woensdag 24 mei 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 67: Alien: Covenant

Director: Ridley Scott
Genre: Horror/ Science Fiction/ Thriller
Runtime: 122 minutes
Year: 2017
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, James Franco

Description: The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.

Review: After a pause of 20 years and a prequel, it’s finally here: a new Alien film. It’s a sequel to “Prometheus” and a prequel to “Alien”. “Prometheus” got mixed reviews, but director Ridley Scott manages to make up for that with “Alien: Covenant”. The spaceship Covenant is on a colonial mission. They are traveling to another planet to start a new civilization there. They have some hiccups, where several people on board die. When they discover another planet, which is closer by, they decide to check it out. Off course, that’s a bad decision.
The film looks amazing, but that’s not a surprise. The film is scary and bloody, but because most of the film is set outside or in larger areas, it doesn’t give you that claustrophobic feel. Only when they are in the spacecraft. We get Xenomorphs and the so called Facehuggers, but also Neomorphs. This is a smaller albino alien, which are just as dangerous as the other two.
The cast is not always convincing. The one that shine are Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride and Michael Fassbender. The last one even has a double role. The rest of the cast is forgettable and their characters never get any depth.
The twist at the end wasn’t as surprising, but I liked the ending anyway. “Alien: Covenant” is a good film, much better then “Prometheus”.

Rating: 4/ 5

dinsdag 23 mei 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 66: Bad Moms

Director: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 101 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jay Hernandez, Wanda Sykes

Description: When three overworked and under-appreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self-indulgence.

Review: The life of a young mother isn’t perfect. Besides trying to make a career in a highly underpaid and time consuming job, the kids have to go to school every day, groceries have to be done, cooking, school meetings. And if there is a husband that doesn’t lift a finger, you can understand how a mom can feel under-appreciated. That’s the fact with Amy Mitchell. When she finds out her husband has been having an online affair with a woman, she decides to be a bad mom, because everyone already thinks she is one.
There are many films where we see grown up men behave like irresponsible teens. But lately we’ve been getting some fun films with women behaving badly. Just look at “Bridesmaids” and “Trainwreck”.
Mila Kunis plays Amy, a control freak who always wants to maky everyone around her happy. Kristen Bell is a somewhat submissive stay at home mom and Kathryn Hahn is a single mom, with a love for men and alcohol. Then there is Christina Applegate, head of the PTA, who claims to be the perfect example for all the moms out there. Some characters feel like just characters, because they come off a bit cartoonish. Especially Hahn’s character is too much. And the humor is sometimes really unoriginal and vulgar, jokes that are way too easy and done way too many times.
This is all forgivable, but towards the end the film is so cliché. “Bad Moms” is a fun film for one time, very forgettable.

Rating: 2,5/ 5

zondag 21 mei 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 65: Cold in July

Director: Jim Mickle
Genre: Thriller/ Crime
Runtime: 109 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson, Vinessa Shaw

Description: When a protective father (Michael C. Hall) meets a murderous ex-con (Sam Shepard), both need to deviate from the path they are on as they soon find themselves entangled in a downwards spiral of lies and violence while having to confront their own inner psyche.

Review: It’s still a bit strange to see Michael C. Hall, aka Dexter, shake when an intruder enters his house and he sneaks up on him with a gun that he can barely load.
East Texas, 1989. Richard Dane is an ordinary man, who shoots an intruder out of self-defense. But a man called Ben Russell, an ex-con and the victim’s father, is keepin an eye on Richard. Russell is determined to avenge his son’s death, but things take a different turn.
The film seems to have a storyline that is straight forward and predictable. But it’s a lot more surprising and original than I expected it to be.
Richard doesn’t feel like a hero and even feels regret for his actions. He admits to feeling terrible after giving his statement. Richard is a very realistic man, he doesn’t feel like a character. The first half of the film is exciting and thrilling. The second half, the story flips around and it loses its strength a bit. That’s sad, because it could have been so much better.
“Cold in July” is still a good movie, with especially the first half being amazing. But it eventually becomes a more standard crime thriller.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (293)

Here are this week's trailers.

Band Aid
Director: Zoe Lister-Jones
Description: A couple who can't stop fighting embark on a last-ditch effort to save their marriage: turning their fights into songs and starting a band.
Starring: Zoe Lister-Jones, Adam Pally, Colin Hanks, Brooklyn Decker, Fred Armisen, Jamie Chung,
Trailer: Trailer "Band Aid"
Comment: Yay, this seems fun!

The Emoji Movie
Director: Tony Leondis
Description: Gene, a multi-expressional emoji, sets out on a journey to become a normal emoji.
Starring: Anna Faris, T.J. Miller, Patrick Stewart, Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Coolidge, James Corden, Christina Aguilera, Maya Rudolph, Jake T. Austin, Rob Riggle, Steven Wright
Trailer: Trailer "The Emoji Movie"
Comment: Meh emoji... I do like the poop emoji.

Battle of the Sexes
Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Description: The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell).
Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell,
Trailer: Trailer "Battle of the Sexes"
Comment: Can't wait, this is Oscar bait!

The Glass Castle
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Description: A young girl comes of age (Brie Larsson) in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother (Naomi Watts) who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father (Woody Harrelson) who would stir the children's imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.
Starring: Brie Larsson, Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts, Sarah Snook, Max Greenfield
Trailer: Trailer for "The Glass Castle"
Comment: This looks amazing, and what a cast!

Director: Bong Joon Ho
Description: Meet Mija, a young girl who risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend - a massive animal named Okja.
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Lily Collins
Trailer: Trailer "Okja"
Comment: I will probably need tissues for this.

donderdag 18 mei 2017

Top 5 Thursday: Michael Fassbender Movies

Michael Fassbender is one of the best actors of the moment and also one of my favorites. He has a vibrant charisma, is handsome, convinces in every role and shines on screen. Here are my favorite Michael Fassbender films.

5. Frank
It’s one of the weirdest films I have seen in a while, but weird in a good way. It’s a brilliant film. Not for everyone, but Indie movie lovers will embrace it. Like I did.

4. 12 Years a Slave
Fassbender plays a relentless man, a villain, in “12 Years a Slave”. You know an actor is good, when a normally charming and likeable actor turns into a tiran and makes it believable.

3. Jane Eyre
It’s one of my favorite classic stories and I really love this adaptation of the novel. Fassbender is so good and irresistible in “Jane Eyre”.

2. Inglourious Basterds
It’s an alternative history story, one of my favorites by Tarantino. Fassbender’s role isn’t major, but big enough to be memorable. He has a very important role in the infamous bar scene.

1. Shame
Before I went to see this film, I never thought I would like it. Let alone love it as much as I do now. The film is made so beautifully, the story is more than just a man and his sex addiction. It has many layers and Fassbender is brilliant in “Shame”.

They Almost Made the Top 5: X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Apocalypse, Hunger, The Light Between Oceans, 300

woensdag 17 mei 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 64: The Devil's Rejects

Director: Rob Zombie
Genre: Horror/ Thriller/ Crime
Runtime: 109 minutes
Year: 2005
Starring: Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Ken Foree, Leslie Easterbrook, Danny Trejo, Diamons Dallas Page

Description: The murderous, backwoods Firefly family take to the road to escape a vengeful police force which is not afraid of being as ruthless as their target.

Review: Four years before Rob Zombie directed “The Devil’s Reject”, he made “House of 1000 Corpses”. I never saw that film, but I was told it was basically “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” done worse. “The Devil’s Rejects” is the sequel to that.
The film starts with cops surrounding the house of family Firefly. They are a murderous family. Lead by sheriff Wydell, they are trying to finally get this crazy family. Otis and Baby manage to escape and they flee. They are joined by their companion Captain Spaulding. And they continue their killing spree.
“The Devil’s Rejects” is basically an orgy of violence. And Sid Haig and Bill Moseley are really hard to look at. They look aweful in this movie and it’s a torture for the eyes. And the acting isn’t great either, by most of the cast.
It’s obvious that Rob Zombie took a close look at Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino and Tobe Hooper. But he has a lot to learn. I’m not a fan of “The Devil’s Rejects”. It’s not a very good film.

Rating: 2/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 63: Bright Star

Director: Jane Campion
Genre: Drama/ Romance
Runtime: 90 minutes
Year: 2009
Starring: Ben Whishaw, Abbie Cornish, Thomas Sangster, Paul Schneider, Samuel Barnett, Kerry Fox, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Samuel Roukin, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Sebastian Armesto, Olly Alexander, Jonathan Aris, Joyia Fitch, Adrian Schiller, Alfred Harmsworth, Sam Gaukroger, Edie Martin, Sally Reeve, Gerard Monaco, Will Garthwaite, Guy Mannerings

Description: The three-year romance between 19th-century poet John Keats (Ben Wishaw) and Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) near the end of his life.

Review: Only if you’re a really romantic, this is a movie for you. It’s a movie about love and this will definitely scare off people. It’s not a romantic comedy with a predictable happy ending, it’s a heart ripping portrait of two people who love each other so much that it hurts more than it brings them happiness. Because that is also what love is.
The relationship between poet John Keats and his great love, his muse, Fanny Brawne. That’s the base of the story. Director Jane Campion didn’t want a standard biopic about Keats, so she decided to tell it from Fanny’s perspective. Result is that Keats will stay a mystery and challenges the viewers to get to know him through his poetry.
Between Keats and Fanny a passionate love develops. Off course the people around them don’t approve. Their love is limited because of that. Campion manages to show the purest form of love, by enhancing the unfulfilled longing they both have.
“Bright Star” is a visual beauty, but it can drag a bit. Even though the film is only 90 minutes long, it feels a lot longer.

Rating: 3,5/ 5