Archive for the ‘4 – Year Of Production’ Category

Check It – **

Posted: August 18, 2017 in 2016, Documentary, LGBT themed, USA, XX

Check It is an intriguing documentary about the E-street prostitute subculture in DC, consisting of several african american gay men who form a gang and cause mayhem wherever they go. The movie follows three of them in particular, who are given the chance to work as assistants to a fashion event organizer.

Luckily for the documentary makers (and the viewers) those three characters are quite entertaining subjects and are easy to empathize with. It doesn’t feel like the scenes were set up. Their naturally dramatic behavior is fascinating enough. There’s definitely a lot of pretending in front of the camera. After all, they are diva’s. But the reality of their life is probably much harder than shown here.

It’s not a nice story. It’s grim and shocking at times. Sure, it has an uplifting feel to it and an indication of hope. But in the end, as a viewer, you’re being a voyeur to the miserable life of others. The intentions of the documentary makers are not really clear. Sensationalism or raising concern?

The movie can be best described as a combination of Tangerine (the indie comedy about transsexual prostitutes in LA), the VICE documentary about gays living together in the gutters of Kingston Jamaica, a bit of Moonlight (kids being raised by crackhead mothers), Rocky (expressing your anger via boxing), a reality tv show on Fashion TV for aspiring fashion event organizers and a video of Mykki Blanco, the extravagant NY rapper who was performing today not so far away.

Check out Check It. 

The movie poster is brilliant as well.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5299014

A nostalgic trip down memory lane: Romancing The Stone. Just felt like watching it again. And it was fun. As much fun as it was when I watched it repeatedly as a kid. This is the kind of movie that made me want to travel and be adventurous! Ha! Still haven’t made it to Columbia though.

For those who haven’t seen it yet: it’s Robert Zemeckis’ first blockbuster starring a then up and coming Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. It also has Danny DeVito in a small role. It’s very entertaining. It’s cheesy. A lot of the scenes don’t make sense. But others are still funny and quite clever.  The action and adventure aren’t that outdated at all. Just maybe the approach of how Hollywood showed ‘third world Columbia’ back then.

The eighties were the best.

And the trailer is pretty good, with Danny DeVito introducing the story as a phone call.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088011

Kebab Connection – **

Posted: August 13, 2017 in 2004, Comedy, Germany, romcom, XX

You know when a movie is old when a) people don’t use cell or smart phones to communicate with each other and b) people smoke in public rooms. However, Kebab Connection is from 2004. Not that long ago. It just looks like it was made back in the eighties. And that was probably the point.

Finally, after ordering a Döner Kebab (that’s a fact), the time was right to watch this German romcom about a young aspiring movie maker of Turkish descent whose aspiring actress girlfriend turns out to be pregnant. It’s a Romeo & Julia love story set in Hamburg. There’s little drama, but quite a lot of humor. It feels fresh. But it also feels like it was made with a very low budget. There are plenty of references to classic movie scenes. The acting is good. It’s quite entertaining. And at times original. It’s simple, somewhat naive, amateur and very positive. A old fashioned feel good movie. And sometimes, that’s all you need.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0177882

A United Kingdom – **(*)

Posted: August 11, 2017 in 2016, biopic, Drama, Historical, UK, XX1/2
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United Kingdom tells the fascinating story of Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams, who become the first president of Botswana and his wife. The fascinating thing about it is that Seretse was black – of course – and Ruth was white. Quite remarkable at the time. And still quite remarkable right now. Unless you’re from Botswana or have travelled the country or have a keen interest in the history of Southern Africa, chances are very high that you’ve never heard about this remarkable history fact. So, hooray for the producers who made this an entertaining history lesson.

Unfortunately, it’s nothing more than that. It’s well acted, sure. And it’s nicely shot. But it’s a straight forward, uncontroversial, chronologically told succession of events. White girl meet black lawyer student in London. Guy turns out to be the heir to a chiefdom. Girl accepts marriage proposal. Everyone is against it. Her family. His family. The South African government. The British government. And so the trouble starts…

A lot is covered and it’s covered well. The situation is explained in clear and short dialogues. No excessive explanation. But also not that simplified. It’s a well done film. For the masses. Who didn’t go see the movie though. A shame. Stories like this need an audience. But maybe more for a tv night on Fridays.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3387266

 

100 Streets – *(*)

Posted: August 10, 2017 in 2016, Drama, UK, X1/2
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Idris Elba is an intriguing celebrity. He’s both arrogant and down-to-earth at the same time. He’s both hot and cool. He’s an eloquent speaker, yet has street credibility. He’s very versatile. He does a bit of everything. He’s a model, a dj, a fighter and predominantly an actor.

Yet, he’s not such a good actor. He’s always Idris Elba. For years they are assuming he will be the next Bond, but he’ll never be Bond. He’ll be Elba, Idris Elba.

There’s a new movie out in theaters that has him in a starring role (Dark Tower). In fact, there seems to be a movie out with him every two months or so. But somehow, he’s not really a movie star. He’s not a Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Will Smith kind of star.

So, to call this 100 Streets a Idris Elba movie, is weird. In fact, it’s misleading. The real star of this movie is Franz Drameh. His character is much more prominent in the story and his acting skills surpass those of Elba. This should be called a Franz Drameh film and the trailer should be focussing on this story.

The trailer is very much misleading. This is not just a movie about a rugby player who cheats on his wife, then wants her back, takes drugs and goes berserk swinging a gun in public. It’s also a movie about a taxi driver whose hooligan past damages the adoption process he’s in and who causes a terrible accident. It’s also a movie about a rugby wife falling for a photographer after her husband cheated on her. But most of all it’s about a young, drug dealing kid from the block who wants to quit the criminal life and aspires to be a poet. That should be in the trailer! But that’s too much information. And that’s exactly what’s wrong with this movie: there are too many stories. And they only briefly intertwine. Crash it is not.

But coming back to Idris Elba. This movie could have done without all of his scenes. It would have been more intriguing if the focus was just on the taxi driver, the rugby wife and the poetic drug dealer. It kind of feels like that was the original script and the producers just added the scenes with Elba once he got on board. In order to make it an Idris Elba movie.

But hey, he got mentioned 7 times in this review….

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2990126

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

GCI Animated Shorts

Posted: August 3, 2017 in 2017, Animation, USA

Two animated short movies are going viral this week. One is excellent, the other one is just okay. The just okay one is about the infatuation of a young boy for another boy. That’s still controversial in 2017. And so it gets a lot of media coverage. The excellent one is about a single guy who is afraid of showing his true feelings for a new girl he just met.

It’s not a competition about which short movie is better. It’s just sad that the controversial one gets all the attention. So, please watch both.