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Category Archives: Films

Anastasia

This film, that reminds strongly of a Disney-film because of the style of drawing and the style of music, is really anything but.
The story is about Anastasia, who is born and raised in the rich aristocracy of Russia, where, during a party, Rasputin has invited himself, cursing all of the Romanov family. Which Anastasia is part of. This happens shortly after Anastasia was given a small music box by her grandmother.

Because of the curse of Rasputin, the family is forced to flee the scene instantly, as Rasputin wants to kill everyone, setting the house on fire. During the flight, grandmother and Anastasia loose each other. Grandmother is on the train and loses grip on Anastasia’s hand, causing her to fall down.

Years later, it appears that Anja (her name by now) has no recollection of the life she led before her 8th birthday, the moment the party  was.

The film was made by Fox film corporation, and this is noticeable. There’s far more elements of it being a drawn musical at times than in Disney films. The drama is heavier, it’s far less suitable for small children. Especially Rasputin being depicted as being in a darker world, can be too much for a happy, imaginative mind. I do foresee nightmares. Though it’s very possible that the fact there’s no blood visible, makes it funny for those who aren’t that weak in the stomach, or just care less.
There’s a scene, however, in Paris, where one of the statues (of a horse, with wings) becomes evil by the touch of magic. I wouldn’t call that very suitable for small children either.

Then again, the fact that in Disney films usually a prince or any male type person has to rescue the girl in her bloody expensive dress from any evil beings, is nicely compensated here. The girl does it all by herself, telling the bastard in his face he can go take a hike. Of course, she has help, but she’s the one who stands there with her dress being torn apart, kicking and giving a big mouth. Good stuff.

All in all, I’d say this is a nice film, but I wouldn’t recommend your kid watching it on her/his own that first time. At least hang in there for the music, it’s truly lovely.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2017 in Films, Opinion

 

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Did You Hear About The Morgans?

This film, starring Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sam Elliott, Mary Steenburgen, Elisabeth Moss and various others, has a cast that I’d normally expect more from. Not all of them, I’ll admit. And I don’t expect any acting from Sarah Jessica Parker, which is exactly what happens. She’s just a spoilt brat having to move due to unforeseen circumstances, and just like her character from Sex and the City, she’s not actually capable of adjusting to the new situation.
Hugh Grant is the one who knows how to make both their lines work. He’s not that good either, but his way of acting is more like he’s realised he went to the wrong party and now he’s gotta deal with it. Which is a description of him in most of his films really. He can do that and he does the job well.
Sam Elliott is typecasted so obviously that he really barely needs any other dressup. Mary Steenburgen as his sidekick works perfectly.

So, that’s about the actors. Now the story: the Morgans, an estranged couple, find themselves being a witness of a murder on one night, where Mr Morgan has desperately tried to get Mrs Morgan to have dinner with him again. Due to the fact that the murderer has seen the Morgans being a witness of his crime, he tries to kill the Morgans. Since the killer turns out to be a high profile criminal, the Morgans are offered a place in a witness protection program. Mrs Morgan doesn’t want this to be a shared accommodation, but there’s no choice there.

Actually Sarah Jessica Parker’s attitude is the most annoying one in this film. She walks around like she ended up on the wrong set, including the ‘you cheated on me!’ drama. Though at first you sympathise with that, in the end it turns out she’s been no better herself, and you end up hating her even more because she’s such a hypocrit.

I’m sure there’s worse films than this one, it’s just not that far behind.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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The Queen

For a film based on truly happened events, they’ve managed to only cast the queen right. Helen Mirren is actually made to look like Elizabeth, while none of the other castmembers seem to really look like their opponents. This shouldn’t matter so much, since it’s only a film. So, too bad they’ve mixed in some actual footage of the time of happening around Diana’s death. They should’ve either remake the footage, or not use it at all.
The story is about the death of Diana and how this effected the children, Charles and the queen. Charles wants a royal funeral, a chopper to be flown in, the queen firmly keeps control.
‘No, this is why the people keep urging to end the monarchy, they don’t want things settled that way’. While Charles wants to honor the mother of his kids. Which is understandable on itself.

Helen Mirren plays, unsurprisingly fantastic. The rest of the film is quite blurry. Although it does explain quite well the circumstances that happened around the same time, since the chosen actors don’t resemble the persons in the footage, it took me a bit to realise what politician was involved in what decisions.

If you like the royal family of England or wanna see Helen Mirren being cast outstandingly, it’s not a bad film to watch. If you don’t, just skip it.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in Films, Opinion

 

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Twelve Years A Slave

The incredible story of Solomon Northup, who became enslaved after living a life as a free an honest man, married and two children.
By the first looks of it, you can’t find a way in which Solomon Northup isn’t an honest guy. He dresses himself and his family well, knows how to provide for them by playing the violin and puts his children to bed himself.
Then, one night, things take an awfully wrong turn. Solomon Northup (excellent play by Chiwetel Ejiofor) is fed drunk by some bastards who promise him golden mountains, and the next morning he wakes up in chains, with nothing else than his shirt and underwear. When he claims to be a free man and is demanded for his papers to proof his statement, this isn’t possible.

The nightmare begins. Without knowing why and how, he is gathered up with some other men who have been taken aswell. They are smuggled by boat to a man who is going to sell them at the market. There it appears, Solomon Northup no longer exists. In the lineup he is pointed to as ‘Pratt’, and he gets beaten when he tells what his name is.
‘Your name is Pratt’, and there’s that.

He has different masters because of all kinds of circumstances. In one case, he is by far one of the favourites of a master, which leads to him nearly getting killed when his master is not there. To protect him from this, his master decides to sell him. Of course, Solomon’s next master is far less pleasant.
It is unbelieveable to see how not only the mental capacity of white people truly used to be ‘you’re black, so you’re mine’ but also it was exceptionally rare to find people who didn’t cling to this incredibly stupid believe. I have seen this in The Help aswell. Some white person could literally state in their Will that their offspring could inherit black persons if they were at the service of these white people. It shocked me so much and makes me more grateful that I was born so much later that this is no longer the case. Then again, for a human race that has developed so many clever mathematician solutions and have put rockets on the moon and other planets, it still seems tremendously stupid that this was done only this century and not at the same time the Bible was created.

But I’m stepping sideways, sorry.

The film has absolutely great acting. Not such a surpris with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberwatch and Lupita Nyong’o aboard. They really know how to put the proper efford in the characters. Thanks to that, it’s nearly unbearable to watch, but at the same time, such a powerful portrait. Given that this film is based on actually happened events that were, of course, always denied, as Solomon’s name was taken away and switched for Pratt, so that everyone could deny that he ever was there, this film is an absolute Must See.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2016 in Films, Opinion

 

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Laggies

Some movies get made with very good actors that make you wonder if they even read the script before saying ‘yes’ to it, or were they just drunk when that happened?
There’s a few pretty good actors in this film, such as Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, Chloë Grace Moretz. Unfortunately the story of a young woman Megan (Keira Knightley) who has just been proposed to at the wedding of one of her best friends and gets so shaken up about it that she spends the night with a couple of teens, just doesn’t cling on. Annika being one of those kids (Chloë Grace Moretz) does make it a bit better, but not much. Megan still is, at most, the big sister of the group who gets accepted everywhere but has no direction for herself.
It’s like being stuck in a piece of art you have no idea how to look at. There’s no straight line in the story, except you know that at some point Megan will have to go back to her other life.
Craig, Annika’s single dad, played by Sam Rockwell, is about as louzy played as the rest of them.
I don’t blame the actors though, I truly blame the story and the script. OK, Keira Knightley using an accent that I last heard her use in A Dangerous Method, where it made a) more sense, b) sounded far more convincing c) was a better film altogether, it was a move she shouldn’t have done here. Probably was forced though.

Anyway, not a film I’d quickly tell you to bother yourself with. A midlife crise ten to twenty years too early, depicted as a wobbly hiccup in a silly madness of two nutcases who shouldn’t have together in the first place. Because the magic between Megan and her fiancée is not exactly convincing either.

But no worries, all of these actors have made far better films than this one.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2016 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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The Village & Doubt

Two films that seem very different, but actually have quite a lot in common.

The Village is about a small community -they clearly used the Amish as an example- that lives on fear. The children are being brought up with fear that if they do anything around the borders of the village, it will be at great costs. They should just follow the rules, and as soon as someone does something that the elderly have warned them about, terrible things happen. It isn’t a real horror film, so not THAT drastic, but pretty bad anyway.

Doubt is about a convent/school, ran by nuns and priests. This is immediately one of the similarities with The Village: based on faith and the fear that is used for making children do what is believed to be ‘right’. Anyway. One of the nuns notices some odd behaviour with one of the pupils and reports this. This leads to further investigation and nicely stirs up an otherwise so calm and nice atmosphere within the walls of the school.

Both films strongly thrive on the fear that is created within the faith they believe. It connects, but also leads to the road that is believed to be the only right one.

Both films have very strong leader characters. In The Village it’s Joaquin Phoenix, Bryce Dallas Howard, Adrien Brody, Sigourney Weaver and William Hurt, in Doubt it’s Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Viola Davis and Alice Drummond. Both films deliver a classact when it comes to showing the fear, and both films disappoint in showing what the fear is all about.
Meryl Streep does best, which is not that surprising, by being a steadfast tin soldier, in a way. Very convinced at first about what is the right thing to do, then, as the title says, doubts.

The costumes are very much in touch with the community the storylines were based upon, though Amy Adams and Meryl Streep do look a bit like walking-around-lampposts, but still.

I’m someone who likes to see a thrill being fullfilled and neither film does that, but the acting, especially in Doubt, is a joy to watch. And yet, both films make you feel like you’ve just lost sensable time watching Jaws only being a goldfish with attitude.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2016 in Films, Opinion

 

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Walt before Mickey

A film that is supposed to show how incredibly hard the life of Walt Disney was before he was actually successful. Unfortunately most of the acting by Thomas Ian Nicholas just doesn’t convince you of that. The fact that Jodie Sweetin is part of the cast, should tell you enough.
I skiphopped here and there, as it really didn’t get better in any way. It’s basically a waste of an hour and a half. And Mickey doesn’t show up until the last 6 or 7 minutes of the film.
If you do like to see someone struggle through money and acting incredibly bad, go ahead.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2016 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized