Month: July 2013

SIN NOMBRE

SIN NOMBRE
I remember watching this film a few years back and thinking that the amount of detail that was in the script and filmmaking was almost breathtaking. You can very easily think that this film is a documentary.
I was very surprised to hear that this was the directors (Cary Fukunaga) first feature. I wasn’t surprised that the man had spent 2 years of his life travelling with illegal immigrants and documenting everything so he could make this film. I also read recently that he actually used two gang members from a city in Guatemala to help make the slang as realistic and as up to date as possible (imdb).
The story follows a young street smart kid who is on brink of being a hardcore gang member, when one of the older gang members tries to rape his girlfriend and kills her accidentally. He flees his life in Guatemala in the hope of starting a new one in the United States.
This film is shockingly brutal in certain scenes but apart from those scenes, the film plays out like more of a documentary/drama type film. This is jaw dropping, edge of your seat cinema. a
A near perfect film and a phenomenal first feature.

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MISS BALA

In 2008 a young woman who had just won the “miss sinaloa” beauty competition in Mexico had to give her crown back after she was arrested with either narcotics or ammunition. She was arrested alongside suspected cartel members.
In 2011 “Gerardo Naranjo'” writes and directs a film loosely based on the events. We are given another fantastic, gritty, dark and powerful Mexican film. The storyline is obviously fictionalised for our own personal cinematic experience but nonetheless, it’s a fantastic film.
I remember watching “el infierno”(another amazing Mexican film) and thinking that the corruption in the movie was unlike anything I had ever seen. Although “el infierno” was able to cleverly blend in humour along with carnage, “miss bala” is a sad and depressing look at a city that’s completely run by drugs, murder and corruption. Its safe to say that you can trust no one, and everybody has a price tag.
A film that is well worth checking out if you haven’t already done so.
Enjoy

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ONLY GOD FORGIVES

I’ve seen every film to date from “Nicholas Winding Refn” and I have enjoyed every one of them. From his early days when he done “the pusher” films to “Valhalla rising” and then he met his main man “Ryan gosling” and done “drive”. I hope that this is the start of a director and actor relationship like we see with Martin Scorsese and Leonardo Dicaprio, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp and David Fincher and Brad Pitt. I thought this film to be his most challenging yet. The story follows Julian who is played by “Ryan gosling”. He owns a Thai boxing gym in Bangkok but his main source of income comes from selling Heroin and cocaine. When his older brother is murdered (and rightly so!) Julian’s dominating mother arrives and forces Julian to avenge his brothers death.
I watched this with my girlfriend (mistake) so every time “Ryan Gosling” was on the screen I’d hear the words “Hubba Hubba”. So I repeatedly gave her my evil stare and thought if she keeps doing that then I shall put on a certain scene in “black swan” and make her watch that over and over again (don’t sound that bad actually). My point was that she never enjoyed the film ( Ben though mr dreamy was in it), this is a really strange one and we basically have a silent movie for the first 30 minutes of the film. It’s beautifully shot and it gets very loud after the first half hour or so but to begin with we have really strange and beautiful cinematography, but that could be a viewers idea of hell and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people didn’t make it through the first half.
This is unlike anything “Ryan Gosling” has done before, I have respect for that. I read in empire magazine about a year ago that this is the toughest role that that he has ever done and that he has never before been pushed to such limits.
I found that extremely hard to believe, in the first 30 minutes he was just staring at walls and watching girls touch themselves (don’t sound that hard) but then when things get going you can see that this man has went serious training to be at the level he was at for the role.
Overall a unique film that wouldn’t be suited to everyone. A generous amount of gore and beautifully choreographed fight scenes and top notch acting from everyone.

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INK

It don’t get much more unique than this, and this is a film that was made on such a extremely low budget ($250.000).
when you go to sleep there is two types of warriors that will determine if you have a dream or a nightmare. If you have a nice dream then you have been visited by “the storytellers” who will come and firmly place their hand on your forehead and you will have the nicest of dreams, but if you’re having nightmares then you have been visited by “the incubi”.”The incubi” are a faceless and horrible distorted presence.
So the story follows a character called “ink” who is trapped in limbo between dreams and nightmares.”Ink” steals the soul of a young girl and tries to earn his place with “the incubi”.
A remarkable piece of filmmaking. If you can appreciate a good story then you’ll soon see past the low budget. If this film had the financial backing it deserved, then I think everybody would know about this film. So when you’re watching it, think about what it could be.

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THE EYE 2

After a failed suicide attempt (very well done and extremely graphic) a pregnant woman starts to see ghosts., she is mainly hunted by one woman and it soon becomes clear that its not her that the ghost is after, it’s her unborn child.
I thought the story to be quite genius in this film and in a lot of ways this film was much darker than the original, but just not as creepy.
“The eye” was one of the freakiest horror films I’ve ever seen and was the only film in my entire life that I had to turn on lights after watching (true story). No blood, no guts, just ghosts and damn good sound effects, and a real good story that was very loosely based on actual events. I rented it about 9yrs ago because I had basically seen every other film that was in the video store. I didn’t read the back of the cover, I just seen a quote on the front saying “scarier than “the sixth sense”. Well it was scarier than “the sixth sense” and it scared the shite out of me.
Anyways, it has spawned four films (the eye, the eye 2, the eye 10, and the child’s eye),but number 2 was the only one (in my opinion) that was anywhere near as good as the original. I waited eagerly for each movie to be released but sadly only enjoyed the first two.
A well worthy sequel that is well worth a watch.

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SILK (Taiwan)

When a team of scientists manage to trap the spirt of of young boy in an apartment block using brand new technology called “the menger sponge”. They have no choice but to call in a cop who specialises in lip reading. The ghost is trapped in a room and keeps repeating a sentence but the scientists are unable to figure out what he is saying.
Shame on me for almost forgetting about this film. I watched it a few years back and was blown away by it. The story was unlike any other ghost story I had ever seen, and even though it was about ghosts, the story was very believable and the acting and directing was flawless.
I remember watching this and calling my brother Stephen to tell him about it. He got the film straight away and thought it was the finest directed movie that he’s ever seen.
It s not very often that we get a film horror film from Taiwan but if this is standard of them I am very surprised there hasn’t been a lot more and I would be first in line to watch them all.
American remake on the way also.

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ANOTHER 5 TOP FOREIGN THRILLERS

1: NO MERCY
when the dismembered remains of a young woman are found by A young couple. Police call in professor/pathologist, “kang” to help catch the killer.
The film starts off running and doesn’t stop. The storyline gets better and better and if this is the only synopsis you’ve read for the film. Then it’s for the best that you don’t read anymore into it.
I was glad I knew very little about the film, maybe that’s why I enjoyed it so much.
The only downside I had with this film was SOME of the music. I just thought that some of the scenes could’ve been executed that little bit better if the music was more atmospheric (it seemed very Casio keyboard demo button), but that’s only a very minor flaw, and other people might think different as its just my own personal opinion.
Another Korean masterpiece that is well worth the watch and gas earned its place as one of the Korean greats.

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2: OUR DAY WILL COME
When 2 red haired outcasts form an unusual relationship. They both go on a rampage through France and will stop at nothing until they reach their destination…….Ireland. After one of them finds holiday brochure with a irish family wearing the arran woollen jumpers, and all have extremely wild red hair. So, he gets it into his head that everyone in Ireland is ginger and so begins one of the most strangest road movies one could ever hope for.
A film that wouldn’t be enjoyed by everyone. This is real strange one and I can completely understand why people wouldn’t like it.
I liked it because it was so weird. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a film like it and I will probably never see one like it again (unless we get a remake) I’m not sure if the film intended to be funny but I found it quite comical at points, and that mad me enjoy It more.

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3: FUNNY GAMES
Still to this day “funny games” remains to be one of the most shocking and effective home invasion movies to date. A film that would only be enjoyed by hardcore fans of this particular genre.
A random family are targeted by two psychopaths who begin to inflict endless and shocking torture for their own twisted entertainment.
As I said this film ain’t for everyone but if you do like your films a little deranged then by all means go ahead and check it out if you haven’t done so already.
An American remake was also released with the same name and with some big A-list names such as, Tim Roth, nioami watts, and Michael Pitt.
This remake was a carbon copy of the original, and even with same director and a whole bunch of Hollywood stars, the film still managed to suffer from “American remake syndrome”. It still was a good film, and the acting in the remake was top notch from all the cast but I just felt that it had lost the creepiness (although still very graphic and disturbing) that the original had.

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4: MISSING
I really enjoyed this one. The storyline has been used a million times before and I was on the brink of turning it off, but I stuck with it and by the end my view had changed.
When a young woman goes missing her sister goes to her last known location to get to the bottom of her disappearance and find out what happened to her.
Very violent in some parts and at the end of the day it’s just another torture/serial killer film, but its korean, done very well and deserves a mention.

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5:ANIMAL KINGDOM
A fantastic thriller from Australia. “Animal kingdom” follows josh. A young teenager who’s mother has died and he goes to live live with his grandmother. He or his mother haven’t spoke to her in years. It soon become clear why Josh’s mother had kept her distance for all those years as her family are involved in organised crime.
Fantastic performances throughout and a solid and well written story with a fanatic musical score that fits perfectly and adds to tension of the film.
Highly recommended