Archive for February, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook – **1/2

Posted: February 28, 2013 in 2012, Dramedy, romcom, USA, XX1/2

Being a big fan of Jennifer Lawrence, I couldn’t wait to see the movie for which she just won an Oscar and I’m happy I did. It’s a very entertaining dramedy, actually more like a quirky romcom. The acting is really good (leading to well deserved Oscar nominations for Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver) and it tells the story of two good-hearted, but damaged and therefore mentally unstable characters, who of course fall in love in the end. The outcome is very predictable, so it’s not really a spoiler. There are a few little surprises though. But it entertains, especially because of the great chemistry between Cooper and Lawrence. And even though you know the dancing finale at the end will suck, you will still enjoy it a lot!

There’s only one scene that was really bad. It was long, the dialogue wasn’t convincing, there was a lot of over-acting and it just ruined the atmosphere of the movie as a whole. It was an important scene though: the placing of the parlay bet. Especially Robert De Niro was unconvincing, moreover because he had been so convincing a few scenes before when he had a personal father-son talk.

But again, Cooper and Lawrence are the stars of this movie! I think they should stick together like Rock Hudson and Doris Day did!

So what is it all about? Well, just watch the trailer which kind of gives and idea or don’t (like me) and let yourself be charmed.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1045658

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Flight – **1/2

Posted: February 27, 2013 in 2012, Drama, USA, XX1/2

It’s a bit fate/death-defying to watch a movie about a plane crash while in the air yourself, but it kind of gives an extra thrill. Those first 15 minutes are quite a riot to watch while you’re experiencing turbulence yourself!

However, this isn’t really a movie about a plane crash, but about alcoholism and how it can cause you to lie about almost everything.

Denzel Washington is great as an alcoholic pilot who manages to avoid a major airplane crash, by inverting the plane and diverting it to an open space. Six people do die however, amongst which two members of the crew. Heralded as a hero by the media, they soon turn against him when he mysteriously flees away and refuses to give an interview. Plus: a toxic report not only shows him to have been drunk while flying, he was also high on cocaine. If one of the victims’ families learns about this, he risks jail. This and many other stuff cause him to drink even more.

The many other stuff keep the movie entertaining even though it’s quite a simple story. This really is not about the plane crash at all. But I guess Flight was a more financially interesting movie title. My English isn’t good enough to know if it had a double meaning…

The directing is very good! A bit of a surprise to see it come from the guy behind Back To The Future and Forrest Gump and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. And the acting is great in every single supporting role. There’s an excess of alcohol and drug abuse, but since it’s the movie’s main theme it’s functional and hence justified. Not sure if John Goodman’s Coensy character was all that necessary, but it adds a bit of humour.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1907668

Taken 2

Posted: February 25, 2013 in 2012, Action, USA

On the bus from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana and they are playing a movie: Taken 2 with Liam Neeson and Femke Janssen. Now, those are not crappy b-actors, but this is a crappy b-movie, the kind that would go straight to DVD if it had unknown performers.

It starts off awfully boring. There’s some kind of vengeance plan to kill Liam Neeson’s character after he has murdered some people in the original Taken. In the meantime he’s more busy trying to get back together with the mother of his daughter. He invites both of them to Istanbul where of course the vengeance killers track him down. What follows are the typical action scenes: car chases in narrow exotic alleys, shoot outs in obscure buildings, kidnapping and suggestive torture/rape scenes… In the end they all go have a milkshake in LA as one happy family.

My problem isn’t so much the mediocre acting or the simple story, but the bad directing and especially the terrible editing. I can’t possibly understand how a director decides to film a small talk conversation between two characters with two different cameras and then asks the editor to constantly switch between both while they are talking in very short phrases. ‘Hello’, ‘oh hi’, ‘how are you’, ‘what a surprise’, etc… And always switching. This is SO annoying. As a viewer we are watching the conversation as a whole, we don’t watch it from the character’s perspective.

Then the action scenes. When you hit someone or shoot someone it should fucking hurt. There should be instant damage and blood. I’ve so had it with main characters who are able to avoid every single shot at them, yet always kill the enemy with one perfect shot. And then leave unscathed.

Anyways, I’m not in a good mood and it’s difficult to appreciate a movie when half of the bus is listening to merengue, bachata or reggaeton on their cell phone without head phones.

Just checked: this movie made 139 million dollars! Who are these people who go see this movie and then tell others that it’s a ‘good one’? That’s more thanĀ Argo!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1397280

Zero Black Thirty – **

Posted: February 25, 2013 in 2012, Action, Spionage, Thriller, USA, XX

Jessica Chastain is Maia, a CIA agent so obsessed with the search for Osama Bin Laden that nothing else matters in her life. When they finally find him, she’s alone in a huge airplane and cries. Cos, hey, what now?

It’s amazing how little this story moved me. I mean, this is a movie about finding the guy that was responsible for 9/11!! I should have been excited. It’s amazing how much I doubt the truth of these events as well.

Zero Black Thirty is quite unsettling. There are a few torture scenes in the beginning that probably occurred and are still occurring. The torture itself isn’t so cruel, but the way the ‘investigators’ deal with it: emotionless. Now, I don’t expect a torturer to have specific feelings, but I kind of prefer to see some kind of anger or sadistic pleasure. Now there’s just blandness. Then there’s the actual attack on the house of OBL. Okay, he’s public enemy number one, but there’s something morally wrong about the whole operation. Not sure if Sherlock Holmes would think there was enough proof to justify an attack, but he once was envious of ‘female intuition’ and did believe that it often helps. I would not have attacked.

And who are all these people in this movie? What is their background? What’s their function? How does the CIA work? I didn’t feel like I got an insight in the system. And why do we not learn anything about what the Pakistani thought about all of this? There’s one scene where after endless of minutes the neighbours start checking out what the hell is going on. Sorry. There’s a helicopter crash in that weird fortified building down the street and you wait 15 minutes to check it out? No way.

And those thoughts kept me busy all movie long. That being written, they did keep me busy all movie long and I wasn’t really bored.

But I don’t agree with those people who think this is an impressive movie. It’s not. I wasn’t impressed once. And Jessica Chastain really isn’t all that impressive either. I had no empathy with her Maia at all and I’m sure that could never have been the intention. The way she kind of looks shocked by the torture in the beginning is silly. The way she shouts at her boss at the end is unbelievable.

So, when Maia is sitting there at the end, crying, you think: go get laid and have some fun, boring bitch. And the whole feat of finding OBL becomes trivial.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1790885

On The Road – *

Posted: February 19, 2013 in 2012, Drama, LGBT themed, Road Trip, USA, X

Back in 1999, when I moved to San Francisco, I started reading On The Road by Jack Kerouac, who I always mentioned in my city tours when we drove along Columbus Avenue, pointing out the little bookstore that has been popular since Kerouac and his beatniks made it famous.

I never finished the book.

Walter Salles turned the book into a movie now and I almost didn’t finish it either. What a lot of drug and alcohol infested crap!

It’s kind of fascinating though what the young main characters experience while on the road, through the US and Mexico. But I couldn’t relate to any of it at all and it starts to really bore after a while. The movie is too long and none of the many characters that get introduced really grab your attention. Not even Dean Moriarty, who probably was a fictional idol in the fifties for just doing whatever the fuck he wanted to do.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0337692

Ted – **

Posted: February 12, 2013 in 2012, Comedy, romcom, USA, XX

It’s hard to watch a movie on a plane from Brussels to Santo Domingo if you are surrounded by Dominicans planning to throw a party. My god, are they loud!

Had four choices on my iPad and Ted was one of them. I found it surprisingly good. It’s funny, original and well acted. It’s a typical romcom at its core, with the misunderstandings and obstacles and happy end, but this time the obstacle is a grown up, talking teddy bear! No family feuds or class differences or race issues. No, a talking teddy bear! The creators were smart enough to add some action and thrills at the end and not continue on the same weird situations that bring the laughter in the beginning.

A great example of how a cool idea CAN become a good movie even though it really just seems like a cool idea for a short movie. I hope there is no sequel, but I am afraid… This made money.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1637725

This show is a riot!
It’s consistently funny.
Not one episode was bad and almost all episodes had at least one real funny line/quote/situation per minute. Most sitcoms aim to be funny, but aren’t. This sitcom just naturally is.
All characters are loveable and all of the actors perform them incredibly well.
Can’t wait for season 3 and 4 and 5 and, what is 6 out already?

some funny scenes: