Film reviews often tell you what would be commercially attractive or to the common expectations. Therefore these descriptions of movies you might want to see but did not decide about yet.



The latest films.
(Dutch movies are discussed in Dutch)

 4.20 - 6.13 2000




For the Love of the Game

Seen 06-13-00 Dir .: Sam Raimy. Starring: Kevin Costner. What happens to a unmarried dandy baseballplayer getting older. This movie shows how a not so happy life can have an happy end. He has to choose between holding on to a worn out image or retiring still at his best with his girl-friend. Since he's not married this is not a natural thing. She leaves him with his troubles when he suffers a crisis after an accident with his hand, End good all good, and what was learned? That takes some time to figure out. Love wins despite of not being married? Retire timely and don't be defeated by adversity? The movie is a character-play by Costner. That is a guarantee of a good atmosphere. He is a fine man after all. But with another star it could have been a boring movie with nothing much to say or offer.



The Whole Nine Yards

Seen 06-13-00 Dir : Jonathan Lynn. With Bruce Willis as a released hit-man settling in a decent neighborhood. His neighbor who has a bad marriage tries to betray him to his former enemies for a sum. The wife tries to betray her husband with the killer. The friend of that wife tries to help the ex-convict to kill the husband who arrives somewhat later with a heavy guy from the former enemy. Etc. Everything runs out of hand and nothing really works except that everybody has to move away for the police who only find a dead colleague who tried to infiltrate. It is a laugh, but honestly I fell asleep at the end of the movie, so its final judgment remains to be seen.



Rent-A-Friend (Dutch)

Gezien 6-05-00. Dir, Eddy Terstall. Zonder meer geslaagde onderhoudende film over een mislukte kunstenaar die zichzelf als gezelschap begint te verhuren. Het moderne ondernemen wordt op de hak genomen en eind goed al goed wint de held uiteindelijk de hand van zijn geliefde. Eindelijk een hollandse film met een normaal verhaal zonder afbreuk te doen aan onze nationale humor en satire. Geen open einde, filosofische vraagtekens, intellectuele vaagheden of zelfvernietiging, maar netjes de kultuur als de eeuwige paringsdans om het uiteindelijk succes van het verwerven van de liefde van de wereld. De moeite.



The Ninth Gate

Seen 6-05-00. Dir. Roman Polanski, In a sober gothic brownish style Johnny Depp acts the in role of bookdetective on behalf of a collector of old books to do research on the authenticity of a medieval book on occult transition. The temptation of falling for the content threatens throughout the whole movie. It shows a mystical temptress (Polanski's wife) who guides him, a mystical sect, a corrupt client and intrigues of power that give the plot each time a new unexpected turn. Still Polanski manages a thorough continuity keeping the fascination to the end. Although a classic hero-wins-the-lady story, clichés are avoided. This can be confusing as the plot in the end looks like a modern painting with all-to-clear lines missing. Although a straight linear classic story, finally one still has to ponder over what really has happened at the Ninth Gate where death, eternal life and reality are mixed. Fascinating with a background of your own intelligence. Not for stupid critics.



The Story Of Us

Seen 5-29-00. Dir. Rob Reiner, with Michelle Pfeiffer and Bruce Willis. This movie scored lowest in the sneak-preview ratings (a six). It gives the story of a couple in a midlife crisis, reminding of Bergmans Scenes of a Marriage. The integrity of the american cinema says here: 'no this time no murder, cheating, adultery and lawsuits. ' Not even divorce. No this time reality filmed as it usually goes with people living a material life. The film itself is a straight story trying to stay straight and is therefore without compromising to the sensation seeking audience. No experimenting with spirituality or sex. Just the simple drama of together coping with the karma of the relationship. At the one side a relief to see Hollywood going for the real thing: stay truthful, love wins and loyalty a condition for better and for worse. This is how it really goes and works. At the other side one misses the second half of the twentiest century: as if we had no flower power, meditation groups, guru's, tantric experiments, drugs etc. Devoid of all spirituality and religion the movie shows the normal crisis of normal materialism. Are we happy in this treadmill? Lots of people didn't think so, thus the low rating. The American Beauty was missing. Don't we get sick if we don't get crazy? This movie gives no answer, but preaches a civilian (naïve) belief that materialism wouldn't go at the cost of others or ones health. Judge for yourself. What is your belief? There is still hope for materialism from this movie about predigital man...




Seen 5-29-00. Dir. Todd Solondz (rerun from 1999). This is an extreme story of a psychiatrist that turns out to be a childmolester. He drugs the friends of his own kids and even his own wife to have his way with his lusts. This movie contrary to the one spoken of above accuses materialism of hypocrisy and shows what's really going on behind the nice facade of happiness. The idea that sex when you want it is healthy is the accused mentality. Not only the psychiatrist is abnormal, other members of the family are also freaking, losing control with the all-is -normal-with-our-sex-drive mentality. No law-courts in the movie; a plus. No one dies, a plus. No one believes but in hypocrisy, a minus. This movie preaches no hope and is a black comedy. Funny but just as difficult to believe as the Story of Us that believes in the all-is-well-with-materialism that has the doctor for a priest that in this movie turns out to be a pervert. This movie ends like many alien-movies: problem solved, evil continues. Worthwhile seeing.




Seen 5-21-00. Dir. Rupert Wainwright. Christianity has done a lot of wrong in repressing its spiritual side of authentic selfrealization which was laid down in the dead sea scrolls. This movie shows a complete pandemonium of being possessed by the evil of this repression. Stigmata , the film proves, are the consequence of the wrestling of Christianity with the complete truth of Christ. This is what we needed to know understanding our lack of enlightenment. The social side of repressive religion not able to step out of its group-ego and lack of personal creative progress is pictured in the conflict of the priest, who investigates a case of being possessed, with the clergy that acts like a kind of Mafia. The possessing spirit turns out to be a deceased monk who knew too much. The spirit of that monk is so strong that a normal girl is completely overwhelmed by it. Repression looses, truth wins. Go see and desire for spiritual purity! I am a happy yoga adept!





Seen 5-21-00. Dir.Ridly Scott. Starring Russell Crowe. See how the old roman values of wisdom, temperance and justice are defended by the general Maximus of the Empire against an over ambitious corrupt Commodus for Caesar. Because of the emperors intrigues the general falls down to the status of gladiator. The general's motive is vengeance, as his wife and son were crucified by the emperor, but his real drive is fighting for the real values of divine roman invincibility. Ultimately Phyrrus wins of cause. Violence and vengeance are just instruments of truth and justice. And the Lord of that wins! Its a beautiful, impressive and spectacular movie appealing to the very passions of the soul of us Europeans. More of this!



The Bachelor

Seen 5-14-00. Dir: Gary Sinyor. An hilarious comedy about a guy who inherits millions of dollars (from a grumpy Peter Ustinov) on the condition of getting married within 24 hours. He runs after all his old flames because his girlfriend doesn't accept his clumsy proposals. He tries Mariah Carry and other more or less popular beauties and fails with all of them thinking his real girl has left him. The elders and friend conspire to solve the problem resulting in a church full of brides to reject... none is the real one. What next? Go and laugh about all this foolishness!





Seen 5-08-00 Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Tom Cruise. This movie at first seems to be incomprehensible. Loose ends of separate stories slowly meet. A prodigy t.v. quiz wonderboy, a freaking sex-guru, a dying old men, a policeman in love. It is postmodernism going to the edge showing how chaotic reality still can make sense. The movie begins with a few historical records of unlikely coincidence: a man committing suicide by jumping of a building shot by his own mother while passing three floors lower the apartment where his parents are fighting. There is no coincidence. At last its starts raining frogs. More unlikely it can't be, but at that time one believes everything shown. Stunning experience. Must see.



All about my Mother

(Todo sobra Mi madre)

Seen 5-08-00. Director:Pedro Almodovar. Spanish spoken. There is a connection between this movie and the one discussed above. Also this movie is about the chaos of postmodern time: in this movie there is not a single normal person. Transsexuals, incest, a father demented, a mother bewildered, a daughter with aids, a son dead by accident. It is a complete drama that is all about surviving being desperate in the postmodern society where no one is directed anymore. In fact the director itself is the only coherence of this movie telling us that not knowing the difference between sex and love still makes a life that continues. How, don't ask, just try to understand what happens. For the patient ones and those who want to see existential fear in action.




Gezien:04-29-00. Jean v.d. Velde regisseerde deze politiethriller naar klassiek recept met Cas jansen in de hoofdrol naar 'Sans Rancune' van Jan van Daalen. Veel geleerd sedert de voetbalfilm Alltime-Stars. Het is een goed lopend verhaal van een jonge politieagent die met een (criminele) oude jeugdliefde als vriend/insider een bende criminelen te lijf gaat. Leuke vondsten in variatie op de gebruikelijke cliché's van het genre: een smartlappen zingende big boss, een normalere kijk op Amsterdam dan het geijkte grachten-gedoe en een on-amerikaans einde meer naar onze rechtsnormen en menselijkheid. Geen Gouden Kalf voor het geluid (dialogen soms moeilijk te verstaan), maar wel de moeite.



Erin Brockovich

Seen: 04-29-00 Julia Roberts plays the role of an almost outcast mother that fights her way back in society. She starts working for a lawyer that couldn't win a case for her in court because of which she was broke. With that lawyer and his private firm she develops a keen sense of serving justice in setting up one of the biggest claims for environmental damage in the history of the States. Chromium 6 causing cancer is the problem. Pacific Gas and Electric is the criminal company with 28 billion dollars profit that neglected a basic environmental duty. It is a true story and thus of importance to the real mission of the cinema to be the narrator of everything that for God happened to us since Christ. Interesting is Julia Roberts in a more sexy, challenging role not being so sweet and nice always. Together with The Insider (see below) we have now two movies fighting the causes of cancer. I still wait for one fighting the meat-industry...



Sleepy Hollow

Seen: 20-4-'00. Smart horror movie beautifully set in the end of the 18th century. People still having wigs, medieval superstition and a 'modern' detective trying to defeat the monster (without a head this time - but it's only Christopher Walken without his head) with modern methods and contraptions of his own making. The movie perfectly balances a lot of things: the serious and humorous, the old and the new, the fantasy and the reality. One wonders what was dreamt and what was real. The power of the movie lies in the respect for the reality of witchcraft, black and white magic and demoniac manipulation. Those are no superstitious psychiatric fantasies to be dealt with only rationally, but a nowadays almost forgotten real threat to the integrity of the godfearing community. Crime old style! Go and see this possible oscar-nomination for the production.







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backgroundgraphic: Argotique