Archive for Foreign

Quat’sous Films, Wild Bunch, France 2 Cinéma

Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche, Aurélien Recoing, Catherine Salée, Benjamin Siksou, Mona Walravens, Alma Jodorowsky, Jérémie Laheurte, Anne Loiret, Benoît Pilot, Sandor Funtek, Fanny Maurin

Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos) is a 15 year old girl who is determined to fall in love. But her experiences with boys just leaves her wondering what it’s all about. On a trip downtown, she spots Emma (Léa Seydoux) a girl with blue hair that really piques her interest. Unable to understand what it’s all about, she eventually finds Emma and the two learn together about social issues, growing up, love, and loss.

This is a French film that was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, and is a very touching story. Brutally honest, it’s often very painful to watch, but at the same time, it’s one of those movies that stay with you long after it’s over. It’s very touching, and the pain is really real. The story is very well done, and the actors are really excellent. There is a scene early in the film before Adele gets to know Emma with one of Adele’s best friends that is really awkward, but stunningly real. Be aware that this is a French film, and the NC-17 rating on the film is there for a reason. This film is very graphic in an intimate way, and uncomfortable watch, as it’s so real. You feel a lot like you’re eavesdropping on this poor girls efforts to become an adult, and it feels pretty creepy sometimes. Her heartaches will hit you full force, and so will the happiness and joy. Basically this is review of many emotions that will keep you thinking about it long after it’s over. It’s a foreign film, so it’s in French with English subtitles, but if you like realistic and highly emotionally charged stories, then this is a pretty good one.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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ABS-CBN Film Productions, Reality Entertainment, Star Cinema Productions,

Gerald Anderson, Joel Torre, Joey Marquez, Angel Aquino, Shaina Magdayao, Empress Schuck, Leo Martinez, Michael De Mesa, Vivian Velez, Rayver Cruz, Piolo Pascual

This gritty Filipino crime drama is the story of four men and their struggle to survive in their individual lives. Two are former prisoners who act as hired killers to wipe out the enemies of corrupt politicians, and the other two are law enforcement trying to enforce the law all the while being caught up in the web of corrupt politicians who will do anything to get what they want. This crime thriller is based on true events in the Philippines and is in Tagalog with English subtitles.

In the Philippines they basically make three movies. One is the romantic comedy or tragedy, usually with the poor girl who is swept off her feet by the rich boy. The second is the fantastic adventure films with superheroes that can fly, fight darkness, and so on. The third is the gritty crime thriller action type movie like this one. Basically there are action stars and romantic stars (and the comedy sidekicks and token gay guy thrown in). This is one of the few films that got released here on video in the mainstream, and it is actually a pretty strong film. A lot of the quickly ground out action movies are pretty silly, but this one has a deep and desperate story with a lot of twists and turns along the way. We fell the desperation from all the characters as they struggle to survive a hard life that has been thrust upon them. The action is really good, and the actors do a very good job. All in all, as an introduction to Philippine action movies, this is an excellent choice. If you don’t mind reading subtitles, and can deal with the hard core action and violence in a really good corruption story, then this will be an exciting and enlightening film that I think you would probably enjoy.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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micro_scope,

Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nélisse, Émilien Néron, Marie-Ève Beauregard, Vincent Millard, Seddik Benslimane, Louis-David Leblanc, Gabriel Verdier, Marianne Soucy-Lord, Danielle Proulx, Brigitte Poupart

Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag) is an immigrant to Canada from Algeria. When, at an Elementary School, a teacher commits suicide while the kids are in school, Bachir sees an opening to apply for the role as teacher to the students of the affected class. His own personal trials and agonies help him to assist his students in coping with the loss in this drama based on a play.

This is a heartwarming story. I really enjoyed watching it, but there are a couple things you should know. First, it is based on a play, so there isn’t a lot of scenery or beautiful locations. It simply takes place in the halls and classroom of the school. Secondly, the movie is in French, so you have to devote the time to watch the movie closely to catch the excellent discussion and dialog in subtitles unless you’re lucky enough to be familiar in the old French they speak in Montreal. If you are ready to put these two issues behind you, you’re in for a really well developed story. I’m not sure what makes playwrights different than screenwriters, but it must be the lack of visual queues due to the limitations of the stage that makes them develop richer and fuller dialog. These characters are very well developed. From those who knew the teacher involved and who felt a need to defend and protect her memory, to those who wanted to hold her responsible, to Mr. Lazhar’s view which based on his own back story is more like “S*** Happens”. The back story of his attempts to qualify for permanent residency as due to political asylum and his unique set of circumstances make him an excellent helper to the students affected by the tragedy. He’s had his share himself. But some do not approve of his methods. This is a well told story with great character development, not much action or suspense, but a good dramatic tale that must have been an excellent play before it was a movie. I can recommend this one for those of you who can handle a dramatic story (which is slow sometimes) told in subtitles.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Dos Corazones Films, NewLand Films,

Andy Garcia, Oscar Isaac, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Santiago Cabrera, Eva Longoria, Peter O’Toole

This historical movie is the story of the reign of President Calles in the late 1920’s in Mexico where he instituted a vicious ban on Catholicism. What followed is known as the Cristeros War (1926-1929) where the people rose up and fought against the atheistic government. Knowing they were severely outnumbered, they were able to convince retired general Enrique Gorostieta (Andy Garcia) to join them in the fight.

This was a very interesting film. It was actually pretty well done, and was certainly able to grab my attention and hold it throughout the whole movie. It was a story that I was not familiar with at all, and I was surprised that I had never heard of this particular war. As with any historical film, of course, there is a lot of debate over what is true history and what is poetic license. I’m not in a position to judge that, so I am taking the story as a movie that covers historical events, with a few liberties here and there I’m sure. Still, the story is good, and the acting is very good. It is a bit odd to have a film set in Mexico starring a lot of Mexican actors that is completely in English, but I guess many historical films have gone that route. Peter O’Toole has a very important but minor role as a priest who stands up for the church and refuses to bend to the restrictions placed upon it by the government. This story reminds me of movies from many years ago specifically 1964’s Becket, which also starred Peter O’Toole along with Richard Burton. The movie really reminded me of that, probably due to the O’Toole connection. Though there are bound to be many critics specifically hating on the religious persecution focus of the film, I really enjoyed this. I was able to stream this from Netflix “Watch Instantly” and it made for a very enjoyable afternoon watching a movie like movies used to be made. I found it very enjoyable.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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NALA Films, Gary Sanchez Productions,

Will Ferrell, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Genesis Rodriguez, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Nick Offerman

The Alvarez Brothers, Armando (Will Ferrel) and Raul (Diego Luna) are trying to save their ancestral. But Raul has been messing with drugs and set himself against drug lord Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal) and soon are in the middle of a drug war with DEA Agents Parker (Nick Offerman) and Agent 2 (Jerry Collins). What follows is a bloody, violent drug war in this Spanish language Novella spoof.

It helps to be familiar with the Spanish TV Novellas as this is a true parody of those. All the jokes are around that, and if you get that, you’ll be in on all the inside stuff. But even if you’re not, if you’re looking for the right thing, this is a hysterical film. Granted, a lot of people expect to see a serious Western starring Will Ferrell, and are shocked to find a corny story, completely in Spanish, with unbelievable fight sequences. Hey, this is a satire, folks! Will Ferrell can speak Spanish. Yeah, he does all the dialog himself, and even sings in this film. But his horrible American accent and childish dialog is hysterical. But there’s lots of other jokes here as well. Just like some people cannot get the King Arthur gags from Monte Python and the Holy Grail, or the race driving humor of Cannonball Run, or other such movies of satire, it takes a special sense of humor to get this one.

But in my opinion, Ferrell did an amazing job in this movie and it was really funny. As it started, I could only think, “What the heck?” but as I got into it, I found myself laughing harder and harder. A really unusual film with BIG English subtitles for us gringos, and a great sense of humor.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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