Hurricane Bianca – *

Posted: April 25, 2018 in USA, X, Comedy, LGBT themed, 2016

Bianca del Rio is a riot. The Joan Rivers of drag queens. An insult comedian who makes Ricky Gervais sound lame. Roy Hanlock, who gives life to Bianca, is a riot too. So, why is this movie not as funny as it should be?

Because it feels restrained. It’s not offensive at all. A movie with Bianca del Rio should be extremely offensive, not just fun.

Here’s the synopsis: a queer math teacher accepts an assignment in conservative Texas. He loses his job as soon as his sexuality is revealed, but he doesn’t return to New York. No, he decides to apply for the job as his alter ego, Bianca del Rio, a woman that nobody will mess around with.

Some scenes are funny. After all it’s a light-hearted lgbt comedy. The idea of a teacher throwing shade at the bullying students is excellent. But the story isn’t original and almost all the performances are done by amateurs. It’s so over the top though. It’s so camp that it’s almost good. Almost. It’s just not offensive enough. And if you do use stereotypes, go full force, make sure it’s brutal.

For someone who complains about the political correctness in this world, this is a very pc  comedy. Disappointed. Hopefully the sequel is edgier.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4007248/

 

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The Foreigner – (*)

Posted: April 20, 2018 in 1/2, 2017, Action, Revenge, Terrorist

This is a mess. A real mess.

The title is deceiving. This isn’t about a ‘foreigner’, it’s about a series of attacks by a new radical IRA.

Jackie Chan, who plays an Asian restaurant owner who loses his daughter in one of the attacks, is out for revenge. He’s a well-trained soldier and determined to find and eliminate the bombers on his own.

Ok. Good premise.

But then somehow, Jackie Chan disappears in the story and Pierce Brosnan’s character becomes a central figure. He plays a politician, with links to the old IRA and is now not only dealing with a mad ‘Chinaman’ who’s haunting him, but also with his political friends, who are betraying him and with the British PM, who’s accusing him of the attacks.

Then Pierce Brosnan disappears from the screen and they focus on the bombers and their next attacks and the British who try to stop them. Oh and on a hitman who Brosnan’s character hires to kill Jackie’s character.

It’s a mess. A real mess.

And the IRA, really? Why make a movie about fictitious IRA terrorists? We finally kind of forgot they (still) exist. No need to bring paranoia back.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1615160

So, ‘retired’ director Soderbergh made his comeback with yet another heist story. Coen brothers style. It wasn’t a hit. It got rave reviews, sure, but it flopped at the box office and didn’t win awards. It starts of good, as a quirky comedy, a gentle satire. But then it becomes an action thriller without suspense. The humor dies after a while, which is sad. The unique characters just become way too serious at one point. The over the top performances aren’t really helping either. The lead actors (Adam Driver and Channing Tatum) are surprisingly good. The supporting actors (a.o. Katie Holmes and Daniel Craig) are embarrassingly bad. Somehow this movie doesn’t work. But hey, give it a shot. Maybe you just have to be in the mood for a daft story.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5439796

Lady Bird – **

Posted: March 18, 2018 in 2017, Coming Of Age, USA, XX

This isn’t really a particularly well made movie. It’s a coming of age story without real surprises. With good acting, sure. But without a real story or message. It’s not directed that remarkably well either. Not sure what all the fuzz is about. There’s really nothing special about this story. The only reason to finish it, is to watch Saoirse Ronan be great as usual. Her performance is quite a joy to look at. Her character however is a confused 17-year-old. She’s attending a catholic school in Sacramento, but dreams of college on the East Coast. She ditches her best friend to chill with the popular girl in school. She wants to get a math degree, but sucks at math. She’s great at performing arts, but refuses to join the Easter play. Sigh. Maybe, if you’re a 17-year-old confused girl or the mother of a 17 year old confused girl, you may find this all relatable or appealing. If you’re not, this pretty much just is a waste of time. Luckily, it’s over before you know it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4925292

 

30 years of New Beat. Especially in Belgium, this is a bit of a celebration. From 1985 to 1995 the country (well, Flanders and Brussels) were at the centre of the global music scene because they released successful vinyl tracks that sounded like nothing else before and became such a hype that pop music took over and killed it. However, this ‘new beat’ became a foundation of anything else that was produced in the club scene afterwards.

It’s a fun documentary if you’re interested in the topic. It actually starts with a short (but correct) introduction of Belgium, a fabricated buffer state in between England, the Netherlands, Germany and France. It talks about the yearly fairs, the barrel organs, the invention of bakelite by Belgo-American Leo Baekeland that was used to make vinyl, the opening of dance clubs along the highways, the import of international sounds by the port of Antwerp, the dj’s from the seventies, the popularity of disco and the counter-reaction of punk. And hup we are  in the eighties, where Belgian dj’s and producers start playing aggressive, dark dance music with an edge. They spin the records at a different speed and add all kinds of sounds to the music. It’s music made by producers and not by musicians! It’s Kraftwerk and Jean Michel Jarre, but with a rebel attitude. And that’s how we got to NEW BEAT.

It’s a good documentary, but the ‘sound of Belgium’ just focuses on new beat really. It doesn’t say anything about the indie rock scene or the mishmash of cultures we put together in the music is made in Belgium. There are influences from France, England, the US and Africa…. the entire world. That mix is what makes the sound of Belgium. So, this documentary has a wrong title. It’s also a bit patriotic/nationalistic. But that suits the scene well. Maybe the new beat was the only thing that united the Flemish and the French-Speaking Belgians! You hear both languages throughout the documentary. However, there’s no mention of other influencers from other countries. They even forget to mention that Baekeland was really an American from Belgian descent. Dance music really didn’t originate in Belgium either. The UK and Germany were as influential. And let’s not forget Chicago and New YOrk! And there’s an unnecessary diss to Depeche Mode by Sven Van Hees.

So, fun to watch, but pretty superficial. Give it a shot though.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2966298

The whole movie is available on this site:

https://boilerroom.tv/recording/sound-belgium

The Oscar for Best Motion Picture is a fantasy fairytale set in the cold war era about the love between a mute cleaning lady and an amphibious ‘asset’ that is kept from the outside world in a government facility.

It’s a unique movie experience. It’s not all that original as it’s a homage to the monster movies from the late fifties and early sixties, but it’s shot with the utmost care for details. It has a bit of an Amelie Poulain feel to it. Everything just looks really good and there’s off beat humor and weird charm.

If people get offended by the age gap between the two main male characters in Call Me By Your Name, then maybe they also won’t like the romance between a woman and an animal. It’s awkward as well to imagine a human having sex with a human like amphibious water animal. But hey, it’s a fantasy movie. It’s fictional!

This is an entertaining movie. Never boring. Great to look at. And with a good soundtrack. But again, the story just isn’t all that original or intriguing.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5580390

This stand up comedy show really surprised me. Gad Elmaleh has never been able to make me smile in French, but this English show made me laugh out loud a lot. Just because it’s so recognizable what he is referring to. This is exactly the same stuff I tell guests from the states who visit France. So, no, he’s not original. If you’ve been traveling with me and then you see this show, you’d think he stole my jokes. But hey, he’s performing on stage and has a netflix show. So there you go! Way to go.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt8110630