The Last Duel | This Movie Will Piss You Off

This historical drama directed and produced by Ridley Scott sees the reunion Ben Affleck (ZSJL, Paycheck) and Matt Damon (The Martian, The Bourne Identity) on film since Good Will Hunting (1997). The film also stars Adam Driver (Hungry Hearts, This Is Where I Leave You) as Jacques Le Gris, Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) as Maguerite de Carrouge, in this adaptation of Eric Jager‘s book about the last legally sanctioned duel in France’s history.

Premise: In 1386, after the squire Jacques Le Gris is accused of a heinous crime, King Charles VI (Alex Lawther) declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel.

Review: The story is told from three perspectives, one from each of our main characters, Jacques Le Gris, Jean De Carrouge, and Lady Marguerite. The perspectives are interesting in showing how each individual see themselves and the others involved.

The first perspective lays some foundation on the circonstances surrounding the duel besides the crime Le Gris is accused of. However, when the second perspective arrives and seemingly starts from the beginning – with minor differences – I was rolling my eyes waiting to see how the crime in question would be seen in that perspective. It didn’t turn out like I expected, I thought they’d be more of gray situation, more doubts as to who’s telling the truth but there’s no argument to be had. So from then on I got steadily angrier, I even said aloud “what the F” wondering how this was his account of the crime. I am not trying to pin modern morals onto the past but I can’t help if I’m pissed at what’s going on. I was also glad not to have read the book, because if I had I don’t think I would seen this movie.
As for the third perspective, it just adding insult to injury, pouring more salt to the wound, I saw red and doubted how this duel would be resolved. The duel itself is a high point in the movie action-wise but it’s also a point of contention for me because the outcome was a toss up, and it was not about justice.

The cast did an amazing job, there are subtle but meaningful differences in their portrayals in each of the perspectives. Driver even manages to make his Le gris’ belief that he did nothing wrong beside adultery believable. Damon and Comer were excellent.

The Last Duel took me on a wild emotional ride that barely abetted my anger in the end.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the links below:

The End Of The F***ing World | Season 2

Based on a graphic novel of the same name by Charles S. Forsman The End Of The F***ing World was adapted to television by Jonathan Entwistle & Lucy Tchernak.

Premise

As Alyssa tries to claw her way back to a semblance of a normal life, a brooding young woman newly released from prison named Bonnie sets out to avenge the death of her lover.

Last season

James and Alyssa’s road trip that ended in a national manhunt, a burned car, a gas station robbery, and James getting shot.

Review

The first episode threw me off at first but it was so brilliant, it pushed the story forward and gave some sense to the second season.
They kept the show dark and weird.

The acting is still top notch, that scene when James is in the car with Alyssa fit the first time, his face tells you everything you need to know about how he feels. Lawther and Barden’s performances are so nuanced, it becomes truer when you’ve just watch the first season. Naomi Ackie’s is a perfect addition to the cast, kind of intense and as nuanced as the rest of the cast.

Episode 4 was a bit of a curve ball for me, whether because of James’ revelation – that I didn’t see coming – or Bonnie. I also love how Alyssa and James’ dynamic has evolved and the way it still the same.

The End Of The F***ing World | Season 1

Based on a graphic novel of the same name by Charles S. Forsman The End Of The F***ing World was adapted to television by Jonathan Entwistle & Lucy Tchernak.

Premise: James (Alex Lawther) 17 is pretty sure he is a psychopath. Alyssa (Jessica Barden), also 17, is the cool and moody new girl at school. The pair make a connection and she persuades him to embark on a road trip in search of her real father.

Review

This show had been on my waiting list since I first heard of it. I thought it would have been a bigger time commitment but it was a really easy binge.

The show is weird, there’s probably not a better word for it because it is. It’s weird in the best way, very captivating, with smart but naive characters that subtly find a way into our hearts. It’s somehow a more tragic, maybe a teenage version of Bonnie and Clyde.

The performances are on point, so much so that Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden very much seem like they are James and Alyssa. It looks effortless for them. Their performances gives the show the realism that makes the show work.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Get the Graphic Novel here

The Imitation Game | Smart storytelling for a compelling story

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Directed by Morten Tyldum, based on Mathematician Andrew Hodges’ book Alan Turing: The Enigma, and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Mark Strong, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Matthew Beard, Allen Leech & Alex Lawther. The Imitation Game is the biopic on Alan Mathison Turing.

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Premise: Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain’s top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.

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Review: It took me a couple days after watching the film to start writing this review. I didn’t know why it took me so long but since I generally don’t rush these things it didn’t worry me. Writing a review I always try to be original, use my own words, share my own opinion, and try to make memorable with a couple of paragraphs. The Imitation Game is an interesting film with a great cast and brilliant performances but I’ll get into that later. 

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Watching the film the narrative jumped out at me and I couldn’t pin point why. It starts off with the declaration of war and progressively goes back and forth from 1945 to the 1950s with little flashbacks on Alan Turing’s boyhood peppering the narrative. No matter the time periods the constant in all this is Turing, it is his story after all. I guess, I didn’t understand why the story was told that way. I mean it’s a compelling story, so to me the flash-forwards to the 1950s – his post WWII life

– are almost obsolete. The boyhood aspect of the flashbacks were important and interesting because they helped understand how complex Alan Turing was and gave him depth, as for the flash-forwards I had no clue. 

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Of course, the movie would have felt a bit boring without the flash-forwards but it wouldn’t have hurt it. Then it occurred to me that without them the British Government looks seriously bad. The man saved 14 Millions of lives – like they’ve reminded us in the film – but they still prosecuted him for consensual homosexual sex, sorry I meant “public indecency”. I am baffled by this, I am no LGBT activist but injustice still rattles me. Maybe more so because if this war Hero’s “kink” was little girls, I get the sense that he, somehow, would have eluded prosecution. And that investigator, who looks consumed by shame and guilt, once he realized what he’s done, does not shake my belief that things would have gone differently for Turing if it was anything other than homosexuality. I may have gotten too far with this but you get my point.

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As for the movie, it has all the cultural aspects of this era, by which I mean misogyny and homophobia,  no seriously it’s also funny, riddled with humor like most British movies are and it is because of Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Turing. The loner, introverted, socially awkward genius makes for comedy gold. Turing’s interactions with people around him and their reactions to his “uniqueness” made me laugh throughout the film. This might sound like Sherlock, also brilliantly portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, but I did not once felt like he was playing the same character although, I’ll admit that the two are alike. Which brings me to the immense talent that Cumberbatch showed in The Imitation Game, he not only portrayed a similar character to the one that internationally brought him to stardom but he did it with enough flair and finesse to give Alan Turing a voice and singularity. 

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Unlike some biopic about great men, the supporting cast in The Imitation Game was strong and memorable, they all had their moments that gave them layers and also elevated the film. Among those people, is Keira Knightley, someone who I had lost hope a long time ago, she showed skills and cunning in this movie for a character that easily could have felt flat and forgettable. She’s borderline fag hag but with a good script and some acting skills she did well. The same skills – why do I feel like it’s an insult to them? – are shown by the talented Charles Dance, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard & of course Alex Lawther. 

Morten Tyldum delivered a culturally relevant, fun dramatic film. This man knows how to get you emotionally involved and takes you smoothly through one of the great injustice of our time.

So, what did you think?