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All reviews - Movies (5527) - TV Shows (7)

A very good movie

Posted : 5 months, 2 weeks ago on 6 January 2017 01:57 (A review of All or Nothing)

To be honest, it has been a while since I have seen this movie and I should probably re-watch it at some point. Still, I remember it very well, I even saw it in the movie theater when it was released. First of all, even though, by now, I have managed to watch most of the movies directed by Mike Leigh, I have to admit that, even though I admire his work, I have actually never been a huge fan. As a matter of fact, I would go as far as saying that 'Secrets & Lies' and 'Topsy-Turvy' were actually fairly disappointing. Still, there is one exception though and, with this movie,  Mike Leigh finally managed to really blow me away. The funny thing is that, the damned thing pretty much looked like a typical Mike Leigh feature as it was taking place  in a very grim ands realistic social environment in England. The big difference was that the whole thing was rather quite heartbreaking  but also spellbinding to watch and I was really fascinated by those characters. I thought that Timothy Spall was also really strong in this movie. To conclude, I really loved the damned thing and I think it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre or if you are interested in Mike Leigh’s work. 



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An average movie

Posted : 5 months, 2 weeks ago on 6 January 2017 08:46 (A review of The Surprise)

This was already the 3rd Dutch movie I saw this week and, out of the 3, the one I enjoyed the most. First of all, it was the first directing effort for Mike [Link removed - login to see][Link removed - login to see]van Diem, 18 long years after [Link removed - login to see][Link removed - login to see][Link removed - login to see]for which he managed to win the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film. Well, to be honest, even though this new directing effort was a decent watch, I can’t say it really blow me away though and it was definitely a massive step-down compared to ‘Karakter’. I mean, the whole thing definitely had some potential but it was a really tricky thing to make a romantic comedy about 2 suicidal people. If done properly, it could have been really great but van Diem should instead a whimsical approach and I’m afraid it never really worked. It’s like the casting of Jeroen van Koningsbrugge. On one hand, he gave a decent performance but I’m not sure if it was the best idea to make this character some kind of Forrest Gump figure. Still, the concept was really intriguing and, at least, they did try to deliver something original which is something really rare with a Dutch production.  To conclude, even though it didn’t completely work, it was still a decent watch and I think it is worth a look, especially if you are interested in Dutch movies.



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An average movie

Posted : 5 months, 2 weeks ago on 5 January 2017 10:19 (A review of Pak van mijn hart)

To be honest, I didn’t expect much from this flick but since my wife has a weak spot for such Dutch romantic comedies, I thought we might as well check it out together. Well, even though my wife thought it was a decent watch, I thought it was in fact seriously underwhelming. I mean, is it me or are the  Dutch romantic comedies actually getting worse and worse? Or maybe I have seen too many of them by now. Anyway, this time around, the whole thing was really so lazy and the concept was just really lame. I mean, a young and hunky Santa Man to compete with Sinterklaas (some kind of local version of Santa Claus)? Seriously? At least, it was pretty neat to see this black American guy getting offended after watching Sinterklaar and his Zwarte Pieten. However, even this scene was messed up by the fact that the guy was verbally too offensive which was really inappropriate. At least, Chantal Janzen was cute as usual but her romance with the character played by Benja Bruijning felt forced and I don’t think they had much chemistry. To conclude, I thought it was pretty weak and I don’t think it is really worth a look, except if you are a die-hard fan of the genre.  



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An average movie

Posted : 5 months, 3 weeks ago on 4 January 2017 02:13 (A review of The Addiction)

To be honest, it has been a while since I have seen this movie. Still, I remember it very well. Indeed, after watching ‘Bad Lieutenant’ back in the 90’s, I became a huge fan of Abel Ferrara’s work and this movie was therefore definitely a high priority for me. Well, even though it turned out to be watchable, I have to admit that I had a rather hard time to really connect with the damned thing. I mean, it was not bad, it was even pretty neat that Ferrara would go for a vampire tale and there was a really nice cast involved (Lili Taylor, Christopher Walken, Annabella Sciorra, Edie Falco). Unfortunately, the whole thing was terribly murky and I have to admit that I didn't care much for the characters and what they were going through. Actually, from this point on, except for the amazing ‘The Funeral’ which would be Ferrara’s following directing effort, all his following movies would be increasingly obscure and difficult to follow and, as a result, nowadays, nobody seems to really care for this director anymore which is too bad. Anyway, to conclude, even though it didn’t really fulfill my expectations, it was still a decent watch and I think it is worth a look, especially if you are interested in Abel Ferrara’s work. 



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An average movie

Posted : 5 months, 3 weeks ago on 4 January 2017 12:08 (A review of Criminal Lovers)

For some reasons, I have actually watched most of the movies directed by François Ozon (14 out of 16) which is rather surprising because I never became a huge fan of his work. For example, even though his directing debut ‘Sitcom’ turned out to be a somewhat cult-classic in France, I thought it was in fact a seriously dreadful feature. This 2nd directing, which I also watched in the movie theater when it was released, turned out to be only slightly better, I’m afraid. I mean, this time around, the concept actually had some potential and the beginning of the movie was actually really good. Indeed, the story was intriguing and the characters were dark and interesting thanks to some decent performances by Natacha Régnier and Jérémie Renier. However, as soon as they got into these woods, the whole thing completely fell apart. I mean, I don’t blame Miki Manojlović, the guy was and still is a fine actor but, from that point, this tale became terribly murky and underwhelming. Furthrmore, something that often bothered me with Ozon’s work is how pretentious it can be and this movie was probably the worst example. Indeed, the whole thing tried to be entertaining, transgressive and artistic but it failed on all levels. To conclude, even though I have seen worse, I thought it was still pretty weak and I don’t think it is really worth a look. 



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An average movie

Posted : 5 months, 3 weeks ago on 4 January 2017 09:16 (A review of The Extra Man)

For many years, I kept hearing from 2 of my favorites Listal members (the giraffe and Xanadon’t) that this movie was some kind of cult-classic so I was really eager to watch the damned thing. Furthermore, I really loved ‘American Splendor’ which was Shari Springer Berman’s  and Robert Pulcini’s directing debut so I had some high hopes. Well, to be honest, even though this movie was not bad at all, I can’t say I was really blown away though. I mean, the relationship between Paul Dano’s and Kevin Kline’s characters really had some potential and the damned thing was sometimes actually quite hilarious but I’m afraid they pushed the quirkiness way too far and it made it for me rather difficult to really care for these characters. For example, was it really a good idea to make Louis Ives a cross-dresser? I mean, I have nothing against a character struggling with the fact that he wants to dress as a woman but, in this movie, they kept adding layers upon layers of quirky stuff and, as a result, I had a hard time to take the whole thing really seriously. At least, it was much better than the terribly underwhelming ‘The Nanny Diaries’ from the same directors. Anyway, to conclude, even though it turned out to be slightly disappointing, it was still a decent watch though and I think it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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A good movie

Posted : 5 months, 3 weeks ago on 3 January 2017 12:04 (A review of A River Runs Through It)

To be honest, it has been a while since I have seen this movie and I should definitely re-watch it at some point. First of all, it must be one of the best titles ever conceived. Aside from that, it is actually a solid feature which has been completely forgotten since its release. It is mostly remembered as one of the first movies made by Brad Pitt after he finally got his breakthrough with ‘Thelma & Louise’. Eventually, 2 years later, Pitt would show up in in the rather similar ‘Legends of the Fall’ but, even though this movie was a box-office success, this forgotten gem was actually miles better in my opinion. Indeed, there was a nice mood, the whole thing looked quite gorgeous and Brad Pitt delivered the first really solid performance of his career. And, indeed, pretty much like ‘Legends of the Fall’, the whole thing was probably slightly too romantic but the big difference is that it wasn’t a rather shallow chick flick but a really decent story with some interesting characters. To conclude, even though  it was nothing really ground-breaking or original, I actually really have a weak spot for the damned thing and I think it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 


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An average movie

Posted : 5 months, 3 weeks ago on 3 January 2017 08:36 (A review of The Girl and Death)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this movie but since it has won the Golden Kalf of the best Dutch movie of the year, I was quite eager to check it out. In fact, the Dutch movie industry is so limited that there are basically only 2 kind of movies that manage to win this prize. Indeed, they are either some really commercial feature which were usually some big box-office success or they are some really obscure Art-house features that really nobody saw when they were released. Well, this movie definitely belonged to the 2nd group, that’s for sure but, even though it was clearly an ambitious production with some potential, it has been a while since I have seen such a pretentious and tedious movie. Seriously, the whole thing never took off and I had such a hard time to care about this rather convoluted and unconvincing love story. Eventually, the only thing that really worked with this movie was Sylvia Hoeks. I already saw her in 2 other Dutch movies and she seemed to have some potential but, in this movie, I thought she was simply quite mesmerizing to behold which was quite an achievement since her character was in fact really underwritten. Anyway, to conclude, I think my rating was actually rather generous here but I guess it is still worth a look, at least if you like the genre. 


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An average movie

Posted : 5 months, 3 weeks ago on 2 January 2017 03:24 (A review of Analyze This)

[Link removed - login to see]To be honest, it has been a while since I saw this movie and maybe I should rewatch it at some point. Still, I remember it very well when this one was released. Indeed, back then, everyone, including myself, praised Robert De Niro for trying something so drastically different than his usual work. Indeed, it was basically a commercial comedy but it was pretty neat that De Niro would choose to make fun of his legacy and, above all, the damned thing was actually genuinely entertaining. However, what we didn’t know at the time is that De Niro wouldn’t stop after this 1st attempt and he would in fact eventually keep showing up in such commercial comedies but these movies would be more and more underwhelming to watch and, as a result, the once greatest actor ever has by now pretty much ruined his amazing legacy. As a result, I look back at his movie with some rather bittersweet memories. Still, if you can put this aside, I have to admit that the damned thing was actually quite fun. To conclude, even though it was far from being a masterpiece, I still think it was one of the better comedies starring Robert De Niro and I think it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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An average movie

Posted : 5 months, 3 weeks ago on 2 January 2017 12:39 (A review of Awakenings)

To be honest, it has been a while since I have seen this movie and maybe I should give it a 2nd chance at some point. Well, even though this movie definitely has a solid reputation, I can’t say it completely worked for me. Basically, in my opinion, it was just another typical dramatic performance by Robin Williams. Indeed, ever since his performance in ‘Dead Poets Society’, Williams would keep showing up in such dramas from time to time. The problem is that, in my opinion, ‘Dead Poets Society’ must be one of the most overrated movies ever made and I thought that Robin Williams was only decent at best in this movie. For this movie, he gave his usual cheesy performance and, while it was again rather watchable, it didn’t really impress me. On the other hand, Robert De Niro was still at the top of his game at the time and he gave here another impressive and really intense performance. Furthermore, I have to admit that the story was actually quite fascinating, it’s just that I didn’t care much for the approach they choose to handle it. Anyway, to conclude, even though it didn’t completely work for me, it was still a decent watch and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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