Archive for December, 2015

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/

Brooklyn Nine Nine – ***

Posted: December 2, 2015 in 2013, 2014, Comedy, Parody, TV series, USA, XXX

Brooklyn Nine Nine has all the ingredients of a great comical sitcom: it has quirky characters that you start caring for immediately, the jokes are funny and the one-liners to the point. That’s basically all you need to be entertained for 22 episodes.

The fact that it’s set in a police department doesn’t matter. The fact that the main character is the best detective in town doesn’t matter. The fact that he’s childish, arrogant, rebellious, honest and good-hearted does.

Jake Peralta is a goofy personage. True. But the biggest jokes and funny situations come from his colleagues and supervisors. It’s very similar to Parks and Recreation and that’s a disadvantage because it feels like a copy rather than an original series. However, it’s a great feat to feel like a copy and excel in it as well. Plus, the comical acting is quite remarkable.

Just dump Hitchock and Scully. Their presence is only sporadically funny.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2467372

Heavy stuff, this ‘love tale’ about two highbrow eighty-somethings in Paris who face the biggest challenge of their long life together: taking care of one another in old age and disability.

Michael Haneke is a unique director. His movies disturb every single time. So, it’s not surprise that he even makes the viewers uncomfortable while watching two older people love each other. For better and for worse.

Emmanuelle Riva won several awards for her performance as a disabled octogenarian. And yes, she’s pretty powerful, lying there half paralyzed most of the time. But it’s Louis Trintignant who’s the real powerhouse here. His character is very intriguing and the performance is flawless.

The synopsis may not really make you want to watch the movie. It’s not nice to see two old people struggle. However, it’s very ‘entertaining’ in the sense that every single scene is well presented and necessary. Michael Haneke has a specific style that you either love or loathe, but at least he never bores.

Try it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1602620

MDNA – (*)

Posted: December 1, 2015 in 1/2, 2013, Concert Movie, USA

After the surprisingly excellent Rebel Heart concert in Antwerp, it was time to finally watch the previous MDNA tour as well. On dvd.

What a waste of time.

The show itself doesn’t look as bad as feared. Maybe it was worth the ticket after all. The setlist isn’t all that great and the remixes of the hits are annoying. But Madonna puts on a big show. No doubt.

However, the bombastic live show is terrible for home viewing. Let’s kill the guy (or girl) who thought music concerts should be edited like video clips for their dvd release. It worked for Soulwax’s Part Of The Weekend, but it doesn’t work for this gig.

So, the dvd itself sucks. The constant switching between dancers, Madonna, her fans, the LED screen, the musicians is tiring for the eyes. Why not create a dvd where you can watch the show from different angles and can switch according to what you want to look at?

This collection of images (some are still, a lot are moving way too fast) conjures NO concert feel at all.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2910266