Posted in U.S. Film

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS (2016)

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A film by Tom Ford

Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon

Susan,(Amy Adams) a gallery owner in Los Angeles, leads a well-ordered life at the edge of monotony, abandoned by her husband Hutton Morrow. Until the day when, alone at home, she receives a book: Nocturnal Animals, signed by her ex husband Edward Sheffield,(Jake Gyllenhaal) of whom she has been without news for years.

Ok so I saw Collateral beauty and believe me when I say I feel a sleep during this film they rewrote to me anyway Miracle on 34th street in today world with a different tragedy and it was sloppy so my advice to you invest in Nocturnal Animals. 

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The opening scene of Tom Ford’s sophomore feature is a fetishistic spectacle. That is all I am going to say here. Trust me considered yourself warned. With the art exhibition, Ford forcing his audience to witness the ‘junk culture’ in front of them. The film’s thesis here for better or worse. When Susan (Amy Adams) receives a manuscript of her ex-husband Tony’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) new novel, she finds herself emotionally invested in his story. It  also trigger some memories when they were together back in the day. The story here switching between pulpy desert thriller and chilly L.A. You Susan is too cynical and Tony the writer is too naive and sensitive. Nocturnal Animals is a film about lapses in time, memory and relationships also about revenge.  It is book-like triggers memories, as I call it that is what Ford likes. It is an other way to tell the story. Ford paid attention to the details here to the design of casual luxury  and sharp tailoring, luxurious textures and rich jewel tones. The film as some kind of perverse junk culture with pulp novel effect. It is a raw film at its purest form. Micheal Shannon here is as usual outstanding. Do not miss this one.

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

MACHINE GUN PREACHER (2011)

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A film by Marc Forster

Cast: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Shannon

Sam Childers (born 1963) is a former biker member who now dedicates his life and resources to rescue children in the war zone of South Sudan.

In Africa, a warlord named Joseph Kony runs the so  called  Lord’s Resistance Army that has murdered hundreds of thousands, burned villages, and kidnapped some 50,000 children, forcing the boys to become soldiers and making the girls sex slaves.

Childers (Gerard Butler) who is just got out of prison is going back to his old ways  raising hell with his buddy Donnie ( Michael Shannon)  drinking, drugs, raising hell, and making it hard on his wife and kids. While he was in prison , Lynn found God. One Sunday morning, after a bloody night of hell raising , Sam allows himself to be dragged along to a church service, where he confesses himself to be a sinner and then undergoes a baptism of full immersion. Later he ends up building a church where every one is welcome, which is going to bring us one night where he saw the news on Sudan and decided to build a church in Africa to save as many  children as they can. He raised money for Africa orphanage that he build to try to save as many children as he could. Butler incarnated beautifully well Childers as well as Monaghan who embodied Childers wife but the thing is that Childers fights back is raising a different kind of hell, yes he changes his ways but the anger that he had is targeted on the lord’s resistance army. A story that I did not know happened back in the  90’s still to this day Childers spent his time in his church and his orphanage in Africa.

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Posted in U.S. Film, uncategorized

99 HOMES (2014)

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A film by Ramin Bahrani

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern

Ruthless businessman and real estate agent Rick Carver (Michael Shannon) is making a killing by repossessing homes on behalf of the banks when owners are unable to pay their mortgage. When he evict Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield), a single father caring for his young son (Noah Lomax) and mother (Laura Dern), Dennis is so desperate to provide for his family that he agrees to work for Carver, the man who evicted him. And yes he made a deal with the devil and yes there is a cost.

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Here is an explosive film that will make you think is anything not corrupt in this world. The financial crisis hits and a lot of people has lost their homes then got evicted, and yes the banks are corrupt so are the real estate agents who evict people out of their homes.It’s a mesmerizing and disturbing portrait, elevated by two strong performances. In the opening shot you see a man dead in his bathroom with blood splatter of over the room.Wearing an immaculate white jacket and an expressionless face, Rick Carver ’s (Michael Shannon) cut-throat real-estate agent  leaves the premises, he is clearly a man with no conscience. Then we get to see a hard-working father Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) who has a son and lives with his mom who is going to be evicted. Soon Rick and Dennis are going to meet and the two will form a friendship that you would not expect but for Dennis at the time it seems logical he has two mouth to feed.Don’t get emotional about real estate, Carver tells Nash, and you can see where is it going to go from here, it is a two-way mirror. Ricks needs Dennis in order to say to himself well if he is doing it is OK for me to keep doing this. You will see a lot of eviction done by Dennis who is on his own and you will feel the pain of the people. Bahrani has said once all the eviction in the film are real, he has done his research on it. The real estate agent in Florida and elsewhere carried guns so Bahrani noticed so he put that in the film as well. Yes like I said there is a lot oaf corruption in the system and Bahrani shows you that they are real too, it has happened. The music goes through the film to build the tension although out of the movie. And the ending could be more perfect.

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

ELVIS AND NIXON (2016)

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A  film by Liza Johnson

Cast: Michael Shannon, Kevin Spacey, Alex Pettyfer

Say what Elvis has met the president Nixon? No way ! Way back in the 70’s elvis wanted to meet the president Nixon because he had some concern about the country and what direction is it taking plus the young people issues about drugs. So he decided to write to the president about it to see if he can see him to talk about those issues and more.

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This is the untold story of Elvis meeting Nixon. No transcript exists on these events, just a photograph that now has become the most requested photo from the US National Archives. one thing I did not know about Elvis is that he had  a deputy’s badge from Memphis. It also turns out that he went to meet Nixon so that he could become a Federal Agent At Large in order to influence the American youth to get them off drug. With a stroke of luck Elvis is in the house. It had to be funny to the politicians that Elvis wanted to meet Nixon. It is this crazy true story inspired by the book “Me and a guy named Elvis” Jerry Schilling,  who went on a trip , so someday he can tell us the story about  Elvis and Nixon. Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey deserves each other in this off beat comedy both of them has done a terrific impressions of their characters. Could you imagine this happening in a million years, well it did and what a beautiful film it is.

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Posted in U.S. Film

MIDNIGHT SPECIAL (2016)

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A film by Jeff Nichols

Cast: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst

Here is the thing here you have a film writing by Jeff Nichols who to me rewrote the story of Close Encounters of the third kind. I said rewrote not a reboot, not a remake. The film opens as a child abduction and end with a spectacular Sci-fi finale. When M. Night Shyamalan came on the scene he started doing great film like the sixth sense, Unbreakable, later in his career he started to seek, but now we have Nichols who has a fertile imagination here and wrote this beautiful story about a kid who has powers and the relationship with his father and later his mother. In the mix there is kind of a cult and some bad people who wants the kid back to the ranch as they call it (the cult) add to that the FBI is on the trail also.

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Here the director  who does not explain everything, he does not have too, he  uses his imagination. Nichols keeps up in the dark for the most part of the film. Plus you get to see a classic 1972 Chevelle whose rumbling motor makes your insides vibrate, while composer David Wingo amplifies our sense of uneasiness follows but the agitated score. The thing is also as the film goes on you begin to think who is Alton the little boy and what is he capable of doing or is he going to die if they don’t reach their destination. What makes Midnight Special such a fascinating ride, holding our interest while Nichols refuses to adapt Hollywood mode pacing thriller. And now I hope he keeps going on this unconventional road.

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Posted in U.S. Film

TAKE SHELTER (2011)

A film by Jeff Nichols.
Cast: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham.
Here is a film about taking shelter the earth we are seeing it everyday on the news but this time in this film something is coming. Michael Shannon (cutis) a great actor has a wife a kid who is mute and a construction job. He needs a family to be happy. When suddenly he dreams which become vivid. The family dog attacks him, for example, or storms destroy his home. To the puzzlement of his wife, Samantha (Jessica Chastain), and their hearing-impaired daughter, Hannah (Tova Stewart), he builds a pen in the backyard for the dog, which had been living peacefully indoors. The dreams are becoming more intense, the rain becomes motor oil, he drives his truck in the rain with his daughter swirl to avoid a man on the road hits a tree, some people break the window and take his daughter away. They live on the outskirts of town, in an area which is swept from time to time with tornadoes. His behavior begins to concern his best friend and workmate, Dewart (Shea Whigham), who helps him as much as he can. He becomes paranoid and extension on an existing shelter. His wife becomes concerns. That is all I am going to say because if you din’t see the film I will spoiled it for you. a great film written and directed by a new gifted film maker Jeff Nichols who did shotgun stories and mud. I love the ending on this one it will make you think. A must see.

Posted in U.S. Film

PREMIUM RUSH (2012)

A film by David Koepp.

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez.
As a biker myself when I was in Tampa Florida I used to go to work and ride 14 miles to work on way. It is dangerous . one false move you are a dead man. I must admit it is not New York city but watching the news one time Florida has the most bike accident in the U.S. and the most death on bike. And I would of thought it was New York. I myself almost bought it more times that I can count.
Premium rush is a movie about bike messengers going around new york about 30 miles to 40 miles an hour with a map of the city imprinted in their brains, they speed down sidewalks, run red lights, go against traffic, jump obstacles and insist on using bikes without brakes. Whatever they’re paid, it’s not enough. The title refers to the extra charge for fast delivery. This is an impressively skilled production that credits about a dozen stunt riders and even more CGI techs and it is very convincing as it shows messengers speeding fearlessly into traffic and threading their way through trucks that could flatten them. Why do they work so hard and dangerously for relatively little money? They seem to do it for the rush ode if you will the adrenalin. They do not like office jobs they much prefer the open air and considered their office New York.Three messengers outrace the NYPD to deliver a gambling ticket that only one of them knows the story behind.
Wilee , played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, lean and intense, is said to be the best bike messenger in Manhattan, which is why Nima (Jamie Chung) asks for him. She needs the ticket delivered to a woman who will make a crucial call to China and fast. Also you have Bobby Monday, desperately played by Michael Shannon, whose gambling debts have him against the wall. The movie’s first chase involves Wilee’s bike and Monday’s unmarked police car. Later on 2 other bikers messenger gets involved Vanessa (Dania Ramirez) and Manny (Wolé Parks). Great stunts on this one. It remains me of the movie Quick silver. You will see going against traffic chase going under a truck, thought a park going on sidewalk etc…
There are routine chase movie, and this one there is nothing about being routine It is a fresh look a bike messenger who is on a adventure directed by David Koepp who knows how to write them. Great cast on this one also.