REVIEW: THE POINT MEN

CAST

Christopher Lambert (Highlander)
Kerry Fox (The Dressmaker)
Vincent Regan (Troy)
Cal MacAninch (Mr. Selfridge)
Donald Sumpter (Game of Thrones)
Maryam d’Abo (The Living Daylights)

2247232,6ZT74WpG+n+83ldY_xxXWiqU0tezKHOuKOTow7UeNgyk4Bg8L7_VV_eBVz19tc6qMv30oaVH0cTy2lBcP_hS9A==Some time after their botched operation to capture a known Palestinian terrorist named Amar Kamil (Vincent Regan) , a secret team suffers events go awry . After getting away an assassination’s attempt in Luxembourg , a bunch of Israeli agents starts to get killed off one by one . Their leader (Christopher Lambert) must get to the bottom of things before the murderous plan to be completed as he takes one to kill one .2247233,diNxJgVYm9JaK+Oa6b3x0OFls4DwZtdyXyXwzLRNbBQrpQP1RaX9O7nRGatG_K4Ceie2UIOhNO20KzOi_nXmmQ==Based on the novel titled “The Heat of Ramadan” by Steven Hartov and screenplay by Ripley Highsmith , the film develops an intrigue about secret agents from Mossad and OLP . Regular performances from two main protagonists Christopher Lambert and his nemesis Vincent Regan . The best acting turns out Kerry Fox , a notorious British actress who has not achieved a great success. There appears in a pretty secondary role Maryam d’Abo who formerly was Bond-girl for John Glen in ‘The Living daylights’ . Functional cinematography by Alec Mills shot in Luxembourg , Israel and beach scenes in Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France . 2247235,VwhFldAt9VSesTlQO1wAKSzAvqPs01Lbqbf5kCRIWjxM1xxB7m5A6C93P67YzOOjlZaKygcQDjJaG9r5Npl0GQ==The film was produced by the Jewish Avi Nesher , being professionally made by John Glenn . John keeps this moving, though with no much originality and with some flaws and gaps . He has directed the most number of James Bond movies , totaling five . Glenn filmed various 007 outings , previously directed 2nd unit and edition on some early Bond movies . He directed several entries such as ¨Licence to kill¨, ¨A view to kill¨ , ¨For your eyes only¨ and ¨Octopussy¨ that are incredibly fast pace . The film will appeal to Christopher Lambert enthusiasts , but good for fans only

 

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REVIEW: EASTERN PROMISES

CAST

Viggo Mortensen (Lord of The Rings)
Naomi watts (Insurgent)
Vincent Cassel (Black Swan)
Armin Mueller-Stahl (The Dust Factory)
Sinéad Cusack (V For Vendetta)
Donald Sumpter (Game of Thrones)
Josef Altin (the Young Victoria)
Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
Tamer Hassan (Clash of The Titans)

Anna Khitrova, a British-Russian midwife at a London hospital, finds a Russian-language diary on the body of Tatiana, a 14-year-old girl who dies in childbirth. She also finds a card for the Trans-Siberian Restaurant, which is owned by Semyon, an old vor in the Russian Mafia. Anna sets out to track down the girl’s family so that she can find a home for the baby girl, having meetings with Semyon, whom she initially regards as friendly. Anna’s mother Helen does not discourage her, but Anna’s Russian uncle and self-proclaimed former KGB officer, Stepan, whom Anna asks for help with the translation of the diary, urges caution. Through translation of the diary, Anna comes to learn that Semyon and his ignorant, unstable son Kirill had raped the girl, gotten her addicted to heroin and forced her into prostitution. Ultimately, Anna realizes that the baby was fathered by Semyon not Kirill.

Kirill’s driver is Nikolai Luzhin, who also serves as the family “cleaner”, removing evidence and dumping murdered bodies in the River Thames. Through Nikolai, Semyon, fearing prosecution, promises to give the location of the girl’s family to Anna if she hands back the diary. Nikolai takes the diary and gives a location, but urges Anna to keep the baby in London. Semyon distrusts Anna’s uncle Stepan and orders Nikolai to kill him. Nikolai accepts and soon Stepan goes missing. As Nikolai’s star rises within the vory, Semyon sponsors him as a full member, due in part to Nikolai’s protection of Semyon’s incompetent son, who authorized a hit on a rival Chechen vory leader with the help of a Kurdish associate, Azim. The hit was ill-advised and not approved by Semyon. Two Chechen hit-men soon arrive in London seeking vengeance and kill Azim’s mentally handicapped nephew who also took part in the hit. Semyon hatches a plan to trick Nikolai into taking Kirill’s place during a meeting at the baths with Azim. The Chechens attack, thinking Nikolai is Kirill, but Nikolai kills them both, ending up in the hospital with severe wounds.

It is revealed that Nikolai is actually an FSB agent who has infiltrated the gang, working under license from the British Government. As part of his undercover duties, Nikolai was able to read Tatiana’s diary before Semyon destroyed it and hatches a plan with his handler to have Semyon arrested for statutory rape, with a paternity test of Tatiana’s baby as evidence. Stepan is also safe, hiding in a 5-star hotel in Edinburgh for protection. Semyon orders Kirill to kidnap the baby girl and kill her. But as Kirill sits by the Thames working up the courage to throw the child in, Nikolai and Anna find him and persuade him to give the baby back. Nikolai and Kirill embrace as Nikolai tells him that his father is finished and they are now the bosses. Nikolai succeeds Semyon as boss of the organization and Anna gains custody of Tatiana’s baby, whom she names Christine.

Written by Steve Knight, whose previous credits include Stephen Frears’ decent ‘Dirty Pretty Things’, ‘Eastern Promises’ is a darker, more claustrophobic film. Its characters undergo torturous physical – even spiritual – transformations in a way that deliberately undermines and clouds its conclusion. One suspects the Russian accents have been overdone in places, but this is as unsettling and provocative as cinema gets.

 

REVIEW: ENIGMA

CAST

Dougray Scott (Misison Impossible II)
Kate Winslet (Insurgent)
Saffrom Burrows (Deep Blue Sea)
Jeremy Northam (The Net)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)
Tom Hollander (Muppets Most Wanted)
Donald Sumpter (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Matthew Macfadyen (Anna Karenina)
Anne-Marie Duff (The Virgin Queen)

The story, loosely based on actual events, takes place in March 1943, when the Second World War was at its height. The cryptanalysts at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, have a problem: the Nazi U-boats have changed one of their code reference books used for Enigma machine ciphers, leading to a blackout in the flow of vital naval signals intelligence. The British cryptanalysts have cracked the “Shark” cipher once before, and they need to do it again in order to keep track of U-boat locations.

The film begins with Jericho returning to Bletchley after a month recovering from a nervous breakdown brought on by his failed love affair with Claire. Jericho immediately tries to see her again and finds that she mysteriously disappeared a few days earlier. He enlists the help of Claire’s housemate Hester Wallace, to follow the trail of clues and learn what has happened to Claire.

Mr. Jericho and Miss Wallace, as they formally address each other, work to decipher intercepts stolen by Claire and determine why she took them. Jericho is closely watched by an MI5 agent, Wigram (Jeremy Northam), who plays cat and mouse with him throughout the film. Meanwhile, U-boats closing in on one of the ship convoys from America allow Jericho and the team to work on breaking back into reading Shark. Jericho and Hester’s research uncovers the British government’s cover-up of the Katyn Massacre out of fear that the knowledge of it might weaken American willingness to remain in the war on the same side as Joseph Stalin.

Cryptanalyst Jozef ‘Puck’ Pukowski (Nikolaj Coster Waldau), working at Bletchley, learned of Katyn from Claire and was so incensed by the massacre – which claimed the life of his brother – that he set about betraying Bletchley’s secrets to the Nazis in order to take revenge on Stalin. Claire is presumed dead as Jericho trails Puck to Scotland and catches up with him just as he is about to be taken on board a U-boat, but Wigram and the police have been waiting for the sub and it is bombed and sunk. A short scene after the war sees Jericho and Hester married with a child on the way. As Jericho waits for her in London, he notices Claire walking across the square.

It’s historical fact that the war effort against Hitler was greatly facilitated by the Brit’s ability to decode German military encryptions. Enigma is a richly photographed and costumed period piece – an intriguing glimpse inside the congregation of geniuses, misfits and eccentrics gathered together by the War Office to win the war in their own unique way.

REVIEW: K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER

CAST
Harrison Ford (Blade Runner)
Liam Neeson (Batman Begins)
Sam Spruell (The Hurt Locker)
Peter Stebbings (bates Motel)
Roman Podhora (Final Destination 5)
Ravil Isyanov (Alias)
Peter Starsgaard (Jarhead)
Donald Sumpter (Game of Thrones)
In 1961, the Soviet Union launches its first ballistic missile nuclear submarine, the K-19. The ship is led by Captain Alexei Vostrikov, aided by executive officer Mikhail Polenin. Polenin, the original captain, and the crew have served together for some time but Vostrikov’s appointment is alleged to have been aided by his wife’s political connections. During his first inspection, Vostrikov discovers the submarine’s reactor officer to be drunk and asleep on duty. Vostrikov sacks the officer and orders Polenin to request a replacement. The new reactor officer, Vadim Radtchenko, arrives direct from nuclear school having just been fresh from the naval academy, annoying Polenin who thinks Vostrikov was too punitive on the former reactor officer who was competent despite his momentary lapse of judgment. Also, during the preparation period for the sub’s launch, the ship’s medical officer is killed when struck by an oncoming truck, and is subsequently replaced by the command’s foremost medical officer, an army officer who has graciously offered himself in the submarine’s time of need, but also privately admits to Vostrikov that as an army officer he has never been out to sea and suffers from motion sickness. During the K-19’s official launch, the bottle of champagne fails to break when it strikes the bow; the sailors nervously glance at each other due to this customary sign of bad luck.
The crew’s performance improves and Vostrikov decides to carry out the K-19’s first mission, which is to surface in the Arctic and fire an unarmed (“test”) ballistic missile. After that, the K-19 will patrol a zone in the Atlantic within range of New York and Washington D.C. just in case the U.S. launches an attack to the Soviet Union. As a test of the sub’s endurance, Vostrikov orders the K-19 to submerge past its maximum operational depth of 250 meters to its “crush depth” (300 meters), then surface rapidly at full-speed to break through the Arctic pack-ice which he estimates to be no more than one metre thick. Polenin regards this maneuver as dangerous and, during the surfacing procedure, storms off the bridge. After scraping along the underside of the ice, the K-19 finally breaks through and surfaces with no apparent damage. The crew is both relieved and exhilarated by Vostrikov’s bold maneuver and the test missile is launched successfully.
As the K-19 sails southwards to begin the second part of its mission, a pipe carrying coolant to the reactor cooling system springs a leak and then bursts completely. Polenin and Vostrikov are informed that once the nuclear reactor reaches 1000 °C, the nuclear reactor will explode and most likely plunge the world into a nuclear war. The frightening possibility prompts the crew to solve the problem. The control rods are inserted to stop the reactor, but without coolant the reactor temperature continues to rise rapidly. Polenin and Radtchenko are shocked to discover that back-up coolant systems have not been installed. Vostrikov orders the K-19 to surface so that he may contact fleet command to inform them of the accident and await orders. But upon surfacing they discover the long-range transmitter on the conning tower is damaged and they are unable to contact fleet headquarters – Vostrikov assumes, ruefully, his surfacing maneuver in the Arctic caused the antenna damage.
An engineering team reluctantly have to enter the reactor to make repairs, and produce a makeshift coolant system to get the reactor temperature down. Polenin discovers the submarine has been provided with chemical suits rather than suits to protect against radiation. He nonetheless tells the first team that the suits will protect them. The first group emerges from the reactor compartment vomiting and heavily blistered. The second team panics, but make their way in. The repairs succeed in cooling the reactor, but many are severely ill with radiation poisoning.
Vostrikov is informed that a helicopter is approaching; he and some of the crew climb out onto the deck, thinking a Russian ship has come to save them, only to discover that it is a US Navy helicopter from a nearby US destroyer. The destroyer is asking if the K-19 requires assistance. Vostrikov orders a reply in the negative; the men on the deck notice a crewman in the helicopter photographing them, and they drop their trousers and bare their buttocks at him. The helicopter flies away. Vostrikov refuses to allow the Americans anywhere near K-19. The US destroyer follows them at a discreet distance. Back in the Soviet Union, the Soviet government begins to have suspicions about the K-19 abandoning the mission following K-19’s failure to contact fleet headquarters about the condition of the mission.The submarine makes its way towards a group of diesel submarines in the south, but the pipework ruptures and the temperature begins to rise once again, forcing Vostrikov to dive the submarine and quell a mutiny. The second repair is a success, but the engineer has sustained more radiation than the previous teams and is certain to die. Captain Vostrikov drags him from the reactor. After that, the K-19 finally reaches to the location of the diesel submarines. However, the Soviet leadership order him to confine the crew on the submarine until a freighter can arrive to pick them up. Knowing that it would be too dangerous to keep the crew on K-19, Vostrikov orders the crew to be evacuated to the diesel submarines despite knowing he will most likely lose his command and be sent to a gulag. After the incident, Captain Vostrikov is tried for endangering the mission and disobeying a direct order, but Polenin comes to his defense, which resulted in his charges being dropped.
An epilogue shows an aged Captain Vostrikov in 1989, putting on his dress uniform in a small flat and catching a train to meet up with Polenin. It is exactly 28 years after the accident; the Berlin Wall is shown to be coming down. Vostrikov grumbles about the inconvenience but Polenin informs him this is the anniversary of the day they were rescued. The commanders enter a cemetery where a number of the surviving K-19 crewmen are gathered by a grave site. We learn that this is the first time the K-19 survivors have met since the incident. Vostrikov is visibly moved as he greets the men and informs them that he nominated the men now dead of radiation poisoning (28 in total) for the distinction of Hero of the Soviet Union, but was told they were not worthy of the title as they died not during war time, but as the result of an accident. The film ends with the moment when, years before, the whole crew took a group photograph in front of the submarine.
This is a well crafted, true story and Exposition of the cold war submariners’ duties. The unusual thing is that the Russians are depicted as the good guys. The editing, as signified by the pace of the film is superbly done. The claustrophobic aspects of the ship could have been boring but it was not the case. The two captains are shown as mutually distrusting at first but under duress begin to see the others point of view under the weight of an unreliable and dangerous vessel.

 

 

REVIEW: GAME OF THRONES – SEASON 2

MAIN CAST
Peter Dinklage (Death at a Funeral)
Lena Headey (Dredd)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Black Hawk Down)
Michelle Fairley (Chatroom)
Emilia Clarke (Terminator Genysis)
Aidan Gillen (The Dark Knight Rises)
Iain Glen (Tomb Raider)
Kit Harington (Seventh Son)
Charles Dance (Underworld 3)
Liam Cunningham (Dog Soldiers)
Isaac Hempstead-Wright (The Boxtrolls)
Richard Madden (Cinderella)
Sophie Turner (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Maisie Williams (Cyberbully)
Alfie Allen (The Other Boleyn Girl)
John Bradley (Borgia)
Jack Gleeson (Batman Begins)
Rory McCann (Solomon Kane)
Natalie Dormer (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay)
Stephen Dillane (The Hours)
Carice Van Houten (Black Book)
James Cosmo (Highlander)
Jerome Flynn (Ripper Street)
Conleth Hill (Suits)
Sibel Kekilli (Tatort)
NOTABLE RECURRING/GUEST STARS
Jason Momoa (Stargate: Atlantis)
Rose Leslie (Honeymoon)
Hannah Murray (Dark Shadows)
Mark Stanley (Star Wars – Episode VII)
Ben Crompton (Ideal)
Julian Glover (Indiana Jones 3)
Roy Dotrice (Beauty and the Beast 1989)
Eugene Simon (House of Anubis)
Esme Bianco (the Scorpion King 4)
Donald Sumpter (K-19)
Ron Donachie (Titanic)
Natalia Tena (Harry Potter)
Kristian Nairn (Ripper Street)
Art Parkinson (Dracula Untold)
Ian Beattie (Vikings)
Daniel Portman  (River City)
Gemma Whelan (The Wolfman)
Patrick Malahide (Fortress 2)
Nonso Anozie (Dracula)
Roxanne McKee (Wrong Turn 5)
Amrita Acharia (I Am Yours)
Elyes Gabel (World War Z)
Oona Chaplin (What If…)
Finn Jones (Wrong Turn  5)
Michael McElhatton (Blow Dry)
Gethin Anthony (Aquarius)
Gwendoline Christie (Doctor Parnassus)
Ian Whyte (Alien Vs Predator)
Joe Dempsie (Monsters 2)
Having won three victories, Robb Stark offers the Lannisters peace in exchange for the North’s independence, sending Theon Greyjoy to gain Balon Greyjoy’s support and Catelyn Stark to seek Renly Baratheon’s. Cersei Lannister rejects Robb’s terms. Meanwhile, Tyrion Lannister exiles Janos Slynt, head of the Gold Cloaks, to the Wall, promoting Bronn to commander of the watch.
Catelyn arrives at King Renly’s camp to negotiate an alliance, and Brienne of Tarth wins the right to join Renly’s guard. Catelyn and Brienne witness Renly’s murder at the hands of dark magic sent by the ‘Red Lady’ Melisandre, an emissary of Renly’s brother and rival claimant to the Iron Throne Stannis Baratheon. Catelyn and Brienne flee Renly’s camp and rejoin Robb’s army as Renly’s supporters switch their allegiance to Stannis. Meanwhile, Theon betrays the Starks by siding with his father and seizing Winterfell by force. Robb receives news of Theon’s plans and sends men to retake Winterfell, while inside the city the Starks’ allies form plans to sneak Bran and Rickon Stark out.
Robb learns that his mother Catelyn has secretly freed Jaime Lannister, now escorted by Brienne of Tarth, in order to ransom her daughters Sansa and Arya; he also enters into a romantic relationship with Volantene healer Talisa Maegyr. Yara Greyjoy arrives at Winterfell to bring Theon back to the Iron Islands, after his botched attempt to recapture the Stark boys.
Tywin Lannister leaves Harrenhal, which allows Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie to make an escape with the help of the enigmatic Jaqen H’ghar. In King’s Landing, Cersei attempts to blackmail Tyrion by abducting the prostitute, Ros, whom Cersei believes to be his secret lover. Leading the defense against Stannis’ attack on King’s Landing, Tyrion destroys many of the attacking craft with an exploding ship full of wildfire, and is forced to lead a counterattack as King Joffrey Baratheon and his bodyguard Sandor Clegane each desert the battlefield. Stannis’s forces make it inside the castle, but Tyrion leads his men behind the Baratheon forces via underground tunnels and attacks. Baratheon is defeated when Tywin’s forces arrive at King’s Landing shortly after.
Following Khal Drogo’s death, Daenerys and the remnants of her khalasar find refuge in the city of Qarth, where they are taken in by the merchant Xaro Xhoan Daxos. However, Xaro conspires with the warlock Pyat Pree to kill most of Daenerys’ servants, kidnap her dragons and assume control of Qarth. Daenerys is lured into a showdown with Pyat Pree at the House of the Undying, where her dragons kill Pyat Pree. Daenerys seals Xaro in his own vault as punishment for his treachery and leaves Qarth with Jorah and her remaining servants.
Whilst on a ranging beyond the Wall, Jon Snow captures a Wildling, Ygritte, who soon leads him into a trap where he himself is captured by Ygritte’s fellow wildlings. Amongst the wildlings’ prisoners is fellow ranger Qhorin Halfhand, who convinces Jon to kill him in order to gain the wildlings’ trust so he can get close to their leader, King-beyond-the-Wall Mance Rayder. The rest of the rangers set up camp at an ancient fortification, the Fist of the First Men, where they come under attack from an ancient enemy, the White Walkers.
Season 2 is superior to Season 1. This show is quite extraordinary and just gets better and better as it progresses. Although the climax of each episode means the end, it’s not without some amazing cliffhanger which makes you crave for more.

REVIEW: GAME OF THRONES – SEASON 1

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MAIN CAST

Sean Bean (Lord of The Rings)
Mark Addy (The Full Monty)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Oblivion)
Michelle Fairley (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Lena Headey (Dredd)
Emilia Clarke (Terminator Genisys)
Iain Glen (Tomb Raider)
Aidan Gillen (The Dark Knight Rises)
Kit Harringron (Pompeii)
Sophie Turner (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Maisie Williams (Cyberbully)
Alfie Allen (John Wick)
Richard Madden (Cinderella)
Isaac Hempstead Wright (The Awakening)
Jack Gleeson (Batman Begins)
Rory McCann (Hot Fuzz)
Peter Dinklage (Elf)
Jason Momoa (Conan The Barbarian)
Harry Lloyd (The Theory of Everything)
NOTABLE / RECURRING GUEST CAST
James Cosmo (Highlander)
Peter Vaughn (Brazil)
Brian Fortune (Savage)
Joseph Mawle (Ripper Street)
Francis Magee (Layer Cake)
Owen Teale (The Last Legion)
John Bradley (Borgia)
Josef Altin (Les Miserables)
Mark Stanley (Star Wars – Episode VII)
Bronson Webb (The Dark Knight)
Art Parkinson (Dracula Untold)
Clive Mantle (Alien 3)
Donald Sumpter (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Ronald Donachie (Titanic)
Jamie Sives (Rush)
Susdan Brown (The Iron Lady)
Kristian Nairn (The Four Warriors)
Natalie Tena (Harry Potter)
Charles Dance (Last Action Hero)
Lino Facioli (Get Him to The Greek)
David Bradley (Captain America: The First Avenger)
Katie Dickie (Prometheus)
Ian Gelder (Pope Joan)
Conan Stevens (The Hobbit)
Jerome Flynn (Loving Vincent)
Sibel Kekilli (When We Leave)
Julian Glover (Troy)
Gethin Anthony (Aquarius)
Conleth Hill (Whatever Works)
Joe Dempsie (Monsters: Dark Continent)
Esme Bianco (The Scorpion King 4)
Finn Jones (The Last Showing)
Ben Hawkey (Ra.One)
Roxanne McKee (Wrong Turn 5)
Elys Gabel (Warld War Z)

If you have read the books then you will have the added advantage of going into this series with some serious background knowledge, which, given the expanse of Martin’s literature, can only be a good thing. It is good to see the characters portrayed on screen by, what can only be described as, an excellent cast. My personal favourites are Sean Bean  who plays Lord Eddard Stark, the proud, strong and brave Lord of Winterfell, the icy kingdom of the north. And, Peter Dinklage, who gives, as ever, a wonderful performance as Tyrion of House Lannister, a noble-born dwarf cursed by the hatred of his proud father but blessed with an unmatchable wit and intelligence.

Martin’s fantasy literature is about believability and realism; it is completely unlike Tolkien in that way. Whereas Tolkien favoured Orcs, Goblins, castles and wizards, Martin prefers the medieval touch, dealing with knights, lords and priests. One good thing is that Martin had a very close hand in the production of this series which means very little tinkering has been done. If you compare it to The Pillars of the Earth for example, parts of the tv series didn’t even come close to representing what happened in the book leaving hardcore fans a little bewildered, and not a little irritated. Martin’s books though are so jam-packed with plot and character building that there really isn’t much room for artistic license for the directors. They have a lot of story to get through, and only 10 episodes to do it in!!

If you have never read Martin before then, what can you expect? Well, it is fantasy first and foremost . Without spoiling or giving anything away the main plot is basically this: the continent of Westeros, ruled by king Robert Baratheon, falls into turmoil amidst a hungry power struggle between the realms nobles and knights. Expect a lot of plot twists and cliffhangers at the end of each episode. I would highly recommend people to take the time to see this series and get into the number 1 fantasy series of the modern era.