Archive for the ‘biopic’ Category

So, wait a minute.

This movie is about a victim of the Boston attack who loses both legs, but reluctantly becomes a hero and a symbol for the Boston Strong movement. All movie long we’re supposed to empathize with a guy who doesn’t really like all the attention he is getting. yet the movie is based on a book, written by that same victim.

A book! A movie! Talk show appearances. But it’s about someone who doesn’t like the attention.

Something just doesn’t feel right.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3881784

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The Theory Of Everything – **

Posted: March 14, 2018 in 2014, biopic, Romance, UK, USA, XX

A young, beautiful, christian, language student falls for a funny, nerdy, atheist scientist. But soon he’s diagnosed with a muscle disease and only has 2 more years to live. They get married and try to make the most of it. However, the dude continues to live. And becomes a popular scientist, publishing a best seller et al. She could easily cheat. And she has a love interest! Her choir leader and family friend Jonathan!. But she remains loyal. The scientist, all paralyzed, gets along really well with his new nurse, who he seems to be able to communicate with well (via computer screen technique). Will he cheat?

Yep, it’s that kind of movie: a romantic drama!

Never really cared about seeing this movie, but hey, Stephen Hawking died today and I hardly know anything about him. So, it was worth the attempt. Not that this movie helped. I know as little about him now as before. Kudos to the main actors. Oscar-winner Eddy Redmayne did a Daniel Day Lewis and did it well. And Felicity Jones is the real star of the movie. She shines in every scene. Just for the acting sake and because Hawking died today: **.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2980516

I, Tonya – **

Posted: March 11, 2018 in 2017, biopic, Dramedy, USA, XX

Sure, it was on the news in Europe back in 1994: skate champion hires someone to injure her main competitor. But it was just a tidbit. Who cared? Apart from the entire American nation maybe. It is one of those bizarre sport incidents that get picked up in pub quizzes or so. Like that time tennis player Monica Seles was stabbed on court. It happened, it was in the news, it was bizarre enough to remember, but that’s basically it.

Now there’s a movie about the incident and it’s all over the news again. With much more details and attention. And less bias. Margot Robbie plays an intriguing Tonya Harding. Allison Janney deservedly won an Oscar for her part as the terrifying mother. And Sebastian Stan is quite a revelation as Tonya’s husband Jeff, who allegedly gave the order for someone to injure Nancy Kerrigan. This threesome acts great!

The movie is good. But it’s a comedy that tries too hard to be a drama. Sometimes, the balance between both work well and you get an amazing dramedy. But this is not the case with this biopic. Some elements are amazing. You have the excellent camerawork during the figure skating routines. Amazing! The storytelling itself is quite entertaining with characters talking directly to the audience at times. There are also some clever visual details. But in the end, it’s more of a parody than an actual biopic.  You constantly think: no way, this is a total exaggeration. Too bad the movie seems quite representative of the life Tonya led, according the former Olympian herself. And however good Margot Robbie is performing, she’s way to old to play Tonya Harding in the years leading up to her peak.

It’s a good movie, but like the notorious incident back then, it will soon be forgotten.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5580036

Pollock – **

Posted: December 19, 2017 in 2000, Art, biopic, Drama, USA, XX

Every time I see a Pollock at a museum, I pauze. It hasn’t always been like that. But the more I see them, the more I’m intrigued by them. Some of his paintings are just so overwhelming. And it all looks so easy. Put a canvas on the ground. And start splashing paint on it. In apparent random order. Why did nobody come up with that idea before?

So there is a movie about Jackson Pollock. A relatively recent one. From this century. (If that’s the definition of recent). Starring Ed Harris. And directed by Ed Harris. He must be a fan. It’s an okay movie. Also chronologically told. But the acting is good. That Marcia Gay Harden does deserve her Oscar. And Harris performs well. Pollock isn’t a particularly pleasant character. He’s, well, an alcoholic and crazy in the head. The prototype of every talented artist. But you do get to learn a bit more about him. And his life. And the art is very present.

Time to watch Frida, Mr Turner, Surviving Picasso, Basquiat, Modigliani, etc… 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0183659

All Eyez On Me – *

Posted: December 19, 2017 in 2017, biopic, Musical, USA, X

Back in the early nineties some rapper was successful for a few years, making headlines not only because of his quick rise in hiphop, but more because of the criminal offenses he committed. He was the ‘voice of a generation’. At least in the States. Nobody in Europe cared. Only California Love made it to some European charts while he was alive. But then he got shot and his murder remained a mystery. Suddenly this rapper, Tupac Shakur, became a legend. His posthumous released song Changes topped the charts and a successful greatest hits album followed. Still, most people know him of his portrait prints on t-shirts and posters. In the hiphop culture, he’s revered like Jimmy Hendrix is idolized by guitar soloists. He’s an icon. And every icon needs a good biopic.

But we’ll just have to wait for that good biopic then, because All Eyez On Me definitely isn’t.

This just feels like a cinematic wikipedia page. The story is chronologically told. First as part of an interview while he is in prison. And then continued with the events leading up to his killing. The guy is an icon, so he must be interesting, no? Well, maybe if you’re into hiphop and into bad boys making it big. If you didn’t care about him when he was alive and don’t own any of his music because it’s just not your thing, then this is just a waste of time. A great movie should make you feel interested in the story of the main character, even when it’s not in your comfort zone. This movie just sucks. Bad acting. Unoriginal storytelling. Shying away from controversy. No focus on the talent. The movie is over and you’re thinking: why do people like this guy? That cannot possibly have been the goal of the producers of this movie. Straight Out Of Compton it is not.

Just google the name Tupac Shakur and read articles about the guy to understand why his legacy is still popular.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1666185/

 

Nina – *(*)

Posted: August 30, 2017 in 2016, biopic, Drama, Musical, USA, X1/2

Nina Simone got herself a biopic. Unauthorized by the family. And so somewhat controversial. Nina Simone doesn’t come accross as a nice person. Maybe she wasn’t nice. And that’s not necessary for a good biopic. But somehow as a contrast, it should be evident that the woman had talent. And that’s not really the case. There’s zero sympathy for this character. And that’s tough. Zoe Zaldana is actually really good as the bitchy, drug addict/alcoholic. But she has too few scenes to show a brighter side to the jazz icon.

Oyelowo is degraded to a supporting role and does not get the platform to perform to his ability. Playing a submissive, rather boring and blank assistant isn’t really a challenge. He does it well. It’s just not really a role you want to see him play.

It’s not a good movie, but it’s not a bad one either. There is much worse out there.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493076/

A United Kingdom – **(*)

Posted: August 11, 2017 in 2016, biopic, Drama, Historical, UK, XX1/2
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United Kingdom tells the fascinating story of Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams, who become the first president of Botswana and his wife. The fascinating thing about it is that Seretse was black – of course – and Ruth was white. Quite remarkable at the time. And still quite remarkable right now. Unless you’re from Botswana or have travelled the country or have a keen interest in the history of Southern Africa, chances are very high that you’ve never heard about this remarkable history fact. So, hooray for the producers who made this an entertaining history lesson.

Unfortunately, it’s nothing more than that. It’s well acted, sure. And it’s nicely shot. But it’s a straight forward, uncontroversial, chronologically told succession of events. White girl meet black lawyer student in London. Guy turns out to be the heir to a chiefdom. Girl accepts marriage proposal. Everyone is against it. Her family. His family. The South African government. The British government. And so the trouble starts…

A lot is covered and it’s covered well. The situation is explained in clear and short dialogues. No excessive explanation. But also not that simplified. It’s a well done film. For the masses. Who didn’t go see the movie though. A shame. Stories like this need an audience. But maybe more for a tv night on Fridays.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3387266