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 U.S. Film

GET OUT (2017)

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A film by Jordan Peele

Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford

In Get Out, a smart and scary freakout about a black man in a white nightmare, the laughs come easily and then bang here comes the kill.

The film open with a black man talking on a cellphone on an empty suburban street briskly sets the tone, unsettles the mood, and you go I know what this is going to be about but you don’t. Those arms and smiles all but hug Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a photographer with a sweet pad, adorable dog and equally frisky, adoring girlfriend, Rose ( Allison Williams). The story opens with them preparing for a long weekend with her parents Ho! boy. “Do they know I’m black?” Chris gently asks, like I said Ho! boy!!! Not to worry she said my parents are not racist. Okay then. Chris and Rose pulls up her parents house which is picture perfect and you know something is off when Chris meets her parents.

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A stroke of genius here the film comes across like a zombie/The Stepford Wives film but much better manipulated differently. Get Out’s premise follows the traditional framework of an outsider discovering the horrors of a secluded local, but adds its own unique spin. The film is disturbing and at times satirical with some tension. As Chris discover more about the folks that comes to the party it gets a very strange feeling to the point he wants to get out. The film here has a genuine chills and a surprising dose of biting humour. It is refreshing that someone has used the imagination to get this one right and turn it into an original idea.

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Posted in Japanese Film, U.S. Film

GHOST IN THE SHELL (2017)

 

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A film by Rupert Sanders

Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche

Here is an adaptation of Shirow Masume’s original manga cult comics. In the near future Major is one of the kind after a crash they were able to save her brain but gave her a synthetic body. her purpose in life is to catch criminals.

Not too bad for a science fiction film here a robot with a human brain. Can they think like a human and if so will she able to do the job that they want her to do. There is a share parallel with Ridley Scott’s  Blade Runner however the visual is stunning and colourful the story is developed like a thriller like a film Neo-noir. The Asian-inspired City is filled, tall and tightly metallic buildings peppered with bright neon holographic signboards. It feels like the 80’s but in the future like A retro 80’s futuristic. As the story moves along Major (Scarlett Johansson) gets some kind of a glitch now and then. As she is after a hacker who tried to kill some officials the glitches gets worse. The skin-tight latex suit that Johansson wear and even the other outfit are outstanding. For me how ever it feels like I already saw that film some where. I was left there could be more like a twist in the story. Maybe it is just me.

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Posted in U.S. Film

BRIMSTONE (2017)

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A film by Martin Koolhoven

Cast: Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Carice van Houten

In the American West, at the end of the XIX century. Liz, a young woman of about twenty years, leads a peaceful life with her family. But her life will shift one day when a sinister preacher visits them. Liz will have to leave  because this man hunts her without respite since childhood …

It is going to be a narrative in 4 parts pompously titled “Apocalypse”, “Exodus”, “Genesis” and “Retribution”.  The center of the story here is around the character of Dakota Fanning named Liz. She finds the preacher who is like a satanic preacher who is driven by lust, revenge and hatred. Liz here will be followed by her aggressor who without listing go is tuning liz’s life a living hell with a few twist and turn. Each chapter are like flashback.The film stretches nearly two and a half hours, and focus of how vicious and cruel is the west back then ruling by cruel and vicious man where woman will have little right to exist let along have human right before they get beaten. Beautiful performances by the actors here.  Dakota’s character here is a strong will woman who will learn how to survive but will make a lot of sacrifices along the way. As for Guy Pearce here incarnate this preacher who has its own demons who is sadistic in may ways. He lives into his own little world of pain, pervertion and violence. This western is going to feel like diabolical in many ways and yes it stands out with the other great western.

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Posted in Films from 30’s to 60’s, French film

COMPARTIMENT TUEURS (1965)

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A film by Costa-Gavras

Cast: Catherine Allégret, Jacques Perrin, Simone Signoret, Yves Montand, Jean-Louis Trintignant

English tile : The sleeping car murder

Six people share a sleeping-car on a Paris-bound train. When it reaches its destination, one of them is found murdered. As the police headed by Inspector Graziani (Yves Montand) frantically search for the killer soon after an other murder happens ,no!!! this can’t happen in Paris. It is the work of a serial killer? Or not. Well….

The thing is here is an other one of Gravas film that kick ass, it is his first film feature . It is in black and white  and shot in Paris so cool. It is fun to watch those old film I get to see how Paris was back in the day plus I love the old cars. Gravas here has done a cool thriller frantic that moves quickly. But it is not your typical stylist thriller here it has been done differently , plus you will see a car chase with motorcycle throughout  Paris. Michel Piccoli plays this unusual dude who is a little pervert sweaty and talking to himself. Yves Montand who plays the inspector does it with finest bit like a French Columbo. Simone Signoret does an outstanding job here. The director uses effective camera angles that create a sense of claustrophobia during suspense scenes. The appearance go the killer has his own style trench coat, hat, and lather gloves. Once the killer  shoot ,he repeatedly does it until the victim is dead which the killer taking sufficiently long pauses in-between shots to allow for the frightened victims to struggle around and stare in terror at their assassin. Here Catherine Allégret and Jacques Perrin plays young lovers and yes their chemistry are fresh as a croissant from the oven. There a cool non stylist film noir.

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Posted in Cult film, Great movie, U.S. Film

THE USUAL SUSPECTS (1995)

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A film by Bryan Singer

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri 

The usual suspects are five men: Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne), an ex-cop-turned-crook ; Michael McManus (Stephen Baldwin), a psycho man; Todd Hockney (Kevin Pollak), a hardware specialist; Fred Fenster (Benicio Del Toro), McManus’ partner; and Verbal Klint (Kevin Spacey), a crippled con man. As the movie opens, these five are being in a lineup. A truckload of stolen guns has been hijacked and the cops, led by U.S. Customs Special Agent Dave Kujan (Chazz Palminteri), will to get their man. But no one cracks, and as the criminals sit together in jail waiting to be charged or released, they hatch a plan for an elaborate emerald heist.

Yes it is cult film Thursday and here is the one that I love and seen on the big screen Twice now and once on cable and I still love this film. Christopher McQuarrie’s inspiration for the character of Keyser Soze was a real-life murderer by the name of John List, who murdered his family and then disappeared for 17 years. The story is told in two different time frames. In the present, looking back on events, Klint sits across a desk from Kujan, unfolding the tale as he remembers it. Did it really happen? Nothing seems to be as they appear. Director Bryan Singer, who debuted in 1993 has crafted this story as a film Neo-Noir Thriller. The film borrows heavily from dozens of sources — Hitchcock, Scorsese, the Coen brothers, and just about every master of the genre, past or present nothing wrong with that. Singer’s greatest strength is to collect moments from other sources and using them in his own mold like does Quentin Tarantino. The serpentine plot provides the perfect playground in which a series of deliciously devious characters can have fun.The Usual Suspects constantly raises the suspense. Slowly the audience is drawn into the story. And yes they will be deceptions, going back to present and future. Singer will keep you guessing and distracted somewhere else , he is like a magician. The Usual Suspects doesn’t take any prisoners.The cast is enigmatic.Kevin Spacey ,  throws in the best performance of the film, is completely convincing. The cast is perfect. The Usual Suspects is an accomplished film Neo-noir. Ranked #10 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre “Mystery” in June 2008. Shot on a budget of $6 million over a period of 35 days. See it now.

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Posted in British film, Cult film, Great movie, Italian Film

BLOW UP (1966)

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A film by Michelangelo Antonioni

Cast: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles

Americans flew to “swinging London” in the 1960s; today’s Londoners pile onto the charter jets to Orlando. Yes you are going to get used to this film with the loopy psychedelic colors and no I do not recommend that you take LSD watching this film although there is smoking marijuana although out this film well it is the 60’s and back then that was in fashion sort of speak.

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The movie stars David Hemmings, who became a 1960s icon after this performance as Thomas, a hot young photographer with a Beatles haircut, a Rolls convertible with models wanting for him to get a chance to pose for him. Nice life right? He spends his days in tightly scheduled photo shoots the model Verushka plays herself like I said nice life. Thomas wanders into a park and sees, at a distance, a man and a woman. Are they struggling? Playing? Flirting? He snaps a lot of photos. The woman (Vanessa Redgrave) runs after him. She desperately wants the film back. He refuses her and takes off.

Why does she wants the pictures? Well Thomas decided to find out. He boos up the pictures and sees something but what is it? There are different interpretation here and you will see what I mean when you see the film. I have my own and I bet it is different from yours. Yes there is a menage à trois scene and today, the sex seems tame, and what makes the audience gasp is the hero’s contempt for women. I put this film on my category of great movie  Do not miss it.

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