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All reviews - Movies (7041) - TV Shows (12)

A classic

Posted : 21 hours, 59 minutes ago on 2 October 2022 09:53 (A review of Safety Last! (1923))

Since I really loved ‘The Kid Brother’, I was really eager to see this other classic starring Harold Lloyd. First of all, I was really surprised to discover that this movie was not included in some major movie lists such as ‘1001 Movies You Must Before You Die’ or ‘They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They?’ (Roger Ebert did include it in his ‘Great Movies’ list though). Indeed, it is rather weird since this movie does include arguably the most iconic scene displayed in a silent comedy which was obviously when Harold Lloyd was dangling from a clock on a top of a building. This scene was and still is the stuff of legends, even if it was debunked years later by a stuntman. Indeed, there were actually some security measures, for example, they used a fake building front filmed in a way to capture the street below. Even so, Lloyd was still probably risking his life anyway and that’s the kind of stuff you don’t see anytime nowadays (even though you could say that Tom Cruise does indulge in some really hazardous stunts with his ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise). Instead, nowadays, everything is done with some really fake CGI but should performers actually risk their life to entertain us? The weird thing is that I was never scared when Lloyd was doing his stunt which is a tribute to his mighty skills. Eventually, this scene was obviously amazing and quite unforgettable but, even though it tends to overshadow the rest of the movie, the whole thing was actually quite fun. Sure, the concept was pretty basic but Lloyd definitely made the most of it and most of the jokes were actually quite hilarious to behold. Anyway, to conclude, it was another really solid silent comedy from Harold Lloyd, it is definitely worth a look and it is even pretty much a must-see for any decent movie buff. 


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An average movie

Posted : 2 days ago on 1 October 2022 07:41 (A review of The Secret Garden)

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie but since it was starring Colin Firth, I thought I might as well check it out. In fact, the title did sound familiar and it’s because it’s from a famous book which has been adapted many times for the silver screen. Well, surprisingly, it was actually the first version I saw of this story but, apparently, I did end up watching the least heralded version released so far, I’m afraid. Sure, it was visually quite appealing and Dixie Egerickx (what a cool name, by the way) did deliver a solid performance, even if she wasn’t given enough to do which was too bad because her character was actually quite complex. Indeed, just during the first 10 mins, she went through so much and, yet, this little girl seemed rather unfazed, even after all what happened to her which seemed rather bewildering. However, I won’t blame Egerickx, she did what she could with what she was provided. Eventually, the biggest issue was with the tone as they tried to deliver a whimsical children tale when the material was actually much darker than that. Indeed, the story was dealing with massive trauma and loss but, instead of really developing these complex issues they constantly tried to smooth the edges and the end-result was therefore really flat. Concerning Colin Firth, eventually, he wasn’t given much to do in this movie after all but it wasn’t a big deal. Eventually, I wonder what Agnieszka Holland managed to do with her version of this story since it was much better received. Anyway, to conclude, even though the damned thing was rather harmless, as far as I was concerned, it was also quite boring and I don’t think it is really worth a look. 


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A classic

Posted : 2 days, 19 hours ago on 30 September 2022 12:38 (A review of Beauty and the Beast)

To be honest, I wasn’t really dying to watch yet another version of the classic fairy tale but since this movie had a really strong reputation, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, even though I have to admit that it is indeed probably the best version I have seen, well, I still think that the story is/was rather boring though. Concerning the characters, it was pretty much the same. Sure, I have to admit that Jean Marais did manage to do a lot with the Beast but all the characters were, in my opinion, rather tedious. However, there is no denying that it was such a masterstroke to have a surrealist poet like Jean Cocteau to direct this classic fairy tale. Indeed, can you imagine if someone like David Lynch or Luis Buñuel would have been allowed to direct ‘Snow White’ or ‘Cinderella’? Well, it could have been brilliant but that’s actually what happened here. Indeed, instead of the usual sappy children story, here, Cocteau went for a completely  different vibe and the end-result was some kind of surreal gothic horror tale which was obviously really neat. Above all, the damned thing was visually quite amazing with some arms holding candelabras all over the place, some statues following you with their gaze and many other interesting visual stuff. Eventually, since everybody seemed to love the damned thing so much, I feel slightly bad that I didn’t care more about it, even if I really admired it. Maybe I should give it another try at some point, maybe I was too tired when I watched the damned thing. Anyway, to conclude, even though it didn’t completely blow me away, I still agree that it must be the most definite version of this fairy tale and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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A good movie

Posted : 3 days, 19 hours ago on 29 September 2022 12:16 (A review of Blonde)

Since there was really some buzz around this movie for quite a while, I was eager to check it out. Well, it wasn’t an easy watch, that’s for sure. Indeed, by  now, we all know that the life of Marilyn Monroe A.K.A. Norma Jeane Baker was probably not so great after all but Andrew Dominik pushed this idea even further and gave us the bleakest vision on her life that you could possibly imagine. Basically, according to this movie, everything in her life was heavily traumatic, her childhood, her career, her stardom, her pregnancies, her romantic relationships,… Seriously, the damned thing was just relentless. The end-result was basically some kind of feverish nightmare but, unfortunately, the movie didn’t have much else to offer and the fact that it did last almost 3 hours probably didn’t help. The funny thing is that, after all this time, you don’t actually learn much about Monroe, except that her life really sucked from the very beginning until the very end. And, yet, even though the approach chosen to tell the story of this legendary pop icon actually backfired, the damned thing was still fascinating somehow. Indeed, as usual with Dominik, the directing was strong as he constantly mixed up the aspect ratios and moved back and forth between black-and-white and color. And, of course, Ana de Armas gave here a really strong performance. Sure, there was a debate because de Armas is actually Cuban but I think she looked just stunning and it went beyond that as she completely disappeared in this character. Anyway, to conclude, even though I understand why this movie didn’t get much love when it was released and I have to admit that it was rather exhausting to watch, I still think it was quite intriguing but if you are a big fan of Marilyn Monroe, I would actually advise to avoid it. 



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A classic

Posted : 5 days, 21 hours ago on 27 September 2022 10:25 (A review of Sunrise (1927))

Since this movie has a really solid reputation (it is included in the ‘1001 Movies You Must Before You Die’ list among other things), I was really eager to check it out. Well, from all the movies I have seen so far directed by Murnau, to be honest, it was the one that did impress me the least. It’s interesting because all the reviews I read afterwards were gushing about how this movie was above all a technical marvel. In fact, I find it rather hard to judge such an old movie on this aspect alone. Indeed, we have been so accustomed to see such  elaborate modern movies, I mean, visually speaking, and I tend to forget how difficult, even impossible, it was to come up with such striking visuals back then without the usual modern tricks and gadgets. Still, I have to admit that I was quite impressed by the superimposition of several images, it was just so clever and very well done, especially for the time period. So, sure,  it really did deserve all the praises it had received, at least, on a technical level, but, eventually, I just really struggled with the story though. At least, the beginning was intriguing. Indeed, in spite of the title, it was actually pretty bleak with this unnamed man plotting to kill his wife as suggested by his mistress. However, this plot was resolved rather quickly and, then, during the 2nd act, you had this couple who suddenly were in love again doing some really random stuff in the city. Well, even if some of the scenes were a technical marvel, this couple was actually rather tedious to behold. On the other hand, I have to admit that the final act with this huge storm was quite spectacular but, all in all, to be honest, I just didn’t care much for this story. Anyway, to conclude, even if it didn’t blow me away, it is another major classic van F.W. Murnau and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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A good movie

Posted : 6 days, 22 hours ago on 26 September 2022 09:18 (A review of An Impossible Love)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it was starring Virginie Efira, I thought I might as well check it out. To be honest, I have to admit that, when I heard about this movie, I was assuming that it would be about a single woman raising a kid on her own in the 50’s and how she struggled with the social stigma involved with this situation. However, it was not at all what I expected. In fact, it is rather hard to describe this movie but it shows how intriguing the damned thing actually turned out to be. Indeed, even though the title might make you think that it is a love story, this romance was only the first half of this movie, the second half was something entirely different. On top of that, Virginie Efira delivered a solid performance and it was definitely no small feat to convincingly perform the same character through roughly 5 decades. Unfortunately, I wish that Niels Schneider's character would have been slightly more nuanced. Indeed, the guy turned out to be so awful, so evil even, you might wonder why Rachel would have been so in love for so long with him. As a result, it made her character looked like a naïve moron. Then, there was the whole incest thing who turned her life and the life of her daughter into some genuine nightmare and making this guy officially the worst dad ever. Well, I think the way they approached this topic was rather manipulative. On one hand, I could feel that something fishy was going on but, in my opinion, it was just too ambiguous. Indeed, how could you blame Rachel for trying to have her daughter spend some time with her biological father? However, as a result, it seemed that it was mostly her fault but since her kid seemed to be so thrilled to finally get acquainted with her father, it was not so easy to figure out. Anyway, to conclude, even if it didn’t completely work, I have to admit that the damned thing was quite intense and it is actually definitely worth a look. 



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A good movie

Posted : 1 week ago on 25 September 2022 11:59 (A review of Street Angel)

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie but since it was included in the ‘They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They?’ list, I thought I might as well check it out. Apparently, it is a rather obscure movie and not even a thousand of people has rated it on IMDb but it is actually considered as a classic of Chinese cinema from the 30’s. It is also a fine example of left-wing film and it did   appreciate that the Communist message delivered here was at least more subtle than what we got from the Soviet propaganda movies of the same time period. Indeed, they focused on the slums of Shanghai with great details and they certainly didn’t sugarcoat their living conditions. I also did appreciate the fact that they didn’t depict the characters as being perfect, in fact, they all seemed rather ignorant but it didn’t mean that they didn’t deserve our attention, in the contrary. Indeed, their shortcomings made them even more human and more interesting to behold. However, what I enjoyed the most was how, even though it might have been a really bleak drama, which it also was, there was also some room for some comedy and slapstick. How they managed to mix such various tones and genres was actually quite impressive. Furthermore, even though I’m not a huge fan of musicals, I have to admit that I really enjoyed the songs in this movie. And, yet, even though I admired the work done, it was still missing something to really dazzle me. Maybe it had to with the fact that, even though the characters all felt real, none of them was really fascinating after all. Or maybe it was because the copy I saw on YouTube was pretty sh*tty. Anyway, to conclude, it turned out to be a really interesting watch and I think it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 


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An average movie

Posted : 1 week, 1 day ago on 24 September 2022 08:39 (A review of Summerland)

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie but since it was starring Gemma Arterton and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, to be honest, it wasn’t really good, I’m afraid. First of all, even though Arterton was lovely as usual, in my opinion, she was rather miscast here. Indeed, I never thought that she was really convincing as a bitter old spinster. The fact that her character would constantly refuse to welcome a young boy while the bloody WWII was raging on made it also rather difficult to root for her character. Concerning the rest of the movie, I have to admit that there were a couple of decent ideas, I especially liked this old lesbian couple and how this young boy didn’t mind that two women would be in love but the end-result just didn’t really work. I mean, WWII was basically reduced to a side note and, even if it might be cynical, when you think about it, it actually allowed these women to have a kid and get rid off the sperm donor in the process. You might also wonder how they did manage to live in this small community, as a lesbian couple, without getting into trouble. Indeed, back then in the 50’s, Alan Turing was convicted for his homosexuality so it was still considered as a criminal offence. There were also some fantasy elements but they had so very little impact on the rest of the story, you might wonder why it was even added in the first place. I guess it was there only as a way to bond Alice and Frank. By the way, the twist during the 3rd act, that he was actually the son of the love of her life, was just so far-fetched. Anyway, to conclude, even if the damned thing was rather harmless, I just didn’t care much for it and I don’t think it is really worth a look. 


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A classic

Posted : 1 week, 2 days ago on 23 September 2022 10:40 (A review of Strike)

Since this movie was directed by Sergei Eisenstein, I was quite eager to check it out. Indeed, I did see ‘Battleship Potemkin’, arguably his most famous movie, but it was maybe 20 years ago, it was really neat to finally see another movie from this great master, especially after all these years. I was surprised to find out that it was actually his directorial debut as the damned thing was quite complex and ambitious for a first-timer. Still, to be honest, I have to admit that I had actually a rather hard time to get into the damned thing though. The fact that such Soviet propaganda movies actually never focused on the characters individually and instead handled the working class as one single character probably didn’t help. On the other hand, I have to admit that it was just quite inspiring and exhilarating to see this crowd of working men rising up all together against their bosses but also the whole system in general. Even if you believe that Communism and Socialism were the worst possible thing in the world, there was a time when an alternative was actually possible. At least, for a short while, it was explored and this alternative did provide something else than our current endless chase after financial profits and personal gain. The final act during which the ruthless repression took place was also strong and, unfortunately, felt quite realistic. It’s interesting that, when you read other reviews, they mostly focus on the technical aspects of this movie which was, for the time, apparently quite groundbreaking, but, to be honest, I didn’t focus too much on that. Anyway, to conclude, even though if it didn’t really grab me, it was still an interesting watch and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in Eisenstein’s work



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An average movie

Posted : 1 week, 3 days ago on 22 September 2022 09:26 (A review of It Comes at Night)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since there was a decent cast involved, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, I usually have a weak spot for such minimalist horror features but, to be honest, I’m rather surprised this movie received such solid reviews. I mean, it’s not that it was bad, it’s just that it never really impressed me in any way. For starters, like probably many other viewers, I was actually really annoyed by the title. Sure, when it was all finished, I get that it was probably hinting at Travis’s nightmares but, in my opinion, it was actually such a cheap way to build up the expectations of the audience as, eventually, nothing came at night after all. Concerning the movie itself, I have to admit that it was a decent post-apocalyptic horror flick but, to be honest, they didn’t do anything really interesting with the genre though. The fact that many like me have seen more than 10 seasons of ‘The Walking Dead’ probably didn’t help. Another issue was that even though there were only 5 characters, none of them was really developed, with Travis being the only exception. Indeed, it was probably the most interesting aspect of this movie, the way they displayed how traumatizing such extreme circumstances must be for children and teenagers. However, I wonder if it was really the goal of this movie though. Anyway, it was really not enough and I wish they did more with the other characters. In this case, the biggest victim was Carmen Ejogo. Indeed, she was seriously completely wasted here as her character was basically given nothing to do at all. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, I have to admit that it was still a decent watch though, even if it was mostly forgettable. 



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