Entries tagged with “Emily Blunt”.


A lot of film fans deplore or criticize ‘s latest choice of roles. They all seem to be focusing on action movies, with the 55 (!) years old actor cast in roles where the ration between fights, high-speed chases and use of advance weaponry  on one side and meaningful story and dialogs on the other is dangerously unbalanced in the favor of the first. His role in the 2014 ‘Edge of Tomorrow‘ apparently falls in the same category.  However, the film directed by  (of ‘The Bourne Identity’ and ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith‘ glory) is much more than this. It is actually one of the smartest science-fiction films in the last few years.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1631867

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1631867

 

Time looping is one of the most intriguing themes in science fiction, and has a huge number of variation and derived paradoxes. The authors of the script of this film have taken the idea and introduced it into a ‘War of the Worlds’ kind of film and actually cinematography and even the evil alien’s appearances look quite similar to the one in the films inspired by H. G. Wells classic novel. What is different is that the superiority of the alien race is not based only on physical abilities but on the capability of controlling and resetting time. Luckily, at least some of the humans will be contaminated and use the trick to fight the invasion. I will stop here in order to avoid spoiling too much, with the promise that there are many more surprises, and that the solution and ending combines action and fine sci-fi.

 

(video source Warner Bros. Pictures)

 

does what he best does (and likes it) in the last decade, with a good and fit companion to his deeds. Well-paced action combines with smart writing for a film that needs no excuses to be liked.

 

There are a few missed opportunities in The Girl on the Train directed by bringing to screen ‘s successful novel. The story starts like a voyeuristic drama involving three women (two of them resembling each other), two houses (resembling each other as well in a suburban area), two men, and one train which is the moving observation point from which flashes of the reality are perceived. Details are not clear from the beginning, the story builds up and so does our understanding of the characters and the drama that is taking place, which soon turns into a disappearance case. All this gradual assimilation of the events by the viewer is not a bad thing, it’s not an easy viewing, but it’s challenging intellectually and the later developments and its solution are eventually rewarding. There is however something ‘heavy’ in the director’s style that adds extra and unnecessary obstacles between the heroes and the viewers.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3631112/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3631112/

 

I did not read (yet) the book that inspired the film, but my understanding is that much if its interest derives from the fact that the story is told alternatively by the three women, each with her subjective point of view, each holding piece of the reality the way she sees it (or deforms it). The film tries to start this way using off-voice screen (which seldom works for me) but soon moves the weight center of the story to Rachel’s character played by . We gradually come to know her as a broken person, victim of a disastrous marriage, alcoholic, voyeuristic, unable to forget and continuing to be obsessed by the life and the husband she lost. As the story develops she becomes involved as a witness, as a detective, as a prime suspect in the disappearance turning into a murder case. The cinematographic version of The Girl on the Train is very much a story about Rachel, about her obsessions and her fight to recover her own self.

 

(video source Movieclips Trailers)

 

The story offers the opportunity for three major and consistent feminine roles, an opportunity which only uses well. This is not necessarily because or are bad actors. but because the way they are directed is much more conventional and lacks complexity. The other surprise in acting is , who acts the other prime suspect, and the man who eventually will disperse the part of the fog on what really happened and who really Rachel is. The rest is left by the script (maybe also by the book) to fate.

Director does not lack some good directing ides. See for example the alternate usage of fixed or hand-held camera, sometimes in the the same scene or filming the two actors of a dialog, He fails in constructing a better paced story telling. Some of this may be intentional in order to leave to viewers gradually discovering what the story is about. They did not lose me, but they risk losing many other viewers in search of an entertaining thriller. Trading pace and action for psychology is a risky proposal nowadays. I do not believe that the director won the bet.

If you really need to put genre tags or labels on movies, ‘Sicario’ would belong to the ‘psychological thriller’, ‘violent drug action’, ‘Mexican border’ categories. While each of these naming would have its dose of justification, ‘Sicario’ succeeds to be more than these, actually it is one of the more interesting films in a pre-Oscar Awards season that does not make me too enthusiastic.

 

surce http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3397884/

surce http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3397884/

 

The film directed by the Quebecois  starts and develops for a while on the lines of a violent well-made and fast-paced thriller about American drug enforcement agencies fighting a bloody war against the smuggling Mafia on the two sides of the Mexican-American border. As the story advances we realize that there is much more than a war of gangs going on, and the questions that are asked are not only about the number of victims or arrests, or the amount of drugs that is confiscated or makes its way to the ‘customers’ but about the balance between law and efficiency, the price of human life and the tragedy of families who are collateral victims of the violence.

 

(video source Lionsgate Movies)

 

The quality of the film is built of the combination between the sure hand of the director, the music of Jóhann Jóhannsson and the splendid acting of (in a role that fits him as a glove) and  who grows in the viewer eyes from a don-Quixotesque policewoman one can see only in movies to a key character for the whole story and a real person who carries on her shoulder the huge dilemmas of deciding between good and bad, between the rule of law and the need to win the war on crime by any means.

If you like any of the genres I listed at the start, you will not be disappointed by this film. If you are not the fan of any you still can enjoy this powerful drama and professionally made film, which exceeds the borders of the genres.

 

Once the future was projected in movies as a colorful and peaceful environment, where most of the human challenges will come from encounters with other civilizations and the confrontation with humanity’s own thirst in discovering the Universe and breaking all its frontiers. Then the dark political fiction interfered, as movies like 1984 and Brazil brought up to screen the social nightmares  of a world dominated by totalitarianism. Nowadays almost all movies that deal with the future seem to be dark dystopias that describe the planet after some kind of atomic, biological or ecological apocalypse, or in the best case a society that became some kind of Orwellian nightmare. Director Rian Johnson‘s Looper is no exception, as the world of 2044 or 2074 in the film is dominated by violence, human life has lower price than ever, and the technology progress did not bring to mankind any happiness (neither cleaner streets). Time travel was invented but quickly forbidden, as organized crime took over, and as with any forbidden substance or weapon it is the mafia that controls the illegal trade.

 

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1276104/?

 

‘Loopers’ are paid killers whose mission is to execute in cold blood in the year 2044 the victims targeted by the mob of 2074 to die. The trick and the trigger of the story is that 30 years later it may be decided that the looper is the one to die, and then if the sentence is not put in action a loop is created. Loopers are not allowed to feel any mercy, not even to their own self in the future. The smart script of this film, one of the smartest that I have seen lately avoids with the twist of a sentence the hard questions asked when the two instances of the same paid killer (Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) meet in one of the scenes that is hard to forget for anybody who saw the film. ‘Too complicated, let us not enter the details’. And if details are left apart, this story works perfectly, and the ending makes a lot of sense in a story which could easily get too complicated and too hard to follow.

 

(video source SonyPictures)

 

It’s hard to tell from this film that writer and director Rian Johnson is almost a newcomer in the world of Hollywood. Not only the pace of the film is perfectly tuned accelerating and slowing as the story demands, and the cinematography choices he made seem efficient and the story and dialogs create the atmosphere of distrust that lets the viewer ask all the time what is meant by the sequence he watches and what comes next, without explaining things too early or too late – there is also something in the realistic style he picks that makes the story credible and the characters resonate with viewers despite the unusual situations they are facing. Bruce Willis proves once more that he is much more than an action hero actor (although the fans of Die Hard will find here a few scenes that will remind them their beloved character), Joseph Gordon-Levitt approaches the role with a self-confidence and a palette of nuances that makes me believe that we may have in him another megastar of tomorrow,  while Emily Blunt confirms the good vibrations I felt watching her in The Adjustment Bureau. Looper is a more than satisfying action thriller, it is one of the best written, directed and acted films I have seen in the last year.

The Adjustment Bureau starts like an election year movie. As we are in 2012 this may be the right time for such films, but it quickly quits that path to go into a direction that I personally find even more interesting and attractive that the life and career of a politician who may be ruined because of intrigues or just because he will follow his own personal instincts and chose love even at the risk of his career. We get these all in the film but also much more, as we can expect from a film based on a short story by Philip K. Dick

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1385826/

 

The world, we learn pretty soon is not completely run according to hazard. Actually there is a plan, a well organized plan and a quite big bureaucratic system with a well-established hierarchy which makes sure everything happens according to the plan and in extreme situations takes measures to adjust the disturbances.  One of these happens to our heroes – the candidate senator played by Matt Damon meets accidentally and falls for the beautiful and talented ballerina played by Emily Blunt and they do not forget and search each other despite being separated for years and insist on getting together despite the plans of the great institution that was targeting the hero to become a future president, but a bachelor one for some reasons. In the antic tragedy the name of the institution was Destiny, Christianity and other religions call Him God, in this film his name is Chairman, and his clerks have all very handy tablets which can be of help to a lot of things including shortcuts by secret backdoors in traffic-jammed Manhattan (sure, I want one, Apple, please!).

 

(video source movieclips)

 

One does not feel at all that this is a first long feature film for director George Nolfi. However at some point I regretted this not being his second or third film – he has talent in telling a story, skills in directing the actors, if he only had dared going deeper in the direction of the dilemma and confrontation between fate and good will – we would have maybe received an even better movie. But even so The Adjustment Bureay is smart and sensible and better than the average.