woensdag 31 december 2014

Monthly 4 - December 2014

The end of the year and a great month to end that year.
 
 
1. I saw "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" with my brother Frank and my good friend Chris. The last chapter of the epoc story and it was an amazing movie. It's my least favorite in the series, but it was still wonderful.

2. Off course I celebrated Christmas, as Always with my parents and my brother. I love Christmas. I got some awesome presents. Especially the chopping board with my name on it was great.

3. My mom and I went to Paris for a day. Paris is such a beautiful city and with Christmas it's also gorgeous. It was an exhausting day, but worthed.
 
4. The highlight of this month, probably even of the entire year, happened on december 30th. My best Irene, who I know since I was 6, had a daughter. Her name is Vayèn and she is beautiful. It was such a special moment to see them for the first time. Now I'm "aunt" Joyce, a new role that I'm going to fulfill with joy!

maandag 29 december 2014

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 158: Edge of Tomorrow

Director: Doug Liman
Genre: Action/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 114 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Noah Taylor, Brendan Gleeson, Jeremy Piven, Laura Pulver, Charlotte Riley, Jonas Armstrong, Madeleine Mantock, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Tony Way

Description: Military officer William Cage (Tom Cruise) is brought into an alien war against an extraterrestrial enemy who can reset the day and know the future. When Cage is enabled with the same power, he teams up with Special Forces warrior Rita (Emily Blunt) to try and end the war.

Review: Tom Cruise hasn’t done anything noteworthy for a while. His last success was “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” in 2011. But Cruise didn’t give up and he decided to work together with director Doug Liman. “Edge of Tomorrow” may sound like just another action/ science fiction blockbuster, but it isn’t. It’s an amazing movie experience.
In the not so far away future, an invasion of aliens cause a lot of trouble in the world. The untrained officer William Cage ends up right in the middle of it. He’s frightened and dies within five minutes in the field. But then he wakes up and relives that exact same day. Not just once, he stays within that day and keeps dying every single time. He meets soldier Rita, who starts to train him. Cage doesn’t only get stronger, but he gets closer to the solution. Together with Rita he is trying to beat the aliens.
Movie fans will see similarities with movies like “Groundhog Day” and “Source Code”, because there the lead character relives the same day over and over again. And the look of the soldiers and aliens might remind you of “Pacific Rim”. But Doug Liman creates a complete new end product with those ingredients. Whenever Cage lands on the beach, he has to die hundreds of times to make progress. Liman avoids dullness by keeping up the pace and showing us slightly different versions of that same day. And the movie is really easy to follow despite the unconventional way of storytelling.
Tom Cruise can finally be the actor again that we want him to be. He isn’t your standard action hero, because his character starts out as a real coward. He is afraid and rather flees than fights. Along the way he finds out he can’t run anymore and he has to face his fears. Emily Blunt really proofs that she can be a kick-ass action star, Blunt was wonderful in it.
I have to be honest, I was skeptical before I saw this. But I’m glad I was wrong, because “Edge of Tomorrow” is the Tom Cruise movie I have been waiting for. The script feels fresh, it has great action and is also surprisingly humoristic.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

Me & 3 Music Movies

I’ve seen a couple of music movies lately. No, not musicals, but movies where music is the theme. In many different forms too. Here are the three movies I watched.

A Late Quartet
Genre: Drama
Year: 2012
Director: Yaron Zilberman
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Christopher Walken, Mark Ivanir, Imogen Poots, Wallace Shawn
Description: Members of a world-renowned string quartet struggle to stay together in the face of death, competing egos and insuppressible lust.
Opinion: A fantastic drama featuring some of the greatest actors of Hollywood. Surprisingly good movie!
Favorite character: Peter Mitchell (Christopher Walken)
Most memorable quote: “You treat him like a doormat and he's going to start to wonder what's outside the door”. – Alexandra Gelbart -
Best scene: The last concert that the famous quartet plays together.

Begin Again
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Year: 2013
Director: John Carney
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley, Catherine Keener, James Corden, Adam Levine, Hailee Steinfeld, Mos Def, CeeLo Green
Description: A chance encounter between disgraced music-business executive Dan (Mark Ruffalo) and young singer-songwriter Greta (Keira Knightley) turns into a promising collaboration between the two talents.
Opinion: A great feel-good movie for music lovers, a film that puts a smile on everyone’s face.
Favorite character: Dan (Mark Ruffalo)
Most memorable quote: “You know, I wasn't trying to win you over. I was telling you to fuck off.” – Greta -
Best scene: Dan and Greta walk the streets of New York and share headphones to listen to music together.

Pitch Perfect
Genre: Comedy/ Romance
Year: 2012
Director: Jason Moore
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, Skylar Astin, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Camp
Description: Beca (Anna Kendrick), a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school's all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.
Opinion: If you like the TV-show “Glee”, you’re gonna love this one. If you don’t, skip it.
Favorite character: Beca
Most memorable quote: “You guys are gonna get pitch-slapped so hard, your man boobs are gonna concave.” – Fat Amy -
Best scene: The moment where Beca starts singing “Don’t you (forget about me)” by the Simple Minds.

Favorite of the 3: “Begin Again”

zondag 28 december 2014

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 157: Her

Director: Spike Jonze
Genre: Drama/ Comedy/ Romance/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 120 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Chris Pratt, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde

Description: Lonely writer Theordore (Joaquin Phoenix) develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system (Scarlett Johansson) that's designed to meet his every need.

Review: Digital love, it seems like something impossible even in the far away future. Especially because it seems impossible for a computer to develop real feelings and thoughts. Director Spike Jonze manages to make it believable and realistic in the fantastic movie “Her”. In the futuristic Los Angeles, an endearing Joaquin Phoenix and the sexy voice of Scarlet Johansson tell a confronting and distressing love story.
Theodore is a writer of love letters, that are send by him in someone else’s name. His life is structured by an operating system, that he places in his ear, that he’s only disconnected from when he’s asleep. Theodore buys a new intelligent operating system. Her name is Samantha, but she doesn’t just feel like an operating system.
Because Scarlett Johansson lend her voice to Samantha, it feels familiar. You believe the connection between her and Theodore, even though it sounds so strange and disturbing. There is not a moment you think of Samantha as just an operating system.
The complete atmosphere in “Her” feels so real. The décor, costumes and everything around them looks perfect. This in combination with the great acting performance by Joaquin Phoenix make “Her” an absolute joy to watch.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 156: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Director: Bryan Singer
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Fantasy/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 132 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Shawn Ashmore

Description: The X-Men send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

Review: In “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, Wolverine is send back in time to stop mutants from going under. The X-Men are threatened by Sentinels, robots who have to exterminate mutants. Many mutants have lost the battle against them and all hope is set on Wolverine. His goal is to stop the inventor from going through with his plans. Wolverine gets help from a young Professor Xavier and Magneto.
Bryan Singer returns as a director, he also directed “X-Men” and “X2”. He doesn’t stay close to the original source material, which could bother fans. Yet “X-Men: Days of Future Past” was very well received by the audience and is so far the highest rated movie in the series.
Again the movie is filled with beautiful special effects, but I did miss the more emotional and personal touch that “X-Men: First Class” had. The focus is on Wolverine, but also on Charles Xavier and Magneto. The connection between Hank McCoy aka Beasy and Mystique, that was a storyline in the previous film, is never spoken of. Actors Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender do work well together and it’s a joy to watch them together.
Although I enjoyed watching “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, it didn’t live up to my expectations. It’s a good looking movie, but it lacked depth.

Rating: 3/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (170)

Here are this weeks trailers.

The Longest Ride
Description: Luke (Scott Eastwood) is a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia (Britt Robertson), a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City’s art world. As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected and fateful connection with Ira (Alan Alda), whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple.
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Starring: Alan Alda, Jack Huston, Oona Chaplin, Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood
Comment: That's Clint Eastwood's son, damn!

Woman in Gold
Description: Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Klimt's famous painting 'The Lady in Gold'. Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), she embarks upon a major battle which takes them all the way to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the U.S. Supreme Court, and forces her to confront difficult truths about the past along the way.
Director: Alexi Kaye Campbell
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Katie Holmes, Daniel Brühl, Helen Mirren
Comment: It might be good.

Entourage
Description: Movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), together with his boys, Eric (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and Johnny (Kevin Dillon), are back…and back in business with super agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven). Some of their ambitions have changed, but the bond between them remains strong as they navigate the capricious and often cutthroat world of Hollywood.
Director: Doug Ellin
Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Jeremy Piven, Nora Dunn, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Kevin Dillon, Debi Mazar, Adrian Grenier, Jerry Ferrara, Rhys Coiro, Kevin Connolly, Haley Joel Osment, Constance Zimmer, Perrey Reeves, Emily Ratajkowski, Rex Lee
Comment: Finally! I used to love this show, it's awesome.

Wild Card
Description: Nick Wild (Jason Statham) is a Las Vegas bodyguard with lethal professional skills and a personal gambling problem. When a friend is beaten by a sadistic thug, Nick strikes back, only to find out the thug is the son of a powerful mob boss. Suddenly Nick is plunged into the criminal underworld, chased by enforcers and wanted by the mob. Having raised the stakes, Nick has one last play to change his fortunes…and this time, it’s all or nothing.
Director: Simon West
Starring: Michael Angarano, Anne Heche, Hope Davis, Milo Ventimiglia, Jason Statham, Stanley Tucci, Sofia Vergara, Jason Alexander, Davenia McFadden, Max Casella, Chris Browning, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, Francois Vincentelli, Matthew Willig, Greice Santo
Comment: Because I'm such a Jason Statham fan (sense the sarcasm...)

Kill Me Three Times
Description: In the Australian surfing town of Eagle's Nest, a young woman is the thread that binds three tales of murder, blackmail and revenge.
Director: Kriv Stenders
Starring: Simon Pegg, Teresa Palmer, Alice Braga, Sullivan Stapleton, Bryan Brown, Callan Mulvey, Luke Hemsworth
Comment: Yeah, Simon Pegg!!!

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 155: Locke

Director: Steven Knight
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 85 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott, Ben Daniels, Tom Holland, Bill Milner, Danny Webb, Alice Lowe, Silas Carson, Lee Ross, Kirsty Dillon

Description: Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy), a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his carefully cultivated existence.

Review: One and a half hour of Tom Hardy driving a car from Birmingham to London. Doesn’t really sound exciting, but that’s the tendency of the movie. Director Steven Knight directs his second movie, with an amazing scenario.
The perfectly planned life of construction manager Ivan Locke is about to change. His loving family is waiting for him at home, while he is about to close the biggest deal of his career. The evening before, Ivan is forced to make a long trip to London. On that trip we find out that instead of building his perfect life, it’s ruined forever.
“Locke” is more a radio play then it is a traditional movie. This doesn’t mean there is nothing going on. There are more movies that had one character in only one location the entire runtime of the film. Look at “Phone Booth”, “127 Hours” and “Buried”. They were all in life threatening situations. “Locke” isn’t like that, but the great scenario keeps you on the edge of your seat anyway. The unexpected developments in the story make sure you keep your attention at all times.
Tom Hardy shows off his acting skills, he is one of the best and most wanted actors in Hollywood at the moment. Hardy is the only actor we see, the rest of the cast we only hear over the phone.
“Locke” proofs that you don’t need much to make a good film. The great performance by Tom Hardy make this car ride one you wouldn’t easily forget.

Rating: 4/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 154: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 136 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Robert Redford, Hayley Atwell, Sebastion Stan, Toby Jones, Frank Grillo, Gary Shandling

Description: Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.

Review: Off course we could expect a sequel to “Captain America: The First Avenger”, a movie about the patriotic superhero that got mixed reviews in 2011. In “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, Steve Rogers tries, like his Avenger colleagues, to get his life together after the big battle in New York (in the movie “The Avengers” from 2012). He is trying to find his place in society, but working for S.H.I.E.L.D. keeps him busy. Together with Black Widow, aka Natasha Romanoff, he solves problems easily, but Steve starts doubting S.H.I.E.L.D. When he is about to discover a conspiracy, the mysterious Winter Soldier enters the playing field.
I think I was one of the few people that actually really liked “Captain America: The First Avenger”. Off all the superheroes, Captain America has the least impressive powers, but he has always been my favorite. In “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” he proofs that again. The movie does this cool superhero justice. Chris Evans shows us again that he was the perfect choice to play the role of Steve Rogers. It’s also great to see Scarlett Johansson in a bigger role as Black Widow. This movie actually made her a real character.
The action sequences are pure joy, with minimal use of CGI. Off course it sometimes feels a bit over the top.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is a great action movie, with a strongly written script, sharp humor and outstanding action scenes. It’s probably one of the best Marvel movies. If you wait until after the credits, we see a cool preview of “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. People keep saying that there is a superhero movie overkill. I don’t agree, if they are all as good as this.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

zaterdag 27 december 2014

Video of the Week (32)

This is the perfect video for this week, the last video I will share this year. A couple, Michael and Carissa aka Us the Duo, sing covers. And in this video they sing the tophits of 2014. Really awesome!
 
 

donderdag 25 december 2014

Top 5 Thursday: Movie Playlist of the Year 2014

I decided to do something new, I’ve never done this before. I wanted to make a list of the five coolest, most awesome songs in movies of 2014. And it took me a while to go through all of them, because movies this year brought us some great songs. They might not be the most popular songs, you won’t find all of them in the charts, but that doesn’t take away any of their awesomeness. Here is the playlist.

5. Mr. Mustafa by Alexandre Desplat (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”)
Alexandre Desplat is an amazing composer and he made some wonderful music for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, one of the best movies of 2014 and also one of my faovrites of the year. Fun fact: he also wrote music for this year’s “Godzilla”, “The Monuments Men”, “Unbroken” and “The Imitation Game”. Does this man ever sleep?
 
 
4. Lost Stars by Adam Levine (“Begin Again”)
I loved this movie and its soundtrack. This song I just can’t get out of my head, it’s so good! Not a Maroon 5 fan, but Adam Levine nails this song!
 
 
3. Anthonio (Berlin Breakdown Version) by Annie (“The Guest”)
This synthy, John Carpenter-esque cut was part of one of the nicest surprises of the year. From a distance, “The Guest” looked like a fairly standard genre piece, but it was so much more. And Dan Stevens also is one of the biggest breakthrough stars of the year.
 
 
2. Everything is Awesome by Tegan and Sara ft. The Lonely Island (“The Lego Movie”)
There are earworms and then there is “Everything is Awesome”. So catchy that the mere mention of its name can instigate mass chanting, it’s hard to believe that it was created by people.
 
 
1. Yellow Flicker Beat by Lorde (“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2”)
It may be overshadowed by “The Hanging Tree”, but this is the best song of the soundtrack. And my favourite song of this year’s movie playlist.
 
 
They Almost Made the Top 5: Solomon by Hans Zimmer (“12 Years a Slave”), Love me Tomorrow by John Newman (“Edge of Tommorow”), Old Man by Neil Young (“The Expendables 3”), Come and Get Your Love by Redbon (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Hero by Family of the Year (“Boyhood”), American Interior by Gruff Rhys (“American Interior”), We Build This City by Starship (“The Skeleton Twins”), The Hanging Tree by Jennifer Lawrence (“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1”)

zondag 21 december 2014

Movie Trailer Sunday (169)

Here are this weeks trailers.

The Walk
Description: Twelve people have walked on the moon, but only one man has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. Guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, Petit *Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his gang overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Schwartz, Charlotte Le Bon, Clément Sibony, César Domboy
Comment: Amazing story, hopefully a fantastic movie!

Get Hard
Description: When millionaire hedge fund manager James (Will Ferrell) is nailed for fraud and bound for a stretch in San Quentin, the judge gives him 30 days to get his affairs in order. Desperate, he turns to Darnell (Kevin Hart) to prep him for a life behind bars. But despite James’ one-percenter assumptions, Darnell is a hard-working small business owner who has never received a parking ticket, let alone been to prison. Together, the two men do whatever it takes for James to “get hard” and, in the process, discover how wrong they were about a lot of things – including each other.
Director: Etan Cohen
Starring: Will Ferrell, Craig T. Nelson, Kevin Hart, Tip "T.I." Harris, Alison Brie
Comment: Will Ferrell is enough to make my day!

The Babadook
Description: Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Noah Wiseman, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, Ben Winspear
Director: Jennifer Kent
Starring: Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her 'out of control' 6-year-old, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel's dreams are plagued by a sinister monster he believes is coming to kill them both. When a disturbing storybook called 'The Babadook' turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he's been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control and as he becomes more unpredictable and violent, Amelia is genuinely frightened by her son's behavior. But when Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about may be real.
Comment: According to Chris Stuckmann this is one of the scariest horror movies and the best of the year. I'm probably not going to watch this alone...

True Story
Description: When disgraced New York Times reporter Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) meets accused killer Christian Longo (James Franco) – who has taken on Finkel’s identity – his investigation morphs into an unforgettable game of cat-and-mouse. Based on actual events, Finkel’s relentless pursuit of Longo’s true story encompasses murder, love, deceit and redemption.
Director: Rupert Goold
Starring: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Felicity Jones
Comment: I'm not a Jonah Hill fan, but he actually surprised me already in this trailer. And James Franco is off course a favorite of mine.

It Follows
Description: After a strange sexual encounter, a teenager finds herself plagued by disturbing visions and the inescapable sense that something is following her. For 19-year-old Jay (Monroe), the fall should be about school, boys and weekends at the lake. Yet, after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter she suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions; she can't shake the sensation that someone, or something, is following her. As the threat closes in, Jay and her friends must somehow escape the horrors that are only a few steps behind.
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Starring: Keir Gilchrist, Maika Monroe, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe
Comment: It actually looks very good, because I don't really know what it's about.

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 153: Inside Llewyn Davis

Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 105 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Adam Driver, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham, Alex Karpovsky, Max Casella, Ricardo Cordero, Ethan Phillips, Stark Sands, Jake Ryan

Description: A week in the life of the young singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

Review: Llewyn Davis is a homeless singer songwriter fighting for his life as a musician. In a journey from one bar to another, he meets various people that all don’t know how to deal with the desolate songwriter. The film comes to life when John Goodman, as jazz musician Roland Turner, enters the story. With his sharp observations and arrogance he manages to illustrate the clash between folk and jazz in a hilarious way.
To make this movie not a standard film about music, the Coen Brothers added some typical Coen elements. Genius dialogues, intimate songs and perfects shots. Especially an absurd studio session where Llewyn joins a satirical evocation to president Kennedy, it has a definite Coen signature on it.
Oscar Isaac us very good as Llewyn Davis and he has a surprisingly good singing voice. The movie is not perfect, but The Coen Brothers made a great film. They can make a great story with the simplest material.

Rating: 4/ 5

zaterdag 20 december 2014

Video of the Week (31)

I'm a huge "CSI" fan and this video makes me a bit jealous. Lindsay Wheeler got to meet the cast, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Awesome for her!!

Marry, Kiss, Cliff - Round 7

Round 7: James Hunt (“Rush”), Bob Rueland (“Return to Me”) and Andy Dufresne (“The Shawshank Redemption”)

Marry: Bob Rueland is a very kind and loving man. He has to deal with losing his wife, which could be troubling, but still.

Kiss: I’m kind of looking past the arrogance here, because James Hunt is great eye candy. That’s why I’m choosing to just kiss him and not marry him.

Cliff: I know Andy Dufresne is innocent and I LOVE Andy, but I don’t think it would be great to date a guy who’s in prison. I am patient, but I don’t know if I can wait 19 years for him to finally break out of Shawshank.

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 152: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Director: Peter Jackson
Genre: Adventure/ Fantasy/ Action
Runtime: 144 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Manu Bennett, Aidan Turner, Graham McTavish, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Stephen Fry, Billy Connolly, Mikael Persbrandt, Dan O’Gorman, Bret McKenzie, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Ryan Gage, Sylvester McCoy, William Kircher, Peter Hambleton, Adam Brown, Jed Brophy, Stephen Hunter, Lawrence Makoare, John Bell, Mark Hadlow, John Callen

Description: Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and obliterating all of Middle-Earth.

Review: Finally the last chapter of Peter Jackson’s take on the book “The Hobbit” has arrived. After the two previous movies, which were successes, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” has turned into an adventure spectacle. It didn’t manage to involve the audience as much, because the story isn’t as good as the other two films.
It was frustrating to see “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” end so abruptly, but understandable for Jackson to leave the confrontation with the dragon for the final movie. The story picks up exactly where we were left. We see how dragon Smaug is destroying Laketown. With that, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” has the best opening scene of the three films. The action is spectacular and sometimes filmed from Smaug’s perspective, as if you were on his back. I wouldn’t mind for this sequence to take a bit longer.
The big battle looks amazing and is again filled with new great looking creatures. The battle itself could feel meaningless for viewers, because it’s all for a big amount of gold. Only the people of Laketown have a relatable motive for fighting in the war, because they want to rebuild their lives. When the Orks join the battle, the stakes change.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” had an emotional component, because the dwarves wanted to recapture their home. Because Thorin has changed and he becomes greedy, it’s hard to sympathize him when he changes his mind. You actually understand the decisions Bilbo makes. I also liked that Bard’s role was bigger, who probably is my favorite character of the series.
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is a good conclusion to the trilogy, which emphasizes more on the action then on the emotional journey Biblo and his dwarf friends are on. Even though Peter Jackson has done this many times before, it’s amazing to see how creative he can still be. I think Jackson’s creative mind has no limits. And the ending, that is the beginning of “The Lord of The Rings” trilogy, brings back warm memories. It’s my least favorite of the trilogy, but again entertaining as hell.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

donderdag 18 december 2014

Quotables: "Nightcrawler"

I recently saw this movie and it’s one of the best movies of the year. It surprised me really. Jake Gyllenhaal is phenomenal and there are some great quotes. Here are they, and almost all of them are by Gyllenhaal’s character Lou Bloom.

Lou Bloom: What if my problem wasn't that I don't understand people but that I don't like them? What if I was the kind of person who was obliged to hurt you for this? I mean physically. I think you'd have to believe afterward, if you could, that agreeing to participate and then backing out at the critical moment was a mistake. Because that's what I'm telling you, as clearly as I can.

Lou Bloom: Who am I? I'm a hard worker. I set high goals and I've been told that I'm persistent.

Lou Bloom: Do you know what fear stands for? False Evidence Appearing Real.
 
 
Lou Bloom: Why you pursue something is as important as what you pursue.

Lou Bloom: I feel like grabbing you by your ears right now and screaming, "I'm not fucking interested!". Instead, I'm going to drive home and do some accounting.

Lou Bloom: The name of my company is Video Production News, a professional news-gathering service. That's how it should be read and that's how it should be said. I also want to go to the next rung and meet your team, and the station manager, and the director, and the anchors, and start developing my own personal relationships. I'd like to start meeting them this morning. You'll take me around and you'll introduce me as the owner and president of Video Production News, and remind them of some of many other stories. I'm not done. I also want to stop our discussion over prices. This will save time. So when I say that a particular number is my lowest price, that's my lowest price and you can be assured at whatever that number is very carefully. Now, when I say I want these things, I mean that I want them and I don't want to have to ask again.
 
 
Nina Romina: You don't work with me, you're someone I sell to. And I don't wanna fuck that up.
Lou Bloom: What if by saying no you fuck it up?

Lou Bloom: Get out of your head, Rick, it's a bad neighborhood.

Top 5 Thursday: Movies to Look Forward to in 2015

The year 2014 is almost over and it has brought us some great movies. But 2015 is just around the corner and I’m already excited about some movies. Here are the five movies I’m most looking forward to.
 
5. In the Heart of the Sea
The trailer looks amazing and Chris Hemsworth is… well also amazing. Looking forward to seeing this cool film.
 
 
4. Avengers: Age of Ultron
“The Avengers” is one of the best Marvel movies ever made and I can’t wait to continue this wild adventure with the cool superheroes. The trailer is awesome and I’m super excited.
 
 
3. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Off course this is on my list, I can’t wait to see how it ends. Well… I already know how it ends, but I want to see it on the big screen.
 
 
2. The Hateful Eight
Although we don’t know much about the movie yet, I’m also in the mood for a Quentin Tarantino movie. It’s about time that he releases a new film.
 
 
1. Jurassic World
Without a doubt this is my number one. I have watched the trailer over ten times already, that’s how excited I am. I hope I will not be disappointed, but Chris Pratt is enough to keep me happy. And that awesome dinosaur jumping out of the water!
 
 
They Almost Made the Top 5: Ant-Man, Terminator Genisys, The Walk, St. James Place (working title, official title still has to be released), Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road, Ted 2, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

woensdag 17 december 2014

Movie Moments: "The Lost World: Jurassic Park"

The first time I did this item was august 14th 2011. The movie: “Jurassic Park”. So it’s time that I’m looking a little closer to the sequel “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”, that I think is also wonderful. Here are my favorite moments from the movie.

Moment # 1: The little girl
In the opening scene we see a couple and their daughter spending time on an island. The girl is exploring the sight and finds some little creatures. At first they are friendly, but soon the small dinosaurs appear a little less innocent then they are.

Moment # 2: Stegosaurus
Ian Malcolm is forced to go to the island, to get his girlfriend Sarah back. When he finds her, Sarah sees a baby stegosaurus. She wants to photograph him and Ian knows she will be getting too close. When Sarah runs out of film, the baby doesn’t like the sound of it and calls out for his mom. And they are mad!

Moment # 3: Baby Rex
After freeing the dinosaurs that were captured, Owen decided to take the baby Tyrannosaurus Rex with him because his leg is broken. Sarah and Owen get him into the trailer, but son mommy and daddy come looking for their baby.

Moment # 4: Compsognathus attack
While the group is resting, Dieter needs to take a leak and wanders of in the woods. He is followed by a group of little compsognathus. They won’t leave him alone and attack him. Dieter can’t find his way back and it’s a painful death for Dieter.

Moment # 5: Tent
The group is trying to get some sleep and Ian’s daughter Kelly and Sarah are sleeping in a tent. Their sleep will soon be disturbed when a Tyrannosaurus Rex is coming to camp. He checks out the tent. When one of the people starts to scream, everyone has to run away.

Moment # 6: Long grass
When the group goes into the long grass, which is a very bad idea, they don’t realize a group of hungry velociraptors is surrounding them. From different angles they attack and pull down people in the grass.

Moment # 7: Facing of raptors
While trying to find a save place, Ian, Sarah and Kelly stand eye in eye with two velociraptors.

Moment # 8: T-Rex in San Diego
It’s a brilliant plan to capture a Tyrannosaurus Rex and then bring it to the big city, right? No! It eats everyone on the ship and breaks out.



Favorite Moment:
Moment # 3 : Baby Rex

dinsdag 16 december 2014

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 151: Something Borrowed

Director: Luke Greenfield
Genre: Comedy/ Romance/ Drama
Runtime: 113 minutes
Year: 2011
Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, John Krasinski, Colin Egglesfield, Steve Howey

Description: Friendships are tested and secrets come to the surface when terminally single Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) falls for Dex (Colin Egglesfield), her best friend Darcy's (Kate Hudson) fiancé.

Review: Poor Dex, he earns heaps of money as a lawyer in Manhattan, can smile like Tom Cruise, can get every woman he wants and gets a mansion from his father. But Dex wants to teach, he doesn’t do it, but he wants to. And his love life also shakes up his stabile life. The ideal son in law is torn between the serious and single lawyer Rachel and the partying and outgoing Darcy.
A romantic comedy like “Something Borrowed” is about love and the problems that come with it. Viewers love it. The movie looks like a perfectly styled soda commercial, with picture perfect fashionably dressed people, sunny weather, hip clubs, New York apartments and a house in the Hamptons. Rachel is the one to mess it all up, by having a ‘fun night’ with Dex, the man who is about to marry her best friend Darcy. How the two are friends is a big mystery, they have nothing in common. There has always been something between Dex and Rachel, but right before the wedding is the perfect time to actually speak about those feelings.
A romcom is a genre where, as a viewer, you have certain expectations and you always know the outcome somehow. It’s like unwrapping a present when you can already see by its shape what’s inside it.
Kate Hudson is good in her role, but she didn’t manage to make me feel any form of sympathy. Ginnifer Goodwin is likeable as Rachel, but it’s a character she has played before and she brings nothing new to the screen. Colin Egglesfield as Dex is okay. I think he’s just another pretty face and very forgettable. John Krasinski, who was only given a supporting role, is the only character I could relate to, he was the only sensible one and I actually sympathized with him. It also has to do with Krasinski’s high likeability level. He’s the only actor that gets away with the comedy part of the movie.
“Something Borrowed” is not a very original movie, filled with romcom clichés. Thanks to John Krasinski it was a bearable film to watch and the movie did have its moments. But overall it’s a meaningless romcom that will easily be forgotten.

Rating: 2/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 150: De Poel

Director: Chris W. Mitchell
Genre: Drama/ Horror
Runtime: 80 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Gijs Scholten van Aschat, Carine Crutzen, Bart Klever, Chris Peters, Alex hendricks, Jamie Grant, Katje Herbers

Description: Lennaert (Gijs Scholten van Aschat) takes his wife, two sons, a friend and his daughter on a hiking trip in the woods. After a long search for a spot to set up camp, the father finds a perfect place overlooking a pool. Everybody seems to get settled quickly and when the night falls the two sons listen to a ghost story told by their father's friend at the campfire. The youngest son begins to have strange dreams and bizarre occurrences begin to develop at the camp side.

Review: For us Dutch people camping is the ultimate holiday feeling. Bare feet in the grass, barbequing and a six pack of beer within reach and the kids having fun in the pool or lake. Some people hate it, but in the Dutch horror movie “De Poel” we see how really bad a camping trip can be.
Two families go camping, but choose a place where it’s actually not allowed to set up camp. Lennaert takes his wife SIlke and their two sons Marco and Jan on this trip. Together with Lennaert’s friend Rob and his daughter Emily he wants to make it unforgettable. Lennaert is also the only one who’s excited about the trip. After a day, all their freshly bought meat has gone bad and they have to find their own food. With all that, son Jan starts having weird dreams about the lake and also Lennaert sees visions and hears voices.
The scenario is strong and the characters are well written too. This horror flick doesn’t have a lot of gore, but it’s more focused on the atmosphere. No shock effects and it actually doesn’t really feel like a horror movie. It’s not a scary film, it’s more a thriller.
The acting is good, especially Gijs Scholten van Aschat and Carice Crutzen stand out. The other actors are all above average as well.
“De Poel” is a pretty good film, but shouldn’t be titled as a horror movie.

Rating: 3/ 5

zondag 14 december 2014

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 149: The Skeleton Twins

Director: Craig Johnson
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Runtime: 93 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell, Boyd Holbrook

Description: Having both coincidentally cheated death on the same day, estranged twins reunite with the possibility of mending their relationship.

Review: Milo Dean is unhappy with his life and decides to step out of it. Right at the time that his estranged twin sister Maggie wants to take a pill overdose, she gets a call that Milo is in the hospital. It brings the two back together after ten years of not speaking to each other.
That Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig work well together, we have already seen on “Saturday Night Live”. They were part of the cast for many years. The two of them team up again in “The Skeleton Twins” and it works like a charm. It’s clear that the duo had a lot of fun making it and they are well attuned. Especially the scene were Milo is trying to make Maggie feel better by lip syncing to an eighties song, you can see how well Wiig and Hader function on screen as a duo.
What I found fascinating was to see all these comedic actors in more serious roles. Kristen Wiig has already proven a couple of times that she can also do light drama. Bill Hader also finds his way around the genre. Luke Wilson and Ty Burrell, who have supporting roles, are both convincing as well. When you put drama and comedy on a scale, it wouldn’t be balanced, because the drama has the upper hand. Although the movie deals with some heavy themes, the drama is kept light by the touch of comedy that sometimes has a dark edge.
“The Skeleton Twins” is a strong drama, that especially succeeds because of the great chemistry between the two lead actors. It’s their power that made us care for them and their story.

Rating: 4/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 148: Nightcrawler

Director: Dan Gilroy
Genre: Drama/ Crime/ Thriller
Runtime: 117 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Rick Garcia

Description: When Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal), a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran.

Review: The word “Nightcrawler” can mean many things. In this case it’s not the newest X-Men spin-off or a movie about worms. Here it means journalists who deliver newsworthy happenings that occur at night.
This tingling theme is translated to film by scenario writer Dan Gilroy, who makes his directorial debut with “Nightcrawler”. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead role, who lost 20 pounds to make his character come to life. Who says method acting is dead? He’s koined by Rene Russo, the directors wife, and it’s great to see her in a good film again. Bill Paxton plays a fellow nightcrawler.
Lou Bloom is trying to sell stolen construction material, but it doesn’t get him a lot of money. When Lou witnesses a traffic collision, he sees freelance journalists filming the accident. His new life goal is to become successful in that business. After some rookie mistakes, he starts getting the hang of it and he actually has talent for it. But Lou soon goes beyond boundaries and gets obsessed with the job, by losing all his morals and ethics.
Like “Collateral” and “Drive”, night time Los Angeles is the décor for “Nightcrawler”. The City of Angels is filmed beautifully and adds something to the already gripping atmosphere.
Jake Gyllenhaal can join the club of actors, with for instance Matthew McConaughey and Tom Hardy, who land one good role after another. After being in “Prisoners” and “Enemy”, his portrayal of Lou Bloom might be his best performance so far.
Knowing that the theme of “Nightcrawler” is based on reality, make it very worrying. The tension is very high at times. “Nightcrawler” might just be one of the best films of 2014, a joy for every movie fan.

Rating: 5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 147: Prometheus

Director: Ridley Scott
Genre: Actie/ Science Fiction/ Horror
Runtime: 126 minutes
Year: 2012
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Patrick Wilson

Description: A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

Review: Director Ridley Scott doesn’t make it easy for himself. He tried to tell a story, located in the universe of his own classic “Alien” from 1979, to answer one question: where do we come from? Man who wants to meet his maker. Scientists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway find a series of identical cave drawings in 2089. They think they know the answer to that question and billionaire Peter Weyland sets up an expedition. On spaceship Prometheus they are on a search for the truth.
The Prometheus arrives, with a crew of seventeen, on a planet similar to the one in “Alien”. The tension is built because you don’t know why each of the crew members are on the mission. The distant Meredith Vickers has to lead the crew and her help is android David.
Scott could have chosen to play out a cat and mouse game, but instead he focuses on David. His plans are revealed little by little, but it’s clear he’s the one with the most dangerous mission. Dangerous for mankind. The questions isn’t who is going to survive, but why David does what he does. There is no emotional impact whenever one of the crew member dies. And even though some scenes are pretty gruesome, they are never as anguished as in “Alien”.
The movie is visually stunning and detailed. This movie is beautiful in 3D. But beautiful pictures alone don’t make a good movie. Scott made this movie a bit too simplistic and the characters lack intelligence and depth. “Prometheus” is still a pretty good movie.

Rating: 3/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 146: Total Recall

Director: Len Wiseman
Genre: Actie/ Science Fiction/ Thriller
Runtime: 118 minutes
Year: 2012
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy, John Cho

Description: A factory worker, Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Rekall - a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led - goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.

Review: Remakes of big movies are really popular these days. You take a big film from the last twenty to twenty five years, modernize it a bit, throw in some famous actors and a success is guaranteed. Right? There are movies that where ready for a remake, like “Cape Fear” by Martin Scorsese or “Ocean’s 11” by Steven Soderbergh. And the Hitchcock classic “Psycho” was a film that didn’t really need that at all. Len Wiseman’s “Total Recall” falls right in the middle.
It’s 2084 and due to a chemical war the biggest part of the world is uninhabitable. Two big areas fight for the power on earth. Factory worker Douglas Quaid lives in The Colony with his wife Lori. He has a recurring dream where he and a woman are being chased. Quaid wants more from his life and he decides to visit the company Rekall. They implant memories. Quaid chooses a memory as a secret agent, but before they can implant it something goes wrong and he turns out to be a wanted man. When Quaid is chased by the police he finds out that nothing is what it seems.
With a remake it’s hard not to compare. “Total Recall” from 1990 was Paul Verhoeven’s break. The biggest difference between the two movies is that in the original the planet Mars is a big part of the film. In the new one, the movie is set on planet earth. Verhoeven’s version had some self-mockery, but Wiseman is going for a more serious approach and gives it a political touch. And the look of the film reminds you a bit of “Blade Runner” as well. Originality is hard to find here. It does look very good, the visuals and action sequences are amazing. But it’s hard to take in the environment because it all goes in warp speed.
Colin Farrell is off course a better actor then Arnold Schwarzengger and he’s a believable action hero. My biggest problem with the film is that you never really know if the events really happened or were all in Quaid’s head.
“Total Recall” is an entertaining action/ sci-fi film that takes itself a bit too seriously. Visually it’s stunning and Colin Farrell is doing a solid job as Quaid. But the movie never convinces you the way the original did.

Rating: 3/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (168)

Here are this weeks trailers.

The Loft
Description: It's the story of five married guys who conspire to secretly share a penthouse loft in the city, a place where they can carry out hidden affairs and indulge in their deepest fantasies. But the fantasy becomes a nightmare when they discover the dead body of an unknown woman in the loft, and they realize one of the group must be involved. Paranoia seizes them as everyone begins to suspect one another. Friendships are tested, loyalties are questioned and marriages crumble as the group is consumed by fear, suspicion and murder in this relentless thriller.
Director: Erik Van Looy
Starring: James Marsden, Karl Urban, Rachael Taylor, Rhona Mitra, Isabel Lucas, Wentworth Miller, Eric Stonestreet, Matthias Schoenaerts
Comment: I already shared this trailer a long time ago (checked: august 2012). This is an extended version and it's finally coming out this january.
 
Insurgent
Description: Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart.
Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer, Theo James, Shailene Woodley, Jonny Weston, Rosa Salazar, Suki Waterhouse, Keiynan Lonsdale
Comment: Haven't seen "Divergent" yet, but did read the books though.

The Gunman
Description: An international spy (Sean Penn) must clear his name in order to save himself from the organization that he used to work for.
Director: Pierre Morel
Starring: Ray Winstone, Jasmine Trinca, Javier Bardem, Sean Penn, Idris Elba, Mark Rylance
Comment: Sean Penn is super cool, I think this is going to be a good movie.

Mad Max: Fury Road
Description: An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There's Max (Tom Hardy), a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland.
Director: George Miller
Starring: Charlize Theron, Megan Gale, Tom Hardy, John Howard, Nathan Jones, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Richard Carter, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Courtney Eaton, Josh Helman, Jennifer Hagan, iOTA , Angus Sampson, Joy Smithers, Gillian Jones, Melissa Jaffer, Melita Jurisic
Comment: My adreline was pumping while watching this trailer!

Tracers
Description: Wanted by the mafia, a new York City bike Messenger (Taylor Lautner) escapes into the world of parkour after meeting a beautiful stranger.
Director: Daniel Benmayor
Starring: Taylor Lautner, Marie Avgeropoulos
Comment: The name Taylor Lautner is probably warning enough for me not to watch this movie.