Scribe

What: Scribe
Where: On Demand and at a cinema near you
Who: French Political thriller
When: Available to watch on Friday
Why: Timely film about a man who unwittingly becomes involved in a conspiracy to rig an upcoming election
An unemployed accountant takes a job that puts him in the middle of a political conspiracy in the new film “Scribe.” 

 
“Scribe (La mécanique de l’ombre)” is a timely taut French thriller that builds it’s suspense in events that lead up to a political election. François Cluzet is Duval, a recovering alcoholic who takes a job as a transcriber that is literally offered to him with no questions asked. He is tasked with typing telephone conversations from tapes that are numbered and left for him in a non-descript flat where he is all alone. He is told by his boss Clément (Denis Podalydés) to keep to himself, to remain unnoticed, and to not smoke in the flat. He is supposed to open the curtains when he arrives at 9 a.m. and to close them when he leaves at 6 p.m. But as the days go on and the conversations on the tapes he transcribes become all too realistic and downright criminal, it’s clear to Duval that the organisation he is working for is somehow involved in trying to manipulate the upcoming election. After a high profile figure is murdered, the conversation of which is on one of the tapes, it’s just a matter of time before Duval gets caught up in the conspiracy, and a murder,
and eventually his life is in danger by the very organization that employs him. 
“Scribe” has all the ingredients of being a great political thriller in the same vein as “The Manchurian Candidate” and 2006’s Oscar wining German film “The Lives of Others.” Director Thomas Kruithof superbly builds the tension while at the same time not giving too much away during the film until it’s explosive ending. This film is well worth a watch.
 
“Scribe” is in cinemas and on demand from 21st July
Photo provided by AR-PR
Review by Tim Baros

Cars 3

What: Cars 3
Where: Now at a cinema near you
Who: The third instalment of the successful Disney Cars animated movie franchise
When: Opened nationwide on Friday
Why: Excellent animation by Pixar adds to the story of a race car who is not quite yet finished racing
Lighting McQueen is back in the latest instalment of Disney’s Cars movie franchise.
If you remember him from “Cars” and “Cars 2,” Lightning McQueen is a racing car whose red exterior and very likeable and loveable interior melts children and adults hearts alike. But in “Cars 3,” the world is changing and Lightning McQueen (voiced by Luke Wilson) can’t keep up with the new mangled fangled super fast highly technologically-advanced new cars now racing, and this includes the shiny and cocky Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). So what should Lighting McQueen do, retire? No way! After a nasty car accident in a race, McQueen is sent to Radiator Springs to recover from the crash, and from there he joins a new racing facility so that he can up his game to compete with the new cars. There he meets Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), a feisty female personal trainer who whips cars back into racing shape. Ramirez also had hopes of being a championship race car but she gave these dreams up years ago. But McQueen has to follow her instructions and at the same time he has to convince his owner Sterling (Nathan Fillion) that he can and will win his next race, for if he doesn’t, then he will give up racing altogether and just stick to endorsements. With McQueen getting into tip top shape, and Cruz’s confidence picking up and raising hopes of her going back to racing, it all boils down to the big race where McQueen has to show what he’s now made of, all thanks to Cruz..
As in “Cars” and “Cars 2,” “Cars 3” is an entertaining movie that provides us with excellent animation and a story where we route not just for Lightning McQueen but for Cruz as well – a minority female character with an inspiring storyline – a rarity in animation films. Expect Disney to have another big hit on their hands with this film as it appeals to both children and adults alike, and perhaps expect “Cars 4” to come our way in a few years time.
Photos from Disney
Review by Tim Baros

WHEN MOVIES BECOME MOVEMENTS!

FACT: Over 50% of rape cases which take place in India happen when women defecate in the open

 

FACT: 60% of the people in the world not exposed to toilet facilities are based in India, with a whopping 564 million Indians defecating in the open.

 

AKSHAY KUMAR’S TOILET: EK PREM KATHA – A LOVE STORY WITH A REVOLUTIONARY TWIST!

 

A Reliance Entertainment and KriArj Entertainment overseas release on 11th August 2017

 

We’ve all heard that love can move mountains, but imagine if every love story created a nationwide revolution for the good of society; the world would be a scintillating dream.

 

International megastar and National Award-Winning actor Akshay Kumar is set to deliver not just a movie but a movement, with his next film TOILET: EK PREM KATHA (Toilet: A Love Story), not only a cinematic treat that tackles hard-hitting social taboos through the lens of satire, but a latest statement of his intent to galvanise modernisation and equality in his home country,

 

Set against the backdrop of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to improve sanitation across India, ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ (Clean India Movement’), TOILET: EK PREM KATHA is a satirical and light-hearted take on open-air defecation in India, and the fundamental need to provide households across the nation with a functioning toilet.

 

Aiming to tug the hearts of every single lover, who is willing to go to any lengths for their beloved, TOILET: EK PREM KATHA portrays the real-life love story between Keshav from Nandgaon (Mathura) played by Akshay Kumar and Jaya from Barsana (Mathura) played by Bhumi Pednekar, whose love transcends across barriers of society and tradition but is challenged by the most unexpected hurdle, a toilet. Conflict comes knocking on the first day of their marital life, when Jaya leaves Keshav’s house for good, after discovering that there is no toilet. With Jaya resolute against the village tradition of

females gathering in groups to defecate in public before sunrise or after sunset, Keshav sets out on a mission to win back his love – by battling against the age-old values of his country.




The upcoming Hindi-language film is directed by Shree Narayan Singh, best known for his work editing smash hits such as Baby (2015), M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016) and Rustom (2016), and co-produced by dream team Neeraj Pandey and Akshay Kumar himself. The ensemble of cast is led by Akshay Kumar, who is joined by Bhumi Pednekar (Dum Laga Ke Haisha), Anupam Kher (Bend It Like Beckham, Silver Lining Playbook) – to condense a star-studded cast. TOILET also marks the 20th film which has Akshay Kumar and Anupam Kher join cinematic forces.

 

Akshay Kumar continues to emerge as a pioneer for social renovation in India, using his filmography and humorous craft as a mouthpiece to highlight a series of relevant issues throughout the country. A basic luxury often taken for granted by most of the world, the lack of lavatory facilities in India has long been a critical talking point. TOILET: EK PREM KATHA comes as a result of some extremely damning statistics: 60% of the people in the world not exposed to toilet facilities are based in India alone, that’s 564 million Indians defecating in the open due to lack of facilities.

 

As well as being a major health, hygiene and environmental concern, open defecation is also accountable for over 50% of the rape cases in India. TOILET EK PREM KATHA is the true story of millions of women in rural India who till date, kilometres away from their homes just to be able to relieve themselves. At break of dawn or fall of dusk, these women face the risk of rape, molestation and/or kidnapping – an inconceivable threat for most of us when routinely going to the toilet. The film spotlights women safety, basic dignity and privacy which form the helm of an ever-growing urgency to address India’s open-air defecation issue. It’s also the crux of the love story between Keshav (Akshay Kumar) and Jaya (Bhumi Pednekar), whose love transcends across barriers of tradition yet is challenged by the most unexpected hurdle, a toilet.

 

A revolution in the making, TOILET: EK PREM KATHA uses humour to educate the world and bring to light the issues surrounding sanitation and women safety in India. Not to be missed, be sure to catch the film’s release internationally in cinemas on 11th August by Reliance Entertainment and KriArj Entertainment. And remember, don’t forget to flush!

 

Join the conversation here:

#ToiletEkPremKatha    

/TEPKTheFilm  @ToiletTheFilm  @toiletthefilm

Akshay Kumar

/akshaykumarofficial  @akshaykumar  /akshaykumar

 

Reliance Entertainment

/RelianceEntertainment  @RelianceEnt    /Reliance.Entertainment

 

 

Rock Dog

What: Rock Dog
Where: At a cinema near you
Who: A cute animated movie about a dog with big dreams
When: Opened nationwide last Friday
Why: A very enjoyable film that will appeal to both children and adults
A young dog from the Tibetan mountains heads to the big city to pursue his dream of being a rock star in the new and fun animated film Rock Dog.
Bodi (Luke Wilson) lives with his father in a tiny village high up on Snow Mountain. His father Khampa (J.K. Simmons) is a leader of the village, and it’s him who is in charge of a motley gang of sheep guards who protect the village from the dastardly, and hungry, wolves who are constantly trying to attack them. Then one day a plane drops a box into the village, and it’s Bodi who is there to investigate it’s contents. In it is a radio which Bodi turns on and instantly he’s in love with the music of a musician by the name of Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard). Bodi tries to copy the sounds of Scattergood by piecing together items found in the village to make a guitar – and Bodi thinks he’s found his calling! After an incident which causes havoc on the village, it is agreed that Bodi should be given a chance to head to the bright lights of the big city so that he can further explore his passion for music and his admiration for Scattergood. But once Bodi leaves the mountain, he is followed by two of the wolves who plan to kidnap him and use him as bait in order to take control of Snow Mountain. But in the big city Bodi meets fellow music and Scattergood enthusiasts in a place called Rock and Roll Park, it’s where Scattergood began his career. It’s not too long before Bodi comes face to face with Scattergood, but he also comes face to face with the wolves, who, at the behest of their leader Linnux (Lewis Black), vows to kidnap Bodi and do whatever it takes to take control of Snow Mountain.
This Chinese-American production is a simple tale of someone from a small village out to seek fame and fortune and explore his passion in the big city, themes most of us can relate to. But Bodi has more than a sense of adventure, he’s got charm and curiosity and a wit about him that should make this film appeal to both children and grownups alike. This film has been a flop, both in the U.S., with a measly gross of $20 million versus a budget of $60 million, and in China, where it has only earned $5.7 million (the film, though not explicitly mentioned, takes place in China). But in my opinion, it’s a great tale told very well with animation that’s passable and an excellently-voiced cast (even Matt Dillon pops up as a yak). It’s a cute story with cute characters – Rock Dog Rocks!
Photos from DDA PR
Review by Tim Baros

Destination Unknown

What: Destination Unknown
Where: At a cinema near you
Who: Documentary about survivors of the Holocaust
When: Opens nationwide today
Why: It is an important documentary that tells the horrors some of the survivors endured during WWII

Twelve Holocaust survivors tell their moving stories in the excellent documentary “Destination Unknown.”

These survivors tell, in vivid detail, the horrors they suffered in the concentration camps during WWII. These men and women were lucky enough to have lived through, and survived, the suffering and the horrors in the Treblinka, Mauthausen and Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. They tell about losing their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, and how, now 70 years after the liberation of the camps, they are still haunted by the memories. We get to meet Ed Mosberg, who was 13 years old when the war started, and who lost all of his family, and how, 70 years later, him and his wife, who is in a wheelchair, visit Mauthausen Camp for the first time since they were liberated, with Ed wearing a prisoner’s outfit. His wife bittersweetly tells him that he never really left the concentration camp.
Then there is Polish Eli Zborowski, who survived the war by being hidden by a local family, and Stanley Goglover, who had to remove his Auschwitz tattoo to completely erase the memories of his time in the concentration camps. Roman Ferber speaks in perfect english as he remembers when he was three years old that all of a sudden his Polish nanny disappeared only because she was not allowed to work for a Jewish family. The memorable story of couple Victor and Regina Lewis, who knew each other before the war and who, after the war, being the only members of their families to survive, ended up reconnecting and eventually getting married. Plus some of the lucky survivors who ended up on Schindler’s list and who thus were not sent to the camps get to tell their harrowing tales. “Destination Unknown” just doesn’t concentrate on death, the documentary also highlights these people’s amazing lives after the war, how they got married, had kids and even grandchildren, and how they created their own families after the horrible horrible crimes against humanity that took place under Adolph Hitler’s short but devastating regime.
Outside the Block 11 (Breath block) in Auschwitz
“Destination Unkown,’ completed in 2016, uses rare unseen archive footage from the war, as well as the participant’s own home video footage, to tell their individual stories of fear, hope, survival and courage. After 14 years of tracking down and talking to survivors, Producer Llion Roberts, along with Director and Editor Claire Ferguson, have made a documentary that is both memorable and still necessary, with an incredible and moving soundtrack. Sure there have been dozens and dozens of books, films and documentaries on this subject, but it’s a subject matter that still needs to be told for each survivor has their own story to tell, unique, frightening, courageous, and just as important, perhaps even more so, than anything in the news today.
“DESTINATION UNKNOWN” is in cinemas 16 June
Photos from AR-PR
Review by Tim Baros

Wonder Woman

First seen in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (as well as on television in the 1970’s), in Wonder Woman we finally have our first real female action hero. The film, appropriately titled Wonder Woman, is out now and it’s good, very good!

It’s two hours and 21 minutes of action, drama, and adventure as Gail Gadot plays Wonder Woman, a demi-god created by Zeus and raised by Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) who fights evil with her special powers (including her bracelets). Wonder Woman is the continuation of the character created in Dawn of Justice – who in the civilian world was known as Diana Prince. She lives in the land of Amazonia where it’s women-only and where she is Princess Diana of Themyscira. In this film she is accompanied all the way through with Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. He is a WWI United States Army Air Service fighter pilot who crashes off the coast of Themyscira, where Wonder Woman grew up and was taught to fight by her fellow Amazonians. She ends up going with Trevor to find Ares, the god of War, in the hopes that killing him will stop the war. But it’s the evil Doctor Isabel Maru (Elena Anaya) who has created a deathly chemical that will ensure quick death to those who are exposed to it, so Wonder Woman has several battles to fight in her quest for world peace.
Diana and Steve’s adventure and mission takes them to London and then into Europe and to the front trenches, where Wonder Woman (an hour and 22 minutes into the film) finally sheds her clothes and lets loose in the infamous Wonder Woman outfit. And it’s spectacular fight scenes that will leave you gasping for air until the very last few scenes when Wonder Woman comes face to face with pure evil.
Gadot is spectacular as Wonder Woman. To hell with male action heroes – there’s now a woman who can take anything that comes her way and she sure nails it. Pine makes a fine side kick, but it’s about time it’s all about the woman. Let’s hope this character becomes a franchise – no more Superman but more Wonder Woman! Director Patty Jenkins brings a new twist and a nice feminine touch to the DC Comics Extended Universe by directing a film that’s smashingly good and is great summer movie fare. Long live Wonder Woman!   


Photos provided by Thinkjam
Written by Tim Baros

Sundance London Film Festival

Sundance Film Festival from Colorado comes to London this weekend and features a lineup of 14 films that were shown at the popular festival in January. This year’s festival will take place from June 1st – 4th at Central London’s gorgeous Picturehouse Central. Here’s a small selection of what’s on offer:

The opening night film is Beatriz at Dinner where Selma Hayek plays Beatriz, a poor Mexican-American holistic practitioneer who finds herself at a wealthy client’s dinner party. Also starring John Lithgow and Choe Sevigny.
The Big Sick is a rom-com about a Pakistani-American man and his white American girlfriend who negotiate family interferences in their relationship. With Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano.
There are two films at the festival that take place in New York’s Brooklyn neighborhoods. In Crown Heights, one man is wrongly convicted of murder in this true-life miscarriage of justice. Crown Heights was the Audience Award Winner at the January Sundance festival. Bushwick deals with a woman (Brittany Snow) who steps out of the subway to discover her neighborhood is under seige from militia forces.
Recent Best Actor winner Casey Affleck plays a ghost who was recently deceased and returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his wife (Rooney Mara) in A Ghost Story.
The unusual Bitch stars Marianna Palka who plays an unhappy housewife and mother who, when she snaps, turns int a vicious dog. A bit strange and unusual….
Woody Harrelson is Wilson, a middle aged man who lives alone with his dog and who is on a mission to track down his ex-wife only to discover that he has a teenage daughter.
The documentary Dina, winner of the Sundance Documentary Grand Jury Prize, is an unconventional love story about two autistic adults; while another documentary –  Icarus – takes an investigative look at doping in sports. And also scheduled into the program is a fan favorite Surprise Film on Friday night.
Short films will also be played at the festival, and include Come Swim, the directorial debut of Kirsten Stewart, and Tough, about a mother-daughter misunderstanding. There will also be events during the weekend, including several of the directors and stars will be attending post screening Q&A’s. One of the highlights should be a discussion called Independent Film Trumps Reality where movie makers discuss movies in the current political climate.
To buy tickets to any of the screenings and events, please go to picturehouses.com/sundance. Festival passes as well individual screening tickets are both sold.
Photos provided by Premier Communications
Article by Tim Baros

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

What: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge
Where: At a cinema near you
Who: The fifth film of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise
When: Opens nationwide today
Why: Javier Bardem’s Salazar is very scary but Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow is dull and unexciting
 

Johnny Depp is back, for a fifth time, as Jack Sparrow in the new installment of Disney’s very successful franchise Pirates of the Caribbean. This one is called Salazar’s Revenge (also known as Dead Men Tell no Tales).

Was there a need for a fourth sequel to the original, titled The Curse of the Black Pearl? In my opinion, no. It’s not that this film is not very good, it’s just that Depp’s Sparrow is starting to get a bit boring, eccentric, and at the very most unnecessary to the plot.
In this sequel, Sparrow is pursued by an old nemesis, Armando Salazar (Javier Bardem). And it’s practically Bardem as Salazar who steals the movie. His Salazar, physically half there, half not there, is one of the most exciting movie characters in recent times. He’s scary and ugly, speaks with a dark, deep voice, and is in a word fascinating. Salazar blames Sparrow for his downfall, so it’s race between him and Sparrow to find the Trident of Poseidon – Salazar wants to use it’s power to destroy all the pirates in the world while of course Sparrow spends his time in a race with Salazar to get this powerful tool.
In the meantime, we are introduced to two new characters (perhaps to inject this film franchise with fresh faces): Kaya Scodelario is Carina, an astronomer, while Brenton Thwaites is very good as Henry, the son of the characters of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley from a previous film.
Salazar’s Revenge is dark, very dark, and it includes memorable scenes including the Devil’s Triangle (where Salazar and his evil gang do their dirty deeds) and stunning special effects. But It’s Bardem who carries, and excels, in this movie. Perhaps in the next sequel they can completely leave out Sparrow and focus more on Salazar. Sparrow’s character has become a bit dull and unnecessary, so it’s time to either leave him out completely and focus on new characters or end the franchise for good. No doubt this film will make a lot of money for Disney – but this franchise with Depp is starting to become a tale Dead (or alive) men don’t want to tell.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

What: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Where: At a cinema near you
Who: Guy Ritchie’s very expensive telling of the legend that is King Arthur
When: Opens nationwide today
Why: Go to see the special effects, ignore the stiff acting and bad accents

‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ is Guy Ritchie’s telling of the story of the legendary and some would say mythical life of Arthur who was orphaned at a young age but who became a King and the man who would become synonymous with the Excalibur myth. Charlie Hunnam plays King Arthur in this film which is visually spectacular yet leaves a lot to be desired for it’s silly plot and poor casting choices. 

When Arthur’s father the King (Eric Bana) is murdered (in a scene played over and over and over again), his uncle Vortigern (Jude Law in a very meaty role) seizes the crown. But the very young Arthur, who was cast adrift on a boat during the murder, has to grow up the hard way, and from the very beginning is unaware that he is the son of a murdered King. As he grows up, he is helped along the way by a band of warriors, but it’s when he pulls the sword from the stone is his mission clear – he needs to get back the crown from his uncle, no matter at what cost.

No expense was sparred in this film, which cost $200 million to make, and it shows in every clip. From the most amazing costumes to the glorious scenery to the spectacular special effects, and even down to the monsters and serpents that provide this film an amazingly dark and scary and fun tone. We even get to see an old Londonium – shown to great effect. But there are some distractions and poor choices that take you out of the story (and will make you unintentionally laugh). David Beckham’s two minute scene as a soldier who prompts Arthur to pull the sword is disastrous because Beckham can’t act and his voice too soft for the part. Another bit of bad casting are most of the men who make up Arthur’s coterie – they all have geezer accents! It must be a case of Ritchie casting all of his friends to be in the film, and while these men can act, their accents are all alike! And Hunnam, while nice to look at, is a very wooden King Arthur.
But don’t worry about all of this. It will only cost you £15 to watch this film – it’s worthy because it’s a film fully of fantasy and mythology that while doesn’t quite live up to its hype, it is, for the most part, entertaining and escapist – and that’s the experience we all want when we to go the cinema.



All photos provided by Warner Bros.

The Best International Film Award at 2017 “Hicran and Melek”

By: Cem Kaplan


Director Esra Vesu Özçelik, who won The Best International Film Award at 2017 London Independent Film Festival with her film entitled “Hicran and Melek”

“Hicran and Melek” has also won the “The Best Foreign Feature” award at Toronto Female Eye Festival, and “Best Film” and “Best Female Actor” awards at Indian World Film Festival.