2 Guns (2013)

zaterdag, november 30, 2013
Summary
 Nederlands HierRobert Trench, an undercover DEA agent, takes advantage of gunman Michael Stigman's idea to rob a bank to bust him and a mob boss. However, it proves too successful with much more money seized than anticipated with Trench's forces not stopping the getaway. Complicating things still more, Stigman turns out to be a Naval Intelligence agent who shoots Trench and takes the money.

Genre : Action/Comedy
Country
: USA


Cast :
Mark Wahlberg : Michael Stigman
Denzel Washington : Robert Trench
Paula Patton : Deb

Director :
Baltasar Kormakur


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Salt (2010)

vrijdag, november 29, 2013
Genre : Action/Thriller
Country
: USA

Cast :
Angelina Jolie : Evelyn Salt
Liev Schreiber : Ted Winter
Chiwetel Ejiofor : Peabody

Director :
Philip Noyce

Summary
Evelyn Salt is a CIA agent and highly respected by all, including her boss, Ted Winter. Out of the blue, a Russian spy walks into their offices and offers a vital piece of information: the President of Russia will be assassinated during his forthcoming visit to New York City to attend the funeral of the recently deceased U.S. Vice President. The name of the assassin: Evelyn Salt.
My opinion
Quote

Peabody: How many more like you are there?
Salt: Like me? None. Like him? More than you or I can handle alone.


Do you need a bit of salt here? Yep, preferably with large grains, because you need that when you watch this movie. Do not expect a realistic movie, because then you'll be disappointed. "Salt" is a excellent spy action movie that rages like a TGV. From the moment Salt is accused of the fact that she is a Russian spy who has been specially trained by some Russian extremist who has devised a master plan to give orphans a U.S. education and then send them to the U.S. to wait for "Day X" after which they each perform their specific job, it all goes very fast. Before you know it, you've been watching this movie for half an hour. The action scenes are masterfully portrayed and follow each other in rapid succession.
Some scenes are a bit over the top and hard to believe. The jumping from one truck to another makes you scratch your head after a while. The floating down in an elevator shaft looks awful and ridiculously unrealistic. As Salt supposedly eliminates the Russian president, she's removed from there in a police car with two extra patrol cars. I think in reality, half the U.S. military would accompany her. The part where she manipulates the driver with the taser to accelerate and steer is hopelessly laughable. And then there is the remarkable fact how she recovers after several terrible blows and hits, and then starts running again like a trained Olympic athlete. Besides , I do think that if Angelina Jolie would participate again in another action movie that involves scenes where she has to run a lot, she better takes a personal trainer to teach her a bit more running techniques. At times she looks like a running broomstick with huge weights on her ankles .
I'm not a big "Angelina Jolie"-fan. Yes she has a certain charisma and yes she has a wonderfully sensual look in her eyes. But more than once I caught myself with the thought that she would be sticking to a wall with those big lips of her, after being smacked against it by an opponent.In fact she really looked like a walking anorexic patient and actually asked myself how the hell she could handle those tough trained guys. In reality, she would be crushed like an annoying fly.
The story on its own is incredibly predictable and totally innovative. Even the sabotaging at the last moment of a nuclear attack has been used ad nauseam. Also the fact that her partner Ted is a result of the Russian breeding ground is something you also saw coming a mile away. The only plot twist that was in this movie was when she planted the broken bottle in the Adam's apple of Orlov. Until that very moment I was sure that she was indeed a spy. Liev Schreiber didn't make a smashing impression. The whole movie he was a paragon of measured coolness with a pronounced stoic expression on his face.
All in all a relaxing action movie with a thin story and improbabilities that blows you away. I only found the end actually brilliant and an outspoken open end to make a sequel. And according to IMDb it's already in the making. For me definitely a film you can't skip.

My rating 6 /10
Links : IMDB
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Elysium (2013)

zaterdag, november 23, 2013
Genre : SF
Country
: USA

Cast :
Matt Damon : Max
Jodie Foster : Delacourt
Sharlto Copley : Kruger

Director :
Neill Blomkamp

Summary
In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Delacourt, a government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn't stop the people of Earth from trying to get in by any means they can. When unlucky Max is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that, if successful, will not only save his life but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.
My opinion


Android : What is in the bag?
Max: Hair care products, mostly.


Lately we are getting quite spoiled in the SF area. Elysium is a pessimistic view of the future with an overpopulated earth with the known problems. Elysium is an artificial oasis of tranquility where only billionaires can buy a place to live. Each home is equipped with a "cure-bed" so that all the inhabitants can enjoy a healthy and disease-free life.
The less fortunate stayed on Earth and try to survive in an unhealthy  poor environment under strict supervision of droids.
You can obviously sense the paternalistic social message of the widening gap between rich and poor. It's illegal to try to reach Elysium. It makes you think of the border between Mexico and the U.S. which at this very moment people still try to cross so they can exchange the poverty with a more blessed future. Furthermore, I see it as a reflection of the healthcare as it is known now in the U.S. Those who can afford it, get the best treatment.
I've never seen the movie "District 9" (but now it's surely on my list), and have no idea whether "Elysium" looks identical. I must admit that the CGI is spectacular. The design of the residential areas on the Earth, the immense factory where droids are assembled, the droids themselves look flashy and sexy, the vehicles used (especially the scene with Carlyle's transport) are magnificent, Elysium itself is staggeringly brilliantly imaged and the robotic armor that Max gets is stunningly realistic. The visuals are actually almost as stunning as in "Oblivion". The action clips are sensational filmed and the used weaponry fits perfectly with the rest of the entire movie. The movie has a damn high rate and makes you sit on the edge of your seat.
The content of the movie and the story are so cliched and told in similar movies (but you can always come up with that argument). The overpopulated world reminded me of that one in "Dredd". And the separation between rich and poor was also shown in "Upside Down".
The characters are a list of stereotypes: an ex-prisoner back on a straight path and who became a decent citizen earning his daily bread by doing a shitty job. Of course he will be the hero of the story. For me it's also a sort of love story with the obligatory little nurse and a gang of ruthless criminals who'll chase him until they drop dead.
There were also some things that were absolutely ridiculous. There's radioactivity in the plant and everyone works without protective clothing? Ok, they were all people who are negligible and can be replaced by others. But where is the radioactivity when the droids are assembled? Spider could have already used that instrument that he put on Max and used one of his henchmen to form a super-killing machine ! Arriving on Elysium is illegal and not so simple since all is terribly guarded, but when everything comes online again, Spider can land there quite easily. Kruger's head is almost completely blown off by a grenade, but his brains are still functioning so he can be fully restored. Okay, it's called SF but that was a bit over the top. Especially when afterwards Delacourt dies of an innocent stabbing wound in the neck. Well, must have been a retaliation for her bad acting performance.
Yes lets talk about the acting now. Matt Damon did it again on autopilot and it was a joy to see him again in an action-packed role like "Bourne". The "worst acting performance ever"-nomination goes to Foster. I sometimes had the impression that she was a droid. Inspiration-free conversations, a ridiculous accent and she made no impression as the cruel and unfeeling Secretary of Defense. For me, Kruger was the most colorful person in this movie. Surprisingly he sang a Dutch sounding song at a given time. After a bit of reading on the net, i found out it was South African. In any case, it was a perfect portrayal of a deranged and canny mercenary who is used to do the dirty jobs. The young nurse and her daughter suffering from leukemia unfortunately only were used for the corny part. Luckily they didn't go to far in using a possible love story between her and Max. To me they were just childhood friends who have grown apart.
Conclusion: A first-rate SF with extremely titillating images with a social message and mixed with a touching theme that calls for a happy ending. The only sad thing is that Max dies ... He's probably spending his time now at the Elysian fields among all the other blessed.
My rating 7 /10
Links : IMDB

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We're the Millers (2013)

vrijdag, november 22, 2013
Genre : Comedy
Country
: USA

Cast :
Jason Sudeikis : David Burke
Jennifer Aniston : Rose O'Reilly
Emma Roberts : Casey Mathis
Will Poulter : Kenny Rossmore

Director :
Rawson Marshall Thurber

Summary
After being robbed of a week's take, small-time pot dealer David is forced by his boss to go to Mexico to pick up a load of marijuana. In order to improve his odds of making it past the border, David asks the broke stripper Rose and two local teenagers to join him and pretend they're on a family holiday.
My opinion

You can buy a house and run away from it.

"We're the Millers" fits perfectly with the rest of the comedies (Pain & Gain, The Internship and The Heat) I've seen. I expected it would be a relaxing evening watching a movie after a stressful week. Finally maybe a flick that would make me burst out in  a series of dissipative laughter. Unfortunately as with the other films there was not much to laugh about.
Overall it was a fun movie with some witty one-liners and funny situations, but this was too much overshadowed by quite vulgar and downright ridiculous conversations. Average entertainment content with sometimes a feeling that the scriptwriters wanted to make it tremendously easy for themselves by using hackneyed gags that have already been used several times in other films. Cheesy sexual insinuating conversations seem funny to most people (and usually I'm amused by it too). So it's understandable it's commonly used in comedies, but you shouldn't overdo it! If you have used another insinuation to the concept of "penis" (and related activities), it becomes more boring than funny. It was a "Meet the Fockers" imitation, but with the "Brady Bunch" family. I always find it strange anyway if I have to laugh more with the bloopers in the credits than the film itself.
Well you can't blame the cast. Most of them played their character masterfully. The name Jason Sudeikis didn't ring a bell immediately, but he also had a small role in "Movie 43". And sorry, but that movie is cataloged by me as the most crappy movie ever produced. But again it's proofed that's besides the point because he plays a starring role with a perfect timing. Jennifer Anniston will never be able to shake off the inheritance from "Friends." Although in this movie she almost managed not to resemble "When-I-am-extremely-mad-I-start-to-jump-on-my-feet" Rachel. She treats us also with a breathtaking strip dance and shows in that way that she still has extremely sensual looks for her 44 with some imaginative curves. ( I can't understand why Brad left her and exchanged her for "big lips" Jolie ). Emma Roberts wasn't the funny part of the artificial family, but that suited the character more.
Then there are the persons that stand out. And that is in the first place Will Poulter. This guy had some hilarious moments and mastered a brilliant mimic. My favorite moment (and the first thing I had to chuckle about) is the TLC moment with "Chasing Waterfalls". If it was according to the script he did a brilliant job. But if this was a sudden inspiration and improvisation, then I call the man a genius. For me, the savior of this film. Without the nerdy, dry and "stupid looking around him" Kenny this would be a totally meaningless film.

And in the second place "Scottie P.". A negligible role, but so hilarious and stupid. They should have put these scenes in the run of the film and then continued on this momentum.

And then the most vexing roles were for me Kathryn Hahn who made me think of Kitty Forman, the mother from "That 70's Show". She was getting on my nerves with that hyper kinetic cooing. And  I would love to hit Ed Helms a few times with that ice sculpture and feed him to his killer whale. What an annoying brat he was.

And I want to mention Molly C. Quinn quickly because of her magical appearance.


A film with no surprises and a predictable development, with strong and funny moments, but generally a bland content. It was however slightly better than most of the crap that I have seen lately.

My rating 4 /10

Links : IMDB
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Prisoners (2013)

zondag, november 17, 2013
Genre : Thriller/Crime
Country
: USA

Cast :
Hugh Jackman : Keller Dover
Jake Gyllenhaal : Loki
Paul Dano : Alex Jones

Director :
Denis Villeneuve

Summary
How far would you go to protect your family? Keller Dover is facing the worst nightmare that a parent can experience. His 6 years old daughter Anna  is missing along with her ​​friend Joy. And as time passes, panic sets in. The only trace is a camper that formerly stood in the street and disappeared. Detective Loki arrests the driver Alex Jones, but due to lack of evidence he must release him. Dover decides to take the law into his own hands.
My opinion

Pray for the best, but prepare for the worst.

My wife wanted to watch another thriller. And what a thriller it was ultimately. With a thriller of such high level as "Prisoners", my wife starts to surf the internet so she can read the plot. She begins to get nervous and says in a indignant way that everything takes far too long and was terribly stretched.
"Prisoners" is a real nail-biting movie and actually a mix of a psychological drama with a heart-pounding suspense and a dash of horror. A mix of "Mystic River" and every top movie where a serial killer is hunted down like "The Silence of the Lambs" or more recently "The Frozen Ground". The viewer is confronted with terrible questions of conscience. How far would you go when your dearest person is taken away? Would you dare to take the law into your own hands and commit degrading acts to find the truth ? We are also witnessing the desperation and helplessness that an investigator of such crimes feels.
Hugh Jackman plays the role of the father in despair, Keller Dover, with lot of enthusiasm. He shows a person torn by frantic rage and immense sadness because he first lost his lovable daughter and secondly fails as a householder who said he could protect his family against anything. His wife Grace, played by Maria Bello, gets in a depressed state as the days are progressing. Sleep and antidepressants are the only things that can still help her. The remaining son looks at it all from a distance and watches over Grace while Keller is constantly absent. We also get a view of the other family Birch , especially Franklin Birch who helps Keller with his desperate plan afterwards, but their emotions are not as detailed unraveled as those of the Dover's.
It all begins with the disappearance of the daughters Anna and Joy when the two families celebrate Thanksgiving. The two girls had played that afternoon nearby a white mobile-home parked in front of the door which is now no longer visible. A police description is passed around and that same evening the mobile-home is spotted on a parking lot of a gas station. This is the moment Detective Loki comes into the picture. For me a huge achievement in terms of acting by Jake Gyllenhaal. Amazing how he portrays the inspector. The passion, the tics and the way he puts his teeth into the case, while sometimes it seems as if it doesn't really interests him. How careless he reads text messages and seemingly almost writes down nothing. When Grace makes a remark about that, he starts writing something in his notebook in a careless way. The fact is, that so far he has solved all the cases that were given to him.

The driver of the mobile home is trying to escape and eventually arrested. The car is searched but nothing is found. What remains is the meaningless and confused explanation of the twenty years old Alex Jones, who has a mental retardation and the IQ of a 10 year old. Due to a lack of evidence they need to release Alex, while Keller is firmly convinced that Alex is guilty and should not go unpunished. When Alex uses the sentence "They only cried when i left", Keller loses control and forgets every Christian commandment although he normally holds on to that as a devout christian. He even exceeds the bounds of humanity in such a way that a return is impossible.

And this is the most important moral question of this movie. Would you torture someone, you're sure of he's guilty, so you can find out the truth. As a father I am convinced that the disappearance of your daughter is the worst you can experience as a human being. An inhuman nightmare. And after hearing the pronounced sentence, which is open to interpretation, I also would be capable of doing such a thing. Even if it should turn out that the person is innocent.
The course of the film is painfully and annoyingly slow. Maybe a cinematic portrayal of the excruciatingly long time parents of missing children need to endure while waiting for positive news. It's also logical and insightful put together. Successively, we have to deal with the discovery of the remains of a child rapist in the basement of a priest, a copycat who eventually seizes the opportunity to shoot a bullet through his brains and the final denouement which wasn't totally unexpected but because of the prior still surprising. Several times I read about the fact that there are quite a few holes in the scenario, and things turn out to be wrong. I can't put my finger directly on any flaw in this movie. The mystery of the maze is that I think there really isn't one but just a perception in the mind of both a retarded boy and an abused boy. The latter looked at this image (also the medallion of the deceased father) for years. The only thing that I was still wondering about are the snakes. Do they have a particular symbolic meaning ? Also the unprofessional actions of the law enforcement officers bothered me. The superintendent wasn't much of a help in solving the case. And in such an important criminal case , I certainly wouldn't leave the prime suspect unattended. And I think the aunts house would be searched through thoroughly.
Final conclusion: In my opinion this was the best movie I watched in 2013. A poignant, terrible emotionally movie with a strong storyline, engaged in a cinematic depressed decor with its greyish tones and perpetual drizzle and carried by a top cast. It shows once again shows that there are totally sick minds that inhabit our planet, and that religion is used again as an excuse to condone it.
My rating : 10 / 10
Links : IMDB


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Splice (2009)

vrijdag, november 15, 2013

Genre
: SF
Country
: Canada/France


Cast :
Sarah Polley : Elsa Kast
Adrien Brody : Clive Nicoli
Delphine Chanéac : Dren

Director :
Vincenzo Natali

Summary

Two
young scientists are told they have to stop their groundbreaking project, namely the creation of a new life form by combining different animal DNA's. They decide to continue their work secretly and develop a new strategy by using human DNA.

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After Earth (2013)

maandag, november 11, 2013
Genre : SF
Country
: USA

Cast :
Jaden Smith : Kitai Raige
Will Smith : Cypher Raige
Sophie Okonedo : Faia Raige

Director :
M. Night Shyamalan

Summary
One thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity's escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind's new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai. When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai's craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.
My opinion


I've heard stories of Earth. A paradise. Until we destroyed it.

As a
SF fan I found the images
shown in this film sometimes simply beautiful. The landscapes, futuristic buildings and high-tech spaceship. Not that the images could match that of "Oblivion". And that's about it, because the story on its own was pretty boring ,annoying, not exactly masterful and inventive.
The magic box with computer effects was used repeatedly and delivered some gems of images. Like the free fall and the pursuit by the giant eagle. The part in the nest with the attack by the lions was also nicely done. Only the Ursas couldn't convince me. The story was predictable and monotonous. It surprised me that the giant eagle didn't return Jaden out of gratitude.
About the acting I can be short and concise. Will Smiths role didn't need any performance skills. Setting up an emotionless expression on his face the whole time isn't that hard to do. No fear and no feelings. A military commander, who follows his son remotely after the crash and gives advice once and a while. The only acting he showed was when he had to put on a painful grimace and experiences flashbacks. About Jaden I can be even shorter: he paid very good attention to his father's performances in other films. A plastic face without a lot of emotions and no acting talent. Apparently this movie and the help of his father is just a way to lead him to eternal fame.
I like most movies in which Will S. acts and I think that the weak point in this movie is his son Jaden. In "The Pursuit of Happiness" it was bearable. But that was because of his childlike innocence, I guess.

My rating 3 /10
Links : IMDB
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Upside Down (2012)

zondag, november 10, 2013
Genre : Romance/SF
Country
: Canada/France

Cast :
Kirsten Dunst : Eden
Jim Sturgess : Adam
Timothy Spall : Bob Boruchowitz

Director :
Juan Solanas
Summary 
Adam is a seemingly ordinary guy in a very extraordinary universe. He lives humbly trying to make ends meet, but his romantic spirit holds on to the memory of a girl he loved once upon a time from another world, an inverted affluent world with its own gravity, directly above but beyond reach... a girl named Eden. Their childhood flirtation becomes an impossible love. But when he catches a glimpse of grownup Eden on television, nothing will get in the way of getting her back... 


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Tyrannosaur (2011)

zaterdag, november 09, 2013
Genre : Drama
Country
: UK

Cast :
Peter Mullan : Joseph
Eddie Marsan : James
Olivia Colman : Hannah

Director :
Paddy Considine

Summary
The story of Joseph, a man plagued by violence and a rage that is driving him to self-destruction. As Joseph's life spirals into turmoil, a chance at redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker. Their relationship develops to reveal that Hannah is hiding a secret of her own with devastating consequences to both of their lives. My opinion

Hannah: I feel safe with you.
Joseph: Nobody's safe with me.


This was a damn good movie. One that holds you tight and won't let go. One that shakes you up and once again points out that your everyday life isn't so bad. A fairly heavy movie with partner violence as an emotional topic, intertwined with a religious layer. It's not exactly a movie you should watch if you are in an emotional dip, because it's actually a terrible dark depressing film.
The acting performance of Mullan and Colman was overwhelming and impressive. 2 Tormented souls who find each other and ultimately find support in each other. Joseph a terribly aggressive loner who apparently already battered his wife and now lives in a daily haze of alcohol. It's in such a drunk moment that the aggression and rage appears once and while in such a terrible way that he even kicks his faithful dog to death. Or he starts threatening a teenager in a pub. Eventually, he runs into a secondhand clothing store, where he meets Hannah. A deeply religious woman who is a victim of sexual violence and abuse by her husband. Despite that they are actually opposites, they try to cling to each other and support each other.
The strength of the movie is its realism. The image of rage and violence. I don't think any of the images or segments used in this movie is exaggerated. It's not an easy film to watch and it leaves a bitter aftertaste. But the film touched me deeply and was full of intense feelings.
The best part was the funeral of Joseph's friend, where everyone in the pub is drinking a beer and someone sings a sensitive song on his guitar. A time when you briefly see the two main characters flourishing, and that they can enjoy the simple things in life.

My rating 8 /10
Links : IMDB
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