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Borg McEnroe (2017)
Getting to be the best ..
Sports dramas seem to be on the rise and there have been quite a few prime examples in real life that serve in the story department. This is one of them. And Borg McEnroe is really something to enjoy, with some powerful performances. I myself had not the results in the back of my head while I watched it. So I was kind of unprepared and could enjoy what was going on in the movie at all times, without being spoiled.
Having said all that, the movie concentrates more on the off court drama, rather than the game itself. But you will get iconic moments from the game(s), don't worry about that. It may not have gotten any recognition from the Academy Awards, but that spot was already taken by I, Tonya. Also a good movie and probably a good double bill with this one ...
Bad Rap (2016)
Learning ... rap
Who's bad? As in good ... in what they are doing. Or as in when Michael Jackson was asking. Which is kind of the same. But in this case it is Asian American breaking into the rap scene. Especially one who is called Dumbfoundead is really good - when it comes to Rap battles. I mean when Drake drops your name, that kind of means something.
Having said that, be aware of the language being used. If you are easily offended this may not be something you want to watch. There is a lot of cursing and a lot of insulting going on. The story of the individuals is really enticing and interesting. I really liked how the documentary was build and you get to root for those characters who try to break into something they all love. At times it may feel a bit condenscending - or overly sensitive/touchy to certain subjects, but it is how it is. Certain influences may work against some of them being succesful ... which is also a shame. Good insight and interviews
Horror Story (2013)
The Horror (?)
Well if you have not been drinking the cool aid or have not watched more than 3 horror movies or have just a low bar when it comes to "entertainment" than you might rate this higher than I have. Good for you, but generally speaking and lets keep it real here: this is not good by any standard. Maybe the cinematography, but that's about it.
The acting is weak, the script is weak, there are no big effects here. And while the characters are not teenagers, they act as if they were (brainless) but even worse: their charisma level is below zero. And likeable is also different. Of course you can take a couple of things in consideration, like this being apparently the directorial debut and so forth. But that is up to you. I'm not judging the director based on one movie, this end product however is very uninspired ...
Top Boy (2011)
Not the end of it
So far I could only watch the first two seasons, because they are the only ones available. But as season 2 ends, it is very obvious that there has to be more. Or at least there was more planned. And all indicates that there might be more coming. But until that happens, all we can talk about are the first two seasons. Though some may feel that 4 episodes are not enough to be called a season. Whatever the case, the production is really good.
The language is on spot, the characters are believable and there is enough drama to hold everything together. Now it may not be as thorough as "The Wire", but its microcosmos still works. Relationships are explored and everything connects more or less. It also does not hold back on the punches, which is really good. Shocking and sometimes frustrating and not really meant to root for everyone involved, this is classy nevertheless
Banking on Bitcoin (2016)
Money Money Money ...
I don't know if it's funny, but then again humor is in the eye of the beholder. One thing is for sure, some people were able to do a lot of money. And then as with every currency, some did things with Bitcoin or dealt with it in ways that are not legal. But how can you always know how your product is going to be used? In this case apparently one of the founders knew about something ... but more about this when you watch the movie.
It's an interesting look behind the scenes. Though I learned even more when I watched a special from John Oliver. Although he did a bit with all "Cryptocurrencies" so it was much broader (but also shorter, around 20 minutes). This is a nice what happened and how it started, for people who never really informed themselves about Bitcoin but always hear about it ...
The Drowning (2016)
Help ... I need somebody
Not just anybody ... or maybe anybody is the answer? It's overall a shame, because there are a few nice things/themes in this, but nothing really holds or sticks. Many strands are left open and I guess that ending is supposed to make some sort of sense (?) - though to be honest it is laid out neatly - in a way where you go "yeah let's do it, I know what's coming".
But is that enough? Especially when you have those over the top performances contradicting more layered ones. Or attempts of layered and nuanced performances that is. It's also a waste of some of the talent involved or at least it feels like it. I would not recommend this, but then again tastes are different, so either try the trailer or watch the first 20 minutes and you'll know
I guess with movies like this, it's one or the other. But most likely the one thing you expect. So while you may not feel many surprises in the story/thriller, you may like how the tension is being build and the acting in general. It's not an easy watch, especially when and if you care for one of the main characters. Problem being you might not care that much.
So watching the wife and her husband, the question is, if you are supposed to have positive feelings towards the Babysitter? Now the ending on the other hand will either leave you satisfied because of the way everything is "wrapped" up or you may hate it for how it handled the whole thing. Not sure if it is a make or break thing though - I think you will know much earlier ...
No Drugs and Rock & Roll
I left out the first part, because it has no relevance and it is not really discussed in the doumentary. But some may be confused that there has been a movement in the Rap/Hip Hop business to go healthy. But all the interviews point to why this is happening. All the good people the music business has lost and obviously for reasons that have to do with eating - in those cases as described - not healthy at all unfortunately.
You get quite a few known performers, that are quite succesful or were in the past and they talk about the epiphanies they had. Not always as enticing I can imagine for many to listen to, but still mostly interesting overall. Don't watch it to see music being performed though. Maybe it also can change your mind when it comes to one of the most important parts of our lives ...
Tom Segura: Disgraceful (2018)
The special got special attention because Tom made fun of not being able to use a derogative term for special/disabled people. I'm not repeating the word that starts with a "R" just in case people reading this flag the review because of that, but you surely know what I mean. Now whatever your stance on the use of the word is, will kind of define if you are open to Toms comedy. Or even if you feel this is comedy.
The special in itself is funny (again eye of the beholder), but it's not classic material. I generally like Tom, have seen him on a couple of talk shows and I like that he dares to not hold back any punches. So if you are easily offended, and I know I'm stressing that point, but I just want to make sure that you are not going to watch it ... if you are for obvious reasons, if you are not, don't expect it to be disgraceful either (well at times obviously). Neat package and good jokes
The Saint (2017)
Eliza Dushku may have had worse roles, but is really underused in this. Add to this the really bland main player (Saint) and you will not wonder why this never took off. Apparently a TV show was planned, but if this right here was the pilot, you can see why nothing came out of it. It really is a shame, because the action part of it does work for a standard TV show.
So nothing special, but still something that you could watch if the main ingredients would have worked better. So script issues, too bland, no edges, forced upon conflict that is being swiped away towards the end, like it wasn't build up through the entire movie ... it's obviously a shame, but there are other things you can spend your time on of course
El Cristo Ciego (2016)
Waiting for a miracle
A very slow moving movie that does rely on the mood it delivers and on suspense that is created by not giving the viewer too many answers. On the other hand I would understand if some wouldn't even have any questions to begin with. You have to let yourself go with this one. You have to be a real believer if you allow the pun.
Having said that, the movie is not really bad at all. The setting is good enough and the cinematography works for the movie too. The acting is ok, although there is not much to see and as with the pace some may feel it is a bit of a drag overall. So if you can limit your prohibitions and can overlook some of the flaws, you may very well be able to enjoy this
The Nile Hilton Incident (2017)
A real incident and a fictional movie about it. I did not study the case/incident so I can't tell you anything more than is depicted in the movie. Of course since we get the whole thing from the viewpoint of one police official, there might be some freedom creatively. And you may know the main actor from his role in a swedish crime series. Here he goes back to his native tongue/language, but is as terrific as he is in Swedish.
So while this is a real life drama, it's also a crime thriller. It's quite bleak and it's also quite slow. There is nothing flashy about it and it really does feel like a real story. Our protagonist is not some larger than life superhero cop. He has his flaws and he has his virtues. A really likeable movie, and one where you can really root for someone ... whether the praying is necessary and helps or not is to be seen ... and you should see it
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Slow and beautiful
I guess if the producers wanted to make another Blade Runner, they totally succeeded - at least so far. As with the original Blade Runner the visuals are the ones that people will refer to when it comes to this movie. And it's not just because of the Academy Awards. You can tell all by yourself and I reckon even without having seen it on an IMAX screen (though I would have recommended it and still am).
Having said all that, the movie has also the same irritating feeling about it, that the original Blade Runner had. So in almost every aspect it is a successor to it. Story wise obviously too, though I guess this one has a couple of shorts that play before this movie, that are supposed to get you in the mood. They are not necessary to watch, but they are also very well made. This movie is an experience and it is one you have to be willing to make.
While it does have some action scenes, while it is Science Fiction, it does play more like a slow moving drama with a lot of mystery elements to it. If that sounds intriguing to you, with some added social commentary flavor, than by all means watch it. But beware that you have to have patience with it ...
The Snowman (2017)
More to it
Maybe if this was made into a series as another reviewer suggested, it would have been received better. As it is, most of it stands and falls with how you perceive the actors/characters. Because the story is solid! Though I would understand if some may feel it is too much for the running time. There are quirky things going on and a lot of weird little character traits.
I do think they work and make the charme of the movie, but again it's all in the perception and how much you are willing to accept and give the movie some leeway. If that is happening, than you will be entertained by the movie and will be gripped by its suspense. Note that Val Kilmer apparently has been diagnosed with Throat Cancer. I'm only saying that, because I didn't know before I watched it and it was very irritating to see or rather hear him in his few scenes. If I hadn't read about his illness, I might have thought he was dubbed, it doesn't sound like him at all. Other than that, really good thriller with a great ending
Even more Inconvenient
When you have a President who is a climate change denier, it may not be the worst time to remind people that our planet needs our help. Just because we made it so far, does not mean we should keep going at that pace we are right now. Slow down, take a look and try to better things should be in our self interest or that of our kids.
Hopefully you can see that and while most people do not like to be lectured (me neither), the movie tries to walk a fine line between educating and warning. It doesn't always work, but you can't dismiss the facts. Well turns out you can, but you are not really helping anybody. Apart from your consciousness that is and so you won't feel guilty. The first one might have been better, but this is a decent follow up ...
Incerta glòria (2017)
No love lost
During war it is tough to find love or compation for that matter. And when two former friends have to be on opposing sites .. you may wonder what it does to people. This movie may not be the best character piece or example, but it does have some serious drama in it (no pun intended). We follow the story of these people in desperate times and there is some affection that you will have for the characters.
Overall it will leave you cold though, apart from certain scenes, especially one involving a kid. But the emotional investment is limited, so you may not feel as much for the movie as you should. And for a movie like this to fully work, you'd need that. Still decent enough for one watch and very well made technically
Very interesting premise this one has. And it does kind of work, having two stories intertwine. Jason Isaacs may have taken a lot, but he does not falter under the pressure of producing and acting in this. There is quite a lot of interesting theories going around and there is even more to it than meets the eye at first.
On the other hand it does lose quite a bit of it's fascinating premises. Some things do not make sense overall and of course to wrap up a case twice in under 45 minutes is quite an achievement. Not to mention all the other things that are going on. So if you think normal cop shows are too convinient when it comes to fast solving things ... this is even more so. Still the acting is good and it is entertaining
That Girl in Yellow Boots (2010)
Looking for ...
It really is a tough movie to watch. And not just because it switches languages, but because of the theme of the movie. You have a daughter searching for the father. So be prepared for a story that does drag and is not really filled with much excitement. No pun intended, especially considering on how she makes money and tries to get information out of people (again no pun intended with this either of course).
So while on a mission we can see certain things in society, how she is being treated, how she behaves, what she has to do and to what lengths she is willing to go for the truth. You can say that there is feminism in there, but the important thing is, an individual trying to get to the bottom of things ...
Black Site Delta (2017)
Keep it a secret
Some movies better not get out of obscurity. This is one of them. And while I do have a knack for low budget movies, there comes a time when by the numbers isn't cutting it anymore. It's many things, from the script to the lesser than one dimensional characters, to the "acting". I guess you could say the action is decent if you consider the low budget nature of the movie (which means you will not be impressed).
Also the way weapons are handled reaks of amateur hour ... There are so many other things you could do with your time. And I might start thinking about not watching movies like these through. Because they don't get any better and you can tell very early on ...
Cars 3 (2017)
So another cars movie. It's almost funny, that one of the weaker Pixar movies got as many sequels as Toy Story got (one of their best series). Now as I said in the Cars review, just because this is inferior to the other Pixar movies does not make it bad. And you can also say, just because this is predictable (an adult but I would reckon many "older" kids can see where this is heading, no pun intended), does not make it bad.
So it is another sequel and our race car/protagonist has the end of his career blues ahead of him. Circle of life and all that. As with a kids movie, the car who is up next to replace him, is not respectful at all. But you need villains in stories like this. So from there, we go down the usual road. Still fun and entertaining enough and decent for a sequel. Still not holding a candle compared to Toy Story ...
Take Me (2017)
The scenario might not be as unlikely as it had been a couple of years ago. But it still is nothing that is lucrative. So when our main character gets an offer with a lot of money involved, he won't ask too many questions. Now you can act morally superior and question the whole thing or just the fact how he handles things. But we wouldn't have a movie, if some things would not flow a certain direction.
Having said that, it is tough for the actors to act with two things in mind. And that is to keep the viewer guessing. It is not a big secret that you will be asking yourself "what's going on". The movie almost begs you to ask that question. But it's not so much about any twist that is there or isn't. It's about the fun idea behind it. Fun as a movie idea, not necesserily if it were real of course ...
The other/young Love
This could be a companion piece to Gaspar Noes Love. Less explicit (although still containing sexual situations and nudity), but with similar themes. It is about love and trying to figure out what it really is and what it really means. Love is something that you can't grab obviously, it is something that you feel. But what if you feel it is going away? And is it really going away? All sorts of questions are asked without the movie spelling the questions out.
Suffice it to say, that the movie is a hard watch. You can't just sit back, kick your feet up and watch it. It does have it's lighter moments, but it does provoke and it does test the viewer (in more ways than one, like the dominating and domination role and other stuff "penetrating" and otherwise) ... Question is, if you want are willing to invest and have the patience with this
The Incredible Jessica James (2017)
To be single or not to be
And being of a certain age, as in not a teenager anymore I should add. It is also kind of refreshing, because the people in this feel real, the dialog feels real and the situation in general may feel like something you either experienced or can see yourself experiencing. It's really well played and very well written and it is also very akward at times. But sweet akward.
So while you may know the main female lead as a comedian in sketches in comedy shows, she is able to spread her wings and be that character in this movie. It does indeed feel as though she is incredible as is the movie itself. It is romantic of course and this has to be something you are willing to watch, otherwise the general drama will not be enough for you.
Jing tian da ni zhuan (2016)
There is almost no break in this, so it's almost action piece after action piece. So you don't really have much time to think about how and if it makes sense. That is, if you are gripped by the story of course. You have to let yourself into the mood of the movie to really enjoy it. It is entertaining for what it is, nothing more but also nothing less.
The characters are kind of bland and you'll probably see most twists coming around the corner way before they actually arrive. But it's still more than decent and has good visuals to support the tension it creates. If you like thrillers to be fast paced and not have too much to think about, you will be entertained by this for sure
The Glass Castle (2017)
Growing up - difficult
Raising children is not easy. Being a child growing up in an unstable relationship and general instability character wise (parents wise that is), is not easy either. This movie is not easy to watch is what I'm trying to say. But it is rewarding if you are into dramas and really good performances. The lines are blurred between good and bad, and what parenting is about and how or what you should learn from the usually most important people in your life.
Woody Harrelson gives a powerhouse performance, which elevates but is also enhanched through the other great performances. As the saying goes, what doesn't kill you ... So if you like slow moving drama with a distraught time line, this is the one you may like