Archive for September, 2010

Zack And Miri Make A Porno – 1/2

Posted: September 30, 2010 in 1/2, Comedy, USA

seen on dvd at home

Saw the trailer last year, laughed. Saw the dvd at Saturn today for 2 euro, smiled. Took the dvd home, watched it and am writing this with a sad face. What a stupid movie. Not funny at all. No wonder it’s for sale at 2 euro. 1/2 star because I finished it.

Invictus – **

Posted: September 29, 2010 in biopic, Drama, South Africa, Sportsdrama, USA, XX

Seen at home on dvd

I bought Gran Torino for my parents and got another Clint Eastwood movie for free: Invictus, the story of Nelson Mandela’s attempt to make the black population like the white rugby team and lead them to victory in the world championship.

It’s okay. It’s a big budget television movie really, released in the theatres. There’s really nothing special about it. The actors are just doing their job. I never saw Nelson Mandela, but Morgan Freeman speaking in a peculiar English. I never saw a great rugby team captain, but Matt Damon with blond hair speaking in an even more peculiar English.

There’s nothing really wrong with the script, but it just follows the events as they have occurred. Very linear. No twists. No amazing dialogues. And to be honest, no humor. Even though there are a few attempts. The story is based on true facts and there are attempts to show the racism between the blacks and the whites, but in the end it looks like winning the world cup made South Africa the most harmonious country in the world. But it’s Hollywood and this movie needs a happy end.

Mad Men – Season 1 – ***

Posted: September 26, 2010 in Drama, TV series, USA, XXX

Seen on iTunes.

It took me a few days to finish season 1 of Mad Men. I finished it, which means I liked it, but unlike other top series like The Wire or Dexter this one missed that little extra that made me glued to my Mac. That said, I am anticipating the second season. Very much so.

This series deals about the men working for an advertising company on Madison Avenue in Manhattan in the year 1960, and their women. Doesn’t sound all that exciting, and it takes a few episodes to get into the story and the time period. But in the end, it’s worthwhile. I wonder how on earth the creators of the show could get a studio interested in producing it. But I’m glad they did. This is awesome flashback cinema!

The main character of the series is the year 1960. This is a year I know almost nothing about. I know more about 1789 and 1848 than about 1960. So in that sense, this show is awesome. I do have to specify that this is 1960 Manhattan and not 1960 Midwest or Europe. My parents’ experience of 1960 or that of other non-New Yorkers is probably very different.

It’s not so much that you learn a lot about what happened in that year, but much more how people interacted with each other. At work, in a relationship, in the local neighbourhood. How men and women looked at each other’s role in society with the starting doubts if and awareness that maybe men and women aren’t that different. It also shows the world without prominent people of color and where success and materialism seem more important than happiness and love. For that, the setting in an advertising company is well-chosen! Advertisers are selling lies. And they all live a lie as well.

The main male character has secrets from the past and secrets from the present, being married with children but having at least two mistresses. You can almost compare it with the series Big Love in which a Mormon is married to three different wifes. Here it’s all secretive, but each wife is a different kind of wife and they are all incredibly fascinating. His spouse is a Grace Kelly lookalike who seems content with her role as pretty housewife but secretly wants more lust, passion and craziness in her life. The one mistress is an artist who’s surrounded by a community that seem to be the predecessors of the hippie movement. And the third one is a confident succesful business owner who has a mind on her own. They are all three strong women, but living in a bad period for females.

At the company there’s other men with issues. One has to subdue his homosexuality in this macho straight get-as-many-girls-as-you-can world. The other is a spoiled youngster whose ambition is to be important and rich and hopes his schemes will make up for his lack of real talent. And then there’s the ugly secretary who seems to have a brain and just might be the first female copy writer of the company.

Apart from the great acting, it’s of course the writing that takes all the credits. This show proves again that without a good script and great dialogues actors are NOTHING. In the end, the characters (and the actors who portray them) you hate the most are actually the best! The nice thing with tv series is that you get to know characters in dept. And this show has several multi dimensional characters that you can’t get enough of. Even though you can’t stand them.

Another great feat of this show is the way it looks. The art direction is amazing. The period settings are incredible. And the soundtrack is good too. (not great). Every single detail is right.

So why only ***? Hm. It’s slow. Very slow. And the show makes you constantly feel annoyed. Part of you feels so happy that you live in 2010 and not in 1960 where society really seemed to be so incredibly fake. But after a while, the other part of you feels like nothing has changed. Or at least not that much. And that just is not a nice feeling. The first season also feels like a big long pilot for the next seasons.

1492: Conquest Of Paradise – 0

Posted: September 25, 2010 in Action, biopic, France, Spain

Seen on dvd at my sister’s place

The trailer is as boring as the movie. Never bothered seeing this movie as I’ve never read any positive review about this ‘epic tale’. I got the dvd for free a year ago, but it wasn’t until my sister decided to watch it on her new HD screen that I decided to give it a shot too. Luckily I had my laptop with me during the movie so I could look up some stuff about Columbus online. That kind of made the experience worthwhile. The movie itself is total crap. I mean, total crap. The acting is wooden. The dialogue is silly. The music is horrible. The over-use of close-ups and slow motions are annoying. The lack of interesting action ruins this action/adventure movie. There is no drama to make it a drama.

Just like Columbus failed on his first journeys (according to the Spanish rulers who expected him to find a shorter way to Asia or to at least bring back a lot of gold), Ridley Scott totally fails in making a dramatic action adventure biopic.

Going The Distance – **1/2

Posted: September 21, 2010 in Comedy, USA, XX1/2

Seen at the UGC Gulden Vlies

The best movie experiences happen when you totally don’t expect anything from a movie. Better even, when you had no idea about the existence of the movie. And that was the case with Going The Distance. I had not heard anything about this movie at all. Hadn’t seen the trailer. Hadn’t read a review. I just needed an easy movie to end a very busy stressful day. And this was it! This was the best experience I could get at the cinema tonight. This is VERY light, but it kept my mind OFF my busy day and I left the cinema totally happy.

In the meantime I’ve read some reviews and they are predominantly bad. And to be honest, I totally agree with some of the critics about the abundance of bad jokes. But in the end, I still really liked this movie because I could totally relate to anything in it. Even the bad jokes!

The critics don’t like the acting and the situations in which they find themselves. And yes, Drew Barrymore looks (too) old for her character and it’s silly to see Christina Applegate dry humping. But I love them both. Even if they would just fart a whole movie long. The critics also think the story is unbelievable. And that’s where I don’t agree. Leaving the movie I thought I’d get along great with the script writer Geoff LaTulipe. This is so me! Doing an intern as a journalist, meeting a music lover, reminiscing on eighties nostalgia, going to concerts, participating at a bar quiz on the first date, asking silly ‘what if’ questions to get to know each other, then realising a long distance relationship sucks, doubting who should move over, having bad phone sex, etc… And the movie is set in New York and San Francisco, my two favorite cities!

Honestly, I am ready to give this movie ***.

The trailer sucks. But the movie itself rocks!

The Shield – Season 1 – *

Posted: September 10, 2010 in Action, Drama, TV series, USA, X

Seen on dvd

There’s no justice in tv world. The Wire – the best police series ever – never won an Emmy or Golden Globe. Crap police shows like The Shield get all kinds of nominations year after year and I can’t understand why. I started watching this show because friends recommended it to me! But I’m eight episodes into this season and I most likely will never finish it. Actually, it’s my second try to watch this show. And I just fast forwarded episode 7 and 8.

The stories are just average cop stories and aren’t all that bad. They try to focus on one story line per episode and then have a few that continue throughout the series. But they all remain very superficial. No depth whatsoever. Some of the characters are somehow intriguing. The tough, efficient but corrupt main character who you should sympathize for because of his dual good/evil character. The latino head of the police department who’s put there for political reasons. The new black recruit who needs to come to terms with his homosexuality. Etc. All interesting on paper, but incredibly boring on-screen. The main reason is simple: the performances are terrible!

Firstly because the dialogue sucks. It’s unnaturally simple and extremely unconvincing. Secondly, it’s a low-budget series (at least for US standards) so I assume they don’t shoot that many takes of one particular scene. So the acting is as professional as in any daytime television soap. And finally, there aren’t any good actors playing in this show. Only Michael Chiklis, who plays the main character, is okay to watch. The rest sucks.

The series gets such good ratings on imdb, so maybe I should watch a different season.

The Reaping – 0

Posted: September 10, 2010 in Horror, USA

Seen on dvd

The crew of the ship I’m on has a new dolby digital surround system in the crew mass. time to watch a movie. The Reaping. What a crap movie. But what a great sound!!!! It’s like this movie is made to use dolby digital surround effects to the fullest. Just watch this clip with headphones on. You’ll here it already in stereo. But the movie itself: CRAP!!!!!!