Archive for the ‘XX1/2’ Category

Long Distance Flight movie #1 – Discovery of the return flight movie marathon!

Watching To Each His Own only makes sense after visiting Japan and wondering why commuters look very robotic in the morning, but seem jolly after work. It does give you an insight of how strenuous life must be in this fascinating country full of contrasts. The movie is based on a bestselling novel that tackled the Japanese society and its damaging ambition of always wanting to perform perfectly and hiding true feelings of happiness at work. Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. And their office stress is notorious all. However, during visits of Tokyo or Kyoto, one can only see how much laughter is heard at the end of the day and how friendly everyone is. It’s true, the view in the evening is very conflicting with the look in the morning when the entire commuter train is staring at their smartphones and emotionless office clerks march over crossroads like a computerised army of similar looking ants. But it can’t be that bad as in this movie, can it?

As an outsider it’s difficult to judge the authenticity of the depiction of office life in this intriguing drama. Life in the working place of protagonist Attachi is hell. In a western movie the scenes would work as a parody. The exaggerated reactions of the tyrannical boss are quite funny. Until this movies turns out to be a drama and not a comedy at all. Attachi is so fed up with his life that he wants to commit suicide, but he is saved by a young man who claims to have gone to the same elementary school together. Attachi can’t remember the guy and thinks it’s fishy. Is this a gay stalker? (Yes, there are two unnecessarily homophobic scenes in this movie) Is it a scam? Yet, each encounter makes him more confident and happier and makes him re-think life.

It’s a good movie. It’s intriguing because it’s set in a society that is different from elsewhere in the world. This obedience and constant apologetic behaviour feels awkward after a while. But the end is quite remarkable. When we get to learn who this mysterious stranger is.

Oh and the makers added scenes of Vanuatu (the happiest nation in the world), which gives this movie an extra *.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5922578

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SMS Für Dich – **(*)

Posted: September 13, 2017 in 2016, Drama, Germany, Romance, romcom, XX1/2

Long Distance Flight movie #2

In this romantic tale from Germany, a children’s book illustrator struggles with life after her fiancée was killed in a car accident. Several months go by and she can’t find inspiration for new material. A good friend convinces her to come back to Berlin and another acquaintance suggests she should start communicating with her deceased boyfriend in order to cope with the loss. She starts using her old cell phone again (she had kept in a removal box) and decides to send a message to the number of her dead friend. There is no reply and she continues communicating this way.

In the mean time, a sports journalist receives a new cell phone number at work and starts receiving these weird messages from a girl who confesses all of her thoughts and feelings. He gets so intrigued that he decides to look for her. When they meet its love at first sight. The only problem is: he has not told her that he receives her messages…

It’s a classic movie. With no surprises. It’s been done before, just updated to the messaging times we live in. There is humour and there is an old-fashioned love interest. If this movie was made in the nineties with Tom hanks and Meg Ryan or in the fifties with Doris Day and Rock Hudson, they would have been global box office successes. But this one comes from Germany and got a limited release. Too bad. Great acting. Good story. Recommended.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5193460

Generally, Hollywood blockbuster comedies aren’t really funny. Or only partly funny. Luckily, from time to time, there are exceptions. Like The Hangover for instance. And also 21 and 22 Jump Street. Binge watch both of them and you’re in for almost 4 hours of pure fun and entertainment. Both movies are consistently funny. They are extremely silly and outrageously absurd, but very refreshing as well. There’s also subtle humor and plenty of cultural and social references/critiques. They often reverse the expectations. Which is great. The fact that within the script they joke about rebooting a tv series from the eighties (in the first one) and making a more expensive sequel (in the second one) is proof of how cleverly the script was written. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are really good at this kind of action comedy. And Ice Cube is just being Ice Cube to the fullest. There are quite a lot of surprises. And several quotes and one-liners are instant classics. You do need to have seen the first one, to understand the jokes of the second one. So that’s why it’s better to watch both of them in one rush. Yep. Very surprising.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1232829

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2294449 

The third installment of the recent Planet Of The Apes trilogy kind of disappoints. It’s a very dark movie. Very serious as well. And very slow. There isn’t that much action or adventure. Hey, the second half takes place in a sort of concentration camp. There are some excellent elements that still make it a great movie experience, but somehow the end result is just okay and not great. The new talking ape character brings laughter. Several times. And that’s good. Because the rest of the story is very depressing.

The GCI animation is breath taking. In combination with the acting by Andy Serkis the main character Caesar (the leader of the apes) looks so realistic. It’s quite a feat to create a talking chimpansee, whose emotional expressions look so real that at no time you are realizing how impossible the story is.

For those who don’t know the story: after a virus has almost wiped out human kind, the survivors are at war with a population of apes that are resistent to the virus and have evolved. The virus in the mean time, makes humans become more animalistic. It’s the third installment. If you haven’t seen the previous movies in the trilogy, don’t bother starting with this one.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3450958/

A nostalgic trip down memory lane: Romancing The Stone. Just felt like watching it again. And it was fun. As much fun as it was when I watched it repeatedly as a kid. This is the kind of movie that made me want to travel and be adventurous! Ha! Still haven’t made it to Columbia though.

For those who haven’t seen it yet: it’s Robert Zemeckis’ first blockbuster starring a then up and coming Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. It also has Danny DeVito in a small role. It’s very entertaining. It’s cheesy. A lot of the scenes don’t make sense. But others are still funny and quite clever.  The action and adventure aren’t that outdated at all. Just maybe the approach of how Hollywood showed ‘third world Columbia’ back then.

The eighties were the best.

And the trailer is pretty good, with Danny DeVito introducing the story as a phone call.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088011

A United Kingdom – **(*)

Posted: August 11, 2017 in 2016, biopic, Drama, Historical, UK, XX1/2
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United Kingdom tells the fascinating story of Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams, who become the first president of Botswana and his wife. The fascinating thing about it is that Seretse was black – of course – and Ruth was white. Quite remarkable at the time. And still quite remarkable right now. Unless you’re from Botswana or have travelled the country or have a keen interest in the history of Southern Africa, chances are very high that you’ve never heard about this remarkable history fact. So, hooray for the producers who made this an entertaining history lesson.

Unfortunately, it’s nothing more than that. It’s well acted, sure. And it’s nicely shot. But it’s a straight forward, uncontroversial, chronologically told succession of events. White girl meet black lawyer student in London. Guy turns out to be the heir to a chiefdom. Girl accepts marriage proposal. Everyone is against it. Her family. His family. The South African government. The British government. And so the trouble starts…

A lot is covered and it’s covered well. The situation is explained in clear and short dialogues. No excessive explanation. But also not that simplified. It’s a well done film. For the masses. Who didn’t go see the movie though. A shame. Stories like this need an audience. But maybe more for a tv night on Fridays.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3387266

 

Get Out – **(*)

Posted: May 19, 2017 in 2017, Fantasy, Thriller, USA, XX1/2

A black guy goes on a weekend to meet the parents of his white girlfriend for the very first time. But something doesn’t feel quite right. There’s only a few other blacks around the house and they act all weird. Things go really bad when his girlfriend’s mother suggests to hypnotize him to get rid of his smoking addiction…

This is a movie to go watch when you’re in an interracial relationship ! And if you’re not, go see it anyways. It’s good. A bit predictable, but well done. It’s not really a thriller, nor is it a horror story. It’s more of an social critical experiment and it works. It entertains for it’s entire length. There’s a bit of everything and even the funny moments are spot on. The acting is good. The story is unique. It should get a higher score. But in the end, it’s just a good movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5052448