Author Archives: Roy

City By The Sea – Michael Caton-Jones (2002)

I very common, but descent police drama. Robert de Niro is a detective who is put on a case in which a drug dealer was killed and dumped into a river. The prime suspect turns out to be his son. So we get a fairly typical police film with some extra drama.

Besides De Niro we also see Frances McDormand and a daughter of Robert de Niro.

Certainly not a must-see, but also not a waste of time.

Big Eyes – Tim Burton (2014)

Burton made a very ‘normal’ film, a drama about Margaret who has a very distinctive style of painting children with big eyes. She flees her first husband, soon runs into her second. This second husband proves fairly good in promoting her art, but under his own name…

In the 1950’ies we see a woman who tries to be independent but society is not ready for independent women so she keeps living under male domination. Until she decides to bring out the truth that is!

“Big Eyes” is an alright drama, but nothing really out of the ordinary.

Hero – Yimou Zhang (2002)

An epic, Chinese martial arts spectacle. The film does not really look as if it was adopted for a Western audience. There are many dialogues and some silly aspects in the fighting scenes. I guess that makes the film a little more interesting though.

The film is based on a legend in which some people want a king dead and we follow one such person. After ten years of practice, he became the best fighter and has built an elaborate plan to murder the king. We find him explaining his plan to the king and with flashbacks we get the story, or actually stories, since as the king understands that what is presented are not facts, the story changes.

The viewer is presented with massive fighting scenes and of course a lot of one-on-one sword fights with flying people and strange weapons. The film has some cultural and somewhat spiritual elements as well.

Sucker Punch – Zack Snyder (2011)

Catching up with this older Snyder. The title and the cover make me think this film is not for me, but I have to be able to prove myself wrong every now and then do I now? Well, I was right… What a terrible film!

Droopy face Emily Browning kills her father in the opening scene and is transferred to a mental asylum. This asylum then suddenly is a house for troubled girls that is also a brothel and when the girls dance for their customers, they are suddenly in some sort of violent shout-out game hunting monsters. It all becomes a dull mishmash of teeny drama and silly, hip fighting scenes with something that I suppose has to be psychological thriller elements.

The entire film I had the idea that the target audience has to be 15-minus. The dialogues, the drama, the action, it is all awfully boring. I guess the only reason that I finished the film is that I was doing something else while watching it. Because I finished it, I will not give it only one star, so I come at….:

Looper – Rian Johnson (2012)

In this time-travel film a “looper” is a hired killer for criminals of the future who send back the people they want executed. Not too surprisingly one of those sent back has the plan to prevent being caught by killing the person responsible for his apprehension.

The film is alright. The story is not too original with all the time-travel films that have been released and there are no big surprises except for the obligatory one at the end.

Not a bad film, but it need not to be very high up your watch-list.

I, Robot – Alex Proyas (2004)

In 2035 mankind is supported by robots on many fields, from household to the design and development of products. Robots become more and more advanced and the driving force behind this development created three laws that, when they are lived up to, prevent robots from getting the upper hand over humans.

Then the professor dies and a troubled officer of the homicide department (played by Will Smith) sets out to investigate.

“I, Robot” is a hardly surprising, but decently made, film in which some main questions and dangers of robotisation and artificial intelligence are mentioned. Of course this mostly leads to an American moralistic action film, but that is hardly surprising too.

Atomic Blonde – David Leitch (2017)

I expected a more over-the-top comic type of action film, but “Atomic Blonde” is more of a ‘normal’ action film. A hip one though, perhaps reminding a bit of the recent “Baby Driver“.

The film is set in 1989 Berlin, the year that the wall fell. Lorraine Broughton (a very pretty Charlize Theron) is sent to recover a killed agent, but in fact what her assignment is, is the recovery of a list of all spies that has been stolen. Lorraine is a very womanly agent, but also a fighting machine, so the film contains a lot of that. The story keeps toying with the who-is-loyal-to-whom theme.

Playing in the 1980’ies the film uses music from that time. It also has nice filming and colours.

Perhaps not an instant classic, but an enjoyable Hollywood action movie.

Barry Lyndon – Stanley Kubrick (1975)

This lengthy film has been on my wishlist for quite some time. For some reason ‘my usual film dealer’ does not have it.

Barry Lyndon is a young Irishman who lives in the 18th century upper class. He does not appear to be too fit for that upper class so, so he is forced to leave. Joining the army and travelling to the continent to fight Napoleon and his troops, Barry soon starts to find ways to get away from his duties tumbling into different adventures. When he finally works himself back into the upper class, Barry does not really prove himself to be a gentleman.

Compared to “A Clockwork Orange” (1971) “Barry Lyndon” is a very normal film, a costume drama. Kubrick appears to like to try different types of film. “Barry Lyndon” is not boring, but not a must-see either.

John Wick – Chad Stahelski (2014)

Keanu Reaves is John Wick, a man who looses his wife and shortly after some punks steal his car and kill his dog. What the punks do not know, is that Wick is the best killer around. What Wick does not know, is that one of the punks is the son of an influential high ranking criminal. Wick goes after the son, killing everybody who gets in his way.

Violence for the sake of violence with little story. There are some amusing findings in that little story though, such as a save hotel for criminals and rules of conduct in feuds.

The music is great and Wick’s anger comes across well. For the rest “John Wick” is but a violent action film.

Bridge Of Spies – Steven Spielberg (2015)

A fairly typical American spy film. During the Cold War a Russian spy is caught and to give the idea of a fair trial, a random lawyer (Tom Hanks) is appointed. The lawyer takes his job seriously. A bit too seriously according to some.

After defending the Russian spy, the lawyer is also involved in the trading of the spy against an American spy that was caught by the Russians. A very political game unfolds in Western Germany.

Perhaps “Bridge Of Spies” is not a too typical American spy film. The lawyer’s patriotism is not quite the same as that of his fellow Americans. In fact, he manages to point to the flaws in his supposed role accurately.

The film is is descent, but perhaps a bit too typical.