Posted in Belgium Film

LE FIDÈLE (2017)

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A film by Michaël R. Roskam

Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Eric De Staercke

English tile: Racer and the jailbird 

A love Story of Bibi (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a young racing driver with very upper-class roots and a high-flying gangster Gigi (Matthias Schoenaerts).

I am going on a limb here but it is perhaps the best movie since the beginning of the year. A story that mixes love, action, racing, gangsters , in a dark and romantic thriller, filmed at the speed of a fourth gear, with a sense of context and rhythm that has a bright, intense scenario, that gets darker and darker as the story unveil itself.

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Michaël R. Roskam is returning to his homeland in Belgium to make this Neo-Noir triller once again, will surprise the spectators who hope to find a premature plot. It begins on a classic themes, that of an irresistible romance between two characters madly in love with each others with some scene of an incredible robbery. He Gino his friends call him Gigi at first you do not know what he does for a living and she, Beatrice her friends call her Bibi, is a car racer sure of herself . Could we dream more than a beautiful couple at the movies? In addition to the sensual charm that emerges thought out the actors. the film seems to be set within a few minutes, he lives in fear but want to settle down, and she is constantly looking  for adrenaline while trying to unravel the secrets of her man. It is done in old fashion photography with images of a  film noir like back in the day. There are 3 chapters to the story Gigi, Bibi, No flowers. I think they could be very well addicted to each other due to the fact she could told him to buzz off after she found out. The director  films particular well the scenes of the robbery with an immersive fluidity that raises them among the best views on the big screen in recent years. It is not over done with excessive explosions and such, it has realism into it. the main point of the story which the director never let up is the painful destiny that each time catch up with the two damned lovers to plunge them into a misfortune that will only bring them a little closer to each other. Adèle Exarchopoulos here shines big time and delivers the role of a life time so far. Her character takes the command and Adèle embodies it completely with grace. Matthias Schoenaerts plays this man who has fears and is breaking down each time there is an obstacle or mess up.  The Fidèle is a surprising work of art in the way that it succeed in taking steps to be not predictable and preserves as a backbone the love of the two lovers. 

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Posted in U.S. Film

LOGAN LUCKY (2017)

 

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A film by Steven Soderbergh

Cast: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig

In real life there are losers, winners, negative thinking and positive thinking. The thing is here in the new film of Soderbergh here are some unlucky bunch of people who are trying to get a little luck in doing a heist and then some and are they going to get lucky? 

It is a ridiculous entertaining film here with comedy. The gang that includes a wounded veteran, an unemployed former coal miner, a hairdresser and other motley members conspires to rob a Nascar race sponsored by Coca-Cola. The film begins by introducing the characters as you watch you beginning to think what the hell are those bunch of misfit up too. But don’t judge the book by its cover as they say. Our protagonist have one thing in mind the heist getting the money and a lots of it. In all this you will have some other characters that will pop up from time to time followed by a smoking mirror. There some inventive Ideas here too mixed with humor. Soderbergh never speeds through the twists and bumps. It lets the story in cruise control so you can enjoy the moments and the humor. Lucky Logan is a terrific film here and for the new writer Rebecca blunt, well done.

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Posted in French film

MONEY (2017)

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A film by Géla Babluani

Cast: George Babluani, Vincent Rottiers, Charlotte Van Bervesseles

Three young men from the Havre in the galley decide to steal a briefcase full of money belonging to a local politician  but things does not go as planned. They find themselves quickly caught in a spiral of violence that surpasses them completely.

Danis (George Babluani) and Eric (Vincent Rottiers), two childhood friends working on the docks of Le Havre, and just getting by. One afternoon, Alex (Charlotte Van Bervesseles), Eric’s sister, accidentally attends the delivery of a suitcase full of money and decides to follow his lucky owner. All of three are going to do this stupid things robbing the dude at his house but  nothing are not going to be simple. Babaluani here made this thriller the old fashion way and to my surprise has done well here. This film Néo-Noir where the story takes places in The Havre in one night has this tension that will not let up until the end. Plus are characters are going to find out some unpleasantness after an other at which they are trying to correct the path they are one. Money drags the spectator into an intense night when three young amateur robbers are put to the test. An exercise of style distracting but when the days rises they are going to want to erase this night off their minds.

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Posted in French film

MAX AND THE FERRAILLEURS (1971)

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A film by Claude Sautet

Cast: Danielle Durou, Alain Belard, Michel Piccoli

English title: Max and the junkmen

Max is a Paris detective, aloof, independently wealthy, and frustrated by gangs of robbers whom he cannot catch. So Max infiltrate a gang in order to redeem himself.

Max et les Ferrailleurs is a noir in colour however it is the master piece one of many of Claude Sautet. Max (Michel Piccoli) after being frustrating not being able to catch bank robbers by accident find an old friend that he have not seen in 17 years as he find out that he is part of a gang who steal cars and takes them apart for cash. Max finds out that his friend who has a girlfriend who is a prostitute name Lily (Romy Schneider) so Max go  see her every week in order to manipulate her in doing well you are going to have to see this film. you see max is obsessed with catching criminals red-handed. 

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You get to see the relationship that he has with Lily and how he is going to wheel her in. Not an easy thing to do. But you get the sense that the two like each other a little more than they lead on. Max has to be patient without making a mistake. You watch the lives of these hoodlums who can’t make too much money but are having fun and hanging out at the favorite bistro and in their junkyard. Nice film here from Claude Sautet who write the screen play. Sautet here was first a screen writer than an assistant director, than a director I guess he move up the latter. This film remains me of Heat by Michael man who possibly rewrote the story and made it his own.

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Posted in U.S. Film

GOOD TIME (2017)

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A film by Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Taliah Webster

After a heist that goes horribly  wrong, a bank robbers tries to get his brother out of Rikers Island all that takes place in one night.

This film has so much energy as a 70’s film. It remains me of the 1970’s films back in the day. The music however is original and feels like the 70’s. Too cool. It remains me of means street. As soon as the heist begins you will be restless although out the film. It is one unfortunate event after an other and our protagonists are trying to get out of it each time which it is not an easy task. There is a sense of anxiety and panic as you watch the film.

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The film open with sedate scene than pick up at the pace of a fast life in the fast lane. When you get to the heist at the bank you are on the edge a little as our two protagonists is trying to get away with it. But then they did not count on what happens next. I kind of knew that was going to happen, it is common sense after all. Good time is a claustrophobic energy that is hard to predict  Pattinson’s performance, the best. I did not recognise him at first but then boom it hit me. Connie makes choices as he goes along, he is for himself only in one goal in mind to get his brother out. Patterson channel the nervous energy of being essentially hunted by your own bad decisions. Patterson kind of surprise me with this near perfect performance here. I think this is the first film that I saw from the two brother here I need to see the others. Here is a great film that will trow you back in the 70’s the way the used to make films back then. Do not miss this one.

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Posted in U.S. Film

WIND RIVER (2017)

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A film by Taylor Sheridan

Cast: Kelsey Asbille, Jeremy Renner, Julia Jones

Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) is a local game tracker who stumbles upon the body of a murdered teenage girl, frozen in the  wilderness of the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Here is where Sheridan is submerge us in to a modern western with well crafted characters. based on real facts the story opens with a Native American girl with long black hair runs barefoot through the snow. Local hunter Cory Lambert discovers her dead body some time later, while shooting a wolf to protect local livestock. Here Renner’s shines and he perfectly embodies a man carrying the burden of grief on his shoulders. FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) is  a stranger to the area and does not the indians culture or the terrain , she relies on Cory to help her understand how things work in Wind River.

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Beautiful cinematography of winter and the mountains which paint a story of survival here. Of course there is  a shoot out like at the O.K. Coral well almost. Lambert here carries the lost of the girl and more trying to figures things out and gets answers for the girl’s family as well as for himself. It is a thriller that is precise and well executed by the talented screenwriter now turned director. There are a beautiful scenes of human touch here that are extremely well acted. I do love the wilderness and the peace that is bringing me especially when I was in Michigan hunting with my buddies. So seeing this film and the waste untouched land as the  eye can see I do miss that a bit. Here is a terrific film not to be missed.

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Posted in U.S. Film

THE HITMAN’S BODY GUARD (2017)

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A film by Patrick Hughes

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman

The best bodyguard in the world is committed to protecting a hitman. Together, they have 24 hours to reach The Hague before being caught by an Eastern European dictator and his minions.

Ok here is just an other action film that is funny with some cruel jokes at times and a lot of profanity. Not too bad here it is funny as hell at times. The comic duo Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, works well here. It is a cross of a lot of film like Lethal weapon, 48 hours, Mr. and Ms Smith well you get the point. Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds)  is forced to keep reckless Darius Kincaid  ( Sam Jackson) safe while transporting him from London to the Hague so he can testify against a genocidal Belarusian tyrant (Gary Oldman) . It is the race against the clock as we already saw many times before. Oldman does a daily nice job here but let’s give him something with more substance. The duo however does fine here but at the end it is getting a bit old. In an other word have fun if you want to see this one it is just an other guilty pleasure film. I do love the chase scene through out Amsterdam.

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