American Hustle (2013)

vrijdag, februari 28, 2014
Genre : Drama/Crime
Country : USA

Cast
:
Christian Bale : Irving Rosenfeld
Bradley Cooper : Richie DiMaso
Amy Adams : Sydney Prosser
Jennifer Lawrence : Rosalyn Rosenfeld

Director
:
David O. Russell

Summary
Irving Rosenfeld is a brilliant con man, who along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser is forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso. DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that's as dangerous as it is enchanting. Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator gets caught between the con-artists and the Feds. Irving's unpredictable wife Rosalyn could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down.
My opinion 

If I really wanted to fucking bother you, this is what I would do.

And he kept his word, because practically everything about this movie bothered me. Normally I write a comprehensive review regardless whether the film felt positive or negative to me.But with this movie I felt nothing and I didn't feel the need to do that effort. Christian Bale looked fat (literally and that's admirable). Cooper played a nerve wrecked, probably coke-snorting CIA agent who started to get on my nerves almost immediately. Amy Adams is still a delightful creature with a divine body. Almost the entire movie, she walks around with a decollete down to her belly. No chance that something would be revealed, since her upper body is almost as flat as a pancake. Jennifer Lawrence still has a pretty face. And that's it. Renner had a terrible haircut. And De Niro you'll see in a flash an disappears so quickly that you even begin to doubt whether he has starred in this movie. The only positive contribution was the fake Arab they had fetched. Extremely funny and cool-headed .For the rest it's just an utter boring, chaotic and confusing story. Twice I threatened to fall asleep. A lot of fuss about nothing and to me a complete waste of bandwidth and time .


My rating 1,5 /10
Links : IMDB
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12 Years a Slave (2013)

zondag, februari 23, 2014
Genre : Drama
Country : USA/UK

Cast
:
Chiwetel Ejiofor : Solomon Northup
Michael Fassbender : Edwin Epps
Lupita Nyong'o : Patsey

Director
:
Steve McQueen

Summary
"12 Years a Slave" is based on the incredible true story of a man who tried to survive and fought for his freedom. Solomon Northup, a free man living in the state of New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery. He has witnessed cruelty and unexpected kindness. Solomon fights not only to stay alive, but also to preserve his dignity. No one listens to Solomon when he claims to be a free man. While he's undergoing the atrocities as a slave to undergo, he dreams of returning home.

My opinion 

My sentimentality stretches the length of a coin.


"12 Years a Slave" is an impressive adaptation of the diary of Solomon Northup, a free man who lived in Washington with his family in 1840. He's approached by two businessmen who offer him a lucrative job in a circus as a musician. Solomon is drugged and abducted to the Southern states of America to be sold there as a slave. What follows is a gripping and horrific tale of a man who tries to survive in inhuman conditions and suffers under the authority of the white plantation owners who rule with a severe hand and who judge over the fate of these Afro-Americans.
At times it's painful and unbearable to watch certain images. The helplessness on the faces and the hopeless situation of these people was distressing to see. The moment they arrive in New Orleans there is that momentary image of chained blacks with amputated hands and an apathetic resigned expression on their face. These Afro-Americans were seen purely as goods : assessed as an ordinary horse and if they no longer meet the requirements, they were simply removed. The whole movie is a picture of humiliation, abuse and torture. The feeling of disgust was never far away.
The settings and decoration of the entire film was stunning. The whole movie breathed the spirit of that time, both in Washington and in the southern states. Washington looked like a prosperous sophisticated city. The southern part looked sultry and dusty. You could feel the oppressive heat blasting of the screen and you could almost smell the sweat (by fear and efforts). Beautiful outdoor shots and impressions alternated with shabby huts and decay .

An impressive cast has also been incorporated. I must admit that I had never heard of Chiwetel Ejiofor . Till now he had the status of "that-guy-who-also-plays-in-that-movie". That will change now I guess and his (difficult) name will now sound more familiar. However, he also starred in " Salt " and "American Gangster" to my surprise. In this movie he plays the role of his life and it's well worth an Oscar nomination. It's sublime to see how he brings the metamorphosis of an articulate and accepted person into a humiliated and silence imposed slave. A variety of facial expressions pass by: enjoying first, then desperate, humiliated and submissive, anger and resentment, sense of justice and compassionate, and then relieved and remorseful. The whole pallet he apparently plays effortlessly. Michael Fassbender is far better in this movie as the cruel, despotic and demonic Edwynn Epps, than when he played the counselor in "The counselor". At this time he is number one on my list of most sadistic and disgusting movie characters. A figure who adores his dominance, uses a young girl for his personal enjoyment to the annoyance of his wife and apparently has a drinking problem causing unpredictable and dangerous mood swings .The unknown Lupita Nyong'o can look back on a matchless performance and is clearly launched in Holywood land . What a wonderful achievement!

Cumberbatch his contribution was unfortunately limited. At times the figure Ford came across as an affable man who could muster some compassion. But ultimately they were for him purely an investment, not more than that. The moment Solomon arrives at Ford's estate together with a bereaved mother, who was painfully separated from her children, Ford's wife showed a perfect display of the attitude in those parts at that time. First she is compassionate and concerned. Subsequently she advices a necessary hearty meal for the woman and says that she'll forget about her children after a few days. This sad woman is also removed afterwards because she'd likely affect morale. There are also short performances (but not the least) by Paul Giamatti as the shrewd slave trader , Paul Dano as the cruel Tibeats (recently he played a brilliant part in "Prisoners") , Sarah Paulson as the wife of Epps (Mary Lee in "Mud") and Brad Pitt. The latter had a substantive and crucial role in this movie. He's finally the one who ultimately gave Solomon his freedom back. Whether Pitt had to play it or not is another question. It could have been anyone else in my opinion, but his name will probably ensure extra attention, I suppose.
So it's a compelling and poignant movie about one of the blackest pages in American history. The strongest point was the lengthy scene where Solomon dangles on a string and in the background everyone slowly goes back to what he or she was doing, as if  nothing is happening. The fact that other slaves aren't conversing that much, makes complete sense. The lesson was to say as little as possible, let alone that it would come out that you can read and write. As someone also warned "Unless you want to be a dead nigger.".
And yet this film is not one that stands above everything else. Notwithstanding that this period may never be forgotten, at the end I had a " Here we go again " feeling. It's not that long ago we saw " Django Unchained " , "The Butler " and "Lincoln". Plus the fact that there were television series shown in the past like "Roots" and "North and South". I hope that we can let this topic rest for a while now. I also found it strange that although Solomon demonstrates intelligence and seems to be a wise and eloquent man, apparently it wasn't a reason to start worrying. If I were a landowner I would get rid of him as soon as  possible. Also the fact that despite the trials Solomon stayed calm at all times (until the reunion with his family), seemed a little excessive to me . And in addition, the film title itself tells the complete story. You can't be surprised anymore or enjoy some ingenious found twist.

A film that continues to resonate, a magnificent achievement in acting and for me an Oscar for Chiwetel Ejiofor . However, the movie itself is yet another one in a long row of the same.

My rating 8 /10
Links : IMDB
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Devil (2010)

zaterdag, februari 22, 2014
Genre : Horror
Country:Canada/USA

Cast
:
Chris Messina : Detective Bowden
Geoffrey Arend : Verkoper
Logan Marshall-Green : Mekanieker

Director
:
John Erick Dowdle

Summary
Bowden, a police detective who is dealing with his drinking problem, investigates a strange suicide, when he's suddenly called for a seemingly innocuous event. Five people are stuck in the elevator of a huge skyscraper. But after a while some extraordinary things begin to happen and the people in the elevator inexplicably die one by one.
My opinion
 
If the Devil is real, then God must be real, too.


Sometimes you come across a movie that isn't that much of a deal, but still manages to captivate in some way. "Devil" is such a movie. A parable-like movie about the evil in mankind, and the fact that Evil sometimes manifests itself among us.
The complete movie is almost entirely set in an elevator that gets stuck with five people inside it. As the film progresses you learn that each of them isn't such an innocent soul and has something to answer for. While they are stuck there, after a while, it's clear that the devil is among them and starts a drop out race where one after the other is killed. Meanwhile Detective Bowden arrived to investigate a mysterious suicide and thus becomes involved in this sinister cat and mouse game. 
The fact that it's all happening on a few square meters, and every time somebody is about to become a victim this occurs in total darkness with only some noises in the background, makes sure that it wasn't an exciting or scary movie. You can imagine what's happening but the actual slaughter you won't see at all. Only the result. Bowden, who is fighting an alcohol addiction after he lost his family a few months earlier, witnesses a situation with an ordinary stuck elevator escalating into a seemingly clever set up murder plan. Because of a religious Mexican he starts to realize that it could well be something supernatural.
The one who excels the most in this movie is of course Chris Messina who plays a tormented personality in a beautiful way. You see him slowly grow as the film nears the end. The rest simply acts mediocre to extremely poor. The only one I would give some credit is Bokeem Woodbine who plays a neurotic guard who suffers from claustrophobia in a rather good way. Ultimately, it's still a surprising end and the moral of the story is that a person who shows repentance still can be saved.

A short and enjoyable movie that doesn't leave a lasting impression.

My rating 5 /10
Links : IMDB

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The Art of the Steal (2013)

vrijdag, februari 21, 2014
Genre : Comedy/Crime
Country :Canada/USA

Cast
:
Kurt Russell : Crunch Calhoun
Matt Dillon : Nicky Calhoun
Terence Stamp : Samuel Winter

Director
:
Jonathan Sobol

Summary
Crunch Calhoun is a daredevil on a motorcycle and a part-time art thief. He even agrees to do a final job with his brother NickyHe manages to get his old team back together to steal an invaluable historical book. However Nicky comes up with a much more risky plan. The two brothers don't realize that they each have a hidden agenda. 

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The Last Days on Mars (2013)

donderdag, februari 20, 2014
Genre : SF
Country :USA

Cast
:
Liev Schreiber : Vincent Campbel
Elias Koteas : Charles Brunel
Romola Garai : Rebecca Lane

Director
:
Ruairi Robinson

Summary
On the last day of a mission to Mars, a crewmember thinks he has discovered something special namely bacterial life. Slowly they realize that the discovered life form is still alive and also dangerous.
My opinion

There are footprints here. There’s two pairs.


Without any prior knowledge I started watching this flick. It'll be definitely on Mars and it's about the last days there (in the end it's only about one day). To be honest it looked very promising at the start. The views of the Martian landscape, the desert-like environment and the upcoming sandstorm were stunning to look at. The simple looking electric vehicles were realistic enough and when the characters were presented there was without a doubt personal tensions between them. The only thing you don't know is what was going to happen. The first thing that's clear is the fact that this is the last day that this crew will spend on Mars before they are relieved by the next team. Is there a climatic disaster to come or are they going to be overpowered by Martians? 
As I said earlier, the visual looks are neat. Both the base station and the outdoor locations. I only found the steel doors inside the station rather look like those of a submarine. Unfortunately, the whole team consists again out of recurring archetypes. A commander who lacks command in a certain field, a psychiatrist who eventually turns out to be a coward and a scared nitwit, a female scientist who really is a bitch and takes no prisoners when it comes to achieving personal success, a technician who actually plays a brief role and ultimately only serves as a victim. And then obviously there is the protagonist Vincent, who suffers a trauma and who has a good relationship with Rebecca, another female team member. Of course, these two will stay together until the bitter end. And the end really tastes a bit bitter.
Liev Schreiber takes the lead on his shoulders and starts playing it with the necessary competence. The last time I saw him was in "Salt". And just as in the latter movie, he has an almost numb expression on his face throughout the complete movie. Except the times when he has those flashbacks. The ultimate explanation and cause of these flashbacks is given nowhere. Romola Galai plays the role of Rebecca, the female team-member who gets along just fine with Vincent. It's not an overwhelming performance but still excellent. For me Olivia Williams, playing Kim, was the most outstanding actress. Those few times she was in the picture, she really was a tough lady and an unpleasant person. A real "bitch".
Unfortunately, eventually it turns out to be a kind of "World War Z" on Mars on a miniscule scale. There were after all not many people on the planet who could mutate into a zombie-like Martian creature that's looking for fluid. The discovery of a biological life form on this planet is the cause of this fact. The only thing you can do from then on is to start a guessing game : who's turn is it next and who'll be the only survivor. And that's not so hard to guess!
The only positive about this movie is the fact it only takes about 100 minutes and therefore feels like a juicy hamburger from the McDonalds: baked quickly, quickly picked up and fast digested. And an hour later you've already forgotten that you've eaten. So it's a movie as a snack.
The most impressive moment in the whole movie is when Vincent smashes the psychiatrists face with his space helmet after a few well-aimed headers. The blood drops which he removes with his hand, while floating around is superbly filmed.
PS. If you compare the budget ($ 7 Mil) with that of "Gravity" ($ 100 Mil) I surely admire the creditable attempt. "Gravity" off course has two top actors (and I mean that because they probably absorb a large part of the budget) and baffling graphic effects. But the story about "Gravity" is as simple and meaningless as this one.
My rating 4 /10
Links : IMDB
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Battleship (2012)

zaterdag, februari 15, 2014
Genre : SF/Action
Land :USA

Cast
:
Liam Neeson : Admiraal Shane
Alexander Skarsgård : Stone Hopper
Taylor Kitsch : Alex Hopper

Director
:
Peter Berg

Summary
In Battleship, we see how the fleet of the Navy has to compete against aliens who set foot on earth. Trapped in an alien force field of more than 480 kilometers, five ships and five alien ships have to battle each other without any form of communication.
My opinion
Let's drop some lead on those motherf...
I really didn't have high expectations when I started watching "Battleship", and yet I had a great time with this action packed SF. Ultimately, this movie shows what they initially made it ​​for: awful lot of action and stupid violence, heroism of the highest order and sometimes some humor. Despite the length of the movie , I didn't get bored and it wasn't as usual a battle against sleep. Granted, you should not expect too much of the storyline or look for any depth in the story. The story on its own isn't logical either. But that can't spoil the fun, and you can expect some blasting action scenes.
About the performances we can be brief : there weren't any because that was totally unnecessary and there was no need to bring up profound characters . It was a hodgepodge of cliché personalities as we have seen already in multiple movies. First you have the Hopper brothers. Stone is the caring and perfect soldier ( Alexander Skarsgard ) who has a neatly controlled life and knows his responsibilities and tries to explain that to the rebellious profligate brother Alex ( Taylor Kitch ). When they are celebrating Alex his birthday in a dark bar, purely by coincidence the Admiral his daughter Sam ( Brooklyn Decker ) walks in there for a "Chicken Buritto". Her well formed shapes make Alex his hormones go totally flabbergasted. The result is a ridiculous intrusion as we have already seen a lot on You Tube . Before you know it , he is also in the navy and promoted at a very short notice to Lieutenant.
The Admiral himself is played by Liam Neeson. He's just for a little time in the picture and probably has accepted this role for filling up a hole in his busy schedule. Rihanna played a female macho. To be honest, I didn't recognize her at all, and oddly enough she didn't bother me. A starring role for me was the interpretation by Gregory D. Dadson of the veteran Canales because it was so spontaneous and eventually was the funniest part. The moment when the alien stared at his two prosthetics was priceless. Most useless (but necessary) contribution was the gang of "Benidorm Bastards" that eventually took care of things.

About the images I was pretty satisfied. It had a "Pacific Rim" feeling. The special effects were sometimes hugely impressive. The alien spacecrafts were realistic and looked ominously threatening. Huge monstrous vehicles which moved with tremendous force on the ocean. The look of the naval fleet was sometimes really amateurish. The naval battles gave me a "Pearl Harbour" feeling. Only the latter movie was better in terms of effects. The moment the destroyer started to sink and Alex and the Japanese captain Nagata stood at the stern, the comparison with "Titanic" wasn't far off. Sometimes the shots seemed to be made ​​in a bathtub with Dinkey Toys toys. The aliens did their best to act aggressively. But it was nevertheless quite ridiculously when they were confronted with a human and turned into a friendly E.T.
The reason why those aliens came to earth is not entirely clear. To me it seemed like it was for them to test whether they could set up a communication line with their home planet. And every time I wonder why humanity always seeks contact with a life form that is light years from here. If they are out there, you can nevertheless assume that if this race can come over here, they have outclassed our technology in all areas. Well it's nice that Cal Zapata reminds us twice that when an alien race reacts to the signal and makes contact, this would be like when Columbus discovered the Indians. Except that we are now the Indians.
Oh well, the final result was something like "Top Gun". Again a demonstration of the American superiority in the Military field. And then we also get to see some retired sailors who manage to get a museum piece to work again. And luckily there's even ammunition on board to use. These triggerfinger-grandfathers shoot those aliens back into space so there is a peaceful ending and Alex can ask the Admiral for permission to marry his daughter. That this was going to happen was obvious. But it was still enjoyable to watch this entertaining spectacle (with an empty head). Sometimes it's just that plain simple.


My rating 5 /10
Links : IMDB
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The Counselor (2013)

vrijdag, februari 14, 2014




Genre
: Crime/Drama
Country :USA

Cast
:

Michael Fassbender : Counselor
Brad Pitt
: Westray
Cameron Diaz : Malkina

Director
:

Ridley Scott

Summary
A rich and successful lawyer, the Counselor, is about to get married to his fiance but soon becomes entangled in a complex drug plot with a middle-man known as Westray. The plan ends up taking a horrible twist and he must protect himself and his soon to be bride as the truth of the drug business is uncovered and targets are eliminated.



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The Lords of Salem (2012)

maandag, februari 10, 2014



Genre
: Horror
Country :USA

Cast
:

Sheri Moon Zombie : Heidi Hawthorne
Bruce Davison : Francis Matthias
Jeff Daniel Phillips : Herman 'Whitey' Salvador

Director
:

Rob Zombie

Summary
Heidi, a blond rock chick, DJs at a local radio station, and together with the two Hermans forms part of the "Big H Radio Team." A mysterious wooden box containing a vinyl record arrives for Heidi, a gift of the Lords. She assumes it's a rock band on a mission to spread their word. As Heidi and Whitey play the Lords' record, it starts to play backwards, and Heidi experiences a flashback to a past trauma. Later, Whitey plays the Lords' record, dubbing them the Lords of Salem, and to his surprise, the record plays normally and is a massive hit with his listeners. The arrival of another wooden box from the Lords presents the Big H team with free tickets, posters and records to host a gig in Salem. Soon, Heidi and her cohorts are far from the rock spectacle they're expecting. The original Lords of Salem are returning and they're out for blood.


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The Big Wedding (2013)

zondag, februari 09, 2014




Genre
: Comedy
Country :USA

Cast
:

Diane Keaton : Ellie
Robert De Niro : Don
Susan Sarandon : Bebe

Director
:

Justin Zackham

Summary
Don and Ellie were once married and have two children, Lyla and Jared. They adopted a boy from Colombia, Alejandro. Eventually they divorce, Ellie moves away and Don hooks up with Bebe, Ellie's best friend. When Alejandro is about to get married, he informs Don And Ellie that he never told his natural mother that they got divorced. And she is coming for the wedding so he asks them if they could pretend to be still married. Don and Ellie reluctantly agree to it and Bebe moves out who is also upset that Don for some reason doesn't want to commit.


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All Is Lost (2013)

zaterdag, februari 08, 2014

Genre : Drama
Country :USA

Cast
:
Robert Redford : Our man

Director
:
J.C. Chandor

Summary
Deep into a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, an unnamed man (Redford) wakes to find his 39-foot yacht taking on water after a collision with a shipping container left floating on the high seas. With his navigation equipment and radio disabled, the man sails unknowingly into the path of a violent storm. Despite his success in patching the breached hull, his mariner's intuition and a strength that belies his age, the man barely survives the tempest. Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face.
My opinion
Normally I start a review with a quote from the film in question. That's a bit difficult in this case since "All is lost" lacks any conversation. The only thing that would qualify is a frustrated cry of the famous F-word. For the rest it is just sloshing water, creaking wood, noise of hitting ropes and lots of rain and falling water, you hear throughout the film. I can understand his frustration, because how the hell is it possible to have a collision between your pleasure boat and a container on that immeasurable ocean while doing an afternoon nap ?
It's difficult to call this movie unnerving exciting. I dare to say that it was dead boring after a certain time. The only decision I took after watching this film is that I'll never set foot on such a boat and float around on the ocean with nothing but water around you as far as you can look. And in the worst case, not only around you, but also down at you.
Robert Redford, the icon of the white screen, had to carry the complete movie. He was, after all, the only living figure in this wet movie. Besides an unidentified hand at the last moment. No idea what RR 's name was. Besides, there is a total lack of background information about his character. Except that we know where exactly he is sailing. I can't complain about his acting performance because this was sometimes astounding. The only thing that really amazed me was how stoically calm he was the whole time. A damn container makes a leak, no electricity or radio, a storm that shows up, the whole boat turns upside down, he hits his head against an iron pole, the boat is sinking, the lifeboat ends up in a storm, also turns upside down and then it catches fire ... but does he keep a straight face ? Yes sir ! He's a paragon of utmost restraint. I found this a bit exaggerated because I certainly would need a spare box of diapers in those circumstances !
The explanation might be that he's an experienced sailor. Yet this experienced sailor had to read a  handbook on how to determine his position using the stars. And apparently he never used a sextant before. There were times when it was so predictable. I said at one time it wouldn't surprise me if "Jaws" would suddenly show up. Afterwards they wandered around his dinghy. And that his boat could sink at any moment, could not stop him to crawl aboard a second time. And off course the second time it went down.
The movie itself wasn't that bad, but it wasn't very entertaining either. And sailing seems to be a dull affair after all. The end was cheesy and followed the well known Hollywood guidelines. For me, the end would have gained enormously in strength, if at that ultimate moment RR wants to grasp the saving hand, he'd be dragged down by a great white shark. But that is too exaggerated and would be enormously ironic.
My rating 3 /10
Links : IMDB
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Ender's Game (2013)

vrijdag, februari 07, 2014
Genre : SF/Adventure
Country :USA

Cast
:
Asa Butterfield : Ender Wiggin
Harrison Ford : Kolonel Graff
Hailee Steinfeld : Petra Arkanian

Director
:
Gavin Hood

Summary
The Earth was ravaged by the Formics, an alien race seemingly determined to destroy humanity. Seventy years later, the people of Earth remain banded together to prevent their own annihilation from this technologically superior alien species. Ender Wiggin, a quiet but brilliant boy, may become the savior of the human race. He is separated from his beloved sister and his terrifying brother and brought to battle school in orbit around earth. He will be tested and honed into an empathetic killer who begins to despise what he does as he learns to fight in hopes of saving Earth and his family.
My opinion

There's only one kid on this launch with any brains at all so far, and that's Ender Wiggin.


Brace yourself for again a graphically stunning looking SF, with a strong beginning, a story that will make you frown your eyebrows and a fairly disappointing end. It's again based on a book I haven't read. The good news is, it's not a very complicated story. It's not that you'll be completely lost after a while because you didn't read the book in which the details are usually described. You'll notice as the movie progresses that it's a youth book. I couldn't get rid of the impression that this was a sort of "Harry Potter in Space". A magic boy possesses certain qualities that adults have been looking for since a long time. He's repeatedly called "The One" (an echoing reverberating sound effect wouldn't be out of place here) and he's apparently a wet dream of the leader of the cadet school (Harrison Ford). Of course, this little boy is looked at as an emerging hero and hailed for his intelligence that others apparently do not possess cause of a momentary brain disorder. Strange, because after all they also belong to the select group of highly intellectual kids. Well anyway, it leads to resentment, jealousy and hate. But our friend Ender eventually turns the tide and gathers together a fan base to protect the earth's population against the oncoming swarm of Formics.
As I said already, this SF is an eye catcher. I bet the "Special Effects" department has spent a lot of money on this one. It looks nice, crispy and flashy. As a SF fan you'll start to drool for sure. The comparison with recent works such as "Oblivion", "Elysium" and "Prometheus" is obvious. Even "Gravity" is included when it's about the images from space with a beautiful planet at the background. I even got flashbacks from earlier films like "Battlestar Galactica," "Independence Day" and "The Black Hole". Generally you can say that it looked fine and worked out into perfection. The space battles in both the simulator and the real one, looked pretty impressive. The alien spacecrafts that moved like a flock of starlings was magnificent to see. And indeed, the heroic deed by Mazer Rackham looked like a duplicate of scenes out of "Independence Day".
The performances were usually excellent. No Oscar material, but nothing that really annoyed me. Asa Butterfield was a convincing Ender. Harrison Ford was a confident Colonel who has no problem with the fact that they actually are training kid soldiers. Viola Davis, the psychologist on board, was a convincing motherly military. And the rest of the little ones did what they had to do: or they were from the beginning an adoring friend of Ender (Petra and Co) or buggers who immediately began to tease him. Moisos Arias was the best example. In Ender's place, I would have kicked this South American annoying brat into space.
The thing that started to annoy me was the content of the story. Indeed it's kept simple and rather childish. Initially I don't have a problem with that. The run-up to the training was fascinating to watch and kept my attention. I just started to question myself about the usefulness of the whole training since later on, they didn't make much use of it anyway. It looked like a sort of "Quidditch" but then in space suits. And you could also win the game by getting someone of your own team through the opponents gate, instead of throwing a ball through it! It was a pleasure to see the various team members floating around in those glass balls. But that was it. Only some floating around! The idea of those little guys learning a kind of Lasergun teen game and afterwards using real war material to teach those aliens a lesson, kind of felt unreal and surrealistic. The lack of explanation about the relationship between Ender and his brother Peter and sister Valentine was kind of a disappointment. I wanted to know more about that. It would have been interesting material. And as a grand finale Ender suddenly transformed into a Good Samaritan and was outraged about the fact they have lied to him. I thought they were preparing him for this task anyway and that he fully understood that. But no, the little fellow got extremely mad and suddenly he unravels the complete mystery and goes on his last mission as Admiral to accomplish a promise he made. Deep disappointment !
I can only conclude that it's a visually delightful film. The story is of a childish level, but is actually still a bridge too far for the youngest. But I found the end a huge letdown that screwed up the rest of the movie.
My rating 6 /10
Links : IMDB
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