Berichten uit november, 2014 weergeven

The Two Faces of January (2013)

Dir: Hossein Amini - Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Oscar Isaac, Daisy Bevan, David Warshofsky, Karayianni Margaux, Yigit Ozscener, James Sobol Kelly

A thriller based on the novel of the same title by Patricia Highsmith; the title refers to the Roman God Janus, the double-faced God of transitions and new beginnings, who gave his name to the month of January, the beginning of the new year. The title also refers to the characters played by Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac, who are both con man, not showing their real face to others.

Highsmith is best known for providing Hitchcock with the source material for “Strangers on a Train” and creating the character of Ripley, the young man with a talent for deceit and murder. Ripley is a rather unlikely Highsmith hero in the sense that he is successful in what he’s doing: most of her ‘heroes’ are people who almost accidentally get into trouble and then take all the wrong decisions, making things worse with every next step they…

Deconstructing Harry (1997)

Dir: Woody Allen - Cast: Woody Allen, Judy Davis, Kristie Alley, Richard Benjamin, Bob Balaban, Billy Crystal, Elisabeth Shue, Tobey McGuire, Paul Giamatti, Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore, Mariel Hemingway, Amy Irving, Robin Williams

A great comedy drama, along with Husbands and Wives (1992) Woody’s finest movie from the 90s. Woody is Harry Brown, a sex-obsessed author who lived through three marriages and numerous affairs. So far things seemed to go his way: he went to psychiatrists (six different ones) while others went nuts (including that one psychiatrist who became his wife), but now it’s pay-back time:  his real-life friends and lovers as well as the characters he created are trying to seek redress. Worst of all: his latest flame, a young admirer, has left him for a friend ...

Once again Woody gets the very best out of a great ensemble cast. Virtually everybody is in great form, but kudos go to Kristie Alley (as the psychiatrist/wife going nuts) and Elisabeth Shue (as the young lover …

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2014)

The first part of the trilogy ended with Smaug the dragon opening one eye, but it takes more than 100 minutes before we get to see him in this sequel, the ‘extra’ part created to turn the planned diptych into a triptych. If you ask me, they had better stuck to the original plans. This second entry feels too much like an entr’acte to be fully successful; it's still enjoyable, but it's hard to escape this feeling of redundancy and d√©ja vu. The first half is needlessly drawn-out, offering far too many Orcs, those stupid creatures that are killed by the dozens and never manage to kill one of the dwarves or elves. Suckers. You wonder why anybody’s afraid of them.

But okay, the film grossed more than $950 million worldwide and no-one wants to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, right? Money makes the dwarves go round, and round. And yes, there’s some good news too: the character of Tauriel, the Robina Hood of the Elves, created for the series to fill a few narrative gaps, is …