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good retrospective and performances
Given all the filmed memory pieces about screaming, violent Italian- American families in New York boroughs, I'm not usually thrilled by even good examples. However director Dito Montiel adapts his autobiographical book, most of it set in the mean streets of Astoria in the early 80s. Robert Downey Jr. plays Montiel, who goes home to visit his estranged father (Chazz Palminteri), occasioning flashbacks to his younger self (Shia LaBeouf), his pals, and a violent feud involving graffiti and a baseball bat. With Rosario Dawson, Dianne Wiest, Channing Tatum, and Eric Roberts. Lovable the scenes with young people in the middle of a hot New York summer, talking to one another like panthers circling. Overall it's worth it.
Midnight Express (1978)
brutal and brutalizing prison movie
Wonderful crime drama, Midnight Express is a truly captivating and engaging picture. Some violent sequences in the film are even too brutal but overall the story is dramatic and extremely tense. Everything is brilliantly constructed in terms of tension, the script is solid and the cast gets to really suck the viewer into the film. Midnight Express is a top-notch picture, so entertaining (though disturbing) that it's hard to turn your back on it. On the whole really enjoyable, it has the right balance between dramatic and crime elements and gets to create something unique. Brad Davis performance is simply terrific.
Terminator Genisys (2015)
Not the best among the sequels but decent and well acted
Director Alan Taylor and writers Laeta Kalogridis have rebooted the original franchise, carefully incorporating pieces of all the films and TV series since James Cameron's 1984 original, ironing out any conflicts by deploying that trusty old science fiction standby, time- travel paradox. Arnold Schwarzenegger is back, of courseit would hardly be a Terminator movie without his presenceadding a notable touch of self-mockery (the fact that this "robot" has aged 30 years is deftly explained away). Under Taylor's briskly over- the-top direction, the movie is good fun, though not simplified (if not complicated) and not always logical. The real secret weapon here isn't time machines or robots, it's Emilia Clarke (of Game of Thrones) as Sarah Conner, tender and forceful as needed in a potentially star-making acting performance.
One of the best war movies ever, a masterpiece close to the levels of Platoon and Full Metal Jacket, as far as I can see. Fury has the admirable ambition and achievement of showing how even the Greatest Generation could brutalize and be brutalized by war. Brad Pitt, you'll recall, already won World War II in Inglourious Bastards, well over here he's perfect as well, along with the rest of the cast. The story is intense and suspenseful with strong performances and has also an unsentimental approach as to show the dehumanizing side of war in its raw, the unflinching details and what makes us humans, like the bravery and mercy found in people in the worst of circumstances.
Child 44 (2015)
This movie proves worth and creates an interesting moral dilemma, making the movie more metaphorical and layered. It is attractively shot and passionately acted, furthermore the plot scheme of Child 44 provides an interesting insight into the grim period of Soviet Union history. The set design is more than impressive, it is almost tangible, physical. On the other hand, the film can often prove disorienting and uneven, as there are too many significantly introduced then left aside protagonists. It's easy to think how lost can feel someone from outside of the region (for whom these facts are not at all evident) and how the viewer can feel when confronting this dense tissue. Overall when it comes to entertainment and storytelling value, Daniel Espinosa's film Child 44 is just acceptable, though the ambitious director got crushed by the complexity of the material.
Run All Night (2015)
Liam Neeson as the usual action hero seen over the last years
Decently filmed and acted, "Run All Night" is another in a long line of "bad guy but with a heart of gold" roles for Liam Neeson. In this story he plays a tough Irishman who drinks a lot (far from the romantic Neeson of "Love, Actually". He gets to mete out some fatherly advice while constantly making sure that Michael never fires a shot, scared that he'll follow him down hell's path. The best part of the films are when Neeson and Harris meet and talk about their lives and plans. Both men are mesmerizing on screen and they're fun to watch. They both know that their sons are suffering due to them and when they're in the same room together, the tension grows so fast you may need to take a breath on occasion. The film runs a little long but it's overall a good one.
Game of Thrones (2011)
perfectly cast and carrying a high production value
The storyline feels like something you need a Wikipedia page to follow. It's the stuff of fantasy geek heaven, i.e.a strongly gritty period drama with letter-perfect clothes, weapons and lingo, yet unencumbered by historical facts or the weight of real events. Of all the sword- flinging series which are on TV right now, Game of Thrones is by far the best cloaking a clever commentary on modern day political conniving with a gray Medieval-age story which feels like Rings' older, sexed-up brother. The main accomplishment of Game of Thrones is in that, while it should keep the hard-core fans satisfied, even viewers who don't care if Theon is a Greyjoy or a Tully can have a good time.
Third Person (2013)
the result leaves a little to be desired, given the impressive cast
An intricately constructed tale of three connected stories, Third Person suffers from a script failing to hook the audience and lasting 137 minutes (too much). There are a few moments when the movie has life. Yet these standalone scenes aren't enough to save the movie as a whole. Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde excel in their roles but fail to form a real bond. It's great at last to see Liam Neeson step away from the tough guy roles which have dominated his career in the recent years, though the foray into the clubbing scene threatens to evoke the moment Michael Douglas hitting the dance floor in Basic Instinct. All in all the story lacks vigor..
Inherent Vice (2014)
stylish meeting of creating minds
A swirling tale set at the beginning of the '70s on the coastal side of Los Angeles, Inherent Vice stars, among the others, Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin, as well as many other characters popping in and out to move the story along. Director Paul Thomas Anderson's dark-comedy is the adaptation of author Thomas Pynchon's 2009 crime-noir novel and a cinematic achievement, fitting in with his other critically lauded films, such as There Will Be Blood, The Master and Boogie Nights. The plot is overlong and extremely intricate - convoluted would be a suitable and exact word - and has too many characters in it but on the whole this trippy private eye crime-comedy compensates for its flaws with a delicious'70s atmosphere, a great soundtrack and a hilarious humor.
Tense and intensively acted
The movie stars a trio of top male actors in splendid roles, so that the intricate and very intimate "Felony" is a police story crossed with a strong psychological drama. Three very different Australian detectives, each one determined to do the right thing, are supposed to decide how to define justice in one specific case and must choose what lines can be crossed and what price may be paid as to achieve it. Director Matthew Saville has perfectly constructed a low-key and realistic drama. These kinds of moral decisions and subjects always end up making involving films, especially when the key performers are as good as Tom Wilkinson, Joel Edgerton and Jai Courtney. Working on a perfect screenplay by Edgerton, the director Matthew Saville has expertly constructed an extremely realistic drama where the malleability of morality in an increasingly difficult situation takes center stage.