Monday, December 10, 2018

Geostorm (2017)

After knowing reviews I expected Geostorm to be really bad. Well it is not all bad. If you let all stupidity to pass ending is quite exiting. It is not much but it is at least something. There isn't much more good to say. Well it supports international collaboration. That is other good thing but there aren't more good things to say.

Geostorm tells about weather controlling system which is used for destruction by someone. Whole system is insanely powerful for weather controlling system. It might be realistic to have weather controlling system but not one like this movie. It is there to make this disaster movie. There were times when I wished this was hard science fiction but soon I was reminded this is stupid action movie. Detective parts are divided by unrealistic action or special effects shots. There was interesting story below this mess if they toned it down and picked other parts of the story.

Last half hour felt better than anything before because it made mess what was before make more sense. There is scene where daughter is scared that his father won't survive trip to space station. It didn't make any sense at that point. Scene was there so father could promise he will come back. This promise comes important when father is in self-destructing space station. But when father made the promise characters didn't have any indication he would end up in danger. He was going there to fix malfunctions.

Most of story arcs were written same way. They made little sense until you saw what happened later. Other problem is everyone breaking rules all the time. They might resist for a show but end up doing what is needed to move the story forward. And the story isn't important. It is there to make this by the numbers disaster movie. One you forget after seeing it.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989) / Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses (1994)

I haven't reviewed many Finnish movies here. I don't watch that many Finnish movies and most I watch are not meant for foreign markets. Leningrad Cowboys movies are available outside Finland so it makes some sense to write about them here. I had not seen movies for ages but then someone posted something about Leningrad Cowboys to Facebook group. I told there the first movie was Finnish version of Spinal Tap. I had to check if I was correct.

I am not 100% which one was first the band or the movie. Wikipedia say band was founded 1987 and first movie was 1989. Maybe band was extension of Finnish rock band Sleepy Sleepers and band's master minds sold idea of the movie to movie's director Aki Kaurismäki. Leningrad Cowboys perform one Sleepy Sleepers song in first movie. It is the one they play in biker bar which is not Born to be Wild.

Leningrad Cowboys Go America is road movie about bad Siberian band trying to find fame in America. It is what Spinal Tap would have been if it was art movie about soviet band touring in America. Touring might be wrong term. They go there to play shows and play in different places when they go to their first real gig. Band is naive and innocent. They have cunning manager driving them forward. Movie is quite straight forward story of small band in foreign country.

There was five years between movies. In real world Leningrad Cowboys' band members changed. It started as Sleepy Sleepers extension but became more of a all star band. This is why some band members died in movie's world between movies. New members introduced in sequel were new members of real life Leningrad Cowboys.

First movie was straight forward road movie about small rock band. There wasn't too much symbolism. Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses is full of symbolism and references. You need to know the references to get what movie tries to say. At least I think so. I didn't know the references. To me parts of the movie were weird scenes happening one after another.

Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses begins five years after first movie. Band had became successful in Mexico but ruined their lives with tequila. Their old manager has seen vision and started to call himself Moses. He sends surviving band members back home. On their way they meet new band members. In first movie band had unified look. In second movie there is Mexican section and new band members. Both dress differently to each others and first movie's band's look.

Leningrad Cowboys Go America is good movie which charming band. Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses loses some of the charm. Song selection plays big part. Second movie doesn't have same hopeful feeling first has. In first movie they have hope things change for better. In second they are oppressed by religious leader. Band just accepts their fate and gets back home.