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)

9.23-11.19 2000

(Dutch movies are discussed in Dutch)



 Where the heart is

Seen: 11.19.00. Dir. Matt Williams. Starring: Natalie Portman. The Wal-Mart-woman is what this charming story is about. She is a loyal soul that tries to survive in a crazy world. She lives by the moment and sleeps for 14 days in a supermarket called the Wal Mart to survive. There she gives birth to her baby. The father freaks out alone without her on the road to hell. She though is protected by God. She never hates, not even when her own mother steels the only capital she has. She is like a saint. The community where the supermarket is accepts her with her baby as an act of contrition. She falls in love with an intelligent celibate librarian. In town she is famous and survives in the community. Religious people adopt her with her child and after a hurricane that wipes out the house where she then lives, she inherits the capital of the woman that welcomed her but died in the storm. The story is in fact about believing in God and providence. Good things for good people. Seeing it one would want that all this really happened. It promotes the small community where people still know one another that is so often absent in big cities. The real of life is the life within the community. It is good to see a movie advocating this. A fine meditation. (website)



 Nurse Betty

Seen: 11.19.00.. Dir.Neil Labute. Starring: Renée Zeilweger. The psychology of repression and denial is a grateful theme in the cinema. This time a housewife's husband is murdered. She is an addict of soapseries and her husband was killed while she was watching her favorite series. It is a hospital soap. From the shock of the murder, she flips into the mind of the soap and stays there for almost the complete movie. She goes away in her car not knowing any longer of her husband at all. Infiltrating into the cast of the soap she even makes a little step up for a career in the the world of soap herself. Meanwhile the murderers are after her because she didn't testify yet as a witness. Renée is an angel of a woman and charms everybody, even one of the two killers falls in love with the woman he actually has to kill. Although deluded she defeats in her state all evil and only breaks down when she actually is recognized as nurse Betty to play in the soap. Having to act her own illusion she drops out of it: a known therapeutic technique called symptom-prescription. Everything works out fine in this movie. The only thing of criticism is the strength of the delusional world that people live in following t.v. If one really would have to live the reality t.v. shows, the majority of the people would probably break down like Betty. A thing to think about. (website)




 Space Cowboys

Seen: 11.12.00. Dir. Eastwood, starring Tommy L Jones, Donald Sutherland. It is no science fiction, no alien forces, but still it carries the sensation of the genre. In fact this is a new genre: a spacedrama reminding of the meteormovies where one tries to destroy the meteor with a space-excursion. All human troubles in space. A russian satellite that turns out to be a cold-war relic must be put back in orbit as it may not crash on earth carrying nuclear warheads. But the stuff is decades old and nobody but an elder team of testpilots, formerly defeated by the first monkey in space,can, with the original engineer of the machine, fix the problem. the story is relatively simple, but amusing. How the elders fight back and trick their way into space, but now really for the first time. The special effects cannot be detected, everything is very real: a satellite crashing in the space-module of our hero's: there is no limit anymore in the cinema. What is thought can be done. Although not much of a philosophical challenge, an entertaining space-cowboy story of the strong old team of actors we know so well. Worth the money. (website)



  The Cell

Seen: 11.12.00. Dir. Tarsem, starring Jennifer Lopez. Within each genre there is a constant effort to make the best release ever. This movie is from the serial killer genre. This time a man with a rare type of catatonic schizophrenia is roaming. Before his final stupor he freaks out completely on his youth trauma's killing all kinds of beautiful woman turning them with bleach into dolls after drowning them cruelly in a cell that automatically step by step fills with water. After him going into his catatonic state he Has locked up a woman and nobody knows where. And here begins the interesting part of the movie. Our heroin, a cyber-psychologist works with virtual encounters in a mind-machine that links the client to the therapist. She, with a detective, has to figure out where the girl is hidden, linking up to the body of the comatose client. Catherine, the therapist normally goes in to the mind of the client. But this time she goes the forbidden way reversing the process and alowing the client into her own world. The way this is all pictured has great class and soothes the horrid theme and depressing psychology of the serial killer theme. Lopez is a very beautiful magnetic personality ideal for arty cyberscenes that defeat all imagination. For the real cyberart lovers a must see. Requires a thick skin against the digestive horror management of this genre though. (website)



 The Wonder Boys

Seen: 11.06.00. Dir. Curtis Hansen, starring Michael Douglas. It is a pleasure to see the complete mess of the life of a freak out literature professor played by this topactor at his best. Its a complete comedy of errors and success charming from the beginning to the end. Each scene is well thought through. In the life of this professor everything goes wrong in a single day. His mistress is pregnant, a student of his kills the dog which he carries around for most of the movie in the trunk of his car. He loses his 2130 pages long manuscript, his car is stolen, he's on marihuana and so on. The wonder boys are the writers that play in this movie the major part. Their life is a complete mess, but nothing is really wrong. The movie shows how extreme it can be to invent lives of fiction and still keep ones own life in order. In the end love wins and all problems are sorted out, but the way towards the fulfillment is very smartly told in the story of a single day. One learns: literature and its making is not a life on itself , but a challenge to find out how mankind and God really works. (website)





 The Skulls

Seen: 11.06.00. Dir, Rob Cohen, with Joshua Jacksonm and Paul Walker. The combination of a secret society and an elite can't be good is the theme of this movie about the so-called skulls-society. It is an elite class society where young adults are guided into the power of maturity. During the initiation the soulbrother of our hero makes a serious mistake. He accidentally kills the friend of his friend, but doesn't know that he didn't quite do it. There is a giant cover-up from the skulls-society that doesn't do much good to the already doubtful powertrip of the group-ego. Of course everything runs out of hand but after all good wins from evil. That is the story. The content is filmed in the all-powerful trip edging to an almost fascistic-captalistic atmosphere where the young guys are pushed to the limit of their critical faculties. Is this right? This group-ego-trip must lead to disaster. As usual with all these films at the end there is a somewhat vague reference to the goodness and freedom of a materialistic but simple and natural life in attachment to the other sex. The girl is won etc. One always misses the true challenge these group-ego's make for the individual selfrealizer. What exactly would be the cure for the social diseases so typically pictured in this movie? Being the fugitive always on the run? Getting married? I don't think so. It is the real problem and the answer is still open as far as the cinema is concerned. The science of individual liberation must still be uncovered. (Website)





 Dancer in the Dark

Seen: 10.28.00. Dir, Lars von Trier, starring: Björk, Catherine Deneuve. It has a been a long time that we could see a musical in the cinema (we missed the Woody Allen nostalgia). In a musical there is someone always there to catch you when you fall. No great calamities happen. The fact that we rarely see our stories sung, lest it is an opera, is indicative for a bit of a cinematographic depression. Too much trouble does not permit singing or celebration. The story presented here of a young musical mother going blind that tries to take care of her son that also goes blind is a right out drama. In this movie the music is presented as a remedy, an escape from life's misery and proves itself that way valid. Just after a murder there is a beautiful and touching musical performance. Just before a death sentence there is an artistic poetic solo of sung emotions. Exactly everything that we miss in everyday life of security and comfort. We simply should do more with music in our life's and actively participate tapdancing in court. It is culturally mandatory for a sane mind. In this respect this movie makes an important statement that no cinephile may miss. Björks music works fine and is refreshing in contrast with the sound of music style. It is more rhythmic, more authentic more genuine and more up-to-date. Björk as a debutante actress seems to be a real pro in emotional expression. There is nothing that this wonderwoman can't do. Finally must be said that especially senator Bush of Texas should see this movie as it is also a political statement against the death-penalty: it is too dramatic of a onesided vision of life and can also be sung now. (website)




 What lies Beneath

Seen: 10.28.00. Dir, Robert Zemeckis, starring: Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer. The story of an older couple getting into trouble as soon as the children have left home is a genre by now. The two big stars in this story are truly fit for the job. Both have characters too strong to be true and the end of that is predictable. In the beginning of the story there is a lot of confusion: a spirit is seen, the characters are wrongly recognized; the plot is interesting and fascinating to the end. The spiritual and material conspire for the proper outcome of truth. But half way the movie one notices that this story is made up. It is from the Hollywood recepybook, however professionally made and neatly accumulating to the final climax. Cars driven in madness in stormy nights, obscure lakes where bodies are drowned, bathrooms that frighten just looking at them. For me it was too predictable and I had trouble staying awake to the end of the film. Still glad I saw the end though: the bad guy dies! I woke up just in time to follow the story to the end. Why these pictures? To me they belong to the category of digestive movies. They are professionally made, well casted and well acted stimulants for ones digestion. My advise: eat lighter, and enjoy more happy and more real stories that celebrate something else than the badness of human nature or the total failure of wealth and societal accomplishment. (website)



 Nutty Professor II The Klumps.

Seen: 10.19.00. Dir,Peter Segal, starring: Eddy Murphy and Janet Jackson (the singer). Uncomplicated fun with the Nutty Professor. People who love the Murphy-style are fully served with this picture made by the director of Naked Gun 33-!/3. With the latest technology it is possible to have Eddy acting a complete family actively engaged and walking around each other. Of course the story is full of typical american humor: giant hamsters making love to bad characters, impossible science and the weirdest plot. All excuses to see all the jokes line up are forgiven. Janet is sweet sugar and Eddy is crazy as ever. One can only recognize him by his typical laugh. Its Inherited in the Klump family of which only the kid is a real fat one (laughs differently). The story is not really to be analyzed or would it be that the quest for a rejuvenation recepy would equal he quest for the soul? No, that we do not think of. One shouldn't think either about laughing at the madness of fat people or of frustrations about not being able to get the beauty that only wants you with your being special. The theme of the alter-ego of the schizoid of modern man is also too much to be taken seriously here. Everything is an excuse for the Eddy Murphy theater and thus it is exactly what it promises. (website)



 American Psycho

Seen: 10.19.00. Dir. Mary Harron, starring: Christian Bale and William Dafoe. To a novel of Brett Eaton Ellis. I am always glad to see movies of the next generation. In this case the Wallstreet yup/weekend millionaire. It reminds of the the movie Fight Club. It is about the double mind of a straight business guy who is more worried about his business card than about his freedom. He dines always out and spends money like water. Some woman about him are like whores, some are like drug addicts. Everything seems to be wrong with the yuppie life of perfect bodies, worked out and manicured. Never ones sees them in the workplace, they watch t.v.. in the office and constantly socialize in and about restaurants and other incrowd places. Under the surface the American Psycho lives in an unreal word of sexual and violent fantasies. The guy called Bateman is on a powertrip and doesn't know reality from fantasy anymore. He is psychotic and hardly capable of keeping up his front. Also the onlooker doesn't know what of his life is real and what not. Nor does the detective, who accidentally researches on a disappeared friend, really penetrate the problem. In the end the story itself cracks up: the apartment where he has hidden his victims is suddenly rented to someone else, his lawyer takes his confessions for a joke and in the end the ones he thought he killed are still alive. The police doesn't get to him. Everything continues. But is that a relief? The psycho was alive, and could have been living the crimes he thought he committed. In fact the movie warns against the breakdown of these kind of people, the whole lifestyle of falsehood and stylish nonsense. Too much materialism can't be good. Go and see and be convinced of the necessity of a new time of living. (website)



Seen: 10.12.00. Dir. Eric Vali, starring: the Dopo-people. In a small village at the border of Tibet a classical drama enfolds: the older generation has to give way to the younger, and that is a problem. The young are adamant and take risks defying the gods of the elders who sort everything out with proper timing to the sky to take the salt on yaks over the 5000 meter high mountains for their living. Chief Tinlé loses his eldest son and thus the control over the transport of the salt. He first tries to persuade his other son in the buddhist monastery, but finds out he has to do it himself. But he is too old. Still he puts it to a test with other elders to prove his prowess. Karma the upcoming leader takes of with the younger ones without respecting the elders. They do not confide in their propositions. He leads and goes ahead. Later Tinlé follows with the elders. End of the story is beautiful and honorable: the chief proves himself and passes his leadership to Karma and leaves for the eternal abode of the gods. The story impresses as very authentic. The images are delightful and the spirit is high. After seeing it one would like to keep it at heart always. But we low-to the ground westerners eat too much and live to alienated from nature and one another to see the real of life as these people do: they still live as a community. That soul is what one must keep and cherish. Go and see.



 Coyote Ugly

Seen: 10.12.00. Dir. Jerry Bruckheimer, starring: Piper Perabo & John Goodman. A young girl goes to New York to take her chances as a songwriter. She is too shy to perform her songs herself and finds no reception for her work. Trouble: how to make money. Her father wants to support, but she has decided for her own. She begins working in a freak out bar called the Coyote Ugly ('Cheers was taken)' with hot ladies on the tab going wild to stimulate the customers. Meanwhile a nice guy is courting her. Everything works out fine in this movie, although father is quite shocked at the exhibitionist show of his daughter. but realizing that it helps her over her shyness to sing her own songs the problem is over with him. The movie touches soul because the lady starring is a virgin. Her desire to be found is real and so is the movie justified at all. A less innocent young flower would have made the story quite desperate or false. Proven is that given a flower pure a lot of weed can be taken.





Seen: 10.06.00. Dir . Brian Singer with Patrick Steward, Ian Mckellen and Famke Janssen. Mankind is mutating and we have to learn to cope with it. We are developing abilities like supernatural hearing laser eyes, walking trough walls etc. The spirit gains control over matter. In this almost comic-book style flashing movie there are two types of mutants, the bitter & bad ones who want to change all normal people into mutants and the good ones who believe that they can be of service and goodness. These two forces fight with one other in this picture that has a lot of spectacular special effects keeping the fascination from the beginning to the end. But still after all the exciting adventures and the classical victory of the good over the bad one wonders. Developing special abilities is in fact a hindrance on itself. Of course it is not about the material abuse of spiritual powers. Only an integer spirit without material motives will be successful in persisting to the good. But who cares. The bad must be fought with its own weapons and thus we may thank the bad that we really need these special abilities and may be excited to see all these beautiful hero's and their technology. It is superman' s children we are looking at and we are getting somewhere.., but darn, all that abuse... how to get rid of it? Yes a plastic prison for Mr. Magneto will do till the next version of X-men. I will develop also a special ability for it: but don't tell anyone.



Wilde Mossels

Gezien: 10.06.00. regie. Erik de Bruijn, hoofdrol: Fedja van Huet. Ooit gedroogde mossels gerookt? Je wordt er helemaal wàzig van man. Een aantal jonge kerels op het zeeuwse platteland brengen hun tijd door met rocken, raven, zuipen, met de moter crossen en achter de wijven aanzitten. Ze zijn op de leeftijd dat er wat moet gebeuren: settelen of uitvliegen. De zaak van vader overnemen of een droom najagen. Het gaat om de zoon van een eigenaar van een kleine werf. Hij helpt z'n vader in de zaak, maar wil die niet overnemen. Moeder is een niet-zeeuwse die een ietwat te incestueuze fysieke liefde voor haar zoon koestert omdat het zo'n stoere vent is. Pa is allang bekeerd tot enkel werken. Ma verveelt zich in een te luxe huis en doet alsof ze onder de rook van Amsterdam zit. Pa gaat dood en zoon lief mòet het dan overnemen. Dingen lopen echter mis: hij raakt z'n vriendin kwijt, z'n moeder krijgt een middelbare zak van een vrijer. Onze held boos op z'n motor d'r vandoor. Hij steekt z'n schip in de fik: en pa en ma en z'n vriendin is te veel voor hem want hij is maar een vage dromer die naar Ierland wil of zoiets. Hij vecht maar verliest. De hele film denk je: alles gaat toch goed, alles komt weer op z'n pootjes terecht. Maar een happy end zit d'r niet in. Misschien Nederlands: we geloven niet in werelds succes, maar moeten naar de hemel. Nu nog wachten op een film die de wedergeboorte voor een nieuw leven laat zien als overwinning zonder dat het drama weer op de mislukking blijft hangen en op de dood en de leegte uitloopt. Toch een goede rolprent, fijn geacteerd, goed verfilmd en onderhoudend. Niet missen. o.k. de nederlandse film zoekt naar iets... maar wat.



Rules of engagement

Seen: 09.27.00. Dir. William Friedkin, starring: Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel J. Jackson. There was an incident with an american embassy in the east of Africa which ran into a drama casting doubt on the integrity of american military conduct. This movie is the definitive official answer to the questions raised by the killing of some 80 civilians in the riot against the embassy. It is somewhat shocking to find out how crooked and cruel officials in reality can be in the defense of a supposed honor of state. In the movie this leads to a courtcase in which in fact hypocrisy of modern statemanagement stands trial against the ones who have to do the dirty work and are almost doomed to be scapegoated. The cover-up doesn't win and of course righteousness wins. otherwise it wouldn't be of the american cinema (most probably), but it is as deludingly made as it was in reality. The viewer sees things go wrong and serving as the public opinion one in the beginning asks oneself why this movie was made. Until seen to the end this question is not properly answered, so that viewers should be forbidden to walk out of it halfway. The movie itself is the wrestling for the truth against the foul lies of populist pragmatics. It gave me personally hope that someday too the whole cover up of the so called blessings of modern time are unmasked as a perversion of the time-management itself on this planet. It was after all again the complaint of Vietnam and the classical christian estrangement with Islam that led in this story. Only after doing full justice to the truth of this sixties generation will we be able to truly have confidence in a future without the pack of lies we all suffered and still are suffering under. Happy passion to all with the rules of engagement!







 previous reviews  | index                 

other movielinks and searchengines |             
add a link |             



backgroundgraphic: Argotique