Archive for the ‘UK’ Category

This series is great !

Two awkward kids (check the trailer) hang out and go on a Bonny & Clyde like adventurous road trip! They are wild and just don’t give a sh*t. But they are still kids, yearning to be loved. By each other, but also by others.

It’s a fun series. The humor is dark. Pitch-dark. Marlon Wayans: watch this and cry. THIS is humor. Up until the last scene, the series keeps you intrigued. Not only by these two protagonists or their runaway story, but by all the other characters that you get to meet. It’s like each one of them can have a spin-off series. It’s quite a 2017 series. In a positive way. I hope there’s no sequel to it. It ends the way a series should end.

Watch it!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6257970

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Gone Too Far – *

Posted: January 7, 2018 in 2013, Comedy, NIgeria, UK, X

There seems to be a beef between black people from the Caribbean (Jamaica, Barbados) and black people from Africa (Nigeria, Ghana). In London that is. It’s the running joke/comment of this low budget comedy about two brothers who are united after being separated for a long time (one grew up in England, the other in Nigeria). The old brother arrives from Africa and wants his little brother to show him around, but he’s too ashamed of his ‘African’ behavior.  He’s more interested in a girl from the block, who’s a real bitch and has no eyes for him because he’s Nigerian and she’s Jamaican. She just flirts with him to get her ex boyfriend jealous and that works.

The idea is okay and it’s cool that the story takes place within 24 hours. But the jokes are lame, the characters are weak and the acting is silly.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2451550

Any article about the lack of gay soccer players in major competitions mentions Justin Fashanu as ‘the first openly gay soccer player’. His basic story is known to a larger (British) audience as well: rose to fame, came out gay, was shunned by the sport competition he loved, got accused of raping a young adult and killed himself. However, this documentary tells a lot more about this peculiar celebrity. Still not enough, but it’s an intriguing story. Fashanu was abandoned by this father and mother as a kid, grew up with his younger brother John as the only two black kids in a small British town, turned out to be a talented soccer player and became the first 1 mio £ black athlete in the UK. Then he didn’t perform well at his new team and was fired because of his homosexual activities… And then his life became a mess.

It’s a good documentary. Very chronological. Well filmed. With some nice shots of places he used to live in (Toronto, LA), young actors who interpret the young brothers, interviews with family members and friends, use of old footage from interviews (eloquent Justin clearly loved the attention) and also interesting tit bits from the news that matter to the story.

Too bad that when the documentary is over, you still feel like a lot of questions are unanswered. And you can’t find the answers online.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6538102

Miranda – **(*)

Posted: December 22, 2017 in 2009, Comedy, TV series, UK, XX1/2

Why are BBC series always so short? Season one has only six episodes. By the time you get to know the characters and start liking them for their particular jokes and one-liners (typical for BBC comedies), it’s over. The introducing pilot isn’t so funny. but by episode six you just don’t want it to stop.

Miranda is one of the most clumsy tv characters ever. She’s quite adorable really. A tall, not so feminine, daft, scary, unhip, awkward woman with an interest in singing eighties songs (a +) and who hasn’t really grown up yet! The way she addresses the audience (you) into her life is great. It works really well. And the fact she often fantasizes and imagines stuff that aren’t really happening but are shown anyway, works well too. Yep. Great comedy.

The side characters are okay too. But they are clearly overshadowed by Miranda Hart excellent comedic performance.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1533435

No trailer available. But all episodes are on youtube. Episode 4 is excellent. However, you do need to see the first three episodes to get to know the characters.

 

The Pass – (*)

Posted: December 14, 2017 in 1/2, 2016, Drama, LGBT themed, UK

If it was the idea of the director to make a total fool of gay footballers in the closet who cover up their sexuality by pretending to be more macho than they actually are, then he succeeded well.. This movie is making a fool of gay people. It’s making a fool of celebrity football players. It’s making a fool of people in the closet. It’s making a fool of anyone who has secret desires, but covers up for ‘the better’.

The main character is such a c*nt. He’s utterly unpleasant from the first moment you see him until the very last. There’s nothing likable about him. He’s played by Russell Tovey, the douche from Looking, not necessarily a good ‘actor’. His over the top pseudo macho behavior is annoying as hell. Especially his Ricky Gervais-like laugh. Then there’s the love interest, buffed actor Arinze Kané, who just looks buffed really.

The movie is based on a play. That explains the very limited settings. Basically all scenes take place in a hotel room or one bedroom apartment. And the dialogue takes forever. Maybe this works on stage. But it does NOT work as a cinematic experience.

What a disappointment.

Look at Wound instead. Another movie about gay men in the closet in a very macho environment. That one feels realistic. This one just feels like a joke.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5160154

Local Hero – *(*)

Posted: November 29, 2017 in 1983, Drama, Dramedy, UK, USA, X1/2

Maybe some movies do not stand the test of time. Like this ‘classic’ from the early eighties, suggested as a preparation for future work assignments in Scotland. Sure, it’s interesting to see how a small village in the Highlands get excited when the representative of a Texas oil company comes to see if he can buy the land for future development. But it’s quite a bore really. Peter Riegert is quite good as the American who looks at the Scottish villagers with awe and confusion. He carries the movie. But can’t save it. Maybe it’s a great movie if you saw it when it was released and you watch it again with nostalgia. But for a first viewing in 2017 it pretty much sucks.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085859/ 

Ae Fond Kiss – **

Posted: November 14, 2017 in 2014, Romance, Social Drama, UK, XX

For a movie made in 2004, this Ken Loach film still functions well in 2017. Nothing has changed in 13 years. A sad conclusion. The premise still intrigues these days. Can a catholic, female music teacher and a muslim accountant find happiness as a couple in modern-day Western society? Yes? No? Maybe?

Ae Fond Kiss feels like it was made by a debutant graduating from an unknown film academy. Which is not a bad thing, apart from the fact that it’s made by an experienced and award-winning director. The script is so predictable. Of course the catholic school environment will be depicted as being as old-fashioned as the Pakistani tradition of arranged marriages. The social commentary is too gentle. If you want to confront viewers with racism, don’t do it by just mentioning it. Go for the uncomfortable feeling! Some scenes don’t make sense. Like the moment where the guy discovers a tattoo on the body of his new girlfriend, which he has been licking and kissing all night long a few days before. Duh! The acting of most of the cast is non-professional. Which is fine. Eva Birthisle is quite remarkable as the teacher. Atta Yaqub looks lost as the Pakistani accountant. But playing the character as a bit of a shy loser, makes him more sympathetic. The rest probably didn’t even get paid for being extras with lines.  It has a terrible end. Totally opposite of what any rational person would conclude. But the whole experience is worth the watch. A Scottish movie to recommend!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0380366