Archive for the ‘Romance’ Category

Lalaland – ***

Posted: March 24, 2017 in 2016, Musical, Romance, USA, XXX

Finally.

There’s a good reason why it took so long, but that’s another story.

So much has been written about this musical already that even those who haven’t seen it and don’t care about seeing it all, know what it’s all about. An aspiring actress and a jazz musician fall in love, singing and tap dancing around Los Angeles. It’s a modern take of the musicals and romantic comedies from back in the day with Ryan Gosling as a modern-day Gene Kelly and Emma Stone as a ginger headed Doris Day.

It works. It’s amazing. It’s entertaining. It’s charming. It’s flawed and not consistent in its marvel. But the overall impression is great. Emma Stone acts heavenly. Ryan Gosling performs more down to earth. But they sure have the right chemistry. Some moments are classic movie magic. Others are just random. Go see it. Don’t put on a I Hate Musicals attitude or don’t boycott the movie because it’s not Moonlight. It’s not Singin’ In The Rain either, but nevertheless a must.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3783958

 

Allied – **(*)

Posted: January 15, 2017 in 2016, Romance, Spionage, UK, USA, WW2, XX1/2

Catching this during its final week at the movie theaters, Allied does deliver. The classic WWII romantic thriller is well directed (by Robert Zemeckis) and stars the almost always fascinating Marion Cotillard as a resistance girl/spy. It stars Brad Pitt as a Canadian pilot/secret agent as well. But even though he’s also a main character in the movie, his fascination for Marion Cotillard makes him look like a supporting actor. It makes sense that the yellow press accuse Cotillard for the break-up of Brangelina.

The movie’s atmosphere reminds you of other great war classics like Casablanca (the location of the first half of the movie) and Lawrence Of Arabia (the opening dessert sequence). Much time (and money) was spent on details. The set design is impeccable. It looks really good. As far as the story goes, it’s intriguing until the end. It really does feel like it’s based on a true story. Even though it’s all fiction and several scenes don’t make sense.

Not sure if all the cursing happened back then the way it happens in the movie. And not sure if lesbian couples could be so open about their relationship back in 1942 (that scene adds nothing to the story either). Not sure how a British pilot can fly across the Channel into enemy territory and fly back home the next day like it’s nothing. Come to think of it.

Now, a day later, several things just don’t make sense. However, when leaving the theatre the feeling was good.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3640424

Brooklyn – **

Posted: March 16, 2016 in 2015, Canada, Costume Drama, Ireland, Romance, UK, XX

Brooklyn is a fine movie about a young Irish girl who leaves her country to find work in the US. She has trouble adapting at first, but then encounters a young Italian plumber who she falls in love with and marries in secret. When her sister dies unexpectedly, she returns home, where she feels the pressure and opportunity to stay. She keeps her marriage in New York a secret and goes on several dates with a rich Irish bachelor.

The movie is based on a succesfull novel, which scored well with a female audience. It’s a romantic coming of age tale with a tiny bit of adventure and a heroin in doubt about what’s best for her future. Success guaranteed. The story isn’t really boring, but it’s very trivial. There is little drama and little humor, but hardly any dull moments either.

The main reason to watch this movie is the performance of Saoirse Ronan, who shines in every single scene. A joy to watch. Yeah, that’s basically the only reason.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2381111

 

Time for another Warner Classic! This time from 1932!

Honestly, 1932 is 85 years ago and this movie still rocks! It’s adventurous, exciting and funny. It doesn’t take itself serious at all, which is amazing. Because the tongue in cheek humor from back then still works now.

Of course, it’s an old black and white movie and a lot of scenes are shot in front of stills rather than in a natural environment. And yes, some scenes, especially the ones depicting the tribal men, feel very outdated. Only the white characters matter – boo. However, throughout the entire movie there are moments of awe. The fight between Tarzan and the lion is so real, it looks better than any GCI effect from now. Probably because there was an actual fight between a (stunt)man and a lion. And Jane, interpreted by Maureen Sullivan is an excellent heroin. Here you have this very feminine woman who can shoot a riffle, who isn’t scared of being taken by a wild man, who is very confident about her sexual needs. What happened in the next couple of decades? This is feminism avant la lettre! She’s manipulative, seductive, charming, fickle, independent and brave! She’s the absolute star of this movie. And so is Cheetah of course.

There’s been many remakes and even a Disney version. Hey, there’s a new Tarzan movie coming up, but this one is the best!

Now, do yourself a favor: invite a few friends, watch this movie and give your own audio commentary to what is shown. You’ll have a blast! Unless you like everything to be politically correct of course.

Carol – **

Posted: January 23, 2016 in 2015, Drama, LGBT themed, Romance, UK, USA, XX

It’s Oscar season again and the cinemas show all kinds of movies that are in the running for an award. There’s a bit of controversy this year, because no black actor or actress is nominated (for the second edition in a row). There’s also no latino or asian performer nominated. Just saying. The members of the Academy don’t like color that much (unless they are evil, suffering, drunk or a slave). But they sure like heterosexual white actors pretending to be gay. Such as Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.

The overrated Blanchett is Carol, a semi posh cougar lesbo coming out the closet and preying on sweet, curious and totally smitten Therese, a younger aspiring store clerk who wants to be a photographer. It’s a great part for Mara, who does deserve a nomination and even a win maybe. In fact, this movie should be called Therese. She owns every scene she’s in (and there are as many as the main character). Not sure what the ‘supporting’ part is here. She leads.

There’s nothing wrong with this movie. The direction is well done. It looks stunning. The acting is good. But the story is so… trivial. Even before the end credits roll you wonder about what movie you want to see next.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2402927

Robert Pattinson acts all amateur and emotionless in this period piece (1930s) about a traveling circus that is heading for a disaster. He’s the lead, but isn’t a leader at all. He looks lost. Reese Witherspoon is in it too, but plays second fiddle, and Christopher Waltz is the bad guy – again – and steals the show. Sure there are a few freaks and some exotic animals, but the circus is just a setting for a coming of age love story between a young student and a married woman.

Didn’t see the end, because the plane landed earlier than expected. But the story did intrigue me enough to feel bummed about the abrupt end. I’m not going to rent it for the last ten minutes though. Maybe it’ll catch it again on another flight.

Oh and I do think animals should get nominated for the Oscars as well. The elephant in here ‘acts’ as great as any other dog, horse or chimp. Hey, he/she acts better than Robert Pattinson.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1067583

Carey Mulligan is quite impressive as the central character of this semi-feminist romantic drama about a woman who inherits a farm and becomes the love interest of three suitors. She steals every scene she’s in and is an imperfect natural beauty.

The soundtrack and the cinematography add a lot to the serene setting and convincing atmosphere. The supporting cast is great and there is a surprisingly high amount of moments that make you laugh, or at least smile. The story is interesting and takes you in a direction you do not want it to go, but still captivates until the very predictable end.

It’s a historical costume drama based on a famous literature classic, a genre that doesn’t draw large audiences and only scores well in the award season, but amongst all the huge blockbusters this is as a welcome alternative. Too bad the Academy will forget about Mulligan by the end of the year.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2935476