Flushed Away – review (9/10)

So yes it was a part of the NFT youth program, but they had the preview, and I couldn’t wait to see Flushed Away (imdb) longer than absolutely necessary. It will be released this weekend, and it is safe to say that this is a film suitable for the whole family. Children (and the young at heart) can enjoy the story about pet posh mouse Roddy St. James (Hugh Jackman) from Kensington being flushed into the sewers of London. And adults can enjoy all the jokes and references to other films that are thrown at you along the way. It’s Aardman, so the characters do resemble the likes of Wallace & Grommit, but they are done through CGI. If you loved W&G you are going to love this.

There is a highly enjoyable voice cast with Ian McKellen (as the Toad), and Bill Nighy and Andy Serkis (Gollum) (as his henchmen) as the absolute highlights. And you’ll never look at slugs the same way again after this film. The soundtrack is rocking, the story entertaining and original. Take your family and go see it, it’s fun.

For me the whole reason to mingle into this youth program was of course Whitey, the big, not too bright, albino rat, brain damaged by all the shampoo tests they have done on him. “When I went in I was grey” is one of his remarks about this testlab, which he luckily seemed to have escaped to now work for The Toad, a big fat green monster, ruling it all in downtown London. Whitey is supposed to be the tough guy, he is much bigger than the others and wears lots of bling bling (think stereotype mafia bodyguard type). But he surely has his softspots, embarrassing his mate Spike by wearing pink woolen gloves with red hearts on it (it’s all Love Actually). And ending the story with “Oh I love a happy ending”. Absolutely Billiant.

Let’s see if they can keep the Penguins from snapping the Oscar for Best Animation Film this year. Highly recommended.

If you don’t believe me, check out the slugs : Everybody Dance Now!


Scenes of a sexual nature – review (9/10)

Scenes of a Sexual Nature

The last review for now, I promise. But this film deserves all the support it can get.

Scenes of a sexual nature (checkout the trailer) (IMDB)

Sex and love. Some seek it, some need it, some spurn it and some pay for it, but we’re all involved in it.

I guess you could consider this Love Actually for grown ups, or Life Actually maybe. Here you have 7 stories about relationships, 7 conversations between 7 x 2 people who in some way have a relation with each other. And all that filmed on a sunny day on Hampstead Heath, which is, as you all know, a perfect place to indulge some chocolate to enjoy a view over beautiful London and to speculate about life a bit.

Apart from the chocolate, that’s exactly what those people do. You get a peek into 7 different types of relationships. 7 short stories bundled together in one feature film. Nothing much really happens in the film, but it is strangely intrigueing and addicting to watch and I could have watched hours and hours more. Thanks to a great script with a lot of wit, and of course an army of talented British actors, this is a film absolutely worth seeing.

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Breaking and Entering – review (10/10)

Julliette Binoche and new talent Rafi Gavron in Breaking and Entering

OK: UK 1 – Denmark 1

Here is film number 3 entering the list of films with top ratings, one you simply have to see:

Breaking and Entering

That was the short version.
If you want the longer version, including reading how it was to attend a Q&A with Anthony Minghella, director of this film and of films like Cold Mountain, The Talented Mr. Ripley and the fantastic The English Patient, how incredibly inspiring it was for me to hear him talk about his work, and why I loved this film so much – well you know the drill. Clicketyclick.

Oh just one funny coincidence, both After the Wedding (Denmark) and Breaking and Entering (UK) have Sigur Ros on their soundtrack. Both beautiful songs, and both suiting so well into the atmosphere of both films. Of course you all know that the magical song in The Girl In The Cafe is by Sigur Ros too. If not – go and do your homework. Tssk.

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LFF : After the wedding – review (10/10)

Efter brylluppet (2006)

Cast Mads Mikkelsen, Rolf Lassg?rd, Sidse Babett Knudsen
Director Susanne Bier

I have to admit – the best films still get made in Denmark. And I felt awkward to watch a Danish film in a London cinema. There was a short moment of longing back, to the Danish cinemas and Danish film, but it faded.

We are in the middle of the London Film Festival here, it’s heaven, about 2 weeks with everything a film fanatic could wish for. Danish films for example.

Efter brylluppet tells the story about a (Danish) manager of an orphanage in India who is sent to Copenhagen, where he discovers a life-altering family secret.

This is a very intense and heart breaking film. It explores human nature and moral, and there is a lot to cry and think about, but the ending is hopeful and beautiful and you leave the cinema with a good feeling, knowing you have just seen a brilliant film, with fantastic acting.

Catch it if you can : 10/10. Together with Snow Cake, the best film I have seen this year. Release date for the UK is the 9th of March 2007, for the Netherlands it’s 16th of November.

I fell for Rolf Lassg?rd in Under Solen a beautiful Swedish film which I highly recommend. And Mads Mikkelsen will soon make his big international breakthrough in Casino Royale, the new James Bond film where he plays the villain opposite Daniel Craig. Another reason for me to look forward to the new Bond film.


Children of Men and The Departed – review

Children of Men (2006)

Children of Men

Tagline: In 2027, in a chaotic world in which humans can no longer procreate, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, where her child’s birth may help scientists save the future of humankind. No children. No future. No hope.

Very nice use of colours, beautiful shots of London about 20 years from now (and it doesn’ t look good), but generally a very dark film. Interesting story, and even though I am not a big fan of Clive Owen, a film that is worth seeing. Julianne Moore is in it too. (And she will be in New York on stage playing opposite Bill Nighy in December). Uhm, an 8 for Children of Men. Worth seeing.


The Departed (2006) The Departed

Tagline: Two men from opposite sides of the law are undercover within the Boston State Police department and the Irish mafia, but violence and bloodshed boil when discoveries are made, and the moles are dispatched to find out their enemy’s identities. Directed by Martin Scorsese.

If you want my honest opinion about The Departed, which you probably don’t, but I am going to give it anyway : I don’t really know. You got 2 brilliant actors (Jack Nicolson is very scary as a gangster) and Leonardo Di Caprio is excellent as the mole infiltrating in his world. And there is Matt Damon too, playing the dirty cop. There are some very violent moments (a lot of blood and a lot of killing), but they are played in such a casual way that you nearly feel like this is daily routine for them. I think I have to say that the acting was excellent, but that the story maybe was less than that, even though they avoided the cliche ending. Hypes like this – I normally don’t get them, is it because Scorsese directed that everybody (the film reviewers) feels they should be jumping ? A 7.5 from me. There was a lot of shooting going on, but I wasn’t blown away.


From posh to rock ‘n roll

I got a free ticket for a film at the Raindance festival. I had no idea what kind of film I was going to see, but it turned out to be Too Tough to Die: A Tribute to Johnny Ramone.
If you are a fan of the Ramones this is probably a must see. If you are a real true fan of the Ramones, you probably were there in the cinema, because Marky Ramone, one of the last Ramones alive, was there for a Q&A session after the film. Marky is a very popular guy, he has 5729 friends on Myspace. And Marky looked exactly as I remembered him from the days where I was truly young : tall, black clothes, too long hair (painted black) and a rock ‘n roll face.

If you are not a fan at all, like me, you would have bored yourself for about 2 hours, annoyed because the film was so loud that you couldn’t take a powernap. And wondering why everybody in the cinema seemed to think that the Ramones really were one of the biggest rock’n roll bands ever. Biggest rock ‘n roll band ever ? Rolling Stones would be my bet, but what do I know.

Eternal ramblings from a messed up mind II

Do not feed or flirt with me

I got internet at home again. Hurrah ! Now, BT, why exactly did it take 2 weeks to get that in order?

I have a little bit more respect for thelondonpaper.com, as they actually had a decent interview in today’s edition. With Kevin. He looks happy on the picture. And I love Kevin just a little more now because he describes London as “one of the most exiting, thrilling, energising and culturally alive cities in the world.”
Exactly Kevin, you got it.
And I respect him even more after reading that he is working in the Old Vic for free, his salary going directly back into the Old Vic. Passion it’s called. People with passion, I love. Living in the same city as the world’s 2 best actors, how good is that. On stage with the both of them.

Right. Class tonight was good, but 2 hours is simply too short, they need to do something about that. We watched a lot of shorts again, and I learned a great deal from that, again. I slowly start to understand how those films are built up. Might become handy later. In the mean time we need to think about a character for our short, and about ideas for shorts in general. They will come those ideas, won’t they? I don’t have to worry that, at this moment, they seem very far away. I need to have a talk with Davy.

I saw 2 films I am going to say something about.

The Queen with Helen Mirren. This film a behind the scenes portrait of how the royal family handled the news about Diana death. Helen Mirren gives an Oscar worthy performance. Another. Fantastic. British. Actress. Another great film. Go see it.

And yesterday I saw The Devil Wears Prada. Talking about great actresses : Meryl Streep is brilliant and hilarious as Fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestley. And Gideon’s Daughter Emily Blunt does well in this US blockbuster. The film is entertaining, recommended if you just want to relax and enjoy, and since it was situated in New York : I could feel the New York fever itching with every New York scene I saw. I am getting restless, I am counting down the days already, I look forward to you, New York. A lot.

And a last thing, I like this picture of Camden, it turns my world upside down. It was nice to be there in the quiet morning hours before the tourists take over the place. And the water is a wonderful mirror. I look forward to see Tina Dickow there next week.

I told you I had a messed up mind. Oh, and I am only kidding. Please do. Both the feeding and the flirting.

Snow Cake review (10/10)

Snow Cake (2006)
Alan Rickman in Snow Cake

I wanted to see it, because I like Alan Rickman (where has he been?). But I missed the early evening film, because my bus didn’t want to show up, first time I waited for a bus for over an hour. But I enjoyed being outside after 2 days in my room, so I didn’t really mind. The bus came eventually, and I went. I was there one and a half hour before the late evening film start, sat a bit on Piccadilly Circus, and then … it started raining. I like rain.

I like watching people in the rain. How they start running, or how they just don’t care. Some of them pull their umbrellas at the very first drops. Some of them go with umbrellas like mine normally looks like – the metal pins sticking out. There are golfers (I think) that have umbrellas so big that they can cover the half of London. And there are people like me, who have forgotten their umbrellas at home. Now I don’t mind a bit of rain, but this was more than a fair bit, and I more or less considered taking the bus home again. But again, the bus didn’t show up. And now there was only half an hour left, so I went to the cinema and bought my ticket. And that turned out to be a very good decision.

‘Cause there it was, the best film of 2006. And it had nothing to do with rain, but everything with snow. And life. And …

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Driving Lessons (8.5/10) review

Driving Lessons (2006)
Tagline: A coming of age story about a shy teenage boy (Grint) trying to escape from the influence of his domineering mother (Linney). His world changes when he begins to work for a retired actress (Walters).

If anyone is wondering why I love British films so much, and why they are so great – go see Driving Lessons. I know why they are great, they seem to have an unlimited stock of great actors in this country. Rupert Grint (Ron from Harry Potter) and Julie Walters (the dancing teacher in Billy Elliot) are doing such a great job in this warm and sympathic story. I highly recommend it. And I wasn’t the only one liking it.

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Movie roundup

Wah Wah (8.5/10)
Brit packed drama by Richard E. Grant which you should see for the cast alone : Gabriel Byrne (he is Irish), Miranda Richardson, Julie Waters and Nicolas Hoult. They are all truly great. Shot in Africa.

You might not know Nicolas Hoult by name, but he was the boy playing opposite Hugh Grant in About a Boy. He is 16 now, about twice as high, but he still has one of the most beautiful faces in cinema if you ask me. And he is turning into a great actor.

Atomized / Elementarteilchen (8/10)
German film with both Moritz Bleibtrue and Franka Potente (she is a favourite), you might know them from Lola Rennt (which is a favourite too). Interesting story about life, death and Love, or maybe the lack of it. Actually.

Hard Candy (8/10)
Incredible acting. And scenes so shocking because they don’t show you, they let you imagine what’s going on, and that is way scarier than showing. It is a very controversial film, men might have trouble watching it, I only looked away a few times, but overall I was impressed. Not for the faint hearted though.

The Lake House (7/10)
If films like this end up here it is because : I am feeling bad and just want to be entertained with a film where I don’t have to use my head or – I have seen all other films currently running and need my cinema fix. I don’t remember what was the case with this one, but I ended up seeing it. How bad was it? Well the story is crap of course, when I see Keanu Reeves I can only concentrate on his particular way of walking, but there was a nice dog in it, and it has a happy ending, so I got what I expected – entertained.

Hidden / Cache (5/10)

Hidden/Cache (2005)

A lot was Cache/Hidden in this film. Including the whole point of it. Hidden well, because I couldn’t find it. After 1.5 hour I was wondering if there ever was going to be a point at all. And then the very unsatisfying ending, nah let’s not waste any more words on it, I didn’t like it.

There was one memorable moment for me in this film though, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the film as such.

While watching a scene (the film’s location is France) where a car was driving on a road (where else should it drive, but you got the point), while we, as the viewers, were following this car I thought :

Hey, this car is driving on the wrong side of the road !

I am not making it up, my head really thought that. 4 months is obviously long enough for the brain to switch to the other side.

It’s going to be a warm and colourful weekend in London with Europride coming up.

Imagine Me & You (8.5/10)

Imagine Me & You (2005)

I was in a very bad mood, went into the cinema, and came out with a very big smile on my face after seeing Imagine Me & You. This not so typical (but still) rom com turned out to be a real mood booster. No one makes better rom coms than the Brits.

And Anthony Head (I never saw Buffy, but did you see him in Dr. Who ?) has now definetely reserved a place on my dreamcast list. He has a delicious voice, can play a charming Brit as nearly no other, and he is very very funny.

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United 93 (10/10)

United 93 (2006)If you would ask me how I felt after I saw United 93, I would say: I felt like if somebody had hit me very hard in my stomach. More than once. I had problems breathing and I couldn’t move the first 5 minutes after the film.

If you can handle that, you should see this film. Filmmaking doesn’t get any better than this.

Tagline: A real time account of the events on United Flight 93, one of the planes hijacked on 9/11 that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania when passengers foiled the terrorist plot.

Directed by Paul Greengrass (a Brit, you might know him from Bloody Sunday or the Bourne Supremacy)

Take me somewhere I can call a home

London Thames
I met up with 2 girls in the Starbucks on Leicester Square, and after some text communication about what we looked like, we found each other. We were going to see Prime. Prime was actually quite fun to watch, a real girls night out film, and if you love films like Love Actually you probably like this one too. Meryl Streep is hilarious, and they luckily chose the not too obvious endning. (a 7.5 for this one)

But this wasn’t the highlight of the evening for me.

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X-Men: The Last Stand (8/10)

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

X-Men: The Last Stand

I haven’t seen all X-Men films. I saw the first one when it came out, and wanted to see the last one, because of Ian McKellen. He is cool as the powerful carcrushing Magneto. And I happen to like slightly nerdish high tech films like these. It is not really the depth of the story it is about in X-Men, even though this 3rd one does have some moments of thought. No it’s the special effects, and they are very well done. Pure entertainment, and I haven’t looked at my watch at all during this film.

Tagline: When a cure is found to treat mutations, lines are drawn amongst the X-Men, led by Professor Charles Xavier (Stewart), and the Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organized under Xavier’s former ally, Magneto (McKellen).

Directed by Brett Ratner

Cast Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart

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