There's been a rash of decent Western films in the last couple of years. My being an old cowboy, I'm always hunting for the next The Unforgiven starring Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn (1959) or High Noon starring Gary Cooper (1952) or Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven (1992).
The Salvation stars Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green (pronouned "grain"). Neither actor has more than a few pages of lines in the entire film; however, both give powerful performances as two independent people - broken completely down by evil doers. I've seen everything that these two actors have appeared in since the beginning of their film careers. What a delightful surprise to find them both in the same film.
Rounding out a strong supporting cast is Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Jonathan Pryce. This is a film about honor, betrayal, and revenge. It was shot entirely in South Africa. It is an adult film with adult subject matter. It's not what we use to call a "Saturday Afternoon Oater."
Looking for a new series to watch where there’s no swearing, no gratuitous, graphic sex, nor buckets upon buckets of blood and yet is witty, sexy, and violent? Try Season 1 of The Musketeers, the BBC updated version of Alexandre Dumas' classic novel The Three Musketeers.
All 3 of the musketeers have classically good looks. They all look great in leather, especially Porthos, who in this filmed version is half French, half African and not portrayed as the plump, drunken ox – which he so often is. Athos has deep dark secrets and is cast as the brains of the bunch and the best brooder. Aramis is pleasant on the eye and deviously charming. D'Artagnan has great hair and thus never wears a hat. Cardinal Richelieu is shown to be his usual villainous self; however, his motivation is based less on greed and personal power than exercising his loyalty and vision for a future France. Liberties are taken in this adaptation. The psychopath, Rochefort, is not even introduced until Season 2.
What draws attention is that all of the female characters are not the typical Hollywood buxom bimbos. The casting is very good. Each actress comes across as the girl-next-door. Even the Queen Anne character is beautifully flawed. But make no mistake, the femme fatal is the Milady D’Winter. This is a great part and many actresses love the chance to play "the baddest dudette on the castle block."
Be warned. The first episode is the weakest of the lot. The introduction of all the main characters is like trying to put a size 10 foot in a pair of size 7 shoes. If you stick with this series, it gets better as all the characters grow.
This film quickly moves to "Advanced Problem Solving" and then onto "graduate studies" and beyond. IMDb lists the genre for this IFC (Independent Film Channel) as being a Comedy/Drama/War film; however, Oscar winner, Tim Robbin's character comes across as the film's lone, class clown. Oscar winner, Benicio Del Toro, is the team's proctor. He has the most sense and experience. Del Toro and Robbins are a formable pair who together have great timing and chemistry.
After watching, I couldn't help feeling honored that I was let into this film by the director. We take so much for granted in life. Most times it can't be helped just because of human nature. We try to make some sort of difference in our short lives. We hope we haven't wasted opportunities.
If you get the chance, checkout this bittersweet film. Don't miss the opportunity.
Remember stars Christopher Plummer (Zev Guttman) and Martin Landau (Max Rosenbaum) star as Auschwitz survivors living present day in a nursing home. We learn that the 2 old man made a "pack" in the past. Zev agreed to find a former Nazi prison guard who killed his family. This guard has been living for 70 years in the USA under an assumed name. It appears that Max, who is wheelchair bound, is dependent on Zev doing all the "heavy lifting."
What follows is Zev going on a solo road-trip, with a deadly mission, that takes him all around the country and even to Canada. It's quite clear that Zev suffers from late-stages of Alzheimer’s. How he battles to keep focused on his mission is clever.
What is most clever about this film is the way that Egoyan keeps his audience's attention, when most all the action is led by an 88-year-old actor. It is like the scene in a zombie movie where the slow-footed zombie is attacking a human, all the while the suspense builds because of the anticipated attack. A super-fast zombie attacking is just not as suspenseful- the payoff comes much too quickly.
Not in this film. The payoff is slow and savoring.
How would you like to live in a town that basically has just two rules? Those rules being: 1) one must have the means to earn a living and 2) one must live in a place that has a roof overhead. There's a fictional town in Norway, at the tip of the Artic Circle, called Fortitude and it's also the name of a UK TV series that stars Stanley Tucci and Michael Gambon.
Fortitude is the most northern city in the world. It claims to have no crime, because everyone living there is happy. Sounds like a nice place to live or visit. To attract more tourist is the primary the governor is trying to get investors to back an ice hotel construction project. All is proceeding nicely until something is found in the glacier that the hotel is to be built on that likely will jeopardize the chances for the building to ever reach completion.
A newcomer to the town is told that he must by a warm hat with earflaps and purchase a rifle. The hat is to combat frostbitten ears. The rifle is combat all the polar bears that hunt this coastal town. Rifles are more prevalent in shopping carts than purses. We learn that once a polar bear attacks a human, that bear is eating the human. The bear isn't concerned with killing its prey, just devouring it. One gets the feeing that a rifle is a little more important than the hat with flaps.
The production is top-notch. The scenery is awesome. It's refreshing to watch brutal cold depicted on the screen when it's 90 degrees outside in reality. It might be cold outside in Fortitude, but the residents heat it up. Small towns are places where everyone knows everybody and their business. Dark days for half the year give way to a great deal of frolicking in Fortitude. The characters in this town are complex and believable. The actors playing these characters are so spot-on that not once did I think that I was watching actors.
Make no mistake. This is an adult TV series. What starts out as a dark, moody atmosphere, turns a lot brighter "red" by episode 9. Critics love this show. An option for a 2nd season was picked-up and will soon be available at our library.