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Dark Crimes (2018) – Coastal House Media
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Drama

Dark Crimes (2018)

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You’re the girl in the inner room.
Alicja is your story.
You talked, he wrote it down.

I suppose it’s almost impossible to use an exuberant color palette for a film situated in a Slavic country. Every time the story takes place in such a communist or ex-communist country, the screen is filled with depressing colors. The closer one approaches Russia (the motherland of communism) the more gray, grizzled, and duller the images become. The desolation and gloom are splashing off the screen. Everything seems bare, simplistic and simply boring. To camouflage this problem in a film, one must have a fascinating and intriguing story, played by colorful actors. But that’s missing in “Dark crimes“. Even Jim Carrey has an impressive, gray beard. With a little imagination, you look at it as if it’s an old-fashioned black and white movie.

Carrey did a great job in this serious movie.

Dark Crimes” is based on an article from the Washington Post about Krystian Bala. A writer who described an unsolved murder in detail in one of his books and was arrested based on this. Perhaps an interesting item to make a film about. But here the pace is similar to writing a book. Painfully slow. And Jim Carrey couldn’t remedy that by himself. This goofball who got in a fight with God Himself, who got plagued by a gang of penguins and who put laxative in the coffee of his best friend, wasn’t so bad in this more serious role. Unfortunately, his career has marked this good man. I expected any minute a spastic grin while doing an absurd dance with lots of leg-swinging. Personally, I think it’s quite logical because that’s the kind of movie role I associate Jim Carrey with. There aren’t many comedians who succeed to convince in a serious film.

Dull, duller, dullest.

The only thing this film radiates is dullness. And not just because of the scenery. The story is immensely long-winded. And as a fill-up, additional plots were added. So you’ll be presented with the story of the degraded detective and his will to take revenge on the injustice done to him. Obviously, you get the story of a detective who wants to solve the last case before he retires. A bit like Morgan Freeman in “Se7en“. But this time it’s because he wants to see his name fully cleared. There’s also the neglected wife who can’t longer cope with the absence and obsession of her husband. And finally, there’s the sex slave Kasia (Charlotte Gainsbourg), girlfriend of the writer Kozlov (MartonThe EqualizerCsokas), who’s the culprit according to Tadek. She’s a drug addict and her SM past creates sinister images.

One last time. Jim Carrey impressed.

There are only a few moments you could call exciting. And that’s every time the writer Kozlov comes into the picture. His pseudo-intellectual jibber-jabber may not be essential from a substantive point of view, but his charisma and personality fill the screen completely. These were a few moments when you could feel the tension and intensity. Perhaps Charlotte Gainsbourg also caused a certain tension with certain images. However, all praise for Jim Carrey who impressed me, in an otherwise not so impressive film. His stiffness, resentment and the moments in which he realizes that he was wrong (with gagging as a result), are brought in an excellent way by Carrey. But that’s about it in this mediocre film.

My rating 5/10
Links: IMDB

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Drama

Tribeca Film Festival | ‘7 Days’ – A Sweet Rom-com To Keep You Going

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We’ve reached the point now where the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns we’ve faced over the past year are starting to become backdrops for films, and perhaps it’s not something we want to re-live and it’s not something we’re desperate to revisit, but 7 Days has a really touching and moving story at its centre and when you look past the coronavirus, it’s a really compelling story and makes for a good film.

At the start of the film, we meet Ravi (played by Karan Soni, best known for playing Dopinder in Deadpool) and Rita (Geraldine Viswanathan- Blockers, The Broken Hearts Gallery). The two have been set up by their old-fashioned Indian parents and are on a pre-arranged date. The two of them have absolutely nothing in common and the whole afternoon is very awkward for them both. But then the COVID outbreak gets worse and Ravi must spend the next few days at Rita’s place as he can’t get a car or a hotel. We soon witness the unlikely bond that forms as the two spend their days together despite being very different people.

7 Days marks Roshan Sethi’s directorial debut and he does a great job here. Not only does he capture so well what it’s like to live, and to love, in the time of COVID but the film, which was also co-written by Sethi, is really funny and leaves you feeling good which is exactly what you want after having lived through the last year.

The film’s quite short as it is with a runtime of just 86 minutes but even so, it does feel very long. Whether that’s because there’s only really two characters that we’re seeing for almost an hour and a half, or if it’s because it takes place almost entirely in one location, it does drag a bit. The two characters seem like polar opposites as we discover Rita drinking beer and eating leftover chicken for breakfast despite claiming to be a vegetarian and not drinking and at times the film feels like it’s almost running out of things to do with these characters that at first seem so far away from each other and the film does feel quite long despite its rather short runtime.

But on the whole, 7 Days manages to get the tone between comedy and drama just right with lots of funny lines but also just the right amount of heartfelt and poignant moments. The film is bookended by short video clips of real-life Indian couples talking about their marriages and how they met, and the two main characters discuss these two viewpoints of a more orthodox arranged marriage versus love marriages and the film does a really good job of presenting them both to us equally.

7 Days works well and manages to avoid being a depressing film about the pandemic, in part due to the really good performances from Soni and Viswanathan and the wonderful chemistry the two have, but also due to the really good script by Sethi and Soni. And whilst we will doubtlessly see more movies set during this time, 7 Days is a sweet rom-com to keep you going.

★★★☆☆

7 Days premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.

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Drama

Supernova | A Powerful And Touching Film Worth Seeing

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Get the tissues ready because Supernova is a real tear-jerker. It’s one of those films that right from the very first moment you know it’s going to hit you right in the feels. And Supernova expertly gets that blend right between sadness and hope to the point that the film is an excellent well-rounded film that has real emotion and isn’t just a complete sucker punch to the gut.

Sam (played by Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci) are partners of 20 years and are travelling around the Lake District in their old RV. The thing is that two years ago, Tusker was diagnosed with early-onset dementia. Over the course of their journey, they encounter friends and family and their ideas for the future clash as secrets are revealed, really testing their love for each other in a way that they’ve never experienced before. It’s a really devastating film about love and about loss too but it’s incredibly powerful.

For the first half of the film, there’s quite little actually about Tusker’s dementia and instead, writer/director Harry Macqueen decides to show us just how strong the love between the two is and we see that they’ve both put their careers on hold at this difficult point in their lives. Sam was a musician and Tusker a writer but they’ve both been unable to continue with these with everything they’re going through. But we see the incredible love that these two people have for each other.

This is, in part, down to the phenomenal performances from both Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci. And that’s what really takes this film up a notch to be an excellent film. Firth and Tucci are both outstanding and give some of their best performances of their careers. The film is entirely driven by their remarkable performances and everything else helps to compliment that to create a really moving film. The cinematography is really beautiful- as you’d expect- with the gorgeous Lake District as the backdrop for film and there are some really lovely wide shots of the incredible scenery in Supernova.

For the majority of the film, the writing is really good too, however, there are a few instances where it doesn’t quite feel like what a real person would say in that situation in the moment. Instead, it sounds like the sort of thing a writer would have written- which of course it is, but because of how touching and powerful it is, and because of how well Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth are delivering these lines it doesn’t stand out too much.

Supernova is a very emotional film, particularly when you consider the meaning behind the title. Director Harry Macqueen says that “a supernova is the massive explosion event at the end of the evolution of a star”. “For me this has always been representative of Tusker himself- a man who shines bright in all he does, brings light and laughter to almost every situation and is, of course, dying. It’s quite literal in that regard, really; he knows his final chapter is just around the corner.”

Supernova is a film that’s worth seeing, even if that’s just to see Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci giving career-best performances but there’s so much more to the film as it explores the sophisticated, mature themes of love and loss. Just make sure to take some tissues, or maybe even a bucket, to collect your tears.

★★★★☆

Supernova is released in UK cinemas on June 25th.

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Action

Marvel Studios’ Eternals | Official Teaser

The Eternals, a race of immortal beings with superhuman powers who have secretly lived on Earth for thousands of years, reunite to battle the evil Deviants.

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Genre:

Action, adventure, drama

Release Date:

November 5, 2021

Director:

Chloé Zhao

Cast:

Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kit Harington, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry

Plot Summary:

The Eternals, a race of immortal beings with superhuman powers who have secretly lived on Earth for thousands of years, reunite to battle the evil Deviants.

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