Reviews of Ben Talar's Movies by Richard J. Brzostek

Zabjcze nagranie

Deadly Recording (Zabjcze nagranie) (2008)

Directors: Jakub Poltorak, Ben Talar;

Deadly Recording (Zabojcze Nagranie) is a movie about making a movie, which is nearly a genre in Polish cinema (with films such as Superprodukcja, Polisz kicz project, Fenomen and Wajda's classics Wszystko na sprzedaz and Czlowiek z marmuru using this theme). Although these films all have one thing in common (being about filmmaking), they all take different twists. Zabojcze Nagranie is an action movie about an independent filmmaker named Kefir, who is played by Bodo Kox -- who really is an independent filmmaker in addition to an actor.

Our filmmaker begins to have trouble when he accidentally records the murder of a woman and then becomes accused of being her killer. Kefir gets chased by the authorities and tries to clear his good name the best he can. Although the movie is brief, there are details that foreshadow the coming events so one has to watch very closely to take it all in (or pick them up on a second viewing). A lot of stuff happens in the 25 minutes of this short film so don't blink too often.

Although Deadly Recording feels a bit like a TV movie or B movie, it is a lot of fun. There are more than a few plot twists that keep us on our toes and guessing which direction things are heading next. In addition to the action, there are also a few parts I found very funny and are a nice touch. Besides writing and directing Deadly Recording, Ben Talar and Jakub Poltorak also have short cameo appearances in their movie too. If you are into world cinema or independent films, Zabojcze Nagranie will interest you. There isn't a dull moment in this story in a story so get ready for some intense viewing.

Slepy traf

Blind Fate (Slepy traf) (2009)

Directors: Jakub Poltorak, Ben Talar;

Blind Fate (Slepy Traf) is an action movie about mobsters that is probably different than any other movie about the mafia you have ever watched. The two goons in this movie have disabilities. The guy nicknamed Blind has periods in which he looses his sight, perhaps due to stress. His partner is called Pressure and doesn't speak; Pressure hands out cards that say everything he needs to communicate typed out on them. I was expecting a third guy that is deaf to complement them, but there wasn't one.

Blind is tired of the business and wants to get out, but he knows that it isn't going to be easy leaving his boss. Blind is a big Chuck Norris fan and has a special relationship with him -- Chuck actually appears to him giving his spiritual guidance. Although Chuck Norris (or actually his Polish look-alike Jacek Pieniazek) is in this movie, he is more of a guardian angel or advisor and not the main attraction in this action film. Blind wears a big cross and likes to quote a part of the Bible, so if a religious gangster is going to have a spiritual mentor, it might as well be Chuck Norris.

Blind Fate is an unusual action movie that is much harder to predict where the story is going than many other films so it is that much more suspenseful. Although most of the movie appears serious in tone at first, with the exception of a few parts that are clearly funny, it isn't as solemn if we look again. After all, just about everything I wrote so far doesn't sound usual or normal so the big picture is more entertaining than chilling.

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