Reviews written by registered user
vitachiel

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84 reviews in total 
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Convict 13 (1920)
Keaton reaching puberty, 6 January 2016
5/10

This early Buster Keaton short is filled with basic, crude, unoriginal slapstick scenes. Though mildly entertaining and not unfunny, it's a far cry from Keaton's future sophisticated ingenuity. If it wasn't for the fact that he was to evolve into the brilliant movie icon that he is, these early films would most certainly not have been restored at all.

Convict 13 is particularly notable for its sheer violence. Gun shooting, hammer slapping, cannonball slinging, body throwing... No whining about the bruises guys!

Best joke: the golf ball eating fish.

Cinematic turd, 6 January 2016
1/10

This must be some badly worked out fantasy of a self-indulgent adolescent mind that doesn't know about the existence of any substantial things in this world. Having a rich daddy with some high level connections, it was fairly easy to make a film about his fantasy. No trouble to find some fame hungry Hollywood whores to help him realise his dream. No trouble at all to find a producer without regard for good taste and always willing to make a quick cheap buck. Thank God for that, because otherwise we would have missed this super smart and funny film about love, friendship, dedication and the true meaning of life. Oh, wait...

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Where are the stage performances?, 2 January 2016
7/10

All About Eve is all about Bette Davis and Anne Baxter. One an outspoken and uninhibited diva with a kind heart. She's always honest, even if it might hurt feelings, not in the least of herself. The other an innocent and naive wallflower that can turn into a skilled devious witch in the blink of an eye.

The male leads are somewhat interchangeable, alike in looks and behaviour. Exception is DeWitt, who is slick, distinguished and amoral and therefore a rather interesting character. The scenes in which he confronts Eve are among the highlights.

Marilyn Monroe has a small part, and, though we all know of her, eh, average acting abilities, she has a radiance about her that has future stardom written all over it.

Oddly enough, for a movie about the theatre, we hardly see any scene in which theatre performances are shown. These scenes might have been left at the cutting table, but more likely it has just been a matter of indolence or incompetence. For a story about two top theatre actresses it must be quite a challenge to deliver these stage abilities on the silver screen, but quite essential too. It's nevertheless an enjoyable movie, where the interesting plot and acting power of the two lead actresses will keep you in your seat.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Write a novel, 28 December 2015
4/10

Again, here we have a movie that tries to be a commercial success by trying to serve everyone by trying to be many or most things. It cannot be classed because it is more than one kind of movie: black comedy, moral tale, emotion-driven drama, fantasy, post noir, court drama… And it fails miserably on all accounts.

The cast is perfectly cast: Kim Cattrall as the vain impresario, Anthony Hopkins as the wise old guy, Jennifer Love Hewitt as the femme fatale, Dan Aykroyd as the imposing yobo and Alec Baldwin as the struggling man of a certain age. Hence, a perfectly TYPE-CASTED cast.

What more to say about 'A Shortcut to Happiness'? Not much. It is boring, self-indulgent and over-ambitious. If you like those kind of movies, do not hesitate and watch it immediately.

Warning to enthusiastic cooks, 3 August 2015
3/10

You've got a serious issue of bad taste if you like this movie. Too many happy coincidences, too many bad jokes and too much bad acting to make you even once forget once that you are watching a piece of fiction.

It is the standard recipe: put in a desperate, self-denying middle-aged wallflower and her nosy but loving sisters, mix it up with the perfect single guy and his not so good best friend, combine a gay couple, a running gag at the local supermarket and some silly old people, add a series of over the top nightmare dates, season it with lots and lots of cliché jokes and top it off with some garden party home videos while running the end credits. Mix well, sit back and relax. Or buy your own DYI rom-com kit at your budget hardware store.

Best line: "I love the internet, you can pay your bills naked."

Gertrud (1964)
6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
High brow entertainment at its lowest level, 22 September 2014
3/10

Married woman has affair with younger man, falls in love, wants to leave husband. Younger man doesn't love married woman, married woman decides to leave husband anyway and live the rest of her life alone. Then there's her former partner who wants her to come back to him, but she doesn't love him anymore.

That's all there is to the story. The movie consists of 10 or so scenes in which above-mentioned persons talk to each other. Without looking at each other. Displays of emotions are kept to a minimum. Conversations are carried out in a detached and deadpan manner and are rife with philosophical platitudes about love and male-female misunderstandings.

Watching this film feels like sitting in the theatre watching a high brow, boring and pretentious stage play. More than ever, this movie made me yearn for mindless, over-the-top action flics.

6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Enjoyable entertainment for all ages, 14 September 2014
9/10

Nothing can top the first Sin City movie, which is a masterpiece that can never be copied, remade or emulated. Sin City was the ultimate in coolness, cinematography and directing. A Dame To Kill For is a great movie, but in many respects it is not on a par with the first movie: the acting, the dialogs, the editing, the laughs... Some scenes drag on a bit, the use of coloring isn't anything near subtle anymore and the story lines are less powerful. Josh Brolin doesn't have the charisma of a Clive Owen or Bruce Willis. And lacking are the super weird bad guys, like Kevin and the Yellow Bastard. The women are not as bad-ass (although they show some impressive sword skills :) Eva Green a dame to kill for? Well, in Casino Royale maybe. Here, her acting and magnetism is surpassed by her bodily attraction (which is easy considering the fact that she is stark naked for most of her screen time).

But let's stop complaining, there's plenty to rejoice in here. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Johnny kicks in a fabulous performance. Marv is enjoying himself thoroughly, making the viewer having a field day as well. For the rest, curvaceous dames, kick-ass fighting and noir alleyways abound.The breathtaking photography is greatly enhanced by 3D. Give me more of this!

Successful mix of comedy and drama, 9 September 2014
8/10

The big charm of Elektra Luxx - as of its equally good predecessor Women In Trouble - lies in the matter-of-factness in the way the story lines are presented. Charlotte, one of the main characters in Women in Trouble, only appears for one scene here. Her mother, another prominent figure in WIT, is mentioned in this film, but doesn't appear at all. Just because she doesn't need to be. Virgin Mary, paying a visit to Elektra in her bathroom, is just a good, trustworthy friend, an understanding and caring human. No need to emphasize her holiness.

There are flaws. The comical conversation skills of Adrianne Palicki are carried on a bit too much and evolve into a long-winded running gag. Also, living the life of a porn star is idealized too much; there's not much place for a critical or pitiful look at the adult industry. If this had been the case however, we wouldn't have had enjoyed the film so much. And it's refreshing to see these actors as normal persons, as intelligent individuals with real emotions and character.

All in all, Elektra Luxx is a successful mix of comedy and drama with good acting, good dialogs and an attractive visual style. It's not a masterpiece, but it's a good and entertaining movie.

Fired Up! (2009)
The math, 5 September 2014
4/10

The friends looking for sex. The jokes failing to achieve the intended humor. The lame melodic punk rock songs. The hard-to-get skeptical girl. The supposedly funny smart talk. The easy willing girls. The running gags. The annoying gay guy. The stupid boyfriend. The evil other team. The old guy saying 'shit' a lot. The running gags.The countless sex references. The quick-witted baby sister. The running gags. The omission of the F-word. The homosexual anxiety. The sapless slapstick. The diverging agendas. The victory of real love. The running gags.

The Buildup, the Crisis and the Happy End.

Seen one, seen 'em all.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Mummies, slaves and lemon juice, 5 September 2014
6/10

The start of the first episode of the TV movie series The Young Indiana Jones doesn't bode well for the remainder of the film. A typical voice-over narrates the story of the young Indana coming into being. It all looks like we are are in for a typical cliché-ridden American child adventure.

Indy is a spoiled, know-it-better brat whose smart-ass mannerisms are rather annoying. His first trip is to Egypt, where a fresh mummy has been discovered, A short and boring whodunnit involving the mummy and a crook ensues.

Next, the Jones family heads over to Morocco where Indiana and his new friend Omar fall prey to a kidnap/slave trade gang. This part of the movie is quite good. What's more, Indiana starts to show more character here; he's becoming sympathetic. Ashley Walters is strong as the slave boy Omar; the careless, happy-go-lucky attitude of Indiana juxtaposes well next to the modest and serious Omar.

I was amazed by the sometimes vivid depiction of violence and death in what I suppose must be a movie for youngsters. However, it gave the film a realistic touch, which also can be said of the uncompromising way local culture is portrayed.

The supporting cast was so-so. There was not much life in father and mother Jones and the other actors were quite forgettable.

All in all, this is a passable adventure story with some exciting scenes. Nothing less, nothing more.


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