LAFF Movie Reviews: MANDRILL, FOUR LIONS & LEBANON
Even though the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival is now officially over, there are still some movies I wanted to to talk about. Here are some quick thoughts on a few of them: Mandrill, Four Lions & Lebanon.
Synopsis: Known for dispatching his targets with cool efficiency, Mandrill is the best hitman in Chile, capable of killing a man and then seducing his mistress without missing a beat. He is also a man on a mission, combing Latin America’s underworld for the one-eyed man who killed his parents. Now, after years of searching, the only thing that stands between Mandrill and the man he has vowed to kill is the heart of a beautiful, but deadly woman.
Thoughts: Mandrill is like the wet dream for any fans of 70’s style action movies where the good guy is not so good but is wicked cool in all his ways, especially with guns and ladies. Although a lot of it is delivered tongue in cheek, the result ends up being quite an entertaining flick that should please everyone.
Synopsis: After several years researching homegrown British extremists, Morris has concocted this tale set in a cell of wannabe jihadists. Our “hero” is Omar, a family man and mall security guard who, along with three other radicalized cohorts, decides to become a martyr. It turns out they are better bumblers than bombers, and most of their plots amount to little more than exploding crows and getting kicked out of al-Qaida training camps. Then they train their sites on the London Marathon.
Thoughts: Best comedy ever. While being wholly inappropriate in light of the political times we live in, you just can’t help enjoying yourself while watching these guys preparing to blow stuff up. I laughed so hard watching this movie that I hope they get at least a DVD distribution deal in the US so I can rent it and watch it again.
Synopsis: Exploring the brutality of combat while simultaneously constructing a tense chamber-piece thriller, writer-director Samuel Maoz’s Lebanon chronicles the first day of the 1982 Lebanon War from the perspective of four young Israeli soldiers manning a tank. Their initial mission-provide backup for a paratrooper unit in a seemingly resistance-free Lebanese village-soon turns deadly, forcing these inexperienced men to work together to stay alive.
Thoughts: I was very excited to watch this movie as it look stylistically interesting and had a very compelling concept. The delivery did not disappoint. While you are watching the movie, you feel the sense of tension and oppression than the occupants of the tank are feeling. In short, this movie is a must watch.