Archive for the ‘X’ Category

Da 5 Bloods – *

Posted: June 15, 2020 in 2020, Adventure, USA, War, X

Spike Lee isn’t going to want to hear this, but Quentin Tarantino would have made a much stronger movie based on this material.

Four African American Vietnam vets return to the Asian country in search of a case of gold they once found on a mission and which they buried next to the remains of their squad leader, who got shot during the mission.

Sounds interesting. A bit of adventure, mixed with drama and four unusual leads.

But then the movie starts and it’s already a mess from the beginning. None of these main characters is interesting. They once formed a squad, then led separate lives and now get back together to go on a treasure hunt. NO! This has to be a group of buddies who stuck with each other through life and now finally, as the icing of the friendship cake, go on this adventure. One of them, the PTSD case of the group, voted Trump and wears a MAGA cap. He’s the most annoying character of the movie and that’s probably Spike Lee’s aim. He’s also the main character. Yawn. The other three are present, but that’s all they are. They don’t provide comic relief. Nor drama. They are almost obsolete.

Then one of the guy’s son appears to join them. A character so uninteresting that he’s only used for one dramatic scene by the end. Along the way they meet all kinds of people, who are superficially introduced as stereotypes. The unemotional former prostitute and her daughter, the stuck up French businessman accepting to cash the gold when it is found, the anti-American members of a European mine detonating organization, the Vietnamese guide who they can or cannot trust, …. None of them are interesting. Somewhere near the end a snake attacks one of the squad members and gets blown to pieces. Somehow that is the dramatic highlight of the movie.

And a lot of things happen. Which is the only reason why this still gets some rating.

The problem is that it all looks like it was made on a low budget and there was no money for second takes or special effects. It’s also filled with obsolete scenes. Like the one where the foursome gets a visit from a kid that is missing a leg and begs for money. Why is that scene in the movie? To show the dismissive reaction of the MAGA dude? We already know the guy is the douchebag, reinforcing it by this scene is unnecessary. Then as the four walk out of the restaurant the kid throws firecrackers at them. It sounds like they are being attacked. Why is that scene in the movie? It’s not funny. It’s not dramatic. It’s obsolete. And so you have almost half of the movie consisting of unnecessary scenes that aren’t funny or dramatic or make sense.

Clear to say this is a very disappointing movie. Especially since it looked like it could have been such a great movie. It could have been a Stand By Me for grown ups in the Vietnamese jungle. It also could have been a Romancing The Stone kind of comical action adventure. It could even have been a Deer Hunter like drama. It could have even been a mix of all that. And still work.

But it doesn’t. It’s a boring movie without drama, without humor and lots of shoot up action scenes that could well have been featured in Rambo, a movie that gets dissed by some of the characters.

Missed chance.

www.imdb.com/title/tt9777644/

Marley And Me – *

Posted: June 6, 2020 in 2008, romcom, USA, X

Friends got a dog and named it Marley, because of the movie with Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston. 

It was on tonight and I started to watch it. Moreover, I even finished it! A romcom with Jennifer Anniston and Owen Wilson and an obnoxious dog!

I get the appeal of the movie for dog owners and lovers. And I guess the dog isn’t really that obnoxious, just very affectionate and active if you want to use euphemisms. So, I kinda understand why  would call your active and affectionate puppy Marley.

A couple meet, get married and get a dog. They’re not really good at controlling their dog’s behavior and just let him be whoever he wants to be. Then they get kids. The couple start arguing. They move. Twice. Then the dog dies. The end.

It’s not really a bad movie. It’s just pretty bland. As soon as the end credits roll you want to watch something else. In fact, the two commercials following the movie also featured a couple and a dog. And pretty much left me with the same feeling.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0822832

The northern French city of Roubaix has a great art museum in a former Art Deco swimming pool and there’s a shopping outlet on former textile factory grounds. But apart from that, it’s a hellhole. To use Trump vocabulary.

So, it’s a surprise that a movie gets released set in this unappreciated part of France.

Not watching the trailer, not reading the synopsis and just going for the positive movie title will leave you horrified.

This is not a delightful movie. It’s dark. And depressing. And makes you never want to go to Roubaix at all. The city’s tourism office will not have approved.

No.

The great Roschdy Zem is a police officer in this marginalized town and leads a team that has to go out at night dealing with marginalized town acts of crime and despair. The first half of the movie just shows a series of things that can go wrong at night. Cars being set on fire, girls being raped, thefts, burglaries and arson. The second half of the movie focuses on two women being accused of having murdered their old age neighbor.

It’s a weird movie and the second half would have worked better as a stage play. The dialogues are well written and the acting is okay, but as a movie it totally falls flat.

Roschdy Zem cannot save his movie. But he is impressive. As always.

www.imdb.com/title/tt8359840

Simonal – *

Posted: February 10, 2020 in 2018, biopic, Brasil, Musical, X

Halfway in this musical biopic of the notorious Brazilian singer Simonal, you start wondering if it is worth watching until the end.

The acting of the main lead is bad. Annoyingly bad. The storytelling is unoriginal, superficial, boring. The music doesn’t particularly sound great either. And the lip-sincing is done terribly. But the setting is interesting (sixties Brazil), the camerawork is fine and the opening scene (set in 1975) promises an interesting reveal.

Then, it turns out there is an interesting story to tell about this ‘Harry Belafonte of Brazil’. He was accused of having had his accountant be kidnapped and tortured. He somehow also worked as a snitch for the dictatorship.

Now this is a different story. An intriguing one.

But alas… again, this part of the story is told so fast and so superficially, it would only make some kind of sense if you have lived through these events.

Sure, it is made for Brazilian audiences who know more about this singer and who know more about the military dictatorship. For any viewer not familiar with the singer and unaware of his importance/deceit it is quite a lame movie.

So this guy sings about how cheerful Brazilians are during a time of dictatorship and gets scolded at for doing so. Then also falls victim to his own success and any financial predator around him. Gets connected to the military investigators who make him lie on record. All material for a good movie.

Unfortunately this one isn’t.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6145054

Hustlers – *

Posted: January 21, 2020 in 2019, Crime/Detective, Drama, USA, X

The directing of this juicy crime story is great. The way it all is filmed, set up and edited is promising for future projects… The soundtrack is well chosen and some of the acting is great.

Sounds positive, right?

The story however is boring. It may be based on true events, but it is utterly unappealing.

Some female strippers have come up with a scheme to strip their potential clients of all their money without having to do something degrading. They flirt and then they drug them and charge their credit card. But before it gets to that, the viewers needs to get introduced to the hard world of strippers, where women are victims and are only there to make money and where men are, well, chauvenist pigs.

Yawn. 

And why on earth do Lizzo and Cardi B have irrelevant cameo’s in this movie? 

And still, some nicely shot scenes and a different approach to storytelling makes it bearable. 

www.imdb.com/title/tt5503686

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon dieu! My god! Why ????

Watched this sequel with my mom, who really enjoyed the first movie and was interested in what happens next to the catholic French family whose four daughters have each married interculturally.

There’s NO use watching this ‘comedy’ if you haven’t seen the first one. And there is NO use watching this ‘comedy’ if you want to laugh at all.

The set up is kind of okay. Once all four daughters got married, the parents decide to visit the countries of each of their sons-in-laws. Now, this would have been a fun movie maybe. But no, they return after 5 minutes in the movie and learn that each of their kids want to leave France! So, they want to make sure they can convince their kids of staying in their beloved country.

It’s simplistic patriotic bullshit. Sugarcoated as being tolerant towards other cultures. Irony and Sarcasm just aren’t a French thing. And, just like in the first movie, every jokes is EXPLAINED! How unfunny is that????????

The title says: whatever did we do (again) to God (to deserve this)…. exactly.

The first movie made 150 million euro worldwide. (without a release in the US!)  This one made 70 million or so. Like my mom says: they can continue making movies of this family.

My God! Mon Dieu!

www.imdb.com/title/tt6556670

This movie takes its title from a funny book on the curiosities of the Dutch language. The main character is an editor for a superficial women’s magazine who is obsessed with language and would love to write a book about it and constantly makes remarks on certain things people say that don’t really make sense linguistically.

But that’s the only link between the book and the movie.

It’s also a movie about a single woman who seems to be the only one in her family accepting the fact that her dad, a bookstore owner, is suffering from dementia. She has the perfect possible boyfriend sitting in front of her in the editorial office, but he’s just a ‘friend’ and when she gets the change to work with a hot photographer, she goes for that adventure.

It’s a kind of Dutch Bridget Jones with lots of linguistic references and it sucks. And ironically enough, the pronunciation of the language spoken is SO terrible that the title (originally: Language, as we speak, is a bit my thing) should be called Uitspraak Is Helemaal Niet Zo Mijn Ding (Pronunciation is definitely not my thing at all).

To skip. Especially if you don’t understand Dutch. But nice images of Amsterdam though.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6867650/

 

The Irishman – *

Posted: December 8, 2019 in 2019, biopic, Gangster Movie, USA, X

Wow. Glad to not have bought a cinema ticket for this 3,5 hour Scorsese mob tale.

No, it’s not the best movie of the century. Maybe if this is your very first mobster movie you might be impressed. Not if you have seen dozens. It is not really terrible. It’s just too long. And nothing in the direction feels like it’s been done by a master genius. Martin Scorsese disappoints. And so does Robert De Niro. And what’s with the ‘special effects’ making the actors look younger? It’s silly. So are many discussion and many scenes that add nothing to the story.

The acting is not good (apart from Joe Pesci maybe, even though he doesn’t actually do much) and the story isn’t really exciting. None of the characters are sympathetic. And there’s no suspense. The main character works his way up to being some kind of bodyguard for the most notorious union leader of the US, who mysteriously disappears. One google search reveals what happened. Especially if you read about what book this movie is based on.

Maybe. Tonight just wasn’t the right time to watch a mob movie with aging actors.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1302006

 

A Rainy Day In New York – *

Posted: November 30, 2019 in 2019, romcom, USA, X

Random pick at the movie theatre. Woody Allen + Timothy Chalamet + New York… sounds like an interesting combination on paper.

But it doesn’t work. New York isn’t particularly exciting in the rain. Chalamet isn’t particularly impressive this time. And the voice overs and dialogues, written by Woody Allen, aren’t particularly funny this time around.

No. It’s a drag.

But Elle Fanning surprises. And her character saves the movie. An Arizona blonde studying upstate New York visits Manhattan for the first time with her boyfriend to interview a movie director. What’s supposed to be a one hour interview turns into an adventurous afternoon for her, whereas the boyfriend’s plans to impress his girl with a tour of the city get washed out.

www.imdb.com/title/tt7139936

 

Temblores – *

Posted: November 15, 2019 in 2019, Drama, Guatemala, LGBT themed, Luxemburg, X

Pablo has left his wife and kids to be with a guy. His family wants him to start with a gay conversion therapy. Which he does. The end.

It’s set in Guatemala, made with Luxemburg money and it’s boring. There’s zero chemistry between the two men. And the whole conversion therapy feels more ridiculous than intriguing/realistic.

Next!

www.imdb.com/title/tt7128732/