Saturday, 29 March 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles an old threat from his own past: Hydra. A new enemy appears: the Soviet agent known as The Winter Soldier. 


Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer looked so good when it came out almost a year ago. We know that it's a Marvel movie, there's a lot of money behind it. And it's obviously a new super hero movie. The question back then was how does the story look? It's spy-espionage related around a larger than life super hero. And it's working pretty well. Writers took a comic book film very seriously, as a crime story which is a great way to approach this type of material. A little bit like Nolans did for The Dark Knight. And as usual settings look very fun. Furry get his ass kicked, which is great because it takes a character that have been a kind of invincible awesomely cool guy, and show his human side, his vulnerability. Plus, Robert Redford (Alexander Pierce) add some serious actor credibility to the movie. My favourite scene is the "elevator" one. Rogers appears almost naive. But here he proves that he may be idealistic but he's certainly not stupid. At the end of the fight, he kicks that thing up like it's Marty McFly's skateboard but it's cap shield, so cool. The Winter Soldier is some sort of anti-hero, not really a villain, but a very bad ass soldier on his own way. I believe that other than Loki he's the most successful villain character. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is one of the strongest instalment of the individual productions. It's operating on several level with a sharp script and displaying several level of actions such as: gun fight, handsome hand-to-hand combat, and really well executed car chases. Marvel is offering a very good piece of entertainment. I feel like they've taken every lessons they've learn from every previous films and it's right there on the screen. With those events, they can't come back. It can potentially reverberate into every single other Marvel property *NO SPOILER* but I can't wait to see how it will go. 


If you thought The Avengers was Marvels best action movie wait until you see this one! 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Her


Her deals with the story of a lonely writer who’s developing a relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need.


Her narrates an intelligent, overwhelming but very unlikely love story. Behind a sort of innocence some cruelty pops out and slowly, without expecting it at all, a spleen settled. This film is depicting an era - ours - which is gradually drown by doubts and culpability. Many ideas are displayed, such as: desire, love, human contact, loneliness and connection. Most of the characters are realistic and very interesting. Joaquim Phoenix is so good in the part of this self-implose isolation man, named Theodore. Amy (his best friend), ironically starring Amy Adams, is experiencing her own exploration of intimacy, so they can go through it together. On the one hand in a proper relationship and on the other in a friendship. Plus both of them are evolving, growing and changing through these. The most important theme is how each heartbreak teaches you something about yourself, that's how Human are designed, they keep trying to connect with each other in many ways. Mainly Her is not about technology, future and even more not about OS (Operating System), it's more likely to be a study on connections. Her feels so new and fresh, as it's amazing colours. This film is original. I think we have to celebrate  this film because some people are still able to make awesome and original ideas, even it twisted around something we had seen before. Spike Jonze believes in it, and we can feel it. He creates a film that makes us see the world in startling new ways. Finally, musics by Arcade Fire are sounding like lullabies. We ended up caring about each one of the characters as we knew them, and it's transporting us into another super realistic world. 


Overall Her is very smart.          

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Monuments Men

Back behind the camera, American actor and ladies lover, G.Clooney, directs the unbelievable story of WWII platoon tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.


It must have been hard to find a new angle, a new point of view in order to display an original and mostly unknown exciting story. It could appeared as a legacy of Frankenheimer film's The Train (1964) but it was at that time still more focused on the French Resistance. It seems to me that Monuments Men is in the same genre as famous films such as The Dirty Dozen, Kelly's Heroes, Von Ryan's Express, The Longest Day, A Bridge too Far or even The Great Escape. All those masterpieces were epic films gathering a bunch of famous Cinema figures with suspense and humour. The Ocean's saga directed by Soderbergh works quite on the same concept. Monuments Men is highlighting a part of the WWII history. However its most important strength is that this films is not an Historical/Arts lesson or a boring documentary on the period and people. It finds the appropriate ton and pace right from the beginning. A sort of comic and non-solemnly ton. Plus, each one of the characters, apart from the team is interesting. They have their own identity. This film is build around more than Arts and War, it's build around character's back stories and how each one of them affected and helped the film to grow. Finally the question behind it is: Can you risk your life for a piece of Art? The film answer is clearly YES! Personally, I don't think that I will find myself running into a house on fire in order to save a painting someday. (A family member...yes... or my dog.) Monuments men is peculiar of Clooney's way of directing, Capra's idealist heir, who systematically search hope and redemption in Human nature. 


Overall this film is engaging, entertaining and sentimental.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

300: Rise of an Empire

300: Rise of an Empire is not really a sequel of the actual 300 movie. It's most a sort of parallel event, happening while the movie is taking place. A Greek general Themistocles leads the charge against invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy. 


I wasn't a huge fan of the first movie, but I found it visually groundbreaking. Queen Gorgo is telling the story this time around, it's an opportunity to revisit and reliving the character of this strong but not very known Queen in the 300 movie. She actually embodies the bridge between past and present events. There a few female characters  again this time (obvious for an Action-Drama-War movie) but they're very strong, and most importantly very interesting characters. In fact warriors still fight for a Glorious death. My favourite character is Artemisia, starring Eva Green. She's not a one dimensional character, which could have been the danger here. Along the film we're able to discover her back story, which is quiet rare - to see where the characters come from, especially in those films. Moreover, Artemisia's back story kind of ad some humanity to her. Indeed, she was wounded mentally and physically, when she was a child her family got killed by Greeks. Now, we can understand why she's on a mission to revenge her family and killed Greeks boldly. On the other hand, the war hero: Themistocles,  is a little bit boring. But he delivers good battle speeches and good action scenes though. The visual effects are stunning, epic, ambitious and still breathtaking. The slow-motion depicts battle scenes quiet like moving paintings on an even greater scale because of the main challenging components such as being on water or costumes. This "sequel" is done with just about as much skills as the first 300 movie. Finally, I  was hold at the same feeling of the 300 movie but it shows a new angle which displays that the Greeks are doing their own thing (till Queen Gorgo and Sparta's navy come save them btw). 


Overall, 300: Rise of an Empire has a not so great hero but a very good female villain character.


Sunday, 2 March 2014

Non-Stop

Non-Stop deals with an air marshal springs into action during a transatlantic flight after receiving a series of text messages that put his fellow passengers at risk unless the airline transfers $150 million into an off-shore account. 


We're used to know J. Collet-Serra in horror films, indeed, he directed House of Wax (2005) and Orphan (2009). For his second action movie the director of Unknown (2011) pays a tribute to the old plane catastrophe movie of the 70's such as Airport with Burt Lancaster directed by George Seaton. There are a pronounced Hitchcokian atmosphere which have an outrageous 90's style. The investigation is thrilling, the murders are, clever, the plot is well formulated and the atmosphere is oppressive in this flight-constrained area. Every twenty minutes someone die, and in between the pace is pretty good, especially when we can see Liam Neeson kicking ass. In fact, Liam Neeson could ad credibility to just about anything, he could even sit on a bench and look at a bird saying "I'm an air marshal, come here now!" I will probably enjoy it. But in this film he's actually not just a mindless action hero. Julian Moore provided some good supporting work as well, she brings some humanity in Neeson's character, he reveals himself to her. Each one of the characters look suspicious and at some point you could find yourself thinking "Oh it could be him - or her - or him with the sunglasses and the cap" and even the seven years old girl looks guilty. Which is pretty exciting, and mind-blowing. Plus as the film is in a constrained area I've had this feeling that i was in the plane as well, searching for the terrorists and looking at each one of the passengers. However, Non-Stop is not realistic at all. Nothing makes sense. It's cheesy, but fun enough to be kind interesting and enjoyable to watch around. I believe if a film is written, played and filmed with enough passion and at one time everything fall into place, a movie that is even endlessly implausible and doesn't always makes sense; I think it could be good. Non-Stop is that movie. That one movie that comes along once in a while. 


Overall Non-Stop is a basic but efficient plane thriller, supported by really good actors.