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A good movie

Posted : 12 hours, 29 minutes ago on 30 August 2015 01:59 (A review of Mulan)

If I recall correctly, I actually saw this movie when it was released because my girlfriend at the time was a huge Disney fan. Damned, it was almost 20 years ago! I feel so old right now... Anyway, even though I really enjoyed it and even though it was definitely a solid effort from Disney, it never really became one of their real classics, at least, in my opinion. Basically, it was a fascinating story taking place in Asia for once, an area never explored by Disney before. However, even though it worked very well during the darker and dramatic moments, those scenes were constantly undermined by some rather underwhelming supposedly funny sequences. Take the intro with Mulan for example, it was a just a rather cringe-inducing segment supposed to make you smile but, in fact, it completely ridiculed some Chinese tradition without giving any insight on the purpose of this tradition. And that was another problem in this movie, the way it was constantly shifting between showing the Chinese culture and history and then showing some gross Americanism along the way. At least, Mushu was pretty good. It was pretty obvious that they tried to get the same results they had with Robin Williams with 'Aladdin'. Obviously, Murphy never reached that level but he was still entertaining enough. Eventually, 3 years later, he would have much more success giving Donkey's voice in 'Shrek'. I also loved Shan-Yu who must be one of the best and badass villains in Disney's history. To conclude, in spite of its flaws, I still really liked the damned thing and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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An average movie

Posted : 18 hours, 51 minutes ago on 30 August 2015 07:37 (A review of Fast & Furious 6)

First of all, I never really cared for this franchise but, finally, with the 5th installment, it seemed that they finally managed to nailed the formula and I have to admit that this movie was actually fairly enjoyable and entertaining. Since this 6th installment was even more popular, again breaking the box-office record of this now very successful franchise, I had some rather high expectations. Unfortunately, it turned out to be rather disappointing and a step down from the previous installment. I mean, sure, it was spectacular but the idiotic dialogues and the really non-sensical plot really bothered me this time. Furthermore, the location, Europe and London in particular, was rather underwhelming, especially compared to the previous one. Indeed, Rio, with its climate, its exoticism, its favelas, its criminal background, seemed to be a perfect match for this franchise while London was, well, rather boring. The way they brought back Michelle Rodriguez to the franchise was also seriously convoluted (how original! the whole amnesia gimmick...). I mean, it did create some emotional impact, I'll give you that, but, still, it was rather cumbersome. At least, Luke Evans gave a solid performance and this villain could be have been truly bad-ass if they would have dropped the whole omnipotent angle. To conclude, I thought the whole thing was rather disappointing and I don't think it is really worth a look, except if you really love this franchise.

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A classic

Posted : 1 day, 10 hours ago on 29 August 2015 03:55 (A review of Aladdin)

By now, I have seen pretty much all the Disney (animated) classics and, after all these years, this movie still remain my favorite one. I remember it very well, it was released during the big renaissance of Disney, it was a huge critical and commercial success at the time, even their biggest box-office hit ever. Unfortunately, just one or two years later, they would release 'The Lion King' which managed to became even bigger. Indeed, it was so huge, it became their biggest success for the next 20 years, until 'Frozen' finally broke this record. Therefore, 'Aladdin' always remained in the shadow of 'The Lion King' when it is, in fact, much superior in my opinion. Indeed, nowadays, within our current political landscape, it would be impossible to release such a huge animated feature dealing with muslims, it would be much too controversial but, back then, nobody had any issues with the material. Indeed, it was just another timeless fairy tale but, this time, they managed to add so many great elements to this old formula that the end-result was just amazing. Of course, it will be always remembered for the Genie thanks to one of the most memorable performances by Robin Williams. Nowadays, it is something common to have some big names giving their voices for the most insignificant animated characters but, back then, it was someting new and Robin Williams managed to create one of the most fun and memorable characters in Disney's rich history. In fact, what makes also this movie really work is also his lengthy introduction. Indeed, it takes its time to introduce this fascinating time and place but also to let us know Aladdin and Jasmine and to understand their motivations. Hell, I even liked a lot most of the songs when it is usually the most annoying trademark in those movies! To conclude, even though it is not quite perfect, it is not far from it, I really love the damned thing and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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An average movie

Posted : 2 days, 17 hours ago on 28 August 2015 08:30 (A review of Heist)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since there was a nice cast, I thought I might as well check it out. By now, I have seen more than half of the movies directed by David Mamet and even though the guy as quite a reputation (he has won the Pulitzer prize and was nominated for 2 Academy awards), I never really became a big fan of his work and this movie is a perfect example. First of all, it is a heist movie called ‘Heist’… I mean, how more generic can you get?!? Then, sure, there was a nice cast (Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, Delroy Lindo, Sam Rockwell), they all delivered some decent performances and those characters were fairly well developed with some nice and juicy dialogues but I really had a hard time to care about the story. Indeed, it is basically one of these movies that require you not thinking to much about the plot and its numerous and rather annoying twists. To conclude, even though it didn’t really blow me away, it was still a decent watch and I think it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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An average movie

Posted : 3 days, 5 hours ago on 27 August 2015 09:26 (A review of Transcendence)

From all the recent flops starring Johnny Depp, this was the one which definitely had the most potential. Indeed, before it was released, there was some pretty good buzz about it but it was eventually poorly received and it didn’t become a box-office hit at all. Well, it was definitely disappointing, that's for sure. I mean, since Wally Pfister was making his directing debut, the whole thing looked really good, no doubt about that but, unfortunately, the story didn’t really work. I'm not sure what bothered me the most, the fact it was filled with some really obvious plot-holes or the fact that half of it didn't make much sense. Eventually, what bothered the most was how incapable they were to handle this superior form of intelligence. With this in mind, it actually reminded me of 'The Matrix'. Indeed, in both movies, you are introduced to a different level of consciousness, which is really fascinating, but instead of exploring all the artistical and phylosophical possibilities of such concepts, we get stuck with some underwhelming evil being with some shaddy agenda. Basically, the human beings have to remain on top of things somehow and such superior being can apparently be handled only as a threat which is terribly disappointing. To conclude, even though the whole thing had some potential, the end-result was eventually terribly half-baked and I don't it is actually really worth a look.

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An average movie

Posted : 3 days, 16 hours ago on 27 August 2015 10:11 (A review of Metro)

First of all, there was actually something that really annoyed me about this flic. Indeed, in France, its title was ‘Le flic de San Francisco’ (translated as ‘San Francisco Cop’) as if it was some kind of sequel or spin-off to ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ when this movie had actually nothing to do with this franchise. Anyway, through the years, somehow, I have managed to watch all the movies starring Eddie Murphy and I can tell you, it has been a terribly thankless task. Indeed, back in the 80’s, Murphy emerged as one of the biggest movie stars in the world and practically all his movies became some box-office hits. Then, in the 90’s, his work started to become already underwhelming but the audience was still apparently interested in the funny guy. Finally, in the 2000’s, his movies became more and more moronic and, above all, almost always some huge flops. Anyway, it is all very sad but, as a result, some rather weak movies like this one are eventually actually starting to look half decent after all the garbage he has made through the years. I mean, sure, it was nothing amazing whatsoever and Eddie Murphy had already made many similar movies in the past but I thought it was watchable and, for once, it was a little bit darker than his usual work which was refreshing. Anyway, all in all, even though it was not awful, it was still pretty weak and I don’t think it is really worth a look.

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An average movie

Posted : 4 days, 13 hours ago on 26 August 2015 12:47 (A review of Mistress)

As you may have noticed, I’m a very obsessive movie watcher and one of my very first obsession was/is Robert De Niro. Indeed, I just love this actor and I have been watching many of this movies during the last 20 years (72 so far and still 20 to go). Well, this is definitely one of his more obscure movies (I was only the 3rd listal member who has rated the damned thing) and it absolutely belongs to those movies where Robert De Niro is show prominently on all the promotional material when he in fact just has a supporting part. Apparently, this movie didn’t get much love, especially here on Listal, but I thought it was actually not bad at all. I mean, sure, Robert Wuhl must have been one of the most underwhelming leading man emerging from the 80’s, but Martin Landau was especially really good here and I thought that the material was actually fairly well handled here. To conclude, there is a fair chance that my rating might be too high for this movie but I still think it is a decent watch and I think it is worth a look but don’t expect anything really amazing.

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A good movie

Posted : 4 days, 17 hours ago on 26 August 2015 09:22 (A review of Miles from Home)

Even though it is a really obscure feature (I was only the 3rd listal user who has rated it), since I had a weak spot for Richard Gere, I thought I might as well give it a try. In fact, the most interesting thing about this flick is that it was Gary Sinise’s directing debut. Indeed, even though it is rather uncommon, it happens sometimes that some struggling actors would decide to direct their own movie to launch their acting career. That’s what Vin Diesel, Billy Bob Thornton an Same Neill did and that’s what apparently Gary Sinise did as well with ‘Of Mice and Men’. Anyway, 4 years before his breakthrough with ‘Of Mice and Men’, he made this flick which was barely seen at the time but I thought it was actually not bad at all. I mean, sure, there is something quite romantic about the concept of two farmers deciding to to rob banks but I thought that the whole thing was still rather gloomy and therefore still effective. You might also wonder if Richard Gere was really the best choice for this part but I thought he gave here a fairly decent performance. To conclude, even though it is really obscure, I think it is actually worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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A good movie

Posted : 4 days, 17 hours ago on 26 August 2015 08:50 (A review of All Is Lost)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since I really enjoyed J.C. Chandor’s previous directing effort, I was quite eager to check it out. Well, first of all, to be honest, I thought the whole thing was like a very long and agonizing anti-commercial against sailing. I mean, seriously, if you ever thought of buying or renting a sail-boat and go on some adventure, you might first want to watch this movie. That’s maybe the only issue I had with this movie. Indeed, I don’t really care about sailing and watching this flick made the whole thing even less attractive to me. However, I doesn’t mean that it was a bad movie, far from it. Indeed, I always had a weak spot for such minimalist movies dealing with one character like ‘127 Hours’, ‘Buried’ or ‘Locke’ and this movie is probably one of the best in this genre. Indeed, even though we know nothing and learn nothing about the background of this lonely character, Robert Redford managed to make him really compelling to watch without any dialogues. Furthermore, it was visually impressive, it must have been terribly difficult to film but the whole thing was really spectacular and completely convincing. To conclude, even though I wasn’t completely blown away by this movie, there was still something quite mesmerizing about the damned thing and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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A good movie

Posted : 4 days, 18 hours ago on 26 August 2015 07:45 (A review of The Boxtrolls)

Yesterday, my daughter was really eager to see a movie and, to my surprise, she chose this one. To be honest, I didn’t know much about the flick and I first thought it was actually a drawn animated feature. I was therefore positively surprised that it was actually a stop-motion feature produced by the guys responsible for ‘Coraline’ and ‘ParaNorman’. I must admit that the whole thing was really confusing when it all started. Indeed, since the running time was fairly long for an animated feature (more than 90 minutes), it was as if they just skipped any form of introduction and it took me seriously maybe 20 minutes to fully grasp who was who and what the hell was going on. I can’t imagine how confusing it must have been for young kids. Anyway, when I was finally able to grasp the story, I was slightly bothered by the fact that the boxtrolls, obviously an oppressed minority, were completely helpless without the assistance of a white boy. Maybe I’m going too far in my analysis but I thought it was rather condescending that without this white boy, they would have been pretty much lost. Still, the story was actually fairly entertaining and the animation was just downright impressive. I mean, the amount of details was just amazing and I can’t imagine how much work it must have been to create all this. To conclude, in spite of its flaws, I thought it was a decent animated feature and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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