Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's difficult to shake. Strikingly well played by an international cast, the film's dark themes get under the skin. German director-cowriter Florian Gallenberger has a skilful eye that draws the audience in, focussing on characters to provide a strong emotional kick. That said, the film feels eerily stuck in the past, never quite finding present-day relevance that would make it even more powerful.
It's 1973 in Chile, as the political unrest grows surrounding Pinochet's brutal coup d'etat. Flight attendant Lena (Emma Watson) has just arrived for a four-day holiday with her journalist boyfriend Daniel (Daniel Bruhl) when street protests spin out of control. Detained by the new government, Daniel is cruelly tortured. Lena sets out to find him, following his trail to Colonia Dignidad, a religious cult out in the countryside where rebel activists are hidden from sight and forced to work. Posing as a true believer, Lena enters the compound and is quickly terrified by the ruthless, charismatic leader Paul (Michael Nyqvist) and his heartless housemaster Gisela (Richenda Carey).
Gallenberger begins building the underlying tension even in the opening scenes, which feature the happy romantic reunion between Lena and Daniel. Angry demonstrations and military action surround them, ramping up the tension. And then as the story shifts to Colonia, the film takes on nightmarish echoes of Nazi Germany, with chanted greetings ("God bless" sounds rather a lot like "Heil Hitler"), torture chambers and claustrophobic bunkers. Through all of this, Watson and Bruhl deliver remarkably grounded performances as real people caught up in unimaginable horrors. Underneath the intensity, both actors are likeable and tenacious, and together they have very strong chemistry. Meanwhile, the always superb Nyqvist (star of the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy) brings a genuinely unsettling nastiness to his all-powerful father figure.
Continue reading: The Colony [Colonia] Review
Emma Watson, Michael Nyqvist , Daniel Bruehl - The Berlin Premiere of "Colonia Dignidad - Es Gibt Kein Zurueck" at Potsdamer Platz. at CineStar Sony Center - Berlin, Germany - Friday 5th February 2016
‘John Wick 2’ will be filmed this fall.
Filming for John Wick 2 is about to begin, Thunder Road Pictures confirmed on Wednesday (23rd September). Keanu Reeves is reprising the title role in the upcoming sequel to the 2014 film John Wick. Reeves is the only casting confirmation so far for sequel although, with filming set to begin in the next few weeks, further casting announcements are expected.
Keanu Reeves in John Wick.
There have been so many awful revenge thrillers lately that we've almost forgotten that it's possible to make a good one, and this is a rare example of striking the right balance of exhilarating action and dark emotion. Yes, there's a high body count, but this isn't a mow-them-down romp: there's a real sense of pain at all of the senseless bloodshed caused by one idiot's inability to conceive that his actions might have repercussions.
The film also gives Keanu Reeves yet another chance to cleverly reinvent himself on-screen as John Wick, a still-feared former mob hitman who left his job to have a happy life with his wife (Bridget Moynahan). But her untimely illness and death have left him a broken man. His only glimmer of hope is her deathbed gift of an adorable puppy to keep him company. Then even this is taken from him, when cocky Russian thug Iosef (Alfie Allen) steals his vintage Mustang and kills the puppy. In need of closure, John resurrects his past, which is a problem because his ex-boss Viggo (Michael Nyqvist) is Iosef's dad, and he knows that John is unstoppable. So Viggo reluctantly offers a massive bounty on John's head, taken up by John's former fellow assassin pals (Willem Dafoe and Adrianne Palicki). But it's doubtful that anyone can stop the legendary John Wick from bringing down the entire Russian mafia.
Intriguingly, everyone in the film knows this legend except the dim-witted moron Iosef, who blithely keeps on carousing while everyone around him prepares for Armageddon. Writer Derek Kolstad and director Chad Stahelski set the story in a fantastical criminal underworld that uses solid gold coins as currency in shimmering underground nightclubs, lavish spas and a mob hotel in which "business" is strictly prohibited. All of this is fiendishly inventive, with a striking visual atmosphere and an even stronger moody tone. At the centre, Reeves gives John a jagged sense of humour as he braces himself wearily for the inevitable carnage, all while trying to control his much deeper emotional pain.
Continue reading: John Wick Review
Critics are slightly uncertain about Keanu Reeves' latest movie 'John Wick', but audiences have voted with their feet as the movie made over $5 million on its opening night.
John Wick was released in US cinemas on Friday (24th October) and has already been hailed as a financial success, making $5.45 million on its opening night. So if you fancy seeing Keanu Reeves back where he belongs - in full action mode - here's what John Wick is all about and what the critics have to say.
The film has been well received by critics who have largely commented on its violent nature. It has been described as the archetypal action film which offers impressive fight scenes and a relatively simplistic storyline. As Vulture's critic wrote John Wick is 'a beautiful coffee-table action movie.' However, others have also criticised the violent element of the film, with one critic remarking John Wick 'is a film where every human being is a sack of meat waiting to be tenderized' (Globe and Mail).
John Wick was one of the criminal underground's finest hitmen until the untimely death of his beloved wife. Now he's living a relatively solitary life with his pet dog, retired from that world and living peacefully. That is until his car gets recognised by some former enemies responsible for his wife's death and he is beaten half to death in his own home, his dog brutally killed in front of him. Unfortunately for the perpetrators, they have no idea who their messing with, and when they are warned by a major crime boss of his uniquely gifted fighting abilities, they are forced to recruit their deadliest men (and women) to take Wick down. But now, with nothing left to lose, Wick is more dangerous than ever before.
Continue: John Wick Trailer
Elizabeth (Allison Janney), a young movie star is heading off to spend time with her family over Memorial Day in 1980s rural New England. She brings her partner, Peter (Christian Camargo) to meet her brother, Herb (William Hurt), her son, Eric (Ben Whishaw) and his girlfriend, Eva (Juliet Rylance, and the family doctor, Louis (Jean Reno). Throughout a whirlwind weekend, Stephen (Mark Rylance) tries to keep calm across the land where a majestic bald eagle is trying to raise its young, with the help of his wife, Alex (Katie Holmes). The dysfunctional family battle against each other as they struggle to find true happiness and unity before their personalities tear them apart for good.
Continue: Days And Nights Trailer
A bracingly original approach to both science-fiction and the found-footage genres makes this eerily realistic thriller well worth a look. Director Cordero may indulge in a variety of gimmicky and manipulative tricks, but he keeps everything grounded, as it were, and his expert cast makes sure that we are drawn into the story as it progresses. Which makes the conclusion startlingly intense.
After six months in space, the feed from the Europa One mission suddenly went blank, leaving Earth to wonder what was happening in humanity's first deep-space voyage. Unknown to the mission commander (Davidtz) in Houston, the six-person crew has continued on course to Jupiter's moon Europa, where they plan to explore whether there are conditions that could support life. When they arrive, their landing doesn't go quite as planned, and their experiments reveal things they couldn't possibly have expected. They also finally get a chance to send their video footage back to mission control.
What we're watching is an assembly of this footage, taken both inside and outside the ship as they travel, intercut with the commander's comments. Cordero directs all of this exactly like scenes we've seen from Space Shuttle missions, so it looks all too real, complete with a crew of complex experts. Marinca is terrific as the soulful pilot, with the charismatic Camargo and the curious Wydra as scientists, and the cheeky Copely and the intriguingly shaded Nyqvist as mechanics. This cast of acclaimed actors really raises the bar, adding layers of interest without ever seeming to act at all.
Continue reading: Europa Report Review
With the 21st century world revolving around the it, people are becoming gradually more and more dependent on the internet, and it isn't without consequences. Derek and Cindy's marriage is on the rocks as he struggles to curb his online gambling habits and she enters into an extramarital affair with a stranger on a social networking site. Unfortunately, their secrets are forcibly uncovered when they realise that money is going missing from their accounts, due to an alarming case of identity fraud. Elsewhere, a teenaged social outcast is delighted when a girl online becomes seemingly interested in him leading him to send her some intimate pictures on her request. However, when the pictures show up around school, he is devastated to learn that he has been the victim of a cruel joke at the hands of a cyber-bully who created a fake account. Meanwhile, an ambitious journalist is curious to learn about young teenagers being intimate via webcam with strangers and sets out to get the scoop on the shocking practise despite ruining lives on the way.
Continue: Disconnect Trailer
Ethan (Cruise) is broken out of a grim Russian prison by old colleague Dunn (Pegg) and new IMF agent Carter (Patton). But why was he in there to begin with? And why does his next mission result in a bombing of the Kremlin that's blamed on the IMF, which is now in Ghost Protocol mode: dissolved and vulnerable. To clear his name, Ethan, Dunn, Carter and analyst Brandt (Renner) head to Dubai and then Mumbai to stop megalomaniacal peacenik Hendricks (Nyqvist) from triggering a nuclear war.
Continue reading: Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Review
Nathan (Lautner) is a lively Pittsburgh teen with even livelier parents (Isaacs and Bello), although he sees a shrink (Weaver) to keep his anger issues in check. While working on a school project with childhood crush Karen (Collins), he stumbles across a missing-child website with a picture of him at age 3.
Suddenly he doubts who he really is, and indeed he and Karen have uncovered a secret involving a foreign agent (Nyqvist) and a CIA boss (Molina) who are both desperate to get their hands on some important information.
Continue reading: Abduction Review
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