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All reviews - Movies (6489) - TV Shows (12)

A good movie

Posted : 6 months, 2 weeks ago on 13 April 2020 07:12 (A review of Get on Up)

Since I have always been a fan of James Brown, I was quite eager to check this flick. As a matter of fact, one of the very CD's I bought as a kid was a James Brown CD (to be honest, I don't have it anymore and, nowadays, I don't have anything from this artist which is quite a shame). Anyway, coming back to our main feature, it turned out to be a decent biopic, no more and no less than that. Indeed, after Jackie Robinson, Chadwick Boseman played here another African-American icon, he delivered another really strong performance and only for him, it is worth checking the damned thing. Concerning the rest of the movie, I obviously loved the soundtrack but everything else, especially the directing, was borderline underwhelming or, at best, pretty generic. For example, one thing that seriously bothered me was the scrambled chronology. Seriously, what was the added value? In my opinion, the director was so scared that the whole thing would like any other average biopic (which it still did), that he messed up the chronology to make it look more sophisticated than it actually was. Eventually, I wonder what would have been the end-result if they would have chosen a more straightforward approach and get ridden off a couple of useless scenes. Coming back to the man himself, I did learn a few interesting things about him but, to be honest, this movie never left me flabbergasted. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, above thanks to a very strong Chadwick Boseman, it is still worth a look, especially if you are interested in James Brown.


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An average movie

Posted : 6 months, 3 weeks ago on 10 April 2020 08:21 (A review of Le Mans)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since I have a weak for Steve McQueen and since I’m from Le Mans, I was quite eager to check it out. First of all, I was wondering how they would develop a plot around the legendary race and, to my surprise, they didn’t even try. Indeed, the first dialogues showed up after more than 30 mins and there were eventually only a handful of them after all. The only thing resembling a plot was concerning Steve McQueen’s character who was coming back to Le Mans after experiencing a deadly accident the year before. The end-result was therefore a rather hybrid movie, almost a documentary but not really since it was filled with actors playing some fictional characters, but not really a fiction either because of the lack of plot. This movie was obviously a passion project for McQueen and it was apparently his idea to make it as realistic as possible which meant using very little dialogue in the film and focusing more on the cars. Anyway, eventually, it is a rather intriguing movie but still not really satisfying, to be honest. I mean, it reminds me of what a friend used to say about Formula 1. Basically, the guy used to say that the only exciting things about this sport were the start and when there was a crash and, indeed, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, even if it might be a great challenge for a race driver, remains pretty tedious to behold for the audience. Still, the opening scenes, when you get to see Steve McQueen driving in my hometown, 20 years before I was even living there, were pretty awesome. Anyway, to conclude, even if the damned thing didn’t really work, I still think it is worth a look, especially if you are into racing sports. 



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An average movie

Posted : 6 months, 3 weeks ago on 9 April 2020 07:39 (A review of A Tale of Love and Darkness)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since I always had a weak spot for Natalie Portman, I thought I might as well check her directing debut. Well, even if it was quite ambitious and quite courageous to deliver a movie spoken only in Hebrew, to be honest, the damned thing was not really good, I’m afraid. Indeed, I can imagine that Portman had a personal link with this story but it never grabbed me at all. I mean, the historical background, the start of the Israelian state, was interesting but it didn’t have much impact on the story itself after all. In fact, there was not even a real plot at all and, instead, we followed the life of a family living in Israel back then which wasn't necessarily a bad idea. However, unfortunately, none of these characters was really interesting. And I think that was the biggest mistake made by Portman, to start a directing career with a movie without an actual plot. Indeed, it meant that she was supposed to focus instead on the emotional and psychological turmoil experienced by the characters involved but I’m afraid this challenge was just too big for a first-time director like her. On top of that, it didn’t help that all the characters constantly spoke in riddles which made the whole thing look even more pretentious than it already was. Finally, the story was supposed to be told from the point of view of Amos, the writer of the book this movie was based on, but it was never clear at any moment what the boy might be thinking or feeling. Anyway, to conclude, even if it was quite a misfire, I give it a very few extra points only for its share ambition but I hope the next time around Natalie Portman won’t make it so hard for herself and will go for something easier to handle for her and easier to swallow for the viewers. 



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An average movie

Posted : 6 months, 3 weeks ago on 8 April 2020 11:01 (A review of Welcome to New York)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since I used to be a huge fan of Abel Ferrara, I thought I might as well check it out. I say ‘used to’ because I believe that the guy was one of the most fascinating directors in the 90’s but, afterwards, his movies became rather obscure and, to be honest, I didn't see most of them. Anyway, at last, he finally came up with a very interesting project, obviously, based on the scandal around Dominique Strauss-Kahn who might have assaulted a maid in his hotel room in New York and it definitely had some potential. To be honest, the beginning scenes were rather sordid and you hope that, in real life, it wasn’t so bad but, apparently, Strauss-Kahn was indeed quite a sex-addict. And of course, 3 years after this movie was released, there has been the Harvey Weinstein scandal which displayed that powerful and rich men might become some insane sex craved monsters who, in the process, might completely ignore the consequences for their victims but also for themselves. So, the material was maybe dark and morbid but it did have some potential and it seemed to be a perfect fit for Ferrara who has always been a rather bleak director. And, yet, it seems that the guy did struggle to make it really work though. Indeed, there were some good chunks during which nothing much really happened. Another issue was that the second half was mostly about the relationship between Devereaux and his wife which wasn’t a bad idea. However, for some unknown reasons, both characters kept switching between speaking French and English, sometimes even within the same sentence. It didn’t make much sense since both characters were French and since Jacqueline Bisset speaks French fluently and the results was just jarring. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, it was not bad at all and it was pretty neat to see Ferrara delivering a solid directing effort after all these years. 



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An average movie

Posted : 6 months, 3 weeks ago on 8 April 2020 05:46 (A review of Welcome to the Sticks)

I wasn’t expecting much from this flick but since it had been a huge box-office success in France, I thought I might as well check it out. Indeed, even though ‘Intouchables’ has been for a while the most successful French movie of all time, it is in fact not the most successful French movie in France. Indeed, this title has been held by this movie for more than a decade already. To be honest, the damned thing looked awful and I was expecting something seriously offensive. However, I have to admit that it wasn’t so bad after all. Of course, they made fun of the Ch'tis, the people living in the north of France with a very specific dialect (in fact, I have to admit that I had never heard this dialect before), but, eventually, it gave a really positive vision on this region and, above all, on the people living there. However, like most successful French comedies, I’m afraid the plot was still pretty idiotic though. Seriously, Zoé Félix was really lovely but her character was just cringe-inducing and, above all, the whole idea of her husband pretending that his life in the North was horrible because, apparently, it would improve their marriage was just ludicrous and, above all, not funny whatsoever. Seriously, there must have been many other ideas which would have been more interesting or entertaining. Anyway, to conclude, even though this movie probably didn’t deserve to become such a massive success in France, it is eventually rather harmless and I guess it might be worth a look but only if you really like the genre.


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A good movie

Posted : 6 months, 3 weeks ago on 6 April 2020 10:48 (A review of Never Look Away)

Since I heard that Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck had made an impressive comeback with this movie, I was really eager to check it out. Well, eventually, I have to admit that I ended up with some similar feelings I had with his classic ‘Das Leben der Anderen’. Indeed, even though I mostly admired this movie, somehow, it didn’t really grab me. Still, there is no denying that it was a really ambitious project with an impressive scope. Indeed, even though they basically focused on only one character, we followed him through 30 years, experiencing many dramatic events on a historical level but also on a personal level. The point of the movie, I guess, was to show that all these events shaped the main character as an artist but, somehow, I wasn’t completely convinced. It might have to do with the fact that, for a good chunk of the running time, we didn’t see the guy painting or drawing anything, expect a naked girl when he was a little boy. In fact, it was only towards the end that we finally get to see him becoming an actual artist. In fact, it does make sense, as pointed out by his teacher, that he would finally become an artist after finally being able to translate all these dramatic, even traumatic events, into Art. Still, they could have displayed him being at least a little more creative before the very end. Another issue was probably the fact that Kurt Barnert was too passive. On the other hand, I’m glad they didn’t spend too much time on Professor Carl Seeband who was such a stereotypical Evil nazi officer. It was however really refreshing that there wasn’t a climax at the end during which the bad guy was caught and all the connections between the characterers were finally neatly explained. Anyway, to conclude, even if it wasn't a complete home-run, it was still an epic historical movie and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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An average movie

Posted : 6 months, 3 weeks ago on 5 April 2020 06:55 (A review of Bandslam)

To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this flick but, according to another listal member, it was actually seriously underrated, so I thought I might as well check it out after all. Well, even if it turned out to be a big flop when it was released, I thought it was not so bad at all. Indeed, Will Burton was a solid character, a believable awkward teenager thanks to a decent performance by Gaelan Connell (by the way, who was this guy? I had never heard of him before and, apparently, it makes sense as his career did start and end with this movie). I also liked the idea focusing on a kid who has a great knowledge of music and becomes a band manager instead of the usual lead-singer. Still, the whole thing didn't completely worked though. First of all, why did they bring two girls in the mix? Eventually, it did create a rather awkward triangle resulting with Aly Michalka being switched with Vanessa Hudgens in the band because one had to come up on top eventually. And, of course, to make us believe that nobody at school would notice a cute girl like Hudgens was quite ridiculous. Eventually, I'm afraid the story in general was rather generic and predictable and the whole 'experiment' thing from Michalka's character was hardly a great narrative device. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, the whole thing was completely harmless and I think it might be worth a look, at least, if you really like the genre.


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An average movie

Posted : 6 months, 3 weeks ago on 4 April 2020 11:39 (A review of Rock the Kasbah)

Even though this movie had a rather lame reputation, somehow, I still ended up watching the damned thing. Well, it turned out to be pretty weak, that's for sure. First of all, it was completely tone-deaf. Indeed, they went for some rather campy approach which never worked and it was only during the scenes involving Scott Caan and Danny McBride that they did find the right tone. At least, the Afghan characters were not so bad but the damned thing was still terribly condescending to them and their culture. Furthermore, it was filled with characters suddenly appearing and disappearing just as randomly as they showed up. For example, what the hell happened to Zooey Deschanel's character? Concerning the cast, well, there was indeed a bunch of interesting actors involved but they either struggled with the material or they didn't even try at all. The worst offender being Bruce Willis who was a great choice to play such a mercenary and yet it was borderline offending to see him completely sleepwalking through his performance. The worst thing was probably the fact that the damned thing actually had some potential but it was just so poorly written so it was pretty much hopeless from the start. I mean, how do you connect a young girl playing the guitar in a cave in the Afghan desert with an American down-on-his-luck music manager? Well, not like this, that's for sure. Anyway, to conclude, I think I was rather generous with my rating here, the damned thing was just so weak and you should probably avoid it.


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An average movie

Posted : 6 months, 4 weeks ago on 3 April 2020 08:00 (A review of Ghostbusters)

Even though this movie had been pretty much a critical and commercial flop when it was released, I thought I might as well check it out anyway. First of all, like any other kid growing up during the 80’s, I really loved ‘Ghostbusters’, however, when I did re-watch the classic installments as a grown-up, to be honest, I thought the concept didn’t grow old very well. That was the main reason why I was sceptical about this flick and not the fact that they brought up a female cast for this reboot. In fact, the idea to start fresh with some new characters was probably one of the few things that did work with this movie. Indeed, I’m afraid this flick does deserve its rather poor reputation. The main issue was that the script was rather weak. In my opinion, they spent too much time on explaining on how suddenly there were a bunch of ghosts in New York and then they spent too much time on arguing that the Ghostbusters were some fraud. Both ideas were just really tedious and the ridiculously long running time of almost 2 hours definitely didn’t help either. Concerning the jokes, it was just hit-and-miss. Most of the jokes involving Chris Hemsworth were pretty neat though but there were too many of them focusing on this character which shows how misguided the whole thing was. It was like Bill Murray’s cameo, it was fine to see him on TV debunking the Ghostbusters but to have his character showing up again later on was completely unnecessary. Anyway, to conclude, as expected, it turned out to be a rather weak reboot and it is obviously not really worth a look. 



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An average movie

Posted : 6 months, 4 weeks ago on 2 April 2020 11:08 (A review of The Orphanage)

Since this flick had a solid reputation, I was quite eager to check it out. Well, even though this movie had been apparently a huge success in Spain when it was released, to be honest, I really struggled get into the damned thing. First of all, in my opinion, the start was actually rather awkward. I mean, you had this woman who bought the orphanage where she lived as a young girl and she was supposed to turn it into a place to take care of disabled children. On top of that, she had adopted a boy who was also HIV positive, who had some imaginary friends and who also could see ghosts. And I forgot to mention that the house might be haunted as well. Seriously, it was just too much for me to swallow. Fortunately, when Simón started to get involved himself and his mother into some quest game, then, I finally started to get more interested in this tale. Still, I’m not surprised that this movie was produced by Guillermo del Toro. Indeed, pretty much like the movies directed by del Toro, there was a great mood and it was visually really engaging but there was something seriously lacking in this story. I mean, there was even a massive plot-hole. Indeed, while what happened to Tomás was cleared out at some point, it was never explained what happened to the other children. I mean, they made a big fuss that these kids might have been killed and, yet, we never got to the bottom of this at all after all which was rather frustrating. Still, I have to admit that I really liked the ending though. Indeed, suddenly, it became all possible that everything actually happened in the mind of the main character after all which made the whole thing interestingly ambiguous. If they would have put more focus on this idea, that everything might be happening only in the mind of the main character, it would have been so much better in my opinion. Anyway, to conclude, even if it didn’t work for me, it was still a decent watch and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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