Archive for May, 2016

Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are quite the entertaining duo in this new take on the classic buddy cop movie. They aren’t cops. One is a very bad private investigator and the other is a messenger (who gets paid to – violently – give messages). They meet when a young adult called Amelia pays Crowe to beat up Gosling and tell him to stop following her. Soon both team up to look for Amelia again, because she has something that is so important that everyone around her ends up dead.

The story is ABSURD, but that’s not really important. You want to watch it for the atmosphere and setting (late seventies LA), the weird dialogue between the two characters (not LOL funny, but forehead frowningly funny), the cool of Crowe and the craziness of Gosling. It’s a pretty stupid flic, but the movie’s over before you know it and doesn’t bore at all.

But I’m not sure not everyone will like the little girl (Gosling’s daughter) speak profane language and get in all kinds of inappropriate situations. It only comes with one good repetitive joke (the ‘and so’ for those who have seen the movie). So not sure if that was necessary.

Mad Men Season 7 – ***

Posted: May 24, 2016 in 2014, 2015, Drama, TV series, USA, XXX

Sometimes it’s necessary to leave a gap between two seasons of the same show. Especially if the last season you saw was bad and the next season is the final one. There is an exciting and thrilling aspect of re-discovering characters and plot lines. It takes a few episodes to get soaked in again, but at least you’re not bored. Unless you binge watch the final season and it all gets a bit tedious by the end. Not that the creators haven’t done their best to introduce some great surprises. It just remains very Mad Men, meaning that it’s all about Don Draper and he just isn’t a compelling man. After all these years you do get to accept some of his behavior, but he’s still pretty much a dick. The show is so lucky to have other characters! This season Joan is getting a lot of interesting attention and so does Sally Draper. But now it’s over and it wasn’t a drag at all. In fact, this season makes you think about the show as a good run. So hooray to that!


Elser (13 Minutes) – *

Posted: May 23, 2016 in 2015, Drama, Germany, Historical, War, WW2, X

While leaving the centre of Munich towards Salzburg, you pass a Hilton hotel that used to be a brewery & beer hall. Nothing special, you’d think, apart from the fact that back in the thirties some guy (Elser) planted a bomb there hoping it would kill Adolf Hitler (who was giving a speech there). It went off 13 minutes too late (hence the English title) and killed/wounded innocent people working at the beer hall.

Nobody seems to know this story.

And that’s why Oliver Hirschbiegel (director of the excellent Experiment and Der Untergang) decided to tell the story of this brave man.

Well… it’s a boring story. I fell asleep after an hour and a half and can’t be bothered watching the final 20 minutes again. I’ll just read the short biography entry on wikipedia. There is no tension (the movie starts with the attack and then switches between torture/interrogation scenes and flashbacks). There is no humor at all, no captivating dialogue, no drama, no sympathy, no empathy. Nothing. It’s bland.

Maybe I’ve just seen too many movies about the nazis and those who resisted them.

It’s still a solid biopic. You can still check it out if you’re interested in the life Germans led just before the world war started.  A pretty confusing and intimidating time. Like, right now.

This is the most boring and ridiculous tv series I’ve ever finished watching. It took me more than a year to sit through this really bad soap opera. And it is a really bad soap opera. The only reason why people give it some credit is because the story is taking place in a modern setting: that of the music industry, more specific the black music industry.

But it’s really just a bad soap opera. The first two episodes still intrigue. There’s definitely some potential. A former artist turned music mogul is diagnosed with ALS and only has a few more months to live. He has three sons. The oldest is a business school graduate and ready to help his dad bring the company to the stock exchange. The middle one is a talented singer songwriter and the youngest has the star power to become a successful rapper. The all have their flaws though. The oldest is bipolar, the middle one is gay and the third one is spoiled brat.

Enter: Cookie Lyon, the wife of Luscious Lyon (the media mogul). She spent the past 17 years in prison taking the fall for the misdemeanors of her husband, helping him set up a record company. Her arrival changes everything. And her presence is the ONLY reason why you want to watch this tv series. All the rest is bullshit. The problem is that you’re never sure if the show wants to be a parody or the real deal.

No second season for me.


To appreciate Jon Favreau’s live action remake even more, it’s necessary to re-watch the original sixties Disney animation classic.

Some elements are better in the new version. The story makes more sense for instance. And the action and the jungle look more real of course. Other elements aren’t. The size of the orangutan is just annoyingly huge in the new version and it’s not really clear why some animals talk and others can’t.

The animation classic still entertains. After almost 50 years. The songs are still great. The humor is still efficient. And the animation, though old, doesn’t look old-dated. An absolute must.

Now this is a fun action packed blockbuster movie for the whole family!

The story is known: a human baby is raised in the jungle by a pack of wolves until a vicious tiger is after him.

The digitally created jungle world is fascinating! The acting of young kid Neel Sethi is quite entertaining and the references to the famous and beloved animated Disney classic are great.

Jandino Asparaat is an Antillean Dutch comedian who has a sketch show on tv that is sometimes funny. Somehow someone thought it was a good idea to make a feature movie out of the many types he plays. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. Maybe, if you know the tv show, there may be some laughs for you. But even if you do, you can count those laughs on both hands. Just not enough for a comedy.

Oh. It’s about a small criminal who rents out luxury villas of Dutch expats to tourists when they are gone from the island of Curacao. One of those expats is a mob criminal though and the tourists who stayed illegally in this villa messed up the place. So the petty criminal needs to start paying for the damages. But since he has no job he has to go to Amsterdam, where he starts working at a KFC-like fastfood store. Which of course won’t bring in money, so he decides to con some more.

All That Jazz – **

Posted: May 7, 2016 in 1979, Dramedy, Musical, USA, XX

Musical director Bob Fosse made his own autobiographical movie ten years before he died. It’s a bizarre, but entertaining late seventies musical drama with an excellent performance by Roy Scheider (who got nominated for an Oscar).

The fictional Joe Gideon (Fosse’s alter ego) is a busy bee, creating a controversial new stage show and editing a stand up comedy movie. But the hard work – in combination with his excessive use of alcohol and tobacco – takes its toll. He’s admitted to hospital and faces death (represented by Jessica Lange). Maybe it’s time to change his habits… Or not.

Back in the eighties I watched this movie because it starred my hero Roy Scheider. I wasn’t impressed back then. 30 years later and I’m a more appreciative. Scheider is really good. But it’ll probably take me another 30 years to watch it again.