Cinema DVD

DVD Review: Buried

Spanish director Rodrigo Cortés has been able to show in his first long length movie that you can achieve great results without having to count with a great budget or stunning special effects.

Buries is original from many points of view, starting from the fact that opening credits appear at the beginning, a wink to suspense classic films, and continuing for having the first minute of the movie just in total darkness, only hearing the breating of the main character, portrayed in a very plausible way by Ryan Reynolds, who shows that apart from being voted as the sexiest man in the world, can only deliver a consistent performance while being trapped in a casket.


Some people can argue that the plot has many holes and the actions of the character are not really consequent, but all in all, the film achieves his objective: to feel the claustrophobic tension and the nerves of being buried alive. Although not having a perfect script, the movie is good enough to keep your eyes fixed on what is going to happen next, And once again, this is not easy to achieve when all the action just happened in a reduced dark space with only one actor in front of the camera for one hour and a half.

Not a perfect movie, but a promising first step for Cortés. After the heat he has been able to obtain with his opera prima, let´s see what he could be able to achieve in future projects with a bigger budget.

Rating: 4/5

The best: The claustrophobic environment of the movie that keeps you in tension.

The worst: Some holes in the script that makes you feel a lack of connection and empathy with the character.

The detail: The whole movie was shot in a studio in Barcelona in only 17 days.

Buried – Trailer

Cinema Features

Jussi Awards winners 2011

The best local films of the year 2010 were awarded in Jussi Gala in the 6th of February. The awards were given by Filmiaura, the association of Finnish film professionals. Jalmari Helander´s Rare Exports collected a total of six awards for its ambitious technical solutions (Best Costume Design, Best Set Design, Best Editing, Best Sound Design, Best Music, Best Cinematography). Lapland Odyssey collected four awards (Best Film, Best Direction, Best Script, Public Favorite). The legendary director Matti Kassila, 87, was awarded with Concrete Jussi for his life-time work in the service of the Finnish cinema.

Rare Exports

The winners in categorical order:

Best film:
Lapland Odyssey – producer Aleksi Bardy

Best direction:
Lapland Odyssey – Dome Karukoski

Best actor in a leading role:
Bad Family – Ville Virtanen

Best actress in a leading role:
Princess – Katja Küttner

Best actor in a supporting role:
Heartbeats – Sampo Sarkola

Best actress in a supporting role:
Run Sister Run – Sara Melleri

Best Script:
Lapland Odyssey – Pekko Pesonen

Best cinematography:
Rare Exports – Mika Orasmaa

Best music:
Rare Exports – Juri Seppä and Miska Seppä

Best sound design:
Rare Exports – Tuomas Seppänen, Timo Anttila and Jussi Honka

Best editing:
Rare Exports – Kimmo Taavila

Best set design:
Rare Exports – Jalmari Helander

Best costume design:
Rare Exports – Saija Siekkinen

Best documentary film:
Steam of Life – Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen

Public Favorite:
Lapland Odyssey – Dome Karukoski

Jussi Awards have been given since 1944 and they are considered as the oldest European film awards. The gala was broadcast live via Finnish TV channel Nelonen.

For more information:

Cinema DVD

Review: Carlos The Jackal

If last year we saw Benicio del Toro as Che Guevara, now French director Olivier Assayas brings us the story of one of the most wanted fighters (for others he would be called just terrorist), the Venezuelan Illich Ramírez Sanchez aka Carlos The Jackal.

The movie certainly hooks you up from the beginning. Edgard Ramirez as Carlos gives a great perfomance that exhales a similar aura than the real Carlos should must have had: he can be charming, but also dangerous and merciless when an idea is placed inside his head besides narcissist.


Assayas gives a great portrait of the difficult political board between East and West in the 70s and 80s, as well as how the character of Carlos develops into a shadow of what he used to be with the age and the alcohol; a person lost in older years while the world keeps changing around him.

Although you cannot take all what happens in the movie as true history, Carlos is a good entertainment to understand some important times or our recent history.

Rating: 4/5

The best: Edgard Ramirez

The worst: Rythm goes up and down too much, maybe some scenes could have been deleted to make the film a bit shorter.

The detail: The real Carlos, who is nowadays in a prison in France, got to read the script of this movie and had quite oppose opinions against it.

Carlos The Jackal – Trailer

Cinema DVD

Review – Youth in Revolt

A new teenage comedy is here, directed Miguel Arteta, and starred by the new king of the genre, Michael Cera. When I saw the cover of the DVD, I had high expectations. The cast was looking superb, but honestly, I had to say I was disappointed. Great actors like Zach Galifianakis, Ray Liotta, Justin Long or Steve Buscemii are just wasted here, with a few minutes on screen that hardly add anything to the plot of the movie.

Youth in Revolt

The plot focuses pretty much on Michael Cera and his double personality as sweet innocent virgin teenager in love, and his dark side as mischievous trying to gain the love of the girl he met on summer. Well, Cera is credible in that role, because basically he plays the same role again and again in almost every movie, but maybe it would be about time for him to change a bit the register. Many people compare him to Jesse Eisenberg, but I think the latter one is making a better choice in his appearances lately, with little jewels like Adventureland, Zombieland or The Social Network, and a wider variety or registers to show.

Apart from a couple of situations, the movie is not funny, when pretends to be. The chemistry between Cera and Portia Doubleday does not work on screen, I would have personally prefer to center the plot at the initial steps, with a shy Cera overwhelmed by the cheeky new beautiful girl, but when the couple is separated, magic is missing.

Although the new wave of teenage comedy is trying to explore deeper humor than the easy jokes about sex and eschatological moments of American Pie, here the makers fail. A pity! It could have given much more to the spectator with such a cast!

The best: The car falling into not so deep water when Cera is trying to escape from police.

The worst: Galifianakis role could have given much more if he had been allowed more minutes on screen.

The detail: Do you also confuse Cera and Eissenberg when you see them on screen? It seems that happens to many watchers who express themselves

Youth in Revolt – Trailer

Cinema Features

Miesten Vuoro Review

Ask your average English-speaking layman to play a game of Word Association, and the chances are, if you say Finland, that if they don’t opt for ‘cold’, or ‘depressed’, the word ‘sauna’ will come up. I’ve always found it amusing that the Swedes and Finns both lay claim to the advent of the Sauna, and in the excellent coming-of-age novel Popular Music in Vittula, by Mikael Niemi, set on the border of the two countries, there is a wonderful argument between the elders on the virtues of a Swedish sauna versus a Finnish version, and, God forbid, a Norwegian equivalent. There is nothing comparable in any European culture I can think of that is so central as the Sauna is to the Nordic countries, and, in particular, to Finnish men.

Miesten Vuoro

Miesten Vuoro serves as a celebration of the sauna while exploring ground hitherto relatively unknown – emotional tenderness beneath that most hardened veneer of macho stoicism, the Finnish male psyche. Far from the emotionally retarded, monosyllabic stereotype that is generally accepted, the many subjects of this excellent documentary all have stories to tell, which are in turn heartbreaking, endearing, and often compelling. The directorial duo of Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen have stated in interview that, during the ten years in which they dreamed up a formula, ‘there have been loads of documentaries and discussions in the [Finnish] media about women’s emotions and lives. We thought it was time to show that there is a tender and emotional side to men also.’ (1)

The film takes the form of a series of vignettes, set in saunas all across Finland, with interludes depicting panoramic landscapes of the country to set the context. Domestic strife is a theme that comes up more than once, and many of the subjects of conversation are universal enough for an international audience to relate to. However, they also tell us a great deal about Finnish society, such as certain characters’ battles with alcoholism and solitude. Not all the scenes are everyday tales of the average Joe – one man gives a lengthy account of his paternal relationship with a fully-grown grizzly bear, and a group of off-duty Santa Claus’ are amongst those placed for comic relief. Sometimes the documentary form is betrayed by set pieces like this – a scene featuring a man taking a sauna in a converted telephone box, and another of a couple who have altered a clapped-out car to enjoy a cleansing seem unlikely, and the fact that the Santas wear full dress in the changing room is playing to the camera in a rather more staged manner than might befit a true ‘documentary’. Nevertheless, these are minor quibbles. When the film finished at the cinema I was at, the audience trailed out the theatre in a sober fashion, but I saw several with moist eyes, and quiet, warm smiles, which I imagine is exactly the reaction the film set out to achieve.


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The Brothers Bloom

Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo are the best con men in the world, able since childhood to plan amazing scenarios to cheat people around. The beginning of the movie is promising, and the addition of the always sweet and delightful Rachel Weisz adds an excellent touch to story, but I felt a bit disappointed at the end.

It is true that there is nobody better than Brody for this kind of tormented characters, with those big sad eyes always taking control of the scenes. He is a great actor, and shows it once more. His love story with Penelope (Weisz) is beautiful, naïve and intriguing. But sometimes the rhythm of the movie goes down. The scriptwriters seemed eager to add so many notches into the final twist end that I had the feeling everything should have ended half an hour before.

Adrien Brody

Honestly, I start to feel a bit saturated of these movies offering a threesome of main characters that play tricks on each other, where nothing seems to be what it is, and you always assume that there will be (and therefore there is) a final twist. Sometimes, I would prefer the story to center more on the interrelations among the humans involved there, instead of plotting what new twist to add to make the story even more complicated to decipher. Although the photography of the movie and the clothes the characters display are superb, this left me with a bittersweet taste.

Rating 3/5

The best: Adrien Brody and his tormented gaze.

The worst: The last half an hour of the movie just happens to be “too much”.

The detail: In the end, it is mentioned that the characters will drive to Helsinki, but you never had the chance to see the Finnish capital, just a road with a too good pavement to be Russian, and a too bad pavement to be Finnish…

The Brothers Bloom Trailer

Cinema DVD


If you like gloomy animation movies, certainly you will enjoy Metropia. From Scandinavia comes a plot that has to do with mind control and a new world order, all set in quite dark landscapes. Director Tarik Saleh achieves the desired effect of feeling comprised in a sad world walked by sad gray people, and you can also notice the hand in the script of Stig Larsson, a very hot name nowadays due to his Millennium trilogy (the part of the daughter from the big magnate abused as a child has his signature all over it).


However, I could not fully enjoy the movie. It tries to be provocative, but falls in a middle way. Same with some nudity and explicit scenes, in the end they seem to be censored so children could watch this, when supposedly should be just an adult animation movie. And I cannot get used to the way the characters are drawn, with small bodies but huge heads. The beginning was promising, but at some points of the film, the lack of energy from Roger, the main character, is contagious.

Worthy a try if you are open for some different European animation with deeper meaning than just killing all what moves around, but I was expecting a bit more from this one. Not as visually and idealistically shocking as it should have been.

Rating 2/5

The best: The character of Nina, with the always sensual voice of Juliette Lewis.

The worst: the lack of rhythm during some parts.

The detail: Vincent Gallo puts the voice of the main character, Roger.

Metropia Trailer

Cinema DVD

In Tranzit

There are many movies whose main scenario takes place in a concentration camp. Most of them are harsh and touchy, although a few can even explode some sense of humor like in the genial La Vita É Bella from Roberto Benigni, but certainly, In Tranzit offers an idea a bit fresh and different from what you could have previously have seen.

Based on true events, it narrates the life in a Russian transit camp one year after the end of Second World II. The camp, warded by women, receives the unexpected visit of a group of male German prisoners.
The movie turns into a great essay of human nature, where hate, love, hope, and physical need for human contact gets mixed, forgetting about the dark past. I enjoy every moment of it, although most of it is just shot inside the fences of the camp. There is always expectation for something new to happen, and the interactions of the people sharing the camp are fantastic to follow, subtle but deep.

In Tranzit

The cast is another strong point here, with both main characters Vera Farmiga and Thomas Kretschmann having a very strong charismatic presence in front of the camera. And if we talk about charisma, what to say about the intervention of John Malkovich… just perfect in his role of sneaky, cruel but witty NKVD colonel. The only actor who does not convince me is Daniel Brühl (who by the way is half Spanish half German). I had the same feeling when I saw him in Tarantino´s Inglorious Basterds; I just do not see him in those roles as tough soldier.

If you like movies about war with an intelligent plot, this In Tranzit will be refreshing. It is true that the end can turn into a bit dissappointing, but all in all, it will entertain you and feel identified with the characters, suffering and enjoying during their stay in Russia, all over the movie.

Rating 4/5

The best: Thomas Kretschmann

The worst: Daniel Brühl

The detail: Kretschmann trained as an Olympic swimmer in East Germany before starting his career as actor

In Tranzit: Scene with John Malkovich

Cinema DVD


The Nazi Germany has been the topic for thousands of movies during the recent years. Although usually depicted as evil, sometimes we have assisted to the more human side of German Nazis (if not, just look again at Oskar Schindler in The Schindler´s List).

Good is a movie just made to shape the talent of Viggo Mortensen. He fits perfectly a role of a person who can be intelligent, sensitive, but also tough if needed. One of the biggest questions that the humankind ask themselves when the concentration camps were discovered were “How this could happen?”. The movie tries to dig deeper in how good citizens can end up corrupted or assimilated to an evil system, but all in all, Good left me a bittersweet taste after I finished watching it.


It is true that Mortensen´s work is once more flawless, but his relation with his Jewish best friend Maurice is portrayed sometimes in a too sloppy way. I basically enjoyed more the moments when Viggo tries to deal both with his shrinking marriage and her new love for a young student who turns to betray his confidence.

The final is certainly visually shocking, but you are not going to presence anything unique that you have not seen before in other movies or TV series dealing with the holocaust. I had the feeling that the movie was in the end too short, and the characters had to be sketched in a bit of a rush. Not a bad movie if you like Mortensen, but it will not enter the top list of films that deal with the Nazi German.

Rating 3/5

The best: The band playing classical music in the concentration camp in the final scene.

The worst: I had the feeling the movie would have needed an extra half an hour for exploding all the potential it had.

The detail: Mark Strong plays a secondary role as Bouhler.

Good Trailer

Cinema DVD


Sacha Baron Cohen made a little revolution in the comedy genre with the exhilarating Borat. Who has not tried to imitate with their friends at some point Borat´s accent and expressions in the last years?

The “on your face” spontaneous and transgress sense of humor of Cohen goes even farther here in the portray of a gay Austrian reporter who is not afraid to confront anybody in the pursue of his dreams and gay happiness.


The product, nevertheless, is not as “fresh” as in Borat. Although changing the characters, the formula has too many repetitions, and the spectator is not caught in disbelief so easily, even when Cohen tries really hard. For many “alpha males”, this must be a difficult movie to watch, but certainly, if you watch it with an open minded, and you know the kind of humor that Cohen displays, it will provide you with a few good laughs. If you belong to a conservative family, maybe better skip this one.

Although some moments are obviously scripted, like the encounters with Harrison Ford or the dominatrix in the swinger party, I think that the funniest parts is when you observe the reactions of the normal citizens to Cohen’s behavior, just if they get shocked, or they try to act like everything is cool.

I had watched some short videos of Cohen portraying the same character in Youtube, and I must admit that many of them were funnier than most parts of the movie. All in all, if you like the kind of humor that breaks all the rules about nudity, indecent behavior or male to male tongue kisses, this one will entertain you!

Rating 3/5

The best: The final “fight” in the UFC cage in front of an American redskin audience.

The worst: The formula copied in essence from Borat starts to be a bit rusty. Cohen needs to reinvent himself one more time.

The detail: Cohen was “kindly” escorted by security after breaking into a fashion show in Milan.

Brüno vs Skinheads Video

Cinema DVD


I cannot deny that Kevin Spacey is one of my favorite actors in Hollywood. Same than people like Bill Murray, he is able to play his roles without losing a little part of his own recognizable identity.

The role of the depressed shrink Henry Carter, unable to deal with a normal life without smoking joints after the suicide of his wife, seemed to be made to fit him like a glove. Spacey seems to find himself at home playing those kind of roles that walk in the think line between madness, naiveté and geniality, like in K-Pack or Usual Suspects.


Maybe Shrink does not have special effects or great sex scenes with high voltage to attract the audience, but its deceitful simplicity is its strongest weapon. It narrates things in a way that we all can feel identified, even not being Hollywood celebrities. To Spacey superb acting, it helps the excellent array of secondary characters with the always delightful presence of Safron Burrows or the ferocity of Dallas Howards as an aggressive Hollywood agent (it can remind you the Jeremy Piven of the TV series Entourage). Howards really steals the show in the movie, being his appearances always accompanied by his Bluetooth headset some of the best moments of the film.

Shrink is a movie that will gain you slowly but steadily. A delightful collection of stories with credible characters, and with the always flawless intervention of Kevin Spacey. A nomination for him for the Oscars could have perfectly been well deserved here.

Rating 4/5

The best: Dallas Howards confessing to have slept with the girl of one of his clients, expecting to be punched. And Robin Williams final interaction with the young wannabe actress.

The worst: Maybe not the best movie to watch if you have recently lost a beloved one.

The detail: Robin Williams makes a short but interesting appearance as a veteran actor who cannot decide if remaining faithful or enjoying the pleasures of flesh.

Shrink Trailer

Cinema DVD

Nothing but the Truth

Kate Beckinsale i sable to show in this movie that she can be more than a pretty face in a bit super production (like Pearl Harbor, for example…) in this interesting drama that deals with honesty, freedom of speech and principles that go even beyond the law.

Based on true events, Beckinsale is an example to follow for all those who still believe that media has to dig into the dirty truth of the governments, and puts a question in our heads: “would you go that far, sacrificing your life for what you believe is fair?”.

Nothing but the truth

Together with her, Matt Dillon makes a pretty decent appearance as the Patton Dubois, you cannot less than hating him in the end, and Alan Alda shows a touch of class every time he steals the scenes with his elegant speeches and looks.

A movie that keeps you in a total state of empathy with the main character, and does not lack of a final interesting twist to put the cherry on top of the cake. For all of you interesting in journalism, work ethics and the American government policy vs freedom of speech, this is a must see!

Rating 4/5

The best: When Rachel gets interviewed while staying in jail by the TV reporter.

The worst: the movie has not got the promotion that it would deserve.

The detail: Based on true events suffered by New York Times writer Judith Mille who served almost 3 months in jail.

Nothing but the Truth Trailer

Cinema DVD

The Cove

Awarded with the Oscar to the best documentary, this is undoubtedly a visually shocking piece of work by director Louie Psihoyos and his fellow activists.

Many people can attack the documentary of being too American, too hypocrite, too high-budget, and too many other things, but The Cove is undoubtedly one of the best documentaries of the last decade. It won´t leave you indifferent.

Edited in a very clever way, turning the story all around the figure of Ric O`Barry, the famous dolphin trainer who took command of the famous “Flipper” and later reconverted in a hardcore activist pro-dolphins, and his fight against the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji (Japan), it shows to the watcher a very different face of Japan. For a country that it is usually identified with efficiency, respect to traditions, martial arts, new technologies and sushi, it is in a way “refreshing” to contemplate also its darker side.

The Cove

The images are sometimes beautiful and sometimes brutal, being the crew supported by the latest and most sophisticated technologies. The peak of the movie is undoubtedly the last 10 minutes where you can finally contemplate in horror what happens in Taiji and its infamous cove.

You will love and you will hate this documentary if you are an animal lover, because it shows that in the end, there is no more cruel animal that the human being himself. Luckily, there are also people who will risk everything they have to denounce to those who want to hear.

Rating 4/5

The best: the scenes when the Japanese fishermen and the Japanese police threaten the crew.

The worst: the final slaughter scene is not recommended for sensitive stomachs.

The detail: After the final credits, you can still assist to one funny scene of the documentary.

The Cove Trailer

Cinema DVD

Surrogates / Gamer

This is the first time I do a double film review in the same article, but well, I saw both movies Surrogates and Gamer one after the other, and at some points I felt like watching the same movie. Gerard Butler could have perfectly suit the role of Bruce Willis, and Willis, maybe a bit younger, could have been on the shoes of Butler with no problem.


It must be a trend in Hollywood that they release movies with similar patterns and topics at the same time. If before they did it with catastrophe movies, this time they play with virtual reality. New technologies have arrived to our everyday lives, and obviously the scriptwriters and directors are aware of that.

Surrogates is a good sci-fi movie, but it falls into a melting pot of all the classics of the genre. It is easy to see too many winks here and there to Blade Runner or I-Robot for just putting a couple of clear examples. The film is nonetheless saved by Willis, against fitting like a glove in a solitary character that goes beyond the borders to clarify the truth of some mysterious murders in a society where the real human beings just stay in bed leading mentally their surrogated robots. It could still have been more fruitful to see more interaction between real men and surrogates, the plot could have developed into much more funnier and interesting dialogues and situations with somebody who could pull the strings there. Director Jonathan Mostow failed in that.


Gamer is more a shoot`em up movie which ending can certainly be foreseen miles away. But Butler is always good as a tough guy, although the script falls into too simplistic, and does not develop much the secondary characters. A pity, because it could have had more potential if it was not focused about the typical story of good guy meeting at the end the bad guy for the final duel and recovering the chick…
All in all, both are good entertaining for a couple of hours, but I still think that virtual reality and new technologies can deserve a much better sci-fi product in the future. Let´s see if any director out there is able to bring it (ah ok, for one second I forgot about Avatar… ;) )

Surrogates – Rating 3/5

The best: Bruce Willis

The worst: A cocktail of sci-fi stereotypes that leaves the film with not much to create a self impression on the audience.

The detail: I just wonder if there would be enough room in a big city or in the world for double size of citizens, the real human beings and the surrogates in the streets…

Gamer – Rating 3/5

The best: John Leguizamo as Freek

The worst: At some point, it reminded me too much of Death Race…

The detail: Milo Ventimiglia from the TV series Heroes makes a short but funny appearance in the virtual world.

Cinema DVD

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

If you want to be the best, you have to play with the best. That is exactly what Duke does joining forces with the most elite command on earth.


Well, I belong to a generation that grew up as children playing with G.I Joes in their living rooms. I still remember the arcade videogame after many years. So for me, this is not just another action movie. And actually, I must say that although I was expecting another disappointment as big or even bigger than the one I suffered the other day after watching Transformers 2, I kind of liked this movie.

Sure, the script is not made for receiving an Academy award, and people seem to find whatever minimum excuse to turn evil and try to destroy the world, but nevertheless, as a product of entertainment, the film works. The characters are what you expect them to be, no more, no less. Both female lead roles incarnated by Siena Miller and Rachel Nichols have a great presence on screen and a notable sexual charge, Ray Park (do you remember him in, among others, Star Wars I?) as Snake Eyes is once again amazing in the fighting choreographies and Channing Tatum And Marlon Wayans are pretty convincing as the “good guys” couple.


The bad guys look like bad guys, and just the presence of Dennis Quaid appears not to have much sense. The action is good, the special effects, although sometimes they are not at top level, work reasonably ok, and in this case, opposite to the second part of Transformers, I do not feel like being part of just a shallow propaganda for the American Army, but as of the fun of watching a notable action movie.

Imbd site´s users can say whatever the fuck they want, rating the movie under 6 out of 10, but for me, this is a more than a decent result, compared to all the crap that invades the DVD stands of any shop nowadays. Resuming, a movie worthy to watch if you like action movies without having to analyze the philosophical reasons of the human being´s existence.

Rating 3/5

The best: Marlon Wayans trying to get into the pants of Rachel Nichols.

The worst: some holes in the script. There are twists and “twists”.

The detail: G.I.J.O.E. stands for Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity

G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra Trailer