Profile for Darth Maciek > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Darth Maciek
Top Reviewer Ranking: 144
Helpful Votes: 3851

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
The Narrow Margin [DVD]
The Narrow Margin [DVD]
Dvd ~ Charles McGraw
Price: £12.70

4.0 out of 5 stars "We're ready to make a deal. You have her, we want her, how much? It's as simple as that.", 14 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Narrow Margin [DVD] (DVD)
I liked this 1952 B-movie film noir, even if it aged a little and has humungous plot holes. Below, more of my impressions, with some SPOILERS.

Detective Sergeant Walter Brown (Charles McGraw) of the Los Angeles Police Department and his partner are assigned to protect a mob boss's widow, Mrs. Frankie Neall (Marie Windsor), as she rides a train from Chicago to Los Angeles to testify before a grand jury. She is also carrying something that belonged to her murdered husband... Two more passengers board the train at the last moment - a very, very obese man named Sam Jennings (Paul Maxley) and Ann Sinclair (Jacqueline White), a distinguished young woman, somehow too perfect to be totally innocent. As it can be expected, this will be one helluva train ride...

This is a very honest, albeit definitely minor film noir, with some interesting twists, quite nice dialogs, some dramatic developments, some grief and pain, a lot of ominous stares and some sexual tension. It could have been a minor masterpiece, if some most obvious plot holes were covered - and also if the leading character didn't frequently act like a completely incompetent rookie...

For me, honestly, this film is mostly carried by the great show given by Marie Windsor, who plays the former gangster moll turned protected witness. Compared to her, both the main hero and the gangsters look really a little bit pale...

At 71 minutes, this is a short, compact film, but it is very densely packed with tension and drama. Even if it is not a masterpiece, I liked it a lot and as I think I may want to re-watch it one day I will keep the DVD. Enjoy!


Daisy Kenyon [DVD] [1947] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Daisy Kenyon [DVD] [1947] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Joan Crawford
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £4.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Film which shows that love is a study in non-Euclidean geometry - indeed, it twists all possible figures in impossible ones..., 14 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This 1947 black and white movie is a very good, very pleasant to watch drama/romance and I really liked it - but IT IS DEFINITELY NOT FILM NOIR! Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

Daisy Kenyon (Joan Crawford) is a proud, independent artist who for years now had an affair with rich, successful lawyer named Dan O'Mara (Dana Andrews) - a man married, with children. Then one day she meets a slightly weird but strangely appealing war veteran named Peter Lapham (Henry Fonda) - and what was an uncomfortable love triangle becomes a really messy square...

This is a very good film, with some twists and a really, REALLY great ending. All the three main actors give a great show, with Dana Andrews actually managing to steal the show in what was definitely one of his greatest roles... BUT one thing must be stated here loud and clear - contrary to what is written on the DVD box, this is NOT A FILM NOIR. A drama, a romance, even a tinsy little bit of romantic comedy (but only in some scenes), yes - but film noir, NO!

I cannot be much more specific to avoid crippling spoilers, but I will just say that you should not expect here any gangsters, private detectives or police officers. On another hand, as the cover of the DVD box suggests, dramatic phone conversations play a great role here and Otto Preminger managed actually to show in one scene an otherwise innocently looking phone as a tool of excruciating torture - but with just one heart-breaking exception that is mostly as far as the violence in this film goes.

Some reviewers considered Joan Crawford, who was at that time 43, as a little bit too old for this role, but I disagree. She looks here as a woman between 35 and 40 and that is exactly as it should be. Both male characters already lived a lot in their lives and if Peter is maybe 35, Dan him is rather around 45 years old. It wouldn't do this film any good if Daisy Kenyon was a young girl - it actually makes a lot of sense, that she is a grown, adult woman. And Joan Crawford played here just perfectly.

It is an excellent film about life, love and people in general, with great dialogs, some heart-warming moments, some heart-breaking ones and with a brilliant performance by three great actors. ENJOY!


River of no return
River of no return
Offered by uniqueplace-uk
Price: £13.83

5.0 out of 5 stars "Love is a traveler on the river of no return, swept on for ever to be lost in the stormy sea. I can hear the river call...", 13 Nov. 2014
This review is from: River of no return (DVD)
W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L-!! A delicious, heart-warming musical western with Marilyn Monroe at her most beautiful! This is one of my favourite films. Below, more of my impressions with some SPOILERS.

Northwestern USA, 1875. Matt Calder (Robert Mitchum) is a man of few words, tough as nails and very discreet about his shady past. He was for many years estranged from his family and his wife died in the meantime. Now he finally reunites with his 10-years old son Mark and is firmly decided to become a honest farmer. A sudden Indian war will force him to abandon his recently build home and run (or rather navigate) for his life, in company of his son and Kay, a saloon dancer (Marilyn Monroe) - and the only way to escape is through a wild, deadly waterway local Indians called River of No Return... This film tells the story of this desperate wilderness travel by those three very different and ill assorted people...

Made in 1954 and directed by none other than Otto Preminger for whom it was, I believe, the first and only western in his career, "River of no return" is an exceptionally beautiful, enchanting film. The river itself provides a lot of magic, as it is simply majestic in its calmer parts and terrifying when it speeds up and shows its anger and might. Even more magic is added by the "river call" - a discreet eerie song heard every morning, to mark the beginning of a new day and of a new chapter in the wilderness travel. We can indeed hear this river call us...

For my personal taste this is the film in which Marilyn Monroe beauty shines THE MOST! She is of course extremely sexy in scandalous saloon dancer outfits and red "do me" high heels, but somehow she is even MORE sexy simply barefooted, in jeans and a man's shirt - and when at one moment she wears a rag tied with a piece with rope, well, it doesn't hurt her beauty and sex appeal either... NOT. A. BIT. And then there are of course the songs - mostly saloon songs, which are really GREAT but also one good night song for children - and with that one she manages to hit even harder.. err, I mean hotter...)))

There were of course women more beautiful than Marilyn Monroe in Hollywood (Veronica Lake comes immediately to mind) - but none of them had this kind of supernatural sexual magic. There was only one Marilyn - and there will never be another one... And in this film she is simply at her most magical beautiful moment.

Robert Mitchum's character is in fact even better as he was created into a completely exaggerated superman on purpose - and somehow, rather than being annoying or ridiculous it actually WORKS! Matt Calder is an increased uber-macho on steroids who has deep moral principles and is also a super dad! He shoots dozens of Indians with a single bullet (OK, maybe with two bullets), he crushes jaws and skulls with his mighty fists, he saw it all, knows it all and has a solution to its all, he is friendly to the people of good will but merciless to the villains, he can tame the wildest river and the most ferocious wilderness, he will bring meat to his woman and child even if he has to struggle with wild beasts bare handed - but then he will not take no for an answer and will drag the woman to his den by her hair if necessary...)))

Amongst the greatest treasures of this film are a permanent, steamy, sizzling hot sexual tension between Matt Calder and Kay and also the incredibly shocking final shootout (well, it is a western, so there has to be a final shootout) and especially the incredibly shocking solution of this final shootout.

It must be also said that this film and ESPECIALLY its last scene will cause any feminist who watches it to screech like a banshee - then her body will desintegrate into dust, like that of a vampire exposed to sun, and her suffering soul will then forever haunt some desolate wilderness, probably on board of River of No Return...)))

I LOVE THIS FILM. I saw it at least four times in my life and intend to re-offend. A recommended viewing. ENJOY!


River Of No Return [DVD]
River Of No Return [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Mitchum

5.0 out of 5 stars "Love is a traveler on the river of no return, swept on for ever to be lost in the stormy sea. I can hear the river call...", 13 Nov. 2014
This review is from: River Of No Return [DVD] (DVD)
W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L-!! A delicious, heart-warming musical western with Marilyn Monroe at her most beautiful! This is one of my favourite films. Below, more of my impressions with some SPOILERS.

Northwestern USA, 1875. Matt Calder (Robert Mitchum) is a man of few words, tough as nails and very discreet about his shady past. He was for many years estranged from his family and his wife died in the meantime. Now he finally reunites with his 10-years old son Mark and is firmly decided to become a honest farmer. A sudden Indian war will force him to abandon his recently build home and run (or rather navigate) for his life, in company of his son and Kay, a saloon dancer (Marilyn Monroe) - and the only way to escape is through a wild, deadly waterway local Indians called River of No Return... This film tells the story of this desperate wilderness travel by those three very different and ill assorted people...

Made in 1954 and directed by none other than Otto Preminger for whom it was, I believe, the first and only western in his career, "River of no return" is an exceptionally beautiful, enchanting film. The river itself provides a lot of magic, as it is simply majestic in its calmer parts and terrifying when it speeds up and shows its anger and might. Even more magic is added by the "river call" - a discreet eerie song heard every morning, to mark the beginning of a new day and of a new chapter in the wilderness travel. We can indeed hear this river call us...

For my personal taste this is the film in which Marilyn Monroe beauty shines THE MOST! She is of course extremely sexy in scandalous saloon dancer outfits and red "do me" high heels, but somehow she is even MORE sexy simply barefooted, in jeans and a man's shirt - and when at one moment she wears a rag tied with a piece with rope, well, it doesn't hurt her beauty and sex appeal either... NOT. A. BIT. And then there are of course the songs - mostly saloon songs, which are really GREAT but also one good night song for children - and with that one she manages to hit even harder.. err, I mean hotter...)))

There were of course women more beautiful than Marilyn Monroe in Hollywood (Veronica Lake comes immediately to mind) - but none of them had this kind of supernatural sexual magic. There was only one Marilyn - and there will never be another one... And in this film she is simply at her most magical beautiful moment.

Robert Mitchum's character is in fact even better as he was created into a completely exaggerated superman on purpose - and somehow, rather than being annoying or ridiculous it actually WORKS! Matt Calder is an increased uber-macho on steroids who has deep moral principles and is also a super dad! He shoots dozens of Indians with a single bullet (OK, maybe with two bullets), he crushes jaws and skulls with his mighty fists, he saw it all, knows it all and has a solution to its all, he is friendly to the people of good will but merciless to the villains, he can tame the wildest river and the most ferocious wilderness, he will bring meat to his woman and child even if he has to struggle with wild beasts bare handed - but then he will not take no for an answer and will drag the woman to his den by her hair if necessary...)))

Amongst the greatest treasures of this film are a permanent, steamy, sizzling hot sexual tension between Matt Calder and Kay and also the incredibly shocking final shootout (well, it is a western, so there has to be a final shootout) and especially the incredibly shocking solution of this final shootout.

It must be also said that this film and ESPECIALLY its last scene will cause any feminist who watches it to screech like a banshee - then her body will desintegrate into dust, like that of a vampire exposed to sun, and her suffering soul will then forever haunt some desolate wilderness, probably on board of River of No Return...)))

I LOVE THIS FILM. I saw it at least four times in my life and intend to re-offend. A recommended viewing. ENJOY!


The Living and the Dead [DVD]
The Living and the Dead [DVD]
Dvd ~ Filip Sovagovic
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: £2.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The living wander aimlessly in the mountains. The unliving are the ghosts of viewers who were bored to death by this film..., 13 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was disappointed by this 2007 Croatian war/ghost film and I regret that I bought and watched it. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

Before going to the film itself, I just want to precise that seeing it was part of a kind of watching project, during which I focused on non-American and non-Hollywoodian "exotic" war movies. Other than "The living and the dead" it allowed me to see movies from South Korea ("Frontline", "My way", "71 into the fire"), China ("Assembly"), Australia ("Kokoda", "Beneath Hill 60"), Finland ("Ambush"), Norway ("Max Manus, man of war"), Denmark ("Flame and Citron"), Netherlands ("Winter in Wartime"), Russia ("Admiral", "Fortress of War", "White Tiger", "9th Company"), Thailand ("Bang Rajan") and Spain ("Frozen Silence"). Sadly, "The living and the dead" was the least satisfying of all those viewings.

This film, albeit made with a little budget, was clearly an ambitious and interesting project. The general idea was to take two small squads of Croatian soldiers fighting IN EXACTLY THE SAME PLACE but in two different wars... In this film we can follow a group of six Croatian soldiers fighting in Bosnia in 1993 against both Serbians and Muslims, as well as a group of about a dozen Croatian soldiers (including a reluctant Muslim conscript) during an anti-partisan sweep in Bosnia in 1943, in a time when Croatia was an ally of III Reich. In the first group one of the soldiers is the grandson of one of soldiers from the second group. At one moment a supernatural element intervenes making this film also into a ghost story...

This initial idea was quite interesting - but the execution was abysmally bad! Both stories are extremely boring, as they consist mainly of hiking in the mountains during which the conversations are mostly just banalities drowned in a torrent of obscenities... It is impossible to relate to anybody in this film as all men (there is not even one woman on the screen) are either totally boring losers or absolutely abject @holes.

What hurts this film even more is that there is no sense from the military point of view in any of those stories. The 1943 soldiers seem just to wander aimlessly in the mountains as mobile targets. The 1993 soldiers are supposed to man a precious advanced post - which doesn't seem to serve any purpose and must be evacuated immediately after they reach it.

Do not expect any action scenes - there is a couple of shootouts but they are as un-interesting as humanly possible, the longest occurring in absolute darkness in which it is impossible to understand who shoots at whom... The tanks and planes on the cover of the DVD are just a marketing stunt - NOT EVEN ONE tank or plane appears on the screen! There is no interesting dialogs and there are only two good lines in this whole film. And to crown everything the ending, if you can actually call it an ending, is ABSOLUTELY ILLOGICAL and IDIOTIC!

The supernatural elements don't serve any purpose other than just muddle the story and make the ending more stupid.

Bottom line, this is a bad film, buying it was a waste of money and watching it was a loss of time. Two stars only for the general idea, which was good, as well as for the one good joke in which we learn the definition of a Montenegrian man of honor at the wedding...))) I gave this DVD away immediately after watching it and my advice is to AVOID IT!


The Jacket [DVD] [2005]
The Jacket [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Adrien Brody
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £10.01

3.0 out of 5 stars "I was 27 years old the first time I died", 12 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Jacket [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I found this 2005 supernatural thriller quite watchable, but nothing more. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) used to be a soldier - but in 1991, during the "Desert Storm" operation, he was shot in the head and barely survived. Discharged from the army for medical reasons he found it difficult to settle down and the film really begins when he travels through Vermont in 1992, hitchhiking. Because of events which I will not describe here, at one moment he will ultimately find himself committed to a mental institution and a quite strange doctor (Kris Kristofferson) will try on him a kind of revolutionary but extremely unpleasant therapy - which will include, as the title indicates, the use of straitjacket...

Later in the film we will also meet another doctor, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, another inmate played by Daniel Craig and also a mysterious young woman played by Keira Knightley - and there will be also some slightly supernatural/SF elements...

It is not a bad film and I am glad that I discovered it, but it is definitely not too good either. The plot is ultimately rather banal, the solution of all the problems not so great and there are obvious plot holes you could put a star-destroyer through. The "romance" between two of the characters is also incredibly artificial... And there is no real ending and no real closure.

The quality of the film is in the performance given by the five main actors, four of whom were already experienced screen veterans and one (Keira Knightley) a very promising rising young star. The heavy and occasionally creepy atmosphere of the film as well as THE TWIST which happens in 31st minute are other strong points.

All in all, it is an interesting, watchable curiosity, a kind of extended episode of "Outer Limits". It is however a thing to see once - I don't think I will keep my DVD.


Mr Hobbs Takes a Vacation [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Mr Hobbs Takes a Vacation [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ James Stewart
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £4.85

4.0 out of 5 stars A nice, gentle, relaxing, heart-warming film about holidays in hell... Also a great lesson in love which conquers all... ENJOY!, 11 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I spend a really nice, relaxing moment watching this 1962 comedy - even if it is not a great masterpiece, I liked it A LOT! Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

This is the story of Roger Hobbs (James Stewart), an overworked banker and father of four, aged 50+, who once wanted to spend nice, relaxing holidays with just his wife of many years and a copy of "War and Peace". But as his wife Peggy (Maureen O'Hara) invited the whole family (two married older daughters, their husbands and their children as well as two younger children) and her Finnish cook to come as well, expectations for nice relaxing holidays were greatly reduced. Then, once in place, Mr Hobbs and his tribe discovered THE HOUSE... And later things just went from bad to worse...)))

Well, we all saw many films on the topic "Holidays in hell" in which the father is usually the one who takes the worse hits - but the charm of this particular one is that it is gentle, warm and soothing, even when the pater familias is put through all kind of ordeals, some of them quite... extraordinary...))) Unlike in more modern things, there is nothing mean, vulgar or dirty in this film. Even when some obnoxious, unsufferable characters appear, they actually provide us with more laughs - and I for one, when watching them, I felt more amusement (and a little bit of pity) than anything else...

James Stewart and Maureen O'Hara are just perfect as a married couple who with time became a PERFECT team. His olympic calm, quite confident competence and sardonic sense of humour and her gentle but firm bossyness and also soooo feminine wiles are a pleasure to watch - because it is clear from the first moment that those two people love one another dearly and that they also love their wonderful/horrible children (and even more wonderful/horrible grandchildren) even more and would do anything for them. And they will actually have to do a lot...)))

Aging Finnish cook Brenda, sluttish brainless gold digger Marika, a very peculiar plumber and the even more peculiar plumbing of THE HOUSE provide many discreet, but nice gags. John Saxon and Fabian play minor, but important roles and they are very good.

The whole film ends very well, with all troubles and problems more or less solved - sometimes quite unexpectedly...

I watched this film after a very hard day at the office and with help of just one beer I had GREAT TIME and it cheered me up no end. A recommended viewing if you need a heart-warming nice little comedy with good actors, clever but gentle gags and a great lesson in love. ENJOY!


End of Watch [DVD] [2012]
End of Watch [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Jake Gyllenhaal
Offered by Sent2u
Price: £5.35

5.0 out of 5 stars If "The Shield" was a movie instead of TV show and about honest police officers, instead of evil ones - it would be this film, 11 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: End of Watch [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
I was very favourably surprised and even more, IMPRESSED, by this 2012 thriller drama. It is definitely one of the best crime films I saw in those last years. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

The film tells the story of two veteran LAPD officers, Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Miguel Zavala (Michael Pena). They are simple uniformed street patrol officers, albeit Taylor, a former Marine, wants to make detective and studies in the evenings. As part of his studies he records a lot of what happens on their patrols. This film is composed integrally with recordings, mostly those made by Taylor, but also a couple of news reportings, some official ceremonial recordings and also some footage of conversations of street gangsters, mostly made with their cell phones.

I will not say much about the story because it contains twists, surprises and developments which should be discovered integrally by the viewers. I would really advise AGAINST researching this film on internet before viewing, because here any kind of spoilers damage the viewing experience quite seriously. Suffice it to say that Taylor and Zavala are tough (and extremely potty mouthed) but honest and quite likeable police officers, who patrol a particularly rotten, dangerous part of Los Angeles.

Well known by local street gangs for being courageous, tough (and dangeorus if needs be) but fair and honest, they are treated with a (very) reluctant respect by some of gangbangers - but also supremely hated by many others. Amongst the latter the most prominent is Big Evil (Maurice Compte), a (not very sane) leader of a paricularly vicious Latino outfit, the Curbside Gang.

With time we also come to know Miguel's wife Gabby (Natalie Martinez) and Taylor's most recent girlfriend (Anna Kendrick), as well as some other police officers and brass both men are working with.

Before "End of watch" David Ayers made two other "cops+gangsters in LA" films, "Harsh Times" in 2006 with Christian Bale and "Street Kings" in 2008 with Keeanu Reeves. The first one was bad and the second one hardly better - in fact I forgot what they were about almost immediately after watching them. But this film, well, this is a whole different enchilada!

"End of watch" is a very good film, both in its technical visual aspect and in its scenario, which is an exceptionally solid thing. Most of this film is dialogs and they are actually very good - even if the amount of OBSCENITIES is such that some DVD players will probably not resist it...))) We are frequently surprised and shocked, but those surprises and shocks actually make sense and the whole story flows very logically and harmoniously until the end. It is a thing rare enough in recent films to deserve particular praise.

The treasures in this film are many and you deserve to discover them by yourself, but I simply must state here, that whoever invented the character of La La (Yakira Flakiss Garcia) should get an Oscar. The very idea of naming the very lesbian and absolutely TERRIFYING top killer of Curbside Gang after one of Teletubbies, well, I bow very low to whomever thought about it...)))

As written in the title of this review, for my personal taste, if "The Shield" was a movie instead of TV show and about good cops, instead of rotten evil ones, well, it would be this film... And for me it is the SUPREME praise, as I simply ADORED "The Shield".

I was very impressed by this film and I will keep the DVD for another viewing in the future. A film to see absolutely! ENJOY!


The Postman [DVD] [1997]
The Postman [DVD] [1997]
Dvd ~ Kevin Costner
Offered by Sent2u
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Ride, Postman, ride!", 4 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Postman [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
I was myself surprised that I mostly liked this 1997 post-apocalyptic SF film, considering that I totally hated the book and that I also strongly dislike Kevin Costner (I don't know why - it is an irrational thing). Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

After the collapse of civilization and death of most humans, in what was once Oregon a nomadic survivor (Kevin Costner) earns his living by performances of Shakespearean plays given in small isolated communities. However at one moment he is forced to join the army of Holnists, a weird survivalist militia which is now the dominant force in what used to be the United States. Their leader, general Bethlehem (Will Patton) is a charismatic, well spoken and surprisingly well red, but not entirely stable megalomaniac. I will not say anything more about the story, but as the title indicates, you can expect that a postman uniform will play an important part in it.

At nearly three hours this is a very long film, but I was actually quite taken by the story and I am glad that I finally saw it. The main character is not entirely likeable in the beginning - in fact he is more a con man than anything else - but it actually works at his advantage, as somehow it is easier to connect with him. He also changes a little bit with time. For once, I actually found Kevin Costner very good, as he plays this somehow shady "hero" exactly as it should be done.

The story is not half bad as actually many moments are quite moving. The whole idea of a myth which so greatly fulfills the needs of people that it starts to live its own life and ultimately becomes reality was quite well done. And of all the on-screen revolutions I saw in my life the one described in this film is amongst the most unusual, but also amongst the most appealing... And then there is also some humour in this film - my favourite moment is when the Holnists go to watch the movies...)))

Some people heavily criticized this film for "waving the flag" - but this is precisely the reason for which I liked it. Most people in the West already forgot what does it mean and how does it feel when you CANNOT wave your flag... Being Polish I actually still remember times when we were not permitted to use our REAL national coat of arms (white eagle with crown on red field) by a foreign occupying force... Indeed, it is when something is taken by violence from us that we start to really appreciate it - and become ready to fight for it. As do people in this film.

Now, there are also some weaker points in this film:

- possibly the most interesting and promising character, which could show how great is the power of attraction of authoritarian regimes on some people, is whacked five minutes after appearing...

- the whole "romance" is as freakishly weird and artificial as possible

- bad guys frequently act like total idiots (but after all this is a general rule in films...)

- there was really no reason to give to the main villain the name Bethlehem, as not only it is not his real name, but the Holnists are not even religious - so why this Christian bashing!?

- for a film about a revolution, strangely there is virtually no fighting - sorry for the SPOILER here, but there is like one real (short) battle and some one sided massacres

- finally, if you really have to give your main villain a special weakness which explains his mental issues does it really have to be the MOST OBVIOUS ONE!?

Still, all this criticism notwithstanding, this is actually a very watchable film - although to see once. Not really for repeated viewings, but a solid, honest thing. ENJOY!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 18, 2014 8:45 AM GMT


The Dyatlov Pass Incident [DVD]
The Dyatlov Pass Incident [DVD]
Dvd ~ Renny Harlin
Price: £5.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, there is such thing as a fate worse than death - if you are not convinced, come visit Dyatlov Pass and see by yourself..., 3 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was very agreeably surprised by this little known 2013 UK-Russian "found-footage" horror movie. Five stars may be a little bit too generous a rating, but, for reasons described further, I simply had not other option. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

1. The true 1959 tragedy

This film is a kind of investigation/continuation of a very real tragedy. In the night of 2 February 1959, in Soviet Union, nine young people (seven men and two women) died when hiking in Ural mountains. The tragedy occurred on a pass near mountain Kholat Syakl. The mountain is situated in the autonomous Khanty-Mansia region of Russia, where live Khanty and Mansi nations (two of the many national minorities of Russia). The name Kholat Syakl means in Mansi language "Death Mountain", as this is a place renowned since always for very difficult conditions in winter (very low temperature, very strong winds, powerful snow storms, very frequent avalanches). Because of the name of leader of the expedition, Igor Dyatlov, the pass was ever since known as Dyatlov Pass.

The bodies were found at some distance of abandoned camp in which tents were badly damaged. Investigators determined that some of the hikers died from hypothermia but three had also critical injuries. Some of them were also partially undressed and two were found near the rests of a campfire. All of this was not unusual and in fact pointed towards an avalanche as main cause of disaster - but for some reasons, this tragedy gave birth to dozens of legends in which new "facts" were added to such a point that today it is virtually impossible to see clear in all the information fog. It was especially pretended that some bodies were irradiated, that all had a "strange colour", that there were "strange lights" seen on the pass the night of incident, etc. It actually became a kind of Soviet equivalent of "Flight 19 Mystery" - and even today hundreds of Russian conspiracy theory amateurs spend a lot of their time trying to "find the truth" about this tragedy...

2. The film.

In this film three American students obtain a grant to go to Russia and make a documentary about the 1959 Dyatlov Pass incident. The leader of the project is Holly King, an ambitious and clever girl. She is assisted by Jensen Day, co-director, a nerdy conspiracy theory afficionado and by her friend Denise Evers, the sound engineer on the project. In order to survive in the mountains they also recruit two of their fellow students, very experienced and quite athletic climbers, Andy Thatcher and J.P. Hauser. They go to Russia, arrive by train to Khanty Mansia and then the film begins...

Made with a little budget and with completely unknown actors, this film bears a strong resemblance to "Blair Witch Project", but unlike this latter film, here there is a real ending in which quite a lot is revealed - even if NOT ALL the mystery is lifted...

The main reason why I had no other choice than give to this film five stars is that the main objective of a horror film is to be scary - and this thing, for the first time in years, managed to SCARE THE PANTS OUT OF ME! I was myself surprised when somewhere around 65 minutes in the flm I actually had to pause for a moment - because the atmosphere of terror AND mystery became simply oppressive...

Also, at one moment I actually started to care about what happens to those five very average people, because this film somehow makes us connect with them. Even if some of their decisions are questionnable, they mostly act as sapient human beings - and very, very rare occasional moments of panic or even hysteria can be actually understood, considering the very special circumstances.

The scenario is actually quite good and it is advised to watch this film carefully because deceptively innocent things are said and done in the beginning which will have enormous importance much later.

Images of the mountain are very impressive and the vision of the mystery hidden in the mountains is much, much better. Actually, in this film we are taken to an extremely creepy place - one of the creepiest and most horrible I saw in a long time on the screen...

There are of course some plot holes, but not so many and the biggest of them gives us actually one of the best (and scariest) scenes in the film - so I simply cannot reduce my rating because of them.

The ending is particularly strong and surprising. I advise you strongly to NOT research this film further if you want to watch it - you will enjoy it more without spoilers...

This 2013 film can be actually viewed as part of an unformal cycle on the subject "young Americans go to Russia and then something bad happens"...))) The first part in this cycle would be "Darkest hour" from 2011, a film horribly bad and which bears actually NO resemblance at all to this one. The second one could be the "Chernobyl Diaries" from 2012 and in fact some aspects in this film are similar to "Dyatlov Pass incident", especially towards the end... "Chernobyl diaries" was actually a rather decent little horror but this film is definitely much better. If the trend continues, maybe in 2014 or 2015 we will have finally a real "Americans in Russia" master piece of horror...)))

Now, concerning Reny Harlin, the man is certainly known for some very bad films, like "Die Hard 2" (God, what a letdown was that thing) and for one of the biggest flops ever in Hollywood ("Cuthroat Island") and lately he was making mostly turkeys flying under the radar ("Cleaner", "12 rounds"). But he also made "Cliffhanger" and "Deep Blue Sea" which are both VERY GOOD films and also "Driven", which, even if it is hated by many, I always kind of liked... And by this film, for me at least Renny Harlin atoned for many of his previous grievous sins (like "Exorcist: the beginning")...

Bottom line, this is a surprisingly good little horror, which is genuinely SCARY, CREEPY and definitely NOT STUPID at all... I liked it and I will keep the DVD for another viewing in the future. ENJOY!


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