The Da Vinci Code (6/10)

The Da Vinci Code (2006)I read the book before the film, and I was glad I did. Without a little bit of background info, the film would have been even more confusing. I liked the first 75% of the book a lot, after that I felt the book faded out. I liked the last 25% of the film, the first 75% part was just plain boring, and completely lacked the intensity of the book.

There was no chemistry whatsoever between Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou, which is impressive as I both like them as actors. And I even liked Tom Hanks’ long hair, he looked quite cool with it. But it just wasn’t enough to make it work for me. I found Jean Reno irritating, and Paul Bettany as albino monk, naah come on.

The only real highlight in this film was Ian McKellen. Really fantastic actor, and Brit, but he couldn’t save this film either. The only reason this film gets a 6 is because it has some shots from London. Bonuspoints for that. The Louvre scenes are filmed in the UK too by the way, they rebuilt a part of the museum on the set.

So – should you see it ?
Well if you want to take part in the hype discussion about this film, you might want to. If not, pick another film to spent your money on. Which one ? Well The Squid and the Whale was quite allright actually.

Tagline A murder inside the Louvre and clues in Da Vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years — which could shake the foundations of Christianity.

Directed by Ron Howard

Cast Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany

Confetti (7.5/10)

Confetti (2006)Well you probably don’t want to hear more about elephants, so let’s talk about another favourite subject of mine : English actors. And don’t worry, it is not about him this time.

Confetti is the new British mockumentary that follows three couples as they battle it out to win the title of `Most Original Wedding of the Year’. Weddings still seem to be a good subject for a film. And maybe it could be a fun subject, but in Confetti it just isn’t. The three couples being a win obsessed pair of tennis players, a pair of nudists (and ofcourse they want to be married being naked, they are actually naked in the film, which is too much) and the last couple wants to have their marriage set as a musical. Well you can make a long list of cliches to use in a film like this, and they are all there. But I admit that the film has some funny and hilarious moments too.

There is one real highlight though, and his name is Martin Freeman. He was cute as Tim in the Office, he was cuter as Arthur Dent in Hitchhikers Guide, and he is cutest in Confetti. Cute and very funny.

So, if you like Martin Freeman, you might want to see it. If you don’t, well if you want to be entertained I guess it is an allright film. (7.5/10)

Movie roundup

And you thought I hadn’t been in the cinema lately ?

American Dreamz
Did this guy really make About a boy too ? (Well done film, one of the few films where Hugh Grant actually shows he can act). American Dreamz is the worst collection of cliches and cheap jokes. Absolutely rubbish.

Lucky Number Slevin
I just don’t like Josh Hartnett that much. Apart from that, this is a pretty violent movie, but it turned out to be better than I feared after the first 10 minutes. And Bruce Willis is becoming a kind of a cult actor.

Inside Man
Denzel Washington, Jody Foster, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Clive Owen, all messing about the perfect bank robbery. Or is it ?
Not as bad as you think actually, Spike Lee directs.

Read More

V for Vendetta (8.5/10)

V for Vendetta (2005)V for Vendetta

Tagline: A shadowy freedom fighter known only as V uses terrorist tactics to fight against his totalitarian society. Upon rescuing a girl from the secret police, he also finds his best chance at having an ally.

To be honest, I had no intentions of seeing this film, I thought it was just one of those crash-boom-bang films. The reason I went to see it anyway was it’s rave reviews. Maybe there was something anyway.

Here are 5 reasons why you might want to see it:

  • The screenplay is written by the writers of the Matrix trilogy. And the story is much more interesting and intelligent than you might think at first, or than I thought at first. It’s actually an excellent story, and it makes you think about things, a lot.
  • The film shows a future version of the UK. Call it science fiction, but it’s maybe not that far away from how things could develop. Not only in the UK, but in the world.
  • The film is partly filmed in London, and is also about London.
  • They blow up the Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben, which is a pretty impressive scene to watch.
  • It has Ben Miles in it. Why I like him ? I saw him live on stage in Richard II with Kevin Spacey, and he is a great actor (Ben Miles that is, and Kevin too of course).

Directed by James McTeigue
Cast Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt, Ben Miles

See it ? See it ! (8.5/10)

Tsotsi (8.5/10)

Tsotsi (2005)

Tagline : Six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang leader (Tsotsi).

Now here is a beautiful movie : Tsotsi. This movie won the Oscar for best foreign film, and even though that isn’t a guarantee for anything, in this case it is well deserved. The story might be on the edge of being sentimental, but the talented young actors are doing a great job in this film. There are beautiful shots from the slum areas in Johannesburg, and life definetely isn’t easy down there.

The film has some very violent and shocking scenes, but that is how Tsotsi’s life has been. There isn’t a real happy ending, happily I would say, and even though Tsotsi takes a drastic decision at the end of this film, you’ll leave the cinema with hopes for a better life for him.

See this film, it is beautiful, and a welcome alternative for the other overrated Oscar winning movies currently running in the cinema (Brokeback Mountain is an exception here).

Directed by Gavin Hood

Cast Presley Chweneyagae, Mothusi Magano, Israel Makoe

Kevin Spacey – Cool Cat

Kevin Spacey - Beyond The Sea

Sometimes you run into a movie, and it just blows you away. The Girl In The Cafe was one (oh really ? Yeah you didn’t know that did you) and today I saw Beyond the Sea. And if I didn’t already have a slight crush on Kevin Spacey, I certainly would have one now. Beyond the Sea is telling the story about the life of Bobby Darin, an american entertainer, singer and actor.

Kevin Spacey directed and produced this film. And apart from that he plays the main character Bobby Darin. And Kevin is just as spacey as Bill is, if there is going to be any singing in a film he is in, he is going to do it himself. Resulting in Kevin singing all the songs himself accompanied by a big band, and what a fantastic singer he is ! And if that wasn’t enough to get me glued to the screen, he is one hell of a dancer too. The girl definetely likes actors that can dance and sing well, and are sharpdressed doing it. And actors that are passionate, and Kevin Spacey is one.

It’s not a typical biography film, it’s more like a tribute from Spacey (being a fan of Darin) to Bobby Darin. But absolutely worthwhile seeing.

Robbie Williams go home. Swing with Spacey, then you’re winning.

I know, you want to hear Kevin sing, well go on then:
Beyond The Sea official site

I am ordering the soundtrack as we speak.

Somewhere beyond the sea
Somewhere waitin? for me
My lover stands on golden sands
And watches the ships that go sailin?.

Good Night, and Good Luck (8/10)

Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)Good Night, and Good Luck heeft al een hoop prijzen gewonnen, is ook genomineerd voor een Golden Globe, en deze film maaide een hoop prijzen weg uit de tuin van The Constant Gardener bij het Filmfestival in Venetie . Helaas, en misschien ook niet helemaal terecht.

Maar filmtechnisch is ie mooi, in zwart wit, mooie close ups, mooie muziek. Met een goede cast : Edward R. Murrow is indrukwekkend, Robert Downey Jr. begin ik steeds interessanter te vinden (en ja ik heb Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang al gezien), en George Clooney (die de film ook geregisseerd en geschreven heeft trouwens).

Het probleem is een beetje dat je als onvoorbereide kijker even in het verhaal moet komen. Want waar gaat het eigenlijk over. Het gaat over een Amerikaanse senator die met vrij rigoreuze maatregelen de communisten in de USA probeert te stoppen. Het probleem is alleen dat dit zonder enige bewijsvoering gebeurt (het is tenslotte USA) en David Strathairn, journalist en programmamaker bij de CBS gaat hier met zijn team in zijn programma kritische vragen over stellen. En dat doe je niet ongestraft.

Het is een interessante film, een waar gebeurd verhaal voor zover ik begrepen heb. De vraag is of deze film prijzen heeft gewonnen vanwege het lef om Amerikaanse politiek kritisch te belichten. Da’s niet genoeg voor een prijs wat mij betreft. Een mooie zwart wit film, maar hij haalt het wat mij betreft niet bij de gekleurdheid van The Constant Gardener. (8/10)

Mrs. Henderson Presents (9/10)

Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005)Mrs. Henderson Presents vertelt het verhaal van Laura Henderson (Judi Dench) die na de dood van haar man een theater in London koopt en dit opent als the Windmill, een theater dat de geschiedenis in gaat als het theater met revues met naakte dames. Als een soort Engelse pendant voor de Moulin Rouge in Parijs. Bo Hoskins speelt de rol van artistiek directeur.

Nu vond ik persoonlijk de film fantastisch. Ik vind Judi Dench een van de beste actrices uberhaupt, en dit is zeker haar film. Maar ik weet wel wat de recensies gaan schrijven : er zit veel vaart in de film in het begin, maar aan het einde verliest de film wat van zijn kracht. En daar hebben ze wel een beetje gelijk in. Maar er zitten heerlijke hilarische momenten in, een enkel snotter moment, en tja Judi Dench leeft haar dromen uit, en dat levert bij mij zowieso bonus punten op. En daarom krijgt de film wat mij betreft gewoon een dikke 9, omdat ik ontzettend kan genieten van top acteurs en actrices als Dench en ook Bo Hoskins.

Nog meer bonus : de engelse Popstar winnaar Will Young speelt een van de bijrollen (wel een beetje een watje maar hij doet het goed), en hij zingt ook verschillende nummers in de film. (Ik vind hem wel wat van Robbie hebben overigens)

Een erg fijne film als u het mij vraagt, en absoluut zien als je van Britse films houdt.

Director : Stephen Frears
Cast : Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins, Will Young (Popstar winner in de UK)

Elizabethtown (7.5/10)

Elizabethtown (2005)

Wat ? Elisabethtown ? Een film met Orlando Bloom ? Ben je ‘m vrijwillig gaan kijken ?
Ja ja ik weet het, maar ik was in London, en ik kon me niet echt concentreren op andere zaken. En ik had zin in een film waar ik niet na hoefde te denken. En heee Cameron Crowe (Vanilla Sky, Almost Famous ?n Jerry Maguire (en van mijn favorieten)) regiseerde, dus ik dacht …

En ik geef ook meteen toe dat dit de eerste film is waar ik Orlando redelijk vond, ik zal nooit een fan van hem worden, maar hier deed hij het eigenlijk best goed. Kirsten Dunst wordt ik aan de andere kant een beetje moe van.

Het verhaal was best aardig, zoetsappig en met het te verwachten kleffe einde, maar soms mag dat best.
Aangenaam vermaak, en een 7.5 van de 10.

Als ik terug kon spoelen naar Blue Orange, deed ik het meteen.

The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy (42/5)

The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy

I know you are waiting for my opinion about The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, the movie. So here it is.

Since this was a preview, there were people in bathing gowns, and on ever chair in the cinema there was a towel.

A towel… is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have.
Douglas Adams

OK, you can see that this isn’t a mega million science fiction film, but despite that, it has a lot of beautiful special effects, especially throughout the end. But this film doesn’t really need the funky effect, because the story is so crazy, original and funny, and is filled with hilarious moments, that you don’t have the time to realize that the special effects aren’t there.

Marvin and the voice of Alan Rickman is very funny, and so are the sighing doors in the spaceship, the whale, the Vogons are fantastic (Jim Henson), and Ford and Slartibartfast are extremely cool in this film. Arthur Dent is British enough in this one, and , well you better go and see it for yourself.

The film has this typical British touch, but that only makes it better. It is rather close to the book if you ask me, and I recommend you to read the book up front (it is only 150 pages). It is good to be prepared, because a lot of the somewhat weirdish names and places are all over the place in the film.

The stars : Slartibartfast (6), Marvin (5), Ford Prefect (4), Arthur Dent(4), Zaphod Beeblebrox(3), Trillian (3), The Vogons (5), Deep Thought (4), The Mice (4), The Dolpins (4).

Which adds up to a total of : 42 – Oh my god …

The Girl In The Cafe (10/10)

Bill Nighy in The Girl In The CafeThe Girl In The Cafe is part og the project.
And you can’t get away from it, this film has a political message too. Quite an important one.

If you don’t like that in a film, don’t worry, focus on the fantastic acting performance of Bill Nighy. In Love Actually I found him slightly odd, but funny, but after The Girl in The Cafe he has been rocketing into my “The coolest guys on earth” top 10. What a fantastic actor.

The Girl in the Cafe did remind me a bit of the atmosphere in Lost in Translation.
And it is a tv film, it hasn’t been out in the cinemas.

No doubt in my mind, this is the best film of 2005 for me.

Do you want to see this film ? Then you might consider joining my The Girl In The Cafe on tour project.