This punk-chic style movie is an absolute aesthetic pleasure
Australian cinemas are blessed with the May 27 national release of a prequel to the Disney story about the long-suffering Dalmatians. It is the crime comedy called Cruella. The viewer will finally learn how the cold-blooded villain came to such a life.
We have already watched the novelty from director, Craig Gillespie with the unsurpassed Emma Stone in the title role, and are happy now to share our impressions in hot pursuit.
Many of us watched the Disney films "101 Dalmatians" and "102 Dalmatians" with Glenn Close back in 90s. Well, if not, we certainly did not miss the cartoon of the same name... but the main thing that we remember is that the cruel rich woman Cruella De Ville, for some unknown reason, wants to make herself a fur coat from hundreds of cute Dalmatian puppies.
Nowadays, after a couple of decades, Disney decided to fill this motivational gap and answere all our questions.
I have to admit that it turned out quite well (attention! there may be spoilers ahead!).
Let's be honest: Cruella has marvelous direction, acting, costumes and music. In one word, for practically everything that was originally expected from the film.
The film was directed by Australian film director, Craig Gillespie, a real shark in the world of advertising, who has shot a huge number of videos for the best companies in the world, from automobile concerns and candy manufacturers to fashion brands and technology giants. He was always praised for his sense of style and subtle black humor. He managed to transfer all this to the "big screen" without turning full-length films into just long commercials.
Graig has directed eight films, including Cruella, as well as several episodes of the series. In fact, none of his work can be called a failure. He made his debut in the comedy "Mr. Woodstock" with Billy Bob Thornton and Susan Sarandon, followed by the dramedy "Lars and the Real Girl" with Ryan Gosling. Then there was Fear Night with Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin and David Tennant. Well, the crown of Gillespie's career at the moment is considered to be his previous film, the biopic "I, Tonya" with Margot Robbie and Sebastian Stan about the scandalous figure skater Tona Harding, which received critical and audience recognition, as well as a whole bunch of prestigious awards and nominations, including an Oscar and Golden Globes.
In general, as you understand, in the case of this film , Cruella the director was also not expected to be an outright failure. He justified all the expectations placed on him. The film turned out to be holistic, stylish, with a healthy sense of humor (which is now rare in American mainstream cinema) and not protracted, despite the considerable timing. Yes, at some points we can say that something was too simplistic, naive and predictable, but, wait a minute, this is Disney after all and i is a fairy tale, it has to be somehow "simple"!
Now, let's talk about Cruella's cast. From the very first feature-length film, Gillespie managed to get top-level actors and actresses for the main roles, while choosing memorable images for them, often requiring serious reincarnation. The leading roles in tis film went to two first-class actresses: the winners of Oscars, Golden Globes and other prestigious awards: Emma Stone and Emma Thompson. They coped with their tasks brilliantly.
Emma Stone appeared in the film in two characters.
On the one hand, Emma Stone, whose Cruella turned out to be not just a sinister psychopath, but also a fragile girl, initially honestly trying to follow her dream, to which nothing human is alien. Sometimes she finds herself on the verge of insanity, and sometimes she makes a difficult moral choice in favor of good. You even begin to sympathise her, and, to some extent, you understand where this dislike for the Dalmatians came from. At the same time, the actress was able to masterfully convey two images of her character: both externally and in spirit. We finally learned where Cruella got her dislike for Dalmatians. Emma Stone was amazingly able to convey the rebellious spirit of London in 70s, of course, not without the help of costume designers and sound engineers.
On the other hand we see the owner of the posh fashion house, the cold bitch Baroness, played by Emma Thompson, who became the true villainess in Cruella. She does not reckon with anyone and is ready to do anything for the sake of recognition and money, while not disdaining to appropriate other people's ideas. For her, even murder is a piece of cake, even when it comes to her own child.
There is another character in the film that is worth highlighting who is one of Cruella's henchmen, the plump thief Horace, played by Paul Walter Hauser, who migrated into the film from the director's previous work, "I, Tonya". AND, what a stage at the final ball!
In general, if you remember, in previous versions of the "Dalmatians" there are two thieves, Horace and Jasper, who were extremely nasty characters. In Cruella I guess it was decided to make them more positive characters, some "noble criminals" with moral principles, who are ready for anything for the sake of their loved ones. From childhood, Horace and Jasper (this character was taken by Joel Fry) replaced the family for young Estella, long before she turned into Cruella, and they are still ready to support her on her way to her victory. In the exaggerated battle of two powerful bitchy women, oddly enough, these two characters, thieves became those real beams of light, common sense and goodness.
I would like to pay special attention to the four-legged characters. There are several of them in the film, and these are not only he famous Dalmatians. The latter are here, but on the contrary, they are depicted as rather vicious animals, however, they are not particularly guilty in this: take a look at what kind of owners they had. The pets turn into them as they say. Our heroes, Estella, Horace and Jasper have two four-legged assistants, funny puppies, Buddy and Vink. They clearly added a touch of fun to the entire film.
Yes, an observant viewer could have noticed that in some places the dogs look too computerised and very digital. We would venture to suggest that the filmmakers simply tried to follow the principles of respect for animals, in the spirit of "it is better to finish painting than to train."
Last but not least, let's talk about the soundtrack and the audiovisual part. Perhaps this is the strongest part of the movie as well as the breathtaking costume designs. The outfits can safely submit an "Oscar" without discussion. Each outfit of the main characters, as well as the items from the Baroness and Cruella's collection are real works of art.
Decorations and the soundtrack match perfectly well. The Doors, Queen, The Clash, Blondie, Bee Gees, Electric Light OrchestraІ, Ike & Tina Turner - they all very accurately conveys the rebellious atmosphere of the 70s.
Well, the title song was specially written for the film "Call Me Cruella" by the British performer, Florence and the Machine.
You can safely go to the cinema and see Cruella with the whole family just for the sake of the pleasure for the eyes and the music sound.
Almost 2.5 hours of screen time fly by literally in one breath.
There is probably only one last bitter note I have to mention: there is no positive characters in the film... well, it does not teach us anything too... Your child or teenager will not learn to be kind , caring and compassionate from this film. As I mentioned the only light in this film are the thieves. So shall I comment more?
It is a nicely wrapped lollypop with the sugar poison for your heart. On this balance I am happy to give the film 7/10
review by Alex First of MAPT
Cruella (PG) – 134 minutes – by Alex First
Wow! What a ripping good, most entertaining, magnificently realised origin story.
It is clever, funny and sassy.
A family comedy turned into a sophisticated adult offering – that is Cruella.
English children’s novelist and playwright “Dodie” Smith is best known for the novel The Hundred and One Dalmations (1956), which became the big screen animation 101 Dalmations in 1961.
Disney made a live action remake in 1996, with Glenn Close as Cruella de Vil (and there was also a sequel four years later).
Now we turn back the clock to see how Cruella came to be.
The movie is primarily set in the vibrant punk era of ‘70s London.
She (Cruella that is) began life as Estella (Tipper Seifert-Cleveland), a gifted, nonconforming young girl being brought up by her single mother, who tries in vain to bring her daughter’s devil may care attitude to heel.
Estella is energetic, edgy and creative and gives more than she gets, which sees her in constant trouble.
Heading from the country to the city, an unfortunate fate awaits Estella’s mother, whereby the girl is left to fend for herself, with her faithful little dog Buddy in tow.
She befriends two petty thieves, Horace and Jasper – realised as adults by Paul Walter Hauser and Joel Fry – who take her in and become her family.
We’re now 10 years on. Estella (Emma Stone) is 25 and she is living harmoniously – enacting scam after scam – with Jasper and Horace.
She dreams of becoming a fashion designer and unexpectedly gets her chance – at the ground level, mind you – in an upmarket department store, Liberty of London, thanks to Jasper, who has “pulled a few strings”.
Let’s just say it is not the experience Estella had wanted it to be.
As chance would have it though, her handiwork is noticed by the uppity doyen of fashion, known as the Baroness (Emma Thompson).
Estella believes she has finally found the mentor who will help her achieve everything she has always desired, until a revelation that shocks significantly alters her fate.
There is so much about Cruella that is so darn good – a great deal to be excited about.
First up, plaudits to Dana Fox (Isn’t It Romantic) and Tony McNamara (The Favourite) for the cracker script that takes us on a journey – a rollicking ride.
Secondly, the performances – led from the front by two artistes who are used to excelling at their craft (Stone and Thompson) – are fabulous.
Stone channels mood swings with aplomb, as Estella becomes Cruella – her facial expressions adding to her pitch perfect delivery and timing, while Thompson revels in playing bad.
Both are “look at me” showings and, in isolation, are worth the price of admission.
But they are far from alone, as Hauser’s comic genius and Fry’s empathy are memorable.
John McCrea turns his role as Artie – the proud, cross dressing proprietor of a pre-loved clothing boutique (and Estella’s kindred spirit) – into a sure-fire winner.
Mark Strong is a tower of diplomacy as the Baroness’ dutiful “servant” – the valet John.
And on it goes – the secondary players being excellent too.
The sets, settings and stunning costuming by Jenny Beavan and eyewear by Tom Davies elevate Cruella further. Fiona Crombie’s production design is exemplary, while Nicolas Karakatsanis’ cinematography is compelling.
I greatly appreciated Nicholas Britell’s original up-tempo score, while huge credit must go to Craig Gillespie’s fine direction in a film that is long but most satisfying.
Cruella manages to bring elements of Todd Phillip’s powerful Joker (2019) and David Frankel’s comedic drama The Devil Wears Prada (2006) to its own delightfully twisted story arc.
It is well worth a trip to cinema to see. High gloss, high fashion and hijinks abound. Do not miss it.
John Frankenheimer once said that “Casting is 65 percent of directing.”, by that metric, Andrew Levitas’s 2020 drama Minamata is an undeniable success. Hollywood heavyweight Johnny Depp, bends over, loads this film onto his back and carries it for 2 hours straight. Unfortunately, that only gives you 5 minutes after the credits roll. Even Jack Sparrow can only do so much for a film this much blander and more forgettable than it has any right to be.
Minamata tells the story of W. Eugene Smith, a photojournalist for TIME magazine, who made his name reporting on the Vietnam war, as he travels to Japan to investigate a small village and the mercury poisoning that plagues it. Being based on the true story of Minamata, the film follows his investigation into the local chemical factory, and their habit of dumping mercury rich waste directly into the water supply. It explores the corporate greed we all know and love, as well as the financial equations companies go through. Weighing the lives of victims against the expected settlement payments. A classic white saviour story, allowing the American hero to bring justice to the villagers, with a single line in the epilogue explaining the truth of the situation. It also tells a love story, between the canonically much older smith, and the perky young Japanese girl who seeks him out. Minami does perfectly fine in her role as Aileen, but as the born-yesterday heroin, she isn’t given much to work with. Minamata also tells a redemption story of how an ageing Smith, haunted by his time in Vietnam learns to not rely on drink and drugs and forget his cynicism, learning to love life, and remember his passion for photography. If it isn’t obvious by now, Minamata tries to do an awful lot, very quickly. The movie suffers terribly from a lack of direction. The writers clearly knew they wanted to shine light on the tragedy of Minamata, but don’t seem to have had any idea what they wanted to say about it.
On a purely technical level, all the cast do a great job. They make the most of what they are given. Ryuichi Sakamoto’s score works adequately, lending emotion to scenes, even if the scene hasn’t quite worked out what emotion it is trying for. Benoît Delhomme’s cinematography is delightful as always. The Parisian auteur has proven himself already with his work on The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas and most recently At Eternities Gate, but Minamata fits into his resume like a glove. The Special Effects team also deserve credit for their work. The horrors of prenatal Mercury poisoning, now known as Minamata disease, is truly unpleasant to watch. One of the few angles this movies doesn’t lean into is body horror, but the glimpses we are given are truly horrific.
In the end, Minamata exists to show that Johnny Depp is as amazing an actor as he ever was, but has nothing to hold itself together without him. Audiences with an interest in the Minamata disaster may find the historical aspects enjoyable. The film does recreate some of the most famous footage of the time with stunning accuracy. But unless you have a specific interest in the history, or have missed seeing johnny Depp flex his acting chops and don’t care what he is in; You’re probably not going to remember this film more than a week after watching it.
They say opportunity never knocks twice at any man's door, but as Sandra Kogut’s new drama Three Summers shows, it’ll rap a tune on your window if you’re willing to leave it open. Taking place over the span of three years, Three Summers follows the adventures of a caretaker named Madá. From the introduction we can see her entrepreneurial mind and spirit at work, as she manages a side hustle and business start-up, while presiding over the other staff and reigning in her employers family. When that family is then caught up in corruption and theft charges, Madá is left with unpaid staff, a partially repossessed home and a decrepit old man to care for. The film then follows her many exploits to monetise everything available to her and utilise every asset to its full extent. From renting her employers house and using it as a studio, to guided tours on the familie’s yacht. Madá takes on the thankless task of keeping everything and everyone together, no matter what, and watching her keep afloat seemingly through sheer force of will, is a delight to behold.
Throughout the film, we run through a variety of characters, from Madá’s co-workers turned employees, to the wide variety of her customers. Three summers is at its core, the Madá show, through and through. Regina Casé carries this film on her back from beginning to end. Her performance gives Madá a sense of endless optimism and charisma, with hints of a potentially dark and painful past. For all the smiles she brings to every scene, her body language and tone at times, lends credence to the idea that our plucky protagonist hurts far more than she lets on. A theme that the film leans into near its conclusion. Life is hard and for those without means, it can seem impossible. But if you are willing to roll the dice and embrace opportunity, there is always a way to get through it.
Three summers is a heartwarming drama, unafraid to showcase the many problems caused by Brazil’s class system and economic disparities. Kogut pulls no punches and is unafraid to let her characters roll the occasional snake eyes. Why the films marketing department have seen fit to advertse this movie as a comedy is a mystery worthy of its own film. Three summers is a wonderful drama, and contains moments of levity, within its dark and serious themes. To call this movie a comedy though, is akin to calling a Big Mac a salad, because it contains lettuce. It brings a smile to your face, but Three Summers can only be labelled comedic in the darkest, driest, and loosest sense possible.
Three Summers is a wonderfully showing of Brazilian cinema, well produced, well acted, and well written. It is thought provoking and moving, and well worth your time. Just don’t go into it expecting a laugh out loud comedy.
The economic crisis that led to the Argentinian bank corral of 2001 affected the lives of millions. Some lost everything, some banded together, and some sought justice. Heroic Losers, is a film adaption of the Eduardo Sacheri novel La Noche de la Usina. It tells the story of former soccer player Fermín Pelassi, played by Ricardo Darín and his Alsina neighbours, as they are scammed out of their life saving just as the recession hits and must fight to regain their dignity and finances. Fermín and his incredibly supportive wife Lidia, played to perfection by Verónica Llinás, dream of converting an abandoned silo into a cooperative and giving their town the economic boost it needs. Together with their good friend, the local tyre repair man and well equipped anarchist Antonio Fontana, played by Luis Brandoni, the pair convince the town and it’s eclectic inhabitants to join in and contribute to their town saving plan. When the Perlassi family is betrayed and torn apart by the villainous Fortunato Manzi, played by a delightfully skittish Andrés Parra; they are the town of Alsina must band together to regain what they have lost.
The film skirts around genre and plays with a variety of tones. A historical crime thriller that follows the structure of an adventure tale, with liberal use of comedy, spread through a fundamentally dramatic story of loss. The movie suffers from a lack of direction, at times wanting to be both funny and sad thereby achieving neither. The actors do their best with the roles they are given, but watching the comical styling of Carlos Belloso, and the ridiculous physical comedy he portrays through the character of Atanasio Medina; share a scene with dramatic star Daniel Aráoz playing his character of Rolo Belaúnde completely straight, can be a jarring experience. The film also holds the rare distinction of treating its audience as too intelligent. With many of the plot points running on assumed knowledge. It is safe to say that most Argentinian viewers will not require a breakdown of the 2001 crises, or an explanation of inflation rates and currency exchange, however it is likely that many western viewers will find themselves confused at times and struggling to understand character motivations without the necessary context. Likewise many of the jokes function perfectly well in Spanish, but don’t translate all that well.
Overall, Heroic Losers is an enjoyable, if forgettable romp. A fantastic film for Argentinian viewers, or those with a solid grasp of Argentinian history and culture, but a perfectly fine watch for foreigners all the same. More comedic than Dramatic, but far darker than many would expect, Heroic losers does its best to thread the needle and bungles the attempts often enough to be noticeable, but makes a good enough go of it that it’s worth your time anyway. Anyone with an Argentinian background would be well served giving this movie their time. Those without, will lose nothing in the watching.
A QUIET PLACE PART 2 NEW website review by Sam Bell
Hitchcock once described suspense, using an analogy of two men making small talk while a bomb counts down under their table. John Krasinski seems to have taken that knowledge on board, before embracing the man’s filmography as a worthy opponent. A Quiet Place Part 2 is a tour de force of tension and suspense building. It grips in you in the first 2 minutes, puts you on the edge of your seat and then keeps you there until the credits. There is no lull to the action or arc to the energy. Krasinski seems to sneer at the mere thought of cathartic release, instead inflicting his audience with one and a half hours of sheer unrelenting terror. This film is relentless in its execution and merciless in the depth it will go to, ensuring that you never feel safe.
Much of this is due to Krasinski’s writing style, creating realistic characters in unrealistic situations. Showing his deep understanding of human nature in how he portrays character reactions and responses. Most directors in his position would use the opportunity a sequel provides to build up their new world and expand the borders and lore. Krasinski seems to be utterly apathetic towards his creation, instead caring about the characters and their dynamics. For all the action and excitement this film contains, every second of footage appears laser focused on the Abbot family and exploring how they cope, and adapt to their situation. Krasinski has said that the first film was about parental love and the endless lengths a parent will go for their child. Part 2 seems to take that theme and roll with it, showing the inevitable parting between parent and child. Through an apocalyptic lens, Krasinski seems to be showcasing the evolution from child to adult and the separation, that transition should naturally cause. Whether aliens are hunting humanity or not children grow up, they stumble and fall. As parents we watch them and hope for their safety, but know they have to make their own decisions.
All of these themes and ideas would be meaningless however, if the actors were incapable of portraying them. Luckily for audiences around the world, A Quiet Place Part 2 has an utterly stunning cast. The film focuses on a very small number of characters, largely focusing on the now reduced, Abbot family. This makes it even more obvious when every single cast member pulls off a flawless performance. Emily Blunt returns as the newly heartbroken Evelyn and reminds us all just how good she can be when she’s allowed to show off her acting chops. Noah Jupe steps into the limelight and cements his name as one to watch in the coming years. Reprising his role as Regan and giving it his absolute all. Without going into spoilers, there is a scream in this movie that will go down in history as one of the most haunting and guttural ever recorded. Not to be outdone of course, Millicent Simmonds returns to remind us why we all fell in love with her. Expanding her role and showing people living with disability around the world that the door to stardom is not locked. It would be unfair to say that she carries this movie, but her ability to steal every scene she is in makes it impossible to imagine this movie without her. Of course, it would be incredibly remiss to not mention the Hollywood juggernaut that is Cillian Murphy. Bringing a quiet charisma to the character of Emmett that most actors would have struggled with. Murphy needs no introduction, breakdown, nor explanation. He does what he always does and kills the role, enough said.
A Quiet Place Part 2 is what every sequel should be. What you loved from the original, cranked to eleven. Where the first movie was akin to watching a two-hour tightrope walk over spikes, part 2 sets the rope on fire an begins hurling bricks at the poor acrobat. It is a tense, uncomfortable, unforgettable thrill ride that will leave audiences feeling like they just ran a marathon and need a nap before processing what just happened. Do not take your kids to see it, but make sure you set enough time aside to watch it multiple times, while they wait at home. A Quiet Place Part 2 is a superb film and everyone without heart issues, should watch it at least once.
Considering The Wasteland is Ahmad Bahrami's directorial film debut, it’s safe to say he came out swinging. Together with producer Saeed Bashiri, Bahrami has crafted for audiences a truly honest look into dishonesty and the horrific effects it can have. The films follows Forty-year-old Lotfollah (Ali Bagheri), as he attempts to help his staff mates at the traditional brick factory he was born and raised in. Throughout the course of the day, Lotfollah interacts with nearly every other staff member, working as a liaison between them and the factory boss. The problems are endless and it seems like everyone is lying in order to properly tell their own truth. Caught in the middle and powerless to change anything, Lotfollah does everything he can to ease tensions, reduce strain and keep the place running. All while trying to find even a small piece of happiness to call his own.
Bagheri Is still a relatively unknown actor, but after his performance here, his anonymity is likely to be a thing of the past. Throughout the story, Bagheri showcases a raw vulnerability, taking the emotional beating his life dishes out with calm acceptance and true sense of defeat. Watching, it is impossible not to feel for this man who wants nothing more than to be happy and do what he knows best, but is rendered impotent, by forces outside his control. The rest of the cast do their part of course. Farrokh Nemati gives a sense of sorrow and regret to the otherwise manipulative and unlikable factory boss, while Mahdie Nassaj gives the films love interest a truly tragic sense of responsibility. There are a few sub plots happening throughout the movie, from love triangles and racial biases, but nothing ever gets in the way of the films character study.
The wasteland doesn’t have any great message to tell, or lesson to teach. It doesn’t rely on any fancy film techniques or camera tricks. It is utterly devoid of all CGI, Special Effects or dramatic props. The film feels more like watching security cam footage than it does a theatrical production. Every character and their interactions flow so organically into the next, with such seamless performances, that at times, it is easy to think the actors have forgotten they are on camera and are just going about their lives. It’s raw, it’s unfiltered and it’s painful when it wants to be. The wasteland is not a film to go into for a good time, but if you want to truly see into the mind of another, for better or worse, there are few better ways.
IRANIAN FILM FESTIVAL 2021: TITI NEW website review by Sam Bell
Do you know how expensive concrete bricks have gotten?
Director Ida Panahandehs’ latest film covers a wide variety of topics from obsession, romance, and toxic relationships, to class disparities, non-neurotypical relations and the fleeting nature of insight. More than anything though, Titi is about money. The effect of poverty on lifestyle, the depths people will go to escape their circumstances and the way privilege changes perspective. Together with cowriter Arsalan Amiri, Pandehandeh has written an emotional story, combining social commentary and true romance.
The film is largely shown from the perspective of the titular Titi, an impoverished gypsy woman of dubious mentality and limitless compassion. Titi works as a hospital housekeeper while acting as a surrogate mother for infertile couples at the behest of her fiancé. Elnaz Shakerdust portrays Titi with a rarely seen level of subtlety, complimenting the characters eccentric actions and open emotional state, by infusing her expressions and mannerisms with enough complexity to make her mental state ambiguous. All of which plays wonderfully off Parsa Pirouzfars’ obsessive and serious Ebrahim. The two meet as Ebrahim suffers from his hospital bed while ignoring the doctors’ orders and forcing himself to work on proving his theory of apocalyptic blackholes and cosmic annihilation. Ebrahim has a flash of inspiration and mathematically proves his theories before collapsing and nearly dying due to a brain aneurysm. Upon awaking and discovering that he can no longer remember his proofs, and his work was thrown away/ given to the Titi while he was unconscious, Ebrahim seeks her out and the film follows his increasingly desperate attempts to regain the proof of his theories.
Titi is a slow burning story, it tells a simple narrative, but it does so by exploring every facet of every step along the way. Ebrahim and Titi are broken people, whether through circumstance or by their nature, they cannot fit into the ordinary, and they cannot hide their own extraordinary ways. Life is hard for people who stand out and Titi doesn’t shy away from beating its characters down when they begin shining too bright. It’s a realistic tale of unrealistic people, struggling to get by and do good. Whether they succeed or not, nearly every character tries to be a force for good in this movie. Admittedly some do far better than others, but all try; even when it puts them in conflict with other characters attempts to help. Such is the true tragedy of Titi, there is no reason they couldn’t all succeed and be happy, except that the world is rarely that kind.
Titi is a moving film about humanity and the effect money has on us all. It is kind in its questioning, and cruel in its conclusions. Expertly acted, beautifully shot and written by a combination of masters. Titi is a wonderful film and I highly recommend It to all those able to overlook the 1-inch barrier.
It is difficult to describe what Noah Hutton has created in Lapsis. A sci-fi story that uses no new technology except in vague backstory. It isn’t based in the future or any widely divergent timeline, it exists in a world almost exactly like our own, with a few tweaks here and there. It’s not a metaphoric tale, and it’s not quite a parable. It definitely has a message and it’s not shy or subtle in telling you, but it doesn’t allow it’s morals to overshadow the narrative. It is too funny to be a drama, and too serious to be satire. It defies description or labelling, so it is simplest to simply say that Hutton has created Lapsis and let history do the rest.
Lapsis follows a small-time hustler, trying to look after his chronically ill brother by hook or by crook when he is forced to take a shady job doing gig work for a megacorporation. Out of his element and doing whatever he must to make ends meet, Protagonist Ray must learn the ins and out of gig work and attempt to navigate the dangers and pitfalls not described by the corporate welcome message. The films dabbles in conspiracy and class segregation, while using an undercurrent of privilege to highlight the realities of unprotected work in a capitalist model. It’s a human story about trying to get ahead in life, told through a bitingly current tale about technology and its potential for harm. Hutton is very clear in his messaging though, Technology is not the enemy, it is merely a tool, to be used or misused accordingly. A refreshingly realistic take on the issue, amongst a sea of anti-progress parables and conservative black mirror knockoffs.
Lapsis can be flat at times, balancing humour, tension and plot progression so perfectly that nothing stands out. Even at its most level though, it’s not boring, just proportional. It is not going to be to everyone’s taste. While never overtly provocative, any story with this much going on is bound to offend all but the most leftward leaning of viewers a little bit. For those willing to watch a slightly claustrophobic story about hiking and don’t mind a multilayered narrative that can be outlined in two sentences, Lapsis is something special. Given the current Hollywood trends, it is unlikely that Lapsis will make the kind of splash it is capable of and will likely join the ranks of hidden gems within a streaming services catalogue. Perhaps it will one day become a cult classic and get the recognition it deserves, but until then. Lapsis is worth your time and attention, take two hours and experience the story Noah Hutton has created. You won’t regret it.
"Those Who Wish Me Dead" is a thriller in which Angelina Jolie who returns to the action genre. The actress plays a patrolman with the skills of a firefighter. Her task is to save a child and overcome trauma from the past.
Taylor Sheridan directed the film. He wrote the script for the crime thriller "The Assassin" (Sicario), and was also one of the showrunners of the series "Yellowstone" (Yellowstone).
For his new project, Sheridan did not create a script from scratch, but only helped to adapt the book "Those Who Wish Me Dead" by American writer Michael Corit, turning the bestselling book into a dynamic survival film.
The main events of the film fit into about one day. During this time, the characters need to escape from the fire that destroys the picturesque nature of Montana, and dodge the bullets fired by the assassins. The task is not an easy one, but the character named Hannah (Angelina Jolie) is quite capable of doing this.
In the past, Hannah was a member of the parachute fire brigade team in charge of guarding the forest. Now, she is struggling with PTSD and getting used to a new position as a patrolman, whose job is to calmly contemplate the area from the watchtower.
One day, Hannah notices a frightened schoolboy, splattered with blood, running through the forest. The woman tries to help and finds out that the boy is being pursued by professional killer just a couple of hours ago, the criminals committed a series of murders, which they will not stop at until they destroy their target.
The film "Those Who Wish My Death" turns out to be an old-fashioned thriller, where the details of the plot are not as important as the overall dynamics of the events, complemented by a good soundtrack.
This is a provincial American story that takes place in a rather calm small town, the silence of which is broken by the violent outsiders. There is a sheriff in charge to discuss business in a café and a local community to teach survival skills.
In a word, everything is pretty normal and peaceful, but exactly until the characters have to fight for their lives.
In this setting, Angelina Jolie seems to feel pretty comfortable. This is the actress' first appearance in the action movie since she switched to films with fabulous plots (the thrillers "The Tourist" and "Salt" were released in 2010, after which Jolie changed direction in her career).
For the role in the film, Jolie was trained in the skills that fire parachutists should have, and the actress also performed almost all the stunts on her own.
In fact, there are not so many impressive jumps in the tape, but there are fighting scenes in the frame. Angelina gets into a fight with Nicholas Hoult.
To tell the truth, it is not entirely clear what Holt "forgot" in this film: he has been starring in the main and quite prominent roles for a long time (the actor's filmography includes the adaptation of the X-Men comics, the post-apocalyptic action movie "Mad Max: Fury Road" and the biographical drama "Tolkien").
In TWWMD Nicholas suddenly appears in the role of a faceless mercenary performing the task of eliminating the target.
The hero of Nicholas Hoult works with a partner in whom we recognize the Irish actor Aidan Gillen (Petyr Baelish from "Game of Thrones"). Their actions are very well coordinated and well thought out.
It seems that these two have killed an uncountable number of people in the past but at the same time, both heroes are completely devoid of any expressive features, they do not even have normal dialogues, which is rather annoying: Holt and Guillen deserve better script IMHO.
If you do not take into account the ordinary killers, as well as the rather drawn-out plot, the movie "Those Who Wish Me Dead" turns out to be a dynamic action game in which the heroine Jolie takes responsibility for someone else's child.
review by Alex First of MAPT
Those Who Wish Me Dead – 100 minutes – by Alex First
One for the adrenaline junkies, the tense thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead combines daredevil firies with survivalist skills and ruthless assassins.
The stakes couldn’t be higher and there will be casualties.
The movie starts with a bang – literally and figuratively – setting up audience expectations.
Two killers – Jack and Patrick Blackwell (Aidan Gillen and Nicholas Hoult) – posing as utility operators, deliver an unforgettable message to a district attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Next thing we know, a father (Jake Weber) is preparing to take his son, Connor Casserly (Finn Little), to school when he hears the news and suddenly everything changes.
It turns out that he is a forensic accountant who worked for the district attorney and uncovered dirty dealings. Now he – like the DA – has become a target.
With those out to get him hot on his heels, he and his son hightail it out of there and go on a road trip to try to flee harm’s way.
But there is no escape.
Separately a smokejumper, Hannah Faber (Angelina Jolie) – a specialist firefighter who is used to jumping out of planes and scaling high towers – is reeling from the loss of three young lives she failed to save in a wildfire.
She is in a world of pain and seems to take pleasure in adding to it.
Faber ends up isolated in a watchtower high above the Montana wilderness, looking for outbreaks and keeping an eye out for lightning storms.
Connor and Hannah’s lives intersect and suddenly they are on the run together.
Also in the firing line are a local sheriff’s deputy, Ethan Sawyer (Jon Bernthal) and his six-month pregnant wife, Allison (Medina Senghore), who run a survivalist centre.
I appreciated the tension and bravado throughout Those Who Wish Me Dead.
The key cast fill their roles admirably.
Jolie has done “kick butt action heroine” many times and is polished at it.
Here she mixes it up with vulnerability and empathy.
Finn comes across as a natural – smart and resolute.
Bernthal is credible as the upstanding sheriff’s deputy, while Senghore has no troubling playing resourceful in the face of overwhelming odds.
The villains, too, stand comfortably in the shoes of a couple of professional mercenaries intent on getting the job done at any price.
So, it is that the heroism in the film – the smokejumpers included – takes many forms.
Visually, the movie is stunning, Ben Richardson capturing the breathtaking natural landscape and the raging out of control wildfires.
Best put, given that the conclusion is never in doubt, I got exactly what I wanted.
A veil of fear hovers over proceedings from the get-go.
The first-rate soundscape by Brian Tyler serves to add to the dread.
Director Taylor Sheridan (Wind River) knows how best to exploit a taut script (with some pithy one-liners) and has done that.
Sheridan was responsible for the screenplay alongside Michael Koryta (who wrote the book upon which the movie is based) and Charles Leavitt.
In summary, the rugged journey, which is given the Hollywood treatment, is one worth taking.
Rated MA, Those Who Wish Me Dead scores a 7 out of 10.
Not many TV channels or newspapers will cover these news as no one died, no negative events took place, there was no violence, no threats and no tension, there were no Jewish and Arabs anymore. We heard it all. If you had a chance to visit downtown Haifa during the A-Sham, the Arab Food Festival now regularly hold in December each year (mainly during Hanukkah), you saw a wonderful and successful integration of Jewish-Arab society. But let's start from the very start...
Please meet Dr. Nof Atmana Ismail from Baka al-Garbiye, a Doctor of Microbiology, Chef, culinary consultant and "Master Chef" 2014 winner who, together with Arie Rosen, created this wonderful festival of food and friendship called A-Sham ("Levant". A-sham is the Arab name for the area also known as the Levant - Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine and Turkey.), now the famous Haifa Arab Food Festival. Dr. Atmana created a film called "Breaking Bread" together with the film director, Beth Elise Hawk where they talk about the effects the Arab cuisine on carving out identity, on food politics, on women in the Arab kitchen on the relationship between tradition and creativity. The film features many world famous chefs who explore lesser-known Middle Eastern cuisine and its specific. They "taste history and solidarity" so to speak. For example, chefs Shlomi Meir and Ali Khattib team up to make kishek.
Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismail also dreams of opening an Arab-Israeli school of cooking that she mentions in the film.
The city's mayor, Yona Yahav, speaks on camera that at least 70,000 tourists visited the city of Haifa during the festival. The mayor hopes that there will be even more visitors next year, as many will want to be part of this celebration. The festival featured 45 Arab and Jewish chefs who showcased modernized versions of traditional Levantine dishes in 55 restaurants and cafes in the Lower City. Each of the restaurants presented one or more "festive" dishes, each of which will cost no more than 35 shekels ($14AU). Pubs and bars served Arabian spirits: beer, aniseed vodka and wines. The program of the holiday included concerts of Levantine music and some informative lectures for the guests.
Doctor Nof Atamna Ismail left her profession of a microbiologist for the sake of her beloved culinary art. She personally selects the most interesting and original recipes for the festival and brings in “fresh-eyed” Jewish chefs to modernize the dishes. After all, the traditional food of any people is, for the most part, the cheap plant food of the poor. To please a well-fed public many recipes require "modernization" and the inclusion of more nutritious ingredients such as meat and nuts.
Each year this unique festival of Arab cuisine is dedicated to a different culture: there can be dishes from Syria or the Ottoman Empire. The Arabs territories stretched in the past from Southeastern Europe to North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Cultural diversity, a wide variety of foods, as well as the tricks that the empire's poor inhabitants resorted to, including food preservation, formed one of the most interesting cuisines in human history. There is always something to remember from the past and apply it to the modern style of food.
These festivals revive the traditions of many social classes: from lavish dining in the palaces of the Ottoman sultans with a variety of dishes, pastries, stuffed vegetables and desserts to the more vegetable and plants oriented dishes of the poor classes.
In parallel with the demonstration of the delights of Eastern cuisines, the festival hosted tastings, taverns, pop-up shops, events for adults and children, culinary master classes for a wide age group, lectures by chefs and culinary researchers and much more. The program of the festival also included educational culinary excursions, trays with desserts and concerts of live music in the evenings.
Dozens of chefs and culinary specialists, Jews and Arabs, worked in the restaurants, bars and other places o culinary delight of Haifa, giving a modern look to the recipes of the past as well as some of the chef's family kept food secrets. In some restaurants, the traditional menu was significantly expanded. The variety of food is endless: a boat-shaped flatbread, hummus, meat and fish, handmade sausages, Mediterranean vegetables and plant dishes, all accompanied by freshly brewed beer with ice-cream finishing the meal. In general, the festival is never boring in its gastronomic extravaganza.
There are also cooking classes held as well as culinary excursion for toddlers, lectures and discussion platforms for adults, concerts of Israeli and foreign performers, music.
The film indeed is a great, award-winning love letter to the food of the Middle East and to its people mainly.
Atamna-Ismaeel says the win in Master Chef gave her “some sort of power to use food in order to build bridges between Jews and Arabs.” A-Sham Festival of food is a bright example of the good deeds this woman has done to unite the cultures. Start with bread! Doctor also explains that the intention behind this now world famous festival was to put conflict to one side and build relations by pairing up Jewish and Arab chefs to bring back extinct dishes from the Arabic cuisine. “I believe there is no room for politics in the kitchen,” she says to the camera.
What you will see in the film definitely make you hungry: smooth, creamy yummy hummus, that has been slowly ground with a pestle and mortar, will have you drooling 100%! It will leave you craving a falafel feast. Delicious movie!
Hawk has left her legal job at Walt Disney to produce her own films. “I heard about Nof on the radio in LA when she had just won Master Chef 2014. I made contact with her in 2017 via Facebook and we started chatting. When she mentioned the festival, I knew I had to tell the story. We filmed on a shoestring budget, with just one crew moving the camera through Haifa" As I mentioned above already the film follows some of the chef partnerships, starting with Shlomi Meir who, with his father Reuven, runs Ashkenazi restaurant: Maayan Habira in Haifa. The restaurant was founded in 1962 by Shlomi's Holocaust survivor grandfather who was specialising in smoked meat. Gentle giant Shlomi is paired with Ali Khattib, who is a head chef of a restaurant in Ghaja, a small town in northern Israel, split in two by the border with Lebanon. Ali’s food has its roots in Syria and has deep family traditions. He tells about his passion, about keeping alive the ancient recipes of his ancestors and about cooking. He dreams of his cuisine popularizing among Israeli chefs.
The chef duos all are provided with a list of dishes from the region that are considered extinct or have cultural importance. They choose one dish to work on it together. Ali and Shlomi are allocated kishek, a Syrian recipe using bulghur wheat and dried yoghurt that was traditionally made to preserve yoghurt over the winter. Ali is the only one of the festival chefs who can make it, as it is a disappearing culture. Atamna-Ismaeel tells us that, even though kishek is made in Syria, a couple of hours away from the place she lives in, she can buy it only when she visits Belgium: “Why? Because of politics! ”
We also meet Osama Dalad, a young Palestinian chef from Akko, paired with long-haired Ilan Ferron. Osama has a Catholic father and Jewish Italian mother and runs the Talpiot restaurant at Talpiot Market. Together, they create an octopus maqluba. It is a baked dish of rice, potatoes, vegetables and chickpeas that literally means “upside down”, describing how it is served tipped out of the pot on to a platter. They serve the dish in the street to the festival guests.
Tomer Abergel of restaurant Quando Pasha is paired with Salah Cordi, who says of his childhood in Jaffa: “In our neighborhood, we spoke in Arabic. We laughed in Hebrew. We cursed in Romanian. We got upset in Moroccan... and it was all sababa (OK)! ” Salah and Tomer reinvent qatayer, traditionally sweet pastries but they make a savory version of it.
We meet lots of and restaurateurs, including one married couple, Shoshi and Fadi Karaman, a Jewish-Arab couple with grown-up children and a hummus restaurant called Hummus Fadi. They are paired with a star chef, Chaim Tibi.
It is interesting to note how hummus, falafel and Israeli / Arabic salad all make a appearances as dishes over which the nations fight for ownership. It is like brothers fighting over one father: who is more brother than the other. They are ALL brothers! Of course a food festival can not solve all problems in he region, it can not calm down the hot-headed in this region, but Atamna-Ismaeel is hopeful and says: “I am going to use food to change a few people and if everyone does that then maybe we can make a large change. ”
"Breaking Bread" is not only about food and political conflicts, it opens the doors and offers the seat at the table together with many families and friends at one dinner party remembering the culinary history.
Whether you call it La daronne, Mamma Weed or The Godmother, Jean-Paul Salomé’s screen adaption of Hannelore Cayre’s award winning novel is a sight to behold. At times satirical, sometimes serious, a romp as ridiculous as it is romantic, La daronne has created a film about liars that is at all times honest. A true genre bending experience that defies tonal expectations and seems deeply intent on sending its message to all watchers, whether they want it or not. A message as heart-warming as it is controversial. We are all just people.
At its core, this film is a crime thriller, following the exploits of a police interpreter who comes from a family of drug runners, being given the opportunity and choosing to break bad. It runs through all the noir and dramatic tropes. A by the number’s cops and robber’s tale, with doomed romances and violent standoffs abound. What makes The Godmother unique is that while it uses every cliches in the book, it subverts every one of them. Showing a truly honest reflection of reality, viewers are treated to the rarely seen truth behind the criminal mythos. No one really knows what they are doing. The police aren’t just relentless machines of justice, hunting down their hapless prey, they are regular old people, just doing a job and trying to help. Drug runners aren’t violent perverts, they are often just kids trying to get by. Even those higher up on the chain don’t sit around a warehouse smoking cigars and plotting evil. They take care of their families and hang out with their friends. They run a business the same way any regional manager does. Even our protagonist (Expertly played by Isabelle Huppert), for all that she runs circles around the police, keeps the gangs in line, and makes herself into a criminal boss to be feared, she is just a middle-aged mother, trying to keep my family together and deal with the same life struggles as everyone else.
Jean-Paul Salomé is unafraid to let each situation play out with brutal honesty. He lets interactions become awkward and strained. Romantic gestures go unnoticed and miscommunication runs rampart. There are no seamless handovers, each side walking away without counting the money. There is no honour among thieves and super geniuses don’t hang around dark alleys selling weed. The crime is still crime, people get hurt and their actions are inexcusable, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t understandable. The Godmother walks the tightrope of showing each side of the law, warts and all, without glorifying or vilifying either. There are no heroes or villains in this story, just police and criminals, going about their lives, trying to get though the day.
There are many who take offense to the idea that the people in jail are just as human and relatable as them. Those people are unlikely to enjoy Rialto Distribution’s latest offering. For everyone else, or even just those willing to go in with an open mind, The Godmother is a funny, sad, ridiculous look at realism, and well worth your time.
Fatale is a simple thriller with a good "detective flavour"; simple but definitely not primitive: quite beautifully made film! It has got a good philosophical punch line: "If you dig a hole for others, you're sure to fall in it yourself". I rated it 8/10.
This new film has an intriguing title like "Dangerous Temptations": FATALE. According to the genre of the film, this is a thriller and it fully corresponds to it. I would just add: it has a good noes of detective story as well.
If I can describe this film in two words, then the phrase "Don't dig a hole for another, otherwise you will fall into it yourself."
I liked the story that contains lots of twists, it is rather complicated to figure out what is happening at the start and if the main character is really innocent or not. You remain on the hook until the very end of the film as it is not quite clear how it will end.
The film story is a nutshell is as follows: a sports PR agent has sexual intercourse with a girl who later turned out to be a police officer, a detective to be precise... and it was her who was entrusted with the investigation of the entry into the main character's personal house.
Several murders take place, the detective starts to black mail the agent as she wants him to kill her ex-husband in order to take his daughter away from him. Her game is many steps ahead of the man whose relatives die one after another... It seems that nothing is doing to be done as the police officer has a good name and she says that no one will believe anyone else's story but hers!
I liked the actors' acts very much: they are very natural and completely suit their roles, their faces and body language clearly show the tension in difficult life situations.
When watching a movie, sometimes you even forget that somewhere near there is a camera and all this is actually a game , a filming act, the impression is that people are not playing but they are real, it is very hard to achieve sometimes. In this film they feel like they are living their own, normal and natural lives, and you spy on them through the keyhole, it is so interesting to watch them indeed.
I think that the film will be of interest to different age groups, since a similar story presented in the film can happen to anyone.
There are no chases or mass shootings in the film, there is a tense psychological duel between the two main characters.
The time is 1930s. The story takes place in a puppet state of Manchukuo. This new film "Cliff Walkers" is set during the times of Japanese occupation of China.
There are four communist agents, revolutionary agents
basically, who were trained in the Soviet Union who are preparing a special covert operation, code-named Down... but in the ranks of the comrades, in the enemy not asleep counterintelligence, there was a traitor, and even before the team landed on the territory near Harbin, their plans became known to the enemy.
It is a new artistic work by the creator of "Hero", "House of Flying Daggers" and "Flowers of War", Zhang Yimou. He is a very famous Chinese director.
Zhang Yimou director ("The Demon's Bell", "Operation in the Red Sea", "The Rooster and the Bull", "Me and My Homeland", "In a World Where the Heart Cries for Love", "Mister Six "," The Blood of Youth "," Brotherhood of Blades 2 "), Yu Hewei one of the stars (" Adoration "," How Long Will Our Love Last? "," Island ", the drama" The Anti-Narcotics Division "), Qin Hailu one of the stars (" Hide and Seek " , Impermanence, House That Never Dies, 101 Sentences, Simple Life), Zhu Yawen one of the stars (ATM, Poet, Founding an Army, Witness, Golden Age, "Mystery"), Ni Dahun ("Curse of the Golden Flower", "War of Wolves", "Whirlwind"), Yu Ailei ("Heart", "Bright Future 2018", "Black Coal, Thin Ice") and Lei Jiayin (" The Whistleblower "," Mister nannies "," Memory fragmentation "," How long will our love last? ").
The picture is very nice. Yimou's films can be viewed at least for the sake of visuals and they are spectacular in this new film.
With the knowledge of Chinese language, this films would feel even greater and you will feel the real genius of the director to the fullest.
The dialogues are simply awesomely delivered, the voices are especially good.
A little bit about the director himself (to the Australian viewers who might be meeting him in this picture for the first time) Zhang Yimou is a Chinese film director and screenwriter, producer and actor, and a former cameraman. Known for the dramas "Red Gaoliang", "Ju Dou" and "Light the Red Lantern", the adventure films "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers". Jury member of the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival, director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
Short Biography Born November 14, 1951 in Xi'an. Zhang's father is a dermatologist by profession; during the Chinese Civil War, he served as an officer in the National Revolutionary Army under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek. By the end of 1949, the communists controlled almost the entire country, and the elder brother and uncle Yimou were forced to move to Taiwan. The "unworthy" behavior of Zhang's relatives was recalled during the Cultural Revolution: he was expelled from school and, in order to feed himself, worked as a laborer, did hard physical labor for three years, then moved to a cotton textile factory, where he worked for another seven years. At this time, he began to paint, took the first non-professional photographs. When the Beijing Film Academy reopened its doors to applicants in 1978, 27-year-old Yimou was no longer the correct age for the course. However, the goal was so desirable that he did not give up, did not give up and turned directly to the Ministry of Culture: he came to the reception with a portfolio of photographs and convinced the officials of his abilities. They gave up and allowed the young man to enter the faculty of cinematography. He completed his studies in 1982 and was sent to Guangxi as a filmmaker, although he was originally to be promoted to assistant director. It soon became apparent that over the years of the Cultural Revolution, the country had lost a huge number of talented artists, and Yimou had the opportunity to make his own films. On the first films, one of the hallmarks of the resurgence of Chinese cinema, he worked as a director of photography. In 1985, Zhang returned to his native Xi'an, collaborated as a cinematographer and actor with Tien-Min Wu on the film The Old Well. Critics of the Tokyo Film Festival spoke warmly of his acting talent. In 1987, Yimou presented his directorial debut, the drama Red Gaoliang, an adaptation of the works of the Nobel laureate in literature, Chinese writer Mo Yan. The film was shown at the International Film Festival in Berlin, earned very high praise from critics, was noted with the awards "Golden Phoenix", "Golden Bear" in Berlin, "Golden Rooster" (Chinese award). At the same time, the views of compatriots on the picture were very different. Most of the audience was delighted with it, but some saw signs of treason. In 1990, Yimou directed the drama Ju Dou, dedicated to the theme of domestic violence and national traditions. This is the first Chinese film to be nominated for an Oscar. Two years later, Zhang finished work on another drama, Light the Red Lantern, which received an Academy Award nomination in the category honored with Academy Award nominations for Best Foreign Language Film and for the Golden Lion in Venice.
In total, at the moment, the director's filmography includes twenty art works.
You will enjoy the film, no matter if you watch it as is or with the English subtitles
There are no rules in showbusiness, and only one law. Don’t be boring. Twist (2021) is a criminal film in every way. Martin Owens attempt to drag Charles Dickens beloved novel kicking and screaming into the modern age, ends not with a bang but with a whimper. It is difficult to describe where Twist went wrong, not because nothing stands, out, but rather because the entire film stands as a testament to mediocracy. A clear love letter/homage to Guy Ritchie, Twist is nothing if not ambitious, swinging for the fences in every aspect, but striking out on all fronts. Twist has a perfectly acceptable cast, with the likes of Michael Caine and Lena Headey lending their experience to new comers Rafferty Law and Sophie Simnett. With side characters being fleshed out with the likes of Noel Clarke and David Walliams, and even Rita Ora throwing her hat into the ring. Yet a lacklustre script, combined with what must have been a prolific amount of Prozac behind the scenes, leaves every scene flatter than a Kansas pancake. Characters are wooden and their lines are straight out of an early 00’s chatbot. Logic has almost no bearing on the actions or reactions of anyone/anything in this movie, inanimate objects included.
When it’s not attempting to recreate Guy Richie’s signature close up shaky cam, or following the characters inexplicitly practising their Parkour skills, the cinematography is passable if forgettable. Likewise, the soundtrack does nothing to detract from the action, blending so seamlessly into the scene, that it may as well not be present. A jumbled mix of new R&B and 90’s Britpop, the soundtrack is actually a good segue into the main problem of the movie. This film has no idea who it is meant to be for. It’s not for fans of the novel, as it has changed the story until it is barely recognisable. It’s not for adults as it relies on PG violence and cheesy lines. It’s not for kids as it uses liberal amounts of profanity and the implication of some very mature topics. If they were aiming for a teenage audience, the producers are likely to find themselves disappointed. Overall, this movie plays out like a children’s movies that is inappropriate for kids.
No individual aspect of this movie can be blamed for ruining the film. Rather this movie acts as an example of negative synergy, with all involved contributing so little as create what is likely one of the most forgettable films of the year. Twist holds the dubious distinction of being offensively inoffensive. I can think of no one to recommend this film to, but nor can I think of anyone likely to hate this movie, or feel any strong emotions towards it really. Adults who find themselves highly intoxicated and with absolutely nothing to do for 90 minutes, may find this movie more enjoyable than white noise, but even they are unlikely to enjoy it. If you have literally anything else to do, do it, otherwise Twist is as safe and bland a way to consume 90 minutes as you are likely to ever find.
The punch line for this story would be: psychopaths in life can be anything, but not the same as in American films!
The US-made film "Every Breath You Take" was filmed in 2021 in the genre of psychological drama.
The story of the film in a nutshell: the persecution of family members by a psychopath.
With the exception of Sam Claflin, all the other actors coped with their roles at the proper level. Sam's physiognomy is so similar to a real psychopath. When I saw the actor for the first time on the screen, I immediately knew who the negative character would be.
IMHO, the main disadvantage of the film is its high predictability. The main roles were played by Michelle Monaghan, Sam Claflin, Casey Affleck, Emily Elin Lind, India Eisley and others.
The plot of the picture does not stand out in anything special: it is way too plain and boring IMHO. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of such films that have already been shot in Hollywood. There is nothing special about this one at all! The essence is the same, but the scenery is different. They made us think about the same matter over and over again: the main thing in your life is your family.
According to the plot, the main character, a psychiatrist, has a very unpleasant incident: one of his patients committed suicide OR as it appears in the first place... From that moment on, the doctor’s life went up and down (but mainly down the drain): his patients began to refuse his services en masse, his wife got herself a lover and his daughter's problems are now never ending. He is loosing his lecturing position at the University and the list goes one and on... We understand that there is no coincidence and so many misfortunes cannot happen at the same time by accident: there must be someone behind it, and may be even plotting these "accidents" for him.
The question is who exactly is it?! If you are interested in the story, then watch the film: you will learn all the subtleties of this confusing story.
On the positive side, I can only mention the beautiful landscapes on the lakeside, beautiful house and the advertisement of luxury German cars. I didn't really like the film, first of all, for its cliché and finally because of its cliché . There are too many of them to name a few.
Therefore, I will recommend it only for a one-time viewing and for those of you who love American psychopaths.
review by Alex First of MAPT
Every Breath You Take (MA) – 105 minutes – by Alex First
A family has been traumatised by the tragic death of a youngster in a car accident.
Philip (Casey Affleck) is a psychiatrist and lecturer, his wife Grace (Michelle Monaghan) a real estate agent.
They have a young son, Evan (Brenden Sunderland) and he has a senior school age daughter, Lucy (India Eisley) – Grace’s stepdaughter – who lives with them.
On the way to hockey practice, with only Grace and Evan in the car, a much larger vehicle crashes into them at speed.
Three years on and that incident has taken a heavy toll on all of them. Philip and Grace haven’t been able to deal with their grief and anger. He has all but shut down.
Lucy has just been kicked out of a private school for cocaine use. She barely communicates with her father and has little to say to her stepmother.
Philip has been treating a patient, Daphne (Emily Alyn Lind), who – along with her family – have had a tragic past.
But by sharing his own trauma with her, Philip has made a remarkable breakthrough.
Daphne is off her meds altogether and at age 22 appears to have gotten her life together.
But then tragedy strikes.
Through that, Philip gets to meet Daphne’s brother James (Sam Claflin), an author who has just returned from the UK.
Their lives and that of Philip’s family become intertwined with disastrous consequences.
Every Breath You Take is a psychological thriller with a strong cast and breathtaking scenery that loses its way.
Unfortunately, by the end it becomes no more than a trumped up, old fashioned midday telemovie.
The contention is well established, as are the pivotal characters.
We get a feel early on for what they are going through and why they are the way they are.
All the key players have a brooding quality, which is what the script calls for.
Philip, Grace and Lucy live in the same house, but are removed from each other, like isolated cells.
The performances are solid enough, so that is not where the problem lies.
Rather, it is the story that gets away from the actors and lets them down. That is the work of first-time feature film writer David K. Murray, with direction from Vaughn Stein (Terminal).
Every Breath You Take becomes more and more far-fetched the longer it progresses. At times the stretch is preposterous.
Still, the cinematography by Michael Merriman is a showcase of the natural beauty of mountainous Vancouver (doubling for Washington State).
Overall though, while the movie had its moments, ultimately it felt derivative and I was left disappointed.
Rated MA, Every Breath You Take scores a 5½ out of 10.
Chilean director Pablo Larrain's new film "Ema" is a movie about failed adoption, mistakes, remorse and dancing.
Barren choreographer Gaston (Gael Garcia Bernal) and dancer Ema (Mariana Di Girolamo) adopt a Colombian boy, Polo. He is far from being a baby, he is already in the third grade at school. He does not live even a year in a new family. Polo is prone to bouts of pyromania. As a result of one of his antics he burns half of Ema's sister's face and the scars are bad, they will remain forever. Parents take long and difficult time to come to the decision to return the boy to social services. The mother, Ema finds herself in a deep crisis, she blames and moves away from her husband, Gaston. She though tries to get her son back by hook or by crook.
One of the main hopes of modern Chilean cinema, Pablo Larrain has worked a lot with the past: in his country - in the films "Tony Manero", "Autopsy", "No" and "Neruda" and in the United States - "Jackie".
Apparently, the horrors of Pinochet's dictatorship bored him, and now he turns to the present.
For him, this is a truly new experience, stylistically completely different from everything he filmed before.
It is necessary to talk about modern times without using old forms. A new cinema language is required for what we all experience now. Larrain relies on a strong woman, as was the case with Natalie Portman's Jackie. The choice is more than risky, but it is successful in "Ema": she is young and unknown to anyone actress, Mariana Di Girolamo. Previously, she worked exclusively on Chilean TV on little-known soap operas. The director was attracted by her charisma and inner energy.
Filming began without a ready-made script, there was a general plot, but the details and the form itself were born in the process with the direct participation of the talents.
Ema has a complex structure, only the ending will put everything in its place.
The picture starts right off the bat (the main character is at the epicenter of a personal tragedy) and immediately takes a fast pace. The boy is no longer in the family, we see the middle of the story. We have no idea why he was taken away from the step parents, when and under what circumstances. The viewer will learn gradually with the plot developing.
Larrain tries to avoid banal flashbacks. If he turns to them, then rarely, and to the most dramatic moments. Husband and wife talk through most of their tragedy.
Due to the initial vagueness of the problem and the lack of clarity of plot twists and turns, it seems that the action develops simultaneously in the past and in the future.
Two temporary layers are cleared at once.
There is the crisis of the creative family in the center of attention but the film is so unexpected as it is one of a kind.
For Ema it is extremely important that action takes place here and now: it is modern times and it is Chilean very specific culture.
This is the story of the formation of a fundamentally new family, previously unrepresented and certainly one that directors are just learning to talk about.
Larrain has practically no words: his crew is the people of action. This is why dancing appears in focus as an integral part of the picture. The emotions are danced through.... and the dancing is exceptional!
There are no "plug-in dancing" done for fun in his film, but they are emotional outbursts of the main character with the support of her friends (dancing crew). It is her way of expressing herself, not with words, but with her physical body.
The passionate dancers are filmed against the background of the port city of Valparaiso, where Ema and Gaston live. The sceneries are captivating and artistic to the maximum of one's imagination!
From the paintings of recent years, equally passionate, bright and emotional dances could be observed only in "Ecstasy" by Gaspar Noé, but the color palette of the picture refers more to "Love".
The electronic soundtrack by Nicholas Jaar perfectly suits the modern dance of the dancing troupe, of which Ema is the ringleader.
As I mentioned before Ema is played by Di Girolamo. Her hair are dyed in fatal blonde, from which both men and women go crazy. She is sexy, attractive and is great at achieving her goals. She looks like a white crow: it's not only about her hair, but also about a confident gait and street clothes (tracksuits, faithful tops and fur coats of crazy colors).
Following her, fellow dancers are gaining confidence. They oppose the choreographer Gaston, an example of a patriarchal world that always puts a woman in a frame. They rebel his every move and his every word.
Now everything will be new as Ema wants it as she creates her own world.
"Ema" is a fiery movie, its energy knocks you down and hits hard on your head.
You will either like it very much, or you will not like it at all, but it will definitely not leave you indifferent.
It seems that we have already seen the individual ingredients of this "cocktail", but the end result is surprising... as is the case with many of the films. The Chilean film has excesses with taste, it is simply impossible to stop: ot remains in your brain like a powerful street vibe.
However, the puzzle that is put together at the very end of the film unexpectedly adds logic to both crazy deeds and irrepressible dances.
This is a great skill that Larrain has shown not for the first time... and there are no more words but the end titles...
review by Alex First of MAPT
Ema (MA) – 107 minutes – by Alex First
A bold and striking drama about love and loss, resilience, fear, escape, pyromania and dance, Ema excites.
Beautiful platinum blonde Ema (Mariana Di Girolamo) is a complex character.
She and her husband Gaston (Gael Garcia Bernal) – who is infertile – adopted a Colombian child, but were far from the ideal parents and the youngster acted up.
He set fire to Ema’s sister, leaving her face permanently scarred.
Ema took the fateful decision to give him up and has regretted it ever since.
Ema and Gaston blame each other for what happened, but they continue to have a love-hate relationship.
Now is the time for me to mention that Ema loves lighting fires and watching them burn.
I speak of traffic lights, fairground equipment, monuments and more.
Ema is a dancer and works in the company where Gaston is choreographer.
She is particularly friendly with five other girls in the group, who hang out together and watch Ema torch things, even resorting to taking selfies in front of the deeds.
Ema approaches a psychologist from Child Services – the one who helped her secure their adopted son in the first instance – to try to find out where the now 12-year-old is.
The psychologist doesn’t take kindly to the approach and has nothing but disdain for Ema and Gaston.
Ema engages a lawyer, Raquel (Paola Giannini), to start divorce proceedings and begins flirting with the lawyer, telling her she doesn’t have the money to pay her.
The lawyer who isn’t in the happiest place in her marriage is equally drawn to Ema, who swings both ways and loves sex.
At the same time, Ema befriends a firefighter, Anibal (Santiago Cabrera), called to the scene of one of the blazes she lit and starts an affair with him.
Through proceedings, Ema and her dance troupe perform a series of spectacular routines, Ema particularly drawn to what is called reggaeton.
That is a form of dance music of Puerto Rican origin, characterised by a fusion of Latin rhythms, dancehall and hip-hop or rap.
To say any more would be to spoil the surprise, other than to note that all the disparate threads come together in the end.
I loved the Latin vibe of the movie. The music and dancing are spectacular, the choreography of the latter noteworthy.
The sets, settings and production values of the picture are also worth mentioning.
The meandering storyline requires concentration to follow, but patience is rewarded.
That is not to say that Ema will suit all tastes. It won’t. It is, after all, an eclectic arthouse film.
I particularly appreciated Mariana Di Girolamo’s uncompromising performance (her first film role) as Ema – a mixture of intrigue, street smarts and vulnerability.
It is her film. Everything gravitates around Ema and Di Girolamo ensures she is front and centre throughout, so much so that you dare not look away.
She is out to shock and delight and succeeds in doing so.
Sex and sensuality have a significant role to play throughout Ema. Multiple sex scenes, including a lesbian orgy, are head turners.
Co-writer and director Pablo Larrain’s (Jackie) unique sensibilities are stamped all over Ema.
In less accomplished hands it may have been a complete disaster, but in his it is an unbridled success.
Rated MA, it scores a 7½ out of 10.
SIX MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT NEW website review by Vellu Khanna
Six Minutes To Midnight
Any media referencing World War II would need to adhere to strict instances of nostalgia and historical cohesiveness, and 'Six Minutes To Midnight' does that in a rather grandiose manner.
One would rightly presume that, within the course of the first fifteen minutes of the flick, a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse is afoot - stemming around a boarding house for girls at a beach-front school in the year 1939. And we see a male teacher, a Mr Miller (Eddie Izzard) being offered a position as an English teacher. The unfolding of a series of events on the threshold of espionage and intelligence is made evident.
And we have Dame Judi Dench as part of the cast - a phenomenal treat, to be sure.
'Six Minutes To Midnight' profiles the pandemonium prior to the march of Hitler's Third Reich onto Poland - the rare glimpse of a purportedly insignificant event between the British and German Secret Services. This is definitely a must-watch for World War II buffs.
Mortal Kombat has always been a franchise filled with mixed results. From it’s debut in 1992 game arcades, to its eclectic sequels. The franchise has always been hit or miss. Of the two previous attempts of a cinematic adaption. 1995 left the fans slightly disappointed, but happy to be represented, while 1997 saw one of the worst films ever made inflicted upon fans of the series. 2021s Mortal Kombat is far closer to the former, than the latter. However, it seems to have forgotten what it is, and so it loses its way more often than not.
When it is on point, though, Australian director Simon McQuoid does the series proud. Bookending the movie with some of the best and most violent choreography to come out of Hollywood in years. The battle between Hiroyuki Sanada’s Hanzo Hasashi (Scorpion) and Joe Taslim’s Bi-Han(Sub-zero) are incredible and showcase the two actors true skills as martial artists. This doesn’t always work in the films favour however, as comparing any of the other actors, however talented they may be to the two juggernauts of hong kong cinema is bound to leave them feeling subpar.
The film does have an excellent cast, with Sanada and Taslim actually filling in relatively minor roles, as compared to the always exceptional Chin Han in his role as Outworld's Emperor Shang Tsung, or Mehcad Brooks’s Jax, alongside Jessica McNamee’s Sonya Blade. But while the movie is based around the newly created character of Cole Young as played by Lewis Tan, the undisputed star of the second act is Josh Lawson’s Kano. Tan is a decent actor and he does occasionally get a chance to show his shops, but for the most part, the movie doesn’t give him much to work with. Allowing Lawsons utterly shameless comedy relief to shine through and steal every scene he is in.
Even when the actors are able to power through their clunky dialog though, they are always at the mercy of the cinematography. Which ranges from utterly stunning, to downright painful, without any trace of rhyme or reason behind the transition. The movie often uses an amazingly framed, perfectly lit wide shot, to showcase PlayStation 2 CGI and the dissonance between the two elements is enough to give the average viewer whiplash. Emotional scenes of character development, are suddenly interrupted by a CGI version of Goro that makes the 1995 animatronic look good by comparison. This dichotomy between skill and garbage carries on in the movies numerous fan service scenes as well. Some of them are seamlessly integrated into the movie. With exact quotes woven into the script for game fans to appreciate and make YouTube videos about. Compared to others that have the actors, stop what they are doing and look directly into the camera, to say their game reference, stopping shy of winking, through an apparent sheer force of will. None of this is to say that the movie suffers from its reliance on references, rather the movie is at it’s best when it forgets about the new narrative it is trying to tell and revels in its corny and ultraviolent roots.
Overall, this Mortal Kombat gives the fans about 30 minutes of pure unbridled joy and 80 minutes of forgettable nonsense. Leading a 110 minutes of easily roastable, largely enjoyable cheese that cries out for alcohol and crowds to appreciate it. For anyone who is a fan of the series or just of ultraviolent films and doesn’t mind a bit of hammed up dialog, gather your friends, get on the beers and make sure the children have gone to bed. This movie is a good time, if you want one, even if it does take itself far too seriously at times.
It is Thomas Wilson-White film debut. Th genre is drama but it is also partially mystical. The main is=dea of the movie is theoretically very correct but hard to apply to the present often. We stay in the past trying to resolve the puzzles that past away already. We forget about the future and the present. We think a lot about "woulds" and would nots" that relate to the past but it does not help the present. The family's lost past and the loss in the past is the main focus of the picture.
The puzzles will remain there for Beth and her family till she makes the most important decision in her life.
We somehow no longer expect an abundance of blood and any shocking scenes from the modern horror films.
It is the British cinema's Carmilla in front of us, a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.
They say that in spirit and in visual, this is the most complete adaptation of a classic work.
Thi sis the story in short: a fifteen year old Lara lives in complete isolation in her family home with her father. She is under the supervision of her governess, Miss Fontaine who mercilessly punishes her for any small mistake.
Struggling to find a way out of her growing sexuality, Lara finds herself fascinated by the mysterious Carmilla. Carmilla's carriage has been found broken down next to Lara's house. Carmilla is looked after Lara's house servants and her father.
While Carmilla is getting better after the accident, Lara's interest in Carmilla grown more and more day after day. their walks in the garden and sleepless nights lead to passion that flares up between two girls.
However, the rumors, superstitions and anxiety of the family doctor begin to instill fear in others, and Carmilla becomes the source of this fear.
I could feel that somehow Carmilla was Lara's imaginary friend as she had none. Her captivity situation lead her to "create" herself a good friend she fell in love with. How her father and governess treated Carmilla at the end of the film would send goosebumps down your spine. They practically killed a creative part of Lara in front of her eyes.
The story is poetic but the presence of horror did not flatter it. I am not a fan! The film though would attract a bunch of teenagers interested in the genre.
The film is directed by Emily Harris herself who has written the original script.
Hannah Rae, Devrim Lingnow, Jessica Rain, Tobias Menzies and the illusionist Scott Silven played the leading roles in the film.
Carmilla picture was filmed in 2019, has traveled to festivals since then, collecting awards, and will soon appear on our screes and in VOD services.
SISTER MOVIE TO PAY ATTENTION TO website RATE: 8/10
I was never a sister myself so it is hard for me to speak on this mater. I only know one thing: the family should be above all.
In one word I would describe it as a very rewarding movie. It feels like sneaking in a keyhole the life developments of the family of an older sister and her younger brother who are left without both parents who die in one day in a car crash.
It is not a stylish story story, it is an ordinary life of a common family. This can happen in any family. It is melancholic and gentle.
It is sad to see the relationship between relatives in the family. It is hard for me to comment about as there are lots of traditional "Asian flavors" involved in such relationship but it is interesting to observe and compare with my own family: sometimes the relationship are flaming, sometimes a lot is kept inside but comes out in some hatred way. It is a normal family where love and hatred live together very close. he deeper bond between the sister and the brother develop as the film progresses. An Ran, the sister, is focused on her own career and her needs while her brother is rather neglected at the start of the movie. She sees him as a burden while she has to sacrifice her time and her life to look after him. Their relationship become more close as they learn to love and appreciate what is given to them. There are no more parents to spoil and look after them: their relationship that were involving mum and dad lost their base and the dynamics has to change as well.
When An Ran's aunt says: "elder sister is like mother" it sounds like truth but it is all good in theory. The practice shows that it is hard to raise the younger brother. An Ran only sees her brother as a taker, not a giver. When she learns how to see love in him she learns how to love herself.
The film has funny moments as will: as in every family there is irresponsible uncle that when given responsibility to look after his nephew teaches him how to smoke and play cards.
Responsibilities do not exist: you can not do something that you do not love. You learn to love and the burden is taken away from you. You start to enjoy the process. Love exist in every family naturally. Parents are usually the example to show love and affection. If it was not present in the first place the siblings will be cold and hostile to each other . They only learn through the example. I suppose An Ran was punished by her father. As a result her love towards her brother was never there.
Every family is different of course but there are similarities and patterns.
Zhang’s excellent performance is standing high. She plays with her whole body: silently but you can see and predist each and every next move. It is a powerful performance.
Life is so fragile. We should all care and love our families, no matter who they are and how they are.
Did I love the film? Absolutely yes and I have to admit I have a spoiled taste. This is a film worth watching by all means. GIvig it 8/10
THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY website review by Marygrace Charlton
Film Review: The United States vs. Billie Holiday By Marygrace Charlton
Director:Lee Daniels Producers:Lee Daniels, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Joe Roth, Pamela Oas Williams, Jordan Fudge, Tucker Tooley Writer:Suzan Lori-Parks Music by:Kris Bowers Screenplay:Tyler Cornack
Many people have heard the name Billie Holiday and many may also know her as a celebrated jazz singer. Billie’s singing career began in a Harlem nightclub. She subsequently released her first recordings in 1933 with Benny Goodman and others. Two years later a series of recordings with Teddy Wilson and members of Count Basie's band brought her wider recognition, launching her career. Some music aficionados referred to Billie as the leading jazz singer of her time.
“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”, a biopic released in 2021, endeavours to reveal the short and tragic life of this famous songstress. A rollercoaster life of touring, sex, prostitution, alcohol and drugs.
Andra Day’s powerful and captivating performance as the legendary Billie is the highlight of this movie. Andra effortlessly belts out all the songs in the movie and gives an impassioned portrayal of Billie.
“Strange Fruit" a song recorded by Billie in 1939 (written by Abel Meeropol), offended the sensibilities of white Americans at the time. The “strange fruit” refers to the lynched bodies - 4075 African Americans were lynched in 12 southern states between 1877 and 1950. It was Billie’s refusal to stop singing this song – her unwavering show of opposition to racism and murder of her people, which led to the FBI launching an undercover operation against her. Unable to arraign her for singing this provocative song, the FBI charge her instead of possession of narcotics. Subsequently she is charged and incarcerated for twelve months in 1947.
Billie's time in jail resulted in the loss of her New York City Cabaret Card, which permitted her to perform in venues that sold alcohol. This ban presented difficulties in locating venues where she could perform.
Given the film title, my expectation of the story line was unfulfilled and disappointing. I imagined the story would focus on Billie’s participation in the civil rights and racism movement, in particular the lynchings that were prevalent at the time.
Legislation to deem lynching unlawful still remains pending.
Unsurprisingly, Billie Holiday died at age 44 from pulmonary edema and heart failure caused by cirrhosis of the liver as a result of excessive alcohol and drug-related complications whilst under police guard in hospital.
I would call this film pretty chaotic and monotonous if not boring.
Who if not French about have give us the op class film about Charles de Gaulle? They simply had to do it by definition!
Why? Because France owes its very present position, as one of the leading world powers, to this man, De Gaulle.
Something did not work out with the picture. I’m so patient about the perception of historical dramas, but this film was tortured with difficulty. It runs for 1 hour and 58 minutes. With such timing, you can safely cut half of it and dispose with a clear conscience like unnecessary ballast.
I am quite familiar with the events that took place in May-June 1940 in France. WE all know what happened to France.
I will distinguish Marshal Pétain from the languid Prime Minister Reynaud, but the viewer who is not particularly familiar with the political twists and turns of that time will be having difficult time to get into the course of all "the behind-the-scenes fuss".
Apparently the creators believe that outside of France, everyone knows everything about him, the main character, De Gaulle. It would be more appropriate to shoot a series here, rather than a two-hour film. It turned out to be some kind of historical semi-finished product.
It is very boring and viscous.
The film tries to tell the story of that period in the life of a stubborn general, when he was one of all French military leaders, who stubbornly wanted to continue the fight against Nazism.
When the point of view of the well-deserved and very aged Marshal Petain prevailed, to collude with the enemy, De Gaulle refused to obey this criminal order and, in fact, rebelled against his former commander...
This is the plot of the plot in a nutshell! It is somewhat smeared over time.
De Gaulle's eagle profile, of course, is difficult to confuse with someone else's. The actor, Lambert Wilson, fit into the image very well.
He is very similar to a real French general. He even holds a cigarette exactly like De Gaulle but the dressers, once inattentively, forgot to straighten the harness on the general and he sat crookedly for the whole take.
There are lots of episodes that are devoted to the general's family, but at the same time they managed to remain uninformative and not very deep on all levels.
I then began to squander them... and then it was not long to fall asleep...
Why should I look at the dreams of the general's wife, for example, if these dreams are very indirectly related to the plot itself.
It would be better to spend more time on the relationship between Winston Churchill and De Gaulle instead.
They are not shown in all their colours in the film at all. The French general sometimes drove the temperamental and sometimes just nervous. The British leader got to the state of white heat with his principled intransigence when it came to the interests of France.
By the way, Churchill, he doesn't look like a real person here at all, but more like a fat comedian (and he was one of the best leaders of all times IMHO!).
If not for his cigar, coupled with the obligatory brandy, then he might not have been recognized at all.
I will disappoint fans of military and historical dramas: there are no battle scenes in the film. There are a couple of episodes with lonely French tanks and that's it. They showed them in such a way that it is not very clear whether they are R35 or Hotchkiss H35, which in the World of Tanks, the tankers call "Gocha".
The viewer was only given se glimpses to understand that De Gaulle was able to slow down the German blitzkrieg but the director and screenwriter did not show exactly how it happened.
Apparently, the budget did not allow it, because this is definitely not a military secret.
If you want to know more about the interesting and even amazing fate of one of the most famous Frenchmen in world history, I can recommend reading the book "General de Gaulle" by Professor Nikolai Molchanov. It is not big, it is only 160 pages but it contains a lot of interesting information about a brave man who, with his personal charisma and dedication, was able to achieve that France became one of the victorious countries, and did not remain on the sidelines of world history.
If you still decide to watch this historical drama "De Gaulle", I advise you to be patient, take a cozy blanket may be, that will make some naps more comfortable with.
From a historical point of view, I did not notice any special blunders. Everything was shown correctly but it was very messy. That's why this movie gets 6/10 from me.
I will still advise you to watch it though. Take also some fragrant tea as it should also go well with eth blanket.
The title as well as the poster for this film are attention grabbing. It also has an interesting actress featured, Robin Rights.
The film is new and belongs to the genre of drama. Not my personal choice - this genre... I don't really like it, but this film interested me a lot.
The plot tells us about a woman named Edee and about a terrible tragedy taken place in her family life. Edee underwent rehabilitation, but it did not help her much to cope with the pain.
The woman decided to move away from people to the mountain wilderness, but as it turned out she was not able to survive in such harsh conditions all by herself: she faced hunger, bear invasion to her hut, extreme cold and weather conditions and of course her thoughts that never let her go...
When it seemed that her life was about to end, the woman met a local hunter, who and whose relative passing by her hut by accident, saved her from death, not only physical but also mental and emotional, and taught her to love life anew.
The film is rich in beautiful, breathtaking landscapes and North mountains pristine life of Nature; It also shows life without masks as it is. Only when you are alone you face your fears and finally realise who you are and why you are here, what exactly you are searching in this life. You do not seek any more: you know!
It is difficult to cope with the pain of loss, everyone experiences it once or many times in their lives in its own way, but as life shows us: a person can survive everything, it only takes time to heal.
The worst thing that kills us is our own thoughts, memories of the past that can not be returned, and everyone must go through the process of healing.
Most importantly, we should accept the situation and live on.
This film once again shows that no matter how difficult it is to live on, life is still beautiful and should be enjoyed no matter what.
At such moments, people who can support us are very important, even when we let them just be there with us. Some can understand your struggle, some walk away with a judgment in their hearts. The ones who understand you and who keep being with you no matter what are the ones to keep close.
I liked this film, although it is a little slow pace, but after all, this is a deep emotional drama and probably with such pace the director just wanted to show the pain that slowly poisons the body if you let it do it.
A person who was experiencing loss and tried to cope with it alone might be a real hero. It is hard not to get mental being inside such pain.
The actors played very well, the music was chosen harmoniously, it blended well with the moments of the film and emphasized them.
The movie is worth watching not only for the fans of the drama genre, but also just for the sake of learning, as it is quite worthwhile.
"Then Came You" is a romantic drama and as in all films of this genre there is always a bi of love and hope even when you least expect it.
The story is very simple: American widow, after a year of grieving decides to move forward and travel twenty countries for the first time in her life.
Her first destination on the map is Scotland and she is renting a room via internet in an old castle which was a dream to come true... but with this relaxing voyage, she gets more than she had dreamed for.
She stays with her landlord and socialises with him on a daily basis. As expected, two complete opposites start falling for each other, and completing each other in every way.
It is a great, easy and very romantic drama to enjoy with a good friend or your partner. I highly recommend it.
FIRST COW BEST MOVIE OF THE MONTH website RATE: 9.5/10
Prepare to watch the western not in its traditional form: there will be no horse chases, bullets and salons as we know them.
Half of the viewers who will watch this movie most likely will hate it for its slow pace and seemingly and practically no action.
Honestly, this is one of the most amazing films I've seen this year. It is a simple story of friendship and hope. As I mentioned above, the film is made in a western genre that literally pushes this same genre's clichés out of the door in favor of redefining stereotypes of masculinity.
In other words, if you think westerns should be about gunfights and border conquest, "First Cow" is not the movie for you. I
The battles in this film are more understated. They are not load and yelling at you. They yell inside of you and they mainly relate to the day-to-day struggle of border guards. The story is told solely from the perspective of male characters who survived undeveloped territory in the early 19th century in Oregon, America, which at tat time did not belong to States but was an independently owned by the fur trade corporations.
In the "Wild, Wild West" the people were still limited by social hierarchy. This is a savage destruction of the violence and irony of the American dream: capitalism itself in its raw form: cruel and brutal.
Every episode of this film is a high quality masterpiece with a pungent contradiction. The warmth and compassion of the momentary moment is constantly clouded by a terrible expectation at work on multiple levels.
The whole story begins when one night the main character, who is hired as a cook by a small group of beaver hinters, meets a naked Chinese man who is hiding in the forest. The Asian man is cold and very hungry. The cook, whose nick name is Cookie gives the Chinese a blanket and something to eat and drink.
Meanwhile, the area is about to see an intriguing new arrival: a well-built female cow was delivered to a local nobleman. The animal is a community conversation because it is the first cow to live in the area. The cow is indeed considered a luxury, but the Main Factor is simply keeping the cow tied to show it off, rather than using milk to help feed someone.
While the two men, the two main characters, The Asian and Cookie develop friendship, they decide to sneak into Main Factor's property in the cover of the night where the cow is kept and secretly milk the animal in a gentle and friendly manner. This prompts them to come up with the idea of making cow's milk cookies and selling them to local hunters. Their daring adventure creates a good but dangerous business: the money are great as no one in this small city makes such delicious "donuts" but they are testing their fortune as they might be discovered any time with their stolen milk trips!
The film is a little quiet, meditative with good and grounded humor and lots of "between the lines" scenes, but I wouldn't call it a slow movie.
There is no shortage of humor or tension in the film. It portrays nature with such love and concern. The leaves and mud seem so rich in texture, and all animals: owls, wolves, dogs, lizards, and of course a famous cow - each of them have distinctive features, their role in the film with their own characters.
The world they are living in now seems new and old, depending on your perspective but it is so organic.
The idea is to feel both old and new echoes in the film's initiative theme. The progress of time is constantly felt.
Boats move along the river, settlers move and Paris fashion changes. All these ideas are applied in modern life.
So it was a beautiful, quiet, poetic film for me personally and I loved it.
At the same time, it is a slower film that pays off emotionally. The focus is on the friendship of the two men and their attempts to make a living, though ending up in drama.
In the nutshell: in the not too distant future, in 2065, thirty young men and women are sent deep into space on a multi-generational mission in search of a new home, new planet to live on. However, so well planned mission, over time, plunges into madness. The crew returns to their most primitive state. They do not understand what is the real threat to them: what is outside the ship, or what they become inside of it.
I is a thriller and you will be following every second of it holding your breath. The crew's captain dies in an accident while fixing the faults in the electrical system in the open space. The film stars Colin Farrell and a bunch of "overexcited buzzers": Neil Berger (Regions of Darkness, Divergent) takes Ty Sheridan (Ready Player One), Lily-Rose Depp, Fionna Whitehead (Dunkirk), Isaac Hampstead Wright and Viveake Kalra and a bunch of other teenagers as saviors for the human race. Senior scientist, Richard Olling (Colin Farrell) is assigned to look after the test-tube babies.
During the expedition, the heroes use a certain liquid, blue in colour, prepared for them with the purpose of dulling pleasures, desires and emotions and making adolescents into obedient amoebas. One day the buzzers discover that something is not right, to their research and stop taking the substance. Then the uncontrollable chaos (named Gaspar Noe) begins on board: the entire colonization mission is now under threat.
The creators describe the picture as "Lord of the Flies" in the scenery of cold space, and Berger, one might say, returned to the motives of "Divergent" after seven long years.
Enrique Chediak is responsible for the visual in the film which ar simply spectacular (he has done Faculty, 127 Hours and 28 Weeks Later previously).
The film is more suitable for a yonger audience. It touches many topics in the modern society: believes, power over love, political games and many more.
review by Alex First of MAPT
Voyagers (MA) – 108 minutes – by Alex First
Lord of the Flies set in the not too distant future, but without the impact.
That, in a nutshell, is Voyagers.
The concept is not new.
It is 2063. Earth is on the precipice.
Heat, drought and disease are threatening the long-term future of the planet.
So, the powers that be hatch a plan to a/ find another planet that can sustain human life and b/ begin populating it.
It starts with “growing” their own humans ... that is “breeding” their own crew to take to the heavens.
By that I mean carefully crafting test tube babies, who will grow up in a confined environment – without access to wide open spaces, sunlight or other people, save for their instructor – and after seven years will shoot for the stars (literally).
There is a total of 30 of them and the journey will take them 86 years.
So, it won’t be them, but their grandchildren who will begin populating the new planet.
Their instructor is Richard (Colin Farrell) and he feels a sense of attachment and commitment to the kids.
So, he volunteers to join them, although that wasn’t the original game plan.
His presence will also allow the lot of them to depart Earth three years earlier than would have been the case if they had left without him.
After take off, we cut to 10 years later and are given insight into the daily routine on board their vessel, named Humanitas.
Without providing spoilers, let me just say that from there on in, smooth sailing it isn’t.
The film is deliberately given a cold and barren look to reflect the scientific nature in which this vital “experiment” is being undertaken.
More than that, while measured and sensible, the young adults have no personalities, to speak of ... until that changes.
Set design – largely a series of white panels – plays a significant part in proceedings.
The lighting gives the surrounds a green “medical grade” hue. While I could almost swallow the contention to commence proceedings, the longer the film went, the more it lost me.
It became utterly preposterous.
The script by writer and director Neil Burger (The Illusionist) lacked credibility and some of the characterisation and dialogue were decidedly pedestrian.
I felt the film was slow and it dragged.
Colin Farrell’s was, to me, the most credible and sympathetic role.
While acceptable, I can’t say I was particularly “sold” of any of the other performances.
Lily-Rose Depp is cast as Chief Medical Officer Sela, while Tye Sheridan is Christopher, who is called to step up. Both did what was necessary.
As Chief Engineer Zac (and Christopher’s friend turned adversary), Fionn Whitehead all but becomes a caricature of a villain.
I am afraid, I simply didn’t buy what they were “selling”, which leads me to the conclusion that this is one voyage not worth taking.
The new film Supernova by Harry McQueen was originally made in the genre of a leisurely conversational road movie, suitable for in-camera festival viewing, but hardly having a chance to come to the court of a rare post-covid viewer.
The whole conflict is sold out in the film synopsis, where two gay partners Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci travel in a camper across rainy Great Britain in search of the last refuge for one of them, who suffers from progressive dementia, but in fact this is not a film about relationship (although the problem legalization of gay marriages is mentioned in the film, and the attempt to have sex between the main characters was completely cut out), and not about dying (although from a formal point of view, all the dialogues are about it), and not even such an uncomplicated allegory of the last path, no matter how endless unwinding British country roads are.
The problem is that everything that happens is too conflict-free. These two have already said goodbye to each other a long time ago and let it go, and only by inertia they continue to persuade each other: let's record a cassette, let's see our friends, let's go to a diner, let's sign an autograph, let's take some pills, let's stay together a little longer etc etc.
A grave apathy reigns in the frame and it is taken very heavily.
Even those few emotionally charged moments that are left in the script are carefully retouched by directing and editing.
As a result all the possible reasons for discussion listed above remain only a pretext, one of the two is already dead in advance, in his own thoughts, while the other is already in advance, in his own thoughts, in mourning.
They have nothing to argue about, seems that they do not live, they are both dead already.... This is not a dispute, but bargaining, as a stage of accepting the inevitable.
The others also resigned themselves. They take turns saying farewell speeches in order to disappear immediately, yet in the end it comes down to the only thing that, according to the authors, is worthy of discussion.
Not euthanasia as a means of care, and not palliative care for the dying, and not a long farewell to loved ones who did not die so very suddenly.
No, everything is simpler, as the script tells us. Discussion is only a question of whether a person has the right to remain selfish. Not in death, no, because we will all die, but in life. Shall the last moments be lived in happiness instead of the endless boredom?
To what extent we owe something to our loved ones?.. Here one also asks: stay with me a little more... while the other is silent already in response. The dead are almost always silent.
The issue I believe is in living either in the past or in the future which are never there that makes it painful for the soul that lives in no time frame: there is no "moment enjoying" in the film that we all have to learn somehow...
review by Alex First of MAPT
Supernova (M) – 94 minutes – by Alex First
One, Sam (Colin Firth), is a classical pianist, the other, Tusker (Stanley Tucci), a writer.
Now middle aged, the couple has been together for decades.
They know how to press each other’s buttons, but are still very much in love.
One day they decide to dust off the old camper van and take a road trip across England with their dog.
The writer has started on a new book, but that seems to have stalled, while the pianist is about to give his first recital for a while.
All seems in order until an incident when Tusker disappears with the dog and Sam is beside himself.
We come to learn that Tusker has early onset dementia (diagnosed two years earlier) and it is getting worse.
His mind isn’t what it used to be and he knows it.
Tusker wants to keep things as normal as he can, but that is becoming increasingly difficult.
Sam has given up his career to spend all his time with his partner, of whom he is very protective.
They visit places they have been, including a picturesque lake, and stop in on Sam’s sister, husband and daughter, who greet them warmly.
Increasingly, this is looking like Tusker’s last hurrah.
There are a number of incidents along the road, culminating in a revelation that rocks Sam to his core.
Supernova is a beautiful, sensitive portrait … a slice of life piece … a tearjerker.
Harry Macqueen (Hinterland) – who has written and directed the work – has crafted a couple of memorable vehicles for the supreme talents of Firth and Tucci to inhabit.
That they do with their usual aplomb.
While the words they utter are meaningful, much of the success of the film comes down to their expressions and silences.
They deftly negotiate the distinct personality traits of the characters they portray.
The movie has a contemplative nature.
Nothing happens at speed and that, of course, is deliberate and apt in terms of dealing appropriately with the subject matter.
Cinematographer Dick Pope has done a fine job giving the picture a comfortable homely feel, while capturing some stunning vistas.
Facing up to the reality the movie presents is uncomfortable, harsh and unrelenting.
Supernova does so with distinction.
Rated M, it scores an 8.5 out of 10.
THE LAST VERMEER MOVIE TO PAY ATTENTION TO website RATE: 8/10
The new American drama called The Last Vermeer by Dan Friedkin (director's debute) was released in the United States only at the end of 2020 and just now in Australia .
It may seem like another piece about the consequences of fascism in Western Europe, specifically in the Netherlands, where some of the people participated in the Resistance Movement, and some collaborated with the German occupiers. The novelty of the tape, however, created on the basis of the book "The Man Who Created the Vermeers" by Jonathan Lopez, is that it addresses the rarely raised topic of the art business during the Second World War (and not only as the art business tendencies are still the same), when some dealers in the field of selling paintings continued to actively profit from demand the fascist elite for high art.
Such a clever adventurer was the real-life Dutch artist, Han van Megeren, who was accused after the end of the war of having amassed a huge fortune by handing over the paintings of renowned masters to the Nazi bosses, in particular, Jan Vermeer of Delft.
As a result of the investigation undertaken by Captain Joseph Piller from the Allied army (who is a Jew by the way). who was previously forced to hide from the occupation regime and still take part in the fight against the Nazis, it turns out that Megeren, considered a collaborator (and he faces the death penalty for it) is not so unambiguous as a person and a creator.
Fridkin's film is just gaining its climax as the case comes to the trial, which task is to pronounce a verdict on the execution. This would be greeted with gloating pleasure by the crowd of townspeople gathered near the courthouse.
Although the unexpected turn in the course of the meetings (which is really adored by many filmmakers and the audience too, when the truth, which is always nearby, becomes the property of everyone only thanks to stubborn supporters of fair justice) makes you completely amazed.
It was not what many witnessed. The collaboration of the artist and the art dealer with the fascists turned out to be something different . It was deceptive, false (falsch in German, and in Dutch, as in English, there is term fake).
On order not to reveal a kind of "double twist", since after the end of the trial of Han van Megeren, Joseph Piller learns another secret about this man (so do we), it is better to think about the philosophical problem of the duality that exists, when one person is mistaken for another, and he may be under the threat of death.
This is a great movie for discussion and will give you a good ground for many thoughts about art and values in this world...
review by Alex First of MAPT
The Last Vermeer (M) – 118 minutes – by Alex First
Fine art, Nazis, the Dutch and the Allies collide in a whodunnit, which starts three weeks after the downfall of The Third Reich.
At stake is a priceless Johannes Vermeer – at the time the most expensive painting ever sold.
Trying to get to the bottom of the intrigue is a diligent Allied Jewish captain, who knows nothing about art, but is wedded to justice.
In the sights of Captain Joseph Piller (Claes Bang) is a man who allegedly brokered the sale of the Dutch Master’s painting, titled “Christ with the Woman Taken in Adultery”, to notorious Nazi Hermann Göring.
His name is well-to-do Han van Meegeren (Guy Pearce), an artist and connected wheeler and dealer with a high opinion of himself.
But Piller isn’t the only one wanting to interrogate van Meegeren.
Also with his sights on him is the far from subtle Dutch investigator Alex de Klerk (August Diego), who arrives with a posse of henchmen.
van Meegeren is imprisoned, but refuses to give up any information until he is given his painting materials ... and preferably his top shelf whisky.
A high stakes cat and mouse game follows during which we learn more about both Piller and van Meegeren.
The former – married with a child – is having some difficulties in his marriage and is drawn to his assistant, art historian Minna Holmberg (Vicky Krieps).
van Meegeren has a mistress and is fabulously wealthy, but gifted much of it to his ex-wife.
Before this is over, the painting in question will be the subject of a court case, in which van Meegeren’s life is on the line.
There is a great deal of subterfuge at play here, where much is not what it seems.
With no shortage of characters, The Last Vermeer requires concentration to follow all the threads.
Although involving to a point, I felt the screenplay by James McGee, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, based upon the book “The Man Who Made Vermeers” by Jonathan Lopez, lacked nuance.
Rather, it adopted a heavy-handed approach to the material … and there was a level of clumsiness about it.
Further, it took a while to build up momentum.
Really, the greatest interest lay in the third act.
For much of the film, Guy Pearce appeared to smirk and, at times, was almost cartoon-like in his representation of van Meegeren.
For his part, the Captain, as represented by Claes Bang, was too trusting, allowing van Meegeren to pull the strings.
Although you might argue that was largely the fault of the writers, Bang was still too single dimensional for my liking.
With authenticity on its side, I expected more from The Last Vermeer, which is directed by Dan Friedkin, in his feature directorial debut.