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A classic

Posted : 22 hours, 24 minutes ago on 23 May 2015 04:32 (A review of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi)

Obviously, I had seen this movie many times when I was a kid but I still wanted to check it again. After all these years, it is still usually considered as the weakest installment of the original trilogy. Even though you could blame the Ewoks, I thought they were actually pretty cool but they were definitely another piece of evidence that this trilogy is actually pretty childish. It is not necessarily a bad thing but I just believe the whole thing is much more enjoyable when you watch it the first time when you are around 10-12 years old. No, the main issue inm y opinion is that this sequel is almost a remake of the first movie. Indeed, the main plot is basically to destroy another death star against all odds. Sure, it is handled differently but the goal and outcome are pretty much the same. Still, it doesn't mean it is not a really entertaining flick though. Indeed, in my opinion, the Ewoks are childish but pretty cool, the whole extended intro with Jabba the Hutt was just really awesome and I really liked the wya they developed the complex relationship between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. To conclude, even though it might not be the best movie in this trilogy, it is still a fine blockbuster and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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An average movie

Posted : 1 day, 7 hours ago on 23 May 2015 07:27 (A review of Police Story 3: Supercop)

I don't know if you have noticed but I'm not a huge fan of Jackie Chan. In fact, this movie is the very first one starring this actor. Indeed, basically, I saw it in the theater when it was released in France and I really wanted to see something with this guy since I loved Bruce Lee's movies and Chan also had a really solid reputation. Well, at the time, I was seriously disappointed and really didn't connect with this flick at all.Well, about 20 years later, I decided to give this movie a 2nd chance and guess what? I thought it was actually a decent watch after all. I mean, sure the dialogs and the jokes were still pretty lame (the fact that I saw a dubbed version in English didn't help either I guess) but the action scenes were really solid and the plot was decent enough for once. To be honest, I didn't remember much while rewatching it but I still knew that the lovely Michelle Yeoh was involved. Man, she was good and definitely one of the best sidekicks Jackie Chan ever made, she was so good they even made a spin-off with this character. To conclude, after seeing so many lame movies with this actor, this one is actually not bad and it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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A good movie

Posted : 2 days, 5 hours ago on 22 May 2015 09:11 (A review of Same Old Song)

To be honest, even though Alain Resnais is pretty huge in France, I have seen only 3 of his movies so far. Anyway, I remember when this movie was released in France, it was a big critical success and it even won the César of the Best French movie of the year. With this in mind, I became really curious about the damned thing. Eventually, I thought it was indeed pretty good but, honestly, it wasn’t really my cup of tea. Indeed, even though it wasn’t really a musical, every 5 minutes, you have the characters stopping their dialogs and going into some songs, usually some famous french pop songs, and even though some viewers thought it was just awesome, in my opinion, it was a cute gimmick but not much more than that. I mean, pretty much like a musical, I think it doesn’t help developping the plot or the characters when there is such an interruption every 2 minutes. Still, there was a very nice cast (Pierre Arditi, Sabine Azéma, Jean-Pierre Bacri, André Dussollier, Agnès Jaoui, Lambert Wilson, Jane Birkin, Jean-Pierre Darroussin) and I have to admit that the whole thing was still fun. To conclude, even though I don’t think it is a masterpiece, it is a pretty good whimsical flick and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in French movies.

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A good movie

Posted : 2 days, 17 hours ago on 21 May 2015 09:46 (A review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier )

Since I kept hearing some really good things about this flick, I was really eager to check it out. Indeed, many viewers actually called it the best movie released by Marvel so far, no less than that, so it had to be pretty amazing. To be honest, at first, I was a little bit worried. Indeed, I thought that the first 30 minutes were decent but nothing great so far and, in my opinion, the plot was rather murky and not really entertaining. Fortunately, it got better from the moment that Nick Fury got shot . After that, it all went pretty smoothly and the movie clearly stood out from the other Marvel productions. Still, to compare this flick to the great paranoïde thrillers of the 70's, that was a real stretch. Sure, it was a nice change of pace but it was not as dark as I was expected it to be and I don't think it was really so groundbreaking. For example, I thought it was rather disappointing that they didn’t spend a little bit more time developing the predicament of Steve Rogers who looks like a top-model but who also is over 90 years old. To conclude, I think this movie is slightly overrated but it was still a fun blockbuster, absolutely an improvement on its predecessor and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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An average movie

Posted : 3 days, 7 hours ago on 21 May 2015 07:54 (A review of Oxygen)

That’s another really obscure feature. In fact, I wasn’t expecting to be so osbcure but, apparently, according to Box Office Mojo, he only reached $3,088 domestic gross when it was released which must be one of the lowest gross I have ever heard of. Anyway, back in the days, I saw it on VHS , I think because one of my friends was really eager to check it out and I thought it was a decent serial-killer flick. Sure, it was nothing really fancy and, to be honest, I have never been a huge fan of the genre but this one did work for me. Indeed, the concept was obviously far-fetched but it is inherent to the genre and I thought it was intriguing enough. Above all, it was very nice to see Adrien Brody a couple of years before his breakthrough with ‘The Pianist’. Brody used to be one of the most interesting actors of his generation and it’s a shame his career went pretty much nowhere after winning the Academy Award. Concerning Maura Tierney, I thought she was not bad here either and she had some interesting chemistry with Brody. To conclude, even though it was nothing really amazing, I thought it was a decent thriller and it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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A very good movie

Posted : 3 days, 17 hours ago on 20 May 2015 09:33 (A review of Her)

Since I kept hearing so many good things about this flick, I was really eager to check it out. At last, after being literally lost for so many years making 'Where the Wild Things Are', Spike Jonze was finally back and the end-result was once again pretty terrific. Indeed, he basically made a fascinating movie which worked on so many levels. Sure, I really liked the minimalistic style and the whole thing was visually really appealing but it went way beyond that. For example, it might sound crazy to have the main character fall in love with his operating system but in a world where we barely speak to our next-door neighbours but yet manage to have 3000 friends on Facebook or having a deep relationship with someone leaving at the other side of the globe, are we really so far from this reality? Talking about reality, is the physical world much more significant than any virtual world? And what is the foundation of our relationships? Is it something really physical or is it in fact the interactions that we have we one and another? This movie goes really deep into those questions without of course giving any answers but the process displayed was just mesmerizing. To conclude, it might be Spike Jonze's best movie so far, it is that good and it is definitely worth a look.

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A good movie

Posted : 3 days, 23 hours ago on 20 May 2015 03:30 (A review of Orphans)

That’s another seriously obscure feature. Indeed, I was the 2nd listal user to rate this thing and not even 10 users have seen it apparently (on the other hand, not even 1500 Imdb users have rated it and that’s terribly low as well). Anyway, back in those days, Peter Mullan was finally getting noticed following his stellar performance in 'My Name Is Joe’ and the very same year he decided to release this directing debut. It sounded quite intriguing so when to see this movie in the movie theater when it was released. To be honest, it was pretty obvious that it was a first directing effort as the whole thing was not really ambitious and the scale was rather modest but I still think it was a decent dark British comedy. Also, just like Mullan’s way of acting, I think this movie displayed his interest in the human sould and that was quite intriguing. His follow up would be ‘The Magdalene Sisters’, a much more ambitious historical feature which was quite heralded at the time of its release but also unfortunatelly rather forgotten nowadays. To conclude, even though it is a really obscure feature, I still think it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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A classic

Posted : 4 days ago on 20 May 2015 02:07 (A review of Le père Noël est une ordure)

I’m actually rather surprised that so few Listal members I have seen or rated this movie. I mean, sure, probably no one abroad must have seen this movie but, in France, it was and still is a massive classic. Indeed, when I was a kid growing up in France, virtually everybody was talking about this movie, quoting the whole thing more or less by heart. With this reputation, I became really curious so I finally watched the damned thing. Well, to be honest, I thought the whole thing was rather disappointing. I mean, sure, it was rather amusing but there was not a single moment when I thought it was actually hilarious. At least, it was nice to see the Splendid’s gang (Christian Clavier, Gérard Jugnot, Thierry Lhermitte, Josiane Balasko, Marie-Anne Chazel, Anémone, Michel Blanc) at the beginning of their career with their most famous play. As usual, more than 10 years later, they made a US remake called ‘Mixed Nuts’ directed by Nora Ephron and starring Steve Martin and even Adam Sandler in a rare supporting part before he became really famous. Anyway, it was obviously a flop. To conclude, even though I thought it was disappointing, I still think it is worth a look, especially if you are interested in French movies.

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An average movie

Posted : 4 days, 5 hours ago on 20 May 2015 09:56 (A review of The Pelican Brief)

To be honest, I always had some mixed feelings about this flick. First of all, even though the John Grisham’s books adapations were really popular in the 90’s, I have to admit those were quite entertaining) and I also find them always terribly far-fetched. Still, from a marketing level, this was a smart move. Indeed, after ‘Pretty Woman’, Julia Roberts was the most popular actress in the world and Denzel Washington was also becoming a very strong value and combined with John Grisham’s current best-seller power, it was a great combo. Still, as pointed out by Roger Ebert, it is rather sad that the guy behind ‘All the President's Men’, one of the greatest thrillers ever made, would eventually end up with a decent but still rather straightforward flick like this one. And, of course, you have the fact that even though, in the book, there was some romance going on between the leads, nothing like this happens in the movie. You might argue that it is always rather stupid that, in most of the thrillers, the main characters usually end up in bed but, in this case, it is pretty obvious that if they would have replaced Denzel Washington with Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt, you could sure that some romantic angle would have been added. To conclude, even though I’m not a fan, I have to admit that it is still a fairly entertaining feature and it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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A good movie

Posted : 4 days, 6 hours ago on 20 May 2015 08:09 (A review of The Piano Teacher)

I have just discovered that I have actually seen all the movies directed by Michael Haneke. Right now, after winning back-to-back twice the prestigious Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, the guy is pretty much at the top of his game and he is definitely one of the most interesting directors at work nowadays. It is also interesting that he has made half of his movies in France and this feature was the second one he made there. Personally, even though I was expecting a lot from ‘Code inconnu’, I thought it was rather disappointing and too difficult to decipher for me. Eventually, this follow-up was maybe more straightforward but eventually much more enjoyable to watch. Ok, ‘enjoyable’ might not be the right word as, like in all the movies directed by Haneke, you deal with some dark and ambiguous characters, dealing with some twisted emotions. Isabelle Huppert, one of the best French actresses, delivered an impressive performance and with Benoît Magimel, they had some really nice chemistry together. Like most of Haneke, the whole thing had a strong mesmerizing effect but the mood was so dark, it was as a result also quite alienating. To conclude, even though it wasn’t a complete home-run, it was still a strong drama and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in Michael Haneke’s work.

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