Archive for the ‘Disease of the week’ Category

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.


Still Alice – **

Posted: December 24, 2015 in 2014, Disease of the week, Drama, USA, XX

Thanks to the great acting by Julianne Moore (who won an Oscar for this part) and the underrated Alec Baldwin and Kirsten Stewart, this melodrama keeps you ‘entertained’ until the end and is worth the watch. If it were made with C-list actors, it most likely would never have had the same buzz. It would have been just another disease of the week television drama.

Moore is Alice, a smart linguistic docent at Columbia University who discovers that she’s having a rare variation of the Alzheimers disease. She tries to delay the total destruction by coming up with techniques to train her memory, just like she would try to teach young children to use a language.

It’s not a bad movie at all. It’s just not a touching movie. Especially if you have experience with Alzheimer patients. It may be good as an introduction for those who know nothing about the disease. But the story never captivates. In particular because it’s way too positive. This is one of the shittiest diseases you can ever have and it’s not pleasant at all. Not for the patient (who, well, forgets about it fast) and definitely not for those around the patient. A movie focussing on the frustration of those around an Alzheimer patient would have been more interesting. Now everyone just seems way too cool about the condition of their loved one.

Heavy stuff, this ‘love tale’ about two highbrow eighty-somethings in Paris who face the biggest challenge of their long life together: taking care of one another in old age and disability.

Michael Haneke is a unique director. His movies disturb every single time. So, it’s not surprise that he even makes the viewers uncomfortable while watching two older people love each other. For better and for worse.

Emmanuelle Riva won several awards for her performance as a disabled octogenarian. And yes, she’s pretty powerful, lying there half paralyzed most of the time. But it’s Louis Trintignant who’s the real powerhouse here. His character is very intriguing and the performance is flawless.

The synopsis may not really make you want to watch the movie. It’s not nice to see two old people struggle. However, it’s very ‘entertaining’ in the sense that every single scene is well presented and necessary. Michael Haneke has a specific style that you either love or loathe, but at least he never bores.

Try it.

E.R. Season 15 – *(*)

Posted: December 12, 2014 in 2009, Disease of the week, Drama, USA, X1/2

Last season.

Really not the best.

Not even the cameo’s of former cast members are good.

Badly scripted and acted as if they all wanted it to end.


If you’re a sixteen year old boy and you want to score on your first date, you take your possible girlfriend to The Fault In Our Stars and shed a tear or two at the end. A guaranteed score! You most likely won’t have to pretend, because it IS a sad story and the acting of the characters is touching. However, it’s still a (young adult) chick flick filled with a lot of obvious clichés.

It does have its merits though. It’s an indie movie for the masses, with an indie soundtrack of course and two unknown, average but good-looking leads who aren’t quite the antiheroes the director would love them to be, but still deliver. The ‘original’ aspect of this romantic teen drama is the fact that both are cancer patients. They share the same experiences and emotions. It makes them bond. They meet in a council group and start hanging out, discussing life (and death) and go on an adventure that will bring them even closer.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter so much that they are sick. It’s really just a story about a boy and girl who meet and fall in love. And that just isn’t enough for a great movie. They meet, fall in love and stay in love. Boring! Okay, it’s based on a popular novel written for young people and the producers didn’t want to change too much to the story, but as an adult you kind of expect more sarcasm, more frustration, more doubts and less cheesiness. And the adventure is just a promo clip for the specific destination.

I have lost two dear friends to cancer, yet this story didn’t touch me as much as I hoped it would. I blame the age. It’s sad really, because it’s not a bad movie at all.

This is good television. Too much focus on the love affairs between the doctors, nurses and even patients. But still entertaining. Not every episode is great. The ones with Forest Whitaker are a drag and the wedding special leads to a huge yawn as well. But there’s always Sam, the incredible Linda Cardellini, who steals every scene she’s in!


It took a bit longer to finish Season 12 after having re-started watching E.R. Some story lines really suck, several new characters are incredibly annoying (Dr Clemente for instance) and it just often feels like the producers have no idea which direction they want to head with this show. There isn’t one single episode that really captivates. And there are plenty that are just less than mediocre.

It’s not all bad though. It’s quite daring to focus an entire episode on Dr Pratt and Dr Carter working at some refuge camp in Darfur. There seems to be more humor than in the previous season, which is a relief. There are still enough moral dilemmas that are brought to the mainstream’s attention. And the cliffhanger finale is quite shocking.

But most of the stories are boring and futile. And a lot of the acting is superficial and stereotypical. Maybe Season 13 is better again.