Archive for the ‘XXXX’ Category

Classic: Roma – ****

Posted: January 7, 2019 in 2018, Drama, Mexico, USA, XXXX

It’s quite weird to first see a movie (legally) on a tv screen, before it’s shown in movie theatre. Yet, Roma, is produced by Netflix and only in theaters because it’s so extraordinarily good.

Do NOT watch this on tv. Watch this on a big screen. It makes the movie absolutely flawless. This is the perfect moving picture. Every frame is a great shot. And there is so much going on in every single scene. When you watch this in the movie theatre you see things you didn’t notice at home. When you watch this a second time around, you also remark things you didn’t notice at all the first time around. The care for details is meticulous.

Some of the best scenes are where you tend to focus on the main characters in the shot, but the real pleasure is going on in the background. There’s the movie theatre scene, where the focus is on the main character telling her boyfriend that she is pregnant. However, at the same time you can watch the scene from the movie that is shown (La Grande Vadrouille) and you can watch all the other couples or individuals smooching or smoking a cigarette in the theatre.

It’s like going to a Fine Arts museum and seeing different details every time you watch the same painting by a Flemish painter. This movie is a collection of tableaux vivants. 

Some people will call it a slow movie. Other may call it boring. Many may not want to see a story about class difference in the Mexico City of 1971. The fact that’s about two women being abandoned by their lover/husband makes it a chick flick. The fact that it’s in black&white makes it an ‘old’ movie. There are a LOT of reasons to not watch it.

But that’s all prejudice.

This is the best movie in years! Just watch the trailer and if you’re intrigued watch the whole thing. IN A MOVIE THEATRE.

The movie ended up winning two Golden Globes. Best Foreign Language movie and Best Director. These should be safe bets for the Academy Awards. And add Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Actress (if Yalitza Aparicio gets nominated of course), Best Score and some more to it…

Everything works in this sequel. All the great elements of the first season are still very present. The budget was better, so this leads to better special effects, better acting (more takes) and an even cooler soundtrack! 1984 is the year and the eighties references are legit (if that’s a word they already used back then). They even got original Goonie Sean Austin to play a new character, Winona Ryder’s love interest! Excellent. There are more new characters and they all are a great addition to the already amazing cast. It’s brilliant how the story writers were able to still have the diverse bunch of people from the first season work together again. And even though it’s a science fiction fantasy trip, you believe everything these characters do and say. Yep. The first season as just an introduction. This is perfection.


This is amazing.

This series is outstanding. The acting is incredible. The balance between emotional drama and small humor is so perfect that it just hits the right chords.

Not since The Wire: Season 4 did a tv show get me so hard. Every single episode brought tears. It’s almost flawless. The child actors aren’t really performing as well as the adult counterparts. And the final episode is a little bit too PC. But those are just minor complaints.

The biggest problem for this show is that the bar is raised so incredibly high that more episodes can only disappoint.

No trailer, but a few great scenes.

This is the most powerful scene in recent tv history


This brother fight is brilliant:

This is strong too:


Back in the early nineties, when I made a top 100 list of my favorite movies of all times, Back To The Future came third after Jaws and The Temple Of Doom. It probably wouldn’t make my top 10 anymore – Amelie, Cidade de Deus, Entre Les Murs, etc… would get the bronze medal now -, but it’s still a classic. I’ve seen this cheesy scifi romcom at least a dozen of times. But the last time must have been 25 years ago. If not longer. It was time for some REAL 80’s nostalgia! And I loved it!

I had forgotten a few key moments in the movies, but I could still quote several lines ahead of time. “Hello, Hello, Anybody Home?” (Biff knocking on McFly’s head) “I am your density!’ (McFly trying to ask Loraine out for a date). Okay, the humor in this movie is more of the slapstick kind and too silly to be sophisticated, but I remembered laughing so hard as a kid with this movie that the memory made me laugh as much now. It still works though. The story is still quite fresh and it’s very remarkable that 1985 doesn’t look all that long ago. Marty goes 30 years back in time and sees an environment that is very different from what he’s used to. But if someone in 2015 would go back in time to 1985, the changes wouldn’t be so big. And it wouldn’t be as funny. I hope there will never be a remake. This is a timeless comedy classic. The special effects may feel a bit outdated, but the story and the acting – though over the top – is sill impressive. I still enjoyed every single minute of it (apart from maybe the overlong build up to the lightning moment at the end). So this favorite passed the test of time.




It took me 38 years to see Jaws on a big screen! I have waited for this day since I saw the movie for the first time back when I was 12 or so. Jaws! I have three different VHS cassettes and two different DVD-releases. I have a dozen of books published on the phenomenon and I’ve collected even more dozens of articles over the years. I’ve written an essay about it in college. My friends from back in the nineties have given me hundreds of Jaws-like postcards, mugs, bottle openers, teddy bears, t-shirts, magnets, key chains, etc….  I’ve seen Spielberg’s masterpiece more than 20 times. at least. Yet, it took me this long to see it at the movies. But I did and I wasn’t disappointed. I was even surprised to see things that I had never noticed before. Minor details but still. I was ALL ALONE in the theatre room, which gave it an even personal touch. It may not have been the biggest screen in the world, but it was bigger than any flatscreen in any home I’ve been. So hooray!

Still my favorite movie of all times!

Dexter Season 5 – ****

Posted: December 4, 2011 in 2010, Thriller, TV series, XXXX

Just finished watching season 5 of my favorite serial killer series. And it was AWESOME because it was flawless. Sure, it wasn’t as scary as season 1 and 2. But it was so much better than series 3 and it really improved on season 4 as well, which was NOT an easy task. The finale of Season 4 was pretty shocking, but the writers ended up creating an incredibly exciting new season. Yes, I’m very impressed!

What I really like about Dexter is that the series are really consistent. If something gets introduced in the story, there is going to be a follow-up of that particular thing. So many other series leave important scenes in the cutting room which makes the audience think ‘whatever happened to…’ . Not with Dexter. Much respect for the script writing team.

But it’s also the acting that makes the series so good. I recently read an article about a guy who had a list of the most annoying characters in Dexter and he basically listed every single one. I don’t agree with that list at all. Each character has a specific purpose in this series. And yes, Deb is a bitch, but I really start to like her and even though I didn’t like Jennifer Carpenter in the beginning, now I have to admit that she really does play Deb well. Yeah, everyone in the cast is good. No complaints there either.

So the story and the acting make this one of the best tv series ever. (apart from season 3 that is). Can’t wait for season 6 with Mos Def.

Oh, what is it all about? Well, Dexter (a serial killer who only kills people who deserve to die) finally gets a companion. during one of his killings he encounters a young woman who has been sexually abused by the person Dexter is about to kill. He rescues her and there’s a special bond grower between the two of them. It turns out that the molester wasn’t handling on his own, so both Dexter and his new friend decide to trace down all the other molesters and kill them off. In the meantime, Deb (Dexter’s sister) is investigating in a very strange beheading murder case. And Dexter is being spied on by someone from his team.

The story is multilayered and, okay, as I’m writing this, I have to admit that they could have taken that beheading murder case into more detail. And hey, whatever happened to the second brother? lol. But in the end, I really enjoyed this show. Or better, I was really thrilled watching it. Good job!

Entre Les Murs – ****

Posted: May 15, 2011 in Drama, France, XXXX

This movie was shown on France 2 tonight as the Cannes Film Festival started and the movie won in 2008. I saw it in Brasil of all places, but thought it was the best movie of the year as well. Watched it again, and there’s NOTHING wrong about this movie. This is an incredibly real, balanced, thought-provoking master piece about a teacher and his multicultural class. Almost all issues about modern teaching are shown both from the teacher’s point of view to the students’ lives. It looks like a documentary, but it’s all acted. Even though all the names of the characters are the names of the actors. Some students you’ll love to hate and hate to love. They are stereotypes, but not stereotypical. And the teacher leads the movie, like he leads the class. With respect and interest, but also with frustration.

So far the only **** film reviewed on here.

Mad Men – Season 2 – ****

Posted: October 17, 2010 in Drama, TV series, USA, XXXX

Just as expected, season 1 of Mad Men was just an introduction to the amazing Season 2 which is almost entirely flawless. It’s bascially more of the same, but just better. The details about the period in which the story take place are beyond perfection. It’s not only a historical account, it also reflects on its difference to and its similarities of today’s society. The art direction is better detailed than any of the recent Oscar-winning motion pictures and is incorporated in the story. Even becomes a non talking character, like the first big copy machine that gets introduced in the Office. And then there’s the character development, which is outstanding. Characters you remotely cared for in the first season continuously grow to be fascinating. Few new people get introduced, so the focus is on the known ones whose development is always logical (apart from Mr Sterlinger maybe).

Probably the most intriguing person in the show is Mrs Draper who not only visually steals every single scene she’s in, but who also captivates by her confusing, yet very understandable behaviour.  The way she deals with the cheating of her husband is powerful. Mr Draper himself loses his main character status and gets pushed in the background a little, which is compensated by necessary flashbacks to his past. Peggy Olson and Mr Campbell on the other hand get a lot more attention. And to their benefit. They are not particularly likeable at all, but they manage to keep you thinking about them. Even hours after watching an episode.

Mad Men is the kind of show that appears in your dreams. The kind of fiction that sneaks into your own imagination. And that is perfect television.

There wasn’t really a trailer for season 2, but here’s a recap of the two first seasons. It’s better if you don’t watch it. The best is just to be surprised by the story.