Sign in using your account with
Valley of the Wolves: Palestine: Focus on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Valley of the Wolves: Palestine is the latest instalment of a popular and successful film series in Turkey. In this sequel, the story focuses on a team of Turkish operatives on a mission to avenge the deaths of the aid workers killed by Israeli commandos in the flotilla that was bound to Gaza.
Polat Alemdar (Sasmaz) and his men put their lives at risk by crossing more than just the enemy’s lines as they head to Palestine on a mission of revenge, honour and patriotism.
The freedom fighters’ main objective is to locate and eliminate Moshe Ben Eliezer (Besikcioglu), the Israeli military commander responsible for the killing of innocent aid workers in the Gaza flotilla raid. However, Eliezer’s arrangements take an unexpected turn as Polat Alemdar will stop at nothing to bring him down.
Valley of the Wolves: Palestine is clearly influenced by the Palestinian conflict. The main stars are just drawn into the plot as supplementary elements; the real chronicle focuses on the people of Palestine and their suffering.
However, the highlight of the plot is how such undercover teams make their way through Israeli intelligence and the numerous army forces. The brutality of some scenes will stir compassion and empathy for the Palestinian people: one scene in particular shows a disabled child buried alive under the wreckage of his home by Israeli soldiers.
The supporting actors in Valley of the Wolves: Palestine actually give more memorable performances than any of the leads, who are pretty average at best. As the most expensive film ever made in Turkey, Valley of the Wolves: Palestine is full of action scenes from beginning to end. While the action element is not exactly top-notch when compared to Hollywood standards, audiences will still appreciate the effort. However, many scenes are over the top as our heroes seem to be superhuman; it quickly becomes insulting to the audience’s intelligence!
The film was actually shot in Turkish and Hebrew, but the version in Cairo cinemas is dubbed in Arabic, which is frustrating as Egyptian audiences may not fully understand the dialogue because of the poor translation and strange accents.
Overall, Valley of the Wolves: Palestine is a well-made film that demonstrates the violence and injustice of the Palestinian people’s struggle.
There’s an old adage in sports that says “you’re only as good as your last game.” This is true in the case of the very talented Thomas McCarthy, who was riding high on a hot streak with indie gems such as Win Win and The Station Agent. That is until The Cobbler; an unfocused and illogical almost-comedy starring the maddeningly inconsistent Adam Sandler.
The story follows Max Simkin (Sandler); an introverted fourth-generation cobbler who took over the family’s business in New York City, after his father, Abraham Simkin (Hoffman) decided to walk out on him and his mother, (Cohen).
Bored and clearly miserable with the monotonous routine that is his life, Max’s big break, so to speak, soon comes in the form of a magical stitching machine – yes, you read that right – which he comes across late one night in the store’s basement when the power goes out. Tasked to fix a pair of expensive shoes brought in by a rather outspoken customer, Max decides to use the antique machine to finish his work. However, he quickly realises that the machine’s magical powers can transform the wearer – in this case, him – into the owner of the shoes. Commence eye-rolling.
Naturally excited, Max milks his discovery for all its worth, but soon finds himself wrapped up in some shady dealings with sly real estate mogul, Elaine Greenawalt (Barkin).
Sporting his trademark dishevelled, droopy-eyed look, things get off to a good start for Sandler, but it’s not long before couple of head-scratching and unexpectedly bizarre turns - in what is an already bizarre premise - take over the story, one of which has the film asking its audience to believe in Sandler’s character as a hero, of sorts, with no hint of sarcasm.
Naturally, the entire picture and its half-baked premise descend into just another chapter in Adam Sandler’s string of Happy Maddison vanity productions. And that’s never a good thing – such a shame for such a talented comedian.
Arriving six years after the original, the follow-up installment to Kevin James’ embarrassingly unfunny and especially agonizing Paul Blart: Mall Cop is just as insufferable and unnecessary as its predecessor.
Directed by Andy Fickman – see She’s the Man – and written by Nick Bakay and Kevin James himself, the story is once again centered on the New Jersey mall security officer, Paul Blart (James) whose life after foiling the Black Friday heist six years ago, is currently down in the dumps. See, his one true love, Amy (Mays) has decided to leave him after only six days of marriage – the explanation is never really given – and his mother (Knight) passes away, leaving Paul to raise his teenage daughter, Maya (Rodriguez) all by himself.
Watching his daughter grow up is something that Paul is struggling with, and when an opportunity to travel to Las Vegas to attend a small Security Officers Convention comes up, Paul and Maya pack their bags and head to Sin City for a much-needed vacation. Unfortunately, their holiday is soon interjected by a group of professional thieves, led by super-robber, Vincent (McDonough), who have decided to use the hotel in which the Blarts are staying at as the target for their next mission. Can Paul save the day once again and be the hero he has been preparing his whole life to be?
Happy Madison Productions seems to have forever lost the concept of comedy and what constitutes a movie worthy of anyone’s time and money. The original movie - released back in 2009 – made some serious bank, grossing over one hundred-and-eight million dollars worldwide on a budget of twenty-six. So, no matter how disturbing that statement actually is, a sequel actually makes sense. Sadly, the efforts of a six-year-long production labor – which is nowhere to be found in fact - doesn’t really pay off as Mall Cop 2 is nowhere near as harmlessly entertaining as the original picture - which says a lot considering that the first movie wasn’t as amiable as we are making it out to be. It’s predominately worse. It’s worse than worse. It’s shameful and totally uncalled for.
The comedy, if you can really call it that, relies too much on James’ shape and size to elicit laughs - not to mention his immense talent of committing to pratfalls – and he is the story’s main attraction. He does well and if you’re a fan, there is some joy to be found in his latest shenanigan-filled debacle. However, if you’re not, you are probably better off giving Mall Cop 2 a serious pass.