De Volkskrant TV excerpt for Wednesday 12 October

Anna Kendrick in Paul Feig’s ‘A Simple Favor’.Picture RTL-TVI


NPO 3, 15.34

(Youth, Spørg Hasselbalch, 2013) After being bitten by an ant, the inconspicuous Pelle develops superpowers. Suddenly he can climb, smell and fight really well. He becomes Antboy, the local hero who saves everyone. Finally, the most beautiful girl in the class sees him. The story of this Danish youth film does not deserve an originality award, but the enthusiastic execution makes up for it. Antboy (not to be confused with Marvel Blockbuster Ant man) is a cheerful mix of adventure film and comedy, full of cartoon influences and with a sweet message: the greatest superpower is friendship.

Oscar Dietz and Cecilie Alstrup Tarp in Ask Hasselbalch's 'Antboy'.  Picture

Oscar Dietz and Cecilie Alstrup Tarp in Ask Hasselbalch’s ‘Antboy’.

A simple service

RTL 8, 20.25

(Crime, Paul Feig, 2018) They are polar opposites in a way you don’t often see them, the two mothers in wonderfully villainous and sharply written A simple service. Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) is the over-the-top, nerdy and socially awkward kid who is laughed at by the parents at her son’s school. Her life takes a new turn when her son befriends the son of the enigmatic, deeply cynical, aggressive and alcoholic Emily (Blake Lively). The excellent acting A simple service offers a successful and rarely seen mix of biting humor and an almost Hitchcockian thriller, dressed in the flowery guise of a romantic comedy.

Hitman’s Bodyguard

RTL 7, 9 p.m

(Action, Patrick Hughes, 2017) Super bodyguard Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) accompanies the hitman Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) to testify before the International Court of Justice in The Hague. All the good that this pleasantly frivolous action comedy has to offer is in the setup of these two characters. And Amsterdam’s intermediate location looks good on it. The scenes on the canals – where a motorcyclist launches himself on a canal boat against a bridge to use a rocket launcher to neutralize a guy aiming for Samuel L. Jackson in a speedboat – are fine works of art.

Samuel L. Jackson in The Hitman's Bodyguard by Patrick Hughes Image

Samuel L. Jackson in The Hitman’s Bodyguard by Patrick Hughes

Blindly drawn

NPO 3, 21.24

Many people are unhappy in their jobs, but the step to look for another job is so big and scary that they don’t dare take it. In the new program Blindly drawn six participants are therefore helped by a job coach and a recruiter who are looking for the right workplace. However, there is a catch: the candidates have to resign and start their first day of work without knowing where they will end up and in what position. Presenter Rachel Rosier follows the six during their probation.

Close Up: A World to Shape

NPO 2, at 22:39

Can you as a designer contribute to a better world through design? Nienke Hoogvliet and Dave Hakkens think so. As representatives of the youngest generation of Dutch designers, they combine design, art and science to create sustainable new applications. In the documentary Above expectation Ton van Zantvoort shows how Hoogvliet wants to make the polluting clothing industry more sustainable through the innovative use of seaweed, which can, among other things, be processed into paint. Hakkens works in Portugal on a commuting society with a minimal CO2 footprint.

quiet life

NPO 3, 23.13

Rowan Blijd was in the final stages of her pregnancy when an ultrasound examination showed that her son had died in the womb. Only when she told others about her sad experience did she realize that it is much more common, but that no one really talks about it. Blijd made the documentary together with director Ruby Cruden quiet life, where her personal story is central and serves to break the silence around the subject. Other parties involved – the gynaecologist, Blijd’s father and the undertaker – also have their say.

2Doc short: Beyond expectations

NPO 2, at 23.33

The mental state of the Dutch students is not good. An increasing number of young adults are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety that appear to stem from the pressure to perform. This pressure can come from parents, but also from a society where diplomas are indispensable. The documentary Above expectation observes the Leiden GP Nanny van den Braken, who has frank conversations with students burdened by fear of failure, crippling self-criticism and the sense that they must constantly perform.

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