Posted in Austria Film, German film

THE DARK VALLEY (2014)

 

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A film by Andreas Prochaska

Cast: Sam Riley, Tobias Moretti, Paula Beer

Through a hidden path a stranger arrives in this little town hidden away by the mountains. The stranger wants to stay until spring but nobody knows where he comes from, they know this much they do not want him here.

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The stranger named Greider is hosted in a hostile and suspicious way, especially by the six Brenner brothers who terrorize the village and whose father owns all the land. He is lodged by a widow who lives with her daughter, Luzi, about to marry the young Lucas. Greider begins by photographing the village, its inhabitants, the valley, he tells Luzi that he lived in Texas, he wears strange serrated spurs and hides a Winchester-type rifle unknown in this  town. Flash back reveals the village’s heavy secret little by little you are beginning to know what the stranger is doing here in this little town, and it is not going to be pretty. Here is a patient, intelligent man waiting for the ideal moment to let his purpose be known. It is nothing that you are already seen in western but this one takes places in Austria’ alps. The film is  incompatible to the traditional American Western.

Also the story takes a spin once you know the secrets of the town and providing the flashback. Andreas Prochaska showers  this film in mystery and you are going to sense the blood bath that is going to follow. The cinematography captures the raw paysage of winter as well as spring. The dark valley here fells like a Clint Eastwood film like the one High Plain Drifter. This film however is an adaptation of the book I think of the same name I am not sure yet.

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Posted in Based on a true story, U.S. Film

CHUCK (2017)

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A film by Philippe Falardeau

Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber

The true story of Chuck Wepner, New Jersey’s liquor dealer, who held 15 rounds against the greatest boxer of all time, Mohammed Ali, at the heavyweight world championship in 1975, before finally losing by Technical KO, which Sylvester Stallone got inspired  and wrote the screenplay Rocky.

Chuck Wepner is the guy who was the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone’s scrappy underdog Rocky Balboa. When the film opens, Wepner is a Bayonne celebrity is the guy who walks into a bar greeted by cheers. Phylis, his wife (Elisabeth Moss) , loves him, supports him, but also has her limits, when it comes that her man is going out with other women. Phyllis is tough as her husband and she makes her point straight across. Ron Perlman plays Wepner’s manager, working out of a run-down gym, trying to scrape up gigs. Naomi Watts plays Linda, a local bartender whom Wepner falls for.

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Here Liev Schreiber doe a wonderful job incarnated Chuck who is this man who stand 15 rounds to Ali and became famous because of it. He was just a dude a heavy weight fighter who got a shot at the title. But what goes up must come down. Chuck has his problem of course loved women, did not know how to be a husband and a father to his kid. He got side track and forgot who really matters in his life. Stallone is played by Morgan Spector, who nails Stallone’s distinctive voice, as well as his enthusiasm. Chuck here got caught up into the fame big time. The fighting scenes in the ring was done as real as possible no over exaggeration , it was dead on. The costume and the era of the 70’s even the decor is absolutely right on. God I remember the 70’s what a crazy era. voila fun film to watch.

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Posted in Belgium Film, British film, French film, uncategorized

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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Posted in U.S. Film

ALIEN CONVENANT (2017)

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A film by Ridley Scott

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup

Alien: Covenant is a sequel to Prometheus (2012) and the second instalment of the Alien prequel series. The story takes place years ago  after the events in the previous film following a new group of characters who’re on an expedition to an uncharted planet carrying a large number of colonists in hibernation. However due to a signal in space they land on an other planet that seems habitable but something is off, and very quickly the crew began to regret their decision.

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Katherine Waterston stars as Daniels, one of the crew members of the Covenant ship soon to be heroin. Michael Fassbender  portraying a new android character named Walter who’s part of the Covenant crew, after all he is the keeper of the ship while the crew sleep. Billy Crudup plays Christopher Oram the captain of the crew. The performance here are fine here as well as the visual where Scoot does not disappoint. They will be answers in this one that is going to make sense. It provides  answers to the origins of Alien. It is a bit horrifying to be trap in confined spaces in space with this monster that wants to kill everything on his path. The film’s pace is slow at first to develop the characters so you get to know them and where they come from. The special effects are awesome in this one Scott here went all out as expected, other than that it is fine.

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Posted in Based on a true story, British film, U.S. Film

DENIAL (2016)

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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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Posted in Korean film

TUNNEL (2017)

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A film de Seong-hun Kim

Cast: Doona Bae, Jung-woo Ha, Sang-hee Lee

Lee Jung-soo (Ha Jeong-woo) is a salesman for Kia Motors, finishing up his work  and  going home. He’s got a cake for his daughter, getting fuel for the car , and heading home. On his way, he calls his wife (Doona Bae) to let her know how things have been, when suddenly a tunnel he is passing through (newly opened ) decides to cave in and trap him inside his car with nowhere to go. Is he going to see the light at the end of the tunnel?

Yes an other Korean film here and a good one at that. Here is a dude who goes home and suddenly this new tunnel collapse and he is trapped under way under we come to find out later in the film. Character driving with emotions flowing around. The thing is here you see what the journey Lee is taking in order to survive the ordeal. There is a twist in the story if you want to call it that something I didn’t foresee but I knew how it was going to end because of one element they put in. Doona Bae which I love throws a great performance here as the wife of Lee. The film is design to keep you focus on Lee most of the time. You can feel what he feels, it is getting claustrophobic at time with the sound of the gravel that keep on falling to add up to the tension. Kim does not use too much or not at all music to get the tension going. Kim also shows you the dumb thing that the media is willing to do in order to get the story. Towards the end of the film you will question the morality here and ask yourself the question if this was happening now will it happen really like that. The question here what is the human life worth.

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Posted in Based on a true story, French film

DJANGO (2017)

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A film by Etienne Comar

Cast: Reda Kateb, Cécile De France, Bea Palya

Django Reinhardt is not a name that is commonly heard  outside the Tzigane jazz community. The story burst open in a Tzigane community in Belgium where a bunch of them are playing jazz when suddenly they are shot by german soldier even the blind man who was playing the guitar.

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The real Django.

Then the story takes us in Paris, 1943 as the jazz guitarist ( Reda Kateb) is reaching the height of his success . Unfortunately the german who occupied Paris want Django to play in Germany for the troops . But Django has idea of his own he wants to go to the neutral zone the Swiss border. The narrative Zig Zag here a bit but it is fine. Django is waiting to go to Switzerland and waiting for the instruction from his passer. But a certain German officer caught up with him and if he does not complied to the orders to play in Germany well the tzigane community will perish.

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Complete collection (1934 – 1951)

Etienne Comar here capture the atmosphere and emotion of watching one of the most incredible guitarists who ever lived play. Reba Kateb incarne beautifully well the guitarist. Cécile de France plays Louise, Django’s former flame and double agent for the resistance, does a stunning performance of moral twists and turns. The film capture the all atmosphere in the bar, cigarette smoking, Pastis, and whiskey as well as wine being served. The cinematography is stunning and the viewer will bath in a 1943 setting. You get the complete edition (1934 – 1951) of Django Reinhardt, which is now on my computer.

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