Archive for the ‘2001’ Category

It took me three times to finish this critically acclaimed and popular tv series about the Easy Company, from the preparation for D-day to the end of the Second World War. I never got past the first five episodes in previous attempts (upon its dvd release in 2002 and when I first took a group of tourists to the Normandy Beaches in 2008). It’s a drag, however historically important it may be.

But since I’m at Omaha Beach almost every week this year and since almost half of the men joining me in that excursion think Band Of Brothers is the best thing they have ever seen on tv, I persevered. And sorry folks, but it’s still a drag.

I’d rather read a book or two about the easy company or listen to audio interviews with its officers, but spare me from watching this series again. The acting is so incredibly bad, the dialogue is embarrassingly ridiculous, there is too much focus on battle and action scenes and almost none on character development, there’s almost no-one to sympathize with and it’s very biased… If I was a family member of one of the war heroes, I’d sue the production team for making them look so superficial.

That said, it IS historically important and will definitely be watched for dozens of years to come. There are ten episodes and each one of them focuses on an important event during the liberation of Europe by the allied forces.

However, it’s all so bland. The stories are perfect to make an audience feel uncomfortable and involved. But that’s not what the producers wanted. They tried too hard to find the right balance between glorifying the heroes and showing their flaws. The main character, Major Winters is an incredibly boring character. He comes out of the war almost unscathed and gets promoted all the time, but somehow you can’t relate to the man at all. He remains a mystery. Maybe it has to do with the actor interpreting him: Damian Lewis, the most boring actor in tv land. This was made before Homeland made him a star, but whether he’s Nicholas Brody or Richard Winters, there’s absolutely no emotion visible on his face. However, it’s not just the acting. There’s hardly any time to sympathize with the heroes as they all die within 30 minutes of their introduction. So when someone new is introduced by episode seven you really stop caring, because he’ll be dead by episode eight. And you still haven’t sympathized with the ones who’ve been around since episode one.

Yeah. I’m probably the only person in the world who didn’t like this tv show and who got annoyed so often by the unconvincing acting, but that’s because the expectations are so damn high. You want this series to be top-notch.

I still don’t understand why this documentary doesn’t get the respect it deserves. It’s a very entertaining pre reality tv concert movie documentary. Sure it’s about Madonna and it’s ALL about Madonna. Even when it’s about somebody else (dancers, make up artists, fans, family, old friends), it still is ALL about Madonna.

But you know what, 22 years after I first saw it, it still rules! The concert moments are brilliant. Madonna was at her peak during the Blond Ambition tour. Her live version of Like A Virgin on that bed is still provocative, daring and plain awesome. The documentary moments also stood the test of time. Sure, Madonna comes across as an arrogant, heartless bitch. But she also comes across as an intelligent, funny, creative, thought-provoking  bitch. Critics say it’s all staged and that Madonna only shows what she wants to show. That may be true. But it’s pretty daring to show yourself as vicious and unsympathetic. 

Madonna is still around. Still making money going on tour, but no longer selling out stadiums or topping the charts. But she’s still there. I was just wondering whatever happened to the others. So i started to google all of them. Apart from the cameos. One of the dancers died, the others still dance somehow. But no longer with Madonna.

So whatever happened to all the other stars of the movie?

Niki Harris is a star herself of course. Here’s a funny interview with her .

Donna Delorey sings new age songs now. Boring. But here’s a clip from back in the days:

Melanie Crow, Madonna’s Assistant, got in some shit trouble when she didn’t pay a storage room rent and all the boxes were sold. Some of the boxes contained Madonna-related stuff.

Christopher Ciccone wrote a nasty book about his sister. Haven’t read it yet, but it’s on the book shelf. But here’s an interview of the guy.

I found this clip about Oliver Crumers, the homophobic solo straight dancer, who looks the most gay of them all.

I found this article about Kevin Stea (who really isn’t all that present in the movie)

Gabriel Trupin died of Aids. He also sued Madonna. One of the reasons was that she exposed his homosexuality. duh!!!!!!!

Luis Camacho, the gay bitch, is still choreographing and even has a website!

Slam – Salim Gauwloos is Flemish! He actually refers to Belgium in the beginning of the movie when he calls the rain in Japan ‘Belgian stress’. He’s still around:

Jose Guitierez ! now he’s Jose Extravaganza. the lord of vogue. still vogueing

Carlton Wilborn gets naked in bed with Madonna at the end. And he has a website too. He’s a coach now.

Sharon Gault, the make up girl who got raped, is still a make up artists.

Madonna’s make up artist Joanne Gaire has a website. She’s not really visual in the movie though.

Monsters Inc. – **1/2

Posted: July 2, 2013 in 2001, Animation, Comedy, USA, XX1/2

The kid in front of my seat on my flight home was watching Monsters Inc and I decided to do the same. It’s a Pixas movie and the prequel is a big hit at the moment, so maybe it was time I saw the original.

I loved it!

I did think the script was very similar to other Pixar movies with the same kind of build up, humor and action. There’s even another roller coaster scene! But if it works, it works! And its damn original and caters for an adult crowd as well.

In a fantasy world, there is a land full of monsters who need to scare human children in order to absorb their screaming, which provides them with energy. But times are though as children aren’t scared anymore and hardly care about monsters behind their closet door. All hell breaks loose when a child accidentally follows a monster through the door and arrives in this other world. Trust me. It’s funny and clever and doesn’t bore at all. It’s not Finding Nemo or Toy Story, but it’s pretty good. But I’ll forget about it soon.

Lagaan – **1/2

Posted: January 9, 2012 in 2001, Drama, Historical, India, Sportsdrama, XX1/2

I planned to go to India, but the voyage has been delayed. In the meantime, I thought of finally watching a Bollywood movie as some kind of preparation and the first one I could think of was this award winner. Sure, I’ve seen other ‘Indian’ movies like A Passage To India, Ghandi, Slumdog Millionaire, The Guru, Monsoon Wedding, etc… But Lagaan is my first real Bollywood production and… I liked it! At least the first half.

Lagaan is a synonym for a tax that was introduced in India some hundred years ago by the British occupiers. In one particular area the British consul decides to double the lagaan just for the fun of it as he challenges the local raj to eat some meat knowing very well he’s vegetarian by religion. When he refuses to do so, he raises the tax. The villagers are in despair as it hasn’t rained for ages and there is no harvest. When they march to the consul to ask him to reconsider, the consul comes up with a new challenge. One of the villagers was heard saying that cricket was a ‘silly’ game, so if the villagers can defeat the British in a game of cricket, they don’t have to pay the lagaan at all. If they lose however, the tax will be tripled in stead of doubled.

It goes without saying that they will win the game of course. So why watch a movie for four hours if you know how it will end?

Well, the interesting thing about this movie is that it’s all very accessible. The story is very universal. The humor as well. There’s obligatory romance and treason. The setting is relatively exciting. And the typical singing and dancing scenes that make Bollywood movies a turn off for some, are actually well incorporated in the movie. Yes, the whole village suddenly starts dancing and singing when they see clouds appear and hope for rain. And the voices from the songs don’t correspond with the voices of the actors who are supposed to sing it. But it’s fun.

The movie is way too long however, especially the second half when the game of cricket starts. It made me lose interest. But in the end: worth checking out!