donderdag 29 oktober 2015

Top 5 Thursday: Kevin Costner Movies

Maybe not today, but he once was one of the best actors. An actor I loved and adored to watch. And Kevin Costner does have some amazing movies. Here are my five favorites.

5. A Perfect World
Costner plays an escaped convict who kidnaps a little boy names Phillip. It’s one of his best performances, navigating the waters between hardened criminal and Phillip’s protector. A delicate performance, which makes “A Perfect World” such a pleasure to watch.
4. JFK
I just love movies about conspiracy theories, and “JFK” is one of them. It’s an epic drama, with an amazing cast and wonderfully directed by Oliver Stone. Great performance by Costenr, as Jim Garrison.
3. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Call me silly, but I’m literally in love with this movie. There was a period in my life that this was my most beloved movie. I watched it so many times, I can dream it back and forth. Probably not one of his best, but definitely one of my favorites.
2. Field of Dreams
This movie….. tears every time I watch it. It’s such a beautiful film and it grabs me every single time. And I’m not even a baseball fan.
1. Dances with Wolves
He didn’t only star in “Dances with Wolves” he also directed this beautiful picture. It’s a heart breaking movie, his greatest performance and the best film he made.
They Almost Made the Top 5: The Bodyguard, Tin Cup, Untouchables, Bull Durham

woensdag 28 oktober 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 137: The Evil Dead

Director: Sam Raimi
Genre: Horror
Runtime: 85 minutes
Year: 1981
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Hal Delrich, Betsy Baker, Sarah York, Bob Dorian, Sam Raimi, Robert G. Tapert

Description: Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Review: “The Evil Dead” is the directorial debut of Sam Raimi and may be called one of the scariest horror films of all time. The movie, that together with its two sequels reached a cult status, is filled with great camera shots, a nail biting soundtrack and effective effects. The movie introduced people like Joel Coen as assistant editor, actor Bruce Campbell and off course Sam Raimi himself. “The Evil Dead” only cost 90 000 dollars, but was the best sold video in 1983.
It’s obvious “The Evil Dead” was made with a lot of enthusiasm. The movie is very bloody and has a great tension buildup and atmosphere. The fact that the budget was low, is visible in the makeup and special effects. It’s sometimes not credible, but it never bothers you. The same goes for the slapstick moments in the film.
Besides the fact that “The Evil Dead” is exciting and very scary, which many people tried to copy, it’s also a very violent movie. Chopped off heads and limbs, lots of blood and the zombies look kind of disgusting. The best scene is probably where Ash is alone in the house and his fear is visualized by surrealistic images and sounds. The camera shoots him from the ground, from a high angle, extreme close-ups. The clock goes back fast, to show us the night is endless. Also great is the moment where the camera moves through the woods, very low on the ground towards the house.
“The Evil Dead” is a great horror film, that didn’t cost a lot of money but gave us so much. A must for every horror fan. Nail biting and hard on the stomach.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

dinsdag 27 oktober 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 136: Masters of Horror - Family

Director: John Landis
Genre: Horror
Runtime: 59 minutes
Year: 2006
Starring: George Wendt, Meredith Monroe, Matt Keeslar, Haley Guiel, Kerry Sandomirsky, John B. Scott, Nancy Whyte, Emily Tennan, Emily Hope, Aleita Northey, Frances Flanagan & Donald R. Mintz

Description: Harold (George Wendt) is a seemingly peaceful neighbor in a quiet midwestern neighborhood, but underneath, he's a murderous psychopath who sets his eyes on a couple (Meredith Monroe, Matt Keeslar) that have moved in across the street.

Review: When David and Celia movie into a new neighborhood and in a drunk mood knock over their neighbor’s mailbox, they meet Harold. He seems lonely, but nothing is as it seems. He has a family, Harold made it himself. He kills to eventually keep the skeletons. Harold dresses them up and even talks to them. His ‘wife’ is boring him and now he has his eyes on Celia. David and Celia invite him over for dinner and from that moment on things are going wrong.
Wendt is fun to watch in his role. He looks friendly and likeable, has a nice house, looks normal and is actually hardly noticeable. Harold could be anyone’s neighbor. Matt Keeslar and Meredith Monroe, as David and Celia, do a solid job.
The story is the most fun. The plot if perfect to fill an hour and as a viewer you’re constant curious of what’s going to happen next. It has a Hitchcock feel.
“Family” is never really scary, but I think director John Landis never intended that. It’s has a light atmosphere. There is a little gore in the film, but it’s easy to watch. And the movie has a fun twist, that you probably won’t see coming.
“Family” is probably a film that you won’t remember for long, because it’s simple. But it’s a fun film and it’s enjoyable to watch.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 135: The Fog

Director: John Carpenter
Genre: Horror
Runtime: 89 minutes
Year: 1980
Starring: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Hal Holbrook, Tom Atkins, John Houseman, James Canning, Ty Mithcell, John F. Goff, George Flower, Charles Cyphers, Jim Haynie, Nancy Loomis

Description: Legend says that Antonio Bay was built in 1880 with blood money obtained from shipwrecked lepers but no one believes it. On the eve of the town's centennial many plan to attend the celebrations, including the murdered lepers.

Review: At the beginning of the film you already learn that something bad is going to happen: lights turning on and off, electric appliances showing malfunctions, breaking windows, moving furniture. The message is clear. And it’s the not knowing what it is, that makes this movie scary. A fog is coming and something bad is hiding in the fog.
Sometimes the omens are hard to explain, they don’t seem to fit the rest of the film. Like a coin turning into a piece of driftwood, and that same piece of wood changing letters and bursting into flame. The movie loses its logic. But luckily the fog and what’s hiding in the fog gives us the tension and excitement.
There isn’t a clear leading character. There are several character we are introduced to, so we follow more than one in this story.
“The Fog” is directed by John Carpenter, the man that also gave us “Halloween” and “The Thing”. “The Fog” is a solid horror film, but never reaches the level of the two other films.

Rating: 3/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 134: Dawn of the Dead

Director: George A. Romero
Genre: Action/ Horror
Runtime: 137 minutes
Year: 1978
Starring: Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, David Emge, Gaylen Ross, David Crawford, Tom Savini, George A. Romero, Christine Forrest

Description: Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

Review: After the classic from 1968, “Night of the Living Dead”, where the threatening atmosphere was clearly present, this film is more a combination ofaction and horror. You can already see that in the opening scene. There is not as much threat, but a lot of excitement and nail biting moments.
The story revolves around four people. Their characters don’t really go through a development, but their state of mind changes throughout the movie. Peter and Roger are the cops that are able to take over the mall and lock the zombies out. Peter is the calm and balanced one, Roger is the hot shot. Stephen is the pilot of the helicopter, that makes the trip to the mall possible and all three men see possibilities in making the mall their home. The only one seeing the danger in it is Stephen’s girlfriend Fran (‘You don’t see that it’s a prison too. Let’s just take what we need and keep going’). Her objections aren’t taken seriously though, because of the dangers on the road.
Every zombie movie has a different kind of zombie. “Dawn of the Dead” has zombies without any intelligence, they act on instinct. They don’t look scary, but the amount of zombies is very scary. The cause of all this is never explained, probably because “Night of the Living Dead” already did this.
The movie is a worthy sequel to “Night of the Living Dead”. The combination of horror and action is successful and it will probably entertain the non-horror fans as well. For fans of the zombie genre, it’s a highlight.

Rating: 4/ 5

zondag 25 oktober 2015

Movie Trailer Sunday (210)

Here are this weeks trailers.
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
Description: A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).
Director: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Harisson Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Adam Driver, Max von Sydow, Warwick Davis, Lupita Nyongo'o
Comment: This was the one everyone was talking about this week!

Jane Got a Gun
Description: A woman (Natalie Portman) asks her ex-lover (Joel Edgerton) for help in order to save her outlaw husband (Noah Emmerich) from a gang out to kill him.
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Starring: Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Rodrigo Santoro, Noah Emmerich, Boyd Holbrook, Joel Edgerton
Comment: Bad ass Portman.

Description: A photographer for Life Magazine is assigned to shoot pictures of James Dean.
Director: Anton Corbijn
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Dane DeHaan, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, Peter Lucas, Lauren Gallagher
Trailer: Trailer "Life"
Comment: Dane DeHaan actually looks a lot like James Dean here.

Description: Joy is the story of a family across four generations and the woman who rises to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.
Director: David O. Russell
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rosselini, Édgar Ramirex, Diane Ladd, Elisabeth Röhm
Trailer: Trailer "Joy"
Comment: The new trailer looks even better, want to see this!

Beasts of No Nation
Description: A drama based on the experiences of Agu, a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an unnamed African country.
Director: Cary Fukunaga
Starring: Idris Elba, Abraham Atta
Comment: Not a new trailer, but I heard so much about this film lately. I really need to check it out.

zaterdag 24 oktober 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 133: Animal Kingdom

Director: David Michôd
Genre: Thriller/ Crime/ Drama
Runtime: 113 minutes
Year: 2010
Starring: Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce, Luke Ford, Jacki Weaver, Sullivan Stapleton, James Frencheville, Dan Wylie, Anthony Hayes, Laura Wheelwright, Mirrah Foulkes, Justin Rosniak

Description: A seventeen year-old (James Frencheville) navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective (Guy Pearce) who thinks he can save him.

Review: Director David Michôd gave his debut movie “Animal Kingdom” a bit of a misleading title. It sounds more like an accessible Disney movie of nature documentary, but instead it’s a film with themes like drugs, murder and crime. “Animal Kingdom” refers to the ‘beast’ in people and the hierarchy in the criminal world.
In the film we follow Josh “J” Cody, a seventeen year old boy who ends up under the pressure of his three criminal uncles. Josh gets into dangerous situations because of them and eventually has to choose between his loyalty to his family and the help of detective Leckie.
The story of “Animal Kingdom” is pretty simple and is about the choice between good and bad. This does give the movie some clichés and some choices and plot twist seem unrealistic. The movie does surprise though, there are some engrossing scenes that all have a great buildup. What makes “Animal Kingdom” special is the gloomy and dark tone that dominates. No bright colors, just cold hues. And then the contrast between the dark shadows and the bright lights. Sometimes when the ultimate bad guy Andrew ‘Pope’ Cody is in shot, he is in darkness surrounded by darker shadows. And the dramatic music also adds to that depressed atmosphere.
The film is also great because of the fantastic performances. Especially Jacki Weaver, as Janine Cody. Her charming yet devilish character draws your attention. James Frencheville, who plays J, plays his first role in “Animal Kingdom” and manages to keep up with the rest. Guy Pearce also gives away a solid performance.
“Animal Kingdom” is an acting film. The dramatic, sometimes cliché plot serves as a background for a grabbing performance by the cast. “Animal Kingdom” is not an accessible movie, but it’s a vibrant movie experience.

Rating: 4/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 132: Cat People

Director: Jacques Tourneru
Genre: Thriller/ Horror
Runtime: 70 minutes
Year: 1942
Starring: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Tom Conway, Jane Randolph, Jack Holt, Alan Napier, Alec Craig, Elizabeth Russel, Donald Kerr, Dynamite

Description: An American man (Kent Smith) marries a Serbian immigrant (Simone Simon) who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.

Review: Val Lewton, the producer of this film, said ‘the power of the camera to generate suspense lies in its power to suggest’. You can definitely see that in “Cat People”. From the beginning of the movie there are little yet meaningful happenings that tell you that something bad is going to happen. And when it happens, it’s the suggestion of what’s happening that builds the tension.
The omen that something is wrong with Irena is that she has an extraordinary relationship with cats. A drawing of a panther, animals in a pet store that go wild when she enters, an aggressive cat and a canary that is afraid of her and dies. Irena’s house is also filled with cat related items and she enjoys the sound of the roaring cats in the nearby zoo. The movie tends to drag by paying too much attention to all those omens for a large part of the film. And the subplot of Irena’s marriage with Oliver not working also gets way too much attention. The movie is short, but it takes way too long before something interesting actually happens. Sorry to say, this movie is a little bit boring for a movie in the genre thriller/ horror.
When there is something exciting going on (which is in only three scenes), you don’t really see anything. Only through shadows and sound. This does work, because of the power to suggest.
“Cat People” has an interesting story, but it’s not executed that way. I can hardly call this a horror film. The movie takes too long to become exciting. The scenes that do have threat in them where filmed very well though, effective use of dark and light. I think a lover of classics will like it, a lover of horror probably won’t.

Rating: 2/ 5

donderdag 22 oktober 2015

Top 5 Thursday: Movie Scores

You just have to hear the song and you know which movie it’s from. Those scores you can hum along and just make that great movie even greater. Here are my five favorite instrumental movie scores and I have to tell you it was really hard to do this!

5. Concerning Hobbits by Howard Shore (“The Lord of the Rings”)
This franchise is one of my all-time favorites and I’m especially a fan of the hobbits. And they have an amazing theme song. I love this score.
4. Becoming One of the People by James Horner (“Avatar”)
“Avatar” is an amazing piece of cinema, but is completed with its music by James Horner. This theme is just beautiful.
3. The Raiders March by John Williams (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
This score is just recognizable to anyone, even people who haven’t seen the movies (which is weird by the way, who has never watched it). Indiana Jones is an iconic movie character with an equally iconic theme.
2. Journey to the Island by John Williams (“Jurassic Park”)
“Jurassic Park” is one of my all-time favorite movies and that music is so iconic. As the Indiana Jones theme, everyone knows this too.
1. Now We are Free by Hans Zimmer/ Lisa Gerrard (“Gladiator”)
Probably not the most popular choice, but such an amazingly beautiful and heart felt score. It gives me the chills every single time.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Comptine d'un autre été - L'après midi by Yann Tiersen (“Amélie”), Star Wars Main Theme by John Williams, The Imperial March by John Williams (“Star Wars”), Harry Potter Main Theme by John Williams/ Alexandre Desplat, Pirates of the Caribbean Main Theme by Hans Zimmer/ Klaus Badelt, Liz on Top of the World by Dario Marianelli (“Pride & Prejudice”), Back to the Future Main Theme by Alan Silvestri, Jaws Main Theme by John Williams, End Title by Thomas Newman (“The Shawshank Redemption”), Dream is Collapsing by Hans Zimmer (“Inception”), Halloween Main Theme by John Carpenter, Chevaliers De Sangreal by Hans Zimmer (“The Da Vinci Code”), I’m Forrest by Alan Silvestri (“Forrest Gump”)

woensdag 21 oktober 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 131: Crimson Peak

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Genre: Drama/ Fantasy/ Horror/ Thriller/ Romance
Runtime: 119 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver, Leslie Hope

Description: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author (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.

Review: At the start of the twentieth century Edith Cushing lives with her father in Buffalo, New York. Her dead mother visits Edith at night and warns her for Crimson Peak. Years later Edith’s life is turned upside down when she meets the British Thomas Sharpe and his sister Lucille. After the mysterious and sudden death of her father, Edith marries Thomas an moves with him and Lucille to England. There they live in Allerdale Hall, a huge mansion which is ruinous. Edith wakes up at night by ghosts and learns Allerdale Hall is also called Crimson Peak. Edith learns there are a lot of secrets in that house and also with Thomas and Lucille.
After his Sci-Fi adventure “Pacific Rim”, director Guillermo del Toro is back with what he knows best. “Crimson Peak” has an amazing set and it can be compared to “Pan’s Labyrinth” when you just look at it. The big difference is the romantic touch this film has. Del Toro based “Crimson Peak” on the gothic horror genre. The mansion is beautifully made and is almost a character itself. Del Toro is known for his eye for detail and Crimson Peak was completely build in a studio. Because it all looks so real, the atmosphere is more spooky.
The developments in the movie are sometimes predictable. The middle part of the film is a bit repetitive, when Edith goes on her search for secrets at night. This happens several times. The movie has a slow start, but the second half of the film is the best. Especially that finale was extraordinary and kept me on the edge of my seat.
Mia Wasikowska is a fresh heroin, she does a really good job. Tom Hiddleston manages to switch between being irresistible and charming and dark and mysterious in his role as Thomas Sharpe. But it’s Jessica Chastain who steals the show. As the intimidating Lucille Sharpe she is almost unrecognizable and extremely scary.
“Crimson Peak” is a gorgeous looking horror mystery. It’s not as scary as the trailers led us to believe, but it’s definitely a movie you should see. Strong cast and visually beautiful.

Rating: 4/ 5

dinsdag 20 oktober 2015

Marry, Kiss, Cliff - Round 10

Round 10: Mark Zuckerberg (“The Social Network”), Luke Skywalker (“Star Wars”) and Dom Cobb (“Inception”)

Marry: I don’t really want to marry any of them. One is a douche, one has daddy issues and one has wife issues. I would have to go with Luke Skywalker, he at least has the force. And he knows Yoda, who is super awesome!
Kiss: Dom Cobb has a strange job and he never got over the death of his wife. Just a quick kiss and then run away even faster.

Cliff: I know Mark Zuckerberg is probably the most normal person of the three, but he’s kind of a douchebag. I know he’s loaded, but I don’t want to be with a rich douche.

zondag 18 oktober 2015

Movie Trailer Sunday (209)

Here are this weeks trailers.

Ratchet & Clank
Description: Ratchet and Clank tells the story of two unlikely heroes as they struggle to stop a vile alien named Chairman Drek from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy. When the two stumble upon a dangerous weapon capable of destroying entire planets, they must join forces with a team of colorful heroes called The Galactic Rangers in order to save the galaxy. Along the way they'll learn about heroism, friendship, and the importance of discovering one's own identity.
Director: Jericca Cleland, Kevin Munroe
Starring: Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Rosario Dawson, Sylvester Stallone, Bella Thorne
Comment: Looks fun...

Love the Coopers
Description: When four generations of the Cooper clan come together for their annual Christmas Eve celebration, a series of unexpected visitors and unlikely events turn the night upside down, leading them all toward a surprising rediscovery of family bonds and the spirit of the holiday.
Director: Jessie Nelson
Starring: Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried, Marisa Tomei, Ed Helms, Anthony Mackie, Alex Borstein, Alan Arkin, June Squibb
Comment: I love a good Christmas movie, but this looks like something I've seen before. Several times...

The Boy
Description: An American nanny (Lauren Cohan) is shocked that her new English family's boy is actually a life-sized doll. After violating a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive.
Director: William Brent Bell
Starring: Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, Ben Robson, Diana Hardcaslte, Jim Norton
Comment: Weird, weird, weird.

Bleeding Heart
Description: A yoga instructor (Jessica Biel) looks to protect her sex-worker sister (Zosia Mamet) from her deadbeat boyfriend.
Director: Diane Bell
Starring: Jessica Biel, Zosia Mamet, Lacey Alessandra, Kate Burton, Joe Anderson
Comment: How far would you go to protect your only sister?

Freaks of Nature
Description: In the town of Dillford, humans, vampires and zombies were all living in peace - until the alien apocalypse arrived. Now three teenagers-one human, one vampire, and one zombie-have to team up to figure out how to get rid of the visitors.
Director: Robbie Pickering
Starring: Mackenzie Davis, Ed Westwick, Vanessa Hudgens, Denis Leary, Keegan-Michael Key, Joan Cusack, Bob Odenkirk, Patton Oswalt, Pat Healy
Comment: Looks like loads of fun!

vrijdag 16 oktober 2015

Quotables: "Lost in Translation"

“Lost in Translation” is one of those movies that’s beautiful because of its simplicity. I keep saying this, but this is just the proof that you don’t need a lot to make a great film. Here are the best quotes from “Lost in Translation”. (And now I want to rewatch it….)

Bob: It gets a whole lot more complicated when you have kids.
Charlotte: It's scary.
Bob: The most terrifying day of your life is the day the first one is born.
Charlotte: Nobody ever tells you that.
Bob: Your life, as you know it... is gone. Never to return. But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk... and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you will ever meet in your life.
Charlotte: That's nice.

Charlotte: Let's never come here again because it would never be as much fun.
Bob: I don't want to leave.
Charlotte: So don't. Stay here with me. We'll start a jazz band.

Charlotte: 25 years. That's uh, well it's impressive.
Bob: Well you figure, you sleep one-third of your life, that knocks out eight years of marriage right there. So you're, y'know, down to 16 in change. You know you're just a teenager, at marriage, you can drive it but there's still the occasional accident.

Stills Photographer: You know double-O-7?
Bob: He drinks martinis, but all right.
Charlotte: [Bob is recollecting when he first saw Charlotte, in the elevator] Did I scowl at you?
Bob: No, you smiled.
Charlotte: I did?
Bob: Yes, it was a complete accident. A freak. I haven't seen it since. Just that one time.
[Charlotte smiles]
Bob: Like that, but bigger... bigger... mm-hmm... well, not that big!

Charlotte: You're probably just having a mid-life crisis. Did you buy a Porsche yet?

Charlotte: That was the worst lunch.
Bob: So bad. What kind of restaurant makes you cook your own food?

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 130: Sicario

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Genre: Crime/ Drama/ Action/ Thriller
Runtime: 121 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Victor Garber, Jon Bernthal, Daniel Kaluuya, Jeffrey Donovan, Raoul Trujillo, Julie Cedillo, Hank Rogerson, Bernardo P. Saracino, Maximiliano Hernández, Kevin Wiggins, Edgar Arreola, Kim Larrichio

Description: An idealistic FBI agent (Emily Blunt) is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.

Review: Ever since he was nominated for an Oscar for his film “Incendies”, the French-Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is a much sought-after director. His later movies, “Prisoners” and “Enemy”, were both praised. His work can be characterized as sober, grim and uncomfortable. For his new crime thriller “Sicario” that’s no different. It’s a dark film about the dirty drug wars near the border between the US and Mexico. An unnerving thriller with a complex plot.
We see the story through the eyes of Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), an ambitious FBI agent. While solving a kidnapping case, she finds the bodies of 42 people. They are the victims of relentless drug lords and she is asked to join a special task force to eliminate the Sonora drug cartel. The team is led by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), a laconic macho. Kate goes with him to El Paso, but instead she ends up in the dangerous Ciudad Juarez. They manage to eliminate an important pawn in the drug cartel. But when the mysterious hitman (‘sicario’) Alejandro (Benicio Del Toto) joins them, everything is even more complex then Kate thought.
Emily Blunt is a surprising choice for the lead role in this grim crime drama, but Blunt is sublime. Like the viewer, she doesn’t know much about the mission she is on. Although she is not naïve at all, she feels uncomfortable in this violent and intimidating world. And the fact that she is missing out on the crucial info drives her made. Not only Blunt is fantastic, also Benicio Del Toro as Alejandro.
Besides the good acting, “Sicario” is nerve-racking. The brutal violence is everywhere, which might not be to every film fan’s liking. The grim atmosphere helps there as well as the excellent camera work and montage. All those aspects make “Sicario” into a nail biting movie experience. The tension between the good and bad guys, who is who? “Sicario” manages to lead you in the wrong direction and it’s only until the end you really know what’s going on.
Although it didn’t take my breath away like “Prisoners” and “Enemy”, “Sicario” is one of the best films of 2015.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

donderdag 15 oktober 2015

Top 5 Thursday: Movie Entrances

Remember when we first met those great characters in those amazing movies? Well, then it’s an epic entrance. Here are my favorite epic movie entrances!

5. Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”
Concealed in darkness for the entirety of the opening credits, this guy’s nothing more than a shadowy figure in a fedora. Then, when a gun’s raised at his back, Indy cracks the whip, disarms his would-be assassin
4. Darth Vader in “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope”
Smoke from a laser gun battle hangs in the air, the John Williams music playing and then there is Darth Vader. It takes my breath away ;)
3. T-800 in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”
Stomping naked into a biker bar, he asks a biker for his clothes, boots and motorcycle, and roars off into the night. It’s super iconic and awesome!
2. Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean”
Captain Jack Sparrow sails aboard a ship that’s in the process of sinking. Not that Jack minds, the ship’s mast reaches docks just in time for him to step casually onto land. Hilarious every single time.
1. T-Rex in “Jurassic Park”
It starts with that cup of water on the dashboard, the sound of heavy footfalls and finally the T-Rex. Epic! And actually my favorite movie scene of all time!
They Almost Made the Top 5: John Doe in “Se7en”, Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs”, Chest bursting alien in “Alien”, Tina Carlyle in “The Mask”, The Joker in “The Dark Knight”, Jessica Rabbit in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, John Coffey in “The Green Mile”, Alex DeLarge in “A Clockwork Orange”

zondag 11 oktober 2015

Movie Trailer Sunday (208)

Here are this weeks trailers.

Description: Hannah (Jennifer Connelly) and Tahir (Anthony Mackie) realize they need each other to build a future.
Director: Paul Bettany
Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Mackie, Amy Hargreaves
Comment: Paul Bettany's directorial debut looks stunning.

Hail, Caesar!
Description: A Hollywood fixer in the 1950s works to keep the studio's stars in line
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Starring: George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Tilda Swinton, Josh Brolin, Ralph Fiennes, Dolph Lundgren, Frances McDormand, David Krumholtz, Clancy Brown, Christopher Lambert
Comment: Jeej.... a new Coen brothers movie!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Description: Jane Austen's classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England is faced with a new challenge -- an army of undead zombies.
Director: Burr Steers
Starring: Lily James, Matt Smith, Lena Heady, Douglas Booth, Charles Dance, Jack Huston, Sam Riley
Comment: Based on my favorite novel, but with the addition of zombies.

The Good Dinosaur
Description: An epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.
Director: Peter Sohn
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Steve Zahn, Raymond Ochoa, A.J. Buckley, Anna Paquin, Sam Elliot, Frances McDormand, Alan Tudyk
Comment: A little more than just a teaser trailer.

Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans
Description: STEVE MCQUEEN: THE MAN and LE MANS is the story of obsession, betrayal and ultimate vindication. It is the story of how one of the most volatile, charismatic stars of his generation, who seemingly lost so much he held dear in the pursuit of his dream, nevertheless followed it to the end.
Director: Gabriel Clarke, John McKenna
Starring: Steve McQueen, Chad McQueen, John Sturges
Comment: Interesting actor

donderdag 8 oktober 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 129: The Wolf of Wall Street

Director: Martin Scorsese
Genre: Crime/ Drama/ Comedy
Runtime: 179 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumely, Ethan Suplee, Shea Wigham

Description: Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

Review: “The Wolf of Wall Street” is based on true events, about the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort. He is an acrid, clever stockbroker who came from nothing to eventually own over thirty million dollars. Not long after Belfort had his first taste of Wall Street, the company he works for collapses. He is forced to search for something new and he finds this little, amateurish business. Because he is convincing and the extreme high commission, he gathers a loyal yet eccentric team and starts his own business. Belfort manages to sell worthless shares for a lot of money and his company, Stratton Oakmont grows and grows.
A film about capitalism, directed by Martin Scorsese and blessed with a strong cast. All the ingredients for a sharp film. “The Wolf of Wall Street” starts strong and sucks you in with some strong dialogues. Especially the lunch conversation between Belfort and his mentr Mark Hanna is masterfully acted. Matthew McConaughey is very intense and it’s hard to look away. Sadly for us, McConaughey is only seen for 10 minutes. Also great is the scene were Belfort meets FBI agent Patrick Denham, very subtly played by Kyle Chandler. It’s fascinating to see how the two man go from having a civilized and friendly conversation to a heated dialogue.
As the main protagonist, Leonardo DiCaprio delivers a very impressive performance. Navigating between the calculated coldness, the manic urge to self-manifestation and the insatiable greed for money, drugs and alcohol all of which are typical for the character Jordan Belfort. DiCaprio really loses himself in the role. But Belfort never gets as interesting as movie archetypes like Gordon Gekko (“Wall Street”) or Daniel Plainview (“There Will Be Blood”). That’s because the character is very one dimensional and doesn’t have a lot of depth. Especially during those speeches he gives for his team, it’s hard to make that credible.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” isn’t all that original for Scorsese either. If you replace the mob for drugs, sex and greed, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a lot like “Goodfellas”. Not only is the story told by the main character in the form of a voice-over, the accent and the way he talks also sounds a lot like Henry Hill in “Goodfellas”.
In the beginning the confronting scenes, sex orgies and drug escapades are shocking. Especially because of its satire. But after a couple of those hedonistic outbursts, you’re done with it. The movie looks like it’s on repeat. With that, the movie is way too long. A movie with hardly any likeable characters, is hard to watch for me. I can only sympathize Jordan’s foulmouthed father and FBI agent Patrick Denham. And especially Belfort’s spineless, white teethed business partner Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) is one of the most annoying and terrible characters I’ve ever seen. “The Wolf of Wall Street” also constantly shifts between admiration and social criticism. “The Wolf of Wall Street” is definitely a good movie, but it gets way more credit then I think it
deserves. There were many Scorsese movies that I loved more.

Rating: 3/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 128: A Nightmare On Elm Street (Remake)

Director: Samuel Bayer
Genre: Horror/ Thriller
Runtime: 98 minutes
Year: 2010
Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Katie Cassidy, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz, Clancy Brown, Connie Britton

Description: The spectre of a dead child rapist haunts the children of the parents who murdered him, stalking and killing them in their dreams.

Review: In 1984 an icon was born. That’s when sadistic murderer Freddy Krueger started haunting dreams and killing his victims. There were a lot of sequels and spin-offs. So in 2010 it was time for a remake, because we didn’t have that yet. And I really wished we never had.
A remake, it doesn’t sound as fun as it is. Especially not when you know Michael Bay produced it.
First the casting. They are hardly credible, because they are supposed to be sixteen and look much older. And their performance is very bland as well. It’s just very uninteresting to watch them for one and a half hour. It even appears that actress Rooney Mara hated to be in this movie so much, she almost decided to quit acting.
In this film, Jackie Earle Haley plays the role of Freddy Krueger. His performance is okay. The strong point of the original was that we never completely saw Freddy, just parts and shades. Now we see him in full glory, already very early in the film. And where the first Freddy looked like an actual burned man, this one is clearly wearing make-up. With that, Wes Craven’s film was scary because of the suspense and the sinister atmosphere. Bayer doesn’t manage that at all, because he shows us too much of Freddy and even Freddy’s past. No mystery left for us. And the jump scares only come from loud sound effects, not the actual events in the film.
If you expected anything new, don’t. Some scenes were actually literally recycled. “A Nightmare On Elm Street” doesn’t add anything, a good example of an unnecessary remake.

Rating: 1,5/ 5

Top 5 Thursday: Tom Cruise Movies

I recently ranked the “Mission: Impossible” movies, but off course Tom Cruise has made many other films. He is one of my favorites, so here are my five favorite Tom Cruise movies.

5. Top Gun
Probably not one of his best, but one of my favorites so you better deal with it. I just love this movie, it’s sort of a Tom Cruise guilty pleasure. I know I was madly in love with Cruise when I first saw him in “Top Gun” (off course not when it came out, I was only 2) I find the need, the need for Tom!
4. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Without a doubt the best movie in the franchise. Right when I thought the franchise was done, they gave us this gem. It blew my mind!
3. Edge of Tomorrow
This was a surprise hit. Finally the Tom Cruise movie we needed after so many years. I didn’t expect much, so I didn’t see it in theatres. I regret that now, because it’s amazing. And Cruise is not even the standard hero he normally plays. His character is actually a coward, running away from the action and responsibilities.
2. Rain Man
Not necessarily because of Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman is the actual star in this, but it’s such an amazing film! A movie not just about autism, but also about two very different brothers learning to love each other.
1. Born on the 4th of July
His best performance and also his best movie. He grows up a fierce patriot, but when he comes back paralyzed from Vietnam he slowly turns against the war. This was Tom Cruise's final film of the 1980s. He was a complete unknown when the decade began, but by the end he was one of the biggest movie stars in the world.
They Almost Made the Top 5: Collateral, Jerry Maguire, Eyes Wide Shut, A Few Good Men, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Magnolia, War of the Worlds

maandag 5 oktober 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 127: Piranha

Director: Joe Dante
Genre: Horror/ Thriller/ Comedy
Runtime: 94 minutes
Year: 1978
Starring: Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Barbara Steele, Kevin McCarthy, Dick Miller

Description: When flesh-eating piranhas are accidently released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal.

Review: What’s “Piranha”? It stands for beautiful ladies, boobs, lots of blood and bad jokes. Do you want a good story, then this isn’t your movie. But that doesn’t matter, because sometimes this is just the kind of movie you need.
If you’ve seen “Jaws”, you see the resemblance. The opening scene is practically the same, only this time with two people and piranhas. It looks like it’s mocking “Jaws” and in that it succeeds.
Joe Dante directs and he always does the combination of horror and comedy well. I thought this movie was going to be bad, but it’s better than I thought. And the special effects aren’t all that bad either. Only that weird little creature in the laboratory ruined it for me. That shouldn’t have been in there.
“Piranha” is a fun horror comedy, an enjoyable watch.

Rating: 3/ 5

zondag 4 oktober 2015

Monthly 4: September 2015

The month of September was filled with creativity and I think October will be even more creative. And a movie filled month it was as well. Here are my favorite moments of september.
1. I’ve been watching a lot of youtube card making videos. Kristina Werner, Jennifer McGuire and Nichol Magouirk are my favorites.

2. My friends Matty and Inge never saw “Jaws”, so I has to change that.

3. I’m very proud of myself, because I finally watched “The Conjuring”. All by myself! I don’t do well with stories like this, but I just wanted to see this movie. And it was fantastic. Oh, and scary as hell and I didn’t sleep for days….

4. My new favorite stamp brand is Lawn Fawn. I ordered a couple of sets online and I just love making cards with these cute stamps. I found my creative mojo again!

Movie Trailer Sunday (207)

Here are this weeks trailers.

The Choice
Description: Travis and Gabby first meet as neighbors in a small coastal town and wind up in a relationship that is tested by life's most defining events.
Director: Ross Katz
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Maggie Grace, Tom Wilkinson
Comment: I really love the novels by Nicholas Sparks, but those stories start to look more and more alike every time.

99 Homes
Description: A father (Andrew Garfield) struggles to get back the home that his family was evicted from by working for the greedy real estate broker (Michael Shannon) who's the source of his frustration.
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, Clancy Brown
Comment: Real estate brokers are assholes...

Description: In the hazy aftermath of an unimaginable loss, Sarah and Phil come unhinged, recklessly ignoring the repercussions. Phil starts to lose sight of his morals; Sarah takes off on a potentially disastrous journey, falling deeper into her own fever dream.
Director: Reed Morano
Starring: Olivia Wilde, Luke Wilson, Juno Temple, Elisabeth Moss, Giovanni Ribisi, John Leguizamo, Ty SImpkins
Comment: Olivia Wilde looks amazing in this!

Shark Lake
Description: Fiercely protective single-mom Meredith Hendricks (Sara Malakul Lane) happens to also be the best cop in her quiet town on Lake Tahoe. When a black-market exotic species dealer named Clint, is paroled from prison, something he let loose begins to make its presence known. Swimmers and land-lovers alike begin to become part of the food chain at an unbelievable rate. Meredith and the new man in her life, a biologist named Peter (Michael Aaron Milligan), begin to investigate these brutal attacks and discover that they're not just hunting one eating machine, but a whole family of them. After a documentary crew is devoured when they don't take the threat seriously, it's up to Meredith, Peter, and the unlikely hero, Clint (Dolph Lundgren), to stop the most dangerous thing on the planet: A mother protecting its young. Not everyone will make it out alive, but those who do will never forget this summer at Shark Lake.
Director: Jerry Dugan
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Sara Malakul Lane, Michael Aaron Milligan
Comment: Yeah, this looks aweful.

A Bigger Splash
Description: The vacation of a famous rock star and a filmmaker is disrupted by the unexpected visit of an old friend and his daughter.
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Starring: Tilda Swinton,Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson, Matthias Schoenaerts
Comment: When I saw the title I thought it was a sequel to "Splash". No.... just kidding.

zaterdag 3 oktober 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 126: Hotel Transylvania

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Genre: Animation/ Comedy/ Family
Runtime: 91 minutes
Year: 2012
Starring: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, Kevin James, Andy Samberg, David Spade, Fran Drescher, Jon Lovitz, Molly Shannon, Cee-Lo Green, Rob Riggle, Chris Parnell

Description: Dracula (Adan Sandler), who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy (Andy Samberg) discovers the resort and falls for the count's teen-aged daughter (Selena Gomez).

Review: Prejudices are everywhere: in our society kids are afraid of monster, but in the monster society kids are thought the be afraid of people. And not without reason, because the men armed with pitchforks and fire are a true threat to vampires, werewolves and zombies. But times change. Dracula, who is a lot nicer than you might think, build a giant castle behind a haunted forest and a creepy cemetery and turned it into Hotel Transylvania. Monsters can come over but it’s human-free.
Besides the owner of a hotel, Dracula is a single dad of Mavis, who just turned 118. This means not only a big party, but Mavis is a grown up now. And she is allowed to go outside and discover the world. Dracula pulled off some tricks so that Mavis will never go outside again. When this works, Dracula is glad that he succeeded in protecting Mavis. That is until they are visited by Jonathan, a human backpacker.
The animation by Sony doesn’t only look good, the humor is outstanding and well dosed and it’s enjoyable for the entire family. Some jokes are a bit easy, but the overall humor is great. The story might be predictable, but who cares. “Hotel Transylvania” is a very entertaining amination, perfect for some quality time with the family. Or just for fun off course.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 125: Tales from the Crypt

Director: Freddie Francis
Genre: Horror
Runtime: 92 minutes
Year: 1972
Starring: Ralph Richardson, Geoffrey Bayldon, Joan Collins, Chloe Franks, Martin Boddey, Ian Hendry, Angela Grant, Susan Denny, Paul Clere, Frank Forsyth, Peter Cushing, Robin Phillips, David Markham, Robert Hutton, Manning Wilson, Kay Adrian, Carlos Baker, Melinda Clancy, Clifford Earl, Edward Evans, Irene Gawre, Stafford Methurst, Roy Dotrice, Richard Greene, Barbara Murray, Peter Thomas, Hedgar Wallace, Patrick Magee, Nigel Patrick, George Herbert, Harry Locke, Tony Wall, Louis Mansi, Bartlett Mullins

Description: Five people get lost in a crypt and meet up with a strange crypt keeper who tells them stories of how they died.

Review: Five people are confronted with their (future) misdemeanors and faiths, by a mysterious crypt keeper.
1. All Through the House: A woman murders her husband. While she is busy trying to cover it up, she hears on the radio that a killer escaped a psychiatric facility. And it just happens that this same man is lurking around her house. The story has tension, because the killer manages several times to almost enter the house. Some good jump scares and a surprising ending.
2. Reflection of Death: Carl Maitland decides to leave his wife and child for another woman. When he and his lover Susan are in their way to a new life, they get into a car accident. Carl manages to get out of the car, but Susan is nowhere to be found. When he goes to his wife by foot, he is confronted by scared people. They are scared of him. But why… Another surprising ending and yet a movie filled with tension. You really want to know what happened and why all those people are scared of him. This was my favorite story of the five.
3. Poetic Justice: Two greedy businessmen, a father and son, want the old neighbor Grimsdyke gone and decide to terrorize him. They make sure he gets fired, his dogs are taken away from him and they send him Valentine’s day cards with horrible wishes on them. No one in the neighborhood wants anything to with him anymore and the old man commits suicide. But that doesn’t mean it’s over. It’s a cruel story and it’s pretty scary towards the end.
4. Wish You Were Here: Businessman Ralph Mason is declared bankrupt and soon after that he dies of a heart attack followed by a car accident. Ralph and his wife own a statuette which grant three wishes. Everything can be solved with that, but there are loop holes. Not quite that scary, but a very entertaining story.
5. Blind Alleys: An ex-military man gets a job as director of an institution for the blind. While he takes advantage of his position, the patients live under bad circumstances. The story takes some time to actually get interesting, but eventually it’s one of the better ones of the film. Especially the way the patients get their payback.
The film is off course a bit outdated, with the effects and the very red blood. But “Tales from the Crypt” is a pretty entertaining horror flick. Perfect for a Halloween night.

Rating: 3/ 5