Carlos (2010)

(TV-MA)

(TV-MA)

Plot Summary: Over the course of two decades, an elusive Venezuelan terrorist carries out devastating acts of politically motivated violence.

Cast: Édgar RamírezAlexander ScheerAlejandro ArroyoFadi Abi SamraAhmad Kaabour; Talal El-Jordi

Serious Jest: animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Queue It) The life of Ilich Ramírez Sánchez is extremely interesting in its own right, but the success of this project really depended upon Édgar Ramírez, who rose to the occasion in a remarkable way. Through him, the viewer can see the charismatic, ambitious, inspiring, fiery, driven, obsessed, aggressive, narcissistic, lecherous, hot-tempered, morally and ethically flexible person behind the notorious and fearsome reputation of Carlos the Jackal. One also gains pretty good insight into some of what drives, and the development of, revolutionaries, insurgents, terrorists, etc., and this series begs the question of where the line between those different classifications lies.  The project also calls out how instrumental governments have been in the success of these non-state combatants, and the ensuing hypocrisy of such governments in denouncing these individuals once their services lose enough value. Additionally, viewers can appreciate a fascinating account of the development of the Cold War from the perspective of its “front-lines” fighters and in constantly shifting international settings. In sum, this is a brilliant series about fascinating people and subjects, brought to life by excellent actors.

How Much Do You Love Me? (Combien tu m’aimes?) (2007)

(NR) 90 mins

Synopsis: After winning the lottery, lowly clerk François (Bernard Campan) asks a gorgeous prostitute to live with him until his money runs out. François’s life greatly improves when Daniela (Monica Bellucci) moves in — that is, until her pimp, Charly (Gérard Depardieu), shows up. Director Bertrand Blier’s sexy comedy co-stars Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Edouard Baer.

Serious Jest:  (Don’t Bother) Maybe I just don’t understand French humor.  The premise of this movie was actually very interesting (description sounds cool, right?), but I fear that the script and overall developed story will only be appreciated by eccentric French film students, the insanely pretentious, or those of like mind. The first scene involving the neighbor literally made me laugh out loud, though (very obvious when you watch it).  Other scenes (including when the whole office just troops over to this dude’s apartment) made me question my screen out loud, “Really?”  The acting was pretty good, though. Depardieu does well with the script he’s given.  At the end of the day, this movie would be terrible instead of bad without Belluci.  I’ve been taken by her beauty since I first saw her in the Matrix trilogy.  Every time she seduced the camera, I would forget how much I didn’t like this movie.