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.



6 aug - 13 0ct 2001


 Trees Lounge (film club)

Seen: 13 Oct. 2001 Dir: Steve Buscemi. With Steve Buscemi. This movie is Steve's debut as a filmmaker describing the life of a looser called Tommy Basilio who with trouble manages to live in a small community centering around a bar the Trees Lounge and a garage. In that garage his brother works and his former girlfriend lives with his former boss, who threw him out because he stole 1500 dollars and gambled it away. She is now pregnant. Meanwhile our Tommy tries to find a job as a mechanic, mainly hanging around and getting drunk and stoned in the Lounge above which he has his apartment. His life is really nothing anymore. That changes when his uncle dies who ran an ice-cream van. After the burial he takes it over, but is attracted with his new job to or by, an adolescent girl in the neighborhood: she is only 17 years of age and curious and playful. He runs with her into trouble as he manages to be a night alone with her, Nothing much happens with her, no great romance sprouts, or anything but a superficial kiss, but nevertheless he seriously gets beaten up by the father who never trusted him a cent for his friendship with his daughter. With a bruised head he ends up back in the bar hearing that another guest of the house, too old, has fallen from his stool. End of the story. That life would have been Steve's life if he wouldn't have taken acting-classes to escape from this weary lot of american citizens living on the edge of despair and meaninglessness. The story can be appreciated for its authenticity. All characters are life-real and the fiction is presented in a way that seems to offer no room for any fantasy: that's how life is with ordinary people. Simply living together, knowing one another without finding much respect for oneself or success in life. Just to eat and drink and have a little fun is enough. Meanwhile the undertone is a fanatic one: Busconi hammers on the realism like a hammer on an anvil and makes no hero of whatever kind. Man is like he is and that we should learn to accept. The one who keeps standing despite of the misery of life is the hero, whether he's the best drinker, looser, pervert, drug addict or not. (IMDB)


 Rat Race

Seen: 13 Oct. 2001 Dir: Jerry Zucker. With Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese, Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding Jr. Rat race is a standard comedy with all ingredients for a hearty laugh: A bunch of innocent casino visitors are tempted to participate in a race to reach a bag full of money, two million dollars, hidden in a locker somewhere in Silver City, miles from where the mission begins. The motive is to use these people for gambling: behind a one-way screen a lot of millionaires can bet on the possible winner. The characters guarantee a lot of fun. Rowan plays a celibate Italian with a narcoleptic problem: in the middle of the race he falls asleep, but still he seems to be the fastest one. Cuba Gooding was a failure as a football referee because of which he is dropped in the middle of the desert by a vengeful taxi driver. Woopi is mother of a likewise daughter who ends up in a bus load full of feebleminded patients after having stolen a speed-record race car. A couple of friends get their key to the locker stolen by the locksmith to make them a duplicate key, who wants the treasure too. That guy flees in a balloon that pick ups a cow by the leg that is dragged along for the rest of the movie. A Jewish father lying to his children drugs them down driving in a car stolen from a Nazi-museum to get to Silver City without his family knowing it. Another guy ends up in a helicopter with an angry but attractive woman racing first with him after her betraying boyfriend, but later on together with him after the treasure, etc. The movie is indeed good fun to laugh at. That's it. Expect no more. (website)


Artificial Intelligence

Seen: 5 0ct 2001 Dir: Steven Spielberg. Prod.: Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg. With: Haley Joel Osment (Sixth Sense), Jude Law, William Hurt, Frances O'Connor. To the tradition of Spielberg since his 'Close Encounters' and Kubrick with his '2001' we have now a crossbreed of the sciencfiction-talent of these two excellent directors to a story of Brian Aldiss. The story is projected in the not so distant future where the polar ice has melted and half the world has been flooded so that new York and Amsterdam are now submerged with only the highest buildings rising above the water. In this land overpopulation had to be curbed and as an alternative for procreation the creation of highly intelligent AI-robots called mecha's became the great passion. The story begins with a woman mourning about her frozen sick son for which there is no cure yet. Her husband working at the laboratories of the mecha's produces her a copy of her son, which she at first emotionally rejects. Gradually she becomes attached to the cute little robot that is always very nice and sympathetic. Trouble begins when her son out of the freezer reappears cured and all. He becomes a playmate of our wondermecha called David together with a third little cute robot in the form of a very wise talking teddy bear. But after a few glitches in the programming of David which make him run into a malfunction (he ate and ruined his internal circuits) and an overstressed anxiety response that resulted in a clinging that almost drowned the real son, he is destined to go back to the factory for destruction. Mother though attached to her cute AI-son leaves him in the forest with the warning not to surrender to real humans. In stead he goes looking for the Blue Fairy from the fairy-tale of Pinochio to ask her to make him a real boy so that he can return to his programmed mother. Together with another wasted robot, a lover-boy-bot he escapes from a 'Flesh-fair' destruction circus of anti-robot activists who take pleasure in demonstratively destroying the fake humans. They escape and end up in the big city asking Dr. Know-it-all, another robot, where the Blue Fairy can be found. He is directed to Manhattan, now under water, where there is a Pinocchio-exihibition at Cony Island. There in the drowned city David discovers his father and his laboratory of many fake-Davids alike him. He rejects them and resumes his search for the Blue Fairy. He dives under water and finds her. He stays there meditating for 2000 years until an alien race from outer space finds him there. They fulfill David's wish, reviving him, to meet his mother again. Teddy, also revived, turns out to have kept a lock of her hair from which he, for one day only, can enjoy her company again. End of the story. Spielberg has the special talent to create sympathy in favor of the mecha-kid endangered by the cruel world of the manipulating humans. The story is a wondrous combination of science fiction and a fairy tale, very beautifully and stylish presented to the best ability of Kubricks style with its mystery shots and meditative visual contemplations on the meaning of life and eternity caught in images. The only real downscenes are the Flesh-fair where humanity is presented too lusty and too sadistic with the mecha's to be a credible future man. In this is the story a bit like the failure of Waterworld and other nightmare-science-fiction movies. But it is a credible hypothesis that increasing technical ability goes hand in hand with a lesser soul and greater ego. So be it, although we don't like to see it. For the rest is the movie a more than titilating emotional experience of S.F., wonders and universes. Especially the twist of the story where the mecha David starts meditating for a two thousand years is touching. More than human, he achieves more than humanity. He is the only survivor and witness to the alien reality of another humanoid civilization. There is still hope for humanity as reincarnations from another planet. This dangerous ape-effort on this planet though is doomed to end up in the mechanically better and emotionally more loyal David. A pessimistic view of our race of humans, but a beautiful Spielberg/Kubrick story full of cultural references that touch the heart. (website)


Intimacy (filmclub)

Seen: 28 Sept. 2001. Dir: Patrice Cherau with Mark Rylance, Kerry Fox. Winner of the l'Ours d'Or award Berlin 2001, This movie gave rise to a lot of discussion. It was set up as a reaction against the French relational movies where too much talking goes at the cost of not enough loving or explicit sexuality. Thus this story is set in England, in London, It begins with the explicit almost pornographic scenes of a couple making love without really knowing one another. After some time the man wants to know more about her, but she doesn't allow. It has no real place in the intimacy. The intimacy is there for the wordless experience of sexual love. As soon as he finds out that she is an amateur actress performing in a tiny theater attached to the pub that her husband runs, the relation goes down. He, himself manager of a more exclusive club finds out by following her. Also she finds out about him finding her and her husband by following him. He tries to win her for himself as he would be a more attractive husband than that puffy guy of hers who is her best supporter, but not undoubting, playing snooker while she performs, but she declines. Her life runs into a mess and she sticks with the marriage. She doesn't make the jump. Always a pity I think to see the small mind win, but reality commands. Security of marriage is the real love of course, it would otherwise be only another attachment isn't it? Movies must be moral and the seducer/devil that is more the victim this time of the adulterous lust, has to be the looser. The explicit sexscenes are not really disturbing, but weren't necessary either. The philosophy is that of failure and human despair, and not that of revolution and change. The acting though is fine and the sphere is considerate and human. The moral thread doesn't show too clearly and one keeps hope to the end that love will be love. But alas, it stayed lust again. When will that day be ours? Where is that european hero gone? Whether we play love in France or in England, when will love be love again? Europeans want to be honest about it and not create illusions of false hope. At least I will stay alert for the stories next. It is not I that will give up. (website)


De Grot

Gezien: 28 sept. 2001. Regie: Martin van Koolhoven. Met: Fedja van Huêt, Porgy Fransen, Saskia Temmink, Jeroen Willems, e.a. Naar een verhaal van Tim Krabbé wordt de geschiedenis vertoond van een geoloog , een zekere Egon Wagter, met een gefrustreerde ambitie. In zijn jeugd leerde hij een meisje kennen tijdens een jeugd vakantiekamp. Daar werd hij verliefd op haar, maar die liefde ging niet in vervulling. Via een criminele vriend/kennis echter ontmoet hij haar later weer als hij extra geld bijeen probeert te krijgen om aan de door hem geambieerde geologische expeditie te kunnen deelnemen. Hij moet ontsnappen aan zijn kleinburgerlijk leven en neemt met dat motief het aanvaardbare risico. Helaas worden ze beiden vermoord door dieven in het vreemde land waar ze hun criminele daad verrichten. Pech gehad, einde verhaal. Het verhaal, het script en de film zitten goed in elkaar. In het begin zien we meteen de scène van het onderzoek naar de plaats van de moorden, zonder echter direkt er veel meer vanaf te weten. Steeds gaat de film terug in flashbacks om te verduidelijken hoe het allemaal zover kon komen dat twee Nederlanders de dood vinden in een vreemd land. Stap voor stap gaan we terug in de jeugd- en de studentenjaren van onze hoofdpersoon: hoe hij zijn criminele vriendschap, zijn vrouw en zijn carrière zich ontwikkelden. Alle karakters komen goed uit de verf. Daardoor blijft het verhaal dat berust op de moraal: 'neig nooit naar het kwade anders misluk je bij de wil van God' interessant. Natuurlijk is het gegeven wat complexer. De misdadige vriend leeft gewoon verder. Alleen de vervulling van de gefrustreerde jeugdliefde moet het afleggen. De liefde, in weerwil van de gehechtheden, mag zich niet bedienen van de misdaad, de misdaad mag natuurlijk wel zichzelf zijn - althans volgens Krabbé. Het is niet de diepste filosofie of de meest verheven heldenmoed allemaal, maar het is een goed lopende film geworden die het bekijken waard is. Het is ook fijn om onze jeugdjaren met een beetje fictie weer voorbij te zien trekken: de generatie doet van zich horen en zo moet dat. Nog een speciale vermelding voor Jeroen Willems die een overtuigende bijrol speelt als de bevriende journalist. Hij lijkt net Dr. Zjivago. (website)



Seen: 25 sept 2001. Dir: Dominic Sena (Gone in 60 Seconds). Production: Joel Silver (The Matrix). With: John Travolta, Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Don Cheadle. This movie catches in a peculiar way the present theme of terrorism. Apart from being the top notch of action-filming with an interesting plot with good acting, does it look like it is set up to compete and outdo 'Dog day afternoon' with Al Pacino. At least that is what Travolta playing tells us. In this set up swordfish is the name of a huge drugfund of the government that lies to be stolen away by our criminal gang who engages an ex-computer hacker to help them out. The macho sweat drips from the screen at every scene, including a superwoman secret agent etc. type, and yes it is winner number one at the time in this genre. Slow motion explosions filmed from all sides and double identities and unexpected turns. escape routes never imagined and surprises the galore. Never a dull moment with Swordfish. It would be simple fun if it were not for the terrorist action in the middle of New York. One almost sees the WTC, one smells the explosions and even a part of a scyscraper is hit with a very explicit scene of running office-people. It gives a somewhat peculiar taste. One may say: very actual very actual. But the funny taste remains. No further comment. (website)




Moulin Rouge

Seen: 25 sept 2001. Dir.: Baz Luhrman. With: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, Jim Broadbent. It has been a long time that I saw a musical. In this story about a young girl working at the Moulin Rouge in Paris that falls in love with a penniless scriptwriter have the modern songs of the late twentiest century (including one from 'The Sound of Music') been put together to fit in with one classical love-drama. We hear music of Sting, Elton John and Freddy Mercury together with other beautiful renown ballads and lovesongs. Smartly the film weaves these into an anachronistic staged display of French showtalent and American zeal. It is a feast to the eye and done with classical style theatre comedy and acting. With this concept anything can happen and thus the fascination is kept, although sometimes one balances at the edge of cheap taste. But that's how theatre really is. Nicole sings beautifully just as her partner. The story itself is only the capstand for all the songs; it describes the conflict between the choice of her loving the scriptwriter and a nobleman a bit too old, greedy and stiff that keeps the Moulin Rouge and our heroin in his grip financing the theatrepiece we witness in rehearsal and performance. In the end love wins of course over his power of economic class, although death seems to be the real winner after all - our heroin has consumption; with the singing of the theme: 'The greatest thing you'll ever learn is to love and be loved in return' she dies in the end and our drama is complete. There is also a little historic reference to the so-called Bohemian Revolution that would liberate the bourgeois mind with a set of values for cultural selfrealization: Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love. As such does this film fill in a gap in the public knowledge that doesn't read books anymore: it is so that once upon a time in the past we have seriously tried to run the country with this vision at the end of the nineteenth century. Thus we may witness how from that primary option the revolution continues into the twenty-first century: we keep the show going on in such a way that philosophy and music combine into one collective experience. It is essential to our continuing storytelling that reflects our lives and keeps everyone involved. This movie proves: stories without much of the musical half of our brain involved doesn't really touch the heart. The story on itself could never have brought the tears to my eyes that the abridging of the modern popsongs did. Good to see the modern - postmodern chaos of ego and egosongs united in one drama: a cinematographic accomplishment at the one hand and also a bit of a warning against overestimating the importance of all one-sided imagebuilding in the arts; the show must go on indeed, but in service of the values of love beauty, freedom and last but not least: the truth. That is what keeps the cinema going. (website)





Gezien: 13 sept 2001. Regie: Pieter Verhoeff. Met: Monic Hendrickx, Jeroen Willems. Dit verhaal handelt over het emancipatieproces van de vrouw van Pieter Jelles Troelstra, de vaderlandse grondlegger van het socialisme. Hij is aanvankelijk een bevlogen rechtenstudent (een korpsbal) die de bekoorlijke Sjoukje weet aan te trekken. Als advocaat is hij een gedroomde partij voor haar, temeer omdat hij een welbespraakt romanticus is met prachtige gedichten en een mooi stelletje korpsvrienden. Geleidelijk aan raakt Pieter bevangen door de roep van het socialisme en is daardoor steeds meer van huis. Sjoukje kan er niet goed tegen, temeer daar de sociale steun wegvalt omdat ze, verliefd of niet, buiten het burgerlijke circuit vallen met hun politieke standpunten. Aanvankelijk raakt Sjoukje in de problemen. Als de kinderen er zijn en de sex is uitgeblust, ook omdat ze van de dokter geen kinderen meer mag krijgen, komt ze in de psychiatrie terecht. Ze 'voelt' niks meer en beschadigt zichzelf. Ze wordt gediagnosticeerd als 'ongeneeslijk hysterisch' en als 'jaloers' op haar echtgenoot. Maar ze komt terug en begint te schrijven. Met haar problemen schrijft ze echter ook haar kinderen van zich af als blijkt dat er, zoals te verwachten is, wrijving ontstaat tussen de twee toch wel sterke karakters. De kinderen worden uitbesteed en Sjoukje die met haar 'Aafkes Tiental', de beschrijving van het eenvoudig arbeidersleven, succes heeft als Nynke van Hichtum, geeft de kinderen haar boekje mee naar kostschool. Zij gaat kuren voor haar gezondheid en maakt kennis met andere vrouwen met emancipatieproblemen. Pieters wereld dreigt ook in te storten als een goede vriendin die altijd blaakte van de zelfstandigheid (had hij er een verhouding mee?) vrijwel direct na haar ten leste toch nog gesloten huwelijk zelfmoord pleegt. Als Nynke terugkeert uit haar retraite blijkt Pieter een relatie te zijn begonnen, net als Marx , met een zelf uitgekozen aantrekkelijke, lieve en zorgzame huishoudster. Voor Sjoukje is het socialisme ontrouw en onderdrukking van haar persoonlijkheid. Ze laat zich niet gek verklaren, gaat naar Parijs en maakt furore als schrijfster. Ze overleeft Troelstra met tien jaar. Het verhaal is een belangrijk stuk vaderlandse geschiedenis enerzijds en maakt anderzijds de worsteling van de zelfverwerkelijking in de politiek en de cultuur duidelijk waarmee we van de negentiende in de twintigste eeuw belanden zonder echt te weten wat de verlichting daarvan is of wat voor reformatie het nu eigenlijk betreft. Nederland heeft zijn les ook geleerd dus in dit proces. Gaan zien, een goede film. (website)



La Stanza del Figlio

Seen: 13 sept 2001. Dir: Nanni Moretti . With: Nanni Moretti, Laura Morante. We see the story of a psychoanalyst who seems to have a happy life with a beautiful wife and two nice adolescent children, a boy and a girl. One bad day when dad visits a patient of his, the son drowns scubadiving in a seacave. Their lives are shattered and the vicious circle of depression and grief is difficult to break for them. Heavily mourning father quits with his practice. Mother tries to contact a girlfriend of her son, but fails to establish contact. They have lost all appetite for life and only the daughter seems to function. Caught in the privacy of rumination and the pain of their damaged private sphere, they find no way out. Then suddenly the girlfriend does show up. That changes the atmosphere of the movie and the dark clouds seem to disappear. The girl is in love despite of her grief about her deceased friend. From her the parents pick up the love of life again. In fact simply a mourning-period has been described. There is really no further philosophy about it at all, but still the movie touches for its realism and proper character-descriptions. Each little detail of the process is meticulously described without falling for any temptation of dramatizing or adding schemes to it. As an onlooker one starts thinking 'when will the father drive the rest of the family down the cliff to finish it'. But no, the film is real and ones fantasies about it are the illusion. The movie deserves the Cannes Golden Palm 2000 they've won. (website)


Blow Out

Seen: 5 sept 2001. Dir: Ted Demme. With: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ray Liotta. This movie describes the true story of how a young man called George Jung sets up the major part of all cocaine trade in America. First we see how he in the sixties easy going wants to make the money his father couldn't make with dealing pot at the beach. Thus he step by step with his cool friends develops his trade contacting the source of the stuff, Pablo Escobar. With him he brings in the big money and later on cocaine and everything goes fine for him. For the pot doing time in prison he even picks up the art of the trade in cocaine. He realizes his American Dream with five cars, a big house and a beautiful wife. But as it goes, crime betrays. His friends force him to reveal his contacts and with him giving in he is lost. They surpass him for a quicker buck and push him out of the market that way. He gets out of the business and tries to be a good father to his daughter and wife getting clean. His mother hates him for his criminal actions and betrays him to the police at first when he got arrested for the pot and later with his cocaine debacle she doesn't want to know him, His father tries to be his pal but also sees him going down ending in the same position as he was in his life. In the end he just like his father falls short in the capacity to maintain his family. She makes scenes complaining her poverty with him, Just like his mother did with his father. Thus he decides to get back into business once more to make it up with his wife and disappointed daughter. But not just his wife doesn't believe in him anymore, also his former friends betray him and hand him over to the police. He is now in prison till 2015. End of the story. Crime doesn't pay and the American Dream this way stinks. Everybody betrays you and nothing comes out of all the money won by crime. Game over. Johnny Depp is a convincing irresistible crimelord in his role and the story keeps a good balance between the guilt and innocence or better naivety of George. George is the guy that really doesn't understand why first pot and later cocaine would be so bad, although he lost his first love a stewardess, dying of cancer in the process. He himself only betrayed the trust of his parents, killed never anyone and was always the master-provider of the American High. Well the higher you get the deeper you fall. At least he himself can start all over after 2015. He was not a murderer, only a false Lord. (website)



Sexy Beast

Seen: 5 sept 2001. Dir: Jonathan Glazer. With: Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley. A british gangstermovie with an interesting portraying of characters and good english humor. The first half of the movie is set in Spain where Gary, a fat and sexy gangster lives in early retirement. He does not want to resume his criminal duties of helping out his mates who plan for an impossible job for which they have to dive and dig underwater to crack open a safe. Don is the representative of the gangsters who has to convince Gary of joining in. He refuses, attached as he is to his luxury and good life. Don turns his life to hell and insists till he accedes. A nice drama develops, with all the characters present, a friend and two former porn-stars for their wives, in which in the end rifles are shot and corpses are buried. The floor of the swimmingpool had to be retiled anyway. So it happens that Gary shows up in London pretending not to know where Don has left for since he last saw him. The leader of the gang lets him but in the end refuses him his share in the loot for it. Not nice, but he survives that way buying himself out of the scene. The whole story, being quite simple is nicely filmed in the beautiful light of the Mediterranean and all acting is convincing. Kingsly really makes a frightening swearing and cursing demoniac Don and Gary is also the perfect lucky monster with a innocent look in his eyes. No deep philosophy here but good entertainment. (all movie info)


Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Seen: 29 august 2001. Dir: John Madden. With: Christian Bale, Irene Pappas, Penelope Cruz,John Hurt, Nicholas Cage. Cage was perfectly cast in this lovestory set in Greece in the second worldwar. It was made after a bestseller by Louis de Bernieres. We have seen hardly any movies on what happened in Greece in the second worldwar. This war-movie I can really recommend. The mandolin our Captain plays so attractively is symbol for the illusions we erroneous Europeans for the union of our glorious roman culture had in the early thirties and forties: we would have nothing less but a cultural revolution and Captain Corelli was part of it. No questions of why he had to occupy as a soldier and join the madness of killing Jews and anyone in disfavor. It was all sympathy and having a good time with the Italian opera with him. Consequently the daughter of the doctor where he is housed temporarily, notably in her own room, falls in love with him. Her husband Mandras, she just before the war married, joins the partisans and estranges from her being away all the war. The Italian Captain though steals the show and the heart of his woman. The Italians form a humorous opposition against the nazi officer responsible for the beautiful Ionian Island Cephallonia where it all takes place. When Italy surrenders to the allied forces trouble begins for our nice association in the not yet liberated territory of Greece. The Italians must hand over their weapons to the Germans who fall out of sympathy stealing their honor and even lives as loosers. Correlli decides to join the Partisans and fights with his men against the Germans. They are of course defeated, since these Italians were never after the war really, and the Germans execute them all. Corelli not completely dead, his former Nazi-friend spares his life leaving him bleeding to death. He is rescued by the partisan Mandras, the husband of his great love. After recovering he sends him home to Italy. With the war over, Pelagia, his love, follows her father Dr. Jannis also becoming a doctor, but silently grieving the lost loves of her live, Mandras and Corelli. But then the whole village is destroyed a second time, not by war this time, but by an earthquake. Corelli comes back, love reunites: a happy end to a perfect story. In all respects this movie was a pleasure to see. We see everybody, friend and enemy from the human side which even more stresses the madness of the warscenes following where suddenly love turns out to be betrayal and friendship turns out to be enmity. That we should never forget. War ruins not just buildings but the complete of the dream of humanity in a cultural paradise. The afterwar situation of an empty soul in an empty strange world devoid of the light and continuity of the unity of mankind and the darkness of all shame and grief about the atrocities is now better understood. The movie gives no direct answer to the question why not just love is a temporary madness and where all this darkness comes from. One may conclude that the mandolin should not have gone to war even though we are pleased with a happy end believing in it. (website)



Planet of the Apes

Seen: 29 august 2001. Dir: Tim Burton. With: Mark Wahlberg, Estella Warren, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Roth, Michael Duncan Clarke, and others. I saw the original movie with Charlton Heston when I was just an adolescent in the sixties. It was one of the first wide-screen movies I saw in my life and was deeply impressed by it. The story is about an astronaut crashing on a planet where apes rule men in stead of the other way around. Reading reviews of others saying that nothing much but some special effects was won by this version is an insult I do not agree with. This is really a vastly improved version even more fascinating than the previous one. And a good joke too in the end. Everything has been thought over again and reshaped to be more realistic. So does the astronaut called Wahlberg this time work on a space-lab genetically experimenting on chimps and other monkeys. The station runs into a time vortex. Our hero runs also into it trying to retrieve the chimp that went in for reconnaissance but did not come out. Thus he lands on the other planet. In the beginning it is unclear whether it is the earth in another time or not. We have to find out. The monkeys are of different kinds and very mean in their policy. They jump unbelievably high, dine nicely, culture love-affairs and form a sometime humorous ridicule of all human prejudice against soulless animals and cultural falsehood. It was this that was the original attraction of the movie: are we apes or not having evolved from them? The nightmare of this story affirms that we are and that we still need the really human hero to get over it. This version the astronaut leads the inferior humans in the fight against the apes. He does that with the help of the spaceship that he came from but apparently crashed thousands of years before. The monkeys - sorry, apes - he faces are the same that he the other day was testing in the spacelab. He has leaped through time to meet the end result of his own genetic experiments. So this is a better story. He also goes back this time after the battle thinking to find the earth back as it was. But his timetravel changed the fate of the earth: He crashes at the foot of the statue of not Abe Lincoln, but of the Statue of Ape Lincoln. As a little boy I often thought of this humorous twist of words, having seen the first version. But apparently I have thought it along with this director. Now the cops are ape-cops driving ape-police-cars coming to arrest this human that dared to crash, again, on the ape-planet. In an endless loop we thus have a crush on the ape and do not know how to get out of it. Message clear and spacetravel as a form of monkey-business only makes it worse. So what next? (website)


Final Fantasy

Seen: 20 july 2001 Dir: Hironobu Sakaguchi.With the voices of: Alec Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, Ming-Na, James Woods. For the lovers of a first class high-tech animation we have this magnificent piece of work. It should get an Oscar for its cinematographic innovations. Live characters operating as good as living actors are seen in stunning worlds of technology. We are presented with a world in the far future where the whole planet is taken over by aliens called phantoms. They invaded the planet after the crash of their own world smashing into the earth with a meteor of debris from their own exploded world. They are as good as invincible and our team of hero's have a hard time of getting things under control. Even more as with all technological advances we are still in conflics over the rule of command and thus waste our chances for survival with the aliens. End of the strory is the end of all masculine dominance with only our tombraider babe left. She was the only one properly understanding as well the creature phantoms as the nature of our own planet as Gaia: our prime life force. It is somewhat disappointing to see all men die in the world created by themselves and see the woman going back to the beginning of a new world. But the message is clear. The technology and its inventors is there to defeat itself . Father time and mother nature defeat all and force down a new feminine definition of victory:back to nature, back to the source. There is nothing to win really, just a planet to preserve from the technological nightmare. After seeing this one, one is left with the perplexity of seeing ones own worship of technology defeated. A japanese (?) kind of selfhumiliatioon maybe not all westerners might appreciate. But for the cyber-babe freaks this one is paradise.(website)


Brother (filmclub)

Dir: Takeshi Kitano, With: Omar Epps, Takeshi Kitano. This is a movie about a Yakuza going to the States to continue there with his way of living. It is a story about the world that men live in when they have to set up their own order, justice, penal system and income. The Yakuza is the japanese Mafia who just as violently keeps its code of honor as does the Italian school of crime or alternate tax-collecting. It is a lot of merciless murder even to the point of suicide as the brotherhood requires a strict obedience. Transgressions lead to hara-kiri or the cutting of little fingers and such. Our hero is the japanese Yakuza Kitano, who at a certain point in his career refuses to kill another member. He flees to America to start a new life with his younger brother who lives there dealing drugs in association with some other smalltime criminals. The first thing he does in America is to injure badly one of his brothers associates as the one tries to mug him. He can hardly speak English, but together with his brother he sets up with a lot of blood and guts another version of the Yakuza brotherhood. The family has to expand to stay alive. So another Japanese criminal is approached. As he refuses does the negotiator of Kitano commit suicide. To keep the peace thereafter, the family expands with that other hard-core murderer joining the family. Sooner or later they get into trouble with the Mafia demanding 50 percent of their profit. The japanese don't understand the fifty- fifty-principle that made the Mafia strong and fight them instead. No one but Kitano and that black guy who tried to rob him the first day are left over in the end. Kitano goes down in a blaze of glory and the smalltime crook who managed to stay alive and loyal from the beginning to the end gets all the doe. O brother what a code. O brother what an adventure to see the clash of the criminal titans. The movie is filmed in a good and sober realistic style and set up captivating from the beginning to the end and certainly an important addition to our film history; 'Why didn't the Yakuza conquer America?' Go and see and take your sunglasses! (allmovie guide)

Spy Kids

Seen: 13 aug 2001. Dir: Robert Rodriguez; With Antonio Banderas, Teri Hatcher, Carla Cugino, Robert Patrick, George Clooney. Now where has James Bond gone to? I was waiting for the new bond movie when this alternative came around. And surprisingly I was feasted on the same amount of gadgets, adventures and characters of evil that try to rule the world. it is just that James Bond somehow has reincarnated into two kids whose parents turn out to be spies also. They fall prey to the evil toy-maker that wants to rule the world with an army of invincible robot kids. Old spies he transformed with a bad machine into breakfast-cereal-funnies. Also dad is turned into such a funny to a design of his own son and the kids somehow have to beak the intelligence behind it. We find our little hero's traveling in a nice boat-submarine, launched from their home in escape from the bad guys, the thumbs, weird robots that have five thumbs for their head and limbs. There is no end to the technology-fun in Spy Kids. For the adults there are the parents who lost control despite of their own gadgets. Intelligently the kids win over Floop, the evil toymaker for them and do they manage to reprogram the kid-robots to defy all their opponents. The movie is full of color and fun and is exactly what the James Bond movie always should have been: a nice playful thing and sport for the kids. Nothing of all that bad promiscuity of the old style: Mr. Spy is neatly married and has only one mission: keep the family together with all that technology! so agree and go and see. (IMdb )


Jurassic Park III

Seen: 6 aug 2001. Dir: Joe Johnston; production: Steven Spielberg. Met: Sam Neill, Tea Leoni, William H. Macy, John Diehl. The makers certainly did their best to make JP III better and more interesting. Now we may witness how intelligent the Raptors are (sorry, where). They communicated with one another and were capable of coordinating their actions according this nice presentation of our 'forefathers' here on Earth. We can identify with the exciting world they inhabit. All people going to this movie may share this sentiment. Those were the days... there is always a bigger Dino and no one really wins. Never a dull moment in the Jurassic. But one needs to be equipped for it... The effects are again, like with the previous versions, of course stunning. A Spinosaur, worse and bigger than a T-Rex is this time the great evil one hunting our poor friends who accidentally get stuck on the island. They just wanted to go sightseeing, so the story begins, but it turns out to be a planned expedition of a father and mother looking for their son who accidentally landed on Isola Sorna, the second Island with Dino's (see previous JP's). They took some personnel with them, but those get quickly devoured, with satellite phone and all. During the hunt they can hear Mr. Spino coming after them having the phone ringing from his belly. It is not really funny for them., but we as the Godly, the audience without fear, have a good time of course. halfway the recovery of the son they are also hunted by Pterodactylusses, the flying Dino's, also known from the BBC-series. They indeed can also walk with their wings again, but look with this movie much more frightening of course. The raptors steal the show as the good dolphins among the Dino's. Their honor is saved. maybe next JP the T-Rex will lead them the way to the Spino or will the Spino eat the Ptero's for them. All avenues are open and who wants to get away really from that absolute of a natural adventure? All one needs is to incarnate as a Dino oneself. Maybe there is even another planet in our Galaxy that offers the opportunity. Just meditate on it thoroughly and maybe your next life your are also starring in this all time evolutionary success story. Afraid? Then pat the dog and eat your own steak !!!(website)





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