ECLECTIC ARTS

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

VANQUISH Film Review April 14, 2021 Eclectic Arts


Vanquish

Lionsgate
Reviewed: 4/11/2021
Rating: 4 / 5


VANQUISH in select theaters on April 16, 2021, on Digital and On Demand on April 20, 2021 and on Blu-ray and DVD on April 27, 2021.


(Lionsgate)



The pandemic had basically put a halt on any movie productions for a long period of time. Some started up again only to be shut down, etc. or they had to pivot to figure out how to complete a project during quarantine.


The new film, “Vanquish” is a fun thrill ride that feels like it could have done big business during 2020. It’s now scheduled for release this week and hopefully, with things opening up again, it will find its audience around the world.


Morgan Freeman stars in the film and yes he is in the film from beginning to end. It isn’t one of those annoying cameo appearances that are done to help sell a film with a big star's name attached. Mr. Freeman plays a retired top cop that was injured and thus confined to a wheelchair. Victoria (played by Ruby Rose) is a former Russian courier that works for Damon (Freeman).



(Morgan Freeman as Damon in the action, crime, thriller, VANQUISH, a Lionsgate and Grindstone Entertainment Group, a Lionsgate Company release. Photo courtesy of Lionsgate.)
 


Damon has his hands in some dirty business and hides Victoria’s ill daughter from her in order to blackmail her to do his bidding one last time.


The film has plenty of action and Damon’s home has a bit of a Michael Mann feel to it. Ruby Rose carries the film well and I would like to see her in future action based films.


“Vanquish” reminds everyone that going to the movies for certain films (vs watching them at home) requires the big screen experience and is a missed and necessary pastime.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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TRAILER



Monday, April 12, 2021

SIFF 2021 Coverage Eclectic Arts



Seattle International Film Festival 2021
April 8 through April 18, 2021





My Eclectic Arts coverage of SIFF 2021 will be updated here (with an overall impression recap at the end of the festival). Reviews as they are completed will be added here from the first film reviewed to the most recently reviewed film at the bottom of the list.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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CHUCK CONNELLY: INTO THE LIGHT Film Review Seattle International Film Festival 2021 April 12, 2021 Eclectic Arts


Chuck Connelly: Into The Light

SIFF 2021
Reviewed: 4/11/2021
Rating: 5 / 5





I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into by watching “Chuck Connelly: Into The Light”. Having zero knowledge of who Chuck Connelly was in the art world, the trailer had me intrigued and I decided to give it a go Saturday night. Boy am I glad I did.


Once considered one of the leading neo-expressionist painters in the 80’s, Chuck fell into the trappings of alcoholism and rejection. He moved from New York to his home of Philadelphia and became a recluse.


But he still painted every day.


The documentary follows the day to day of Chuck and his paintings. And his philosophy. And his rants. And his art.


He initially comes across like a bitter old man who once had the world by the balls. But as the film unfolds, it becomes more that this artist is exactly that. An artist. He doesn’t play by the rules and is quite frankly misunderstood if I go by what this documentary revealed.


The art world wants to see certain things from its artists. Chuck Connelly didn’t fit that mold so they broke him. Or tried to.


But underneath the massive layers of confusion, anxiety, and agoraphobia, is an artist that enjoys teaching others. An artist that wants to connect with his work in a deeper way than what the rules say he must do.


“Chuck Connelly: Into The Light” was an inspiring piece of film making about an artist that eventually found himself in his work and in his life. On his terms.


Recommended.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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SUPER FRENCHIE Film Review Seattle International Film Festival 2021 April 12, 2021 Eclectic Arts


Super Frenchie

SIFF 2021
Reviewed: 4/11/2021
Rating: 4 / 5





The documentary “Super Frenchie” would not normally be a film I would review. Why? Not because of the film itself or the category, it’s because I have a fear of heights (in certain circumstances).


The film follows the career of one Matthis Giraud who is a ski base jumper. Throughout his life he went from extreme sport to extreme sport culminating in skiing down some of the most treacherous areas in the world and base jumping - all at the same time.


Matthias is a captivating personality. HIs passion for what he does is infectious and it helps because one might think you’d have to be insane to do what he does. His wife (and eventual son) understands this drive in him as she explains in the film. Once they become parents, her view on his career changes slightly but also she knows her husband well. And that ski base jumping is a part of who he is.


The footage is spectacular that they got for the film. It wasn’t nearly as cringy for someone like me as I thought it would be with only a few exceptions.


There is a dramatic turn in the film which you’ll have to watch as there are no spoilers here.


“Super Frenchy” was inspiring in terms of getting the most out of life no matter what your pursuits are. It also reminded me that some people are just wired differently and that’s not a bad thing at all.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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CENSOR Film Review Seattle International Film Festival 2021 April 12, 2021 Eclectic Arts


Censor

SIFF 2021
Reviewed: 4/11/2021
Rating: 4.5 / 5






I know there was some buzz about this film and when I saw what it was about I was in. I love the fact that SIFF programs all genres of film, not just the predictable.


“Censor” is the feature length film that was spawned from the short film “Nasty” - both directed by Prano Bailey-Bond.


The film centers around Enid who works as a censor during the time of the “video nasties” in Britain in the early to mid 80’s. Due to the arrival of VHS back then, many films were deemed inappropriate (due to violence) and thus a censorship group was created to watch and censor such films.


In “Censor” Enid must deal with a murder that was blamed on a film she cleared for distribution and her sister who had been missing. Her parents want to consider her deceased since she was not found. There’s more to the plot but I don’t want to spoil anything.


The film has this really esthetic quality to it that I liked. It goes from grainy 80’s full frame ratio to a modern letterbox ratio and back and forth. At times the viewer feels like they are in the actual movie and other times we are observers from the outside.


The director really did a fine job walking the line between disturbing and interesting. You never quite know where the film is going and it captures a dream like state superbly.


Recommended.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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MOGUL MOWGLI Film Review Seattle International Film Festival 2021 April 12, 2021 Eclectic Arts


Mogul Mowgli

SIFF 2021
Reviewed: 4/11/2021
Rating: 3 / 5






After my first day of watching films to review for SIFF 2021, I decided to see what others were suggesting for folks to check out. The film “Mogul Mowgli” was one of them. So, instead of going on instinct, I went on recommendations this time around.


The film is about a rapper that is ready to get his big break opening for a tour in Europe. But, he is sidelined due to some unknown health issues, and reconnects with his family while in care.


I’ve said this before in some of my other reviews over the last year but every now and then I will come across a project that I don’t really understand. I get the sense that there is more that I’m supposed to be understanding on some other level but I just don’t.


This film fits the bill.


The dramatic turns with the lead character and his family I understand. Same with the issues with his girlfriend. But some of the other scenes were just confusing to me to the point where I didn’t know why they were in the film.


This doesn’t make the film bad in my opinion. It just leaves me perplexed and assuming I have more to learn about cinema is all (which I’m doing).


I will always enjoy seeing a diverse cast in a film from anywhere in the world so that’s a plus with “Mogul Mowgli”. I think it’s a film that I will need to re-watch at some point and see how it comes across once I have more film reviewing years under my belt.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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ALL SORTS Film Review Seattle International Film Festival 2021 April 12, 2021 Eclectic Arts


All Sorts

SIFF 2021
Reviewed: 4/11/2021
Rating: 4 / 5






A film with local ties, “All Sorts” is the first comedy that I watched this year for SIFF. It sets the quirky tone of the movie right from the start with the main character of Diego, his boss Vasquez, and his co-worker June.


The film is hard to describe even though the website says it’s a workplace comedy - which it is. As I watched it, I laughed at times, and could sense this film finding it’s audience amongst a cult following.


The main game that is played has to be seen to be believed. I won’t spoil it here. But it’s funny and done very, very well


“All Sorts” didn’t necessarily completely resonate with me but, again, it’s the type of film that will find its audience as many quirky, cult, films do.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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