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A very good movie

Posted : 13 hours, 50 minutes ago on 29 June 2015 09:17 (A review of Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud)

This movie is one of the examples of why I still love the French cinema very much. I mean, sure, it is pretty obscure (I was only the 3rd listal member who rated the damned thing) and I’m not sure if it was really noticed outside France but I thought it was a fascinating minimalistic drama. I remember it very well, when it was released, it was a critical success and it would be Claude Sautet’s last directing effort, another underrated French director and I should watch many more of his movies. Basically, it is a perfect example of how a French romantic feature mostly focuses on the dialogs and the characters, instead of focusing on the nudity and sex (like most of the Dutch movies) or the artificial gimmicks of your average rom-com (like most of the American movies). I find this approach always interesting and this movie is one of the best examples. In this case, it goes even further as it deals with an unconsummated relationship which might be frustrating for some viewers but it made it even more intriguing for me. To play the main characters, you had Michel Serrault and the always lovely Emmanuelle Béart and they both gave some really impressive performances. To conclude, I really enjoyed this movie a lot and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in French movies.

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An average movie

Posted : 15 hours, 19 minutes ago on 29 June 2015 07:48 (A review of Nick of Time)

Back in the 90’s, way before he became the king of the box-office, I used to be a huge fan of Johnny Depp and I was eagerly watching all his movies. To be honest, even though his track-record was pretty amazing at the time (‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘Arizona Dream’, ‘Benny & Joon’, ‘What's Eating Gilbert Grape’, ‘Ed Wood’, ‘Dead Man’, ‘Donnie Brasco’, ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’), not everything Johnny Depp did at the time was completely amazing and this movie was probably one of the most obscure he made in his career. Indeed, it seems that he was specialized in rather odd and excentric characters (still one of his trademarks nowadays) but, this time, he was portraying the most average guy you could think of in a very standard thriller. And yet, I thought it was not bad at all, after all. Indeed, the whole thing is a little bit too classic but the concept was decent enough and it was rather well made. And, indeed, it was actually really nice to see Johnny Depp playing out-of-character for once and, of course, Christopher Walken (the main reason why Depp got involved in this project) was just a great opponent. To conclude, even though it is nothing amazing whatsoever, I think it is a decent thriller and it is worth a look, especially if you are a fan of Johnny Depp’s work.

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A good movie

Posted : 1 day, 4 hours ago on 28 June 2015 06:26 (A review of Schneider vs. Bax)

After watching only 2 movies directed by Alex van Warmerdam, I can already say that he has become one of my favorite Dutch directors. Some people might say that they love his unique way to throw in some absurdism in his pictures but, personally, what I enjoy the most is his humor. Indeed, the tone is always pitch-black, filled with witty oneliners and some really funny dialogs. Basically, I think his movies are just hilarious even if the characters themselves are not really funny. Anyway, this time, he made almost a straightforward picture which was less ambitious but definitely more accessible than 'Borgman', his previous directing effort. To be honest, even though I have definitely a weak spot for this director, the same things keep bothering me though. Indeed, between the weird things going on, I keep thinking that the guy doesn’t really care much about the plot or the characters involved and, as a result, I always find it difficult to really care about the whole thing. To conclude, Alex van Warmerdam remains one of the only Dutch directors to bring something really interesting nowadays and his last directing effort is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in Dutch movies.

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A good movie

Posted : 1 day, 15 hours ago on 28 June 2015 07:54 (A review of Inherent Vice)

Usually, Paul Thomas Anderson is not what you could call a quick director. Indeed, it took him 5 long years after 'Punch-Drunk Love' to come up with 'There Will Be Blood' and then 5 more years before he came up with 'The Master' so I was really glad that his following directing effort was coming up relatively fast. Eventually, this flick didn't get much love, in fact, it is so far his lowest rated movie in IMDB (Still, 6.8 is nothing to be ashamed off). And, indeed, I have to admit it, I wasn't exactly blown away by the whole thing. I mean, 2 years ago, I already had a difficult time with 'The Master' because I thought it was a little bit murky but it was nothing compared to this movie. Indeed, I think I understood maybe 50% of it. Basically, there were so many characters, all more or less connected with each other but their connections were barely explained and none of them had some straight dialogs, always some rather obscure riddles. I don't know, maybe it works better with the book but, somehow, I doubt it. And, yet, there is no denying that the directing was really solid and, once again, Joaquin Phoenix showed that he is one of the best actors at work nowadays. Above all, I had never seen somthing like this before, a rather typical film noir but set in the 70's with some completely stoned characters. To conclude, even though my rating might be a little too high, even though I was actually disappointed by the whole thing, I still think it is worth a look, especially if you are interested in Paul Thomas Anderson's work.

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A bad movie

Posted : 2 days, 7 hours ago on 27 June 2015 03:45 (A review of Kickboxer 3: The Art of War)

Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from this flick but since but since I had this on DVD for such a long time (more than 4 years!), I thought it was really time to watch the damned thing. When I was a kid, I saw the 1st installment starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and, back then, I really enjoyed those flicks dealing with martial arts but nowadays, I can't say I really care about them, especially such a cheap-ass sequel. I mean, Van Damme was never a great actor but do you know what is worse? A cheap-ass clone of Van Damme like Sasha Mitchell. I have to admit it, the guy has a pretty face and he seems to be able to fight but, man, what a terrible actor... Seriously, he was such really pathetic to behold. Furthermore, even though it was a nice touch to go to Rio, that would be probably the only positive thing I could tell about the story. Indeed, the whole thing was just a disjointed mess with barely any fighting scenes and, above all, it was just seriously tedious to watch. To conclude, as expected, it was just a terrible movie and you should definitely avoid it.

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A good movie

Posted : 3 days, 14 hours ago on 26 June 2015 08:12 (A review of Nixon)

Nowadays, Oliver Stone has pretty much lost his stellar reputation but there was a time that his politically oriented features were eagerly awaited around the world by many movie watchers. This movie came at a turning point in his career. Indeed, back then, Stone was still doing pretty well but, after this movie, his work won’t have much any impact anymore, I’m afraid. Anyway, coming back to our main feature, for the Americans, Nixon has always been perceived as the ultimate boogeyman but the guy was actually really popular back in 1968 up until he really messed up with the whole Watergate thingy. Since then, it has been forgotten that he was actually a rather effective politician (he ended the Vietnam war after all) who might have suffered from megalomania, paranoia and what not. Stone tried to juggle with all these elements but only partially succeeded in giving a really striking portrayal of this notorious figure. One thing remains though, Anthony Hopkins is a terrific actor. Even though he didn’t look like the guy at all, he gave as usual a solid performance. After portraying Richard Nixon, John Quincy Adams, Alfred Hitchcock, Pablo Picasso, Van Helsing, Zorro, and of course Hannibal Lecter, we can assume at this point that Hopkins could portray anything and still be awesome and completely convincing. To conclude, even though it wasn’t a masterpiece, it was still a really interesting feature and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested by the subject.

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An average movie

Posted : 3 days, 15 hours ago on 26 June 2015 07:53 (A review of Premium Rush)

Since I always had a weak spot for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I was quite eager to check this movie. My first thought was that it should be really neat to have a minimalistic thriller dealing with some couriers in New York. My second thought was how will they manage to deliver something really satisfying which such a limited concept? Well, eventually, I thought the whole thing was fairly entertaining, even though the makers definitely used some tricks to cover those limitations. First of all, to prevent it from becoming too dull, they had to give us a rather far-fetched story. Then, they decided to give a random chronology which was a fairly obvious gimmick to make the whole thing much more complicated than it actually was. And, yet, in spite of these flaws, it was still a decent watch. Indeed, it was very nice to have Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing the lead for once and Michael Shannon, one of the most interesting upcoming actors at work nowadays, was a great choice for the villain and they both delivered some solid performances. On top of that, I thought that th alternative world of these bikers was quite intriguing and I could have spent more time with them. To conclude, even though it wasn’t entirely successful, I thought it was still a decent thriller and it is definitely worth a look.

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A good movie

Posted : 4 days, 14 hours ago on 25 June 2015 08:35 (A review of Night on Earth)

Ever since I saw ‘Dead Man’, I have been a huge fan of Jim Jarmusch and I have been trying to watch all his movies for many years. To be honest, none of his other movies impressed me as much as ‘Dead Man’ but they were all interesting to watch and this flick was definitely not an exception. Basically, 2 years after ‘Mystery Train’, Jarmusch was again coming up with a new anthology of stories but, this time, instead of 3 short-stories, he gave us 5, all taking place during the same night and involving some taxi drivers and passengers in five cities: Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Rome, and Helsinki. Personally, I’m not really a huge fan of this approach because you often get some half-baked sub-plots instead of a fully fledged tale but here it did work though. Eventually, the weakest segment was probably the one involving Winona Ryder has she gave a rather weak and unconvinving performance and my favorite one was the segment involving Béatrice Dalle and Isaach De Bankolé as the characters and their relationship were the most interesting from the whole bunch. To conclude, even though it wasn’t really a masterpiece, it was still a decent watch and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in Jim Jarmusch’s work.

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A good movie

Posted : 5 days, 2 hours ago on 24 June 2015 09:07 (A review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1)

To be honest, I have always been rather skeptical about this franchise but, I have to admit it, the first two installments were actually fairly entertaining. Yet, since I knew that this 3rd movie would focus on some rebellion instead of the actual games, I was a little bit worried and I had once again some rather low expectations. Eventually, I was once again positively surprised. Basically, the thing I enjoyed the most was the ambiguity they gave to the main character's situation. Indeed, it seems that after all, she pretty much traded a bizarre circus for another one and, even though, those rebels will tell you that they are the good guys, eventually, how would you know if they won't be starting another dictatorship to replace the older one? The main issue is that even though Katniss seems a little bit hesitating, no one less is, so there was no much room to develop this. And, once again, even though they tried to convince us that this girl was totally badass, she still was pretty much a puppet. To conclude, my rating might be a little too generous this time, I really wonder if the ending chapter will be really satisfaying, but this blockbuster was fairly enjoyable and I think it is worth a look.

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A good movie

Posted : 5 days, 11 hours ago on 24 June 2015 11:43 (A review of Mystery Train)

Ever since I saw ‘Dead Man’, I have been a huge fan of Jim Jarmusch and I have been trying to watch all his movies for many years. To be honest, none of his other movies impressed me as much as ‘Dead Man’ but they were all interesting to watch and this flick was definitely not an exception. This time, instead of giving us one story, Jarmusch gave us 3 different stories all taking place in a hotel in Memphis. Personally, I’m not really a huge fan of this approach because you often get some half-baked sub-plots instead of a fully fledged tale but here it did work here. Basically, like most of Jim Jarmusch’s work, there was a deliberate slow tempo and it can be either quite mesmerizing or slightly irritating. In this case, it was fine but I can’t say I was really blown away though. I don’t know, it seems that all these quirky characters were fairly interesting but I can’t say that they were really fascinating either. Still, Jarmusch always managed to attract some really nice guys and, for this movie, you had such notorious figures like Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Joe Strummer to play those characters. To conclude, even though it wasn’t really a masterpiece, it was still a decent watch and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in Jim Jarmusch’s work.

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