Friday, January 5, 2018

There is some films that honestly you have to watch for pure entertainment. Specially if you just dig deeper into the plot, the characters and what the film has to offer. Film like that needs to be available for everyone and as a film fan you need to watch them and understand why are made.

Films like The Last Action Hero, Demolition Man, Wild Wild West, The Road House, The Last Boy Scout, Con Air, Speed 2 and Over the Top are part of this list.

Patrick Hughes director of the Expendables 3 put together two of the biggest actors in this action comedy “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” a story of a failed private bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) who dated an Interpol agent Amelia Roussel (Élodie Yung ). Amelia is responsible of transporting one of the most notorious hitman in the world Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) the only person who can testify against Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) a ruthless dictator from Belarus.

Amelia convoy with Kincaid is attacked by a group of assassins ordered Dukhovich She contact ex boyfriend Bryce in order to help to protect Kincaid and bring hi safely to The Hague.

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is pure entertainment, none stop action movie, but also forgettable film meant to be watch on your phone, IPad, plane or in a lazy afternoon.

In 1982 a film directed by Ridley Scott, revolutionized filmmaking, set the path of a clear vision of the future, but also redefine sci-fi. Blade Runner is the story of Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) a cop responsible of eliminate a breed of human like androids, replicants Nexus 6 in a Los Angeles in 2021.

Now 25 years have past and Ridley Scott this time as a executive producer brings with the help of top notch filmmakers the continuation of Deckard story still in Los Angeles. Blade Runner 2049 directed by Denise Villeneuve (Sciario, Arrival) This time is a very polluted and dense atmosphere in Los Angeles, life seems to be quitter not because the suburban life, but because of the decay, the city itself looks saturated buy the colors, holograms, advertising and the population. It’s kind of like the original version of Blade Runner but on steroids, more damaged and dangerous. Detective K (Ryan Goslin) is the last breed of Replicant hunters, now chasing Nexus 8. He discovered remains of a body which guide him to a big revelation that none wants to unveil, even K superior Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright) force him to hide.

K is always in company of Joi (Ana de Armas) a holographic character who is been sold in major stores around the city as a response to lonely people, is a wife, a courtesan, a girlfriend… On the other hand Tyrel Corporation no longer exist, it was absorbed by Wallace Corporation, CEO Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) is a mash up of big Silicon Valley and a religious leader who wants desperately to expand replicants and start a interstellar colonization. Officer K will visit Wallace Corporations with traces in order to find the identity of this person, Wallace assistant Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) follows him to discover the truth.

Blade Runner 2049 to me could be a new sci-fi instant classic, with audiences and critics divided, in a outstanding 163 minutes, the film presents a stunning visual future, brought to you but one of the most legendaries cinematographers Roger Deakins. The story respect and is not intended to manipulate of disrespect the original film, but continue the story of Deckard and the intricate connections from relicants who still trying to scape from elimination. New mysteries showing sign possible reproduction of this humanoids, but also how society is wiping humans replacing them with fictitious devices. Los Angeles is beautiful, stunning and cruel, brightness is seen by powerful lights and flat cloudy days.

Villeneuve shaped a new foundation to the story Scott brought in 1982, but also a blue print of sci-fi films to come. Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch pay tribute to Vangelis with a wonderful score.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

At the beginning of 2017, most filmmakers, fans and journalisat, forecasted a new of filmmaking for the Trump era. Most of this movies with heavy political content, social problems, as well racial conflicts between black and white will be heading to our theaters, from blockbusters to independent movies. One of the most well received films is “Beatriz at Dinner” directed by the John Cassavettes at the Independent Spirit Awards for his movie Chuck & Buck Miguel Arteta

Beatriz (Salma Hayek) is a massage therapist and holistic healer living in Los Angeles. Kathy (Connie Britton) one of Beatriz clients, is a wealthy woman who is hosting a dinner party. During this massage session, Beatriz tells Kathy the horrible story of how one her neighbors killed one of her goats leaving her emotional devastated. When Beatriz is about to depart, she realized her car broke, unable to find someone who help her out, Kathy invite her to join the dinner after convinced her husband Grant (David Warshofsky) who is inviting people with great business connections to him.

During the dinner Kathy introduce to Shannon (Chloë Sevigny) Alex (Jay Duplass) Doug Strutt (John Lithgow) and Jeana (Amy Landecker) wealthy people, ruthless, pretentious, insensitive and most of all non sense of respect for people of social class below them. Kathy explain to the guest that Beatriz it’s been very important to her, because she helped her daughter during all her cancer treatment, and that’s how she met her, everyone seems to be unimpressed about it, probably for there lack of emotional connection and cause to other people.

Now sitting at dinner Beatriz engage in conversations with all the guest, talking about her work and what she thinks about what these people do. She gets deeply interested in Strutt, who seems to be a mogul of the real state business, who build a very controversial hotel in Mexico promising a lot of jobs and end up destroying the town. Strutt approach to her with sarcasm like if she entered to US legally, or the kind of work she does is meaningful to the society.

Director Miguel Arteta and screewriter Mike White presents a story with attitude. Beatriz is unapologetic person who perhaps in the past was young protestor and college student who cares so much about the environment and came to the US with a lot of work, basing her talents in community service as well abilities to provide spiritual help. On the other hand her client Kathy and husband Grant represents wealthy liberal people who wants present them selves as people with heart, but when money comes, you just care about yourself. The most interesting and powerful character is Strutt and Donald Trumpesque guy with all the money in the world, cynical, despise everyone below his social level and enjoy destroying the environment, At the final showdown will be a treat of a scene where Beatriz and Strutt will met, giving the audience a representation of real hate to the metaphor of a man who is making so much harm.
This film is powerful and is a new breed of filmmaking, but is not a movie for everyone.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Director Guy Ritchie responsible of heavy esthetic action films like Lock Stock Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and the Sherlock Holmes got the complicated and risky task of making another famous characters from history of becoming an action hero.

King Arthur it’s been represented in so many wonderful films, like Excalibur, Lancelot of the lake, Camelot, The Sword in the Stone and Monty Python “The Holy Grail” but the idea of this film is kind of similar to the disastrous attempt from Ridley Scott of making Moses an character to the level of Indiana Jones, Neo or John Maclane. in his movie Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Trying to explain King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is very complicated, because when you finish watching this movie, you still trying to understand what was the purpose of this film.

Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) father of Arthur ( Charlie Hunnam) king of Britons is murdered and his wife in a coup by his brother Vortigem (Jude Law) the only survivor baby Arthur is rescued by prostitutes until he becomes a grown men who survive on the streets as a fighter.

The story here seems to be very simple, but them becomes complicated filled with visual effects, video games style and filled with Guy Ritchie techniques and gimmicks, that works for his previous films, but then become an ornament or and obstacle in this film. The myth or magic of Camelot is long gone here. No story just smoke and mirrors.

I can only save the interesting and unusual original score by Daniel Pemberton.

Friday, November 24, 2017

In 2014 Marvel brought to the movie screens a film that redefine the super heroes genre. Guardians of the Galaxy. James Gunn director of this film and with experience in screenwriting, as well other roles had the difficult task to make this movie a success. it pays off. I have to confess for me as a non comic fan, enjoyed the film and also caught my attention by making a film, that I consider musical. The soundtrack is a living organism and needs to coexist in the world of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Now in 2017 James Gunn, attemp to continue the story of Peter Quill ( Chris Pratt) Gamora (Zoe Saldana) Drax ( Dave Bautista) Baby Groot ( Vin Diesel) and Rocket ( Bradley Cooper) The story continues the story of the Guardians fulfilling their role as the mercenaries who will do what ever to save the galaxy, but of course with a price. During the course of this new adventures Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) leader of the Sovereign people have a plan to capture all the Guardians after a failed plan to protect some important device for Ayesha.

Ego (Kurt Russell) shows up as the father of Quill who is just in disguise to eliminate Guardians intrusion.

To me the whole idea of bring back this characters for the sake of making a sequel was nonsense. The story is not as articulated as the original and is filled with gratuitous jokes by Drax and Baby Groot, annoying me to the point of wanted to walk away from this movie. Kurt Russell and Elizabeth Debicki are such a talented actors with weak characters that could be good. I feel that this sequel was unnecessary, just like another Alien film or perhaps continue the story of Batman.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Back in 1993 a film starring Daniel Day Lewis and Pete Postletrhwaite and Emma Thompson. Impress the critics and audiences by the powerful portrait of Gerry Conlon one of the four falsely convicted in the bombing of a Belfast pub. Later in 2005 a film about the Rwanda genocide in 1994 starring Don Cheadle. Both films cowritten by Terry George and the last one directed by George, open the doors to a successful career.

With great reputation in his back he directed Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon. “The Promise” is the story of a love triangle during the conflicted years of war between Armenia and Turkey. Mikael (Issac) a student of medical school in Constantinople, he becomes friend of high level Turkish official Emre, who introduce him to Ana (Le Bon) who is in a relationship with Associate Press reporter Chris Meyers (Bale).
Mikael falls in love with Ana at the same time World War I started, suddenly this love triangle becomes more complex when Mikael is sent to prison in a labor camp and Chris is seen by the Turkish government as a spy while covering the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman’s Empire.

“The Promise” is a soapy story of a love triangle with the Armenian genocide in the background. My big issue is the portray of certain characters by non native actors, specially by Isaac. The film could be more interesting if the focus their attention to Chris Meyers journalist work of the genocide instead of fictional love story that allow the audiences to digest the problems between Armenia and Turkish government, but felt short when the film is mostly focus on the melodramatic story of Mikael.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cinema have represented the quest and search of the unknown in the enigmatic jungles and forest of the world. There is so many explorer who risked their lives, drive with fever of success and to become well known personalities responsible of finding a cities in the amazon.

From a blockbuster movies like Indiana Jones series, Ciro Guerra “Embrace of the Serpent” Werner Herzog’ s Aguirre The Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo and Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. The most common factor of this films is the adventure, the obsession of finding the unknown and last but not least the mystery of the unknown.

Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) a successful British officer is sent to London to meet the members of the Royal Geographical Society with the task of travel to the border of Brazil and Bolivia who are at the brink of war for that territory. These countries asked the British government to survey the area to solve this differences. On the ship to Brazil, Fawcett meet Corporal Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson) who tell Fawcett about the Amazon rainforest and the rubber plantations.

During this trip Fawcett had revelations about the life in the forest, his connections with aborigines but also he grows obsessions with mysterious cities in the jungle. After returning from his first trip his wife Nina (Sienna Miller) has given birth to their second son. Thanks to Nina, Fawcett become interested in going back after the finding of a conquistador text talking about a city deep into the Amazon jungle.

The Lost City of Z is James Gray 6th film, a complex production in Santa Marta Colombia, well crafted and well performed. The movie is a true gem capturing the stories of Percy Fawcett. The story represents a great visual document about Amazon exploration in the very beginning of the 20th century. It’s a story about characters who wants something in their life, outside their confort zone. The Lost City of Z is Fawcett obsession and passion, driven by his family, but also their demise. The two parallel worlds are the aristocracy and brutal British life at war and the dangerous and mysterious environment between Bolivia and Brazil.