Monday, August 7, 2017

The labyrinth of the mind is a very common subject for director Christopher Nolan. A film that made him famous was the movie “Memento”, about a man who is investigating the murder of his wife, but due a condition he cannot remember anything, so he needs to catalogo everything, between pictures and writing on his body information allow him to remember. In his two sci-fi movies. “Inception” and “Interstellar” he challenge times, space and the mind, by putting the characters to travel to time and also to dream, within a dream. The Prestige two magicians friends fight to become the most powerful magician using their abilities to trick the other. “Insomnia” A detective looking for a killer, travels to a very virgin territory where time is altered by the geography. Last but not least “The Dark Knight Trilogy” the challenges of the mind are based on the struggle between good an evil, by becoming a public vigilante.

There is nothing that Christopher Nolan cannot do these days. In 1940 the British army got stuck at the French corridor of Dunkirk, after several operations trying to take over the land from the Germans. The vast operation ordered by Winston Churchill is to rescue the British army using nothing than boats from coast of England, specially from Dover.

This historical event is been portraying in the film “Dunkirk” masterfully directed by Christopher Nolan. The movie is set in 3 different point of view of the events and 3 different times (one week, one day, one hour). The Mole, The Sea and The Air in which present the troops attempting to scape the bay of Dunkirk, The ships trying to sail way from France, but been intercepted by the Germans, and last the pilots flying of the channel protecting the British ships from any attack.

Nolan, borrow the best from silent movies about the war, like other war movies made. The suspense build with groundbreaking soundtrack and original score, by Hans Zimmer make the film a true spectacle. The editing by Lee Smith is a perfect synchronization of visual actions, with a glimpse of Sergei Eisenstein in “Battleship Potemkin” creates a stressful experience for everyone willing to experience it. Hoyte van Hoytema Director of photography of the film takes the challenge to shoot this movie in IMAX 70mm capturing the finest details of this historical moment in World War II.

One of the most important aspect of the movie is how the story is been told, for the audience could be a major struggle, when they are full aware the the story takes place: one week, one day and one hour. The juxtaposition of these events makes sense once you fully understand the scope of the narrative and how the main characters start connecting each other creating these story in 3 time dimensions.

Dunkirk, is a masterful film that needs to be seen in the big screen.
It is hard to not see women in history as the responsible or the engine of greatest movements. Esther, hebrew queen and heroine. Joan of Arc, lead an army and a heroine of France, Queen Elizabeth from England, Marie Curie first woman to win Nobel prize and Eleanor Roosevelt co president of the USA.

A very notable character who change the course of the middle east is a woman named Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman). She was a the daughter of a wealthy British family, who moved to Tehran thanks to her uncle. She falls in love with a Embassy employee Henry Cadogan (James Franco), but she is not allow to marry him, because her family considers him bad company. Sadly, due this circumstances Henry commit suicide forcing Gertrude to leave Tehran and devote herself to travel the middle east and explore this territory that is very turbulent at the time because British government wants full power.

Gertrude, becomes a writer, traveller, political officer, administrator and archeologist.

Werner Herzog directs this Lawrence of Arabia style film with a female hero in his hands. The film beautifully shot, but the story is a mess. When you read Gertrude writings and stories, you become so interested to understand how this woman becomes a hero for the middle east, but sadly the screenplay don’t honor her story and experience. The beautiful vista of the deserts and the compelling images of war simply vanished when you see a movie not fitting the characters in place. After 20 min of film you loose interest, because there is no appeal between Gertrude and her lovers as well her mission to change the middle east.

Nicole Kidman performs masterfully, but she cannot hold the film much longer.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

In 1920 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B Anthony lead the fight to let women vote. Many years have passed since 1854 when the state of NY introduce a piece of legislation to give women rights, many efforts happened around the world like the suffragette in the UK, where one thousand women went to jail because they wanted better opportunities.

During the middle of the second World War 1941 a female super hero comes to life Wonder Woman, an amazon with super powers who join forces to fight the evil forces of the world.

The film directed by Patty Jenkins presents the character of Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) an amazon princess daughter of queen Hippolita and Zeus rescue an American pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) who crash his plane off the coast of Themyscira, later followed by a German cruiser. All this events leads Diana to return with Steve Trevor to London where they need to find the responsible and creator of this war who Diana calls Ares.

The film explore the horror of World War 1, when Diana, Steve Trevor and his team decided to go to the Western front in Belgium to find General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston) who next to his scientist is planning to spread a deadly gas.

Wonder Woman is a superhero film like any other, because presents a woman as the lead in the fight against evil. Many other women on film have fight oppression, avenge their past or look to improve their life for a good cause. Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill”, Gina Carano in “Haywire”, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu in “Charlie’s Angels” Scarlet Johansson in “Lucy”, Jane Fonda in Barbarella.

The idea is to forget the concept of the dame in distress, women’s are powerful and they know how to defend themselves, but in a misogynist world were female are not seen as limited and weak people, the response of these movies is to show that is possible to be protected and care for women. To me the problem with Wonder Woman is just a document of how women can become a more powerful force to fight their image as a the person who stays behind while men fight, work and enjoy the fruits of success. But in reality is another blockbuster film, with a well crafted advertising campaign who seems to impress everyone. Don’t get me wrong, little girls or girls in general will be encourage by this movie, but for adults could be another super hero movie.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

In 1993 a movie about the world war II Holocaust, change the completely the way that viewers see this kind of films. Schindler’s List is one of Steven Spielberg masterpiece and tells the story of Oskar Schindler a german owner of a factory, also member of the of the Nazi Party, responsible of saving the lives of 1200 Jews during the holocaust. Since then Hollywood have tried to repeat the model by digging into the most particular stories about jews been saved by personalities during World War II.

The last installment is the the film “The Zookeepers Wife” directed by Niki Caro and starring Jessica Chastain as Antonina Żabińska. As the owner with her husband Jan (Johan Hedenbergh) of a Zoo in Warsaw during World War II. They witness how the Nazi regime arrived to Poland, displacing jews, invading the city and also killing some of the animals of the zoo, but some German scientist decided to take some animals for experimentation.

Jan and Antonia decided to close the zoo, but comes with a plan to start a animal breeding program at the zoo in order to remain there, using pigs to provide food for the occupying forces. This is just a plan to use the pigs food transport to help jews to escape from the Gettho.

Niki Caro director of the beautiful film “The Whale Ryder” presents the audience a very beautiful story. While you watching the movie, you are always captivated by Jessica Chastain beauty and amazing performance, but fell flat when the story and the direction make the film unemotional about simple happenings, like the horrific killing of animals at the zoo, the struggle of Jan and Antonia as a marriage, trying to raise their kids, but also you’r not able to connect entirely with all the characters, specially the families rescued by the Żabińska family. Sometimes you get lost try to understand why some scenes are over the top, instead of create a visual and tense drama, about a family who saved 300 jews at the Warsaw zoo. To me the biggest waste is Daniel Brühl as Lutz Heck as Hitler Zooologist, his performance is boring and exaggerated.

“The Zookeepers Wife” is a film that could be a better movie, a movie story and a powerful story of another important saviors during the World War II holocaust.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The dilema of man vs machine it’s been explore in movies, cartoons and also sci-fi novels. Those early days of cinema, when Fritz Lang brought “Metropolis” opened the eyes of everyone curious about this subject. Films like Robocop, Terminator, Tron, Bicentennial Man, iRobot, Ex-Machina, Blade Runner, The Matrix are the perfect example of how technology can be not as beneficial as we think to improve quality of life. On the other hand TV also explore the possibility of AI with Humans and Westworld. With all these examples I can say that every filmmaker interested in make a movie about it, is up to a big challenge.

“Ghost in the Shell” is the Japanese franchise created by Masamune Shiron and tells the story of a public security section 9 in the fictional city of Niihama best know as New Port City. A corporation Hanka use humans with augmented cybernetics and several enhancements as a counterterrorism operative. A young girl (Scarlett Johanson) is the sole survivor of a cyberterrorist attack which killed her parents. Her body is apparently beyond repair, and is use in an experiment were here human brain will be attached to a mechanical body. The experiment is successful, and after a year the girl becomes the Major Mira Killian leader of the bureau section 9.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this review, the dilema of man vs machine is again explored in this movie. The references are so close. Are machine can have dreams or conciseness? How a machine can understand humans and their constant variability in emotions? Is not that easy and the problem with Ghost in the Shell is the movie try to present to American audiences a piece of history from Japan. Being one of most important Japanese creation, is hard to not compare with so many movies. The environment of Blade Runner, the androids erotism in Terminator, Ex Machina and Westworld. The trauma of now a artificial intelligence after been altered from a human being in Robocop. But after all those comparisons, the shadow of The Matrix is there, when meta-humans, altered mentally can achieve the imposible. On the other hand a film should fit perfectly into this analysis is “Lucy” where again Scarlett Johanson becomes a super powerful human after a terrible accident with a mysterious drug.

For fans of the comic, this is a treat as a movie, for people who wants to be entertain this works too, but for someone who is looking for a in depth exploration of artificial experience it could be a big disappointment

Monday, July 10, 2017

A ship with colonist travel to a mysterious planet searching for a better future. A story that seems to be repeat and repeat but with the fate but with different twist. It’s been 38 years since the ship Nostromo was taken by a mysterious creature who kill them all, except officer Ripley ( Sigourney Weaver) her life changed forever becoming a hero capable to beat this monster in several sequels.

In 2010 Ridley Scott decided to tell the story of the true origins of the Alien trilogy with “Prometheus” a film who left audiences with more questions than answers. Now in 2017 Scott goes back with now 5 films about one of the most famous space monsters trying to connect the dots in “Alien Covenant”.

An unexpected accident kill the captain Jack Branson (James Franco) of the ship Covenant and cause severe damage to the ship needing some major repairs. The big casualty creates a new problem, after loosing the captain the first mate is in charge Christopher Oram ( Billy Crudup) which for the rest of the crew is not the best fit. Chris don’t have leadership and the pedigree to lead the crew to their final destination. Danny Daniels (Katherine Waterson) the chief of terraforming was Captain Branson’s wife, who don’t believes in his capacity either. The crew discovered a strange transmission, end up as a John Denver song, with this information in mind, now captain Oram make the decision to go send the crew to the planet, because there is 7 years left to travel to the final destination and this new planet seems to have the resources with earthlink needs. The trip becomes a tragedy with lost of most of the crew members…

“Alien Covenant” is another attempt to tell the “Alien” story from another angle looking for unnecessary answers to the begining of Ridley Scott original movie. The film explore a new planet which to some people will look like watching a Predator film, where a space monster is hunting humans. Then the story get the absurd idea of trying to connect “Prometheus” to this movie by giving you the answer of where Dr Elizabeth Shaw(Noomi Rapage) and David (Michael Fassbender) end up. The film is confusing from the very beginning by presenting so many characters, so easily to forget, because they die so quickly. The screenplay look for an emotional attachment between audience and characters by presenting colonist as a crew, but also families who are looking for a better future. Sadly you just wonder, who train this people? NASA? The lack of protocols and decisions made by emotions instead a good judgment make then the perfect objective for creatures who know they gonna take the bait.

In essence “Alien Covenant” is the terrible example of how Hollywood, cannot stop doing this movies.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Wikipedia define Heist as a robbery from an institution such a bank or a museum. The long filmography of movies about robberies presents the most easy dilema, what are they robbing, who is going to do the robbery, where and when.

Talk about the subject could take hours and name all the movies, and discuss what are the influences or connection between them, another hour. All I can say the mere concept of putting together a group of people with a primary mission of stealing something, by working as a team and not kill each other in the process is already a complex story.

From Steven Soderbergh “Oceans Eleven” and sequels. Michael Mann “Heat” Bryan Singer “The Usual Suspects” Kathryn Bigelow “Point Break” Peter Collison “The Italian Job” John McTiernan “Die Hard” and Gregory Roy Hill “The Sting” Most of these films, are action packed stories, with some comedy, but also drama.

But this is the first time I seen a movie about a heist, but on the inside is a action musical, of course without singing actors.
Baby Driver is the 6th film by the director Edgar Wright responsible of great films like Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Death and Scott Pilgrim Vs the World.

The story is about a a getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) that as a child suffer a car accident left him with severe tinnitus ( a hearing problem similar to a hiss) the only solution is to hear music. Baby is very talented, but also is questioned by his fellow robbers who think he is un-capable because his hearing problem. On the other hand his boss Doc (Kevin Spacey) assure the robbers he is fine, proving them constantly, he is not mentally slow. In the group of robbers Jason (John Hamm), Monica (Eiza Gonzáles) Leon (Jamie Foxx) they sort of rely on Baby, not necessary as a person but his driving amazing abilities.

The real charm of Baby Driver is the smart use of music on the film, with about 30 tracks songs in the soundtrack, the movie is choreograph by the songs, which make the film a action musical. Something that I haven’t seen before. Another element making the film a new classic is the amazing editing work, done by Jonathan Amos and Paul Machiss. This is a treat to every editor who wants to learn the best tricks, how to develop smart transitions and the perfect drama and comedic timming.

If we talk about the story Wright create a great balance of comedy, action and some dramatic moments. The film contain cool twists in the story that needs to be seen. The dialogue is witty and funny.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The subject of wedding in movies, is just an excuse to bring two people together in a allegedly romantic comedy. It is hard to say in Hollywood how a movie with a wedding in it could be serious. The fact a wedding planning or the event itself is extremely dramatic story. Movies like Airbag, The Hangover, Bridesmaid, Wedding Crashers, My Big Fat Greek Wedding to Father of Bride.

Probably is consider funny the suffering of people trying to reach the wedding day, but if you see it from a different perspective, could be sad to say that weddings are a big opera, where the two main characters are reunited finally, but the chain of events lead to that day is hard enough.

One side of the story which is not covered pretty easy is the unwanted guest. Table 19 is the story of a group of people that been invited to a wedding, they end up randomly in a table with the lest favorite guest of all. The plot seems to be interesting and engaging. Jeffrey Blitz director of the Oscar nominated documentary Spellbound and Sundance winner from the film Rocket Science bring to life this story written by the Duplass brothers.

The story presents a true discovery for every character, who try to find meaning to life, sitting in that round table. A soul searching experience goes beyond the wedding reception area, but falls flat because there is no definition if this is a comedy, a sad story or both.

Sci Fi Filmmakers are been obsessed with the idea of been the last person on earth. From zombie films like 28 Days later, an apocalyptic world filled with water in Waterworld, a world runs by machines in Mad Max, or the only person on earth living among apes in Planet of the Apes and last but least a machine with conciseness in Wall.e.

A young couple travel to Iceland to discover the wonders of this country now consider one of the most trendy tourist destination of all. Jenai (Maika Monroe) and Riley Matt O’Leary tour around the most popular locations. Been silly and having fun. One early morning Jenai wakes up and looking at the window she see a mysterious bright light. The next morning the couple head out to get breakfast, but they realized that they are alone. Little by little they walk the streets of Reykjavik, not finding a soul. Local supermarkets, restaurants, the cars are abandoned.

With this setting, the film Bokeh (Dir Geofrey Orthwein) presents a very complex dilemma. How a couple can live alone in a strange country with so much resources, but none to help them?. It seems like so easy to everyone to celebrate you can have access to everything the world has to offer for free, but comes with a price. Since humans depends of mass production of food, people who cook for you, farmers who treat your vegetables and fruits. Jenai and Riley quickly realized that they have everything, but they don’t have anything at all. Constant frustrations, loneliness feelings and even the fear of having an accident are brought to the table, because there are no doctors to treat them in an empty world.

Bokeh is a constant reminder, that we dependes so much of everyone. We need been around people, but we also need them to make the world in constant movement. The apocalyptic story fight the excess of resources and the consciousness of self-preservation.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Since the beginning of cinema, the idea of catch audience with fantasy subjects like monsters is Hollywood secret weapon, it’s been for almost a century since the big gorilla named King King climbed the Empire State Building with his dame in distress and the iconic battle over the NYC skyline.

Several versions have been made, from 1933 most famous versions to the 1976 which was an erotic and a sexual representation of women and monkey, later Peter Jackson made a version that probably was a tribute and a metaphor to the old dying cinema.

In Kong: Skull Island (Jordan Vogt-Roberts) the movie is set in 1973, the time where USA is defeated and leaving Viet Nam after a terrible war, leaving wounds to everyone. The discovery from a satellite pictures of a mysterious island bring a senior official of a government organization Monarch, William Randa (John Goodman) to lead an expedition, with scientist, a military escort and a group pf explorers. The first 10 minutes of the film will introduce every character involved. James Conrad ( Tom Hiddleston) a hunter tracker, Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) a photojournalist, Preston Packard (Samuel L Jackson) an Army Lieutenant Colonel. The catch for all of them is this mission don’t have any scientific outcome. Is a corporation project to own and control certain territory with so many resources.

Jordan Vogt-Roberts use a very unique visual style with interesting transitions and a heavy influence of Viet Nam films, like “Apocalypse Now” and Kippour, But also the other visual references like Werner Herzog Fitzcarraldo. The storytelling techniques capture a stunning first 40 minutes with a great pace, but them fall off after the audience not understand if this is a rescue mission, or a kill and destroy mission or a revenge mission.

On the other hand the film borrow plots and stories from films like Aliens or Avatar. To me is another vicious circle of military involved in a scientific mission who is just want a corporation to control a place for their own benefit. The visual style vanished, showing more of the action sequences that the audiences need. The characters look more like puppets who are there to entertain, but not to drive the story into a certain direction.

Perhaps the character who have a mission is Preston Packard (Samuel L Jackson) who from the very beginning, wants to keep fighting and never come back from war, but after the mission who kills most of his mens, by King Kong, he now finds a new war to fight. In a way Kong: Skull Island is a metaphor of the war and the destruction of our ecosystem. Every monster in this island, represents the unbeatable campaign to kill an enemy hidden, who cannot be beat. At the end soldiers in Kong: Skull Island leave just with the taste of the Viet Nam war, defeated.

Friday, June 2, 2017

American society is completely obsessed with nostalgia, No matter how many times you redo, readapt, rehash or reinterpret a story, still the same story. Hollywood is have one of the worst time ever, creatively speaking, about making sequels, rebooting past films or adapting TV shows to movies or viceversa.

Disney new obsession is taking their most famous animated films into live action movies. A great idea, with less work on story development, but more invested into the technical aspects of it. The first attempts: Alice and Wonderland, Cinderella, The Jungle Book and now Beauty and The Beats.

Adapted from the animated film from 1991, “Beauty and the Beast” follow the same plot: a prince (Dan Stevens) very powerful, end up transform into a beast by a beggar in disguise. All the prince servants end up transform into household objects. The only way to cast the spell is when Beast can fall in love and receive love in return by a girl who can see beyond his appearance. Belle (Emma Watson) a rural girl who enjoy loves books and been an outsider in the small she live with her dad. She have a love interest Gaston (Luke Evans), an arrogant former soldier who loves him more than anyone else, with a sidekick LeFou ( Josh Gad) who is just there to boost Gaston ego.

All I can say about this movie is so well done, beautiful costume design, art direction, music and masterful work in visual effects. But I’m completely confused about the main reason of making this movie that long. From an original running time of 84 min to an insufferable 129 minutes of unnecessary songs and plot changes making the film unbearable to watch.

The charm of the first animated movie nominated for an Oscar in the category of best movie, still reigns in the original classic Beauty and The Beast from 1991, this film is a nice rehash, rebrand, re-adaptation or whatever ver “RE” we can add in it. This story only serves as a demonstration for great technical work and some shy political comments, like LeFou being gay, Belle been considered different by the town habitants for being a woman with other interest in life beyond been a housewife.

Hollywood explore the world of hypnosis in several films, like “Dead Again” by Kennetth Branagh, Danny Boyle’s “Trance” and “The Manchurian Candidate” these movies use the induction of a state of consciousness as a plot to tell a certain history. Could be past lives, certain personality disorder and the creation of the perfect presidential candidate.

In the same tone, the film “Get Out” by Jordan Peele presents hypnosis as a new metaphorical tool for slavery. A black man Andre Hayworth is adducted from a white suburb late at night. This is just the beginning of the film. A few months have passed, and we introduce black photographer Chris Washington ( Daniel Kaluuya) who is in a serious relationship with Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) are preparing for a trip to see visit Rose parents and introduce Chris to the family. The film presents the first controversial discussion: What are the repercussions of a white girl dating black guy?

Since the road trip started, the audience start noticing the ambivalence of Chris presence in the white only town. Rose hit a deer down the road and the cop as for Chris ID, knowing that he is not involved at all in the accident. After the arrival home, Rose parents Dean ( Bradley Whitford) and Missy (Catherine Keener) make Chris as confortable as possible. But for Chris something seems not right. The groundskeeper Walter and housekeeper Georgina are black and present a very odd behavior.

Later that night Chris bump into Missy while he was doing a walk outside the house. Chris talk about his mom with Missy, who died when he was 11. Missy hypnotized Chris into a paralytic state.

Jordan Peele directs a very powerful thriller for the new Trump era. You get constant reminders that Obama is no longer in office and things are changing, not necessarily for good, but also racism is not only actions but a state of mind. The image of a clean cut white neighborhood who find ways to destroy successful black people, is a clear representation that superiority complex is still on, no matter if the USA lived turbulent times in the 60’s fighting for equality and 8 years with a black president.

The big reveals in this thriller are not only surprising scary, because we are watching horror movie, but the problems presented in this film are true and lives on. The recent events of white supremacist calling to attack of different skin tone citizens or scream a person get out of my country for being latinos is closer than you think.

The big hit of “Get Out” is the ability to mash up “Looks Who’s Coming to Dinner” and The Stepford Wives. A simple visit of a black guy to his white girlfriend parents hit the core of everyone not because the color his skin, but because he is successful and proud about it.


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 Monáe) 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.

Mel Gibson filmography is filled with gruesome acts of violence, but also so many heroic acts. When you think about a direct relationship between The Passion of Christ, Braveheart and Apocalypto is not only about the violence itself, but about the connection between faith, freedom, will during extreme circumtances.

Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) grown in Lynchburg, Virginia becomes a pacifist after a traumatic event which almost make his brother kill. The experience drive him to believe in a non violence attitude, after years witnessing the abuse of his father Tom Doss (Hugo Weaving) against his mother he consider that he is the right path to follow.

Later he decided to enlist inn the army, brining this controversial beliefs causing hate, disrespect and also court martial from his colleagues in the Army. The case was dismiss after his father prove that Doss is protected by an Act of Congress by been a pacifist.

Doss goes to Okinawa with the 77th Infantry Division without a weapon, just to help in the medical area.

“Hacksaw Ridge” is Mel Gibson’s most recent film about the life Desmond Doss, the movie contains one of the most impressive actions scenes, but also the most brutal and gory. The film explores the irony of war and violence while you having the most peaceful person in it. Every time you see a major character been hurt or killed Gibson sends you a message that nothing is for granted, when it comes to the act of war. The violence in “Hacksaw Ridge” borderline in Quentin Tarantino, where caricatures-cue blood and action becomes an ode to thirsty audience who just want to see everyone been blown away or hurt really bad. Gibson explore those acts of violence and make you understand about the ramifications of defend your honor besides your beliefs. The movie also borderline into the corny from Desmond love story to his relationship with his family.

The cast do a formidable job and the film is visually stunning, with amazing technical achievements in sound, cinematography and post production.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Paul Verhoeven is filled with two major ingredients. Sex and Violence, starting in Netherlands and the to Hollywood where he made big important films such as Basic Instinct, Robocop, Total Recall and Starship Troopers, he vanished after some failures returning to make movies in Europe for the sake of his well filmmaking style and talent.

The award winning film “Elle” directed Verhoeven is a solid exploration to power, sexuality and lack of emotions. Michèle Leblanc (Isabelle Huppert) is a businesswoman who owns a video games company, they are developing a game that already is 6 months behind schedule. This is causing friction with the team. At the beginning of the movie she is raped by a masked men, the act is violent and very dramatic.

Michèle decided not to report the incident to the police, but continues with her life. She even went to get STD test after the attack. During a dinner with friends and her ex husband she confess the happening. This is the first evidence that Michèle becomes interested in the masked men, but also i the experience of been rape by a unknown person. Michèle is a ruthless woman who loves to be in control, from her son, to her employees she feels entitled to do so. One day 3D video of a monster raping a character with Michèle leak in the office, proving that not everyone likes Michèle, but also grow suspicion that the attacker is between them.

Michèle is obsessed with the attacker, leading to second attack and the revelation of the masked man…

“Elle” is perhaps one of the most simple and disturbing films by Verhoeven He express in this movie what ever he wasn’t unable to do before. May be because he is no longer tied to Hollywood. He wants to make a film his own way. In a recent interview he expressed his happiness of making the movie outside the Hollywood system. Elle is not a movie about Michèle revenge to her attack, is about her disturbing deviations, her lack of emotions and how unstable she is. Isabelle Huppert delivers a powerful performance, she deserve so many awards for this character.
The modern society, the youngster, the America inheriting this mess, the great one, is represented in some films as kids without direction, looking for the easy life, bored to real work, nomads by nature, hip hop lovers, attracted to guns and bling.

Star (Sasha Lane) a teenager living in Muskogee, Oklahoma. She takes care of two kids, their poor, they’re playground is the closes dumpster, where they dive and find today’s meal. She lives with the kids father, who constantly grope her. One day trying to get a ride home, she makes eye contact with one of the boys Jake (Shia LeBeouf) in a van passing by, she following them to a K-Mart. That first interaction is a mix of flirt and manipulation. He is a businessman who offer her a possibility to change her life.

This group of teenagers sell door to door magazines in neighborhoods. Star seems oblivious to the idea, may be he wants to pick up girls on the road. Probably his attire says it all. A conversation about fancy pants who kind of look like Donald Trump-ish (an actual dialogue from the movie), or gangster or it is the sparkling phone case.

Star decided to say yes to the opportunity leaving behind the kids with the real mother who seems uninterested in taking care of them. The road trip will be a full of business opportunities, choices and unusual consequences. Her ride a white van full with kids from all over the country, a true American melting pot.

“American Honey” is written and directed by Andrea Arnold. The film explores the life in poor neighborhoods in US south. Poverty is a reality, the redneck culture surround everyone. Life is hard, everything shinny is attractive. This is the kind of people who politicians loves, make them strong and powerful.

Wealthy people are nice, respectful and courteous, but at the bottom have real issues and dark needs. You can see it in Star first business attempt to sell magazines with Jake. Both are invited to a rich house, after knocking door. Destiny a rich teenager is having her birthday sleepover. The house is full of impressive things for Star, including the ultimate item: Kim Kardashian book of selfies. During the that short stay Jake keeps pitching the mom for the magazines., but Star is not friendly. She she how Destiny and friends dance outside getting wet and dancing very suggestive. While inside mom is lecturing Jake about been a good Christian: “but I can see the devil has a hold of the two of you” Star reply: I think the devil has a hold of your daughter. A strong message of hypocrisy in this day and age.
Class is not define by the color of your skin of the money on your bank account.

This is the kind of messages we see in American Honey. A film that might be in the same universe of stories about nomads and frenetic style of life in films like “Spring Breakers”, “The Beach” and Kids. Star trip from Oklahoma to South Dakota is filled with experiences of the real America. Is not sugar coded, is just what it is. America is a country where you make business no mater how, you just need to find the way.

The beauty of U.S.A.is seen thru the windows of that van where the kids coming from other the places share alcohol, drugs, stories, relationships and sing songs together about love, explicit sex, choices and violence. Oil workers and Cowboys are the Shangri-La for this kids. Full money and needy for some company. Easy cash in the back of a pick up truck or drinking Mescal by the pool eating a very expensive stake. But at the end their life is making money and expanding it in the closest “7 Eleven”, buy gigantic Slurpees, one dollar pizza and chocolate cookies.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Camera: An optical instrument for recording or capturing images…
Camera: person. A professional operator of a film or video camera…

Once you get this two concepts clear, you will be able to understand what this documentary is about. Kirsten Johnson, a NY documentary, filmmaker and cinematographer, who’s life is portrayed in the film “Cameraperson”

The concept of this documentary is very simple and interesting. For the audience or viewers, you only able to see the best choices between the director and editor when a documentary is been edited, but in reality, you never be able to understand the complexity of a film until you see what a camera person have to do in order to the shot right. The risks, the prep before an interview, the framing and the simplicity of the art the documentary.

From a boxing match in Brooklyn, postwar life in Bosnia and Herzegovina, her intimate life with her kids, and a Nigerian midwife and other moments. Experience the documentary ‘Camera person’ is been exposed to the moment when you dig into someone’s collection of footage from a long career of 25 years. Unused takes, moments kept in the editing room that never make it to the big scree or perhaps Johnson’s life that is just for her own audience, her family.



One of the biggest subject is Hollywood is “redemption”. From wrongfully accused of murder in “The Shawshank Redemption”, a hitman who end up saving a child from the crocked DEA in “Leon: The Professional”, to a math prodigy who can’t find his path in live in “Goodwill Hunting” most of these examples represents a wide range of actions connected to a single goal, forgiveness from terrible acts from the past.

Kenneth Lonergan (Margaret, You can Count on Me)directs “Manchester By The Sea” is his third film with a powerful story about another kind of redemption. Lee Chandler ( Casey Afleck) a quiet and reserve handyman with a simple life, hiding a disturbed past. Suddenly he received a call that his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) had a heart attack, and died before Lee arrived. He seems to be distant and emotionally detached from the situation. He is responsible to spread the news to his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges). He lives in Manchester by the sea. A few years before Joe make arrangements to have Lee as Patrick legal guardian until he reach 18, making Lee to go back to the town that he swear to never come back.

Throughout the story we been exposed to back and forth scenes showing the difficult lives of Lee and Joe. Lee have a very tormented past thanks to some actions with terrible consequences, causing his separation and divorce from Randi (Michelle Williams) Joe’s wife Elise (Gretchen Moi) an alcoholic cause so much pain to Patrick’s childhood memories and Joe itself.

In essence “Manchester By The Sea” represents a story of a tormented family facing consequences of mistakes, with irreparable damages. Alcoholism and drug addiction are some of the subjects cover in this film. Lee hold a grudge in his life, so unbearable making him hate the world and everyone around it. Lonergan pace of the film, helps the audience to get their priorities in place. No big shocking revelation, just the truth down and dirty until the end.






When I first saw the trailer of LION is said to myself that this could be a very melodramatic and over the top film about a kid lost by mistake in the middle of the streets of India.

I was wrong. Director Garth Davis (directorial debut) presents a powerful story of Saroo Brierley (Dev Patel - Sunny Pawar Young Saroo) a 5 year old kid living with his mother, old brother and a sister. All of them living in poverty in the small town of Khandwa, in India

Saroo always follow his brother Guddu, but one night he wanted to help him on some extra work. Saroo end up getting into a train droping him about 1600km from his small home town. He is now in the heart of Calcutta, lost, with no food and without his family. Saroo is taken to an orphanage, where a few months later, is adopted by an Australian couple Sue (Nichole Kidman) and John (David Wenham) Now he will live his life in Austrailia till the age of 25 years old. Now adult his memories haunt him about his mother and brothers, forcing him to search for them…

Garth Davis with just experience in short films and the TV show “Top of The Lake” masterfully capture the drama of 5 year old Saroo lost in the streets of india looking for his family. Visually you see how alone is he and how terrible is the experience for him. The camera travels with Saroo and capture his journey. The use of computer screens is perfectly balance, when Saroo is digging in the constant search of Google maps to find every trace of his journey when he got missing. Davis is great directing actors, from Sunny (young Saroo) to Dev Patel and Nichole Kidman, everyone deliver powerful performances. The cinematography, editing and original score are spot on.

The big message of the film is not only Saroo success in the search of his family, but the intention of filmmakers and producers to make the audience understand that this is a big problem in this day an age. Missing children’s from his parents around the world end up in the wrong hands, from child labor to other terrible things.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

War, one of the most brutal act of all. Responsible of so many deaths around the world, and also life changing experience for everyone who live it. Cinema have represented in so many ways. In the battlefield, returning home after the war, the people who have to continue their lives while a family member is drafted and last but not least the technology behind the war.

In essence war, could considered metaphorically speaking a horror tale. But what about if you put those two elements on screen. A horror film about the war?

Under the Shadow is the British Iranian film directed by Babak Anvari about a woman who lives the horror of war inside her own apartment.

During the years 1980- 1988 The Iran-Iraq war took place, a conflict compared to many as World War I. Teheran and Bagdad were constantly bombing, most of the citizens have to live this reality for almost a decade. In the mist of the war Shideh (Narges Rashidi) a married woman who is attending to medical school, but later expel for be attached to leftist groups. Her husband Iraj (Bobby Naderi) a doctor for the military is traveling most of the time leaving her daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) staying with mom. They live in a building with other families, their typical days will be shelling in the basement in the basement building to protect themselves from the attacks of the Iraqi government.

In one the attacks a missile get’s stuck in the living room of one of the neighbors, causing him a heart attack and later die. For Shideh as a medical student becomes mysterious when the daughter of the neighbor insist that he saw a ghost which causing him a emotional distress. During one of the shelling Dorsa meets a new boy who is staying with one of the neighbors which was telling her ghost stories. Shied is very skpectical about the whole stories.

To me the main idea of Under The Shadow is to create a metaphor about the horror of war represented in the presence of a ghost living a building. This families are in constant attacks with common missile strikes, they are unexpected and unpredictable, just like a ghost will be. People are living in fear and they cannot control what ever is around them.

Making a horror movie about the Iran-Iraq war is a risky move, but it pays off, because it not only shows the absurd act of war, but it enhance it with political and social criticism. Shideh loves to do aerobics and she do it by watching Jane Fonda tapes which are consider illegal in that time. Another time she and Dorsa are trying to scape the building from the ghost and end up in jail, because Shideh wasn’t wearing her proper attire. Doesn’t matter if you are trying to scape the horror of war, something worst is waiting for you, perhaps the law…

Under the Shadow is a great discovering from the typical horror films that you see everyday in Hollywood, is a movie with a inner meaning.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Since the beginning of television, viewers have change their ability to perceive actual events, based on the level of information, the veracity and mostly what kind of content they see. In the past it was impossible to see events live, because of technology. The viewers adapt to the idea that someone, called newscaster will tell you about the events, explained and sugar coded.

On the other hand, society tendency is to be obsessed with the most dramatic events and that’s what sells. Most of the audience is not interested in information, they want to be entertain, as long is something contain blood, violence and drama you will be glued to the TV set.

A large group of films have analyze this phenomenon. Natural Born Killers, To Die For, Nightcrawler, Control Room and Network as among those movies exploring media as the vehicle to exploit the lower of human society, just for ratings. Mass killers, political scandals and personal life drama.

Christine directed by Antonio Campos is the biographical drama about Christine Chubbuck (Rebecca Hall) a television reporter from Sarasota. She is a very talented reporter, with a great eye in news pieces. Unfortunately, the station and her boss Michael (Tracy Letts) thinks that what really sells and generate ratings is, sensational content of human tragedies.

Christine is a very particular woman, lonely personality, No boyfriend, no sexual experience, depression, suicidal tendencies. She have a crush with George Peter Ryan ( Michael C Hall) the lead anchors of the station, she feels the emptiness of not having a boyfriend or experience love.

A sudden visit of Steve Turner ( Timothy Simons) owner of the station scare everyone, with the possibility of the station full closure. Which in reality is the promotion of two reporters to the new acquire Baltimore station. Christine realized that she needs to be on the top of their game to get that promotion pushing her limits and fighting with her boss. She will do what ever it takes to get that opportunity.

Rebecca Hall masterfully perform the late reporter Christine Chubbuck, she is practically unrecognizable doing this role, specially because we are use to see her as dame in distress in actions like The Town or The Gift. In this movie you see that she lives thru Christine Chubbuck personality. Another fantastic performance is by Tracy Letts playing Christine boss. Letts and Hall interaction is perfect. My favorite part of the film is the pace. The editing is impeccable and capture the essence of those days when technology was very limited and people was doing the news nail biting.
This cast deserve awards, specially Miss Hall

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The expression of love is one of me most sublime and powerful in any human being. Is what makes everyone alive, take chances or risk everything, it’s what change the world around us.
But also is a message against the UN-justice, the hate and the division.

The world of cinema have express in so many ways how love can help to overcome the illness of the world, their politicians and certain state of mind.

In 1958 the year where Fidel Castro begins broadcasting on the Radio Rebelde, NASA is created and is the beginning of the Cold War between Iceland and the UK. Among all these events a young guy name Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) from Caroline County, Virginia, falls in love with a local black woman Mildred Jeter (Ruth Negga). Upon Mildred discovering that she is pregnant, they decided to get married. In that time in the state of Virginia interracial marriages violates the state anti-segregation law. So they decided to marry in Washington DC.

After their return their house is raid by sheriff’s deputies, later putting both in prison. Mildred already pregnant is treated with no respect in jail, while Richard is release the next day. Their life will turn upside down when they been offer by the judge to leave the state for 25 years to avoid been sentence to one year in prison. Is hard to believe that in the year NASA was created and so many political movements were happening a couple can struggle for so about their feelings to be together.

“Loving” directed by Jeff Nichols (Midnight Special, Mud, Take a Shelter) is a powerful story about the real life events of an American couple who were prohibited to be married by the color of their skin. Their struggle to fit in another city apart from their family force them to take risks, because the believe in something beyond what’s society in 1958 believe was a crime impose by ignorance and intolerance, but later overcome with the presence of more open minded and progressive politicians, like Robert Kennedy and ACLU, an organization very relevant these days with a movement to protect citizens from several countries for their religious beliefs.

The subtle film making style and pace drives the audience into a family who just want to live a normal life, but they’re constantly running from the law, knowing that their feelings are sincere. Adam Stone gives the film a beautiful look, and David Wingo score an emotional tunes to support the story. Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga are fantastic and deserve a big recognition for their work.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The year 1979 represents a year with outstanding movement of women and LGBT, on May 4th Margaret Thatcher become UK first female prime minister, Los Angeles pass it’s gay and lesbian civil rights bill. But also it a dramatic year, with the civil war in Salvador, the beginning of the Iranian revolution and the debacle of US president Jimmy Carter.

But it was also the year when an mother realized that the only way that she can continues raising her son is with help of other women, for the lack of a father figure. This is the story of “20th Century Women” Mike Mills (Beginners) create a intimate world in the life of Dorothea ( Annette Bening) Abbie (Greta Gerwing) Julie (Elle Fanning) and Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann)

Dorothea a drafter for Continental Can Company met Jamie’s dad then a few years later divorced. Abbie is a photographer who went to art school in NYC, Julie the daughter of a therapist, is very liberal girl, avid reader and feminist. Jamie a teenager who becomes more aware of the world that he is living, filled with sex, drugs, the punk scene.

It’s a very interesting film stye, it’s like when you been introduced to a new friend and as the relationship develops you start discovering more about that person. You don't get all the info at the very begining. The power of every character is their background, some like Dorothea have a heavy influence in the cultural aspects of USA. She was born in 1924, with no money and no TV, during her teenager years World War II broke. Jamie was born in 1964 during Vietnam War, Nixon, computers, drugs and boredom. This is the style developed by Mills, the soundtrack of 20th Century Women is layered with powerful songs about anti establishment views and promotion of individual freedom.

The real conflict is how Dorothea needs to embrace Jamie manhood, basically surrounded by women, in a very limited man environment. She ask Abbie and Julie to help her. This becomes Jamie right time to know about women’s empowerment, sexuality, men’s way of seen women, when to talk, when to shut up, but also his big encounter with mortality. In a way this is a very progressive message and could be metaphorical speaking, like when a same sex marriage adopt and child and needs to raise it. “Sometimes” your values goes beyond the traditional status quo, is more about the message and how can you influence your love ones to be a person of good.

“20th Century Women” is a powerful film which show you a a glimpse of what could be life after the 20th century, technology, politics, no matter what’s going on in the world. Annette Bening is fabulous as well Greta Gerwig.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cities and people represents a certain duality in life. Emotions and happenings connect them with intensity like searching meaning to destiny.
Bigas Lunas explored in the film Bilbao, a film about a prostitute name Bilbao, Woddy Allen discovered with Vicky Cristina Barcelona about two friends who engage a game of love with an Spaniard artist, and more recently Jim Warmish with the film Paterson about a character name like the city Paterson in New Jersey.

The film “Paterson” tells the story of a bus driver name Paterson (Adam Driver) , like the New Jersey town.
He is a aspiring poet who live with his girlfriend Laura (Golshftheh Farahani) a lovely girl, who is constantly soul searching, looking for what to do with her life, both live with a bulldog name Marvin.

Patterson story takes place in a week, Patterson is a methodical person who follow a very mathematical routine of waking up around 6:45, takes breakfast and go a drive his bus. During breaks he writes poems, which are kept in a journal. The poem follow Paterson journey till he gets home. He walk the dog, goes to a bar have a bar and comes back. This is the life of this poet bus driver, living with a girl that one day is a fashion designer and other day is a aspirin country singer.

In a way this movie follow the path of Jim Warmish movies, a lone character who is looking for something in life, from the macro to the micro. A samurai in Ghost Dog, a don Juan in Broken Flowers, a lone man killer in The Limits of Control. But for Patterson is very clear that he could be a more than just a bus driver in Paterson NJ. His life is like a repetitive poem, about his life in this town, his trips to a bar where he meets a bar owner who never ends his chess games with himself, a guy in love with a woman who cannot fulfill his wishes and a NJ transit manager who don’t wants to talk about his life every day.

In Patterson film we see regular people riding the bus and that’s what Warmish ants you to see, nothing is sugar coded to over the top, is just regular people, living life.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

The story of Chile is mostly filled with political turmoils, important personalities and great food. Is a country with so much richness with is represented the words of writers, sounds from their musicians, and visuals from their visual artist.

During the late 40's the government of Gabriel González Videla he started a witch hunt against communist, a new breed of politicians who solely believe in the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social class. One of the members was the poet Pablo Neruda. This is the premise of the film Neruda by Pablo Larrain (Jackie, NO)

The film starts with the petition of Chilean president Videla (Alfredo Castro) to capture the poet Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) for his role the antagonism between the senate and the communist party. This was becoming a politic conflict started in the US in the McCarty era and the cold war>

Neruda is forced to escape and hide in several houses, but he is closely chased by Óscar Peluchonneau (Gael Garcia Bernal.

The concept of the film is pretty interesting. Since Neruda was a fan of cop stories, the movie set the tone of a classic film noir. Peluchonneau is the narrator of the story, guiding us and taking us to the scenes, the emotions, the moments but also the the characters conflicts. But there is a twist instead of borrowing the narration style of films like The Maltese Falcon, Larrain give a poetic voice to Peluchonneau.

Some scenes is like reading a chapter of a book, several times in different locations, the style is complex and effective, altering time and space but not the story arch.

Federicu Juis music is engaging and repetitive the right way, Sergio Armstrong cinematography is beautiful capturing the silhouettes of clandestinity or the vast countryside of Chile and Argentina when Neruda try to escape.

Neruda is a great document about Chilean history, but with heavy influences of American culture. Gnecco and Bernal deliver great roles as the main characters of this poetic film noir drama set in Latin America.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Everyday society is wondering when the aliens will come, it's an idea reflected in short stories, novels and movies. Just the fact of receving the visit of people from other space constitute a scientific breakthrough. The implications of communication, etiquette and approach goes down to a single question: are you come in peace?

Several directors have portray aliens like friendly, mysterious or a real threat to humanity. James Cameron “The Abyss”, Steven Spielberg “Close Encounter of The Third Kind” Robert Zemeckis “Contact” are to me the most influential movies of Dennis Villeneuve “Arrival”

Linguistic Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is been introduced in the movie as a mother and wife, she holds her baby, when she start talking, walking and becomes a teenager, until she passed away. She seems to be alone, even visually. Perhaps as a linguistic she knows how the world communicate, but she is unable to communicate emotionally with her love ones. During the emotional scene you can hear her voice over “But now I’m not so sure I believe in beginnings and endings. There are days that define your story beyond your life. Like the day they arrive…” Her nihilistic words are the vehicle to the arrival of a large group of extra terrestrial.

12 spaceships appear across the planet (China, Greenland, Siberia and Black Sea in Russia, Japan, United States, Sudan, Venezuela, Sierra Leone, Wales, Pakistan and the Indian Ocean. All the government of these countries are looking for answers. So they decided to bring specialists in several areas to obtain information about the aliens as well their intentions. Jeremy Renner plays physics professor who also works with Louise to find ways to communicate with the aliens.

Villeneuve develops an impressive environment, where atmospheric sounds are very important for the movie. The story encapsulate Louise character, close ups where she is with her daughter and open spaces when she is alone, in fact when she is in a group her position is always ahead differentiate herself from the rest. To me Louise connects perfectly with Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) in Gravity a smart professional who is grieving the lost of a love one, in the middle of a situation require her to develop a new set of skills and abilities to reach a goal.

The political tone of “Arrival” express how divided are nations in peril, but also able to work together when you take risk on your own. Governments set rules that meant to be broken just to make things right. Like in the The Abyss the government secret agenda presents them as the real enemy, not the aliens, which for the audience are friends.

The film is powerful and keeps you thinking about the timeline of the story, specifically when are we located. The experimental music by Jóhan Jóhannsson is a masterpiece, Bradford Young cinematography is engaging as well Joe Walker film editing.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The idea of making movies based on plays is very common in Hollywood, great plays been successfully adapted to the screen. A Streetcar Named Desire, Amadeus, Glengarry Glen Ross, Hamlet are among them. But when a filmmaker take the risk of literally turn a film into a play on film. The director needs to bring a good cast to attract the audience and help them justify this risk.

Denzel Washington embarks in the director’s chair making the film “Fences” The story takes place in a neighborhood in Pittsburg in the 50’s Troy Marxon (Washington) lives with his wife Rose (Viola Davis) and his son Cory (Jovan Adepo). Troy works as a waste collector his life is surrounded by constant reminders of mistakes from the past. His brother Gabe Maxson (Mykelti Williamson) suffered from a head injury in World War II wich generates 3000 dollars in payout from the government used by Troy to buy a house also, his son from a previous relationship Lyons Maxson (Russell Hornsby) frequently stop by the house to ask for money. Troy is hunted by a major task which is install a fence around the house, Rose always remind him about it and Troy needs Cory to help him.

The film takes place close locations where the actors develop for long scenes of almost 20 min, kind of like the experience of been in a play, is a nice experiment, but for some audience member could be a very tedious. Fences it’s a metaphor of how in life we surround ourselves with the idea of keep everyone around us and not letting anyone set free, it constitute our mental and emotional cage. We are blind enough of stop everyone for been successful, because we know that we fail as a human being. The fact that Troy builds the fence as a task that never ends, is an act of procrastination that always has excuses.

Your lack of success cannot be justify by limit others to succeed. Your failure is your own responsibility and you are the only one who can do something about it.

A noisy, not so hot and sunny traffic jam in Los Angeles on a major highway welcome group of people, who just decided to start singing and dancing in the middle of the whole thing. It’s “Another Day of Sun” a title song written for the opening credits of the film La La Land, a very energetic and big band style of song, just like those musical from the 50’s and 60’s at the end we introduced our star cross lovers, Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling)

La La Land is the film directed by Damien Chazelle (Wihiplash) is the story of Mia a Barista who works at a coffee shop in the Warner Brothers lot, her dream is become and actress, a very typical story in the city of Los Angeles. Sebastian is a talented pianist who works in bar just playing what is required for the job, but his dream is to own a jazz club and play the music he likes. The film presents a gorgeous and colorful life in the city where everyone is a dreamer to become successful, in the industry of movies, music or fashion. Thorough the first half and hour of the film Mia and Sebastian characters bump into each other in a very comedic situations defining their roles and presenting them to the audience as mean to be together.

Chazelle pays perfect tribute to films like Singing in the Rain, American in Paris and West Side Story. On the other hand the plot in La La Land explore stories about dreams, aspirations and how we put them aside just for the purpose of make money, sacrificing the true essence of us. Mia represents the dreamers; the people are just willing to leave everything behind to fulfill your goals. Sebastian represents the traditional, the classic. He wants to preserve jazz knowing that is dying, like film which metaphorically speaking is portrayed in the movie theater “Rialto” when Mia and Sebastian goes to see Rebel Without a Cause and later is closed, may be out of business.

La La Land is divided in seasons, a reminder that some times are better than other, no matter how’s the weather. This movie is a revelation to Hollywood who just left musicals behind just by the sake of explosions and car chases. The film is a true work of art, in cinematography, costume deigns, editing and art direction.