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March 29th, 2017

11:06 am - Spider-Man: Homecoming, A Ghost Story, Black Butterfly, Small Crimes, Ferdinand
Spider-Man: Homecoming     HD720p 93MB   HD1080p 172MB
Second trailer for the second Spider-Man reboot this decade, this time more aimed at the teenage crowd. A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, he returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine - distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man - but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened. Zendaya, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Donald Glover, Martin Starr, Bokeem Woodbine and Michael Chernus are also part of the cast. Directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car).

A Ghost Story     HD720p 97MB
A ... ghost story that is more lyrical than narrative, in which a recently deceased, a white-sheeted ghost (Casey Affleck) returns to his suburban home to console his bereft wife (Rooney Mara), only to find that in his spectral state he has become unstuck in time, forced to watch passively as the life he knew and the woman he loves slowly slip away. Increasingly unmoored, the ghost embarks on a cosmic journey through memory and history, confronting life's ineffable questions and the enormity of existence. Written and directed by David Lowery (Pete's Dragon, Ain't Them Bodies Saints).
Certainly not for everyone, but it has gotten very favourable festival reviews.

Black Butterfly     HD720p 83MB
Thriller based on a French TV movie. Outside a mountain town grappling with a series of abductions and murders, Paul (Antonio Banderas), a reclusive writer, struggles to start what he hopes will be a career-saving screenplay. After a tense encounter at a diner with a drifter named Jack (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Paul offers Jack a place to stay, and soon the edgy, demanding Jack muscles his way into Paul's work. As a storm cuts off power to the isolated cabin, the two men begin a jagged game of one-upmanship that will bring at least one tale to an end. Piper Perabo is also part of the cast.

Small Crimes     HD720p 16MB
Darkly comedic thriller in which, after serving time for the attempted murder of a District Attorney, disgraced former cop Joe Denton (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) returns home looking for redemption. An embarrassment to his parents and abandoned by his ex-wife, it seems as if things can’t get much worse. But then Joe finds himself trapped in the mess he left behind, in the cross fire between a crooked sheriff, the vengeful DA, and a mafia kingpin who knows too much. Gary Cole, Jacki Weaver, Robert Forster, Molly Parker and Macon Blair are also part of the cast.
Will start streaming on Netflix April 28th.

Ferdinand     HD720p 87MB
First trailer for this animated family movie to be in theatres in December. Set in Spain, it tells the story of a giant bull (John Cena) with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. Further voices will be provided by Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs, Gabriel Iglesias, Bobby Cannavale, David Tennant and Anthony Anderson. Co-directed by Carlos Saldanha (Rio, Ice Age 2).

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March 27th, 2017

11:35 am - Justice League, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, My Cousin Rachel, Early Man, Baywatch
Justice League     HD720p 97MB   HD1080p 178MB
After the Comic-Con footage from last year, the first trailer for DC Comics' desperate attempt to catch-up with Marvel's Avengers, directed by Zack Snyder (Man of Steel, 300, Sucker Punch). Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), to face an even greater enemy. Together, the two work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes - Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) - it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
J.K. Simmons, Amy Adams, Connie Nielsen, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Amber Heard, Joe Morton, Billy Crudup, Ciarán Hinds, Kiersey Clemons, Willem Dafoe, Jesse Eisenberg and Henry Cavill are already listed as cast member, plus rumours of even more appearances. I suspect the inevitable extended cut will be four hours of non-stop special effects.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri     HD720p 20MB
Redband trailer for the latest comedic drama written and directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths). After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at the town's revered chief of police (Woody Harrelson). When his second-in-command (Sam Rockwell), an immature mother's boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing's law enforcement is only exacerbated. Peter Dinklage, John Hawkes, Abbie Cornish, Caleb Landry Jones and Lucas Hedges are also part of the cast.
Well, that escalated quickly.

My Cousin Rachel     HD720p 97MB
US trailer for this dark romance, an adaptation of the novel by Daphne Du Maurier. It tells the story of a young Englishman (Sam Claflin) who plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin (Rachel Weisz), believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms. Holliday Grainger and Iain Glen are also part of the cast. Directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Morning Glory, Hyde Park on Hudson).

Early Man     HD720p 12MB
Early teaser for the upcoming Aardman Animations movie directed by Nick Park (Chicken Run, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) to be in theatres next January. Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures roamed the earth, the film tells the story of courageous caveman hero Dug (Eddie Redmayne) and his best friend Hognob as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston) and his Bronze Age City to save their home. Further voices will be provided by Maisie Williams, Richard Ayoade and Timothy Spall.

Baywatch     HD720p 74MB
Second trailer for the big-screen adaptation based on the popular TV series. It follows devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) as he butts heads with a brash new recruit (Zac Efron). Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay. Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra, Rob Huebel, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera and Hannibal Buress are also part of the cast. David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson are expected to make cameos. Directed by Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses The King of Kong, Identity Thief).
From a marketing point-of-view, pairing Johnson with Efron is pretty genius.

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March 20th, 2017

01:40 pm - May you live in interesting times.
The reason why I currently sometimes make posts related to US politics is because I find the topic highly interesting. I think there's a good chance we are witnessing a major historical event, maybe the biggest since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

If the Trump administration continues its path, possible consequences are, continued undermining and discrediting of democratic rights and institutions (e.g. judiciary, free press, civil rights), the end of NATO, a global trade war, maybe real wars with Iran or North Korea. And those are only the "big picture" changes. So far they are certainly making good on their promise to destroy the "administrative state".
On the other hand, there's also the chance that we will experience an epic political scandal and witness the impeachment of a US president. Either way, chances are high that we are seeing a significant chapter in history unfold.

Regarding the latter option, since today is the start of public hearings of the House Intelligence Committee that will look into the Russian influence of recent US elections, here are a few links for information and people to follow that I find helpful (other than mainstream media like NYT, WaPo, Politico, etc.).

First, another overview with various graphics of the (so far) know connections between Trump and Russia: Sessions, Tillerson, Flynn. The advisors Carter Page, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort. Dubious figures like Dimitry Firtash and Felix Sater. Please note, these are only the connections of recent years since the political campaign began in earnest. For past business connections, please see the previous 'politics' entry.

Louise Mensch wrote an op-ed this weekend in the NYT about the people that should be invited to testify in front of the various committees that are now investigating the Russian influence, and what questions they should be asked.

Mensch is the journalist who wrote the article two days before the election about the existence of a FISA warrant. The story was later confirmed by the BBC. If you aren't familiar with the details, read those articles carefully. They are about a US warrant for Russian banks.
In all likelihood those articles built the basis for distorted articles published on right-wing media sites that the president likes to consume early in the morning instead of attending national security briefings. This in turn lead to a Twitter rant by Trump, accusing previous president Obama of a high crime, that he "wire tapped" Trump Tower. He also based his later accusation that the British GCHQ helped on articles from similar questionable sources.
Just to be clear, in order to deflect from his ties with Russia, based on articles on right-wing news sites, Trump accused a former president of a high crime without providing any evidence whatsoever. In the last two weeks it was interesting to see who was able to distinguish between a reported warrant and the accusation of wiretapping.

Mensch has a blog in which she occasionally writes about team Trump's Russia connections. She recently started a accompanying twitter account. Most recently, with the help of a former wikileaks activist, she uncovered deeply disturbing links between Julian Assange/wikileaks and Russia.
Following Mensch directly on twitter is not easy, she tweets and re-tweets a lot. Please keep in mind that blog writings and tweets are not necessarily (meant to be) on par with fact-checked articles on respected media outlets. Though considering how much those failed during the election, they aren't really better positioned either.

Back to the hearings. Most anticipated will be the testimony of FBI Director Comey. All sides will probably try to spin and interpret what he says (and not says). Benjamin Wittes, editor in chief of the Lawfare website, wrote a summary of what we may expect. Strangely enough, as a rule of thumb, the less he will say, the more dangerous it is for Team Trump. That's because if investigations are ongoing, he won't be allowed to talk. I've learned in recent weeks such details matter a lot.
You should also get acquainted with variations of the "Glomar response", which is that someone can "neither confirm nor deny" something because of secrecy restrictions. Because few people are allowed to talk, it leads to interesting articles about the attempts to interpret the reactions of people who actually have been briefed about developments by Comey in recent days.

If you are interested in precise legal background, I recommend the above mentioned lawfareblog. It helps to better understand legal terms and legal context (FISA warrant, executive orders, temporary restraining orders, foreign agent, etc.). They provide very timely articles about topics currently in the news.
For example an entry already pointed out weeks ago that what is needed for an independent investigation is a Special Counsel (and not a Special Prosecutor).

Despite the fact that the various upcoming hearings will be in some way fascinating, I suspect they won't reveal too many details because investigations are still ongoing. The best possible effect will probably be that they will reinforce the need for a Special Counsel. Needless to say, if there aren't any connections between Team Trump and Russia, they should welcome an investigation so that they can get the Russia topic behind them and then can fully focus their energy on destroying the administrative state.

Also worth following is the twitter of John Schindler. He formerly worked for the NSA. He writes articles about National Security for a website called Observer, a conservative-leaning news website. He apparently still has good connections to the Intelligence Community. His articles are worth reading.
Edit: I belatedly realised that observer.com is the surviving online version of the NY newspaper owned by the Kushner clan. Which I find pretty amusing considering the articles written by Schindler.

And if you want to monitor Trump's approval ratings, regularly visit the daily Gallup poll (three-day rolling average). Trump's approval/disapproval ratings started from historic lows. Until recently they held up well, no matter what he said and did so far, his supporters were still with him. I suspect this will have to change before the Republicans will turn on him in earnest, heightening the chances of impeachment.

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March 16th, 2017

05:19 pm - Coco, Despicable Me 3, Win it All, Truman, Life
Coco     HD720p 78MB   HD1080p 152MB
First trailer for this animated movie from Pixar, co-directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo) and Adrian Molina, to be released Thanksgiving. Despite his family's baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, he finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.

Despicable Me 3     HD720p 99MB    HD1080p 184MB
Full trailer for the third adventure of Gru (Steve Carell), Lucy (Kristen Wiig), their adorable daughters Margo, Edith and Agnes, and the Minions. The voices of Russell Brand and Steve Coogan will also return. The villain this time is Balthazar Bratt (voiced by Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award winner Trey Parker), a former child star who's grown up to become obsessed with the character he played in the '80s, and proves to be Gru's most formidable nemesis to date.

Win it All     HD720p 16MB
Comedy about a small time gambler (Jake Johnson), who agrees to watch a duffel bag for an acquaintance who is heading to prison. When he discovers cash in the bag, he's unable to resist the temptation and winds up deeply in debt. When the prison release is shortened, he suddenly has a small window of time to win all the money back. Keegan-Michael Key, Joe Lo Truglio and Aislinn Derbez are also part of the cast. Directed by Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies, Happy Christmas, Digging for Fire), co-written by Swanberg and Johnson.
Likable cast, good festival reviews, but my tolerace for gambling addicts is pretty low. Will stream on Netflix starting April 7th.

Truman     HD720p 51MB
Drama with comedic elements from Argentina that explores the intimacy and tenderness of a lifelong friendship headed towards its imminent end. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, Julián (Ricardo Darin) has decided to forgo treatment, and spend his final days tying up loose ends. When Tomás (Javier Cámara) pays his ailing friend an unexpected visit, he quickly realizes he won't be able to change his mind. During their final reunion, the two friends set out to finalize Julián's funeral arrangements, settle his accounts and, most importantly, find a home for his beloved dog, Truman.
It's a tough topic, but the movie handles it very well. Not too emotional but still very heartfelt with a touch of humour.

Life     HD720p 23MB
Redband trailer for this sci-fi thriller that tells the story of the six-member crew (Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Olga Dihovichnaya, Ariyon Bakare, Hiroyuki Sanada) of the International Space Station that is on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. As the crew begins to conduct research, their methods end up having unintended consequences and the life form proves more intelligent than anyone ever expected. Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Easy Money, Child 44).
I feel increasingly alienated.

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March 12th, 2017

11:28 am - Atomic Blonde, Baby Driver, Wonder Woman, The Fate of the Furious, Buster's Mal Heart
Atomic Blonde     HD720p 44MB   HD1080p 88MB
Redband trailer for this action-thriller based on a graphic novel that follows MI6's most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors. The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin during the Cold War to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies. Eddie Marsan, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Sofia Boutella and Til Schweiger are also part of the cast. Directed by David Leitch (John Wick, the upcoming Deadpool 2, as well as the recent Deadpool short).
Welcome to Berlin. That looks like fun. Can't wait to see for Schweiger to be beaten to a pulp by Theron.

Baby Driver     US HD720p 93MB    Intl HD720p 27MB
US and international trailer versions for this action heist movie written and directed by Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, The World's End) that premiered last night at SXSW. It's about a talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) who relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm Jon Bernthal, Eiza González , Sky Ferreira, Flea
Both trailers are good, the international one has more Radar Love.

Wonder Woman     HD720p 89MB   HD1080p 166MB
Third trailer for the movie about Wonder Woman's origins (trailer is also labelled "origin"), in which a WWI American hero fighter pilot (Chris Pine) crashes near a remote island inhabited by Greek female warriors. He is soon rescued by an Amazonian princess named Diana (Gal Gadot), who later decides to leave her secret sanctuary and return with him to his male-dominated world. Danny Huston, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, David Thewlis, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Lucy Davis and Elena Anaya are also part of the cast. Interestingly, directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster).
Welcome to jolly ol' London.

The Fate of the Furious     HD720p 115MB   HD1080p 215MB
Second trailer for the eighth movie in the family franchise, meant to be the start of another trilogy. Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game - and the rest of the family has been exonerated - the globetrotting family has found a semblance of a normal family life. But when a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) seduces Dom into the world of a crime family he can't seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to his family, they will face trials that will test the family as never before. New to the cast are Scott Eastwood and Helen Mirren. After Justin Lin has defected to the Star Trek franchise, F. Gary Gray (A Man Apart, Straight Outta Compton, The Italian Job) takes over directing duties.
Needless to say, don't watch the trailer if you want there to be any surprises left when you see the actual movie.

Buster's Mal Heart     HD720p 49MB
Very confusing looking thriller about Buster (Rami Malek) who was once Jonah, a hard-working husband and father whose job as the night-shift concierge at a hotel took its toll on his mood and, consequently, his marriage to the sensitive and long-suffering Marty (Kate Lyn Sheil) - until a chance encounter with a conspiracy-obsessed drifter (DJ Qualls) changed the course of their lives forever. As the sad and solitary present-day Buster drifts from house to house and eludes the local sheriff at every turn, we gradually piece together the events that fractured his life and left him alone on top of a snowy mountain, or perhaps in a small rowboat in the middle of a vast ocean - or both.
Festival reviews are very mixed, but it may be worth for the adventurous viewer.

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March 9th, 2017

11:41 am - Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Kong: Skull Island, Hampstead, Rough Night, Personal Shopper, Deadpool 2
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales     HD720p 93MB   HD1080p 175MB
Full trailer for yet another sequel. Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea ... including him. His only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas. Geoffrey Rush and Orlando Bloom return. New to the cast are Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Golshifteh Farahani, and, I suspect to even out the former appearance of a Rolling Stone, Paul McCartney. Directed by Norwegian duo Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki, Max Manus, Bandidas).

Kong: Skull Island     HD720p 93MB   HD1080p 175MB
Another trailer, allegedly the final one, for this "origin story" that transports us to the birthplace of one of the most powerful monster myths. When a scientific expedition to an uncharted island awakens titanic forces of nature, a mission of discovery becomes an explosive war between monster and man. Cast members include Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly. Interestingly, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kings of Summer).

Hampstead     HD720p 19MB
UK trailer for this feel good drama, inspired by a true story, that follows the unlikely romance between Emily (Diane Keaton) – an American widow who lives in a house on the edge of Hampstead Heath - and Donald (Brendan Gleeson) – a social recluse who has been living quietly and harmoniously in a ramshackle hut on the edge of the Heath for 17 years. With his home now the target of property developers, an unlikely friendship and then a romance blossoms between the two. James Norton, Lesley Manville and Jason Watkins are also part of the cast. Directed by Joel Hopkins (Last Chance Harvey, The Love Punch).

Rough Night     Redband 720p 37MB    Intl HD720p 26MB
R-rated comedy in which five best friends from college (Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Zoë Kravitz) reunite 10 years later for a wild bachelorette weekend in Miami. Their hard partying takes a hilariously dark turn when they accidentally kill a male stripper. Amidst the craziness of trying to figure out what to do, their night takes some hilariously unexpected turns.
I guess that's the result when you tell a software program to combine The Hangover with Bridesmaids. You can choose between a US redband and an international trailer version.

Personal Shopper     HD720p 76MB
US trailer for this mysterious ghost story about Maureen (Kristen Stewart), mid-20s, who has a job she hates: seeing to the wardrobe of a media celebrity. She couldn't find anything better to pay for her stay in Paris. And wait. Wait for a sign from the spirit of her twin brother, who died a few months earlier. Until then, her life will stay on hold. Movie re-unites Stewart with writer/director Olivier Assayas who directed her in his previous film Clouds of Sils Maria for which Stewart won a César. Also reappearing from Sils Maria are Lars Eidinger and Nora von Waldstätten, Anders Danielsen Lie is also part of the cast.

Deadpool 2     HD720p 51MB
Filming for the sequel hasn't started yet, but here's the 4min short "No Good Deed" that's currently playing with screenings of Logan.
Edit: Alternative version HD720p 16MB.

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March 1st, 2017

11:33 am - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Alien: Covenant, Norman, Carrie Pilby, The House
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2     HD720p 26MB
Full trailer for the sequel that will be set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2 and continue the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Countless cast members return, among them Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan and Glenn Close. Cast additions are Elizabeth Debicki, Nathan Fillion and Tango & Cash aka Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone. Again directed by James Gunn.
All the action and explosions are a little exhausting. I'll edit the post when higher quality files become available.
Edit: HD720p 89MB   HD1080p 166MB

Alien: Covenant     HD720p 84MB   HD1080p 158MB
Full trailer for another instalment of the Alien franchise, again directed by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven). The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape. Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace and Guy Pearce are listed to return from Prometheus. New to the cast are Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, James Franco and Jussie Smollett.
There's also an almost five minutes long clip entitled "prologue": HD720p 166MB.

Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer     HD720p 17MB
While the trailer indicates an emphasis on lighter notes, festival reviews describe it more as a drama with thriller and comedic elements. It's about Norman (Richard Gere), a seasoned "macher", a man who knows the right people and gets things done. Like a gambler or a thief, his position is more vocation than profession, a confidence game requiring luck and a kind of societal sleight of hand. When an Israeli dignitary (Lior Ashkenazi) visits New York, Norman decides to make an impression by buying him some extremely expensive shoes. A gold-star connection is made, but three years later he winds up becoming Israel's prime minister and is suddenly hugely inaccessible. Norman's circle - his nephew (Michael Sheen), a rabbi (Steve Buscemi), his assistant (Dan Stevens), a treasury official from the Ivory Coast (Charlotte Gainsbourg) - begins asking him to write cheques he can no longer cash.
From what I've read, it doesn't reach the quality of a Coen Brothers movie. But Gere gives another strong performance that probably too few people will see.

Carrie Pilby     HD720p 91MB
Coming-of-age comedic drama in which a precocious 19-year-old genius (Bel Powley) would rather stay in bed than deal with the immoral, sex-obsessed hypocrites who seem to overrun her hometown, New York City. She's sick of trying to be like everybody else. She isn’t! She's isolated, friendless, dateless and unemployed. So when her therapist (Nathan Lane) gives her a six-point plan to change her social-outcast status, she takes a hard look at herself ... agrees to try. Gabriel Byrne, Vanessa Bayer, Colin O'Donoghue and Jason Ritter are also part of the cast.

The House     HD720p 88MB
Comedy in which, after Scott and Kate Johansen (Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler) lose their daughter Alex's college fund, they become desperate to earn it back so she can pursue her dream of attending a university. With the help of their neighbour (Jason Mantzoukas), they decide to start an illegal casino in the basement of his house. Directed by Andrew Jay Cohen, co-writer of Neighbors and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.

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February 28th, 2017

01:05 pm - From Russia With Love
The mainstream media finally seems to have discovered one of the many stories of the business ties of Donald Trump and Russian citizens.
If you are interested to find out if the President of the United States is compromised, and if the Kremlin, whenever they feel like it to do so, can release damaging information about him to discredit him, his administration and democracy in the US, here are some sources to learn more.

If you have twenty minutes to spare, watch this segment from the Rachel Maddow Show last night.
The reporting is either based or heavily influenced by stories documented by Adam Khan.

For a first summary of some of Trump's connections to shady Russian oligarchs, as well as Russian organised crime (and by extension, the Kremlin), as an introduction to many of the players, I recommend taking the time to read this extensive article from last December in The American Interest that gives a good overview.

The various threads by the above mentioned Adam Khan on Twitter, together with additional information, were thankfully put into more readable form on a blog. It covers more in-depth many of the same stories as the article above.
First "Follow the Rubles" part 1 and part 2.
And the big summary, complete with diagrams, of all the players - so far - that connect the Trump Organisation to Russia: The Matryoshka.

The New Yorker article about Russia and Trump from last week mentioned at the end of the segment of the Rachel Maddow Show. It provides a good overview of Russian politics.

The dossier on Trump by former MI6 officer Christopher Steele. Keep in mind that, while not being able to verify its contents at the time, both, the FBI and the CIA, deemed its author credible enough to inform the president, and the president-elect. I suspect many people are currently busy trying to confirm more of its contents.
Edit: WaPo today reports that the FBI even considered paying Steele.

In the past Trump also had various encounters with the Italian mafia. Which shouldn't come as a big surprise when in the 1980s you were in the construction business in New York and the casino business in Atlantic City.

Reading all the articles is time consuming (bookmark them, save them on your reading device, convert them to PDFs). But they help to get acquainted with some of the people involved in case the tide starts to turn against Trump in the coming weeks (read: he will become too toxic for the Republican party).

For now the two main goals should be:
• starting an independent investigation (far removed from AG Jeff Sessions) with subpoena powers, the ability to question people under oath and access to information from the intelligence community.
• getting Trump's tax records of the last few years. While I wonder how detailed they will be, they may provide further leads to investigate.

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February 22nd, 2017

11:53 am - Colossal, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Song to Song, Dean, Bokeh
Colossal     HD720p 28MB
Pleasantly absurd looking comedy in which Gloria (Anne Hathaway), an out-of-work party girl, finds herself in relationship trouble with her sensible boyfriend (Dan Stevens), and is forced to move back to her tiny hometown to get her life back on track. She reconnects with her childhood friend (Jason Sudeikis), a good-natured bar owner with a coterie of drinking buddies. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a larger-than-life creature begins attacking Seoul, South Korea on a nightly basis, captivating spectators around the world. One night, Gloria is horrified to discover that her every move at a local playground is being mimicked on a catastrophic scale by the rampaging beast. Written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Extraterrestrial).

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword     HD720p 80MB   HD1080p 148MB
Another trailer for this studio attempt to recycle a familiar character. When the child Arthur’s (Charlie Hunnam) father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur's uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy whether he likes it or not. Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Eric Bana, Katie McGrath and David Beckham are also part of the cast. Directed by Guy Ritchie (Snatch., Sherlock Holmes, RocknRolla).

Song to Song     HD720p 59MB
Trailer for the latest movie written and directed by Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life, The New World, The Thin Red Line). In this modern love story set against the Austin, Texas music scene, two entangled couples - struggling songwriters Faye (Rooney Mara) and BV (Ryan Gosling), and music mogul Cook (Michael Fassbender) and the waitress whom he ensnares (Natalie Portman) - chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal.
Looks a lot like Malick's previous movie Knight of Cups which was hard to watch. Hopefully, this time there will be something resembling a story and not just attractive people wandering around for two hours.

Dean     HD720p 86MB
Low-key comedic drama about an illustrator (Demetri Martin) whose unwillingness to deal with the recent death of his mother means escaping his hometown of New York for an interview with an ad agency in Los Angeles. His retired engineer dad (Kevin Kline) takes a more regimented approach to grief, including putting the family home up for sale. Both father and son set out on their own paths to find a new normal as unexpected circumstances and potential new love interests (Gillian Jacobs, Mary Steenburgen) threaten to thwart all plans. It is also written and directed by Martin.
Maybe a little too low-key.

Bokeh     HD720p 63MB
Interesting looking indie sci-fi drama. When a flash of light shoots across the sky on their romantic, Iceland vacation, Jenai (Maika Monroe) and Riley (Matt O'Leary) wake up to discover every person on earth has disappeared. Their struggle to survive and to reconcile the mysterious event lead them to reconsider everything they know about themselves and the world.
Usually, movies like this first screen at a couple of festivals before they have a (limited) theatrical run. This isn't the case here, so so far there's only the trailer to judge the movie.

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February 14th, 2017

11:45 am - Ghost in the Shell, The Beguiled, The Circle, My Cousin Rachel, Lovesong
Ghost in the Shell     HD720p 89MB   HD1080p 163MB
Second trailer for the live-action adaptation of a classic Japanese comic book series. It follows Major (Scarlett JJohansson), a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic's advancements in cyber technology. Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Pilou Asbæk, Michael Pitt, Rila Fukushima are also part of the cast. Directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman).
It'll be interesting to see how much of the complexity of the animated movie will make it into the Hollywood version.

The Beguiled     HD720p 69MB
First trailer for the latest movie from Sofia Coppola (Marie Antoinette, Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides), a remake of a 1971 movie from Don Siegel that starred Clint Eastwood. It's a drama that unfolds in Virginia at a girls' school during the Civil War where the young women have been sheltered from the outside world. When a wounded Union soldier (Colin Farrell) is discovered and taken in, the house is taken over with sexual tension, rivalries and an unexpected turn of events. Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning and Oona Laurence are also past of the cast.

The Circle     HD720p 87MB
Full trailer for this sci-fi thriller based on a book by Dave Eggers. As she rises through the ranks of the world's largest tech and social media company, The Circle, Mae (Emma Watson) is encouraged by company founder Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks) to live her life with complete transparency. But no one is really safe when everyone is watching. John Boyega, Patton Oswalt, Bill Paxton, Karen Gillan and Glenne Headly are also part of the cast. Directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now, Smashed, The End of the Tour).

My Cousin Rachel     HD720p 14MB
UK trailer for this dark romance, an adaptation of the novel by Daphne Du Maurier. It tells the story of a young Englishman (Sam Claflin) who plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin (Rachel Weisz), believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms. Holliday Grainger and Iain Glen are also part of the cast. Directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Morning Glory, Hyde Park on Hudson).
I find the use of a version of "Wicked Game" in the trailer a little distracting.

Lovesong     HD720p 77MB
Low key romantic drama about two friends, Sarah and Mindy, who are in their early twenties. Their lives may be different but both find their friendship reassuring as they struggle with their individual uncertainties. Sarah (Riley Keough), married with an energetic three-year-old daughter and a husband who she barely sees, is particularly struggling. Mindy (Jena Malone) decides to take Sarah on a road trip, intending to inject some playfulness back into her life. During the trip the women go out drinking. One thing quickly leads to another.

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February 10th, 2017

10:48 am - The Dinner, Life, The Lego Ninjago Movie, Girls Trip, Super-Bowl spots
The Dinner     HD720p 19MB
Thriller drama directed by Oren Moverman (The Messenger, Time Out of Mind, Rampart). Paul (Steve Coogan) has no desire to go out to dinner with his brother Stan (Richard Gere), a well-known politician, and his sister-in-law (Rebecca Hall). But his wife Claire (Laura Linney) insists on him accompanying her. The couples meet at a hip restaurant but, in between each exquisite course, dark family secrets are brought out onto the table. The couples’ sons are responsible for a terrible crime – as yet undiscovered – and their parents must now decide how to deal with the situation. An argument soon ensues, since public disclosure would change the lives of each of them forever. Chloë Sevigny is also part of the cast.
Interestingly, there already have been Dutch and Italian versions of this story. This adaptation is currently taking part in the competition at the film festival in Berlin that started last night.

Life     HD720p 93MB
Full trailer for this sci-fi thriller that tells the story of the six-member crew (Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Olga Dihovichnaya, Ariyon Bakare, Hiroyuki Sanada) of the International Space Station that is on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. As the crew begins to conduct research, their methods end up having unintended consequences and the life form proves more intelligent than anyone ever expected. Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Easy Money, Child 44).

The Lego Ninjago Movie     HD720p 93MB
First trailer for another animated movie made to promote the Lego brand. The battle for Ninjago City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd (Dave Franco), aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu (Jackie Chan), as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), The Worst Guy Ever, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Pitting mech against mech and father against son, the epic showdown will test this fierce but undisciplined team of modern-day ninjas who must learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash their inner power of Spinjitzu.
IMDb lists three directors and eight people for story and screenplay. It is apparently based on an animated series on the Cartoon Network which I'm not familiar with. So I don't think it's too surprising that I think this looks rather silly and not particular funny.

Girls Trip     HD720p 31MB
Redband trailer for this comedy in which four lifelong friends (Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish) travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival where sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there's enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush. Directed by Malcolm D. Lee (Undercover Brother, Barbershop - The Next Cut, The Best Man).

A few selected, partially extended Super-Bowl/"Big Game" spots from last weekend:

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2     HD720p 36MB

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales     HD720p 48MB

John Wick: Chapter 2     HD720p 18MB

The Fate of the Furious     HD720p 36MB

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February 2nd, 2017

11:54 am - I Dont Feel at Home in This World Anymore, Beauty and Beast, Lost City of Z, Catfight, Oklahoma City
I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore     HD720p 11MB
Darkly comedic thriller that tells the story of Ruth (Melanie Lynskey), a nursing assistant suffering through a crisis of existential despair. But when her house is burglarized, she discovers a renewed sense of purpose in tracking down the thieves. Accompanied by her obnoxious martial-arts-enthusiast neighbor (Elijah Wood), they soon find themselves dangerously out of their depth against a pack of degenerate criminals. Directorial debut of actor Macon Blair.
Won the Grand Jury Price last month in Sundance. Netflix bought the rights. It will start streaming February 24th.

Beauty and the Beast     HD720p 91MB   HD1080p 171MB
The (allegedly) final trailer for the live-action re-telling of Disney's animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. Emma Watson and Dan Stevens will star as Belle and the Beast/Prince respectively, and Luke Evans will play the role of Gaston. Emma Thompson has joined the cast as Mrs. Potts and Kevin Kline as Belle's father, Maurice. Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen and Sonoya Mizuno are also part of the cast. Directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Kinsey, Mr. Holmes).

The Lost City of Z     HD720p 24MB
European trailer for this adventure drama that tells the true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as “savages,” the determined Fawcett – supported by his devoted wife (Sienna Miller), son (Tom Holland) and aide de camp (Robert Pattinson) – returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case. Directed by James Gray (We Own the Night, Two Lovers The Immigrant).
An earlier US teaser: HD720p 42MB.
Edit: Full US trailer: HD720p 91MB.

Catfight     HD720p 89MB
Dark comedy about two bitter rivals whose grudge match spans a lifetime. Wealthy wine lover Veronica Salt (Sandra Oh) and struggling outsider artist Ashley Chambers (Anne Heche) were close in college, but haven’t seen each other since. When they find themselves attending the same glitzy birthday party, verbal barbs lead to fisticuffs and an all-out brawl that will keep these two locked in combat for years to come. Alicia Silverstone, Tituss Burgess and Dylan Baker are also part of the cast.
Looks very pleasantly silly, and is surely aptly titled.

Oklahoma City     HD720p 114MB
Documentary about the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 that rocked the nation as the most deadly act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. 168 people were killed and 675 were injured in the blast. Timothy McVeigh was a soldier, patriot, and war veteran. It traces the events - including the deadly encounters between American citizens and law enforcement at Ruby Ridge and Waco - that led McVeigh to commit this terrorist attack. With a virulent strain of anti-government anger still with us, the film is both a cautionary tale and an extremely timely warning.
Doc will have a very limited US theatrical release and will be shown on PBS February 7th.

The Lego Batman Movie     HD720p 145MB
Four minutes Behind The Bricks featurette in which the characters talk about the movie.

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February 1st, 2017

11:35 am - Land of Mine, A Man Called Ove, Tanna, Toni Erdmann, The Salesman, My Life as a Zucchini, Red Turtle
Last week the Oscar nominations were announced. La La Land received a record tying 14 nominations. Which kind of shows the ridiculousness of the event. I don't doubt it's a good movie, I'm looking forward to seeing it myself, but it suggests a superiority that I doubt is justified. But as always, judging movies is highly subjective.
One area where I think this Hollywood marketing event is still useful to draw attention to are categories like Foreign language film, Animated feature and Documentary feature. Some trailers for the latter will be added in a later entry. You can find trailers for almost all nominations at apple. Many scripts can be found here.

Best Foreign language film:
Land of Mine - Under sandet     HD720p 85MB
War drama from Denmark, based on real events. As World War II comes to an end, a group of German POWs, boys rather than men, are captured by the Danish army and forced to engage in a deadly task—to defuse and clear land mines from the Danish coastline. With little or no training, the boys soon discover that the war is far from over.

A Man Called Ove - En man som heter Ove     HD720p 80MB
Comedic drama from Sweden about Ove who is the quintessential angry old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, who spends his days enforcing block association rules that only he cares about, and visiting his wife’s grave, Ove has given up on life. Enter a boisterous young family next door who accidentally flattens Ove’s mailbox while moving in and earning his special brand of ire. Yet from this inauspicious beginning an unlikely friendship forms and we come to understand Ove’s past happiness and heartbreaks.
By far the most conventional of the nominees. It is an enjoyable watch.

Tanna     HD720p 79MB
Romantic drama from Australia, set on the lush tropical island of Tanna, the conviction of two star-crossed lovers will change their tribe's culture forever. Wawa, being readied for the ceremony that will recognize her as a grown woman, is in love with the handsome grandson of the tribal chief. When, as part of an effort to resolve island hostilities, Wawa is betrothed to a man from another tribe, she must choose between loyalty to her clan and her own heart.

Toni Erdmann     HD720p 73MB
Previously posted, the trailer for the comedic drama from Germany about a father who tries to reconnect with his daughter.

The Salesman - Forushande     HD720p 85MB
Also previously posted, the trailer for this relationship movie from Iran. Until recently it looked like Toni Erdmann was the front runner. But political considerations may tip the scales towards The Salesman.

US trailer versions for the two non-US movies that received Best Animated feature nominations:
My Life as a Zucchini - Ma vie de courgette     HD720p 67MB
Trailer with English voices (among them Will Forte, Nick Offerman, Ellen Page, Amy Sedaris) for this stop-motion animated movie from Switzerland. After his mother's sudden death, Zucchini is befriended by a police officer, Raymond, who accompanies him to his new foster home, filled with other orphans his age. At first he struggles to find his place in this at times strange and hostile environment. But with Raymond's help and his newfound friends, Zucchini eventually learns to trust and love, as he searches for a new family of his own.

The Red Turtle - La tortue rouge     HD720p 75MB
Without any dialogue, through the story of a man shipwrecked on a tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds, the movie recounts the milestones in the life of a human being.
Apparently, Studio Ghibli sent director Michael Dudok de Wit an email with two questions: if they could distribute his short film 'Father and Daughter' in Japan, and if he would make a feature film for them. Dudok de Wit replied answering the first question and saying he did not understand the second, as he was baffled and could not believe it.

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January 29th, 2017

01:52 pm - This is not a drill.
Week one of the compulsive liar in office is over. A lot has happened. Trump's cabinet is filled with triple-digit millionaires (Ross, DeVos, Tillerson, Viola, Mnuchin) and bankers (Cohn, Bannon, Mnuchin, Scaramucci). Many people who are either incompetent (DeVos, Carson) or whose major goal in the past was to attack or destroy the departments they are now heading (Perry, Pruitt, Puzder). The systematic assault from within on many of the basic functions of the US government and its civil servants, as announced in his inauguration speech, has begun.
The president refuses to distance himself from his businesses, the door for corruption and nepotism is wide open.

Steve Bannon, this week declared that it's time for the press to "keep its mouth shut". He is the former executive chair of Breitbart News, the white supremacist, far-right website that spreads racist propaganda. He has declared the press as the "opposition party". Bannon is now the Chief Strategist of President Trump, he is also a member of the National Security Council. Expect the White House's war against the free press to continue. They will continue to blanket the media with lies and "alternative facts" to confuse and distract.
Bannon gets quoted as follows "Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment."

It is said that the first casualty in war is the truth. I think it's fair to say that this presidency has declared war. As a consequence, how will you ever believe anything this president will say?

Trump frequently repeats the completely unsubstantiated claims of three to five million illegal votes (at the same time stating none of those votes were for him, and that his election was legitimate). There have been numerous studies in the past that showed that there is no meaningful voter fraud in the US. The only problem that exists are the constant attempts of Republicans to make it more difficult for minorities and poor people to vote. The repetition of those claims only serves to make the claims sound legit, and will in all likelihood lead to even more Republican measures to suppress voting in the US.

The official attack on Muslims in the US has begun with the first executive order targeting seven predominantly Muslim countries. Trump was invoking 9/11 to incite fear. Though none of the hijacker came from the targeted countries. Most people who committed terrorist acts on US soil in recent years were US citizens, no refugee has committed a terrorist attack in the US. The ban also sharply undermines cooperation in the war on terror. Conveniently, the ban only targets countries Trump does not business with.

By targeting Muslim countries in this way, he's handing a big victory to ISIS and similar terrorist organisations. One of their major goals is to prove that the West is strategically attacking Islam. Trump handed terrorists an enormous recruitment argument.
The executive order was written on Holocaust Remembrance Day. A fact I'm sure wasn't lost on white supremacists. The official White House press release regarding Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention Jews.

The targeting of Muslims will continue. There is talk of a Muslim registry, they will try to build internment camps. Muslims will be made into scapegoats for all kind of things. They will be one of the minorities under constant threat. Facts will not matter, they will continue to produce countless lies that others will use to commit hate crimes. At this point it should be obvious, this is same purpose the Jews served in Nazi Germany.

Trump again repeated his false claims that crime in the US is out of control. He mentioned similar things in his dire inauguration speech. Trump this week threatened to "send in the Feds" to Chicago.
The following quotes are from the White House homepage: "A Trump Administration will empower our law enforcement officers to do their jobs and keep our streets free of crime and violence. The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration." "Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the rioter, the looter, or the violent disrupter."
These are statements associated with fascist authoritarian regimes. If you will protest they will at one point label you as a violent disruptor if you don't agree with their policies. Remember Trump's repeated attacks on Black civil rights leader John Lewis. These are calculated attacks. Imagine what they will do to less prominent figures.
You already have seen the pictures of a militarised police force in the US. They will continue to turn the US into a police state.

This was only the first week and these are only some highlights. There were also the continued attacks on Mexico, immigration and science. I surely hope I'm very wrong with what I'm writing here. But it should be clear by now, this is not a drill. And I can't see how this can end well.

I will disable comments.
If you are from the US and in general are delighted with all the statements coming from and the measures taken by the new administration, write in your own journal. I also suggest that you go to a mosque and explain to your fellow US Muslim citizens why all these measures are a good thing.

If you in general agree with the fears I describe, contact your local and state government representatives. On the phone, write them letters, visit them. Get politically organised, demonstrate, donate. Whenever you can, take time to help other people to register to vote. Get active. "Likes" and "tweets" will not help.


January 22nd, 2017

03:48 pm - Baghdad Bob
Day 2, and the press secretary of the President of the United States of America is forced to spread lies regarding size issues of his boss. It can't be long until White House "press conferences" will be just as entertaining as press conferences of Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf. Better known as Baghdad Bob, the Iraqi Information Minister under Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, best known for his for grandiose and grossly unrealistic propaganda broadcasts.

I suspect Trump continues to lay the groundwork to soon stop communicating with the press altogether and only use his twitter accounts to speak to his followers.

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January 21st, 2017

11:44 am - Logan, This Beautiful Fantastic, Detour, City of Tiny Lights, Manifesto
Now that Bane has held his impressive speech and taken the oath, a weekly selection of movie trailers.

Logan     HD720p 84MB   HD1080p 157MB    UK HD720p 33MB
Second trailer for the third movie focusing on Wolverine, again directed by James Mangold (Kate & Leopold, Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma). Set in the future, Logan (Hugh Jackman) and Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) must cope with the loss of the X-Men when a corporation lead by Nathaniel Essex is bent on destroying the world. With Logan's healing abilities slowly fading away and Xavier's Alzheimer's forcing him to forget Logan must defeat Essex with the help of a young girl named Laura Kinney (Dafne Keen), a female clone of Wolverine. Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Eriq La Salle and Elizabeth Rodriguez are also part of the cast.
You can again choose between the US and the UK trailer versions, which are ever so slightly different. The UK one contains one or two bad words that risks seriously damaging the development of US viewers under 17 when heard without adult supervision.

This Beautiful Fantastic     UK HD720p 22MB    FR HD720p 37MB
Whimsical modern fairytale about a woman (Jessica Brown Findlay) who works in a library. She rents a nice house next door to a grumpy old widower, a miserable and misanthropic chap (Tom Wilkinson) who routinely berated her about the deplorable state of her garden and refused to accept her crippling fear of flora as an excuse. When she had the temerity to hire away his cook (Andrew Scott) simply as a way to circumvent his habitual bullying of the poor man, already strained relations reach a nadir. Yet Fate has a way of reconciling even the least congruent personalities. Jeremy Irvine and Anna Chancellor are also part of the cast. Written and directed by Simon Aboud (Comes a Bright Day).
You can choose between the UK and French trailer version.

Detour     HD720p 75MB
Noir thriller in which a seemingly naive law student (Tye Sheridan) obsesses over the idea that his shifty stepfather (Stephen Moyer) was involved in the devastating car crash that left his mother hospitalized and comatose. He drowns his suspicions in whiskey until he finds himself suddenly engrossed in conversation with a volatile grifter (Emory Cohen) and his stripper companion (Bel Powley). As daylight breaks and the haziness of promises made becomes clearer, how will he handle the repercussions?
Now in limited US release and available on various streaming platforms.

City of Tiny Lights     HD720p 17MB
Crime thriller set in contemporary London. Tommy Akhtar (Riz Ahmed) is a private eye who lives with his father (Roshan Seth), a cricket obsessive who dissects games in crisp, precise RP English. When Melody (Cush Jumbo) approaches Tommy to find a friend who's gone missing, he becomes embroiled in a case that stirs up his past and sets him against his neighbourhood's radical mosque. Billie Piper and James Floyd are also part of the cast. Directed by Pete Travis (Dredd, Vantage Point, Endgame)

Manifesto     HD720p 17MB
Not as much a traditional movie, but based on an art installation in which Cate Blanchett plays 13 different roles, giving Dadaists, pop artists and dogma filmmakers new life by using language from 13 famous manifestos from the last century of art and film history. Playing a school teacher, a ballet choreographer and a homeless man - to name some of the roles she assumes.
More info about the responsible artist Julian Rosefeldt and his installation. Also, an interview with him.

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January 14th, 2017

11:23 am - Their Finest, CHiPs, Youth in Oregon, 13 Minutes, Gold
Their Finest     HD720p 20MB
Drama with comedic elements set in the British film industry during World War II. An untried screenwriter (Gemma Arterton) lives with her struggling artist husband (Jack Huston) in London. Assuming she is applying for a secretarial post at the Ministry of Information, she is hired to write women's dialogue - the “slop” - for wartime propaganda shorts. Partnered alongside a fellow screenwriter (Sam Claflin) and an eccentric actor (Bill Nighy), the trio set off to make a film that will warm the hearts of the nation and inspire America to join the war. Richard E. Grant, Jeremy Irons, Helen McCrory and Eddie Marsan are also part of the cast. Directed by Lone Scherfig (An Education, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, One Day).
Cast and crew of Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk should at least smile at the final scene of the trailer.

CHiPs     HD720p 97MB
Trailer for another big screen adaptation of a TV series. Jon Baker (Dax Shepard) and Frank Poncherello (Michael Peña) have just joined the California Highway Patrol in Los Angeles but for very different reasons. Baker is a beaten up pro motorbiker trying to put his life and marriage back together. Poncherello is a cocky undercover Federal agent investigating a multi-million dollar heist that may be an inside job. The inexperienced rookie and hardened pro are teamed together, but clash more than click, so kickstarting a partnership is easier said than done. Kristen Bell, Wendell Pierce, Maya Rudolph, Vincent D’Onofrio and Adam Brody are also part of the cast. Also written and directed by Shepard (Hit and Run).
Looks less ... sophisticated than Baywatch.

Youth in Oregon     HD720p 71MB
Comedic road trip family drama in which a 79-year-old curmudgeon (Frank Langella) aims to reach Oregon in time for an appointment to legally end his life under the state's laws, but his headstrong daughter (Christina Applegate) sends her unwilling husband (Billy Crudup) along for the ride, convinced they can talk him out of the scheme before he reaches his destination. Along the way he works to reconcile with his estranged son (Josh Lucas) and convince his tuned-out wife (Mary Kay Place) of the veracity of his purpose.

13 Minutes - Elser     HD720p 72MB
US trailer for a late American release of this historical drama from Germany that tells the story of the man who nearly changed the world - Georg Elser (Christian Friedel), a carpenter who attempted to carry out a bomb plot against Hitler at a Nazi convention in Munich, 1939. The film follows his fascinating confession, of not only how a seemingly non-political man came to this point, but also delving into his personal relationships and how they were affected by his beliefs, especially with the love of his life, Elsa (Katharina Schüttler). Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall, Five Minutes of Heaven, The Experiment).
I don't think it counts as a spoiler to explain that the English title refers to the amount of time the explosion missed Hitler. I found it interesting how the film provides some insight into the rise of the Nazis in rural Germany. I should also mention that the movie includes some harsh interrogation and torture scenes.

Gold     Redband HD720p 16MB    UK HD720p 30MB
Redband US and the UK trailer versions for this comedic drama that tells the epic tale of a modern day prospector (Matthew McConaughey) desperate for a lucky break, he teams up with a similarly eager geologist (Edgar Ramírez) and sets off on an amazing journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. Getting the gold was hard, but keeping it would be even harder, sparking an adventure through the most powerful boardrooms of Wall Street. You may have guessed it, it is inspired by a true story. Bryce Dallas Howard, Toby Kebbell and Corey Stoll are also part of the cast. Directed by Stephen Gaghan (Syriana).

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January 7th, 2017

10:50 am - All Nighter, Una, Alone in Berlin, Between Us, The Lovers
All Nighter     HD720p 76MB
Comedy in which a globetrotting, workaholic father (J.K. Simmons) is trying to visit his daughter (Analeigh Tipton) on a last-minute layover in Los Angeles. When he discovers that she's disappeared, he forces her awkward, nervous ex-boyfriend (Emile Hirsch) to help him find her over the course of one increasingly crazy night. Kristen Schaal, Taran Killam, Stephanie Allynne and Hunter Parrish are also part of the cast.
This looks like fun.

Una     HD720p 16MB
International trailer for this intense drama based on a play that follows a young woman's journey to reclaim her past. Fifteen years earlier, Una (Rooney Mara) ran away with an older man (Ben Mendelsohn) who sexually assaulted her, a crime for which he was arrested and imprisoned. When she comes across a photo of him in a trade magazine, she tracks him down and turns up at his workplace. Her abrupt arrival threatens to destroy his new life and derail her stability. Unspoken secrets and buried memories surface as the two sift through the wreckage of the past. Riz Ahmed is also part of the cast.

Alone in Berlin     HD720p 78MB
US trailer for this drama based on the novel by Hans Fallada set in Berlin in June of 1940. While Nazi propaganda celebrates the regime's victory over France, a kitchen-cum-living room in Prenzlauer Berg is filled with grief. A couple's (Brendan Gleeson, Emma Thompson) son has been killed at the front. They had long believed in the ‘Führer’ and followed him willingly, but now they realise that his promises are nothing but lies and deceit. They begin writing postcards as a form of resistance and in a bid to raise awareness. They distribute these cards in the entrances of tenement buildings and in stairwells. But the SS and the Gestapo are soon onto them, and even their neighbours pose a threat. Daniel Brühl and Mikael Persbrandt are also part of the cast.
Alternative trailer from France: HD720p 22MB.

Between Us     HD720p 15MB
Relationship drama in which a thirty-something couple (Olivia Thirlby, Ben Feldman), after being six years together, find themselves caught between their fears of commitment and societal pressure to settle down and marry. An impulsive decision and a surprise revelation send each into an emotional tailspin. Heading out into the LA night, they both encounter strangers - a free-spirited rocker (Adam Goldberg), and a charming artist (Analeigh Tipton) - who offer the possibility of new romantic thrills.
A familiar story, but it looks to be well told. Now in limited US release and available on various streaming platforms.

The Lovers     HD720p 92MB
Comedic drama about a long-married and completely dispassionate husband (Tracy Letts) and wife (Debra Winger). Both are in the midst of serious affairs and are increasingly committed to their new partners (Melora Walters, Aidan Gillen). But on the brink of officially calling it quits, a spark between them suddenly and unexpectedly reignites, leading them into an impulsive romance that forces them to navigate the hilarious complications of "cheating" on their respective lovers. Written and directed by Azazel Jacobs (Terri, Momma's Man).
Sounds like Madness, looks amusing.

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December 25th, 2016

10:20 am - Alien: Covenant, A Cure for Wellness, Toni Erdmann, The Brand New Testament, My Life as a Zucchini
Alien: Covenant     HD720p 32MB   HD1080p 63MB
First redband trailer for another instalment of the Alien franchise, again directed by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven). The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape. Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace and Guy Pearce are listed to return from Prometheus. New to the cast are Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz and Jussie Smollett.

A Cure for Wellness     HD720p 99MB   HD1080p 171MB
Full trailer for this very stylish looking (horror) thriller in which an ambitious young executive (Dane DeHaan) is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic but mysterious "wellness center" at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. He soon suspects that the spa's miraculous treatments are not what they seem. When he begins to unravel its terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests here longing for the cure. Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth and Celia Imrie are also part of the cast. Directed by Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Mexican, Rango).
Pretty much by accident I noticed this week that it is currently possible to again directly link to trailer encodes by Apple. I can't say if it's a temporary glitch in their Matrix, or if it depends on a certain computer set-up. Please let me know if the links don't work. An alternative, just in case: HD720p 38MB.

Toni Erdmann     HD720p 73MB
US trailer for this comedic drama from Germany in which Winfried doesn't see much of his working daughter Ines. The suddenly student-less music teacher decides to surprise her with a visit after the death of his old dog. It’s an awkward move because serious career woman Ines is working on an important project as a corporate strategist in Bucharest. The geographical change doesn’t help the two to see more eye to eye. Practical joker Winfried loves to annoy his daughter with corny pranks. What’s worse are his little jabs at her routine lifestyle of long meetings, hotel bars and performance reports.
Written and directed by Maren Ade (Everyone Else).
Movie recently won pretty much in all the important categories at the European Film Awards (Best Film, Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay) and is still in the running for a nomination for Best Foreign Language Oscar.

The Brand New Testament - Le tout nouveau testament     HD720p 79MB
Comedy from Belgium, already in limited release in the US for two weeks, but still just about right for the holidays. God exists! He (Benoît Poelvoorde) lives in Brussels, a petty tyrant to his wife (Yolande Moreau) and ten year-old daughter, Ea. Like her brother before her, Ea has had enough of her father using humanity as his playthings and hacks into His computer, leaking to the entire world their inevitable death date. After escaping, Ea must gather six more apostles in order to end His bullying and fix the mess he’s made of humanity. Catherine Deneuve and François Damiens are also part of the cast. Directed by Jaco Van Dormael (Mr. Nobody).

My Life as a Zucchini - Ma vie de courgette     HD720p 15MB
Stop-motion animated movie from Switzerland. After his mother's sudden death, Zucchini is befriended by a police officer, Raymond, who accompanies him to his new foster home, filled with other orphans his age. At first he struggles to find his place in this at times strange and hostile environment. But with Raymond's help and his newfound friends, Zucchini eventually learns to trust and love, as he searches for a new family of his own.
Interestingly, the movie is not only on the list for Best Animated Film, but also one of the nine remaining contestants for Best Foreign Language Film (list, see above).

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December 20th, 2016

11:29 am - Blade Runner 2049, John Wick: Chapter 2, Snatched, Viceroy's House, Going in Style
Blade Runner 2049     HD720p 57MB   HD1080p 121MB
Early teaser for the sequel that takes places thirty years after the events of the first film. A new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years. Very diverse cast includes Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Barkhad Abdi, Hiam Abbass, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario, Incendies).
Usually, I would nothing but roll my eyes at the thought of a sequel. But I was very impressed by Villeneuve's two most recent movies. I'm surprised by the unusual release date of October next year.

John Wick: Chapter 2     HD720p 22MB   HD720p 45MB
Second trailer for the sequel in which legendary hitman John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, he travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world's deadliest killers. Movie will re-unite Neo with Morpheus. Bridget Moynahan, Lance Reddick, John Leguizamo and Ian McShane return. New to the cast, besides Laurence Fishburne, are Common and Ruby Rose. Once again directed by Chad Stahelski.

Snatched     HD720p 22MB
Redband trailer for this comedy in which, a woman (Amy Schumer) in her 30s, after she gets dumped by her boyfriend, persuades her ultra-cautious mom (Goldie Hawn) to accompany her on a vacation to Ecuador. At her insistence, the pair seek out adventure, but suddenly find themselves kidnapped. When these two very different women are trapped on this wild journey, their bond as mother and daughter is tested and strengthened while they attempt to navigate the jungle and escape. Joan Cusack, Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes and Christopher Meloni are also part of the cast. Directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50, The Night Before, Warm Bodies).
Doesn't look particularly funny. But that obviously doesn't justify the witch hunt that's again underway on the usual antisocial networks, much like it was the case with the Ghostbusters movie.

Viceroy's House     HD720p 22MB
Historical drama that tells the true story of the final months of British rule in India. Viceroy’s House in Delhi was the home of the British rulers of India. After 300 years, that rule was coming to an end. For 6 months in 1947, Lord Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville) assumed the post of the last Viceroy, charged with handing India back to its people. The story unfolds within that great House. Upstairs lived Mountbatten together with his wife (Gillian Anderson) and daughter (Lily Travers); downstairs lived their 500 Hindu, Muslim and Sikh servants. As the political elite - Nehru, Jinnah and Gandhi - converged on the House to wrangle over the birth of independent India, conflict erupted. A decision was taken to divide the country and create a new Muslim homeland: Pakistan. Manish Dayal and Michael Gambon are also part of the cast. Directed by Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham, Bride & Prejudice, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging).

Going in Style     HD720p 117MB
Crime comedy, based on a movie from 1979, in which lifelong buddies Willie (Oscar winner Morgan Freeman), Joe (two time Oscar winner Michael Caine) and Al (Oscar winner Alan Arkin) team up and decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow for the first time in their lives when their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty. Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money. Ann-Margret, Joey King, Matt Dillon and Christopher Lloyd are also part of the cast. Directed by Zach Braff (Wish I Was Here, Garden State).

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