zaterdag 29 april 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 60: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Director: James Gunn
Genre: Action/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 136 minutes
Year: 2017
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Tommy Flanagan, Sean Gunn

Description: Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' continues the team's adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage.

Review: In 2014 everyone was surprised by “Guardians of the Galaxy”. It was such a success, that for me it’s the best Marvel film to date. I was extremely excited for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”, it was at the top of my most anticipated films of 2017 list. And I wasn’t disappointed.
I love how “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is stubborn. Fun cameos, but no forced cross-overs with other Marvel films. Eventually the Guardians will meet up with the Avengers, but for now it’s still its own franchise. And I’m glad.
The characters are more important here. Who are they, where do they come from, what drives them? Family is the key here. Peter Quill meets his father for the first time. Drax and Rocket who lost their family or never had one. Gamora and her struggling relationship with sister Nebula. And Groot, who is always protected by his fellow Guardians, after his big sacrifice in the first movie. They don’t belong anywhere else, but together as a team.
The film has tempo, just like the first. Enough action, humor, drama and sensation. Baby Groot was adorable, Rocket again on fire with sharp comments and Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista did a great job as well. I especially loved Michael Rooker, as Yondu, in this film.
If I have to choose which of the two I think is better, I just can’t. It’s an amazing spectacle, that I immediately want to rewatch.

Rating: 5/ 5

dinsdag 25 april 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 59: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Genre: Thriller
Runtime: 145 minutes
Year: 2009
Starring: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Gunnel Lindblom, Michalis Koutsogiannakis, Sven-Bertil Taube, Ingvar Hirdwall, Peter Haber, Ewa Fröling, Marika Lagercrantz, Sofia Ledarp, Fredrik Ohlsson

Description: A journalist (Michael Nyqvist) is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing -- or dead -- for forty years by a young female hacker (Noomi Rapace).

Review: The Millenium series is probably one of the most talk about book series of the past years, written by Swedish author Stieg Larsson. At first, they look like standard Scandinavian thrillers, but the books eventually turn out to be page turning experiences, with a fascinating main character: Lisbeth Salander. And this was the biggest deal. Were they going to find the right person for this rol in the film?
Director Niel Arden Oplev decided to give Salander a bigger role in the film, which is a good thing. She is far out the most interesting part of the stories. But the movie starts out with Michael Blomkvist and focusses on him at first. He just quit his job at the magazine Millenium, after he lost a case in court. Blomkvist is hired by business man Henrik Vanger, to investigate the disappearance of his niece Harriët Vanger. During his search, Blomkvist teams ups with Lisbeth Salander. She is a young yet driven hacker. Salander always dresses in black and is covered with piercings and tattoos. It is clear that she is traumatized by things from the past and has lost contact with practically everyone in her surroundings.
To adapt a books with over 500 pages to film, you have to make decisions and still don’t lose the magic of the source material. Here they made the right decisions. The trial of Blomkvist, the first hundred pages of the film, are summed up in ten minutes for the film. Good choice. The film wins in tempo here. And the many affairs that Blomkvist has, are also brought to a minimum. The only problem I had with this film, is the same I had with the book. It’s too long and the last part drags and doesn’t feel needed.
Noomi Rapace is the right choice for Lisbeth Salander. It’s a though role to play and she does an excellent job.
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is a strong thriller, that threated the source material with respect. It’s definitely better than the American version by David Fincher, which was also a good movie.

Rating: 4/ 5

zondag 23 april 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 58: The Accountant

Director: Gavin O’Connor
Genre: Action/ Crime/ Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 128 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow, Jean Smart

Description: As a math savant (Ben Affleck) uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.

Review: Christian Wolff is a extraordinary accountant. He is a magician with numbers, but also autistic and socially a bit clumsy. He has several criminals as his clients and for that reason he thought himself some skills as well. When Wolff is hired by a new client, to discover if money is disappearing from his company, everything goes a little different as planned.
I’m not the world biggest Ben Affleck fan, he is sometimes even a reason NOT to watch a film. But he really surprised me and I found him somewhat brilliant as Christian Wolff. I also enjoyed Anna Kendrick and J.K. Simmons.
Director Gavin O’Connor, who also directed “Warrior”, made a very good and solid thriller. The film keeps your attention from beginning till end. There is a good combination between thriller, action and even a little humor.
“The Accountant” really surprised me, I didn’t expect much at first.

Rating: 4/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (289)

Here are this week's trailer.

The Little Hours
Director: Jeff Baena
Description: A young servant fleeing from his master takes refuge at a convent full of emotionally unstable nuns in the middle ages.
Starring: Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Fred Armisen, Molly Shannon, Nick Offerman, Paul Reiser
Trailer: Trailer "The Little Hours"
Comment: This looks hilarious!!!

American Assassin
Director: Michael Cuesta
Description: A story centered on counterterrorism agent Mitch Rapp.
Starring: Scott Adkin, Michael Keaton, Taylor Kitsch, Dylan O'Brien, Sanaa Lathan
Trailer: Trailer "American Assassin"

Director: Robin Swicord
Description: A man's nervous breakdown causes him (Bryan Cranston) to leave his wife (Jennifer Garner) and live in his attic for several months.
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Garner, Beverly D'Angelo
Trailer: Trailer "Wakefield"
Comment: I love Bryan Cranston, I really want to see this film!

The Beguiled
Director: Sofia Coppola
Description: At a girls' school in Virginia during the Civil War, where the young women have been sheltered from the outside world, a wounded Union soldier (Colin Farrell) is taken in. Soon, the house is taken over with sexual tension, rivalries, and an unexpected turn of events.
Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Angourie Rice
Comment: I'm so glad Sofia Coppola is back as a director, she is amazing. Can't wait to see this film.

Black Butterfly
Director: Brian Goodman
Description: Outside a mountain town grappling with a series of abductions and murders, Paul (Antonio Banderas), a reclusive writer, struggles to start what he hopes will be a career-saving screenplay. After a tense encounter at a diner with a drifter named Jack (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Paul offers Jack a place to stay-and soon the edgy, demanding Jack muscles his way into Paul's work. As a storm cuts off power to the isolated cabin, the two men begin a jagged game of one-upmanship that will bring at least one tale to an end
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Piper Perabo
Trailer: Trailer "Black Butterfly"
Comment: Seems cool.

woensdag 19 april 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 57: What We Did On Our Holiday

Director: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin
Genre: Comedy/ Drama
Runtime: 95 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, Billy Connolly, Ben Miller, Celia Imrie, Amelia Bullmore, Bobby Smalldridge, Harriet Turnbull, Annette Crosbie, Lewis Davie, Ralph Riach, Ron Donachie

Description: Doug and Abi (David Tennant, Rosamund Pike) take their kids on a family vacation. Surrounded by relatives, the kids innocently reveal the ins and outs of their family life and many intimate details about their parents. It's soon clear that when it comes to keeping a big secret under wraps from the rest of the family, their children are their biggest liability... Find out how the rest of the family cope and see if the holiday will ever end.

Review: Gordie McLeod doesn’t hide that he has terminal cancer. His grandchildren aren’t supposed to know, but Gordie thinks they are old and wise enough to know the truth. These moral opposition are the most important theme of the film. “What We Did On Our Holiday” is a loveable family comedy, sort of the British answer to the American Indie “Little Miss Sunshine”. A dysfunctional family always works in a film.
Gordie is waiting for his death in Scotland. His two sons want to throw him a big 75th birthday party. With their wives and children, they travel to see him. But both sons have some troubles at home their selves.
It doesn’t sound like a comedy, but the jokes are perfect. And the fact that this dark theme doesn’t overshadow it all, is because we see it all through the eyes Doug and Abi’s kids. This is British comedy mixed with a little drama, the way I love it. The moral is not shoved in your face and the humor is sharp and not too subtle.
David Tennant, Rosamund Pike and Billy Connolly are all amazing. But it’s probably the three kids that steal the show.
I had never heard of this film before I saw it and that’s such a shame. This means that a lot of people won’t see it. Please, if you love Indie films and British humor, check out “What We Did On Our Holiday”. It’s a hidden gem.

Rating: 5/ 5

maandag 17 april 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 56: The Light Between Oceans

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 133 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz

Description: A lighthouse keeper (Michael Fassbender) and his wife (Alicia Vikander) living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from a drifting rowing boat.

Review: “The Light Between Oceans” is a film where viewers will need tissues. The plot is a bit slow, but Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander are excellent in it.
Fassbender plays Tom, a veteran that doesn’t say too much. He takes a job as a lighthouse keeper. He meets the lively Isabelle, played by Vikander. They fall in love and get married. After two miscarriages, Tom sees his wife getting more unhappy every day. One day a little boat comes ashore. It has a dead man in it and a baby. They decided not to report the boat and the dead man, a raise the little girl as their own.
The film is about loss and disappointment, sacrifice and how to deal with the past. The setting of the film is beautiful and if it wasn’t for Fassbender and Vikander, this film would be a forgettable and mediocre melodramatic film. Now it’s a more than that.

Rating: 4/ 5

zondag 16 april 2017

Movie Trailer Sunday (288)

Here are this week's trailers.

Thor: Ragnarok
Director: Taika Waitit
Description: Thor must face the Hulk in a gladiator match and save his people from the ruthless Hela.
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, Anthony Hopkins, Mark Ruffalo, Jeff Goldblum
Trailer: Trailer "Thor: Ragnarok"
Comment: And they wonder why I want to marry Chris Hemsworth...

The Hitman's Bodyguard
Director: Patrick Hughes
Description: The world's top bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) gets a new client, a hit man (Samuel L. Jackson) who must testify at the International Court of Justice. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time.
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Gary Oldman,
Trailer: Trailer "The Hitman's Bodyguard"
Comment: This looks hilarious!!!

The Bad Batch
Director: Ana Lily Amipour
Description: A dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland and set in a community of cannibals.
Starring: Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey, Diego Luna, Giovani Ribisi, Suki Waterhouse
Trailer: Trailer "The Bad Batch"
Comment: Creepy, disturbing, intriguing.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Director: Rian Johnson
Description: Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015), Rey (Daisy Ridley) continues her epic journey with Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in the next chapter of the saga.
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio Del Toro, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Warwick Davis, Lupita Nyong'o
Trailer: Trailer "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"
Comment: It has arrived....

Past Life
Director: Avi Nesher
Description: Past Life tracks the daring late 1970s odyssey of two sisters - an introverted classical musician and a rambunctious scandal sheet journalist - as they unravel a shocking wartime mystery that has cast a dark shadow on their entire lives.
Starring: Nelly Tagar, Joy Rieger, Doron Tavory, Evgenia Dodina
Trailer: Trailer "Past Life"
Comment: Looks gripping