Archive for the ‘X’ Category

Disappointing.

In November 2008, Mumbai experienced a series of terrorist attacks, amongst which one at the famous Taj hotel. This Australian production tells that story.

Somehow it just doesn’t work. If this were fictitious it would be a lousy action thriller. But it’s based on true events, so it’s even worse. It’s really bizarre, because it feels like an action thriller. The kind with Sylvester Stallone or JC Van Damme. Not the kind with Bruce Willis.

There’s a lot of shooting and – spoiler alert – almost everyone dies. So, knowing this, it’s kind of sad to realize that you don’t have time to care about any of these victims. Either the victims are nameless extras. Or they are stereotypical characters like the nasty Russian or the ignorant American. The director decided to create more empathy for the terrorists than for the people stuck in the hotel! How bizarre is that? There’s this one scene where one of the terrorists calls home, hurt because he is shot in the leg and crying. He asks his dad if the leaders of his organization have already donated the money. So, wait a minute, you want us, audience, to feel like money was the reason for the kid to do these horrific killings and we should feel his regret and doubt because he is crying? Ehm. No.

This movie didn’t do well at the box office and wasn’t released in India (yet). Let’s keep it that way.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5461944

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The Umbrella Academy – *

Posted: March 15, 2019 in 2019, Fantasy, USA, X

“Give it some time, it’ll grow on you”, a friend told me about his new favourite Netflix show The Umbrella Academy. 

Good for him, didn’t grow on me though.

Yes, it gets (a bit) better by the end and the final does make you kind of curious what will happen on in the second season, but it’s all way too weird.

Some scientist has raised 7 kids with special powers. All of them born on the same day. Their superpowers aren’t really all that special and one of them doesn’t have any powers at all. So it seems. Of course, she’ll be the one to reckon with. Duh. No spoiler alert. The main story itself is simple. The world is heading for an apocalypse and they are the only ones to stop it. If they work together. And that seems to be a problem. So, we’re confronted with all the issues that these kids have while being adults. In the mean time, there’s time travel as well. And aliens of course. And talking chimps. And two hit men (Mary J Blige is one of them!).

So it’s weird. And if weird is your thing, check it out. It’s well made. Just pretty boring.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1312171/

Isn’t It Romantic – *

Posted: March 4, 2019 in 2019, romcom, USA, X

Isn’t It Romantic ? NO

It’s a great idea though. A cynical woman who hates romcoms hits her head and wakes up in a world that is filled with romcom clichés. The makers clearly watched a lot of nineties romcoms and trying to guess the references in this comedy is part of the fun. However, the movie makers explain way too many things. If you want to take a piss of romcom clichés, it’s really not necessary to explain the cliché.

Of course the dream she is in leads to a happy ending when she wakes up. But if you want to be original and surprise your audience, this is not the way to go. Luckily, there’s a fun surprise before the end credits roll. Madonna’s Express Yourself covered by the entire cast. Oops. Spoiler !

Next!

www.imdb.com/title/tt2452244

Christopher Robin, the kid from the Winnie De Pooh stories, is a grown man now. He has lost the ability to get lost in his fantasy world. All that matters is his job. And there’s a crisis going on at work, making him cancel the travel plans he had made with his family.

In the fantasy world of Christopher’s childhood Winnie De Pooh has lost his friends. He’s waiting for Christopher Robin to come help him find his friends, but he hasn’t seen Christopher in such a long time and decides to look for him as well. Via a magical door in a tree, the bear arrives in post world war London…

What follows is 90 minutes of boring characters in boring scenes. Maybe it’s a nostalgic trip for those who were fan of the Pooh stories as a kid. And maybe really young kids will like it. But in general, it’s obvious why this wasn’t a huge blockbuster: boring, sad and humorless! The visuals are great though. So that’s something.

www.imdb.com/title/tt4575576

The Wife – *

Posted: January 21, 2019 in 2018, Drama, USA, X

Flight movie #3

This year’s Golden Globe winner for best actrice does a fine job in The Wife, but it’s not like it’s Glenn Close’s best performance. Her character is quite mysterious and that’s exactly how mrs Close plays the part. But it’s also a bit aloof.

The story is fascinating though, but it somehow does not work. An American novelist is chosen to be awarded to Nobel Prize for literature and he needs to fly to Stockholm to receive the honor. He can’t thank his wife enough in all the press statements and acceptance speeches. But she clearly doesn’t feel happy about it all. Is she upset because she had to put aside her writing aspirations to be his wife (and also accept his many affairs)? Or is she frustrated about something else?

The story is quite predictable and apart from Close, no-one else is really acting memorably. The flashbacks are interesting, but aren’t explored enough. It’s a missed chance.

www.imdb.com/title/tt3750872

Crazy Rich Asians – *

Posted: January 21, 2019 in 2018, romcom, X

Flight movie #2

The title says it all. In the first hour of this movie we get to see crazy rich Asians, doing their crazy, rich thing in Singapore. Oh and there’s a normal ‘Asian American’ girl observing it all. Her boyfriend never told her he is one of the richest Asians in the world, so she’s in for a shock.

It’s a typical class difference romcom without much comedy and with dramatic romance.  It’s a movie filled with stereotypes and clichés and bare-chested men! The first caucasian man you get to see is racist. The only gay character is effeminate. Women want to shop. Men have to leave the house for business. It also doesn’t make sense. Everyone seems to know who this Mike Young is, but this smart university professor is dating a guy for over a year and she never bothered asking him about his background? And he just doesn’t tell her about his wealth and expects her to just adapt to his posh world? Fool someone else!

It’s a terrible movie. The dialogue is very poor. The acting is mediocre at best. We hear English spoken with an American, British and Chinese accent. It’s explained, but it still feels weird. They talk about decadence but don’t really show it. The cinematography is simple. There are better amateur made home videos on youtube showing the sights of Singapore.

The first hour is terrible. But the Mahjong scene is great. And the Asian covers of Madonna en Coldplay are fun.

www.imdb.com/title/tt3104988

Bird Box – *

Posted: January 6, 2019 in 2018, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, USA, X

45 million Netflix users have watched this apocalyptic horror movie within a week of its release. According to Netflix of course. It may be true though. And even when it isn’t true, the media picked up on it and made it the popcorn movie everyone is talking about.

But no-one is talking about it positively. The overall feeling is that of disappointment. This is not a good movie. It’s not living up to the hype. Earlier this year a similar movie scored really well at the regular box office and was far superior. A Quiet Place had the perfect balance between drama and horror. This one has no balance at all. It’s a mess.

The story is absurd. Out of nowhere a ‘presence’ makes people commit suicide on the spot. The only solution is to survive with a blindfold on. Sandra Bullock plays one of those survivors, who finds refuge in a house. Five years later, she’s urged to escape with two little kids as the house isn’t safe anymore. A new rescue centre is welcoming her but getting there is tricky as it’s down the river.

A Quiet Place made more sense, even though it’s also about a supernatural ‘presence’. In that movie people couldn’t make a sound and had to be quiet to survive. The audience could easily relate and feel the tension when a sound was made. In this movie in order to survive you have to be blind. So, the only way to feel the same tension as the characters is to not look. Well, that’s not really working if you’re watching a movie, is it?

Go watch Roma instead.

www.imdb.com/title/tt2737304