Film Review: BLACK KITE (Canada/Afghanistan 2017)

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Black Kite Poster
Clip

Arian loves kites but a changing Afghanistan stands in his way. When the Taliban take power and ban kite flying, he all but gives up on his passion. However, to give his daughter Seema a … See full summary »

Director:

Tarique Qayumi

When Taique Oayunmi’s film, BLACK KITE opens, the audience witnesses a a political judgment/verdict of the violent chopping off of his hands of Arian (Haji Gul) which is then expanded to an execution the next morning.  In the prison that night, Arian almost dies of thirst but offers to tell his story in exchange for a drink of water from his fellow inmate.

But the story that unfolds is a different one.  The next scene is one with a little boy fascinating with kite flying.  The boy is Arian who learns both how to make and fly kites from his uneducated father.  The vast difference in tone could mean one of two things – a spectacular film that blends terror to innocence or a really mismatched film.  Unfortunately, Qayumi’s film is not only mismatched, but a complete mess, all over the lace despite some good intentions.  Many of the incidents do not make much sense.  He introduces new characters at any point and then removes them (Arian’s wife for example) and his messages on life (example Arian as the boy’s honesty) send mix messages.

The worst thing of all in the film is that it is never clear exactly the reason Arian is to be executed in the morning.  The only hint is that the enemy suspects him of sending messages to the resistance by his kites, but then why offer him pardon at the end of the film instead of execution.

There is a very odd point in the first half of the film when Arian as a boy attends school.  He tells his father a bold faced lie that he obtained a diploma where he had failed his schooling.  He is happy and dandy with no guilt.  His father praises the boy and later tells the boy that honesty is all that counts.  This mix message causes the boy to confess the truth but the father unfortunately dies before the confession during some insurgence.  The point here Qayumi wants to bring across is indeed puzzling, unless he wishes to satirize the point, which even makes less sense given the film’s context.

The one plus of the film is the assembled archival footage detailing the King, Zahir Shah’s attempts to modernize the country, including mandating public education for children.  This is a fact, I am many do not know.  But whatever happened to the king’s good intentions?  The film also touches on woman’s right issues, but again the line is blurred.  Women are not allowed to fly kites, so Arian allows the doughtier to fly kites when there is no moon and darkness so no one finds out.  This is hardly a point made for the good of female rights.

The film incorporates some animation that appear at various points throughout the film for no apparent reason.   As a result the animation appears out of place and totally unnecessary.  It also tends to become a distraction of the events that are taking place.

Instead of a political tale, Qayumi’s film ends up trivializing the events to the story of a man in love of the flying of kites.   For a film that has a running time of 90 minutes, BLACK KITE seems to be flying on forever.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8odaf9TqC8

 

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MOVIE REVIEW: STAR WARS: TRIALS

STAR WARS: TRIALS played to rave reviews at the July 2017 FANTASY FEEDBACK Film Festival.

by Kierston Drier

STAR WARS TRAILS, a fan fiction short from the USA, has done something magical in its five minutes of screen time. It creates a riveting, tense and emotional ride, complete with twist ending, in record time and with remarkable simplicity.

This film is an example for anyone who doubts the power behind a piece that boasts a small story with a simple setup. With minimal locations, characters and dialogue, this film still manages to deliver everything you want to see in a short film- nail-biting tension, fascinating character, jump-in-your-seat cinematic turns and, to top it off, a cool twist.

Well done to the strong cast, excellent vocal work and gut-crunching visuals that make STAR WARS TRAILS come to life with startling clarity. Whether you are a fan of the franchise of not, you’ll enjoy this film.

 

STAR WARS: TRIALS, 5min, USA, Action/Adventure
Directed by Jeremy Garcia

Rowan awakes in the dark depths of a cave with nothing but her lightsaber. As she navigates the dark environment she learns she may not be alone.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Film Review: THE MUMMY (USA 2017)

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the mummyAn ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

Director: Alex Kurtzman
Writers: David Koepp (screenplay), Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay)
Stars: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe

Review by Gilbert Seah

When THE MUMMY’s opening credits begin, the words Dark Universe appears instead of the studio name Universal on the company logo. THE MUMMY launches the studio’s Dark Universe, a shared cinematic universe of classic movie monsters.

Tom Cruise takes over the leading role from Brendan Fraser and Dwayne Johnson in this MUMMY re-boot that does not do any justice to the franchise. Cruise plays rebel soldier Nick Morton who steals ancient artifacts, while dressed like Indiana Jones. This runs him into trouble with an old Egyptian curse that the film spends a whole 15 minutes of opening time explaining.

It all starts way back when, when really bad Egyptian princess Ahmanet (Algerian actress, Sofia Boutella) murders her father and infant brother to usurp the throne. As if this is not bad enough, she consorts with some demon that can give her everlasting life. But she is caught and mummified as punishment with her body banished from Egypt. The silly plot has the audience believe that she is put in a tomb and buried underneath London, England where she is dug up when building new tunnels for London trains, thus unleasing some curse. That is THE MUMMY’s humour. If that is not enough silliness, the demon later possesses Nick Morton when Nick Morton attempts to save the day. Tom Cruise as a demon possessed character means Tom Cruise in hyper-active mode.

The tie in of ancient times to modern day activities is laughable. Morton is a soldier in Iraq where the enemy wants their cultural monuments destroyed. The other tie in is the modernization of London’s trains resulting is uncovering the tombs.
The climax of the film requires the director to show that the possessed Nick Morton resurrecting Jenny (Annabelle Wallis from THE TUDORS) instead of the evil princess. This segment is done in the most sloppy way ever.

At a production cost of $125 million, THE MUMMY is a complete mess. The story, pacing, acting (Cruise desperately trying to show he still has the chops), dialogue are all less than memorable. Director Kurtzman who has never made a blockbuster special effects movie deserves some credit for two well executed action segments. The plane crash action set-up, after Morton fires bullets in a plane causing it to crash due to cabin de-pressurization is well-executed with bodies and debris flying all around. The other scene, an underwater segment showing the undead skeletons swimming after Morton is impressive and stunning.

The final ending is totally incoherent. The script requires the Russell Crowe character to explain what is happening. The next scene has Nick Morton and partner riding their horses in the desert with a voiceover promising another sequel soon in the making. What is all this about with the horses, Morton’s possession and evil returning and some saying that it takes a monster to kill a monster?

At least four more monster movie reboots have already been planned for Universal’s Dark Universe including BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE INVISIBLE MAN, VAN HELSING and THE WOLF MAN. Judging from this horrid first entry, the fate of the films might follow the equally horrid DC’s extended universe films MAN OF STEEL, BATMAN V. SUPERMAN, SUICIDE SQUAD and the mediocre WONDER WOMAN. It looks like the mummy’s curse desperately needs to be broken.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjHgzkQM2Sg

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Film Review: MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN

miss_peregrine_posterMISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (UK/USA 2016) **
Directed by Tim Burton

Starring: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson, Judi Dench, Rupert Everett, Allison Janney, Terence Stamp, Chris O’Dowd

Review by Gilbert Seah

Based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Ransom Riggs, the film has a few similarities with the HARRY POTTER films which is likely the reason the rights of the book were quickly picked up for a film adaptation. Like Harry Potter, the boy with hidden powers, the hero of the story is a young 16-year old, Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield) who might or might not possess hidden powers. The orphanage home is a sorry replacement of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. But Jake also stumbles across a home with magic as well as evil forces.in the background. The story here is so-so and can nowhere be compared to the depth and imagination of J.K. Rowlings. The film, however has the benefit of being directed by Tim Burton and it is no surprise then that the film has a NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS dark look.

If one is a Tim Burton fan, there is a lot of Tim Burton to enjoy in the film, a part of it even feeling like ALICE IN WONDERLAND but do no expect anything new. Burton trudges along his storytelling in this film, with special effects, just going through the motions with his past methods. The film is also overly long at over 2 hours.

The film begins with the death of Jake’s grandfather (Terence Stamp). 16-year-old Jacob “Jake” Portman is forced to travel to a mysterious island in order to discover the truth of what really happened. The film jumps frequently from the U.S. to England so often that it becomes confusing. One has to remember for example that when the pier is seen, it is Blackpool and no longer the Tampa Bay area.

Jake stumbles into what seems to be a different world. Jake is introduced to the extraordinary Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) and her peculiar children at Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. But when what seems to be a fairytale takes a horrific turn, Jake is forced to make a life altering decision in order to protect the ones he loves from the monsters of his grandfather’s past, the creepy Hollows and the dangerous Wights led by the terrifying Mr. Barron (Samuel L. Jackson).
The parts of the story in the film also feels unrelated and dumped together. These include among other curiosities unexplained in existence: World War II destroying the orphanage; the connection between Jake’s father and the monsters; Miss Pedegrine’s loops and her ability to change into a bird.

Bright moments are provided by Samuel L Jackson as Mr. Barron who as expected delivers another over the top performance. His under-his-breath curses each time Jake evades him are priceless. This is also one film Jackson does not get to utter his famous ‘mf’ phrase. He does, utter, however,”What the f…” under his breath.

MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN is rightly released just before Halloween to draw a family audience with the film getting a boost once the 31st of October comes around. It should do ok box-office numbers.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV_IhWE4LP0

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Happy Birthday: Kirsten Dunst

kirstendunstHappy Birthday actor Kirsten Dunst

Born: Kirsten Caroline Dunst
April 30, 1982 in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, USA

Read reviews of the best of the actor:

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WAG THE DOG MOVIE POSTERWag the Dog
1997
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The Virgin SuicidesThe Virgin Suicides
1999
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James Woods
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Spider-ManSpider-Man
2002
dir. Sam Raimi
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Tobey Maguire
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Spiderman 2Spider-Man 2
2004
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Alfred Molini
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x-menEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2004
dir. by Michel Gondry
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Jim Carrey
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WIMBLETONWimbleton
2004
dir. Richard Loncraine
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2007
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Stars:
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Jason Schwartzman

MOVIE POSTERSPRING BREAKERS
2013
dir. Harmony Korine
Stars:
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Selena Gomez

Happy Birthday: Jessica Alba

jessicaalba.jpgHappy Birthday actor Jessica Alba

Born: Jessica Marie Alba
April 28, 1981 in Pomona, California, USA

Read reviews of the best of the actor:

Little Fockers Little Fockers
dir. Paul Weitz
Stars:
Ben Stiller
Teri Polo

ConstantineSin City
2005
dir. Rodriguez
Frank Miller
starring
Mickey Rourke
Willis
Good LuckGood Luck Chuck
Directed by Mark Helfrich
Starring Dane Cook
Jessica Alba

Awake
Directed by Joby Harold
Starring
Hayden Christensen
Jessica Alba
Terrence Howard

The Love GuruThe Love Guru
Directed by Marco Schnabel
Starring
Myers
Justin Timberlake

Valentine's Day Movie PosterValentine’s Day
dir. Garry Marshall
Starring
Julia Roberts
Jamie Foxx

MACHETEMACHETE
dir. Ethan Maniquis
Robert Rodriguez
Stars:
Danny Trejo
Michelle Rodriguez

FANTASTIC FOUR 4FANTASTIC FOUR 4
dir. Tim Story
Starring
Ioan Gruffudd
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MOVIE POSTERSPY KIDS 4: All the Time in the World
dir. Robert Rodriguez
Stars:
Jessica Alba
Jeremy Piven

MOVIE POSTERESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH
2013
dir. Cal Brunker
Stars:
Brendan Fraser
Sarah Jessica Parker

MOVIE POSTERMACHETE KILLS
2013
dir. Robert Rodriguez
Stars:
Danny Trejo
Alexa Vega

MOVIE POSTERSIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR
2013
dir. Frank Miller
Robert Rodriguez
Stars:
Clive Owen

MOVIE POSTERSTRETCH
2014
dir. Joe Carnahan
Stars:
Chris Pine
Jessica Alba



100. SIN CITY SEX SCENEStarring Alba in this top 100 sex scene of all-time!

99. STRIPPINGFrom Sin City. Quite the erotic scene

98. DARK ANGEL MONTAGEVideo of the best of the two year TV series

97. FANTASTIC FOUR Best scenes playing Susan Storm

96. GOOD LUCK CHUCK Romantic kissing scene with Dan Cook

94. THE EYESexy thriller shower scene

93. THE LOVE GURU Indian dance scene with Mike Myers

92. INTO THE DEEP Sexy scenes with Paul Walker

91. AWAKESteamy sex scene with Akakin Skywalker

90. THE SLEEPING DICTIONARYAnother hot Alba sexy scene

89. SIN CITYHot dance scene as a stripper

88. TRIBUTE VIDEOBest of Alba montage

87. ON LETTERMANJessica Alba, about 5 months pregnant, talks about The Eye and her pregnancy.

86. ON KIMMELFrom February 2006

85. ON LENOJay Leno – February 1 2010

84. SEE – 2010 PHOTO

83. SEE – 2009 PHOTO

82. SEE – 2008 PHOTO

81. SEE – 2007 PHOTO

80. SEE – AWAKE PIC PHOTO

79. SEE – BABY PHOTO

78. SEE – BEACH PHOTO

77. SEE – BIKINI PHOTO

76. SEE – BLONDE PHOTO

75. SEE – BOOBS PHOTO

74. SEE – BOOTS PHOTO

73. SEE – BRA PHOTO

72. SEE – BREASTS PHOTO

71. SEE – BUTT PHOTO

70. SEE – COSMOPOLITAN PHOTO

69. SEE – DANCE PHOTO

68. SEE – DANE COOK PHOTO

67. SEE – DARK ANGEL PHOTO

66. SEE – DRESS PHOTO

65. SEE – ELLE PHOTO

64. SEE – ESQUIRE PHOTO

63. SEE – FANTASTIC FOUR PHOTO

62. SEE – FASHION PHOTO

61. SEE – FEET PHOTO

60. SEE – FITNESS PHOTO

59. SEE – GOOD LUCK CHUCK PHOTO

58. SEE – GQ PHOTO

57. SEE – HOT PHOTO

49. SEE – INTO THE BLUE PHOTO

48. SEE – LEGS PHOTO

47. SEE – LINGERIE PHOTO

46. SEE – LIPS PHOTO

45. SEE – LOVE GURU PHOTO

44. SEE – NAKED PHOTO

43. SEE – OK MAGAZINE PHOTO

42. SEE – PIC PHOTO

41. SEE – PLAYBOY PHOTO

40. SEE – PREGNANT PHOTO

39. SEE – ROLLING STONE PHOTO

38. SEE – SEXY PHOTO

37. SEE – SHORT SKIRT PHOTO

36. SEE – SIN CITY PHOTO

35. SEE – SWIMSUIT PHOTO

34. SEE – TITS PHOTO

33. SEE – VALENTINE’S DAY PHOTO

32. SEE – WALLPAPER PHOTO

31. JEANSSEE ALBA PHOTO online!

30. MINI SKIRTSEE ALBA PHOTO online!

29. MAKEUPSEE ALBA PHOTO online!

28. LEGGINGSSEE ALBA PHOTO online!

27. LEATHERSEE ALBA PHOTO online!

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14. CASH WARRENSEE ALBA PIC

13. CAMPARISEE ALBA PIC

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1. SEX SCENEWatch AWAKE sex scene with Hayden Christianson. This very sexual scene is the most popular sex scene on the internet today!.

BONUS – NO MAKEUPSEE ALBA PIC

Happy Birthday: Jennifer Garner

jennifergarner.jpgHappy Birthday actor Jennifer Garner

Born: Jennifer Anne Garner
April 17, 1972 in Houston, Texas, USA

Read reviews and see pics of the best of the actor:

Dude, Where’s My Car
2000
dir. Danny Leiner
Starring
Ashton Kutcher
Seann William Scott

GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST Movie PosterGhosts of Girlfriends Past
2009
Dir. Mark Waters
Starring
Matthew McConaughey
Garner

PEARL HARBORPearl Harbor
2001
dir. Bay
starring
Ben Affleck
Josh Hartnett

THE INVENTION OF LYING Movie PosterThe Invention of Lying
2009
dir. Ricky Gervais
Matthew Robinson
Starring
Ricky Gervais
Garner

DaredevilDaredevil
2003
dir. by Mark Steven Johnson
starring
Affleck
Garner

Catch and Release
2006
dir. Susannah Grant
starring
Garner
Timothy Olyphant

The Kingdom
2007
Directed by Berg
Starring Jamie Foxx
Garner

MOVIE POSTERBUTTER
dir. Jim Field Smith
Stars:
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Yara Shahidi

Juno
2007
Directed by Jason Reitman
Starring
Ellen Page
Michael Cera

arthurARTHUR
dir. Jason Winer
Stars:
Russell Brand
Helen Mirren

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dir. Peter Hedges
Stars:
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Joel Edgerton

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2002
dir. Steven Spielberg
Stars:
Leonardo DiCaprio
Tom Hanks

MOVIE POSTERDALLAS BUYERS CLUB
2013
dir. Jean-Marc Vallee
Stars:
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Stars:
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SEE TOP 100 JENNIFER GARNER PHOTOS

2011
2012
Abs
and Amy Jo Johnson
and Ashton Kutcher
and Ben Affleck
and Conan O’Brien
and Dean Cain
and Hugh Jackman
and Jamie Foxx
and Jennifer Lopez
and Jessica Biel
and Matthew McConaughey
and Michael Vartan
and Olivia Wilde
and Ricky Gervais
and Rob Lowe
and Scott Foley
and Seraphina
and Timothy Olyphant
and Victor Garber
and Violet
and Electra
as Miss Marple
Back
Bangs
Beautiful
Before and After
Bikini
Black and White
Black Dress
Blonde
Blue Dress
Body
Boobs
Boots
Breasts
Cleavage
Curly Hair
Dimples
Earrings
Ears
Eyebrows
Eyes
Fashion
Gown
Green Dress
Hairstyle
Heels
Hot

in 13 Going on 30
in Alias
in Arthur
in Butter
in Catch and Release
in Catch Me If You Can
in Daredevil
in Dude Where’s My Car
in Felicity
in Ghost of Girlfriends Past
in Invention of Lying
in Juno
in Pearl Harbor
in Timothy Green
in Valentine’s Day
InStyle
Jeans
Jewelry
Leather
Legs
Lingerie
Lips
Lipstick
Long Hair
Makeup
Measurements
Mini Dress
Mini Skirt
Modeling
Mouth
Nose
On a Date
On the Street
Outfits
Ponytail
Pose
Pregnant
Purple Dress
Red Carpet
Red Dress
Red Hair
Sexy
Shoes
Short Dress
Skinny
Smile
Style
Sunglasses
Teeth
Wallpaper
Without Makeup
Young