Movie Rewatch: The Incredibles

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by Brad Bird

A rewatch for me

‘A family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, are forced into action to save the world.’ (IMDb) (by Brad Bird, 115 min.)

I decided to rewatch this movie this weekend because I was feeling nostalgic and I forgot how much fun this film was. I wanted to revisit it, before the second one comes out next year. The action, the characters, the music, the images… these all show how good Pixar is at making a good, heartfelt family film. Because in the end that is what The Incredibles is.

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It’s the story about a family living beside each other, not knowing each other, being stuck in a routine. This is especially hard for them because they are superheroes and they don’t seem to fit in anywhere. It’s a universal story, which is the reason why this movie had so much success and is still, to this day, loved by so many people.  

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I liked everything about this movie and especially now, looking back at it being a bit older, I got so much more out of it. I was just so excited with every action point, every up and down in the story, the characters, the images, the music. It was just so great. They used a lot of little nods to James Bond, to the classics Westerns and to other action movies.

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This is a movie that can be enjoyed by adults and children, at any age actually. Because anyone can get something out of it and enjoy it. The story is easy to follow, and yet when seeing it now, there are so many little things that I now picked up, that I totally zapped on when I was a kid. I think this is really important when making a family film. It has to have a lot of different things for everyone to enjoy. 

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The graphics also make me think of those classic graphic novels. They use simple, yet powerful lines. Not going into too much detail, but staying focused on the most important lines and their functionality. Which is great, because you don’t get lost in all the details of the images (like it sometimes is the case with Inside Out, so many beautiful details), but you get to focus on the story and on the action that is portrayed.

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I really would highly suggest that you see this movie again really soon, if only to prepare yourself for the sequel that has been announced. This should come out in our cinemas in summer 2018 and I can’t wait to see it. First, for the trailer and any sneak peeks they can give us, but especially for the entire film. We have waited so long for a second film and now we’ll finally get one.

8/10 stars. I’ll definitely rewatch it really soon, and then again and again until the second one drops in cinemas.

Movie Review – A United Kingdom

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by Amma Asante

A tale of love, courage and perseverance

The story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana and how his loving but controversial marriage to a British white woman, Ruth Williams, put his kingdom into political and diplomatic turmoil.’ (IMDb) (by Amma Asante, 111 min.)

I was so utterly surprised by how much I liked this film. I knew I would love the story, because it is a well-known story of love and of courage and of two people fighting for each other and for the country they care so much for. But the way this movie was made, the way this story was told was just so beautiful, that I couldn’t stop watching and kept rooting for them to succeed.

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There are still some things about the story, about the film that bothered me a bit. At the beginning of the film I wasn’t connected to the characters. I just didn’t believe in their love. It felt a bit pushed and not real. Not because of the actors, because they were great, but I felt it was pushed a bit too quickly. I think the film would have benefited from it if they put in 10 more minutes of them falling in love with each other. Because now it was too quick for my taste. I had the feeling that the director, Amma Asante, wanted to get to the ‘juicy’ part, to the real story of this film.

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Which made it a bit harder for me to connect to the characters. I did find that Rosamund Pike was perfect as Ruth, a young woman falling in love and leaving everything behind and pack all her belongings to go off to Africa. She portrays Ruth perfectly. You feel with her when she starts her life in Africa and feels the racism and the difficulties to fit in there, which she also faced in England. The fears and the difficulties to learn the language, to make his people love her and accept her, became real and made the movie so much better towards the end. Their love became so much more apparent and real towards the end of the film. Actually from the moment he left to go back to England and she stayed behind in Botswana. 

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David Oyelowo was great as well. He has already played in so much of my favourite films, that it came as no surprise that he portrayed Seretse so well. You felt with him, with everything he went through. When he got the news that he was banned from his country and from his pregnant wife, that just hit me in the heart. He was vulnerable, yet so strong because he didn’t want to give up on Ruth. You could feel his love for his country, but that he also wanted to do the right thing, even if he knew that he would be met with a lot of resistance. There were so much emotions going through me while watching this. 

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This is a great example of the perfect combination of great acting, gorgeous images and the right use of music. If only the beginning of the film wasn’t pushed so much and didn’t go by so quickly, I think this would have been in the top 5 of my favourite films of the first half of 2017. I will be checking out Amma Asante’s next film, because I do feel she evolves with every story she tells and she knows how to put her land on film in such a beautiful way. Can’t wait to see what she brings out next.

7/10 stars.

Movie Review – Logan

Logan_05perfect end to this series

may contain small spoilers

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.’ (IMDb) (by James Mangold, 137 min.)

This was such a treat and one I wasn’t expected at all. I laughed, I cried, I shrieked in horror and I felt pumped by all the action scenes. Needless to say this movie left me with a lot of feelings and that, for me, is usually a sign that it was a great movie. To me anyways.

I wasn’t very familiar with the history of Logan and this specific Comic. I knew it existed, but for me it didn’t fit in my world of the X-Men. It was different. It told a much darker story, with an older Logan and I wasn’t ready for that. But now, seeing Hugh Jackman getting older and taking on the same role over and over again, his character not aging, but him, as an actor definitely getting there, I felt ready for this story. And apparently so did Marvel and the world.

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It was the right time to tell this story and to show us this part of the world. It does give us an entire new character to get to know and love, and probably follow, in Laura. And on this they played well. Because we still have the fierceness from Wolverine, but she’s different in a way. I found her part really interesting and I can’t wait to see what else she will bring to this world.

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I found the entire story interesting. It was a bit weird at first to hear them talk about their friends and colleagues in the past tense, but they gave us enough time to get used to it, before throwing us into the story and the action. And when the action started, man, it didn’t stop.

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I found the new, older, less improved, less perfect Wolverine a real treat on screen. He had so many layers and with his sickness, his dark thoughts, his job, the way he handles this kid that stepped into his life, he became a much more interesting character to follow. The way he handled all kinds of situations and the way he dealt with death in this film, showed me a Logan worth saying goodbye to. Because this movie is a goodbye. Don’t get me wrong, (no spoilers); but I cried several times in this film.

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Every character got their beautiful goodbye in this film, their final scene in this world. And it touched me. It was like saying goodbye to characters that grew with me, that made me grow to the person I am today. So when the credits rolled, it was like a gigantic chapter of my life got to an end and I turned the last page of this book.

The end was bittersweet. Saying goodbye to old favourites and welcoming new characters, new possibilities… 8/10 stars. Definitely earned.

Movie Review – Hacksaw Ridge

Another interesting WWII tale

HR_03‘WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.’ (IMDb) (by Mel Gibson, 139 min.)

This movie came as a total surprise to me. I didn’t know I would like it so much. The story itself interested me, but I was a bit afraid it wouldn’t touch me. That they would focus more on the fight and not his story. But I should have had faith in Mel Gibson and his storytelling.

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Because he tells everything. We meet him when he’s a little kid. We see him growing up, trying to cope with his father who has Post-traumatic Stress Disorder after the First World War and who is the only one from his group who came back to America. Needless to say, that when Desmond told him he would go to war, he freaked out. Completely.

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But the most important thing here, is that Desmond didn’t fire a shot at all. Because of his faith he can’t touch a gun and certainly not fire one. He wanted to go to war to help others, to save them, to be of service and become a doctor.

It’s a very long film, but the entire story is just so compelling that you just don’t see the time pass by. You’re so enthralled in the film and in this story, especially at the end, that when the movie is over, you wish there was more.

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The most important reason I think that is, is off course Mel Gibson’s way of filming. He’s a master of images, of long historic tales with grand endings. The images are brilliant, the music adds to the feeling of the film and his direction of his actors is just on point.

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Again here the movie is carried by Andrew Garfield. He’s just perfect in this movie. Just like in silent, he takes this out of the normal-role and takes it even more out of this world. He is Desmond and his accent is just so believable. The way he carries himself and goes through everything at training. Never throwing his friends or comrades under the bus. He’s just a brilliant actor and I can’t wait to see what he’ll play next.

8/10 stars… I’ll definitely be watching this one again.

New Trailer Reviews (#3)

 

Tulip Fever

Tulip, Art and The Netherlands…

Being from Belgium, I’ve known a little bit about the history of the Netherlands and their beautiful flowers, the Tulips. Here, this movie will give us a combination of what they’re known for the best: Tulip and art. Now, this story does remind me a little bit of ‘The Girl With The Pearl Earring’, working with a similar story (painter falls in love with his subject). But with Alicia Vikander and Dane DeHaan, I can’t expect anything but greatness. These are highly talented actors and I can’t wait to see what they bring to the story.

Colossal

Anne Hathaway is a kickass Monster

Now this one seems interesting. Anne Hathaway gets her chance here to put her comedic talent to use in an action movie. It seems an interesting story, another twist to a genre overly present on screens nowadays. It seems dark and funny and I can’t wait to see what turn this story will take. I hope it doesn’t take itself too seriously or too funny, but that they easily find the perfect combination. This is a must-see for me.

The Defenders (Netflix)

Netflix Latest Marvel Story

I’m just not convinced. I’m not… You can say what you want, but they don’t seem an interesting match to me. The fun thing about the Avengers is that they are all so different and their differences make their combination interesting. Daredevil, Jessica Jonas, Luke Cage and the Iron Fist are all broody, dark people and I’m afraid they will all be mushed together. I’m just not sure about this one.

The Dark Tower

Another Stephen King Adaptation

Sometimes I get the feeling they don’t know what to film anymore. They keep picking up other stories that already have known success. This one seems  rather interesting, but I’m a bit scared that the trailer looks too good to be true. Knowing Stephen King and his Fantasy stories, there will be a lot of background and story you’ll have to know before understanding the entire world and I’m afraid the movie won’t be long enough to be explained logically. Either it will only be explaining the world to set everything up for the next film (if there is one). Or it will be more action and we’ll be guessing how the world works. I’ll definitely check this one out, but I’m not entirely sure whether I’ll see it in cinemas or at home. One thing I am excited about seeing is Matthew McConaghey as a bad guy. That must be so interesting.

Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan tackles a War story

This is one of my more anticipated movies of all time! Okay, of 2017. I mean Christopher Nolan who tackles the story of Dunkirk, what could go wrong. This can’t be any more than perfection. I can’t wait to see how he brings this story to life and if you look at the cast (except of Harry Styles, I mean, Euhm what the hell?) this movie will be brought to life by some amazing actors. I just… I can’t put my thoughts and emotions on paper, because I’m so excited! I’ll definitely check this one out in cinemas.

What do you think? Are any of these films on your watchlist? And which ones will you be seeing in cinemas?

Movie Review – Split

Split_01‘Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities. They must try to escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th’ (IMDb) (by M. Night Shyamalan, 117 min.)

This was one hell of a movie. I’ve never seen anything like it. Well, I have, but never made with such expertise and that captured my attention so intensely. The entire story is told in such a way that you keep guessing what will come next. Each little information you get, you absorb and can’t stop thinking how everything will turn out in the end. And I must say that, although I did see the end coming from a mile away, it didn’t disturb me one bit. The supernatural element to it made it interesting and even the little nod at the end, was very welcome. I think storywise this is a true treat, but it’s not what stole the show.

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What really made this movie stand out, are the performances. First off, we have to acknowledge Anya Taylor-Joy. She first came in the light in the movie The Witch (2015), the best horror movie that year. Already in her performance there, you could see the potential she has as an actress. The way she carries difficult scenes is remarkable, especially for someone so young. Here again, she puts down a beautiful performance, never overshadowing, always humble, but powerful at the same time. The perfect blend when it comes to such scenes.

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Same could be said of Izzie Coffey, who plays five-year-old Casey in the few flashbacks. Here we get more information about her past and this explains us certain things. She is really something, regardless of the fact she doesn’t says much, but we get so much more out of her silences and her glances. And this is just enough for this story. More would overshadow the difficulties and the effects this had on her character.

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The strongest and best performance in this entire movie is by James McAvoy. Not only does he play around 8-9 characters, he plays them in such a distinct way that you never loose track of which character is in the scene. This asks for so much knowledge, each character fully fleshed out, it just makes me wonder how he did it. He’s so remarkable and surely has to get a nod about this. He carries the entire movie. Giving enough to the others to help understand the story, but taking back the light when the moment needs it. Split wouldn’t be the same without him and I think M. Night Shyamalan made the perfect choice by picking him.

The combination of the story, the cinematography and the play of the actors, make this an unforgettable movie. A joy to watch. One that will stick with you and I do feel one that you’ll take more and more out of, every time you watch it.

8/10 stars. I really enjoyed this one and I’ll be sure to check it back when I have the opportunity.

Movie Review – Jackie

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by Pablo Larrain

‘Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband’s historic legacy.’ (IMDb) (by Pablo Larrain, 100 min.)

We all know the phrase: ‘Behind every strong man, there’s a strong woman’. And with the Kennedys this is especially the case and this is the main premise of this film.

It’s the story of what Jackie Kennedy went through the few days/weeks after her husband was shot. It shows us how strong she was and what she all did to make sure her husband and his name would be remembered. Sometimes coming over a bit cold, but never faltering in what she had to do.

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Natalie Portman is amazing as Jackie. Strong on the one hand, determined to never show the people how broken she actually is and then the few moments she’s alone, she lets go and we see how hard Kennedy’s death actually broke her. Natalie Portman carries this role through the ups and downs, never faltering and always true to the character.

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The only thing I could say about this film is the narration and how it was cut. The entire film we jump from one moment to the other. From a few days to a scene from the day itself, to a scene further in the story. In the beginning it was interesting because it was clear enough when the scenes were taking place in the actual storyline, but at the end it became a bit more scrambled and I must say I lost interest at some point because I just didn’t know when what was happening at a certain point.

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Being from Europe, I never grew up with this story in my history, only learning about it in high school and even then we never saw in detail what happened afterwards. I did learn a lot from it, but I would have liked to have some more explanations to be able to put the story more easily back together.

Beautifully shot, this is a must-see for everyone interested in Jackie’s story, but keep in mind it can be a bit jumbled.

6.5/10 stars.