Tag Archives: Vincent Cassel

Underwater (2020) Review

FILM-Underwater[1]

Underwater

Time: 95 Minutes
Age Rating: 2773-o[1] Violence, horror scenes & offensive language
Cast:
Kristen Stewart as Norah Price
Vincent Cassel as W. Lucien
Mamoudou Athie as Rodrigo Nagenda
T.J. Miller as Paul Abel
John Gallagher Jr. as Liam Smith
Jessica Henwick as Emily Haversham
Director: William Eubank

Disaster strikes more than six miles below the ocean surface when water crashes through the walls of a drilling station. Led by their captain, the survivors realize that their only hope is to walk across the sea floor to reach the main part of the facility. But they soon find themselves in a fight for their lives when they come under attack from mysterious and deadly creatures that no one has ever seen.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

I knew about Underwater for some time, it was a horror sci-fi thriller taking place in the ocean and starred Kristen Stewart in the lead role. I didn’t expect much from it really, especially for a January released thriller, but I had a feeling it would be entertaining at least. Thankfully it was quite a fun movie and I liked it for what it was, even with its faults.

ob_c3e9aa_ccxhfuwxs9qywii4qnvp0ffcprf[1]

Right after an establishing shot inside and outside the station, and after the first scene of Kristen Stewart establishing her as the protagonist, the crash that sets the plot into motion happens. I do like how quickly it gets into the action, as well as the straightforwardness of the plot. The plot itself is rather predictable and doesn’t really do anything new, with plenty of tropes from other horror movies. In fact much of the story and setting for sure takes cues from Alien, just taking place underwater instead of outer space; Underwater is basically Alien in the ocean. With that said, I didn’t expect it to be something unique or subversive, so it wasn’t that huge of a negative for me. There are some parts of the plot I’m uncertain about, but I just went along with it. It is quite fast paced, and for the most part I think they fitted the movie well. There are brief attempts at humour especially with the dialogue, and I found that those moments only felt out of place and didn’t help to do anything but distract from the rest of the movie. Something I really didn’t like was all the exposition through voice over from Kristen Stewart in the first and last scenes of the movie, it just feels very unnecessary and lazy. It’s a minor issue since it’s only present in those scenes, but they stick out as being very unwelcome.

MV5BOGI5NjY2NGUtMmMwNi00OGM3LWI3YmItOWE2ZjE4MmI5MWJkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTE0NTczNDAz._V1_SX1777_CR001777740_AL_[1]

The cast do a good job in their parts. Kristen Stewart is really good in the lead role, her performance actually does carry the movie well. The rest of the cast including Vincent Cassel and Jessica Henwick play their parts well. The characters are likable enough, if rather underdeveloped despite the attempts at development. Out of them, T.J. Miller feels the most out of place, he does have some dramatic parts, but out of the cast he delivers the most comedy, and as previously said the comedy doesn’t work.

underwater-DF-01930_CC_rgbW[1]

Underwater is directed pretty well by William Eubank. Again, you can clearly tell that the movie is inspired by Alien with regards to the direction, but its nonetheless good. I really like the look of the movie. It is well shot, the interiors look great, especially with the colour and lighting. Additionally, the setting at the facility was quite effective for this type of movie and its plot. The horror and scares were also handled quite well, with a tense atmosphere throughout, and it did a good job at making you really feeling confined. The quick cut editing sometimes worked well, at other times it made things a bit hard to follow. It does feel creepy throughout, especially the underwater scenes. I really liked how they portrayed the underwater from the visuals to the sounds. It’s a little while before we get to see the Lovecraftian-like creatures, but they are creepy and effective as horror monsters. As for issues with the direction, the outside CGI heavy shots really look fake and rough to say the least. A nit-pick but nonetheless something that stood out was the unnecessary text that appears on screen to show the location names.

Kristen Stewart stars in Twentieth Century Fox’s “Underwater”.

Underwater was quite good and entertaining for what it was, with some solid direction, and a good cast that performs well, especially a solid Kristen Stewart. The script has some faults for sure and it’s nothing special, but I reckon that if you like the look of the movie, it’s worth a watch for sure. It’s a fun 90 minute long horror thriller flick.

Black Swan (2010) Review

natalie-portman-21468[1]

Black Swan

Time: 108 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] contains violence, sex scenes & content that may disturb
Cast:
Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers/The Swan Queen
Mila Kunis as Lily/The Black Swan
Vincent Cassel as Thomas Leroy/The Gentleman
Barbara Hershey as Erica Sayers/The Queen
Winona Ryder as Elizabeth “Beth” MacIntyre/The Dying Swan
Director: Darren Aronofsky

Nina (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina whose passion for the dance rules every facet of her life. When the company’s artistic director decides to replace his prima ballerina for their opening production of “Swan Lake,” Nina is his first choice. She has competition in newcomer Lily (Mila Kunis) however. While Nina is perfect for the role of the White Swan, Lily personifies the Black Swan. As rivalry between the two dancers transforms into a twisted friendship, Nina’s dark side begins to emerge.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1]

I liked Black Swan when I first saw it, and it definitely got all the acclaim that it deserved. I’ve already watched most of director Darren Aronofsky’s work (with the exception of The Fountain), but I wanted to have another look at some of his movies, and so I started my rewatches with Black Swan and got even more out of it this time. Aronofsky’s direction was really great and as usual Natalie Portman is fantastic.

black-swan-1280x720[1]

I won’t go into too much depth about the plot in case you still haven’t gotten around to seeing the movie yet. Darren Aronofksy really keeps this movie tight at an hour and 50 minutes long, it keeps the pace up pretty quickly and on a second viewing I really noticed it. It starts out as a movie about what an artist would do for art, and it is that throughout, but it also turns into a psychological thriller. It really goes crazy in the third act to say the least, and when the film needs to go horror, it really goes there. Looking at the plot from beginning to end, it’s so perfectly crafted and well put together.

blackswan23[1]

Everyone in the cast was outstanding, however this is really Natalie Portman’s show, giving a career best performance here. Her character’s whole thing is that as how she is now, she’s perfect for the role of the White Swan but in order to perfectly perform The Swan Queen, needs to delve deeper into darker territory to portray the Black Swan as well. Her descent and change were very convincing, and Portman works well. Her performance is essentially what drives the whole movie, as great as Aronofsky’s direction is here, Black Swan wouldn’t have worked without Portman’s excellently performance. Mila Kunis gives probably her best performance yet as a seemingly rival to Natalie Portman who seems to work as the Black Swan, which would compel Portman towards a different side. Vincent Cassel is also really great as the director of the ballet, who also pushes Portman further towards becoming more of the Black Swan. Definitely one of Cassel’s most standout performances. Barbara Hershey was also good as Portman’s obsessive mother, adding even more strangeness and uneasiness to the whole movie. Winona Ryder is in here in a smaller role as the previous Swan Queen before Portman, but she still really worked in her few scenes.

IMG_2089.CR2

Darren Aronofsky’s direction of Black Swan is excellent. I know it should go without saying but the actual ballet portions of the movie are showcased, choregraphed and displayed on screen very well. When it comes to the psychological horror side (especially towards the latter section of the movie), it’s effectively creeping and unnerving. The limited sections of crazy visual effects still hold up really well 9 years later. The score by Clint Mansell really works (which is to be expected of him at this point), very haunting yet beautiful, much like the whole movie.

blackswan29[1]

Black Swan is Darren Aronofsky’s best film yet, and considering some of the movies that he’s made, that’s saying a lot. His direction was great, really portraying a descent into madness well, with great acting, especially from Natalie Portman who gives an extraordinary performance here. Definitely one of the best films of 2010 and the 2010s, and worth a watch if you haven’t seen it already.

Irreversible (2002) Review

Time: 97 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] contains brutal sexual violence, graphic violence and sex scenes
Cast:
Monica Bellucci as Alex
Vincent Cassel as Marcus
Albert Dupontel as Pierre
Director: Gaspar Noé

A woman’s (Monica Bellucci) lover (Vincent Cassel) and her former boyfriend (Albert Dupontel) take justice into their own hands after she becomes the victim of a rapist.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

Gaspar Noé is a director whose films I’ve never watched before. After hearing about his new film Climax coming out this year, I decided to check out some of his previous work before watching it, much like how I watched Lars von Trier’s Depression Trilogy before watching his latest film The House that Jack Built. I had been hearing so much controversy surrounding this movie, I heard about that there was some extreme violence and a disturbing rape scene. Naturally I wasn’t exactly looking forward to watching it but I pushed through it anyway to check it out. While it’s not a movie that I want to see again, at the same time I admire a lot of the things that it does and what Noé is trying to say with it.

I should probably say that the plot points and scenes that I mention aren’t exactly spoiling the movie, it’s nothing more than what is already said in the summary for the movie. As you might’ve guess from the title, is done in reverse order, so we get the revenge early on, then we see the rape that sets the revenge in motion, then we see what happened before all of that. While it takes this reverse order of storytelling from Christopher Nolan’s Memento (so it’s not completely original), Irreversible still manages to make this unconventional way of storytelling not just a cool but cheap gimmick. It’s also not that difficult to follow, it’s a very straightforward movie in fact. We’ve seen plenty of movies which are pretty much revenge fantasies that are very self indulgent. By seeing the payoff first, then seeing the act that sparked it, and then the rest of the movie however, it’s making the audience reflect about the revenge throughout the rest of the movie. On top of it, it doesn’t glamourize it or make it easy to watch by any means, far from it in fact, it is so incredibly brutally realistic that for some it’ll be absolutely unwatchable, and I don’t blame those who hate watching it. It is a very ugly movie, but it’s ugly to make a point. What I can say is that after the rape scene, the rest of the movie is way more tame in comparison, it’s just sadder watching them knowing what’s going to happen to these characters.

The main 3 characters are really just Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel and Albert Dupontel and all 3 are great in their roles. Bellucci plays the woman who ends up the victim of the rape and Cassel and Dupontel play the two men (boyfriend and ex boyfriend of Bellucci) who look for the man responsible. All 3 give painfully real performances and were just all around fantastic.

This is the first film I’ve seen from Gaspar Noé, and his direction here is great, he has a strong understanding of what he is doing here. One of the most unique things about Irreversible is the camerawork. Every scene is filmed in one long tracking shot and quite often the camera spins around. As time goes on, especially in the second half, it stops the spinning quite a bit and calms things a lot more, but it’s still pretty dizzying for the first half. Anyone who easily has motion sickness is probably not going to be able to get past 10 minutes of this movie. The most extreme case of this spinning filmmaking technique was in a scene in a sex club early on, where the camera is just rotating and spinning all over the place as it follows a character looking throughout the club. We can see some of what’s going on with the place and the people and it only really settles down properly when the brutal violence starts. That brings me to the violence. I have a pretty high movie violence threshold, I was actually able to stomach most of Antichrist. So know that when I say that the violence in Irreversible was incredibly hard to watch and got a reaction out of me, that means a lot coming from me. Not to spoil anything, but a particular scene involving a fire extinguisher scene really just set the mood for the rest of the movie. It’s not gloriously violent like in a Tarantino movie, it is painfully realistic, and it forces you to watch every second of it, not because it wanted to be edgy or because they thought that it was gratifying to watch, but because it really wants you to feel the level of brutality the acts are (of course I am thinking deeply about this). As for the aforementioned rape scene, it’s one long 10 minute tracking shot and doesn’t budge from the heinous act. There’s a fine line between having a point and being needlessly cruel, and thankfully Noé manages to balance it well. It is undeniably hard to watch and I had to skip through it after a couple of minutes but it does it’s job well. Much of the movie is made even more unnerving by the use of an extremely low-frequency sound to create a state of nausea in the audience that occurs for the first hour of the movie, I have to say it was very effective at making the whole experience even more unsettling than it already is.

Irreversible is tragic, well directed, greatly acted and is a ferocious attack on the senses in a great way. Saying it’s not for everyone is an understatement. Along with the trippy storytelling and camerawork which could induce motion sickness for some people, it is of course very dark and disturbing, with extreme violence that made even me cringe. Much like Antichrist, I can’t in good conscious recommend Irreversible. It’s a good movie for sure, it’s just that if you’re going to watch it you’ll have to be prepared for it, and even then there’s a 95% chance that you won’t be, I certainly wasn’t.

Jason Bourne (2016) Review

JasonBourne4[1]

Jason Bourne

Time: 123 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence and Offensive Language
Cast:
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne
Tommy Lee Jones as Robert Dewey
Alicia Vikander as Heather Lee
Vincent Cassel as The Asset
Julia Stiles as Nicolette “Nicky” Parsons
Riz Ahmed as Aaron Kalloor
Director: Paul Grengrass

It’s been 10 years since Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) walked away from the agency that trained him to become a deadly weapon. Hoping to draw him out of the shadows, CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) assigns hacker and counterinsurgency expert Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) to find him. Lee suspects that former operative Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) is also looking for him. As she begins tracking the duo, Bourne finds himself back in action battling a sinister network that utilizes terror and technology to maintain unchecked power.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

The Bourne trilogy is one of the best action franchises ever created. For this reason, I was looking forward to the 5th instalment to the franchise, named Jason Bourne, with director Paul Greengrass and main star Matt Damon returning, with a talented cast filled with actors like Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones and Vincent Cassel. While some people are feeling mixed about the latest instalment, I think that Jason Bourne is yet another great addition to the franchise. It’s quite similar to the other films, it’s entertaining, interesting, it’s not perfect but it’s very enjoyable.

Matt%20Damon%20i%20Jason%20Bourne[1]

Jason Bourne definitely has a similar formula to the other Bourne movies but there’s nothing wrong with that. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Bourne is on the run, trying to find out what’s going on, pretty much every Bourne film ever made. Plotwise don’t have many problems with the movie. One fault I will say though is that the film does at times focus on a subplot involving government oversight and security with Riz Ahmed’s character which really was unnecessary. It wasn’t bad but it felt a little out of place and there was already a good enough plot with Bourne hunting down the CIA. The film would’ve benefited a lot more without this subplot. In parts I’ll also say the film did drag a little, particularly the first act. Those are really my only problems though.

jason_bourne_screenshot_20160727192550_5_original[1]

Matt Damon is effortlessly great as Jason Bourne, this is his 5th time that he played the character and he’s just as believable and great in the role as he was decades ago in The Bourne Identity. The supporting cast was also great. Riz Ahmed was really good, even though I didn’t like his subplot in the story he did play his scenes very well. Alicia Vikander is a great actress and in this movie I thought she was decent, nothing spectacular but nothing bad either. The main opposing forces against Bourne were also great, that being Tommy Lee Jones who was really effective as the head of the CIA and Vincent Cassel, who was a standout for me as a ruthless assassin sent after Jason Bourne.

jason-bourne-2016-movie-vincent-cassel[1]

If you don’t like the action in the previous Bourne films, you definitely won’t like the action here. It’s very similar to the previous films, handheld and shaky but once again like in the previous movies, it’s not used to hide bad stuntwork, you really believe what is going on. I liked all the action scenes in the film but a stand out scene for me was a car chase in Las Vegas in the third act, that was for me the best action scene in the film. I can’t really think of an action scene which didn’t work for me.

Jason-Bourne-2016-Movie-Wallpaper-07[2]

I’m not exactly sure why this movie seemed to receive a mixed reception. I will admit that this movie isn’t really necessary, The Bourne Ultimatum tied up all the loose ends and so Jason Bourne didn’t need to exist. But with that said, it was a good film nonetheless. If you liked the other Bourne films, you will probably like this film as well at the very least. I actually do hope that they continue with more films, Paul Greengrass has given us 3 great Bourne films, I want to see more from him.