PIRANHAS (2019)

A film by  Claudio Giovannesi

Cast:  Francesco Di Napoli, Viviana Aprea, Mattia Piano Del Balzo 

Nicola and her friends are between ten and fifteen years old. They travel by scooter, they are armed and fascinated by crime. They fear neither prison nor death, only to lead an ordinary life like their parents. Their models: the godfathers of the Camorra. Their values: money and power. Their rules: to frequent the good people, to frequent the world of luxury , and to occupy the place left vacant by the old mafia to conquer the districts of Naples, whatever the price.

Nicola, a 15-year-old with little or no prospects of a proper job, but who wants access to the life of luxury enjoyed by his role models: designer clothes and watches, nights of drinking and doing drugs at the city’s clubs together with good-looking girls likewise impressed by those signs of status. Nicola wants to find a way to stop his mother to pay protection money. He needs money. So in  Sanità his own town he meets the local drug lord who put him to work. Soon after they party, get new clothes, and even new scooter. Nicola has charisma and rapidly moves up the latter. An adaptation novel by Roberto Saviano, the Neapolitan who made a name for himself as an authority on the organised crime. Nicola, a 15-year-old with little or no prospects of a regular job, but who wants access to the life of luxury enjoyed by his role models: designer clothes and watches, nights of drinking and doing drugs at the city’s clubs together with good-looking girls likewise impressed by those signs of status. Nicola wants to find a way to stop his mother to pay protection money. He needs money. So in  Sanità his own town he meets the local drug lord who put him to work. Soon after they party, get new clothes, and even new scooter. Nicola has charisma and rapidly moves up the latter. Saviano known this world well it looks like and Giovannesi cast non professional actor to have this feel of authenticity plus the research and it pay off well. Giovannesi avoid the glamour and the sensationalism plus the camera movement is fluid never flashy . Here are teenagers who sees no way out and thinks that being a gangster is the coolest thing but reality is far more than an other monster.

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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THREE BILL BOARD OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI (2017)

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A film  by Martin McDonagh

Cast: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell

A mother who has a little bit of anger to deal with because of her daughter unsolved crime puts up a Three Messages on Three bill board that got the attention of the all town and the sheriff department.

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Martin McDonagh new brilliant film as the genius idea to put Frances McDomand as the lead role to top it cast Sam Rockwell as well.  And yes it is one the best film of the year. Mildred Hayes, a recently divorced mother who lost her daughter Angela less than a year ago. Angela was raped and murdered, but the case has gone cold. There was no matching DNA And Mildred (Frances McDomand) has no update. One day, she sees three barren billboards on a road rarely-traveled ,and she rents the space to ask the local chief of police, Willoughby (Woody Harrelson), why there are no answers. And suddenly a sparks of event will developed one after an other. The thing is this beautiful script is not what you are going to except. Mildred here rents the billboard to put pressure on the sheriff department. Life has been screwed both of these people Mildred and Dixon. Although Dixon is a nice guy he plays a racist violent cop because if what happened to him when he was younger. Harrelson is awesome is even gets what is going on and why Mildred is doing what she is doing. The dialogue is near perfect here especially the dialogue when she sees the priest in her house, she delivers a punch to the stomach. If I was the director I would not have done this film if McDomant was not in. This role is tailored for her. what I like about it there is no heroes or villains. Of course the ending his the final trick in the film. What a beautiful ending, perfect I might have. Like I said do not miss this one.Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was the big winner at the 2018 Golden Globes, taking home four awards including Best Motion Picture. 

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BURN OUT (2017)

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A film by Yann Gozlan

Cast: François Civil, Olivier Rabourdin, Manon Azem

Hot head, addicted to thrills, Tony (François civil)  lives for one thing: become a professional motorcycle superbike biker. Until the day he discovers that his son’s mother has a problem with the gypsy underworld. The only way out of this is to put his talents at the service of mobsters. Circuit biker during the day, go-fast at night, Tony is plunged into an infernal spiral that leads him to the brink of rupture …

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Tony is a hot head and does not think much or even see the consequence that is going to developed in his life after he is going to help his girlfriend out of a jam. He thought he got the handle on it but doesn’t and soon after it is going to collapse right in the front os him. Once you go into this kind of work you get out dead. Tony does two month worth of work for the gypsies mob. A go fast is simple tony is giving a motorcycle a backpack full of drugs and he has to deliver it and fast. He can’t stop for nobody. The stunt here are done in real speed no special affect here. It ads up realism into the film. Between suburban atmosphere, go-fast motorcycle and traffic of all kinds, Yann Gozlan sweeps wide and tries to hold the road to offer his main character a descent to hell and does he ever.. Close-ups of motorcycles and drivers, slow-motion effects, sound effects, everything goes to give the spectator the feeling (and it’s successful) to follow very closely the throes of Tony. Burn out is loosely  adapted from a novel Jérémie Guez.

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TUEURS (2017)

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A film by Jean-François Hensgens, François Troukens

Cast: Olivier Gourmet, Lubna Azabal, Kevin Janssens

English title: Above the law. 

A criminal who escape prison who is going to plan one last heist and get out for ever. He performs his heist without a hitch but has as soon as it is started it is doom to fail.

Here the real translation is Killers. It is the first feature for the two director Jean-François Hensgens, François Troukens. The protagonist, Frank Valken (Olivier Gourmet), a robber, has just pulled off yet another masterful robbery without a hitch. At least that is what he thinks , but soon after the cops knows his every move. He gets pinched which is the ideal suspect for a bunch of murders that happens 30 years ago. Of course  Frank knows he is set up. The film includes the Belgium’s most famous criminal incidents at the heart of its narrative. The Brabant Killers, which was much talked about in the 1980s. Responsible for  some fifteen break-ins, the Brabant Killers, who had a preference for supermarkets, did not care about leaving bodies in their wake (almost thirty victims),  killing children and seniors. To this day, there are still doubts about the identity of the murderers, and some see it as more than a simple crime, but as a state affair some others thinks that the CIA as something to do with that. 

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The directors here plunge right in the old gangsters school film doing a heist where the robbers does not kill anybody just takes them hostage. Frank believe that he is not a killer a man of principle old school like I said. The film maintain its integrity and knows that along the way there is going to be one way out is killing is going to take place.

The film follows Olivier Gourmet who fit the role perfectly well I do not care what film he is in but I will see all his film eventually I am trying to catch up and what a terrific actor he turned out to be, which he is trying to save his skin and his honour. The rest of the cast is on it as well which brings me that this casting is so perfect it is not even funny. First features for the directors and they did not disappoint. I can’t wait until the next film.

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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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A MESSAGE FROM THE KING (2017)

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A film by Fabrice Du Welz

Cast: Teresa Palmer, Luke Evans, Tom Felton

Jacob (Chadwick Boseman) King arrives from Cape Town in Los Angeles, in search of his missing sister. A stranger in a world of which he knows nothing. $ 600 in pocket and a return ticket to Cape Town 7 days later.

The opening of the film a man in customs where the officer asks him bunch of question , but the man in question is on vacation. He is from Cape Town Africa and drive a cab over there. They ask him if he has family his response is no. Soon after settle in this Roach motel. He goes to see his sister at her apartment. No one has seen her so he begins to investigate. What is he going to find, her is not going to like it and will put in motions a series of events that is going to take place.

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This film noir is a slow paces burner nothing that you have not seen before but has a few twist and turn especially at the end. You won’t see it coming. It is shot like a 70’s style film showing the not so good neighbourhood in L.A. An outsider who is trying to find his sister who is going to make some friends along the way or I might have help one in distress. When he finds out what happens to his sister the dark side of Jacob will surface. To me if he did end the film like he did then the all film is out in the water . A nice little ending here that makes the film worth seeing.

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