Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Most Violent Year is interesting

5 second plot: Abel is an honest business man in 1981 in New York City. He is about to purchase a new big place for his oil company. But his drivers are under attack, his oil is being stolen and he's got the district attorney on his tail. Although the going gets tough, he's not about to get going.

5 second review: I've never seen a movie about a heating oil company as interesting as this one. Oscar Isaac is one hell of an actor. The movie rests entirely on his shoulders. It's all about him and his charisma. Solid.

IMDb score: 7,3/10
Our score: 8/10

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Selma is a story that needs to be remembered

5 second plot: This is the story of the fight for equal voting rights led by Dr. Martin Luther King. The non-violent protest came to a turning point in 1965 in a small town in Alabama called Selma. The horrible images of peaceful protesters being beaten up by the police went around the world.

5 second review: It's a story about a great man fighting for a great cause. My heart skipped a beat a couple of times. Because this isn't fiction. The importance of the movie is that it makes us remember. It's a shame that it's a really boring production, except for a handful of memorable moments.

IMDb score: 7,7/10
Our score: 5/10

The Imitation Game is an extraordinary story

5 second plot: This is the true story of Alan Turing who built a machine that broke the German Enigma code in WWII, thus saving millions of lives. His work was top secret for a very long time, no-one knew what he had done. A couple of years after the war this exceptional hero was convicted for being gay.

5 second review: It's something we can't even imagine today, being convicted for homosexuality... And this was not that many years ago, this wasn't the Middle Ages. This is one of those great stories that needed to be told. The world needs to know who Alan Turing is. The movie is a little bit too boring for my taste, but that doesn't mean it's not good, it's just not very much my cup of tea. The performances are amazing, there's no discussion there.

IMDb score: 8,2/10
Our score: 6/10

The Gambler starts off boring

5 second plot: Jim is a gambler (duh). But he's not very good at gambling. He gets himself in a whole lot of trouble with the wrong crowd. And what does a gambler do when he's in trouble? He sinks even deeper. Yes, sir.

5 second review: I really wasn't looking forward to watching another gambling movie. The fact that he's a professor gives the story an extra dimension, but I wasn't buying it. But then John Goodman arrives on the scene. And all of a sudden, the movie starts making sense. And Mark Wahlberg starts making sense. So, all things considered: it's not all that bad. But please John Goodman, keep your clothes on. You are really disgusting naked man.

IMDb score: 6,2/10
Our score: 6,5/10

American Sniper honors a great hero

5 second plot: This is the true story of Chris Kyle, a Texas cowboy who decides one day to join the Navy SEALs and fight for his country. He becomes a world class sniper known as 'The Legend'. He does four tours in Irak. With all the horrible things he's seen, it's difficult for him to get back to the real world.

5 second review: You can feel there is a master filmmaker and an incredibly talented actor at work here. Clint Eastwood switches between time periods and places to keep the energy going and creates an enormous tension as we are sucked into the battlefield. This is a great movie about a great American hero.

IMDb score: 7,7/10
Our score: 8,5/10

Unbroken gets it right

5 second plot: This is the true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner and WWII survivor. But just barely. First his plane crashes in the ocean. Then he spends 47 days in a raft. To be rescued by a Japanese patrol boat and shipped off to a prisoner of war camp. Where he is beaten and humiliated until the end of the war.

5 second review: If this hadn't been a true story, it would have been far fetched. Angelina Jolie did a great job. Sometimes she gets a bit overly enthusiastic but then again: she is making a movie about a world class hero. The actors are off the charts amazing. You can see they had to go very deep. And you can also see that they really wanted to get it right, to honor the real men they portray.

IMDb score: 7,2/10
Our score: 8/10

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Redirected is not as cool as it thinks it is

5 second plot: Four thugs (well, three tugs and one sucker friend) rob a bad-ass gangster. The plan is to make a run for Malaysia with a shit load of money. But they get stuck in Lithuania. They run into so much trouble there that a bad-ass gangster on their tail seems to be the least of their worries.

5 second review: There are a couple of funny (the titty watch) and very original bits and pieces (the ambulance guys) in here but overall it's not as cool as we're made to believe it is. There are lots of 'fill-up' scenes with non-English speaking actors. I guess that must have been cheaper but it doesn't help elevate the quality of the movie.

IMDb score: 8,4/10
Our score: 4/10

Friday, December 19, 2014

Annie has its moments

5 second plot: Annie is a foster kid who has been looking for her parents her whole life. She lives with a foster mom that doesn't care very much about her or the other kids that are living there, but Annie keeps her spirit up and keeps putting a smile on everyone's face. She gets a chance to live a rich girl's life for a couple of weeks when she meets Will Stacks.

5 second review: This is not the legendary picture the first movie was (still is), but kids will probably like it. As an adult I really hated the grown-ups singing and dancing. It's terrible. The rest of the movie is definitely not perfect, but it has its fun moments, like a couple of great cameos and fun pop culture references.

IMDb score: 4,5/10
Our score: 5/10

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb hopefully ends here

5 second plot: We get the origin story of the magic tablet. It was predicted when the tablet was found that the end would come. And now this prediction seems to be coming true. The tablet is turning green and is losing its power. So now Larry has to travel to the British Museum of London to find a solution. Of course, since he brought the tablet, he wakes everyone up.

5 second review: Is it just me or does Neanderthal-Ben Stiller look a lot like Tom Cruise? After 30 minutes I was asking myself: why the fuck am I still watching this annoyingly childish garbage? But then the action kicks in. And then I blinked my eyes and it was already over.

IMDb score: 6,5/10
Our score: 2/10

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Still Alice is painful

5 second plot: Alice is diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer's disease. There is no cure, so she and her family can only stand by and watch as her condition gets worse.

5 second review: It's very painful watching her slip up, having awkward moments, forgetting important things. It's a sad and emotional story. Julianne Moore gives it all she's got. Her performance is amazing.

IMDb score: 7,6/10
Our score: 7/10

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ascension Part 1-2 sounds interesting

5 second plot: 50 years ago a spaceship was launched on a 100-year mission. The idea is to find a new home for mankind and to make sure humanity survives. Everything has been going relatively well, but now things are getting shook up by a series of events. Starting with the murder of a young woman.

5 second review: The space exploration theme is really interesting. The space station is really cool. It's got that awesome '50s vibe. But that doesn't go a long way. Everything is too artificial. It simply doesn't add up and it's often ridiculous and over the top. It's probably working towards something special but it's such a drag to get there.

IMDb score: 7,1/10
Our score: 6/10

Friday, December 12, 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings starts off with a bang

5 second plot: Moses and Ramses are best friends. They're like brothers. One day, Ramses finds out that Moses is a Hebrew. And not just any Hebrew. He's the one from the prophecy. The leader that will free all the slaves (Ramses' slaves) and guide them to the promised land. Ramses is not too happy about that.

5 second review: This movie starts off really cool with an awesome battle in amazing sets (and maybe a little bit of CGI). But then it slows down. And then the brutal plagues set in. They take like forever. And then finally the exodus begins, but there's no more mojo. It's just gone. It got stuck in the first half hour. So it's half an hour of great spectacle and two hours of boring aftermath.

IMDb score: 6,3/10
Our score: 4/10

Top Five gets on a roll

5 second plot: Andre Allen is a stand-up comedian and comedy movie star who wants to become a serious actor. Today a reporter follows him around while he prepares for his wedding the next day with a reality TV-star.

5 second review: The movie starts off with Chris Rock not being the star. It's like he lets everyone else (an awesome cast of friends and colleagues) shine but not himself. And he is totally unfunny. But then he starts getting on a roll and by the end of the movie he sparkles like a shining star.

IMDb score: 6,9/10
Our score: 8/10

The Captive is a puzzle

5 second plot: A nine year old girl is kidnapped. The police have got no clue what happened. Their best guess is that the father sold her. We (the viewer) know that she was kidnapped by a crazy guy who keeps her locked up in a hidden room in his house. Mom and dad drift further and further apart as the years pass. The dad doesn't give up hope and keeps looking for his little girl.

5 second review: It's not a movie that does a lot of explaining. You have to figure out yourself what the big picture is. It's not chronological either, which makes it even more of a puzzle. It's not easy to construct a story like this, but they did a great job. It makes this a very interesting watch. The bad guys are too well organized though. It's just too easy for them. That takes the realistic edge off of it.

IMDb score: 5,8/10
Our score: 7/10

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Interview is childishly funny

5 second plot: When the CIA finds out that North-Korean dictator Kim Jung-un is going to be interviewed on the talk-show Skylark Tonight they recruit the host and producer of the show to take him out.

5 second review: At first I thought James Franco was trying too hard to match the natural funniness of Seth Rogen. But when the story really kicks off it becomes so childishly funny while still trying to tackle real issues that I was completely with it. It's a lot of fun. If you like childishly funny of course.

IMDb score: 8,4/10
Our score: 7,5/10

Son of a Gun is a terrible title

5 second plot: JR is locked up in a maximum security prison for a couple of months. He's a good looking young fellow so a couple of tough inmates have an eye on him (you know). He gets protection from an even tougher guy. But this protection comes at a big price.

5 second review: Obi-Wan playing a tough son of a ... euhm... gun I guess? That's weird, but he does a great job. I had a hard time believing some other stuff, like the fact that they would put this young prick in a maximum security prison together with hard boiled criminals. The movie takes too much time to get going. It does get intense at a certain point, but it's just for a little while.

IMDb score: 6,7/10
Our score: 5,5/10

Monday, December 8, 2014

Into the Woods is silly

5 second plot: A baker and his wife try to reverse a curse by searching for four objects. As they search for these objects they meet a lot of interesting and well known fairy tale characters.

5 second review: I knew it was a musical but I still hoped that there wouldn't be too much singing involved. Because I really hate musicals. So this is not an objective review. I was just curious to find out how all those famous actors would look in fairy tale mode. It was a big disappointment. This childishly stupid movie annoyed me beyond imagination. And I think I don't like fairy tales that much actually.

IMDb score: 6,6/10
Our score: 0/10

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Librarians Season 1 Episode 1-2

5 second plot: There's a secret library that contains a lot of ancient knowledge and magical artifacts that can't fall into the wrong hands. In these first two episodes the librarian (there is only one) teams up with a new 'guardian' and a couple of very smart runner-up librarians to stop an evil secret organisation from releasing magic into the world.

5 second review: It could have been awesome and fun, but instead it just looks silly. And I don't mean funny silly, I mean stupid silly. It certainly isn't Indiana Jones. And it doesn't look very professional: the CGI is not good, the sets are cardboard and the fights are awful. What a missed opportunity...

IMDb score: 7;1/10
Our score: 3/10

Zombies On Film: The Definitive Story of Undead Cinema

5 second book report: This book gives us an overview of all (well, let's say: most) movies featuring zombies. From White Zombie (1932) to World War Z (2013).

5 second review: Without getting lost in the academic discussion of what a zombie movie is (we all know when we're watching a zombie movie, even if it aren't text book zombies) this book gives us a crystal clear overview of its history. It's a very easy read with lots of amazing posters and movie stills. This is a must have for fans of the genre and a very nice to have for all movie lovers. Warmly recommended!

Our score: 10/10

Friday, December 5, 2014

Mr. Turner is not for everyone

5 second plot: The 'older' years of the famous painter J.M.W. Turner. Apparently a very smart, very creative and quite down to earth fella who traveled a lot and had himself some great adventures.

5 second review: This is definitely the performance of a lifetime for Timothy Spall. What an amazing actor. And what an amazing movie: great sets and costumes, beautifully shot, pausing from time to time to show us an image that will become a famous painting. There is a lot to be seen so keep your eyes open. It's not a movie for everyone. Turner is a bit eccentric and he meets lots of eccentric people. If you're not into that, I would pass on this one.

IMDb score: 7/10
Our score: 6,5/10

Lap Dance is a hard to believe true story

5 second plot: Monica and her boyfriend are on their way to who knows where when they find out that her father is very sick. To pay his medical bills Monica starts working as a stripper. The boyfriend's okay with that. At first.

5 second review: This is a true story apparently. But it's told in such a flat and unconvincing way that it's hard to believe. The director is stuttering through the movie like a kid learning how to read. Maybe he was too emotionally involved. But if your main goal is to watch video-clips of semi-naked women dancing, this is a safe bet.

IMDb score: 3,9/10
Our score: 0/10

Wild is all about the awesome Reese Witherspoon

5 second plot: After Cheryl loses her mom, ruins her marriage and gets addicted to heroine, she decides it's time get her head straight. Without any preparation she starts walking the Pacific Crest Trail that starts on the border of Mexico and goes all the way to the border of Canada.

5 second review: The toe nail! Aaaaaaaaauch! This is an amazing story and it's told in a very interesting way. But without a perfect performance from the lead character, this movie would suck big time. Luckily Reese Witherspoon nails it. She is awesome.

IMDb score: 7,3/10
Our score: 8/10

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies does not mesmerize

5 second plot: First there is the matter of the angry dragon. Then the dwarf king starts losing it due to gold fever. He almost gets himself in a dumb war with humans and elves. But then everyone's attention is required to face a giant army of nasty creatures.

5 second review: Be sure to make it on time for this movie. Otherwise you'll miss the dragon. I'm not sure I'm a big fan of The Hobbit trilogy. I can still remember how mesmerized I was by the Ring trilogy. There are too many crazy creatures which makes The Hobbit less grounded and less 'real'. Also, where's the humor? It's all serious and no fun (except for some Road Runner moments). Of course, everyone's dying all over the place so maybe it would be a bit inappropriate to be joking around.

IMDb score: 8,7/10
Our score: 6/10

Two and a Half Men Season 12 Episode 6-16

5 second plot:
Ep 6: Louis manipulates Alan into doing everything he wants. Walden is not amused, but Alan's so happy to finally be the cool dad.
Ep 7: While looking for friends for Louis, the guys meet three beautiful moms. It's getting more and more difficult for them to act being a gay married couple.
Ep 8: It's Christmas and the guys want it to be perfect for Louis.
Ep 9: Walden wants to meet up with Laurel again. But it's not easy to take it to the next level because the kids are always doing something that requires their immediate attention.
Ep 10: Ms. McMartin finds out that Alan and Walden lied to her to get Louis.
Ep 11: Walden joins a support group to learn more about parenting.
Ep 12: Alan cheats on Ms McMartin with Lindsay.
Ep 13: Now Walden is with Ms McMartin.
Ep 14: Walden grants Alan one wish. He wishes a Ferrari at first, but then changes it to an engagement ring for Lindsey.
Ep 15-16: Charlie is still alive. And he's out for revenge. He wants Alan and Walden dead

5 second review: There is a lot of awkward cheap sex talk. And a lot of hilarious jokes. And a lot of beautiful women in swim suits or spandexes. And a lot of jokes that missed their mark big time. But all things considered, they seem to have had great fun makes these last episodes. So did I watching them. I honestly don't understand the Charlie thing though. We were all long over him. But someone apparently wasn't.

IMDb score: 7,2/10
Our score: 8/10

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 8: Coda (mid season finale)

5 second plot: Rick catches up with the cop that got away. It does not end well for the cop. Gabriel gets the church overrun by walkers. Abraham arrives just in time to save the day. Rick and co prepare the exchange to get Beth and Carol back. But goddamned, they really can't catch a break.

5 second review: This episode will leave you hanging with that horrible Walking Dead feeling of injustice. It's a great episode, but what a wake up call... again. There are not many shows out there that can kick you in the nuts like this one.

IMDb score: 9,3/10
Our score: 9/10