maandag 27 februari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 31: Empire Records

Director: Allan Moyle
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 90 minutes
Year: 1995
Starring: Anthony LaPaglia, Liv Tyler, Renee Zellweger, Robin Tunney, Ethan Embry, Debi Mazar

Description: The employees of an independent music store learn about each other as they try anything to stop the store being absorbed by a large chain.

Review: I was really looking forward to seeing this. A group of teens working in a record store, trying to save the store before it’s been taken over by a big company. Well, it wasn’t all that great.
For a store that is suffering from financial problems, they sure have a lot of employees working at the same time. And they aren’t actually working. It’s just a bunch of self-absorbed caricatures with no character development. It all happens in one day and things happen really fast. Moods, situations, relationships, feelings. So fast, it’s no longer believable.
While watching “Empire Records”, I really didn’t know how serious I had to take this film. There is really no character that I really like and some things that happen are so ridiculous. I don’t know, but I really didn’t like this film very much. I did enjoy the soundtrack, some good music is in this film.
“Empire Records” is not as fun as I hoped.

Rating: 2/ 5

zondag 26 februari 2017

Oscar Predictions 2017

A bit late to the party, by here are my 2017 Oscar predictions.

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Should Win: "La La Land"
Will Win: "La La Land"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Should Win: Ryan Gosling for "La La Land"
Will Win: Denzel Washington for "Fences"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Should Win: Emma Stone for "La La Land"
Will Win: Emma Stone for "La La Land"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Should Win: Michael Shannon for "Nocturnal Animals"
Will Win: Mahershala Ali for "Moonlight"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Should Win: Viola Davis for "Fences"
Will Win: Viola Davis for "Fences"

Best Achievement in Directing
Should Win: Damien Chazelle for "La La Land"
Will Win: Damien Chazelle for "La La Land"

Movie Trailer Sunday (281)

Here are this week's trailers.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
Director: David Bowers
Description: Greg convinces his family to take a road trip to attend his great grandmother's 90th birthday as a cover for what he really wants: to attend a nearby gamer convention. Unsurprisingly, things do not go according to plan and Heffley family antics ensue.
Starring: Alicia Silerverstone, Tom Everett Scott, Jason Drucker, Beth Keener, Charlie Wright
Trailer: Trailer "Diary of ta Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul"
Comment: Never saw the first or read any of the books.

Maudie
Director: Aisling Walsh
Description: An arthritic Nova Scotia woman (Sally Hawkins) works as a housekeeper while she hones her skills as an artist and eventually becomes a beloved figure in the community.
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke
Trailer: Trailer "Maudie"
Comment: I really want to see this film. Sally Hawkins looks so amazing.

Colossal
Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Description: A woman (Anne Hathaway) 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: No Anne fan, but I think this film is going to be funny as hell.

Goon: Last of the Enforcers
Director: Jay Baruchel
Description: A hockey player (Seann William Scott) plagued by injuries is confronted with the possibility of retirement when a tough new player challenges his status as the league's top enforcer.
Starring: Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber, Alison Pill, Elisha Cuthbert, Kim Coates, Jay Baruchel, T.J. Miller
Trailer: Trailer "Goon: Last of the Enforcers"
Comment: I really liked the first film, which was a surprisingly fun film.

Unlocked
Director: Michael Apted
Description: A CIA interrogator (Noomi Rapace) is lured into a ruse that puts London at risk of a biological attack.
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, Michael Douglas, John Malkovich, Toni Collette
Trailer: Trailer "Unlocked"
Comment: Good cast, meh vibe. For now at least.

woensdag 22 februari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 30: Anatomy of a Murder

Director: Otto Preminger
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 160 minutes
Year: 1959
Starring: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O’Connell, Eve Arden, Kathryn Grant, George C. Scott, Orson Bean, Russ Brown, Murray Hamilton, Brooks West, Ken Lynch, John Qualen, Howard McNear, Alexander Campbell, Ned Wever, Jimmy Conlin, Royal Beal, Joseph Kearns, Don Ross, Lloyd Le Vasseur, James Waters, Joseph N. Welch, Duke Ellington, Irv Kupcinet

Description: In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. What is the truth, and will he win his case?

Review: I wanted to know why “Anatomy of a Murder” is such a high listed courtroom drama. It takes a while before the story takes us into the courtroom. First info is gathered and lawyers are preparing their case.
We meet Paul Biegler, a defense attorney. He is asked to defend Frederick Manion. Manion killed a man after he raped his wife Laura. Biegler has to proof that the defendant suffered from temporary insanity when he committed this act.
We know from the start that Manion did commit the crime, there is no question of wheter he did it or not. And we also see that Manion has a reputation. And people are also questioning whether the black I his wife has, came from him.
“Anatomy of a Murder” is a little different than other classic courtroom dramas. It’s all about how to use the information you got and how to get the answers you want, in order to form a good defense. How to give a good story to the jury.
James Stewart is fantastic. He manages to keep our attention, while in constant dialogue. In “Rear Window” he already showed that he could easily do that, while being in one room the entire film. In “Anatomy of a Murder” we spend most time in the courtroom and yet we are constantly with him.
I think you might say that “Anatomy of a Murder” is the ultimate courtroom film.

Rating: 5/ 5

dinsdag 21 februari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 29: Manchester By the Sea

Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 138 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, Kyle Chandler, Michelle Williams, Gretchen Mol

Description: An uncle is (Casey Affleck) asked to take care of his teenage nephew(Lucas Hedges) after the boy's father dies.

Review: One moment of thoughtlessness is all Lee Chandler needs for his life to fall apart. It took everything from him and made him into the sad man he is now.
Lee works as a janitor and lives a lonely life in Boston. He has a temper and doesn’t mind offending people. But we later see what Lee carries with him and why he became so bitter. When Lee’s bother Joe dies, he has to take care of his teenage nephew Patrick. The film isn’t chronologic, it often jumps back in time. Although there is no visual different between the past and the present, it’s really easy to follow. We see Lee’s demons in both the past and the present.
This film has real people in it, they don’t feel like characters. The acting is very strong. This proofs why, in my opinion, Casey Affleck is the better actor of the Affleck brothers. The film hits you, grabs you. It’s a very sad and somewhat depressing story. The script is very good and anything but predictable.
“Manchester By the Sea” is a film you have to see, it’s really good.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

zondag 19 februari 2017

Movie Trailer Sunday (280)

Here are this week's trailers.

Everything, Everything
Director: Stella Meghie
Description: A teenager who's lived a sheltered life because she's allergic to everything, falls for the boy who moves in next door.
Starring: Amandia Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose
Trailer: Trailer "Everything, Everything"
Comment: Doubts here, it looks okay. But this can easily go wrong.

Their Finest
Director: Lone Scherfig
Description: A British film crew attempts to boost morale during World War II by making a propaganda film after the Blitzkrieg.
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston, Paul RitterJeremy Irons, Eddie Marsan, Richard E. Grant
Trailer: Trailer "Their Finest"
Comment: Good cast.

The Ticket
Director: Ido Fluk
Description: A blind man (Dan Stevens) who regains his vision finds himself becoming metaphorically blinded by his obsession for the superficial.
Starring: Dan Stevens, Malin Akerman, Oliver Platt
Trailer: Trailer "The Ticket"
Comment: Ooooh.... Dan Stevens.... (*sigh)

The House
Director: Andre Jay Cohen
Description: A dad (Will Ferrell) convinces his friends to start an illegal casino in his basement after he and his wife (Amy Poehler) spend their daughter's college fund.
Starring: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Alisson Tolman, Michaela Watkins
Trailer: Trailer "The House"
Comment: Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, definitely a great combo.

Song to Song
Director: Terrence Malick
Description:
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman, Haley Bennett, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Boyd Holbrook, Holly Hunter, Val Kilmer, Benicio Del Toro, Clifton Collins Jr.
Trailer: Trailer "Song to Song"
Comment: A great cast, but I've never been a fan of Terrence Malick.

zaterdag 18 februari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 28: Freeheld

Director: Peter Sollett
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 103 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Michael Shannon, Steve Carell, Luke Grimes, Skipp Sudduth, William Sadler

Description: New Jersey police lieutenant, Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore), and her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree (Ellen Page), both battle to secure Hester's pension benefits when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Review: “Freeheld” is based on the true story of a police officer fighting for equality. After Laurel Hester is diagnosed with terminal cancer, it appears that her life partner has not right to receiving her pension when she passes, while her heterosexual collegues do get to leave their pension to their partner. It’s an interesting theme, especially for the more conservative parts of America: equal rights for everyone, no matter the sexual orientation.
Julianne Moore is very convincing cop as cop Laurel Hester and her relationship with Stacie Andree is very believable. Moore can easily carry this film.
The so-called freeholders, who decline Laurel and Stacie’s request, are somewhat one-dimensional. The antagonists don’t convince as much as the protagonists do.
Julianne Moore’s performance is very strong and Ellen Page also does a fine job. Steve Carrell’s characters is very loud, but he is in it just enough to not make him annoying. For me Michael Shannon has the most memorable performance. I love him as an actor, he is very solid in all his films. Although his character Dane is very uncomfortable with the homosexual theme at first, he fights for Laurel and stand by her until the end. The emotional load is much bigger because of this character and the fantastic performance by Shannon.
The message is clear, but the story is a bit one-sided because of the weak antagonists.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

donderdag 16 februari 2017

Top 5 Thursday: TV Nerds

I am a nerd, an absolute geek. So I always love the nerdy characters on TV shows. Here are my five favorite nerds, who proof they are cool.

5. Abed Nadir (“Community”)
“Community” has a lot of fascinating characters, but pop culture sponge Abed is definitely my favorite. He has an uncanny awareness that his life plays out according to sitcom conventions. Abed is a huge sci’fi geek. I’m a bit like a Abed I’m afraid.


4. Dwight Shrute (“The Office”)
Dwight has a dorky haircut, an ugly shirt, a weird background, a humorlous nature and a hunger for power. He is passionate about “Battlestar Gallactica” and has a love for martial arts. Although very intelligent, he can also be really dumb (falling for Jim’s genius pranks).


3. Jess Day (“New Girl”)
In movies, Zooey Deschanel is often the romantic leas. In “New Girl” she is an awkward schoolteacher with a disastrous love life. She is pretty much just one of the guys. Jess Day is adorkable.


2. Sheldon Cooper (“The Big Bang Theory”)
“The Big Bang Theory” is filled with geeks. Everyone besides Penny is a nerd. But I think Sheldon is everyone’s favorite of the bunch. Although he doesn’t understand sarcasm, his outstanding intelligence is hilarious. And he doesn’t even know it. Although Sheldon can be an annoying know it all, he is also endearing and hard to dislike.


1. Ross Geller (“Friends”)
His friends always made fun of his job, but I think it’s one of the coolest jobs ever. Ross is a paleontologist, which means he can talk about dinosaurs all day!!!! Ross hasn’t been very lucky in love and he seems to have bad luck written all over him (story of my life). And the fact that he fantasizes about his girlfriend dressing up as Princess Leia, makes him even more loveable.


They Almost Made the Top 5: Screech (“Saved by the Bell”), Carlton Banks (“The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”), Chuck Bartowski (“Chuck”), Steve Urkel (“Family Matters”)

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 27: Night Shift

Director: Ron Howard
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 106 minutes
Year: 1982
Starring: Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton, Shelley Long, Clint Howard

Description: A morgue attendant (Henry Winkler) is talked into running a brothel at his workplace after a deceased pimp is sent there. However, the pimp's killers don't look too kindly on this new 'business', nor does the morgue's owner.

Review: “Night Shift” will not be in the AFI’s top 100 list, but it is funny. Chuck works in a morgue. His friend Bill talks him into running a brothel at his workplace, after a deceased pimp is sent there. Silly story, but pretty original if you ask me.
Why is this movie funny? I got two words: Michael Keaton! He is hilarious. His character Bill is very annoying, but Keaton made him loveable. Henry Winkler is okay and so is Shelley Long, but the constantly stand in Keaton’s shadow.
The plot is a bit silly, like I stated before. And the film targets a 17 to 25 year old male audience. “Night Shift” probably doesn’t hold up as well, its typical eighties humor.

Rating: 3/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 26: Adaptation

Director: Spike Jonze
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Runtime: 115 minutes
Year: 2003
Starring: Meryl Streep, Nicolas Cage, Chris Cooper, Tilda Swinton, Brian Cox, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ron Livingston, Judy Greer, Jim Beaver, Stephen Tobolowski

Description: A lovelorn screenwriter (Nicolas Cage) becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt 'The Orchid Thief' by Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep) for the screen.

Review: Charlie Kaufman is a screenwriter and is in the middle of a crisis. He doesn’t know what to base his next film on. He is a very shy man and thinks of themes that have depth, but can’t be made exciting. His twin brother Donald is exactly the opposite. He is a beginning screenwriter and thinks of horrible cliché scripts. He is not shy at all and very extravert.
Charlie reaches his absolute low point when Donald’s script is picked up and he has no inspiration himself. He is about to write a screenplay for a book written by Susan Orlean.
Nicolas Cage is really good in this film. He plays both Charlie and Donald and even though they look the same, it’s easy to keep them apart. That’s because of Cage’s performance. I love the dialogue that Charlie constantly has with himself.
I loved the first part of the film. The second part an particularly the ending didn’t really satisfy me. Overall the film is very original and is nothing like you expect when you read the plot. The ending I just didn’t like.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

woensdag 15 februari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 25: Stoker

Director: Chan-wook Park
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 99 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, Jacki Weaver, Dermot Mulroney

Description: After India's (Mia Wasikowska) father (Dermot Mulroney) dies, her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother (Nicole Kidman). She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

Review: Director Chan-wook Park created a cult hit with “Oldboy”. A movie that was later remade and made his way to the US. Park made a debut with “Stoker”, where it is his first English language film, based on a screenplay by Wentworth Miller. Miller you might know as Michael Schofield from “Prison Break”, but he has been working on the script for “Stoker” for eight years.
When her father unexpectedly dies on her 18th birthday, India Stokes and her mother Evelyn have to adapt to life without father and husband Richard. But then uncle Charlie appears, Richard’s brother that they never met. He moves in with India and Evelyn. But there is a mystery circling around Charlie.
With a plot like this, you expect a thriller or maybe even a horror film. “Stoker” is in fact more of an interesting character study of an unusual family. Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode all deliver great performances. Their characters are intriguing. Even though India distrusts her uncle Charlie, there is also a certain attraction between the two. Matthew Goode plays the role of Charlie wonderfully. Creepy yet irresistible. Kidman shines as the fragile mother, but is also the most ‘human’ person in the film.
Acting is of a high level, but it’s Park who deserves the most credit. The images are mind blowing. His eye for detail really made me happy. He has a feeling for it, the camera work is beautiful. Almost every shot is a little work of art.
Although the thriller and horror element are more in the background, there is constantly this tension and dark atmosphere. “Stoker” is a great film, that is probably not for everyone. It’s a movie that is hard to categorize. Maybe it’s a darker version of a coming of age story. It makes for a hypnotizing viewing experience.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

dinsdag 14 februari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 24: Fifty Shades Darker

Director: James Foley
Genre: Drama/ Romance
Runtime: 118 minutes
Year: 2017
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Bella Heathcote, Rita Ora, Bruce Altman, Kim Basinger, Marcia Gay Harden

Description: While Christian (Jamie Dornan) wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her.

Review: I was warned, but I saw it anyway. If you thought “Fifty Shades of Grey” was bad, you haven’t seen the worst. Because “Fifty Shades Darker” is horrendous.
Everyone who had the need to, and many who didn’t, know the books by E.L. James. That the story is based on “Twilight” fanfiction says enough about the quality of the writing.
In “Fifty Shades Darker” we follow Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele once again. Anastasia left Christian at the end of the first film, but within the first five minutes of “Fifty Shades Darker”, the two meet again and hook up.
What director James Foley, who also directed “Glengarry Glen Ross” (great movie), was thinking, nobody knows. This film’s story is ridiculous. Wait, there is none. There is no story! The characters are stupid and dumb and very unbelievable. “Fifty Shades Darker” is just two people, that have sex. The rest that happens is unimportant. The trailer led you to believe that there was going to be tension. The girl for instance, that shows up in Anastasia’s room. That is indeed all she does. She appears a couple of times and she is gone just as fast. It does nothing for the story (that is not there). And there is a scene where Christian crashes with his helicopter. He is literally missing for five minutes and then returns asking: “What did I miss?”
The bedroom scenes aren’t sexy, just like in the first film. It’s very mild and not as controversial as people might think it will be. I at least expected to see some more of Jamie Dornan’s butt.
They added Kim Basinger (an Oscar winning actress) to the party, as Christian’s former lover. He was her submissive. But she is in three or four scenes. And Anastasia’s new boss is introduced, who transfers from just being Anastasia’s boss to full on psycho creep in no time. Talking about lack of character development.
The fact that Christian went from the “I don’t do romance” guy, to the “all I need is you” guy, is also very unbelievable. Anastasia is a pretty and kind girl, but given Christian’s personal trades, interests and ‘extraordinary hobbies’, I just don’t get why it’s her he wants so bad.
Gosh, I’m looking forward to “Fifty Shades Freed”. NOT!

Rating: 0,5/ 5

maandag 13 februari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 23: Control

Director: Anton Corbijn
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 119 minutes
Year: 2007
Starring: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Craig Parkinson, Joe Anderson, Nigel Harris, Nicola Harrison, Toby Kebell, Alexandra Maria Lara, Matthew McNulty, Ben Naylor, James Anthony Pearson, Tim Plester, Robert Shelly, Harry Treadaway

Description: A profile of Ian Curtis (Sam Riley), the enigmatic singer of Joy Division whose personal, professional, and romantic troubles led him to commit suicide at the age of 23.

Review: “Control” follows the (way too short) life of Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division. This was one of the most influential bands of the late seventies. The film focusses on Curtis’ inner demons, not on the musical aspect. It’s different, but works great. But it’s mostly the black and white style and the performances by Samantha Morton and Sam Riley that turn “Control” into the breathtaking and touching film it is.
Ian Curtis wants to step from the English working class life and is inspired by legends like David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Success follows and Joy Division is a fact. Their success grows. Curtis’ home life isn’t doing as well though. He and Debbie married very young and now have a daughter together. The fact that he is away from home a lot and his affair with groupie Annik, don’t make it easy for the married couple. Curtis also has a form of epilepsy and the attacks get more aggressive.
Control is what Curtis wants, but it’s something he just can’t get. The film is based on the memoires of Curtis’ wife. The love she had for her enigmatic and troubled husband is clearly present, but we also get to know his dark sides. The adultery, the fear, the sadness, the insecurity. The film is about Ian Curtis himself, with his home life and band dynamic on the side.
Director and photographer Anton Corbijn made this choice and this is somewhat of an anti-rock film. “Control” stays with the personal portrait of a young talented musician, who died way too early.
Sam Riley has a tough task portraying Ian Curtis, but does this flawless. The same goes for Samantha Morton, who is probably the beating heart of the film.
“Control” is a fantastic film.

Rating: 5/ 5

zondag 12 februari 2017

Movie Trailer Sunday (279)

Here are this week's trailers.

Life
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Description: An international space crew discovers life on Mars.
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson
Trailer: Trailer "Life"
Comment: I hope it's original.

Aftermath
Director: Elliott Lester
Description: Based on the airline accident that occurred in July of 2002 and on the events that took place 478 days later.
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Scoot McNairy, Kevin Zegers, Maggie Grace
Trailer: Trailer "Aftermath"
Comment: Arnie went from action to drama.

The Circle
Director: James Ponsoldt
Description: A woman (Emma Watson) lands a job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, where she becomes involved with a mysterious man (Tom Hanks).
Starring: Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Karen Gillan, Bill Paxton, Patton Oswalt, Nate Corddry
Trailer: Trailer "The Circle"
Comment: I'm Always in for Tom Hanks. But this thriller looks really good and interesting. And I love Emma Watson too.

The Beguiled
Director: Sofia Coppola
Description: While imprisoned in a Confederate girls' boarding school, an injured Union soldier (Colin Farrell) cons his way into each of the lonely women's hearts, causing them to turn on each other, and eventually, on him.
Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Angourie Rice
Trailer: Trailer "The Beguiled"
Comment: I love that Sofia Coppola is back, she is such a fantastic director. And this film looks really good, I really want to see it.

The Dinner
Director: Oren Moverman
Description: A look at how far parents will go to protect their children.
Starring: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve COogan, Rebecca Hall
Trailer: Trailer "The Dinner"
Comment: This film is based on a novel by the Dutch writer Herman Koch and the Dutch film version really surprised me.

vrijdag 10 februari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 22: Colonia

Director: Florian Gallenberger
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 106 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Emma Watson, Daniel Brühl, Michael Nyqvist

Description: A young woman's (Emma Watson) desperate search for her abducted boyfriend (Daniel Brühl) that draws her into the infamous Colonia Dignidad, a sect nobody has ever escaped from.

Review: “Colonia” is based on a true story. We follow the lives of a young couple, Lena and Daniël. They are in Chile and Daniël is taken by a secret army of Pinochet. Lena wants to finds him and finds out that he has been brought to Colonia Dignidad. This colony is known as an institution lead by Paul Schäfer. But it’s actually a closed community and torture camp where nobody ever escapes from. Lena decides to join the colony, find Daniël and escape.
The story of the couple is fictive, but Colonia Dignidad and Paul Schäfer were real. And this is a scary thought.
Emma Watson has reached the point where I no longer see Hermione Granger, the role she played in the Harry Potter franchise. She has grown and she is a magnificent actress. And she can easily carry a film, like she is doing here. Her performance in “Colonia” is heartfelt and timid, so convincing and touching. Daniël Brühl, whom I’ve liked for a while, is also very strong. Together they work perfectly. Michal Nyqvist plays the infamous Paul Schäfer. Schäfer is a repulsive character, played very convincingly.
“Colonia” came out a while ago, but nobody talked about this film when it was released. And I seriously don’t understand why. Because “Colonia” is a fantastic film. Besides the strong performances, the story is interesting and really scary. It’s a film more people should see, because it’s a hidden gem.

Rating: 5/ 5

donderdag 9 februari 2017

Top 5 Thursday: 2017 Movies I’m Looking Forward to

We are two months into the new year and a lot of great movies are ahead. And it looks promising. Here are the five films I’m looking forward to the most.

5. Kong: Skull Island
I really loved Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” and I enjoyed “Godzilla”. Gareth Edwards, who directed “Godzilla”, also firected “Kong: Skull Island” and that excited me the most. The trailer looks amazing and the cast is really good.


4. Logan
That trailer really got me, especially with the Johnny Cash song. It looks like a gritty and sober film and I’m seriously excited to see “Logan”. It looks better than all the other Wolverine spin-off movies.


3. A Cure for Wellness
It’s all so mysterious and creepy. It got my attention immediately. I really don’t want to know any details before I see the actual film.


2. Beauty and the Beast
I have never been a fan of the Disney princess films, but “Beauty and the Beast” was different for me. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with this animated film and Belle was my hero. She was so far ahead of her time, intelligent, well read and kind hearted. When I finally saw the trailer for this live action film, my heart skipped a beat. It looks so good and so similar to the animation. I swear, if this film isn’t good I’m going to eat my shoe.


1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
“Guardians of the Galaxy” was such a huge surprise and it ended up being my favorite film of that year. So clearly I’m super excited for the sequel. All of our favorite Marvel heroes return to fight the galaxy. The trailer showed us amazing spectacle, humor and again an awesome soundtrack. Oh, and baby Groot.


They Almost Made the Top 5: The Zookeeper’s Wife, Life, The Circle, War for the Planet of the Apes, Alien: Covenant

woensdag 8 februari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 21: Glengarry Glen Ross

Director: James Foley
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 100 minutes
Year: 1992
Starring: Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Bruce Altman, Jonathan Pryce

Description: An examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office.

Review: A film set in a dusty real estate office. Doesn’t really sound interesting, does it? “Glengarry Glen Ross” is indeed a very strong movie. With a cast filled with great actors and sharp dialogue.
Verbally the film is very violent. A lot of cursing and competition between all the employees. One-liners and dialogues, people are slaughtered with words. And that’s what makes this film as strong as it is. It’s an acting film, a film where good dialogue is important. The theme doesn’t interest me and the characters aren’t all that likeable, but this film captivated me anyway.
Especially Jack Lemmon shines. He plays an old real estate agent, who is trying everything to keep his job. A lot of smooth talking, his job is all he has. He turns into a broken man, a tragic figure. The intensity and energy that Lemmon put into to this role, it’s very impressive.
Alec Baldwin only has a small role, but he also leaves an impression. And then there is Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin. All strong, but overshadowed by Lemmon and Baldwin.
Like I stated before, it’s an acting film. Actors at their best.

Rating: 4/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 20: Safety Not Guaranteed

Director: Colin Trevorrow
Genre: Comedy/ Romance/Science Fiction
Runtime: 86 minutes
Year: 2012
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Jeff Garlin

Description: Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy (Mark Duplass) who placed a classified advertisement seeking a companion for time travel.

Review: Everyone wants to time travel, but sadly nobody succeeded to do so yet. In “Safety Not Guaranteed”an add is placed, where someone is asking for a travel companion.
The film starts with flashes from Darius’ life. She has been a wallflower all her life and just started an internship for a magazine. During a staff meeting, someone reads the add where someone is look for a time travel partner. One of the writers, Jeff, is send to write a story about it. He takes interns Darius and Arnau with him.
“Safety Not Guarantee” is a small indie film, with the same producers as “Little Miss Sunshine”. Although it’s a completely different story, this film manages to give you that same feel good feeling. At first it looks like you know where it’s heading. But the film is a lot more surprising. I loved Aubrey Plaza as the cynical Darius. And it’s that cast that makes this movie so good. Their chemistry and timing is so strong. The original story surprises you from beginning to end.
“Safety Not Guaranteed” feels like a modern day fairytale of some sort. A great directorial debut for Colin Trevorrow.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

zondag 5 februari 2017

Movie Trailer Sunday (278)

Here are this week's trailers.

Catfight
Director: Onur Tukul
Description: The rivalry between two former college friends comes to a head when they both attend the same glamorous event.
Starring: Sandra Oh, Anne Heche, Alicia Silverstone, Dylan Baker
Trailer: Trailer "Catfight"
Comment: This looks like a fun comedy that probably no one will see.

Beauty and the Beast
Director: Bill Condon
Description: An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.
Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Ewam McGregor, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Kline
Trailer: Trailer "Beauty and the Beast"
Comment: I can't wait to see it, especially after seeing this final trailer. Be our guest, be our guest...

The Ottoman Lieutenant
Director: Joseph Ruben
Description: The Ottoman Lieutenant is a love story between an idealistic American nurse (Hera Hilman) and a Turkish officer (Michiel Huisman) in World War I.
Starring: Hera Hilman, Michiel Huisman, Joh Hartnett, Ben Kingsley
Trailer: Trailer "The Ottoman Lieutenant"
Comment: My fellow Dutch man Michiel Huisman is in this. I'm interested ;)

This Beautiful Fantastic
Director: Simon Aboud
Description: A young woman who dreams of being a children's author makes an unlikely friendship with a cantankerous, rich old widower.
Starring: Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Wilkinson, Andrew Scott, Jeremy Irvine
Trailer: Trailer "This Beautiful Fantastic"
Comment: YES!!!! This is a movie I'm excited for!

Personal Shopper
Director: Olivier Assayas
Description: Revolves around a ghost story that takes place in the fashion underworld of Paris.
Starring: Kristen Stewart
Trailer: Trailer "Persoanl Shopper"
Comment: I don't really know what this movie is about, which makes it interesting.

vrijdag 3 februari 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 19: Selma

Director: Ava DuVernay
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 128 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: David Oyelowo, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Tom Wilkinson, Giovanni Ribisi, Dylan Baker, Tim Roth, Alessandro Nivola, Cuba Gooding Jr.

Description: A chronicle of Martin Luther King's campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.

Review: Racism is an issue that will always be a part of our society, even in a civilized world. And that’s why the Martin Luther King biopic “Selma” is still relevant, to this day. There will always be a certain inequality between people of a different race or religion. In “Selma” we meet Martin Luther King two years after his “I had a dream” speech.
“Selma” centers around the Alabama town Selma. Together the people wanted to fight for equal rights and the right to vote, for everyone. Formally the black people were allowed to vote. But in reality it was a lot more complex. We see this in one of the first scenes of the movie. Where a woman has to get through an impossible test to proof she has the right to vote.
Director Ava DuVernays shows with her script many situations with injustice. This is something you just can’t ignore. But the most interesting part is how she portrayed her leading character. King is a loyal idealist. But along the way we see his imperfections. Very well done and King is well portrayed by David Oyelowo.
“Selma” is a great picture based on one of the most inspiring men in American history.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

donderdag 2 februari 2017

Top 5 Thursday: Movies I Watched for My Challenge (January 2017)

The first month of the year is already over. Which means the first month of my challenge is as well. And it was a pretty good month. Here are my five favorite films I watched for my 100 Movie Challenge.

5. Double Idemnity
I’ve been loving Billy Wilder films. The once I saw before were comedies, so it was really cool to see something different from Wilder this time. It’s a really good classic film.


4. Love & Friendship
I’m a sucker for films like this. “Love & Friendship” is a great take on this Jane Austen novella and Kate Beckinsale plays what is probably her best role ever.


3. Eye in the Sky
I didn’t expect that much, nothing more than another patriotic war film. Boy was I wrong. “Eye in the Sky” is an exciting film, with fantastic acting. It kept me on the edge of my seat.


2. Trainspotting
The film wasn’t completely new, but this was the first time I saw this film in its entirety. And I loved it. It’s a messed up story, but I sometimes like messed up.


1. The Little Prince
This film is so amazing, loved the style. And the story is so from-the-heart. As a creative person myself, I couldn’t not love “The Little Prince”.


They Almost Made the Top 5: The French Connection, A Royal Affair, Under the Skin, Bernie

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 18: Inferno

Director: Ron Howard
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 121 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster, Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy

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.

Review: In 2017, author Dan Brown will release his new book “Origin”. This will be the fifth book where Robert Langdon tries to solve puzzles and mysteries. It was actually time for “The Lost Symbol” to be turned into a film, but director Ron Howard preferred to work on “Inferno”.
Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Florence, with a nasty head wound. He doesn’t know how he got there or what happened to him. Langdon doesn’t have a lot of time to think about that. While Langdon is constantly hallucinating, he has to flee the hospital and doctor Sienna helps him. Eventually Langdon finds out more about what happened to him and together with Sienna he has to stop a catastrophe from happening.
Dan Brown took Dante’s Inferno as his theme for this story. The story and execution are very entertaining, but everything that happens goes a little bit too easy. Langdon sees a riddle or clue and within seconds he gives us the answer to it. And logics is also something they didn’t use a lot for “Inferno”. When you set that aside, you’re going to enjoy “Inferno”.
Tom Hanks is still really good as Robert Langdon. If it wasn’t for him, “Inferno” wouldn’t be as interesting. The chase scenes in the film exciting, but the plot is sometimes predictable. The plot twist in “Inferno” was a little strange. I didn’t really like that part.
I’m a big fan of Dan Brown’s books. So far “The Da Vinci Code” is still the best book to movie adaptation and sadly “Inferno” is my least favorite. Still not a bad movie, but it’s not that refreshing or surprising.

Rating: 3/ 5