Archive for the 'Film' Category


Movie tip: Carancho

Carancho (2010) is Argentina’s contribution to the 2011 Oscar Foreign Language Picture category. Last year’s argentinian contribution Secret In Their Eyes (2009) won the Oscar in this category. As with Secret In Their Eyes, actor Ricardo Darin plays the lead role.

In Carancho, Darin plays the sleazy lawyer who lost his license and is now lurking around victims of traffic accidents trying to make them his clients. It is during these premises that he meet Lujan (Martina Gusman) who is a doctor trying to save the lives of these victims.

Carancho is not as stunning as Secret In Their Eyes. It will not win an Oscar, but I would not be surprised if it in fact would receive a nomination. It is a very well scriptured movie. It mixes romance with thriller seen with a fairly cruel look upon human values.

Here is Twitchfilm’s review

“We are all familiar with the concept of the sleazy lawyer, the vulture who lurks on the outskirts just awaiting his chance to swoop in and profit on others’ misfortune. Pablo Trapero takes that image as the center of his stellar, genre defying, latest effort Carancho.

The always-stellar Ricardo Darin is Sosa, a man with a hidden history who now ekes out a living working as a personal injury lawyer, scanning the police radio and chasing ambulances to find poor people caught in misfortune and handle their insurance claims – always being sure to skim a healthy percentage for his employers.

It is while working his nightly rounds that Sosa first meets Lujan (Martina Gusman) a young doctor who, like Sosa, carries an awful lot of weight and history in her eyes. Sosa knows seemingly immediately that Lujan is the woman for him. She needs some convincing, but the two are nevertheless drawn inexorably together.

And this is when we learn that Sosa’s sleaze goes beyond an unfortunate profession and into outright criminal behavior. A job goes wrong, someone ends up dead and Sosa’s life – so close to achieving happiness – crumbles.

A film that fuses stellar character work and intimate drama with larger thriller and heist moments with a few elements of shocking violence thrown in for good measure, Carancho is a masterful piece of work from writer / director / producer / editor Pablo Trapero. Trapero serves notice here that he is one of the very best film makers int he world today. Period. The complexity of his characters, the technical quality of the film work, his ability to balance intimate emotion with realistic and brutal action sequences, his obvious skill in working with actors – though that is made easier when you have actors the caliber of Darin to work with – Trapero is at the highest level in all of these. Flawless? Carancho comes pretty damn close. With one day left for me here in Cannes, this is the film of the festival for me.”



The Man From Nowhere

Keep your eyes open for a western release of this new Korean blockbuster movie called The Man From Nowhere. It seems awesome by the looks of the trailer…and apparently the koreans think it is considering its been crushing everything in its way on the box office chart ever since it’s release 5 weeks ago, being no 1 ever since with a whopping 5 million tickets being sold as of this week.


Weekend movie tip

The Forbidden Door [2009]

Who would have thought that Indonesia could produce such a fine thriller?

Directed by Joko Anwar, The Forbidden Door is a truly clever, polished and very good looking picture. The photo is stunning, with a perfectly matched jazzy soundtrack. The story is also quite interesting, with some remarkable scenes. You can clearly see the references to Lynch here.

The film is probably not for everyone…as with many of the best movies. There are some provocative violence in it, especially that towards children. It has been characterized as a “gore flick” but I disagree. Surely there are some blood in it, but to be honest it is merely one particular scene which I consider “bloody” and it does fit the story well. Indonesia does have a history of “gore films” especially during the 70s so I guess that is one reason why people might be quick to judge this as such. For me, The Forbidden Door is a very good and thoughtful thriller that will keep you talking about it long after it’s finished.

Here is a review:

The Forbidden Door‘s protagonist is not a starving artist, but a prosperous one learning that success can be just as torturous.  The film opens on him sipping champagne while denying an art collector one of his gallery pieces, as it has already sold.  The first few shots inside the art gallery give an initial impression that this may be a visually uninteresting film.  This perception is shattered after Gambir and his wife leave the gallery, a crane shot swoops up and away, past a blazing marquee before we’re thrown into one of the coolest opening credit sequences ever (think James Bond meets Roman Polanski) and we see that director Joko Anwar has some flair to share.

I won’t try to summarize the plot which, like so many ambitious horror films, starts out strong, becomes a little convoluted, ultimately leaves the viewer thinking ‘wtf?’.  The titular forbidden door that Gambir can’t enter actually has very little to do with the plot, but is just one of several catalysts that contribute to his insanity and paranoia.  I will say that the gory moments were squirm-worthy but not gratuitous and evoked cheers from the After Dark audience.

As previously stated, the main character in an artist (a sculptor to be precise), and what is most striking about the film is the art direction.  From Gambir’s art deco home to the ironic English Jakarta signage, many forms of art make their way into the every frame.  Even Gambir’s haircut draws attention to itself;, it’s hip, suits the character perfectly and actually does quite a bit to aid Fachry Albar’s already strong performance.

I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys watching Eastern filmmakers’ take on the horror genre.  Rest assured, bloody revenge and dark humour abound.” –


Sick sick sick sick sick sick sick

Okay THIS is NOT a movie TIP, okay!?

As you might have figured by now, I like movies from all different countries. This has given me many moments of great lesser known films that is not marketed for the big audience. With this however, comes the occasional nutty flick that sometimes is both weird and cool and sometimes just weird. Then there are movies like the one above. Movies that is just plain f**ckin SICK (not cool…but twisted, unnerving, perverted, morally wrong)! And this movie has to be the SICKEST of them all.

The trailer is actually not THAT bad. Still be advised.

There is a perfectly good reason why people in the audience at film festivals around the globe simply stood up and left the screenings.

If your curiosity get the upper hand….don’t say I didn’t WARN you!


Weekend movie tip

Gallants [2010]

If you’re watching a movie this weekend I would recommend you to have a look at the new Hong Kong Kung-Fu movie Gallants. I’ve never been a fan of Kung-Fu movies in the first place, but this is seriously one of the best films so far of 2010. I love the sheer production value with retro style photo, excellent fighting scenes, witty humour and a good story to go along.

Here is a review from

A Hong Kong martial arts film that presents itself as a comedy homage to the martial arts classics of the 60s and 70s, is your typical underdog film with a brassy sense of humor (think The Bad News Bears or Dodgeball).  Shot with natural lighting and low-budget sensibilities, this movie feels like many of the American indy films of the mid-90s.  Rather than take away from the film, the lack of budget is charming and grants Gallants a sense of candor that instills legitimacy in its memorable characters.

The film’s directors, Clement Sze-kit Cheng and Chi-kin Kwok, have worked together in the past (although Gallants is Cheng’s directorial debut).  As a team, they bring a unique vision of a dilapidated community and a once-great-but-now-run-down kung-fu school struggling to survive in the face of foreclosure.  Led by Master Law (Teddy Robin Kwan), five misfits of the old-school mentality pit forces against the modern era of slick and disingenuous martial arts.  It’s the tried and true story of old vs. new, whereas “old” is pure and “new” is inevitably bastardized by the corrupting nature of time.  This idea is exemplified as Master Law insists over and over again that martial arts is not for fitness; martial arts is for fighting.  And if nothing else can be said about Master Law’s character, his geriatric insistence is eerily convincing.  Maybe martial arts is for fighting!

I can’t stress enough how fresh this film is.  As a homage to classic kung-fu films, it holds its ground; as a feel good underdog comedy, it is surprisingly adept; and as a sheer aesthetic feat, it is gorgeous.  Who wouldn’t want to watch a bunch of dorky people kick serious ass?  These guys all look like tourists or office geeks, but when it comes down to it, that’s what we are, and if there’s hope for the hopeless characters which litter Gallants, then maybe our boring lives might take a turn for the theatrical.”


Korean Movie is banned from public theaters

I Saw The Devil by Kim Ji-Woon seem like a pretty bad-ass movie. The producers were hoping for an 18+ rating, but got turned down twice even after re-editing the movie. The film was given the rating ‘Limited Screening’ which only allows the film to be screened in special theaters that only show adult films. No such theater exists in Korea, meaning it is effectively banned.

The reason?

Scenes that severely damage the dignity of human values

“Kyung-chul is a dangerous psychopath who kills for pleasure. He has committed infernal serial murders in diabolic ways that one cannot even imagine and his victims range from young women to even children. The police have chased him for a long time, but were unable to catch him. One day, Joo-yeon, daughter of a retired police chief becomes his prey and is found dead in a horrific state.

Her fiance Dae-hoon, a top secret agent, decides to track down the murderer himself. He promises himself that he will do everything in his power to take bloody vengeance against the killer, even if it means that he must become a monster himself to get this monstrous and inhumane killer.”

The movie itself is no underground independent flick. It is in fact one of the most hyped films of the year due to the combination of actors Lee Byung-hyun (A Bittersweet Life) and Choi Min-Sik (Oldboy) and the director of A Tale Of Two Sisters, Kim Ji-Woon. It will be screened at Toronto Film Festival in September.

I for one, will NOT miss this film.



I can’t wait to see the New Zealand smash hit movie “Boy” that premiered earlier this year. The movie is director Taika Waititi second feature film. First one being Eagle vs Shark, one of my all-time favourite “romantic” comedies. Considering this debut, expectations should be high for the second movie. Especially considering Boy broke every box office record earlier this year in New Zealand.

And the trailers does not lower my expectations.

Check them out!

And if you haven’t seen Eagle vs Shark yet…rent it, download or steal it

July 2018
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