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Thriller

Message from the King (2016)

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Message from the king

Summary

A mystMessage from the Kingerious outsider named Jacob King from South Africa arrives in Los Angeles to avenge his younger sister’s death.

Genre : Thriller
Country : USA/UK/Belgium

Cast :
Chadwick Boseman : Jacob King
Luke Evans : Wentworth
Alfred Molina : Preston

Director :
Fabrice du Welz

My opinion on “Message from the King”

“It’s Bianca.
She’s got a brother.
He’s in town, says he has what we’ve been looking for.
He’s out of control, Mike.
You told me Bianca was not a problem anymore.
Bianca isn’t a problem anymore. I’m afraid that’s his problem.”

Those who imagine the Los Angeles metropolis to be idealistically beautiful, they should adjust that view after watching “Message from the King”. The less beautiful part of Los Angeles is used here. An impoverished neighborhood where the vast majority of residents live in poverty and where crime and drugs are an obvious part of society. Ash gray ghettos full of human suffering. And that’s being emphasized by drizzly weather. The crowded mortuary is a reflection of these fading slums. A collection of nobodies who died because of an overdose, madness (drowned in a bathtub as an imaginary fish) and gang violence.

Message from the King

All you need is a bicycle chain.

This is what Jacob King (Chadwick Boseman) faces when he arrives in L.A. The reason why he’s staying in the city of angels is the sudden disappearance of his younger sister Bianca (Sibongile Mlambo). Soon he discovers the sore situation his sister got herself into and what it did to her : she earned a spot in the mortuary with a name tag on her big toe. The search for the murderers of his younger sister brings him in touch with all kind of figures. Trish (Natalie Martinez) the loyal neighbor points him in the right direction after which he meets a violent gang of Balkan criminals run by a certain Zico (Lucan Melkonian). Then there’s the rich dentist Wentworth (Luke Evans) and the wealthy movie producer Preston (Alfred Molina). And let me tell you. Some of them are getting to know the bicycle chain he just bought, in a less pleasant way.

Message from the King

Cape Flat.

For Jacob, these L.A. neighborhoods probably still look like charming neighborhoods compared to where he comes from. His sister Bianca, his deceased brother Isaac and Jacob himself, lived the largest part of their life in South Africa in the Cape Flat townships, a sandy area south of Cape Town and better known as “Apartheid’s dumping ground”. A dilapidated community where gangs rule. Both in the slums and in prison. Such as “The Number Gangs”. Isaac was a member of this notorious gang, until his death. Reason enough for Bianca to turn her back on her home country and to seek salvation in the United States.

Message from the King

I’ll be damned. It’s directed by a Belgian.

You could say this movie is a cheaper version of “The Equalizer” with Boseman having an equal personality as Denzel Washington. A cold-blooded but alert person who has control over his violent eruptions and who accurately follows the traces to solve the criminal puzzle in the end. However, the ultimate motive remains quite mysterious. Perhaps the only minus I could find in this hard-core, ultra-dark movie. In fact, it’s an ordinary revenge film that differs slightly from others because of its quirky atmosphere and tone. And afterwards I discovered the film was directed by a fellow countryman : Fabrice du Welz. Maybe that’s why this movie displays a kind of willfulness.

Message from the King

Why hesitate? Go watch it!

Even though this action-flick is soaked by cliché elements (corrupt policemen, a cunning politician and a prostitute (TeresaLights OutPalmer) who plays the Good Samaritan), you can speak of a stylish end product. No explicit violence scenes (the result is usually more explicit than the action itself) and a few star-like interpretations like that of Teresa Palmer. But especially Chadwick Boseman impressed. A man with few words, but hard negotiating techniques. From the very first instance, I was fascinated by him. In my opinion, this is yet again a rough diamond that simmers on Netflix undiscovered. Don’t let anybody stop you from watching this when you bump into it somewhere, because this will surely surprise you.

My rating 7/10
Links : IMDB

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Crime

The Untouchables – A Retrospective Look

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I watched this in honour of Sean Connery who sadly passed away the day before. It must be 10 years since I have watched this, and I had forgotten how brilliant it actually was.

What is often overlooked with ‘The Untouchables’ is just how emotional it is in parts, from Ness (Kevin Costner) meeting the mother of a girl blown up by a cafe bomb to the touching climax between Ness and Stone (Andy Garcia). It is a film that is genuinely upsetting to see the end, you would be quite happy to spend more time with these people.

It is also undoubtedly a film about friendship and that is where the late great Sean Connery stands out from the cast. As supposedly past it beat cop Malone, he strikes as a man of lonely isolation, just trying to get through every shift alive. He is at first suspicious of Ness but soon warms to what Ness is trying to achieve and there the bond between the two starts. Malone’s relationship with Stone gets off to a less auspicious start but by the end of the film, the relationship produces one final emotional wallop that we all deeply feel. Throw in accountant Oscar Wallace, played for the comic relief by Charles Martin Smith and we have four disparate men bonding over their end goal, to catch and see justice brought again crime lord Al Capone, (played with menace by Robert DeNiro).

There is so much to admire here, some of the setpieces are simply astonishing, the stakeout and subsequent battle on the Canadian border are sensationally choreographed, and a homage to the Odessa Steps sequence from Battleship Potemkin is nerve shreddingly executed. The violence is brutal and shocking at times and as stated previously the deaths are graphic and in one particular case deeply moving.

Kevin Costner was a star on the rise at this point, with big hits like ‘Field of Dreams,’ ‘Dances With Wolves,’  ‘JFK’ and ‘Robin Hood’ to come, he is excellent as the clean-cut family man Ness. A young Andy Garcia is impressive as the sharpshooting Stone, but this is Connery’s film. It’s an exceptional performance filled with guile, wisdom and what is apparent from the get-go, anger. He would win an Academy Award for this film and few could argue against it.

Its an incredibly neat and tidy film, it never outstays its welcome or gets too bogged down in courtroom showdowns. It’s gritty and powerful and a reminder of just how good an actor and phenomenal screen presence Connery was. It doesn’t get much better than this.

This review is dedicated to the memory of Sir Sean Connery 25/8/1930 – 31/10/2020 – A true screen icon

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Action

Fatman | Official Trailer – Starring Mel Gibson

To save his declining business, Chris Cringle, also known as Santa Claus, is forced into a partnership with the military; a devious 12-year-old hires a hitman to kill Santa after getting a lump of coal in his stocking.

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Genre:

Action, Comedy, Thriller

Release Date:

November 17, 2020

Director:

Eshom Nelms, Ian Nelms

Cast:

Mel Gibson, Walton Goggins, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Shaun Benson, Chance Hurstfield, Bill Turnbull,

Plot Summary:

Santa Claus must contend with a hitman sent from a disappointed child.

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HORROR

The Boat | How Exciting Can A Movie Be In Which A Boat Sails Its Own Course?

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Abandoned
Adrift
Not Alone

 

Obviously, there are more movies about machines suddenly having a will of their own and starting to make life miserable for their fellow humans. For example, in days long gone, there was Herbie, the love bug, who regularly took over the steering wheel without asking. Admittedly, this movie won’t scare you since it was a hilarious family movie. Of a different caliber is the movie “The Car” with a demonic, black Lincoln Continental Mark III car that repeatedly left a rubber trail on the face of an innocent passer-by. Even better and more famous, the glitzy Plymouth Fury ’58 in “Christine”. A car that could restore its wrinkled bodywork to its original condition without hesitating. And it killed those who bothered its owner. You could say that the “Titanic” made quite a few victims as well. But that wasn’t because this mastodon of a boat suddenly started sailing its own course, but rather because an iceberg popped up suddenly. The boat in this movie, on the other hand, is a different story. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

 

 

There’s not much to work with.

It does sound exciting. The film itself wasn’t. But admit. How exciting can a movie be in which a boat sails its own course? And what if there’s a passenger on board who accidentally ended up there? The only thing such a wayward boat can do is try to get that guy off the boat by swinging certain parts in his direction. You can also lock him up in a small room so that he can’t move. But these are eventually all the available possibilities that can be used. Unfortunately, you still have to fill up the rest of the film.

 

 

Rocking the boat.

And that’s what you get the rest of the movie. Uninteresting filler footage. You see how a young fisherman (Joe Azzopardi) leaves his house in the morning and sails his boat across the Maltese azure blue ocean. I suppose to go fishing. I immediately wondered why he had to go so far at sea for this. That aside, because I’m actually a complete layman when it comes to fishing at sea. In any case, he ends up in a fog bank and (literally) bumps into the abandoned sailboat. When he climbs on board to see if anyone is present, he suddenly finds out that his own boat has disappeared. And so he finds himself in a hopeless situation. Completely alone. Without water, without food, and non-working communication tools.

 

 

Nope, it wasn’t exciting for me.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. I had a similar feeling about “All is lost”. There’s nothing wrong with the used images. The endless ocean and dark cloud formations are rewarding objects for making timeless images. Even the footage inside the cursed ship (with its limited surface area) looks professional. But a single man on a boat bobbing around, cannot provide lengthy, entertaining conversations. Apart from a bit of grumbling, swearing, and murmuring, there is nothing to be heard in that area here. And at one point it seemed as if the film was repeating itself. The only highlights you could mention are the toilet scene and the storm suddenly coming up. And of course, the acting of the sole protagonist wasn’t bad at all (even if it was limited to staring desperately). But otherwise, in my personal opinion, I thought it was pretty boring. Even the denouement was pretty dull. As if they were also a bit on a wrong track in terms of creativity. That last image of the floating boating on the horizon had the wrong effect on me. It just made me chuckle quietly.

 

 

My rating 3/10
Links: IMDB

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