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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Black Book and Knocked Up

Posted Monday, September 24, 2007, at 10:10 AM

As with every week, Movie Gallery displays all the new releases for easy rental. I indulged myself on two out of MANY great shows released this week.


First, I start off with a foreign film made by Paul Verhoeven titled Black Book or Zwartboek as it is titled in its native language. Black Book is an intense, WWII drama/thriller that twists and turns to the very end while throwing lots of violence and sex at the screen. It is not surprising that the movie is chock full of both violence and sex because the director's previous films were Starship Troopers, Total Recall, RoboCop, Showgirls, and Basic Instinct. Overall, the movie is excellent. I enjoyed the entire show even though I had to read subtitles to understand any of it. Usually, I am not a fan of subtitles, however, if a foreign language film interests me enough in the trailer, I will give it a try. I am so glad I did.

I remember seeing the trailer for Black Book almost a year ago and wanting to see it. Now, with its release on DVD, I was finally able to experience it. The movie centers on a young woman named Rachel. She is in hiding from the Germans and is soon on the run. Eventually she is teamed up with Dutch resistance fighters who help her infiltrate the enemy and begin to work for the Germans. Soon, she is accused of betrayal on both sides. Rachel is played by Carice van Houten who absolutely commands the screen. From the very moment she is introduced to the final scene, Carice is a lively presence who gives a remarkable performance. I dare say, the movie would not be nearly as interesting without such an actress to really pull the audience into the film.

The flick is a surprise from director Paul Verhoeven. The show moves like a war film of decades past while injecting it with lots of new fangled cinema exploits. The mix seems to work well as the movie is completely engaging. I recommend Black Book to anyone, however it is rated R for some strong violence, graphic nudity, sexuality, and language. Not something for everyone, but very entertaining and suspenseful and worth a viewing.


Another R Rated film without the violence of Black Book. Knocked up is the story of a man who is forced to grow up when he finds out a random encounter with a young woman resulted in her pregnancy. After lots of comic relief, the baby is born and the show ends. Knocked up is a comedy from Judd Apatow who brought us The 40 Year Old Virgin, the Freaks and Geeks TV show, as well as the still hot Box Office Hit Superbad. Judd Apatow is the director and Seth Rogen is the star. Seth is also the writer and scene-stealer from Superbad. Seth was also a main character in Apatow's Freaks and Geeks and 40-Year Old Virgin. It's no suprise that Apatow likes to bring the 'gang' around to star in any of his movies. The regulars are here, as they are in Virgin, Superbad, and the Freaks and Geeks TV show. The feeling is, you start to feel like you may be part of the 'gang' experiencing these new flicks. Either way, Knocked Up stands on its own and is a gross out comedy with a very sweet center.

The film is brutally honest and sincere which helps bring the laughs. It manages to capture the feelings of the characters in ways that are over the top yet realistic. A sort of weird relationship that Apatow manages to pull off here as he did with his other movies. This is not an easy task and seems to be working. Both Virgin and Knocked Up did excellent box office numbers and are both widely regarded as great comedies by critics across the nation. Superbad, written by Seth Rogen, has the same formula and is currently doing great at the box office.

Knocked Up is an excellent film to waste a few hours with and keeps you laughing from the beginning to the end. Knocked Up is currently one of the highest rated shows for the year on rottentomatoes.com and deserves it. Check it out!

That is it for this week's crop of reviews. Both of them available at Movie Gallery in McCook.

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Confectionary Glaze
Cody Dame
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Cody Dame is the CEO and owner of three local McCook Businesses, Game On, Spotlight Studios and Divine Productions. He also manages to work for the McCook Daily Gazette.