REVIEW: CHE – PART TWO

CAST

Benicio Del Toro (Traffic)
Rodrigo Santoro (300)
Demián Bichir (Machete Kills)
Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace)
Franka Potente (The Conjuring 2)
Norman Santiago (Animal)
Joaquim de Almeida (Fast & Furious 5)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young GUns)
Yul Vazquez (Captain Phillips)
Matt Damon (Jason Bourne)
Benjamín Benítez (Tru Calling)

Benicio Del Toro in Che: Part Two (2008)The second part begins on November 3, 1966 with Guevara arriving in Bolivia disguised as a middle-aged representative of the Organization of American States hailing from Uruguay, who subsequently drives into the mountains to meet his men. The film is organized by the number of days that he was in the country. On Day 26, there is solidarity among Guevara’s men despite his status as a foreigner. By Day 67, Guevara, however, has been set up for betrayal. He tries to recruit some peasants only to be mistaken for a cocaine smuggler, and the Bolivian Communist Party, led by Mario Monje, refuse to support the armed struggle. On Day 100, there is a shortage of food and Guevara exercises discipline to resolve conflicts between his Cuban and Bolivian followers.Franka Potente, Carlos Bardem, Jorge Perugorría, and Juan Salinas in Che: Part Two (2008)By Day 113, some of the guerrillas have deserted, and, upon capture, have led the Bolivian Army to the revolutionaries’ base camp, which contained vast stockpiles of food, much-needed supplies, and intelligence identifying much of the group as Cubans. Much to Che’s disappointment Tamara “Tania” Bunke, Guevara’s revolutionary contact has botched elaborate preparations and given away their identity. On Day 141, the guerrillas capture Bolivian soldiers that refuse to join the revolution and are free to return to their villages. CIA and US Army Special Forces advisers arrive to supervise anti-insurgent activity and to train the Bolivian Army. On Day 169, Guevara’s visiting friend, the French intellectual Régis Debray, is captured at Muyupampa by the Bolivian Army along with two of Che’s last contacts with the outside world. A Bolivian airstrike then occurs against Che’s guerrillas on Day 219, driving them deeper into hiding. By this time, Che has split his forces; his best fighters travel with him in one column, while another column contains other personnel, including Tania, and carries much of the remaining supplies.Guevara grows sick and by Day 280 can barely breathe as a result of his acute asthma. Nevertheless, he continues to lead his group towards the other column of revolutionaries. On Day 302, the Bolivian Army wipes out the other column, killing Tania Bunke, Juan Acuña Ñunez, and several others in an ambush as they attempt to cross the Vado del Yeso after a local informant tells the Bolivian troops about the movements of the rebels. By Day 340, Guevara is trapped by the Bolivian Army in the Yuro Ravine near the village of La Higuera. Che is wounded and captured. The next day, a helicopter lands and Cuban American CIA agent Félix Rodríguez emerges to interrogate Che, but without success. The Bolivian high command then phones and orders Guevara’s execution. He is shot on 9 October 1967, and his corpse lashed to a helicopter’s landing skids and flown out.maxresdefaultIn a final flashback scene, Guevara is aboard the Granma in 1956, looking out over the ocean, as the Cuban Revolution is about to begin. He sees the Castro brothers alone at the bow of the ship; Fidel is talking and Raúl is taking notes. Guevara hands a peeled orange to one of his comrades and returns his gaze to the lone brothers before the scene fades to black.48e7YL8h9VUmu3JMgAeRRnIWvfKThe direction throughout is superb. Part two feels tightly edited despite its narrow focus and is able to communicate a great deal through images without the need for a narrator to spell things out for the audience. A very thought provoking and well done film.

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REVIEW: STARK RAVING MAD

CAST

Seann William Scott (American Pie)
Timm Sharp (Six Feet Under)
Patrick Breen (Do Over)
John B. Crye (Get It On!)
Suzy Nakamura (Evan Almighty)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns)
Dave Foley (A Bug’s Life)
Kavan Smith (Stargate: Atlantis)
Monet Mazur (Raging Angels)
Terry Chen (Bates Motel)
Ty Olsson (Izombie)

The plot follows a linear structure, encompassing the events of one night in a nightclub which has been hired for the night by protagonist Ben (Seann William Scott). The owner is unhappy with noise levels, fearing loss of his license, but noise levels is exactly what they want. The noise is specific cover for an illicit and complex bank heist orchestrated by the main character as a means of stealing a revered, ancient Chinese statuette and clearing his and his late brother’s debt with a local Chinese crime lord. Ben must complete this task before dawn in order to spare his own life. As such, he hires three “experienced” bank robbers to perform the actual act, while he and his assistant ensure that the club night runs smoothly and without incident. However, such is not the case. Two FBI agents in the club (actually checking on a drugs deal) further thwart their plan, but a Chinese food delivery boy comes in on the plan and helps out giving cover stories for the loud bangs from the basement.Ultimately he clears out money from the bank vault and conspires that both the crime lord and his rival Chinese gang are both in the vault when the alarm goes off. The money belongs to the crime lord under a different name and he is found guilty of stealing his own money.Stark Raving Mad is exactly that! One of those movies where you check your brains at the door and just go along for the ride – and what a fun, breakneck ride it is. Seann William Scott has made a reputation for goofy performances – but this isn’t one of them. And much to the better. The story is constantly on the move, with a great, pounding soundtrack, unpredictable laugh-out-loud twists and an edgy cutting style that pitches you forward all the time. Kudos to everyone involved in the making of this movie! Sit back and enjoy!

 

REVIEW: PICKING UP THE PIECES

CAST

Woody Allen (New York Stories)
David Schwimmer (Nothing But The Truth)
Kiefer Sutherland (24)
Cheech Marin (Machete)
Maria Grazia Cucinotta (The World is Not Enough)
Elliott Gould (Ocean’s Eleven)
Sharon Stone (Catwoman)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)
Angélica Aragón (Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights)
Andy Dick (Less Than Perfect)
Alfonso Arau (Coco)
Mía Maestro (Savages)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns)
Fran Drescher (The Nanny)
Eddie Griffin (Undercover Brother)
Kathy Kinney (Lois & Clark)
Tony Plana (Ugly Betty)
Jon Huertas (Castle)

picking-up-the-pieces-maria-grazia-cucinotta-david-1-rct415x260uWoody Allen plays Tex, a kosher butcher. Sharon Stone plays his unfaithful wife Candy. Tex catches Candy in the act and in a fit of rage he kills her. To conceal his crime he cuts up her body and buries it in the desert in New Mexico. However, when her hand surfaces, a blind woman trips over it and it restores her sight. The hand is then considered to be the “hand of the Virgin.” Despite the church’s fallen priest objecting, the ambitious mayor of the town creates an international three-ring circus of miracle-seekers, TV crews, and born-again local prostitutes all interested in the hand. All of this goes on while Tex is desperately trying to recover the hand before the sheriff finds it and uses it as evidence against him. Screen-Shot-2014-08-07-at-10_45_10-pm-640x319A very strange, BUT movie but good! I thought it was humorous but you must like dry humor to enjoy this movie. very unrealistic and that’s what makes it good. you can sit back, watch a dumb movie and laugh!!entertaining, great cast of characters

REVIEW: THE 33

 

CAST

Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro)
Rodrigo Santoro (300)
Juliette Binoche (The English Patient)
James Brolin (the Amityville Horror)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns)
Mario Casas (SMS)
Gabriel Byrne (End of Days)
Bob Gunton (Daredevil TV)
Adriana Barraza (Cake)
Kate del Castillo (No Good Deed)
Juan Pablo Raba (Agents of SHIELD)
Naomi Scott (Power Rangers)

Dozens of people from Copiapó, Chile, work in the San José mine. The owner ignores the warnings of the failing stability of the mine, which collapses a short time later. The only path inside the mine is completely blocked, and the thirty-three miners manage to get to the rescue chamber. They discover that the radio is useless, the medical kit is empty, the ventilation shafts lack the required ladders, and there is very little stored food. Mario Sepúlveda becomes the leader of the miners, dividing the foods rations and stopping the outbursts of violence and despair. The mine company does not attempt any rescue, and the relatives of the miners gather around the gates.The government of Chile decides on active intervention, and orders the use of drills to reach the chamber. The first exploratory boreholes move off-target, but a later one reaches the required destination. The miners attach a note to the drill bit to announce their survival. They receive new food and clothing, and television communication with the surface. A second, bigger, drill system is prepared to retrieve the miners one by one.The 33 is exceptional. Based on the book “Deep Down Dark” by Héctor Tobar, the film version takes few liberties with the facts and fashions a very compelling narrative. The screenplay succinctly, but effectively sets the stage and develops its characters – both above and below ground. We feel the desperation of both the miners and their families. As the miners’ story unfolds, concurrently with that of their families and those attempting to rescue them, Patricia Riggens directs with great pacing (which is helped by nearly perfect editing). She also gets great performances from her cast and blends the talents and experience of well-known and little-known actors wonderfully. Although the movie did drag a little as it neared its dramatic conclusion, this is a film which tells its story with drama, sensitivity and even some humor.

 

REVIEW: COURAGE UNDER FIRE

CAST

Denzel Washington (The Equalizer)
Meg Ryan (Anastasia)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns)
Matt Damon (The MArtian)
Bronson Pinchot (Lois & Clark)
Seth Gilliam (Oz)
Regina Taylor (Children of The Dust)
Michael Moriarty (Troll)
Željko Ivanek (Heores)
Scott Glenn (Daredevil)
Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Sean Astin (Lord of The Rings)
Sean Patrick Thomas (Save The Last Dance)

While serving in the Gulf War, Lieutenant Colonel Serling (Denzel Washington) accidentally destroys one of his own tanks during a confusing night-time battle, killing his friend, Captain Boylar. The US Army covers up the details and transfers Serling to a desk job.Later, Serling is assigned to determine if Captain Karen Emma Walden (Meg Ryan) should be the first woman to receive a (posthumous) Medal of Honor. She was the commander of a Medevac Huey that was sent to rescue the crew of a shot-down Black Hawk. When she encountered a T-54, her crew destroyed it by dropping a fuel bladder onto the tank and igniting it with a flare gun. However, her own helicopter was shot down soon after. The two crews were unable to join forces, and when the survivors were rescued the next day, Walden was reported dead.Serling notices inconsistencies between the testimonies of Walden’s crew. Specialist Andrew Ilario (Matt Damon), the medic, praises Walden strongly. However, Staff Sergeant John Monfriez (Lou Diamond Phillips) claims that Walden was a coward and that he led the crew in combat and improvised the fuel bladder weapon. Sergeant Altameyer, who is dying in a hospital, complains about a fire. Warrant Officer One Rady, the co-pilot, was injured early on and unconscious throughout. Furthermore, the crew of the Black Hawk claim that they heard firing from an M16, but Ilario and Monfriez deny they had one.Under pressure from the White House and his commander, Brigadier General Hershberg (Michael Moriarty), to wrap things up quickly, Serling leaks the story to newspaper reporter Tony Gartner (Scott Glenn) to prevent another cover-up. When Serling grills Monfriez during a car ride, Monfriez forces him to get out of the vehicle at gunpoint, then commits suicide by driving into an oncoming train. Serling tracks Ilario down, and Ilario finally tells him the truth. Monfriez wanted to flee, which would mean abandoning Rady. When Walden refused, he pulled a gun on her. Walden then shot an enemy who appeared behind Monfriez, but Monfriez thought Walden was firing at him and shot her in the stomach, before backing off. The next morning, the enemy attacked again as a rescue party approached. Walden covered her men’s retreat, firing an M16. However, Monfriez told the rescuers that Walden was dead, so they left without her. Napalm was then dropped on the entire area. Altameyer tried to expose Monfriez’s lie at the time, but was too injured to speak, and Ilario was too scared of the court-martial Walden had threatened them with and remained silent.Serling presents his final report to Hershberg. Walden’s young daughter receives the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony. Later, Serling tells the truth to the Boylars about the manner of their son’s death and says he cannot ask for forgiveness. The Boylars tell Serling he must put down the burden at some point and grant him their forgiveness. In the last moments, Serling has a flashback of when he was standing by Boylar’s destroyed tank and a medevac Huey was lifting off with his friend’s body. Serling suddenly realises Walden was the Huey pilot.Truly compelling direction and very special character portrayal make this an extremely enjoyable, very dramatic movie.

 

REVIEW: ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE

CAST

James Woods (Be Cool)
Melanie Griffith (Tempo)
Vincent Kartheiser (Angel)
Natasha Gregson Wagner (Wonderland)
James Otis (The Black Dahlia)
Brent Briscoe (Spider-Man 2)
Peter Sarsgaard (Knight and Day)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns)

A vending machine robbery by small-time thief and drug addict Bobbie (Vincent Kartheiser) goes badly awry, and his friends contact street-wise thief and part-time druggie Mel (James Woods) to patch him up.Recognizing a kindred spirit, Mel befriends Bobbie and his girlfriend Rosie (Natasha Gregson Wagner), inviting them to join him and his long-suffering girlfriend Sid (Melanie Griffith) on a drug robbery which should set them up for life. The seemingly simple robbery is a great success, but the sale of the drugs afterward fails badly, and Mel and Bobbie are shot.The four take refuge with the Reverend, who charges them half of their haul from the robbery to care for them. In a desperate attempt to recover their losses, Mel involves the crew in a disastrous, ill-advised jewelry robbery, and they become caught up in a web of violence that rapidly spirals out of control.Clark’s cinema vérité style of direction (a la KIDS) supplies the feeling of uneasiness throughout the film and heightens the impact of the jarring violence. The soundtrack of great soul tunes effectively mirrors the contradictory feelings of despair and hope that plague the characters. The film is not without flaws but comes highly recommended

REVIEW: A BETTER WAY TO DIE

CAST

Scott Wiper (Pearl Harbor)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Stargate Universe)
Jack Conley (Angel)
Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix)
Natasha Henstridge (Species)
Carmen Argenziano (Stargate SG.1)
Andre Braugher (Glory)

5A Better Way to Die starts in Chicago where a cop named Boomer (writer& director Scott Wiper) witnesses the murder of his partner Carlos (Carmen Argenziano) during an undercover operation, he decides to leave both Chicago & the force & head out to the sticks to be with Kelly (Natasha Henstridge) the woman he loves. En route he finds himself dodging bullets & fighting for his life when he is mistaken for special agent Harrison James (Jefferson Moore) who the mob wants because of a computer chip with informant information on it & the Government wants him because of, well a computer chip with informant information on it. Seemingly everyone wants him dead as he tries to work out a solution to the situation he finds himself in.

4
Staring, written & directed by Scott Wiper this wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I was fearing, in fact I’d go as far as to say it’s a fun little action flick without ever being spectacular. The somewhat predictable & often routine action thriller script doesn’t take itself too seriously& is fairly light hearted in tone, the character’s are decent & the dialogue is alright even though it resorts to constant use of profanity& bad language on occasion. It moves along at a brisk pace & is never boring although the action scenes are somewhat repetitive & are a little low key, don’t expect car chases & explosions every five minutes because you will be disappointed if you do. My main problem with A Better Way to Die is that every time it starts to get good the pace slackens & it never quite reaches the dizzy heights of greatness, every time it starts to get good the scene just fizzles out into nothing. The fight in the burning barn at the end & the shoot-outs are average action sequences rather than great ones & as a consequence A Better Way to Die is a touch forgettable, it’s a good solid film which you can sit down in front of if it’s on TV for free & waste 100 odd minutes in it’s company happily enough but by the next morning you’ll probably have forgotten all about it.

3

Director Wiper does a fine job here, it looks pretty nice & although the action scenes are distinctly average they are well shot & choreographed. Technically the film is fine, it looks nice enough with decent cinematography & production values. The action sequences could have used beefing up a bit, I mean one blown up car & a blown up shed isn’t much to get that excited about. The acting is fine, although there are some fairly experienced names in the cast the likes of Lou Diamond Phillips, Natasha Henstridge & Joe Pantoliano they have very little screen time & are more cameo appearances than anything else.

2

A Better Way to Die is a decent little action film, it’s light hearted& has decent character’s & an OK story but it didn’t quite reach the heights of greatness for me I’m afraid. It’s also rather predictable at times & nothing that we haven’t seen before. If you can catch it on TV for free then go ahead but don’t spend good money on it. Good but not great.