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All reviews - Movies (5312) - TV Shows (6)

An average movie

Posted : 13 hours, 23 minutes ago on 2 December 2016 10:06 (A review of The Iceman)

To be honest, I wasn't really sure what to expect from this movie but it sounded like an intriguing story and since there was a nice cast involved, I was quite eager to check it out. Well, since it was dealing with probably the most notorious hitman that ever existed, there was definitely some potential for a great movie but, eventually, it turned out to be a decent watch but not much more than that, I'm afraid. First of all, we have to give some credit  to Michael Shannon who delivered here once again a really strong performance but, unfortunately,  it was only his performance that really worked in this movie. Indeed, eventually, we only got a glimpse of Kuklinski's personality and the makers never managed to really give us an interesting analysis on this dark character. I mean, right from the start, when he gets in touch with the mob and they decide to hire his services as a hitman, it felt really awkward and rather unconvincing and, from that point, then whole thing never really got better. In fact, the other characters were even more poorly developed than Kuklinski and, to make things worse, it was even sometimes rather difficult to understand what the hell was going on. Anyway, to conclude,  in spite of its flaws, I still think it is worth a look, if only for Michael Shannon's performance, but there is no doubt that it could  have been a much better movie with such some strong material.


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A very good movie

Posted : 22 hours, 56 minutes ago on 2 December 2016 12:33 (A review of Band of Outsiders)

To be honest, it has been a while since I have seen this flick and I should probably re-watch the damned thing at some point. Even though François Truffaut died to soon at the beginning of the 80’s, on the other hand, Jean-Luc Godard, the other master of the Frenh New Wave, has been quite productive even nowadays but I always thought that his work has become increasingly frustrating and alienating. It’s too bad because the movies he made at the beginning of his career were just amazing and his directing debut, ‘À bout de souffle’, is still one of my all-time favorite movies. This movie is a perfect example. Indeed, basically, pretty much like in ‘À bout de souffle’, Godard didn’t really have a plot here and, instead, you just followed the 3 characters through some random scenes in Paris. Following the philosophy of the New Wave, Godard went for a very loose narration but it worked really well here and I thought the whole thing was quite spellbinding to watch. Eventually, the only small thing about this movie is that the trio Sami Frey, Claude Brasseur and Anna Karina was not as charismatic as the duo Jean-Paul Belmond and Jean Seberg but it wasn’t a big deal. To conclude, I really loved this flick and I think it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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An average movie

Posted : 1 day, 2 hours ago on 2 December 2016 09:15 (A review of Predator 2)

Even though the franchise developed around ‘Alien’ has been struggling through the years, it has been actually worse with the ‘Predator’ franchise. Indeed, even though the first instalment became rightfully a cult-classic, pretty much everything that came afterwards (including sequels, reboots and crossovers with Alien) never managed to be really successful and this movie was a perfect example. Indeed, since the first movie was quite successful, it wasn’t really surprising that they would come up with a sequel a few years later. At first, Arnold Schwarzenegger was actually supposed to come back but, among other things, he didn’t like the concept of having the predator going to a city. Well, I don’t agree with Schwarzenegger, I think it was a great idea to go to some urban environment and I think it was a blessing that the main character was this time played by Danny Glover. Indeed, of course, Dutch was a total bad-ass but Mike Harrigan had some different skills to fight this mighty opponent and this new dynamic was very much welcome. Unfortunately, even though Harrigan was pretty neat thanks to a solid performance by Danny Glover, pretty much all the other characters turned out to be some terrible and pathetic stereotypes. Same thing about the dialogues, there were often rather laughable. Still, in spite of its flaws, I always had a weak spot for the damned thing and I think it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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An average movie

Posted : 1 day, 19 hours ago on 1 December 2016 03:47 (A review of The American Friend)

To be honest, it has been ages since I saw this movie and I should probably re-watch it at some point. At some point, I saw ‘Paris, Texas’, the damned thing completely blew me away and, from that point, I became a huge fan of Wim Wenders. With this in mind, I was quite eager to check this movie and I had some rather high expectations but, eventually, I was actually slightly disappointed by the whole thing. Back then, I had no idea who the hell was Tom Ripley, indeed, I would watch ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ maybe 5 or 6 years later. Above all, at the time, I was barely able to follow this rather convoluted plot and many agree that this movie was above all about the mood and the atmosphere but, once again, I never felt much connection to the whole thing which was too cold and cumbersome for me. On the other hand, I was quite young and, after so many years, it is possible that I might enjoy it more if I gave it a 2nd chance nowadays. Anyway, to conclude, even though it didn’t work for me, I still think it is worth a look, especially if you are interested in Wim Wender’s work.



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An average movie

Posted : 2 days, 1 hour ago on 1 December 2016 09:56 (A review of By the Sea)

If ‘Unbroken’ failed to really launch Angelina Jolie’s directing career, I'm afraid this movie however pretty much ruined her chances of ever becoming a major director in the near future. Indeed, it must have been one of the most misguided and pretentious egotrips I have seen in a very long time. I mean, sure, she knows how to pick up her collaborators and she once again had a very good DOP so the whole thing looked very nice but that’s pretty much the only thing that really worked in this movie. It seems that Jolie went for a vintage Art-house vibe this time but she failed just miserably. Seriously, you spent about 2 hours with 2 of the most unlikable characters I have seen recenly but the worst thing about them was not even the fact that they were unlikable but the fact that they were just so boring. Basically, they gave us here the 2 biggest movie stars in the world but they both ended up doing pretty much nothing except arguing about some rather obscure subject. Of course, you can’t help while watching this movie wondering what their actual relationship must have been as they shot this movie during their honeymoon and got divorced less than a year after it was released.  Eventually, even though Angelina Jolie announced that she won’t be acting again after this movie and would focus only on directing, since this movie was so terrible, I wonder what she will do next. Anyway, to conclude, the damned thing was pretty weak and I don’t think it is really worth a look. 



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An average movie

Posted : 2 days, 22 hours ago on 30 November 2016 12:38 (A review of Amos & Andrew)

I really had no idea what to expect from this flick but since I always had a weak spot for Nicolas Cage and Samuel L. Jackson, I thought I might as well check it out. Apparently, it was rather poorly received and also a box-office flop when it was released but I thought it was still a decent watch. Indeed, I thought that there was some potential with this satiric tale showing that a black man could be a respectable and successful writer and a white guy the small time thief. Furthermore, Jackson and Cage are both some fine actors and they both managed to give some charisma to these characters. Still, I have to admit it, this supposedly satirical comedy was never really dark enough and I never had the feeling that the makers really took the subject really seriously so the end-result remained too silly to really work. Furthermore, even though this movie tries to criticize the usual stereotypes, it was done in a way which was not subtle at all. Still, even though my rating might seem too generous here, I thought it was not bad and I think it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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A very good movie

Posted : 3 days ago on 30 November 2016 11:22 (A review of Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner)

It is a rather obscure feature and it has been a while since I saw the damned  thing. I wonder how I actually ended up watching this movie but my guess is that it was a big critical success when it was released so I ended up watching  the damned thing in the movie theater when it was released. Basically, it is a very rare movie dealing with the Inuit culture and, only therefore, it was already a incredibly valuable picture. The success of this movie was mostly due to the fact that the makers didn’t want to compromise with the material whatsoever. For example, the characters only spoke Inuktitut, the most important Inuit dialect. A part from that, the story was based on some very old Inuit legend and it turned to be not only interesting but also pretty damned entertaining. I have to admit that it was maybe a bit on the long side (almost 3 hours) but the whole thing was usually quite spellbinding and the combination of realism and mysticism worked very well here.  To conclude, it is a very important movie, it's too bad it seems rather fogotten nowadays and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you, like me, are interested in discovering some other cultures. 



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A good movie

Posted : 3 days, 2 hours ago on 30 November 2016 08:48 (A review of Son of Mine)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this movie but since it has won the Golden Kalf of the best Dutch movie of the year, I was quite eager to check it out. In fact, the Dutch movie industry is so limited that there are basically only 2 kind of movies that manage to win this prize. Indeed, they are either some really commercial feature which were usually some big box-office success or they are some really obscure Art-house features that really nobody saw when they were released. Well, this movie definitely belonged to the 2nd group, that’s for sure, but I thought it was actually pretty good. What I found most interesting about this movie is how it started presenting the father as someone wise and tough and the son as some wimp. However, this image didn’t last very long and, eventually, it became quite clear that it was actually the other way around, that the son was was the one who was really street-wise and the father was in fact a major loser. I thought it was a really interesting way to develop this relationship. Unfortunately, the makers were just relentless with the father as the guy turned out to be a massive walking disaster. Seriously, they pushed it so far that he eventually ends up killing his son in a car accident which was just too much. It is pretty obvious that they tried to emulate Michael Haneke’s and the Dardennes brothers’s style which wasn’t a bad idea. Indeed, the directing was solid and the actors gave some good performances but I wish the whole thing would have been more subtle. Anyway, to conclude, even though it was nothing really amazing,  I thought it was a decent drama and I think it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre or if you are interested in Dutch movies. 



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A good movie

Posted : 3 days, 21 hours ago on 29 November 2016 01:33 (A review of The 4 Seasons of Espigoule)

Basically, that’s another really obscure French movie. In fact, it is so obscure that, even 6 years later, I’m still the only Listal member who has rated the damned thing. Well, to be honest, I really wonder how I actually ended up watching the damned thing at the time. Anyway, it is basically one of these typical sweet documentaries that you only get to see in France. Indeed, you won’t find here any deep or thoughtful analysis, instead, you just get to follow a quirky village in the south of France during a whole year. To be honest, the tone was slightly too whimsical for my taste but I have to admit that those Espigoule inhabitants were often quite hilarious. In fact, that’s the interesting thing about a documentary like this one, as a result, you might come to the conclusion that, very often,  some average people who remain themselves can actually be more entertaining than some professional actors who actually try to be funny. Anyway, to conclude, even though it was nothing really amazing, I thought it was still a decent watch and I think it is worth a look, especially if you are interested in French culture but I guess it is more enjoyable if you are fluent in French though. 



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A good movie

Posted : 4 days, 2 hours ago on 29 November 2016 09:26 (A review of Foxcatcher)

Before this movie was released, there was a very good buzz about it and many thought that Steve Carell had a shot at winning the Academy Award for for the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role but, eventually, when it was released, it didn’t turn out to be such a huge critical success after all (it still managed to get 5 Academy Award nominations though but it won none). In fact, after ‘The Program’ and ‘Unbroken’, this movie was in fact the 3rd one that I have seen recently which was based on a fascinating true story and yet, just like the other 2, this movie didn't turn to be so amazing after all. I mean, out of these 3 pictures, this movie was easily the best one though. Indeed, the directing by Bennett Miller was really solid and the 3 actors involved (Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum) gave some solid performances. The issue, in my opinion, was more how they approached this material. Indeed, the main focus was put on Mark Schultz but this man said so little, in fact he basically never really said what was on his mind and, as a result, I often had the feeling that the guy was kind of retarted. Well, since we already had John du Pont who was paranoid schizophrenic, I don’t think it was a good move to have another major character with some mental issues. Concerning John du Pont, their approach was basically to present him as someone really weird and mysterious thanks to a stellar performance by Steve Carell and, as a result, I was wondering until the very end what the hell was going in with this guy but, unfortunately, I'm afraid this approach actually backfired. Indeed, eventually, I never had the feeling at any moment that I was getting any kind of understanding about what was actually goind on with du Pont. Basically, I spent more than 2 hours with this guy but I felt I knew just as much as I did before watching the damned thing.  To conclude, even though it was slightly disappointing, it was still a fascinating story and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.  



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