In 1973, rampant criminal Jacques Mesrine (Cassel) has finally been captured by the cops but stages a daring courtroom escape with the help of his pal Charlie (Lanvin). He's soon back to his bank-robbing, executive-kidnapping ways, taunting the tenacious detective Broussard (Gourmet) even when he's arrested.
In prison he concocts an elaborate escape with fellow inmate Besse (Amalric), and the two go on another brazen crime-spree, meeting Mesrine's next wife Sylvie (Sagnier) along the way. But as Mesrine adopts the politics of Germany's Baader-Meinhof gang, the cops are closing in.
Continue reading: Mesrine: Public Enemy No 1 Review
Samuel Le Bihan and Daniela Le Bihan - Samuel Le Bihan and Daniela Le Bihan Cannes, France - 2009 Cannes International Film Festival - Day 12 - 'Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky' - Premiere Sunday 24th May 2009
Samuel Le Bihan and Daniela Beye - Samuel Le Bihan and Daniela Beye Cannes, France - 2009 Cannes International Film Festival - Day 10 - Premiere of 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parn' - Arrivals Friday 22nd May 2009
Four Muslim thieves flee a riot-ridden Paris with enough dough to retire at a Cannes beach house, leaving behind a comrade with a bullet in the lung thanks to some anxious cops. The comrade happened to be the brother of the gang leader's pregnant main squeeze, Yasmine (an intense Karina Testa) which leads to a very hostile drive out to the countryside. Two of the thieves happen upon a hotel run by a family of brutish pig farmers, one of which, Gilberte, suffers from something akin to hyper-nymphomania. One of the thieves nails said nympho while her brothers prepare the knives and slaughtering accessories, right as Yasmine and leader Alex (Aurelien Wiik) arrive at the hotel.
Continue reading: Frontier(s) Review
Your beloved Audrey is not starring in a sweet romantic comedy this time around.
Continue reading: He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not Review
The Brotherhood of the Wolf has all of the makings of a great French epic. Dashing leading men including Vincent Cassel (The Crimson Rivers), voluptuous women such as Emilie Dequenne and Monica Bellucci, a promising storyline packed full of complex, daunting elements of suspense and mystery, and impressive production values clearly evident in costuming and set design. The problem is that this film is about as French in style and execution as McDonald's French fries.
Continue reading: The Brotherhood Of The Wolf Review
Red stands as Kieslowski's most convoluted and difficult work of the series, exploring far more than the idea of "fraternity" suggested by the color and delving deep into symbolism and our notion of "coincidence." Jacob is wonderfully watchable in her most nuanced role ever, and Trintignant's crustiness is bizarrely engaging, making you want to dig deeper into his oddly apathetic character who wants "nothing" further from life. Red is confusing but compulsively watchable.
Continue reading: Red (Trois Couleurs: Rouge) Review
Pity poor Angèle (Nathalie Baye). She toils away at the titular French beauty salon during the day, and looks for quick sexual encounters at night. In her 40s, she feels too burned by the loves in her past to get hurt again, and instead finds her happiness in hunting down men with whom to have trysts. Early in the film, she quickly approaches a stranger in a cafeteria, tactlessly luring him away from dinner so they can do it in his car. We get the feeling that she wants more -- a funny opening sequence where she gets dumped helps -- but she's too headstrong for that.
Continue reading: Venus Beauty Institute Review
"Brotherhood of the Wolf" isn't a bad pre-Revolutionary French action-horror flick, per se. But everything that's wrong with it can be summed up by noting that if it had been made in English, it would have starred Christopher Lambert, that heavy-browed, stiff and oh-so-serious staple of glossy B-fantasy swordplay flicks like the "Highlander" series.
It's lavishly over-produced yet full of cheap cinematic artifice -- like gratuitous, unmotivated, absurdly dramatic slow motion and over-the-top sound effects. It takes itself very seriously for a movie with blinders on to its pronounced plot holes. It features ominous secret-society meetings of evil aristocrats who wear masks and velvet robes. And it has a hunky blond hero (Samuel Le Bihan) with period-inaccurate, rock star mullet hair, who sports war paint and twirls twin swords -- just because it looks cool -- during martial arts duels set in cathedral-like mossy forests.
Everything that's right with "Brotherhood of the Wolf" is harder to explain. Set in a dark French province beset by some stealthy supernatural beast that's goring villagers, the film is thick with atmospheric peril and mystery that seems to have hung in the vaporous air for ages.
Continue reading: Brotherhood Of The Wolf Review
Throughout the first half of "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" -- a deceptive romantic thriller that thinks itself full of clever twists -- writer-director Laetitia Colombani conspicuously leaves out so many details of her story that it's a dead give-away something is amiss.
She buys a little time and good will from the audience by casting angelic Audrey Tautou -- the sweetheart of arthouse cinema after 2001's "Amélie" -- as her heroine, an art student zealously in love with a young, handsome, married cardiologist (Samuel Le Bihan, "Brotherhood of the Wolf").
Colombani tries to skirt around the fact that Le Bihan doesn't seem to be in love with Tautou -- he's noticeably absent from her day-to-day life -- by having their affair unfold only through Tautou's gossip to a girlfriend (Sophie Guillemin) and lonely bleating to an innocuous, haplessly smitten male classmate (Clement Sibony) who just wants to be near her.
Continue reading: He Loves Me Review
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