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All reviews - Movies (6794) - TV Shows (12)

A good movie

Posted : 1 week, 5 days ago on 20 November 2021 08:20 (A review of Our Hospitality)

Even though I grew up watching the movies of Charles Chaplin, I have always been rather oblivious regarding Buster Keaton and I discovered his work much later as an adult. Eventually, I wonder what I would have thought of his movies if I would have seen them when I was a kid because back then, I loved Chaplin (I still do). Anyway, coming back to our main feature, it was definitely quite entertaining. First of all, even though it was shot almost 100 years ago (by the way, the version I saw on YouTube was of a pristine quality, it’s too bad there was some interruptions every 5 minutes for some damned commercials), the action was taking place almost a 100 years before so Keaton had obviously a lot of fun recreating this time period. Indeed, New York was pretty much unrecognizable and there was a long sequence involving the strangest little train I have ever seen. In fact, this train was actually accurate to the time period. There was also a hilarious vintage bicycle at the beginning. Concerning the story itself, it might sound like a drama but, in the hands of Keaton, it became quite a farce with many  incredible stunts and even more visual gags. To be honest, at the end of the day, I have to admit that it was still slightly too random for my taste. Furthermore, you might wonder if the material was enough for a feature length movie as every joke was stretched for quite some time so a shorter version might have been more effective. Anyway, to conclude, it was still definitely a solid silent comedy and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.


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An average movie

Posted : 1 week, 6 days ago on 19 November 2021 11:33 (A review of Florence Foster Jenkins)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it was directed by Stephen Frears and starring Meryl Streep, I was quite eager to check it out. Well, the whole thing really had some potential. Indeed, as displayed with ‘Ed Wood’, if you can make a fascinating movie about the worst director of all time, why not make a movie about the worst singer ever? Unfortunately, I’m afraid I didn’t care much about the approach they have chosen. Indeed, while Ed Wood seemed to be a seriously incompetent film maker, however, he never believed he was a great director while, in this case, Florence Foster Jenkins was displayed as a delusional idiot. As a result, it was rather difficult to root for her. To make things worse, everyone in her inner circle, especially her husband, constantly enabled her delusional behaviour and even more problematic was that their intentions were never cleared. Indeed, did they do it for the money or did they do it because they really cared for her? Well, by watching this movie, you’ll never know as the makers never seemed to make up their mind on this matter. In fact, I think they should have focused more on the fact  that, even though Florence Foster Jenkins was a terrible singer, she was actually really popular at the time. Indeed, in order to have a great time at a concert, either as a performer or as the audience, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the people on stage need to actually have any musical skills. The will to perform and to have a great time might be actually sufficient and it was apparently the case for this unique woman. Unfortunately, in this movie, they instead went for the easy laughs and spent way too much time on showing how ridiculous she was. Still, there is no denying that Meryl Streep delivered another solid performance. indeed, not only it must have been extremely difficult to mimic Jenkins’s awful singing skills but she also completely disappeared in her character. There was also something sweet about the couple she made with Hugh Grant. Anyway, to conclude, even if the damned thing never really worked for me, it was still a decent watch and I guess it might be worth a look if you like the genre. 



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A very good movie

Posted : 2 weeks ago on 18 November 2021 02:49 (A review of Passing)

Since I kept hearing some pretty good things about this flick and since it was available on Netflix, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, I have to admit that Rebecca Hall really impressed me with her directorial debut. Indeed, she gave such a heartfelt and fascinating look on the complexity and the hardship it might entail to be black or Mixed-race in the US back in the 20’s (but you could say that it still does apply for today I’m afraid). Of course, at first, you would be inclined to blame Clare for the choices she made but it is actually fairly easily to judge her if you (like myself) are white and have enjoyed all the privileges of the white middle-class through your whole life. Furthermore, even though Irene made a more moral choice, she hardly seemed to be happier than her friend. And that’s the heart-breaking conclusion made by this movie, the fact that every black and woman are stuck in some jail, no matter the choices they might make on how to live their lives. Indeed, what choices do they have? Since they are black, they always will be at best marginalized, bullied, discriminated and, in the worst-case scenarios, they might even get killed by some angry mob or some average cop just because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. By pretending to be white, even it might seem to be morally wrong, there would be some clear advantages to be part of the ruling class. However, as displayed in this movie, by making this choice, they would just end up in another kind of cage. Another option might be to actually leave the country, an option argued a couple of times by Brian, Irene’s husband. The only thing I was missing was that I never really understood why Irene and Brian were so obsessed by Clare though but it wasn't a deal-breaker. Anyway, to conclude, it turned out to be a rather simple but intense drama and it is definitely worth a look. 



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A very good movie

Posted : 2 weeks, 1 day ago on 17 November 2021 11:56 (A review of The Sweet Hereafter)

Since I kept hearing some pretty good things about this flick, I was quite eager to check it out. The last 20 years, I have tried to follow Atom Egoyan's work but everything he made recently turned out to be rather underwhelming ('The Captive' being an all-time low for the Canadian director). Well, after all these years, it was really neat to finally see his magnum-opus and the reason why the guy was one of the most heralded directors back in the 90's. To be honest, it wasn't an easy movie to decipher though. Indeed, you had first some random chronology which is usually a useless gimmick but it did work very well here. Then, the motivations of Steven Mitchell were also rather obscure. Indeed, it seemed rather unlikely that he did it for the money but, then, why did he try to convince this community to get a trial? Maybe because it was his job and he was good at it? Anyway, eventually, it was not a movie about greed, it was a movie about grief and the different ways you can deal with this emotion. Indeed, the people of this small community needed some closure, even deserved it but it was denied to them and you can't blame them for trying to find it by going through this judicial process. Unfortunately, they will probably never reach any kind of closure, their lives, for most of them, will be shattered for good and no lawsuit, no money settlement, would really alleviate their sorrow. It was all intertwined with the story of his lawyer who was also grieving in his own way, even if his daughter was not actually dead. Indeed, after death, drug addiction must be the most dreadful nightmare for any parent. However, even though most movies will sell you the idea that drug addicts can recover, it is not always the case. For Steven Mitchell, even if he still loved his daughter after all what happened, she basically completely disappeared and the only thing left was her addiction which must have been really heartbreaking for the poor guy. That they managed to show all this in just a few phone calls was just really impressive and Ian Holm delivered here one of the best performances of his career. Anyway, to conclude, I'm glad I finally watched 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 weeks, 2 days ago on 16 November 2021 11:38 (A review of Dolphin Tale 2)

I wasn’t expecting much from this flick but since there was a decent cast involved, I thought I might as well check it out anyway. I did watch the first instalment (mostly because my stepson was so enthusiastic about it) but it was years ago and the only thing I could remember was how much it did bore me at the time. Anyway, coming back to this sequel, I have to admit that the people working at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium all seemed to be doing an incredible work. Furthermore, it seems that everything displayed was scientifically fairly accurate and I guess the makers should be praised to have kept the BS to the bare minimum. Still, at the end of the day, it was just rather poorly written. Indeed, there was just no pulse whatsoever, the whole thing felt rather lifeless and, eventually, in my opinion, it wasn’t much better than a very long commercial for the CMA. On top of that, it didn’t help that Nathan Gamble was not charismatic at all and, even if Cozi Zuehlsdorff was slightly better, she didn't really impress me after all. To ‘support’ them, there were just way too many actors involved, some fairly famous (Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr. , Kris Kristofferson) and a whole bunch of unknow actors. They all had not much to do, except for Harry Connick Jr., and they all showed up for only a couple of (usually useless) scenes. Seriously, the makers were so desperate that they even did include some kind of sentient pelican who was obviously supposed to be hilarious. Anyway, to conclude, even I will have to admit that this movie was completely harmless, it just didn’t care at all about the damned thing and I don’t think it is really worth a look, except if you really like the genre. 



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An average movie

Posted : 2 weeks, 3 days ago on 15 November 2021 08:38 (A review of Red Notice)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since there was a decent cast involved and since it was available on Netflix, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, like every year, Netflix tried again to release a big blockbuster (with a budget of $200 million, it was even Netflix’s most expensive movie so far) but, even though it was certainly a decent attempt, probably their best one so far, they are not there yet, I’m afraid. My advice would be that they don’t spend so much money to get some very expensive stars (Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot apparently all got $20 million each for their roles) but that they focused instead on getting a better director and, above all, a better story. Indeed, even though I always had a weak spot for movies dealing with thieves and con artists, the beginning was too generic and rather weak.  Fortunately, as soon as Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds got stuck in this Russian prison and started to reluctantly work together, it finally started to be more entertaining. Sure, Johnson and Reynolds basically played the same characters they have played time and time again before in the past but, still, their banter was quite fun. Concerning Gal Gadot, she was also pretty good and she obviously had fun with this role which, in contrary to her male counterparts, really differed from what she had done before, but I wish they gave her more to do. Furthermore, it is one thing to write a movie about some super smarts thieves but, to make them show up randomly and magically anywhere in the world is just downright lazy, especially if you keep repeating this gimmick again and again. Anyway, to conclude, even if this movie definitely didn't deserve such an expensive price tag, it was still fairly entertaining, even if it was still completely forgettable. 



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A good movie

Posted : 2 weeks, 6 days ago on 12 November 2021 01:58 (A review of Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids (2016))

I’m not really a huge fan of Justin Timberlake but since it was the last movie directed by Jonathan Demme and since it was available on Netflix, I thought I might as well check it out. That’s one of the cool things with all these streaming services, they allow me to discover some popstars by watching some movies I would have otherwise never watched. To be honest, I was hardly impressed by Timberlake’s singing qualities but it was greatly compensated by the huge band supporting him. Seriously, they were really awesome and delivered such a heavy and gorgeous sound. I also enjoyed Timberlake’s dancing skills, even if he didn’t use those during maybe half of the concert. Still, even though Timberlake and his crew were super professional, eventually, the whole thing was so clean and polished that it became at some point slightly boring. I mean, they were all acting as if they were constantly having the time of their lives but there was seriously nothing spontaneous or unexpected happening through the whole concert. It’s an interesting that such a professional and technically flawless performance actually ends up being tedious and you almost wish that someone would show up drunk or high on stage just to shake things up. I also noticed that Justin Timberlake not once ever spoke to the audience to tell a joke or an anecdote or whatever (maybe he actually did but it was edited out off the movie like some other of his songs which were also not included) and it would have been nice if his interaction with his audience would have gone beyond than only asking them to say ‘HEY!!!’ every 5 minutes. Anyway, to conclude, even if it was probably not the best concert I have seen, I have to admit it was still a decent watch and it is worth a look, especially if you like Justin Timberlake’s work.



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An average movie

Posted : 3 weeks ago on 11 November 2021 10:18 (A review of Tricked)

Since I saw recently ‘Benedetta’, I was quite eager to see the only directorial effort from Paul Verhoeven that I haven’t seen so far. After almost 10 years, I just gave up waiting for the damned thing to show up on a Dutch TV-channel (for the record, I leave in the Netherlands…) and I bought instead a (probably too expansive) German DVD. Back then, even though Verhoeven made a triumphant come-back in the Netherlands with ‘Zwartboek’, it seems that he struggled afterwards to get another project started in the Netherlands. As a result, he got involved in some kind of experimental project during which the audience was somehow involved in the writing of the script. Even though they provided a making-off before the movie itself and even though I read some stuff about this project on the internet, it is still rather obscure how it was supposed to work. Coming back on the making-off, even if it was neat to see Verhoeven at work, it didn’t have much value though. Indeed, you get to see the Dutch master claiming that it was a great creative experience and, even though he did admit that it turned out to be more challenging than it expected, he never went further than this. On top of that, I have read here and there that he more or less completely changed the whole concept along the way because it didn’t work at all and, even so, I really doubt he was satisfied by the end-result. Concerning the movie itself, even though Verhoeven praised his crew and the actors during the making-off, I thought it was not much better than a really cheap Dutch made-for-TV movie. Indeed, it was visually nothing really thrilling or fancy and the acting was rather weak as well. In fact, the script was the only thing that did have some potential but, still, I didn’t care much about the choices made either by the audience or by Paul Verhoeven. In my opinion, they should have tried to keep the whole story taking place during the party at the beginning and the tone was just too light for my taste. Anyway, it is the proof that writing a movie is a really difficult task and we should probably let the professionals taking care of this in the future. To conclude, I didn’t care much for the damned thing which was pretty much a failed experiment and I think you can pretty much avoid it. 



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An average movie

Posted : 3 weeks, 1 day ago on 10 November 2021 01:47 (A review of Vox Lux)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it was starring Natalie Portman, I was really eager to check it out. To be honest, I think it was pretty obvious that it was only the 2nd directorial effort of Brady Corbet. Indeed, even though there were plenty of good ideas, half of it still didn’t work, I’m afraid. Still, I can’t remember the last time that Portman delivered such an intense performance. Seriously, it felt as if her character from Black Swan’ actually didn’t die and became some kind of unhinged pissed-off popstar. Eventually, she was so good that you almost wish they skipped the first part and only focused on her. It’s not that this first part was bad though. Indeed, it was really dark and intriguing but, in my opinion, these 2 parts, one focusing when Celeste was a teenager and the other focusing on her when she was grown-up, didn’t really work well together. First of all, I have nothing against Raffey Cassidy, she was not bad at all but, to be honest, she didn’t look at all like a young Natalie Portman. The fact that she also played Celestes daughter didn’t help either to make her casting less bewildering. On the other hand, I have to admit that I was really floored by Stacy Martin. Indeed, in contrary to Celeste who ended up being played by 2 actresses who didnt look like each other at all, Martin had to play the same character as a teenager AND as a grown-up and it was rather amazing how convincing she was in both cases. Its too bad they didnt give her much to do after all. Another issue was that the pacing in the 2 parts didn’t match at all. Indeed, the first part was taking place over roughly 18 months while the second part was taking place during a single day. Of course, you could argue that it was a creative choice but, in my opinion, it made the whole thing terribly unbalanced. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, it was still a decent watch and it is definitely  worth a look, especially if you are interested in Natalie Portman's work.



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A good movie

Posted : 3 weeks, 2 days ago on 9 November 2021 11:17 (A review of Whitney)

I have to admit that I have never been a huge fan of Whitney Houston but since this documentary was directed by Kevin Macdonald, I thought might as well check it out. To be honest, it wasn’t  the strongest documentary delivered by Macdonald that I have seen so far but it was still a decent watch though. Indeed, for example, I didn’t know that Houston was coming from such a musical family. Unfortunately, the majority of the movie was focusing on some talking heads telling their relationship with Whitney Houston and what they thought about her. Sure, you can argue that it was quite impressive that almost everyone from her entourage accepted to be interviewed for this movie (with the notable exception of Robyn Crawford). However, the issue with this approach was that everything they said turned out to be a mix of factual information, gossips, rumours and some more or less far-fetched theories. One of the most interesting comments provided was that Whitney Houston probably never really knew who she was and that’s for sure that her entourage who sticked around mostly to profit from her wealth and her fame obviously didn’t really know her either and, yet, they all had something to say but the value of their comment was dubious at best. Eventually, this movie was quite the cautionary tale displaying that, even if you are gorgeous, even if you are seriously talented and even if you are mega successful, there is still no guarantee that you will be happy after all. Anyway, to conclude, even if it was nothing ground-breaking, it was still an interesting documentary about one of the most successful pop-stars that ever lived and it is worth a look, at least, if you are interested in the subject matter. 



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