In this Dutch film we follow Majid and Adil, two small criminals of Maroccan descent. Majid is on parole and living with his parents, but Adil remained the in the criminal milieu, rapidly drawing Majid back in when he is out of prison. Trying to remain on right track Majid keeps falling back in old customs. Then when he picks up the sport he is good at, kickboxing, Majib seems to find a patron, but this again navigates him in dubious circles. Moreover, his uncontrollable anger keeps getting him in trouble.
“Wolf” (the word means the same in English and Dutch) is much more of a drama than the crime thriller it is listed as. The film is fairly good and gives a nice peak in the slightly hopeless situation of second generation Maroccans. Taihuttu uses a lot of bleak ‘living-factory’ shots to add to the atmosphere (not really an advertisement of my country!) Not the 7.4 that the film gets on IMDb for me, but not a bad film either.
What can I say about “Stoker”? The story is one that has been filmed a thousand times. In a remote house lives a family, one of the members dies and unknown family comes to live with them; obviously up to no good. The story of “Stoker” keeps reminding of other films, is quite unimaginable and predictable. The director has made some (for the Westerner) less common films, but apparently wanted to make some easy for a Hollywood production. In a few scenes you might see less common Hollywood elements.
Then to the good news. Mia Wasikowska is the sweet and sexy daughter of the house and manages to set down the mood-changing adolescent well. Then we have the mother of the house: Nicole Kidman. Not her best part, but Kidman can play the both sweet and wrathfull mother. The best thing about “Stoker” is the camera-work. Unusual positions, strange close-ups, bright colours, that sort of stuff.
So, if you are interested in film-technique and not too much in a proper or original story and you can stand the awfull end, this slightly ‘thrillerish’ drama could be for you.
A Dutch director made an Australian film. It was not easy to see “Bad Boy Bubby”, I guess it is not a very famous film. It is not a very easy film either. It starts with Bubby living in some cellar under a factory with his mother. It looks like Bubby has not been out of this cellar since he was born, while he has reached the age of 35. This first part is a bit of a mix between Scandinavian absurdity and an “Eraserhead” bleak atmosphere (but not that industrial). When Bubby gets out of the cellar, he sets out to discover the world. As strange as Bubby is, as strange the world is to him. Still he mostly runs into people who are friendly to him, but not always.
“Bad Boy Bubby” is slow, minimalistic and weird and may therefor not be for everybody. If you like this type of film and you have not yet seen it, “Bad Boy Bubby” maybe an oldie to look out for.
And again a weak film from Netflix. I have either to find a way to more easily watch the American Netflix roster or just quit the service. “Mr. Jones” starts as a “Blair Witch Project” clone with two youngters going to a remote house to shoot a nature documentary. When they find out that their neighbour is the mysterious and disturbing artist Mr. Jones the subject of their documentary changes. In the Blair Witch style documentary about themselves (including the whining close up) they start to investigate people who worked with the artist and the premise of the house next door. Of course things go bad and the film finally evolves into something more interesting, a pretty dark and haunting horror. Nothing great though, but the atmosphere gets a lot better towards the end of the film.
Not really recommended…
You see Jason Stratham on the cover right? That was the main reason to pick this film. Stratham plays his usual role of mr. touch-guy, this time being a policeman. The Blitz from the title is a serial-cop-killer that Stratham sets out to capture. The story is thin and has a bit too many flaws and the last 10 minutes are awfull. For the rest, you can expect a rough Stratham action with funny dialogues.
Just something for when you do not know what to watch.
Not exactly the mystery thriller that Netflix promised, but there is a very good reason to watch this film if you have not yet seen it: Penelope Cruz who is absolutely stunning. Cruz plays the girlfriend of a rich man, but she also becomes actress so Almodóvar could experiment with her hair (it all looks wonderfull) and style and shift from ‘real life’ to ‘film life’. Naturally Cruz’ man is jealous and that is exactly what the film is about. In the Almodóvar style the film is told in flashbacks and as a history told to someone else. The span of the film covers many years which allowed the director different atmospheres and returning characters. Nothing brilliant, but like most Almodóvars a nice film to watch.
Inspite of being a Soderbergh and featuring Jude Law and Catherina Zeta Jones, “Side Effects” is not a very good film. The first part is just alright with a young woman suffering from the side effects of anti depressants she gets from her shrink (Jude Law). Then towards the end some obligatory plot-changes occur which make the film rather silly. Fortunately the acting is good and the atmosphere is not too bad either, but that story…
So I wanted to watch some mindless action spectacle. Well, I succeeded a bit better than I expected. What is worse, “Wanted” pretends to have some intellectual storyline which is so laughable that it takes down the spectacle.
Some ancient fraternity of weavers consists of people who can see (and act) much faster than normal people and are therefor able to do spectacular things. The “fraternity” became a kiling machine acting in the name of fate. Some dull office boy is hired and trained in a Neo-like way.
The spectacle comes in stop-motion killings, ‘bent shooting’ and foxy Anglina Jolie. The action is so much over-the-top that it becomes dull here and there and the weak story does not really help. Jolie is nice to watch and here and there you can see some funny things, but overall the film is pretty damn weak.
Harvey Pekar is a clerk who at an advanced age finds out that he can write comics. He had been collecting them all his life and he cannot draw anything himself, but he writes the comic and has somebody else draw it out. His comics are about his own life, boring and problemetic as he is. The comic becomes successfull and Pekar well-known, but the fame does not come with money and Pekar grows allergic to media. In the film different things start to run through eachother. We see Pekar played by Paul Giamatti, but he is also in the film himself. Actually, as he started to make comics about himself, they were turned into a play and later a book that was reworked to the film that we watch and all this is in Berman’s film. The film parts are often ‘comic like’ with though-clouds and commentary. The film has that comical-dramatic feel that we see more in films of the same time. It is original in its makeup and enjoyable to see.
It is quite easy to grind this film, but the latest Jarmusch is great. The grinding part would involve the worn-out vampire theme, the corny glorification of American literatury culture, obvious jokes, the advertisement for Jarmusch’s musical outlet Sqürl, etc., but nothing of that matters when it comes to the film in its entirety. The atmosphere is magnificent. The film is very slow and minimalistic, perfectly romantic and wonderfully surrealistic. The lovers from the title are the aged, but beautiful Eve (Tilda Swinton) and Adam (Tom Hiddleston) who try to live their lives in the 20th century and who after centuries of being together are still deeply in love.
Nothing much to tell about the story, “Only Lovers Left Alive” is a film that you have to undergo with its wonderfull filming and perfectly fitting music (drone/stoner like instrumental rock).