Archive for the ‘Netherlands’ Category

Flodder was never considered to be a good movie, but it is the most successful Dutch movie from the eighties and – like it or not – a classic in Dutch cinema.

So, when the movie is on, you watch it again. It’s as simple as that. And you rate it **, just out of nostalgia to Huub Stapel’s red jacket or Tatjana Simic’s boobs…

Not having seen the movie in 30 years, it leaves you wondering why the jacket and the breasts were so memorable and not the surprising amount of action scenes or the obvious critique to a hypocrite society, in which the rich and the marginalized families clash and mingle. The answer is a simple: any kid watching this comedy in 1986

only did so because of the bad ass attitude of the family Flodder and the many scenes with female nudity.

As an adult you watch the movie differently. The action scenes are well done for an eighties movie from the Low Countries. The critique is on point at times. The bomber jacket is still cool. But the depiction of Simic’s character would never make the cut in a 2020 version and is quite offensive to any woman. She has sex with her half-brother. She enjoys being raped by the neighbor. She doesn’t mind having men queue up to have sex with her (and have her younger brother collect the money). It’s a bit too much. Especially since she has hardly any lines to say.

Apart from that, society hasn’t changed much.

The 11 year old kid of a friend of mine named the movie old fashioned. 

www.imdb.com/title/tt0091060/

 

 

 

Sonny Boy is the nickname of Waldy Nods, the son of a Surinamese student and a much older Dutch woman. So what, right?  Well, Waldy was born in 1929, a time when children from interracial couples were quite unique in The Netherlands.

It’s interesting how the movie title refers to the boy, whereas the story basically revolves around his parents and their many struggles.

The movie is based on a best-seller and was quite the hit in Dutch and Surinamese theaters. It didn’t really score anywhere else though, which is weird, because the story is quite universal and not that specific to those two nations.

Sonny’s father arrived in the Netherlands in the late twenties to pursue a degree at the Dutch university. Not an easy goal at the time, as students from Surinam weren’t considered equal. Sonny’s mother left her husband after she caught him cheating with the housemaid and took her four children to a small house in The Hague. In order to get some extra income, she rented out a room to the much younger student and soon they became a couple. Oh! The scandal!

The first half of the movie deals with this interracial struggle in an excellent way. The acting is good and the individual background stories of both characters merge really well. The second half of the story focuses on the occupation of the Nazis in the Second World War and it becomes, well a Second World War movie. This isn’t really a bad thing, because it’s part of the story and it needs to be told. But it’s just less intriguing. You don’t get to see that many movies focusing on interracial relationships. Yet, you do get to see many movies about the nazi occupation.

It’s a well made movie that keeps your attention until the very end, but a miniseries would have been a better choice, considering the abundance of story material. The focus is on the parents of Sonny Boy, but there are a dozen of other characters that are worth a separate storyline. Starting with Sonny Boy himself. It’s not really told from his perspective and you only get to learn what happened to him until the end of the war.

Fascinating stuff, but leaving you with the desire to learn more. Worth the watch.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1138481

 

This Flemish/Dutch crime series is available to watch on Netflix around the globe. Give it a chance. It’s good. Not sure if it’ll appeal to a larger international audience, but it’s well made, well acted and well directed.  The final episode is a bit of a disappointment (a cliffhanger hints at a second season), but in general this is great stuff.

Two cops (one Flemish, one Dutch) have to go undercover at a camping ground to acquaint a notorious drug dealer (in xtc). It’s a tough job, because. the drug dealer distrusts everyone and puts on a great act. He’s the fun loving joker to his superficial neighbors, but a ruthless killer to those who cross him. Never thought about it during the show, but Tony Soprana comes to mind right now. Which is not a good thing, because it doesn’t make the show unique.

What makes it unique is the setting and the many references to Flemish-Dutch culture. Which may get lost to an international crowd. The acting is top notch though. Tom Waes, who plays one of the undercover cops, is a popular tv presenter (with few acting credits to his name) and is surprisingly good. He is very convincing. His undercover partner is played by Anna Drijver, who does a great job in giving her character more than is scripted. The best acting is done by Frank Lammers, the intriguing drug lord, and Elise Schaap as his naive wife. Those are just the four main leads, but all the acting is great.

The story is a typical crime story. There are a few twists, but they are never really surprising. In the end it’s two undercover cops who need to befriend a drug lord and lure him into a drug deal that the police can bust.

But, not in New Jersey or Medellin. Just in the unappealing camping ground setting on the border between Flanders and the Netherlands. Cool trailer though.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt7263154

This movie takes its title from a funny book on the curiosities of the Dutch language. The main character is an editor for a superficial women’s magazine who is obsessed with language and would love to write a book about it and constantly makes remarks on certain things people say that don’t really make sense linguistically.

But that’s the only link between the book and the movie.

It’s also a movie about a single woman who seems to be the only one in her family accepting the fact that her dad, a bookstore owner, is suffering from dementia. She has the perfect possible boyfriend sitting in front of her in the editorial office, but he’s just a ‘friend’ and when she gets the change to work with a hot photographer, she goes for that adventure.

It’s a kind of Dutch Bridget Jones with lots of linguistic references and it sucks. And ironically enough, the pronunciation of the language spoken is SO terrible that the title (originally: Language, as we speak, is a bit my thing) should be called Uitspraak Is Helemaal Niet Zo Mijn Ding (Pronunciation is definitely not my thing at all).

To skip. Especially if you don’t understand Dutch. But nice images of Amsterdam though.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6867650/

 

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

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/