dinsdag 31 januari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 15: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Director: Dave Green
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Comedy/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 112 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Laura Linney, Stephen Amell, Tyler Perry, Tony Shalhoub, Brad Garrett

Description: After facing Shredder, who has joined forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) and henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady to take over the world, the Turtles must confront an even greater nemesis: the notorious Krang (Brad Garrett).

Review: Dave Green takes over on directing this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sequel, from Jonathan Liebesman. Green imitates the camera movements and explosive action that Michael Bay loves so much. The movie looks visually great, but there is one thing I don’t understand. Why do they need to pimp this so much? Why do the turtles call each other Donnie or Mikey, when they clearly have perfect names and they never did this in the cartoon? And their party van is way too high tech, too over the top. Why couldn’t they just keep it retro? Bigger isn’t always better you know.
“Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is entertainment, I give them that. And they somehow please the fans by adding Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang and Casey Jones into the film. But it’s all so superficial and the story is very random. Shredder does look better now and the film has some nostalgia here and there. But everything is pimped way too much.

Rating: 2/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 14: Bernie

Director: Richard Linklater
Genre: Comedy/ Drama/ Crime
Runtime: 95 minutes
Year: 2011
Starring: Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey

Description: In small-town Texas, an affable mortician (Jack Black) strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow (Shirley MacLaine), though when she starts to become controlling, he goes to great lengths to separate himself from her grasp.

Review: This film is quirky and that’s an understatement. But that makes this true story even more unbelievable. Jack Black is playing probably one of his best roles, as the mortician Bernie. It’s a weird true story, but definitely a movie you should watch. Because this is a highly overlooked film.
Bernie Tiede is the kind of guy that everyone loves. As assistant mortician, he seems to have found his calling. He manages to make the deceased look pretty in their casket, but is also a great salesman. And Bernie also loves to sing and provides vocals on funerals. Jack Black can show his many talents here. When the rich mister Nugents dies, Bernie takes care of his funeral. But later also of his wife Marjorie Nugent.
The movie is filmed in a documentary style. In between scenes, you see people of the Texan town being interviewed about their town, Bernie and other citizens of the town. This is a fun take and made this movie even more unique.
The story feels so unbelievable, especially with knowing that it really happened. This film really surprised me and I think more people should see it.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

zondag 29 januari 2017

Movie Trailer Sunday (277)

Here are this week's trailers.

Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Description: A woman (Anne Hatheway) discovers that severe catastrophic events are somehow connected to the mental breakdown from which she's suffering.
Starring: Anne Hatheway, Dan Stevens, Jason Sudeikis, Tim Blake Nelson
Trailer: Trailer "Colossal"
Comment: I'm no Anee Hatheway fan, but I'm actually looking forward to this film.

My Cousin Rachel
Director: Roger Mitchell
Description: A young Englishman (Sam Claflin) plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin (Rachel Weisz), believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Holliday Granger, Iain Glenn
Trailer: Trailer "My Cousin Rachel"
Comment: Looks really good.

The Last Face
Director: Sean Penn
Description: A director (Charlize Theron) of an international aid agency in Africa meets a relief aid doctor (Javier Bardem) amidst a political/social revolution, and together face tough choices surrounding humanitarianism and life through civil unrest.
Starring: Charlize Theron, Javier Bardem, Jared Harris, Jean Reno
Comment: Teaming up two amazing actors and directed by Sean Penn. Awesome.

You're Killing Me Susanna
Director: Roberto Schneider
Description: We follow Eligio's (Gael Garcia Bernal) quest to find and recover his wife, Susana, who without a word, left Mexico City behind for a writer's conference held in the chilly U.S. heartland.
Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal
Trailer: Trailer "You're Killing Me Susanna"
Comment: I love Bernal, this film looks really fun.

Lady MacBeth
Director: William Oldroyd
Description: In this adaptation of Nikolai Leskov's novella "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk, a 19th century young bride is sold into marriage to a middle-aged man.
Starring: FLorence Pugh, Christopher Fairbank, Cosmo Jarvis, Bill Fellows
Trailer: Trailer "Lady Macbeth"
Comment: Intriguing...

zaterdag 28 januari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 13: Heathers

Director: Michael Lehmann
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 105 minutes
Year: 1988
Starring: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannon Doherty

Description: In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, an intelligent teen (Winona Ryder) teams up with a dark sociopath (Christian Slater) in a plot to kill the cool kids.

Review: “Heathers” is an 80s comedy, that shocks. Not because of its plot twists or mystery, but because of the pure in-your-face moments. It’s satirical, provocative, hilarious and wild. “Heathers” is not you standard high-school comedy. “Heathers” is surprisingly dark. Every characters in this film is exaggerated. The kids are either sadistic or secretly psychotic. Or both. The adults are clueless. This way, things get pretty crazy. “Heathers” takes us behind the scene of the most popular clique in school: The three founding members, all named Heather. The get a new member, Veronica, who actually hates her friends. The film takes an abrupt, dark turn. The film has a comical take on murder. But “Heathers” also presents a clear moral statement: all people should be treated with decency.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

donderdag 26 januari 2017

Top 5 Thursday: Ryan Gosling Movies

I’ve listed Ryan Gosling’s movies before, but there have been so many great films added to his resumé, that I need to revisit this list. Here are my five favorite Ryan Gosling films.

5. Blue Valentine
Many people think it’s a romance film when they see the title. Well, I’ll have to warn you then. It has romance in it, but it’s not a romantic movie. It’s actually quite depressing and wants you to never be in a relationship ever again. The acting by Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling is just fantastic.

4. Lars and the Real Girl
Gosling can be your movie hunk, but in “Lars and the Real Girl” he is a nerdy, lonely shy guy who dates a mannequin. It’s a weird plot, but the film is so heartfelt and honest. I loved it!

3. The Nice Guys
This is a 2016 movie that not a lot of people talk about, but the people that do all loved “The Nice Guys”. Nobody is talking about it, because not a lot of people saw it. It’s the perfect definition of a buddy cop movie, without the clichés. And Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are such a good duo.

2. Drive
This used to be my number one and “Drive” will always be one of my all-time favorite films. It’s a cinematographic masterpiece, filmed so well with one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard.

1. La La Land
This movie stole my heart and not only mine. This is a phenomenon and shows us that musical isn’t dead. A film for the dreamers, the creative mind. So, perfect for me. I’m totally in love with “La La Land” and many with me.

They Almost Made the Top 5: The Place Beyond the Pines, Half Nelson, The Notebook, Fracture, Crazy Stupid Love

zondag 22 januari 2017

Movie Trailer Sunday (276)

Here are this week's trailers.

Director: Julian Rosenfeldt
Description: Cate Blanchett performs manifestos as a series of striking monologues.
Starring: Cate Blanchett
Trailer: Trailer "Manifesto"
Comment: Wow, 12 or more different characters portrayed by Cate Blanchett!

Director: Eran Creevy
Description: An American backpacker (Nicholas Hoult) gets involved with a ring of drug smugglers as their driver, though he winds up on the run from his employers across Cologne high-speed Autobahn.
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Kingsley
Trailer: Trailer "Collide"
Comment: Disposable...

The Founder
Director: John Lee Hancock
Description: The story of Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a salesman who turned two brothers' innovative fast food eatery, McDonald's, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness.
Starring: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, Laura Dern,John Carroll Lynch, B.J. Nocak
Trailer: Trailer "The Founder"
Comment: Interesting to find out this backstory. And Michael Keaton...

Director: Rebecca Zlotowski
Description: Follows the journey of sisters who are believed to possess the supernatural ability to connect with ghosts. They cross paths with a visionary French producer while performing in Paris.
Starring: Natalie Portman, Lily-Rose Depp, Emanuel Salinger
Trailer: Trailer "Planetarium"
Comment: Stylish, looks good.

Director: Charlie McDowell
Description: A love story set one year after the existence of the afterlife is scientifically verified.
Starring: Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert RedfordRiley Keuogh
Trailer: Trailer "Discovery"
Comment: Netflix Original. Looks fun.

vrijdag 20 januari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 12: The Little Prince

Director: Mark Osborne
Genre: Animation/ Fantasy
Runtime: 108 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, James Franco, Marion Cotillard, Jeff Bridges, Paul Giamatti, Ricky Gervais, Albert Brooks, Benicio Del Toro, Mackenzie Foy

Description: A little girl (Mackenzie Foy) lives in a very grown-up world with her mother (Rachel McAdams), who tries to prepare her for it. Her neighbor, the Aviator (Jeff Bridges), introduces the girl to an extraordinary world where anything is possible, the world of the Little Prince.

Review: “Le Petit Prince” is the most well-known book written by Antoine de Sainte-Exupéry. His books are still very loved. The story is filled with critical topics about society and is combined with childish naïve observance. And this is what is so great about “The Little Prince”: how it reaches youthful viewers, but also adults.
The girl that centrals the story lives in a grey, sober world. Order and rules and regularity rule and there is no room for possibilities and self-exploration. Her neighbor, The Aviator, lives in an old house and is seen as a rebel, that no one understands and isn’t accepted by the neighborhood. Both worlds come together, when The Aviator starts telling the girl the story of the Little Prince.
The film is brought to us with lots of fantasy and beautiful emotions. The film also combines computer animation with classic-romantic stop-motion techniques. The main message here is to let kids, stay kids for as long as possible. The tough, cold reality as an adult will eventually come. Let your creativity and playful nature finds its way.

Rating: 5/ 5

donderdag 19 januari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 11: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Director: Don Scardino
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 100 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, James Gandolfini, Jay Mohr, Michael Herbig, Brad Garrett

Description: A veteran Vegas magician (Steve Carell) tries to revive his career after his longtime partner quits, he gets fired from his casino act, and an edgy new "street magician" (Jim Carrey) steals his thunder.

Review: The story of “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” is almost a standard as the routine that Burt & Anton do in their magic show. But because the reviews that weren’t that great made me think this was an awful movie, I did enjoy it for some reason. It’s the good kind of bad, if you know what I mean.
Burt and Anton have been best friends since childhood. Magic was what brought them together and 30 years later they have a show in Las Vegas. But their show isn’t as successful as it used to be and the friendship is also not as strong. When an unconventional street illusionist steals their thunder, all hell breaks loose.
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” is very over the top. The character of Burt Wonderstone reminded me a bit of Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy. Completely convinced of himself and totally blind for the inevitable. But I loved “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”. I didn’t love this film, but it had its moments. Steve Carell is really funny and Jim Carrey (who isn’t in this movie as much as I thought) is hilarious as always. In fact, Carrey steals the show. You really have to be in the right mood to find this film funny. And if you normally don’t enjoy Carell or Carrey, this movie won’t change your mind.
It’s an okay comedy, but very disposable. I don’t think it will stay with me long. But make sure to stay ‘till after the credits. That’s a really funny addition to the film.

Rating: 2,5/ 5

Top 5 Thursday: Hilarious Jim Carrey Moments

Okay, watching him is exhausting. But he is so hilarious. And there are many funny comedies to proof it. It’s probably really hard to keep a straight face while working with Carrey. I listed my favorite and most hilarious moments ever.

5. Harry Potter Party (“Yes Man”)
There might be more hilarious moments in this movie, but this always cracks me up (and no one else…). Jim Carrey’s character has to say yes to everything and he also has to attend a Harry Potter themed costume party. Because there was only a child costume available, the costume he wears is ridiculously small and that tie…. That tie does it!

4. Cuban Pete (“The Mask”)
“The Mask” was made for Jim Carrey. At the point where he is about to be arrested, Carrey’s character turns into Cuban Pete and gets the entire police force to join him in his rumba dance.

3. Medieval Times (“The Cable Guy”)
It’s a dark comedy, darker then we are used to from Carrey. And his characters I good willed, but buts. And this scene in a medieval themed restaurant proofs that. He goes totally mental in a sword fight.

2. Sliding Door Theory (“Ace Ventura”)
In order to proof a theory, Carrey’s character Ace Ventura, slides a door open and closed and starts yelling. You have to see it to believe it. It’s HI-LA-RI-OUS!

1. Playing Crazy (“Ace Ventura”)
Ace goes undercover as a crazy guy, while investigating a sanitarium. This is epic, wearing a tutu at all times.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Karaoke (“The Cable Guy”), Sia Performance (“Saturday Night Live”)

dinsdag 17 januari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 10: Under the Skin

Director: Jonathan Glazer
Genre: Drama/ Thriller/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 108 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay, Dougie McConnell, Kevin McAlinden, D. Meade, Andrew Gorman, Joe Szula, Krystof Hádek

Description: A mysterious woman (Scarlett Johansson) seduces lonely men in the evening hours in Scotland. Events lead her to begin a process of self-discovery.

Review: Scarlett Johansson doesn’t mind to step away from reality once in a while. She saves the world in “Avengers” and in “Lucy” she also kicked some ass and there was no logic involved. But “Under the Skin” is the weirdest and most surreal film she has done so far. Johansson plays a mysterious woman in Scotland, picking a men. She is constantly observed by a motorcyclist. Every time she brings home a guy, they disappear through the floor. Who she is, what she is doing and why she is doing it? No idea. This film is not for everybody.
The viewing experience is very unique. Sober Scotland, the landscapes and then the pretty Johansson. It’s a realistic setting, with everyday Scotsmen and timid acting. The creepy soundtrack and the unexplainable happenings make this into a jaw dropping film. It’s really hard to explain the movie, without having to spoil it. It’s very abstract and it will give you a lot to discuss about. This will scare the average movie goer. It’s more for the more experienced cinema freaks.
Like I stated before, “Under the Skin” is not for everyone. I already thought I was weird and couldn’t really put my finger on it, until we got to the end. But a truly great film experience it is.

Rating: 4/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 9: Eye in the Sky

Director: Gavin Hood
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 102 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdo, Jeremy Northam, Iain Glen

Description: Col. Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren), a military officer in command of an operation to capture terrorists in Kenya, sees her mission escalate when a girl enters the kill zone triggering an international dispute over the implications of modern warfare.

Review: One moment you’re buying a doll for your grandchild, an hour later you’re making critical decisions in Nairobi. In modern times, this can be an ordinary workday for army leaders in their battle against Muslim terrorism. Nowadays people aren’t always in the frontline, but difficult decisions are made from a controle room, while watching video images. “Eye in the Sky” is about one of those missions: a drone attack from the British and American army. Orders are given from England, the pilot is in the US and in Kenia they have the terrorist in their sight. They are on the most wanted list and are about to execute a suicide bombing.
There is one moral question: can you make one innocent person a victim when you can save a potential hundred? “Eye in the Sky” is a very clever film. There is that moral theme, but the film has a very fast pace. Helen Mirren is great in this film, I loved her performance and her determined character. Alan Rickman is more diplomatic in his performance. He physically doesn’t do much, but the power he transfers to the screen is so strong. This was Rickman’s last film role by the way. The film has a high tension level, it keeps you on the edge of your seat.
It’s a war film, but not the spectacular and action packed kind. This is based on decision making and the consequences those decisions will have. “Eye in the Sky” is a movie that I enjoyed more than I expected, a really good and overlooked 2016 film.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

zondag 15 januari 2017

Movie Trailer Sunday (275)

Here are this week's trailers.

Director: Martin Koolhoven
Description: From the moment the new reverend (Guy Pearce) climbs the pulpit, Liz (Dakota Fanning) knows she and her family are in great danger.
Starring: Guy Pearce, Dakota Fanning, Kit Harrington, Carice van Houten
Trailer: Trailer "Brimstone"
Comment: Dutch director, let's go see this!

I Am Michael
Director: Justin Kelly
Description: A gay activist and magazine founder (James Franco) is saved from his homosexuality after turning to God.
Starring: James Franco, Zachary Quinto, Emma Roberts, Daryl Hannah, Ahna O'Reilly
Trailer: Trailer "I Am Michael"
Comment: It says 2015, but it has yet to come out.

Director: Roxanne Benjamin, Sofia Carillo, Karyn Kusama, St. Vincent, Jovanka Vuckovic
Description: An all female horror anthology.
Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Natalie Brown, Mike Doyle, Sheila Vand, Angela Trumbur, Peyton Kennedy, Kyle Allen
Trailer: Trailer "XX"
Comment: Oeh, creepy stuff.

The History of Love
Director: Radu Mihaileanu
Description: The story of a long-lost book that mysteriously reappears and connects an old man searching for his son with a girl seeking a cure for her mother's loneliness.
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Derek Jacobi, Elliott Gould, Sophie Nélisse,
Trailer: Trailer "History of Love"
Comment: Romance galore!

Director: Dax Shepard
Description: The adventures of two California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers (Dax Shepard, Michael Peña) as they make their rounds on the freeways of Los Angeles.
Starring: Dax Shepard, Michael Peña, Kristen Bell, Adam Brody, Vincent D'Onofrio, Ben Falcone, Richard T. Jones, Adam Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph
Trailer: Trailer "Chips"
Comment: Lots of dick jokes, don't remember that from the show.

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 8: A Royal Affair

Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Genre: Drama/ Romance
Runtime: 128 minutes
Year: 2012
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Alicia Vikander, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, David Dencik, Trine Dyrholm, Thomas W. Gabrielsson, William Jøhnk Nielsen, Cyron Bjørn Melville, Laura Bro, Zinnini Elkington, Erika Guntherová, Søren Malling, John Martinus, Bent Mejding, Rosalinde Mynster, Karin Rørbeck, Klaus Tange

Description: A young queen (Alicia Vikander), who is married to an insane king, falls secretly in love with her physician (Mads Mikkelsen) - and together they start a revolution that changes a nation forever.

Review: King Christian VII was barely 17 when he became king in the 18th century. He ruled for a long time, but he had an unstable mental health and people claimed he was schizophrenic. This is the image we seen in “A Royal Affair”, that cause a lot of discussion in home country Denmark. The biopic by director Nikolaj Arcel focusses mainly on the secret affair his wife Caroline Marhilde had with physician Johann Friedrich Struensee.
Caroline was the princess of Wales and only 15 when she became queen of Denmark. Her marriage with Christian was arranged and she had to move to Denmark. Caroline and Christian only did their royal duty, which is more to say for Caroline.
The new queen discovers that the rules, rights and censorship isn’t far from what they had in the middle ages. Caroline tries to makes something of the forced marriage, but eventually she is only there to give Denmark a heir. She even starts to hate Christian. He drinks, gets visits from prostitutes and has strange ideas.
When a new physician arrives, things change. Christian finds him very interesting and is easily influenced by his ideas. And Caroline finds him interesting for a whole different reason. Caroline and Johann start a passionate affair. From this moment the influence of Johann is clearly visible.
Mads Mikkelsen excels in his role as confident doctor. He isn’t an opportunist, but a free thinker. The Danish aren’t used to someone like him. The narration of Caroline feels sometimes a little but melodramatic, but “A Royal Affair” is a very solid royal drama.

Rating: 4/ 5

donderdag 12 januari 2017

100 Movue Challenge 2017 - # 7: Trainspotting

Director: Danny Boyle
Genre: Drama/ Comedy/ Crime
Runtime: 94 minutes
Year: 1996
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, Kelly MacDonald

Description: Renton (Ewan McGregor), deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.

Review: Mark Renton is a junkie and seems to like his lifestyle. While he is telling us how great it feels, we see reality. The viewer gets the chance to form an opinion.
Danny Boyle is a fantastic director. He always manages to set the tone of a scene, by using color and his way of filming. The sometimes unrealistic images, that show how Renton feels at that moment, and the soundtrack turn this film into one long trip.
Ewan McGregor plays the main character. But there is a lot going on around him. Ewen Bremner plays Spud, Renton’s best friend. He is hilarious! And Robert Carlyle, as Begbie, should be unlikeable with his temper and violent way of life. But somehow, he is a joy to watch.
“Trainspotting” is funny (not humor for everyone), original and wonderful. One of Danny Boyle’s best films.

Rating: 5/ 5

Top 5 Thursday: Amy Adams Movies

Amy Adams is one of my favorite actresses and she has been in so many great films. Just look at 2016 alone! Here are my five favorite Amy Adams films.

5. Her
“Her” is one of the most unconventional and unusual movies I have seen over the past years, but it really stole my heart. I really loved it, maybe because of the weirdness.

4. Catch Me If You Can
Amy Adams is so endearing in this film. “Catch Me If You Can” is a movie I rewatch a lt, directed by one of my favorite actors and starring one of my favorite actors. Amy Adams fits perfectly here.

3. Nocturnal Animals
Very stylish, creepy, haunting. This movie gets under your skin and keeps your mind occupied for a while after you see it. Amy Adams is really good in this film, so is Jake Gyllenhaal. The movie had a great ending, although for me not completely clear still…

2. The Muppets
Totally different than “Nocturnal Animals”, a cheery, fun, musical that can brighten my day anytime. I love “The Muppets”, in any setting.

1. Arrival
Director Denis Villeneuve has a flawless resume so far. This is such a fantastic sci-fi film, so different from the rest. And Amy Adams performance is so good, because of the timid nature of her character. This film blew my mind.

They Almost Made the Top 5: American Hustle, Leap Year, The Fighter, Julie & Julia, Doubt, Sunshine Cleaning, Enchanted, Junebug

woensdag 11 januari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 6: Love & Friendship

Director: Whit Stillman
Genre: Drama/ Comedy/ Romance
Runtime: 94 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Stephen Fry, Xavier Samuel, Tom Bennett, Jenn Murray, Lochlann O’Mearáin, Sophie Radermacher, Morfydd Clark, Frank Predergast, Emma Greenwell, Justin Edwards, Kelly Campbell, Conor Lambert, Conor MacNeill, Frank Melia, Jemma Redgrave

Description: Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) takes up temporary residence at her in-laws' estate and, while there, is determined to be a matchmaker for her daughter Frederica -- and herself too, naturally.

Review: Jane Austen is still an inspiration for filmmakers. Especially “Pride & Prejudice” and “Sense & Sensibility” have been adapted several times. “Love & Friendship” is fresh and adapted from the novella “Lady Susan” by Jane Austen. Jane Austen fits director Whit Stillman perfectly. Both have a subtle sense of irony and humor, that sometimes has a double meaning. This results into a hilarious costume drama.
The novella the film is based on, is relatively unknown. The title characters is sharp, even more so then the heroines we know so well from Austen’s books. Lady Susan Vernon is a young widow who is seeking new, rich husbands for her daughter and herself. As a practiced flirt, she manages to drive men around her crazy, when she says it’s not her intention. Kate Beckinsale plays this role sublime, probably her best role so far.
It’s great how Stillman manages to capture Austen’s style, but gives it his own touch with still feeling like an Austen story. The greatest part of the film is the funny enhancement of Sir James Martin’s stupidity. Every scene with this character is just a joy to watch.
“Love & Friendship” is a very good costume drama, with lots of British humor, irony and sarcasm. Love it.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 5: Anastasia

Director: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman
Genre: Animation/ Drama/ Musical/ Adventure
Runtime: 94 minutes
Year: 1997
Starring: Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Angela Lansbury, Christopher Lloyd, Hank Azaria, Kirsten Dunst

Description: The last surviving child of the Russian Royal Family joins two con men to reunite with her grandmother, the Dowager Empress, while the undead Rasputin seeks her death.

Review: The Romanov family flees during their royal celebration, when they are being cursed by counsel man Grigori Rasputin. Short before he predicts that the entire Romanov family will die within two week, the Russian revolution starts. The 8 year old Anastasia and her grandmother manage to escape, but get separated. Years later, Anastasia leaves an orphanage, with no memory of the past, trying to find out where to go.
The film is inspired by the real life story of the Romanov family and their missing daughter Anastasia. The animation is beautiful and the songs have depth. I really liked Anastasia as a character, but also Dimitri. The villain is a bit flat, we don’t really get to know much about him. Which makes him less scary than intended.
The story also has depth and the ending is not typically Disney. “Anastasia” is a overlooked and underrated Disney animation. One Disney princess they always forget about.

Rating: 4/ 5

maandag 9 januari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 4: Careful What You Wish For

Director: Elisabeth Allen Rosenbaum
Genre: Thriller
Runtime: 91 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Nick Jonas, Isabel Lucas, Paul Sorvino, Dermot Mulroney

Description: Doug (Nick Jonas) gets more than he bargained for after entering into an affair with the wife (Isabel Lucas) of an investment banker (Dermot Mulroney). Soon, a suspicious death and substantial life insurance policy embroil him in a scandal.

Review: Doug and his family go to their lake house for the summer. Doug works at a bar there, to earn some extra money. When they get new neighbors, Doug also starts working for the man of the house, preparing his sailboat. The wife, Lena, also catches Doug’s eye. They start an affair, but that’s not the best idea.
This is a disposable, predictable and cheesy thriller. The film is far from original and the plot is pretty standard. Somethings I could see coming from a mile away. The supposed big plot twist at the end isn’t that spectacular and super dumb. And those last lines, really….
Please ignore this film, it’s bad

Rating: 1,5/ 5

zondag 8 januari 2017

Movie Trailer Sunday (274)

Here are this week's trailers.

The Lovers
Director: Azazel Jacobs
Description: Mary and Michael (Debra Winger, Tracy Letts) are a long-married, dispassionate couple who are both in the midst of serious affairs. But on the brink of calling it quits, a spark between them suddenly reignites, leading them into an impulsive romance.
Starring: Debra Winger, Tracy Letts, Aidan Gillen, Melora Walters, Tyler Ross, Jessica Sula
Trailer: Trailer "The Lovers"
Comment: This will be an overlooked movie, but probably worth watching.

Director: So Yung Kim
Description: Riley Keogh, Jena Malone, Brooklyn Decker
Starring: The relationship between two friends deepens during an impromptu road trip.
Trailer: Trailer "Lovesong"
Comment: Looks heartfelt.

Director: Benedict Andrews
Description: When a young woman (Rooney Mara) unexpectedly arrives at an older man's (Ben Mendelsohn) workplace, looking for answers, the secrets of the past threaten to unravel his new life. Their confrontation will uncover buried memories and unspeakable desires. It will shake them both to the core.
Starring: Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed
Trailer: Trailer "Una"
Comment: The trailer is mysterious, it has my attention.

Walk of Fame
Director: Jesse Thomas
Description: A motley crew of aspiring performers come under the guidance of an eccentric and volatile acting coach.
Starring: Scott Eastwood, Chris Katan, Malcolm McDowell, Jamie Kennedy
Trailer: Trailer "Walk of Fame"
Comment: You're warned when jamie Kennedy is involved. And this trailer is all over the places. What's the base of this film?

The Autopsy of Jane Doe
Director: André Øvredal
Description: A father and son (Brian Cox, Emile Hirsch), both coroners, are pulled into a complex mystery while attempting to identify the body of a young woman, who was apparently harboring dark secrets.
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Brian Cox
Trailer: Trailer "The Autopsy of Jane Doe"
Comment: Cool, "Supernatural" meets "CSI". 

zaterdag 7 januari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 3: The French Connection

Director: William Friedkin
Genre: Crime/ Thriller/ Action
Runtime: 104 minutes
Year: 1971
Starring: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi, Frederic de Pasquale, Bill Hickman, Ann Rebbot, Harold gary, Arlene Farber, Eddie Egan, Andre Ernotte, Sonny Grosso, Benny Marino, Patrick McDermott

Description: A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Review: Popeye Doyle is a workaholic with a past. He traces a big drug transaction. Together with his partner Buddy Rosso he works day and night to catch the dealers. The find a Frenchman, who appears to be the big man behind this drug cartel. But “Frog One” (his nickname) knows the cops are after him. A dangerous cat and mouse game unravels.
The most legendary scene, and with that the best scene of the film, is a car chase. Where Doyle follows a train, because one of the men he wants to catch is on it.
The dialogues are mostly improvised and Gene Hackman is really strong in his role as Doyle. Director William Friedkin did a great job with “The French Connection”.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

donderdag 5 januari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 2: Double Indemnity

Director: Billy Wilder
Genre: Crime/ Thriller
Runtime: 107 minutes
Year: 1944
Starring: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather, Tom Powers, Byran barr, Richard Gaines, Fortunio Bonanova, John Philiber

Description: An insurance representative (Fred MacMurray) lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions (Edward G. Robinson).

Review: Insurance agent Walter Neff is being confronted by an inrresistable woman, while doing a routine job for the woman’s husband. The woman, Phyllis Dietrichson, manages to win him over immediately. She asks Walter is he also sells life insurance and we know we’re dealing with a femme fatale. Walter is impressed by Phyllis and lets her comepletely take a hold of him, before he finds out what’s really going on. They fall in love in plan to kill Phyllis’ husband, but and old co-worker of Walter doesn’t trust the situation.
The film is based on the book “Three of a Kind”, by author James M. Cain. The film has sharp and cynical dialogues. And the way the story is told works great. The film starts at the end, where Walter is using a dictaphone to tell his story. Through the voice-over we see everything and this works well. It’s the ultimate film-noir. The story is good and you can really feel the atmosphere. How they play with darkness and light, the shadows, smoke rooms, it looks unique.
The acting is strong. Both Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck are very solid in their performances.
“Double Indemnity” is a must-see for every film lover.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

maandag 2 januari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 1: Crash

Director: David Cronenberg
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 100 minutes
Year: 1996
Starring: James Spader, Deborah Kara Unger, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Patricia Arquette

Description: After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director (James Spader) discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.

Review: The film is set in Los Angeles. James and Catherine are a married couple drwn into an underworld where people try to get sexual satisfaction through automobile crashes. James discovers this when he is in a car accident himself. Weirded out yet? Well, I was. It’s a weird film, violent and explicit. Definitely not for everyone.
It is a fascinating premise and it starts off quite promising. However, James Spader’s character never really shows a spark of life. Not do any of the other characters. In the end we don’t really care about any of these characters. It becomes a game of guessing who will sleep with who next.
The film is risky and I can see what director David Cronenberg wanted to do, but this film didn’t really get me. Probably because I was weirded out most of the time. Cronenberg is known for his violence and provocative style of storytelling. And I usually like his films. “Crash” sadly isn’t one of them.

Rating: 2/ 5