maandag 30 mei 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 76: The Magnificent Seven

Director: John Sturges
Genre: Western
Runtime: 125 minutes
Year: 1960
Starring: Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn, Jorge Martínez de Hoyos, Vladimir Sokoloff, Rosenda Monteros, Rico Alaniz, Pepe Hern, Natividad Vacío, Mario Navarro, Danny Bravo, John A. Alonzo, Enrique Lucero, Alex Montoya, Robert J. Wilke, Val Avery, Whit Bissell, Bing Russell, Horst Buchholz

Description: An oppressed Mexican peasant village assembles seven gunfighters to help defend their homes.

Review: A gang of Mexicans always raids the same little town. The citizens are simple farmers, who don’t know what to do about it. One of the farmers asks for help and meets Chris, one of the bravest men. The farmer doesn’t pay much, but Chris wants to help him. He assembles six other men who are just as noble, to help him protect the town.
In “The Magnificent Seven” we aren’t dealing with just one American hero, but seven. The characters don’t have the depth that you would hope for. The movie is missing some pace, but because there is also a lot of humor you don’t care about that tempo. The acting is okay. Especially Eli Wallach as villain Cavalera and Steve McQueen as Vin.
The music is amazing, by Elmer Bernstein. It helps the atmosphere.
“The Magnificent Seven” is a good western, I highly enjoyed it.

Rating: 4/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 75: Tangerine

Director: Sean Baker
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 88 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Kitana-Kiki Rodiguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian, Mickey O’Hagan, James Ransone

Description: A working girl (Kitana-Kiki Rodriguez) tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart.

Review: We follow the story of Sin-Dee, a transgender prostiture in Hollywood. Hours after her release from jail, she learns that her pimp and boyfriend Chester has been unfaithful. She goes on a search for the other woman. Her friend Alexandra decides to go her own path. Alexandra has some things to do before her nightclub performance. A third character in the story is the Armenian-American can driver Razmik, who flees his family life and picks up transgender prostitues.
“Tangerine” is not an easy film to watch and definitely not a movie for everyone. And it’s not a flashy or spectacular film either. The movie is simply leaning on the acting and the characters. And that’s very solid.
“Tangerine” is a strong film, with an unusual theme yet interesting.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

zondag 29 mei 2016

Movie Trailer Sunday (240)

Here are this week's trailers.

Beauty and the Beast
Director: Bill Condon
Description: An adaptation of the classic fairy-tale about a monstrous prince (Dan Stevens) and a young woman (Emma Watson) who fall in love.
Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Stanley Tucci
Trailer: Trailer "Beauty and the Beast"
Comment: Just a teaser, but I watched it like 10 times already. Can't wait to see more!

Director: Luke Scott
Description: Morgan is about a corporate risk-management consultant who has to decide and determine whether or not to terminate an artificial being's life that was made in a laboratory environment.
Starring: Kate Mara, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Giamatti, Boyd Holbrook, Tony Jones, Sam Spruell
Trailer: Trailer "Morgan"
Comment: Looks interesting.

The Space Between Us
Director: Peter Chelsom
Description: A young man raised by scientists on Mars returns to Earth to find his father
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Carla Cugino, Gary Oldman, BD Wong
Trailer: Trailer "The Space Between Us"
Comment: Looks like a sweet, grabbing film.

Director: Todd Solondz
Description: Chronicles the life of a dog as it travels around the country, spreading comfort and joy.
Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Greta Gerwig, Kieran Culkin, Julie DelpyDanny DeVito
Trailer: Trailer "Wiener-Dog"
Comment: The title alone is fun!

Personal Shopper
Director: Olivier Assayas
Description: Revolves around a ghost story that takes place in the fashion underworld of Paris.
Starring: Kristen Stewart,
Trailer: Trailer "Personal Shopper"
Comment: It was in Alicia Malone's Cannes top 5.

donderdag 26 mei 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Pranks Jim Pulled on Dwight on "The Office"

“The Office US” is one of my favorite shows. I liked the concept, the characters and the humor, but maybe my favorite parts was the rivalry between Jim and Dwight. Jim lived for pranking Dwight, so I ranked my five favorite pranks.

5. Jim convinces Dwight he is a vampire
After Dwight finds a bat and lets it loose around the office, Jim claims he was bitten by it. He then pretends to burn his hand on garlic bread, touches his teeth as if he’s getting fangs and pretends to get a headache from Angela’s crucifiz. This convinces Dwight that Jim is now a vampre.

4. Dwight’s stapler in Jell-O
This is the first Jim/ Dwight prank. Dwight angrily retrieves a plate of Jell-o with his stapler stuck in it. Jim asks Dwight: “How dow you know it was me?” while eating a pot of Jell-o.

3. Tricking Dwight into thinking it’s Friday instead of Thursday
Dwight think’s it’s Friday, so Jim and Pam try to convince him further, causing Dwight to miss work the next day. And he also claimed he had never been late.

2. Wrapping paper desk
When Dwight arrives to a gift-wrapped gift, he thinks Jim has just gone to the trouble of wrapping up all his belongings. In fact, everything is made out of cardboard and when Dwight sits down, he falls and destroys the whole thing.

1. Dwight’s desk items in the vending machine
Jim manages to put all the contents on Dwight’s desk in the offive vending machine. Dwight now has to buy all of his own stuff back with the nickels Jim gives him.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Steve takes Jim’s place, Jim dresses up as Dwight, Faxes from ‘Future Dwight’, Velcro suit

dinsdag 24 mei 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 74: The Kid with a Bike

Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 87 minutes
Year: 2011
Starring: Cécile de France, Thomas Doret en Jérémie Renier

Description: Abandoned by his father, a young boy (Thomas Doret) is left in a state-run youth farm. In a random act of kindness, the town hair-dresser (Cécile de France) agrees to foster him on week-ends.

Review: I was interested to see this film and the movie got me from the beginning. The leading character is the young Cyril. He is abandoned by his father, but still thinks he is his hero. He doesn’t believe all the things that are said about him, when they are actually true.
Although Cyril does some terrible things, you do feel for him. He is a troubled boy, because of everything that happened to him. Cyril has lived a life full of rejections, where he is looking for love. He eventually finds it in Samantha who, in a random act of kindness, decides to foster him on weekends.
The young Thomas Doret, who plays Cyril, is outstanding. And so is Cécilde de France, as Samantha.
The films of the Dardenne brother are often pessimistic and negative. “The Kid with a Bike” also has that vibe, but has hope in there as well. The movie is really strong and doesn’t have a weak moment. A very good film.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

maandag 23 mei 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 73: Nine

Director: Rob Marshall
Genre: Drama/ Romance/ Musical
Runtime: 117 minutes
Year: 2009
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Stacy Ferguson, Sophia Loren

Description: Famous film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) struggles to find harmony in his professional and personal lives, as he engages in dramatic relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his mother.

Review: There is line between film and theater, they are two different worlds. That’s something you can conclude after watching “Nine”. The show worked on Broadway, but not so much on the big screen. Director Rob Marshall was successful with the musical “Chicago”, but “Nine”…. No.
“Nine” is filled with big names. Daniel Day-Lewis plays the lead. He is a fantastic character actor, almost always flawless in his performances. Sadly this is not one of those performances. But it’s not all his fault, because his character is a bit limited. All the women in the film are okay. Judi Dench, Penélope Cruz, Kate Hudson, Marion Cotillard and Nicole Kidman.
The film has a very thin storyline and no surprises. With a cast like this, I expected more quality. “Nine” didn’t deliver.

Rating: 2/ 5

zondag 22 mei 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 72: New York Stories

Director: Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Runtime: 124 minutes
Year: 1989
Starring: Nick Nolte, Rosanne Arquette, Steve Buscemi, Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Larry David, Mike Starr, Chris Elliot, Adrien Brody, Kirsten Dunst, Talia Shire

Description: A middle-aged artist (Nick Nolte) obsessed with his pretty young assistant (Rosanna Arquette), a precocious 12 year old living in a hotel, and a neurotic lawyer (Woody Allen) with a possessive mother make up three Gotham tales.

Review: I always like movies with multiple storylines, so I was excited to finally see this. Well, that was a disappointment.
The first story, “Life Lesson”, is about a middle-aged painted who has an obsession with his young assistant. It stars Nick Nolte and Rosanna Arquette. This story was very boring, nothing interesting really happened. And although I love the song Shade of Pale by Procol Harum, there is such an overuse of this song that I didn’t want to hear it anymore after this segment. This story was directed by Martin Scorsese.
The second story, “Life Without Zoë”, follows young girl Zoë. She is a schoolgirl who lives in a luxury hotel. She helps return to an Arab princess a valuable piece of jewelry that the princess had given to Zoë’s father. This story felt so childish and silly. I couldn’t believe that this was directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
The final story, “Oedipus Wreck”, is about lawyer Sheldon. He has trouble with his overly critical mother Sadie. During a magic show, Sadie disappears. At first furious, Sheldon eventually realizes that it better that way. This story was actually fun. I loved Woody Allen in it and he also directed it. It was funny and actually kept me watching. They saved the best for last.
Overall “New York Stories” was really disappointing. That last story saved the movie.

Rating: 2/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (239)

Here are this week's trailers.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Director: Ang Lee
Description: 19-year-old Billy Lynn is brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle. Through flashbacks the film shows what really happened to his squad - contrasting the realities of war with America's perceptions.
Starring: Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel, Garrett Hedlund, Steve Martin, Chris Tucker, Tim Blake Nelson
Trailer: Trialer "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"
Comment: Meh... don't know about this.

Hell or High Water
Director: David Mackenzie
Description: A divorced dad (Chris Pine) and his ex-con brother (Ben Foster) resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's farm in West Texas.
Starring: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges
Trailer: Trailer "Hell or High Water"
Comment: Looks good, I want to see this.

Director: James Schamus
Description: In 1951, Marcus (Logan Lerman), a working-class Jewish student from New Jersey, attends a small Ohio college, where he struggles with sexual repression and cultural disaffection, amid the ongoing Korean War.
Starring: Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon
Trailer: Trailer "Indignation"
Comment: Interesting...

The Purge: Election Year
Director: James DeMonaco
Description: Two years after choosing not to kill the man who killed his son, former police sergeant Barnes has become head of security for Senator Charlene Roan, the front runner in the next Presidential election due to her vow to eliminate the Purge.
Starring: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Myjelti Williamson
Trailer: Trailer "The Purge: Election Year"
Comment: Didn't really think much of the first one, maybe this will be better? Yeah, right. And appearantly this is the third film.

Sausage Party
Director: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Description: An animated movie about one sausage's quest to discover the truth about his existence.
Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, James Franco, Paul Rudd, David Krumholtz, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, Craig Robinson, Nick Kroll
Trailer: Trailer "Sausage Party"
Comment: I really want to see this film. It looks like loads of fun!

donderdag 19 mei 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 71: Bridge of Spies

Director: Steven Spielberg
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 141 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Tom Hanks Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, Sebastian Koch, Alan Alda

Description: During the Cold War, an American lawyer (Tom Hanks) is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy (Mark Rylance) in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

Review: Steven Spielberg is one of the biggest modern American film makers. Adventure films of historical dramas, they are special. And again Spielberg has made a movie about war. This time the sixties, the cold war.
The story is about James Donovan, an insurance lawyer. He has to defend the Russian spy Rudolf Abel and also help the CIA facilitate an exchange the spy for a captured pilot.
The focus is not on wether Rudolf Abel is a spy or not. In the opening we see his daily routine and how Abel is trying to stay under the radar. When the FBI arrest him, he is nothing but corporative.
Tom Hanks is very solid in his role, but it’s Mark Rylance that steals the show with his ontrovert performance as Abel. “Bridge of Spies” is a good film, strong, solid, but nothing spectacular.

Rating: 4/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 70: American Graffiti

Director: George Lucas
Genre: Drama/ Comedy/ Romance
Runtime: 110 minutes
Year: 1973
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, WOlfman Jack, Harrison Ford, Bo Hopkins, Kathy Quinlan, Suzanne Somers, Manuel Padilla Jr. Beau Gentry, Jim Bohan, Jana Bellan, Deby Celiz

Description: A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.

Review: “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” are the first movies that come to mind when thinking of George Lucas. But he also directed “American Graffiti”, a film that cost less than it made. And it even got five Academy Award nominations.
We follow a group of friends on the night before their adulthood starts. Curt and Steven will go to college. Both got a scholarship. Steve is excited to go to college, but Curt isn’t to happy about leaving his secure environment.
The characters feel realistic, which makes you care for them. The film takes place over the course of one night and we follow several storylines. “American Graffiti” feels a bit slow sometimes, because every storyline gets an equal amount of attention. But it doesn’t reallt bother you.
“American Graffiti” is a fun teen film that is relatable.

Rating: 4/ 5

Top 5 Thursday: Good Movies with Terrible Endings

Nothing can ruin an otherwise great night out at the movies like an ending that undoes all of the goodwill the film had built up. Movies that would have been perfect, if they had just changed the ending. Here are five good films with terrible endings. *SPOILERS*

5. Signs
I love “Signs”, it’s probably my second favorite of all of Shyamalan’s films. The ending just doesn’t make sense. The aliens, which were supposed to be intelligent, invade Earth and reveal their weakness: water. So they choose to invade a world composed majority of water?

4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The movie is perfectly hilarious and funny, up until the ending. The police arrive, tell the Pythons they've run out of money and arrest them. It’s like they ran out of ideas. It’s just way to silly, even for Monty Python.

3. I Am Legend
While “I Am Legend” deviates from its original source material, the movie exchanges a brilliant twist for a standard Hollywood ending. Instead of Will Smith coming to the realization that he’s the real monster in the movie, he sacrifices himself for the sake of humanity. Oh, what could’ve been?

2. The Forgotten
The Forgotten” follows a Telly who is desperately trying to find her son. The premise? No one believes her when she tells them she has a son, not even her own husband. Viewers will wonder whether Telly is absolutely crazy? Perhaps there’s a government cover up, or something even more sinister going on. But no one would be able to predict the ending that came about, and for all the wrong reasons. Aliens. Yes, aliens abducted her son.

1. The Devil’s Advocate
Milton is revealed to be Lucifer and Kevin is his son. Kevin destroys his father’s plan by killing himself. The story itself rewinds and Kevin returns to the film’s first scenes, where he makes a different choice. What? Why? It ruined the movie for me.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Superman

woensdag 18 mei 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 69: Captain America: Civil War

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 147 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, Emily VanCamp, Daniel Brühl, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, Martin Freeman, Marisa Tomei, John Slattery, Alfre Woodard

Description: Political interference in the Avengers' activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.).

Review: The brothers Joe and Anthony Russo did a great job on “Captain America: Winter Soldier” and I was really excited when I found out they were also directing the third installment of this franchise. They really understand the Marvel universe.
The film opens with a scene in Lagos, Nigeria. There the memers of the Avengers are chasing down bad guy Crossbones. The mission ends in a blood bath. And after their actions in New York, Washington and Sokovia, the United Nations wants to close the Sokovia Accords. This means the Avengers can only work on request by the UN.
Tony Stark signs the documents. Steve Rogers thinks it’s a bad plan. Together with Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye and Falcon, he doesn’t sign. During the ceremony, where all the others do sign, the king of Wakanda is killed in an attack. The main suspect is the Winter Soldier. The hunt for Steve’s friend tears the Avengers even further apart.
This Marvel film is mostly about loyalty, family and friendship. Steve Rogers is the one we focus on, of course. He stands for loyalty and friendship and would never abandon his friend Bucky. Steve never doubts Bucky’s story and wants to defend him no matter what. A great thing about “Captain America: Civil War” is that both teams, team Captain America and team Iron Man, have good points and bad points. You would expect that as a viewer you have to lean towards Steve Rogers, but Tony Stark also has some good points. The most awesome part of the film is the showdown between both teams, on a airfield in Leipzig. Well shot, great action, perfectly choreographed fight scenes and humor. And it’s fun to see new heroes Spider-Man, Black Panther and Ant-Man here too.
There is a lot going on in “Captain America: Civil War”, which sometimes makes it feel a bit messy. Lots of characters, old an new ones. But the movies shines when it has to shine: the action and fight scenes and the comedy.

Rating: 4/ 5

dinsdag 17 mei 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 68: Kes

Director: Ken Poach
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 110 minutes
Year: 1969
Starring: David Bradley, Freddie Fletcher, Lynne Perrie, Colin Welland, Brian Glover, Bob Bowes, Bernard Atha, Laurence Bould, Joey Kaye, Ted Carroll, Robert Naylor, Agnes Drumgoon, George Speed, Desmond Guthrie, Zoe Sutherland, Eric Bolderson, Joe Miller, Beryl Carroll, Julie Shakespeare, Bill Dean, Geoffrey Banks, John Grayson, Duggie Brown, Trevor Hesketh, Stephen Crossland, Harry Markham, David Glover, Frank Norton, Martin Harley, Leslie Stringer

Description: A young, English working-class boy (David Bradley) spends his free time caring for and training his pet falcon.

Review: In 1969 director Ken Loach directs his second feature film. The leading character is the 15 year olf Billy Casper. He is raised in Yorkshire. No father, a mother that neglects him, an older brother that constantly bullies him and teachers that are picking on him. Billy is a loner and not happy. One day he finds a nest of falcons and decides to train one of them. Billy spends all his free time with the falcon, he names Kes, and he tries to forget his depressing surroundings.
“Kes” sounds like a depressing film, but Loach managed to avoid this. It’s not a sentimental story. He shows us a dreamy and lonely young boy who grows up in the sixties. That most of the cast are just amatures, is really cool. It’s not that noticeable.
The most beautiful scenes of “Kes” are the ones with Billy and his falcon. You see that this is where Billy is really happy. It’s a good drama.

Rating: 3, 5/ 5

zondag 15 mei 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 67: The Princess Bride

Director: Rob Reiner
Genre: Comedy/ Adventure/ Romance/ Fantasy
Runtime: 98 minutes
Year: 1987
Starring: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Chis Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, Andre the Giant, Fred Savage, Peter Falk, Peter Cool, Mel Smith, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane

Description: While home sick in bed, a young boy's (Fred Savage) grandfather (Peter Falk) reads him a story called The Princess Bride.

Review: “The Princess Bride” is a story that is told by a grandfather to his sick grandson. It’s about a beautiful farmer’s daughter Buttercup, who is madly in love with farm boy Westley. When they admit their love for each other, Westley leaves to earn money for their wedding. On his journey Westley is ambushed by pirates and Buttercup knows her love died. Years later Buttercup is forced to marry Prince Humperdinck. Right before the wedding, she is captured by three men who plan on declaring war to another kingdom. But the trio is chased by a masked stranger.
“The Princess Bride” is highly praised, as a fantasy film, but also as a romance and for its comedy. It has something for everyone. The people who dislike this film, take it way to seriously. There is a parody feel to this film and it’s very aware of itself. I love the combination of fantasy, action, comedy and romance.
“The Princess Bride” had been on my watchlist for a long time. Now that I finally saw it, I will definitely rewatch it many times. I’m a fan of “The Princess Bride”.

Rating: 5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 66: Midnight Special

Director: Jeff Nichols
Genre: Science Fiction/ Thriller/ Drama
Runtime: 112 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Jaeden Leberher, Sam Shepard, Adam Driver, Bill Camp

Description: A father and son (Michael Shannon, Jaeden Leberher) go on the run, pursued by the government and a cult drawn to the child's special powers.

Review: Director Jeff Nichols has proven to be very promising. Look at “Mud” and “Take Shelter”. “Midnight Special” is very different from his previous films. It’s really hard to put “Midnight Special” in one genre. It’s a paranormal, science fiction, thriller, drama.
The movie follows the eight year old Alton. Alton is a member of a religious cult and raised by its leader. The boy has a special power, but isn’t benefiting from this ‘gift’. Alton also receives messages that tell him he should go to a swamp in Texas. His father Roy and Roy’s friend Lucas believe him and take Alton to that place. But the FBI is right behind them. What happens next is a cat and mouse game between the three, the cult and the FBI.
The story is not as clear, neither is the direction Nichols is heading. But there is still enough to enjoy. The cinematography is great. And so is the cast. Michael Shannon is very strong in his role as determined father.
The movie is captivating from beginning till end, but you can see the film is a bit adrift. You never really know what is going on exactly.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (238)

Here are this week's trailers.

Director: Ron Howard
Description:cWhen Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster, Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy
Trailer: Trailer "Inferno"
Comment: Robert Langdon is back, hell yeah!

Café Society
Director: Woody Allen
Description: Set in the 1930s, a young Bronx native (Jesse Eisenberg) moves to Hollywood where he falls in love with the secretary (Kristen Stewart) of his powerful uncle (Steve Carell), an agent to the stars. After returning to New York he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life.
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carell, Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Anna Camp, Corey Stoll, Parker Posey, Paul Schneider
Trailer: Trailer "Café Society"
Comment: Doesn't look like anything new from Allen, but I still want to see it.

Assassin's Creed
Director: Justin Kurzel
Description: When Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson
Trailer: Trailer "Assassin's Creed"
Comment: Never played the game, but the trailer is super awesome!

Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Description: A high school senior (Emma Roberts) finds herself immersed in an online game of truth or dare, where her every move starts to become manipulated by an anonymous community of "watchers."
Starring: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Juliette Lewis
Trailer: Trailer "Nerve"
Comment: Looks like a more modern and adrenaline rushed version of "The Game".

The Accountant
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Description: A forensic accountant (Ben Affleck) un-cooks the books for illicit clients
Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, Jon Bernthal, J.K. Simmons, John Lithgow, Jeffrey Tambor
Trailer: Trailer "The Accountant"
Comment: Not a Ben Affleck fan, but this movie looks interesting. Maybe Affleck can change my mind about him in this film.

donderdag 12 mei 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Dumbest Decisions in Horror Movies

Are you sure you going with that? We all know that in horror movies, people can make dumb decisions. They’re simply dumb people. I listed the five dumbest decisions in horror movies.

5. Almost safe Helen (I Know What You Did Last Summer)
When Helen is chased by the hook man in “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, there is a moment where she could have gotten away. Helen is in an alley and sees the street filled with people. She is almost there, but instead of running for her life, she stops and turns around. To nothing. When Helen turn back, guess who’s there? End of Helen.

4. Don’t believe the scientists (28 Days Later)
In the opening scene of “28 Days Later” we meet a group of activists that wants to free apes. The scientists warns them about the danger and how highly aggressive the apes are. You can actually see their behavior. But why would a scientist be right? They release the apes and with that release an aggressive virus. And that will have serious consequences to the human race.

3. Watch the video (The Ring)
There is this creepy, disturbing video that, if you watch it, will kill you within seven day. If you know about this, what do you do? Exactly NOT watch it! Well, in “The Ring” they off course do.

2. Not calling the cops (Scream)
Casey is home alone and gets a creepy phone call. While I would have called the cop immediately, she keeps answering his calls and stays on the phone, instead of hanging up and calling the authorities. She clearly has access to a working phone line, which lots of horror characters don’t have.

1. All for the tourists (Jaws)
Even though a dead body washed up on shore and a marine biologists warns him, Mayor Larry Vaughn doesn’t close the beach. Because of the tourists. He just made someone happy: the hungry shark.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Exploring an unexplored cave (The Descent), Hands in the Box (Saw 2)

dinsdag 10 mei 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 65: The Signal

Director: William Eubank
Genre: Science Fiction/ Thriller
Runtime: 97 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp, Lin Shaye, Laurence Fishburne

Description: On a road trip, Nic (Brenton Thwaites) Haley (Olivia Cooke) and Jonah (Beau Knapp) are drawn to an isolated area by a computer genius. When everything suddenly goes dark, Nic regains consciousness - only to find himself in a waking nightmare.

Review: When looking at the poster, you see it’s a Sci-fi film. But other then that, I had no idea what to expect. That it turned out to be such a fantastic film, I never would have hoped. With a small budget (4 million dollars) they did a lot more than many big blockbuster science fiction films.
With “The Signal” you have no idea what is going on for a long time. You share the feeling with Nic: in the dark, looking for the truth, desperation. Nic was on a roadtrip with his girlfriend Haley and friend Jonah. On their way they come in contact with a hacker, Nomad, who got them in trouble before. The decide to trace the signal. Later Nic wakes up in a research centre and people walking around in white suites.
It’s better not to tell you more about the film. You should go into this film with minimal information. Because the budget is low, the film isn’t depending on CGI or special effects. It’s the story. And the film is perfectly balanced. It’s mysterious, visually good looking, surprising.
A great sci-fi film that will keep your attention even with its simplicity and sober feel.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 64: Willow Creek

Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Genre: Horror
Runtime: 78 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Alexie Gilmore, Bryce Johnson

Description: Jim (Bryce Johnson) and his girlfriend Kelly (Alexis Gilmore) are visiting the infamous Willow Creek, the alleged home of the original Bigfoot legend - the tale of huge ape like creatures that roam the forests of North America. It was there that in 1967, the legendary beast was captured on film and has terrified and mystified generations since. Keen to explore more than 50 years of truth, folklore, misidentifications and hoaxes, Kelly goes along for the ride to keep Jim happy, whilst he is determined to prove the story is real by capturing the beast on camera. Deep in the dark and silent woods, isolated and hours from human contact, neither Kelly or Jim are prepared for what is hidden between the trees, and what happens when the cameras start rolling...

Review: After “The Blair Witch Project” we’ve gotten an overload of found footage horror films. In 2013 director Bobcat Goldthwait brings us “Willow Creek”. And off course I can see why they keep making them: low budget, scary and people seem to enoy them. And there is a possibility that you make lots of money with it. And although it’s sometimes very unoriginal, I often like them too.
“Willow Creek” is not very different from “The Blair Witch Project”. Instead of making a documentary about a witch, the couple in this film wants to find Bigfoot. Jim and Kelly go to the forest where the original Bigfoot legend comes from. On their way they interview people about this legend. Then they go off into the woods and camp out. That’s when it gets scary.
“Willow Creek” takes some time to get into. But when we’re about 45 minutes in, the movies gets haunting. Especially the long scene where the two are in a tent at night and hear sounds coming from the woods. And they get scarier and scarier. This scene is really good and it kept me on the edge of my seat.
“Willow Creek” is nothing new and groundbreaking, but it’s a very entertaining found footage film.

Rating: 3/ 5

maandag 9 mei 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 63: Lars and the Real Girl

Director: Craig Gillespie
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Runtime: 106 minutes
Year: 2007
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Garner, Patricia Clarkson

Description: A delusional young man (Ryan Gosling) strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet.
Review: Lars is different. He is afraid of human contact, he says it even hurts him physically when they touch him. Off course this stands in the way of a relationship for Lars. A co-worker shows him a website where they seel real life dolls. In a scene that is both very endearing and hilarious, Lars introduces his new ‘girlfriend’ Bianca to his brother Gus and sister in law Karen. Gus thinks Lars has lost his mind and they take him to a doctor. She advices them to play along, because to Lars, Bianca is real.
It’s funny to see the ‘relationship’ between Lars and Bianca. But at the same time you see how happy Lars is and how he is slowly coming out of his shell and is opening up more. And I love the fact that his family, his co-workers and everyone in his town play along and accept Lars for who he is. At first they don’t know what to do with the situation, but out of love for Lars they go with it.
Ryan Gosling delivers a wonderful performance as Lars. Gosling is a very handsome, okay sexy, man. It’s great to see him as a shy, dorky, character. It’s really hard not to like Lars, even with his quirks. Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider and Patricia Clarkson are all very strong as well.
“Lars and the Real Girl” is a fantasticly heartfelt film, whimsical and touching at the same time.

Rating: 5/ 5

zondag 8 mei 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 62: Dial M For Murder

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Genre: Crime/ Thriller
Runtime: 105 minutes
Year: 1954
Starring: Ray Millard, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, John Williams, Anthony Dawson, Leo Britt, Patrick Ellen, George Leigh, George Alderson, Robin Hughes, Sanders Clark, Jack Cunningham, Robert Dobson, Guy Doleman, Bess Flowers, Sam Harris, Harols Miller, Martin Milner, Forbes Murray, Thayer Roberts

Description: An ex-tennis pro (Ray Millard) carries out a plot to murder his wife (Grace Kelly). When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B.

Review: In “Dial M For Murder” we meet Tony Wendice, a former professional tennis player, and his rich wife Margot. He’s had it with her. Tony gave up tennis for her so he could be home more often, but in the meantime Margot has started an affair with author Mark Halliday. Tony knows of the affair and has tried everything to keep them apart. He is so desperate that he planned the ‘perfect murder’. Tony black mails a former college friend to help him kill his wife. The plan goes wrong and now Tony has to outsmart the clever inspector Hubbard.
1954 was a successful year for Hitchock. Besides “Dial M For Murder” he brought us “rear Window”, what is probably my favorite Hitchcock film. Both films are based on plays and star Grace Kelly. The story of “Dial M For Murder” isn’t that complicated and almost every scene is set in the same location. But the plot twists make it a joy to watch. It’s an ideal thriller. But because it’s based on a play, there is a lot of talking. This is something you have to get through as a viewer. And the suspense isn’t in who has done it, but if Tony can get away with it.
“Dial M For Murder” is not one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best films, but still a great suspense crime thriller.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 61: The Reef

Director: Andrew Traucki
Genre: Horror/ Thriller
Runtime: 94 minutes
Year: 2010
Starring: Damian Walshe-Howling, Gyton Grantley, Adrienne Pickering, Zoe Naylor, Kieran Darcy-Smith, Mark Simpson

Description: A great white shark hunts the crew of a capsized sailboat along the Great Barrier Reef.

Review: Five friends are going on a sail trip on the Great Barrier Reef. The boat gets into an accident and capsizes. The climb upon the boat, but realize that the chances of them getting rescued are small. They decide to swin to the shore. But while on their way, a great white shark is circling them.
When you think of shark movies, “Jaws” is the first to pop into your head. It’s probably the only great shark movie ever made. “The Reef” is more like “Open Water”, a survival horror film. That makes it clear that this plot isn’t very original. The execution is okay and it looks very realistic. Problem is that not a lot happens. Maybe in the last half hour there is some excitement here and there. “The Reef” isn’t groundbreaking and the first hour is a bit dull. It isn’t until the la
st 30 minutes that it gets tense and interesting.

Rating: 2,5/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (237)

Here are this week's trailers.

Bad Moms
Director: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Description: When three overworked and under-appreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self-indulgence.
Starring: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate, Jaa Pinkett Smith
Trailer: Trailer "Bad Moms"
Comment: I like all the actresses, so why not!

The Shallows
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Description: When Nancy (Blake Lively) is attacked by a great white shark while surfing alone, she is stranded just a short distance from shore. Though she is only 200 yards from her survival, getting there proves the ultimate contest of wills.
Starring: Blake Lively
Trailer: Trailer "The Shallows"
Comment: This second trailer makes me even more excited! Although I think it's probably not going to be great.

Tulip Fever
Director: Justin Chadwick
Description: An artist (Dane DeHaan) falls for a young married woman (Alicia Vikander) while he's commissioned to paint her portrait during the tulip mania of 17th century Amsterdam.
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Christoph Waltz, Cara Delevingne, Zach Galifianakis, Judi Dench, Matthew Morrison, Jack O'Connell, Tom Hollander, Holliday Grainger, Kevin McKidd
Trailer: Trailer "Tulip Fever"
Comment: Can't wait to see this!

The Girl in the Cornfield
Director: Ryan Callaway
Description: Three young women traveling along a dark country road encounter a mysterious girl in a white dress who turns out to be far more than she seems.
Starring: Briana Aceti, Madeline Lupi, Tina Duong
Trailer: Trailer "The Girl in the Cornfield"
Comment: Okay, creepy....

No Stranger Than Love
Director: Nick Wernham
Description: What is stranger than the big hole that opens up in Lucy Sherrington's living room floor? As it turns out, love.
Starring: Alison Brie, Justin Chatwin, Colin Hanks
Trailer: Trailer "No Stranger Than Love"
Comment: This looks like a lot of fun!!!