Does every kid go through a dinosaur phase? It was something I was thinking about when watching the new movie in the Jurassic Park franchise. Initially I could not remember ever having a collection of plastic dinosaurs, but after further reflection, I remembered that I did make a report about it in elementary school. This was in the eighties, so it was still a time when you had to go to the library for information, write everything by hand and go to the supermarket to make copies of pictures to paste in your report. The reason that I still remember it wasn’t so much the report itself, but the way it was checked. Because I went to a Christian school (even though I’m not religious) the teacher held tightly to the story of the bible and its timeline. That meant he had put question marks when it said that the dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. That did not fit into his conviction.
So there was a brief period in which I was interested in them, but it did not last long. The first Jurassic Park I do remember though, especially because (just like today) there was a lot of marketing for the film. There were TV specials (which showed how they made the water vibrate in the glass when the Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives), and the effects in the film were breathtaking then. Those effects might not wow us anymore and a movie really needed to do something special in order to excite us. Does Jurassic Wold manage to do that? Continue reading
Not being able to die and having eternal life has its advantages, but it also has its downsides. You’ll see the people you love slowly ageing and there will come a moment when you decide to keep your secret from others. But enough talk about Highlander! The Age of Adaline uses the same concept, minus the sword fighting. The emphasis in this film is: romance. Continue reading
A title like Happy Valley immediately makes me have an association with a couple of things. I think of Bob Ross, with his “happy little trees” and the fantasy that comes with it, but it could also be the place where the minions live. However, the title is anything but that. Happy Valley is a hard and exciting thriller set in a valley where happiness and joy are hard to find. Continue reading
Ever since I saw the hilarious/absurd/shocking, Oscar-nominated Rejected (you can check it out on Youtube) by Don Hertzfeldt, I was a fan of both his animation style and his humour. When I heard earlier this year that he had made a new short I was curious about it. His drawings might be considered simple, but he always succeeds in getting his intention across. For this short, it’s 17 minutes, he recorded conversations he had with his 4-year-old niece, Winona Mae and used these for a story about an impressive journey to the future. Continue reading
During one of my blogathons I read on Rodney’s Fernby Films, that this movie had a lot of impact on him, which made me curious about it. For him growing up it was a movie (besides The Neverending Story) which gave him the idea he could be more than he was. It was the main reason for me to add this movie to my Blindspot series this year. Of course it also helped that this is a science fiction movie from the eighties, which also comes with a lot of nostalgia. Continue reading
Earlier this year an open letter appeared online, which was signed by many important scientists and business men, including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, which called for building in security measures into the artificial intelligence systems which are being developed. There is a good reason for that, because the developments are going quickly, especially when a company like Google is investing in it. The first steps are already being made with self driving cars and personal assistants on your phone like Siri, Cortana and Google Now, but it is not hard to imagine that in our own lifetime we will see ourselves conversing with artificial intelligence which feel like real people. The movie Her managed to show the romantic side of that, in which someone fell in love with such a system. Ex Machina shows another side of it. Continue reading
I regularly get requests from various (new) directors who have made a movie and ask me if I would be interested in reviewing it. Through the years I’ve learned to be very careful accepting as generally the quality usually is pretty low and it is just a bit harder to write something negative when you feel the hope and the belief in their product and you know you’ll have to hurt that a bit. I recently received a request to review The Cobblestone Corridor, directed by Erik Bloomquist. I decided to check out the trailer for his movie and it had me intrigued. Not only because the story looked interesting, but also because it looked very polished. I had a bit of hope that this short movie actually was worth watching. Continue reading