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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Good Girls

For someone who lives in The Netherlands, where health care is actually part of a healthy part of ‘caring for each other’ through taxes and paid jobs, part of this storyline is quite ridiculous. A child in need of certain drugs would normally qualify for such a treatment. Aside that, that motivation is the one that grabs me the most at my nonexistent balls. The woman catching her husband cheating and then that he spend most of their money on her is quite devastating, but no reason to rob anyone. The young mother in a custody battle: again, I can sympathise with that.

Anyhow: that’s how all this starts. Given that there’s a health care thing involved, I was reminded of Breaking Bad immediately. After all, that series also bases its existence upon the nonexistence (in the USA) of a healthcare system where just everybody can rely on.

I was also reminded of the latest Ghostbusters, because of the all female cast. But these are better cast. They are all equally important, part of the deal. They come from different backgrounds, yes (one divorced or at least broke up, two married) but they all have their own types of trouble. And their own ways of dealing with those. And it just baffled me.

The gangmembers I was less impressed by. No gangmember would ever respond in any of those ways.

Other than that, the first few episodes sure look promising.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2018 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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Every Thing Will Be Fine

With James Franco, Rachel McAdams, Charlotte Gainsboury.

This film basically depicts how people deal with loss, and actually everybody, or nearly everybody involved.
A torn writer (double, I know) is on his way home by car, when he accidentally drives over a kid. He doesn’t notice this at first, as there is another one, still alive.

When he gets back to his girlfriend, he initially doesn’t want to talk about it. Later on, it appears that his girlfriend found out by local gossip, as the place they live in, is not that big. Of course she doesn’t like this, she tells him he should have told her everything. This moment, he breaks up with her.

The moments are really fragments. There’s a lot of them. Where there’s small talk about nothing and everything, then a new scene appears. The conversations had are not the kinds that I would expect. The women are usually more convincing than any of the men appearing, but overal: emotions are hard to be depicted, it seems.
Another weird thing is that all these actors, whom you know to be American, do try very hard to add a French accent to their speech. I did wonder why. Only in the end I noticed the traffic plate that made me sure it was supposed to be a French story. Then why don’t you cast French people and don’t touch it, Hollywood?!

It is a very slow film. But given that people who loose someone, really prefer the world not to go on, for time to stand still, this kind of makes sense. The short particles actually show what moments they were bugged with old memories, and how it made them feel. For instance the new girlfriend, who is herself so stressed and shaken, that she, for a moment, does not accept the fact that her boyfriend is not shaky at all. She wants him to be crying like a baby, to give her some feeling of ‘yes, you are alright to feel sad and depressed and so on’. Which is in itself understandable if you feel like that yourself, but not everybody processes things in the same way.

It’s an interesting watch for sure, but don’t expect any velocity or any real emotions, or normal conversations. They do talk weird, and I do not believe anybody would talk like that. Even if they’re French.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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De kellner en de levenden. Simon Vestdijk

Nadat ik De Vrije Vogel En Zijn Kooien had gelezen, werd me dit boek in de schoot geworpen.

In tegenstelling tot het boek over Anton Wachter, duurde het een aanzienlijke poos voordat ik doorhad waar het verhaal over ging. Je valt als het ware midden in een scène, en tot, zeg, het derde hoofdstuk zo’n beetje, wordt het niet écht heel duidelijk waar je nu precies deel van uitmaakt.

Het is een magisch realistische setting, met omschrijvingen die doen denken aan Peter Vos en Jeroen Bosch tekeningen, gecombineerd met Caravaggio en Dante-schilderijen. Prachtig, maar ook zeer gruwelijk. De beelden die Vestdijk weet op te roepen zijn bijzonder sprekend, maar omdat ze gecombineerd worden met een troepje willekeurig bijeen geschraapte mensen, die toch ook hun uiterste best doen om uit te maken, waar ze in vredesnaam in belandt zijn, is het ook zeer verwarrend. Je doet, net als deze mensen, je uiterste best om ergens een nooduitgang te vinden, om van het éne onwaarschijnlijke tafereel, in het andere te vallen. En dat blijft maar doorgaan.

Er zitten zeer veel heil en verdommenis momenten bij, gezever over God en de duivel. Ik moet zeggen: die stukjes heb ik wat gskipt, omdat ik niet op manier denk. Ik ging meer voor de beelden, zoals ik dat ook bij een schilderij zou doen: de schoonheid van de kunst zelf bewonderen, niet zozeer zien wat er nu gebeurd tussen die mensen.
Op twitter, facebook en instagram zie je het wel gebeuren, dat men een schilderij ziet, en daar een onderschrift bij gaat verzinnen. Zo van: ‘wat zouden ze éigenlijk zeggen?’
Vestdijk heeft er een heel boek aan gewijd.

Het is niet voor iedereen weggelegd om hier soepel doorheen te lezen, vermoed ik. Het is geen science fiction, maar je hebt hier wel een stevig pak fantasie voor nodig.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2018 in Books, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

Luther (season 3+4)

The 3rd episode has a less sucky end. For the rest of it: you keep hoping something amazingly smart happens so that anyone actually listens to John Luther, instead of trying to work behind his back to proof that he is not a decent coppa. The two who try are the kind of people you expect to work at gossip magazines: none of it is even near well founded. I have no idea how they even get Ripley to work for them. The girl is just an annoying little bitch without any work ethics. You can’t find any reason for them to be that nasty, nor why Luther or Ripley should even care one bollock that they even do. The way the new girlfriend is being harassed is vile, and you do wonder why Luther doesn’t slap Stark’s lights out.

Alice Morgan in this season actually makes sense. You do get why she is there and this time, she does make her chemics work with the others.

Season 4….I did notice the first seasons that Luther’s team is a different one each time. That is all fine and dandy, but the bloke has no spirit, the woman’s only job description seems to be ‘look stunned and horrid’. Well, she does do that job pretty good.

Other than that: just don’t do it. Look for any of these actors in different plays. I’d like to slap the writers and tell them to return when they have a proper background on every single one of them.

The entire series feels, especially when it’s supposed to be thrilling, like you’re watching the bloopers instead of the actual work. And I do know it’s not meant like that. Luther warns people, they don’t listen, and it never ends well. You think ‘oh no, that’s not a good idea’, and indeed, it turns out not to be. It’s breathtakingly stupid.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2018 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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Luther (season 2)

I was hoping to see a bit more success this season. Unfortunately. The team of Luther truly is its own anithero. No case ever gets solved, victims barely ever get out alive, the suspects are extremely weird and violent. Not like in any series I’ve ever seen before. They aren’t normally twisted in their minds. It’s beyond that.

The acting is mostly appalling, not because the actors aren’t doing a good job, it’s the lack of a good storyline and proper motives, that doesn’t give them the oppertunity to shine. Idriss Elba is far too good for this part, and so are most of his colleagues.
Most solutions, or ways that would work for the police, such as face recognisition or anything like that, aren’t used. It’s not about an easy trackdown, somehow. This series is based on making everything harder and unsolvable. I nearly admire them for that.

The good thing, on the other hand, is that the seasons are extremely short. Only about 4 or 5 episodes.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2018 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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Luther (season 1)

With the famous Idriss Elba. This series, at least the entire first season, doesn’t make that much sense to me. The crimes are full of fullblown horror, people with such nasty brainwedges you can’t get a normal head around why they even do what they do and why to such heavy measures, and yet there is Luther, played by Idriss Elba, who figures everything out in nearly an eyeblink. It doesn’t make sense why he knows every move these bastards are gonna make. It makes even less sense why an, apparent, old fiend still helps him. I mean that she’s into him, makes sense, but why the hell does she have his number, the emotional access to his mind aswell?

It’s a bit of a team of antiheroes. I don’t see the magnificense that might keep them together. It’s better than Marcella, I’ll give you that, but at least in Marcella, most actors actually do that job a lot better: acting. I don’t see much of that in this series.
Because everything they try to achieve, fails. Every attempt to safe someone. They never make it work. All the officers appear to be mentally unstable. They all try remarkably bad to hide it and still be part of the force. Nobody ever discovers any of this.

Worst crime series ever. If you are looking for ways to feel anxiety and depressed, go for it. It won’t make you smile at any moment. Not this first series, that is.

 

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2018 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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Marcella (season 2)

Yes, I know: if I wasn’t taken that much by season 1’s storyline, why bother with the second one, right? Because it was available, I guess. I just rolled into this one.

On the plus side: two persons have been cast that I recognised from previous projects: it’s funny to see a Harry Potter character in a drama like this. Basically still in a shitty character, but this time at least with good intends, though he doesn’t always follow them. The other one made me smile severely, though not due to his character in this series. But Nigel Planer, who I know as the longhaired hippie Neil from The Young Ones. Yeah, that brought a smile to my face.

But that was about it. The story is dreadful, and until the very end it doesn’t become clear who did what and why. Not just because the person is a deranged psychopath, but also because they keep throwing new suspects in your face, while they don’t silently drop off ones they brought to your attention earlier, like they did in the first season. In a way it’s very exhausting to have to keep hold of everyone. There is no straight line going from the first episode until the 6th or the 7th.

Meanwhile how Marcella develops in her personal life is just a laugh. The children don’t show any type of sympathy at all, really. Given the -again- weak storyline, I’m guessing they just didn’t have much to go on. It seems to me this series it edited quite well, to make it look like something just happened, while all they do is put up a scene so two people can exchange two lines, and that’s it. And they are not useful lines. Not even a bit of bonding goes on. They could have just rang or something.
In the first season I noticed that two men were taken from their flat, questioned outside. In what universe would that ever happen? I think that they weren’t allowed to actually use any insides of buildings, to be fair. They had to improvise.

This second season is a tough one because it concerns children though. And somehow you want the police to get a firm grip onto that, to make a giant breakthrough. So Marcella solely concentrating on her job and not her children, doesn’t make any sense. Again.

But the tention, they do know how to make that happen. That was, pretty much, the only reason to keep watching it. While they do their questioning, you have a thousand questions they DON’T ask. And you’re like ‘why didn’t you ask this?’

It continues to be highly unrealistic.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2018 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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Marcella (season 1)

This series is so full of plotholes, it makes certain cheese from the Netherlands (called ‘holes cheese’,  yes, REALLY!) seem tasteful despite the fact that there’s hardly any cheese there.

The reason I stuck with it anyway, is because it got me curious. The acting is not bad, but the background story very much is. There is absolutely no logic explanation as to why Marcella gets away with everything. She is confronted with info, can’t give a proper alibi for it (you know that, as the one who is watching it) and immediately the scene just ends. This happens on more than one occasion. And suspects that are working in the exact same way, just keep following up etc, so in the end, actually every single one of them looks guilty.
What father would leave his kid alone at night, after the Maddie McCann saga? What father would think it’s not necessary to enlighten his kids that him and his wife are going to divorce? What father would prefer a meeting with a guy handling his businesses, over a school presentation of his kids? What father wouldn’t want his own children to be in his home, while he has suffered the loss of a baby earlier?
None of these decisions make any sense to me.
Then there’s the memory loss of Marcella, that seems to hit her every few seconds.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more confusing series. If you want a realistic storyline, avoid this one. On the other hand: it is sort of a relaxed watch. They actors in it do their job properly, and this was the only reason for me to persue.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2018 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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The Wave

With Kristoffer Joner, Ane Dahl Torp, Jonas Hoff Oftebro, Edith Haagenrud-Sande and many others.

Given that this film is Danish, I expected much quality. Unfortunately, even Denmark has its downsides, apparently.

I did think it was a series at first, so given that it has a very slow start (things don’t happen until over half an hour in the film) it’s not likely that you will ‘hang in there’ as I did because now it got me curious. When the shit really hits the fence, you’re about an hour in the film, and you’ve seen the main character, Kristian, make the weirdest decisions. Like leaving his youngest kid behind so he can help a woman who is stuck behind a car. He does this so she will be able to flee up the road. When it turns out this is no longer possible, they hide in the same care he just freed her from. His kid is still running for her life, out! What sane father would leave his child alone with someone who is NOT her father, to spend his very possibly last moments with someone he barely knows, in a car? To me that doesn’t strike as very believeable.

Then, after the occurrance, I noticed how much this film wants to be like War of the Worlds, but doesn’t get to do that, despite the ‘leave your kid and safe a random stranger’ effect. or like The Walking Dead, but more so because the main character, Kristian, resembles one of those actors quite a bit.
I was also reminded of Titanic at some point, of The Day After Tomorrow, and all of those, including the previously named ones, had better acting actors. The only one who truly struck a chord with me are Edith (who plays the young girl, Julia) and Margot (Kristian’s former colleague). The rest of ‘m do seem to try, but either don’t get enough screentime to actually be able to perform believeable, or simply aren’t able to.

I’ve wasted my time so you didn’t have to. You’re welcome 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Een Moeder Van Niks

Dit geweldige boek van Annemarie Oster is een must voor elk, zichzelf niet al té serieus nemende moeder, maar ook voor hen die regelmatig met kinderen bezig zijn. Op zeer herkenbare, vlotte, komische en bijna poëtische wijze weet zij de lezer een prachtig beeld te schetsen van het dagelijks leven met haar twee zonen, die, geheel naar (eigenlijk) moderne maatstaven, geen moment bij de naam genoemd worden. En toch is het zo volkomen helder en hilarisch om te zien, hoe zij als dame in een net milieu, haar jongens door de jeugd jungle weet te leiden, bestaande uit ruwe bonken van jongens uit andere nesten, en hoe ze zelfs graag een blokje omrijdt voor de juiste school, zodat de (hoe dan ook ten toneel gespreid gaan wordende) scheldwoorden tenminste met de juiste nadruk en accenten worden uitgesproken.

Ik heb me een breuk gelachen, ik wens u hetzelfde toe 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2018 in Books, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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