Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Back when I turned 15 or so, I got triggered to learning what else was offered in pop culture. I started to listen to more alternative music and I started to go see movies at the arthouse cinema. Some of these movies left a big impression on me. A lot didn’t. But one of them that did, was Do The Right Thing. 

They just showed it on tv and it left an almost exact same impression. Thirty years later. Thirty years older. And having experienced staying in Brooklyn and living in an area with racial tensions.

Amazing.

This movie starts off as a comical and badly acted series of everyday scenes. But gets really dramatic by the end. It’s a great build-up. Some scenes are such classics that you remember them instantly, even though you haven’t seen them for 30 years! It’s a clever thing to tell a story with several individual characters on a very small surface: a particular block of houses in Bedford Stuyvesant. The storytelling is excellent and the way it’s filmed is unique. The constant use of Public Enemy’s ‘Fight The Power’ and the constant yelling from almost all of the characters create a tension that you know will explode. But yet, it’s a very colorful and bright movie with lots of comic relief.

Sadly enough, the movie is still up to date. A remake would maybe look different and nobody walks around with ghetto blasters anymore, which is -well – almost like a character on its own in this movie. Not sure how they would replace that. But still, the idea of gentrification still happens. The racial tensions are still there. Maybe Spike Lee should make a new Netflix series about it, like he did with She Gotta Have it. Or maybe not.

Anyways, if you’ve never seen the movie: watch it! It’s not perfect, but it’s a classic.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0097216

 

 

 

Okay, it’s not because it’s a classic b/w musical with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire that it should be good by definition. The fact that the story is silly can be forgiven. The fact that the acting is bad as well. So, all you can hope for is great dance sequences and that’s where it’s flawed. Some ideas are nice, but the execution is not all that special. There is the Night and Day scene, which is the highlight and still great, but somehow didn’t stand the test of time. For some reason there’s little chemistry between Fred and Ginger in that scene and Fred’s version of the song isn’t the best out there. Moreover, the dancing part is short. There is another scene that doesn’t include singing and dancing and is actually a highlight: the chase scene on rural roads where Fred’s character stops Ginger’s character and tries to woo her. That works well.

No. Maybe it’s best to not watch this movie after having seen Top Hat. 

www.imdb.com/title/tt0025164

 

Sonny Boy is the nickname of Waldy Nods, the son of a Surinamese student and a much older Dutch woman. So what, right?  Well, Waldy was born in 1929, a time when children from interracial couples were quite unique in The Netherlands.

It’s interesting how the movie title refers to the boy, whereas the story basically revolves around his parents and their many struggles.

The movie is based on a best-seller and was quite the hit in Dutch and Surinamese theaters. It didn’t really score anywhere else though, which is weird, because the story is quite universal and not that specific to those two nations.

Sonny’s father arrived in the Netherlands in the late twenties to pursue a degree at the Dutch university. Not an easy goal at the time, as students from Surinam weren’t considered equal. Sonny’s mother left her husband after she caught him cheating with the housemaid and took her four children to a small house in The Hague. In order to get some extra income, she rented out a room to the much younger student and soon they became a couple. Oh! The scandal!

The first half of the movie deals with this interracial struggle in an excellent way. The acting is good and the individual background stories of both characters merge really well. The second half of the story focuses on the occupation of the Nazis in the Second World War and it becomes, well a Second World War movie. This isn’t really a bad thing, because it’s part of the story and it needs to be told. But it’s just less intriguing. You don’t get to see that many movies focusing on interracial relationships. Yet, you do get to see many movies about the nazi occupation.

It’s a well made movie that keeps your attention until the very end, but a miniseries would have been a better choice, considering the abundance of story material. The focus is on the parents of Sonny Boy, but there are a dozen of other characters that are worth a separate storyline. Starting with Sonny Boy himself. It’s not really told from his perspective and you only get to learn what happened to him until the end of the war.

Fascinating stuff, but leaving you with the desire to learn more. Worth the watch.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1138481

 

Oscar Predictions

Posted: February 22, 2019 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

The Oscars are coming up. I haven’t seen all of the nominees, but this year, I’ve seen a lot leading up to the ceremony.

UPDATE: I got a few right though. 

There are eight (not five, not ten) movies nominated for an Oscar. Roma **** should win. And will probably win, even though it didn’t get a wide theatrical release. Black Panther *** just may win as well to please the American cinema going audience. Why not? Green Book **(*) is a potential winner too. The Favourite *** won’t win, but is a good runner up. Blackkklansman ** won’t win either, but its the best of the four remaining nominations, Bohemian Rhapsody ** A Star Is Born ** and Vice **.

Best Actor should go to Christian Bale or Viggo Mortensen. The latter won’t win though. Nor will Bradley Cooper. Rami Malek did a good job, so if he wins as predicted, it’s okay. Haven’t seen Willem Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh yet, but the trailer doesn’t look promising.

Olivia Colman will win Best Actress and she’s great. But all the other nominees are great too. Melissa McCarthy and Lady Gaga are surprisingly good. Glenn Close is predictably good. But wouldn’t it be cool if Yalitza Aparicio wins? Her performance is the best, but was it acting?

Mahershala Ali will win his second Oscar for best supporting role. And looking at the other nominees, he’s the best choice. Although the fifteen minutes of Sam Rockwell as Bush Jr are hilarious though. Richard E Grant did a great job too. Adam Driver and Sam Elliott were not really memorable.

This is the strongest category. Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone aren’t really supporting at all. They are carrying the movie. Both equally fascinating and a tough call to chose a ‘favourite’, but maybe Emma Stone is winning the battle. Marina de Tavira is excellent too. Amy Adams is fascinating as (almost) always. And still have to see Regina King in action, so can’t comment.

Best Director should be Alfonso Cuaron. Haven’t seen Cold War yet. But The Favourite is a script and acting movie. Same with Vice. And sorry, Spike Lee, but Blackkksman isn’t directorially amazing.

Cinematography: Roma, no doubt. But haven’t seen Cold War or Werk Ohne Autor yet.

Costume design: The Favourite will win, but give this one to Black Panther!

Make up should go to Vice!

Production design is a tough one. The settings of The Favourite look amazing. But so do the ones in Black Panther. And that house in Roma is phenomanlly designed.

Film Editing: Vice was cleverly edited. Bohemian Rhapsody as well. That live aid scene! But Roma can have this one too.

Sound Editing can go to Bohemian Rhapsody. Or A Quiet Place. Nice to see that movie nominated for something.

Sound Mixing can go to Bohemian Rhapsody as well. Or Black Panther.

 Give Black Panther the song and the original score. Don’t give song to Shallow, please.

Only seen one foreign language movie, which is weird. But I don’t think any of the others can and will beat Roma. But it may just win the most important one and they might as well give this one to Cold War. 

 Wait, Black Panther isn’t nominated for Visual Effects? Give it to First Man then.

 The writing categories are tough. From the three adapted screenplays that I have seen, none is really that good. But Can You Ever Forgive Me? can win. It’ll probably go to If Beale Street Could Talk. The original screenplay will go to The Favourite.

Only seen one animated movie and wasn’t impressed. Isle of Dogs wasn’t soo good. That Into the Spider-Verse looks fun. Haven’t seen any of the short ones either.

Time to watch the short movies if possible. Haven’t seen any.

Haven’t seen any of the documentaries. Short or long.

 

So here’s a guess (and my favourite in between brackets)

Movie: Roma (Roma) GREEN BOOK

Actor: Rami Malek (Christian Bale)

Actress: Olivia Colman (Yalitza Aparicio)

Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Mahershala Ali)

Supporting Actress: Regina King (Amy Adams)

Animated Feature: In The Spider-Verse

Cinematography: Roma (Roma)

Costume Design: The Favourite (Black Panther)

Directing: Alfonso Cuaron for Roma (Alfonso Cuaron)

Documentary: Free Solo

Documentary Short: End Game    Period. End Sentence. 

Film Editing: Roma (Vice) Bohemian Rhapsody

Foreign Language Film: Cold War (Roma)

Make Up: Vice (Vice)

Original Score: Mary Poppins Returns (Black Panther)

Original Song: Shallow (All The Stars)

Production Design: The Favourite (Black Panther)

Short Animated: One Small Step   Bao

Short Film: Skin

Sound Editing: Bohemian Rhapsody (A Quiet Place)

Sound Mixing: A Star Is Born (Bohemian Rhapsody)

Visual Effects: Ready Player One (First Man)

Adapted Screenplay: If Beale Street Could Talk   Blackkksman

Original Screenplay: The Favourite (The Favourite)   Green Book 

Best Of Spielberg

Posted: December 24, 2018 in Uncategorized
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Realizing I’ve seen all of his movies (but not really remembering anything of Close Encounters and Always), here’s a update list of Spielberg’s movies from best to worst.

Jaws ****

Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom ****

E.T. ****

Munich ****

Schindler’s List ****

Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark ****

Saving Private Ryan ***(*)

Minority Report ***(*)

Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade ***(*)

Amistad ***

Duel **(*)

The War Horse **(*)

The Color Purple **(*)

Bridge Of Spies **(*)

Sugarland Express **(*)

War Of The Worlds **(*)

The Adventures Of Tintin **

Jurassic Park **

Jurassic Park: The Lost World **

Catch Me If You Can **

The Post **

Lincoln **

Ready Player One *(*)

The Terminal *(*)

Empire Of The Sun *

Hook *

Indiana Jones And The Crystal Skull *

Artificial Intelligence *

BFG (*)

1941 (*)

 

Classic: La La Land – ***

Posted: December 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

As a child, there are movies you can watch over and over again. As an adult, it becomes very rare to watch a movie twice. Let alone more.

Well, here’s an exception: La La Land. Three times in two years!

It’s a great movie. It’s enjoyable every single time. Yet, somehow, this isn’t a perfect masterpiece. It’s flawed. The dialogue is pretty simple. The story isn’t so special. The dancing isn’t extra-ordinary. The acting is nice, but not that impressive.

However, that soundtrack ! Those colors! Los Angeles at its best. And that moment at the end where both characters think about what could have been. Excellent!

 

La La Land – ***

Posted: December 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

Second time around and still great! Love the chemistry between Emma and Ryan! Love the soundtrack. Love the fact that the dances and the singing aren’t perfect. Wouldn’t even mind a third watch. But not for another few months.

https://trailertherapy.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/lalaland/

Lion – ***

Posted: October 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

Second time around. Still good. It says a lot when a movie can still get you, even though you know what’s going to happen next and how it’ll end. Some elements get more attention though. The soundtrack for instance is quite amazing. That wasn’t so obvious during the first watch. All in all: great movie.

https://trailertherapy.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/lion/

 

 

Hm. Disney. It’s part of everyone’s life. Yet. Who has seen all of them? Here’s the list. The stars are purely out of nostalgic memories…

  1. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs – ***(*) The first movie I’ve ever seen in a movie theatre. A re-release back in the late seventies or early eighties.
  2. Pinocchio – ** Saw it once, never saw it again. So not all that impressive.
  3. Fantasia
  4. Dumbo – ** Saw it once or twice maybe, never saw it again. So not all that impressive.
  5. Bambi – ** Saw it once, never saw it again. So not all that impressive.
  6. Saludos Amigos
  7. The Three Caballeros
  8. Make Mine Music
  9. Fun and Fancy Free
  10. Melody Time
  11. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  12. Cinderella – ** Saw it once, never saw it again. So not all that impressive.
  13. Alice In Wonderland – * Saw it once, never saw it again. Never liked the story.
  14. Peter Pan – ** Saw it once or twice maybe, never saw it again. So not all that impressive.
  15. Lady And The Tramp – *** Saw this one several times as a kid.
  16. Sleeping Beauty – ** Saw it once or twice maybe, never saw it again. So not all that impressive.
  17. One Hundred And One Dalmatians – **(*) It was with dogs, so probably saw it many times as a kid.
  18. The Sword In The Stone – *** One of favorites. Need to see it again though. But the story was great!
  19. The Jungle Book – ***(*) One of my favorites. Recently saw it again. Great nostalgia. Maybe the best of them all.
  20. The Aristocats – ** Saw it once or twice maybe, never saw it again. So not all that impressive.
  21. Robin Hood – ***(*) Doesn’t have a good reputation, but I loved this one as a kid. Need to see it again maybe.
  22. The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh – ** Saw it once, never saw it again. So not all that impressive.
  23. The Rescuers
  24. The Fox and The Hound
  25. The Black Cauldron
  26. The Great Mouse Detective
  27. Oliver & Company
  28. The Little Mermaid **(*) This was the first of the new wave. Saw it once. Good memories.
  29. The Rescuers Down Under
  30. Beauty And The Beast – *** Back when I went 5 times to the movies a week. 😉 A bit overhyped. But good nevertheless.
  31. Aladdin – **(*) Back when I went 5 times to the movies a week. 😉 That one was entertaining.
  32. The Lion King – ***(*) Back when I went 5 times to the movies a week. 😉 That was a good one.
  33. Pocahontas – ** Back when I went 5 times to the movies a week. 😉 Remember being disappointed. But a fan of Miko!
  34. The Hunchback Of Notre Dame – ** Back when I went 5 times to the movies a week. Can’t remember it well.
  35. Hercules – ** Back when I went 5 times to the movies a week. Can’t remember it well.
  36. Mulan – ** Back when I went 5 times to the movies a week. Can’t remember it well.
  37. Tarzan – * Back when I went 5 times to the movies a week. However, this one was bad. So that was it for Disney movies.
  38. Fantasia 2000 –
  39. The Emperor’s New Groove
  40. Atlantis: The Lost Empire
  41. Lilo & Stitch
  42. Treasure Planet
  43. Brother Bear
  44. Home On The Range
  45. Chicken LIttle
  46. The Wild
  47. Meet The Robinsons
  48. Bolt
  49. The Princess And The Frog – **(*) 
  50. Tangled
  51. Wreck-It Ralph
  52. Frozen – **
  53. Big Hero 6
  54. Zootopia/Zootropolis – ***
  55. Moana/Vaiana – **

 

  1. The Reluctant Dragon
  2. Victory Through Air Power
  3. Song Of the South
  4. So Dear To My Heart
  5. Mary Poppins – ***(*) Such fond memories, need to see it again.
  6. Bedknobs and Broomsticks – **(*) Kind of forgot about this one.
  7. Pete’s Dragon
  8. Who Framed Roger Rabbit – *** That was a funny one. Need to see it again.
  9. Enchanted

 

  1. Toy Story – *** This was pretty awesome.
  2. A Bug’s Life – ** This was just okay.
  3. Toy Story 2 – *** This was pretty awesome too
  4. Monsters, Inc – **(*)
  5. Finding Nemo – *** Hey, this one was excellent. Need to see it again.
  6. The Incredibles – ** Kind of disappointing
  7. Cars
  8. Ratatouille – ** Kind of forgot about it.
  9. WALL-E – ***(*) This was amazing.
  10. Up – *** This was funny.
  11. Toy Story 3 – ***(*)
  12. Cars 2
  13. Brave – **
  14. Monsters University –
  15. Inside Out – ***
  16. The Good Dinosaur
  17. Finding Dory – **
  18. Cars 3
  19. Coco
  20. The Incredibles 2
  21. Toy Story 4

 

  1. The Nightmare Before Christmas – **
  2. James And The Giant Peach

In preparation of X-Men: Apocalypse there are six X-Men movies to watch again and one to watch for the first time.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) – * 

The acting is flawed and some of the special effects as well. It’s an action movie. Period. Sure, it tells the background story of Wolverine. But that’s not really compelling. The story doesn’t really help you appreciate the other movies more. There’s little humor and no social commentary at all, which was so great about the first trilogy.

X-Men (2000) – ***

Back in 2000 it was quite refreshing to see a team of comic heroes come to live on the big screen. Especially since the story touched social elements that are now even more relevant. Just think about how muslims are treated nowadays. Some have evil intentions and other don’t, but the former group causes fear and gets all the attention. So what is the other group to do?

Same happens in the original X-Men movie. A politician gains success with his promise to deal with the mutants who are potentially dangerous. One group of mutants (the X-Men under guidance of Professor Xavier) wants to help human kind and has hope that one day men and mutant can live together. Another group (under guidance of Magneto) sees it differently and wants to take over control. After all, mutants are the superior beings. It’s a battle that already kicks off from the very first moment. The acting is great. The special effects are still fascinating. The story is told well. There’s a bit of humor. And lots of action.

X2 (2003) **

Second time around, this sequel doesn’t really compel. It’s an action movie where all mutants are in danger and both teams behind Professor Xavier and Magneto have to work together to stop their kind from being killed. It’s fun, but the social comments are gone. The visual effects are still fascinating though. It’s the kind of movie that you better watch in the movie theatre.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) ***

Probably the best of the first trilogy! It has everything. It has the social references that the made the first movie great and it has the action and special effects that surpass the second one. This time around they found a cure for the mutants. Some are interested in getting the cure (Rogue for instance). Others of course can’t stand the idea of someone trying to cure them. Think about how some evangelical churches want to cure homosexuality for instance. Of course some of the government wants to use the cure as a weapon. And so, again the X-men have to bond together.

The Wolverine (2013) *

Euh. Ok. So, not sure why this movie was made. The Wolverine is mourning the loss of his beloved Jean Grey in a remote nordic place. A young woman comes to pay him a visit and tells him he is expected in Japan. A man, whose life he once saved when the bomb fell in 1945, is dying and he wants to see Logan for a very last time. But he has a last request and offer. He wants Logan’s ability to heal and in return Logan would get back to being ‘normal’. Things change rapidly when the old man dies and his grand daughter is on the run for her father and the yakuza, while Logan is hunted by another mutant. It’s all very chaotic. The action scenes aren’t really that spectacular. The fight scene on the roof of the high speed train is mediocre. The samurai fights are boring. There’s zero chemistry between the characters (not even in the love scenes). And there’s no humor. If this is the first in a new trilogy involving Wolverine than it kind of makes you not want to see the other parts.