Archive for the ‘2013’ Category

Minha Mãe E Uma Peça: O Filme

Posted: April 11, 2017 in 2013, Brasil, Comedy

In an attempt to understand what’s popular in Brazil, I tried to watch this blockbuster comedy, available online with English subtitles. (see below)

Not sure why I even bothered finishing.

Based on a theatre play, the comedy focuses on a middle-aged woman who’s fed up with her divorced life and her annoying teenage kids. She leaves her apartment and stays at an aunt for a while, reminiscing on her life in flashbacks. In the mean time the kids realize they miss their mom.

I guess the humor is universal. The mother is played by a man. hahahahahahahahahahahna. The children are played by adults. One is fat. The other is effeminate. hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. A woman farts. hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. The social divide is present again, but this time the cleaning lady shouts back at her boss. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. And everyone SHOUTS. As if everyone in the cast thinks they are on stage and nobody in the audience will be able to hear what they say. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

In case you haven’t understood. There is more irony in the previous paragraph than in the entire movie.

The sequel is an even bigger hit.

It’s humor. It works. Just not for me.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2464018

 

 

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This is a movie for those who love Jane Austin stories, but think they are too white. It’s set in the same period of time, but this time the female heroine is a mulatto heiress.

The illegitimate daughter of a wealthy navy officer (and a slave from the West Indies) is raised by her uncle and aunt, who are already raising another niece. When her father dies she has a good fortune, but that doesn’t mean much, because as a mulatto she can’t really go higher up in society. Until a noble man fancies on marrying her, telling her that ‘unlike others’ he is ready to ignore the traits she received for her mother because ‘it is clear that the traits of her father luckily are more evident’.

In the mean time, the uncle is settling a case about a (slave ship) company that threw their human cargo overboard in order to get money back from their insurance. A young lawyer is trying to convince the uncle that he should speak against the company. Soon the mulatto heiress falls for him.

Yawn.

It’s a period piece. With a different take. But it tells the same story. It sucks being a woman at that time. Let alone a mulatto woman with money.

Somehow, British people love seeing movies and series about class distinction so they can continue using it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2404181

True Blood Season 6 – *(*)

Posted: January 15, 2017 in 2013, Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, USA, X1/2

Well. It’s all getting a bit too much. The episodes are way too long. And there are way too many episodes. Some character are still around without actually having anything to say or do. Tara’s only moment of glory was in the finale for instance. In all the others she was just an extra. However, some scenes are still quite cool though. The gore remains funny. Sookie is still the best. Season 7 will be a drag. But we’ll persevere. One day. It’s still the best soap out there.

 

So far, every single performance of Keith Stanfield stands out. That’s the case in Atlanta, Selma, Dope, Miles Ahead, Straight Outta Compton, .. They are always just small parts in bigger movies/series, but when the end credits roll you always think about that lean black guy who steals the show by just being truthful and realistic. Maybe that’s just what his career will be like. Somewhere in between an extra and a supporting actor, but if he always delivers, it’s not such a bad career path. There are seven movies coming out in 2017 that have him on the credits! And he’s the lead in one of them (Crown Heights). Plus he’s an interesting poet rapper and he has swag! Best dressed guy at the Golden Globes and stuff. This man is the future!

Short Term 12 is his debut movie. He reprises the same role he played in a short movie five years earlier. He plays a troubled teen who fears the idea of leaving the group home he’s been at for several years as he has to go live on his own once he’s 18. He’s not the main character, but the few scenes he’s in are quite impressive. The rap his character creates and performs is written by the actor himself and is very powerful.

The movie focuses more on Grace, who works at the group home as a buddy to the troubled kids. It soon becomes clear that she as well has survived a troubled past, which comes back when the group home takes in a new girl who’s being abused by her dad.

For the first half of the movie, everything is quite realistic and the performances by the kids and young adults are great and believable. It’s Brie Larsson’s perfect performance of Grace that landed her the award winning part in Room. But by the end the semi-documentary style changes into fiction with one particular baseball bat scene that screams ‘drama’ a bit too loud. And an ending that makes American indie movies just as corny as Hollywood movies.

The best moments are the rap that Keith’s character performs about his abusive mother and the octopus/shark story told by the new kid’s character. A bit more of that and it would have been an even better movie.

The short movie is ok. But it’s not worth its 1.99 dollars on iTunes. The acting isn’t as impressive, but Keith’s in it for a few brief moments and delivers, yes, again.

This entry reads like an ode to Lakeith Lee Stanfield!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2370248

 

Veep: Season 2 – **(*)

Posted: September 22, 2016 in 2013, Comedy, TV series, USA, XX1/2

Not one single character in this show is likable. They are ALL incredibly annoying. However, the actors play their part very well. And Julia Louis-Dreyfuss is actually really good as the vice president. She deserves that Emmy.

It’s very negative PR for the real vice president though. It’s negative PR for the entire staff working for the vice president. It’s all fictional of course, but it does make you wonder if the real situation at the veep’s office isn’t as absurd. What does Joe Biden do all day long?

It’s just really confronting to see how fake the vice president is as soon as the camera’s roll or she’s in a public place. Because that’s probably how it is in real life. Just look at this year’s political campaign in the US.

It’s not all good though, but the one-liners and some of the dialogue is incredibly well written. It was hard to find the balance between drama and humor in the first season, but it works quite well in this season. You just have to get used to it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1759761

Of course, fans of Cidade De Deus want to know what happened to the actors who performed in the instant classic from Brazil. And so this documentary does what the fans apparently want: go interview the stars of the movie ten years later. Some of them became succesful actors. Others didn’t. It’s okay to show the hardship and disillusion of those who didn’t make it. But somehow there’s too much focus on them and not on the ones that did succeed. This way, this documentary has a slight air of voyeurism and sensationalism, which doesn’t feel good. It’s like one of the characters says: there are people getting killed all over the world and these movie makers want to dwell on a movie that was made ten years ago. However, if you liked the movie, you’ll want to watch this nevertheless.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4103686

“Why would you finish a show that you don’t like?” asked a friend who asked me what I thought of Dancing On The Edge. 

In short: it’s only five episodes and I somehow hoped it would get better once you got to know the characters a bit more.

Alas! It never got better. It’s just overlong and not exciting at all.

The premise sounds good though. It’s the story of a jazz band who tries hard to get their new music across in 1930s London. They get help from a music reporter and are able to perform in a fancy hotel with not so open-minded guests. The series stars the charming and talented Chiwetel Ejiofor as the leader of the band and the setting, costumes and make up look stunning. So far so good.

But the tone changes from a musical period drama to an ordinary crime story. One of the singers gets severely attacked and it’s pretty obvious who did it. The wrong person gets accused and it looks like he’ll be framed for the crime. A lot of characters are introduced that may or may not be complicit of the crime. So there’s a little suspense. But in the end it’s all so predictable and a drag.

Watch it only for Chiwetel!

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2163315