Haywire

In this 2011 thriller, a member of a black ops mission is set up and she’s on a quest to seek revenge on those responsible for setting her up. She has to use all her skills to stay alive. It took me awhile to figure out who the good guys were and who the bad guys were.

After a covert operation in Barcelona, Mallory Kane is sent on another mission to Ireland where she is earmarked for elimination. Realizing she has been double crossed, she embarks on a mission to uncover the culprits. There’s a lot of intrigue in this movie with good performances by Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, and Bill Paxton among others.

 

Max Manus: Man of War

Foreign film – Norwegian (2008).

Two things amazed me about this film: great directing and great acting. Max Manus was probably Norway’s greatest war hero.

Upon his return from Finland after doing battle with the Russians he became one of the best saboteurs of World War II when he joined the Norwegian resistance. His specialty was blowing up warships and the most notable was the sinking of the “Donau” as she was headed out of Oslo Harbor.

Throughout the film, Max not only battles the enemy but with his own inner demons and he feels responsible for the deaths of his friends and wonders why he is being spared.

You almost feel as if you are part of the film as this was a truly incredible story. Don’t miss this one and go ahead and put butter on the pop corn. The only thing I would have liked was to see this film on the big screen.

Ironclad

A 2011 British Medieval yarn where King John is being unruly and the Barons’ of England force him to sign the Magna Carta in the year 1215. The Magna Carta is suppose to uphold the free men of England. Oh, but the king is not one for being told what to do, so he enlists the help of Norwegian Vikings to be his brawn in his plan to return to the throne – lock, stock, and barrel so to speak in. The key to England lies at Rochester Castle. This has some real drag ’em down fight scenes you’ll not want to miss

This is what many of us believe a true Medieval setting as we wish for and this is true to its surroundings complete with castles, swords, and warriors in chain mail on leather armored horses. Beware though, this is a quite bloody and gory flick not for the faint of heart – BTW, you’ll want to hold onto yours. By all means have popcorn but skip the butter and yield on the chocolate morsels for this movie at least.

Seven Samurai

Set in a Japanese farming village under attack by an army of bad-doers with evil intentions to strip the farming village of their food and other taken amenities. Most of us may remember the 1960 remake of the Seven Samurai as The Magnificent Seven, another classic movie. Both movies parallel each other almost to a “t”. This is an enjoyable movie no matter how many times I see it complete with sub-titles, but what would you expect for Foreign Film Fridays?

There are plans for a remake of the original movie and I’m curious how this film will follow the other two. In my research of the 2011 remake the setting will be in a northern Thailand village. The residents eventually hires a group (seven, I presume) of paramilitary mercenaries. Should be interesting as both movies are current classics. Get butter for the popcorn as this is a lengthy movie, a couple bags of licorice, Goobers, and some Jujubes.

The Way

A 2001 inspirational movie about whatever it is we want this to be opens with a conversation between a father and his son. Turns out it was the last conversation they had together, although they do connect spiritually throughout the movie. The movie is done well and Martin Sheen does a great job with his role and Emilio Estevez did a great job directing it. Tom (Sheen) travels to France to collect his son Daniel (Estevez).

Tom decides to spread his son’s ashes throughout the pilgrimage along the El Camino de Santiago. While on his travels, Tom hooks up with several others on the pilgrimage for their own reasons. Joost, Sarah, and Jack join Tom because it seemed the right thing to do. After you watch this movie you may even want to hike the pilgrimage from the Pyrenees to Santiago as well. I think I’d like to but alas, to only find the time. I hear there’s lots of wine along the Way!