Archive for April, 2014

A tip from the local guides in Versailles: L’Allée Du Roi, a French television movie from the nineties. It’s long (over four hours) and very literary (the dialogue sounds like it is memorized from the book it’s based on). The acting is solid, but theatrical. And there is little humor. The dvd has no subtitles, so it’s tough to sit through if you’re not a native French speaker. There are tons of historical characters, so you may want to have wikipedia opened while you’re watching (it really helps). And the first part is a real drag. BUT once the story takes place in Versailles, things change. The care for historical details is amazing. And the acting between the main characters is excellent at times. Too bad the end becomes a drag as well.

L’Allée Du Roi takes place at the court of Louis XIV, the Sun King and is quite intriguing. It recounts the story of his second wife, marquise de Maintenon Francoise D’Aubigné. The years of marriage only account for the last half hour or so as they got married quite late. Before she became his wife, she was one of his mistresses. Before she was his mistress she worked as a nanny to the children he conceived with his most famous mistress, Madame de Montespan. Before that she was married to a cribbled poet Paul Scarron. And before that she was a poor orphaned Hugenot who had been brought up in Martinique.

Dominique Blanc is okay as Francoise. Didier Sandre is also good as the king. And Valentine Varela is excellent as madame de Montespan. The scenes between these three actors are excellent. But you may just want to buy the book after your visit of France’s most visited palace.

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Set in the late eighties or so, a young African-American and gay art student meets an elderly painter & writer who was part of the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural movement that took place in the twenties of last century. Through their conversations, he realizes that they both share(d) the same issues even though many decades have passed and the world should have evolved.

Brother to Brother is the debut movie of the guy who made The Happy Sad. So, it’s amazing how everything that made the latter movie so terrible, works well in this feature movie. The acting is really good, the character development works believable, the dialogue feels real, the soundtrack captivates (a mix of late eighties hiphop and jazz instrumentals) and the story jumps effortlessly between the recent and the past.

There are surprisingly little yawns in a movie that refers a lot to poetry and literature. It’s just about long enough to entertain all the way through. Just too bad that it’s all so serious (even though there are some fun memories of the decadent twenties) and that all the supporting characters are pretty much one-dimensional. But nevertheless, a great watch.

It took a bit longer to finish Season 12 after having re-started watching E.R. Some story lines really suck, several new characters are incredibly annoying (Dr Clemente for instance) and it just often feels like the producers have no idea which direction they want to head with this show. There isn’t one single episode that really captivates. And there are plenty that are just less than mediocre.

It’s not all bad though. It’s quite daring to focus an entire episode on Dr Pratt and Dr Carter working at some refuge camp in Darfur. There seems to be more humor than in the previous season, which is a relief. There are still enough moral dilemmas that are brought to the mainstream’s attention. And the cliffhanger finale is quite shocking.

But most of the stories are boring and futile. And a lot of the acting is superficial and stereotypical. Maybe Season 13 is better again.

Lucky Luke – 1/2

Posted: April 1, 2014 in 1/2, 2009, Action, Comedy, France, Western

This is crap.

The comic book series isn’t funny. This movie isn’t either. It’s silly.

But the cinematography is amazing. And the editing at times as well.