Rockstar Games has always lived up to its name, doing things others didn’t. From the first non-3D Grand Theft Auto game on they were a source of controversy. The extreme violence which could be executed shocked and the first game wasn’t even allowed to be sold in Brazil. The franchise was popular, but it was its first step into 3D with Grand Theft Auto 3 which really brought the series to a bigger audience. I can still remember when I first played the game at a colleague’s house. It was the reason for me to go out and buy a Playstation 2. The game wasn’t interesting because of its violence, but because it managed to realise a convincing, living world where you could do missions, but also decide to just drive around and listen to the often hilarious radio stations or simply cause mayhem and see how long you could survive.
The Gamechangers, a made for TV movie from the BBC, tells the story of Sam Houser (Daniel Radcliffe) and the people around him who work at Rockstar during the period that Grand Theft Auto Vice City was just realised and the studio started making San Andreas and creating the new RAGE game-engine for the next generation of consoles. Continue reading
In 1980, when the reign of Franco just ended, Spain was a country which still had unrest. People who did things that were unspeakable weren’t prose cued. The structure within the police still hadn’t changed enough. The result was that there still wasn’t a balance between the new democracy and the old dictatorial ways and methods of gaining intelligence. It is during this time that the events of this movie take place. Two police officers who don’t get along too well travel to the marshes of Spain to look into a case where two teenage sisters are missing. The two stand out in the small town and have to deal with a lot more than they were expecting. Continue reading
Every sport needs its pioneers and when it comes to stunt driving on a motorcycle there is only one name that comes to mind: Evel Knievel. Even though a lot of people won’t know exactly what he did, his name is still well-known. This documentary shows the life of a legend and tells the story about how a simple boy eventually found his calling and made a career out of it which would earn him millions. Continue reading
“Smash his camera” are words which immediately make you wonder why someone would say them, but if you watch this documentary it the reason quickly becomes clear. The film is about Ron Galella, who photographs celebrities for a living. He’s not doing that in the studios though with great light and perfectly dressed models, but on the streets as a paparazzo. He’s been doing that since the cities and because of that he has been on of the first photographers working for the tabloid industry. This documentary looks at his career, one which will not be appreciated by everyone. Continue reading
I regularly receive requests from various (new) directors who have made a movie and ask me whether I’d be interested in reviewing it. Through the years I’ve become very hesitant in accepting such requests as quality generally is quite low. And I think it is hard to have personal contact with someone and also write something negative. It’s a product which they believe in, but where you don’t share that vision. Recently I was asked to review The Cobblestone Corridor, directed by Erik Bloomquist. I decided to watch the trailer and it peaked my interest. Not only because the story itself looked fascinating, but also because it looked good. I had the hope that this short movie was worth seeing. Continue reading
Al Pacino is already 75 years, but the actor does not even seem to think about retiring. If you look at the films he has made in recent years, their quality might not have been good for each one of them (he was criticized for his role in Jack and Jill), but as a filmfan I always look forward to his appearance. It is an actor who has more than earned his marks with a variety of classic roles (such as The Godfather, Scarface, Dog Day Afternoon, Heat and Carlito’s Way). With Danny Collins, he shows that he is still full of energy, but is it also a movie you must check out? Continue reading
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