vrijdag 24 maart 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 39: The Artist

Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Genre: Comedy/ Drama/ Romance
Runtime: 100 minutes
Year: 2011
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, Missi Pyle, John Goodmna, Malcolm McDowell, Penelope Ann Miller, Beth Grant, James Cromwell, Joel Murray

Description: A silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions.

Review: In 1899 the first experiments to combine sound and film took place, but it was three decades later when the eventually executed this plan. In 1927 America was ready for it, with “The Jazz Singer”. The transition from silent film to a film with sound, forms the base of “The Artist”. It’s a modern day silent film, in black and white, about fictional movie star George Valentin. He can’t adapt to this transition and gets into trouble, but also eventually finds love.
Many Hollywood stars from the silent movie era, saw their careers end, because they seemed old fashioned or their voice didn’t match their image. In “The Artist” George Valentin is such a star. He is successful as an actor and makes equally successful movies.
His influence is that big, that the young, unknown Peppy Miller gets a role in his movie and eventually becomes a big star herself. George doesn’t believe in movies with sound and quits the studio to makes his own films. His first film is a huge flop, his wife leaves him and he goes bankrupt.
“The Artist” does a masterful job in mimicking the atmosphere of a silent movie from the twenties, without imitating other films. It manages to also feel modern and fresh, when you have the feeling you’re watching a classic film.
Silent movies always proof how essential music is for a movie. And facial expressions and body language. Because there is no spoken dialogue, the viewer has to depend on all this to follow the story. some dialogue is shown in written words, but it’s very minimal.
I’m so glad movie like this get a green light, Hollywood needs this. What “La La Land” did for musical in 2016, “The Artist” did for the silent film.

Rating: 5/ 5

donderdag 23 maart 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 38: Eurotrip

Director: Jeff Schaffer, Alec Berg, David Mandel
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 96 minutes
Year: 2004
Starring: Scott Mechlowicz, Jacob Pitts, Kristen Kreuk, Michelle Trachtenberg, Matt Damon, Travis Wester, Fred Armisen, Jeffrey Tambour

Description: Dumped by his girlfriend, a high school grad decides to embark on an overseas adventure in Europe with his friends

Review: The teen comedy “Eurotrip” is from the same producers that made “Road Trip” and “Old School”. You know what to expect: juvenile humor and a lot of sex jokes. “Old School” I loved, “Road Trip” was fun, but “Eurotrip” is basically “Road Trip” set in Europe. And the jokes are not as funny.
Scott has a German friend, Mieke, that he has been e-mailing for a while. When Mieke e-mails him that he wants to meet him, Scott freaks out and thinks he is a pervert. Scott breaks contact, but then finds out that Mieke is a very hot girl. Together with his friend Cooper, he travels to Berlin to find Mieke.
What’s next is a trip through Europe, because straight to Berlin is somehow not an option (?). They meet up with two other friends and visit London, Paris, Rome, Bratislava and Amsterdam. And all filled with (sexual) adventures. And it’s anything but original and all stereotypical. Amsterdam is the drug capitol of the world and only knows for its red light district. In Germany there is off course a really bad Hitler joke. Hooligans in London. The makers think they are clever, but they are not. It’s super lame.
The leading actors don’t really do anything memorable. It’s the smaller roles that make you laugh, like roles played by Vinnie Jones, Matt Damon and Fred Armisen. That’s actually the only thing that I found funny.
“Eurotrip” is a really bad comedy, I didn’t enjoy it at all. One star for the cameos.

Rating: 1/ 5

zondag 19 maart 2017

Movie Trailer Sunday (284)

Here are this week's trailers.

Early Man
Director: Nick Park
Description: Set at the dawn of time, when dinosaurs and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, Early Man tells the story of how one plucky caveman unites his tribe against a mighty enemy and saves the day!
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Eddie Redmayne, Maisie Williams
Trailer: Trailer "Early Man"
Comment: I LOVE claymation, it looks so amazing. Can't wait for "Early Man".

Despicable Me 3
Director: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda, Eric Guillon
Description: Balthazar Bratt, a child star from the 1980s, hatches a scheme for world domination.
Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Jenny Slate, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan,Trey Parker
Trailer: Trailer "Despicable Me 3"
Comment: Is this going to be one of those never ending franchises?

Director: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Description: Coco follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who sets off a chain of events relating to a century-old mystery, leading to an extraordinary family reunion.
Starring: Benjamin Bratt, Gael Garcia Bernal,
Trailer: Trailer "Coco"
Comment: Yay, Pixar!!!

Voice From the Stone
Director: Eric D. Howell
Description: Set in 1950s Tuscany, Voice from the Stone is the haunting and suspenseful story of Verena (Emilia Clarke), a solemn nurse drawn to aid a young boy who has fallen silent since the sudden passing of his mother.
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Marton Csokas
Trailer: Trailer "Voice From the Stone"
Comment: It's great to see Emilia Clarke in something else than "Game of Thrones".

The Transfiguration
Director: Michael O'Shea
Description: When troubled teen Milo, who has a fascination with vampire lore, meets the equally alienated Sophie, the two form a bond that begins to blur Milo's fantasy into reality.
Starring: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine
Trailer: Trailer "The Transfiguration"
Comment: It reminds me of "Let the Right One In" and I loved it. So hopefully this is another one fo those rare horror gems.

zondag 12 maart 2017

Movie Trailer Sunday (283)

Here are this week's trailers.

Carrie Pilby
Director: SUsan Johnson
Description: A person of high intelligence (Bel Powley) struggles to make sense of the world as it relates to morality, relationships, sex and leaving her apartment.
Starring: Bel Powley, Nathan Lane, Gabriel Byrne, Vanessa Bayer, Jason Ritter
Trailer: Trailer "Carrie Pilby"
Comment: Yes! I hope it's as good as it looks!

Director: Joseph Cedar
Description: Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere) is a small time operator who befriends a young politician at a low point in his life. Three years later, when the politician becomes an influential world leader, Norman's life dramatically changes for better and worse.
Starring: Richard Gere, Michael Sheen, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dan Stevens, Steve Buscemi, Hank Azaria
Trailer: Trailer "Norman"
Comment: Richard Gere is back, I love him!

Rough Night
Director: Lucia Aniello
Description: A male stripper ends up dead at a Miami beach house during a bachelorette party weekend
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Zoë Kravitz, Kate McKinnon, Demi Moore, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Ty Burrell
Trailer: Trailer "Rough Night"
Comment: Wasn't there "Very Bad Things". This is basically that, but with women. Maybe it's really good!

Atomic Blonde
Director: David Leitch
Description: An undercover MI6 agent (Charlize Theron) is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.
Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan
Trailer: Trailer "Atomic Blonde"
Comment: Charlize Theron is super sexy and kick ass in this trailer. Can't wait!

Baby Driver
Director: Edgar Wright
Description: After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Flea
Trailer: Trailer "Baby Driver"
Comment: I love Edgar Wright, I'm super excited for this film!!!

vrijdag 10 maart 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 37: The Addams Family Values

Director: Barry Sonnefeld
Genre: Comedy/ Fantasy/ Horror
Runtime: 94 minutes
Year: 1993
Starring: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Christina Ricci, Joan Cusack, David Krumholtz, Carel Struycken, Christine Baranski, Peter MacNichol, David Hyde Pierce, Nathan Lane, Tony Shalhoub

Description: A comical Gothic horror-movie-type family tries to rescue their beloved uncle from his gold-digging new love.

Review: If you love macabre humor, this sequel to “The Addams Family” is right up your alley. And “The Addams Family Values” manages to keep the magic of the first film intact.
The family welcomes a new member, baby boy Pubert. Gomez and Morticia are very happy with their new baby, but his siblings Wednesday and Pugsley aren’t. they are trying to do everything to get rid of him. The Addams family decides to hire a nanny, in the form of Debbie. In real life she is a serial killer, who marries rich men to then eventually kill them and take their money. Her eyes are on Fester this time. And Wednesday and Pugsley are send to summer camp.
Probably the best parts of the film are set on Camp Chippawa and Wednesday, played by Christina Ricci, steals all the scenes.
Director Barry Sonnenfeld is energetic and inventive. Great eye for detail and a wonderful way to bring this family to life. Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston and Christopher Lloyd are again great in their roles and Joan Cusack is a lot of fun to watch.
Again the story isn’t that complicated, but it’s a good move to let the kids of the family have their own adventure. “The Addams Family Values” is not as good as the first film, but it’s not very far from it.

Rating: 4/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 36: The Addams Family

Director: Barry Sonnefeld
Genre: Comedy/ Fantasy/ Horror
Runtime: 99 minutes
Year: 1991
Starring: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Christina Ricci, Dan Hedaya, Carel Struycken

Description: Con artists plan to fleece an eccentric family using an accomplice who claims to be their long-lost uncle.

Review: In this satirical film, we meet the Addams family, an eccentric family with an extraordinary lifestyle and interested in death and destruction. Most people find them weird, but they are a surprisingly loving family. Father Gomez has been looking for his long lost brother Fester for years. Con artists see this as an opportunity to get money out of them.
Actor Raul Julia plays the role of Gomez formidable. He is a decadent gentleman who loves his wife to death. Angelica Huston plays his wife Morticia. Calm and collected, with perfection. Christoper Lloyd plays Uncle Fester, and it shows that he had a lot of fun doing it. A very young Christina Ricci portrays daughter Wednesday, a very down and morbid girl with intelligence. She is probably my favorite character of the family.
The story isn’t complicated, but the execution is done very well. The cast rbings the family to life and the décor and costumes are amazing. “The Addams Family” is a timeless comedy that is now just ast entertaining as it was in the nineties.

Rating: 5/ 5

donderdag 9 maart 2017

Top 5 Thursday: Movie Plot Twists

I hate predictable movies, movies that are anything but surprising. So when a film has an twist that you didn’t expect, it makes my day. Here are my five favorite plot twists in movies. Warning: *SPOILER ALERT*

5. The Empire Strikes Back
As the rebel alliance runs from Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker is trained to become a Jedi Knight. When Luke abandons his training to save his friends from Darth Vader, he finds out that he is his father.

4. Planet of the Apes
Three astronauts crash land on an unknown planet. On this planet, apes rule the world, while humans are considered second class citizens. The final scene sees the surviving astronaut stumble upon a half-sunken statue of liberty. He has been on planet earth all along.

3. Seven
Two detectives, Somerset and Mills, search for a serial killer obsessed with the seven deadly sins. In the end, killer John Doe, decides to lead the detectives to his final two bodies. When they arrive, they find a box. In the box is the head of Mills’ wife. Doe admits to have killed her out of envy and challenges Mills to kill him, making wrath the seventh and final sin.

2. The Sixth Sense
Dr. Malcolm Crowe attempts to help a young boy, who sees dead people. In the end it appears that Crowe has been dead himself the whole time.

1. The Usual Suspects
Five criminals plot against the police after being called in for a crime they didn’t commit, but begin to uncover a larger plot stemming from legendary criminal Keyser Soze. But who is he. In the final scene we see that it’s the pretending to be cripple Verbal Kint.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Psycho, Fight Club, Chinatown, Primal Fear, Fallen, Memento, The Prestige, Shutter Island