The Rover (2014): Action / Crime / Drama

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Wipe Hollywood completely out of Mad Max, and you get David Michôd’s the post-apocalyptic Rover. This desolated Australia manages to crawl under every antihero’s skin and plant the seed of isolation and fear to their already existing despair.

In this endless pitch black tunnel, a light shines upon the most unlikely friendship between furious Eric (Guy Pearce) and mentally vulnerable Rey (Robert Pattinson). A light that comes from the abyss of their soul, indicating that, even though everything has gone awry, the tide can still change.

Australian cinema is relentless as much as it is beautiful. And with producer / writer / director David Michôd and writer Joel Edgerton you know that it can only be relentlessly beautiful. Guy Pearce has always been spectacular which leaves us in the end with…

Robert Pattinson! A script has a main philosophy: Show, don’t tell! Robert Pattinson doesn’t say a word. He shows, having nothing to prove, that he is an actor. As if “Remember Me” (2010) was not evident enough, “The Rover” rubs it in haters’ face.

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London (2005): Drama / Romance

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Let me introduce to you writer/director Hunter Richards. Is he well-known? No. Should he be? Definitely. What for? “London”! Unknown too? It shouldn’t be.

Addressing mostly the Hollywood lovers, “London” focuses on three characters portrayed by two actors and one actress who are known to be action heroes and one of the hottest women alive respectively. Chris Evans, Jason Statham, and Jessica Biel have been fully humanized, “made redundant” to people next door, and deal with everyday issues that you and I are troubled with. No heroes, no celebrities here.

“London” takes place profusely in a house party’s toilet where:

  • Evans and Statham camp there as they are not welcome.
  • Expensive paintings are used as a flat surface for everyone to constantly snort cocaine.
  • Politics, religion, history, sociology, philosophy, drugs, human psyche, sadomasochism, and relationship issues are elaborated.
  • Finally, while the aforementioned are happening, everyone comes in and out to do their need.

Statham and Evans steel the show. They look each other in the eye, are not afraid to go berserk, and their characters find mental and spiritual/psychological ablution. A brilliant cinematic reflection on how real-life introspection can be turned into a liberating life’s unfolding.

Halloween (2018): Horror / Thriller

Bloodbath! Nine films after the original “Halloween” (1978), producers, actors, writers and director managed to get it right. Ignoring all previous sequels and reboots, it pays homage to all of them. I know, right? Producer Jason Blum, writer Danny McBride and co-writer/director David Gordon Green wrote it, re-wrote it, shot it, re-shot it, re-re-shot it, Timothy Alverson re-re-re-edited it, so your visit to the cinema pays off. 40 years to the day after “Halloween”, you get a sequel with:
  • Soundtrack that still gives goosebumps.
  • DOP to remind you or get to know of the 80’s (depending on your age) well crafted slashers.
  • And character-wise, the anticipation of highly respected original Laurie and Michael standing, once more, for a last time (?) toe to toe.
Gripping! Well written, well directed, and well acted, it is the showdown to clamour for. That said, the child inside me still wants to watch… Myers vs Voorhees! Mr. Blum, I hope you are reading.

Unfriended: Dark Web (2018): Horror

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All of us, either while walking on the street or waiting for a bus or stuck in traffic, one way or another, we have seen a missing person’s poster glued on a wall, a lamppost or similar. And we have ignored it.

The idea that when most of us are having fun, some others are getting raped, kidnapped or murdered is frightening not only because these things are actually happening but also because they are happening under our nose. So why do we walk past the posters indifferently? Because it’s not happening to us. Until it does. And then we care.

“Unfriended: Dark Web” refers to the “millennials” and a bit older who grew up with everyday technology surrounding them and touches upon a very sensitive subject which is the social media and the ignorance, recklessness and naivety behind youngsters who constantly use them and can type faster than I can speak. The idea and story are solid whereas its development and execution stretch too thin. I don’t know how the dark web works exactly but the notion that intelligent characters are getting so well conned to the last detail and this “shadowy” organisation has people everywhere and control everything at first got my interest and then I said… rrrrrrriiiiiiiiiigggghhhhhtttttttt.

The Meg (2018): Action / Horror / Sci-Fi

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Check this one, yeah? A producer walks into his office, sits down, and reads this script…

An experienced diver/rescuer saves literally the last minute a bunch of people while a couple of them, absolutely doomed/didn’t stand a chance, die. The doctor, who was one of the survivors and would be dead if it wasn’t for the diver, accuse him of cowardice.

Give it about a year, the retired diver is now round-the-clock shitfaced, gets a visit by an old colleague, gets offered a rescue mission, says no, takes it, saves everyone except one, in a half-naked scene is revealed to us that the beers he had been necking had steroids, one of the fit survivors accuse him of cowardice, falls in love with him anyway, they kill the Meg, then there is another Meg bigger than the first Meg, the diver rips the second Meg apart, saves the world, gets the girl. Jason vs Meg: 1-0.

The enthralled producer makes it to the “FADE OUT”, picks up the phone, dials a number and says: “Give them $130,000,000”!

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018): Action / Adventure / Thriller

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There are priceless moments in one’s life where a plate of ravioli, a glass of Sangiovese, and neorealist cinematic masterpieces by Vittorio De Sica and Luchino Visconti mean the world.

This isn’t one of them moments. After watching “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”, I read some mixed reviews which got me thinking… What the actual f@!# is wrong with some people?! Well, it’s a long list and it’s beside the point. Is it a classic film? No. Will one encounter Shakespearean acting? Nope. In a production wrapped in 161 shooting days, let me shed some light on what you’ll encounter:

  • Phenomenal action by water, land, and air with every possible vehicle available.
  • Dynamic hand-to-hand combats.
  • Tom Cruise doing all of his stunts himself and all actors delivering stupendous performances.
  • Rebecca Ferguson being as jaw-dropping as always.
  • Twists and turns with everyone switching sides.
  • Amazingly unnoticeable VFX.

Trust that writer/director Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise have collaborated on 9 films together. It is a duo that works and gets results. Tom Cruise characterized it as an epic personal tale with enormous emotional stakes for the characters.

So, it’s one of them moments…

Venom (2018): Action / Sci-Fi

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A lot could be said about this film and the reviews surrounding it but I’m going to keep it short and to the point.

In the graphic novels, Eddie Brock is shady. Really shady. His moral compass takes a one way ticket. It is all about him and his career as a reporter. Then, Venom comes along, they find each other, and together they develop the ultimate hatred for Spiderman. Over the years, between Venom and Spiderman numerous timelines have been spawned. To cut the long story short, Eddie Brock/Venom is a supervillain.

Sony’s Venom, starts by being murderous and then, due to a not shady Eddie Brock, he stops eating people’s heads and just damages (severely) whoever gets in his way. Here, Eddie Brock is an honest, everyday relatable guy who just tries to keep his head above water and turns Venom into an antihero.

Separate these two in your head and just get entertained. Tom Hardy does a great job, the VFX team nails it, the script has the right amount of character development, laugh, action, and the final outcome stands tall on its own. If I were to pick on something, that would be the fight between Riot and Venom where I was struggling to figure out who is hurting whom and how.

Just enjoy it!