woensdag 30 december 2015
Het jaar zit er min of meer op, dus is het tijd voor de gebruikelijke lijstjes. Welke films die dit jaar het licht in het donker vormden kan ik iedereen aanbevelen, en welke moet een ieder absoluut zien te vermijden? Hieronder de links naar de lijstjes zoals ik die heb ingediend bij mijn voormalige werkgever, MovieScene.nl, en mijn huidige, FilmTotaal.nl, gevolgd door mijn wat uitgebreidere originele tekst.
MovieScene: Beste Films 2015
MovieScene: Slechtste Films 2015
FilmTotaal Top 10
Top 10 Beste Films
1. Jurassic World
Nou nou, wie had dat aan zien komen voor een JP fanaat als ik... Objectief gezien natuurlijk niet de beste, maar over Jurassic ben ik nooit objectief geweest en iedereen mag het weten. Ondanks die paar tekortkomingen (rennen in hoge hakken en zo) die ik domweg negeer, bleek het een emotioneel weerzien (vier keer, veel te weinig eigenlijk) met een oude vriend die ik veel te lang heb moeten missen (veertien lange, onafzienbare jaren). Een werkend park en hordes dino's is precies wat ik wilde hebben en precies wat ik kreeg. Welcome to Jurassic World! In de negen titels hierna volgt die gewraakte objectiviteit.
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
George Millers krankzinnige comeback naar de gekkigheid die hem eind jaren zeventig op de kaart zette blijkt zowel voor fans van het eerste uur als de nieuwe generatie een volslagen surrealistische en hyperactieve hellevaart. 'Over the top' krijgt een geheel nieuwe invulling en het publiek de beste actiefilm in jaren. 'What a film, what a lovely film!'
3. The Martian
Sir Ridley weet science in space na Nolans bombastische en wetenschappelijk absurde Interstellar weer interessant te krijgen met een zowel intiem als episch drama. Louter topacteurs en Mars zag er nog nooit zo prachtig maar toch zo vervaarlijk uit. Plus de beste Lord of the Rings verwijzing ooit.
4. Ex Machina
Dit fenomenaal gespeelde drama kruipt onder je huid en zet de verhoudingen met je techologische gadgets weer op scherp. Machines zijn zowel verleidelijk als beangstigend in deze intelligente maar constant onheilszwangere Sci-Fi thriller. Oscars voor de hele main cast alstublieft!
5. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
De hype was zoals verwacht een tikkeltje extreem, maar toch bleek TFA een geslaagde nieuwe Star Wars film die ons de teleurstellende prequels deed vergeten. Hoewel het verhaal bij vlagen een herbewerking van ouder materiaal leek, wist zowel de oude als de nieuwe cast te overtuigen. Het geheel werd met zoveel liefde door overduidelijke medefans geleverd dat het onmogelijk was er niet in mee te gaan. Toch zal ik meneer Abrams de begane misstappen bij die andere space opera franchise, Star Trek, niet vergeven.
6. Inside Out
Wie dacht dat Pixar tussen alle sequels door geen tijd meer had voor innovatieve ideeën bleek zich schromelijk te vergissen. De geest van Pixar leeft als nooit tevoren in deze Pixarfilm over de geest. Wederom een tranentrekker voor het hele gezin van de bovenste plank.
In de 'war on drugs' is het recht de grootste verliezer, stelt pessimist Denis Villeneuve. Dankzij dit zenuwslopende drama moeten we hem gelijk geven. Intense spanning, fantastische acteurs en een luguber einde dat nog een tijdje na blijft galmen, alles wat we gewend zijn van onze favoriete Canadese zwartkijker.
Na de teleurstelling van Avengers: Age of Ultron waren we wel toe aan iets heel anders, iets kleiners. We kregen het letterlijk in deze superheldenkomedie met een hart van goud. Ondanks het opstappen van Edgar Wright blijft zijn stempel qua komische opzet en energieke montage goddank herkenbaar behouden.
9. Er Ist Wieder Da
Lachen om Hitler, mag dat? Ja hoor, maar de boodschap dat de komst van een nieuwe Führer met even onfrisse opvattingen als de oude dichterbij is dan we wellicht zouden denken, gaat niet aan de kijker voorbij. Hilarisch maar confronterend tegelijk.
10. The Walk
Robert Zemeckis' ode aan doorzettende durfals kent een simpel plotje maar wordt met bijzonder veel vaart en enthousiasme verteld. Maar het is de techniek die deze bioscoopervaring compleet maakt. De derde dimensie wordt zelden met zoveel effect geleverd. Mensen met hoogtevrees kunnen wellicht beter thuis blijven. Jammer genoeg zal deze film in de thuisbios lang zo'n indruk niet maken.
Troep zat er helaas ook genoeg tussen dit jaar...
Top 5 Slechtste Films
Wat vroeger werkte, werkt nu vast ook wel, dachten de Hollywoodbonzen. Dus gaan we weer met de Griswalds op vakantie in de wetenschap dat alles fout zal gaan. Inclusief de grappen, want de humor is wel heel erg onleuk. Hoeveel lichaamssapgrappen kunnen er doodslaan in één klucht? En waarom moet alles sowieso terugvoeren op fysieke en seksuele onzekerheden in deze zeperd? Als alleen de auto nog een beetje op de lachspieren werkt, weet je dat het goed fout is gegaan.
2: Fantastic Four
Au... De slechtste Marvelbewerking tot nu toe. Wat ging er mis? Zo te zien alles, want werkelijk niks deugt aan dit fantastische viertal. Wie dacht dat de FF in 2005 al op hun bek gingen: het kan dus nog flink veel erger. Schrap dat vervolg a.u.b.!
3: The Green Inferno
Eli Roths kannibalenfilm met wel heel weinig kannibalisme, die veel te lang de tijd neemt om de irritante hoofdpersonen richting de kookpot te sturen waar we ze het liefste zien. Daar is een woord voor: saai.
4: Knock Knock
Eli Roth (alweer) imiteert Funny Games maar dan met twee wulpse maar vervelende jongedames. Dat pakt opvallend preuts uit en wordt nooit eng of confronterend. Wel slaapverwekkend.
5: Fifty Shades of Grey
Ik besef me dat ik de doelgroep niet ben, maar ik krijg het niet warm van al dit kitscherige gedweep met zweepjes. Wat mij betreft de saaiste seksscènes van 2015 in de minst opwindende erotische thriller.
2015 werd van tevoren al geacht een jubeljaar voor de industrie te zijn met het aangekondigde overweldigende filmaanbod. Hoewel de kassa's naar verwacht behoorlijk vaak en hard rinkelden (geloof me, ik heb het gevoeld!), viel het inhoudelijk beschouwd toch een tikkeltje tegen. De hype overheerste, maar werd meestal niet echt waargemaakt. Blockbusters die alles mee leken te hebben vielen tegen (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Spectre), voor elke heropgezochte klassieke reeks die onze gunst verwierf (Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Mad Max) viel er een andere vies tegen (Terminator, Vacation, Fantastic Four) en het aantal verrassingen vanuit het onafhankelijke/arthousecircuit was ook niet overdadig hoog. Wat dat laatste betreft moet ik eigenlijk mijn mond houden, want als deze lijstjes iets duidelijk maken is het dat ik het dit jaar veel te mainstream heb gehouden en te weinig aandacht heb geschonken aan de rest. Uiteraard heb ik er in mijn taak als recensent wel een aantal mee kunnen pikken, maar tijdgebrek heeft mij desondanks genoopt er te veel links te laten liggen. Daarin ligt dan gelijk een goed voornemen voor 2016... Minder hype, meer de grenzen opzoeken.
zondag 20 december 2015
Year of release: 2004
-Missile Launcher with missile
Description: unlike most other original Kenner dinosaur sculpts, this Raptor stands in a very active pose, with its legs in a walking mode, left arm outstretched and right arm held back, its head raised upwards and its mouth opened. The animal takes on an attack posture and looks ready to jump on an adversary with an agitated overall look. It has seemingly every right to be agitated since its body shows numerous signs of near misses with larger carnivores: it has scratches and scars all over his body, some small and hardly noticeable, others large and plain in sight. The largest scars look like claw marks and can be found on its back, its tail and both legs. Other noteworthy signs of abuse are the end of the tail, which isn’t just bent, but looks more like the bone has been broken and caused a deformity, as well as scratches on the left eye. Also a point of interest, this figure has rather large feet to keep it from falling over (though it often does so regardless when not leaning on the left arm). Its sickle like claws are a bit small and the toe they’re on is stuck way too much towards the back of the foot. This Velociraptor has a very simple attack action which has little to do with its attack posture. When the tail is moved from side to side, the head swings along as if the animal is making snapping movements.
This Raptor sports a rather intricate paint job. Though its underside (lower jaw, throat, belly, lower part of the tail and most of the arms and legs) is simply dull white, the top parts of the figure's body are much more detailed. The dominant colour is light green, which is most notable on the back, top parts of the limbs and the tail. Darker green stripes run over this lighter shade of green: a pair of them runs from the snout over the neck and back all the way to the end of the tail on each flank of the figure. Additional dark green stripes are found on the upper arms, while on the legs they from a big 'pear' shaped form. Small black stripes in random patterns are seen on the neck, back, upper legs and front half of the tail. The various gaping wounds on the figure's legs, left eye, back and tail are coloured bright red, giving the figure a definitely bloodied look. The eyes themselves are also coloured red, with black pupils and black eye liners. The sides of the mouth are coloured black, while the inside of the mouth is pink (and seems to be missing a clearly definable tongue!), and the figure sports white teeth. The Raptor also has black claws on its hands and feet, and a white JP logo on its left upper leg.
The Dino Trooper figure wears an orange (or light brown) jacket with dark brown spots and shapes on it and revealing a grey shirt underneath, as well as silver tags around his neck and golden insignia on his chest. He also sports a black utility belt with a silver clip, dark brown trousers (with black specks mixed in) and black boots. His trousers and shirt sport some slight tears, like he’s had a conflict with an unpleasant dinosaur. He has black hair and eye brows, small green eyes and a rather grim look on his face. He stands in a very odd pose, left leg stretched forwards and right leg bracing backwards, left arm reaching up and right arm pointing down, as if he's very startled by some prehistoric monster in front of him. His missile launcher is painted in a light brown colour: it can be loaded with a red missile, which is basically a stick with a large oval shape with two round holes in it at one end. Pushing the end of the stick makes the weapon being fired, sort of.
Analysis: Another often repainted TLWS1 figure used for JP: Dinosaurs 2 is this Cyclops Raptor, which doesn't live up to that original name because both eyes seem to be working fine, despite the heavy damage inflicted on this poor dinosaur. The package calls him simply Velociraptor, but Battle Scarred Raptor would suit him better. The scratches and huge scars have been present on this sculpt since day one, but this is the first time the toy designers actually make good use of them and paint them differently to enhance the poor health status of this Raptor. It works to great effect and makes this figure stand out excellently compared to its previous incarnations. The rest of the paint job works fairly good too, thanks to the different shades of green on top of each other and the various details like the black stripes, eyes and claws. The only real downside is the undetailed underside of the figure, which just seems like it was never painted at all and remained dull factory white. This white itself conflicts with the green and causes an ugly interplay between both colours, but because of the figure's stance most of this bad colouring remains unseen, except for its use on the limbs (and on the JP logo), so it causes only a minor grievance for the paint job as a whole. This Raptor still features a wiggly head attack option. It works okay, but it seems like the tail won't move as far as before, making the action a little less effective.
The Dino Trooper looks largely unappealing compared to the Raptor's cool paint job. His paint job, though still featuring nice little details like the tags, insignia and specks on the pants making them look muddy, is overall rather boring. Unfortunately the idiotic pose he assumes has also been left unchanged, making him topple over easily. His weapon is crappy like ever: not only is the firing mechanism a real let-down, because of the missile's odd shape it's also hard to hit a target. Even a sculpts standing as unstable as the Raptor (when not leaning on its left arm) will be hard pressed to be knocked over by this missile launcher. At least the Raptor's attack action can knock over the Trooper, so it's clear who would win this fight, heavy battle scarring or not...
Repaint: yes. This is a repaint of the TLWS1 Cyclops Raptor, which was repainted twice before for JPD1 and as a JP III Exclusive. The Dino Trooper is a JP III Military General repaint with repainted missile launcher. The Trooper would be repainted again for JP 2009 (sans weapon), but this would be the last time this Raptor sculpt got released.
Overall rating: 7/10. This Raptor sports quite a cool and detailed paint job, finally making full use of all the scarring and wounds on this sculpt, but the figure itself is still not great. The Trooper is a not very impressive repaint of a lousy figure with a boring weapon, which does do some damage to the set's overall appeal. Like all four dino/human two-packs, this is one of the more common JPD2 releases, and it can still be found without little trouble, usually (but not always) for decent prices.
zaterdag 12 december 2015
Year of release: 2004
Description: this four legged rhinoceros like dinosaur sports a predominantly brown paint job. Most of the animal (flanks, head and neck shield, legs, tail and back) is covered in a rather shiny dark shade of brown. The paint job accentuates the various lines and grooves in the creature's skin, making it appear this figure has more 'skin texture' than it did before. On its back, legs and tail, as well as around its eyes and on the shield, there are various different shapes of light brown (almost orange). Its underside (base of the tail, throat and belly) are coloured in a similar shade of light brown which gradually changes into aforementioned darker brown. The horny features on its head (beak, three horns and stumps on the cheeks) are coloured white. Its eyes are also brown and feature orange pupils, while the creature has a pink tongue. The claws on its feet are coloured black. On its left hind leg a white JP logo can be found.
This figure stands in a relatively neutral pose, though one might also say it stands in a defensive posture with its head lowered and front legs braced for attack. The end of its tail is bent slightly to the left. The animal has an attack action: when its right hind leg is moved back, his head raises considerably upwards, as if the animal is giving a head butt with its spiky head.
The Dino Wrangler sports a white shirt with a blue bandana, as well as black pants, a brown utility belt with silver clip, black shoes and dark grey gloves. He also has dark brown hair, and lighter brown eye brows and eyes. He stands in a fairly neutral posture, except his right leg is posed in a forward move as if taking a step, and his left arm is raised upwards a little. He comes with a grappling hook weapon,basically a large hand held contraption which ends in two comparatively small claws than can hook around dinosaur body parts. The claws are operated by a handle on its top side. It has a slightly shiny light brown colour, giving it a metallic look.
Analysis: another old TLWS1 toy that returned to stores with JP: Dinosaurs 2 is this fairly small Triceratops figure. It sports a rather conventional Ceratopsian paint job, brown with some more brown mixed in. Like with its previous incarnations, little has been done with the great paint scheme opportunities its neck shield offers. A shame, but the new and improved skin texture feel it looks more detailed than before, though that may only be an illusion. It makes the simple brown paint job stand out on its own to a higher degree though. At least some of the real details, like the claws on its feet and its tongue, have not been omitted, though the eyes would have benefited from a different colour, since now they're hardly noticeable at all. The white JP logo is a bit of a nuisance, but it's likely a darker coloured logo would not have registered much. The figure comes with the same typical Triceratops head butting action as before. It still works okay, though this time there's no capture gear involved. But its attack option is certainly sufficient enough to knock its human companion over.
Meanwhile, that poor Dino Wrangler is armed with one of the lamest and least effective weapons ever devised for a JP figure. The capture claw weapon never worked well on hatchlings even, and it certainly doesn't stop a rampaging Trike, even a smaller specimen like this one. At best, it can be clutched around one leg but there the “wrangling” stops. The Dino Wrangler, formerly known as Alan Grant for the JP III line, himself also doesn't help this set much with his rather dull paint job, which is basically just black and white. Using one of the smaller scale Hasbro human figures for this already small Kenner Triceratops figure does make the dinosaur appear bigger, more impressive than it is compared to this human. But otherwise, this is not much of a successful pairing.
Repaint: yes. This is a repaint of the TLWS1 Triceratops, which was repainted twice before for JPD1 and as a JP III Exclusive. The Dino Wrangler is a JP III Alan Grant repaint with repainted grappling claw. The Trooper would be repainted again for JP 2009 (including his weapon), but this would be the last time this Triceratops figure got released.
Overall rating: 6/10. This Triceratops features a solid and detailed paint job, but the figure itself is still so-so. The Wrangler is still a half decent figure with a simplified paint job and a terribly lousy weapon, which doesn't help the set much. Like all four dino/human two-packs, this is one of the more common JPD2 releases, and it can still be found without too much effort, usually for fairly low prices.
woensdag 2 december 2015
Year of release: 2004
Description: this Tyrannosaurus has long slender legs, tiny teeth and a small head compared to adult Rexes, which is caused by the fact is was originally designed to be a juvenile figure. It does have the odd little two fingered arms seen on larger Rexes though. This figure stands in a neutral pose except for its tail, which is bent to the left somewhat. Its lower right leg hangs a little loose (though still attached) and can be twisted around, as if it’s broken or damaged in some way. The leg cast can be applied to the leg by sticking the pin on its inside in the little hole in the figure’s upper right leg. That way the twisted leg will “switch” back and the animal’s leg is healed; at least, that's the general idea. The Rex’s mouth can also be opened and closed. This animal comes with one piece of capture gear which can cover its head, like a muzzle. It’s coloured shiny metallic grey, as is the leg cast.
The Rex itself sports a rather blue look. Except for its underside (throat, belly and lower parts of the tail), which are painted greyish white, and a thick black stripe running from the back of the head over the neck and back all the way to the tip of the tail (and being thickest in the middle where it also runs over the top of both legs), this animal is all light blue, most notably on the head, flanks and limbs. The little Rex is adorned with various grey stripes: these are found on the flanks (two on each flank), the upper legs (three each) and the back (two stripes running from the back of the head to about half way of the tail). The claws on both hands and feet are painted black, while the ridges on these limbs are also black. The eye socket is black as well and harbours red eyes with cat like black pupils. The figure has white teeth. A white JP logo is found on the right upper leg.
The Dino Tracker wears a white sleeveless shirt, green trousers with tears on them, and black shoes. He has blond hair, blond eye brows and very bright blue eyes. He has some asymmetric details, including belts around his torso, wristband (right arm), glove (left arm), shoulder patch (left arm) and a backpack with a hole in it so the glider can be attached to the figure: all this detailing is coloured dark brown. Most notably, his left arm can move differently from the average human figure, not only forward and backward, but also up and down. The figure stands in an odd position with its legs wide apart and appears to be looking down. The glider is coloured dark red with silver highlights. It basically resembles a red triangle. The Tracker can carry it on his back, so it appears he's hanging onto it.
Analysis: the second JP: Dinosaurs line saw the unusual move on Hasbro's part of pairing its human figures from their JP III line with dinosaur figures from the old Kenner lines. This of course spawned some incompatibility issues, since the style of the human figures differs so much from the style used for the dinosaurs. This T-Rex with Dino Tracker set is a prime example of this: the Rex is the old TLWS1 baby T-Rex repainted, but compared to the Tracker it's hardly a baby at all (which is why there's no 'baby', 'junior' or 'young' in the set's title on the package. However, the figure retains its juvenile attributes (long legs, skinny body and overall cute look) which doesn't make it a very successful T-Rex choice for this set. Also, why would the Dino Tracker come with a hang glider when it's primordial companion is a land locked creature? Is he like the Jurassic Park equivalent of the Flying Doctors, scouting things out from the air looking for injured animals? A Pterosaur figure would have seemed a more obvious choice here, or a different human figure.
Aside from these issues, this set features decent repaints. The Young T-Rex (that's what it really is after all!) has been given a very interesting and imaginative new paint job, much different from any Rex paint job seen before. Blue hasn't been used all too often for JP dinosaur figures anyway, making this figure stand out amongst its fellow Kenner figures. It's also fairly detailed: claws have been painted, while eye sockets, fingers and toes have not been forgotten. The stripes on its body also add some diversity to this paint job. The only nuisance is the white JP logo which looks hideously out of place. Apart from the paint job, there's nothing new to this figure. It's still the same good old Junior T-Rex with its previous pros and cons.
The Dino Tracker is less of a success. It's nice to see him as a blonde this time around, but the white shirt looks ugly. The green pants, with the scratches and the various shades of green mixed in so it looks more detailed, make up for it somewhat. It's a good thing the alternatively poseable arm has been retained, since this feature makes the figure unique among JP human figures. Unfortunately, the figure stands in the same odd pose as before, which makes it look silly when it's attached to the glider. The glider itself sports a rather boring paint job, also very similar to its previous incarnation. It wasn't until JP 2009 until a Hasbro designer had some fun with it and made it look much more different, as well as way cooler.
All in all, it's clearly the T-Rex is the main draw of this set. The Tracker has some minor redeeming features but is little more than an accessory. Luckily the Rex has a rather small mouth and isn't in pristine physical condition so his human counterpart won't get chewed on too much... At least he can take to the air for refuge.
Repaint: yes. This is a repaint of the TLWS1 Junior T-Rex, with repainted accessories from that same figure. It was repainted twice before for JPD1. The Dino Tracker is a JP III Billy Brennan repaint with repainted glider, a first time repaint. Brennan would be repainted again (with glider) for JP 2009, but this would be the last time this T-Rex figure got released.
Overall rating: 7/10. This Young T-Rex sports a rather original, appealing and detailed paint job and remains one of the most movie accurate sculpts. The Tracker is a half decent repaint of an imperfect figure with an unimaginatively painted glider. Like all four dino/human 2-packs, this is one of the more common JPD2 releases, and it can still be found without too much difficulty, though these days prices tend to vary.