My 100 favorite movies

Posted: September 25, 2018 in Uncategorized

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Amadeus

Apocalypto

Argo

Back To The Future

Before Sunrise

Bernie

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

Big Fish

Billy Elliot

Boyhood

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Bullit

Casino

Chinatown

Cidade De Deus

Crash

Dances With Wolves

The Departed

Descendants

Django Unchained

La Double Vie De Veronique

Drole de Felix

Edward Scissorhands

Entre Les Murs

E.T.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

Das Experiment

Die Fälscher (The Counterfeiters)

Le Fabuleux Destin d’ Amelie Poulain

Finding Nemo

The French Connection

Ghandi

The Godfather

The Godfather Part II

Gone With The Wind

Goodfellas

The Goonies

Grease

Groundhog Day

La Haine

Hasta La Vista

Des Hommes Et Des Dieux

Inception

Inglorious Bastards

Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

Into The Wild

Jaws

Jodaeiye Nader Az Simin

The Jungle Book

L.A. Confidential

Lantana

Lawrence Of Arabia

Lola Rennt

Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

Menace II Society

Moulin Rouge

Munich

My Own Private Idaho

North By Northwest

The Pianist

Le Placard

Let’s Make Love

Pulp Fiction

Quand On A 17 Ans

Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Rear Window

Reservoir Dogs

The Revenant

Saving Private Ryan

Schindler’s List

The Shawshank Redemption

The Silence Of The Lambs

Singing In The Rain

Short Cuts

Speed

Soshite Chichi Ni Naru

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strike Backs

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

The Right Stuff

Le Temps Qui Reste

Thelma & Louise

Training Day

Three Kings

Trois Couleurs Blue

Toy Story 3

Tropa De Elite

Tropa De Elite 2

12 Years A Slave

Der Untergang

Up

Up In The Air

The Usual Suspects

Weekend

When Harry Met Sally

Whiplash

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

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Classic: Giant – ***

Posted: September 24, 2018 in 1956, Costume Drama, Drama, Romance, USA, XXX

Time for some Old Hollywood Classic!

The most remarkable thought after watching this 1956 epic, is that some of the issues addressed are still issues in 2018!

Elisabeth Taylor is absolutely stunning as Leslie, the daughter of an east coast horse breeder, who gets married to a Texan, who owns hundreds of thousands of acres of land. But apart from being gorgeous, her character is such a feminist voice! In 1956! When her husband and his men want to debate politics and want her to go drink tea with the other women, she just goes off at them. And there are more scenes like those. This is one hell of a strong female character. Wow. She also addresses the backward way of how the Mexicans are treated on the ranch and in the entire state. It’s really remarkable. When she meets the Texan for the first time, she reads up about the history of the state and then tells him the Texans stole it from the Mexicans. Wow. Bam. Also kudos for the director, who dared to show this segregation between the Texans and those ‘other kind of people’.

What if this movie would have been made in 2018? Would this be a hit? would this even be allowed to be shown in theaters? It would create controversy and Texans would still be offended about the way they are depicted.

It’s a good movie though. The direction is excellent. A lot is shown rather than explained. There are a lot of jumps forward in time, but it somehow works, thanks to the clever editing. George Stevens won the Oscar for best directing even though the movie itself lost big. But he really deserves the win. It makes you want to watch all of his work.

Rock Hudson is great as the macho Texan. James Dean is just okay (what’s the fuzz really?) as a former ranch worker discovering oil in his small piece of land. The feud between these two men on screen also existed off screen. There are hundreds of articles focussing on that rivalry between these two leading men. Which adds to the joy of watching this movie.

The last part of the movie doesn’t quite reach the same level as the first two hours (yes it’s a long movie), but persevere! It’s worth it. It’s all very entertaining. There are even some funny scenes (the thanksgiving scene with the kids, the diner fight at the end).

 

Back in 1975, Roy Scheider had a blockbuster hit with Jaws. But that year he also performed in an indie movie that bombed at the box office and got incredibly bad reviews. I always wanted to see this movie as a kid (being a fan of Roy Scheider), but it was such an obscure title that it was never shown on tv. Nor did I ever see it in a rental store. But now, anno 2018, it’s available on itunes!

It’s actually not all that bad. It’s a great trip back to the early seventies, when everyone smoked everywhere. At work, at parties, inside the living rooms. The movie is darkly lit and the soundtrack has only a few tracks that keep being repeated over and over again. It does feel more like a stage play than an actual movie as it’s set in only a few locations and the dialogue is important. It’s about a girl that comes from out-of-town to find a future in the big city. She ends up sharing an apartment with a messy wannabe actress, who encourages her to go party instead of cleaning up. At the party she meets a doctor from a nearby hospital who manages to get her into his bed. Bam. She’s in love! But he just sees it as a one night stand. Bam. Her heart is broken! Moreover, a few days later he’s going on a date with her crazy roommate (what are the odds!) and she needs to confront him again. But she grows stronger out of the experience!

It’s a silly movie. It’s about a girl discovering herself in the big city. It’s like Girls (never seen that show though) or Sex And The City, but then 4,5 decades ago. Jeannie Berlin is quite good as the quirky main character. Roy Scheider is just okay. Being a romantic lead has never been his thing.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0073698

there’s no trailer as such, but a clip on youtube:

God’s Own Country – *(*)

Posted: September 14, 2018 in 2017, Drama, LGBT themed, Romance, UK, X1/2

Somewhere in the north of England, a young closeted farmer boy has a tough time helping out his crippled dad and his bossy grandmother. He often goes to the local pub to get wasted and from time to time – at a cow market in the movie – he has meaningless sex with pretty boys. Then a Rumanian seasonal worker arrives to help during a cold early spring and after some initial resentment, the farmer boys fall head over heels for each other.

Sounds familiar?

Branded the British Brokeback Mountain, this movie has a tough time being original. Two masculine gay guys falling in love while living in a remote place amongst a herd of sheep. BORING!

Yet, it’s an arthouse favorite and gets good reviews online. But by whom?

Whoever calls this story romantic, clearly hasn’t experienced romance before. Whoever calls this story hopeful hasn’t experienced hopelessness before.

What are the odds that a not so attractive farmer boy in a remote place encounters a handsome Rumanian man, who falls for him even though he’s been calling him a Gypsy several times. I mean, really? Then all of a sudden, without any real flirtation, they go at it in the mud. And they don’t look dirty. They work on a farm, head out into the hills and sleep in a shed, but they look like they just went shopping for fancy clothes. Then within a week, the farmer boy changes from a drunk pseudo-macho loser to a devote sweet guy who suddenly cares for his father. And a week later of finally having found love, he cheats on his lover by fucking some random student in the toilet of the local bar. What are the odds? You tell me, if this all sounds realistic.

Go watch Being 17 (Quand On A 17 Ans) instead. Now thát was a good movie with a realistic story of two people in a remote place feeling attracted to each other and loathing each other for it.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5635086/

Just having watched Wien is ‘t Hof Van Commerce, a self-made chronological mockumentary of a locally famous West-Flemish hiphop band, it made me want to re-watch this  (10 year old!) music documentary of another famous Flemish band. From Ghent and an international phenomenon: SOULWAX!

Back in the late 2000s these guys toured the world with a great concept: they gave a live performance of their remixed songs, invited dj’s and bands they liked to come along and then ended the evening as their dj alter ego: TWO MANY DJ’s.

Both Soulwax and Two Many Dj’s toured again this summer. With success. But ten years ago, they were pretty much the coolest band in the world.

Watching this documentary again, brought back memories. It’s a great musical document. The sounds these guys produce are still da bomb! The dvd comes with a cd as well and there’s a live performance as an extra feature. But you really want to see the one hour trip through club culture feature. It’s also available on dailymotion (see below).

The editing is hectic, but doesn’t bore at all. It’s a one hour trip, which is just enough. It’s fast-paced and loud. It’s very divers in its images. Live performances in dark stroboscoped clubs are mixed with images of places around the world. It’s visually as entertaining as sound-wise. It has a few tranquil moments with interviews of people who tour with the band. So, you do get to learn about the band and the two main members (two brothers called Stephen and David Dewaele). And you get to learn about live on the road. A lot is self-glorification, but if you’re the coolest band on the planet, it’s okay. The decadent lifestyle isn’t so shocking really. Especially because most of the performers seem so level-headed. It’s the crowd that goes crazy. And the crowd does go berserk. Which is of course again a feat of the director/editor. Just show a lot of people having a good time and you create the illusion that everyone is having a good time. With or without drugs. With or without booze. With or without clothes.

It’s a fun watch. If you haven’t seen it yet: do!

www.imdb.com/title/tt1224448

There’s no imdb page for this music documentary that got a theatrical release in Flemish cinemas. Which makes sense. Apart from the fans of this band, there isn’t really any other audience out there to recommend it to. It’s available on dvd now and it has English subtitles. But why? Why would anyone, who doesn’t know this band and doesn’t understand West-Flemish, want to watch it? The editing is kind of fun, but not spectacular and quite repetitive. So the only thing you’re left with is the humor. And it’s funny. But again, it’s only funny if you know the band and if you understand the most difficult of all dialects in the Dutch language.

I do. Hey, I know the lyrics of some of their early songs by heart. They are still hilarious, twenty years later. But this mockumentary just doesn’t deliver. The DJ of the band is also the director. His editing feels a bit like visual scratching. It’s fun. But compared to Part Of The Weekend Never Dies (the documentary of Soulwax’ international breakthrough) it all feels so unprofessional. Which isn’t necessarily bad. But to be honest, with the right tools, anybody can make a similar career overview. It’s chronological and there is a lot of focus on the early years, with clips of their first interviews, first performances and so on. It’s a bit nostalgic and it’s a great souvenir for the band members and their fans. But as a documentary is a bit boring.

Reviews rave about the mockumentary style and yes, the funniest parts are the fake interviews with other local artists (who are buddies of the band in real life). The part where Gabriel Rios pretends not to know them and then sees a clip by an Asian pop band who sampled one of their songs (quite bizarre) and he suddenly recognizes the song… it’s only funny if you know the song, if you know Gabriel Rios and if you get the humor. The whole documentary should have been like that.

So, in short: disappointing.

Luckily there’s the video of the live concert they gave earlier this year as an extra and it looks like a great best of gig.

 

Recommended by a friend of mine, it’s a tough sit-through. And the first season only has six episodes. It’s about a young man (more like an old teenager) who discovers that he’s gay. Okay, fine. A good premise maybe. But the guy is very awkward and plain weird at times, so it’s all a lot of bull. This isn’t a series about a guy learning to deal with his coming out. No, it’s a series about an awkward guy living his uninteresting life with his uninteresting friends and uninteresting parents. Not one character in this show is intriguing. And the conversations or monologues or situations neither.

Maybe you need to be an Australian millennial to get the jokes…

www.imdb.com/title/tt2155025