Posts Tagged ‘Ben Schnetzer’

Operation Thunderbolt

7 Days in Entebbe

Director: Jose Padilha

Cast: Rosamund Pike, Daniel Bruhl, Eddie Marsan, Ben Schnetzer, Nonso Anozie, Mark Ivanir, Denis Menochet, Lior Ashkenzi

Robocop director Jose Padilha directs Rosamund Pike and Daniel Bruhl in the fascinating life recreation of the 1976 Hijack drama of an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris which eventually lands up in Entebbe, Uganda during the reign of Idi Amin.

Pike and Bruhl play Baader Meinhof terrorists and PLO sympathisers Brigitte Kuhlmann and Wilfried Bose even speaking German which is a comfort as Bruhl (Rush, The Zookeepers Wife, Inglourious Basterds) is half Spanish half German.

It’s also refreshing to see the Oscar nominee for Gone Girl, Rosemund Pike play a role against type.

Brazilian director Jose Padilha frames the action and tension of 7 Days in Entebbe within an Israeli contemporary dance number which is inventive and clever. The Book Thief’s Ben Schnetzer plays an Israeli soldier who is tasked along with his battalion to rescue the Israeli passengers from a rundown old Entebbe airport terminal, an efficient military exercise known as Operation Thunderbolt.

Nonso Anonzie makes a brief appearance as Idi Amin, but the real star of 7 Days in Entebbe is the almost unrecognizable Eddie Marsan as the Israeli defence secretary Shimon Peres who would one become Prime Minister of Israel. French actor Denis Menochet (The Program) plays a practical Air France flight engineer who attempts to gain sympathy for the plight of the passengers from the inexperienced terrorist Wilfried Bose.

7 Days in Entebbe is a fascinating recreation of one of Israel’s most daring rescue operations which captured the world’s attention at a time when hijacking was a common terrorist threat.

The tone of the film is definitely pro-Israeli but it is refreshing to watch an action drama which is not Americanized in any way but became one of the highlights of the Israeli military back in the summer of 1976.

Director Jose Padilha effortlessly blends real documentary footage with a brilliant recreation of one of the most bizarre hijackings in aviation history in the riveting 7 Days in Entebbe.

Whilst the film could have been edited in parts, 7 Days in Entebbe is a recommended film for audiences that enjoy stories based on real international events, whatever your political views are on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Operation Thunderbolt ticks all the right boxes held together by superb performances by the films three main leads: Rosamund Pike, Daniel Bruhl and Eddie Marsan.

7 Days in Entebbe gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10.

 

 

Saving Azeroth

Warcraft

warcraft_ver5

Director: Duncan Jones

Cast: Travis Fimmel, Dominic Cooper, Ben Foster, Paula Patton, Toby Kebbell, Daniel Wu, Ben Schnetzer, Glenn Close, Anna Galvin, Robert Kazinsky, Clancy Brown, Ruth Negga

Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones who incidentally is the son of the late pop icon David Bowie takes on a big budget action fantasy in the highly anticipated Warcraft featuring some dazzling motion capture technology which even gives Dawn of the Planet of the Apes credible competition.

warcraft_ver4

Featuring an all-star cast including the roguishly handsome Travis Fimmel of Vikings TV fame as Anduin Lothar, warrior of the fictional world of Azeroth who has to contend with the orc’s arriving en masse from their dying world of Draenor through a visually spectacular portal which causes worlds to collide.

warcraft_ver10

On the orcs side, Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Plant of the Apes), plays Durotan who soon realizes that the orcs mission is doomed to fail and Paula Patton (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) plays Garona a conflicted and gorgeous looking half orc, half human who becomes a prisoner of the Azeroth warriors.

warcraft_ver18

On the human side, there is the dashing Dominic Cooper (The Duchess, Devil’s Double) as King Llane Wrynn and the brilliant Ben Foster (Kill Your Darlings, The Finest Hours) as the mercurial magical protector Medivh who are all tasked with protecting Stormwind Keep from the invading Orcs and their malevolent leader.

warcraft_ver17

Ben Schnetzer (The Riot Club, The Book Thief) pops up as a gifted young wizard named Khadgar who assists in protecting Stormwind Keep while discovering the significant source of the Orc invasion in Azeroth. Audiences should also watch out for a brief uncredited appearance by Glenn Close.

Based upon a series of extremely popular real time strategy computer games created by Blizzard entertainment, Warcraft is a superbly produced, visually spectacular fantasy film catering to a wide audience including those that are not even familiar with the apparently addictive and highly entertaining PC games which opened up entire realms of imagination.

warcraft_ver14

As the worlds of Azeroth and Draenor collide, there are epic battle scenes, visually impressive fight sequences and a twist in this fantasy drama which is enough to even cater for hard core Game of Thrones fans. Warcraft is surprisingly brilliant, a superbly directed epic fantasy which is sure to attract a loyal fan base especially if there are sequels in the pipeline.

Highly recommended viewing for those that relish the world of fantasy and the eternal battle between good and evil in whatever form it takes, both beautiful and hideous.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warcraft

 

Raising Debauchery to an Art Form

The Riot Club

riot_club

Director: Lone Scherfig

Cast: Max Irons, Douglas Booth, Matthew Beard, Sam Claflin, Freddie Fox, Holliday Grainger, Natalie Dormer, Samuel West, Tom Hollander, Tony Way, Julian Wadham

Based on Laura Wade’s play Posh and with the skillful direction of Danish film maker Lone Scherfig (An Education), The Riot Club assembles a cast of the next generation of British thespians from Oscar winner Jeremy Iron’s son Max Irons as well as Edward Fox’s son Freddie Fox along with the dashing Douglas Booth (Romeo and Juliet), Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman) and Holliday Grainger (Great Expectations) in a truly brilliant diatribe about the hidden debauchery of the aristocracy.

What makes The Riot Club even more brilliant is Scherfig’s superb use of tension in the film as the second half really does raise debauchery and menace to an art form, with horrific consequences.

The Riot Club focuses on a privileged group of Oxford freshman who form a secret society, a sort of uninhabited Lord of the Flies style gathering in which the ten member group have to outdo each other in decadence, bravado and more significantly stamina, something most young men are extremely competitive about.

With the taglines of Filthy, Rich, Spoilt, Rotten, The Riot Club truly does show the terrible side of young and obnoxious men behaving extremely badly from trashing University dorm rooms to the disgusting initiation procedures a young man will go through to belong to this elite and secretive club.

This is hazing at its worst along with the cunning and knowing ability which shines through especially in the second half of this film, that no matter how disgusting or debauched their activities get, The Riot Club will manage to get away with it, relatively unscathed. In this privileged aristocratic circle, money truly does buy them everything except in this case decency and consideration for their fellow man.

The Riot Club is disturbing at the best of times, captivating and utterly debauched and aptly directed by Scherfig who as a female director superbly shows how the pack mentality in men can lead to the most heinous of acts. Audiences should watch out for cameo’s from rising Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer as a high class escort as well as an excellent performance by Holliday Grainger as Miles Richards’s (Max Irons) girlfriend Lauren who does not come from the aristocracy and whose merchant background is used as a weapon to humiliate her when she is mistakenly called to the raucous dinner at an old English pub outside Oxford, where literally all hell breaks out.

It’s at this dinner, making up the exceptional second half of the film, that the Riot Club really live up to their horrendous reputation with copious amounts of heavy drinking and drug taking which fuels these aristocrats libido and aggression.

The Riot Club shows off the menacing side of the posh British upper classes and also the exclusivity of the landed gentry who think that despite their actions they are continually above the law because of the vast wealth. Highly recommended viewing but not for those easily offended.

 

 

Death as the Narrator

The Book Thief

book_thief_ver2

Director: Brian Percival

Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Sophie Nelisse, Kirsten Block, Nico Liersch, Rainer Bock, Ben Schnetzer

The cinematic adaptation of Markus Zusak’s bestselling novel The Book Thief by screenwriter Michael Petroni retains the central theme of Death as the Narrator, particularly appropriate as it follows the life of Liesel as she is adopted by a German family in a smaller village on the brink of World War II and the encroaching tide of Nazism which was to engulf Germany and lead it into War.

The BBC hit series Downton Abbey British director Brian Percival’s adaption of The Book Thief like the novel focuses on the story of Liesel Meminger beautifully played by Sophie Nelisse and her friendship with a local German boy Rudi Steiner wonderfully played by Nico Liersch and essentially the narrative is framed by a child’s vision of a brutal and cruel world in which books are being burned and oppression is rife.

war_horse

Percival sticks to framing the fortunes of Liesel and her adopted parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann superbly played by Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) and Emily Watson (War Horse) and the young girls desire to become completely literate discovering words as a means to heal the loss of her brother and make sense of the anarchy and horror of approaching war which is about to disrupt their tranquil existence.

To complicate matters, the Hubermanns harbour a Jewish refugee Max played by Ben Schnetzer as part of a debt that Herr Hubermann had to a deceased German Jewish man who saved his life during the First World War, bringing the sense that War begets War. Liesel strikes up a friendship with the youth in the cellar, wonderfully sensitive performance who soon realizes that by remaining there he is putting the lives of the entire family at risk as the Nazi’s edge closer to the final solution, Hitler’s plan to exterminate all the Jews in the Nazi Reich, which included all German occupied territories and those countries like Poland conquered during the German invasion during World War II. In a reverse of the bombing of wartime London in Stephen Frears’s magnificent film Mrs Henderson Presents, The Book Thief shows the average German civilian population also being stuck in bunkers as the Allies bombed their towns and cities.

The Book Thief is not about taking sides or points of view whether German or Allied, but effectively illustrates the inevitability of death, especially as it narrates life more poignantly and aggressively in times of war and the tragic effect it has on children. Death in this case is a voice over throughout the film, narrated by Roger Allam, discussing quite elegantly the taking of souls as people die. Grim stuff indeed, but made so lyrical by the hauntingly beautiful musical score by John Williams, The Book Thief‘s only Oscar nomination for 2014.

white_ribbon

The film is lyrical, irrepressible, sad and brilliantly acted especially by the young stars Nelisse and Liersch as the adult actors (Rush and Watson) stand back and allow these thespian proteges to shine so beautifully in such a sombre story of repression, devastation and loss. Recommended viewing for cinema lovers that enjoyed films like Stephen Daldry’s Oscar winning film The Reader or Michael Haneke’s excellent Austrian foreign language film The White Ribbon. German film actors Kirsten Block (The Reader) and Rainer Bock also from War Horse round out the cast.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
October 2018
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
  • Ben Stiller Finally Gets His Prison Drama With Showtime’s ‘Escape at Dannemora’
    CANNES — Showtime’s limited series “Escape at Dannemora” marks a departure for Ben Stiller as a director, by design as he tackled all eight hours of the stranger-than-fiction true story of the 2015 prison break in upstate New York that led to a three-week manhunt. During a Q&A after Monday’s world premiere screening of “Dannemora” […]
    Cynthia Littleton
  • Flash Standalone Movie Pushes Start Date, Eyes 2021 Release (EXCLUSIVE)
    Comic book fans will have to wait a little bit longer to see the Flash race into theaters, and Albus Dumbledore may be partly to blame for the delay. Warner Bros. is pushing back the start of filming on the studio’s still untitled standalone Flash film, sources tell Variety. The film never received a formal […]
    varietybrentlang
  • Mariah Carey Announces New Album’s Title and Release Date
    Mariah Carey today announced the title and release date of her upcoming 15 th studio album. It’s called “Caution” and will drop, according to a Twitter post from the singer earlier today. It follows and presumably will include the two singles she’s released in the past few weeks, the surprisingly NSFW “GTFO” and the album’s official first […]
    Jem Aswad
  • Solange’s New Album Coming This Fall
    Solange’s follow-up to her Grammy-winning 2016 album “A Seat at the Table” will be released within the next few weeks, according to an extremely enthusiastic profile of the singer in the The New York Times Style magazine. While no release date has been set, the magazine says the album “likely arrive into the world fully […]
    Jem Aswad
  • Epic Games Sues YouTubers, Says They Were Selling ‘Fortnite’ Cheats
    “Fortnite” developer Epic Games is suing a popular YouTuber which it says was using and selling cheats. Over 1.7 million people subscribe to the “Golden Modz” YouTube channel where its owner, Brandon Lucas, posts videos of himself using mods to troll players in games like “GTA Online” and “Fortnite.” But, Epic claims Lucas also uses […]
    Stefanie Fogel
  • Article
    Over the past few years, several low-cost carriers have stepped up to offer competition and cheapest prices to customers looking to cut down their monthly bills. Tags: 2gmhass90