Ang Lee’s Life of Pi is a crowd-pleaser, in the very best sense of that phrase — which is often turned pejoratively. To be sure, Lee’s story (adapted by David Magee from Yann Martel’s bestseller) deals in matters that a lesser filmmaker might’ve slathered together into sentimental claptrap: leaving one’s home, losing one’s family, near-death experiences, bonds forged, faith questioned. These are, to put it mildly, easily manipulated elements. But doing it this well, working an audience’s emotions without showing the strings, is not an easy task. Lee is up to it. … Read More
The first of two parts, Mesrine: Killer Instinct is an action-filled biopic starring Vincent Cassel as Jacques Mesrine, the French gangster known for his devilish charm, audacious bank robberies, daring prison escapes, and penchant for publicity.
Based on his autobiography L’instinct de Mort, Killer Instinct tracks Mesrine from his days fighting in the Algerian War and his introduction to the criminal underworld to being named Public Enemy No. 1 in Canada. With the help of Cassel’s brooding performance, filmmaker Jean-Francois Richet delivers a dark thrill ride that hearkens back to the best of Don Siegel’s Dirty Harry days. … Read More