Archive for the ‘Political’ Category

Loving – **

Posted: February 20, 2017 in 2016, Civil Rights, Drama, Political, USA, XX

A construction worker gets his girlfriend pregnant and wants to marry her.

There are a few problems though. It’s 1958. He lives in Virginia. He is white. His girlfriend is colored.

Loving is based on the true story of an interracial couple who got married in a place where it was legal (Washington DC), but decided to live in place where it was illegal (Virginia). They got sentenced after spending some time in jail. A judge was ‘mild’ and sent them in exile. They couldn’t set foot as a married couple for 25 years in the state where all their family and friends lived and where they owned some property.

Until the wife was fed up living in the big city and wrote a letter to Bobby Kennedy, who forwarded it to the . After a legal battle and uncertainty for several years, their case made it possible for everyone all over the United States to marry whomever they wanted. Well, heterosexuals that is.

Loving is a historically interesting movie. We just take it for granted that people of mixed heritage can marry, but that wasn’t the case until quite recently really. It’s a well made movie, but it’s not as emotionally gripping as you’d want it to be. A lot has to do with the personalities of the main characters. They are just ordinary people who love each other and just want to be left in peace. They don’t want the police to interfere, nor the court, nor a civil rights movement, nor the press. They just want to be left alone. They are so calm, it’s nerve wrecking. The performances may be based on the real personalities of Mr and Mrs Loving, but a cinematic drama needs characters that are more alive and vocal.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4669986

The remarkable thing about this new police thriller from Belgium is that it starts of really well and then falls totally flat by the end. Sadly, because the trailer looks promising.

A notorious chief of police is retiring to start a political career. But on the eve of his retirement he is tempted to do one last drug bust.  Not in the city of his jurisdiction (Antwerp), but in Charleroi. However, something is wrong. No drug lab is found. No drugs are found. A lot of people get killed and the informant seems to have damaging information about the soon to be politician. This does not look good…

Again, the movie starts of great. The tension and intrigue are built up well. The acting is good (Peter Van Den Begin is excellent in these kind of roles). Some of the scenes are shot in unique ways. The editing is excellent. The story lends well to an interesting collaboration between the movie industries from the north (Flanders) and the south (Wallonia) of the country.

But it’s all a bit predictable, and as the story comes to a climax it totally bombs.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5546540

Veep: Season 1 – **

Posted: September 20, 2016 in 2012, Comedy, Dramedy, Political, TV series, USA

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won yet another Emmy for her performance in Veep. Time to start watching the show! Or at least the first season! And the verdict is… okay.

The first season only has 8 episodes. As such, it’s not really hard to finish it. The episodes are short and contain enough funny one-liners and absurd scenes to make you laugh multiple times. As a comedy, it’s great. Overall however, the show tries to be too serious at times. The drama just doesn’t work. The social commentary is annoying. You can’t be making fun of the vice presidency and tackle real political issues at the same time.

Those who know the show say it gets better. So off to season 2.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1759761/episodes?season=1

Season Four takes place in Islamabad and focuses on re-capturing a presumed killed Taliban terrorist leader. The American Embassy places a big part and so do the Pakistani intelligent forces. The narrative is more straightforward which makes this season the easiest to digest. It’s still fascinating from start to finish, but it does have several predictable moments. There is a kind of repetitiveness occurring and it’s no longer refreshing or new. The acting is – as usual – quite solid, but the characters start to annoy. Especially lead Carrie Mathison, who is such an incredibly selfish, egocentric, crazy, fucked up, irresponsible, overly ambitious, aggressive bitch, that you just want her to die at one point or another. And Saul, her mentor, who’s basically the same but with balls – literally – is an incredible douchebag too. It’s amazing to have a show with so few likable characters be so popular.

The finale makes you want to start watching Season 5 and that’s what matters.

It’s okay, but somehow all very far-fetched.

After the bombing of the CIA building, killing more than 200 people, an alleged war hero turned terrorist (Nicholas Brody) escapes with the help of Carrie Mathison (a bipolar CIA-expert and the central character of this series) to Canada. Of course, Brody is innocent because at the time of the attack he was having sex with Carrie.

Changes are very small that you start watching season 3 without having seen the previous two. It’s pretty logic to continue watching as you do want to know how the story goes on. But this time it isn’t all too captivating. It just starts too negatively. Brody escapes to Venezuela and gets addicted to heroin. Carrie is admitted to a psychiatric institution and happens to be pregnant as well. Dana Brody attempts to kill herself. Saul is a temporary director of the CIA, and seems to give up Brody and Carrie’s innocence to make the CIA look better. And suddenly it’s all about Iran.

It’s fascinating how the acting skills of Claire Danes and Damian Lewis are praised so often. They really suck. In every single scene there is just too much drama. It gets annoying. But ‘newcomer’ Shaun Toub is excellent as Majid Javadi, the number 2 of the country’s Revolutionary Guard. He’s really the only reason why it’s still fun watching this show. He has that ability to make someone evil look charming, like Christopher Waltz has as well.

Unlike the final of season 2, the last episode of season 3 does not make you long to continue watching.

Too bad.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1796960/episodes?season=3&ref_=tt_eps_sn_3

Dear White People – **(*)

Posted: February 24, 2015 in 2014, Political, Satire, USA, XX1/2

It’s still incredibly difficult to define yourself according to your color of skin. It’s a constant source of discussion amongst friends of mixed colours too. What makes someone white? What makes someone black? His or her colour of skin? Their interests? The way they talk/behave/pursue a career? People are individuals and seem to just use their colour of skin to their own benefit.

Dear White People is a political satire that really shows how different and often conflicting views young students at a fancy campus still have about being ’black’ and ’white’. It’s quite a depressing movie really, because it just shows how people can get all fucked up about the issue. It’s also very complicated if you don’t know how life on an American campus works. The story in this movie basically follows the events leading up to a controversial Halloween party during which a white student club decided to use ’African American’ as a theme. Now this sounds like fun if all communities show up as a stereotype from another community, but this party just has white folks dress up like any black stereotype. Wrong!

It’s supposed to be a satire, but really doesn’t feel like it at all. This is hardcore activism showing that there are still issues between the two communities. It’s interesting, because it really feels like the black community have more issues with it than than the white community. For the latter it’s easy: they still are privileged in life and they are either racist (with or without realising it) or they are not. Listening to hiphop and getting dreads doesn’t make them less white. Very simple. For the former it seems to be very complicated and confusing. Because what if you like something that is a typical ‘white’ thing, does that make you less black? Why should it even matter if you’re black and you like Taylor Swift or playing golf? Apparently it does.

The movie itself is well made. The information boards in between scenes are a cool treat, the dialogue is at times really funny or embarrassingly realistic, the acting is in general very good (give that Tessa Thompson more work!) and it’s thought-provoking, because it allows a lot of different voices to speak. And it tackles a lot of modern-day issues with very short but ad rem comments. However, not all act good (Brandon Bell should go for a career as a model instead) and some discussions are way too pretentious with fancy pseudo philosophical reasonings. Plus, it’s really a movie about how blacks see the issue. What about the Hispanics and Asians? They only briefly appear at the end.

That said: watch it though!

PS: if you’re interracially dating and say something like ‘I could eat you like a bar of Hershey’s’, than please insult with a better chocolate brand.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2235108

 

A Long Walk To Freedom is a must for anyone visiting or having visited South Africa. The locals love this recent biopic about Nelson Mandela and will recommend it as if it’s the only movie ever made in their country. The press over here wasn’t so impressed and it didn’t really do anything during last year’s award season. But still, it’s quite popular in its homeland and definitely a must.

Unfortunately it’s not such a good movie. It’s an ordinary biopic that feels more like a Winnie & Nelson love story than a portrait of a political activist and leader. The problem is that the movie just covers too much information. It is great as an introduction to the man who was imprisoned for 27 years after being arrested for being a terrorist and then leading the country after his release. But it doesn’t really focus on anything in particular, apart from the relationship between Nelson and his second wife Winnie.

What’s good about the movie is that it really doesn’t depict Nelson Mandela as a saint. The guy was a bit of an ego tripper and a disrespectful husband to his first wife. He did call for violence before he was arrested. It’s only as president of the entire nation that he became the icon everyone adores. So that’s great. Another key element of making this movie watchable is the performance of Idris Elba, who doesn’t look anything like Mandela, but who has you glued to the screen anyways. He’s so much Idris Elba playing Mandela though that you are more interested in learning about Idris Elba than Mandela. Which couldn’t have been the objective of the director.

All in all, it’s okay. But let’s hope there will be good movies in the future focussing on just ONE period of Nelson’s life. And let’s hope they’ll use a less attractive actor playing the main part.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2304771/