REVIEW: INFERNO

CAST

Tom Hanks (Sully)
Felicity Jones (Rogue One)
Omar Sy (Jurassic World)
Ben Foster (The Punisher)
Sidse Babett Knudsen (Westworld)
Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi)
Ana Ularu (Emerald City)

Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones in Inferno (2016)Harvard University professor Robert Langdon awakens in a hospital room in Florence, Italy, with no memory of what has transpired over the last few days, but being plagued with visions of a scorched Earth. Dr. Sienna Brooks, one of the doctors tending to him, reveals that he is suffering from amnesia as a result of a bullet wound to the head. Another doctor says the police are there to question Langdon but the officer turns out to be Vayentha, an assassin, who shoots the doctor while heading down the hall. Sienna helps Langdon to escape, and they flee to her apartment.Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones in Inferno (2016)Among Langdon’s personal belongings, Langdon and Sienna find a Faraday pointer, a miniature image projector with a modified version of Sandro Botticelli’s Map of Hell, which itself is based on Dante’s Inferno. They soon realize this is the first clue in a trail left by Bertrand Zobrist, a billionaire geneticist who believed that rigorous measures were necessary to reduce the Earth’s growing population, and who committed suicide after being chased by armed government agents.Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones in Inferno (2016)Langdon and Sienna figure out that Zobrist, who is obsessed with Dante, has created a virus he has dubbed “Inferno”, with the potential of decimating the world’s population. In the meantime, they have been traced by both Vayentha and agents from the World Health Organization (WHO), who try to raid the apartment, forcing them to flee again. The WHO agents are headed by Elizabeth Sinskey, an old lover of Langdon’s, and are trying to prevent the release of the virus. Vayentha reports to her employer Harry Sims, the CEO of a private security company called “The Consortium”, who is acting on behalf of Zobrist, who gives her instructions to kill Langdon as he had become a liability.Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones in Inferno (2016)Langdon’s knowledge of Dante’s work and history, and of hidden passages in Florence, allows the two to follow clues such as letters and phrases which lead to various locations in Florence and Venice, while killing Vayentha and evading the WHO. Along the way, Langdon discovers that he stole and hid the Dante Death Mask, a crucial clue, an event he also does not remember. Zobrist had provided Sims with a video message about the virus, to be broadcast after it has been released. Shocked by its content, Sims allies with Sinskey to prevent the outbreak. However, Langdon and Sienna are contacted by Christoph Bouchard, a man purporting to be working for WHO, warning them that Sinskey has a double agenda and is after the Inferno virus for her own profit. The three cooperate for a while, until Langdon realizes that Bouchard is lying and seeking to profit from Inferno himself, forcing the duo to flee on their own again.Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, and Omar Sy in Inferno (2016)Langdon figures out that the virus is in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. With that knowledge, Sienna abandons Langdon, revealing that she was Zobrist’s lover and that she will ensure the release of the virus. Zobrist and Sienna used to play treasure hunt games; this trail was the backup plan in case something happened to Zobrist. Langdon is recaptured by Bouchard, but Sims kills Bouchard and rescues Langdon, who then re-teams with Sinskey, who asked him for help in interpreting the imagery from the Faraday pointer. Sims reveals he was hired by Sienna to kidnap Langdon when Zobrist had been killed, and drugged with benzodiazepine to induce a memory loss; the events in the hospital were all staged.Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones in Inferno (2016)They realize the virus is in a plastic bag hidden under water in the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. The WHO team – joined by Langdon, Sims, and Sinskey – race to locate and secure the bag, while Sienna and her allies attempt to detonate an explosive that will rupture the bag and aerosolize the virus. Sims is killed by Sienna, and when Langdon confronts her, she commits suicide in an attempt to release the virus. The detonation is able to rupture the bag but because it was already contained in a special containment unit, the virus was secured in time and Sienna’s allies are killed. The virus is then taken by WHO, and Langdon goes back to Florence in order to return the Dante Death Mask.Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones in Inferno (2016)The movie seems to have taken lot of liberties with Dan Brown’s book although I cannot compare much since I’m yet to read it fully. I could not go beyond 100 odd pages, it felt very crazy to me. If I were to judge just the movie, I’d say it entertained. I think that’s director Ron Howard’s skill, he can make any story watchable. There’s enough tension to hold our attention till the very end. Although I’ve heard the book ends differently, I’m glad the movie ends the way it did…felt more sane & positive to me! I find Dan Brown’s earlier works like DaVinci Code or Angels & Demons to be more readable.

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REVIEW: ANGELS & DEMONS

 

CAST

Tom Hanks (Sully)
Ewan McGregor (Bigt Fish)
Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel)
Stellan Skarsgård (Thor)
Pierfrancesco Favino (World War Z)
Nikolaj Lie Kaas (Murk)
Armin Mueller-Stahl (12 Angry men)
Thure Lindhardt (Fast & Furious 6)
David Pasquesi (Year One)
Carmen Argenziano (Stargate SG.1)
Rance Howard (Nebraska)

Ewan McGregor and Stellan Skarsgård in Angels & Demons (2009)Under the watchful eyes of Father Silvano and Dr. Vittoria Vetra, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) initiates the Large Hadron Collider and creates three vials of antimatter particles larger than any ever produced before. Almost immediately, Father Silvano is killed and one of the vials of antimatter goes missing. At the same time, the Roman Catholic Church is mourning the sudden death of Pope Pius XVI in Rome and prepares for the papal conclave to elect the next Pope. The Camerlengo, Father Patrick McKenna, assumes temporary control of the Vatican. Before the conclave enters seclusion, four of the “preferiti” (the favorite cardinals to be elected pope) are kidnapped by a man claiming to represent the Illuminati. In a video message, he threatens to kill one candidate every hour starting at 8pm and to destroy all of Vatican City at midnight, using the missing vial of antimatter as a bomb. The Vatican summons symbologist Robert Langdon from Harvard University and Vetra to help them save the four preferiti and locate the vial.Tom Hanks and Victor Alfieri in Angels & Demons (2009)Langdon listens to the Illuminati’s message and deduces the four cardinals will die at the four altars of the “Path of Illumination”, marked by statues of angels in locations relevant to the four classical elements. Over the objections of Commander Maximilian Richter, head of the Swiss Guard, but with McKenna’s consent, Langdon is granted access to the Vatican Secret Archives. He examines Galileo Galilei’s banned book with Vetra. Following the clues and accompanied by Inspector General Ernesto Olivetti and Claudio Vincenzi of the Vatican Gendarmerie Corps, they arrive at the Chigi Chapel in the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo. There they find Cardinal Ebner dead, suffocated with soil and branded with an ambigrammatic word “Earth”. They verify the second location is the crowded Saint Peter’s Square and arrive just as a bloody Cardinal Lamassé emerges with his chest branded with “Air”. Vetra unsuccessfully attempts to perform CPR on him, only to discover his lungs had been punctured, while the assassin slips through the crowd.Tom Hanks, Pierfrancesco Favino, David Pasquesi, and Ayelet Zurer in Angels & Demons (2009)While Vetra studies Silvano’s diaries, Langdon, Olivetti and Vincenzi locate the third church, Santa Maria della Vittoria, and arrive to see Cardinal Guidera, branded “Fire” and suspended above a burning pile of wood. A gunfight erupts between the assassin and the officers, with Olivetti and Vincenzi being killed in the process. Langdon manages to escape, but not before being spotted by the assassin. Langdon convinces two Carabinieri officers to take him to the next location and the trio race to the Water altar, the Fountain of the Four Rivers, just as the assassin arrives in a van. The assassin murders the officers and drops a bound and weighted Cardinal Baggia into the fountain before bidding farewell to Langdon and driving off. With the help of bystanders, Langdon rescues the cardinal, who tells him the Illuminati’s lair is Castel Sant’Angelo. There, Langdon and Vetra discover a hidden passageway leading to the Vatican, being used as a hideout for the assassin. Discovering a case with marks for five branding irons, they realize the fifth brand is for the Camerlengo but are confronted by the assassin before they can alert McKenna. The assassin spares their lives once more, stating killing them is not a part of his mission unless they pursue him. He then cryptically warns them to be careful as his contractors are “men of God” before departing. He escapes to a car left for him by his contractor, but is killed immediately when it explodes upon ignition.Tom Hanks in Angels & Demons (2009)Langdon and Vetra rush back to the Vatican where they find Commander Richter hovering over McKenna with a gun, the Vatican symbol branded into McKenna’s chest. Richter and Archbishop Simeon are shot by the Guards. As Richter dies in front of Langdon, he opens his hand to reveal a key which Langdon takes. The stolen antimatter vial is found in St. Peter’s Tomb below the church, but the battery life is too low to risk re-connecting it to a battery. McKenna, a former military pilot, seizes the vial and uses an awaiting helicopter to fly above the Vatican. At a high altitude, he parachutes out as the antimatter bomb explodes overhead. McKenna is hailed a hero and savior, and the cardinals move to elect him pope. Langdon and Vetra use Richter’s key to watch a security video showing McKenna speaking to Richter before the attack. The video reveals it is McKenna, not the Illuminati, who masterminded the scheme. McKenna reveals he murdered the previous pope because he felt the pope had betrayed the church by trying to bridge the gap between science and religion. After McKenna had killed the pope, he intended to have himself elected to the papacy whilst rallying the most conservative Cardinals to his side. The recording is shown to the Papal conclave, and it dawns on McKenna that he has been exposed. He flees to a remote recess in the building where he is able to commit suicide by setting himself on fire.Tom Hanks and Ayelet Zurer in Angels & Demons (2009)The Vatican officially announces McKenna died due to internal injuries suffered during his parachute landing, and Cardinal Baggia is named Pope Luke I, with Cardinal Strauss as the new Camerlengo. Strauss thanks Langdon for his assistance and gives Langdon Galileo’s “Diagramma Veritatis” for his research as a gift from himself and Pope Luke, requesting only it be returned to the Vatican by Langdon’s testament, and any future references he may make about the Catholic Church in his future publications be done gently, to which Langdon replies, “I’ll try.” As the film ends, the new Pope Luke shares a grateful nod with Langdon and Vetra, and walks out onto the balcony to greet the crowd waiting for him in the Square.Tom Hanks in Angels & Demons (2009)Overall Angels and Demons is a fun thrill ride for the summer. Its a superior movie to Da Vinci Code.

REVIEW: THE DA VINCI CODE

CAST

Tom Hanks (Sully)
Audrey Tautou (Priceless)
Ian McKellen (X-Men)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Jürgen Prochnow (Dune)
Jean Reno (Mission Impossible)
Paul Bettany (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Seth Gabel (Arrow)

Tom Hanks and Jean Reno in The Da Vinci Code (2006)Jacques Saunière, the Louvre’s curator, is pursued through the Grand Gallery by an albino Catholic monk named Silas, who demands the location of the Priory’s “keystone” to find and destroy the Holy Grail. Saunière gives him a false lead and is murdered. When the police arrive, they find his body posed like Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. The police captain, Bezu Fache, sends his lieutenant, Jérôme Collet, to summon American symbologist Robert Langdon, in the midst of signing autographs after one of his public talks, to examine Saunière’s body.Tom Hanks, Ian McKellen, and Audrey Tautou in The Da Vinci Code (2006)At the museum, Langdon is shown the body, and a secret message, readable only by blacklight, that contains an out-of-order Fibonacci sequence. Sophie Neveu, a police cryptographer and Saunière’s granddaughter, reveals to Langdon that Fache planted a tracker on him after finding the words “P.S. Find Robert Langdon” at the end of Saunière’s secret message, leading Fache to believe Langdon murdered Saunière. The two get rid of the tracker, distracting the police, and sneak around the Louvre, finding more clues in Leonardo da Vinci’s works, eventually leading to Langdon to deduce that Saunière was the grand master of the Priory of Sion.Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou in The Da Vinci Code (2006)Silas is revealed to be working for an anonymous person named the Teacher, along with members of Opus Dei, led by Bishop Aringarosa. Evading the police, Langdon and Sophie travel to the Depository Bank of Zurich, where they access a safe deposit box of Saunière’s, using the Fibonacci sequence. Inside the box is a cryptex, a cylindrical container that can only be safely opened by turning dials to spell a code word, and which contains a message on papyrus. The police arrive outside and Langdon and Sophie are aided by the bank manager, Andre Vernet, only for him to attempt to take the cryptex and murder them. Langdon disarms Vernet and flees with Sophie and the cryptex.Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou in The Da Vinci Code (2006)The two visit Langdon’s friend, Sir Leigh Teabing, a Holy Grail expert who walks using crutches, who claims the Grail is not a cup but instead Mary Magdalene, Jesus Christ’s wife. Teabing argues that she was pregnant during His crucifixion, and the Priory was formed to protect their descendants. The Opus Dei have been trying to destroy the Grail to preserve the credibility of the Vatican. Later, Silas breaks into Teabing’s house, but Teabing, using one of his crutches, disables him. The group escapes to London via Teabing’s private plane, along with his butler, Remy Jean. They travel to the Temple Church, but the clue to unlocking the cryptex is a red herring. Silas is freed by Remy while claiming to be the Teacher and taking Teabing hostage, dumping him in the car trunk, and taking Silas to hide out in an Opus Dei safe house. Teabing later poisons Remy and sends the police after Silas. Silas is shot by police after accidentally wounding Aringarosa, who is promptly arrested by Fache, who resents being used to hunt Langdon.Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou in The Da Vinci Code (2006)Langdon and Sophie are confronted by Teabing, who is revealed to be the Teacher, and who wants to bring down the Church for centuries of persecution and deceit. The trio goes to Westminster Abbey to the tomb of Isaac Newton, a former grand master of the Priory. Teabing demands that the pair open the cryptex. Langdon tries and then tosses the cryptex into the air. Teabing dives for it, catches it, but acid dribbles and the papyrus thought destroyed. The police arrive to arrest Teabing, who realizes Langdon must have solved the cryptex’s code and removed the papyrus. The code is revealed to be “APPLE”, after the apocryphal myth of the apple which led Newton to discover his law of universal gravitation. The clue inside the cryptex, which tells of the Grail hiding “‘neath the rose”, leads Langdon and Sophie to Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland.Inside the chapel, they discover Magdalene’s tomb has been removed.Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code (2006)Langdon, after searching through documents, realizes that Sophie’s family died in a car crash, that Saunière was not her grandfather but her protector, and that she is the last descendant of Jesus Christ. The two are greeted by several members of the Priory, including Sophie’s grandmother, who promises to protect her. Langdon and Sophie part ways, the former returning to Paris. While shaving, he cuts himself and has an epiphany when his blood curves down the sink, reminding him of the Rose Line. Realizing the true meaning of the cryptex clue, he follows the line to the Louvre, concluding the Holy Grail, the sarcophagus of Mary Magdalene, is hidden below the Pyramide Inversée. Langdon kneels above it.Audrey Tautou in The Da Vinci Code (2006)In the end, in spite of all the controversies, perhaps Robert Langdon’s line is poignant – if given a chance, would you rather destroy faith, or renew it? The book and the movie have provided an opportunity for the faith to renew itself, to debunk the myths and theories (which were developed loosely to make the story flow of course), and to generally point the curious to the direction and light the faith wants to show.  This Ron Howard movie makes a good summer popcorn flick, with the usual thrills and spills you’d come to expect with its superb production values.

 

REVIEW: BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT (2009)

CAST

Jesse Metecalfe (Loaded)
Amber Tamblyn (Two and a Half men)
Michael Douglas (Ant-Man)
Joel David Moore (Julia X)
Orlando Jones (Sleepy Holllow)

Michael Douglas in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009)Shreveport, Louisiana TV reporter C. J. Nicholas (Jesse Metcalfe) is convinced that District Attorney Mark Hunter (Michael Douglas) is corrupt, following an unbroken string of convictions based only on circumstantial evidence. After flirting with Assistant D.A. Ella Crystal (Amber Tamblyn) to obtain an evidential videotape that he hopes will be revealing, they begin dating and fall in love. The videotape suggests to Nicholas that Hunter is using one of his investigators, Lt. Merchant, to obtain DNA evidence from suspects in custody and plant the evidence to support a conviction. Still unable to prove his claim against Hunter, he is demoted from watchdog reporter to general assignment due to budget cuts. Nicholas becomes even more determined to expose Hunter, convinced that he will win a Pulitzer if successful.Jesse Metcalfe in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009)He concocts an elaborate scheme to frame himself for the murder of a prostitute using circumstantial evidence. His passion for the project enlists support from Crystal—who still does not know he is gunning for her boss—and co-worker Corey Finley (Joel Moore). Finley accompanies him as he obtains objects online and from pawn shops that will circumstantially link Nicholas to the murder. Finley records these instances on video with Nicholas holding a newspaper showing the date to be after the date of the murder. The original video kept in Finley’s desk and a back-up copy is placed in a safe deposit box. Nicholas gets himself arrested for DUI by Lt Nickerson (Orlando Jones), an acquaintance and police contact of Nicholas, while wearing his falsified circumstantial evidence. He is arrested and charged with the murder. Merchant, however, requests that the case be transferred to him to steal credit for the DA, much to Nickerson’s dismay. Upon closer investigations of Nicholas’ recent activities, he becomes suspicious and informs Hunter that Nicholas is trying to set them up. Crystal, who still doesn’t know what Nicholas has been plotting, visits him in jail and offers to quit her job and join his defense team, but he convinces her not to do so.Jesse Metcalfe and Joel David Moore in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009)The next step in the plan is to wait until the prosecution rests its case, then introduce the documentary evidence exposing the truth. Hunter instructs Merchant to destroy the video evidence. Finley finds his desk ransacked. Panicked, he tries to retrieve the back-up, but is pursued by Merchant in a high-speed chase in which he is killed. Nicholas reveals his plot in court using only the dated receipts for his falsified evidence, but Hunter casts doubt on his story. Nicholas has no proof that the victim’s blood, which was found on the false evidence, was planted by Hunter’s people. The jury convicts Nicholas for the crime. Crystal still believes in Nicholas and begins her own investigation, unaware that Hunter knew she was dating Nicholas. She is followed by Merchant. Nicholas is sentenced to death. Hunter visits him in prison to reveal that his phone calls to Crystal, guiding her investigation, have been recorded.Crystal obtains crime scene photos from Hunter’s convictions and takes them to digital photography experts, who determine that the objects containing the suspect’s DNA evidence in each case have been digitally added to the original photos after the fact. When she attempts to take this evidence to the police, Merchant tries to kill her with his car while she flees on foot. She is rescued by Lt. Nickerson, who shoots Merchant dead. Nickerson reveals that he suspected Merchant was up to no good, and he had been “following him following” Crystal. The doctored photo evidence leads to Hunter’s arrest in a public scandal. Nicholas’ conviction is declared a mistrial and he becomes a media celebrity. Hunter’s convictions are re-examined by the state. Crystal, however, begins to suspect that the evidence reveals something else, too. After re-watching Nicholas’ award-winning documentary about the murder of a prostitute in Buffalo, New York, she recognizes the hands of a woman who supposedly died of a drug overdose during production as the hands of the victim in the murder for which Nicholas was convicted. She correctly deduces that the woman came to Shreveport to blackmail Nicholas, that Nicholas killed her, then used the murder in his scheme against Hunter. Crystal alerts the police, and tells Nicholas that he is not subject to the double jeopardy law because he wasn’t declared innocent. As the police arrive to arrest him, she tells him, “I just thought of one other thing. Fuck you.”I accepted that many of the actors were not the greatest around today, or that the lighting and sound was almost never polished and was often primitive. And that the music soundtrack was just adequate. But what I very much enjoyed was the story itself. This is a great mystery plot which kept me guessing. And I like those kinds of stories.

REVIEW: THE COUNSELLOR

CAST

Michael Fassbender (Shame)
Cameron Diaz (Bad Teacher)
Javier Bardem (Mother!)
Penelope Cruz (Grimsby)
Brad Pitt (Fury)
Rosie Perez (Won’t Back Down)
Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones)
Édgar Ramírez (Zero Dark Thirty)
Goran Višnjic (Beginners)
Toby Kebbell (Warcraft)
Emma Rigby (Endless Love)
John Leguizamo (John Wick)
Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)
Paris Jefferson (Xena)

Michael Fassbender in The Counselor (2013)A high-level cartel lawyer with dirty hands who is known only as “The Counselor” and his girlfriend Laura are talking sexily in bed. Meanwhile, somewhere in Mexico, cocaine is packaged in barrels and concealed in a sewage truck, driven across the border and stored at a sewage treatment plant. After the Counselor goes to Amsterdam to meet with a diamond dealer to purchase an engagement ring for Laura, he proposes and she accepts. At a party back in Texas thrown by Reiner and girlfriend Malkina, a former call-girl with a greedy lust for money, the Counselor discusses a nightclub he and Reiner intend to run, as well as an upcoming drug deal, which would be his first.Cameron Diaz in The Counselor (2013)

The Counselor meets with Westray, a business associate of Reiner’s. He hears of the deal’s 4000-percent return rate, but Westray warns the Counselor about becoming involved, saying that Mexican cartels are merciless. The Counselor remains outwardly confident and unconcerned. Malkina gains knowledge of the deal through her access to Reiner and by conveniently overhearing various intercoms in Reiner’s home. Reiner describes an execution device called “the bolito” which gradually strangles and decapitates the victim. Reiner also tells the Counselor how disturbed and oddly aroused he was from an incident where he witnessed Malkina masturbate with his Ferrari California’s[4] windshield.Michael Fassbender in The Counselor (2013)The Counselor visits a client, a prison inmate named Ruth who is on trial for murder. Ruth’s son is a biker and a valued drug cartel member known as “the Green Hornet”, recently arrested for speeding. The Counselor agrees to bail him out of jail. Malkina senses an opportunity to undermine the Counselor’s upcoming deal and to profit for herself. She employs “the Wireman” to steal the drugs. He decapitates the biker, Ruth’s recently released son, with a wire stretched across the highway. Then the Wireman steals the truck containing the cocaine. Learning of the theft, Westray meets with the Counselor to notify him that the biker is dead and the cocaine stolen, bleakly intoning the Counselor’s culpability. Westray says he is leaving town immediately and suggests the Counselor do the same. Westray explains that the cartel’s ruthlessness extends to creating “snuff films” where murder victims are filmed having necrophilia performed on them on camera. The Counselor makes an urgent call to Laura, arranging to meet her in another state, where he will explain.Cameron Diaz and Javier Bardem in The Counselor (2013)The cartel has learned that the Counselor bailed out the Green Hornet, which appears as suspicious timing and fully blameworthy for the punitive purposes of the cartel. In Texas, two cartel members pretending to be police officers pull over the Wireman and his accomplice, killing both and also gunning down an innocent driver who comes upon the scene. Reiner is accidentally killed by cartel members while they are attempting to capture him. The cartel then kidnaps Laura. In a last-ditch effort, The Counselor contacts Jefe, a high-ranking cartel member, for suggestions on what to do next. Jefe darkly and mordantly advises the Counselor to resign himself irrevocably to the choices he made long beforehand, speaking philosophically, citing the life and poetry of Antonio Machado to underline his advice. The Counselor goes to Mexico, hoping to find and rescue Laura there. A package is slipped under the door of his hotel room and in it he finds a DVD with “Hola!” written on it, breaking down in heavy sobs at the awareness that the disc likely contains a snuff film of Laura sent by the cartel. In an unnamed location, Laura’s body is dumped into a landfill.Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in The Counselor (2013)Malkina’s failed effort to steal the drugs does not deter her. She tracks Westray to London, where she hires a blonde woman to seduce him and steal his bank codes. She then has accomplices steal Westray’s laptop, and he is killed with the “bolito” device that Reiner had previously described. Malkina then meets her banker at a restaurant, coolly explaining how she wants her profits and accounts to be handled.The movie has a very philosophical strain and can be watched a couple of times. There is also a sexual tone that some might find disturbing (especially the car window thing, you’ll know when you watch it), but it’s all about dominance. And it’s about life choices and planting things that you will for better or worse reap … not everyones cup of tea, but a very strong movie nevertheles

 

REVIEW: ONLY GOD FORGIVES

CAST

Ryan GOsling (Drive)
Kristin Scott Thomas (Mission: Impossible)
Vithaya Pansringarm (The Hangover: Part II)
Rhatha Phongam (Angels)
Tom Burke (I Want Candy)

Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives (2013)Julian is an American expatriate who runs a Muay Thai club in Bangkok, Thailand as a front for drug dealing. His older brother Billy rapes and kills an underage prostitute and is cornered by Thai police. Lieutenant Chang allows the girl’s father, Choi Yan Lee, to beat Billy to death in the same room Billy killed the girl. Chang then cuts off the father’s forearm for allowing his daughter to be a prostitute.Kristin Scott Thomas, Ryan Gosling, and Yayaying Rhatha Phongam in Only God Forgives (2013)Julian also engages in deviant sexual practices. He prefers to be bonded as he watches his favorite prostitute, Mai, masturbate. Upon discovering his brother has been murdered, Julian and his crew go to Choi’s kiosk to confront him. He decides to spare Choi’s life after hearing about Chang’s involvement. When Julian’s mother, Crystal, arrives in Bangkok to identify Billy’s corpse, she demands Julian find and kill the men responsible for Billy’s death. He refuses, believing Choi was justified in avenging the death of his daughter, infuriating Crystal. Fascinated by his sense of justice, Julian imagines meeting Chang in a dark room, where Chang cuts Julian’s hands off.Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives (2013)Julian brings Mai to meet Crystal, posing as his girlfriend. Crystal sees through the ruse, insulting Mai and demeaning Julian, pronouncing him to be sexually inferior to his dead brother. Julian is passive to Crystal’s verbal abuse, but his aggravation results in him viciously humiliating Mai afterwards. At Crystal’s request, one of the fighters at Julian’s boxing club assassinates Choi. Later, the police arrive at Julian’s club, but Chang concludes that Julian is not Choi’s killer. Julian recognises Chang from his visions and follows him from the boxing club, but Chang seems to disappear into thin air.Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives (2013)After learning that Chang was involved in Billy’s death, Crystal meets with an associate, Byron, to arrange Chang’s assassination. Three gunmen on motorbikes are sent to kill Chang at a restaurant, which results in several customers and two of Chang’s men being killed in a shoot-out. Chang kills two of the gunmen, follows the third on foot, throws boiling oil into his face and beats him with a frying pan. The surviving gunman leads Chang to his boss, Li Po, who has resorted to arranging assassination contracts as a means of providing for his crippled son. Chang then kills the gunman but spares Li Po after seeing his affection for his son. Li Po points Chang to Byron, who ordered the hit. Chang finds Byron in a club and tortures him to reveal the reasoning behind the hit.Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives (2013)Julian confronts Chang and challenges him to a fight at Julian’s boxing venue. Chang, an experienced boxer, quickly beats Julian, who does not land a single blow. Afterwards, Crystal tells Julian that Chang has figured out she ordered the hits. Fearful for her life, she pleads with Julian to kill Chang, the same way she asked Julian to kill his own father for her. She promises that after Julian kills Chang, they will go back home, and she will be a true mother to him. With his associate Charlie Ling, Julian infiltrates Chang’s home after shooting Chang’s guard dead, intent on ambushing Chang when he returns. Charlie informs Julian that Crystal instructed him to execute Chang’s entire family. Charlie murders the nanny of Chang’s daughter as she enters the home, but Julian kills Charlie before he can murder Chang’s young daughter.Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives (2013)Chang and a police officer find Crystal in the hotel where she is staying. She explains how Julian killed his father with his bare hands, asserting to Chang that Julian is violent and deranged, blaming him for the violent crimes committed in the family’s name. Chang decides to punish her by cutting her throat. Later, Julian returns to the hotel and finds his mother’s corpse. In silence, he approaches her body and cuts open her abdomen before placing his hand inside of the wound. Julian is later shown standing in a field with Chang, who appears to cut off both of Julian’s hands with his sword. Finally Chang is singing at a karaoke bar to an audience of attentive police officers.Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives (2013)Only God Forgives is sure not your typical thriller. It’s very slow burning movie, but it’s very well paced – slow isn’t weakness in this picture, it’s how it was mean to be seen. Strong acting, good cinematography and very solid directing – combined with some shockingly brutal scenes – this movie is a one you will hardly forget soon in a good way.

REVIEW: SKET

CAST

Ashley Walters (Bullet Boy)
Lily Loveless (Skins)
Riann Steele (Lovesick)
Aimee Kelly (Wolfblood)
Emma Hartley-Miller (Sunshine on Leith)
Adelayo Adedayo (Unlocked)
Varada Sethu (Now You See Me 2)
Richie Campbell (The Silence)
Ashley Chin (Cherry Tree Lane)

Emma Hartley-Miller, Adelayo Adedayo, Lily Loveless, Varada Sethu, and Aimee Kelly in Sket (2011)Sisters Kayla (Aimee Kelly) and Tanya (Kate Foster-Barnes) move from Newcastle upon Tyne to commence a new life near their estranged father after their mother has died. Kayla is reluctant to reconcile with him. Meanwhile, drug dealer/gang-boss Trey (Ashley Walters) has instructed his female companion Shaks (Riann Steele) to murder a crackhead who has fallen behind on the payments for her drugs.Emma Hartley-Miller and Aimee Kelly in Sket (2011)On her way home from a day of shopping, two youths harass Kayla on the bus. However, she manages to escape from harm after Danielle (Emma Hartley-Miller) and her crew beats them up. After her ordeal, Kayla decides to return home, instead of meeting her sister for a meal in a cafe. As Tanya leaves the cafe, she finds Trey attacking Shaks for not confronting the crackhead, and tries to help Shaks. Instead, Trey pounces on Tanya and leaves her in the street to die. Worrying that Kayla will reveal the identity of her sister’s killer to the police, Trey sends his men to take her out. Realizing that she is slowly running out of options, Kayla realizes her only hope of survival and revenge is to get in tow with Danielle and her crew, but could her new friendship cost Danielle’s life?Amid the niche market subject matter lies some credible acting. The film is character-rich, visual, menacing and real. It is slightly better than average independent film.