188 kultūrcitātu), bet neviena viņa filma nav tāda, par ko tu varētu pateikt - nu, jā, filma kā filma.
2008-02-29 16:07:47
film, 2005

The beat that my heart skipped

5.5
Lai arī šī skaitās ļoti kvalitatīva un tipiska francūziska filma, kura pasaka kaut ko tādu, uz ko Holivuda nekad nebūtu spējīga, personīgi mani tā pamatīgi nogarlaikoja un neko dižu tajā es nesaskatīju.
2008-02-07 17:13:30
film, 2005

The 40 Year-Old Virgin

7.0
2005. gadā, kad "Nevainīgs 40 gadu vecumā" kļuva par vienu no gada lielākajiem kases grāvējiem, man neradās ne mazākā vēlēšanās šo filmu noskatīties. Kāpēc tā? Tāpēc ka 40gadnieku auditorijai pārveidots "American Pie" nav tieši tas, kas man asociējas ar labu kino (ok, varbūt 30gadnieki arī ir mērķauditorijā, bet who cares). Šogad, kad esmu noskatījies jau vismaz trīs Apatova filmas (ne visās viņš bijis režisors, bet viņa līdzdalība vienmēr ir pietiekami jūtama): "Knocked Up", "Anchorman" un "Superbad", izlēmu - what the heck, jāiedod iespēja arī nevainīgajam Stīvam Kerelam.
2007-12-14 12:24:25
film, 2005

Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros

6.5
Es nepavisam nebrīnītos, ja izrādītos, ka esmu vienīgais cilvēks Latvijā, kas ir redzējis filmu "The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros". Ja kāds, izņemot mani, to ir redzējis, viņš droši vien ir gejs un/vai transpersona. Tiesa, es neesmu ne viens, ne otrs, bet šo filmu esmu noskatījies. Tā ka, iespējams, šāda loģika īsti nedarbojas.
2007-12-11 12:13:19
film, 2005

Breakfast on Pluto

6.0
"Breakfast on Pluto" patiesībā ir gluži vienkārša filma par kādu īru transseksuāli, mācītāja dēlu/meitu. Vai tad visas filmas nav tādas?
2007-11-14 17:03:36
film, 2005

Tideland

7.5
Jaunākā Terija Giljema filma "Tideland" nebūtu nosaucama par jebkāda veida panākumu - kritiķi par to nepavisam nav sajūsmā (Rottentomatoes vērtējums 29%), skatītāji arī gluži par meistardarbu to nesauc (6.6 no IMDb). Lai raksturotu šīs filmas izraisīto reakciju, sniegšu pāris citātus:
2007-11-05 16:03:28
film, 2005

The Mystery of Hammeshoi

7.0
The Mystery of Hammershoi is most certainly the least popular from the whole bunch of TV documentaries that Michael Palin has done for BBC. And it`s so for a good reason. After all you couldn`t expect millions of people to go stark raving mad for a one hour program about some semi-obscure Danish painter who died almost a hundred years ago.
2007-11-05 11:40:44
film, 2005

The Breath of the Gods

5.0
Bernards Verbērs ir viens fenomenāls "frukts" - viņam ar pirmo romānu, kas nokļuva manās rokās, izdevās mani savaldzināt un ar visiem vēlākajiem darbiem viņš mani tikai arvien vairāk atvaldzina. Uz šodienu esmu izlasījis kopumā septiņas viņa grāmatas, un katra nākošā mani pārsteidz arvien mazāk, tomēr vismaz kārtības labad droši vien piebeigšu gan "Skudru" triloģiju, gan pēcnāves dzīves pentaloģiju.
2007-08-29 10:36:35
book, 2005

Never Let Me Go

7.0
Kādas ir tavas domas par cilvēku - orgānu donoru - audzēšanu? Vai tāda būtu vēlama vai nē? Vai klonēt cilvēkus, kas jau kopš bērnības tiek sagatavoti donora karjerai, ir humāni vai nē?
book, 2005

Casanova

7.5
Droši vien, šī nav visu laiku patiesākā un/vai precīzākā filma par slavenā Kazanovas dzīvi. Protams, mākslas filmas vispār nav gluži tas veids, kā iegūt faktoloģisku informāciju, bet šī filma pat kino žanrā nebūtu uzskatāma par diez ko biogrāfisku.
film, 2005

Extras Season 1

8.5
Pēc ilgāka laika, kad neko tādu teicis neesmu, teikšu sekojošo - uztrāpījos uz vienu riktīgu pērli. Jā, es zinu, ka tas ir tikai vēl viens angļu seriāls, kuru atkal jau veidojuši Rikijs Džervejs un Stīvens Mērčants, kuri abi šeit arī ievērojamu laiku redzami uz ekrāniem (it īpaši Džerveiss, protams). Taču - atšķirībā no the Office - šis seriāls ir tik smieklīgs šī vārda tradicionālajā izpratnē, ka nenosmieties.
film, 2005

Man without a Country

9.0
Kad es izdzirdēju, ka iznākusi jauna Vonnegūta grāmata, mana pirmā reakcija bija: wov! Kad uzzināju, ka tas ir eseju krājums, nevis romāns, mazliet sadrūmu. Romāns un esejas tomēr nav gluži viens un tas. Tomēr tas nemainīja faktu, ka gribēju uzzināt, ko tad vecais labais Kurts bija gribējis pateikt pasaulei neilgi pirms nāves.
book, 2005

The Tiger and the Snow

9.5
Roberto Benini - Jūs turpināt mani apburt! Protams, es apzinos, ka Benini ir šis tas kopīgs ar Vudiju Alenu, taču, ja godīgi, mani tas ne mazākajā mērā neuztrauc. Vismaz es nevaru neatzīt, ka divas viņa filmas, kuras esmu redzējis, ir ierindojamas starp emocionāli visspēcīgākajiem kinodarbiem, kādus es jebkad esmu redzējis.
film, 2005

Horoshij Stalin

6.5
Lasot šo Viktora Jerofejeva memuārisko grāmatu, es saskāros ar tipisku problēmu, kas mani mēdz piemeklēt dažādu rakstnieku sakarā - es parasti lasu tikai tādu cilvēku memuārus, kuru faktiskos darbus es nemaz nepazīstu. Un šis ir vistipiskākais gadījums. Maksimums, ko es varētu teikt par Viktoru Jerofejevu, ir tas, ka viņa vārdu es kaut kur esmu dzirdējis.
book, 2005

The Zodiac

5.0
Nu, lūk, jūsu uzmanībai tipisks neuzmanības gadījums (hmm... divreiz atkārtoju vienu vārdu): noskatījāmies pie NR filmas "Zodiac" reklāmas rullīti un tad, skatoties pašu filmu, nevarējām nekādi saprast, kad mums beidzot rādīs reklāmā redzētos kadrus. Bet tie nekādi neparādījās (tā kā iekš otrajiem Klerkiem tā arī neparādījās neķītrā Kellija, kurai vajadzēja rotaļāties ar ēzeli). Tomēr filma it kā bija riktīgā - vismaz tā bija par leģendāro zodiaka slepkavu, kas terorizēja Amerikas dienvidus sešdesmito beigās un septiņdesmito sākumā.
film, 2005

Colour Me Kubrick: A True...ish Story

6.5
"Colour Me Kubrick" ir uz reaaliem notikumiem balstiita filma, cik neticami tas lai arii neshkjistu. Galveno lomu tajaa atveido Dzhons Malkovichs, paziistams, kaa zinaams, kaa tips no taas filmas, kuraa aplaupa banku, un no "Being John Malkovich". Malkovicha varonis ir kaads celjojoshs tirgotaajs vaardaa Alans Konvejs (reaala persona), kura pamatnodarbe bija uzdoties par slaveno kino rezhisoru Stenliju Kubriku un guut labumu no shaadas uzdoshanaas, protams, par labu vinjam shajaa situaacijaa naaca tas, ka Kubriks, lai gan bija ljoti respekteets rezhisors, nebija taada tipa slaveniiba, par kuru daudzi zinaaja, kaa vinsh izskataas. Taalab Konvejs speeja lieliski dazhaadiem cilveekiem apsoliit sho vai to vinju karjeras labad, pretii prasot, lai vinjam kaut ko izmaksaa (jo Kubrikam-Konvejam diivainaa kaartaa vienmeer bija aizmirusies liidz vinja platiina krediitkarte), kaa arii guut seksuaalus pakalpojumus (veel viens triks - ekscentriskais homoseksuaalis Konvejs absoluuti nospljaavas uz to, ka Kubriks nebija gejs, neintereseejoties par atbilstiibu teelam). Kas Konvejam gan reizeem radiija probleemas, bija fakts, ka vinsh iipashi daudz par Kubrika filmaam nezinaaja un orienteejaas tajaas ne labaak, kaa, teiksim, es. Toties vinsh lieliski maaceeja iepiit sarunaas to, ka vinsh nupat pusdienojis ar Tomu Kruuzu vai ka vinja naakamajaa filmaa piedaliisies Elizabete Teilore un vienmeer vinja kaarteejiem pazinjaam atradaas kaada vietinja jaunajaa filmaa atveeleeta. Protams, tas noveda arii pie taa, ka Konveju biezhi gribeeja sist, bet kas vinjam bija pluss - neviens iipashi negribeeja iet pie policijas, jo cilveeka reputaaciju vareetu nedaudz ietekmeet publiskaas zinjaas izplatiita informaacija par vinja uzkjershanos uz pseido Kubriku un paarguleeshanu ar vinju.
film, 2005

Solomon vs. Lord

6.5
Lai gan tā varētu padomāt, šī nav grāmata par Zālamana sāncensību ar Dievu, bet gan par Solomonu, kas sacenšas ar Lordu (konkrētāk Stīvs Solomonds vs. Viktorija Lorda - lai nejuktu arī ar grupu "Lordi"). Šo grāmatu paņēmu no Rīgas kā 3. grāmatu savam Ženēvas braucienam un sanāca, ka tā tika izvēlēta par to grāmatu šajā trijotnē, ko paredzēts izlāsīt tieši atrodoties Ženēvā un tā es arī izdarīju. Iespējam,s tā kā tā nav nedz īpaši augstas raudzes, nedz nopietna literatūra, tā ir ļoti viegli lasāma. Patiesībā Amerikā laikam tiesu romāni ir ļoti populārs žanrs un arīdzan Pols Levins ir viens no tām pārstāvjiemk, kā saprotu viņam ir vēl 2 grāmatas par Lordu un Solomonu, bet tās es pilnīgi noteikti nelasīšu, lai gan šī grāmata patiesība nemaz nebija slikta, bet turpinājumi šāda stila literatūras kontekstā man ir absolūti vienaldzīgi. Tātad, par šo grāmatu. Stīvs Solomons ir ļoti arogants un nekaunīgs advokāts, kurš tomēr cenšas aizstāvēt klientus, kas nav pārāk vainīgi. Tiesā vinš stājas pretī jaunajai un talantīgajai Vikijai, kas pārstāv lietā valsti. Viņu starpā sākas lekšanās, kas beidzās ar to, ka tiesnesis, lai atvēsinātu šo parīti, abus divus uz brīdi ievieto kamerā. Un ar to arī viss sākās un 500 lappušu garumā turpinās. Pat aklam kurmim no sākta gala ir skaidrs, ka beigties viss var tikai ar Solomona un Lordas mīlestības nostabilizēšanos, taču līdz tam tik viegli nevar tikt. Solomons, kas patiesībā ir tāds kaktu advokātelis, negrib zaudēt aizgādniecību pār savu māsasdēlu Bobiju, kas sirgst ar autismu un kuru Stīvs ļoti mīl, līdz ar to viņam nepieciešama liela un ienesīga lieta. Un par šādu lietu izrādās lieta ar Ketrīnu, kas ir Lordas tenisa spēļu biedrene, kura tiek apsūdzēta sava vecākā un bagātā vīra nogalināšanā (vīrietis miris aizdomīgos apstākļos sado-mazo seksa laikā). Un sanāk, ka Solomons un Lorda kopīgi uzņemas aizstāvēt šo sievieti (Viktorija zaudējusi darbu zaudēta tiesas procesa dēļ, tāpēc viņai ar ir vajadzīgs kāds juridisks pasākums). Tad nu šie ķīvējas un mīlējas (ķīvēšanos pastiprina tas, ka Vikija ir saderinājusies ar tipu vārdā Brūss Bigbijs, kas ir milzīgas avokado fermas īpašnieks un rūdīts veģetārietis). Ai, vairāk man skaidrot ir slinkums, izņemot to, ka Viktorija beigās paliek kopā ar Stīvenu (kas viņai sagādā tādus orgasmus, kā neviens cits nekad un nekur - bļin, kā mani kaitina seksa tēma šāda stila grāmatās), Ketrīna tiek attaisnota (lai gan jātzīst, ka ļoti debīlā veidā - izrādās, ka vīrs izdarījis pašnāvību, mēģinot novelt vainu uz sievu, jo tā viņam bija neuzticīga, bet viņam pašam bija vēzis un neilgi atlicis ko dzīvot; man īpaši debīli tas šķiet tīri no ticamības momenta - vecis būtībā nožņaudzās, bet vinš būtu varējis jebkurā brīdī atbrīvoties, ja to vēlētos, bet kas ir zināms par pašnāvībām, ka praktiski visi pašnāvnieki pēdējā brīdi (un parasti pat pēc pēdējā brīža) pārdomā šo savu lēmumu un reāli cilvēks nevar nožņaugties, ka vinš vēl pēdējā brīdī, kad elpas jau galīgi trūkst, var sevi atbrīvot, vinš to arī izdarīs). Jā, starp citu grāmata ir uzrakstīta ar visnotaļ labu humoriņu, bet tai ir vairāki izteikti mīnusi - pirmkārt, visas tās personiskās attiecības ir stipri vien prognozējamas un kamēr Bobijs (māsasdēls) ir prikolīgs personāžs, Brūss Bigbijs ir a total bore un vispār ziepju operas stila sižeti nekad nav bijuši mana iecienītākā tējas krūze. Kopumā gribu teikt, ka izvēlējos nepareizu situāciju, kad šo gramātu lasīt - to man vajadzēja lasīt lidmašīnā - viegla, nepretencioza literatūra, ja grāmatu lidmašīnas salonā aizmirsti, pat nevajag pārdzīvot.
book, 2005

Elizabethtown

8.0
Uz šo brīdi svaigākā Kamerona Krova filma kritiķiem īpaši pie sirds nav gājusi, lai gan, protams, kritiķi nav tā publika, kuras viedoklim vajadzētu šausmīgi ticēt. Pretējā gadījumā varētu secināt, ka "Elizabettauna" ir sliktāka filma nekā "Ali G Indahouse" (29% iekš rottentomatoes pret 50%). Orlando Blūma varonis Drjū šajā filmā ir nupat atklājis, kāda ir lielākā atšķirība starp "failure" un "fiasco" - otrais ir tāds, kas citiem liek justies labāk tāpēc ka tas nav atgadījies ar viņiem. Un Drjū patiešām ir mazliet iekāpis sūdos - viņa dizainēts jaunās paaudzes sporta apavs ir izrādījies tik katastrofāli neveiksmīgs, ka kompānijas vadītājs rēķinās ar vairāk nekā 900 miljonu dolāru zaudējumiem un Drjū, dabiski no darba būs jāatvadās. Tiesa, vēl paies dažas dienas, līdz to uzzinās pasaule, kad iznāks žurnāls ar ekskluzīvu Drjū interviju, kurā viņš atklāj šādas tādas sava fiasko detaļas. Viņš pārnāk mājās ar tikai vienu domu - pašnāvība. Viņš ir jau izmetis uz ielas visas savas mantas un pārtaisījis istabas trenažieri par nāves mašīnu, kad atskan telefona zvans - miris Drjū tēvs un viņam jābrauc uz kaut kādu dienvidu pilsētiņu savākt līķi un aizvest to uz bērēm. Taču lidmašīnā uz to pusi viņam notiek liktenīgā tikšanās ar Klēru - vienīgo reisa stjuardesi, kas apkalpo viņu - vienīgo reisa pasažieri. Klēra ir diezgan runātīga un uzmācīga, kas kļūst par sākumu viņu attiecībām, kas vislielākajā mērā attīstās nakts garuma telefona sarunā. Vēl filmā iesaistās pāris izteikti kolorīti personāži, tai skaitā Drjū lauciniecisks brālēns, kas reiz spēlējis koncertā, kur "gandrīz" iesildījis Lynyrd Skynyrd - savus absolūtos elkus, un tā paša brālēna dēls - pustraks sīkais. Filmas žanrs: romantiska komēdija ar lielu daudzumu mūzikas, principā - diezgan prognozējams žanrs Kamerona Krova filmai. Vēl daudzi pārmet šai filmai lielu līdzību ar Garden State, principā iespējams, bet kāpēc divas līdzīgas filmas nevarētu abas būt labas? Nesaskatu tam nevienu iemeslu. Vismaz es abās no tām varu saskatīt gana skaistuma. Protams, tas nav "Almost Famous", bet vai tad ir daudz filmu, kas ir "Almost Famous"? Laba mūzika, interesanti un glīti personāži, svaigs humoriņš, tas ir pilnīgi pietiekams komplekts ļoti labai filmai.
film, 2005

Manderlay

8.5
Помню, как несколько лет назад мы с приятелями начали смотреть предыдущий фильм фон Трира - Догвилль с Никол Кидмен в главной роли. Тогда мы ели 5-литровое мороженное с киви и до конца фильм так и не досмотрели, а вторую половину я смотрел в одиночестве уже в другой день. Тогда одну вещь мы никак не могли понять - а почему этот фильм считается весьма безжалостным и ужасным. Когда я досмотрел до конца, вопросов у меня больше не было. В "Мандерлее" уже намного раньше становится ясно, что тут не будет. Грейс (роль которой взяла теперь на себя Брайс Даллас Ховард, героиня фильма "The Village") вместе со своим отцом (Виллем Дефо) и его бандой гангстеров едет из одного штата в другой, когда их машину останавливает чернокожая женщина, просящая остановиться и помочь бедному мальчику, которого в Мандерлее будут бичевать за кражу (а это стандартный штраф для черных рабов). Грейс возмущается, узнав, что в плантации Мандерлей 70 лет назад "забыли" отменить рабство и, используя силу мальчиков своего папаши, Грейс данную несправедливость исправляет. Только папочку такие занятия не очень занимают, вот он и оставляет Грейс четверку своих лучших верзил и хитрого юриста в придачу, а сам отправляется дальше по делам. Очень скоро после этого умирает Мэм - старая хозяйка плантации, вот и начинаются новые времена в Мандерлее. А что происходит? Большинство освобожденных рабов не знают, чем заняться, так как их никто больше не принуждает к работе, а белые тем временем становяться заключенными в Мандерлее. Грейс пытается в своей маленькой общине развить демократию и кое-каких результатов добивается. Например, бывшие рабы учатся голосовать по важным вопросам, что в результате приводит к разного рода ущемлениям их же собственных прав. Они опаздывают с посевом хлопка и лишь благодаря уму старого Уильяма (старшего раба) удается все же людей заставить действовать. Только провизия кончается и женщинам Мандерлея приходится есть землю, что кстати запрещал рабский закон Мэм, с последствиями которого Грейс упорно борется. Только в многих случаях оказываетсЯ, что рабское общество в Мандерлее функционировало лучше демократии. Особенно явным это становится, когда умерает маленькая девочка, пострадавшая от песчаной бури, а оставшиеся в живых жители Мандерлея признают в смерти повинной ее бабушку, которой Грейс исполняет смертный приговор. Сама Грейс тем временем влюбляется в гордого негра Тимоти, который в отличии от своих собратьев происходит от африканского племени принцев и не пользуется спиртным и не играет в карты. Но когда Грейс отдается Тимоти, оказывается, что никакой он не принц, а пройдоха, который умудрился проиграть в городе все деньги, которые Мандерлею причитались за урожай хлопка. Но перед тем как установить правду и признать виновным Тимоти, местные жители успевают убить кучку своих, так как считают, что те отдали деньги уехавшим гангстерам Грейс. А о рабских законах Мэм оказывается, что их единственным автором является негр Уильям, вместе с Мэм некогда решивший, что к освобождению рабов Америка еще не готова и что всем было бы лучше остаться при прежнем порядке дел. Ну, а Грейс в итоге жители Мандерлея заставляют стать новой Мэм и восстановить рабство, и ей только чудом удается спастись бегством. Вообще Мандерлей очень похож на Догвилль - та же сценическая обстановка, где все происходит без каких либо декораций, та же условность всего происходящего, та же неожиданная лопата, которой зритель получает по голове и не понимает, что же это такое, как все такое возможно. По мне - великолепный фильм.
film, 2005

Sileni

8.5
"Trakie" bija viena no tām filmām, kuru lejupielādei es veltīju daudz laika. Patiesībā tik bieži tas nenotiek, ka es esmu gatavs vairākas dienas (vai pat nedēļas) gaidīt uz filmu. Mūsdienu lielo ātrumu laikmetā šāda ilga filmas gaidīšana ne tuvu vairs nav norma, pat man, taču Jana Svankmajera dēļ esmu gatavs arī uz izņēmumiem. Vienīgā viņa filmu vaina ir tāda, ka man tās neizbēgami nākas skatīties vienam - atrast kādu, kas gribētu ar mani kopā skatīties uz rāpojošām pa zemi mēlēm, ir pagrūti. Turklāt, lai gan Svankmajers pats filmas ievadā pastāsta, ka šī filma būs tāds pats mēsls kā visas citas šausmu filmas, vecais čehs, protams, blēdās. Filmā viņš mēģinājies apvienot marķīza de Sada perversijas ar Edgara Alana Po baisajiem stāstiem un jāatzīst, ka tas viņam izdevies visai atzīstami. Galvenais varonis - Žans Berlo cieš no mēnessērdzības - naktīs viņam rādās murgi, ka ieradušies sanitāri no trakonama, lai viņu savākt, kā rezultātā Žanam raksturīgs izdemolēt visu istabu. Kāds dīvains Marķīzs ņemas viņam palīdzēt. Pats Marķīzs gan ir visai aizdomīgs - viņš nēsā parūku un braukā karietē, kamēr citi cilvēki labprātāk pārvietojas ar autobusu (jo darbība vismaz kaut kādā mērā notiek mūsdienās). Šis Marķīzs savā pilī organizē šausmīgas Dievu zaimojošas orģijas, kas Žanam liek vai trakam palikt. Un vēl trakāks viņš paliek, kad Marķīzs viņu nogādā trakonamā, kura vadītājs ir tips, kas ir vismaz tikpat ekscentrisks kā Marķīzs pats. Un tad Žanam viņa iecerētā meitene atklāj, ka trakonamā darās baisas lietas - Marķīzs un tā vadītājs doktors Mūrlops patiesībā ir izbēguši trakie, kas sagūstījuši īsto slimnīcas vadību un to Žanam ir jāatbrīvo. Viss jau būtu labi, ja neizrādītos, ka trakie ir mazāk traki nekā normālie ārsti, kas izmanto kaut kādas brutālas ķermeņa vājināšanas metodes (piemēram, izrauj mēles vai izdur acis, lai vājinātu miesu un vienlaicīgi stiprinātu prātu). Kopumā - ļoti baisa filma. Man patīk!
film, 2005

Príbehy obycejného sílenství

9.0
Atkal formāli man būtu jāraksta angliski, jo titri filmai bija latviešu valodā, bet man negribas, ka kāds no aptuveni 4 maniem vairāk vai mazāk regulārajiem lasītājiem šim ierakstam paiet garām tikai tādēļ, ka tas ir angļu mēlē.
film, 2005

Popsa

5.5
Вообще-то надо признать, что "Попса" - это очень даже попсовый фильм. Даже такой человек как я, который не слишком интересуется русским кино, уже пару фильмов на данную тематику видел (не далее как в прошлом году в автобусе в Венгрию мы с моей невестой - ныне женой - смотрели "Ландыш серебристый"). Сюжет в "Попсе" примерно такой-же как в Ландыше. Молодая девка под именем Славка приезжает в Москву, чтобы покорить столицу как певица и авторша собственных песен. Год назад в ее деревне побывала известная московская продюсерша Лариса и сказала Славке заехать к ней, если та вдруг забредет в Москву. Вот Славка и весь год собирала деньги, чтобы добраться до Москвы и стать там примой сцены. Однако оказывается, что она не совсем правильно Ларису поняла, все же благодаря своей настойчивости и живости она шанса у Ларисы добивается и проводит с ней в месте один день в Москвке, по дороге знакомясь с закулисами попсовой индустрии. Оказывается, что там одни развратники, да наркаши, да шизики и что быть звездой - это не фунт изюма. В принципе, фильм очень простой - ничем не удивляет, ничего особо в голове не остается. Единственная дельная мысль - когда Славка говорит, что попса ей не нравится и что она, дескать, лучше умеет, а Лариса ей: а ты Тома Вайтса знаешь? а этого блюз-гитариста? Нет? Так куда лезешь? Да вот жаль, что лично я из этого фильма ничего нового не узнал. Тогда вопрос - а зачем мне его смотреть то было? Кажется - пользы никакой.
film, 2005

Hleb

5.0
Ļeningrad galvenais skaistums, kā daudzi apgalvo, ir grupas sulīgajos tekstos, taču, manuprāt, otrs tās pluss ir foršais un optimistiskais ska skanējums. Žēl tikai, ka albūmā "Hļeb" no tā ir visai maz manāms. Jau pirmais gabals "Ļeņin-grad" izklausās visai nesakarīgs un mūzikas ritmi ir nevis perfekti vienoti kā "Gogol Bordello", bet gan šķiet, ka katrs instruments ierakstīts, īpaši nesaistot to ar pārējiem. Nākamā kompozīcija "Ņebesnij Tennis" vispār ir kaut kāds pilnīgs sviests ar stulbu bītu un muzānu vidēji statistiskās krievu radiostacijas gaumē. Ir albūmā arī dažas tīri foršas dziesmiņas, tādas kā `Futboļnij klub`, "Sutj" ir labs teksts par to, kā nevienam nav vajadzības lamāties trīsstāvīgi. "Pesņa starogo fanata" izklausās pēc rupja Visocka. Tomēr visinteresantākais veidojums ir pēdējā kompozīcija "Maļeņkaja Ļeņingradskaja Simfoņija", kur simfoniskais orķestris iespēlējis pāris Ļeningrad dziesmas un patiesībā izklausās itin glīti, no kā var secināt, ka simfonizējot varbūt arī backstreet boys izklausītos gluži pieņemami, lai gan garantēt to tomēr nevar. Kopumā jāatzīst, ka man "Hļeb" izrādījās vilšanās - pārāk vienmuļi, pārāk nemelodiski, pārāk politizēti.
music, 2005

Fun with Dick and Jane

6.0
I tried my best to accept this film as a very good comedy, yet somehow I couldn`t achieve that. And why is that? Because the film takes a very good premise and turns it into a blank slapstick comedy. Dick (played by Jim Carrey) has just been promoted to VP when his company suddenly collapses just like Enron did. He and his wife Jane (played by the not particulary famous Tea Leoni) who has quit her own job because of Dick`s promotion now have no means of supporting themselves and their Spanish speaking kid Billy (who`s probably the funniest character of the film). Dick has no way of getting a new job for nobody wants a vice president of a company that proved to be made out of shit. Why can`t Jane find a new job is beyond my understanding for she wasn`t involved in her husbands affairs, probably it`s just so we would have more fun. When they see no way out, they turn to crime and start doing more or less funny robberies. From this point the film could have evolved into something reminiscent of "Bonnie and Clyde", yet it still remains a silly comedy, in which when you give the money of a bad guy to the good people in the end no one cares that you have performed various acts of crime along the way and in which there`s no way the same bad guy can retain his money when Dick and Jane have used a fraud paper to transfer his money to a different account. I guess were in not for the ending, I would have little trouble giving this film a good overall rating, yet I hate this Hollywood habit of ending a film with the least logical sequence just so the viewers would feel good after the film. And so they could believe that you can arm a drug store armed with a plastic squirt gun and that the drug store employee will be too afraid to take his double-barreled gun from the back of the counter and blow your brains out.
film, 2005

Hoodwinked

7.5
This is a B cartoon, according to the budget, according to the participants and according to the animation. To be honest, during the first minutes of the cartoons they eyes just cringe - there`s very little polygons involved, models move in strange ways and the face of Little red riding hood is just awful. But when one starts to accept the visual style as "an artistic decision" the cartoon starts to improve. It has a rather interesting story about who and why crashed Granny`s house and who and why made all the candy makers leave the market. It involves Little red riding hood, Wolf the reporter, a x-sports performing Grandmother, an Austrian woodsman who drives "The schnitzel truck" and a group of detectives, one of whom is played by Xzibit. In the end it`s funny, if not particulary stunning to the eye. I`ve seen far worse cartoons with far bigger bucks involved, and I have no reason to dislike Hoodwinked just because "Shrek" had better animators.
film, 2005

Match Point

8.0
I never thought this could happen to me. Come on baby, let me see. I`ve seen films by Woody Allen before but today he just knocked at my door. Everybody`s got something to hide except for me and my monkey. L-O-L-(a).
film, 2005

Memoirs of a Geisha

8.0
Theoretically I should have disliked this film from the very first moments of it - you see, I`m not exactly fond of the Japanese culture and neither am I a huge fan of Hollywood takes on different cultures. But surprising it proved to be a very worthy film. I still can`t say that I can identify myself with geishas perfectly - I`m not 100% sure that I understand what`s so cool about them. And - why do Japanese make those cardboard houses that I could accidentally destroy after having slipped on a wet floor and crashed through the wall? Neiter do I get what`s so cool about wearing dressing gowns (I don`t care that they call it kimono - it`s still a gown to me), putting on lots and lots of makeup and - the part that bugs me the most - what`s about those shoes? I suppose Japanese people think that wearing ugly sandals with the sole a whole foot thick as the greatest idea ever, but I`ll quote Edmund Blackadder here: "It`s the worst idea since Abraham Lincoln thought to himself - I`m bored from sitting at home, I think I shall go to see a show tonight." The film itself though is good, a bit depressive of course, for there`s not much funny in being sold by your father to be a geisha (although geisha is not a prostitute and it`s very cool to be a geisha and everyone envies you if you become one) and your virginity is put on an auction after you`ve given rice puddings to the contestants, and you end up with your first sexual experience being offered by a fifty year old doctor called Dr. Crab. But that`s life I suppose. The dreary content doesn`t change the fact that the film is astonishingly beautifully directed and that there`s lots and lots of breath taking scenes in it (yeah, and there are no silly folks with blades in sight, just a couple of funny sumo warriors).
film, 2005

Pride and Prejudice

7.0
I`m not sure whether I expected this film to good or bad. As a rule I`m not too fond of movies about Victorian or Georgian England - I`m not really the most sentimental fellow in the world and I didn`t like the first 50 pages of "Sense&Sensibility" that I managed to read (yeah, I know that it`s a different book). But on the other hand I tend to enjoy non-Hollywod movies better than those coming from the factory of dreams. This film proved to be neither exceptionally bad nor exceptionally good. There`s this family of quite good but not great origin that has five daughters in the right age to get married and everything seems to be going perfect when a very rich fellow comes to their village from London, yet his prejudiced friend named Darcy (and recycled for "Bridget Jones`s diary") forces him not to marry the oldest of daughters but to return to London. Meanwhile Darcy himself falls secretly in love with Elizabeth, the second daughter and the hero of this film (and most likely - also of the novel behind it).
film, 2005

Broken Flowers

8.0
How can this be true that women fall like crazy over Bill Murray? Is it just me or doesn`t this guy look particulary young or sexy? But no: first he had Scarlett Johansson in "Lost in Translation" and this time lots of hot chicks - including a minor aged one - fall to his grace. Don Johnston (B.M.) is an untypical macho figure that`s left by his latest flame and soon afterwards receives an unanymous letter that he has a 19 year old somewhere, so he goes on a search for the mystical son. Not that he wants to go on such a mystery quest but a neighbour of his - a devoted fan of crime/mystery solving - is able to persuade him to do so. So Don goes to meet some of his loves in order to find the one that has a son. We learn to know that the lives for his former girlfriends have played quite a lot of twists. One of them now works as a wardrobe organizer - she organizes the contents of people`s wardrobes and shelves. Another one has become an animal communicator - by that we understand that she`s able to talk to dogs, beavers and other furry creatures (there are two more women whom he visits but they aren`t that eccentric). Their attitudes towards Don differ from being willing to go to bed with him like in the good old days to starting to cry thus inducing Don being hit in a face by a rocker`s fist. The film is typical Jarmusch stuff, off course, - long pauses between sentences, beautiful imagery and not much going on. Jarmusch is certainly one of the directors who`s able to show that cinema is an art form not worse than any other, but what he lacks sometimes is "viewability" - although it`s not bad in "Broken Flowers" but it`s still far from the most amusing film I`ve seen in my entire life.
film, 2005

Everything Is Illuminated

8.5
After the first few minutes I put a question to the host of the even whether this was going to be a psychologically heavy movie (known as "gruzila" among our company). He stated that it was absolutely not a "gruzila". I still had my doubts about it because a film featuring some rich Jew travelling to Ukraine in order to see the village where all his relatives were executed rarely is a funny piece. Yet at least the first third of it wasn`t heavy. Later on when we switch a bit more to the Holocaust thematics it does get a bit more expected though. I may have stated this on my factoid more than once already but I`ll repeat it once again: I`ve had enough of the Holocaust already! I just don`t care for this subject anymore. I am aware that people are still researching everything about it but I am not interested. Not that I don`t care for different kinds of hate, discrimination etc, but I just think that there`s enough of films and books about the Holocaust already. This film was still a very good one, despite my attitude towards the subject. The closest parallel that comes to my mind is Emir Kusturica`s "Underground" - a supposedly comical tale that`s full of sadness and pain. And it`s even close in terms of musical content - only "E.i.I." doesn`t have Goran Bregovic or Kusturica doing the music, but chooses relying on the punky "Leningrad" and "Gogol Bordello". The weirdest thing about the film is the fact that it`s narrated partly in English (from the Jewish fellow who`s played by Elijah Wood), in broken English (a Ukrainian-Gypsy actor) and in Russian/Ukrainian - by the rest of the actors. That`s surely a rare case for an American film and I can be only very happy that I know both Russian and English for otherwise I`d miss a lot of it`s charme. By the way the fellow who plays the "cool" Ukrainian Alex is also the lead singer of the band "Gogol Bordello" which sounds very much like "The No-Smoking Orchestra" in deed, and since he`s a Gypsy himself - there`s no wonder about it. So, a very good film that`s bound to stay in my memory for a long time but I would watch it again only if I was forced by a gun.
film, 2005

Brokeback Mountain

7.0
Brokeback mountain is a tragical love story about two souls that urge to be together but but they can`t because others wouldn`t let them to. They just happen to be cowboys, they just happen to be gay and they just happen to be living in the South of the States. Donnie Darko (I can`t spell his real name correctly even if I copy/paste it from IMDB) and Heath Ledger (who`s called Ennis, Anus or Penis in this film - it`s a matter of what you want to hear) are two young cowboys who take the job of guarding sheep for a summer in the mountains. Whilst they`re there, a flame suddenly arouses between them which is expressed in the form of the good ol` in-and-out. But it`s not easy being droogies if you live in the South of the states, where faggots aren`t appreciated. Oh, now, they are usually viciously killed by the local rednecks and dragged around by their dicks until they fall off. Man, are those rednecks some twisted sick fuckers! Our heroes don`t get killed, but they have to hide their relationship, both of them get married and even get children but they can`t forget what happened between them at Brokeback mountain, so they`re left with no other option but to go occasionally "fishing" to the place where they love first appeared. Time goes by, but they are somehow quite stupid not to notice that the times change and that if they went a bit North they`d be out of the crappy macho world of the Texans and meet the glorious world of the 80s where being gay was already in fashion. Yet how can two cowboys from the South know that? They only listen to country music and participate in rodeos, or drink heavily, they have no chance to know what happens outside their little towns.
film, 2005

Hürriyet Love Express Storys

7.0
Germany is the second most turkish country in the world following Turkey itself. Therefore there`s no wonder that some sort of German-Turkish art has been becoming more and more known lately. "Hurriyet Love Express" is a book of stories about Turks in Germany. You probably know the song "Young Turks". In fact I`m not 100% sure that I do myself, but it`s just one more proof how the Turks are taking over the world. Just like the Chinese are. But enough of that. What is so special about this book that I decided to read it? Nothing really, just another case of taking a book by an unknown author from the library. Some of the stories are at least worth reading - the first one about a gambler who goes to Germany from Turkey in order to do his trade but when he arrives he sees that the gambling place isn`t built yet and that he`s come there as a construction worker. Then there was a story about a taxi driver picking up a Latino woman from a S&M club - the woman has come to Germany thinking that she`ll be working in a restaurant, just as she was in Columbia. To make it three stories mentioned in this memo factoid I want to tell myself a story about a young but poor guy who falls in love with a girl (quoting the White Stripes) and buys her 800 roses but doesn`t impress her with that. Oh, no, I don`t want to stop. Then there`s a story where a man steals expensive sunglasses from a store just because he doesn`t have cash and creditcards aren`t accepted, and when the glasses break he manages to get a new pair from the factory. In another story two guys desperate for sex start a lot of relationships through telephone ads and in the end each of them falls in love with a girl, only they don`t know that it`s the same girl but with different names. I guess that will do it - stories are good, not breaktaking, not bed shaking but a solid 7 is the right mark for a book like this one.
book, 2005

One Day in Europe

7.0
Actually I was going to see a different film but since it somehow didn`t work properly with the video projector there`s was no other option but than watch "One Day in Europe". I first learned to know that such a film existed quite a long time ago (circa 4 months I guess) when there was the first information about a festival of German football-related films in Riga. I was even intending to go and see "ODiE" at the cinema but I didn`t do it. Since the film watching event was a bit wider than my usual audience of 1 person I had my little concerns about how this film will come off with the audience. After all 3 of 6 spectators were of the feminine sex and girls typically don`t care much for football and films on football. Luckily I didn`t warn them what we were going to see, therefore no one had a chance to start arguing before switching the film on. Later on it proved that the film wasn`t about football after all, more likely it was a film about foreigners in trouble in different places in Europe. The film contains four separate stories, chained together by the football Champions League final game happening on the day when all other evens also take place. The first one is set in Moscow where a she-tourist gets robbed by some armed bandits and she tries to get help from the local police where nobody pays much interest for you, nobody speaks English and nobody believes that thieves can be caught. The second story is set in Istambul where a German tourist doesn`t get robbed but pretends that he did. He jumps into a cab and wants to go to a police station but the cab driver starts searching for the thieves on his own, not knowing that they don`t exist in fact. In the third story a Hungarian tourist lets a villain get away with his digital camera containing about 1500 shots. He must overgo a long and boring trip with a policeman to the office, at first it seems that this time for once there will be no problems for the city is packed with surveillance cameras, the only trouble is that some guard has spent a lot of time examining women`s legs and not filming the gate near which the man was robbed. The last scene is about a young French couple in Berlin who make their living from street performances but when the living is not enough they decide to simulate that... they have been robbed. In the end the cops don`t buy their story and the couple flees on the police car. As for the football - lots of supporters appear on the screen very often, and we learn to know that the game between Galatasaray and Deportivo La Coruna ended 1:1 and there were penalties.
film, 2005

Where the Truth Lies

7.5
When I went to the cinema to see this film little did I know what it was going to be like. After having a brief look at what IMDB told about this film I thought: cool, a mystery film! So I couldn`t resist from getting a couple of free tickets for this film and so I went to see it. The strange thing thou was the fact that I took with me not only my girlfriend but also a friend of mine. Everything would be just fine, had this film less sex in it. But as it is I felt a bit embarassing, there`s probably no need to explain exactly why. The story of the film was a mystery after all - two comedians (Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth) who were very famous once split up after a dead naked girl was found in their hotel room. An another girl who`s a young and talented reporter tries to solve the mystery of the death and of the split up. It`s especially important for her to learn to know more, since she has been a fan of these comedians since her childhood. But as it proves to be, both of her heroes aren`t the kind and caring they were supposed to be after all. One of them lays her and doesn`t care for her at all on the very next day, while the one played by Colin Firth... I`d rather not even say what sort of lesbian action he induces in the film. What I found especially nice was the dual appearance of Jefferson Airplane`s "White Rabbit" in the film. The first time it was done at a play with censored lyrics, the next time it`s ok.
film, 2005

Master and Margaret 8-10

7.0
Finally the series comes to the logical ending. Episode 8 I found to be the best of the whole ten. But after that things got quite silly. I have absolutely no idea why the filmmakers needed to insert bits from old video chronics in the film, they appeared absolutely out of place and had no real purpose. The last episode was even worse (the biggest part of the chronics appeared in the 9th part) - it seemed that the director had to make 50 more minutes but had the need for only 10 minutes, so everything drags for way too long and goes absolutely nowhere.
film, 2005

Master and Margaret 5-7

7.0
As the series pass over the equator the speed of the watching increases. While on the first two days I found two episodes a suffiecient dose on the third day I watched a whole three of them. In terms of content we start with Master still talking to Bezdomny and coming to the conclusion of his quite unhappy life. After that we travel to Jerusalem and see the death of Jeshua and Mathew trying to save his masters body in order to bury it. The rest of the episode mostly deals with tricks performed by Begemoth and Koroviev - the singing office, the working suit, the changing money etc. Episode six brings Berliozes uncle into the cursed apartments, the owner of the bar at the Variete also arrives. We see quite a lot of topless Gella who apparantely doesn`t have a scar on her throat which is a fact that I don`t understand. Closer to the end of the episode Margaret meets Azazello, that`s a very professionally done scene in my opinion. And at the end of the episode she turns into a witch and by does that quite convincingly. Since the film isn`t designed for adults only certain parts of the image are blurred. What concerns the technological aspect I can`t say that everything is done flawlessly but on the other hand true art doesn`t lie in millions of dollars spent for it. Episode seven brings us Voland`s ball. The events before it are done quite in an amateurish manner but the ball itself is quite good. Once again the makers of the film went for decency and put Margaret into a weird clothing from metal so she wouldn`t be naked, the suit itself is quite funny but once again I try to separate technology from message. In short - I still like the film although there are some things that I would have preferred to be done differently.
film, 2005

The Helm of Horror

8.5
Despite the fact that everybody and his grandmother has at least once proclaimed that the time of Pelevin were over he still always manages to bounce back and produce something truly worth reading. In his latest novel Pelevin once again takes a comfortable use of modern technologies. The first case when he did it was in the short story "The prince of the government plan" about a man playing "Prince of Persia". Then there was "Generation Pi" where the whole political scene of Russia was rendered by computers. Finally in the "Transitional Period" he wrote a monologue from a girl in a porno site. And now "The helm of horror" is written in a form of a chat discussion. Still this isn`t a simple chat because the number of users is limited, they can`t change their nicknames, they can`t leave the chat and they can interrupt one another - a thing impossible in a realistic chat. There`s a whole eight of them including a man named Monstrodamus, a Romeo, an Ariadna, an orthodox Christian woman named Ugli 666, a computer expert Nutrcracker, a woman of passion named Isolda, a strange fellow under the name of Organizm and drunk chat geek who uses the ugly chatter lexicon that i hate the most. The reasons for the whole situation lie in the fact that the eight people are inside a labyrinth in which the Minotaurus dwells. Every one of the characters has a labyrinth of his own next to his room. For one it is the windows screensaver "Maze", for another - a labyrinth in a park, for someone - a dead end with a chair, a loaded gun and a piece of paper. The problem is that no one knows where Theseus, the murderer of Minotaurus is. Yet they suspect that both Minotaurus and Theseus are among them. The deepest problem thou lies in the fact that everyone of them, including Minotaurus are inside the helm of horror which lies on the head of Minotaurus, therefore both Minotaurus and Theseus are a part of Minotaurus (similarly to a set of all sets which includes itself as a part of itself). The book is short, easy to read, but hard to understand. This time Pelevin doesn`t go too much for sex but much more for the content, and he`s a master of that for sure. Very good, I say.
book, 2005

Master and Margaret 3-4

7.5
The second day with the series didn`t produce a lot of unexpected effects. We see the first glimpse of Margaret, who happens to be pretty enough to be what she is. We also se Master meeting Ivan Bezdomny at the clinic and telling him that the stranger whom he met was the Devil himself. Apart from that the whole "Variete" gang including Rimsky and Varenuha suffer badly, Voland and his company have their performance and that is it. In terms of things bugging me or not bugging me. Most critics in Russia are somehow dissatisfied with the portrayal of Korovjev, although I find the actor nearly perfect. The actor playing Bezdomny reciewes only good words although he seems to much of Shura Balaganov (from "The golden calf") to me. The lack of special effects and the static camera grow more and more on me and I don`t care about them anymore. Probably I wouldn`t notice the camera at all, had I not read how badly it was used. The whole performance of the dark magic was done quite good despite some minor flaws combining two scenes in one. More about "Master and Margaret" will be written when I watch the later parts.
film, 2005

Master and Margaret 1-2

7.0
Some 20 years after his notorious "Dog`s Heart" Bortko has once again taken up the challenge of transferring a work of Mikhail Bulgakov to the big screen. Sadly the screen isn`t that big after all - the film is done in form of 10 episodes as a TV series. Most people probably know that TV series usually don`t have neither the money, nor the quality of a real big screener. But in case of Russia you can never know anything - one thing Russians are known for is their unpredictability. And sure they have once created some of the best TV mini-series ever, including "Mesto vstrechi izmenitj nelzja", "17 mgnovenij vesni", "The adventures of Sherlock Holmes" etc. But it all was in the old days when hobbits still happily lived in the snows of Siberia behind fences with barbed wire and guarded by tall and splendid looking goblins. In the modern days Russians have mainly switched to doing Hollywood-like action films, patriotic bullshit (also Hollywood-like) and TV soap operas. Therefore one can`t expect that Bortko would pull off a "Stalker" with his new film. Instead of stepping forward he has chosen to step back and look at the tradition. This comes once again as no surprise, since in "Sobachye serdse" he also used the black-and-white imagery immitating the aura of the pre-war post-revolution Russia. While watching "Master i Margarita" you`ll probably think that the last 60 years of cinematography simply don`t exist in the mind of Bortko - he rarely uses moving camera, editing is pre-CitizenKane styled, music only comes up when the viewer might otherwise not notice an emotionally dense moment etc. And the cat is done in form of a life-size pupper (or something like that) in a fashion a bit similar to that used in "Teenage Witch Sabrina". I`d certainly prefer a stop-motion animation cat in a fashion similar to that of Jan Svankmajer`s films but ok - that`s Bortko`s choice and not mine. So far the film seems ok - not brilliant, but not half bad either. The only thing that really bothers me is that some actors seem to have come directly from a theatre scene thus incapable of not overacting - intonations of secondary characters are occasionally absolutely unbelievable.
film, 2005

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

6.0
When I was a little baby-boy I used to read a lot of books for children. "The Chronicles of Narnia" was among the books I read. Today I am not a little boy anymore, therefore I don`t read books of this kind too much. Still there is a big inner child inside me which makes me watch every movie designed for little children and happily shout how great it is. I will not give you the story of this film for I`ve already done that on the record for the book of the same title, so I`ll just state how the film compares to the book. First, there`s a much longer description of World war 2 in the film than it was in the book. Ah, who cares about this stuff anyway. I don`t care, so you don`t care, so nobody cares. Hiphop rules!
film, 2005

Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

8.0
There`s something about this rabbit. I started writing my impressions of it yesterday but I somehow couldn`t get past the first sentence. Probably it was because I couldn`t concentrate for 100% since I was at my sisters place and everybody was talking all the time. Still it didn`t disturb me to do a bit of programming - which without a doubt is a much more demanding task than writing my own factoid. So it was maybe because of me being cursed by a were-rabbit, just like Wallace was. Then the press first learned to know that this cartoon was soon coming out I thought - hey, how come I not know anything about Wallace in Gromit if everyone considers this film such a huge event? Later on I learned to know that these characters also appeared in "Chicken Run", quite a famous cartoon about poultry but it was certainly too pale for my taste. This one was much better - the whole situation with a competition for gigantic vegetables may be a bit odd, and so would I describe the hunter fellow competing with Wallace for being the best rabbit catcher, but who gives a damn? At least there was no patriotic American cock in this film. Or a penis as a matter of fact. What we have here is some nice British actors, some nice British humour and one of the lead actresses from "Corpse Bride". I don`t know whether you`ve noticed that but I watched cartoons for two days in a row. And you know what? I liked them more than most of the films I had seen recently. I can`t really remember when I saw anything as jolly good as "Corpse bride" and "Wallace and Gromit". Ok, there was "3-Iron" but that comes from a completely different culture, and it offers something different from what you would await from American or even European films.
film, 2005

Corpse Bride

8.0
I remember having said this already at least once on this factoid but repetition is the mother of all knowledge, so here it goes: "Guys with puppets get chicks." I`m not really sure about that but cartoons with puppets get high rating points. Of course, "Corpse Bride" is one more indication of my obsession with Johnny Depp. I may turn into a stalker one of these days if I won`t stop raving for every bit of film where he`s on. Ok, I probably won`t watch the Elm street movies just because he appeared on them... but such an idea came to my mind something like a minute ago. No, I`m not that obsessed! There`s no way I`m going to watch this Freddy Krueger fellow just in order to see J.D. for 10 seconds. Anyhow, Corpse Bride is one gothic fairytale about a shy young man marrying a dead woman by accident. Victor and Victoria would have been a perfect couple if Victor hadn`t put his wedding ring on the finger of the deceased Corpse Bride. What`s good about the cartoon is the aura, the atmosphere and the animation. Here you won`t see neither the crappy Disney-style drawings that I can`t really stand nor the computerised animation which also rarely works perfeclty well. Although stop-motion animation isn`t quite the hottest trend nowadays in "Corpse bride" it`s done so perfectly that even I can`t complain (although you probably know that I do complain a lot). The story itself is quite nice and the difference between the grey and gloomy world of the living and the colourful mess of the dead is amazing indeed. The only thing I didn`t really like was Victor not staying together with Corpse Bride in the end - she was a much more interesting person than that Victoria for sure. But you can`t always get what you want, they say. Still the perfect combination would be achieved if the whole three of them had stayed together. Nah, that sort of relationships wouldn`t be tollerated in a PG cartoon.
film, 2005

Rapture of the Deep

6.0
The Purples are still rolling. Their lineup changes between almost any two albums yet the sound remains the same. Concerning "Rapture of the deep" this sound is pretty much the same as it was on "Bananas". And who would wonder about it - Ian Gillan`s pipes aren`t as powerful as they used to be and he can`t pull off some "Fireball"-like stuff. But he can be an angry granddad if nothing more - his angry growlings about "MTV" and how old bands can`t get their new songs on TV or on the radio. In terms of lyrics this album is straightforward as an arrow - it seems to me a bit that Gillan has for once thought that he may have a little statement on the latest record. But I don`t like "Deep Purple" for the message. I love "Deep Purple" for the loud guitars and for Gillan`s voice. I`d probably say that "Money Talks" is the best song on the album but I still can`t say that it`s particulary great. Maybe there`s little difference between this and the previous album but "Bananas" was a much more relaxed and uplifting record. It was funny while here "Deep Purple" sometimes sound like "Brutal Planet"-era Alice Cooper. And that`s not a good sign for a band that once did "Highway Star" and the "Speed King".
music, 2005

Too Much Monsoon

7.0
It`s been a while since I last heard anything from "Wheatus", a band that struck it big when I was still in high school and could perfectly associate myself with the loser person prom who`s perspective "Teenage Dirtbag" was sung. Since then some things have changed in the world while others have not. There was 9/11. Greece won at Euro 2004. My personal life has changed a lot (from zero to planning getting married). Ray Charles has died. Bob Geldof has organised a new Live Aid. Elton John has officially married his boyfriend. But the singer of Wheatus still has that cute falsetto he used on the last verse of "Teenage Dirtbag". The band still plays the same kind of alternative pop-rock as it did in 2000, relying on catchy choruses and simplistic instrumentation. The last aspect doesn`t come off as a wonder since the band has left a major label and is now recording and producing its album on its own. My personal favourite on this record is "I Am What I Is", a song with a title reminding of "You Are What You Is" by Frank Zappa. Overall the record does have one big problem - as it gets closer to the end the songs tend to get less and less interesting and more and more adventurous. Since I`m not interested in Wheatus for the bands ability to experiment I rather stay with "Something good" and "BMX Bandits" pop paradise and keep away from the less straightford tracks.
music, 2005

K.U.

6.0
Despite the name this band hasn`t a lot to do with United Kingdom, instead you should understand the name U.K. as a short form for "Udriitis" "K." - I`m not sure what the name of the second member of the due is. The former is quite a popular musician in Latvia as the singer for the band "Hobos" which is even mentioned somewhere on this factoid. On "K.U." he leaves behind his usual language of singing - English - and switches to his native Latvian. What this album has a lot of is pretty arrangements - what it doesn`t have is a lot of interesting songs - in terms of melodies there`s not too much to get from this album. "Tirgus" has a very resonant chorus in the language of the roman people. "It`s cold in Beijin" is by far the most catchy song on the album and it`s no wonder it became the first single of the record. "Gljuk" which is sung in Russian reminds of a Russian band DDT which is neither a plus nor a minus. Overall if you listen to this record a lot of times in a row you probably can find it quite a nice thing to listen to but once you`ve pressed the stop button on your cd player "U.K." ceases to exist for you.
music, 2005

I Am A Bird Now

6.0
If I knew anything about music I`d probably call "I`m a bird now" one of the best records (if not THE best) of 2005. And there`s no wonder why - this is music for intellectuals and not just some shlock for the average Joe. The lyrics are incredibly deep and emotional, the production is very accurate and full of pain and helplesness. But there`s one thing bothering me about this album - I don`t like it. Despite what THEY tell you I can`t find this disc particulary catchy. What is interesting is the feeling that this Antony is a 70 years old black man although in fact he`s neither black nor old. But his gospel-soul music isn`t exactly what I would want to find under the Christmas tree. He may be smart, he may be talented, he may be whatever he is but it`s still that old time rocknroll I want to hear and not his religiously sounding wailings.
music, 2005

King Kong

7.0
"I`m a king kong man, I`m a voodoo man, I am an apeman." This is a quote from a song entitled "Apeman" by "The Kinks". It has little to do with the brand new film by Peter Jackson ("Lord of the Rings") but since I like this song very much I can`t stop myself from referring to it right now. "King Kong" is a classic, ofcourse. I may haven`t seen neither the original 1933 film, nor the remake from 1970s but even I had at least some idea about the story. You know, a huge ape running around carrying a blonde and fighting off T-Rex`es, that kind of stuff. This new film features a strong cast including Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Jack Black (from "Tenacious-D") and some others that I don`t know, a huge budget providing terrific special effects and a touch of humanism. What the film had a little too much of was length. I am familiar with P.Jackson`s inability to make short films but I still found some of the fighting scenes too long. At least I have to admit that I was waiting for the ending quite a lot, which is no wonder, considering that we had seets in the second row and that the film started at fifteen past eleven, PM. By the way - if you`re in the right state of mind don`t even consider sitting that close to the screen! It sucks completely - the video quality seems to be worse than that of a screener, your eyes will ache all the time, you`ll be surrounded by ape-men and ape-women and you`re gonna find it quite hard to enjoy the best of films created by man. I can appreciate what Peter Jackson did to the King Kong story and I agree that it was cleverly done (apart from lots of little logical errors) but I can`t agree that this was the best film of 2005. On the other hand I doubt that I have already seen the best one yet.
film, 2005

Back To Bedlam

6.0
James Blunt may be one of the most successful performers of 2005 but his album lacks emotion and sticks to patters that leave no doubt that every beat in it, every sound is perfectly calculated in a way so teenage girls will like him. In terms of sound James Blunt is a replica of Coldplay with Elton John for singer done by the record industry. The big hit on this record surely is "You`re Beautiful" which is beautiful for sure and I have to admit that I like it as a sort of dirty pleasure. The tempo on most of the songs is slow and uninspiring. "Wisemen" sounds as if it was lifted straight off "Electric Fire" by Roger Taylor (I kinda like when Blunt changes his intonations for a few seconds for something pretty British and says "dirty bastards" though). "Goodbye my lover" is the piano equivalent for guitar strumming - it has close to no melody and sounds particulary silly. If James Blunt was a Leonard Cohen it would be perfectly fine but he ain`t no old Canadian Jew. "Tears and Rain" sounds ripped off from some oldie, maybe from James Taylor. Intro to "Billy". I just found out that James plays a lot of instruments on this album but that doesn`t really change anything. The album has catchy songs, it`s polished to perfection but it just doesn`t click emotionally and that`s a huge problem.
music, 2005

Slipstream

3.5
This was one of the few occasions when I watched a film entirely because of the fact that I knew it was going to be terrible. Although such reasons may seem quite obscure in reality it does make sense (at least mildly). You see, if a film is terribly bad it`s sometimes funny to watch. That doesn`t apply to comedies usually because a bad comedy is one that isn`t funny. But in case of sci-fi films a horrible film can mean an awful lot of fun. It was exactly the case with this film. It was so goddamn bad that I just couldn`t stop watching it. Sean Astin (also known as Sam the fat hobbit) is a geeky scientist who happens to have developed a time travelling device. The device isn`t particulary strong though - its power is enough only for a journey ten minutes back in time. Describing the story of this film is kinda silly for it doesn`t make particulary much sense. On the contrary, everything on here is done without a clear purpose, even the camera usage and editing are bizarre. Not bizarre as in crazy but bizarre as why couldn`t they do it better. As a matter of fact it`s hard to judge a film like this one. How bad is it? If you watch it and expect at least decent acting of okayish special effects you`ll be dissapointed. If you expect the worst film in film history you`ll also be dissapointed. If you expect a very stupidly done sci-fi film, "Slipstream" is the film for you. The idea itself was quite a good one but everything they did with it was so goddamn stupid that I can`t even express how stupid it is.
film, 2005

One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back

7.0
Special author note: I`ve changed my mind and now I`m ready to accept this as a really fine record. I`m not sure why I gave it such a very low rating in the first place and I`m too lazy to re-read what I`ve written here, so take my word - "One way ticket" is a real fine record after all. Still, since it probably depicts some of the feelings for the record I had something like 50 days ago, I won`t delete everything written below. Why would I? "Girlfriend" still has a ZZ-Top riff though.
music, 2005

War of the Worlds

5.0
If there`s one thing which I don`t understand conserning Steven Spielberg then it is why he is considered to be a great director. If you hear the name "Steven Spielberg" in connection with any film project you automatically start drooling expecting something miraculous. Well I have to admit I don`t! Ok, he may not be a bad director but most of his stuff is typical Hollywood blockbusters not intending to be something like high art. "The Schindler`s List"? I haven`t seen it and don`t intend to, I know enough about the Holocaust already. "Sawing private Ryan"? Had it been "Sewing private Ryan" I`d probably be interested. But war movies bore me. Indiana Jones? Yeah, sure this is the most elaborate kind of filmmaking ever, Orson Welles and Ingmar Bergman can`t offer anything to match the glory of Indy.
film, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

7.5
Hooray! I saw the new Harry Potter film even before its official world premiere! Isn`t that so cool that you can go to the screenings and see what others can`t? Not that I was that much of a Potter fan (or if you ask - not that I was a bit of a Potter fan at all), yet it is interesting to watch where the whole series are heading for. First I have to say that I missed the first few minutes of the film due to security measures of the cinema - the screening started earlier than it should - probably so potential screener makers would come too late, and apart from that I had to show the contents of my bag to a security fellow who was particulary interested in my laptop. Anyhow I didn`t miss that much so I probably don`t have to complain. In this part Harry Potter takes part in a weird competition of wizardry which leads to him resurrecting the Voldemort person. The film may really be darker than the previous parts but really dark it surely ain`t. Who would expect gothic horrors from the Rowling woman after all? CGI are quite good this time, you don`t get a lot of disastrous elements like there were in the Prisoner of Azkaban. Discussing the plotline it isn`t too advanced and too unexpected for sure yet quite solid without doubt. Ok, the whole thing with the ball is kinda sissy and only meant to show that HP is growing and that he and his pal will be needing to find some chicks in order not to become known as Harry Potter and his boyfriend. Still I think this may be the best HP film so far.
film, 2005

Under Cover

6.0
If this record were made some 30 years ago I`d have no doubt that Ozzy is a British singer. He comes from Manchester after all, doesn`t he? But nowadays mr. Osbourne is an American, he does reality TV, he cusses in the American manner and drugs have completely killed the few braincells he ever had. Probably it`s the reason for his new album with covers of brilliant songs. All songs overgo the typical Ozzy treatment and they sound as if they were just silly songs done by an old and weak drug addict. How can a man like him try to sing "In My life" or John Lennon`s "Woman" considering that Ozzy is the best example of a singer that can`t do gentle material, is a question worth asking for sure. Some of the songs work quite well - like Arthur Brown`s "Fire", others don`t. A hard rock version done by Ozzy of "All the young dudes" is a real laugh. I guess a former dark prince isn`t the most appropriate person to sing a song about crossdressing people. I can`t imagine anyone less gay than Ozzy. Not that I consider him particulary macho or anything like that - he`s too dead to be a sex god anyway. One more thing that I don`t understand is why he had to mess with "21st century scizoid man". Prog-rock and Ozzy? It`s not the most matching couple. But as a friend of mine said - the record is funny. Who cares wheter Ozzy wanted it to be?
music, 2005

A Singsong and a Scrap

8.0
I wonder why "Jesus H Christ" is the only record I`ve written about in this factoid. Considering myself quite a fan I don`t find this normal so this situation is going to be changed. And a brand new album from the Chumba camp is the perfect occasion to do just that. "A singalong and a scrap" is yet another record where the former punky anarchists use folk music as a weapon targetting their goals. If you didn`t know that they are a bunch of anarchists you`d never guess. You`d probably never know that the beautiful romantic "When Alexander met Emma" is a song about a couple of anarchists who wanted to asassinate the president of the US. "Fade Away" is another beautiful song, which sounds a bit like sober "Pogues" without Shane McGowan. "Bella Ciao" is done acapella without the bombastic feel of a live performance. When I heard it first I didn`t like it at all but after repeated listens I found out that what I first thought to be a failure may be an improvement after all. The opening "Laughter in a time of war" is also quite good. Heck, I like this record! And it`s not only because I like the message - I enjoy the performance even without it! This may not be a breathtaking experience, it doesn`t expand your mind and it doesn`t strike you instantely as a genius piece of music but it`s very solid and I like it, as I already said.
music, 2005

Playing The Angel

6.5
If you don`t live and die for Depeche Mode you`re worth nothing. If you haven`t gone through a stage of your life when Depeche Mode was a symbol for everything you stood for you`re either a retard or you`re still pre-teen. If you don`t know by heart the names of the band members you don`t deserve a name yourself at all. The only excuse for not worshiping Depeche Mode is having switched to "The Cure" instead.
music, 2005

Five Facecies a`la Rousse

7.0
Did you get the title? I did not. Who cares anyhow? The whole thing is a collection of 5 stories that are somehow connected by a goddess bringing death. The characters include a man working in a museum who`s being turned into a sculpture after he`s seen the goddess with the head of the legendary Meduse in her hands, his wife and some other people.
book, 2005

Thumbsucker

7.5
The year of 2005 began with a repeated watch of "Road Trip". 2004 started with Amenabar`s "Abre Los Ojos". What will be the tendency for 2006? Will it open with a silly teen comedy or as a serious alternative movie? By choosing "Thumbsucker" on a section of films categorized as comedies it seemed that the "Road Trip" agenda would be the chosen for this year. Yet in reality this film wasn`t particulary comic at all. If you are one of those people that consider a guy of 17 still sucking on his thumb a funny thing per se then the only thing I can offer you is a pie in the face. Justin doesn`t do particulary well at school, he`s far from convincive and he sucks his thumb - you can probably say that he`s the equivalent to "Napoleon Dynamite", better looking though. His mother is obsessed with some TV star, while his father hasn`t still come over the fact that he couldn`t enjoy a career of a professional footballer because of an injury. Still things aren`t going that bad for Justin - in Rebecca he`s found a good looking and a smart girl friend. If he only knew some ways of keeping a relationship going... Instead he`s first hypnotized by his dentist (who happens to be Keanu Reeves) to stop sucking his thumb and put on medication so he could focus his thoughts better. Drugs help and Justin suddenly has perfect discussion skills and he goes to compete as an orator on different occasions yet he also turns innerly into a very dislikeable person. When he stops taking pills he teams up with Rebecca again who has switched from Justin to weed and they smoke together as she overgoes some "teenage experiments" with him - learns how to do and what to do. When he finds out that they don`t have a relationship but merely an experiment he isn`t exactly full of joy. The film is certainly strange and the only movie similar to it I`ve seen so far was "Napoleon Dynamite" which I mentioned here already, but in comparison to "N.D." Thumbsucker is better cut and it doesn`t seem pointless.
film, 2005

Inside Deep Throat

6.5
It was the reason why I watched "Deep Throat" in the first place. I learned a lot about the most profitable film ever yet I didn`t really learn why it was so popular in 1970s. I learned a lot about the stars of the film yet I didn`t learn what`s the difference between them and other porn stars. Oh, maybe on difference is clear - Linda Lovelace and her technique are unique for sure. The funniest part of the film is Linda`s change of attitude and becoming a feminist - c`mon who`d buy the whole "every time people watch this film they are watching me being raped"? Yeah, sure. I`m not so sure what was the message the makers of this documenatry were trying to pass over? Do they tell you that Gerard Damiano was a revolutionary, a rebel that "Deep Throat" was some sort of an artistic statement? I certainly can`t understand why that should be true. A rebellious porn director? Sure, and when a fellow told in the film that Damiano went for dirty pictures so he could get laid more easily he probably meant it metaphorically? I`m not sure whether I am or am not a morally conservative person but I`m absolutely sure that you usually don`t need group sex to make an artistic statement (unless we`re talking about the band "Circle Jerks" that did have an album titled "Group Sex"). So - how good is the documentary? It`s pretty entertaining but a bit pointless, so that makes the rating of 6.5 (now you know how I rate things).
film, 2005

9-ya Rota

4.0
It`s been a while since I last saw a war movie. And it`s been a while since I last wanted to see a war film. If I had it my way I`d never watch this film at all. Why not? I`m not particulary interested in the Soviet war in Afganisthan, nor do I have a need to see Russians fighting each other all the time. The film was so boring that I couldn`t really force myself to watch it. The film is trivial as an empty set - it starts with few young guys that have just joined the army sent to a boot camp, which is full of the beautiful experience Russians call "dedovshina" - you`re told that you are shit and that you are only good enough for dying. Then they go to war, and in the end only one of them survives after heroically performed a mission that noone really needs. It`s a bit similar to me - I watched this film and that was a pain in the ass, but nobody really needed me to overgo it.
film, 2005

The Dukes of Hazzard

2.0
This is crap! Johnny Knoxville and Sean William Scott are two idiots living in the South of the US of A and they know how to have a good time - selling illegal alcohol and being chased by mad fathers with guns after they`ve made out with the daughters is the perfect plan for the Duke brothers. They also have a cousine named Daisy who`s played by pop star Jessica Simpson and that should only do porn movies - big tits she has, acting talen`t she hasn`t. Man, was her acting lame! Willie Nelson and Burt Reynolds also take part in the film but they are only better than Jessica. As a matter of fact no one would be worse than her. Only Pamela Anderson probably. There`s nothing more to say than this is a bullshit film for rednecks. I am not a redneck, so I say - it`s worse than bad, it`s worse than worse than bad. Even Sean William Scott has participated in better films, and he ain`t no Johnny Depp for sure.
film, 2005

Cardboard Soldiers

9.0
I`m far from the most enthusiastic fans of Latvian literature. I don`t follow who writes what, who was seen performing a hand job upon whom etc. Therefore this novel by Jochan Korin was a huge surprise for me. I expected this book to be either a luscious tale of women in the country or a stale story about WW2 where the great patriotic Latvian nazis fight the nitty commies with great passion and results. But it proved to be an excuisite crime story that is a riddle itself. It seemed to be a book done especially for me - a book of logic riddles, a book with a huge emphasis on playing cards and cracking codes. The most important thing about it is the fact that the riddles are interesting, memorable and fun. Quite unlike the ones in "The da Vinci Code". The central story goes around Matiss Ziemelis, a guy who has mostly only interest for crossword puzzles and playing cards but who`s also capable of some other things. He is asked by his friend from the university to help the local police to fight car stealers, but the whole book is much more about different stuff than just thievery. And I don`t mean masons by that - it`s a perfect book for a quest game, and a good game for sure - I have no doubt at all that something like "Monkey Island" could come out of this. And can you imagine anything better than "Monkey Island"? I can`t.
book, 2005

Revolver

5.0
Yesterday all the troubles of Guy Ritchie were so far away, now they look as they are here to stay. Do you know what his troubles are? If I have to answer in one word I’ll just say – Madonna. If I have to answer in more than one word I won’t be able to give you an answer for I don’t remember her full name and the Internet is out of order right now. Anyhow, you probably got the point already. By the way, I don’t really mean that his latest films suck because he has married a formerly attractive pop star. No, the problem is much deeper. I guess Guy Ritchie has somehow come to the conclusion that he is a serious filmmaker and that most people consider him to be shallow but he isn’t shallow at all. With “Revolver” he tries to establish a link between an action film/comedy and a serious film. Jake Green (played by Jason Stetham, you probably remember him from “Transporter” – in case you’re younger than ten that is). The worst thing about the film is that it is uninteresting, never before was I so close to falling asleep while watching a Guy Ritchie film. Oh, no, he was the master of hooking the spectator to the screen but nowadays I can’t see any difference between him and most directors. The plot is twisted, that’s for sure but the twist makes very little sense to me, actually being too pretentious for such a primitive film.
film, 2005

The Russian Dolls

7.0
The Latvian translators did a great job as they do it usually, by deciding that the perfect translation for the title of this film would be “European cocktail: 2”. This film features Audrey Tautou and a lot of other actors I don’t know anything about. I find it a good choice of the filmmakers to have native actors for every role – if someone is playing to be Russian he is Russian in real life, and not just some Hungarian with a silly accent. The story itself isn’t too bright – there’s this Xavier fellow who wants to be a serious writer but right now he’s a scriptwriter for a silly TV series. He isn’t too happy in his private life, which is no wonder for a person who lives in his Lesbian friend’s apartment and who’s still looking for the ideal girl, although he’s almost thirty already and should past the idealistic period. He starts a relationship with one of his friends’ sister but they have their ups and downs. The overall style of the film reminds me as if it came from Europe. And it does, of course. In case you want to know why Russian dolls, I’ll try to explain the metaphor. It goes like that: every girl you meet is one girl closer to your real one. Yet since the whole thing is organized similarly to traditional Russian dolls where one doll is put inside of another you can’t get to the last one without meeting the others. That’s the most important thing about the film actually.
film, 2005

You Could Have It So Much Better

7.5
FF bring forth their second album so we`d remember that they exist. Some signs say that it`s better than their first, while most say it`s worse. On some songs they do sound like the Beatles rip-offs, "Eleanor Put your boots one" is one of those tracks. Sure they don`t have the harmonies the Beatles had, probably it`d be better to associate them with John Lennon`s solo work. My favourite song on the album surely is the opening "The Fallen" with its catchy riff and it`s "i don`t give a damn attitude". "This boy" is also cool, a bit like early Brian Eno (circa 1973). If this record has one problem is the lack of diversity - a FF song always sounds like a FF song. "Walk away" sounds as if it was lifted off a Paul McCartney album in the verse and as a typical FF song in the chorus. "Evil and Heathen" is a good nice rocking song sounding a bit like "This fire". Oh, I`ve got to correct myself "Do you want to" is This Fire Part II. It`s got the same disco beat, yet it`s good. Basically I don`t have anything in particular against this record but it isn`t daring enough to become a classic.
music, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

8.5
Tim Burton asked Johnny Depp to star in his latest film. They had already worked together in "Edward Scissorhands" so Johnny probably thought this could be a perfect opportunity to gain good reviews from the critics and also it was his best chance to impersonate Michael Jackson. He doesn`t succeed 100% for he has a nose way too big in order to be mistaken for Michael Jackson.
film, 2005

Live at the Students Club

7.5
Having already talked about both this groups albums on my site I have to mention a gig of theirs I went to. It probably wasn`t the best concert of my life, especially since I wasn`t feeling very well and spend the next week after the concert at home with influenza, but it`s surely my fault and not the fault of the band. The opening act was quite intollerable and I never managed to get its name but the central band played quite a decent show. There wasn`t a single song on the set which I didn`t know - that means that the group doesn`t have a lot of new material, but it didn`t bug me at all for I`d never seen them on stage before. The lead singers did quite a good job, and even the sound mix was ok, which is a rare thing in Latvia. The band didn`t rely only on it`s "greatest hits" (as if any of their songs were hits as you understand the meaning of the word) but that was also ok. "The cat", "The heart", "Birds fly away" were my favourites of the night. A good show for a Latvian band, probably a bit too much trying to sound as in the studio but that`s alright with me.
concert, 2005

5x2

6.5
Welcome to the magnificient world of Francois Ozon! The director of "Swimming Pool" and "Water Drops on Burning Rocks" has created another controversial movie. The film starts with the divorce trial of Marion and Gilles. After the trial the former couple goes to a hotel room in order to perform the good-bye sex, but it ends up as Gilles raping Marion (I`m not gonna discuss whether I find it a perfect occasion for what they do). After that the film starts going backwards showing us the most critical moments of Giles` and Marion`s relationship. We see how they argue over Giles` homosexual brother, we see how Giles falls asleep on their wedding night and how Marion meets some English speaking guy in the park and does as if he was her new husband and not Giles. Then we switch over to some place near the sea where Giles and Marion become a couple. Apparantely there`s got to be 5 major scenes in the film, but I somehow remember only 4 of those but it doesn`t really matter. In comparison with other Ozon`s movies this one doesn`t offer anything particulary new. It`s more in the direction of "Water Drops" but not quite as daring (since no Fassbinder had written the script for it). It`s a bit disturbing to the eye - especially the rape scene, but that`s a thing you`d expect from Ozon.
film, 2005

Hefty Fine

4.5
Most likely you won`t agree if somebody`ll tell you that "The Bloodhound Gang" is a genuinely intellectual band. And neither will I, although I must admit that they must be less stupid than their music premises it to be. They rock not to suck but to make you laugh. Frank Zappa already gave you the answer to the question whether humor belongs in music. But it`s not only good news. Musically the new round piece of plactic the bloodhounds have put out is purely bad. For instance, the opening "Balls out" is an endless repetition of the same note. It may be hard rockin` but it ain`t too good. The first single "F.U.C.K." contains more than ten different innuendo ways of saying "sex" and it somehow reminds the best cuts from their previous albums and is the only real highlight on the record. But overall it`s too much ear-bashing synthesizer sounds that don`t really work too well. "Ralph Wiggum" (the son of Springfield`s police chef Wiggum) is an okayish song but a bit boring. Without a doubt the most disturbing song on the record is the dance music piece "Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss". If the melodies weren`t that lousy and unlistenable I`d probably call this a so-so record. But I won`t do it. Instead I`ll say it`s plain bad.
music, 2005

Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

7.0
Would you believe that Paul McCartney is over sixty? It ain`t far till the day when he won`t be allowed to sing "When I`m 64" anymore and will have to change it to "When I`m not 64" - there was a Latvian song titled "When I won`t be 16 anymore", which by the way was a crappy song and has nothing to do with Paul`s new album. Is it right that I call him just Paul? Or do people get punished for not calling Him `Sir Paul McCartney` on the Internet? Anyhow, he`s got a new album out. It starts off with the energetic "It`s a fine line" which somehow reminds me of the Electric Light Orchestra and that song "It`s a living thing/It`s a given thing". After on Paul more relies on doing sad ballads which doesn`t come off as a real surprise. "Jenny Wren" is an accoustic song that could have been a Beatles demo record, where it not sung by a 60 year old man. "Friends to Go" is also a Beatles songs, circa from 1965. "English Tea" sounds to be a later Beatles composition, more in the style of "Maxwell`s Silver Hammer". "Certain Softness" is good. I also like "Promise to you girl" which is one of the most rocking tracks on the album. The one thing that bugs me is that at his not so young age Paul still writes mostly love songs. Jesus, he can`t be thinking seriously that people will believe in his sincerity. His lyrical capacity doesn`t seem to be much stronger that in 1964, but he ain`t a good looking young fellow no more. Hey, I don`t really think that he was that good looking back then. I`d put George in the first place, then John and Paul was only better looking that Ringo, but even that not always.
music, 2005

March of the penguins

9.0
I`m not much of a fan of documentaries about animals. I never considered it a necessity to watch the famous film about migrating birds, I don`t own the entire National Geographic 200 disc box set and I don`t go in the wilderness in order to watch rabbits mate. This film was recommended to my girlfriend by one of her professors at law studies. By the way, it was a fellow specialising in authorship rights. Does that mean anything? Yes, it means that he gave an advise that resulted in an illegal downloading action. Let`s skip the authorship question and jump straight over to the film. The film tells us about the mating habits of the Emperor`s penguin - the largest penguin there is. It proves to be quite a complicated thing which involves long walks for some 20 days (which are repeated many times over the mating season), starving without food for 4 months, dying from the cold, surviving in the most grave circumstances in a cold where you`d most likely die sooner than you could say: "Penguin!" The film is done in an interesting manners where penguins tell you about their lives themselves, proving to be loving and caring as you`d never expect from a funny bird like that one. It`s a sad film, of course, since many of the penguins don`t survive. But it`s a beautiful film, a majestic film, shot in a way you`d expect from a big budget movie and not from a documentary.
film, 2005

The Brothers Grimm

7.5
This was one of the few films I was really waiting for. Terry Gilliam hadn`t done a film for quite a while and I was certainly eager to find out what he`s managed to come up with. Will it be as great as "Brazil"? As silly as "Jabberwocky"? As crazy as "Fear and loathing in Las Vegas"? As useless as "Time Bandits"? It had a bit of it all. Will and Jake Grimm are two con artists travelling around Germany in early 1800s and fighting the dark spirits which they themselves create. But when they have to go to a forest where a group of their peers supposedly work they find out that strange things have a place in their world. A wicked witch played by the beautiful Monica Belucci, a child-eating horse and lots of other stuff for your pleasure. Gilliam has been better and he has been worse. Matt Damon and Heath Ledger are the brothers Grimm. THey aren`t really those two folk tales collecting weirdos from the history. They are way too cool for that. The film is quite a creepy one, but it`s not really what I`d dream it would be. Yet I wasn`t dissapointed - after the very low standarts of expectations different people like Roger Ebert provided with their reviews I was ready to be happy about anything Terry would give me. What was missed was at least a single MPFC member in a silly little role. But that`s the sad thing with those films nowadays.
film, 2005

Valiant

6.5
CGI cartoons are becoming more and more popular and less and less good. "Valiant" is considered a minor cartoon even in this genre that doesn`t produce too many great works. Yet to my eye it didn`t appear to be that bad at all. Animation isn`t breathtaking, of course, and the plot is predictable as that of a soap opera. Valiant is a young pigeon who wants to be a homing pigeon in WW2. Since the homing pigeon force of UK doesn`t have enough decent pigeons Valiant and a group of 4 other misfits get a chance to fulfil a dangerous and extremely important mission under the command of an older and wiser pigeon. But it proves that even such silly creatures can outmaster the falcons of Hitler. The main reason why I liked this one was probably the voices behind those pigeons. Most important of those were Ewan McGreggor as Valiant and John Cleese as Mercury (a pigeon held hostage by the falcons). Oh, John Cleese, you get a big chance to blabber useless nonsense - that`s the right thing for you! Your voice may seem a little old for a pigeon but who cares! McGreggor`s voice doesn`t come perfectly for Valiant - after all Ewan is a fully grown man and not a teenage pigeon but man do I love those British folk! Were this thing done by Americans (as "Madagascar" was) I doubt I`d like it but so, despite all the minor flaws, it was quite a good cartoon.
film, 2005

Sahara

6.0
Lately it`s been quite a trend for adventure movies following the pattern set by "Indiana Jones" and the like. "Sahara" is one of those films. In 1850s during the American civil war there was an idea by one of the leaders of the Southeners that the new American dollar should be entirely from gold. And according to the legend five golden coins were maid and given to four generals and a pal of the guy who made the coins. But in the modern days an adventurer finds a coin that nobody knew that existed so he logically comes to the conclusion that there may be more coins like this. Then there`s a gorgeous doctor (Penelope Cruz) that`s come to Mali for a healt care organization and she finds a strange disease in the poor and war demolished country. She teams up with the adventurer and his goofy pal (you know that every cool guy has a weirdo for his best mate), and they take on finding a ship that could be somewhere in Mali and that should be carrying a lot of gold; but they also have to find the source of the disease and beat the bad war leader of Mali who`s after them together with the nasty french guy from "Matrix" who`s also French in this film. Even in comparison to "National Treasure" this is not a serious film and even if your brain is in the size of that of a hamster you`ll most likely not think that there`s some truth beneath the film. No there is not, it`s just a fun piece made entirely for your amusement and not for your thinking. If you take it as it is you will be able to appreciate it, if you`re an ellitist, don`t bother.
film, 2005

A Bigger Bang

6.0
It`s the first album of the giants in some eight years. I can`t really say that I was eagerly awaiting it all this time but it surely was interesting to learn what they could come up with after all these years. Jagger and co aren`t getting younger, of course, and they don`t find it particulary easy coming up with great melodies and superb lyrics, the way they did in the sixties/seventies. But they still try to be loud and proud, and some of the songs aren`t bad. Yet there ain`t a single signal of greatness - it`s just your average album by an aging rock band that still wants to keep its reputation. Had it not had the brand of "Rolling Stones" to boost the record it would remain unnoticed for sure. But as it is it will probably be sold pretty well but I doubt that many people will really love this record. I don`t certainly, it just leaves me cold.
music, 2005

Bewitched

3.5
Nicole Kidman has sold her soul to the devil of mass consuption! Either this or she`s out of her mind. How otherwise could you explain the reasons an actress of her name and calibre would agree to do a film like this one? On paper it whole looks good - a popular actor who`s career has been on the decline recently hires a simple girl from the street to do the leading role of a witch in the remake of a sitcom "Bewitched". But little does he know that the girl (Kidman) is a witch herself. And little do I know that Kidman, supposedly a young and naive girl is in her mid thirties! Not quite type for a young naive girl. It was different on that real sitcom about the teenage witch Sabrina. Ok, in this film we at least get to see a living cat instead of a talking taxidermists patient. But we also get to see a romantic comedy with a script that was probably written by a single monkey in a limited amount of time, for otherwise the complete works of Shakespeare might have been the result. Jokes are silly, tricks are silly, dialogues are stupid, all supporting actors should receive a death penalty and Nicole Kidman should sign a paper prohibiting herself from ever seing anyone involved in this film again and prohibiting her doing films that I would dislike after the first 10 minutes. This is it, Nicole Kidman! Either this or you`ll do the cat in Sabrina!
film, 2005

Black Acetate

7.0
John Cale of the Velvet Underground fame doesn`t give up on recording music. On his latest album he doesn`t pretend to be a young and crazy fellow, oh, no, he records songs like "In a flood" where he sounds just like Johnny Cash a few years before his death. But he isn`t always like that, he also does stuff like "Outta the Bag" where you`d be surprised that the man is over 60 years old. Of course, the days of experimantion Cale was best known for are long gone now but he has some of the weird charm not many musicians have. My favourite track on the record is "Perfect" which sounds so rocking you`d never think it was the same John Cale. With it`s simple rocking sound Cale doesn`t like a dinosaur that still doesn`t wanna die but like a very diverse musician that will record until the day he dies interesting music that will selll badly.
music, 2005

Transporter 2

6.0
No, I wasn`t really planning to see this film this soon. It was just that I went to a wrong press preview. Not that I wouldn`t be on the list for this one but I was planning to see "Cinderella man" - a film I have no interest in whatsoever. Anyhow, "The Transporter", the first part, doesn`t bring me any good memories at all. It was the kind of stupid action film that makes you laugh more than it keeps you intrigued. Now we discuss the sequel for that film. And you know what? I liked it more. No, it`s still pretty much the same stupid scenario, Jason Stetham (he, who once was so brilliant in "Snatch" and that "Lock Stock" flick) is a transporter - a guy with his rules which include not asking any questions. But now he works as a driver for some rich man`s kid. When the bad guys kidnap the kid and inject him with a deadly virus the Transporter can`t simply let the kid die. So he starts hurting people. Being more skilled than B in Kill Bill, he rarely needs any weapons at all - a fire hose usually is enough for him to stop something like ten villains. Yeah, technically in terms of SFX and stunts the film is brilliant. In terms of a plot it sucks. But at least it doesn`t have a sappy love story like the first part. And it has the guy who played Tom in "Lock Stock" as a Russian biologist villain. And it has a nice middle aged Frenchman who cooks for the police after he`s been taken to the office.
film, 2005

I take my words back

8.0
Probably it ain`t the right choice to classify V.S. as a Russian writer for he no longer lives in his native country (since a death penalty awaits him for his works there) and some of his books aren`t even published in Russia. Yet he is a Russian writer without a slightest doubt. Over the past decades he has written quite a lot of sensational books on WW2, on KGB and other things many Russians rarely want to talk about. Although I`m no fan of weird conspiracy theories in the case of Suvorov and WW2 I have no other choice than accepting his theory (not without restraints, of course). And what is his theory? It`s that Stalin was planning attacking the nazi Germany just a few weeks later than he was attacked himself. And that because of it USSR suffered such enermous losses in the war as it did. One of the best points of his is that all Russian talks of never thinking about such an option would only mean that they were nazi supporters themselves. If you say - oh, we would never attack those Germans for we had signed a treaty with them that made us almost friends, you only mean that the brown shit that covered nearly all of Europe was a good thing in their minds. This book however is less about what Stalin thought and did, but more about marshal Zhukov, one of the most legendary war leaders of the XX century. Suvorov calls Zhukov a great fool and a war criminal with ambitions too high and brains too little. And he does that convincingly. This surely ain`t a book to read for relaxation and most people would probably find it less than interesting, but I am not one of those people. History IS a thing I`m interested in. The book ain`t flawless, Suvorov keeps on repeating stuff many times for no clear reasons, probably thinking that his readers might be having problems with long term memory, I don`t know. If he had cut half of the book, the rating would be even higher.
book, 2005

Manga

4.5
This film was shown in Riga as a part of a festival of Russian films. It was supposed to be an erotic black comedy. Yet it didn`t prove to be either black, comic or erotic. More it was like some underground drama. All the points this films gets are entirely for its visual elements. For a Russian film it`s done stylistically really well, a pretty thing for the eyes for sure. Yet in terms of content it doesn`t go far beyond a music video. And a music video doesn`t go on for more than an hour. Where the filmmakers found their actors is a mystery to me, since most of them can`t act at all. And I mean what I`m saying. You shouldn`t always hire ten Tom Cruises in order to make a good film, but you can`t make a film with actors with no talent whatsoever. And its worse than neo-realism, for the great filmmakers of 1940s, 1950s that did this sort of stuff were geniuses of their work and you didn`t need a Humfrey Bogarte for "The Bicycle thief" to be a great movie. Here you only have two young dykes that pretend to be cool walking the streets and kicking the cans.
film, 2005

The Island

6.0
Ewan McGreggor and Scarlet Johannsen. Isn`t that a perfect pair? No, it is not. You can`t pick up two great actors and make a great film without giving anything else. Ok, I liked the film at first. It starts off as a sci-fi story about some perfect world that seems to be lifted of Aldous Huxley but in the end it all ties up as a "Matrix meets xXx" kind of stuff. You have a lot of SFX, you have two Ewan McGreggors but you don`t have much more. As for the story - there was a global catastrophe, so they say, and only few people survived it. So they live under the ground and the only hope of every man and woman is going to the only unspoiled island. Yet Lincoln (McGreggor) discovers that there is no spoon, and that they are only clones for other people in the normal world that need spare parts for their eldering bodies. Sad, isn`t it? If it were original I`d probably like this thing. But here you get a Hollywood treatment of Huxley and Orwell, and Hollywood treatment of an anti-utopy sucks balls per se.
film, 2005

Anthony Zimmer

6.0
This film tells a story of a man that just can`t be caught by the French police. He himself ain`t that much of a bad guy, of course, but he`s got a lot of dirty money and therefore the cops are after him. In order not to be caught he`s overgone a serious plastical operation so that even his girlfriend would recognise him if he were standing half an inch from her. Anyhow, his girlfriend (played by Sophie Marceau) has to find a lonesome man on a train in order to trick some russkies that are following her. It`s not really clear why she has to do that but who cares. So she picks a guy who works as a translator and who`s shy and simple and all that. She takes him into a world he didn`t even know that existed. Yet he has to pay the price of being considered to be Anthony Zimmer. But the chick falls for him. And in the end he proves to be Anthony Zimmer himself. Of course, it doesn`t make much sense considering his previous behaviour but who cares. Ok, this film is a no-brainer but I`ve seen a lot worse no-brainers than this one.
film, 2005

Circo di Madrugada

6.0
Now this is not a simple thing to describe. CdM is a weird thing that somehow has got the name "circus". If you`re looking for train baboons or dancing rats this isn`t what you should see. And don`t even expect to see those nice little fellows called clowns. Man, do I hate those! Yuck! Anyhow, Circo di Madrugada is more of a happening than of a circus. Probably it would be preferable to go to it after consuming some drugs. I may be wrong but how would you otherwise fall into a state of trance when a silly fellow shouts "Angels!" some fifty times over a few minutes. After that you`ll probably see some weirdos flying on ropes to the centre of the arena. And after that you`ll be listening to some wild half ethno, half latino music and watching those so called angels dance. If you`ll call their way of moving a dance. In short it`s somewhat similar to what lemmings do in "Madagascar", only there`s no one shouting "I like to move it, move it". Is this a thing to enjoy? Yes and no. I was a bit cold and a bit tired so I didn`t enjoy it that much. Especially considering that it wasn`t the actual performance but just a dress rehearsal. Yet, since I got in for free thanks to some friends I say - thumbs up (more than down at least)!
other, 2005

The Jacket

8.0
Adrien Broady from "The Pianist" happens to die for the first tiem when he`s 27 years old. After that he happens to be living again and found guilty for killing a police officer. So he ends up in a mental institution. In this institution he`s put in the jacket and put in the morgue in order to be healed. Instead of being healed he goes into the future where he wants to find out why and how he dies the second time. It`s not that he really has any chance of stopping his death. Yet he meets a woman he new as a girl before the mental institution. And together they try to solve the mystery of his death. This is one of the weird films you can`t understand completely and that you can`t be sure about that it makes sense. But it`s interesting.
film, 2005

Herbie: Fully Loaded

3.0
Silly, silly, silly. An old VW Beetle gets bought buy a young and good looking Lindsay Lohan with digitally reduced breasts (what morons would do that! idiots! stupid Disnay people ruin the best thing about this film). But it ain`t no simple VW Beetle that you`d find in any museum of old cars. No, this is Herbie. A car that once won quite a lot of races and that now is ready to free itself from the dust and take on "NASCAR", the races where only the best compete. Lindsay ain`t that enthusiastic but she really ain`t the leading hero in this film. If I were a ten year old girl I`d probably find the car that can smile and that can raise its eyebrows really cute. But as a matter of fact I`m not a ten year old girl. Oh, no, I`m a very dark and pessimistic fellow that listens to the Cure more than the guy next door. So I say - this film is made for little kids by people less intelligent than little kids. It`s scenario could have been found in a box of breakfast serial. Either that or this is a platiate of Speed Racer - a stupid cartoon I used to watch when I was around 10 years old.
film, 2005

You`re Sexy When You`re Sad

7.0
Oh my god! They make films in Latvia! They have already surpassed the "drawings on your cave" era and are actually making movies! That can`t be true. As a matter of fact, it is. And the film was kind of stunning. Contrary to the socialistic realism crap you`d expect from a film made in our piss poor country this is some alternative shit we`re talking about. If you want scenes of a lobotomy done upon a dead person, scenes of bisexuality, scenes of dead beggars - this is a film for you. If you want several stories about modern days Latvia, about what life`s really about and stuff like that this is a film for you. If you want shaky camera work, this is a film for you. If you want Elvis petting Pamela Anderson with Bruce Lee`s penis this is not a film for you. You are a sick idiot, man! How could you ever think of a thing like that! It drives me mad just thinking what it could be like being you. Oh, shit, I am you. How embarassing. See it if you can (the film I mean), if you can`t - don`t bother.
film, 2005

The Land of the Dead

6.5
A horror movie about zombies! Why do those weirdos call films about thos flesh eating no-good slackos "horror films"? They`re about as tremendously dangerously horrific as a piece of German cake. German nazi cake as the birthday present to our beloved fuehrer Adolph Bush Junior. What was I talking about? Sex, sex, sex, it`s all they think about nowadays... a young man ain`t got nothing in the world these days. Man, am I stupid.
film, 2005

Monster-in-law

5.5
Gee, it`s a romantic comedy with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda. The former isn`t exactly an actress, more like a singer with an enormous ass and certain capabilities in acting. The latter is a famous actress that just happens to be pretty old and yet somehow hasn`t been in a single film I`ve even heard about. So together they form the rivalry of a woman that wants to marry Kevin whom she loves and Kevin`s mother who thinks that Charlotte (Lopez) is too bad for her son. As you can probably guess this film is so cliched that I`m even ashamed of using the word "cliched" describing it. Not that it really bothers me - this film may be a collage of "Legally Blonde" (which was one of the films this director without a name did before), "Bridget Jones`s Diary" (with the exception that Lopez`s character is much more generic than that of Zellweger) and "Meet the Parents/Fockers" with the exception that nobody flushes the dog in the toilet. Yet, since I hadn`t at least seen any other JLo`s film before it didn`t strike me that she`s about as diverse as Angus Young of AC/DC. I did have my laughs, I didn`t have my two hours of high art, so basically it was a good deal for a film that I could watch at cinema without having to pay. Only it occured to me that it would be very smart of the cinema establishment to provide me with free popcorn. Not that I liked popcorn that much but it would still be nice.
film, 2005

Original Soundtrack: Mr and Mrs Smith

5.5
I`m not really what made me listen to this. You see, I watch quite a lot of films, and I don`t usually listen to the soundtracks accompanying each and every one of them. "Mr&Mrs Smith" wasn`t exactly a bad film but I`ve seen better. Anyhow, the soundtrack is basically in the love-hate thematics and it`s done by various artists and not by some dude named David Horner or Various Artists (that`s a name and not "various artists"). Some of the songs were known - such as "Tainted love", "You`ve lost that lovin` feelin`" and "You are my sunshine". My favourite though is "I used to love her (but I had to killer)" - a positive hymn of a guy killing his lover. A lot of the songs have a banner "damned eighties!" waving all over them. As a matter of fact "Poison" is one of the bands that made onto this record - and it ain`t the only poodle rock outfit on the CD.
music, 2005

Dirty Diamonds

6.5
What do you think - does Alice mean "balls" by saying diamonds? Well if he does, he`s a really twisted old fart at the age of sixty who can name his album "dirty balls". On the other hand, if he doesn`t mean that he`s still a twisted old fart. On his latest album Alice doesn`t sound particulary good, which is no wonder to me, since no album of his since "Brutal Planet" has had me particulary impressed. On this album he goes a bit retro, leaving the agression of late ninenties/millenium behind, choosing a more straightforward rock sound. On the opening "Woman of mass destruction" Mr. Fournier sounds like a man of around seventy who still tries to sound like a fifty year old. "Pretty ballerina" is a weird exception on the record (not in terms of singing, that`s a style Alice has mastered at manu stages of his carreer) but the whole romantic thingy does surprise me a little. Among other songs there`s nothing really outstanding (if only "Stand" with the stupid hip hop part). You can surely listen to this album but if you totally dig it you got to be out of your mind.
music, 2005

Mr and Mrs Smith

6.0
If you watch this film expecting it to be sharp and witty, if you`re in for a sense making plot, character development, memorable camera work, a perfect soundtrack and whatelse, you probably are a dumbass. Why such a conclusion? Since Brad Pitt is considered the sexiest male actor in Hollywood and Angelina Jolie who plays alongside with him - the sexiest actress in Hollywood, you`d probably watch this film from a different point of view than the latest Peter Greenaways work. And it`s no problem with me. If a film doesn`t have pretentious of being a flick for the intellectuals I don`t mind it being silly. Ok, the whole thing with two assassins living under the same roof as a married couple without actually knowing that the other one has a secret life, is a bit similar to chopping the tallest tree with a herring, but never mind that. It`s an adventure/comedy film we`re discussing and no smart ass director by the name of Woody Allen has been around for making this film. In terms of a quite sexy film about a man and a woman chasing each other with big guns and then making big love it`s a pretty good film. Unmemorable, of course, yet it has some quite sharp (for a film like this) jokes, a bit too little nudity (hey! way too little nudity!), but that`s ok, I think.
film, 2005

Sin City

8.0
This film is based on series of comics by Frank Miller. They say it`s a significant fact. For a humble person like myself it doesn`t mean as much as a scratch. Who am I to know anything about every guy in the comic making business? I know this fellow from that film with that actor that was nominated for an Oscar this year. No, he wasn`t nominated for that film, but for another one. What was his name? Paul Giamatti (so tells the IMDB), and the film in question was "American Splendor", by the title of which the name of Harvey Pekar comes to my mind. Anyhow, this film isn`t about Harvey Pekar, oh no, "Sin City" isn`t a comic book about some loser with an average job and about as much personal problems as only Woody Allen could imagine to have. "Sin City" is a film about a New York where mobsters, corrupted politicians and prostitutes rule the day. There are several main plots in this film. One is about Bruce Willis who`s a cop and who tries to save a little girl from the hands (and not only hands) of a perverted senators son. Then there`s a story about an evil looking criminal who wants to solve the murder of a hooker he had spend a night with, which involves a flesh eating Frodo the hobbit. An then there`s the third story about Clive Owen who wants to save hookers from the police and the pimps. That`s basically it. The film is interesting in the way it`s done - like a comic book (with the exception of "Thrakk!" and "Splash!" callouts which aren`t present) mostly in black and white with very little colours appearing. In terms of plot it is quite interesting to watch, and it is daring, of course. It`s surely a film to see, but I think it a very stupid idea that a sequel is coming up shortly. Things like that don`t need sequels - what`s fresh for the first time will be rotten in the next series.
film, 2005

Batman Begins

6.0
Most people call this the best film about the man who wears a mast on the upper part of his face ever. They say that it`s more serious than anything ever to come out of Gotham city and that it leaves the story of comic books behind. Did I notice the difference? Partly yes and partly no. Yeah, there are several things about this film that make it less silly than some of the previous Batman flicks - at least there are no half-penguin like creatures or scientists that go crazy after some accident at an experiment. But there are several silly things as well - first, it`s the whole thing with those Tibetean ninjas or whatever they are called that happen to be a secret organisation called the "league of shadows" which has existed for several thousands of years (masons! masons! grab your sticks and kick them in the face!). Then there`s the whole thing with the idea that Batman can`t just let a villain die simply because Batman is sooo good. At least the whole thing with the part that requires a regular use of your handkerchief doesn`t developed particulary far. Surely this film is watchable and it probably goes smoothly enough to keep you interested, but as it almost always is with films like this it doesn`t stay in your memory for quite a long time. As a big screen adaptation of a comic book (which it partly remains even if the story isn`t written by whoever wrote that comic) it`s pretty solid. As solid cinematography - it`s not bad but surely not more than that.
film, 2005

In Your Honor

6.0
Oh, yeah! Dave Grohl decides once again that he`s a singer and not a drummer and produces a new album of his band `Food Fighters, Car Lighters`. This time he`s decided to dump the formula and try something adventurous. Which means that instead of playing a whole CD of angry rock songs, he plays a whole CD of angry rock songs and adds to it another CD of acoustic music. The first CD of rock`n`roll ain`t a bad one but it`s not particulary memorable or interesting. It basically just is. What goes for the second disc, it ain`t that good either. Ok, it`s different. So what? It`s boring. A great songwriter Grohl never was, and most of his songs are about as distinguishable one from another as those of Leonard Cohen. Yet Cohen at least was/is a great master of lyrics, which Grohl isn`t. Probably the record ain`t bad either but I just can`t find anything about it what I should like.
music, 2005

Chetri krasti

7.0
The latest from the greatest. If you consider "PV" the greatest Latvian band. At least it`s the most popular one. Or was. Or pretended to be. The new record contains 10 tracks, most of whom are somewhat optimistic, although you always feel a bit of depression in the optimism. Or I may be just a very, very sad and depressive person. I`m not a particular fan of the singer Renars Kaupers`s voice but in some cases it`s good enough for this pop-rock record. The highlights of the record are "Pilot Tim" and "Sunrise deep in hell". Ok, the second of them was known to me a long time prior to this record coming out. I guess I heard it a concert almost three years ago. Not that I mind. Not that I care. Not that it changes a lot.
music, 2005

Nav centrs

7.4
It`s been a year since the first album by this band came out, and in the somaphore effort the band proves itself worthy of it`s debut. Yet, I can`t lose the feeling that last time around they were more impressive. Together with some particulary strong tracks - songs like "The cat", "Red is visible", there are others that don`t mean nothing to me, for example "Hospitals street" is a worthless song in my opinon. Some of the songs are more mellow than on the first album; that is not really a problem for me but I`d expect more.
music, 2005

Songs of Power

1.5
Damn! I`m not particulary interested in Latvian music but this one is got to be the worst album of music I`ve ever heard. Ok, I know that the performer is not a serious act of music but is supposed to be comedy. Yet, I can not be completely blind and uncapable to observe that apart from the fact that this "comic" stuff is about as funny as it is smart and witty (which you can probably guess is a number that you`d rarely find on a scale of one to ten). Some of the songs nearly approach being listenable, yet the dreadful quality of the performance ruins everything. I`m not hoping that the singing would be any good, that melodies would be any better, anyhow it`s just a complete pile of crap.
music, 2005

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

7.0
Douglas Adams probably wouldn`t have liked this film. But he surely would have brought a towel to the cinema. Or he wouldn`t have. Maybe he`d feel depressed just like Marvin did. Anyhow the long time of waiting had finally come to its logical end and I watched the film that was talked about for decades. Not that it really lives up to the hype. Not that anybody expected it to live up to the hype. The story is a bit fucked-up in comparison to what you`d want it to be. At least I pretty much doubt that you`d be particulary interested in a love story between Arthur Dent and Trillian. We all know whom Arthur must date, and who`s Trillian`s lover (at least in the first books). "Those are Whitey`s cookies, Bud.
film, 2005

Madagascar

4.5
Dreamworks is the studio that gave life to Shrek. And Shrek 2! And it will give life to Shrek 3, 4, and Shrek: The Beginning. Sadly it also does other things than just making CGI with the green monstrous creature and that perfectly lovable donkey. Oh, no, they thought to themselves: if we can master a donkey, we`re sure smart enough to handle a zebra, a lion, a giraffe and a begemoth. Oh, no you can`t! You just suck at doing stuff like that! Who on earth thought that asking Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer and Ali G to do the vioices will be a good idea? Ok, Shrek had that silly Austin Powers person - but he never once went over the top, while Eddie Murphy goes over the top only in cases when it`s required (e.g. all the time). The plot on this cartoon is silly even for a cartoon, the graphics have about as many edges as few edges the script has. Most of the jokes are not only forced but also unfunny. The penguins and the monkeys are a bit better than the lead characters, but apart from that - the cartoon sucked. Ok, I shall not rate it particulary low since it`s destined to be watched by children, but remember that if it was made for adults it would probably be considered about as good as "Ali G in da house"
film, 2005

Out of Exile

7.0
Good rock music. A bit like Deep Purple. A bit like Rage Against The Machine. A bit like Soundgarden. When addressing the Purples, I`m particulary talkin` about "Your time has come". "Out of Exile" is more something of Goo Goo dolls. "Be Yourself" - like Soundgarden. Or 10 more performers. In terms of style the record is ok, it`s the rock music of old, not the rock of new, which I don`t like that much. But there`s one little problem - if I already have the rock of old why would I need the rock of new? "Doesn`t Remind Me" is my favourite on this album.
music, 2005

X and Y

6.0
In terms of popularity Coldplay is one of the biggest bands in the world. In other terms it isn`t. Coldplay`s music isn`t overblown, on the contrary it`s a bit too slow and silent for me. With their new album they try to adjust to the modern world, but I can probably say that it`s not a thing they do particulary good. "White shadows" for instance is a bit too 80`ish for my taste, and on some other tracks silly synthesizers can be heard as well. Basically it is an album with no highlights, probably except for "What if", which isn`t that staying either. That doesn`t say that the record is bad, it`s just a bit too "nothingish" to be really good.
music, 2005

Don`t Believe the Truth

7.0
Although I never considered myself a big Oasis fan I never hated the band as well. And why wouldn`t I listen to it`s new album? So I did. The album didn`t strike me with any songs that would ultimately become my "anthems of the season" but it proved to be quite a solid one. Songs like "Mucky Fingers", "The Importance of Being Idle" and "Guess God Thinks I`m Able" surely deserve to be recorded by the band that once was considered a very good one. The basic problem of Oasis surely is diversity - an aspect in which the band was never particulary strong. The Beatles similarities are her just as they always were, especially they can be felt on "Let there be Love" - a song about which I`m sure that both Oasis and John Lennon wrote it more than twice before this occasion. "A Bell will ring" on the contrary is a song that I enjoy to the limit.
music, 2005

Get Behind Me Satan

8.5
"The White Stripes" are one hell of a band. Jack and Meg White rock harder than AC/DC in 1973, they are meaner than Slayer after a massive hangover and they have a better taste for melody when Paul McCartney in the 1980s. So they are really good. They are dirty and mean, yet they can be gentle and sweet. On their new album they give you 13 mean songs of rock and roll. In case you wonder what`s the fuss about Satan, let me tell you that the album title is a quote from the Bible where Jesus tells Peter that refusal of sufferings is disobeying God. Still this ain`t a religious record. What`s good about the record is that only a few songs out of it remind me of other stuff by the Stripes (particulary that goes for "The Denial Twist"). The first single of this album which isn`t yet publically available today - "Blue Orchid" is a good song, but certainly not the best on the LP. That probably goes to "My Doorbell", "Red Rain".
music, 2005

Disaffected

7.5
I don`t know anything about this band but that it plays some really relaxing music. At some moments it seems that the band has a bit flare for the ambient but at other stages I can think that there ain`t no ambient in sight. Probably the most interesting song on this record is "Theory of Ghosts".
music, 2005

European Short Films

7.5
There was a festival of fantasia films in Riga, and one part of it was this collection of short films. Some of them there good, some of them not so good. Among the best was an Austrian film about a man working in a copy central who suddenly notices that he himself has been copied and is still being copied. "Nosferatu tango" is a weird cartoon about an insect falling in love with Dracula - the coolest thing about this cartoon is certainly the weird kind of computer animation. And last but not least there was a film called "Paradisiak" about an alien coming to earth and being killed by duck hunters.
film, 2005

The Deep End

8.0
Finally a new country is added to my factoid. Norway - the country which has given the world Ole Einar Bjorndalen and probably something else as well, Knut Hamsun, for instance, has given us the band "Madrugada". I don`t mean to tell that the band is particulary popular anywhere in the world but who cares about fame, who cares about anything? So, the band is a bit pessimistic in its sound having some goth elements in its sound. The first track on the album "The kids are on the high street" is a superb one, and the album goes on in a similar manner having some references probably to "The Cure", some to "Joy Division" but with less synths and more guitars. That means that Joy Division can be replaced with the Smiths and now you`ll get it more. A good record for sure, although it doesn`t make you shake your lazy ass off the chair.
music, 2005

He, She and Franz

8.5
It took me nearly three years to finally find tickets for this performance, and as a matter of fact, it still was worth it. The play is based on a novel by Vladimir Nabokov titled "King, Queen, Knave". Franz arrives from the country in the big town where his rich uncle lives with his wife. A relation ship develops between Franz and his auntie very quickly. The uncle doesn`t notice anything even until the time when lovers decide to kill him in order to gain all his money. What was interesting about the performance was that it was played in a very small room with something like 80 spectators. Most of those spectators didn`t even notice when the play started because at first two out of three actors participating in the play were sitting among the spectators and one of them started talking without a big part of the spectators realising that it was the play already what they heard. Overally the thing was acted supperbly, the material behind the performance is good as well, so no complaints from me.
theatre, 2005

Gods and Monsters

7.5
It`s popular for rock bands nowadays to choose obscure names for themselves, since all the normal ones are already taken - names like "The Band", "The The" - are no longer at hand, so they come up with Kloot. On a completely different story the music of I Am Kloot ain`t bad at all. The band isn`t particulary wild in the Dead Kennedys style, it doesn`t rock as hard as "AC/DC" with Angus Young in coma, but they have decent melodies and catchy everything else. For example, "Over my shoulder" is a nice one. "Sand and glue" is the best track on this album for me with its power combined with its gentle vibe, it provides the best from Kloot.
music, 2005

Mighty Rearranger

6.5
Robbie Plant was the voice of legendary Led Zeppelin. He wasn`t the main songwriting force of the band though. But he does a solid solo career of his own. He hasn`t gone very far away from his Led Zep legacy, still doing music quite similar to that of his younger days. For me this album is a bit too slow-paced, not that Led Zep ever played speed metal, but I ask for more energy. On the other hand it may be just my bad mood because of the stupid email system at my work that doesn`t work properly all this week. In fact it doesn`t work at all. Man, does this disturb me! All those assholes calling and asking what`s wrong and: "Can I punch you in the face as if you were a sack of shit?" They drive me mad! And Robert Plant can`t do nothing about it.
music, 2005

Yes

6.5
I`m too lazy to write about this album. The Darkness Mark 2. Not very good, a bit too-Darknessy, a bit too serious for The Darkness.
music, 2005

Elevator

6.0
They say that Hot Hot Heat aren`t at their best in this record. I can`t really know for I`ve never listened to any album by this band before. And I`m not so sure that I ever will. Ok, this record ain`t bad so I probably could be thinking like this: "If a not-so-good record by this band is pretty decent, their best could be a freaking masterpiece. I probably should spend some money to learn more about this band." But I won`t do that? And why is that? First, I`m not a big fan of paying for anything. Second, how can I know that I will find a record that some people call to be better than this one to be really that good? As for this album it has 13 songs and after something like 3 or 4 listens only one of them has managed to capture myattention. It`s called "Goodnight, Goodnight" and it sounds somewhat similar to "Dogs die in hot cars", only it`s not very consistent - the verses are good but the refrain isn`t. From the rest of the album there`s "Pickin` it Up" - a college rock song, "Elevator" which probably could have been done by the "Goo Goo Dolls" and "Shame on you" which reminds of "This Love" by Maroon 5. Altogether it`s not bad but it ain`t very good as well.
music, 2005

Turkish Gambit

6.0
This film made a lot of fuss in Russia a few months ago. And not without a reason - I doubt you have seen many Russian films with pretty good special effects. And it`s a thing you can`t denie about this film. There`s this fellow Erast Fandorine who fights for the Russian against the Turks in the Russian-Turkish war of 1960s. After being captured by the fiend he manages to flee and it turns out that as an extra to his very solid skill as a soldier he`s also pretty good in solving crime. And the crime is an interesting one - there is a fellow in the Russian army who works for the opponent on a very high level yet Fandorine can`t really find out who this fellow is. One thing about it that you should know is that this film basically is based upon the method "The Usual Suspects" provided, if you want to find the villain. Apart from that the film is interesting to watch, it has nice colours and pretty good acting, but no lasting value at all. You can probably call it a Russian historical action film and a no-brainer. Still some no-brainers aren`t really bad.
film, 2005

Emir Kusturica and The No Smoking Orchestra

7.0
Probably this wasn`t the concert of my live, but like that guy in "Life of Brian" said about crucifixion: "It could be worse. You could be stabbed." Emir Kusturica ain`t no virtuoso and Dr. Nelle sings about as good as I do, but that doesn`t make such a big difference. Like you know "Truth doesn`t make a noise". The selection of songs was pretty good, but the crowd was pretty bad because the show was marketed as a treat for the "intellectuals" but gypsy music with a rock`n`roll flavour and silly jokes isn`t exactly what you`d consider to be intellectual. The sound was awful as well. But who cares about that (except for my ears, but ears don`t fall into the "who" category). "It`s only rock`n`roll but I like it". That could be the message of the concert. Or it could be "Baba O`Riley" although I don`t know why.
concert, 2005

Drum Major

5.5
I won`t try to impress anybody with my knowledge of Mr. Steiner`s work. Why? Because I have none. As far as I can understand the music of his is called something like electro jazz, techno jazz or that kind of noise that your recordplayer produces with a Rubin Steiner record inside. Why this has something to do with jazz is a riddle for me. The music is heavily based on samples which tend to go a bit overboard. I`m not gonna say that this is a bad record, but this most certainly is not my kind of music. My ears are simply unprepared for something like it. Listening to this record for the first time it sounds quite fresh and unexpected, but as I listened to it over and over again I thought my brain would explode. By the way I`m still listening to it now. Oh god!
music, 2005

School Of The Flower

4.0
God, is it boring! Ok,I know not all music is supposed to make you you get up your lazy ass from the floor and shake as if you were out of your mind but I really can`t imagine anything less amazing than the song on this album that bears the same name as the album itself. It goes on for 13 and a half minutes and it goes nowhere repeating one silly guitar fragment for the entire length of this song. Probably that fragment ain`t that bad but only if you don`t need to listen to it for some 100 times in a row. Luckily as we approach the end of the song the fragment is outshadowed by some other noices but it still is so idiotical that the only thing I can think about is some Brian Eno stuff where he plays the same four notes for half an hour. A perfect description to what this album is like can be got if you just jump some 30 seconds forward in any song you`ll most likely never notice the skipping because there will be no change of sound at all. Even watching your toenails grow can be more intriguing than this record!
music, 2005

Counting Down The Days

4.0
Talkin` about - pop music. Talkin` about - pop music. Can pop music have real artistic value, provide you with wide emotional experiences and even change your life? Unfortunately this album doesn`t fall into the long lasting category. On the contrary it`s primitive pop that every Mariah Carrey or Celine Dion could do with her tongue tied to the chair and her eyeballs covered in ice cream. Why do I say that? Because after listening to this album for like two and a half hours there just ain`t anything to tell about it. There are probably a few decent songs on this record, but more than that you can`t ask from it. It just has no reason to exist.
music, 2005

Nobody`s Listening

7.5
This is not the most famous band around, and I rarely listen to live records by unknown bands, but today it is just the case. But it seems out that this band is a good one. There are quite a few strong and catchy tracks on this disc - for example "Working Girls" is a nicely crafted upbeat song with a good singalong chorus. Apart from it the album doesn`t have any really outstanding songs but it`s pretty solid as a whole, rocking in a nice manner. I`m not sure that the Pernice Brothers might ever become bigger than giants (I mean bigger than "Bigger than giants") but they have the possibility to be better than the average pop band (or what was the title of that band?).
music, 2005

Son of the Mask

1.0
That was one of the worst films I`ve seen in my life. I`m not gonna say that the original "The Mask" was a cinematic masterpiece which made me cry like a little baby (although I was small at the time it came out), but this utterly disgusting vomit inducing painful experience will never heal. What was the good thing about the first movie? It was the acting by Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz. What do you get in "Son of the Mask"? Some unknown asshole named Jamie Kennedy who has played tiny roles in some bad films, probably never reaching beyond "Hello!" level and a baby. Actually I didn`t really see the baby because after something like 30 minutes the movie was switched off because it was not only totally unfunny but also sleepy and senseless. It just would be a crime against humanity to make somebody pay for the possibility to watch this film. That Kennedy person is got to be the worst actor I`ve ever seen. Not to mention that while being a mask he had some stupid plastic hair upon his head as if he intentionally looked similar to Barbie`s fuck buddy Ken (only with a green disgusting face) but he also had no mimics whatsoever and reminded of the already mentioned Ken.
film, 2005

I Ain`t Saying My Goodbyes

5.5
I have no idea who this Tom Vek fellow is, but he sure ain`t really normal. Otherwise he wouldn`t create such music as he does. He has the same singing style as the signer of Franz Ferdinand but not too good singing abilities. Actually he is a FF wannabe, but with a limitation of talent. `I Ain`t Saying my goodbyes` for instance is such a typical FF track that you wouldn`t believe that FF never did the song. `If you want` has a cowbell intro that reminds me of either Deep Purple or Nazareth but after that the song goes nowhere. Tom Vek is probably very raw and intense but I don`t care cos he just ain`t very interesting or amazing.
music, 2005

Lullabies to Paralyze

7.0
This is a band that never really broke into mainstream but has been there or there about for some years now. Their latest (at the moment) album doesn`t feature anymore the Foo Fighters member Dave Grohl on drums, but that doesn`t mean that the music has changed. Apart from the opening track - "This Lullaby" - which is a slow paced mellow track sung in the voice of a young Tom Waits. "Everybody Knows that you`re insane" sounds like it was done by Pearl Jam. I like "Tangled up in plaid" more for it has a nice opening riff, it reminds me of something, I don`t know of what but it does. "Little Sister" is a rip-off for sure, but it sounds good. The biggest problem of the album is that its first half of songs is better than the second one - after "Little Sister" (number 7) there ain`t a single memorable track on the disc.
music, 2005

Hotel

7.0
Moby is not cool anymore, so they say - and this album is bad. But I say - it`s not bad at all. Probably it isn`t very fast and furious but I don`t think that Moby ever recorded much music that was. Ok, he`s gone a bit too poppy (for example, on "Raining again" he sounds like an even poppier Depeche Mode), "Beautiful" is ok, although very poppy as well. "Lift me up" is a good single. "Temptation" is also good. Basically there are no real stinkers on the album, although not many highlights either.
music, 2005

The Blue One

7.5
There is this kind of cow - the Latvian blue, and that is the blue in this play. Actually I`ve never seen a blue cow, only on a picture but some people tell me that they do in fact exist. Anyhow, there`s this fellow George who had a terrible accident on a road when he was driving a car when his dad and grandma were killed. Now he`s with his mom Rasma in Georgia, having a long time vacation and curing. Before the accident he had stopped the car to look at a blue cow, and now he`s searching in Latvian folklore for those cows. He is visited by a female friend of his, Linda, and her new twice-her-age lover Vidvuds. But his mom has problems with Linda. Anyhow, the main idea of the play probably is that children who don`t need anything are too spoiled and usually don`t know what they want. So, for a Latvian play it was quite good, I watched it in a very small place - something like 40 people were there, acting was good from 3 of 4 actors but Rasma was a bit over-the-top in my opinion. But it was still pretty good, and at least I didn`t get bored at all.
theatre, 2005

Employment

7.0
If I believed what some people say, this band`s got lots of potential. It`s considered to be an English reply to Franz Ferdinand. I`m not sure whether it really is or not, but it`s still not even half-bad. Probably this sort of Brit-Pop isn`t particulary entertaining but at least a big part of thos songs is memorable if not great, and they have nice melodies. Lyrically this band doesn`t go particulary far, but it`s still a pretty decent effort. I personally found "Oh my god" with its a bit funky groove to be the best track on the album. Most people still say that "I predict a riot" is the best one. I also liked the opening track with its not particulary romantic lyrics - "Everyday I love you less and less." Probably this record isn`t the best I`ve heard in ages, but it`s good enough to be considered good.
music, 2005

Jenufa

3.0
I gotta admit that I`m a worthless prick who just pretends that he has some sort of good taste, intellect or whatever. Actually I`m just your everyday bum who chooses the Beatles over the Incredible Ubercool Underground band. And I also choose classical music over the crazy shite you can probably call modern classical. Although probably it`s about the performance and not about the actual piece. Nevermind, "Jenufa" is an opera by the czech composer Leos Janacek, and is supposed to very good. To me it wasn`t - I am not a particular fan of people singing without any sign of a melody and with no connection between the music and the singing. I also rarely find it entertaining when the music sounds as if it was intentionally played very badly, out of tune and by drunk musicians. The story of the opera is also not particulary smart - Jenufa is a young woman that`s become pregnant from her almost groom, but she has a jealous guy running after her. Anyhow, nobody except for the child is killed, but at least everyone lives unhappy everafter. Great, optimistic, ain`t it? I left before the last part. Who gives a damn?
theatre, 2005

Notes from the snow time

5.0
I`m getting a bit bored writing long reviews for things I have no interest in. This is a typical example - stories by a modern Latvian author, most of them have very little interest for a person that`s not a fan of Latvian literature. Of course, if you enjoy stories about the Latvian countryside or you are a major fan of descriptions about old women in a sauna and what advantages a big clitoris gives you, you won`t enjoy this very much. Probably this book isn`t about flat old breasts and sending SMS messages, but this still is pretty boring. There was a single one interesting story in this book - it`s entitled "The years of love" and it`s about a man who awaits a blue centaurus and by doing that misses his own wedding. But apart from that there ain`t very much to speak about.
book, 2005

Maris Bishofs`s View

8.5
Latvians and comedy? It`s not like fish and chips, it`s more like fish and meat. Or I don`t know what and I don`t know what. Ok, Maris Bishofs went to Israel and spent there a few years but he still comes from Latvia. At this exhibition there were his drawings done over a period of something like fourty years - starting with the work back home for a magazine named "Dadzis" and including work back home again for our biggest daily newspaper "Diena". Basically his work is done as carricatures. The technique is very simple - I guess I would be able to draw like that. But what he has is a massive amount of ideas, of creativity and certainly of wit. The level of details is extremely low - Bishofs doesn`t draw what you can see everywhere around you, and if he does that he does it in a minimalistic manner giving you a perfect impression of what life is like. And what is life like? It`s not particulary great, there are banks and casinos everywhere, people ar reduced to numbers and have about as much individuality as birds flying south. I enjoyed this exhibition like I rarely enjoy something. It`s in the following style - you laugh and think at the same time: damn, is it sad! A wonderful experience for sure.
exhibition, 2005

Rooster and his friends

4.0
Well, I`m not so sure what I was looking for. Nothing in particular, I suppose. You see, this was an exhibition where you could see different kinds of chicken (because it`s the year of the rooster right now), and so I went there and checked them out. Chickens are just chickens, basically. Ok, there were some ducks, pheasants and quails as well but the amount of the birds wasn`t particulary big, nor were they particulary beautiful. On the other hand - the expectations for an exhibition like this shouldn`t be very high.
exhibition, 2005

Glass Alchemist

8.0
I`m becoming smart, you know. It`s only the beginning of February, but it`s the fourth exhibition I`ve already been to this year! And it goes either into the first or the second place. Of course, before this exhibition the name of Silvio Vigliaturo wasn`t known to me - as you probably know I`m not a big expert of modern art (or of classical art for that matters). How can I describe what the exhibition had? Well, the basic thing was glass and forms made of it. And these forms were coloured in a somewhat weird manner - with paint, not coloured glass, that`s for sure. Most of the works depicted either lovers, rock`n`roll musicians (not certain musicians but musicians as such) or amazones. As it was written on the wall - Vigliaturo`s inspiration comes mostly from Picasso, Matisse and Marc Shagal. About the first and the third one I guess I could have guessed. It`s a lot of abstraction, of course, but an interesting abstraction for sure. I`m not gonna say that this exhibition made me think or something like that - it was just beautiful, and I don`t ask for nothing more.
exhibition, 2005

Vladimir Vysotsky

6.5
In the Soviet Union Mr. Vysotsky was a real icon - his songs were symbolising not agreeing with many things, something like that. In 1980 he died from having too much alcohol and morphium - he wasn`t what you call a real pioneer in everyday life, and not even in his songs. But even now - 25 years after his death Vysotsky is still celebrated as an actor, as a poet and even as a singer. This exhibition was to show some info about his songs, and about his life. What I found good was that the exhibition didn`t only provide positive information about the hero but also gave some critique - which is a logical thing if a person was as controversial as Mr. Vysotsky. On my personal opionion of him - some of the songs have good lyrics, musically they are lamer than the ones by Leonard Cohen but he was a great actor, especially I like his most famous work - "Mesto vstrechi izmenit nelzja" - if you were born in the Soviet Union you`re bound to know this one. About the exhibition - it was pretty good, but not groundbreaking of course.
exhibition, 2005

Solo Exhibition

8.0
Going to an art gallery isn`t a very regular thing in my diary. Why is it so? I`m not quite so sure. Apperantely I like art, but I`m just too lazy to go and look at it. This Maija Tabaka is probably the most famous (at least in Latvia) living painter of my country. And her works certainly have their charm. Mostly her paintings look a bit goth - the characters often have a bit greenish/pale faces and you`d probably never call her style very optimistic. The colours are either very bright and a bit agressive or very thick and spaced. I guess her favourite colours are black and white. But you can never know. What did the paintings remind me of? Probably, there`s a very slight similarity to Andy Warhol, with the exception that (as far as I know) the paintings weren`t done by updating photos. Still stylistically there is something similar to that. One thing I`m sure of is that Maija Tabaka doesn`t specialise on painting landscapes - there are people everythere, and quite a huge part of them are Roma people. And the ones that aren`t Roma look like they were a bit mad, posessed or even like zombies. I`m not gonna try to dig deeper, possibly even searching for the meaning but I`m certainly glad that I went to this exhibition and I found the pictures very interesting (man, did the last sentence sound like some right-thinking crap I`d probably use in an essay back at school).
exhibition, 2005