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Five Netflix Original films that look good

Did you know that Netflix has already released more than 200 films of its own? Pretty clever for something that it only started in 2015. In fact, there are even a few Oscar winners, such as Roma and Mudbound. There are heavy films and some lighter ones. We choose a number of Netflix Originals that look really nice.

Private Life

Sometimes it is painful, but that is mainly because it is so true. The film Private Life with Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahns touches the sensitive chord, while it is really not just drama. Private Life tells the story of a middle-aged couple who want a baby. However, that is not so obvious that the two vanalles must try to get it done. That is at the expense of their marriage, until their niece comes to sleep with them and everything changes. A tough subject, but brought in a much lighter way than you would expect.


Gerald’s Game

On Netflix, you will find the necessary films based on the work of the thriller/horror writer Stephen King. The same goes for Gerald’s Game, which he penned in 1992. The game takes place in one room, where a woman is chained to bed. Her husband is also present in the room, but he died during their sex game. It is a bizarre and fierce film in which Carla Gugino gives everything. Not only in her acting work but also her character must do everything she can to get away from her uncomfortable situation. She has to do pretty extreme things and psychologically jump through a lot of hoops to get ahead.


The Irishman

Netflix often works with big names, as the Irishman recently demonstrated. It is the new film from Martin Scorsese, for which you really have to sit down. Firstly because it is a long sitting (3.5 hours) and secondly because this is a film to watch with your full attention. The masterpiece of Scorsese makes Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino come together again in a strong crime film. It is a war veteran who will work for the Mafia, but that world is rock hard: The Irishman is full of conflicts, strong personalities and wonderful drama.


Dolemite is my Name

Eddie Murphy is back in Dolemite is my Name , a comedy that follows the life of actor Rudy Ray Moore. Actually, that is not a good description of this man, who therefore emerges in the film as a director of special action films. Nice touch, also Wesley Snipes from Blade makes his comeback in this Netflix Original. This man would have preferred to be the president of America, but in this movie (especially at the end) you see that that might not be a great idea.


Bird box

It is not a brilliant film, but Bird Box is very entertaining. In this apocalyptic sci-fi-flick, Sandra Bullock plays a woman who has to live as a blind man, along with the rest of the world. You will be confronted with suicide by opening your eyes, with fear that children will take the blindfold off and with the uncertainty of what can and cannot be done in this strange new world. It is not for nothing that this film has been viewed more than 45 million times in the first week: it makes you think about how we live. Moreover, it is always nice to see Sandra Bullock again, luckily for us with our eyes open.


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Review: What the Waters Left Behind – Los olvidados (2017)

What the Waters Left Behind – Los olvidados (2017)

Directed by: Luciano Onetti, Nicolás Onetti | 94 minutes | horror | Actors: Paula Brasca, Mirta Busnelli, Victorio D’Alessandro, Damián Dreizik, Chucho Fernandez, Tamara Garzón, Pablo Guisa Koestinger, Victoria Maurette, Agustín Pardella, Paula Sartor

Writing a promotional text for the back cover of a B-movie is a profession in itself. An Oscar film sells itself, but selling an obscure Argentine horror film is another story. The lyricist who is responsible for the promo talk on the cover of ‘What The Waters Left Behind’ does his best, but sentences such as “you have to see this” and “this fall’s horror film” show that he has not watched this production himself …

In “What The Waters Left Behind” a film crew moves to Epecuén. This is a tourist village in Argentina that was hit by a flood and has since been declared uninhabitable. The crew wants to make a documentary about this place and has persuaded an elderly resident to travel to the disaster site and tell about her experiences. What the team does not know is that there is indeed life on Epecuén.

According to press information, “What The Waters Left Behind” won first prize at the Fantasy Film Competition organized by INCAA in Argentina. In addition, the trailer of this movie is apparently listed on YouTube as one of the most watched movie trailers in the world. The directing brothers Nicolás and Luciano Onetti can be rightly proud of this. Unfortunately their movie is not very good and that hurts. This horror film does a few things very well. The setting, an apocalyptic no man’s land that has been destroyed by a flood, is beautifully portrayed. The film uses warm, bright colors and you don’t expect that from a brutal slasher.

In addition to the beautiful visual language, the special effects also stand out. The violence is portrayed brutally and without compromise. In terms of gore, it is also good with this film. The villains’ costumes are also terrifying. Especially an immense deer skull that serves as a mask is downright creepy. Unfortunately, a very bad editing, a broken script and a boring plot twist ensure that this film does not stick anywhere.

Nicolás and Luciano Onetti go wrong during the editing. This slasher has been edited downright confused and seems to be missing a few crucial scenes. For example, you suddenly see people running away from a villain who was nowhere to be seen a scene before. At one point, alienating stills are also used that suddenly color the screen red. These visual tricks appear just as suddenly as they end. That has an alienating effect and suggests that several people have worked on the editing of this film. The narrative tempo is off and the way characters are written out of the film is rather abrupt.

Despite the strong gore and the beautiful decor, this film can be called downright boring at times. The characters never transcend the predicate caricature. The plot twist at the end can be seen from miles away and quite easily copies an iconic horror film that introduced the chainsaw as a murder weapon. A shame, because there is a great horror film hidden between the poorly pasted scenes. Unfortunately, it will not come out.

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Review: Widows (2018)

Directed by: Steve McQueen | 130 minutes | crime, drama | Actors: Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, Jon Bernthal, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Coburn Goss, Michelle Rodriguez, Alejandro Verdin, Bailey Rhyse Walters, Elizabeth Debicki, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell, Jacki Weaver, Molly Kunz, James Vincent Meredith , Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Eric C. Lymch, Michael Harney

Nothing is as nice as a nice heist film in time. However, it becomes surprising when Steve McQueen, known for beautiful art house favorites like “Shame” and “Hunger” and Oscar winner “12 Years A Slave”, ventures into this genre. And no, Vin Diesel, George Clooney and The Rock happily stay at home this time, it’s the turn of the power women. Does this mainly result in a film in which the gender swap mainly serves as a fun but unsurprising gimmick, as previously in a film such as “Ocean’s 8”, or is McQueen simply too much of an artist for that? To ask the question is to answer it.

Anyone who saw the posters or trailer for “Widows” must have looked up in a moment of intimidation. As if Steve McQueen was walking around Hollywood with a magnet to gather some Oscar winners around him, then looked for some more proven talent, and to top it all off, hired Gillian Flynn as co-screenwriter, previously responsible for the cast-iron ‘Gone Girl’ . Can of course also be potentially dangerous: too many well-known headlines do not automatically produce a strong film.

Basically, “Widows” follows a fairly straightforward storyline: veteran robber Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson) and his crew see a robbery fail miserably, resulting in a deadly confrontation with the police. Result: four mourning widows. Complication: the loot of more than two million dollars that goes to the grave. Harry’s wife Veronica (Viola Davis in her now almost usual Oscar form) is then confronted with her husband’s estate when the robbed party comes to get a story. Whether she wants to pay back the two million within a month.

In icy, hypothermic panic, she then makes contact with two of the other widows: Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), after which they must jointly use their creativity to commit a robbery themselves. Parallel to their storyline, we follow the electoral battle between Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry) and Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell), as the latter grapples with the shadow of his overbearing, all-powerful father (Robert Duvall). The rest of the cast includes Carrie Coon, Jacki Weaver and a convincingly terrifying Daniel Kaluuya.

One of Steve McQueen’s main goals with “Widows” was to reach a larger audience, which seems a more realistic possibility with this genre and cast than with his previous work. And yet it is questionable whether ‘Widows’ will be popular with the popcorn audience, because the action in the film is kept to a remarkable minimum, although McQueen shows in the stunningly shot opening scene that he is also more than excellent with action scenes. can. McQueen focuses his camera in “Widows” much more on the psychological development and backgrounds of the characters. For example, the film clearly shows that all female characters were in a sense tormented by their partners: Veronica by trauma, Linda by her husband’s unstoppable gambling addiction and Alice by a man with loose hands. In essence, “Widows” is therefore much more than a gender swap heist film. The film can be read much more as a feminist-psychological thriller, in which the heist elements mainly serve to propel the plot.

With such a potpourri of themes, as a director you have to watch out for the balance, but fortunately McQueen knows how to dose most of the dramatic entanglements (including some insidious twists) excellently, with Viola Davis as insanely strong super glue. While watching the film, the question sometimes arises whether this film could not have worked even better as a mini-series, because some characters remain somewhat underexposed. “Widows” is therefore a rare example of a film that could have gone on for several hours, not least because of the stunning visual style of McQueen and the strong acting performances.

In short, “Widows” is much more than your thirteen-in-a-dozen popcorn heist. The strength of the film lies mainly in the emotional development of the characters, carried by an actor’s ensemble to be frightened. Those who expect a ready-made action thriller will be disappointed, the audience that expects a little more than pief-paf-poof will be eagerly sought after. Steve McQueen is simply too strong as a filmmaker to produce just a “simple film”.

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Review: Football Is War (2018)

Football Is War (2018)

Director: Hans Heijnen | 83 minutes | documentary

There is a good chance that you have already seen fragments from the documentary “Football is war” somewhere in recent months. When director Hans Heijnen released a trailer, the images went viral very quickly, partly due to the unmistakable words of trainer Eric Meijers about his keeper (“what a shitty keeper”) and the local media (“shitty newspaper!”). The documentary follows a football club that slowly collapses from its sky-high ambitions.

Achilles ’29 from Groesbeek is a club that has been operating in the highest echelons of amateur football for years. But the club, led by the eccentric Derks family (brothers Harrie and Frans and sister Elrie), wants more. They decide to use an experiment by the KNVB football association to apply for a professional license and to be promoted to the Eerste Divisie in 2013 (the second highest professional level in the Netherlands).

The situation in 2018? A bankruptcy, an almost completely resigned group of players due to the non-payment of salaries and an inglorious last place in the Third (!) Division. The ominous music in the opening scene of “Football is war” sets the tone in that regard: the documentary is a chronicle of an inevitable downfall.

The hilarious videos of a trainer who no longer seems to have his emotions under control, seem to be driving on a somewhat crazy documentary; “Football is war” is above all a tragic portrait of a club that is completely destroyed by the unstoppable ambitions of the Derks family. Shady constructions with Brazilian banks; arrests by the FIOD and the continuous finger pointing to the media, KNVB and players: the image that the documentary creates of the family is not exactly rosy.

But “Football is war” is at the same time also an intimate portrait of an amateur club where old mastodons take a closer look at the club while playing cards and where most supporters are not at all waiting to play a professional club. It makes the image of the slowly crumbling club all the more poignant.

The ‘cunt-keeper’ images will probably follow trainer Eric Meijers for the rest of his career, although the documentary also offers some nuance in the image of the trainer, especially because he has even become entangled in the web of an overambitious family. . The fact that one of the Derks brothers is emerging as a dictatorial assistant coach is a lot more poignant, and a shining example of the fairly unhealthy influence of the family on the club. “Football is War” can therefore indirectly be read much more as an indictment of the way of acting of the Derks family, than as an easy-scoring documentary that wants to put a trainer on hold.

“Football is war” is a fascinating portrait of a football club where the pride of a family caused a thunderous fall into the deep end. Director Hans Heijnen must have imagined himself a child in a candy store when he was allowed to film almost everything during the disastrous relegation season. In “Football is war” the sword of Damocles falls mercilessly down: after all, not much is left of Achilles ’29. What has it delivered? An endlessly intriguing, at times tragicomic documentary that can serve as teaching material for any football club that wants to live beyond its means in order to get ahead. Biggest Losers? The supporters, who prefer to just watch a match and not at all waiting for hassle about millions of loans and professional licenses.

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فلم ریویو: مقدس جنگیں Sacred Games ۔۔۔ احمد ثانی

ثبات ھے تغیّر کو صرف زمانے میں۔۔۔

نیٹ فلیکس Netflix کی ایک نئی ڈرامہ سیریز جسے سیف علی خان اور نوازالدین صدیقی جسے نگینوں سے سجایا گیا ھے، 2006 میں وکرم چندرا کی جانب سے لکھے گئے ایک ناول کو نیٹ فلیکس کی پہلی اوریجنل انڈین سیریز کی کہانی بننے کا اعجاز حاصل ہوا۔ سیریز کے دو ڈائریکٹر میں سے ایک انوراگ کیشیئپ کسی تعارف کے محتاج نہیں۔ جولائی 2018 میں یہ سیریز ویب ٹی وی نیٹ فلیکس کے تھرو لانچ کی گئی جسکا پہلا سیزن 8 اقساط پر مشتمل ھے ۔
کوئی دو سے تین دھائی پہلے تک را اور ہمارے فرشتے سپیشل فنڈنگ کروا کر ایک دوسرے کے مُلکوں کے خلاف فلمیں بناتے تھے تاکہ رائے عامہ کو اپنے حق میں ہموار کیا جاسکے مگر تبدیلی نے یہاں بھی اپنا رنگ دکھایا اور اور جدید وقت کے جدید تقاضوں سے ہم آہنگ ہوتے ہوئے انڈین ایجنسی را نے را کی فنڈنگ سے آراستہ ڈرامہ سیریز ایک ایسے میڈیم سے لانچ کر دی کہ ہمارے فرشتے دیکھتے ہی رہ گئے۔ وقت کے تقاضوں سے ہم آہنگ نا ہونے کا یہ نقصان ہوتا ھے کہ ہمارا competitor ہم سے ایک قدم آگے نکل جاتا ھے اور ہم منہہ دیکھتے رہ جاتے ہیں ۔
مقدس جنگ سیریز سے متعلق کچھ بتانے سے پہلے میں اپنے ہم وطنوں کو سے یہ فیڈ بیک شیئر ضرور کرنا چاہوں گا کہ سینگ کٹوا کر کٹّے بننے والے معمر رانا جیسے بابوں اور حمزہ عباسی جیسے لونڈوں کو لیکر فلم بنا کر ایک محدود سرکٹ میں اپنی کامیابی اور دشمن کی ناکامی کا ڈھول پیٹنے سے بہتر ھے کہ آپ خود کو زمانے کی چال سے ہم آہنگ کریں اور اور وہی بجٹ سمارٹلی استعمال کرتے ہوئے دشمن کو صحیح اور جدید ترین فورمز سے دندان شکن جواب دیں ۔
اب کچھ Scared Game کی بابت بات ہو جائے۔ آئی ایم ڈی بی سے 2•9 اور rotten tommatos سے 89 فیصد ریٹنگ پاکر یہ سیریز اس سال کی ٹاپ ٹی وی سیریز میں جگہ پا چکی ہے۔  ایک لائن میں کہوں تو فلم کا موضوع بین الاقوامی دہشت گردی ھے اور جہاں دہشت گردی کی بات ہو وہاں ہمارے دشمن، مملکتِ خُداداد کو اس میں شامل کرنا اپنا قومی ایجنڈا سمجھتے ہیں سو اُسی ایجنڈے کو آگے بڑھاتے ہوئے یہ جدید پلیٹ فارم استعمال کیا گیا اور ایک ایسی ٹی وی سیریز لانچ کی گئی جس سے دشمن اپنا ایجنڈا باآسانی زبان زدوعام کرسکیں ۔
اس ٹی وی سیریز کو ہر طرح کے مصالحے سے آراستہ کیا گیا ھے اور خصوصا نوجوان نسل میں اسے مقبول بنانے کے لیئے انتہائی لُچر لینگوئج، تمثیلات اور فحش سینز سے مزیئن کرنے میں کوئی کمی روا نہی رکھی گئی۔ جسکا ثمر ڈرامہ لانچ کرنے والوں کو ان کی توقع سے زیادہ ملا ھے ۔
یہاں یہ واضح کر دوں کہ سیریز کا موضوع صرف پاکستان مخالفت نہیں بلکے دہشت گردی کے تانے بانے بڑی خوبصورتی سے مکروہ سیاست دانوں سے جوڑے گئے مذہب کا سیاست مین استعمال اور پھر سیاست دانوں کا لنک انڈر ورلڈ سے بھی بتایا گیا ھے مگر انڈیا کا وہ انڈر ورلڈ گینگ ہی کیا جسمیں کسی مسلمان کا نام نا آئے۔ سو اس سیریز میں بھی آپ کو کچھ ایسی کڑوی سچائیاں دیکھنے کو ملیں گیں۔ مجموعئ طور پر بہت اچھی پریزینٹیشن سے آراستہ مگر کسی حد تک کمزور سٹوری لیئے یہ سیریز آپ کے فارغ وقت کا اچھا نعم البدل ثابت ہو سکتی مگر خیال رھے کہ یہ سیریز PG ریٹنگ ھے ۔

بشکریہ: مکالمہ
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Review: The Rider (2017)

The Rider (2017)

Directed by: Chloé Zhao | 103 minutes | drama | Actors: Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau, Cat Clifford, Terri Dawn Pourier, Lane Scott, Tanner Langdeau, James Calhoon, Derrick Janis, Greg Barber, Steven DeWolfe, Leroy Pourier, Frank Steele

Rodeo artist Brady Blackburn lives with his father and autistic sister in a free-standing trailer in South Dakota. In a landscape of mountains, prairie, meandering rivers, green hills, in short: in authentic cowboy country. Native American Brady, like his father and friends, is a true horseman, riding a horse with the same ease as taming or training it. But the rodeo is a rough affair and one day Brady lands hard on the head. As a horse he was immediately put out of his misery, but Brady is not a horse. Once awakened from his coma, he courageously tries to pick up something from his old life.

And that is where Chloé Zhao’s wonderful American drama drama “The Rider” begins. Shot in hushed documentary style, in this case inevitable because the protagonists act out a dramatized version of their own lives (comparable to the Dutch circus drama “Calimucho” from 2008). Inventive, certainly, with the only drawback that the amateur actors are sometimes a little too aware of the film crew. And sometimes the dialogues sound a bit too much.

We were immediately sued because “The Rider” has nothing but good to offer. We end up in the unknown world of the professional horse man. We see fascinating and (of course) authentic images of the taming of a wild horse, we join the rodeo boys on a campfire outing and we visit the unfortunate rodeo hero Lane, which, after a car accident, is just not a greenhouse plant. This leads to heartbreaking scenes between Brady and Lane, two tough men who saw their dreams explode.

There are more heartbreaking scenes in “The Rider” and the film also has a strong theme in (not being able to) let go of dreams and desires. Sometimes too literally portrayed – Brady has a neurological problem that prevents him from loosening his grip (around a lead, for example) – but it is fascinating and universal. In addition, we fully enjoy the natural beauty of South Dakota.

With the calm and compelling “The Rider” we end up in a world where emotions never run high, but the suffering is marked on the beautiful heads. Where the autistic Lily, singing and chattering happily, keeps everything together unknowingly. Where Native American horsemen dream about things that are over and things that must someday come. And where life is as hard as it is incredibly beautiful.

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Review: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993)

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993)

Directed by: Lasse Hallström | 118 minutes | drama, comedy, romance | Actors: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen, Darlene Cates, Laura Harrington, Mary Kate Schellhardt, Kevin Tighe, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover

Some film buffs know Lasse Hallström mainly as the director of very sweet films like ‘Chocolat’ (2000), ‘The Cider House Rules’ (1999) and ‘The Shipping News’ (2001), but there was once a time when the Swedish director made a very different kind of cinema. Movies straight from the heart, sincere and pure. That was mainly before Hollywood started pulling at him, with Mitt Liv Som Hund (“My Life As A Dog” (1985)) as the absolute highlight. “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” is still quite in line with Hallström’s earlier work. The film exudes a somewhat surreal atmosphere due to the striking characters that pass in review. The beautiful soundtrack and the photography also make an important contribution to this beautiful film.

Endura is such a rippling American country town as there are so many. It seems as if nothing ever happens, but appearances are deceptive. Take the Grape family for example. There is everything going on there. Eldest son Gilbert (Johnny Depp) has taken the place of his father, who committed suicide in the basement several years ago. His younger brother Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio) is mentally handicapped and from time to time quite a burden to Gilbert, who bears all the responsibility after his father’s departure. Eldest sister Amy has taken on the role of mother of the family, as the 250-kilogram Bonnie Grape is confined to bed due to her excessive weight and hasn’t left home for seven years. And then there is teenage sister Ellen who is quite obstructive every now and then. Gilbert’s life is turned upside down when he meets the girl Becky (Juliette Lewis), who ends up stranded with her grandmother in Endura during the annual trailer trip. This meeting is a welcome change in the not so simple life of Gilbert Grape.

The film, based on the book of the same name by author Peter Hedges (he also wrote the screenplay) is a beautiful, moving story about everyday things. The cast is truly excellent, with a formidable Leonardo DiCaprio leading the way. At the time of this film he was only nineteen years old, but he made such an impression as the mentally handicapped Arnie Grape that he received an Oscar nomination. That the coveted statue eventually went to Tommy Lee Jones for his role in “The Fugitive” (1993) was perhaps a shame, but Leo’s name was certainly established in Hollywood.

The other actors, with Johnny Depp as the dreamy title hero and Mary Steenburgen as the horny neighbor in the lead, are also in great shape. Depp is of course used to playing outsiders (just before this film he made ‘Bennie & Joon’ (1993) and ‘Edward Scissorhands’ (1990)), and gives his character Gilbert Grape a meekness that covers the entire film like a blanket. . Of course, as a viewer, you can’t ignore Darlene Cates, the obese lady who plays mother Bonnie Grape. The scene where she leaves the police station and everyone on the street is staring at her is so poignant that even the viewer does not feel at ease watching it. The trick, however, is to portray Bonnie and Arnie Grape in such a way that you view them with sympathy instead of pity. And Hallström succeeded very well in this film.

Movies like “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” are not easy to summarize. But often films that fall into that category are very good. They show everyday life, carefully observed, the viewer gets to know the character bit by bit, as it were, and perhaps thereby also discovers a hidden side of himself. The fact that Hallström manages to combine these qualities with comedy, romance and even melodrama makes “What”s Eating Gilbert Grape” a sublime spectacle.

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Review: White Lightnin’ (2008)

White Lightnin’ (2008)

Directed by: Dominic Murphy | 84 minutes | drama | Actors: Edward Hogg, Stephanie Astalos-Jones, Kirk Bovill, Owen Campbell, Carrie Fisher, Stephen Lester, Wallace Merck, Damian Samuels, Clay Steakley, Allison Varnes, Raymond Waring, Muse Watson

“White Lightnin” is set in the white trash (under) class in rural West Virginia. This group often lives under poor conditions in the well-known trailer parks and is known for its rather fierce lifestyle and rough “manners”. It is a “spicy” film with sometimes strong images, but also with a lot of pitch-black and absurd humor that pokes fun at the situations in the story. Stereotypes are not avoided, this rural population is considered to be stupid and ugly and various characters have been made almost caricatures. However, it does set the mood. This is typically such a film that does find its way within the film festival world. You either love it or it hardly appeals to you, there is no middle way.

The film is inspired by a true story, but the person and events in the film are otherwise fictional. The film is told in the much used form of the flashback. Jesco is the son of a “mountain dancer” (a kind of tap dance). Jesco is difficult to educate, derails at a young age, sniffs gasoline and fuel for lighters. His father corrects him with a heavy hand and does not shy away from any harsh means. Jesco ends up in a strict educational institution, where he quickly learns to maintain himself. The basis for a more or less dramatic life has been laid. Later he ends up in labor camps and an institution for people with psychological problems. Despite these somewhat gloomy-sounding stories, it is precisely the jet-black humor that accompanies these events that is refreshing.

During his stay in the institution, his father is brutally murdered by – how could it be otherwise – more or less drunken villagers. Jesco (convincingly played by Edward Hogg) swears revenge, but at the same time meets a new love, a blonde flame, Cilla (a fine rendition of Carrie Fisher) who leaves her husband and children behind and travels with Jesco, who is now in his father’s footsteps. They lead a raw life full of booze and travel, but Cilla is homesick for her children. When Jesco (literally) goes crazy again, she abandons him. Jess spins out of control, goes off on a hunt for his father’s killers. The dramatic events then follow each other in quick succession. Hell and damnation, also in various striking thunder sermons, are inevitable.

The casting of the film is fine, the rural population is (sometimes even too) convincingly portrayed. The film is edited “quickly” with relatively short scene changes. The film is presented in beautiful pale and dull colors, with an accentuating color tone here and there, enhancing the atmosphere of the film. The soundtrack provides special support. A touch of horror, a lot of jet-black humor, atmospheric black-and-white images, raw people who stew a lot of booze and images of white trash in trailer parks make this a film that does not try to please, but that really is a film for the lover of the genre.

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Review: Walking with Dinosaurs – The 3D Movie (2013)

Walking with Dinosaurs – The 3D Movie (2013)

Directed by: Barry Cook, Neil Nightingale | 87 minutes | animation, action, family | Original Voice Cast: John Leguizamo, Justin Long, Tiya Sircar, Skyler Stone, Charlie Rowe, Angourie Rice, Michael Leone | Dutch voice cast: Johnny Kraaijkamp jr., Freek Vonk, Georgina Verbaan

Since paleontological science began to develop in earnest during the nineteenth century and more and more remains of prehistoric giants were unearthed by fossil hunters such as the legendary American ruffs Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh (who disliked each other’s eyes and had a violent fought in competition for the best and most beautiful finds), dinosaurs can already count on the warm interest of a wide audience. Children in particular are often immensely fascinated by the prehistoric giants, animals that defy the imagination and are barely comparable in size and appearance to most modern life forms.

Film and television makers have also known for a while that dinosaurs are potential gold mines, which has already resulted in quite a few films and series of often varying quality. One of the greatest dinosaur productions of all time is the BBC series “Walking with Dinosaurs”, a visually stunning documentary series that first aired in 1999. Although the film “Walking with Dinosaurs – The 3D Movie” carries the same title as the renowned series, the print is still largely based on a different target group. Walking with Dinosaurs – The 3D Movie is primarily a family film, complete with talking dinosaurs, a prehistoric bird as a narrator, a love story and a modest dose of tenderness and drama. The print is built around the protagonist Patchi, a young Pachyrhinosaurus who has to overcome a number of setbacks and challenges on his way to adulthood. He has a lot to do with his self-confident macho brother Scowler, who yearns for a future leadership role, but there are also constant dangers lurking in the form of predatory dinosaurs such as the great Gorgosaurus, flying predatory reptiles (pterosaurs) and the small but oh so intelligent Troodon.

Visually, “Walking with Dinosaurs – The 3D Movie” looks absolutely fantastic. Obviously, a great deal of time and attention has gone into the dinosaurs’ appearance. The prehistoric creatures brought to life with the help of computer models look so lifelike that you can see the muscles of the animals moving under the skin. Of course, the colors and shape of the scales and feathers that covered most of the dino skins is always a guess, but all the dinosaurs in Walking with Dinosaurs – The 3D Movie certainly look credible. Many of the appearances of the prehistoric protagonists are derived in part from contemporary examples from the animal world, such as the pheasant-like coloring of the bird-like Hesperonychus and the lizard-like appearance of the carnivorous Gorgosaurus. The most impressive scenes are the parts where we see the gigantic dinosaur herds traveling in a very realistic way through the impressive looking landscapes of prehistoric North America. In this case, the three-dimensional approach clearly enhances the overwhelming effect of the images.

While “Walking with Dinosaurs – The 3D Movie” will visually appeal to people of various age groups, the story is primarily aimed at children. Certainly the Dutch version, including Johnny Kraaijkamp jr. As the speaking Alexornis, Freek Vonk as the popular science voice-over and Georgina Verbaan as Patchi’s dinoliefje, is sometimes quite childish and marketing-wise mainly aimed at boys and their parents. That in itself does not have to be a problem, but the brand name “Walking with Dinosaurs” and the trailer may raise other expectations. Moreover, the film also contains a few moments – think for example of the scene in which Patchi’s parents are attacked by a couple of Gorgosaurs – that can be a bit scary for the smaller spectators in the room. Still, “Walking with Dinosaurs – The 3D Movie” is by and large a fun family movie and a beautiful cross-fertilization of technology and entertainment, enriched with a touch of science.

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Review: Wild (2014)

Wild (2014)

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée | 115 minutes | biography, drama | Actors: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, Keene McRae, Michiel Huisman, W. Earl Brown, Gaby Hoffmann, Kevin Rankin, Brian Van Holt, Cliff De Young, Mo McRae, Will Cuddy, Leigh Parker, Nick Eversman, Ray Buckley , Randy Schulman

“You can always give up” murmurs through Cheryl Strayed’s head. The little blonde makes her first meters on the Pacific Crest Trail that runs from Mexico to Canada. Her hiking backpack is far too heavy, but the burden of her troubled life weighs much harder on her shoulders. Thus begins “Wild”, the true biography “Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found”, filmed by Jean-Marc Vallée.

Cheryl’s ex Paul no longer knows how to help her. She is no longer the woman he met when they got married. Reckless adultery and its dormant hard drug use has driven a wedge into the once-happy life they led together. Cheryl’s mom, Bobbi, is her best friend and compass in life. The final blow comes when she is diagnosed with cancer.

Cheryl and her brother visit the hospital daily, but they arrive too late on that particular day. Without being met beforehand by the nurses, Cheryl walks into the room and finds Bobbi lifeless. She is already prepared to serve as a donor. Then something snaps at Cheryl. She decides she wants to honor her mother by “walking back” to the woman who was once so lovingly raised by Bobbi to be a responsible person. With warm but also sharp memories playing in her mind, Strayed embarks on an immense and exhausting journey of 1100 miles. In total solitude. On the way to himself.

When seeing the trailer and movie poster, many people might think that “Wild” is the female equivalent of “Into The Wild”. However, this road movie is of a different kind. Filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée is no stranger to raw stories. His Oscar-winning “Dallas Buyers Club” has received worldwide acclaim and newcomer “Wild” has also been critically acclaimed and amply nominated at the Academy Awards, the Baftas and Golden Globes.

Making a compelling film about a solo walk of 1100 miles (about 1770 km) with in fact only one lead actress is not easy, but Vallée has certainly managed to tell Strayed’s moving, strong and poignant story. Reese Witherspoon (“Legally Blonde”) is not inferior to his talent. Her acting is almost hallucinatory, which is underlined with musical soundscapes and dreamy internal monologues. Witherspoon is portrayed as a tough aunt while the real Cheryl Strayed was immersed in self-pity. The character of mother Bobbi, played by Laura Dern (‘Jurassic Park’), unfortunately does not get enough room to develop in these 115 minutes, but the warm mother love and the impact she has on her daughter’s life is well illustrated.

“Wild” is a feast for the eyes. You will be cinematographically (again the work of Yves Bélanger) very spoiled with the immeasurable and desolate beauty of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.