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Ana_Banana

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76 reviews in total 
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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Excellent situations comedy, 9 August 2016
8/10

Finally a funny role for Danny McBride and a fine performance by him (and others, too)! He is perfect for this, and although I've seen only 3 episodes, I get a good vibe about this show. Of course it's crude about the selfishness of people, of course the characters (teachers included!) are immature, of course the themes are dark, and of course many things are exaggerated (hey, it's a comedy!), but it's very well written and performed. And if one of the accusations against it was that it's not politically correct, then we live in a very, very sad world. If we can't make fun anymore about the ugly side of us but we pretend it's not there in a very PC way, that doesn't mean we'd be free from it.

LE: Episode 5 wasn't funny at all. Hope the show hasn't gone burnt out already!

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Pretense and bland vulgarity, 24 May 2016
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The film looks rather ambitious, exploring the sordid dramas of a teenage girl coming from a dysfunctional family. The recurring dream-like motif of water (drowning, flooding, and so on) is but a transparent metaphor for her situation, as she is trapped by the deceits of others and by her own out of control impulses. Acting is sometimes surprisingly realistic, and sometimes awfully rigid. To sum it up, the film depicts in a rather believable way the downfall of a contemporary young girl from the lower class, deprived of any decent feelings or role models. When the movie ends, she is indeed depicted as ripe for the only way out conceivable for her: prostitution.

All this is tragic, but now let's see the film's weaker side. Tragedy, like any art form, needs contrast. In this movie we only see promiscuity, violence, cursing, irresponsible behavior, booze, drugs, tramps, rape, and so on. No one offers a helping hand, all the characters are lowlifes, some even criminals, school is non-existent, underage girls dress and behave like tramps. It's all nothing but a degraded, decomposing society obsessed with fame and fortune, which has adopted the talk, the look, the way of life and sometimes the music of gypsy criminals ("manele"), with no alternative of civil behavior or education - which is wildly exaggerated. That world exists indeed, sadly, but not just that. To watch for an entire film just criminals, lowlifes and underage promiscuous girls cursing and fighting (both verbally and physically, in an impulsive, beastly way) is too much and sometimes cringe-worthy. And in the end it's boring.

In My Dreams (2014) (TV)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Too good a premise for that crew, 15 January 2016
4/10

When they start from a most unpredictable and intriguing premise (a perfect match only in lucid dreams) and end it in an epitome of especially thin rom-com formulas, we must admit that the result deserves a special mention as an achievement in spoiling a theme. Everything in this was painfully predictable and cliché, convenient and mushy. The actors weren't impressive at all, nor particularly likable, the script and directing are boring, and so on. Everything is overplayed, even the lucid dreams thingy, a state which could not occur so mechanically and regularly every night to anyone. There is an excellent novel with a similar twist (a parallel life in a, well, let's say in a lucid dream, not to spoil it for potential readers). Unfortunately I don't remember now its title or author (but I will!), just that the main character is a woman named Joy. That book would be captivating if set on screen, because it's really surprising and well written, unlike this lame trifle of a flick.

Caveman (1981)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
This is the definition of camp, 15 January 2016
4/10

I've just seen it for the first time and won't repeat the obvious (silliness, rubber dinosaurs, stage sets looking so artificial, simple plot, juvenile humor) - oh wait, didn't I just repeat that? Oh well, the pleasant surprise was the acting (in this, of all films), especially Ringo's (who would have thought of that?) and of course Shelley Long. Most of the actors were pretty expressive and as natural as they could in that zany spoof (except a few too well groomed hairdos). Even the simple plot is somehow telling with regard to the basic motivations lurking sometimes behind our fancy psyche. Maybe if they didn't want to make fools out of themselves, it all had indeed some potential of becoming a real, serious film about our ancestors' way of life.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A sad travesty, 28 December 2015
1/10

I was wondering why haven't they made at least one good film about Eminescu or Brancusi, two of the greatest Romanian artists and two very interesting characters, too. After watching this, I'd say it would have been for the better if they didn't.

This film is a poorly constructed, lame attempt to show something about the sculptor who has revolutionized modern art and about the impact of his work on society, but it only ends in pretense and occasional ridicule. The three stories, or viewpoints, are a fine idea, but sadly the only good (read: bearable) parts of this flick are sometimes the acting of three characters (Brancusi, Elaine, and the forger).

The rest of it is pitiful: thin script, dialog full of clichés, bad acting, horrendous special effects, at times bad editing, and especially the scenes 'in Nirvana' with the Tibetan mystic Milarepa are shameful, ridiculous, almost mocking and circus-like.

Perhaps they had some good intentions about making this film, but it hugely misses its mark. There is nothing of Brancusi's spirit and nothing worth watching in this.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Smart and deep, 25 July 2015
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A movie with intelligent premise and dialog and with restrained acting stands out by itself these days. This one's unusual plot adds to the appeal, but the ending is a bit disappointing regarding the characters' development. Overall, the apparently unlikely emotional connection between the two main characters gets more and more believable over the film, and one wonders what would have become of them if the age gap was smaller and the circumstances were different. Or perhaps despite that, in the end all that counts is pure friendship, no matter our differences.

A cynical would say this film had a romantic comedy formula: boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, they separate (and in the end they are back together if it's a comedy). Why did she have to leave? It was so romantic and gave way for intensely emotional scenes, but when you think about it, her leave is somewhat forced and not entirely justified. She could have moved in the city, gotten back into music and maintained their friendship. And in a few years could have gone cougar on him (crude joke alert!). Now seriously, a smart girl like her could have made a better choice, and a smart filmmaker who made this good film could have made a better editing towards the ending.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
How To Waste A Great Cast, 21 June 2015
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Oh, the irony... He was teaching script writing and yet this very film he's in is so predictable. Is it labeled a comedy for its two or three almost funny lines, or for the fact that nobody dies in it? Oh wait, it's a 'romantic comedy', the only type we're left with these days. Well, that means even more predictability. Did anyone have any doubts he will finally accept his new status as a man and professional, or he will settle for the more appropriate (age-wise) single mom? To have an excellent cast like that and to waste it on such a thinly written film is really a shame. The characters are unilateral (and only the protagonist goes through some evolution), the plot follows the formulas of 'romantic comedy', and there isn't much wide-range or deep acting. I wouldn't have watched this if Marisa Tomei or J. K. Simmons weren't in it.

Not that bad a satire about delusion and competitiveness, 7 June 2015
6/10

Modern society is about competition: the winner takes it all, forget about the loser. Well, that's inhuman. This movie deals with some of the extremes of that herd mentality which is enforcing its standards on everyone, labeling them 'winners', 'losers', 'nerds', 'jocks', or whatever. So what is 'success', really? Always putting a smiling face?

Despite its silly start and its premise so similar to 'Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion' (duh!), this is a much darker version of your regular 'female buddy flick'. The two main characters are so delusional and dumb (who has made and kept them as such?), that they actually don't resemble Romy and Michelle at all. The movie has a couple of laughs, but its dark side overrides its comedic side.

Many people were misled by its 'comedy' label, expecting hilarious situations or lines, or maybe even a silly or zany entertainment (you know, ass jokes, dumb and dumber, and so on). So of course it's not hilarious, but that's really not that bad as they'd expect. It's a different type of a film, even cruel at times (and almost unreal, to match the two girls' delusional state). This is what competitiveness makes to people.

700 Sundays (2014) (TV)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Not a fan, but..., 29 May 2015
8/10

First of all, I am not a fan and I found this brilliant. Not perfect, as some very dignified reviewers seemed to have asked for, but brilliant. It has better parts and weaker parts, now he delivers amazing timing and physical comedy, then he flirts rather annoyingly with the camera. The show has some vulgar bits (not even close to some of today's disgusting stand-up 'stars') and also some touching bits, sure, but that's how life is, too. The silent movie scene was wildly hilarious, while some of the sad parts prove he's not a drama actor. Anyway, this is a honest take and I will forgive even his poses for the camera for the sake of one of them (I don't remember where it occurs): it pictured perfectly the bittersweet and almost touching humor of the poor Jewish folks or of any people forced to deal with a hard life in a subdued, non-grandiloquent way.

Henri 4 (2010)
Rushed, 17 April 2015
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ambitious in its intentions, based on Heinrich Mann's historical novel, this movie looks apparently pretty good: it surely has a much more authentic atmosphere especially compared to the infamous 'La Reine Margot', good cinematography, and decent acting (except Charles IX). But, contrary to another reviewer who thought it too long, actually it's too short and over-simplified.

The dire, murderous and suspicious atmosphere is very well realized, as many of those admired crowned heads have behaved sometimes like insane mass murderers, and luckily the glamorized feel of too many historical films has not crept in here. But the script looks rushed, hurrying and compressing events, decades, characters and their motivations. Thus, even the action is unclear for a viewer unfamiliar with that age and place, and important historical or dramatic events are but hinted at or simply omitted (the Ligue and its rebellion, the deaths of Charles IX, Henri III and of his brother, the last Valois heir, and also Caterina's death).

In reality, the historical characters have been pretty complex and contradictory: Caterina was not only an evil and scheming hag such as her portrayal in Dumas' novels, but an active and courageous politician striving (mostly in vain) to maintain a fragile balance in a kingdom devastated by three rival factions (the Court, the Guise family with its Ligue, and the Huguenots led by the future Henri IV). Or Henri III, her favorite son, was indeed a weird, undecided, bisexual, perhaps bipolar fellow, but certainly not an idiot: it was him who 'eliminated' his main rival the duke de Guise and finally allied with the future Henri IV against the Ligue and named him heir presumptive. The death of Gabrielle is not elucidated in the film (was it Rosny, the king's main adviser, really? Unbelievable).

Maria de Medici is treated in an infantile manner, and even the king's assassination is very poorly explained. Also lacking are many other tentatives of assassinating him throughout all his life course. The pacification of France after his last conversion and crowning took in reality many years and required much effort, from battles to bribery for rebellious dukes. By the way, the duke d'Epernon, the last standing rebel and a main mastermind of the king's assassination, is absent from this film.

To sum all these up: despite its ambitious luster, strangely the film has the feel of a low budget one: too few characters, rushed situations, poorly explored motivations, quite few extras in the scenes at the Court. Which is in fact bad for a film treating such dramatic and surprising events.


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