Archive for the ‘XX’ Category

Fighting With My Family – **

Posted: October 10, 2019 in 2019, Dramedy, UK, USA, XX

Quite an enjoyable 99 cent rental for on a long train journey. Nothing too heavy, nothing too serious. Nothing annoying.

It’s the story of the WWE wrestler Paige, who grew up in a wrestling family in Norwich, England and made it all the way to the top. It’s a fun British dramedy, like only the Brits can make them.

The acting is quite good, especially by the main actress (Florence Pugh) and her on screen mom (Lena Headey, Cersei from GoT). But also by Vince Vaughn as the coach. The jokes are funny. So, as a comedy it works. As a drama it only rarely does. Sure, it’s a great zero to hero story. It’s well told, classical and very predictable, but well told. But any scene of conflict feels extremely forced. Which is strange for a movie that is set in the conflict driven wrestling scene. The tale of a brother and sister sharing a same dream and only one achieving it, is quite compelling. But it’s shown in an non-compelling way. Which is sad.

Still. worth the watch.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6513120

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This Is Us : Season 3 – **

Posted: September 15, 2019 in 2018, Drama, TV series, USA, XX

Kevin goes on a mission to Vietnam to learn more about what his father did over there. He’s also dating Beth’s niece. And becomes an alcoholic. Again.

Randall becomes a politician and acts like a total asshole at times.

Kate gets pregnant and gives birth.

This is one boring season.

Yes, you get to learn a bit more about the side characters. But it’s still all about the Pearson family and they become more and more annoying and less and less credible in their family antics.

It took months to finish watching this season. Only one episode was great: R & B. But then the final episode blew it again.

Not looking forward to season 4

www.imdb.com/title/tt5555260

Special – **

Posted: August 26, 2019 in 2019, Drama, LGBT themed, TV series, USA, XX

It starts good. A guy with (a light form of) cerebral palsy starts an internship at an online press company, but is afraid to tell the rest of the team what his condition is. His boss asks if he acts so weird because he was hit by a car and there you have the lie he needed: yes, he got hit by a car and that damaged him for life. It’s also the first article he writes for the website and it’s an immediate success.

It starts of funny as well. As he’s with his physiotherapist he mentioned how jealous he is of Bob, who’s in the wheelchair all the time. ” I feel like a mixed race child, not knowing who to belong to. I am not ‘abled’ enough to live a normal life and I’m not disabled enough either. At least Bob knows where he is at.” “That’s a lot of insults in one sentence” his therapist say. Bam. Un-pc humor right from the start

However, the next seven (very short) episodes, bring more drama and less humor. And the charming, funny character, becomes a bit of an whining jerk. The guy is gay and a virgin and he just wants to find a partner! He also wants to live on his own even though he cannot tie his shoe laces! He wants to get away from his over-caring mom, but is then upset when she starts a relationship with the hot new neighbor.

The humor and charm of the first episode are gone by episode two. Which is weird. Because normally the pilot is the bad episode and the show gets better after that. It’s a short series and there are some good elements, but as a whole it’s not really worth recommending.

Missed chance.

www.imdb.com/title/tt9381622/

 

Woman In Gold – **

Posted: August 16, 2019 in 2015, Courtroom, Drama, UK, USA, XX

Gustav Klimt’s Portrait Of Adèle Bloch Bauer was hanging at the Belvedere in Vienna for several decades until a family member of the model claimed it back.

It’s an amazing story. Based on true facts. Adèle Bloch Bauer was a model for one of the most important Austrian painters. Her husband commissioned the portrait and it hung in their house for many years. Until the Nazi’s took over control in Vienna and the paintings were confiscated. The portrait was brought to the Belvedere, which is one of the many art museums in Austria’s capital.

Jump ahead to the late nineties when Austria starts to talk about giving back paintings to those families that the nazis stole it from. Unfortunately for the Austrians, there’s a niece of Adèle Block Bauer living in Los Angeles who wants the painting of her aunt back. She gets the help of a young lawyer, also of Jewish-Austrian descent, and an Austrian journalist who wants to come to terms with the country’s nazi past.

It’s an okay movie. The story intrigues and Helen Mirren is quite charming in the main lead. She created a character that entertains throughout the entire story. Also good are the flashbacks to the time of when the painting was made and the time of the nazi takeover. But unfortunately the focus is on the court case and that’s a tad boring.

Not sure what Austrians think about this movie…

www.imdb.com/title/tt2404425

Sarajevo – **

Posted: July 28, 2019 in 2014, Austria, biopic, Germany, Terrorist, War, WW1, XX

This whodunnit … or rather who-ordered-it-to-have-it-done starts off really well. It focuses on one of the most important historical moments in recent history: the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo.

The protagonist is Leo Pfeffer, the magistrate in charge of the investigation. The case is quite simple really. Gavrilo Princip shot him after an earlier attempt to kill the archduke by other Serbian terrorists failed. They even arrested the murderer and he confessed. So what’s there to investigate?

Well, according to this movie a lot. Like, who ordered this murder? In history class we learn that a group of Serbian anarchists did it. But did they get the order from the Serbian government? Or … did they get the order from German (business) leaders who just wanted to start a war ?

The movie is good. Well acted. Well directed. Well told. BUT it’s focussing too much on the latter assumption. It’s an interesting thought and it’s true that Europe was eager to go to war (at least the German leaders), but we get the point after a while. There’s also a love story, which most likely is pure fictional and was just added for the drama. It’s well thought of, but it does bother the storytelling a bit. The conversations between the characters also feel like these characters know what the future will look like. Which they didn’t.

Still. Worth the watch. And it’s on youtube

www.imdb.com/title/tt3691446

 

Aladdin – **

Posted: July 24, 2019 in 2019, Children/Family, Fantasy, USA, XX

Visually a blast, this is quite an entertaining movie.

However. This live adaption of the animation classic is very flawed.

First there’s the setting. This is supposed to be an Arab folktale. Yet, it feels like the movie is made in Punjab or so. The market kinda looks middle eastern maybe. But the whole atmosphere is more Bollywood than anything else.

Also, why on earth would a Scandinavian-like prince speak with a German accent and look for an Arab princess to marry back in whatever era this tale is supposed to take place? Sure, it’s a fairytale, but even fairytales should make sense.

Then there’s the acting. It’s not good.

And finally, the music sucks. There are way too many songs and they all sound dull. About from that one hit maybe (A Whole New World).

However, as mentioned before. It’s an entertaining movie that doesn’t bore a bit. It baffles and annoys.

Makes you want to watch the animation movie though.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6139732

1956, East-Berlin. Two students of a class finishing high school are able to sneak into West-Berlin to see a movie. The wall separating both parts of Berlin hasn’t been erected yet and it’s still possible to visit the other part. However, at the movie theatre they learn about a revolt in Budapest agains the Russian occupiers and once back in East-Berlin they inform their fellow classmates about the different reporting about what’s going on in Hungary.

The entire class decides to keep silent for 2 minutes in respect for what’s going on in Hungary. But the silly act isn’t met with much comprehension from their teacher and soon the principal and higher officials are informed. Keeping silent for 2 minutes as a protest is considered a political act and the consequences will be severe.

The story is based on true events, which makes the movie more intriguing than if it were pure fiction. It’s a history lesson and worth watching, but the storytelling isn’t that compelling and the acting or directing isn’t that extraordinary either. It does give you an idea of what life was like in the mid fifties in East Berlin, but it’s all pretty superficial. It’s a warning against propaganda and it does give some insight as to why a lot of people in the DDR were okay with being in the DDR. But it doesn’t really dig deep.

The book was probably better than the movie.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6576556