Archive for the ‘2004’ Category

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.


White Chicks – **

Posted: January 18, 2016 in 2004, Comedy, Cop Movie, Slapstick, USA, XX

“A guilty pleasure is something, such as a movie, a television program or a piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.”

There you go. A definition from Wikipedia. They should add ‘like the American buddy cop movie White Chicks’. 

It starts off really bad. Marlon and Shawn Wayans play FBI-agents who are in disguise (as very stereotypical latino shop owners) and take on the wrong suspects. It’s a terrible opening scene. It’s tough to sit through, because it only promises crap. But once they disguise as white chicks it gets better. I mean, there’s two black guys dressing up like ugly white girls and acting all stereotypical. It works.

Fuck the critics. Watch it. And laugh. And don’t analyze it too much. It’s just fun. And it has Marlon Wayans and Terry Crews. And Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter‘s Debra)! It doesn’t have to be drama or satire all the time. Damn, maybe I’m ready for Adam Sandler now.

Set in the late eighties or so, a young African-American and gay art student meets an elderly painter & writer who was part of the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural movement that took place in the twenties of last century. Through their conversations, he realizes that they both share(d) the same issues even though many decades have passed and the world should have evolved.

Brother to Brother is the debut movie of the guy who made The Happy Sad. So, it’s amazing how everything that made the latter movie so terrible, works well in this feature movie. The acting is really good, the character development works believable, the dialogue feels real, the soundtrack captivates (a mix of late eighties hiphop and jazz instrumentals) and the story jumps effortlessly between the recent and the past.

There are surprisingly little yawns in a movie that refers a lot to poetry and literature. It’s just about long enough to entertain all the way through. Just too bad that it’s all so serious (even though there are some fun memories of the decadent twenties) and that all the supporting characters are pretty much one-dimensional. But nevertheless, a great watch.

A Japanese woman abandons her four children to go live with a man somewhere far away. She comes back from time to time, but very irregularly. They all live in a small apartment and the oldest boy, who is twelve, is in charge. He did get some cash from his mother, but when she stays away for months in a row he runs out of money. He doesn’t want to report it to the police or the social service, because a similar situation in the past placed all kids with other families. He may just be a kid, but he does feel responsible for keeping his family together. They don’t go to school and he’s the only one who can leave the apartment. He tries to create a social life outside of his duties, but it’s hard.

This is not a fictional story, but based on true events taking place in the end of the eighties. The reality was much worse than what you get to see in this mainstream version. It’s still sad and depressing, but you do feel like a lot is not being told. Japanese culture is different from ours, but there are too many moments where the story just doesn’t make sense. That doesn’t really damage the movie. It’s the length of the scenes that almost kills it. In his new movie, Like Father Like Son, director Kore-eda tells a lot with simple shots. Here he just tells the same over and over again. If the movie had been cut short with an hour, it would have been better.


the trailer with the American voice over is TERRIBLE.

Everyone keeps telling me I should watch House, just because I like cynical, sarcastic assholes who excel in their job. At least that’s how my character would be like if I ever were to write a tv series about my experiences in the river cruise industry.

But, this is such a boring show! Don’t get me wrong, Hugh Laurie is excellent and I love his remarks and quotes. But the rest of the show is boring. The three assistants who challenge his authority are boring. The quest to find a cure for an extremely rare disease/condition gets boring too. I watched eight episodes and each of them had the same set up. They also all had those annoying close up camera ‘rides’ into the human body showing how muscles, glands, veins and other body act and react to exterior elements like medication, viruses, bacteria, etc..

I may watch the other episodes of hat first season. I might stop and watch an episode of a future season if I am bored in a hotel room somewhere, but I was not impressed by the first eight. What a disappointment.

Shaun Of The Dead – **1/2

Posted: October 22, 2012 in 2004, Comedy, Horror, UK, XX1/2


Whilst joking with a colleague about how to react when you encounter a zombie on the street, he recommended me this British horror-comedy, which I watched on a train ride back home causing some irritation but curiosity amongst the fellow train traveller as I was laughing out really loud!

Good comedies are so hard to find, comedies that make you laugh from start to finish. Or at least at regular moments. Humor is such a subjective matter. But from what I see on imdb, a lot of people seem to appreciate this silly British humor. Great!

The story is simple: a guy gets dumped by his girlfriend because they never do anything adventurous and tries to impress her the next day by bringing her (and her roommates, his friend and his parents) to a safe place, hiding from the zombies that have taken over the town.

Yep, zombies!

But again, this is a comedy. And a British one. So if you can’t laugh with the following scenes (which are in the trailer), don’t bother. As there are two zombies in the garden, the main character and his friend try to decapitate the zombies by swinging vinyl records to them. As the zombies approach, they have discussions on which record should be thrown and which should be kept in the collection. Hilarious! As they drive off and hit a person on the street, they drive back to check. Much relief when they see the dead body get up as they only hit a zombie and not a normal human!

The Stepford Wives – *

Posted: May 6, 2012 in 2004, Comedy, USA, X

Watched this movie at my parents’ place while they were doing their afternoon nap. It was over before they woke up! The comedy somehow escaped my movie radar as I had never heard of it before. It starts with Nicole Kidman as a tv presenter introducing the new programs of the network she’s working at, during which an ex-candidate of one of her previous shows tries to kill her. There was something bizarre about the scene. The idea intrigued me. This could be a movie criticizing reality tv shows and the exploitation of normal people by the media. However, everything in the initial scene made me realize it was supposed to be a comedy. For some reason I kept on watching the movie (while checking emails and reading the newspaper). Switching off the tv might have woken up my parents. 😉

The movie gets terrible reviews on imdb. Apart from Roger Ebert who gave it ***. I didn’t think it was that bad either. I had no expectations. I had never seen the original movie of which this is a remake. So, to me, it was just a weird comedy with Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken and Glen Close obviously having fun on the set. Yes, their acting is bad. But I really don’t think they wanted to give their best performance ever. This is not a serious movie. It’s a mindless comedy.

So in the end it’s not a critical movie about the negative effects of reality tv shows. It’s a science fiction comedy about a village in Connecticut where you have a bunch of unambitious men who turned their ambitious women into household robots so they can feel more manly. I want to see the original version now, which must have been more relevant back in 1975 when men still wanted women to be just doing household chores.