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Sin Nombre

Mexico – Drama . Thriller – 2009
Directed by Cary Fukunaga
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ – Story of a teenage girl reunited with her father, in a journey to cross the U.S. border to reach their dream; while a teenage boy is trying to run from a violent lifestyle of being a gang member.  As the story unfolds, the viewer gets to witness the reality and struggle of many Mexicans trying to find a better life, while also seeing the different perspectives of Mexicans themselves on this matter… [ imdb ]

Movie Trailer – Sin Nombre

The Skin I Live In . La Piel Que Habito

Spain – Thriller – 2011
Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ – This is an excellent Spanish Thriller starring Antonio Banderas.  It’s good to see Banderas outside of the crappy Hollywood movies he’s been doing recently, and going back into some real acting… in Spanish as well.  This movie has a great story of love, passion, obsession and vengeance.  As you learn about the different characters in the movie, we are taken for a ride with a twist so shocking you wouldn’t believe or want to believe. This is a must-see for the Thriller-Mystery fans… [ imdb ]

Movie trailer – The Skin I Live In

Headhunters . Hodejegerne

Norway – Thriller – 2011
Directed by Morten Tyldum
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ – Wow!! What an excellent Thriller! Interesting storyline that seem to start off somewhat slow in the beginning, but once it goes through introducing the main characters, it picks up speed quickly and continues with many unexpected twists & turns that will keep you on the path of playing the guessing game of what’s actually happening. Stylish, well acted and at times this movie gets quite gritty and intense. One of the best Thrillers I’ve seen in months… [ imdb ]

Headhunters – Movie trailer

Tyrannosaur

UK – Drama – 2011
Directed by Paddy Considine
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ -  I had the pleasure of watching this movie at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept 16th.  It was also very nice to be able to hear the personal side of the story from the Director himself, before and after the film.  You can really appreciate the personal experiences and the emotions that surround it.  This movie goes through a relationship between a man with a history of violence in the past which he’s trying to leave behind, and a seemingly happy religious woman.  You begin to find out about each other and their personal lives as the story unfolds in a very realistic manner.  Excellent performances by both leading actors, Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman… [ imdb ]

Tyrannosaur – Movie trailer

Countdown

Korea – Action . Drama – 2011
Directed by Huh Jung-Ho
♠ ♠ ♠ -  I had a chance to watch this movie at the Toronto International Film Festival during its World Premier screening on Sept 13th.  Although this is Huh Jung-Ho’s directorial debut film, you can tell that he had worked very hard and looked at every aspect of the movie in detail before the actual filming began.  Due to the interesting storyline, he was able to cast two very famous Korean actors, Jung Jae-Young and the beautiful Jeon Do-Yeon, who carried out their characters quite well throughout the movie.  If you like Korean action/thriller movies, I think you will be pleased with this film.  It’s not an “Oscar Winner” but it certainly was enjoyable and was able to keep me interested throughout the movie with its little twists and  some comical moments… [ imdb ]

Countdown – Movie trailer

Zatoichi – The Blind Swordsman

Japan – Action . Drama – 2003
Directed by Takeshi Kitano
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ -  This is a bit artsy yet an intense film in both storyline and the sword fight choreography.  With great unexpected twists and brutal yet realistic sword play, characters are developed and story is unfolded while pulling the audience in closer for more.  As many Asian films tend to have, there’s a comical character which might or might not work for some viewers but that’s a small part of the movie and I felt it still worked very well… [ imdb ]

Zatoichi – Movie Trailer

Mother

Korea – Mystery . Thriller – 2009
Directed by Joon-Ho Bong
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ -  A single mother fights to free the incarcerated son who has been framed for a murder in a small town in South Korea.  Joon-Ho Bong is one of the renowned directors from South Korea.  He gained his recognition from the great films such as “Memories of Murder” and “The Host”.  This is an excellent movie with twists and turns that keeps you thinking and guessing throughout the story… [ imdb ]

Mother – Movie trailer

Cashback

UK – Comedy . Romance – 2006
Directed by Sean Ellis
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ -  After a painful breakup, Ben develops insomnia. To kill time, he starts working the late night shift at the local supermarket, where his artistic imagination runs wild… [ imdb ]

Cashback – Movie trailer

City of Life and Death – Nanjing! Nanjing!

China . Hong Kong – Drama . War . History – 2009
Directed by Chuan Lu
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ -  This movie is a dramatization of the unforgettable horrifying historic event that occurred in 1937 when Nanjing was taken under siege by the Imperial Japanese Army.  Most people will know or at least have heard of the Nanjing Massacre.  Having said that, one would expect this movie to be  heavily skewed to make Japan look as evil as possible, since the hearts of Chinese people still feel pain as the Japanese government has yet apologize for it.  However, even though the director is Chinese, the story seemed to be told as how the event would have occurred and it lets the viewers have their own feelings about it.  Although there are lot of brutal historical facts that occurred at Nanjing and hence could have been shown more throughout the movie, I don’t think the director used them because the tragedy of the event is still well delivered to move the hearts of many… [ imdb ]

City of Life and Death – Movie trailer

Soy Cuba . I am Cuba

Soviet Union . Cuba, Drama . 1964
Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov
Partially written by: Enrique Pineda Barnet, renowned poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ -  “Don’t avert your eyes. Look! I am Cuba. For you, I am the casino, the bar, hotels and brothels. But the hands of these children and old people are also me” — Yevgeni Yevtushenko

This movie is composed of four short stories which focus on all the social issues and conditions Cuba had which eventually led to the 1959 Cuban Revolution.    The film was originally released in 1964 without much success, but it attracted a wider audience when it was re-released by Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.

The Camerawork is one of the best that I’ve ever seen.  The long-continuous shots set at off-angles that fit perfectly with the atmosphere/feel of the movie/storyline, cannot be unnoticed.   At times I caught myself trying to figure out how that could have been done, especially when it was shot in 1964.  This film should be included in the curriculum of any film school… lots to be studied and discussed, in terms of the storyline, the technical camerawork and cinematography… [ imdb ]

Soy Cuba . I am Cuba – Movie trailer

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