Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Pompeii

Pompeii narrates the story of a slave turned gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love, who has been betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. In the mean time Mount Vesuvius erupts, so he must fight to save his beloved as Pompeii crumbles around them. 


At first sight the story could appear the easiest plot ever made, in order to embody the city Historical events. A Classical-Tragic love story run through the film. Likely to be an Antique-Tragic version of Romeo & Juliet. Where a beautiful romance happens to be frozen in time for ever. The damsel in distress surprisingly need a hero. But in fact, it's a little bit more complicated than that. This young woman, starring Emily Browning, is actually politically sharp, very clever, well educated and much more stronger than she seems. On the other hand Milo, starring Kit Harington, is in a dead wish. He saw Roman soldier exterminated his tribes when he was younger. As a result he don't care to live or die, he only intends to kill as many Romans as possible, until he met Cassia, then his vision changed steadily. Moreover, Pompeii deals with themes such as love, freedom, revenge, power and most importantly: class system. This last theme is highlighted by Milo and Cassia relationship, an impossible love. But also by the contrasts, the corner point in the film: the eruption of the volcano. at this particular moment each one of Pompeii's citizen are at the same level, facing death and loss. A reel microcosm story emerged throughout the film; with a great combination of characters, stories, love and action. Indeed, some bigger films often forget about the story, but here, Paul W.S Anderson knew how to use technology in the background, supporting the Historical facts. The only drawbacks of Pompeii would be a very slow beginning until the real point of the film: the City. Plus 3D is not compulsory till the very last 20 minutes of the film. 


Overall still a very good action disaster movie.   

Sunday, 16 February 2014

House of Cards - Season2

House of Cards season 2 finally came out on Valentine's Day, Friday the 14 of February.
The Political Thriller picked up exactly where it left off.



*SPOILERS ALERT*
At the end of the first season I was skeptical about the future as Vice President for Underwood, threatened by the three journalists lead by Zoe Barnes. In my opinion the first episode close perfectly the loop with the first season, picking up with the Underwood's running, closing the "Barnesgate" story and greeting us with a "Welcome back!" at the end of the episode. This is particularly well orchestrated, when I begin to think that Underwood forget us, our parallel conversation with him starts again. That's one of the major thing I love about House of Cards. With this direct conversation it makes me feel very close to him, in his thoughts, even though we (the viewers) are a hundred miles away from the whole story. After the first four episodes, I have the feeling that in this season characters past is going to be known. Mainly Claire's past. With his husband as Vice President of the United States, the word "privacy" doesn't exist. During an interview on a National channel it's uncover that Claire's has been raped when she was in freshman year. In a way as we begin to know more about their past, it feels like now we can have a better understanding of how they act and may be why as well. Even if their main motivation remains power. In the mean time after Zoe's death, his journalist boyfriend, Lucas is not given up on her investigation and surprisingly find a new partner. Kevin Spacey still appears as a charismatic evil mastermind, campier and funnier this time, manipulating people around him so easily that it seems painless. He doesn't have to state his intentions to make us understand where he wants to go, and that clearly is the Presidency. More ambition.


The first four episodes fly by in a blur of cheeky dialogues and plot twists. House of Cards is designed to be consumed so quickly that there are no time to taste all the little irregularities. Apportioned every week and dissected for plausibility it would barely be worth some people time. But slammed in a week or two... It's all good and you are even to see more! 


This series is addictive.   

Saturday, 8 February 2014

American Hustle

The story set up in the 70's when a con man named Irving Rosenfeld and his seductive partner, Sydney Posser, are forced to work for a FBI agent, Richie DiMaso. He pushes them into a world of powers-brokers and mafia.


In this Choral Polar D. O'Russell is paying a tribute to Scorsese cinema.
One of the most overwhelming fact about this film is the cast transformation and how amazing all their performances are. We knew already that all those actors are great and in this film each and every one of them play their part and they play it well. Dialogues are efficient and seem quite natural, maybe because O'Russell already worked with them before, know them and how they could play it. Characters are dealing with issues such as reinvention, ambition and manipulation. Irving and Sydney are successful in their business as they keep it small enough and simple. However when the FBI agent starring by Bradley Cooper appeared, he's bringing them into a whole new level as he's eager to level up an be remembered. Our Bonnie and Clyde of the 70's are founding themselves in a very complicated scenario. On the one hand Irving starred by Christian Bale pop out as the mastermind who came out with plans. On the other hand Sydney (Amy Adams) is empowered by her sexuality over men characters: over Irving but mainly over FBI Agent DiMasio. In fact, it's crazy to see that so much things happened and actually work predictably at the end. There's so much events going on in the same time, that viewers could be finding themselves a little lost at some point. Finally American Hustle is solid, awkward and funny though I don't see the point to nominate it for best comedy.


Overall, it's entertaining and pretty well edited.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

After eleven years on holidays, Jack Ryan comes back for his fifth missions on screen. In 1990 viewers discovered Alec Baldwin in "The Hunt for Red October" as Jack Ryan, first adaptation of the 1984s novel.


In this new film Jack Ryan, as a young covert CIA analyst, discovered a Russian plot to crash the US economy with a terrorist attack. The Cold War may be over but they're America so they keep the fear alive. The pivotal events happened at the beginning of the film as the young student in economy watch the September 11th terrorist attack, first attack on the US floor since Pearl Harbor in 1941. Wounded while enrolled in the Marines, a CIA field agent offers Ryan a job as analyst in a Wall Street company. Quickly Jack Ryan's character appeared to fit super well to the previous Captain Kirk, Chris Pine, who leads action scenes efficiently. His apparent physical fragility hide a genuine rational and motivated personality, which is very interesting in such ways that we clearly want to know more about what he's capable to do and who he is. Plus, a Trust pattern is present along the film. Beginning with Keira Knightley, girlfriend character, who plays a part which at first seems not plainly defined. Bounds of her involvement in his life are blurred. Then, Kevin Costner must be secretly a bad guy, leading a team where Jack Ryan is supposed to be a simple financial analyst and at least happened to be thrown in the field, risking his life as well as his fiancĂ©e's. His characters intentions are not known. Indeed, we don't know why he's here, why he choose him particularly, and how he heard about Ryan's works on top-secret-various subjects. I know what you're thinking: that's a proper characteristic of CIA Agent. But his mysterious and foggy personality works quite well in this Spy-Thriller directed by the actor-director Kennegh Branagh, not surprisingly playing the villain. The Russian basic villain. Personally, my favourite scene is Ryan "First Time" killing someone. This film is playing it safe, we all seen that kind of spy things before. Last scene close the loop with Ryan introduced to the President, typically American. But generally speaking, we saw spies killing people and then going on with their life. Ryan is obviously not used to it. We actually saw him dealing with it, he's shacking, and I assume that it's how it should be. Good job bringing it to life!


Overall, this film is a paradox as its a bit disappointing but quite efficient as well.