Author Archives: Roy

The Meyerowitz Stories – Noah Baumbach (2017)

The Meyerowitz family is a family of artists living in New York. The pater familias is Harold, a great part of Dustin Hoffman. Harold was a relatively big artist a few decades in the past and he used to teach at the prestigious Bard College.

Adam Sandler plays Danny who used to be a pianist, but his star fell and his life is not going exactly as he wanted. His daughter is going to Bard too though.

Then there is the successful brother Brian he found his fortune outside art and we have a somewhat neurotic sister Jean. Actually, there are not exactly all brothers and sisters since Harold has had four wives.

Harold thinks he is quite a big shot and the lives of pretty much the entire extended family circulates around his. In lengthy monologues Harold continuously spews his ideas of society, life and of course the world of art. Sandler’s plays the neurot trying to get his own life straight, but also that of his family. A few events in Harold’s life brings the whole family together, or not.

“The Meyerowitz Stories” is an amusing film, mostly a drama, but an entertaining one with weird dialogues, strange situations and a critical view on the subject matter.

Gisaengchung – Bong Joon Ho (2019)

In “Parasite” the son of a poor family is hired to teach the daughter of a very rich family. Soon he manages to reel in his sister, then his father and even his mother.

It takes takes quite some manipulating to get all that done, but the family sees an opportunity. The fact that they are all very articulate helps and the family is very easy to manipulate too.

Things go well until their predecessors have a few surprises in stock and things run very much out of hand.

“Parasite” is an amusing film with black humour and a weird story.

Miss Sloane – John Madden (2016)

Madeline Sloane is an influential lobbyist; ruthless and workaholic. At some point she is approached to join the gun-lobby, but instead she takes the opposite direction.

Sloane leaves the huge company where she has made her name for a smaller one to work in favour of a more restrictive gun bill. Of course she meets the full force and finance of the gun lobby who will do anything to put Sloane in a bad light and break her opposition.

“Miss Sloane” is a drama with maybe some court of thriller elements. The film shows the massive power of lobby organisations and the relentless way these organisations work. As a good lobbyist is one step ahead of its opposition, Sloane has a few surprises up her sleave.

Hudson Hawk – Michael Lehmann (1991)

I was looking for something light to watch on Netflix and ran into this classic action comedy with Bruce Willis. Well, this is light entertainment.

Willis is Hudson Hawk, a master thief who immediately when he comes out of 10 years imprisonment is forced into new jobs. The film is a bit screwball, but the promising trailer seems to contain all the jokes.

There is a bit of a Da Vinci Code twist to the story as Leonardo da Vinci hid three parts of a diamond that combined he used for his gold making machine and of course the bad guys are after these parts and Hudson Hawk is forced to steal them in elaborate ways.

Amusing, but not great.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile – Joe Berlinger (2019)

“Here’s the story of Ted Bundy. Murdered young girls, monday through sunday. Lured them into his car. Then they wouldn’t see tomorrow.”

Thus sang Macabre in 1993. The film focuses on another side of Bundy’s life though.

Bundy is a handsome and charming law student who gets a relationship with a young single mother. Their life seems perfect, but Bundy has other hobbies for which is he eventually apprehended. He tries to confince everybody he did not do any of the things he is accused of.

For a long time his girlfriend supports him. Bundy even manages to become friendly with the judge that eventually sends him to the electric chair.

This long titled film is a descent drama with only at the end some attention for his crimes. Not badly done.

X-Files (series season 11) – Chris Carter (2018)

So did I fail hearing of season 11 or did it end up somewhere low on my watch-list?

Season 11 is very similar to season 10. There are pomp episodes bringing you up to speed on the ‘big story’ and trying to knit yet another angle to it and there are more comedy like episodes or general X-Files experimentation so to say.

Just like with season 10 this is done with limited success. The ‘big story’ now involves Mulder and Skully’s son, of course there is the “CSM” (“cigarette smoking man”, but I still prefer the description “cancer man”) who is portrayed as the most powerful man in the world. Especially the drama / romance in these episodes is pretty damn boring.

Then we have weird episodes with aliens, episodes about technology, boring vampires and a very amusing episode in which a new character has been montaged into early episodes, which made a good laugh.

That last episode is probably a lot more funny when you know the old series. For the rest, oh well, it is just Carter and co working on some themes and ideas that are familiar to people who have seen the X-Files before, but there is hardly need to know all the previous seasons in detail. Just a few episodes, some are nice, some less so.

Den Skyldige РGustav M̦ller (2018)

The first film in months that I got from my DVD rental is a Scandinavian thriller. No idea how this ended up on my list.

“The Guilty” is about a policemen who went off track and waiting for his trial has been put on a one-man-emergency-room. The entire film plays in two rooms in a police station. Asger Holm picks up the phone, talks to some drunk local and waits for the next call. Then a woman who appears to be kidnapped calls and Asger’s policeman serving attitude floats up.

He finds out where the car drives, manages to find out who is the kidnapper, what car he drives and where he lives. He sends a policecar to the house where two children remain and is in contact with the emergency room of the district where the car is.

Even though you basically only watch Asger, the events bring tension. The story turns a bit a couple of times.

“Den Skyldige” is an alright film made in a fairly original way.

Mindhunter (series) – Joe Penhall (2017/9)

I guess I missed why these series are so lauded. 8.6 At IMDb.com? Not by far in my opinion. Not that “Mindhunter” is boring, but neither did it live up much to my expectations.

We mostly follow Holden Ford, a young FBI agent who in the 1970’ies wants to use psychology to profile delinquents in order to be able to catch them faster. This is completely new in the time. He teams up with Bill Tench who has been doing something similar in the Behavioral Science Unit. Through Tench they come in contact with psychologist Wendy Carr who eventually joins the team.

In order to create profiles, Ford decides that he is going to interview convicted people who have committed multiple crimes (not yet called serial killers then). They start with Edmund Kemper, immediately a success as Kemper is a very talkative person. With Richard Speck things do not go as smooth and when the star of the team rises they even talk to Charles Manson.

The team records the interviews and starts to categorize the perpetrators adding new categories as they go along. Slowly but surely they are able to use the knowledge in running investigations.

The main part of the series is interesting. The first season has some unnecessary drama. Holden has a girlfriend who studies sociology so I expected her to get involved in his work somehow, but she does not and that storyline is pretty superfluous. In the second series a new angle is brought in when Carr proves to fancy women rather than man. The series put a magnifying class on a few elements of society of the 1970’ies. Homosexuality was still taboo and through an investigation also the treatment of blacks in American society is dealt with.

Actually, both these extra storylines again do not add much to the series which also suddenly stop. I expect work is done on a third season.

“Mindhunter” is alright, but not more than that.

The Road – John Hillcoat (2009)

From the director of “Ghosts Of The Civil Dead” (1988) comes “The Road”. A dystopian film playing in an apocalyptic future.

The world has burned and nothing much remains. Animals have died, trees and crops are scorched, only a few people remain. Some have allied themselves into gangs.

We follow a small family, the father and son of which try to get to the South where the climate is less severe. On their way they meet hardship and a lot of drama.

Indeed,”The Road” is not exactly a light film. It is a descent one though.

The Age Of Adaline – Lee Toland Krieger (2015)

The beautiful Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) has a car accident and stops aging after 29. When everybody around her ages and dies, Adaline does not. Of course this catches the attention of some people and Adaline decides to change her identity every 10 years and move to another part of the country.

We see Adaline in our own time and of course with flashbacks to times passed. A man sets his mind on ‘conquering’ Adaline, while she prefers to not get too involved with anybody. Of course this can only lead to a melancholic and romantic drama.

The film is very good, the atmosphere is good. It reminds a bit of “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button“.