04th Mar2017

Certain Women (Film)

by timbaros

18 CertainWomenThe lives of three women are told in the beautifully acted new film ‘Certain Women.’

Three women all lead totally separate lives from each other, yet their lives become slightly intertwined. First there is lawyer Laura (Laura Dern). Her client, Fuller (Jared Harris), is disgruntled because he is not able to work anymore due to an injury caused at work, and he can’t sue the company because he has already received a small settlement. So it’s up to Laura to deal with him and his reckless behaviour that eventually leads to a hostage situation and standoff with police. Laura is having an affair with Ryan (James Le Gros), who happens to be the husband of Gina (Michelle Williams). Ryan and Gina are building a new house in the countryside and they need sandstone, so they visit a local man who has a pile of it in his front yard. Yet while they are building their new home together, they don’t appear to be totally happy. In fact, Ryan always seems to undermine her in front of their daughter, while Gina is just Gina going through the motions. The best is yet to come in the third story. Jamie (Lily Gladstone) is a ranch hand who lives on a farm. She appears to be very lonely until one day she decides to walk into an adult education class taught by young lawyer Beth (Kristen Stewart). They start eating together after class but Beth always has to cut it short because she’s got a four hour drive home. Their after class get togethers are misinterpreted by Jamie because she is falling for Beth, and she’s not sure Beth feels the same. Beth, meanwhile, happens to work at Laura’s firm. Hence the intersection of the lives of these three certain women.

‘Certain Women’ is a simple, quiet film, one where the acting takes center stage. Gladstone is the standout – her Jamie is painfully alone, and all she wants is for someone to be with. Williams has a quiet yet powerful role as a woman who doesn’t appear to be totally happy in life yet soldiers on. Dern has a meaty role as the lawyer who has to deal with a volatile client. It’s Stewart who brings it all down a notch. Using her typical acting style (she always seems to be playing herself), she doesn’t add any energy or likability to her Beth. Written and directed by Kelly Reichardt, ‘Certain Women,’ based on several short stories, is particularly aimed at a female audience, an audience who can appreciate and relate to the strong female characters in this film.

07th Sep2015

American Ultra (Film)

by timbaros

BL5U8500.CR2Take a bit of a James Bond movie, another part from Cheech & Chong, and mix it up with elements of the recent film ‘Spy’ and out comes the new movie ‘American Ultra.’

‘American Ultra’ is a spy action thriller movie masquerading as a stoner film (have a look at the film poster and you’ll see) with lots and lots of comedy. And once it’s over you think the person who wrote the film (Max Landis) must’ve been high on something when he wrote it. Mike (Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network) and Phoebe (Kristen Stewart) are, basically, potheads, living in what seems like a very empty town in West Virginia. They’ve been together for several years, with Mike never getting the courage to ask her to marry him. He’s booked a trip to take her to Hawaii to propose but he’s afraid of flying so they never actually get on the plane. But Mike’s content with his job as a cashier at the local Cash & Carry, where there never seems to be any customers. But he’s not the person you think he is. He’s actually a sleeper agent, a machine, created by the CIA, and they want him terminated – NOW. So one day in his store walks in CIA agent Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton). She’s come to town to rescue him – Mike was an experiment she created – a machine with superpowers – so she feels the need to play mother and protect her offspring. Mike has no idea who she is – but she’s able to activate him – turning on his superpowers so that he can protect himself. But CIA supervisor Adrian Yates (Topher Grace) wants him destroyed – at all costs. Even if it means killing Agent Lasseter in the process. So he sets up a command post in Mike’s town to look for him and to have him killed, bringing in tow with him soldiers who used to be mental patients. So in between all this we get explosions, lots of gunfire, and a visit to the home of Mike and Kirsten’s pot dealer (John Leguizamo) where they go to hide. It all leads up to an extremely bloody conclusion in the town’s discount superstore (a la Walmart).

As mentioned earlier, ‘American Ultra’s’ script is so far out there that one wonders where Landis (son of director John Landis) got his idea for the film. And Director Nima Nourizadeh (whose only other directing credit is 2012’s ‘Project X’ where three high school seniors host a party that spirals out of control) keeps the action flowing, which takes place over the course of one night, but he can’t help but let the silliness of the plot take over. Mike and Kirsten seem to be the most sensible people in the film, whereby the CIA agents are badly drawn as buffoon carton characters who can’t pull off their mission. ‘American Ultra’ reminds me a bit of ‘This is the End’ – Seth Rogen and James Franco’s 2013 comedy about the end of the world – where it just keeps on getting funnier and more surrealistic. ‘American Ultra,’ even though it looks slick, seems to be missing the ingredients that made ‘This is the End’ memorable. And while it’s a good ride that may make you high from just watching it, it’s also very silly to be taken as a true comedy. ‘American Ultra’ is not as good as a Bond film, but, in it’s favor, it’s not as bad as ‘Spy.’

‘American Ultra’ is now out in theatres.

07th Oct2014

2014 London Film Festival – Film

by timbaros

The 58th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® starts today and promises big movies and even bigger stars.

Last year’s BFI London Film Festival was a rip-roaring success, with such high-profile premieres as Gravity, Philomena, Captain Phillips and Saving Mr. Banks. All films went on to box office success and many Oscars.
This year’s festival could possibly top last year’s festival. Here is a quick snapshot of what’s on:

Opening Night Gala:

The Imitation Game
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, who created a machine during WWII that cracked the German Enigma Code and whose inventions would become the prototype of the modern computer. He was also arrested and convicted in 1952 for the criminal offense of homosexuality. Keira Knightley also stars.


Closing Night Gala:

Brad Pitt’s new film has him playing a battle-hardened sergeant. Set during WWII when the allies were making their final push into Germany, Pitt commands a Sherman tank, called Fury, that is on a mission behind enemy lines. Also stars Shia LaBeouf.

This film comes with the lots of good buzz (and talk of Oscar nominations). An unrecognizable Steve Carrell plays a very wealthy, and crazy, benefactor to wrestlers and brothers Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo. Based on the true story of American millionaire John du Pont and his fascination with brothers Dave and Mark Shultz. Directed by Bennett Miller who gave us Capote and Moneyball. Also stars Vanessa Redgrave and Sienna Miller.


Mr. Turner
Timothy Spall is said to be excellent in Director Mike Leigh’s movie about British painter J.M. William Turner. Mr. Turner is a character study of the last 25 years in the life of the painter, and the relationships he has with several women, including with his children.

Reese Witherspoon stars in this true story of a young woman attempting to walk the gruelling 1,100-mile hike across the Pacific Crest Trail in the early 1990’s. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who last brought us Dallas Buyers Club.

Wunderkind Director Xavier Dolan, a festival favorite, is back with Mommy. His fifth feature in as many years (and he’s only 25) has Anne Dorval as a single mother who takes back into her home her son who is a troublemaker, suffers from ADHD, and has been expelled from a juvenile facility.


Bjork: Biophilia Live
This is being described as a multidimensional, multimedia project that explores the creative nexus between music, nature, and technology. And Bjork will be attending the festival as well to explain what it all means.

The New Girlfriend
Another film festival favorite – Francois Ozon brings us his latest film about a woman who is devastated by the death of her best friend and makes a promise to watch over her best friend’s husband and newborn child. This has the earmarks of Ozon written all over it – melodramatic and twisty.

Son of a Gun
Ewan McGregor stars in this heist thriller which is all about mobster living: fast cars and firearms. McGregor plays a father figure to a younger man who is just out of the slammer and is trying to take the right path.

Jack O’Connell, excellent in the recent Starred Up, plays a British soldier trapped on the streets of Belfast in 1971 after his army crew accidentally leaves him behind. He struggles to hide, and survive, while being chased by provisional militia and reliant on the mercy of loyalist allies. This one is a must see, just for O’Connell’s performance alone.

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are on screen again (after Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle) about a logging magnate and his ruthless brilliant wife set against the backdrop of the hills of North Carolina.

Camp X-Ray
Kristen Stewart plays against type as a soldier in the U.S. army who is tasked to guard over prisoners in Guatanamo Bay. She gets emotionally attached to one of the inmates while at the same time comes up against sexism within her ranks.


Willem Dafoe could either be perfect, or disastrous, by playing Italian Director Paolo Pasolini who’s films courted controversy for their shocking images of nudity and his homosexual lifestyle. Pasolini the movie is told in the hours leading up to his 1975 murder.

Also on offer are documentaries galore, including ones on artist David Hockney and film Director Robert Altman, as well as a documentary that deals with the Holocaust – titled German Concentration Camps Factual Survey – showing actual footage of the liberation of the concentration camps.

The Festival will screen a total of 245 fiction and documentary features, including 16 World Premieres, 9 International Premieres, 38 European Premieres and 19 Archive films including 2 Restoration World Premiere’s.1 There will also be screenings of 148 live action and animated shorts. A stellar line-up of directors, cast and crew are expected to take part in career interviews, master classes, Q&As and other special events. The 58th BFI London Film Festival will run
Wednesday 8 – Sunday 19 October 2014.

Tickets for the festival can be purchased at:

Telephone Bookings: 020 7928 3232 between 09:30–20:30
Online: www.bfi.org.uk/lff
In person: BFI Southbank Office: 11:30–20:30
Last minute tickets are available to be purchased on the day about 30 minutes prior to the screening at Festival venues