AFFFF 2019: ROLLING TO YOU NEW TOUT LE MONDE DEBOUT website review by Oksana Newton
Rolling to you. Director- Franck Dubosc.
Jocelyn is an easy going guy who has everything in his life, but one thing is missing hich is his real love, real soul friend, a woman who could make his life happy and full of joy.
He is a CEO in the company called I-RUN.
He is a rich man with a great sense of humour but his biggest problem is: he is a additive liar.
He lies to one woman about who he is and he pretends that he is disabled hoping that he gets this woman in his bed in this most ugly way.
But without any realisation he falls in love with her sister, whose name is Florence.
Everything would be great but his lies got already too far. He doesn’t have guts to say the truth.
He feels guilty and at the same time Florence makes him realise that even people on the wheelchairs can have great life which will be full of expectations, with lots of activities , playing sport and enjoying music, traveling around the world and be happy with themselves.
She makes him realise who he is and what he needs in his life.
Florence is one very determined woman, she follows her dreams plus she is happy with her life.
Her wheelchair doesn’t stop her to have plans for the future, to have friends and to do what she likes to do.
Jocelyn without any realisation falls in love with Florence.
He understands that it’s not about her body, but about her soul and her beautiful personality.
He now feels happy with her and alive.
He finally tells the truth, but it is up to Florence now to make forgive him and make a final decision o stay or to leave him.
It’s up to her which way their relations will go.
Will she forgives him and will their love takes them to some new levels?
It’s was one fantastic wake up through all movie to understand that a person with disability can have greater life, bigger dreams, better activities, more devoted friends and be happy in life even more than normal person.
Also it made me realise, that love works in most mysterious ways.
You can love the body, but you get hooked on person's soul.
It’s a nice and very deep movie with lots of hints, fantastic humour and some very sweet moments.
I enjoyed watching it. Now my thoughts and vision on disability has been changed too. Thanks for this fabulous movie.
STAN AND OLLIE NEW website review by Susan Reynolds
Stan & Ollie 2018 ‧ Drama/Comedy-drama ‧ 1h 38m Review by Susan Reynolds 9/10
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy had comedy running through their veins. The greatest pair of comedians arguably of all time. In their Slapstick with brilliant timing they really were unsurpassable. The Movie scenes illuminated the legacy left by the pair. Brilliantly casted Steve Coogan as Laurel and John C Reilly as Hardy movie goers won’t be disappointed. Having an uncanny resemblance to the pair they also mimicked the duo in emulating their idiosyncrasies. Laurel was an Englishman and Hardy American. Stan Laurel as revealed in the film was a prolific writer and innovator.
This film concentrated on the latter part of their journey, they’d been huge classical Hollywood Stars of the American era. Their last film having been in 1950 their success even before that had begun to wane. The decision was made to travel the entertainment halls in the UK Farewell tour of 1953. Initially it was not going well then they are coaxed to build publicity which was successful in putting bums on seats. This film really helped me understand chronologically where me my own favourite comedian as a child was placed Norman Wisdom. He was mentioned in the film as the new big star.
The men’s wives were well cast in the movie, the motherly Lucille Hardy (Shirley Henderson) aka Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter and the quirky self important ex-dancer from Russia, Ida Laurel (Nina Arianda).
The film showed a friendship fraught with highs and lows off screen and brewing resentments that surfaced. People can say a lot of hurtful things to each other often those whom they are the closest to. The tragic fact that it took Oliver’s bad heart to make them realize what they meant to each other.
Brilliantly acted and expertly timed comedy routines which were really riveting and could only be done by highly proficient actors.
HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U NEW website review by Bryanna Reynolds
REVIEW: Happy Death Day 2U By Bryanna Reynolds
The film Happy Death Day 2U is a sequel to the much loved film Happy Death Day! What a wonderful premiere it was! On arrival we were greeted with the cutest or you could say creepiest cupcakes ever. But boy did they taste delicious a velvety chocolate texture that was literally to die for. There was also an opportunity to walk the red carpet and even get a social pic wearing the infamous school mascot/killers mask. It was a wonderful and extremely unique experience. Then it was time to sit back in the cinema and relax. Well enjoy the film, which I did because I love horror films. Firstly if you think this is just another horror film that sticks to the stereotypical elements of a feature film then you would be mistaken and presently surprised. If you are worried that because this is a sequel you need to have watched the first film then have no fear. Luckily in the film they provide a recap in full visual element of the first film to catch you up to date. Personally I would suggest you do watch the first film before you see the sequel, purely because they are both amazing films and you will enjoy the comedic elements much more. There are a lot of inside jokes which I could pick up on having seen both the films and knowing the character history’s. I’ll leave that up to you though. The film follows the life of Tree a college student who becomes trapped in a parallel universe. What I loved about the sequel was that we learn who created the time loop and how the parallel universes work more. It is very interesting algorithms. It also makes you question your own life morals and philosophy which is something I personally like to think about on a daily basis. Happy Death Day 2U is simply a film you must check out because it is unlike the general stereotypes of comedic horror films, it takes everything to the next level! It is in cinemas now. Thank you to Bohemian Rhapsody for the opportunity to cover this film.
‘Arctic’ is a survival thriller done by the international collaboration of new Brazilian director Joe Penna, who also co-wrote it together with screenwriter Ryan Morrison, featuring Danish movie star Mads Mikkelsen.
The main character, a pilot, is post-crash stranded in the Arctic wilderness and endeavours to save himself and the female survivor of another accident. He has to make quite a few very hard decisions and his inner distress is evident. This struggle for survival is a one-man show and Mads Mikkelsen truly gives a riveting performance. With no dialogue, in fact, very little spoken words, the storyline is based on actions, emotions and intentions brilliantly and eloquently portrayed by one actor. There is no hiding behind the special effects, clever conversations and multiple characters; our focus is kept on Mads’ character all the time with minimalistic clarity and precision. This is a story of true grit and will to survive against brutal circumstances. And because it lacks the normal flourish of Hollywood movies it is very believable and realistic to the point that we forget that this is a fiction and not a true story.The camera gives us sweeping panoramic views of stark Arctic landscape, white and beautiful in total desolation. It almost plays the role of another character, silent and cold nemesis of the main hero.This film was presented at Cannes and was highly noted by critics.Find it in selected cinemas across Victoria: Sun Theatre Lido Cinemas Classic Cinemas Cameo Cinemas The Pivotonian Cinema (from Feb 28) Sun Cinema Bairnsdale (from March 7)
Using harsh reality and pop culture as its backbone, Vox Lux is a hard-hitting fictional drama about the price of fame.
It takes place between 1999 and 2017.
Tragedy strikes at a US high school and Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) sings a song at a subsequent memorial service, which touches the hearts of mourners and Americans.
The song becomes an anthem and Celeste becomes a teenage music prodigy, guided on her journey by her sister (Stacy Martin) and a talent manager (Jude Law).
Her meteoric rise is emblematic of the way these things work, but just as confronting is how the fame goes to her head as reaches global superstardom.
Eighteen years later, following scandal and personal struggles, Celeste (Natalie Portman) finds herself on the comeback trail … but her demons are continually on the warpath.
In her wake are her badly treated sister, daughter (also played by Rafferty Cassidy) and her manager.
Featuring original songs by Sia, writer and director Brady Corbet focuses upon key events and cultural patterns that have defined the start of this century.
That gaze was in keeping with his previous work, The Childhood of the Leader, which was set in Europe and focused upon the early part of the 20th century.
Vox Lux, which starts in shocking and dramatic fashion and is compelling to a point thereafter descends into quite a convoluted blancmange soon after reaching the midway point.
It overindulges in a clip of a punk rock band playing at that point and confuses us when the central figure is recast as the daughter of that figure.
It actually takes a while to work out just what is going on.
The star is reset as an egotistical villain indulging in the excesses often associated with music’s crash and burn lifestyle.
I though wasn’t convinced that that was in the nature of the character more than half the movie had spent developing.
And Portman just played spaced out, paranoid and troppo.
The filmmakers overindulged again in the delivery of the final concert scenes, which went on for too long.
The highbrow narration afforded to Willem Dafoe was irritating in terms of its complexity when it need not have been. I
t felt and sounded pretentious ... and in so saying I am not in any way critical of Defoe’s delivery, which I admired, rather of the wordsmithing that preceded Dafoe’s involvement.
So, while Vox Lux certainly showed a great deal of early promise, it was let down by a less than spectacular back end.
Rated MA, it scores a 6½ out of 10.
MELBOURNE QUEER FILM FESTIVAL 2019 NEW MEDIA LAUNCH website review and photos: Anthony Wayne
The Melbourne Queer Film Festival kicked off the launch of their 2019 program this week at the spectacular Crown Metropol - 28 Sky Bar. A strictly invite only event, we were very fortunate to be given access to this stylish affair with roaming canapés and the drinks flowing. This year marks the festivals 29th year – and is Australia’s largest and longest running queer festival. The festival is a key highlight of the LGBTIQ calendar and continues to grow in size. Running over 12 days from 14 March through to 25 March, the program offers screenings at three venues – Village Jam Factory, Cinema Nova, and ACMI providing greater access right across Melbourne. Included in the program are a diverse selection of more than 120 films from the best in queer cinema here in Australia and from around the world - including feature films, short films and documentaries. Head online to browse the program at mqff.com.au – and tickets are available for purchase either online, through their official MQFF app, or at the box office – located at the venues above. In addition to program, the festival offers contests for filmmakers – this year’s short film contest ‘Keep The Vibe Alive’ was a partnership between MQFF and Quit aimed at raising awareness of the high smoking rates within the LGBTIQ community. The two winning films were announced and screened at the program launch – both highly entertaining and with a positive message challenging the perception that smoking is attractive. They will continue to be shown before every screening throughout the festival. Screened at the launch were several trailers giving us a small taste of the program – including Rafiki, Sauvage, Knife+Heart and Black Divaz. After getting this special preview I am certainly excited to head off and see Black Divaz which features the talents of indigenous queer drag artists. I’m sure I will have plenty more on my list to see once I finish perusing the program. Distinguished guests at the launch included program director – Spiro Economopoulos, Fiona Patten, Ro Allen, Mayor of Stonnington – Cr Steve Stefanopoulos. Thank you to MQFF for the invitation and congratulations on another exciting year for the festival!
Just to start with , I should admit , that I was looking forward to see presentation of Cold Pursuit movie. I was very excited to see my favourite actor in this fantastic film, Liam Neeson ( Nels Coxman) why played general role in movie. Knowing Liam Neesons great actings in lots of movies, he always plays “cool dude” and this movie was not exception for me. Nels Coxman is respectful man in his community, loving husband and father, great resident of little place called Kehoe. He lives his life peacefully, having a job cleaning roads from the snow. Everything goes nicely until his son dieds overdose of heroine. He feels empty and broken without his son, but unexpectedly he found out that his son was killed and he wasn’t drug user. He wants revenge and answers for his questions. Why did it? Why they did it? And What was involved in all this mess? Nels start his own investigation and soon he found out , that big money and drugs were involved. Nothing could stop him. One by one he kills men who took his sons life. With all this murders two big drug dealers , Viking and Bull start to have a blood war. All this situation turns peaceful little Kehoi in to a blood mess. As a father Nels Coxman just wanted justice for his son and peace in his heard. He got what he wanted. He proved his loyalty to his family. I think he did what normal, loving father would do. Nothing could change his mind even his wife, who didn’t believe him and left his . I should admit that apart from all this scenario , movie was with drizzle of funny moments. Black humour made this movie very funny to watch and less depressive as well. I really enjoyed this film and I would recommend this film for my friends and people I know. It was great movie ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. Five stars for sure.
review by Ivan Lubkov
Cold Pursuit The adrenaline pumping story of a lone warrior Nels Coxman played by Liam Neeson comes to the theatres around the world. The determination to serve justice drives the main character to fight two strong and brutal drug conglomerates that seem to rule over a secluded American northern region. The skill of the self-taught vigilante protagonist rivals the swiftness and covertness of modern-day action heroes played by Liam Neeson in different films such as CIA field agent Bryan Mills from Taken or an marksman for hire from The Grey. In the new film his character proves that no words are necessary to defeat even the mightiest and richest opponents. The film starts off with a vague introduction to the family and the daily lifestyle of a contractor that has been using sophisticated and hi-tech machinery to keep the snowy mountain roads safe and clean and usable. His contribution to the town was so appreciated that he received honorary award from the city mayor. His whole life got shattered after his son died from drug overdose which caused his wife to leave him. As he was getting ready to commit suicide, he decided to bring justice to the people that dragged his son to a path that led him close to drugs. The film has been well received by reviewers around the world and anyone who appreciates stories about modern day heroes would enjoy it too. As popular in modern day action films, the story involves many revenge driven fights where the victorious don’t hold back their violence to make sure that the punishment is served in full.
ALLINCE FRANCAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2019: THE SISTERS BROTHERS NEW LES FRÈRES SISTERS AFFFF2019 media opening night website RATE: 9/10
“Westerns” are very specific movies with the territory, where it would be better not to meddle, if you do not have a taste of the genre. We saw so many of them with lots of amazing Hollywood stars. Nevertheless The Sisters Brothers is a bright example that shows how the director can find his own unique and very specific style of the genre. It turns out to be a total success IMHO plus it is a great choice for the opening night for media selected by the AFFFF2019 management team.
The plot. Two brothers, Eli and Charlie Sisters make a living by mercenarism. They often kill for living following the orders. Their new task is to find and kill the miner whose name is Worm. Worm has the knowledge of finding gold using a chemical reaction and technology. Such an unremarkable affair turns into a quite mysterious and unpredictable journey - the road of self discovery, self identity and much more. Expect the gun shoots, bears, even some kind of weird "witches", drinking saloons, girls with light behaviour, horses and studs. Expect the unexpected ending too which is unwesternly comforting and cozy. The plot is great, the characters are amazing, charismatic in their own way and all have strong motives to action, the wild west is magnificent, the killers are brutal, the actors are brilliant and so natural in their acting you forget they play. It is a road movie meaning the characters will constantly move, they only stop to sleep the nights under the stars or to take a deep breath before the next fight. The killings are all senseless like they should be, they are cruel, evil and useless. There are glimpses of humanity and kindness, sentimentality and no matter how strange it will sound: the growth of the mentality of the main heroes. It all looks and feels very organic meaning the film gives you positive emotions no matter how violent are the deeds. We only hope that one of the brothers, Eli whose character is softer and more "romantic" will finally dominate and wake up the younger brother, Charlie to become less vicious. The opposition of Sisters Brothers are two characters: a scientist and a detective. Both of them are well educated and their mood is quite peaceful even towards the Brothers. Their roads finally meet, their faiths cross but the final is evitable .. however... there are some sensational moments of truth all of them have to experience before the end titles take is to the black screen The details of the plot are more important as always as the main line. The action is limited which is so pleasant for my taste, the main focus is on the dialogues, which can take a very witty way. The film is full of dazzling and smart humor that I personally adore.
The two brothers are childish and immature in their mentality. Thy fight for everything like two bestial animals and if the start of the film might seem a bit boring and seemingly drowning in the same conversations the last 40 minutes turn into something spectacular where the real acting talents emerge and will hold you breathless till the last film minutes. You need to see this "deep sky full of stars" to believe it! This is the film to remember the day after and thee day after you view it but to watch it the second time would be a double pleasure!
The overall atmosphere. The camera is superb to say the least. Some of you might miss horse rides and chasing, some will miss the gun shoots, but IMHO they are not required here: the story is nothing abut action, it is as I said before: about the soul The soundtrack. It is light but not noticeable. I have not heard anything striking but the music perhaps was just right for the film.
The final result. The final result is a high quality of cinematography. It is a good comedy, a good western, a good drama, a bit of action, a bit of something between the evil and kind. It is excellent after all.
There is a safety of the mother's love and mother's sweet home shown at the final accords of the film. These men are not weak, they are strong men with probably a lost childhood. They are children of their time , space and circumstances.
AT ETERNITY'S GATE NEW website review by Susan Reynolds
“At Eternity’s Gate” 2019 French/English Directed by Julian Schnabel Review by Susan Reynolds
10/10 This film reveals sequences in the life of Vincent Van Gogh and his time in Arles France. He is one of most popular figures in the world of modern art. There are very satisfying scenes of Vincent (William Defoe) painting and drawing some of his iconic pieces which is really interesting. The film is very artistic in the endeavors of visiting locations and presenting snapshots of where Vincent was most inspired. We see the wheat fields, still life flowers and Vincent sitting high up on a hill drawing. We also meet the characters he painted such as Dr Gachet and the Postman Joseph Roulin and other Arles locals; the individuals who made up the tapestry of his life and work. We see the relationships with the wonderful loving brother Theo and the strongly opinionated fellow artist Gaugin.
For anyone who has studied Van Gogh it’s wonderful, but if not, this film is still very much worth seeing and would inspire people to visit a gallery and see Vincent’s paintings. The film presents the man deep in his thoughts about the world and his place in it, he is philosophical, sensitive and driven. He says “When facing a flat landscape I see eternity am I the only one to see it” he was deeply connected to nature and feeling the need to interpret the world with his own vision. In the film Vincent said that the harvest was early. Believing the reason the world didn’t embrace his work was that he was indeed before his time. It was his very personal rendering of the world around him.
The American accented actor who played Vincent initially I thought nooo! But he was excellent. Feeling that in reality Vincent would indeed be a very emotional individual I did expect this character version of him. Even though this actor was more subdued than I’d anticipated that didn’t seem to matter. In fact it made for a clearly conveyed story and the complexity of Vincent’s personality and uniqueness shone through brilliantly with his portrayal.
Newly presented material to me was the fact that Vincent didn’t own a gun and most likely hadn’t shot himself as in sources I’d read in the past. That is was an altercation with individuals with a gun, which sadly resulted in his death at 37.
Sadness surrounds Vincent’s battle with mental illness but what he has left the world is pure joy. I hope you do spend the time to experience this film.
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK NEW websitef RATE: 5/10 It was the most anticipated projects in Toronto. It is the new film by Barry Jenkins whose film Moon Light got the top rates in 2016. the picture is romantic, very touching but way too sugary-sentimental and sweet. Tish and Fonny know each other since they were four. They grew together and they are 18 and 22 now. their warm friendship grew into the most beautiful love. Tish is pregnant now. The pregnancy is announced at the family gathering and Fonny's religious mother is furious. The argument takes a very ugly form when Fonny's mum is forced to leave her friend's house. The events then continue to develop very rapidly. Fonny is accused in raping that he has never done. He is taken to jail. He is a victim of racism. Tosh's mother is travelling to Puerto Rico where the "raped" girl escapes but none of the trials to help the situation works. Jenkins forget about his main characters when he tells the story about social and romantic relationship. they are there but they seem so unnatural and so out of place as they are not the heroes of the story bu the mechanical dolls or stereotypical functions. the chemistry is there but the movement is lost. They are way too sweet for us to believe that the story is truthful. Their feelings are too pure, their eyes are too frozen, their manners are technical and way too good like a syrup on the pancake. They are way too occupied by their own love which looks so boring and so synthetic. We all need love, tenderness, care and kittens sometimes but too much love can kill you as it kills the film as we do not understand why do we have to love these couple too.... Jenkins is there to tell us about nazism but he himself get drown in the sugary jam of silly emotions while we all know what sugar does to our bodies... Sad?Extremely! As he had everything there to make it work having such a rewarding story in his hands...
ON THE BASIS OF SEX NEW websitef RATE: 6/10 This film is about Ruth Bader Ginsburg the the member of the High Court of USA and he most influential woman -judge in the history of the American jurisprudence. She is also the first Jewish female judge. Ruth was born in 1933 in th family of the fur trader and his house wife. Her mother passed away when Ruth was a small child. The young girl got her education at the Cornell University where she met her husband Martin Ginsburg. they then studied together at Harvard. When Ruth graduated and got her diploma she started working. She got the reputation of the best lawyer in US very fast. She was fighting against gender discrimination in 70-s the aspects of which were seen on many levels of life. She was selected to be a judge at the HC of US in 1994. Her famous speeches changed the world of equal opportunities and fare conduct at the courts of America. Her interviews are famous and famous people quote them in their speeches. She is sharp and her way in life is very distinctive and she deserves to be a role model by all means. Her cases were the basis for the storiess of the Broadway operas. Ruth appears herself at the end of the film.
As the whole movie was a little bit plain for my taste the acting of Clint Eastwood is very much impressive! He is a real Wild West Cowboy on the road that he owns. It is an adventure film where Clit is a director as well as he is the main character. Neglecting the fact that the film was not up to my expectations I respected the fact that the classical in its figure Clint is absolutely amazing and drew all my attention to his immaculate acting! He is lively as if he does not even suspect how old is he! He is very organic and the age only give him more and more charm. The film is based on the real story and it makes your curiosity burn inside of you for the entire movie. The story is about the 90- year old man who was hired by the Mexican drug mafia to deliver the weight of coke from one side of the country to another. The idea was to give the valuable load to the person who would not be suspected by the detectives. Is he a real hero of the Wild Wild West in this film? He is one lonely and old man . He is poor, this job though not legal brings him money which he never have seen in his entire life. Is he a hero? Could he remain one while doing such a dirty job? It is a story about a had working man who was at the wheel all his life, he was honest, and he knows how to drive. He grows very rare lilies now, he is a gardener. The road warrior though is left broke after his business was shut down. He was left without money and without a roof above his head. The old fart is given a job that is very simple, with very basic instructions. It is a very important job though. His car is rusty, his weight is in the boot . All he has to do is deliver the load t the hotel He gets , he drives, he receives, the load exchanges hands. He gets his payment and drives back home. He can not look inside the bag with the load. The old man is not desperate for money however he comes back for another load, and another load, and another load... He smelt the money once and he got the taste of them, he got addicted to them as the drug addict gets addicted to the drugs. Clint's hero is not harsh, he sings behind the wheel and he gets entertained by easy gong women... Clint's character, Earl Stone is from another age: he can call black people nigger and no one would say a word .He is forgiven. He still lives in 50-s. The road warrior is a pensioner and we quickly discover that he was not the best father nor he was the best husband. His family is lost for him as well as his house and the work that he loves. We find out that once his work was much more important than his close ones. The money he earns by delivering drugs he spends now on his family. He is trying to repent his sins of the past. The film is a letter of the main hero to his family, to something so very dear that he has never valued before. It is about those he loved and he still loves. The film is a good lesson to all of us. His victory is actually his loss as in this world of evil his victory does not matter. His victory does not bring rest. It might be his last film. the drama in the film is a bit soft. He changes his rusty car to the glamorous black Jeep and he gorgeous women surround him as he earns more and more money... but the story seems slow and loosing its spice somehow. The work of the police from the other side does not support the film originality. It is very predictable and acting is not string at all. The film is quite ordinary and even conservative. It though splashes us with the truth of the old man who carries his gun with dignity and no fear.
Who would have thought that an octogenarian mild mannered flower grower could become one of the most prolific drug runners for Mexico’s most notorious cartel?
And yet The Mule was inspired by fact.
In reality, Earl Jones – the character played by Clint Eastwood – was based upon Leo Sharp, who was arrested for his nefarious activities at the age of 87.
Jones is charming and easy going.
It is only when his horticultural pursuits go belly up that he is is offered a job that simply requires him to drive – something he is good at and has done repeatedly in the past, travelling from one flower show to the next.
What he doesn’t realise, at first, is that he has just signed on as a drug courier for the cartel.
He does his job well … so well, in fact, that his cargo increases exponentially.
Before he knows it he is transporting the equivalent of millions of dollars of cocaine at a time.
And what he is making from his endeavours helps right his own ship financially … and then some.
Mind you, not everyone in the cartel is besotted by the “schedule” that Earl keeps and on his tail is a results-driven US Drug Enforcement Administration agent – Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper).
Although Bates’ chase is a long one, he is determined to get his man, but what he doesn’t realise is that he is dealing with a distinctively different type of “criminal”.
Wrapped up in all of this is the fact that Jones’ personal life is a train wreck.
He has ostracised the people closest to him, including his ex-wife (played by Dianne Wiest) and his daughter, and his past mistakes are starting to weigh more heavily upon him.
The Mule marks a full circle for Eastwood, inasmuch as it is the first time on both sides of the camera for him since 2009’s Gran Torino.
The screenplay is by Nick Schenk, who also wrote Gran Torino.
On this occasion, Schenk was motivated by a New York Times Magazine article titled “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule” by Sam Dolnick.
Schenk painted Earl as the flipside of Gran Torino’s hard-edged Eastwood character Walt Kowalski.
While I could tell on a few occasions that the material was being manipulated to solicit a particular response, the story itself remained an intriguing and compelling one.
The fast edits – too fast in my opinion – at the start to quickly dispense with the back story was one example of this obvious manipulation. At that point, the yarn wasn’t allowed to “breathe”.
I like movies to flow naturally – in other words for me to get so wrapped up in proceedings that I don’t even consider that the actors are acting.
Then, much later in the piece, Earl’s granddaughter’s histrionics – understandable though they are – felt phoned in.
Still, what a remarkable tale this is and for the most part Eastwood shows his command of the material, both as actor and as director.
We do build a picture of Earl’s easy nature and charm and the affinity he built with some hard-nosed cartel members.
The home tensions and those centred around the cartel aid the cause considerably.
They help give the movie depth, resonance and relatability.
Eastwood has built around him an enviable cadre of actors that also include Andy Garcia as the cartel boss, Laurence Fishburne as the DEA special agent in charge and Michael Peña as Bradley Cooper’s character’s agent partner.
Incidentally, Alison Eastwood, Clint’s real-life daughter, plays Earl’s estranged daughter in The Mule.
In the end, it is a picture well worth your time.
Rated M, it scores a 7 to 7½ out of 10.
BEN IS BACK NEW website review by Jeanette Russell
Thank you for the opportunity to review this film. A story of addiction and emotional turmoil and the dramatic effects on a family make for an action packed movie. Ben returns early from his stay at rehab, and had me guessing as to how well he had recovered. In the tale of this blended family emotions run high as Ben's return and somewhat shady past threaten family safety, harmony and peace. Julia Roberts does a stellar job of playing Ben's mum Holly. She will do anything to support her son, even if it means disrupting the family, and leaving them with her second husband. Holly Ben's Mum, won't give up on helping Ben, in his endeavours, to get himself out of trouble, with old acquaintances, who aren't being so friendly. Ben is played by Lucas Hedges. His father Peter has directed written and had a hand in producing this drama. Peter does a believable and heartfelt performance as Ben who doesn't want to stir up and upset the family but enviably does. As the intensity increases this film had me involved and intrigued. The raw feelings, reactions and desperation were so well acted by Roberts and Lucas Hedges both. A very moving portrayal of how lifestyle choices, addiction, and habits effects not only loving families but friends and the wider community around them. I recommend seeing this poignant, film, which I feel was very much worth a view. Be warned it does have its dark, sad and quite stirring moments.
Its release is the 31st of Jan by Village Roadshow.
There are many ways to judge a film. Too many criteria to list and far too many to take into account when deconstructing a movie. After all, A film with dreadful acting may possess the years best soundtrack or cinematography. This is what makes critiquing art such a subjective and strenuous task most of the time. Then there are the rare cases, such as The school. The school is one of the easiest films to review in existence, as it is unredeemable, unequivocally and undeniably bad. On every level, with every metric commonly used, this film is a failure. Starting with the most obvious metric used, the acting can be described as wooden at best and bordering on sociopathic more honestly. With the single exception of Will McDonald, the film's antagonist who appears to have realized that his co-stars are all overdosing on Botox and has decided to counterbalance them all singlehandedly. He gets credit for trying and for being the most entertaining character in the movie, but it’s not nearly enough to save him, or anyone else. Granted, this film does use primarily child actors and as such, it would be wrong to expect the same level of emoting as their adult counterparts. That doesn’t change the fact that I shouldn’t have to piece together to dialogue and guess at what emotion the characters are meant to be feeling at any time, based on context. Many a film has survived terrible acting and used cinematography or special effects to carry the film. The school does not do that. What it does do, is use an entire Bunnings worth of LED’s in every single scene regardless of how dark the characters claim/pretend it is; as well as seemingly steal all the horror props from a local middle schools Halloween stage performance. If this film were released in black and white during the initial Universal monsters’ craze, it would still have coped flack for its character design and set pieces. Though admittedly, the Windows movie maker effects would probably have received much higher praise. Mockumentaries have shown us that ugly visuals and bad casting isn’t enough to sink a film with a good enough plot or message. This is where the school truly showcases just how abysmal a film it is, however. With a plot so unnecessarily convoluted and a theme so needlessly overbearing that the film seems determined to ensure that even the dullest of viewers don’t miss out of how smart it thinks it is. Made even worse by the litany of plot holes so grotesquely large and obvious you could use the script to sift boulders if you were so inclined. Most badly made movies have a saving grace, one aspect of the film good enough to act as a silver lining to redeem the other parts. The school has no such lining, it isn’t an interesting look at cinema failure, it isn’t even so bad it’s good. It is just bad. If you are truly bored out of your mind and there is literally nothing else to do but watch this movie, I recommend having a nap and waiting for things to get better. I wouldn’t even recommend this film to my enemies as it would then let them know it exists and opens up the possibility of my having to watch this again someday. That is not a risk I am willing to take. tl;dr Do not watch this movie, under any circumstances, unless your life is somehow on the line.
MARY POPPINS RETURNS THE FILM TO PAY ATTENTION AT website RATE: 10/10
This is a film-musical that is ideal from all angles
I had a pleasure seeing this film at the Regent Theater on the first day of its long week of premieres with Anthony Wayne. It was his invite and we had a marvelous time together with sparkling wine and lots of Disney organised presents.
After all we all need a little but of a fairy tale in our lives. I did not have an expectations and this would not be my first choice of the films to see at the cinemas... so I was wrong and so pleasantly surprised.
Well, about the fairy tale. Yes.. and when the tale is spiced by wonderful songs and amazing dancing - it is a double prize!
The sounds track to this film is out of this world ( it is a Disney world after all) The music is so beautiful, it is retro but i is so timeless by its style too. This is a classical music that does not know fashion and that is not touched by time passing by.
The chanting additions for Lin-Manuel Miranda were just incredible and they sound just in place and right. To add to this - all the songs are related to the story told to the extend a much as possible fir the film-musical.
The songs here do not give an extra push for the plot but only assist the characters to open up. he cinema was full and we wanted to applaud after each song so we did. It was more like a theater performance rather than film, no wonder it started with the small staging act by the cyclist under the street light resting on the street bench. We also felt as part of the film right by walking inside the theater being surrounded and full by extra actors dressed up hired to assist the guests in their seats. It felt like theater, it was a theater and it was a level up from the ordinary film you would watch and admire. yes it was a double prize!
Emily Blunt who played the role of a nanny who returns to the Banks family splashes the audience like a lively waterfall on the hot summer day with her natural , organic performance.
She looked probably exactly like the nanny seen by Travers while she was writing her superb book. Her style, her acting, her manners, the details of her costumes, her glance from under her gorgeous hat were the ideal attributed of the cute and pretty but strict and demanding nanny.
The kids are also selected with the great attention: they are phenomenal. They play but they do not overplay even when they yell out loud
Ben Whishaw (he sings and he has mustache) is very touching as never before... but he plays Shakespeare with the lightness of the most remarkable kid's poem. He can not disappoint you ever - even if he tries!
There is a pleasant bonus in the face of Julie Andrews and Angela Lansbury as well as knocking it Colin Firth (who did not sing there btw) - they all add to the film that nostalgia by the golden age of Broadway.
I can write and write about this film forever as I absolutely loved it. I can write a long story about Lin-Manuel Miranda and start from his very much adorable but hopeless trial to imitate the best cockney accent to his attempt to bring the rap notes to one of the songs but Miranda here is outstanding! If our theaters had 100-s of him we would never fail on stage -never!
Back to the film - the delivery was excellent if it is the highest word on the movie rating scale.
I loved the "Cover Is Not The Book" song presentation but Meryl Streep had a very strange part to be honest. I would love to see her in her full capacity there but t did no take place. It does not change the whole impression from the film though . The film remains to be colorful, very kind with the story that reminds us the family values and the values of friends in our lives. It also reminded many that they are still kids. If you feel like a kid it changes many colors in this world and makes you happier and gentler.
Because? Yes, right because the tenderness is the key that brings up miracles in our lives.
I give it 10/10 and make it a family time please when you watch this film!
Mary Poppins Returns (G) – 130 minutes – by Alex First
The original Mary Poppins, which came out in 1964, was near on perfect – a delightful blend of fantasy and music.
Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke tripped the light fantastic and showed us how a family film should be.
55 years on the world is a vastly different place.
Expectations have grown. Technology has morphed light years.
Children expect sophistication.
So to Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, an all new original musical and sequel.
The practically-perfect nanny whose unique magical skills can turn any ordinary task into a fantastic adventure is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss.
Set in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written), Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw), now a grown man with a family of his own, has taken a temporary job with Fidelity Fiduciary Bank in London.
That is the same financial institution that employed his father and grandfather before him.
He lives with his three children, Annabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh) and Georgie (Joel Dawson) at 17 Cherry Tree Lane, but times are tough.
The city is in the midst of “The Great Slump”, so money is tight and the accompanying stress, unavoidable.
On top of that, the family is struggling to cope with the recent death of Michael’s wife, and the house is rundown and in a constant state of chaos, despite the efforts of their inefficient yet well-meaning housekeeper, Ellen (Julie Walters).
Michael’s sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) helps out when she can, but she has inherited her mother’s enthusiasm for good causes and campaigns for workers’ rights, which keeps her busy.
With the harsh reality of the times and the burden of their loss weighing heavily on the family, the children find themselves taking on adult responsibilities, growing up much too fast.
As a result, childlike joy and wonder are missing in their lives.
As Michael’s relationship with his children continues to deteriorate, the bank’s suspiciously congenial and seemingly altruistic Mr. Wilkins (Colin Firth) begins foreclosure proceedings on the Banks’ home.
Not surprisingly, that sends the already frazzled Michael into a further tailspin.
Fortunately, the wind begins to change as Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) enters the lives of the Banks’ family once again, having not aged a single day.
She teams up with an old friend, Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), a charming and eternally optimistic lamplighter, and together they take the Banks’ children on a series of whimsical adventures.
Among the most colourful of characters is Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy (Meryl Streep).
Incidentally, in addition to playing Bert in the first film, Dick Van Dyke also filled the role of Mr. Dawes, the chairman of the bank.
Now he returns, playing that character's son, Mr Dawes Junior who had taken his father's place as chairman of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, but has recently been forced to retire.
And Angela Lansbury makes an appearance as a balloon lady who holds court in the park near Cherry Tree Lane, selling the inflatables and dispensing wisdom to park visitors.
Mary Poppins Returns is directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago) from a screenplay by David Magee (Finding Neverland) and a screen story by Magee & Marshall & John DeLuca based upon the Mary Poppins stories by PL Travers.
The movie has charm and humour and a decent storyline. Of course it makes sense to move on to the next generation of the Banks’ family and their trials and tribulations, as well as trying to reengage the now second generation.
The songs are light and peppy, and the production values strong.
Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda as the chimney sweep and the other key characters give us their all.
For all of that I am afraid I didn’t get the same magic that I did from Mary Poppins.
It felt long (even though at 2 hours 10 minutes, it was nine minutes shy of the ‘60s film) … and predictable.
On occasions, I viewed the music as an irritation. Not so in the original.
Mind you, there was one magnificently choreographed number involving chimney sweeps that did stand out in Mary Poppins Returns.
I was left wondering about who the film would appeal to.
Perhaps little girls?
Maybe youngsters who haven’t seen the original?
Disney has stepped back in time in recreating the world that was, but I suspect we have moved past that and Mary Poppins didn’t really need to return.
Rated G, Mary Poppins Returns scores a 6½ out of 10.
JFF2018: SUMMER BLOOMS 四月の永い夢 website review by Jeanette Russell
This film is moving and picturesque. I enjoyed the story written by Ryutaro Nakagawa. She tells the tale of a women who seems a little lost after the loss of her partner 3 years earlier. Aki Asukura plays Hatsumi who may not be living to her fullest potential. She is sad and by all accounts still grieving after the death of her partner. Hatsumi has given up her teaching role, As the plot unfolds it appears that Hatsumi has some resolving to do in her life. In the film we meet an ex student of Hatsumi's who is now in trouble. Hatsumi becomes more engaged in life as she assists her former student who is struggling with some issues, and needs support and guidance. There is also a man who is interested in Hatsumi, and pursues her. She needs to tie up some lose ends, and Hatsumi seeks to sort out what looks like some guilty feelings, she has, with her ex's family. An interesting story, heartfelt, and colourful visual stimulation is emcompassed in the scenery. I feel this picture from the Japanese film festival is worth a look. Thank you for the opportunity to watch and review " Summer Blooms".
In this out of this world blockbuster starring Robert Sheehan, Hera Hilmar and Australia’s own Hugo Weaving, the audience are taken through the battle to defeat “London” a city on wheels. Mortal Engines has you on the edge of your seat and inspired by the second it begins, to immerse yourself in the creative world created throughout the film. The all star cast are a match made in heaven and the chemistry between Robert and Hera playing two outcasts on the run to fight evil is perfection. It also makes for some of the cutest on screen romance I have seen in a while. The best part about the film is that they truly capture the spirit of fighting evil and overcoming any situation in life’s journey. The life that Hera’s character (Hester) had challenges and we learn how she became to be the strong independent female we see on screen. It is truly inspirational. Throughout the film the soundtrack is amazing and it continuously suits the atmosphere of the chase and cliff hangers throughout the film. The sound effects are also out of this world, see it to believe it. While the film is about defeating an evil city on wheels it is just as much about learning about oneself and the limits we do and don't have. There is so much to learn from this film about life and philosophy. I would recommend this film to anyone who is familiar with futuristic films and anything that makes you use your imagination. It is the perfect escape from reality and your everyday life, to be immersed in a time and place where anything was possible and evil was to be eradicated at all costs by using good old fashioned teamwork.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON website review by Oksana Newton
How to train your dragon. Hidden world. Starts on cinemas in January 3rd. That’s just ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. It was the most amazing experience I ever had , so as my little pumpkin who is 7 y.o. . Great quality of movie, fantastic settings, lots of humorous episodes. Kids were laughing with joy. It not just kids movie, it is a master piece. The whole story starts in Vikings land where gragons and people living together. Where fathers story about safe and happy place are becoming reality for not only little boy in the future, but all Vikings. All story shows and teaches children how to be a real friend and how sometimes you have to sacrifice everything for the person you love or treasure. For example how Hiccap and all his friends left home to be able to protect dragons from getting killed or kidnapped. How following yours dreams and yours heart can change everything around you. How real love and respect can be a great gift in life. If you would like to know if Vikings found a Hidden place where dragons can be safe and protect from bad guys? Well. Let its stay as sicret. Just watch movie and enjoy. Just can tell you that movie anded in the most beautiful way. I just want to say that it’s was soooooo coooooool.
No one can deny that making movies is hard, especially the massively budgeted, arguably overhyped affairs of today's superhero films. It’s no surprise that DC film executives have been making mistakes, attempting to build a behemoth of critically acclaimed films; while respecting the source material and preventing any potential continuity errors in an expansive world of fantastical people undergoing extraordinary feats. That they have been trying to do this while catching up to the unstoppable juggernaut that is Marvel is nothing short of insanity. A fact that seems to have finally been realized if the new Aquaman film is any basis to go on. This movie is a breath of fresh air for the DCEU, a revival long overdue and much needed to keep the franchise alive. Gone are the Washed and dreary colours and themes of Man of steel and Wonder woman. Audiences can wave goodbye to the constant “Easter eggs” and references if not outright appearances of unrelated characters to accelerate the cinematic universe along, as seen in Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad and of course Justice League. In their place is a bright, colourful film that aside from a single line of dialogue referencing the previous film, stands on its own two feet. This isn’t to say that the film as some light and fluffy comedy, on the contrary, Aquaman deals with some dark themes and stands as more of a political drama/action flick than anything else. Following the bastard child of not only two totally different socioeconomic classes but also nationality, race, and even species. The film refuses to shy away from the extreme discrimination and alienation that would occur and does occur to a lesser extent in many biracial families. It explores the pain felt by children caused by the loss of a parent and the different ways that children grow up coping with it. While not quite similar enough to be called a satire, Aquaman does offer an interesting take on the effects of having bigots in power and effects that their prejudices can have on all those they lead. It may seem like a stretch to equate the dynastic monarchy of the fictional Atlantis with modern democracy but it doesn’t take a long search to see the inherent flaws with both systems and ways in which both deal with despotic rulers. Given that much of the source material Aquaman is based off was written long before our current political climate became what it is today only so much can be credited to the writers, however the universal truths of people and our reactions to power remain eternally relevant. For every bit of realism imparted by the themes and messages of the movie, however, there are a handful of ridiculous moments ripped straight from the comic source material. While not a pure adaption by any means, the writers pick and choose aspects and sections of dozens of storylines to build their own Frankenstein creation. The film never loses sight of the fact that it is a comic book movie. It doesn’t give the slightest thought towards the audience’s suspension of disbelief and instead focuses on making the story as entertaining as possible, sense be damned. A bold and brilliant take on a genre bloated with generic black leather and predictable stories staring what boils down the same archetype with a different power or quirk. Instead, Aquaman embraces the absurdity of its source and proudly displays the garish colours and outlandish outfits that made their comic book characters stand out. Comic book characters do ridiculous things all the time, mainly so the writers can show off their creations; whether it be leaping off buildings, discovering new powers as the plot demands or duelling a giant monster with their bare hands, none of these things is the slightest bit out of place in a comic and it makes sense that they should be shown in all their true glory in a film adaption. Animated adaptations have known this for years and have been beloved by fans because of it. None of this would work of course were it not for the actors being able to bring the ridiculousness to life in a convincing way. In this field, Lead actor Jason Momoa stands head and shoulders above his peers. Bringing Arthur Curry/Aquaman to life with such passion and joy that I now cannot imagine it being done any other way. Momoa makes the role his own, whether he is being snarky and infantile, or bold and aggressive. His range is tested as he has to portray not only a broken-hearted man unable to face his own family but also the light-hearted man-child seeing the fun in everything. He gives the character depth and layers that many would not expect from a character whom many sum up as “the guy who talks to fish”. But even though he probably could, Momoa doesn’t take all the spotlight, sharing it with him are Amber heard (Mera), Willem Dafoe (Vulko) and Patrick Wilson (Orm/Ocean Master). All of whom do a fine job in their respective roles. Heards’ love interest was enjoyable and played off Momoa well. Their chemistry was rushed and didn’t quite click, but each was enjoyable in their own right. Volko and Orm both feel like they could probably have been played by many other people just as well, but neither detracted from the film. A side effect of delving into the train wreck of emotions that the writers have turned their leads into does mean that unfortunately, Aquaman does have a bad case of Weakvillanitis. But there is enough going on that it is a forgivable case. There is a LOT going on in this movie, from the CGI bonanza to the constantly shifting emotions, Hilarious one-liners and moments of true introspection. Aquaman defies common film genres and seems to stand as its own entity, which it nearly is. Aquaman stands in a small and high standing company as a true adaption, the likes of which have not been seen since Watchmen or Spawn. Will this movie win an Oscar? Absolutely not. Is an enjoyable watch? Absolutely yes. Aquaman is a fantastically fun romp that highlights both the seriousness of some comics and the absurd fun of them all. While not a perfect film, it does a really good job of bringing the comics to life and is two and a half hours well spent. I highly recommend it to both comic fans, and people who are looking for something fun this summer.
This documentary film is based on true life events.
War survivors/ heroes tell their extraordinary story of the actual life events.
“To be inside of the fastest aircraft at that time was and still is, a great privilege.”
The aircraft played a huge roll in the war and its victory.
To fight Germans, England had to come up with something drastically better than Germans aircrafts to survive, and so they did.
English aircraft engineers was given a very big task to create ,the faster and the greatest aircraft ever, which would carry 8 Machine guns.
Everyone has a story of survival, which is absolutely extradentary, all survivors remember it so well.
Those aircrafts machines are in the England museum displayed as national treasure.
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS website review by Susan Reynolds
“Mary Queen of Scots” Drama/History Director: Josie Rourke Written by: Beau Willimon
Review: Susan Reynolds 10/10
Even a strong woman wearing a jeweled crown cannot be complacent about her position in the Elizabethan era. Men of the cloth, those with title and their minions at court scuffled, connived, colluded and murdered to gain control, power, position, authority and riches. The master manipulators behind the two women were often driving the conflicts in the court and beyond and controlled much of the outcomes.
The film depicted the main Royal figures in an era which was in the wake of the notorious Henry VIII. History has informs us of Henrys dispensing of wives on the chopping block, these had been brutal times. The supreme power of the monarch during Elizabeth’s reign had never been so much in question. This was due to the fact that there was a woman at the helm. (Margot Robbie) in one scene in the movie suggested she felt to be queen she had become more a man. Elizabeth I, was the daughter of Henry VIII and the wife Anne Boleyn. Henry had disgraced her name to conspire to bring about her murderous end. The volatile divide between the Catholics and Protestants was a fertile ground for civil war in Scotland. The English court helped proliferate chaos and division; the stuff suitable fodder for a Shakespearean drama.
This film was exemplary in highlighting the angst felt by both royal women in a world where men believed in their dominance. Men constantly tried to enforce their will and their self-proclaimed superiority over women. Mary and Elizabeth were united in their struggle in trying to oppose the demands of men. But they were also divided in their struggle for power and authority as monarchs. Each woman feeling as they were the legitimate and rightful heir to the throne of a united England and Scotland.
The film was glamourized one might say, but justifiably so to appeal to mass audiences. No one wants to see the grubby stinking conditions people really lived in; Elizabeth for example thought to bathe only four times a year. However graphic, vile and violent elements were displayed in the film. These factors aren’t out of place for depicting the times and the true existence of human evils. This is evident in the murder of Mary’s Italian-born courtier and confidant David Rizzio (played by Ismael Cruz Cordova).
Both Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots were known to be tolerant of different faiths and were seen in the film as inherently kind and righteous. Mary was consumed by passion for Lord Darnley and it was really her undoing and a fatal mistake. Darnley betrayed Mary and was self-seeking in his ambition for power husband to a Queen. Like our modern day paparazzi a vehicle for proliferating gossip, rabble-rousers and slanderers like John Knox (David Tennant) spread unease and insurrection amongst the subjects. There’s a sense in the film that this slandering of Mary had a lot to do with her downfall as well as her bad judgment at times particularly in the choosing of Darnley.
The fictional yet poignant scene in the film where Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots met showcased the acting excellence of Saoirse Ronan (Mary Queen of Scots) in a conversation with Elizabeth (Margot Robbie). Mary had what Elizabeth didn’t, a son to be eventual heir to the throne of England and Scotland. This was my absolute favourite scene in the film and the acting was brilliant.
Costumes were superbly crafted and the colours beautiful. Tremendous thought had gone into detail for instance Mary’s almost electric blue gown and in a following scene young son James is seen in a similar coloured outfit. I really enjoyed were the cleverly engineered visual elements in the film. Elizabeth visited the stable and petted the young foal suckling on its mother and then contemplated her own fantasy of a pregnancy. Swiftly Elizabeth dismissed the idea by readjusting her dress that she had bunched up to momentarily suggesting a swollen tummy in silhouette.
In another example masterfully sequenced we had Mary lying in her bloodied sheets having just given birth contrasted to a scene where Elizabeth was twirling paper into artworks, contrasting the preoccupations and focuses the two woman had. These cleverly engineered comparisons and highlights were wonderful. I also enjoyed the scene of sheer curtains when Mary Queen of Scots tried amongst the gauze and light and airy atmosphere to find Elizabeth. This constructed game play heightened the elements of anticipation and intrigue. The Queens go head to head here Margot Robbie proved she is an equally formidable force as both an actor and a Queen as Saorise.
Stand out performances were many. *Saorise Ronan as Mary was masterful in her accents, transitioning from a Scottish accent to speaking in French. *David Tenant rhetoric and rabble rousing the crowds to revolt and depose Mary Queen of Scott’s proves his Shakespearean greatness commanding every scene with a dramatic resounding Scottish brogue. His belligerent grandstanding with the crowds authentically presented a passionate temperament we readily recognize as the trademark of this brilliant actor. *Jack Lowden as the annoyingly drunk and handsome Lord Darnley (Mary’s husband) has electrifying scenes with Saorise Ronan where we admire, detest then feel a strange unwarranted sympathy for him and his ill-fated choices.
A film not to be missed!
THE FAVOURITE THE FILM TO PAY ATTENTION AT website RATE: 10.10
Wow - that's a masterpiece! "My name is Polly. Which way do you want me?"
Yorgos Lanthimos'women shape up so beautifully for us. It is of course not only the director's hard work but his actresses: Emma Stone rocks the stage and owns every episode, every small scene in the film. Honestly I was attending the movie with a heavy thought: "gosh, this is just another 18th century picture about the queen... not again!" I did not honestly check the director. I was not disappointed to say the least - I admired every even smallest picture drawn in the film. If you learn to be a cinema-phil and you learn everything about cinematography this film should be on your top list. It will be a classical film. It is a classical film in its best evocation. I do not know anything how Oscars got rewarded but I know one thing - his is an Oscar winner for me by many parameters taken in. It contains everything the good movie should have. I miss such movies.
It is 18th century and Her Majesty Queen Anna is living not the best times of her life. Neglecting English political tendencies with France at that time and blood, wealth and sweat sucking war with French she is very ill. Her legs show it up - they are swollen and covered with the wounds that do not heal. She is also depressed . She lost 17 babies. She gossips about people who surround her and talks little to them to change her opinion on them - she is negative to the level of being poisonous. She has the best and very close friend Sarah. Sarah helps the queen with everything: be it war discussions or just a common everyday talk . Sarah is smart. Her way of communicating with the queen is honest, straight forward and she is not seeking any advantages from this friendship. She enjoys being with her friend no matter how bad and unpredictable the queen can behave. Sarah talks to the lords and war veterans on queen's behalf, she looks after her queen in every little aspect of Her Majesty's life. She has a much closer business with the queen than one can even imagine but this is a secret between them two. It is obviously love in its highest expression from Sarah's side.
One day a new servant arrives to the estate. She charms with her way of shooting doves and chasing the male aristocrats. She is the one to talk about. The estate gossips. What happens next - the director will show you... and you will be shocked and shocked again and again and again.
The picture is amazingly effective. When I say effective I mean a lot. Every small detail is thought through about: be it the queen's bedroom decoration or the jar she vomits into. It is the history the director shows to us in the most profound way. These details buy me as most spoiled movie lover. I wow-ed almost every episode and its set up and staging done with the perfection of the master's brush.
Lanthimos has his priorities though. First he shows us the actors that he introduced to the 18th century environment so they feel comfortable in it... Then he decides to work on the audience and let us into his world. Some pictures of the common day to day life shown shock us to the very core. Example: the servants sleep on the floor back to back. Nevertheless it feels normal as we know they worked so hard they did not care where and how they sleep. The story goes deeper and deeper into the character analysis with each scene enveloping and opening out in front of us. It is the film about someone who is nothing becoming someone who is everything. We heard many stories like this before. But this is not your ordinary "win the queen's heart " story. It is all about charming that feels so cool and so in place and so grounded without any "high life" ambitious crap. Queen is shown as an ordinary person, a woman with her every day needs so are the other people in her circle. There is no much drama in the dramatic scenes. It blends beautifully with the good and healthy humor. The people are killed softly as life cost at that time is low and also because death is a part of life. This is what we are shown on the screen.
Each character has something so unique I will have hard time describing them all unless you watch the film and see the actors with your own eyes. Because of the simple way this film shows the "big girls" you feel part of the movie staging, part of the decoration, you feel sitting in one of queen's rooms and observing the disasters. It is a masterfully captured action for me with lots of hidden symbolism in each scene. the action develops so naturally the appearance of the new young servant in the queen's bed is unavoidable but so organically and skillfully done! The film does not fell pathetic but it is soft and so ordinary about the extraordinary events.
The camera deserves the highest appraisal on its own (fish-eye). I still (being not an expert of course) can not understand how it was filmed so we see the whole room wall to wall on one small screen in one go. The way it is filmed also reminds of the theater more than a movie - you see everything that happens around you in the room of a largest scale.
The soundtrack is one separate thing to chat about and admire. The way it blends into the episode after the episode will fascinate you... It predicts but not overwhelms the passing episode. Again: it has to be experienced at the cinema rather than written about.
The trio of women in power is the apotheosis of the film of course. While Colman and Weisz play the independent and rather emotionally upset women , Stone creates the image of cheap (penniless) , young and power hungry woman. The simplicity of the story adds to the Emma's image of her character: she is boring, not elegant, peasant-like, predictable and very plain in her desires (Stone plays immaculately well) . Emma's character is rater more predictable than the colorful performance of Colman and Weisz . Colman ever uncertain mood changes can only be controlled by Weisz' strong hand. Weisz is elegant and so much believable. Weisz performs on the peak of her talent. Her role is hard: she has to show the strong woman (betrayed by the queen) at the time when men and ther wealth defined the weak female figure.
It will be one of my best movie in the passing year. I love Lobster, I love The Killing Of A Sacred Dear. I love The Favourite.
The film is a masterpiece on its own only when you take in consideration the craft of selecting the actresses for the major cast.
What excites me in such movies: how they film so many epoche dressed women in one go only for a short period of time, glimpses are shown. For me as the person setting and staging up the fashion shoots it is amazing! Thumbs up! It is also a biggest appraisal for the director who decided to test himself filming with such lush outfits. It is a hard work but so pleasant for the eyes indeed.
One thing you need to remember watching this film: Lanthimos is The King Of Absurd - that's why I love him. Be prepared to the best absurds in cinematography.
I want to write more and more about this fabulous film but again: it is better to see it once at least for yourself and I will be seeing it one more time!
With a surfeit of bizarre and quirky flourishes for which director Yorgos Lanthimos has become known and more than a touch of Dangerous Liaisons about it, The Favourite is a sadistic romp.
It is early in the 18th century. England is at war with the French.
A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), governs the country in her stead, while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper.
When a new servant, Abigail Masham (Emma Stone) – Churchill’s penniless cousin –arrives, she is at first disregarded and then embraced by Churchill.
Churchill takes Masham under her wing and appoints her as chambermaid.
Masham is nothing if not a social climber.
As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Churchill, Masham willingly steps into the breach, filling in as the Queen’s companion.
The latter’s burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfil her ambitions – and return to her aristocratic roots.
She will not let woman, man, politics or, indeed, rabbits (you will understand what that means if you choose to see the film) stand in her way.
The setting for The Favourite has been plucked from history, from the veiled world of Queen Anne – the last (and historically most ignored) of the Stuart line of British rulers.
Though infamously suffering from gout, shy and disregarded, she nevertheless reigned as Great Britain became a global power.
The film dives into a whirlpool of manipulations and emotions that define the phrase “palace intrigue”.
The Favourite is Lanthimos’ first period film – set against the outrageously aristocratic tableau of 18th century royals.
It is a dark yet comic story about three hugely commanding women jockeying with raw abandon for love, favour and power.
The movie creates its own universe, with Lanthimos playing freely with the external events of the day to service and motivate the inner lives and personal politics of his characters.
And speculation aside, no one truly knows what went on verbally, physically or otherwise behind the doors of Queen Anne’s court, let alone in her bed.
For a story of such sprawling history, the movie takes place in a very insular world: largely within the confines of the Royal Palace’s walls.
The film plays like a bedroom farce with global consequences.
To that end, screenwriter Tony McNamara worked closely with Lanthimos from an original screenplay by Deborah Davis.
What a pleasure it is to see three fabulous actors all strutting their stuff in the one film ... arguably trying to outdo one another over and over. Or is that just their characters?
As sickly, tempestuous Queen Anne, Olivia Colman is frequently hysterical and off with the fairies. She is childish and needy, with a tendency to shriek.
As for the other pair, they are calculating and, on occasions, viciously cruel.
Each delights in the position of strength and power they have attained and uses it to their advantage ever chance they get.
The Latin term carpe diem (seize the day) immediately comes to mind.
Great plaudits go to the writers who have crafted such a juicy script, which contains the saltiest of language that would make a sailor blush (the “c” word is liberally referenced).
As for director Lanthimos, who is used to inhabiting truly bizarre worlds, he has outdone himself, shaping and guiding a tale of excess and exhalation.
My only minor gripe is his excessive use of a fish-eye lens.
That, in itself is, of course, far from standard practice in feature film making.
So, I assure you this is not just any movie, rather one that permeates the mind and, I dare say, will stay with you forever.
Bask in its seedy glory.
Rated MA, The Favourite scores an 8½ to 9 out of 10.
30 Minutes of Danger is a short virtual reality (VR) film, written and directed by Grant Scicluna, adapted from Jack Heath’s novel 300 Minutes of Danger. As a VR film, you are put into the first-person perspective of protagonist Nassim, who awakens in a haze, confused and disoriented; like a patient emerging from anaesthesia. A mysterious figure focusses into form, a woman (the Technician), frantic and aggressive. You’ve been poisoned, and she demands the return of her ‘Bloodstone’ in exchange for the antidote. Will you survive this heart-pumping game of cat and mouse before suffering a mortal fate? Only time will tell. Note: This review will focus on the film as viewed on a VR headset – the intended medium – though it should be noted that a non-VR (i.e., standard 16:9 aspect ratio) version is available. Before deconstructing the film itself, the technical aspects of its screening should be discussed. 30 Minutes of Danger is viewed on a Samsung Gear VR, a hybrid headset that utilises the display and graphical processes of compatible mobile devices to act as a virtual medium. This was adequate for the film’s screening, though there were still noticeable graphical limitations in terms of display quality and refresh rate, aspects essential to the immersivity of VR experiences – a dedicated VR headset like an ‘Oculus Rift’ would have been more apt. On that note, however, the first-person perspective enabled through the implementation of VR (graphical limitations aside) made for a sufficiently immersive experience, heightened further by the tension felt throughout the emotionally evocative narrative. This immersivity was also complemented by various post-production graphical overlays and visual effects (really selling the post-anesthetised condition of the protagonist), and several verbal prompts from film characters to react to (as if you yourself are the protagonist) – it should be distinguished though that these “interactions” don’t constitute an interactive experience (a descriptor used in several advertisements); there is no feedback response of any sort, thereby making it as interactive as Dora the Explorer asking where her map is. Onto the film itself, performances by the cast of four were highly commendable, with veteran Maude Davey (Offspring) showcasing her prowess as the unhinged Technician, her erratic disposition and capricious mannerisms tantamount to the tensious exuberance (if only a little overembellished at times). Nicki Bacon (as protagonist Nassim), though given minimal facetime, plays a respectable counter given his amateur background and is quite well-spoken. Though brief, he does share some screen time in the occasional third-person perspective shot; well performed but not sufficient enough to gauge his expressive capabilities as an actor. Also noteworthy was the all-too-brief role of Shareena Clanton (Wentworth) as a police officer; very respectable, albeit relatively short. Author Jack Heath also makes a cameo in the production. Shot in a fully furnished house, the accompanying set design was constructed with meticulous detail taking full advantage of the 360° perspective permitted by VR. The film takes place over several rooms throughout the house, each personalised with items such as family photos, personal trinkets, appropriate household items, and miscellaneous items conveying a sense of general inhabitants. This fleshed out environment (inclusive of working clocks that track the film’s timeline) added an extra layer to the immersivity by way of establishing a personal connection between characters and their surroundings. The shoot location also allowed for a lot of natural light to be used while filming, a problem often encountered in VR works given the limitations it puts on the use of specific equipment, such as microphone booms, lighting setups, and camera rigs. The most evident shortcoming of the film was the lack of narrative depth in terms of both character portrayal and development, and plot progression. Dawned in mystery, the story relied heavily on its thriller nature, complementing the overall tension felt throughout. However, by doing so it failed to elaborate on the narrative’s secrecies – character motives were unclear, their personalities seemed shallow and under-developed, and social milieu was shrouded from interpretation. It felt more like an abridged cut of a longer film; a depiction of major plot points used to garner audience intrigue albeit at the omission of finer narrative elements. A disappointing oversight to an otherwise entertaining story. Overall, 30 Minutes of Danger was an enjoyable experience. Performances were commendable, the set design was thorough and well executed, and the implementation of VR paired with the high-tension storyline made for a satisfying immersivity. Though runtime and financial limitations may have hindered the scope of the film, it was the narrative shortcomings that ultimately derogated its reception. The amalgamation of VR and traditional media is still very much in its infancy, however, further universal adaption and societal integration can only happen through the continued widespread exposure of the consolidated medium. 30 Minutes of Danger and projects alike serve this purpose well. Though not perfect, they introduce people to the experience of virtualised environments and thereby the possibilities of VR implementation in multidisciplinary settings. To that end, I can only recommend 30 Minutes of Danger*. *Recommendation applicable to VR ver. ONLY – not standard ver.
Running time: 114 Minutes. Film Review: By Maxwell M. Lyons
Bumblebee is the sixth and latest instalment in the Transformers live-action film franchise, acting as a prequel to the original Transformers (2007) movie. Whilst Michael Bay directed the former five (5) releases, Bumblebee gets a fresh start with Travis Knight taking the reins, stripping away much of the Bay-isms that have cluttered the series for the previous decade, instead opting for a more narrative-focussed approach — wait, no gratuitous explosions? Stay with me, I promise it’s a worthwhile trade-off.
Set in the 80s, the film tells the story of its titular character Bumblebee (briefly voiced by Dylan O'Brien), an Autobot from the war-torn planet Cybertron. On the brink of extinction at the hands of the Decepticons, he escapes to Earth to seek refuge until he can regroup with his brothers-in-arms. Damaged on arrival, Bumblebee lies dormant in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town until unknowingly revived by Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), your stereotypical young-adult outcast trying to find her place in the world. Before long the Decepticons also resurface, threatening not only Bumblebee but Earth itself. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because it’s essentially the plot of the original Transformers (2007), but this is where the comparisons end.
Though not the most original narrative, it takes a much more humanistic approach. Charlie is written with more depth than any former protagonist of the series (as is Bumblebee for that matter), and the bond established between young human and ‘bot is refreshingly heartfelt, taking the audience of an emotional journey from start to finish. Sure, the script isn’t perfect – most other characters are fairly one-dimensional, the story is less than unpredictable, and it still commits various sins alike its elder siblings – but it’s so much more than an incomprehensible barrage of jump-cuts and explosions.
Steinfeld’s sincere performance grounds the movie, establishing a truly genuine bond with her robot counterpart. Though comedy may not be her strong suit (not all the jokes land), her emotional range more than makes up for it, even if her character is written with a few too many moody teenager tropes. Co-star John Cena also puts on a respectable performance as antagonist Agent Burns, a Sector 7 soldier out to capture Bumblebee (hesitantly) alongside the Decepticons (who deceive him). Lastly, there’s Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Charlie’s friend Memo, whom whilst portrayed admirably by the young actor, is ultimately little more than a tacked-on love interest along for the ride.
Bumblebee had its work cut out for it; it’s the sixth film in a long-running (often butt of a joke) franchise and acts as a prequel to the original movie. Surprisingly, however, it managed to be the breath of fresh air the series needed, bringing the franchise back to basics in its character-driven storytelling and (relatively) simplistic directorial approach. It may not be the adrenalin-fuelled explosion-riddled orgy we’ve come to expect (for better or worse… much, much worse…), but what it lacks in blood-pumping action it more than makes up for in narrative intricacy and emotional evocation. Bumblebee is the best live-action Transformers movie since the original 2007 film and I highly recommend it. All I can say is it was nice to enjoy a Transformers movie once more.
will be released in cinemas Australia-wide on December 20, 2018.
CAPERNAUM (CHAOS) THE FILM TO PAY ATTENTION AT Capharnaüm (original title) website RATE: 10.10
It is the film about the boy who survived all the hardship life through at him and sued his parents. If you think you can watch this film and walk away half way through if you feel you do not like it you will be wrong. I bet you will be glued o your chair till the last film titles.
The film poster portrays two very poor children. You can tell they were starving .They bravely keeping u in the streets of Syrian Beirut. They barely survive. But will YOU survive watching this heart breaking story for two hours? You will be first shocked then you will be all in tears. The director actually had so much guts to tell us this... but more to that - the main actor is will be the Oscar winner. This is for sure. Sometimes I felt he was there in reality not acting so good he is. He is only 14 years old and he acts better than some mature actors.
He plays t he role of the boy whose documents are lost. He does not know how old is he as his parents could not afford to buy him a birth certificate for $100$.
Zain neglecting his young age behaves like an adult. He is even more adult than his parents who never worked, who never search for work and who do not know that selling their daughter to the shop owner to be his wife at the age of 11 when her husband would be 30 years older than her is totally wrong and dangerous.
Zain works, he looks after his brothers and sisters and the family has many. He tells his 11 year old sister: "do not tell that you already have your period to our parents. They will sell you". He dreams to go to school and study. But he hates the world. He gave all his heart to the world but the world treats him worse than a rat. His hatred has the reason. His family is poor. He has to work to survive and to feed his family. He eats a little. He also get a 5 years So why does he sue his parents? he sues them for giving him LIFE.
The film opens with the listening of the case at the court. It shows the end of the film practically at the beginning and the audience is shocked. We do not know what is going on. The story then starts where it should but the events that took place before the court shock us even more. We will understand how Zain got to jail and why h sues his parents.
Zain runs away from home when he finds out that sister will be "gifted" as a commodity o the shop owner. Zain is looking for a job at the local Entertainment Centre. He meets with Rahil there. Rahil is an immigrant. She is illegal immigrant in Lebanon in the country just to feed his only baby whom she hides in the trolley while she works. Tahl decides to take of Zain. In return Zain should take care of her baby at home while she works. One day the police arrests Rahil and she does not return home.
There is no one fake acting scene in the film. The no plays so well! If he made a simple mistake the film would not worth a penny. The film survives with Zain played brilliantly well! We do not have tears anymore but the director is not trying to make us cry. We understand Zain suffers but we do not have tears in our eyes. Zain is not a boy , he is a fully developed adult in his actions. We feel it with every next step he takes. He does not weep, he does not cry, he does not feel sorry got himself, he takes actions. He is cruel to the people as people are cruel to him. He is the child that never had his childhood.
The picture was filmed over five years. In three years of film preparation the director talked to the kids who experienced lack of love from their parents, lack of care, lack of education. She visited the outskirts of Beirut where such cases are not a surprise and she also visited lots of jails for children. On her way back from a party at night she saw she saw a woman at the traffic lights begging for food, the young woman was holding a two years old baby in her hands. The kid wanted to sleep but she still was doing her business. The idea for the film came out spontaneously and on her return back home the director wrote a story about the boy who sues his parents for mistreats. It is about the child whose parents did not think much while they were "making" babies and gave his a nightmare of a childhood and a horrible life. Such parents do not have souls. They missed them on their way somewhere. It is hard to imagine but there are such cases apparently.
Her film is a weapon for the children against such parents.
Is the film going to be a winner for you? You decide! I made up my mind.
A deeply distressing slice of life reality piece, which pulls at the heart strings, the cast consists of non-professional actors.
The title translates to a confused jumble or chaos and that is what this film is about – survival, or at least an attempt to survive, in amongst chaos.
After being jailed for committing a violent crime, Zain (Zain Al Raffa), a mistreated 12-year-old boy, sues his parents – mother Souad (Kawthar Al Bankole) and father Selim (Fadi Kamel Youssef) – for giving him life.
Zain is part of a large family that lives hand to mouth in a crammed, crumbling apartment.
The kids work instead of attending school because their parents can’t afford to give them a formal education.
When, out of desperation, his 11-year-old sister, Sahar (Haita Izam) – to whom Zain is very close – is sold into marriage, Zain flees his troubled family in the hope of finding a better life.
An illegal Ethiopian worker, Rahil (Yordanos Shiferaw), takes pity on Zain while he is wandering the streets begging.
She takes him with her to her shanty house where she lives with her baby, Yonas (Boluwatife Treasure Bankole), and cares for Zain in a way his parents never did.
But Zain is suddenly left as the baby’s sole caregiver when Rahil disappears and he is forced to resort to increasingly desperate measures for both to survive.
Lebanese-born director Nadine Labaki (Where Do We Go Now?) cast those from backgrounds similar to their characters.
Zain Al Raffa’s real life is in several respects like that of his character.
The same goes for Yordanos Shiferaw, a person without papers, which are required to authenticate legitimacy (without documents, in a legal sense, people don’t exist).
Labaki was inspired to create Zain’s mother by a woman she met who lived in the same conditions as those presented in the film and had 16 children.
Six of them had died, while others were in orphanages because she couldn’t care for them.
Kawthar Al Bankole (who plays the mother, Souad) did, in reality, feed her children sugar and ice cubes, just like a scene in the movie.
The picture involved three years of research and a six-month shoot.
They ended up with 520 hours of rushes before pairing it back to the couple of hours that we see on screen.
The youngster around whom the story is centred simply wants to be loved by his parents.
It doesn’t seem like a big ask, but in the environment where they are brought up, it is an impossible mountain to climb.
They live in abject poverty and don’t treat their children well.
As the eldest, Zain has a large burden to bear, but the final straw comes when his beloved sister is virtually discarded in return for chickens (literally).
Perpetually dirty, Zain lives by his wits. He most certainly has street smarts. His instincts are good. He can scrap to scrape by.
The actor who plays him is forever dirty and he doesn’t smile. He has no reason to.
His beautiful sister, only a year his junior, is extremely vulnerable and naïve.
The other children are there, but play little part in proceedings, save for the fact that they all sleep on the floor in a cramped and disheveled apartment.
A secondary, but equally important, story plays out after Zain runs away.
That’s when we meet a doting mother who is an illegal in the country, afraid of what will happen if she is found with a baby, so she disguises the bub’s existence as best she can.
Yordanos Shiferaw’s portrayal is warm and caring, then increasingly desperate as events unfold.
The cinematography by Christopher Aoun captures in fine detail the hardship faced in far from ideal surrounds.
You wouldn’t be human if you weren’t affected by the tragic goings on portrayed in this movie.
The former Prime Minister of Italy, the Minister of Economy and Finance, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Italy, the Member of the European Parliament, the owner of the famous "Milan" football club, the most successful real estate agent and finally the knight of the Order of Father Pius IX, the TV channe;s owner and "big boy" and multi-billionaire Silvio Berlusconi is shown in all his flourishing beauty during the three years of his life. he is the resident whose lifetime turned into an object of national and international adoration and hate.
The scandalous glory of the renowned statesman has repeatedly became the subject of firing discussion in both the Italian and the global press. Silvio was accused in money laundering and fraud, tight connection with the Sicilian mafia and under age minors. His orgies were subject of discussions in the newspapers and press; he was also well known for tax crimes and other state (an d unpunished, below the law ) offenses.
Of course, the film directors and producers could not help it but be interested in such an extraordinary character in all aspects of his life... but until recently it was impossible to tell the story of Berlusconi truthfully enough - the connections and his influence were so great no one could possibly dream of a full-length feature film based on the biography of this full of lust lover of money and women.
Currently, the eighty-two-year-old "adventurist" is fully retired and therefore Paolo Sorrentino, author of the Oscar award "Great Beauty" film pictured Loro in his three years (from 2006 to 2009) of life.
The production was released in two parts for the Italian box office, while it was a combined version presented for 156 minute for the international release. The name of the film has a double meaning: on one hand, its literal translation is “THEY,” on the other hand, it phonetically sounds like “gold.”
The events take off when the owner of an escort agency from Taranto, Sergio Morra and his wife Tamara go to Rome in attempt to reach the powerful HIM. Sergio meets with Kira, one of HIS favorites. Kira helps Sergio to meet an influential politician. At that time Silvio is experiencing not the best times and not the best relationship with his second wife Veronica. More to this his political party just lost to the center-left coalition in elections.
I adore Sorentinno's films, his team works like a finely tuned clock. The story is excellent, the dialogues are extra-class, the world of luxury is depictured in perfection: it is full of temptation and the dominating felling of permissiveness. Berlusconi's Universe is really shown with the well colored brush strike. This is the world where girls, sex and money are not the excess or a rare reward for efforts, but they are only some symbolic constant of life, where a kiss is an aperitif, where the royal luxury of the sexual orgies and the silence of extasy are only a common aftertaste from the everyday life, the world where showing off your wealth are just the attributes that go together with success on the global scale.
The camera flies over the sea surface, looks into the eyes of people under drugs and blurs the background in some very emotional moments. There is a mysterious smile of Berlusconi in all its beauty, the real smile of a movie star, it shines in convincing sincerity of his intentions one moment and it revolts us the next.
The ambivalence of interpretations and metaphors, the ambiguity of the central character, the opposition of the terrible on business, but ultimately not the monster after all Silvio and the demonic, mercantile Sergio Morra are all used by the director to serve a common purpose: he is not only revealing the image of the odious ruler in the face of Sorrentino , but he also paints a collective portrait of people of the Berlusconi era with all possible grotesque.
We suddenly realise that these people are the result of the environment in which they live, Their morals are low , they have no principals in life and their actions are the direct result of what is happening in their minds and hearts. We say we draw our own life with our own thoughts. There is no one responsible for your life but YOU.
In this sense, the blatant allusions to Fellini's "Sweet Life" or solemn minor and sad, melancholic notes, to which the director more and more often draws closer to the final, are not surprising at all.
Entangled in the networks of solipsism and hedonism, these people forget who they are, they forget about purity and God, , they are the characters of the voluminous story the director tells us. It is a story of power and love, friendship and betrayal, commitment of nasty acts which take place not because they want to commit them but because they do not know how to live differently. This is the way of no life rater than life. Hating themselves they hate the whole world around them and they damn the world around them and they damn themselves.
The director takes the above and quotes Victor Hugo, claiming that "a demanding conscience turns into illness", and "unreasonable loyalty to beliefs leads down like a staircase to the cellar."
These postulates are the bible for people like Berlusconi.
But where will this lead all of us?
Is life really granted to us only in order to burn it at endless parties, indulging in sweet bliss, changing consciousness, and smugly grinning around? Paolo Sorrentino has enough experience and talent in order, without asking these trite questions directly, to arouse interest in the viewer. What is your answer? Are we here to relax and live like lazy consumers or are we here to create? What brings us more pleasure? What makes us stay up all night and fall in love with ourselves for example writing poetry?
After all, in the end we understand that Loro is not the film about Silvio Berlusconi.
This is a story about us.
This is a sad tale of the sweet charms of youth and the ugliness of old age, of foolish desire, putting masks of clowns, murderers, obscurantists, foremen and sufferers over and over again to meet someone's expectations.In the end, it is a sacred story of loneliness and of transcendental fears of the meaninglessness of life and the inevitability of death.
And this story is brilliant!
EIGHTH GRADE website review by Roslynne Garwood-Webb
Eighth Grade , written and directed by Bo Burnham, is a trail blazing explorative film following the life of Kayla ( Elsie Fisher) and her single father Mark ( Josh Hamilton). With many cringe worthy moments that will have you uncomfortably wriggling in your seat and shaking your head in frustration, Burnham has created a very relatable, open and honest film that in a sensitive and poignant way, explores the challenges of early adolescence in Gen Z middle school in America. This film would be a great film to watch with children heading into secondary school as it gives very opportune conversation starters for those difficult discussions teenagers need to have with their loved ones . A thoroughly enjoyable film . 3 out of 5 starsa
Thank you for the opportunity to review the film Colette. I found it to be interesting, and informative as it was based on fact. Colette it seemed was a strong women with talent. Through the movie she matures develops and personally grows, Willy is a parisian, and quite the charmer. He and Colette marry. Willy is a writer who becomes stuck. Then he notices Coletes raw and natural aptitude as a writer. Next he cashes in on his wife's story telling gifts to gain momentum and popularity by calling her work his own. The series Claudine is born, about many of Colette's own childhood adventures. Over time after launching many novels under her husbands name Colette wishes to be a writer recognized for her own work. Its an engaging tale, with a curious plot, and a true to life account which I found to be well worth watching. Colette is played by Keira Knightley and Dominic West plays Willy her husband. Wash Westmoreland directs this film.
JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL 2018: CALL BOY website RATE: 6/10
Ryo studies at Uni and works as a bar tender when he meets the woman who will change his destiny forever. Ryo's opinion on women is "boring" but it takes him to know one and many to understand what women want and to fall in love with all of them. Shizuka Mido, the owner of the call boys business that serves very rich clients assists him in this discovery. AsRyo starts to work for her he finds out that love has so many different forms there is o definition to the word. As you describe it it vanishes, slips through your fingers. It is something that we humans will never comprehend. Ryp shies from his deep feelings at the start but as he grows emotionally so do his lost aspect of a good lover grows. Ryo's challenge is to be desirable by many women and he achieves it. Women are tender, they will never forgive you the lies or fake emotions. Ryo starts to predict women's desires : to be heard, to be understood, to be childish, to play a mother or a sister. As he accepts their roles in his own life he understands what his real purpose in this world is. His ultimate love and desire though is Shizuka Mido but she is unreachable for him... Would he succeed? The film is sexual, nostalgically romantic, capricious in its extremes, highly sensitive and I recommend watching it with your partner and lover or both :) just kidding! YOu also should not be taken too much by the story and make t=it too romantic as the director laughs and you should laugh too... There are some very witty episodes. The actor was amazing but not very convincing to my own taste of men.
I would not really judge this film and leave it for the little kids to see and make up their mind... but I have to I guess... It is a Canadian miracle for 1 and a half hours and it is all about the nature vs. technology. From this anime we suddenly find out that Canada also celebrates Christmas no wonder the film is about North Dakota farmers who owns a contact zoo that he inherited. If he did not we I guess would not see this film! Hi business is running down but he has a buyer ! The buyer looks lie Lady Gaga. No matter what she does in North Dakota but she is not singing and this is a real pity! She is not vegetarian either however we do not expect it from Lady Gaga. Elliot looks very happy as only happy )no idea what this animal was honestly!) anyway horses, deer or asses can be! Oh may be he is pony! We also find out that ponies have dream - or may be this is what the film director thinks ho ponies should be... Everyone laughs at the pony. He is bullied. We also find out later than Santa lives in the land that looks like Mordor... I was getting frightened or may be falling slowly asleep... Santa is missing one deer in his carriage. Elliot and his friend who looks like a smoking dope goat-lady need to be in the competition to get to the Santa's deer herds. Really (and honestly) in no circumstances in the world I would allow my kids to watch this... but here we go, the tale continues... In many tales the good defeats the evil. Добро побеждает Зло, а инногда и Козло. So should be in this tale! What surprised me that Santa deer use marijuana cookies to fly. The cookies are though delivered to them by elves. I did not really ever liked any trading - forget it takes place in Santa's world. So here we go!
Elliot The Littlest Reindeer (G) – 90 minutes – by Alex First
Elliot (the voice of Josh Hutcherson) is a miniature horse with a great big dream.
Ever since the petting zoo where he lives became an official North Pole reindeer training camp, his job wrangling the zoo’s goat population with his great uncle Peanut Butter (Jeff Dunham) has seemed kind of … lame.
What Elliot really wants is excitement. Thrills. Glory! That’s right, Elliot wants to work for the Big Man himself. Elliot wants to be a reindeer.
So, when Blitzen announces his retirement on December 21st and Santa schedules a three-day emergency try-out, Elliot sees his chance.
He summons all his courage and against his best friend, Hazel (Samantha Bee) the goat’s advice, Elliot stages an impromptu try-out of his own for head coach Walter (Rob Tinkler).
While that doesn’t go exactly according to plan, before this is over Elliot is in for one big adventure.
For writer and director Jennifer Westcott, the idea to feature a miniature horse sprung from an impromptu outing with her family to a miniature horse auction in Fort Worth, Texas.
I wish I could say the result was magical, but in all good conscious I can’t.
A heavy handed, subversive animated Christmas feature, even the animation in this one leaves a lot to be desired.
The filmmakers have taken a sledge hammer approach to the material.
Save for the hero, most of the secondary characters are disreputable, dishonest and/or surly.
In other words, the tone of the picture suffers from a lack of likability.
Even the language spoken was often simply gruff.
And I didn’t much like the representation of Santa, either.
There is manufactured tension from the get go.
Mind you, I appreciated the opening scene when a reporter quizzes Father Christmas about the fact that the house of Claus appears to be one reindeer short.
Pity that clever humour wasn’t more apparent thereafter.
I referenced the animation a moment ago. It appeared far less sophisticated than what the likes of Disney produces. Perhaps that is okay on TV, but not on the big screen.
I am afraid overall then there are no ho, ho, hos for what purports to be festive fare.
Rated G, Elliot The Littlest Reindeer scores a 5 out of 10.
PEPPERMINT FILM TO PAY ATTENTION TO website RATE: 7/10
The theme of revenge in movies is ever so popular and gets the highest rates from the audience through out the years. If the revenge film is also a blockbuster you got a double prize. When I say blockbuster you will think: oh god, not again! They are so got out of fashion... You (and I ) would watch it though for different reasons: 1/ the story line is fresh and engaging. 2. the pace is fabulous 3. the directing of action scenes if phenomenal and look organic 4. the main hero is the one you would fall in love with. There is nothing else. You will either like it very much or dislike it to the core of it.
Have they achieved it in Peppermint?
Peppermint is a classical in its genre of revenge pictures. The character of Jennifer Garner experiences the murdering of her daughter and her husband by the gangsters. The system does not punish them as the system is bribed. The main hero is a simple girl working at the bank. She would not even imagine her life would turn out this way. She disappears from life for 5 years to train herself to become the "terminator". Her purpose is to destroy the local criminal Diego Garcia who executed the murdering of her lose ones. She perfectly knows how to fight, box and shoot. The story might seem a bit boring for you now a its cliche is so very much obvious. There are evil and bad people, corrupt and slow policemen and the best hero in the word that does not drawn, does not drawn and does not have allergies from the bullets. There should also be lots of blood, meat and broken bones.
The hero's "apartment" is not glamorous: it is a mini bus with lots of ammunition, guns, alcohol for wounds disinfection - not impressive and unbelievable as it is located right in the area for the homeless people where she is loved as an angel and a savior. The actress herself is though superb! Garner is not on your star list I bet but she is perfect in this film indeed! She is so believable ... our Stanislavski would WOW her and graduate her wit top mark. She is simply sensational! She is a revenger, she is in great shape and she knows how to fight herself without any helpers. She looks perfect as a mother and as a wife too at the start of the film.
The film has a good pace and you will not feel one minute where you would need to yawn. There is lots of killing going on so be prepared and do not shut your eyes. They are cruel but watchable.
The editing of the action scenes is amazing. It shows slow motion and fast motion and it looks so great on the screen. The action is tactical and the hero is full on into it: she uses masking, knives, grenades, kastets, she chooses the coverage, hiding, all sorts of guns and revolvers etc etc. She looked like a professionally trainer killer who does not give up.
The final looked a bit pale to me though. There was not enough drama in it however it was good enough.
If you have time during your holidays - watch it 100% you will enjoy it. Especially if you are a fan of this genre.
review by Alex First at MAPT published with the permission of the author
Peppermint (MA) – 102 minutes – by Alex First
A by the numbers crime actioner with a female vigilante seeking revenge at its heart, I counted one surprise in the entire film. In Peppermint, the criminal justice system fails Riley North (Jennifer Garner). She and her husband Chris (Jeff Hephner), who owns and operates a garage, have a 10-year-old daughter, Carly (Cailey Fleming). While they may be struggling to make ends meet their lives are filled with laughter and love. A shady friend presents Chris with an opportunity to grab some quick cash, which he at first takes up, but then at the last minute backs out. Too late, because his brief flirtation with the criminal underworld leads to a deadly retaliation. While out celebrating Carly’s birthday, she and her father are viciously gunned down and killed in a gangland-style drive-by shooting, in which Riley is critically injured. Upon waking from a coma, Riley is ready to identify the shooters and clings to the belief that justice will be served. Regardless of her eyewitness testimony, the drug cartel’s influence is far-reaching within a corrupt system with deep pockets and an extensive web of conspirators. With so many on the take, justice never stood a chance. Something inside Riley snaps as she watches the killers go free. She goes into hiding and spends the next five years preparing to extract revenge. This is one woman armed to the nines against the world kind of stuff.
Somehow, although frequently wounded, she inevitably manages to get up and get on with the business of killing the bad guys, often handfuls at a time.
Credibility? Forget it – you won’t find that here.
Jennifer Garner certainly muscled up for the role and does what is expected of her.
Linda Hamilton did that all those years ago (1984 in fact) in Terminator, but that was a vastly superior product.
Ditch thoughts of subtlety or nuance. They simply don’t rate a mention in a film such as this … and arguably nor should they.
Still, a few more twists wouldn’t have gone astray. The writer of the piece is Chad St. John, one of those credited for a similarly underwhelming action thriller in London Has Fallen.
The director is Piere Morrel, who also seems to specialise in this sort of fare. He made Taken in 2008, From Paris with Love in 2010 and The Gunman in 2015.
If not for Garner and strong production values (the film looks good), I dare say Peppermint would be a straight to DVD or Blue Ray release.
Nevertheless, I dare say there will still be an audience of 18 to 25-year-olds who may appreciate the material more than I did.
Rated MA, Peppermint scores a 5½ out of 10.
AT ETERNITY GATE NEW website RATE
KUSAMA: INFINITY FILM TO PAY ATTENTION TO website RATE: 10/10 Documentary Kusama Infinity focuses on the creative word of the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. She is world famous for her soft sculptures, highly artistic performances and installations with the slight and beautiful flavour of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, pop art and abstract impressionism.
Kusama is the most sold artist in the word at the moment. She went through many hardships in life before she showed all of us her beautiful inner world. Her journey of creation has marked 60 years already. Her famous installations and infinite mirror worlds and rooms were visited by millions of people through out the world .
The artist herself is the main exploration point of the film. After one of her paintings was sold at the Christie's auction in 2008 for more than 5 mln dollars It was a record breaking among all women artists in the XXI century. If have any relations to the art this is a must see documentary.
Pick Of The Litter is the heart warming story to be enjoyed not only the dog lovers but by many. Is focuses n birth, raising up at the foster families and training of the best guide dogs for people with special needs. The documentary is done so well it was hard for me to imagine how they followed the puppies for such a long period of time. I also understand it is a hard work to film such movie. One will learn what the foster families go through , how they are selected, meaning you will learn a lot more than your eye can capture when you see a simple guide god in the street . It takes so much effort from the dog and from the trainers to raise the dog that will be suitable for certain needs. I can also see the children will enjoy it and will learn how to be kind and caring for their own pets. To say the puppies are cute is to say nothing - this has to be seen. I also thought I;d be crying for the duration of the whole film but I did not ... There are many puppies you will observe from the "P" litter but only a few will make it to the real guide dogs for the blind. I is also very rewarding to observe the relationship between the families and the dogs. It is more touching though to watch the dogs being taken by the people who really need them, to watch how their lives being improved by having the kindest family member and friend. It is a strong message in the film too: even if you are not in the pick litter you are still there to bring joy to many people who will be with you! No matter who you are : a human or any other creature!
Shoplifters 7/10 Japanese subtitled in English Drama
Shoplifters title is derived from the habits condoned in an unconventional Japanese family of six. Father figure teaches the younger ones criminal ways and is happy about it. He says the items in the store are nobody’s until they are sold. Grandma has someone else’s older daughter living with her from a family which is paying her money because they took away her husband. Grandma is the matriarch and looks out for the youngsters. School doesn’t seem to be on the agenda for the young ones and the adult members of the family seem to eek out a living any way they can.
The younger children’s names are Shota and Tanabe. They were basically kidnapped because the mother figure couldn’t have children. Shota is prepubescent boy and the other a preschool age young girl Lui otherwise known as real name of Juri they were the shoplifters. Shota’s story isn’t very clear but seems like it was a straight out abduction on the part of the mother Tanabe Yuko. Juri it could be interpreted was rescued not abducted as she was saved from very abusive parents.
Tanabe’s partner is Enoki Shota. Yurok is the adopted older daughter they all live in super crowded conditions with little choices of food. It seems gluten cake is popular and there’s always a pot boiling. Despite the odd connection between the people in the family they care for each other look out for one another and are for a while very happy. What breaks the continuum is that Grandma does one day die in her sleep but they can’t call the authorities because they aren’t all living legally. There is also some other scenario which resulted years before whereby Tanabe’s first husband died; Tanabe and Enoki killed him in apparently we learn in self defence.
Circumstances change again when Shota injures himself fleeing the immediate scene in order to not be apprehended for shoplifting. He Breaks his leg and the family is caught up with by police and welfare. Juri is taken back to her abusive mother and father and Shota is sent back to his parents. This temporary but once strongly bonded family falls apart. Tanabe Yuko goes to jail to save her partner Enoki Shota from doing any time, she takes all the burden and bares the charges herself. The principal figures in the story from troubled pasts are caring and the story questions what can make us happy. Sometimes in families the real parents or loved ones and situations are less than desirable and in a conversation Grandma has at one point she talks about best to choose your loved ones.
The presentation of the film is somewhat slow in parts however I very much enjoyed the look into Japanese life. The living conditions were poor but the inhabitants were in a strange way for a period of time ...happy.
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME website review by Susan Reyolds
Can you Ever Forgive Me. Drama 9/10 Review by Susan Reynolds
Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) had once been a successful writer of biographies subjects such as Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, makeup and entrepreneurial guru Estée Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. This movie touches upon what can happen to people in desperation and what they seize on as an opportunity when they have to survive.
Lee’s agent explained to her that she wasn’t marketable, Lee was disillusioned with falling out of fashion and found a lucrative way to see her out of debt by forging famous letters. Collectors paid big money for these souvenirs which Lee painstaking detailed with humorous content creating them with authentic exactitude on various typewriters. Lee refined her sales pitch approach firstly to selling the letters to book sellers and eventually to collectors with more high brow wealthy clients.
Lee was down to earth, didn’t do people well and had more of a loving relationship with her cat than with many people. That’s until she met up with Jack Hock (Richard E Grant) who was propping up the same bar as her,she’d met Jack many years before at a party. Jack Hock became a partner in the scam but eventually something had to give as the FBI closes in on the crimes.
Can you Ever Forgive Me was an entertaining film. The acting very high standard with standout performances from the lead actors along with Anna (Dolly Wells) who plays a bookshop owner whom Lee befriends.
For me this film was the winner for the movie of the month. It's Tarkovsky's atmospheric mood has done its perfect job! I was captivated neglecting the drama on the screen. It is a Polish romantic drama. It is creator by the famous Ida - by Pawel Pawlikowski and it probably be the best film I saw in the last year. There are political barriers that divide the lovers, there are strict rules what to do and what not to do, It is a deep dive into the post war years with all their dark beauty. It is artistic and full of beautiful music. The film is watched in one breath. The young musician Wictor collects the folk music and travels around the country side of partilly destroyed Poland after WWII. He falls in love with his student Zula. She touchingly performs the Russian song "Сердце, тебе не хочется покоя", her voice is rare and strong. She also has that inner charm of Slavic girls. She falls in love with him too. However this love would have way too many turns and twists , political boarders, marriages to save each other so the story will not leave you indifferent.
Tomazs Kot and JOanna Kulig are the main actors and their performances are flawless. Their chemistry is so strong too. the owlrd of Warsawa, Berlin, Paris and Moscow disappear when these two are together - there are no boarders anymore. The story is intimate and very narrow. The music range is built from Polish folk, Russian songs to French chanson and many many more including even American jazz which creates the environment and adds to the whole picture with all its striking but fine beauty. The music adds but never dominates the mood created by the actors.
The film is black and white. It helps us to feel in the golden era of the best films. There is one remarkable episode in the film that I will remember forever: through the dust of time and snowflakes the icon is seen on the walls of the half destroyed church. It fascinates then the eyes of history observe you... The face appears several times during the movie.
So my rate is definite and the winner is picked up!
A magnificently rendered tale set against political tumult in Europe, starting in 1949, at its heart is a love story between a conductor and pianist, and a singer.
Winner of the Best Director prize at Cannes, it is Paweł Pawlikowski’s follow-up to the Academy Award-winning Ida.
In the ruins of post-WWII Poland, Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) is commissioned by the Soviet state to form a musical ensemble to help rekindle national pride.
Whilst touring the villages in search of talent he meets the beautiful Zula (Joanna Kulig), a fiery and charismatic singer with a shady past, and the two fall passionately in love.
When a performance in Berlin offers the pair an opportunity for escape to the West, a last-minute decision finds them stranded on either side of the Iron Curtain.
As the years march on, Wiktor and Zula – whether through political circumstance or personal impetuosity – struggle to find their moment in time ...
Inspired by the lives of the director’s own parents, after whom the key protagonists are named, Cold War spans 15 years across Warsaw, Berlin, Paris and Yugoslavia.
The real Wiktor and Zula died in 1989, just before the Berlin Wall came down.
They had spent the previous 40 years together, on and off, breaking up, chasing and punishing each other on both sides of the East/West divide.
Pawlikowski doesn’t hold back when he says “they were both strong, wonderful people, but as a couple a never-ending disaster.”
Although, in factual details, the filmmaker’s movie couple is fictional, he has been mulling over ways to tell his parents’ story for almost a decade.
Pawlikowski was an only child and he calls his parents the most interesting dramatic characters he has ever come across.
Unlike his own mother – who did run away to the ballet when she was 17, but was from a traditional upper middle-class background – Zula comes from the wrong side of the tracks in a drab provincial town.
She pretends to be from the country in order to get into a folk ensemble, which she sees as a way out of poverty.
In the film, she’s rumoured to have done time for murdering her abusive father.
She can sing and dance, she has chutzpah and charm and a chip on her shoulder.
By the time she’s a star in the ensemble she understands that she’s gone as far as she can.
The fictional Wiktor, on the other hand, is from a much more refined and educated world, and is clearly a gifted musician.
He is calm and stable, comes from the urban intelligentsia and is grounded in high culture.
He needs her energy.
So much about this film is special and separates it from the pack. This has Oscar nomination/s written all over it.
Shot in black and white, the cinematography by Łukasz Żal works an absolute treat. After all, it is set in an era of shadows.
The Romeo and Juliet-like ill-fated relationship is passionate and enduring through mountains of upheaval.
Around the two protagonists political agendas dominate at a time when not towing the party line is inherently dangerous.
The music and dancing are rich and redolent.
The fades to black are used effectively to move from one episode to another, one time frame to the next.
We – the audience – are left to piece together what has happened in between, but that is not hard to do.
And topping it all is a supreme showing by Joanna Kulig as Zula, a woman of intrigue and beauty, talented and headstrong, whose destiny is sealed the moment she sees Wiktor and vice versa.
Cold War makes for dramatic and captivating cinema, deftly handled by master filmmaker Pawlikowski, who also co-wrote the script.
The story envails around Famous film director Mr. Hasan , who has been black listed in the film industry. Trying not to take it seriously he continues to leave his usual schedule.
Unfortunately some of his colleagues/ friends film directors have been killed in a very similar way by having their head cut off.
Hasan, than starts question himself why the killer hasn’t come for him?
Been left all alone in the film making industry, Hasan feels the anger from the fans.
Been detained by police as a suspect for killing his opposing director, Hasan Was cleared of any wrong doing after his favourite actress Shiva, who was like a daughter to him also found dead.
Dealing with the loss, he also has to face an accusation from unknown actress “Anna” who has loaded videos of Hasan in anger and threatening to kill all. On the edge of a break down, Hasan is determined to clear his name, by asking his best friend to stage his kidnapping, he than himself faces a murderer “Pig” Who has murdered his best friend, just before the killer “Pig” executes Hasan, his mother comes to the rescue and puts an end to the horrific killings.
Please follow the ads to see film screened in Melbourne soon.
JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL: SUMMER BLOOMS NEW website review by Jeannettt Russia
JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL: SUKITA: THE SHOOT MUST GO ON website review by Roslynne Garwood-Webb
Sukita The Shoot Must Go On
This beautiful documentary tells the story of Masayoshi Sukita, World famous photographer, renown for capturing some of the worlds most intriguing portraits of well known musical artists such as T Rex, Marc Bolan and David Bowie. Having his first camera gifted to him by his parents as a teenager, now at the age of 79 years Sukita remains to be one of the most requested photographers in the world. Join Sukita as he visits a David Bowie/Sukita Exhibit in Italy where you can see a small collection of the portraits that the late David Bowie allowed Sukita to capture in his early music career.
This film is a beautiful testament to one of the worlds most humble and gifted photographers of our time, reminding us that photographs will remain to be one of the most precious gifts we can have of life's singular definitive moments.
“From the moment that I was given life in this world, to today, I’ve lived with the flow of time and ever since that day when my mother bought me my first camera in high school I have known another type of time. An eternal time. That itself I think, reflects the power of photography. Within my few remaining days, months or years, I continue to be intent on capturing as much of that eternal time as I can” Masayoshi Sukita
When Creed came along and revitalised the Rocky franchise, I was stoked and more than happy to sing its praises.
That was three years ago.
Now the sequel, which I am sorry to say lacks punch (pun fully intended).
Creed II starts with the central character, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) fighting for the light heavyweight title of the world. No fanfare. Straight into it.
In Russia, the son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), one of Rocky Balboa’s conquests, Viktor (Florian Munteanu) is a massive brute of a fighter.
Ivan Drago was the one who killed Adonis Creed’s father, Apollo, in the ring.
Now Ivan with his son in tow are cruisin’ for a brusin’. Ivan wants his Viktor to have a shot at Adonis Creed’s crown, so baits him.
Before this is over, the pair will have met not once, but twice and Adonis Creed and Rocky have some prickly moments.
Meanwhile, Adonis is ready to move his relationship with his girlfriend Bianca (Tessa Thompson) to another level.
Creed II has a drawn out, predictable, dour storyline.
For the most part, the protagonist, Adonis Creed, is a sad sack.
What was most disappointing is that in large measure the film well and truly signaled its … you got it … punches.
It moved at an almost glacial pace, especially early on.
I also got the feeling that the writers all but ran out of ideas, so simply replicated what had gone before.
Sylvester Stallone again plays the worldly wise trainer and he has a significant role that he performs well.
I also liked Creed’s girlfriend
The sound track was also among the better components of the picture. It worked well with the visuals.
Still, you would have to question the future of the franchise after what I just saw.
Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), who directed the first film, hands over the reins to Steven Caple Jr. (The Land). I dare say that was a mistake, although Coogler is credited as an executive director on Creed II.
Mind you, the fault also clearly lay in the screenplay by Juel Taylor and Sylvester Stallone from a story by Sascha Penn and Cheo Hodari Coker (again, different writers from Creed).
Rated M, this follow up scores a 5½ to 6 out of 10.
review by Thi Hungh
This movie is great for the hyped up teenager who only cares for the punches thrown. The story line itself was inconsistent and messy. Rocky didn’t do much and was just an added laid back character to promote it.
The main characters Young Creed and Rocky didn’t have you glued to the screen. The opposition on the other hand was ok.
Would I recommend it? For teenage boys, yeah. For others, if you haven’t got much to do. 3/5
The films about singer MIA is not your ordinary documentary. It will not be the one you would expect about the pop singer. The film rather shows what influences the personality growth. The film also touches the singer's background. The background might shock you: Maya was born in Sri-Lanka in the family of the terrorist group called Tamil. She immigrated to London when she was 9 years old. Her musical career though raises questions: here she is with Elastica, here she is with Justine Frischmann , here she is singing with Paper Planes which a blonde guy the whole world finds about under the name of Diplo.... there is a young and smiling Spike Jones who films Maya on BBC. There are lots of small fragments of films from here and there, some of them are even filmed by Maya long time ago. Maya wanted to become a documentary film maker herself. You will feel a bit out of place after watching all of this: some of the footage is very private then you can see the singer is trying to get attention asking the viewers : "when are YOU gong to listen to me?" "Do I need to move to bungalo and starve myself so you listen to me and take me seriously?" "No one wants to hear about the war horrors from the pop star" etc etc. The film was made by her old friend Steve Loveridge ( as Stephen Loveridge) who had to watch more than 700 of footage to make this documentary. In reality film shows only 10% of what the singer wanted to show to the world. I can see the film will be very exciting to watch for Maya's fans but honestly it was not my best cup of tea however I really enjoyed watching some parts of the movie.
review by Alex First
Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. (MA) – 101 minutes – by Alex First
She is intelligent, outspoken and attractive.
She also happens to be a songstress with a large and loyal following, an immigrant with a fascinating history.
Against the odds, she has made it to the top and stayed there, but still she never fails to court controversy.
That is the picture painted of the artist known as M.I.A., who shook the foundations of the establishment when as a backing singer for Madonna she flipped the bird at the Super Bowl.
Drawn from a cache of personal video recordings from the past 22 years, director Steve Loveridge’s Sundance award winning Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. is a personal profile of a critically acclaimed artist.
She began life as Matangi Arulpragasm, daughter of the founder of Sri Lanka’s armed Tamil resistance, hidden from the government in the face of a vicious and bloody civil war.
When her family fled to the UK, she became Maya, a precocious and creative teenager in London.
Finally, the world met her as M.I.A. when she emerged on the global stage.
Identity is of critical importance to her.
Hers is a blend of Tamil politics, art school punk, hip-hop beats and the unwavering, ultra-confident voice of burgeoning multicultural youth.
Never one to compromise on her vision, Maya has kept her own camera rolling throughout her life.
I knew nothing of her or her background when I entered the cinema, but I know a hell of a lot more now.
Her activism has been labelled as terrorism.
Her upbringing was anything but conventional.
She has travelled widely and puts her heart and soul into her music videos, leaving nothing out there.
Originally, she wanted to become a documentary film maker and I can only imagine that must have been an advantage in the finished product that is before us today.
In this case though, the man responsible was an art-school friend of Maya’s.
He has had the major benefit of access to a whole lot of fascinating archival footage featuring M.I.A. and her family, and he has taken full advantage of that.
As I referenced a moment ago, it appears that she had all but documented her entire life and that is to our distinct advantage.
Rated MA, Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. scores a 7½ out of 10.
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD FILM TO PAY ATTENTION TO website RATE 10/10
No matter how hard Lord Voldemort tries he will never get the number one place in the title after "Harry Potter and... " Grindelwald though does it easily and effortlessly. Love Truth and Freedom - there are three beautiful features of happy life. It works till a snake puts it as a flag for its evil purposes in the battle for something that is already there. Grindelwalk is not only excellent in magic. he is an amazing flag holder. He shows to the innocent observer the horrible future and he tells everyone that he can save and defend them from horrors. His methods though look very similar to the ones in history that we remember : fascism and nazism are the form of that ideology that we are familiar with . His "flag" separates people on "ours" and "not ours". The freedom then is not the acts that do not damage the others but just the act, any act, the act of "ours" of course. The act includes killing and murdering. There is no evil any more as we used to see it in fairy tales. The evil is now a wolf in the sheep skin. Lord Voldemort rests in peace. There is something more complicated that appeared: it has seductive voice, cool look and sweet talk. There is no gear and violence anymore. We get tricked very easily with the sweet talkers. We have no idea about their intentions But there is no purity . It is just another form of evil. It is a highly manipulative evil. The evil is now understanding, it listens to you, it shows that it cares. It shows to you that you are sympathetic to him. You feel that you are in love till the veil leaves your eyes and you finally see the truth. Such evil is more dangerous as it does not break you but it sucks the energy from you slowly but surely. It targets the vulnerable. When it gets your trust he starts to act and sucks from you what is useful for him. He is strategically smarter and he is more reserved. The time is all his and he will get what the others could not get. He will never create scandals - he will "seed" them. He will never kill himself, he would send someone else to kill on his behalf. His hands are always clean and he is innocent in front of his followers. He is not far from Voldemort, he is the same and he acts with his big hand the same way. You will only notice his actions when suddenly the friends around you vanish, are killed or simply accused of something they have never done. When Valmemort had only two or three followers the army of followers of Grindelwald is enormous. His antagonists should not seek glory, They should just fight with that Don Quixote's attitude for the sake of being fair. They should be small, ordinary, modest but powerful heroes. The fight should also be interesting and spicy. The spice is delivered by the Ministry Of Magic. Johnny Depp is trying hard: he is immaculate in his role. It is not a role but a weight of responsibility more like. There are no masks - just an ash making cold fire in his eyes! Do you think it is impossible? You might be very wrong! But who else can rock the good movie but the curvy sexy blonde? and she is there ! Next one is the position of the professor of defense from the dark forces. This position is cursed from a long time ago since we know Harry Potter ( "Harry Potter!!!!!" ) and everyone knows that. Newt and Jacob duet also rocks the story. Anyway enough spoilers for you... There are so many characters, so many turns and twists of the plot, so much action, so much darkness (and no light), such a gorgeous computer graphics, such awarding themes touched (guilt, love, loneliness in Paris streets etc etc), you will be spoiled indeed,.. Please do not forget to add to this soup some fantastic beasts (they come from all over the world: Scotland, Japan, China and France with the main beast named Grindelwald of course but ther eis such beast that Newt would not love - the latter beast, Johnny Depp BTW also proves that the beasts are there and they are humans ) appearing form every possible street corner and the movie is sculptured. One thing you must be sure about: you will survive this movie and will be waiting for the next one like I do... You will not imagine your life with out the characters anymore...
review by Alex First
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (M) – 134 minutes – by Alex First
If Harry Potter is not your thing then Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald won’t be for you either. Quite frankly for much of the time you won’t understand what is going on and why.
On the other hand, the multitudes of Potter fans will surely welcome J.K. Rowling’s revisit.
At the end of the first film, with the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America).
But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald has now escaped custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings.
In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists Scamander, his former student, who – reluctantly at first – agrees to help.
Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest of friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.
Two years ago, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them transported us back to the landscape that made Harry Potter such a mega hit.
Set in America in the mid-1920s, the film enticed fans with just a few fleeting allusions to the Harry Potter stories.
There was a brief mention that Magizoologist Scamander was kicked out of Hogwarts.
His only defender had been a certain Professor Dumbledore … and the powerful Dark wizard Grindelwald, after wreaking havoc in Europe, had vanished.
As the story continues in the second adventure, those threads become even more intertwined.
To put this into context, within the Fantastic Beasts franchise screenwriter and producer J.K. Rowling is telling a story that is only hinted at in the Harry Potter books.
She is charting the rise of Grindelwald, who profoundly threatened both the wizarding and non-wizarding worlds, and his antagonist, Dumbledore, who, of course, is a key figure in the Potter stories.
The director is again David Yates, who helms his sixth wizarding world adventure (he did the final four Harry Potter films as well as the first two Fantastic Beasts movies … and is slated to direct the last three).
Rejoining Redmayne as the original quartet are Katherine Waterston as Tina, Dan Fogler as Jacob, and Alison Sudol as Queenie.
I was intrigued initially, but my interest waned the longer the film went on.
Plenty of the special effects were impressive – visually it is quite striking – but in the end even they became repetitive and excessive.
This to me is about the filmmakers, and possibly the studio, looking for more and more … and even more.
I remain a big fan of Eddie Redmayne in the lead role. Admittedly, he plays a quirky and endearing character, but he does so mighty well.
And Jude Law, who doesn’t occupy all that much screen time, also makes his presence felt.
I thought chemistry between the pair was strong.
As for the villain of the piece, a blonde Johnny Depp plays pure evil. With the demise of his Pirates of the Caribbean involvement, he has clearly found a new franchise to sink his teeth into.
Honestly, though, by the time Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald had drawn to a close I was well and truly over it … and we are only two fifths of the way through the series.