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The Grizzlies (2018)
Canadian Sports movie defies expectations
A Canadian Sport movie wouldn't be of much interest. I stumbled on this following a particular actress, but the movie itself was a real mind opener. The Arctic Inuit are more a curiosity than an integral part of my country. There is a lot of distrust and they are suffering with a high suicide rate and too much alcoholism and abusive families, but there is something stirring. Lacrosse was a passion of a naive teacher who was able to spark an interest that translated to school attendance and improved behaviour. Professionally done, you won't be bored from the first two minutes.
Ghawre Bairey Aaj (2019)
Tagore story brought to modern times
I did not read the original novel,but suspect it had lots of insight. Allowing that the historic background has been altered for me as an outsider the politics was interesting--modern day problem is containing hate. I was impressed with th three main actors--only conscious of having seen one other Aparna Sen film she dealt with the emotions very well. Also thought the cinematography was subtle and as with the background music helped set mood. Very good.
I was expecting such a good movie in a regional language, but very pleasantly surprised. The editing and story were well blended. For me there was an unexpected twist that brought out a concern I know is a problem in India. The actors were all good--the heroinne, her old boyfriend, her new supporter, her father and even more. The background music was enjoyable--I have become a fan of Shakthisree Gopalan who sang one of the songs. Professional all round.
Quaint enjoyable little gem.
Most movies seem to offer a little bit of violence or sex or romance, but Chopsticks has minimal violence, sex or romance. The plot revolves around an attempt to recover a stolen car. The victim is naive, but stumbles onto a man who others claim can do such things. The interest comes from how she loses much of her naivity which is also shown to affect her job. Abhay Deol is the teacher/safe cracker while newcomer Mithia Palkar plays the naive one. Quiet humour, quirky circumstances. Touching.
El misterio de la felicidad (2014)
A partner disappears and his wife and other other partner look for him.
Picked up as a time filler and after seeing the IMDb ratings reluctantly. It is a quiet movie that sort of sneaks up on you. It illustrates that you don't know other people as well as you think you do. Two partners that share a lot start off the action and it is impressive how much they share even subtle details. Nonetheless one partner disappears and the remaining partner is confronted by the wife who sees herself as a replacement. She is astounded at what the first partner know about her husband, but then later we realize her husband had a life away from work unknown to the partner. They both see life differently. The two main actors have just the right touch. You will be rooting for them and may not be too surprised at how the movie closes, but the journey along the way is beautiful.
Corazón de León (2015)
Romantic comedy will make you laugh, but also share the frustration of the handicapped.
A woman Juana loses her phone (actually threw it away in a fit of anger), but receives a call from a man who found it, Leon.. He is a charming conversationalist, but she is shocked when she sees him as he so short (and is referred to as a dwarf throughout the movie). He talks a good story and has a pretty sensational date near the beginning. They are both divorced, she working with her ex as lawyers while he has a cordial supportive relation with his wife. Her friends are upset that she seems interested in the dwarf, but she really enjoys his company. Of course there are ups and downs.
Prejudice is a link. Juana is black and there is some expression of barriers, but she obviously overcame them, even marrying a white guy. Her sister is married to another white guy, who is deaf and receiving a little bit of prejudice. Leon, normally a very positive thinker does express frustration at how he has been treated and at one point relates to Juana's minority status, but neither dwells on it.
This is re-make of a film done two years previously in Argnetinaa, and although I didn't see it I believe the plot is similar. Most of the movie is fun and you root for Leon who is trying to winning an attractive woman against her obvious discomfort level. Then you root for her when she is fighting social pressures.
The background music was enjoyable, but you will probably notice the Latin dance music. The camera work has a few moments of impact. One part of the camera work I didn't realize was how Leon who in real life (as Marlon is really over 6 feet tall. The actor playing his son is actually his son and plays a loving, but a little troubled son. The actors portraying Leon's ex and Juana's ex were very good.
To me the star was Maria Nela Sinistrre who played Juana. She was charming in a very natural way and you identify with her conflict of wanting a relationship, but affected by those around her.
Nature: Braving Iraq (2010)
Restoring the Iraq Marshes
Braving Iraq depicts a restoration after what has been labelled an ecocide. Back in the 1990's Saddame Hussein felt the Marsh Arabs in the southern part of Iraq had rebelled against by sheltering Shias. He decided to drain the marshes, displacing not only the Marsh Arabs, but also most of natural habitat. Azzam Alash living in California decided to use his resources to restore the area. The producers, at Nature felt this was something worthy to film and at great risk they set out to do it.There is some doubt at the beginning, but some very impressive results are recorded. If you love birds there are some excellent shots of a variety of species. You also get a picture of how the Marsh Arabs have lived.
Sang sei chok dai (2004)
About a bone marrow transplant between Taipei and Bejing.
Chanced upon the DVD at library sale and was attracted by the description of some co-operation between Beijing and Tapei. At the end credits it is acknowledged that they wanted to encourage bone marrow transplants.and obviously wanted to demonstrate with a successful one. To spice it up there is drama, action and romance. One unexpected twist was an earthquake in the midst of one operation and subsequent traffic problems that added to the time tension. The actors were more than competent and it took me a bit to realize that one of the crucial characters was the director Ko and he was excellent. I hope with my review others will check it out and deliver their opinions. It is well worth seeing.
Staying Alive (2007)
Two powerful men in cardiac unit not sure of their future. With their wives finding common ground.
We mostly go to movies to forget about our problems, but many of us look for some life lessons such as how to get the girl, how to beat our foes, etc. This movie was pretty basic--when you are facing your own death or that of a loved one your perspective changes. Once you accept the premise of one man who is a powerful gangster and the other a conscientious news editor, but with death staring in the face you might guess the outcome. They are trapped in each other's company and perhaps it is not a great surprise they move their attitudes. A third patient is brought in, one with in a coma, but also with a husband who cares very deeply. The bottom line is Life is Precious. I had seen Saurabh Shukla in many other movies, most recently as a religious bully in PK and he is very good in this role. The other actor Anant Mahadevan is also the director and he does an excellent job in both roles. The women playing their wives and the one son are supportive. The background music is also supportive. Serious films are not big money winners, but this one deserves to be seen by thoughtful viewers.