ODDS & ENDS: THE BEST, THE FAVORITES & THE WORST FILMS OF THE YEAR 2019

* A scene from UNDER THE SILVER LAKE 

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HANNA (2011)

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Directed By: Joe Wright
Written By: Seth Lochhead & David Carr
Based on a Story by: Seth Lochhead
Cinematography By: Alwin H. Kuchler
Editor: Paul Tothill

Cast: Eric Bana, Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Olivia Williams, Tom Hollander, Jason Flemyng, Michelle Dockery, Jessica Barden, Vicky Krepis, Tom Hollander

Hanna  is a teenage girl. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the skills of a soldier; these come from being raised by her father, an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland. Living a life unlike any other teenager, her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own. As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity. Continue reading “HANNA (2011)”

SHAZAM! (2019)

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Directed By: Daryl F. Sandberg
Written By: Henry Gayden
Story By: Darren Lemke & Henry Gayden
Based On Characters Created By: Bill Parker & C.C. Beck
Cinematography: Maxime Alexandre
Editor: Michel Aller 


Cast: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, John Glover, Djimon Hounsou, Jack Dylan Grazer, Faithe Herman, Grace Fulton, Michelle Borth, Megan Good, Adam Brody, D.J. Cotrona, Ross Butler, Cooper Andrews, Marta Milans 


In Philadelphia, Billy Batson is an abandoned child who is proving a nuisance to Child Services and the authorities with his stubborn search for his lost mother. However, in his latest foster home, Billy makes a new friend, Freddy, and finds himself selected by the Wizard Shazam to be his new champion. Now endowed with the ability to instantly become an adult superhero by speaking the wizard’s name, Billy gleefully explores his new powers with Freddy. However, Billy soon learns that he has a deadly enemy, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, who was previously rejected by the wizard and has accepted the power of the Seven Deadly Sins instead. Now pursued by this mad scientist for his own power as well, Billy must face up to the responsibilities of his calling while learning the power of a special magic with his true family that Sivana can never understand.

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THE BELKO EXPERIMENT (2017)

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Directed by: Greg McLean
Written By: James Gunn
Cinematography by: Luis David Sansas
Edited By; Julia Wong 


Cast: John Gallagher Jr., Adria Arjona, Tony Goldwyn, John C McGinley, Melonie Diaz, Sean Gunn, Owain Yeoman, Josh Brenner, Michael Rooker, Abraham Benrubi, Brent Sexton, Gregg Henry, Rusty Schwimmer, James Earl 


In a twisted social experiment, eighty Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia, and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.

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FORBIDDEN GAMES (1952)

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Directed By: Rene Clement
Written By: Jean Aurenche, Pierre Bost & Francois Boyer
Based On The Novel By: Francois Boyer
Cinematography: Robert Juillard
Editor: Roger Dwyre 


Cast: Georges Poujouly, Brigitte Fossey, Jaques Marin 


A girl of perhaps five or six is orphaned in an air raid while fleeing a French city with her parents early in World War II. She is befriended by a pre-adolescent peasant boy after she wandered away from the other refugees, and is taken in for a few weeks by his family. The children become fast friends, and the film follows their attempt to assimilate the deaths they both face, and the religious rituals surrounding those deaths, through the construction of a cemetery for all sorts of animals. Child-like and adult activity are frequently at cross-purposes.

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THE LITTLE HOURS (2017)

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Written & Directed By: Jeff Baena
Cinematography By: Quyen Tran
Editor: Ryan Brown 


Cast: Dave Franco, Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, Kate Micucci, Nick Offerman, Jemima Kirke, Molly Shannon, John C. Reilly, Paul Reiser, Fred Armisen, Paul Weitz, Lauren Weedman 


On the run from the battle-seasoned Lord Bruno for sleeping with his wife, the handsome and willing servant, Massetto, flees to the safety of the woods during the warm and peaceful summer of 1347. There, after a chance encounter with the always boozy but merciful Father Tommasso, the young charmer will find refuge into his convent’s sanctuary, on one condition: to pretend he is a deaf-mute. However, Massetto’s tempting presence will unavoidably upset the already frail balance of things within the sexually-repressed female realm, as nun after nun desperately seeks an escape from their tedious way of life and an extra reason to molest the charming handyman. In the end, will those cloistered Sisters finally find out what they had been missing out on all these years?

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