I liked it. Cops will love it. Honor, loyalty, friendship, sharing the burden and intensity of the job. Damn.
I liked it. Cops will love it. Honor, loyalty, friendship, sharing the burden and intensity of the job. Damn.
The problem arises when he wants it back, but it's gone. How does one life without a soul? And how do you get it back?
A charming and atmospheric movie, a bit on the melancholic side but it fits him well.
Everything is very.. well pronounced is probably the right word, full of contrasts and slightly distant. Some nice big actors in charming small roles, but eventually the film revolves around 2 12-year olds. And drenched in classical music.
It has the charm of your (or anyone's really) most endearing and cherished memories of that time when most of life was still waiting to be figured out, but some things were o so clear at the same time. I didn't really know how I felt back then anymore, and this film is a nice reminder!
Because what do you do when you're a young horny bloke, and paralysed? Or blind? Or dying? It's simple questions like this that probably arise a lot more in regular life than we (I) might think. Luckily, the Spanish have a solution: a bordello for just that sort of need. On with the road trip!
This intriguing loser frantically tries to keep his life together, trying to fix one mistake with an even bigger one. He keeps telling everybody (including himself) everything is fine (yeah, no, really, no problem, it's fine, I got it under control, really man, I got this!) while his every single effort he makes collapses underneath his feet.
The fact that his raging gambling addiction leads to a failed robbery and his p*ssed off ex-wife considers him a total a-hole completely eludes him. Everything's fine!
Plan C is an atmospheric film, with the atmosphere being that of the bad neighbourhoods in Amsterdam North (a run down living area for petty criminals and other degenerates). The film is well made (especially considering the usual standards for popular Dutch cinema), and Ruben vd Meer does an amazing job (probably his best so far) as loser-in-denial, self pitying Plasmeyer. His performance alone makes this film worth watching!
The Artist is certainly different, and it takes a few minutes to get used to, but with 'losing' sound it hasn't lost any of its potential to grab the audience and pull it into a true cinematic story from the old days. Rather, while the story is quite simple the lack of dialogue forces you to actively 'see' what's going on, which engages the audience (us!) much more, and much more intimately. You don't need to be a die- hard 1920s fan to be entertained by this film!
The film itself is a simple love-story between a proud actor (obviously modeled after Douglas Fairbanks, I thought) who falls hard when Hollywood switches from silent to 'talkies', and the upcoming actress he discovered who shines in the new, talking, cinema.
So if you hesitate because it's a silent B&W (or because you, rightfully, think 5 Oscars out of 10 nominations was a bit of an overreaction): don't, you won't regret seeing it!
The movie itself is a bit confusing, but the acting is brutally phenomenal! The story is interesting, yet slightly absent at times. It's probably best considered as a 'character study'. With very interesting characters, for sure! The Scientology-comparisons are overrated. It's about a Master of a Cult, with a 'belief/theory' as unclear as Scientology's. That's it. It's really more a movie about two powerful but damaged men, extremely well acted, very captivating and a bit.. well, confusing.
Mr. Nobody starts out confusing, but remains accessible throughout, without doing injustice to the main themes. Good acting, some nice cinematographic gimmicks (restrained yet useful CGI, as it should be) and a good story line. It's Before sunset/sunrise (Linklater) meets Memento (Nolan).
In other words: probably the only film Leonard and Penny (Big Bang Theory) could watch together!
It's a very captivating film (even with its 160 minutes runtime), and the big raid at the end is quite intense and realistic. That said, Bigelow's previous 'The Hurt Locker' was (even) better. But it's close!
As for the controversy whether the film is 'pro-torture propaganda' or not: it shows what (likely) happened. A very unpleasant sight for Americans, sure, but that's no reason to leave it out. Whether or not 'OBL' would've been caught without the use of torture is speculation that has no place in this movie (it's a depiction of events, not a moral study).
Some Americans might still find it hard to watch a movie that requires you to form your own opinion about the actions of your country/government/army, instead of getting one spoon fed by those very same institutions. But given the America's options in government- potential it seems a luxury Americans no longer have.
What probably struck me most were the small rituals, often merely casual habits, that are used by the girls to keep hanging on in their incredibly hard life.
One can argue (as I'm sure has been done) whether 'dramatic' music in such a documentary is fitting. Nevertheless, the film is gripping, beautifully made, and if it wasn't such a nasty side of humanity the images and music would be enchanting. But without a happy end.
His "Kammerspielfilms" are small dramas about the middle-class, where he makes every character not only believable, but understandable. No good or bad, no right or wrong. Just normal people in really difficult situations.
Subtle difficulties, unspoken conflicts, social obligations and expectations: this is the stuff Iranian society is made of it seems. That being said, Farhadi's movies really aren't all that Iranian. A Separation was in Iran and about Iran, but eventually its theme was universal.
And Le Passé is French if anything, with a French, Iranian and Algerian protagonist. It might as well have been a Chinese, Brazilian and a Dutchman. Very impressive.
If you're interested in humans, their lives and interactions and the difficulties that come with that, there's no better (or more subtle) director than Farhadi.
Without spoilering, the anticipated twist that ought to fulfill the claim that "everything is connected" doesn't really connect much, except through a cinematic gimmick about storytelling (which I didn't really get until watching a few of the disc's extras afterwards). So much for the intertwined story, which wouldn't be so bad except trying to figure that out keeps you busy most of the movie.
Don't get me wrong, the various stories throughout time are entertaining and sometimes even intriguing, but I can't help feel some of them could've been any other story for all the same. Cloud Atlas wants to be an epos but is a collection of average quality short stories with high quality actors and CGI. It's not enough to grab the audience.
What I did really like is how every era not only has its own story, but also its own style. From classic drama to blaxploitation thriller to scifi action, and even a little bit of near-slapstick comedy somewhere! But still, three hours is a long time.
Both Django and his previous film Inglourious Basterds are supposedly "revenge fantasies". Bad periods in history revisited in such way that this time the 'good guys' win. In Inglorious Basterds World War II is being revisited into an entirely different outcome (didn't we already win in the original? Yes, but this time it's even quicker, and more graphic!). And in Django Unchained the slave goes after the owner.
It's like the fantasies of a 12yr old, where the little kid beats up the bully for a change. It's nice to dream about (when you're 12), but way too simplistic for an actual movie. Predictable and aiming for a quick burst of satisfaction. It's like cooking a three star dinner, and making it liquid for easy digestion.
And to make manners worse, it's soooo looong! Pretentiously slow, unnecessary spread out and completely over the top. Which can be good (Grindhouse was over the top great), but here the film is simply taking itself way too serious. It's arrogantly staring the audience in the face, grinning: "I'm made by Tarantino, suck on me!"
Maybe his stature has become his problem. Remaking a B-film into a big movie only works with the lightheartedness of the B-film industry. it won't work with giant expectations and supersized egos like Tarantino's anymore. We all know he's talented, but it's been so long since we last saw that...
The religious aspect, quite dominantly present in the book, is toned down and charming, even though it is inevitably a simplification. However, the atmosphere of an introspective journey that makes a young man question the nature of faith itself is well kept throughout the movie, which is probably why it works so well as it does. Also, it's simply very good filmmaking and the entire time on the life raft is surprisingly captivating. Imagine having to act all of that versus a virtual tiger!
Life of Pi is a very well done adaptation of a notorious hard book to film, which deserves to be seen in 3D. And don't worry, you don't need to have read the book to enjoy. (but you should read it though!)
Despite the well done (almost Miami Vice-like) neon-cinematography (and an over-the-top James Franco who's acting is on fire, and looks like he was actually just been extinguished) this film disappoints. Most of Korine's previous work (Julien Donkey Boy, Mister Lonely) was much better.
The pretentious whispering (almost religious chanting) of the words 'Spring Break') at regular (not to say predictable) intervals during the film tickle the nerves of any finger close enough to the stop-button of your remote, but the potential of (maybe) another outburst of Franco's lunacy can keep it away just long enough for the movie to continue the story, however thin it might be.
It's not often you see a bad guy with a lisp, or a Mexican standoff on bikes. The English speaking Dutch being played by Dutch speaking English (yes, that's our accent, deal with it) give the whole thing an absurdistic feel, and the fight scene where the former techno-house band The Party Animals suddenly show up is so superfluous it made me look up how to spell superfluous.
Which makes one wonder, it's strange how a film with so many redundant appearances of professional K1/kickbox/cage fighters can have such horribly choreographed fight scenes. But it does.
Really the only plus of the entire movie is Monique (Alison Carroll), with an actual British accent (thank God!) and a surprisingly convincing Tomb Raider appearance. If there were any rumours about actual actors in this film, it must've been about her. Other than that, the most desperate bunch of Dutch third rate actors has been summoned up, topped off by a (short) surprise appearance of Holland's most smirking comedian: Jörgen Raymann. You'll love it!
The story is that of a Danish freighter being hijacked by Somali pirates, and the negotiations that follow.
Half the film takes place on the ship, truly capturing the cramped pressure the crew is in, who do not even know if the others on the same ship are OK and are hardly able to communicate with their Somali captors. The other half takes place around the negotiation team in Denmark, where the company's CEO experiences a whole different kind of stress and pressure while handling the uncertainties that come with dealing with foreign demands over a crappy and intermittent phone line.
Kapringen is not a thriller, it's a very emphatic observation. Which is so much harder to make and more impressive to watch!
Although some of the actors are comedians well known in Norway (which must give them, the Norge, a slightly different viewing experience), none go over the top or 'try to be funny' (in fact 'gruff' is more like it, as fits the film's (and Norway's) atmosphere perfectly!). Well maybe except the Polish bear-hunter. Maybe a bit. Other than that, very well made and utterly enjoyable!
There's no audience. He performs, as do others. The sequences are not connected, and though some of them make sense on their own, they form no coherent story.
It feels like Holy Motors was made by a French Roy Andersson on mushrooms. Leos Carax probably decided conventional cinema is just too... conventional. One of those conventions overthrown is that of whom exactly is the actor and whom the audience. If there should even be such a thing. The intro shows the protagonist waking up and entering a cinema, in what might (or might not) be a pre-story dream sequence. It's the nature of cinema itself that's ultimately at question. Are there cameras? For whom? And who directs?
Confusing, but with some intriguing scenes that'll stick with you for quite a while.
I hated to have to get off the mule and longed for a little more. What a view!