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Witty, empathic and funny. Good acting in a well thought out script, but you must abide a meandering pace and must like monologue interieure
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Everything but the kitchen sink
If you have such wealth of acting at your disposal but reduce most of your cast to cameo appearances the story suffers. Some of the cameos were great to watch, they are the world's best known actors after all, but to me it was just a bit too much of everything and I lost interest when I lost count of all the characters, plots and subplots. I think I like it better when they focus on one or a few superheroes. High points of the movie: any scene with Tony Stark or Thor, but why use a star like Nathalie Portman when all she has to do is look pretty and walk around a bit, it makes you wonder whether these stars are short on money though. My grandson loved it though.
Aus dem Nichts (2016)
Somehow the synopsis gave me the idea that the film would be a faithful rendering of what had actually happened. Therefore the plot development was surprising, which I liked, otherwise I could have watched a documentary. Character development was good enough to keep you interested in the main character. Word the watch.
Les Misérables (2018)
Historical or political correctness in movies, why bother....
Let me start to say that I have really enjoyed the current adaptation of les miserables by the BBC. Beautiful colours, scenery, script, a classic social story and of course good actors. What I do not enjoy are the contributions by what I have to describe as the race police. Les miserables is a story, written in a time when racial diversity was less then it is now. But to portray this story in this time with the actors we now have it would be strange to cast actors on basis of racial attributes dating back two centuries.
It would be equally strange to defend the choice of actors for certain characters by explaining Javert could have been Haitian as there were some Haitians in France at that time, but then you would have to argue why Javert could be from Haiti, but not Valjean, which discussion to me seems even more nonsensical.
Reading some of the contributions some people seem to think that a cast must not only mention actors skills but also race, but I do not agree. I think the public is well informed enough to look past these casting choices as long as the acting is top notch.
In opera we see German women play Chinese princesses in Turandot, I even saw an Afro-American Brunhilde and why not, as long as the performance does not suffer.
Coming back to Les Miserables, I like how Valjean and Fantine are played, I have some trouble with Javert though, maybe more because of the character than the way he is portrayed. His motivation is explained, but his actions are not always so clear cut to me, but maybe I'm missing something as it is only the second episode.
Early Release (2017)
Interesting premise, good build up, weak end and the villain was not very scary. Characters were one dimension, except for the lead.
Liked the imagery
Beautiful pictures, good supporting music, good research, even if you skip all the anachronisms. There is an interesting premise and I liked the protoganist. Comparing it with The Last Kingdombut there is a lot which is at least on par, but it falls short on dialogue, dramatization and characterization. Show don't tell. This has to with endlessly explaining why Redbad is not liked by its people, but also with the lack of intrigue. Redbad battles dumb tradition instead of wily adversaries. The love interest is not believable. First his girlfriend sticks to tradition, then she is happy to be released, then she resists tradition, but I still don't know why. I cannot sympathize with her and loose interest. It also lacks humor which does not help in building up tension.
Watership Down (2018)
Still a great story
Okay it lacks in the latest cgi techniques, by it is good storytelling nevertheless. It took sometime to get to know the characters as the rabbits distinguishing marks are not very much emphasized, but as a close observer of rabbits at my campsite, that will always be a problem with a graphic portrayal of these furry creatures. Voice acting was good, action was believable and they adhered to to the story as I remembered it. Would not watch it with my grandkids though, but that is because Richard Adams story was never intended as a kids story anyway.
The Post (2017)
Three storyline, all well told
Three major seventies themes: freedom of press, anti war and feminism rolled into one and smartly done. Beautiful setting, all the cars and clothing spot on, but what struck me most was the male/female interaction, such blatant paternalism in all secondary relations, but I liked the way how almost all critical decisions where made by the female actresses, such a reminder of how far woman's lib had to come. Good writing too, not a sentence too much.
The Commuter (2018)
No one does it better
Yes, it is implausible, sure it is full of cliches, and indeed there are some plot holes, but it is well paced, interesting and you want to know how it ends. Blame my lack of intelligence, but I did not spot the bad guy till the final scene. Liam Neeson does what he does best and the rest of the cast was well chosen. A good watch.
Vanity Fair (1998)
Excellent music, fantastic performance by Natasha Little and her 'Linley'. Great entry by Anton Lesser. Faithful to the book, which is still as fresh as when it was written.
Poirot: Cat Among the Pigeons (2008)
Good cast, good performances, a somewhat ridiculous plot, but entertaining. Nice performance by the two young girls and Suchet is his old self. I am watching this on rerun and consider it a nice change from the dark and violent series that are commonplace nowadays.
Had high hopes
But after twenty minutes switched to a rerun of a real detective and had a better time. Storyline weak, acting abyssmal and slooow. The latter would not have been a problem if the plot and characters generated any interest. Pity, as my wife and myself hail from Alkmaar and were curious to see the beautiful city as a backdrop.