Archive for the ‘1/2’ Category

F.C. De Kampioenen was (and still is) the most popular sitcom in Flanders. It ran for 22 seasons (some 280 episodes in total) and then stopped, much to the regret of the many fans. It’s a terrible show, with stereotypical characters and lame humor, based on ‘misunderstandings’ and full of slapstick.  Yet, somehow, it’s incredibly popular with several generations of kids and seniors (and all the adults who started watching it as a kid). It’s an iconic series that has spouted many one-liners that became part of our cultural patrimonium. It’s about an amateur soccer team who constantly has trouble with the owner of the garage next door.

Because of its popularity, they started with feature movies that get a theatrical release around Christmas every other year. The fourth one became the most successful Flemish (and thus Belgian) movie of 2019 (within one week of its release). So, something must appeal to a large audience, right?

Kampioenen Forever is the third installment, shown on tv tonight. If you have never seen the tv show, don’t watch it. You really need to know the characters to appreciate it at least a little bit. To be honest, I never thought I would be able to finish this movie, but I did. And I even laughed. Twice. Hooray! I feel a champion myself! (*) for me!

www.imdb.com/title/tt5331532

Midsommar – (*)

Posted: December 27, 2019 in 1/2, 2019, Fantasy, Horror, USA

Ari Aster keeps getting rave reviews for his movies. Not sure why. Hereditary is the most over-hyped movie of 2018. And this one. Well, it’s better, but still.

Of course, these pictures will never be nominated for a razzie award. They are considered arthouse. And arthouse movies can’t be crap. Only mainstream blockbuster movies can be viciously attacked and ridiculed.

Four American students get invited by a Swedish friend to experience an ancient pagan ritual, held every 90 years, in the north of his home country. The guys study anthropology and one of their girlfriends studies psychology. So far so good. So far, an interesting premise.

However, the movie starts with a focus on the girlfriend, months before the trip. Her sister just committed suicide (and killed her parents in the act) and she’s not getting enough support from her boyfriend (one of the anthropology students). This takes up about 20 minutes and is already boring after ten.

Then the action finally takes places in Sweden (even though it’s filmed in Hungary). The imagery is nice, the costumes as well. It’s an interesting setting. Until the pagan community turns out to be a sekt with strange rituals. And then it’s really downhill from there. Nothing makes sense. There is no horror. There is no tension. There is no humor. There is bad acting. The dialogues are crap. The plot twists aren’t twists at all. The surprise elements are predictable because of the slow scenes leading up to them. It’s terrible.

The whole explanation of the circle of life which ends at 72 is ridiculous if the makers stress that the festival only takes place every 90 years.

Utter crap.

But still (*) for having finished it and because so few movies get that rating.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8772262/

As a Tarantino fan, I always wondered why I hated Kill Bill: Volume 1 so much and why I never bothered watching Kill Bill: Volume 2. 

15 years later it’s clear why: these are just pretentious, badly edited, poorly acted, faux-hommage action flicks with hardly any humor and – more surprisingly – hardly any cool fight scenes! At least those should have been wel choreographed, but no.

At least, I finished Volume 2 this time. Which is an achievement on its own.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0266697

www.imdb.com/title/tt0378194

 

 

Night School – (*)

Posted: January 21, 2019 in 1/2, 2018, Comedy, USA

Flight movie #2

Kevin Hart is a high school dropout who’s been quite successful managing a bbq store without a degree. But now that he’s found a fine woman to marry, he wants a better job and needs to pass a few tests. He attends night school classes in the same building he was attending high school at. And his bully from back in his teenage years is now the principal of the school. There’s all kinds of weirdo’s in his class and his teacher isn’t the one to mess with.

This is one dumb movie. It’s about high school dropouts with jokes only high school dropouts will find funny. It could have been nice. That Tiffany Haddish can be really funny. But she’s not really all that much in the movie. This is a Kevin Hart joint. And Kevin Hart sucks. He makes you want to appreciate Adam Sandler.

How on earth can this guy be one of the most successful comedians of our current times? Saw this on a plane and really everyone around me was watching this movie…. didn’t hear anyone laugh though….

www.imdb.com/title/tt6781982

Bad Moms – (*)

Posted: December 23, 2018 in 1/2, 2016, Comedy, USA

Crap movie #4

This was on tv. It has the fine Mila Kunis as a young mom who just has too much on her plate. She manages the household, she manages the business that she’s working at, she manages her children’s school work. She does it all. Until her boss tells her to take on more work, until she discovers her lazy ass husband cheats on her (online) and until the school board requests her to be present for a meeting about trivial things. No! It’s over. She no longer wants to be a perfect mom. She decides to be a bad mom. She stops making breakfast for her kids, she kicks her husband out of the house, she takes time off from work…

The trailer kind of promises a Seth Rogen/James Franco- like modern comedy (including a lot of swear words, jokes about anal sex, jokes about shitting and barfing, use of drugs, references to the multicultural society we live in and some lesbian/gay kissing…) But somehow this movie also wants to give a message. Which feels weird. The balance between a story that critiques the high expectations of moms and an over the top comedy doesn’t work. The jokes fall flat. The message gets lost.

After 90 minutes of wasting your time, you’re stuck with one question: since when is being circumcised the standard and is foreskin bad?

www.imdb.com/title/tt4651520

Django – (*)

Posted: December 19, 2018 in 1/2, 2017, Drama, France, Holocaust, Musical

Crap movie #1

There aren’t many movies dealing about the deportation of Roma & Sinti during the Second World War, so somehow, someone thought it would be great to use the story of the most famous Sinti musician, jazz guitar legend Django Reinhardt, as a tool to make an audience aware of this horrendous fact.

Okay, it’s understandable. Django Reinhardt is probably the only known Sinti in the world. But still, the story shown in this movie is not correct. He lived in France during the war and was quite successful, even when Paris was occupied by the nazis. In fact, there were some nazi officers who liked his music (when gypsy music and jazz were banned by the nazis).  He tried to escape, yes, but never managed to leave the country. So, this story is fictional! Oops. Spoiler. In this movie, Django leaves Paris, with the help of a weird character that is not only one of his lovers, but also works for the resistance and prostitutes herself to the nazis. He ends up near the Lake of Geneva and waits for a possible escape, while a nearby gypsy camp is under the threat of being deported.

This movie doesn’t work. The musical scenes are too long and not captivating at all. We don’t really get to learn anything about this jazz legend. All the side characters don’t really matter at all. The nazis are portrayed in a very stereotypical way. The editing is bad. There’s no drama, no tension, no emotion. It’s bland.

Here you have a jazz artist who is successful in a town that is occupied by people who hate his kind and the music he plays. Yet, he remains successful and is left alone. Now that’s a story worth telling. Not his fictional escape to Switzerland.

Another ‘famous’ Sinti is Marianne Rosenberg, a singer who’s only popular in Germany. Her father survived the death camps, so maybe that story would have more fascinating and a better source to make a Schindler’s List for the Romani people.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6247936

Premiers Crus – (*)

Posted: August 4, 2018 in 1/2, 2015, Drama, France

A Burgundian winegrower is on the edge of bankruptcy after he lost his appetite for the business once his wife and children left him. A Japanese company is willing to take over the vineyard and so is a rivaling neighbor. But luckily his oldest son, the successful and influential writer of a yearly wine guide, is willing to help his dad out. In fact, he’s willing to take over the business, but on his own terms.

The concept is interesting. The setting is gorgeous. But this movie falls flat. It’s like the region of Burgundy hoped to get a soap opera a la Dallas on tv, following the adventures of a wine growing family, but no network was interested in it. So instead of filming material for 12 episodes or more, they decided to shorten it to a 90 minutes television movie.

It’s terrible.

The amateur editing doesn’t help either. Each scene is abruptly ended. Like each scene is a trailer to a future episode in a (non-existing) series. It’s sad. Because there’s enough material to make it an interesting soap. There’s the family conflict and also some failed/unrequited romances. There’s the competition between winegrowers. It could be a great tool to learn about the winemaking process. Each episode could focus on dramatic events within the family AND explain one aspect of the viticulture.

A missed chance.

www.imdb.com/title/tt4796568