My Flickchart Ranking: #135
I tend to go into a lot of films at the AFI Fest 2011 Presented by Audi blind, doing little to no research beforehand. What ends up happening is that there’s a fairly even mix of films that impress and films that just don’t do anything for me. Then there are a few that just outright surprise me and end up ranking ridiculously high on my Flickchart. This would be that film.
Café De Flore has two stories happening in parallel, the first about Antoine, a popular Montreal DJ struggling with a recent divorce. Despite ruining the lives of his family with the separation he’s the happiest he’s ever been in his life. Happening in tandem to this is the story of Jacqueline, a single mother in 1960s Paris taking care of her special-needs son. Both stories are connected by the song Café De Flore and perhaps much more.
My Flickchart Ranking: #380
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Jamie Bell • Andy Serkis • Daniel Craig • Simon Pegg • Nick Frost
Genres: Adventure • Adventure Comedy • Animation • Based-on-Comics • Comedy • Family-Oriented Adventure • Family-Oriented Comedy
I’m at a bit of a loss here. The Adventures of Tintin continues a trend that I don’t much like in the industry today: the use of 3D and Motion Capture to tell the story. Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is with the technology and why it’s such a selling point. It’s not like the technology really transcends its status as a gimmick or does much in the way of assisting the storytelling process. But then this film comes along and makes me re-think the whole thing.
For those not in the loop, The Adventures of Tintin is a series of comic books created by Georges Rémi, who wrote under the pen name Hergé. The film is adapted primarily from the 11th title in the series, The Secret of the Unicorn, combining elements from The Crab with the Golden Claws and Red Rackham’s Treasure to flesh out the world. We’re introduced to the title character as he comes into possession of a model of the ship The Unicorn. Soon he’s accosted by Ivanovich Sakharine (Daniel Craig), which sets him on an adventure to find the sunken Unicorn. He’s joined by Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) and the Thompson brothers (Nick Frost and Simon Pegg).
My Flickchart Ranking: #276
If ever I had a sweet spot when it came to film, television or books it would be in the dystopian genre. Usually you’ll have an oppressive government or force that has managed to subjugate it’s people and one person who awakes in the nightmare. In some of the more action-packed films in the genre, he’ll go on a crusade against “the man,” gunning down those who maintain the status quo. Carré Blanc opts for reflection and the attempt to find one’s place in a cruel system. Sweet spot indeed!
In Carré Blanc the population is on the decline. Folks just aren’t having babies anymore. Loudspeakers repeat the dwindling population numbers at every hour, as well as suggest to everyone that now is the perfect time to have children. Meanwhile, the dead get packed up and shipped to a processing plant where they get turned into the next day’s meat. We start the story as our main character Philippe gets sent to a boarding school to learn about the ways of the world. As he traverses the harsh landscape of growing up and eventually finds his bride to be, it becomes apparent that this system can’t last forever.
My Flickchart Ranking: #912
Every year at AFI Fest Presented By Audi there are a few films that get showcased at the midnight hour, films that are a little bit more edgy and challenging than what plays throughout the day. Last year the favorite was Julia’s Eyes, an homage to Giallo film. Going into Beyond the Black Rainbow I half expected to get some kind of homage to Kubrick, and what I got instead was kind of a confused mess.
My Flickchart Ranking: #934
[disclaimer: I had to cut out of the last 20 minutes of the film to get in line for the next screening. My review only reflects up until that point. It might have gotten better.]
I can count the number of Police Dramas I’ve seen on one hand, and for good reason. The genre just doesn’t interest me all that much. Some of it has to do with the trappings of the genre – the rogue cop with aviator shades, the hardened chief ready to kick ass and the sarcastic detective who is more or less a jerk – but a majority of it is just that the plots are never all that engaging. And this film is no exception.
Rampart is the story of Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson), a hard-boiled police officer caught in the middle of a scandal involving the LA Rampart division. As his career deteriorates, so does his personal life. His wife and ex-wife kick him out of their homes, and his estranged daughter defies him every chance she gets. The only means he has to cope are through his job and his evening trysts with Linda, played by Robin Wright. Eventually, even those come under fire.