zondag 20 augustus 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 93: Morgan

Director: Luke Scott
Genre: Horror/ Science Fiction/ Thriller
Runtime: 88 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Kate Mara, Rose Leslie, Toby Jones, Boyd Holbrook, Michelle yeoh, Paul Giamatti, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anya Taylor-Joy, Brian Cox

Description: A corporate risk-management consultant (Kate Mara) must decide whether or not to terminate an artificially created humanoid being.

Review: People have always been fascinated by creating artificial intelligence. And movies about this theme are popular and sometimes really successful. Morgan is the result of synthetic DNA and nanotechnology. It is a fast developing human looking being, whose intelligence and physique grow exceptionally. But this apparent perfect creation has its defects. After an incident, risk-management consultant Lee Weathers has to evaluate the specimen and whether it should be terminated or not.
It’s been done so many times, this theme. And many directors managed to give it their own twist and make it look fresh. Sadly Luke Scott (son of Ridley Scott) is not one of them. The film never reaches above mediocre and the tension is nowhere to be found. The presence of a fantastic cast doesn’t always guarantee a good movie. It really fascinated me how naïve all those academics are in this film. And the film is very predictable. And the supposed plot twist at the end, didn’t come as a surprise at all.
“Morgan” had a lot of potential, but didn’t execute it very well.

Rating: 2/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (302)

Here are this week's trailers.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Description: Steven (Colin Farrell), a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behavior of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.
Starring: Nicole Kidman, COlin Farrell, Alicia Silverstone, Bill Camp
Trailer: Trailer "The Killing of a Sacred Deer"
Comment: It's supposed to be a very dark film. I love that! Can't wait to see it. It was highly recommended by Alicia Malone.

Molly's Game
Director: Aaron Sorkin
Description: The true story of an Olympic-class skier (Jessica Chastain) who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target. Her players included movie stars, business titans and unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob.
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Chris O'Dowd, Kevin Costner, Graham Greene, Bill Camp, Michael Cera
Trailer: Trailer "Molly's Game"
Comment: I walways love films with a strong female character.

The Death of Stalin
Director: Armando Iannucci
Description: Follows the Soviet dictator's last days and depicts the chaos of the regime after his death.
Starring: Olga Kurylenko, Jason Isaacs, Steve Buscemi, Paddy Considine, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Palin, Andrea Riseborough, Rupert Friend
Trailer: Trailer "The Death of Stalin"
Comment: This looks hilarious!!! And it's probably going to be overlooked.

The Meyerowitz Stories
Director: Noah Baumbach
Description: An estranged family gathers together in New York for an event celebrating the artistic work of their father.
Starring: Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffmann, Grace van Patten, Emma Thompson, Judd Hirsch, Sigourney Weaver
Trailer: Trailer "The Meyerowitz Stories"
Comment: They are already talking Oscar buzz for Adam Sandler. I love serious Sandler, can't wait for this movie. It's going to be on Netflix.

Human Flow
Director: Ai Weiwei
Description: Human Flow is director and artist, Ai Weiwei's detailed and heartbreaking exploration into the global refugee crisis.
Starring: -
Trailer: Trailer "Human Flow"
Comment: This is a documentary that I think everyone should see. Maybe people will finally understand.

donderdag 10 augustus 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 92: War for the Planet of the Apes

Director: Matt Reeves
Genre: Drama/ Action/ Adventure/ Thriller
Runtime: 140 minutes
Year: 2017
Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Toby Kebbell, Judy Greer

Description: After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar (Andy Serkis) wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.

Review: It’s very tempting to close a trilogy with a bombastic and epic action film. More characters, more explosions, bigger everything. Director Matt Reeves managed to stay away from all that and turns “War for the Planet of the Apes” into an intimate war film.
Even the opening of the film, a spectacular confrontation between one of the last human armies and Caesar’s colony, is pretty timid. Minimal dialogue, the camera focusses on lyrics on the soldier’s helmets. It sets the tone for the film.
Some people accuse “War for the Planet of the Apes” of false marketing. They expected the battle of all battles and claim it’t not a real war film. But it is most definite a war film, one that zooms in on the ethics of a war.
And this fits Caesar perfectly, one of the most sympathetic characters created over the past 10 years, thanks to Andy Serkis and his magnificent performance. Where Caesar was idealistic before and wanted to keep peace, but now he is acting out of revenge and realizes he is no better than Koba. “War for the Planet of the Apes” shows us that war is a product of escalation, revenge and emotion.
The only human opponent Caesar gets here is from the Colonel, played by Woody Harrelson. He is Caesar’s complete opposite when it comes to morals. But there isn’t that many conflict between humans and apes. And strangely enough, that’s the charm of the film. It doesn’t try to top “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” or “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”. It gives us something new and it’s a great end to a strong trilogy.
Rating: 4,5/ 5

zondag 6 augustus 2017

Movie Trailer Sunday (302)

Here are this week's trailers.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Description: A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeifer, Ed Harris, Domhnall Gleeson, Brian Gleeson, Kristen Wiig
Trailer: Trailer "Mother!"
Comment: Just a teaser, but already can't wait to see this.

Call Me By Your Name
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Description: Summer of 1983, Northern Italy. An American-Italian is enamored by an American student who comes to study and live with his family. Together they share an unforgettable summer full of music, food, and romance that will forever change them.
Starring: Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Thimothée Chamalet
Trailer: Trailer "Call Me By Your Name"
Comment: I'm very excited to see this.

6 Days
Director: Toa Fraser
Description: In April 1980, armed gunmen stormed the Iranian Embassy in Princes Gate, London and took all inside hostage. Over the next six days a tense standoff took place, all the while a group of highly trained soldiers from the SAS prepared for a raid the world had never seen the likes of.
Starring: Jamie Bell, Mark Strong, Abbie Cornish
Trailer: Trailer "6 Days"
Comment: An interesting subject for a film

Keep Watching
Director: Sean Carter
Description: A family become imprisoned in their home by intruders, who force them to play a life-and-death game, where the mysterious rules become clear as the night unfolds.
Starring: Bella Thorne, Ioan Gruffudd, Chandler Riggs, Natalie Martinez, Leigh Wannell
Trailer: Trailer "Keep Watching"
Comment: Creepy, but probably bad.

Goodbye Christopher Robin
Director: Simon Curtis
Description: A behind-the-scenes look at the life of author A.A. Milne and the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories inspired by his son C.R. Milne.
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly MacDonald
Trailer: Trailer "Goodbye Christopher Robin"
Comment: Love this trailer.

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 91: To the Bone

Director: Marti Noxon
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 107 minutes
Year: 2017
Starring: Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves, Lili Taylor, Brooke Smith, Leslie Bibb, Alex Sharp

Description: A young woman (Lily Collins) is dealing with anorexia. She meets an unconventional doctor who challenges her to face her condition and embrace life.

Review: “To the Bone” is about a young woman struggling with an eating disorder: anorexia. Off course many discussions started when Netflix added this original to its collection. Is the film accurate enough about the illness?
“To the Bone” is a powerful and beautiful film, but off course shows only a small aspect of the illness. Because we’re only following the life of Ellen and a hand full of other patients. It’s a very complex illness, so it’s hard to work it into a movie that is less than two hours long. But director Marti Noxon did manage to create a realistic image. What anorexia can do to a person and to the people that surround him or her.
The treatment in the film is a bit unconventional, but that makes the film lighter even though it’s a very heavy theme. I think that the viewers aren’t waiting for an overly dramatic tear jerker when it comes to this theme. I like the tone of the film a lot. Lilly Collins delivers a very strong performance and I love Keanu Reeves in his role as the doctor. I know Reeves has been criticized a lot for his acting. I’m one that has always defended him and in “To the Bone” he gives away a heartfelt, honest and good performance.
“To the Bone” is a really good film, with an interesting theme and strong performances.

Rating: 4/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 90: Sausage Party

Director: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Genre: Comedy/ Animation/ Adventure
Runtime: 89 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Seth Rogen, Michael Cera, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Danny McBride, Edward Norton, Craig Robnson, Nick Kroll, Paul Rudd, David Krumholtz, Salma Hayek

Description: A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence

Review: If you put the creative minds of Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Jonah Hill together, before you know it you get another hilarious concept. And I think there had to be some weed involved when the idea for “Sausage Party” was born. An animation about talking food, that has to run before they get eaten. It sounds super weird and it somehow is, but it’s damn funny.
“Sausage Party” is not the kind of animation you want to watch with your children. It’s adult humor. And it’s a giant wink to Pixar and Disney. The food in the Shopwell supermarket starts their day with a song, every day. If people buy them, they are chosen. But none of them know what happens to them. Sausage Frank and bun Brenda happen to fall out of the cart, right before the registry. And soon they are about to find out what their actual fate is.
“Sausage Party” is child unfriendly. It’s politically incorrect, sexist, stereotypical, has unsubtle sex jokes and many food related word puns. There is a very macabre scene where the food finds out what really happens to them and there is off course that so-called food porn at the end of the film. And the fact that the villain in the film is a vaginal shower, says enough.
Rogen and Goldberg give the finger to anyone that claims animation is only for kids and that there is always supposed to be a message hidden somewhere. So you shouldn’t take “Sausage Party” too seriously. What “Sausage Party” is, is original, fun and crossing the line. And I like it!

Rating: 4/ 5

donderdag 3 augustus 2017

Top 5 Thursday: Movies I Watched For My Challenge (July 2017)

I didn’t watch that many new films this month, but I did see some really awesome ones. Here are my favorite films I watched for my challenge, for the month of July.

5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
That’s how few new movies I watched this month, that this film is in the top 5. It’s not a really good film, but entertaining. Same old, same old.

4. Jackie
A truly great performance by Natalie Portman. And interesting to look at Jackie Kennedy’s life as the first lady.

3. The Big Year
In my opinion an under appreciated film. A comedy, without you rolling on the ground of laughter. I like how they kept that low key. And the phenomenon of birding is fascinating. And the cast is great!

2. Victoria
The biggest reason why this film is so good, is because it’s one long take. It’s really hard to do that, for both the director and the actors. It only took them three takes to complete this film.

1. Baby Driver
I was in the company of some friends and I was the only one that LOVED “Baby Driver”. I guess it’s always hard to understand a genius, because that is what Edgar Wright is. Its editing perfection, fantastic soundtrack and a good cast. So far, this is my favorite film of the year.

They Almost Made the Top 5: -