world war 2 tagged posts

Allied

allied-posterDirector: Robert Zemeckis

Writer: Steven Knight

Cast: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris, Lizzy Caplan, Simon McBurney

Cert: 15

Running time: 124mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: In 1942 Morocco, French resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour (Cotillard) and Canadian RAF wing commander Max Vatan (Pitt) encounter danger and passion during a mission against Nazi forces. On assignment in London they discover a new threat.

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What’s the verdict: Those bemoaning the lack of decent World War 2 era romantic thrillers will find themselves shouting “Vive le fromage!” at Robert Zemeckis’ latest directorial effort.

Taking a grab bag approach to such WW2 heart-flutterers as The English Patient, Hanover Street and granddaddy of them all Casablanca, Allied’s mission statement is to adm...

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Blu-Ray Review: Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

akira-kurosawas-dreams-blu-ray-coverDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Writer: Akira Kurosawa

Cast: Mieko Harada, Hisashi Igawa, Martin Scorsese

Cert: PG

Running time: 119mins

Year: 2016

 


Film:
Extras: medium_5


What’s the story: Across eight vignettes, including fantastical tales of Japanese folklore and dark apocalyptic visions, director Akira Kurosawa reveals his dreams.

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What’s the verdict: Those who remember Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams release in 1990 but are only now catching up with the film itself are due for a pleasant surprise.

Originally met with a mixed response (it still holds a 55% Rotten Tomatoes rating), to modern eyes Dreams is a burst of sunshine through the current blizzard of smeary CGI pseudo-spectacle.

Split into eight separate stories, each introduced by a title and the legend “I had another dream…”, Kurosawa spir...

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Anthropoid

anthropoid-posterDirector: Sean Ellis

Writer: Sean Ellis, Anthony Frewin

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Jamie Dornan, Toby Jones, Charlotte Le Bon, Anna Geislerová

Cert: 15

Running time: 120mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: In 1942, partisans selected by the London-based Czechoslovakian government are tasked with aiding the Czech resistance in the assassination of high-ranking SS official Reinhard Heydrich, Himmler’s second-in-command.

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What’s the verdict: The plot against Reinhard Heydrich has been filmed numerous times previously, notably in 1943 by Fritz Lang as Hangmen Also Die, and again in 1975 as Operation Daybreak by Spy Who Loved Me director Lewis Gilbert.

Anthropoid was the real name of the operation to assassinate Himmler’s no.2, the man known as “the Butcher of Prague...

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Jon Ford Goes On The Offensive

Jon-FordJon Ford, who, alongside his brother Howard, gave the zombie genre a shot of fresh blood with their unusual, memorable action-horror movies The Dead & The Dead 2. Here Jon talks about his first solo feature film, Offensive, a dark, violent tale of rage and revenge set in rural France, which receives its World Premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest 2016.

Firstly, congratulations Jon, on completing your first solo feature film. Has this been a long time in the making ?

Jon Ford: Thank you, it has indeed been a long time in the making, in fact a lifetime nearly! This is a very personal film as it’s based on true events that I’ve experienced. It’s almost a compilation of scenarios that have made a lasting impression on me...

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Bowie’s Big Screen Best

Merry-Christmas-Mr-Lawrence---David-Bowie,-Ryuichi-Sakamoto

Over twenty credited movie roles on his IMdb page testify to David Bowie’s impressive body of film appearances.

Not that he was an actor of extraordinary range. Although displaying a similar to aura to Jeremy Irons, it is difficult to imagine Dead Ringers or Die Hard With A Vengeance with the superstar in those roles.

Bowie’s big screen company was more along the lines of Brad Pitt or Keanu Reeves. Actors whose performance ability is relatively narrow, but can be electrifying on the big screen when used effectively.

His first credited big screen appearance was in The Man Who Fell To Earth. Ostensibly playing an alien, the kaleidoscopic film can be read as a pretty accurate reflection of experiences the coke and excess addled Bowie was then going through.

Later roles would include Jare...

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My Nazi Legacy

My-Nazi-Legacy-posterDirector: David Evans

Writer: Philippe Sands

Cast: Philippe Sands, Niklas Frank, Horst von Wachter

Cert: PG

Running time: 90mins

Year: 2015

 



What’s the story: Jewish international human rights lawyer Philippe Sands tours different countries with the sons of two Nazi war criminals. The men have very different opinions of their fathers’ wartime actions, which affects Sands personally when they travel to the Ukraine and the place where most of his family perished.

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What’s the verdict: Director David Evans, a veteran of such heavyweight shows as Whitechapel and Downton Abbey, keeps My Nazi Legacy visually simple, the camera held at a respectful distance from its subjects and rare family photos and archive footage providing a grim look into the recent past.

The complexity comes in t...

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Son of Saul

Son-of-Saul---posterDirector: László Nemes

Writers: László Nemes, Clara Royer

Cast: Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn, Todd Charmont

Cert: 15

Running time: 107mins

Year: 2015



The lowdown: László Nemes’ feature debut, winner of the 2015 Grand Prix at Cannes, journeys to the very centre of Auschwitz’s extermination apparatus. In 1944 the Nazi’s enter a killing frenzy of unprecedented magnitude. A member of the Sonderkommando, Jewish inmates forced to assist the SS with the extermination of new arrivals, attempts to give a young boy a traditional burial against this background of evil. Within this slim story Nemes portrays the insanity of the Nazi’s Final Solution and the horrors facing prisoners placed in an impossible situation.

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The full verdict: Showing the unshowable is the great dil...

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Woman in Gold

Woman-in-Gold---posterDirector: Simon Curtis

Writers: Alexi Kaye Campbell, E. Randol Schoenberg (life story), Maria Altmann (life story)

Cast: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Bruhl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany

Cert: 12A

Running Time: 109 mins

Year: 2015

The lowdown: Based on a true story,National Treasure’ Helen Mirren fights for her rights against Third Reich crimes with a callow Ryan Reynolds in tow. Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) tries to create cinematic alchemy between his likeable leads but despite compelling subject matter and another puissant performance from the indomitable Dame, the effect is ultimately lacklustre.

Woman-in-Gold---Helen-Mirren,-Ryan-ReynoldsWoman-in-Gold---Klimt-painting 

The verdict: Although not the first time Nazi pilfering of priceless paintings has received the Tinseltown treatment, unlike 2013’s misjudged comedy caper Monuments Me...

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15 Five Star Movies You May Have Forgotten

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One of the nicer problems for the first world film fan is not only making time to watch all the movies now available, but also remembering them.

With all year round blockbusters dazzling the eyes it is easy to forget those movies that fired the brain cells and stimulated the imagination in the way the best cinema does.

So, in salute to those special movies that deserve the all five stars yet may have been clouded by a decade of sound and fury or simply slipped under the radar, here are 15 five star movies made since 2000 you may want to reacquaint yourself with.


In the Mood for Love (2000)
The plot: In Hong Kong, 1962 a man and woman living in the same apartment building discover their respective spouses are having an affair and begin a tentative relationship themselves.

Why 5 stars: Cin...

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The Last of the Unjust

The-Last-of-the-Unjust---Claude-Lanzmann,-posterDirector: Claude Lanzmann

Writer: Claude Lanzmann

Cast: Benjamin Murmelstein, Claude Lanzmann

Cert: 12

Running time: 218mins

Year: 2013

 

The lowdown: Monumental account of the wartime experiences of Benjamin Murmelstein, the only “Jewish Elder” to have survived the Holocaust. That Murmelstein was the final “Elder”, ie forced camp administrator, of the infamous Theresienstadt “model ghetto” made him work dangerously close to Adolf Eichmann, one of the Holocaust’s chief architects. Moreover, it saw him vilified by fellows Jews after the war as a collaborator. Claude Lanzmann’s demanding and rewarding documentary of a fascinating individual is a must-watch event.

The-Last-of-the-Unjust---Claude-Lanzmann,-train-stationThe-Last-of-the-Unjust---Claude-Lanzmann,-Rome

The full verdict: In 1985, after more than 10 years in the making, Claude Lanzmann released his 9 hour Holocaus...

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