Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

Elio Perlman is a cosmopolitan kid who resides with his parents in their fancy summer-house somewhere in the north of Italy. Most of the time he’s just bored. He excels in the arts. Plays the piano, the guitar, reads a lot of books and is a bit of loner. His father does some archeological research in the area and has invited an American man to come help him. The man is dashing. He has the whole village under his charm. From the teenage girls to the poker playing seniors. However, this is Elio’s story and Elio falls in love with him.

The directing is fine. The shots are great to look at. The soundtrack really works well. Combining piano compositions with silly 80s italo-disco. The acting by newcomer Timothée Chalamat is remarkable. So different from the shy and uncomfortable appearances on talk shows. The movie makes you want to book a trip to Italy and it makes you want to retreat to go write a book or something and to fall in love with the first attractive stranger that comes around.

BUT. It’s a silly story. Boy falls for man. Man first keeps a distance. Boy starts exploring his sexuality with his best female friend. Man then lures boy into his bed. Boy dumps girlfriend. Man and boy have a holiday fling. The end. Two and a half hours long! Yawn. Yes, it’s a bit awkward to watch a blossoming relationship between an adolescent boy and a man. But watching Lolita is also awkward. But hey, it’s all consensual. The kid is a cool kid to empathize with. The man however is boring as hell. Why on earth is this kid interested in this man? That’s the big failure of this movie. The object of love and lust has the charisma of an abricot. Or no. The abricot has more charisma. Watch the movie to find out why.

Disappointed. The story is boring. The audio-visuals are beautiful. 


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: **.

Marshall – **

Posted: March 10, 2018 in 2017, Civil Rights, Courtroom, Drama, USA, XX

Chadwick Boseman may now well be the hottest guy in Hollywood after the stellar success of Black Panther, but his previous movies didn’t really do well at the box office. Nor has he really been in a lot of movies. Regarding his age. Which is sad, because he’s a fine actor. This time around he’s playing yet another icon of black America: Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court Justice. No biopic this time, but one moment in his life: The State of Connecticut vs Joseph Spell.

In fact, that should have been the title of the movie, because that’s what it is all about. It’s an interesting case where a white socialite claims to have been raped by her black driver, but he claims to be innocent. In comes this Marshall, a prominent and notorious black lawyer, who is sent by the NAACP to make sure colored people get a fair trial. He isn’t really allowed to plead, so they find a Jewish lawyer who has no experience with criminal cases and just represents insurance companies, but who should be willing do to whatever Marshall tells him to do.

It’s an okay movie. It’s a court room drama. It doesn’t really tell much about this Thurgood Marshall. But Chadwick’s performance makes you believe he was an intriguing man. Sterling Brown is great as well as the alleged rapist. But it’s Josh Gad who is doing the best acting as the Jewish lawyer. However, it’s just a court drama. Set in a historic time. Stressing the injustices that were put onto black people and jewish people (it’s set during WW II). It’s the kind of movie you watch, like and then forget.

Sure, it’s a good history lesson and yes, Jessica Chastain is a great actress, but this movie is pretty dull. It shouldn’t be. It’s about a noble and brave couple that helped rescue several Jewish people from the ghetto in Warsaw, during the German occupation. Yet, there’s nothing in the movie that stresses this bravery and nobility. It all feels too much like fiction.

First there’s the decision to film a story in Poland and have the characters speak English. That’s a standard procedure in Hollywood (or other movie industries), but it’s annoying. Especially if the actors speaks English with an accent. Either speak Polish and have it subtitled or speak English. But English with a fake Polish accent, just makes the story less realistic.

Then there’s the development of the side characters. Or better: the lack of. In order to empathize with the victims, it’s important to get to know them. But we never do. They get rescued and hide, but we don’t know anything about them. Some stay a bit longer, others come and go. It’s all very superficial. You should feel like the zookeeper and his wife are doing something special, but the way it’s presented feels like they are just doing what’s right. There’s little tension. And that feels unrealistic too.

And finally, there’s the redundant character of Lutz Heck, a former friend and colleague of the zookeeper and his wife, turning against them and becoming the bad guy in the movie. He’s a zoologist and a scientist with crazy ideas, which is intriguing, but turns out to be a powerful nazi officer in the occupied Warsaw as well. Which is a bit far-fetched.

There are two different stories here. One is about a family who has the means and courage to rescue people and takes the risk of doing so. And the other is about a scientist who uses the zoo’s facilities to breed animals that were believed to be extinct. Mixing both of them feels fictionalized.

The Zookeeper’s Wife is okay movie fare, but the real story is much more exciting.


Not as captivating as Season 1, this follow-up to Top Boy is more violent, more dark, (even) more depressing and less realistic. Sure, it’s probably based on some true stories, but it’s just too much. The acting is still okay, but the characters are not at all appealing. Ashley Walter’s Dushane, the top boy in London’s crime world, can’t charm as much as in the previous episodes. Sure, he’s thinking of getting out and investing in real estate. But to cover up a murder, he continues to intimidate and kil. Unethically. The fact that he starts something sexual/romantic with his lawyer makes it all a bit too far-fetched. Malcolm Kamulete’s Ra-Nell was a total revelation in series one and plays fourth fiddle in this season. Sad, there’s more to tell about this kid. In fact, there are so many characters this time and they are not explored well enough. So, hardly anyone to care about.

Netflix is going to produce season 3. Not sure what that will bring.




Big Little Lies – ***

Posted: February 28, 2018 in 2017, Drama, Thriller, TV series, XXX

It’s quite a feat to make a tv series about rich, married mothers of first graders that can appeal to single, middle class men without kids. The synopsis helps: someone gets killed at a fundraiser event, but nobody knows who and by whom until the very last quarter of the series. The stellar reviews and the many awards help to trigger interest. The amazing cast is also a very strong selling point. And hey, it was definitely worth the watch. This is a great show. The acting is phenomenal and the character development is even better. This a very well written series. There is tension. There is some humor. There’s lust. There’s a lot of DRAMA. But it’s the female characters that make it all work great.

The men on the other hand are stereotypes and of lesser importance. Some side stories are irrelevant (the secret project of Abigail was a bit too much) and the misleading editing doesn’t make sense. Especially those tidbit showing statements from characters that hardly have any importance to the main story. The soundtrack is good, but it’s very unlikely that children and adults actually listen to tracks chosen for this series. One soundtrack choice was really good though: Papa Was Rolling Stone. The end disappoints a bit. But the seven episodes pass by before you know it.

Great television!

And it’s very clear why Nicole Kidman wins all the awards. It’s sad to see Reese Witherspoon miss out on so many awards, but there is no doubt about it. Kidman is the absolute best. Although Shailene Woodley is excellent too. Not sure why she gets nominated as a supporting actress. She’s a main character ! 


Halls Of Anger – **(*)

Posted: February 25, 2018 in 1970, Drama, USA, XX
Tags: ,

Calvin Lockhart has a very short scene in Coming To America, without even a line. Yet, his presence was the best thing of the entire movie. A little bit of research learns he was quite the accomplished actor in the late sixties and early seventies. The guy has Charisma with a capital C. And one of his best movies is available on YouTube.

Halls Of Anger is an interesting movie. It’s focusing on reverse racism. A new regulation needs to send some white high school kids to an exclusive black school, who are NOT happy with their arrival. In comes a successful, black, English teacher (and ex basket ball player), who needs to keep the tensions to a minimum.

It’s a movie from 1970. Almost 50 years old. It was made in the time of the black panther party. Not the superhero fan get-together, but the militant Malcolm X movement. Some elements of this high school drama may still be applicable today, which is quite shocking. But other elements are very outdated.

The acting is good though. It has Jeff Bridges as one of the white kids who would love to just blend in, but is confronted with jealousy and hatred. And it has the late Calvin Lockhart as the teacher. The guy steals every scene he is in. Some of the characters are played by actors who are ten years older than their character. A common thing at the time (remember the ‘kids’ from Grease or Lisa from The Sound Of Music..), but kinda annoying. There are also a few scenes that just don’t make sense at all or are really exploitive. Like when the black girls want to check if the blond girl is blond everywhere. That’s a nude scene on youtube!  Plus: the soundtrack is excellent.