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Review: Tu £ sday – Tuesday (2008)

Directed by: Sacha Bennett | 80 minutes | action, thriller, crime | Actors: Philip Glenister, John Simm, Ashley Walters, Cristian Solimeno, Kevin McNally, Dylan Brown, Gregor Truter, James Barriscale, Richard Brown, Kate Magowan, Kirsty Mitchell, Alex MacQueen, Sal Esen, Roger Layton, Veronica Brown, Mick Barber, Lucy Burns, Linal Haft, Emil Marwa, Beth Goddard, Jonathan Parsons, Marina Fiorato, David Garry, Catherine Locardi, Andy Cody, James Millman, Paul Fournel, Nigel Bliss, Jim Alexander, Brian Bosley, Dell Taylor

Just any town somewhere in England has been plagued for months by a group of experienced bank robbers. The men work with the perfect planning and always manage to empty the safe in record time. Police Chief Thomas is puzzled and dismayed that he cannot get hold of them. But they still have to make a mistake. After all, everyone gets sloppy over time.

One day, the bank robbers decide to squat in a local bank, where at that moment an emerald worth a few million is kept. The preparations are going smoothly as always, but when the time comes, not everything goes according to plan. There appear to be other robbers who want to do a squat on exactly the same day. Soon everything goes wrong and everyone is actually arrested. However, the emerald is missing. At headquarters, it is up to Detectives Jerry and Thomas to find out what exactly happened.

‘Tu £ sday’ is a bit of a cross between an average whodunnit and a film of the type ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’. The swearing, flat-talking Britons and the funny idle discussions are certainly reminiscent of it. However, ‘Tu £ sday’ lacks the characters that ‘Lock Stock’ does have. By the way, the storyline of ‘Tu £ sday’ is very complex with various flashforwards and flahbacks. Fragments of the robbery are interspersed with scenes in which suspects are interrogated. Every now and then your head turns to who was where now at what time. That is also a bit of a downside. Occasionally the film is simply impossible to follow.

The common thread, or rather the motto of ‘Tu £ sday’, is the fact that just about all characters seem to hate their job. If only the members of the gang were suspected in the beginning, doubts soon creep in about the intentions of other attendees on that particular Tuesday. What about that cashier who was promised that great promotion? And what about businessman William, who wants to divorce his wife and needs money? And that bank manager is also suspicious. The big question: Don’t you hate your job, and if you had the chance to rake in a few million emeralds, would you?

Tu £ sday is definitely a movie worth watching. There is no high threshold, it is suitable for every audience and looks away. With many films in the genre you can see at some point how things are going, but with ‘Tu £ sday’ the ending really comes as a surprise. A nice evening of TV fun.

 

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Review: Demain to commence (2016)

Demain to commence (2016)

Directed by: Hugo Gelin | 117 minutes | drama, comedy | Actors: Omar Sy, Clémence Poésy, Antoine Bertrand, Ashley Walters, Gloria Colston, Clémentine Célarié, Anna Cottis, Raphael von Blumenthal, Ben Homewood, Alice David, Mona Walravens, Raquel Cassidy, Howard Crossley, Anabel Lopez, Cécile Cassel

Since the overwhelming success of ‘Intouchables’ (2011), Omar Sy has become a global star. The cheerful Frenchman, son of a Senegalese father and a mother from Mauritania, became so popular in his homeland that he decided to move to Los Angeles with his family. Not only good for the peace of mind of the Sy family – Omar and his wife Hélène have four children – but also for the career of the father of the house. Since then, Sy has starred in major Hollywood productions such as ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ (2014), ‘Jurassic World’, ‘Burnt’ (both 2015) and the third part of the ‘Da Vinci Code’ series, ‘Inferno’ (2016). In between, he also regularly travels to France to shoot, including for ‘Demain tout commence’ (2016), a film by Hugo Gélin, who previously made ‘Comme des frères’ (2012). Gélin comes from a real acting family – his grandfather and grandmother were Daniel Gélin and Danièle Delorme (‘Gigi’, 1949) and none other than Maria Schneider was born from his grandfather’s extramarital affair – and was in front of the camera herself from an early age. Later, however, he appeared to feel more for a career behind the scenes. Versatile as he is, he has worked as a producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, assistant director and director. ‘Demain tout commence’ is his second feature film as a director.

Samuel (Omar Sy) leads a riotous life on the southern French coast. He earns some money as a captain on a luxury yacht, and in the evenings he party and beast that it is a delight. This regularly gets him into trouble with his stressed employer Samantha (Clémentine Célarié), but with his immeasurable charm, Samuel knows how to talk himself out of anything. Until one morning suddenly an old flame stands in front of him. This Kristin (Clémence Poésy) claims that she had a one-night stand with him a year ago and then puts a three-month-old baby in his hands, only to leave with the northern sun. Stunned and with the courage of despair, Samuel sees only one way out: travel after Kristin to London to give her the baby back. But Kristin seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth. Shifting, not fluent in language, and with a crying child on his arm, Samuel tries to find his way in the British metropolis, until he bumps into French film producer Bernie (Antoine Bertrand). He arranges a job for him as a stuntman and offers him and the baby shelter. Fast forward to eight years later: Samuel is still irresponsible, but thanks to his unbridled love and energy, baby Gloria has grown into a feisty and cheerful girl (Gloria Colston). They live together in a beautiful London apartment, the dream of every eight-year-old: complete with a ball pit, a slide, huge Playmobil dolls and a wall with a world map made of Lego bricks. The sofa is a huge fluffy blue elephant and candy vending machines hang on the wall. Father and daughter live a fantastic life, thanks to Samuel’s career as a stuntman. But then mother Kristin is suddenly at the door again: she demands her daughter back…

‘Demain tout commence’ is a remake of the Mexican film ‘No ce aceptan devoluciones’ (2013). Where it starts lightly, with the endearing antics that Omar Sy seems to have patented, Gélin chooses to end heavy. A contrast that feels forced. For a long time, actually until Kristin suddenly reappears, ‘Demain tout commence’ works fine as a light-hearted comedy. We take it for granted that the credibility leaves something to be desired and that some characters (particularly the British ones) are portrayed very caricatured. The real stumbling block is the end, where several heavy themes are pushed through in an artificial way and at high speed. If the intention was to give the film more depth, then it doesn’t come through at all. The fact that the film still stands is largely due to Sy, who knows how to captivate the audience with his natural charisma and flair. The chemistry with the young Gloria Colston is particularly convincing and splashes off the screen. Clémence Poésy looks a lot less good, but that has everything to do with her role. What mother just gives her child away? There must be text and explanation, there must be a reason for it. But we don’t get more than an intimidated ‘I can’t handle it’. As a result, you as a viewer can hardly have sympathy for her. That takes the sting out of the custody battle right away. Antoine Bertrand is a very stereotypical gay sidekick: with anything that is even slightly masculine, they flirt violently. It will come as no surprise that he has a heart of gold.

The atmosphere in ‘Demain tout commence’ is good and Omar Sy is a fine protagonist. The film was undoubtedly made with the best of intentions and to a certain extent it works, despite the many incredulities and clichés. If Gélin had kept it so light, nothing would have happened. The fact that he chose to apply a forced deeper layer towards the end, without giving it time to come to fruition, unfortunately detracts from the film as a whole.

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Review: Waz (2007)

Directed by: Tom Shankland | 105 minutes | horror, thriller, crime | Actors: Stellan Skarsgård, Melissa George, Ashley Walters, Tom Hardy, Paul Kaye, John Sharian, Selma Blair, Barbara Adair, Peter Ballance, Sally Hawkins, Lauren Hood, ‘Sean’ Brian Jordaan, Sheila Kerr, Michael Liebman, Joshua O ‘ Gorman, Alibe Parsons, Robert Phillips, Marcus Valentine, Michael Wildman, Larry Cowan, Laurence Doherty, Roy McManus, Igor Smiljevic, Alvin Charles

“Waz” is a mix of a grim police thriller in the style of “Se7en”, in which a duo of police officers start the hunt for a serial killer, and the more recent torture horror films like “Saw” and “Hostel”. Fortunately, the emphasis is more on the police aspect than the torture scenes, because almost no one is waiting for yet another bloody festival of pain. Yet as the film progresses there are a few in which you will undoubtedly put your teeth together.

Melissa George (“30 Days of Night”) plays Helen Westcott, a young policewoman who has just been linked to veteran Eddie Argo (Stellan Skarsgård). The first crime scene is the harbor, where the body of a pregnant woman, girlfriend of a gangster boss, lies. The letters “W∆Z” are carved into her belly. With a business card like that, it must be a serial killer, says Argo, and when the victim’s boyfriend is found, with the same bloody inscription, the case is a fact. The film has even more in common with films such as “Se7en” and “Saw”: here too, the killer wants to teach the victims a lesson. Scientist George R. Price and his genetics equation are inventively integrated into the film. It’s all about a choice: Would you kill the sweetest person in your life if you could save your own life with it? An interesting question that will definitely make you think. The murderer wants to substantiate this theory and has very logical reasons for it.

“Waz” is reminiscent of police thrillers from the 1970s, early 1980s. The film is set in New York, but has also been shot in European cities such as Belfast. The cast is, except for Selma Blair, un-American. The gray, dingy atmosphere is sublime and convincingly presented. Especially the scenes in the house of heroin whore Elly Carpenter (Sally Hawkins) seem authentic. Her role in the whole generates deep emotional reactions. The actors do a great job. Melissa George may be a little too inexperienced to take on the heavy role, but the fact that she is reminiscent of Charlize Theron, and not just because of her appearance, is proof enough of her talent. Stellan Skarsgård also manages to impress in his role and regularly misleads the viewer. That is also the strength of the film: even though the viewer already knows whodunnit halfway through the film, the why is still unclear. The psychological aspects of the film are therefore very strong. “Waz” also has a plot twist, something that seems almost mandatory in these types of movies, but this one is so unexpected that its effect has quite an impact.

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English Reviews

Review: Tuesday – Tuesday (2008)

Tuesday – Tuesday (2008)

Directed by: Sacha Bennett | 80 minutes | action, thriller, crime | Actors: Philip Glenister, John Simm, Ashley Walters, Cristian Solimeno, Kevin McNally, Dylan Brown, Gregor Truter, James Barriscale, Richard Brown, Kate Magowan, Kirsty Mitchell, Alex MacQueen, Sal Esen, Roger Layton, Veronica Brown, Mick Barber, Lucy Burns, Linal Haft, Emil Marwa, Beth Goddard, Jonathan Parsons, Marina Fiorato, David Garry, Catherine Locardi, Andy Cody, James Millman, Paul Fournel, Nigel Bliss, Jim Alexander, Brian Bosley, Dell Taylor

Just any town somewhere in England has been ravaged for months by a group of experienced bank robbers. The men work with the perfect schedule and always manage to empty the safe in record time. Police Chief Thomas is puzzled and puzzled that he can’t get a hold of them. But they have to make a mistake at some point. After all, everyone gets sloppy over time.

One day, the bank robbers decide to crack a local bank, where an emerald with a value of a few million is currently being kept. The preparations go smoothly as always, but when the time comes, not everything goes according to plan. It turns out that there are other robbers who want to set up a heist on exactly the same day. Soon everything goes wrong and everyone is actually arrested. However, the emerald is missing. At headquarters, it’s up to detectives Jerry and Thomas to find out exactly what happened.

‘Tu£sday’ is a bit of a cross between your average whodunnit and a ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ type film. The cursing, flat-talking Brits and the funny, empty discussions are certainly reminiscent of it. However, ‘Tu£sday’ lacks the characters that ‘Lock Stock’ does have. The storyline of ‘Tu£sday’ is also very complex with several flashforwards and flahbacks. Fragments of the robbery are interspersed with scenes in which suspects are interrogated. Every now and then your head turns to who was where at what time. That is also a bit of a minus. At times the film is simply unwatchable.

The common thread, or rather the motto of ‘Tu£sday’, is the fact that just about all the characters seem to hate their jobs. While in the beginning only the members of the gang were suspected, doubt soon creeps in about the intentions of other people present on that Tuesday in question. What about that cashier who was promised that nice promotion? And what about businessman William, who wants to divorce his wife and needs money? And that bank manager is also suspicious. The big question: Don’t you hate your job, and if you had the chance to rake in a few million emeralds, would you?

‘Tu£sday’ is definitely a movie worth watching. There is no high threshold, it is suitable for every audience and it is nice to look away. With many films in the genre you see at some point how the fork is in the stem, but with ‘Tu£sday’ the ending really comes as a surprise. A nice evening of TV fun.