We'll tackle any film foreign or otherwise, paying exclusive attention to Arthouse, Indie & Cult features. Selected up to the minute News will also be given prominence.


July 25, 2011

A Prophet





Director - Jacques Audiard

Genre - Drama/Crime


Set in France, where prisoners are so free they can dress in whatever fashion they please, have TVs, fridge in their cells and oh...get this, they can take leave days and go out into society. This notion of a 'prison' is a culture shock to us! Does this really happen in real life? Anyway, the story is of a young Arab man who starts out kind of docile in an environment where the Middle Eastern brothers and Corsicans are deadly rivals. Soon, he is asked (well, more like forced really) by the Corsicans to join them and be their gang leader's lap dog, doing his bidding and even making him coffee. A lot of stock, stereotypical scenes involving gangsters with hard ons for indiscriminate infliction of pain ensue and our lamb soon becomes a wolf, taking his time, planning his move to get a leg up on his racist, mean as nails errant master. Overlong and tiresome to watch, we felt like we were serving a sentence in prison too alongside the characters. Although, we must add that the prison featured here looks really comfortable!

2 STARS!

All about A Prophet

July 15, 2011

Contempt








Director - Jean-Luc Godard

Genre - Drama


The title of this picture could be in reference to what Godard feels towards conventional, mass-produced cinema. It could be the feeling of Bardot's character towards her husband (Michel Piccoli) and vice versa. This is something that is meant to be experienced atmospherically and aesthetically, like a painting coming to life, talking to you. All through the film, we see Bardot in various stages of undress. Her sensuality is undeniable, exquisite. You can feel that Godard the director is obsessed with her just as Jack Palance (playing a contemptible producer) and her husband are. She is unattainable, a tease and a goddess all in one. Just like the perfection in art which all artists strive to create, we will never possess her. We feel Godard's love of women drives him to make movies and this is one of his many odes to Eve.

5 STARS!

All about Contempt

July 8, 2011

Brothers








Director - Jim Sheridan

Genre - Drama/Thriller/War


As a character study on the effects of war towards soldiers, this is quite an eye-opener. Expected to leave everything at the drop of a hat, a soldier's life is treated as belonging to the country and not his own. What we fail to acknowledge though is that they have family too. There are fathers, husbands, wives and mothers in the army. Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal play siblings who are as different as night and day. Maguire is the disciplined marine who is also a responsible father and husband. Gyllenhaal stars as the bad seed who can never do anything right and has just been released from prison. However, after a terrible mistake and setback occurred to Maguire, everything changes. Maguire carried himself like a seasoned pro here, embodying the mental hurt inflicted on him in war with such intensity it actually pained us as well to look at him. Natalie Portman who starred as his wife and Gyllenhaal provided the necessary back and forth but Maguire's role was the heart of the story.

3.5 STARS!

All about Brothers

July 1, 2011

The Town








Director - Ben Affleck

Genre - Crime/Drama/Thriller


If this is Ben Affleck's way of saying his 'Gone Baby Gone' wasn't just a fluke, he has proven his point without a doubt. What is worth mentioning here is that Affleck's skills and swagger as a director feels as if he has been doing it for as long as Clint Eastwood. And this is only Affleck's second picture! By playing the lead in this story about a gang of bank robbers who find their source of livelihood precariously compromised when their leader (Ben Affleck) makes a decision of the heart which affects everyone, Affleck has also given himself a golden opportunity to shine as an actor. While he didn't exactly make the cut here as a formidable actor, it is quite adequate given that this is a heist film, not heavy drama. Jeremy Renner is menacing as one of the robbers though and is half of the anchor alongside an always believable hall in grounding the film. We noticed Affleck has a knack for making action scenes look realistic and fresh. This is something that we appreciate very much as sometimes action scenes are shot with so much disregard for ingenuity we find it hard to watch on.

4 STARS!

All about The Town