Archive for the ‘Netherlands’ Category

The most hyped movie of the year is a disappointment. It’s a fun ride, but it’s not that all that spectacular. It’s like a rollercoaster that doesn’t really give you the thrills you want. Even though it has its highs and its lows. A rollercoaster ride needs to speed up all the time. When it slows down, it’s to gain power and energy to go up again. That’s not the case here.

The lows:

  • “Kind of Based On True Shit”. Okay, cool tag line. But it’s very basic shit. The story has been told a zillion times before. Small criminals decide to mingle with the big league and things go wrong.
  • The Typography. That movie poster title looks really bad. And it comes back in the movie.
  • The visual references to video games. We get it, they love playing video games, but to make certain scenes in the movie look like part of a video game doesn’t work.
  • The Narration by the main character. Annoying. The North African Antwerp accent is terrible, but it’s especially the monotonous tone in which the story is told.
  • Matteo Simoni. Great actor. Totally miscast.
  • The use of street slang that nobody has ever heard before. It’s going to be a challenge for those countries that dub movies and for those that need subtitles.

Good:

  • The Dutch actors. Werner Kolf and Ali B. Both remarkable as rivaling gang leaders.
  • The end credits. When you’ve seen the movie, you’ll understand.
  • The reverse ‘how drugs got to the drug user’ scene. Could have lasted longer, but good. In fact, the visual experience is entertaining.
  • Some of the one liners and dialogue. Again, especially by the Dutch.
  • The soundtrack. From the EBM to the Dutch pop rap to the Moroccan club track and the instrumental score… it works.
  • Antwerp! This city needs to be in more movies. Maybe in the next James Bond movie. Who knows.
  • The two lawyers. They just have a cameo, but they should get a tv series.

It’s the kind of movie you watch on a cheap long distance bus ride in India, South Africa or Brazil. This is really a BAD action comedy. But shot in a really cool way. Too much trying to be Tarantino and not quite getting to the next level shit.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6438030

Advertisements

A divorced couple get together for dinner a few times to discuss the weird behavior of their teenage son. That’s it basically.

There are intriguing scenes of dialogue. Some are repeated from a different camera angle. The technique is quite fascinating. You let two actors improvise and re-do the same scene a few times and then edit everything as if it’s the same scene from a different angle. It’s weird because the dialogue is different, but it’s fascinating.

However, that’s the only good thing about it.

The scenes of the boy acting seclusively weird are tedious. The adult acting is quite impressive, but the story just doesn’t lead to anywhere in particular. It’s all improvisation. Not that there needs to be a concluding end. But a series of intriguing conversations doesn’t make for a good story. Nor a good movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1100908

Another movie with Carice Van Houten showing her boobs! And there’s a good excuse this time. She plays a woman with breast cancer. She’s really just second fiddle to Barry Atsma, who plays her husband. He’s a successful advertisement manager and notorious playboy, who stands by his wife during her ordeal, but who also cheats on her. It’s quite interesting to see how the focus lies with the partner. It all feels very realistic. In other movies the partner of the patient is always a saint. But people aren’t saints. It makes more sense that the playboy cheats on his wife, than that he stays loyal to her. The fact that he admits it, makes him more human. The acting is really good and the chemistry between both actors works excellent. But the directing is soso and the even though the focus lies with the partner, in the end it’s just a movie about the terrible process that cancer patients go through. With a very long and emotionally predictable end, which does not stand for guaranteed tearjerking. In fact, most likely no tear will be shed at all.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1365474

De Gelukkige Huisvrouw – *

Posted: August 1, 2017 in 2010, Drama, Netherlands, X

Before Carice Van Houten did all kinds of Hollywood things, she was just a Dutch actress, performing in Dutch movies, never shying away from showing her tits in ‘love’ scenes. Some of her Dutch movies are excellent (Minoes, Black Book), some aren’t. This one belongs to the latter. It’s not good at all. She carries the movie. But that’s about the only positive thing you can say about it.

It’s a drama. About a woman who after having given birth to a baby boy, goes mental. literally. After almost having killed her baby, she is admitted to a mad house, where she learns that her lack of a loving father has resulted in her disinterest for her son…

Maybe it’s a good story for a book. But the story does not make for a good movie. Van Houten is okay, but all the other actors can’t make their characters intriguing. In fact they make them laughable. The cliché depiction of the other patients is cringeworthy. That of the mother and husband as well.  The end is way too abrupt. But it comes sooner than you know it. Which is a good thing.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0920459/

 

A widowed dad learns that he’s been infertile for his entire life. This changes everything. His new girlfriend cannot get pregnant and may leave him. He needs to tell his son that someone else is the biological dad. And most of all: he needs to find out who the hell that other guy is.

De Passievrucht may be of interest to fans of Carice van Houten, who’s getting naked several times in this Dutch movie, based on a local best seller. She’s the deceased adultress and appears in flash backs. It’s an okay performance, but the entire movie is carried by Peter Paul Muller, who does a great job in portraying a frustrated and confused thirty-something.

It’s a little surprise when you learn who the biological father is. (No room for spoilers.) And that’s another good aspect of the movie. The built up to the finale is not always as intriguing and suspenseful. But the finale makes it worth the watch.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0340285

Cas – *

Posted: December 12, 2016 in 2016, LGBT themed, Netherlands, Romance, X

A Dutch couple offers a young Flemish student a place to stay. The couple has been having some issues lately, with one of the partners waiting to go on a trip around the world and the other planning the next step in their relationship: a baby. The new flatmate causes even more friction. But he also brings the two closer together and triggers them to talk about what’s really bugging them.

Cas is a tv movie that just happened to be on after the news on BVN (the Dutch/ Flemish international television channel). The beginning intrigues. Somehow it starts off as a possible thriller. But soon it becomes clear that it’s much ado about nothing. The acting of the Dutch couple isn’t all that bad, but there just isn’t a real story. There’s a couple who pretend to be in the perfect relationship until someone shows up who makes them express what they really want in life. And that’s not exactly the same.

It’s only 50 minutes long. It’s over before you really start getting annoyed. It’s the kind of movie you don’t regret having seen, but wouldn’t recommend to anyone.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5858380/

 

Strike A Pose is a Dutch/Flemish (!!!) documentary about whatever happened to the iconic group of dancers in Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour. There used be seven of them, but one (Gabriel) passed away. His spirit however is very present and an interview with his mother is included as well. It’s a good documentary, with a great build up, with few staged moments and accessible for those who have some background about the story and those who have never seen the underrated Truth Or Dare documentary. Luckily for the makers, they could use all the footage they wanted! Which is a great plus. There’s nothing worse than a documentary talking about certain things that cannot be shown. It’s not remarkably well filmed, but the editing is efficient. And each dancer is worth listening to and looking at. Time hasn’t really kept these fabulous and gorgeous dancers from being eternally young and handsome. Not that Luiz or Oliver care about how fat they’ve become. They still have the moves! In fact, that’s what’s so good about this document: all of them (apart from Carlton maybe) feel very at ease talking to the movie makers and are brutally honest. Jose still living with his mom and having her explain in Spanish how sad she is that he never made a career out of his sudden fame! It feels like something we can see at the local Man Bijt Hond human interest shows. The most intriguing character is Salim (who was born in Belgium). At the end it almost feels like he’s the instigator for this project,  because he has a few important things to share with the world!

Too bad it wasn’t more about vogueing!!! And too bad Madonna didn’t join them. (although she probably had some say in the creation of the final version).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5477402