Archive for the ‘2012’ Category

The Expendables 2 – (*)

Posted: July 28, 2017 in 2012, Action, USA

Decided to put on this sequel while cleaning a few boxes of old print material at home. It’s not the most convenient background media. It’s loud. There are a lot of explosions. People get killed by the hundreds. There’s hardly any dialogue or soundtrack material. Just gunshots and blasts and a lot of engine rolling (of cars and planes).

But from time to time you want to look up to see what it’s all about. It’s about some Russian plutonium mine and many people want to know its location. One of them is the Bruce Willis character, who orders Stallone’s gang to go get the location (from a laptop in a lost suitcase). Unfortunately someone else is one step ahead and manages to steal the suitcase, killing an ‘expendable’ in the process. And so it becomes a revenge tale.

The only surprisingly cool thing about this movie is the presence of Jean Claude Vandamme as the villain. He’s actually the best actor of the whole action hero bunch in this sequel. Which says a lot.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1764651

Reality – (*)

Posted: January 20, 2017 in 1/2, 2012, Comedy, Italy

Pffff.
What a drag…

A local fish seller, who’s always ready to steal the show at family events, auditions for a part in the reality tv show Big Brother. He’s really convinced he will get selected and his close friends and family support him as well. But as the start of the new season gets closer and closer, he still hasn’t been contacted by the production team. Something must be wrong…

Maybe it’s funny if you know Italian society a bit better. Or if you are used to their comedies. If you’re not than this is just plain boring.

Lesson learnt for anyone holding job interviews or auditions: just sent a letter that you are not interested.

Lesson learnt for anyone starting o watch Italian comedies: pick another one to begin with.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1846487

 

People watching: Recife.

That’s it really. And it’s great. Just watch the trailer. It’s how a trailer should be: intriguing and not telling anything at all.

Brazil is an fascinating country. Its diversity and contrasts are a wealth of inspiration for any kind of story-teller. This movie focuses on the life of a few upper middle class residents in a fancy residential high-rise area of the northeastern metropolis. A private security team comes to offer their services to protect the street block at night. This looks fishy, but it’s Brazil and you cannot be safe enough. Things kind of build up to a bigger finale, but that story isn’t all that important. It’s more the collection of beautifully shot scenes and the both direct and indirect stabs at Brazilian society that keep you watching until the end.

Brazil is a great country and you can have everything you want. But it comes with a price. And we’re not just talking money. You can have all the wealth you want (with the right kind of parents and skin color or luck), but you will never get rid of the paranoia. There’s insecurity everywhere. Out on the streets. Around familiar places. And even inside your head.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2190367

 

Recommended by a vinyl shop owner in Leipzig, who sells dvd’s at 1 euro a piece. And worth every single cent! This is a fun comedy with crazy characters who keep you entertained for the entire 90 minutes.

It’s for young adults though, but anyone can enjoy the little absurd story of a young quirky girl who gets stranded on an island with a stuttering Greek, a macho Turk and the latter’s devote muslim sister. Their adventure starts after a plane crash in the Indian ocean. While the kids are on the island, the crazy mother of the girl and the serious father of the Turkish siblings are awaiting news of their children in a fancy resort somewhere else.

The movie is loosely based on a popular German tv series in which a caucasian teenager records what happens when her divorced mother decides to move in with her new Turkish-born partner and his two kids. This time around though, the characters remain the same, but the setting and storyline have nothing in common with the tv show. That alone is quite remarkable.

Some scenes make no sense at all, but the comedy gets away with it just fine. The acting is funny. The characters are very stereotypical, but that’s exactly what the makers are aiming at. And that main lead, Elyas M’Barek, just blows you away. He’s currently one of Germany’s biggest and most popular stars and this is the part that made him famous. There’s a lot wrong with the movie, but let’s focus on the good: it’s entertaining and a great family movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1650536

Veep: Season 1 – **

Posted: September 20, 2016 in 2012, Comedy, Dramedy, Political, TV series, USA

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won yet another Emmy for her performance in Veep. Time to start watching the show! Or at least the first season! And the verdict is… okay.

The first season only has 8 episodes. As such, it’s not really hard to finish it. The episodes are short and contain enough funny one-liners and absurd scenes to make you laugh multiple times. As a comedy, it’s great. Overall however, the show tries to be too serious at times. The drama just doesn’t work. The social commentary is annoying. You can’t be making fun of the vice presidency and tackle real political issues at the same time.

Those who know the show say it gets better. So off to season 2.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1759761/episodes?season=1

This is probably the worst tv show I’ve ever finished a season of. It took me more than a year. And a repeat start. Just because it stars Don Cheadle and he’s awesome.

However, this time that didn’t help at all.

House Of Lies is about consultants who get paid big bucks by companies who can’t figure out themselves how to save their company from losing money or their reputation. Don Cheadle is some kind of consultant guru and he’s the head of a team including an ambitious woman and two data nerds. He works for a firm, the CEO of which wants to merge with some kind of investing group that they consulted for. He’s divorced from a former colleague and current competitor, who’s sex obsessed. They both have a transgender kid, who’s being raised by his granddad, a shrink with starting Parkinson’s disease.

The story lines are a mess. The main theme is boring. Scrupulous consultants who use deception and sex to close deals: sounds cool on paper, but it’s not. Critical of capitalism, but glorifying it at the same time. It works in movies like Wolf On Wall Street. It doesn’t here. There are some good elements, like the performance of the confident transgender kid  by Donis Leonard Jr, but all in all this whole season sucks. The two data nerds are supposed to give some comic relief, but they are just annoying. Just like every time the action freezes and some consultant term is explained. We get it, the business has some specific terminology. Explaining it doesn’t make it more attractive. And Don Cheadle’s character just isn’t interesting. There’s nothing likable about him – which is the whole point -, but there’s also nothing to like.

This show ran for five seasons!!!! Five!!!!!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1797404

Pitch Perfect – (*)

Posted: February 13, 2016 in 1/2, 2012, Musical, USA

A semi alternative wannabe dj starts college and joins a competitive acapella singing band. She doesn’t represent the typically girly cheerleading image, but neither do the others in the band (one butch black lesbo, one fat Aussie girl, one silent Asian). She kind of likes a singer of the successful acapella boyband (from the same campus), but since he belongs to their ’rivals’ she cannot really date him.

Can someone please tell me what the appeal is of this franchise? The singing is TERRIBLE ! The song arrangements are TERRIBLE ! The acting is TERRIBLE ! This is made for 14-year old girls who have no sense of humour or cinematic art only.

And somehow I managed to finish this crap (during a flight)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1981677