donderdag 22 maart 2018

Movie Reviews - Black Panther

Director: Ryan Coogler
Genre: Action/ Adventure
Runtime: 134 minutes
Year: 2018
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurai, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Sterling K. Brown, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis

Description: T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the King of Wakanda, rises to the throne in the isolated, technologically advanced African nation, but his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider who was a childhood victim of T'Challa's father's mistake.

Review: In “Captain America: Civil War” we saw how the king of Wakanda dies, due to a bombing. Wakanda is a country, secluded from the rest of the world. Son T’Challa is the rightful heir to the throne, but there are people that think otherwise. Because of this battle, Wakanda’s well-hidden secrets could be out in the open.
Wakanda looks like a normal third world country, but when you dig deeper you step inside a hidden world. Wakanda is far ahead when it comes to technology and it’s a very advanced nation. Their country is build on land filled with Vibranium (which is also the metal where Captain America’s shield is made of).
Gangster Klaue is one of the only outsiders that ever managed to enter Wakanda, which is also protected by the Black Panther. The second role the Wakanda king has.
Most Marvel film have loads of humor, which works for the most part. “Black Panther” doesn’t use it and that’s a good thing. It wouldn’t fit here. It’s basically limited to T’Challa’s siter Shuri and tribe head M’Baku, who steal the show comedy wise.
Chadwick Boseman fills in his role as Black Panther very well. “Black Panther” is the last piece of the puzzle, before “Avengers”Infinity War”.

Rating: 4 / 5

10s Movie Review - The Mummy

Director: Alex Kurtzman
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Fantasy/ Thriller
Runtime: 110 minutes
Year: 2017
Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russel Crowe, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance

Description: An ancient Egyptian princess (Sofia Boutella) is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension

Review: Hollywood is trying to create as many film universes, but the oldest one has been untouched for a while. Universal Monsters was around in the 20s, a cinematic world shared by monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and the Invisible Man. Director Alex Kurtzman are trying to bring this universe back to life, under the name Dark Universe. And “The Mummy” is the first film. But it’s not really a noteworthy film.
We are introduced to the legend of Egyptian princess Ahmanet. Later we meet Nick Morton, who discovers a tomb by accident. The introduction of the film is fast paced, but it all happens too quick and there is no room for actual build-up or focus.
The story of “The Mummy” is thin and has no real substance. The introduction of Dr. Jekyll feels forced and a set up to the next Dark Universe film. This gives the film even less focus.
Overall, all these elements make “The Mummy” a very mediocre and forgettable blockbuster. Even a star like Tom Cruise couldn’t safe this film.

Rating: 2/ 5

zaterdag 17 maart 2018

10s Movie Review - Muppets Most Wanted

Director: James Bobin
Genre: Comedy/ Adventure/ Family/ Musical/ Crime
Runtime: 112 minutes
Year: 2014
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, Zack Galifianakis, Tom Hiddleston, Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo, Christoph Waltz, Josh Groban, Céline Dion, Peter Serafinowicz, Usher Raymond, Salma Hayek, Stanley Tucci, Lady Gaga, Chloë Grace Moretz, Hugh Bonneville, Tom Hollander

Description: While on a grand world tour, The Muppets find themselves wrapped into an European jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike and his dastardly sidekick.

Review: In 2010 The Muppets made their comeback with an amazing film that was filled with humor, emotion and great music. Off course there had to be another sequel, hoping for that same success.
In “Muppets Most Wanted” the Muppets go on a world tour, led by Dominic. They don’t know that Dominic actually has some evil plans, he is the right hand of Constantine, the most dangerous frog in the world and Kermit’s doubleganger. During the tour, Dominic makes sure Kermit and Constantine switch places. Constantine will tour with the Muppets and Kermit will be send to the Goelag. This way Constantine and Dominic can plan big heists in each city the visit.
The movie starts with a fun song about sequels, mocking Hollywood and themselves. Sequels are never as good, but bring in the money. This is also the fact for “Muppets Most Wanted”. It’s never the same level as “ The Muppets” from 2011. It’s still a fun movie, with lots of humorous moments and fun cameos. And the songs are fun too.
I likes Ricky Gervais as villain Dominic and I especially loved Ty Burrell as the French Interpol agent. And I have to admit, The Muppets always make me smile. No matter what.

Rating: 3 / 5

10s Movie Review - Passengers

Director: Morten Tyldum
Genre: Drama/ Science Fiction/ Romance/ Fantasy
Runtime: 116 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia

Description: A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early.

Review: There are always those film projects, that take a long time to make. “Passengers” has been waiting on the shelves, when it was eventually picked up to be directed by Morten Tyldum.

The film starts with an introduction to the Avalon, a spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people in order to start a new civilization. The people are all in hibernation. As a malfunction, two of the passengers wake up 90 years early.
The first act of the film is the most impressive. It sets an intriguing atmosphere. We meet Jim and Aurora and how they are trying to deal with the fact that they woke up 90 years too early. How they explore the ship. Especially Chris Pratt gets a lot of room to develop his character. And the opening also has amazing special effects. After the first plot twist, it all fades a little bit.
There is supposed to be an emotion spectrum. Themes like loneliness and romance have a lot of potential here. But Jim and especially Aurora are a bit too superficial as characters to make this combination of drama and romance work to the fullest. And although Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are two of the most beloved actors working today, the two don’t have the on screen chemistry we were all hoping for. Pratt’s character gets a bit more substance, because of his solo scenes at the start of the film. But Lawrence’s character misses that. They perform great, very solid, don’t get me wrong. But I expected them to be better together.
On paper, “Passengers” had everything to become a hit. The fantastic actors, the visuals and an interesting story. It all feels a bit mediocre, pretty predictable and without the chemistry we hoped for. A fun popcorn film, certainly not bad, but it could have been so much more.

Rating: 3 / 5

maandag 12 maart 2018

90s Movie Review - Dolores Claiborne

Director: Taylor Hackford
Genre: Drama/ Crime
Runtime: 132 minutes
Year: 1995
Starring: Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer, David Strathairn, Bob Gunton, John C. Reilly

Description: A big-city reporter (Jennifer Jason Leigh) travels to the small town where her mother (Kathy Bates) has been arrested for the murder of an elderly woman that she works for as a maid.

Review: On stage she won prize after prize, but Hollywood found her too fat. But there was help. Master of horror Stephen King offered Kathy Bates the role of a lifetime in “Misery”. An Oscar for that role and several memorable roles later, Bates gives away another great performance in yet another Stephen King adapted film.
Dolores Claiborne worked for a demanding rich lady for years. When this woman, Vera, is found dead at the bottom of the stairs, Dolores is the main suspect. This accusation brings home her estranged daughter Selena, who works as a journalist now. And the past they usually won’t speak off, comes out.
It’s a strong mystery thriller, with a good focus on the bond between Dolores and her daughter Selena. Kathy Bates is again very solid in her performance. She overshadows all the other actors. Jennifer Jason Leigh is also very strong.
“Dolores Claiborne” is one of King’s better adaptations.

Rating: 4 / 5

vrijdag 9 maart 2018

10s Movie Review - Song to Song

Director: Terrence Malick
Genre: Drama/ Romance
Runtime: 129 minutes
Year: 2017
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Holly Hunter, Bérénice Marlohe, Val Kilmer, Lykke Li

Description: Two intersecting love triangles. Obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.

Review: Again a cinematographic meditation by director Terrence Malick, about love and life. He takes the audience on a poetic journey to finding the meaning of life. As always, Malick doesn’t work with a straight forward screenplay and the (amazing group of) actors improvise.
Malicks style is very recognizable. It’s more a chain of images, because there are no real scenes. He creates a series of situations and it’s clearly his intuition that make his montage choices. The randomness of these images make me think of perfume commercials on TV. And that’s really not a compliment here. “Song to Song” kind of feels like a commercial, but then with the length of a film. And I think we could take off an hour, without losing any important moments.
There is no focus, because we see so many characters. And we don’t get to understand them, there is barely any development and their motives are unclear. Hardly any communication between the characters. Whispering voice-overs tell us some philosophical things and a lot of existential questions are asked.
The camera work is a big plus though. No steady images, always moving. The camera is constantly with the characters and switches between warm close-ups and distant shots. And the camera looks for the little things in the surroundings.
I never really understood Terrence Malick and I really don’t get why so many actors want to work with him. He always gets such big names to work with him and all the performances are really good by the way. But “Song to Song” is just a lot of improvising. Maybe that’s it, that the actors can let go of the rules for once. But all that cuddling and stroking, after a half hour I’m done! “Song to Song” is just not for me I guess.

Rating: 2/ 5

donderdag 8 maart 2018

10s Movie Review - Blade Runner 2049

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Genre: Science Fiction/ Thriller
Runtime: 163 minutes
Year: 2017
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Sylvia Hoeks, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Dave Bautista

Description: A young blade runner's (Ryan Gosling) discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who's been missing for thirty years.

Review: In 1982 director Ridley Scott brought us “Blade Runner”, a film loosely based on “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick. After “Alien” he took another big step in the sci-fi genre. The film was, because of the combination of film noir and a philosophical take, not for everyone. Even critics weren’t agreeing at the time.
In 2017, the opinions about the sequel, are extremely positive. Some even call it an instant classic and a masterpiece. “Blade Runner 2049” will still not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I do agree with the positive responses. And I even think it’s better then the film from 1982.
Ridley Scott passed the directorial position over to Denis Villeneuve, a talented director that yet has to make his first mistake (let’s hope not off course). After “Arrival”, from 2016, Villeneuve showed the audience he knows his way around science fiction. But “Blade Runner 2049” is so very different.
Villeneuve asked all the journalists not to talk about the plot to much in their reviews. He wanted all the moviegoers to experience this film to the fullest and give them the same experience as he critics.
“Blade Runner 2049” is a film filled with emotion, beautiful shots, deeper layers and fascinating characters. So I will not share any plot details with you either, you really have to see for yourself. I do think it’s a shame that I didn’t get to see it in theaters at the time. Literally no one around was talking about this film and I simply missed it. And now, I don’t understand why and how.
Villeneuve often manages to make your jaw drop. And that’s also happening here. The images of misty cities filled with big in-your-face billboard commercials, immense garbage piles and abandoned factories. But also the ochre colored field with giant statues of women.
The role of K, was written for Ryan Gosling. He gives his role depth and he proofs again that he chooses his projects wisely. Harrison Ford’s role isn’t as big, but noteworthy, just like in the first film.
Like I stated before, “Blade Runner 2049” is not for everyone, just like the first film. The slow sci-fi by Denis Villeneuve is not to everybody’s taste. The film is hard to grab and its unpredictability could trouble the average moviegoer. All those things are just why I love “Blade Runner 2049”. Besides the gorgeous images and great performances, it’s very pleasant to see a sequel this good and this surprising. Better then “Blade Runner”, mission accomplished!

Rating: 5/ 5