Archive for August, 2010

Lars And The Real Girl – **1/2

Posted: August 30, 2010 in Comedy, Drama, USA, XX1/2

Seen from a usb stick at a friend’s place!

While staying over at a friend’s place, he recommended me the best movie he’s seen so far this year. A simple but charming indie flic with Ryan Gossling who plays a delusional guy that finally starts to liven up as he starts a relationship with a sex doll, which the entire community seems to tolerate! It sounds crazy and it is. But it’s never really comical. It’s a nice story, original, with a message of tolerance. The acting is good. Especially Ryan Gossling makes you believe he really is in love with the doll. The script is pretty ingenious, even though it’s just an enlargement of a cool idea. It never bores. You really want to know what’s happening to this character and his relationship with the doll. And of course you want to know if he will be cured by his delusion. The movie takes place during the winter and it’s more the kind of winter movie. But it was rainy and cold today, so a perfect film to end a winter day in summer.

Le Mur – **

Posted: August 26, 2010 in Belgium, Drama, XX

Ten years ago. Actually, eleven years ago, a Belgian movie was shown on ARTE, as part of a series of European movies about the year 2000. Alain Berliner, who had been succesful with Ma Vie En Rose, was asked to make a short feature about what would happen in Belgium at the start of the new millenium. Los Angeles fears an earthquake, Japan fears a volcano eruption and Belgium fears the break up of the country. So Berliner tells the story of a wall being built on the linguistic border, right through the frituur/friterie (french fries stand) of the main character.

I liked the movie when it was shown as it was pretty absurd. And the idea of building a wall to separate Flanders and Wallonia is anno 2010 still absurd. Some quotes in the movie have become more commonplace though, which is kind of remarkable. In the beginning of the movie a woman (played by Pascale Bal) says “Belgium doesn’t exist anymore, I’m Flemish”. Hm. A bit further in the movie they say: “It’s time to choose a side”. That’s where our politics are leading to as well. Confronting.

The idea is good and there are several clever references to our silly society. We do live in a country of absurdity, so in that sense this movie had to be absurd. I really like the equal amount of Flemish and French input and just when you think the Flemish are portrayed as the bad guys, they show the French-speaking counterparts. The idea of building the wall right in the middle of the french fries stand is also excellent. That’s probably our number one national symbol. The idea of the fortune cookies is nice too and there are several quotes that hit it right to the core.

But in the end, it’s not a great movie. It’s a very naive attempt to make people believe that Belgium should continue to exist. The acting is pretty wooden. ANd almost the entire movie is shot at night (even when the story takes place in daylight). There clearly was NO budget for this movie and it shows.

No trailer but a clip on the site of Alain Berliner:

The Descent – 1/2

Posted: August 26, 2010 in 1/2, Horror, UK, USA

Seen on iTunes. 99 cent rental.

I’m claustrophobic. I once crawled through caves on an adventure trip, which was scary. So the idea of watching a movie about six people trapped in a cave appealed to me. However, this is a horror movie. So there needs to be a ‘creature’ in the cave. That’s where I stopped watching this film. BORING! But it wasn’t all bad. So still a 1/2 star.

Entourage Season 6 – ***

Posted: August 19, 2010 in Comedy, TV series, USA

For some reason I LOVE this show. Half of the time I’m incredibly annoyed by the main characters and their ignorant pseudo macho shit, but the other half of the time I’m cracking it up with their misfortunate adventures. Season 6 isn’t all that exciting. There’s no real plot that leads to a finale. It’s just a continuation of whatever happens with all the characters you know from the previous seasons. Which is good. In the end, if you have watched 5 seasons already, you really want to know what’s happening to these guys in season 6. Basically you have to be a fan to appreciate this season. And you still need to be interested in the Hollywood entertainment business, which more and more seems to be one big joke.

My favorite characters still have great one liners. The guys who deliver the quotes for Ari Gold, Drama and Lloyd are geniuses! My absolute favorite comes from Ari Gold – of course – after he decides not to fire an excellent employee because her affair with one of his business partners got him in some serious trouble at home. “You so much as eye-fuck another agent in this building, I will deport you naked to the Taliban” HILARIOUS! Another one from Ari, firing an assistant that brought him the wrong muffin: “Bye, Matt!”, “Back to Human Resources?”, “No, Back to the Iowa farm-house where they breast-feeded  you until you were 15”. Luckily enough there are plenty of these scenes in this season.

The main character that I ambiguously like and hate the most is Drama, who’s personality is just SO unreal, yet SO believable. His nickname couldn’t have been chosen better. What a drama queen. He’s basically the only person you really want to know what kind of trouble he will get into next. He is by far the biggest loser in any tv series ever. And that’s awesome. Vincent Chase, who is basically just a dumb blonde (in a dark hair male outfit) is probably the most boring and unbelievable character in any tv series ever. What a joke. Honestly, who believes this guy has sex all the time with all the hottest girls in town? Not even Hollywood can be that crazy. Turtle is a bore too, even though his character has experienced some evolution. But Drama is just the most entertaining! Oh, there’s E of course, who is also a bore, but an interesting one.

I’m writing here about characters as if I know them and they are part of my every day life. And that’s the power of a good show. Remember the time of Friends where you talked about Rachel and Ross as if they were really your friends. That’s exactly the same thing with Entourage. The actors bring the characters alive. And the writers put them in (sort of) recognisable situations. However, the reason why I like some characters more than others is not only because of the writers ability to grab you with great storylines and dialogue, but also because of the acting which in the case of Ari, Lloyd, Drama and definitely E is superb. They say this is Sex and the City for men. And that’s true. That’s exactly true. However, I really don’t think real men want to watch a bunch of real losers.

Oh. And did I mention that the selection of music is incredible? I’ve discovered some real cool artists watching this show. I also love the cameo’s. Such as the one of Matt Damon in the last episode. Season 7 is eagerly awaited.  Bring it on!

Kick Ass – **1/2

Posted: August 15, 2010 in Action, Children/Family, USA, XX1/2

Seen on iTunes.

If a Hollywood movie gets rave reviews in Europe and flops at the American box office, there must be something interesting about it. That’s why I couldn’t wait to see Kick Ass, which European critics describe as the Pulp Ficion of the comic inspired action movies and which American audiences turned their back as it was portrayed as an ‘immoral’ movie.

I understand both points of view.

The story is quite original. A normal dude feels the need to become the first real life super hero, buys himself a suit, sets up a MySpace page, names himself Kick Ass and goes out to fight crime. Of course, he does not succeed. He gets beaten up, run over, laughed at, etc.. One of his interventions becomes a youtube hype though and he gets fans and enemies. Two of his sceptical fans are a father and a daughter who are out to vengeance the death of their wife/mother and who save Kick Ass’ ass halfway in the movie. There’s really nothing more you need know to ‘enjoy’ this entertaining piece of pulp. And that’s the only comparison I saw with Quentin Tarantino’s master piece. The pulpness of the story.

Apart from the originality of the script there are other reasons why this is a must see. It’s one of those movies unlike anything you’ve seen before. It won’t leave you indifferent. It will even make you feel uncomfortable as you are going to laugh with cruel horror scenes. It has all the looks of a children’s movie, yet it’s ultraviolent and extremely nihilistic. There’s a scene where you see someone successfully commit suicide. And it’s funny. There’s a scene where they put a guy in a human size microwave. He explodes and that’s intended as a joke. The slashing is pretty graphic and the beating incredibly hard. It’s so over the top that it gives the movie that extra thing that other action movies seem to miss lately.

The flaws however are legio. There are inconsistencies in the script. Some scenes are just plain ridiculous. The acting is mediocre.  And the movie falls into the same trap like so many other movies made nowadays: it’s filled with references to current events and hypes like MySpace, Youtube, Idols, girls needing a gay best friend, etc… Not good for the future career of the movie. But probably the biggest problem of the movie is also one of its greatest characteristics: the extreme nihilistic violence performed by a foul-mouthed 11y old girl. If you see the humor in it, you’re in for a nice treat. If you have issues with that, you better skip this one.

Inception – ***1/2

Posted: August 4, 2010 in Action, Science Fiction, XXX1/2

Seen at Kinepolis Kortrijk

It’s been a while since I anticipated seeing one particular movie at the theatres. Inception, however, got my attention from the first time I saw the trailer several months ago. The trailer promises you a movie unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. And that’s exactly what you get. A highly unique and continuously entertaining semi master piece.

I didn’t want to read any review before seeing the movie. Nor did I want anyone (who had seen it already) talk to me about it. However, I knew not everybody is a fan of the movie and I did know that the movie’s end leads to a lot of discussion amongst movie goers . After having seen the movie, I really don’t understand why. There’s really nothing to discuss about. You believe what you want to believe. There’s no right or wrong explanation. It shouldn’t be about ‘getting’ the movie at all. It should be about having seen a visually and intellectually thrilling movie. That’s what it is.

The end is a good marketing trick to create a hype and make people want to go back to see if they might have missed something the first time around. Personally, I don’t need to see the movie again. It won’t make me ‘understand’ it any better. I actually thought the movie was pretty clear. I thought it was incredibly original to make you watch a movie where the storylines are situated on different levels. There are movies with flashbacks, there are movies with flashforwards, there are movies with stories that come together at the end, there are movies who have it all, yet there’s never been a movie where the stories take place in multiple mindset of others.

The storyline is actually very simple. A multi millionaire (a great Ken Watanabe) is looking for a way to sabotage the growth of his closest competitor. As the founder of the competing company is about to die, the sabotage should be done through his son and heir (Cillian Murphy). The millionaire recruits a team who is known for ‘stealing’ thoughts from other people’s minds and who was recently trying to steal a thought from his mind. He offers the leader of the team (Leonardo DiCaprio) a way out from his legal problems at home and that leader accepts the job. However, this time they don’t need to ‘steal’ a thought, they have to ‘implant’ a thought in the competitor’s mind (Cillian Murphy). It’s only been done once before with bad results, but the team takes the risk. They can only do that by implanting it in a dream within a dream within a dream. And that explains the different levels. Oh yes, it’s also the search of a man (DiCaprio) who needs to come to terms with things happened in his past. Really depends on how you want to ‘interpret’ the movie.

That’s basically all you need to know. Once the movies starts you’re in for an incredibly trip with great acting, cool action and awesome set designs.