donderdag 30 april 2009

In Bruges

In Bruges is a very funny dark comedy that uses the setting of Bruges perfectly. A romantic (yet dead) city crawling with tourists is the perfect place to put two opposite characters against each other. The surreal events (dwarfs, prostitutes, drug dealers and murderers) result in a fun mix of comedy, drama, and suspense. I can imagine this is not everybody's cup of tea, but i give it 3,5 stars

Quote from In Bruges:

Chlo: There's never been a classic movie made in Bruges until now.
Ray: Of course there hasn't. It's a shithole.
Chlo: Bruges is my home town, Ray.
Ray: Well, it's still a shithole.
Chlo: It's not a shithole!
Ray: What? Even midgets have to take drugs to stick it.
Chlo: Okay. So, you've insulted my home town. You were doing really well, Raymond. Why don't you tell me some Belgium jokes while you're at it?
Ray: Don't know any Belgium jokes, and if I did I think I'd have the good sense not to... hang on. Is Belgium with all those child abuse murders lately? I do know a Belgium joke. What's Belgium famous for? Chocolates and child abuse, and they only invented the chocolates to get to the kids.
[Ray sees Chloe's shocked expression]
Ray: What?
Chlo: One of the girls they murdered was a friend of mine.
Ray: [after a long pause, feeling bad] I'm sorry, Chloe.
Chlo: One of the girls they murdered wasn't a friend of mine. I just wanted to make you feel bad. And it worked! Quite well.
Bruges, the most well-preserved medieval city in the whole of Belgium, is a welcoming destination for travellers from all over the world. But for hit men Ray and Ken, it could be their final destination; a difficult job has resulted in the pair being ordered right before Christmas by their London boss Harry to go and cool their heels in the storybook Flemish city for a couple of weeks. Very much out of place amidst the gothic architecture, canals, and cobbled streets, the two hit men fill their days living the lives of tourists. Ray, still haunted by the bloodshed in London, hates the place, while Ken, even as he keeps a fatherly eye on Ray's often profanely funny exploits, finds his mind and soul being expanded by the beauty and serenity of the city

Top 100 Movie Quotes - 100

The American Film Institute (AFI) revealed the top movie quotes of all time in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes, a three-hour special television event on CBS hosted by actor and action star Pierce Brosnan with commentary from many of Hollywood's most celebrated actors and filmmakers. A jury of 1,500 film artists, critics and historians selected the most memorable movie quote of all time.

All the quotes should be a statement, phrase or brief exchange of dialogue spoken in an American film. Movie Quotes should have a cultural impact. this means that viewers use them in their own lives and situations; circulating through popular culture, they become part of the national lexicon

Here we will publish one movie quote every few days.

Today the last:

# 100 : "I'm king of the world!", "Titanic," 1997.

dinsdag 14 april 2009

Best Movie Poster Ever - Gun Crazy

#25: Gun Crazy

Premiere : "The art for 1949's Gun Crazy represents cinema's obsession with the aberrant, highlighting a thrill-killing dame. The film was originally released as Deadly is the Female with a poster featuring a more seductive Peggy Cummins splayed out across the poster sans guns. But after a new title and poster was commissioned, the femme fatale flick turned into a hit."

Strangers on a Train

IMDB top 100: #100

One of these Hitchcock movies that many people seem to have forgotten. Sure, it is no "Vertigo", "Psycho" or "North by Northwest", but it does have its merits and the chemistry between both male characters is thrilling. Hints of latent homosexuality, sadism and of course the great role of Robert Walker as the person who believes everybody is a potential killer, make this a great movie. The final carrousel scene might be a bit over the top, but the funny one-liners of Hitchcock's daughter are very witty and give this dark movie some lighter moments.

Favourite Quote: "Oh, Daddy doesn't mind a little scandal. He's a senator."

Director's Cameo : Alfred Hitchcock boards a train early in the film, carrying a double bass fiddle as Guy gets off the train

Psychotic mother's boy Bruno Anthony meets famous tennis professional Guy Haines on a train. Guy wants to move into a career in politics and has been dating a senator's daughter (Ann Morton) while awaiting a divorce from his wife. Bruno wants to kill his father but knows he will be caught because he has a motive. Bruno dreams up a crazy scheme in which he and Guy exchange murders. Guy takes this as a joke, but Bruno is serious and takes things into his own hands.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall


I had read some good reviews about this movie and since there were no other films that looked interesting, I suggested our BeWelcome Monday Movie group to check "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" out. This movie is Nicholas Stoller's debut and will appeal to those folks who like romantic comedies like "Something about Mary", "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and "The Heartbreak Kid". It is a typical American comedy, which means that the main character falls in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, gets dumped, and find true love with an even prettier girl :)

You get some raunchy humour, some slapstick, funny British accents, misunderstandings and a happy end. What more do you expect from such a movie? Nothing, exactly, so no need to be disappointed. The best scenes evolve around the excentric rock singer Aldous Snow, a great by Russel Brand.
It struck me that I didn't know any of the actors. Apparently they all play in American TV-shows like "That 70's Show", "CSI" and "Veronica Mars".

Do you know these series?

maandag 13 april 2009


HushThis must be one of the least interesting thrillers ever made!
It only runs 90 minutes and you can feel that several scenes were cut which results in a botched-up movie that never delivers. I think the movie only "thrilled" me once and even with a good job by Jessica Lange the movie failed to convince me. And the ending was definitely the worst ever for a thriller.

Helen is the young girlfriend of good-looking Jackson Baring. When Helen gets pregnant and marries Jackson, they decide to move to his hometown, Kilronan, and have a baby there. But his mother Martha, who lives there, starts to do weird things, and obviously she's not too friendly to Helen.

Blade Runner

IMDB: #97
BladerunnerThis is definitely one of my favourite science-fiction movies. And frankly speaking, it is not even a real science-fiction movie. The only thing SF about it, is that it is set in Los Angeles in the year 2019, and that we get a glimpse of where we will be in 10 jaar. Everyone speaks a mixture of Japanese and Spanish, it's constantly raining, there are no animals anymore but just robots...

But the movie is much more than that. It is about one guy who is looking to discover his past, and the understand what our purpose is in live. This one person is special, unique and completely different from the others. He wants to survive, even when others believe his life is redundants. The movie also opens the debate about genetic manipulation and cloning, and leaves us with the all important question: "How far can we go when we take God's place, and what happens when we create perfection?"

If you are not interested in all these philosophical questions, you can still watch Blade Runner and imagine you are watching a western where a cowboy is looking for an outlaw.

It remains one of my favourite movies.

Los Angeles, 2019: Rick Deckard of the LAPD's Blade Runner unit prowls the steel & micro-chip jungle of the 21st century for assumed humanoids known as 'replicants'. Replicants were declared illegal after a bloody mutiny on an Off-World Colony, and are to be terminated upon detection. Man's obsession with creating a being equal to himself has back-fired.

the 25 Best Movie Posters Ever

If watching a film is like having a dream wide awake, then movie posters are invitations to those dreams — a lot of weight for one image to carry. Premiere Magazine has selected some of the best examples of this art-meets-commerce form — some profound, some silly.

A great movie poster is a hard thing to find. Most posters are cut and paste jobs that don't sell the movie very well at all. A great poster should intrigue, shock, inspire & excite. It should be aesthetically beautiful or original. Above all, it should be so memorable that a single glance will be instantly recognizable.

Here is their list, of which we will publish one poster every week:

25. Gun Crazy (1949)
24. All About Eve (1950)
23. The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
22. The Seven Year Itch (1955)
21. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
20. Yellow Submarine (1968)
19. Sullivan's Travels (1941)
18. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
17. This Gun for Hire (1942)
16. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
15. The Mummy (1932)
14. The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)
13. The Gold Rush (1925)
12. Straw Dogs (1971)
11. King Kong (1933)
10. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
9. The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
8. Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman (1958)
7. 42nd Street (1933)
6. Gilda (1946)
5. Forbidden Planet (1956)
4. Downhill Racer (1969)
3. Vertigo (1958)
2. The Sin of Nora Moran (1933)
1. Anatomy of Murder (1959)

zondag 12 april 2009

Gangs of New York

Gangs of new yorkI had read quite a lot of negative reviews about this movie: too long, too violent, too superficial and last but not least badly acted.
Well, for once the critics have a point. About half of the criticism seems justified. The movie is without any question too long. 2h30 to tell a story that could well have been explained in 15 minutes seems to be a tad too long: son avenges murder of father. But this is a pure Greek tragedy, so why not make it a bit longer. And Scorcese does take his time to show us New York in 1846. If we are to believe the movie, it was not a nice time. And I have a tendency to believe the events portrayed in this movie.
Criticism that the movie is too slow, is not entirely correct. I agree that some scenes could have been shortened, but the realistic scenery and the costumes are great to look at, and make the boring bits pass quickly.
Then there was the criticism that the film was too violent. Well, i'm sure the real thing was much more violent, but I can understand that this is not your average romantic story.
But the criticsim that "Gangs of New York" is superficial, is definitely NOT true. On the contrary, Scorsese puts a lot (too much?) information in the movie, and makes it sometimes difficult to follow.
And the acting? Excellent. Daniel Day-Lewis is brilliant as Bill the Butcher and Leonardo Di Caprio knows how to act (Anyone who has seen "what's eating Gilbert Grape" knows what I mean).
Conclusion : I have some mixed feelings, but the strength of the movie is (as is often the case with Scorcese) hidden in the details.

Having seen his father killed in a major gang fight in New York, young Amsterdam Vallon is spirited away for his own safety. Some years later, he returns to the scene of his father's death, the notorious Five Points district in New York. It's 1863 and lower Manhattan is run by gangs, the most powerful of which is the Natives, headed by Bill "The Butcher" Cutting. He believes that America should belong to native-born Americans and opposes the waves of immigrants, mostly Irish, entering the city. It's also the time of the Civil War and forced conscription leads to the worst riots in US history. Amid the violence and corruption, young Vallon tries to establish himself in the area and also seek revenge over his father's death

The Tailor of Panama

The tailor of PanamaThis movie was a disaster when it came out, but in fact it is a brilliant spy story that tries to tell so much that it probably scared the average moviegoer.
Pierce Brosnan plays a British spy, but he does it so much better than what he did when he was still James Bond 007. Here you see what spies really do: lying, cheating, using and abusing people. And Geoffrey Rush is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best actors in the world (check SHINE, see QUILLS) and here he plays a character that seemed to be written for him: the lamb that is being led to the slaughter.
Do yourself a favor : rent this DVD, check it out once, watch it a second time, and by the third viewing you will see so much more.
Do NOT rent this if you expect to see James Bond with lots of gadgets.
Rent this NOW if you like a good story, great actors and lots of little inside jokes refering to spy stories.

John LeCarre's spy thriller is brought to the big screen. A British spy (Pierce Brosnan) is banished to Panama after having an affair with an ambassador's mistress. Once there he makes connection with a local tailor (Geoffrey Rush) with a nefarious past and connections to all of the top political and gangster figures in Panama. The tailor also has a wife (Jamie Lee Curtis), who works for the Panamanian president and a huge debt. The mission is to learn what the President intends to do with the Panama Canal. But what the two do is concoct a tremendous fictional tale about former mercenaries who are ready to topple the current government and are willing to work with Britain and the US to do so

The Happening

M. Night Shyamalan has a new movie. One that I cannot recommend. Ever since he made it big with "The Sixth Sense", he has been delivering movies that failed to move me. While "Unbreakable" was still bearable, self-indulgent projects like "The Lady in the Water" and "Signs" failed to impress me. But "The Happening" is even worse, since it is flawed on every level. The acting is bad (i mean really bad), the story is interesting but stuffed with superfluous stuff, the cinematography is mediocre and the dialog is corny at best, and awful at worst.

According to some critics M. Night Shyamalan has tried to make a B-movie. Well, even Tarantino makes better B-movies. I was really disappointed, and those of you who are waiting for a M. Night Shyamalan "twist-around" plot, will be equally disappointed.

It begins with no clear warning. It seems to come out of nowhere. In a matter of minutes, episodes of strange, chilling deaths that defy reason and boggle the mind in their shocking destructiveness, erupt in major American cities. What is causing this sudden, total breakdown of human behavior? Is it some kind of new terrorist attack, an experiment gone wrong, a diabolical toxic weapon, an out-of-control virus? Is it being transmitted by air, by water.. how?

zaterdag 11 april 2009

Once Upon a Time in America

Once Upon a Time in AmericaIMDB ranking : #95

Once Upon a Time in America did for the gangster movies what Once Upon a Time in the West did for the Western: an epic story where the division between good and bad is not always clear, and where all the typical story lines (critics will call them "clichés" are put together. Corruption, prostitution, prohibition, large sums of money, loyalty, honour, reveng and deceit, treason and bloody settlements.

Sergio Leone delivers with this movie (original title : C'era una volta in America) a long, multi-layered and sometimes a slightly too 'heavy' movie that gives the viewer value for money, even after all these years. It is also interesting to see that he used the Jewish community as background, as opposed to all the other movies that always stigmatize the Italian maffia.

The story resembles that of The Godfather, but from the point of view of a Jewish boy growing up in New York. The fascinating way with which Leone shows us the Big Apple in the 1930's is up there among the best and the movie is a feast for eyes and ears.

The director is Sergio Leone, famous for his spaghettiwesterns starring Clint Eastwood. And it is obvious that he is using his trademark style: slow story, many close-ups, tension, blood, Ennio Morricone and some truly memorable baddies.

If you like the Godfather, you will probably like this story. If you hated The Godfather, then this is not your kind of movie..

School of Rock

School of Rock "School of Rock" gives you what it promises: an evening entertainment for the whole family. Sure, the movie is very predictable, but it worked much better than I thought and it contains some hilarious moments, especially if you are familiar with the rock scene. Jack Black is briliant in his role (apparently he is in real life just as crazy as he is here). When I saw this movie in the cinema, it was filled with young kids (10 to 14-year), and they had a great time. The real roles are played by children, and the interaction with their "teacher" is hilarious.

You have to see this if: you like simple, good humour, a predictable plot that manages to surprise you, good music and a happy ending with some sentimental value.
Don't see this movie if you: are looking for a foreign-language intellectual drama, you want a movie where everybody dies or you hate it when kids turn out smarter than grown-ups.

Down and out rock star Dewey Finn (Black) gets fired from his band, and he faces a mountain of debts and depression. He takes a job as a 4th grade substitute teacher at an uptight private school where his attitude and hijinx have a powerful effect on his students. He also meets Zack, a 10-year-old guitar prodigy, who could help Dewey win a "battle of the bands" competition, which would solve his financial problems and put him back in the spotlight.