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Tag Archives: Netflix

Ricki and the Flash

A remarkable filmchoice for Meryl Streep. AGAIN. Though I genuinely enjoyed watching her in Mamma Mia, it didn’t make sense to me at all. Why would a class actress do such a film? But then it hit me: because it was simply just a FUN project. Even actors and actresses need fun projects, the in between snacks, right?

This film is probably a bit like that. Meryl Streep can sing. Not like a songstress (she would’ve become one of those if she were that good), but still: she can sing. I think this is why she ends up in films that contain music and involve her singing. She can do it and she likes it. She won’t pull it off like Kate Winslet did for that Christmas Carol film) but still: she can carry a tune.

This film is about Ricki, part of a very dated and mediocre band, called The Flash, who receives a phonecall from her ex-husband. Their daughter is going through a rough period, he would like her help to pick up the pieces for their daughter Julie (so very fine portrayed by Meryl Streep’s real life daughter Mamie Gummer).

Basically, it’s a trip down memory lane for the family. Because, as it turns out, all of her children will be there, and the new Mrs of her ex is out, as her father is having an episode and therefor needs care and isn’t present.

To be fair I’m not sure if Meryl Streep had a say in how her hair was done, but it’s distracting quite a bit. Especially as anyone could tell you that that’s not especially any type of ‘rock’ hairdo. They either should have gone with an actual rock look (her face worked out far better) or she should’ve just not washed her hairs for weeks or months or something like that. It’s really weird. I can’t think of any rocker, male or female, who would go for such braids/plaits. They’re the type your little sister would make, not a grown woman.

Other than that, the film is fine. It’s not the best acting you’ll ever see, but it’s certainly not the worst. Can you skip it and live your life with a clear conscious? This is also very possible….

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Posted by on September 27, 2017 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Anastasia

This film, that reminds strongly of a Disney-film because of the style of drawing and the style of music, is really anything but a Disney-film. Despite the fact it even has two little helpers, just like Disney usually has.

The story is about Anastasia, who is born and raised in the rich aristocracy of Russia, where, during a party, Rasputin has invited himself, cursing all of the Romanov family. He wants them all to die. The family which Anastasia is part of. This happens shortly after Anastasia was given a small music box by her grandmother.

Because of the curse of Rasputin, the family is forced to flee the scene instantly, as Rasputin wants to kill everyone, setting the house on fire. During the flight, grandmother and Anastasia loose each other. Grandmother is on the train and loses grip on Anastasia’s hand, causing her to fall down.

Years later, it appears that Anja (her name by now) has no recollection of the life she led before her 8th birthday, the moment the party  was. She is, by now, grown up, leaving the orphanage she’s been living in, to start her own life as a cleaning lady. At least, that’s what she’s supposed to do, according to the head mistress. But Anja has a will of her own. The road goes in two opposite directions. Which ones shall she take?

The film was made by Fox film corporation, and this is noticeable. There’s far more elements of it being a drawn musical at times than in Disney films. The drama is heavier, it’s far less suitable for small children with a strong imagination, who might get nightmares from such dark images. Especially Rasputin being depicted as being in a darker world, can be too much for a happy mind. You should watch along, or fast forward. Though it’s very possible that the fact there’s no blood visible, makes it funny for those who aren’t that weak in the stomach, or just care less.
There’s a scene, however, in Paris, where one of the statues (of a horse, with wings) becomes evil by the touch of magic. I wouldn’t call that very suitable for small children either.

Then again, the fact that in Disney films usually a prince or any male type person has to rescue the girl in her bloody expensive dress from any evil beings, is nicely compensated here. The girl does it all by herself, telling the bastard in his face he can go take a hike. Of course, she has help, but she’s the one who stands there with her dress being torn apart, kicking and giving a big mouth. Good stuff.

All in all, I’d say this is a nice film, but I wouldn’t recommend your kid watching it on her/his own that first time. At least hang in there for the music, it’s truly lovely.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2017 in Films, Opinion

 

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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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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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Broadchurch (review)

Proper police series, just like Happy Valley, though setting and storyline are quite different. The things that it has in common are good recognisable actors and the adrenaline kicks it provides you while watching it. Plus, as happens with Happy Valley: cliffhangers that make you long for more. Every episode.

The story is about a police force who are investigating the murder of an 11-year-old boy. Ellie Miller (played by Olivia Colman, who I’m sure I recognise from something, but even IMdB doesn’t help me here), who has just been on a leave, finds herself not in the job she thought was reserved for her. This has gone to Alec Hardy (played by David Tennant, a wellknown figure for Dr Who or Harry Potter fans) who knows how to make himself quite unpopular very soon.
I might be a bit biased, I happen to like to recognise actors whom I’ve seen before. Well, if they played well.
The mother of the boy, Beth Latimer is played by Jodie Whittaker, who I’d only seen in Venus where she plays a deeply bored teen, so this was quite something else, and so incredibly powerful! She doesn’t look old enough to have a boy that age, exactly what’s meant to happen.
Then there’s Jack Marshall, the man who sells newspapers. He is played by David Bradley, another Harry Potter figure who pops up in a very different persona. You truly feel sorry for what he goes through. You just wanna hug him, pour him a cuppa, tell ‘m it’s gonna be alright.

Further more, the story does get a bit of a slow vibe to it when it comes to Alec Hardy’s background. That keeps coming back in a way that does nothing but to slow down the story. Since it doesn’t give any hints at all -you simply see him get dizzy and nearly passing out- I wondered why it was necessary to put so many of those scenes in it. For minutes. It bores quite quickly, that stuff.
Also, there’s hints being given that in the end, you still don’t know what the person did with it. And there’s of course the spoiler alert that shows itself at one point. Without telling what that is, I did think to myself: ‘OK, now I know’. Too bad, that one. I am not a very intelligent woman, so I’m sure that if I noticed that hint, anybody else will.
Another thing about this series, that I’ve noticed in a different one too (The Missing, also on Netflix): journalists are bastards. Everyone knows this, but I seem to discover it every time again. They really have no conscience in any way whatsoever. If they can have their day in the paper, they will sell their soul if necessary. Even if it is just for a stupid shag. Yes, it really is that simple. It makes you hate Piers Morgan even more. Driving around in expensive cars, pretending he is there to protect children, while everyone still knows very well that it were his actions that actually did quite the opposite. Journalists in investigations could be ace, if they weren’t so keen on selling a story. Because to sell more papers, you are gonna have to twist the truth. The truth doesn’t sell. Gossip does.

Anyways, back to the series. It’s a proper watch. It will kick you up the balls at times, but to me, that is quite a good sign.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2016 in Opinion, series

 

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The Bloodline (netflix)

I’ve only seen the pilot episode. To be honest, it made me mad with motion sickness. I don’t know where the one filming it goes his degree, but I guess I wasn’t from a place where a story needs to be convincingly told, just confusing enough to go on.
And no, the camera doesn’t go ‘on the move’ all the time, but when it does, there’s no way of catching on to the story.
Which is vague, as is quite normal for a pilot, I guess.
A family is gathered for the anniversary of the parents who have ran a hotel for years. The children are trying to get everybody to get along, but then there’s the brother, who is so full of himself that he rather doesn’t attend the party at all. When he does, it’s a big surprise. And he brought along a guest no one invited. He is the king of being rude.
Meanwhile, all of this already vague stuff is being interrupted with images of a brother carrying around this rude brother around, not really explaining anything.
I’m quite sure that was my cue to become curious, but I wasn’t. I decided this series wasn’t for me.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2016 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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