Charting the Rise and Fall of the Blackberry in a Near Perfect Biopic

What makes this movie special is in how it celebrates the victories and the impact the Blackberry had. It’s a shame it couldn’t adapt with the times.

Blackberry Movie PosterPlaying May 5th at the Chicago Critics Film Festival (tickets) before opening worldwide May 12th.

Jay Baruchel must love playing the underdog. I’ve seen a lot of movies he’s starred in, and these characters may seem meek at first, but by the end, they’ve come out on top in one way or another. In Blackberry, he’s Mike Lazaridis, the father of the smartphone, and what I see is a person being pushed around by greedy b*astards. Had he partnered with other people who were just as visionary, I’m sure this device might have evolved with the times instead of becoming a relic of early century.

Although his company, Research in Motion, created the first generation of smartphones, what’s presented in Matt Johnson‘s film is about three figures who led this research house through all its ups and downs. That is, not everyone has a good sense for business, and I believe that was key to this company’s eventual demise. However, this movie is not about what they did. Instead, it’s about how he and Doug Fregin (played by Johnson) would struggle to be the true heart of the company, while another individual attempts to usurp them. If this plot sounds familiar, that’s because we’ve seen it in The Founder (movie review).

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Are We All Born to Fly? Yu Lei is Ready to Soar Higher than Never Before!

No trade secrets are given away, otherwise Born to Fly would not be screening in international markets.

Born to Fly Well GO USA PosterWell GO USA
For screenings, please check the official website.

After much delay, Liu Xiaoshi’s Born to Fly (長空之王) is tailor-made for release during China’s holiday weekend. International Workers’ Day (May 1st) recognises the contributions of everyone who helps make their country great. Here, the various teams within the Chinese Air Force need to work hard together–and have an ace up their sleeves–if they are to maintain their air superiority. And Yu Lei (Wibo Yang) is it. He gets called to duty to be a test pilot, and it’s up to Ting Zhang (Hu Jun) to motivate him to keep going.

Despite countless delays to get this film to screen, what’s presented looks gorgeous. The camera work sells some of the aerial sequences and the CGI handles the rest. Despite former trepidation by critics and their desire to compare this work to Top Gun and its sequel, what’s been improved upon may well stretch beyond improving the SPFX. Some story edits may have been done. As for the former, I’m sure not even Tom Cruise would be willing to risk his life just to go into low-earth orbit. And what’s more celebrated is how the team stays together.

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Where Worlds Collide and The Strange Case of Jacky Caillou

What’s amazing about The Strange Case of Jacky Caillou is that it is not a full-blown tale of terror. It’s more of a gentle thriller.

The Strange Case of Jacky Caillou TIFF Poster
Available to preorder on Amazon USA

Available on VOD
Coming to DVD on April 25, 2023

Just what Elsa (Lou Lampros) transforms into in The Strange Case of Jacky Caillou may have many viewers believing she’s a Loup-Garou, but truth be told, what changes inside can be much worse! This French-made film offers a great mystery.

Ultimately, this tale is focused on Jacky (Thomas Parigi) and the relationship with his grandmother Gisèle (Edwige Blondiau), who is a local healer. She uses folk medicine and her gift of altering one’s electrical meridians through the laying of hands (she calls it magnetic therapy) to cure the sick. She hopes to pass on her talent to him, but not everyone in the village is convinced he has that magic, too. Sadly, when she passes, the villagers will have no one else to turn to. 

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Tetris. Must All The Bricks Fall Break Down?

Nobody in America knows who truly owns Tetris, and to find out who can license the rights is a lot more difficult than playing the game when the bricks are falling fast!

Tetris (2023) Movie PosterPlaying on Apple Plus

Despite a lot of exaggerated moments about how the Tetris licence is acquired, this historical thriller is very exciting to watch. If only more semi-biographical works were like this, I wouldn’t need to consult the huge book library I have concerning the golden era of video games.

Anyone can go online to learn how this game was invented. It’s nicely summarised in this film, but to dramatise the legal problems to the level that director Jon S. Baird stylises it as requires more than an intimate knowledge of all that went on. Noah Pink wrote a script that chronicles the events leading up to the discovery of a simple but addictive puzzle game. What he adds includes how Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton) is feeling the pressure. He’s a family man who wants to succeed as a business manager. This subplot shows everything he’s willing to sacrifice.

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It’s Been A Slice. Hidden Blade’s Political Intrique Will Delight!

Everything Er Cheng presented in Hidden Blade is fascinating and scary at the same time.

Hidden BladeWell GO USA
Release Date: Feb 17, 2023

Mori Hiroyuki‘s enigmatic role in Hidden Blade (长空之王) is perhaps the most telling about all that transpired within to save China from itself, and the occupation that took place during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Multiple eyes are on Wang Jingwei’s Puppet Regime and they aren’t doing anything to give the Chinese people peace of mind.

What we hear from this Japanese diplomat is that he’s involved. Nearly a quarter of his dialogue is about defining our expectations for this movie. When he said, “Japan and China are inseparable partners. It’s our shared goal to boost the economy, join hands against the Communists, and achieve prosperity in East Asia. We wish that more and more Chinese people could understand Japan’s true intentions,” I got the shivers.

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