zondag 29 november 2015

Movie Trailer Sunday (215)

Here are this weeks trailers.

Captain America: Civil War
Description: Political interference in the Avenger's activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Elisabeth Olsen, Leslie Bibb, Paul Rudd, Marisa Tomei, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Sebastian Stan, Martin Freeman, Daniel Brühl, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Frank Grillo, William Hurt
Comment: Not that excited, but I wasn't for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and that was awesome!

Gods of Egypt
Description: A common thief joins a mythical god on a quest through Egypt.
Director: Alex Proyas
Starring: Gerard Butler, Courtney Eaton, Nikolaj Coster Waldau, Rufus Sewell, Geoffrey Rush, Chadwick Boseman
Comment: Ehm....no!

Daughter of God
Description: After witnessing a miracle, a young Latina woman experiences strange things as a police detective searches for the truth behind his partner's death.
Director: Declan Dale
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Mira Sorvino, Ana de Armas, Christopher McDonald
Comment: Also known as "Exposed"

Now You See Me
Description: One year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public's adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles, The Four Horsemen resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate. The man behind their vanishing act is none other than Walter Mabry, a tech prodigy who threatens the Horsemen into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all.
Director: John m> Chu
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Radcliffe, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine,
Comment: I didn't like the first movie, so not excited for this one at all!

The Boss
Description: A titan of industry (Melissa McCarthy) is sent to prison after she's caught for insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America's latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget.
Director: Ben Falcone
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen bell
Comment: My prediction for "TheBoss" : It's not going to bring us anything new.

zaterdag 28 november 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 152: Spectre

Director: Sam Mendes
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Thriller
Runtime: 148 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Daniel Craig, Monica Bellucci, Dave Bautista, Léa Seydoux, Christoph Waltz, Ben Wishaw, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, Andrew Scott

Description: A cryptic message from Bond's (Daniel Craig) past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M (Ralph Fiennes) battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

Review: James Bond goes on a mission to Mexico, without the permission of the MI6, to end the mysterious Sciarra. There he learns about a secret organization SPECTRE, who wants to rule the world. Together with the beautiful Madeline Swann he tries to stop SPECTRE. The many obstacles lead him to the sinister leader of SPECTRE who is somehow connected to Bond’s past.
The previous Bond film, “Skyfall”, broke records worldwide. There was never a Bond movie that brought in so much money and even got two Academy Awards. The expectations for “Spectre”, which is directed by the same guy Sam Mendes, were immense high. That’s why I think this movie got so many mixed reviews. Please, never go in with such high expectations. I didn’t and I really liked “Spectre”.
“Spectre” starts with an amazing opening scene in Mexico, on the national day of the dead. Many typical Bond elements are in this first scene: an exotic location, a beautiful woman and a very confident James Bond in his slick suit. After his mission, Bond is suspended by M. But James Bond wouldn’t be James Bond if he didn’t start his own mission. With the help of Q and Moneypenny he starts his search for SPECTRE. We get spectacular action scenes, funny one liners, car chases, great camera work. “Spectre” is fairly long, but I never felt that. That’s always a good sign
Daniel Craig has always been a good Bond and he doesn’t disappoint in “Spectre”. He is so darn charming! And even physically he manages to be convincing as an action hero. But he isn’t as rough as he was in “Casino Royale”.
There was a lot of controversy about Bond girl Monica Belluci, who is with her 50 years the oldest Bond girl ever. Who cares, there is a lot of chemistry between her and Craig and she is still sexy enough to pull it off. But main Bond girl is Léa Seydoux as the smart Madeline Swann. Seydoux is good in her role and also has chemistry with Craig, but she is more the ‘damsel in distress’. Madeline could have been more than that.
Christoph Waltz plays the villain, something everyone was excited for. Waltz does more of the same, but not as intense and more timid. The big twist that his character got, wasn’t that surprising for me. This thanks to all the speculation and rumors, which can obviously ruin a movie experience.
“Spectre” is a good Bond movie. Daniel Craig in, wat probably is, his last Bond film. His series of Bond movies is very successful and I really enjoyed “Spectre”. I really don’t see the problem a lot of people had with it.

Rating: 4/ 5

vrijdag 27 november 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 151: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Director: Francis Lawrence
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 136 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Jennfier Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour, Julianne Moore, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Stanely Tucci, Natalie Dormer, Evan Ross

Description: As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow (Donald Sutherland), while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.

Review: In a world filled with young adult series it’s not easy to be above average and to stand out. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” has succeeded. It’s a strong concept and a top cast and “The Hunger Games” gets an amazing final act.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” got mixed reviews and wasn’t received well overall. It was a bit tame, lack of action, but I liked it. It was a build up to the second part and I always said the first part would be appreciated more if part two came out. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” is amazing!
Katniss Everdeen is recovering from an attack from brainwashed Peeta and all she wants is revenge on President Snow. She doesn’t want to do just what rebel leader Alma Coin has planned for her. Katniss gets an elite team, with Gale, Finnick and Peeta, but also some new faces. Together they storm the Capitol, which is filled with booby-traps.
It takes a bit of time before “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” really gets going, but then the spectacles breaks loose. This is probably the most violent one of the franchise and the darkest of the four.
You could say that, after the satisfying climax of the film, the movie goes on a bit too long. Everything has to come to an end and I was pleased with that part as well. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” has a lot to love.
Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic again as Katniss. She is probably one of the most successful actresses of her generation. And the rest of the cast does great too, even if some have somewhat limited screen time.
“The Hunger Games” series takes its audience seriously and I wish there were more movie series as good as this. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” is a worthy goodbye to the franchise and definitely a great film.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

donderdag 26 november 2015

Top 5 Thursday: Movies with a Number in the Title

There are a lot of great movies that have a number in the title (not counting sequels like “Back to the Future Part II”). I made a list and started ranking them. It wasn’t easy, because there are many good films that I love and are on my all-time favorites list. Here is my top 5.

5. 21 Grams
This is the movie that introduced met to Naomi Watts, my favorite actress, and Alejandro González Iñárritu, one of my favorite directors. It’s a story filled with characters that grab you and you start caring about. Such a fantastic film.
4. (500) Days of Summer
This movie I fell in love with after the first watch. It first looks like yet another boy meets girl story, but it’s anything but that. It’s a very unconventional romantic comedy, with great cinematography and acting.
3. 127 Hours
James Franco at his best. One of the best films of the last decade and definitely one of the best make performances ever. I love this movie, one huge adrenaline rush.
2. 50/ 50
It seems impossible, but it’s a movie about cancer that is brought with a lot of humor and wit. And exactly that is what makes this movie so great.
1. Seven
One of the best movies ever made, a film that still terrifies me every time and captivates me. “Seven” is a sublime and brilliant thriller.
They Almost Made the Top 5: 12 Years a Slave, 101 Dalmatians, The 40 Year Old Virgin, 28 Days Later, District 9, The Sixth Sense, Twelve Monkeys, 10 Things I Hate About You, Apollo 13, The Fifth Element

woensdag 25 november 2015

Best & Worst: Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman is a very diverse actor and he has a lot of good movies. Sadly he also made some shitty ones. Here are my best and worst film of Hugh Jackman.
This movie really took my breath away when I first saw it and especially Jackman’s performance is mesmerizing. Such a fantastic film that really got under my skin. I recommended it to a bunch of people after seeing it, and they all agreed.
Honorable Mentions: “The Prestige”, “X2”, “X-Men: First Class”
Jackman has balls hanging from his face. Come on! I can’t believe he agreed to do this. I can’t believe any of the actors did, because this is probably one of the worst movies ever made!
Dishonorable Mentions: “Swordfish”, “Kate & Leopold”

dinsdag 24 november 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 150: Gerry

Director: Gus van Sant
Genre: Drama/ Adventure
Runtime: 103 minutes
Year: 2002
Starring: Casey Affleck, Matt Damon

Description: A friendship between two young men (Matt Damon, Casey Affleck) is tested when they go for a hike in a desert and forget to bring any water or food with them.

Review: “Gerry” is a movie written by Casey Affleck, Matt Damon and Gus van Sant. Where Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were already successful with “Good Will Hunting”, “Gerry” is more an experimental project. It’s a stunning looking movie that will only please a small audience.
Aside from some extras, Affleck and Damon are the only two people in the film. Gus van Sant directs. The opening credits are left out. They made a movie without focusing on the big Hollywood audience. “Gerry” is a creative outlet, nothing more nothing less.
The result is very slow film where you as a viewer have to fill in the content. The story is even less then minimal. Two friends, who call each other Gerry, are on their way to something. They call it ‘the thing’. They get lost in the desert. It’s basically just them walking and walking, but shot from many different angles. It can be seen as extremely boring, but this is where the power of the movie is.
No dramatic dialogues, no mutual criticism, no bonding or exciting survival scenes. It’s up to you as a viewer to get everything out of the film. It’s important to go in this movie with no expectations, because they will all be wrong and disappointing. Let yourself get fascinated by the calmness in which friendship, hope, trust, disappointment and desperation is shown.
“Gerry” is a movie where literally nothing happens, but it’s fun to fill in the blanks yourself. “Gerry” has been made for film fans who are sick of commercial blockbusters.

Rating: 3/ 5

maandag 23 november 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 149: Junebug

Director: Phil Morrison
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Runtime: 106 minutes
Year: 2005
Starring: Embeth Davidtz, Alessandro Nivola, Amy Adams, Scott Wilson, Ben McKenzie, Celia Weston

Description: A dealer in "outsider" art (Embeth Davidtz) travels from Chicago to North Carolina to meet her new in-laws, challenging the equilibrium of this middle class Southern home.

Review: Hollywood seems to have embraced the Indie film and with “Junebug” we have a real independent, small American film. The story follows Madeleine and George, a cultural couple from Chicago that travels to North Carolina for Madeleine’s job as an art dealer. While they are there they also pay a visit to George’s family, whom never met Madeleine. Two different cultures clash and bond.
Debuting director Phil Morrison got an insightful script from Angus MacLachlan, that isn’t very dramatic but shows us a nuanced observation of ordinary people. Positive is that the middle class and narrow minded Southern people are reflected in a more realistic way and not in a negative way. Like George’s mother, who is pretty annoying but the story allows her to be honest. No clichés.
The acting is very good. Embeth Davidtz is strong as the cold city woman. Alessandro Nivola as George and Ben McKenzie as grumpy Johnny are also very good. The star is Amy Adams as the pregnant Ashley. It’s probably the character with the least depth, but the most likeable and touching. She won at Sundance with this role and got an Academy Award nomination.
The film feels natural, great eye for detail and very relatable. “Junebug” is a film perfect for Indie lovers like me.

Rating: 4/ 5

zondag 22 november 2015

Movie Trailer Sunday (214)

Here are this weeks trailers.

The Huntsmen Winter's War
Description: The sisters, Freya (Emily Blunt) and Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), live together until the Ice Queen gets her heart broken by a man. Devastated, she flees from the kingdom and builds an icy empire as she assembled a legion of huntsmen. The deadly pack of warriors includes Eric (Chris Huntsman) and Sara (Jessica Chastain), who were reprimanded to follow one rule from the cold-hearted queen: "forever harden your hearts to love." However, Freya's most beloved warriors defied her rules, as they fell in love, and she banished Eric and Sara into the wilderness.Fast forward into the Snow White plot, the Ice Queen learns that her sister has been killed and demanded her soldiers to bring the Magic Mirror to a sorceress who has the ability to harness its power. Freya learns that her sister can be resurrected and together, they come back for a deeply dark retaliation by combining their disastrous forces.As the wicked sisters plan for vengeance together with their seemingly formidable troops, the two huntsmen will reunite and try to conquer the dark forces.
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin, Nick Frost
Comment: Four of my favorites in one movie!!!!!

A Monster Calls
Description: A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mom's terminal illness.
Director: J.A. Bayona
Starring: Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell,
Comment: Curious about this film.

Midnight Special
Description: A father and son go on the run after the dad learns his child possesses special powers.
Director: Jeff Nichols
Starring: Joel Edgerton, Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Sam Shepard
Comment: Can't wait to see this.

The Benefactor
Description: A philanthropist (Richard Gere) meddles in the lives of newly-married couples in an attempt to relive his past.
Director: Andrew Renzi
Starring: Richard Gere, Dakota Fanning, Theo James
Comment: An Indie with Rochard Gere.

How to Be Single
Description: New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.
Director: Christian Ditter
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, Leslie Mann, Damon Wayans Jr., Jake Lacey
Comment: Rebel Wilson as the awkward single chick, that's new!

donderdag 19 november 2015

Top 5 Thursday: Songs from Movie Musicals

They’re my guilty pleasure: musicals. I visit musicals, but I also love movie musicals. I picked my five favorite songs from movie musicals.

5. One Song Glory (“Rent”)
"Rent" is not one of my favorite musicals, but this song impressed me so much when I first heard it. It's such a powerful song!
4. Belle (“Beauty and the Beast”)
This is my favorite Disney movie and most people would go for songs like "Be Our Guest" or "Beauty and the Beast". I always loved the opening song from the film, it makes me sing and dance myself.

3. Circle of Life (“The Lion King”)
I still remember when I first saw this movie and I was mesmerized. This is one of the best openings of a movie ever and I just love this song. It still gives me the chills.
2. Singin’ in the Rain (“Singin’ in the Rain”)
The movie that Always makes me smile! "Make 'em Laugh" is off course a good second, but I had to go for the title song. This is why I love rain myself, I wish I could this too.

1. On My Own (“Les Miserables”)
This is the best musical I saw live, this movie version might not be one of the best movie musicals, but this song is just so beautiful. This always makes me wonder why Marius is in love with Cosette instead of Éponine.
They Almost Made the Top 5: Music of the Night (“Phantom of the Opera”), Make ‘em Laugh (“Singin’ in the Rain”), Maria (“West Side Story”), Life’s a Happy Song (“The Muppets”)

dinsdag 17 november 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 148: Three Days of the Condor

Director: Sydney Pollack
Genre: Thriller
Runtime: 117 minutes
Year: 1975
Starring: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, Max von Sydow, John Houseman, Addison Powell, Walter McGinn, Tina Chen, Michael Kane, Don McHenry, Michael B. Miller, Helen Stenborg, Jess Osuna, Dino Narizzano, Patrick Gorman, Hansford Rowe

Description: A bookish CIA researcher (Robert Redford) finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

Review: “Three Days of the Condor”, by director Sydney Pollack, is an excellent thriller. Good acting, strong story and with the setting of ‘70s New York you have two hours of excitement.
Joey ‘Condor’ Turner (Robert Redford) is confronted with brutal violence, he panics and runs. A cat and mouse game is being played between an anonymous hitman and CIA researcher Turner.
Strong is the feel of paranoia that Pollack managed to create. By using long shots and no sound he manages to make Turner suspect a woman and child to be enemies. Turner has to run for his life after a hit on his team. He starts doubting everyone, including himself. Who can he trust? The only that he trusts is Kathy Hale (Faye Dunaway).
Robert Redford does a good job as the intelligent, yet a bit naive Turner. His performance is very believable. Also Max von Sydow as hitman Joubert. Without moving a single muscle he takes out people, he is relentless. The relationship between Joubert and Turner is interesting.
“Three Days of the Condor” is a good, solid thriller that captivates you the entire runtime.

Rating: 4/ 5

zondag 15 november 2015

Movie Trailer Sunday (213)

Here are this weeks trailers.

Finding Dory
Description: The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunites with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the true meaning of family along the way.
Director: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Starring: Ellen Degeneres, Albert Brooks, Idris Elba, Dominic West, Willem Dafoe, Ty Burrell, Ed O'Neill, Eugene Levy, Vicky Lewis
Comment: Fun, fun, fun!

Triple 9
Description: A gang of criminals and corrupt cops plan the murder of a police officer in order to pull off their biggest heist yet across town.
Director: John Hilcoat
Starring: Norman Reedus, Kate Winslet, Anthony Mackie, Teresa Palmer, Ga Gadot, Aaron Paul Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Clifton Collins Jr.,
Comment: They had me at Norman Reedus!

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
Description: After spending most of their time focusing on their troubling teenage daughter, Toula(Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) are facing marital problems while also having to deal with yet another Greek wedding - this time, even bigger and fatter.
Director: Kirk Jones
Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett
Comment: Do we really need this?

The Finest Hours
Description: The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952.
Director: Craig Gillespie
Starring: Ben Foster, Chris Pine, Eric Bana, Casey Affleck
Comment: Second trailer.

The 33
Description: Based on the real-life event, when a gold and copper mine collapses, it traps 33 miners underground for 69 days.
Director: Patricia Riggen
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, Lou Diamond Phillips, James Brolin, Bob Gunton
Trailer: Trailer "The 33"
Comment: Looks good.

donderdag 12 november 2015

Top 5 Thursday: Movie/TV Womanizers

I really don’t like a womanizer, I really don’t. But in movie and television shows, well, I still don’t, but at least their fictional characters and they are enjoyable to watch. Here is my top 5 of movie/TV womanizers.

5. Jacob Palmer (“Crazy Stupid Love”)
I think I couldn’t even resist Jacob, even with those cheesy pickup lines.
4. Joey Tribbiani (“Friends”)
One simple line does it for him: “How you doin’? Joey isn’t very smart or rich, but he is charming, handsome and kind of sweet.
3. Charlie Harper (“Two and a Half Men”)
A middle aged man, heavy drinker, jingle writer. Doesn’t sound like the perfect man right. Still Charlie concurs beautiful women all the time.
2. Barney Stinson (“How I Met Your Mother”)
Barney isn’t picky, his women preferably need to be pretty and under 30. That’s it. And everyone is wondering how he manages every time. Just follow the ‘rules’.
1. James Bond
How could he not be number 1? He is the biggest womanizer in movie history. He hooks up with at least three women every movie (with off course the occasional exception) and all beautiful women too. Women are his weakness.
The Almost Made the Top 5: Hank Moody (“Californication”), Alex Hitchens (“Hitch”), Alfie Etkins (“Alfie”), Steve Stifler (“American Pie”), Tony Stark (“Iron Man”), Arthur ‘Fonzie’ Fonzarelli (“Happy Days”), Giacomo Casanova (“Casanova”), Templeton ‘Face’ Peck (“The A-Team”),

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 147: The Rocketeer

Director: Joe Johnston
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Family
Runtime: 108 minutes
Year: 1991
Starring: Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton, Paul Sorvino, Terry O’Quinn

Description: A young pilot (Bill Campbell) stumbles onto a prototype jetpack that allows him to become a high flying masked hero.

Review: “The Rocketeer” is an adventure film. Sounds exciting, but is not as exciting. Although director Joe Johnston wants you to believe that you’re watching Indiana Jones from the ‘90s, the movie isn’t as action packed and spectacular. But “The Rocketeer” is an enjoyable film.
In “The Rocketeer” we meet pilot Cliff Secord (Bill Campbell). He hopes to become an aviator, but he doesn’t have enough money and the people around him don’t help either. Cliff’s life changes when he finds a rocket. It can we worn as a backpack and makes it possible to actually fly. What Cliff doesn’t know is that the FBI and mean actor Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton) are both looking for it. To make sure it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands, Cliff decides to fight them as ‘The Rocketeer’, a flying superhero.
The flying hero isn’t in the movie as much as you’d hope. It’s mostly Cliff instead of the cool Rocketeer. And when the hero shows up, the special effects look pretty dated. and besides some flying and shooting scenes, there isn’t a lot of action either.
But this movie does have something I like. “The Rocketeer” has a certain atmosphere. Johnston manages to create the ‘30s and the characters are delightfully naïve and optimistic. I especially enjoyed Timothy Dalton’s over the top villain role. And this is a film that you could enjoy with the entire family. It feels nostalgic and it gives you a happy feeling.
No cinematic masterpiece, but an entertaining flick for young and old.

Rating: 3/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 146: Short Term 12

Director: Destin Cretton
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 96 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever, Stephanie Bearitz, Rami Malek, Alex Calloway, Kevin Hernandez, Lydia Du Veaux, Keith Stanfield, Frantz Turner, Diana Maria Riva, Harold Cannon, Silvia Curiel, Melora Walters, Bran’dee Allen, Danny Roper, Elyssa Gutierrez, Garryson Zamora, Michael Marto, Patricia Barrett, Tanya Marie A. Bitanga, Zoe Wilkens, Angel Amaral

Description: A 20-something supervising staff member (Brie Larson)of a residential treatment facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend (John Gallagher Jr.).

Review: Grace (Brie Larson) works in a shelter for teens. Short Term 12, which is the name of the shelter, is a safe haven for the teens as well as for Grace. Grace lives for the young adults and takes care of them with enthusiasm and heart. But she is also haunted by an awful past. When Grace finds out she is pregnant and a new girl enters the shelter, it brings her back to her own past. Like the teens, Grace has to face it.
“Short Term 12” feels so real. The characters are realistic and in a short period of time director Destin Cretton lets us get to know the main characters very well. The acting is very natural and convincing, both the adults as the teens.
It’s amazing that this is the directorial debut for Cretton and actress Brie Larson is on her way up. “Short Term 12” is an overlooked film and it should get more praise. For a small Indie film, “Short Term 12” can easily outshine many big blockbusters. I loved this movie!

Rating: 5/ 5

dinsdag 10 november 2015

Me & 3 Marion Cotillard Movies

I think the main reason I like Marion Cotillard is that she will sometimes choose big Hollywood movies and sometimes she goes for a smaller film only a few people will see. Cotillard is a very talented and beautiful actress.

Deux Jours, Une Nuit
Genre: Drama
Year: 2014
Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Pili Groyne, Simon Caundry, Catherine Salée, Batiste Sornin, Alain Eloy, Myriem Akeddiou, Fabienne Sciascia, Timur Magomedgadzhiev, Hicham Slaoui, Philippe Jeusette, Yohan Zimmer, Christelle Cornil, Laurent Caron, Franck Laisné, Serge Koto, Morgan Marinne, Gianni La Rocca, Ben Hamidou, Olivier Gourmet, Carl Jadot
Description: Sandra (Marion Cotillard), a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.
Opinion: Sometimes the simplest movies are the most beautiful ones.
Favorite character: Sandra (Marion Cotillard)
Most memorable quote: “Everytime I feel like a beggar, a thief coming to take their money. They look at me, ready to hit me. I feel like I'm hitting them too.” – Sandra -
Best scene: The final scene, where she feels like she has done everything she could.

The Immigrant
Genre: Drama/ Romance
Year: 2013
Director: James Gray
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner, Dagmara Dominczyk, Angela Sarafyan, Glenn Fleshler, Gabriel Rush, Ilia Volok, Antoni Corone, Dylan Hartigan, DeeDee Luxe, Julian Murdoch, Francine Daveta, Anna Kuchma, John Mitchell, Gil O’Brien, Kevin Cannon, Francesca Murdoch
Description: The innocent immigrant Ewa (Marion Cotillard) is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician (Jeremy Renner) tries to save her and reunite her with her sister who is being held in the confines of Ellis Island.
Opinion: The movie has beautiful costumes and décor, but the overall story is a bit monotone.
Favorite character: Orlando the Magician/ Emil (Jeremy Renner)
Most memorable quote: “My mother used to always tell me, God's eye is on every sparrow. You've got a right to be happy, Ewa. At least, that's what I think.” – Emil -
Best scene: The moment where Emil first sees Ewa.

The Dark Knight Rises
Genre: Action/ Thriller/ Adventure/ Fantasy/ Crime
Year: 2012
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Tom hardy, Liam Neeson, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Matthew Modine
Description: Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, the Dark Knight (Christian Bale) is forced to return from his imposed exile to save Gotham City from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman (Anne Hathaway).
Opinion: For me it’s the best movie in the Dark Knight trilogy. Great bad guy and good story.
Favorite character: Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman)
Most memorable quote: “Peace has cost you your strength! Victory has defeated you!” – Bane -
Best scene: The fight between Batman and Bane

Favorite of the 3: “Deux Jours, Une Nuit”

maandag 9 november 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 145: Southpaw

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 124 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, Naomie Harris

Description: Boxer Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) turns to trainer Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker) to help him get his life back on track after losing his wife (Rachel McAdams) in a tragic accident and his daughter to child protection services.

Review: When the first promotional images for “Southpaw” were released, there was lots of respect for Jake Gyllenhaal. Before this he was a skinny dude in “Nightcrawler” and he turned into a very muscled man for “Southpaw” in a short period of time.
The life of Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is about two things: boxing and his family. After successfully defending his world title, Billy is so hurt that his wife Maureen (Rachel McAams) convinces him to quit and spend more time with his family. His plans are disturbed by an emotional incident and Billy loses everything he cares about. He seeks the help of boxing coach Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker).
Besides the impressive physicals change he went through, Jake Gyllengaal is again very convincing in his role. He keeps delivering great performances, now it’s just waiting for that first Academy Award. The supporting roles are also strong. Rachel McAdams and Forest Whitaker are fantastic as well. Even Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson is solid.
The story is not very original. It has lots of clichés and the downwards spiral Billy is going through is a bit too long. It might lead to apathy from the viewers. Acting makes up for that, because you really hope that Billy eventually gets out of it. Where the movie manages to distinguish itself from other boxing movies is the great camera work during the realistic fights. Sometimes we see it from the point of view of the boxer.
Not the most original film, but “Southpaw” is good and has great performance.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

zondag 8 november 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 144: The Purge

Director: James DeMonaco
Genre: Thriller
Runtime: 85 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Lena Heady, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield, Tony Oller, Arija Bareikis, Tom Yi, Chris Mulkey, Tisha French, Dana Bunch, Peter Gvozdas, John Weselcouch, Alicia Vela-Bailey

Description: In the future, a wealthy family is held hostage for harboring the target of a murderous syndicate during the Purge, a 12-hour period in which any and all crime is legalized.

Review: Laws form the base of our society, but what if they temporarily don’t apply? That cops, ambulances and fireman don’t respond to emergencies. This is what’s going on “The Purge”, starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Heady. James DeMonaco, who mostly does work as a script writer, directs it.
In the near future, 2022 to be exact, there is hardly any violence, criminal activity and unemployment in the US. This is because of the Purge, an annual happening where for twelve hours there are no rules. Any kind of violence, including murder, is allowed. We follow James (Ethan Hawke) and his family on the day of the Purge. James earns his money by selling security systems and his own house is well secured too. James and his wife Mary (Lena Heady) don’t participate in the Purge and they lock themselves in the house with their kids Zoey and Charlie. But when Charlie opens the doors for a man in need, nobody is safe anymore. Especially when that strange man is hunted by a group of murderous teens.
It’s good to see that, besides all the horror remakes and unnecessary sequels, there are also original ideas coming from Hollywood. The starting-point of “The Purge” is perfect for an intense thriller. Sadly the film relies a bit too much on genre clichés after the first strong half hour. The jump scares aren’t really jump scares and there aren’t any surprise elements.
Ethan Hawke and Lena Heady both deliver a strong performance. Their movie children don’t, they don’t go above the average soap actor level and both their characters aren’t likeable whatsoever. Especially because they caused all this mayhem. But on the other hand, if it weren’t for those dumb kid, we wouldn’t have a story at all, so I guess this movie needed the stupid kids.
It wouldn’t have hurt to give the main characters some backstory. And the reason for introducing the Purge would be welcome as well. It’s all very flat. This movie doesn’t expect much from the audience, you don’t need to use your brain for this.
The villains or enemies don’t convince and are anything but credible. But not all is bad. The story is interesting and it’s kind of fun to see the intruders get slashed.
In the end “The Purge” is dealing with a mediocre execution of an intriguing idea and this movie will be more of a guilty pleasure. It’s original, but not surprising.

Rating: 2,5/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (212)

Here are this weeks trailers.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Description: An American Ambassador is killed during an attack at a U.S. compound in Libya as a security team struggles to make sense out of the chaos.
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: John Krasinksi, Pablo Schreiber, David Giuntoli, Toby Stephens, Max Martini, James Badge Dale
Comment: It's directed by Michael bay so I have low expectations.

Dirty Grandpa
Description: Right before his wedding, an uptight guy (Zac Efron) is tricked into driving his grandfather (Robert De Niro), a perverted former Army general, to Florida for spring break.
Director: Dan Mazer
Starring: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Julianne Hough, Aubrey Plaza, Dermot Mulroney
Comment: Strange pairing....

Description: Charlie Kaufman's first stop-motion film about a man crippled by the mundanity of his life.
Director: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman
Starring: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Comment: It looks weird, but I love stop-motion!

Alice Through the Looking Glass
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen, Sasha Baron Cohen, Toby Jones, Rhys Ifans, Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas
Comment: Not super excited, but the trailer does look amazing!

In the Heart of the Sea
Description: Based on the 1820 event, a whaling ship is preyed upon by a sperm whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home.
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Wishaw, Benjamin Walker
Comment: Already shared the trailer with you, but not long for this comes out.

zaterdag 7 november 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 143: White Bird in a Blizzard

Director: Greg Araki
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 90 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Angela Bassett, Thomas Jane, Gabourey Sidibe

Description: In 1988, a teenage girl's (Shailene Woodley) life is thrown into chaos when her mother (Eva Green) disappears.

Review: “White Bird in a Blizzard” is a genre mix of thriller and drama, with an okay result. It’s the fall of 1988 when Eve, mother of the rebelling teenager Kat, disappears. Nothing leads to a crime and soon father and daughter have to adapt to the new situation. Although Kat doesn’t really get any support from her sexy yet dull boyfriend Phil, she starts to see the much older macho cop Scieziesciez (I always hate it when a character has a name I can’t pronounce). The investigation gets a new impulse when Kat returns from college in 1991.
The story is brought to us in flashbacks. Here we see how Kat’s mother changed in the last months before her disappearance. Did she have an affair? Was she planning on running away? The search for the truth and the performances by Eva Green and Shailene Woodley are the best part of the film.
Less successful is the character development. There is a lack of depth in characters. In “White Bird in a Blizzard” we don’t see a lot of character development, we are stuck on the surface. There are hints and you feel that there is longing and frustration, but it never becomes really clear. This makes it hard to relate to the characters.
Even without this element, it’s an easy to watch thriller/ drama. The story and climax are interesting enough and even though the characters are a bit superficial, they are believable. An okay film.

Rating: 3/ 5

vrijdag 6 november 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 142: Monsters

Director: Gareth Edwards
Genre: Drama/ Thriller/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 94 minutes
Year: 2010
Starring: Whitney Able, Scoot McNairy, Fernando Lara

Description: Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion a cynical journalist (Scoot McNairy) agrees to escort a shaken American tourist (Whitney Able) through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border.

Review: “Monsters” shows us that you don’t need a big budget to make a good movie. Gareth Edwards made his directorial debut with this film. Edwards used locations that he happened to see while traveling and used the local citizens as supporting actors. Most of the dialogues were improvised and most of the special effects he did himself. The result is a realistic monster movie, road movie and love story.
In “Monsters” aliens have taken over the north of Mexico. Six years after a contaminated space craft crashed, the presence of the aliens are an existing fact. Half of the country is in quarantine and the US have secured their borders with high walls. The story follows photographer Kaulder (Scoot McNairy), who traveled to Mexico to get pictures of the aliens. His plans fall apart when his boss asks him to escort Sam (Whitney Able), a rich man’s daughter, home to the US. They are forced to take a more dangerous route through the infected area.
“Monsters” is more about the atmosphere then the action. No tentacle spectacle (never thought I would ever say that), epic battles or Hollywood drama, but an oppressive atmosphere. And the film has a realistic feel to it as well.
The first part of the film is a bit dragging though and it took me a while to actually get into the film.
Overall I did like “Monsters”, it’s a different kind of creature feature.

Rating: 3/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 141: Straight Outta Compton

Director: F. Fary Fray
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 147 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr., Aldis Hodge, Marlon Yates Jr., R. Marcos Taylor, Carra Patterson, Paul Giamatti

Description: The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.

Review: Compton, a ghetto in Los Angeles, was the birth place of the legendary rap group N.W.A. (Niggaz with Attitudes) with members like Eazy-E, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. At the end of the 1980s the group introduced the audience to gangsta rap.
Dr. Dre and Ice Cube worked as producer for “Straight Outta Compton”, so no lack of detail. Director F. Gary Gray is also familiar with them, because he worked with both rappers for several music videos.
Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell) realizes that he can’t be a drugs dealer for the rest of his life. So when friend Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins) suggests that together with Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson), DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr.) and MC Ren (Aldis Hodge) they can form the rap group N.W.A, it’s an easy choice. After the first single, financed with drug money, Eazy-E is approached by Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti) to manage the group.
Everything seems to go fine for a while; the money keeps coming in and their controversial raps seem to have a growing audience. But the unevenly divided money brings tension to the group and their friendship starts showing some cracks.
The explosive opening of “Straight Outta Compton” sets the tone and grabs your attention immediately. And it doesn’t let you go the entire runtime. The problems with the police and how they threat the young men is a returning theme throughout the film. But with a characteristic song like “Fuck Tha Police” that’s not strange.
With a line of unknown actors (with Ice Cube’s son for instance) you don’t expect much acting wise, but the men all manage to stand strong even when they are up against veteran Paul Giamatti. They look like the actual N.W.A. members which also adds to the believability.
some less interesting business conflicts get the overhand towards the end a bit, but the way to that is filmed vividly. It feels like you are living it with them, the ups and downs, the way to the top.
The story behind the rap group N.W.A. is definitely not just for hip hop fans. “Straight Outta Compton” shows that a biopic can also succeed because of the quality of the story, not just the people it’s about. And like the album this movie references, the movie is worth double platinum.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

donderdag 5 november 2015

Top 5 Thursday: Movies I Watched for My Challenge (October 2015)

Well, October is the month of Halloween, so I watched lots of horror movies for my challenge. And since I don’t do well with watching them alone, I’m very proud of myself that I managed to stay alive, haha! Here are my five favorite movies I watched for my challenge for the month of October.

5. Dawn of the Dead
I had only seen the remake, that I thought was really good. This one, also very good. I always like zombie movies and I understand why this is a classic.

4. Crimson Peak
I read mixed reviews for “Crimson Peak”, but I highly enjoyed the Guillermo del Toro film. Yes, it wasn’t as scary as the trailers led us to believe, but it was beautifully made and had fantastic acting in it. Especially the ladies, with Jessica Chastain as the shining star.
3. Animal Kingdom
An Australian film that I didn’t hear of until I saw it. It’s an overlooked movie, more people should watch it. It’s a strong film, with good acting. Liked it.
2. The Evil Dead
What, I never saw “The Evil Dead”. Well, now I did and I loved it. Now I understand why this movie is such a cult hit. It was terrifying and gross, yet funny and very well made. Can’t wait to see the second one, because I haven’t seen that either.
1. Sicario
I was very excited to see this movie, because I loved director Denis Villeneuve’s movies “Prisoners” and “Enemy”. “Sicario” wasn’t as good, but it was still an amazing film! Emily Blunt is sublime in this movie and the film was captivating from beginning ‘till end.
They Almost Made the Top 5: Hotel Transylvania, Mastes of Horror – Family