Archive for the ‘Satire’ Category

So, ‘retired’ director Soderbergh made his comeback with yet another heist story. Coen brothers style. It wasn’t a hit. It got rave reviews, sure, but it flopped at the box office and didn’t win awards. It starts of good, as a quirky comedy, a gentle satire. But then it becomes an action thriller without suspense. The humor dies after a while, which is sad. The unique characters just become way too serious at one point. The over the top performances aren’t really helping either. The lead actors (Adam Driver and Channing Tatum) are surprisingly good. The supporting actors (a.o. Katie Holmes and Daniel Craig) are embarrassingly bad. Somehow this movie doesn’t work. But hey, give it a shot. Maybe you just have to be in the mood for a daft story.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5439796

Advertisements

The Square – ***(*)

Posted: December 22, 2017 in 2017, Comedy, Satire, Sweden, XXX1/2

And then there’s a movie that you want to recommend to everyone. Because it’s a unique experience. It’s well acted, well-directed, well told and is funny! It’s the kind of movie that makes you rave about several of its scenes. Scenes that tell so much without actually explaining anything. What a relief. And when there is dialogue, it feels very natural. Every expression, wether verbal or visual, is real and recognizable. You can list a dozen of examples, but you basically just have to go watch. The trailer intrigues, but doesn’t really do the movie justice. It’s for a much wider audience than what reviews may want you to believe. It’s very accessible. It’s a Golden Palm winner, sure. And it’s long and most of it is in Swedish. But it’s probably the best movie of the year. So give it a chance.

You don’t really need to know much about the story. It’s just set in Stockholm and the main character is a curator of a modern art museum, who’s having a bad week. The story isn’t important. The satire is.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4995790

 

 

 

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

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