Archive for December, 2010

Seen on iTunes

Finally, Season 3! Not sure why I waited so long to watch it. Maybe, because Season 2 was a disappointment. However, a cheap deal on iTunes was all I needed to buy the third chapter of this great, funny, over sexed comedy drama.

You just got to love Hank Moody. An award for the creator of that character! And an award for David Duchovny, who is just the perfect actor to portray the most sympathetic man-child in tv history.

I love the way he jumps in his car in the beginning credits. It’s a scene that just defines him the best. He tries to jump in his fancy car, but misses the jump and lands in it in a very clumsy way. Followed by a smile and this shoulder shrug that clearly says ‘whatever’. I love the way he goes jogging and then stops to smoke a cigarette to just continue jogging afterwards. I love the way he doesn’t flirt at all during this season, but just takes the women as they come. As if he’s the victim and can’t resist the female aggression. I love the fact he doesn’t seem to get annoyed by anything, apart from pricks who kind of stand in the way of him being a man-child and competitors in his love quest. I love the fact he picks flowers out of the front garden of the house he’s about to visit. I love the fact he reprimands his daughter for having smoked marihuana only to learn she stole it out of his old type writer. Oops. And then of course he smokes the rest he claimed back. I love the fact he loves his wifes, despite of his many sex encounters. I love the fact he loves his daughter. I love his quotes and his relaxed attitude in awkward situations. He is the personification of cool. He’s awesome.

One episode is a real bore, when Hank’s old pal comes to visit LA. But the other episodes are hilarious. New to the cast is Katleen Turner, who excels as an incredibly cool nymphomaniac agent who’s the new boss of Charlie Runkle. She wants him. Badly. preferably in a vertical 69. The idea of that is just hilarious as she has turned into a very heavyset woman. One of her lines is: “You say harassment, I say a couple of juicy orgasm between friends”. Great. Other new characters are just soso. But there’s only 3 women this time that charm their way into Hank’s heart. Well, into his pants. Just to warn them for not falling in love with him he says: “I’d work my way under your skin as the slow moving fungus that I am”

And a fungus he is. However likeable he is, you would not want him to be your partner. Nor your dad. Poor Becca, Hank’s daughter. She seems like the only adult in the series. “One of these days I’m going to start talking about sex so openly and you won’t like it.” Makes you think of Saffron from Absolutely Fabulous. Maybe it’s the director’s decision to make Madeleine Martin play the part of Becca in such an annoying way, because it works. However, you wonder if there’s much ‘acting’ to it. A great actress on the other hand is Natascha McElhone who just steals every scene she’s in as Hank’s love of his life.

The series ends with a cliff hanger. And Season 4 is not available yet. Aaarghh…

seen on television

Totally forgot that I watched The Sound Of Music on Xmas day. There’s nothing really xmasy about the movie, but they always show it around xmas time. My mom hadn’t seen the movie in ages and wanted to watch it. My dad and my sister gave up after 15 minutes. You can’t blame them. We’ve seen this movie 10 times already. I was busy on the computer and ended up ‘watching’ the movie again, even though I was busy doing something else.

It’s amazing how popular the songs from the movie still are. If we do karaoke on the ship, there’s at least two songs from the movie that are sung (‘Edelweiss’ and ‘Do-Re-Mi’). Also amazing that nobody in Austria knows about this musical. Nor Germany. Amazing as well that we, in Flanders, do know this musical so well. We are really very Anglo-Saxon.

There’s nothing really wrong about the movie. It’s a good family musical. But it’s losing its appeal every time I ‘see’ it.

 

Super Size Me – ***

Posted: December 27, 2010 in Documentary, USA, XXX

Seen on iTunes

It’s always difficult to rate a documentary. Most of the times you will only watch a documentary that deals about something you care about. So finishing the documentary has a lot to do with the interest you show in the theme and not so much about how it’s made. However. There are of course documentaries that make the watching a bit more fun. And there are documentaries that are visually extraordinary as well (although I’m only thinking about nature documentaries). In the end, it’s all about how the documentary is set up and if you’ve learned something new. It’s all about learning and discovering. (inside joke for my colleagues).

The idea of Super Size Me was good. Documenting the fast food industry in the USA by doing a silly and unhealthy test: eating only at McDonalds for 30 days and always agreeing to supersize the meal if asked. Nice idea, but how do you make a good documentary about it? Well it’s all about the set up. He first goes to three doctors to test his health before he starts with his mission. Just to be able to compare what’s happening to his body in the 30 days of his McDiet. That was an interesting extra. And a scary one. In between scenes at McDo’s there’s all kinds of statistics and comments about the obesity of people in the USA. And they were all interesting, but never really went into the depth of the problems.

I like the fact he tackled matters like the soda and fast food lobby having much more money to advertise than the health food business. How many more schools get money for placing soda machines than schools who have healthy food in the restaurant. That was really scary. Even though I dreaded the two hours of physical education in school, I’m happy I had them. In the States it’s a choice of the children to play sports. Which I always thought was better, because you can CHOOSE the sport that you like. But it also adds to obesity with kids who do not like any sports at all.

Luckily there were some fun elements as well. Some were put in scene (meant to be funny, but clearly fake), but most were just natural funny things. After having failed to sing the national anthem correctly three times in front of the White House, a family gets the question to recite a logo from McDonalds which they all know by heart. They are embarrassed themselves! But that was natural.

What did I not like about the movie? Hm. Well, it’s all very superficial. And they were never able to speak to someone from McDonalds, which is stressed out in the documentary, but still. And as mentioned above, some scenes are set up. Like the child seeing the picture of Jesus and thinking it’s George Bush. Didn’t believe that. Especially, since later in the movie there WAS a picture of George Bush he held in his hand. He could have easily manipulated that scene.

And even though this obesity scare gave me the chills, I did feel like trying a Big Mac though.

Hostage – ***

Posted: December 8, 2010 in Action, Thriller, USA, XXX

Seen on dvd

Being a lover of script writing, I often find myself bored to death by the cliché stories that are produced in Hollywood. And I often feel annoyed to death by the unsuccessful attempts to come up with something ‘original’. 90 percent of the scripts in Hollywood are crap and it’s not getting any better. I’m sure there’s millions of great stories out there, but it’s the producers who don’t seem to pick the good ones out.

One excellent script is the one of Hostage though. More than just a great suspenseful action thriller, this movie is the perfect example of how a standard script can actually still be entertaining and work. The build up is classic, the turning points are efficient, the plot setting is excellent and the characters are well developed. Until the far-fetched end, the situation looks very plausible and the director succeeds in telling a lot of the story by just showing images. Certain action does not always have to get explained, like in so many other movies.

The big star of the movie is of course Bruce Willis who does what he does best. We don’t expect Willis to win an Oscar for his portrayal of a historical hero or a physically handicapped scientist. We just want him to save people, getting hurt along the way. And that’s exactly what he does in this movie.

He plays a former hostage negotiator who has moved to a rural town to become a simple police officer. His last assignment ended really bad and has traumatized him, which also estranged him from his wife and daughter. His new quiet life changes when he gets caught in a double hostage situation. One hostage is taking place in the house of a wealthy accountant. The other hostage is more personal. Just like with many movies, it’s better to not know more and get surprised.

Big cheers for the director as well, who – as mentioned before – tells the story extremely well by just showing things. As a viewer you need to pay attention and that’s how you get drawn into the story. If you have the dvd it’s really interesting to watch the deleted scenes as well and understand why the director left out superfluous stuff that make other movies crap. Too bad fort hat one actress though who is more present in the deleted scenes than in the movie. 😉

No. This is a great action movie.