L’EMPEREUR DE PARIS (2018)

A film by  Jean-François Richet

Cast:  Olga Kurylenko, Vincent Cassel, Freya Mavor

English title: The Emperor of Paris

Under the reign of Napoleon, François Vidocq, the only man to have escaped from the biggest prisons of the country, is a legend of the Parisian bas fonds. Left to die after his last spectacular escape, the ex-convict tries to be forgotten in the guise of a simple trader. His past caught him, however, and, after being accused of a murder he did not commit, he offered a deal to the head of the Police: he joined the police to fight the underworld, in exchange for his freedom. Despite exceptional results, it provokes the hostility of his fellow police officers and the fury of the underworld who put his head at a price …

Eugène François Vidocq ( July 24, 1775 – May 11, 1857) was a French criminal and criminalist whose life story inspired several writers, including Victor Hugo, Edgar Allan Poe, and Honoré de Balzac. The former criminal became the founder and first director of the crime-detection Sûreté Nationale as well as the head of the first known private detective agency. Vidocq is considered to be the father of modern criminology and of the French police department He is also regarded as the first private detective. Here Richet retraces the life some of it of Vidocq when one last escape from prison Vidocq tried to make a deal with the chief of police for a pardon of a crime he did not commit, he will close every case that the chief of police was not able too. You have to understand Vidocq had a gift in catching criminals it is something that he was good at. I love the fact they were able to recreate the old Paris way back in the day. The dark street, the scenery the decor all of that was well done with the help of some special effects. The story has been done many times before but I have yet to see the one that Depardieu has done in 2001. Vidocq was one the the first to open an private detective agency. He passed away at age 82, he was one of a hell of an adventurer. The cast of the film is an all star cast.  Denis Ménochet, Denis Lavant, Freya Mavor, Olga Kurylenko are outstanding. This version is more realistic as one pointed out to me getting out of the movie theater. You will have a good time however watching this film.

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LE MONDE EST À TOI (2018)

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A film by Romain Gavras

Cast: Karim Leklou, Isabelle Adjani, Vincent Cassel, François Damiens

English title: The world is yours

A small time drug dealer has a dream and he is unable to make it happen, so he does one last job in Spain which will get him the money to get the life he so dreams for. Two things however has to happen here, get rid of his overbearing mother and to get a girlfriend that is missing in his life.

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Here is a crime comedy that we were waiting for which Gravas has pulled off very well with a couple of screenwriters. A goofy sort off crime comedy with a perfect casting. Adjani becomes  mother who loves to spend money as well as to steal it , is the head of a gang of North African pickpockets, Philippe Katerine a business lawyer with rather amateur aspects, and Vincent Cassel a former father-in-law of the most disturbed. It has a cocktail of action and goofy characters that is going to be a delicious platter of pastries with laughter. It has the cliché  of the french suburb on fire where the drugs and the dealers takes over at night.   Le monde est â toi maintain a rhythm from hell and has a lot of surprises at every turn.  Terrific performances from the actors here and fun to watch especially Vincent Cassel who is busy those days. Here Gravas reinvent comedy in France with a bunch of gangsters who are obsessed with their power and money but also in taking the throne. And gravas has giving a boost in reinventing a perfect french comedy. Watch this one while drinking whiskey with moderation.

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FLEUVE NOIR (2018)

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A film by Erick Zonca

Cast: Vincent CasselRomain DurisSandrine Kiberlain 

English title: Black Tide

The family Arnault, Dany, the eldest son, disappears. François Visconti, police commander used by his job and drown in a bottle of whiskey , is in charge of the case. The man tries to find the teenager while reluctant to take care of his own son, Denis, sixteen, who seems involved in drug trafficking. Yan Bellaile, private teacher of Dany, learns the disappearance of his former student and offers his services to the commander. He is very interested in the investigation. Too interested it seems …

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You want a film noir you got one a very Neo noir, a dark story. Vincent Cassel replaces Gérard Depardieu who was scheduled at the very beginning of the shooting he had to go to the hospital and was not available. As Vincent said in and interview that he was shown the script because Depardieu can’t make it , Vincent liked the script and told the director he wanted to meet him, he takes the plane meets him want Zonca says to him we start shooting tomorrow. Ok then. Here is a great cast and Vincent Cassel delivers the role however his character has many demons. He is used by the job and drinks a little too much. He also does not know how to love his son who is getting in trouble with drugs. In the mean time he meets the  creepy neighbour who is also the private tutor of Dany where François thinks there is more there. The story here goes into deep mode noir and will reveal secrets. The story focuses on the cat-and-mouse game between Visconti and Bellaile which it is going tot be complicated and weirder at times. Duris here delivers an outstanding performance. However it is missing something in the story to me it does not feel right but I still like this film.

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JASON BOURNE (2016)

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A film by Paul Greengrass

Cast: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel 

Jason Bourne who is off the grid hurries through various European capitals — Rome, Athens, London. Well the CIA does not know where he is and some one is trying to locate him. Someone needs to tell him something about his father.

The good news and the bad news is that Jason Bourne,  directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Matt Damon as everyone’s favorite amnesiac assassin, feels like old times. But there is some of the older members as well as some new ones. The thrill is still there Jason Bourne is a uniquely passive action hero, a man who runs on pure survival instinct as he tries to figure out who is after him and why. Bourne, who has been pursuing his Plan B career as a bare-knuckle boxer in the wilds of Greece, is approached by his former colleague and fellow Company renegade well you know who. after hacking in the CIA computer to get some files to get to Bourne, The CIA tracks her down, and the chase is one . Yes there is the usual suspect the team, the team leader and the ever ambitious Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) who wants to bring Bourne and yes of course there will be consequences.There are dark whispers about external threats, and invocations of the tension between security and privacy in the digital age. Damon here shines as Bourne at 45 years of age and looks in top shape here he must have the same work out that I have drinking a lots of wine. I doubt he’ll ever truly figure out who he is. But hey that’s life.

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MON ROI (2015)

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A film by Maïwenn

Cast: Vincent Cassel, Emmanuelle Bercot, Louis Garrel

English Title: My King

Following a violent ski fall, Tony, in her 40’s, is admitted to a rehabilitation center. During the first days of her stay, a psychologist suggests that her knee injury could be indicative of pain buried in the unconscious, linked to a long history which it would be difficult to overcome. While recovering, Tony will remember the passionate and tumultuous history she lived with a man named Georgio …

The face of Tony is marque with emotional scar, one of the scenes to put us on track. We see that she is recovering from a hellish love story and she continues to bear the scars. It is through intense flashbacks that Maïwenn tells us that devouring and destructive passionate love story.

It seems to me that Maïwenn gives little motivation to the actors and let them improvised from time to time. The natural sweat of the film roll is exacerbated by the performance of the actors. Emmanuelle Bercot who won the award prix d’interprétation feminine cannons passes from happiness to malaise very easily which ad realism into her performance. Vincent Cassel could of been better here he added his charisma and charm into his character. Georgio does everything in excess and he is very dramatic plus, he owns a restaurant. He is toxic and of course I am going with the expression love is blind here. Here is Tony who is blind and believes all the bullshit that Tony tells her. She is intoxicated by him. Also Tony insist to start over on a good note which of course does not help.

Because Mon roi is the point of view of a woman who is lost into this relationship like I said love is blind. Of course there is humor into it with Louis Garrel who is trying to get her out and see reason. Here is a film with an obsessed parasite who breaks up with his wife after being away for a while want to renew the relationship. A terrific film from Maïwenn who directed Polisse in 2011. Well you know the old saying Love has its reasons which reason knows nothing.

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IRRÉVERSIBLE (2002)

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A film by Gaspar Noé

Cast: Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel

Irréversible is a movie so violent and cruel that most people will find it unwatchable. Is the matter of fact at the Cannes Film Festival out of 2,500 people at Cannes who saw the film 200 walked out. It is a film who starts at the end and finishes at the beginning. Basically the cruelty of the story is told backwards. Memento did the same thing and I think that there is an other film where they did the same thing if I think of it I will let you know.

Now This the story of a couple as Alex Bellucci (Monica Bellucci) which I love one of my favorite actress and Marcus Cassel (Vincent Cassel) one of my favorite actor who are in love ( They also married to each other at the time of this film was made) They make love, have fun which each other. We would see them at parties with their friends. Pierre (Albert Dupontel), who himself was once a lover of Alex. One day Alex walk in a subway tunnel and gets rape and beaten by a pimp (Jo Prestia). It is a stationary shot so the camera never cuts away. Once Marcus finds out with the help of Pierre goes to clubs, sex clubs to find the son of the bitch and kill him.

The film starts at the end which is the brutality of what happens to the pimps to the warmest part where the couple is in love. Take a look carefully at this film Alex is dress with a revealing dress and yes women should be allowed to dress the way they want it makes her look vulnerable and in danger, she is also a lover but a fierce woman who is trying to get the rapist off her by fighting him. She has survival instinct on the other hand Marcus becomes the monster tracking the rapist to get what is coming to him. Gaspar here showed the ugliness first the brutality of the story first it is going to be in you face and many people will not be able to see the entire film it will make them sick. Then it goes into the more beautiful part of the film a couple in love. So beware with this film. Some of you will like it some will hate it.

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TALE OF TALES (2015)

Tale of Tales (2015)

A film by Matteo Garrone

Cast: Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones, John C Reilly

The three inspiring tales are La Cerva Fatata (The Enchanted Doe), La Pulce (The Flea), La Vecchia Scorticata (The Flayed Old Lady), that have been freely adapted with elements of other tales by Giambattista Basile.

The film is aesthetically stunning, great  stunning decors (cliffs, caves, Châteaux …), seeing each story with a distant view of an amazing castle. It appeals to everyone’s imagination, whether collective (the skinny sorcerer dressed in  black, witches, barbaric ogre …) or intimate (the link between the twins …) while discovering incredible creatures (sea monsters that a  king hunts to remove the warm heart, the giant flea that grows before your eyes …).

Rocked by a divine music by Alexandre Desplat, the viewer discovers  a world where light and darkness is confronted by each characters in striking humanity.  Through three stories more or less moral or immoral, “Tale of Tales” addresses the question of beauty that does not last, the injustice of old age and the gifts that nature unequal to some and not to others (the ability to have a child, beauty …). It evokes symbolic power (the use of white, red and black is not inoffensive ), the emancipation of the child, the end of innocence, the power of beauty, the grip of love and the ability to give. Captivating from time to finish yes with a great ending the film offers you a beautiful ride in some one of the kind picturesque cinematography where you can enjoy with some enchanting music with visuals like Jules Verne world. A great film here by Matteo Garrone who has directed the film Gomorra.

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