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An average movie

Posted : 10 hours, 35 minutes ago on 1 August 2014 09:58 (A review of Black Venus)

Nowadays, Abdellatif Kechiche is one of the most heralded French(speaking) directors in the world. Indeed, his last movie, ‘La vie d’Adèle’, has won the Golden Palm at the Cannes film festival and two of his previous movies, ‘L’esquive’ and ‘La graine et le mulet’, have won the César of the best French movie of the year. Not too bad after directing only 5 movies. With this in mind, I was really eager to check this flick as well but honestly, it wasn’t really great. Basically, it is a very long drama dealing with a black woman who was constantly mentally and physically humiliated and the whole thing was just really sad, heartbreaking and sometimes even disgusting. The main issue is that it wasn’t really interesting, I’m afraid. Indeed, you never really get to know this woman, to know what she really thinks or feels, in spite of a solid performance by newcomer Yahima Torres, even though she didn’t have much to say. Instead, Kechiche spent much more time developing her various persecutors which was definitely not a rewarding approach. The ending, when you find out that this woman really existed, was not really a shock but made the whole thing ever more depressing. To conclude, in spite of its flaws, I think it is still worth a look though, especially if you are interested in Abdellatif Kechiche’s work.

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An average movie

Posted : 17 hours, 19 minutes ago on 1 August 2014 03:14 (A review of The Green Mile)

Back in 1994, Frank Darabont made ‘ The Shawshank Redemption’ but it was a flop at the box-office and even though it was nominated for 7 oscars, it won nothing again. However, in the years following its release, it became a massive classic and it is now considered by many as the best movie ever made (it has been on top of the IMDB Top 250 constantly for the last 10 years at least). Obviously, with this cultural phenomenom, Darabont’s status grew exponentially and there was a huge hype surrounding his following directing effort. Once again, it was a Stephen King adaptation and it was starring Tom Hanks who was, at the time, probably the biggest star at the box-office. It was obviously a very smart plan and the whole thing was a big critical and financial success (and of course, it ended up also in the IMDB Top 250). However, did I really like this flick? Honestly, I thought it was not really amazing though. Sure, it was a decent and rather entertaining flick but I always preferred Stephen King’s stories when they remain realistic but, here, the whole fantastic angle was rather underwhelming. I actually did the read the book way before the movie was made and I had the very same feeling with the book as well. To conclude, I think it is actually overrated but it is still worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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An average movie

Posted : 18 hours, 48 minutes ago on 1 August 2014 01:45 (A review of Point Break)

It has been a while since I saw this flick so I thought it was time to give it a 2nd chance. Even though it is not really great in my opinion, it still managed somehow to become a cult classic and there is definitely something quite intriguing about the damned thing. Indeed, on paper, the idea of combining some surfer/hippy ideology with some bank robberies sounded really silly but, somehow, there was something quite mesmerizing about it. First of all, it was thanks to Kathryn Bigelow’s slick directing style. She managed to make the whole thing quite entertaining and she made also some very neat surfing footage. Furthermore, I was actually quite impressed as well by Patrick Swayze who gave here, in my opinion, the best performance of his career. Indeed, he did look the part and he really nailed his character who was half-guru, half-Clyde Barrow and whereas the character could have been a ridiculous caricature or over the top, there was really something interesting going on with this guy and it was above all thanks to Swayze. Eventually, the major weakest point in this flick was Keanu Reeves in my opinion. I mean, he looked exactly right, the character was actually rather well written but, damned, his delivery and performance in general was just awful. Seriously, it was so wooden, it was borderline pathetic. To conclude, even though I’m not a huge fan, it is still a solid flick and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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A good movie

Posted : 1 day, 20 hours ago on 31 July 2014 12:18 (A review of Lone Star)

I remember it very well, when this movie was released, I read a very enthousiast review and it made it sound as if it was one of the best movies of the year so I was really eager to check it out. With this in mind, I had some huge expectations before watching it and, I must admit it, I thought it was a little bit disappointing. I mean, I did like it but it wasn’t as nearly as amazing as they said. The point is that the characters were really interesting, the directing by John Sayles was really solid, but somehow, I had a hard time to care about the story. I mean, sure, it was entertaining but like most thrillers, it was so far-fetched, I thought it was rather hard to take it seriously. Still, it remains an intriguing flick and I might need to re-watch it to make up my mind for good. An interesting aspect was to see a young Matthew McConaughey just at the beginning of his career before he got involved in all these underwhelming romantic-comedies. To conclude, even though I thought it was rather disappointing, it is still a decent flick and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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A good movie

Posted : 2 days, 10 hours ago on 30 July 2014 09:55 (A review of 1492: Conquest of Paradise)

Honestly, it has been a while since I have seen this flick and I will probably re-watch it at some point to make up my mind for good. Anyway, I remember it very well, before it was released, there was a huge buzz about this movie and the expectations were really high. Indeed, in 1992, it was the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus so, obviously, the studios wanted to cash in on this massive event by releasing a big prestigious epic directed by Ridley Scott, one of the best directors around at the time and still today. Eventually, it didn’t get much love and many thought it was a disappointment. Ok, it wasn't a masterpiece but I did like it (and compared to the abysmal ‘Christopher Columbus: The Discovery’, well, it was definitely not bad at all after all). Indeed, as usual with Ridley Scott, the directing was really solid, the music by Vangelis was truly epic and I thought that Gérard Depardieu was an unexpected but great casting choice. To conclude, in my opnion, this movie doesn’t deserve such a bad rep, I believe it deserves a second chance and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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An average movie

Posted : 2 days, 10 hours ago on 30 July 2014 09:43 (A review of Cougars Inc.)

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from this flick but since I have a weak spot for Denise Richards, I thought I might as well give it a try. To start with, even though Denise Richards is displayed in front of the rest of the cast on all the promotional material, she had a rather minor part but it is something usual with this kind of direct-to-dvd flicks. Then, obviously, the plot was really prespoterous. Indeed, the main character gets to a bar and, somehow, ends up in bed with a gorgeous MILF. Honestly, do they really believe we are going to buy this?!? But then, he gets worse, we are supposed that most of her girlfriends would pay a huge amount of money to have some casual sex with some high-school boys. I mean, seriously?!? It seems that the whole thing was written by some frustrated oversexed teenagers. Concerning the directing, they tried to make it edgy but, once again, it was hardly convincing. Finally, the whole structure was just so pedestrian, from the very lousy introduction, you could actually stop the movie and know already how the whole thing would turn out. To conclude, I think I’m being really generous with my rating here, it is a very weak feature and I don’t think it is worth a look.

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An average movie

Posted : 2 days, 17 hours ago on 30 July 2014 02:49 (A review of Point of No Return)

Personally, I have always been a huge fan of ‘Nikita’ which is by far the best movie directed by Luc Besson. Indeed, in my opinion, it is the only movie for which he managed to mix his impressive directing style with a really compelling story (indeed, I think it is much more superior to ‘Léon’ which must be one of the most overrated movies ever made). A few years later after this movie was released, instead of releasing the damned thing with some subtitles, they decided to make a US version and obviously, the end-result was quite underwhelming. The first thing I was missing was that the mood was not hardly dark enough. Indeed, the original version provided some really claustrophobic atmosphere whereas this US version was just way too slick. Finally, there was the casting of Bridget Fonda. Fonda was definitely on the A list at the time but she has pretty much been retired for already 10 years which is too bad. Well, I alwas had a weak spot for Bridget Fonda and she was an interesting choice with her girl-next-door look but she missed some edge, especially compared to Anne Parillaud from the original French version. It is also interesting to note that this French movie has also inspired 2 different TV shows: ‘La Femme Nikita’ made in Canada and the current ‘Nikita’ from the US. To conclude, it is not really awful but it is still a really weak version and I don’t think it is really worth a look.

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A good movie

Posted : 3 days, 16 hours ago on 29 July 2014 03:33 (A review of Mary Reilly)

Honestly, I have never had anything against Julia Roberts, she is usually quite charming but she is rather limited as an actress and the fact that she always plays basically the same character doesn’t really help. Still, there are some very few exceptions and this movie is definitely one of them (in fact, I don’t think she ever took so many risks before or after in her career). At least, you have to give her some credit for playing a rather plain looking maid and, for once, you really got the idea that she was actually acting. Unfortunately, as usual when an actor leaves his/her comfort zone, she was not rewarded by the box-office and the whole thing was considered a flop, financially and critically. Honestly, I thought this reception was a little bit harsh. Sure, it wasn’t anything really amazing but, in my opinion, it was still a decent and rather entertaining thriller. I also enjoyed the approach of focusing on a smaller character witnessing those terrible events, instead of going for the main character which is more traditional. To conclude, I think it is actually pretty good and I think it is worth a look, especially if you want to see Julia Roberts doing something completely different for once.

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An average movie

Posted : 4 days, 14 hours ago on 28 July 2014 06:31 (A review of The Purple Rose of Cairo)

For about 20 years already, I have been following closely Woody Allen’s career (I think I have seen about 30 of his movies by now) but even though I used to be a hardcore fan, I have nowadays some rather mixed feelings about his work. The point is that even though he is considered a Art-house king, he is in fact actually a real factory. Indeed, every single year, he comes up with a new movie, like a metronome, and with such productivity, as a result, most of those movies have become disposable (and I’m being nice). Anyway, when I watched this flick, I was still a huge Allen fan and since it is considered a classic, I had some rather high expectations. Unfortunately, I didn’t really connect with it. I mean, it was definitely a decent effort and you could see that Woody Allen really put a lot of effort with this one but, somehow, I had a hard time to care about the whole thing. Still, I will probably re-watch it whenever I get the opportunity to finally make up my mind for good about the whole thing. To conclude, even though it didn’t really blow me away, it is still definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in Woody Allen’s work.

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A good movie

Posted : 4 days, 19 hours ago on 28 July 2014 01:13 (A review of Othello)

Since I’m a huge fan of Orson Welles, I was definitely eager to check this flick. To be honest, it has been a while since I have seen this flick but there were definitely a lot of things to enjoy here. First of all, once again, it was quite a struggle for Orson Welles to manage to get this film done as it was shot over three years and production was stopped twice, mainly because Wells ran out of money. Seriously, it is something that I never really understood. How come such a great director like Welles had such a hard time to get some money to make his movies? Eventually, you have apparently various versions of this movie wanderring around and I’m not sure which one I saw but it was still a solid Shakespeare adaptation. I mean, to be honest, it is still rather weird to have Orson Welles to play the main character but, at the time, it was still a tradition that a white man played this character. To conclude, even though it is probably not one of Orson Welles most prestigious works, it still remains a pretty good flick and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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