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Archive for the category “British film”

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)

THE COMMUTER

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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BATTLE OF THE SEXES (2017)

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A film by Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Cast: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough

The publicized true story about the on-court face-off between Grand Slam winner Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and former World Number 1 Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) is not simply about the sport.

The film is not just about that match it is about a male chauvinist, gay right, legality pay for women it is just scratch the surface in the early 70’s.. It is a funny film at times and the dynamism between the two tennis player makes it entertaining. For me however the film is missing something. I got out of the theatre feeling ok about it. Do not get me wrong the film is entertaining but not the big film either. It has history in it. Billie Jean King has fought all her life so the women could have better pay as equal to the men tennis player to top it all off she is trying to hide the fact that she is gay. Back then there were too much male chauvinism and the women could do well if not better than man. The two actors here are on top of their games. To even put Bill Pullman as Jack Kramer that was brilliant. Bobby Riggs is a gambling addict and a chauvinist pig. Smart as she is Billie that is was training her ass off meanwhile Riggs was putting on a show little did he is going to eat his words. Billie is good under pressure some people are and she was wearing him out to death. Riggs is out of shape. The film comes together toward the match between the two with the tension, thrills and the ridiculous moments . And the winner is.

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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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THE FOREIGNER (2017)

 

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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

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (2017)

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A film by Colm McCarthy

Cast: Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Dominique Tipper

Each morning, Melanie (Sennia Nanua), a smart, articulate young girl counts the seconds to the moment when her captors open the door of her cell.   By the time two fully armed British soldiers have entered she is already seated in the wheelchair in which she will be restrained for the rest of the day. From her cell, she’s wheeled to a room in which she joins a dozen or more  restrained children.   And as their teacher, the sympathetic Miss Justineau (Gemma Arterton ) delivers their lesson, guards stand by.

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This film failed  at the box office in the UK. And it has been limited release in the US. I do not know why. It is an excellent film well written even. The film has a human touch toward humanity and will make you think, plus a lot of research has been done for this film it looks like.  A remarkable performance by Sennia Nanua for her first film she is almost in every scene. It is a fresh look of the genre here and to me the horror film are getting better those days finally. Without giving it away it takes place in a near future where chaos has taken place and the human are trying to get it together. Experimentation has to be done in order to get out of it and find a cure. The Girl with All the Gifts is simply a well-executed and thoughtful film, powered by a narrative that can change to dramatic, funny, tense, grotesque. Here however the girl with all the gift delivers a chilling tension as bloody as it can be for the horror fans out there. 

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A MESSAGE FROM THE KING (2017)

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A film by Fabrice Du Welz

Cast: Teresa Palmer, Luke Evans, Tom Felton

Jacob (Chadwick Boseman) King arrives from Cape Town in Los Angeles, in search of his missing sister. A stranger in a world of which he knows nothing. $ 600 in pocket and a return ticket to Cape Town 7 days later.

The opening of the film a man in customs where the officer asks him bunch of question , but the man in question is on vacation. He is from Cape Town Africa and drive a cab over there. They ask him if he has family his response is no. Soon after settle in this Roach motel. He goes to see his sister at her apartment. No one has seen her so he begins to investigate. What is he going to find, her is not going to like it and will put in motions a series of events that is going to take place.

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This film noir is a slow paces burner nothing that you have not seen before but has a few twist and turn especially at the end. You won’t see it coming. It is shot like a 70’s style film showing the not so good neighbourhood in L.A. An outsider who is trying to find his sister who is going to make some friends along the way or I might have help one in distress. When he finds out what happens to his sister the dark side of Jacob will surface. To me if he did end the film like he did then the all film is out in the water . A nice little ending here that makes the film worth seeing.

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DENIAL (2016)

Denial

film by Mick Jackson

Cast: Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall

Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz), a noted historian and author, fiercely defends the memory of the Holocaust. She is confronted with an academic extremist, advocate of controversial theses on the Nazi regime, David Irving (Timothy Spall) , who challenges her to prove the existence of the Holocaust.

The thing about Mick Jackson’s film is the unexpected strategy the lawyers take to counter the claim the Holocaust never occurred. The film may be a little dry, but the topic is not. I did not know there was people who denied that the holocaust has never happened and to top it all off they have lawyer that will counter-claim that the holocaust never occurred due to lack of evidence. You have got to be kidding. David Hare’s screenplay focuses on the topic, immersing us in the protagonist’s life and beliefs. It is an intellectually interesting  film that raises not only questions about the Holocaust, but about the issues of  proving any historical event has occurred. It will take a large team of lawyer here to combat this imbecile David Irving and Deborah Lipstadt who is a fighter here can not be on the stand to testify which she struggled with it. Richard Rampton (Wilkinson) took upon this strategy never make eye contact which aggravated Irving big time. The court drama how ever has been done a la traditional a flaw here but the performances of the actors are A+ thank god for that. It is still watchable but not the great film that it should be been.

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LADY MACBETH (2017)

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A  film by William Oldroyd

Cast; Florence Pugh, Christopher Fairbank, Cosmo Jarvis

1865, Rural England. Katherine (Florence Pugh) has a unhappy life of a loveless marriage with a Lord (Paul Hilton) who has twice her aged. One day, she falls in love with a young groom who works on her husband’s land and discovers passion.

The focus of the story is Catherine of course. Here is an adaptation of a 19th century Russian novella, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Nikolai Leskov. When her husband and father-in-law leave their estate on a business trip, Katherine is left alone with the  staff, and embarks on a steamy affair with the groomsman, Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis). Well at the beginning of the films she has trouble to just to her new life with her husband. Katherine isn’t exactly subtle about her cheating, so it does not take long for the star to find out about it.  But her personal maid Anna (Naomi Ackie), is a little scared because she knows she’ll be the one punished for her mistress’s indiscretions. Lady Macbeth has  a complex study of gender, class and racial politics, with  the difficulties of having all three intersecting. It is like she is rebelling against her husband who is unable to satisfy her and her needs.  The actress here is standing out which she is fairly new at this acting thing but delivers a role of a life time by nailing it dead on. As for the rest of the cast they have done an outstanding job as well. Not an easy thing to act with facial expression without saying a word. Light on dialogue, as the director tell his story in a cinematic fashion, with subtle gestures, wicked smiles and nervous faces and beautiful photography. Voila!!!

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