Director: Jeff Wadlow

Actors: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Release Date: August 16

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Kick-Ass is back! And judging from this trailer he grew a pair and spent some time at the gym too. Hit-Girl teams up with our superhero once again as the take on Red Mist, who reinvented himself as “The Motherf*>=er” for the occasion. Unsettled scores from the first part need to be settled and Jim Carrey joins the madness as well as a born-again ex-mobster named Colonel Stars and Stripes. No doubt he’s going to outdo Nicolas Cage as the ‘adult’ hero from part 1. No room for the weak, just bad-ass superheroes and super-villains  who know how to kick ass!

 

 

 

Director: Jacques Audiard

Actors: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts

de rouille et dos

Maybe better known under its English title ‘Rust and Bone’, French director Jacques Audiard based this story on the book bearing the same title by Canadian author Craig Davidson. It tells the story of Alain, who is in his mid-twenties and is the only parent to his 6 year old son Sam. Being unemployed, he leaves Belgium to go live with his sister in the South of France. Alain is an ex-boxer, he’s been in and out of trouble with the law and has trouble taking responsibility. He has no real relationships with the people around him, including his family. When landing in France, he gets a job as a bouncer at a local night club where he meets Stéphanie, who works at a local marine tourist park. Initially, their meeting is short and superficial and doesn’t lead anywhere, but when Stéphanie suffers a surreal accident at the water park where she works, she seeks to get in touch with him again.

This is one of those films that got stripped from all in-necessities. What is left is just a genuine, sometimes raw story about two every day people, superbly portrayed by both lead actors. It has that kind of pureness we lack so often in today’s film business. It doesn’t judge, there’s no good or bad, there’s just a story being told. As a viewer you are free to do whatever you want with that.

Audiard decided to go with Matthias Schoenaerts for the leading male role. Although initially, no professional actor was to play Alain. But after more than 200 unsuccessful auditions in numerous gyms and boxing clubs and after seeing Schoenaerts’ performance in “Bullhead’, he finally changed his mind, all for the best if you ask me.

Cover of "The Big Lebowski (Widescreen Co...

Cover via Amazon

Can you believe it? It’s been exactly15 years already since someone peed on The Dude’s rug! The Coen Brothers’  The Big Lebowski was released on March the 6th, 1998. I remember I went to see it in the theater twice. The Dude, Walter, Donny, bowling, Jesus Quintana and the best dream sequence in a movie ever…high-times for cinema those were! “Shut the f*** up Donny!”

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Actors: Ulrich Mühe, Sebastian Koch, Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Tukur

Cover of "The Lives of Others"

Yes, another German movie makes it on Moviemojoblog :-). That’s 2 in a row even. I can’t help it. It’s not like I’m doing it on purpose, but this film was on my ‘must see’ list for quite some time already and than I noticed it got an extremely high user rating on IMBD, placing it on the 61st spot on their top 250 of all time. More than enough reason not to put it off any longer… I’m glad I didn’t.

This is what it’s about: Gerd Wiesler is a cold-hearted, incorruptible captain of the East German secret police in East-Berlin during the mid-eighties. He conducts rigorous marathon- interrogations on citizens who are suspected to doubt or undermine the ideas of the Social Unity Party. He trains and screens young Stasi recruits and he monitors suspects in their homes by means of bugs, wires and cameras. One day he is ordered to find incriminating evidence against a well-known and respected play-writer, Georg Dreyman. Dreyman’s girlfriend is a famous theater actress who is being courted by a corrupt minister, Bruno Hempf, of the Social Party. Hempf knows she is involved with Dreyman and that in order to get her, he needs to get Dreyman out of the way. Since Dreyman is part of a high profile circle of writers and artists, and thus knows many dissidents, free-thinkers and possible enemies, Hempf believes he can be found guilty of something and be put away.

When Wiesler finds out that this is the actual reason why he is asked to watch Dreyman, he starts to slack for the first time. And when he actually finds some serious incriminating evidence against him, he faces a difficult dilemma. Obey the corrupt minister, or help the lovers.

Das Leben der Anderen is yet another German masterpiece that effortlessly claims its place among other German modern classics like Lola Rennt, Gegen die Wand, Das Boot and Der Untergang. It’s the story of a man who’s faith in a rigid system start to crumble, a system he served, in an almost robotic way, for most of his life. It gives a detailed insight into the methods used by the Stasi and how far they went to obtain personal information, or to quote Dreyman: “The state office for statistics counts everything; knows everything: how many pairs of shoes I buy a year: 2.3, how many books I read a year: 3.2 and how many students graduate with perfect marks: 6,347. But there’s one statistic that isn’t collected there, perhaps because such numbers cause even paper-pushers pain: and that is the suicide rate.” Privacy was non-existent in those days.

Das Leben der Anderen was the debut of director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (could a name sound any more German?). It scooped up both the BAFTA and the Oscar for best foreign movie in 2006. I didn’t even know that when I watched it, but it makes complete sense, it’s a real ‘must-see’.

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25 years ago today, the martial arts cult classic ‘Bloodsport’ was released, introducing Jean-Claude Van Damme on the big screen. I know what your thinking: so what? Why would he want to bring that up? Well now, not only is J.C. a fellow countryman, I also live in his hometown, near Brussels. So no, I can’t just let it pass. 🙂 Besides, some of you might find it hard to admit, but were you not mesmerized, back in the day, when you saw J.C. do his famous split for the first time? Or when he slammed a few teeth out of some bad guy’s jaw with his jump spinning heel-kick? You know you where, at some point in our boyhood, we all wanted to be like Jean-Claude. Luckily, for most of us, it passed. I know J.C. still considers this film his baby, and although he’s getting a part of his hip replaced at a hospital in Belgium this week,  I still bet today’s a pretty a special day for him.

Director: Marc Rothemund

Actors: Julia Jentsch, Fabian Hinrichs, Gerald Alexander Held

Actress Julia Jentsch as Sophie Scholl on tria...

Actress Julia Jentsch as Sophie Scholl on trial in Sophie Scholl – The Final Days (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sophie Scholl was a young, German woman who stood up to the Nazi regime. She joined the Nazi resistance group ‘The White Rose’ but got caught while distributing anti-Nazi pamphlets at the university of Munich in 1943. This German spoken film is a journey through her last six days, from the planning of the pamphlet distribution, to the arrest, the interrogation by the Gestapo, her trial and finally her execution.

While watching, a growing feeling of uneasiness came over me. At first, while being interrogated by the Gestapo, Sophie seems to be able to talk her way out of any involvement. She is about to get released, but at the very last moment gets called back by her interrogator. Things really start going downhill for Sophie from there on. Slowly but surely, you see the horrible reality dawning upon her: she is going to die. She can no longer mislead her interrogator, as evidence builds up against her. Her harsh trial is lead by a judge who obviously has no intention of giving Sophie and her companions any fair chance. But the most atrocious part to me was the medieval fashion the Nazis used to fulfill executions in those days.

This movie is unique in a way, as it is a rendition of the Nazi regime’s brutality and ruthlessness but seen from a different side, the German side. It shows how the Nazi regime wasn’t any more lenient for anyone with ideas that strayed from theirs, even amongst their own.

Director: David Grohl

Stars: Trent Reznor, Tom Petty, Mick Fleetwood, David Grohl, Rick Rubin

Sound-City    image_161898_2

To make music nowadays, all one needs is a laptop and some Pro Tools-like software. Back in the all or nothing-days, you needed a fully equipped music studio, and more importantly, gifted and talented people and musicians. Making music was a complicated work, which not only involved lots of equipment, more than anything it was a process of creation between people, coming together in one place, trying to find that moment of magic and taking it from there.

This is a documentary about one of those places, probably one of the most legendary of them all: Sound City. No one less than uber-Foo Fighter Dave Grohl took it upon himself to bring us the story of this place where more than 100 certified gold and platinum records were recorded. Sound City started in 1969 in Van Nuys, Los Angeles. Its first marking points were the recordings of Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac’s debut albums in the early and mid-seventies. They were soon followed by a flock of seventies rock legends. Sound City wasn’t a shiny, fancy music palace. If anything, it was a dump, with hideous brown carpet on the walls, but also with a very particular recording sound and managed by people who loved what they were doing. During the eighties Sound City had trouble keeping up with the first wave of digitalized music. The overproduced hair-band rock sound was miles away from what Sound City was about. It wasn’t until the recording of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ that the place re-boomed.

Thank you Dave, for letting us mortals have a peak at one of rock music’s most sacred places.