An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an entertaining look at 24 hours in the life of a group of humanitarian workers in the Balkans in 1995. The film is funny, tense and packed with layers of drama, as Spanish filmmaker Fernando Leon de Aranoa cleverly recreates the setting with striking detail. Since it feels so realistic and is populated with lively characters, the film is thoroughly entertaining, even if it only barely seems to crack the surface.
It opens as aid worker Mambru (Benicio Del Toro) and his local translator Damir (Fedja Stukan) are trying to remove a body from a well so they can clean up the water supply for an isolated village. But their only rope is too frayed to work. Then jaded American colleague B (Tim Robbins) arrives with French rookie Sophie (Melanie Thierry), and as they try to find a rope they are joined by sexy Russian worker Katya (Olga Kurylenko), who has a past with Mambru. But there are constant roadblocks, literally and figuratively, as they try to solve this relatively simple problem. Along the way, they pick up a young orphan (Eldar Residovic) and try to reunite him with his family.
Every situation these people encounter is fraught with chaos, from the absurdities of military regulations to the complexities of local politics to the constant possibility of injury or even death. The filmmaker creates a terrific blackly comical tone that stresses the gallows humour these workers require to survive in an environment where children run around carrying big guns and rules are more important than innocent people's lives. This offbeat tone is engaging, especially with the snappy performances from Del Toro and Robbins as experienced men who know the ropes but insist on playing the game by their own rules. Thierry and Kurylenko are also good in less developed roles as the naive newbie and the steely ex, respectively. And Stukan and Residovic, plus a strong supporting cast, add lots of local colour.
Continue reading: A Perfect Day Review
Jaume Roures, Tim Robbins, Melanie Thierry, Fernando Leon de Aranoa, Olga Kurylenko, Benicio Del Toro and Fedja Stukan - 'A Perfect Day' Madrid photocall at Casa de America - Madrid, Spain - Friday 14th March 2014
Lively and imaginative, this raucous adventure-drama recaptures the ramshackle futurism of director Terry Gilliam's 1985 masterpiece Brazil, throwing a lonely guy into a series of events that get increasingly surreal. And while we never lose interest, the plot seems to fall apart about halfway in, circling around itself and the pungent themes that ooze through every scene.
The central figure is Qohen (Waltz), a genius who feels like life has lost its meaning. He hates the corporate mentality at Mancom, where both his manager (Thewlis) and the computer system drive him nuts. Then after a chance encounter with the big boss (Damon), he's given a new assignment to work at home crunching numbers to prove the Zero Theorem. Everyone is vague about what this theorem is, but Qohen likes being away from the office. But now he's distracted by the seductive Bainsley (Thierry), who puts on a sexy nurse outfit and lures him into a virtual reality environment. He's also assigned 15-year-old computer nerd Bob (Hedges) to keep his system up and running. Or maybe everyone is spying on him.
The central theme is the search for meaning in life, which is echoed in Qohen's inability to feel, taste or properly experience anything. And the theorem itself turns out to be an attempt to prove conclusively that everything is meaningless. This allows Gilliam to deploy his vast imagination in every scene, with a flood of corporate and religious imagery, suggestive innuendo and topical gags about free will in a society that values making money at the expense of actually living. All of the actors grab on to these ideas, adding comical physicality and knowing humour to each scene.
Continue reading: The Zero Theorem Review
In a flamboyant, futuristic universe, Qohen Leth works as a computer hacker desperate to uncover the meaning of life. He appears to suffer from a range of conflicting phobias and his eccentricity forces him to stand out to the formidable Management who enlist him to try and crack the most fundamental formula of mankind history, the Zero Theorem. Meanwhile, he is waiting desperately for an important phone call that will reveal to him the purpose of human existence. But as he absorbs himself deeply with his own work at the dilapidated chapel he calls home, he finds himself repeatedly distracted by Management's teenager son Bob and a stunning blonde seductress named Bainsley who was specifically hired by the dictatorial authority. Qohen's sanity is frequently tested as it becomes more and more clear that the Zero Theorem is trying to tell him that all is for nothing.
'The Zero Theorem' is a vibrant sci-fi drama set in an almost Orwellian dystopian future. It has been directed by the Oscar nominated Terry Gilliam ('Twelve Monkeys', 'Brazil', 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail') and written by Pat Rushin ('No Ordinary Sun' short) in his full-length screenplay debut. It has already caused a stir having won the Future Film Festival Digital Award at the Venice Film Festival and it is set to be released in the UK on March 14th 2014.
Nerio Winch is a self made multi billionaire. While relaxing on his yacht one day he is pulled to his death by a scuba diver who had been lying in wait. Nerio's death throws his company into financial distress, as Nerio apparently has no living heirs to carry on the business.
Continue: The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch Trailer
The Marquis of Mezieres (Magnan) is only mildly annoyed that his daughter Marie (Thierry) has fallen for suave warrior Henri (Ulliel), even though she's promised to his brother (Domboy). Then a better offer comes along, and the Marquis offers her to Prince Philippe (Leprince-Ringuet), son of the Duke of Montpensier (Vuillermoz). Leaving Marie with his loyal mentor Chabannes (Wilson), Philippe rejoins battle alongside his old friend Henri in the war between the Catholics and the Huguenots. But Philippe soon becomes jealous of Henri, as well as the flirtatious Duke of Anjou (Personnaz).
Continue reading: The Princess Of Montpensier Review
In 16th century France, wars were raging between the Catholics and the Protestants. Heiress Marie de M'ziSres is forced into marriage by her father, the Marquis de M'ziSres to a man she has never met, Prince Philippe de Montpesier. Marie refuses at first, because she's in love with her handsome childhood friend, Henri de Guise.
Continue: The Princess Of Montpensier Trailer
Toorop (Vin Diesel) is a mercenary hired by an old ally, Gorsky (Gerard Depardieu) to transport a young girl named Aurora (Mélanie Thierry) from Eastern Europe to New York City. In the violent, dystopic world which is the future, she needs someone with Toorop's skills as a smuggler. Along with Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh), the trio must traverse crowded train depots, perilous border checkpoints, a trip aboard an old Soviet sub, and a snowmobile ride across a security drone-policed arctic tundra. Once they arrive in America, Toorop finally discovers the purpose of his mission. Aurora is either carrying a deadly disease... or the new messiah. In either case, the evil High Priestess (Charlotte Rampling) will stop at nothing to get her hands on them.
Continue reading: Babylon A.D. Review
Countless films made in the last decade have centered on the terrors of nuclear material -- all of them, to the best of my knowledge, focusing on the lurid threat of a massive explosion. PU-239, however, takes a different tack; it deals with nuclear horrors on a much smaller scale.
Continue reading: PU-239 Review
The Legend of 1900 is the story of a boy's journey to manhood, never having stepped foot on dry land. Abandoned on an ocean liner and named for the year in which he was born, 1900 (Tim Roth - Hoodlum, Reservoir Dogs) grows up within the confines of the trans-Atlantic steamer Virginia. His prodigious talent for piano is discovered at a young age and 1900 spends his days entertaining passengers from all over the world one boatload after another. As he gets older his reputation proliferates to the point that 1900 would be a rich man if he were ever willing to part with his life aboard the ship. However, despite prodding from his friend Max (Pruitt Taylor Vince - Dr. Dolittle, The End of Violence) and others, he is content to remain a fixture at sea. What will come of 1900 as the war approaches and the waves of immigrants recede? Will he move on, or stay forever in the confines of his ship?
Continue reading: The Legend Of 1900 Review
Date of birth
17th July, 1981
What's new in the music world this week?
'Sounds of Silence' was released on this day (January 17th) in 1966.
Listen to Alex Bayly performing 'Animal'.
Two weeks ahead of Independent Venue Week, Dry Cleaning made 'Britain's Best Small Venue 2015' (NME) the second port of call on their 2020 tour.
'Leave Home' was released on this day (January 10th) in 1977.
For their last gig of the year, The Libertines came back to their adopted hometown of Margate to finish off their latest tour.
Celebrating the birthday of David Bowie with his most legendary songs.
An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...
Lively and imaginative, this raucous adventure-drama recaptures the ramshackle futurism of director Terry Gilliam's 1985...
In a flamboyant, futuristic universe, Qohen Leth works as a computer hacker desperate to uncover...
Nerio Winch is a self made multi billionaire. While relaxing on his yacht one day...
Veteran filmmaker Tavernier approaches this 16th century drama with a fresh touch. It has everything...
In 16th century France, wars were raging between the Catholics and the Protestants. Heiress Marie...
In the movie critic handbook (yep, we all get one), there are certain assured signs...
Director Giuseppe Tornatore has a knack for weaving a magical story. Cinema Paradiso firmly...