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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

Drama

Quien a Hierro Mata: This Is Not A Fast Paced Action Hollywood Film

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One harsh word or lack of respect for my father,
and I come here and raise hell.

 

Revenge movies. Nothing’s more fun than watching a blood-curdling film in which a victim, who has been beaten to a pulp or almost tortured to death, resurrects and ruthlessly and cruelly takes revenge on his or her assailants. Revenge films come in different variations and gradations. The only similarity they have is that those who are the cause of all the misery generally get the short end of the stick (except in “Eden Lake”). Revenge films have been in circulation for a long time and yet form a tasteful subgenre. Who remembers “The Toxic Avenger”? A hilarious and bloody film in which a nerd, constantly being bullied by local kids, mutates into a nasty chemical creature that takes revenge in a violent way. Or the controversial film “I Spit on Your Grave“? “Revenge“, “Hard Candy” and “John Wick“? The line is big and always has one outcome: mutilated perpetrator(s) and a victim who leaves the past behind with his/her head held high and determinedly faces a new, carefree future.

 

Quien a hierro mata

 

An avenging angel.

In “Quien a Hierro Mata” (aka “Eye For an Eye”), the protagonist Mario (Louis Tosar) cannot completely let go of the past. Images from that period haunt his mind and everything indicates that this nurse at a senior care facility can never settle for the injustice done to his family. The seemingly calm and easy-going caretaker nevertheless has a bright future ahead of him. His wife Julia (María Vázquez) is pregnant with their first child. Nothing seems to get in the way of happiness. Until one day Antonio Padin (Xan Cejudo), the notorious head of a drug cartel, has decided to exchange prison life for a stay in the retirement home where Mario is employed. Antonio Padin suffers from a terminal illness that slowly paralyzes him. And apparently, the relationship between him and his two sons Toño (Ismael Martinez) and Kike (Enric Auquer) is so sour that he opts for the retirement home rather than waiting for his end at home. By coincidence, there’s a link between Mario and this deteriorating old man that causes Mario to slowly transform from a good-natured person into an avenging angel with a dark plan.

 

Quien a hierro mata

 

Be warned. It’s a slow-burner.

Let me immediately warn the action movie fetishists. This is not a Hollywood film in which the action scenes follow each other at a shockingly fast pace. The film is a real slow-burner, with some violent scenes here and there in the first half. Just to demonstrate that the Padin family aren’t only hard-working entrepreneurs, operating a thriving crab-industry with associated culinary establishments. You’ll see that the traps on their fishing boats can also be used for other purposes. And when the two brothers visit their father in the retirement home, just to report to him about their future plans with Chinese customers, they make sure everybody knows that they are untouchable and feared individuals. Kike in particular is an annoying guy with a short fuse who, even without hesitation, questions his father’s mental health and treats him disrespectfully.

 

Quien a hierro mata

 

Dark and gripping.

Quien a Hierro Mata” is a dark and gripping thriller that excels thanks to its raw realism and the way in which various actors portray it. All credit to Louis Tosar for showing in a solid way how a tragic past (shown through a whole lot of flashbacks) determines how he judges over certain actions. The imposing beard hides every emotion. His character immediately reminded me of Joaquin Phoenix in “You were never really here”. The ius talionis principle that he applies here (hence the film title) is what makes this film more unique compared to other revenge films. This vigilante ensures that the perpetrator undergoes the same treatment under the same circumstances. Let’s put the make-up department in the spotlight as well. Because, the way Antonio is slowly changing looks terrifying. I was just wondering if Antonio Padin noticed what was happening to him.

 

Quien a hierro mata

 

Worthwhile to give it a try.

I admit it. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Spanish-language films several times already. After “Aterrados” and “El Hoyo” I also thought this was a successful film. Certainly not a disappointment, after I started watching it on Netflix without any prior knowledge. First of all, you think this is an average revenge movie with the same known storyline. But this soon changes due to the sudden twist and the shocking denouement. It’s wonderful to see how they’ve managed to change the tone of this film from ordinary to moderately chaotic aggressive. The film shows how deep-seated hatred can change a person. It’s not an exceptional film, but it’s relentless and definitely worth watching. I was just wondering one thing. How is it that this retirement home didn’t simply refuse the admission of a known and feared drug lord?

“Quien a Hierro Mata” is now available on Netflix

 

 

My rating 7/10
Links: IMDB

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HORROR

Z: Its Presence Is Clearly Felt In Every Dark Grim Scene

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ZZ likes it dark.

 

Movies with creepy little boys. With “Z” you also have the feeling you are getting yet another horror in which such a demonic boy is in command. Only recently I saw “The Prodigy” where the son of the house slowly develops a deviating pattern of behavior. That movie was about reincarnation. In “Z” it’s about having an imaginary friend. When Joshua Parsons (Jett Klyne) introduces his friend “Z” to his parents, they don’t really worry at first. They think it’s probably just a phase their kid has to struggle through. They even think it’s cute, in a certain way. Until suddenly school friends don’t want anything to do with Josh anymore, Elizabeth (Keegan Connor Tracy) becomes aware of strange things and finally, Joshua is also suspended from school because of intolerable behavior. At that moment, Elizabeth starts to realize that this imaginary friend has a tremendous influence on her sweet son.

 

Z

 

Just an ordinary horror, I thought.

Until halfway through the film it seems like an ordinary average horror. Including, something terrible happening to one of Joshua’s school friends (with or without Z’s collaboration) and Joshua revealing a horrible drawing in his bedroom. Believe me. Draw a black top hat on the head of this scary creature and you have the twin brother of “The Babadook” in front of you. Now is the time for Elizabeth to sound the alarm, while dad Kevin (Sean Rogerson) is still in a phase of denial and suffers from utter blindness, and get in touch with psychologist Dr. Seager (Stephen McHattie) to present the problem. The well-known tricks from the horror genre are being used in “Z” of course. So again the shady spots with scary sounds. Toys that come to life. And nocturnal wanderings through the semi-darkness (while every sensible person would turn on the light anyway) with a few jump-scares as a result. Even a creepy bath scene couldn’t fail to come.

 

Z

 

Hey, it turns out to be completely something different.

And yet the film cleverly changes the mood and shifts the focus from a scary invisible friend to a long-forgotten childhood trauma that set the whole mechanism in motion. And before you realize it, the creepy horror story has given way to a sort of psychological thriller. From here, Joshua is no longer central, but the story focuses on Elizabeth. And frankly, the way Keegan Connor Tracy gives shape to this character was of exceptionally high level. An obviously confused person who slowly but surely sinks further into complete madness as a tormented soul. The father’s character contrasts sharply with that of his family members. In the end, I found it a meaningless person and quite implausible as a father figure. On the one hand, he said nothing about the red notes from school that exposed Joshua’s misconduct. On the other hand, he’s blind with anger when hearing that his son has been prescribed medication without his knowledge. Ah, as always in horror movies, it’s usually the fathers who navigate through the story carefree and never notice anything suspicious. It’s usually the mother figure who experiences strange sensations and concludes that disaster is imminent.

 

Z

 

It’s not such a scary movie.

I can’t say the film “Z” was really scary. Maybe deliberately not depicting the phenomenon “Z” explicitly, does cause some tension. A cleverly applied gimmick so the viewer’s imagination has to do most of the work (with a terrifying wall drawing as inspiration). Ultimately, it’s mainly the mood that’s essential in this film. In hindsight, the film covers different topics. Youthful growing pains and parental concerns. Nightmarish phantoms and unresolved trauma. As a parent, you expect your offspring to inherit some of your character traits or personal qualities. However, in “Z” this legacy is not something you’d expect. And even though this delusion isn’t excessively visualized here, its presence is clearly felt in every dark, grim scene.

 

 

My rating 6/10
Links: IMDB

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Action

Tenet: What Is It And When Is It Out?

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What is TENET?

‘Tenet’ is the new film from director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Interstellar) starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson and Kenneth Branagh. In terms of plot, very little is known about ‘Tenet’ but the plot synopsis reads as follows: “Armed with only one word — Tenet — and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.” Given that it’s Christopher Nolan, we know to expect something strange to do with time or non-linear storytelling but we just don’t quite know what…yet. Boasting a budget rumored to be over $200 million, ‘Tenet’ was filmed in seven countries around the world and includes some extraordinary action set pieces, including crashing a real 747 plane into a building (with no CGI)! It certainly promises to be a thrill ride that you don’t want to miss in cinemas.

When is Tenet out?

‘Tenet’ is scheduled to come out on July 17 but given COVID-19, many fans have been wondering if it will sadly get delayed. According to the film’s social accounts, it is still scheduled for July 17 but what’s interesting is that on the new trailer that dropped on May 22, rather than putting the film’s release date at the end, the trailer ended with the words “Coming to Theaters” which implies that the July 17 date isn’t firmly set in stone. It seems that Warner Bros. are aiming for July 17 but if cinemas aren’t open yet in big cities such as Los Angeles or New York, they may have to delay it to later on in the summer. But the film will definitely be released in cinemas as that’s something Christopher Nolan is very keen on. It certainly won’t be released on streaming and you will have to go to a cinema if you want to see it, it just depends on if that’s in the middle of July or later on in the summer once cinemas reopen.

Why is this film so important?

TENET is such an important film as it will be one of the first films to be released theatrically for months. The only film scheduled for release before Tenet is ‘Unhinged’ starring Russell Crowe, due to be released on July 1, but that seems a bit optimistic. Other than ‘Unhinged,’ ‘Tenet’ will be the first film shown in cinemas once they re-open and if ‘Tenet’ is a success and people return to cinemas, other summer blockbusters such asMulan’ and ‘Wonder Woman 1984 can be released. 

Will you be going to see Tenet in cinemas on July 17?

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