Month: January 2014

MORE FOREIGN GREATS

1:OMAR
OFFICIAL PLOT
A young Palestinian freedom fighter agrees to work as an informant after he’s tricked into an admission of guilt by association in the wake of an Israeli soldier’s killing.

MY THOUGHTS
In 2005 I watched a film called “paradise now”. The story of two best friends who were recruited to carry out a suicide bombing in tel aviv. To say the film was good would be an understatement. The film was remarkable and I can easily say it’s in my top movies of all time. So this is the a new film from “paradise now” director Henry Abu-Assad.

20140120-173619.jpg

2: THE ATTORNEY
OFFICIAL PLOT (wiki)
In the early 1980s, South Korea is torn by student protests over the lack of democracy in the country.
At this time, Song Woo-Seok (Song Kang-ho) is a successful attorney in Busan specializing in tax law. The only reason that he became an attorney is for the money. Unlike other attorneys around him, he hands out his business card to pick up clients.
One day, his views regarding civil liberties are changed by student activist Park Jin-woo (Im Siwan). When Jin-Woo is brutally tortured and put on trial for his activism, Woo-seok decides to defend Jin-woo as his client.

MY THOUGHTS
I noticed this movie a few weeks ago when I was checking the Korean box-office. This was number one and was beating huge films such “lord of the rings” etc. I am a huge fan of Korean cinema but I can honestly say that I’ve never watched any sort of courtroom drama. If the reviews are anything to by , I don’t have a doubt in my mind that this will be one of the finest films of 2014

20140120-174332.jpg

3: A HIJACKING
OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)
The crew of a Danish cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates who proceed to engage in escalating negotiations with authorities in Copenhagen.

MY THOUGHTS
Ok so first things first. Somali pirates have kidnapped and taken hostage more people than captain phillips. The first thing I thought when I saw the trailer for this was that it really looked like “captain phillips”. I thought that I was looking at a carbon copy. Then I realised that this film was released before “captain phillips”. Anyways I enjoyed captain phillips but I was very much aware during my cinematic experience that I was watching no other than a Hollywood adaptation of actual events. “A hijacking” has got universal praise and I’m sure if you liked “captain phillips” (which was great) then I’d highly recommend hunting this one out.

20140123-183103.jpg

MORE GREAT FOREIGN THRILLERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

1: BORGMAN
OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)
A vagrant enters the lives of an arrogant upper-class family, turning their lives into a psychological nightmare in the process.

MY THOUGHTS
Ever since I watched the incredible and immensely creepy Spanish thriller “sleep tight” from “[rec]” co-creator Jaume Balagueró, I was left with such a feeling of unease. The story was so simple yet went straight for the jugular whilst still managing to use very Minimal special effects. The film about a man who just crept into your house while you were at work or even in the shower, hid under your bed until you fell asleep and then drugged you, got undressed and spent the night sleeping beside. He was gone by the time you woke up feeling very groggy, completely oblivious and unaware that they were drugged. I loved every second of it and t was a masterpiece in making you cringe and feel uneasy.

So the reason I mention that film and found some sort of comparison was the first still I seen of the movie and although the film has a blend of dark humour, the pic that I seen was very far from funny. The pic showed a couple sleeping soundly in their bed in the comfort of their own home with a bearded naked man on-top of them just staring at them while they slept. The pic sent chills up my spine and I decided there and then that I don’t really wanna know anything else about it , just get the movie and watch it so you’re not knowing what to expect.’ok maybe I sound like a creep now” (actually I know I do ) but as you all know I like my films dark and disturbing and by the looks of this Dutch movie, it will not disappoint. Released in 2013 and has done extremely well in the festival circuit.

20140114-134605.jpg

2: KABISERA
NO OFFICIAL PLOT

MY THOUGHTS
I was blown away by the trailer that I seen late last year. I have watched a few Filipino movies in the last while and I’ve been impressed with everything that I’ve seen so far, and don’t think this one will be any different. The film looks dark and brutal and sort of reminded me of “breaking bad”. From what I gathered from the trailer it’s the story of a family man who has no choice but to start selling crystal meth to help support his family, but shit spirals out of control and he is inevitably thrown into the criminal underworld of the Filipino drug  trade.

Kabisera-thumb-300xauto-43961

3: THE FIVE

OFFICIAL PLOT

Eun-A (Kim Sun-A) lost her family at the hands of a serial killer. She is now mentally and physically destroyed. Eun-A then decides to get revenge. She enlists the help of four people marginalized by society including a North Korean defector, ex-gang member and a person heavily in debt. All four persons need organ transplants. Eun-A’s plan is then set in motion.

MY THOUGHTS

I started watching Korean cinema a long time ago. the Koreans never fail to produce such a high-caliber of movies with brilliant and engrossing story lines with phenomenal acting and superb direction. I love a great serial killer movie and Korea has produced two of the finest serial killer movies around today ”i saw the devil’ and ‘the chaser’. Both films shocked me to core but kept me glued to my seat and glued to the screen for the entire movie. OK, we’ve had some great american serial killer movies as well and that’s not to go unnoticed but i just loved the pace of both Korean greats and we are all well due another one. I know I have high expectations of this film but I’m pretty sure it will deliver just as well as the rest.

American remake of ”i saw the devil” is underway and its no surprise. There was also talk quite some time ago about Leo DiCaprio taking on the lead role in the american remake of ” the chaser” with his production company Appian set to produce alongside others such as paramount. Out of both remakes mentioned  I would’ve liked to see Leo in the lead for ”the chaser”. The man is one fine actor and would be great doing some dark roles  like ”the chaser”.  It will be interesting to see him as Dr H.H Holmes in the movie adaptation of best-selling novel ”the devil in the white city by Erik Larsen’. The man has been a busy man over the last year with all the roles that he’s done, but as far as I know the film is still going ahead and he’s still attached to play the serial killer.

the five

UPCOMING FOREIGN THRILLERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

1: BIG BAD WOLVES
OFFICIAL PLOT (wiki)
A young girl goes missing in the woods. She’s soon found, very much dead and upsettingly devoid of her head, the latest victim in a string of terrible child murders plaguing the town. A disgruntled vigilante cop named Miki (Lior Ashkenazi) is absolutely certain that he knows who is responsible, and that person-of-more-than-interest is Dror (Rotem Keinan), a timid and socially awkward schoolteacher. The cop pays off a pair of thugs to savagely beat the teacher in the hopes of getting a confession out of him, but that plan backfires spectacularly and a viral video of the ultimate example of decidedly un-civic police brutality tears across Israel, costing Miki his job. Now, all bets are off.

MY THOUGHTS
I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing this one yet and I’ve been on the hunt for it now for a couple of months. It’s not very often we get to see an Israeli horror movie that’s been doing so well and also managed to get Quentin Tarantino saying “best film of the year”. This film looks fantastic and from watching the trailer it reminded me of a very dark Scandinavian crime thriller and we all know the caliber of filmmaking those guys produce. I just have to wait patiently now until it comes my way, and there is no doubt that it will be worth waiting for.

20140107-132240.jpg

2: MEA CULPA

NO OFFICIAL PLOT

MY THOUGHTS

As soon as I heard that this was the new movie from Fred Cavaye I was immediately drawn to it. If you’re not sure who Fred Cavaye is, In 2010 he released a low budget, fast paced action thriller called “point blank”. A balls to the wall non-stop diamond of a movie which should be an inspiration to any inspiring filmmaker. It was a simple story but executed perfectly which proved that we don’t need some huge budget or out of this world special effects. I have watched a trailer for this film but can’t find it anywhere now. This is one of my most anticipated titles of 2014.

American remake of “point blank” is in the works with writer brad ingelsby who is also in charge of the American adaptation of the flawless and probably the finest action movie of all time “the raid”.

20140111-075933.jpg

3: METRO MANILLA
OFFICIAL PLOT (wiki)
Looking for a better life in Metro Manila, Oscar Ramirez and his family escape their impoverished lives among the rice fields north of the Philippines. Upon arriving, they fall victim to the manipulative ways of city hucksters. Oscar lands a job in an armored truck company. He befriends his senior officer, Ong, who takes Oscar under his wing.Soon, it was apparent that Ong has been waiting for someone like Oscar for a long time.

MY THOUGHTS
An independently shot movie that’s been getting universal praise. I think last year was the first time I’d ever sat down and watched a Filipino movie. The movie was called “the road” and it was an impressive little horror movie with some genuine scares. Since then I try
to keep up to date with releases from the Philippines and loos like we will have some great releases this year. Watch this space folks!!.

20140111-084238.jpg

ANOTHER TOP FOREIGN THRILLERS POST

1: HARRY HE’S HERE TO HELP
OFFICIAL PLOT (wiki)
Middle-class couple Michel (Laurent Lucas) and Claire (Mathilde Seigner) have a chance meeting with Harry (Sergi López), a high school acquaintance of Michel’s. Starting with that meeting, Harry, traveling with his girlfriend Plum (Sophie Guillemin), becomes obsessed with Michel and Claire and begins to have a profound and damaging effect on the young couple.

MY THOUGHTS
it’s very hard to fault the French in filmmaking. They are on top of their game and covering all genres. My favourite horror movie is French (and I’ve seen them all) and my favourite comedy is also french. I have watched a hell of a lot of movies in my time so being able to pick out two all time favorites is saying something.

This is a well crafted and creepy thriller with a nice blend of dark humour. The moment you are introduced to Harry you know something isn’t right with him. He still manages to play the nice guy but at the same time leave you with a constant sense of doubt.
This is a great thriller but wouldn’t be suited to everyone but if you’re into a good Hitchcock psychological type movie then I highly recommend it

20140104-091640.jpg

2: A COMPANY MAN
OFFICIAL PLOT (wiki)
Hyeong-do (So Ji-sub) wears a suit and tie like any other rank-and-file white-collar worker… except his profession is hitman. Seemingly a section chief in the sales division of a metal fabrication company that is actually a front for an organization of hit men, Hyeong-do is regarded as one of the best contract killers in the business and is up for promotion soon. One day, he meets a single mother named Su-yeon (Lee Mi-yeon) and instantly falls in love. Feeling guilty about his bloody past, Hyeong-do tries to quit the “manufacturer” to the surprise of his colleagues and his enemies. Seen as a loose end, he is immediately hunted down by his former employers

MY THOUGHTS
Just like the French. The Koreans are also on top of their game in filmmaking, and probably more so than anyone else, with American remakes like the fantastic “departed” pulling in A-list actors and making millions at the box office. It isn’t any wonder America is still to this day turning to Korea with their unimaginative little minds for their regurgitation’s.

This film would be for fans of films like “man from nowhere”. It has everything you would want from a Korean thriller. Superb acting with beautifully choreographed fight scenes and action sequences, a huge body count, an original story and a few twists and turns along the way. Granted this isn’t the finest Korean thriller that I’ve seen but in saying that the bar has been set really high with the huge range of superb Korean masterpieces released over the years. Miles better than any big budget Hollywood movie but just not as good as some of Korean greats and some ideas are borrowed from the likes of “a bittersweet life” but don’t let that put you off, this is still one hell of a movie.

20140104-201423.jpg

3: GRACELAND
OFFICIAL PLOT (IMDB)
When a kidnapping goes wrong, a desperate father risks everything to save his daughter from the men who hold her captive.

MY THOUGHTS
After watching an impressive horror movie from the Philippines last year. I was thinking that it’s only a matter of time before they start making their mark. Graceland is a fantastic thriller that took me surprise. The only thing I read about the movie was what was written on imdb (posted above). So I knew that it was about a kidnapping that goes wrong. What I didn’t know was how it went wrong and what has to be don’t to prevent it from getting worse. A certain scene took me by surprise and completely flipped the boat and changed the storyline into a far more tense and impressive little thriller with great performances from all.

Since watching this film I have looked into upcoming releases from the Philippines and there is two films that I’m pretty sure is gonna be fantastic. One is called “KABISERA” and the other is called “METRO MANILLA”. I’ll be writing about both movies in a new upcoming foreign thrillers post in the next few days.

20140105-080419.jpg

4: THE ELITE SQUAD: THE ENEMY WITHIN
OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)
After a prison riot, former-Captain Nascimento, now a high ranking security officer in Rio de Janeiro, is swept into a bloody political dispute that involves government officials and paramilitary groups.

MY THOUGHTS
This film is flawless is every way. To say that I was impressed would be a lie. I was fucking blown away by this movie and I knew I would be. The first instalment was breathtaking and extremely refreshing to see the tables turn and see the action through the eyes of the BOPE. The swat team that is sent into the slums of Rio de Janeiro to seize drugs and kill without hesitation.
The enemy within is a continuation of the first film although it’s set years later and follows Captain Nascimento from the first film and after a bloody riot at one of the prisons he is promoted. So the film follows him and all the lies greed and corruption right from the top of the chain. An astounding piece of filmmaking that is impossible to dislike.

20140105-085623.jpg