zondag 31 mei 2015

Monthly 4: May 2015

Here are the highlights of the month of may.
1. My brother and I once bought the “Band of Brothers” DVD box for my father, because he loves war movies and shows. That’s probably the only genre he stays awake for, haha. I decided to rewatch the series myself, by borrowing the DVD box. Watched it in only three days.

2. This bag is my now grocery shopping bag. It says, translated to English, I ship fur free! Good statement, right!

3. I wanted to do it for a long time, but I finally did it. I joined Twitter! And it’s so much fun, you meet lots of new people with similar interests. You can check it out here: @JoyceMovieGeek

4. Florence + the Machine is awesome and I pre-ordered the new album. It arrived this month and it’s amazing. As always! And it comes with a beautiful picture book and slip cover.

Movie Trailer Sunday (191)

Here are this weeks trailers.

Point Break
Description: A young FBI agent infiltrates an extraordinary team of extreme sports athletes he suspects of masterminding a string of unprecedented, sophisticated corporate heists. "Point Break" is inspired by the classic 1991 hit.
Director: Ericson Core
Starring: Ray Winstone, Delroy Lindo, Teresa Palmer, Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey
Comment: For some reason this trailer involves a lot of people flying for some reason. I'm really not looking forard to seeing this! Why does this need a remake?

American Ultra
Description: A stoner (Jesse Eisenberg) - who is in fact a government agent - is marked as a liability and targeted for extermination. But he's too well-trained and too high for them to handle.
Director: Nima Nourizadeh
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace, Bill Pullman, John Leguizamo, Jesse Eisenberg, Connie Britton, Walton Goggins, Tony Hale
Comment: "Pineapple Express" meets "The Bourne Identity"? Looks like lots of fun!

A Walk in the Woods
Description: After spending two decades in England, Bill Bryson (Robert Redford) returns to the U.S., where he decides the best way to connect with his homeland is to hike the Appalachian Trail with one of his oldest friends (Nick Nolte).
Director: Ken Kwapis
Starring: Emma Thompson, Nick Nolte, Robert Redford, Nick Offerman, Kristen Schaal, Mary Steenburgen
Comment: This is the kind of movie I want to see.

The End of the Tour
Description: A magazine reporter (Jesse Eisenberg) recounts his travels and conversations with author David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) during a promotional book tour.
Director: James Ponsoldt
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Joan Cusack, Jason Segel, Mamie Gummer, Anna Chlumsky, Mickey Sumner
Comment: I would love to see Jason Segel in a more serious role.

No Way Jose
Description: Jose Stern (Adams Goldberg), an erstwhile indie-rocker relegated to playing children's birthday parties, is on the verge of turning 40 and at a crossroads in his life.
Director: Adam Goldberg
Starring: Adam Goldberg, Ahna O'Reilly, Franka Potente, Pat Healy, Anna Belknap
Comment: Fun!

zaterdag 30 mei 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 72: A Most Wanted Man

Director: Anton Corbijn
Genre: Thriller
Runtime: 121 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McADams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Daniel Brühl, Grigoriy Dobrygin

Description: A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught in the international war on terror.

Review: Hamburg is considered an undeniable link in the attacks of September 11th, the preparations were devised from this city. A more appropriate setting for a spy thriller is almost inconceivable. “A Most Wanted Man” is, after films like “The Constant Gardener” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”, the ninth book to movie adaptation from author Jon Le Carré.
Lead man Philip Seymour Hoffman died not that long after filming “A Most Wanted Man”. Aside from some scenes in the last two “Hunger Games” movies, this is his last testament.
When political refuge Issa Karpov arrives in Hamburg, the local anti-terrorist group led by Günther Bachmann, is on edge. Issa has come to Hamburg to claim his father’s legacy.
Together with his lawyer, Annabel Richter, he is trying to get the money and banker Tommy Brue isn’t happen about paying that big amount of money. Before Brue can decide, he is approached by Bachmann. He sees it as an opportunity to uncover the terrorist network. Like other John Le Carré stories, it has a slow build-up. It’s not for everyone, but in combination with the style of director Anton Corbijn it’s golden. And off course the great acting by Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The location, Hamburg, is pictured perfectly. Stale bars, grim streets. The art of manipulation is also illustrated very well, by finding informants and playing political games.
I think Hoffman’s portrayal of the beaten and cynical Bachmann is one of his best performances. Rachel McAdams and Robin Wright show us it’s not just a one man show.
Anton Corbijn is one of the better Dutch directors and he managed to make a name for himself in Hollywood with this movie. “A Most Wanted Man” is a good, strong thriller.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

donderdag 28 mei 2015

Top 5 Thursday: Movies from 2013

It was a pretty good year for movies, 2013. I saw many of them for my 2014 movie challenge, so now I decided to make a top 5 of my favorites from that year. Here it comes.

5. Captain Phillips
Tom Hanks showed us again why he is the best actor in the world. What a fantastic performance, especially that final scene. The movie captivated me from beginning till end.
4. Rush
Not a fan of Formula 1, but a fan of this movie I am. Great performances by both Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth. And Ron Howard is one of my favorite directors.
3. Prisoners
A very good movie, not overhyped at all. Because so many people were so positive, I’m always cautious. They didn’t lie, because “Prisoners” is amazing!
2. The Way Way Back
It’s a movie that probably not a lot of people saw, but I love it. I already saw it many times and I will rewatch this film many times in the future. It’s the kind of movie I love, Indies with a good combo of comedy and drama.
1. The World’s End
The conclusion in the so-called ‘Cornetto-trilogy’. I still hope that Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost will continue making movies together. “The World’s End” never played in our theatres, because they thought it wouldn’t get enough audience. Well, that proofs that the Netherlands is a weird country. It’s one of the funniest movies ever and the best of the year 2013.
They Almost Made the Top 5: Warm Bodies, Don Jon, Fruitvale Station, Star Trek Into Darkness, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, This is the End, Dallas Buyers Club, Enemy, Her, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

maandag 25 mei 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 71: Pitch Perfect 2

Director: Elizabeth Banks
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 115 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Elizabeth Banks, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee, Katey Sagal, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine, Kelley Jakle, Ben Platt, C.J. Perry, Ester Dean, John Michael Higgins, Shelley Regner, Keegan-Michael Key

Description: After a humiliating command performance at Lincoln Center, the Barden Bellas enter an international competition that no American group has ever won in order to regain their status and right to perform.

Review: “Pitch Perfect” was Jason Moore’s directorial debut in 2012. It was a huge success and actress Anna Kendrick scored a hit with her song “Cups”. And when a movie is successful, a sequel will happen.
“Pitch Perfect 2” follows again the a capella group the Bellas. After a humiliating performance, the Bellas enter an international a capella competition. And that’s a whole different world.
The sequel brings us a different director. Actress Elizabeth Banks, who also had a role in the first movie, takes on the challenge. “Pitch Perfect 2” has lots of jokes, but not a lot of character development. Less emotional moments, more Fat Amy (I still feel uncomfortable calling someone that). That’s fine, because the tempo is very high. Banks managed to picture the friendship between the Bellas very well.
The music is good, the movie has a great sound. Some popular hits and also classics modernized. I was confused by the serenade Fat Amy gave though, it was really unnecessary. Anna Kendrick was charming as ever and Rebel Wilson is sometimes overdoing it. Hailee Steinfeld was a nice addition to the cast and I really liked Keegan-Michael Key, who played Becca’s boss. He was actually the funniest part of the film.
If you’re a fan of the original, you will love this too. It’s much of the same, only bigger and bolder. Fun times!

Rating: 3/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 70: Tomorrowland

Director: Brad Bird
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 129 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Micahel Key, Chris Bauer, Thomas Robinson, Pierce Gagnon, Matthew MacCaull, Judy Greeg, Matthew Kevin Anderson, Michaell Giacchino

Description: Bound by a shared destiny, Casey (Britt Robertson) bursting with scientific curiosity and former boy-genius inventor Frank (George Clooney) embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.

Review: The world isn’t doing so well, according to “Tomorrowland”. War, natural disasters, neglecting our nature. Leading scientists have created an utopia: Tomorrowland. It’s a futuristic location, in a parallel universe. There they are trying to find solutions to help planet Earth.
We meet young Frank Walker. He build his own jetpack and wants to show it at an exhibition. If someone his age can make it, anything is possible, so he says. He meets Athena, a recruiter for Tomorrowland. She makes him part of the project.
Many years later, earth hasn’t changed much. People are selfish and pretend not to see all the bad things happening in the world. Except for Casey Newton. While on a mission to prevent rocket base Cape Canaveral from shutting down, she is arrested. When she is released, a mysterious pin is handed to her. This pin brings her to Tomorrowland. But why was it given to her?
There is a clear moral in “Tomorrowland”. We should take care of our planet. This is typical for Disney. That nostalgic perfection of the opening scene is also very Disney, just like the rest of the film is pure magic and fantasy. But “Tomorrowland” has much more to offer. The movie shows us that we all make our own future.
“Tomorrowland” is visually stunning. The movie all together is an exciting rollercoaster ride. It’s a great movie experience. George Clooney is really good in this film. He has humor and I enjoyed his performance. Same goes for Britt Robertson, an upcoming star in Hollywood. Raffey Cassidy was probably the biggest surprise. The young girl was the star of the film.
“Tomorrowland” is definitely a movie worth watching.

Rating: 4/ 5

Me and 3 Jessica Chastain Movies

Jessica Chastain has become one of my favourite actresses over the years. She has been in so many great movies already and there are also some good ones to look forward to, like “Crimson Peak”. Here are the three Jessica Chastain movies I watched.

A Most Violent Year
Genre: Drama/ Crime/ Action/ Thriller
Year: 2014
Director: J.C. Chandor
Cast: 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.
Opinion: The movie slowly reveals itself and the calm way the story is told really works. Great performances by Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain.
Favorite character: Anna Morales (Jessica Chastain)
Most memorable quote: “When it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump, otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life, and that I can't do.” – Abel Morales -
Best scene: The car chase scene, where Abel is trying to follow the man who stole one of his tankers.

Genre: Crime/ Drama
Year: 2012
Director: John Hollcoat
Cast: 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.
Opinion: It’s a good western/ gangster film. Nice setting, good acting and fast paced. An uncomplicated, enjoyable watch. Favorite character: Forrest Bondurant (Tom Hardy)
Most memorable quote: “It is not the violence that sets men apart, alright, it is the distance that he is prepared to go.” – Forrest Bondurant -
Best scene: The moment where Forrest finds out that Maggie helped him when he was attacked and that something happened to her as well, although she doesn’t want to admit to it.

Zero Dark Thirty
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Year: 2012
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Jason Clarke, Chris Pratt, Joel Edgerton, James Gandolfini, Kyle Chandler, Taylor Kinney, Jennifer Ehle, Frank Grillo, Mark Duplass, Harold Perrineau
Description: A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011.
Opinion: The movie could be dull because of the length and all the politics, but it’s Jessica Chastain that makes this movie worthwhile. Great and strong film!
Favorite character: Maya (Jessica Chastain)
Most memorable quote: “I'm the motherfucker that found this place. Sir.” – Maya -
Best scene: Where Maya is telling her superior why it’s important to find Osama Bin Laden and that she is the one who is going to find him.

Favorite of the 3: “Zero Dark Thirty”

zondag 24 mei 2015

DVD Collection Update (20)

Another update, some really cool movies and series to add to my collection. Here they are!

Off course I had to get "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1". I can't wait for the final movie. This movie I really liked, but I think the bigger audience will appreciate it more when the last chapter comes out.

This season was the final chapter of the series. I really hated "Sons of Anarchy" ending, but it was time. I think that it had to end. Lots of people died in this last season, some characters we really come to love over the years.

"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" was really criticized, but I don't understand. It was a good movie. Okay, it was the least one in the series, but it was very enjoyable and beautifully made! Screw those people, I love it.

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" was on of my favorite 2014 movies. This is just awesome, so it had to be in my collection!

Oh how I love "Intouchables". Such a beautiful movie, it makes me happy!

"Cloud Atlas" was a pretty confusing movie, so time to rewatch it. And I also bought it because I can add another Tom Hanks movie to my collection.

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is also favorite of 2014. I slightly prefered it too the first movie. It just shows how amazing this superhero is, he is actually my favorite superhero. And Chris Evans is just amazing as Cap.

Haven't seen "Chef" yet, but I already know I'm going to love this film. I just love these tyes of movies. And it has a great cast. And I love food.

"Whiplash" is a movie I had to have in my collection. When I first saw it, I wanted to get up in cheer, that's how good it was!
I'm a big fan of the Disney cartoon "Beauty and the Beast" and I can't wait to see the live action version it. Untill then I have to do it with the French "La Belle et La Bête". I haven't seen it yet, but it looks like a darker version of the fairytale.

Movie Trailer Sunday (190)

Here are this weeks trailers.

Knock Knock
Description: Two beautiful young girls walk into a married man’s life and turn a wild fantasy into his worst nightmare.
Director: Eli Roth
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Colleen Camp, Lorenza Izzo, Ana de Armas, Ignacia Allamand, Aaron Burns
Comment: Shared a teaser before, now a full trailer. I can't wait to see this!

The Gallows
Description: 20 years after a horrific accident during a small town school play, students at the school resurrect the failed show in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy - but soon discover that some things are better left alone.
Director: Chris Lofing, Travis Cluff
Starring: Cassidy Gifford, Ryan Shoos, Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown
Comment: It's probably going to freak me out!

Description: A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives.
Director: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
Starring: Leigh Whannell, Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, Rainn Wilson, Jack McBrayer, Jorge Garcia, Nasim Pedrad
Comment: I sure hope this never happens at my school: zombie kids!

We Are Your Friends
Description: An aspiring DJ (Zac Efron) looks to make it in the L.A. electronic music scene
Director: Max Joseph
Starring: Wes Bentley, Zac Efron, Emily Ratajkowski, Jon Bernthal
Comment: Ehm... no. Not interested.

The Intern
Description: 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) has discovered that retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway).
Director: Nancy Meyers
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Robert De Niro, Celia Weston, Rene Russo, Adam DeVine, Nat Wolff, Zack Pearlman, Linda Lavin, Anders Holm, Andrew Rannells, Jason Orley, Christina Scherer
Comment: Not an Anne Hathaway fan, but I love De Niro.

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 69: What If

Director: Michael Dowse
Genre: Comedy/ Drama/ Romance
Runtime: 102 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver, Megan Parks, Mackenzie Davis, Rafe Spall, Lucius Hoyos, Jemima Rooper, Tommie-Amber Pirie, Meghan Heffern, Jonathan Cherry, Rebecca Northan, Jordan Hayes, Oona Chaplin, Adam Fergus

Description: Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe), who is burned out from a string of failed relationships, forms an instant bond with Chantry (Zoe Kazan), who lives with her longtime boyfriend (Rafe Spall). Together, they puzzle out what it means if your best friend is also the love of your life.

Review: Not very original, but very enjoyable is this romantic comedy “What If”, with Zoe Kazan and Daniel Radcliffe, who manages to make us forget about Harry Potter.
Radcliffe plays Wallace. This young twenty something lives in his sisters attic, he has a crappy job as the writer of manuals and has been single for quite some time. Because Wallace and his ex where both in school to become doctors, Wallace dropped out. Since then he hardly has a social life. His friend Alan invites him over for a party and that’s where Wallace meets Alan’s cousin Chantry. The two have an instant connection, but later that night he finds out she has a boyfriend. They decide to be just friends. When Chantry’s boyfriend has to go to Ireland for work, Wallace and Chantry’s friendship develops.
“What If” is a charming comedy, that is fun because of the natural charisma of the two leads. Radcliffe and Kazan have perfect chemistry. The question, if men and women can have a platonic relationship, has been asked many times before. Director Michael Dowse and script writer Elan Mastai gave it a fresh twist.
Another plus is the dialogue. Sometimes strange and cynical, but so pleasant to listen too. The story is sometimes over the top, like the first meeting between Wallace and Chantry’s boyfriend Ben or the moment where one wants to follow the other overseas.
“What If” is still a joy to watch, even with some clichés and unoriginality. Lovely leads and sharp dialogue are the two things that make this movie worth your time.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

zaterdag 23 mei 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 68: Suspiria

Director: Dario Argentio
Genre: Horror
Runtime: 98 minutes
Year: 1977
Starring: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Udo Kier, Joan Bennett, Alida Valli, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé, Barbara Magnolfi, Susanna Javicoli, Eva Axén, Rudolf Schündler

Description: Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) is a newcomer to a fancy ballet academy. She gradually comes to realize that the school is a front for something far more sinister and supernatural amidst a series of grisly murders.

Review: Atmosphere is everything in a Dario Argento movie, one of the masters of the so-called ‘giallo’ film (an Italian horror genre). In the openings sequence of “Suspiria” we see how great that atmosphere is created and how this element is very present in the entire movie. Loud percussion, shrieking violins and a creepy melody. And then those monster like voices, which make it extra macabre.
From the first moment you are sucked into this weird fairytale world. The movie starts with Suzy arriving at the airport in Germany. She takes a cab to a dance academy. When Suzy is sitting in the taxi, we see the expressive use of colors by Argento. We see this throughout the entire film. Especially the color red.
The décor is colorful and big, ideal to show the powerlessness of the characters. Suzy arrives at the dance academy. No one lets her in, but she sees a scared girl running away from the building. We follow that girl to an apartment. Argento uses explicit horror. Absolute silence while the girl looks around. Nothing happens, but the tension is there. And when that tension is almost unbearable, the killer strikes. The blood is clearly fake, but it’s expressive and over the top.
The camerawork is impressive: excellent close-ups and angles. Overhead shots or shots from a low angle. There is one shot where we are looking through a light bulb.
With all this audio visual excellence, you almost forget there is also a story. It’s a simple, sometimes illogical story. The dialogues aren’t that great and sometimes gives us aimless scenes. With that the acting isn’t noteworthy either.
This movie makes up for a lot because of how it looks. It’s a truly scary movie, basically because of the suspense, music, décor and colors. That’s what made “Suspiria” into a memorable horror movie. Without that, it was just another bad horror film.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

donderdag 21 mei 2015

Top 5 Thursday: David Fincher Movies

David Fincher is one of the best directors in Hollywood and he has also made some awesome movies that I can count as favorites. Here are my five favorites ranked.

5. The Game
I think most people count “The Game” as one of their least favorites. For some reason I always loved this film. Just the originality of it and how you get dragged into this film so easily.

4. Zodiac
I don’t think it’s a masterpiece, but I do like crime/ detective stories like this. Good acting and an interesting story. Somehow I always watch it when it’s on TV, that must mean it’s good right?

3. Gone Girl
It was high on my to watch list before it came out and it didn’t disappoint. This movie changed my mind about Ben Affleck as an actor, because I’m not a fan. But it was in fact Rosamund Pike that stole the show as Amy. A very good movie.

2. Fight Club
This is a genius story, with some of the best characters in cinema. That twist in the end still gets me and it’s definitely a masterpiece.

1. Seven “Seven” is one of the best thrillers ever made. Frankly, it’s just one of the best movies ever! This movie grabs me ever time, it’s so disturbing, yet interesting and compelling.

They Almost Made the Top 5: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Panic Room

woensdag 20 mei 2015

100 Movie Challenge # 67: Mud

Director: Jeff Nichols
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 130 minutes
Year: 2012
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Sam Shepard, Michael Shannon, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson

Description: Two young boys (Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland) encounter a fugitive (Matthew McConaughey) and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love (Reese Witherspoon).

Review: The American saying ‘his/ my name is mud’ is used when someone does something stupid or dumb. And that is exactly what is going on in “Mud”, by director Jeff Nichols.
Some will know Jeff Nichols from the strong “Take Shelter” (2011). In “Mud” the ‘heartland’ of America is again the setting. The story focusses on the young boy Ellis, who spends time in the outdoors of Arkansas with his friend Neckbone. During one of their adventures, Ellis and Neckbone find a boat stuck in a tree. While investigating the boat, they come to the conclusion someone is living there. When they go back to their own boat, they meet a strange man. He introduces himself as Mud. Mud is the one living in the boat. Because the boys really want the boat, Mud agrees. But first they have to do him a favor.
“Mud” was already a success at the 2012 Cannes film festival. Just like “Take Shelter”, “Mud” is a truly amazing film. Matthew McConaughey really impresses. I’ve come to love this actor over the years. He is finally getting the right roles and films. The rest of the cast, Reese Witherspoon, Michael Shannon and Sam Shephard, all perform at a high level. But the most welcome surprise is the young duo Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland.
“Mud’ can be compared to movies like “No Country for Old Men” when it comes to atmosphere. Some might find it slow, but eventually it comes together.
I’m truly looking forward to Jeff Nichols’ next project, because I really enjoyed “Mud”.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

maandag 18 mei 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 66: Barton Fink

Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Genre: Drama/ Crime/ Fantasy
Runtime: 116 minutes
Year: 1991
Starring: John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, Michael Lerner, Steve Buscemi, Tony Shalhoub, John Mahoney, Jon Polito, David Warrilow, Rochard Portnow, Christopher Murney

Description: A renowned New York playwright is enticed to California to write for the movies and discovers the hellish truth of Hollywood.

Review: The Coen Brothers have made a name for themselves already, without even making any blockbusters. There are well known filmmakers, because of their directorial and writing quality. Trademarks are subtlety, eye for details, great dialogue or monologue, symbolism and a big dose of dark humor. But before they gave us “Fargo”, “The Big Lebowski” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, it was “Barton Fink”.
John Turturro plays Barton Fink, a shy maybe even unworldly playwright. From his safe life behind the curtains in the theatre, he goes to 1940s California, to write a script for a movie. Off course this can’t go smoothly. The people of Capitol Pictures want Barton to write a standard script, commercially interesting. And this will also probably go wrong.
While writing in a hotel, Barton meets his neighbor Charlie Meadows, played by John Goodman. An insurance man, very kind, compassionate and present. And Barton meets writer W.P. Mayhew, who he admires, and his secretary Audrey. Both people don’t appear to be who they claim to be. Very slowly you see what all these strangers have in common: Incomprehension.
What makes “Barton Fink” a good movie is the atmosphere that makes you feel everything the leading characters feels. You sympathize this unfortunate man, but you also enjoy all the strange things happening around him. And that weird twist also makes this into a very good film.
“Barton Fink” is probably an underappreciated Coen brothers movie, but not a movie for just everyone.

Rating: 4/ 5

zondag 17 mei 2015

No Movie Trailer Sunday

There where no note worhty trailers this week.

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 65: The Iceman

Director: Ariel Vromen
Genre: Drama/ Thriller/ Crime
Runtime: 103 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, David Schwimmer, Stephen Dorff, James Franco, Robert Davi, Danny A. Abeckaser, John Ventimiglia, Ryan O’Nan, McKaly Miller, Megan Sherrill, Hecktor Hank, Zoran Radanovich, Shira Vilensky, Kelly Lind, John P. Fertitta, Erin Cummings

Description: The true story of Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon), the notorious contract killer and family man. When finally arrested in 1986, neither his wife (Winona Ryder) nor daughters have any clue about his real profession.

Review: Hundreds of people lost their lives to relentless hitman Richard Kuklinksi aka The Iceman. In the adaptation of this story director Ariel Vromen choose Michael Shannon to portray Kuklinski. And with also Ray Liotta, Chris Evans, Winona Ryder and a small role from James Franco, this looks like a promising film. It’s the acting that makes this movie interesting, not the plot.
Working for various criminal originations Kuklinski kills almost 250 people (according to himself). This is combined with the confrontations about honor, trust and loyalty within the criminal world. Besides this dark life he is living, Kuklinski has a loving wife and two daughters, who know nothing about his job. This gets the audience in the situation where we see him as a cold blooded killer and as a loving husband and father.
Michael Shannon is a perfect choice for this role. His appearance makes it very believable and he is genuinely scary is a hitman. Like I said before, the acting in this movie is very strong. It’s better than the movie itself. Which doesn’t mean that it’s bad, because it’s a very enjoyable film. But not a movie that you will remember for a long time.

Rating: 3/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 64: Zulu

Director: Jéróme Salle
Genre: Drama/ Thriller/ Crime
Runtime: 110 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Orlando Bloom, Forest Whitaker, Tanya van Graan, Natasha Loring, Roxanne Prentice, Sven Ruygrok, Patrick Lyster, Conrad Kemp, Kelsey Egan, Joelle Kayembe, Richard Lothian, Lise Slabber, Tinarie van Wyk Loots, Khulu Skenjana, Adrian Galley, Inge Beckmann, Dean Slater

Description: Policemen Ali Sokhela (Forest Whitaker) and Brian Epkeen (Orlando Bloom) investigate the brutal murder of a young white woman, apparently provoked by the availability of a new illegal drug and somehow connected to the disappearance of black street children.

Review: Since “Seven” the police genre has gone in a more dark and stylistic direction, story wise. “Zulu” (also known as “City of Violence”) also goes in that direction.
The movie is set in Cape Town, a city tortured by drugs and violence. The biggest part of the South African people live in poverty. The rich, mainly white, elites are living behind big and safe walls in big houses. When the daughter of the local Rugby coach is found dead, those two sides come together. The white girl, that lived prosperous, died of a drug overdose. Detective Ali Sokhela and his partner Brian Epkeen are the ones investigating the case. It leads them to the darkest edges of the criminal town.
The story sounds very promising. And it does execute it well, but not completely. It sometimes falls in those uninspired clichés. Many typical characteristics for the genre. For starters the detective with mental issues or the alcoholic detective who is divorced and neglects his son. The actors do a wonderful job, but it’s not original.
How stereotypical the characters are, at least they have depth and an interesting background. Eventually director Salle has more attention for the characters then the story. It sometimes lacks credibility. The story is pretty dark, but it does stay interesting and shocks at times.
“Zulu” is a pretty good film, with flaws. Still worth your time.

Rating: 3/ 5

vrijdag 15 mei 2015

Marry, Kiss, Cliff - Round 9

Round 9: Will Hunting (“Good Will Hunting”), Bruce Wayne (“Batman”) and Leonard (“Memento”)
Marry: To be honest Will Hunting is the only one with a somewhat normal life. He’s well-read and I like him. He’s nice.

Kiss: Bruce Wayne is loaded and also a little bit of a ladies man. Just one kiss would be enough and he would probably move on to the next girl or start chasing people dressed as penguins and cats. (Yes, I choose a Michael Keaton picture because he’s the best Batman. I love Christian Bale, but when I think of Batman I think of Keaton)

Cliff: Leonard would probably forget about me. Or he would kill me and then forget that as well. No, Leonard isn’t the perfect guy.

donderdag 14 mei 2015

Top 5 Thursday: Comedies from the 1980s

We’re going back in time, time for the best comedies of the 1980s. Try and compare them with today’s comedies, they are very different. They didn’t have to make sense, they just had to make us laugh. Something that comedies lack nowadays. You can also say that Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and John Candy ruled 80s comedy. Here are my favorite comedies from the 1980s (and it was really hard!!).

5. Airplane
Today there are lots of spoofs, but “Airplane” started the popularity of this genre. Nowadays spoofs are just sad, laugh-free comedies, but “Airplane” is super funny.

4. Ghostbusters
Who ya gonna call? Exactly! “Ghostbusters” is an absolute cult classic, a movie that will always entertain you and make you laugh.
3. National Lampoon’s Vacation
The first movie following the Griswold family. Clark, head of the family, is driving his family to an amusement park, but nothing goes according to plan. “This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest. A quest for fun”.
2. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
A movie I watch every year. For some reason around Christmas (the movie is set around Thanksgiving), but every time a good time. Two complete strangers a stuck together because of a snow storm and Steve Martin and John Candy are the perfect duo to do this.
1. The Burbs
Maybe not the popular choice, but this is the funniest movie of the 1980s! It might not be the best movie, but it sure is hilarious! Tom Hanks knows comedy.
They Almost Made the Top 5: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Police Academy, Caddyshack, Spaceballs, Uncle Buck, Big, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Money Pit, Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life, A Fish Called Wanda