top of page

Forum Posts

peterp
Mar 10, 2020
In Film Reviews
Go ahead and take her. She’s all yours. But I’ll tell you this. She got a dark side… Darker than hell. I admire the phenomenon called Nicolas Cage enormously. Every film with him (and nowadays it’s a lot every year) is a mandatory watch for me. I really can’t let a single Cage movie pass by. Even though I know that more than half of them are of a dubious level. And some downright bad. And yet there are sometimes gems in between. Now, “Grand Isle” certainly isn’t the pinnacle of his film oeuvre. It’s rather mediocre. The run-up is promising. The concept had potential. And Cage is having a blast with his role that fits him like a glove. Add to that a bitter Milf, a young handyman whose hormones are going berzerk and “Frasier” as a biased, god-fearing detective who would prefer to put the suspect on a stake, and you still have enough material to make something out of it. It all looks reasonable. Until halfway somewhere. And then the movie transforms to the level of an average C film. Unfortunately, the presence of such a cult figure as Cage couldn’t change that. Alcohol and a Nam past. Bad combination. And to think that a white fence is the beginning of all the misery for Buddy (Luke Benward). Such an innocent item with far-reaching consequences. The way in which this fence was damaged, on the other hand, is not so innocent. Not difficult when the owner of the house is an ex-marine with a serious drinking problem. Walter (Nicolas Cage) is a bitter, fatalistic persona. A bit of a crazy person who still can’t get over the fact that he got wounded in Vietnam in a ridiculous way and returned home while his platoon went on a mission the next day. The disappointment was immense. Even knowing that the entire platoon got eliminated completely a few weeks later, the disappointment about a missed opportunity remains. This pent-up anger in combination with excessive alcohol consumption makes him an unguided projectile. His mood, grumpy reactions, and downright aggressive attitude make him an unpleasant person. Let’s seduce the handyman. Walter also doesn’t treat his other half kindly. She’s a mature diva whose body shapes are extremely well preserved and whose libido clearly hasn’t disappeared yet. And let that be exactly what Walter fails to deliver. He won’t even budge when she shows up in a transparent nightgown with erotic underwear underneath it. A disinterested look and another sip of a glass of whiskey are the only reactions. It’s not without reason that this hot woman sets her sights on the young, muscular handyman. A handyman with a sex life on the back burner since his lovely wife gave birth to a cuddly daughter. And just when you think it’s going to be about a dangerous triangular relationship where the psychopathic-looking husband wants to initiate a lynch party, the young handyman sits at the police station, face bloodied, trying to prove his innocence in a murder case. Perfect part for Cage. Indeed, Walter is really the kind of character that has Nicolas Cage written all over it. The manic mood. Maniacal laughter. Medium length, greasy hair, and a rough stubble beard. The constant drinking and the half-awake state he’s in practically all the time. And it’s not the first time Cage played such a person. In short, it feels familiar to see him that way. The most interesting interpretation, however, is that of Kadee Strickland as the voluptuous Fancy. Every time she’s in the shot, you simply feel the erotic tension increase. Her sultry voice and sensuous appearance ensure she demands all the attention. Unfortunately, Luke Benward could not compete with these two heavyweights. And although he actually plays the main character, it felt like his part was less important. A half-decent, half-finished flick. As I said before, the format of the film is only half successful. It seemed to be heading in the direction of a “Basic Instinct” -like, erotic thriller. Only the eroticism and the thriller section remains below par. And you get a rather absurd conclusion. Also, the dark secret of this demonic couple is presented so casually that its impact is negligible. And let’s not forget about the intervention of the police. You really can call this part quite ridiculous. Furthermore, the movie is peppered with improbabilities. Such as that small detail from the testimony that cannot even be verified immediately. But still, it ensures that the biased inspector makes a 180-degree turn immediately. It’s amazing how someone’s beliefs can change so quickly. And the end of the film is simply terrible. Apparently even the marine uniform Cage was wearing, was also completely wrong. Again proof that quantity and quality aren’t related. If you are an immense Cage fan, you should watch it of course. Unfortunately, “Grand Isle” isn’t really grand after all. My rating 4/10 Links: IMDB
Film Review : Grand Isle (2019) content media
0
0
328
peterp
Mar 10, 2020
In Film Reviews
All that time with Anton, the practice, the performances, the pressure to be perfect. Whenever I read newsflashes about films that make people suffer from migraine attacks and even make them sick, my curiosity is immediately awakened. The final verdict can go two ways. Or the film indeed has an ingeniously elaborated story and is provided with images the average stomach can’t bear. Or it’s the umpteenth overrated movie of which you ask yourself afterward “Who on earth made such statements?“. Are those people who’ve never seen a similar film as “The Perfection“? Are they film lovers who limit themselves to innocent rom-coms? Or supporters of superficial films such as “The Sound of Music“? No idea. In any case, I couldn’t find any nauseating fragments or rancid footage in this Netflix Original. But that doesn’t mean I thought it was a terrible movie. On the contrary. “The Perfection” contains a cleverly put together story, some successful acting, and a surprising denouement. So, highly recommended. A bit suspense. A bit erotism. I myself thought that “The Perfection” was nothing more than a psychological thriller with a bit of erotism and a few lurid events. Admittedly, the denouement will look pretty disturbing for some. But I assure you that this film will mislead you from the start. The goal that Charlotte (Allison “Get out” Williams) has in mind and the reasons for this are of a very different nature than you would expect. If you realize what a dark secret the Bachoff Institute is hiding, where Charlotte has taken lessons for years as a gifted cellist, it will give you more chills than the bus ride through rural China. The film fits in perfectly with our modern zeitgeist where there’s a “Me too” movement that explicitly tries to draw attention to sexual harassment and sexual assault. How the renowned academy Bachoff can be associated with this is something that you have to discover for yourself in this original film. A mixed bag of different genres. It’s quite clear that this film is difficult to catalog when it comes to the genre. It’s actually a mixed bag of different genres. It’s a light-erotic thriller with a dash of horror. For experienced horror enthusiasts, the horror part will be slightly disappointing. You could describe it as an ultra-light version of “I spit on your grave“. But without explicit visual material and a wide variety of horrifying revenge actions. And from the beginning of the film till roughly halfway, it’s a mild drama where you are introduced to the most important protagonists. Charlotte, a talented cellist who, after years of absence (taking care of her sick mother), seeks contact again with her former music teacher Anton (Steven Weber) and his wife Paloma (Alaina Huffman). But especially the meeting with the new star of the academy, cellist Lizzie (Logan Browning), is causing some stir. First of all, you can feel the competition between the two cellists whose finger-fastness and sensitive handling of the fiddlestick create magical sounds the moment they squeeze a cello between their knees. As these two, not bad-looking classical musicians spend more time together, the sexual tension between them increases. And before they know it, they make use of the skills they use while playing the cello, when they are all over each other when lying naked under the sheets. It’s not perfect but still. Once this introduction took place and the two lovebirds are sitting on a local bus on their way to some small town in China, the film goes in a higher gear. The frivolous atmosphere makes way for exciting situations and horror elements. It feels rather mysterious. Even the rewind moments won’t really clarify it. On the one hand, I thought this technique was kind of an original approach. On the other hand, it seemed rather pedantic. Let’s say something about acting. There’s actually nothing negative to announce. You can safely state that the two main characters almost reach perfection when it’s about that. The chemistry between the two girls is realistic. The different moods that they struggle through are convincing. Steven Weber and Alaina Huffman also fit perfectly into their role. An illustrious couple consisting of dark personalities. Perhaps it seems as if they have mixed a number of different genres and it feels as if they didn’t know which direction to go. But it never gets boring. No, “The Perfection” is certainly not perfect. But it wasn’t very far from perfection. You can watch “The Perfection” on Netflix now. My rating 7/10 Links: IMDB
Film Review : The Perfection (2018) content media
0
0
23
peterp
Mar 10, 2020
In Film Reviews
The thing about getting older is looking back, it doesn’t matter how old you are, life always feels the same length. Like both forever and not very long. You’ve just seen “Uncut Gems” and you feel the nerves raging through your body after watching this ultra-nervous film? Well, I recommend you to watch the film “Colewell“. Believe me. After watching this film, you’ll feel completely relaxed again. There are no situations full of agitated behavior. No feverish activity. Everything is calm and peaceful. This cozy and pleasant film progresses at a leisurely pace. Like the gently rippling water in a quiet stream. Just about the pace of someone in old age who performs the same ritual every day and eagerly awaits his well-deserved retirement. Only Nora (Karen Allen) was not yet ready for that well-deserved rest that is now being forced upon her. The same routine every morning. Nora is an older lady who runs a local post office in the small village of Colewell, somewhere in Pennsylvania. And trust me on this, when I say you can admire her morning routine several times. A morning where she will check the chicken coop for freshly laid eggs. And every time she checks the state of one of the laying hens because it’s upset because of newly added fellow hens and thus refuses to squeeze such a fragile object through her poopybutthole. Then it’s time for breakfast (with a firm omelet made with fresh eggs) and a getting dressed ritual before she opens the door of the post office (located at her place) to welcome the villagers. Everything is performed dutifully and meticulously. And I’m sure she did this from day one. A changing world. “Colewell” is about aging and the preservation of certain values of life. At the same time, it’s also about the fear of losing these certain values. And the rapidly changing world around us. When a decision is made to forget about certain post offices and integrate them into the larger whole, Nora sees those values disappearing like snow in the sun. The day after she’s being confronted with this terrible decision at the US Postal Service headquarters, she sinks into an emotional pit and consciously skips her daily rituals. As if it all no longer matters. The choices that were proposed to her are both not adequate solutions for her. Relocating to a larger city to work there at the post office. Or retire. Both are alternatives that Nora disregards. The post office has a social function. The post office in Colewell has an additional function. It’s the meeting place for the local population. There’s gossiping, stockings are knitted, food is exchanged and life stories shared. In short, it’s the heart of a community. And the members of this community are heartbroken when they are told that their beloved assembly point is about to disappear. Initiatives are being taken to turn the tide and efforts are being made to safeguard Nora’s workplace. But as soon as they realize that this is a futile effort, everyone accepts the situation and the social contacts move to other locations. To the dismay of Nora. Do you want an action-rich movie? Skip this one. “Colewell” is endearing, serene and melancholic at the same time. A subdued drama about how it feels to grow older and then suddenly realize that your functional role has been played out and two arrogant younger people say this without hesitation in your face. Or you’ll be flexible or you pack it up and make room for the future generation. A realistic character study, without frills. But not entirely. The moment Ella (Hannah Gross) shows up at Nora’s place, realism turns into vagueness. It’s not really clear whether this is Nora’s free-spirited daughter or a figment of Nora’s imagination representing the younger Nora. Anyway. Do you like action-rich movies that are nervewracking exciting? Well, I suggest skipping this one. The easy-going nature of the film may well get on your nerves. My rating 5/10 Links: IMDB
Film Review : Colewell (2019) content media
0
0
17
peterp
Mar 10, 2020
In Film Reviews
I would have shot you in the dick, if the target wasn’t so small. “Guns Akimbo” is simply too absurd for words. It’s absolute nonsense and you shouldn’t take it too seriously. It’s simply “over the top” pulp and looks as if it’s based on some Asian comic strip. But believe me. This film is simply top-notch entertainment. A roller coaster that slowly takes a very steep run-up and then crashes into the depth with a breakneck-speed, shaking you back and forth. And this crazy, hyperkinetic ride lasts until the end. The action scenes with Nix (Samara Weaving) are equivalent to those in “John Wick“. Flashy editing. Blood splattering when bullets rip apart human flesh in slow motion. And all this under the guidance of an energetic soundtrack where you will hear amongst other “The Ballroom Blitz” from The Sweet. In short, I greatly enjoyed this film for an hour and a half. Once again respect for the actor Radcliffe. I have infinite respect for the actor Daniel Radcliffe. This guy could have benefited all his life from the “Harry Potter” stamp that they have tattooed on his forehead. It would have been possible to come up with a few sequels without any problems and without hesitation they could have exploited the success formula of the book series and film versions. He could also have demanded to be part of the “Fantastic Beasts and where to find them” franchise. But no. Instead, Radcliffe opted for not so obvious projects such as “Kill your Darlings“, “Horns” and “Swiss Army Man“. A homosexual-tinted film, full of literary blabbering on the one hand. And on the other hand a film about a friendship between a castaway and a corpse. It’s hard to say that these were commercially safe films that suit the fantasy-loving Harry Potter fans. And to avoid any misunderstanding. I was also enchanted by the Potter films (at least the first four anyway). Where did these freaking guns come from? So no magic formulas, mythological creatures and a Radcliffe with a wizard hat showing a boyish, shy smile. Nope, he’s a nobody in this flick. A nobody with a futureless job, who empties one beer bottle after the other while playing violent video games at home. And as a notorious online troll hunter, Miles (Daniel Radcliffe) cannot resist posting derogatory comments on the “Skizm” website and provoking supporters of this obscure platform. “Skizm” is an illegal website that organizes duels in real life where opponents try to eliminate each other. And this is thrown on the internet and followed by hundreds of thousands of fanatic fans and bettors. Obviously, the first movie that came to mind was “Death Match“. The organizer of all this is an ugly tattooed guy called Riktor (Ned Dennehy) who’s obviously completely nuts and is accompanied by a gang of weirdos whose muscle mass is noticeably heavier than the weight of their brains. And Riktor isn’t happy with the muscular language Miles places on his forum. And before the latter realizes it, he lies in bed with two automatic guns bolted to both his hands. And furthermore, he himself is a candidate for a duel between him and Nix. Over-the-top action. With this film, Daniel Radcliffe leaves his comfort zone for the umpteenth time and tries to show that he’s more than just Harry Potter. A bushy beard, constantly covered in blood and using a portion of self-mockery and humor, ensure that. Not to mention his clothing: a checkered dressing gown, boxer shorts, and fluffy giant slippers in the shape of tiger claws. For Samara Weaving, this is a little bit an extension of her role in “Ready or Not“. The same bloody and over-the-top situations. But here she got more of a Harley Quinn attitude. A disturbed, fearless person who’s extremely effective in terms of eliminating opponents. That her insane behavior was caused by an incident in her youth is briefly mentioned, but in fact, has no impact or significance. This mindless action film has only one goal in mind and that’s to show chaotic and limitless action. And all this topped with a sauce of humor à la “Deadpool“. There are quite a few hilarious moments in this film. The hand-mounted guns that cause problems for Miles to accomplish daily routines. Like for instance opening a door. Or making a phone call. And peeing is even a hazardous thing to do. The Australian-sounding hobo (Rhys Darby) was simply hilarious with his advice on suicide techniques and his Cypress Hill imitation. How he got Miles in that coat, however, remains a mystery to me. Wtf is Akimbo? If you can’t stand a chaotic storyline and you get annoyed when it’s a movie that’s plain predictable and that looks more like an exaggerated comic, then I recommend you avoid this one. Or you don’t take a too critical attitude and you simply undergo the film. Perhaps then you can appreciate the vibrant pace, the screamy images, the creative camera techniques and the complete insane undertone of this movie with a limited budget. “Guns Akimbo” is certainly not a film for everyone because of the video game-like mood and the raw sense of humor. And for those who want to know what the film title actually means: Akimbo is a combat technique in which two weapons are used, with one in each hand. Well, I had to look it up myself. My rating 7/10 Links: IMDB
Film Review : Guns Akimbo (2019) content media
0
2
366
peterp
Mar 13, 2019
In Film Reviews
So, what does that tell us? That the only truly reliable narrator is life itself. But life itself is also a completely unreliable narrator because it is constantly misdirecting and misleading us and taking us on this journey where it is literally impossible to predict where it’s gonna go next. Occasionally I come across such a film that knows how to surprise me. At first, I wondered what it was all about. Usually, I take a wait-and-see approach and see where it’s going. If there’s no improvement in terms of story and it remains quite uninteresting, I’ll give up. Fortunately, this rarely happens. And certainly not in the case of “Life itself“. As the film progressed, it became (at least for me) more fascinating. Before I knew it, I was looking at the credits with astonishment and I thought to myself: “Wow, what the hell was this”. A film that succeeds in making me quiet and paralyzed. That’s quite an achievement. Hate campaign? In retrospect, I was somewhat surprised at the negative comments regarding this film. I do understand there are people who are allergic to tragedy, drama, and sadness in films. But the bursts of tirades being fired at this movie, are rather exaggerated in my opinion. Or is it my anarchist nature that is rebelling? Calling “Life itself” the “Worst movie of the year“, is a bit shortsighted and slightly simplistic. I suppose those who did, only watched the crème de la crème of films that year. I dare to admit that I’ve seen much worse last year. Again it looks like a snowball effect after the appearing of some reviews of prominent film critics. And expressions such as “semi-intellectual”, “philosophical ramblings” and “overly melodramatic” are copied excessively so that it resembles a we-against-them situation. Or is it an acute case of navel-gazing? Or are they all male critics who, just like Dan Fogelman said in an interview, hate films with emotions? Maybe a defense mechanism so nobody would say that their tough torso contains too many female hormones. Oh well. If you focus on the correctness of timelines and the correct layout of the different time sections only, you may lose sight of the larger picture. Holier-than-thou? I am convinced that among those notorious critics, there are some who unknowingly believe in certain things that would fit perfectly into the context of this film. Isn’t it so that people speak of a soul mate who exists somewhere on this planet? That there’s this one special person somewhere who’s a good fit for you? And isn’t the term karma used all the time? Does coincidence exist? Or coincidentally not? And then the pinnacle of mysterious power that millions believe in. The divine power that watches over us and directs our lives. I bet some of those opinion writers have used these terms before? Or that they want to save their soul every week by solemnly entering a church somewhere? Well, not me. Am I too realistic? Too suspicious? Could be. But I believe that a combination of circumstances and destiny can form the basis of a story such as “Life itself“. The first chapter is phenomenal. Without a doubt, the first chapter is the one with the most impact. A chapter full of confusion, psychological distress, and trauma. But also a chapter about eternal love. Finding that one specific person who fits you unconditionally. Will (Oscar Isaac) and Abby (Olivia Wilde) are such a couple. The living proof of the well-known saying about the pot and the lid. Until one day Abby leaves Will, and Will’s life immediately becomes a mess. A ruin that needs to be restored with the help of a psychologist. It’s a chapter in which the storyline wraps itself ingeniously around Will’s past and present. With and without Abby. With and without the will to live. A chapter full of flashbacks. A chapter introduced by Samuel L. Jackson who represents the “unreliable storyteller”. The subject of Abby’s thesis. But at the same time, he plays a character from a script that Abby and Will wanted to write together. “A husband and wife Tarantino”. That’s why Samuel L. Jackson uses his “Pulp Fiction” intonation. And then there are some who claim that his contribution adds little to the story. well, you just have to want to see it, I guess. Two different family trees. The chapter ends shockingly. A blow of a sledgehammer, as it were. And from then on the story begins to spread intercontinental. From the rebellious Dylan (Olivia “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” Cooke), the end result of the wonderful love between Abby and Will, whose life is dominated by death. To Spain, where the rich olive oil manufacturer Mr. Saccione (Antonio Banderas) tells his life story to one of his workers, Javier Gonzalez (Sergio Peris-Mencheta). And although these two different family trees initially have nothing in common with each other, the two storylines melt together in a bewildering manner. But you have to discover for yourself how it all gets connected. The unreliable narrator. The only flaw I could think of is the predictability at a certain moment. At first, you don’t have a clue what’s going on. Once you’ve passed that point, you can already see where it’s going. If I were a nitpicker, I would use this to criticize “Life itself” harshly. But the inventive story and the sometimes excellent acting of a group of well-known actors make this a side issue. Perhaps it all seems doom and gloom. As if real life only produces sorrow and misery. Where you experience one setback after the other. Everyone has bad periods in their lives and emotionally difficult experiences. But perhaps the message is also that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t believe in coincidence or destiny. I don’t believe in a heavenly power that determines our lives and sets out the route in our lives. But admit it. The way the story developed here could actually also occur in real life. Unfortunately, sometimes life is indeed an unreliable narrator. My rating 8/10 Links: IMDB
Life Itself (2018) - I know the critics say it's crap. I love a movie filled with emotions. Sue me. I'm an emotional guy. content media
1
0
15
peterp
Mar 13, 2019
In Film Reviews
He’s no longer dormant. He only knows how to keep moving and to keep killing. And he will kill again unless he’s captured. Exactly 40 years ago the film “Halloween“, directed by John Carpenter, was released. A milestone in the slasher genre. It was in this film that Laurie Strode (a very young Jamie Lee Curtis) escaped from the psychopath Michael Myers in the nick of time. And so the legend about Myers arose. And now, 40 years later, the follow-up appears. To my surprise, this is already the 11th movie in the “Halloween” universe. No idea what happened in the other episodes, because I never bothered to watch them. And even though I feared this would simply be a continuation of the same concept (and it sure is) and that I would have a “haven’t-I-seen-this-before” feeling, I have to admit it. I kind of liked this movie. Old skool horror. Maybe this has to do with the nostalgic value of this film. Everything feels like the original film. The same creepy soundtrack is used. Even the font used in the credits has a nice old-fashioned look. Jamie Lee Curtis is also back again. Again it takes place in the Halloween period. And the masked Michael Myers bumps into fresh meat once more. And he’s eager to plant his butcher’s knife in their body. It feels like old-fashioned, old skool horror, as they appeared in the 70s. He’s coming back for sure. I only wondered about one thing. Was it really necessary to make a sequel to the famous first film? After all, you’ll know in advance that they are going to continue on the same thing and you can already predict which direction it will take. What gives new impetus is the older Laurie who has withdrawn into a house in the forest, protected by ingeniously invented systems and strategically placed spotlights. A kind of fort equipped with all sorts of gadgets to keep unwanted intruders out. There’s even a panic-room with a food supply enough to survive a 3rd world war plus an arsenal of weapons with which you can eradicate a whole flock of zombies. The reason why Laurie has installed herself in this way is of course Myers. Her paranoia about this figure hasn’t disappeared over the years and she expects that he’ll show up again someday. Extremely dangerous. Minimum security is enough. Films of this genre are usually richly filled with illogical reasoning and stupid behavior. For example, the extremely dangerous Michael Myers has been locked up in a highly secure establishment for 40 years. And during all those years, this psychopath hasn’t uttered a single word. The fact that a bunch of amateur journalists can talk to him for a moment, wouldn’t be admitted without additional measures in reality. They would be thoroughly searched so they couldn’t smuggle prohibited articles inside (like a mask for instance). But especially the fact that this notorious murderer is treated as an average patient during a transfer, could be called hilarious. An ordinary orange school bus with a few other detainees is used for this purpose. If it were me, he’d be captured in a block of concrete and he’d be guarded by a whole battalion of guards. I wouldn’t take the risk. As always, you as a viewer know what is about to happen. Not them apparently. A nerve-racking slasher. Well, fortunately, because otherwise, the movie “Halloween” wouldn’t be what we expected. A nerve-racking slasher in which Myers scares everyone by standing motionless and emotionless somewhere in a dark corner while observing. And everyone who crosses his path gets acquainted with the razor-sharp knife he carries with him. And as always, housewives, babysitters, and teenagers will be the victims. Unfortunately, all this didn’t have the desired effect on me. It wasn’t scary. Only the inevitable final fight provides the necessary tension for a moment. 10 More sequels? Needless to say that only Jamie Lee Curtis excels here as the stressed out grandmother who has been preparing for this confrontation for 40 years. The rest of the cast is secondary and the only reason why they are present is to raise the total number of casualties. Some characters are even annoying. And actually, it makes you happy that they are being murdered (like the bickering policemen who discussing their sandwiches). Apparently, Jason Blum wants to make 10 sequels of “Halloween“. I guess Jamie Lee Curtis won’t be in it. Because even though she still has the perfect feminine curves, she starts to look like a painting by Rembrandt. She’s slightly cracked and a cultural heritage. My rating 7/10 Links: IMDB
Halloween (2018) - It's old skool, predictable but worth a watch. content media
0
0
20
peterp
Mar 13, 2019
In Film Reviews
If something happens to my daughter I’ll kill you. You and your boss. Just when you think that an icon such as Jean-Claude Van Damme is becoming a caricature of himself and in danger of sinking into oblivion, he surprises you with such a part as in this film. The “Muscles from Brussels” got under my skin with his integer and sensitive acting. No bulging muscles and a long stretched primal cry accompanied by a grimace. He already demonstrated this in the 90s extensively. The years he peaked with classics such as “Bloodsport“, “Double Impact” and “Sudden death“. In those days you couldn’t come in a video store without a combative JCVD staring at you threateningly from the shelves. Unfortunately it went from bad to worse. And he hit rock bottom with the film “Alien Uprising“. What a crap movie this was. Unworthy of Jean-Claude Van Damme. Jean-Claude really acts magisterially. Van Damme proves in “The Bouncer” (original title “Lukas“) he’s capable of doing more than just effortlessly cracking coconuts between his two muscular buttocks. Verily, he even shows here some acting talent. Not that he has to grasp deeply in his box of tricks. All he has to do is stare gloomy and tired. And occasionally he needs to handle a situation emotionlessly as the bouncer in less kosher establishments of Belgium’s nightlife. Well, someone who hates Van Damme would say that. I thought it was magisterial what he demonstrated here. He plays an old man who knows the ropes. Such an individual who doesn’t shy away from a brawl with other mean-looking fellows, as a job application. Someone who carelessly licks his wounds and puts a firm bandage over his wounds and then moves on to the order of the day. In short, a tough guy. A tough guy living a tough life. And yet this bad-boy has a golden heart. The way this single father takes care of his 8-year-old daughter Sarah (Alice Verset) is endearing. Lukas experienced some major setbacks in his life. Things he still hasn’t recovered from. And the fact that it doesn’t go smoothly financially, only makes it more difficult. A regrettable accident in the club where he’s working as a bouncer causes additional problems. In such a way that he also takes up a job at a nightclub where it’s not only dark for the clientele (so they can discretely do their thing). But also they carry out activities which shouldn’t be noticed by the authorities. French, Flemish and English. Well, it’s Belgium. “The Bouncer” is not an action-packed film. In the end, it’s rather depressing. Grayish back streets, dark clubs, and brutal crime. That’s what you get served. I myself am not so familiar with the region where this all takes place. The Brussels region isn’t a known area for me. Because of the mix of languages (Dutch, French, and English), the film also got a more international character. And the recruitment of Kevin “Revenge” Janssens and Sam Louwyck, the two companions who hire Lukas as a bodyguard, gave it a Flemish cachet. I myself am not such a big fan of home-grown films. But cinematographically this was of a completely different level. A gritty movie with no splits. “The Bouncer” is a straightforward film in which clichés aren’t avoided. Jean-Claude Van Damme shines in this film. He’s constantly in the picture and carries this movie effortlessly. No, don’t expect him to demonstrate that he’s a master in combat techniques. Lukas is a sturdy, tough guy who can throw punches and can take punches effortlessly, but he won’t do splits in this gritty film. The acting of the two criminals is also far from bad. Especially Sam Louwyck is pretty intimidating. The conversations between him and Lukas are extremely successful. Kevin Janssens’ hairstyle stands out most. Could you talk about a rebirth of Van Damme? Who knows. Maybe I should give “Black Water” a chance, even though I’m sure I’ll be disappointed. My rating 6/10 Links: IMDB More reviews here
The Bouncer (2018) - A gritty movie with JC Van Damme. But without him doing a split. content media
0
1
162
peterp
Mar 13, 2019
In Film Reviews
Even if you never had to learn police work like the rest of us plebs, anybody with a TV knows that it takes three bodies to make a serial killer. You know what I’m saying, you’re just being pedantic. Take the brilliant movie “Se7en” and replace the two inspectors Somerset and Mills with a duo that can’t get along and where one of them is female, then you get something similar as “Charismata“. Only it’s far from brilliant in terms of acting and the narrative. And even though Mills was a bit cocky and a wiseass in “Se7en,” there was also mutual respect. That doesn’t really apply to Rebecca (Sarah Beck Mather) and Eli (Andonis Anthony). Eli is an arrogant and obnoxious guy who always sees an opportunity to belittle his partner. The movie is filled with unfriendly people. But honestly, most people in this film are blessed with an ugly personality. The two inspectors, who assist in the investigation, constantly spit sexist statements and never take Rebecca seriously. She’s the daughter of the commissioner. So remarks about her job being dropped in her lap, are commonplace. Even the pharmacists are terribly unfriendly and snippy. I’m starting to believe the U.K. is inhabited with bad-tempered and unfriendly people. But believe me, the constantly unfriendly atmosphere started to annoy me. First, it’s a genuine war-movie Also in “Charismata“, they have to deal with an insane serial killer. The victims follow each other rapidly. The one murder even more horrifying than the other. Unfortunately, the first one shown, is the only one that’s off the same level as those in “Se7en“. A dark room in a dilapidated building where the rats have feasted on a half-decayed corpse. This looked fairly realistic and horrifying. The satanic images and carved numbers in the wall make it mysterious. Unfortunately, the design of the following victims wasn’t so successful. They were just stand-ins covered with lots of fake blood. Probably the budget for special effects was already exhausted after the first corpse. Michael Sweet. Such a charming person. What are the most successful aspects of “Charismata“? First, there’s Jamie Satterthwaite, who plays the snobbish Michael Sweet. A yuppie and partner of a company trading in real estates. And their estates are mostly the location where a victim is discovered. Michael Sweet is for me the most sublime appearance in this movie. His charisma and mysterious smile. He’s as innocent as a lamb and laughs off every accusation. A character who could easily play the role of Bateman in “American Psycho“. Hallucinations? Or not? The next positive point in this movie is the way in which Rebecca’s mental instability is portrayed. The reason why she has a psychological problem is solidly substantiated. A messy divorce. A brutal ex. Selling her apartment goes awry. Unfriendly colleagues who treat her disrespectfully. And then also a stressful case with a serial killer with nauseating crime scenes as a result. Then there’s the fact that she takes antidepressant medication with a lot of alcohol. So it’s no surprise she’s having hallucinations. And those hallucinations are worked out magnificently. No exaggerated effects and some adequately executed scare moments. Or aren’t these hallucinations? It had potential. Is “Charismata” a decent film you should definitely watch? Looking at the plus and the negative points, you’d say that it’s well balanced. Such that it can be called an average film. Indeed. Even though the acting is sometimes of a “Coronation Street” level and the story is rather superficial, you can’t say it’s extremely bad. But that feeling is completely undermined by the terrible, meaningless ending. It’s flat n’inane beyond belief. The run-up to this wasn’t bad. It even became gross at a certain moment. But the denouement creates some forehead-frowning, after which you wonder why on earth you’ve watched it. It seemed as if the makers realized they needed an end and there was no creative inspiration left. Too bad, because the film surely had potential. My rating 4/10 Links: IMDB
Charisata (2017) - It had potential but the denouement ruined it all. content media
0
0
6
peterp
Mar 13, 2019
In Film Reviews
The German doctor, he believes the tar in the ground has some kind of a power. He calls it his science. But it’s just an excuse to kill us. When I watched the movie “Trench 11” at the end of last year, I already said this might be the cheaper version of “Overlord“. The starting point was identical. In “Trench 11” it’s a group of soldiers who had to search an abandoned bunker of the Germans. There were rumors the Germans conducted experiments there. The Germans tried to fabricate a chemical product so they could create invincible storm troops and thus conquer the rest of the non-German-Friendly world. The biggest difference between “Overlord” and “Trench 11” is the choice of world war. In “Trench 11” they were wallowing in the trenches during World War I. “Overlord” takes place during the 2nd World War. That means a lot of raised hands and loud clacking of heels. But the rest is actually similar. A film that shows the madness of a filthy war and mixes this with non-human creatures with the madness flowing through their veins. It’s D-Day all over again. Operation Overlord was the code name for the invasion by the Allies in German-occupied Western Europe. Obviously, that’s where the film got its title from. And that’s also where this film begins. A swarm of flying fortresses on their way to France to drop a load of paratroopers. It seemed as if I was watching “The Longest Day” back again. Even the ritual with the agreed code words “Flash” and “Thunder” is used in this movie (I missed the clicking though). The opening scene is still impressive and reminds you of legendary WWII films such as “Saving Privat Ryan” (although the first 15 minutes of the latter were obviously more impressive). First, it’s a genuine war-movie The first part is therefore entirely devoted to the mission of a few American paratroopers. The task they need to complete is disabling a radio tower somewhere in a French village. An extremely important assignment, it seems, It sounds far-fetched but the success of the entire invasion depends on it apparently. From the group of soldiers Boyce (Jovan Adepo), Ford (Wyatt Russell, son of) and Tibbet (John Magaro) take center stage. Boyce is the wimp. An inexperienced soldier who’s regarded by the others as useless. Ford is the leading officer who has to make sure the operation succeeds. A gut-eater avant la lettre. And Tibbet is the bigmouth of them all who brags about his sniper qualities. Something that he wants to put into practice in Berlin. He’ll put a bullet through Hitler’s head and thus end this world war rapidly. And then the horror kicks in. Their path crosses that of Chloe (Mathilde Olivier), a French resistance fighter who wants to take revenge on the German occupiers of her village. Understandable, since those Germans systematically use the inhabitants of the village as test animals. Including Chloe’s parents. From here, the film gradually transforms into a horror/zombie film. Not that it’s all so scary or nerve-racking. In my opinion “Overlord” is nothing more than a typical war film in which a commando, with a specific mission, not only battles German troops but also non-human opponents. So be prepared for lots of veined bloodthirsty creatures, blown away or crushed body parts and gallons of blood. Pulp War/Horror Movie. I wasn’t really impressed by this film. For me, it’s just a more expensive, slick version of “Trench 11“. Maybe I was misled by the trailer. The trailer suggested it would be a blood-curdling zombie movie. Ultimately, the film shows the horror of this world war in a proper way. And there are also a bunch of crazy Nazi doctors who try to create an Übermensch. Something similar as when General Ludendorff sniffs some kind of chemical stuff in “Wonder Woman“, after which he suddenly has superhuman powers. In short, “Overlord” is a pulp war/horror movie. It’s great material to create some kind of videogame from. It isn’t very original and certainly disappointing for the seasoned horror fanatic. But this much I can say. It isn’t boring. On the contrary. It’s entertaining enough. And it’s been expertly put together. It’s worth a look for sure. My rating 6/10 Links: IMDB
Overlord (2018) - Entertaining but not what I expected after seeing the trailer. content media
0
0
61
peterp
Mar 13, 2019
In Film Reviews
Jesus Christ. It’s Rob Zombie’s house. They came up with the following slogans for “Hereditary“: “The scariest film ever” and “A highlight in horror in the last 50 years“. Well, I wonder what they would say about “Incident in a Ghostland“? I won’t say this is the most masterful horror of all time. And no, it’s not as frightening as “The Exorcist“. That one scared me to death in those days. “Incident in a Ghostland” uses the same concept as in “The seasoning house” and “I spit on your grave“. The sexual abuse of innocent girls and the psychological damage these desperate victims suffer from. It’s not trembling and shaking all the time, but the whole movie you’ll have that uncomfortable feeling. An eye for an eye. Now, the concept of such movies is actually quite simple. In the first instance, they try to shock you with confrontational images so you’ll feel sick with disgust and anger. In such a way that the second part feels like a relief. Just like Jean-Claude Van Damme in his old movies where he fights back and wins, after being beaten up real bad. Or when an almost defeated underdog in a football match can turn the tide. That’s how the second part feels. You are a member of a fan club for the victims who fight back and avenge the injustice done to them. As in “I spit on your grave” where I couldn’t suppress a heartfelt, loud “Yes” with every execution of one of the perpetrators. And the way the victims take revenge should be ruthless and merciless. The more pain, the better. In short, a film that contrasts two opposing feelings frontally. The feeling of destruction, despair and physical pain, versus relief, liberation and a victory. The twist was a surprise. In a way, “Incident in a Ghostland” tries to break this pattern. Yes, there’s that moment of extreme violence and that moment the situation looks desperate. And just when you think it’s going smooth, the film takes a completely new path and the struggle for survival begins again. Further revealing only leads to spoiling the fun for those who haven’t seen the film yet. But the twist in the story also surprised me. To be honest, it’s not often that a film does this to me. Usually, I see it coming a mile away. But not now. Is it something like “Martyrs”? The film was directed by Pascal Laugier who’s best known for his controversial film “Martyrs“. A film that was proclaimed as the mother of all “torture-porn” and apparently rolls over you like a steamroller. An extremely brutal film many found disgusting. I never watched it myself. Deep inside I would like to see this movie but something tells me that the extreme violence will hit me too deeply. That’s why I avoid it. Had I known that Laugier directed this movie as well, I might have ignored it too. And now I’m on the horns of a dilemma. Is this a film where Laugier went soft? Or should I try to watch “Martyrs” anyway? Thumbs-up for the make-up department. Is it worth to watch this movie? Actually yes. And that because it’s beyond simply a brutal “home-invasion movie” with the torture, abuse, and humiliation of young girls. Here Laugier also brings the psychological impact of such a traumatic experience in the picture. He shows how the human psyche works from an individual who experiences something such as this barbaric invasion by two murderous maniacs. It’s not a film for sensitive souls even though the violence isn’t explicitly shown. However, the consequences of these brutal assaults are clearly visible. That’s why I give a thumbs-up for the make-up department. Dark and oppressive. The set-up as a whole is very successful. The house where Pauline (Mylène Farmer) and her two daughters Beth (Emilia Jones \ Crystal Reed) and Vera (Taylor Hickson \ Anastasia Phillips) move in, is a real junk house full of rarities and old dolls. Not that it plays a prominent role in the film, but it contributes to the entire oppressive and dark atmosphere. The acting of the two girls is mainly limited to screaming and anxiously waiting for the two halfwits to show up again. Except for Beth who became a successful writer of horror stories. Until she returns to the hell-house and is being confronted with the suffering. Mother Pauline behaves as a soothing and encouraging character. And then finally you have the two assailants. One crazier than the other, in terms of appearance. One is a goth-like person who you’ll only get to see briefly most of the time. The second a colossal, moronic monster who’s inhumanly strong. A drooling and groaning primate who prefers to play with dolls. And he likes it even better when those dolls are alive. More frightening because of the realism. All in all, “Incident in a Ghostland” is fascinating in a way. Even though the level of sadism is quite high and you can’t shake off the feeling of fear and panic during the whole movie. The entire film is an avalanche of hysteria with that constant sense of helplessness. It’s not a horror movie about possessed houses or paranormal phenomena with the familiar jump scares and creepy moments. This is a frightening film about something that can happen in reality and that we see on the news on a regular basis. The story itself seems rather simple, but Beth’s condition creates an extra dimension. In any case, it’s a lot more frightening than “Hereditary“, THE horror from 2018 (sarcastic tone). My rating 7/10 Links: IMDB
Incident in a Ghostland (2018) - More disturbing than Hereditary? I'm sure it is. content media
0
0
754
peterp
Mar 13, 2019
In Film Reviews
If you could have just said, “I’m sorry”, or faced up to what happened. Maybe then we could do something with this. But you can’t take responsibility for anything! So now I can’t accept… And I can’t forgive because… Because nobody admits anything they’ve done! “Hereditary“. A film I was really looking forward to and expected a lot from. Unfortunately, it was kind of a disappointment. If it would be a psychological drama that concentrated on the traumatizing effect after the loss of a relative with a labile mother as a result, I would have liked it. The fact Annie (Toni Colette) doesn’t have a stable and healthy mind is actually not that surprising. Not with a psychotic depressed father who starved himself. And a schizophrenic brother who hung himself in his mother’s bedroom. And a dominant mother figure that, in my opinion, couldn’t think clearly. Annie’s mother isn’t really clearheaded when you see the diorama with Annie breastfeeding her daughter. At least if this diorama displays how it happened in reality. And they generally do. A person would go nuts for a lot less. Terrible sadness and mourning. And Annie also goes completely through the ribbon after the terrible accident that happens to her daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro). A strange little girl with a downright peculiar appearance. A regrettable and mind-boggling accident. And her brother Peter (Alex Wolff), can hardly be blamed. Maybe he should not have left Charlie on her own that night. Leaving her so he could smoke some weed with a nice girl from his class, isn’t only bad for his health. It also results in this dismal accident. An impressive moment of acting and at the same time a heavy emotional event that’ll get under your skin. No, this film isn’t about scary and blood-curdling scenes. Not initially, that is. It’s the grief for those who died, that makes the most impression. You’ll be struck by an uncomfortable feeling when you hear Annie screaming and crying. A sound like nails on a chalkboard. And you’ll feel sorry for Peter who doesn’t know what to do with his sorrow. Not an easy movie. “Hereditary” isn’t an easy movie. Emotionally you are dragged back and forth. Just like the members of the Graham family. A mother who has been traumatized by her past. Husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne) who looks at everything in a passive way and actually has no idea sometimes how to deal with the situation. And the son Peter, whose bond with his mother comes across as reasonably dysfunctional, tries to soften his frustration by using mind-altering substances. And then there’s Charlie. A little girl who clearly lives in her own universe. And above this dislocated family the spirit (Not literally! Or maybe it does.) of a seemingly tyrannical and dominating grandmother floats around. A woman who also had an unhealthy interest in the occult. Scariest movie in years. Don’t make me laugh. “Hereditary” knows how to keep the suspense alive in a smart way. The mysterious mood is constantly present. It’s also a terribly slow film with an enervating soundtrack in the background. At a certain moment, you don’t know what makes you nervous the most. The whole atmosphere or the slow pace. What I do hate a lot, is the exaggerated hyping of movies like “Hereditary“. According to their crafty marketing department, this would be the most terrifying horror film of the last 50 years. Even scarier than “The Exorcist“. This ought to be correct if you read the press releases. People are fainting and are leaving the theater massively because it’s so scary. Maybe that’s why you’re feeling tense. Even when the movie just started. Trust me. Apart from a few explicit graphic shots, it’s all reasonably suggestive. “Hereditary” is again such a horror movie with a double meaning. A movie that pushes your feeling in a certain direction and finally has such a twist that you are totally lost. A film that simply begs for a re-watch so you might discover the missed hints. And that, fellow moviegoers, is something I never do and I’m not planning to begin with in the future. Highlight: the acting of Toni Collette. Don’t get me wrong. This is a gem when you look at the cinematographic part and the acting. The way in which everything is depicted is simply fantastic. Sometimes it might be a bit exaggerated so that you get a multitude of painfully slowly zoomed in images. But in general, it’s a pleasure to watch and a continuation of the wonderful footage from the intro. Toni Colette plays a major role in this film (with the dinner scene as highlight). It’s certainly not easy to play such a tormented soul. A beautiful performance delivered by this actress (even though she already convinced me of her acting talent in “Miss you already” and “Please stand by“). And it remained mysterious and ominous until it escalated at a certain moment and evolved into a sort of “The Lords of Salem“. And when you reach the end you’ll probably conclude that it’s indeed advisable to watch the film again so you can rediscover certain clues. But again, that’s not my cup of tea. My rating 5/10 Links: IMDB
Hereditary (2018) - They say it's the scariest horror ever. That's terribly exaggerated. content media
0
0
16
peterp
Feb 13, 2019
In Film Reviews
That day, I just killed a man. What he stood for was unstoppable. The absurd title alone should stimulate your curiosity. A film with such a whopper of a title (sounding completely absurd) can only lead to an unrivaled experience. My first reaction was: “Only Monty Python can come up with such a film title.“. I found “The man who killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot” a relief, after seeing so-called masterful films that should be breathtaking but ultimately were disappointing. More and more I come to the realization that mainstream films appeal to me less than those that can’t be seen in the commercial circuit. What stays in my mind after watching “The man who killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot“? Firstly, the makers of this wayward film created a myth on the one hand. And on the other hand, they eliminated a myth. Secondly, Sam Elliott, besides being the owner of an impressive walrus mustache, also knows how to act. Nothing new I’d say. And now he has an Oscar nomination. That has taken way too long. And finally, the question that gnaws at my soul. What was in the box? And what was in Calvin Barr’s shoe and bothered him the whole movie? No, it’s no violent B-movie with an absurd storyline. It’s already clear to the attentive readers. This isn’t an average film that was created for the general public. And even though the two main subjects are earth-shattering (if they would be true) and absurd at the same time, there are also secondary subjects beneath the surface that are just as important. Subjects that deal with regret and musing about a life course and whether or not it could have been different. And also about handling traumas and neglected family relationships. And finally losing an old love. It’s all included in a subtle way. Even though the film title seems to indicate that you are going to see some obscure, modernist film experiment with cheap violence and an absurd storyline (it also reminded me of Craig Moss and his absurd movie titles), it all looks very different. And surprising. Perform one bold task, and surely they’ll ask you again. It’s all about Calvin Barr (Sam Elliott). A veteran who has done something specific in WWII that would normally have to be very far-reaching and had to change world history. Only his assignment, well prepared and successfully executed, didn’t appear to have the alleged effect. Apparently, it seems to have something to do with covering it up and secrecy. His reputation, however, ensures that he’s once again being asked by the secret service to carry out another ultra-secret mission nobody will probably know anything about afterward. Such an assignment that undoubtedly will grow into a myth. And in the end, people will start guessing whether or not it actually happened. Eliminate someone you hate versus losing someone you love. Maybe this is what’s weighing on Calvin. The lack of any appreciation for his actions and an official tribute for what he had done for mankind. Either the realization that his actions ultimately didn’t make any difference. That’s why he’s not interested in the question asked and he gives an explanation about how crooked thoughts and ideas continue to exist. Even after eliminating the person who spread the ideas. And probably the thing that bothers him the most, is the fact that the mission to eliminate the person, who’s a threat to world peace, has ensured that the person he loved the most, slipped through his fingers. Sam Elliott is an icon. Undeniably, the interpretation by Sam Elliott is simply sublime. His appearance and facial expressions definitely are the cause of this. Something Krzykowski took advantage of extensively. So you can expect a lot of close-ups where you get to see his steely eyes glancing over his glasses. A rough appearance with bushy eyebrows and a gigantic gray walrus mustache. He’s such a man who has had a richly filled life that he thinks about and reconsiders. But he’s also a man of age who has to take his pills every single day, who falls asleep in front of his antique-looking television and who asks his old dog how they’ll get through the day. A character face with a unique, deep voice. Wonderful acting by an icon in filmland. The younger Calvin. But also the acting of Aidan Turner as the younger version of Calvin is pretty decent. The frequent flashbacks that occur in the film show Calvin’s comings and goings. Flashbacks that suddenly pop up when the mind of the older Calvin wanders. We see the somewhat timid seller of hats who falls for Maxime (Caitlin FitzGerald). A rather clumsy person who doesn’t succeed in popping the question. Bringing a marriage proposal to a successful conclusion seems to be extremely difficult for him. In fact, the parts where Aidan Tuner appears in, are the funniest parts. The awkward and embarrassing dinner. And the scene when he arrives at the headquarters of the Nazis is utterly hilarious. A must see? Once again. No, “The man who killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot” isn’t only a movie about a hero and his heroic deeds. And even though the title is literally what’s going on in this film, it does not cover the subject completely. The title would be more complete with “… and gained nothing with it.” because on both missions, Calvin actually lost something. But then the title would probably no longer fit on the poster. I just thought it was a fascinating film. A film about absurd facts of mythical proportions. Or maybe not? Sadam Hussein also had a bunch of doppelgangers. And no one could ever prove the Sasquatch does NOT exist. That’s why those are a myth. I was left with only one burning question. What the hell was in that wooden box and Calvin’s shoe? Some good advice. Go watch this movie. And when you’ve done that, could you please answer my question? My rating 8/10 Links: IMDB
The man who killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot (2018) - Just brilliant. content media
1
3
6k
peterp
Feb 12, 2019
In Film Reviews
Either I’m pissed off my chest mate, or that’s the biggest fucking boar I’ve ever seen. In 1955 we had a giant octopus in “It came from beneath the Sea” and last year we had the giant shark in “The Meg“. And in between, we were treated to a manifold collection of giant animals. There were also enormous ants (“Empire of the ants” from 1977), a big ass spider (“Big ass spider” from 2013), a giant snake (“Anaconda” from 1997), a monkey (“King Kong” from 1976), a crocodile (” Rogue ” from 2008), cockroaches (“Bug” from 1975) and wasps (“Stung” from 2015). And after doing some research you’ll notice there are more films about huge animals. Perhaps the makers of this film thought they had something original when they came up with a whopper from a wild boar. And to be honest, I thought so too. Turns out there are other movies with a frenzy boar, such as “Razorback“, “Pig Hunt” and “Chaw“. For starters, it isn’t as bad as Lake Placid: Legacy. I was convinced that this film could never be as bad as “Lake Placid: Legacy“, where a big crocodile was chasing a group of young people. This was really a crap movie. A completely ridiculous story, stupid acting and a monster that’s hardly shown on the screen. All in all, a waste of my already scarce time anyway. About “Boar” I can only say that the acting was generally not too bad. The boar was sufficiently visible. And there were even some funny moments in it. But to claim that this was one hell of a movie is also a bit exaggerated. It was full of improbabilities. And the story itself was also rather simplistic. Wow, and you expect the boar being gigantic. Wait till you see Nathan Jones. The story is set in Australia. The fact that the Australian production house Slaughter FX released this film (in the past they also released “Charlie’s farm“) made me feel hopeful. Frankly, I think most Australian horrors are sublime anyway. Maybe it has something to do with that beautiful Australian accent. It makes me instantly happy. So you’ll hear the stop word “mate” regularly here. There was no indication that the Monroe family their holidays would turn into a real nightmare. Debbie (Simone Buchanan) and her American husband Bruce (Bill Moseley) are on their way to Debbie’s brother Bernie (Nathan Jones). Together with the rest of the family. If you already think that the size of the wild boar is going to be impressive, then you’ll certainly be impressed by Bernie’s height. What a giant. He looks like a kind of Obelix who likes to eat such a wild pig for breakfast. So I was looking forward to a “Clash of the Titans”. Apparently, Slaughter FX are fan of Nathan Jones because he was also allowed to take on the role of Charlie in “Charlie’s Farm“. It’s even mentioned briefly in this movie. How come it got so big? Let’s talk about the subject: the gigantic wild boar. If you set up such a typical monster film as “Boar“, then you know in advance that you won’t get a phenomenal and astonishing story. The only thing that counts in such films is: how frightening and horrible is the huge monstrosity that kills so many innocent people and in what a horrible way they are slaughtered. The rest is secondary. Furthermore, you need to empty your head and don’t ask too many questions about the hows and why. Because it all remains a mystery. Is this wild boar so gigantic because of the consumption of large quantities of truffles or acorns? Or did it roll in a pool of chemically polluted mud? Or did a hunter shoot a load of lead in its buttocks after which the beast got so mad it took on such a grotesque form? Or is the beast coming from the underworld? I have no idea. The boar sometimes looks ugly? But what you can say is that the creature does have some remarkable skills. It turns out to be an expert in camouflage because nobody has ever seen the monster roaming around. And I thought Australians were outdoorsy who are connected with nature and spend a lot of time in the bushes with the local wildlife. Furthermore, the boar has an ingenious GPS system because it always appears in the right place at the right time. The biggest disappointment, however, is the visualization of the creature. It’s clear they used a model for the close-ups. A kind of XL Muppet of the Muppetshow. And on rare occasions, the digital version is used. But those images are extremely bad. Only when you see the monstrous head with gigantic tusks full of mucus, blood, and mud this pig looks frightening. And you can expect a few bloody, gory slaughter scenes when this monster tears up his next prey. You love movies with giant creatures? Oh well, try it. “Boar” is not of a high level and has its weak moments, but this is compensated by its uncomplicated goriness and sometimes awkward humor, such as the clumsy doings of Ken (John Jarratt) and Blue (Roger Ward) or the embarrassing behavior of Bruce (Bill Moseley). The most annoying aspects were the exaggerated flirting of the two youngsters Ella (Christie-Lee Britten) and Robert (Hugh Sheridan). And of course the bad CGI. This ensures that the film doesn’t rise above the average. But do you like a monster movie from time to time, you can still enjoy it when you see Miss Piggy roaming around. My rating 5/10 Links: IMDB
Boar (2017) - Is “Boar” boring? Uh, oink, oink, oink … content media
0
0
45
peterp
Feb 12, 2019
In Film Reviews
The El Royale is a bi-state establishment. You have the option to stay in either the great state of California… or the great state of Nevada. Warmth and sunshine to the west… or hope and opportunity to the east. Which would you prefer? Let me get straight to the point. Yes, this film by Drew Goddard refers to several masterpieces from the past. And yes, it has the atmosphere, story structure and the look of a Quentin Tarantino film. You will probably read this on every movie site. Is this necessarily a bad thing? Does this mean Goddard doesn’t have his own style? Is it necessary to compare a brilliant film such as “Bad times at the El Royale” with Quentin Tarantino’s oeuvre? Personally, I don’t think so. When I get sucked into the story while watching this film, just like “The Hateful Eight” did with me, then this is a merit of Goddard himself. If a movie succeeds in keeping my eye fixed on the screen for more than 2 hours, then it’s worth a compliment. And when one compares it with another grandmaster, I guess it’s a compliment for both of them. I’m sure Tarantino will like this film as well. For starters, the location itself is pretty original. In any case, the location where the story takes place is in itself already original. A captivating motel/hotel built on the border between Nevada and California. You cross the border, as it were when you walk from the reception to the jukebox. And different laws are applied in every part of this unique hotel. But since a while, it’s abandoned. Far away from other metropolises so consequently it’s also cheaper. In earlier times though, the “El Royale” was a secret location where public figures stayed over for a night and where they could engage in rather appalling practices, far from civic life. This is where the entire story takes place. A story with different storylines with each time a character in a leading role who happens to looks quite ordinary at first acquaintance. As the film progresses, it turns out they all have their own hidden agenda. And all these storylines are entwined with each other until it finally ends in a rousing apotheosis. Characters with dark secrets. So, it’s not a secluded cabin which is unreachable thanks to excessive snowfall (I know. I’m comparing again). And the pawns that are set out at the beginning (like in a game of Cluedo) are a priest (Jeff Bridges), a soul singer (Cynthia Erivo), a vacuum cleaner salesman (Jon Hamm), a rebellious young lady (Dakota Johnson), and a shy young receptionist (Lewis Pullman). A grab-bag of people who apparently happen to spend the same night in El Royale. After the introduction of the characters, the film is divided into episodes and a fragmentary web of storylines arises in which the dark secret of each character comes up. And before you know it, the vacuum cleaner dealer is someone who resembles a secret agent, the priest is looking for something more valuable than God’s message, the rebellious lady is on the run from someone devilish and the receptionist has a past full of victims. Only the soul singer seems authentic and has a damn good voice. The less you know, the better. Maybe it sounds a bit vague. But believe me: the less you know, the better. I was surprised again and again by the various twists. And those twists sometimes come from an unexpected angle. It wasn’t only the way of filming that pleased me, but also the subtlety with which it was all interwoven. Some story elements were shown from three viewpoints. Time and time again in a new storyline. Normally this could lead to confusion. But here it fits perfectly. And this all in a typical 60s setting with accompanying props, appropriate clothing and a Wurlitzer that produced that distinctive Motown sound. Take “Pulp Fiction“, “Twin Peaks” and “The Hateful Eight” and you get a movie like “Bad times at the El Royale” after a good shake-up. Simply wonderful. How about acting? Let’s talk about renditions. Actually, there is no character that disappointed. Each has his/her reasons for being there and has his/her own personality traits. It was clear from the beginning they were all enjoying themselves while playing their part. Once more the acting of Jeff Bridges as a priest was a joy to watch. Even though he talks as if he’s nibbling on chewing tobacco or a hot potato as in “R.I.P.D” and “Seventh Son“, I simply thought he was sublime as the priest with Alzheimer’s. And certainly, the interactions between him and Cynthia Erivo are simply great. She also has a beautiful voice that came in handy in a specific splendid scene. Chris Hemsworth. Give that man a cigar. Personally, I thought Lewis Pullman was the most imaginative character as the labile receptionist. And Dakota Johnson not only had the most titillating body contours, but she also took on the most insane part. And finally an honorable mention for the admirable performance by Chris Hemsworth (he’s forgiven for his role as Kevin in “Ghostbusters“). He’s a cult leader who shows up as a dead calm Jim Morrison-like creep (Watch him dance). The beginning of an out of control denouement. A must see? Yeah sure! “Bad times at the El Royale” is definitely recommended and is not boring for a second. I thought it was an original tinkered story that ends in a shrewd way. Add to that a top cast and an atmospheric décor that is put in the picture with the help of masterful footage, and you can be sure that you’ll enjoy the full two and a half hours. And claiming that the film is right up Tarantino’s alley, certainly is true. But to assert that it’s a shameless imitation, I find a little bit exaggerated and a typical sour note from a sourpuss. My rating 8/10 Links: IMDB More reviews here
Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) - You like Tarantino? You'll definitely like this flick. content media
0
0
236
peterp
Feb 12, 2019
In Film Reviews
Well, what do you do then? Well, that’s a secret. With “The Old Man & the Gun“, we probably say goodbye to a real film legend. According to some sources, Robert Redford wants to draw a line under his rich film career in a stylish way. In my opinion, he couldn’t have made a better choice because in “The Old Man & the Gun” he can demonstrate his charming side one last time. This 83-year-old actor conquered all the women’s hearts effortlessly when he was younger. And to be honest, he’s still got it. So don’t expect a gangster story full of violent bank robberies and wild chases. It’s reasonably friendly and cozy. You won’t see Forrest Tucker in the Top 10 of most notorious bank robbers of all time. It was probably not all that spectacular enough for that. So, no “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” or “Bonnie and Clyde” situations. But, you could call him the Houdini of detainees. According to Tucker himself, he broke out of prison 30 times. 18 Of them were successful. And the most notorious was the one from San Quentin State Prison in a self-built kayak. He was just enormously friendly. Apparently, from when he was young, Tucker had the irresistible urge to raid local banks. Probably that’s also the reason why his marriage didn’t last long and he disappeared into the night back then. Not to get a packet of cigarettes quickly but to satisfy that urge. Tucker always uses the same routine when robbing a bank. First, he asks for information real friendly. Or he tells the clerk he wants to carry out a bank transaction. And then asks the manager or counter clerk to empty the contents of the safe or cash registers and fill up his brown, worn, leather briefcase with it. He got away with it because they thought he was such a civilized, friendly and polite elderly man who always smiles. He’ll probably win the prize of “most charming bank robber”. No nerve-wracking action. Now you probably ask yourself: a crime movie about bank robbers without action-rich pursuits, psychopathic hostage situations, fierce gunfights and a number of victims. That doesn’t sound appealing or exciting. And yet it’s a pleasure to watch this film. And that because of the three interesting storylines where the emphasis mainly is on the relationship between the characters. A club of retired men. First, you have an old men’s club with Robert Redford, Danny Glover, and Tom Waits. A kind of tea party for old fellas who, instead of playing boule somewhere in a park during their retirement, prefer to roam the country and raid banks at random places. A friendly and easy-going little club that also prefers to reminisce over their lives at a bar somewhere. I particularly liked Tom Waits. A humorous contribution that shows that he’s not only a talented pianist. Danny Glover, I found again below par. Apparently, he’s the only one of the three where dementia had made its appearance. The older Sissy Spacek gets, the cuter she looks. Next, there’s the spontaneously growing relationship between Forrest and Jewel (Sissy “Carrie” Spacek), a widow who struggles to get by, loves her horses and spends her days at a ranch (even though her children think she should sell it). From the first moment that both meet, you just feel a certain tension. There’s that flirtatious behavior by Forrest and a shy smile from Jewel. Every time Forrest is in the presence of Jewel, you see that boyish behavior emerging for a while. And don’t you think that Sissy Spacek looks as cute as in “Carrie”. It seems to me that her nose is pointing up even more perky The robber and the detective And finally, there’s the confrontation with John Hunt (Casey Affleck). A police detective who coincidentally is present in a bank where Forrest, in an inconspicuous manner, commits a robbery. And then he really sinks his teeth into this case and is determined to catch this serial-robber and his companions. But the more he works on this case, the more his sympathy grows for this overfriendly criminal at retirement age. Robert Redford resembles Forrest. “The old man & the gun” isn’t an action-packed film. It’s rather a slow feel-good film, calmly telling the story of this unique bank robber. It doesn’t just feel like a film of a time long past. You can also see it. Maybe it comes across as old-fashioned. But it’s nicely old-fashioned. An atmosphere that fits Robert Redford perfectly. And in essence, Redford and Forrest are equal in some areas. In their whole life, they both never gave up on something they liked the most. And what they always liked to do, was done with the same dose of charm. I’ll certainly miss Redford’s charisma on the white screen. My rating 7/10 Links: IMDB
The old man & the gun (2018) - So Redford will never return to the silver screen again? What a shame! content media
0
0
30
peterp
Feb 12, 2019
In Film Reviews
You decide to go to Mars forever and you forget to tell your husband? I’m open to all kinds of films. It doesn’t have to be a blockbuster with star actors. I love indies as well. And already several times I was lucky enough to see a gem of a movie. A film that’s not well-known to the general public. But to be honest, “Seat 25” is a film that has tested the limits of my stamina. Coincidentally I saw “The Martian” a few days ago on some television channel. “Seat 25” is about a young woman named Faye Banks (Madeleine Cooke) who has won a golden ticket. Just like Charlie in a very different movie. Not to immerse herself in a stream of chocolate in the factory of Willy Wonka, but to become a member of a team that booked a one-way trip to Mars. It all looks boring. Or not? So, are you looking forward to an exciting SF with the red planet as the central theme, then you can skip this one. Apart from some red-tinted images of a sandy, rocky landscape, there’s not much interplanetary to see. Sometimes it seems as if Faye is living on another planet. But don’t expect similar action sequences like Matt Damon did in “The Martian“. Or scenes with a large rocket. Or an overcrowded Control Center. The only thing that just kind of stuck with me is that it all seemed terribly boring and everything seemed so insignificant. Really everything radiates dullness. Faye is boring. Her family is boring. Her clothes look dull. Her work is boring. The colleagues are boring. Fay’s life in itself is boring. Mr. Popescu (Adnan Rashad) was dead tired of all the dullness in his life. The conversations are boring. The interior is boring (Yeak, those symmetrically placed pillows). You’d fly to Mars for less. Neighbor Peter (Stephen Lloyd) and his daughter Flossie are the only ones who breach this overall dullness. She’s also a science person. It’s not only the monotony of her life Faye wants to escape from. She also seems to have a degree in science. You can easily deduce this from the fact that her husband Jim (Nicholas Banks) persuades her to take a job at a certain moment, even though it has nothing to do with science (“I know it’s not in science, but it’s a job. We need the money “). That Jim-guy really is an intrusive and bossy fellow. And probably this trip to Mars is an unfulfilled wish of her. Seems quite obvious to me when you look at her box full of high-tech scientific material: a space helmet made of aluminum foil, a few pictures frames with space photographs and a pile of VHS tapes about planets from our galaxy. Probably these are remnants of demonstration material that she used for her thesis. The Mars issue isn’t the most important thing. Maybe it all sounds a bit sarcastic and it might be better to simply skip this film. It’s indeed all rather slow and boring. The whole story is infused with melancholy and sadness. So you won’t feel happy or excited about this movie. And yet it did fascinate me in one way or another. Forget about the science part. About a Mars trip. And you’ll discover an interesting story about how an individual is trapped in a daily routine. A life Faye isn’t really satisfied with. And maybe she expected more of life. Hence her candidacy for seat number 25. When is she going to tell it?. Madeleine Cooke isn’t only a fun and attractive appearance. She plays the role of the timid and introverted Faye in a perfect way. Even though it sometimes seems as if Faye is feeble-minded and spends more time looking at the sky. Or reads the discharge procedure for the umpteenth time in an apathetic way. Or has lunch on that bench in the park in an upright sitting posture while staring into space. And the whole time I was asking myself two things. Will she make the decision and leave everything behind to go on an adventure? And when is she going to tell she’s the chosen one? There really is a trip to Mars? No, “Seat 25” is not high-quality cinema. And no, it really isn’t SF. It’s rather melodramatic. Even though it sometimes comes across as humorous (but that has more to do with English correctness and stiffness). The film focuses more on the relations between everyday people. Faye has the choice between going to Mars on her own or staying in her current family situation. For her, the first option will be more satisfactory. Now she leads an ignored, misunderstood and numb life. With a man who has more eye for his own career and therefore is punctual and precise in terms of work. It’s a man who decides on his own that it’s time for them to have children. And Faye’s sister lives in her own pretentious world. And finally, her parents treat her as a stranger. Not really a rosy life. There was only one thing I doubted at first. And that was whether the whole thing about flying to Mars wasn’t something that only existed in Faye’s imagination. My rating 6/10 Links: IMDB
Seat 25 (2017) - No, it's not SF but a minimalistic, melodramatic portrait of Faye's life. content media
0
0
1k
peterp
Feb 12, 2019
In Film Reviews
Her story begins where the fairy tale ends. I suppose this movie was inspired by the well-known fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” by Christian-Andersen. Now, if you were an attentive reader, you’d noticed that this little sea-dweller was explicitly present throughout the whole story. If this film is a kind of homage to this fairytale, then it really falls short on that part. It’s more like the movie “Godzilla“. This legendary monster also appeared only a few minutes in the film. The same for the singing mermaid in “Mermaid’s song” (First titled “Charlotte’s song“). You can admire her for 5 minutes. That’s rather scanty for a film that lasts 88 minutes. But in that short period, you can see that the transformation of Charlotte (Katelyn Mager) to the dreaded mermaid is shown in a successful way. Nope, this isn’t horror. This film obviously isn’t a fairytale suitable for little children. However, it’s not such a frightening film as the film poster suggests. And categorizing it under the genre “horror” is also a bit exaggerated. You could call it a drama with some fantasy elements. The drama part deals with the demise of a flourishing cabaret theater somewhere in no man’s land in the United States. The deterioration of this establishment is caused by the death of Serena (Natasha Quirke, mother of Charlotte and also blessed with the mermaids gene) and the economic depression. And before he realizes it, George (Brendan Taylor), father of Charlotte and a spineless wimp, is having a financial hangover and is heading for a forced closure. I guess men went crazy when seeing such a show. Whether the bankruptcy of this bar is caused by the prevailing economic crisis only, I doubt anyway. The stage show isn’t exactly a crowd puller either. Maybe it was exciting enough for that period. In those days naked flesh of a female foot was enough to drive an average man crazy. I was surprised to see (during a stage performance) that the phenomenon of twerking was already invented in the 1930s. The fact that a lot of people showed up in the past, was mainly because of the enchanting singing of Serena. She was a mermaid who has exchanged her tail for a pair of slender legs and completely renounced to live on as such a sea miracle, so she can spend the rest of her life with the man who has completely and absolutely won her heart. Business has been slow? Turn it into something erotic. But to be honest, the whole thing about mermaids is subordinate to the rest. “Mermaid’s song” is rather a social drama about poverty and the local mafia trying to exploit misfortunes. That’s when Iwan Rheon appears on the scene. He plays Randall. A kind of Mafia type who has a lucrative proposal for George so the bar could be saved. The fact that George needs his daughters to act as ordinary prostitutes and his business is more like a brothel from then on, is the other side of the coin. And in this horrifying situation, Charlotte needs to grow up. An innocent looking girl who discovers that she has a special gift. Pros and cons. It’s strikingly clear that “Mermaid’s song” is a low-budget film (and the lion’s share of that budget went undoubtedly to Iwan Rheon). The sound is simply terribly bad. The balance between music, sounds, and speech was so bad that you couldn’t understand what people were saying sometimes. It was completely drowned out by the sound effects and music. Sorry to say, but that’s something typical for a low-budget film. Also, the acting wasn’t always enjoyable. It was rather clumsy and inexperienced. In retrospect, Katelyn Mager wasn’t so bad after all. But I was really pleased with the overall presentation of the film. The decor, the props, and clothing looked authentic. And the scarce moments with the mermaid showing up, weren’t so bad either. It’s a mermaid hype. So, all in all, it is nothing more than an average film. No, it’s not the kind of film that makes you very enthusiastic. And no, it isn’t so bad that it should be ignored at all time. If you ever come across it on one or another television channel, you should give it a chance. “Mermaid’s song” is definitely worth a look. The film itself dates from 2015, but only surfaced again last year via “Video On Demand” services. Weird. Does it seem as if they are trying to benefit from the success of “The shape of water“? My rating 4/10 Links: IMDB More reviews here
Mermaid’s song (2018) - Mermaids are the bomb nowadays. content media
0
0
22
peterp
Feb 12, 2019
In Film Reviews
God is great. God is powerful, yeah. But even more so, God is all-knowing. And that is what makes him scary as shit. Do you understand what I’m saying? This remake of the movie “Super Fly” from the 70s, with Ron O’Neal as Priest, isn’t really my favorite kind of film. There’s already a multitude of this genre of movies. The so-called blaxploitation. Perhaps the older films sketched a better picture of the Afro-Americans whose future wasn’t too rosy. Because of discrimination and racist measures, the possibilities to succeed in life were reasonably limited. Getting involved in criminal activities was therefore self-evident. But I’m sure it wasn’t as flashy and groovy as in this movie. So you can expect to see some nice, expensive sports cars. Golden teeth and golden automatic guns. Leather coats covered with fur and shiny gold necklaces. Decadent parties where dollar bills are thrown around as bread to the ducks. A shitload of scantily clad ladies with a nicely shaped, vibrating butt. A lot of rap music (even at a funeral) and Yo-yo-yo-Bro show off. And of course the expressions “nigga”, “bitches” and “hoes” are frequently used in a conversation. In short, everything that can be seen in a rap music video. Hey, he does a Marge impression. The film wasn’t really convincing. The only scene that made me hope for a mega-cool gangsta film, full of uncontrollable violence and big talk, was the one at the beginning where Priest (Trevor Jackson) confronts the rapper Litty with the fact that he still needs to pay him a large amount of money. This was such a moment that I love in a movie. The calm and at the same time threatening attitude Priest exhibits there is entertainment of the highest level. He reminded me a bit of Shaft but this time with an absurd looking hairstyle. It’s very similar to the hairstyle of Marge Simpson. Unfortunately, from here it went downhill. Time to retire. Not only did Priest’s hair look ridiculous, but his omniscience and how easily the whole mess is being solved was a bit exaggerated. The story of the street-boy Priest who, after years of selling drugs comes to the decision to call it quits, isn’t very original either. He wants to hang up his dealer-robe because diving away from bullets that are fired at a short distance, isn’t that easy anymore for an elderly person. They want to pull off one last deal (and this at the expense of the person who has taken care of him all his life) and then he and his two wives can buy a luxury yacht and retire. Yep, it’s not a good idea to mess with a Mexican drug cartel. The fact that he uses a Mexican drug cartel for this, says enough about his credibility. No matter how rational he takes care of his affairs, this proves there’s a shortage of well-functioning brain cells. I’m not familiar with the drugs scene, but I do know that the members of such a cartel aren’t softies to play with. Before you know it, you’ll be hanging decapitated somewhere under a bridge or you can admire the fauna and flora of a river with your feet in a block of cement. Just an average movie. And even though it looks visually professional sometimes (apparently the budget was considerably high), there are so many downsides in this film that it’s almost impossible to take it seriously. Perhaps that was the intention. The chases looked ridiculously amateurish. The scarce fight scenes looked average and felt old-fashioned (even the sound effects didn’t help). Trevor Jackson manages to play the cold-blooded drug dealer, but otherwise, his character is so clichéd and two-dimensional that it seems pretty ridiculous. Not to mention his employees. And the most hilarious are the two corrupt detectives and the mother of Gonzalez. If you need a textbook example to explain the word caricature, then they are the most suitable subjects to do this. Superfly? Far from. No, for me this movie wasn’t a success. Are you looking for something to fill up your free time? Well, this flic is useful for that. However, the only exciting thing in the whole movie was the shower scene. Even though it felt like it was a compulsory act to fill up the movie with. It really didn’t impress or surprise. In short, the film wasn’t really “Superfly”. My rating 4/10 Links: IMDB More reviews here
Superfly (2018) - The movie itself wasn't superfly though. content media
0
0
112
peterp
Feb 12, 2019
In Film Reviews
Relapse is a part of recovery. 8 Years ago I found myself in a similar hopeless situation. With my back against the wall. Desperately searching for a way out. Knowing that I had to change my way of life drastically. Or else I would be admiring the roots of green grass till eternity real soon. The will to change was there. The courage too. Only I couldn’t do it. And now, after all those years, I’m happy I made the right decision back then. For me, “Beautiful Baby” was a bitter pill to swallow. I didn’t think I would have a hard time watching it. It wasn’t crystal meth or something similar I had problems with. But there were so many similarities with my situation in this impressive film that it seemed like the story was about me. You’ll see an avalanche of feelings in “Beautifull Boy”. Pride, trust, distrust, despair, upheaval, hope, happiness, grief and discouragement. A hopeless battle that demands inhuman efforts from both camps, leading to an unavoidable outcome. Either the person succeeds or those who surround him must passively watch as he drinks, injects, blows or swallows himself to death. Well, the movie shook me up. Aggression, begging and promises. The nice thing about this movie was that it didn’t only focus on the addict Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet), but also on the people surrounding him (his father David Sheff played by Steve Carell and stepmother Karen by Maura Tierney). As an addict, you don’t have any clue what grief you are causing to relatives during your heydays. Everything revolves around getting what your body yearns for. It’s not like in “Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo” and “Animals” where you witness the gradual decline of the addict himself. Both physically and psychologically. It’s not that Nic looks spic and span the whole movie. Towards the end, you can see the terrible consequences of the daily use of methamphetamine. That hazy look and a gray, unkempt appearance. But mainly his changing moods and aggressive behavior towards others are terrible to look at. His begging and making promises are nothing more than an excuse to get some extra cash to buy the drug he needs. I pray this will never happen to one of my kids. The only thing I could say to my wife afterward was: “I hope we’ll never have to deal with this with one of our two kids. Because this is a real nightmare“. As a parent of two children growing up, the thought this could happen to us scares the hell out of me. No matter how much you try to protect them from the evil outside world and you overload them with love and attention, the moment they give in to the things that seem to make their life rosier, you know that you are going to have an unequal battle. A fight where, against all your parents’ feelings, you might have to throw the towel in the ring at some point and have to confess to yourself that you’ve lost the battle. Losing a child is terrible. But breaking the bond with one of your children, pretending that they no longer exist and hoping that they get out of that period unscathed, is dozens of times worse I think. The acting was impressive. “Beautiful Boy” is impressive. And not only because of the theme. The acting of Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet is also unparalleled. You simply feel the desperation of Steve Carell who tries to help his son and always realizes that this isn’t possible. A father who tackles the problem and like an investigative journalist tries to understand what the notorious drugs do to his son Nic. As a comedian, Steve Carell never convinced me. With this role, however, my respect for the actor has only increased. Timothée Chalamet’s performance is certainly Oscar-worthy. You don’t get the feeling that he’s the acting rising star in the Hollywood firmament. It feels authentic, sincere and unforced. These two protagonists may already prepare their tuxedo for the Academy Awards. Proud to be a Belgian. And director Felix van Groeningen (Yes, he’s from Belgium) can also join these gentlemen on the red carpet. Thematically, the film lends itself perfectly to make an exaggerated Hollywood spectacle. But he manages to keep it serene and realistic. Artistic images are processed in an idiosyncratic montage with a lot of back and forth jumping in time. Flashbacks follow each other and the memories of both Nic and Davis flow into each other. I sometimes didn’t know where the story was situated on the timeline. But that’s the only flaw that I can think of in this otherwise impressive film. And all this with a tasteful soundtrack. I never expected to hear “Territorial pissings” from Nirvana in a movie. I was speechless. Some film viewers will probably just say it’s a family drama about addiction. Maybe they also find it monotonous because of the endless cycle of reviving and relapsing. On me, however, it made an overwhelming impression that unleashed a lot of emotions. I hope that every person who falls into the trap of any drug also can fall back on a loving, supportive family full of understanding and support, so they can escape from it eventually somewhere in their lives. My rating 10/10 Links: IMDB More reviews here
Beautiful Boy (2018) - For me the emotional impact was enormous. content media
0
0
51
peterp
Jan 05, 2019
In Film Reviews
We have no idea what it was that bit you. It had fingers, Andy! Fuck! If there’s one genre with so many releases that you get tired of it, it’s certainly the zombie genre. I’m sure this kind of movies is made on a daily basis. Movies in which infected undead stumble around, searching for victims, to have a portion of juicy brains. Most movies aren’t very innovative and all known clichés are being used. But occasionally you come across something completely different where they want to give a new direction to the zombie genre. Just like in “Maggie” it’s about a father who wants to protect his daughter. Only, little Rosie (Finlay and Nova Sjoberg) isn’t aware of any threat. It starts off idyllic. The story is set in the Australian bushes (the last Australian zombie flick I have seen was “Wyrmwood“. Also highly recommended). Andy (Martin “The Hobbit” Freeman), his wife Kay (Susie Porter) and their baby-daughter Rosie are quietly riding a dilapidated boat across a river. It seems idyllic and has a high “The African Queen” mood. There’s no indication of a post-apocalyptic situation with humanity again being the victim of a viral outbreak. Until they come across the wreck of a boat. The same stupid decisions over and over again. The only thing that bothered me in this film are the stupid, illogical decisions that were made. It’s understandable that this family can’t go on forever without providing themselves with new food and provisions. Trust me. I would also go and check if there wasn’t anything useful to find on board this boat. But knowing that every moment you can be attacked by a hungry zombie, I would certainly not do this unarmed and without informing the other person. I suppose they are of the same intellectual level because Kay makes the same primal mistake. With all the consequences. Hit the tree instead of the zombie, please. The next stupid fragment announces itself when the family is on the run in an abandoned off-road vehicle. In normal circumstances, you as a driver will try to avoid inattentive crossing pedestrians. You’ll probably perform some neck-breaking maneuvers that are a risk to your own life. But when knowing that the mainland is populated by soulless creatures whose only goal is to take a big bite from any uninfected after they have towed them to a local zombie barbecue, you would rather put the pedal to the metal. But no. Not Andy. He’s so good-hearted that he prefers to crash the all-terrain vehicle against an Australian boab instead of hitting such a creature. But as I said before, these are the only drawbacks in this, for the rest, fascinating and especially emotionally poignant zombie story. Problems in Australia? Ask the Aboriginals for help. The film itself isn’t unnervingly exciting. It shows the self-sacrificing agony Andy undergoes so he can take his daughter to a safe place. Far from the mutated fellowmen and half-wits who do totally crazy things in this chaotic world. Like putting an Aboriginal in a cage after which the target practice can start with zombies, which are lured by fresh meat. Incidentally, it’s the Aboriginals who know how to maintain themselves in this new world. With primitive-looking rituals they succeed in liquidating zombies and plant-based ointment provides protection. It’s also a young Aboriginal girl (Simone Landers) who helps Andy with his trip through the bush and who provides a safe haven. An emotionally touching zombie-flick. Who would have thought that? Frankly, I thought this film was original in many ways. Not only the zombie concept was elaborated in a different way. The transformation is totally different than in a typical zombie movie. Here it’s not only blood and ripped off flesh, but it’s a blubbery, slimy substance that manifests itself during the 48-hour transformation. Also, the phenomenon of zombies with their head in the ground (ostrich-like behavior) was surprising. Was it to shut themselves off from the outside world? Or is it part of the transformation process? No idea. But it was fascinating enough. And finally, the most impressive thing for me personally was the atmosphere that this film radiated. I never thought I would ever watch a zombie movie and get emotionally touched by it. You really have to be a zombie if you don’t want to be moved by this movie. And finally, praise for the admirable acting performance of Martin Freeman. A whole movie he played a leading role and not for a moment I had the feeling he was playing a hobbit. That’s what I call an achievement. My rating 7/10 Links: IMDB More reviews here
Cargo (2017) - An emotionally touching zombie-flick. Who would have thought that? content media
0
0
143

peterp

More actions
bottom of page