Archive for the ‘2015’ Category

Ha!

recommended by several friends: a quirky British comedy sitcom available on netflix

It’s a British comedy sitcom. Which means there are only six episodes per season. And they only last for about half hour each. This is over before you know it.

The central character is Tracey, a twenty something virgin who’s living with her religious mother and sister in a multiracial area of London. She so desperately wants to have sex that the whole series evolves around this goal. Both get really tiring after a while. Tracey makes you nervous. The way she talks. The way she acts. The way she can’t make up her mind. The way she jumps into adventures with such naivety. And this quest to lose her virginity goes on and on. Yawn.

But the side characters make up a lot. They are even weirder.

The social commentary isn’t really as on point as you’d expect. But sometimes that’s not necessary. It’s just fun to watch a weird girl with her weird friends end up in weird situations, innit?

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5097050

 

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Loev – *

Posted: January 21, 2018 in 2015, Drama, India, LGBT themed, X

Hm.

It’s a bit bizarre to watch a movie where a rape scene is considered an act of love. Especially in these #metoo times… The scene happens in the final act of the movie. The victim clearly says ‘no’ and is clearly not able to physically stop the abuse. Yet, somehow he’s okay with it all and acts like it was nothing. Moreover, throughout the entire movie the abuser is represented as a descent, honest bloke and the victim acts like a whimsical diva, both luring his abuser into romance and pushing him back.

It’s a story about a three gay men in Mumbai. Sahil (a musician) and Alex (an actor) are in a relationship, but clearly have their issues. The other, Jai, is a mutual friend and a successful businessman who’s in town for a couple of days. Sahil has planned a surprise trip for Jai and Alex is fine with them heading off together. However, Jai is open and honest about his feelings for Sahil and it’s clear that Sahil loves Jai as well….

Loev is very slow. Until the actual rape scene, nothing really happens. Sahil and Jai drive for hours and talk about all kinds of things. When they arrive at their destination the everyday conversations and situations continue, but nothing exciting happens. Every time a scene seems to turn into something intriguing, it’s cut short. And the rape scene isn’t even a turning point in the story. So it’s pretty redundant.

The movie gets a lot of positive buzz. Probably because it’s an Indian movie. And the characters aren’t one-dimensional (true). It’s definitely not a commercial Hollywood movie. But if you want to see a really good movie about an ‘exotic’ gay love triangle than watch the excellent Wound. 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5050788

Beasts Of No Nation – **(*)

Posted: January 11, 2018 in 2015, Drama, USA, War, XX1/2

A regular family living in a buffer area between two war zones in a (fictional) African country gets ripped apart when troops are on the way to take over control. The mother and youngest children are able to flee to the capital. But the father and his two oldest sons remain to resist. The youngest of the two sons ends up fleeing in the bushes when the troops start ravaging the town and he soon joins rebel forces, who don’t mind training young boys into war machines.

This may be an Idris Elba movie (he produced and stars in it), but it’s little Abraham Attah who’s the main draw. This kid can act! He’s phenomenal! Just watch the movie to see this kid shine in every single scene. From being a fun and careless young kid with a creative mind, to a survivor enduring all kinds of hardships never losing grip of his true self. Sure, kudos’ to the creators of this character, but without a good actor it wouldn’t be as powerful.

It’s also filmed really well. Great settings. Great camera work.

But, the story doesn’t really dig too deep. And the end is sloppy. They should have made a series out of it. They could have spent an entire episode on the family before they got ripped apart. An episode about the situation in this ‘fictional’ land.  And an episode about the formation of this rebel group.  Before they start with the journey of the kid being trained as a child warrior. Using a fictional country and fictional historic events is risky. It’s not really clear who is fighting who. That’s all a bit of a blur (or a collection of abbreviations). So that’s a bit of a disappointment.

Nevertheless: watch it!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1365050

 

Okay, it’s not a must see action cop movie, but it doesn’t bore at all. And the story is set in Brazil, rather than LA or New York. So that’s a plus. It’s about a woman, who does a career switch by getting out of the tourism sector and into the police department. Before she knows it, she needs to participate in a special assignment. In a small town several miles from Rio De Janeiro, two kids get killed during a shoot out between rivaling gangs. The Rio special police force is sent over there to help find the criminals and bring back peace. However, the longer the elite team is there, the more they realize that those rivaling gangs are not the only criminal town and corruption is everywhere. But once they start investigating into it, they get a lot of opposition. The story isn’t original and it’s all very predictable. The presence of the woman (pretty, confident, a bit high maintenance) is first frowned upon by the macho police force, but of course she gets credit at the end. There are few surprises. You see it coming from miles ahead. But it’s entertaining. The acting is good though. That Cleo Pires is a joy to watch !

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4058210

 

Master of None Season 1 – ***

Posted: January 2, 2018 in 2015, Comedy, USA, XXX

This was very enjoyable. A bit goofy, but real. It’s so cool to have a main character be normal for a change. With normal behavior. Normal doubts. Normal thoughts. Normal is a difficult word. Because what’s normal right? Make it ‘honest’. It’s an honest character and truthful. The kind of people you actually meet in NYC, rather than the fictionalized characters you see in NY shows. You never meet the girl from She’s Gotta Have It, but you do meet the guy from Master Of None. Yeah. It’s cool to see a ‘struggling’ actor live from doing commercials hang out with his quirky friends and discuss live.

Aziz Ansari is cool as the main character Dev. In fact, if it wasn’t for the name change, you’d think this is a show about Aziz himself. It all feels very autobiographical. Especially since his real parents play his onscreen parents! But it works. Each short episode has some kind of theme. It’s not all well scripted, but some of the ideas are super creative. It’s also a very positive show without being moralizing and being all too politically correct. But the social commenting is great. Worth recommending!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4635276/ 

Jonas – *

Posted: December 27, 2017 in 2015, Brasil, Crime/Detective, X

In the days leading up to Carnival, a young adolescent finally feels confident to share his feelings for the daughter of his mother’s boss. They have known each other since they were kids, but the social class differences made them go separate ways as teenagers. She’s a big flirt though and loves the attention. Not only from him, but from everyone around the block where they live, including a drug dealing criminal.

The first 20 minutes or so, we get introduced to these stereotypical characters. The flirtatious girl, who gets everything she wants.  The confident local criminal. His dumb associates, who compensate not having a brain by shouting loud and aggressively when talking. The hard-working mom, who raises two children from different dads. The cheating husband who’s also an alcoholic. The wealthy parents of the girl, who rely on their housemaids to do everything, from cleaning to raising their spoiled brats. Sigh. Yes, it’s Brazil. Yes all these types exist. Yes, it’s boring to see them every single time.

The story get ridiculous when the main character of the story, Jonas, finds out that the girl of his dreams is secretly having an affair with the drug dealer. He confronts them and in a sudden move takes the gun from the drug dealer (because that’s what drug dealers in Brazil do: walk around with a gun) and shoots him. Dead. He drugs the girl (because sleeping pills are easily available), cleans up the mess, gets rid of the body, leaves the scene of the crime and ties up the girl inside the frame of a huge construction looking like whale, which will be a big attraction in the carnival parade. This happens without any witnesses. At all. In Sao Paulo, the busiest and largest metropole of South America.

Okay, fine. It’s a premise. It doesn’t make you stop watching the movie, but it doesn’t feel like it’s going to get any better. However, the acting by Jesuita Barbosa and Laura Nelva is good and somehow you want to know what’s coming next. But the story fails. This young kid holds the girl of his dreams captive. And she kind of likes it. In the mean time of course, the parents are worried and the drug dealing gang starts missing their leader. But their reactions don’t make sense. All of the action from every single character is very implausible.

Next!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2711256

The Night Before – *

Posted: December 19, 2017 in 2015, Comedy, USA, X

It’s a comedy featuring Seth Rogen, so there are drugs involved. Surprise! He’s a settled down / soon to be father who wants to hang with his two best friends the night before Xmas. They’ve been doing it for the past ten years and maybe this night is the last night they can do it.

Seth Rogen’s character gets a box of drugs to go party. A bit of weed, some mushrooms, some coke and some xtc. Great! It seems like every comedy coming from Hollywood is promoting drugs like it’s the most normal thing to do. Maybe that’s how movies get financed nowadays. Who will tell.

One of the friends is a softy who wants to win back the love of his life (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) . The other is a nerdy sportsman on steroids (Anthony Mackie). The tree of them are in for a Hangover like adventure.

Yes, some scenes are funny. But it’s all so meaningless and stupid. It’s the kind of movie that cost hardly anything and probably made ten times its investment. Because it’s a christmas movie!

It was a 99 cent rental this week, so they won’t make that much money, but still.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3530002