The Cabin in the Woods * Drew Goddard (2012)

The box and IMDb suggests this to be a “mystery” and the cover suggests that much, but do not put your money on that! “The Cabin In The Woods” is mostly just another teen-horror-slasher in which a group of youngsters go to a cabin in the woods in order to be brutally slain.
From the beginning there is an uncommon and somewhat sick element that is worked out in a bit too silly way and this does not really raise the film above the teen-slash-horror genre and everything goes very predictable, not unamusing though. Then towards the end two characters open a Pandora’s box which allows the director to pull off every single horror cliché from the shelves and throw in his entire special effects budget. These 20 minutes are highly entertaining.
The film closes with the obligatory ‘intelligent twist’ that should explain all that happened before. Man, what a drag.
Anyways, certainly not a good film, but it is not boring and has one good part.

Wristcutters: A Love Story * Goran Dukic (2006)

This absurd comedy could have been made in Scandinavia, but the director is Kroatian and most actors American.
Zia makes an end to his life, only to find out that the afterlife is an exact copy of life on earth; just as boring and depressing. He meets the weird, Russian folkrock singer Eugene and the two set out to explore the new land. Soon they run into the beautiful Mikal and the film turns into a roadmovie with some pretty weird elements. Since every knows they are dead, the humour is rather black and slightly absurdistic. As the title suggest, there is also room for romance.
A nice strange little comedy.

Pacific Rim * Guillermo del Toro (2013)

A film of Guillermo del Toto with Ron Perlman, that has got to be something, right? Perlman indeed is great, but his character is in the film rather short. Of Del Toro I can only conclude that this is not his best film. By far…
It is not like “Pacific Rim” is a terrible movie, but here we obviously have a massive production in which a good director aims for the big, American audience. “Pacific Rim” is a scifi spectacle that might have been better without the big bucks.
A century ahead larger than life aliens are taking over the world. They come from the ocean where ‘our side’ of a wormhole is located, which is called “the breech”. In order to defend itself, mankind developped larger than life robots, operated by human beings. Of course these machines are human-formed, quite like the machines that are used in “The Matrix” to defend Zion. Del Toro came up with a highly unlikely way of operating that initially only seems to add some sort of “Inception”-like element to the film, but lateron it looks like he needed this element to explain another twist in the story, but it still makes the way of operating quite silly. The story is as predictable as a drive to work, but fortunately Del Toro managed to sneak in some elements of his own visually and message-wise.
The film is not boring or bad, but might have come from any Hollywood blockbuster director. Now I get a bit of a “Dune” feeling…

Birth * Jonathan Glazer (2004)

Indeed it was because Glazer’s latest (“Under The Skin”) now plays in Dutch filmhouses that I noticed “Birth”. Birth is about a women who looses her husband and 10 years later a young boy says he is him. The woman (Anna) is wonderfully played by Nicole Kidman. Anna goes from disbelief and denial to doubt and eventually acceptation. Kidman seems to be the only good element of the film though. Other actors are less convincing and especially the story with its terrible conclusion is very weak.
Not a very convincing film. The unlikely basis could (should) have been worked out better.

Wolf * Jim Taihuttu (2013)

In this Dutch film we follow Majid and Adil, two small criminals of Maroccan descent. Majid is on parole and living with his parents, but Adil remained the in the criminal milieu, rapidly drawing Majid back in when he is out of prison. Trying to remain on right track Majid keeps falling back in old customs. Then when he picks up the sport he is good at, kickboxing, Majib seems to find a patron, but this again navigates him in dubious circles. Moreover, his uncontrollable anger keeps getting him in trouble.
“Wolf” (the word means the same in English and Dutch) is much more of a drama than the crime thriller it is listed as. The film is fairly good and gives a nice peak in the slightly hopeless situation of second generation Maroccans. Taihuttu uses a lot of bleak ‘living-factory’ shots to add to the atmosphere (not really an advertisement of my country!) Not the 7.4 that the film gets on IMDb for me, but not a bad film either.

Stoker * Chan-wook Park (2013)

What can I say about “Stoker”? The story is one that has been filmed a thousand times. In a remote house lives a family, one of the members dies and unknown family comes to live with them; obviously up to no good. The story of “Stoker” keeps reminding of other films, is quite unimaginable and predictable. The director has made some (for the Westerner) less common films, but apparently wanted to make some easy for a Hollywood production. In a few scenes you might see less common Hollywood elements.
Then to the good news. Mia Wasikowska is the sweet and sexy daughter of the house and manages to set down the mood-changing adolescent well. Then we have the mother of the house: Nicole Kidman. Not her best part, but Kidman can play the both sweet and wrathfull mother. The best thing about “Stoker” is the camera-work. Unusual positions, strange close-ups, bright colours, that sort of stuff.
So, if you are interested in film-technique and not too much in a proper or original story and you can stand the awfull end, this slightly ‘thrillerish’ drama could be for you.

Bad Boy Bubby * Rolf de Heer (1993)

A Dutch director made an Australian film. It was not easy to see “Bad Boy Bubby”, I guess it is not a very famous film. It is not a very easy film either. It starts with Bubby living in some cellar under a factory with his mother. It looks like Bubby has not been out of this cellar since he was born, while he has reached the age of 35. This first part is a bit of a mix between Scandinavian absurdity and an “Eraserhead” bleak atmosphere (but not that industrial). When Bubby gets out of the cellar, he sets out to discover the world. As strange as Bubby is, as strange the world is to him. Still he mostly runs into people who are friendly to him, but not always.
“Bad Boy Bubby” is slow, minimalistic and weird and may therefor not be for everybody. If you like this type of film and you have not yet seen it, “Bad Boy Bubby” maybe an oldie to look out for.

Mr. Jones * Karl Mueller (2013)

And again a weak film from Netflix. I have either to find a way to more easily watch the American Netflix roster or just quit the service. “Mr. Jones” starts as a “Blair Witch Project” clone with two youngters going to a remote house to shoot a nature documentary. When they find out that their neighbour is the mysterious and disturbing artist Mr. Jones the subject of their documentary changes. In the Blair Witch style documentary about themselves (including the whining close up) they start to investigate people who worked with the artist and the premise of the house next door. Of course things go bad and the film finally evolves into something more interesting, a pretty dark and haunting horror. Nothing great though, but the atmosphere gets a lot better towards the end of the film.
Not really recommended…

Blitz * Elliott Lester (2011)

You see Jason Stratham on the cover right? That was the main reason to pick this film. Stratham plays his usual role of mr. touch-guy, this time being a policeman. The Blitz from the title is a serial-cop-killer that Stratham sets out to capture. The story is thin and has a bit too many flaws and the last 10 minutes are awfull. For the rest, you can expect a rough Stratham action with funny dialogues.
Just something for when you do not know what to watch.

Los Abrazos Rotos * Pedro Almodóvar (2009)

Not exactly the mystery thriller that Netflix promised, but there is a very good reason to watch this film if you have not yet seen it: Penelope Cruz who is absolutely stunning. Cruz plays the girlfriend of a rich man, but she also becomes actress so Almodóvar could experiment with her hair (it all looks wonderfull) and style and shift from ‘real life’ to ‘film life’. Naturally Cruz’ man is jealous and that is exactly what the film is about. In the Almodóvar style the film is told in flashbacks and as a history told to someone else. The span of the film covers many years which allowed the director different atmospheres and returning characters. Nothing brilliant, but like most Almodóvars a nice film to watch.

Search website

Other info

Fantasy bombast

During two airplaneflights I have killed some time watching to fantasy spectacles. First the lauded "Avatar", second the first "Hobbit". I did not expect "Avatar" to be some sort of "Matrix", but the famous blue characters inhabit some sort of 'inbetweenworld' that men can only come using some sort of machine. The film is an 'ecological awareness' film and I hope that all the people who saw the film picked up something of the message.
The "Hobbit" then seems to have been given in by all the people who did not find the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy spectactular enough. Over-the-top action, tons of special effects and a high speed; yep, LOTR in overdrive. I personally prefer the worked out story of the earlier trilogy.
Anyway, on corny earphones in a noisy plane it is close to impossible to follow dialogues, so I undoubtely missed so much from the films that I decided not to really review then. I do not think I will watch either again on my couch if you are curious about that.

Pandrogeny Manifesto on Youtube

This comment was on such a strange place, that I almost spammed it. When I checked what this was about, I found a film with Genesis P-Orridge. The director apparently uploaded his 2006 short to Youtube for your entertainment. Check it out if you are interested. (more…)

Breaking Bad

Now that I think of it, we also watched the first series of the lauded series "Breaking Bad". The series have a nice joke here and there, but also here the first series did not make me want to watch the second. Many people say that the series develops, but frankly, when you want people to watch your series, the first have to be very good, right? I guess I missed that part.

Series

We usually spend one evening a week watching series. Not on TV though, I am terrible with following things on TV, I just want to watch something when I want to watch it. Also I am no fond of all these 7+ season series and consequentally not of still running series. Also I find little of interest actually. (more…)

Enter The Void

It has been a while since I saw "Enter The Void". Taking that the DVD would be released by now, I thought I would get myself a copy and watch it again. Well, the DVD is available, but from the average DVD shop downtown... Fortunately there is the internet.

Four days of Dexter

The circumstances were thus that we watched "Dexter" four nights in a row, it were the first eight episodes of the second series. "Dexter" started in 2006 and is still running (season 6). (more…)

Il Campeggio dei Morti Viventi

Remember "Horizonica" (2007)? The team of "Schat Ik Ga Fietsen" is working on a new full-length "Nederhorror" ("Netherhorror" after the Netherlands) zombie slasher with a plethora of volunteers. Make-up is done by Suzy Terror (who else), Ramon Etman (director of "Horizonica") has his influence because of the cooperation of "Broet. The title is in Italian "Il Campeggio dei Morti Viventi" and on the Facebook page you can find more information. Also 'Googling' the title will bring up Youtube 'trailers' and the like. It looks like there will be some zombies in the film that I know, just as in "Horizonica", hopefully "Il Campeggio..." will be a bit better :-)

Dexter

As a new series we got ourselves "Dexter". These series actually have a 9.3 on IMdB (just as Twin Peaks) and a friend of mine says that it is getter better with every episode, even upto the fifth series. I am no fond of still running series, neither of series with too many seasons, but last week we saw the pilot and first (or second) episode. As in "American Psycho" we get the viewpoint of a serial killer. We hear him thinking, the story is with him as focal point. Dexter is an adopted child and has had urges to kill since his youth. His adoptive father, a policeman, knew all about these urges and taught Dexter to use them 'for good', hense, kill the people the police cannot catch. In his normal life Dexter is a forensic expert with "blood splatter patterns" as his speciality. The police is not his employer, but he works for them. His (step?)sister followed her father's footsteps. Dexters jog inspires his other work.
The first two episodes were amusing, but not brilliant. The series have a grim sense of humour and it is funny that a serial killer is the hero of a popular series. I know that I gave all the information already, but I myself wonder how a series of five seasons with 12 episodes each remain interesting when the pilot already gives everything away. I suppose it does not (and so neither did I) or the writers manage to keep coming up with new ideas. Time will tell.