Posted in French film

JALOUSE (2017)

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A film by David Foenkinos, Stéphane Foenkinos

Cast: Karin Viard, Dara Tombroff, Anne Dorval

English:  Jealous

Nathalie Pêcheux, (Karen Ward) a teacher who is divorced and has a daughter who is a dancer has an unhealthy relation with friends and daughter that is consumed by jealousy.

Nathalie feels the happiness and success of others as an aggression. The blossoming of her daughter’s beauty and youth becomes unbearable at a time when she feels that her life is declining. In addition, while they have always been very close, Mathilde now prefers to go out with her friends, Because she feels that her mother who is a dominant strong woman  abandoned her. So you think that is going to be it and stop there but no our directors do not stop there is more , Nathalie is not well  and has this middle age  crisis at age fifty which she is a  complex character with a thousand facets for which we end up getting affection for. That is the beauty of a well written script.

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Here comes Demoustier  full of life, a  young teacher determined to bring new ideas within the school  where they confront each other and butt heads , are some of the brightest and funniest moments of the film. Setting the stage for a suspenseful narrative that first depicts light crises, then increasingly unpredictable behavior that reaches a growing degree of violence.

Here Karin Ward who has this role tailored for her and is on the top of her game, she is funny and delightful to watch. The cast is tailored to the actress and actor as well it is refreshing and very rarely done in that fashion. Mathilde (Dara Tombroff) who is a former dancer at the Opera of Bordeaux has her first role to my surprise has done an outstanding job here. The film is a bit half angel / half demon with a touch of humanism. 

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Posted in Based on a true story, Danish Film, Finland Film, Swedish film

BORG / MCENROE (2017)

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A film by Janus Metz

Cast: Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård

The story in 1980 rivalry between Borg and McEnroe. McEnroe the rebellious bad boy of tennis and Borg the god of tennis.

Here is the thing I am a big fan of Tennis so I decided to see this film right away. My mom was working in this sport company they gave her box seat (Front row seat) to see all the matches at Roland Garros back in the 70’s. I saw Borg, Connors, Stanislas, Ivan Lendl, Rob laver etc…is a matter a fact Connors was on the court and running to hit the ball kept running was right in the front of me looked at me and said “man this guy is killing me” Connors was the cool dude who was joking around once in a while. So When it came around 1980 I was in the US and I saw that match Borg / McEnroe.

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The Real McEnroe and Borg 

For borg the pressure is on he has everything to lose he has 4 Wimbledon championships under his belt as for McEnroe he had nothing to lose, he was the underdog. I remember seeing him on the court getting pissed of pulling his hair out and the press had a field day. The film show the 3 days before the march, the preparation, the games, how the player prepares themselves mentally and so forth. Then there are the occasional flash back when they were teenagers. McEnroe the party boy and Borg was like a robot focused, nothing gets to him. Amazing! Shia leboeuf delivers an outstaying McEnroe and was trained by professional tennis players so they do not look like he is the actor playing tennis But McEnroe playing tennis. As for Sverrir Gudnason who even looks like Borg has incarnated Borg extremely well. By the way the young Björn Borg is played by Björn’s real son Leo Borg. Director Janus Metz lets the action flows as the drama goes back and forth like a tennis ball. The film was watchable you could feel the tension rising, I remember watching the match and was on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately we all know what happen the next year and I think that is why Borg retire at 26 years old as he said I have done it all in tennis.  Better retire on top I guess.

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borg mcenroe

Posted in British film, uncategorized

A BEAUTIFUL DAY (2017)

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A film by Lynne Ramsay

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov, Alessandro Nivola

A girl is missing a tormented handy man (as I call him) is on a rescue mission which a chain of events will take place. Corruption, perversion and such will sent him to a brutal violence that will lead to his awakening.

Director Lynne Ramsay brings us a chilling take on New York City with this brutal tale beautifully stage that start with the very talented Joaquin Phoenix.

The film open with a man cleaning up a crime scene however he does not want to be seen. Gets out of the alley with hood on, he has a grey beard as the story goes along you will see that he was tormented as a kid, he was a soldier, a law enforcement officer, now he is like the dude you call if you need something and do not want to involved the cops. He will do it efficiently without leaving a trace. He in fact is off the grid. A senator ’s daughter is missing and Joe is asked to find her and returned to the senator.The work is, however, well served by Tom Townend’s elegant photography , Jonny Greenwood’s punchy electronic music, and especially Joaquin Phoenix who incarnated the character’s body and  soul, puffed up, bearded, and completely hallucinated. The editing is brilliant, and Lynne Ramsay has a  real sense of atmosphere while mobilizing, explicitly, a number of cult films. Psycho, Taxi driver, etc…In the end, this sophisticated thriller reflects a real know-how and Lynne Ramsay shines here. The film got just in time at the Cannes Film Festival and got nominated for best actor and best screenplay.

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a beautiful day

Posted in British film, Chinese film

THE FOREIGNER (2017)

 

the foreigner

A film by Martin Campbell

Cast: Katie Leung, Jackie Chan, Rufus Jones, Pierce Brosnan

A  businessman seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism. A conflict takes place with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers’ identities. But this business owner has a buried past.

Yes Jackie Chan is back with a thriller that works here. The Foreigner, based on the novel The Chinaman by Stephen Leather, feature Jacky Chan and Pierce Brosnan an unlikely pair for a film.The stories of Hennessy and Quan soon crosses each other. Quan (Jackie Chan) is forcing the hand of the authorities so they can find and tell them the killer’s names the one who killed his daughter. He  has a buried past and lost every thing even his last daughter. Of course, now Hennessy (Pierce Bronan) is forced  to turn against Quan and Hennessy bring more Irish men to protect his family which is going to bring me with some hand to hand combat. well you want to see Jackie do his thing but he is getting a little older now at age 64 he is doing fine. Hennessy here has a buried passed as well and some things will surfaced as the story goes on. The Foreigner here is not the great film but it is entertaining and has a few twist and turn. It is nice to see Jackie still doing his thing but a little more on the realistic side no spectacular stunt here.

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THE FOREIGNER

Posted in Belgium Film

LE FIDÈLE (2017)

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A film by Michaël R. Roskam

Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Eric De Staercke

English tile: Racer and the jailbird 

A love Story of Bibi (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a young racing driver with very upper-class roots and a high-flying gangster Gigi (Matthias Schoenaerts).

I am going on a limb here but it is perhaps the best movie since the beginning of the year. A story that mixes love, action, racing, gangsters , in a dark and romantic thriller, filmed at the speed of a fourth gear, with a sense of context and rhythm that has a bright, intense scenario, that gets darker and darker as the story unveil itself.

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Michaël R. Roskam is returning to his homeland in Belgium to make this Neo-Noir triller once again, will surprise the spectators who hope to find a premature plot. It begins on a classic themes, that of an irresistible romance between two characters madly in love with each others with some scene of an incredible robbery. He Gino his friends call him Gigi at first you do not know what he does for a living and she, Beatrice her friends call her Bibi, is a car racer sure of herself . Could we dream more than a beautiful couple at the movies? In addition to the sensual charm that emerges thought out the actors. the film seems to be set within a few minutes, he lives in fear but want to settle down, and she is constantly looking  for adrenaline while trying to unravel the secrets of her man. It is done in old fashion photography with images of a  film noir like back in the day. There are 3 chapters to the story Gigi, Bibi, No flowers. I think they could be very well addicted to each other due to the fact she could told him to buzz off after she found out. The director  films particular well the scenes of the robbery with an immersive fluidity that raises them among the best views on the big screen in recent years. It is not over done with excessive explosions and such, it has realism into it. the main point of the story which the director never let up is the painful destiny that each time catch up with the two damned lovers to plunge them into a misfortune that will only bring them a little closer to each other. Adèle Exarchopoulos here shines big time and delivers the role of a life time so far. Her character takes the command and Adèle embodies it completely with grace. Matthias Schoenaerts plays this man who has fears and is breaking down each time there is an obstacle or mess up.  The Fidèle is a surprising work of art in the way that it succeed in taking steps to be not predictable and preserves as a backbone the love of the two lovers. 

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Posted in Based on a true story, French film

CARBONE (2017)

Carbone

A film by Olivier Marchal

Cast: Benoît Magimel, Gringe, Idir Chender, Gerard Depardieu 

Just about to lose his business, Anthony Roca (Benoît Magimel), an ordinary man, develops a scam that will become the heist of the century. Gets in bed with criminals and overtaken by the crime, he will have to deal with betrayal, and murder.

Olivier Marchal likes squeaky leather, the smell of cold cigarettes, cops, gangsters  and the wicked atmosphere the bad neighbourhood of Paris’ suburb . This is normal, the French filmmaker was himself a cop, now converted into a director / actor , a fan  of the thriller genre and crime thriller.Which makes him one of the recognizable directors of the French cinematography landscape.

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A huge scam led by Antoine Roca (Benoit Magimel), honest entrepreneur but riddled with debts that would be around one million euros. In spite, a father-in-law (Gerard Depardieu) intractable and brittle, a marriage that goes to pieces and a company that is going under, Antoine decides to launch a scam that will pay him big. The breakout of the century revolves around a carbon tax fraud. Every company has its share of CO2 emissions. If it is not exceed a certain among of CO2, the companies receive an envelope from the French state to compensate. By mounting a handful of  dummies companies  offshore, it is easy to recover an astronomical sums within a few months.

The film opens with Antoine shot on the side walks reciting an Arabic proverb. Then we go back 5 months earlier. The thing is here os a man who’s life is beginning to be hell because of the business that his father in law left him to manage is going to fold if it does not find the money for the debt he owes. Here is a man who is desperate where his wife does not like him very much anymore not his father in law. He needs a million euros to get the scam stated but one you borrow money from the mob there is not going back. Antoine is maybe on the top of the world Money start flowing in , the women, the parting the fancy cars all that comes into play and will atrratc other criminals, but soon after that the decent in hell is going to follow. He is going to try to fix things but when all hell breaks loose there is no stopping it. Here money is king and Marshall demonstrate this very well. The cinematography is Neo-Noir setting here. A brutal film with a soft finish, and yes it is based on a true story.

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Posted in U.S. Film

THOR: RAGNAROK (2017)

thor

A film by Taika Waititi

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett

Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself into a little jam. Gets capture again by a woman and gets imprisoned again and Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.

Ok then most of the time the third one falls apart but here Chris Hemsworth does a terrific job at delivering punch line. It a is a break out comedy performance that he throws in and thank god that they cast Chris for the part of Thor because he fits perfectly the bill and with a haft way decent script he hold the Franchise together.

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Thor is trapped on the planet Sakaar, where he’s forced to fight the planet’s reigning champion. What? Ok then without further due you know what is going to happen. It is a little predictable but shit it is fun to watch. There are familiar character popping here and there. Goldblum  here plays the part so well, well like the genius that he is and nails it right on the money which it is a joy to watch. It is going to feel like a buddy movie. it seems to me that Marvel is using more and more humor in the comics film now days one started it and now the other follows and it seems to work so far. A real style, humor to spare, a thunderous soundtrack, and action will throw at least the audience to the movie theater. Do not sulk your pleasure.

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