By Robin E. Simmons
Royal Navy Captain Robinson (Jude Law) puts together a crew of half English/half Russian marine specialists to steal a golden hoard on a sunken WW II era Nazi U-boat at the bottom0of the Black Sea. The treasure already is marked by the greedy salvage company that just let Robinson go and tied up in complicated red tape. To accomplish the heist, Robinson must pilot a derelict sub to the site without being detected by the Russian naval fleet above. And before simmering tensions among the crew explode.
As directed by Scottish filmmaker Kevin Macdonald from a screenplay by Dennis Kelly, the compelling and story stays focused on the goal, the men and the underwater obstacles in their path. However, I was far more interested in whether or not they get the gold than in their psychological problems. That said, Law is a solid lead — with a consistent Scottish accent no less. Most of the supporting cast, however clichéd, fulfill their plot functions. I loved the combined feelings of paranoia and claustrophobia. There were places in the movie a felt I could hardly breathe — the tension and feeling of impending doom was so pervasive.
This is old school filmmaking at its best. It more than fulfills the premise of the poster and the promise of the trailer. (How rare is that?) This adventure is a tight and thrilling underwater treasure hunt that will hold your attention from first frame to last. “Brave the deep. Find the gold. Trust no one.” Indeed! Now playing at Cinemas Palme d’Or. Recommended.
OSCAR© NOMINATED SHORTS
The best short films of the year are often hard to find. With wonderful premises and fabulous execution, these gems are worth taking the time to enjoy on a big screen. At this writing, Cinemas Palme d’Or is screening these marvelous Academy Award© nominated short films as a single 82 minute show that’s a real treat for film buffs. Don’t miss this cool collection of clever animation art.
ME AND MY MOULTON
Directed by Torill Kove, this 14-minute personal animated story is about a girl who asks her parents for a bicycle, but gets something completely different. Canada.
Co-created by first-time filmmakers Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed, this six-minute short from Disney Animation Studios premiered in front of Big Hero 6 in 3D. It’s the story of a man’s love life seen through the eyes of his dog (and best friend) Winston in bite sized bits.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Filmmaker Daisy Jacobs and animator Chris Wilder created this clever seven-minute mix of 2D and 3D (stop motion) about two brothers struggling to care for their older mother. Their animation technique blends life-size wall-painted characters that inhabit full-size sets and interact with real objects. This UK film has already garnered lots of awards.
Life unfolds in one song in this witty and dazzling two minute film from Marieke Blaauw, Joris Oprins and Job Roggeveen. Upon playing a mysterious vinyl record, Pia finds herself traveling through time and space, experiencing her life at different ages and stages. Netherlands.
From celebrated artists and filmmakers Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi , and made up of over 8,000 lush paintings, this 18 minute story is set in a desolate future. It’s about one small town’s survival that rests solely on a large windmill dam that acts as a fan to keep out poisonous clouds. Despite bullying from classmates and an indifferent public, the dam’s operator, Pig, works tirelessly to keep the sails spinning and the town alive. However, when a new student, Fox, joins Pig’s class, everything changes. Danish actor Lars narrates this ageless fable. Directors Kondo and Tsutsumi are known for their art direction on ICE AGE, RATATOUILLE, and TOY STORY 3. USA