Archive for the ‘Dramedy’ Category

Turn Up Charlie – *(*)

Posted: March 15, 2019 in 2019, Dramedy, TV series, UK, X1/2

Idris Elba has an eight episode series on Netflix as of today. It’s a British show and is marketed as a ‘comedy’, but it’s more of a chaotic dramedy. The first episode is kind of cool though. Idris plays a middle-aged amateur dj, who had one big hit in the nineties, but spent all his money on women and booze. He lives with his aunt, lies about his success to his parents and is penniless. An old buddy of his, now a famous actor, is moving back to London with his successful dj-ing wife and their spoiled daughter. Somehow, Idris’ character Charlie accepts the job of being the kid’s nanny. Part because he needs the money and part because he hopes to get back into the music business. Of course, he starts to care about the kid as well.

After a few episodes the relationship between Charlie and the kid becomes second fiddle. Like they ran out of interesting scenes between the two unlikely buddies. In one later episode they are at some alternative dance festival and the series becomes dull. In another episode they are in Ibiza. The simple sitcom feel from the beginning, becomes a show with drugs and sex. That’s where it becomes chaotic. In the final episode the question is more about who is in love with who and the kid just is a distraction.

There should release a soundtrack. On vinyl of course. The music is good. And it’s not without merits. The auntie with her Nigerian accent is funny. And some scenes are well done. But in general this is just not a great show.

www.imdb.com/title/tt830449

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After Life – ***

Posted: March 10, 2019 in 2019, Comedy, Dramedy, TV series, UK, XXX

If you like Ricky Gervais, this is a great six episode binge watching dramedy series. He found a perfect coat to hang on his stand up comedy jokes. Plus, he proves he has a heart as well and his stabs are getting subtle.

He’s Tony, an editor of a local newspaper, who lost his wife and has become cynical, sarcastic and suicidal. He vows to just tell everyone the brutal truth, which of course, is a perfect way of showcasing his humor. In his discussions with colleagues and the people he needs to interview, he can enlighten them with his logical, honest and rude observations and thoughts.

The downside of it all is that the jokes are not really original. We know Ricky likes animals more than humans, we know he’s an atheist, we know he doesn’t like fake and hypocrite attention, etc… What is original is that he shows a character with a heart. The last episode is pretty much un-gervais-like. It’s actually heart warming. Yet, in a great scene with his dad, who suffers from Alzheimers, there’s room for humour as well.

Watch it.

www.imdb.com/title/tt8398600

 

 

 

Divines – *(*)

Posted: March 1, 2019 in 2016, Dramedy, France, X1/2

Hm.

This violent look at teenage girls in the Parisian ghetto choosing a life of crime over, well, the alternative, is over the top.

It’s not the new La Haine. It’s not the new Bande De Filles. It’s just not as good as reviews say it is. It’s an entertaining, sensational debut. Sure. And okay, the two actresses are a joy to watch and deservedly won the César for best newcomer and best supporting actress. And yes, there are some very good scenes in it (the ferrari dream sequence for instance). But because it’s so over the top, all realism is gone and so is all empathy for the characters and their situations.

But it’s refreshing to see girls kick ass and run the show. You’ve got balls becomes You’ve got clitoris. The drug dealing boss surrounds herself with half naked men. Etc… they could have taken that over the top as well.

www.imdb.com/title/tt4730986

The Favourite – ***

Posted: February 22, 2019 in 18th Century, 2018, Dramedy, Historical, UK, XXX

This is an interesting costume drama. It has great acting performances by Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman and the period setting, costumes, make up and script are amazing. It’s not really a comedy though. The trailer and the Golden Globe nomination for best comedy don’t really do the movie justice. This is a pretty sad and tragic story about a lesser known British Queen, unfit to rule the country and unfit to produce an heir. It’s also not a historically correct movie, but just like with Marie Antoinette, some anachronisms work really well. The vogue dancing during a ball ! The compassionate ‘fuck’ through the hallway. And all the lesbianism.

There’s no proof that Queen Anne had lesbian affairs. But that doesn’t matter. The scenes aren’t explicit anyways. It just helps the viewer understand the intrigue. This pretty much feels like a story that could have taken place at the court of Versailles. So it’s interesting to see it happen at the British court.

Not all is good. The camera work isn’t the best. Those wide lenses shots are terrible and the shots towards the sunlight are a sore in the eye. It’s a daring move, but the cinematography just isn’t what you expect. That said the script isn’t what you expect either and some of the scenes and dialogues are memorable. They make up everything. So does the acting. But why are there two supporting actresses and one lead? Just to be sure to get the nods? All three play an equally important role and are equally good.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5083738/

Green Book – **(*)

Posted: February 13, 2019 in 2018, Civil Rights, Dramedy, USA, XX1/2

Mahershala Ali wins all the supporting actor awards this season for his portrayal of a black piano playing genius who wants to go on a tour in the Deep South. The story takes place in the sixties and a black musician touring in the south wasn’t the greatest plan at the time. He needed a good driver and found an uneducated, but tough Italo-American bodyguard who could do the job. That guy is interpreted by Viggo Mortensen, who is nominated a lot for his performance, but never wins. That’s a shame, because he’s doing an excellent job. In fact, he kinda outshines Mahershala in this gentle dramedy. Not that Mahershala isn’t doing a great job. He is. But he’s not the focus of the story.

It’s a nice movie. But it’s very superficial and predictable. It focusses on an idealized buddy relationship between two men that have almost nothing in common. It’s entertaining, but very light hearted. And just like with Bohemian Rhapsody, the homosexuality of the musician is briefly suggested, not shown at all and hidden behind the well pronounced fact that he was married to a woman at one time.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6966692

Photo De Famille – **

Posted: February 7, 2019 in 2018, Dramedy, France, XX

Flight movie #4

Two sisters and a brother start seeing a lot of each other when their grandfather passes away and their senile grandmother needs to be taken care of. They are all bizarre characters and thus intriguing for the viewer. Vanessa Paradis does a fine job as an overemotional single mother working as one of those living sculptures along the Seine, embarrassing her son in doing so. Camille Cottin is excellent as an energetic street worker who desperately wants a child. And Pierre Deladonchamps is good as the young brother, who works in a game developing company, but is suicidal and out of touch with the real world. This dysfunctional family has more interesting characters. The divorced parents for instance and the senile grand mother.

It’s a fun movie. It has weird humor. Maybe a bit un-french even. The editing is good; Some scenes are really short but on point. The storytelling works well in that not everything is told and explained. The short dialogues or shots are just very clear. Maybe it’s all a bit superficial and absurd, but it’s entertaining.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6665904

Chacun Pour Tous – **

Posted: February 7, 2019 in 2018, Dramedy, France, Sportsdrama, X1/2

Flight movie #3

Several members of the basketball team that is selected to represent France at the Special Olympics in Sydney quit a few months before the actual games. The coach doesn’t want to lose his license and comes up with a terrible plan. The team is supposed to be existing of players with a mental disability (more specific: with an IQ less than 70), but he recruits several street players who are just in it for the money. All they have to do is pretend to be mentally disable and keep the fraud a secret.

It’s a terrible scam. Not only is it immoral, it’s also not well prepared at all. These new players can’t keep the secret of course and the press starts asking questions when the team performs really well.

The movie is based on true events. It was the Spanish team who only had two disabled people in the group. And they ended up winning the competition. A big scandal of course. Made into an okay and entertaining movie.

The makers really casted the actors well. It’s very easy to sympathize with these frauds. Some do it for the money, some for the fame, some just because they have nothing better to do. Only one is really troubled with the decision and feels guilty along the way. It’s very cliché, but the story focuses also about the team spirit and the fact that disabled and ‘normal’ people can work together just fine if they have the same goal.

www.imdb.com/title/tt8826496