snapshot: Unlocked (2017)

Czech Republic, Switzerland, UK, US / 98 minutes / color / Silver Reel, di B, Bloom, Sira, Lipsync Dir: Michael Apted Pr: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Georgina Townsley, Erik Howsam, Claudia Bluemhuber Scr: Peter O’Brien Cine: George Richmond Cast: Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette, John Malkovich, Michael Douglas, Tosin Cole, Matthew Marsh, Makram J. Khoury, Brian Caspe, Philip Brodie, Michael Epp, Aymen Hamdouchi, Akshay Kumar, Robert Alexander Russell, Rami Nasr, Lauren Jessica Boone, Olivette Cole-Wilson.

As this movie’s closing credits rolled, I sat back with a sigh of satisfaction. An old-fashioned edge-of-your-seat yarn, excellently told, with some genuine surprises and a thoroughly admirable, likeable protagonist. All this and Noomi Rapace in kickass form. What could be better? They should make more movies like this . . .

And then I discovered one reason why they don’t.

Apparently Unlocked was roasted by the critics on release for not bringing anything new to the table—for being old-fashioned, in other words.

To which all I can respond is: I’m a big fan of mold-breakers, but there’s room for old-fashioned too, y’know.

Noomi Rapace as Alice Racine.

CIA interrogator Alice Racine (Rapace) was one of the best, but a couple of years ago an operation went pear-shaped in Paris, innocents died, and she had to Continue reading

Naked Tango (1990)

Switzerland, Argentina, Japan, US / 91 minutes / color with some bw and some limited-color footage / Jane Holzer, Denise Rich, Jade M, Martin Hellstern, Praesens-Film, Sugarloaf/Gotan, Grupo Baires, Towa, New Line Dir & Scr: Leonard Schrader Pr: David Weisman Cine: Juan Ruiz-Anchía Cast: Vincent D’Onofrio, Mathilda May, Esai Morales, Fernando Rey, Cipe Lincovsky, Josh Mostel, Constance McCashin, Patricio Bisso, Javier Portales, Rubén Szuchmacher, Marcos Woinsky, Sergio Lerer, Hector Arbelo, Claudio Garófalo, Santos Maggi.

On a luxury liner bound from Le Havre to Buenos Aires, Stephanie (May), married just three weeks ago to the much older Judge Torres (Rey), is already weary of him. When she witnesses a young passenger throwing herself overboard, Stephanie impulsively takes the dead woman’s place, and arrives in Buenos Aires as the mail order bride of Zico Borenstein (Morales).

Fernando Rey as Judge Torres.

Esai Morales as Zico.

Alas, Zico and his sweet old mama (Lincovsky) intend to put Alba to work in their brothel—she’s just the latest in a series of women they’ve imported and enslaved under false pretenses.

When Alba in self-defense Continue reading