adventure

THE LOST CITY OF Z (2017)

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A film by James Gray

Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Tom Holland, Sienna Miller

The true story of Percival Harrison Fawcett, one of the greatest explorers of the twentieth century. Percy Fawcett is a recognized British colonel and a loving husband. In 1906, when he was about to become a father, the Royal Geographical Society of England proposed to him to leave to Amazonia in order to map the borders between Brazil and Bolivia. Right a way , the man has a passion for exploration and discovers traces of what he thinks is a very old lost city. Back in England, Fawcett constantly thinks of this mysterious civilization, torn between his love for his family and his thirst for exploration and glory …

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Here is a stroke a genius where James Gray reappropriates a genre fallen into disuse to offer us the masterful portrait of an explorer carried by his thirst for adventure.Here Gray choose to do an interpretation of the novel La cité perdue de Z écrit par David Grann. It is no secret that  Gray makes the viewer follow the adventure of the military man names Fawcett that disappeared somehow into the jungle never to return to England. James Gray’s latest feature film is a beautiful  scenario built around Percy Fawcett’s (Charlie Hunnam’s) back and forth between his home and the heart of the Amazon jungle. Here Gray shot this film à la classic mode the only thing to do to me otherwise the film will fall into the water. Fawcett is not crazy to go to the amazon forest but to reclaim his tile of his name he decided to go which trigger his thirst for adventure and exploration as well as glory. Charlie Hunnam here does a superb job to incarnate his character.It is interesting to see that Fawcett also has other obligations, well he is a  husband and father which his wife makes the sacrifices here  and is beautifully interpreted by actress Sienna Miller. You see  he returns to his home, after several years of travel so it takes a toll on his wife. He has a hard time with the children. The cinematography here is near perfect. I can’t wait until his next picture.

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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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AMERICAN HONEY (2016)

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A film by Andrea Arnold

Cast: Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough

Star, 17, crosses the path of Jake and his clan. Traveling  the midwest aboard a van, they live from door to door from magazines sales. Breaking from her family, she embarks on the adventure. This road trip, punctuated by encounters, parties and scams brings to it what it has always sought: freedom! Until she falls in love with Jake, as charismatic as dangerous ….

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Here is a road trip with a  naturalistic depictions of the working class, with intense sexual situation, great physical energy, while going to the most uninviting landscape of America at its rawest form. It is a coming of age road movie of sub culture who goes state to state finding business opportunities to keep their dream alive while drinking, partying, listening to some dynamics music while  sucking on a bong, and  other drugs are involved which lead to casual sex. A romance of carefree interactions will evolved with Star and Jake who is the lead salesman / recruit new girls, who is jealous of Star and what she can do with her sex appeal. including the mix the  controlling boss Krystal (Riley Keough, Elvis’s talented granddaughter). what I like about this film is that there no resolution here and even the characters you know where they are from but you do not know what is their stories or how they got there. Nice going Andrea Arnold. Beautifully film.  Here what is pissing me off when I got out of the movie theatre I went to myself what the great film I am going to see it again soon by next week to see if I missed anything, but this film is not nominated at the oscar not even for best actors nothing. What the hell are you fucking kidding me excuse my French (I always wanted to say that) . This is a beautiful experimental film that is  great. Snubbed at the Oscars what am I not surprised. A must see do not miss this one. It has won the Jury price at the Cannes Film Festival I rest my case.

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SEULS (2017)

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A film by David Moreau

Cast: Sofia Lesaffre, Stéphane Bak, Jean-Stan Du Pac

English: Along 

Film adapted from the Franco-Belgian comic book of the same name, Seuls is a fantastic film aimed at a teenage audience.

Leila is a young teenager of sixteen, who has her share of problems. One morning like all the others, she wakes up at home, except that this time she is alone in the house. Surprised not to find her parents there, she goes through her neighborhood, then the city without finding a living soul. Not understanding how the city was emptied in one night, she continues her search, thinking she is the only survivor of an apocalypse, until she finally finds herself on four other youngsters with whom she will team up.

Ok here it is simple those are first time actors who has done well here and the casting is top. Yes an other apocalypse teenager film but this one is done à la French / Belgium and it has a couple of twist that you will not expect. I didn’t. Convincing yes and the special effect stand out just fine. It is good for the first run however at end it leaves it open for more which I hope they even step it more. Nice one watchable no doubt. The music builds the tension and the suspense in pumping though you veins.The director succeeded in maintaining a tension and an anguishing atmosphere throughout the film. If you have read the comic book I will recommend it big time. If you didn’t and you like this kind of film you will not be disappointed.

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L’ASCENSION (2017)

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A film by Ludovic Bernard

Cast: Ahmed Sylla, Alice Belaïdi, Kévin Razy

“For you, I could climb the Everest!” Samy should have shut up  that day … Especially since Nadia does not believe much in those beautiful words. And yet … Out of love for her, Samy leaves the  city and goes to climb the mythical 8848 meters that make the Everest the biggest mountain of the world. When he leaves his friends who also leaves in the suburb of France La Courneuve where they say the slackers resides has a radio station going to follow step by step Samy.

Ok it is based on a true story from  Nadir Dendoune from his book “Un tocard sur le toit du monde”A loser on top of the roof of the world. You see Nadir is the first Franco-Algerian to climb Everest without unkind of experience what so ever and did it the first time around. For the sake of the story here the name was changed and it is a black dude climbing who falls in love with a white girl. What I like about this story is that they will be no name calling nor race joke however it is a light comedy like us French people likes to make them.

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For the love of a woman this man will climb Everest, That is a crazy dude see in the Courneuve suburb there are a lot of laid off people and that are slackers. In the news recently it came to my attention that now there is a lot more business owners in that area. So a bank and a group of people who owns a small time radio station sponsor Samy to go to Everest in return he has to call once a day so he can tell everybody his progress. The thing here is that Samy has to succeed in order to win the love of Nadia and for the slackers friends that he has so they don’t ridicule him when he comes back. It is the journey of this man who at times who said to himself what the hell I am doing here and am I going to make it. Nice little comedy with breath taking cinematography. At the same time as a sentimental comedy, an adventure film, a social chronicle and an initiatory trip, this “l’Ascension ” that starts from the Courneuve  and ends at the snowy summit of Everest, Art is a mountain of sensations, from laughter to tears. Besides, Ahmed Sylla who plays the main role, would have largely lived up to this great performance in incarnated his character. Not too bad for a first time Director here who had to film this under extreme conditions.

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EASY RIDER (1969)

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A film by Dennis Hopper

Cast:  Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson

Yes the thing is here is this I have a UGC card to go to the movies unlimited for about $22 a month the thing is you can not get out of it you have to do the all year then you can get out of it. It is in France only we have that for about 16 years now. Yes every Thursday I keep forgetting it is cult thursday and yes this Thursday it is Easy Rider. This is the first time I am seeing it on the big screen and yes it is a cult film. Plus I have the carte of the Cinémathèque in Paris for about $12 a month I can visit the Cinémathèque their library museum, and see older film like the one from the 20’s 30’s 40’s 50’s 60’s on the big screen. They do have directors stopping by to discuss film there too.  How cool is that. And I can go to the library To get DVDs and I have Netflix Video streaming only. A paradise for a cinéphile like me.

So the story goes like that a couple of bikers smuggles cocaine into Mexico and yes is a no-no. But during most of the picture they have cash money hidden in their gas tanks, not dope. They sold their dope to the establishment headed by Phil Spector. As soon as they sell the dope they go to Louisiana to see Mardi Gras festival.

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Okay Now Dennis hopper and Fonda started to write the script it was not even done so they started to shoot the film and make up the rest of the way as they went along , to top it all off they smoked real marijuana. The motorcycle were made they were chopper they had six of them which 2 of them burned and 4 got stolen towards the end of shooting. Dennis Hopper was going to be a teacher if he was not going to direct this film. Can you imagine Hooper being a teacher, it goes like this Hooper goes in the classroom and says to the students 1st lesson in life in my left hand I have a funny little cigarette in my right hand I have a lighter, you light it up like that you inhale than exhale any questions? Here is one for you Fonda was good friends with Nicholson who was trying to get in the business for a few years, he had enough and said to Fonda that he was going to be a producer or be a writer then Fonda announce too him I have a small part for you in the film that I am going to make. Jack took it several  studios saw the film and Jack’s career took off. Here is two guys who made this great film in the late 60’s about this two characters who decided to get out of the old grinder by selling drugs and making some money so they can do what they want. It is awesome to see that on the big screen.This is the thing, it is late 60’s you are making this film stone out of your mind with your friends and have a great time. Damm I love the 60’s.

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BONE TOMAHAWK (2015)

 

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A film by S. Craig Zahler

Cast: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox

Here is an original idea for a western , well it is a western / horror genre film. Shot in 21 days 45 miles outside of L.A. Bone Tomahawk never feels like your typical western.
The story goes like this a female doctor, and Two others are taken from a jail. It looks like it is the Indians who has abducted them but is it really Indians ? And if so what kind of Indians are they?

 
This film is going too become a classic cult film. The dialogue is outstanding here is  some of the great dialogue plus there are the fluid boundaries between criminality, the law and savagery, sacrilege and faith. Here is 4 guys one with crushes who is on a the trail to find and rescue the others that has been taken. It is the wild that is going to be a challenge and then later a plan to get the others. Pay attention to the dialogue here. I think Hollywood needs to learn from independent film making here. This western surprised me here big time a little warning there some gore into it and  it is going to be unpleasant to watch. The film is at its purest raw form.  Kurt and the rest of the cast are fantastic in it their chemistry are flowing through their veins. I am going to get that one in my collection.

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