Carlos (2010)



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.


Open Window (2006)

(R) 97 mins

Watch it for free at IMDB via Hulu!

Plot Summary: The engagment between a struggling photographer and an assistant professor is marred by an act of violence.

Director/Writer: Mia Goldman

Stars: Joel Edgerton, Robin Tunney and Cybill Shepherd

Serious Jest:  (Worth Watching)  This film’s audio/visual quality gives it the cheapy feel of a Lifetime movie, and I guess it’s fair to say that the movie’s target audience is women, but the man’s side is definitely explored, and Edgerton and Tunney give compelling enough performances to hold any adult viewer’s attention for an hour and a half…I say adult viewers, because this film is pretty dark.  The subject matter is not one that I would normally seek out, but I was captivated anyway.

By the way, Tunney is definitely a Girlfriend Experience actress.  That’s twice now I’ve fallen in love with her.

And on a final note, I was surprised at how forced and awkward Shepherd’s performance seemed…I had fond memories of her as an actress before this.

Fig (2010)

15 mins

Synopsis: In South Los Angeles, a young mother’s love for her daughter is put to the test.

Director: Ryan Coogler

Writer: Alex George Pickering

Stars: Janae BurneyTrestin George and Jontille Gerard

Music by: Ludwig Goransson

Serious Jest:  (Worth Watching)  Sometimes, there’s no point to a film, other than to show you a particular point of view, or a particular walk of life…sometimes that’s okay.  This film gives you a 15-minute snapshot of a side of Los Angeles with which you may be unfamiliar.  The script is compelling, its actors are convincing, and it hits you like a random act of violence: hard and fast.