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Archive for the category “Based on a true story”

A PRAYER BEFORE DAWN (2018)

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A film by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire

Cast: Joe ColeVithaya PansringarmPanya Yimmumphai

The true story of Billy Moore, locked in one of the toughest prisons, Klong Prem. Refusing to die there, Billy learns Muay Thai boxing and finds a fraternity that will help him redeem himself.

The director here focuses on the life in prison instead if what happened before Billy got there. By this unique prism, we are also totally lost in a poisonous world in paradise Muay Thai, a form of boxing “religion” in Thailand. The daily – rapes, fights, drugs deals, etc. that takes place daily. The film primary beauty comes from its desire to capture the huddled bodies as if each inmate had an immense texture to form one with its  community. The energy of each shot to exalt Moore’s rage that one feels ready to explode at the slightest jostling. Then comes the strange time of appeasement, when the boxer can finally reconnect with what makes him progresses in life: his fists. It is a huge boxing film that is going to feel claustrophobic due to the fact that it is in prison but has a raw beauty that emerges. So many contradictions that lead straight to build a film that emerges bloodless and the impression of having seen an instant classic.

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WHAT PEOPLE WILL SAY ? (2018)

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A film by Iram Haq

Cast: Maria MozhdahAdil HussainEkavali Khanna

Sixteen years old Nisha (Maria Mozhdah) is your typical teenager in Norway, she is sneaking out of her parent’s apartment coming back from partying with her friends where her father had no idea about it, until one night he finds her in her room with a boy and her destiny will change forever.

Here is this great biographical film from Haq. Nisha is always careful to return before her father’s regular night-time checks on his children. Nisha here so her family thinks is a good girl. But Nisha  lives a double life.  We are in Norway where there are a community of Pakistanis. Her father may be more liberal than her mother, but woman in this culture are told what to do and how they should conduct themselves. When the incident happens social services step in to protect the child and to have her version of the incident. But Nisha refuses. Her family is going to take some serious measures to sent her straight and will change her life for ever. The thing is what people will say that is what the Nisha’s parent cares about. She is born in Norway, she is a free woman to do what she wants and study and work plus marry who she wants. But the community of Pakistanis does not like what Nisha is doing (rebelling against her parents). In this community people talk and Nisha’s parents wants the rumours to stop so they are going to do what ever it takes and you will not believe it. 

Here is a powerful message with an emotional roller coaster type film that will make you think of what is going on in this world and why some culture can not seems to move forward. Tradition are tradition. Pakistan (The set of Pakistan was shoot in India, the director felt it was more safe to shoot in India and the film industry was much advanced in India), here is filmed at its rawest form, in the day time it is live and the street are full of people and the night is dark sometimes darker but not too many people on the street. Even thought this family is in Norway tradition from their country should be respected. That were they are wrong. Nisha is born in a free country to which she can go out with whom she pleases even party with her friends but because her family is so stuck on tradition and what will people say in their little community of Pakistanis. So they force her to become what she does not want to become. Here is a story that needed to be told and my hats go out to the director Iram Haq for surviving it and telling it as honestly as she could.

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THE SILENT REVOLUTION (2018)

THE SILENT REVOLUTION (2018)

A film by Lars Kraume

Cast: Jonas Dassler, Judith Engel, Tom Gramenz

East Germany, 1956. Kurt, Theo and Lena are 18 years old and preparing to graduate from high school. With their comrades, they decide to do a minute of silence in class, in tribute to the Hungarian revolutionaries harshly repressed by the Soviet army. This minute of silence becomes a state affair. She will rock their lives. Faced with an East German government determined to identify and punish those responsible, the 19 students of Stalinstadt will face all threats and remain in solidarity.

Based on a true story back in 1956 a bunch of student listening to the illegal radio on the east german (4 years before the wall) about the Hungarians who wants the Russians out of their country are starting a revolution. One of the classmate decided to have a minutes of silence in class in honour of the Hungarians. And may the investigation begins, yes the school decided to see who started this.  The school is going to play dirty and secrets will surface. The film is plunging into the cold war that some people didn’t know about. It is a hard decision toward the end that the students took and thank god they took it. It is also about sacrifices and what is best for their kids. Education however is important. The costumes and the set design ere beautiful, it is like you were there. It is an ensemble cast and they are so perfect for each other. A  Brilliant successful stroke of action for this captivating evocation of East Germany where high school students discover the notion of treason, submission and rebellion.

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DAS SCHWEIGENDE KLASSENZIMMER

THE DISASTER ARTIST (2017)

THE DISASTER ARTIST

A film by James franco

Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Ari Graynor

Greg Sestero, an aspiring film actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, a friendship is formed and they decided to go to Hollywood to become actors. And a legend is born.

ok I haven’t see the room but I heard it is not that good ,pretty bad at that but like someone told me you have to see it in the movie theatres to get the full effect. Here is a guy who has money a lots of money, he can’t act worth the shit, so he decided to make the film himself with his buddy. You will go on their journey of film making.  James Franco decided not only to direct the movie but to play Wiseau and to cast his brother for the part of Sestero. In real life Wiseau here decided to make a film on his own (first time ever) funny as it sounds Tommy says he loves to play football but can’t even throw the ball correctly. When producers tell Tommy at audition you will be good as the villain, Tommy respond”I the hero”. The thing is that is a weird journey they are going to go on plus the film went over budget ; Not too worry Tommy has money how much nobody knows, how he made it, or how old is he, and where is he from to this day  no one knows. Producers actually didn’t think the film is going to make it.

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Franco here is a great director so far, his style is clean using close up the only way in this film anyhow. The editing keeps the plot moving so it does not loose its momentum.  However the performance of Franco here is dead on not an easy thing to do. Wiseau’s strange accent and appearance is initially funny, Franco does not make fun of it . Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), a student who is the opposite: He’s  shy and withdrawn, unable and unwilling to put himself out there. Wiseau is a damaged individual who wants affection and he looks for it in Greg. The Disaster Artist stays away from exploring Wiseau’s past or explaining his mysterious wealth, accent, and appearance, but this is more out of respect for Wiseau. By the way not an easy thing to do to turns failure into success and trash into art. the film was based off the book by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell. If you ever see The Room see it in the theatre like I said someone told me it is better that way then to see on DVD at your home it is better to have the live audience in this one. To this day it plays in the movie theatre in the US.

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I, TONYA (2017)

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A film by Craig Gillespie

Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney

Ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when she married her husband Jeff Gillooly.

I was in the United States when the news broke even watch Harding stake and I though she was great but there was some off beat. After watching the film I said and even seeing it on the news at the time I said to myself there it is I was right.

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Director Gillespie film it from the interviews that that on every channels at the time plus some flashback to tell what real happened. He also affectionately mocked the sport a bit without mocking Harding herself. You see Harding had those seriously ridiculous outfit for her competition and even had Rock-N-Roll music instead of classical to do her routine. She wanted to be different from the others but that did not go well with the judges. She always said what was on her mind straight forward no bullshit. She was not loved by her mother. She thrived in the sport because she wanted to be loved by her fans. Allison Janney ( who did a great job here) absolutely tears it up as the profane, chain-smoking LaVona Harding, constantly insulting Tonya and messing with her mind so she could become a great champion. Janney has won a Bafta award for Best supporting actress and well deserved at that; I just read this not long ago.

As soon as Tonya married her first husband it went to hell from there. Sebastian Stan Who plays Jeff Gillooly plays a little goofy. The relationship that they had was not healthy either. Soon after the incident happened which Tonya said she is no guilty as the media found her guilty at the time. Her all career fell apart. The big investigation was going on at time and the news show like Hard copy,  20/20 and the others banked on it they were fighting for first place . Margot here after 5 month of training she actually performed a triple axle (Not too perfectly well with computer generated image was perfect on film) and was one of the 7 women who has performed it. Tonya was the first one to do so. Margot performance is outstanding here and even Tonya herself liked the film. If you saw the news like I did back then after seeing the film you will have a different opinion of her. I know I did. You will have a good time watching this and the casting is perfect with some superb performances. Do not miss this one.

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LA DOULEUR (2018)

LA DOULEUR (2018)

A film by Emmanuel Finkiel

Cast: Mélanie Thierry, Benoît Magimel, Benjamin Biolay

English: Memoir of pain

June 1944, France is still under the German occupation. The writer Robert Antelme, major figure of the Resistance, is arrested and deported. His young wife Marguerite, writer and a figure of the resistance also, is torn by the anguish of not having news of him plus she has her secret affair with her comrade Dyonis. She meets a French agent of the Gestapo, Rabier, and, ready to do anything to find her husband. She seek help from an other man will she be able to find her husband and will he be still alive? 

Some of you will not like this film; It is the biography of Marguerite Duras and is a key figure on the French twentieth-century literary scene. Born in French Indochina in 1914, Duras studied and worked in France and lived in Paris during the Nazi occupation, and was in the Résistance. After all she won an Oscar for best original screenplay for the film 1959 film Hiroshima mon amour. But this film is told with a narration of literature. Her book was published in 1985 Memoir of pain finally comes to life at the movies. La Douleur flows like blood in the veins. Finkiel plays on the literary codes with a narration of Mélanie Thierry with a sad and depressing  voice. Thierry is act mostly with her facial expressions. She sees her relationship growing with Rabier. But also with Dionys (Benjamin Biolay). Finkiel allows us to wander, to merge into the spirit of Marguerite Duras. Duras is a faded flower that fights with her latest weapons as a resistant and writer that she is. She leads a troubled life. The film is a slow burner but a little long although I found it nice to watch a different view a view of a woman in search of her husband.

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12 STRONG (2018)

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A film by Nicolai Fuglsig

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña

The story of 12 men from the special forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11. They team up with an afghan war lord and under a new captain to taken down the Taliban .

Chris Hemsworth Capt. Mitch Nelson, never been in a war, but did his training is going to lead 12 men to Afgannistan . They  were the first American troops to set foot in Afghanistan after 9/11. Hal Spencer (Michael Shannon) the most experience, Sam Diller (Michael Pena) the joker, plus a weapon expert Ben Milo (Trevante Rhodes) and the rest of the gang. Nelson gets his orders from the Colonel Mulholland (William Fichtner) and Lt. Col. Bowers ( Rob Riggle). Their mission is to invade northern Afghanistan through Uzbekistan with the help of the Uzbek warlord General Dostum (Navid Negahban), who has his own reasons for taking on the Taliban. Dostum and his men, Nelson and his team must capture the Afghan city of Mazar-Sharif. well despite their training the American is going to ride horses in oder to get where they are going because of the rough terrain. 

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Director Fuglsig here has shown what war can be a dark place where a blood bath is going to take place. Here is 12 men who are on horses against tank and heavy artillery survived this ordeal. Amazing or pure luck. Everybody underestimate Nelson is the dynamic here and he had little experience in the field. Not only he made a promise he will come back to his wife but tells the colonel he can do it in 21 days before the snow comes otherwise they are going to be stuck there. Not the big film here but the purpose of it is entertaining and surprising that those 12 men has survived this ordeal on horses. The film here is design to make you feel good.

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THE POST (2017)

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A film by Steven Spielberg

Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson

The story of the Post who got the hold of the Pentagon Papers and the unfolding battle between the free press and a White House that struggled to keep the secrets of how our government handled the Vietnam War under wraps.

Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) who heard a government official lied to the press decided to walk away with classified documents of the Pentagon on the history of Vietnam, including sensitive and confidential information that revealed the lies the government had told the American people for years, and why this does not surprise me at all, the government lying that would be a first yeah! right. One said “McNamara knew we couldn’t win in ’65.” And they went and sent more people to Vietnam . The thing is that the truth came first in the New York times and the Times got shut down by the government so the source wanted to have his stolen papers published and did the unthinkable.

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The two central character here Kay Graham (Meryl Streep), the publisher of the Post, doing a job that too many men around her consider her incapable of doing, and Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), the editor of the Post, and the man who never questions whether of not they should publish. Both actors incarnated their characters well plus they had big shoes to fill. Also everything is at stake and Graham feared that she could make the wrong decision. There is tension in the film but lack of suspense and Bob Odenkirk almost steals the show here the guy who investigate he is the key piece of the post without him I think none of that would happen. You will see a parade of familiar actors in there as well.  the Post had balls knowing they could lose everything. The Freedom of the Press do not mess with it. Over all the film works well here and it is entertaining.

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MOLLY’S GAME (2017)

molly's game (2017)

A film by Aaron Sorkin

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner

She was nicknamed the poker princess and when she was in a room she was in total command. She made a fortune running high-stakes games for the wealthy and powerful. Inspired by Bloom’s memoir of the same name, “Molly’s Game” bounces back and forth in time between Molly’s arrest by the FBI for running an illegal gambling operation and the  efforts to persuade a New York lawyer  to represent her and flashbacks to how she built her  empire.

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Molly moves to LA to continue her studies but she stumbles into a game of a card from her boss who wanted her to manage a poker game every week. We even go back further when she was a kid the time she was rebellious against her father. Her first game you will get the narrative voice over of how the game works, who is coming, the terminology , the strategy. As she tries to convince a lawyer played by Idris Elba, you continue to see the flashback and you beginning to see that Molly was dominating her game in a work of powerful men? however the chemistry of the two actors dazzle on-screen. The film is a bit long and entertaining as hell. The scene with her father where Molly is reached her low point is priceless. The thing is the film moves well a the beginning maintains its speed slows down a little and the kill shot is sent. A woman in a man’s world where Molly has done very well and the thing is also those kind of illegal games and Molly being good at her job will bring some unwanted attention.

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ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD (2017)

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A film by Ridley Scott

Cast: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Romain Duris

The story of the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III and the will power of his mother who devoted all her energy to convince his Grandfather to pay the ransom due to the fact he was a billionaire.

Ridley Scott has said that is his last film he is going to direct, so to me he goes out with a bang. He will have a foot in the cinema by just producing. The story focuses on the trio’s awesome performances: Michelle Williams as Gail Harris, the mother of an abducted heir to the Getty fortune; Charlie Plummer as the heir, John Paul Getty III; and Christopher Plummer as the grandfather, John Paul Getty, was the richest man in the world at the time of the kidnapping. (The two Plummers are not related.) 

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The thing is here is that John Getty here is so cheap it is not even funny to the point you will see how he spent his money to avoid paying taxes. So you think at first that he does not want to negotiate with terrorists but he comes down he is cheaper than scrooge. In the mix of it all John Paul Getty III ’s parents was getting divorced due to the fact that his father discovered drugs and free love. His grandfather had his reasons not to pay. Money will do usually thing to some people it will deformed their mind. Like i said you will see a scene where J. Getty stays in a nice star hotel but washes his own clothes and sheets because he doe not want to spent more on Laundromat. His stubbornness of not willing to pay the $17 Million could of getting his grandson killed. Wahlberg here plays Fletcher Chase who plays a negotiator for Getty and his right hand man plus he is in charge of security. The mother had to endure this nightmare plus she was patient, I would kill the grandfather myself even tortured him. The film was shot in location in Italy, London, and Jordan. It is beautifully well shot. Plummer embodies the character so completely that he must had to breathe, eat and think like a Getty. to make it so believable. As Ridley Scott would say” that is all folks. “

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