The Raid (The movie)

It thrilled, it thrilled. It sang beneath my veins, gave me goosebumps. I was like a kid again, my smile wide and goofy. Oh what a movie! It thrilled!

If any of you have missed a good old martial arts action flick without the fuss of recent years, see this movie. It is too cool for words. A police team raid the apartment block of a known and untouchable drug lord, with tenants that include all his nefarious associates. Things don’t go to plan when they are spotted and the bad guys decide to retaliate. Cue machine gun, knife and machete toting bad guys and dead police people, trapped in the sixth floor with no way up, or down. There is a lot of fun stuff here to keep the action movie enthusiast glued to his or her seat.

This Indonesian action flick ticked all the boxes. Old school, check. Bloody, check. Violent, check. Psycho martial arts pro, check. Cute hero, check.

Enjoy!

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Chronicle; the movie

Chronicle tells the story of three young men who acquire super powers then have to learn how to deal with it.

No one ever tells you what happens when you’re a person with issues who’s got all these super powers and no interest in being precious about it.

This is an excellent flick, more in its humanity than special abilities. There are no grand gestures, no noble deeds. Just a pissed off teenager with a way to do something about it.

It’s awesome. Check it out.

Le Moine (The Monk); the movie

Was not sure what to expect on walking into this movie during the Jameson Dublin Irish Film Festival but it delivered in spades. It is quality work, a little shocking if you do not know what to expect, but well worth a look.

Father Ambrosio, played to excellence by French actor Vincent Cassel (seen in Mesrine 1 & 2), is a devout and unflinching monk, sure and faithful in all his ways. He speaks God’s words, and he lives sparsely in the monastery with his brothers/fellow monks. The arrival of a mysterious young man, Valerio, who has come to train as a monk changes things.

Bordering on supernatural, The Monk tells a gripping story of the fall from righteousness, the wages of sin, yet so much more. More than can be written on these pages.

Well worth a look.

Elles; the movie

Elles is a tale of a journalist, Juliet Binoche, writing a story about two young student prostitutes living in Paris.

The theme is strong, and we are taken from scene to scene, watching these girls and their exploits with the men that pay them. They are not disadvantaged girls, our sympathy does not reach out to them that way. But we do wonder.

This movie is heavy on the sex, and it sort of distorts the issues because of it. We fail to get a real handle on the humanity of these young women, while we get to grasp Juliet Binoche’s angst as the frustrated wife and mother. Writing an article about sex didn’t help there.

There was a lot of potential here, but it felt like you were supposed to just get it and be done.

Not a dirty movie, but not so sweet either.

Shame; the movie

Shame is a film not for the squeamish. We are exposed to full frontal nudity and masturbation from the start. This said, it isn’t the most intense out there.

This movie tells the story of a sex addict, Micheal Fassbender, and what that entails in his daily life. He is an ordinary man, attractive, and a success socially. It is his private life that is not as it could be.

As expected, he is secretive about it, but takes every opportunity to have sex or masturbate. He lives alone, so the situation seems ideal. Until his little sister, played by Carey Mulligan, comes to stay.

As the film evolves, we see a lot of pain. We also question the relationship between brother and sister, and what about their childhoods has made them so complicated and messed up as adults.

Strictly 18+, but a good one to see. Besides, Micheal Fassbender looks amazing, with and without his clothes on.

The Artist

Several words have been used to describe this movie since its release. Classic. Gem. Masterpiece.

I have to agree on all counts.

This is a magnificent production, if not just for the fact that the leads are so perfect for their roles, but for the music, which brought out every minuscule emotion that you could not hear them voice themselves through speech.

Based in the late twenties and early thirties, the movie focuses on the end of silent movies and the beginning of talking pictures. “Talkies”, as it is referred to in the movie.

Jean Dujardin’s face, that smile, that mustache, that goof, makes him the perfect man to be cast. Berenice Bejo’s style also compliments perfectly. She is a future Chanel spokeswoman.

With an excellent supporting cast that includes the brilliant John Goodman, beautiful Missi Pyle and Penelope Ann Miller, it is worth a watch and should be treasured in our memory archives.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

This is a superb movie. Truly superb. Gary Oldman leads an all star cast and takes us on a gradual climb through John Le Carre’s story. There is a mole in the circus, or so the Controller (played by John Hurt) says. It is up to Smiley (played by the aforementioned Oldman) to find this mole who is selling secrets to the Russians.

The movie builds slowly and unravels magnificently, a spy thriller at its best. We are brought into this world and gripped by its intrigue. With a cast that includes Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds and Collin Firth, it is a stylish and exciting watch. This is a work of art and should not be missed.