Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Black Lightning


tags: romance, Russian movie, super hero, thriller,

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Black Lightning  is a 2009 Russian superhero film directed by Alexandr Voitinsky and Dmitry Kiseliov, and produced by Timur Bekmambetov.

Plot Summary
Moscow, 2004, and wealthy entrepreneur Kuptsov drills deep beneath the city, trying to reach a huge diamond vein. Aware that his ruthless drilling will destroy the city and its denizens, it's a result he's willing to accept for untold additional wealth. Fortunately, his equipment lacks enough power. He needs the Nano-catalyst (developed years ago) to fuel his machinery, but its current whereabouts is unknown. Meanwhile, in another part of the city, college boy Dima dreams of owning a car and dating gorgeous co-ed Nastya. His wealthy friend Max has a Mercedes Benz and is flirting with Nastya, which frustrates Dima. On his birthday, Dima finally gets a car (from his parents) - a grungy, antiquated Volga of which he is privately ashamed; but, unbeknownst to anyone, the car - the recipient of "failed" Nano-catalysis - is capable of much more, and turns Dima into an unidentified crusader of justice known as Black Lightning. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I find myself watching more and more foreign language movies these days - Korean, Japanese, Thai, and most recently Russian movies are my flavors-of-the-month/s. IMHO, foreign language movies are better written and acting seems natural and not forced or sounds like actors are reading a script.

This Russian movie has all the things I like in a movie: young good-looking leads (yeah, so what if I'm ageist...who wants to watch old prune-y actors like Harrison Ford, et al?), A+ script/story/acting, baddest baddies, right amount of humor and special effects, great entertainment all the way. It has a moral to the story too. Dima acting like a spoiled brat learns from a tragic experience to be more humble, accepts what is given to him, and ends up helping people with his car's super ability. Getting the girl is icing on the cake.

I can't remember how many times I've seen this movie streamed from Netflix which unfortunately is no longer available. Amazon streams for $3 to rent and $10 to purchase. This is the first movie of Grigoriy Dobrygin I've watched that eventually launched my "Idolatry" Board on Pinterest. On the very very short DVD "Extras", the pretty actress who plays our hero's love interest jokingly lamented she only had two chances to kiss Grigoriy during filming and they were very brief "one-take" shots.

Grigoriy photos

Grigoriy Dobrygin
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His Russian language movies currently streaming
How I Ended This Summer - Netflix and Amazon
Atomic Ivan - Amazon

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cold Fire

  tags: horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, suspense,

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Book Description
Teacher Jim Ironheart, aptly named, is sent by forces unknown to save chosen people in life-threatening situations. By chance, a young but jaded reporter stumbles onto his missions, and joins him to investigate who is controlling him and why. Shared nightmares begin to point to an extraterrestrial influence, and the pair are forced to confront Ironheart's forgotten past for answers. Koontz, a master at maintaining mystery and suspense, weaves themes from earlier novels into this latest thriller. Even if the ending calls to mind DuMaurier and Hitchcock, Cold Fire contains all the ingredients--likable characters, nail-biting suspense, and above all, unlimited imagination--that will please Koontz's fans. For all popular collections. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection; Mystery Guild featured alternate; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/90.-Eric W. Johnson, Teikyo Post Univ. Lib., Waterbury, Ct.Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This novel came out in 2004 but somehow it escaped my attention. It's now on Kindle and it is worth the 2 days I spent reading it; didn't even notice it's 448 pages long. The book is typical Koontz: horror, supernatural, sci-fi, suspense, humor, but with an unfamiliar addition of romance which actually is not a bad thing. Without the romance angle, there won't be a story IMHO.

Highly recommended to fans of mystery/horror/sci-fi genre. Don't forget to read the Afterword section; it is funny and entertaining as well.

To atheists, tree huggers, and the easily offended - stay away as there's plenty to get your knickers in a twist.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Kabbalistic Murder Code

 tags: mystery, thriller

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Book Description from Amazon 
The Kabbalistic Murder Code is an original and innovative Israeli thriller that was written for all those having an interest in Kabbalah. It incorporates two seemingly unconnected elements: a string of strange murders and the deciphering of ancient Kabbalistic texts, along with their hidden and mystical meanings.
A professor from Jerusalem, an expert in decoding ancient Hebrew manuscripts, is hired to carry out a mysterious task, one that sends him to three continents. He becomes entangled in a web of murders that leave him deeply puzzled. However, he quickly discovers that if he does not succeed in deciphering the enigmatic manuscripts, through his in-depth knowledge of Kabbalah, the lives of many people - including his own family - will be endangered.
Interwoven within this exciting tale are curious passages reviewing the many conquests that the city of Jerusalem has endured during its long history. Their relevance and significance become clear only at the end of the book.
I like
>Elijah, the ordinary looking University lecturer, decoder, P.I.?, and his wry sense of humor
>Seamless weaving of historical facts and fiction
>Fast paced; hard to put down
>Well defined characters and story
>The history of Jerusalem's conquerors as told by the author, Nathan Erez, is fascinating to read

My favorite sentence in the book
"Jerusalem is one stubborn city that refuses to roll over and die."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Legion


tags: science fiction, supernatural, fallen angels, thriller



There is a SyFy channel series called Dominion which is loosely based on the 2010 movie Legion. I wanted to start watching it since I'm a huge follower of Supernatural TV series and I love the Winchester brothers, the angel Castiel, and the demon Crowley. I decided to see the movie first to get an idea of what the TV series would be. Ugh. Total waste of eyeball use and I nearly hurt myself for the constant eyerolling. 

Not recommended unless you have a fetish for open mouth acting, if that can be called acting.

Jeep's mouth is always open in every scene and angle

The eyeroll rating is for the subpar acting  that every character is guilty of and for the atrocious dialog. Jeep really riled me with his lame, always open-mouthed, looking like a retard, character. He's a fruit and a weakling who can't even handle any weapon to protect himself or anyone else. And what kind of name is Jeep anyway? I was wishing he'll be the first to die. Alas! Never happened. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Enemy



tags: psychological thriller, mystery

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I watched the movie twice, the second viewing merely 2 hours after the first viewing ended. First time I ever did that. The ending was so bizarre I said out loud "What does it mean?" repeatedly to myself. It was very puzzling, I kept reviewing in my mind the whole movie then decided to watch it again. It's streaming on Amazon free for Prime members anyway, and I had time to kill that day.

The movie stars one of my all-time favorite actors, Jake Gyllenhaal, and directed by Canadian Denis Villeneuve who directed my favorite movie of 2013, Prisoners, also starring Jake. Enemy is in the NEEDS MULTIPLE VIEWING TO FULLY UNDERSTAND OR APPRECIATE category, just like another of my JG faves, Donnie Darko. Enemy requires the viewer's full attention, from the first scene to the last, from meaningful dialog to seemingly insignificant but important scenes. Jake did an excellent job portraying two characters and the actress who played his wife is equally great. Her dialog, acting, and facial expressions gave me all the clues to what is really going on with the story.

Highly recommended to viewers who love to over-analyze psychocolgical thrillers.

If you haven't seen the movie, stop reading here because the following contains spoilers.

Monday, August 11, 2014

5 Favorite Robin Williams Movies

1. Aladdin

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2. Patch Adams

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3. Mrs. Doubtfire

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4. Night At The Museum

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5. One Hour Photo


Rest In Peace, Robin Williams

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Snowpiercer


tags: dystopian, mystery, thriller

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A post-apocalyptic ice age forces humanity's last survivors aboard a globe-spanning super train. One man (Chris Evans) will risk everything to lead a revolt for control of the engine and the future of the world.
For full plot, click on Wikipedia
Snowpiercer is a 2013 South Korean science fiction action film based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette. The film is directed by Bong Joon-ho, and written by Bong and Kelly Masterson. The film marks Bong's English-language debut; approximately 80% of the film was shot in English.The film stars Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Go Ah-sung, Jamie Bell, Ewen Bremner, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, and Ed Harris. 

I've been waiting for this movie since December 2013 when I first saw the trailer because I'm a die-hard fan of both South Korean and dystopian post-apocalyptic movies. I wasn't disappointed in this movie and I love it. To describe it in a few words, it's 1984 aboard a perpetually moving train. It's dark, bloody, and people get killed nonstop which is what dystopian movies are supposed to be. I specially love the character of Tilda Swinton as comedy relief. And true to South Korean dramas there is a very short scene of a buff [always] shirtless guy about to take a shower.

Once again, the Weinstein Company tried to butcher the movie for the benefit of the supposed to be stupid American moviegoers. How condescending! They acquired the rights to the movie but the release in North America was delayed because "he's-no-Einstein" Harvey Weinstein wanted 20 minutes of footage be cut. The director refused and succeeded in getting the film released uncut. I think the movie is still currently playing in theaters and also streaming on Amazon.


unrecognizable hilarious Tilda Swinton as Mason