Philippe Nahon

Philippe Nahon

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The Informant Trailer


Marc Duval is struggling to support his family in France as he is faced with an increased financial pressure. However, he is offered a chance to better his life by moving to the Gibraltar off the Spanish coast and becoming a spy for French customs for a more than reasonable income. Unfortunately, the job is not without its risks as he must go undercover as a trustworthy confidante to formidable cocaine smuggler named Claudio Lanfredi. With this operation comes plenty of temptation into a lifestyle of unmatchable luxury, but when border patrol makes a move to arrest Lanfredi, Marc is forced to hide himself and his family from the wrath of Lanfredi's Columbian drug trafficking associates. It soon becomes clear that Marc has to decide what's worth dying for; his family or his job?

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Mammuth Review


Good
Mixing warm drama with hilariously deadpan comedy, this is one of the most unusual road movies you'll ever see. But the filmmakers' approach is clever, artful and often very funny as it makes profound observations about human nature.

Serge (Depardieu), better known as Mammuth, is a long-haired biker dude who has retired from working in a slaughterhouse. His sharp-tongued wife Catherine (Moreau) has no idea how he'll fill his time and, when his pension doesn't come through, she starts to worry that her supermarket job isn't enough to make ends meet. So he dusts off his old motorbike and heads off in search of the papers he needs to claim his pension. But riding it sparks memories of his lost love (Adjani), who haunts him as he travels from town to town.

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The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec Review


Excellent
Lively and raucously entertaining, this female Indiana Jones romp makes little sense but keeps us engaged due to its sparky characters and a bit of deranged subtext. And writer-director Besson clearly has fun adapting comic book imagery to the big screen.

In 1911 Paris, Adele (Bourgoin) is a novelist who travels the world in search of adventures to write about. Her latest quest takes her to Egypt, where she uncovers a Pharaoh's tomb and sneaks off with his physician's mummy, who she plans to resurrect with help from her mad-scientist friend Esperandieu (Nercessian), all in an attempt to cure her badly injured twin sister (de Clermont). But the doctor's experimentation has brought to life a hatchling pterodactyl, which is now menacing Paris. Apparently surrounded by incompetents, Adele will have to fix everything herself.

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Irréversible Review


Terrible
It's hard to imagine a more unpleasant film than Irréversible, a tale of sexual and physical violence that pulls out all the stops in attempting to shock its audience. The new film by French filmmaker Gaspar Noé - whose last feature, I Stand Alone, boasted a 30-second warning countdown before its graphic finale - is determined to rub our noses in the horrid realities of life, kicking things off with a nauseating murder and culminating in a revolting nine-minute rape sequence that garnered intense controversy at the film's 2002 Cannes Film Festival debut. Noé wants us to sit transfixed on the horrific because he's convinced that, by making us do so, he is exposing our naïve bourgeois minds to the grim, unforgiving "real" world. We are the students, he the teacher, and one can imagine Noé, as well as the film's admirers, arguing that those who don't like (or get) the film are simply sheltered ignoramuses afraid to admit that life isn't as warm and cozy as we think it is.

The supposed wisdom imparted by Irréversible is, unfortunately, wholly unoriginal in theory and decidedly odious in practice. To Noé, man is, regardless of his civilized facade, a vicious animal driven by primitive instincts. Homosexuality and femininity are the enemies of masculinity, and should be treated with suspicion and disgust. The modern world, and Paris in particular, is a cesspool of vice and depravity. And the only way to fully convey these themes is to depict them unflinchingly, without restraint or decency. The film, like far too many recent French imports (Baise-moi, Romance), mistakenly embraces blunt shock tactics as the surest means of capturing artless reality.

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I Stand Alone Review


Grim
Gaspar Noé's harrowing and misanthropic story has an aging butcher as he wanders through life -- just out of jail, unemployed, and looking for trouble in the city he utterly hates: Paris. He can't get work, and quickly becomes broke -- the classic "from bad to worse" situation. Fortunately, he's got a gun and three bullets. Noé isn't exactly known for subtlety -- whether he's punctuating each cut or pan with the sound of a gunshot or using a 30-second countdown to warn viewers not to watch his movie's finale (not nearly as graphic as you might have heard) -- and I Stand Alone stands, well, alone as one of his most graphic creations. As a film, it's overbearing -- almost completely told via voice-over and hateful in the extreme. As a testament to the decay of society, is Noé a chronicler or a contributor? You be the judge. For what it's worth, I think he's mostly just posing.

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High Tension Review


Weak
Though he claims it was inspired by the classic '70s slasher classics of his youth, Alexandre Aja's High Tension is unfortunately as indebted to gimmicky pseudo-horror flicks like The Sixth Sense and Identity than Last House on the Left. A serial killer story undone by a lack of terror and a vicious view of homosexuality, Aja's film borrows liberally from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - including its narrative about a blond woman attempting to escape from a deadly fiend who, in the final scene, stalks his victim in the woods with a buzz saw - while failing to properly capture the sheer madness (or underlying socio-economic anxiety) that made Tobe Hooper's genre masterpiece pulsate. And without the scares necessary to sustain its bloody cat-and-mouse tale, this derivative, mildly nerve-racking thriller - shot in French but partially dubbed in English for its North American release - finds itself woefully unable to live up to its boastful title.

Marie (Cécile De France), a closet lesbian with short hair and a sculpted physique, reluctantly goes to stay with the family of her college pal Alex (Maïwenn) in their remote country home, a backwoods abode with few ties to civilization and no neighbors in sight. Alex adores her parents' new place, but the friends' first night in rural seclusion is rudely interrupted by the appearance of a hulking brute (Philippe Nahon, from Gasper Noe's I Stand Alone) who hogties and kidnaps Alex after slaughtering her kin (including her young brother, who's unceremoniously gunned down off-screen). Marie, a witness to the throat-cutting of Alex's mother from a bedroom closet, manages to conceal her presence from the intruder, and - after managing to surreptitiously hitch a ride in his blood-stained van - resolves to rescue her abducted pal and exact eye-for-an-eye revenge against the mysterious murderer.

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High Tension Review


Grim
This French-produced horror film has enjoyed a decentbit of internet buzz, and now opens in the United States, albeit in a strangepartially-dubbed, partially-subtitled version that runs about a minuteshy of the original to qualify for an "R" rating. Ultimately,none of that really matters as "High Tension" proves to be adud of a horror film, using every conceivable jump/shock technique in thebook, as well as a twist ending that doesn't work and betrays everythingthat came before it.

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Philippe Nahon

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