Archive for September, 2016

Veep: Season 3 – ***

Posted: September 30, 2016 in 2014, Comedy, TV series, USA, XXX

The absolute best thing about this series is the dialogue and the one-liners. This season is all about Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character Selina Meyers running for president. So she’s campaigning and campaigning is done by a team that comes up with great speeches, headlines and quotes. So it makes total sense that the dialogue between those working in a communication team is very clever, witty and full of foul words. They are all losers in the series, but still very eloquent losers.

Selina Meyer is such a despicable politician. She’s so narcissistic and arrogant, incredibly mean and condescending. Plus she’s fake. She’s a bitch, no, a Bitch with a capital B and somehow incredibly intriguing as such. She’s not really dumb. Nor unlikeable. In fact, she’s a great character. And so is the rest of her staff.

 

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A fox, who lives as rascal because that’s what society wants him to be, and a rabbit, who became the first rabbit police officer in the fictional town of Zootropolis because that’s what she always wanted to be, team up to find out why 14 predators have mysteriously disappeared.

Yep, a detective buddy cop movie Disney style !

But it’s fun. And it’s really a cool movie for adults as well. In fact, it makes you wonder if kids actually get this movie. They will probably laugh with the sloths working in an administrative position, but do they get the Godfather references? Of course it’s a bit weird to create a society where predators suddenly live happily together with what used to be their prey, but hey, that’s what The Lion King was all about as well.

Get your inner child out to watch this movie and have a great time.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2948356

Kapoor & Sons – *

Posted: September 24, 2016 in 2016, Family Feud, India, TV series, X

Daily soap melodrama Bollywood-style!

It sounded like something that was worth watching: an Indian dramedy about a dysfunctional family. Unfortunately, this is just a boring drama about a dysfunctional family in India. Yes, there are two scenes where the cast is dancing (after all it is made in Bollywood), but they are doing it on a dance floor during a party, so that doesn’t really count. And yes, some of the topics are groundbreaking for Indian cinema (someone is coming out of the closet!). But all in all, this is plain boring.

Crazy grandfather gets a heart attack. His two grandsons fly back from London/New York to see him ‘one last time’ and find that their parents are basically living a separate life and constantly fight. Everyone in the family has some kind of secret, which are all revealed by the end. Oh and there’s a girl of course, getting cosy with both brothers without knowing it.

This movie just tries too hard to please a western audience. And feels kind of lame in doing so. Maybe that’s the way to do it for an Indian audience. It’s a cultural thing. Don’t shock anybody! And a lot of Europeans and Americans will appreciate this gentle take on family issues. But for those who are used to seeing more realistic and confrontational scenes, this won’t be a thrilling experience.

One example: girl meets hot guy who is interested in renting her house. She gets drunk and gives him a kiss on the lips. Later she dates a guy who turns out to be his brother. She feels all guilty for having kissed his brother. Big deal. She kissed him on the lips. Not even with tongues. Girl all guilty. Brother all upset. It’s a simple kiss on the lips!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4900716

Veep: Season 2 – **(*)

Posted: September 22, 2016 in 2013, Comedy, TV series, USA, XX1/2

Not one single character in this show is likable. They are ALL incredibly annoying. However, the actors play their part very well. And Julia Louis-Dreyfuss is actually really good as the vice president. She deserves that Emmy.

It’s very negative PR for the real vice president though. It’s negative PR for the entire staff working for the vice president. It’s all fictional of course, but it does make you wonder if the real situation at the veep’s office isn’t as absurd. What does Joe Biden do all day long?

It’s just really confronting to see how fake the vice president is as soon as the camera’s roll or she’s in a public place. Because that’s probably how it is in real life. Just look at this year’s political campaign in the US.

It’s not all good though, but the one-liners and some of the dialogue is incredibly well written. It was hard to find the balance between drama and humor in the first season, but it works quite well in this season. You just have to get used to it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1759761

Recommended by a vinyl shop owner in Leipzig, who sells dvd’s at 1 euro a piece. And worth every single cent! This is a fun comedy with crazy characters who keep you entertained for the entire 90 minutes.

It’s for young adults though, but anyone can enjoy the little absurd story of a young quirky girl who gets stranded on an island with a stuttering Greek, a macho Turk and the latter’s devote muslim sister. Their adventure starts after a plane crash in the Indian ocean. While the kids are on the island, the crazy mother of the girl and the serious father of the Turkish siblings are awaiting news of their children in a fancy resort somewhere else.

The movie is loosely based on a popular German tv series in which a caucasian teenager records what happens when her divorced mother decides to move in with her new Turkish-born partner and his two kids. This time around though, the characters remain the same, but the setting and storyline have nothing in common with the tv show. That alone is quite remarkable.

Some scenes make no sense at all, but the comedy gets away with it just fine. The acting is funny. The characters are very stereotypical, but that’s exactly what the makers are aiming at. And that main lead, Elyas M’Barek, just blows you away. He’s currently one of Germany’s biggest and most popular stars and this is the part that made him famous. There’s a lot wrong with the movie, but let’s focus on the good: it’s entertaining and a great family movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1650536

Veep: Season 1 – **

Posted: September 20, 2016 in 2012, Comedy, Dramedy, Political, TV series, USA

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won yet another Emmy for her performance in Veep. Time to start watching the show! Or at least the first season! And the verdict is… okay.

The first season only has 8 episodes. As such, it’s not really hard to finish it. The episodes are short and contain enough funny one-liners and absurd scenes to make you laugh multiple times. As a comedy, it’s great. Overall however, the show tries to be too serious at times. The drama just doesn’t work. The social commentary is annoying. You can’t be making fun of the vice presidency and tackle real political issues at the same time.

Those who know the show say it gets better. So off to season 2.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1759761/episodes?season=1

Even those who don’t know anything about soccer, have at least heard of Pelé, the Brazilian soccer phenomenon from back in late fifties and entire sixties. He became world famous during the World Championship in Sweden, anno 1958. Before winning that world cup, the rest of the world looked down upon the exotic ‘ginga’ style of the Brazilian players. But that all changed when Pelé showed how beautiful playing soccer good be.

Pelé: Birth Of A Legend is a nice biopic about the early years of the Brazilian hero. It’s interesting to learn where Pelé came from (a poor community) and how he was treated as such. But it’s all too nice. It’s clear that the story wants to stress how much discrimination there was (and is) in Brazil, but it kind of takes away the charm of a simple biopic.

Pelé himself produced the movie, so it’s pretty obvious that the end result isn’t too controversial or critical. And that’s fine. (He even has a cameo) But it could have been a much bigger critical and commercial success if someone else had been in control. And if it would have been made in Brazil, by Brazilians and in Portuguese. Now it feels like a low budget made for tv weekend movie with no authencity at all and with actors who just not seem to know how to charm an audience.

Kids may like it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0995868