Based on the true story of one of the most notorious and unsolved cases in recent time, CITY OF LIES is a provocative thriller revealing a never-before-seen look at the infamous murder of The Notorious B.I.G. shortly following the death of Tupac. L.A.P.D. detective Russell Poole (Johnny Depp) has spent years trying to solve his biggest case, but after two decades, the investigation remains open.
“Jack” Jackson (Forest Whitaker), a reporter desperate to save his reputation and career, is determined to find out why. In search of the truth, the two team up and unravel a growing web of institutional corruption and lies. Relentless in their hunt, these two determined men threaten to uncover the conspiracy and crack the foundation of the L.A.P.D. and an entire city.
Cast: Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker
Directed by: Brad Furman
Produced by: Miriam Segal
Written by: Christian Contreras, based on the novel by Randall Sullivan
Thank You for Your Service centers around three servicemen Schumann (Teller), Solo (Koale) and Waller (Cole) when they’re discharged from the Army after serving together in Iraq. It starts by showing an incident that haunted each of them when it happened and also now that they’re out. In 2007, they’re caught on a roof being shot at by a sniper when a soldier named Emory (Haze) is struck in the head. Schumann tries his best to save him. He advances down some stairs, carrying Emory on his shoulders. Unfortunately, before Schumann gets to the bottom of the steps and out the door, he drops him. With the taste of Emory’s blood in his mouth, it’s a moment he’s having a hard time forgetting.
We don’t see a lot of combat in the movie because the purpose of the film is not to show you a battle on the field but the battle each soldier has upon returning home. We see the issues they have due to the stress they were under either in combat themselves or what they saw returning from the frontlines. Not wanting to admit they need it but realizing they do, the struggles they have trying to get care for themselves is colossal. The significance of the film is to tell the citizens of this nation that soldiers aren’t given help immediately just because they need it. Tangled in a bureaucracy of red tape, administrators and office after office travel, they have to fight just as hard to be heard and to be helped with their afflictions in America as they did in the deserts overseas. They also find their own homes not to be the same place as when they left.
Schumann is a married father of two. He was in charge of his unit of a dozen men and his expertise was looking for bombs everywhere they traveled, something he may never stop doing for the rest of his life. Waller, about to marry his longtime girlfriend, can’t wait to get home. Thinking about his impending nuptials is what gets him through from one day to the next. On their trip back to the states, he talks to his buddies about the wedding. Then there’s Solo who doesn’t actually want to leave the Army but due to memory loss and other problems after this last deployment, the Army questions his fitness to return.
All three feel the anxiety and pressure of having been at war and should get help now that they’re stateside, right? This film shows the sad reality that people willing to die for their country are treated with respect while serving but forgotten about when they’re no longer under fire.
It’s hard enough for them to admit they need help but when they turn to find it and are told to take a number, for one it’s too late and it’s heartbreaking to see the others fight to get any help for the PTSD they obviously have.
Solo reveals he’d rather have missing limbs than to have to endure what is going on in his mind any longer; he doesn’t feel like a war hero because he doesn’t look like one. Each man hides the truth deep inside especially Solo who thinks himself a lesser man for being harmed mentally, not physically. He’s filled with anger and frustration when an event they lived through continues to attack him. Eventually, he attacks back, to whoever is around. Koale does an outstanding job portraying a man breaking down inside, trying diligently to hold onto who he once was; hardly recognizing his past, unable to see his future.
Schumann’s wife Saskia (Bennett) works rigorously to get her solid and stoic husband to open up and tell her what’s wrong but having to be in control on the battlefield is so deeply ingrained in his psyche, he refuses to show any weakness now, even for her. Finally, after and a wake-up call and some soul-searching, he calls a number he was given to a location in California that can help men in their position and Schumann takes the first step to getting them the help they need. I won’t reveal what happens to them during the course of the film but see this to understand how important each of us is to a Veteran, and why. Also, stay to see some images of the people on which the story was based.
Ready for a good ghost story?!? Too bad! You have to wait until 2018 but here’s the trailer for what you have to look forward to!
Directed By: The Spierig Brothers (Jigsaw, Predestination)
Starring: Helen Mirren (Red, The Queen, Trumbo) and Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Zero Dark Thirty)
Synopsis: Inspired by true events. On an isolated stretch of land 50 miles outside of San Francisco sits the most haunted house in the world. Built by Sarah Winchester, (Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren) heiress to the Winchester fortune, it is a house that knows no end. Constructed in an incessant twenty-four hour a day, seven days a week mania for decades, it stands seven stories tall and contains hundreds of rooms. To the outsider, it looks like a monstrous monument to a disturbed woman’s madness. But Sarah is not building for herself, for her niece (Sarah Snook) or for the brilliant Doctor Eric Price (Jason Clarke) whom she has summoned to the house. She is building a prison, an asylum for hundreds of vengeful ghosts, and the most terrifying among them have a score to settle with the Winchesters…
The film is produced by Tim McGahan of Predestination and Brett Tomberlin of The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Directed by: Dorota Kobiela
Genre: Animation, Mystery, Art House, Biopic Dorota Kobiela
Length: 94 min.
Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, some violence, sexual material and smoking.
Technique Oil-painting animation or feature
LOVING VINCENT is the world’s first fully oil painted feature film. Bringing the paintings of Vincent van Gogh to life to tell his remarkable story. Every one of the 65,000 frames of the film is an oil-painting, hand-painted by 125 professional oil-painters who travelled from all across the world to the Loving Vincent studios in Poland and Greece to be a part of the production.
France, Summer 1891… After hearing that Vincent van Gogh killed himself, Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth), is given a letter from Vincent by his father, Postman Joseph Roulin (Chris O’Dowd), to hand-deliver to the Theo van Gogh, Vincent’s brother. In Paris, there is no trace of brother Theo. Armand’s search leads him to the paint supplier, Pere Tanguy (John Sessions), who tells him that Theo died shortly after Vincent, apparently destroyed by the death of his older brother. Pere Tanguy recounts how Theo helped Vincent on his incredible transformation from a down-and-out at age 28 to the new artistic sensation of Paris at the time of his death 10 years later. After hearing this story Armand believes he may have misjudged his father’s friend, and really wants to know why Vincent chose the moment of impending success to take his life: Pere Tanguy has no answer to this.
Armand then journeys on to Vincent’s final destination, the quiet village of Auvers-sur-Oise to meet Doctor Paul Gachet (Jerome Flynn), Vincent’s doctor in his final weeks. He stays at the Ravoux Inn, where Vincent boarded for the last 10 weeks of his life, and where on July 29, 1890 he died of a bullet wound to his abdomen. Armand meets the Inn- keeper’s daughter, Adeline Ravoux (Eleanor Tomlinson) and also conducts interviews with Doctor Gachet’s housekeeper, Louise Chevalier (Helen McCrory), the Doctor’s daughter, Marguerite Gachet (Oscar nominee – Saoirse Ronan). Down by the river where Vincent often spent his days, he meets the Boatman (Aidan Turner).
Armand gets the sense that much is being hidden from him by the villagers and is determined to root out the truth. A run in with the local police, a chance encounter with a second Doctor, and finally his much anticipated meeting with the mercurial Doctor Gachet, lead to unexpected and heart- rending revelations. Armand then finally understands and appreciates the passionate and surprising life of Vincent van Gogh.