Archive for August, 2013

Also on the guest stateroom tv: Oranges and Sunshine, an Australian-British melodrama about Margaret Humphreys.

Margaret who?

Exactly. It’s a shame she isn’t known more though and it’s sad that the movie didn’t really get the attention it deserves. This is a gripping story that needs to be told. And a movie still reaches many more people than an article or a book.

Margeret Humphreys is a social worker that discovered a horrifying scandal: for years the British government took away children from poor families and sent them off to Australia where they often were abused in orphanages and schools mostly run by religious orders.

Now, that’s the story. Very gripping and shocking.

The movie however is boring at times, which is surprising, with such great dramatic material. It’s the debut of Jim Loach, son of Ken Loach. He directed a lot of tv series for the BBC and knows how to work with a low-budget. But he’s not such a good storyteller, the camerawork is awful and there wasn’t enough time and money for a good job in the editing room. Emily Watson is great as Margaret, but the rest of the acting is unremarkable (and even annoying). In other hands it could have been better. But then again, it also could have been worse.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1438216/

Available on the guests stateroom tv: End Of Watch, a cop movie focussing on two LAPD partners getting into all kinds of shit that they are not supposed to really get into.

Not sure why it got such great reviews. Sure, it’s intriguing and shows partners that are actually happy to be working together, but when the end credits roll you already forgot what the movie was all about. Training Day it wasn’t.

Much has to do with the portrayal of the main characters by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pina. It somehow didn’t work for me. In most of the scenes there’s an atmosphere of goodheartedness, bravery and camaraderie. It’s quite refreshing to see LAPD cops chat, joke and talk like buddies without all the usual bickering. And Jake & Michael are great at doing so. But when the action gets rough – and it gets really rough – they fail to be believable. Sweetheart Michael starting a fight with a huge black drug lord? I-want-a-girlfriend-that-I-can-talk-to Jake intimidating a big bald-headed Latino drug lord? No. Just did NOT work.

There are some good moments though. The soundtrack is a blast (it has Josh Homme’s ‘Nobody To Love’ – one of my favorite rock tracks of the past year). The chase scene in the beginning is awesome, there is a really funny prank scene and some of the horrific moments make you want to look away. But the bad guys are so stereotypically portrayed and the ending is terrible!  I really don’t understand why Hollywood still doesn’t know when to fade to a black screen.

Oh, and what IS it about? Well, to be honest, it’s just about two partners being buddies.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1855199

Elysium – *

Posted: August 24, 2013 in 2013, Action, Science Fiction, USA, X

Situation: rainy afternoon in Brussels, suffering from a little hangover

Solution: brainless popcorn action science fiction at the cinema!

There you go. It’s entertaining, but ridiculous. Make science fiction camp or believable. Don’t mix up our current global issues with future technology. Earth will look nothing like this movie in 2159.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1535108/

Wow. 

It’s amazing how a tv show continues to intrigue after seven seasons! 

True, the last season was very disappointing and boring, but it all led up to an exciting finale: (spoiler alert) Deb discovers the big secret of her brother. Like many others, I had my doubts about another 12 episodes because the whole series has been building up to that one moment and now that it arrived it felt like the show should have just ended. BUT, the creators managed to pull off the impossible: make the viewers anticipate the final season while thrilling, surprising and entertaining them as much as they did in the beginning. 

Yes this season is filled with surprises, but also goes back to the introducing seasons. Not only do we see how Debra has to learn to live with her serial killing brother, we also learn how LaGuerta wants to clear the name of Sergeant Doakes and reveal the real identity of the Bay Harbor Butcher. In the mean time Dexter gets menaced by a Ukranian Mobster and falls in love with one of his possible victims. 

There’s a lot going on and that helps the show. It’s not focused on ONE wrong-doer who takes up all the attention. But there are several stories to concentrate on. It’s more like watching Law & Order. Almost. 

The first eight episodes are top-notch, but then the whole Dexter/Hannah love affair becomes too weird. To be honest, there’s a LOT of weird plot points, but the storyline is so fast paced that you just accept them and get on. 

The acting is overall superb again. I can’t believe some of these performers have not been nominated yet. Jennifer Carpenter as Debra has become my absolute favorite on the show, whereas I absolutely hated her skills in the beginning. Respect! 

But in the end, the real stars of the season are the (dialogue) writers! It’s at times really bad, but in the end it all works out fine and the finale is again AWESOME. 

Can’t wait for season 8.