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Profile for Chris Vertonghen > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Chris Vertonghen (Belgium)
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You've Got Mail [DVD] [1998]
You've Got Mail [DVD] [1998]
Dvd ~ Tom Hanks
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.98

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Upbeat, feel-good romatic comedy, 27 Aug. 2005
This review is from: You've Got Mail [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
Upbeat, feel-good romatic comedy about two people involved with books on a professional basis. Perfect ingredients for soft souls very much like myself. Also, and this is the first time I've noticed this watching this movie, Joe has an IBM ThinkPad (representing ruthless cold and big industry) and Kathleen is using an Apple notebook (can't really tell which make but it certainly is pre-OS X; representinghome/cosy/village small shop setup). Also no Botox yet to be seen around any of the main characters, which is always, as is mostly agreed upon, a plus.


Power of One [DVD] [1993] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Power of One [DVD] [1993] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by M and N Media US
Price: £30.05

11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars great novel, bad movie, 8 April 2005
After recently having read - no, make that "devoured" - the beautifully written novel by Bryce Courtenay, I was left very eager to discover how on earth they had accomplished the daunting task of making it into a motion picture. After a long search, I finally was able to get my hands on a copy of this film, and ehm, found it to be a complete and utter abomination. Probably with the best of intentions, but this movie is, aside from the criticism against Apartheid, well, just laughable. When compared to the novel that is. Names have been changed (and sometimes even switched with other characters!), important parts of the plot and some important people are completely left out, leaving the viewer with absolutely no reason as to why things happen as they do, the raw elements that make the story so powerful are smoothed or wiped out to such an extent that it completely caricaturizes most, if not all, of the situations P.K. is being put in, leaving him and the rest of the cast without a personality (things just seem to happen at random, without any reason to people we never really get to know throughout the movie, whereas in the novel you can almost feel the characters, breathe the atmosphere, and everything seems to intertwine perfectly). Lots of stuff happens, but we don't know why. And lots of stuff does not happen or get explained, because - and I can only guess here - it was deemed to sensitive to talk about circumcision, Jews, catholic fanaticism and gross child abuse and/or neglect by grown-ups. Do yourself a big favour: please, please, pretty please with sugar on top, do not watch this movie and read the novel instead.


The Power of One
The Power of One
by Bryce Courtenay
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful, witty storytelling., 18 Mar. 2005
This review is from: The Power of One (Paperback)
Very nice surprise. Masterful, witty storytelling. An absolute must for people who enjoy reading. Way too short, even after 640 pages. I can't wait to start on Tandia, the sequel to this book. This book with which Courtenay debuted when he was already 55, apparently has been made into a feature film as well, starring, amongst others, a must-be perfectly cast Armin Mueller-Stahl (I indeed pictured someone very much like him as Doc), Morgan Freeman as Geel Piet, and even John Gielgud. I can't imagine it being anywhere near as good as the book...


The Beach [2000] [DVD]
The Beach [2000] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Leonardo DiCaprio
Offered by 247dvd
Price: £3.59

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining story/visuals, but not great acting, 28 Jan. 2005
This review is from: The Beach [2000] [DVD] (DVD)
Entertaining movie with some very good and especially convincing acting by all but the Americans in this film, including our "hero" Leonardo DiCaprio. Somehow they appear extremely superficial and unconvicing, almost caricatural. It's as if there's something about them that prohibits them to get around their ego, their self. As actors, they don't appear able to actually become (and ultimately be) the character they are supposed to portray - there's always this self-absorbed posturing involved. Very annoying, because it gets in the way of making the story believable. I'm sure it only applies to the (rooted) American actors in this movie, although others, e.g. Tom Cruise, have the same problem: they always play just another variation of themselves. On the other hand, the story and psychology is great, and a true revelation for me was Tilda Swinton, who puts down a truly magnificent role. I'm sure going to try and view some of her other work.


Extension Du Domaine De La Lutte
Extension Du Domaine De La Lutte
by Michel Houellebecq
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars People as merchandise, 25 Jan. 2005
This is Houellebecq's first novel, in which he, in his poignant yet unpolished style - he oftentimes reminded me of Bukowski and Brusselmans - rather darkly sketches what could happen in a world where people start seeing themselves and others as merchandise, economically and sexually. A young, depressed systems guy at a Parisian software company is sent out to do a series of trainings in provincial France. He is not happy to do it, and to his surprise, he is forced to go do it with an extremely ugly and sexually frustrated collegue. Failing miserably at trying to console one another (they wouldn't know how, so they just endure, silently screaming), outsiders in a world with which they are unable to communicate, the trip ends up to be a chain of misfortune, bitterness, loathing and ultimately utter depression.


The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars highly formulaic pageturner, 14 Jan. 2005
Highly formulaic pageturner. Nice cliffhanger-ridden and suspenseful storytelling, but too commercially crafted (read: Hollywood-ready) to be taken seriously. Dan Brown is obviously an Eco-fan, although upon comparison I tend to get a fastfood-feeling with Dan Brown, whereas Umberto Eco makes me feel I have been dining out in true splendid grandeur (albeit sometimes for too long, ending up feeling bloated for days on end). I guess I should have known there ought to be a difference between an American ex-programmer-gone-bestseller-writer and an Italian semantics-professor who writes novels after hours.
Nevertheless, Dan Brown deserves praise for his ability to make both the Vatican and Opus Dei make public statements about the novel. To put it in his own words, he must have, somehow, struck a nerve. The Da Vinci Code has spawned a number of books trying to de-code or clarify the book as well in perhaps more accurate, more historic facts, because after all, The Da Vince Code remains a work of fiction.


Existenz [DVD] [1999]
Existenz [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Jude Law
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.28

5 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Videodrome remake?, 8 Jan. 2005
This review is from: Existenz [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Too much Cronenberg compulsive paranoia and Freudian freakish gore to be even slighly believable. Really: what is that with the on/off nipple-flicking on the game-console and the biointerface licking and the amphibian mutant gun sucking!? It seems to me that this movie is nothing more than a new paintjob for his ageing Videodrome story. Good concept, but that's basically where it all ended with eXistenZ, with a capital X and a capital Z. Oy with the poodles already!


The Claim [DVD] [2001]
The Claim [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Wes Bentley
Price: £5.45

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully raw, hard, cold, painful, slow, and sad film, 15 Dec. 2004
This review is from: The Claim [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Beautifully raw, hard, cold, painful, slow, and sad film about European goldhunters/settlers in America some 140 years ago. Although I wasn't there when it happened and I didn't know it could be continuously snowing in California USA, it appeared very plausible as a realistic portrait of how things must have been in America in the days that my great-grandfather was a young boy. Some minor points though: I don't particularly like flashbacks and blurred imagery, and I found the ones in this film to appear a bit messy, experimental and therefore annoying, just like Michael Nyman's soundtrack to this film. Also, I found the characters to be a bit superficial, some of them even unrealistically shallow. If the story had been given a bit more sequence and finesse, I have a very strong suspicion that this could have been a truly great movie.


Joan Of Arc - The Messenger [DVD] [2000]
Joan Of Arc - The Messenger [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Milla Jovovich
Offered by Jasuli
Price: £9.78

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very funny at times, 15 Dec. 2004
Very funny at times. I doubt that it's historically accurate, but it's good entertainment, albeit too long (2h40m), and a shame that, just like in every Hollywood (co-)production, everybody (even the French) is talking in English again.


Monsoon Wedding [DVD] [2002]
Monsoon Wedding [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Naseeruddin Shah
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.65

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars for those interested in gems, 15 Dec. 2004
This review is from: Monsoon Wedding [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
To impatient souls, I would like to advise to not give up on this movie too soon, as I almost did after 30 minutes. It starts slow, but ends in true grandeur. If you like truly realistic, down-to-earth dramatic acting that is. To me, the revelations of this movie are Vijay Raaz as the hilarious P.K. Dubey and Naseeruddin Shah as the father (even though Shah has played in almost 90 films already). Fantastic soundtrack too, by the way. A gem, for those interested in gems.


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