Archive for the ‘2010’ Category

While looking for an interesting local movie in the dvd segment of an Austrian electronic store, several people recommended this classic comedy.

It’s very local though. Set in Graz, featuring an older Austrian actress who plays herself. And a lot of other actors who are known all over Austria and never made headlines across the alps.

It’s an absurd comedy. Some jokes are clever and work for a larger international crowd. But there is so much going on that it’s a bit too much. It’s very difficult to summarize the plot into one line or even two. Basically the famous actress gets kidnapped to be used as a stand-in for a deceased grandmother, when the press comes to take a picture of that older lady’s 90th birthday. The grandmother has been dead for several years, but her grandson and his best friend have been pretending she is still alive so they can benefit from whatever money the government sends them monthly.

However, that is just a minor part of this burlesque ensemble cast soap opera play. There’s the nephew of the kidnapped actress who hopes she doesn’t come back alive. There’s a police officer who is screwing the nurse of the hospital where the actress got kidnapped. There’s the girlfriend of the grandson, who’s cheating on him with his best friend. There’s a car dealer who gets threatened by some eastern european maffia guys. It’s all connected. But it’s just too much.

The trailer looks promising though.

The six episodes of season one didn’t quite do it for me. Not sure what all the fuzz is about. It starts off like 28 Days Later, with a guy waking up from a coma in a post apocalypse world where zombies are roaming the streets and where survivors are trying to fight back and secure themselves from the zombies and other survivors. It also makes you think of the canceled BBC show Survivors and plenty of other shows that feature a very diverse group of people needing to live together by force.

The story isn’t really captivating. Nor realistic at all. The metropolitan area of Atlanta has about 6 million inhabitants. You get to see maybe 150 zombies and some 500 dead corpses. Plus a few dozen of survivors. The main character can ride on a horse into the city and not see ANY zombies or dead corpses, but then he gets to Midtown and suddenly he is surrounded by not all that many really. That just doesn’t make sense. Then he reunites with his wife and son after two episodes! Sure it adds to the drama because the wife has started an affair with his best friend in the mean time, who helped her escape. But seriously, after 2 episodes? Then of course you have the horror cliché of always wanting to go back to the horror scene. Also, what is this urge for people to keep living and fight back? Why would you choose to continue living under a constant treat of being killed and eaten by the undead?

You’d think the zombies would be scary, but they are not. They are silly. So the series doesn’t work as a horror show either. And the characters? Well, you have the racist one. The clumsy, chubby African-American one. The wife-beating redneck one. The nagging, cheating wife. The cheating on his best friend aggressive one. The geeky Asian one. Etc… Not really an interesting bunch.

De Gelukkige Huisvrouw – *

Posted: August 1, 2017 in 2010, Drama, Netherlands, X

Before Carice Van Houten did all kinds of Hollywood things, she was just a Dutch actress, performing in Dutch movies, never shying away from showing her tits in ‘love’ scenes. Some of her Dutch movies are excellent (Minoes, Black Book), some aren’t. This one belongs to the latter. It’s not good at all. She carries the movie. But that’s about the only positive thing you can say about it.

It’s a drama. About a woman who after having given birth to a baby boy, goes mental. literally. After almost having killed her baby, she is admitted to a mad house, where she learns that her lack of a loving father has resulted in her disinterest for her son…

Maybe it’s a good story for a book. But the story does not make for a good movie. Van Houten is okay, but all the other actors can’t make their characters intriguing. In fact they make them laughable. The cliché depiction of the other patients is cringeworthy. That of the mother and husband as well.  The end is way too abrupt. But it comes sooner than you know it. Which is a good thing.


The Expendables – *

Posted: July 20, 2017 in 2010, Action, USA, X

There are times when the brain doesn’t want to think and just be entertained. With action and laughter. And a little bit of nostalgia. The Expendables has a lot of car chases/shootings/explosions, silly one liners and cinema heroes from the eighties.

However, somehow, all these elements don’t really make the experience entertaining enough. More than 200 people get killed in this one. (in fact 221 according to Kill Count) But none of them are really killed in a cool Tarantino kind of way. Apart from that one scene where Stallone stabs a guy in the throat and then turns around the knife a few times. Not really cool, but at least it was different.

Yes, it’s a movie with and directed by Sylvester Stallone. And yes, the list of cast members is impressive. But most of them just have cameo’s. That one scene with Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger is funny, but redundant. You watch this movie because you want to see the interaction between these guys, not for a one scene joke.

There’s a story of course. But it’s too silly to even start summarizing.

The Expendables 2 is also on the shelf. (they only cost 1 euro). But not sure if it will ever make it to the dvd player.

Drei (3) – *(*)

Posted: January 30, 2017 in 2010, Drama, Germany, LGBT themed, Satire, X1/2

A straight couple who’ll be celebrating their 20th anniversary together and finally plan to get married, both encounter the same man who they feel attracted to. She meets him at some congress, he meets him at the swimming pool. And soon they all have an affair. This is why Facebook has ‘it’s difficult’ as a relationship status.

The humor and the conversations are quite elitist, with references to theatre, art, literature, philosophy and science. It’s a bit too much sometimes. The story itself is very simple and predictable. None of that intellectual blabla makes it more profound.

But there are moments, when it’s entertaining. It has a Toni Erdmann feel, but it is less weird and less confronting. The acting (especially by Austrian tv actress Sophie Rois) makes it worthwhile and the editing trick of having several scenes appear all over the screen is fun.

And let’s go to Berlin again and get into that swimming pool !

La Nostra Vita – *(*)

Posted: January 17, 2017 in 2010, Drama, Italy, Social Drama, X1/2

An Italian construction worker discovers a dead body of an illegal worker at the construction site and doesn’t report out of fear that authorities will close down the place. A few days later he loses his wife during the birth of their third child. From then on his life becomes a mess. Left alone to raise three kids, he starts focussing on work. He’s able to blackmail his boss. He’ll keep the death of the illegal worker a secret in return for more responsibility during the building process of another project. But the job seems too difficult…

Elio Germano is great as the construction worker. He’s a bit of a prick, but he has a lot of  charm as well. His character feels real, even though the situation around him doesn’t.

There’s a lot of misery in this movie. So be warned. There’s hardly any humor and there’s hardly anyone to sympathize with. But some scenes make it worth the watch.


Kawa – *

Posted: July 16, 2016 in 2010, LGBT themed, New Zealand, Social Drama, X

A maori man (and future tribe leader) leaves his wife and children to figure out how to come to terms with being gay.

Yep, another movie about a gay man struggling with his homosexuality and the (non) acceptance of the people around him. This time set in New Zealand and directed by a woman! It’s boring, predictable and annoying from start to finish.

Inside Job – *(*)

Posted: January 3, 2016 in 2010, Documentary, Uncategorized, USA, X1/2

If, after watching The Big Short, you feel like you want to know more about the financial credit crisis of the late 00’s, than there’s this award winning documentary called Inside Job, narrated by Matt Damon.

It’s kind of interesting, but somehow doesn’t really live up to its reputation. It gets boring quite fast. It’s very negative and depressing and biased, which isn’t necessarily a critique because you could not possibly make a positive, uplifting and neutral account of the crisis even if you tried hard. But it’s just so fucking boring. No wonder these insurance companies, banks, financial experts, ratings bureaus and even professors and journalists get away with so much crooked business. They made it so incredibly confusing and difficult that no normal person can understand what they are doing. Hey, most of the time they do not even understand themselves.

The long rating is just because of the topic. If you did not read about the crisis when it happened, you most likely do not want to learn about it now either.

Rented it. But damn, the whole documentary is on youtube!

Nothing much to write about this exciting heist movie. The acting is good (even by Ben Affleck). The directing is great (as expected from Ben Affleck). The story is captivating and the action is thrilling. See it!

The Trip – *

Posted: March 7, 2015 in 2010, Comedy, Dramedy, UK, X

British comedian Steeve Coogan plays a fictitious version of himself in this comical mockumentary. There isn’t really a plot, apart from the fact that he goes on a culinary review road trip to the northern part of Britain with his colleague Rob Brydon. This leads to an endless series of pointless – often boring – conversations that are only interesting if you know the characters and their humor.

It’s tiring to watch the discussions between these two men. Coogan plays an arrogant, egoist and narcissistic version of himself. Brydon gives impressions of actors like Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Woody Allen, etc… almost 90 percent of the time. Both are incredibly annoying.

Okay, there are some funny moments, it’s very recognizable to a certain extent and the food looks excellent and delicious. It’s probably great to be with them on a real trip. They probably had an excellent time filming this, improvising almost all the scenes. But as a viewer you want more. You want to like the characters, you want to indulge in their chatter, you want to feel part of the adventure. And there’s nothing of that in this movie.

What a waste of time.