Category Archives: drama

The Mule – Clint Eastwood (2018)

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Eastwood as director, producer and main actor. That bound to be a film exactly as he wanted. He made some descent films, so why not?

Eastwood plays the old and fragile Earl Stone who always cared more about his fame in breeding flowers and his job than in his family. When that goes awry, Stone needs to find another source of income. Him having been on a road a lot, his new occupation comes to him fairly easy. He starts driving cargo for the drug mafia.

In a slow pace with realistic drama and cold humour, Eastwood tells his story. We see Stone driving the cargo that he need not know what it is and since he is never caught, his cargo grows and grows. One reason that Stone is never caught, is that he remains his own, strange self making him look very unsuspicious, but it works much on the nerves of his employer.

Then we have the other side of the story with the police trying to sabotage the drug trafficking. This ends a bit unsatisfactory (at least ‘story wise’).

The film has no surprises, but like other Eastwood films, “The Mule” makes a nice crime drama.

Thelma – Joachim Trier (2017)

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Thelma has had a very religious upbringing in some remote part of Northern Scandinavia. When she goes to school she moves to a city where the student life introduces her to all kinds of things new. People with a different view on life, alcohol, tobacco and love.

The latter seems to cause some sort of fits and Thelma goes to see a doctor. This results in information about her childhood and her family that is new to Thelma, so she digs deeper.

The fits are not quite epileptics and so the film slowly moves from being a drama to a little bit of being a thriller.

The film is nicely shot, with a good telling of the story and a good atmosphere. Some details could have been worked out better, but overall “Thelma” is a very descent film.

The Favourite – Yorgos Lanthimos (2018)

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After some very weird films, the Greek director Lanthimos made a very British and fairly normal film.

A sickly Queen Anne is assisted by a ruthless Lady Marlborough who handles affairs in her own way and who has a peculiar way of influencing the Queen.

Then a fallen lady arrived at the court. Lady Sarah tries to restore her nobility and while she is at it, become the Queens favourite in Marlborough’s stead. A bitter feud raises between the two women.

Indeed, Lanthimos made a costume drama in which the only strange elements are the camera-work. There is an over-use of the fish-eye lens and some strange camera movements.

The film makes a nice watch, but it reminds more of a film like “Marie Antoinette” than of the two other Lanthimoses that I have seen so far. Of course a director can play with styles.

Mute – Duncan Jones (2018)

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I actually wanted to watch some sort of fast action film, but instead I got a drama with some thriller and action elements playing in the future.

The setting seems to be Berlin from before the wall, but then in the future. Barman Leo falls in love with a colleague, but then she disappears. Trying to find out what happened to her, Leo lands in the world of organised crime.

“Mute” has got some great stages and weird scenes reminding of the films of Terry Gilliam and the like. Then there is some not-too-strong Hollywood action and ‘mystery’ and a very weak story.

IMDB.com currently has the film at 5.4 which does not do justice some to good findings and great scenes, but overall I must say that once again this Netflix film is alright, but not really good.

Buster’s Mal Heart – Sarah Adina Smith (2016)

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Buster (Rami Malek) works night shifts at a hotel to provide for his wife and daughter. He does not plan on doing that for the rest of his life, so they live as cheaply as possible to save money to finally be free.

One night Buster meets a drifter with wild conspiracy theories and he starts to believe in them. This and his lack of sleep starts to cause a growing paranoia.

We see Buster in two phases of his life, as the trying-to-do-good father and as a derailed drifter. The film slowly explains how that came about.

An alright film.

Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood – Quentin Tarantino (2019)

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Hollywood 1969, a year of heights and lows. Tarantino shows how he would have preferred this year to go.

The main character is Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Dalton is a Western actor who has just past the top of his career. The actual hero of the film is Dalton’s stunt double, Cliff Booth, a part in which Brad Pitt gets to be the cool guy.

Dalton recently got new neighbours, the young and upcoming director Roman Polanski and his beautiful wife Sharon Tate. Tate also gets quite a bit of the story.

Then there is this group of hippies who live in a commune a bit outside Hollywood.

We mostly follow Dalton’s career, his films and his uncertainties. This gave Tarantino the opportunity to film Western and war movies to mix in the film. This is usually in the over-the-top Tarantino style and very amusing.

The story contains quite some drama, but also Tarantino-style dialogues and of course humour and violence. There is a range of famous actors in smaller parts too, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Mike Madson, just to name a few. He also again takes 160 minutes to tell his story.

Not great, but a fun watch.

Small Town Crime – Eshon Nelms (2017)

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John Hawkes (Sol in Deadwood) is great as Mike Kendall, an alcoholic ex-cop who can’t get his life back together.

After yet another drunken night he finds himself in a field and driving home, he finds a heavily wounded girl alongside the road and drives her to the hospital. When his old colleagues do not support his help in the investigation of this crime, Kendall decides to do the investigation himself.

What initially looks like a crime in a small town, proves to be a big muddle of ‘big town crime’ and Kendall works himself and the people he knows right into it.

In a nicely slow ‘Coen-like pace’ with similar harsh humour, the two directors Nelms tell their not too original story in a not too original style, but the result is an amusing film with the humour and violence typical for this type of film.

I Am Mother – Grant Sputore (2019)

After mankind has made itself extinct, in a facility that was built for that exact purpose, a girl is grown from an embryo. The facility is to repopulate human kind.

The girl is raised by a robot that is too human-like for my logic. “Daughter” is taught morality / philosophy and many practical things. “Mother” tells her the next human will be grown when she has learned how to raise a human well enough.

Of course things turn out to be different from what “Mother” tells “Daughter”, so besides drama there is also room for a little bit of action / tension.

The story is alright and is told well enough. The acting and stages are good too. Overall I would say that the film is alright.

Taboo (series) (season 1) 2017

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In the rough early 1800’s London, the supposed dead James Delaney unexpectedly returns when his father dies. Delaney proves to have an elaborate plan to take over his father’s trafficking business.

From the beginning it is clear that there is ‘something about Delaney’, but it is not really explained what. He spent time in Africa and appears to have taken on some of the dark magic of the Africans.

Besides that Delaney is highly intelligent and appears to have some sort of second sight knowing all that is going on in London. His claims to his father’s inheritance brings problems with the allmighty East India Company and even the King, who go to great lengths to protect their own interests.

Along the line it seems that Delaney (also) has two very personal reasons for his actions: getting back on the EIC and obtaining the birth-land of his mother.

“Taboo” (I am not sure what the title refers to) is a nicely gloomy and gritty series with a story that slowly unfolds.

The end is quite open and indeed, a second season is announced for 2020.

Pieta – Ki-Duk Kim (2012)

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It has been a while since I saw a Kim. “Pieta” is not really a film for a hot summer night.

Gang-Do is a young and brutal money collector. When he starts being followed by a woman who claims to be his mother, he very slowly starts to grow a consciousness.

“Pieta” is a drama, but as we have seen before with films from this director, it contains some brutal violence (though not as explicit as in other films).

I found the film alright, but not too good.