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1.
Eye in the Sky (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Col. Katherine Powell, a military officer in command of an operation to capture terrorists in Kenya, sees her mission escalate when a girl enters the kill zone triggering an international dispute over the implications of modern warfare. (102 mins.)
Director: Gavin Hood
“ A TIMELY STORY POORLY DONE.....OVER DIALOGUED, FRUSTRATING AND SHODDILY DIRECTED. NAR 2, DIR 2, PERF 3, CTOG 3, ENJOY 2.
This is high-minded, heavy-handed filmmaking that buries troubling wartime questions in simplistic rhetoric. Eye In The Sky is effective in building suspense and making a talk-y drama compelling, these techniques are in service to high-minded, heavy-handed filmmaking that buries troubling wartime questions in simplistic rhetoric. ” - sharmatt
 
2.
Born to Be Blue (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A re-imagining of jazz legend Chet Baker's musical comeback in the late '60s. (97 mins.)
Director: Robert Budreau
“ WELL DONE EFFORT BY ETHAN HAWKE WHO I HAVE THE UTMOST RESPECT ESPECIALLY AFTER HIS DOCU, SEYMOUR AN INTRODUCTION, WHICH TO ME IS AN ICONIC FILM THAT SHOULD BE SEEN BY EVERYONE. IT COVERS SUBJECTS LIKE CONTENTMENT, HAPPINESS AND THE MEANING OF A GOOD LIFE. ETHAN'S PERF IN BLUE WAS OUT STANDING AND HIS ROMANTIC INTEREST CARMEN EJOGO INTRODUCES US TO A NEW TALENT. THE PRODUCT OF A NIGERIAN FATHER AND A SCOTTISH MOTHER SHE WAS RAISED IN UK AND SPENT MOST OF HER LIFE IN BRITISH TV SHOWS. HER ACTING TALENT IS EXCELLENT, BUT HER BEAUTY IS EXTRAORDINARY. I REDUCED MY OVERALL RATING OF THIS FILM AS ITS MAIN THEME SUGGESTED THAT MUSICAL TALENT IS ENHANCED BY BEING STONED ON HEROIN WHICH IS ABHORRENT TO ME. 7/10 RATING, PERF 5/5, CINETOG 5/5, DIR 5/5 STORY 3/5, ENJOYMENT 3/5.
It’s a lyrical, self-aware and breezy drama that feels like jazz itself — dated but fresh, a tale of smokey clubs and burning memories, captured in black and white, with an art form just hitting its peak just as its audience faded away. And Hawke makes a perfectly content, laid-back Baker, a matinee idol junkie who owns his addictions, takes his lumps and refuses to truly change his style, musically or personally, even as circumstances force him to. The self-mocking framing device of this story is Baker’s shot at screen stardom. He’s fresh out of prison and in front of the cameras, making a “Chet Baker Story.” Carmen Ejogo is his co-star, an African American actress portraying “Chet’s women.” She understands his attraction to black women, but she’s having trouble figuring out what they see in him. He sees that as an invitation to put the moves on her. ” - sharmatt
 
3.
The Jungle Book (2016)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After a threat from the tiger Shere Khan forces him to flee the jungle, a man-cub named Mowgli embarks on a journey of self discovery with the help of panther, Bagheera, and free spirited bear, Baloo. (106 mins.)
Director: Jon Favreau
“ CONSIDERING THE FLUFF NOW AT YOUR LOCAL CINEPLEX, THIS WILL BE A DELIGHTFUL SOUFFLE. LIGHT, AIRY AND FUN. I MUST ADMIT THAT I LIKED BARE NECESSITIES BY PHIL HARRIS AND LOUIS PRIMA AS KING LOUIE IN THE ORIGINAL THAN IN THIS CURRENT VERSION. POPCORN AND FAMILY OUTING ONLY.
This film’s existence implicitly poses a question: why, almost 50 years on from the release of Wolfgang Reitherman’s unimpeachable animated version, would Disney want to go back to The Jungle Book? Shere Khan, along with the rest of its photorealistic supporting cast, is the answer. All previous live-action adaptations of Rudyard Kipling’s stories (and there have been a few) have felt like studio-bound fantasies, all circus animals, rubber ferns, and vets with tranquilliser darts just out of shot. But this one – ironically, the most synthetic of the lot – has the warm-blooded, weather-beaten ring of truth. If you’ve seen Kenneth Branagh’s 2015 adaptation of Cinderella, you’ll already have a good sense of its tone. Favreau’s film is a sincere and full-hearted adaptation that returns to Kipling for fresh inspiration, but also knows which elements of the animation are basically now gospel, and comes up with a respectful reconciliation of the two. ” - sharmatt
 
4.
The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The story of the life and academic career of the pioneer Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan, and his friendship with his mentor, Professor G.H. Hardy. (108 mins.)
Director: Matthew Brown
“ IF YOU THINK THAT A FILM ABOUT AN INDIAN MATHEMATICIAN IS GOING TO BE BORING, THINK AGAIN. THIS IS CLASSIC FILM MAKING AT ITS VERY BEST. OSCAR IS WRITTEN ALL OVER IT AND LOOK FOR DEV PATEL AND JEREMY IRONS ON YOUR BALLOT. THE PERFS WERE 5 STAR, THE STORY 5 STAR, DIRECTION 5 STAR, CINEMATOGRAPHY 5 STAR WHICH EASILY MAKES THIS FILM A 10/10 RATING.
Featuring terrific performances by Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel and Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons, The Man Who Knew Infinity tells the story of Srinivasa Ramanujan, the Indian mathematician whose contributions to number theory, continued fractions, and infinite series revolutionized the field. This sweeping historical film about high science and the tragic repercussions of racism amongst the ostensibly enlightened is a testament to the wonder and precariousness of genius — and the power of friendship to change the world. Opening near the dawn of the twentieth century, the film follows Ramanujan (Patel) from his humble roots in Madras — where opportunities for someone of Ramanujan's abilities are few — to Cambridge University, where the young prodigy's visionary theories attract the attention of English mathematician G.H. Hardy (Irons). The chance to work in the same hallowed halls where Isaac Newton formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation is a dream come true for Ramanujan, but also proves to be a sort of nightmare. His colleagues, unable to see beyond his dark skin and unfamiliar culture, harass and humiliate him, while Hardy insists that Ramanujan deliver countless proofs before being allowed to publish his work. One of the most remarkable feats of The Man Who Knew Infinity is the way it renders Ramanujan's groundbreaking, complex theories understandable even to a layperson. But even more important is the film's depiction of Ramanujan and Hardy's difficult yet deep friendship, as they gradually evolve from stern mentor and untamable protegé to true peers, whose mutual love and respect transcend the formidable obstacles of race, class, culture, and tradition. ” - sharmatt
 
5.
Viva (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When his estranged father returns, a hairdresser is forced to quit performing at the local drag club. (100 mins.)
“ CAN YOU IMAGINE SEEING A HIGHLY RATED TRANSVESTITE FILM SHOT IN CUBA BY AN IRISH FILMAKER AND SUBMITTED BY IRELAND FOR THE OSCAR FOREIGN LANGUAGE PRIZE. IT ACTUALLY MADE THE SHORT LIST OF 10. WELL HERE IT IS WITH LOADS OF CELEBRATION BY MANY FILM FESTIVALS. THE SENSITIVITY AND SHOOT ARE OUTSTANDING AND HOPE ALL MY READERS MAKE AN EFFORT TO SEE IT. NAR 5, DIR 5, PERFS 5+, CTOG 5, ENJOY 4.
An Irish film shot in Cuba, in Spanish, this rousing cross-cultural crowd-pleaser is set in Havana, in what one character aptly calls “the most beautiful slum in the world.” In a drag club in the city, we meet impoverished 18-year-old hairdresser Jesus (Héctor Medina), who helps with the wigs of the drag performers, and dreams of taking the stage himself. His first performance is disrupted by a rugged, unruly man in the audience—Jesus' father, an ex-boxer just out of prison, whom he hasn’t seen for 15 years. The macho, homophobic father insists on moving in with his effeminate, abandoned son, and thus begins a remarkable father and son story; stirring, tender and unexpected. Paddy Breathnach’s irresistible movie was the surprise hit of the Telluride Film Festival. ” - sharmatt
 
6.
Our Last Tango (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The life and love story of Argentina's famous tango dancers Maria Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes, who met as teenagers and danced together for nearly fifty years until a painful separation tore them apart. (85 mins.)
Director: German Kral
“ THE TANGO DANCING AND VIEWS OF ARGENTINA MAKE THIS DOCUMETARY WORTHY OF YOUR TIME AND ATTENTION. THE LOVE STORY BETWEEN THE TWO PROTAGONISTS IS HOT AND COLD. THE HOT BLOODED HISPANIC MALE IN HIS HOT BLOODED TANGO DANCING FREQUENTLY PISSES HIS WIFE OFF......THUS THE DISTRACTIONS OF LOYALTY.
Documentarian German Kral chronicles the seven-decade career of Argentine tango legends Juan Carlos Copes and Maria Nieves.
Juan Carlos Copes and María Nieves Rego are the Fred and Ginger of Argentinian tango. In this beautifully photographed film full of stunning dance sequences, they recount their complicated history over several decades. Starting out in the 1950s, Juan had a vision to turn his country's dance into an international phenomenon, the way jazz was exported from the United States. He accomplished that dream with his dance partner Maria in the hit Broadway show Tango Argentino and other travelling performances. Yet, behind the scenes, their relationship was tumultuous, and remains so now. "I would have done it all the same way," says Maria, "only without Juan." ” - sharmatt