Archive for the ‘Satire’ Category

King Of The Belgians – **

Posted: November 10, 2017 in 2016, Belgium, Comedy, Satire, XX

The premise is good. The end result not so much. It’s an interesting mockumentary though that unfortunately looks too much like a movie.

The (fictitious) king of the Belgians, Nicolas, the third, is on a state visit in Istanbul when he learns that Wallonia (the French-speaking south of Belgium) decided to become independent ‘because they had enough’. He can’t return home because – due to a solar storm – all airports have closed. There’s only one way to get back and that’s via road through the Balkan! An idea of the movie maker that was filming a promo for the royal house in Istanbul. He’s also the one who registers and narrates the royal road trip.

There are some great moments, sure. It’s bilingual for instance. French/Dutch. In fact, it’s multilingual, because they speak English as well most of the time. Peter Van den Begin is really good as the king. Some situations and remarks/references are funny. My personal favorite is the encounter with a former Miss Serbia who’s now working as a customs officer ‘because just after she won the title, Montenegro became independent and she lost her title because of her Montenegrin roots’. Ha!

However, the voice-over doesn’t work. It’s annoying. And the social commentary is quite superficial. “Walloons are lazy and spongers. Flemish are arrogant. Walloons are warm-hearted. Flemish are innovative.” That’s about it when it comes to explaining the crisis in Belgium.

Nevertheless. An absurd, surreal tale about the king of an absurd and surreal country.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4818804

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Doc Martin Season 1 – **

Posted: November 2, 2017 in 2004, Comedy, Satire, TV series, UK, XX

A grumpy, straight forward, politically incorrect, sarcastic, quirky surgeon with a fear of blood, moves to a small, remote coastal town. The adaptation to provincial life is slow and difficult. The locals are quite happy with a new general practitioner, but have a weird way of showing it. They use platitudes and other unsophisticated humor to tease him, which is not appreciated (yet) by the doctor. It’s a funny contrast. But it only works for the first couple of episodes. Then drama sets in. Episode 5 is already a drag.

The character of Doc Martin is a joy to watch. His replies and one liners are hilarious. The other town folk aren’t so intriguing. Some are plain irritable. The village is charming. It makes you want to visit one day. But it’s filmed for the British television on a low-budget and even if it’s been made in this century, it looks like something from several decades ago.

After years of being recommended to watch the show, the final view is a bit disappointing.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0408381

Somehow there’s not really a trailer of the first season, BUT you can watch the first episode online.

 

Drei (3) – *(*)

Posted: January 30, 2017 in 2010, Drama, Germany, LGBT themed, Satire, X1/2

A straight couple who’ll be celebrating their 20th anniversary together and finally plan to get married, both encounter the same man who they feel attracted to. She meets him at some congress, he meets him at the swimming pool. And soon they all have an affair. This is why Facebook has ‘it’s difficult’ as a relationship status.

The humor and the conversations are quite elitist, with references to theatre, art, literature, philosophy and science. It’s a bit too much sometimes. The story itself is very simple and predictable. None of that intellectual blabla makes it more profound.

But there are moments, when it’s entertaining. It has a Toni Erdmann feel, but it is less weird and less confronting. The acting (especially by Austrian tv actress Sophie Rois) makes it worthwhile and the editing trick of having several scenes appear all over the screen is fun.

And let’s go to Berlin again and get into that swimming pool !

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1517177

Elle – ***

Posted: January 10, 2017 in 2016, France, Revenge, Satire, Thriller, XXX
Tags: ,

Elle is a French comedy thriller directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Isabelle Huppert and it’s exactly what you think it will be. It’s very French, it’s very Verhoeven en it’s very Huppert. It’s La Pianiste meets Basic Instinct set in bourgeois Paris.

It surprisingly won two Golden Globes last night, so why longer postpone watching it? It’s been out on dvd for quite some time now and Moonlight or La La Land are only released end of January over here in Europe.

It’s fun! It’s unique! It’s hilarious at times, absurd at other moments, but most of all very subversive. The story fucks with your mind in the most perverted way.

A woman gets raped repeatedly and doesn’t want to report it to the police. From the very first scenes it’s clear this isn’t going to be anything like other rape victim stories. On the contrary. It’s very clear that this woman seems to get a kick out of being raped. And she has her own way of taking revenge.

It’s a really cool movie. Isabelle Huppert is amazing and her character is fascinating. Verhoeven is taking the ‘crazy protagonist’ to a totally different level, which hasn’t been explored that much or not at all. The humor is pitch black and works perfectly. The thrills are a bit of a disappointment and stop being relevant to the story after a while. However, the way Verhoeven introduces the possible attackers is clever: it can be almost anyone from the most obvious colleague who hates her guts to the least likely sweet ex husband… Hey the movie gets that perverted that you start thinking she got raped by her son! Yeah. That’s how fucked up your brain starts to work.

But in the end. It’s entertainment. It’s how Tarantino would make movies if he had grown up in Europe.

Does it deserve the two Golden Globes? Well… it deserves the extra attention it can get.

ps: the trailer gives a wrong impression about the movie’s colour

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3716530

There’s something intriguing about the story of The Surprise. It’s about a suicidal millionaire who decides to use a specialized company to make an end to his miserable life after several attempts have failed. He choses the option of a surprise, meaning death can come anytime and anywhere. During his visit of the company he encounters a younger woman who’s in a similar situation. And soon they start to bond. So much so that he ultimately doesn’t want to die anymore and wants to cancel the arrangement. But that’s impossible according to the sign contract.

The intriguing bit is that you hear certain characters talk about suicide and death in a very casual way. That’s refreshing. It’s also comical at times. In fact, the movie starts as a dark comedy and is filled with great surprises (the set locations for instance or the conversations in Hindi), but the slightly pervers and absurd humor is replaced by action, romance and drama halfway through the movie. So it all becomes less intriguing.

 

If Wes Anderson would have made it or if the Arnacoeur duo Vanessa Paradis/Romain Duris would have starred, this could have been an international success. Now it didn’t even get a release in Belgium, where most of the scenes were filmed. Sad.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3409440

The Lobster – **

Posted: January 12, 2016 in 2015, Comedy, France, Greece, Ireland, Satire, UK, XX

Weird is the new cool.

The Lobster is so absurd that it’s also really entertaining.

A man becomes single and needs to register in a hotel a bit outside of the city near a forest. He has a certain amount of days to find a partner and if he doesn’t find the right match he will be transformed into an animal of his own choice. Every now and then the hotel guests have to go into the forest to should down ‘loners’, humans who preferred to live as outcasts. It’s a community on its own, where any kind of romance is forbidden.

It’s not that difficult. It’s a fantasy tale in which you only have three choices: be in the perfect relationship and live in the city, live a loveless life as a loner in the forest, or become an animal when you die.

Colin Farrell is excellent as the main lead. And some scenes, jokes and one-liners are instant cult classic. But the story is just a great idea and doesn’t really tell anything at all.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3464902

A few reasons why this season feels like it’s the best of the series so far:

  • unlike the previous seasons, few new characters are introduced, which is good, because you can root for the ones you like and loathe
  • almost all the remaining characters are worth rooting for
  • there are several separate stories which don’t necessarily need to merge by the end, making it much easier to follow
  • the references to sects and religious extremists is omnipresent. this season was made a few years ago, but we all now what extremist believers of a certain faith are capable off…
  • Tara becomes a Vampire
  • Pam becomes an important character and remains sexy as hell
  • Bill becomes evil
  • Eric plays the hero
  • Lafayette is more camp than ever
  • the one liners and many situations are funny again
  • the gore is original (Shapeshifting Sam turns into a fly and gets swallowed by a vampire – just guess what happens next)
  • it’s sexy and sensual as it should be
  • but above all: Sookie is no longer the centre of all attention and she still is by far the most fun character to watch