Archive for December, 2015

Surprise Surprise

The new Star Wars episode is the best movie of the year so far!

Until a few hours ago, that title went to either Inside Out or Mad Max. A tough choice, but no longer necessary.

Just go see The Force Awakens. Read nothing about it. Don’t let spoilers kill the nostalgic fun you’ll have. Be surprised to see old faces, be charmed by new characters, cherish the mild humor and enjoy this excellently produced reboot.

There are only a few minor points of critique, but they are not really worth mentioning. The story is familiar and even predictable, but somehow this a positive remark. Sometimes we don’t want too many things to change and we don’t need many surprises at all.

This is 135 minutes of nostalgic fun.

Suprise Suprise

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2488496

Safety First – *(*)

Posted: December 20, 2015 in 2015, Comedy, Dramedy, Flanders, LGBT themed, X1/2

This is a movie for a Flemish audience only. Even though it’s set at the world famous Tomorrowland festival and has dj Steve Aoki in a cameo.

It’s a long episode of a popular sitcom about a security team that just always fails at what they should be doing: securing a place. The sitcom is popular with young kids, especially because of the silly and clumsy character ‘Smos’ played by Matteo Simoni (of Marina fame). In the movie he tries to get a dj to listen to his self recorded dance track. (You Are Beautiful is already number 3 on the iTunes charts since the release of the movie three days ago.)

However, the main storyline is about the boss of the team who discovers his inner gay self and struggles to come out of the closet. It’s a serious story, maybe too serious for a silly comedy. But maybe for the kids who love this series and still struggle with homosexuality (either their own or that around them), this movie can make it more discussable.

Still. This movie is way too local for anyone from abroad to enjoy. During the screening my thought were with the Syrian refugees who arrive here, want to integrate and see the most popular Flemish movie of the moment. I don’t know the Arab expression for What The Fuck, but that’s probably what they’d be thinking.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4453306/

 

Dope – (*)

Posted: December 6, 2015 in 1/2, 2015, Dramedy, Social Drama, USA

Dope has a great trailer with an exciting premise: a geek and his friends end up with a bag full of drugs and decide to ‘sell’ it themselves.

Dope however, disappoints if you are not part of the target audience: American teenagers who think it’s cool to get mixed up in drug violence, who think it’s exciting to take MDMA, who laugh at scenes where women throw up in someone else’s face or pee on the street (all under the influence of drugs), who can relate to smart kids from the hood who get bullied by the jocks and the drug dealers from the block, who know how difficult it is to get to a good university, who think it makes sense to listen to cassettes in a walkman but then make it sound like buying a cd is so old-fashioned since everyone downloads music.

Dope just doesn’t make sense to a European 40year old.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3850214

God exists and lives in Brussels. He’s a French-speaking asshole. He lives with his submissive wife and rebellious daughter in a dated apartment where he controls the world via a computer model popular in the early nineties. He’s responsible for all the evil and disasters in the world and only adds a bit of positive moments to give mankind false hope. His daughter is fed up with it all and decides to run away. To annoy her father, she sends out a message to everyone owning a cell phone in the world with their date of death and then erases everything on God’s computer. Her brother, JC (yes, Jesus Christ as a plaster model), tells her to write a new testament and find six more apostles. She steals the files of six random people and hooks up with a homeless man who will write down the new gospels. In the meantime the entire world is anticipating their own death, often changing their lives drastically.

The movie is as crazy as it sounds. But it works.

It’s funny. It’s weird. It’s an entertaining piece of magic realism.

His big budget philosophical fantasy science fiction flop Mr Nobody did serve a purpose after all. He mastered the skill of using digital techniques to create a unique atmosphere. What Mr Nobody lacked, Le Nouveau Testament has in abundance: humor! It’s dark and twisted at times (the scenes with God), but even more absurd and bizarre in all the other scenes. I mean, Catherine Deneuve is taking in a circus Gorilla to be her new lover!

watch the trailer and get curious

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3792960

 

 

Biopics are tricky. Do you tell the whole story from birth to death? Do you choose one particular moment in the person’s life? Do you try to be artsy and original? Do you want to tell the story straight? Do you tell your own story, with the risk of not telling the truth? Do you allow family and friends to have a say in the depiction, with the risk of telling an all too positive version? And who do you cast to portray the hero?

The recent biopics on Yves Saint Laurent showed how you can tell the same story twice. Differently. None were really great. But they each had their charm.

This biopic about Jimi Hendrix hasn’t. It’s a mess.

John Ridley may be an excellent producer and great scriptwriter, but he’s a lousy director. Or he never checked on the work of his editors, who created something that makes you think there are marks on the dvd or there’s something wrong with the streaming of the digital version.

Other reviewers rave about the performance of Andre Benjamin. Not sure why. Okay, he talks and laughs like Jimi (if you compare by looking at older interviews with the guitar hero). But at no moment does he make this character fascinating.It also doesn’t help that all the other actors can’t give life to their characters either. They just sit there and recite lame lines. There are also no Jimi Hendrix songs on the soundtrack. The producers didn’t get the permission. Which says a lot about what others close to Jimi think about this movie. It was made in 2013 and released in 2015, which says a lot as well.

Skip it. And hope someone gives André Benjamin another shot at being a great actor.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2402085

In anticipation of The Force Awakens, the seventh episode in the Star Wars sage, and after re-watching the original trilogy about a year ago, it felt necessary to re-watch episodes I, II and III again.

The Phantom Menace remains rubbish. Even the third time around. It doesn’t even get half a star. It’s terrible. It doesn’t make sense. The acting is abominable (even though I start to appreciate Liam Neeson’s contribution), the special effects are unspectacular, it’s made for toddlers and there’s an overabundance of new characters and vehicles. RUBBISH.

Attack Of The Clones (xx) is much better. There’s more action. There’s less child’s talk. The acting is actually quite good. Apart from Samuel L Jackson who looks really out of place. But it has Christopher Lee! And Temuera Morrison!

But, Revenge Of The Sith (***) needs another re-watch. Soon. It’s great. It’s dark and gloomy. It has excellent fights. The acting is superb. This Hayden Christensen deserves more credit! Plus, in times of radicalization of young muslims you can compare the seduction to join the dark side with the attraction of to jihadist movements. How come no-one ever made this comparison before?

Moro No Brasil – *

Posted: December 2, 2015 in Brasil, Documentary, Musical, X

Mika Kaurismäki is a Finnish director who moved to Brazil in the early nineties where he opened a music club in Rio. This got him in touch with several musicians who invited him to visit their places and talk a bit about their influences.

Fine.

However, if you promise the viewer to tell him/her about the source of Samba music, than your documentary needs structure. A collection of interviews with musicians doesn’t have any historical value if you just let them speak in section and then adding them together without editing them.

It’s just a collection of interviews with musicians in different parts of Brazil. And some live performances. Nothing more, nothing less.

Should you consider watching it, don’t expect an informative learning experience. Don’t expect an entertaining experience either. Expect a Finnish guy speaking German who travels around Brazil and films his experiences like he’s uploading them the same night on youtube.

BORING.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0311541/