Archive for the ‘UK’ Category

Rob Roy – *(*)

Posted: May 19, 2018 in 1995, Drama, Historical, UK, USA, X1/2

In preparation for a trip to Scotland, Rob Roy was worth the re-watch. Saw it upon its theatrical release and wasn’t really overwhelmed, but I know more about the Jacobites now than in those days and I do remember Tim Roth’s performance as being memorable.

However, 25 years later, this movie still leaves me underwhelmed. It’s historically inaccurate. Sure they refer to the Jacobites briefly, but it’s never really explained what they were. And Tim Roth’s character is over the top. It’s on the border of being ridiculous really.

And then you have the main character: Rob Roy, the Scottish Robin Hood. Apart from the fact that this movie doesn’t tell the real story about this legendary highlander, it also doesn’t really tell the story of an interesting man. There’s zero heroism in this movie. When discussing his future financial plans with his wife, he doesn’t allow her to give him advice. “Give your advice to your children, but don’t you dare tell me what to do.” There’s a lot of macho bullshit talk like that. Then he tells his sons to respect their mother and goes on about respecting women. Make up your mind, bipolar, hypocrite twat!

Why again is this man a hero?

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114287/

 

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Ha!

recommended by several friends: a quirky British comedy sitcom available on netflix

It’s a British comedy sitcom. Which means there are only six episodes per season. And they only last for about half hour each. This is over before you know it.

The central character is Tracey, a twenty something virgin who’s living with her religious mother and sister in a multiracial area of London. She so desperately wants to have sex that the whole series evolves around this goal. Both get really tiring after a while. Tracey makes you nervous. The way she talks. The way she acts. The way she can’t make up her mind. The way she jumps into adventures with such naivety. And this quest to lose her virginity goes on and on. Yawn.

But the side characters make up a lot. They are even weirder.

The social commentary isn’t really as on point as you’d expect. But sometimes that’s not necessary. It’s just fun to watch a weird girl with her weird friends end up in weird situations, innit?

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5097050

 

Ha! This is good. If you like Ricky Gervais that is. It’s not excellent. It’s not really a stand up comedy show. It’s more of a listen to Ricky Gervais give his opinion about the world we live in – show. There are too many serious moments. It’s also too much focussing on getting back at twitter trolls who have annoyed him in the past couple of years. Get over it, Ricky! And why isn’t there any joke about the yearly cruel dog festival in China? That part is too preachy man. Great of you to make it your cause, but you’re a comedian. Find at least one joke that works in the serious context. That said, there are enough good remarks throughout the show.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt7830574

The Theory Of Everything – **

Posted: March 14, 2018 in 2014, biopic, Romance, UK, USA, XX

A young, beautiful, christian, language student falls for a funny, nerdy, atheist scientist. But soon he’s diagnosed with a muscle disease and only has 2 more years to live. They get married and try to make the most of it. However, the dude continues to live. And becomes a popular scientist, publishing a best seller et al. She could easily cheat. And she has a love interest! Her choir leader and family friend Jonathan!. But she remains loyal. The scientist, all paralyzed, gets along really well with his new nurse, who he seems to be able to communicate with well (via computer screen technique). Will he cheat?

Yep, it’s that kind of movie: a romantic drama!

Never really cared about seeing this movie, but hey, Stephen Hawking died today and I hardly know anything about him. So, it was worth the attempt. Not that this movie helped. I know as little about him now as before. Kudos to the main actors. Oscar-winner Eddy Redmayne did a Daniel Day Lewis and did it well. And Felicity Jones is the real star of the movie. She shines in every scene. Just for the acting sake and because Hawking died today: **.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2980516

Sure, it’s a good history lesson and yes, Jessica Chastain is a great actress, but this movie is pretty dull. It shouldn’t be. It’s about a noble and brave couple that helped rescue several Jewish people from the ghetto in Warsaw, during the German occupation. Yet, there’s nothing in the movie that stresses this bravery and nobility. It all feels too much like fiction.

First there’s the decision to film a story in Poland and have the characters speak English. That’s a standard procedure in Hollywood (or other movie industries), but it’s annoying. Especially if the actors speaks English with an accent. Either speak Polish and have it subtitled or speak English. But English with a fake Polish accent, just makes the story less realistic.

Then there’s the development of the side characters. Or better: the lack of. In order to empathize with the victims, it’s important to get to know them. But we never do. They get rescued and hide, but we don’t know anything about them. Some stay a bit longer, others come and go. It’s all very superficial. You should feel like the zookeeper and his wife are doing something special, but the way it’s presented feels like they are just doing what’s right. There’s little tension. And that feels unrealistic too.

And finally, there’s the redundant character of Lutz Heck, a former friend and colleague of the zookeeper and his wife, turning against them and becoming the bad guy in the movie. He’s a zoologist and a scientist with crazy ideas, which is intriguing, but turns out to be a powerful nazi officer in the occupied Warsaw as well. Which is a bit far-fetched.

There are two different stories here. One is about a family who has the means and courage to rescue people and takes the risk of doing so. And the other is about a scientist who uses the zoo’s facilities to breed animals that were believed to be extinct. Mixing both of them feels fictionalized.

The Zookeeper’s Wife is okay movie fare, but the real story is much more exciting.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1730768

 

Not as captivating as Season 1, this follow-up to Top Boy is more violent, more dark, (even) more depressing and less realistic. Sure, it’s probably based on some true stories, but it’s just too much. The acting is still okay, but the characters are not at all appealing. Ashley Walter’s Dushane, the top boy in London’s crime world, can’t charm as much as in the previous episodes. Sure, he’s thinking of getting out and investing in real estate. But to cover up a murder, he continues to intimidate and kil. Unethically. The fact that he starts something sexual/romantic with his lawyer makes it all a bit too far-fetched. Malcolm Kamulete’s Ra-Nell was a total revelation in series one and plays fourth fiddle in this season. Sad, there’s more to tell about this kid. In fact, there are so many characters this time and they are not explored well enough. So, hardly anyone to care about.

Netflix is going to produce season 3. Not sure what that will bring.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1830379/

 

 

 

David Brent: Life On The Road – **(*)

Posted: February 24, 2018 in 2016, Comedy, UK, XX1/2

Whether you’ll like this comedy or not, pretty much depends on what you think of David Brent, Ricky Gervais’ breakthrough character of The Office. The guy is so annoyingly, embarrassingly unfunny! Works well in a short episode, but for an entire movie?

Several years after having lost his job as general manager in a paper company, he now works as a sales person and is no longer the boss. He covers up being depressed and lonely by trying hard to be someone he is not: cool, funny, successful…. He has a dream though: tour the UK with his old band. But none of the members of his old band are available, so he hires professional musicians to tour with him. The tour sucks of course. There is no audience. The musicians can’t stand being with him. And it all costs a LOT of money.

It’s funny though. It’s VERY predictable, but it’s funny. The songs performed are actually quite good (some are written by Chris Martin) and the lyrics of the song are loud out awkwardly funny. But the actual story isn’t SO special. Just because it’s not surprising at all.

It all depends on your taste of humor of course. But Coming To America had me laugh out loud maybe once. Life On The Road had me laugh out loud some fifty times more.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3137630