Archive for July, 2014

Boyhood – ***1/2

Posted: July 21, 2014 in 2014, Coming Of Age, Dramedy, USA, XXX1/2

Tbe movie experience of the moment is Boyhood, a charming coming of age story by Richard Linklater, the maker of the excellent Before-trilogy and the underrated Bernie. It’s filmed during a period of 12 years and you can see the main character grow from a confused little kid to a confused freshman in college!

In the end, it’s just a charming coming of age story, but one which never bores. It never feels like a documentary at all and the editors do a marvelous job by letting the years go by smoothly. No ‘one year later’ boards, just different haircuts and more pimples. A lot of things happen in the boy’s life, but mentioning them will ruin all the fun. Most of them are perfectly trivial anyways, some are funny, others touching, a few heartbreaking.

It’s an utterly enjoyable movie. But only for some. Many in the audience tonight were there for all the wrong reasons. A popular weekly magazine had a free ticket attached to its last issue. Quite a spectacular stint, which may make this a surprise box office hit in its initial week of release. However, the room was filled with men and women who don’t know anything about growing up in America, indie music, video games or social networks. They missed out on all the fun. It’s a very American (Texan) indie flick with a lot of references to all things (American) that (liberal raised artistic) kids liked in the past 12 years. It feels very real and very positive.

Forget about the monsters in The Bling Ring, there is still hope for the future after watching this kids become an adult.

Great cinema.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1065073/

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Game Of Thrones Season 1 – ***

Posted: July 20, 2014 in 2011, Drama, Fantasy, UK, USA, War, XXX

Okay okay okay.

It’s pretty sad to start watching season 1 of Game Of Thrones three years after its initial release. But no matter how many acquaintances, friends and critics tell you it’s a must, the synopsis is still about fictional kings fighting for a fictional throne in a fictional world during a fictional period of time.

There are so many interesting stories to tell about real kings fighting for existing thrones in our own history that it just sounds so silly to spend all that money on another anachronistic fairytale.

However, it IS a good show. The acting is superb, the characters are well written, the cinematography looks amazing, the costumes and set design are fascinating and the action is meticulous. There is no humor, but you get a lot of horror and a lot of nudity instead (after all it’s produced by HBO). Lots of big tits and two big penises. Lots of beheadings and visual stabbings with guts and tongues cut out. Fun!

But the ten episodes of the first season are just an introduction. An introduction to dozens of men and women, young and old, who may or may not one day be important for the story. A story which tells so many things at once and nothing at all. Every episode ends with a great WTF-moment, which is quite impressive, but they all lead to an even bigger WTF-scene in the grand finale. Not that the last scene wasn’t predictable (hey, they mention about a dozen of times that dragons are extinct, yet zoom in on three dragon eggs every single episode), but it just makes you wonder if the story matters.

On a critical note though: boo for all the stereotypes and lack of multiracial cast!  It makes sense to have an all caucasian cast when you make a historical movie about the Hundred Years War and to make Middle Eastern guys look wild in an epic tale about the crusades. But why would you use so many of OUR stereotypes in a fictional fantasy series? Why does the sword fighter speak with an Italian accent when there only seems to be two languages in this fairytale world? Why do the whores speak with a slavic accent? Why is the only black person in the whole series a slave? There are absolutely no Asians in this series (or I must have missed them while I blinked). There are two gays, one is a bit of a coward and the other is effeminate (but a merciless jouster). The fat people aren’t fit and are just meant to bring some laughter to the scene. The wild ones sound like they are on social welfare in Britain. ETC.. Really annoying. On the other hand, two of the most promising characters are non stereotypical. There’s a very horny and alcoholic dwarf and a very brave and courageous sword swaying young girl.

It’s weird, but cool. Can’t wait for season 2 to be honest.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0944947

 

After the great L’Auberge Espagnol and all its fond memories of being an exchange student, there was the disappointing Les Poupées Russes, which, well, was so disappointing you can hardly remember anything from it. And now, out of the blue kinda, there is the third episode in this trilogy around Xavier Rousseau, a confused writer who loves to make his life complicated.

The problem with trilogies of any kind is that you need to have seen the first two episodes. If you haven’t, then this movie won’t be any good. Should you still consider, know this: at age 20 French student Xavier went to Barcelona and met people from all over Europe. Also fooled around with some girls, much to the despair of his girlfriend. At age 30 he meets one of the other exchange students again at some reunion and they decided to start a relationship. So now he’s 40 and the mother of his two children decides to break up, leave Paris and move to New York. In order to get to see his children he decides to follow her to the big apple and write a new book about the complexity of his life. And it gets complicated. In order to stay in the US he needs to find a job, or better, marry an American. He reunites with his French-Speaking Belgian and lesbian friend who now also lives in New York with her girlfriend and wants him to be a sperm donor for their child. And flying in from Paris is his former ex girlfriend who wants to rekindle their relationship.

Again, only fun if you’ve seen the other movies. Let it be a warning.

Not all is good (the acting of Cecile de France is deplorable, the story is very predictable) but some scenes are really cool (the imaginary visits of German philosophers, the search for lodging via craiglist and google maps), and it all takes place in New York, which makes any movie watchable.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1937118

Modern Family – Season 2 – ***

Posted: July 16, 2014 in 2010, Comedy, USA, XXX

hahahaha!

what a joy

The characters that made season 1 such a joy are even funnier this time around. The stories all evolve around misunderstandings, which becomes very predictable and often even boring, but in general, this is great fun.

Gay sporty queen Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet) is still a riot. But less of a surprise. He becomes more and more stereotypical, which doesn’t promise anything good for the future seasons. His partner Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Ferguson) on the other hand becomes more likable.

Gloria Delgado (Sofia Vergara) remains EXCELLENT as the Columbian wife, who’s so stereotypical that it becomes funny again. Her much older husband Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill) gets more grumpy and mellow by the episode, but doesn’t bore anymore. Their ‘son’ Manny Delgado (Rico Rodriguez) remains a weird uninteresting and unfunny character.

The biggest laughs come from the family Dunphy though. Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) totally pulls the silly card and gets away with it fine. His wife Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen) looks stunning in every single scene and gets some really funny scenes. Their daughters still remain in the background, which is okay for prom queen Haley Dunphy (Sarah Hyland) but sad for sarcastic nerd Alex Dunphy (Ariel Winter). However, the absolute star of this season is Luke Dunphy (Nolan Gould), whose silliness comes combined with some really clever moments as well. This character rocks and the young actor should get all the recognition for it!

Excited about season 3

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1442437/episodes?season=2&ref_=tt_eps_sn_2

Superman – *

Posted: July 12, 2014 in 1978, Fantasy, USA, X

Some million light years away, a planet is about to implode and baby Kar-El is sent off on a long journey to planet earth by his scientist father. When the kid arrives in the Midwest of all places, he’s adopted by the shocked farmers that witnessed his space shuttle crash into some vegetable field. They name him Clark Kent and raise him as their own. He’s a nerdy kid with special powers that no-one should ever learn about. Until he’s an adult and moves to the city of Metropolis, which looks too much like plain old New York. He gets a job as a journalist and falls in love with his colleague Lois Lane, who he charms not by being his nerdy self, but by changing into a superhero called Superman. Oh, he does help fight general injustice as well and needs to prevent real estate magnate Lex Luthor to create an earthquake in California. But he’s in love with Lois Lane, which is well, more important really.

Nothing makes sense is this badly written and even worse directed superhero blockbuster from the late seventies. Nothing makes sense at all. The story is crap and the special effects are not only silly but totally unrealistic. Almost every other scene makes you wonder how this could have once been called a great cinema experience. It’s CRAP!

But it’s camp. And it brings back childhood memories.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078346

 

Another childhood classic!

30 years ago Billy Peltzer received a special christmas gift from his father: a mogwai called Gizmo. It’s a furry little animal found in a Chinese pawn shop in New York. It should be kept in the dark, can’t get in touch with water and can’t be fed after midnight. Of course things go awry and in no time, the little town of Kingston Falls is ravaged by Gizmo’s offspring: the monstrous Gremlins.

More of a comedy than a horror movie, this fantasy cult classic remains a lot of fun. The story doesn’t make sense at all, already from its very first scene, so the makers decided to go over the top and create absurd situations that will make any young movie fan die from laughing.

It’s less hilarious when you’re 30 years older, but some scenes are classic. Like the one where Billy’s mother isn’t scared at all to attack the Gremlins who are destroying her kitchen. Because, hey, it’s her kitchen! “Get Out Of My Kitchen!”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087363

Sometimes it’s better to not look again at movies that you consider to be classics from your childhood. It doesn’t harm for the excellent Back To The Future, which is still excellent after all these years. But The Goonies is, well, ehm, not so excellent.

However, it’s still fun though and it brings back so many memories. After more than 25 years you forget all the details, but once you actually re-experience them it’s cool. You also ignore all the terrible elements once the real adventure starts. The acting is so bad, the jokes are so lame, the special effects are so old, the role play is so sexist, the script is so ridiculous … but in the end it’s fun!

Not sure how kids look at this movie nowadays, but back then it was quite scary to see someone hanged in a prison cell or to see a kid be locked up with a dead body in a fridge. The physically deformed character isn’t the most attractive guy either… neither are all the skeletons. The gentle horror and the silly humor makes this a perfect movie for those ten year olds who are fed up watching animated classics. And for forty year olds in a nostalgic mood.

In case you want to know what the cast members have been up to: thefw.com/the-goonies-cast-then-and-now/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089218