Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Citizen (Az állampolgár)



 
Film Review by Kam Williams



Love Blossoms in Budapest Between Teacher and African Refugee 
 

Wilson (Cake-Baly Marcelo) escaped to Hungary a number of years ago after his wife and daughters were slaughtered during civil unrest in his African homeland. The 50-something widower opted to seek political asylum in Budapest rather than continue on to Western Europe like most of his fellow refugees.

After all, he'd taken a liking to the town, and found a nice apartment and steady work as a supermarket security guard. Now, the only thing standing in the way of his staying in Hungary permanently is his repeatedly flunking the country's tough citizenship test. 
 
Not wanting to lose her reliable "Employee of the Year," his boss Eva (Tunde Szalontay) innocently suggests that he take history and language lessons from her sister, a teacher, never expecting it might cause any trouble. But sparks fly between Wilson and miserably-married Mari (Agnes Mahr), and it's not long before their tutorial sessions morph into a taboo whirlwind romance which includes dancing, swimming and dining together.

She finally abandons her husband (Peter Barbinek) and son (Peter Sandor) and moves into Wilson's flat. The plot thickens further, however, when she discovers that he already has a much younger woman living with him. Might he be a bigamist?

He explains that his relationship with Shirin (Arghavan Shekari), an Iranian refugee, is purely Platonic, and that her newborn baby isn't his. Nevertheless, that doesn't sit well with Mari, who obviously isn't comfortable with such an unorthodox arrangement.

Thus unfolds The Citizen, a poignant, cross-cultural love story directed by Roland Vranik (Transmission). What makes the film unique is the advanced age of the protagonists, since most romance dramas revolve around considerably younger couples.

A touching, timely and zany soap opera ostensibly reflecting the sensibilities of the modern Immigration Era.



Excellent (4 stars)
Unrated
In Hungarian with subtitles
Running time: 109 minutes
Production Studio: Popfilm
Distributor: ArtMattan Productions


To see a trailer for The Citizen, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sVckmo3B10






Saturday, August 18, 2018

Top Ten DVD List for August 21, 2018

Image result for Deadpool 2 blu-ray
by Kam Williams


This Week's DVD Releases

Deadpool 2

Bluebloods: Season Eight

First Reformed

God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness

Action Point

The Walking Dead: Season 8

Sir Edmund Hillary: Everest and Beyond

Bleeding Steel

Show Dogs

The Terror: Season One

Friday, August 17, 2018

Kam's Kapsules for movies opening August 24, 2018

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun  
by Kam Williams  


OPENING THIS WEEK

WIDE RELEASES

A.X.L (PG for action, peril, suggestive material, mild epithets and mature themes) Epic sci-fi adventure about the unlikely friendship forged between a kindhearted loner (Alex Neustaedter) and the top secret, robotic dog he finds hiding in the desert. With Becky G, Ted McGinley and Thomas Jane.

The Happytime Murders (R for crude humor, graphic sexuality, drug use and pervasive profanity) Crime comedy about two private eyes, one human (Melissa McCarthy), one puppet (Bill Barretta), who grudgingly join forces to find the serial killer targeting cast members of a popular puppet show from the 1980s. Cast includes Maya Rudolph, Elizabeth Banks and Joel McHale.

Searching (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, drug references and mature themes) Hi-tech whodunit revolving around a desperate father (John Cho) who looks on his missing 16 year-old daughter's (Michelle La) laptop computer for clues to her sudden disappearance without a trace. With Debra Messing, Joseph Lee, Alex Jayne Go, Megan Liu and Sarah Sohn.


INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN

Blue Iquana (Unrated) Crime comedy about a couple of ex-cons (Sam Rockwell and Ben Schwartz) working in dead end jobs at a NYC diner when a British lawyer (Phoebe Fox) walks in and makes an offer they can't refuse. With Simon Callow, Amanda Donohoe and Frances Barber

The Bookshop (PG for mild epithets, mature themes and smoking) Romance drama, set in England in 1959, about a free-spirited widow (Emily Mortimer) who opens a bookstore in a conservative coastal town where she meets resistance from a local grand dame (Patricia Clarkson) but also finds an ardent admirer in reclusive widower (Bill Nighy). With James Lance, Harvey Bennett and Frances Barber.

John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (Unrated) Tennis retrospective revisiting the final match of the 1984 French open between McEnroe and Ivan Lendl. Narrated by Mathieu Amalric. (In French and English with subtitles)

An L.A. Minute (R for sexuality and profanity) Hollywood spoof taking a satirical look at fame and fortune in Tinseltown while revolving around a love affair between a best-selling author (Gabriel Byrne) and an avant garde performance artist (Kiersey Clemons). Supporting cast includes Ned Bellamy, Ed Marinaro and Bob Balaban.

Papillon (R for profanity, nudity, violence, bloody images and some sexuality) Charlie Hunnam plays the title character in this remake of the 1973 classic based on unjustly-convicted Henri "Papillon" Charriere's memoir recounting his and a fellow inmate's (Rami Malek) daring escape from an infamous penal colony on Devil's Island. With Tommy Flanagan, Eve Hewson and Roland Moller. (In English and Spanish with subtitles)

Replicas (PG-13 for violence, nudity, sexual references, disturbing images and mature themes) Sci-fi thriller about a grieving biologist (Keanu Reeves) who becomes obsessed with bringing his family members back to life after they perish in a tragic car accident. Featuring Alice Eve, Thomas Middleditch and John Ortiz.

Support the Girls (R for profanity, sexual references and brief nudity) Ensemble comedy chronicling a day-in-the-life of the nurturing manager (Regina Hall) of a sports bar with scantily-clad waitresses. Cast includes Haley Lu Richardson, Zoe Graham and Dylan Gelula.



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Top Ten DVD List for August 14, 2018

 
by Kam Williams
 


This Week's DVD Releases

Avengers: Infinity War

Porcupine Lake

10 That Changed America: Season 2

Strike Back: Season Five

WWI: The War to End All Wars

To Auschwitz & Back: The Joe Engel Story

Suffering of Ninko

The Unborn

Return of the Living Dead: Part II

Arthur: D.W. and the Beastly Brithday



 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians

 
Film Review by Kam Williams



Heir Takes Fiancee' Home to Meet Picky Mom in Delightful Romantic Dramedy


Even though Nick (Henry Golding) and Rachel (Constance Wu) have been dating for a few years, they don't know much about each other's background. That's because they live in New York City where he's never bothered to reveal that he's from one the wealthiest families in Singapore, and she's never talked about her humble roots, having been raised by a single-mom immigrant (Kheng Hua Tan) to the U.S. from China. 
 
The difference in social status never affected their relationship, since Nick's so unassuming, and ambitious Rachel beat the odds by getting a great education en route to becoming an economics professor at NYU. In fact, they've gotten along so well that he's seriously considering proposing. He's even picked out a diamond ring. 
 
However, he'd first like to take her home to meet the folks, especially his domineering mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh). An opportunity arises when Nick is invited to Singapore for the impending wedding of his best friend, Colin (Chris Pang). 
 
Rachel agrees to go and upon arriving finally learns that her beau is one of the island's most eligible bachelors. However, not only does she soon find herself unfairly accused of being a gold digger, but she's warned "You will never be enough!" by his disapproving mom.

Will class differences doom this fairy tale romance? Or will Rachel win over Nick's relatives and friends during her brief stay? That is the burning question fueling the fires of Crazy Rich Asians, a delightful dramedy directed by Jon M. Chu (Now You See Me 2). 
 
Based on Kevin Kwan's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, the film features a colorful cast of characters played by a talented ensemble of Asian actors. Besides the love story at the heart of the tale, the picture features enough comic relief and intriguing subplots to hold you in its thrall from beginning to end. 
 
It's hard to fathom why it has taken Hollywood a quarter-century to mount another Asian-centric, big budget production like this, given the success of The Joy Luck Club in 1993. And don't let the title fool you. This engaging, cross-cultural saga is a surefire hit with universal appeal!



Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity and suggestive content
In English and Mandarin with subtitles
Running time: 121 minutes
Production Studios: Warner Brothers Pictures / Ivanhoe Pictures / Starlight Culture Entertainment / SK Global Entertainment / Electric Somewhere / Color Force
Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures

To see the trailer for Crazy Rich Asians, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ-YX-5bAs0


Friday, August 10, 2018

Kam's Kapsules for movies opening August 17, 2018



 

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun  
by Kam Williams


OPENING THIS WEEK

WIDE RELEASES

Alpha (PG-13 for intense peril) Ice Age tale of survival chronicling the unlikely friendship forged between a lone wolf abandoned by its pack and an injured young man (Kodi Smit McPhee) separated from his tribe. With Leonor Varela, Jens Hulten and Natassia Malthe.

Crazy Rich Asians (PG-13 for profanity and suggestive content) Adaptation of Kevin Kwan's semi-autobiographical best seller of the same name revolving around the hostility encountered by a Chinese-American college professor (Constance Wu) when she accompanies her wealthy boyfriend (Henry Golding) home to Singapore for his best friend's (Chris Pang) wedding. Cast includes Gemma Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Dr. Ken Jeong and Awkwafina. (In English and Mandarin with subtitles)

Mile 22 (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Espionage thriller starring Mark Wahlberg as the leader of a tactical CIA team assigned to extract an asset with valuable information (Iko Uwais) from a foreign country before the enemy closes in on him. With John Malkovich, Ronda Rousey and Lauren Cohan. (In English, Russian and Indonesian with subtitles)


INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN

Alt-Right: Age of Rage (Unrated) Political documentary revisiting last summer's neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia leading to the murder of counter-demonstrator Heather Heyer. Featuring commentary by Antifa activist Daryle Lamont Jenkins and white supremacist Richard Spencer.

Billionaire Boys Club (R for sexuality, violence, drug use and pervasive profanity) Remake of the 1987 of the fact-based crime thriller, set in L.A. in the Eighties, about a gang of preppies who murder an investor (Kevin Spacey) in their get-rich-quick Ponzi scheme. Co-starring Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton, Bokeem Woodbine and Emma Roberts.

Do You Trust This Computer? (Unrated) Cautionary documentary warning of the perils of the impending Artificial Intelligence era in which self-learning computers are apt to control virtually every aspect of our lives.

Juliet, Naked (R for profanity) Adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel of the same name about a diehard rock fan (Chris O'Dowd) whose jaded girlfriend (Rose Byrne) falls in love with the obscure musician (Ethan Hawke) he's become obsessed with. Supporting cast includes Jimmy O. Yang, Megan Dodds and Lily Newmark.

Minding the Gap (Unrated) Rust Belt documentary, set in Rockford, Illinois, chronicling a dozen years in the lives of three skateboarding BFFs from adolescence to facing adult responsibilities.

A Whale of a Tale (Unrated) Eco-expose' revisiting Taiji, the Japanese fishing village denounced for dolphin hunting in the 2010 Oscar-winning documentary, The Cove. (In Japanese with subtitles)

The Wife (R for profanity and some sexuality) Glenn Close plays the title character in this adaptation of Meg Wolitzer's best seller of the same name about an aging woman who comes to question the 40 years of self-sacrificing which enabled her husband (Jonathan Pryce) to win the Nobel Prize for literature. With Christian Slater, Max Irons and Elizabeth McGovern.






Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Meg



Film Review by Kam Williams



Disgraced Navy Captain Seeks Redemption in "Jurassic Jaws" Horror Homage


Five years ago, Captain Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) only managed to save half his crew when his research submarine was crippled by a massive, 75-foot long shark thought to be extinct. Because the Navy brass was skeptical about the existence of a Megalodon, he was dishonorably discharged and lost not only his career, but his wife, to boot. 
 
Ever since, he's disappeared from public view, and has been rumored to be drinking heavily in Samut Prakan, Thailand. That's where former colleague, Dr. Minway Zhang (Winston Chao), finds him after the prehistoric creature attacks again, leaving another submersible sitting on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. 
 
Dr. Zhang pressures him to sober up and take a shot at redemption, since he's the only person alive who has ever successfully completed such a dangerous, deep sea operation. "I don't dive anymore," Jonas declares, but changes his mind upon learning that his ex, Lori (Jessica McNamee), is piloting the otherwise doomed vessel. 
 
That is the compelling point of departure of The Meg, a harrowing horror flick which, despite being adapted from a novel by Steve Alten, might nevertheless be best described as a cross between Jaws (1975) and Jurassic Park (1993). The picture was directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) who walks a fine line here between lifting ideas from and paying homage to those two Spielberg screen classics. 
 
Scene after scene feels vaguely familiar, like the one where a pet pooch named Pippin is ostensibly swallowed by the monster. In Jaws, a dog named Pippet disappears while playing fetch with his owner. Another deja vu arrives when the Meg improbably flies out of the water and lands on the boat hunting it. Where have I seen that before? You get the idea. 
 
Provided you are willing to forgive such shameless supposed tributes, or are too young to have seen the originals, the film actually delivers a fairly riveting roller coaster ride. Since the genre has been dominated in recent years by the campy Sharknado franchise, Jurassic Jaws proves to be just the Rx needed to make sharks scary again!



Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated PG-13 for action, peril, profanity and bloody images
Running time: 113 minutes
Production Studios: Warner Brothers Pictures / Gravity Pictures / Maeday Productions / Flagship Entertainment Group / Apelles Entertainment / Di Bonaventura Pictures
Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures

To see the trailer for The Meg, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsLk0NPRFAc