Archive for June, 2014

Amelle is a young French woman of Algerian descent who works as a manager in a Paris Starbucks cafe. Moom is a young French man of Malinese descent who starts working at the same place. They fall in love and hang out a lot, but whereas Moom can’t wait to take their relationship to the next level (that is: having sex), Amelle wants to wait until she’s really sure he’s the right guy. This sounds incredibly dull, but it somehow entertains because the movie makes fun of the stereotypical behavior of French citizens with a Magreb or African background. Amelle Chahbi, who portrays the main character is also the director and does a really good job at both. Her acting may be too autobiographical, but her directing is refreshing and balanced. Noom Dawara is a joy to watch as the very patient boyfriend. He may pretend to be a player, but is the kind of romantic lead any female director of romantic comedies wishes to be. There are also two caucasian sidekicks who the multicultural feel complete.

It’s a chick flick for multicultural thirtysomethings from the big city that can be enjoyed by men as well. There is a lot of humor and there is a lot of romance, which basically makes it an ideal romantic comedy. But by the end it becomes a bit of a drag. Viewers with culturally mixed friends might recognize several situations, but not all of them may be regarded as funny. When Amelle starts puling the racist card in a movie theater after annoying the hell out of other moviegoers, it’s meant as a joke, but it’s painfully realistic and embarrassing. That one scene will make you lose all the empathy you had for her during the first half of the movie. Unless you find it funny to make a loud scene in a movie theater and then accusing others for being racists after they tell you to shut the fuck up. Luckily, the majority of the other scenes work incredibly well. Not original at all, but refreshing nevertheless.

Maleficent – 1/2

Posted: June 14, 2014 in 1/2, 2014, Children/Family, Fantasy, USA

Can someone please tell Disney to not fuck up fairy tales? This alternative take on The Sleeping Beauty doesn’t make sense at all. It’s aimed at children, adolescents and adults, but in the end it’s not going to please any of them. Why didn’t Tim Burton direct this movie? Maleficent (the bad fairy who cursed Aurore to an eternal sleep) has all the looks to become a new goth icon, but all she does in the movie is feel remorse and tenderness. She’s not a cool villain. In fact Disney wants us to believe she is no villain at all, but a heartbroken, deceived fairy with a heart of gold! WTF! Just nothing in this story makes sense. It’s RUBBISH. It even has a happy end! Do NOT watch this crap unless you want to be annoyed by the worst script of the year and unless you think Angelina Jolie looks pretty cool as a dark fairy. Which she does, hence the 1/2.

After losing all of his money a potato farmer decides to grow marijuana to get the money back fast. He got the idea after his youngest son got busted dealing drugs. The oldest son, who also lost a lot of money but believes the insurance will pay him back, is unaware of his family’s new business. He has other things on his mind: he just had a Filipino girl come over to become his wife.

The story isn’t original. First there was Saving Grace, then there was Weeds and Breaking Bad made the whole average-people-start-dealing-drugs hype complete. But this West-Flemish version is entertaining nevertheless. First and foremost the show is hilarious. The humor is absurd and incredibly ‘Flemish’, meaning that the situations and references are so local that no-one else will get them. In fact, most of the funny scenes refer heavily to the West-Flemish dialect and to the West-Flenglish that is spoken between the main characters and the Filipinos. Not all will like it. But maybe the Brits will. Second of all the story moves forward like a roller coaster. Because of its absurdity, it doesn’t matter if some plot twists are far-fetched. It’s a comedy! Not a crime series. Yet, it all looks so believable and the six episodes are over before you know it. Then there is the cinematography. It’s a low-budget series, but the hilly sides of the Flanders Fields area (and Bruges) make you want to book a weekend trip to discover the area. And last but not least, the acting is EXCELLENT. Especially by Wim Willaert, the oldest son, who anyone can empathize with: the loser with a golden heart.

Apparently there is a second and a third season planned and they  might work as well. Six episodes just make for an introduction. And a great one at that.

There’s something weird about War Horse that just doesn’t make it as brilliant as other Spielberg directed family entertainment movies. First, there’s the overly dramatic direction and storytelling. The score is great and the cinematography is excellent, but there’s just too much of it. It’s a long and exciting roller coaster full of fantastic colors,  immense emotions, tremendous fighting scenes and an enormous orchestra. It looks and sounds like Gone With The Wind times two. Secondly, unlike E.T. which was touching for both adults and children, this movie will leave children devastated and adults disappointed. It’s an adventure story of a horse where the human characters are only extras! Yet it  contains several scenes that only grown ups can handle. There are death horses and bodies everywhere. It’s a hardcore war movie at times. And a simple children’s story at other times. Very confusing. And last but not least, the all American director tried to make a European movie with dozens of British and Irish actors speaking their version of English and French and German actors speaking English with a European accent. Why on earth would two German officers speak English with a German accent to each other? It’s 2014. Get used to subtitles or dub it without the accents.

But however weird it feels, it’s an entertaining movie.

‘Godzilla meets Transformers, but better’ is a description given to Pacific Rim, a summer blockbuster which flopped in the US, but kind of did okay overseas. It’s a description which only helps if you’ve actually seen Godzilla or Transformers. Something which isn’t really going to happen any time soon.

There’s nothing wrong with brainless action movies, but watching giant iron robots operated by humans fighting against alien reptile creatures with blue toxic fumes just damages the brain cells. It’s dangerous! Keep away from it.

Unless you like Idris Elba looking as stern and as cool as fuck.