Monday, May 30, 2016

Jack of the Red Hearts (2015) Hollywood

The experience is a good lesson the life teaches us.






Genre:
Drama, Family.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     I recently reviewed a French film called 'Marie's Story', and that led me to check out another masterpiece 'The Miracle Worker'. I loved both the films which are based on the real story that sets around the same time, but in the different continents. This was inspired by those two, other than that there's no connection. In fact they have given a credit by mentioning the Hollywood version. Only a similar theme, but the plot revolves differently. Like it gives an insight of some misconception on the autism.

     It was actually about a 18 year old rebellious girl Jack, who meets a child with autism. After her young sister was taken away by the child service, she plans to fight back for her custody as they were promised to their mother that they would stay together. Now all she has to do is to find a job, but for her criminal record, she has only one way to get one and she pushes for it. So the story begins when the struggle for her sister guide for a new and unexpected life for both her and the family she meets.

     The major misunderstanding is it is not all about autism, it was only a part of the story. But the original tale is about a girl whose life transformation from the teenhood to the adulthood. You could say it is a kind of mix of coming-of-age and self-discovery. The phase of that life is very crucial, especially for those who had lost their parents and struggling to find their own place in the society. So the learning process comes from their own experience than anybody's guidance. In that perspective, it was a beautiful and a simple family drama that inspires us. It was not based on the real story, but a very close to one, that's how it leaves the expression on the audience.

 Just felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest and served on a cracker. 

     The girl who played the role of an autistic child was good, not fully impressed, but the effort was highly appreciable. As I said the story's focus was on AnnaSophia Robb, though Famke Janssen has given a decent performance too. Most of the human inventions were the accidents and so the most of the relationships. It is until they meet, the right person for each, then their life would be changed forever. Like perhaps Annie-Helen and Marie-Marguerite from the films I mentioned in the first paragraph.

     The human bond is very unique, but moving to the modern world's society, the rules have kept changing on treating the individuals because of the status of their life. So for the orphans, especially in the first world countries not easy to tackle such situation. This film highlights some of the issues, where and how the teenagers are getting lost.

     Love and care are what most essential for the children, that's what family is for and with that kind of support they will achieve good things in life. But not the same case for the orphans who're treated as some kind of robots and forced to do against their will. It is good for their future, but a messed up system and its officials behaving badly like handling a prisoner. That's how Jack looks at from the perspective of her own life, until she meets a family who seek her help and realises the life is not as complicated as it looks, but we've to opt a right path to travel which needs a great sacrifice on the way to accomplish.

     It is a very good message film. When one fails to realise, just let them to experience themselves until they come to realise. Sometimes it will be too late to begin again, but nothing is impossible. It is very sad that the film is undiscovered by many. It is no masterpiece, but the quest was very clear to depict the world from the teenager's perspective about how they look at the society, especially the system that laid eyes on them when no other eyes are looking after them. I Highly recommended it, especially for the drama fans and the family audience. Perhaps it might be one of the must see from the last year.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


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


Similar movies:
The Miracle Worker, Marie's Story, Cadet Kelly, The Belier Family, Gabrielle.


External link(s):
      


WCA geolocation:
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Friday, May 27, 2016

The Circle (2015) Sweden

Hunt for a witch hunter.






Original title:
Cirkeln (Swedish)


Genre:
Drama, Fantasy. Mystery, Thriller.


Length:
Approximately 7-minute read.


Review:
     A Swedish young-adult urban-fantasy-drama based on the first book of the 'Engelsfors' trilogy. If you are a Hollywood films follower, then you would find it a very familiar theme. Except it was not a loud and grand narration produced with the money grabbing agenda. But yes, earning back for what they have spent on it is a very important for any film and sadly it failed on that. Because of too much of dramatisation for a teen film. I liked it because the drama was not a big deal to me. A very refreshing film and nothing like too childish, so even the grown ups can give it a try and have a good time.

     Engelfors is a small fictional town in the Sweden and the story revolves around six teenage girls who are the chosen ones by the secret witch society to save the world. All the girls are entirely different and does not like each others. So joining the hands to counter the evil force that's posing a threat for their kind becomes hopeless. Until they understand their full capability and discover who's behind all the strange events. That brings the ultimate battle which is what everyone of us is waiting for, that decides the fate of those girls and to end the first installment.

     It was a slow presentation, that's where the problem lies to find the audience for it. Because youngsters won't like the films that lacks its pace, though it was based on them. It was not a visual extravaganza as we have seen in the American counterpart films. Yet the story was very ordinary with the characters close to the actual world except their supernatural abilities. So saving the world means not anything close to 'The Avengers' films, everything here is on a small scale, but properly arranged.

     The fate of the sequel was based on the result of this film. It got a mixed response, in that, mine is positive. The film came out from all the obstacles while it was in production, so by seeing it all I don't think they're going to make another film in the series. Surely I want it because I enjoyed it which I consider a very rare type, especially in this theme, unlike where the world cinema is obsessed with graphics and fancy stunt sequences for a similar concept.

 You were born selected.
The Magic has always been within you. 

     It is a very long film which is definitely a drawback for a todays film. Had all the opportunities to go deep into every character to expose their qualities and they did that, yet feels like they should have done more for this kind of runtime. Because in many parts it was a limping development.

     From all the above it does not look like a film to watch on the big screen. Maybe a television series would have been a fine idea, but still I'm happy for this because I always choose films over the television series. Mainly for the sound mixing, which are usually have the multiple track digital surrounds where in television, they're just stereo. But for this film, they were just okay as I said earlier, it wasn't a grand film.

     I have seen many Swedish films, but not enough to recognise the actors from the local market. I think all the main cast in this was mostly the fresh faces and they have done greatly. An awesome production and wonderful music tracks.

     I don't know how it is compared to the source material, but the mysteries behind the deaths were well illustrated. The twist did not surprise me, but surely unpredictable. There are many unexplained theories lies open that is going to be clarified in its follow-ups. But now I have to wait for it which I'm confident that's not going to happen, not anytime soon.

     I can't go for the book, because I'm not a reader. So it seems my journey ends here for the 'Engelsfors' trilogy. Better I'll pray for the Japanese or the American version to come. In my opinion, this film was underrated, because people are addicted to the commercial elements which seriously lacks in it. Other than that it deserves respectable status among other films associated with the magic. I'll definitely suggest it, but I don't know how many of you will feel the way as I did. Anyway, I still say go for it.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


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


Similar movies:
I Am Number Four, Percy Jackson, The Giver, Chronicle, The Mortal Instrument.


External link(s):
    


WCA geolocation:
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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Who Am I (2014) Germany

The age of digital gang war.






Original title:
Who Am I: Kein System Ist Sicher (German)


Genre:
Crime, Drama, Thriller.


Length:
Approximately 7-minute read.


Review:
     A German cyber-thriller from the director of 'The Silence'. The second half of the title 'Kein Systen ist Sicher' means 'No System is Safe' in English. So far, lots of films were made on this theme, but nothing was quite delightful as this one. Mainly because of the young cast and the depiction of the contemporary cyber world. With its incredible pace and the exciting storyline, in addition to that, some unexpected twists and turns, the film would easily surpass anybody's anticipation.

     It hits the right chord at the right time to bring some of the wonderful scenes. But as usual like any thriller films, the third act was its strength where it peaked that caused to flip its narration to the different facet. There are positives and negatives in the hacking business, but what I witnessed in this was some kind of digital gang war which directly affected the law-enforcement agency. A virtually conflict between two gangs for their superiority over the cyber's underworld. That means don't imagine like an online game between two, but beyond that.

     Usually the hackers are the sidekicks for the film's main characters. That's how most of the films depicted them and we know it. But there are some films that highlighted them on the first priority base, yet no film convinced me their genuine acts, both, virtually as well as physically to achieve their goals as in this one. I meant this film was not all about programming, cracking passwords, stealing data, releasing viruses, definitely not about a computer geek,

     But yes, it was something like that whose world changes after encountering a small gang like him. They're all experts in different fields and together unstoppable, who later form a team nicknamed CLAY to make friend with the world's number one hacker MRX. After under-appreciated and humiliation, the CLAY dares their icon and urge to take his place, but the plan terribly fails. That's how the story takes a grand venture that brings the secret police into frame to expand its plot to a more interesting conclusion.

 When the life gives you lemons,
ask for salt and tequila. 

     The balance between all its contents were awesome. Not the whole time they sit in front of the computer and do the stuffs, but there many real outside world adventures. Because there's a belief among us that everything can be done playing with the computer keyboard which proved wrong here. Besides, there was a small slice of romance, and the magic trick which briefly illustrates the film's important phase that holds the key to understand the happenings. The overall narration was a flashback that opens in a police station where our main hero of the story was investigated. He himself compares with the superheroes and the hacking ability is his superpower.

     Its not only the racy pace, but the energetic performances by the young actors was also the reason for the film's uplift. From the technical aspect, it was superbly written, directed and edited film. In some way, the film also resembles 'Fight Club' and 'The Usual Suspects'. Looks like the lead character was a big fan of those films and that's how it got influenced. I would have said many things about this film comparing with those two, but I'm trying to avoid the spoiler and it is possible only if I never brought this topic into here. But anyway, this film was one of the hardest nuts to crack what's coming next.

     Talking about the twist, it feels like the same old tricks from some of the old Hollywood blockbusters. But you should be patience till the film to end, because that part matters a lot. Probably that's where anyone who watched it will decide how much they liked it. The film generated its own trademark with the black hood and the white mask which already got a cult status among its fans. The  rock music was awesomely matched with this theme.

     There is a Hollywood version is coming, but I'm hoping for not to mess it up like the majority of remakes does. In the mean time, I'll look forward to an announcement of a possible sequel, because films like this should end in a trilogy. Especially in the todays film business, trilogies are the greatest achievements that followed by the original film's success. If you had loved this film and after seeing the way it ended you won't say no to that. This film is not for IT techies alone, but anyone would enjoy it. Surely I recommend it for who're interested in crime, thriller.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


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


Similar movies:
Disconnected, Eagle Eye, Hackers, WarGames, Swordfish, The Net, Firewall, Untraceable.


External link(s):
    


WCA geolocation:
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Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Fool (2014) Russia

A man's stand between 800 lives and corruption.






Original title:
Durak (Russian)


Genre:
Drama.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     It was another Russian film just like the Oscar nominee 'Leviathan' that highlighted the corruption in a city administration, except it had no depth in its narration like that one did. A simple tale that takes place within the 24 hours, but strongly told. From the domestic violence to the political targets, the film extraordinarily portrayed its each character and some of theirs double-cross. Besides, it discloses what the higher and lower class expects from each other, like it is already in order and those who disturb it will be seriously get affected.

     When a public utility worker Dima Nikitin finds an enormous crack in an apartment block, initially he ignores it, but later thinks something terrible going to happen. As his duty, he notifies the higher ranked authorities in the middle of the night when they were partying. At the time when it was going to be declared emergency in the town and to take all the precaution measures, the tale takes a twist that changes the fate of many who were involved in the matter. So the dark side of the story comes into the display.

     Showcasing Russia in such a bad light really hurts if you're a Russian. More than that, the outsiders judging a country from what the film depicts is very sad. It was neither true story, nor inspired by the true story, but this kind of things happens in every other countries. More or less the experts agree with the film to the present state of the Russian political landscape. It was financially co-supported by the ministry of culture that tells us they're going tough against such action. So this film was received well from all the quarters thinking such kind of portrayal might lead to transformation in the struggling society.

 A fish rots from the head down.
If I am tainted, then so are all of you. 

     In this, the main event was given the prime focus than any of the film characters. That's why the happy or the sad ending won't matter. But there was a character who was preferred the most for his involvement in the plot. In the meantime, it also followed other characters to add more complication in its narration and the story to get going. Overall, it was something like a chain reaction that began with a domestic violence and moved to the public service till it reached its highest end, I mean the head of the each department and the politicians.

     What the film's end was outlined is something the negative side of the society. The lack of the knowledge of the lower class families and the negligence of the civil servants is the reason for most of the tragedy that could have stopped before it to happen. The title is a metaphor for one who unnecessarily raising his voice in a matter where others were being quiet. All the above, knowing what's coming at you and taking an improper way to tackle it is what's going unnoticed. Unless every citizen join hands to fight against the corruption, this thing will go on.

     The film totally captures our attention. Obviously a slow start, but you could have not expected the way it ended. I haven't seen a single Russian film at the recent time, but very pleased with this. It was a double strike, delivering a message as well as a fine story for a film who seek only the entertainment. In some way, it was so much simpler and better than that Oscar nominee I mentioned. Because unlike that film, in here majority of us who always root for a particular film character mostly won't end in disappointment. That's the cleverness of this narration. If you had liked that film, then you should not miss this film as well.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


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


Similar movies:
Leviathan, Miss Bala, Graceland, Chinatown, Broken City, The Interpreter.


External link(s):
      


WCA geolocation:
Right now we're in