zaterdag 28 februari 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 32: Non-Stop

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Genre: Action/ Thriller
Runtime: 106 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy, Michelle Dockery, Nate Parker, Corey Stoll, Lupita Nyong’o, Omar Metwally, Jason Butler Hamer, Linus ROache, Shea Whigham, Anson Mount, Quinn McColgan, Corey Hawkins, Frank Deal, Bar Paly, Edoardo Costa, Jon Abrahams, Amanda Quaid

Description: Air marshal Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) springs into action during a transatlantic flight after receiving a series of text messages that put his fellow passengers at risk unless the airline transfers $150 million into an off-shore account.

Review: Liam Neeson got his break with the big audience by playing the role of Oscar Schindler in “Schindler’s List”. Now, in his sixties, Neeson is most known for his action movies. In “Non-Stop” he plays an air marshal.
This air marshall, Bil Marks, has a hard life. He doesn’t like his job and drinks. He gets threats over the phone, where the unknown caller claims to murder a passenger when Marks doesn’t transfer a large amount of money to a bank account.
“Non-Stop” is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. He and Neeson also worked together on “Unknown”. “Non-Stop” is an entertaining movie, with a high tempo and with weird plot twist that seem incredible. But the solid acting by Neeson and the visual flair of Cobet-Serra make it enjoyable. Neeson has a killer charisma. Julianne Moore has a supporting role, but is underused.
I think that this is an easily forgettable movie, because the thriller lacks depth. But for a week night, it’s a good popcorn movie that Liam Neeson fans will appreciate.

Rating: 3/ 5

donderdag 26 februari 2015

Top 5 Thursday: Movie Sidekicks

A great hero is nothing without its sidekick. Here are my five favorite movie sidekicks.

5. Cato Fong (“A Shot in the Dark”)
He is the man-servant of Inspector Clouseau. Cato Fong basically has one rule he must live by: constantly and unexpectedly attacking Clouseau to keep his wits sharp.
4. Hit Girl (“Kick Ass”)
Call her a sidekick and she will probably kick your teeth in. This mini superhero is handy with all sorts of weaponry and has a really smart mouth.
3. Garth (“Wayne’s World”)
Garth is terrified of girls, but his priorities lie win strumming to the key of rock with fellow music fan Wayne. And he has a permanent grin on his face.
2. Cosmo Brown (“Singin’ in the Rain”)
He is silent film star Don Lockwood’s best friend. His ditty musical number “Make ‘em Laugh” made him win me over!
1. Danny (“Hot Fuzz”)
Danny is a bumbling good-heart small-time cop with small-time deals. Everyone loves Danny!
They Almost Made the Top 5: Spock (“Star Trek), Short Round (“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”), Dr. Watson (“Sherlock Holmes”), Bubba (“Forrest Gump”), Harry Dunne (“Dumb & Dumber”), Donkey (“Shrek”), Buzz Lightyear (“Toy Story”), Goose (“Top Gun”), Ron and Hermione (“Harry Potter” series), Dr. Emmett Brown (“Back to the Future”), Chewbacca (“Star Wars” series), Dory (“Finding Nemo”) Wilson (“Cast Away”)

woensdag 25 februari 2015

Me and 3 "Toy Story" Movies

I rewatched the complete “Toy Story” trilogy last weekend and it’s actually one of my favorites movie series of all time. It’s going to have another sequel in 2017, but for now it’s the perfect opportunity to use those three movies for this item.

Toy Story
Genre: Animation/ Family/ Comedy/ Adventure
Year: 1995
Director: John Lasseter
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, John Morris, Erik von Detten, Laurie Metcalf, R. Lee Ermey, Sarah Freeman, Penn Jillette, Jack Angel, Spencer Aste
Description: Cowboy doll Woody (Tom hanks) is profoundly threatened and jealous when the new spaceman figure Buzz (Tim Allen) supplants him as top toy in a boy's room.
Opinion: Groundbreaking at the time, because it was the first fully computer animated cartoon. It looks stunning and it gave us some of the greatest Disney characters of all time.
Favorite character: Rex (voiced by Wallace Shawn)
Most memorable quote: “What if Andy gets another dinosaur? A mean one? I just don't think I can take that kind of rejection!” – Rex -
Best scene: The moment where Rex is trying to scare Woody, but he doesn’t seem impressed at all.

Toy Story 2
Genre: Animation/ Family/ Comedy/ Adventure
Year: 1999
Director: John Lasseter, Ash Brannon, Le Unkrich
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, John Morris, Laurie Metcalf, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammar, Wayne Knight, Estelle Harris, Jodi Benson, Joe Ranft
Description: When Woody (Tom Hanks) is stolen by a toy collector (Wayne Knight), Buzz (Tim Allen) and his friends vow to rescue him, but Woody finds the idea of immortality in a museum tempting.
Opinion: Another great adventure of our most beloved toys. Almost as great as the first movie.
Favorite character: Rex (Voiced by Wallace Shawn)
Most memorable quote: “How do you spell F.B.I.?” – Rex -
Best scene: That moment where Woody is fixed up by a toy maker.

Toy Story 3
Genre: Animation/ Family/ Comedy/ Adventure
Year: 2010
Director: Lee Unkrich
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Michael Keaton, Whoopi Goldberg, John Ratzenberger, Joan Cusack, Bonnie Hunt, Timothy Dalton, R. Lee Ermey, Wallace Shawn, Cheech Marin, Frank Welker, Jodi Benson, Laurie Metcalf, Kristen SChaal, Don Rickles, Ned Beatty, Jeff Garlin, Eden Riegel, Gilbert Gottfried, John Morris, Blake Clark, Lee Unkrich, Estelle Harris, Charles Adler, Lou Romano, Elissa Knight, Beatrice Miller, Jeff Pidgeon, Teddy Newton
Description: The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it's up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren't abandoned and to return home.
Opinion: Just when we thought Pixar made one sequel too many, they made “Toy Story 3”. And they also created some great, awesome and loveable new characters!
Favorite character: Rex (Voiced by Wallace Shawn)
Most memorable quote: “Oh yes! Return of the Astro-Nut!” – Hamm -
Best scene: That scene after the credits, where Mr. Pricklepants and one of the aliens are playing there version of Romeo and Juliet.

Favorite of the 3: “Toy Story 3”

zondag 22 februari 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 31: Big Hero 6

Director: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Genre: Animation/ Action/ Adventure/ Family/ Comedy/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 107 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk, Maya Rudolph, Abraham Benrubi, Katie Lowes, Billy Bush, Daniel Gerson, Paul Briggs, Charlotte Gulezian

Description: The special bond that develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax (scott Adsit), and prodigy Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter), who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.

Review: Not everyone was happy when Walt Disney Animation Studios took over Marvel Entertainment in 2009. But with “Big Hero 6” it has proven to be an okay choice, because it’s a heartwarming animation filled with action and adventure.
We meet whiz kid Hiro, who watches his also brilliant older brother Tadashi build robots. When Hiro also invents something and he shows it to the professor at school, something goes horribly wrong. There is an explosion and Hiro’s brother dies. But he decides to continue his brothers work. One of Tadashi’s projects was a white, inflatable robot called Baymax. A funny and very huggable robot that steals the show and wins your heart. Together with his friends and Baymax, Hiro is trying to find the man who stole his invention.
“Big Hero 6” manages to combine Japanese animation with the more traditional cartoon techniques. The movie is on a high artistic level. With that, the movie deals with strong emotions (loss and mourning) and manages to combine that with humor and action. Baymax is the biggest plus of the film, with his clumsy posture and funny sounds. Fist bumps have never been this funny. It’s amazing how a robot can be so loveable.
The scenes between Baymax and Hiro are the best, but even in the dynamic action sequences the central theme is never gone. “Big Hero 6” is again a very unique film by Disney, a definite must-see!

Rating: 4,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 30: American Sniper

Director: Clint Eastwood
Genre: Drama/ Action
Runtime: 133 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Cole Konis, Ben Reed, Elise Robertson, Luke Sunshine, Troy Vincent, Brandon Salgado Telis, Keir O’Donnell, Marnette Patterson, Jason Hall, Billy Miller, Kevin Lacz, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Eric Ladin, Luke Grimes

Description: Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle's (Bradley Cooper) pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife (Sienna Miller) and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.

Review: Clint Eastwood has been working as a director for quite some time now. He has brought us some wonderful films. But I don’t know if Eastwood was the perfect man to tell the story of sniper Chris Kyle. Does he manage to get through to the psychology of this type of soldier and can he avoid the clichés of the genre? Unfortunately not. It’s an interesting life story, but it turns into a glorification of the American army and its main men.
It starts with the stereotypical main character, Chris Kyle. He is a characterless American soldier, a patriot. His wife Taya is at home, pregnant. The soldiers laugh a lot, but when the situation asks for it they get right to business. Where have we seen that before? It has all been done before, which makes “American Sniper” not only predictable but also quite forgettable.
The way it is filmed is great and the sound (or lack of it) works oppressive. But content wise it’s much of the same. It lacks the tension movies like “The Hurt Locker” or “The Deer Hunter” had.
This is definitely not one of Clint Eastwood’s bests. The story has potential, the acting was solid and the visuals are good, but it’s nothing new, very cliché and very forgettable. I really wanted to like this movie.

Rating: 2/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (178)

Here are this weeks trailers.

Far from the Madding Crowd
Description: Beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching willfulness; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor. This timeless story of Bathsheba’s choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love – as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance.
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Starring: Michael Sheen, Juno Temple, Tom Sturridge, Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts
Comment: I'm a sucker for stories like this.

Growing Up and Other Lies
Description: After struggling for years as an artist in New York City, Jake is calling it quits and returning home to Ohio. On his last day in the city, he persuades his three oldest friends to help him retrace their greatest adventure together: a walk down the entire length of Manhattan. But their attempt to reclaim the glory of their early 20s doesn’t go quite as planned. Over the course of the day, buried conflicts emerge as Jake becomes embroiled with his ex-girlfriend and his friends dip into their own crises of manhood. "Growing Up and Other Lies" is an anti-coming-of-age comedy.
Director: Darren Grodsky, Danny Jacobs
Starring: Amber Tamblyn, Adam Brody, Danny Jacobs, Wyatt Cenac, Josh Lawson, Lauren Anne Miller
Comment: Looks like fun.

Deep Web
Description: A feature documentary that explores the rise of a new Internet; decentralized, encrypted, dangerous and beyond the law.
Director: Alex Winter
Starring: Cindy Cohn, Cody Wilson, Lyn Ulbricht, Andy Greenberg
Comment: Interesting

Description: An urban couple go camping in the woods and find themselves lost in the territory of a predatory black bear.
Director: Adam MacDonald
Starring: Eric Balfour, Missy Peregrym, Jeff Roop
Comment: Looks gripping and exciting!

Description: A celebrated military contractor (Bradley Cooper) returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs – the US Space program in Honolulu, Hawaii – and reconnects with a long-ago love (Rachel McAdams) while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog (Emma Stone) assigned to him. In play is a complex satellite system being launched by an enigmatic billionaire with suspicious intentions (Bill Murray).
Director: Cameron Crowe
Starring: John Krasinski, Alec Baldwin, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, Bradley Cooper, Danny McBride, Emma Stone
Trailer: Trailer "Aloha"
Comment: Some of my favorite actors in one movie, this is a definite must-see for me!

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 29: Foxcatcher

Director: Bennett Miller
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 134 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Michael Hall

Description: The greatest Olympic Wrestling Champion brother team joins Team Foxcatcher led by multimillionaire sponsor John E. du Pont (Steve Carell) as they train for the 1988 games in Seoul - a union that leads to unlikely circumstances.

Review: “Foxcatcher” starts with the message that the movie is based on a true story. Dangerous, because the genre of sports movies often fall into clichés and a lazy story. “Foxcatcher” manages to avoid it for a big part. That’s because the story doesn’t only focus on wrestler Mark Schultz, it also centers coach John Du Pont. Mark leads a lonely and apparent agonized life. Everything is about sports. It gets him a gold medal at the Olympics in 1984. Years later it’s just train, eat, sleep for Mark. Untill he gets a mysterious call that changes his life forever. The call is from John Du Pont, an eccentric millionaire with big plans for Mark and wrestling in general. Du Pont, rich due to arms trade, decides to sponsor the wrestler.
There is a reason for that. Wrestling isn’t only a passion, their characters match. DuPont is also a loner. Where Mark has no one else besides his brother, Du Pont has a similar past. Together the two outsiders complement each other and manage to be successful. With excellence, intensity and dominance the world is at their feet. Until all of this also affects their mutual relationship. What started as a dream, is slowly turning into a nightmare.
Although the tension isn’t always there and some supporting characters don’t really work, the story is solid. An extra plus is the sublime acting. Steve Carell convinces, in this unconventional, serious role. Mark Ruffalo also does a very good job. But it’s Channing Tatum that impressed me the most. Off course he has the physique of a wrestler, but he also shows his acting skills. Everyone talks about Carell and Ruffalo, but I think Tatum’s performance was the best.
The developments in the movie, including the wrestle matches, are very detailed. The movie has a dark tone and atmosphere. You feel that throughout the entire movie. Same as the length and slow pace of the movie.
“Foxcatcher” is a powerful movie, with a strong story and great acting. But due to the length and the slow pace I would not rewatch this movie.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

vrijdag 20 februari 2015

Marry, Kiss, Cliff - Round 8

Jon (“Don Jon”), Tony Stark (“Iron Man”) and Ace Ventura (“Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”)

Marry: It might sound weird but I would marry Ace Ventura. He is very strange, but he loves animals and he has a fantastic sense of humor. (Don’t think I choose Jim Carrey over Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Robert Downey Jr. It’s about the characters people!

Kiss: Jon likes his girl, I wouldn’t be his first. You can’t deny Jon and I would just ignore his addiction to porn.

Cliff: Tony Stark is too much of a playboy for me. And if I push him off a cliff, he could probably fly off in his suit anyway so it wouldn’t kill him.

donderdag 19 februari 2015

Top 5 Thursday: Depressing Movies

Sometimes, when you’re feeling down and it feels like the end of the world, you need to watch a depressing movie. Just to see that there are worse things in the world, not to cheer you up. Mostly these are movies that you shouldn’t watch with your family or in a good mood. Here are the most depressing movies ever.

5. Precious
An unflinching portrayal of child abuse, as Gaboury Sidibe’s eponymous teen struggles with rape, domestic violence, illiteracy and pregnancy. It’s based on true events too, as if it wasn’t dispiriting enough …
4. The Mist
Frank Darabont’s creature-feature adaptation of a novella by Stephen King is a thoroughly enjoyable (if more than a little icky) horror romp that suddenly takes a turn for the mind-numbingly tragic come the final scene…
3. Leaving Las Vegas
You’re essentially using your Friday-night trip to the movies to watch a deeply unhappy man drink himself to death for two hours. Uplifting, it ain’t.
2. Million Dollar Baby
Hilary Swank’s tough-as-nails boxer ends up a paraplegic, burdened by a heartless family and reduced to biting through her own tongue in the hope of bleeding to death. Even Clint cries in this one.
1. Requiem for a Dream
Darren Aronofsky’s waking nightmare follows four lives ravaged by various forms of addiction. Electro-shock therapy, intravenous drug use, prostitution… it’s not exactly a laugh riot.
They Almost Made the Top 5: Black Swan, Blue Valentine, 21 Grams, The Wrestler

woensdag 18 februari 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 28: Fifty Shades of Grey

Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Genre: Drama/ Romance
Runtime: 125 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden, Eloise Mumford, Max Martini, Rachel Skarsten, Victor Rasuk, Callum Keith Rennie, Emily Fonda, Dylan Neal, Anne Marie DeLuise, Anthony Konechny

Description: Literature student Anastasia Steele's (Dakota Johnson) life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan).

Review: Anastasia Steele meets handsome and rich business man Christian Grey, during an interview. The two feel attraction, but the intimidating Christian has a sexual preference that scares Anastasia at first. The two keep seeing each other and Anastasia discovers a side of herself she didn’t know and it will change her life forever.
The “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy was a worldwide phenomenon. Over 90 million copies were sold. Off course there had to be a movie. And the big question was: who will play Mr. Grey? It was announced that Charlie Hunnam would take on the role, but due to his show “Sons of Anarchy” the role eventually went to Jamie Dornan. For Anastasia they choose unknown actress Dakota Johnson, who is the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. That people were looking forward to the movie was obvious. The trailer alone was viewed over 100 million times.
The book isn’t very subtle and neither is the movie. Where the book deals with the clichés seriously, in the movie they add a bit more (cheesy) humor. Anastasia’s character is very naïve and she doesn’t seem to have a spine, but in the movie Dakota Johnson made her more human. Jamie Dornan has bigger shoes to fill. He has the looks, I’ll give him that, but Christian Grey is such an underdeveloped character, that there’s hardly anything he can do with it. No more than giving Anastasia some sultry looks. The emotional moments between the two don’t go anywhere either. Every time Anastasia asks Christian why he can’t show more of himself, he sits melodramatically behind a piano. The lighter scenes work better between them, but they don’t fit the movie.
The most important thing about the book is the sex. BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism – yes, I looked it up) for a mainstream audience. The question was: how will they put this in the movie? First off, the movie is brought to us by a big American studio, so we don’t have to expect anything shocking. To be quite frank, the sex scenes are not that kinky. Christian keeps his pants on way to many times and we get a lot of close ups of Anatasia’s face. With that “Fifty Shades of Grey” has bad dialogues and is very unsexy for a movie that is supposed to be sexy.
The book is bad, but the movie isn’t any better. And there are two more of them. Dakota Johnson made it a bit more bearable and I don’t mind looking at Jamie Dornan, but trust me people, you can better skip “Fifty Shades of grey” and watch “Basic Instinct” instead.

Rating: 1,5/ 5

dinsdag 17 februari 2015

Video of the Week (36)

You know that everything that has to do with Tom Hanks I find awesome. So if he dances with Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepson for Jepson's new video,'I have to share it with you. These are several clips from Tom's amazing dance moves.

maandag 16 februari 2015

Quotables: "Guardians of the Galaxy"

It was my favourite movie of 2014 and I have rewatched it a couple of times already. It’s such a fun film and it gave me everything I expected. It’s also filled with awesome quotes, so here they are.

Drax the Destroyer: I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am that you've accepted me despite my blunders. It is good to once again be among friends. You, Quill, are my friend.
Peter Quill: Thanks.
Drax the Destroyer: This dumb tree is also my friend.
[Groot grunts]
Drax the Destroyer: And this green whore is also...
Gamora: Oh, you must stop!

Rocket Raccoon: [about Drax] Metaphors go over his head.
Drax the Destroyer: NOTHING goes over my head!... My reflexes are too fast, I would catch it.

Gamora: I have lived most of my life surrounded by my enemies. I would be grateful to die surrounded by my friends.

Rocket Raccoon: That's for if things get really hardcore. Or if you wanna blow up moons.
Gamora: No one's blowing up moons.
Rocket Raccoon: You just wanna suck the joy out of everything.

Gamora: I know who you are, Peter Quill, and I am not some starry-eyed waif here to succumb to your... your pelvic sorcery!

Drax the Destroyer: Finger on throat means death!
[kills Korath]
Drax the Destroyer: Metaphor.
Peter Quill: ...Sort of.
Gamora: And Quill... Your ship is filthy.
Peter Quill: She has no idea. If I had a blacklight, this place would look like a Jackson Pollock painting.
Rocket Raccoon: You got issues, Quill.

Gamora: I am going to die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy.

Rocket Raccoon: Why would you want to save the galaxy?
Peter Quill: Because I'm one of the idiots who lives in it!

Gamora: We're just like Kevin Bacon.
Rocket Raccoon: [scans a small child] Look at this thing. It thinks it's so cool. It's not cool to ask for help! Walk by yourself, you little gargoyle!

Gamora: Your wife and child shall rest well, knowing that you have avenged them.
Drax the Destroyer: Yes. Of course Ronan was only a puppet. It's really Thanos that I need to kill.

Rocket Raccoon: YOU'RE... MAKING... ME... BEAT... UP... GRASS!

zondag 15 februari 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 27: Lawless

Director: John Hillcoat
Genre: Crime/ Drama
Runtime: 115 minutes
Year: 2012
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska, Dane DeHaan, Gary Oldman

Description: A trio of bootlegging brothers are threatened by a new special deputy and other authorities angling for a cut of their profits.

Review: They are inaccessible, the legendary image of the Bondurant family. Wars, epidemics, nothing got to them for decades. This family is the focus of “Lawless” directed by John Hillcoat. Leader is Forrest, and we also have older brother Howard and the youngest Jack.
“Lawless” is set in the thirties of the twentieth century in Virginia. De brothers Bondurant are leading an okay life, with their own illegal trade in beverage. But when a new sheriff comes to town, this life changes. Sheriff Rakes wants everyone to live by his rules and the Bondurant family is his biggest problem. Where others surrounder to Rakes, the Bondurant brothers don’t give in and fight him.
Although the leader of the Bondurants is Forrest, the leading role is for Jack. Shia LaBeouf manages to keep up with the other big names in the cast. Jessica Chastain shines as always, but she isn’t given that much to do. Gary Oldman is hardly in it and Guy Pearce is a creepy, convincing Sheriff. But it’s Tom Hardy that steals the show. There is something about Hardy that I can’t resist.
“Lawless” is a good western/ gangster film. It’s a movie that does lots of good thing, like the setting, the actors and the pace. But the lack of depth is a negative, both in the story as the characters. This makes “Lawless” an uncomplicated enjoyable watch.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 26: Grosse Pointe Blank

Director: George Armitage
Genre: Comedy/ Crime/ Romance
Runtime: 113 minutes
Year: 1997
Starring: John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Cusack, Hank Azaria, Jeremy Piven, Michael Cudlitz

Description: Martin Blank (John Cusack) is a professional assassin. He is sent on a mission to a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time.
Review: How do you survive a high school reunion, when everyone wants to know how you turned out, if you’re a cold blooded assassin who’s struggling with himself. “Grosse Pointe Blank” is carried by John Cusack, who is perfect for these sort of films. It’s a mix of slapstick and tragic comedy.
The base of the story is Martin Blank’s hesitance for going back to his home town Grosse Pointe. Martin has to face the life he once ran away from. He has to face his mother, his former girlfriend Debi and the feds who are tailing him. The romantic storyline between Cusack’s character and Minnie Driver’s is anything but cliché and sweet. Driver manages to easily keep up with Cusack.
“Grosse Pointe Blank” is a unleashed comedy with good writing and great comedic performances. That’s why I love John Cusack!

Rating: 4/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 25: In a World...

Director: Lake Bell
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 89 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Lake Bell, Rob Corddry, Alexandra Holden, Eva Longoria, Ken Marino, Demetri Martin, Fred Melamed, Tig Notaro, Nick Offerman, Michaela Watkins, Geena Davis, Stephanie Allynne, Melissa Disney, Olya Milova, Corsica Wilson, Yelena Protsenko, Carly Chaikin, Kanicza Bravo, Jason O’Mara, Talulah Riley, Erin Soto, Mara Lane

Description: The underachieving voice coach Carol (Lake Bell) finds herself competing in the movie trailer voice-over profession against her arrogant father (Fred Melamed) and his protégé (Ken Marino).
Review: On September 1st 2008 Don LaFontaine dies. Maybe that doesn’t ring a bell, but you might know his voice. LaFontaine was one of America’s most famous voice actors, who voiced for 5.000 movie trailers and 350.000 commercials and videogames. He opened the trailers by saying the words ‘In a world…’ Actress Lake Bell decided to direct her first movie with the concept of voice actors.
Bell, who also wrote the script, plays leading lady Carol Solomon, a voice coach who dreams to do what LaFontaine did. But that’s not that easy. First, the world of voice-overs doesn’t have any room for female voices. Second, her own dad Sam Soto is the man of the hour in this business. And then there also is Gustav Warner, an upcoming voice-actor, who stands in her way.
The angle of “In a world…” is original and brave. That Lake Bell was ambitious is clear. And she succeeds in a way. Hollywood criticizing Hollywood, it has been done before. Bell does it very subtle and it’s unmistakable, but you have the feeling there could have been more. The movie is carried by strong characters. The somewhat chaotic Carol is the centre of your attention, but also Fred Melamed as her dominant father Sam.
It’s a good directorial debut by Lake Bell and I enjoyed this movie.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 24: A Most Violent Year

Director: J.C. Chandor
Genre: Drama/ Crime/ Action/ Thriller
Runtime: 125 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, Albert Brooks, Elyes Gabel, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Peter Gerety, Christopher Abbott, Ashley Williams, John Procaccino, Glenn Fleshler, Jerry Adler, Annie Funke, Maathew Maher, David Margulies, Pico Alexander

Description: In New York City 1981, ambitious immigrant Abel (Oscar Isaac) fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city's history.

Review: The worldwide oil crisis in 1979 left its footprints years later. Higher prices, big competition and growing organized crime. This tough time forms the background of “A Most Violent Year”. Where these films normally show the point of view of the criminal, this time we see it through the eyes of an innocent oil dealer. But if he’s really that innocent…
“A Most Violent Year” slowly reveals itself. This works. It takes some time for it all to be revealed. The question of who’s good and bad slumbers subtle.
The oil dealer is Abel Morales, a very strong Oscar Isaac. Viewers don’t get to know that much about him at first. His business has brought him fortune, but still there are complications in 1981, which is known as a very violent year. His company is the victim of robbery, where they brutally steal oil trucks. And what game is his wife Anna playing? This is a wonderful performance by Jessica Chastain, she really shines.
“A Most Violent Year” does have some clichés, but don’t bother you that much. The calm way the story is told is strong. It’s a very good movie.

Rating: 4/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (177)

Here are this weeks trailers.

Crimson Peak
Description: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, aspiring author Edith (Mia Wasikowska) is torn between love for her childhood friend (Charlie Hunnam) and the temptation of a mysterious outsider (Tom HIddleston). Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers.
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Jim Beaver
Comment: Every once in a while there is this trailer that you just can't get out of your head. "Crimson Peak" is that trailer, I've watched a few times already.

The Water Diviner
Description: Australian farmer Connor (RussellCrowe) travels to Istanbul to discover the fate of his sons, reported missing in the action, where he forges a relationship with the beautiful Turkish woman (Olga Kurylenko) who owns the hotel in which he stays. Holding on to hope, and with the help of a Turkish Officer, Connor embarks on a journey across the country to find the truth about the fate of his sons.
Director: Russell Crowe
Starring: Steve Bastoni, Russell Crowe, Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney, Ryan Corr, Yilmaz Erdogan, Cem Yilmaz
Comment: Russell Crowe as a director, interesting.

Hot Pursuit
Description: An uptight and by-the-book cop (Reese Witherspoon) tries to protect the sexy and outgoing widow (Sofia Vergara) of a drug boss as they race through Texas pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen.
Director: Anne Fletcher
Starring: John Carroll Lynch, Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Richard T. Jones, Rob Kazinsky
Comment: Isn't there a John Cusack movie with the same title?

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Description: CIA agent Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB agent Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) are forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The duo's only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Hugh Grant, Jared Harris, Henry Cavill, Alicia Vikander, Armie Hammer, Elizabeth Debicki, Luca Calvani
Comment: I Always like spy movies.

Description: Having thought that monogamy was never possible, commitment-phobic career woman Amy (Amy Schumer) may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy (Bill Hader).
Director: Judd Apatow
Starring: Bill Hader, Tilda Swinton, Brie Larson, John Cena, Colin Quinn, Ezra Miller, Barkhad Abdi, Mike Birbiglia, Amy Schumer, Vanessa Bayer, Jon Glaser
Comment: I love Judd Apatow!

zaterdag 14 februari 2015

Movie Moments : "Juno"

Juno is a quirky and whip-sharp teenager who gets pregnant after having sex with Bleeker once. This story is so fun, I love this movie. One of those films that puts a smile on my face! Here are my favorite moments from “Juno”.

Moment # 1: Opening credits
One of the best opening credits of a movie ever. We see Juno walk on the street with a big can of orange juice.

Moment # 2: Pregnant
At the drug store Juno is taking a pregnancy test. And yes, she is knocked up!

Moment # 3: Telling Bleeker
The guy who she had sex with, only once, is Bleeker. He’s is also the one getting her pregnant. Juno decides to tell him in a very unconventional yet Juno way.

Moment # 4: Telling her parents
Juno has to tell her father and stepmom. She also is stating that she will give up the baby for adoption. Her dad is really surprised that she slept with Bleeker and her stepmom is right on hands on with the arrangements.

Moment # 5: Meeting Vanessa and Mark
In the Pennysaver Juno found the perfect adoption parents for her baby. Together with her dad she is about to meet Vanessa and Mark Loring. Soon Juno realizes that it’s Vanessa one wish to become a mother.

Moment # 6: Snap
Together with her best friend Leah and her stepmother, Juno is going for an ultra sound. The doctor helping her seems very prejudice and judges Juno. Juno’s stepmom doesn’t accept that and shuts her up. Snap!
Moment # 7: Vanessa talks to the baby
Juno and Leah are at the mall when the bump into Vanessa. She asks Juno if she can touch the belly after Juno feels the baby kick. When Vanessa feels, she doesn’t feel the baby and decides to talk to it.

Moment # 8: Mark leaves Vanessa
Juno visits Mark and he tells her some bad news. He wants to leave Vanessa, because her dream isn’t his. Juno is mad, because her plan goes to shit now.

Moment # 9: Orange Tic Tacs
After realizing Bleeker is the guy for her, Juno decides to make a giant romantic gesture. She fills Bleeker’s mailbox with orange Tic Tacs, his favorite.

Moment # 10: Juno and Bleeker kiss
After the Tic Tac gesture, Juno tells Bleeker she is in love with him and they kiss.

Moment # 11: The delivery
The time has come, Juno is about to deliver the baby. Stepmom Bren and best friend Leah support her and Juno delivers a boy. She doesn’t want to hold him.

Moment # 12: Vanessa is a mom
Finally Vanessa is a mom and she can’t wait to hold her son. Bren sees her and sees the baby is in good hands.

Moment # 13: The note
What we didn’t see was the note Juno wrote for Vanessa. She wrote: Vanessa, if you’re still in, I’m still on. Vanessa framed it for the baby’s room.

Moment # 14: Juno and Bleeker sing
Juno is back in shape an races of to Bleeker. Together they play guitar and sing a lovely song.

Favorite Moment: Moment # 12: Vanessa is a mom