Archive for the ‘X1/2’ Category

100 Streets – *(*)

Posted: August 10, 2017 in 2016, Drama, UK, X1/2
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Idris Elba is an intriguing celebrity. He’s both arrogant and down-to-earth at the same time. He’s both hot and cool. He’s an eloquent speaker, yet has street credibility. He’s very versatile. He does a bit of everything. He’s a model, a dj, a fighter and predominantly an actor.

Yet, he’s not such a good actor. He’s always Idris Elba. For years they are assuming he will be the next Bond, but he’ll never be Bond. He’ll be Elba, Idris Elba.

There’s a new movie out in theaters that has him in a starring role (Dark Tower). In fact, there seems to be a movie out with him every two months or so. But somehow, he’s not really a movie star. He’s not a Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Will Smith kind of star.

So, to call this 100 Streets a Idris Elba movie, is weird. In fact, it’s misleading. The real star of this movie is Franz Drameh. His character is much more prominent in the story and his acting skills surpass those of Elba. This should be called a Franz Drameh film and the trailer should be focussing on this story.

The trailer is very much misleading. This is not just a movie about a rugby player who cheats on his wife, then wants her back, takes drugs and goes berserk swinging a gun in public. It’s also a movie about a taxi driver whose hooligan past damages the adoption process he’s in and who causes a terrible accident. It’s also a movie about a rugby wife falling for a photographer after her husband cheated on her. But most of all it’s about a young, drug dealing kid from the block who wants to quit the criminal life and aspires to be a poet. That should be in the trailer! But that’s too much information. And that’s exactly what’s wrong with this movie: there are too many stories. And they only briefly intertwine. Crash it is not.

But coming back to Idris Elba. This movie could have done without all of his scenes. It would have been more intriguing if the focus was just on the taxi driver, the rugby wife and the poetic drug dealer. It kind of feels like that was the original script and the producers just added the scenes with Elba once he got on board. In order to make it an Idris Elba movie.

But hey, he got mentioned 7 times in this review….

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2990126

Christine – *(*)

Posted: May 18, 2017 in 2016, Drama, USA, X1/2

This is one of the rare cases where you do want to give the end away to understand what the story is leading up to:  a journalist commits suicide, live on tv. There you go. It’s also the only real fact that is historically correct. All the rest, the leading up to the finale, is just an interpretation of what this woman may have gone through in the days leading up to her death. It really helps to know that this is a movie about a woman committing suicide, because after an hour into the movie your patience will be tested. Woody Allen did a better job depicting a mentally unstable, but still functioning character in Blue Jasmin, a movie in which both the director, storyteller and actress equal each others’ talent. In Christine it’s basically just Rebecca Hall who steals the show and carries the project. She’s really good, but can’t help make you wonder where the story actually will lead you to.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4666726

There should be a new MPAA rating that says: Only For Kids!

The set up is cool though. The story tells the adventure of several apartment pets who venture out away from their comfort zone in the quest for a missing dog and his new companion. Most of the scenes are inspired by funny animal clips on youtube. And some of them are funny. One character in particular is hilarious: Gidget. And Kevin Hart forcing a revengeful bunny is also quite unique. But the story itself just doesn’t make a lot of sense. There are a lot of other animation movies out there they give a better feel of satisfaction.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2709768

Jackie – *(*)

Posted: April 5, 2017 in 2016, biopic, Chile, Drama, USA, X1/2

Hm.

Nathalie Portman is great as Jackie Kennedy. She would have deserved an Oscar. In fact, she’s the only reason why you really need to see this movie. She’s in almost every scene and even though her character isn’t the easiest to empathize with, she doesn’t bore. The writing is good too. The story focuses on the aftermath of the assassination of JFK. You don’t get to learn anything about her life before and after this terrible act. Apart from that one time she hosted a television crew inside the White House. But that’s fine. You get to watch her for 2 hours in the most difficult period of her life. Great.

Yet somehow this isn’t a great movie.

The soundtrack is so annoying that it disturbs the entire atmosphere of the movie. Magnificent according to the Guardian. Terrible according to many user reviews on imdb. Make up your mind. The other members of the cast play second fiddle and can’t even pull that off. This is Nathalie Portman’s show and the other actors look like they are auditioning for a part.

When you’re annoyed throughout the entire movie, it’s not a good movie. No matter how excellent the lead is.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1619029/

This is a movie for those who love Jane Austin stories, but think they are too white. It’s set in the same period of time, but this time the female heroine is a mulatto heiress.

The illegitimate daughter of a wealthy navy officer (and a slave from the West Indies) is raised by her uncle and aunt, who are already raising another niece. When her father dies she has a good fortune, but that doesn’t mean much, because as a mulatto she can’t really go higher up in society. Until a noble man fancies on marrying her, telling her that ‘unlike others’ he is ready to ignore the traits she received for her mother because ‘it is clear that the traits of her father luckily are more evident’.

In the mean time, the uncle is settling a case about a (slave ship) company that threw their human cargo overboard in order to get money back from their insurance. A young lawyer is trying to convince the uncle that he should speak against the company. Soon the mulatto heiress falls for him.

Yawn.

It’s a period piece. With a different take. But it tells the same story. It sucks being a woman at that time. Let alone a mulatto woman with money.

Somehow, British people love seeing movies and series about class distinction so they can continue using it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2404181

Silence – *(*)

Posted: February 26, 2017 in 2016, Drama, USA, X1/2
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YAWN

No wonder this new Martin Scorsese movie flopped. Who would want to recommend this ‘spiritual adventure’? It’s tedious. It’s overlong. It’s caricatural. Andrew Garfield is on-screen for 2,5 hours. The Japanese speak Japanese, but they communicate in bad English to two characters who speak fluent English even though historically they have no knowledge of the English language at all.

It’s about two Portuguese Jesuits who consider it their mission to look for the last remaining catholic priest in Japan. Anno 1640 that is. Rumor has it that he denounced his faith and that there is no-one left to give hope to the christian Japanese who are being persecuted.

The most interesting dialogue is at the end though when one of the Jesuits meets the leader of the inquisition after being imprisoned and being tested. It’s a thought-provoking discussion, which resonates in today’s times as well.

For a discussion about faith and how to enforce it on others or persecute it by others, it’s better to just write it down in an essay. You won’t reach the same audience, but at least you won’t bore the one’s who don’t really care.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0490215

Florence Foster Jenkins – *(*)

Posted: February 26, 2017 in 2016, Dramedy, Musical, USA, X1/2

A 99 cent rental.

That kind of is the reason why this movie is on here.

And because it has Meryl Streep in it who got yet another Oscar-nomination for her portrayal of the title character.

It’s about a society lady who’s been sponsoring a lot of musical performances throughout her life and who decides it’s time to go onstage herself (before she dies). She hires a vocal coach and a young piano player and has her husband pay them a LOT of money to pretend that she’s actually good. Her voice, however, is the most terrible thing ever recorded in American music history.

It’s an okay movie, but it has little to no appeal. It’s a one gimmick musical comedy and only conjures up two or three laughs. The music sequences are terrible. That’s the point of course. But that doesn’t make them enjoyable. As a period piece it’s quite on spot. And the comical acting is good. But it’s the kind of movie that you forgot minutes after you’ve finished watching.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4136084