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

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


Japanese Drama-Mystery-Thriller . 2010
Directed by Tetsuya Nakashima
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ – A story of a woman, a mother… who plans and executes an ultimate revenge for her daughter’s death. [ imdb  ]

Confessions – Movie trailer


Jean-Claude Van Damme
Directed by Mabrouk El Mechri
Belgium . Drama-Crime-Comedy . 2008
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ – This is not a regular Van Damme movie.  And most importantly, this is not the same ass kicking Van Damme we’re used to seeing in his Action movies.  He plays himself in a fictional story which actually has a lot of non-fictional emotions/experiences tied together.  This movie is in French, so you don’t have to worry about the funny accent either.  This is by far his best performance (yes, acting-performance) and movie to date.  There are handful of comical elements throughout the movie as well which are mostly him making fun of himself.  Whether you are Van Damme’s fan or not, if you appreciate a good movie then you should definitely check this out… [ imdb ]

JCVD – Movie trailer

The Fall

Adventure-Drama-Fantasy . 2006
Directed by Tarsem Singh
[David Fincher & Spike Jones Presents ]
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ – Story of human interactions and emotions developed throughout the movie by developing unlikely friendship between an injured stuntman and a little girl with a broken arm… met in a hospital.  Story is told using sequential mini fantastical mythical heroic tales, which illustrates their relationship and their emotions.  Amazing cinematography!!… [ imdb ]

The Fall – Movie trailer

The Secret in Their Eyes

Argentina . Drama-Mystery . 2009
Directed by Juan José Campanella
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ – A story of a man spending his life trying to find justice for the criminal who brutally murdered his beloved wife.  Story seems simple but there are twists and turns that will evoke your emotions throughout the movie… until the very end… [ imdb ]

The Secret in Their Eyes – Movie trailer

Eastern Promises

Crime-Drama-Mystery . 2007
Directed by David Cronenberg
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ – A midwife tries to find the family of a newborn, from a teenage mother who dies giving birth.  A horrifying diary is what she’s left as clues… which incidentally brings her to a violent Russian mob family.  Viggo Mortensen’s acting is superb in this movie, as well as Vincent Cassel… as always… [ imdb ]

Eastern Promises – Movie trailer