Archive for the ‘2008’ Category

Just having watched Wien is ‘t Hof Van Commerce, a self-made chronological mockumentary of a locally famous West-Flemish hiphop band, it made me want to re-watch this  (10 year old!) music documentary of another famous Flemish band. From Ghent and an international phenomenon: SOULWAX!

Back in the late 2000s these guys toured the world with a great concept: they gave a live performance of their remixed songs, invited dj’s and bands they liked to come along and then ended the evening as their dj alter ego: TWO MANY DJ’s.

Both Soulwax and Two Many Dj’s toured again this summer. With success. But ten years ago, they were pretty much the coolest band in the world.

Watching this documentary again, brought back memories. It’s a great musical document. The sounds these guys produce are still da bomb! The dvd comes with a cd as well and there’s a live performance as an extra feature. But you really want to see the one hour trip through club culture feature. It’s also available on dailymotion (see below).

The editing is hectic, but doesn’t bore at all. It’s a one hour trip, which is just enough. It’s fast-paced and loud. It’s very divers in its images. Live performances in dark stroboscoped clubs are mixed with images of places around the world. It’s visually as entertaining as sound-wise. It has a few tranquil moments with interviews of people who tour with the band. So, you do get to learn about the band and the two main members (two brothers called Stephen and David Dewaele). And you get to learn about live on the road. A lot is self-glorification, but if you’re the coolest band on the planet, it’s okay. The decadent lifestyle isn’t so shocking really. Especially because most of the performers seem so level-headed. It’s the crowd that goes crazy. And the crowd does go berserk. Which is of course again a feat of the director/editor. Just show a lot of people having a good time and you create the illusion that everyone is having a good time. With or without drugs. With or without booze. With or without clothes.

It’s a fun watch. If you haven’t seen it yet: do!

www.imdb.com/title/tt1224448

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Hancock – *

Posted: November 6, 2017 in 2008, Action, USA, X

The idea is kind of cool. There’s a superhero in LA, who lives like a bum, is an alcoholic and reluctantly saves lives if someone asks him too. However in his attempts to get the bad guys, he damages a lot of roads and buildings and that costs a lot of money to society.  He’s also far from pleasant to the people he rescues and the passers-by. In short: he needs a PR guy and guess what? He just happens to save the life of a PR- man who wants to give something back in return. Little does the PR-man know that his new girlfriend has the same superhero powers like the guy he’s trying to help.

The good thing about this action movie is that it’s short. 80 minutes or so. That’s still more than an average viewer can take. If you like seeing roads and buildings being destroyed during superhero battles, than this one’s for you! If you don’t, skip it. Even when you’re a Will Smith or Charlize Theron fan. This just isn’t worth the watch.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0448157

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

La Fille De Monaco – *

Posted: July 30, 2017 in 2008, Drama, France, Romance, Thriller, X

A lawyer receives protection from a body guard, sent by the son of his client in a murder case. It takes a while, but after a few days there is a connection between both men who like each other’s company.  And just when you think the story will evolve into a gay romantic adventure in Monte Carlo, a young fresh actress appears on screen who steals the heart of everyone. She has her eye set on the lawyer, but dated the bodyguard in the past…

Intriguing plot synopsis.

Poor execution.

Roschdy Zem (the bodyguard) is quite impressive, as always, but he looks lost in the bizarre dialogues and the crazy story that leads to nothing good at all. This was probably set up as a mix between a romantic comedy and crime thriller, but there’s is no romance, no comedy, no crime and no thrilling element….

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1139800

 

Step Brothers – *

Posted: January 19, 2016 in 2008, Comedy, Slapstick, USA, X

Hm. A lesson learned: one goofy movie with fart jokes is more than enough. Especially  when the second has twice as many.

After having laughed quite a lot with White Chicks, it looked like a good thing to watch Step Brothers as well. It may star the overrated Will Ferrell, but it also stars the underrated John C. Reilly. It’s directed by the guy who made the Oscar nominated economy class The Big Short and the synopsis is promising. Two late thirty somethings become step brothers when their respective mother and dad marry. Both still live with their parent and are now forced to live with each other.

It’s interesting to see that this comedy is higher rated on imdb than White Chicks. It’s also interesting to see that this comedy wasn’t nominated for a Razzie award and White Chicks was. It’s unfair to compare both movies, but when you watch them on the same evening, you do. And Step Brothers is definitely the worse comedy. Sure, there are some hilarious scenes, but unfortunately they are few. A lot of them are offensive and even more are gross. When the guys from Little Britain are offensive and gross it conjures up laughs. Here it just evokes disgust.

These two movies came in a 5 title movie pack (for 5 euro). It’ll take a while before the other three will be watched.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0838283/

In a discussion about the abundance of Holocaust themed movies, some (older American women) suggested to watch The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, one of the most touching stories they had ever seen. They had never heard of excellent movies like Die Fälscher (The Counterfeiters) and they believed Schindler’s List was too grim.

Duh.

This one here is terrible cinema. It’s a movie for children (and older American women apparently), but who would want to show this to kids? Schindler’s List was compulsory viewing for teenagers back when it was released in the early nineties. And rightfully so. If someone ever comes up with the idea of making this crappy movie compulsory for kids, they’d shrug their shoulders by the end and have learned nothing. 

In case you do want to watch it (in order to make your own opinion) know that it’s about an 8 year old son of a nazi labor camp commander who is curious about the ‘farm’ he sees in a distance from his window room where everyone seems to wear ‘pyjamas’. He ‘befriends’ a Jewish 8 year old who lives behind the electric wire fence.

The acting is terrible, the characterization is terrible, the story is terrible (well, maybe it works as a book – on which is was based). It’s so simplistic and banal. It trivializes an important horrendous period of time. Just to make it more ‘appealing’ for those who think the reality is too grim.

It’s been a while since a movie rated high on imdb left such a terrible impression.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0914798

The Rise and Fall of Versailles, an English documentary about the Bourbon Kings at Versailles, uses footage from a French tv production.

Le Rêve D’un Roi is the first installment and focuses on the life of Louis XIV and his obsession with creating the most beautiful palace and royal gardens in the world.

It’s not really a classical biopic movie, because there’s an informative voice over in between scenes. It’s not a documentary either because the story is entirely re-enacted. It’s very French and often a bit dull, but it does tell you a LOT about life at Versailles during the reign of the Sun King.

In the English documentary version a lot of scenes are left out and replaced by comments of historians. Here the makers just assume that the viewers knows already a lot of details about the life of Louis XIV. More specific: the men and women who were important in his life. If you’ve never heard of Colbert or LeBrun or Madame de Maintenant, then you’re in for a very boring 90 minutes.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1167686/

But it’s online. So if you understand French, check it out: