L’Immortel

Foreign movie – French (2012).

L’Immortel (22 Bullets is the English title) begins with Charly Mattei (Jean Reno) with one of his children and after letting his son off to view a street vendor, Charly, a former French crime boss enters the underground garage. It is here that his childhood friend, Tony Zakia, has ordered a hit on him.

After taking 22 bullets, Charly is on the mend and has revenge on his mind for those that started this. The movie is entertaining in it’s own right but the reason I chose this was because I’m a fan of Jean Reno. Although it is not his best performance, it is good nonetheless. This does have a pretty good supporting cast and the actors play their respective roles well.

I realized after three-fourths of the way through that I had seen this before. Even with this I still enjoyed the movie – need I say more? Go ahead and have butter on the popcorn…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columbus Circle (2012)

Abigail Clayton (Selma Blair) is a very, very lonely person. She is also very, very rich. This movie is full of twists and turns as we enter the daily life she leads. Abigail suffers from agoraphobia in which she is fearful of wide open spaces and situations where she may come in contact with others in malls, train stations, airports, etc. and she is being treated by the good doctor, Dr. Ray Fontaine played by Beau Bridges.

As the story unfolds I found myself on the edge of my seat in places and wasn’t ready for some of the twists this movie had to offer. It starts with Abigail’s neighbor being murdered and the suspense begins when a detective has some concerns over the circumstances of the murder. Then new neighbors move in even though Abigail has offered a lot of money for the apartment.

Abigail finds out the new couple have marital problems and befriends the new wife by comforting her after she is beaten by her husband. And this is where is really gets interesting. I can’t tell you what happens next, as this would really spoil the ending for you. You’ll have to rent it to see the ending…

 

No One Killed Jessica

Foreign film- Hindi (2011).

Based on the true story of Jessica Lall who was murdered in 1999.

Jessica, an aspiring model, refuses to serve her eventual killer a drink after hours in a local nightclub. Manish, the son of a intimidating, prominent, and wealthy politician succeeds in buying off the witnesses with his father’s help believes he has beaten the charges in the senseless, deadly crime.

After several years of attempting to prevail in justice, Jessica’s sister Sabrina finally gives up as all seems to favor the politician’s son even though all believe Manish is guilty.

Enter stage right, Meera, a well-known reporter takes on the challenge of righting the wrong for Jessica. Utilizing unorthodox means, Meera sets in motion the will of power of the people. What transpires is a national protest against those individuals who believe they are above the law.

A very compelling film, skip the wine for this one but do butter the popcorn.

Intelligence Seasons 1 & 2

Foreign TV series – Canada (2005-2007).

Jimmy Reardon, a Canadian gangster hanging out in the city of Vancouver, BC is the main character in this Canadian TV crime drama. Unlike most crime dramas where you can’t wait for the “bad” guy to get caught in the end, this one you can’t help but rooting for the bad guys and you immediately like Jimmy. He’s a likable guy played to a “T” by Ian Tracey.

Jimmy has a strange connection to Mary Spalding, head of the Organized Crime Unit stationed in Vancouver in a nemesis-colleague type relationship. You’ll find you are wishing them both well.

Jimmy has a lot of people on his side and the characters are well played by the cast. Chris Haddock, the TV series creator did an excellent job casting the crew for this series.

Throughout the series, it was tough to tell if certain characters were good guys or bad guys on both sides of the law. The bad guys had some good qualities, they also had some bad qualities. The good guys had some good qualities, they also had some bad qualities.

Storytelling was top notch beginning with the first episode till the last one. It kept me spellbound at the end of each episode wanting the next episode to start right away. I’ll have to warn you, watching this is like reading a good book – it’s tough to put down.

Have butter on the popcorn, but make sure you get the refillable box of popcorn as you’re going to need it for all these episodes. You may want to get a few boxes of Goobers, Dots, Jujubes, Sno-Caps, Juicy Fruits, Junior Mints, Milk Duds, Raisinets, and Good & Plenty – yeah, the whole candy case. Oh, did I forget the licorice?

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.

 

The Statement (2003)

Based on the events of a true story in 1944 where Pierre Brossard (Michael Caine), a Milice officer rounds up seven Jews and has a hand in executing them for their religious beliefs.

Now in the early 1990s, Broussard is on the run from the authorities and a group of underground assassins out to right the wrong done in the past.

Anne Marie Livi (Tilda Swinton), a French prosecutor known for her tenacity for solving crimes is teamed up with Colonel Rioux (Jeremy Northam) in their attempt to break through the church monks and Vichy sympathizers who have been protecting him all these years, before the ruthless underground hired guns get to him.

But who really wants Pierre Brossard dead? Ahh, you’ll have to watch this one to find out?

I’m a huge Michael Caine fan but prefer to see him in the “good guy” role but that’s just me, he’s still a great actor! By all means, have popcorn with butter on it for this movie.

Lilyhammer

This is a Netflix original series and season one began in 2011. This started off as an ugly duckling but you warmed up to it and the characters.

Mob boss Frank Tagliano rats out another mob boss after an attempt to snuff him out in his own bar goes awry. So, as a result of Frank giving up the Mafia boss he enters the witness protection program. He chooses Lilyhammer, Norway and he becomes Giovanni Henriksen.

Once here, Giovanni learns that Norway has a very bureaucratic culture and frustration after frustration, Giovanni reverts to his old ways and molds his new surroundings to fit his lifestyle.

This mini-series starts off slow but in the second or third episode you get hooked on the characters and I ended up watching all eight episodes. Season one did end kind of flat and wasn’t the ending I might have expected, but then again that’s what surprise endings are for.

I debated on the popcorn box rating but decided to give this a generous 3 PB mainly due to the likable characters. Oh, and you’ll love the theme song!

Echelon Conspiracy

A conspiracy thriller (2009) starring Martin Sheen, Shane West, Edward Burns, Tamara Feldman, Jonathan Pryce, and Ving Rhames starts out with Max Peterson, a techno-whiz who travels wherever he is needed. He gets an anonymous gift which happens to be a new phone unlike any other he has seen before.

Max begins to have good fortunes via a genie-like cell phone that sends him messages. The first is a tip on what card games and slot machines to play where he wins tons of money (where do I get one of these phones?). Here’s where the thriller part comes in. Max is chased by the authorities to find out who is killing recipient’s of the “free phones”. Ahhh, did I mention that there were others that received the “free phones” and are no longer among the living? That’s the caveat, the “free phone” people live exciting but short lives.

Max intends to beat this trend and live a long and prosperous life. I should mention here that there’s more than meets the eye in this espionage thriller – is there really a Dr. Evil?? Only one way to find that out. This movie is similar to “WarGames” where a computer is the ultimate Dr. Evil. Oops, I may have given away too much. It’s enjoyable anyway!

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.

I Am Number Four

Based on the 2010 novel, John Smith is one of nine Lorics (aliens) living on planet Earth. Each of the nine aliens also have a guardian called a Cepan to protect them as best they can. Each of the nine members of the Garde have special powers called Legacies which are mentored by their respective Cepan.

Enter the Mogadorians, hideous creatures with really sharp teeth, out to annihilate the Lorics but the caveat is the nine aliens have to be terminated in numerical order. There’s something to be said about being Number Nine.

The movie (2011) opens with Number Three getting done in by the guys in the black capes and it pans to Daniel Jones (aka, Number Four) leaving the State of Florida en-route to Paradise, OH. Now known as John Smith, Number Four decides he wants to stay put and not run anymore. Did I mention he met the cute girl?

The Lorics all have different special powers called “Legacies” and combined they can be a powerful lot to contend with. Number Four and Number Six “find” each other through telekinesis (they all have this power) and defeat the Moga-bad doers. Four and Six head out on a journey to gather up the other Lorics in their attempt to settle down. This has the makings of a sequel, so Sci-Fi followers, stay tuned.