Ghost Rider

Yesterday I watched Ghost Rider (es: El Motorista Fantasma) (IMDb|FilmAffinity).

Movie poster from Wikipedia

I have to say it is not a very remarkable movie, in any sense. The plot and script are nowhere to be seen, and the action could be better. However, the special effects are nice, and the photography is decent. Eva Mendes is also a factor to take into account.

Watch it only if there's no other better movie in the theater, and you could use a couple of ours of a mean-looking, heavy metal-style, burning skull-headed, black leather-clad, tormented-soul badass hero, doing little more than riding a fast motorcycle.

The Pursuit of Happyness

Last friday I watched "The Pursuit of Happyness" (es: "En busca de la felicidad") with a friend (IMDb|FilmAffinity). We had other plans, but had to abandon them for various reasons, and ended up in the cinema. Let me tell you it definitely was a good outcome.

USA film poster (taken from Wikipedia)

The movie is simply great. It has moments of joy and sorrow, and the feelings are very well portrayed. The storyline of the movie is touching, and the actors are very well in their characters. Will Smith is really far from his usual clown role (which I also like), and puts a serious tone in his impersonation of a troubled salesman, struggling to get a better life.

I really recommend watching this movie.

The Prestige

Yesterday I watched "The Prestige" ("El truco final" in Spain) (IMDb|FilmAffinity), and was rather pleased with it.

USA film poster (from Wikipedia)

I do not dare to compare it to films like Newman and Redford's The Sting ("El Golpe" in Spain), but I feel tempted to. The plot is superb, and the unraveling of the events is delicious.

The best things about it, however good they are, are not the crafting of the set designs and the magical tricks. What I liked most is the psychological profile of the two main characters. The film sketches quite accurately the enmity, envy, obsession and pride of two great competing magicians. The audience is taken away from the paradigm of "good guy vs. bad guy", to an scenario of two rather "bad guys", blinded by obsession.

The only weak point I'd like to point out is the fact that one of the tricks they show (and explain in the end) pictures as scientific an effect that is not, and would require actual magic to happen. But, what the heck, it is a movie, and that fake science is necessary for the dramatic development of the film, so... let it be.

Concierto de Alex Ubago

Enorme. Enorme el tío. Empalagoso, sí. Romanticón, sí. ¿Cursi?, bueeeno. Pero enorme.

Imágen enlazada (sin permiso) de la página oficial de Alex Ubago:

Ayer estuve con mi hermana y dos amigos en el concierto que Alex Ubago dió en el Auditorio Kursaal. Ya había estado en el anterior concierto que dió en el Kursaal (no recuerdo ahora la fecha), y este me ha gustado más. En el anterior la voz quizá le falló un poco, pero en este ha estado realmente muy bien vocalmente.

La selección de temas y la puesta en escena fueron correctos, sin grandes sorpresas. En la obligatoria ronda de bises, cantó "Esos ojos negros" con Mikel Erentxun y "Sin miedo a nada" con Amaia Montero, metiéndose al público al bolsillo con ambas canciones.

Si tuviera que resaltar una sola cosa, mencionaría un fragmento de "Viajar contigo" (si no me falla la memoria) que el tío nos cantó sin micro y sin el grupo, solo él con la guitarra clásica y su voz. Nos pidió silencio, se acercó al borde del escenario, y se puso a tocar. Los de la fila 200 no se enterarían de nada, pero desde la fila 6 fue genial. El tocar sin más artificios daba una sensación de cercanía muy grande, como si estás en un bar, y de repente entra Alex Ubago y se pone a cantar.

Pues eso, que un concierto realmente agradable.

Casino Royale

This wednesday I watched James Bond's movie Casino Royale (IMDb|FilmAffinity).

The film has had mixed reviews, with some people saying it's "the best" Bond film ever, some others saying Daniel Craig fits in the James Bond role like a bulldog in a ballet. I'd say neither is correct. To me, the movie is quite good, and Craig is really well in his role. However, it is a bit too long (time passed quickly for me, though), and has a little too little action. Maybe it's better that way. The plot is also ridiculous, with extra bits of non sequiturs and flat-out nonsenses, like Bond getting into the unattended security room of a hotel with no hassle whatsoever, not to speak of how fast he finds it (first door he opens, and that's there). The actual logic of the plot, however, has never been the main point of any action movie, and Bond films are no exception, so "Casino Royale" is on pair with the others.

If you like James Bond, there is no reason why you shouldn't stop reading this and hurry up to a cinema to watch it.

Gospel in Donostia

Yesterday I attended a gospel concert with my friends, at the Kursaal Palace.

The singing choir was the London Community Gospel Choir, and a really find ensemble it was. The basque society is well known for our coldness, and how shy and quiet we are. However, the LCGC, under the commands of its vital director, managed to make us not only clap hands, but also sing to the tunes, and even stand up and dance! My hands hurt of so much clapping, and time passed like a flash.

I never expected to be carried out by such a music (little religious feeling I have, and little connection to black culture and music), but they made it.

If they sing near you... go see them.

Little Miss Sunshine

This wednesday I went to the cinema with my workmate Julen, and we watched "Little Miss Sunshine" (IMDb|FilmAffinity).

It is a hell of a good movie, humble and simple, but with a very good plot, and very good acting. Drama and comedy are intermixed, with the latter being more prominent. One does not spend the whole movie laughing, but when the moments come, one laughs out loud.

I wholeheartedly recommend this film to anyone not feeling that a movie needs lasers and explosions to be any good.

El laberinto del fauno

Ayer ví El laberinto del fauno, de Guillermo del Toro (IMDb|FilmAffinity).

Me habían dicho que era un poco gore, y que podía impresionar al espectador... pero la verdad es que no es para tanto. Hay algunas escenas truculentas, pero tampoco nada exagerado. Por otro lado también me habían dicho que era muy buena... y en eso no han fallado. No es la mejor película que he visto, e incluso quizá sean exagerados los comentarios de que es candidata firme al Oscar a la mejor película extranjera... pero está muy bien, hay que admitirlo.

Los actores están soberbios, sobre todo Sergi López en su papel de capitán franquista. La puesta en escena está muy cuidada, con gran realismo en escenarios y guión, al menos en la parte "realista" de la peli. Hay, entretejida con la parte "real" una parte de fantasía, en la que en principio el espectador no sabe si tal fantasía es también real, o solo imaginada por la niña protagonista.

Hay algún agujero suelto por ahí, pero en general está hecha con mucho esmero, y el resultado es 100% recomendable de ver.

Children of Men

I have watched Children of Men (FilmAffinity|IMDb), and I liked it very much.

The sinopsis is simple: in a near future (year 2027) the humankind has long lost the hability to procreate, so that the youngest persons on Earth are over 18. All nations have crashed, except Great Britain, were an oppressive social setup, close to a fascist regime, remains as the last stronghold of "civilization". Needless to say, inmigration presure is brutal, as are counter-inmigration measures.

This scenario, and the story that is told, feels at first a bit unrealistic. There are a lot of details that make little sense, or one would think that can not happen. However, as the movie advances, one gets the scary feeling that it could happen. Suddenly, interpersonal relationships, politics, economics... don't seem a bit "sci-fi", but rather, one starts to fear them, for their realism.

I would not like a future like that, but the most frightening thing is that it is one of the most verisimilar cataclismic futures in science fiction movies I've seen.

Except for one thing: nowadays (much less in 20 years' time) it is not to fear an eventual extintion of mankind just because men and/or women are infertile, since artificial procreation means are available, even clonation if need be. There would be hard times, and humankind would not be the same... but it would surely survive.