Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

Chariots Of Fire – **

Posted: May 30, 2018 in 1981, Drama, Sportsdrama, UK, XX

This wasn’t half as bad as I thought it would be!

Two British athletes want to win a race at the Paris Olympics from 1920. One is a devote Christian Scotsman and the other is a Jewish Englishman. The former wants to win to honor God, who gave him the gift to run fast. The latter wants to win to show that being Jewish isn’t all that bad. There’s one major obstacle for the Christian runner: the qualifications are organized on a Sunday! It’s 1920, the guy is devote, he decides to pick ‘God over King’ (the Prince of Wales begs him to run) and refuses to participate.

The synopsis is known. The outcome as well. So, it’s not like the movie has any suspense. I visit St Andrews and mention this story, this movie and its iconic opening scene on the beach every single time. But, watching the movie felt like a forced task. However, once you accept the fact that this is a British historical sports drama made in 1981 about a period of time that is almost a century ago, it’s not that bad. The acting is theatrical. The running is ridiculous. The music by Vangelis is classic vintage synth-strumental. But somehow, in the end, it’s not all that bad.

In a time when muslims are frowned upon for choosing Allah over the laws of the country they live in, it’s a good reminder that Christians also chose God over loyalty to their nation.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082158

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Rob Roy – *(*)

Posted: May 19, 2018 in 1995, Drama, Historical, UK, USA, X1/2

In preparation for a trip to Scotland, Rob Roy was worth the re-watch. Saw it upon its theatrical release and wasn’t really overwhelmed, but I know more about the Jacobites now than in those days and I do remember Tim Roth’s performance as being memorable.

However, 25 years later, this movie still leaves me underwhelmed. It’s historically inaccurate. Sure they refer to the Jacobites briefly, but it’s never really explained what they were. And Tim Roth’s character is over the top. It’s on the border of being ridiculous really.

And then you have the main character: Rob Roy, the Scottish Robin Hood. Apart from the fact that this movie doesn’t tell the real story about this legendary highlander, it also doesn’t really tell the story of an interesting man. There’s zero heroism in this movie. When discussing his future financial plans with his wife, he doesn’t allow her to give him advice. “Give your advice to your children, but don’t you dare tell me what to do.” There’s a lot of macho bullshit talk like that. Then he tells his sons to respect their mother and goes on about respecting women. Make up your mind, bipolar, hypocrite twat!

Why again is this man a hero?

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114287/

 

120 BPM – **

Posted: May 7, 2018 in 2017, Drama, France, LGBT themed, XX

It’s the early 90s. The AIDS epidemic is still widespread amongst homosexuals, prostitutes, immigrants… and nothing is being done. The press ignores the disease. The government isn’t spending any money on prevention. And the pharmaceutical companies aren’t really in a hurry to find a cure.

Nathan decides to join the radical activist group ACT UP and falls for both the president of the organisation and one of the fiercest members of the group. He starts a relationship with the latter, even though the kid is already in a final stage of the disease.

This romantic premise isn’t really the focus of the movie. The activism is much more important. The actions, based on true facts, are well re-enacted and give you a good idea of what the movement did. It’s part of the LGBT history that needs to be told. The movie also shows how even in an organisation with a common cause, opinions can differ a lot. It’s all filmed in a pseudo-realistic way, but never tries to look like a documentary. Which is a good thing. And it’s a French drama, which automatically implies that characters aren’t necessarily there to please the audience and endings aren’t necessarily happy. Which is a good thing as well.

It’s fascinating until one of the main characters’ health deteriorates. The beginning is informative and intriguing. But towards the end it becomes a real drama. And the 120 bpm tempo slows down to a flatline. The last 20 minutes are just dragging on and on and on.

It’s a good movie. But it’s not nearly as good as what reviewers want you to believe. There are a lot of characters and all are introduced in a superficial way. Maybe a miniseries would have been better.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6135348

 

So, wait a minute.

This movie is about a victim of the Boston attack who loses both legs, but reluctantly becomes a hero and a symbol for the Boston Strong movement. All movie long we’re supposed to empathize with a guy who doesn’t really like all the attention he is getting. yet the movie is based on a book, written by that same victim.

A book! A movie! Talk show appearances. But it’s about someone who doesn’t like the attention.

Something just doesn’t feel right.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3881784

Hurricane Bianca – *

Posted: April 25, 2018 in 2016, Comedy, LGBT themed, USA, X

Bianca del Rio is a riot. The Joan Rivers of drag queens. An insult comedian who makes Ricky Gervais sound lame. Roy Hanlock, who gives life to Bianca, is a riot too. So, why is this movie not as funny as it should be?

Because it feels restrained. It’s not offensive at all. A movie with Bianca del Rio should be extremely offensive, not just fun.

Here’s the synopsis: a queer math teacher accepts an assignment in conservative Texas. He loses his job as soon as his sexuality is revealed, but he doesn’t return to New York. No, he decides to apply for the job as his alter ego, Bianca del Rio, a woman that nobody will mess around with.

Some scenes are funny. After all it’s a light-hearted lgbt comedy. The idea of a teacher throwing shade at the bullying students is excellent. But the story isn’t original and almost all the performances are done by amateurs. It’s so over the top though. It’s so camp that it’s almost good. Almost. It’s just not offensive enough. And if you do use stereotypes, go full force, make sure it’s brutal.

For someone who complains about the political correctness in this world, this is a very pc  comedy. Disappointed. Hopefully the sequel is edgier.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4007248/

 

Lady Bird – **

Posted: March 18, 2018 in 2017, Coming Of Age, USA, XX

This isn’t really a particularly well made movie. It’s a coming of age story without real surprises. With good acting, sure. But without a real story or message. It’s not directed that remarkably well either. Not sure what all the fuzz is about. There’s really nothing special about this story. The only reason to finish it, is to watch Saoirse Ronan be great as usual. Her performance is quite a joy to look at. Her character however is a confused 17-year-old. She’s attending a catholic school in Sacramento, but dreams of college on the East Coast. She ditches her best friend to chill with the popular girl in school. She wants to get a math degree, but sucks at math. She’s great at performing arts, but refuses to join the Easter play. Sigh. Maybe, if you’re a 17-year-old confused girl or the mother of a 17 year old confused girl, you may find this all relatable or appealing. If you’re not, this pretty much just is a waste of time. Luckily, it’s over before you know it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4925292

 

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.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5726616