Archive for the ‘2004’ Category

As a Tarantino fan, I always wondered why I hated Kill Bill: Volume 1 so much and why I never bothered watching Kill Bill: Volume 2. 

15 years later it’s clear why: these are just pretentious, badly edited, poorly acted, faux-hommage action flicks with hardly any humor and – more surprisingly – hardly any cool fight scenes! At least those should have been wel choreographed, but no.

At least, I finished Volume 2 this time. Which is an achievement on its own.



The Terminal – *(*)

Posted: December 23, 2018 in 2004, Dramedy, USA, X1/2

Spielberg isn’t really all that good with comedies or romantic moments. So, watching his romantic comedy The Terminal felt like a terrible idea. It’s one of the few Spielberg movies I haven’t seen and it’s on Netflix and it’s a lazy Sunday, so hey, what the heck…

This isn’t half as bad as expected. At least not the first hour or so. The set up is a bit ridiculous, but it’s well explained. A man from a fictitious Eastern european country gets stranded at the JFK airport because during his flight a coup took place in his home country and upon arrival in the US, his passport and visum are no longer valid. There isn’t really a solution at hand and the head of the Homeland Security Department can’t arrest him or deport him, so he’s stuck in the international terminal.

So far so good. Then his waiting starts. And his creativity takes a flight. He’s determined to wait for a green light to visit New York. Or better a green stamp. And he starts to build up relationships in the terminal. Not everyone is happy with his presence. Especially the head of security wants to get rid of him. Until at one point he needs his ‘nemesis’. And that’s when the story becomes really unbelievable.

The first hour is kind of fun. Spielberg creates a magical world in a real setting. It works fine. But then somehow it all becomes a mess. There is zero romance in this movie and the comedy is restricted. So, it’s not really a romantic comedy at all.


The Incredibles – **

Posted: June 25, 2018 in 2004, Animation, USA, XX

Quite the Pixar hit 14 years ago, The Incredibles finally has a sequel in the theaters. But was the original really that good?


It’s action packed. It has fun humor. The animation is top notch. Yet, something is missing. The soundtrack suits a Mission Impossible / James Bond movie more, but is distracting. The characters are a bit one dimensional. There’s little emotional drama. Coco or Inside Out it isn’t.

Let’s see what the sequel brings…

Doc Martin Season 1 – **

Posted: November 2, 2017 in 2004, Comedy, Satire, TV series, UK, XX

A grumpy, straight forward, politically incorrect, sarcastic, quirky surgeon with a fear of blood, moves to a small, remote coastal town. The adaptation to provincial life is slow and difficult. The locals are quite happy with a new general practitioner, but have a weird way of showing it. They use platitudes and other unsophisticated humor to tease him, which is not appreciated (yet) by the doctor. It’s a funny contrast. But it only works for the first couple of episodes. Then drama sets in. Episode 5 is already a drag.

The character of Doc Martin is a joy to watch. His replies and one liners are hilarious. The other town folk aren’t so intriguing. Some are plain irritable. The village is charming. It makes you want to visit one day. But it’s filmed for the British television on a low-budget and even if it’s been made in this century, it looks like something from several decades ago.

After years of being recommended to watch the show, the final view is a bit disappointing.

Somehow there’s not really a trailer of the first season, BUT you can watch the first episode online.


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!