Marthe Keller

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Hereafter Review


Excellent
Eastwood's skilfully unrushed direction merges with Morgan's astute, thoughtful screenplay to create a thoroughly unusual film that holds our interest with a provocative, beautifully played exploration of mortality.

George (Damon) has a gift: he can see into the afterlife and help people communicate with their lost loved ones. But he feels it's more like a curse.

Meanwhile in Paris, star journalist Marie (De France) has just recovered from a near-death experience. Instead of working on her planned biography of Mitterand, she instead starts investigating why accounts of after-death experiences are so shunned. And in London, pre-teen Marcus is looking for ways to communicate with recently deceased twin (they're played by Frankie and George McLaren).

Continue reading: Hereafter Review

The Formula Review


Weak
Cynical paranoia was a big cash cow for best-selling thrillers in the 1970s, and one of the biggest of those bestsellers was Steven Shagan's The Formula. Reacting to the oil crisis of the mid-'70s, when the OPEC nations banded together to manufacture oil shortages, push up gas prices, and create anguish, grief, and gas lines throughout a gas-guzzling United States, Shagan hatched a conspiracy plot involving a non-polluting, synthetic fuel formula. Developed by the Nazis during World War II, the formula fell into the hands of the Allies and was suppressed by the American oil conglomerates to prevent the destruction of the oil industry. (After all, if the economic power of the U.S. is in free fall, it must have something to do with the Nazis). Brought to the screen by Shagan (as writer and producer) and enlisting the services of director John G. Avildsen (then a hot few years after his smash Rocky), the film version of The Formula features the casting coup of the decade with George C. Scott and Marlon Brando in the lead roles (an earlier version of Righteous Kill's teaming of past-their-primes De Niro and Pacino, only more fun).

The film begins disconcertingly in the middle of a hellish battle during the final days of World War II, a chaotic prologue featuring gargantuan explosions, fleeing Nazis, and stampeding elephants. Then in a whiplash inducing segue, the film settles in to Los Angeles in the late 1970s, where Scott plays loner LAPD detective Barney Caine ("There's only two things that matter to me -- my son and my work. The rest of my life is a complete zero."), investigating the killing of his old pal Tom Neeley (Robin Clarke). The crime scene is laid out like the opening scene of a Charlie Chan movie with mysterious clues all about -- a voodoo doll, a map with the name "Oberman" scrawled on it, a folded newspaper with the letter G-E-N-E written in blood -- and Caine falls for the setup to avenge the death of his friend.

Continue reading: The Formula Review

Marathon Man Review


Extraordinary
"Is it safe?"

Brrrr... those words still chill me.

Continue reading: Marathon Man Review

Black Sunday (1977) Review


Excellent
If the plot of Black Sunday seems familiar, that's probably because you're remembering the wholesale rip-off it was given by The Sum of All Fears just a year ago. But Sunday is immensely better. If you've seen the latter but not the original, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

The story has since been done to death: terrorist group plans to cause massive carnage, this time at the Super Bowl by blowing up the Good Year Blimp overhead. But Black Sunday is distinguished by its unique focus not on the hero but on the villain: Bruce Dern as an angry Vietnam vet, pilot, and former prisoner of war. He holds a grudge against the U.S. like you wouldn't believe (brainwashed? shellshocked?): Enough to convince him to join forces with a Palestinian militant group called Black September. It doesn't help that he's just plain crazy. Even the Black September operatives are a little afraid of what he might do.

Continue reading: Black Sunday (1977) Review

The School Of Flesh Review


Terrible
School's out at The School of Flesh, a ridiculous and banal French melodrama about an older woman obsessed with a younger, male, bisexual prostitute. You know, just like in real life. Utterly without point, unless you consider Martinez's butt, which is in every other scene. Based on a Japanese novel -- how d'ya like that?

Continue reading: The School Of Flesh Review

Marathon Man Review


Extraordinary
"Is it safe?"

Brrrr... those words still chill me.

Continue reading: Marathon Man Review

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Marthe Keller Movies

Hereafter Movie Review

Hereafter Movie Review

Eastwood's skilfully unrushed direction merges with Morgan's astute, thoughtful screenplay to create a thoroughly unusual...

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