Archive for April, 2020

Trauma – *

Posted: April 30, 2020 in 2018, Thriller, UK

Interesting set-up. A kid enters the emergency room of a hospital being stabbed. A surgeon is paged to operate, on his evening off. The father of the kid enters the operation room and sees the doctor hesitating, to finally give up and declare the kid dead. Next is a vendetta from the dad towards the surgeon for failing to save his son and the struggle with guilt by the surgeon.

It works well for two episodes and becomes creepy and thrilling when the dad really starts to stalk the surgeon’s family.

But then the third and final episode is just bullocks. The dad really goes berserk and the surgeon loses it. It just does not make sense at all and the longer it lasts, the worse it gets. Surgeons lie all the time. What a great way to put the NHS in a good spotlight. And really, one disoriented talkative lunatic threatens three people with a knife and they are all just standing there looking at him? Honestly? There were like 20 moments where they could have kicked the knife out of his hands. Don’t worry about spoiler alerts. This isn’t worth watching.

After Life Season 2 – **

Posted: April 30, 2020 in 2020, Drama, TV series, UK, XX

Man, this is depressing.

The first episodes of Ricky Gervais’ serious dramedy about a man losing his wife to cancer and struggling with the loss, were great. They showed a different aspect of the British comedian, but were still filled with excellent humor and social commentary. These six episodes however lack the humor and commentary. Maybe once per episode there’s a hilarious moment, but overal it’s just very sad.

This is not the moment to watch sad tv shows. This is the moment to laugh and escape to absurd fiction. Not to harsh realities of losing people and dealing with grief. However positive the approach to it all may be.

This Flemish/Dutch crime series is available to watch on Netflix around the globe. Give it a chance. It’s good. Not sure if it’ll appeal to a larger international audience, but it’s well made, well acted and well directed.  The final episode is a bit of a disappointment (a cliffhanger hints at a second season), but in general this is great stuff.

Two cops (one Flemish, one Dutch) have to go undercover at a camping ground to acquaint a notorious drug dealer (in xtc). It’s a tough job, because. the drug dealer distrusts everyone and puts on a great act. He’s the fun loving joker to his superficial neighbors, but a ruthless killer to those who cross him. Never thought about it during the show, but Tony Soprana comes to mind right now. Which is not a good thing, because it doesn’t make the show unique.

What makes it unique is the setting and the many references to Flemish-Dutch culture. Which may get lost to an international crowd. The acting is top notch though. Tom Waes, who plays one of the undercover cops, is a popular tv presenter (with few acting credits to his name) and is surprisingly good. He is very convincing. His undercover partner is played by Anna Drijver, who does a great job in giving her character more than is scripted. The best acting is done by Frank Lammers, the intriguing drug lord, and Elise Schaap as his naive wife. Those are just the four main leads, but all the acting is great.

The story is a typical crime story. There are a few twists, but they are never really surprising. In the end it’s two undercover cops who need to befriend a drug lord and lure him into a drug deal that the police can bust.

But, not in New Jersey or Medellin. Just in the unappealing camping ground setting on the border between Flanders and the Netherlands. Cool trailer though.

Demain Tout Commence

Posted: April 10, 2020 in 2016, Dramedy, France

This is a bad movie.

The story is ridiculous. The jokes aren’t funny. The characters are unappealing. It’s a waste of time and talent.

A playboy receives a visit from one of this many girlfriends. She shows him his daughter, hands her over to him and leaves. In a search to find out where she lives he arrives in London, where he stays until his kids is about 7 or so and the mom suddenly turns up.

Nah. Skip it.

There are fewer tigers living in the wild than living in captivity. Intriguing stuff for an in-depth documentary series about those owners of big cats, who either operate private zoos or sanctuaries for mistreated animals. And the show starts off well by showing two of them: Joe Exotic, who runs a big cat zoo and Carole Baskin, who runs a sanctuary. They are not really represented as good or evil as both have a different love for the animals, but one thing is clear: they hate each other’s guts. And before you know it, you’re not watching an animal cruelty documentary, but a reality tv crime story with more twists than any far-fetched fiction series out there.

The editing and storytelling are really well done in this series. Each episode ends with a semi-surprising cliffhanger, which makes you want to watch another 45 minutes of this ongoing soap between different characters that have more in common than they want. They are all crooked, lying, marginalized nitwits with an obsession for big cats. And still, in their idiocy, they are intriguing and somehow charming as well.

It’s not a chronological story, which frustrates at the end, but works well for your entertainment as pieces of interviews are cut and edited in such a way that a new story unfolds every minute. It’s really well edited. You have to give them credit for that. And it’s also great that it’s not a good vs bad documentary.

Apart from the main characters there are so many different side characters in this show that you kind of want a spin off series or a sequel.

It’s very bizarre. It’s very American. Some say this is great tv during corona time. But it also makes you think that maybe, humankind deserves this crisis we are in.

Assassin’s Creed

Posted: April 8, 2020 in 2016, Action, Science Fiction, USA

An action movie set in late 15th Century Spain ! Great!

Oh no, wait. it’s based on a video game and it’s about a fictitious eternal fight between the Templars and the Assassins. It’s a science fiction movie where a scientist has created a device that teleports a person from current times into the past to retrieve the apple from Paradise that will end violence! But to get it, a lot of people have to die.

Why did I even bother? This is utter crap.

White House Down – *(*)

Posted: April 3, 2020 in 2013, Action, Terrorist, USA, X1/2

On tv and great pulp entertainment during corona times.

The acting is terrible. The plot is even worse. The special effects aren’t that spectacular.

But before you know it, the movie is over and you’re ready to head to bed not thinking about the world right now.

A security agent wants to work in the white house and be a bodyguard for the president. On the day of his application he brings along his daughter, but a terrorist attack takes places and they are trapped. This is thé day to prove that he can be a hero to his kid and  a hero to the president.

Yeah. It’s that silly.