• Omertà (2012)

     

    Omertà is inspired by a legendary French Canadian series of the same name and lives some sort of revival this summer with a quite well done feature for the cinemas. The movie convinces with gripping characters that are portrayed by some of Quebec's best actors which are the charismatic, old and tough Michel Côté who shines as he nearly always does or the cool, dynamic and eternally young Patrick Huard. Next to this, many other famous actors appear in this movie like René Angelil who does a truly convincing job as mafia boss in this flick.

    While the acting of the mentioned actors is flawless, I didn't like the performance of Rachelle Lefevre who is one of the main actress. It's not that she played a rather unsympathetic character who happens to be quite arrogant, bullish and naive because this was probably part of the script but she frequently switches from French to English in her over the top performance which is a quite annoying thing. I know that there are a lot of people around Montreal that are bilingual but it's quite uneasy when those people suddenly switch from one language to the other without any reason and don't seem to be rather skilled any of them.

    Concerning the story, there are a couple of lengths in the beginning and you already begin to expect your usual crime flick centered around an undercover investigation. By the end, there are more and more surprises though and the story gets as intense as the excellent acting is. Of course, there are a couple of elements that happen to be predictable if you now the genre well but this film definitely doesn't lack of ideas. There are always some lovely surprises here and there and especially the ending is quite courageous. I was very pleased by the great last half hour of the movie while more mainstream orientated cinema fans might be a little bit disappointed of what happens in here. There is a lot of action, murder and treason in the last third of the movie that permanently keeps the tension high and you on the edges of your seat.

    In the end, what we have here is one of the best Canadian movies of the year until now. The movie convinces with a more than solid acting as well as a good average story that evolves to a truly addicting movie towards the end. If you care for Canadian movies and French Canadian culture, you should not miss this film. I'm looking forward to watch this movie again and would recommend a purchase for your home cinema which might be more efficient than a walk to the movie theatres.

     

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  • Identity (2003)

     

    Identity is a very well done American psycho thriller that convinces with a very solid acting, a couple of interesting characters and a very dark atmosphere as the whole movie plays during a dark and rainy night.

    The locations and the general story offer nothing new and play with some stereotypes but have a certain cheesy charm.

    The movie will though grip you after a few moments and not let you go until the end as it has a very fluid pace. The film is full of surprising events and many red herrings that keep you guessing until the end who is the one behind the brutal murders among ten very diversified persons that have randomly met in a cheap motel as it seems.

    The very twisted ending will divide the viewers into two groups. Those who like original psycho thrillers with weird conclusions that request some reflections and are not that easy to understand will definitely like the final which is rather hard to predict. In fact, the ending leads to two conclusions and one of it was very easy to predict for a genre connoisseur as I am but the second and more important part is quite impossible to find out.

    Those who like more traditional crime movies with police investigations and many clues that finally lead to the murderer in the end might find the ending too complicated, too difficult to understand and overall too weird.

    Personally, I liked the ending as it left me one some reflections and thoughts. It's simply different from what you're used to and I like this experimental courage of the script writers. This doesn't mean that the ending is complete nonsense or as surreal as David Lynch movie, it's still all rather logic to explain.

    If you are a fan of dark psycho thrillers and the famous "Ten Little Indians" concept and if you're not afraid of movies where you need to do some additional intellectual efforts to understand everything, you will definitely adore this flick that has no truly visible weak points apart of it short length and a couple of stereotypes that are introduced in the beginning.

     

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  • Safe House (2012)

     

    If you have seen conspiracy flicks like "Enemy Of The State", "The Bourne Identity", "XIII", "Unknown" and so on and so forth, you really won't be surprised by this movie. The story presents nothing new and is about the usual stereotypes: the good one turn out to be the bad ones, the bad ones turn out to be the good ones, the weak ones turn out to be the strong ones and so one. I think you get what I mean. The movie has no big surprises after all.

    But if this kind of movie is well done, it can still merit a rating of eight points. I only give six point five and for this site seven points because of the mediocre camera work that was shaking and irritating at some points of the movie.

    The rest of the film is quite decent. The locations are interesting and the movie takes place in Cape Town in South Africa and not in Europe or North America. The fighting and action scenes are very well done and with the visual and sound effects in cinema, it's a pleasant entertainment to watch this movie for sure. It's a good flick to change your mind, to relax and to take a break from your everyday life for sure. The acting is also rather good with two strong lead actors that are a very cool Denzel Washington and a sympathetic and determined Ryan Reynolds.

    The only little flaw is that I would have liked to know more about both characters, especially about their past and what really led them to do what they actually do in the movie.

    The movie simply has not the greatest script to stand out among many other similar flicks but it's still a good film. I would suggest you to rather watch the movies I talked about in my introduction or classics like "I As In Icarus" but if you have seen and liked them all, you will surely appreciate this work, too.

     

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  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (2011)

     

    Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows is an enjoyable follow-up of the first movie with the same line-up and includes everything fans and critics likes about the first feature: the camera work, the images and the exotic locations are breathtaking, the visual special effects and action scenes are also mind-blowing, the soundtrack is once again very intense, the movie contains a lot of humour and slapstick scenes and the flick finally features a solid acting that is rated up by some new actors like the Swedish shooting star Noomie Rapace. You will get very well entertained for almost two hours in this ride of action, humour and tension.

    The reason why this movie though can't keep up with the first part is that its story is less intriguing, less surprising and simply less twisted. Many elements of this movie are quite predictable and stereotypical for this kind of genre while the first part had several well thought twists. Some scenes of the movie are simply too exaggerated like the escape scenes in Germany and the final showdown in Switzerland. This is effect loaded Hollywood popcorn cinema as we see it every day and the talent of many great actors and some great pieces of literature are somewhat wasted in here.

    Another important problem is that the actions and goals of the main villain remain somewhat superficial. In general, the different new characters should have been more developed. The actors do their very best to give the somewhat ordinary characters a unique soul but sometimes they struggle a little bit and their talent gets a little bit wasted in this movie.

    The script should have been more detailed and precise and the movie could have needed a healthy dose of around ten minutes of additional running time to portray us the uprising and the first evil actions of the main villain and his first acts of terrorism in the beginning. On the other side, the ending on the castle in Switzerland could have been more detailed and one could have shown us what happened to the different characters after the final showdown.

    Even though these important flaws, the movie is saved by all the positive elements mentioned in the beginning of my review and the ending creates some high hopes for a possible third part. I hope that a possible third feature might unite the amazing script of the first part with the solid acting of the second part with more impressive sound and image effects to create a nearly perfect flick honouring one of the most fascinating characters in the history of literature where the traditional meets the modern.

     

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  • The Ninth Gate (1999)

     

    This is a truly fine piece of work with great actors, a highly addicting story with a couple of surprises, a really great soundtrack, a great light work and a more than solid camera work. Some images are really impressive in this movie and will stay on your mind for a while. I don't want to reveal too much but the movie includes a creepy murder scenery in France and a very unique sex scene for example. Even the locations and the different languages spoken in the movie are exotic and add a very special touch that should please to those who are interested in foreign history and culture.

    Even though there are some lengths in the beginning of the movie and even though the book still beats this adaption, this Gothic and occult thriller is a must see for any cinematic maniac when director legend Roman Polanski and one of the most brilliant actors of all times with Johnny Depp work together. The movie gets more and more intense, atmospheric and dynamical with every minute and has some good ideas even though I thought the devilish ending was a little bit too predictable after all but it leaves you on a rather mysterious and uneasy note instead of having a mainstream conclusion. The book and the movie are definitely extraordinary despite a few little and definitely pardonable flaws.

    Anybody who likes to have a dark ride should get in and watch this gripping and unforgettable flick. I enjoyed watching this movie several times and it never gets boring as you can always discover and focus on some new elements of this artistically diversified work.

     

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