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

Chuck (US – 2016) – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

Chuck (it was titled the The Bleeder when shown at TIFF in September)is based upon the real life story of heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner who had a shot at glory in 1975 facing Muhammad Ali in the ring and making it to the 15th round.

Directed by Philippe Falardeau (The good lie) it stars Liev Schreiber (Spotlight, X-Men), Naomi Watts and Ron Perlman (Hellboy). It is said that Wepner’s story was influential in the Making of Rocky (1976). At least that is what he wants us to believe.

We are witnesses to the preceding, then the fight and the ensuing downfall. The depiction of 1970’s era is honest, the performances are enjoyable, especially Perlman as the manager. A colorful manager is a must to any boxing film.

Chuck is a pedestrian ride narrated with with a great dose of narcissism, but in such a self-deprecating way it ultimately becomes sympathetic. Chuck is much about trusting the word of the one telling the story…

The Lost City of Z (US – 2016)

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for Cinetalk.net

James Gray’s new film, The Lost City of Z, is a drama- adventure based on the real life character of 1910-20’s British explorer Percival Fawcett, following him on the trail of a mythical city lost in the Amazon. It stars Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) and Robert Pattinson (Twilight).

As opposite as it can be from more poetic art house adventure on similar subject, such as Werner Herzog’s Aguirre- The Wrath of God (1972), it is nonetheless effective and exotic, if conventional. It relies plenty , of course, on the artistic output provided by highly gifted cinematographer Darius Khondji (Seven, Fight Club, Amour, etc), fully capturing the essence of lights, shadows and movements.

The Lost City of Z basically aim, Continue reading

The Zookeeper’s Wife (USA – 2017) – Very Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

Based on the non-fiction book of the same name, The Zookeeper’s Wife is a Kind hearted melodrama on a grave subject. It is a feel good movie which, cinematicaly-wise, doesn’t cover any ground of undiscovered country.

Based on real events, The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the tragic story of Antonina and Jan Zabinski and their Warsaw zoo, who secretly sheltered Jews Continue reading

Life [US – 2o17]

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Nick Cabelli for Cinetalk.net

Life is an R-rated science fiction movie, with elements of action, horror and melodrama directed by Daniel Espinosa [who?] and starring Jake Gyllenhaal [Donny Darko, Nightcrawler], Rebecca Ferguson [The Girl on the Train, Mission:Impossible] and Ryan Reynolds [Deadpool, Van Wilder]. Written by the people behind Deadpool—a film whose success is the biggest reason why there are suddenly big budget R-rated genre films coming out of America—Life starts with a promising premise and timeless sci-fi trope, a crew of astronauts investigating alien life on the claustrophobic International Space Station. Life has a strong first act with tension, humour, visual spectacle, brooding doom and doom delivered. Unfortunately, Continue reading