Sidney Lumet

MEA CULPA (2014)

Mea culpa

A film by Fred Cavayé

Cast: Vincent Lindon, Gilles Lellouche, Nadine Labaki

2 cops that are friends good friends. But something happened a while back that killed the relationship a bit a car accident, that cost the life of the passage including a kid. Simon was at fault and has that on his conscience. Things did not go well for him after that he got divorced from his wife and sees his kid on the weekend. One day the boyfriend of his ex-wife takes them to see a bullfight. The boy has to go to the bathroom, so he goes on his own. When he does not come back anytime soon his mother worries, well he his pursued by a criminal because the kid witnesses a murder. So they want to get rid of the kid so they are no witnesses. They find out it is not an easy thing to do.

Here is a great thriller by the very talented Fred Cavayé. I always love his film. Nothing that you didn’t see before here. Kid saw murder and bad guy wants him dead. There is a twist in the story here, no I am not telling. It is an action pack thriller that you don’t see enough in my country. It is a bit predictable but who cares you are going to enjoy the ride. Even a shoot out in a TGV A train that goes about 200 moles an hour, yes we do have them in France that is how I travel around France or out or I take the plane. The thing is in this story is that is done a la French so there is emotion going through the character not this mindless action film that you see in the U.S. which i call them Guilty Pleasure. So let’s recap you have a scooter chase followed by a foot chase, then a shooting out in the night club and to finish it all in the TGV . Now you are going to ask me what is mea culpa means well here it  is a Latin phrase that translates into English as “through my fault”. Great title for this film you are going to see why at the end of the movie. Enjoy the ride in this one and fasten your seat belt.

mea culpa

 

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MALEFICENT (2014)

maleficent

A film by Robert Stromberg

Cast:Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley

It is the story of sleeping beauty (1959) re-inventing it with a twist. Stromberg has hired an army of CGI magicians in order to pull this off and what a epic it was. People were  not too crazy about it but after seeing it some of them loved it. It is not the story that you heard as a child by long shot. Maleficent  takes you to a all new direction with it which I am not going there too much just in case you didn’t see it yet. The first part of the story takes you who Maleficent is before the fall when she was a teenager a free spirited one who fly around and says hello to every creatures who lives there. There is no human there. it is the enchanted land in a word I would put it as paradise. She meet a boy and love grew. But as they turn adult Maleficent  a king want to take the treasure of the enchanted land and kill everybody. Maleficent defend herself and her people leaving the king hurt almost dead. The king wants revenge and tell his people the one who bring me Maleficent dead will take the throne. One man decided to go into the land and find Maleficent this man was the boy that Maleficent grew up with. He drugs her but can not kill her so he takes her wing and goes back to the castle. He gets the throne marries and get a baby girl. Meanwhile Maleficent goes into a dark mode and curse the child to sleep eternally at age 16. The king goes into get my daughter out of the castle mode which 3 fairies  would take care of her until her 16 birthday. But Maleficent watches over her with the help of a crow named Diaval until she is 16 years old. Angelina jolie’s character goes from nice to a dark villain with an outstanding performance on the top of it Sam Riley throws a diverting performance especially when Jolie turn him into a human, a dog , a dragon. The cinematography is splendid and so are the special effects. This one is a pleasant surprise and the movie goes in a dark place but nothing replaces the old story this one will keep families happy.

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maleficent-(2014)

 

FAIL-SAFE (1964)

fail safe

A film by  Sidney Lumet 

Cast: Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Fritz Weaver

A  a misguided communication sent an  American bombers to nuke Moscow. The President, in order to convince the Soviets that this is a mistake, orders the Strategic Air Command to help the Soviets stop them.

Here is a great film from Lumet who passed away a few years ago. It is a look at computer error and what might happen if it really happen in real life. Back then in the 60’s Nuclear war was a scary as of today with nuclear terrorist. Fail safe is still frighting today as it was back then she the film came out. It has a suspenseful script with a great cast in it. Henry Fonda plays the president dam well a good choice there. You might not expect him to play this kind of role with the body of work that he has. Then there is Larry Hangman who play buck the translator, he looks young and slim in shape as he can be. In the Pentagon war room, Walter Matthau plays scientist Groeteschele also young and in shape, he also uses his comic skills like in any other film. He believe that the world would be a better place if there would bomb the Soviet Union. Fail safe is based on the novel of the same name.  The movie is told in a room deep underground like a bunker and that is brilliant it build up tension and suspense. The Soviet Union have bombers equipped with nuclear bombs in the air at all times. If an alert comes, they proceed to their fail-safe points and await a stand-down order or wait for an order.  Once the Plane passes it fail safe point the pilot keeps going don’t matter what even if he his order to stand down. One day a plane drift to the U.S from the soviet union a bomber is sent to see if it is an attack. But the Americans experience interference with their radio. The interference causes the computer to sent a go order to one of the bomber. The tension build in this film to a hight level. The thing is that Dr. Strange love came out at the same year and this one but it is the funny version. This is a great film do not miss it .

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SERPICO (1973)

Serpico

A film by Sidney Lumet.

Cast: Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe. 

Based on a true story. This story takes place in the  70’s. Serpico (Al Pacino) is a cop , he refuses to be on the take like his pals who routinely extort from local criminals. He is being placed in dangerous position from his friends, beside nobody wants to work with him. despite that he still refuses togo with the flow. One day all hell break loose.

Here is a cop who is honest as hell and refuses to get dirty. Detectives don’t hesitate to shake down hoodlum. The corruption is wide sprayed come to find out and Serpico  con’t stand it. He tries to go to his superiors and that was not a good idea they don’t listen. So Serpico did the next best thing. He was writing it all done dates time , it was the biggest shake up in the New York Police department. The film is about the point of view of Serpico the bearded hippie cop in February under the circumstances that was puzzling got shot in the face and wounded on the verge of death while he was making a narcotic arrest. He was exhausted and he feared for his life, he got reassign in an other department which after the trail got out of the country altogether. Great performance by Al Pacino in the title role. Thank god that sidney Lumet directed this film that was the right choice he know how to deal with that kind of subject. Serpico came out on top , they had to get fictional names for the other characters in the story. They had found that there were 100,000 thousand dollars each month from pay off from criminals. Serpico from italian parents after being mad as hell  about those cop and being frustrated with the polities in the department came out as a hero. Great film By Lumet.

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Serpico

THE ANDERSON TAPES (1971)

A film by Sidney Lumet.
Cast: Sean Connery, Dyan Cannon, Martin Balsam.
Here is a cool little caper film over looked. I love this one. A criminal mastermind (Sean Connery) gathers about him a handpicked band of experts, with the intention of pulling off an incredibly complicated theft. Their plan involves disguise, the outwitting of electronic detection devices, split-second timing, daredevil acrobatics. And you have a heist movie well done at that. Sean Connery is the mastermind. He’s an ex-safecracker who’s just gotten out of prison.He shacks up with an old love (Dyan Cannon) who lives in an exclusive New York apartment building packed to the rafters with rich tenants and expensive possessions. His plan is to back a Mayflower van up to the building and literally strip it clean With his team that he puts together. This heist film works well because it is also about characters also not just about the heist. Martin Balsam is a swishy antique dealer who plays the part so well that you believe he his an antique dealer and Alan King plays a Mafia chief so well That I am surprise he did do the Godfather. The novel was written by Lawrence Sanders.

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOUR DEAD (2007)

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, and Marisa Tomei star in director Sidney Lumet’s thriller concerning two brothers who hatch a plan to rob their parent’s jewelry store. When the job goes awry, the entire family is set on a collision course with tragedy. Andy (Hoffman) is an overextended broker in desperate need of some cash. His brother, Hank (Hawke), isn’t much better off, so when Andy hatches a plan to rob their parent’s modest jewelry store , it seems like a foolproof way to make a quick buck. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is an immensely disturbing and tragic morality tale, which focuses on the consequences and repercussions of a sinister act driven by greed. Title taken from the Irish toast: “May you have food and raiment, a soft pillow for your head; may you be 40 years in heaven, before the devil knows you’re dead.” In the original script, Andrew and Hank Hanson were not brothers. Sidney Lumet made this change to increase the drama of the movie. He also removed the character of Andrew & Gina’s daughter. Sidney Lumet was introduced to digital film techniques through this production and reportedly loved working with digital film, primarily due to it’s convenience. This was his first and ultimately only film to be shot in the digital format. In the DVD’s Director’s commentary, Sidney Lumet stated that in the original script, the character of Bobby Lasorda was supposed to be only 19 years old. The character was made older to make the character seem more realistic and sad. In the DVD’s Director’s commentary, Sidney Lumet says the nude scene between Gina and Hank was shot, Ethan Hawke wanted to make Marisa Tomei, feel more comfortable, and insisted on being nude as well. He further insisted that every male crew member strip naked while filming the scene to accommodate Tomei. Sidney Lumet’s final film. Leonardo Cimino’s last film. Leonardo Cimino’s last film.

 

watch the trailer on you tube.