donderdag 13 december 2012

Review: Caesar Must Die

And so my computer once again returns to the store from whence it came to undergo yet another attempt to install Windows Vista - properly this time I hope. This means that once more I'll have very limited opportunities for about one or two weeks to update this blog. Do not despair though! Always, hope prevails. Today for example I had my second movie review, of an arthouse pseudo-docu drama called Caesar Must Die, posted on MovieScene, and the result (once again changed in terms of length from its original, this time at least by my own hand), can be found here:

Up next in my MS schedule is a press screening for Silent Hill: Revelation 3D next week. It'll be a nice reprieve from reviewing arthouse flicks (which is not to say I don't enjoy that). I sincerely hope my computer has returned to me by that time, otherwise I'll find writing a piece about said movie quite the challenge. Fortuitously, in darkness there is always a little light left, since the large amounts of spare time I now have at my disposal make it easier for me to watch the predecessor (simply named Silent Hill) to prepare me for the upcoming chore.

Oh, and supposedly The Hobbit arrived at theaters this week, which means I'll be tasked with the quest to see it despite overwhelming odds in the shape of the humongous masses on the same quest. If you thought Frodo had it bad, think again... Nobody ever said going to the movies for free is easy...

zondag 9 december 2012

Today's News: Fantastic Four Reborn

Posted this bit of news on MovieScene today:

Unlike the recent reboot of Spider-Man, in the case of the Fantastic Four a rebot is actually warranted, considering the lackluster quality of the previous pair of FF flicks (2005, 2007). Though not bad per se, they were surely disappointing next to their superior (in both plot and general execution) superhero counterparts like X-Men (2000) and Spider-Man (2002). To say they were cheesy would not be far off the mark. Casting decisions, vital for making Marvel's First Family come alive, were rather poor in some cases: both Ioan Gruffudd (Mr. Fantastic) and Jessica Alba (the Invisible Girl/Woman) lacked the necessary gravitas and chemistry to make their characters as compelling as their comic book counterparts. Likewise, Julian McMahon has unfortunately set his mark as one of the lamest super villains in the realm of comic book adaptations, playing a very unconvincing Dr. Doom that missed all the signs of intimidation and intelligence that ought to come with the character. However, both Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans did a decent job as the Thing and the Human Torch respectively. The latter in fact went on to play Captain America, both in his own film and in the superior ultimate superhero film The Avengers, so at least Evans proved himself as an actor capable of successfully bringing comic book characters to life. But it's clear two adequate bits of casting didn't make up for a good team of four, and the movie suffered from it.

Of course rebooting the Fantastic Four will also mean we'll be treated to the whole origin story all over again. Considering 20th Century-Fox's intentions to create its own Marvel shared universe (not an entirely original concept, granted, but still not something to dismiss), having the FF eventually join forces with the X-Men (and possibly Daredevil) on the big screen, a retelling of the group's history may not be such a bad idea, even though it will come as a redundancy to many fans, but undoubtedly not to most general spectators who are likely to have forgotten all about both existing FF films. It may sound harsh, but perhaps it's better to indeed forget about the previous two installments entirely in favour of establishing such a new cinematic corner of the Marvel Universe. Such a tactic worked for the Hulk, also a Marvel character that witnessed a revamping in order to bring it more in line with the upcoming Avengers movies. Fox better take a note from the result, The Incredible Hulk (2008), on how to stay true to a character without unnecessarily dishing out the whole origin story, instead telling us enough about it to understand the characters involved while delivering a wholly new story with an entirely different cast.

There's certainly room for improvement where the Fantastic Four are concerned. We have yet to see a movie about them that lives up to that first adjective after all. Can 'almost rookie' director Josh Trank pull it off? Chronicle showed us that he has an affinity for special effects but he also takes his time to tackle his characters' plight, though he's not afraid to cover ground already covered before (an abused kid going bad when superpowered, how original...). Given the subject matter and its previous history at the movies, seems exactly what we need then!

200th post by the way. Nice! Here's to at least as much posts in 2013!

woensdag 5 december 2012

Recensie: Sol LeWitt

Today witnesses the posting of my first actual movie review on, Sol LeWitt, a documentary about the American minimalist and conceptual artist of the same name. The result of my first press screening experience, which had me actually sitting in the theatre and watching the film instead of merely ushering attendants, in can be viewed here:

Sol LeWitt

Please note that my review has been cropped a little bit to get it more in line with MovieScene's style. It's a bit shorter than my average review posted on this blog (though that is probably only for the better), while some sentences and words have been changed in order not to alienate readers not used to overly long and thorough descriptions. So if you're reading this and you end up thinking, 'my, his style sure has improved/gotten worse!', keep in mind my writing style is very much the same. I'm just being reigned in a bit, it's a learning curve.

Here's to many more reviews to follow!

maandag 3 december 2012

Today's News: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Just posted this tidbit of news regarding the latest casting choice of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 over on

It's an interesting bit of casting, but I fear poor Dane might feel his career is getting repetitive, since his newly accepted role shares more than its fair share of similarities to his breakthrough role in Chronicle. However, Peter Parker better be sure to see that flick to realize what he's in for if he upsets his closest 'frenemy'...

zondag 2 december 2012

Game of Thrones Season 1 synopsis, Sinterklaas style

As of yesterday evening, Sinterklaas 2012 has come and gone for me. Me and my loved ones had a wonderful time, despite the grizzly weather and the typical frustrations it spawned (like wet presents). Even though I had less than a week to come up with suitable rhymes for the presents I gave to others, I think the result was pretty good. I'm especially proud of my 84 line piece of poetry describing the events depicted in season 1 of Game of Thrones, which I presented to my sister as a gift. Despite suggestions I ought to keep my writing brief, I showed what inspiration hath wrought when its subject is nothing but mesmerizingly inspirable. Simply for fun, I'm posting the poem here.

As seems more and more usual, it's written in Dutch. The Dutch language is ever more present on my blog, and I don't see this changing any time soon. In fact, I might decide to switch to full Dutch mode eventually, just to keep some consistency. Being the hypocrite that I am, I'll definitely keep my blog's name in English. 'De dag dat de nerd stil stond' just sounds too silly...

Voor Lady Saskia,

Fantasy is iets waar jij dol op bent
Dat is Sinterklaas nu toch wel bekend
Sint moet elk jaar weer uren zoeken
Naar door jou begeerde fantasy-boeken
Dat bezorgt hem soms heel wat stennis
Want van literatuur heeft hij weinig kennis
Ja, hij is echt meer van het audiovisuele
Letters op papier kunnen hem amper schele
Wat dat betreft wordt hij flink genaaid
Want fantasy-series zijn dun gezaaid
De zeven goden zij dank voor HBO
Die vond het fantasy-aanbod ook maar zo-zo
En benaderde de heer R.R. Martin
Die zag er gelukkig ook wel een gat in
Te verfilmen het Lied van Ijs en Vuur
Niet als miniserie, maar voor onbeperkte duur
Dat was een zeker schot in de roos
Want het resultaat is ongetwijfeld virtuoos
En ook al heb je de boeken al gelezen
De serie zal ook door jou worden geprezen
Natuurlijk heb je het al gezien
Maar 'n synopsis kan geen kwaad misschien
't Draait hoofdzakelijk om de heer Ned Stark
Een te edele en eerzame stijve hark
Wonend in een 'evil empire' in de dop
Zijn nobele aard kost hem nog eens de kop
Door de hand van de boze koningin
Die vreemd gaat met haar sexy twin
Telg van de rijke familie Lannister
Gebrand de macht te grijpen, hoe sinister!
Hun broertje Tyrion is nog niet zo kwaad
Zijn hart lijkt te zitten op de juiste plaats
Ook al is hij een dwerg, zijn lichaam maar klein
Zijn hoge sexdrift vindt menig vrouw toch fijn
Helaas wordt hij beschuldigd van moord
En door Starks verbolgen vrouw opgespoord
Maar weet hij zijn onverdiende straf te ontlopen
Door zich inventief vrij te kopen
Doch als z'n vader van zijn arrest krijgt te weten
Wordt er om de Imp een oorlog ontketend
Vervolgens sterft ook nog 'ns koning Robert
Die teveel alcohol had opgeslobberd
Zijn erfgenaam blijkt zijn gewetenloze zoon
En wanneer hij bestijgt de Ijz'ren Troon
Valt 't koninkrijk slechts narigheid ten deel
Al snel vliegen Noord en Zuid elkaar naar de keel
In een allesverwoestende strijd om de macht
Terwijl in het noorden valt de winterse nacht
Waardoor een oude mysterieuze kracht
Die duizenden jaren heeft afgewacht
Wakker wordt, volhartig smachtend
Om het ganse rijk af te slachten
Voor het land rest er slechts weinig hoop
Want iedereen ligt met elkaar overhoop
Doordat de adel meent dat de dreiging een grap is
Blijkt dat de grensbewaking nu maar slap is
Die laksheid zal 'n ieder zuur overkomen
Als 't rijk door zombies wordt overgenomen
En de enige redding voor het grote eiland
Ligt in haar oude verdreven vijand
Want in het oosten schuilt er nog Daenerys
Uitgehuwelijkt door haar broer, wat niet fair is
Nu wordt ze door krijgsheer Drogo bruut genomen
Maar gelukkig weet ze dit lot te overkomen
Want ook al moet ze zich heel vaak ontkleden
Ze weet haar eigen plannen te smeden
Om weer aan de macht in het rijk te geraken
Dankzij haar drietal kleine draken
En al die usurpators over de kling te jagen
In een zee van bloed zal dit haar behagen!
Zal zij des koninkrijk's pijn verzachten
Of zal zij zelf het rijk verkrachten
Ja ja, in Westeros is het een dolle boel
Waar lust en passie heerst over eergevoel
Met een gastrol voor het hoofd van George Bush
HBO's politiek is immers niet voor de poes
Bijna had dit tot een ernstig geschil geleid
En werd een fictieve oorlog bewaarheid
Want menig humorloze Republikein
Bleek nu tegen deze serie te zijn
Wees maar blij dat je in Nederland woont
Waar we van zulk conflict blijven verschoond
En dus zal Sint je fantasylust nu belonen
Met de eerste reeks van 't Spel der Tronen

Lord Sint