Cinéphile

FILMS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

Archive for the category “U.S. Film”

MIDNIGHT SUN (2018)

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A film by Scott Speer

Cast: Bella ThornePatrick SchwarzeneggerRob Riggle 

a 17 years old teenager is trying to live her life with XP disease (Xeroderma Pigmentosum) .

It looks like a lot like the film the boy in the bubble of John Travolta. However knowing that I knew how it was going to end and I was right. Here is a remake of the Japanese film of the same name and it is going to be appealing for teenagers big time. Second here is the son of Arnold Schwarzenegger  and Maria Shriver, Patrick who has the lead in his first film.

MIDNIGHT SUN (2018)

Xeroderma pigmentosum—a one-in-a-million skin ailment that makes exposure to the sun’s rays potentially deadly. So you put two young actors like Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger, and you have this love story that is going to take off with a bit of naturalism in it. Katie as the film begins explain her situation  in narration off the top. Katie’s widower dad Rob Riggle, (in a rare dramatic role) has taken every precaution to protect her from sunlight, from  tinted windows in the house and minivan.  We learn in an early conversation between him and Katie’s doctor that it’s actually a miracle she’s lived this long. Second-floor bedroom window, Katie has spied on her neighbor, Charlie (Schwarzenegger) , skateboarding down the street every day for as long as she can remember and it was love at first sight. On high school graduation night Kathie’s dad lets her go to the train station to play guitar and sing when Charlie appears out of no where. Soon after they are dating which she tries to keep her disease a secret and that is understandable. Here is Charlie the most popular guy in school who is on the swimming team which has a sensitive side. Katie is sheltered and has a sweet side, little did they know they are going to need each other in oder to make their dream come true and support each other to overcome their fears. Of course here Katie has a wisecracking best friend, which her character for not fully developed. I think here is the only flaw in the film. So if you are a teenager you are going to love this film, however if you are an adult maybe, maybe not. 

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HEREDITARY (2018)

HEREDITARY (2018)

A film by Ari Aster

Cast: Toni ColletteMilly ShapiroGabriel Byrne 

When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter begins to unravel terrifying secrets about their ancestry.

Annie Graham, an artist and mother who’s coping with the death of her mother while trying to finish an exhibition of dioramas that describe her own family. Annie has a  daughter who is a little strange and a son who spends his time smoking pot with his friends. Annie has a husband who is nice named Steve who just wants the family to be happy and struggles to make peace. Annie tells her husband that she’s going off to the movies when she’s really attending a grief management circle. Peter smokes marijuana with his friends or along and Charlie  draws obsessively in a small notebook….

I can’t tell you more than that here if I reveal more it is going to spoil it for you guys. There are going to be different point of view of this film because it can go more than one way. It is a film that will make you think. The film has an intense family drama that will take you on an emotional journey. It is filled with damage people which they suffer concealed torment from sitting on their rage, and something bloody bizarre will happen mixed with arguments and breakdowns that are going to follow. There is shocking  physical violence in this film. Aster and the cast make you care about these disturbed people and fear will come into play as what they might do to each other. Tragic event can do strange thing to people as the manage it differently. It is going to be a wild ride. The ending could not be better then that. They are reinventing horror film here big time and I hope it continues. A  must see.

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SOLO: A STARS WARS STORY (2018)

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A film by Ron Howard

Cast: Alden EhrenreichWoody HarrelsonEmilia Clarke 

The adventures of a young Han Solo when he meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.

Here is this prequel of Han Solo, but the film is not entirely bad despite the not so formidable performances with a few surprises and it does not hits its marks. Where did Han Solo get his last name? How did he and Where did Han Solo get his last name? How did he and Chewbacca meet? What was the winning hand in the game of Sabacc that gave him possession of the Millennium Falcon? How exactly did he make the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs? meet? What was the winning hand in the game of Sabacc that gave him possession of the Millennium Falcon? How exactly did he make the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs? Those are the question that we should have been asking ourselves after the first 3 Stars wars. And those answers will be revealed as you watch the film, and the film answers all those question and more.

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Han  (Alden Ehrenreich) hot wires cars and meets Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) on planet carry like the burning rubber, gasoline and adolescent hormones like those teenagers films back in the 60’s. Han wants to get out of Corellia and take Qi’ra with him. Also he meets a bunch of criminals who wants to get at this big score.  Things are not as they seems most of the time and like someone says do not trust anyone. There are plenty of action scenes that are cool with some state of the art special effect. Some of the old characters of the first three Stars Wars are back and younger of course and yes it is cool to see them. Even the old ship is back. There are some tension here and there with humour. The film like I said is not entirely bad it is watchable and works but it is missing something. 

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DEADPOOL 2 (2018)

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A film by David Leitch

Cast: Josh BrolinMorena BaccarinZazie Beetz, Ryan Reynolds

Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), puts together a team of mutant rogue to protect a young boy with supernatural abilities from a cyborg who is a time traveler who wants the boy dead.

Here it goes the first one was fun and we got to be introduced to Wade Wilson and yes it was fun to watch. But the second one even more funny than the first one. Deadpool 2 begins with a hilarious sequence that defiantly references Logan. So that is beside the point, the thing is there is a lot of references and jokes about other films; it is one joke after an other. Deadpool here has to save a kid who is using his power to kill well that is because he is being abused by the director of the facilities he is in. Then comes a cyborg time traveler who is in search of the kid. Here Josh Brolin get in the skin of his own character so well. Deadpool is going to get some help in order to do so and the X-force is born. The most funny scenes are when jump the plane in parachutes. It is so hilarious. However who casted Reynolds carries the role very well I am not sure if other actors would have done what he did. It looks like that it was custom-made for him. Here is a sequel who is not going to be boring at all and it does stand out. Seriously if you want to have a good time do not miss this one.

DEADPOOL 2 (2018)

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FRIGHT NIGHT (1985)

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A film by Tom Holland

Cast: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse

A teenager obsessed with horror films finds out that a vampire lives across from him. He tells the police, his friends but none of them will believe him. He decides to take matters into his own hands.

Roddy McDowall, who plays Peter Vincent an old wash out  actor who used to star in vampire movies. “The kids today,” he complains, “don’t have the patience for vampires. They want to see some mad slasher running around and chopping off heads.” That is so true even back then. This film is fun watch and more fun to see it again some 33 years later due to the fact that the special effect then where awesome. It happens one night where Jerry Dandrige (Chris Sarandon) while making out with his girlfriend who does not put out, sees some neighbours caring a coffin downstairs across where he lives. He gets curious and try to find out who lives there. When he finds out that it is a Vampire and tells everyone of his entourage even the police they do not believe him.

The first part of the film is funny and the second part unleashes lots of spectacular special effects and yes back then there were done well and fun to watch. Now days CGI on the computer which laid off those who was doing it in the studio. By the way Peter Vincent, is obviously supposed to remind us of  Vincent Price and Christopher Lee. McDowall’s performance is  funny, and he must have enjoyed it. Fright night is not your usual film horror film it stand out.

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LEAN ON PETE (2018)

LEAN ON PETE (2018)

A film by Andrew Haigh

Cast: Travis Fimmel, Steve Zahn, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Charley Plummer

Charley Thompson (Charley Plummer)  is fifteen years old and has learned to live alone with a fickle father. Just arrived in Oregon, the boy finds a job at a horse trainer and cares for Lean on Pete, a purveyor.

Here is a terrific film where the director fully developed the characters and leaves you at the end wanting more. There are no concept of hiding twist here it is real as it gets. However the film is a different kind of road movie. You are going  to feel what our protagonist feels. Along the way on his journey you will meet Del (Steve Buscemi) the horse trainer, Bonnie (Chloë Sevigny) , a homeless alcoholic, Amy Seimetz who plays the girlfriend of his dad and several others that he will meet along the way. Charley is going to become attach to the horse and find himself in this dilemma where he sees one way to go. As the film builds its momentum charley’s situation is about to become more desperate but his persistence will maintain him to stay alive and he will become a bit resourceful. The dialogue here  is more with charley where he talks to his horse to tell him where he comes from which also he won’t feel so along at times. It’s really the story of someone falling into a dangerous situation because he acts with his heart. It fells real and you want him to succeed. However the cinematography is beautiful, raw and brutal. The director here has a remarkable trust in his actors and vice versa. A must see. 

LEAN ON PETE (2018)

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THE DEATH OF STALIN (2018)

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A film by Armando Iannucci

Cast: Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Jeffrey Tambor

Staline suddenly dies and chaos is setting in the government of the Soviet Union.

Ok then here it is there is no way in hell that someone is going to do a film about Stalin who was this brutal and deadly dictator in  the USSR. But someone has the intelligence to do it in a satire, well that would be better. You have to understand Stalin was a mass murderer of a different class. The film is based on the graphic novel by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin.

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The movie begins with a disaster. On Radio Moscow one evening, the pianist Maria Yudina and orchestra do great job playing Mozart. So much so that Stalin phones in and asks that a recording be sent over to his dacha. One problem: Radio Moscow wasn’t recording. Panic sets in; only one solution is possible: restage the concert and record it. Little problem Maria does not want to do it; however she has good reason. Once the discover that Stalin is dead so they thought, the funny thing is they needed a doctor but Stalin did trust the doctors because he thought they were trying to poison him, so they are in jail or dead. You will see how they get other doctors to come in to determine the cause of death and yes the dialogue in likely to be a little strange at times. It is a risk to do a satire of this monster but there it was done intelligently with some serious belly laugh. The cast is awesome, Steve Buscemi is on the top of his game as Khrushchev, Michael Palin as Molotov, Jason Isaac as Zhukov and Jeffrey Tambour  as the vain Malenkov. From beginning to the end this film is kicking ass big time. Have fun with this one and do not miss it.

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THE RIDER (2018)

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A film by Chloé Zhao

Cast: Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau 

After suffering a serious head injury that almost killed him a cowboy is forced to rethink and search a different path for his life.

Here the Chinese director who now lives in New York  tackles the cowboy after the Indians and neither real fiction nor real documentary The Rider actually merges in the two genres to portray a cowboy who has been near death but when he comes out of it  wants to get back on the horse. Brandy Jandreau  is a real cowboy in real life victim a few years ago of an accident, but decided despite medical advice to continue the only activity that gives meaning to his  existence. The screenplay written by Chloé Zhao is therefore consistent with the experience of her non-professional actor, around which gravitate members of his entourage: Lilly, his little sister autistic, Cat Clifford, his friend, just as invested in a mission in the world of rodeo. Although it feels like a documentary the director uses traditional narrative cinema codes. Brady’s tragedy, unable to convert to a supermarket worker and endangering his own life, by wanting to still work with horses and thinks he is going to get back on the horse which brings me to the fact that the US is unable to take care of their youth to reconvert them into some other career. The cowboy has a certain mentality even if it hurts get back on the horse and do it again. Of course the joint smoking, drinking, singing in the vast land by a fire at sunset is the thing to do if you are a cowboy. You have this tough mentality but the reality of it is sometimes you are going to give up the dream like Brady who has trouble in doing so. Here you will see the tattooed or wounded bodies, and the natural panorama that the director intelligently uses at her advantages. The rider here is a real little jewel that made a splash at he Cannes Film Festival.

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READY PLAYER ONE (2018)

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A film by Steven Spielberg

Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn

The creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies. He put an Easter egg into the program before he died. Whoever finds it takes control of the entire program, as well as controlling interest in the company that runs it.

25 years from now, the world has gone to shit. People are living in cramped spaces basically humanity lives in the dumps. No one gives a shit because there is a virtual games called the Oassis  that people are playing most of the time. OASIS’s creator (Mark Rylance) put an Easter egg into the program before he died. Whoever finds it takes control of the entire program, as well as controlling interest in the company that runs it. When a lone gamer who goes by the code name Parzival (Tye Sheridan) hits upon the first tangible clue to that egg, the race is on for claim it before the bad guys do.

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During the all film there is references to pop culture as well as music form the 80’s, 90’s. The all movie is fun to watch and the director has a gift for action scene and telling the story no surprise there. It is gear to young people a bunch of young actors playing the part it is going to feel like deja vu but in science fiction mode, the first time for the spielberg who in turn is not crazy about the technology. Moral of the story here people are getting addicted to the technology, you see it now days. The virtual world is outstanding and fun nothing we have seen before. It has a feel like the series Stranger thing I even wish it was not if one has to reinvent himself he must do so. Somehow spielberg has lost his touch to take chances and experiment with film making like in the beginning of his career. Like I said it is good entertainment for everyone, young and older. Yes a Delorean in the movie and did you know the new model as arrived in 2017.

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DON’T WORRY HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT (2018)

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

A film by Gus Van Sant

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara

John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix) who has a serious drinking problem gets in a car accident and survive with serious injuries. On the rocky road of recovery discover and heals himself with controversial drawing.

John Callahan (1951-2010), an alcoholic who, following a drunk-driving accident at the age of 21, spent the rest of his life as a quadriplegic. Callahan also became a controversial cartoonist for the a newspaper in Oregon. It is hard to do a story on an alcoholic and make it interesting. This is the film that comes full circle with the addiction of alcohol and the destruction of life that don’t have easy resolutions. A great film by Gus Van Sant who thankfully put to work more than a few screenwriters to pull this off. Callahan’s repeated reference to being abandoned by his mother and  adopted has an excuse for his problems and addiction. But like he said I started to drink at age 13, I liked it!  I liked it a lot. Well he had to blame someone for that. It is just an excuse. The film show the 12 steps program with the use of flashback. Here Jonah Hill who plays Donnie a rich kid who was an alcoholic is now the master of this 12 step program. By the way he lost some serious weight and he delivered a superb performance. It was a joy to see him doing some serious acting for a change. There are some funny moments at times Callahan falling into a bush after going on a skateboard maneuver in his motorized wheelchair, A nurse sitting on his face well I will say no more you will have to see the film. What I like about Gus van Sant is he is not using the studio system. He does his films on his own terms. Callahan becomes a cartoonist the one with the dark sense of humour and not everybody liked his drawing. A terrific independent film here not to be missed. I’ll drink that, Ha!ha!ha!

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