Unfortunately apart from it's starry crew, there are no more flaterng bonuses I can give to this film.
The film has that "American humor" that many Europeans and people who value and appreciate high level of cinematography do not appreciate: it is dull, it is boring and finally: it is not funny at all. It was exactly what I imagined it will be. If you would like your kids t ohave a good taste in movies: try to avoid this film! Take them to a better movies to develop their finest taste for good pictures and genuine and not cheat art.
The storu is as follows: a lonely ageing father moves to his daughter's house. He was given the room of his grandson. As a result: hostilities start to unfold between the boy and his grandfather. It turned out that the old grandfather is a good fighter when it comes to revenge and imagination in battles.
The cast is truly stellar: Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken to name a few. It is difficult to evaluate their acting, because it is filmed in the comedy genre and in the film that does not suit the actor's high Hollywood status. If you end up going to this film after all please look at the famous actors, who are no longer young from "just as interesting" perspective, then you will have a great pleasure watching the movie.
In my opinion, the actors are "overplaying" to make the boring text and cliche story look funnier. they add to the film a lot. It would be super bad if it was not for the actors. There is nothing funny but they try their best to make this film at least watchable for a good reason: to meet your favorite actors again. The main story - the struggle for a room between the old and the small - does not dispose to laughter IMHO and looks a bit "made up".
My rate would be 5/10 if it was not for the famous actors crew, but I stay with 7/10 as a max I can give to such "comedy".
The War with Grandpa (PG) – 98 minutes – by Alex First
Notwithstanding the very occasional laugh, The War with Grandpa is a lame kids’ comedy, most of which feels forced.
And that starts with a premise that really doesn’t have enough substance to build a plot around.
An ugly incident at a supermarket sees Ed’s daughter Sally (Uma Thurman) insist that grandpa (Robert De Niro) come and stay with her and her family.
That means shifting her son, Peter (Oakes Fegley), out of his room and into the attic.
He doesn’t take kindly to the move.
He expresses his disdain to his year six school mates and they urge him to take action.
So, the 12-year-old – who loves his grandfather – corresponds with him, issuing a Declaration of War.
In it, he writes that his grandad has 24 hours to give him back what was his (that is his bedroom) or face the consequences.
Those “consequences” amount to a series of pranks – involving scrapes and falls –that punctuate the rest of the movie.
It becomes a “tit for tat” exercise, in which Peter and grandpa trade blows.
Really? Comedy movie making has really sunk to this level? I am afraid so.
There are also a series of subplots and breakouts, which are almost as lame as the main game.
One involves Sally’s eldest daughter Mia (Laura Marano) constantly sneaking her boyfriend Russell (Colin Ford) into the house.
Another, Sally’s husband Arthur (Rob Riggle) – who grandpa never thought made the most of his potential, career-wise – catching grandpa sans underwear.
And then there is grandpa and his “old brigade” mates – including Jerry (Christopher Walken) and Danny (Cheech Marin) – extracting “revenge” on the year eight school bully.
Not to overlook a game of Dodgeball on trampolines with the oldies taking on the kids.
I should also mention grandpa – who is missing his beloved wife, who died – forming a new relationship with a local retail assistant, Diane (Jane Seymour).
Perhaps the best role is left to the younger of Sally’s two daughters, Jennifer (Poppy Gagnon), who just has to play cute (I know, yet another cliché), but she does it so well.
A few of the sight gags might bring chuckles, but mostly they are just sad and predictable.
Obviously, I am not a 10-year-old kid, who may – indeed – get a belly laugh out of the film, but I just felt so much of the talent involved in making this flick was wasted.
Robert De Niro has proven himself to be comic gold (think Meet the Parents and the recently released The Comeback Trail) in the latter part of his career, but this is just playing it by the numbers.
In fact, every actor is doing that.
The War with Grandpa is based on a book of the same name by Robert Kimmel Smith, with a screenplay from Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember. So, you could reasonably, argue they carry the collective responsibility for this dud.
And that means director Tim Hill was on a hiding to nowhere.
Instead of a battle of wits, which this movie purports to be, it becomes a battle of wills, just to see it through to its conclusion.
But wait, there’s more.
After the principal credits, if for some reason you believe you haven’t seen enough, there are the out-takes and a music and dance montage.
I’m a sucker for a good family film or kids’ flick, but I am afraid this simply isn’t one of them.
Rated PG, The War with Grandpa scores a 3 out of 10.
IP MAN: KUNG FU MASTER NEW website review by Sherry Westley
Film :Ip Man: Kung Fu Master Country : China Languages : Mandarin, English subtitles Director : Liming Li Actors : Dennis To, Michael Wong, Tong Xiaoping Genre : Martial Arts/Drama Semi Biographical Reviewer : Sherry Westley
Not very familiar with Martial Arts movies? Well I’m the reviewer for you. I knew virtually nothing about this genre. If you love martial arts films you’ll probably watch it anyway and apply a depth of experience to it that I can’t match! So look away now! Martial arts film novices, read on. The film is loosely based on part of the life of Ip Man, a real life Kung Fu Grandmaster living in Foshan, China, in the 1930’s. Foshan was the center of Southern China’s martial arts practice. Ip Man is known in the Western World as the teacher of American martial arts film star Bruce Lee. This is the latest in a very successful series of films, based on parts of his life. The film opens with Police Vice Captain Ip Man, single handedly defeating dozens of axe wielding members of a local gang. Go Ip! I actually found it quite balletic and very satisfying! Don’t remember it being gory at all. Most of the fight scenes are more akin to dance choreography, than violence. Also the film is beautifully coloured and shot. Ip Man came from a reasonably wealthy family. The interior shots are very clear, warm woods with lighter dabs of silk fabrics here and there. Our honourable film hero goes on to deal with being framed for the murder of the leader of the axe gang, the wrath of his vengeful axe savvy daughter, opium dealers and the invasion of the Japanese in 1937. Leaving the Police Force, he then becomes the black masked mystery defender of the people of Foshan. Some comedy is provided by an older man who keeps an eye on Ip’s young family. Despite being constantly “on the grog” and overly relaxed, he is able to instantly switch to Kung Fu master when needed. I wasn’t emotionally invested in the characters as individual, nuanced people. Was that the fault of this particular screenplay, direction, acting? Or are they overblown expectations for the genre? Sorry, you’ll need to consult a martial arts film buff for that answer. What I can say is that it was a surprisingly easy and visually pleasing film to watch. And don’t we all love a super human hero with impeccable skills and scruples, who is also understated?
The Dark times continue, and Covid has yet to release its grip on the world. But just when all hope seemed lost, Sharmill films has offered it’s 2020 revival of Kinky Boots, The Musical to Australian cinemas, and given Theatre lovers something to live for once again. To those of you unfortunate enough to have never seen Kinky Boots, it is a musical adaptation of a film, based on a true story, composed by Cyndi Lauper, written by Harvey Fierstein and directed by Jerry Mitchell. The musical follows the film, beat for beat, improving it as it goes with musical flair, inconceivable level of sass and more dynamic colour than the eyes can take. Guiding us through the tale of Charlie Price, the latest in a long line of Shoe makers as he tries to save his families factory by catering to the ultra-niche (yet surprisingly expansive) market of thigh high boots for drag queens. Meanwhile Lola, the audiences guide to drag queens and undisputed lady of sass attempts to rise to the occasion, become the designer for the boots she inspired and prove to a small town of kind hearted if deeply ignorant people that a man in a dress deserves just as much respect as one in dress pants. Both stories come to a head in a delightfully saccharin ending, with the two exploding into a crowd shaking musical number at a Milan fashion show, revitalising the factories prospects and giving the drag queens the spotlight they so rightfully deserve.
The musical has a number of messages it wishes to spread, but most prominent is the idea that people aren’t defined by the families, and that regardless of what people expect you to do, only your own passions should define you. This is showcased by our two protagonists trying desperately to not end up, that same as their fathers. The overt gaslighting of Charlie, compared to the emotional manipulation suffered by Lola both showcase how even well-meaning parents can have truly destructive influences on their children. Both men showcase this excellently though their songs, as Killian Donnelly’s Charlie emphasises the emotional and mental strain leadership and going against the grain to take on a person, while Matt Henry’s Lola looks at the coping mechanisms of abused children and how overt enthusiasm and deep repression, often go hand in hand.
The entire chorus is fantastic in this, from the sporadic (and highly amusing) belting of Natalie McQueen to the baritone and subdued growls of Sean Needham. Obviously, our leads both nock it out of the park, however I will say that between the two, Matt Henry truly seems to have brought his A game. Dancing and strutting in heels like he was born in them, while bringing the audience to tears not once, but twice through his impeccable acting and vibrato.
The musical is not subtle in its messaging. At all. Instead choosing to make the message so unbelievably obvious and in your face that the propaganda becomes a part of the show itself. An intelligent move, as it allows the cast to truly spread their wings and have fun with it, because when you’re are trying to be garish, the sky is the limit and chewing the scenery becomes mandatory. No aspect of the musical makes this more apparent than the Angels. A sextet of drag queens that follow Lola wherever she goes and act as the most enthusiastic high men ever to stand on stage. With multiple costumes so technicolour bright, they risk blinding the front row, acrobatics galore and choreography so wild and sensual it could make the red-light district itself blush. The musical isn’t perfect and at times it does seem to be trying just a bit too hard, but at the end of the day, it’s such a fun ride and entertaining show that everything is forgiven; particularly in these times, dark as they are, Kinky boots stands as a shining beacon of fun and light.
A Chritmas Gift From Bob is a sequel to the 2016 movie. The film is based on the true story of street musician James Bowen and his ginger cat named Bob, who was stray, homeless cat before James found and cured him. The inseparable duo held performances near Angel Tube station in North London,where Bowen sold the Big Issue newspaper. Bowen wrote a book about breaking heroin addiction and finding a new meaning in life while caring for Bob who basically was the reason for Bob getting clan from drugs. James and Bob were known as local celebrities, and their story became a first a book bestseller, published in 2010 under the title "Bob the Street Cat". The book has been translated into over 30 languages. It was followed by other books: “The World Through the Eyes of Bob the Cat. New Adventures of a Man and His Red-haired Friend "in 2013 and "A Gift from Bob. How a street cat helped a man love Christmas” in 2014.
This second movie to be released December 3 2020 is largely based on this latest book, where James recalls the last year he lived and survived on the streets with his best friend, Bob. Both in the first and in the second part of the story, the cat Bob played himself. Sadly, Bob died in the summer of 2020. The film is dedicated to the cat Bob in his good memories. Luke Treadaway plays James Bowen in the film. After Bob's death, the actor said in an interview that the street cat had a special spirit and that such a close relationship, like James and Bob, is rare.
Ruta Gedmintas, who played Betty in the first film does not appear in the sequel. In real life, she is married to Luke Treadaway. The film is directed by Charles Martin Smith. He is famous for his animal films.
It is a lovely story all animal lovers will enjoy.
A Christmas Gift From Bob (PG) – 92 minutes – by Alex First
In 2016 we were introduced to a stray ginger cat named Bob who helped a busker and recovering drug addict turn his life around.
That movie, A Street Cat Named Bob, was based on an international best seller co-written by the man whose story it told, James Bowen.
It was a charmer.
Now Luke Treadaway returns as Bowen in the sequel, A Christmas Gift From Bob.
The basis of this one is Bowen facing the threat of losing his precious sidekick.
Bowen chances upon a fellow busker who is sleeping rough and is picked on by a particularly officious law enforcement officer.
In trying to help out this busker, Bowen turns back the clock to Christmas past and relates the story of what happened to him (Bowen).
Back then, Bowen was living in squalid, freezing conditions with Bob and his busking was earning barely enough to make ends meet.
Even though he had a roof over his head and the support of a lovely young lady from a charity operation, along with the wisdom and positivity of the manager of the local convenience store, Bowen’s future remained uncertain.
When his cat was set upon by a dog and later when Bob got sick, Bowen’s equilibrium was thrown.
Added to that was pressure from those policing the animal rights laws and you had a precarious situation.
I am afraid that unlike the original, I felt this follow up, though well meaning, lacked substance.
In other words, the script by Gary Jenkins, who ghosted the original novel with Bowen that spawned the first film, was wafer thin.
It was short on creativity and long on platitudes.
All of it appeared manufactured to solicit sympathy, so it lacked authenticity.
You could see and feel the manipulation that was going on as directed by Charles Martin Smith (A Dog’s Way Home) and that, by its very nature, detracted from my enjoyment.
And that is notwithstanding the best endeavours of the actors to play the parts in which they were cast.
Treadaway maintains the gracious wariness that characterised his role in the first film.
Kristina Tonteri-Young’s passion for the cause as charity worker Bea is immediately evident, while Moody’s (Phaldut Sharma) home-spun wisdom, after his own trials, is a distinguishing feature.
Still, I am afraid all of that isn’t enough to carry the day.
A Christmas Gift From Bob is nowhere near as compelling as it could/should have been.
It is a Melbourne based film. The events of teh film take place in year 2000.
Chris Black invites a group of people whom he knew in the past at the different stages of his life. Chris did not interact with them for a while. One 19 year old is also invited to this party. Emi Mustafi is a student and she just met Chris earlier that day at the coin laundrette. ll the people at his house party had some influence on Chris during his life. What is most important about this party is that the host is missing. The guests arrive but the house appartment owner is not there to meet them. The guests take the initiative to intrract and chat with each other. Their conversations differ: some are intellectual and some are just trying to find about each other and how they relate to Chris. They drink and eat. When Chris arrives but still many questions remain open.
This film feels more like a theatrical / stage performance rather than a movie - the reaosn for that is : the limited space is used and the characters / psychology are in focus rather than the action. The characters deliver their roles well and quite believable. Chris (Luke Cook) is mysterious. Why is he running this strange party? There is definitely something on his mind that night. The stories of course all differ from one character to the other, we get into the pants of the silent observers of the "situations" and dialogues.
If I intrigued you enough then perhaps it is timr for you to go and see the film
How Do You Know Chris? (MA) – 86 minutes – by Alex First
A low-rent Australian drama in which very little happens, How Do You Know Chris? is strictly film festival fare.
It is the year 2000.
19-year-old (nearly 20) Emi Mustafi (Tatiana Quaresma) meets Chris (Luke Cook), 28, in a laundromat.
Even though they’ve just set eyes upon one another, the copywriter invites the commerce student to a small get together he has arranged that night in his Melbourne inner-city apartment.
She turns up, but he is nowhere to be seen. He shows up more than an hour later.
Instead, there’s a bartender cum waiter, Ray (Lee Mason), serving drinks and finger food … and a collection of people who know or have known Chris.
Mind you, the first couple Emi comes across is larger than life Dubliner Dot (Lynn Gilmartin), aged 35, and her taciturn boyfriend, Mike (Travis McMahon), who doesn’t know Chris, but is there to catch up with Frankie.
Huh? Who is Frankie? Well, that is dealt with relatively early on.
Then there is Chris’ former classmate Blucker (Dan Haberfield), now confined to a wheelchair, who hasn’t seen Chris since school days.
Blucker doesn’t get along with another loyal school friend of Chris, Justin (Jacob Machin), who is attending with his partner, Claire (Ellen Grimshaw), who Blucker always fancied.
Chris’ boss Shane (Stephen Carracher) has turned up dressed as Sherlock Holmes.
Later, Chris’ mum Amanda (Susan Stevenson) puts in an appearance. Chris’ father and brother have both died.
And there’s a goth girl, Christal (Rachel Kim Cross), a druggie, who used to be Chris’ partner.
Gradually we learn more about each of them and their relationship to Chris, before he eventually says a few words to the group ... or what is left of it.
This is a guy with quite a few skeletons in his closet.
Bad to average acting aside, what is immediately obvious is the lacklustre scripting by Zachary Perez and direction from Ashley Harris
In all respects, How Do You Know Chris? is thin.
I needed to care more about the characters – to build an affinity with them.
That required far greater nuance on the part of all concerned than was forthcoming.
As it is, the characters that populate the film are more caricatures than real flesh and blood.
Too many are single dimensional.
The idea behind the mystery is sound. It is just the execution that I found lacking.
As the credits rolled, a feeling of having been underwhelmed enveloped me.
Rated M, How Do You Know Chris? scores a 5 out of 10.
There is a new documentary, The Mystery of D.B. Cooper which tells the story of the 1971 plane hijacking in USA. The incident happened on a plane that flew from Portland to Seattle.
The man who introduced himself as Dan Cooper demanded 200 thousand dollars and 4 parachutes. Having received the money, the criminal disappeared without a trace. No one could find where the place has landed nor his further fate which is still unknown. The case was never solved. The film tries to reveal the details of the story, or at least to give even more legendary status to the criminal. The official synopsis reads: “The film features the stories of four family members and friends who believed to be the mysterious Dan Cooper's, who hijacked a plane from Portland, Oregon. Cooper traded the lives of passengers for 200 thousand dollars and four parachutes, and then jumped from a height of more than 3 km above the forests of Washington state. Nobody heard more about the criminal. Nearly 50 years later, the case continues to confuse the FBI and spark wild speculation as it is the only unsolved plane hijacking in United States history. ”
The film is fun to watch and will be released soon on screens.
Good day to all readers of my review! :) I am not a fan usually of the action movies although some of them I find amazing. This film features a strong woman as a center of the story. They motivate.
But frankly I did not like this film. It's full of clichés with slow acting plus Megan Fox looks completely unconvincing as a tough ex-military woman. The special effects are really bad, the proportionality between the computer animals and the actors is lost and ooks completely fake and hard to believe. The computer lions turned out especially badly as if they were made by the anime draphics graduates from one provincial college. The first 20-25 minutes were a great start, though, and quite fun so some of you perhaps enjoy it.
On the positive side, this film gave me a few minutes of laughter, but not in the places where its creators might have planned. There is a good message: "stop hunting animals, lions, tigers, elephants, etc and save their habitat." The cruelty and the ego of the rich man trying to show off their hunting skills feeds this bad and humanless and brainless industry. In general, if you just want to have fun without expecting a cool blockbuster, then watch this movie. It's predictable, but there were some really cool scenes, and you might actually find some fun in it.
The christmas holidays are a month away but Christmas films are slowly appearing on the film distribution company lists. One of them is "Happiest Season", where the Abby (Kristen Stewart) along with her lover played by Mackenzie Davis, goes to a difficult family meeting. It is a rather romantic story by the director, Clea DuVall who managed to create something very soulful for everyone to fall in love with. Although a very touching life story unfolds on the screen, there are also many moments "to laugh out loud"
It is a refreshingly modern comedy-drama with a traditional Christmas family charm. The actors of the film are amazing. They gave all their strength to make the movie worthy of their talents. Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis are surrounded by peers such as Victor Garber, Mary Steenburgen, Dan Levy, Alison Brie and Aubrey Plaza, this is one starry lineup with which there is no chance of losing. Everyone is in place and each character is absolutely superb and realistic. DuVall is simply brilliant and intimate romantic as we can see from this comedy-drama that delivers deep warmth and fun, that will be received so perfect for Christmas. It is a drama taking place though the film remains on the bright mood with that great aesthetics taste and inexhaustible sincerity. Looks like it's really worth watching it to get into the Christmas feelings overall. Well done!
Kevin Costner is always in love with acting in films with the heroes who ride horses and bravely look into the sunset. Director Bezucha shot the classic slowburn. The plot develops slowly, very slowly to be honest. George (Kevin) is a former sheriff, therefore, he bravely wrinkles his folded forehead, he sternly looks somewhere beyond the horizon with his whole appearance symbolizing the triumph of decrepit law over muscular crime. Collecting all available criminals, George enjoys a vacation at the family ranch. He is accompanied by his wife, his son who has a deadly accident falling down the horse, his daughter-in-law and his grandson. After his his son's death the daughter-in-law, inconsolable from grief, calls a fresh groom from the bench and leaves the town in rush, taking her son with her. Grandmother and grandfather believe that the new dad does not give the child a proper upbringing witnessing him being rude to the daughter-in-law and their grandson, and they decide to snatch the baby from the hands of the villain...
If you expect the same as from 'The Honest Thief' - a demonstrative flogging arranged by a pensioner in relation to young people, then your expectations will only partially come true. The flogging, of course, will be present (otherwise, it was not worth shooting this movie), but only the most patient will wait for it, and its finale will be a little different from what we would like.
The film evokes mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is impossible not to share the indignation of the grandmother and the grandfather (the grandmother is more indignant, the grandfather seems to be a bit spineless and not caring). On the other hand, where are the guardianship authorities? Constitutional state? Law and Children's Commissioner? Why the pensioners, instead of enjoying kefir and curative mud, are forced to restore justice (as they understand it) and carry out lynching? This is America! The standard of democracy and human rights! Lacking what are you doing? Why are you destroying our crystal dreams of our beloved USA? And they also bring in a herbivorous Indian riding a horse. Say, the suffering of the indigenous people, oppressed by American imperialism... and yet (what a racism!).
The Weiboys, who snatched Costner's grandson, have been described as 'dangerous'. What is dangerous about them, I did not understand. The director does not explain to us: who are they? What do they do? It is only clear that the family is large, and some of it are 'people are nothing', and some are 'dangerous, very dangerous'. They look like ordinary village men and behave the same way: healthy, fleshy goons living in some kind of lopsided wreck. They are obviously not mafiosi, and not oligarchs, although ... what if they get high on chicken droppings? May be they are some kind of 'chicken-dung tycoons from Montana'? Only the Weiboys have real, tough eggs!? It is unclear, and it does not matter. The important thing is that they are 'bad', although up to a certain point they do not commit illegal actions, but pensioners who commit lynching are 'good'.
In general, it turned out to be some kind of a mixture of road movies (most of the film, the characters ride vintage cars and enjoy the view of meadows, rivers and mountains of Montana), and 'Saving Private Ryan', well, that is 'Saving Blackledge's Grandson'. In order to save the life of one 'good' boy, good people must kindly kill several 'bad' ones. This is called humanism.
You can try to see symbolism in this film. "Grandson" is the result of the US presidential election, stolen by the "dangerous" from the "good." The 'good' return the 'grandson', justice is restored. What a poor nonsense indeed! Personally, a bit boring to watch IMHO...
A haunting tale of desperation and regret, Let Him Go packs punch.
We’re in rural America in the early 1960s.
Diane Lane and Kevin Costner star as Margaret and George Blackledge.
He’s a former lawman, but when it comes to “my way or the highway”, she rules the roost. Once she gets an idea in her head, she won’t be swayed.
A tragedy befell their young married son James (Ryan Bruce), who left behind not only his wife, Lorna (Kayli Carter), but a baby, Jimmy.
Now Kayli has remarried a cruel man from a notorious family, the Weboys.
Without so much as a word to Margaret and George, Kayli, Donnie (her husband) and their now three-year-old have moved from the place they were renting, which was near Margaret and George, back to where he was born.
They have gone from Montana to North Dakota, a considerable distance.
But before they disappeared, Margaret witnessed something nasty, which made her fear for her grandson, whom she is desperate to see … and his mother.
Now she is determined to find out exactly where Kayli, Donnie and Jimmy are.
Her plan is to rescue the youngster and bring him home to live with George and her.
But what she doesn’t count on is the brutality of Donnie’s family, led by matriarch Blanche (Lesley Manville), who doesn’t take a backward step.
Intimidation is the family creed.
Before this is over, blood will be spilt ... and lots of it.
Writer and director Thomas Bezucha has done a fine job adapting a 2013 novel by Larry Watson.
The plot unfolds slowly at first, but picks up momentum as the Blackledges try to track down their grandson.
A feeling of impending doom underwrites the piece.
A showdown is inevitable, but I defy anyone to pick how it plays out.
Lane, Costner and Manville act up a storm in a series of powerful performances that drive the story. I couldn’t take my eyes off them.
The fine cinematography by Guy Godfree does justice to the vast open country that is so significant it is like another character in the story.
The narrative arc is assisted by a lucid score from Michael Giacchino (Jojo Rabbit).
To those who might find the start hard going, I say stick with it for patience is rewarded ... and how!
With a title that resonates, Let Him Go is assured, compelling filmmaking.
Samia is a young educational consultant who just moved to one of Paris' suburbs from the south of France. She is an excellent professional and takes her job at a high school with diffcult students. She is passionate about work, and with the help of her school colleagues she will do everything possible to instill in the heads of children the hope that a brighter future is possible than they imagine.
How tough a job is teaching and disciplining a bunch of lively, but often disinterested and unmotivated students?
That contention is at the heart of a considered and engaging French dramatic comedy set in a low socio-economic and migrant neighbourhood.
A new, youngish female vice-principal, Samia Zibra (Zita Hanrot), arrives with the intent of doing all she can to make a difference in the lives of those attending school in Saint-Denis.
She claims she has moved to her new position so she can be closer to Paris.
In reality, it is because her boyfriend has been incarcerated nearby.
The biggest thorn in her side is a 15-year-old year nine student named Yanis Bensaadi (Liam Pierron).
He’s not a bad kid … in fact he’s quite cheeky, but his biggest influence is a 20-year-old drug dealer.
There’s one teacher in particular that Yanis doesn’t get along with and Yanis isn’t afraid to lash out at him.
Yanis loves his younger sister and his mum, who is doing it tough as her husband (Yanis and his sister’s father) is in jail, the same one in which the vice-principal’s partner is doing time.
Yanis is not at all convinced that school is the right place for him.
When Yanis tells the VP he likes gangster movies, she tries to motivate him to pursue an audio-visual course.
But with Yanis, nothing is easy.
This pair – Samia and Yanis – are the mainstays of the picture, but there are umpteen other threads too.
They include the VP’s two sidekicks, a fellow teacher who has taken an interest in her and who has been at the school for eight years and Samia’s interactions with many other students and a few parents.
There is a lot going on ... all the time and the path is not only busy, but rocky.
The points of heightened drama are regularly offset by lighter moments and the mix is a compelling one.
Much credit must go to the writers and directors Mehdi Idir and Grand Corps Malade.
Their touchstones are easily relatable.
They’ve done a fine job crafting such a multitude of players and bringing them all together so seamlessly.
To get the most out of School Life, you need to pay attention, something many of the kids depicted struggle with.
School Life has charm, substance, subtlety and humour.
Hanrot is natural and convincing in the lead, while there’s a feeling of “whatever will be, will be” in Pierron’s harder to read portrayal of a kid on the precipice.
There’s a pleasant realism about School Life, without false bravado or the promise of a happy ending.
The film feels more like the oxygen for the wrong world. I understand when in fantasy film you can explain something by saying just 'forget the logic, man, this is magic'. If one of the key points for understanding the plot of the film was clarified in this way, it would be much better. We can simply say that people need medicine! It doesn't matter which one. With a severe dullness the film feels like "hanging noodles on my ears". It is about some kind of synthetic oxygen, which badly affects people's health, this is already beyond a primary school education.
The scriptwriters perhaps have never studied at school and happily riveted a story designed for the same kind: naive and very (very) long. It is a masterpiece of a pseudoscientific approach to the problem of ecological disaster and human survival. The way to save humanity is shown in the finale practically threw me into a "state of speechless disaster". The film clearly lacks good plot, good acting and good everything!
The creators sought to make the characters' images convincing, and we are presented with a clichéd story overloaded with flashbacks about how an unfortunate boy did not receive his father's attention in his childhood. This is probably why he grew up as a nervous, tearful, hysterical and reflective welder. He is probably an undernourished savior of humanity who, according to the authors of the film, should carry the plot all on himself.
The actor tried his best, we can see it. His character cries here and there to the point when we can not stand him crying anymore.. He also walks a little, do something and cries again. May be that was the whole fun of the time loop: crying endlessly... who knows? I believe the characters themselves do not understand what happens in the film as we do. The plot twists are not obvious. Should we should all guess?
I think I needed a lot of oxygen to watch this film or a "wrong oxygen", more precisely - just some air... My rate is as low as 4/10 - only Borat can get it.
review by Alex First of MAPT 2067 (M) – 110 minutes – by Alex First
A poor, long-winded Australian sci-fi, 2067 fails to ignite.
The world is dying. The only vestiges of the human race still alive survive – just – underground, if you can call that living.
Oxygen is in short supply and people run around with industrial masks affixed to their faces.
The controlling force is a company called Chronicorp and heading up the operation is Regina (Deborah Mailman).
One of the brightest young talents is Ethan Whyte (Kodi Smit-McPhee), who has had a tortured past.
After his father, Richard (Aaron Glenane) – the chief scientist looking for a permanent solution to mankind’s crisis – arranged to have a thick bracelet embedded in his eight-year-old son’s arm, he left without trace.
Soon after, Ethan’s mother befell an ugly fate and since then Ethan’s closest ally has been Jude (Ryan Kwanten), another Chronicorp employee, who is a decade or so older than Ethan.
Now, with Ethan having grown into a young adult himself, the future comes a callin’.
Radio waves have bounced back asking for Ethan to chance a dangerous journey into the unknown courtesy of a collider (a particle accelerator).
But to do so, he must leave his sick wife, something he is most reluctant to do.
Still, the future of mankind is on the line, so Ethan really has no choice.
But when he does, indeed, arrive in the future what confronts him – namely his own skeleton – is shocking, to say the least.
Soon after, Jude, too, finds a way through the time warp and there are nefarious forces in play.
What a load of bunkum!
The plot is lazy and confusing, the dialogue trite and riddled with cliches and the acting pedestrian and lacking credibility.
In large measure, 2067 looks like a home project.
Talent is wasted on a script as thin as it is dull, not aided by the direction.
The writer and director is Seth Larney.
Not even the usually reliable Smit-McPhee and Kwanten can pull this one off.
As for Mailman, the less said the better. It was just a bridge too far. She didn’t stand a chance.
The sets purporting to show the future just don’t cut it either.
The whole thing points to a tinpot operation.
In short, there is absolutely nothing of value to see here ... and what there is is interminable.
If you thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse, spend the night with the dreary film Come Away. Let me be clear from the start, I was not a fan of this film. The most boring 90 minutes I have spent all year, which is saying a lot given I am in Victoria where we have spent the past 6 months in lock-down. Not even the handsome guy spooning me during the film got me excited enough for me to forgive the films shortcomings.
Initially I had been excited for this film after watching the trailer showing a fantasy mash up between the worlds of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland, with the added appeal of Angelina Jolie in the cast. The prospects for a creative tale are there somewhere, it all just seems very underdeveloped and the ideas never take flight. This is a film that promises much but delivers little.
The story imagines Peter Pan and Alice as brother and sister, growing up as children in the English country-side with their older brother David and loving parents. The children spend their days outside in the woods exercising their imagination. Alice hosts magical tea parties interrupted by her brothers pretending to shoot arrows in combat. Often switching between reality and fantasy to show us the imaginations of the children, the old overturned rowboat found by the children is shown to be a ship full of pirates. The film takes a dark turn when tragedy strikes the family at the end of the first act. The parents wracked with grief, battle with alcohol addiction and gambling problems. These heavy topics take us away from the whimsical world that could have been. The end result is mostly a gloomy and confusing tale, with a muddle of references to the original stories we know.
DAVID BYRNE'S AMERICAN UTOPIA NEW website review y Katherine Kelly
Director:Spike Lee Producers:Spike Lee; David Byrne Music:David Byrne
I recently had the unique opportunity to watch American Utopia, a concert film directed by Spike Lee of Malcolm X and BlacKkKlansman fame. Lee and David Byrne (from Talking Heads) were the producers. Filming took place at Broadway's Hudson Theatre shortly before the Pandemic.
In spite of not knowing much about Talking heads during their 15 years or so of fame, I was fascinated by Byrne’s energy and versatility during the performance. Though I recognised many of the songs in the show.
Eleven performers with portable instruments accompanied Byrne all wearing grey suits and barefooted. Against a stark grey background, Byrne and his company moved around the stage in various formations, one of which fleetingly reminded me of the annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The musicianship of the performers was outstanding, some of whom were constantly changing instruments. I also loved the choreography which switched from some balletic moves, through to jazz ballet and contemporary rhythms.
Throughout the performance, Byrne introduced themes such as human connection seen through the lens of social media and other apps, where aspiring couples meet virtually, eschewing the once prided method of meeting face to face. I noted his fascination of the operations of the human brain from infancy where Babies’ brains have more neural connection than adults who learn to “keep the connections that are useful to us”. He touches on the Absurd and Dadaism which had a strong following post World War I. “People of different minds and nations who live with different ideas”.
I sensed Byrne’s activism levelled at mitigating political events in America by encouraging people to vote, something that the majority of Americans have not been inclined to do. “People have gotta do better”. He quotes the noted author Baldwin: “I still believe that we can do with this country that’s not been done before”.
I was very moved by “Say a Name”, a Requiem to those who died senselessly at the hands of Police brutality - “and to too many more”.
The performance ended on a very positive note with the resounding “Road to Nowhere” where the company mingled with the audience before going backstage.
After 1 hour 45 minutes, my Covid-post lockdown mindset had undergone a significant shift. A shift that was desperately needed. Thank you to David Byrne, Spike Lee and company.
Annabelle is a retired woman and she looks absolutely charming. She recently became a widow. She lost her beloved husband, with whom she spent years and she still can not forget him and sees time with him as the most valuable in her life. She can hardly cope with the pain of loss, not wanting to put up with the idea that she was left alone but she speaks about it openly. Soon, the woman goes on a journey around the world or at least this is her plan... She suddenly finds herself in the Lock Lomond Hotel in Scotland. The place is run by a handsome man Howard. He is courteous and not bad looking, but most importantly, he really likes Annabel and her warm nature.
Did the heroine have a chance to find happiness again? What about Howard who also has a broken heart? What choice will she have to make and what difficulties will they both face? ..
Watch the movie "Then Came You" to fid out the answers. I personally found the film to be light and easy to watch especially the nature scenes.
A steady stream of mum and dad jokes lay the foundations for this predictable rom com, written and starring Kathie Lee Gifford.
Depending upon your perspective, you might find it pleasant or painful.
Over a year ago, 60-something Annabelle lost her beloved husband Fred in an accident at their hardware store in Nantucket.
The would-be entertainer long ago gave up her career ambitions for the man she loved.
Now she has to find a way to move ahead with her life, so she decides to visit a centuries old mansion in Scotland.
That is to be her first step en route to Italy and a total of 20 countries featured in her 20 favourite films.
There to meet her at the station in Scotland is the proprietor of the Awd Inn, Howard (Craig Ferguson).
He, himself, lost his long-term spouse and now spends most of his time with his best mate, Gavin (Ford Kiernan).
Even though at first glance Annabelle and Howard seem to be polar opposites they hit it off, even if Annabelle is more forthcoming than Howard.
She even carries around her dead husband’s ashes in a box of chocolates to mark the fact that his favourite movie was Forrest Gump.
As it turns out, he is holding back a secret, while she, too, has a surprise in store.
The outcome is as plain as the nose on your face.
So that is not why you would go to see Then Came You.
It positions itself as a syrupy charmer and there is certainly an audience for this kind of thing, although there is nothing top shelf about what is on offer.
Formulaic? Absolutely. An attraction, squabbling and a happy reuniting.
He can be caustic and she playful.
Humour is the driving force to unite a pair that has holes in their hearts.
Mind you, apart from the words they utter, that is, at times, difficult to believe, given how they carry on ... and then carry on some more.
The landscape and cinematography by Reynaldo Villalobos are breathtaking.
If you haven’t visited Scotland, surely you would want to after seeing Then Comes You.
It is what I call a “try hard” film. Directed by Adriana Trigiani, it tries too hard to impress, but isn’t much chop.
Rated M and also featuring Liz Hurley in a small role, Then Came You scores a 5 out of 10.
THE TROUBLE OF BEING BORN NEW website review by Sherry Westley
Film: The Trouble With Being Born Country: Austria/Germany Released: 2020. Melbourne Dec 3 Actors: Lena Watson(a pseudonym) Dominick Warta Reviewer: Sherry Westley
This Austrian/German film has won awards in Austria, Germany, Norway and Spain. It was controversially withdrawn from the 202O Melboutnr International Film Festival after negative reports from two psychologists. A scenario to prompt an audience rush, when it opens in Melbourne cinemas on December 3rd?? But be warned, this is a very esoteric and uncomfortable film.
Ok, so you fancy you have a bit of a bent for philosophy and psychology? That might not be enough to get you through this film. For me the main problem was that I found the film so dark, slow and emotionally uncomfortable to watch, that it outweighed any intelectuaI insights or ideas I might have gleaned from it. In addition the plot is not linear, it uses memories and flashbacks, making it a bit more complicated to follow.
The second feature film of Austrian director Sandra Wollner, it is a science fiction drama about ten year old Android Elli, who lives with her human “Papa”. It is based on the book of the same name, by philosopher Emil Cioren.
The idyllic outdoor opening scene soon changes to a dark, stifled, foreboding atmosphere that lasts throughout the film. The two main human characters are constantly reliving their memories of a loved one, by transposing them into Elli. They are trapped in virtual, unchallenged and static relationships.
And Elli? Are there flashes of consciousness? I’m not sure. You’ll need more than psychology and philosophy 101 to work this film out. Oh and if you have friends who are deep into artificial intelligence or ethics issues, take them along. I would love to meet you for the coffee discussion afterwards, but see it again? No thanks.
ELLIE AND ABBIE AND ELLIE'S DEAD AUNT NEW website review by Marina Sklyat
Being a teenager and going through puberty, body and mood changes is enough to cope with during that stage in life, but also opening up about your sexuality in the 21st century is much easier than it was 20 years ago.
However our character Ellie is taking her puberty time very well, she is the perfect daughter and an A student.
Been visited by her fairy aunt who happens to be her God mother, who had been tragically killed in the accident Ellie discovers a lot about her family tree which had been kept a secret from her all this time.
Ellie's confronting conversation with her mum that she is interested in women more than man, unravels the scene. The denial of her mum because of Ellie's preference in sexuality, brings the family together.
There is one thing that is important to know and to practice is “Be yourself everyone else is taken”
I believe this was an excellent movie for teenagers who are seeking the confidence and courage to be who they are, to believe in themselves, accept themselves as they are, because we are all perfect and individual.
To be honest, I haven't seen a more boring and uninteresting picture lately. The plot at the very beginning gives you a clue and a hope of a very good film but them it turns into something really long and very dull IMHO. Probably "The Bay of Silence" can be considered a good way to fall asleep or to snooze and you can wake up closer to the second third of the picture.
The plot unfolds revealing to us the secrets of the past and that the spouses may not know everything about the past life of their soulmates that they experienced before meeting each other. The director of the film, Paula van der Ost implements this idea of the film so ineptly that closer to the finale there comes a frank disappointment: an hour and a half of your life was wasted. "The Bay of Silence" develops according to its own laws, slowly plunging into the abyss of boredom and despondency. The absence of more or less live music leaves its mark, turning an already viscous story into something unbearable.
It seems that the director was trying to shoot something "arthouse" but it turned out to be weak and unconvincing. The good music / soundtrack could have said its word so that there would be a "WOW!" effect and all that gray picture with heavy clouds and a grief-stricken father hits the brains due to the unexpectedly enraged music but this does not happen... just as there is no emotional outburst from the performers of the main roles - Claes Bang and Olga Kurylenko. Both seem not very interested in what they perform, they play quite poorly and to some extent carelessly. As for Olga, the question arises as to how she got into this film. The image of her heroine is not bad but either the actress herself did not really try well or everything in the script was incomprehensible to her. The fact remains: Kurylenko can play better, but this story is not hers, about The Bay of Silence. As for Brian Cox, it seems that the actor is here only to be in the film, and not to try to improve the quality of the film. There is no credibility in terms of the script, since the story that develops after the prologue looks like a chaotic and not glued together story that tempts to shed light on who his beloved Rosalind really is. The film is deliberately discarded by hook or by crook from the original ideas and adequate narration, rapidly leaving the issues of the human past, which, thank god, the author failed to present as a dramatic story of one person who faced something terrifying and shocking, which left an imprint on his further destiny.
Well, the finale or so-called epilogue, pursuing an exclusively happy ending that does not really give answers to the main question - has something changed? However, it's up to you to watch and I find it might attract its audience.
Now here is a holiday treat wrapped in a pretty blue ribbon!
The dynamics of Fatman is absolutely heart-pounding, with an equal measure of a telling-of-the-tale that revolves around Santa Claus - albeit with a thriller-endowed story arc.
We have Mel Gibson front and centre, showcasing nothing less than a portrayal of the legendary character (under the guise of Chris Cringle, a moniker of that jolly ol' Saint of Christmas). We have a trained assassin who is on the hunt for squaring a long-standing vengeance that had been festering for some decades in his heart. And we have a sleigh of cultural parallels that is known to both adults and children the world over.
Fatman is a unique showcase of selfless character, of pushing through the dark times, and of forming a steadfast spirit of the joyous season of Christmas and of goodwill to all mankind.
It was a very powerful film. I do not usually like watching dramas and I prefer comedies as real life is way too full of drama to watch it on the screen but as it was said in the film tragedies have the keys for us. We see ourselves in such films. There are my impressions from watching this wonderful film that will not leave you indifferent, I guarantee it.
The film leaves a very strong impression, it can be discussed and remembered. What happens in this picture goes beyond not only reasonable, but also common sense in general. It shows one very real case in America. This is possible any time, in any country, it can happen with someone behind the wall, or in a neighboring area, and from this it becomes not only sad, but also scary as well as alarming. In short, the film makes us not only think about our own fragile life, but also realize its importance and the fact that everything we do has consequences in one way or another.
It is about teenage girls, first love, friendship, relationships with parents and much more on the first glance, but as it turned out, this film went completely in the wrong direction followed by the terrifying picture appearing after first 10 minutes through the film that developed in more and more drama.
Kristen and Hannah are no different from their peers. They are diligent students and good daughters, but behind a beautiful "facade" there is a terrible things taking place: the girls have heroin addiction.
Actors. The actors are all new to me but they suited their roles perfectly, as well as the actors are beautiful and pleasant to look at. Among all other things, they definitely have talent
Atmosphere. The film has a cozy American atmosphere. Students, school years of adolescents, dates, first parties and first sex, wealthy parents, in general, everything is very standard. Parental control, or its absence and what it leads to, are also shown in the film. Still, once again I am convinced that the future of children, and whether they will have it at all, directly depends on mom and dad and on their attitude towards children. In fact, this is a very thin line: to have time for everything, not to miss anything in children's education, but also not to overdo it. Therefore, so often children leave childhood psychologically traumatized, and then this has its consequences in their personal life.
Shooting quality and effects. The quality of shooting is just super. It will be wrong to complain. Even a few dark scenes are shown beautifully and in detail.
Main characters. Kristen. A blonde girl with a charming smile and beautiful wide eyebrows. She is gorgeous as well as her character is quite cute, lovable and down to earth. She is on one hand, an innocent child, kind and bright, and on the other hand she s unexperienced and innocent that leads her to wrong believes. She is a clear example that behind a beautiful appearance a bunch of demons can be hidden that you never dreamed of, which you are afraid to even think about. What Kristen creates in her life is beyond any understanding. She is a girl full of nasty surprises and she is a good reflection of what takes place in her family between her mom and her dad. I believed in her salvation though, because she was from a reasonably good family, not badly brought up, she should have had a decent future and life. But somehow everything in the story did not go according to plan, and turned into an ongoing continuing horror growing like a snow ball into a snow storm.
Hannah. She is Kristen's best friend. They are inseparable but both girls are mired in the same meaningless "business". Hannah is also very beautiful, she is also a kind and pleasant girl. She and Kristen do everything together, they have a special bond: parties, school, after school, church you name it. Hanna loves to hang out, light up and have fun, she is the so-called "the lighter", the fire in this bond and the instigator of new things. Hannah is cheerful and happy, she never loses her optimism and inner core. She firmly believes that she can handle everything alone as she seems strong.
Kristen's parents. Kristen has good and decent parents. They seem to be great at communicating with their daughter and her younger sister. At first it seems to me that everything is fine in their relationship and that no one suffers, but it's only on t he surface and then we see the reality and understand how bad and scary everything is on the inside. They may not play the most important role in the film, but they are definitely the ones who mean a lot for this film as you understand where the problems of the children grow from. Kristen's parents are a good example of how not to behave with children.
The plot is unique and dynamic: it is about the difficulties of growing up and about the first problems we experience in life. The film is quite touching and sensual. The film will present the real harsh realities of what the consequences of frivolous behavior are. The film shocks with its ending and terrifies that all these very real events can be. There are some really disgusting scenes that I will not even mention here. They should be watched with closed eyes I believe.
Movie ending. It is rather unexpected and very scary. The harsh reality turned out to be so terrible that I could not calmly watch this film to the end and just wanted to cry and turn off the sound. It is terrible even to look at the screen.
It is a modern drama that many fans of this genre should definitely watch. This film is a must see if you suddenly started to forget the taste of life and everything seems gray and monotonous in your own life. It is a film with great meaning and with a shocking ending!
A harrowing, slice of life tale about two addicted middle-class teen girls, by its very nature it is difficult – although important – to watch.
It starts when a boy that pretty, intelligent (Princeton-bound), 14-year-old Kristen McKusker (Katie Kelly) likes slips her a pill to take.
It is oxycodone and it gives her a high like she has never known.
Next, we cut to 15 months later and by then – urged on by her best friend Hannah (Paola Andino) – she has moved onto heroin.
They both shoot up regularly and Hannah instructs Kristen on how she can do so under her tongue and between her toes.
Heroin is in plentiful supply and is significantly cheaper than oxy.
The guy Kristen likes takes advantage of the situation and before you know it, she is in serious trouble in more ways than one.
The only person she confides in is her long-time babysitter and now tutor.
Her mum, Clare (Shannan Wilson), is too busy moving up the ladder at the real estate agency where she works.
But Kristen isn’t the only one in way over her head.
Hannah, too, is succumbing to her addiction.
At age 16, this pair individually and collectively are in the battle of and for their lives. Heartache beckons.
Horrified though they are when the truth outs, their family and friends may not be enough to save them.
Sno Babies is a gruelling but compelling watch.
The primary thread, which I have just described, presents as a seemingly never-ending spiral.
It has an authenticity to it, which is chilling.
That is due, in no small part, to a “look at me” performance from Katie Kelly in the lead role.
She transitions her character from happy-go-lucky and carefree, with the world at her feet, to the depths of despair.
Paola Andino makes for a strong sidekick. I admired Michael Walsh’s writing and Bridget Smith’s direction, this being her directorial feature debut.
Before making the film, the pair spent countless hours speaking with recovering addicts and families who had lost loved ones from the scourge of drug abuse.
Sno Babies makes for a salutary commentary about how the dark side of life can quickly and steadily overwhelm.
Not so satisfying, nor as engaging, was the film’s second thread, which intersects with the primary one.
It concerns a man, Matt (Michael Lombardi), and his sister and their family home, that same man and his wife and infertility, and a predatory coyote.
I found that whole narrative component obtuse and unnecessary, notwithstanding the tenuous link to the main game.
Still, there is more than enough meat in Sno Babies for me to highly commend it, although be prepared for an ordeal.
It is available on digital platforms such as Google Play.
Rated MA, it scores a 7½ out of 10.
TOTALLY UNDER CONTROL website review by Jeanette Russell
Alex Gibney is a documentarian. He directed Totally Under Control, a documentary about the Coronavirus with Suzanne Hillinger and Ophelia Harutyunyan.
Gibney has stated that he wanted the doco to serve as a " report card " on the way the virus was handled by the US government. He believes information, given by experts, has been very poorly utilized, or ignored.
Many authorities alerted Trump early about the possible implications of the pandemic.
Gibney's message is that incompetence and complacency surrounded measures and controls that were recommended to combat the outbreak of Covid 19 in America.
Another goal of this film was to give the voters insight into Trump's lack of taking action around the Coronavirus, before the looming election. To shed some light onto the predicament the country now finds itself in due to failed implementation of highly recommended health and safety protocols.
Feeling early warning signs and vital information was sidelined, he wants to bring to the fore what he feels the public are not aware of.
He has some experts who flagged the pandemic situation in the beginning. Predicting easy spread of the virus and cost to the community if testing was not implicated from the start.
Dr Eva Lee, an expert computer modeler, has been asked to assist the US and parts of Asia in the fight against the pandemic. She has predicted major health issues, using computer modeling which is very complex, in the past. These incorporate disease outbreaks and diagnosis. As well Lee has helped with medical readiness, optimal treatments and drug delivery, in her career up to date. Eva Lee suggested that schools close and people work from home as much as possible, early in the piece. These procedures unfortunately were not put into place until later, finding the spread of the virus getting out of control.
Max Kennedy Jr tried to stress the importance of protective equipment, this was his forte. He believes the government "can't get things done", and didn't seem to follow up, adequately, on important advice.
A reporter for the New York Times Michael D. Shear suggests there were conflicting messages from the Trump administrators, medical staff .
An interesting and informative insight as to what went so pear shaped regarding the practices and policies implemented by the US government around the Covid 19 virus. Well worth a look, I feel. I am especially appreciating our position here, as far as our measures to control the pandemic go.
The documentary goes for 2 hours and 3 minutes. Thank you very much to Neon for the chance to review this picture.
This film is about an early widowed woman Jessica, who decided to radically change her life by going on a trip in her retro chaise. After three hundred miles driving, the girl whose name is Jessica begins to think that she is obsessively pursued by a suspicious and disgusting Mustache, a scary looking man in a jeep. But perhaps Jessica is just winding herself up, or perhaps the Mustache wants to get to her with his sticky little hands... Who knows? The film about a sticky stalker is on the likes of "The Hitcher" or the others alike, full of tense moments, sadism and sometimes brutal action. The picture is a remake of the Swedish 2011 "Försvunnen" and unlike the original, it turned out to be very successful. The film is frightening with its realistic idea, because women are often the object of harassment and persecution by men, and if this happens in the middle of a dead highway in a God-forsaken countryside, then it is doubly worse. A distinctive feature of this film among its own kind is the consistency of actions on the part of the heroine, in most situations she does the right thing and does not blunt (but in some she still wants to shout "what are you doing, girl!").
Moral: if you want to travel, then use a plane or train, otherwise your fifth point provokes adventure on the desert roads of the provinces. As a result, an intense thriller about the confrontation between a girl and her pursuer, capable of throwing thrills for the evening.
The Secret of Henri Pick (Le Mystère Henri Pick), 2019, Remy Besançon
In the library of rejected books in the town of Crozon, a young employee of the publishing house, Daphne finds an unpublished masterpiece called 'The Last Hours of Love' and hurries to share this little miracle with her boyfriend, a young writer, Fred Koska. Remy Besançon's cozy film is a rare, touching investigation in the style of a sophisticated version of Nancy Drew for intellectuals to watch. When you watch this film you will enjoy the sight of shelves full of books, flirting with the word, good and healthy humor, knowing the names and author's specifics of this or that book.
The investigation into the subject “who wrote this miracle” leads the literary critic Jean-Michel (Fabrice Lucini) to very interesting and unexpected turns: he will meet many non-fictional plots, walk along seemingly well-trodden literary paths, meet love, combining both the intellectual principle and the thrill with which you gaze into the face of the woman in the photo, zooming in, admiring her facial features. Skeptic Jean-Michel cannot believe that Henri Pick, the owner of a Breton pizzeria, was able to create a masterpiece between making his pizzas. But, despite the fact that Pick's novel deprives Jean-Michel of his reputation, work, wife, Jean-Michel still feels himself alive, competent, and gambling again. He undertakes challenges to find the truth, which, however, will not disappoint him. There is no fawning with a modern context, with a search for relevance. This is a statement of fact: there is a corner in art, where there is a place for a library of rejected books, for ladies' clubs, detective lovers, where literary critics are practically rock stars who appear on TV in prime time.
The world of movie is much thinner than the worlds of some "corduroy chainsaw" and we are talking about art and the person in the art, about the conscious choice to “share” or “not to share” what you do, or if to share, then in what way. There is a search for an answer to the eternal question: what is hidden behind the investigation. However there is no fawning with a modern context, with a search for relevance. It is there where a young girl is ready to go on any adventure for the sake of the talent of her favorite writer, where the monuments of classical Russian literature are rethought, overgrown with new readings.
It is necessary to read the book "The Secret of Henri Pick" by David Fonkinos. Probably, it is as fast and easy to read as a movie looks. And in the remainder - at least benevolence, as a maximum - kindness.
The Mystery of Henri Pick (M) – 101 minutes – by Alex First
He made pizzas for a living in Brittany, in France’s northwest.
Who could have guessed Henri Pick was a deep thinking and gifted author (so much so that he could juxtapose Russian poet, playwright and novelist Alexander Pushkin with the last throes of a relationship)?
The answer is no-one. Not his wife, Madeleine (Josiane Stoleru). Not his daughter, Josephine (Camille Cottin). They never knew he could even write ... other than the most basic of prose in a letter.
But let me step back a moment.
That “author” has since passed on and his hidden masterpiece is found by a junior publisher, Daphne Despero (Alice Isaaz), amongst a treasure trove of unpublished manuscripts in a small French village.
So excited is she by this “find” that she immediately sends it to print.
The work becomes an instant hit, universally praised for its insightfulness.
The author’s wife is invited onto a television show that focuses on new works and the compere Fabrice Luchini (Jean-Michel Rouche) creates havoc by questioning whether her husband was the actual writer.
So, has a literary hoax, indeed, been perpetrated and if so by whom and why?
Finding an answer to those questions is the core of this comedic drama.
The tenacious sleuth is the arrogant TV host and respected critic, subsequently sacked from the program for his unsympathetic line of questioning.
It becomes his personal mission to get to the truth, with no shortage of cryptic clues and missteps along the way.
Based on a novel by David Foenkinos, the screenplay is by Remi Bezancon (who also directs) and Vanessa Portal.
While a largely enjoyable romp, The Mystery of Henri Pick becomes too convoluted for its own good, chasing clues down proverbial drainpipes.
Its levity, too, takes away from what could have been something mighty special.
I love the idea of a literary whodunnit, but of course its success comes down to its execution.
I would have liked less lightness of touch and more straight drama so that I could have taken the premise more seriously.
But that was not to be, as the script on occasions even disintegrated into the slapstick.
Still, Rouche does a good job with what he had to work with, ably channelling a self-absorbed blowhard.
Around him the support players assume their roles without any real standouts.
I liked the quaint village setting and the hometown feel of the piece.
But the positives in combination were not enough to alleviate my reservations when it came to treating the subject matter with the gravitas I feel it deserved.
Still, many will likely appreciate The Mystery of Henri Pick for what it is.
Film: Spree From: America Released: Australia 8/10/2020 Director/Co-writer: Eugene Koltyarenko. Actors: Joe Keery, Sasheer Zamata, David Arquette Reviewer: Sherry Westley
Spree is a black satire based on the increasingly obsessive and psychotic attempts of 23 year old Kurt Kunkle, to gain a following on social media. Kurt has been trying to gain a following since he was thirteen, but shows no talent for it.
Lacking a solid sense of identity and feeling alone, he yearns for the validation, approval and acceptance he believes will come with having social media followers.
He hatches a crazy plan to go viral on social media, and takes us on a black, bloody and mildly humorous ride. If you are interested in the technical side of films, this one is unusual. Shot with mobile phones, body cams and car cameras rather than feature film cameras. Much of the story is told through live streaming, including « live » streaming followers’ comments, meant to provide comic relief and a sense of viewer complicity.
Spree is clearly meant as a comment on our social media obsession and how this can relate to our sense of identity and self worth.
I didn’t particularly enjoy this film. But perhaps it is the genre I am not fond of. With the exception of the female character Jess, the portrayals are all basically caricatures, so I couldn’t really relate to them or care much about them. But then black satire and especially gonzo films, probably wouldn’t work without caricatures.
Not sure that I took anything new away from the underlying critique on our use of social media either.. But the film could be a good discussion starter for older teenagers. But if black satire is your thing, you just might love this film.
Honest Thief Review Being a Liam Neeson fan, I was looking forward to watching this movie. I thought it was similar to other movies he’d done and quite a generic storyline. Man meets girl, man falls in love, man wants to right his wrongs, man faces obstacles along the way. In this scenario, he was framed and is trying to clear his name.
Although there was limited action (I think Neeson’s age played a part in this), and some of the shooting scenes really made me question how a trained gun user could have such bad aim, I enjoyed the storyline and the movie.
Liam Neeson brings his resourceful Taken persona to the lead role in the action, crime, drama Honest Thief.
He plays ex-marine Tom who went on to become a successful bank robber.
In fact, he looted no less than 12 such small-town institutions of more than $9 million over eight years.
But then over a year ago he stopped.
He did so because in organising a storage unit, he met a lady, Annie (Katie Walsh), at the counter who has since become the love of his life.
They are even about to buy a house and move in together.
And now he wants to come clean in order to pursue that relationship without guilt.
Without revealing his past to Annie, Tom places a call to the FBI and attempts to broker a deal with them.
Only that doesn’t work out the way he expected it to.
Many have preceded Tom in claiming they were the “In and Out Bandit”.
That aside, money and greed go hand in glove.
Before long, Tom and Annie are in the fight of their lives ... and there will be casualties.
Along the way, we learn why Tom took up bank robbery in the first place.
Pacey and pulsating, Honest Thief kept me involved throughout.
While pushing credibility – as these types of vehicles more often than not do – Steve Allrich and Mark Williams (the latter of whom also directs) have nevertheless crafted an eminently watchable actioner.
The choice of talent to fill the primary roles aids their cause immeasurably.
Pros that they are, Liam Neeson and Kate Walsh effortlessly glide through their performances, both coming across as highly likeable.
He has charm and street smarts, as required by the persona he fills, and she sass and naïveté.
Theirs is a strong pairing.
I was less sold on those tackling the FBI functionaries, but they did enough to get them over the line.
Honest Thief is a film in which – if truth be told – the outcome is never in doubt, but it is a wild ride along the way on a journey worth taking.
Celebrating the birthday without her husband, out of desperation of been lonely and been given the lucky reading by the card reader , Grandma Wong withdraws all her life savings $1,712, gets on the bus to casino.
Grandma Wong on number 8 multiplies in a speed as the casino relets are spinning. Having the luck of winning all night Grandma Wong Makes her last bet and loses its all.
On the way back from the casino on the bus Grandma Wong gets a passenger who dies during the trip on the way home. From nowhere, on her lap a bag full of cash funds its way. Grandma Wong, doesn’t think long to keep it all to herself. Having worked with her husband all her life without much time to see a sunlight and having not much savings to live on, she sees it as a blessing from the Sky, and the luck that is long overdue for financial freedom.
But life is not meant to be so easy, Red Dragon mafia finds her in no time and demands cash back, as it was stolen by trusted accountant.
Our Grandma Wong is made of steel, and has no intentions of giving it back, instead she hires a bodyguard. She tries hard to fight off the gang and is fearless.
All is good , but she does have a soft spot, her grandchild David is kidnapped, and she has no choice but to seek the protection from Sister Fong and give all the cash back .
Nothing gained nothing lost…
A NIGHT AT THE LOUVRE: LEONARDO DA VINCI website review by Max Davine
A Night at the Louvre – review – Max Davine
In 2002, Russian filmmaker Aleksander Sokurov brought The Winter Palace to the entire world’s living rooms with his experimental historical film Russian Ark. In it, an unnamed narrator guides a beautifully handled camera through the hall of the infamous palace, delivering more than the regular tourist experience of actually going to Petersburg and paying for a ticket.
In 2020, with the world ravaged and humanity physically restrained from visiting other countries, Sokurov’s concept has been revived, refashioned, and reapplied - this time to Paris’ beloved and historical art gallery; the one and only Louvre.
The photography is far more loving and warm than the technology in Sokurov’s time would have permitted, opening with elegant drone shots of the exterior of the museum and guiding the viewer through the glass pyramid into the heart of the Louvre, Pierre-Hubert Martin pulls back the showmanship and extravagance of Russian Ark and offers the viewer something far more sombre. The viewer is taken through the various galleries with a simple voice over providing us a guide.
Documentarian elements are added, and Sylvian Séchet’s gorgeous photography would do well projected on the back wall of an elegant soiree, to make Night at the Louvre an interesting catharsis to the restricted world we have temporarily been plunged into.
FROM KURILS WITH LOVE website review by Natasha Marchev RATE: 6/10
It is heart breaking for me personally to see this short film for many reasons: nature and animals lover I feel for the lost and neglected that we tend to kill and use without returning back to our Mother. If nothing comes back Nature will have nothing to give us soon. I recall my grand dad as an army doctor was doing his service back in 70-s at the Kuril Islands. He told us, his grandkids lots of beautiful stories about the islands and their beauty. He was down there for some years away from his family in Moscow and his memories about the part of land of great paradise were remembered. The Kuril Islands are for future generations to discover I guess. It is one of the pure wilderness on Earth that remains undiscovered still but already "touched" indirectly by what is happening globally on Earth: climate change, pollution that influences the wild life in general. We continue to kill. This film is about conscious living, not only about this island of natural beauty. Like they said in this short film: "It is silence, then the bird's cry, then silence again..." It is a special place. Vladimir, a Russian marine biologists tells us with passion about his mission. Watch it and follow his call...
From Kurils with Love is a heartfelt 25-minute documentary about a chain of 56 isolated Russian volcanic islands, whose inhabitants, largely sea lions, face a perilous future.
61-year-old Vladimir Burkanov is a friendly and dedicated marine biologist who has studied mammals in the region for more than three decades.
In July 2019 he joined a group of adventurers who set sail on a 12-day expedition to some of the islands to document their magic and the threat to the Kurils.
Their purpose was fundraising, with money generated going to the collection of further data to help instigate long-term conservation plans.
Burkanov is the glue that binds the documentary together and provides perspective on the fragile islands’ ecosystem.
His passion is infectious. He is deeply concerned that with funds running out the future is looking bleak.
And, as he is not getting any younger, he wants to live to see his contemporaries continue his work.
He points out that since the 1980s the sea lion population in some areas has declined by 80 per cent.
Burkanov maps the habit of the rookeries using drones.
The cinematography – including aerial and underwater shots and time lapse photography – is spectacular (it reminded me of some of the great Sir David Attenborough’s work).
Through it, we get up close and personal and appreciate why Burkanov’s mission to save the natural habitat for the creatures that inhabit one of the world’s most remote and inaccessible places it is so important.
What isn’t so clear is why the shift in fortunes is occurring, although climate change is mentioned.
The pictorial representation is aided by a strong and affecting score.
Quite frankly, 25 minutes was nowhere near enough for me. I wanted to see a full-length documentary on the animals and efforts to see their numbers grow.
On top of that, some of the natural landscape is truly breathtaking.
One thing is certain, raising awareness can, indeed, lead to positive change.
Let’s hope so.
You can view From Kurils with Love – which is the work of filmmakers Taylor Rees and Renan Ozturk, both of whom are also among the cinematographers – on YouTube.
Film: Miss Juneteenth Setting: African American community, Texas. Released: June 19th 2020 (USA) Writer/Director: Channing Godfrey Peoples.
I was totally wrong with my low expectations of this film. Based entirely on the title, I was expecting a hackneyed coming of age story or worse still, a college comedy. What I got, was a heart warming, tender, skilfully acted and directed family drama, set in an old black community in Fort Worth Texas.
The debut film for writer/director Channing Godfrey Peoples, it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and won best Texan Film at South by South West. Peoples grew up in this community and her film glows with her nuanced understanding and love for it.
Main character Turquoise, is a capable, struggling, working class single mother. She is set on entering her reluctant fifteen year old daughter in the local Miss Juneteenth Quest, a quest for potential rather than just beauty. The Quest winner gains entry to a historically black college and thereby a path to education, accomplishment and choices: real freedom , from Turquoise’s perspective.
Interestingly, Miss Juneteenth pageants are factually part of Texan black communities’ annual celebrations of June 19,1865. This is when Texan slaves were told they were free, over two years after slavery was outlawed in the North. A delayed freedom. The celebration day is known as Juneteenth in Texas.
Turquoise was a Miss Juneteenth winner herself, but missed going to college. Presumably because of the unplanned birth of her daughter. « She my dream now. »
Peoples directs with a gentle pace drawing a natural and layered characterisation from highly convincing actors. Always with an overriding affection for her main characters and their community. She has said she is interested in showing life’s shades of grey, rather than simplified depictions.
What is real freedom for each of the characters? Can we move on from our failed dreams and find our own new ones? Can Turquoise find a delayed freedom for herself?
I enjoyed the natural warmth of this film and the feeling that I was peeping into a welcoming community that I hadn’t quite seen before. And who knew about Juneteenth?
A Russian production of contemporary story-telling, Sputnik is a brilliant piece surrounding the advent of a cosmonaut encountering an extraterrestrial entity during the Cold War of the '80s. It is also apparent that the telling of the tale in the Russian language somehow heightens the composition of adrenaline that you'd feel coursing through your veins.
This is not your regular alien movie - for one thing, it features some scientific elements that the audience could attest to. On another front, the story arcs with a backstory of the past. Coupled with remarkable acting of every single member of the cast, Sputnik has definitely raised the bar throughout the European Bloc.
It is evident that Sputnik is one that every horror-flick buff should experience. The audience is presented with a piece of art that is enjoyable by the entire family.