"Alita: Battle Angel"
producer: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Kian Johnson, Mahershala Ali
Pleasant entertainment of Robert Rodriguez scripted by James Cameron
In a landfill near the town of Zalem, hanging over the crowded metropolis of Iron City, Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) finds the remains of an abandoned robot. A good scientist, he is forced to interrupt with the inexpensive repair of cyborgs, which is not something that you will live on - cyborgs to Ido come mostly poor. From the scrap metal found, Ido collects Alita (Rosa Salazar in the computer dimension) - a highly intelligent cyborg with remarkable physical characteristics. Alita quickly makes friends with the local motorcyclist Hugo (Kian Johnson), from whom he learns about the most popular game in the Deposit - motorball - in fact, gladiatorial battles for people who made the upgrade. While Dr. Ido yearns for the deceased child and ex-wife (Jennifer Connelly), who is now working for a powerful corporation, and Alita, who is suffering from cyborg amnesia, is trying to find out her past and origin, in Iron City, the cyborg ripper is being attacked by a serial maniac and smartly saws off the most expensive parts of the body, leaving no residue.
Fans of the manga on which the film is set, “Alita” are more likely to be overturned, therefore it is better to approach it without special expectations. This is a simple story made according to all the rules of the action - exciting enough not to tear yourself away from the screen during fights and chases, and predictable enough so that all plot moves are known in advance. In any case, one should be happy for Robert Rodriguez - almost nothing remarkable happened to him as a director over the past ten years: Machete and Planet of Terror were the last outstanding projects in his filmography.
Action Rodriguez is a young adult with quotes from the main cyberpunk films from Robocop to Blade Runner, where teenage love (and serial actor Johnson who does not cope with the role of Hugo) is given no less attention than racing and searching for identity. The Guardian called “Alita” a vanilla melodrama, and it’s hard to disagree: after a couple of hours the film is most similar to the remnants from Cameron’s lordly table, which was worn with the idea of filming this manga for 20 years, wrote a script for the film, but the director’s chair eventually lost to Rodriguez. Despite all the piling up of beautiful scenes and antiheroes with saws instead of limbs, we have a very, very conservative romantic story about a girl with the body of a fighter, not claiming anything three-dimensional, except for the image in 3D glasses.
producer: Louis Garrell
Cast: Louis Garrel, Laetitia Casta, Lily-Rose Depp, Joseph Angel
An ironic French romance about Louis Garrell captured by two women
In the morning, Abel (Louis Garrell) meets his girlfriend Marianne (Laetitia Casta) in the corridor: she says that she is pregnant from a mutual friend of Paul and is going to leave him - even the date of the urgent wedding is set. A few years later, Paul, who never appears on the screen, suddenly passes away: heart failure, very young. Abel can’t escape from thoughts about Marianne and the desire to be with her again, although the strange son of Marianne and Paul obviously does not accept him, and even invents strange stories. At the same time, the younger sister of Paul Eva (Lily-Rose Depp), who once was a small and awkward girl, has now grown into a delightful girl with sad eyes, a cramped apartment and mediocre job of a realtor (which is absurd in itself). All these years she was in love with Abel, but did not find the courage to tell him about it.
“Honest Man” is a very short (a little over an hour) sketch of a love triangle in restrained gray tones, but with a sly smile on the lips of the author. Paris is anything but touristy: gray, autumn or winter, in a foggy haze, with heroes breathing out wet steam from their mouths. For the second film about vain and incomprehensible love in the big city, Garrel invited his wife Casta, the daughter of Depp and Vanessa Paradis, the new face of Chanel.
What is played between them, with the voiceover of each hero in turn, is a tragicomedy for three, where a man who is not the strongest in spirit does not even rush about, but hangs out between two much stronger women. In this story of an adult man living in the shadow of women, he is helped by the co-author of the script, Jean-Claude Career, the permanent co-author of the famous father of Louis Garrell, Philippe ("Permanent lovers", "Jealousy", "Lover for the day"). Not the greatest French film, but a clever decision for those who still decide to get out into the movies after Valentine's Day.
producer: Sergey Dvortseva
Starring: Samal Yeslyamova, Dzhipargul Abdilova, David Alaverdyan
The tormenting drama about the Kyrgyz illegal queen in Moscow
Opening a window in the hospital, 25-year-old Kyrgyz Aika runs out onto the street. In the bag is her first child, but she has no money and no opportunity to take care of him. Ika lives behind a curtain with other migrants in a hostel under the absurd name - Solnechny hostel, she has only a mattress and half a window sill. The hostel regularly gives a bribe to the cops, for the delay they give the guests on-the-head slaps. Over the next three days, Ika will be looking for work: in an abnormally snowy winter, she will find a soul mate in a veterinary clinic and will constantly answer annoying phone calls demanding a repayment of the debt. At the same time, Ika suffers from postpartum hemorrhage, dreams of opening a sewing business and tries to express milk, living her pain on the run in a hostile cold Moscow.
Last year’s Cannes laureate, Kazakh actress Samal Yeslyamova really plays a tragic role in Hayk, which they did not play in Russian and are unlikely to play in the foreseeable future. A graduate of GITIS, who had already worked in the last film of Sergei Palace “Tulip”, creates a piercing portrait of an entire generation of women living in modern slavery. What seems like hell to the viewer is the test of every day for Aiki and the women of her fate: from a dirty sleeping place to countless kilometers in snow and slush.
The filmmakers put together a script on documentary material: a cold compress from icicles, plucking chickens, illegal abortions, bribes to everyone, and dreams of their own business that will make an oriental woman independent, - Central Asian women told the screenwriters during numerous interviews during the pre-production living in Moscow. It’s painful and scary to look at Aiki’s ordeals, but it’s a shame to look away: this is a film that should have been born long ago, no matter how the truth corroded your eyes.
producer: Nadine Labaki
Cast: Zayn Al Raffea, Yordanos Shiferou, Boluwatife Treja Bancole
“Slumdog Millionaire” without Hollywood twists - a tragic movie about an unlucky Lebanese child
A little boy (Zayn Al Raffaea), looking eight to nine years old (actually 12), says in the courtroom that he wants to put his parents behind for bringing him into poverty. Zane received five years for a particularly serious crime, and we have two hours to understand how he became a child-criminal.
In modern non-tourist Lebanon, there are many cities where children survive on the streets and take on any work. Zane is one of thousands of such boys whose dad and mom are trying to survive without a roof over their heads. They can not take care of older children, swear and quarrel, give birth yet, although they live in the same room in the house without beds, where they were allowed for a while. Here, the little child’s leg is chained to the table so that he doesn’t go far - there’s nobody to follow him; children sell beetroot juice to buy a meager dinner, or just sniff glue, smoke cigarettes and pass drugs to jail.
Having lost his beloved sister, Sugar (she is given in marriage at 11 to a seller in a store who actually buys her for licorice and noodles), Zane decides to leave home. Surviving in hell, created and maintained by parents, street children tell a story as old as the world, known to us from Dickens to Italian neorealists. Homeless children have long flooded the streets of Beirut, and the friendship with the Ethiopian migrant with a small child, who also survives while working in a restaurant, becomes a saving straw for Zayn.
Capernaum was shot in Lebanon without actors: the author of the film, Nadine Labaki, found everyone among the lay people on the streets - many play fragments of personal stories or stories of people they know before the camera. Most of the children in the frame really grew up in poverty, lost their parents or do not know their date of birth. But what Capernaum (the Oscar nominee) does, in fact, is cinema, and not a quasi-documentary study of Beirut’s homeless people, is a camera and a leading actor - a child with a calm look and stunning organics, who perfectly captures the nature of the survivor. Zayn is not just an intuitively smart street kid, adapting and taking responsibility, this hero is life itself in spite of the environment that brought him into the world. Now this life is filmed in an Arabic flying camera taking a general plan of dusty Beirut roofs.