Archive for August, 2019

Special – **

Posted: August 26, 2019 in 2019, Drama, LGBT themed, TV series, USA, XX

It starts good. A guy with (a light form of) cerebral palsy starts an internship at an online press company, but is afraid to tell the rest of the team what his condition is. His boss asks if he acts so weird because he was hit by a car and there you have the lie he needed: yes, he got hit by a car and that damaged him for life. It’s also the first article he writes for the website and it’s an immediate success.

It starts of funny as well. As he’s with his physiotherapist he mentioned how jealous he is of Bob, who’s in the wheelchair all the time. ” I feel like a mixed race child, not knowing who to belong to. I am not ‘abled’ enough to live a normal life and I’m not disabled enough either. At least Bob knows where he is at.” “That’s a lot of insults in one sentence” his therapist say. Bam. Un-pc humor right from the start

However, the next seven (very short) episodes, bring more drama and less humor. And the charming, funny character, becomes a bit of an whining jerk. The guy is gay and a virgin and he just wants to find a partner! He also wants to live on his own even though he cannot tie his shoe laces! He wants to get away from his over-caring mom, but is then upset when she starts a relationship with the hot new neighbor.

The humor and charm of the first episode are gone by episode two. Which is weird. Because normally the pilot is the bad episode and the show gets better after that. It’s a short series and there are some good elements, but as a whole it’s not really worth recommending.

Missed chance.

www.imdb.com/title/tt9381622/

 

According to the ten year old son of a good friend, this is the BEST. MOVIE. EVER.

When I was ten, E.T. was the best movie ever.

That said. Hobbs & Shaw is quite a fun movie. It’s action packed. There are funny dialogues. Main leads Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have good chemistry. Idris Elba is great as the bad guy. (he should always be the bad guy). Princess Margaret from The Crown is kicking ass and strangling people in a more efficient way than Sylvester Stallone has ever done. Or Schwarzenegger. Or Van Damme. Or Seagal. Cliff Curtis is in it! And Helen Mirren! Oh, and unfortunately Kevin Hart as well. There are chase scenes in London and battle scenes in Samoa!

Not sure why I’ve never watched any of the previous episodes in this Fast & Furious Franchise, but this is a great introduction.

Not sure why it’s not a bigger box office success. Is it too British? Is it too different form the other movies? It’s the story, some say.

Ehm. Who needs a story in these kind of movies? Here’s the story: a secret agency wants a dangerous virus, created to help humankind, but re-programmable into a very deadly genocide wipeout virus. A woman on the run has injected the virus into her body and both the CIA and MI6 are sending their best asset to stop the woman/virus getting into the wrong hands. Yes. The story makes NO sense at all. But it’s fun!!!!

www.imdb.com/title/tt6806448

Mon Frère – **(*)

Posted: August 19, 2019 in 2019, France, Social Drama, XX1/2

French cinema dares to put unprofessional actors in front of the camera and it almost always works. Why doesn’t Hollywood take these risks? Because the actor’s guild would complain? Who knows. Somehow in France, established actors praise the work of debutants and don’t mind sharing the screen with them in supporting parts.

However, this time the lead actor may not be nominated for best newcomer at next year’s César ceremony as he’s gotten himself in a bit of a shitty mess earlier this year. Accused of manslaughter, he’s imprisoned as we speak. So, it’s quite ironic that he’s playing a kid that’s placed in a centre for young delinquents, accused of having killed his father.

MHD is a young French rapper, who even performed at Coachella last year (the first French rapper to ever do so). You may have never heard of him, but he’s one of those successful artists on streaming sites around the world, mixing trap with african sounds. He’s doing a great job in this movie. Clearly new to the acting game, he does deliver. His performance is honest and real and it’s quite brave to play a young delinquent of about 18 years old, when in fact you are a 25 year old rap star. But he’s not the only star. A lot of the fellow delinquents in the movie do an excellent job as well. Sure, their characters are stereotypical and a bit too much at times. Just like the actors who play the staff of the juvenile detention centre. But in the end it’s an intriguing movie.

It starts off as a semi-documentary about life in one of those centers, but then focuses quite fast on two young adults, hating each others’ guts at first, but then forming an alliance towards the end. Towards the end it loses its seriousness and realism and that’s a bit of a disappointment.

It sure has it flaws, but it’s worth the watch. It’s in movie theaters in France, but on Netflix anywhere else.

www.imdb.com/title/tt9095526/

 

There’s a new Tarantino movie out!

One friend messages: go see it, it’s great, you’ll love it. 

Another friend messages: didn’t give a rat’s ass about it. it’s slow and doesn’t have a story. but go see it anyways

So… off to the theatre!

And……

Well…..

It’s a cinematic marvel with great shots, brilliant settings, a killer soundtrack and great performances by especially Leonardo DiCaprio.

But there isn’t a story!  For almost three hours long. And it stars Brad Pitt, who still, after all these years, cannot act. At all.

However,

It’s a great trip back to the Hollywood of 1969 when Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski are the it couple and hippies roam the planet. It focuses on an almost has-been actor and his unemployed stunt double. It’s very entertaining. There’s all kinds of things going on, of which none matter. But it’s filmed in the most perfect way. The camerawork is outstanding. And keeps you glued to the screen. But the plot is weird and the dialogue is weak. It’s better than The Hateful Eight or Kill Bill, but nothing close to Django Unchained or Pulp Fiction. 

People say the same about Roma. It’s slow and has no story, but it’s great cinema. So this is Tarantino’s kind of Roma. 

Yet, Roma didn’t have Brad Pitt. And had a flawless editing. And had some kind of message. This one doesn’t.

www.imdb.com/title/tt7131622

 

 

Woman In Gold – **

Posted: August 16, 2019 in 2015, Courtroom, Drama, UK, USA, XX

Gustav Klimt’s Portrait Of Adèle Bloch Bauer was hanging at the Belvedere in Vienna for several decades until a family member of the model claimed it back.

It’s an amazing story. Based on true facts. Adèle Bloch Bauer was a model for one of the most important Austrian painters. Her husband commissioned the portrait and it hung in their house for many years. Until the Nazi’s took over control in Vienna and the paintings were confiscated. The portrait was brought to the Belvedere, which is one of the many art museums in Austria’s capital.

Jump ahead to the late nineties when Austria starts to talk about giving back paintings to those families that the nazis stole it from. Unfortunately for the Austrians, there’s a niece of Adèle Block Bauer living in Los Angeles who wants the painting of her aunt back. She gets the help of a young lawyer, also of Jewish-Austrian descent, and an Austrian journalist who wants to come to terms with the country’s nazi past.

It’s an okay movie. The story intrigues and Helen Mirren is quite charming in the main lead. She created a character that entertains throughout the entire story. Also good are the flashbacks to the time of when the painting was made and the time of the nazi takeover. But unfortunately the focus is on the court case and that’s a tad boring.

Not sure what Austrians think about this movie…

www.imdb.com/title/tt2404425

After visiting The Third Man Museum in Vienna, it’s kind of obligatory to eventually (re-)watch the movie that inspired the museum.

But.

Be ready to be disappointed.

Sure, it’s a classic movie. It’s really well filmed. The cinematography is great. There are several beautiful scenes that have influenced the work of many future directors. The acting is solid too and the setting (post-war divided Vienna) is intriguing.

However, the story is very predictable. When the movie was released, the big surprise was a big surprise to audiences around the world. But seventy years later (7 decades!) the surprise isn’t a surprise anymore. Especially if you know that the movie stars Orson Welles and he’s not onscreen for the first hour. Somehow there is no tension at all in this ‘thriller’. Even when you see it for the very first time.

But still. Worth the watch.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0041959

A guided tour of the Leopoldmuseum in Vienna by an art historian who raved about Egon Schiele. That’s all it takes to start watching the biopic that was made of the famous Austrian painter a few years ago.

It’s an interesting movie. It’s well acted, somehow historically correct and it shows the complexity of the artist without really judging him. That said, it’s also quite superficial. And romantic. Egon Schiele was not a handsome guy, yet he’s interpreted by Noah Saavedra – who apart from being an actor also works as a model. This feels wrong. Like having Brad Pitt or so play Van Gogh. However, the guy does an excellent job by keeping you intrigued for the entire length of the movie. Same for Valerie Pachner, who plays his muse and (eternal) lover Wally.

It’s a love story really, but a good one. Without a happy end of course. They all die. And that’s not a spoiler. The title is referring to one of his most famous paintings. A painting which is quite disturbing, something this movie (unfortunately) never does. So Egon Schiele himself would probably not like it at all. But oh well, he died 100 years ago…

www.imdb.com/title/tt4558396