woensdag 30 november 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 154: Doctor Strange

Director: Scott Derrickson
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Fantasy/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 115 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McADams, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins

Description: A former neurosurgeon (Benedict Cumberbatch) embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts.

Review: We all know Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor and the X-Men. They are all famous Marvel heroes. But there are also superheroes that are a bit more mysterious and unknown. Movies like “Guardians of the Galaxy”, “Deadpool” and “Ant-Man” proved to be a success by telling the tale behind the lesser known Marvel heroes. “Doctor Strange” is also one of the films, about apparently one of the oldest heroes Marvel has created. Stephen Strange is a neurosurgeon who gets into a terrible car accidents. He is not able to use his hands properly anymore, so he takes on a journey into the world of the mystic arts.
“Doctor Strange” features a lot of dark magic and parallel realities. For the movie there needed to be a lot of action to express the powers of the character. We meet a somewhat arrogant Stephen Strange, a cynical doctor that is the best in his profession. He has a big, luxury appartement and the ladies like him. But Strange is also a distant man, almost irritatingly stubborn. When Strange wakes up after a car accident, his hands are completely fractured and he knows he will never hold a scalpel. Strange does want to find a way to heal and goes to the Kathmandu. There he meets ‘The Ancient One’. She teaches him to use his mind in many different ways.
Benedict Cumberbatch is really good in his role. He adds some scepsism and sarcasm to his role. The interaction between Cumberbatch and Rachel McAdams is fun to see.
The décor of the film is fantastic, which sometimes remind you of “Inception”. The action is good as well. It can get a little busy at some points, but it looks stunning.
Doctor Strange is a tough character. He is physically not as strong as some other superheroes, so it will not speak to everyone. What he can do with his powers, needs to be explained.
“Doctor Strange” is a good Marvel film, but probably won’t make my favorites list.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

dinsdag 29 november 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 153: The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Director: Ken Loach
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 124 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Liam Cunningham, Pádraic Delaney

Description: Against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, two brothers fight a guerrilla war against British forces.

Review: Director Ken Loach is a master in telling intimide stories. Heavy, personal themes. In “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” is tells the story of one of the most important chapter in Ireland’s history.
Loach manages to create a negative image of the fight against British occupants, with a constant threatening atmosphere. There is no peace and the heroism of the Irish men is never heroic, because the price the pay is high. Although Loach focusses on the Irish side of the story and the English are a one-dimensional evil people, he never chooses a side. It isn’t an anti-British film.

Rating: 4/ 5

zondag 27 november 2016

Movie Trailer Sunday (269)

Here are this week's trailers.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Description: In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests (Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver) face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Christianity.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson
Trailer: Trailer "Silence"
Comment: It looks nothing like his other films, theme-wise.

A Kind of Murder
Director: Andy Goddard
Description: In 1960s New York, Walter Stackhouse (Patrick Wilson) is a successful architect married to the beautiful Clara (Jessica Biel) who leads a seemingly perfect life. But his fascination with an unsolved murder leads him into a spiral of chaos as he is forced to play cat-and-mouse with a clever killer and an overambitious detective, while at the same time lusting after another woman (Haley Bennett).
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Jessica Biel, Haley Bennett, Eddie Marsan
Trailer: Trailer "A Kind of Murder"
Comment: I Always like a good murder mystery.

The Book of Love
Director: Bill Purple
Description: Henry (Jason Sudeikis) is an introverted architect. After the death of his wife (Jessica Biel) in a car accident, he sets out to help Millie (Maisie Williams), a homeless teen, to build a raft to sail across the Atlantic.
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Jessica Biel, Maisie Williams, Mary Steenburgen, Paul Reiser
Trailer: Trailer "The Book of Love"
Comment: Jessica Biel keeps dying in these new films.

Nocturnal Animals
Director: Tom Ford
Description: An art gallery owner (Amy Adams) is haunted by her ex-husband's (Jake Gyllenhaal) novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale.
Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen
Trailer: Trailer "Nocturnal Animals"
Comment: Just wanted to share this one again, it looks great. I really can't wait to see it!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Director: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
Description: Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) searches for the trident of Poseidon
Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Orlando Bloom, Stephen Graham, David Wenham
Trailer: Trailer "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Comment: Hell, why not?

woensdag 23 november 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Movies for a Girls Night

I just love a night in with my girlfriends. And than especially with a big bucket of popcorn and a pile of films. Here are the five perfect movies for a girls night.

5. Bring It On
Cheerleading is not a thing in The Netherlands and if it were, me and my friends certainly wouldn’t be on. But that doesn’t mean we don’t like the drama. “Bring It On” is a fun chick flick, no brains necessary.

4. 10 Things I Hate About You
“10 Things I Hate About You” is one of the few chick flicks I’m not embarrassed to say I love, because it’s actually a really good movie.

3. Crazy Stupid Love
This is a girls film, that is also suitable for men. So my male friends will probably enjoy this film too. And it has depth. I love this film and it has a great cast.

2. Easy A
Me and my friend Inge love to watch this movie together. Some other friends don’t really understand our love for it though. But be honest, “Easy A” is a fantastic comedy.

1. Bridesmaids
A film for girls with girls. The female version of “The Hangover” they call it. But trust me, “Bridesmaids” is much better!

They Almost Made the Top 5: Dirty Dancing, Notting Hill, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Miss Congeniality, Briget Jones’ Diary, Coyote Ugly, The Devil Wears Prada

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 152: Arrival

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Genre: Drama/ Thriller/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 116 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg

Description: A linguist (Amy Adams) is recruited by the military to assist in translating alien communications.

Review: When Canadian direcot Denis Villeneuve signed to direct the lon awaited sequel to “Blade Runner”, it didn’t get the fans excited. Villeneuve did make some successful, dark thriller, but had no experience with science fiction yet. It’s “Arrival” that has to change those minds. And this is without a doubt one of the best science fiction films of the past ten years.
Twelve unknown spacecrafts arrive on planet earth and are spread out over several locations on our planet. Of course people panic. If you expect anything like “Independence Day”, you’re wrong. Villeneuve’s take on this theme is on a smaller scale. Linguistics expert Louise Banks is called in to help the military to communicate with the extra terrestrials. A tough job, because the aliens have nothing in common physically and linguistically with humans. Louise has to build up to that one question: Why are you here?
The communicatiosn with extra terrestrials isn’t a new given in Hollywood, just look at “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” or “Contact”. “Arrival” lifts it to another level though, to center this theme completely. Villeneuve captivates us with a very impressive lesson in linguistics. He goes deep into that and it’s fascinating. Louise has to teach the aliens the basics of the human language, when the respons she gets is anything but easy to understand. They are simply circle shaped signs, that disappear as fast as they appear.
Villeneuve manages to weave tension and stuff to think about. If you think that it will lead to a dull film with lots of info about communication, you will definitely be surprised. It’s a battle against time for Louise, a battle against the prejudices. Amy Adams does this very convicing, she carries this film easily. Adams proofs she is one of the best actresses out there. Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker are both solid.
I was already a fan of Villeneuve’s previous film. But now he showed us he can handle science fiction too, so that “Blade Runner” sequel is in good hands. “Arrival” is one of the best films of 2016.

Rating: 5/ 5

zondag 20 november 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 151: Cache

Director: Michael Haneke
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 117 minutes
Year: 2005
Starring: Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Annie Girardot, Lester Makedonsky, Bernard Le Coq, Walid Afkir, Daniel Duval, Nathalie Richard, Denis Podalydès, Aïssa Maïga, Caroline Baehr, Christian Benedetti, Philippe Besson, Loic Brabant

Description: A married couple (Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche) is terrorized by a series of surveillance videotapes left on their front porch.

Review: We meet George Laurent, a somewhat distant yet likeable man. His marriage to Anne is pretty much in a rut. The two are confronted with a series of videotapes and this brings back a childhood memory for George, that he never shared with Anne.
Director Michael Haneke gets very close to his characters and dissects the relationship between George and Anne. The movie looks very realistic. “Cache” is extremely slow paced, but it has some surprise twists. The actors are very timid and natural, which fits the entire atmosphere of the film.
Although “Cache” is not everyone’s cup of tea, it is an accessible film.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (268)

Here are this week's trailers.

Ghost in the Shell
Director: Rupert Sanders
Description: A cyborg policewoman (Scarlett Johansson) attempts to bring down a nefarious computer hacker.
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Michael Wincott, Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche
Trailer: Trailer "Ghost in the Shell"
Comment: I never saw the anime, but now I think I will. Or have to!

Beauty and the Beast
Director: Bill Condon
Description: An adaptation of the Disney 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, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor
Trailer: Trailer "Beauty and the Beast"
Comment: FInally a trailer, my favorite of the week. Can't wait for this movie to come out!!!!

The Zookeeper's Wife
Director: Niki Caro
Description: The Zookeeper's Wife tells the account of keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski (Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh), who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the Nazi invasion.
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Daniel Brühl, Johan Heldenbergh
Trailer: Trailer "The Zookeeper's Wife"
Comment: What an AMAZING trailer!

Kong: Skull: Island
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Description: An action/adventure story centered on King Kong's origins.
Starring: Brie Larsson, Tom Hiddleston, Toby Kebell, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly
Trailer: Trailer "Kong: Skull Island"
Comment: Looks epic and the cast is awesome!

The Edge of Seventeen
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Description: High-school life gets even more unbearable for Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) when her best friend, Krista, starts dating her older brother.
Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Blake Jenner, Kyra Sedgwick
Trailer: Trailer "The Edge of Seventeen"
Comment: I'm especiallyliking Woody Harrelson here!

zaterdag 19 november 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 150"Secret in Their Eyes

Director: Billy Ray
Genre: Drama/ Crime/ Thriller
Runtime: 111 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, Ju;ia Roberts, Dean Norris, Alfred Molina, Joe Cole, Michael Kelly, Zoe Graham, Patrick Davis, Eileen Fogarty, Niko Nicotera

Description: A tight-knit team of rising investigators, along with their supervisor, is suddenly torn apart when they discover that one of their own teenage daughters has been brutally murdered.

Review: “El secreto de sus ojos” was overwhelmed with praise. The American remake, “Secret in Their Eyes”, managed to get an impressive cast. But that’s about all the praise I can give this film.
“Secret in Their Eyes” takes place from 2002 to 2015. It’s a roaring time politically. In 2002, FBI agent Ray Kasten, Jess Cobb and Claire Slaon form an anti terrorist unit. Short after 9/ 11, Los Angeles is feared to be the next target. The team is closely watching a mosque and during a routine check up, a dead body is found. It’s the body of Carolyn Cobb, Jess daughter. Carolyn has been brutally raped and murdered. They can’t find the person who did it, but thirteen years later, Kasten is still looking for him. Many scenes from the movie are an exact copy from the original. Director Billy Ray show ambition by translating this much praised film with an American background. But it also looks a bit lazy, because just placing this story in another time and place isn’t enough. The base material is good, but Ray turned it into an unnecessary film.
The three main actors in the film play solid roles, but they have no chemistry whatsoever. For instance Kidman and Ejiofor’s characters seem to have this desire for each other, but besides some talk about it, you never seem to notice that they do. There is no mystery or tension present in this film and it never keeps me interested the entire runtime. And the jumping in time is not clear. I sometimes don’t know wether a scene is set in the past or present.
In Hollywood they feel the need to copy great foreign films. Almost always it’s the original that wins. With “Secret in Their Eyes” there is no difference. You can skip this film.

Rating: 2/ 5

donderdag 17 november 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Actors That Are Sexier with a Beard

I love beards, or I love men with beards. A good beard. And there are so many men that look much hotter with a beard. I listed five of those men, actors to be specific, that look way better with a beard.

5. George Eads
He had many looks on “CSI”, but the season(s) where he had a beard I loved Eads the most. Eads is one of those men that gets more attractive by the years. And that beard on him is just sexy. Especially with a few grey hairs in it…

4. Ryan Gosling
He has a more trimmed beard, not very heavy on the facial hair. And Gosling is extremely attractive without it, just look at him in “Drive”. But that beard makes him more of a man and more handsome too.

3. Ryan Reynolds
Without a beard, Reynolds simply has a baby face. He is super hot with that beard, just look at the Amity film he was in.

2. Chris Evans
The beard doesn’t make Evans a tough guy, it just makes him more serious and appealing. As Captain America it doesn’t fit him, but for other roles it does. Throw that razor out Chris!

1. Chris Hemsworth
Okay, this man. I sometimes think he isn’t real, that’s how perfect he is. And with that beard he is the definition of a perfect man.

They Almost Made the Top 5: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Hardy, Jake Gyllenhaal, Bradley Cooper, James Franco, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Idris Elba, Kit Harrington

zondag 13 november 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 149: The Walk

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 122 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Guillaume Baillargeon, Émilie Leclerc, Mark Trafford, Inka Malovic, Lucas Ramaciere, Martin Lefebvre, Philippe Bertrand, Laurence Deschenes, Patricia Tulasne, Jean-Robert Bourdage, Sylvie Lemay, Sasha Dominique, Soleyman Pierini, Jade Kindar-Martin

Description: In 1974, high-wire artist Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) recruits a team of people to help him realize his dream: to walk the immense void between the World Trade Center towers.

Review: A good 3D camera is all you need. When high-wire artist Philippe Petit walks on a rope between the Twin Towers and you look over the edge of the building, the images give you vertigo. This movie is definitely a movie experience while watching it on the big screen, but you can still feel it when you’re watching it at home.
The movie builds up to the climax at the end: the actual walk. We meet Philippe and his big dream of making the impossible possible. We see how he shows his acrobatic tricks in Paris, but how he wants to go to New York to do something much bigger.
If you saw the documentary “Man on Wire”, you know the story. What Petit did and what his drive was. He is an interesting man and it’s great to get to know him in “The Walk”. The film is good, but the final act is sublime. I was on the edge of my seat at all times and loved it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt performed wonderfully. It’s easy for an American to mess up a fake French accents, but he pulled it off. Levitt made Petit a likeable and intriguing figure. It shows he was very dedicated to this role.
“The Walk” is a very good film, I highly enjoyed it. Just for that final act alone.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (267)

Here are this week's trailers.

Wonder Woman
Director: Patty Jenkins
Description: An Amazonian princess (Gal Gadot) leaves her island home to explore the world and, in doing so, becomes one of the world's greatest heroes.
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, RObin Wright, Connie Nielsen, David Thewlis, Danny Huston
Trailer: Trailer "Wonder Woman"
Comment: A new official trailer. Kick ass Wonder Woman.

Collateral Beauty
Director: David Frankel
Description: Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.
Starring: Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Keira Knightley, Naomie Harris, Michael Peña
Trailer: Trailer "Collateral Beauty"
Comment: I already got tears...

Valerian and a City of a Thousand Planets
Director: Luc Besson
Description: Time-traveling agent Valerian is sent to investigate a galactic empire, along with his partner Laureline.
Starring: Cara Delevingne, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Dane DeHaan, Clive Owen, Rutger Hauer, Rihanna
Trailer: Trailer "Valerian and a City of a Thousand Planets"
Comment: Luc Besson directing this is promising.

The Salesman
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Description: Forushande (The Salesman) is the story of a couple whose relationship begins to turn sour during their performance of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.
Starring: Taraneh Alidoosti, Shahab Hosseini, Mina Sadati, Babak Karimi
Trailer: Trailer for "The Salesman"
Comment: Looks intense.

The Adulterers
Director: H.M. Coakley
Description: A man who returns home to find his wife cheating on him on their anniversary. He holds her and her naked and humiliated lover captive at gunpoint while he decides whether or not he's going to kill them. The story, inspired by true events, takes place over one day and is set in New Orleans during a stifling heat wave.
Starring: Sean Faris, Mehcad Brooks, Danielle Savre
Trailer: Trailer "The Adulterers"
Comment: Looks a bit shitty.

vrijdag 11 november 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 148: Citizen Kane

Director: Orson Welles
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 115 minutes
Year: 1941
Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Agnes Moorehead, Everett Sloane, Paul Stewart, Dorothy Comingore, Ruth Warwick, Ray Collins, Erskine Sanford, William Alland, Paul Stewart, George Coulouris, Fortunio Bonanova, Gus Schilling, Philip van Zandt, Georgia Backus, Harry Shannon

Description: Following the death of a publishing tycoon (Orson Welles), news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Review: “Citizen Kane” tells the story of the American dream and its shadow sides. Charles Foster Kane, played by director Orson Welles himself, starts out as a paper boy and grows to be a rich owner of the most read paper. He eventually breaks down because of greed, envy and loneliness.
The film starts with Kane’s death and follows with the search for the true Kane, by a journalist. The man behind the myth. And especially what his last word, ‘rosenud’, means. With flashbacks, we get fragments of the dictorial yet brillian tycoon.
Director Welles experimented with sound and visuals. Voice-overs that tell something different than we see or letting the past flow into the present. He used deep-focus and extreme low camera stand points. The compositions of the images are extremely well done.
At the time “Citizen Kane” came out, it got nine Academy Award nominations, but only won one. The movie was later rediscovered and is now one the most famous films ever made.

Rating: 4/ 5

donderdag 10 november 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Movies That Make You Stay Out of the Water

I used to be a swimmer. A good one. But in the pool. I was never that keen on the ocean, although I did snorkel when I was in Galapagos. It’s stepping out of my comfort zone. The not knowing what goes on below and the unpredictability of the water just scares me a little bit. And there are many movies that make you stay out of the water, for various reasons. Here are my five favorites.

5. Deep Blue Sea
I wouldn’t take a job in a laboratory that is in the middle of the freakin’ ocean and surrounded by extremely smart sharks.

4. Piranha
Being killed by a shark is terrible, but I think piranha’s are even worse. Those little sharp teeth all over your body. It’s a slow death, or even no death and just pain and missing body parts.

3. Open Water
You’re in for the trip of your life, you go scuba diving, see the most beautiful underwater world. But then the boat leaves without you and leaves you in the middle of the ocean. Isn’t that a nightmare? That’s why “Open Water” makes you think twice about diving in the deep sea.

2. Lake Placid
Lakes aren’t safe either. Because many of them have crocodiles or alligators in them. Okay, not as big as the crocodile in “Lake Placid”, but they are super dangerous. Because once a croc gets you, he won’t let go. The death role you know.

1. Jaws
Off course this is number one. Because of this movie, almost everyone is afraid of sharks. Even though “Jaws” is everything but realistic, the movie gives me the chills even after seeing it so many times. The moments where you don’t see the shark are probably more scary then the moments where you do see him.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, It Follows, Deep Rising, Anaconda, The Perfect Storm, All is Lost, Rogue

woensdag 9 november 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 147: Hell or High Water

Director: David Mackenzie
Genre: Drama/ Crime
Runtime: 102 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Ben Foster, Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, Dale Dickey, William Sterchi, Gil Birmingham, Keith Meriweather, Jackamoe Buzzell, Katy Mixon, Amber Midthunder, Joe Berryman, Taylor Sheridaon, Howard Ferguson Jr., Debrianna Mansini

Description: A divorced father (Chris Pine) and his ex-con older brother (Ben Foster) resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's ranch in West Texas.

Review: We follow two brothers that want to keep their family ranch. To buy it back from the bank, they decide to rob banks. In the opening, Tanner and Toby rob two banks in a row and drive off. Their plans are pretty solid. But cop Marcus, who is almost retiring, is determined to find them.
Toby wants a better future for his ex-wife and kids. And he also tries to tame his reckless brother Tanner, who just got out of jail. On the other side there is Marcus and his partner Alberto, who are trying to find the robbers.
“Hell or High Water” is a modern western, that balances between violent scenes and chases, but also moments of awareness and and critical look on the American society. At one moment it’s a family drama and then it’s cynical humor.
The atmosphere sometimes reminded me of “No Country for Old Men”, but there is more room for optimism in “Hell or High Water”. The band between the two brothers is the heart of the film. With violence and tension added, there is still a little bit of hope left for a better future.
The acting by Ben Foster, Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges is phenomenal. All three of them perform equally as good, without overdoing it.
“Hell or High Water” is one of those movies tha gets a lot of praise, but it’s flying pretty much under the radar. Which is a shame, because more people really need to see this film.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

maandag 7 november 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 146: Schone Handen

Director: Tjebbo Penning
Genre: Drama/ Crime/ Thriller
Runtime: 108 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Jeroen van Koningsbrugge, Thekla Reuten, Angela Schijf, Camilla Siegertsz, Sol Vinken, Teun Kuilboer, Bart Klever, Marcel Faber, Nino den Brave, Frederik Brom, Poal Cairo, Jenne Decleir, Nino den Brave, Bente Fokkens, Cees Geel, Tjebbo Gerritsma, Trudy de Jong, Han Oldigs

Description: A drug lord's wife (Thekla Reuten) faces a crisis of loyalty when her husband's (Jeroen van Koningsbrugge) cutthroat dealings compel her to flee with their young children.

Review: Jeroen van Koningsbrugge is a Dutch actor and comedian. But he has been doing more serious roles for a while. They say there is a thin line between comedy and drama. But this can easily go wrong. Van Koningsbrugge doesn’t always convince as drug lord.
Eddie deals in drugs. His wife knows, but tries to ignore it Their children think their father runs an honest business. When a good friend is killed, wife Sylvia finds it harder and harder to deal with their lifestyle. It is also harder for her to keep her kids away from the mess Eddie leaves behind. But Eddie has a big impact on Sylvia, becase she has one big dream. Running her own beach club. With the promise, Eddie manages to calm his wife. But it doesn’t take long for Sylvia to realize it’s better to get away from Eddie.
Like I stated before, Jeroen van Koningsbrugge doesn’t always convince as Eddie. It’s Thekla Reuten that steals the show. Her performance is so strong and you feel for her. She makes you care.
As a Dutch woman, I don’t always like the movies that are made here. “Schone Handen” is an okay crime thriller.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 145: Hail, Caesar!

Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Genre: Comedy/ Drama/ Musical
Runtime: 106 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Frances McDormand, Jonah Hill, Alison Pill, David Krumholtz, Wayne Knight, Patrick Fischler, Clancy Brown

Description: A Hollywood fixer (Josh Brolin) in the 1950s works to keep the studio's stars in line.

Review: Hollywood in the 1950s. That’s wat the Coen Brothers are focusing on in “Hail, Caesar!” It critizises, parodies and is also nostalgic about it. It was a time where actors starred in movies where they didn’t necessarily want to star in.
The film is funny and looks stylish. But the context doesn’t really support it. The central story is about fixer Eddie Mannix. He has to keep all his stars in control. Like a stubborn swim film actress who got pregnant. Or a western actor who can not act, who has to be part of a serious British drama film. But Mannix’ biggest problem is the kidnapping of big star Baird Whitlock. The popular actor is taken during the filming of Hail, Caesar!
“Hail, Caesar!” isn’t the sharp comedy it was supposed to be. The cast is probably the best part of the fim. Besides Josh Brolin as Mannix, there is no big part. All the others are supporting roles, which make the cartoonish characters work.
Not one of the Coen Brothers’ best work, I expecte a lot more.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 144: Elle

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 130 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Anne Consigny, Charles Berling, Virginie Efira, Judith Magre, Christian Berkel, Jonas Bloquet, Alice Isaaz, Vimala Pons, Raphaël Lenglet, Arthur Mazet, Lucas Prisor, Hugo Conzelmann, Stéphane Bak, Hugues Martel, Anne Loiret

Description: A successful businesswoman (Isabella Huppert) gets caught up in a game of cat and mouse as she tracks down the unknown man who raped her.

Review: The film opens with a brutal rape scene. It can go into two directions from there: it’s either going to be a revenge story or a tearjerking drama. But director Paul Verhoeven took a completely different path. “Elle” is a daring, somewhat perverted dark movie, which provokes.
Michèle is a tough business woman who wants tob e in control at all times. She runs a successful gaming company and wants no back talk from her employees. That Michèle turns everyone against her, is no surprise. When she is attacked and raped in her own house, she even picks up her daily routine, without calling the police. When het attacker starts to stalk her, she decides t take the matters in her own hands.
“Elle” is anything but polically correct. Michèle is surrounded by dubious characters: from her sexually active mother and her gigolo slash fiancée to her whimpy son and his aggressive pregnant girlfriend.
Michèle is portrayed by Isabella Huppert. She shows guts, both physically and emotionally. Huppert obviously carries this film, without any trouble The rest of the cast sort of fades because of her great performance.
“Elle” tries to balance between dark humor, thriller elements, satire and tries to shock. But one is standing in the way of the other. There never is a balance.

Rating: 3/ 5

zondag 6 november 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 143: Patriot Games

Director: Phillip Noyce
Genre: Action/ Thriller
Runtime: 117 minutes
Year: 1992
Starring: Harrison Ford, Anne Archer, Patrick Bergin, Sean Bean, Thora Birch, James Fox, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones, Richard Harris

Description: When CIA Analyst Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) interferes with an IRA assassination, a renegade faction targets him and his family for revenge.

Review: When you’re looking for the American version of James Bond, we often think of Jason Bourne. But Jack Ryan could also be that man. Writer Tom Clancy passed away in 2013, but a left a great collection of stories. And Hollywood has used them a couple of times already. In “Patriot Games”, Harrison Ford takes on the role of Jack Ryan.
Jack Ryan is a CIA analyst, who works more behind the scenes. But he does have the best insights in certain cases and is very driven to enter the field. He isn’t an action hero, but determined to solve cases. Tom Clancy’s stories are more pollical inspired. “Patriot Games” is about the IRA. One fo the IRA men gets personal, when Ryan kills his brother.
“Patriot Games” is exciting and has a realistic tone. And the story is solid, because of Tom Clancy’s great work. Because of that, the movie rises above average, but it never overwhelms.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (266)

Here are this week's trailers.

Director: Daniel Espinosa
Description: An international space crew discovers life on Mars.
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson
Trailer: Trailer "Life"
Comment: I love space stories.

Director: Marc Webb
Description: Frank (Chris Evans), a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, is drawn into a custody battle with his mother.
Starring: Chris Evans, Jenny Slate, Octavia Spencer, Lindsay Duncan, McKenna Grace
Trailer: Trailer "Gifted"
Comment: I like to see Chris Evans in a more emotional role.

La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle
Description: A jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) falls for an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) in Los Angeles.
Starring: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, J.K. Simmons, John Legend
Trailer: Trailer "La La Land"
Comment: THE 2016 I'm looking forward to the most!

The Lego Batman Movie
Director: Chris McKay
Description: Bruce Wayne (Will Arnett) must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.
Starring: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galifianakis, Jenny Slate
Trailer: Trailer "The Lego Batman Movie"
Comment: This looks like so much fun!!!

Director: Carles Torrens
Description: A psychological thriller about a man who bumps into an old flame and subsequently becomes obsessed with her, leading him to hold her captive underneath the animal shelter where he works. But what will the victim have in store for her assailant?
Starring: Ksenia Solo, Jennette McCurdy, Dominic Monaghan
Trailer: Trailer "Pet"
Comment: A creepy and twisted film.

vrijdag 4 november 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Movies I Watched For My Challenge (October 2016)

I didn’t see many great film. But I did manage to create this monthly top 5 for you. Here are my favorite films I watched in October, for my challenge. (Sorry, I'm a day late)

5. Black Water
I always like creature features. It’s not spectacular, but with the low budget they had it looks really good and professional.

4. Trick ‘r Treat
A surprisingly fun and original horror flick, didn’t expect that. This could be one of those films that I will see every Halloween.

3. Sully
Not one of Tom Hanks’ best film, but again a fantastic performance. If the movie was longer, it would’ve been boring, but the film had the perfect length to stay interesting the entire runtime.

2. The Monster Squad
A film that every eighties kid will love, guarantee. It’s “The Goonies” meets “The Lost Boys” meets “Ghostbusters” meets “The Little Rascals”. It’s full of nostalgia.

1. The Neon Demon
This movie had been on my to-watch list for a while, because I’m a big fan of director Nicholas Winding Refn’s “Drive”. The movie is stylish, intelligent, scary and disturbing. Definitely a movie you should give a go.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, The Danish Girl