A maid in 1970's Mexico experiences personal and political upheaval.
Directed by Alfonso Cuaron
Starring Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira
Initial Review by Jon Kissel
Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron returns to his homeland for Roma, an autobiographical film about an upper class family in Mexico City. Cuaron last filmed in Mexico for Y Tu Mama Tambien, an all-timer that also backdropped Mexican political strife against regular people living their lives. Roma features less horny teenagers than his first masterpiece, and instead focuses on the family maid caught in the throes of her own personal drama, the family’s dissolution, and protests in the streets. Like the best films, Roma gives the impression that concurrent stories are happening around the one being told here, and I went into this film sure that it would knock me out. However, Roma somehow never breaks through my emotional barriers, leaving me to praise and admire it but not exalt it as the modern masterpiece that so many critics have hailed it as.
Thomas Vinterberg’s 2012 film “The Hunt” is aptly described as a thriller and some other catchy descriptors like “intense” or “psychological drama.” As a male teacher, however, I just witnessed a damn two hour horror movie of the most epic bloodbath proportions. For that, I hate you Thomas Vinterberg, but I’ll be damned if you didn’t create a beautifully crafted movie that leaves the viewer angry, confused, perhaps less hopeful about the people they surround themselves with.
Flame and Citron is a story about a pair of members of the Danish resistance group Holger Danske during World War II. Flame and Citron are assassins who calmly carry out their missions with little information in regards to their targets only knowing they are Danish informers or collaborators with the Nazi occupation of Denmark. They purposely do not target German officials despite their desire to do so for fear it will increase the chances of retaliation. The build up here is a little slow but the noir-ish style of the film directed by Ole Christian Madsen, and the performances of Thure Lindhardt and Mads Mikkelsen as Flame and Citron respectively engage you through the slower setup and lead into scene after scene of excellence as events begin to unfold.
With Thor: Ragnarok hitting theaters next year, I decided to watch a movie about Ragnarok. This honestly isn’t the reason; I haven’t even seen the first two Thor movies. I can only imagine that this movie ended up in my Netflix queue after rating the 2010 Norwegian film Trollhunter.
I enjoyed Ragnarok to an extent. It gave me a Michael Crichton/National Treasure kind of vibe. And similar to Trollhunter (which had a slightly similar format to the Blair Witch Project), the main thing that stood out for me was the lack of overacting and high-production. America being America, I feel like most modern American cinema is just too much. It’s like 99% of the people that sing the National Anthem. Just sing it, there’s no reason to overperform.
Die Welle, or The Wave, is a 2008 film that explores the influence that can be felt when a sociopolitical ideology like fascism or nationalism affects the disenfranchised and how quickly one can find him or herself swept up in a movement.. Director Dennis Gansel uses the natural setting of a modern day German high school as the stage for his revolution. Jurgen Vogel plays the classic cinematic cool teacher, Rainer Wenger, who finds his students to be disillusioned with their current state of life. Making statements like “What are we supposed to rebel against?”, “It’s not gonna happen again,” or “We get it, Hitler sucked,” the students doubt when the suggestion of a modern day dictatorship could happen in Germany. Spurred by the student embitterment, or perhaps by his collection of The Ramones and The Clash t-shirts, Wenger puts in motion a classroom experiment that soon builds beyond his control. Built on unity, discipline, and a call to action, the young German students begin contributing to their Greater Good in a movement that becomes known as The Wave.
JUST SOME IDIOTS GIVING SURPRISINGLY AVERAGE MOVIE REVIEWS.