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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The Square (Sweden – 2017)

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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

Roman J. Israel, Esq (US – 2017)

 

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for Cinetalk.net

Another Oscar contender of this Fall season is Dan Gilroy’s follow up to Nightcrawler (2014), Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Denzel Washington is idealistic defense attorney Roman Israel. He is also an odd object, a social misfit. A series of events will operate a drastic change in his life and mentality. Obviously the producers aim to obtain Oscar nod for Denzell Washington or maybe Colin Farrell for a supporting role. It is probably all they could get.

Roman J. Israel, Esq. starts as a court room drama, a tradition in Hollywood film making. The social aspect of it, in the beginning, is quite engaging.  Washington portrays a visionary with no social ability. In a way he lives in Continue reading

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (US – 2017)

 

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for Cinetalk.net

It is Academy Awards contenders season and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is out tomorrow with great expectations. The film stars Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson. Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths) directs.

Mildred Hayes (McDormand) wants justice. Months have passed since her daughter was brutally raped and murdered and there is still no clues. She decides to rent three Billboards just outside of her hometown of Ebbing, Missouri, to deliver an intense and controversial message directed at the authorities, thus turning the village upside down. It creates a confrontation with the people of Ebbing, especially with the assistant sheriff, Dixon (Sam Rockwell), an immature and violent man.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is an open field for acting performances. Frances McDormand as a stubborn mother out for justice seems like a natural and she delivers with passion and conviction. We want to follow that mother in Continue reading