Reviews

14 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Platteland (2011)
7/10
The first good Afrikaans film in the past 10 years
3 June 2012
If you simply want a movie with happy-chappy music and famous actors, then Platteland is for you.

But if you want to see a good Afrikaans movie, the first in the past 10 years!, then you should also see Platteland.

It has many mistakes, don't misunderstand. If all the songs were scrapped, then it would have been years better. These people are actors, not singers. And on every song you can hear how much their voices had to be rectified with computers. And the story has a few weak points. etc.

But this movie gives hope (Johanna!) for our industry.
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9/10
Timeless and life-changing and terribly important
27 May 2012
Let me put it this way: if you haven't seen Dead Poets Society already, then you owe it to yourself to do so. Yesyes, despite everyone saying that 'you simply must see it!'. Think about it like this: if you do, then the worst that can happen it that you don't like it. If you don't, then you risk missing out on one of the best films ever created and (more importantly) not getting that life-changing revelation. Which revelation? Watch and find out...

A review (for those who want to know what they're getting):

Directed by Peter Weir, who manages to take every tool a filmmaker has to his disposal, and uses them to create a monumental masterpiece.

The acting defies the term 'superb'. Robin Williams and Robert Sean Leonard are truly great, although I would name many more if I could. They so convince you of what they're feeling, that you truly care about them.

The cinematography is endlessly excellent, I could write a long essay on it. This is one of those films where you can sense the contribution made by everybody behind the camera. The lighting, sound recording, set design, everything! is magnificent.

The story is flawless. It tells a brilliant story brilliantly, and then also defines what it means for a story to inspire people. You cannot walk away from the film without being a different person than the one earlier.

Again: watch it if you haven't. Those who have already don't need to be told to watch it again. They simply will. And you will too....
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Breaking In (2011–2012)
A series that makes me feel stupid. BTW: I don't like feeling stupid
24 May 2012
I could ramble on about the corny comedy and predictable characters and lame actors and cheesy romance, but what made me dislike this series is that it felt like a personal attack on my mind! It's like the creators think I'm really very stupid and designed something to suit my low IQ...

It's of course up to you if you want to watch this, but I really think that with the number of series and movies out there, you can do better.

Extra details: It's about a team who have to be 'good-guy' thieves, if there exists such a thing. The don't want to, but they're forced to. It clearly shows on screen: they don't enjoy what they do, and I didn't enjoy watching them! The music is boring and the visual effects are pathetic.
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8/10
A truly haunting and daunting but excellent film, that everybody capable should see
18 May 2012
About a mother and a mentally twisted child and the scathing possibility that they reflect and affect each other in a disastrous infinite loop. The film doesn't waste time in pretending to be fearless and brave in its attempt to inform parents and their children about how small, wrong actions can become a massive snowball, tumbling down a hill, destroying everything (truly: everything) in its path.

Tilda Swinton delivers the second-best performance of 2011 as the mother who sees what's going on around her, but does not realize how it came to be so. If she were a singer, I would describe her singing as being pitch-perfect, and how she's never reaching for a note. Rather: she's on the note. Instantly. If she needs to be happy and free, she is. And you can feel that she's happy and free. If character is confused and shocked to the bone, Miss Tilda will be exactly that. And you'll be too. Jasper Newell and Ezra Miller as (respectively 6-8 year-old and 15 year-old) Kevin, are monstrous and absorbing in their act. They so define the character and what's going on in his thoughts, that the viewer will understand why he thinks he's doing what he's doing, which is a very rare thing in movies. They can chill you to the bone with their utter determination in the character, giving their best. I expect to see them both as Oscar-nominees within 10 years.

Director Lynne Ramsay presents everything boldly, making sure that you start out confused, and then slowly feeds you the necessary detail: teaspoon by teaspoon. She is also one-third of the story-writers. The other 2 thirds are Rory Stewart Kinnear and Lionel Shriver who wrote the book that the film is based on. This story is so complex, unsettling and potentially confusing, that these filmmakers need to be praised for not only making something cohesive from such obscure material, but actually making a great film. The film is brilliantly unassuming, in that it lays down all the cards in front of you, and gives you the opportunity and time to make of it what you will.

The cinematography by Seamus McGarvey is exquisitely original, showing an entirely new world of how the camera can show what is going on. (Oscar-nomination worthy) It manages to maintain the action going on, whilst always keeping things at a distance, giving you space to think while you're watching.

The music by Jonny Greenwood is interesting and fitting, and received its due attention in terms of awards.

It is truly unique to see a film where so much is implied, and we (the audience) have to guess and think for ourselves. Paired with that is the subtext of the mother's desire to be somewhere else. Simply somewhere far way. Also Kevin's desire not to be understood but to be mysterious and always one step ahead of the rest. The actors achieve this so divinely through body language, making speech unnecessary. Luckily, the writers knew this, so the story is often simply left to the capable bodies of the actors.

Overall, I can only say this: if you're 16 and older, and isn't easily frightened or disturbed, go see this movie. It is not only an excellent film, but is also thought-changing and necessary.
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Gosford Park (2001)
8/10
A witty drama, exploring the actions pre- and post-murder...
6 May 2012
I know most will not want to watch this film after the following description, but please read on, at least.

Gosford Park is unique. Like "M", it's not about the murder. It's about the effects of it. The director sets a stage before your eyes, without you noticing it. Then suddenly the curtain pulls up and you see what's happened! A very clever period drama (and comedy) about a dysfunctional party of people, with complex ties between them. The masters and the servants are supposed to be separated, but neither side clings to that rule. Filled with tons of actors and actresses that you could swear you've seen somewhere else, all of them brilliant and mostly very British. Watch this if you're willing to try something totally new. Ages 16 and up
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The Avengers (2012)
5/10
At last: A superhero-movie that dares to reinvent
5 May 2012
When it started getting easier to make superhero-movies (because budgets became bigger and visual effects became cheaper) it became clear that any superhero-movie is horrible by nature, and only with a good crew and cast would that change. The past couple of years haven't shown much promise in this area... But 'The Avengers' shows that with an intelligent and capable director, enough good actors/actresses, a limit to the amount of deaths and explosions that there can be, and a screenplay that at least tries to get away from those nasty clichés, there can still be a 'savetheworldfromdisastor'-movie that can entertain with its freshness. For all superhero-fans from all walks of life, as well as for those wishing to discover what a 'superhero-film' is all about. It's an all-in- one bargain!
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The Iron Lady (2011)
6/10
A pathetic attempt at creating a film that would cash in on the success of 'The King's Speech', The Iron Lady is a waste of the talent involved
22 April 2012
I must attempt to remain calm and conscious of everything I say during this review. If I don't, I might say many things which, even if true, should not so plainly be said.

When the first trailer for 'The Iron Lady' was released, I looked forward to seeing it for many reasons. Firstly, because the best actress that has ever shined her light on film, Meryl Streep, portrays the title character Margaret Thatcher. Also, because I thought that it might be similar to 'The King's Speech', which was the best film of the previous year, and a great personal favourite. Now I know that I fell straight into a trap. The makers of this film (I will not name names, because I do not know who to name) very certainly misused the glory and promise that a film similar to 'The King's Speech' held, in order to make more money and attract attention (to make more money). There is a sequence in the film which so coincides with a similar scene in 'The King's Speech', that if I were BBC, I would sue the Weinstein Company for outright plagiarism. Any person who has seen both films will agree, without exception. See, there I went. I'll tone it down again. Remain 'steady', to use a quote from the film. First thing first: the acting. Meryl Streep has an almost unblemished record for great performances in great films (with a few exceptions e.g. Mamma Mia (only she knows what made her sink to such utter depths)). This time, only the performance is great, and even that is plagued with a problem. Mrs. Streep acts out the role set out for her perfectly. No blemishes, no little moments of 'could have been better'. Flawless. However, I do feel that the Oscar she received should have been given all those many years ago for her performance in 'The Bridges of Madison County', which remains one of the best performances in any film, ever. (or at least, that's my point of view). Now it is crucial that you should understand me quite clearly: by saying that, I do not state that this performance is anything less than extraordinary. Mrs. Streep's reputation as the best actress ever is made even more certain than it was before. Now, the problem that is the biggest failure of this film: Meryl Streep is not given opportunity and time to do everything she can. She is bound by sloppy direction and editing, confused cinematography and a script that strips a film from its full potential more than any other script I can think of. Perhaps I should correct myself (in the case that I am wrong). I don't know that any of these departments are to blame. I shouldn't point fingers. The basic fact is that Meryl Streep's performance is somewhat wasted, because it isn't fully visible. I do not know who to blame for the cinematography, but it is certain that the camera-work prevent the viewer from being able to view all the fine nuances and delicate points of this majestic performance. Enough of that.

I have said most of this in the previous paragraph, but I will repeat the basics: The direction, writing, cinematography and editing is really horrible. Those who are responsible for these errors may correct me if necessary. Another fault must be addressed: the film is supposed to be old-fashioned (like 'The King's Speech'), but someone (or someones) have ruined that concept. The music, for instance is utterly unbalanced. There are some average choices of music that do fit the film (evne if they don't compliment it) but then there are bits of rock music and modern pieces thrown in. If you watch the movie you will know that it does have a purpose, however this purpose then unknowingly ruined the film even more. Now, I can compliment the few things that are good. Jim Broadbent is brilliant and perfect as Thatcher's wife. He is a firm and true piece of charcoal that keeps the fire going. This counts for the rest of the cast. Alexandra Roach who plays the younger Margaret Thatcher is fantastic. She talks, acts, walks and looks like she should, and the transition from her to Meryl Streep is easy. All the rest of the cast are good and tidy. No errors there. The costume design, make-up, set design and all other aspects are also fine and Oscar worthy. These aspects did remind me of the King's Speech, in that they are great.

So to sum it all up: The Iron Lady, like 'The King's Speech' features a remarkable, vivid and memorable performance of a historically important figure, both of which won Oscars and will stand the test of time for certain. Unfortunately, the rest of the film (except those areas mentioned in the previous paragraph) is appalling and useless. Also: I think that making a film like this (especially a horrible film) about a person yet alive, is very disrespectful. Still, because those few positive aspects are so brilliant, you should watch 'The Iron Lady', and salvage what you can. 6/10
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127 Hours (2010)
7/10
A unique and daring film about a unique and daring real-life experience
22 April 2012
This is a film about a man who is trapped for 127 hours in a canyon. Why, I won't say. It's for you to find out. Naturally, during that time, not much can happen. So, the concept of flashbacks becomes necessary. This could have been an average film, but a brave director decided he wanted to do something better. Danny Blabla deserves praise for making a cohesive film from what could have been a huge mess. The cinematography is managed by BUbuBLAbla and he deserves recognition for using very sleazy and uncomfortable camera-work to elicit the necessary emotion from the viewer. James Franco deserves a round of applause for making a potentially very embarrassing role to see, into something touching. These three men managed to dangle on the fine line between making a loose and off-beat film and making a useless and depressing film. The writer should be noted for filling time-gaps with a satisfying storyline.
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Green Lantern (2011)
4/10
A possible explanation of why people think superhero-movies are stupid
22 April 2012
Everything about this film is boring. The story, the actors, the music, the visual effects... Not only does it not reach the standards for each of the respective field, it is lower than the already low averages. Ryan Renolds does not make a good superhero, although is isn't his fault.

One thing I noticed: with a ring that realizes everything you imagine, couldn't the writers come up with something better. This film has a good deal of opportunity for being memorable, instead I shall forget I ever saw it when I finish typing this review. 5..4..3..2..1.. (poof) 4/10
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7/10
A surprisingly good comic-book adaptation, with something truly fresh in it
22 April 2012
I didn't have much expectations of this film, I have never been a fan of Captain America. I decided to lose all my prejudice and watch the film from unsoiled eyes. I was pleasantly surprised. The actors are fine, the story is solid, the visual effects is very good, the music and cinematography could have improved. The time-period is well brought to life, and believable. Whilst not being able to fully escape the Marvel- superhero film clichè's, the director, actors, writer and crew manage to steer the film away from being just another film. I was able to recognize originality in everything the movie presented. Well worth watching, although just a small step away from being a must-see. 8/10
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8/10
A wonderful surprise from Aardman, Arthur Christmas charms and delights any sane viewer
15 April 2012
I admit: I was skeptical. Another Christmas movie? While nothing could sink as low as the recent 'Hop', I was afraid of Aardman making their first bad movie. Context: Aardman is the company that made Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run and Flushed Away and other various treats. However, I was very pleasantly proved wrong.

I won't say much specific about the plot. It takes place in the North Pole and around the world (obviously). A lot of modern touches (you'll see) confused me a bit: I generally like old-fashioned films, but Aardman manages to use the technological update as sensibly and beautifully as possible. Good characters and a strikingly original plot (as much as you can have, with the amount of Christmas movies out there) make for a firm foundation for the rest of the film.

James McAvoy is adorable and convincing with his voice, and Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy gives the best Santa Claus voices ever. I love Hugh Laurie, but he should have chosen against playing in this film, it didn't suit him. Imelda Staunton, a personal favourite, is lovable and heart-warming in her small role. Ashley Jensen is clearly the only person in the world who could have played her role, she is perfect.

I can't help but note the similarities between Arthur Christmas and Monsters vs Aliens. The design of a particular large object (you'll see), the use of Hugh Laurie in utterly unfair roles and certain small story elements support me. Of course, that doesn't diminish the positives of the film.

Quite kid-friendly, especially considering that many 8 year old children have already memorized Avatar's words, and full of Pixar-styled jokes and references that only the more adult viewers will appreciate, Arthur Christmas is a deeply moving (you'll see), hilarious, original Christmas film. So much so, that I think all other people, now and for a long time, should just abandon plans for another animated Christmas movie. Obviously there was yet a gap, but Arthur Christmas has filled it, heart and soul. Buy, rent or stream, watch it!
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5/10
A poofy, spoofy satirical parody of itself, and otherwise just standard and below
30 March 2012
Ouch. This is difficult, because I'm going a bit against the grain that every other followed when reviewing this film. Nonetheless:

"An account of Baron Munchausen's supposed travels and fantastical experiences with his band of misfits." That is IMDb's summary, and it is true and short. It is a fantasy/semi-epic movie, with little helpings of satire mixed in. However, it just doesn't work. It feels like a film parodying itself, with the 'adventurous' scenes appearing to be purposefully made as kitch and cheesy as possible, but then stepping back just a bit so that it won't be classified as a satire. The visual effects are great, but still somehow wrong at times. Certain moments are truly epic, and then it just disappears and it feels like a bad home- made movie again. Music is just a notch above standard for the 'genre', and still weird like the rest. John Neville plays a fabulous and stately Baron, and I loved him for it. Sarah Polley played probably the most natural and convincing 9-year old girl in any film I can think of at the moment. A small amount of suggestive filth is of course led by Robin Williams, who is funny, but the character is stupid.

Blablabla, allinall a movie with nice moments, mostly during the first half-hour. Then also really irritating escapades that bore. Wouldn't recommend wasting your time. 5.3/10
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Megamind (2010)
7/10
Megamind could very easily be just another 3D animation film. But it has enough originality to thoroughly entertain any audience!
5 December 2011
Megamind is the most polarized film I have seen. At times, it overflows with the kind of originality that I've always admired in Dreamworks films. Twists in the story, unique visuals and the way everything fits together could make this a 9/10. And then Dreamworks try to make the film more commercial, and the film suddenly loses 2 points! Within a single minute (watch it yourself, you'll agree) it deserves to stand alongside Toy Story 3 at the Oscars, but quickly seems eligible for a Razzie. Nonetheless, it exceeded my highest expectations. The voice cast is flawless, the music fitting and the proportion of the storyline ideal. As computer-animation improves every year, it becomes harder to tell what level of technical excellence a film possesses. In order to stand out, the visuals now have to be more original than ever before. Megamind has these originality's in small, frequent bursts. But these little bursts, without a doubt, make the film worth watching... 7/10
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Spud (2010)
7/10
More Drama than Comedy, not at all true to the book
15 December 2010
When I first read Spud, it made a huge impact on me. I saw the book as near perfect. Of course, when I heard about the film, I was jumping up and down. Today I went to see it. What a disappointment. It has it's strong points: 1. John Cleese 2. Troy Sivan 3. John Cleese 4. John Cleese 5. Interesting cinematic interpretation of dairy-style book

Unfortunately I can't think of much more. Troy Sivan is the perfect cast, he sings amazingly, acts amazingly and looks the part. John Cleese, well, I don't really have to say anything.

The story is not at all true to the 'near-perfect' book. It lets out most of the high points of the book as well as all the subtleties that the fans of Spud were hoping to see in the movie. And where it does contain important points of the book, it is in some way changed. This was disappointing to say the least.

If you have read the book and have already developed a firm mental image of the characters, go see the film. If you haven't read the book, read it first and then go see it, or better yet, rent it on DVD. This is not a film that needs to be seen on the big screen.
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