LADY WINSLEY (2019)

A film by  Hiner Saleem

Cast:  Mehmet Kurtulus, Ezgi Mola, Senay Gürler

Following the murder of an American author on a small island in Istanbul, an inspector arrives. In this small family community, his investigation and methods will arouse resistance and reveal family secrets …

Hiner Saleem, born in Iraqi Kurdistan, fled the regime of Saddam Hussein when he was seventeen. Refugee in Italy, where he studied at the university, he then moved to France. The twelve feature films he made were often financed by European co-productions. later Hiner Saleem opted for the thriller, transposing its action in the small island of Buyukada, near Istanbul. The choice of shooting on the island in the winter gave the story a fell of a thriller crime atmosphere with tension. Do not get me wrong about this brilliant and elegant film that is reminiscent of the universe of Agatha Christie. Saleem said in an interview he wanted to do a thriller my way, so he put in some comedy into it plus the fact that is a bit off beat. Because during the difficult investigation conducted by the inspector Fergane finds out secrets, and that the local corrupt commissioner is going to slow him down. Mehmet Kurtulus incarnate his character exceptionally well. What I like about it it not a hollywood production he has actors from all walk of life not all good looking and thin. It is more realistic that way. Lady Winsley is a breath of fresh air for a Director whose work has so far been rather confidential.

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WIDOWS (2018)

A film by  Steve McQueen

Cast:  Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debick

Chicago, where 4 women who has lost their husbands which left them with a debt take things into their own hand to get back the counter at zero to start a new life. 

Roger Ebert a critic from chicago (RIP Roger) said his favorite film was heist movies. Well Roger here is one for you. This genre of film that Mcqueen has done here masterfully has it all the corruption, the politician who is trying to get ahead that cut throat , money, thrown in a drug dealer with a mean streak. The bullshit that goes with it, plus the rich gets richer and the poor get poorer. 

The film open with  Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson) and his wife making out to get a flashback of a heist that is going to go wrong. his crew (Jon Bernthal, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Coburn Goss) are in trouble and are trying to get away without a scratch. Soon enough you begin to find out their fate and that they are going to leave four wife widows. Four women Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez),  a mother of two who is just opening her own store, Amanda (Carrie Coon), who has a 4-month-old child, Harry’s wife Veronica (Viola Davis), which they have nothing in common. A debt has to be paid and they are going to do the unthinkable. Well it takes place in Chicago where of course in the mix there will be politician battle out the election. This heist is about survival with an emotional ride. Every characters are in place here no one is out of sync. The camera angle and the edditing are so perfect it is not even funny even the flashback are a work of art. even the song in to that says ‘We have a lot of work to do today. Crying is not on the list’. One more thing politician are a bitch aren’t they? Do not miss this one. It is going to be a classic. 

BOYS CRY (2018)

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A film by Damiano D’Innocenzo, Fabio D’Innocenzo

Cast: Andrea Carpenzano, Matteo Olivetti, Milena Mancini 

In the suburbs of Rome Manolo and Mirko are inseparable one night they finished delivering Pizza, Driving home they hit a pedestrian, panic, so they decided to leave the man there and take off . It is an opportunity of a lifetime. The man is wanted by the Mafia. Ho! boy may their criminal career begins.

Boy cry is an intelligent compelling morality tale. Manolo’s father sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. Mirko however wants to play hitman for the mob. He sees it as a game. Mirko and Manolo takes care of the mob business and it will come at a price. Do you think that Manolo’s mom is not going to find out. Once the money comes in Manolo’s mom finds out about it but take the money from her son’s stash. How funny is that? They are integrated fully in the mob but the question is for how long. They will be consequences that is going to come up later in the film. Here you have two kids who gets out of this crappy job but has no idea what is in store for them. Mirko here has a stable of women who are prostitute treats them like shit but to top in all off treat his girlfriend like a whore. He has this suppressed guilt about what his job and his stable of women that are prostitute. The cinematographer Paola Carnera who is known for his work with the series Gomorrah and Suburra knows how to shoot the mobsters in those wasteland, ghetto type of landscape. Here are two kids that wants to feel like big men but their maturity never gets quite there.

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boy cry

EN LIBERTÉ (2018)

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A film by Pierre Salvadori

Cast: Adèle Haenel, Pio Marmaï, Audrey Tautou 

English title: The trouble with you

Yvonne, a young police inspector, discovers that her husband, Captain Santi, a fallen local hero, was not the brave and honest cop that she believed but a true rip-off. Determined to fix this, she will cross the path of Antoine unjustly incarcerated by Santi for eight long years. An unexpected and crazy encounter that will blow their lives away.

Pierre Salvadori offers us an amazing film, explosive, dealing with serious subject matter in light mode, almost humorous or, more accurately “burlesque”. Burlesque is the situation that Yvonne (Adele Haenel) and Antoine (Pio Marmaï) are in. It is about a man sentenced to eight years in prison while he is innocent but want to make for lost time and thinks he deserve it to do whatever he wants. Yvonne who feels guilty when she who is a police officer in an office learns that her husband was on the take. Plus she told great stories about him to her kid before he goes to bed. Yvonne one night after following Antoine meets him accidently.  From there, a strange relationship will form but wait there’s  more she falls in love with someone else. There are some comic scenes here especially the one that when he robs the bank, it is an homage at the silent movies. It is the most hilarious scene in the film trust me. In reality here is that yvonne built this perfect father at the eyes of her son but when she find out that her husband was on the take she has to destroy the image of her husband in order to rebuild it at her son eyes. That is why she is doing what she is doing in the film. I hope I made that clear. Well you’ll see when you see the film. Do not miss this one. Well so far Three great  French comedy in the space of three weeks what the hell is going on?

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En liberté! (2018)

GALVESTON (2018)

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A film by Mélanie Laurent

Cast: Lili Reinhart, Elle Fanning, Ben Foster 

1988 and for Roy (Ben Foster) times are hard but when his boss sets him up for a job where things are not going to go well . Roy escape with a prostitute named rocky. Two humans being where they were dealt a rotten hand , on the run to Galveston with nothing to lose.

First time for Mélanie Laurent has she gets first hand to direct an American film. It is a Thriller Neo-Noir where Mélanie nails it with this violent thriller in a dark America. She immersed herself in an American production but keep her French touch, a smart move there. Roy here who think he has a disease and is going to die soon escape a bad job with a prostitute. Here is a man on his last leg trying to do some good and keep some people safe. Elle Fanning here plays a prostitute who also had a hard life. Mélanie here plunges into a dark America where desperation is going into play. This is not you typical thriller but psychological thriller. It is about the characters some of you are going to expect something else but here Mélanie likes the characters driving characters  with an emotional story that is going to build tension. The camera work is bold and intuitive. You think you know where this is going but there are a few surprises in this film. you want to two characters to succeed here and you are going along in their journey hoping it is going to end well. Not too bad for her first thriller in this urban desperado dark slow pressure cooker.

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UPGRADE (2018)

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A film by Leigh Whannell

Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Melanie Vallejo, Steve Danielsen 

Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. Grey (Logan Marshall-Green) is not crazy with all this tech when he has his world turned upside down when his wife is killed, Grey is only thinking one thing revenge.

Little warning some scenes are going to be as gory as it gets however for me no biggie nothing that I have seen before. Grey and his wife after returning from a friend’s house to deliver a muscle car are ambushed by some criminals which he finds himself paralysed and  his wife gets killed. Then here comes the super-scientist Eron (Harrison Gilbertson), whose futuristic man-cave’s foundation is out of this world. He wants him to integrate an microchips in Gery ‘s body so he can walk again. Apprehensive Grey does not want too but changes his mind. The thing is he can not tell anyone about it. Of course you know what is going to happen after that. You can compare it to Robot cop but Grey’s personality isn’t submerged inside his body the way that Peter Weller’s hapless ghost in the machine. I don’t want to give away too much here. But there are some cool things that is going to come up, the way they uses the technology to modify their body well , to do an upgrade. The thing is here I knew where this was going and who is responsible but Boom the ending surprised me big time. The film has a man-vs.-technology narrative with a revenge theme. The fighting scenes and the gunfight that you have not seen before works well for this kind of film. Upgrade here delivers a cool little sci-fi film.

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SHÉHÉRAZADE (2018)

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A film by Jean-Bernard Marlin

Cast: Dylan Robert, Kenza Fortas, Idir Azougli

Zachary, 17 years old, gets out of jail. Rejected by his mother, tries to go back to his old gang but they won’t have him so he hangs out in the mean streets of Marseille. This is where he meets Shéhérazade.

Shéhérazade does not live in the land of Arabian Nights. She is 16 years old, lives in Marseille in the ghetto and is a prostitute. But it is where Zachery this lost kid who is now along will meet her on a corner of the street. However he has a parole officer who has to watch him to make sure he gets a job. He has a place in this home for kids who just got out of jail and want to rebuild their life. Zachary here leaves to see his old friend and to see if the old gang can get him his old job back dealing drugs. They won’t have him and find himself alone and nowhere to go. Later he meets Shéhérazade who is a prostitute and an unlikely love relationship is going to flourish. Without really realizing it he will get this new job sort of speak but consequences are going to follow. Their slang language is hard to decipher but the two actors were comfortable playing their character. Cruel reality of this huge metropolis bathed in shimmering colors but also  with violence and poverty. The film has a fresh energy  despite the difficulties inherent in their way of life. Things are going to get out of control with them but one more time Zach will face his demons and will get rid of them to live like a normal person,  well maybe. a terrific film here by Jean-Bernard Marlin about adolescence in love with emotional baggages and demons.

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