Monday, May 15, 2017

In the secret world of smart and gifted kids or adults, they go to very complex places and states of mind. Some goes to a very extreme and traumatic situations, others just trying or continue living their life. In a way, greatest minds, don’t live the best of lives, limited resources, challenging parents or caretakers who don’t understand what it means for them to be below average of the rest of the world. Little Man Tate, Searching for Bobby Fischer, August Rush shown a wide array of experiences for kids who have to live with this gift.

Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer and two Spider-Man movies) presents the story of Mary Adler (McKenna Grace) a little girl who shows remarkable mathematical talent on her first day in school. She lives with her uncle Frank Adler (Chris Evans) in a small town in Tampa. Her gift get attention by her teacher Bonnie Stevenson (Jenny Slate) and the rest of the school. Her talent comes from her mom who committed suicide, a prominent mathematician who was about to solve a big math problem.

In a way Gifted is a very predictable film, because you know a big conflict will be appearing soon. The perfect ingredients, an uncle who is fostering his niece while he is living in a very insecure conditions and grandmother who is a wealthy person wants to claim the girl care. This is perfect “tearjerker”
Either way the film is pretty entertaining and shows the talents of Marc Webb, leaving behind the superhero franchise as well Chris Evans, who is been exploring other genres since he first Captain America movie.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Serval filmmakers have been obsessed with a character with multiple personalities. Alfred Hitchcock create the ultimate member of this cinematographic mental hospital. Norman Bates in “Psycho”, a character who mirror his lost mother. David Fincher in “Fight Club” with the mysterious Tyler Durden presented between Brad Pitt and Edward Norton with the idea of confusing the audience about the sole responsible of "Project Mayhem" and Brian De Palma who loves in his movies the use of a character with multiple personalities to present a despicable killer in “Raising Cain” and “Dressed to Kill”

M. Night Shyamalan (the Sixth Sense, Unbreakable Signs) Take a step further on his devotion to thriller films focusing in on a simple story, with a low budget cost. "Split" is the story of Kevin (James McAvoy) a guy with 23 different personalities who is been treated by his psychiatrist Dr Karen Fisher (Betty Bucley) at the beginning of the movie he kidnap 3 girls by follow them to the parking lot. Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) Marcia (Jessica Sula) Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) The last one is an outsider with personality problems, but a very strong girl. The 3 girls end up in a basement build with certain amenities to keep people locked for days even months. At the very beginning, the girls are expecting a rapist who just going to use them or perhaps is a human trafficker. But as the story unfolds Kevin is not longer there. Meet Patricia a refine lady who will take care of the girls and Dennis a very confuse and shy kid who will to get the girls to play with them like kids, this is just the begining of people the audience will meet.

During breaks Kevin will continue seen Dr Fisher for the treatment. After several unexpected request from Kevin to see the Dr Fisher, she suspects that something is going on. Her thesis is every personality from a person who suffer this illness could transform dramatically, not only the mind, but the physique.

Shyamalan develop a story digging deeper in deeper into a person with sever psychological problems like Kevin, but at the same time you have Casey who start revealing to the audience with her own personal flashbacks the trouble childhood who help her to be strong enough to protect himself from Kevin and the other 22 personalities.

James McAvoy is incredible playing all these roles as well Anya Taylor-Joy. "Split" is a great thriller becoming the latest addition of great movies about multiple personalities.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The dilemma of interracial relationships it’s been discuss in so many movies. From silly comedies like “Fools Rush In”, “Made in America” to even “The Bodyguard”. In this comedies, the problem is often a practical joke, just to make the film more entertaining. But when the problem of interracial relationships film is discuss as an issue to criticize societies with lack of tolerance and lack of diversity. Films like “Jungle Fever” “Love Actually” and “Loving” can show the audience that society have a problem with people from different races starting a relationship and even having a child.

Sir Seretse Goitsebeng (David Oyelowo) is one of the most powerful men of the royal families of Serowe a Bechuanaland Protectorate from the UK is studying in the United Kingdom. In a friends gathering he meets Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike). Quickly the fall in love and decided to get married. Both families are completely opposed to the union as well the British government.

Seretse and Ruth travel back to South Africa to settle in there. Just at their arrival that’s where are confronted the British government because their union could ruin the stability for the region of South Africa, not only because of the implications of a interracial relationship, but the fact a white woman will be queen in a African royal family.

Amma Asante (Belle and Way of Life) directs a powerful drama about the struggles of this couple to be together to be together, the contrast of the white and black be against the union gives a great lesson to the audience. Governments willing to question love for the sake of politics as well manipulate the people of a country to control them and continue the legacy of a crown who wants to own certain territories.

David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike delivers a great performance as Ruth and Serete.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

In 1996 brought a cult film leaving everyone breathless with a film as a reflection of Edinburgh young society, but also the reflection of how society use to see the world. A movie hard to make it better, the idea of making a sequel is probably scary, because it can ruin the original. Hollywood trend of rehashing or repurposing stories trying to make movies to cash it, end up destroying masterpieces for the sake of money.

It’s been 20 years for all the characters, the director (Danny Boyle) and the actors:Ewan McGregor Johnny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle and Ewen Bremner. Trainspotting 2

The idea of choose life still there, but now is about an opportunity then a betrayal. Renton lives in Amsterdam married with family, happy, fulfill, Spud continues struggling with his addiction, taking a large toll, his job, longtime partner and son Fergus. Simon “Sick Boy” Williamson, a cocaine addict runs a pub with side job of blackmailing people with his Bulgarian girlfriend Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova) Francis “Franco” Begbie is serving 25 years in prison for probably the events at the end of the first film Trainspotting.

With this setting Danny Boyle discover a near perfect sequel with the perfect ingredients, comedy, action, drama, but mostly nostalgia. With a story revisiting all 4 characters seems that things haven’t change a lot, the nuances, in places and sounds is there, if you pay close attention, you can hear Underworld’s Born Slippy, Lou Reed’s Perfect Day. To me is like visiting a place you lived and some things have evolve, but not change. Danny Boyle take the risk of bringing footage from the original film to help the story, and even bringing back Diane and Mikey for a brief scene. This decisions pays off.

Some things to change, others don’t. Renton is the perfect example of the promise to change things, he seems to be cure of this crazy life from the Renton from 1996. Choices are not longer an idea of a better life, family, health and even wealth. It’s all a lie, and illusion, is the syndrome of apparent success. He comes back to Edinburgh because he miss all this, but specially the thrill of a “Final Hit” The most powerful character is Spud, he wants to change but he can’t, because society push you too hard, is too strong. One of my favorite scene during Spud therapy, he tells the members that the main reason of his demise is “Daylight Savings”, that’s why he gets late to his job, then loosing it, then getting late to his unemployment appointment, becoming a whole series of unfortunate events. Simon and Renton miss each other, that’s what bring them together and Begbie is just Begbie a caricature of a person too violent who cannot make things right.

Trainspotting 2 is a great sequel and excellent continuation of the events of the original film back in 1996.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Hollywood have show the space race in a heroic way, from Apollo 13 to The Right Stuff. What Nasa have achieved is part of the American history, but also what filmmaker love.

Something that story is missing, seems like the film industry just want smart guys, capable of everything, but where are the women from NASA?

Theordore Melfi (St Vincent) bring back to life the story of hard worker women whe are responsible just like men, for the success in the 60’s. Katherine Globe Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) Dorothy Vaughan ( Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle MonĂ¡e) are african american women working in NASA. Relegated to a department for “Colored people” they also are part of the space program doing work from as mathematicians to engineer work.

From the very beginning of the film, you get a sense about the times these women are living.
Katherine shows easily what she can do and quickly prove to her new boss Al Harrison (Kevin Costner) Dorothy is a strong woman who understand computers better than other men, but she always finds roadblocks by he supervisor Viviana Mitchell (Kristen Dunst) and Mary who is a woman with ideas and dreams to be an engineer, she takes her case to attend to a white only school to court to prove is possible for her.

Hidden Figures show a ground of women who show what is being the brightest and smatters in the room, but also show that downside. Specially if you are a person of color and if you are a women. The space program is surrounded by men and director Melfi does not sugar coded the message, life in the 60’s was hard for women who wants to succeed and people of color who also wants to succeed.

The film is a great document of american history of women who help the astronauts to and NASA to reach milestones. The film is not indeed to be a melodramatic portrait of racism and misogyny in our country, but a constant reminder about a social problem that still is among us.

Taraji, Janelle and Octavia are fabulous actress who portrayed perfectly this great women.

Howard Hughes is of the most interesting characters in American history. Businessman, investor, pilot, filmmaker. He is responsible of bringing the airline industry to success with TWA, the ownership of the studio film studio RKO and his passion for innovation in the industry of aviation.
His life was portrayed by Leonardo Di Caprio in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator, also Mr Hughes was shown briefly in Tucker The Man of His Dreams with Jeff Bridges, The Rocketeer,

His image is always shown as a great american history. “Rules Don’t Apply” directed by Warren Beaty represents a take of his life in the romantic comedy genre.

Frank Forbes ( Alden Ehrenreich) is one of Howard Hughes drivers, at the beginning of the movie he becomes Maria Mabrey (Lilly Collins) chauffeur, also Maria’s mom ( Annette Benign). Maria is a devout Baptist beauty queen who is been hired by Howard Hughes to become one his film stars. The film circle around the mystery of Mr Hughes personality, but also the relationship growing between Maria and Frank. Sadly Frank is already committed to his high school sweetheart.

The film becomes a love triangle between Maria, Frank and Howard, both men becomes interested in her creating several problems.

I have to say that this movie was very messy, I think I was watching an alternate version of Cafe Society with Howard Hughes. The story is really flat and you don’t understand what’s really going on. With a stelar cast appearing every minute of the movie, you cannot save the film. Rules Don’t Apply is strange, flat and becomes a unnecessary reason to watch.

Monday, March 20, 2017

In the year 1948 Richard and Maurice Mc Donald ( John Carroll and Nick Offerman) founded an american hamburger restaurant located in San Bernardino, California. A revolutionary place where the quality and speediness, made a huge impression of Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) a salesman for Prince Castle a milkshake mixer machine.

This is the story of “The Founder” directed by John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr Banks) an american tale of a dream, an idea and betrayal for money. The story of the very begging of McDonalds Corporation takes place in 1954 when Ray discover Richard and Maurice restaurant offer them the possibility of go on with a franchise for Mc Donald fast food chain. Ray is the kind of person who cannot take no for answer, his persistency pays off.

Recruiting a bunch of entrepreneurs he start opening Mc Donald restaurants all over the US. Thought the film Ray discovers that this restaurant is not as lucrative as he thinks, so he keeps adding the options to lower cost and get more earning, but the limitations in the contract with the Mc Donald’s brothers affect the development of his massive project.

The big idea is not owning the name Mc Donald but to own the land where the restaurant is located, which leads him to the creation of a real state business.

“The Founder” real message is a 50’s america innocent and naive represented by the Mc Donald’s brothers, willing to make more money share their idea to Ray thinking this will make them richer. Ray is the america of the 60’s changing constantly, not so innocent, more interested in make america proud by stepping on everyone’s to succeed.

I cannot deny that Ray Kroc had a vision to make Mc Donald’s a profitable company, that’s America, everything it’s business, nothing about human aspect. In fact the biggest irony of Ray speech to the Mc Donald’s brothers is making the restaurant with the golden arches the new church, but sacrificing the real values of life. Destroying the hard working lives of people who give all to make a good family restaurant, now in this day in age a filly burger fast food chain only making frozen burgers and fries.

I finished watching “The Founder” upset about what Ray did to the Mc Donald’s brothers, but learning about protecting your ideas and not sharing them with people who seems to eager to help you to achieve your dreams but with a price.