HALLOWEEN (2018)

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A film by David Gordon Green

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak 

40 years later Laurie Strode confronts her long-time foe Michael Myers, the masked man who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night.

I hate to see this but the masterpiece by John Carpenter was much better than this one. It becomes a frustrating film, first it is predictable as hell from beginning to end. It lacks of the atmosphere and the essence of Carpenter. Yes it is done old school like back in the day but the film is frustrating as I said. The first movie, you can hear the crunch of the leaves and smell Fall in the air. You feel the tension that is building up big time. The first film was a lot scarier than this one. It is not all bad the females in the film play with some interesting themes, the female empowerment story of trauma and the confrontation of the beast. But it is not scary like the original. Even the music which they did not put enough of to build the tension. What kills me is that the film pretend that the sequel did not happen. Where is the magic of the original? And Carpenter produced this one. Ho! boy!!!

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THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT (2018)

THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT (2018)

A film by Lars von Trier

Cast: Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman 

United States, 1970s. We follow the very brilliant Jack through five incidents and discover the murders that will mark 12 years career as a serial killer.

The story is lived from Jack’s point of view. He considers each murder as a work of art in itself. Is a matter of fact he even takes pictures of the victims. While the ultimate and inevitable intervention of the police keeps getting closer (which infuriates Jack and puts pressure on him) he decides – contrary to all logic – to take more and more risks. Throughout the film, we discover Jack’s descriptions of his personal situation, his problems and his thoughts through his conversation with a stranger, Verge. it is not going to be your usual film as Trier write this thing out of the box. The film here has graphic violence, torture, and cruelty. The serial killer played by Matt Dillon here tells us about his first time as he killed a woman with a jack. Jack also tells us he has OCD and comes back to the crime scene to see if he has clean really good the crime scene, and the more killing he was doing his OCD began to dissipate. Jacks talks with a man named verge,trying to justify his actions. Jack has no emotion, he feels nothing. it looks like to me it is the portrait of an artist throughout the serial killer eyes. The thing is what does it all mean at the end. Everybody will have a different opinion. It is well constructed and psychological, so I will tell you this you are going to like it or hate it there is no in between here.

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THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT é (2018)

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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UPGRADE (2018)

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A film by Leigh Whannell

Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Melanie Vallejo, Steve Danielsen 

Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. Grey (Logan Marshall-Green) is not crazy with all this tech when he has his world turned upside down when his wife is killed, Grey is only thinking one thing revenge.

Little warning some scenes are going to be as gory as it gets however for me no biggie nothing that I have seen before. Grey and his wife after returning from a friend’s house to deliver a muscle car are ambushed by some criminals which he finds himself paralysed and  his wife gets killed. Then here comes the super-scientist Eron (Harrison Gilbertson), whose futuristic man-cave’s foundation is out of this world. He wants him to integrate an microchips in Gery ‘s body so he can walk again. Apprehensive Grey does not want too but changes his mind. The thing is he can not tell anyone about it. Of course you know what is going to happen after that. You can compare it to Robot cop but Grey’s personality isn’t submerged inside his body the way that Peter Weller’s hapless ghost in the machine. I don’t want to give away too much here. But there are some cool things that is going to come up, the way they uses the technology to modify their body well , to do an upgrade. The thing is here I knew where this was going and who is responsible but Boom the ending surprised me big time. The film has a man-vs.-technology narrative with a revenge theme. The fighting scenes and the gunfight that you have not seen before works well for this kind of film. Upgrade here delivers a cool little sci-fi film.

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A SIMPLE FAVOR (2018)

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A film by Paul Feig

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding

After the disappearance of her best friend, a woman seeks to uncover the truth will she succeed?

A simple Favor is not an easy film to make because it is a comedy / Thriller with sometimes slapstick comedy with a who done it attitude and if the director makes a false moves say goodbye to the film. It is suspenseful as well as hilarious. A nice job from Paul Feig. What I love about it is an American film with French songs in it. Serge Gainsbourg songs, including “Bonnie & Clyde,” his duet with Brigitte Bardot I have the CD of it , plus “Une Histoire de Plage,” “Laisse Tomber les Filles,” and Jean Paul Keller’s “Ca C’est Arrange.” The mood setting here is perfect it has it from the start.

Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) , a single mom who runs a popular vlog, where she shares recipes, parenting tips, and how to do anything else. She is over enthusiastic over-volunteering at her son’s school and so forth. She is not too popular with the other parents who makes fun of her. One day she meets Emily Nelson (Blake Lively)—whose son goes to school with Stephanie’s son. They actually drinks martini together and becomes friends. Emily is direct and swear like a sailor. Stephanie does not see the smoke screen that is in the front of her because Emily thought her off-balance. The actresses are made for each other, the awkwardness from Stephanie is so funny. Emily is warm one minutes the next she is a total bitch. One day Emily ask Stephanie one Simple Favor pick up her son from school only to find out later on  that Emily is missing. So Stephanie goes into detective mode. Yes there are twists along the way with humor and spontaneity,  well the film does not take itself seriously at all. So trust me you are going to have a good time. Enjoy the ride.

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SHÉHÉRAZADE (2018)

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A film by Jean-Bernard Marlin

Cast: Dylan Robert, Kenza Fortas, Idir Azougli

Zachary, 17 years old, gets out of jail. Rejected by his mother, tries to go back to his old gang but they won’t have him so he hangs out in the mean streets of Marseille. This is where he meets Shéhérazade.

Shéhérazade does not live in the land of Arabian Nights. She is 16 years old, lives in Marseille in the ghetto and is a prostitute. But it is where Zachery this lost kid who is now along will meet her on a corner of the street. However he has a parole officer who has to watch him to make sure he gets a job. He has a place in this home for kids who just got out of jail and want to rebuild their life. Zachary here leaves to see his old friend and to see if the old gang can get him his old job back dealing drugs. They won’t have him and find himself alone and nowhere to go. Later he meets Shéhérazade who is a prostitute and an unlikely love relationship is going to flourish. Without really realizing it he will get this new job sort of speak but consequences are going to follow. Their slang language is hard to decipher but the two actors were comfortable playing their character. Cruel reality of this huge metropolis bathed in shimmering colors but also  with violence and poverty. The film has a fresh energy  despite the difficulties inherent in their way of life. Things are going to get out of control with them but one more time Zach will face his demons and will get rid of them to live like a normal person,  well maybe. a terrific film here by Jean-Bernard Marlin about adolescence in love with emotional baggages and demons.

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THE LOOMING STORM (2018)

THE LOOMING STORM

A film by Yue Dong

Cast: Yihong DuanYiyan JiangYuan Du 

1997. A few months after the handover of Hong Kong, China will experience great changes …….. Yu Guowei, the chief of security of an old factory, in the South of the country, investigates a series of murders committed on young women. While the police stomp, this investigation will quickly become a real obsession for Yu … and his reason for living.

And yes here is an other film Neo-Noir and dark. Yu Guowei (Duan Yihong) is the head of security of a factory of  which one of the victims was found, and with the local police severely understaffed for such an investigation. Yu is has an appetite for detective work is put to use by the police chief (Du Yuan). Though an amateur detective, Yu manages to have a close encounter with the killer, But the killer manages to get away. He is more determined, despite the death of his sidekick as the result of nasty fall while they were chasing the killer in an abandoned factory, Yu meets a prostitute (Jiang Yiyan), whom he decides ti buy here a beauty shop where her dreams is to cut hair. The setting for the story has  political and social changes brought forth by modernisation affecting the lives and actions of the characters. It feels like a classic serial killer film from way back in the day. The film is dark very dark. It is filmed in the industrialize zone of this town where it must smells like burning metal all day. also there is a never ending rain that is going to drive you nuts. However for me I loved it because it is part of a good film noir. Dong here who was a cinematographer now turned director has a great visual on the story. Yes there are twist and turns in this film but you will not believe the end. Yu’s life is going to take a turn in a dark place. The cinematography is beautiful in its own way. It is a dark film very noir the way I love them. Do not miss this one.

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