Archive for the ‘2017’ Category

The Big Sick – (*)

Posted: December 13, 2017 in 1/2, 2017, romcom, USA

NO!

The first part is a bad remake of Ae Fond Kiss. A Pakistani muslim meets western girl but is supposed to do the traditional arranged marriage thing and hides that important cultural identity until quite late in the relationship. No points for originality.

The second part is a ‘tearjerker’ about the girl being hospitalized and put in an induced coma. The Pakistani guy stands by her side and is confronted with her parents. No points for drama, because there isn’t any. It’s BORING! and annoying.

All of this is covered with ‘humor’, because the Pakistani character didn’t choose to become a lawyer or a doctor, but tries to be a stand up comedian. With the focus on ‘tries’. There is not one funny scene in the whole movie.

NO!!!

How much did movie critics get paid to write something positive about this movie?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5462602

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The Dark Tower – *(*)

Posted: December 13, 2017 in 2017, Action, Fantasy, USA, X1/2

Saw this on a flight twelve days ago. Finished it, so it wasn’t that bad. But it wasn’t good either. It’s intriguing. To some extent. Idris Elba is in it. He doesn’t look like he’s having a good time. Blame it on his character. He’s a ‘gunslinger’ out for revenge, trying to kill the most evil of all evil beings, the Man in Black, played by Matthew McConaughey.  But it’s really about a kid who’s trapped between several worlds and whose powerful mind is disturbing for the parents, but of much interest to the Man in Black.

Watch it when you’re on a plane and there’s nothing else on.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1648190

Loving Vincent – **

Posted: November 29, 2017 in 2017, Animation, Drama, XX

It’s surprising how long it took before a painted movie was made. Ever since I was a kid, I wondered why nobody ever made a movie about a painter in the style of the painter concerned. An impressionist movie about Monet! An baroque movie about Rubens. There have been a few attempts in the past, mostly live action settings, but this is the first painted movie. Several teams of painters painted each frame, edited together with a stop motion technique. It’s quite fascinating…. For the first 15 minutes at least. Then you get used to it and you focus on the story, which sadly isn’t so intriguing. Unless you’ve never learned about the death of Vincent Van Gogh.

After learning about the death of Vincent Van Gogh, the son of an Arles postman is commisoned to take a sealed letter to Vincent’s brother Theo in Paris. Upon arrival he learns that Theo has passed away and so his journey continues to Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent apparently shot himself. The man gets more intriguied in the happenings during the final days of Vincent’s life, so he starts asking around for more details.

That detective element doesn’t quite work. There are just too many dialogues/interrogations with several characters, during which the extraordinary painted animation isn’t used to its full potential. Sad really. But you want to see it for the drawings. Which are marvelous at times. Even when you’re not a Van Gogh fan. It’s still quite a feat. And well done.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3262342

The South African entry for the Academy Awards of 2018 is quite a controversial movie in its home country. If focuses on the ritual tradition of the Xhosa to send their young men up to the mountains where they stay for a few weeks to be ‘initiated’ into manhood. This also means they get circumcised and need to heal. It’s a practice which still occurs these days, even though a lot of modern families send their sons to a hospital for a safe medical ‘cut’. It’s a cultural tradition and a personal affair. So, yes, this movie takes away the secrecy and brings the story to a larger (international) audience. Apart from that, the movie also focuses on three men with homosexual desires. Another controversial topic in South Africa, where being gay is legal, but doesn’t get the support from the majority of the population.

For Europeans, this is a fascinating movie. But it is voyeuristic. It’s not a movie made by and for the Xhosa people. It’s a movie made by a white director for an international crowd. Luckily, this thought only comes to mind afterwards. During the movie, you are soaked up in the story, mesmerized by the acting and in awe of the beautiful setting. The interaction between the three main actors and their characters is the best feat of the movie. The end result is quite respectful for the tradition. And the homo-erotism is very present, but not as sensational as in other movies.

Calling it the African Moonlight doesn’t do the movie justice. It’s actually sad that the latter movie won the Oscar last year, because now voters may not give this one a fair change because it’s again about black homosexuals. If the movie had been released a few years ago, it would have made a great chance of winning the Academy Award for best foreign picture.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6333070

Now this is a fun and entertaining superhero movie! It’s not set in the future nor in an American metropolis for a change, which is great. This Gal Gadot is quite the performer. She looks good ánd she can kick ass. Not sure if there’s much acting, but hey, The action scenes are impressive. It’s directed really well… Bring on the sequel! Finally a box office hit that is worthy of being a box office hit.

The movie introduces Wonder Woman, a demi-goddess raised by the Amazones, who considers it her destiny to destroy Ares, the God of War. When she hears from an American pilot who entered their world (via a weird time warp wall) that The Great War is going on, she decides to leave her protected, women-only resort and face the real world of humans. As she’s never a) hung out with men before and b) has never visited the world where humans live, she’s in for a real treat! The humor is good. The set designs are great. And there are several surprises, one of which is Said Taghmaoui in a very small supporting role.

Another surprise is the Flemish dialogue from locals. The scene and soundbite do not make any sense, but it’s just fun to hear. It’s just bizarre. According to the plot, an evil German officer is stationed in Belgium and Wonder Woman needs to get to him. So, according to the script and the dialogue, they go to ‘Belgium’. But later in the movie, they talk about a village called ‘Veld’. They show an actual map where the village is mentioned on. However, it’s a map of Northern France. So NOT Belgium, but French-Flanders (the part from Flanders that Louis XIV claimed for France). I checked on google maps. There’s no ‘village’ called Veld (which means field) in between Hazebrouck, Moerbeke en Oud-Berkijn (as seen on the map in the movie). The only village there is De Walle. There is a village called Veld in Belgium, but it’s close to Torhout and Brugge. Anyways. Whatever. Then somehow the locals talk Flemish and French. The café where they dance advertises in Flemish (Bier & Tabak), but the photographer speaks with a French accent. The one scene where Wonder Woman kills a sniper by blowing up a church tower, is followed with locals saying What happened? Did you see what she did? in Flemish. BUT, it’s said with an Antwerp accent, and that’s a total different dialect. Regardless if it’s Hazebrouck or Brugge, the locals would speak West-Flemish. Anyways. It’s the linguistic nerd writing right now. How do these scenes come about at the production table? It’s all filmed in the UK anyways. Nothing is filmed in France or Belgium.

dav

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0451279

 

Battle Of The Sexes – **

Posted: November 11, 2017 in 2017, Dramedy, Romance, Sportsdrama, USA, XX

Back in 1973 Billy Jean King beat Bobby Riggs at a demonstration game in tennis. Maybe you shrug your shoulders and think: big deal. But it was at the time. Billy Jean King was the best female tennis player in the world and Bobby Riggs was a has-been Wimbledon champion who only played demonstration games to finance his gambling addiction.

A lot of things were at stake. Billy Jean King had started her own tennis circuit out of anger because the tennis association only paid her 1/8 of what the male tennis players were getting. A previous (less advertised) game had been a disaster for women rights activists (because the female player lost). The event drew 90 million viewers around the world (most of them probably in the US). It was a big deal. Up until now it’s still quite relevant. Women still don’t get equal pay in a lot of profession and sports. There are still quite a lot of chauvinist pigs around. People still believe the game was a fraud and Riggs lost on purpose…

But all this information isn’t necessary to go see the movie. It’s not that serious. It’s very light-hearted. It’s fun. Emma Stone is good as Billy Jean King. Steve Carell is excellent as Bobby Riggs. There’s a golden globe coming up for this guy! It’s a very easy to like movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4622512

 

Another weird movie from the guy that brought us The Lobster. It’s so weird, it’s cool. It unsettling. It’s funny. It’s thrilling at times. It’s a visual treat. The story is again not that strong. (A heart specialist gets jinxed by the kid of a former, deceased patient of his. Now his family has to suffer as well.) But that doesn’t matter. It has a very remarkable opening shot. Go see it. It’s creepy. It sets the tone right. This is Francois Ozon meets Michael Haneke meets Ulrich Seidl. Colin Farell is great at these kind of roles. He’s really the only actor you can imagine playing this part. Nicole Kidman is also doing well. Even though she does all kinds of things you don’t want her to do really. (Get naked, play dead, smoke, hit children,…) There’s that scene where she jerks off a guy to get information. She does it so well. It makes you wonder whatever she did with Harvey Weinstein to get where she is now. Nevertheless. Great acting. Raffey Cassidy is one to watch out for as well. And that Barry Keogh kid kills it! Just go see it and then feel like WTF.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5715874