MONDAY, 1 FEBRUARY 2016

The Revenant

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The Revenant***(*)

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Written by Mark L. Smith and Alejandro González Iñárritu; based on the novel by Michael Punke
Starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Pulter

After being ambushed by Native Americans, explorer Hugh Glass guides a group of pelt hunters through inhospitable lands back to their fort. But when he is badly mauled by a bear, captain Andrew Henry feels that Glass has no chance of survival and decides to leave him behind with three of his men (one of them is Hawk, Glass’ half native son). Henry instructs them to stay with him until his death and give him proper burial. One of the three, Fitzgerald, decides to shorten Glass’ agony, but ends up killing Hawk in the process. As his other comrade comes back, Fitzgerald lies to him and convinces him that Glass is dead and to go back to the fort… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 8 JANUARY 2016

If Einar is a Danish girl then I’m a Dutchman

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Lili Elbe, 1926, born Einar Wegener (right). Author unknown.
Source: Wellcome Images  via Wikipedia

 

I have in recent years developed tenderness towards a particular kind of man. The kind who thinks he is a woman.

Primarily, this tenderness comes from recognising transsexualism to be a severe disorder, best thought of as a life-threatening condition. But as well as this I am just grateful that I know where I stand with a transsexual man: he thinks he is a person of the other sex. And that’s it, a nice neat binary.

But transsexualism is now host to a powerful parasite born of the legal ideology named Gender. Your ‘gender identity’ is neither the sex you are nor the sex you think you are. Rather, it is the gender you think you are. So whereas transsexualism is a state of mind regarding a state… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 18 DECEMBER 2015

Our pick of the films of 2015

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Picking the year’s most worthwhile films is always a challenge. Here is a list of ten from a range of genres, with something for everyone.

Timbuktu   

Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako.
Starring Abel Jafri, Hichem Yacoubi 
French-Mauritanian production, French with sub-titles, 96 contemplative minutes  
Rotten Tomatoes 99%
      

Not far from the desert city of Timbuktu, now ruled by unnamed Islamists, proud cattle herder Kidane lives peacefully with his wife Satima, his two children and their 12-year-old shepherd. In town the people suffer under a regime of terror. Music, laughter, cigarettes, and even soccer have been banned. Women have become shadows. Tragedy ensues when Kidane falls foul of the law. A gorgeous, poignant film. Nominated as best foreign-language film in Oscars.

Inside Out   

Directed by Pete Docter    
Voices of Amy Poehler,… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 8 DECEMBER 2015

The Good Dinosaur

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The Good Dinosaur *****
Directed by Peter Sohn; written by Meg Le Fauve
Starring Rymond Ochoa, Steve Zahn, Frances McDormand, Anna Paquin, Sam Elliot, Jack Bright

Sixty-five million years ago an asteroid hit Earth and determined the extinction of dinosaurs… But what if it had missed our planet completely? This story takes place a few million years after the averted catastrophe, as dinosaurs still inhabit Earth and have evolved with it. Young Arlo is one of them and lives in the family farm with his parents and brothers, until one day, while following an annoying pest (that turns out to be a human baby), he ends up miles away from home. He has to embark on a dangerous journey to reunite with his family, as he and the little human become friends…

The Good Dinosaur came out just after – at least in Italy ‑ the revolutionary and critically acclaimed… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

THURSDAY, 26 NOVEMBER 2015

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Directed by Francis Lawrence; written by Peter Craig and Danny Strong
Based on the novel by Suzanne Collins
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Clafin, Donald Sutherland, and Julianne Moore
136 minutes; USA, 2015.

As civil war rages between the Districts and Capitol City, Katniss Everdeen faces her ultimate challenge. Determined to put an end to the conflict with President Snow (the man who is also responsible for the tortures that apparently have changed Peeta forever), once and for all, Katniss wages on with a group of comrades through streets of the capital that are strewn with traps and enemies. Before the end can come, more suffering, sacrifice, compromise and innocent death must occur, and politics will prove to be even more insidious than war... 

It all ends with a fourth chapter created… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

MONDAY, 9 NOVEMBER 2015

Spectre

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Spectre
Directed by Sam Mendes; written by John Logan, Neal Purvis, and Robert Wade
Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, and Christoph Waltz

 

After her death (at the end of Skyfall), M leaves 007 an assignment: to kill a man and to start uncovering the clues of a mysterious criminal organization at his funeral. Isolated from the British Secret Service and increasingly more determined to know the truth and get revenge, Bond crosses paths with the beautiful Madeline Swann, the daughter of an old enemy who is perhaps the key to the heart of the organization...

For what is (apparently) to be the last chapter of the tetralogy in which Daniel Craig has redesigned the character of the most famous secret agent in the world, Spectre plays the entire game from the very first moment. Its title is borrowed from Bond’s most brutal enemy,… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 27 OCTOBER 2015

The Force is calling 47 million fans

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Akin to a “disturbance in the Force” is how Obi Wan Kenobi might have described the online reaction to the release of the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens on October 20.

It’s reminiscent of the spectacular exploding Death Star sequence which closed the original Star Wars in 1977 (later renamed Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope -- click here for the original trailer). It has been viewed more than 47 million time on YouTube, or about 5,500 times a minute, confirming that the franchise is more popular now than ever.

In a cinema not so far away on December 18 the iconic sci-fi saga will come full circle with perhaps the most eagerly anticipated follow-up in a generation. The underwhelming prequel The Phantom Menace (1999) and its two sequel prequels disappointed as much as the original trilogy delighted.

Given the pedigree and CV of the man… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2015

Alone on the Red Planet

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The Martian   
Directed by Ridley Scott. Written by Drew Goddard. Adapted from the novel by Andy Weir.      
Starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiif, Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Sebastian Stan, Kate Mara, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.        
140 minutes, 2015.
     

When his NASA mission is forced to suddenly leave Mars because of a storm, astronaut Mark Watney is left on the Red Planet, presumed dead by his companions. Waking up in a hostile environment, Mark does not lose heart and tries to survive and contact Earth for help ...

The Martian has been described as a sequel to Gravity, but its real model is Cast Away. Unlike Gravity, it has few metaphysical pretensions and little existential angst. It is more like a paean to the ability of homo scientificus to identify problems and find solutions in the fight to survive which also lies at the… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2015

Hotel Transylvania 2

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Hotel Transylvania 2 ****
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky; written by Adam Sandler and Robert Smigler
Voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Mel Brooks, Andy Samberg, Kevin James

Everything is going well at Hotel Transylvania: Mavis and Johnny are married and have a child, Dennis.  Dennis’ grandfather, Dracula, adores his grandchild, although he begins to worry when at age five he still shows no signs of being a vampire. Fearing that the little one will never fit into a world of monsters, Mavis ponders moving to California, where Johnny’s family lives (even though the family and the father secretly plot for them to stay). While the newlyweds adventure to America, Dracula does everything he can to make Dennis’ inner vampire come to life…

Three years ago, the first Hotel Transylvania was released with unexpected success in the box office.  The Hotel created a… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 15 SEPTEMBER 2015

Taxi

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Taxi
Directed and written by Jafar Panahi
Iran, 2015.

Posing as a simple taxi driver, Iranian director Jafar Panahi (who under the orders of his country is not allowed to work) rides through the streets of Tehran collecting different kinds of passengers and filming them with a camera fixed on his dashboard. With this, he is able to capture fragments of his passenger’s lives and thoughts that— like a mosaic— help build a picture of Iranian society today with all its contradicting and extraordinary stories of humanity.

Challenging the authorities that have formally ordered him not to make movies anymore, Panahi chooses to follow the path of cinéma vérite to continue to tell the story of his country through a mixture of spontaneity and narrative, which gradually begin to fall under the veil of a documentary style film. On the streets of the capital, he picks up passengers of all… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

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Popcorn is MercatorNet's funky blog about what's hot and what's not in the world of cinema. Feel like contributing? Contact us at popcorn@MercatorNet.com. Feel like commenting? Sound off beneath the posts. 


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