Here is another movie based on true events during the 1980’s. US Customs agent, Robert Mazur, brilliantly portrayed by Bryan Cranston, goes undercover and inside the Medellin Drug cartel.
It is a fast paced, high rolling story about money laundering, drug smuggling, violence, suspicion, coercion and deception.
There are more twists and turns than the best roller coasters. Stellar performances by Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Juliet Aubrey and a spine tingling role by Yul Vazquez as a creepy money man and killer.
It is not always easy to watch. There are plenty of scenes that will make you cringe from tension or violence. It is quick paced and often very suspenseful. There may be some Oscar material here, just saying…
The father of six children sets up home in a remote “off the grid” wilderness where the children are home schooled, taught to think and reason at a sophistacted level well above the norm. They are each well rounded individuals, extremely physically fit, cultured and worldly even though their exposure to the outside world is quite sheltered.
The news their mother’s death sends shock waves through the family which ultimately leads to a road trip to the funeral, several states away in the self contained family bus.
The wife’s parents defy the wishes of their daughter and then threaten to take the children away from their father because they object to how the children are being raised.
It is ultimately a story of adventure, family love, fulfillment, forgiveness and perserverence. It is a unique film, well acted and beautifully produced. It was our favorite of the week and one of the best films of 2016 so far.
Cast includes Vigo Mortensen, Annalise Basso, George MacKay, Frank Langella and Steve Zahn among others.
Our Little Sister
This film is about three twenty-something sisters and the arrival of their half sister following the death of their father.
It is meticulously filmed, capturing the rhythm of life just outside of Tokyo and the life the sisters enjoy. It is a peek at a different society that most rarely have the opportunity to observe.
Sometimes funny, then sad, then surprising, even silly. Overall, it is charming and a slowly revealing look at these characters lives.
Note: We were in Japan last October and it brought back nice memories of small town Japanese life.
Japanese with English subtitles (sometimes very fast).
Microbe and Gasoline
Two very different 14 year old misfit boys become friends through challenges at school and embark on an adventure after building a mini RV that looks like a playhouse, but powered by a tiny 2 stroke engine they salvaged from a junk yard.
With conflict at home, they decide to escape on a road trip dodging the cops, facing bullies and escape to the countryside. It is clever, charming, touching and inventive.
Microbes Mom is played by the talented Audrey Tautou (of Amelie and DaVinci Code fame). The boys are played by Ange Dargent as Daniel and Theophile Baquet as Theo.
This is not a unique plot nor a ground breaking production. But it is an authentic French production and perspective on a coming of age tale told through excellent performances of talented young actors.