“Silence” Review

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Silence (2016)

**SPOILER ALERT**

“This is not the sort of film you “like” or “don’t like.”It’s a film that you experience – and then live with” (Matt Zoller Seitz).

“…wandering here over the desolate mountains – what an absurd situation!…I knew well, of course, that the greatest sin against God was despair; but the silence of God was something I could not fathom” (Rodrigues [Endo: 90]).

Martin Scorsese’s 28-years’ “passion” project culminated in the film “Silence“, based on the acclaimed novel by Shūsaku Endō. The film is about two 17th century Portuguese Catholic priests, Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Garupe (Adam Driver) who decide to travel to Japan in search of their former mentor, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson), who, most believe, betrayed his holy cause in the foreign land. Touching on delicate moral and religious issues, the film is powerful both in its vision and in its message, achieving its desired cinematographic goal to awe thanks to Scorsese’s dedicated and masterful direction, breath-taking cinematography and inspiring original material. Although the plot is uncomplicated and could even be considered “thin”, underneath every action and thought of the main character lies (and could be sensed) a myriad of contradictory emotions, culturally-divisive inner turmoil, and dormant causes for a later spiritual/religious re-awakening. 

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Film vs Book: M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village” & M. Peterson Haddix’s “Running Out of Time”

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 The Village is a 2004 film directed by M. Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense” (1999)), and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt and Bryce Dallas Howard. The film tells a tale of a 19th century village whose inhabitants live in constant fear of some creatures that start to terrorise the village population. One of the protagonists of the movie is a blind girl named Ivy. Although the movie is not as bad as critics claim and its soundtrack is absolutely beautiful, it has a needless array of well known star-actors involved, which is distracting. Running Out of Time is a hugely popular 1996 book by Margaret Peterson Haddix for young adults about a young girl (Jessie) in a 19th century village who is send on the mission to town to look for medicine to cure a diphtheria epidemic in her village. 

Even though the plots of both “The Village” and “Running Out of Time” are different, there are considerable similarities between the two. The ways in which the book and the film are similar speak volumes when one considers the most important things of both: “Running Out of Time” book’s narrative and “The Village” film’s final plot twist.

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“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Review

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

 **SPOILER ALERT**

Directed by David Yates and written by J.K. Rowling, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is a new film telling the story of Newt Scamander, the famous writer of the Hogwarts’ textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” in the magical world of Harry Potter. The film follows Newt as he arrives to New York City, U.S. with a suitcase full of magical creatures. When he inadvertently loses these same creatures, he incurs the wrath of the US Magical Congress, but, as it turns out, it becomes just one of his worries, as he partners with a Non-Maj (Muggle) Kowalsky and (ex)-Auror Tina to find his missing creatures. Especially stunning in IMAX 3D, the movie is spell-binding, gorgeously portraying the wizarding world of the United States in the 1920s, and all the unimaginable creatures in existence. Recently, it has become known that there will be four other movies in the “Fantastic Beast” franchise, all directed by David Yates. 

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“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (2016): Five Reasons for Harry Potter Fans to be Concerned

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A new film based on a short booklet titled “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” by J.K. Rowling is scheduled to come out later this year, but is it a good idea to re-visit the Harry Potter world once again on screen? Read more of this post

“Chinese Puzzle” Review

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Chinese Puzzle (2013)

Chinese Puzzle’ is the final film in Cédric Klapisch’s travel trilogy (other films are ‘L’Auberge Espagnole’ (2001) and ‘Russian Dolls’ (2004)). The film presents Xavier ( Romain Duris (‘Populaire’ (2012)), a French writer who leads a confused and stressful life in Paris. When his girlfriend of 10 years, Wendy (Kelly Reilly (‘Flight’ (2012)) leaves him for another man and moves to New York, Xavier follows her to the Big Apple to be closer to his children. In New York, Xavier’s adventures begin as he rekindles romance with his ex-girlfriend, Martine ( Audrey Tautou (‘Amélie’ (2001)), marries a Chinese-American to get a US green card and becomes a surrogate father to his lesbian friend, Isabelle ( Cecile De France).

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“Skyfall” Review

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Skyfall (2012)

For those who are not used to Sam Mendes’ work and its quality, ‘Skyfall’ may appear like another action flick of average quality, just another James Bond film, full of the same tricks recycled once again. But this is Sam Mendes film, which means that this first impression is false. ‘Skyfall’ is a delightful surprise which has the potential to exceed everyone’s expectations. The film is intelligent, stylish, funny and very well acted. It is certainly much better than the previous two films in the James Bond series. In this film, James Bond, who is badly wounded on the mission to Turkey and unfit for service, embarks on yet another mission to stop a former ‘…00’ MI6 agent from completing his evil plan.

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“The Bounty” Review

The Bounty (1984)

Based on real events and adapted from a book by Richard Hough, ‘The Bounty’ tells the story of an expedition voyage of a British ship HMS Bounty to the island of Tahiti, the Pacific. Led by Captain William Bligh (Anthony Hopkins) and Master’s mate, Fletcher Christian (Mel Gibson), the ship soon crosses the most dangerous waters in search of an island full of bread plants. However, the harsh discipline of the Captain on board and the attractions of the tropical paradise soon become too irresistible for the crew. The eventual mutiny on the ship, headed by Christian, is only the beginning of the adventure in which the levels of maritime skill and endurance become the ultimate factors of survival.  

It is impossible not to emphasise the cast here: apart from Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson in their respective lead roles, ‘The Bounty’ also stars Daniel Day-Lewis as the Sailing Master, Liam Neeson as the Ship’s Corporal, Philip Davis as the Midshipman and Lawrence Olivier as Admiral Hood. Some even say that it was ‘The Bounty’ which helped to rocket to stardom such distinguished actors nowadays as Anthony Hopkins, Liam Neeson and Daniel Day-Lewis, whose role in ‘The Bounty’ was the first most significant one in his career.

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