donderdag 30 juni 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Movies I Watched for My Challenge (June 2016)

This month I did watch some really bad films or just mediocre somewhat forgettable movies. But luckily I also watched some really good ones. Here are my favorites for the month of June, film I watched for my challenge.

5. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit
Claymation always fascinates me. The dedication, love and work that is put into a project. “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit” looks fantastic and the film is super funny. I love the movie references.

4. The Squid and the Whale
I always love films about dysfunctional families. And this is a dysfunctional family with the capital D. And this is probably Jeff Daniels at his best, he is such an underrated and underappreciated actor.

3. Finding Dory
How can I not love this movie? I was so looking forward to seeing this and it gave us so much. Humor, action, old loveable characters and new memorable characters. I loved Hank! “Finding Dory” is a fun Pixar adventure for the while family!

2. Ant-Man
I didn’t expect “Ant-Man” to be this good, It even made it to my top 5 MCU films. Paul Rudd, who I didn’t think could take on a superhero role, did an excellent job as Scott Lang. I loved this movie.

1. The Nice Guys
This was just the perfect crime comedy. Director Shane Black, who also directed “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, knows his strength. And Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are a match made in heaven. The film is hilarious and I enjoyed every minute of it.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Everest, Carol, Demolition

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 92: Finding Dory

Director: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Genre: Animation/ Adventure/ Comedy
Runtime: 103 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Hayden Rolence, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Idris Elba, Dominic West, Bill Hader, Kate McKinnon, Sigourney Weaver, John Ratzenberg

Description: The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish begins a search for her long-lost parents, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way.

Review: A year after the happenings in “Finding Nemo”, Marlin, Nemo and Dory live a fun fish live in the ocean. One day forgetful Dory is reminded of family and that she must have a family too. Dory decides to find her family and Marlin and Nemo are worried that she might not be safe.
It’s been thirteen years since “Finding Nemo” and it was one of Pixar’s most beloved tales. Ellen DeGeneres, who voices Dory, has campaign for a sequel for years. And here it is.
All the ingredients to make “Finding Dory” a success too are present. And the new characters make it a fresh film. Especially octopus Hank is a fun new addition. But there is also near sighted whale shark Destiny and beluga Bailey. The voice peformances are great, the right actors were choosen.
Besides a lot of humor, there is also action. And the film looks so beautiful, with a gorgeous color palet. What I lovede most about the story is that there is no villain, which makes it really original. A loveable fish is trying to find her family and meets new friends, no enemies.
Is it as good as “Finding Nemo”? No. Is it a great Pixar animation? Hell yeah!

Rating: 4,5/ 5

maandag 27 juni 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 91: Demolition

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Runtime: 100 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper

Description: A successful investment banker (Jake Gyllenhaal) struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. With the help of a customer service rep (Naomi Watts) and her young son, he starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew.

Review: Davis Mitchell is in the car with his wife. They get into a crash and his wife doesn’t survive the accident. When he tries to get a bag of M&M’s from a vending machine, and the candy gets stuck, it’s the start of a chain of letters between him and a customer’s service rep.
Davis comepletely loses his way when he loses his wife. He realizes that his job, for his wife’s father, and their ultra modern house, doesn’t really fit him. They are all things that happened because of his relationship with Julia. Now she’s gone, Davis is trying to find a new identity.
Jake Gyllenhaal is a great actor and he proves that again here. Both in the dramatic and comedic scenes. Especially that last surprised me. I also liked him together with Naomi Watts. Her character doesn’t have the depth I hoped for, but she is still strong. The movie is original, but at the more dramatic moments it can’t escape the clichés.
Overall I really liked “Demolition”, mostly because of Gyllenhaal and Watts.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

zondag 26 juni 2016

Movie Trailer Sunday (244)

Here are this weeks trailers.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Director: Tim Burton
Description: When Jacob (Asa Butterfield) discovers clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds Miss Peregrine's (Eva Green) Home for Peculiar Children. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers.
Starring: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Ella Purnell, Allison Janney, Samuel L. Jackson, Rupert Everett, Judi Dench, Chris O'Dowd, Terence Stamp
Trailer: Trailer "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children"
Comment: Hopefully Tim Burton has done it again and can enchant us with this film. It looks great.

Jack Reacher: Never Look Back
Director: Edward Zwick
Description: Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns to the headquarters of his old unit, only to find out he's now accused of a 16-year-old homicide.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Robert Knepper
Trailer: Trailer "Jack Reacher: Never Look Back"
Comment: I haven't seen the first one yet, but this trailer still looks interesting.

Keeping Up with the Joneses
Director: Greg Mottola
Description: A suburban couple (Isla Fisher, Zach Galifianakis) becomes embroiled in an international espionage plot when they discover that their seemingly perfect new neighbors (Gal Gadot, Jon hamm) are government spies.
Starring: Isla Fisher, Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot, Patton Oswalt
Trailer: Trailer "Keeping Up with the Joneses"
Comment: It looks fun, although it looks like nothing new.

Ouija 2
Director: Mike Flanagan
Description: The sequel to the 2014 film "Ouija".
Starring: Elizabeth Reeser, Henry Thomas, Lin Shaye
Trailer: Trailer "Ouija 2"
Comment: Well.... it's probably not going to be good.

Director: Ron Howard
Description: When Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), 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: After an axciting teaser, here's the full official trailer. I can't wait to dive into another Robert Langdon adventure.

donderdag 23 juni 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Female Lead Comedy Movies

Women at their finest and funniest. I listed some of my favorite comedies starring a female lead. Here is my top 5.

5. Clueless
As if I could make this list without “Clueless” on it. A movie I watched over and over again when I was a teen myself. I was never like Cher, but I really loved this movie. And still!

4. Bend It Like Beckham
“Bend It Like Beckham” is a very underseen and underrated comedy. The movie that introduced us to Keira Knightley. The film follows Jess, and Indian girl who loves to play football (soccer) but her parents don’t allow her. Jess secretly joins an all girl football team and is finally happy. Then she falls in love with her coach Joe, the man her friend Jules also likes.

3. Bridesmaids
People call it the female version of “The Hangover”, when it is in fact much better. Kristen Wiig leads the groups of bridesmaids on the way to her best friend’s wedding. And off course nothing goes as plan and there is a new BFF in her way. Super funny.

2. Juno
“Juno” is one of the most likeable and sincere comedies I’ve ever seen. It’s easy to identify with Juno and how it feels to grow up and take responsibility. “Juno” is clever, funny and honest.

1. Easy A
“Easy A” is hilarious and has a fantastic female lead. I love Emma Stone and this is far out her best performance and role so far. It shows us the drastic consequences after Olive tells a lie. This lie starts living its own life.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Sister Act, Trainwreck, Pitch Perfect, Miss Congeniality, Bring It On

woensdag 22 juni 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 90: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Director: Zack Snyder
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Fantasy/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 151 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons, Laurence Fishburne, Holly Hunter, Gal Gadot, Scoot McNairy, Lauren Cohan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kevin Costner

Description: Fearing that the actions of Superman (Henry Cavill) are left unchecked, Batman (Ben Affleck) takes on the Man of Steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs.

Review: Let’s be honest: the DC comics is a little behind on Marvel when it comes to their movies. Marvel had their standalone films for Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor and Captain America and eventually teamed them up in “Avengers”. DC Comics is now bringing Superman and Batman together, two of the biggest superheroes ever.
Bruce Wayne saw his building for Wayne Enterprises fall and many people died because of it. This battle was fought by Superman and ever since then Bruce wants justice. Superman is still loved by people, but also hated by many others.
The character of Superman feels dynamic and human. Henry Cavill carries this role very well. Ben Affleck plays Batman for the first time. He is an excellent Bruce Wayne, but he didn’t completely convince me as Batman. And I don’t know if it’s just me, but his voice as Batman really annoyed me. We are introduced to Wonder Woman, who doesn’t really get a lot of screen time. But what we get is good. Jesse Eisenberg is a good villain.
“Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” is the spectacle that we were promised. And it’s visual very stylish. This film has hardly any humor in it, it’s a very dark and serious film. But the movie feels a little but messy at some points. And the emotional climax is overshadowed by the promise of a Justice League film.

Rating: 3/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 89: Carol

Director: Todd Haynes
Genre: Drama/ Romance
Runtime: 118 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson

Description: An aspiring photographer (Rooney Mara) develops an intimate relationship with an older woman (Cate Blanchett).

Review: When adapting a book to film that is a little older, the question is often raised if the story in the movie should be set in the same time period as the book. Is the story universal enough to be situated in this era? For “Carol” they stayed true to that and it was the perfect choice.
“Carol” is about a relationship between two women. Not that special you would say, but it’s set in the fifties. The young Therese is a store clerk and an aspiring photographer. She meets Carol, an older and classy woman. They befriend each other, but the two also start feeling more than just friendship.
Cate Blanchett plays the title role of Carol. She is such a versatile actress. Blanchett convinces as the bored wife with a broken marriage and the need for something new. But also as loving mother. Rooney Mara plays Therese, who is perfect for the wallflower role. Two very different people. That is shown in the scene where the two have their first lunch together. Carol knows immediately what she wants to order, when Therese has no idea and just follows Carol’s lead.
“Carol” is a very solid film, beautifully made and very strong acting.

Rating: 4/ 5

maandag 20 juni 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 88: Tales of Halloween

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Adam Gierasch, Andrew Kasch, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Ryan Schifrin, John Skipp, Paul Solet
Genre: Horror
Runtime: 94 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Booboo Stewart, Ben Woolf, Cerina Vincent, Grace Phipps, Sam Witwer, Lisa Marie, Adrienne Barbeau, Lin Shaye, Pollyanna McIntosh, Barry Bostwick, Greg Grunberg, Keir Gilchrist, Barbara Crampton, Adrianne Curry, John Landis, Caroline Williams, Clare Kramer, James Duval, Joe Dante, Kristina Klebe, Madison Iseman, Robert Rusler, John Savage, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Adam Pascal, Noah Segan, Pat Healy, Adam Green, Alex Essoe, Stuart Gordon, Tiffany Shepis, Austin Falk, Amanda Moyer, Natalie Castillo, Dana Gould, Marc Senter, Elissa Dowling, Mick Garris, Jennifer Wenger, Casey Ruggieri, Nick Principe, Ben Stillwell

Description: Ten stories are woven together by their shared theme of Halloween night in the American suburbs, where ghouls, imps, aliens and axe murderers appear for one night only to terrorize unsuspecting residents.

Review: “Tales of Halloween” is a so-called anthology film, a movie with more stories directed by different actors. Among those directors there are Darren Lynn Bousman (“Saw II” – “Saw IV”), Neil Marshall (“The Descent”) and “Adam Gierasch (“Night of the Demons”). The main theme is Halloween in the American suburbs.

Sweet Tooth
A babysitter and her boyfriend tell a little boy about ‘Sweet Tooth’, an old legend. The atmosphere is dark and it’s a good opening story.

The Night Billy Raised Hell
It’s tradition to egg the house of an older man on Halloween. But this year the roles are reverse. Young Billy is taken by the old man, who is not who they think he is. It’s a more comedic horror story and has a fun twist at the end.

A groups of friends is terrorized by young trick ‘r treaters on Halloween. Kids are on a killing spree here and that’s pretty original, but you never really find out why these kids are doing what they’re doing.

The Weak and the Wicked
When a kid is bullied by three teens, he is saved by a young man. He as his own reason for dealing with those teens. This story has this great feel of justice to it, the kids get what they deserve. And also a cool ending.

Grim Grinning Ghost
After a fun yet scary Halloween night, a young woman goes home alone. Her car breaks down and she has to take a walk, but someone is following her. I found this the scariest of the stories, especially because of a jump scare.

Ding Dong
We meet a couple, where the woman turns into a witch every Halloween. This was one of my least favorite stories. It’s not really scary, just a little weird and not even the funny kind of weird.

This Means War
Neighbors are trying to overpower each other when it comes to decorating for Halloween. This eventually ends up in a huge fight. My least favorite story. It felt out of place somehow.

Friday the 31st
A deformed man is after a young woman and kills her. But then he meets his equal in an outer space creature. This is a weird story, yet really funny and bloody. You can definitely see that this story is not to be taken seriously.

The Ransom of Rusty Rex
Two robbers kidnap a millionaire’s son on Halloween. They better shouldn’t. This was my favorite story. It was funny and scary and had a great surprising and original twist. John Landis has a little role in this story.

Bad Seed
This was also a favorite of mine. It’s about a killer pumpkin. As weird as it sounds, it’s really funny and well made.

Overall, “Tales of Halloween” is a fun anthology film. Simply for the horror fans, with a good mix of scary stories and comedic horror tales.

Rating: 3/ 5

zondag 19 juni 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 87: The Nice Guys

Director: Shane Black
Genre: Action/ Comedy/ Crime/ Thriller
Runtime: 116 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angouri Rice, Matt Bomer, Keith David, Kim Basinger, Ty Simpkins

Description: A mismatched pair of private eyes (Russel Crowe, Ryan Gosling) investigate the apparent suicide of a porn star in 1970s Los Angeles.

Review: Besides a director, Shane Black is also a great writer. While “The Nice Guys” is only his third directed film, he impresses. Like his previous film “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, this movie has a film noir feel and is a detective story set in Los Angeles. And again it’s fabulous!
The buildup in “The Nice Guys” is a bit more traditional, but the two private detectives in the story aren’t. Holland March, played by Ryan Gosling, is the kind of guy that hates himself. He doesn’t believe he will ever be happy again and blames himself for the death of his wife. March is cynical and funny. Gosling has a surprising talent for physical comedy. Russel Crowe plays Jackson Healy, a more straight forward detective. Probably better at his job then March, but less conventional. Crowe’s character is also very likeable. Angourice Rice, who plays Gosling’s daughter in the film, is fantastic. She is a smart twelve-year-old, who wants to work with her father even if it’s a danger for her own life.
Gosling and Crowe are a match made in heaven. They have great chemistry and good dialogues. Most ‘buddy cop’ films have two cops paired that are very different from each other. The characters in “The Nice Guys” are really not that different and that’s why this movie feels so fresh. It’s a great crime comedy for a broad audience. I love the cynicism, humor and action in this film. “The Nice Guys” is definitely a favorite of the year

Rating: 5/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (243)

Here are this week's trailers.

Director: Ron Clements, John Musker
Description: A young woman uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui.
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Auli'i Cravalho , Alan Tudyk, Phillipa Soo
Trailer: Trailer "Moana"
Comment: Disney hardly does anything wrong, so this will be probably be good as well.

Pete's Dragon
Director: David Lowery
Description: The adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon.
Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban, Robert Redford, Wes Bentley, Oaks Fegley
Trailer: Trailer "Pete's Dragon"
Comment: Can't wait to see this!

Director: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
Description: Storks have moved on from delivering babies to packages. But when an order for a baby appears, the best delivery stork must scramble to fix the error by delivering the baby.
Starring: Andy Samberg, Kelsey Grammar, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele
Trailer: Trailer "Storks"
Comment: Looks funny, an animation featuring animals can Always cheer me up.

Director: Sean Ellis
Description: Based on the extraordinary true story of Operation Anthropoid, the WWII mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the main architect behind the Final Solution and the Reich's third in command after Hitler and Himmler.
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Jamie Dornan, Toby Jones
Trailer: Trailer "Anthropoid"
Comment: War stories somehow always interest me.

David Brent: Life on the Road
Director: Rickey Gervais
Description: A camera crew catches up with David Brent (Ricky Gervais), the former star of the fictional British series, "The Office" as he now fancies himself a rockstar on the road.
Starring: Ricky Gervais
Trailer: Trailer "David Brent: Life on the Road"
Comment: Ricky Gervai is just simply hilarious!

vrijdag 17 juni 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 86: Cube

Director: Vincenzo Natali
Genre: Horror/ Thriller/ Drama/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 91 minutes
Year: 1997
Starring: Nicole De Boer, Nicky Guadagni, David Hewlett, Andrew Miller, Julian Richings, Wayne Robson, Maurice Dean Wint

Description: Six complete strangers of widely varying personality characteristics are involuntarily placed in an endless kafkaesque maze containing deadly traps.

Review: A group of people is locked in a cube. This cube is connected to more cubes. Every cube has six doors. Some of them are safe, some have dangours traps. The people have no idea how or why they are there. All of the people have a different background and seem to be there with a purpose. Together they are trying to find a way out.
The concept of “Cube” is pretty original. As a viewer you have lots of questions about the cubes or the reason those people are in there. You never get those answers though. “Cube” is a very vague film. Sadly the original concept is ruined by a standard story, bad cliches and really terrible acting. These elements and the fact that all the images are very dark, makes it that you don’t care about the characters and everything that happens to them.
I hated “Cube”. It has two sequels, but I will probably skip those.

Rating: 0,5/ 5

donderdag 16 juni 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Movies My Dad Loves

In honor of father’s day, which we celebrate this Sunday, I will share with you my favorite films that my dad loves. You will probably see a theme here: it’s either war or western. He also loves Steven Seagal movie for some reason, but they didn’t make my top 5. And my dad has the habit of falling asleep during movies, but not with these. And they are all very long. Here is the top 5:

5. Saving Private Ryan
A beautiful Steven Spielberg war flick, starring Tom Hanks. And coming to think of it, “Saving Private Ryan” had a lot fo famous actors in it. It’s a beautiful drama, that even people that normally don’t like watching war movies will like. It also has one of the most impressive opening scenes ever.

4. The Deer Hunter
A movie mostly known for that one scene with the Russian roulette. It shows us how a war can affect people and what an impact it has on someone’s life.

3. Braveheart
A movie in Mel Gibson’s glory days and also a film I haven’t seen for a long time. I love this movie, it’s so beautiful. And that motivational speech is probably the best one ever.

2. Platoon
This is one of my favorite war movies ever. It really left an impression on me when I first saw it and it’s a movie I tend to rewatch. For a movie with such a heavy theme, that’s pretty unique.

1. Dances with Wolves
This is probably my dad’s favorite film. My dad saw this with my brother and uncle in theaters, I was too young to see it at the time. But dad remembers the moment vividly, which means this movie had an impact on him. And I love this film, it’s such a beautiful story. And you don’t feel the length.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Das Boot, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Christmas Vacation, Once Upon a Time in the West, Apocalypse Now, Papillon

dinsdag 14 juni 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 85: The Squid and the Whale

Director: Noah Baumbach
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Runtime: 81 minutes
Year: 2005
Starring: Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg, Owen Kline, William Baldwin, Anna Paquin

Description: Follows two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.

Review: An estranged mother and father tell their two sons they are getting a divorce. But what effect will it have on them?
It’s 1986, New York. Professor Bernard Berkman and his wife Joan have grown apart. Bernard is a brilliant man, fascinated by himself and no longer interested in his wife. That’s why Joan has had her share of affairs. The two decide to separate. Their two sons, the sixteen-year-old Walt and the four year younger Frank, are the victims. Bernard has to move into a small apartment in a bad neighborhood. Frank wants to stay with his mom, while Walt adores his dad. Walt blames his mother for everything. Everything gets more complicated when one of Bernard’s students, Lili, moves in with them and gets the interest of both Bernard and Walt. And Joan starts seeing Frank’s tennis coach.
Noah Baumback is a very intelligent film maker. Together with Wes Anderson he wrote “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” and you see the influence of Anderson in “The Squid and the Whale”.
I somehow always enjoy films with dysfunctional families, because this way I realize how great my family is. The kids, Walt and Frank, are played very natural by Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline. Both are unsure about everything that is about to happen and deal with the situation in their own way. Jeff Daniels, who plays Bernard, I have always found a very underrated actor. He is really good in this film. And Laura Linney is also very strong as Joan.
Because of the great acting, the realistic happenings, the good script and the characters, this movie works well. “The Squid and the Whale” is a must-see for people who love tragic comedic family films. Fantastic film!

Rating: 4,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 84: Dead Again

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Genre: Drama/ Thriller/ Romance
Runtime: 107 minutes
Year: 1991
Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Andy Garcia, Robin Williams, Wayne Knight, Derek Jacobi

Description: An amnesiac (Emma Thompson) and a private eye (Kenneth Branagh) find they might have a past life connection.

Review: In a convent nearby Los Angeles, an unknown woman is brought in. she doesn’t know who she is, doesn’t speak and has the most terrible nightmares. Private detective Mike Church is called to find out who this woman is. Because Mike can’t find any lead, he decides to put her picture in the paper. The only one that responds is an eccentric antique store owner, who says he can discover her past by hypnotizing her. And it works.
“Dead Again” was the first Hollywood production by director Kenneth Branagh. He mixed up romance, thriller and humor. And he gathered a good cast. Branagh himself takes the lead with his then girlfriend Emma Thompson. We also see Andy Garcia, who is underused by the way, and a smaller role for Robin Williams.
The film has an interesting plot, but somehow the movie comes off as somewhat cheesy. And the music, which should add some tension to it, is way too present. Even in scenes where hardly anything exciting happens, there is this bombastic and overwhelming music. I just didn’t love “Dead Again” as much as most people did.

Rating: 2,5/ 5

maandag 13 juni 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 83: Everest

Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Genre: Drama/ Adventure/ Thriller
Runtime: 121 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Martin Henderson, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, Emily Watson, John Hawkes

Description: A climbing expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm.

Review: When it comes to disaster movie, we can divide them in two categories. One is the impressive spectacle piece where nature is overpowering mankind. Think of movies like “The Day After Tomorrow” or “2012”. The other one is the more character driven disaster film, that focusses more on the people that are facing the critical disaster. “Everest” fits that last category.
“Everest” is based on the real story of a 1996 expedition. The New Zealander Rob Hall leads a group to the top of the Mount Everest, right before a severe snow storm hits them. He leads a group of men and one woman, that all have their own motivation for reaching the top. Like Doug, who wants to proof to school children that even an everyday man can do something so extraordinary. And the Texan Beck, who chooses adventure to flee his marital problems.
The movie is filled with great actors, but most of them have to do it with a minor supporting role. Keira Knightley and Robin Wright are both wives waiting at home for their husbands. Both pretty unthankful roles. Jake Gyllenhaal, although a very strong role as the eccentric expedition leader Scott Fischer, only has a few scenes. I wanted more of him. Josh Brolin does a solid job as well. Jason Clarke is the main man. He does this well, so the overall acting is great. But because there are so many characters, it’s hard to really relate to them. The emotional moments don’t grab you as much.
But it’s not only the acting that is good. The images are beautiful. Gorgeous mountain views, all very realistic.
“Everest” is a stunning looking movie with good acting. But it could have been even better if some interesting characters got more screen time and we got to know them more.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

zondag 12 juni 2016

Movie Trailer Sunday (242)

Here are this week's trailers.

Yoga Hosers
Director: Kevin Smith
Description: Two teenage yoga enthusiasts team up with a legendary man-hunter to battle with an ancient evil presence that is threatening their major party plans.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Haley Joel Osment, Stan Lee, Justin Long, Kevin Smith
Trailer: Trailer "Yoga Hosers"
Comment: I feel like their are giving away way to much in this trailer.

Breaking a Monster
Director: Luke Meyer
Description: "Breaking a Monster" chronicles the break-out year of the band UNLOCKING THE TRUTH, following 13-year-old members Alec Atkins, Malcolm Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins as they first encounter stardom and the music industry, transcending childhood to become the rock stars they always dreamed of being.
Starring: Alec Atkins, Malcolm Brickhouse, Jarad Dawkins
Trailer: Trailer "Breaking a Monster"
Comment: Looks interesting

The Shallows
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Description: A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills.
Starring: Blake Lively
Trailer: Trailer "The Shallows"
Comment: Another trailer, I'm really excited for this film!

The Legend of Tarzan
Director: David Yates
Description: Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Djimon Hounsou, Jim Broadbent
Trailer: Trailer "The Legend of Tarzan"
Comment: A new trailer. Looks beautiful.

Director: Meera Menon
Description: "Equity", the first female-driven Wall Street film, follows a senior investment banker who is threatened by a financial scandal and must untangle a web of corruption.
Starring: James Purefoy, Anna Gunn, Sarah Mega Thomas, Margaret Colin, Nate Corddry
Trailer: Trailer "Equity"
Comment: It's about the kind of people I can't stand. Probably won't liek this film.

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 82: 360

Director: Fernando Meirelles
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 115 minutes
Year: 2011
Starring: Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster, Moritz Bleibtreu, Jamel Debbouze

Description: A dramatic thriller that weaves together the stories of an array of people from disparate social backgrounds through their intersecting relationships.

Review: “360” is a mosaic film where there are multiple storylines and characters that on some point intertwine and overlap. This theme can make a movie stronger. In “360” those storylines are further apart from each other and it never reaches the depth that it should have.
A sex offender that is released from prison and can’t touch any women, is approached by a charming girl at an airport. A driver for a criminal who is letting his own marriage fail because he is slaving for his boss. A call girl with a hidden agenda. “360” does have some intriguing storylines.
The real problem is that only a few storylines have been executed well. The rest is only half done. Which makes some connections a little farfetched or even useless.
Some characters give the film a little bit of hope. The sex offender is an intriguing character, but he doesn’t get a lot of attention. It’s fascinating how he struggles. And the storyline of the driver and a woman he meets on the street is very nice to watch too.
But most characters hardly have a chance to grow. Rachel Weisz and Jude Law play a married couple who find love outside their marriage. That’s really all there is. There are no motives or marriage problems revealed. The characters stay at a distant and are very one dimensional. And this goes for almost the entire film.
Like mostly in movies with a mosaic structure, there is no leading character. But there should be a central focal point and “360” is missing that. It could have been a really good movie, because I always love these kind of film. “360” just didn’t do it for me. Even Anthony Hopkins couldn’t make that happen.

Rating: 2,5/ 5

donderdag 9 juni 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Movies That Revived a Franchise

The movies on this list, blew new life into movie franchises that were dead until these movies were released. Movies that came out long after their previous installments or short after a flop in the movie series. Movies that revived a dying or otherwise dead franchise. Here are my picks.

5. Casino Royale
“Die Another Day” was a terrible James Bond movie, maybe even the worst. But it was followed by, what I call, the best in the franchise. “Casino Royale” And Daniel Craig gave us a more realistic version of the spy.

4. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Although “Mission: Impossible 3” was already a pretty good film, it was “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” that blew our minds. Especially because it’s the fourth film in the franchise and it’s better than all its previous films. It continued with “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” which is also amazing.

3. Jurassic World
Dinosaurs make money Hollywood. And although this movie wasn’t loved by everyone, I enjoyed it and really think it was an actual good film. “Jurassic Park” is still one of the best movies ever made. It was followed by “The Lost World” and “Jurassic Park III”. I liked both movies, but most people didn’t. 14 Years later, the long awaited “Jurassic World” got everyone excited again. It was one of the movies that got me (and my brother) as excited as a child.

2. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
The “Star Wars” prequel series was a serious let down. Fans were expecting nothing but perfection from the next “Star Wars” installment. And boy did it deliver. We were treated to a space epic, combining both the new and old “Star Wars” generation.

1. Mad Max: Fury Road
The original “Mad Max” series ended in 1985. But in the spring of 2015 it made a comeback. It’s an adrenaline fueled action film, that tells the story of Max and Furiosa’s attempt to fight the tyrannical leader Immortan Joe. It has non-stop action sequences and it looks like it has no intention to stop at all.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Star Trek, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, X-Men: First Class, Batman Begins

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 81: Beaches

Director: Garry Marshall
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Runtime: 123 minutes
Year: 1988
Starring: Bette Midler, Barbara Hershey, John Heard, Mayim Bialik, Hector Elizondo

Description: A privileged rich debutante (Barbara Hershey) and a cynical struggling entertainer (Bette Midler) share a turbulent, but strong childhood friendship over the years.

Review: Garry Marshall’s adaptation of Iris Rainer Dart’s novel is about the tumultuous but unbreakable friendsip between C.C. Bloom and Hilary Whitney. “Beaches” follows the lives of two women and they are fascinating without having to depend on a man.
We meet C.C. and Hilary at age 11. C.C. is an aspiring singer and performer from the Bronx. Hilary is going to be a lawyer, like her father. The tow meet on a beach in Atlantic City and that’s the start of their friendship. They write each other letters, growing closer every day. When they are adults, they move in together in an apartment in New York.
“Beaches” is a sugar sweet film, sometimes it feels a bit kitschy. Midler saves the film with her humor and sensitivity, she brings it to a more down to earth film. The movie celebrates life and friendship.

Rating: 3/ 5

woensdag 8 juni 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 80: Borgman

Director: Alex van Warmerdam
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 112 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Jan Bijvoet, Hadewych Minis, Jeroen Perceval, Alex van Warmerdam, Tom Dewispelaere, Sara Hjort Ditlevsen, Elve Lijbaart, Dirkje van der Pijl, Pieter-Bas de Waard, Eva van de Wijdeven, Annet Malherbe, Gene Bervoets, Mike Weerts, Pierre Bokma, Benjamin Boe Rasmussen, Reinout Scholten van Aschat, Ariane Schluter, Abdenbi Azzaoui, Reinier Bulder, Ria Eimers, Ismael El Tarhabi, Mees van Warmerdam

Description: A vagrant (Jan Bijvoet) enters the lives of an arrogant upper-class family, turning their lives into a psychological nightmare in the process.

Review: Director Alex van Warmerdam wanted to make a suggestive film, although that’s what he said. When he meant an undeveloped basic idea, he succeeded.
The film follows Marina and Richard, who live together with their three kids and a nanny in an enormous mansion. This family, symbolizing egoism and arrogance, is startled by te mysterious Camiel Borgman. This man enters the family’s mind and life as a demon.
The plot sounds really interesting, but the movie experience isn’t. The biggest weakness is the script. There is hardly any tension in the confrontation, because the family is no game for the uninvited guest. You could say that was intentional. But the characters are very weak and it feels all kinda cheap. And all the magical and supernatural elements just feel out of place. The movie misses logic.
The movie is filled with absurdism and surrealism. I don’t know where the director wanted to go with all this. I just simply didn’t understand this film fully, it just left me with a weird feeling and unsatisfied feeling.

Rating: 1,5/ 5

dinsdag 7 juni 2016

TV Review: 11.22.63

Genre: Drama/ Mystery
Year: 2016
Number of Episodes: 8
Starring: James Franco, Sarah Gadon, George MacKay, Chris Cooper, Cherry Jones, Daniel Webber, Lucy Fry. T.R. Knight, Josh Duhamel, Gil Bellows

Description: High school teacher Jake Epping (James Franco) travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy - but his mission is threatened by Lee Harvey Oswald (Daniel Webber), falling in love, and the past itself, which doesn't want to be changed and shouldn't be changed.

Review: In “11.22.63” James Franco plays Jake Epping. He travels back in time to prevent the murder of John F. Kennedy.
When it comes to book adaptations, most actors decide not the read the book before starring in the movie or TV show based on it. Or they say it’s ‘a dream come true’. James Franco, a big Stephen King fan, asked author King himself for the film rights of “11.22.63”.
Franco eventually got the lead role. He plays teacher Jake Epping, recently divorced and no clear future plans. His friend Al Templeton, who owns a diner, shows Jake a mysterious closet. When you walk into it, you end up in Lisbon, Maine. In the year 1960. Always the same place, always the same time. When you return, only two minutes have past. And when you step into the closet again, everything that happened before is undone. Al tried to prevent the murder on John F. Kennedy (11.22.63), but hasn’t succeeded. Because he is very sick, Al asks Jake to try and do it for him.
“11.22.63” dives into the murder. Most conspiracies are left behind and there is a more close study of Lee Harvey Oswald. But the show is mostly about the sixtees. According to Franco it was Stephen King’s chance to enhance everything he loved about that time, but also everything he hated.
Stephen King’s books have been made into movies and series so often. Some were flops and some were a success. I’m glad to say that “11.22.63” is a good one. A great metaphore for reality. And James Franco, who is a favorite of mine, did a wonderful job. Even Stephen King was enthusiastic about his performance.
“11.22.63” is a good mini-series, that stays exciting. You really get lost in the sixtees, just like King’s books always get you lost in his worlds.

MCU Movies Ranked

I saw the Schmoes do it on YouTube, rank all 13 MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) movies that have been released from 2008 untill 2016. With “Iron Man” being the first, and “Captain America: Civil War” being the (so far) last and starter of Phase Three of the MCU. And there are still so may movies to look forward to. Before I start, there isn’t any MCU film that I hate or even dislike. It was really hard to make this list, but here it is:

13. Iron Man 2 (2010)
It was mostly a set up for “The Avengers” and the villain wasn’t really interesting either. To be honest, I don’t really remember much of “Iron Man 2”. That’s what it is, it’s forgettable.

12. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
“Thor: The Dark World” had a lot of the same things as “Thor”, but I always felt it could have been a lot better. And then there was Malekith. We don’t really learn much about him. I don’t even remember how he looked. Overall I still think it’s very entertaining and I enjoy watching Chris Hemsworth as Thor, who really made it his own. But Loki still steals the show.

11. Iron Man 3 (2013)
Another one in the Iron Man series. I have to say, for a third film in a franchise it did really good. Different director, but still the same formula. I didn’t like the Manderine twist though.

10. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Although Edward Norton didn’t continue playing Bruce Banner/ The Hulk, I think he did a great job. It’s an underrated film, I really enjoyed this one. It sure as hell is a lot better than the Ang Lee movie, which sucked.

9. Iron Man (2008)
I think the “Iron Man” movies are so low on my list, because I have never been a fan of this superhero. Although Tony Stark is a hilarious and charismatic character, I just never could give him the love. With that being said, “Iron Man” is an excellent MCU film and it’s the only one in the Iron Man franchise that I tend to rewatch.

8. Thor (2011)
Chris Hemsworth did a fantastic job as Thor. It was a pretty though role to pull off, but he did it. And Loki, off course, is the scene stealer.

7. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
A lot of people didn’t like it, they were disappointed. Well, I knew it wasn’t going to be as good as “The Avengers”, but it was entertaining as hell. And I loved the fact that all the Avengers teamed up again.

6. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Pretty high upon my list is the first Captain America film. I loved it more than most people did. Captain America is my favorite Avenger, even my favorite superhero! “Captain America: The First Avenger” was an old school action film, fast paced and I think I appreciate this movie more than most people do.

5. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
The newest MCU film and with this film, the Russo brothers (who also directed “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) really understand this franchise. They did such a great job. And with a movie where there a two teams, you would think the directors want us to root for Captain America. But you find good and bad points in both teams. I am off course team Cap!

4. Ant-Man (2015)
Everyone thought “Ant-Man” was going to flop, because of the struggles they had with the director. Edgar Wright was actually going to direct, but eventually Peyton Reed did. “Ant-Man” became a heist superhero film with a lot of humor. “Ant-Man” is an underappreciated Marvel film.

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
The Captain America stand-alone movies are the most, even though he is considered as the most ‘boring’ Avenger. I love this character and I’m so glad his franchise is doing so well. I wasn’t excited about this film at first, but it totally took me by surprise. It was that good.

2. The Avengers (2012)
The first time we saw all of the heroes together, in one movie, on one screen, as a team. I LOVED “The Avengers”. And with so many important characters, played by big names, it could have easily gone wrong. But it didn’t . It did the exact opposite and it amazed us all.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Off all of these films and characters, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the one I knew the least about before watching it. And it blew me away! It has action, humor, sci-fi, great special effects, cool characters and a perfect cast. I LOVE “Guardians of the Galaxy” to death!