Profile for Richard Brzostek > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Richard Brzostek
Top Reviewer Ranking: 6,924
Helpful Votes: 850

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Richard Brzostek (New England, USA)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Identification Of a Woman - (Mr Bongo Films) (1982) [DVD]
Identification Of a Woman - (Mr Bongo Films) (1982) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michelangelo Antonioni
Price: £12.80

4.0 out of 5 stars an Italian film about an Italian director, 4 July 2011
Identification of a Woman is an Italian film about an Italian director. I find the director, Niccolo (Tomas Milian), to be an interesting character as he is both artistic and intelligent, yet not a push over. The story begins when Niccolo gets a call from a mysterious man that wants to meet with him. When Niccolo sees him, he gives Niccolo a very vague threat about continuing to see a particular woman will result in some kind of trouble. Shortly later, Niccolo begins a passionate affair with a younger woman named Mavi (Daniela Silverio). Although Mavi says she doesn't know much about Niccolo, I would say she is even more mysterious. I also found it mysterious that he got a threat about not seeing her before he met her (and I watched it three times to confirm that this is the sequence of events). In the big scheme of things, this is a minor detail and shouldn't be worried about too much.

But the mysteries only grow in this film. Mavi disappears after some time of dealing with the stalkers spying on Niccolo and having to make their affair secretive. So as intense as their passions were for each other, the flames between Mavi and Niccolo seem to be extinguished abruptly, which isn't acceptable at all for Niccolo. He is driven to find out what happened and who was behind the threats. Niccolo then meets another woman named Ida (Christine Boisson) that not only helps him put some closure to the mystery, but also becomes his new girlfriend. Ida is quite different than Mavi and presents Niccolo with a situation in which he must decide if he wants to continue their relationship.

What is fascinating about the movie is that the story is basically normal, but it is also bizarre. While everything that happens isn't too far from everyday events, they are also pretty extraordinary. I found Identification of a Woman to be a intriguing movie, but it also came up short because it left a few details unanswered. Although those these questions left in our mind may have been intentional, as they provide us with quite a bit to ponder, I still would have preferred more concrete answers.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 2, 2015 4:03 PM GMT


Mamma Roma - (Mr Bongo Films) (1962) [DVD]
Mamma Roma - (Mr Bongo Films) (1962) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anna Magnani
Price: £16.13

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an Italian film about a mother and her son, 26 Jun. 2011
Mamma Roma is an Italian film about a mother and her son. The story starts out at a wedding, where Mamma Roma is there to haunt her ex-husband and his new bride. Momma Roma is a loud woman that is often on the crude side. She brings three pigs and tells the guests the in-laws have finally arrived. Mamma makes many jabs and jokes about the couple, and we soon see she had a son with this man, who witnesses this entire spectacle even if he doesn't fully understand it.

The story resumes when her son Ettore is now a teenager and Mamma Roma wants to give him a chance to get away from the country life to live with her in Rome. Ettore is set in his ways by this point, so it isn't easy to mold him into something else. Although Ettore walks like a tough guy and is always giving some cold looks to those he meets, he is naive and inexperienced, and his mother knows this.

There are a couple scenes that approach having a surrealistic feeling where Mamma Roma is walking at night. There are many lampposts in the background that give off their light, and as Mamma Roma walks, there always seems to be more of the same lights everywhere. She talks to someone next to her and as one person leaves, another comes. But as the lights in the background still look more or less the same, it seems she hardly went anywhere at all. It makes an interesting backdrop as Momma tells her life story to people on the street.

Mamma Roma is haunted by her past; she was a prostitute and her reputation still follows her. Roma takes many steps to better her life and she wants the same for her son, but shaking free of the past isn't easy. Ironically, Ettore is attracted to a young woman that has the reputation of sleeping with the entire city. Mamma Roma is a mother that means well and really wants the best for her son, but it is an uphill battle. Most of the story is unpredictable, so there are some surprises in story for us as we learn about Mamma Roma.


Four Nights with Anna (Jerzy Skolimowski) DVD R2
Four Nights with Anna (Jerzy Skolimowski) DVD R2
Dvd ~ Kinga Preis

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A drama/thriller that is more than a little unusual, 22 Jun. 2011
Four Nights with Anna (Cztery Noce z Anna) is a drama/thriller that is more than a little unusual. It is a movie about a man named Leon (Artur Steranko) that has a secret obsession with his neighbor (Kinga Preis). He watches her from his window like a voyeur and takes it to another level when he decides to break into her house at night while she sleeps. Inside her house he watches her sleep and does small helpful things, like wash the floor or paint her toenails. It is quite suspenseful as we are not sure what he will do next and he takes so many risks that expose him to getting caught.

We learn details about Leon slowly so it takes a while to figure out if he is just a weird, creepy stalker or something more. Leon displays both signs of being very strange and a kindhearted person so we have reason to believe he could be either one. It took me just about the entire film to decide if I should like the main character or not. There is more to the story than his four nights of break-ins but to say any more would spoil it.

Four Nights with Anna is Jerzy Skolimowski's first Polish language film in over 25 years. For that reason it is considered Skolimowski's return to Polish cinema, but only time will tell if he will make any more Polish films. I would only recommend this movie for mature audiences as there are a couple graphic scenes that are not appropriate for sensitive viewers. It is beautifully shot and I suspect those with an inclination for more artsy films will most appreciate it.


Minnie & Moskowitz - (Mr Bongo Films) (1971) [DVD]
Minnie & Moskowitz - (Mr Bongo Films) (1971) [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Cassavetes
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £11.51

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an unusual love story that has a very unique feeling to it, 29 May 2011
Minnie and Moskowitz is an unusual love story that has a very unique feeling to it right from the start. Minnie Moore is a pretty blond woman that works in a museum. Seymour Moskowitz is a parking lot attendant that is a bit of a goofball. Seymour's chance encounter with Minnie is love at first sight, but now he has to convince her to feel the same. Minnie is romantic at heart, but isn't sure if she believes in love so Seymour has quite a challenge.

If the romance between Seymour and Minnie could be compared to the sound of violin music, it would be the type that hurts your ears. They have a very rocky romance that is one roller coaster of a ride. It doesn't help that their personas clash a bit. Minnie has a sophisticated presence while Seymour may be headstrong; he isn't as polished as her.

Nearly all the characters are odd, but in a captivating way. You wouldn't think of anyone in the movie as really being crazy, but they certainly are unusual. Part of what gives the movie its magical feeling is the conversations these people have, which border on the philosophical side.

The emotion and drama that is part of this story may put off some viewers. There is a lot of yelling by a lot of the people in this film. What may repulse viewers even more is the violence. Minnie takes and gives some hits in her relationships. It is all part of the story, but may get on your nerves too. Despite this, everything ties together well at the end and finishes in a way that I enjoyed. The final message is one of hope and it makes the crazy ride all worthwhile.


The Grim Reaper (La Commare Secca) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1962) [DVD]
The Grim Reaper (La Commare Secca) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1962) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bernardo Bertolucci
Offered by Squirrelsounds
Price: £9.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an Italian murder-mystery, 22 May 2011
The grim reaper is the icon of death; he is a figure that is feared all over the world, as his only goal is to take life away. However, The Grim Reaper isn't a horror movie, but more of an Italian murder-mystery. Although the title and opening sequence are morbid, the rest of the story isn't gruesome.

The story begins with a woman's body being found under a bridge. The police are investigating her murder and interview men who were in the park the night she was killed. All of them are shady characters and they tell their stories about their lives just before the murder. The flashback stories we see are mostly about lovers and would-be lovers, but as nearly all of them have a degree of money problems, so they all appear potentially suspicious.

What I liked the most about the movie was when the stories get to the park. We see the same place, just from various viewpoints. The further we get into the movie, the more we see the personal stories of everyone that was in the park that night. The park has a surreal feeling to it - as if it was a place where time stands still and lives on and on in the stories that are told about that night. As we watch the stories that have little to do with anything violent, we are always reminded that there is a murder among those at the park. We swing back and forth between the problems people face in everyday life to the realization there is a killer among the people. The Grim Reaper keeps its viewer guessing as we take in the details of the people who were a witness, if not the murder itself, to the location of a murder.


How I Unleashed World War II 2 - Following 2 [DVD] [1969] [US Import]
How I Unleashed World War II 2 - Following 2 [DVD] [1969] [US Import]
Offered by PolartVideoUK
Price: £6.20

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this movie is hilarious and is one of those classics that never gets old, 5 May 2011
How I Unleashed WWII (Jak rozpetalem druga wojne swiatowa) is a classic Polish comedy broken into three parts. The story begins on the night before the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. The main character, Franek Dolas, believes he started World War II by a mishap he caused. Franek overslept while on a train that entered the German border and fired a shot at a German. From there all hell broke loose and the war erupted, while Franek was quickly captured and sent to a POW camp.

In part one, our hero wiggles his way out of the German prison camp and treks across Europe to Greece, hoping to rejoin the Polish army. He makes some friends as well as trouble along the way. From there, in part two, he is forced into service in the French Foreign Legion in the Middle East. He manages to escape their service and joins the British, which has some of my favorite parts of the movie. Franek even manages to single handedly take on the Italian army. The story concludes, in part three, with Franek returning to Poland.

Franek Dolas could be aptly described as an accident-prone guy that has just as much bad luck as dumb luck. He uses his wits to confront his difficulties but manages to bumble his way out of trouble despite it anyway. As you can imagine, this movie is hilarious and is one of those classics that never gets old.

Jak rozpetalem druga wojne swiatowa is written and directed by Tadeusz Chmielewski. Despite being a war movie, it is so not serious that it appeals to even those who are not interested in the war. Although How I Unleashed WWII is probably Chmielewski's best-known film, his other well-known movies include Nie lubie poniedzialku (1971) and Wiosna, panie sierzancie (1974).


How I Unleashed World War II [DVD] [1970] [US Import]
How I Unleashed World War II [DVD] [1970] [US Import]
Offered by PolartVideoUK
Price: £6.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this movie is hilarious and is one of those classics that never gets old, 5 May 2011
How I Unleashed WWII (Jak rozpetalem druga wojne swiatowa) is a classic Polish comedy broken into three parts. The story begins on the night before the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. The main character, Franek Dolas, believes he started World War II by a mishap he caused. Franek overslept while on a train that entered the German border and fired a shot at a German. From there all hell broke loose and the war erupted, while Franek was quickly captured and sent to a POW camp.

In part one, our hero wiggles his way out of the German prison camp and treks across Europe to Greece, hoping to rejoin the Polish army. He makes some friends as well as trouble along the way. From there, in part two, he is forced into service in the French Foreign Legion in the Middle East. He manages to escape their service and joins the British, which has some of my favorite parts of the movie. Franek even manages to single handedly take on the Italian army. The story concludes, in part three, with Franek returning to Poland.

Franek Dolas could be aptly described as an accident-prone guy that has just as much bad luck as dumb luck. He uses his wits to confront his difficulties but manages to bumble his way out of trouble despite it anyway. As you can imagine, this movie is hilarious and is one of those classics that never gets old.

Jak rozpetalem druga wojne swiatowa is written and directed by Tadeusz Chmielewski. Despite being a war movie, it is so not serious that it appeals to even those who are not interested in the war. Although How I Unleashed WWII is probably Chmielewski's best-known film, his other well-known movies include Nie lubie poniedzialku (1971) and Wiosna, panie sierzancie (1974).


How I Unleashed World War II 3 [DVD] [1969] [US Import]
How I Unleashed World War II 3 [DVD] [1969] [US Import]
Offered by PolartVideoUK
Price: £6.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this movie is hilarious and is one of those classics that never gets old, 5 May 2011
How I Unleashed WWII (Jak rozpetalem druga wojne swiatowa) is a classic Polish comedy broken into three parts. The story begins on the night before the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. The main character, Franek Dolas, believes he started World War II by a mishap he caused. Franek overslept while on a train that entered the German border and fired a shot at a German. From there all hell broke loose and the war erupted, while Franek was quickly captured and sent to a POW camp.

In part one, our hero wiggles his way out of the German prison camp and treks across Europe to Greece, hoping to rejoin the Polish army. He makes some friends as well as trouble along the way. From there, in part two, he is forced into service in the French Foreign Legion in the Middle East. He manages to escape their service and joins the British, which has some of my favorite parts of the movie. Franek even manages to single handedly take on the Italian army. The story concludes, in part three, with Franek returning to Poland.

Franek Dolas could be aptly described as an accident-prone guy that has just as much bad luck as dumb luck. He uses his wits to confront his difficulties but manages to bumble his way out of trouble despite it anyway. As you can imagine, this movie is hilarious and is one of those classics that never gets old.

Jak rozpetalem druga wojne swiatowa is written and directed by Tadeusz Chmielewski. Despite being a war movie, it is so not serious that it appeals to even those who are not interested in the war. Although How I Unleashed WWII is probably Chmielewski's best-known film, his other well-known movies include Nie lubie poniedzialku (1971) and Wiosna, panie sierzancie (1974).


Demons of War [DVD] [1998]
Demons of War [DVD] [1998]
Offered by PolartVideoUK
Price: £9.33

5.0 out of 5 stars A modern war movie that shows the horrors war, 5 May 2011
This review is from: Demons of War [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
"Demony Wojny" is a modern war movie that shows the horrors war. As the title of the film suggests, the solders doing the fighting are the demons that inhabit the war torn land. The movie shows the loss and destruction experienced during the Yugoslav Wars in a way that may move even the most stoic of viewers. Wladyslaw Pasikowski, known for his intense action films such as "Psy," directs "Demony Wojny."

Set in the mid-1990s, a group of Polish peacekeeping forces are stationed in the territory of former Yugoslavia. The peacekeepers receive a distress message pleading for help in their area. A small team of soldiers is sent out to assist, but their short mission turns into a challenge, as the opposition is well trained and ready for a fight.

The film creates an intense feeling of suspense with its great plot and acting. The soldiers in this movie are played by several of Poland's best actors, including Boguslaw Linda, Olaf Lubaszenko, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Artur Zmijewski, Miroslaw Baka, and Radoslaw Pazura. This impressive lineup of actors does a great job portraying the expert fighters, as well as support personnel who turn out to be unfit when faced with combat. I would highly recommend "Demony Wojny" to those looking for a great action film.


Zvenigora - (Mr Bongo Films) (1928) [DVD]
Zvenigora - (Mr Bongo Films) (1928) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Alexander Dovzhenko
Price: £13.17

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the first part in Alexander Dovzhenko's Ukrainian trilogy, 27 Feb. 2011
Zvenigora is a mountain in Ukrainian that holds a secret. Buried somewhere in it, is an ancient Scythian treasure that has been searched for for nearly as long as it was buried. For some insight into the name, "gora" is the Polish word for mountain (although it isn't in Ukrainian), so the name could be considered "Zveni-mountain." Considering Zvenigora is this hill/mountain, the possible connection is hard to dismiss.

The film begins in the 17th century with a large group of Ukrainians searching for Poles who are trying to find the treasures in the earth of Zvenigora. They meet an old man from the area who agrees to help them save the treasure. The old man is a central figure to the film as he is always there, at every point in time. From the present time (1928) to prehistory when Scythians lived on Ukrainian soil, the old man witnesses all of the events that happen. In the present time, the old man teaches his grandson about the legend and passes on the tradition of their history.

Albeit a Russian film, Zvenigora is all about Ukrainian history. Zvenigora is also considered the first part in Alexander Dovzhenko's Ukrainian trilogy. It shares in common with the other parts not only the fact that it presents Ukrainian history, but also takes on a lot of issues for a silent film. The stories are not completely simple and leave us having to connect some of the details. They also all show us the wars Ukraine endured in the early part of the 20th century. Zvenigora differs from the other parts in that it shows more of the Ukrainian lore and legends than the other parts. Dovzhenko's films are different than modern cinema and resemble visual poetry.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20