Log in

No account? Create an account

September 7th, 2012

Movie Review - Branded


Starring: Ed Stoppard, Leelee Sobieski, Jeffrey Tambor, Max von Sydow, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, and more.

Directed by: Jamie Bradshaw and Alexander Doulerain Written by: Jamie Bradshaw and Alexander Doulerain Cinematography by: Rogier Stoffer Original Music by: Eduard Artemiev

Premise: Hit by lightning as a child, Misha Galkin was marked for an unusual life. Driven to the edge by a number of bad incidents in his life relating to his career in marketing, he eventually comes to realize there's an enemy only he can see, and he sets out to save humanity from it, even if it means doing things their way. (Rated R)


1) Acting - Thumbs Up: Ed Stoppard wore many faces as he worked through the life of Misha, and he wore them well. Leelee Sobiesky glowed in her performance. Her love for Misha shone brightly, and her disappointment and fears further in the film were palpable. The scene where she leaves Misha after she finds him again was very poignant. 

2) Special Effects - Thumbs Up: Though not present in flashy amounts in the beginning of the film, the special effects play a large part in the later sections. Most of the effects are subtle shifts in technology, changes that help the audience see it is a future time as we leave the modern age. The creatures (the living embodiment of the brands) Misha sees towards the end, which evolve and grow and go to war on one another, were nicely done. Definitely grotesque enough to give kids the "heebie jeebies". 

3) Plot Story - Thumbs Up: A lot of people will disagree with me on this. "Branded" is the type of film where you either get and enjoy the multiple, odd, overlapping layers and symbolism, or you don't. The original US title for the film was "Mad Cow". Cows play an important role in the movie from the moment it begins to the end. They are used as a symbol for people, for biblical type greed, deity sacrifice, and more. This symbolism ties into the new name "Branded" as well, as it can be taken to mean several things - from product branding, with regards to marketing, but also to being branded like a cow by the products we consume.

In a twisted way I applaud them for their misleading movie previews. Yes, it told you somewhat what the film would be about, yet didn't. It's as if by shaping the preview in the way they did, they prove some of the same points stated in the film - anything to get you in the door, even if it has nothing to do with what you'll find inside. (The same can be said for some of the premise blurbs at some sites - this film is not a science fiction thriller.)

It's told in a 'funky' manner as well. Sometimes it acts like a documentary, others like a normal movie, and more. Many viewers might find it slow, and possibly awkward. I liked it anyway.

4) Locations/Cinematography - Thumbs Up: Filmed mostly in Moscow, the old city gives the film a great feel. With the added CGI, they're able to add ads all over the place, the names just slightly different, but totally familiar to the audience. Watching how they change at the different stages of the film was half the fun.

Conclusion: An interesting film that will not appeal to most audiences. But if you'd like to see something with some truths and a sprinkle of insanity, it might just be for you. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Not Worth Seeing: Even on Cable)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

Latest Month

July 2019
Powered by LiveJournal.com