The Wanderings of Ivan (La Balade d’Ivan) – Movie Review

TL;DR The Wanderings of Ivan is a cold look at a real problem shown through the eyes of an excellent performance by Aram Arakelyan

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Warning – Several scenes contain flashing lights.

The Wanderings of Ivan (La Balade d’Ivan). Image Credit: NQV Media.

The Wanderings of Ivan Review

Homelessness is one of those issues that is a larger issue in modern societies, but we tend to push it aside and not think about it. But what happens to a person when they are cut off from having enough to eat when there are not avenues they can use to get out of where they are? Today we look at a film that is exploring this critical issue.

So to set the scene, Ivan (Aram Arakelyan) lives rough on the streets of Paris. To survive, he begs on the street and steals leftovers, but even that is not really enough. He tries to find work or a safe place to sleep but more often than not ends up sleeping rough each night with only a couple of Euros to his name. After a while, he finds a secluded wooded area on the outskirts of the city where he is not the only one without a home.  

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Movie Review – Just a Breath Away/Hold Your Breath (Dans la Brume) (2018)

TL;DR – A good concept for a disaster film, but it does not quite hit where it needed to hit.     

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Just a Breath Away/Hold Your Breath (Dans la Brume). Image Credit: Mars Distribution.

Review


Given the state of Australia, where I live at the moment, it has been difficult to turn on the television and not see another disaster unfold. With that in mind, it was interesting timing that saw a film about not being able to breathe outside just as it is happening in real life. Today we dive into a film that does just that, though not in the streets of Australia, but in Paris, France.

So to set the scene, in the not too distant future Mathieu (Romain Duris) lives across the road from his ex-wife Anna (Olga Kurylenko) and their daughter Sarah (Fantine Harduin). While they are no longer together, they work to help raise their daughter who has Stimberger’s Syndrome and is confined to a protective bubble to isolate her and keep her safe. One day Paris is shaken by an earthquake and as Mathieu goes out to investigate he discovers a deadly mist exploding from underground killing all those who breathe it in. Running he is able to get Anna to safety upstairs, but they have to leave Sarah behind in her bubble as the smoke comes pouring in.

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Movie Review – Banlieusards (Street Flow)

TL;DR – A fascinating narrative of life on the outskirts of Paris and what it means for the people that live there.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Banlieusards (Street Flow). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Like many cities today Paris is a tale of two halves, the city and then the outer suburbs. There are times when they are almost two different worlds even though they are deeply interconnected. Within these worlds and the stories of those lives that are shaped by their worlds, their struggles, and the forces they can’t control.

 On the outskirts of Paris lives Soulaymaan (Jammeh Diangana), his brother Noumouké (Bakary Diombera), and their mother Khadijah (Kani Diarra). Soulaymaan is preparing for his final exam as part of his law degree, hoping to create a better life for him and his family. However, his younger brother is at a crossroads, he could follow in Soulaymaan’s path or that of his brother Demba (Kery James) who run drugs in the local area after spending some time in jail.

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Map-It: Chef’s Table

TL;DR – With Volume 5 just released and Volume 6 just around the corner we take a moment to map out all of Chef’s Table

 

Chef's Table. Image Credit: Netflix

 

Map-It –

 

If you have been reading my reviews for a long time then you will undoubtedly know that I have a deep love for David Gelb’s striking food documentary series Chef’s Table on Netflix. It is a world full of beautiful food, fascinating stories, and a deep exploration into a world that I don’t really get to visit. Well today the fifth volume (six if you add in France which we do) has dropped and I wanted to take a moment to combine my love of both food and cartography and thus chart out every restaurant visited throughout the series so far (and even into the next volume since the names of the chefs have already been announced). With the maps, if a chef had more than one location featured, we picked the central place explored in the episode.

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Movie Review – Mission: Impossible – Fallout

TL;DR – Heart pounding, electric, bombastic, edge of seat, high octane, adrenaline rush, these are all things I would use to describe Fallout.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Hunt jumps out of a plane, he jumps out of a lot of things. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures/Bad Robot

Review

When I think back to 1996 when the first Mission: Impossible film came out all those years ago I can remember it being enthralling and as it was one of the first big action films I ever saw in the cinemas that opening mission still holds a special place in my personal cinematic history. However, I didn’t think I would still be talking about these films over twenty years later, I mean there were a lot of great action films in the 1990s but few if any have had the same persistence as Mission: Impossible. Now to be fair, not every film in the series has been a gem, and I even stopped watching after a while, but people told me I should catch the last entry into the franchise with Rogue Nation (see review) and I really enjoyed it. Well, jump forward to 2018 and the director/writer of that last film Christopher McQuarrie is back for a second jump into this world of spies. With this in mind, I had high hopes that they could continue the good work here, and I am so happy to say that they did.

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Map-It: Team America: World Police


TL;DR –
Today we chart out just where Kim Jong-Il was going to blow up in Team America: World Police

Team America World Police
Ever since I was a young child I have always been fascinated with maps, how they show and hide the world around us, how we determine all our lives based on where a line was drawn, sometimes by someone long dead, indeed it was this love of maps that lead me to studying International Relations. So it’s one of those things for me that when someone puts up a map of the world with markers on in movies/TV or Video Games almost all the time it is cartography gibberish. So today we start a new series called Map-It where we plot out those maps from Movies/TV and video games to see exactly where they were pointing at. So let’s dive in and look at our first example Team America World Police, and I should mention there are obviously spoilers for the move ahead.

Why Team America: World Police, well besides being a good example, it was also released around the time I was studying International Relations and it has a very interesting take on world politics that led to numerous discussions with my peers, so it has a special place in my heart, even if it does make me feel old. Now, of course, you are going to say this is a film where all the actors are puppets, Kim Jong-Il is a secret alien cockroach, they slice Helen Hunt in half with a katana, please can you really take this movie seriously? No of course not, but just because it is a silly movie does not mean it gets a pass when it comes to maps.

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Movie Review – Bastille Day (The Take)

TL;DR – Not even Idris Elba can save this slog of a film, predictable, nonsensical, and almost a complete waste of time for all involved

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Bastille Day (The Take). Image Credit: Studio Canal.

Review – So Bastille Day is here and is it a film, yes, well it is an action film, and it does have some action in it, and if it has been a couple of years since you have seen an action film you may get some enjoyment out of it, but if not, well … what a waste, I mean seriously you have Idris Elba, one of the most charismatic and strong action stars in cinema at the moment and you can’t put together a decent film.

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