Archive for October, 2017

This sequel to the eighties cult classic feels like a Radiohead concert from their recent festival tour. It’s very long. Some moments are awesome. Others are confusing. A few are obsolete. But the end result feels good. It’s a trip. You either get into it, or you don’t.

Don’t worry about the story. It may be science fiction, but it kind of makes sense. It’s not that difficult either. The setting is described in a few sentences during the opening credits. You don’t really need to know what it’s about. You don’t need to have watched the original movie. Just be prepared for a trip. A beautifully filmed trip. With brilliant sound effects (Oscar guaranteed) and a lead actor who carries the movie all the way through. Ryan Gosling is excellent. The movie would not have been the same without him. Imagine Jared Leto playing the main character! The movie would have totally sucked. That said, Leto is good in the five minutes he’s on-screen. And then there’s Harrison Ford of course, reprising his role. It takes a LONG time before you get to see him, but it’s worth it.

It’s too long and slow to watch it again. Too bad. It feels like an extended director’s cut. Maybe a cut version would make it better.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856101

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Detroit – **(*)

Posted: October 29, 2017 in 2017, Civil Rights, Drama, USA, XX1/2

Injustice: the movie, part 654!

Luckily for all the movie makers out there, there’s a lot of injustice going on in the world. There are thousands of movies that focus on inequality, discrimination, abuse, outrage etc… Some are very factual. Others twist the events and rewrite history. And most add a little bit of drama to the actual story, such as in this retelling of a hostage situation in Detroit during the riots of 1969.

It’s interesting to see how, before the end credits roll, a notion is made of this.

Nevertheless, extra drama or not, this is an entertaining and gripping story. It’s well-directed by Kathryn Bigelow and the little known cast performs really well. Especially Algee Smith and Will Poulter. The former plays a talented singer, who after the evacuation of a concert hall during the riots, ends up at a motel with his best friend. The latter plays a racist cop, who decides to search the motel for an alleged sniper who fired at them. The situation gets out of hand and all guests from the hotel are being detained by the cop and his colleagues…

The movie is about racist cops who get away with killing innocent black people. The story is set in 1967. However, similar events have happened over the past years as well. And so, it’s pretty obvious that not every cinema going movie fan wants to be confronted with this reality. The movie flopped – people prefer fiction – and that’s a shame. Maybe it will do better here in Europe. It’s a good movie. But as the events were written down during the court hearing, more drama was needed. It’s good drama, but it still feels pretty superficial. We don’t really get to know anything about these people’s lives before ending up at the motel. Maybe this would have been better as a four-part miniseries.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5390504

It – *(*)

Posted: October 29, 2017 in 2017, Children/Family, Comedy, Horror, USA, X1/2

So, this is the highest grossing horror blockbuster of all times? (well, not adjusted to the inflation). How is that possible?

It’s not scary, unless you are 16 maybe. It’s not funny, unless you are 16 maybe. It’s not particularly well filmed. It has all the clichés of any horror classic from the past five decades. There’s a lot of gore and there is a lot of cursing, but it doesn’t make the movie any better. If only Quentin Tarantino would have directed it!

This is a kid’s movie, but it’s rated R! But maybe that’s the whole idea. As long as they like it: great. But for the adults out there: skip it! Read the book instead.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1396484

The Lost City Of Z – **

Posted: October 26, 2017 in 2016, Adventure, Drama, UK, USA, XX

Percy Fawcett was a British explorer who tried to locate the ruins of an ancient civilization in the Amazon region between Bolivia and Brazil. The search for his own Machu Picchu was obsessive. The man went back several times in the first quarter of the 20th century. A few years ago, a journalist followed his footsteps and wrote a book about it, on which the story of this movie was based.

First, the good thing: the director didn’t choose to tell the story of the journalist who travelled in the explorer’s footsteps. Great!

Now the bad thing: the director decided to make an overly detailed, chronologically told biopic trying to tell too many things that don’t really matter.

There’s hardly any adventure in this movie! There are as many scenes in England as there are in the jungle. Which is something you don’t expect after having read rave reviews and after having watched mysterious and adventurous movie trailers. It’s not good to have expectations, but when reviews start with lines like ‘bring your mosquito repellent to the cinema’ or mention ‘Indiana Jones’ or the ‘Heart Of Darkness‘ as references, you kind of hope to seen an adventure movie in the jungle!

Alas!

It’s not really a bad movie. It’s just not an adventurers trip through the jungle. Yes, there are encounters with indigenous tribes (depicted as the Stormtroopers from the Amazon, because they pretty much suck at efficiently shooting arrows at intruders).  Yes, you see a jaguar. But only for about 30 seconds. Yes, there’s one snake. Yes, there’s one mosquito bite. But that’s about it. Whoever writes about a trip to the jungle didn’t actually see the movie or hasn’t been to the jungle before.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1212428/

Jimmy Carr Telling Jokes – *(*)

Posted: October 24, 2017 in 2009, Comedy, Stand Up, UK, X1/2

Only ten percent of the jokes told by Jimmy Carr are hilarious. About 40 percent of them are pretty funny. Half of them are lame. It’s not a consistently good show. In fact, the telling jokes part is terrible. The interaction with the audience is excellent. (see below) The guy needs to improvise more. Just going on stage and telling random jokes just doesn’t work. The final part, where he tests the audience’s tolerance to inappropriate jokes is good. But none of them are really offensive. Not even the ‘most offensive joke ever’. (see even further below)

There’s a comedy central performance as an extra, which is even unfunnier. The only interesting there are the reactions of the (American) audience who just don’t get the insulting British sarcasm.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1585985

“If you were a type of soup, what kind of a soup would you be?” That was a funny interactive moment. (see below).

 

 

 

The Walking Dead Season 2 – *(*)

Posted: October 24, 2017 in 2011, Drama, Horror, USA, X1/2

More of the same. Pretty boring. Sure, at one point you start to be curious about what’s going to happen with some of the characters. But every single episode is SO long. It’s so slow. You need to press the fast forward button to want to continue. You can go for a long break on the toilet, come back and still catch up. There’s not really any story development either. It’s all very predictable. At times, certain characters do contemplate suicide, but then somehow hope for a better future. Really? There wouldn’t be any series if they all would just kill themselves; But it would make more sense. Also, when they start slashing zombies, none of the blood stains ever cover their clean t-shirts. Really? It’s also pretty sexist. Men don’t do any household. Women who try to go protect are reprimanded for not doing house shores. By other women ! Then there’s romance. In a series about killing zombies! Really? And that kid. All he has to do is stay in the house. Or stay within eyesight. Yet, it always seems to run away and run into danger. Every single episode someone gets lost and needs to be found. If you would just stay together, no-one would ever get lost and no-one would need to risk their lives to go fetch the lost one. But then again, there wouldn’t be any series. And the zombies don’t scare at all. In fact, they are comical. Yeah. There won’t be a season 3 viewing.

Although the finale is quite fascinating and leaves you wondering who the hooded woman is with the slave zombies.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1520211

The Mountain Between Us – **

Posted: October 23, 2017 in 2017, Adventure, Drama, Romance, USA, XX

Took my mom to the cinema to see The Mountain Between Us, a movie which got a lot of bad reviews, but somehow still intrigued. One of the first things my mom said after the end credits rolled was: “Why would reviewers consider this a bad movie?” Yes, reviewers, why?

Sure, it’s predictable. And yes, the chemistry between the main characters isn’t really there. But it’s an entertaining movie. It has beautiful scenes of the Rocky Mountains and the action and adventure is gentle enough for those who go see it for the romantic element. Yes, it’s neither a good adventure movie, nor a gripping romantic drama. Yes, the director should have focused on just one genre, the epic adventure tale especially. But the poster and the trailer already tell you it’s not going to be Into The Wild or The Revenant. 

Both Idris Elba and Kate Winslet are a joy to look at. Even after several days without food or the lack of a hairdresser in the wilderness, they still look very hot. Elba’s beard doesn’t seem to grow at all. Winslet’s bruised face could still be featured in a l’Oreal commercial. Let’s blame the perfect look on the clear, cold weather up in the high mountains! She’s a bit of an annoying, passionate, independent, restless photographer-journalist. He’s a quiet, rational, emotionally timid brain surgeon. Whoever thought the audience would believe they are a perfect match in heaven (well, the mountains – close enough) is wrong.

The movie would have been much better if one of them, or both, died somehow. After surviving Titanic, maybe Winslet should have just given her life for a change. But no.

Love going to the movies with my mom (83). She really enjoyed this one. So fuck reviewers who tell people it’s a bad movie. It’s not. It’s just not a great one.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2226597