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Did You Hear About The Morgans?

This film, starring Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sam Elliott, Mary Steenburgen, Elisabeth Moss and various others, has a cast that I’d normally expect more from. Not all of them, I’ll admit. And I don’t expect any acting from Sarah Jessica Parker, which is exactly what happens. She’s just a spoilt brat having to move due to unforeseen circumstances, and just like her character from Sex and the City, she’s not actually capable of adjusting to the new situation.
Hugh Grant is the one who knows how to make both their lines work. He’s not that good either, but his way of acting is more like he’s realised he went to the wrong party and now he’s gotta deal with it. Which is a description of him in most of his films really. He can do that and he does the job well.
Sam Elliott is typecasted so obviously that he really barely needs any other dressup. Mary Steenburgen as his sidekick works perfectly.

So, that’s about the actors. Now the story: the Morgans, an estranged couple, find themselves being a witness of a murder on one night, where Mr Morgan has desperately tried to get Mrs Morgan to have dinner with him again. Due to the fact that the murderer has seen the Morgans being a witness of his crime, he tries to kill the Morgans. Since the killer turns out to be a high profile criminal, the Morgans are offered a place in a witness protection program. Mrs Morgan doesn’t want this to be a shared accommodation, but there’s no choice there.

Actually Sarah Jessica Parker’s attitude is the most annoying one in this film. She walks around like she ended up on the wrong set, including the ‘you cheated on me!’ drama. Though at first you sympathise with that, in the end it turns out she’s been no better herself, and you end up hating her even more because she’s such a hypocrit.

I’m sure there’s worse films than this one, it’s just not that far behind.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Homeland (Netflix)

This series is based around Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes. Carrie has the responsibility to infiltrate in muslim terrorist networks to prevent mass attacks from happening and so on. She is like a pitbull in a way; if she’s convinced something is going on, she won’t stop until she finds proof that supports her suspicions. She is the kind of brilliant that let’s her get away with a lot of it, but not so convincing that she gets away with it ALL.
It starts with an American sergeant, Nicholas Bordy (played by Damian Lewis) who is found back after eight years of being missing.
This is, of course, a huge victory for America and for the CIA and FBI etcetera. He is welcomed with a massive amount of cameras, journalists, gets to meet the vice president and….his own family. Which means his wife and his two children who were both very young when he went on his mission. The children are teenagers now and have adjustment problems with their dad returning, especially as a good friend and colleague of their dad has more or less taken up that place. And if that’s not enough, Carrie Mathison is so convinced Nicholas Brody has a lot more to offer than just the tortured soldier that he is, she decides to bug his house with cameras and microphones all over the place.

The first season is based on Carrie Mathison basically bugging Nicholas Brody to find information about a terrorist who she believes he spend a lot of time with. Brody denies every alligation and Carrie doesn’t seem able to find any evidence to support her suspicions.
Suspicions that keep her from taking her medication against bipolar disorder at times. A condition she suffers from and that’s not general knowledge at her employer. Something she gets in trouble with once she decides her medications are keeping her from seeing ‘the real thing’.

First season and the second one are good, thanks to a storyline that surprises, actors who can properly act and get the chance to develop that sinister little bit of selfishness that every human suffers from. You want to push those pills down Carries’ throat, you want Brody to stop lying to his wife, you want his daughter to stop acting like a bastard, you want everyone to be honest etc.  And aside that: none of the characters are stupid. You see them being torn at times (‘why would s/he do that?’ then the penny drops) but able to think and act smart on it.
Unfortunately, after a few seasons, things turn around.

In current times, it doesn’t seem like such a good plan to depict muslims as solely bad people, which is exactly what happens after those seasons. Basically, every single one of them is secretly bad, because working or sympathising for the wrong side, wanting to kill those who don’t want to join IS etc. I did find myself thinking: what did the actors playing these characters, think about their parts? I mean I know it’s work, but a lot of them are probably muslim in real life too and the good people of their faith are barely shown in this show. It shows the ugly side of people misusing their faith just to kill. I mean I know this series is based on preventing attacks from happening, but it can’t be easy to have to play such a negative depictation of what’s already believed by so many: that every single muslim has a shadow side.
To me it made the other seasons quite problematic to watch entirely. So I didn’t. I skiphopped through episodes.
In a way, sure, Homeland shows how the brainwashing works from within any faith, I suppose. How you’re not allowed to think for yourself, how you’re supposed to think of everyone as your brother (or sister) and how it, apparently, doesn’t matter if you get one of those killed, because that’s, again apparently, what your god/Allah/whomever had intended for you.

Carrie Mathison is the most likeable character in all this, since she doesn’t seem to judge people by their appearance, but solely by the information they (could) have. She’s also the surprising element, given that she’s bipolar and has periods where she has no problem with taking her meds, versus periods where she hates to do this and actually has to be convinced that meds are the only way to cope with her.
She’s also the queen, no, the empress, of the pout. My god, when she’s on her way to cry, or to get empathy, her entire face comes along. After a few of those actions, I was getting tired with it a bit. Realising I have seen her doing it in every part I know her from (Little Women, My So Called Life, etc) I’m guessing that’s how she gets her parts. Because this is so characteristic for her.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2017 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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De Gelukkige Huisvrouw (boek)

Dit was het eerste boek wat ik van Heleen van Royen las. Vermoedelijk vond ik het daarom ook zo leuk. De sneren die worden uitgedeeld aan vrouwen die zich, zowel op voorhand (tijdens de zwangerschap) als naderhand (als de boreling er is) zodanig op het moederschap storten dat je er automatisch een reflux aan overhoud, zijn ronduit geweldig.
De MoederMelkMaffia ‘…..’ dat zijn van die moeders die niet willen toegeven dat hun miezerige tieten minder melk geven dan een blik poedermelk’
Zaken die, totdat Heleen van Royen het publiceerde, ook niet echt aan het licht werden gesteld. Dat het nu eenmaal niet altijd een geweldige ervaring is. Dat je ook geleefd wordt door anderen. Dat het sowieso anders kan lopen, met een post partum psychose bijvoorbeeld.

Het boek verhaalt over Lea, die getrouwd is met Harrie. Harrie wil graag een kind. Lea heeft die behoefte niet, maar nadat Harrie het inleidt met hoe hij haar in bed te grazen zal nemen, laat zij de pil wel staan.
Dat zwanger worden blijkt het probleem niet zo. Het ter wereld brengen daarentegen is een ander verhaal. De bevalling is een ramp. De weeën zetten niet door, ze wordt ingeknipt ondanks het feit dat ze om een keizersnee smeekt en ze voelt zich niet gesteund door zowel Harrie als haar verloskundige. Na de geboorte heeft ze eigenlijk geen zin in haar kind. De veranderingen die het met zich meebrengt -onder andere dat de sex met Harrie nog nooit zo beroerd was als sinds ze zwanger raakte- schieten bij Lea totaal in het verkeerde keelgat.

Alles bij elkaar is het boek heel vlot geschreven, met allerhande sarcastische bij- en ondertonen. Als het het eerste boek is wat je van haar leest, vermaak je je vermoedelijk wel.
Omdat ze ondertussen in het reine probeert te komen met haar vader die zichzelf van kant gemaakt heeft, geeft dit boek een extra dramatische dimensie.

Al met al best een vermakelijk boek.

Sidenote: de film kun je beter mijden. Hoewel het lezen van het boek ná de film de film wel opheldert.

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Egyptisch museum Turijn/ The Egyptian museum in Turin

De eerste keer dat we Turijn bezochten, kwamen we, na vele omzwervingen in de stad, hier terecht. Turijn is groot. Wisten wij veel (nog nooit een stap in Italië gezet, dan krijg je dat).

Hoe dan ook; dit museum was en is nog altijd een topper. Het heeft als inleiding hoe men gemummificeerd werd -let op, voor de gevoelige maag kán dit wat reacties oproepen. Kán, want zo erg is het nou ook weer niet- en welke zaken je daarbij allemaal meekreeg. Met vertalingen, en kaartjes van wat dat allemaal te betekenen had.
Daarnaast de vele facetten van hoe de uiteindelijk mummy geplaatst werd. Er is aandacht besteed aan het ‘meebelevingsgevoel’, wat neerkomt op hier en daar kleinere ruimtes die verschillende facetten nog wat beter uitbeeld. Ook de katten die toendertijd meteen ten dode opgeschreven waren, zijn in hun gemummificeerde pakje te aanschouwen.

Beneden is nog een fantastische beeldencollectie. Sfinxen, Toetanchamon, Nefertiti etc zijn hier te vinden.

Al met al beslist de moeite waard!

The first time we visited Turin, we found, after many miles of walking in the city, this place. Turin is big. We had no idea (we hadn’t ever set foot in all of Italy, go figure)/

Anyway: this museum was and still is fantastic. It introduces you with how mummies were created -be careful those with a very sensitive stomach, although it’s not that bad, your stomach might respond- and what kind of trinkets were given to a diseased one. WIth translations and explanations of what every one of those trinkets meant.
Aside the many phases of how the mummy would be placed inside their final resting spot. There has been paid attention to how to ‘feel’ this, which means there are some seperate spaces, rooms, which depict certain settings even better. Also cats, who were back then declared dead already, given that they too were made into a mummy.

Downstairs is an amazing hall of statues which you should defenitely check out. Sfinxes, Tutanchamon, Nefertiti etc, they’re all findable here.

Seriously, go check it out!

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2017 in Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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The Good Wife

This series on Netflix is a real attention sucker. Given that binge watching is so easy these days, a series with about 24 episodes per season will give you something to look forward to. And it doesn’t bore.

Julianne Margulies -whom I know from E.R., though I’m sure she did loads in between- is the said Good Wife, Alicia Florrick. She stands by her husband, Peter Florrick, who is into politics, and as such, very vulnerable for any intimate information to come out. Which means that him sleeping with a prostitute didn’t exactly serve him well. Alicia has to present herself as the wife who stands by her husband, knowing full well he did something she deeply disapproves off and has to pretend to the world didn’t happen.

That’s just the first few minutes.

Given that her husband is being jailed for the things he did wrong, Alicia finds herself back to work, after having been a stay-at-home-mom for years. She starts working for a lawyers firm named Stern, Lockhart & Gardner. A very dynamic surrounding and never a dull moment, in whatever way. Though Alicia has to find a way to avoid the ever so denegrating question people keep asking her ‘how’s Peter?’ as if they’ve known him for years and she only got to know the person in front of her for about 5 seconds, you notice she is used to give answers in a political mode. Though she answers in a way that makes her look vulnerable, she recaptures herself within seconds and comes back with an answer that shows her stronger than ever.

The strongest point of this series is, is that it’s based on her being a good wife. The firm she works for has a strong involvement, sure, but it’s not about that specifically, which gives the storywriters the chance to change things within the firm. I like very much how this is indeed done. It’s never dull, twists and turns between people keep things interesting. And though not everyone is constantly happy, all of the characters proof themselves to be flirting and threatening at the same time, with both their opponents as with you, their audience. Which makes it a very pleasant watch altogether.

I’d say watch 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2016 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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Black Mirror

This series on Netflix is a weird one. Not only does it only contain 3 to 4 episodes per season, they’re not even slightly connected. The ony thing they have in common is that the techniques that are used in every episode, are widely known to everyone -social media- or could be in our not-so-far-future.
Funny detail amongst that, is that most of the cars -if these are used at all- are from around 1940-1950. Gives it a special ironic twist, in my opinion.
The acting is done properly, with recognisable actors from series you are probably already familiair with, such as Happy Valley, Downton Abbey, etc.

The very first episode reminds so much of a politician being in a similar situation, I was very surprised when I saw it was actually made years before that came up. Unfortunately, the reality of the script in the end was not too realistic -in my opinion- but this episode mostly shows the ‘WTF!?’ factor of this series. It’s there, and your brain gets a bit of a hit every now and then, but not so bad you think: ‘eeeew! I’m gonna skip this shit!’.

The second episode could have done with a bit more story and edge to it. On the other hand, it does resemble how the life that is led, continues. In a bit of a mudpool. Slowly, just going. The first twenty minutes do give an interesting insight in what more could be done with living with virtual reality.

The episode named White Bear gives even an extra twist. It’s like drinking something you have no idea if you like it, to be surprised by it’s afterbite. The way it starts strongly reminds you of how social media works (‘see, film it to have proof, don’t do anything’).

In any case, the episodes all keep you on your toes because of unusual circumstances that the leading person has to deal with. This can be anything, but in one way or another, they are challenged to figure something out and then make the best of it. It’s weird and thoroughly clever. You should try it!

 

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2016 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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Renee Zellweger

Looking at what was trending this morning, I saw the name Renee Zellweger popping up. Usually a trending name means someone has either died or said something dreadful.

Not in this case.

Renee Zellweger hasn’t been on the white canvas for quite a while and since she has returned after some years, she unfortunately has had to endure all the pressure of lovely bastard journalists all over again. I’m sure it was exactly why she hid for these years, because BLIMEY?!
Just like Jennifer Aniston has done before her, Renee Zellweger has written an open letter to everyone to tell the world to stop bothering themselves with how either of them chose to live their lives.

Press can make you and break you. They are both fully aware. If you ask me, this is the reason Renee Zellweger chose a more quiet life for the past years. There’s no quiet and peaceful life in FilmWorld. You’re either someone who does a great job, or you’re a woman and you do everything wrong. There’s not much in between, I’ll tell you.

I was surprised to read that Renee has had to endure the babyquestion. It is really that glossy editors think this is appropriate to ask?? Or are journalists really that much of brainless twats, ready to ‘suck the fun out of every situation that’s remotely possible’ as I think I once heard Emma Thompson say on the Graham Norton show?
I mean I know famous people apparantly ‘have to’ endure all kinds of embarrassing questions. Journalists and people who aren’t as famous keep telling the press that: ‘if you choose to be famous, you know people will want to know more of you’.
This in itself is true. I don’t care what size my neighbour’s boxershort is. I do want to know about those people who play in the dramaserie I like to watch, what their opinion on news matters is. Because of their fame, they usually meet people who have more influence on these said matters. Which means they could have a sightfull inside story which could either change my mind or actually confirm what I already thought. I like to see that my heroes and heroins have more brain than just to remember some line in a film and play it with dramatic effect.
Next to that, I want to know if they’re happy and if they’re happy, whether I can do anything about it? Would it help if I simply bought a ticket to the film they’re in (I won’t, because I don’t like theatres, but it would be good to know nontheless), if I buy the dvd-box of the series they’re part of (I will do that!) or that my being entertained and amused watching or reading whatever they’re part of, is enough to make this famous person happy too?

It mystifies me completely as to why a journalist would ask a woman if she’d want babies. You know that joke on the internet which indicates when it’s safe to ask a woman when she’s pregnant? This baby question has an even broader implement.

And yes, I know the film she plays in, happens to depict her as an expecting woman. So what? It doesn’t justify this kind of question. Off the record maybe, but even then: mothers-in-law can expect glass in their tea or coffee after such a question. You’re just a journalist. Know your effing place!
I don’t see anyone asking Bruce Willis if he likes to be kicked in the nuts every time he does a Die Hard film. Or if John Travolta really likes dancing that much every time he does a film where dancing occurs. It’s lame questions, just like this one was. ‘Because it’s in spirit of the film’ is a lame excuse, yes.

You see: I do get how some quotes of famous people or celebrities (I’ve understood, by reading Bonkers! by Jennifer Saunders, there’s a difference between the two, I agree with her) might seem weird, especially out of context, but sometimes I think: it might be the famous person or celebrity wanted to make a point. Specifically asked if the point could be mentioned. In such an event, I do understand. But then: it would be on request of the interviewed one, instead of the one asking the questions.

So, in short: when is it OK to ask a woman if she’s pregnant or in want of spawn?
Answer: NEVER!

There you go, journalists, this one was for free.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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