Archive for the ‘Dramedy’ Category

Netflix high school comedy dramas. They make them by the dozens. Here’s yet another one. Told from the perspective of an all American teenage girl with Indian roots.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is a great lead. You just wish her lines were more sassy and sarcastic. She’s the kind of actress who can play a likable bitch. Now she’s a likable… nerd.

The rest of the cast acts like they’ve never been in front of the camera before. But here again, the characters are annoying and boring and just not intriguing at all, so let’s blame the directing and writing team.

Really. It’s a show about a girl who lost her dad, is stuck with her conservative mother, feels very American, but is forced to connect with her roots, falls for the popular jock, neglects her best (and only) friends and can’t seem to find a balance between trying to popular and being the smartest kid in class.

Yawn.

www.imdb.com/title/tt10062292

Back when I turned 15 or so, I got triggered to learning what else was offered in pop culture. I started to listen to more alternative music and I started to go see movies at the arthouse cinema. Some of these movies left a big impression on me. A lot didn’t. But one of them that did, was Do The Right Thing. 

They just showed it on tv and it left an almost exact same impression. Thirty years later. Thirty years older. And having experienced staying in Brooklyn and living in an area with racial tensions.

Amazing.

This movie starts off as a comical and badly acted series of everyday scenes. But gets really dramatic by the end. It’s a great build-up. Some scenes are such classics that you remember them instantly, even though you haven’t seen them for 30 years! It’s a clever thing to tell a story with several individual characters on a very small surface: a particular block of houses in Bedford Stuyvesant. The storytelling is excellent and the way it’s filmed is unique. The constant use of Public Enemy’s ‘Fight The Power’ and the constant yelling from almost all of the characters create a tension that you know will explode. But yet, it’s a very colorful and bright movie with lots of comic relief.

Sadly enough, the movie is still up to date. A remake would maybe look different and nobody walks around with ghetto blasters anymore, which is -well – almost like a character on its own in this movie. Not sure how they would replace that. But still, the idea of gentrification still happens. The racial tensions are still there. Maybe Spike Lee should make a new Netflix series about it, like he did with She Gotta Have it. Or maybe not.

Anyways, if you’ve never seen the movie: watch it! It’s not perfect, but it’s a classic.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0097216

 

 

 

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.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5078204

Quite disappointing, this second season. Whereas the first series was refreshing, this pretty much feels like it is too calculated.

Gillian Anderson’s sex therapist character is still great though. When there is an outbreak of chlamydia she is asked to come and be a sex counsellor in school. But that is interfering with the business of her son, who has been given sex advice for money on the school premises as well.

It is an interesting premise and episode 1 totally gets you in the same mood as the previous episodes. But soon something is lacking. Is it the acting? Is it the total absence of humor? Not sure, but the show stops being engaging soon. Not worthy of binge watching at all.

There are a few new characters and we get to learn more about some of the characters that weren’t in the spotlight of series one. But the main ones seem to have lost their charm. Which is sad.

The cliffhanger end doesn’t really make you look forward to what is coming next either. And that is too bad, because, on a positive note, it does prove that you can have a good show with an inclusive cast without constantly referring to the sexual and racial differences between kids. Anyone can be anything. This is one thing in which this show excells.

www.imdb.com/title/tt7767422

 

 

Shia Lebeouf used to be a promising actor, then deliberately chose not to go for a successful career in Hollywood, ended up doing shitty movies and ultimately disappeared from the big screen.

In this indie road movie dramedy however he is excellent. His character is a guilt driven, good hearted, but careless drifter who suddenly gets hooked up with a young down syndrome man. They are an odd couple, but somehow form a bond. One is running away from a petty crime, the other has escaped from a facility to chase a dream: become a show wrestler…

It’s a feel good movie with sad elements that never feel like drama and funny moments that never feel like comedy. The chemistry between both main characters is great and even Dakota Johnson is good. 

A nice secret gem. 

www.imdb.com/title/tt4364194

The Two Popes – **(*)

Posted: December 20, 2019 in 2019, biopic, Dramedy, USA, XX1/2

What a surprise! This dialogue movie between two popes is actually really entertaining. The use of gentle humor is a great way of making it accessible and the flashbacks of current Pope Francis’ life are interesting. The use of real footage now and then add to the precision of the storytelling (even though – just like with The Crown – the actual conversations between the protagonists are only known to those who had them). It all starts off with an intriguing look into the mysterious conclave. Very well edited. Short, but explanatory with detailed images. Then you meet the two popes, who are very different in almost everything. Yet somehow this turns into a buddy movie and by the end you kind of get emotional when you see the real popes hug.

The movie focuses much more on Pope Francis, which is a bit odd when the title says ‘two popes’. Pope Ratzinger has a much smaller part and that’s a bit sad. His past is also worth investigating. But there are no flashbacks to when he was a teenager under Nazi regime. We do get a lot of information about the Argentinean Junta and the controversial behavior of Jorge Bergoglio, the then head of the Jesuit order.

Also disappointing is Anthony Hopkin’s accent. He’s speaking British English with an Anthony Hopkins accent, when he’s playing a Bavarian character! Surely, he could have tried to sound a bit more authentic. Jonathan Pryce on the other hand speaks English like an international Argentinean would and he even speaks Spanish!

Good movie!

www.imdb.com/title/tt8404614/

Fighting With My Family – **

Posted: October 10, 2019 in 2019, Dramedy, UK, USA, XX

Quite an enjoyable 99 cent rental for on a long train journey. Nothing too heavy, nothing too serious. Nothing annoying.

It’s the story of the WWE wrestler Paige, who grew up in a wrestling family in Norwich, England and made it all the way to the top. It’s a fun British dramedy, like only the Brits can make them.

The acting is quite good, especially by the main actress (Florence Pugh) and her on screen mom (Lena Headey, Cersei from GoT). But also by Vince Vaughn as the coach. The jokes are funny. So, as a comedy it works. As a drama it only rarely does. Sure, it’s a great zero to hero story. It’s well told, classical and very predictable, but well told. But any scene of conflict feels extremely forced. Which is strange for a movie that is set in the conflict driven wrestling scene. The tale of a brother and sister sharing a same dream and only one achieving it, is quite compelling. But it’s shown in an non-compelling way. Which is sad.

Still. worth the watch.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6513120

Back in 1942, Charlie Chaplin re-edited his favorite movie: The Gold Rush, a silent movie box office hit form 1925 ! He left out the script boards, added a voice over (done by himself) and had a orchestra perform a new score to it.

Having visited Chaplin’s World in Vyvey, which features lots of references to this classic, it’s time to finally watch it.

But… it’s not that special. The orchestra and the voice over make the whole experience more annoying than fun. It would have been better to watch the remastered original version from 1925.

Still, There are a few good scenes in it. Especially the ones with actress Georgia Hale, who – contrary to the men – does not overact at all and is perfect in her role as saloon dancer. Oh, there’s also the short but charming roll dance by Chaplin, two forks and two pieces of bread rolls. (see below)

www.imdb.com/title/tt0015864

 

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

 

 

A Month By The Lake – **

Posted: May 3, 2019 in 1995, Dramedy, romcom, UK, USA, XX

On the long way to Lake Como by train and plane, it looked like the perfect moment to watch the movie all local guides seem to refer to if they run out of stories to tell about George Clooney.

Back in 1995, Vanessa Redgrave starred in a romantic comedy about an older woman retreating in a villa near lake Como. An older man arrives at the retreat and she feels intrigued by him. They go for a drink and then a tennis date, but the chemistry just isn’t there. Until a young woman arrives and messes things up. She’s a big flirt, but the older man falls for her. Enough for the older woman to start flirting with a young man.

Of course, it all ends well. It’s very predictable. It’s a nice movie to watch, when you’re familiar with the region where it’s been filmed. And Vanessa Redgrave is excellent, thanks to the quirky character she can embody. Edward Fox is well selected to play the love interest. But Uma Thurman as the young flirt is terrible though. This movie was released after Pulp Fiction, but it looks like she has no acting experience whatever. Totally miscast.

No let’s see in the next couple of days how easy it is to find romance in this gorgeous district.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113849/