Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Fencer (2015) Estonia, Finland

Looking for a new start while the past is on the tail.






Original title:
Miekkailija (Finnish)
Vehkleja (Estonian)


Genre:
Biography, Drama, History, Sport.


Length:
Approximately 4-minute read.


Review:
     The 2016's Golden Globe nominee and also Finland's submission for the Oscars in the same year, but failed to get into the final five. Produced by the Baltic nations that set in when Estonia was a part of the USSR in the early 50s. It chronicles the story of Endel Nelis, a man who's on the run arrives in a small town called Haapsalu to teach the school children sports.

     As his life is in danger, he intends to keep a low profile for a while. But seems everything is turning around him against him when he decides to teach his students fencing. It brings a large attention to the surroundings. Then comes a time where he must confront what he's hiding from which brings an end to the narration with little extended end part that reveals further details about the later event.

 It's good to have them focus on something, keep them occupied. It takes their mind off things. 

     This is a very short story, but somehow the movie managed to run for the 90 minutes with a good pace. It did not cover the entire life story of Endel Nelis, but a small slice. So you definitely feel desperate to know about his past, but this film does not compromise on that. It has a great background score, and overall it is a very inspiring movie.

     The actors were so simple, but very good in their parts. Other than the lead character Endel, the two kids Marta and Jaan were excellent. The romance was as its sub-plot, but the theme was sport so all the concentration on the fencing and nothing else. In a couple of sections it feels so cliche, but since it was based on the real, there's nothing to do about it than accepting it.

     Fencing is not a popular sport in the world, so it is good to see a movie about it, but sadly it was not internationally well recognised. Like I said earlier the story was quite small, so I can't describe it in a large scale. I think I said everything I wanted to. In its limitedness the movie was pretty impressive. Not everyone who saw it going to suggest it for you, but it is worth a try.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
The Third Half, Montevideo, A Barefoot Dream, Kano.


External link(s):
      


WCA geolocation:
Right now we're in

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Racing Extinction (2015) USA

A small contribution by everyone matters a lot.






Genre:
Documentary.


Length:
Approximately 8-minute read.


Review:
     The organism survives only if the surrounding environment favours. But it takes thousands of years of evolution to find its right place. Its existence is only to restore the balance in the nature as much as fast it can. Because the organism moves one place to another and help elements to meet one another which can't do themselves, in a result the reaction happen. The extinction happens when the balance between naturally existing elements and living organism was disturbed. The Earth has seen such five mass extinctions and now on the verge of sixth only because of one species, the man. There's no one in this universe to question his supremacy, but himself in the form of scientists, environmentalist et cetera. This documentary talks one of that small topic, analysing its root cause.

     From the Academy Award winning director for the documentary 'The Cove', once again, his focus came to bring the awareness about marine species that disappearing due to excessive hunting. From Japan's dolphin hunt to now the focus is on the Chinese's misbelief that causing animals like tigers, rhinos, marine animals to face the threat.

     In this film, the Oceanic Preservation Society followed the source to find how and where it all begins. Since it is related to marine life - shark fin and manta ray gill trade markets were the target. That leads the crew to travel all the way to Indonesia, where a small coastal village is one of the major supplier to the Chinese consumer.

 We have this illusion that it's the big things in the environment that count. But if you lose the small things... Everything else fails. 

     For the Chinese population density, just think what might cause if they believe in something that is not right. Since the rise of China's middle class, they can offer anything from anywhere in the world. Because of this demand, the richest in biodiversity like India, Africa, Indonesia is affected due to poaching and other illegal activities. What they need is proper scientific education about their misbelief. Make the Chinese immigrants to mingle with the rest of the world, not to live and die in their own den called 'China town'.

     I am not a Chinese hater, but their misbelief is outrageous, especially for their population strength, it is 5 to 10 times faster than what the rest of the world's misbelief causing threat. Every nation has its own negatives, today it is China, tomorrow it will be India and then United States followed by Europe and Africa. Now it is not only up to the world leaders, but every citizen has to care, even a small contribution means a lot. The recent Paris climate conference has brought only a small halt, especially on the natural resourcing, yet other similar field has to come into force in a similar treaty.

     The civilisation happened when human thought he does not fit with the natural habitat anymore for his excessive brain power and left it once for all behind other species by creating his own world alongside. Animal and plant farming is the way he discovered to cope with his hunger. But what we don't know is these farming is still occurring on the face of the earth that contributes whatever the changes the planet sees. But that does not it, overpopulation is another bigger issue. There are more consumers than farmers and farm products, thus leading us to go back to wild to hunt which is seriously causing imbalance in chemical and biological world.

 So, this is really the last line of defense, keeping animals that are extinct in the wild in a captive situation. 

     Goats, sheeps, chickens never go extinct, not under the human watch. Because since the time of human came to exist, till now, these livestock animals' count exceeds more than any other species ever lived on the Earth, including human. You breed it immoderately and kill it immoderately, it does not matter till you're not affecting the natural inhabitant.

     My point is these animals need plants and if plants go extinct, the oxygen supply will be cut off leading global warming to the next mass extinction. So it needs to be balanced, which can be done by balancing daily our diet between meat and plant. When the demand automatically reduce, the restoration begins. Here the 'automatically' means in the hands of humanity.

     That's what this film is trying to say. Focusing on the marine was their prime intention, but the discussion led to many other sub-topics. Unlike the director's previous film, it did not stay on one issue, but kept rotating on the various subjects by revealing the causes and the solution. At some point it lost its track, and started to advertise a fancy stuff. But that is a major way getting the attention of today's people in the digital world. Whatever you might think of me, but the truth is I was heartbroken several times while watching this film and had tears. This film is not a masterpiece, that's why it did not get an Oscars nominee except for an original song, nevertheless the voice it raised against is a true commitment.

     Recently I stopped to visit zoos, the place I consider is a prison for animals who have committed no crimes. But in todays world situation, looks like the captive is the final line of defence. If there is a another world, people with much more vigilant about their natural world, I would definitely like to go for it. But earth is what we all have and we're failing to take care, when it comes time to run, you will have no place to go. Just look at the recent reports of pollution in the Chinese cities, it is what I had seen in movies like 'The Mist', 'The Road', is all coming true. The apocalypse is not too far from reality. Like in this film say, it is not too late to join hands for good.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
The Cove, Black Fish, Earth 2100.


External link(s):
      


WCA geolocation:
Right now we're in

Thursday, March 24, 2016

And Then There Were None (2015) UK

Let the countdown begin...






Season 1:
3 episodes.


Genre:
Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller, TV Mini-Series.


Length:
Approximately 7-minute read.


Review:
     One of the many versions and the BBC's latest television adaptation of Agatha Christie's famous mystery novel of the same name. You might know as I mentioned many times earlier in my reviews that I'm not into books, so never ever bothered to try this book or any other, since I'm a movie fanatic I want surprises not spoilers, but I had seen the 1945 movie adaptation. It was a long time ago, a black & white movie, so I thought it's a time to check it out this.

     The famous books are always adapted numerous times for the screen. I usually enjoy them because they're made in the different timeline/era with a different style of presentation. This is my 2nd version of this story and it did not disappoint me at all. For being it a television product, it was a rich in production quality. Since it's a drama, that mostly happen in and around a single location, I believe it did not cost much.

     The island was awesome, very much looked like the one from 'Song of the Sea'. The outdoor shots were so pleasing, but most of the story takes place inside the mansion. I did not know all the cast, but those I knew were did not stay for very long. It was not the extraordinary performances, nevertheless great effort by all.

     This is a 3 episode mini series made for television and each one began and ended so well. I think the splits were the crucial and it was very nicely done to keep the pace of suspense up all the time. But it was a slow start, and I lost interest in the opening itself. Not until the near end of the first episode I was drawn to it and the remaining two were so much better than I anticipated, especially the last episode was a grand.

 We are cut off. Rats in a barrel.
This is the peace before the carnage. 

     While the plot getting too tighter, all the characters became stronger. Especially the reactions to each other for the threat they were facing. In all that, the better parts were the brief flashbacks about their past events which were the key for their struggle to survive. That's how it was extended to 3 parts for almost 3 hours long. Mainly because of that I liked this series, which gives the reasons in pictures for the viewers why all the ten characters brought into such position.

     As we already know this story, we can expect everything to happen as it should be, but some minor changes were made all along, especially the ending was quite different than what I knew. But as far the book's concern, it was the closest one. I was not impressed by that, I would have not liked the other way around either for creativity lapse. So in that case I welcome the honestness which was at least something different than the movie I previously saw.

     In the end, I kind of felt like I saw a fusion between the original material and the movie 'Saw'. Except it was not a violent movie, since the violence is the mystery to solve, that is where the strength lies in this movie to entertain all sections of the audiences. I would like to suggest it, because this might the best version available as many were saying, yet I can't confirm that as I have seen only two including this.

     And finally. I hope there will a season 2. As I know only Nick Willing does that, but the thing is it was not a fairytale. These days sequels were made out everything, so what I'm expecting is not a crazy. I would definitely prefer the prequels to all those ten people's past events which led them to the island. That would be so awesome.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
Identity, Fin, Saw, Predators, Cube, Scream, The Hills Have Eyes, The Hateful Eight.


External link(s):
      


WCA geolocation:
Right now we're in

Monday, March 21, 2016

Ip Man 3 (2015) Hong Kong

It gets closer to the legend's personal life.






Also known as:
Yip Man 3 (Original title)


Genre:
Action, Biography, Drama, History.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     A few movies about Yip Man were made in the past, but Donnie Yen's 2008 version rewrote the history. Because the craze about martial arts in the last two decades and of course digital world made it to reach every corner of the world. Followed by a sequel and its massive hit, then came many unofficial versions to this series that set in a different timeline of the martial art legend's life.

     With this movie, the narration gets lots closer to tell the personal life of Yip Man. But in the first half, like the previous two films, focused on the social issue. Yip Man is fighting for the children's education, when a real estate tycoon plans to replace the school building to a commercial complex. That's it, later the story begins to take us to the random events like a man who's hungry for the best fighter in the town title who end up challenging Yip Man to face him. From there, it's all about Yip Man and his ill wife where the movie switches from action mode to sentimental.

     That's not what we expected from a man who's famous for his martial art. Surprisingly, this different approach in storytelling was refreshing. Saving school, the clash for the title and ill wife, so the overall movie was like had three episodes and each dealt on a different motive. Being a biopic and also a martial art movie, it exploited the theme fairly.

     I can't say Mike Tyson's acting was so good because it was weird him to speak Cantonese. He was in a minor role, but his presence was a big boost for the movie. If we see him in an action movie, then we all know what to expect and it did not fail to fulfill our wish.

 There's nothing more important than the love of those by your side. 

     The stunts were not as good as the previous two films and they were too short as well, but technically looked so perfect, especially locking horns between Tyson and Donnie Yen was like head-to-head confrontation between Hollywood and Hong Kong. The other reason to shorten stunts in the movie was to get closer to the legend's personal life. After the survival and fighting the foreign forces, now the time to focus on his own life issues.

     The first two films were breathtaking, no one can doubt that. I don't know why it took so long for this third movie, but it still worked. Yet not the best in the trilogy, but remained very close to them with unlike storyline and action sequences. I was disappointed for not continuing from where it ended in the 2nd part. I mean the story has a clean flow, but not what I expected, like, I wanted Bruce Lee and the grand-master coming together.

     Actually, I never expected the third installment, I considered it was one of the best duologies you could find in world cinema. But I'm happy they made this one and I'm very much sure there will be fourth. So at least I can expect the Bruce Lee's part in the Yip Man's life story. I was waiting for that from a very long and I believe it won't let me down this time. All the above, I'm looking for the official announcement.




Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
Ip Man 1 & 2, The Legend is Born: Ip Man, The Grandmaster, Ip Man: The Final Fight.


External link(s):
      


WCA geolocation:
Right now we're in