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You Were Never Really Here (2017)

You Were Never Really Here (2017)


Joaquin Phoenix

Directed by Lynne Ramsay

This movie with a mouthful for a title is a good enough film to watch from the moment things start to get twisted/interesting. The buildup which were meant to be cinematic, engaging and thrilling in the way the flashbacks were edited in, could be seen as a drag or distraction.
We get to spend a considerable amount of time getting to know how twisted the mind of our anti-hero, Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) is. This time is shared between, getting to see his relationship with his mother, flashbacks between his times as a child with an abusive father and when he was in the military.

Before we get started on the plot, I want you to recall that Joaquin Phoenix over the years has proven to be a fantastic actor. He is good at delivering performances in different movies genres that only a few actors can deliver on.
This movie is also a true test of how good an actor he is. Starting with us getting to see a hired gun who spends his time after leaving the military rescuing people. Joe is not mentally stable though, wanting so much to kill himself and end his existence as he struggles with flashbacks of his abusive father, who was abusive to him and his mother.
He now lives with his aged mother, taking care of her and even though he desires to be dead – her being alive in a way kept him going.

He was given a job, to rescue a girl of a senator. The senator himself asked him to save his daughter who had been kidnapped by a child sex trafficking ring.
Him getting involved was he believing the problem was equal in intensity like the other ones he had helped people with. He was unaware that the child sex trafficking ring gave services to men in the high up office of the government and the girl he was asked to rescue, Nina was the favorite of a top government official.
From this point of the movie to the very end, it gets very intense and the editing became topnotch. As we transpired between flashbacks and present, with a musical score that was well blended into the film.

After saving the girl the government official sent the police and other agents to kill him, bring back the girl and kill everyone Joe works with. The attempt to kill Joe did not go well with the officer as Joe attacked him and escaped while Nina was kidnaped again.

Now Joe must deal with the aftermath of the police tracking him down to his home and the urge to save Nina. The movie is very short and many things that you would have expected to happen in between the time Joe went looking for Nina and when he found her didn’t. Instead the movie had an ending that was surprising and worth a good pat on the back for the Lynne Ramsay. Ramsay directed and wrote the screenplay for this book adaptation.
In 2017 Cannes Film Festival Ramsay won the Best Screenplay award and Phoenix won the award for Best Actor for this movie.

Thoroughbreds (2017)

Thoroughbreds (2017)


Olivia Cooke
Anya Taylor-Joy
Anton Yelchin
Paul Sparks

Directed by Cory Finley

The suspense in this movie is downplayed in such a way that you will think you have a clue of where the movie is going, and it turns out that the movie had other plans. I like movies like this which take it on themselves to be their own reality. What I mean is, the movie plays out like life it gives us characters who are selfishness, cruel and their self-preservation takes front and center in their decisions.

The movie was a box-office bomb, even though it was well received, and I will not have heard about it, if I did not do my regular search for movies that were good, and I believed I missed.
Sometimes flipping through Netflix or visiting the Looper site to find out movies you have probably missed can be very heartwarming when you come across a movie that you watch and like.

Socially disordered teen named Amanda (Olivia Cooke) (in this last movie that Anton Yelchin starred in before he died), euthanizes her horse which was crippled and is under animal cruelty charges.
Amanda had a friend named Lily growing up and they have grown apart. Since Amanda was not socially inclined her mother paid her former friend Lily to hang out with her. Lily felt guilty for taking the payment and choose to hang out with her former friend after the first payment.

During their studies Amanda notices that Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) dislikes her step-father. The uptight Lily loosened up and made some improvements in getting loose after she gets upset at Amanda for prying too much. There a bond of friendship renewal was born.
Lily’s step-father is very annoying and during a very weird confrontation with Amanda present – Amanda suggested to her friend to consider killing her step-father.

At first Lily was not down with the plan, but later agreed to it and they formed a plan to carry it out in a way that no-one will be implicated.
The plan as you will expect did not go as they wanted and Lily had to improvise, in a way that is too freaky for words and I will ask you see this film to enjoy it.

The movie's acting is top-notch, when two disturbed girls find pleasure in each other and try to make their lives better.
The movie was concluded fourteen days before Yelchin's death and it holds a high critical reception from critics and it is worth all the praise. Everything about the movie from its pace to its portrayal is great and well done. This is a movie worth seeing anytime and is one I hope you do not miss.

Goldstone (2016)

Goldstone (2016)


Aaron Pedersen
Alex Russell
David Gulpilil
Jacki Weaver

Directed by Ivan Sen

Sometimes these movies will not be groundbreaking magnificent that you are amazed it was not popular. At times you watch some and wonder why they are made, but the good ones will always leave you glad you saw them. Many of the good ones like here, Goldstone are just subtle settings with a tiny cast and made to entertain and not be a crowd pleaser.

Goldstone is a nice film, the sought of film that is meant to make you realize that not doing nothing is the same as being part of the problem.
The movie is a standalone film, but it is a sequel to a previous film Mystery Road which also starred the lead Aaron Pedersen as Jay Swam.
Set three years after the incident of the previous movie, the lead Jay is off to a town to investigate what happened to a missing Asian tourist. Like I said, the movie is a standalone film and what he did in the previous movie is mentioned here, but it has no bearing on this movie.

Jay is a head strong Aborigine police officer, and his coming to the town was met with a lot of grievance from the locals. He had a shootout in the trailer he was staying by some racist crew who find pleasure in hurting foreigners and Aborigines. Like I said it is an Australian movie, and Jay was in a local Aborigine town which much of its elders were selling out their land to a company promising development.

Jay being around was a problem as his continued search for the missing tourist led him to stumble on a human trafficking ring, turning Asian girls to sex slaves.

The people in charge of the trafficking are in bed with the racist crew, the elders of the town and the law of the town. The local police officer, Josh turns a blind eye to everything. He was made to pay attention and reluctantly join Jay in the town cleanup when Jay accused him of being on the take to turn a blind eye.
Together the two of them stir up enough dust in town as human trafficking and land grabbing were not the only problem the town has, murder was now on the list.

This Australian thrilling drama is directed and written by Ivan Sen, if you do not know who he is, neither do I. He also did the music, cinematography and was on call as the movie editor, he is a one-man Swiss army knife of movie production.
The movie is fun and gained numerous Australian accolades (in nominations and winnings) from their movie awarding community.
Like I said it is a subtle movie, not so much gun blazing, but it does pack enough suspense to make you want to see it through. So, if you got the time for some good drama, go see this movie.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)


Ben Stiller
Amy Adams
Owen Wilson
Steve Coogan
Hank Azaria

Directed by Shawn Levy

The first film was decent fun, different and very surprising for someone like me who just caught it on TV.
After the financial payback of the first a part two was developed. This new movie did not lack in the fun I had in the first movie. It was ok in that, I enjoyed the characters like I did in the first movie and I was glad they introduced new characters to give you a sense that something new was in place.
It was sad that the three oldies from who guarded the museum in the first movie part was cut out from the theatrical cut – so, don’t expect to see them.

The movie did pack the same CGI fun it had in the first and the tale continues for Larry as thus. He now runs a company of his own selling inventions which are ideas he got from his stay in the museum.
He learned from one of his many visits to the museum to see his friends that the exhibits will be moved to the Federal Archives at the Smithsonian Institution to be replaced with holograms. The only thing to remain at the American Museum of Natural History was the Tablet of Ahkmenrah and if this happens the exhibits will not come to life anymore.
They made peace with it and the exhibits were being shipped to Washington DC.

Larry receives a weird phone call from Jedediah (Owen Wilson) who seems to be in a form of distress, and he informs Larry that, Dexter the monkey stole the Tablet and brought it with him to the Smithsonian. Now, The Tablet has now brought every exhibit in the Smithsonian to life.
Larry must now travel to Washington and find a way to help because from the call everything was out of order. He went with his son and posing as a night guard they were able to navigate their way to where the exhibits were being stored.

The movie had a love interest for Larry in it, which you will have to watch to find out who it is and there is a new villain in play.
Ahkmenrah’s evil older brother Kahmunrah, who wants to use the powers of the Tablet to take over the world. That task is a tall glass of water, which brings everyone together to try and stop him.
This movie does spring enough fun and adventure to be watchable. In the end, even though I felt this movie should not have been bothered to be done, I didn’t feel bad for seeing it.

It got the same critical reception as the first movie and was a box office performer, so there is a part three in the making.