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Archive for the tag “Thriller”

FRIGHT NIGHT (1985)

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A film by Tom Holland

Cast: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse

A teenager obsessed with horror films finds out that a vampire lives across from him. He tells the police, his friends but none of them will believe him. He decides to take matters into his own hands.

Roddy McDowall, who plays Peter Vincent an old wash out  actor who used to star in vampire movies. “The kids today,” he complains, “don’t have the patience for vampires. They want to see some mad slasher running around and chopping off heads.” That is so true even back then. This film is fun watch and more fun to see it again some 33 years later due to the fact that the special effect then where awesome. It happens one night where Jerry Dandrige (Chris Sarandon) while making out with his girlfriend who does not put out, sees some neighbours caring a coffin downstairs across where he lives. He gets curious and try to find out who lives there. When he finds out that it is a Vampire and tells everyone of his entourage even the police they do not believe him.

The first part of the film is funny and the second part unleashes lots of spectacular special effects and yes back then there were done well and fun to watch. Now days CGI on the computer which laid off those who was doing it in the studio. By the way Peter Vincent, is obviously supposed to remind us of  Vincent Price and Christopher Lee. McDowall’s performance is  funny, and he must have enjoyed it. Fright night is not your usual film horror film it stand out.

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THE SILENT REVOLUTION (2018)

THE SILENT REVOLUTION (2018)

A film by Lars Kraume

Cast: Jonas Dassler, Judith Engel, Tom Gramenz

East Germany, 1956. Kurt, Theo and Lena are 18 years old and preparing to graduate from high school. With their comrades, they decide to do a minute of silence in class, in tribute to the Hungarian revolutionaries harshly repressed by the Soviet army. This minute of silence becomes a state affair. She will rock their lives. Faced with an East German government determined to identify and punish those responsible, the 19 students of Stalinstadt will face all threats and remain in solidarity.

Based on a true story back in 1956 a bunch of student listening to the illegal radio on the east german (4 years before the wall) about the Hungarians who wants the Russians out of their country are starting a revolution. One of the classmate decided to have a minutes of silence in class in honour of the Hungarians. And may the investigation begins, yes the school decided to see who started this.  The school is going to play dirty and secrets will surface. The film is plunging into the cold war that some people didn’t know about. It is a hard decision toward the end that the students took and thank god they took it. It is also about sacrifices and what is best for their kids. Education however is important. The costumes and the set design ere beautiful, it is like you were there. It is an ensemble cast and they are so perfect for each other. A  Brilliant successful stroke of action for this captivating evocation of East Germany where high school students discover the notion of treason, submission and rebellion.

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DAS SCHWEIGENDE KLASSENZIMMER

MARROWBONE (2018)

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A film by Sergio G. Sánchez

Cast: George MacKay, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton

A Spanish film , Marrowbone tells the story of the Fairbairn family, a mother and her four children on the run to the States. They are running from their father. Holing up in a secluded mansion called Marrowbone in 1969, the family takes the estate’s name as their own, pledging to bury the past forever. But…..

Here is a story of a family who are afraid of their life and trying to get away from their father as far as possible. Now in America trying to turn the page and start fresh the mother who is finally happy with her kids falls ill and die not long after they got there. The oldest Jack (George MacKay) promised to keep the rest of the clan safe until he is 21 years of age otherwise the bank will take the house and social services will separate them and put them in fosters families.. 20 old Jack (George MacKay), 19-year-old Jane (Mia Goth), 18-year-old Billy (Charlie Heaton), and five-year-old Sam (Matthew Stagg) try to keep going after Rose passes away, maintaining a low profile in their large rundown mansion , with only a close friendship with the neighboring girl, Allie (Anya Taylor-Joy) .

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Jack does his best to keep the family together until the inevitable happens. There is a twist in the dynamics of the story that will be revealed towards the end.  Jack here is worried about the entity that is in the house and keep mirrors covered to keep it put. It is a slow burner story but interesting enough to keep you interested. The talented cast delivers a terrific performance in this off beat family horror film. The only beef I have with it once the twist is revealed it is going to be predictable. Other wise not too bad at all. It is kind deja vu meaning it looks like I have already seen this film somewhere.

MARROWBONE (2018)

REVENGE (2018)

REVENGE (2018)

A film by Coralie Fargeat

Cast: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe

Three wealthy men  in their forties’ married go to their annual hunting party in a desert area of canyons. A way for them to reconnect with their manhood and decompressed  arms in hand. But this time, one of them came with his young mistress, an ultra sexy lolita that quickly stirs up the lust of the other two … Things go wrong … the young woman left for dead ,comes back to life … And the hunting party turns into a  manhunt …

At the time that Harvey Weinstein, is accused of harassing 30 women or so here is a film that comes out a revenge film of this woman who gets rape and left for dead. A bold move from director Fargeat on her first film. It is hard to do a film like this one because of the subject matter rape and I think because the director here is a woman she gets it; She navigate thought it just right. Very few has done so. She gets into the heads of the characters and even has a few surprises along the way. Yes it is bloody in fact they run out of blood so they recycle some of it in order to finish the film. The terrain is the desert cool location for this film and brutal as well. This grindhouse tradition of the rape-revenge thriller is going where it is supposed to be going and has vivid colours. Here the director  evokes the look and spirit of classic exploitation cinema, and Quentin Tarantino should be proud. This film is not going to be for everybody due to the subject matter. After seeing the desert with the hot scorching sun and the blood flying in my face through the screen I needed a couple of beers to refresh myself from this bloody film.

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REVENGE

JUSQU’À LA GARDE (2018)

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A film by Xavier Legrand

Cast: Léa Drucker, Denis Ménochet, Thomas Gioria

English: Custody 

The couple Besson divorce. To protect her son from a father whom she accuses of violence, Miriam demands sole custody. The judge in charge of the case grants shared custody to the father whom she considers to be flouted. Held hostage between his parents, Julien will do everything to prevent the worst from happening.

This first feature is a master piece and a stroke of genius . Xavier Legrand exceeds the conventions of a social issue and offers a clean film with a stifling atmosphere, which really takes guts. Xavier Legrand had been noticed by a short film, Avant de tout perdre (2014), Oscar nominated and winning the caesar. His first film here is beautiful it is like watching a ballet everything fall into place and the story is told perfectly well. It got noticed  all over Europe very quickly. Is a matter a fact LeGrand has won the Silver Lion for Best Director in Venice. The story is fluid and dark it even fells like a film neo-noir.

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The first scene takes place in a magistrate’s court, the lawyers of estranged couple Miriam (Léa Drucker) and Antoine (Denis Ménochet) debate their clients’ parental rights. Miriam is pushing for sole custody of their 12-year-old son Julien (Thomas Gioria), accusing Antoine of intimidation as well as violence against their older daughter Josephine (Mathilde Auneveux). There is a lot of dialogue in the first scene which in cinema we are not used too. Is Antoine really this jealous and possessive of his  former spouse who puts pressure on his ex and his children? Does Miriam do too much in the role of the victim, to the point of wanting to prevent a father from showing his love for his son and his daughter? And why was the medical certificate confirming the injury of the young Josephine signed by the only school nurse? Those are the questions that you are going to ask yourself. Everyone has their reasons. The director here does not let up the tension that is going to build thought out the film and who is going to blow out toward the end. You do not know where is it going, you are going to guess and be surprise of the outcome. Thomas Gioria the child actor here shines big time. The other actors are perfectly cast and do they deliver a stunning performance. Denis Ménochet here is glad to work in French because lately he has done more film in England than France. If I was not bilingual he says in an interview I don’t know where my career would be today. Here is a film that you can not afford to miss.

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THE COMMUTER (2018)

THE COMMUTER

A film by Jaume Collet-Serra

Cast: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson

Like every day after work, Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson) takes the suburban train back home. But today, his daily journey will take a different turn. After receiving a call from a mysterious stranger, he is forced to identify a passenger hidden on the train before the last stop. As he struggles against the clock to solve this riddle, he finds himself caught in a spiral conspiracy . A conspiracy that becomes a matter of life and death, for him and for all other passengers.

If you have guessed it by now just by reading the introduction above this film is coming across Agatha Christy and Alfred Hitchcock. Michael MacCauley, is a 60-year-old ex-cop turned insurance salesman who works in midtown Manhattan. His boss tells him that he’s being let go. But he has trouble to tell his wife (Elizabeth McGovern), when he gets a call from her. After drinking with his buddy a cop from the force, Michael goes home and does on the train but gets his phone stolen by a pickpocket. Then meets a mysterious stranger (Vera Farmiga) who tells him he has to locate a certain passenger on the commuter train before it arrives at its final stop. If he takes the money which it is located  this means that he accept. After thinking about it Michael takes the money.

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This is one of those moral equation  that really only generates suspense but there it seems that it looses it effect due to lack of imagination to me the music was the same always and it is a bit predictable. It seems to me that I already saw this film I am not saying it is not good it is entertaining with spectacular stunts. It is clear that for Collet-sierra his biggest influence is Alfred Hitchcock and in his previous films it shows, but here he almost missed it. The movie never gets close to generating the political framework it would have needed to to be taken seriously, but there are no scene more extravagant as in this film so that makes up for that well sort of. All I am saying don’t rush to the movie theatre to see this one.

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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 …

BURN OUT (2017)

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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LA CORDILLERA (2017)

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cannes un certain regard 2017

A film by Santiago Mitre

Cast: Walter Andrade, Ricardo Darín, Dolores Fonzi

The president of Argentina, Hernán Blanco (Ricardo Darin) has to go to a summit to make this important decision. the summit takes place in La Cordillera but suddenly a complicated matter arises in the middle of it and will affect both his private and public life. 

Here is a political thriller that takes an unexpected detour into Hitchcock’s Spellbound territory. The film is set during a summit of South American leaders, will discuss an oil alliance. However the president of Argentina who is facing exposure for corruption, has another problem when his daughter, Marina (Dolores Fonzi), suffers a psychiatric episode. a Doctor suggest to puts her under hypnosis, and suddenly she has memories of events from his life of which she could have no knowledge. Now Blanco is wondering who is pulling the string. Is this stage? In the mix a political figure from the United States is trying to influence him on his decision. however the two narrative meets each other but not all your questions will be answered. But it feels like a thriller done by Hitchcock. Mitre here takes on complex stories and puts them together rather well. He looks like he is graduating here and to be the one to watch. Ricardo Darin does as usual a wonderful job playing the president of Argentina. One of my favourite actor in Argentina. The film got a Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival last year.

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LA CORDILLERA

 

 

SUBURBICON (2017)

SUBURBICON (2017)

A film by George Clooney 

Cast: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac

Welcome to Suburbicon, it is 1950 and everybody is happy, well until the black family moves in. Racism in America in the 50’s no you have got to be killing me. Next door well some kind of home invasion is occurring. Too much excitement for me I am packing to go to Paris France.

First Clooney here sent home his screenwriter the one he usually works with because  he did like the script so he went with the Coen brothers and wrote this, and when you see the film it is going to feel like a Coen bother’s film except it is directed by Clooney. I will say this the film start out good until the insurance man played by Oscar Isaac comes in and here is the third story but later it falls into the water. Why? Ok it is funny at times but if you put Issac in it and it does this wonderful acting and then poof. I think here the Coen pulled off Fargo and Burn after reading were it was well done to the fact they know how to film a movie with this kind of theme and never let it go until the end. Here Clooney tries the same thing but does not pull off. He knows very well how to frame his shot but not telling the story . After all the experience he has and all the film he has acted in he should have learn something right? Not an easy thing to pull off a crime story with humour noir. Until next time.

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