Carice van Houten

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Coming off the highly marketable Twilight movies, director Bill Condon decided to go a bit more mature but stick with a pasty pale figure that strikes fear into the heart of many: Julian Assange. It’s fitting Condon’s approach is radical in its own way. Assange himself has publicly taken issue with the film, and when you see the warts and all portrait, you’ll understand why. Thus far the movie has been as splitting as the man in question. Critics have been mixed, including our own Kate Erbland who reviewed the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it’s the reaction Condon expected. It’s probably not the response he wanted, but, as he says, it happens. Condon sat down with us to discuss those responses to the film, as well the battle between great characters and real life.

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Blog of Thrones

Season two of Game of Thrones rages on. And up to this point, there has been a great deal of shifting in pace. It opened fast and furious, with so much to say in that frantic first episode. Then is slowed down for two episodes, taking its time in showing us some of the characters we’ll be spending time with in this frame. And now we’re back to accelerating. And how. As we do every week, it’s time to talk about it in our Blog of Thrones. But before we do that, a usual warning: this is being written under the assumption that you’ve seen this week’s episode and all of season one. We take no responsibility for spoiling anything that has already happened on the show. Also, it’s being written by someone who is completely new to the material. I have no idea what will happen, and I like it that way. So no making fun of me for not knowing what the hell that thing is at the end of “Garden of Bones” and if you can avoid it, don’t spoil it for me (or others) in the comment section. That said, lets get down to business. There’s a lot of ground to cover.

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Blog of Thrones

Four episodes. That’s about how long I was able to remain a skeptic. For some unforeseen and completely magical reason, I was able to remain completely spoiler-free on Game of Thrones and its much talked about first season. Even though it had aired many months before, I went into reviewing the first season on Blu-ray last month with open eyes and a clear mind, completely untainted save for the layers of praise spread all over the series by many a friend or acquaintance. Having never read the books and feeling rather complacent with the iron-crusted genre of kings, lords and fools. Little did I know that I was merely a cripple, a bastard and a broken thing. My skepticism would be washed away half way through the opening series, when all hell was breaking. With one swipe of the sword (or a few, rather), I was converted into a believer. There’s more to this world of the Westeros than I had ever expected. And that’s before the first season’s final moments, where seeing truly was believing. This has all brought us to this moment, the day following the premiere of season two. My newfound fandom of this world has not yet led me to the literature, but it might. It has, at the very least, led me to a desire to blog along with the epic second season. I write this as convert, who remained skeptical through much of the first season, unable to understand what the big deal was about until […]

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A young Spanish boy named Juan crawls out his bedroom window in search of a mewling cat, but before he can catch it he sees a shrouded figure scale the outside wall and enter his bedroom. The boy rushes back through the window to find his mother being choked by the dark figure. He yells at the intruder who immediately turns his attention to the child and begins to approach… A young British girl named Mia (Ella Purnell) wakes in the middle of the night convinced that someone is watching her from the closet. She entreats her father to investigate, but he finds nothing until he sits on her bed in the dark trying to calm her nerves. She stares wide-eyed over his shoulder and whispers “He’s here.” Her father stands and turns just as a figure emerges from the closet… Juan’s mother (Pilar López de Ayala) struggles to help and even asks a friendly priest for an exorcism, but Father Antonio (Daniel Brühl) suspects the devil has little to do with the boy’s troubles. Mia’s father (Clive Owen) meanwhile finds himself battling the threatening visitor but his disbelieving wife (Carice van Houten) as well. What’s the connection between the faceless intruder haunting both Juan and Mia, and will their parents’ love be enough to stop the nightmare?

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Either the mulitple-impling title of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo‘s Intruders is not entirely apt, or marketing for the film is playing some serious tricks on us. Titles aside, the 28 Weeks Later helmer is back with a new horror flick that might just scare your face right off – or, if not yours, perhaps some of the film’s stars. The film sees Clive Owen as a dad whose creative 13-year-old daughter (Ella Purnell) tells her class a story about a scary, faceless creature that visits kids during the night. And then the creature (“Hollow Face”) just goes ahead and shows right up – at least, that’s how it looks in this new trailer. The film’s official synopsis explains the situation as such: “Though no one can see him, Hollow Face lurks in the corners, desperately desiring love but only knowing how to spread fear and hate…The line between the real and the imaginary blurs as fissures start to open within the family unit.” And while that’s terrifying enough, perhaps the film’s title is spot-on, because that same synopsis also tells us that this “is the chilling story of two children living in different countries, each visited nightly by a faceless being who wants to take possession of them.” So why are we only meeting Owen and Purnell? I wonder… Keep your eyes open and your mouth wide, and check out the new trailer for Intruders after the break.

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There are no morally sound characters in Black Death, Christopher Smith‘s followup film to Triangle. Nearly every character is a pure bastard. No one in this universe, which is a solid mix of a genre filmmaking and period piece, could be deemed a good person. Oddly enough, though, the most charming character is who some will claim to be the villain: Carice Van Houten‘s charming and intimidating witch. The British director is interested in playing in gray areas and raising questions. If you have seen Triangle, then you should know by now Smith isn’t all about the answers. Black Death may not end on the complete mind-boggling question mark that Triangle does, which Smith himself jokes about, but there are definitely some open ends to be discussed. Here’s what director Christopher Smith had to say about his atmospheric horror film:

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At first, the new red band teaser for Repo Men, a futuristic action film starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker, seems like a tired old girl. That is, until she busts loose with bloody intensity.

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stone-vanhouten

What do having sex with Sharon Stone, having sex with Carice Van Houten, and having sex for money have in common? I’ll give you a hint, and it’s not having sex.

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valkyrie_review1

Enlightened to the evil of Adolf Hitler, a battle tested German Colonel named Clause von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise), joins a group of fellow dissenters in an intricate plot to assassinate their Fuhrer.

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H. Stewart

Black Book

Movie News By H. Stewart on November 17, 2007 | Comments (9)

For a movie that looks so “Hollywood”, Black Book is terribly grim, but that’s because, despite its epic surface, it isn’t Hollywood at all.

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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+


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