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Miracles From Heaven

A film so sweet that the glazes will gather round to jump off your teeth in a suicide attempt.

Despite the starstudded cast (I expected better from you, Jennifer Garner & Queen Latifah?!) it is just….a lot of religious blahblah and hokum.

The story, little girl suddenly falls heavily ill, doctors do not know what to do to make her life at least a bit more comfortable, and so her life and that of the family she is part of, sucks.
It involves a LOT of church speeches, lame talks about praying and how the family keeps it together. I don’t even know how they got any sort of film studio as far to produce this film.

I’d say skip it. It’s so not worth the full hour and a half (I skiphopped more than three quarters of it). Not even if you’re a huge fan of the cast, because you can easily find other films that are far more worth of your attention.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2020 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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The Intern

Robert deNiro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo.
Breezy intermezzo if you will. This film really has it’s lovely moments, don’t get me wrong, but the idea is mostly based on Anne Hathaway being some sort of horrible boss to work for, while the first introduction you have of her is that of a very, very customer friendly one indeed. She isn’t unpleasant to any of her co-workers, despite the fact that one of them starts sobbing about her not knowing she has a Penn-degree (it was in the script, so of course she will sob if the script says so).
There are sensitive moments where Anne Hathaway takes Ben (Robert de Niro) aside to ask him for actual advice, but she barely ever says nasty things. To anyone. She is simply incapable of doing so.
It is a bit like the makers wanted her to be the next icequeen and so very badly missed their goal.

Oh well, it’s a nice watch anyway.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2020 in Films, Humour, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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The Crown

We started watching this because we were curious, and oh boy wa it worth while! Coming from the Netherlands, where royals are also part of the government, this series is quite enlightning.
For starters: I couldn’t grasp the whole ida of why anyone could be against Kate Middleton at first. We have several friends in the UK and one of them explained to me/us why they didn’t like Kate. I was stunned until they stopped talking.
In the Netherlands, we’ve seen how our queen has stopped and interveined with every prospect of any new additions to the family by means of girlfriends. For any parent this is quite normal, but for a king and queen perhaps even more so. After all, a new addition means having to rule together, or at least having to pretend you’re all more or less on the same page when it comes to ruling the beloved country.
Our queen (now princess) Beatrix made very sure that her future replacement had brains in every direction possible, as she did for her own offspring. None of our princes had less than a university degree. One of the girlfriends of our then crownprince wasn’t royal enough for the queen. Her parents were ‘merely dentists’ and so the queen held off any type of engagement. Then the big surprise of Máxima came along. A shot right in the heart of our crown prince and of the country. A woman who had studied abroad, who’s father just happened to have a very unfortunate connection to our country, but put that aside and we had ourself a lovely future queen.
It was set in stone: this could happen.

So, growing up in a country with a royal family where the queen actually had an active hand in the marriages of her children, it was quite a surprise to me to hear that Kate Middleton was only more or less educated to become a princess. Her parents only having some sort of party agency and that this had been, apparently, enough for the queen of the UK.
Yes, highly unusual.
Then we started to watch The Crown. Only to realise that Elizabeth had initiated her own education as she felt she wan’t fully up to date – quite an understatement – but hadn’t she done so, nothing would have been offered her as well.
Yes, that was quite a shock. And I am sure many more will follow. Not by the acting or anything like that, because this series is splendid and superb. Absolutely worthwhile to watch. And we haven’t even come across the new seasons yet. Saving best for last?

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2020 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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A Fall From Grace

A film that has a strong, though a bit of a cliché start, a quite weak middle and a heck of a strong ending.

It is so good to see Phylisia Rashad (Dr Clair Huxtable from The Cosby Show)! You can totally see why Jasmine (played by Bresha Webb) and Grace (Crystal Fox) develop such a warm bond with her.
You don’t immediately see why Jasmine is so attracted to the case. After all, she tries convincing her boss not to let her have to have this case, as she’s already swarmed by work as it is, and yet in the entire film there is no case that presses itself upon Jasmine with any urge at all. Given her initial response to this said case, that is quite…odd.

In the middle, when things start adding up, it is my believe that the downfall for Jasmine shouldn’t have been portrayed like that. Jasmine is basically the superstar that the powerful men want to see fall and that’s exactly what happens. They could have done that within fewer time, in my opinion. It’s a trend I see nowadays, to let even the ‘superhero’ in a story, fall. Quite hard. I don’t know of any lawyer/barrister who would rather have themselves be jailed than to follow the orders of the judge, and yet that’s exactly what happens. I do not see why that scene had to be added to the film. I do wonder if there’s material on the cutting floor that could have been sufficient instead.

Anyway, in the end we finally get to see all of Alice, played by Cicely Tyson. Her face rang a bell to me, and indeed she plays Constantine in the film The Help, which is about slavery. I loved that film, but that’s quite another story.

Also, Jordan Bryant (played by Matthew Law) is seen to make several mistakes by handcuffing people who he then tells to ‘don’t move!’ as he quickly follows up another order. You do wonder: how does he think that’s gonna work out then?

All in all it’s a good film with some outstanding actors. I myself especially loved seeing Pylicia Rashad and Cicely Tyson again.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2020 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Arne Dahl

Named after the author of the books, this Swedish detective series has really good background stories. Too bad that in at least the first few episodes, none of the facial expressions actually make sense with the news they either receive or spread. Honestly, I’ve never seen such blank faces. It’s hardly believeable.
Anyway, it does get better after a while, but oddly in the second season, it’s mostly due to a new, younger face of Ida Jankowitsch.

One of the nice things about this series is that yes, it starts with what goes wrong and with whom, but it never completely goes by a certain script. It is always a surprise what you’re looking at, which keeps you at your toes.

OK, so you don’t need to watch it for the emotions (not saying they’re not there, just that they aren’t well-played by the cast), but the storylines are really quite powerful.
And: not every case ends necessarily in a completely ‘happy ending’. I like this too, as it means variety.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2020 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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The Man In The High Castle

This series, provided by primevideo, an amazon channel, interested me as it is Science Fiction mixed with history. The serie is based on the idea: what if Hitler would have WON the second world war?
In this series, The United States of America are devided in a Chinese part, an American part and a so called neutral zone.
It starts around the fifties/sixties and this gives it a very weird vibe somehow. It is like Back to the Future’s Dr Emmett Brown has send you to an alternative universe. And like The Usual Suspects’ Kaiser Soze has gotten a different alias…
A thing that really dawned on me was that despite the fact they claim the war is over, you still see so much tention in the streets. Nobody is truly taken with one another. Anyone who looks even a simmer of differently, is approached with suspicion, only people who look ‘Arian enough’ are met with instant friendliness. I myself thought ‘wait, this is what it would look like when there’s PEACE in such a world?!’

Though the first season dwells on quite long about the partnership of Juliana Crain (played by Alexa Davalos) and Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank), it made me cringe a bit. Maybe that’s because loads of series now have a female lead that isn’t so easy to persuade by a man with obvious bad intentions. Then again, this were the fifties/sixties, when women might have had this sort of pleasing attitude, either by nature or nurture.

I have understood the series is based on a book, and the films this series is on about, are only that because it is a serie. I wasn’t much impressed by the films anyway. I assume you need a bit more of a backstory to understand what they stand for? A bit more than what is handed to you by the chars, yes.

After the first season, I actually gave up. This has two reasons: first, I thought the background story started crumbling. I couldn’t go aboard with it.
Second, and this may sound weird: I had a severe problem with the Nazi-symbols being worn so openly, without an actual addition to the story. I felt exposed to something I didn’t feel comfortable with. In the country I come from, the symbol is forbidden. I do not wish to associate it with anything worthy of entertainment. The first season the symbols were met with all the horrors that I know came with the second world war. It should what a tremendously bad people these were and still are.
It made me think: through this series, that symbol is gonna be even more ‘normalised’. Something I ma not willing to participate in.
Yes I know that sounds silly.

Anyway. The first season had its interesting moments, especially when you see some of the rules that are being followed for the ill, the elderly and so on, and how that effects the people who live in families with chronically ill persons.

I did think it was worthwhile at first and if you read the books I am sure you will love it. For me it was a bit much.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2020 in Opinion, series

 

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Lieveling, Kim van Kooten

Leest weg als een trein, vooral doordat het is geschreven vanuit het perspectief van een meisje dat opgroeit met een stiefvader die zijn handen niet thuis kan houden.
Op zichzelf al een drama. Een meisje dat uit haar vertrouwde omgeving wordt weggetrokken en het moet hebben van haar moeders grillen, die eruit lijken te bestaan dat ze kan shoppen tot ze een ons weegt: dat beloofd niet veel goeds.

Hoewel er op een goed moment hoop aan de horizon gloort als eindelijk duidelijk wordt wat er met dat kleine meisje gebeurd is, wordt op de laatste pagina toch je hoop keihard de grond in geboord.
Dit is eveneens wat er zomaar overal zou kunnen gebeuren.

Zelf heb ik net zo’n boek geschreven, althans: met hetzelfde soort onderwerp.
Het was daarom heel interessant om te lezen hoe Kim zich in het hoofd van het slachtoffer heeft verplaatst.

Je blijft je wel tot het einde afvragen waarom de moeder van Puck niet wat meer betrokkenheid toont bij de dingen die de stiefvader van Puck graag met Puck doet. Zoals haar haren eindeloos vaak wassen. Waarom is ze, vanaf het begin, nooit ook maar een seconde aanwezig?

Het boek wordt geprezen om de humor die er toch nog in voorkomt. Ik weet niet of ik incest wel met humor bestreden wil zien worden. Je ziet een slachtoffer, wat eigenlijk die rol niet eens aan kan nemen omdat ze continu bezig is om voor iedereen om zich heen te zorgen. Het commentaar van wat kennelijk haar oom is: totaal onaanvaardbaar.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2019 in Books, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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