Die Vierte Macht (2012)

vt The Fourth State
Germany / 117 minutes / color with bw flashbacks / UFA Cinema, Seven Pictures, UPI Dir: Dennis Gansel Pr: Nina Maag, Thomas Peter Friedl, Nico Hofmann Scr: Dennis Gansel, Florian Schumacher Cine: Daniel Gottschalk Cast: Moritz Bleibtreu, Kasia Smutniak, Max Riemelt, Mark Ivanir, Yevgenij Sitochin, Rade Serbedzija, Dragoş Bucur, Joan Pascu, Michael Bornhütter, Ivan Vrgoc, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Stipe Erceg, Reiner Schöne, Merab Ninidze, Reinhard Friedrich, Wanja Mues, Peter Franke, Daniel Freiman.

A political thriller that’s more noirish than many a neonoir as it picks apart the pretensions of the “new” Russia to reveal the dark, ruthless, evil underbelly. Although this is a German production, most of the dialogue is in (heavily accented) English, with some bits in subtitled Russian.

Much of the movie was filmed in Moscow. Apparently the producers, in order to achieve this, had to supply the authorities with a faked-up screenplay that was less critical of the brutality and corruption of the Russian state apparatus. Even so, for some reason, rather than identify the relevant heads of state as Boris Yeltsin and (especially) Vladimir Putin, the movie chooses to give Russia two fictional presidents during the era in question.

Moritz Bleibtrau as Paul.

It’s 2011, and one-time investigative journalist Paul Jensen (Bleibtreu), disgraced after being discovered to have “improved” an interview, arrives in Moscow from Berlin to take up a post as Continue reading

snapshot: Proud Mary (2018)

US / 89 minutes / color / Screen Gems Dir: Babak Najafi Pr: Tai Duncan, Mark Anthony Little, Paul Schiff Scr: John Stuart Newman, Christian Swegal, Steven Antin Story: John Stuart Newman, Christian Swegal Cine: Dan Laustsen Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Billy Brown, Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Danny Glover, Xander Berkeley, Neal McDonough, Margaret Avery, Rade Serbedzija, Erik LaRay Harvey, Owen Burke, Bo Cleary, James Milord, Alex Portenko, Gene Ravvin, Airon Armstrong, Jose Gonsalves, Kevin O’Peterson, Vladimir Orlov, Al’Jaleel McGhee.

Taraji P. Henson as Mary.

“Taraji P. Henson Like You’ve Never Seen Her Before” the DVD box proclaimed, so for at least a weekend we were incapable of referring to anyone by name without adding the words “Like You’ve Never Seen Her/Him Before”; things, minds, simple, etc.

Boston hitwoman Mary (Henson Like You’ve Never Seen Her Before) spares the young son of a bookie she murders, and thereafter feels responsible for the child, keeping an eye on him from a distance. When she discovers he’s being knocked around by the criminal he’s fallen in with, Uncle (Berkeley), she Continue reading