U.S. Film

BRIMSTONE (2017)

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A film by Martin Koolhoven

Cast: Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Carice van Houten

In the American West, at the end of the XIX century. Liz, a young woman of about twenty years, leads a peaceful life with her family. But her life will shift one day when a sinister preacher visits them. Liz will have to leave  because this man hunts her without respite since childhood …

It is going to be a narrative in 4 parts pompously titled “Apocalypse”, “Exodus”, “Genesis” and “Retribution”.  The center of the story here is around the character of Dakota Fanning named Liz. She finds the preacher who is like a satanic preacher who is driven by lust, revenge and hatred. Liz here will be followed by her aggressor who without listing go is tuning liz’s life a living hell with a few twist and turn. Each chapter are like flashback.The film stretches nearly two and a half hours, and focus of how vicious and cruel is the west back then ruling by cruel and vicious man where woman will have little right to exist let along have human right before they get beaten. Beautiful performances by the actors here.  Dakota’s character here is a strong will woman who will learn how to survive but will make a lot of sacrifices along the way. As for Guy Pearce here incarnate this preacher who has its own demons who is sadistic in may ways. He lives into his own little world of pain, pervertion and violence. This western is going to feel like diabolical in many ways and yes it stands out with the other great western.

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KONG: SKULL ISLAND (2017)

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A film by Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson 

Kong: Skull island is a turbo charge film with plenty of explosion and gun fire Gee I think this film is made in America. And yes if you have an action picture like that you are going to have Sam Jackson in the mix to be this hard ass soldier and bring you pop corn and sodas because you are in for a hell of a ride. Here is the thing remember those film B-rated about this giant spider, or other monsters fighting monster well it is an homage to all those films with better actors.

The story goes like this. It takes place in 1973 and the movie was primarily shot in Vietnam and yes you are going to see how beautiful Vietnam is. A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific. when they get there not long after they find an inviting beast that is going to change the course of their life. Yes the CGI came out very well here plus I hate to say it is a formulaic film with predictability but it is entertaining as hell. The film takes places in 1973 and you will see the technology of that era ho! my god yeah I know. Still, the nature of Larson’s role is one of the film’s biggest surprises, and the key manner in which Skull Island deviates from the conventional Kong. Do not compare this film with the old Kong this one is different from most. So if you find some time on your hand go see that one you might be surprise pleasantly at that.

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MISS SLOANE (2017)

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A film by John Madden

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Miss Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is a conservative lobbyist who one day jumps ship to an other firm taking more than a few employees with her. The reason she jump ship here she was asked  to see a boss (Sam Waterston) to support the powerful gun lobby in their opposition to a new gun law featuring regulatory checks on the purchase of firearms. She is going against it.

The opening of the film here when she start the dialogue I hate to say this but I knew where this was going and what was going to happen at the end. Here Sloane is a barracuda with an iron fist and protected by though skin, she almost never sleep, it is about her, she is driven to win and has a plan B in her back of her head. She is disconnected from the world the only relationship that she has is with an escort guy who screw her when she needs too no more no less, moaning only no talking please. Jessica Chastain’s performance here is a tour de force with intense emotions. She leaves a blood trail like a serial killer. You do not know much about her here and that is refreshing for a change but you know this she must win at any cost ,she even knows that winning has a price. She is fascinating and bizarre.  Because we are concentrating on her all the time the film does not crash but for me it is predictable.

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HIDDEN FIGURE (2017)

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A film by Theodore Melfi

Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe

Nasa space program 1961 3 women African Americans Mathematicians serve a vital role here should I say they were genius.

Desperate to beat Russia at putting a man in space, NASA enlisted the help of a group of African American women mathematicians. Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) who were the brain behind the operation.

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Based on a true story, we didn’t even know that part of history and thank god it came out Director/co-writer Theodore Melfi has assembled a terrific cast to bring
this amazing story to life. Here are three women who had difficulty in their job because they are black. But with persistence and will power added to that their genius brains and overcame it which did wonders for Nasa. Mrs. Mitchell (Kirsten Dunst) who is cold here did not want to give in to Dorothy’s promotion. Everything was black and white, coloured bathroom, coloured computer, blacks were working on the east and white on the west wing. The film goes back and forth to the three women and shows us the difficulty on the job but also the perseverance that they had. Jackson is a wise ass with a  comic timing and Johnson is the clever optimist. They are similarly educated, though each has their own skill set the film will explore. They form a bond between them as you can tell with the dialogue. Think about it is not easy for a black woman in a room full of white men mathematicians to hold her own. I love that the fact the monster IBM computer was ordered and two white man did not know how to work it. Here comes Dorothy and on her spare times figures it out by herself, she even knew how to program FORTRAN  is a matter of fact I used to know this computer language. Here is a film that is well acted, casted, and written. Do not miss this one.

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20TH CENTURY WOMEN (2017)

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A film by Mike Mills

Cast: Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig

Santa Barbara, summer 1979. The time is marked by the movement and important cultural changes. Dorothea Fields, 50, raises her son Jamie alone. She decides to call on to two young women so that the boy, now a teenager, opens up to have a different view of the world : Abbie, a punk artist with a rebellious spirit who lives in Dorothea, and his neighbor Julie, 17 years old, as smart as …

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Here is a beautiful film about people , communication, the late 70’s.The character of Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) is largely inspired by his own experience, within a few years. The film completely adopts the point of view of Jamie, 15 years, without being centered exclusively on its adolescent problems. You will the portraits of the characters who influence Jamie in the construction of his identity. Singularly, they are women: her mother Annette Bening,  a tenant of their house, Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and a neighbor, Julie (Elle Fanning). All three represent three ages of life and three generations.  Overwhelmed by her teenage son, Dorothea asks Abbie and Julie to help her for her upbringing. Reluctant at first, they eventually participate, voluntarily or not. Dorothea here has a brilliant career but she misses the point with her son, she dismissed her sons questions, her emotion even her own happiness. Well you can tell it is a deep emotional feminist film who is nostalgic and full of hope. Here is a talented director who has written an intelligent story.  I myself  for some reason is surrounded by female friends  I don’t even know how it happened but it did . Do not miss this one.

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LOGAN (2017)

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A  film by James Mangold

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen

Logan hides out with the professor of the X and a Mutant in Mexico. He is a limo driver trying to make a buck across the border. But suddenly he  is haunted by young mutant with dark forces that are after her .

It is the year 2029 now and Logan takes care of the professor somewhere in Mexico. Sorry I can’t help myself with this one the Trump wall is not build there are just fences. The mutants have been persecuted for a long time and only a few remain. Those who has not been caught hides to survive. Logan gets a job as a limo driver to pay for the medicine for the professor with an albino-mutant tracker Caliban (Stephen Merchant). the professor’s  attacks can and do trigger seismic activities that can kill hundreds of people.You will see an older Logan here and as you watch the film later the answer will be thrown at you.But then comes Laura (Dafne Keen) who is like him.

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The violence here is set though out the film but you can see that Logan here has trouble with himself. The father-son relationship with Logan and the professor makes things to an other new level with human relation to which Logan become a little grumpier. All of the X-men film were so good they did not mess up the series what so ever. You have seen Logan going through different stages in his life. We finally hold the reference of the saga X-Men. Logan goes beyond the film of superheroes and redefines the genre by finally addressing to the  adults. The thing here I knew where this was going unfortunately a little predictable for me but a warning here there is a surprise ending and will open a different era I hope.

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LION (2016)

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A film by Garth Davis

Cast: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara

A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, 1,600 kilometres away from home. He survives despite all of it but then gets adopted by an Australian family and begins his new life.

The true story of this boy who was in India Calcutta lost and survives than get adopted by an Australian family. It is a simple story here. The one that is crucial here is the connection of the family from India and the one from Australia. Five year old Saroo (Sunny Pawar), who suddenly finds himself separated from his brother and left lost and alone. What google earth played a big part for Saroo to find his family ? Amazing !!!!!

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Sunny Pawar is a natural here you want him to succeed in finding his family. You have to understand the terror and the confusion plus the other elements who does he trust? how is he going to eat? and how is he going to find his way home not being able to speak the language. But later he realise that his family will not be able to find him. Later on in an orphanage that took him in gets him adopted by an Australian family. By the time we meet Dev Patel as the grown up Saroo, living a privileged life with his adoptive parents in Tasmania 20 years later. Patel delivers an outstanding performance here. The smart young man embarking on a hotel management course in Melbourne. But when he sees the brightly coloured traditional Indian sweet Jalebi, his memory jungles back in India that is going to make him to find out about himself and try to find his family. Of course he fall in love with an Australian girl. The film goes on and drags a little when Saroo is trying to find the village he was from but it is still interesting how he find out. There will be time of sadness and happiness during this film.

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