WORLD WAR Z (2013)

Directed By: Marc Forester 
Written By: Damon Lindelof, Drew Goddard & Matthew Michael Carnahan 
Screen Story By: J. Michael Stracynski & Matthew Michael Carnahan 
Based On The Book By: Max Brooks 
 Cinematography By: Ben Seresin 
Editor: Matt Cheese & Roger Barton 


Cast: Brad Pitt, James Badge Dale, David Morse, Ruth Negga, Daniella Kertesz, Mireille Enos, Ludi Boekin,

Life for former United Nations investigator Gerry Lane and his family seems content. Suddenly, the world is plagued by a mysterious infection turning whole human populations into rampaging mindless zombies. After barely escaping the chaos, Lane is persuaded to go on a mission to investigate this disease. What follows is a perilous trek around the world where Lane must brave horrific dangers and long odds to find answers before human civilization falls.


Now let me start off by mentioning I avoided this film like the plague when it first came out. As A fan of the book watching what they had done seemed like a travesty. Especially once you see the what are supposed to be impressive zombies and they looked more like cartoons.

It would be easy to write this film off as just another zombie film and only zombies as it is in and can take the place of whatever villain and plague you need and can easily be faceless and not insulting. This film already had a hard road ahead of it has to deliver a PG-13 rating which isn’t easy especially when dealing with zombies, which usually require gore and graphic violence.

The film I have to say isn’t the book, but it’s not as bad or embarassing as I thought it would be. In the book, we examine from different perspectives the oncoming zombie plague and is more dramatic as we get into personal history and the history of this particular apocalypse. Here we have Brad Pitt trying to find the cause but also a way to stop the plague. While having a bunch of axiom scenes. Luckily it’s not the action epic it could have been with him as line warrior. Though throughout the film he is the smartest and toughest guy in the room. The film tries to stay true somewhat to the book as he travels he questions and finds out more information about the plague.

While the film is thrilling with a bunch of good action set pieces. it’s hard to get really involved or scared when half of the scenes feel like you are watching a video game. Zombies by the hundreds disposable, but threatening when one on one. Yet obviously digital like half of the blood spilled. So it never has that level of reality needed. In fact, the only moment that felt real was the pharmacy scene and when brad Pitt thinks he might have been infected and is ready to commit suicide if he begins to change within the next 60 seconds.

I even liked the obligatory scenes of him checking in and protecting his family, giving him added incentive to come back home safe.

The film feels a bit epic and brings more of a thriller element into many of the Action sequences, Rather than just tons of shooting and bullets. They feel dramatic and important rather than just throw away material that is there just to look cool. It is truly what saves the film from just feeling like a video game adaptation almost. The film has an urgency, but not an unrealistic one

Director Marc Forester impresses as he seems to grow as a director with each film. Here he shows adeptness at big scenes of action with an element of thrills and chills. Showing he has come a long way from QUANTUM OF SOLACE.

Originally, the film had a different ending: the plane lands in Moscow rather than crashing in Wales. The passengers are rounded up, and the elderly and sick are executed. Gerry is drafted into the Russian army. An unknown period of time passes, and we see Gerry fighting the zombies. He realizes the zombies are weak in the cold. The film ended with him getting back to the USA and leading a D-Day like invasion against the undead on the Oregon coast. The ending that was used instead made the movie less brutal and ended it with a glimpse of hope

Why Brad Pitt would see this as a franchise? I have no idea though maybe with the bulk of the book and its stories he envisioned epic films exploring the landscape which would seem to fit more as a miniseries.

Damon Lindelof and Drew Goddard rewrote the screenplay in the middle of the production to create a whole new different third act.

This seems to be a studios idea of a zombie film, destroying them without more decapitations instead of more shooting in the head. Just like instead of the zombies feasting on humans they just want to bite and infect. The film feels more like a modern apocalypse film that happens to involve zombies and works on a grand global scale to involve all cultures. Instead of a small story in a limited location. It’s nice to see a bigger zombie tale.

It would be too easy to label this as a trend and cash in, this film actually seems thought out and smarter than it should be. I mean, I can honestly say I wasn’t bored and rarely rolled my eyes. A good popcorn film

Grade: C+

BLACK BEAR (2020)

Written & Directed By: Laurence Michael Levine

Cinematography: Robert Leitzell

Editor: Matthew L. Weiss

Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Christopher Abbott, Sarah Gadon, Paola Lozaro, Grantham Coleman, Jennifer Kim, Lindsay Burge, Lou Gonzalez, Shannon O’Neill, Alexander Koch

At a remote lake house in the Adirondack Mountains, a couple entertains an out-of-town guest looking for inspiration in her filmmaking. The group quickly falls into a calculated game of desire, manipulation, and jealousy, unaware of how dangerously convoluted their lives will soon become in the filmmaker’s pursuit of a work of art, which blurs the boundaries between autobiography and invention.


This film is experimental in the best kind of way. A fractured meta-narrative that makes us examine the relationships between the characters and what we have seen or have been told.

The first half is more of a slow burn of hidden emotions, ambitions, and attractions. Where Aubrey plaza is more of a seductress and coveted by the male half of the couple. While the female is more jealous of her and her accomplishments.

Where in the second half the flip is switched and we realize the first half was the film the second half characters were making. So while the first half might seem UNFINISHED as they are in the middle of filming the second half gives it an ending while continuing the drama. Even now all the actors are in different roles. Aubrey plaza goes from being the director in the first half to be the star of the film who is having a breakdown as her partner is directing the film but seems to be oblivious to her feelings and needs. While trying to nurture the ingenue in the film. Whereas in the first half the ingenue played by Sarah Gadon was the put upon the pregnant wife of the male. Who was neglected once plaza’s character comes into the picture literally. 

The film lightens up a little in tone in the second half with more humor centered around the crew making the film. As it shows the little problems and culture that goes on such an independent project. 

Which actually perfectly offsets and magnifies Aubrey Plaza in these scenes. As she goes from easy going to emotionally tortured and while they seem more in a comedy. Her raw performance is so dramatic it offsets them and makes their dilemmas all the more shallow. 

The film lets it’s casa averted fixations be known in the second half. Plaza’s performance does remind the audience of Gena Rowlands in A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE the raw emotions as she continuously drinks and becomes more emotionally open but also has more despair.

The second half of the film also allows for more side stories and ongoing jokes with the characters. Whereas the first half is more solitary and focused on the core three actors. The second half while focused allows for more of an ensemble m. 

This film is quite the experience that you might need to watch a few times to get your head around and fully understand the film.

GRADE: B

FEAR, ANXIETY & DEPRESSION (1989)

Written & Directed By: Todd Solondz 
Cinematography: Stefan Czapsky 
Editor: Peter Austin, Emily Paine & Barry Rubinow

Cast: Todd Solondz, Max Cantor, Alexandra Gersten, Jane Hamper, Stanley Tucci, Anne De Salvo, Jill Wisoff, Kathleen Gati

Ira is a nervous playwright waiting and hoping to succeed with his art, which he takes it very seriously. But following his dreams and ambitions isn’t something easy to do, especially when he has to consider the points of view his family, his artist friends and his girlfriend will provide to him whenever he exposes his incomprehensible works of art.


Finally got a chance to see writer/director Todd Solondz’s long-lost (for me) first film. This Great white whale of mine 

He has disavowed the film Claiming he felt like creative control was taken away from him.

One might enable to see why. Even though it isn’t a train wreck. It is actually entertaining in a goofy, surrealistic way. It still has the same themes as his later films. Exactly what the title lets you know. 

Only here he is the star as with his early Short films. It’s hard not to think that these films are autobiographical. As this ends a one of era again and he never appears in any of his films ever again.

As in future films, there seems to either be surrogates or he just writes more for ensembles and wanted to make films about characters and less making it seem about himself. 

This film obviously Comes out Indebted to Woody Allen as his character is definitely like one of Woody’s, a man who seems to be romantic and constantly Full of anxiety, nebbish, and strives for more. Who isn’t happy in his current life and then once he loses it realizes how good he had it. 

Though not as grand in scope this film reminds me of a lower-budgeted I HEART HUCKABEES more for its zany surreal comedic bits at times and its lightness and bitter comedic tone.

As most of the characters talk about being real artists but are aloof and pretentious and either needy or predatory.

Junk is the perfect femme fatale. As she lets you know what she is all about but the lead character stays enamored of her for her looks and what he eyes as tough attitude when she is just rude. Though He thinks her mysterious as she is the type of person he has never encountered. So she is all new to him. Treating him badly but he keeps coming back for more.

While he treats a woman who is head over heel for him badly the same way junk treats him.

He is a character. Struggling play-write who constantly seems to lose while those around him keep seeming to become successful. Like a high school friend who decided to write as a hobby become the toast of Broadway. While he gets a bad review in the village voice that everyone seems To read.

Or his best friend who hates his writing but encourages him. Who always seems To date or seduce whoever he seems to be interested in or pining for.

Even when junk Offers herself to him sexually he Messes it all up before he can go through with the deed. Or when he gets the girl

Of his dreams how she seems to Tolerate him but still Pine for her asshole ex. He seems to bring this misery at times upon himself.

Though no matter what it never becomes completely depressing as the film Keeps the mood and material goofy and silly. Even though it offers up a sad ending it ends with a little hope. That includes a rare happy ending.

So while a sadder woody Allen-Ish film a pleasing one and fascinating to see where his career began and see the seeds of future films and style.

The film also has a nice look at classic New York around 1989 mainly Greenwich village before it Became so gentrified 

I can identify with him and his films as I feel like what I write is similar and that most of my Early films or projects usually

Are more extensions of daydreams or exaggerated feelings and my self-consciousness put out there. Not to mention having humor about and bringing up uncomfortable subjects that are a part of life that involve characters trying to be good but are awkward in their own skin especially socially. 

As they have Consciences here everybody seems to get by seemingly normal without realizing at times how ridiculous or Cruel they are naturally

Grade: C+

SWEET LIBERTY (1986)

Written & Directed By: Alan Alda
Cinematography: Frank Tidy
Editor: Michael Economou

Cast: Alan Alda, Michael Caine, Michelle Pfeiffer, Bob Hoskins, Saul Rubinek, Lise Hilboldt, Lillian Gish, Lois Chiles, John C. McGinley, Lynne Thigpen 

Michael has written a scholarly book on the revolutionary war. He has sold the movie rights. The arrival of the film crew seriously disrupts him as actors want to change their characters, directors want to re-stage battles, and he becomes very infatuated with Faith, who will play the female lead in the movie. At the same time, he is fighting with his crazy mother who thinks the Devil lives in her kitchen, and his girlfriend who is talking about commitment.


When it comes to Alan Alda. A little is a lot though I am still a fan of the series he starred in M.A.S.H.

He comes off too smug throughout even when trying to be earnest. As A know all. As like him, the film feels like it is speaking down to others and considers itself too intellectual.

This film comes off as Woody Allen lite. It feels too general but too sharp and kind of whitewashed.

Wonder if at the time this was seen as biting humor. Watching it now feels basic.

The film has a light touch with a little depth. Which moves along breezily. As it is full-on comedic 

Lilian Gish as Alda’s mother seems here more to work and to be a big name in the cast.  As her character is another problem for the lead character to juggle. Whose storyline goes nowhere. Not to mention makes his plights more personal. 

Michael Caine is effortlessly charming and aloof. He manages to stay in control of his growing set of affairs. Yet never breaks a sweat.

Bob Hoskins is in full New York City accent mode as a screenwriter trying to make it big. 

The film In its early scenes is more about the behind-the-scenes movie-making comedy. That feels charmed with itself. Before becoming more of an intellectual farce of sorts.

The score is kind of hammy. As this film feels more made for video. As it’s less cinematic and more small-scale simple. 

If not for some language and sexy scenes. This film is clean enough to be a TV movie with a movie star cast. 

Despite my misgivings, the film Does have its charms as a film about late to middle age angst 

This film would make a great companion piece with the film STATE AND MAIN

Grade: C+ 

THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008)

Directed By: Louis Letterier
Written By: Zak Penn (Script Revisions By: Edward Norton)
Cinematography: Peter Menzies Jr.
Editing By: Rick Shaine & Vincent Tabaillon & John Wright

Cast: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Blake Nelson, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Ty Burrell, Lou Ferrigno


Depicting the events after the Gamma Bomb. ‘The Incredible Hulk’ tells the story of Dr. Bruce Banner, who seeks a cure to his unique condition, which causes him to turn into a giant green monster under emotional stress. Whilst on the run from the military which seeks his capture, Banner comes close to a cure. But all is lost when a new creature emerges: The Abomination.

While somewhat improved over the first movie this re-take of the comic character still doesn’t find the right tone for a satisfying hulk project. This film seems to be trying to give the fans everything they want that the first film lacked the only problem is they have a very bare blueprint to base the story elements around

The effects were better in the first film and I liked the moving comic canvas of the first film it at least showed some inspiration here with Edward Norton in the lead and helping with the script I expected a better output than what I saw on the screen. The plot wasn’t that interesting or engaging. This film was very painted by numbers story-wise it had classic action scenes and a CGI battle between two beasts but when I watched this film I don’t remember asking for an animated film sure I want a comic book movie that might involve a little fantasy but do want some realism. It also does the requisite by involving a character who seems minor but perfectly setting up a villain for the sequel for those who notice.

One of the problems I don’t think Louis Leterrier was the right director for this project he is used to making fast-paced action films I know directors are supposed to have a wide range but he’s not ready for that yet. This is a hero film for the MTV generation with all the fast cuts and such. It also appears that the film was entirely filmed on backlots and soundstages I can understand the need for secrecy during filming so that no one knows in advance what is happening. But the budget for this film is huge the funny thing is it doesn’t show on the screen other than the effects everything else looks cheap or false not making for the best looking film.

The one female they showed in Brazil must be the only one for miles around and she is over the top hot yet has no lines. Tim Roth as one-note as the villain that really showed no motivation at all for his villain. Liv Tyler and Edward Norton for old long-lost lovers seem to have no chemistry and both seem to try very hard to have it. This hurts the film since at the heart of this tale is a love story in the middle of a comic book film. For all the ingredients in this tale, the poetic and artistic integrity of this film doesn’t feel very deep as it wants to be. William Hurt as General Thunderbolt Ross made me remember. How much I missed Sam Elliot as the same character from the first film he was compassionate and doing his job William hurt here just seems like a jerk who says he loves his daughter but his actions prove otherwise.

Don’t get me wrong there were good things in this movie the chase scene through the favela comes to mind. But nothing too noteworthy.

Why is it in colossal disaster films New York is the city all the destruction takes place in and where the epic battles must be fought? Does New York really need more publicity we have enough tourism to go and destroy some other cities it would be nice to see maybe to have stuff go down in Miami or Arizona there’s a lot of open space and dessert there.

While the film might work as an action-adventure film. Which tries to improve upon the mistakes of THE HULK movie. Which was more artistic and character-driven.So as that was more the origin story this film was more the continuing adventures of Bruce Banner. So like most sequels, it was more action-packed and go bigger as we know the characters already.
Though it also shows the limitations of director Louis Letterier who is skilled when it comes to more action films and sequences. He has more of a problem doing emotional scenes and making the film feel more dramatic.
While the film might work as an action-adventure film. Which tries to improve upon the mistakes of THE HULK movie. Which was more artistic and character-driven.
So as that was more the origin story this film was more the continuing adventures of Bruce Banner. So like most sequels, it was more action-packed and go bigger as we know the characters already.
Though it also shows the limitations of director Louis Letterier who is skilled when it comes to more action films and sequences. He has more of a problem doing emotional scenes and making the film feel more dramatic.

Spoiler – Plus what the hell are they going to do with the abomination now that the hulk didn’t kill him and he can’t turn human again and we know the professor is going to turn into the villain the leader the smile on his face is like a wink to the audience or fans of the comic at least.

Spoiler end

So in the end you have to wonder was it worth all of your attention to make a film that is the same quality as the original but instead of character and emotions, this film is all about action and special effects.

GRADE: C-

THE HAND OF GOD (2021)

Written & Directed By: Pablo Sorrentino 
Cinematography: Daria D’Antonio 
Editor: Cristiano Travaglioli 

Cast: Filippo Scotti, Toni Servillo, Teresa Saponagelo, Luisa Ranieli, Marlon Joubert, Renato Carpentier, Massimiliano Gallo, Betty Pedrazzi 

Fabietto Schisa is a boy in the tumultuous Naples of the 1980s. The Hand of God is a story full of unexpected joys, such as the arrival of football legend Diego Maradona, and an equally unexpected tragedy. Fate plays its part, joy and tragedy intertwine, and Fabietto’s future is set in motion.


This film is oddly restrained considering it is directed by Paolo Sorrentino. Whose films always lean on beautiful visuals, characters, and landscapes and usually showcase a surreal reality as well as feeling more epic in scope.

This film is autobiographical so that it feels more personal and with more depth. Not so much an ensemble but we do see the world of Neapolitan Italy through the eyes of our teenage protagonist. Though we spend a lot of time with his family and the characters he comes across. Who each affects and shape his life in some way

Some are more obvious and immediate, others we get glimpses of and then learn about them later but never quite forget them. As each has some kind of advice for the main character.

All of this is happening while in the background soccer player Maradona is bright onto Italy’s Team and is helping them win the World Cup. So Much so that the main characters’ activities are scheduled around seeing the games. 

As he interacts with his family we see plenty of domestic drama. Though throughout there is a love story but it is more between the protagonist and his aunt. Who has a mental illness or is treated like she has and wears provocative clothing and has no problem being naked whenever. Not exactly your typical movie romance. 

Though she is shown more as as a muse for him of free-thinking, humor, sex, and beauty and Luisa Ranieri playing aunt Patrica fills out the role beautifully. As the camera manages to make her look gorgeous no matter what the angle or lighting. Throughout the movie, there are female characters of great beauty who are treated as normal or every day.

The movie also managed to be one of the few films about filmmaking or future filmmakers that basically barely has any movies or talk of them in it. There is no film appreciation, though there is talk of Fellini, a filmmaker who Sorrentino can remind one of in telling personal stories in a grand way that always feels colorful.

This film doesn’t really follow a traditional plot or story and is more a collection of anecdotes and events that shape the character and give a vivid history and view of his hometown in the 1980s. Not as quirky as one might expect as there is nothing that truly stands out. 

Though by the end you are glad you watched and experienced the film that plays and feels more like a book by the end. Only here not everything is spelled out. It is more experienced, witnessed, and felt.

This is also a film best viewed in a theater or on the biggest screen you can find. 

Grade: B-

SONG TO SONG (2017)

Written & Directed By: Terrence Malick 
Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki
Editor: Hank Corwin, Keith Frase & Rehman Nizarali 

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Val Kilmer, Berniece Marlohe 

Two intersecting love triangles. Obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.


The film offers cameos from bands and musicians. Like Robert Altman’s THE PLAYER only less about the life and business just what kind of culture it takes place in 

The film is filled more with moments of the day-to-day. That is broken into fragments and left for us to witness and examine. As really the film takes place and shows us the lives of those attending a music festival. 

As it becomes a travelogue of the surroundings with a love of narration, that is supposed to help explain but becomes more oddly poetic. Meaning that what we see while visually stunning is a surface. While we learn what is underneath from the narration. Which offers up an explanation of sorts. 

The films of Writer/Director Terrence Malick usually revolve around the individual and their relationships with the world. Romantic and intimate ones are at the heart of the films. 

This could have easily been a modern NASHVILLE type ensemble, but the music festival is a backdrop for the intentions of music. With emotions and thoughts expressed through the melody with words. just like an album has a bunch of songs. Some are in the same Mold and some are distinct. Others offer a different slice of life and a continuation of themes,  but still a different moment and rules.

Going in you don’t know what to expect. But when it comes to director Terrence Malik’s later films. You kind of do, wide-angle lenses, narration, beautiful cinematography, poetic license almost abstract to the non-existent story. Left for you to meditate on, believing that this new film will be the one they have wanted from him and waited for. That will be his next BADLANDS or DAYS OF HEAVEN 

He tries to stick with the story more and each time while considered good. Not the classic fans hoped for. Though that seems better and is taken more seriously later,  then When they come out originally slow them to be seen more as pieces of art. Then just movies. Even if more and more end up as passable yet disappointing to a certain degree rather than good or even memorable 

The camera never really stops. We see private moments more glossy and pretty people doing normal things. Only with more shine and attention on these moments. Offering Communication through images. Never let lies during full conversations do it.

Though you might know what to expect. Though he offers you shards and then Leaves you to interpret and figure out what just happened. Sometimes with Narrations that sound like excerpts from books 

Usually, Actors clamor to work with Mr. Malik and his films usually are star-studded. Only then did he cut out half of them from the film. As they are not needed in what he wants to present. Which he finds during the editing process. 

So his films always seem like a cut he came to that was releasable after cutting down in the editing room from what might be the first draft filmed. If there was even a script. That it ends up feeling like A book with missing chapters and characters whose fate we never learn.

It ends up feeling more Like a music video with a score but missing the main song as there is a score but no singing necessarily. 

As characters who are almost like newborns come in and take out the narrative partially after an initial connection. Twisting things around a bit. 

Then the actors are filmed like fashion shoots. Like a footnote or introduction to a side story that affects the overall narrative.

Usually one can get excited when he sets his films in the present. Not so much historical epics,  but his strongest films are those usually based on books and true stories that have actual plots. Allowing them each a few chapters they tend to overlap through each other. To be the one In control of their own POV and their marriage and romantic missteps with guest stars.

The film seems to want to be ambitious but leaves itself hard to grade as it comes across more as an art installation rather than a film. 

TO THE WONDER was his last most consistent film.  As it seems the most focused 

This ends up as A long movie that feels longer than it is and monotonous 

It seems like Michael Fassbender’s character is a music manager who is in love with Rooney mara’s character, who works for him and is mildly in the know but once she falls in love with Ryan gosling’s character. At first, she still cheats with Fassbender. Then once she stops, Fassbender meets and marries shortly afterward a waitress he picks up quickly. Where it is all love at first then they start to sleep around. Until she has a romantic liaison and he gets her into drugs and groupies 

Then His wife dies and Mara’s character is with gosling. But he seems to still have feelings for his ex and they break up. Once he finds out Rooney had an affair. She signs with Fassbender and then has a same-sex relationship. Gosling moves home to be around family and falls for Cate Blanchett who no one seems to think is good for him. So it continuously plays with this melodrama. 

This is one of these Films where you find yourself constantly checking the time where it’s headed and shocked it’s not over yet. 

A film that might be smarter than the audience. It is also a film that wants the audience To Interpret it all rather than explain. which can equal big filmmaking wishes handled by a true artist or someone who knows what they are doing.

He sets himself apart as Brave. Most filmmakers choose to have the audience interpret relationships or endings or characters. 

Whereas by the end explaining the plot/story is simple as there is so little of it. It whereas it is started out with visuals montages narration poetry, but barely any music which the title suggests there should be more of some 

It all feels Pretentious where One might wonder if the director had a script as it feels like there is none and they are making it up as they go along at the location and trying to fit it all In

In the end, the film doesn’t offer as much music as expected 

Grade: C

TALK TO HER (2002)

Written & Directed By: Pedro Almodovar 
Cinematography: Javier Aguirresarobe
Editor: Jose Salcedo

Cast: Javier Camara, David Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Rosario Flores, Mariola Fuentes, Geraldine Chaplin

After a chance encounter at a theater, two men, Benigno and Marco, meet at a private clinic where Benigno works. Lydia, Marco’s girlfriend and a bullfighter by profession, has been gored and is in a coma. It so happens that Benigno is looking after another woman in a coma, Alicia, a young ballet student. The lives of the four characters will flow in all directions, past, present and future, dragging all of them towards an unsuspected destiny.


When it comes to Director Pedro Almodovar, With certain films his attention to detail is mesmerizing by even just the appreciation to women their style dress mannerisms and femininity is fascinating and he pulls us in 

Especially for a filmmaker who has always been artistic but also an early provocateur looking more to shock it seems Maybe now,  we Just pay more attention to every aspect of his filmmaking. Such as Melodrama, sense of color and suspense

As he seems to base his later films around stories and the works of noted authors he is a fan of, trying to match the depth and tone of their work.

Which might be why this film feels like reading a book. Introductions are made for our main characters but we really don’t know their situations, emotions, motivations or history until the film. Keeps moving and chooses to make the revelations of the twisted stories and personal histories. 

As things aren’t always as they seem. It feels like watching Two love stories that are parallel, but then come together. Though it could also be seen by the end. As before , that leads to the worthwhile love story of two damaged people brought together.

As one character stays a victim throughout. As she is more an object of fascination and infatuation. A kind of ideal, who is violated without her knowledge or permission. Then in the end. Looks to get into a romance with someone involved with her attacker of sorts.

It’s a film that challenges you. As the audience might not like or agree with the ending. As one romance is cut short though has time to blossom, yet find out it was ending. The other romance never truly existed. As it had a promising start until extreme acts ended it before it could truly start.

As the character of Benigno could be seen as hopeless romantic, but is more a stalker. Who gets his chance to be near his obsession. Ultimately being devoted to her care and taking care of her, but also getting to be physically intimate with her. Which he never treats as sexual or abused in that way at first. In fact he seems asexual sexually as though he loves her. He seems attracted and flirtatious with Marco in their friendship. 

It would seem he lives up to the ultimate title of caregiver. He also seems to idolize women as when he first falls for Alicia, it is while he is taking care of his own dying mom and it seems once she is gone. Out of loneliness his care and loving feelings are transferred to Alicia. just as he is devoted to her in the hospital, but opens up and shows feelings for Alicia even as his co-worker obviously likes him but he stays blind to it.

In fact until he is inspired by a silent movie (in a shocking and visually stunning scene) he never gets sexual. The one time he does in a selfish and undefendable act, is when he is finally punished. Throughout the movie we never really see sex, but it is introduced and we are thrown in The emotional pull of it. 

Where it gets more troubled is that this act actually brings upon a kind of miracle… a cure. Where he suffers and deserves to for her recovery and it feels like a minor religious allegory of it all. It also causes a salvation for his friend Marco

Throughout the film there are artistic touches that only add color to the characters and situations. In the end what should be simple is so haywire emotionally, but has beautiful conclusions. Albeit dark and in moments that feel sumptuous.

Even in the bullfighting sequences more the alpha but most emotional of the couple. She always feels more in control. As physically stronger and masculine yet always needing to be saved and supported in life.

It feels like we are watching lives with a bit of serendipity, not a movie or a story. Yet we are still showcased the more interesting parts 

Oddly this film is exactly what I thought it would be but still amazing. As it unfolds like a novel and feels nurturing and strangely full. Even though at heart it is disturbing if you think deep about it. it is also romantic

Grade: B+

WHEN THE CAT’S AWAY (aka CHACUN CHERCHE SON CHA) (1996)


Written & Directed By: Cedric Klapisch 
Cinematography: Benoit Delhomme 
Editor: Francine Sandberg 

Cast: Garance Clavel, Zinedine Soualem, Olivier Py, Renee Le Calm, Simon Abkarian 

Chloe, a young woman, is going on holiday. She entrusts her beloved cat to Madame Renée’s care. But one day Madame Renée (an old lady of the neighborhood) can not find the cat. Chloe starts searching the neighborhood… This is the pretext for the exploration of a quarter of Paris and his inhabitants.


A French film that starts with a simple premise of a young woman looking for her missing cat. That ends up leading to a bunch of adventures and experiences that usually involve some kind of romantic entanglement

This is the first film of French writer director Cedric Klapisch that I saw that perfectly sets up his usual bohemian style. His films work more as ensemble pieces with a main character in the middle. Who this story usually either revolves around or is at the center and cause for situations

As the movie goes on this is really a film about the neighborhood and its citizens more a kind of anthropology study to a degree. As we watch how they work like a well-oiled machine. With one another. While also watching how their quirkiness helps to guide and make connections for the main female character In The middle of all of this.

The film is eclectic and colorful and mostly fun than anything else, not Too dramatic. Yet at times romantic and showcasing how easily we can read into things and believe people at their words a little too soon before they have proven themselves.

This is a French film that was perfect for the time period and comes off as a quirky French film where you want to be in the movie or move into this neighborhood. As it is a classic neighborhood with more younger people moving in and experiencing it’s the charm. So that it feels like that French getaway you might have always wanted to experience in your 20’s so you would get the modern and old school In Equal measure. as you get an insider look at all around France and the different neighborhoods or districts as they prefer to call them

Though the film doesn’t really have too much to do with the story or plot. As you more or less follow Chloe, the main character on her journey, and get to feel or at least witness her experiences. So the film is kind of free form in a way without being experimental. As for all of its freedom, there still feels like there is structure here.

If you have seen his later films THE SPANISH APARTMENT, RUSSIAN DOLLS and CHINESE PUZZLE 

This will be a little familiar but allows you to see where it all started at least In theme. Though they are constructed they manage to surprise you and add color to the films through the characters. Who we get to know a bit about and get to spend a little time with. As they only add to the enjoyment of the picture.

GRADE: B

S#X ACTS (SHESH PEAMIM) (2012)

Directed By: Jonathan Garfinkel 
Written By: Rona Segal 
Cinematography By: Shark De Mayo 
Editor: Arik Liebovitch 
 Cast: Sivian Levy


Inevitable is a realistic paraphrase of a classic teen-movie, a deep dive into the ‘Grey zone’ of sexual abuse, told through the story of average suburban adolescents. The story takes place right now, next door. Gili is a teenager who decides to change schools. She is determined to improve her lame social status. Over the course of a few weeks she hooks up with several different boys, all from her new school. Their encounters get more and more sexual. Exploring their limits each time further. The boys are eager to take what is so generously offered, and Gilli is thrilled to get the attention. No tears, no complaints, no consequences. No adults. No one who says that maybe something is wrong

While this film puts more of a true face on the youth as thy discover sex and sexuality. It is also more of a horrific tale.

This is one of the most depressing and scary movies I have seen recently more scary as this might be a tale that could be rooted in truth or actually be happening out there.

The film starts off simple as her behavior seems to happen to impress her crush, yet with the introduction of his friend who is better looking more forward, and more inclined to have fun and showing her positive attention. Sensing thins falls for him and seem that her crush has no bounds. He leads her on constantly hooking up and more or less using her like a pet and trying to get her to hook up in front of friends or with friends.

Even at times when it looks like She has found a savior in the role of a friend in the group who seems to like her romantically. Who she seems to hang out with as to get closer to her main crush and out of desperation as no one else is calling her. Quickly turns into more of a date rape-ish scene after she slightly insults him. where he doesn’t realize the consequences of his actions.

Later on in the film after continuous debasement. There is a defining scene where the core group of friends refuse her transport and call her degrading names truly showing what they think of her. She really shows no reaction as seems fixated on her crush.

What the film lacks is a scene or sense where she finally lets it all out knowledge of her actions or sense of self. Letting it all out. Instead it stays bottled in and keeps getting worse and worse. As the adore wants her to come to her senses or for someone preferably female to save her.

I don’t know how true to life this film is bit I fear there are a lot of women and some men out there like this. 

Sivian Levy gives a brave performance in the lead. She has a natural beauty that isn’t obvious or announce itself but is clearly evident. That gives her character, not a prom queen look more of a girl next door look. Which seems to fuel the characters need for acceptance and attention. While she gives the character a certain resourcefulness. She is also a victim of her own decisions and self-delusion. She convincingly makes the character clear though not the root of the decisions.

This film has an unflinching look that as soon as it turns to becoming a more realistic erotic scene the ugliness of the situation and the debasement on the character becomes so overwhelming it is more like a torture scene.

We are given a quick, short look at her home life to better understand why she might accept how she is treated and the motivations behind her actions and decisions.

The revolving question in this film is that by a certain point she realizes she is being used almost being pimped out practically. You wonder is this all for attention and being popular or does she really continue in these actions to please and impress the one boy she has a crush on and is her main abuser.

By the ending though it is left ambiguous. It leaves you to wonder will she continue this behavior as it looks like it will become a bigger circle and this time as before it will be more Of a submission by force.

The film is broken down into individual scenes that seem to end with some kind of sexual act, Part of the fun of the film is finding the inventive way the director introduces the number into the next scene.

 Grade: B-