Film Review - Life is Beautiful
Life is beautiful is a moving and wonderful film which shows how, even in the worst moments, you can change tragedy into happiness. When Roberto Benigni (Guido Orefice) and all his family are confined to a Nazi death camp, this young and optimistic man finds the courage to hide the truth from his little son, Joshua (Giorgio Cantarini), making him believe that everything is just a game. Passing through different awful situations gives (each of) them points, and there is no chance to cry or to be sad if they want to get the first prize, an awesome tank. Death, hopelessness and human cruelty are some of the main features of this Italian comedy-drama film, but also love, hope and, even though it can seem strange, lots of humour. The acting is unbeatable; it is impossible not to feel sympathy and affection for the main characters. Giorgio Cantarini does a great job and he seems so innocent and naive that you will feel the need to protect him from anything wrong. The plot is accompanied by a beautiful soundtrack, which has won countless awards, and has been able to represent all the mixed-feelings that define this film.
So, if you want to realise how beautiful life is, just play this film, but, before anything else, make sure you have enough tissues at home, because will definitely need them.
Mar Part Lopez - Spain
TV Drama: Sons of Anarchy
Sons of Anarchy (SoA) started in 2008 as a television drama series. You are introduced to an outlaw motorcycle club operating in a fictional town called Charming, California. The main protagonists are the club’s vice-president Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) and his family. Jax is questioning himself about the future directions of the club and about his life. While watching SoA you are introduced to various places and various types of people. Most of them you would rather not visit, nor meet. Members of SoA make their livelihood by smuggling and selling arms, so it’s common for them to shoot and kill. The club’s president, Clay Morrow (Ron Perlmann, better known as Hellboy) is forcing the club to take a part in a drug deal.
By the way, Clay on his way thru the series turns into the main antagonist but it’s not obvious at the beginning and some people could be disappointed by this. Anyway, Perlman’s performance as Clay is excellent and you can feel how it is to change your mind from love to hate. Notable also is the performance of Katey Sagal as Clay’s wife Gemma. It’s almost unbelievable that Peggy from (the programme) ‘Married with Children’ and Gemma Morrow are the same person.
Other story lines are SoA’s members’ family affairs which are affecting the club. All people, even outlaw bikers have parents, children, wives etc. , but in this case, the club must be in first position.
When I started to watch this series, I was kinda sceptical. I’m not a TV addict and series aren’t my hobby at all, but after watching a couple of episodes I found myself fingers crossed to a group of weirdly dressed morons. Maybe, someday in the future, I’ll buy a leather jacket and a Harley Davidson. No, maybe not.
Jan - Czech Republic
Movie Review – Transcendence (2014)
Transcendence is a thrilling science fiction movie starring Johnny Depp as the curious scientist Dr. Will Caster. He predicts that computers will create a technological singularity, which he calls “Transcendence”. After a dramatic incident his life depends on medical equipment so his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) promises to do everything she is able to do to save him and decides to continue his research and experiments, unaware that she would soon create a technological monster no one could stop.
This futuristic movie makes you forget what is possible and what is not, including 119 minutes of haunting and exciting scenes.
However, the film received mainly negative reviews and was criticized for its plot structure and for the film’s poor logic but Transcendence deals with large, troublesome ideas about right now and what’s ahead and that makes this movie timeless. A few reviews described it as “a bold, beautiful flight of futuristic speculation” and “a stunning piece of work”, which was also my opinion.
The special effects were amazingly detailed and stunning which makes it difficult for you as the viewer of the film to decide what you should focus on. Transcendence is definitely not a movie for kids but I would recommend it to every adult who is interested in futuristic science.
Morgana Dias - Switzerland
Film review: Pride & Prejudice
Pride & Prejudice is a romantic film based on Jane Austen’s novel and directed by Joe Wright. The whole story takes place in the British countryside during the late 18th century and it describes five sisters from an English family dealing with issues such as marriage, morality, prejudice and its consequences. The lead actress gives a fantastic performance in the role of Elizabeth Bennet [Keira Knightley], who is one of the five sisters and wants to find a true love. As it is a popular romantic novel, there must be the right one for Elizabeth and that is the moment, when Mr. Darcy [Matthew Macfadyen] appears on the screen. The plot is really predictable, but I think it doesn’t have to be such a bad thing. The music, which flows through the entire film, was written by Italian composer Dario Marianelli.
This film is for everyone, who likes romance, classical music, beautiful countryside and loves happyendings. The film would make a great afternoon or evening’s entertaiment especially for a woman audience, but don’t expect any action or surprises.
Katerina - Czech Republic
Series review: Game of Thrones
These days TV serials are becoming more and more popular and according to the research the obvious winner is Game of Thrones, which is filmed according to the books written by George R. R. Martin.
I’d like to tell you about the first season, which is more gripping than the others. In the first season we are introduced to the world of the Seven Kingdoms where there are a lot of main characters and many more secondary characters. I will tell you only about the most important characters which are the Starks: a famouse and very old clan which is very honorable and predictable, they are also called the Rullers of the North and in their crest is a mysterious wolf. The Lannisters: an old clan which is known for an incredible amount of money and their cunning behaviour, in their crest is a golden lion. The Barratheons: a clan which rules to the Seven Kingdoms. Their crest is green with a deers head.
And what is it actually about? It becomes interesting in the first episode when Cersei and Jaime Lanister were caught comitting incest by young Stark and they throw him out of a window. Here must no-one knows what it is about. The story fall out is quite fast and the whole season is full of bloody scenes and magnificent celebrations and what is most important is a lot of intrigues which are unexpectable. To not spoil your entertainment I can only tell you, that after a king’s death all the clans declare war on each other.
I personally would recommend it to everybody, but the rule that the book is always better still applies!
Vaclav - Czech Republic
Movie Review - Amelie
The film I would like to present to you is called “Amelie”. The film is about a very sensitive girl, named Amelie, who can sense things around her before they happen. The film is centred on the figure of this woman, (who) is (an) exceptional person and very particular. She meets a boy and she falls in love with him and after that she finds out that the boy has lost his book, an album with thousands of photos that he has been collecting. She adopts a particular way of acting: to return his book, instead of simply giving it back to him by appointment or by calling him, like every person would do, Amelie makes him find the book by using arrows, that she would draw on the ground, or throw other unpredictable signs that would eventually lead him to the right location of where his book is. In the meanwhile, Amelie also tries to discover who is the mysterious man that appears continuously in the album.
With overwhelming imagination and infinite sensivity, Amelie guides us in her world which is fantastic and incredible, and which reflects a very singular way of seeing life, besides her being an exquisite character.
I don’t know whether to recommend this book or not because it can be enjoyed but it can also be horrible for some people. Personally speaking, I can say that I liked this movie and I even watched it more than one time.
Eleonora - Italy
Sitcom review: The Big Bang Theory
The American sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” is an extremely witty series which is recommended especially for younger people – but not only for them.
Chuck Lorre’s and Bill Prady’s sitcom is set in Pasadena, California and is primarily focused on the four physicists Dr. Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), Dr. Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), Dr. Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) and Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) who are all employed at the University of Pasadena and (are) addicted to fantasy and comics. The four physicists behave in an absolutely funny way different from average human beings and Sheldon especially is a really queer bird, who becomes during the development of the plot more and more aware of human behaviour, phrases and irony. The complete contrast to the four guys is epitomised by their neighbour and friend Penny (Kaley Cuoco), who works at the cheesecake factory and (is trying) to establish herself as an actress in California. However, her plans don’t seem to be successful. She supports the four guys during their daily life by giving them advice (on) how to behave in particular situations. However, she is often annoyed (by) them, as well.
The main question beyond the whole series is from my point of view: Can physics be funny? And Sheldon and his friends show that of course, they can be! This is achieved through the entertaining behaviour of the four guys which is, for instance, indicated by (the) problems (they have) with talking to women, understanding irony or behaving socially. All these problems are part of Sheldon’s, Leonard’s, Raj’s and Howard’s daily life and make it so funny to watch the sitcom. The actually untypical and fairly unnatural behaviour is put into the foreground of the content and is exaggerated in a way that is superb. Sheldon’s problems in his daily life especially are acted totally fantastically by Jim Parsons, who manages to depict the character of Dr. Sheldon Cooper perfectly. Moreover, this success comes, nevertheless, (because of) the slightly infantile (clothing) chosen for each character.
As a closing remark, I can recommend watching (this) sitcom at least once (but) I’m sure that the risk of becoming addicted to it is very high!
Chris - Germany
Film Review - Bridget Jones’ Diary
Bridget Jones (played by Renee Zellwegger) is a single woman in her early thirties, with some bad habits –smoking and drinking - that she tries each year to stop, but obviously unsuccessfully.
Bridget works in a magazine, where she starts flirting with her boss Daniel Cleaver, (Hugh Grant), an attractive barrister, with whom she has found what she has been searching for in all her 32 years of singleness.
But suddenly, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), a business man and the son of her parents’ friends returns to her life at her mum’s Christmas party in a reindeer jumper.They have known each other from their childhood, when she ran naked into his garden, but now, they can’t stand each other.
This love triangle that reminds us of Pride and Prejudice, also has an intriguing point, some lies will soon come out, and no one will really be what they pretended to be.
And moving on, the cast is spectacular, especially Zellwegger after we found out what she did for the film, gaining more than 20 pounds (in weight), and it is even more stunning how she played the role of a 32 year old stereotypical single Londoner, that made her win an Oscar.
Like one of my teachers told me years ago, you should watch this film in your thirties, if you are single and if you are trying to win some self-esteem, obviously then, you will understand the feelings of Bridget Jones.
Empar Martinez - Spain
Film review – ‘Monster in law’ & ‘Maleficent’
‘Monster in law ‘ is a romantic comedy directed by Robert Luketic. The story is about a young girl, Charlotte (Jennifer Lopez) and her relationship with her fiance’s mother, Viola (Jane Fonda).
Charlotte met Kevin (Michael Vartan) at a private party, and a few days later, they started their relationship. Things started going wrong when Charlie met Kevin’s mother, Viola, who had lost her job and had spent three months in a psychiatric hospital. When Kevin proposed to Charlie, Viola thought that she would lose her son the way that she had lost her career, so she wanted to destroy their relationship. If you want to know whether their love was strong enough to overcome all the challenges, you must watch this movie!
‘Maleficent’ is a 2014 American fantasy film, based on a story about a good fairy, who lives in a magical forest, near the human kingdom. The main character is, of course, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie).
Things start to get complicated when she meets Stefan, a guy from the kingdom. She falls in love with him, and as the king wants her dead, Stefan cuts away her wings and, as a reward, he marries the king’s daughter. When Stefan’s daughter, Aurora, is born, Maleficent puts a curse on her, saying that she will fall into an eternal dream on her sixteenth birthday, and that only ‘true love’s kiss’ can wake her up. But does that kiss have to be from a prince or not? If you want to find that out, hurry to the cinema!
To sum up, ‘Monster in law’ is a movie with lots of funny scenes, which will make you laugh. But if you prefer to see an old story in a new way, ‘Maleficent’ is the best choice.
Katarina - Serbia