Archive for the ‘XX’ Category

Sausage Party – **

Posted: May 8, 2017 in 2016, Animation, Comedy, Parody, USA, XX

Sausage Party would have been an excellent animated short. But animated shorts don’t make any profit and movie making is all about making profit. So Sausage Party became a feature animated movie that has some really clever and funny moments, but has even more redundant scenes. The set up is great though. The products in a supermarket assume that the humans who purchase them are Gods and will take them to the heavenly Great Beyond. Until, of course, some products discover the truth…

That set up is brilliant. The mockery of mass religion is daring and brave. The references to some of our current human situations are legio and often well thought of. However, for every high brow social comment joke there’s an ordinary platitude or sexual insinuation. In fact, there are more of the latter. Some are clever and funny too. There are just too many of them.

The main characters are a hot dog sausage (voided by Seth Rogen – perfect for the job) and a bun (voiced by Kirstin Wiig), who dream of ending up at the same human’s house so they can finally meet and be together. A sausage dreaming of being squeezed into a bun. A bun dreaming of having a sausage inside of her! It’s funny in the trailer and it’s funny the first 10 minutes of the movie. It’s just not funny anymore after half an hour, nor after an hour, nor after an hour and a half. By the time the Taco (voiced by Salma Hayek) wants to join in on the fun between the hotdog and the bun, it’s really not cool anymore. The makers decided to use all the stereotypical prejudiced voices and character types for its characters. The bagel is Jewish (Ed Norton sounding like Woody Allen), the Salsa is Mexican, etc…

It’s a very American animated movie. A lot of products are not known under the same name in Europe. So that kind of is annoying. And some characters in the movie are not edible at all. The Vaginal Douche is in there just for the gross jokes. And the Toilet Paper as well. But it would have been much more ‘realistic’ if the characters would just be food.

Anyways. It makes you laugh most of the time. So watch it. It’s only 99 cent as a rental on iTunes.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1700841/

Don’t Breathe – **

Posted: April 26, 2017 in 2016, Thriller, USA, XX

Three young burglars make the wrong move by breaking into the house of a blind man. The man isn’t helpless, on the contrary. In fact he has his own little dirty secrets as well. Will they ever get out alive?

Don’t Breathe does what it needs to do: excite and thrill until the very last moment. There are few unexpected surprises, which make up for the predictable story telling. It’s a pretty standard movie with few locations, few actors and haunting cinematography. It works. While you’re watching it. But it isn’t memorable.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4160708

Sprakeloos – **

Posted: March 24, 2017 in 2017, Drama, Flanders, LGBT themed, XX

Based on a popular book by one of the most successful Flemish writers, Sprakeloos (speechless) tells the story of a writer who has to come to terms with the emotional and physical decline of his mother after a devastating stroke. The concern for his mother is paired with anger and frustration.

The movie isn’t a success. Critics slammed it. Those who’ve read the book and seen the movie don’t like the interpretation of the story. But hey, the writer liked it. And I liked it too. More than a story about a very dramatic butcher’s wife/amateur actress who loses her speech (and rationality), it’s the story of the love/hate relationship of a son who looks a lot like his mother.

Yes, it’s flawed. But it’s well acted by Viviane De Muynck and Marie Vinck as the old and young butcher’s wife. And Stany Crets as the writer. The movie constantly swaps back and forth in time, a bit like what they do in This Is Us, and that keeps it going. It’s too bad it won’t get the audience that it deserves.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5585946

Logan – **

Posted: March 12, 2017 in 2017, Action, Drama, Fantasy, USA, XX

Logan is the newest episode in the successful X-Men saga and is very different from last year’s Apocalypse. It’s a dark tale about a troubled, alcoholic superhero who’s getting older, weaker and more cynical by the day. It feels more like a drama than a special effects-filled fantasy blockbuster. And it works. Kinda.

The character of Logan, better known as Wolverine, has always been one of the more intriguing in the X-men universe. He’s not on average mutant. His special gift has been tempered with. He’s an angry being, who has learned over the years to control his temper. He has no interest in using his powers either for the good nor for the bad. He just wants to be left alone. And that never seems to happen.

The story takes place in the distant future. There are almost no mutants left and Professor X is being contained in a remote place because he can’t control his brain any more (the mightiest on the planet). Logan provides medication for the professor and saves up to bring him to safety somewhere far away. He works as a limousine driver and gets through the day by almost drinking himself to death. It’s not the best of lives, but it gets much worse when a Mexican woman contacts him and introduces him to a girl who needs protection. That’s all you need to know.

It’s a good story. It’s a bit different. But it entertains. And Hugh Jackman owns his character. So his acting is excellent. However, it’s very predictable and what’s with the repetitive and flawed action scenes? Yes, the wolverine has sharp knifes coming out of his hands. And so has the little girl. But every single action scene involves either or both of them slicing up people with those knifes. It gets boring after a while. The fights aren’t original at all. And when the girl attacks it’s more comical than frightful. In fact most of the action scenes make you laugh instead of making you thrill from excitement. And apart from Logan and maybe Professor X, none of the new characters are intriguing.

But hey, it’s a fun 2 hours escape from reality.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3315342/

Southside With You – **

Posted: February 20, 2017 in 2016, Romance, USA, XX

A young intern at a law firm invites his adviser to a meeting about the construction of a community centre in a difficult part of Chicago. He’s a cocky, arrogant, somewhat elitist and smooth charmer. She’s an ambitious, intelligent, standoffish and somewhat frigid feminist. But they bond. She kind of falls for his charms and persistence. He falls for her ability to defy him. The invitation turns into a real date, including a visit to a museum, a walk in the park, attending a meeting, going for some drinks, watching a movie and finishing off with a kiss.

Several years later they’ll end up being the president and first lady of the United States: Barack and Michelle Obama.

Southside With You isn’t half as bad as you would fear. The idea is great: an entire feature movie about ONE date! A bit like Before Sunrise, but then taking place in the course of an afternoon. However, in this case it’s kind of based on true events and focuses on two people who the entire world knows. It’s quite obvious that the movie isn’t really representative of the actual date between the couple. But it’s also obvious that they didn’t want to add to much extra fictional drama either.

So what you are left with is a nice solid series of conversations between two colleagues who want to get to know each other better. The movie wouldn’t have gotten the same amount of attention if the characters were fictional. But if that had been the case, the movie would have been more engaging. Now, it’s pretty bland.

But the audiovisual period setting is great. (Miss You Much by Janet in Barack’s car and Do The Right Thing by Spike Lee at the cinema) And the acting is solid too even though neither of the main characters really look like Barack or Obama.

Rent it now on iTunes for 99 cents.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4258698

 

 

Loving – **

Posted: February 20, 2017 in 2016, Civil Rights, Drama, Political, USA, XX

A construction worker gets his girlfriend pregnant and wants to marry her.

There are a few problems though. It’s 1958. He lives in Virginia. He is white. His girlfriend is colored.

Loving is based on the true story of an interracial couple who got married in a place where it was legal (Washington DC), but decided to live in place where it was illegal (Virginia). They got sentenced after spending some time in jail. A judge was ‘mild’ and sent them in exile. They couldn’t set foot as a married couple for 25 years in the state where all their family and friends lived and where they owned some property.

Until the wife was fed up living in the big city and wrote a letter to Bobby Kennedy, who forwarded it to the . After a legal battle and uncertainty for several years, their case made it possible for everyone all over the United States to marry whomever they wanted. Well, heterosexuals that is.

Loving is a historically interesting movie. We just take it for granted that people of mixed heritage can marry, but that wasn’t the case until quite recently really. It’s a well made movie, but it’s not as emotionally gripping as you’d want it to be. A lot has to do with the personalities of the main characters. They are just ordinary people who love each other and just want to be left in peace. They don’t want the police to interfere, nor the court, nor a civil rights movement, nor the press. They just want to be left alone. They are so calm, it’s nerve wrecking. The performances may be based on the real personalities of Mr and Mrs Loving, but a cinematic drama needs characters that are more alive and vocal.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4669986

PK – **

Posted: February 12, 2017 in 2014, Comedy, India, XX
Tags: ,

A good remedy against feeling a bit down is watching a Bollywood production. Sure, just like Hollywood the Indian movie industry is making more bad movies than good ones, but sometimes you have a production that you cannot not like.

PK  was a blockbuster in India a few years ago. It made the headlines in Flanders as well as the first fifteen minutes take place in Bruges. Yes, PK is that Indian movie that inspired Indians to visit Bruges. Ka-Ching! Not that the movie got a wide release here. It was screened a few times  in Antwerp for its Indian community and that’s it.

PK is the name of an alien that lands in the desert of Rajasthan. Minutes after his arrival, his remote amulet (that can get him back to his spaceship) is stolen. So, next to learning about life on earth he also needs to find this amulet back. None of the earthlings can help and they all tell him he should ask God for help. So in his search for the amulet, he’s also searching for God. But who is God and which God in specific should he look for?

The trailer doesn’t promise anything good. The trailer makes the movie look like an incoherent comedy with a Mr Bean-like character and lame jokes. And that’s correct. But only partly. The most interesting thing about the movie is the discussion about God and religion in general. That’s actually really brave and refreshing. Bollywood movies are considered to be naive and conservative and afraid of shocking or pointing out the harsh realities. But that’s not entirely true. The charming thing about them is that they don’t need to shock to make a point.

India has – of course – many more religions to deal with than any average country in Europe or the West in general and seems to be able to do so with (politically incorrect) humor. There’s also that eternal feud with Pakistan, which seems to be mentioned in every single movie they produce. So, it kind of makes sense that this movie was a big hit. But the general idea of the movie can resound to anyone in the world. It’s a bit strange to say this about a Bollywood comedy, but its philosophy is quite intriguing.

At one time the alien concludes that “there are two gods. one who created us and one we created ourselves” It’s lines like that which makes this a different kind of comedy. Even the slapstick scenes are clever. When the alien is so confused about the different rituals for each religion, it leads to comical situations. Like the one where he first learns from a christian that people wear black because they are mourning the death of a husband and he then later walks up to three muslim women in niqab to offer them his condolences, not realizing their husband is just walking behind them…

Anyways. Despite its intriguing theme it’s a typical Indian movie. It’s overlong. It has several dance scenes. A lot goes missing in the translation (in fact the title is funny in Hindi but needs explanation in English). There’s a lot of overacting. But that’s also the charm of the style. It seems that all these movies have such positive vibes. Which again, is a good remedy against feeling a bit down.

The opening scene in Bruges is really just for marketing purposes. It’s the reason why this movie made it to the blog. It’s not that important to the story. Bruges looks lovely though. Just look at the video clip below the trailer!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2338151