woensdag 18 april 2018

Movie Reviews - A Quiet Place

Director: John Krasinski
Genre: Drama/ Horror/ Thriller
Runtime: 90 minutes
Year: 2018
Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cade Woodward, Leon Russom, Doris McCarthy

Description: A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.

Review: With “A Quiet Place”, director John Krasinski found fear in the everyday.
In “A Quiet Place”, an American family is forced to live in silence, while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound. It doesn’t sound like much, it is so much more than your standard horror film.
Director, screenplay writer and leading man John Krasinski is definitely one step ahead in this genre. Nowadays horror films are filled with clichés, loud jump scares, dumb people and gore. Krasinski knows exactly what really scares us: silence. And it’s what you don’t see and know that is scariest. He shows us how people can feel, knowing they can’t make a sound, and that making one can kill you. And how we depend on something as simple as sound. “A Quiet Place” makes clear how loud mankind actually is.
Krasinski pictures a post-apocalyptic world: a fallen down traffic light, an abandoned supermarket, weed in the streets. It’s day 89 since the monsters have first appeared. A family who walks barefoot, getting what they need from the supermarket. The mother seeks through medicine bottles. We know, if one bottle falls over, things will go wrong.
Post-apocalyptic films mostly start with the first day, finding out what happened and trying to adapt to the situation. Here, we go further into that situation and that is our starting point. We learn that the family already learned to adapt to the new situation, which is a fresh take on the genre.
The film is filled with intense, scary moments. Moments where you hold your breath and are so intense your knuckles turn white. And the opening scene alone goes against all the rules of the horror genre.
John Kraskinski doesn’t only direct, he also stars in his own film. And he does it very well. As for Emily Blunt, who is Krasinki’s wife in real life. Both are perfect for the role and perform solidly. And Millicent Simmonds, who plays the couple’s deaf daughter, is an excellent discovery.
“A Quiet Place” is a rare find, a breath of fresh air in the horror genre.

Rating: 4,5 / 5

dinsdag 17 april 2018

Five to Watch - Movies Starring Real-Life Couples

“A Quiet Place” is taking over theaters at the moment, I’m going to see it myself tonight. Directed by and starring John Krasinski, together with his real life wife Emily Blunt. And there is a history of real life couples working together. I decided to create a list of five films worth watching, that starred two actors that are dating or where dating at the time the film was made.

Eyes Wide Shut
“Eyes Wide Shut” was actually the third film to feature both Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, but it’s the one most people remember. This movie was a big deal when it came out. Not only was it Stanley Kubrick’s first movie in over a decade, the legendarily long shoot only helped to raise expectations regarding what he and his leads were working on. It was the named the sexiest movie of that year. The film is about a New York doctor, who is married to an art curator. He is pushing himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him. The movie would normally never speak to me, but it blew my mind. It’s that good!

Flesh and Bone
Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, who had met on the set of “Innerspace” in 1987, had been married for a few years by the time they made this underrated drama. They play a mismatched pair of lonely Texans who begin a tentative romance, only to run up against the gosts of their unwittingly shared past. Quaid and Ryan have very different approaches, of course, yet they’re utterly comfortable together. I haven’t seen this film in a LONG time.

Cruel Intentions
After “Cruel Intentions”, the careers of both Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon took such different direction. They where married shortly after the premiere. This film is certainly the last time you would see Sarah Michelle Gellar as the charismatic one and Witherspoon as the mild one. And you definitely wouldn’t imagine Witherspoon and Phillippe married after this initially. The story focusses on two vicious step-siblings of an elite Manhattan prep school. The start a bet: he has to deflower the new headmaster’s daughter before the start of the term. And if he does, he can have his way with his step sister. Silly plot actually, but a really good film.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Penélope Cruz won an Oscar for her role in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”. Why? Because she both plays into the sterotypes Allen knowingly writes for her character and also explodes them. As María Elena, a suicidal photographer with a tempestuous streak, she’s as much self-aware romantic Spanish caricature as her ex-husband, the rascally free-love painter Juan Antonio Gonzalo, played by Javier Bardem. Where other real-life lovers seem drawn to playing dour characters whose relationship has run aground, Bardem and Cruz have a blast portraying these two incorrigible nut balls.

The Light Between Oceans
Hollywood power couple Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander fell in love while filming “The Light Between Oceans”. It’s the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife, living off the coast of Western Australia. They raise a baby they rescued from a drifting rowing boat. Since they didn’t have the best of luck having their own, this baby girl comes like a gift from above.

00s Movie Review - 30 Days of Night

Director: David Slade
Genre: Horror/ Thriller
Runtime: 115 minutes
Year: 2007
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Ben Foster, Danny Huston, Manu Bennett, Mark Boone Junior

Description: After an Alaskan town is plunged into darkness for a month, it is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires.

Review: Comic books are perfect source material for film makers. Off course superhero movies, but films like “300” and “Sin City” were based on craphic novels. The dark comic “30 Days of Night” caught the interest of director David Slade and producer Sam Raimi. A story of vampires that haunt a Alaskan town that lives in total darkness for 30 days.
The town is called Barrow. Most citizens leave Barrow before the last sundown. But there are people left behind. On the evening before the 30 days of darkness begin, dog are brutally killed, cellphones are burned and computers are disconnected. The vampires know what to do to cut the people of from the rest of the world.
The vampire look not like your every day blood suckers. And they don’t just bite your neck to drink your blood, they rip their victims apart with their knife sharp teeth. And you can’t kill them, unless you cut off their head. And they speak a language we don’t understand. The leftover citizens, led by sheriff Eben, have to either avoid or beat the vampires to survive.
Although “30 Days of Night” is seen as a mediocre horror film and doesn’t get raving reviews, I always thought that it was an underrated film in the genre. The premise is really terrifying. A town in total darkness, being terrorized by creatures of the night. And it being a distant town makes it even scarier. This is a movie that genuinely scares me, what a horror movie should do.
Off course it has its flaws. The characters lack depth and the story overall is a bit thin. But there is enough to see and the film is visually very well done. And those flaws are easily forgotten. “30 Days of Night” is, in my eyes, an excellent film in the vampire horror genre.

Rating: 4 / 5

zaterdag 14 april 2018

Movies to Look Forward to - April 2018

What does April have in store for us? Let's see what we can look forward to this month.

April 12th – A Quiet Place
Director: John Krasinski
Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt
Description: A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.

April 14th – Breathe
Director: Andy Serkis
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Tom Hollander
Description: The inspiring true love story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. Their heartwarming celebration of human possibility marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis.

April 24th – Avengers: Infinity War
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Samuel L. Jackson, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Paul Rudd, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Karen Gillan, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Paul Bettany, Gwyneth Paltrow, Idris Elba, Benicio del Toro, Jon Favrau, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle
Description: The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

donderdag 5 april 2018

10s Movie Review - Pompeii

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Genre: Action/ Drama
Runtime: 105 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Kit Harington, Kiefer Sutherland, Emily Browning, Carrie-Ann Moss, Jared Harris, Jessica Lucas, Adewale Akunnuoye-Agbaje

Description: A slave-turned-gladiator (Kit Harington) finds himself in a race against time to save his true love (Emily Browning), who has been betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator (Kiefer Sutherland). As Mount Vesuvius erupts, he must fight to save his beloved as Pompeii crumbles around him.

Review: Okay, I like honesty. The only reason I watched this movie is Kit Harington. Because I think he is perfect. And this movie definitely isn’t.
In Hollywood there is trendsetters and you have the ones that follow those trends. Directors like James Camermon and Ridley Scott are trendsetters. Their work has set the bar high for director of later generations. Like Paul W.S. Anderson, a definite follower of those trends. Most of his movies are lesser and more unoriginal versions of those films.
“Pompeii” is in fact a combination of “Gladiator” and “Titanic”. I love the first and hate the last, so that’s not good. And that’s kind of sad, because I think the Roman city of Pompeii deserves a good film. It has an interesting story.
You have to give it to him. Paul W.S. Anderson always has to work with a relatively small budget and they always make a whole lot of money. But they have never been very well received.
Since “Gladiator”, any movie about the Roman empire seems to deal with the concept of gladiators. And “Pompeii” is not any different. Kit Harington plays Milo, a Celtic gladiator, brought to Pompeii for a tournament. When he enters the city, he meets Cassia. She belongs to the Roman elite, but she someone sees through all the differences and off course they fall for each other.
The story is not special, the characters are one-dimensional and everything is really predictable. But Kit Harington is still perfect…

Rating: 2 / 5

80s Movie Review - Predator

Director: John McTiernan
Genre: Action/ Horror/ Thriller/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 107 minutes
Year: 1987
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, Shane Black

Description: A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior.

Review: Like “Alien”, predator is not of this world. When in “Alien” a group of astronauts discover this life form on a distant planet, in “Predator” it visits us on planet earth. It hunts and preys on humans during hot summers.
Dutch is the leader of a special units group of commandos, who get send out in the jungle of Guatamala to find a hostage. Not the hardest task for this group, but that’s just the beginning. When an unknown being starts killing his men.
“Predator” is influenced by “Alien”, who would eventually meet up in some cross-over movies. The first half hour of the film is a typical 80s action movie. When they took down all the guerillas, it seems like the end. But it’s just getting started.
“Predator” is a combination of horror, violence and a dose of action, but is also filled with some really cool one-liners from Arnold Schwarzenegger. The special effects are a bit dater, but the design of Predator itself still impresses.
“Predator” is one of the 80s movies I love watching, mainly because of Arnie.

Rating: 4 / 5

maandag 2 april 2018

10s Movie Review - Jigsaw

Director: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Genre: Thriller/ Crime/ Horror
Runtime: 92 minutes
Year: 2017
Starring: Matt Passmore, Tobin Bell Callum Keith Rennie, Hannah Emily Anderson, Laura Vandervoort, Clé Bennett, Paul Braunstein, Mandela Van Peebles, Brittany Allen, Josiah Black, Edward Ruttle, Michael Boisvert, Sam Koules

Description: Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for over 10 years.

Review: “Jigsaw” is the eight movie in the “Saw” franchise. In the previous seven films, we saw how maniac John Kramer, aka Jigsaw, played sadistic games with his victims, using hand made torture machines. He choses his victims carefully, all people who take life for granted and don’t know what life is actually worth. This way he wants them to feel how valuable life actually is. All films were bloody and there was a lot of gore.
It takes some time before the serial killer is linked to the happenings in the film. It has been 10 years since John Kramer’s passing. Detective Holloran and coroner Logan have to find out who is copying Jigsaw.
During that investigation, we see how a group of people are locked into a farm and have to face Jigsaw’s sick games. The setting isn’t as dark as its previous films, but the torture equipment is still pretty scary. But it never really shocks.
“Jigsaw” wasn’t half bad. I had no expectations going in and I did enjoy it for some part. I did like the twist, it was pretty original actually. But “Jigsaw” also deals with so many problems. The characters are pretty cliché and the events are also a bit predictable.
“Jigsaw” is definitely not the best film in the series, but also not the worst. Entertaining.

Rating: 3/ 5