REVIEW: TROY

CAST

Brad Pitt (Killing Them Softly)
Eric Bana (Hulk)
Orlando Bloom (Lord of The Rings)
Diane Kruger (The Host)
Peter O’Toole (Venus)
Rose Byrne (Bad Neighbours)
Saffron Burrows (Peter Pan)
Brendan Gleeson (A.I.)
Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Julian Glover (The Young Victoria)
James Cosmo (Highlander)
Julie Christie (Doctor Zhivago)
Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy)
Vincent Regan (Lockout)
Tyler Mane (Halloween)

he opening scene shows the troops of King Agamemnon of Mycenae ready to fight against the troops of Triopas of Thessaly, a battle only avoided when the great warrior Achilles defeats Thessaly’s champion in single combat. Meanwhile, Prince Hector of Troy and his younger brother Paris negotiate a peace treaty with Menelaus, King of Sparta. Paris, however, is having a secret love affair with Menelaus’ wife, Queen Helen, and smuggles her aboard their homebound vessel, much to Hector’s fury. Upon learning of this, Menelaus meets with Agamemnon, his elder brother, and asks his help in taking Troy. Agamemnon, who has wanted to conquer Troy for a long time, agrees, since it will give him control of the Aegean Sea. On King Nestor’s advice, Agamemnon has Odysseus, King of Ithaca, persuade Achilles to join them. Achilles, who strongly dislikes Agamemnon, initially refuses, but eventually decides to go after his mother, Thetis, tells him that though he will die, he will be forever remembered.

In Troy, King Priam is dismayed when Hector and Paris bring Helen, but welcomes her as a guest and decides against sending her home, since Paris will likely follow her and be killed, choosing instead to meet the Greeks in open battle. The Greeks arrive shortly after and take the Trojan beach, mostly thanks to Achilles and his Myrmidons, among them his cousin Patroclus, who sack the temple of Apollo but allow Hector and the surviving Trojans to return to the city. Achilles claims Briseis, a priestess and the cousin of Paris and Hector, as a war trophy, but is angered when Agamemnon spitefully takes her from him and decides that he will not aid Agamemnon when they lay siege to Troy.

The Trojan and Greek armies meet outside the walls of Troy. During a parley, Paris offers to duel Menelaus personally for Helen’s hand in exchange for the city being spared. Agamemnon, intending to take the city regardless of the outcome, accepts. Menelaus wounds Paris and almost kills him, but is himself killed by Hector. In the ensuing battle, most of Agamemnon’s forces fall to Troy’s archers and Hector kills Ajax. On Odysseus’ insistence, Agamemnon gives the order to fall back. In order to keep their spirits up, he gives Briseis to the Greek soldiers for their amusement. When she is threatened with rape, she is saved by Achilles. The two fall in love, and Achilles decides that the war is a lost cause, resolving to leave Troy in the morning.

Despite Hector’s advice otherwise, Priam instructs him to retake the Trojan beach in the night and force the Greeks home. The attack brings the Greeks together and the Myrmidons enter the battle. Hector personally duels a man he believes to be Achilles and cuts his throat, only to discover it was actually Patroclus. Devastated, the armies agree to stop fighting for the day. Achilles is informed of his cousin’s death and vows revenge. Knowing of the coming retribution, Hector leads his wife, Andromache, to a secret tunnel beneath Troy and instructs her to take their child and any survivors she can out of the city should he die and the city fall.

The next day, Achilles arrives outside Troy and demands Hector come out. The two fight evenly for a while until Achilles wears Hector down and kills him, dragging his corpse back to the Trojan beach, straining his relationship with Briseis. Priam, in disguise, sneaks into the camp and meets with Achilles, imploring him to let him take Hector’s body back to Troy for a proper funeral. Ashamed of his actions, Achilles agrees and allows Briseis to return to Troy with Priam, promising a truce of twelve days so that Hector’s funeral rites may be held in peace. He also tells his men to return home without him, for he has a battle he must fight on his own.

Agamemnon becomes infuriated at Achilles’ actions and goes into a crazed rant that he will take Troy no matter what. Concerned that Agamemnon may lead them to destruction, Odysseus concocts a plan to get inside the city by having the Greeks build a gigantic wooden horse from their boat parts and abandon the Trojan beach, hiding their ships in a nearby cove to make it seem as if they have left. Priam orders the horse brought inside the city as a gift from the Gods, over Paris’ objections. A Trojan scout finds the hidden ships in the cove but is killed by the Greek archers before he can alert the city. That night, Greeks hiding inside the horse emerge and open the city gates for the Greek army, commencing the Sack of Troy. While Andromache and Helen are getting the Trojans to safety through the tunnel, Paris gives the Sword of Troy to Aeneas, instructing him to protect the Trojans and find them a new home. Glaucus is killed by Odysseus. Agamemnon kills Priam, and then Agamemnon finds Briseis and taunts her, and she kills him. Achilles fights his way through the city and finds Briseis, but is shot through the heel by Paris, which makes him vulnerable. Paris puts several more arrows into Achilles’ chest until he finally collapses. With his dying breaths, Achilles implores Briseis to leave the city with Paris. They escape Troy before the Greeks find Achilles’ body. In the aftermath, with Troy finally taken, funerals are held for the slain and Odysseus personally cremates Achilles as the surviving Trojans head to Mount Ida.Troy is definitely an entertaining movie, and the production is remarkable, but a few major historical inaccuracies, strange casting choices and a particularly cliché Hollywood ending lower my appreciation for the film.

 

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REVIEW: INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

CAST

Brad Pitt (Killing Them Softly)
Melanie Laurent (Now You See Me)
Christoph Waltz (The Green Hornet)
Eli Roth (Terror Firmer)
Michael Fassbender (300)
Diane Kruger (The Host)
Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War)
Til Schweiger (Driven)
Mike Myers (Austin Powers)
Julie Dreyfus (Kill Bill)
Samm Levine (Veronica Mars)
Michael Bacall (Django Unchained)
Léa Seydoux (Spectre)
Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers Assemble)
Harvey Keitel (Little Nicky)
Quentin Tarantino (Alias)

Chapter One: Once Upon a Time…In Nazi-Occupied France


In 1941, SS colonel Hans Landa, the “Jew Hunter”, interrogates French dairy farmer Perrier La Padite as to the whereabouts of the last unaccounted-for Jewish family in the area. In exchange for the Germans agreeing to leave his family alone for the rest of the war, La Padite reveals that the Dreyfus family is hidden under the floor. Landa orders SS soldiers to shoot through the floorboards. The whole family is killed except for Shosanna, a young woman who escapes when Landa decides not to shoot her as she flees.


Chapter Two: Inglourious Basterds


Three years later, Lieutenant Aldo “The Apache” Raine of the First Special Service Force recruits Jewish-American soldiers to the Basterds, who spread fear among the German soldiers by brutally killing and scalping them. The Basterds also recruit Sergeant Hugo Stiglitz, a German soldier who murdered thirteen Gestapo officers. Adolf Hitler interviews a German soldier, Private Butz, the only survivor of a Basterd attack on his squad. Raine carved the Nazi swastika into Butz’s forehead with a knife so he could never hide that he served in the German Heer.


Chapter Three: German Night in Paris

Meanwhile, Shosanna is operating a cinema in Paris under an assumed name. She meets Fredrick Zoller, a German sniper who killed 250 soldiers in a single battle; Zoller is to star in a Nazi propaganda film, Stolz der Nation (Nation’s Pride). Infatuated with Shosanna, Zoller convinces Joseph Goebbels to hold the premiere of the film at her cinema. Shosanna plots with her projectionist and lover, Marcel, to kill the Nazi leaders attending the premiere by setting the cinema ablaze.


Chapter Four: Operation Kino

Unknown to Shosanna, British Army Lieutenant Archie Hicox is working with the Basterds to plan an attack on the same premiere. Hicox goes to a tavern with Hugo Stiglitz and Basterd Wilhelm Wicki to meet with an undercover agent, the German film star Bridget von Hammersmark. A German soldier named Wilhelm engages them in friendly conversation, but Gestapo Major Dieter Hellstrom overhears them and becomes suspicious of Hicox’s German accent. Hicox convinces him that he is from the Swiss mountains, but then gives himself away by ordering three drinks and gesturing “three” with his hand (with thumb and pinky finger down); Hellstrom knows that Germans gesture “three” with the thumb and first two fingers extended. They are discovered, and the Basterds open fire, killing everyone in the tavern except Wilhelm and a wounded Hammersmark. Raine arrives and negotiates with Wilhelm for Hammersmark to be released, but the actress kills Wilhelm when he lowers his guard. Raine learns from Hammersmark that Hitler himself will be attending the film premiere and decides to continue the mission. Later, Landa investigates the aftermath at the tavern and finds one of Hammersmark’s shoes and a napkin with her signature, clues that will lead him to her.
Chapter Five: Revenge of the Giant Face

At the premiere, two of the Basterds, Donny “The Bear Jew” Donowitz and Omar Ulmer, join Raine in posing as Italians, hoping to fool the Germans unfamiliar with the language. However, Landa, who speaks fluent Italian, converses briefly with the Basterds before sending Donowitz and Ulmer to their seats. He takes Hammersmark to a private room, verifies that the shoe from the tavern fits her foot, then strangles her to death. Raine and another of his men, Smithson “The Little Man” Utivich, are taken prisoner, but Landa has Raine contact his superior with the OSS and cuts a deal: He will allow the mission to proceed in exchange for immunity and rewards.

During the screening, Zoller slips away to the projection room to see Shosanna. After she rejects his advances, he becomes aggressive. She pretends to acquiesce, then pulls a pistol from her bag and shoots him. Zoller, mortally wounded, raises his pistol and shoots her before they both die.
As the film reaches its climax, spliced-in footage of Shosanna tells the audience that they are about to be killed by a Jew. Marcel, having locked the doors of the cinema, ignites a pile of flammable nitrate film behind the screen as Shosanna’s image laughs. Ulmer and Donowitz break into the box containing Hitler and Goebbels, killing them, then fire their submachine guns into the crowd until the bombs go off, killing everyone in the theater.

Landa and his radio operator drive Raine and Utivich into Allied territory, where they surrender. Raine shoots the radio operator, carves a swastika into Landa’s forehead, and tells Utivich with a grin, “This just might be my masterpiece.”The film is audacious and hilarious. It’s  a roller coaster and one not to be missed! It’s not for everyone, certainly if you’re not a fan of Tarantino’s style, this may be a little hard to swallow, but never-the-less, it is a film which simply has to be seen. No self respecting film fan should miss this.

REVIEW: UNKNOWN

CAST

Liam Neeson (Batman Begins)
Dian Kruger (The Host)
January Jones (X-Men: First CLass)
Aidan Quinn (Elementary)
Bruno Ganz (Downfall)
Frank Langella (Masters of The Universe)

finds that Liz has written a series of numbers that correspond to words found specific pages. Using his schedule, Martin confronts Liz alone; she tells him he left his briefcase at the airport. Meanwhile, Jürgen receives Cole at his office and deduces that Cole is a former mercenary and potent killer. Realizing Cole is there to kill him and he has no way of escaping, Jürgen commits suicide by ingesting cyanide to protect Martin.

After retrieving his briefcase, Martin parts ways with Gina. When she sees him kidnapped by Cole and Jones, she steals a taxicab and chases them. When Martin wakes, Cole says Martin Harris is a cover name and that he was sent to target the summit with Liz. Liz notified Cole that Martin was starting to believe his cover story was his actual life. Cole explains, that’s why Martin B was sent as his replacement. Because he injured his head during the car crash, his memory was altered and he believed his fake Martin Harris persona was his own identity. Gina runs over Jones before he can kill Martin, then rams Cole’s van, killing him. After Martin finds a hidden compartment in his briefcase containing two Canadian passports, he remembers that he and Liz were in Berlin three months prior to plant a bomb in the suite to be occupied by Prince Shada.

Now aware of his own role in the assassination plot, Martin seeks to redeem himself by thwarting it. He heads to the hotel with Gina. Security immediately arrests them, but Martin convinces them of his presence in the hotel three months earlier. Liz uses her own copy of the book’s secret codes to remotely access Bressler’s laptop and steal the data. After being convinced of the bomb’s presence, security evacuates the hotel.

Martin suddenly realizes that Prince Shada is not the target, but Bressler, who has developed a genetically modified breed of corn capable of surviving harsh climates. With Bressler’s death and the theft of his research, billions of dollars would fall into the wrong hands. Seeing their assassination attempt has been foiled, Liz dies attempting to disarm the bomb. Martin kills Martin B, the last remaining terrorist, before the latter can murder Bressler. Bressler announces that he is giving his project to the world for free, while Martin and Gina board a train with new passports and identities.This action/thriller/mystery is a little far fetched to say the least but great fun non the less.

REVIEW: THE HOST (2013)

CAST

Saoirse Ronan (Hanna)
Jake Abel (I Am Number Four)
Max Irons (Red Riding Hood)
Frances Fisher (The Roommate)
Chandler Canterbury (Knowing)
Diane Kruger (Troy)
William Hurt (A.I.)
Rachel Roberts (Simone)
Stephen Rider (Safe House)
Bokeem Woodbine (Total Recall)
Emily Browning (Sucker Punch)

The Host 11 still (WTF Watch the Film Saint Pauly)

The human race has been taken over by small parasitic aliens called “Souls”. They travel to planets inserting themselves into a host body of that planet’s dominant species while suppressing the host’s consciousness. They access the host’s memories, and occupied hosts are identifiable by silver rings in the hosts’ eyes. A human on the run, Melanie Stryder, is captured and infused with a soul called “Wanderer.” Wanderer is asked by Seeker to access Melanie’s memories in order to discover the location of a pocket of unassimilated humans. Melanie’s consciousness, however, has not been completely eliminated, and it struggles to regain control of her body. Melanie and Wanderer carry out an internal conversation and debate with each other, forming a friendship.
The Host 05 still (WTF Watch the Film Saint Pauly)
Wanderer shares with Seeker that Melanie was traveling with her brother, Jamie, and her boyfriend, Jared Howe, to find Melanie’s uncle Jeb in the desert. Wanderer admits that Melanie is still present, so Seeker decides to be transferred into Melanie’s body to get the information herself. With the help of Melanie, Wanderer escapes and makes her way to the desert, where she is found by Jeb, who takes her to a series of caves hidden inside a mountain where the humans (including Jared and Jamie) are hiding.
The Host 06 still (WTF Watch the Film Saint Pauly)
Wanderer’s presence is met with hostility by all but Jeb and Jamie. Melanie instructs Wanderer not to tell anyone she is still alive, since it would provoke them, though she later allows her to tell Jamie. Wanderer begins interacting with the humans and slowly begins to gain their trust, forming a bond with Ian O’Shea. Seeker leads a search party into the desert to find Wanderer. They intercept one of the shelter’s supply teams, and in the ensuing chase, Aaron and Brandt commit suicide to avoid capture. During the chase, Seeker accidentally kills another Soul, leading her superiors to call off the search.
The Host 09 still (WTF Watch the Film Saint Pauly)
Returning to the caves, Jared and Kyle move to kill Wanderer, causing Jamie to reveal that Melanie’s consciousness is alive. Jeb and Ian accept this, but Jared refuses to believe it until he attempts to determine the truth by kissing Wanderer, provoking Melanie to take back control and slap him. Kyle tries to kill Wanderer but endangers his own life and ends up being saved by Wanderer. Ian believes that Kyle attacked Wanderer and tells her that he loves her. Wanderer admits that, while occupying Melanie’s body, she must love Jared, but she has feelings of her own, and the two kiss. Wanderer enters the community’s medical facility and discovers that Doc has been experimenting with ways to remove Souls and allow the host’s mind to regain control, resulting in the deaths of many Souls and Hosts from his failed experiments. After isolating herself for several days, Wanderer learns that Jamie is critically ill with an infection in his leg. She infiltrates a Soul medical facility to steal some of their alien medicine, saving Jamie’s life.
The Host 10 still (WTF Watch the Film Saint Pauly)
Seeker has continued looking for Wanderer on her own, but Jeb captures her and imprisons her in the caves. Wanderer offers to show Doc the proper method of removing Souls, on the condition that he remove her from Melanie’s body and let her die. Doc uses the technique to remove Seeker from her host, with both Host and Soul surviving. Wanderer takes the Seeker alien to a Soul space-travel site, where she sends it far enough from Earth that it can not return for numerous generations. Wanderer makes Doc promise to let her die when she is removed and not tell anyone. Their friends intervene with Doc, who then inserts Wanderer into Pet, a human who was .

The Host 18 still (WTF Watch the Film Saint Pauly)

This film caught me by surprise. It’s rare to see such a well-done SF film with good ideas where everything else also comes together – plot development, characters and action. It’s a sign of a good film to have many good characters, and this film does, but Saoirse Ronan stands out in what could be a difficult role to pull off without confusing (essentially playing 2 x characters in one). There are points where there is true humour when the characters in her head are at odds with each other.  an Excellent Film.