Archive for November, 2012

The First Grader – **

Posted: November 29, 2012 in 2010, Drama, Political, UK, USA, XX

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790663/

After the Kenyan government announces that education will be free for everyone, an 84-year-old man shows up at the elementary school. The head teacher first sends him home, but when he keeps on returning, she lets him sit in front of the class amongst all the little kids!

Okay, that sounds like a pretty lame story for a feature movie, but it’s based on true events AND the producers decided to add several extra elements to the story. There are flash backs from the time that the man was a freedom fighter in the fifties, when he was tortured by the British, saw his family murdered and got imprisoned in camps. There are several comments about certain issues that still trouble Kenya today (disrespect for women who take their own decisions, tribal disputes in a country that was forced to feel ‘Kenyan’, political corruption, etc…) And I did find it excellent that the makers allow the viewer to form their own opinion about the dis/advantage and  the controversy this case has caused, by showing scenes that make you understand why some people would NOT want this man in an elementary school.

It’s all very light and pleasant though (apart from one violent flashback that doesn’t make it a family movie), but that allows the movie to be seen by as many people as possible. And the acting is great!

Tête de Turc – ***

Posted: November 27, 2012 in 2010, Drama, France, Social Drama, Thriller

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1391143/

Wow. I just watched 80 minutes of excellent cinema!

 

there’s a trailer with subtitles too:

 

It’s Complicated – **1/2

Posted: November 27, 2012 in 2009, Comedy, USA, XX1/2

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1230414/

Fun surprise the morning at a local store: I got a free dvd after purchasing two shower gel products. Generally, free dvds are crap, but this time it had Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin in it and had a plot line that triggered my interest. A divorced couple starts to have an affair… with each other!

You know what? I liked this movie! It did’t bore me at all! And it didn’t annoy me once. (well… kind of… the characters do flaunt their wealth too much) I never bothered watching this movie when it came out, because of its bad reviews probably. But the reason I have this blog is because I often totally disagree with reviewers. I understand the criticism, but this is a light comedy that almost anyone can enjoy. The acting is great (Baldwin is as good as Streep), there are some funny moments and the story seemed very plausible to me. Especially since the dialogue helps you put the story in perspective. As soon as you think ‘what the hell is she doing?’, you hear her say ‘what the hell I am doing?’.

So, yeah, I liked it. Good one.

Fair Play – **

Posted: November 26, 2012 in 2006, Adventure, France, Thriller, X1/2

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454602/

;

Fair Play was one of those dvd’s that have been on my shelf for over two years now and that I still had not watched. There are some 20 others on that shelf in case you wonder. It stars Marillon Cottilard, who I adore, and Jeremy Renier and Benoit Magimel, who I like. They all play characters that work for the same company, where fair play is just a word, not a deed. They all try to establish their place in hierarchy and hate the guts eachother.

The movie is quite original and unique, which makes it interesting to watch, but it is not an easy watch. The movie basically consists of six scenes only, all taking place in some sportive setting. In the first one we meet two colleagues rowing on a canal. In the second one we see one of them playing a game of squash with his boss. That scene lasts 15 minutes! 15 minutes of seeing two guys squash! I normally prefer not to know anything about a movie and be my own judge, but in this case I had hoped that someone would have warned me about this. It all makes sense in the end and if I had read about this movie before watching it, I would have know that the squash scene was the basis of this feature film. The director received an Oscar nomination for a short movie called Squash in which a game of squash will decide on whether someone will get fired or will get a second chance. A strong scene, but 15 minutes is long and unusual. The third and fourth are weird as well, causing a lot viewers to just give up on this story.

The fifth scene is even longer, but worth all the wait. The boss goes on a canyoning trip with
four of his employees in an attempt to solve certain issues that have arisen. Needless to say that the trip becomes a mini-nightmare. The setting is incredible. Those canyons are both impressive and intimidating. And the acting is good. But most rewarding is the suspense. Will they all get out of the canyon alive?

I liked the originality of the story telling. The story itself was underdeveloped, but I loved the original six act script. Plus the sportive setting! Very clever. Just don’t rent it thinking it will be a real thriller or a team building drama. Rent it for that original set up.

Happy Endings – Season 2 – **

Posted: November 21, 2012 in 2011, Comedy, TV series, USA, XX

This second season has twice as many episodes as the first, making it a real sitcom. Season three just started in the US. It’s still fun and funny, but the producers try to fit in so many funny lines and jokes that the unfunny ones just become really embarrassing. There are still as many funny ones per episode as in the fist season, but they just disappear next to all the unfunny ones.

This really becomes more and more like Friends, with the Ross/Rachel story all over again. And a Monica/Chandler couple that actually takes most of the screen time. But the funniest pair is the Phoebe/Joey duo. Only this time Joey is a gay guy and the funniest gay guy ever!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1307068/

Yawn

What a boring movie!

And it had such a cool premise! The world will end in 21 days as an asteroid is heading towards earth. A man gets dumped by his wife, who runs off to still enjoy life a bit to the fullest. He’s not sure what to do for the last remaining days until he meets a young neighbour who desperately wants to take the last flight home to Britain.

Enter Steve Carell who just plays a typical Carell character (a loser) and enter Keira Knightley who acts the way she always acts: BAD! Why is this Winona Ryder wannabe still in business? She totally ruins a movie that is already ruined by is total lack of humour.

Magic Mike – **

Posted: November 21, 2012 in 2012, Drama, USA, XX

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1915581/

Never thought I would ever watch a movie about male strippers! But this one got rave reviews and is directed by Steven Soderbergh, who at one time in movie history charmed me with movies like Out Of Sight and Traffic. And he charmed me again. The sepia coloured photography is super, the soundtrack is great and the acting is okay, especially by the lead actors Channing Tatum and Cody Horn, who I had not seen in any movie before.

The end however is abrupt and silly. It’s like the script writers ran out of ideas for a third act and then quickly added a few extra unnecessary scenes and finished it with a typical Hollywood ending that does not make sense at all. First half is great! Second half sucks. And the male bodies are ripped!