Posts Tagged ‘Clemens Schick’

Marseilles Mix Up

Overdrive

 

Director: Antonio Negret

Cast: Scott Eastwood, Freddie Thorp, Ana de Armas, Gaia Weiss, Clemens Schick, Simon Abkarian

Legendary Hollywood actor and director Clint Eastwood’s son Scott Eastwood seems to be making a prolific career for himself in film. Scott Eastwood’s onscreen appearances is like watching the younger version of Clint Eastwood when he was the favourite star of the Sergio Leone spaghetti Western films such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and A Fistful of Dollars.

Besides starring in Suicide Squad and Fury and soon to be seen in Pacific Rim Uprising, Scott Eastwood stars in the European action thriller, Overdrive directed by Colombian director Antonio Negret and also starring British actor Freddie Thorp. The pair star as renegade car thief half-brothers Andrew and Garrett Foster.

Written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (Wanted, 3:10 to Yuma) Overdrive clearly gets inspiration from the 1980’s Lethal Weapon films and more recently the Fast and Furious franchise.

Whilst the plot is a bit thin, the luxury cars are plentiful and the onscreen brothers are helped by two gorgeous co-stars Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049) and Gaia Weiss (Legend of Hercules) as they are hired by local Marseilles mobster Jacomo Morier played by Simon Abkarian (Rendition, Casino Royale) to steal cars, mainly beautiful red Ferrari’s, from a rival German crime boss Max Klemp played by Clemens Schick (Point Break, Casino Royale).

Set in Marseilles, port city on the French Riviera, audiences can expect lots of grandiose car chases through spectacular scenery overlooking the Mediterranean. Overdrive is really entertaining except for the poor sound quality especially when it came to the dialogue although luckily the dialogue wasn’t sophisticated.

If audiences love fast cars, beautiful women and chic French locations then they will love Overdrive. Besides those ingredients, there is not much to make this film exceptional.

Overdrive gets a film rating of 6 out 10. Recommended for those that enjoyed the Taken action film trilogy but without the grit.

 

Nature Versus Man

Point Break

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Director: Ericson Core

Cast: Luke Bracey, Edgar Ramirez, Teresa Palmer, Ray Winstone, Delroy Lindo, Tobias Santelmann, Nikolai Kinski, Clemens Schick

The 2015 remake of the 1991 surf thriller Point Break, which originally starred Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves and directed by Kathryn Bigelow moves the action from California to the French Riviera and features a more international cast including Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez (Zero Dark Thirty) as Bodhi and Australian actor Luke Bracey (The November Man) as Johnny Utah yet does not live up to the original.

Nevertheless, Ericson Core’s version of Point Break comes across more as a globetrotting extreme sports adventure film than a hard core action film and whilst the stunts are fantastic, the storyline does not feature anything fresh or innovative, but remains loyal to the original plot of an FBI agent who infiltrates a group of extreme sports men, headed by the alpha male Bodhi as they jet set around the globe and attempt some awe inspiring stunts while their criminal acts appear to be philanthropic.

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The onscreen bromance between Bodhi and Johnny Utah is an essential ingredient which director Bigelow captured so well in the first film, however in this version, the actors Bracey and Ramirez do not quite accomplish that genuine competitiveness. Their fragile friendship is strained too early in the film and soon the narrative and characterisation gets lost amidst the spectacular stunts and action sequences mainly in the French and Italian Alps.

Whilst the rest of the cast assist with making this bromance believable including Ray Winstone as Utah’s FBI handler and a cast of European actors which make up Bodhi’s crew including Norwegian actor Tobias Santelmann (Hercules) as Chowder and German actor Clemens Schick (Casino Royale) as Roach with Natassja Kinski’s younger half-brother Nikolai Kinski (Saint Laurent) playing a wealthy reckless playboy Pascal al Fariq who funds their various international heists from Mumbai to Mexico.

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The extreme sports in this version of Point Break range from snowboarding to wingsuit flying, high speed motor cross and surfing 70 foot waves in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Viewers get the impression that Ericson Core’s version of Point Break tried to dazzle 21st century audiences yet got carried away with the visual possibilities especially since he originally was director of photography for such films as Daredevil and The Fast and The Furious. This version of the film is by no means as good as the original directed by Kathryn Bigelow who went on to win an Oscar for The Hurt Locker.

2015’s Point Break does have that international multicultural feel which the original film does not, but somehow the narrative of a gang of dare-devil extreme sports men chasing the elusive eight feats of man conquering nature gets lost amidst the stunts. In the end Nature ultimately proves a worthy contestant.

Australian actress Teresa Palmer (I am Number Four) plays Samsara whose initial love interest with Johnny Utah is soon smothered by the general overwhelming masculine desire to push these natural limits beyond their own human capabilities. Despite its visual appeal, 2015’s Point Break is fun to watch but in no way eclipses the original film which was far better directed and a more exciting action thriller.

Gambling with Ellipsis

Casino Royale

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Director: Martin Campbell

Cast: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelson, Judi Dench, Jesper Christensen, Jeffrey Wright

After a four year hiatus with the Lee Tamahori directed Die Another Day, (2002) the hugely successful Bond franchise returns with a glossy and brilliant cinematic adaptation of Ian Fleming’s first novel, Casino Royale originally published in 1953.

Director Martin Campbell (Goldeneye) updates Fleming’s novel to the 21st century and the Bond franchise controversially introduces the new blond Bond, a blue eyed hunk named Daniel Craig whose film credits include Love is the Devil and Sylvia.

Judi Dench reprises her role as M while Jeffrey Wright takes on the role of Felix Leiter. Bond girl and femme fatale, Vesper Lynd is coolly played by the French actress Eva Green (The Dreamers) and the villain, a swindler, money launderer and compulsive gambler the infamous Le Chiffre is wonderfully played by Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen.

With a gritty opening sequence in Prague followed by a spectacular stunt and action sequence in Madagascar, viewers are reintroduced to Bond as a tough, rebellious British secret agent who is after the elusive source of Ellipsis, codename for an international terrorist money laundering ring with ties to Le Chiffre and his overseer the mysterious Mr White played by Jesper Christiansen, first seen in the Ugandan jungle.

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As the action moves swiftly around the world from The Bahamas to Montenegro to Venice, Casino Royale is a superb and ambitious adaptation of the 007 novel, as all the central characters gamble with each other’s lives and motives, with Bond even getting caught in a horrendous torture sequence nearly breaks his British patriotism as well as his manhood. Bond’s love for Vesper Lynd is consecrated in a Hotel room in Montenegro while he is in between playing in an international high stakes poker, superbly teased out and the onscreen chemistry between Craig and Mikkelsen as Bond and Villain is palpable and nefarious.

Complimenting this classic hero/villain tension is the intense partnering of Bond and Lynd, with a matching chemistry between Green and Craig, showing that both actors are consummate performers and expertly cast together.

Besides the awesome stunts, the superb action and the intense gambling, Casino Royale belongs to Daniel Craig who makes the role of Bond his own and really proves his weight as the new Bond for the 21st century, as demonstrated recently with two more Bond films Quantum of Solace (2008) and the hugely popular Skyfall (2012).

Retrospectively Casino Royale pays homage to all the elegant Bond films of the 1960s especially Dr No and Goldfinger as well as the Pierce Brosnan films of the late 1990s such as Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies. Gone are the spectacular sets and outlandish plots of The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker which characterised the Bond films of the 1970’s, even though those films were the most popular of the Roger Moore series.

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Casino Royale is glossy film noir with a great supporting cast, exotic locations and some jaw dropping sequences including the iconic shot of Daniel Craig emerging out of the Caribbean surf in nothing but swimming trunks, oddly enough paying homage to Dr No and Die Another Day.

Casino Royale is 142 minutes long and by far one of the best Bond films made in the expanding 007 filmography, memorable, thrilling and unsuspectingly heart wrenching. This is definitely a vintage Bond film and one to keep for all the ardent franchise collectors. Absolutely Brilliant.

Ideally Casino Royale should be watched before Quantum of Solace as the two films complement each other stylistically and the plot follows on chronologically.

 

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