Archive for December, 2016

This looked like it would be a fun movie to watch. The trailer promises quirky humor and some action and adventure for both kids and adults. And there is some quirky humor and some action and some adventure. But this is for kids really. Not for adults.

The soundtrack is annoying as hell. The kid is annoying as hell. Sam Neill is annoying as hell. Almost all the side characters are annoying as hell. The CGI is annoying as hell.

So, yeah, disappointing. Not sure how this can win so many awards.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4698684

 

 

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Miles Ahead – *

Posted: December 23, 2016 in 2015, Experiment, USA, X
Tags: ,

Hm.

This is a tough one.

This is just so damn weird that you just can’t say it’s good or bad.

There’s a reason why the release of this movie was postponed so often. It’s just difficult to sell. It’s definitely not a biopic. It’s a kind of action movie in which Miles Davis teams up with a music journalist and runs around chasing a stolen tape, while taking lots of coke and waving a gun around like some wannabe gangster. This happens 5 years after he quit the music business and became a messed-up addict, being pushed by fans and producers to release new music. There are flashbacks to a time when he met his wife, married her and struggled with paranoia already. There’s a performance at the end. And that’s it.

Both McGregor and Cheadle are disappointing. Keith Stanfield looks like he can do great things later on.

Luckily, it’s a very short movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790770

Arrival -*(*)

Posted: December 23, 2016 in 2016, Science Fiction, USA, X1/2
Tags:

Not sure what all the fuzz is about. Amy Adams is a joy to watch, sure. And the movie keeps you puzzled for about 2 hours. It’s cool to see a science fiction picture in which the aliens aren’t aggressive invaders, but just, well around, with no particular evident purpose. And it’s also kind of cool to see a linguist in the main role, who’s hired to figure out a way to communicate with these aliens.

But that’s it.

The set up is quite intriguing. But the learning an alien language this fast just doesn’t make sense. We haven’t figured out a way to transcript how animals talk to each other and how we can learn them our language. So, how would we be able to learn how to communicate with aliens this fast? Even if they have a visual scripting of their language and are somehow superior. And yeah, it’s cool to see that these aliens haven’t just landed in the US, but also in 11 other areas in the world. But please, Hollywood, don’t push an idea about ‘working together across all borders’ if you make it look like the Americans take the lead and the other researches just don’t matter at all.  Moreover, what’s the use of showing these aliens above some Montana field a word like ‘human’ if in China they will show them ‘一個人’ and in Russia ‘будучи человеком’. How confusing would that be to these aliens? I pity the aliens who hover above Sudan and Sierra Leone, where no researchers go up and try to communicate with them. They are just hanging there.

Plus, all that pseudo philosophical bullshit about interpreting time at the end really ruins it.

So, go watch it, even though you’ll know it’s not going to be that good. But hey, that’s basically what this movie is all about: live your life even if you know what’s going to happen.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2543164

 

Black celebrity kills his ex-wife and her male (boy?)friend. Then tries to escape. Kind of surrenders. Gets a widely mediatized trial that lasts for several months. And ends up being declared innocent by a jury! All because the defense lawyer team played the race card and was able to make the jury believe that a) the black celebrity was framed by a racist LAPD officer and b) one of the murder objects (a glove) didn’t fit the defendant.

If this story would have been fiction, this crime series would have flunked terribly. However, it’s based on a true story and that fact alone makes this show a must-watch.

Apart from the white bronco chase and the verdict, this whole trial didn’t really create a buzz in Europa back in the mid nineties. We had the war in former Yugoslavia. This O.J. Simpson thing was just too American to be of interest over here.

So, it’s pretty fascinating to watch this show twenty years later and realize that this wás a big deal back then.

This series itself is close to excellent. Because it’s much more than just a whodunnit murder mystery. It’s a semi documentary about the legal system n the US and how it’s often nothing more than a theatrical game between lawyers. It’s also an excellent social commentary piece about racial tensions and how nothing much has changed in the past 20 years. But most of all this is a fascinating representation of multifaceted characters and a great stage of true acting talent.

Sarah Paulson, Sterling K. Brown and Courtney B. Vance are brilliant as the main characters. Even when you have zero recollection of the characters they are portraying, you can just feel that their embodiment is impeccable. The entire cast is doing a great jb, but they are just top notch. You need ten episodes to appreciate the acting by David Schwimmer, Cuba Gooding Jr. and  John Travolta. Especially the last two cannot shine as the others because of their celebrity status. You’ll learn to love them by the end. Schwimmer (as Rob Kardashian) because he perfectly shows the doubt of a loyal friend, Cuba Gooding Jr. (as a smaller, fatter and goofier version of O.J. Simpson) because he makes it look like O.J. really believed that he was innocent and Travolta (as the campy lawyer Shapiro) who just plays such a weird character that it cannot be but a true representation.

Watch this show! You won’t regret it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2788432

 

 

 

Classic: Pulp Fiction – ***(*)

Posted: December 14, 2016 in 1994, Action, Comedy, USA, XXX1/2

Twenty-two years ago, a movie was released that was so cool that everyone went to see it at least three times to make sure they’d know every single fucking detail by heart to impress others by mimicking the incredibly innovating dialogue scenes. It was called Pulp Fiction, the instant cult classic of Quentin Tarantino.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to watch it again – the dvd has been on my shelf since it was first released in that format -, but the time was right and it was a great experience. Pulp Fiction doesn’t feel and look dated at all. It’s timeless. Even the most memorable scenes look fresh. The dialogue is excellent. The acting – apart from the cameo of Tarantino himself – is flawless. The surprise and wit are a gift. The camera shots are inventive. Almost everything works perfect in this movie.

It’s too bad Tarantino fucks it up by giving himself and Harvey Keitel a minor acting part. That whole scene at the Jimmy’s house is so bad, it makes you wish the movie had also won a Razzie Award for worst scene ever. Luckily, the movie has won multiple best scene awards as well. At least in my book, as there are no such awards. Alas. Difficult to pick a favorite. The only other reason why this isn’t a **** movie is that it should have lasted even longer.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110912/

 

Cas – *

Posted: December 12, 2016 in 2016, LGBT themed, Netherlands, Romance, X

A Dutch couple offers a young Flemish student a place to stay. The couple has been having some issues lately, with one of the partners waiting to go on a trip around the world and the other planning the next step in their relationship: a baby. The new flatmate causes even more friction. But he also brings the two closer together and triggers them to talk about what’s really bugging them.

Cas is a tv movie that just happened to be on after the news on BVN (the Dutch/ Flemish international television channel). The beginning intrigues. Somehow it starts off as a possible thriller. But soon it becomes clear that it’s much ado about nothing. The acting of the Dutch couple isn’t all that bad, but there just isn’t a real story. There’s a couple who pretend to be in the perfect relationship until someone shows up who makes them express what they really want in life. And that’s not exactly the same.

It’s only 50 minutes long. It’s over before you really start getting annoyed. It’s the kind of movie you don’t regret having seen, but wouldn’t recommend to anyone.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5858380/