SORRY WE MISSED YOU (2019)

A film by Ken Loach

Cast:  Kris Hitchen, Debbie Honeywood, Nikki Marshall 

Ricky, Abby and their two children live in Newcastle. Their family is united and the parents work hard. While Abby works diligently for a retirement home , Ricky goes from jobs to jobs. They realize that they will never own a home and become independent. It’s now or never ! A real opportunity seems to get the attention of Ricky, the digital revolution: Ricky buys a van to become a delivery driver finally his own business so he thinks. But the excesses of this new modern world will have major repercussions on the whole family …

This is a personal journey that a couple will face every day to see what they are worth to find a true connection of follow their passion. Maybe they are working to survive so they can save money to buy a home. However the audience are going to understand their struggle. Ken Loach’s new film is about a family who is struggling to make a living but with two kids and the economy that is not recovering fast enough Ricky the head of the family will get his own business started as a delivery driver. Here Loach shows how the digital world and the consumers who wants their products fast at their door. Ricky signs up for a delivery service franchise where they tell him he is his own boss but gets boss around by his supervisor . The delivery truck he has to buy or rent. His scanner if it gets damaged he has to replace it from his own pocket plus he gets fine it he does takes days off. Your own boss? really? It takes a toll on his family and Ricky is trying to keep his family together and as well as his job. The film isn’t so light hearted and we see how similar contracts where humans are neglected in the industry because the clients wants their products fast and cheap and the work isn’t properly recognised or paid for. Abbie here had to sell her car in order for Ricky to buy the delivering van but he does not get the position he puts Abbie into. She now has to take the bus and is struggling there on time to takes care of her patients. Even if his films has lost some glamor, Ken Loach still got it , at 80 some years old , he is determined to continue to highlight the injustices that may exist.

ROADS (2019)

A film  Sebastian Schipper

Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Stéphane Bak, Ben Chaplin

Gyllen, an 18-year-old boy from London, flees the family vacation in Morocco aboard the motorhome stolen from his father-in-law. On his way, he meets William, a young Congolese of his age who wants to reach Europe in search of his missing brother. They decide to join forces. This improbable duo is making its way through Morocco, Spain and France to Calais, driven by the desire for adventure. As they travel, friendship and trust are going to be settling in between the two teenagers. But they will make difficult decisions will change their lives forever.

Here is an other film from Schipper who directed the film called Victoria. I meet Stéphane bak at an Apple store because it was May the Cannes Film Festival just started and Apple decided to do a bunch of workshops where directors, actors, editors, and graphic artists (who made film posters) was talking about their jobs . So Bak a newcomer in the business who is a comic turned actor was talking to us about this film. Bak was there to show us how to dubbed the animation Spider man: into the spider man verse in French (I prefer the original version) Then we had to give it a try dubbed it ourselves on an ipad. Not an easy thing to do. we had fun that’s for sure. I went to all the workshops in may about cinema. So A friend of mine who was there at the time decided to see Roads and we weren’t disappointed.

Here are two teenagers who are going to meet because one of them is going to steal an RV the one of his step father to trying to see his father. On the other hand the other teenager who is African needs to finds his brother to get him back home. Here is an entirely a different road movie one that sheds light on the plight of refugees in Europe especially in Calais France. There are some twist in the story and it is refreshing to see a different kind of road movie for a change.

YESTERDAY (2019)

A film by  Danny Boyle

Cast:  Himesh Patel, Lily James, Sophia Di Martino 

Yesterday everyone knew the Beatles, but today only Jack remembers their songs. He is about to become extremely famous. Jack Malik is a struggling singer-songwriter whose dreams are sinking into the sea that borders the small village where he lives in England, despite encouragement from Ellie, his best childhood friend who never stopped believing in him. After an accident with a bus during a strange blackout, Jack wakes up in a world where he discovers that the Beatles never existed … which will put him in a serious case of conscience.

Ok Danny Boyle is a fan of the Beatles which was the greatest band ever on this face of this earth. Let’s face it, in every song of every albums was a hit song now tell me what band has done so so far. Jack who got into an accident because of a weird black out finds out that no one has heard of the Beatles except him. After all he is not the song writer that he wanted to be so he decided to do the unthinkable. Good film but he doest not go where it suppose to go, and does not avoid the cliché with the love story that is predictable. One surprise in it. The film is enjoyable to watch and you will hear the Beatle songs all over again and it has humour in it. So it is not a complete waste. There are some weird moments in reference to john Lennon. Thank god that the actors here were talented and had chemistry.

TOLKIEN (2019)

A film by  Dome Karukoski

Cast:  Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins, Colm Meaney 

The years of an author who became an orphan where he finds friendship, love and inspiration in a group of classmates at his school. But the First World War broke out and threatened to destroy this “community”. These are all experiences that will inspire Tolkien in the writing of his novels.

Going back and forth from Tolkien’s childhood to the war when he was a soldier director Dome Karukoski cast the perfect actor Nicolas Hoult for the lead. The relationship with his mother and brother, his friendship with his school mates where they formed a Book club named the Tea Club and Barrovian Society (TCBS) where he found inspiration. The love of his life  Edith Mary Bratt, who shared his passion. I was surprise that he invented a new language. He became a well known writer that later he was known for the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings and others. Not too bad for a film here because biography has been done so many times it is becoming the same but this one at least stands out a bit.

COLETTE (2018)

A film by  Wash Westmoreland

Cast:  Keira Knightley, Fiona Shaw, Dominic West 

ColetteSidonie-Gabrielle Colette, 28 January 1873 – 3 August 1954) was a French author and woman of letters nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948; also known as a mime, actress, and journalist. Here is her life story.

The real Colette in Paris.

Well first I thought the French cinema would at least make the picture but instead it is a US / British film. We begin the story with young Colette who is barely out of high school where she meets the man named Willy Dominic West. The relationship soon flourishes and they are to be married. She finds herself form the country to Paris in the middle of the art community. You see Willy is a writer well not really he tells writers to write the story that he wants him to write. Soon he can’t afford them so he tells Colette to write about her friend she went to school with. It soon becomes the best seller in France and Willy is praised for his book that he put his name to it. Soon after Willy ask her to write a sequel about Claudine. Back then it is a man world and women couldn’t be author. Of course comes the affairs from willy and the fact that Colette wants to become more independent. So she demand that her novel have her name on it as an author.

The film shows the struggle that a woman writer has back in the late 1800’s in the belle époque which the director as so beautifully put together. The chemistry of both actors is amazing and so is their acting. By the way Colette was most widely known for her 1944 novel Gigi (1944).

ADRIFT (2018)

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A film by Baltasar Kormákur

Cast: Shailene WoodleySam ClaflinGrace Palmer

In September, 1983, Tami Oldham Ashcraft and her fiance, Richard Sharp, were hired to take a 44-foot yacht on a 4,000-mile journey from Tahiti to San Diego. About half way there the encounter a hurricane which was building for a couple of weeks. Caught into it full force the yacht in 145-knot winds, the boat over turn a few time to find themselves adrift.

Here is a couple who found love a first sight while traveling on boats. They meet in Tahiti where Tami running away from her town San Diego not in the hurry to go back any time soon. Love blossomed and soon after that they fell in love, they had a big thing in common they love to travel by sea to discover the world. Everything was fine until an english couple asked them to take their yacht to San Diego and give them $10,000 plus a first class ticket back to Tahiti. Until they get caught into the hurricane. When she find herself adrift she is going to have to pull through right away in order to survive. It is based on the true story , from the book that Tami Oldham Ashcraft wrote in 2002 Red Sky in Mourning: A True Story of Love, Loss and Survival at Sea. A terrific story of survival and will power to stay alive. Adrift has flashback between their hot romance on Tahiti and the increasingly difficult situation after the storm, as Tami struggles to keep herself and Richard alive. I love the shot of the yacht up in the hair where you see the waste ocean and this little tiny boat. It is scary no land to be seen. The shoot must have been difficult because when you see the beautiful scenery that the ocean and the sunset has to offer it is breathtaking. The question here that you have to ask yourself is would I have survive this if I was Tami. What would you have done. The thing here is that Tami has a positive attitude and said to herself I will stay alive I will survive this. What she is using duck tape to do what?

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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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THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE (2018)

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A film by Terry Gilliam

Cast: Adam DriverJonathan PryceStellan Skarsgård

Toby (Adam Driver) who is a commercial director who shoot a vodka commercial that utilises the figure of Don Quixote . One night, he finds someone selling a bootleg DVD of his thesis film from ten years ago, itself a Quixote adaptation he shot with some friends and nonprofessional actors at a local village. To get inspired he tries to reconnect with the past by going to the village where he shot his thesis film and may the adventure begin…..

Orson Welles has tried to make this film but the director has died before he could finish it and it took 30 years by the way. Here Gillian tries to make his own film which took 30 years or so in the making, he had truly had a hard time to get the project done. I kind of love it feeling what the hell was this made a lot sooner. Here Toby embarks in the village hoping to reconnect with his youth. He finds that some of the non professional actors that was in his film some had great luck others not. But soon after that he meets the man who played Don Quixote the aging shoemaker Jonathan Pryce who thinks he is Don Quixote. Toby will embark then is this strange adventure in the wild west of Spain. Here you are going to feel lost in the film but Gillian wants you to be. The energy of Gillian here is infectious. The plot is not linear it is going to be going every which way. Not too worry you are going to have a good time. It is presented like a kaleidoscope fable. What I like about it it is going to go in a loop. You’ll know what I mean when you see the film. Here is one for you the actor Jonathan Pryce after the film was done was suppose to go to Cannes but he suddenly had a stroke. Some say it is a curse. Maybe maybe not.

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THE COMMUTER (2018)

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A film by Jaume Collet-Serra

Cast: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson

Like every day after work, Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson) takes the suburban train back home. But today, his daily journey will take a different turn. After receiving a call from a mysterious stranger, he is forced to identify a passenger hidden on the train before the last stop. As he struggles against the clock to solve this riddle, he finds himself caught in a spiral conspiracy . A conspiracy that becomes a matter of life and death, for him and for all other passengers.

If you have guessed it by now just by reading the introduction above this film is coming across Agatha Christy and Alfred Hitchcock. Michael MacCauley, is a 60-year-old ex-cop turned insurance salesman who works in midtown Manhattan. His boss tells him that he’s being let go. But he has trouble to tell his wife (Elizabeth McGovern), when he gets a call from her. After drinking with his buddy a cop from the force, Michael goes home and does on the train but gets his phone stolen by a pickpocket. Then meets a mysterious stranger (Vera Farmiga) who tells him he has to locate a certain passenger on the commuter train before it arrives at its final stop. If he takes the money which it is located  this means that he accept. After thinking about it Michael takes the money.

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This is one of those moral equation  that really only generates suspense but there it seems that it looses it effect due to lack of imagination to me the music was the same always and it is a bit predictable. It seems to me that I already saw this film I am not saying it is not good it is entertaining with spectacular stunts. It is clear that for Collet-sierra his biggest influence is Alfred Hitchcock and in his previous films it shows, but here he almost missed it. The movie never gets close to generating the political framework it would have needed to to be taken seriously, but there are no scene more extravagant as in this film so that makes up for that well sort of. All I am saying don’t rush to the movie theatre to see this one.

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DARKEST HOURS (2017)

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A film by Joe Wright

Cast: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas

During world war II the new prime minster Winton Churchill (Gary Oldman) has this big decision to make to negotiate peace with Hitler or fight until the end.

Here is a great film by Joe Wright and did he ever nailed it. Some how Dunkirk the film of Nolan and this film are connected beautifully well. The problem is some of the member of the parliament wanted to negotiate peace but Churchill wanted to go to war, he did not see peace negotiation with Hitler and that was smart. He wanted to fight until the end. Hitler here was this madman who was killing and taking countries left and right however Winston knew that negotiate with a madman is not going to end well and it was a sign of weakness. Oldman here has the perfect role that fits him like a glove and what a beautiful performance. Kristin Scott Thomas is terrific in the role of Clementine. My favourite scene is when he goes in the subway and have a talk with the people in the train. Although he had a trade mark smokes cigar, love his whiskey and champagne. In the darkest hour Churchill was at his best. Just imagine the pressure he was under. A terrific film here not to be missed.

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