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Thriller

Kidnap (2017)

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In the US, a chilKidnapd goes missing every 40 seconds. You never think it will happen to you. Until it does. Alone and scared, Karla Dyson is unwilling to leave the fate of her son’s life in someone else’s hands. When she catches a glimpse of the abductors speeding away, she decides to fight back. In a heart pounding race against time, Karla begins a high speed pursuit and will stop at nothing to save her son’s life.

Genre : Thriller
Country : USA

Cast :
Halle Berry : Karla Dyson
Sage Correa : Frankie
Lew Temple : Terry

Director :
Louis Prieto

My opinion on “Kidnap”

“Okay, God, I know I never pray to you unless somebody is sick.
Or somebody’s dying or in an airplane.
But, God, please don’t let me lose him.”

Do you remember “The Call” from a few years ago, with Halle Berry as a member of a 911 call center who was constantly talking to the victim of a kidnapping case. A victim who was locked up in the trunk of the kidnapper’s car. It was a story full of nonsense but it was terribly exciting and unnerving. Here it’s about something similar. Only now, Halle Berry is the one whose son is kidnapped by an unknown, after which she starts to chase the kidnappers with her car. Ultimately, this film is nothing more than one long car chase with Karla driving her burgundy red SUV. I can already tell you this. It’s also a thrilling movie. But unfortunately, it’s also full of nonsense and irritating developments.

Kidnap

Yes, it’s exciting. But it’s even more annoying.

Kidnap” is not only about kidnapping innocent kids, but it’s also about the desperation and perseverance of a mother. Halle Berry shows that she wants to rescue her son out of the hands of the kidnappers at any cost. But that’s also the only positive thing. The way she demonstrates that it’s better not to mess with a raging mother who protects her child frantically. Furthermore, it was simply a terribly annoying film. I already mentioned that it can be exciting sometimes, but unfortunately these exciting moments were ruined by totally nonsensical events. I’ve never looked at a screen so many times with disbelief and saying “Oh come on” to myself regularly. Even my wife tried to calm me down and prepared a soothing tea for me.

Kidnap

I wouldn’t be so gentle.

Admittedly, I guess the main characters just needed to follow the script. The subject is fairly straightforward and leaves little room for improvisation. Kidnapping a child is the central theme and that’s it. The course of the story therefore is already predetermined. That’s self-evident. But the denouement being so predictable, was a bit too much. But what really pissed me of, was the behavior of Halle Berry. I’m sorry, but if my son was in that car I was chasing, I wouldn’t be driving like a stressed out grandmother. And believe me. If I had the chance, those kidnappers would see tire marks on their foreheads even weeks later. And if someone from a police force drives past you, wouldn’t it be smart to ram the alleged car of the road? Sometimes it annoys me what people do in a movie. In “Kidnap“, it was the other way around. Here I was annoyed about what she didn’t do. I’m not blaming Halle Berry. I guess she was just following the script.

Kidnap

Is “Kidnap” a movie you’d love to see?

So, you want to see a not so very intelligent film which sometimes seems exciting? A film with virtually no interaction between the different characters? And the protagonist constantly performing monotonous monologues as she pursues the perpetrators. You don’t mind if the intervention of the police forces seems so indifferent while the motorway is being recreated into a junkyard? And finally, you don’t have kids yourself? Well, that means “Kidnap” is something for you. Fortunately I didn’t bother to watch it on the big screen.

PS. One last warning. Are you a fan of action-packed, lightning-fast car chases? Well, forget about that here. It’s perhaps a mega-long chase, but this one is at snail’s pace. It looks like a road-rage-course for seniors.

My rating 4/10
Links : IMDB

Action

The Silencing | Great Cinematography From A Low Budget Film

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I need to see that girl.
She could be my daughter.

 

It’s always nice to see how actors from a successful television series cope in a feature film. And especially if the genre is quite different from what they played in that series. Here Nikolaj Coster-Waldau makes a decent attempt to show that he has more to offer than playing a king’s son who prefers to perform gymnastic exercises with his sister between the sheets. His performance here is on a similar level to that of Jaime Lannister in “Game of Thrones”. Convincing enough, but not exactly of exceptional quality. A role that doesn’t annoy you. But every time you see his face somewhere, you have to think for a moment where you know that face from. This is also the case here in “The Silencing”. I was like, “Damn, where do I know this guy from?”. Only after fifteen minutes or so, I could figure it out.

 

 

Where there’s grief, there’s booze.

The Silencing” itself is of the same level. Certainly not a bad movie. But also not a movie that’ll blow you away. The story felt a bit incomplete to me. There were some improbabilities (not to say completely nonsensical decisions). And the denouement with the disclosure of the perpetrator and his motivation, I personally found a bit far-fetched. The film had something “Silence of the Lambs“-ish but then set in an extensive, forest-like nature reserve. An area managed by Rayborn Swanson (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) that has been given the name “Gwen Swanson sanctuary”. A reference to his daughter who has been missing for 5 years. It’s a place where animals can live undisturbed and protected, far from hunters and poachers. Rayborn lives an isolated life far from the civilized world. A way to silently grief about the loss of his daughter. Usually by consuming liters of alcohol. A bit strange because that’s exactly what caused that disappearance.

 

 

There’s a serial killer on the loose.

The story gets a little bit more exciting the moment a serial killer comes into the picture. Someone who probably watched “The Hunt” too much. What follows, is a cat-and-mouse game with the participation of the local female sheriff Alice Gustafson (Annabelle Wallis, series-loving fans will recognize her from “Peaky Blinders”) who herself has her hands full with the stupidities her little brother Brooks (Hero Fiennes Tiffin), a drug addict with a traumatic past.

 

 

Ridiculous things.

Without a doubt, this could have been a much better, coherent movie, provided the script was changed a bit. It’s linked together with hooks and eyes. Full of coincidences and ridiculous twists. Decisions are made that are too ridiculous for words. Alice’s surprising action at one point is understandable on the one hand. But on the other hand completely unreal. And the indifference that those involved show afterward as if nothing had ever happened, made me frown for a moment. Rayborn’s paint pot trick seemed so absurd and stupid that I spontaneously burst out laughing. Not exactly applicable to a serious thriller about a serial killer.

 

Mediocrity rules.

The Silencing” isn’t so great. A mediocre piece of movie. Actually, you could say that you’ve seen it all before in other movies. And much better movies too. Cinematographically it looks professional (despite the low budget) and the general mood is also good. But, when you love watching exciting flicks with nerve-racking suspense, you’ll be disappointed. The only thing I can’t say anything wrong about is Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s acting. Solid and constant. Just like in “Game of Thrones“. Again a pitiful persona. But I’m sure I won’t recognize him in his next feature. Once again.

 

 

My rating 5/10
Links: IMDB

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Tenet – The Movie Mind Puzzle Of The Year

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There were times during ‘Tenet,’ that I wanted to perform a most heinous code violation by ripping off my face mask and declaring to all that “I bloody love Cinema”. Some of the action set-pieces in this film have to be seen on the big screen to do them justice. One particular sequence on an Estonian motorway is the sort of action that makes cinema such a magical and wondrous place.  I realized at this point I had missed cinema enormously over the past 6 months and it was wonderful to be back.

As for the film itself, I was quite nervous going in. I had read from one reviewer that it was “obnoxiously complex”, that a lot of the dialogue was mumbled or drowned by an omnipresent rumble of a score and that the film was incredibly difficult to follow. I won’t pretend that I understood everything that was going on, but it definitely wasn’t the mind dump that several claimed. I certainly followed it better than I do with the average David Lynch film. The sound is an interesting point, and I’ll come back to that shortly. It certainly is easy to write a “spoiler-free” review as I wouldn’t know how to spoil it for people.

The film charges along at a staggering pace, with the 2 and a half-hour run time zipping by. Performance-wise, John David Washington surely can have as good of a leading man career as his father,  while  Robert Pattinson continues to prove all his naysayers wrong with a charming yet enigmatic performance. Kenneth Branagh manages to keep the panto villainy just about under control, but the stand out for me was Elizabeth Debicki, who added a level of grace to the proceedings.

The action never lets up, and more importantly, it all has a purpose. It is not just thrown in there to demonstrate the techniques that Nolan possesses, it is all plot-driven. From the electric prologue at the Kyiv Opera to a Mission Impossible-style raid on an art warehouse at an airport, to the aforementioned Estonian motorway to the climactic showdown at a Soviet “closed city”, this is all part of the topsy-turvy narrative.

People have claimed that they struggled to hear all of the dialogue, which makes a confusing film even more of a challenge to comprehend. I do agree, there were some scenes where dialogue was often drowned out by the surrounding wall of noise. I don’t think this is anything new with Nolan films. I have a theory that Nolan makes films if you take Inception and Interstellar before Tenet, that is designed to have repeat viewings. His films are puzzles that can’t necessarily be understood on the first watch, some trails and thoughts perhaps are designed to make people come back to re-watch. You could argue, why to make a film that once watched can be dispensed with.

I didn’t find the occasionally intrusive score spoiled my enjoyment of the film, as the spectacle more than made up for it.

This is a hugely ambitious, occasionally baffling piece of cinema, packed with some of the most audacious action sequences (all shot with practical effects btw) I’ve seen in a long time. Yes, the plot is convoluted, yes there are sequences where you genuinely need a moment. About three-quarters of the way in, Pattinson asks Washington “Does your brain hurt yet?”, the audience answers for him with a knowing “a little”. It is a feast for the eyes, which is also quite humorous in places.

It’s films like this that make me appreciate the wonder of cinema, an original, standalone, non-franchise piece of searing entertainment. I’m glad I didn’t understand all of it, as it just encourages me to go watch it again.

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No Time To Die | Official Trailer 2 – HD

Recruited to rescue a kidnapped scientist, globe-trotting spy James Bond finds himself hot on the trail of a mysterious villain, who’s armed with a dangerous new technology.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Thriller

Release Date:

November 20, 2020

Director :

Cary Joji Fukunaga

Cast:

Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Léa Seydoux, Rami Malek, Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Ben Whishaw

Plot Summary:

Recruited to rescue a kidnapped scientist, globe-trotting spy James Bond finds himself hot on the trail of a mysterious villain, who’s armed with a dangerous new technology.

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