GALVESTON (2018)

Directed By: Melanie Laurent 
Written by: Nic Pizzolatto 
Based On The Novel By: Nic Pizzolatto
Cinematography: Arnaud Potier 
Editor: Joseph Krings 

Cast: Ben Foster, Elle Fanning, Beau Bridges, Maria Valverde, Lili Reinhart, Jeffrey Grover, Christopher Amitrano

Debt collector Roy is a heavy-drinking criminal enforcer and mob hitman whose boss set him up in a double-cross scheme. After killing his would-be assassins, Roy discovers Rocky, a young woman being held captive, and reluctantly takes her with him on his escape. Determined to find safety and sanctuary in Galveston, Roy must find a way to stop his boss from pursuing them while trying to outrun the demons from his and Rocky’s pasts.


From the writer of TRUE DETECTIVE based on his novel. It’s just as down and dirty as the show. Only here no mysticism. It does show how certain things affect another. Though this is more a character study of the two leads. Only we seem more from their actions rather than from what they say. 

Melanie Laurent the french actress directs this movie. That is grimy yet has a golden sheen around it. Where it seems like the film takes great joy in not only seeing more sides of life.

Trying to give definition and be emphasized as being more real. Seeming to try and give the Film a street quality. Everything including the actions seems dirtier than needed. It definitely has a lived In quality, especially with a cast of unrecognizable actors. 

Ben Foster usually is great in whatever he is in and gives another great performance. He Keeps you mesmerized as you watch him. At times, you feel you have him figured out only to surprise you but he always feels natural. Even when he makes decisions that leading characters rarely do. 

The film is never happy, it seems like it’s trying to bathe itself In Dirt and unhappiness.

Letting you know nothing will be easy. The world the film creates is cruel with no victories, even so, the tragedy you know will eventually come. Still feels like a gut punch.

A pulp story told through two characters who are thrown together by chance and it seems each step to the way they dig themselves deeper while trying. To keep a low profile. Through this time they bond and grow closer. They have a relationship even if it is not romantic. They form A bond and kind of family. 

Even as throughout you can feel this Inching towards tragedy and it is rare anything happy or nice happens 

This is the first truly adult role Elle Fanning has played. As she always seems to work keeping busy. Here she plays a younger character. She feels real and lived in. It never feels like she is coasting and for such a character who hasn’t had a hard life seems a little innocent and happy go lucky. 

The film is strong even if at times it does feel like it is trying too hard. 

Grade: B-

6 UNDERGROUND (2019)

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Directed By: Michael Bay
Written By: Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese
Cinematography: Bojan Bazelli
Editor: Roger Barton, William Goldenberg & Calvin Wimmer 


Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Melanie Laurent, Corey Hawkins, Manuel Garcia-Ruflo, Ben Hardy, Adria Arjona, Dave Franco, Lior Raz, Payman Maadi, Ron Funches 



What’s the best part of being dead? It’s the freedom. The freedom to fight the evil which lurks in our world. 6 Underground’s group of unnamed individuals have chosen to change the future. The team’s brought together by enigmatic leader code-named ‘One’, whose sole mission is to ensure that, he and his fellow teammates will have their actions remembered.


This is a film that is so huge and ridiculously over the top and overblown that it feels like a film that would have been an action classic in the 1980’s or 90’s. As you can see all of the $150 million dollar budget on the screen with an international mostly european flavor.

The problem is that the film is much more interested in the action sequences more than anything else. As it is a michael bay film they are photographed beautifully and come off as amazing to look at. Though overwhelmingly violent and gory. Which the director seems to take great joy in and trying to make some of it funny. Which doesn’t exactly work, Especially when your film is so hamfisted making everything feel intense when it doesn’t need to be that at many times you find yourself worn outnumber.

Even the sex scenes which don’t exactly feel necessary one is more romantic and the other whole setting up a romantic side story involves characters who want sexy more than romance so nothing romantic in the scene at all more ogling of bodies.

While this film has a genuine star in Ryan Reynolds who is there for the action but only participated in half of it. Since the film is more about a team they share their moments to shine some more than others and in the case of Adria Ajola barely any action. As the other actors shine.

It is through Mr. Reynolds and the rest of the cast that the movie More shines and you care more then you probably should. As Reynolds plays his usual cocky and sarcastic hero type here more of a leader.

The film seems to take certain joys upping the danger and adventure. As each new action sequence involves an even more dangerous amount of dizzying stunts. So much so that this film feels like XXX where as it is more of a stunt man’s movie that makes the actors look badass. As well as making the gratuitous violence almost pornographic. Though luckily the film doesn’t feel that technical. Though it certainly want to take the audience on a wild ride.

There is so much action no one could ever accuse the film of stopping or even being boring as the 20 minute opening car chase alone involves everything but the kitchen sink. Yet feels like the type of scene that would end most films and is one of the more impressive action sequences of the film even more exciting then the finale.

This film feels like a throwback to the men on a mission film. Where they form A platonic love for one another even if they don’t necessarily like one another. Also with the constantly shifting foreign locale and majorly foreign cast also makes it feel like this film could have been written by Luc Besson for one of his cross cultural action films. Though even those films have a clear lead and are basically star vehicles for whoever that is. Here it is much more of a team effort no matter who is top billed.

So by the end we get more of the same with a plot that seems stitched together just so Director Michael bay can show off his designer action shots and attempts of humor by adding a funny self satisfied leading man. Though after awhile no matter how it is dressed up it becomes monotonous. As if you already started with a spectacular action sequence throughout the film tried to top itself. So that it soon becomes the norm and nothing is as exciting. Especially if we know you can do it as we Just Watched you do it before, Making this film more a dumb, fun guilty pleasure under the guise of a more action oriented espionage caper film.

Grade: C+

BY THE SEA (2016)

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Written & Directed By: Angelina Jolie Pitt
Cinematography By: Christian Berger
Editor: Martin Pensa & Patricia Rommel 

Cast: Angelina Jolie Pitt, Brad Pitt, Melaine Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Arestrup, Richard Bohringer 


Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner.

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