Ponyo on the Cliff competition

FREE! Magazine and Panvision invite you to see one of the most amazing Japanese animation movies! Just send the correct answer to the question below to, writing in the subject field “Ponyo on the Cliff competition”, and you can be the lucky winner of one of the 5 DVDs of Ponyo on the Cliff we have to give away!*

What is the name of the director of Ponyo on the Cliff?

  • John Lasseter
  • Aki Kaurismäki
  • Hayao Miyazaki
  • Osamu Tezuka

Ponyo on the cliff DVD cover

* Prices will be delivered by post only for winners located inside Finland’s borders.

Cinema DVD

Lesbian Vampire Killers

For the fans of horror movies with good doses of comedy and pretty girls, this is not going to disappoint you!

Lesbian Vampire Killers

I must say that actually I enjoyed this movie more than I expected. I knew that I was not going to find any “deep meaning” behind it, more like a film perfect to see in hangover days while lying on the sofa, but certainly, I think that different movies are made for different purposes, and this one accomplishes its own one.

The dialogues and the characters are funny and work, especially James Corden as Fletch, the best friend of the “hero”, horny and ready to party and make smart comments all the time.

Actually, opposite to what the title could imply, the amount of sex and erotic scenes is very light, hardly will you see one breast here and there, and the violence scenes are always wrapped with good humor, so it is a movie perfect to see with your girlfriend or with children around (whatever war movie they usually watch will have more shocking scenes there).

Lesbian Vampire Killers

For those of you who need a different perspective of the vampire world than what Twilight can offer, give a try to this one!

Rating 3/5

The best: Fletch killing the daughter of the priest and acting like nothing happened.

The worst: more physical contact between Jimmy and Lotte would have been welcome!

The detail: I watched the same day this one and “Two Lovers”, and enjoyed this much more by far!

Lesbian Vampire Killers Trailer

Cinema DVD

The boat that rocked

An intelligent and funny history that tells about the period in Great Britain in the 60´s where pirate rock stations delighted the youngsters.


For any musical lover, this film is a must see. It is entertaining, well written, and enjoys a great cast with Bill Nighy, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Kenneth Branagh or Emma Thompson among many other great names. I also enjoyed the presence of Chris O´Dowd and Sinead Matthews from my favorite British TV comedy, The IT Crowd.


The story tells the life of a crazy gang of Djs on a boat during the 60´s, period where rock stations were illegal in England. Fun, good jokes and overall, a great soundtrack that makes you appreciate the value of music in life, as well as friendship and how bad and hypocrite the stupid rules of governments can be sometimes. Totally recommended!

Rating 4/5

The best: The soundtrack of the movie is fantastic

The worst: The final with the shrinking boat was a bit weak.

The detail: You can see back after a long time in the same movie to Branagh and Thompson, although they do not share scenes.

The Boat that Rocked Trailer

Cinema DVD

Two lovers

Joaquin Phoenix incarnates a charming bipolar Jewish guy splits between two loves.

two lovers

I knew that this probably would be another romantic movie with lack of spicy action, but actually I was really disappointed while watching it. I had the feeling of that “something good is about to happen” that never get to materialize, if you know what I mean. So here you have in the end another good example of a great cast and a big production (meaning a lot of money) wasted in a boring film.

Joaquin Phoenix is a great actor, and here shows once again, but the role could have had more to squeeze with a more intelligent script. Gwyneth Paltrow is as adorable and sexy as always, or even more, but actually her role of family breaker blondie could have been perfectly filled by other thousand of actresses. Not her best movie.

two lovers

In addition, the end is quite pessimistic, I am not sure what was the message they wanted to transmit, but for me, it seems like in the end you have to renounce to your dreams and set back into the harsh reality, being moderately happy. But is not Hollywood about following dreams?

Quite disappointing in the end. If you are a fan of the main actors, you can give it a try, but personally, I found it boring and forgettable.

Rating 2/5

The best: Vinessa Shaw acts and looks adorable as the Jewish girlfriend

The worst: when two bipolar people get together, you know the story is not going to end well.

The detail: It is set in Brooklyn (what a novelty for a romantic comedy…)

Two Lovers Trailer

Cinema DVD

The Informers

Based on the book by the always acid and polemic Bret Easton Ellis, here comes a dissection of the elite’s way of life in Los Angeles.

The Informers

For being a movie that counts with such an impressive cast, with names like Kim Basinger, Rhys Ifans, Billy Bob Thornton or the “resurrected” Winona Ryder and Mickey Rourke, you could expect much more than what you find.

I catch the idea of what the movie wants to transmit, but I think it fails in achieving it. Apart from some great moments of Mel Raido as the invented rock star Brian Metro and losing my breathe contemplating the almost perfect beauty of the body of Amber Heard, the movie just left me as cold as the heart of most of the characters portrayed there.

DVD cover

Yes, in Hollywood there are excesses, rock, drugs, sex…so what? The story does not tell anything new, neither adds a new angle to the old stereotype. With such a cast, it turned to be a waste of resources…

Rating 2/5

The best: Honestly, that Amber Heard walks around most of the time naked or semi-naked.

The worst: You do not feel identified for good or bad reasons with the characters. It just does not produce reactions, served cold and eaten cold by the spectator.

The detail: Bret Easton Ellis also collaborated doing the screenplay of the film.

The Informers Trailer

Cinema DVD Music

Star Trek

This is probably the sci-fic movie that everybody was looking forward to it during the current year. Does it keep up with the expectations?

Star Trek

I must confess I am not a Trekkie, probably I am more of a Star Wars fan (I love sword fights), but when I was a child I followed Star Trek with enthusiasm. It was not an easy task after a break of several years in the saga to make a movie that could be enjoyed by old fans and a new generation of viewers, but I think that J.J. Abrams has done a more than decent work to balance it.

There is action, a lot of it, and maybe not the typical philosophical and technical background that usually gets linked to the saga, but at the same time, the roots are still there. Chris Pine is excellent as the young and rebel captain Kirk, but the show is still stolen Zachary Quinto as Spock. Quinto shows once more, that same than his role in Heroes, he masters the roles of duality like nobody else. His intensity is the engine of the movie. Added to this, the special appearance of Leonard Nimoy is just what was needed to embrace the old and new Start Trek, not mentioning that Eric Bana is a plausible bad guy.

DVD cover

It is true there are some holes in the plot, but in the end what you are getting is a product very entertaining, without losing the own identity that Star Trek has carried for decades. A good one!

Rating 4/5

The best: Zachary Quinto almost choking Kirk. Who would guess they would become best friends?

The worst: some holes in the plot. What a coincidence that “old Spock” is in the same planet, at the same place where Kirk is sent as punishment…

The detail: It is the first movie of the saga where the real name of Uhura is mentioned (Nyota)

Star Trek – The Future Begins Trailer

Cinema DVD


There are celebrities loved or hated, but that they will leave nobody indifferent. Tyson fell from the top of glory to the grade of villain, but certainly, makes a hell of a character for a documentary!


If there is a word that you could use for this movie is “empathy”. Obviously, you are not going to like Mike Tyson, but maybe after watching this documentary, you would not dislike him so much. Most of the things he did was wrong, but also, after watching the beginning and his explanation about his youth, you have the feeling that you understand better what could cross the mind of this boxing ex-champion.

Director James Toback accomplishes an interesting documentary that, although probably will hook more to the followers of sports and boxing, is still open for all kind of audiences. The mixed footage of interviews and moments in the life of Tyson is well cut, but sometimes, you have the feeling that the documentary was made in a kind of a “rush”, with not enough time to have squeeze the best that Tyson would have to say or offer. Nevertheless, it is admirable how all kind of topics are touched with no limits.

DVD cover

Maybe if you did not follow Tyson career or appearances in the press, you will not care to watch this one. But for all many others that saw the peak and falls of one of the biggest boxing champions of the last decades, this film will make the trick!

Rating 3/5

The best: The footage of young Tyson and his relation with his coach, Cus DÁmato

The worst: The interviews seem to have been made in a rush, trying to get as much as possible in a short period of time.

The detail: Tyson also appears on the big screen in the recent comedy success The Hangover.

Tyson Trailer

Cinema DVD

I love you, man

Making good friends is not an easy task. If not, ask Paul Rudd, who is stuck between the love for his fiancée and the love for…Rush!.

Megan Fox

Paul Rudd is becoming one of my favorite comedy actors. Ok, maybe he does not suit the role of tough womanizers, but for the one here in I love you, man, he suits like a glove as the perfect son in law that any mother would invite for dinner.

I love you, man is a funny comedy, so accomplishes the expectations, but under the jokes, there is underneath quite serious issues for the generation of 30 something years old who has to choose between commitment and losing contact with friends…or having eternal hangovers with the mates and enjoying rock concerts. I am sure that more than one of you is going or has gone through that period of life. But actually, although Rudd makes a great work, is Jason Segel who steals the show here. He is just perfect in his incarnation of this eternal enjoyer of life, womanizer alpha male who can also be loyal to his best friends and is always up for a couple of beers and a good talk about rock, sex or business.

I love you man

Resuming, a good work by director John Hamburg, with a comedy that overpass the average quality of what you may see during these months on DVD.

Rating 4/5

The best: The guys jamming Rush!

The worst: Getting married without getting oral sex? No way! And Jon Favreau should have got a well deserved punishment for being such an asshole during the whole movie…

The detail: The drum set that you can see when they guys are jamming is a replica of one used by Keith Moon, the infamous drummer of The Who.

I love you, man Trailer

Cinema Interviews

Interview with Jorge Blanco, director of the movie Planet 51

A lot has been written about the new pearl of Spanish cinema industry: Planet 51. The Spanish movie that counts with the biggest budget so far arrives to the big screen developed by Ilion Studios, a company owned and directed by the same talented people who created years ago the videogame saga Commandos, one of most successful ones around the world.

FREE! Magazine had the chance to shoot questions in an exclusive interview with director Jorge Blanco, who tells us about his beginnings in the videogame industry, the challenge and satisfaction of putting together a project like Planet 51 and the interesting future plans for a Studio that is trying to compete from Europe and give more than one headache to the huge American ones such as Pixar or Dreamworks.

Thanks a lot for your time Jorge! One of the first sentences that you can read in the media about Planet 51 is “The Spanish movie with biggest budget in the history”. For you, as main responsible of a film that will be released in 170 different countries, is this an extra motivation, or a reason to feel more nervous about the results that will be obtained?

It is always a great motivation to work on something that will be watched by so many people. The good thing about such a big budget is that you can really work with the necessary tools and resources to achieve the average quality of a great animation production.


I know that you worked previously with Pyro developing the videogame saga Commandos, but for the people who have not Heard about you, can you explain a bit more about your background, how did you start in the videogame industry and how happened the jump to making movies?

I was 20 when my brother, Alberto Blanco, introduced me to the videogames world. He had worked already as a programmer for games for Spectrum, so at home I have always been surrounded by that kind of digital creative environment. I worked together with him in a small company making graphics for small videogame projects. It was the time when CD technology was getting born and all related to multimedia. 3d animation was also starting to take off and I learnt a lot working on those little projects.

Later on, I was involved in the creation of Pyro Studios, the company behind Commandos. There in Pyro I met Javier Abad and Marcos Martínez, the other co-directors of Planet 51. At that time we were making Commandos 2. After finishing Commandos 2, Ignacio Pérez, president of Pyro, told us about his plans to build up an animation studio and we could not resist to the idea. Videogames were not challenging enough anymore from an artistic point of view. So the 4 of us spent 8 months looking for a good story so we could settle the foundations of the animation studio.

You have worked so far creating the most successful Spanish videogame around the world, and now with the most ambitious Spanish movie ever made. So we could say that for you it is natural thinking big, isn´t it?

Well, my professional life has been linked from the beginning to Ignacio Pérez Dolset. These huge projects were foreseen by Ignacio, so my merit is just about to take them and try to finish them successfully. For example, with Planet 51, the idea at the beginning was just creating a short movie, but Ignacio pushed us directly to turn it into an international film.

Which is from your point of view the best thing about working on the creation of a movie, compared to the creation of a videogame, and which one is the most difficult thing?

A movie reaches all kind of audiences, opposite to a videogame that counts with a more specific audience. I like that my worked could be enjoyed both by my mother or my 11 years old nephew. As well, the freedom of creativity in Planet is much bigger than in Commandos, where the graphics had to depend also on the game being easy to play.

I have read that you commented in past interviews that making this movie was much more exhausting tan creating any videogame. Have you spent many days working until late at night in the studio?

Well, we had a great load of work in Commandos, but it is not comparable to the work with Ilion-Planet 51. The scope of the project, the time and ambition dedicated to it has been very superior to anything made in Commandos and Commandos 2. All the members of the team has worked really a lot!

“Working with Joe Stillman has been really wonderful!”

How is the experience of working with Javier Abad and Marcos Martínez as co-directors, and being backed up by Pérez Dolset brothers? Did you have the final word in the decisions, or everything had to be agreed with the other responsible people of the Project?

Working with Javier, Marcos and Ignacio was really a big thing in this Project. As I said, I met them in the past while working in Pyro and working all together is really great. We work very well as a team, everyone in our own responsibilities and fields, and this was a key point for Planet 51 shining artistically.
Work was always made as a team, and then I had the final word for trying to move on in artistic decisions that would not be shared by everyone. Ignacio created a real “paradisiacal” atmosphere for what we are used to dealing with in the Spanish industry, where we had all the resources and support needed to complete Planet 51.

Apart from the famous actors from Hollywood that lent their voices to the characters, another strong point is the script by Joe Stillman, creator of Shrek. Were you the ones who contacted him at first, or how did you start this collaboration? Did you not have in mind any Spanish scriptwriter?

We produced at first 3 sequences of the movie. One was that one of the astronaut arriving to the planet and landing the flat with the barbecue in the background. Our American producer showed it to Joe, and he fell in love with the idea of the film. This encouraged him to join our team. I must say that working with Joe has been really wonderful. He has been involved in the project 100% and offered us a continuous help.

Planet 51

There are some directors who like to include in their films some “national winks” (for example, Finnish Renny Harlin always places some Finnish flag or a Finnish beer or something like that in some sequences of his movies). Did you think about doing something similar?

There are some little winks, although they do not make direct reference to Spain. In a sequence you can read the number 112 in a post box, which is the number of my own house. The astronaut´s MP3 has a tea kettle as a logo, and that is the favorite icon of our technical director Gonzalo Rueda, and for example in the fish bowl you can see two plastic corals in Brown and pink colors; that is the logo of a website about aquariums that I founded years ago. Ah well…and we also have in the soundtrack the famous “Macarena” song… hehehe.

And talking about winks to cinema history, there are also many of those to classics like Aliens, Back to the Future, E.T, Star Wars, Wall-E, etc. Is it difficult to make a movie that pays homage to the genre and at the same time has something new to offer? Was there a time that you had to stop and say “ok, no more references to other classic sci-fi movies?

Well, I think that the main concept of Planet 51 is already very fresh in the genre. We are talking about an astronaut turned into an alien! That was something new. About the other references, well, some like for Aliens or Star Wars were almost compulsory to appear!

Is the team in Ilion Studios formed basically by Spanish staff, or is a melting pot of different nationalities? What was the official work language used?

Yes, we are Spanish in around a 70% of the team. The official language used was Spanish as well.

What does a young talented guy need to be part of Ilion team? Do you hunt for people outside, or do you just choose among applications received?

I think the most important thing is that they enjoy and feel passionate about their work, if not, it is impossible to work in this field. We recruit in the both ways you mentioned, but usually most people are selected based on the reels they send to us.

You have also spent the last couple of years working at the same time in another movie. I don´t know if you can tell us something about it. If finally the economical results of Planet 51 would not be the expected ones (although we are sure they will be), would this suppose a problem when facing new projects?

Ilion is a solid Project from an economical point of view, and actually Planet 51 is already achieving satisfactory results. So there is no problem for the development of our second movie.

Where do you see yourself in the next years? Are you still “hungry” for new big projects, no matters how huge they turn to be?

For the moment I still have 3 years of work in this new project, and then time will tell what happens next.

Is there anything you want to add for our readers?

Thanks a lot and greetings!

At the cinema Cinema

Top 10 movies in Finland 2009

Here you can find the top 10 of movies in the Finnish theaters during the last year with the total number of spectators that watched them. Ice Age 3 leads!

Ice Age 3

1. Ice Age 3 (trailer) 01.07.2009 387 000

2. Harry Potter ja puoliverinen prinssi (trailer) 17.7.2009 345 000

3. Rööperi (trailer) 09.01.2009 256 000

4. Up – kohti korkeuksia 09.10.2009 219 000

5. Enkelit ja demonit (trailer) 13.05.2009 197 000

6. Slummien miljonääri (trailer) 13.03.2009 183 000

7. Kunniattomat paskiaiset (trailer) 04.09.2009 181 000

8. Twilight: Uusi kuu (trailer) 20.11.2009 181 000

9. Bolt (trailer) 13.02.2009 161 000

10. Twilight (trailer) 02.01.2009 152 000

Harry Potter

Cinema DVD

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Here comes the second part of Transformers, with more robots and Megan Fox looking sexier (if possible) than ever!

Megan Fox

I must admit that I enjoyed the first Transformers. As a child, I followed the TV series, and it was nice to see the robots in the big screen, although the plot would obviously not be the best possible. But this time, the “Americanization” of Transformers has gone too far. More than watching Transformers, movie seems just a mere product of propaganda for the American army, to show how sophisticated its weaponry is.

True, there is more action here, but the edition and links between scenes is really poor. Even Megatron and Optimus Prime do not enjoy of many minutes on screen, and the added new robots are more detestable than other thing. Not to mention the flaws in geography or history. Honestly, when you spend zillions of dollars in such a movie, is it so difficult to have somebody in the team that can locate Egyptian historical places properly? Michael Bay can be a master portraying war aircrafts, but has really miss this shot by far about creating a minimally movie with some common sense in what the characters go through.

DVD cover

Added to this, I still do not dig Shia LaBeouf. I did not like him in the last Indiana Jones, neither here. Thinking that a whiny guy like this is not only the key of salvation to the human race, but also the object of desire between Megan Fox and Isabel Lucas goes beyong the fantasy of a 15 year old teenager…

And do not worry, because soon we will have a third one with more American ammunition to spread around the world.

Rating 2/5

The best: Optimus Prime taking on several Deserticons in the woods. And Megan Fox riding a motorbike…
The worst: feeling that our intelligence is being insulted with such an horrific second part of the sage.
The detail: Some of the action was actually shot in the real pyramids in Egypt.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Trailer

Cinema DVD

Gran Torino

I must admit that together with Wes Anderson and a couple more of directors, the old “Dirty Harry” has always been one of my favorite American directors and actors.

What you are going to find here in Gran Torino is essentially a production 100% Clint Eastwood, reminding me of his great masterpiece Unforgiven. He is once more superb in his role of bitter war veteran with a dark past, and in both movies, although the later was a western and this is located in an American suburb invaded by immigrants, have many points in common, as for example the feeling of revenge after the abuse of a woman by a gang.

I know that many spectators would have enjoyed more another final with Eastwood applying his own justice, but the end of Gran Torino is even more amazing as an act of redemption. All along the movie, the great topics are touched: life and death, but between those two, there are many layers to discover in this incredible and prodigious onion; greediness and lack of communication with the sons, racism, religion, redemption, friendship, integration… Eastwood is able to create a cocktail with all this without losing the essence of his cinema, and obviously, in the end, the final is bittersweet, same than life itself.

If you like Eastwood´s movies and you still have not seen Gran Torino, run for it! Another great masterpiece to add to his collection of great titles like Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven… Mr Eastwood, like the good wines, knows how to taste better and better with the pass of time.

Rating 5/5

{mosimage}The best: The final with Eastwood staring at the house of the criminal gang

The worst: that we are not going to have the chance to see Eastwood in front of the camera much more.

The detail: the same Gran Torino car that appears in the movie was used in the 70s series Starsky & Hutch.

Trailer of Gran Torino

Cinema DVD

Bottle Shock

{mosimage}Love, the eternal rivalry between USA and France…and overall many litres of good wine in this movie based on true events!


As a good Spaniard, I am quite a follower of the wine culture, not an expert, but from time to time I enjoy a bottle of good red wine. So obviously, the plot of this Bottle Shock was promising, with those amazing views of sunny vineyards around California. But the taste that the movie left in my mouth was not graceful at all. Big names and great actors like Alan Rickman or Bill Pullman seem to be wasted in the movie (especially Rickman who does not count with as many minutes on screen as he deserves). The story is more focused around the young friends Gustavo and Bo, and the irruption in their lives of Sam, a sexy female new worker studying the secrets of making wine as intern. But even the love story is twisted. Why the twist in the story, leaving Gustavo? It looks like the old prejudices of Hollywood for presenting multiracial couples are still far from gone.


In the end, you do not learn much about making wine, neither have you felt identified with the characters, and the result is predictable. A pity, because it could have been shaped into a much more interesting movie with a bit more of imagination and better direction.


Rating 2/5


{mosimage}The best: Alan Rickman in the few minutes he is on screen.

The worst: Why the character of Gustavo gets ignored in most of the second half of the movie?  

The detail: The main events related in the movie are

Cinema DVD

The International

{mosimage}An intriguing thriller that will discover the dark secrets of international banking.


I must say that I did not have high expectations for this movie, but I was gladly surprised by an intelligent plot that will keep you hooked to the story until the end. Naomi Watts and overall, Clive Owen, show once more that they can act, apart from just being pretty faces. Ok, it is true that some action scenes like the shooting in the Guggenheim museum, go a bit over the top, but even those scenes have a certain realism and dark humor that fit perfectly with the story.


I also enjoy that in the end there is not the typical moral lesson to learn that appears in most Hollywood movies, and although it is basically an entertaining product, it makes you also reflect about the covered powers that rule the world in the darkness. When there is such a social awareness nowadays to international summits or every time that the FMI gathers together in any part of the world, obviously there is something deep rotten in our society.


A good movie, worthy to watch if you like suspense and smart thrillers spiced with intelligent dialogues here and there.


Rating 4/5


{mosimage}The best: the sharp dialogues between Owen and Watss


The worst: that Naomi Watts could have had a bigger part with his role than just been a mere support for Owen in most parts of the movie.


The detail: Jonas Skarssen speaks Danish with his family in the scenes at home.

Cinema DVD


{mosimage}A movie where fantasy and reality gets mixed until converging in a shocking final climax! 


I had not idea what to expect before watching Flanklyn, so during the first minutes, as I supposed that happened to many of the watchers, I felt a bit disoriented. Was I watching a version of Roschard in a sci-fic movie, or was I watching a romantic comedy, or what? 

But wisely, director Gerald McMorrow, being this only his second long featured movie, knows how to put all the pieces together. Step by Step, you start to realize what is going on during the movie, and certainly it is intelligently built. I just got a bit disappointed with the end, which left me a bit cold. As well, some of the appearances of Eva Green can be a bit annoying.

But although not a masterpiece, certainly Franklyn is something fresh and out of the common movies you can rent in your local video store. It is worth a try, because surely it will not leave you indifferent. 

Rating 3/5 


{mosimage}The best: Bernard Hill and his quest trying to find his son.

The worst: Some of the characters can seem to be too much stereotypical.

The detail: Many people do not realize until the end that Eva Green plays also the role of Sally.