Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

Christine – *(*)

Posted: May 18, 2017 in 2016, Drama, USA, X1/2

This is one of the rare cases where you do want to give the end away to understand what the story is leading up to:  a journalist commits suicide, live on tv. There you go. It’s also the only real fact that is historically correct. All the rest, the leading up to the finale, is just an interpretation of what this woman may have gone through in the days leading up to her death. It really helps to know that this is a movie about a woman committing suicide, because after an hour into the movie your patience will be tested. Woody Allen did a better job depicting a mentally unstable, but still functioning character in Blue Jasmin, a movie in which both the director, storyteller and actress equal each others’ talent. In Christine it’s basically just Rebecca Hall who steals the show and carries the project. She’s really good, but can’t help make you wonder where the story actually will lead you to.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4666726

Hidden Figures – ***

Posted: April 5, 2017 in 2016, Civil Rights, Drama, USA, XXX

Hidden Figures is light-hearted, but memorable. It’s a movie for the largest audience possible. It’s a chick-flick with a masculine theme. It has three black women in the lead who anyone can relate to, regardless of the color of their skin. It’s a period drama, with references to today’s society. It’s a movie for young and old. For black and white. For men and women. It’s positive. It’s good. It’s a jackpot. It only has one flaw: Jim Parsons. Of all people they could cast as an annoying math scientist they chose Sheldon! But he only has a few lines. So you’ll survive. Watch it. Period.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340

Jackie – *(*)

Posted: April 5, 2017 in 2016, biopic, Chile, Drama, USA, X1/2

Hm.

Nathalie Portman is great as Jackie Kennedy. She would have deserved an Oscar. In fact, she’s the only reason why you really need to see this movie. She’s in almost every scene and even though her character isn’t the easiest to empathize with, she doesn’t bore. The writing is good too. The story focuses on the aftermath of the assassination of JFK. You don’t get to learn anything about her life before and after this terrible act. Apart from that one time she hosted a television crew inside the White House. But that’s fine. You get to watch her for 2 hours in the most difficult period of her life. Great.

Yet somehow this isn’t a great movie.

The soundtrack is so annoying that it disturbs the entire atmosphere of the movie. Magnificent according to the Guardian. Terrible according to many user reviews on imdb. Make up your mind. The other members of the cast play second fiddle and can’t even pull that off. This is Nathalie Portman’s show and the other actors look like they are auditioning for a part.

When you’re annoyed throughout the entire movie, it’s not a good movie. No matter how excellent the lead is.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1619029/

Sprakeloos – **

Posted: March 24, 2017 in 2017, Drama, Flanders, LGBT themed, XX

Based on a popular book by one of the most successful Flemish writers, Sprakeloos (speechless) tells the story of a writer who has to come to terms with the emotional and physical decline of his mother after a devastating stroke. The concern for his mother is paired with anger and frustration.

The movie isn’t a success. Critics slammed it. Those who’ve read the book and seen the movie don’t like the interpretation of the story. But hey, the writer liked it. And I liked it too. More than a story about a very dramatic butcher’s wife/amateur actress who loses her speech (and rationality), it’s the story of the love/hate relationship of a son who looks a lot like his mother.

Yes, it’s flawed. But it’s well acted by Viviane De Muynck and Marie Vinck as the old and young butcher’s wife. And Stany Crets as the writer. The movie constantly swaps back and forth in time, a bit like what they do in This Is Us, and that keeps it going. It’s too bad it won’t get the audience that it deserves.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5585946

Cities of Love Part III.

After the disastrous Paris, Je T’Aime (2006) and New York, I Love You (2008) someone thought it was a good idea to also make a similar mash-up of silly love stories in Rio De Janeiro. That someone was probably paid a lot by the Department of Tourism of this cidade maravilhosa. None of the stories are captivating. The acting is terrible. The dialogue is ridiculous at times. It’s a complete waste of time and money for the talented people who participated in the project. Hopefully, they received a lot of money for this, because none of them can honestly claim they actually feel proud of whatever they did. Either acting or directing.

But unlike the other two movies, this one actually is worth watching until the end, because unlike the other two movies, it shows the city in the most beautiful kind of way. There are dozens of shots from above, but hey, that’s what makes the city so beautiful. That gorgeous view over the bay with all the rock formations around it… there’s nothing quite like it. As a commercial, this really works well. You want to visit asap. Just be warned that you won’t really be able to see the same views unless you get on a helicopter…

So as an overlong commercial, it’s okay. As a movie it’s not. There are so many stories you can tell. The city is so inspiring. Yet, we see ten tales that just don’t appeal. Most of them aren’t even in Portuguese and have characters from outside of Brazil. Some have potential though. The story about the one-armed boxer could have been explored better. The one with Harvey Keitel is also not that bad. It just feels like a draft of a story. Like a rehearsal for something else. Others are totally amateur like the one where Vincent Cassel rebuilds his sand sculpture. It’s a nice idea, showing the different kind of people walking on the iconic Copacabana side-walk in accordance with different sounds. But the sounds are terribly annoying! Couldn’t they have brainstormed a bit more to find awesome, recognizable sounds ? And Vanessa Paradis and John Torturro doing a stage play dialogue around a kitchen table: what the hell is this doing in a movie set in Rio?

Yeah, this is NOT a good movie. Just watch the trailer.

😦

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1456606

Logan – **

Posted: March 12, 2017 in 2017, Action, Drama, Fantasy, USA, XX

Logan is the newest episode in the successful X-Men saga and is very different from last year’s Apocalypse. It’s a dark tale about a troubled, alcoholic superhero who’s getting older, weaker and more cynical by the day. It feels more like a drama than a special effects-filled fantasy blockbuster. And it works. Kinda.

The character of Logan, better known as Wolverine, has always been one of the more intriguing in the X-men universe. He’s not on average mutant. His special gift has been tempered with. He’s an angry being, who has learned over the years to control his temper. He has no interest in using his powers either for the good nor for the bad. He just wants to be left alone. And that never seems to happen.

The story takes place in the distant future. There are almost no mutants left and Professor X is being contained in a remote place because he can’t control his brain any more (the mightiest on the planet). Logan provides medication for the professor and saves up to bring him to safety somewhere far away. He works as a limousine driver and gets through the day by almost drinking himself to death. It’s not the best of lives, but it gets much worse when a Mexican woman contacts him and introduces him to a girl who needs protection. That’s all you need to know.

It’s a good story. It’s a bit different. But it entertains. And Hugh Jackman owns his character. So his acting is excellent. However, it’s very predictable and what’s with the repetitive and flawed action scenes? Yes, the wolverine has sharp knifes coming out of his hands. And so has the little girl. But every single action scene involves either or both of them slicing up people with those knifes. It gets boring after a while. The fights aren’t original at all. And when the girl attacks it’s more comical than frightful. In fact most of the action scenes make you laugh instead of making you thrill from excitement. And apart from Logan and maybe Professor X, none of the new characters are intriguing.

But hey, it’s a fun 2 hours escape from reality.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3315342/

Patients is a quite a unique movie experience about a young man who is paralyzed after a silly diving incident in the swimming pool and tries to live with the fact that he’ll never be a professional basketball player or physical trainer anymore . The synopsis may not be all that appealing, but go see it anyways. It’s really well done.What makes the experience great (and appealing for a different kind of crowd that usually watches ‘disease of the week’ movies) is the storytelling. It’s not politically correct, it’s not sensitive, it’s not overdramatizing… It’s just very real. It also has a lot of humor as well (even though the references and jokes get lost in translation). And it’s filled with great tracks ranging from modern instrumental tunes to heartfelt rap.  Because of its multicultural cast, it may appeal to an audience that normally can’t relate to stories of disabled people. Just because in general they are always white. The main character in this movie is also white, but the rehabilitation centre that he stays at is very bbb (beur black blanc – north african, black, white). It’s sad that anno 2017 you notice this difference to other movies about disabled characters. But it makes it intriguing as well. The acting is very good. Especially by Pablo Pauly in the lead role. The topic is delivered in the most truthful way. The situations are real. The directing is brilliant. There are quite some original shots. The scenes are edited extremely well, especially during the musical intervals. In fact, this is great cinema. A must.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5598100