vrijdag 29 april 2016

Movie Favorites: Midnight in Paris

Synopsis: Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams) travel to Paris as a tag-along vacation on her parents' business trip. Gil is a successful Hollywood writer but is struggling on his first novel. He falls in love with the city and thinks they should move there after they get married, but Inez does not share his romantic notions of the city or the idea that the 1920s was the golden age. When Inez goes off dancing with her friends, Gil takes a walk at midnight and discovers what could be the ultimate source of inspiration for writing. Gil's daily walks at midnight in Paris could take him closer to the heart of the city but further from the woman he's about to marry.

Unique Selling Point: The movie is magical, I fell in love with it right away. It manages to show Paris in the most beautiful way possible. And the perfect leading man was chosen for the role of Gil Pender: Owen Wilson.

Most Valuable Player: Director Woody Allen. His unique way of telling a story, and showing the beauty of a beloved city, worked really well.

Best Moment: At the end, when Gil sees Gabrielle again. He tells her that he’s going to stay in Paris and Gil invites her for a cup of coffee. It starts to rain. Gabrielle tells Gil she doesn’t mind getting wet and that Paris is at its best when it’s raining.

donderdag 28 april 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 57: The Good Dinosaur

Director: Peter Sohn
Genre: Animation/ Adventure/ Comedy/ Fantasy
Runtime: 100 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Raymond Ochoa, Jeffrey Wright, Steve Zahn, A.J. Buckley, Anna Paquin, Sam Elliott, Jack Bright, Frances McDormand, Maleah Nipay-Padilla, Ryan Teeple, Jack McGraw, Marcus Scribner, Peter Sohn, Mandy Freund, Steven Clay Hunter, David Boat, Carrie Paff, Calum Grant, John Ratzenberger

Description: In a world where dinosaurs and humans live side-by-side, an Apatosaurus named Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) makes an unlikely human friend.

Review: After “Inside Out”, “The Good Dinosaur” was the second Disney Pixar film that came out in 2015. In this animation shows us the “what-if” scenario, what would have happened if the dinosaurs lived together with humans.
We meet Apatosaurus Arlo, the third child of a farminf dinosaur family. Arlo is a small, scared dinosaur. His big brother is fearless and tough and his sister is self assured and confident. Everything Arlo isn’t. When Arlo’s father wants to teach him a wise life lesson, he dad dies. When later Arlo gets lost and is far away from his family, he has to survive by himself and overcome his fears. He finds an unlikely friend in a young human boy, who he names Spot.
Director Peter Sohn and his team decided to make the dinosaurs in this animation not as realistic. It works. The surroundings on the ither hand look stunning and very life like. The story isn’t as original as we are used to from Pixar, but it’s an enjoyable film takes gives us a lot of entertainment when we travel from point A to B. The film is touching ad funny.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

Top 5 Thursday: Overused Romantic Movie Clichés

Last week I looked at horror movie clichés, this week it’s romance. It’s been around for such a long time, the romantic comedy, but nowadays it’s hard to find an original one. And some things have been used way too often. Here are the five most overused romantic movies clichés.

5. The Quirky Best Friend
The leading characters always has a quirky best friend. Sometimes slutty, sometimes gay, sometimes dumb. But they are always there to support the leading character and for the comic relief. And we always wonder why they are friends in the first place.

4. The Big Gesture of Love
A simple text message or some nice flowers are not going to do it. Whether you’re singing in front of a crowd, hold a boom box up in the air or propose with hundreds of people watching you.

3. The Kiss in the Rain
Why kiss each other when you’re nice and cozy, when you can do it in the pouring rain? And over the years it somehow became extra sexy and romantic.

2. The Other Guy
When a guy just met the girl of his dreams, it’s very often that he later finds out that this girl is already with someone. Mostly a jerk, someone that doesn’t really care and often about to marry the girl.

1. The Dash
You know the moment where the leading character finally realizes that he loves her. Often at airports or the love interests wedding they decide that it’s best to declare their love at the last minute.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Frenemies, Hidden Agenda, Meet-Cute, Journalist on Assignment

woensdag 27 april 2016

100 Movie Challange 2016 - # 56: On the Waterfront

Director: Elia Kazan
Genre: Drama/ Romance/ Crime
Runtime: 108 minutes
Year: 1954
Starring: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Eva Marie Saint, Rob Steiger, Pat Henning, Leif Erickson, James Westerfield, Tony Galento, Tami Mauriello, John F. Hamilton, John Heldabrand, Rudy Bond, Don Blackman, Arthur Keegan, Abe Simon

Description: An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Review: Former prize fighter Terry Malloy does the dirty work of the corrupt union boss Johnny Friendly, ordered by his brother Charly. When people die, Terry starts questioning the union. The brother, of the girl he falls in love with with, is one of the victims. When the local pastor is chosing sides with the people rebelling against Johnny Friendly, Terry wants to clear his conscience.
“On the Waterfront” is one of the biggest classics from the 50s. The films cast was nominated for several Oscars and both Marlon Brando and Eve Marie Saint won. “On the Waterfront” eventually went home with eight Academy Awards.
Especially Marlon Brando’s role is extraordinary. With this film he brought us a new kind of acting: method acting. He is perfect for the role of Terry Mallow, because he is both macho and sensitive. Besides, one look of Brando says more then a thousand words. “On the Waterfront” is a fantastic film, a must see.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

dinsdag 26 april 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 55: Son of Saul

Director: László Nemes
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 107 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn, Todd Charmont, Jerzy Walczak, Sándor Zsótér, Marcin Czarnik, Amitai Kedar, Attila Fritz, Kamil Dobrowolski, Uwe Lauer, Christian Harting, Juli Jakab, Mendy Cahan, Eszter Csépai, Björn Freiberg, Rozi Székely

Description: In the horror of 1944 Auschwitz, a prisoner forced to burn the corpses of his own people finds moral survival upon trying to salvage from the flames the body of a boy he takes for his son.

Review: For his first film, Hungarian director László Nemes decided to go deeper into a subject that hasn’t been spotlighted in movies that often. Namely the Sondercommandos in concentration camps. These were groups of prisoners that were forced to help in the mass murder during the Holocaust. It took Nemes five years to finish this film.
In “Son of Saul” we see two days in the life of Saul Auslander, a Hungarian jew and prisoner in Auschwitz. He is part of the Sondercommando and works in the crematorium. Although Nazis ruled the place, the gassing and burning of people was left to the Sondercommando. Auslander has to see and do terrible things, truly inhumane. He turns all his emotions off until he sees the dead body of a young boy, who he thinks is his son. Saul does everything it takes to give this boy a Jewish funeral instead of being burned with all the other bodies.
Nemes choose the show everything up close. The camera is always close to Saul’s character, you look over his shoulder constantly. The experience is more intense this way. The power of suggestion and the focus on sound instead of visuals makes this movie even stronger.
“Son of Saul” is an impressive film that literally takes your breath away. Where so many films show us survival during the Holocaust, this film shows us the dead end. But the film still has hope, because Saul finds something worth living for. “Son of Saul’ is hard to watch, but also a unique film experience.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 54: Hush

Director: Jonathan Darby
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 96 minutes
Year: 1998
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, Johnathon Schaech, Debi Mazar

Description: Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow) is the young girlfriend of good-looking Jackson Baring (Johnathon Schaech). When Helen gets pregnant and marries Jackson, they decide to move to his hometown, Kilronan, and have a baby there. But his mother Martha (Jessica Lange), who lives there, starts to do weird things, and obviously she's not too friendly to Helen.

Review: Helen and Jackson live a happy life. When Helen gets pregnant and she doesn’t feel safe in their New York apartment anymore, they decide to move in with Jackson’s mother and have the baby there. But mom Martha is not as nice as she seems.
“Hush” is a predictable film and for a thriller not a lot happens. Everything evolves around lies an manipulation, but nothing really ‘thrilling’ happens.
The acting isn’t all that memorable, only maybe for Jessica Lange. She is a fantastic actress, but this is probably her worst performance ever.
“Hush” was watchable, but also easily forgettable.

Rating: 2/ 5

zondag 24 april 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 53: Secretary

Director: Steven Shainberg
Genre: Drama/ Comedy/ Romance
Runtime: 104 minutes
Year: 2002
Starring: Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Spader, Jeremy Davies, Lesly Ann Warren

Description: A young woman (Maggie Gyllenhaal), recently released from a mental hospital, gets a job as a secretary to a demanding lawyer (James Spader), where their employer-employee relationship turns into a sexual, sadomasochistic one.

Review: Lee Holloway has just been released from a mental hospital. She was depressed and because of her home situation she mutilated herself. Once Lee is back home, she decides to find a job. She is hired as a secretary at a lawyer’s office. Her boss E. Edward Grey is not your typical, standard boss. The man is shy, clumbsy when it comes to communication, but has tons of charisma. Lee sees a certain attraction in Grey. Lee finds out that when she makes mistakes, Grey ‘punishes’ her. And she likes being submissive.
“Secretary” is a movie that can not be compaired to any other film. It has so many elements. The story and its execution are very original. It’s all kind of absurd and none of the characters is really normal. Maggie Gyllenhaal, who plays leading character Lee, is a shy woman who discovers herself and her new obsession.
Although the theme is pretty controversial, the movie is somewhat mild when it comes to this theme. Some spanking here and there. And although Grey and Lee are both weird characters, they interest you and you feel for them.
“Secretary” is a film I didn’t have high expectations for, but it really surprised me and I actually loved it. Absurd characters, subtle humor. Not a film for everyone, but definitely worth watching.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 52: Quiz Show

Director: Robert Redford
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 125 minutes
Year: 1994
Starring: John Turtorro, Rob Morrow, Ralph Fiennes, Paul Scofield, Hank Azaria, David Paymer, Christopher McDonald, Paul Guilfoyle, Mira Sorvino

Description: A young lawyer, Richard Goodwin (Rob Morrow), investigates a potentially fixed game show. Charles Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes), a big time show winner, is under Goodwin's investigation.

Review: Director Robert Redford tells us the story of a memorable happening in TV history. “Quiz Show” starts with the television show “21”, a very tough trivia game. Contestant Herbie Stempel has been undefeated for weeks. The behavior of the somewhat geeky Stempel starts to annoy the producers of the show. When they meet Charles van Doren they have an idea: Van Doren is going to become the new winner of “21”. They give Van Doren all the answers and he will beat Stempel and be the new champion. Untill Dick Goodwin wants to find out the real truth behind the quiz show.
Nowadays people have probably already forgotten about this event, but at the end of the film you do wonder how this could have happened. And you also start questioning today’s quiz shows.
The best about “Quiz Show” is how director Redford managed to avoid the stereotypical good and bad characters. Ralph Fiennes is supposed to be the bad guy in the story, but his character us actually very kind and likeable. And John Turtorro is the good guy or hero, but his character Herbie Stempel is very unpleasant. Turtorro is very strong as Herbie Stempel and Ralph Fiennes as Van Doren is also excellent. Rob Morrow, who plays Dick Goodwin, is solid but his character is missing a bit of depth. The film is mainly about Fiennes and Turturro’s characters.
“Quiz Show” shows corruption in TV land, pretty impressive film directed by Robert Redford.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (235)

Here are this week's trailers.

The Magnificent Seven
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Description: Seven gun men in the old west gradually come together to help a poor village against savage thieves.
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Vincent D'Onofrio, Haley Bennett, Matt Bomer, Ethan Hawke, Cam Gigandet, Peter Sarsgaard, Vinnie Jones
Trailer: Trailer "The Magnificent Seven"
Comment: A remake I'm actually excited for.

The Girl On the Train
Director: Tate taylor
Description: The Girl on the Train is the story of Rachel Watson's (Emily Blulnt) life post-divorce. Every day, she takes the train in to work in New York, and every day the train passes by her old house. The house she lived in with her husband (Justin Theroux), who still lives there, with his new wife (Rebecca Ferguson) and child. As she attempts to not focus on her pain, she starts watching a couple a few houses down -- Megan and Scott Hipwell (Haley Bennett, Luke Evans). She creates a wonderful dream life for them in her head, about how they are a perfect happy family. And then one day, as the train passes, she sees something shocking, filling her with rage. The next day, she wakes up with a horrible hangover, various wounds and bruises, and no memory of the night before. She has only a feeling: something bad happened. Then come the TV reports: Megan Hipwell is missing. Rachel becomes invested in the case and trying to find out what happened to Megan, where she is, and what exactly she herself was up to that same night Megan went missing.
Starring: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Rebecca Ferguson, Laura Prepon, Edgar Ramirez, Lisa Kudrow
Trailer: Trailer "The Girl On the Train"
Comment: I'm reading the book right now, super excited for the film.

The Infiltrator
Director: Brad Furman
Description: A U.S. Customs official (Bryan Cranston) uncovers a money laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
Starring: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt, Diane Kruger, Amy Ryan
Trailer: Trailer "The Infiltrator"
Comment: COuld be interesting.

Jason Bourne
Director: Paul Greengrass
Description: Jason Bourne, now remembering who he truly is, tries to uncover hidden truths about his past.
Starring: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Albert Finney, Julia Stiles, Vincent Cassel
Trailer: Trailer "Jason Bourne"
Comment: Hell yeah. What I love most about this trailer is that I dn't know much about the plot yet. That makes it even more exciting.

The Do-Over
Director: Steven Brill
Description: Two down-on-their-luck guys decide to fake their own deaths and start over with new identities, only to find the people they're pretending to be are in even deeper trouble.
Starring: Adam Sandler, David Spade, Paula Patton, Kathryn Hahn, Luiz Guzmán, Sean Astin, Nick Swardson, Renée Taylor
Trailer: Trailer "The Do-Over"
Comment: Ugh...

donderdag 21 april 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Overused Horror Movie Clichés

I love horror movies, although some are hard to watch alone. But when I watch a horror movie, there are always some clichés that appear in almost every movie in the genre. I’m going to share with you some of the most overused horror movie clichés.

5. Inept authority figures
Somehow adult authority figures never seem to believe the one being chased. They are useless in horror movies, because when they do try to help, they often get killed.

4. Stereotypes
Especially when it involves teens, there is always the good virgin, the nice guy, the jerky jock, the stoner or nerd, the slutty chick. And it’s always predictable who dies first and who will survive.

3. Running away and falling
It’s often seen that someone (mostly women) is running away from the killer, but they can never do it without falling at least once. And not even over a branch or a rock, they just trip. Gravity seems to grab them.

2. Bad reception
The phone doesn’t work when you most need it. And this is very convenient for the killer.

1. The car doesn’t start
With cell phones not working, there is also a big problem with cars in horror movies. At the moment of truth, when someone tries to flee the killer, the car they get into doesn’t start. And most of the time it does start right before the killer can strike.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Dumb people, The black guy dies, The killer is never dead the first time, Sex gets you killed

woensdag 20 april 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 51: The Huntsman: Winter's War

Director: Cedic Nicolas-Troyan
Genre: Adventure/ Action/ Fantasy/ Drama
Runtime: 114 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, Nick Frost, Sam Claflin

Description: As a war between rival queen sisters Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and Freya (Emily Blunt) escalates, Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and fellow warrior Sara (Jessica Chastain), members of the Huntsmen army raised to protect Freya, try to conceal their forbidden love as they combat Ravenna's wicked intentions.

Review: “Snow White and the Huntsman” was four years ago successful enough that Universal was already planning a sequel. Rupert Sanders was going to direct and Kristen Stewart was going to star again. Because of an affaire between the two, that sequel was postponed. They still wanted to continue the franchise and they decided to make a spin-off focusing on huntsman Eric. Chris Hemsworth is an actor people love to see and who needs Snow White?
Because the huntsman wasn’t a very meaningful character in the original fairytale, we also get an evil ice queen and queen Ravenna returns. Snow White’s absence is solved by setting the story in a different fantasy world. The story is set before and after Snow White’s kingdom and they told it in a way we don’t need to see the actual character.
First we see the history of ice queen Freya and her sister Ravenna. And then we are introduced to the Huntsman Eric and warrior Sara. Freya trains an army of children to become huntsmen. Eric and Sara are her best warriors. The two fall in love, which is a sin in Freya’s kingdom. Sara is killed and Eric is supposed to die too. He survives and escape to the south. Then we skip to seven years later after all the happenings in “Snow White and the Huntsman”. Eric has to find Ravenna’s mirror, before Freay gets her hands on it.
Chris Hemsworth doesn’t have to do a lot to entertain me and I liked him in “The Huntsman: Winter’s War”. He had good chemistry with Jessica Chastain and her character is strong and fun. Emily Blunt is a believable evil queen and although Charlize Theron already proved that, she does a solid job again.
Is “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” a great film? No, but it’s very entertaining, has the right length, it looks stunning and has a good cast. I have to honest that I expected a bit more, but it’s still an enjoyable film.

Rating: 3/ 5

zondag 17 april 2016

Movie Trailer Sunday (234)

Here are this week's trailers.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Director: David Yates
Description: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander *Eddie Redmayne) in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrel, Ezra Miller, Ron Perlman, Jon Voight, Samantha Morton
Trailer: Trailer "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"
Comment: The newest trailer, jeej!!!

Doctor Strange
Director: Scott Derrickson
Description: After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant and conceited surgeon gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under his wing and trains him to defend the world against evil.
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelson, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Trailer: Trailer "Doctor Strange"
Comment: A teaser, can't wait to see more!

The Neon Demon
Director: Nicholas Winding Refn
Description: When aspiring model Jesse (Elle Fanning) moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.
Starring: Elle Fanning, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Jena Malone
Trailer: Trailer "The Neon Demon"
Comment: This looks very interesting!

The Birth of a Nation
Director: Nate Parker
Description: Nat Turner, a former slave in America, leads a liberation movement in 1831 to free African-Americans in Virginia that results in a violent retaliation from whites.
Starring: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Jackie Earl Haly, Mark Boone Jr., Penelope Anne Miller, Gabrielle Union
Trailer: Trailer "The Birth of a Nation"
Comment: Looks like "12 Years a Slave".

The Family Fang
Director: Jason Bateman
Description: A brother and sister return to their family home in search of their world famous parents who have disappeared.
Starring: Jason Bateman, Nicole Kidman, Christopher Walken, Kathryn Hahn
Trailer: Trailer "The Family Fang"
Comment: Can't wait to see Bateman as a director.

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 50: Mr. Holland's Opus

Director: Stephen Herek
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 143 minutes
Year: 1995
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, William H. Macy, Olympia Dukakis, Alicia Witt, Terence Howard, Glenne Headly

Description: A frustrated composer (Richard Dreyfuss) finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher.

Review: As a (former) teacher I always love to see movies about teachers who make a difference, touch the lives of the students. “Mr. Holland’s Opus” is a movie that does this too, it’s a beautiful film.
Richard Dreyfuss plays Glen Holland, a frustrated composer. Because he needs money, he takes a job as a music teacher as a high school. He is not very excited to start, but that’s until he sees what his classes do for the students.
“Mr. Holland’s Opus” is an ode to music. From classical to pop to rock music. It’s an impressive film with a lot of highlights. Music is emotion and this movie shows that. And you feel it. Richard Dreyfuss’ performance is wonderful, I loved him in “Mr. Holland’s Opus”. The ending might feel a bit too much, but I think it’s great.
“Mr. Holland’s Opus” is a beautiful film and a great dedication to music.

Rating: 5/ 5

zaterdag 16 april 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 49: Little Nicky

Director: Steven Brill
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 90 minutes
Year: 2000
Starring: Adam Sandler, Harvey Keitel, Patricia Arquette, Rhys Ifans, Rodney Dangerfield, Reese Witherspoon, Michael McKean, Rob Schneider, Henry Winkler, Peter Dante, Alan Covert, Kevin Nealon, Dana Carvey, Jon Lovitz

Description: After two of the devil's three sons escape Hell to wreak havoc on Earth, the devil (Harvey Keitel) must send his third son, the mild-mannered Nicky (Adam Sandler), to bring them back before it's too late.

Review: Adam Sandler doesn’t have the best reputation, but he has made some great memorable comedies like “Billy Madison”, “The Wedding Singer” and “Happy Gilmore”. “Little Nicky” unfortunately isn’t one of them.
Sandler plays one of Satan’s three sons, who has to stop his two other borhters from creating a battlefield on Earth. This character, Nicky, has a major speech impediment and is actually a more kind hearted guy.
The movie is filled with bad jokes and there is way too much going on. Sandler’s jokes are often bad, but bearable and still funny. Here in “Little Nicky” I didn’t really laugh a lot and I was a bit annoyed with the film.
“Little Nicky” is probably one of Sandler’s worst films.

Rating: 1/ 5

donderdag 14 april 2016

Top 5 Thursday: 2016 Summer Movies to Look Forward to

As a big movie nerd I’m also looking out for new movies. Today I’m going to share with you the five films I can’t wait to see, that will be released this summer (june/ july/ august, US release dates).

5. Ghosbusters
Okay, I’m a little skeptical. But somehow I’m still interested in seeing it, because of the great comedic actresses (and Chris Hemsworth). I hope it’s going to be funny.

4. Suicide Squad
We’ve seen a few trailers now and I get more excited after seeing a new trailer. I think this is going to a good film and I’m curious about Jaret Leto’s version of The Joker and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.

3. Jason Bourne
We don’t know that much about the new Jason Bourne film, but knowing the franchise is returning is reason enough for me to go to the theaters. I love these films and Matt Damon is fantastic in them.

2. Finding Dory
Oh how I love “Finding Nemo”. And Dory is my favorite character, so off course I’m super stoked to see a spin-off film. Can’t wait!

1. The BFG
I’m a huge fan of Roald Dahl’s children’s books. Some of them have been made into movies quite successfully. I’m very confident that Steven Spielberg created a gem with “The BFG” (The Big Friendly Giant).

They Almost Made the Top 5: Independence Day: Resurgence

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 48: Last Tango in Paris

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Genre: Drama/ Romance
Runtime: 136 minutes
Year: 1972
Starring: Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Maria Michi, Giovanna Galletti, Gitt Magrini, Catherine Allégret, Luce Marqueand, Marie-Hélène Breillat, Catherine Breillat, Massimo Girotti

Description: A young Parisian woman (Maria Schneider) meets a middle-aged American businessman (Marlon Brando) who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.

Review: Before I saw “Last Tango in Paris” I heard a lot of controversy about this film and read positive reviews, with an exception here and there. Well, I’m the exception too, because although I wanted to like this film, I truly didn’t. It looks good, but I can’t consider it a classic.
First, the plot. There is none. They get away with it because of the great performance by Marlon Brando. But the characters are not likeable and I couldn’t relate to any of them. And the dialogues sometimes felt silly to me.
Brando has done some great films and I love him as an actor. But “Last Tango in Paris” is just not one of those movies. And most of the time when I don’t like a film that is highly praised, I get why people love it. With this one I just don’t. It’s probably just me.

Rating: 2/ 5

maandag 11 april 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 47: Pixels

Director: Chris Columbus
Genre: Action/ Comedy/ Science Fictions
Runtime: 106 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Jane Krakowski, Dan Aykroyd, Ashley Benson

Description: When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games.

Review: The promising future that Will Cooper predicted for his video game champion friend Sam Brenner didn’t really come true. The roles are actually reversed when they grow up. Sam has to wear an emberrasing orange outfit and installs audio and video equipement, while Will is the president of the United States (played by Kevin James, are you following me?). Being the president isn’t completely going smoothly either and you wonder how he ever got to be president. Their friendship started when they were still playing arcadegames like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Galaga. One day this love for video games comes in handy, when aliens attack earth with classic arcade games.
The first part of the film isn’t all that interesting. An introduction to the characters, that you never really care about. The fact that nerds are actually supercool isn’t that believable here, like for instance in “The Big Bang Theory”.
The second act of “Pixels” is a lot more entertaining. This is where all the videogames come to life and a group of videogame nerds fight them. The idea behind “Pixels” is as bizarre as it is interesting. That makes it extra sad that this film isn’t that great. “Pixels” is only fun the second half

Rating: 2/ 5

zaterdag 9 april 2016

Movie Trailer Sunday (233)

Here are this week's trailers.

Tale of Tales
Director: Matteo Garrone
Description: The film serves as Garrone's English-language debut and will interweave three separate story strands bookended by brief bits in which Italians Alba Rohrwacher and Massimo Ceccherini will play a street circus family. In one tale Salma Hayek will play a jealous queen who forfeits her husband's life. In another, Vincent Cassel plays a king whose passion is stoked by two mysterious sisters.
Starring: Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones, John C. Reilly
Trailer: Trailer "Tale of Tales"
Comment: I love fairytales like this.

Swiss Army Man
Director: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Description: A hopeless man (Paul Dano) stranded in the wilderness befriends a dead body (Daniel Radcliffe) and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.
Starring: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe
Trailer: Trailer "Swiss Army Man"
Comment: Oh my goodness!!! I want to see this!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Director: Gareth Edwards
Description: Rebels set out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.
Starring: Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna
Trailer: Trailer "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"
Comment: Exciting...

Manhattan Night
Director: Brian DeCubellis
Description: Porter Wren (Adrien Brody), a New York City tabloid writer with an appetite for scandal. On the beat he sells murder, tragedy and anything that passes for the truth. At home he is a model family man, devoted to his loving wife (Jennifer Beals). But when a seductive stranger (Yvonne Strahovski) asks him to dig into the unsolved murder of her filmmaker husband.
Starring: Adrien Brody, Yvonne Strahovski, Jennifer Beals
Trailer: Trailer "Manhattan Night"
Comment: Intriguing

Director: Steven Spielberg
Description: A girl named Sophie encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kindhearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because unlike his peers refuses to eat boys and girls.
Starring: Rebecca Hall, Mark Rylance, Bill Hader, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton
Trailer: Trailer "The BFG"
Comment: I really can't wait to see this film!!!

vrijdag 8 april 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 56: The Soloist

Director: Joe Wright
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 117 minutes
Year: 2009
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, Catherine Keener, Tom Hollander, Stephen Root, Rachael Harris

Description: A Los Angeles journalist befriends a homeless Juilliard-trained musician, while looking for a new article for the paper.

Review: L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez finds a story, when he most needs one. The amount of people that read papers is decreasing and some journalist get fired because of this. After a crash with his bike and a short stay at the hospital, Steve meets a homeless man during his lunch break. This man, Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, appeared to have attended Julliard School of Music and is a very gifted musician. A friendship develops between te two men.
The power of friendship and the responsibility that comes wit hit is very clear in this film. The British director Joe Wright (“Pride & Prejudice” and “Atonement”) is shooting in Los Angeles and cinematographic this film is really beautiful. The film is based on a real story and Wright shot many scenes that were actually a part of Nathaniel’s real life.
The acting between Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx is great, but also separately they perform strong. Intense.
“The Soloist” is an overlooked film, it’s much better then I expected it to be and I think more people should see it. I love “The Soloist”.

Rating: 5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 45: Symphony No. 42

Director: Réka Bucsi
Genre: Short film/ Animation/ Mystery
Runtime: 10 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: -
Description: The film applies an unconventional narrative. It presents a subjective world through 47 scenes. The small events, interlaced by associations, express the irrational coherence of our surroundings. The surreal situations are based on the interactions of humans and nature.

Review: “Symphony N0. 42” is a beautiful piece of art. I watched it twice, so I could take it in more. The film has 47 short animated scenes, completely in a style that I love. The images are crisp and gorgeous and it’s wonderful to discover so many details in each scene.
There are a lot of characters that pass you by in “Symphony No. 42” and you can somehow see their emotions. There is a deeper meaning to every scene, but in order to unravel all that, you have to watch it again.

Rating: 4/ 5

donderdag 7 april 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Characters from "The Middle"

The Heck family in “The Middle” is such a fun family, that is probably more realistic then we would like to admit. I ranked the family members.

5. Sue Heck
Sue is the dorky and socially awkward middle child of Frankie and Mike. She is overemotional and is always positive. Sue’s optimism and determination are admirable and although she never gets notice for all the hard work she does, she keeps trying.

4. Axl Heck
Axl is the oldest son of the Heck family. He is mischievous and rebellious and he hates school. He is very lazy and compensates this with his looks, popularity and athletics.

3. Mike Heck
Mike is the father of the family. He is tall, blunt and sometimes even a bit boring. Mike is the manager of a quarry and is known for his straight-forward, practical attitude. He never shows his emotions.

2. Frankie Heck
Frankie is the mother of the family. She is short and a stressed wife and mother. Frankie is very strict as a mother and always means well with her kids, who she is always struggling with.

1. Brick Heck
Brick is the youngest child of Frankie and Mike. He loves to read and has quirks or habits or whispering to himself. This happens when certain words catch this ear and he wants to hear them again. Brick is exceptionally smart and tends to isolate himself from classmates.

They Almost Made the Top 5: -

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 44: Pearl Jam Twenty

Director: Cameron Crowe
Genre: Documentary/ Music
Runtime: 109 minutes
Year: 2011
Starring: Eddie Vedder, Jeff Ament, Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, Chris Cornell

Description: A documentary on the band Pearl Jam that marks their 20th anniversary in the year 2011.

Review: Director Cameron Crowe used to be a rock journalist, so he is perfect for a project like this. A documentary about the band Pearl Jam that marks their 20th anniversary in 2011.
Personally I’m a huge fan of Pearl Jam and I’ve seen them live. I think their the best live band I’ve ever seen. This documentary is interesting for me, I always like documentaries like this.
“Pearl Jam Twenty” is a lookback on the twenty years of the band. And it’s not a story without any critique. Lead singer Eddie Vedder and his fellow band members look back on the highlights, but also the low points. The success of album Ten, but also the clash they had with Nirvana. And also the death of Andy Wood. If he hadn’t died, Pearl Jam wouldn’t even exist.
All in all “Pearl Jam Twenty” is a great look at all the memorable moments of the band. Especially a great documentary for fans of the band. If you don’t feel anything for Pearl Jam, this documentary is probably not going to appeal to you.

Rating: 3,5/ 5