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Welcome to New York (2014)
Abel Ferrara is back on form and Depardieu delivers a superb performance
"Welcome to New York" is based on a real-life "scandal" that involved the french diplomat Dominique Strauss-Kahn who was a member of french Socialist Party and also the Managing Director of IMF (Int. Monetary Fund) from 2007-2011 until he resigned due to allegation that he had sexually abused a hotel maid.
- Ferrara's "Welcome to N.Y." hands this affair in a masterful way, that you would find it hard to remove your eyes from the screen even for a second. This is not something Ferrara has done in the past - elaborate a certain real life event to the last detail. And for Ferrara this is just the right kind of stuff, cause he has been provocative for all of his carrier and he knows how to handle this kind of material.
On the other hand, Dapardieu gives one of the best performances of his carrier. He's so convincing as Deveraux that one can say he's the real man (DSK). The script doesn't exaggerate, - written by Ferrara and Zois (who worked previously with Ferrara in "New Rose Hotel"),- it handles the story plain and proper for Ferrara to do his thing behind the camera.
- The best part of the movie is when he (Devereaux) boards the plane and then is asked to step out and the whole police procedure begins. Depardieu feels very comfortable during this complex scenes as does Ferrara, who doesn't hesitate even for a second to show us what the real man experienced.
Ferrara goes as far as to treat yet another situation that Strauss Kahn found him self in. Ferrara's Devereaux after the N.Y. arrest tries to rape a journalist, in real life this allegation happened to Strauss-Kahn who was accused for such an act and is scheduled to appear in court for trial in 2015. Bisset plays Devereaux's wife and fulfills the other part of the story...
- Now i'll try and give you some reason why you should watch it or stay away from it: If you are familiar with the real life story of DSK then give it a shot, you wont be disappointed... If you are not an Abel Ferrara fan then skip it (it will be your loss)... If you want to see Depardieu on one of his best roles he has ever done then watch it, the man was the perfect choice for this role.
Hope this helped.
Clear History (2013)
Highly entertaining and funny as I expected.
Clear History is like an extended episode of L.D.'s Curb Your Enthusiasm, it has the same spirit, the same jokes, but yet it works. How could this be ? I think it's all thanks to a brilliant vision of a genius of comedy, Larry David.
- Clear History centers on Nathan Flomm (L.D.), a marketing executive, who works for and is also a partner with Will Haney (Jon Hamm); they're working on an idea of a revolutionary electric car, but when the name of the car becomes an issue for Nathan, they part their ways. Nathan regrets it and wants to get back on the business, but Will refuses him. Nathan, in order to avoid the humiliation of having missed out on a hugely successful business, assumes a new identity on Martha's Vineyard. One day (after 10 years) a well known face shows up in town (Will Haney), and leaves Nathan no option but to plot revenge.
- Any "Curb Your Enthusiasm" fan won't be disappointed with what "Clear History" has to offers, and anybody else who watches the movie will enjoy it too, cuz the movie is funny, the jokes hit the mark, the story is simple (it's easy to follow it), the ensemble cast dances with L.D's tune and also the soundtrack (mostly supplied by Chicago's discography) make it a "Clear Triumph". * Now, I think, it's time for the next season of "Curb..." !!!
A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
A Good Day to make some money !!!
A Good Day To Die Hard is one of those movies that is made for one thing and one thing only: Profits. I mean come on guys, what have they done to our hero (John McClane) sending him "for no reason" in Russia and make him fire some guns and chase some bad guys along side his son, that now happens to be a CIA agent... So is this enough to make a Die Hard movie... Hell No !!!.
- I wont comment on the original Die Hard and on the ones that were made during the 90's, (except i'll say that i liked 'em) but when they released the 4th installment in the series back in 2007, i was expecting to watch exactly this movie that i did with "A Good Day to Die Hard", but that was another case, i was very pleased with it, and i thought they really were serious about this series. But the 5th one belongs on another universe, it is not worthy of the franchise name, it is a pure commercial movie that doesn't really care if we like it or not. Even Bruce Willis looks like he's in vacations in Russia and not on a Die Hard movie. The script is a joke (something that we've seen ages ago) only with John McClane and his son in it chasing the bad guys.
- And as a matter of fact they announced another Die Hard movie, which is being developed, so the question is: Are they going to do a Die Hard movie or just another action-flick which none of us will remember the next day we watch it.
Tomorrow You're Gone (2012)
Tomorrow Your Gone a.k.a. Boot Tracks is a "B-flick thriller", recommended only for a fan of...
Tomorrow You're Gone a.k.a. Boot Tracks is a Thriller that centers on Charlie Rankin (Stephen Dorff), who prior of getting released from prison gets a message from his "mentor" - "The Buddha" (Willem Dafoe) to kill somebody... But the murder goes wrong and Charlie gets seriously effected by it... meanwhile Charlie begins to have some serious hallucinations because of his past and because of what he's doing... On a way he meets these mysterious girl Florence Jane (Michelle Monaghan) who reminds him of someone he used to know and together they embark on a mysterious journey...
- Tomorrow You're Gone is a typical B-class movie, directed by the director of "Down in The Valley", David Jacobson and starring Stephen Dorff, who does his usual thing, Michelle Monaghan and Willem Dafoe in a small but efficient part as he gives the movie more class...
- I wouldn't recommend this movie to everybody, but as long as you're a fan of any member of the cast or if you like these kind of movies...then go for it, if not just "forget about it" cuz it's not worth it.
PS: it's only 88 minutes long..
It could've been great !!!
First of all, i have to state that i'm a big fan of Werner Herzog, I consider him to be one of the greatest and one of the most underrated directors of all time. But let's not waste the time with that and let's get back to the topic.
- INVINCIBLE is a drama based on the true story of Zishe Breitbart, a very strong blacksmith that is discoverd in a Poland village and ends up working for Erik Jan Hanussen (Tim Roth), a "mystic" man who is the leader of a cabaret variety show.
- First i have to tell you what didn't work with the movie and than continue with the things that worked.
* The movie runs 133' (minutes) and yet it gives you a feeling that you haven't seen enough, it leaves you disappointed a bit, but no way you can blame the director... the whole problem stands with the writing... The Screenplay doesn't work, it doesn't center on anything concrete but it tries to include all this long story... starting with Breitbart's being discovered in "this" Poland village after he wrestles this "big dude" etc etc... then he moves in Berlin (after 25+ minutes) and then the interesting story begins... so by all means Herzog disappoints with this clumsy and not so dimensional screenplay... - Something else that didn't work and everyone can notice it, is the acting of Jouko Ahola who plays Zishe Breitbart... his acting is just "dull" and simply "bad", it's one of the factors that hurt the movie in general.
On the other hand:
*/* Hans Zimmer score is good, he is on his level and that serves as a strong element of the movie. +/+ Herzog as the director does a superb job, he does his magic and this serves as the strongest point of the movie, to let us carry on... +/+ Also i have to praise Tim Roth, who delivers a strong performance, even thou he's supporting. No wonder why he has worked with great directors such as Tarantino, Haneke, Wenders, Coppola, Allen etc etc.
THE VERDICT 7/10 - with a better screenplay and someone else in the leading role these one could've been a real contender.
Escape from L.A. (1996)
Acceptable, But It Could've Been Better in Some Ways
Escape from L.A is an old school (i mean that 80's school) action flick, reuniting Carpenter and Russell on his personal favorite role as SNAKE PLISSKEN, and what's good about this sequel is that it stays true to the first's (Escape From N.Y) formula, thanks to master Carpenter's dark vision. These one doesn't have those cool characters from the first movie, the ones like Cabbie (Borgnine), Brain (Stanton) and Hauk (L. Van Cleef), but has some OK ones like Eddie(Buscemi) and Pipeline (Fonda), and these is one of the "two" issues that i have with the movie, it could've had some more funny characters... and the other thing that i wasn't pleased with and that stays as a weakness of the sequel is the special effects, which by all means in some scenes made the movie look like a B category movie. My favorite part, by all means, was the end which was almost in the same level with the first one...
- And the best thing that could happen from these "action-saga" is a sequel, with the old Snake being sent somewhere for a final mission, with someone new on the director's chair (Carpenter is kind of too old to return) that would follow Carpenter's dark vision.
Cobra Verde (1987)
A Marvelous Movie !!!
Watching a Herzog (or Kurosawa or Tarkovkiy among others) movie, gives you the feeling that awards and the critics reception don't mean a thing and the evidence or the reason why i start my review with these words is Herzog's "Cobra Verde" (1987).
- Francisco Manoel da Silva (Klaus Kinski) is a debauched Brazilian rancher who reluctantly goes to work at a gold mining company after his ranch is ruined by drought. When he discovers that he is being financially exploited, he murders his boss and goes on the lam to pursue a career as an outlaw. He becomes the notorious Cobra Verde (Green Snake), the most vicious bandit of the "sertao".
- The 5th of the five collaborations between HERZOG-KINSKI which by all means are on the same level as KUROSAWA - MIFUNE, MARTY - DE NIRO, HITCHCOCK - STEWART, FINCHER - PITT to mention some, is one of the finest and most underrated movie i've seen from the 80's.
- "Master" HERZOG does his thing as we're used to his "freestyle story development" and style, while Klaus Kinski as Cobra Verde (Manoel da Silva) delivers a superb performance, to put it in a more conventional way, in this movie you'll meet the peak of KINSKI's acting.
- Cobra Verde is a controversial movie about slavery, perjury, madness, immorale etc. etc. This one belongs more on the group of Herzog's "FITZCARALDO", "AGUIRRE: THE WRATH OF GODS", "STORSZEK" than let's say "NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE" OR "VOYZECK" just to mention some. It's composed by a rich group of element starting from cinematography (The original cinematographer THOMAS MAUCH, had to walk out of the project due to KINSKI clashes) great acting by Kinski, great direction, the screenplay is on a level, but frankly it doesn't matter on a Herzog movie. It is really a misfortune that this movie went on unnoticed by the awards and it didn't end up where it belonged.
- It wasn't liked by Critics when it was released, probably due to its controversial subject (REMEMBER A 1969 MOVIE CALLED "BURN ! a.k.a. QUEIMADA starring the GREAT Marlon Brando).
- I HOPE that MORE PEOPLE WILL WATCH THIS movie AND NOT ONLY HERZOG OR KINSKI FANS.
I Melt with You (2011)
I Melt With You - I Almost did melt with this !!! :)
I watched this movie a couple of days before, and i elaborated it as deep as i could, trying to find an explanation what happened from the start to the middle of the movie "and then" again from the middle to the end. If u watch the first hour and some minutes, you will be hooked to the movie - a masterpiece for that long, a triumph, an unique piece of cinema... and then suddenly something happens... the movie gets as devastated as could possibly get, it's almost like it looks to be self- destructed on a way that u can't even imagine - very stupidly and very ugly. And u can't even imagine where the filmmakers were trying to go with that. :(
- Mark Pellington does a great job, IMO, he makes sure you'll stay attached to the movie in a way that no one else could have done so. - (Taking for that 1 Hour and something). The cast give superb performances, especially i have to pick out Tom Jane, even when the movie is "melting" to the last piece, he still keeps your attention with his performance... The soundtrack is one of the greatest one i've heard in years, and have to say it's one of the strongest asset of this "weird movie" (i also recommend the song from the trailer "Cameras - Defeatist").
- I find it very difficult to rate it, but i do one thing know - this could have been great.
From the Terrace (1960)
A forgotten and underrated one !!!
It should get more attention now, and it should have gotten more attention when it was released, because it's a good one. I liked the script even though a little bit melancholic at times it still works. Paul Newman's performance was on a level, a classy one (there's no other way you can play this kind of character, cuz it wasn't a kind of troublemaker or a bad boy character, which is what got attention at the time this movie was released), Joanne Woodward was good too.
The Story is treated fairly, it doesn't get boring at any specific point, and the ending is a dramatic one.
The problem is that it is hard to find it, most of the people that have seen it, have done so from the cable.
And for those who have enjoyed this one i would strongly recommend Paul Newman's "The Young Philadelphians" (1959), - absolutely ignore the ratings and give it a shot.