Star Wars: The Force is wimpy

 

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for Cinetalk.net

The force is not strong with this one. The one?  Writer- director Rian Johnson, who’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi is by far, far away the weakest entry of the popular franchise.

We were asked not to give away any plot twists. Anyway we can’t, the plot is too thin. One full sentence about it would give away too much.  You probably already figured out Luke Skywalker is returning since Rey found him at the end of episode 7 (plus, why else would Mark Hamill do promos for it?).  So yes, that Rey girl (Daisy Ridley) will try to convince ‘Master’ Luke to get back and kick some Stormtroopers while her Rebel friends (Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, John Boyega are back) fly around in every direction. The outcome being your usual hide and seek game between good and Evil (as in Dark Side of the Force) and trying to know who’s your next of kin. Carrie Fisher is also back, looking and sounding more Continue reading

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Suspiria – 4K Restoration

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for Cinetalk.net

Dario Argento’s 1977 groundbreaking and influential horror extravaganza Suspiria is back on the big screen (a blu-Ray is also on the way), thanks to an unbelievably gorgeous 4K restoration by those guys at Synapse Films. The restoration team benefited from supervision and approval by the film’s cinematographer Luciano Tovoli, starting work (three years ago) from the original uncut 35mm Italian camera negative. They were able to recover the originally intended 4.0 surround sound mix,  so Goblin’s legendary score will haunt you with more efficiency…

Previous transfers of Suspiria had either tons of missing elements or recreated the lower quality Eastman process of film transfer. From now on, with this impressive release, we get pristine technicolor treatment, intended colors you’ve never seen. It is Christmas before time for aficionados and even for film buffs who are not necessarily fans of the genre. Suspiria benefits from the same kind of royal treatment Visconti’s Il Gattopardo got a few years back.

This is one major theatrical re-release, not to be missed if you love films.

 

*** For Montrealers, Cinema du Parc is showing Suspiria 4K from December 1-7 in a special engagement.  — Rest of the World, check your local listings.

Synapse official Blu-Ray Release : December 31st 2017

 

Blade of the Immortal (Japan, 2017)

for Cinetalk.net

Takashi Miike is known for trying his hand at any film genre. His penchant however, tends toward the macabre, the violent and the humorous. In recent years, the director has focused on live action remakes of animated series and manga. Blade of the Immortal is his 2017 offering, and marks his 100th feature film. Rather fittingly, Blade is about a samurai known as Hundred Killer. With 100 kills to his name, Manji won’t stop until he has destroyed every cranky crook and every moody mercenary. He has revenge in his spirit, and worms in his blood that keep him alive no matter how much he wishes to die.

If one is familiar with the animated series, the interestingly casted Takuya Kimura (who is normally cast in drama roles, and is part of recently defunct boy-band SMAP) pulls off a convincing Manji. Stylishly coiffed and scarred, he is a lone wolf cursed with Continue reading

The Square (Sweden – 2017)

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for Cinetalk.net

Our series on Oscar contenders continues…

When the nominees for the 90th Academy Awards will be announced, next January, Cannes’ Palm d’Or, Ruben Östlund’s The Square, will probably be one of the lucky five in the ‘Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film’ category.

After humble beginnings with intriguing contemporary low budget character (and behavior) studies, Gitarrmongot (2004), Involuntary (De Ofrivilliga, 2008) and Play (2011), Östlund hit it big on the festival circuit in 2014 with the celebrated Force Majeure (Turist). A career build up that led to this more sophisticated new opus.

In the acerbic comedy-drama, The Square, Christian, a big time modern art museum curator in Stockholm, faces crisis on multiple fronts, both professionally and personally. By trying to create controversy, the young public relation team of the museum get plenty of what they asked for. Too much of it. And while trying to handle the situation, getting out of control, Christian must also Continue reading

Lady Bird (US – 2017)

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for Cinetalk.net

When the tricky Oscar buzz is at the gate, there is usually one or two Indie contenders. This year, actress Greta Gerwig’s second film as adirector, Lady Bird, falls into such category. It is praised in almost every lists around.

An partially agreeable coming-of-age comedy drama boosting lovable performance by lead actress Saoirse Ronan ( Hanna, Atonement, Brooklyn), Lady Bird introduces us into the world of Christine a young adolescent woman, in Sacramento, year 2002. Bored by how life goes on in her city, she dreams of going to college in NY.

Through one year in the life of Christine we get episodic honest drama and humor with friends, parents, teachers, etc. Nice.

But…

The Oscar buzz for this film is beyond me. We’ve (approximately) seen this Continue reading