Archive for October, 2012

Everyone keeps telling me I should watch House, just because I like cynical, sarcastic assholes who excel in their job. At least that’s how my character would be like if I ever were to write a tv series about my experiences in the river cruise industry.

But, this is such a boring show! Don’t get me wrong, Hugh Laurie is excellent and I love his remarks and quotes. But the rest of the show is boring. The three assistants who challenge his authority are boring. The quest to find a cure for an extremely rare disease/condition gets boring too. I watched eight episodes and each of them had the same set up. They also all had those annoying close up camera ‘rides’ into the human body showing how muscles, glands, veins and other body act and react to exterior elements like medication, viruses, bacteria, etc..

I may watch the other episodes of hat first season. I might stop and watch an episode of a future season if I am bored in a hotel room somewhere, but I was not impressed by the first eight. What a disappointment.

Skyfall – *

Posted: October 28, 2012 in 2012, Action, UK, USA, X

YAWN! What a disappointment. A James Bond movie with almost no cool action sequences. Not even the opening scene was captivating! A James Bond movie set in London and Scotland (and only briefly in Istanbul, Shanghai and Macau). A James Bond movie with hardly any sex or any important Bond girl. A James Bond movie without funny one-liners. A James Bond movie with a silly ‘bad guy’. Really, YAWN!

The Broken Circle Breakdown is riding on the wave of great Flemish movies that not only score well at the home box office, but also get attention on international film festivals. Amazing really, how we finally have the talent (and the money) to produce movies that matter. Amazing even more is that the Flemish audience finally accepts home-made movies! Even when they are not easy or commercial!

I had a bit of doubts about this one though. It’s sold as a romance between a tattoo artist and a bluegrass musician, who have to deal with a sick child. Not quite the most attractive pitch out there! But it attracts crowds and gets rave reviews. The soundtrack even made it to the top of the charts, which is strange for a genre that hardly ever gets airplay in this region. So why not see it, right? However, in the end, my doubts were just. It isn’t the most attractive movie out there.

First the good stuff: The acting is superb! Veerle Baetens is ready for an international career! She’s starring in a British tv series soon, but Hollywood is waiting! This girl can take ANY part! She has that talent of making you forget the actress and focus on the character! And she can sing! Amazing!

What also works in this movie, which is very rare, is the non chronological story telling! It really makes sense and it never confuses. It’s not original though. Nor is the rest of the story.  La Guerre Est Declarée used the same trick and has the same topic: a romantic couple dealing with the possible loss of their child. But The Broken Circle Breakdown keeps it much more simple and much more striking. The adding of the bluegrass music only helps the story and it gives it a certain uniqueness that a lot of people seem to appreciate.

In the end though, it’s a romance between a tattoo artist and a bluegrass musician, who have to deal with a sick child. Pretty boring stuff. My thoughts constantly drifted away, wondering how this movie will come across in the US (a country that is both praised and loathed by the blue grass artist) , or who on earth decided to give the tattoo artist the tattoos she has, or how silly the subtitles in French were, or which concert halls the band were performing at, or how the frontal nudity was ‘functional’, or why the atheist tirade was so long, etc… I prefer to have those thoughts AFTER the movie has finished, not during its screening.

A bit disappointed.

Moonrise Kingdom – ***

Posted: October 23, 2012 in 2012, Children/Family, Comedy, USA, XXX


A troubled orphan kid on a scouts holiday plans to run away with the troubled daughter of a troubled family who live on the island that the scouts have set up camp on. Oh, the island is heading towards trouble too: a storm.

It’s a weird movie, absurd almost, but quite fascinating. I haven’t been impressed at all by his previous work, but Wes Anderson does deliver good cinema here. The cinematography and editing are awesome. Almost every single scene is fun to watch. It helps that the story is set on a beautiful island, with creeks and bays and forests and meadows: they are the perfect setting! But not only nature makes a great decor, Anderson also takes full advantage of the local theatre and the house of the troubled family to come up with cool camera work. Add to that a sixties feel and you have a quite unique movie.

But not is all good though. The soundtrack is horrible and annoying (apart from that one French song to which the two kids dance). The story is just too simple and silly. And the acting is, well, bizarre. There are a lot of famous actors involved,  but they all perform caricatures and not all master that skill well. Edward Norton doesn’t for instance.  Tilda Swinton does it the best. But in the end you’re only watching two young kids: Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, who act pretty adult at times. Not sure what will happen with Jared, but Kara is set for a great career! When she’ll get an Oscar in 2024, people will all remember her debut in 2012.

Shaun Of The Dead – **1/2

Posted: October 22, 2012 in 2004, Comedy, Horror, UK, XX1/2


Whilst joking with a colleague about how to react when you encounter a zombie on the street, he recommended me this British horror-comedy, which I watched on a train ride back home causing some irritation but curiosity amongst the fellow train traveller as I was laughing out really loud!

Good comedies are so hard to find, comedies that make you laugh from start to finish. Or at least at regular moments. Humor is such a subjective matter. But from what I see on imdb, a lot of people seem to appreciate this silly British humor. Great!

The story is simple: a guy gets dumped by his girlfriend because they never do anything adventurous and tries to impress her the next day by bringing her (and her roommates, his friend and his parents) to a safe place, hiding from the zombies that have taken over the town.

Yep, zombies!

But again, this is a comedy. And a British one. So if you can’t laugh with the following scenes (which are in the trailer), don’t bother. As there are two zombies in the garden, the main character and his friend try to decapitate the zombies by swinging vinyl records to them. As the zombies approach, they have discussions on which record should be thrown and which should be kept in the collection. Hilarious! As they drive off and hit a person on the street, they drive back to check. Much relief when they see the dead body get up as they only hit a zombie and not a normal human!

Mansome – *

Posted: October 21, 2012 in 2012, Documentary, USA, X

Oh my. I hardly ever watch movies anymore and when I do, they suck. Like this documentary, an iTunes 99 cent rental about men and their facial hair. The movie title kind of makes you think it will be a documentary about how media has influenced society in making men think that they should look as pretty and sexy as women. And even though it gets mentioned a few times, there is absolutely no dept to this one-dimensional – friends talk about their hair in front of a camera – vehicle. This movie is extremely silly. Yet, I persevered and watched it until the end. Just to see how much more silly it would become.

The problem is that this movie is neither a really captivating documentary nor a comedy. Some parts are extremely long, others extremely short. You get to see a lot of ‘celebrities’ from fashion specialists of reality tv shows to guitar players from bands like Anthrax and ZZ Top. And there are the friends of the producing team of actors, all mediocre actors who are never funny. Ever. Like that Paul Rudd dude. Sorry, he’s not even funny or interesting being ‘himself’.

They visit a barber shop that makes wigs. They follow a guy with a red beard hanging over his belly to a European beard competition. (mixing up Austria and Bavaria to stress how ignorant movie makers can be). They show a self-proclaimed metrosexual make a bit of a laughing-stock of himself. They focus on pro-wrestler Shawn Daivari, who needs to shave his body hair every single day. And in between those short topics you have the producers go to a spa resort to get a treatment and talk about what defines being a man.

The best scene is in the treatment centre though. The both lie there getting a massage and they start competing in seeing who can stand the hardest massage. And in the end that is all about being a man. competition and being the best.

The Nun’s Story – **

Posted: October 1, 2012 in 1959, biopic, Drama, USA, XX

“On your right you can see the house of the famous movie A Nun’s Story with Audrey Hepburn and Peter Finch”. I have heard this line more than 50 times or so, when I do the famous canal boat ride in Bruges. I finally decided to watch the movie and it wasn’t all that bad. It’s vintage Hollywood. Audrey Hepburn is really good and they did not stay away form controversy. I’m sure some catholics were offended by the movie back in the fifties. But it does give you a good idea of what nuns had to ‘suffer’ in order to achieve their goals.