Jeroen Krabbe

Jeroen Krabbe

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The Living Daylights Review


OK
The casting of Timothy Dalton as James Bond in this 15th entry into the adventures of 007 is widely considered a classic mistake: Dalton isn't suave like Sean Connery or even Roger Moore. It's hard to explain, but he's too outright mean and gruff, and he doesn't come across with the sly sense of humor that, in my opinion, is essential in a good Bond. The vehicle he has to work with in The Living Daylights isn't exactly stellar, tagging along with a European cellist (Maryam d'Abo) as he unravels a KGB plot to kill MI-6 agents. The settings are on the lackluster side (Afghanistan?), aside from one notable sequence which gives Bond a trip down a snow-covered mountain in the Bond girl's cello case.

Continue reading: The Living Daylights Review

Crossing Delancey Review


OK
Amy Irving headlines a strange trip through New York love, Annie Hall style, as her bookstore staffer encounters a headstrong author and a pickle maker en route to romance. Will she find happiness in the arms of paper or dill? Cryptic and meandering, don't be surprised if you have trouble caring who she falls for in the end.

Immortal Beloved Review


Excellent
My pick of the week goes to Immortal Beloved, a limited-release movie about the life and times of Ludwig von Beethoven. Gary Oldman plays the Maestro with finesse and style, filled with all the emotion and angst Oldman is becoming famous for.

In an effort to create another Amadeus, the film chooses to use Beethoven's will, wherein he leaves his estate to a nameless "immortal beloved," as the starting point for delving into Beethoven's past. Consequently, much of the film is interested in Beethoven's supposed relationships with the women around him. Here, the film somewhat takes leave of reality, playing fast and loose with the facts of Beethoven's life. In fact, the film's final claim of a certain woman as Beethoven's immortal beloved is considered absurd by most historians.

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The Punisher (1989) Review


Unbearable
One of cinema's worst duds ever, Dolph Lundgren is actually at his mediocre best here as the Marvel Comics star -- a former policeman turned vigilante who is out to avenge the death of his wife and child. Things go from stupid to completely asinine when the Punisher decides to take on the local Japanese Yakuza mobsters, who have kidnapped the children of his usual enemies, the Italian mafia. Can't we all just get along? Not if it means sitting through this film, marred by cheeseball sets and special effects, lame fight sequences, and some of the worst acting ever to disgrace the screen. Director Mark Goldblatt returned to editing after this bomb.

Continue reading: The Punisher (1989) Review

Crossing Delancey Review


OK
Amy Irving headlines a strange trip through New York love, Annie Hall style, as her bookstore staffer encounters a headstrong author and a pickle maker en route to romance. Will she find happiness in the arms of paper or dill? Cryptic and meandering, don't be surprised if you have trouble caring who she falls for in the end.

Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo Review


Unbearable
I like movies, I really do. But sometimes the movies have to meet you halfway. Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo is an extreme case of what is becoming a chronic pattern -- desperately out of ideas and out of touch, Hollywood ignores critics and moviegoers and relapses into infancy. The early buzz about this project should have told them that it would be a disaster. I believe that everyone in America knew that a Deuce Bigalow sequel would be unsuccessful as soon as they learned of its existence... except apparently for the studio executives who approved it. Now here it is, and for a few weeks it will inspire embarrassed laughs from a few moviegoers here and overseas, and the usual round of incredulous bad reviews from critics, before following the usual trajectory into oblivion.

In the first Deuce Bigalow, Rob Schneider created an amusing character, probably the first male prostitute to carry a feature film aside from American Gigolo, and there's no reason the joke couldn't have lasted through a sequel or two, except one: Schneider is a non-presence on screen. Whether he's wearing a diaper, swordfighting, or dancing to accordion music, or whatever else he's doing, Schneider has no comedic appeal, nil.

Continue reading: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo Review

Left Luggage Review


Weak
Topol, where have you been since Fiddler on the Roof? Ah, the triumphant hero returns in a small role in Left Luggage, an overly sentimental (and manipulative) film about the plight of Hasidic Jews in 1970s Antwerp. Laura Fraser (the Scottish answer to Eliza Dushku) plays a modern Jewish girl with modern sensibilities (she wears pants) who takes a nanny job with a Hasidic family in order to pay the rent. So backwards, the family's father (Jeroen Krabbé, who also directed the film) isn't even impressed when she gets their four year old to say his first word -- instead saying he should be asking the questions of the Seder instead of saying "Quack." Meanwhile, Laura's father (Maximilian Schell) is digging up Antwerp in search of his lost bags from WWII. And we are asked to sympathize with all of these cases, unsuccessfully. Based on the novel Twee Koffers Vol.
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