Archive for the ‘2017’ Category

T2 – Trainspotting – *(*)

Posted: October 4, 2017 in 2017, Drama, UK, X1/2

Now this is an unnecessary sequel. It’s an okay movie. But it misses the soul of the first one: it’s originality and humor. There’s nothing of that in this one. It also feels like none of the actors really wanted to do this movie. And there’s this terrible, pointless, reoccurring ‘end of an action scene’ freeze moment. Annoying as hell. The story sucks to be honest. And the chemistry between the characters is gone. Especially since they all feel betrayed anyways. The soundtrack sucks as well. Yeah, maybe this isn’t such an okay movie after all. BUT, Edinburgh is much well presented visually. Sell out!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2763304

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Long Distance Flight movie #1 – Discovery of the return flight movie marathon!

Watching To Each His Own only makes sense after visiting Japan and wondering why commuters look very robotic in the morning, but seem jolly after work. It does give you an insight of how strenuous life must be in this fascinating country full of contrasts. The movie is based on a bestselling novel that tackled the Japanese society and its damaging ambition of always wanting to perform perfectly and hiding true feelings of happiness at work. Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. And their office stress is notorious all. However, during visits of Tokyo or Kyoto, one can only see how much laughter is heard at the end of the day and how friendly everyone is. It’s true, the view in the evening is very conflicting with the look in the morning when the entire commuter train is staring at their smartphones and emotionless office clerks march over crossroads like a computerised army of similar looking ants. But it can’t be that bad as in this movie, can it?

As an outsider it’s difficult to judge the authenticity of the depiction of office life in this intriguing drama. Life in the working place of protagonist Attachi is hell. In a western movie the scenes would work as a parody. The exaggerated reactions of the tyrannical boss are quite funny. Until this movies turns out to be a drama and not a comedy at all. Attachi is so fed up with his life that he wants to commit suicide, but he is saved by a young man who claims to have gone to the same elementary school together. Attachi can’t remember the guy and thinks it’s fishy. Is this a gay stalker? (Yes, there are two unnecessarily homophobic scenes in this movie) Is it a scam? Yet, each encounter makes him more confident and happier and makes him re-think life.

It’s a good movie. It’s intriguing because it’s set in a society that is different from elsewhere in the world. This obedience and constant apologetic behaviour feels awkward after a while. But the end is quite remarkable. When we get to learn who this mysterious stranger is.

Oh and the makers added scenes of Vanuatu (the happiest nation in the world), which gives this movie an extra *.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5922578

Long Distance Flight movie #3

Not sure if the humour of What A Wonderful Family is typical for Japan, but it’s quite universal. This movie is a sequel, but is easily enjoyed without seeing the first episode.

After a visit of Japan, where you constantly see friends or couples or groups of people laugh out loud during conversations, you wonder what they are laughing about. Apparently – according to an article on the subject – words of play and sadism are quite popular; sarcasm and irony not so much. And just plain slapstick. There is a little of everything in this comedy. It’s quite funny, recognisable even.

The comedy focuses on a family of Mr Shuzo, who is in his seventies and lives with his culturally independent wife; his ambitious, money making oldest son; his obedient daughter in law and his two teenage grandsons under the same roof. It’s not easy. Three generations is too much. His oldest, career daughter has married a cheap, but cheerful coward. And his youngest, sensitive son is dating an equally caring nurse. All of them interfere with his behaviour. All of them want him to turn in his driver license. But he loves his independence and wants to proof he is still very vital. He even courts the woman who runs the bar he goes to with his drinking buddies.

There are a lot of funny moments, even though a lot of them involve the toilet or intergender issues. Things change a little more to the dramatic when he meets an old school buddy who ends up dying two thirds into the movie, but then the humour picks up again and becomes quite morbid.

It’s a gentle comedy for he large crowds, appealing to the seniors and anyone who loves or works with an age group over 70.

It’s not all humour though, like that one scene where someone explains why some broken relationships can be fixed and others can’t.  A comparison is made with threads. If they are gradually woven, they can be put together once they loosen up by age. If they were put together in a mess, they need to be cut to entangle and can’t be mend.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5934564

追憶 Tsuioku (Reminiscence) – *(*)

Posted: September 13, 2017 in 2017, Drama, Japan, X1/2

Long Distance Flight movie #4

A law officer is confronted with his past when he meets an old childhood friend at a diner. The encounter troubles him, because it reminds him of the time he grew up in an orphanage and was an accomplice to a brutal murder by the woman who took care of him. Things become even more confusing when the friend is found dead, murdered.

The synopsis sounds like it’s a good mystery thriller, but it’s not. The investigation isn’t the major focus of the movie (in fact, the murder case is solved in a one minute scene during a phone call – what a disappointment). It’s the emotional baggage of the main character that explains a lot of his evasive behaviour. So, yeah, more of a boring psychological drama really. But with some good acting. And great cinematography.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5570680

 

Baywatch – *(*)

Posted: September 13, 2017 in 2017, Comedy, USA, X1/2

Long Distance Flight Movie #5

Haha. This is fun! Not having seen any episode of the 90s cult series with David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson, this is a great no brainer crime comedy. The best thing is that the movie doesn’t take itself seriously at all (hey, the stars of the movie have a silly cameos and get away with it well). Dwayne Johnson proves again why he is such a likeable guy. This time he is the disciplined safeguard hero of the beach, reluctantly allowing an arrogant former Olympic swimming champion in his team, played by a buffed Zack Efron. They hate each other guts but became best buddies at the end (no spoiler). It’s so silly, it’s quite entertaining.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1469304

The third installment of the recent Planet Of The Apes trilogy kind of disappoints. It’s a very dark movie. Very serious as well. And very slow. There isn’t that much action or adventure. Hey, the second half takes place in a sort of concentration camp. There are some excellent elements that still make it a great movie experience, but somehow the end result is just okay and not great. The new talking ape character brings laughter. Several times. And that’s good. Because the rest of the story is very depressing.

The GCI animation is breath taking. In combination with the acting by Andy Serkis the main character Caesar (the leader of the apes) looks so realistic. It’s quite a feat to create a talking chimpansee, whose emotional expressions look so real that at no time you are realizing how impossible the story is.

For those who don’t know the story: after a virus has almost wiped out human kind, the survivors are at war with a population of apes that are resistent to the virus and have evolved. The virus in the mean time, makes humans become more animalistic. It’s the third installment. If you haven’t seen the previous movies in the trilogy, don’t bother starting with this one.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3450958/

GCI Animated Shorts

Posted: August 3, 2017 in 2017, Animation, USA

Two animated short movies are going viral this week. One is excellent, the other one is just okay. The just okay one is about the infatuation of a young boy for another boy. That’s still controversial in 2017. And so it gets a lot of media coverage. The excellent one is about a single guy who is afraid of showing his true feelings for a new girl he just met.

It’s not a competition about which short movie is better. It’s just sad that the controversial one gets all the attention. So, please watch both.