Browsing: Film Reviews

Rachid Bouchareb tells the dramatic tale in 1943 of North African soldiers who enlist in the French army to liberate France from the clutches of the Nazis during World War II. Battling French racism and bullets from a common enemy, these unsung heroes of the French resistance left home and family for many reasons. Crossing through Algeria to Italy, then France with emotions running high from the start of the film, we first focus on one soldier, Saïd Otmari who leaves poverty and his mother behind for the cause of freedom for France. Why give one’s blood to free a…

Richly spun with artistic splendor, writer-director Guillermo del Toro weaves a fairy tale around war-torn Spain in the 1940’s. Definitely a tale strictly for adults, the film reflects dark overtones, stunning cinematography and a purely Spanish language dialogue. We find ourselves in the midst of a Spanish Civil War and a protagonist, in the form of a young girl named, Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) in search of her true greatness. Proclaimed as the young princess who once left her underworld kingdom in search of the world of Humans, Ofelia is believed to be this young royal reincarnated. With her immortal father…

Director-Writer Mark Steven Johnson who brought us “Elektra” and “Daredevil” from the Marvel Universe steps to the plate once again to deliver “Ghost Rider”. Nicholas Cage plays motorcycle daredevil, Johnny Blaze who makes a soul wrenching pact with Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda), the devil himself to stake claim on his soul in return for a favor. A favor, which had its dire and grim consequences. Upon knowing that young Johnny’s father (and also a death defying cyclist in his own right), Barton Blaze was stricken down by a fatal disease, Mephistopheles appears in a physical manifestation, “dressed to the nines” and…

Equally as powerful and poignant as its predecessor, “Letters from Iwo Jima” marks the second film in response to “Flags of Our Fathers”, a deep and introspective look into one of the most decisive battles of the 2nd World War. This time, our vantage point is from the view of Japan and those men who fought to maintain their stronghold. Also a sacred part of Nippon’s heritage, we begin at Iwo Jima in present day, at a dig where remains of items of fallen soldiers prompt us to journey back into the mindsets of these men whose hearts, like US…

A conventional review of the film Ahlaam is almost impossible. Ahlaam is more than just a movie; it is an anatomy of an open wound. It is about the ongoing pain of a nation and made by a film crew that has been shot at, injured, imprisoned, kidnapped, and tortured. Amazingly, the struggles endured by the filmmakers parallel those plaguing the Iraqi people. How could I complain about the filmmaking issues in Ahlaam when the creation and completion of the film is a feat within itself? A comparison makes it a lot easier to understand: Michael Moore created Fahrenheit 911…

Produced by “Seinfeld” producer Larry Charles and starring Golden Globe Winner Sacha Baron Cohen who takes his character Borat Sagdiyev, a Kazakh journalist on the road headed to America. This mockumentary begins in Borat’s homeland of Kazakhstan where Borat welcomes us with, “Jak sie masz? My name-a Borat. I like you. I like sex. Is nice!” Filmed actually in regions of Romania (along with unsuspecting Romanians) due to the government of Kazakhstan publicly denouncing the film content, Borat takes us on a tour of his quaint little village and introduces us to the people in his life: his mother who…

“The truth will set you free and drive you madder.” <br>Imagine your young child being involved with the death of a playmate. An innocent game that went awry. That is what UNDER THE ICE (Unter dem eis) touches upon.<br>A solemn study into how covering up truths can lead to more damage. Especially when the people involved are essentially good. The film begins with a young couple, Michael and Jenny (Dirk Borchardt and Bibiana Beglu) living in one the suburbs of Berlin, Germany. Things are looking up and Michael is on the eve of getting a promotion to become a detective.…

Based on author Milan Trenc’s children’s story entitled, “The Night at the Museum”, Ben Stiller plays Larry Daley a divorced dad with a ten year old son who seemingly is down on his luck in many respects. Having had several attempts at redeeming his self esteem and impressing his boy (Jake Cherry- who’d rather be a bond trader like his mom’s new mate), Daley’s calling comes in the form of a night security watchman job at the Museum of Natural History. The “What if” scenario for this film would be-“what if all the museum exhibits magically came to life at…

Little Miss Sunshine is one of the most honest and genuine films, about a dysfunctional family that takes a cross-country trip to California to have their daughter join a beauty pageant. Olive is a sweet girl who dreams to win the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. Her father, Richard, is an unsuccessful motivational speaker; no one in the family can stand his obsession with being a winner. Sheryl, Olive’s chain-smoking mother, tries her best to pull the family together and keep them grounded. Frank, Sheryl’s brother, is a Proust scholar and has attempted suicide after a failed relationship with his…

Directed by Gabriele Muccino, “The Pursuit of Happyness” is more than a movie, it’s a lesson on the indomitable spirit; an inspirational tale of one man’s trials and tribulations. Will Smith plays Chris Gardner in 1981, a real man with real problems who rose from the darkened ashes of despair with his then five year old son Christopher (played adorably by Jaden Christopher Syre Smith). Gardner suffered a copious amount of hardships and went from being an unpaid broker intern at Dean Witter to becoming a millionaire with his own brokerage company- Gardner Rich. Many of us seek happiness yet…

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