Entries tagged with “Samuel L. Jackson”.


The movies fans word is divided in two – those who love Quentin Tarantino’s work and those who hate it. There is almost nothing left out, if you have seen a film by Tarantino you either liked it immensely, or you felt insulted, disgusted and exposed to the worst of the bad taste. You probably dreamed about it the night or many nights after. You did not forget it completely. And it hardly left you indifferent. ‘The Hateful Eight’ will just deepen the abyss between the camps. Tarantino made not only another film but one that will confirm everything bad that haters dislike and will make delirious of evil joy the fans who admit they are fans and those who still feel it’s good to be cautious nowadays in admitting they are fans.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3460252/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3460252/

 

‘The Hateful Eight’ is full of quotes. The story is a crossing of action Westerns and Agatha Christie’s mysteries – meaning that not only that there are a lot (and I mean a lot!) of gunshots, horses, two bounty hunters, one criminal on her way to be hanged and one sheriff (or maybe none) on one side, and characters that play roles and are being discovered by the smart detective via traps and dialogs (a lot of dialogs and I mean a lot!). The music is by Ennio Morricone who composed the unforgettable tunes of the spaghetti westerns half a century ago. There are references to Spielberg’s Lincoln and to Tarantino’s previous movies and especially  Django Unchained  which dealt with the same period and the racial relations from a very different perspective. However, if you have seen the film you will get to the conclusion that the quotes are intentionally non-respectful. The ‘mystery dialogs’ are long and verbose, and will make the action film fans checking if they did not enter the wrong cinema hall. The Lincoln starts and an apparent moral anchor to twist into an interpretation that I will not reveal but which looked to me like Tarantino telling Spielberg – this is what I do to the kind of themes you beat me with at the Academy Awards in 2012. Tarantino takes no prisoners. He is taking classical material, blending it, smashing it to the walls, shooting at it and spitting it back mixed with blood and poison. Sometimes literally.

 

(video source Movieclips Trailers)

 

Then, it’s a movie by Tarantino. If you are a fan you will get plenty of the gore stuff you like, you will get villains who can look charming for a few minutes an commit atrocities or be victims of atrocities the next ones. It’s a well told story which proves again that Tarantino is in the big league of American film directors (together with the Coen brothers, Scorsese, Spielberg and Woodie Allen) who can invent and tell a story like no one does out of America. Acting is superb to the point that we hardly recognize  or .  The vision is kitschy, is dark, is violent, there is no place for kindness, no morals, no values. It’s Tarantino.

 

$9.99 is a very special kind of film. It combines a very classic style of animation called ‘stop-motion’ which I remember being used since the 60s in the East-European animation movies with modern and realistic setting, all based on a collection of touching and in many cases surprising and even disturbing stories written by the Israeli writer Etgar Keret. Whie many of Keret’s original stories are located or inspired by his home city of Tel Aviv, the action this time is moved to some undisclosed metropolis, which could be in Australia, could be in Israel, could be in almost any place on Earth.

 

sursa http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790799/

sursa http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790799/

 

The stories develop in parallel with some intersecting threads. An angel befriends an old and lonely man, gives him company and some hope, but is he an angel? A kid dreams to become a football star and to buy a footballer action man, but his father turns aside his dream to a more concrete educational goal which may become a dream by itself. A young man tries to find his purpose in life from 9.99$ motivational books, and finds the lost connection with his uncommunicative father in an un-expected way. His brother falls for and beds the girl of his (and many men’s) dreams but this relationship may demand unexpected sacrifices.

 

(video source amir harel)

 

All the stories start in a conventional manner, we seem to know the characters, they can not only be neighbors in the same building but neighbors of ours as well. All the stories develop in ways we do not expect, and some end badly. Yet, there is a feeling of humanity and intrinsic kindness that is shared by all and the overall effect is unexpectedly positive, although at the end I cannot really point why. Maybe, for sure actually the fine cinematography, the voices belonging to such actors as Geoffrey Rush or Samuel Johnson play a role. This film delivers more charm than one can expect.

 

We are in the same world as in the ’24′ series. America is again under attack and the good guys are again in a race against the clock in order to detect the exact location of the threats and neutralize them. The vision of the script is however so simplistic and one sided that nothing really interesting happens in ‘Unthinkable’ despite the amount of money and talent invested in it. The film is labeled as ‘psychological thriller’ but exactly the psychology complexity specific to the genre is completely missing. The thrill to the extend it exists comes from the usual action movies sources.  The moral dilemma of allowing or not torture is dealt with at comics books level.

 

source www.imdb.com/title/tt0914863/

source www.imdb.com/title/tt0914863/

 

If we try to detach the film from what we know about politics it’s not however a bad film of all. As an action thriller with a violence that touches the territories of horror it works pretty well. However the flaws of the vision leave their print on the story and especially on the characters. Two interrogators, one from the FBI closer in approach to the rule of law and the classical methods of interrogation and investigation (Carrie-Anne Moss), the other a professional torturer in the service of the good causes (Samuel L. Jackson) make an ‘unthinkable’ team and will be put in the situation to use the ‘unthinkable’ methods in order to extract information from a terrorist who planted atomic bombs in populated areas of the US. The latest however (Michael Sheen) is the weakest character in the movie, we never get any explanation about the reasons that led an average American young to become a potential mass-murderer of historic dimensions. Even 24 made a much better job in depicting some of its evil heroes.

 

(video source undertoes)

 

I expected this film from a few years, because I liked a lot director Gregor Jordan‘s Buffalo Soldiers. His director hand just improved in the years that passed, but what a difference in vision, from the subtle irony, the comic threads and the anti-militaristic approach of that movie then and the routine simplistic action movie approach in Unthinkable now. The good team of actors do their job with the talent you expect from their names, this film barely passes the threshold of ‘acceptable’ due to the simplistic script and schematic situations the characters are facing and to the way they resolve them.

I saw yesterday Tarantino‘s Django Unchained. The film deals approximately with the same historical period as Spielberg‘s Lincoln, but what a difference!

Spielberg and Tarantino are without any doubt two of the most important American directors today. Both come from the let’s call it commercial cinema like let’s say both had remarkable blockbuster successes which translated into financial success enabling them to produce and direct everything they dream. Both use this success to explore with their personal craft tools, style and talent – various genres which they change and put their own imprint in. Both made films about the Second World War and about the Holocaust, and now about U.S. history, and the horrors and abolishing of slavery.

 

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1853728/

 

Concerning the movies about the Holocaust and the Second World War I think Spielberg and Tarantino are tied at the highest possible level. Schindler’s List was impressive and Saving Private Ryan is simply  the best war movie I’ve seen, while Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds rewrites with a Tarantinesque chutzpah and expressiveness  one of the final pages of the history of the Second World War.

Lincoln and Django produced me completely different reactions. Spielberg appears to wish to say by all means that ‘I can do serious films’ and the result is Lincoln – a rhetorical film, in which characters make speeches even when they are in bed with their wives, a film in which I miss the thrill of discovery and emotion and the fluency of the story telling I love in Spielberg. On the other hand Tarantino tackles that time in history in Django with his usual boldness and lack of complex, he uses violent action cinema and makes a deep reverence to Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns. The result is a sparkling film that is both  fun to watch and passes the message.

 

(video source The JoBlo Movie Network)

 

This is certainly a violent film, but maybe I should say something about Tarantino’s violence (on screen) the way I see it. The exaggeration and complete lack of realism in the violent choreography of Tarantino’s movies is his way of saying – do not take me too seriously. There is something more in this film however – the introduction creates the message of abhorrence towards slavery in a manner at least as efficient as Lincoln’s speeches in Spielberg’s movie.

There is a lot of good cinema in Django which makes the film enjoyable also for the passionate of quality cinema. Jamie Foxx‘s rendition of Django, the liberated slave who turns into a professional killer in order to save his wife is dark and compassionate at the same time.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson are a fabulous pair of suprisingly bad guys, and Tarantino himself and Franco Nero show up in minor but memorable appearances. And the story telling … well … it’s good like in the good Spielberg movies.

Django is my preferred 2012 film about the period of abolition of slavery.