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Category Archives: Films

Freaks

With Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Lexy Kolker and others.

This is a bit of a weird one. The film itself seems to take ages before you finally have a clue of what it’s even about. Yes, a clearly protective father is trying to train his daughter to survive outside, should such a thing ever happen. But given the story is mostly experienced from the worldviews of Chloe, who is about eight years of age, the film in the end doesn’t clear up much, to be fair.

Her father protects her so severely that at some point, you get the feeling Chloe is dealing with an overprotective and slightly deranged father. Then you get a taste of what that real life would entail for Chloe and you’re even more confused. At least I was.
Don’t get me wrong, it probably isn’t my genre, although scifi usually has my interest. It’s just that the story in itself is so shallow. It doesn’t seem to tell what’s so wrong about these ‘Freaks’, nor what happens with them, and why Chloe has to make up a whole new lifestory that needs to be rehearsed.

The strong part about the film is that you have no clue of what is real or imagined. At any given time.
But if you want a theory behind the film; there doesn’t seem to be one. Albeit not a strong one.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2020 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Along Came A Spider

With Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter, Michael Wincott, Mika Boorem, Anton Yelchin and others.

Though the film starts in a way that suspects a strong, well thoroughly thought through storyline and characters, it’s mostly filled with plotholes and badly executed personalities. Morgan Freeman and Mika Boorem more or less make up for that.
I also saw Anton Yelchin and Mika Boorem act together in Hearts in Atlantis, where they were given far more space to be their characters, I guess. This film was based on a book, but didn’t follow it completely. I think this led to it not being all that relatable?

You see Megan Rose and Dimitri Starodubov being friends in class, but as soon as Megan gets kidnapped, Dimitri more or less disappears from the stage. Odd, as they do seem to be quite taken with one another. As far as that goes with children who haven’t hit puberty yet. Their play is far stronger in Hearts in Atlantis, which I’ve seen earlier and which impressed me far more. I do get that they are younger in this film, but given their performance in that particular film, I do think the script of this film barely gave them enough material (and with them, so were the others, such as Morgan Freeman etc) to go with.

For instance you see them in school in a class that doesn’t seem standard for that period of time, yet if Megan is abducted, you don’t see her display any of her intelligence. That seems weird.

Also, a lot of thinking of the characters is acted out, instead of spoken. If you haven’t read the book, it makes it hard to know what goes on inside the characters’ heads.

The role of Anton Yelchin keeps being a mystery to me.

The film itself is enjoyable to watch, don’t get me wrong. Just don’t try to understand the motives of several people, as you will be disappointed. The question Mr Cross asks himself at some point, for instance: to me, that question doesn’t get answered.

The ending is very unsatisfactory. Not as unsatisfactory as Annihilation or Unorthodox, but still: I did expect more of it.

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

 

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

After having bingewatched Downton Abbey, I saw this film flying by on Netflix, and to be fair it was a bit of a mindfuck to see so many characters return, in a way. Jessica Brown Findlay, Penelope Wilton, Matthew Goode and Lily James all return. OK so there aren’t that many costumes, but the time frame is not that far of the previous and so are the types of characters. Especially those of Jessica Brown Findlay and Penelope Wilton. Not completely, of course, but you can’t help thinking ‘I recognise this ability of this actor/tress’.
Tom Courtenay I recognise, amongst other works, from The Quartet, his role in this film is far more serious, but you still see the little sarcast in him. Katherine Parkinson I only saw previously in The IT Crowd, so her performance here was a bit of a surprise for me. Still, she is a lovely surprise.
Michiel Huisman I haven’t seen that much as I usually try to avoid Dutch actors (Dutch actors cannot act) but he isn’t bad here. Just unfortunate that he plays a part in the romantic scenes.
Also, I was more or less waiting for the part of Charlotte Stimple (played by Bronagh Gallagher, whom I know from The Magdalene Sisters and The Committments) to become a whole lot more interesting. No such luck.

The romantic parts in this film aren’t particularly strong, to be fair. The storyline as a whole isn’t, but still it captures enough to watch all of it.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2020 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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After The Wedding

With Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Billy Cudrup, Abby Quinn and others.

This film is available on Netflix and caught my attention because of Michelle Williams (A Week With Marilyn, Blue Valentine, Brokeback Mountain, etc) and Julianne Moore (Hannibal, The Hours, etc).
I am not a very big fan of Michelle Williams and this film confirms that, to be fair.

The storyline did astound me, to be fair, but given that the twist comes in the middle, I was really saying ‘oh please please PLEASE be good until the very end?!’ and for me personally, that wasn’t the case.

I did realise afterwards that somehow the roles I have seen Michelle Williams act in are usually of a character that seems a bit frivolous, but is actually very reserved, almost introvert. Not necessarily bad, but in this role, she somehow doesn’t manage to become a lieable person.
While from the start you can see that she is, you just don’t see it in her personality. You have to accept her as she is, you don’t get the ‘why’ from her mouth. That’s what you want. You keep having a bit of an empty feeling whenever you look at her.
Abby Quinn plays her part so very well, by becoming angry. Disappointingly, it’s not for long.

The middle part is quite useless despite not being acted badly. This is due to the difficult character that Michelle Williams plays. I am honestly not sure if this is sort of a character flaw, or that it is due to Michelle Williams herself. It does mean that it’s hard to like her during this film, as she doesn’t seem willing to co-operate at any level. You have to sort of accept her for who she is.
Because of this, the ending isn’t as you wished for, and part of it, is. Yes, that’s about as clear as I will make that 😉 #noSpoilers

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2020 in Films, Opinion

 

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Late Night

With Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow and several others.

I am quite a big Emma Thompson-fan, but this film really doesn’t do her right. I have understood that Mindy Kaling (who is playing Eight, or actually Molly Patel) wrote this film with Emma Thompson in mind as the one to play the part. I just think that Emma Thompson is so much more funnier than this storyline allows her to be.
Molly should be, I guess, a warm personality, a sort of whisk of fresh wind to blow the mind of all the regular writers who work there. Not only is she far from this, she is a massive suck up, something nobody will ever believe took longer than a few days to annoy absolutely everybody in that workplace.
And how does someone new, who has worked in an office for over a decade, not understand that in order to speak up during a meeting, one better has an improvement suggestion at the very least?

The film is about an older woman in showbizz, which is the worst place in the entire world to be an older woman at all. The list is virtually non-existant of how many women get to have that place. That is because there is no such list. There’s loose names. Meryl Streep. Helen Mirren. Rita Wilson. Betty White. Diane Keating. Annette Benning. Emma Thompson herself, of course.

After watching this film, I still don’t know if it wants to be provocative (far too little ‘dared’ jokes in it for that), if it wants to bring out a certain message, or does it just want to be a film?

Mindy Kaling’s character Molly is quite another example. Who let’s themself be lured by a colleague like that? There is a kissing scene that came out of nowhere for me. The colleague doing that hadn’t quite deserved it yet. If at all. As an audience, you don’t get much of a chance to get attracted to that arsehole.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s not a bad film, but I am lost when I try to think of its purpose. It is a nice watch. After all, it’s Emma Thompson. But far less funny than one would expect during a film about a comedian…

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2020 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Welcome, Mr President

If you need a good laugh in these confusing and troubling times with weird world leaders, this film is it for you.
In Italy, some people in the cabinet cannot come up with anyone they want to become their next president. So they more or less make up a name, who has to be the next one. This person, Giuseppe, Peppino, then has to decline, so the cabinet can come up with new ideas.
Unfortunately, the man attached to the name, decides last minute that he DOES want the job. Claudio Bisio performs a marvellous job.
It’s like watching Louis de Funes, but in Italian. And a bit less anger, but still.

It becomes a wild ride in many (hilarious) ways. Giuseppe isn’t used to any serious protocols and despite the help of his lovely assistant Janis (Kasia Smutniak), doesn’t learn very fast either. But he is very beloved by the people of Italy. While the press tries to break him down in order to force him to leave his position, instead Giuseppe gains popularity.

A lovely film that you should see.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2020 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Mary Poppins Returns

With Emily Blunt, Colin Firth, Ben Bishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Meryl Streep and so many others.

Despite the starstudded cast, this film truly sucks. It’s not especially the casts’ fault, though I did truly expect better from some of them, but the script, the music and the way the studio handled it all, I guess?
The only one you don’t see returning is the Goddess that is Julie Andrews, the One And Only True Mary Poppins.
I do think that is because this film entire is a stiff kick upon her warm bossom and I don’t think she ever deserved that.

The film tries to be a sort of Mary Poppins reborn, with literally everything being repeated what has been done in the first film (though I do assume this was done in the book too, or it wouldn’t have been scripted as such), it just doesn’t work. The characters barely convince you of their apparent secretive nature, nor do any of the songs actually make you want to join along.
Mary Poppins arrives, telling the children that they need a nanny. All of the sudden, apparently they are ill behaved, while you haven’t witnessed any wicked behaviour. Three helpful children who try to help their dad and the maid, and that’s all there is to it?? Yes, OK, the walking the grass thing, but that is all. Not enough for a nanny to appear from nowhere.
The accents of Emily Blunt and Emily Mortimer make you realise you are in fact watching something that’s supposed to be British.
The moments where Mary Poppins is supposed to do her ‘magic’, it simply doesn’t happen. It’s the new way of thinking, the ‘just look at it this way’, which makes the mind more magic than anything else. Which is weird, considering the bathtub scene, aswell as the one on the bowl and so on.

The scene where the lighters climb up the Big Ben is especially weird and stupid as it starts out as a job you think can’t be done, and it turns out to be true. Just as with all the other actions in the film.

So no, despite all of the cameos, this film shouldn’t have been made, or at least with a whole bunch of far more catchy songs and so on. P.L. Travers would’ve hate it, but there was no pleasing that woman anyway.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2020 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Lost Girls

This film about a girl who gets lost among other girls and probablu became a victim of some sort of serial killer, secretly doesn’t have a real solution, nor a reason of why it has become a film.
Yes, the story is based on true happened events, yes, the mother is being very loud an obnoxious, but somehow, especially because of the ending, I still don’t know why this story is held high above all others to be filmed.
A young woman turns out missing after promising she will attend dinner at her mother’s house. Her sisters saw it coming, somehow.
Through the whole film it does not become exactly clear what the lost girls’ life, Shannan that is, exactly was all about. You see a mother and her daughters having quite a different view on how things went in the past, but nobody is truly trying to figure out what happened.
The closed community where things took place is uncooperative, as much as the police detective (Gabriel Byrne, how did they persuade him to play this part??) who actually just don’t really care. Not until a police officer by pure accident finds the bodies of four other girls who happen to be lying around that so very closed neighbourhood.

It is not a bad film in itself, just don’t expect a deep thrilling story.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2020 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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The Dressmaker

This film about an exiled woman who returns to her homevillage in Australia is really lovely. It reminded me both of the weirdness (though less explicit) in The Royal Tannenbaums and the ‘stranger in town unpoliteness’ in Chocolat. Kate Winslet does a perfect job as Myrtle (who deeply prefers to be called Tilly), who wants to make it quite clear that she is a useful person for getting things done the way you want them (be admired, get married to the guy you fancy; that sort of stuff), and also be a slight minx doing so.
No neck keeps straight when she’s around, as her dresses are excellent and so are her manners.
The fact the characters in the film have such weird trades, makes it over the top in a very comic way.
The more or less forced romantic intermezzo is a bit cheesy, but I think many gals and women won’t mind since it’s a Hemsworth…
Kerry Fox was a bit of a surprise for me, given the last time I saw her was in An Angel At My Table. Without that wig I did recognise the mouth and eyes,but I couldn’t come up with her name. Very unusual for me.

This film also goes to show that small town (is it even a town, when it’s only 1 street??) is vicious with forgiveness or even believing things went different. Tilly’s way of handling all, with help from Molly, is such a bliss to watch. I kept laughing.

In these times with enough scary things going on, I’d fully recommend watching it.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2020 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Mudbound

This is the story of a friendship between a black and a white ex-soldier in Mississippi after the war.

The film doesn’t start out as much. Carey Mulligan and Jason Clarke play the rather common couple Henry and Laura McAllan. One can see that the character of Laura could be more powerful, but either the script doesn’t quite give her that room or the director never gave it to her.
Jason Mitchell, along with Rob Morgan and Mary J. Blige carry their part like no-one else. Your toes curl in every direction when you hear what is expected of them. Especially Ronsel when he returns from the war….my socks nearly blew off from that repsonse down the shop….?!
Henry McAllan is an arsehole, but not a vicious one. That doesn’t make him less racist in any way, but he justs asks, demands. Because of this, he mostly gets what he wants, even though, to modern standards, it would be rude to ask such things.
It’s the father of Henry and Jamie you really want to smack around and then some. Jonathan Banks plays his part perfectly. I wanted to lynch him. What the f?!

The scene where he has his way with his son and his friends’ son….it wa more than I could handle, in honesty.

And still, as good as the film is, the true friendship between the men who have been in war isn’t shown that thoroughly. They are always together, yes, but never amongst their peers. Their own little world (OK, it isn’t little to share such a thing as the war, I know) is all they have. There isn’t a moment where one of them tells the other: you shouldn’t do this. Jamie interrogates Ronsel about things, but it never happens the other way around.

It is a beautiful film, but because of the lack of this, it is a wee bit….shallow.

Still, it is very much worthy of your time.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2020 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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