FNC 2017 : Black Hollow Cage ( Spain)

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for Cinetalk.net

Most reviews of Spanish director Sadrac Gonzalez-Pelleron’s second feature film, Black Hollow Cage will probably revolve around the sci-fi element of a mysterious black box. In fact, the film is more about human grief and the quest for forgiveness.

The action takes place in a vaguely futuristic home set in an environment where architecture and nature coexist. There is a parallel between the black box out there and the one the protagonists inhabit, with its sleek dark walls fabricated out of what appears to be a hybrid of dark stained wood and tarnished metal. In the opening sequence, tinny squeaks and percussion of mundane objects such as cupboard doors or a plate making contact with a countertop, stand out against the otherwise auditory tranquility. Banal sounds resonate while the chirping of birds is ever-present off screen. A similar sound dynamic appears to highlight Continue reading

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Fantasia 2017: Junk Head ( Japan – 2017)

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for Cinetalk.net

Japanese director Takahide Hori has talent,  lots of it. Since he also has a virtue called patience this talent simply explodes on the screen in his first feature, Junk Head, the extended version of his 2013 celebrated short bearing the same title. Both stop motion films were produced by his own (totally) independent company.

An adult oriented sci-fi animation, Junk Head takes us into an abyssal world of human clones refugees who mutated into various species, and live into a vast subterranean underworld.

The director and (reduced) team behind Junk Head show dazzling creativity and strong visual sense in the creation of this organic cyberworld. Continue reading

Fantasia 2017 : VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

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for Cinetalk.net

Valerian and the city of a thousand planets is being premiered tonight at Fantasia before coming to a theater near you this July 21st.

Valerian is adapted, in English, by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, The professional) based upon French Sci-fi comic book Valérian and Laureline series (authored by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières) that ran from 1967 until 2010.

In the 28th century, Valerian and Laureline, a team of special agents traveling trough time and space, are on a mission, to find and deliver some goods everyone is after, into the heart of the space city of Alpha where a dark force (with a past) threatens the city of a thousand planets.

An obvious influence on various Sci-fi giants from Star Wars to Besson’s own Fifth element, the choice of Christin and Mézières work as Continue reading

It Comes at Night (USA – 2017) – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

It Comes at Night is Trey Edward Shults’ second feature starring Joel Edgerton (Black mass, Midnight special) Carmen Ejogo (Selma, Alien: Covenant) and Christopher Abbott (A most violent year, James White)

A world threat, coming under the form of a virulent disease, forces a family to isolate itself under a set of rules. The sudden arrival of another family seeking refuge puts their domestic order and empathy to test.

It Comes at Night is your behind closed doors – let-them-come-I’m ready- minimalist take on the end of civilization. It shares the pessimistic views on the subject of pictures like Time of the Wolf (2003), The Road (2009) Take Shelter (2011) and countless others. It pretty much covers known territories to film buffs of the 21st century, basically making honest and efficient use of what looks like a shoestring budget. Yet it is not totally successful in Continue reading

Passengers [Mortem Tyldum, USA – 2016]

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Nick Cabelli for Cinetalk.net

Passengers is a big-budget 3D-enabled space adventure. Helmed by Norwegian director Mortem Tyldum [The Imitation Game, Headhunters] and starring Jennifer Lawrence [Hunger Games, X-Men, Silver Linings Playbook] and Chris Pratt [Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World] as two passengers who are awoken mid-route on their 100+ year journey to a colony on a planet far, far away. The film is a light and competent PG-13 smorgasbord of hard science-fiction, corporate satire, technological intrigue and what passes for ‘romance,’—some wooing, some fabulous formal wear, lots of making out, a few PG-13 sex scenes.

Passengers hopes to be a crowd-pleasing adventure movie, and its family friendly rating might have ultimately handicapped it from addressing seriously its themes. Along the adventurous romp, issues of isolation, desperation, love, hate, suicide and sacrifice are Continue reading