Archive for the ‘2011’ Category

The Loving Story – *(*)

Posted: February 20, 2017 in 2011, Civil Rights, Documentary, USA, X1/2

After watching Loving, you may want to watch the documentary that was the main source of the movie: The Loving Story.

Mr and Mrs Loving were the interracial couple who were sentenced to exile in the state that they lived (Virginia) just because they married ‘a different race’. Their case ended up being brought to the Supreme Court, which allowed interracial couples to be married all over the United States.

The most interesting thing about watching this documentary is the realisation that the casting director of Loving did a tremendous job looking for actor that ressemble the real life characters. The actors must also have watched this documentary over and over again. The HBO special itself isn’t giving that much extra information about the case. It’s pretty much all covered in the movie. You get to see still pictures of the couples, home videos of the family, interviews with the lawyers (at the time of the trial and later on in life). They also add vintage footage of tv interviews from back in the days when people just openly talk about wanting to keep segregation…

That said. It’s 2017 and you have the alt-right KKK-clones claim the same things on tv.

It’s sad that you don’t really get to know much more about the family members. They interview the daughter, but she’s basically telling general stuff about her parents.

So, watch the movie and leave it at that.

Romeos – **

Posted: February 6, 2017 in 2011, Drama, Germany, LGBT themed, XX

No, this is not the movie about the Flemish crooner trio De Romeo’s.

Lukas is a young transgender who moves to Cologne where he reconnects with an old girl friend of his. He’s put in a dorm for women as he physically still is a woman, but he wants to join the boys next door. His girl friend (who’s a lesbian) takes him to some gay parties, where he meets Fabio, who’s in the closet at home, but pretty popular in the clubs. They bond.

Unlike other movies about transgenders, this one deals with a girl becoming a boy. That’s already something refreshing. And unlike the other movies this one isn’t drenched in sorrow and misery and doubt. Yes, life as a transgender isn’t easy, but at least this character is pretty positive about his/her transition. It’s a low-budget movie. There’s nothing special about the directing or so. It’ll probably cause controversy when shown to a bigger crowd (say as a television movie or in classrooms), but it’s not that offensive either.

The acting is solid, even though it’s bizarre that they cast a boy (Rick Okon) to play the transgender. Maximilian Befort (who plays Fabio) looks like a German Marcello Mello Jr. But it’s Liv Lisa Fries who really steals the show. An actress with potential!

Set in a (fictitious) luxury hotel in Brussels, several stories interact. Anna checks in with her husband and their son for the wedding of her sister. The guy she’s having an affair with, is a guest as well. Violette checks in and demands the ‘royal’ suite. She’s been diagnosed with cancer and wants to spend the rest of her days in luxury and close to her estranged daughter Vicky, who’s working as a cleaning lady in the hotel. Joyeux is a little African refugee kid who’s trying to re-connect with his dad after they got separated upon arrival in the West. The last words of his dad were: ‘meet me at hotel Swooni in Brussels’.

It’s a relatively short movie and feels more like a tv production than an actual cinematic experience. But it works. The stories fit together well and the limited locations (hotel rooms, hotel lobby, rooftop terrace) are a plus. The opening shot over Brussels makes you wonder why not more movies are made in the Belgian capital. The acting is solid. From class A actors like Geert Van Rampelberg to newcomers like Vigny Tchakouani, who doesn’t do much more than look adorable, but steals every scene he’s in. The characters are intriguing, and you want to know more about them, but you get enough information to get where they are going.

It’s all a bit predictable and superficial, but by the time you’re starting to maybe get annoyed a bit, the movie is over.

It’s homegrown, so it deserves a (*) extra.


Attack The Block – *

Posted: April 10, 2016 in 2011, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, UK, X

It’s a horror parody and it’s British. How could this go wrong?

Because, there’s zero empathy for any character in the movie. And the jokes aren’t funny at all.

However, as a rental for 99 cent, it’s worth its money.

It’s the kind of movie you’d wish to see at a Fantastic Film Festival surrounded by geeks and horror freaks cheering for all the bad acting, crappy gore and silly special effects on screen!

Robert Pattinson acts all amateur and emotionless in this period piece (1930s) about a traveling circus that is heading for a disaster. He’s the lead, but isn’t a leader at all. He looks lost. Reese Witherspoon is in it too, but plays second fiddle, and Christopher Waltz is the bad guy – again – and steals the show. Sure there are a few freaks and some exotic animals, but the circus is just a setting for a coming of age love story between a young student and a married woman.

Didn’t see the end, because the plane landed earlier than expected. But the story did intrigue me enough to feel bummed about the abrupt end. I’m not going to rent it for the last ten minutes though. Maybe it’ll catch it again on another flight.

Oh and I do think animals should get nominated for the Oscars as well. The elephant in here ‘acts’ as great as any other dog, horse or chimp. Hey, he/she acts better than Robert Pattinson.

Onde Está A Felicidade – (*)

Posted: February 14, 2015 in 1/2, 2011, Brasil, Comedy

If you ever want to see a bad Brazilian comedy, check out Onde Está a Felicidade, in which a popular tv cook decides to walk the pilgrimage way to Santiago De Compostela after she finds out that her husband is having webcam sex with another woman. Her producer, who is fired, decides to join her and use the opportunity to come up with a new tv format about travel and finding yourself doing so.

There is one scene that explains it all. Upon arrival in Spain the presenter gets a fit and the producer wonders if this is why Brazilians have the image of being so utterly over-dramatic. It’s funny, because it’s true. However, an over-dramatic main character starts to bore after a while. And if there are no funny side kicks, remarks or situations than it basically fails as a comedy.

Probably nice as a stage play in a small Brazilian town, but not for a feature movie. Unless you’re Brazilian maybe and get the jokes that non-Brazilians don’t get.

After comments from both a French and an American friend about not being interested in watching Flemish movies (you know who you are) and realizing that the last couple of movies made in Flanders were disappointing to say the least, it was time to watch Groenten Uit Balen, a minor box office hit a few years ago, which I somehow didn’t see when it was released in theaters.

It’s based on a theatre play that is set in the early seventies and focuses on a worker’s family during a long-lasting strike. The main character is Germaine Debruycker, an energetic and rebellious nineteen year old who works as a cashier in a local supermarket. She dreams of a different life, running off with a rich and famous foreigner and leaving her miserable home behind. But the future doesn’t seem all that bright… A strike in the local factory leaves her father without a wage for several weeks and she’s losing her best friend to an English truck driver who will take her to Liverpool. But the strike also attracts left-wing students from the University who want to support the laborers’ strike and one of them is the boy she had a crush on in high school. Maybe he’s her way out…

It’s a great movie. Some scenes remind you that it’s a filmed theatre piece, but others are very inventive and cinematic enough to shine on a big screen. The acting is superb. The cast is filled with big names (in Flanders), who – apart from Koen De Bouw – deliver a great performance. Stany Crets is excellent as the father. He clearly must have loved his character. Lucas Van den Eynde proves again how versatile he is. As the leader of the strike he’s quite powerful in his subdued way. But foremost, it’s Evelien Bosmans who acts so natural that she steals every scene she’s in. It’s our little Audrey Tatou.

This is a very Flemish movie, which contrary to what my French friend believes is different from a Belgian movie. This movie is filled with so many regional references that not even the French-speaking part of the country (nor the Dutch from The Netherlands) would understand. So let alone the French or the Americans. This movie won’t change their prejudiced view. It’s a poor girl meets rich boy story set in the seventies. BO-RING. So if you don’t know Natalia, you won’t appreciate her funny one minute cameo. If you don’t know Will Tura, you won’t smile with the comments made by the father about his success. If you aren’t familiar with our different accents, you’ll find the Dutch/Flemish spoken bizarre. The La Bamba kissing dance is something I even remember from my high school days.

But the best scene is universal. Should you ever watch it, wait for the Belgian chocolate scene. It may be a Flemish movie, but that couldn’t be more Belgian.

*** and because I’m proud of it another (*)