Archive for the ‘XX’ Category

The Mountain Between Us – **

Posted: October 23, 2017 in 2017, Adventure, Drama, Romance, USA, XX

Took my mom to the cinema to see The Mountain Between Us, a movie which got a lot of bad reviews, but somehow still intrigued. One of the first things my mom said after the end credits rolled was: “Why would reviewers consider this a bad movie?” Yes, reviewers, why?

Sure, it’s predictable. And yes, the chemistry between the main characters isn’t really there. But it’s an entertaining movie. It has beautiful scenes of the Rocky Mountains and the action and adventure is gentle enough for those who go see it for the romantic element. Yes, it’s neither a good adventure movie, nor a gripping romantic drama. Yes, the director should have focused on just one genre, the epic adventure tale especially. But the poster and the trailer already tell you it’s not going to be Into The Wild or The Revenant. 

Both Idris Elba and Kate Winslet are a joy to look at. Even after several days without food or the lack of a hairdresser in the wilderness, they still look very hot. Elba’s beard doesn’t seem to grow at all. Winslet’s bruised face could still be featured in a l’Oreal commercial. Let’s blame the perfect look on the clear, cold weather up in the high mountains! She’s a bit of an annoying, passionate, independent, restless photographer-journalist. He’s a quiet, rational, emotionally timid brain surgeon. Whoever thought the audience would believe they are a perfect match in heaven (well, the mountains – close enough) is wrong.

The movie would have been much better if one of them, or both, died somehow. After surviving Titanic, maybe Winslet should have just given her life for a change. But no.

Love going to the movies with my mom (83). She really enjoyed this one. So fuck reviewers who tell people it’s a bad movie. It’s not. It’s just not a great one.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2226597

 

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The six episodes of season one didn’t quite do it for me. Not sure what all the fuzz is about. It starts off like 28 Days Later, with a guy waking up from a coma in a post apocalypse world where zombies are roaming the streets and where survivors are trying to fight back and secure themselves from the zombies and other survivors. It also makes you think of the canceled BBC show Survivors and plenty of other shows that feature a very diverse group of people needing to live together by force.

The story isn’t really captivating. Nor realistic at all. The metropolitan area of Atlanta has about 6 million inhabitants. You get to see maybe 150 zombies and some 500 dead corpses. Plus a few dozen of survivors. The main character can ride on a horse into the city and not see ANY zombies or dead corpses, but then he gets to Midtown and suddenly he is surrounded by not all that many really. That just doesn’t make sense. Then he reunites with his wife and son after two episodes! Sure it adds to the drama because the wife has started an affair with his best friend in the mean time, who helped her escape. But seriously, after 2 episodes? Then of course you have the horror cliché of always wanting to go back to the horror scene. Also, what is this urge for people to keep living and fight back? Why would you choose to continue living under a constant treat of being killed and eaten by the undead?

You’d think the zombies would be scary, but they are not. They are silly. So the series doesn’t work as a horror show either. And the characters? Well, you have the racist one. The clumsy, chubby African-American one. The wife-beating redneck one. The nagging, cheating wife. The cheating on his best friend aggressive one. The geeky Asian one. Etc… Not really an interesting bunch.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1520211

Brave – **

Posted: October 2, 2017 in 2016, Animation, Children/Family, USA, XX
Tags: , , ,

Hey, Disney/Pixar Studios, can you make an animated feature movie that shows ALL the stereotypes of Scotland? Put in some folky music, bagpipes of course, the highland games, characters with ginger hair, the accent of course, with words like ‘wee’ every now and then, men wearing kilts and nothing underneath of it, some celtic ritual stones, a lot of ‘pub’ fighting, because that’s what people do in Scotland… Never mind being historically correct. Who cares if the Vikings and the Romans invaded Scotland at the same time. Nobody cares. And don’t worry about making the king look three times the size of the queen. And the children look like they are only one foot tall. Never mind that. Just make it about a heroin. A Girl, yes. A brave one. With Ginger hair of course. And add a scene with a witch and a spell, like in the old days. Oh and some bears. That’s always good fun. And a horse as a side kick. Yeah. Make it and you’ll have a hit.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1217209/

Long Distance Flight movie #3

Not sure if the humour of What A Wonderful Family is typical for Japan, but it’s quite universal. This movie is a sequel, but is easily enjoyed without seeing the first episode.

After a visit of Japan, where you constantly see friends or couples or groups of people laugh out loud during conversations, you wonder what they are laughing about. Apparently – according to an article on the subject – words of play and sadism are quite popular; sarcasm and irony not so much. And just plain slapstick. There is a little of everything in this comedy. It’s quite funny, recognisable even.

The comedy focuses on a family of Mr Shuzo, who is in his seventies and lives with his culturally independent wife; his ambitious, money making oldest son; his obedient daughter in law and his two teenage grandsons under the same roof. It’s not easy. Three generations is too much. His oldest, career daughter has married a cheap, but cheerful coward. And his youngest, sensitive son is dating an equally caring nurse. All of them interfere with his behaviour. All of them want him to turn in his driver license. But he loves his independence and wants to proof he is still very vital. He even courts the woman who runs the bar he goes to with his drinking buddies.

There are a lot of funny moments, even though a lot of them involve the toilet or intergender issues. Things change a little more to the dramatic when he meets an old school buddy who ends up dying two thirds into the movie, but then the humour picks up again and becomes quite morbid.

It’s a gentle comedy for he large crowds, appealing to the seniors and anyone who loves or works with an age group over 70.

It’s not all humour though, like that one scene where someone explains why some broken relationships can be fixed and others can’t.  A comparison is made with threads. If they are gradually woven, they can be put together once they loosen up by age. If they were put together in a mess, they need to be cut to entangle and can’t be mend.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5934564

Fences – **

Posted: August 22, 2017 in 2016, Drama, USA, XX

Hm.

 

The poster is deceiving. It’s eye-catching with its stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis holding each other tight and smiling. But they have NOTHING to smile about!

The trailer gives a better look at what kind of movie you’ll start watching: an overlong, theatrical drama, probably excellent on stage, but not quite as entertaining as a movie. It’s filled with powerful dialogues and boring monologues and a LOT of drama. Denzel Washington’s character is not a nice guy. It’s very difficult to empathize with him. And somehow it’s also difficult to empathize with Viola Davis’s character as well.

As a devout wife to the embittered, cheating, garbage collecting, ex professional baseball hopeful with an alcohol problem and little sympathy for the dreams of his sons, Viola Davis delivers a great performance. But she is a supporting actress and that’s sad. She only has one scene where her character gets something important to say for the viewer to actually start liking her. But that’s pretty late in the movie. (see both the stage and movie scene below) Washington on the other hand is in almost every single scene. Sure, he’s the director of the movie, but it does feel a bit like an ego-trip. He’s acting like he’s on stage. Shouting so everyone can hear it in the back of the theatre. But on the screen that just doesn’t work. The story takes place in a backyard. And none of the neighbors are complaining about this prick being so loud all the time. Even though the photography is okay and some shots are quite cinematic, little is done to evolve the setting into the story.

Oh well. Watch it and be prepared to not like the main character.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2671706

 

On stage:

In the movie:

Check It – **

Posted: August 18, 2017 in 2016, Documentary, LGBT themed, USA, XX

Check It is an intriguing documentary about the E-street prostitute subculture in DC, consisting of several african american gay men who form a gang and cause mayhem wherever they go. The movie follows three of them in particular, who are given the chance to work as assistants to a fashion event organizer.

Luckily for the documentary makers (and the viewers) those three characters are quite entertaining subjects and are easy to empathize with. It doesn’t feel like the scenes were set up. Their naturally dramatic behavior is fascinating enough. There’s definitely a lot of pretending in front of the camera. After all, they are diva’s. But the reality of their life is probably much harder than shown here.

It’s not a nice story. It’s grim and shocking at times. Sure, it has an uplifting feel to it and an indication of hope. But in the end, as a viewer, you’re being a voyeur to the miserable life of others. The intentions of the documentary makers are not really clear. Sensationalism or raising concern?

The movie can be best described as a combination of Tangerine (the indie comedy about transsexual prostitutes in LA), the VICE documentary about gays living together in the gutters of Kingston Jamaica, a bit of Moonlight (kids being raised by crackhead mothers), Rocky (expressing your anger via boxing), a reality tv show on Fashion TV for aspiring fashion event organizers and a video of Mykki Blanco, the extravagant NY rapper who was performing today not so far away.

Check out Check It. 

The movie poster is brilliant as well.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5299014

Kebab Connection – **

Posted: August 13, 2017 in 2004, Comedy, Germany, romcom, XX

You know when a movie is old when a) people don’t use cell or smart phones to communicate with each other and b) people smoke in public rooms. However, Kebab Connection is from 2004. Not that long ago. It just looks like it was made back in the eighties. And that was probably the point.

Finally, after ordering a Döner Kebab (that’s a fact), the time was right to watch this German romcom about a young aspiring movie maker of Turkish descent whose aspiring actress girlfriend turns out to be pregnant. It’s a Romeo & Julia love story set in Hamburg. There’s little drama, but quite a lot of humor. It feels fresh. But it also feels like it was made with a very low budget. There are plenty of references to classic movie scenes. The acting is good. It’s quite entertaining. And at times original. It’s simple, somewhat naive, amateur and very positive. A old fashioned feel good movie. And sometimes, that’s all you need.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0177882