Archive for the ‘2019’ Category

There’s a new Tarantino movie out!

One friend messages: go see it, it’s great, you’ll love it. 

Another friend messages: didn’t give a rat’s ass about it. it’s slow and doesn’t have a story. but go see it anyways

So… off to the theatre!

And……

Well…..

It’s a cinematic marvel with great shots, brilliant settings, a killer soundtrack and great performances by especially Leonardo DiCaprio.

But there isn’t a story!  For almost three hours long. And it stars Brad Pitt, who still, after all these years, cannot act. At all.

However,

It’s a great trip back to the Hollywood of 1969 when Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski are the it couple and hippies roam the planet. It focuses on an almost has-been actor and his unemployed stunt double. It’s very entertaining. There’s all kinds of things going on, of which none matter. But it’s filmed in the most perfect way. The camerawork is outstanding. And keeps you glued to the screen. But the plot is weird and the dialogue is weak. It’s better than The Hateful Eight or Kill Bill, but nothing close to Django Unchained or Pulp Fiction. 

People say the same about Roma. It’s slow and has no story, but it’s great cinema. So this is Tarantino’s kind of Roma. 

Yet, Roma didn’t have Brad Pitt. And had a flawless editing. And had some kind of message. This one doesn’t.

www.imdb.com/title/tt7131622

 

 

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Aladdin – **

Posted: July 24, 2019 in 2019, Children/Family, Fantasy, USA, XX

Visually a blast, this is quite an entertaining movie.

However. This live adaption of the animation classic is very flawed.

First there’s the setting. This is supposed to be an Arab folktale. Yet, it feels like the movie is made in Punjab or so. The market kinda looks middle eastern maybe. But the whole atmosphere is more Bollywood than anything else.

Also, why on earth would a Scandinavian-like prince speak with a German accent and look for an Arab princess to marry back in whatever era this tale is supposed to take place? Sure, it’s a fairytale, but even fairytales should make sense.

Then there’s the acting. It’s not good.

And finally, the music sucks. There are way too many songs and they all sound dull. About from that one hit maybe (A Whole New World).

However, as mentioned before. It’s an entertaining movie that doesn’t bore a bit. It baffles and annoys.

Makes you want to watch the animation movie though.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6139732

Before riding the charts as a solo artist with Everybody, Madonna was playing drums and the guitar in The Breakfast Club, an unassuming New York band from the late seventies.

When word was out that a movie was going to be released about that period of time, Madonna clearly voiced her concerns as only she can tell what happened. But, Madonna shouldn’t worry. This isn’t a fictionalized biopic like Bohemian Rhapsody or Rocketman. No, this is documentary that alternates between interviews (with former band members and people who knew Madonna at the time) and scenes played by lookalikes that visualize the stories. Moreover, the people being interviewed have little bad to say about Madonna and the lookalike does an amazing job looking like her.

It’s a good music documentary. Also for those who aren’t a fan of Madame X as her current alter ego is named. Yes, she comes across as over ambitious and hard working. But she doesn’t come across as the cold hearted bitch that is her reputation. In fact, real footage show how she tanked the members of the band during her speech when she was inaugurated at the music hall of fame.

The two founding brothers of the band, Dan and Ed Killroy are quite open and frank about their relationship with Madonna. The former was her boyfriend while she stayed at their place (a former synagogue turned into squat house). But the most interesting guy being interviewed is Gary Burke. It’s endearing to see how, ever since he met her, he was fascinated by her. The unrequited love must have tormented him for his entire life. Then there’s Norris Burroughs, who looks like he could still have a shot with Madonna right now. He’s her age and looks very good. So, Madonna, if you’re reading this: get in touch with the guy! Drop the young boys. Get back to your early years. 😉

The audio tapes between Madonna and Dan are annoying and uninteresting. Stephen Bray wasn’t contacted for the movie (who ended up being the drummer of Madonna’s second, short-lived band, Emmy, that she formed with Gary when she quite The Breakfast Club because they didn’t want to have her sing all the songs. That’s a huge miss, because he ended up producing lots of songs with Madonna and ended up being the drummer of the Breakfast Club years after Madonna quit. So, it could have been much more interesting. Nevertheless, a fun watch.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5321814/

Toy Story 4 – **(*)

Posted: July 2, 2019 in 2019, Animation, USA, XX1/2

Finally time for a visit to the theatre and, hm, the only interesting picture showing was Toy Story 4. 

But hey, the first three were great fun.

This fourth installment however, just doesn’t have the same wow effect.

All the toys we know from the past now belong to a new kid called Bonnie, who’s not all that interested in Woody. Shit happens. She’s more interested in other toys. And her favorite one is a kind of toy she created during initiation day at school: a spork with self made arms and glued-on smile and eyes and wooden sticks as legs. Fun! Forky thinks it’s trash and just wants to find the nearest waste bin. But Woody tries to tell him that – at this moment – he (?) is the most important toy for Bonnie!

But then Forky goes missing and Woody is looking for him (?) and ends up in one adventure after the other, encountering all kinds of new toys from scary dolls in an antique store to strange looking stuffed animals at a fair attraction.

It’s a fun movie. But it’s made for kids. There are not that many jokes or references that appeal to adults. Nor does the story conjure up emotions for grown ups. It’s never boring. It’s quite action packed. And there are plenty of laughs. (don’t leave the theatre during the end credits!) But 10 minutes outside again and you’ve kind of forgotten about it already.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1979376/

Three more episodes of this fascinating series of standalone near future dramatic thrillers. Not so thrilling or scary or thought provoking as before, but a good watch nevertheless.

Striking Vipers (***) isn’t half as scary as other episodes. In fact, the technological novelty kinda looks appealing. It’s a virtual reality game console that makes you become the character you chose. The idea could be frightening, but this time the makers turned it around and made it something more sexual and romantic. Quite intriguing. Well acted.

In Smithereens (**) a man kidnaps an employee of a major social network company in order to be able to speak to the founder of the company. He manages to do so and the end is a bit of a disappointment. It’s the kind of kidnapping show that makes you wonder why the person being kidnapped is not cooperating with the police to being rescued.

Miley Cyrus plays an unhappy pop star in Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too (**). Her manager controls every aspect of her life and just wants the business to boom. Just as a new A.I. lookalike robot is launched on the market, things get ugly. But thanks to one of the robots and the owners of it, the pop star is saved.

www.imdb.com/title/tt2085059/episodes

 

Recommended by friends, this new LGBTQI+ Netflix series is a bit of a drag really. No pun intended.

A woman returns to San Francisco after having left 20 years ago to pursue a career. She used to live in a community house run by a transgender, whose 90th birthday is the occasion of her return. But not everyone is happy to see her. Most definitely not her ex husband and their adoptive daughter.

Laura Linney and her character save this show from total boredom. Her presence is fresh and funny. The rest of the cast is not impressive at all. And the script sucks. Every episode has a few scenes that are worth the rave reviews, but in general this is not a good drama show.

An intriguing character is Jake, a transgender who is confused about his new identity after the transgression. It’s not a stereotypical characterization and the actor isn’t a professional, which makes it more real. His former lesbian girlfriend is having trouble accepting the new identity as well. Yes, this story line is good.

But most of the time the story and characterization is irritating. Why do daddies in interracial/intergenerational couples always have to be white? Why do we need characters that represent the pseudo artistic influencers we now see on social media? Why does San Francisco look sunny and clean? I mean, have they been to San Francisco? Why is the idea of smoking weed every single moment of the day something attractive to look at on tv? Why do producers think Ellen Page is someone people want to watch ‘act’?  It’s also so annoyingly politically correct. It’s terrible.

In fact, the best confrontational scene is the one where a bunch of old homosexuals get reprimanded a younger gay guy because they use the word ‘tranny’. The discussion that follows is quite a powerful moment on generational conflicts.

It’s not a good show. It’s hard to finish. But episode eight is worth the watch. It’s a flashback episode focussing on the Compton Cafeteria Riot from 1966. Though flawed, it’s worth the watch and the only episode that doesn’t make you push the forward button.

www.imdb.com/title/tt7087260

Homecoming – **

Posted: April 30, 2019 in 2019, Concert Movie, Musical, USA, XX

Beyoncé gave a brilliant concert at Coachella last year.

She decided to make a documentary about it and have it shown on Netflix.

It’s apparently edited/directed by herself. Which means she’s a terrible editor and director.

The show itself is AMAZING. The way it’s filmed and edited not.

The show is excellent. It’s the kind of performance you want to have been looking at live, as it was happening. The choreography in some parts is incredible. The re-worked songs sound great. The homecoming theme with the brassbands and cheerleading squad make it unique. Beyoncé is shining. She looks proud, strong, happy.

But throughout the documentary you just want the show to just go on. Way too often the flow of the show is stopped by behind the scenes stories. Sure it’s important to learn that she’s the first black american woman to headline the festival. Sure it’s important to learn that it’s quite a feat to put on such a show after having given birth to twins. Sure it’s interesting to see that almost the entire crew is black and given a chance to be part of something special. That’s all important. Yes.

But you know what? It’s all very superficial. A few statements here and there. A few images here and there. A few memories here and there. If you want to make a point, make a full documentary about that. Don’t interrupt a great live show with tidbits that don’t really say anything at all. You’re all sucked up in the concert and then bam, blablabla, then back to the show, then bam, more blablablabla. It’s tiring. It’s a bad concept. Either make an in depth behind the scenes/preparation documentary. Or show the live concert. Don’t mix them up. Or do it like others have done better in the past.

www.imdb.com/title/tt10147546