Saturday, January 21, 2017

Under the Shadow



‘Under the Shadow’ Dramatic/Horror of 2016 was Superb! Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards and another 9 nominations and 11 wins that year, it’s easy to see that I wasn’t the only fan of Iranian/British Writer/Director Babak Anvari.

This was Anvari’s first Feature Film and it was absolutely Fantastic! The story in it self was very simply told but was woven together by many symbolic and key elements that helped the audience not only relate to but also invest and root for the stories’ main characters. Set in Iran during the 1980’s and filmed in Jordan, the struggle to keep fear and anxiety away during a repressive and never-ending war, was enough to put any person in their right mind ‘on-edge’. 

Beautifully shot, and framed with simple camera movements, Anvari made it wonderfully easy for the believability of terror to slowly creep into viewers’ minds. I loved the quiet moments and close shots and I found that even though the story was quite simple, it was also sensationally terrifying and those are qualities every filmmaker who wants to evoke any emotion (in this case fear) would aim to achieve! It’s always about the story! After that, the pacing, the acting, and the execution of crucial moments puts it all in perspective.


Kudos Anvari! Thanks for your inspiration!




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Strangers



“Not everything that moves, breathes, and talks is alive.”

This ‘2016’ Drama/Fantasy/Horror written and directed by South-Korean master-mind and film-maker Hong-jin Na who has had past films nominated at the Cannes Film Festival surprised us once again with a nod of approval with Cannes in 2016, with this gem of a film called: ‘’Goksung’ or ‘The Strangers’ or ‘The Wailing’ as the titles it was released under in some countries.

I was in awe because this film was exceptional. There was a valuable amount of symbolism and superb execution of unfolding this story from start to finish. I feel viewers were kept on their toes and were invited to use their intellect to figure out the eminent mystery that caused the sickness within the small Korean town. The acting was superb! Some were first-time actors, others well marinated in the field but all under obvious and commendable strong directing. Do-won Kwak, Woo-hee Chun, Hwan-hee Kim and Jun Kunimura shone and made the story quite believable.

They got 31 nominations and 18 wins and the film is still being talked about today. Mostly for the story, but also for the excellent unnerving make-up work, fascinating camera-work and angles as well as the splendid cinematography captured with South-Korea’s bewitching landscapes.


Certainly recommended - slow developing but highly enticing. The ‘fear’ factor comes much later as the story leads us by the hand one step at a time, and suddenly tricks us towards the end.


Do What Moves You



** Had to share this inspiration~**

Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Iron Lion Zion



I think we all can agree “2016” was sort of ‘rocky’ for many of us. That could mean different things for different people. Whether it meant tragedy, stress, or enormous change, we all went through it, some more gracefully than others, but as we push through the fog into 2017, let’s keep our faith strong and be resilient as we know we can be. 

The more time passes, the more we tend to become bitter, cynical or un-hopeful, but we must not let the leathery moments in life keep us steeled away. We must keep our child-like zeal and lust for the ambitions we hold in our hearts. We must remind ourselves that with a positive mind, and positive people surrounding us any and every thing is indeed possible. We can ultimately reach our desires once we actively make steps towards our dreams. 

No matter how small these steps are. Every move forward is precious! Life is not a race, and we run and run to realize that we all get the prize. So slow down; enjoy the moment and the people you meet along the way. It’ll enrich our experience and inspire us to perform optimally with plenty of energy even after we cross the finish-line!

Bless-up darlings!

Here’s to a wonderfully magical NEW YEAR! 


Jair 


Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Island



What a way to end my month of movie reviews! ‘The Island’ was everything I needed to see, Action/Adventure/Romance/Fantasy/Science-Fiction and Comedy. This 2005 film had all great elements reminiscent of one of my favourite films ‘The Fifth Element’. Directed by Michael Bay, and written by English Caspian Tredwell-Owen and Alex Kurtzman, this film was everything I didn’t expect. I love Scottish Ewan McGregor’s work and Steve Buscemi is always so interesting to look at on screen, I decided to give it a whirl.

I’m so glad I did!  The story is strong and interesting and it grips the audience all along the way. Scarlett Johansson is darling in this and it was nice to see the late, great Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile) give a strong performance too. Dijon Hounsou from Cotonou, Benin whom you may remember from ‘Amistad’ also had a positive, strong role which is always refreshing to see on the big screen. With a budget of $126 million USD, this film didn’t triple at the box-office, however did get 1 win and 6 other nominations that year.


Would I watch it again? Yes, by george, I want to own this film! Sensationally entertaining from start to finish!


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bon Bini Holland



Definitely chronicling many many Eddie Murphy films, specifically ‘Coming to America’ this film’s premise was known from the beginning. That said, it was still very entertaining. Coming from the Netherlands in 2015, ‘Bon Bini Holland’, has introduced us to Sandino Asporaat, an acting force to be reckoned with. He not only wrote this film but played several of it’s characters. 

Directed by Jelle de Jonge and shot in Curacao and the Netherlands, the story was colorful, comedic, and full of heart! Many things were left un-said or un-explained which could be a bit confusing at times, but viewers were distracted by the incredible and unbelievable luck of our main character ‘Roberto Florentina’ played by Sandino Asporaat. 


No serious life lessons here, but makes for a night of good laughs and some good music!





Take Shelter



Loads of apocalyptic films released within the last 10 years I’ll say; but this one 2011’s Drama/Thriller’s ’Take Shelter’, written and directed by American Jeff Nichols, was probably one of my favourite to watch. 

Clearly with a budget of $5 million USD and Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain involved a lot more people were able to see and enjoy this film, but I think it would have been just as successful as the story was interesting, unique and strong enough to stand on it’s own two feet. 

Beautifully shot, with great camera close-ups and angles, and wonderfully written, viewers could appreciate the polished style and fluidity of this film. There was healthy ambiguity throughout and honest performances by the entire cast as the audience kept wondering if our main character ‘Curtis’ played by Michael Shannon had mental illness or indeed having premonitions of the last days. Nova Stewart who played ‘Hannah’ the main character’s deaf daughter was a natural and added even more on the heart-rending factor.


The film was quite believable and tackled subjects many don’t want to deal with; like mental illness, schizophrenia, therapy, communication between couples, and having the feeling of losing control and protection of your family. I would watch it again - ‘JourneywithJair recommended’!