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Author Archives: MaLadeVr

Ghostbusters

The remake version, with Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kirsten Wiig and Kate McKninnon.

Given that I wasn’t taken by this remake, I did decide I’d at least had to watch it. So I did.

The many bad feedback this film has received isn’t all that weird. At first I thought they had come up with sort of a new story, but no. You kind of live on the humouristic input of the cast in this case. Which is sort of bad, as only Melissa McCarthy and Leslie Jones are truly funny.
The first half hour is quite lovely because you see women actually making science look cool. Apart from Big Bang Theory, that simply doesn’t happen much.
The way they talk about it makes it live more. I do appreciate that. I also do recall a signing session I’ve read about, where young girls approached actress Kirsten Wiig (who I personally don’t find funny at all, not even a little bit, but that’s me) and asked for an autograph and said she wanted to become a scientist because she had seen the film. I did think that was great.

But: the storyline is a bit weird, the music is terrible, Chris Hemsworth as absolutely LOUZY secretary. He gets to keep his job because Erin can’t stop drooling over him. In that retrospect it’s kind of funny, because hello, sexist? But well, if men can pull that off, why not a cheery bunch of women, eh?

Right, onwards: I remember seeing Moulin Rouge (the Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor version) and thinking ‘geez, what a circus, filled with clownesk make up and so on!’ this film resembles that a bit. It tries to be funny about its own failures, I guess. The women have chattering and bickering about things that men think happens between women all the time. And don’t like ‘m for it. I think it was supposed to be funny that way, but to me it shows too much of a cliché. That that is why women shouldn’t do things like that. That they deserve not be heard. It bugged me, because it keeps being repeated.

The guest appearances of a part of the original ghostbusters cast Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potz sort of make a nice trip down memory lane.
Still, I wasn’t much impressed by the film. I would’ve liked a cast that is a bit more edgy. Melissa McCarthy and Leslie Jones carry most of the film, while I know Kirsten Wiig was actually cast for that. I just don’t find her funny. Cute, in a way, but that’s about it. I would’ve gone with Rebel Wilson and Octavia Spencer for instance. A truly funny bunch.
Because, that’s another thing: why is Leslie Jones cast to add a mixed feeling, while she is the only one who hasn’t got a scientific background? Yes, I might be too critic, but come on!

Oh well. That’s it. That’s my opinion.

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Posted by on May 10, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Hotel Le Point de Vue

Mijn ouders waren zoveel jaar getrouwd. Dat moest gevierd, zoveel was duidelijk. Ze wilden iets bijzonders doen. Dus werden we (het oorspronkelijke gezin) uitgenodigd om een week lang in hotel Le Point de Vue te verblijven.
‘Dat ken je nog wel, toen je klein was, zijn we er ook geweest’, verzekerde mijn moeder me. Geen idee waar ze het over had.
Toen we aankwamen, herkende ik de plek echter wél.

‘Hebben we hier destijds niet overnacht toen we nog met de kresj op pad gingen?’ vroeg ik.
‘Precies!’ antwoordde mijn vader me. En zo kwamen er, stukje bij beetje, jeugd herinneringen terug. Het lopen naar het andere hotel, bij de brug, waar ook de kayaks worden verhuurd, de Semois afzakken met kano’s, onder de bruggen door, met de stroming mee, bij de camping, en zo nog veel verder. De wandelingen door het bos, met de boom met het ingegroeide bordje, de paadjes met de watervalletjes waar je, bij ernstige dorst, water uit kon drinken met zelf meegebrachte inklapbare bekertjes, de eindeloze takken die we vonden op onze tochten, en waar we speren van sneden met onze zwitserse messen of de opinel versie.

‘s Avonds aten we heerlijk in de dinerzaal met z’n allen. Het was echt een nostalgische trip en we genoten allen zeer.
Die beleving vonden we weer zo leuk, dat we besloten het jaar daarop terug te komen. Inmiddels was het hotel toen net van eigenaar veranderd. De dame die het runde met twee jongere knapen, had het hotel aan deze jonge mannen over gedaan, en het hotel had daarmee een enorme renovatie ondergaan. De dame had het als veredeld donkerbruin café ingericht, zeker beneden, maar ineens verscheen er weer licht in alle kamers, ook beneden. De inrichting veranderde, van de dame met haar vijf honden was geen spoor meer.

Het werd een jaarlijkse trip om naar uit te kijken, ook met de inmiddels steeds verder uitbreidende familie. Hier een vriend of vriendin erbij, daar zelfs geboortes van kleintjes, en er kwam wat meer familie mee, sowieso. We waren begonnen met het ‘oorspronkelijke’ gezin, daar kwamen ook tantes bij en hun aanhang, en zo namen we het hotel, leek het, voor het moment dat we er waren, zo ongeveer over. We slokten in elk geval steeds meer ruimte op. Binnen, buiten, er waren maar weinig plekken waar we ons niet spreidden. Soms had ik wel te doen met de andere gasten, die toch ook recht hadden om te genieten? Maar dan werden gefêteerd op blèrende stuiterballen die van onze tafel kwamen.
Oeps.

En nu, na wat kennelijk ons laatste bezoek is geweest, kregen we een email. Dat ze het van de hand hebben gedaan, het prachtige hotel, met het mooiste uitzicht wat er is op de Semois.

Ergens begrijp ik het ook wel. Het is een schitterend hotel met een hartverwarmende staf geweest, maar er is niet heel veel te doen in Chiny zelf, behalve als je van wandelen houdt. Winkels zijn er niet, daarvoor moet je in Florenville zijn, net als voor verdere restaurants en toeristen info (al kon je voor het laatste ook prima bij Stephan en Richard terecht, dat was het probleem nooit).

Bij ons laatste bezoek raakte ik bijna bedwelmd door de zalig naar vanille geurende handzeep. Ik vroeg waar ze die vandaan hadden gehaald (het zat in een pompje, zonder opdruk) en ze lieten me de zeep in de originele verpakking zien. Schitterend, ik ging op zoek!
Niet gevonden, maar dat zou ik later nog wel op internet opsnorren, niet erg.

Op onze laatste ochtend deden we de groepsfoto, zoals altijd. De auto’s waren ingepakt, kleintjes werden overal vandaan geplukt, de gebruikelijke chaos. Ineens kreeg ik een zeeppompje.
‘Dan kun je nog eens aan ons denken!’

En inderdaad, dat zal ik! Maar ook zonder de zeep was dat wel gelukt….

Bedankt, Richard en Stephan, voor de mooie tijd!

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2018 in Uncategorized, Daily life, Opinion

 

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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

This film, about -supposedly- a randomly scraped together group of British tourists who fall for a scam that is a hotel in India, is not as good as I hoped it to be, but nor as bad as I feared it to be in the end.

Though packed with British actors such as Judie Dench, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Maggie Smith, Celia Imrie and so on, the film clearly is made in the USA. Though displayed in India, the Indian actors playing these parts are supposed to speak English, even to each other. Which makes their acting not so great. It is not really their fault.

Maggie Smith is lovely as a fully racist patient who needs a hip replacement and has offended so many doctors who are ‘of the wrong color’ or ‘not actually British’, that she is offered an alternative. Cheaper, no waiting list. In. India.
The other storylines are supposed to convince you that it’s just a coincidence that this lovely flock of people just happens to have been put together by faith, but it really isn’t. I don’t see why the Ainslies (Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton) feel the need to go. Nor with the others. It is not an organised travel they are part of. At the airport, they simply connect the dots as they are all British and flying with the same plane, stuff like that. They just happen to go to the same hotel. That isn’t a hotel. The website has promised quite a stay, the local manager isn’t able to fullfill that wish. Just yet. Only a few rooms that aren’t rooms, just piles of dust, are actually usable. Even less of those actually have doors.

Given that not all of the travellers have an actual return ticket, a refund or an immediate return home isn’t possible.

The film mostly depicts what they make of it in the meantime. And how couples uncouple or recouple. Etcetera.

It is a good thing that this film is packed with already familiar actors. I wouldn’t have watched all of it without that. I skip hopped after a while. One of the travellers keeps a sort of journal that should make it a bit more interesting, but it fails on me.

All in all I wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s not too bad if there’s nothing else to watch.

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

 

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Notting Hill

An utterly sweet, but quite unrealistic depicting about the love between a super moviestar Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) and a travelbook salesman William Thacker (Hugh Grant).
After meeting for the first time in his travelbookshop, there’s initially no spark at all between Anna and William. He likes the fact that there is a moviestar in his bookshop, yes, and he does like her appearances, but other than that, no. She is really only there to buy a book.
Then they meet again in the streets. Given that this is after William accidentally empties a cup of fresh squeezed orange juice on her white top, this isn’t the friendliest of meetings. It becomes more unlikely when she agrees to go to his house to clean herself up. And from there it takes more unlike turns. Aside all those unlikely turns, it actually is a very sweet and cute film.
The circle of friends and family that William has around him is so charming, so cute and so funny (Emma Chambers as William’s younger sister is a true gem!) that you completely forget that you don’t ever get to meet any of Anna’s friends or family. They aren’t introduced to any of them, nor does his family. It’s just her and her diva behaviour that, at some point, drifts them apart until she realises she cannot behave like that around someone she actually likes. That life isn’t a filmscript where someone can just yell ‘cut!’ if it’s not going by plan.

The music to go along with the film is as nice and smooth as the rest of the film.

It’s a proper watch, just don’t mind the unlikelihood of any of it happening for real, and you’ll be fine 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Gilmore Girls, revisited

Deze serie, gebaseerd op de eerdere, veel succesvollere en veel leukere Gilmore Girls, over een tienermoeder met haar dochter die op de rand van puberteit balanceerde, had niet gemaakt moeten worden.

Het is altijd tricky om in een project als deze te duiken, als een serie zo ontzettend succevol is geweest. Je wil elk aspect ervan opnieuw proeven, herbeleven wat er zo geweldig aan was. Een reünie met een script, feitelijk.

Ik was eveneens nieuwsgierig of ze het konden, de herbeleving scheppen. Niet dus. The personages uit het schattige Stars Hallow zijn van stal gehaald en gek genoeg klínken ze zelfs niet hetzelfde als hun oorspronkelijke zelf. Letterlijk. Hun stemmen zijn veranderd. Niet alleen de gesproken woorden stroken niet met wat ze ooit zeiden, maar zelfs de vrouwen hebben last van een andere toonhoogte of iets. Echt heel raar. Zelfs de stemmen van Lorelai Gilmore (ooit geweldig gespeeld door Lauren Graham) en Rory Gilmore (ooit zo onschuldig en lief gespeeld door Alexis Bledel) zijn veranderd. Een van de weinigen die hier niet onder lijkt te lijden is Kelly Bishop, ook wel bekend als oma Gilmore.

De verhaallijn is zeer twijfelachtig, om het mild te zeggen. Zelden zag ik Lorelai Gilmore zo egoïstisch. Ze is geen leuk persoon in deze serie. Haar keuzes lijken niets met haar oude ik te maken te hebben. Het boek wat Rory wil schrijven: de Lorelai die je al kende zou er vol voor gegaan zijn, er op z’n minst over nagedacht hebben.

Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) had een véél grotere rol moeten hebben, zelfs al heeft ook zij een ander stemgeluid. Het ergste is dat de bekendste stadskok haar vormen kwijt is geraakt, wat vreselijk is om te zeggen, want oh mijn god wat zou het haar een moeite gekost kunnen hebben om zo af te vallen (en waarom moeten vrouwen elkaar daar toch altijd zo op afvallen?!) maar het is waar: ik mis m’n ronde, knuffelige en zeer knusse Sookie!

Ik zou zeggen: vermijd deze serie als het even kan. Het heeft niets te maken met het origineel. De snelle dialogen, Rory die zo dol is op lezen, iedereen om zich heen gelukkig maken en haar moeder die zo prettig relaxed is en alles op haar eigen manier onder controle heeft: daar is geen enkele sprake van.

This series, based on the earlier, far more successful and far more funny Gilmore Girls, about a teenmom and her daughter, should not have been made.

It’s always tricky to plunge into a project as such, when a series has been that successful. You want to retaste, you want to re-experience the good times had. Basically it’s a reunion with a script.

I too, was curious if they could pull it off. I now know they couldn’t have been more wrong. The characters of the cute little place Stars Hallow have been taken out of the drawer to do their parts again, and oddly: none of them even sounds the same. Literally. Even the voices of Lorelai Gilmore (once played fantasically by Lauren Graham) and Rory Gilmore (once so innocently and cutish played by Alexis Bledel) have changed. It’s like with boys who grew too much. I don’t know what happened, but every single voice changed. One of the few who still sounds a bit like herself is Kelly Bishop, a.k.a. grandmother Gilmore.

The storylines are very murky to say the least. I never saw Lorelai Gilmore act so….selfishly. Her character isn’t likeable at all. And I find most of her decisions very unlike her. The book Rory wants to write at some point…the Lorelai I know would’ve fully supported it, or at the very least would have thought about it.

Sookie (Melissa McCarthy, one of my absolute favorites) should have played a far bigger part in it too, but even she has lost her normal voice. The cute cook has lost most of her cuddliness due to losing weight -which is terrible to say, I know, it must have cost her quite some time and dedication and I’m sure the losing weight had a lot of impact on her health, so I really should not say that in such a way, but I have to be honest: I loved the old Sookie just as much, maybe even more.

All in all I’d say don’t watch this series because it has nothing to do with the old series, basically. The people that appear seem familiar, yes, but the basics -quick dialogue, Rory being so very fond of reading, undisturbed in her perseference to achieve for everyone to be happy, Lorelai being relaxed, well organised and knowing how to handle stuff properly: none of it is there anymore.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2018 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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The Titan

Sam Worthington, Taylor Schilling, Tom Wilkinson and so many others.

Given that I’ve written a small scifi book myself, which more or less has the same theory in it -humans having to find a way to be able to live on different planets- I very much liked the start of the film. It’s funny to see Taylor Schilling in a completely different role than her good old Orange Is The New Black one. She does swear at times to remind you of that part, but other than that, this is quite a new one.

Sam Worthington in this role very much reminded me of Avatar. Especially after an hour. Until then, things don’t go smoothly, but the way it’s being portrayed fully has my interest. A group of people has been gathered by a list of special bodily strengths. For instance, Rick Janssen, (Sam Worthington) has been chosen as he managed to survive three days in the desert.
As the program of ‘rebuilding’ these strong people advances, the effects become more obvious. And you see more ‘Avatar’ hints floating about.

It’s not a wild chasing film, which is nice for a change, but it also doesn’t have a very strong ending. Then again, it’s worth a watch.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Jenny’s Wedding

Katherine Heighl playing a serious part in a dreadfully long film about her being gay with Alexis Bledel is a seriously bad plan. They should have switched parts, though that would barely have worked, given that Alexis is truly such a sweetheart. But the part of Kitty is barely there and you know Alexis should have been given a far bigger part. Then again: for this film that would not have worked, as you don’t expect Alexis in a film that is so incredibly shallow, really.
Grace Gummer playing the part of younger sister of Jenny (Katherine Heighl) is a proper shot. She actualy knows how to give her character the sarcastic twist it needs to make the film bearable.

All in all you won’t get any of the time you spend on this film back, and it only has bits and pieces that are good enough. Even when Anne is on about the grass….stupidly you actually get what she means, but those words never really come out of her mouth. Something just breaks within her, looking at something as ordinary as the grass. You get that. The moaning on about what that means doesn’t make much sense however.

The storyline of how everyone has a hard time dealing with the situation has no depth in any way whatsoever. The film should have been edited back to about 45 mins and even that would’ve been long.

Don’t get your hopes up, I’d say. Grace Gummer is the only one worth your while, as Alexis Bledel simply doesn’t get enough air to actually breathe here. A waste of talent, there!

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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