Mini Reviews: Hitman Agent 47 | Seeking A Friend For the End of the World | The Last Flight

I wrote some of these reviews last week, but just haven’t got around to posting ’em. I haven’t got much time to write reviews lately, as I’d rather devote my time to my script. But at the same time, I do have something to say about some of the movies I saw, so why not write about ’em, right?

So here we go:

Hitman: AGENT 47 (2015)

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I quite enjoyed this but I realize it’s an easy target for critics who probably expected too much from this video-game adaptation. It’s a popcorn action flick, something that doesn’t demand much from you intellectually, so just sit back and enjoy it for what it is. I had a low expectation but I thought the story was pretty decent and at 96-min-long, it moved along pretty swiftly.

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I quite like Hannah Ware whom I’ve never seen before. Nice to see that her character is actually the heart of the movie. Style-wise it’s got plenty, I mean you watch this kind of movie to see the high octane shoot-em-ups, so I wasn’t disappointed. Rupert Friend makes for a pretty efficient, if not wholly-charismatic killing machine, but I think he fits the role well. Zachary Quinto is pretty much playing a similar character to Sylar in the Heroes series, but he’s watchable enough. I actually like this one overall than the previous Hitman movie, so definitely NOT as horrible as critics made it out to be.

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Seeking A Friend For the End of the World (2012)

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I was mostly curious to see this for the pairing of Steve Carell and Keira Knightley and on that front I enjoyed this quirky comedy/drama. As the title says, an asteroid threatens an apocalypse and a man (Carell) whose just been jilted by his wife decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart, Knightley plays the neighbor who somehow ends up tagging along.

SeekingAFriend2SeekingAFriend1 The two surprisingly have an interesting chemistry, but the movie is kind of uneven and at times I couldn’t really get into the story. Fortunately the ending is pretty sweet and it wasn’t as predictable as I had dreaded. So overall, it’s worth a look for the cast and the fact that it breaks the stereotypes in terms of casting, not just the two leads but some of the characters they meet along the way.

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The Last Flight/Le dernier vol (2009)

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This is another film I was curious about because of the pairing of the actors, Marion Cotillard and her real life partner Guillaume Canet. I LOVE Cotillard, she’s one of those actresses I’d watch in practically anything. Here she plays an aviator Marie Vallières de Beaumont who goes on a journey to find her lover after his plane disappears in the Sahara. In her quest, she encountered a French lieutenant Antoine Chauvet who loves the Tuareg people and even speak their language and has a Tuareg lover. In the course of their arduous journey, they develop feelings for each other.

TheLastFlight2 Now, the story is VERY loosely based on a real life adventure of British aviator Bill Lancaster, but they pretty much only used his name and a small part of his life for this film, the rest are fiction. I wish they had actually adapted Lancaster’s real story, it’s far more compelling and has more drama! Sometimes truth IS stranger (and more interesting) than fiction.

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This French film has gorgeous visuals of the desert landscape, filmed in Morocco. Director Karim Dridi seem to be a big fan of Lawrence of Arabia as some shots look like an homage to that David Lean classic. But the pace is s-l-o-w and the story doesn’t seem to go anywhere and a little bit of the intense pieces seem disjointed from the rest of the film. If it hadn’t been for the performance of the two leads, I might’ve turned this off halfway through. There’s a line from the film that says “I’m afraid I’ve taken you nowhere.” Well, the same could be said for the film itself. I don’t regret watching this one, but still I wish it were a lot better.

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So have you seen any of these? Let me know what you think!

Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: Last Night

I first heard of this movie when Sam Worthington was cast last year, I thought the cast looks interesting. Worthington plays Michael Reed and Keira Knightley plays his wife Joanna, along with Eva Mendes and French actor Guillaume Canet as the objects of temptation for the couple. The movie is the debut of Iranian-American Massy Tadjedin, whose last work was the screenplay for the psychological thriller The Jacket, also starring Knightley and Adrian Brody.

The story follows a married couple, apart for a night while the husband takes a business trip with a colleague to whom he’s attracted. While he’s resisting temptation, his wife encounters her past love.

I’m normally don’t find movies about infidelity appealing at all, especially those that seem to laud such act and practically glorifying cheaters. But the Last Night trailer seems to explore the subject matter with care, focusing more on the couples’ struggle with matters of fidelity and what it means to be faithful when temptation beckons. It’s a nuanced display of personal connections where a longing glance or a gentle touch speak more volumes that begs the question, “how far does one go until it’s considered cheating?”

Rope of Silicon‘s reviewer praised the movie, saying that “This is a fantastic film that will have audiences talking once they leave the theater, not only for the nature of the film, but in the way in which it is made. Tadjedin has crafted a beautiful film and damn near created a romantic thriller out of a talky film about fidelity. No, I’m not talking about slit throats and bloodshed, but that doesn’t mean the film’s subject matter hurts any less. Brilliant if you ask me.” I like what he said about how cheating can be as hurtful if not more than a violent physical act.

Cinematical posted the TIFF screening review on it and praised Knightley and Canet’s performance, “Knightley might be passionate about her period pieces, she’s never better than in modern moments, and as Joanna, she shows a real sense of maturity and presence. In scenes with Canet, their chemistry oozes from every shot.” But Worthington’s reserved acting didn’t wow her though, “It works, to a degree, for the aloofness his character requires, but in a film where subtlety is the driving force of the narrative, stiffness lessens the dramatic effect. In fact, considering how much Tadjedin revels in creatively relaying the story, it’s baffling why he’s in the role, when any number of actors could have given the proceedings wild depth.”

Hmmm, I was hoping this could be a movie that will showcase the Aussie actor’s dramatic chops, if he indeed has some. I’ve said several times that even though he’s got screen presence, Worthington just isn’t expressive enough. Canet however, is one I’ve never seen before but I would definitely love to see more after seeing that trailer! I heard about him before as he’s famous in France and he’s often photographed with his girlfriend Marion Cotillard. He kind of looks like a bit like Patrick Dempsey, only far more charismatic and beguiling.

I might check out this one if makes it to the indie theater in town, too bad we don’t know when this will get a US release because of the uncertainty concerning its distributor, Miramax (per BoxOfficeMojo). What do you think, folks? Any interest in this one?