FILM OF THE WEEK
THE THREE MUSKETEERS – MILADY
The first part of Martin Bourboulon’s spectacular adaptation of Alexander Dumas’ timeless classic, which is set-in 17th century France, first introduced D’Artagnan (Francois Civil), as well as his fellow King’s musketeers Athos (Vincent Cassel), Aramis (Romain Duris) and Porthos (Pio Marmai). Their daring adventure to protect the king in Part I came to a nail-biting cliffhanger climax and now in Part II, the action picks up exactly where the first one ended.
When Constance (Lyna Khoudri), is kidnapped right in front of D’Artagnan, he has no alternative but to join forces with Milady (Eva Green) in his quest to find his beloved. Meanwhile his friends Athos, Aramis and Porthos head towards the front when war is declared…
The production values are as brilliant as last time, with stylish sets and costumes and with immaculate attention to detail. Nicolas Bolduc’s stunning cinematography is a great asset to the production and his hand-held camera movements, especially during the perfectly choreographed action sequences, add to the realism and immediacy of the piece.
The actors are splendid particularly Eva Green as the enigmatic leading lady, who in an instant is able to switch from being vulnerable and sensual into a threatening and dangerous creature. This chapter also reaches a thrilling climactic conclusion that will leave you gasping for more. See it on the big screen!
THE LOST BOYS
This marks the remarkable debut of Belgian film director Zeno Graton, who sets the action of his award-winning film in a juvenile detention centre. The ironic French title is LE PARADIS, while the English title is not to be confused with the Lost Boys from Peter Pan.
The story follows Joe (Khalil Ben Gharbia), a lonely teenager eager to leave the centre following a six-month detention. But his excitement for a new life is suddenly put on hold when newcomer William (Julien De Saint Jean) arrives at the centre. The two boys feel an instant attraction and bond for each other, which makes Joe hesitant to leave his new friend behind…
Graton assured direction elicits terrific performances from his two protagonists, who share a lovely chemistry. It is beautifully photographed and is accompanied by a terrific soundtrack.
Julie Cohen’s compelling documentary follows the stories of three individuals from the intersex community, who proudly managed to keep their bodies intact despite pressure to undergo surgery when they were young. Now River Gallo, Alicia Roth Weigel and Sean Saifa are a leading force in educating ignorance and prejudice against the intersex community.
This illuminating, essential film features some remarkable archive material when the three main protagonists were still children. There are also interviews about a tragic case of medical abuse involving a pair of twin boys that is truly shocking. Like Cohen’s previous film RBG, it is powerful work of great dignity and is not to be missed!
PLEASE DON’T DESTROY: THE TREASURE OF FOGGY MOUNTAIN
Ben Marshall, John Higgins, and Martin Herlihy are the PLEASE DON’T DESTROY group and following their success as writers on “Saturday Night Live”, they now make their big screen debut with this mad comedy. They play three nerdy young adults, who have been friends since school. Now they set out to find the treasure which as John Goodman’s fun narration tells us has been on Foggy Mountains since the French Revolution. So far so good, but once the trio reach the mountain, unsurprisingly they encounter several obstacles including two female park workers, who also want to lay their hands on the treasure…
The gags come fast and furious but mostly fall flat on the ground. The early scenes which introduce the characters are well drawn before the mayhem and madness overtakes the project. Still, likeable enough for a rainy afternoon!
Director Declan Recks and writer Eugene O’Brien set the action of their watchable film in Kerry on Ireland’s southwest coast. They tell the story of Aiofe (Kelly Gough), an Irish woman who returns home when her father (Lorcan Cranitch) suffers a heart attack. It is time for Aiofe not only to reconnect with her dad and heal old wounds, but also to be reunited with her friends. Soon enough her passion for the competitive world of rowing is reignited and the training begins…
It is good to see a film spoken entirely in Irish and with a strong female cast. The title by the way means pull – an essential word during competitive rowing.
Todd Haynes is the natural heir to Douglas Sirk’s bright and colourful melodramas, and he has already paid tribute to the work of the master with FAR FROM HEAVEN in 2002 starring Julianne Moore. He is reunited with Moore for another romantic melodrama in which she plays Gracie, a tabloid favourite who ended up in prison when she started dating a young teenager. Twenty-five years later she is still married to her object of desire (Charles Melton) and almost unwillingly becomes the subject of a forthcoming movie. And to make matters worse, Elizabeth (Natalie Portman), a popular actress, enters the scene and begins shadowing Gracie as part of her research…
Moore and Portman are spectacularly good and share a tremendous chemistry in this subtle study of love and the art of acting. There are many wonderful scenes particularly the one at a clothes store when Elizabeth is carefully copying Gracie’s gestures and mannerisms and even her speech patterns.
This is probably Adam Sandler’s most endearing performance as the voice of Leo in this enjoyable animated feature.
Leo, the tuatara, and Squirtle (Bill Burr), the turtle, are the beloved class pets in the fifth-grade classroom at a Fort Myers Elementary School. Leo is approaching the tender age of 75 and jumps at the chance to spend weekends at different students’ houses as part of a new assignment by the strict substitute teacher Ms Malkin (Cecily Strong). It is a great time for Leo who begins to surprise the children not only when he begins to talk but also with his singing.
It is a sweet comedy with enjoyable songs, adorable characters, and lovely designs. (Netflix)
STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING
“The inferiority between the two races is stamped from the beginning” says writer Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, whose book is the basis of Roger Ross Williams’ excellent documentary. Dr. Kendi is also featured in the film and shares his thoughts along with many leading female scholars including Angela Davis, Carol Anderson, and Britney Cooper. Their eloquent arguments and thorough analysis on how racism has developed in American society, are complimented by various film clips including THE HELP, KING KONG, THE PLANET OF THE APES and TO KILL A MOCKINBIRD.
An important film worth seeing! (Netflix)
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