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Drama

Just Say Goodbye

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Sarah slashes down the days to her summer vacation trip with all the gusto of Zorro and his infamous ‘Z’, until she discovers her best friend’s plot to end his life while she’s away.

Genre : Drama
Country : USA

Cast :
Katerina Eichenberger : Sarah
Max MacKenzie : Jesse
William Galatis : Rick

Director :
Matt Walting

My opinion on “Just say goodbye”

“That was the first of hundreds of conversations between us.
Most came easy. And some a little harder.
And one would change my life forever”

It’s not necessary to have a bunch of overwhelming special effects to make a great film. Or well-paid world-famous movie stars to embellish the whole. Or an intriguing story with a magisterial end. Sometimes there are films where the message leaves an overwhelming impression. As in “Just say goodbye“. Even though you clearly notice at the beginning it’s a low-budget film, it convinces after a certain amount of time. Personally, I have never known anyone who’s in a similar situation as Jesse (Max McKenzie). Jesse’s youth can hardly be called rosy. First of all, there’s his mother who commited suicide. And then there is Jesse’s father (William Galatis). A hateful person with a drinking problem who’s constantly reminded of the incident when he looks at his son. In addition, there’s also the constant bullying at school. All this ensures that Jesse has a fairly fatalistic view at life. The only positive thing in his life is Sarah (Katerina Eichenberger). A friend who looks forward to a holiday and marks the days on her calendar dayly. She doesn’t realize that Jesse is also counting down to another climax in his life.

The facts about suicide are horrifying.

“Just say goodbye” deals with a sensitive topic. The fact that we live in a narcissistic society, where individuals become more and more isolated and alienated from their environment, it’s important to draw attention to this. For many who are fortunate enough to be in a situation where the outlook is more positive, this will generate an I-really-don’t-care feeling. Until the moment that fate strikes in their immediate environment. And more than once the remark will be made they didn’t see this one coming. And also that they didn’t think the person in question would be able to carry out this act of desperation. I think when it comes to suicide among teenagers, we are at one minute to midnight. When googling about this subject, you find some disturbing facts. In most countries it’s even the number one cause of death and one speaks of three suicides per day. To talk about it with young people is essential. And it’s films like “Just say goodbye” that are a perfect tool for this.

It’s not a happy let’s-have-some-fun movie.

Just say goodbye” broaches this topic in a serene way. There was no unnecessary use of sensational imagery. In a truthful way it showed on the one hand the defeatism of someone who no longer seeks a way out and no longer has the will to live. The despondency is constantly present. On the other hand, there’s the struggle of a good friend to turn the tide and who’s willing to do anything just to show this person that life also has its good sides. Even offering herself in a sexual way is one of her attempts. It’s not a joyfull film. Far from.

Low budget, high quality result.

Even though I knew it was an Indie low-budget film (it was made with a limited budget of about $13K) and certainly didn’t expect to see some impressive visual material and acting from the top shelf, I had to admit that it actually all looked professional (even though the second cameraman caused ripples in the water, so I could already guess from where the next shot would be taken). The acting of both Max McKenzie and Katerina Eichenberger felt genuine and credible. The two perfectly complemented each other. Two good friends who cared about each other and had their romantic moments. Without any doubt it’s the most admirable part of the film, even though the interplay wasn’t 100% fluent and felt a bit forced sometimes. Also Jesse Walters as the bully Chase deserves a mention. Even though he’s a textbook case of an average bully which can be found in every school. A pampered teenager who, thanks to his wealthy parents, gets everything and treats others in a patronizing way. He’s that kind of person I utterly hate and preferably would like to pull through a heavy plate mill. The rest of the cast consists mainly of adults who, in my eyes, didn’t have a central role to play. Which is also obvious, given the subject.

Don’t ignore obvious signals of despair.

There were a few minor flaws in my opinion. For example, I thought Sarah’s plea to Chase, to cut Jesse some slack, was rather short-sighted. As an intellectual and compassionate girl she should know that this would only have a counterproductive effect. The additional storyline about Chase I found quite far-fetched and superfluous. The only use it had, was to give an explanation for the suicide of Jesse’s mother. But apart from that, this film still left an impression. Not only do we see how desperate those are who are out of touch with their environment and want to give up. But also the despair of those who stay behind is noticeable. A clear signal to parents not to ignore signals from their children. “Just say goodbye” is a film with a sensitive subject,  leaving a crushing impression. And finally I think it takes courage to make such a film.

My rating 7/10
Links : IMDB

Drama

The Banker: A Must-See For Sure

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Sometimes you need to take a step back
and enjoy what you’ve accomplished, baby.

 

What an amusing movie this was. Such a movie you start watching and before you know it, the end credits roll across your screen. Even though the subject won’t get you very excited. The world of real estate and banking. A world populated with stiffs in perfectly fitting suits who prefer to juggle with repayment schedules and capitalization rates while using a jargon that a normal human can’t make heads or tails of. I sometimes have my doubts about whether they understand it thoroughly themselves. And the reason why it became an entertaining film is not only due to the packaging but also because of the Holy Trinity Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, and Nicholas Hoult. A colorful (pun not intended) cast that effortlessly works through dialogues and plays so naturally that it seems as if they have been working together for years.

 

The Banker

 

The racial issue.

In addition to the real estate market as a subject, there’s also the issue of racial discrimination that was still visible in the U.S. from the 50s. A black man who wants to settle in a white neighborhood wasn’t so obvious. Let alone that he could also take out a loan to buy and sell real estate in such a neighborhood. Hence the idea of Bernard (Anthony Mackie), a Texas-born African-American who is firmly convinced to succeed in his intent to make money from doing business rather than manual labor, to recruit Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson) as a business partner and use Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult) as a straw man. Well, they aren’t exactly ideal partners. The first is a flamboyant bon vivant and blabbermouth who comes across as an untrustworthy slick. And Matt is a hard worker with a good heart. Only he’s not really blessed with a top-level brain like Bernard.

 

The Banker

 

A light-hearted first part.

The first half of the movie is the more light-hearted part. The start of the Bernard Empire and the process of turning Matt Steiner into a convincing businessman. For me, this was the most hilarious part. The golf lessons where Samuel L. Jackson excels as the extravagant golf teacher and the math part Bernard takes care of. The amusing discussion that Steiner had with a wealthy man while trying to buy his building, was the ultimate climax of this period of training. And when this first chapter is over and the gentlemen are gradually taking over the real estate market in California, the next chapter pops up. The more serious part of the movie.

 

The Banker

 

Bernard’s second plan didn’t go as planned.

The first part not only showed how the two gentlemen managed to circumvent the discriminatory way of doing business in a devious way. It also showed how black people were deprived of the right to develop themselves in American society during that period. Loans and property sales were simply forbidden. Bernard’s plan to subsequently buy a bank in Texas, where segregation was still very much present, in order to support his black fellow man, is what you see in this tailpiece. Needless to say, this wasn’t a smooth operation.

 

The Banker

 

Highly recommended.

The Banker” is based on true facts and I believe it truly shows how it went in the U.S. and how people were deprived of decent housing. Perhaps Bernard Garrett intended to act as a benefactor and pave the way for African Americans. Maybe he was doing it out of self-interest, too, simply to prove to himself and his father that you could succeed if you firmly believe in it. Anyway, “The Banker” is a great movie with a serious part and a very entertaining part. But as I mentioned earlier, it’s the cast that takes the whole thing to a higher level. A must-see for sure.

‘The Banker,’ is now available on Apple TV+

 

PS. I wrote this a week ago. But due to the situation in the U.S. right now, this movie is even more current and confrontational than before.

 

 

My rating 8/10
Links: IMDB

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Drama

The King of Staten Island | Official Trailer -HD

Scott has been a case of arrested development since his firefighter dad died. He spends his days smoking weed and dreaming of being a tattoo artist until events force him to grapple with his grief and take his first steps forward in life.

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Genre:

Comedy, Drama

Release Date:

June 12, 2020

Director:

Judd Apatow

Cast:

Pete Davidson, Bel Powley, Ricky Velez, Lou Wilson, Moises Arias, Carly Aquilino, Marisa Tomei, Maude Apatow

Plot Summary:

Scott has been a case of arrested development since his firefighter dad died. He spends his days smoking weed and dreaming of being a tattoo artist until events force him to grapple with his grief and take his first steps forward in life.

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Action

Tenet | Official Trailer #2 – HD

Tenet is an upcoming action thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan and produced by Nolan and Emma Thomas. It stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.

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Genre:

Action, Drama, Thriller

Release Date:

July 17, 2020

Director:

Christopher Nolan

Cast:

John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kenneth Branagh, Elizabeth Debicki, Michael Caine

Plot Summary:

Tenet is an upcoming action thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan and produced by Nolan and Emma Thomas. It stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.

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