THE COLUMNIST (2019)

Directed By: Ivo Van Aart 
Written By: Daan Windhorst
Cinematography: Martijn Cousijn 
Editor: Irme Reutelingsperger & Yamal Stitiou 

Cast: Katja Herbers, Achraf Koutet, Genio De Groot, Rein Hoffman, Claire Porro, Bram Van Der Kelen, Medina Schuurman, Harry Van Ritjthourn 

A columnist must continuously deal with threats and negative comments on her social media pages. One day, she has had enough and decides to hunt down her trolls.


The film wastes no time in getting right to the point and its actions. The film ends up going down like candy-sweet and quickly with very few complaints. 

The film comes off very dry and seems to have no real sensations at all throughout the film. Especially when it comes to presentation.

Feels very lightweight for such a dark comedy. Almost like a TV movie level. Only with plenty of language and violence.

It might have been stronger if at any point she really has faced a true challenge or more of one in her killings or the immediate aftermath. 

The only other being she seems to face is the older gentleman who at first seems like he could be the easiest.

As she became too common too fast and with very little investigation into these Crimes. So there feels like an absence of any real depth. Especially when the film offers opportunities for it to be more interesting. Like having the daughter act impulsively when thinking her mother’s boyfriend is the killer or having her kill him when believing him to be the killer. Then found out she was wrong when the kills keep happening and then finding out it was her mother or ending the film with the daughter’s Mistake.

In the middle of the movie is the only town where the police really have any questions and she gives them motive and a bit of evidence to build a case if they bothered to really investigate her. 

The killings soon become an obsession. So much so that it takes over her regular responsibilities. Truly shows her character’s transformation. The more she kills the more it relieves her mind as it clears her head and gets more writing done. In essence, becoming more successful.

As it seems she is all for freedom of speech until it is used against her then she becomes the ultimate censor. At first, she is bullied into being a killer. 

Though without controversy there is less of an audience. The end is a little outlandish as it seems meant to be a message. As the film does have one in a worst-case scenario version. That could be reworked but makes itself loud and clear. 

At first, it seems Like it will be open-ended but proceeds especially as there are plenty of witnesses though goes for shock and sensationalism with a warning. 

Her speech might help her and the film to realize what she says about herself goes to the victims also. 

Just her boyfriend who dresses freaky to get attention as fashion is the more normal put-together individual. Whereas she comes off as the more so-called normal one is the crazed killer.

In the end, the film feels disposable and hassle-free.

Grade: C+

RITUALS (1977)

Directed By: Peter Carter 
Written By: Ian Sutherland 
Cinematography: Rene Verzier 
Editor: George Appleby

Cast: Hal Holbrook, Lawrence Dane, Robin Gammell, Ken James, Gary Reineke, Michael Zevon, Jack Crelay, Murray Westgate 

Five doctors go on vacation deep in the Canadian wilderness. After all but one pair of the party’s shoes disappear, the remaining shoe camper decides to hike out and go look for help. Soon after he leaves, however, his four companions realize that something is very wrong when someone leaves a decapitated deer head just outside their camp. Even though they still don’t have their shoes, they decide to follow their friend’s trail out of the woods, but their path is blocked by someone who doesn’t want to see them leave the forest alive.


The film works as we spend most of the time with the characters and their reactions to various circumstances that at first seem random. As they start out as minor then grow as their desperation does also.

Already weary of each other though they are lifelong friends and siblings. Stuck in the Terrain in the middle of nowhere. The tensions are already high between them. So that when problems arise. They slowly turn on one another.

The film raises the intensity between them and their reactions in the first half of the movie before getting more to the horror/thriller elements of the second half 

The characters fit into certain types including a gay character whose sexuality is revealed not blatantly, but nonchalantly.

As the film goes along the characters’ true selves are revealed under duress. Exposing How some will truly act or react under pressure.

This is one of the first few leading man roles I have seen Hal Holbrook in and he goes above and beyond in the role. Showing a true star in the midst. In a role that feels lived in.

The film adds in the horror elements when it remembers. Only to help add to all the commotion Going on. Though there is a countdown of sorts, eventually there is going to be an attack at a certain point.

The film wisely never Amps up the action. It stays reserved. Never revealing its hand or giving hints too early. As most is revealed along with the characters. So that the audience never quite knows exactly what to expect in advance.

The film offers beautiful landscapes of nature that for all Their beauty have its own fair share of mystery.

At heart, this is a survival movie. Where a group of doctors going on a fishing trip seems to become the hunted. Out of the many places, it could have gone happy it stays somewhat simple and riveting. 

It’s filmed unglamorous so that it feels as stark and ugly as the land sometimes becomes. Mostly shot in close up so you see all the blood, sweat, and tears not to mention dirt, grime, imperfections, and injuries. 

This film came out of nowhere. As it goes along breaking down the genre while setting it up also. Until its own shocking final reveal.

Grade: B

IN THE CUT (2003)

Directed By: Jane Campion 
Written By: Jane Campion, Susanna Moore & Starvos Kazantzids
Based On The Novel By: Susanna Moore 
Cinematography: Dion Beebe 
Editor: Alexandre De Franceschi

Cast: Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kevin Bacon, Sharrief Pugh, Nick Damici, Heather Litteer, Arthur J. Nascarella, Patrice O’Neal 

A psychological thriller: a lonely New York woman discovers the darker side of passion after becoming involved with a tough homicide detective who is investigating a series of murders in her neighborhood.


This film seemed to be dismissed and quickly forgotten by audiences and critics at the time of its release. Seen more as a failure or embarrassment. When actually it is a film that is worth exploring for the rules it abides by and the many it doesn’t. 

It’s grimy ugly not all that sexy. You don’t want to be there but are kind of forced to. As the film starts off disorienting and claustrophobic, it constantly feels like it’s tightening a noose. It stays intense with barely any noticeable score. 

Not a pleasant experience but this film is worth exploring. 

It’s strange as it is Jane Campion making a movie that is more seen as the most mainstream for her at that point and you have America’s sweetheart who wants to challenge herself and be seen in a different more dramatic light. In other words, trying to be anti-mainstream 

So you have these two working together trying to tell a tale that seems mroe obsessed with sex and maintain interest in a murder mystery that seems to be in the background until it hits close to home 

It certainly doesn’t help that all the male characters seem to be creepy as hell. Though make up a long suspect list 

The violence is more told or shown in the aftermath. After a while, the film’s problem is that you wonder what this is all about and what we are waiting for as it gets a bit monotonous at times but stays interesting. As you never know quite where it is going to go next so it feels alive 

The film is certainly well-directed though the material might not be the best. It works as everyone seems ordinary and doesn’t feel like a glamorous Hollywood production. As it does get down and dirty 

So can’t say you like or really care about too many of the characters. Especially when every cop character seems to have an overworked New York accent 

Then throw Kevin bacon into all this madness as a psycho stalking ex. He usually wears red so he might as well be labeled a literal red herring. Where you wonder why Meg Ryan’s character slept with him in the first place. As he seems to be there as a recognizable face and kind of a waste of time.

As Meg Ryan plays a nerdy teacher who is brought into all of this erotic and sexual obsession. At first, she seems Miscast almost like this film is more an experiment for her watching one time America’s sweetheart in a down and dirty role that for some might come across as desperate but for others, it shows she is up for the challenge. Between this film and her other dramatic performances in COURAGE UNDER FIRE and WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN. 

Mark Ruffalo gives the most convincing performance. As he comes across as a simple character with a lot of secrets and heMs not the type to talk about his feelings. More direct as he seems to inhabit the role than play it. Though will admit him, Nor most of the cast are the first you would think of or fantasize about seeing in an erotic thriller 

Though the film would have been easily welcomed and probably lauded had it come out in the ’70s or 80’s as it seems to agave that kind of grit and seriousness of those films even if it would have felt like more of the norm back then. Though it does show classic early 2000 New York 

It feels like a welcome daring film especially for the times that was just too gloomy for audiences of the time to really get into as it is far from enjoyable 

Doesn’t play into bigger-budgeted thrillers with plenty of tension but not as much suspense and lead up. The score is barely noticeable 

The film shows the violence that men do to women that isn’t always physical or sexual but mentally and emotionally. 

 No matter what you think you are going to get going into this film. Do you actually get, It’s A challenging film that has a mind of life or energy if it’s own. That isn’t quite like anything you might have seen before. Not for everybody 

The film is sexual and erotic but not sexy necessarily. When it comes to the more erotic scenes and nature of the film. In the cut is the first Hollywood movie where I have seen someone a man eat ass booty 

Even by the end of the film once the killer is revealed there are no real answers. It’s more left for the audience to put together from what they have seen. Not only when it comes to the murder mystery but even most of the characters’ motivations.

Grade: B- 

DON’T LET GO (2019)

Written & Directed By: Jacob Estes 
Story By: Drew Daywalt 
Cinematography: Sharone Meir 
Editor: Billy Fox & Scott D. Hanson

Cast: David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Alfred Molina, Mykelti Williamson, Brian Tyree Henry, April Grace, Shinelle Azoroh

After a man’s family dies in what appears to be a murder, he gets a phone call from one of the dead, his niece. He’s not sure if she’s a ghost or if he’s going mad, but as it turns out, he’s not.


I remember this film being released around the same time as the Tyrese Gibson Starring BLACK AND BLUE. And that movie came streaming fast while I kept waiting for this film to be released and only recently did finally I get to catch this film. 

I was interested as these films came out around the same time And seemed to be pitted against each other for a share of the so-called urban box office. Even though the films are different they are both thrillers that have cops as the protagonists though each takes a different approach to the material.

The film thankfully directed its unexpected circumstances and twists isn’t a GROUNDHOG’S DAY type story. Where the same day is repeated over and over. It’s more like the film FREQUENCY where there is town travel of sorts and communication from the future and past through technology

The film’s logic falls apart in the third act. As it becomes more satisfying because of its non-solid rules in its set-up

Though for all of the films at towns more far-fetched elements and details. What holds the film together. What makes it so interesting and emotional is the lead performances of David Oyeyelo and Storm Reid. They keep everything so engaging. That is the more thrilling moments you find yourself more involved and on the edge of your seat.

The film offers a nice mystery and thriller that stays intriguing. Only wish the script had been a bit stronger. As the actors are all better than the material and lift the material to create believable characters and situations.

David Oyelowo seems to star in a bunch of these movies. Where he injects the film with good character work and vivid lived-in performances that are often better than the films. Making all around him as well as the film better because of him.

The filM Falls a bit short of expectations or at least hoped for but is entertaining in its own right. It works as an emotionally intriguing popcorn movie. 

Grade: B-

2 GUNS (2013)

Directed By: Baltasar Kormakur
Written By: Blake Masters
Based on the boom! studios graphic novels By: Steven Grant
Cinematography: Oliver Wood
Editor: Michael Tronick

Cast: Denzel Washington,Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton,Edward James Olmos, Bill Paxton, James Marsden, Robert John Burke, Fred Ward, Patrick Fischler

Two hardened criminals get into trouble with the US border patrol after meeting with a Mexican drug lord, and then revelations start to unfold.


The film is fun though it is always predictable and you know how it is going to turn out. Though luckily the film keeps us on our toes and interested to see how we will get there.

Didn’t know that the film was actually based on a graphic novel. Though Mark Wahlberg is more an old hat at taking on roles originated elsewhere and in graphic novels. Denzel Washington not so much. 

 The twists and turns are appreciated to keep the film lively and drive the story forward.

The action sequences are impressive. You can tell the two stars are having in with the material, maybe even then the audience. As each doesn’t stretch too far in their roles and falls back to their charms and talents.

This is the type of film where the plot comes off as an afterthought. Though complicated this film seems more invested in the chemistry of the two stars and how much they can interact as superstars. As well as an emphasis on action sequences and who comes out on top in them.

A buddy action comedy is only tougher, involving more death and violence. With two Movie stars, you normally don’t see Co-Starring in each other’s Films. Which is really what brings the audience to this film more than the actual story. 

Shocked, the movie isn’t directed by a frequent collaborator for Denzel Washington Antoine Fuqua. As it has the same polish as his films but lacks the drama needed for one of his films. 

Paula Patton seems more here as eye candy with a surprising amount of nudity. She does set the movie forward. Between this and the movie FLIGHT, Denzel Washington being involved with younger women and having nudity brings one back to the films of yesteryear though admittedly gratuitous, but so much of this film already is still stylish. 

This film is almost like a veteran movie as most cast members are recognizable and here more to chew the scenery but at least they come off as they are having fun. That energy extends to the viewer and makes this film entertaining while you take none of it seriously 

It’s not god’s gift to make a decent action thriller with a bunch of intentional laughs. At least the movie offers an intriguing story that does hold the audience’s interest other than having the two stars teaming up or battling one another amongst the more ridiculous elements. It has suspenseful moments. 

Though honestly if you are a fan of either or both of the stars of this movie. You will like it thus making it criticism-proof in the long run. Especially when the film is better down than expected

Grade: B-  

FATAL AFFAIR (2020)

Directed By: Peter Sullivan 
Written By: Peter Sullivan & Rasheeda Garner
Story By: Peter Sullivan & Jeffrey Schneck
Cinematography: Eitan Almagor
Editor: Randy Carter 

Cast: Nia Long, Omar Epps, Stephen Bishop, Aubrey Cleland, Maya Stojan, KJ Smith, Estelle Swaray 

Ellie tries to mend her marriage with her husband Marcus after a brief encounter with an old friend, David, only to find that David is more dangerous and unstable than she’d realized.


This is supposed to be an erotic thriller Burt here are only glimpses of erotica maybe two scenes that seem to almost go there before cutting away. There is an opening sex scene where you barely see anything and might be the sole reason for this film Getting an R Rating. 

Sir of the film plays like a Lifetime television movie, one of the more sensationalistic and ridiculous ones. Where you can’t believe half of what is going on. Now mix that with usually these types of films that comes out towards the end of the summer African American cinema is a thriller that has an actress front and center with a recognizable supporting cast.

The film stars the beautiful and overly capable actress Nia Long and Omar Epps as the lead. Yet the film Feels 10 – 15 years too late for them or most of the audience to really get excited about their on-screen pairing.

Also, it already seems that he is obviously a psycho that the film barely holds any surprises. Especially when the film doesn’t.

Live up to the title. As there is no actual affair. There is almost one that ends up. It happens and sets this guy off. Not that he wasn’t crazy before that and worse as unhinged as he is. You would expect him to be more obvious to others.

Not to mention that her old college friends tell her how obsessed the guy was with her in college and the fact she never knew or recognized it seems a little hard to believe. Could see if she thought maybe he had changed or maybe if his psychosis was brought on by seeing her again and that was what triggered her would have been a stronger plot device. 

The fact that he is a tech expert just feels convenient to the story of course. Though when they keep saying his ex looks like Nia Long’s character. When we see her she definitely does not, so while it works story-wise when we see it with our own eyes it seems very far-fetched.

Just as the fact that her best friend would believe a guy she just started dating over her best friend of years.

The film tries to be a thriller but it just comes across as silly and fun and unintentionally funny. Worst of all it’s not even that sexy.

The characters who end up being killed are minor, not even really secondary. It seems like anyone who has less than 10 lines in this movie is fair game to end up murdered. 

Grade: F

PLUSH (2013)

Directed By: Catherine Hardwicke 
Written By: Catherine Hardwicke & Arty Nelson 
Cinematography By: Daniel Moder 
Editor: Julia Wong 

Cast: Emily Browning, Xavier Daniel, Cam Giganet, Thomas Dekker, Frances Fisher, Dawn Olivieri, Brandon Jay McLaren, Elizabeth Pena

Mourning the loss of her brother/collaborator, a young rocker struggles to write music while juggling a jealous husband, two kids, and a mysterious new guitarist who will stop at nothing to become the most important person in her life.


How the mighty have fallen, once upon a time Catherine Hardwicke was one of my favorite new directors with the films THIRTEEN and LORDS OF DOGTOWN I believed her to be a great new voice in filmmaking. Then she directed TWILIGHT an already practicing franchise. That would lead to bigger ad better things and her being more in demand. After that film, she still stayed making films centered around youth with films such as RED RIDING HOOD and THE NATIVITY STORY although this film really lends itself to a new low. I don’t know what attracted her to making this film because nothing about It is revolutionary or even interesting. It tries to be so many things or at least tries so many different subjects that it clearly struggles with an exact definition and seems lost, inauthentic and Worse a poseur. While it tries to have a punk rock ethic.

It has a horror ending and beginning. Though in between it plays like an erotic thriller set in the rock n roll music box that is barely erotic and the songs are pretty bad. Though give the film a soundtrack billed to itself.

The sex scenes are thankfully brief, but plentiful. The eroticism only is risqué and general serves it’s purpose in one scene. Even the opening scene really has nothing to do with most of the film until near the end and still offers little explanation.

It doesn’t help that Xavier Daniel and Emily browning have little of any chemistry together on screen. So it’s hard to believe her falling for him at all. There is also a scene where he directs a music video that is really bad and comes across as a student experimental film that we are forced to believe that everyone includes the band who are barely featured in the video thinks is genius. We also never even get to know the rest of the band members who are treated like bored guns though we are supposed I believe this band has been together for 10 years yet act no closer than new co-workers

There is even a sex scene thankfully not focusing on the main actors that feel unnecessary and just out there to spice things up though ends up more awkward and comedic than erotic or purposeful.

The film is predictable especially when we get more and more involved in the case her journalist husband is writing about for VANITY FAIR? Do we think this has anything to do with the rest of the movie for a reason? Of course. Do we think the foreshadowing of showing a ring that before her brother OD’s will come back later on in the film?

Now the film has a modest budget so it can’t all be glamorous and I am wondering is that why one death is more talked about rather than shown. Plus the film talks about the success of the band but never gives is a scale of their popularity are they actual stars trying to make a comeback or a successful indie band. As it seems they mostly play rock clubs instead of big concert venues. The lead singer seems to have money though not a lavish lifestyle. More modest than anything.

In fact, if they are an indie band it is one of the few things the movie did right by showing them as more modest and not millionaires with tons of paparazzi following them.

This film isn’t even good as an erotic thriller level, Like the ridiculous types, you would see late night on cable that was at least fun as they knew what they were. Here everything that feels ridiculous though is treated with utmost seriousness. I won’t even go into the third act reveals.

I was lured by not only director Catherine Hardwicke but also star Emily Browning. She is definitely earning a reputation with me at least of being a good actress, but only in it seems subpar movies as she is usually the best thing in them and I applaud her willingness to be fearless a tale chances on screen. I only wish it was for better films. Not only with this film but also SLEEPING BEAUTY and SUCKER PUNCH. 
I can admit to keeping coming back to her films partially as she has a haunting beauty and I will admit maybe I have a screen crush on her. Though it is harder and harder to look forward to films she is in. Luckily she has LEMONY SNICKET: A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS and GOD HELP THE GIRL that are good and decent films that show her talent even the guilty pleasure THE UNINVITED.

Evan Rachel Wood was originally cast in the lead role but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts and Emily Browning was cast. Which was the same thing that happened with the film SUCKER PUNCH only Browning was replacing Amanda Seyfried. 


I only hope better and beyond for both director and star

Skip it.

Grade: F

THE TRIP (2021)

Directed By: Tommy Wirkola
Written By: Tommy Wirkola, Nick Ball & John Niven
Cinematography: Matthew Weston
Editor: Patrick Larsgaard

Cast: Noomi Rapace, Aksel Hennie, Atle Antonsen, Christian Rubeck, Andre Eriksen, Nils Ole Oftebro, Stig Frode Henriksen

A dysfunctional couple head to a remote cabin to reconnect, but each has intentions to kill the other. Before they can carry out their plans, unexpected visitors arrive and they face a greater danger.


This works as a modern-day spin on the film WAR OF THE ROSES only not as epic and in less time. Not to mention a lot more gruesome. As it takes place generally over a weekend and in one location mainly, a cabin 

As the couple plots, the other’s demise with traps and numerous set-up’s even accomplices. Their plans are put into disarray once intruders make themselves know who has been watching their interactions. 

The film has a dark and violent sense of humor

The film stays inventive and keeps you guessing as loyalties keep changing and make you wonder if it is out of survival or is the hate truly that real.

So the film keeps shifting and you understand each of the main characters point of view. As the escaped criminals are so hateful that you can’t help but root against them.

The film stays creative by taking these tight and cramped spaces and making them seem more luxurious than they should be as they manage to shoot the scenes more vividly than expected not with crazy angles but with camerawork that feels that there is more action involved then there actually is. 

The male character goes through more physical torture throughout and breaks down quite a bit 

Noomi Rapace is perfect at playing cold one minute and caring the next. Even while managing to always have the same look on her face. 

Knowing it is a dark comedy you expect some kind of violence, but the film gets quite gruesome and gory but manages to always stay humorous and at times hilarious. As it manages to keep surprising you as an audience member. Even when scenes seem to be heading to a familiar place. 

The ending could have been a bit stronger as it plays out as some kind of satire that feels a little bit odd with what we have just watched and gone through with the characters 

Grade: C+

ONLY GOD FORGIVES (2013)

Written & Directed: Nicolas Winding Refn 
Cinematography By: Larry Smith 
Editor: Matthew Newman 

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, Tom Burke


I couldn’t wait for director Nicolas Winding Refn’s follow-up to DRIVE. In a weird way, this is kind of what I expected and hoped it wouldn’t be.

The Film stays in his style. A little story to speak of, Ryan Gosling is like a mannequin as he is silent mainly expressionless, and feels like a stand-in for a character. He also stares a lot which if you have a crush on him is great. The film is over-indulgent and pretentious. I still liked it but wouldn’t call it good. It’s a revenge tale and an eastern western with despicable characters and the villain is murderous but honorable. Ryan Gosling seems to be a pawn. Though it does have a stillness and slow-motion without an actual slow-motion effect in-camera.

I liked the production design and the camera work. It becomes obvious with each new film that Refn doesn’t really care about the story or plot. It seems for him to be all about moments and having the central figure be kind of a surrogate for him and his fantasies. Though I will say his films have a fetishistic quality to them. Which does well as his characters are plainly one-dimensional which makes them simple to figure out, but it seems like some of the actors namely its lead thinks there is something more to him.

I believe he has an overabundant amount of skills to make a film vividly and well, but like other directors who excel at visuals, it seems recently they have a hard time telling a contained sort without it seeming to leap into indulgence. Nicolas Winding Refn when listening to his interviews about his films makes them sound so Interesting and symbolic then when you see them, you feel lost like everything in it means something though never fully explained. Allowing you to read into it what you will. He reminds me of an abstract artist though his work is more understandable where there is supposedly an idea behind everything or at least a theme yet he leaves you to figure it out. Or it’s based on some theme he thought up that you never really see or figure out fully.

It doesn’t help that though he is a little extreme the supposed villain of the film is the character you like the most as he seems to be the only one doing the right thing.

This film is filled with morals and codes every main hacker seems to live by one of the ones who don’t seem to get slaughtered.

As most of the film is silent as far as dialogue, The score by Cliff Martinez is heaven-sent as it set’s the mood of the scenes and it seems of the character as they trail through this neon wasteland. The score accompanies them and is more of a guide than the script or action on-screen at times.

The film is shockingly violent for the audience high not the director if you follow his work. Though shockingly this is one of his least violent as most of his films deal with lurid lifestyles that have the promise of violence they are usually lightweight in the gore department except for Valhalla rising. Though in his films he treats violence as an everyday normal thing at least to the characters.

Kristin Scott Thomas has the best scenes as the cruelest mother ever put to film who is heartless through and through. Crystal, Julian’s mother, is modeled after Shakespeare’s character Lady Macbeth and Fashion Designer Donatella Versace.

The film sets up a strange oedipal situation that is never clearly defined but slightly disturbing.

The action that sets this whole film in motion seems rather random we never get to know the reasons the action took place, maybe it was living high on the hog he felt he can do or have whatever he wanted. Maybe his soul had grown so empty he needed to do vile things to feel alive or top himself. Either way, a senseless act leads to swift and complicated justice and sworn revenge though we more see it from the crooked side.

Nicolas Winding Refn included karaoke in the film because he found out that, unlike in the west, karaoke was almost religious for Thai people.

Nicolas Winding Refn got the idea for the film while his wife was pregnant with their second daughter. He felt very existentialistic and felt he had much anger and violence in him, but did not know how to let it out. Suddenly he had the idea that the definite person to hold all the answers to existential questions and life’s problems where God and imagined himself having a physical fight with God.

Nicolas Winding Refn got the idea for the film while his wife was pregnant with their second daughter. He felt very existentialistic and felt he had much anger and violence in him, but did not know how to let it out. Suddenly he had the idea that the definite person to hold all the answers to existential questions and life’s problems where God and imagined himself having a physical fight with God.

The film rationalizes their acts by seems to let the audience forget head are horrible people. The only one with partly a soul is gosling’s character. He seems ambivalent and sedate through most of the film and lots of closes up’s on his hands. He seems more forced into seeking revenge hen actually wanting it. The. As he sees the tolls of it and how deep he Is getting, he starts to question his role in all of this. This is all in the film but the film seems to go out of its way to be vague. Luke Evans was originally cast in the lead role but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with the Hobbit. Ryan Gosling replaced him.

Ryan Gosling looks good in his minimalist wardrobe, but not much is asked of him, his long lingering gazes and stares are how you feel in the audience hoping there is something on the horizon to save the film. There is a bunch of symbolism, filters ad neon to represent the mood and underworld out in the open.

I did enjoy that the fight scene wasn’t the unbelievable epic we are lead to believe will happen. It’s brutal and one-sided. I have to admit it’s a guilty pleasure that I would watch again just for the surreal craziness that seems to be going on, just not explained.

SPOILER

It was Ryan Gosling’s idea to open the stomach of Julian’s dead mother. He had it after director Nicolas Winding Refn asked him if he’d rather smile or cry after Julian’s mom’s death. He replied that he’d open her uterus to see what’s inside.

SPOILER END

There is something very haunting about the film. It is original and unforgettable in many ways both positive and negative. Needless to say, i am sure many people want to see this. Trust me no rush.

GRADE: C

INGLORIOUS BASTERDS (2009)

Written & Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Cinematography By: Robert Richardson
Editor: Sally Menke

CAST: Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Diane Kruger, Christoph Waltz, Daniel Bruhl, Eli Roth, Samm Levine, B.J. Novak, Paul Rust, Omar Doom, Til Schweiger, Michael Fassbender, Mike Myers, Michael Bacall, Rod Taylor, Jacky Ido, Julie Dreyfus


I am going to start off by saying this is not Tarantino’s best film. it is good but not his best. Then again it could just not be my favorite so far of his films.


It breaks him out a little paying attention a little more to history which of course he re-writes for his own purposes. The film shows that Tarantino is a man in love with dialogue and words particularly his own. Like DEATH PROOF there are tons of scenes of dialogue. The dialogue is great but he needs to learn to edit it down.

The film is long and unfortunately feels the same way. Having read the script I knew what I was getting into but still a few times the film managed to surprise me. Though I will warn you it is advertised as an espionage action-oriented war film but knowing Tarantino you should know it’s not exactly like that and almost half the film is in various foreign languages so there is a lot of subtitles. But if you are a true film fan you shouldn’t mind that. 

Many scenes feel too long but they are understandable as each scene seems to be Tarantino taking glee in having each scene begin innocently that as it goes on it slowly switches gears into a thriller with impending doom. Then towards the end, the tables turn and show that a certain character has been in control the whole time without letting any other person knowing it. 
 
Christoph Waltz steals the movie as a nazi, who is nicknamed the jew hunter his character is the best written and the actor has fun and truly inhabits the role with steely determination and certain happiness. His mastering and fluency of many languages and dialects is amazing. 

Brad Pitt seems to be having fun with his role but it delves into the more ridiculous aspects of the movie and seems more like a character than a real person. Which is the problem with the third act. The third act excites and speeds up the action that had been in the film before but feels more movie action than the real war film finale. 

Also considering you filmed in Europe with beautiful buildings interesting locales and beautiful nature you would figure a filmmaker with an eye would use these locations to their fullest. But just as Tarantino has a talent with dialogue and an eye for visuals. He has always seemed a perfect Indie director as he makes his scenes and camerawork feel claustrophobic. This is a tale that needed to be more open it looks like it was shot on a set or soundstage instead of on location in Europe.
 
 I also wish the Basterds had more time to prove themselves and let us get to know them I know his original ideas were much longer so it feels almost like this is a condensed version. 

not that impressed by Melanie Laurent she didn’t do anything wrong but she didn’t impress or engage me either and the less said about Director Eli Roth the better it seemed like a natural fit of a character for him but he goes for a ridiculous accent and is way too over the top. He also directed the film within a film NATION’S PRIDE. 

 I guess I feel the movie had a great bunch of elements and memorable scenes but they don’t merge to make a great movie. This is a mild disappointment. 

It is in the Tarantino mold of KILL BILL VOL. 2 AND DEATH PROOF where it is tons of dialogue and a few scenes of extreme shocking violence and action mixed in to keep the audience awake and interested in what is happening. Almost like a gift or payoff for sitting through the previous scenes. Trust me it still isn’t a film that will be easily forgotten. 

 Plus I wonder if the reason for the last line in the film “This may be my masterpiece” is what Quentin Tarantino really believes about this film. 
 Now don’t get me wrong I respect Tarantino and get excited when he has a new film out. He is one of my favorite Auteurs, it’s just I hold him to a certain high standard that this one approaches but doesn’t quite rise to that level. 

It is a movie best seen on the big screen but you could wait for home video 

 GRADE: B