Archive for the ‘4 – Year Of Production’ Category

Kicks – *

Posted: October 7, 2017 in 2016, Coming Of Age, Drama, Gangster Movie, USA, X

A 15 year old, underprivileged kid saves up for a fancy pair of sport shoes that will get him more respect. However, soon after he’s wearing them, he gets beaten up by a bunch of nozems who steal his newly acquired kicks. But he’s not ready to just give up and goes after the thief.

Sounds like a pretty normal children’s movie if you read the synopsis like that. But it’s not. This one bathes in a world full of gun carrying, cocaine sniffing, whoring and pimping young adolescents who record beating up people and then post it online. You do not want your child to see this behavior. It’s all represented as it’s every day life in the hood. There are some interesting elements though. The references to rap songs’ verses. The magical realist astronaut visit. But that’s about it. Not even Mahershala Ali can save it.

The beauty of cinema is that you get absorbed into a world that isn’t yours. That you get confronted, mesmerized and moved. This doesn’t happen here. Good luck next time, Justin Tipping, debuting director.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4254584

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T2 – Trainspotting – *(*)

Posted: October 4, 2017 in 2017, Drama, UK, X1/2

Now this is an unnecessary sequel. It’s an okay movie. But it misses the soul of the first one: it’s originality and humor. There’s nothing of that in this one. It also feels like none of the actors really wanted to do this movie. And there’s this terrible, pointless, reoccurring ‘end of an action scene’ freeze moment. Annoying as hell. The story sucks to be honest. And the chemistry between the characters is gone. Especially since they all feel betrayed anyways. The soundtrack sucks as well. Yeah, maybe this isn’t such an okay movie after all. BUT, Edinburgh is much well presented visually. Sell out!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2763304

Kids’ movies don’t always make good adult movies. Not even when they are made by Tim Burton. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is so flawed, that it’s difficult to focus on the story and watch it until the end.

Nothing works. The story isn’t captivating. It’s probably too complicated for kids anyways. It’s about ‘peculiar’ children (a bit like the X-Men, but then much less awesome) who live in a time loop of 24 hours as a protection against monsters who can turn human again after eating their eyeballs. Yep. Read that sentence again. That’s what it is about. Oh and about a nerdy kid who leave Florida after his grandfather died to find out on an island in Wales what made his dad ‘peculiar’ and what his ‘peculiarity’ is.

Again, nothing works. The acting is bad. Especially because of the terrible dialogue. Some scenes don’t make sense at all. Too many characters are introduced that don’t really need to be in the story at all. There’s no empathy for any of the main characters. Yes, the special effects are fascinating. But that’s about it.

This is NOT a good movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1935859

It all looks a bit surreal at the end, when a group of underprivileged kids from a favela in Sao Paulo perform a classic musical piece perfectly. Especially since months before the concert, none of them could even read scores or hold their instruments the right way. But hey, it’s cinema. And it comes with a good story. Based on true facts apparently. Far from original, true. But it’s set in Brazil and doesn’t quite feel the same as similar Hollywood stories. A talented violin player can’t secure a place in the National Symphonic Orchestra and needs to teach music in a public school to make some money. The school is surrounded by drug dealers and other criminals and even in the band are some kids who do credit card scamming in their after hours. But the teacher somehow manages to inspire the kids and they end up performing well, making him confident enough to audition for the orchestra again. See. All very predictable.

It’s an okay movie. But the acting by some of the kids is very basic. And the story doesn’t dig deep enough. We never get to learn why the teacher, who is so talented, doubts his own capacities so much. We also don’t get to learn more about the kids and their situation. Sure, there’s that one scene where this girl shouts out that playing music helps her escape from everyday problems. But it feels forced. This could have been a good tv series. Now it’s just an okay movie. Lazaro Ramos is great tough. And Kaique De Jesus (that name!) is set for more starring roles!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4972904/

Brave – **

Posted: October 2, 2017 in 2016, Animation, Children/Family, USA, XX
Tags: , , ,

Hey, Disney/Pixar Studios, can you make an animated feature movie that shows ALL the stereotypes of Scotland? Put in some folky music, bagpipes of course, the highland games, characters with ginger hair, the accent of course, with words like ‘wee’ every now and then, men wearing kilts and nothing underneath of it, some celtic ritual stones, a lot of ‘pub’ fighting, because that’s what people do in Scotland… Never mind being historically correct. Who cares if the Vikings and the Romans invaded Scotland at the same time. Nobody cares. And don’t worry about making the king look three times the size of the queen. And the children look like they are only one foot tall. Never mind that. Just make it about a heroin. A Girl, yes. A brave one. With Ginger hair of course. And add a scene with a witch and a spell, like in the old days. Oh and some bears. That’s always good fun. And a horse as a side kick. Yeah. Make it and you’ll have a hit.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1217209/

Classic: Trainspotting – ***

Posted: October 2, 2017 in 1996, Action, Dramedy, UK, XXX

Just back from a visit to Edinburgh. Decided to watch some movies from Scotland. Starting with a classic.

Damn. This movie dates from 1996. Back then, it was a riot! A movie with a killer soundtrack, the first chart topping techno club filler (‘Born Slippy’ by Underworld), the mainstream debut of Ewan McGregor (who’s been EXCELLENT ever since), great surrealist scenes with the main character sinking into a dirty toilet for instance, with Robert Carlyle being incredibly violent, with heroin and shit and hiv and sex and alcohol just splashing around on the main screen. Yeah. Back then, this was THE movie to see.

And, hey, it’s still a pretty cool movie anno 2017.

Favorite line this time around:

Tommy: Doesn’t it make you proud to be Scottish?

Mark “Rent-boy” Renton: It’s SHITE being Scottish! We’re the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some hate the English. I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are COLONIZED by wankers. Can’t even find a decent culture to be colonized BY. We’re ruled by effete arseholes. It’s a SHITE state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and ALL the fresh air in the world won’t make any fucking difference!

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117951

 

Okuribito (Departures) – *

Posted: September 14, 2017 in 2008, Drama, Japan, X

Hm. This won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language movie over Entre Les Murs, the best movie of this century. Un.Be.Lie.Va.Ble! It’s so incredibly boring, I assume none of the voters actually watched it and just read the synopsis and watched the trailer.

Yes, it’s beautifully filmed. And yes, the main actor performs well. But the story just isn’t all that much. A cello player quits his job and moves to his home town, where he finds a job as a caretaker for the deceased. Hence, the title ‘departures’. It’s a job that nobody wants and that is frowned upon. But when done right, the loved ones of the deceased are grateful for the care. Thanks to the job he comes to turns with the departures in his life.

Poetic? Maybe. Boring? Yes.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1069238