It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum, and now they're back. The plot feels like it was agreed by a committee, as thin as the non-title of this film. Honestly, this franchise offers endless options for titles, and they just decided not to bother this time. So even though the story has a whisper of soap-opera silliness about it (yet another blurred memory comes to light), the film is relentlessly entertaining, building momentum as it surges from dark drama to intense action.
Since finally figuring out who he is, Jason (Damon) has been earning a living as a bare-knuckle boxer on the Greek-Albania border. Then his former cohort Nicky (Julia Stiles) uncovers a new piece in his life puzzle, which allows the CIA's Director Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) to track them down. As he sends in a ruthless assassin (Vincent Cassel) to get rid of them once and for all, plucky CIA analyst Heather (Alicia Vikander) takes a different approach, determined to bring Jason back into the firm. But he's not coming in without a fight, and as the stakes rise, the chase shifts from Athens to Berlin, London and finally Las Vegas.
As all of this is happening, Dewey is also trying to strong-arm the billionaire founder (Riz Ahmed) of a hot social media platform to allow the CIA to have access to its customers. And he's heading to Vegas as well. This sideplot integrates cleverly with the main narrative, although its message about government overreach is a bit heavy-handed ("Privacy is freedom!"). Still, it adds some kick to the whizzy computer gadgetry that fills this franchise, from tracking devices and tiny earpieces to miraculous hacks.
Continue reading: Jason Bourne Review
Happily ever after wasn't always the way fairy tales turned out. Sometimes Princesses, Kings, Queens and their pretenders need to be careful what they wish for. The Queen of Longtrellis, The King of Highhills and The King of Strongcliff are three such people who would do anything to make their biggest dreams come true.
For the Queen of Longtrellis, all she's ever wanted is a child of her own but the king and queen haven't been able to conceive. Not willing to wait any longer, the queen consults a sorcerer who is able to grant the Queens wish at any price the enchanter wishes.
The King of Highhills was never blessed with a son, his daughter is his only living heir and invites his citizens to take part in a challenge to win the hand of his daughter. When a brute of a ogre wins his challenge, the princess is given away and begins a lonesome life with him in the mountains. However, despite the ogre abusing the slight girl, as each day passes, she becomes stronger and bides her time before the day that she can become the leader her Kingdom needs.
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Vincent Cassel - 69th Cannes Film Festival - 'It's Only The End Of The World (Juste La Fin Du Monde)' - Photocall at Palais de Festivals, Cannes Film Festival - Cannes, France - Thursday 19th May 2016
Jason Bourne is used to living in the shadows. Since uncovering the wrongdoings of operation Blackbriar and Treadstone, Bourne has been in hiding, to the outside world Jason Bourne does not exist. Once again finding himself having to surface, Jason Bourne is a hunted man.
Memories of his past are slowly returning to Bourne but what as his limited allies are quick to remind him, there's a war going on and what Jason might not remember are the things that might be most important.
With his feature debut, young Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman tells a creepy story about a cult-like commune, anchored by a riveting performance from French actor Vincent Cassel. Set in an eerily worn-out landscape (it was filmed in the Republic of Georgia), this is a story about isolation and power. And while the demands of the plot sometimes feel rather distracting, it's the kind of movie that gets under the skin.
Cassel plays Gregori, the patriarch of a closed community of women and the children he has fathered by them. His star son is Alexander (Jeremy Chabriel), whose sensitive mother Susanna (Florence Mezzara) quietly does as she's told. Alexander was born here, so rebelling against his father has always been unthinkable. But as he approaches his teen years, he is starting to question Gregori's authority, especially after he observes new boy Leo (Alex Balaganskiy) and his helpless mother (Rosa Voto) run afoul of Gregori's carefully laid-out rules. So Alexander gets the courage to speak his mind. And no one is prepared for what happens.
Writer-director Kleiman creates a terrific atmosphere, with an offhanded, almost documentary-like approach that makes it feel like no one on-screen is acting. He also infuses this extended family's life with happy energy and an undercurrent of growing danger. In other words, the story is told through Alexander's observant eyes. At first, he doesn't question the jolly paintball gun games the children play in the commune, then enact in more realistic ways on trips into the surrounding towns. Watching Alexander's will begin to clash with Gregori's is fascinating, and it's beautifully played by both Chabriel and Cassel as a quiet power struggle. Chabriel is simply terrific, oozing curiosity and intelligence in every scene while bravely squaring off against the hugely charismatic Cassel.
Continue reading: Partisan Review
A meaty, fascinating story is splintered into three plot strands that battle for the viewer's attention, so while the film is never boring, it's also oddly uninvolving. Fortunately, it has an excellent cast and is shot with skill and a relentless intensity to feel like a big, epic-style dramatic thriller with heavy political overtones.
After a scene-setting prologue, the story starts in 1953 Moscow, where Leo (Tom Hardy) is a war hero now working in the military police, purging the city of its spies. Or at least its suspected spies. In the Soviet socialist utopia, crime officially doesn't exist, but Leo finds it difficult to tell his best pal Alexei (Fares Fares) that his 8-year-old son was killed in a train accident when he was so clearly tortured and murdered. Ordered by his boss (Vincent Cassel) to let it go, and menaced by his rival colleague Vasili (Joel Kinnaman), Leo continues investigating, resulting in a reprimand that sees Leo and his wife Raisa (Noomi Rapace) relocated to the the grim industrial city of Volsk. But when another young boy's body appears here, Leo gets his new boss (Gary Oldman) to see the connection.
There are at least three main plots in this film, and the filmmakers oddly never allow one to become the central strand. There's the mystery involving this brutal, unhinged serial killer (Paddy Considine) stalking boys along the railway. There's the thriller about Leo being brutally taunted by Vasili, who has a thing for Raisa and is trying to crush them for good. But the only emotionally engaging strand is Leo and Raisa's complex marriage relationship, which takes a couple of unexpected turns. Along the way, there are several action sequences shot with shaky cameras and edited so they're impossible to follow. And there's a sense that the film also wants to be a grandiose Russian epic with its expansive cinematography and big orchestral score.
Continue reading: Child 44 Review
Danny Boyle is obviously having a ball with this thriller, deploying every cinematic trick he can think of to throw the audience off the track. But sometimes too much of a good thing is annoying. And while this film holds our interest, it also reveals early on that we simply can't trust anything we see on-screen. So while it's expertly shot and edited, and the actors make the most of their shifty characters, it's not easy to just sit back and enjoy the show.
McAvoy stars as Simon, an auctioneer presiding over the sale of a £30 million Goya painting, which promptly goes missing after an elaborate heist. Simon suffers a head injury in the assault, and can't remember anything, which is a problem when it turns out that he was working with criminal mastermind Franck (Cassel). Now Franck and his goons (Sapani, Cross and Sheikh) want to know where the painting is, so they enlist hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Dawson) to help Simon recover his memory using a series of unconventional methods. But she wants her share of the cash.
Yes, the further they travel into Simon's mind, the stranger things get. McAvoy has little to do here but look dazed in between moments of lucidity that generally spark something horribly violent. Opposite his understated performance, Cassel can hardly help but be a lot flashier as a menacing charmer. And Dawson has a fierce presence as a woman who quickly takes control of every situation she's in. Although Dawson also has to contend with a couple of leery nude scenes that go further than what was strictly necessary.
Continue reading: Trance Review
Simon is a successful auctioneer of fine art who gets tracked down by a ruthless gang of organised criminals after an extremely valuable painting seen at one auction gets lost. He is subject to brutal torture as they fruitlessly try to uncover the artwork and he finds himself teaming up with the professional hypnotherapist Elizabeth to access the information in his brain that he can't quite reach. His life depends on him making the right choice between forcing himself to remember and letting himself forget the location of the painting but soon he finds that reality, suggestion and general delusions are becoming distorted putting more than just his life at stake, but also his sanity.
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When he was a baby, Ambrosio was raised by Capucin monks in a Spanish monastery. He becomes a devout monk and, as an adult, his sermons are among the most popular in the country, if not the most popular. However, most of his fellow monks are jealous of Ambrosio's success.
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In 1904 Zurich, Jung (Fassbender) tests Freud's theoretical "talking cure" on manic patient Sabina (Knightley). And it works, revealing Sabina's own skills as a potential shrink. Two years later, Jung travels to Vienna to meet Freud (Mortensen), and they start a working friendship. But when Freud refers an outspoken patient (Cassel), Jung starts to question his morality. As a result, he starts an affair with Sabina, which is much hotter than his comfortable marriage to Emma (Gadon). But this causes him to question Freud's theories, leading to a clash of the titans.
Continue reading: A Dangerous Method Review
Set in Vienna before the start of World War One, Carl Jung, a student of Sigmund Freud, is employing some of Freud's techniques on psychoanalysis to treat a patient at the Burgh"lzli Mental Hospital, a beautiful Russian woman called Sabina Spielrein, who has repressed paternal issues.
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Date of birth
23rd November, 1966
It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...
Happily ever after wasn't always the way fairy tales turned out. Sometimes Princesses, Kings, Queens...
Jason Bourne comes as the fifth instalment in the revival of Bourne to our screens...
Jason Bourne is used to living in the shadows. Since uncovering the wrongdoings of operation...
With his feature debut, young Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman tells a creepy story about a...
A meaty, fascinating story is splintered into three plot strands that battle for the viewer's...
Danny Boyle is obviously having a ball with this thriller, deploying every cinematic trick he...
This 16th century freak-out is ravishingly beautiful to look at, but it's also turgid and...
When he was a baby, Ambrosio was raised by Capucin monks in a Spanish monastery....
Cronenberg's brainy approach makes this film fascinating but demanding as it traces the birth of...
Lurid and more than a little absurd, this wild road movie is a colourful combination...