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This film is based on a novel written by Milan Kundera. His book, by the same title is is best known work. His writings were banned by the Communist regimes of Czechoslovakia until the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Rotten tomatoes gave this film a 95. It is an extremely long film, and slow and a bit silly at first. But there is a serious storyline that evolves. I consider it a classic, and although 25 years old is still well worth watching.
***1/2 / *****



A wonderful and beautifully captured love story.
But be prepared, the film is 172 minutes long....
:up:

Communism, Greek Mythology, Adultery, Pets, Love, Art, Comedy, Tragedy, what more could you ask for from a movie. Watching it was like eating at a buffet. Daniel Day Lewis is awesome, especially since he is not Czech in real life. Juliette Binoche looks like a character from the Dark Crystal, what was he thinking marrying her, instead of the girl with the hat! :fresh:
I've seen a whole lot of movies lately. I'm reviewing only three of them at once for sheer simplicity. Feel free to disagree fundamentally with what I'm about to say, especially about "The Unbearable Lightness of Being", because who knows? Maybe I'm whacked.

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

I hate Ashton Kutcher. i think he is a no-talent hack who has done nothing of note other than bang Demi Moore, and even that isn't terribly unique. Having said that, I went into "The Butterfly Effect" expecting virtually nothing. Some friends had seen it and had said it was "actually pretty good", but I ignored them. I should have listened.

In spite of the much-lamented time/space inconsistencies, this movie was actually an effective thriller. I was very, very interested to see how it would turn out. The story is that of Evan (Kutcher), a young man who experiences blackouts throughout his life. Once in college, he discovers that, by reading his old journals and filling in the blanks of his childhood, he might be able to somehow travel back and change the tragedies that befell him, his friends, and primarily his childhood sweetheart (played as an adult by Amy Smart). The movie features a lot of jumping back and forth, from memories to present times, and back again to him actually "changing" the past. Even so, it's not confusing. And it's bloody creepy. Each change he makes, however small, brings us back to a new version of the present, where one thing might have been improved by what he did, but something else has paid the price. Thus the concept of "the butterfly effect" (if a butterfly flaps its wings in Peking, it will rain in Central Park - check out the Chaos Theory if you're confused).

I'll warn you, there's a disturbing scene involving animal cruelty. That was an unexpected and unpleasant surprise. There are other elements to this film that are also distressing - it's very, very dark, which isn't what one might expect from Ashton Kutcher. But take it at face value, and enjoy it for the edge-of-your-seat thriller it is - it's a lot better than the critics would have you believe. Take it from a skeptic.

DAWN OF THE DEAD

I'm a big George A. Romero fan, so I was a bit leery about a remake that didn't have his prints on it. This one isn't as scary, or as satirical, as the original, but it was still well worth seeing. If you're into movies like "28 Days Later", and you're a fan of the original "...Dead" movies, add this one to your roster.

A few changes get made - and a few more lines get crossed! - in this adaptation. The basics are the same: an unexplained plague turns most of the world into zombies, whose main mission en masse is to make the rest of the living into zombies as well. The survivors (the likes of Sarah Polley, Mekhi Pfifer, Matt Frewer, Jayne Eastwood, Ving Rhames etc.), as in the original, end up hiding out in a mall, and chaos ensues. It's gross and gory, disturbing and dark, amusing and occasionally flat-out scary. I ended up getting my moviegoing partner's nachos in my lap because of a few well-timed jumps. Worth seeing.

THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING

What is it with this movie?? I thought everything Daniel Day-Lewis ever did was marvellous. I did not enjoy this one. He stars as a Czech (?) doctor who is a womanzier, and plays opposite a very irritating Lena Olin and a schmaltzy Juliette Binoche, both of whom are women who are notches in his bedpost. One is the woman with whom he could never fall in love, an emotionally unavailable bed-buddy. The other somehow captures his heart in spite of him. Blah blah blah. I won't even go into the rest of the plot - I really didn't like any of it. I know, that's useless as a review! But I just don't understand the critical praise it's received. It's touted as erotic and beautiful and romantic, and I found none of those to be true. I adore Daniel, but...no.

I don't know what it says about me that I preferred two thrillers over a supposed modern classic, but...I have to be honest!
The Unbearable Lightness of Being



Still funny, still entertaining, still one to watch over and over. It lacks the freshness of the first, but that's to be expected, the first was pretty unique! They have revamped the animation and the story holds up well as do all the new characters, although none so hilariously stupid/evil as Lord Farquad. Heaps of movie in jokes for use RTers which was fab. And Antonio Banderas does a great job in voicing the cutebutevil Puss In Boots. Not quite the first but a stand out movie on its own anyway. One to own.
Comments pending.
VERY WELL DONE, A BIT LONG. DAY-LEWIS AND BINOCHE ARE TERRIFIC.

Witness is a clever movie.
It disguises itself as a star vehicle. Harrison Ford is the rough cop who has to protect a little boy from corrupt cops.
The catch is what makes it interesting: the boy's Amish.

We get introduced to the world from the Amish, with Ford as our guide. He's a regular guy, like we are. And as he puts aside his prejudices for the Amish, so do we.
At least, so did I. Weir directed this and once again he has created a marvellously haunting movie that is thrilling when it should be, and affecting when not.

Glover plays a bad guy here, and during the first scene between him and Haas there's a part that plays out like a homage of Indiana Jones. Was it intentionally? I don't know, but I sure noticed it.
7.8/10






The Unbearable Lightness of Being

This movie was awful, three awful hours. Why did I not just turn it off? I kept hoping it would get better. It was nominated in 1988 for two Academy Awards. My understanding is the book, which the film is based on, is considered a classic. So it looks as if once again Hollywood has mangled a literary work.

What are my complaints about this film? 1) Why did Thomas fall in love and marry Tereza who is so different from his well-matched lover Sabina. In the first half hour we learn Thomas likes to sleep with lots of women, all who are nothing like Tereza. 2) If a historical event is to be a backdrop in a movie (Soviets invading Czechoslovakia), I think it is only fitting to give the viewer enough background information to understand its historical significance. 3) I did not believe that Tereza had the skills to be a photographer. She looked like she was just snapping pictures. 4) The film never explains why Tereza would chose to give up her exiled, but comfortable life in Switerland to return to Czechoslovakia. 5) Sabina, Thomas' lover, finds a good man to love her and then she leaves him, why?

I understand that sometimes it is the intention of the filmmakers to leave you pondering some questions, but to me all the unanswered questions left me annoyed. I wish the makers would have spent more time bringing out the literary work and translating it on to film and less time choreographing sex scenes that did not drive the story or reveal anything new about the characters.

If you are looking for a heartbreak love story these are a far better choice:
Out of Africa
Dangerous Liaisons
Witness
***.5/****

Pro: Direction. Beautiful females. Wonderful take on stock footage. Photographing each other. Daniel Day Lewis is great. Cinematography.

Con: Mediocre ending. Could have been editing down a bit further.