by Matthew Orton
could have been better, but it is a gripping, dramatic, watchable, compelling
It is based
on the true story of a Mossad operation that took Adolph Eichmann out of
Argentina, where he had found refuge and was already engaged in developing a
community of Nazis.
is portrayed by Ben Kingsley, playing the opposite of the character that has
brought him the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role- Gandhi, the
epitome of peaceful and non –violent methods.
was the mastermind of the Final Solution and one of the most wanted of the
World War II criminals that has managed to escape and run to South America,
where he lived under a false name.
he lives with his son, Klaus, and his wife, Vera, and he is celebrated by other
fascist escapees, entertaining with them dreams of bringing again to light the
vicious fascist ideas.
In the same
region in Argentina lives Lothar Hermann, aka Peter Strauss, with Sylvia
Hermann, a Jewish girl that was raised Catholic, who becomes close to Klaus and
invites him to her house.
understands who the father of the boy is, informs the Jewish community and this
information is related to the Mossad headquarters in Israel, where it is however
considered that they need to concentrate their limited resources on the present
and not the past.
This is only
for a while and due in large part to doubts that the real Eichmann has been
found, the difficulty of getting him out if the information proves correct and
the calamity that would follow a botched attempt.
of the operation is indeed more than a reason to ponder over the plan, at times
it seems impossible to pull off, given that army airplanes would be unable to
reach that far – although they did fly all the way to Entebbe, in another
awesome Israeli operation.
need to use the services of the flag carrier, El Al, and use the celebrations
occasioned by a round figure of years since the Argentinean Independence, to elude
the authorities and take the war criminal out.
is the most important figure in the Mossad team, portrayed with brilliance by
the great Oscar Isaac, and he is in love with Hanna Elian – played by the
equally formidable Melanie Laurent – who is also part of the operation.
looks like without Hanna Elian they would not get the approval, for she is the
expert that would give the fascist the correct dose of medication to keep him
drugged while they pass the customs, without killing him.
It is to be
a difficult task, the agent does not even want to participate initially, because
she had lost a detainee, because the dose is so hard to establish and in the
awful circumstances imposed by such abductions accidents can and do happen.
The team is
given a safe house in Argentina, they have cars to which they attach diplomatic
plates when necessary, support is offered by the Jewish community living there,
albeit some doubt if their allegiance is to Israel or Argentina.
the moves of the Nazi criminal, establish the plan of abducting him when he
returns from the Mercedes plant where he works, in a place where it is dark and
then embark him on the El Al flight that would take him out of the country.
manage to get Eichmann, there are complications because the fascists quickly
realize what happened, but more importantly, El Al insists they want a signed
statement from the war criminal that shows he agrees to be on trial in Israel.
refuses to sign and even to admit that he is man they are looking for, and when
he confesses that he is the infamous architect of plan, he tries to use the
usual flimsy cover ups, he was just a clog in a machine, everyone, including
the Mossad agents, has to obey orders…
tries a new approach, giving the prisoner cigarettes, engaging in conversations
with him, in order to get him to sign the crucial document, without which the
whole mission would have failed.
tensions over this tactic, other members of the team feeling that Malkin is going
too far, one would very much like to torture the monster and get him to sign
and if not just eliminate him pure and simple.
himself has a couple of scenes in which he seems very close to killing the
brute, for he remembers his sister and her children, who were killed by the
fascists, who have murdered six million Jews in the war.
at a critical moment, the loathsome, disgusting Eichmann decides to talk about
his presence in the forest where the sister of Malkin was killed, the scene
where a multitude of innocents are lined in a trench and then shot, a young
woman holding her baby up, trying to give it to the monster, while a bullet
kills first the baby, then the mother and the Nazi official has to wipe the
brains off his clothes.
is immense, the film is notable, but there is something missing and the
insistence on the signed document seems exaggerated.
by David Levinson
It is regrettable
to see that such a talented actor as Aaron Paul has had very little chance to
prove his abilities once the superb Breaking Bad series ended.
is not that opportunity, even if it is not altogether a meritless motion
plays Bryan, the boyfriend of Cassie aka attractive, gifted – never seen before
by the under signed – Emily Ratajkowski.
They rent a
splendid villa, more like a mansion in fact, in Italy, where the American
couple arrives in a Fiat.
On the way
to this resplendent small palazzo, they stop at another beautiful house, next
has a fabulous swimming pool, a well-supplied cellar, from which a bottle of
wine is placed on the table by the owner with a card, compliments and the
invitation to call if they need anything.
There is something
wrong though, for when Cassie and Bryan engage in erotic games, embraces,
kisses, the man is moving away for a reason that we are soon to find out and
would mark their relationship.
made a mistake and been unfaithful.
it seems that Bryan has visions of his lover having sex with that other man and
he is jealous.
point, the issue of “leveling the playing field „is brought out, with the idea that
he may have to commit an infidelity.
Cassie is jogging
in the forest near the villa, when she stumbles over something that may have
been placed there intentionally – we could think that especially with
hindsight, after we learn what is happening next.
As she can
barely walk, she struggles to reach the road, where she tries to stop a passing
car, succeeding to get support from a man driving a pick-up truck.
This is Federico
aka the very good Riccardo Scamarcio, who would be able to take care of the
injured jogger, knowing well what to do, that it is not serious, for after a
short while the wound would look much worse, if something were broken.
He comes to
the mansion, offers to take the couple to the small town nearby, later on he
comes with a rabbit that he cooks so well that Cassie says any woman would melt
in his arms…
recent infidelity, Bryan is not too keen on the presence of this handsome
foreigner and his intrusion into their holiday, but he does not want to be
rude- well, until that would become necessary.
town, the two lovers have another conflict, the man walks to a bar where Federico
joins him – supposedly there by chance, but we know by now that he has a
the American to drink, then he is offered a round and very soon Bryan is inebriated
and although not enthusiastic when two young, alluring women enter the bar and
salute their Italian friend, he is pressed by the other man.
The scheme is
to get the rival out of the way and into an embarrassing, compromising
situation and then walk on to the empty field and seduce or use other means to
get to Cassie.
perverted Italian is watching monitors in a dark room, where he can see the
couple everywhere in and outside the villa, as they undress, have sex…
hangover, Bryan arrives at the mansion and the two have an explanation, they
decide to enjoy the time on holiday, especially since they know they love each
other, so she is to prepare in the room, blindfolded, while he gets a bottle of
wine from the cellar.
door of the cellar is closed with the American man within and approaching,
kissing, fondling, pushing Cassie is not her lover, but the loathsome Federico,
who takes advantage of the blindfold.
happens in thrillers, Bryan does find a way out, making the lascivious intruder
abandon his plan temporarily, but the man and woman have an argument because he
thinks this is his partner cheating again and she has just seen the film of the
threesome that was placed conveniently by the monster near her, on the bed.
their forces against the criminal when they finally see that he wants to rape
Cassie if necessary – actually it is rape already when she does not know she is
not having sex with her lover, being blindfolded – and he would not stop at
that follows is deadly, only for reasons of spoiler alert it would not be
mentioned here what happens, how many die and what the end is…only it needs to
be said that there is an interesting surprise right before the credits roll.
Requiem for a Dream, written by Hubert Selby
Jr. (based on his book) and Darren Aronofsky, directed by the latter
a Dream is one of the best motion pictures ever made!
It is also
very popular; audiences have placed it at number 81 on the Top Rated Movies
is the fact that this chef d’oeuvre has received only one Academy Award
nomination for the fantastic, if horrifying Ellen Burstyn for Best Actress in a
Leading Role, category for which she was also short listed at the Golden
Ellen Burstyn portrays Sara Goldfarb, the aged mother of Harry Goldfarb, facing
solitude, depression and from one stage on an addiction to television game
shows and then to some awful diet pills that look likely to destroy her life.
to become famous, if for a few minutes, by entering one of these shows, which
send her an invitation, trying hard to fit in her good, red dress assorted with
her gold shoes, which would impress audiences and her son.
the initial boost in wellbeing, operated by the telephone call that purports to
welcome her on the television program is followed by a very rapid descent into
agony, as the heroine embarks on a diet that would become a calamity for her.
is not only the secret for a long life, as demonstrated by the inhabitants of
the island of Okinawa, where they have record numbers of people that reach a
very advanced age, who eat only to be about 70% full, but it is also a very
good life style choice.
Only in the
case of Sara Goldfarb, this radical change is made with ghoulish consequences,
probably because of the pills that are prescribed by what seems to be a
negligent doctor – to say the least – and which start having ghastly side
of the ordeal of this protagonist and that of the other characters of the
narrative is brilliant – the film was introduced on one of our main channels by
one of our remarkable directors, Alexandru Tocilescu, and he spoke in awe at
the achievement, noting that he knows, working in this domain, how filming is done,
with crews drinking coffee, often joking about what is going on the set, but he
was still flabbergasted, taken aback by this tremendous accomplishment.
has many neighbors that cherish the fact that she is invited on a television
show, one of them is trying to do her hair, even if the resulting color is not
red, but a shade of orange, not what Madonna has.
the blue, mauve and other color pills, the refrigerator appears to move, threatening
the poor old woman, who has visions with her on stage, applauded by the public,
but also some frightening apparitions, seeing herself as a scary figure that
comes to her home to haunt…herself.
In the good
days, the responsible, decent, charming Harry aka the fabulous, formidable
Jared Leto is involved in a relationship with the stupendous, angelic Marion
played by one of the best artists of our time, the gorgeous Jennifer Connelly,
trying to start a small business.
buys a television set for his mother, as a surprise gift that he would nevertheless
later steal repeatedly from his parent; in order to pawn it and get money for
the drugs he cannot live without and appear to destroy him.
is taken down by his drug abuse and instead of opening a business with the
talented Marion, who has creative ideas that she could have used to design
beautiful clothes, takes another path, trying to become a drug dealer with his
friend Tyrone aka another fantastic actor, Marlon Wayans.
are left without money, following a murder where Tyrone is an innocent
bystander charged however with complicity to a homicide, forcing Harry to use
the money that had saved to bail him out, the drug addicts are acting like
zombies because they do not have the funds for the next shot.
a Dream highlights what happens to addicts, for instead of being extremely
happy together, grateful for having found love, such beautiful, talented,
charming partners, Harry and Marion agree that she has to have sex with a much
older, disgusting man for money.
not be an isolated event, for she does it again, with Big Tim played by yet
another great actor, Keith David, and when this dealer mentions a Sunday party,
after initially refusing, the lost woman attends it, engaging in offensive,
extreme sex scenes that represent the depths where cocaine use can take people.
her son and his girlfriend are followed in parallel, the older woman has a
breakdown when she decides to take the subway to the office of the company that
had invited her to the game show and has not followed suit.
She is in
an awful state and when she reaches the office, the staff talk to her for a
while, listen to her plight, the plea to walk on the set of the show at last,
for she would give away the prizes, but then they call the police.
is taken to the hospital, where they rate her case as a psychiatric one, she is
tied to the bed, fed by male nurses, but when she does not comply, and she is forced
fed with a tube pushed into her mouth.
many gruesome scenes, which may belong in a horror movie, with a noble,
teaching purpose, for someone who has seen this masterpiece would surely think
more than twice before abusing drugs.
with God by Ken Aguado
with God is a very interesting motion picture that has been – so far – ignored by
the critics and the public.
plays a very good God that recalls for brief moments the performance of Morgan
Freeman in Bruce Almighty.
was a comedy, the Interview with God is a more serious affair, wherein the
deity agrees to an interview, after the journalist Paul Asher aka the talented
Brenton Thwaites prays.
that he thought the medium of an interview is best suited for a reporter, but
he has, like always, a more complex plan in mind.
This drama invites
the audience to think of major themes, indeed, there is little if anything more
important than the concept of God, what makes bad things happen to good people
and other pressing, vital questions.
The life of
the journalist is at a nadir, he is facing a crisis in his marriage that affects
everything else, to the point where he may collapse and engage in what is perhaps
the only thing that god would not forgive.
three sessions, in which are organized in an interesting way, the dialogue and
the premise is smart, the reporter is not immediately buying the story that he is
talking to the Almighty.
has some tests, including a difficult operation, multiplying 12,347 with 34,285
or something of the kind, even if he states later that this is the kind of
thing some humans can do.
conversation becomes about the young journalist, he becomes angry, even
furious, for he complains that this is supposed to be an interview where he
gets answers and it is not about him.
the Omniscient One has an idea- actually, He is supposed to know everything –
about the turmoil, the calamity that might be waiting to happen and could
destroy the reporter.
the man that he has little time.
interviewer feels this is a threat and does not see that this is actually God
trying to help him, make him understand that he is at a crossroads and free
will might take him to an abyss.
he could see the danger and avoid the…void.
will look at this outré motion picture with a comprehending or accusing
perspective, depending on their religiosity, orthodoxism, liberal or atheistic
genius, classic of psychology, and author of the chef d’oeuvre The Six Pillars
of Self- Esteem has a very negative opinion about religion.
superb work The Psychological Effects of Religion, the professor warns about
the dramatic consequences that beliefs have, from the threatening, permanent
presence of a Supreme Being, ready to punish you for things you did as a child,
making you suffer for masturbating – for instance – many years back.
Interview with God is one of the rare gems, a thought provoking feature that
does not indoctrinate, advances challenging topics, without arrogance, with respect
and interesting message.
with Herve, written and directed by Sacha Gervasi
the title of this biographical drama, one might think of My Dinner with Andre –
that sounds pretty close to Herve, doesn’t it? – only the meal with Andre is in
a different category and directed by a classic, Louis Malle.
that, it must be stated that the encounter with, eventful evening spent in the
company of Herve Villechaize, portrayed by the even more famous, talented Peter
Dinklage is rewarding.
major player in this drama is Danny Tate aka Jamie Dornan, a journalist who has
serious personal problems, faces a termination at his office and is supposed to
interview Gore Vidal.
to be an alcoholic that is counting the days since he has stopped drinking and
when he tells Herve that he has had thirty two days without a drop, the latter is
correct in assessing there is still a problem if the days are so carefully
when he arrives at the hotel where he stays before supposedly meeting Gore
Vidal, he calls the reception to ask for the alcohol in the room’s minibar to
be completely removed – obviously fearing he would not fall into temptation again.
hotel does not do that, a day later, the journalist carries the mini bottles
outside the door and throws them there, remembering what happened one night,
when he got so drunk that he took a woman home, started having sex with her and
his wife came in, with their baby in her arms.
psychology would argue that it is actually before that that things had started
to fall apart, an affair is a consequence, symptom of a deteriorating, potentially
terminally ill relationship and not the cause as is generally thought- his wife
has wanted to separate.
meets with Herve Villechaize, a once celebrated actor that has acted in The Man
with the Golden Gun with Roger Moore and became ever more famous after starring
as Tattoo in the series Fantasy Island.
this encounter he is twenty minutes late at his appointment with Gore Vidal, the
journalist faces a scene, the acclaimed writer is not just furious, but
determined to leave without any interview.
This is a
calamity for the reporter, his job is on the line and therefore he tries to
arrange for an extension, another return ticket and hopes he would still be
able to return with his assignment completed.
Herve Villechaize offers a tremendous opportunity, the chance to have the last
interview of the former star, who starts telling the story of his life, how his
parents were normal people, he was born in Paris, France and as a child the
doctors have discovered that he suffers from a rare disease and hence he would
not be able to grow.
challenged young man discovers soon that he is a talented artist, he paints and
loves women, who in turn are frequently very attracted to him, in his future
life as a celebrity he would become a womanizer, involved in multiple affairs.
determined, resilient and gifted young man decides he wants to be an actor and
the key to success is to get his foot in the door of the most accomplished agent,
Marty Rothstein aka David Strathairn, who receives a very outré visit, from a
small man with a knife that scares the secretary.
showy entrance, a rather frightening appearance with a weapon in his hand,
Herve puts up an act, declaims some lines, comes to the drawer where the agent
keeps the pistol he was ready to use and convinces this man to represent him.
success of the James bond movie, which was however not savored by his mother,
who thought the part of the son to be demeaning and offensive, there is another
Launchpad for the intrepid French artist, represented by the series Fantasy
This is where
he would play the role of Tattoo, against the leading man of the show, Ricardo
Montalban aka Andy Garcia, a presence for which he would receive a great sum of
money, $ 35,000 per week, which could be close to twice that much in today’s
The two performers
would have an uneasy relationship, some conflicts, because in the
interpretation of Herve Montalban was jealous, hated the fact that he had
affairs with so many beautiful women and his success in general.
has a different perspective, emphasizing that Ricardo Montalban was actually helpful,
warning his co-star when he was about to walk off the set after a bad marriage
breakup that this would have serious, grave consequences.
with Herve is very good, even if given the choice; My Dinner with Andre would
be a better, more instructive, sophisticated, intelligent, thought provoking option.
Naked, based on the novel by Nick Hornby
Naked is an interesting, rewarding proposition, if not the best film of the
year, in the line for multiple Academy Awards.
portrays Annie Platt and she seems to be the most sensible, decent, attractive of
the three major characters that dominate the narrative of this feature.
is Duncan Thomson aka the amusing, charming, gifted Chris O’Dowd, a man who is obsessed
with the music, the life and the gossip surrounding Tucker Crowe aka the
established Ethan Hawke.
used to be a rock star – for some reason, he makes yours truly think of the
Mick Jagger interview inserted at the start of the Walk Like Jagger hit, where
he states at the debut of his career that he would probably go on for a short
while, a year, maybe a few and we see he is singing past the age of seventy…
singer has retired, but there is a cult following, with people continuing to
obsess about him and his music, his whereabouts, innuendo that has him as the
father of a child with a member of the Swedish Royal family and in many other
relationships and circumstances.
a correspondence with the retired celebrity and as that intimacy develops into
an interesting closeness, Tucker, who is about to visit his daughter, who is going
to have a baby, suggests an encounter.
The idea of
becoming a grandfather is at first preposterous, for the former star thinks he is
not that old, but when “he does the math” he sees that it is possible and he
would have a larger family.
instead of having a decent, romantic encounter with his transatlantic
correspondent, the retired rock star ends up in a hospital, following a
possible heart attack.
that take place in the intensive care room are amusing, for many people come to
see the connected musician, who has been in numerous relationships – if not
with anybody from the Swedish Royal Family.
It is difficult
for many, if not most, of those present to keep track of whose mother is this
and that child or relative.
and Tucker get closer to each other, Duncan has an affair and confesses to
having slept with another woman, taking her to the coast, where they
accidentally encounter the American and his British friend.
is in store, for Duncan, who is such an expert on the rock musician, talking
online with other fans, intimate with all the details of the star, encounters
the godhead on the beach, with his former lover.
does not recognize his Allah, Jesus, and Zeus!
that, when Annie introduces the American, Duncan rejects the idea and he acts
as if he was told he was meeting God and he needs to reply that indeed, he is also
an angel or the Messiah…
the humor is continuous, for the supposed expert comes to see if there is a
possibility that his hero, role model, godsend is not actually near him and so accessible…
tucker Crowe to show him the passport proving he is the real musician and then
he is invited for dinner.
meal, the rock singer and his disciple argue over the quality of his music, for
if the singer is modest and thinks his production was not so worthy, the fan is
of the opposite opinion.
his life and he loves it no matter what the musician thinks!
s much and then departs from the table.
Naked is a very good, refreshing comedy drama, not pretentious, complicated,
but inspiring nevertheless.
1:54, written and directed by Yan England
1:54 is a
provocative, thoughtful, remarkable drama that explores some of the issues
faced by teenagers who are gay and as a result, they have to suffer the
bullying, insults and aggression of colleagues.
It is true
that other categories of teenagers – perhaps most? – have to cope with
adversity and trauma, as they are rejected by one or another of their
colleagues, or are excluded from one Facebook group or another.
Tim is a
talented boy of sixteen going on seventeen, who has lost his mother and after
her death his world is changing, he seems to be somewhat confused regarding his
it might be better said that he probably understands that he is gay, only given
the pressure of the peers, the ferociousness of some of the colleagues who are
vicious and always ready to torment, he does not admit to it, at least not
In fact, at
different stages he denies his homosexuality, when his friend Francis aka
Robert Naylor admits he is gay, Tim acts as if he is stupefied and he says that
he had no idea.
he kisses a girl, Jennifer aka Sophie Nelisse and she would be upset with him,
for she has realized and reproached him that this embrace was meant to disguise
the fact that he is a homosexual.
Francis spend a lot of time together, they are both remarkable in chemistry
class, where they are encouraged by the teacher and their experiences attract
other pupils who come to watch the minor explosions and the special effects
created by the two virtuoso.
Francis is very
sensitive and overwhelmed by the bullying, repeated attacks and vicious pranks
that homophobes perpetrate, making him suffer in all manner of humiliating
point, Tim hears a commotion in school and he has a feeling that something is very
wrong, and as he approaches the place where people are gathered, he can hear
He has been
locked in his locker for some time and when he is finally released, he sees his
best friend in the group that had been so mean to him and seems to think he
could have done something to do with it, if not willingly, intentionally, at
least he might have been a co-conspirator.
teacher arrives, he is asking around and stops at the hero, who is unwilling
though to incriminate anyone, he would not say who is behind this ordeal and
then adds that he is not a snitch.
fragile state of mind, the frequent attacks and humiliations, the bullying, the
constant torment and probably the lack of support from his best friend make
Francis unable to cope with trauma anymore.
suicide by jumping from a high point
Tim is devastated
and admits to the blame, he tells his teacher that he was not there to offer
support when his friend needed it and he would be haunted by dreams in which
the ghost of the departed shows up.
He has an
idea that he could act in such a way as to pay homage to the memory of the dead
comrade, and if he had refused to participate in running for competitions before
the tragedy, he is willing to use his skills now.
beaten the record for the fastest running student and seems to be on his way to
win more, making the previous winner angry and determined to stop him at all
costs, including nefarious means.
won the running contest one year before, he is one of the villains, the thugs
responsible for the death of Francis, and who is now concentrating his
malicious attacks on his competitor.
Tim engages in same sex with another teenager who performs felatio on the hero,
an act that is alas recorded on camera by the loathsome Jeff, who would then
use it as blackmail:
“You get out of the running competition, or
else the video will be available for everyone to see”
a breakdown and it makes Tim willing to get to the end, to extract revenge on
all, for the sufferings, torments inflicted on him and his dead friend, using
his knowledge of chemistry to cause a calamity.
of spoiler alert – even if it is very unlikely that people read this and
furthermore, they might take the trouble to look for this on Netflix – we had
it on Cinemax here, which comes with the HBO package – I will not say what
by James Ellroy and others
reminds one of scenes from Payback with Mel Gibson, Unforgiven with ( and
directed by) Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman, Death Wish and
other much better motion pictures.
if we can see Keanu Reeves (a very talented actor that seems to have renounced
the glamour of Hollywood and the life of a celebrity, to live as a normal human
being in new York), the Academy Award winner and phenomenal artist Forest
Whitaker and last, but in no way the least the great Hugh Laurie, Cedric the
Entertainer and Chris Evans, this feature is a forgettable experience.
some interesting angles from which the film was shot, plenty of action to keep
a viewer watching, surprises in the plot, but the final product does not reach
the level of the aforementioned dramas and others like them.
plays detective Tom Ludlow, a rather complicated main character, with fabulous achievements
under his belt, but also the man who drinks while driving and shoots villains
in revenge, obviously extra judicially.
He faces an
investigation regarding a shootout in which criminals are killed by him,
following a vicious interaction, a transaction in which the undercover
detective was supposed to provide weapons, including machine guns to these
him up, affronted by Ludlow’s use of Konichiwa, which is more like an insult,
given the fact that the mobsters are Korean and Konichiwa is Japanese and the
two peoples share a history in which they have been fighting each other, Japan
having occupied Korea, tormenting the population and more.
this day, they have unresolved issues and animosity is often at a peak, because
of the issue of the “comfort women”, unfortunate women who have been taken in a
sort of slavery and then terribly exploited as sex slaves.
There is also
the problem of disputed territory, islands that both countries claim as their
officer is hit repeatedly and beaten by the Asian gangsters, who send him to
the ground and then shout Konichiwa to him.
pay dearly for this and their evidently long history of violence, terror and
murders, for they will die soon, eliminated by an undercover officer who should
obey the law, but instead takes it into his own hands.
In his defense
though, two young girls are liberated because of the brutal action of Tom Ludlow
and this makes him a sort of a hero.
Washington is a critic and apparently a serious adversary for the flawed hero
and when the former happens to arrive at a grocery store, Tom Ludlow is apparently
ready for a new confrontation.
while Terrence Washington is already inside the shop, a car with two men is driving
by and the two individuals, wearing scarfs that cover most of their faces, enter
the same store.
understands this is a dangerous, potentially tragic situation and tries to warn
his foe, who thinks this is just another clash between them and while they
argue, the two killers come close and shoot Terrence Washington multiple times,
using machine guns.
Ludlow is recovering in the hospital where his girlfriend works, an unknown man
asks him if he is not the famous cop who had freed the two girls, acting as if
he is not sure and does not know the story except from the news…
While he is
putting on this performance, a police detective comes close and calls him
captain, ending the pretense and making Ludlow and the audience understands
that this was a trick and a potential trap.
Biggs aka Hugh Laurie is investigating the homicide case and he has been at
odds for a long time with Captain Jack Wander aka Forest Whitaker and his team
that is suspected of criminal acts.
There are elements
that will keep a viewer interested in finding out who the good hombres are and
where the corruption lies, but it is not a very satisfying motion picture.
remarkable group of actors would have benefited from a different director, who
could have made this film a more rewarding feature.
Thunder Road, starring, written and directed by
is a very accomplished comedy – drama that has won five festival prizes, has
been rated by the critics with an impressive average of 83 out of 100, while
the public has also appreciated the feature with 7.8 out of 10 markings.
is remarkable as the writer- director of the motion picture and the actor who
portrays the hero of the plot, Officer Jim Arnaud, a pleasant, affable,
somewhat outré character that is having a breakdown when faced with trauma.
opening scene, the hero is acting weirdly at his mother’s funeral, although he
tries to point out later, when images of his act at this interment are shown to
the judge, that everyone is overwhelmed in such circumstances.
Rosalind Arnaud wants a divorce, she sends the papers at the police station
where her husband works, but he seems unable to figure out their meaning and
has to call her to find that she also wants full custody of their daughter,
Jim Arnaud has
friend, Officer Nate Lewis, but he will argue with this comrade too, when he
suspects he has delivered testimony, or evidence against him, an impression
that is wrong and the protagonist would regret his behavior.
has warned the hero that he would be suspended and eventually lose his job and
when things come to a breaking point, the superior officer asks for the badge,
the gun and everything else.
after Jim Arnaud confronts his friend Nate Lewis, becomes violent, insulting
and aggressive, he does not back up when other officers come out of the precinct
and he reaches a nadir when he takes out his pistol.
captain is stating that this is the ned and he has lost his job, requesting the
return of police property, the hero starts getting his clothes off, and he ends
up in his underwear, for in the clash with his friend, the pants have been
affected and we now see that what was under them got destroyed too.
in spite of his tendency to cope badly with adversity and trauma, Jim Arnaud
remains likeable and we feel compassion for him, even when he appears to go
over the top and exaggerate.
trying to fight the demand of his wife that she gets full custody of the child,
the officer is again on the wrong path, even if he starts with apparent
contained, balanced demeanor.
that he thinks his soon to be ex-wife has taken good care of their daughter, Crystal,
they seem to agree on the manner of education she must have, broadly speaking
and he does not turn against her.
after he speaks in his defense, trying to win rights over his child, making the
point that he has been a good officer, has not had negative remarks in his
experience working for the police, things go wrong.
The judge is
trying to see if he has been aggressive and after Jim Arnaud denies it, the judge
is presented with a laptop containing an incriminating recording from the
funeral, which the police officer tries to explain.
situation becomes ever more serious, for in trying to explain his misbehavior, the
aggrieved man says something like:
when you will lose somebody close, you will feel and act the same way…
Is that a
threat? Asks the upset judge
Oh, no! I did
not mean that! Let’s get back, let me explain…”
it is rather late for backtracking and the judge insists that Jim Arnaud needs
to return to his counselor, which the tormented parent does not seem to agree
with, making the intervention of a bailiff appear imminent.
There is a
further calamity and the protagonist is stopped on the road by a police
officer, he gets out of the car, forgets the key inside and is left locked out
of his Ford pickup – which is what yours truly drives as well -.
police officer is unable to tell the ex – man of the law what the emergency is,
but when he mentions the address, Jim Arnaud understands it is the address of
his now ex-wife and breaks the window of the car to get in.
when he arrives at the scene, a tragedy has already taken place and in another strange,
bizarre and somewhat darkly humorous scene, the hero slaps the dead body he
finds on the couch – for spoiler alert reasons, who the dead person is will
remain a mystery here.
is an amusing, intriguing, different motion picture that is worth watching.
in Goldmember, starring and written by Mike Meyers and two others
A note on
this comedy could be ended in one sentence:
It is not
worth it, although for some reasons critics gave it an average rating of 62 out
of 100 and the film has won five prizes, being nominated for another twenty-two.
We could look
at the great cast in two ways:
could regret seeing Michael Caine, Michael York, and Robert Wagner in such a
silly, preposterous feature, which also brings to the fore Beyoncé and for the
promising opening scenes:
Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg, Danny DeVito, Quincy Jones, John Travolta and a
few other stars.
opening scenes make the public raise its expectations to limits that are then disappointed.
is talking to Steven Spielberg in a manner that could be construed as funny,
telling the classic, titan of cinema what to do when directing a film based on
the life of the celebrated spy.
on a personal note, it is downhill from there.
So much so
that it does not even seem worth mentioning some of the bizarre jokes and supposedly
mirthful scenes – one has Austin Powers and Mini Me involved in a game of
shadows, where a witness looks and imagines he sees all sorts of outré actions.
It is a
waste of the talent of those numerous, talented actors involved, albeit most of
them only make a cameo appearance.
Margaret, written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan8 out of 10Even if Margaret is not such a splendid work as the most recent fabulous, outstanding Manchester by the Sea, for which the author has won The Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, it is still remarkable.Indeed, there are some themes that the two motion pictures have in common - the importance of the truth, coping with adversity and trauma, the problem of guilt and retribution.Anna Paquin is one of the youngest winners of an Academy Award - if not the youngest? - for her supporting role in Jane Campion's The Piano, a wondrous feature in which she was only eleven, actually I think she was ten years old.She has the leading role in Margaret, where she is Lisa Cohen, a seventeen year old high school student.Lisa lives with her mother, but she raises the possibility of moving with her divorced father, for one year.When she mentions this prospect, her mother is infuriated and makes a scene.As she wants to get a cowboy hat, the heroine sees a bus driver wearing an interesting one and tries to find where has he bought it from.The problem is that the bus is moving, the discussion takes place in awkward, improper circumstances.Maretti is the name of the driver portrayed by Mark Ruffalo.This young man is looking at the teenager, while the lights turn to red and a pedestrian walks in front of the moving bus.She is killed and in the first stage of the investigation, Lisa states that it was an accident and the color was green for the bus.Maretti has the same deposition and the case is soon closed.At one point, one of the detectives mentions the fact that without an intent to kill, it is next to impossible to prosecute and condemn the driver, if when the crucial witness has changed the initial statement.Which she does, following a process of becoming aware of the moral aspect, the implications of having basically lied in the first instance.This change of heart made sense for this viewer, as opposed to so many of those involved, especially Maretti.The latter is flabbergasted to see the teenager walk into his apartment, where she tells him and his wife that she wants to have a word.In private...Lisa Cohen explains that she will change her statement, but wants to talk to him first and that he knows very well that the color was green.Even more dramatic, incriminating and terrible, he was not watching the road!She tries to remind him the way they looked at each other, as she was looking for the hat and other such details.The driver is appalled, aghast and infuriated.What will get with all this?How will my family survive?There is nothing we can do for her, she is not coming back!Words to this effect and more, after which he becomes rather aggressive, asking for her phone number and appearing to be ready to sue her.Meanwhile, the police detectives in charge are not pleased with her change of heart at first, then annoyed and outright angry when she talks to a superior officer to complain about the manner in which the investigation had been conducted and more.And there are many sidelines, adjacent characters that have their own experiences, dramas, personages played by great artists like:Matt Damon aka a high school teacher, Jean Reno as the man who takes Lisa' s mother out to see Turandot and on other occasions, the writer- director himself portrays the divorced father.Matthew Broderick in the role of another teacher, John, has some excellent moments.In class, there are discussions over what Shakespeare has meant or perhaps he hasn't, in one of his quotes which mentions the gods and their attitudes towards human beings that they treat or regard as flies.While a student has very insightful, if unusual perspective on the matter, the teacher becomes abrasive, rigid, and ultimately obnoxious and plain wrong.There are many gems, brilliant scenes that make this film memorable and excellent, if perhaps a little too long at two hours and thirty minutes.Finally, there is the issue of the guilt of Lisa Cohen, who was so determined to make Maretti pay - and she is right to seek justice- but she shares in the blame, for she is the one who kept distracting the culpable drive.Yes, she is a teenager and a driver has a tremendous responsibility, first and foremost he has to watch the road and the colors of the traffic lights, no matter what others do around him!Thought provoking, intriguing and challenging!
The Etruscan Smile, based on the novel by Jose Luis Sampedro7 out of 10The jury of The Boston Film Festival considered The Etruscan Smile so accomplished that they gave it two prizes, including the one for Best Cast.Yours truly must have seen a different motion picture.For although The Etruscan Smile definitely has something to offer, its quality is not overwhelming.Audiences could indeed feel challenged to meditate on the value of life, the brevity of the time we have on earth, the need to savor every moment and Carpe Diem.I could refer to Dostoyevsky and his final three minutes, before the execution squad.He was pardoned at the last moment and he writes about the feelings of the men condemned to death in his masterpieces.The experience of the hero of this feature is less compelling, although Rory MacNeil aka Brian Cox is also facing a death sentence.The protagonist has terminal cancer and travels from the Hebridean island to San Francisco to reunite with his son.In spite of the impulse to feel compassion for the very sick man, his character makes it hard, nay, impossible to like him for more than a few moments and this affects the appreciation of the film, which becomes a rather unpleasant proposal.First of all, the dying man has a competition with another inhabitant of the island:Let us see who dies first!They have a history of revenge and viciousness, the hero accusing the other of having killed the dog of his son.He has not buried the corpse, instead, after it became rotten, it took it to the door of the alleged criminal.In San Francisco, he celebrates the death of his rival and his victory, which resides in having a few more weeks to live.Some may find this alluring, perhaps funny in a morbid way, but I just felt like watching something else.This peculiar character has a penchant, no, an obsession for very bizarre things...From blood sausage - he asks at the grocery for the bloodiest one - to swimming naked in public and therefore getting the police to take him home with a warning.The Hebridean insults the doctor, takes his grandson out and nearly kills him, tells Claudia aka Patricia Arquette that he never apologized to any woman...Are we really supposed to like this man?Well, I guess we are, for otherwise why on earth would we watch to see him expire?His son is not pleasant either and the actor playing him struggles.The daughter in law, I mean the actress has been great in American Beauty, but there is not much to admire in her performance here.Frankly, there are more flaws to be listed, but what would be the point?Let us just conclude that in my opinion, this film is to be avoided.