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All reviews - Movies (7524) - TV Shows (9)

A good movie

Posted : 11 months ago on 18 May 2023 10:30 (A review of The Crime of Monsieur Lange)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it seemed to have a decent reputation and since it was available on Netflix, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, it turned out to be a decent watch, even if it was definitely a minor effort from Jean Renoir. The fact that I saw again very recently 'Le jour se lève' and that both movies were terribly similar probably didn’t help. While watching the damned thing, I was sure Renoir tried to copycat Carné's classic but, in fact, it was released a few years before so I was unfair and it might have been actually the other way around. The fact remains that this movie did lack an interesting lead character though. In fact, I don't think there was a lead character at all but, instead many, probably too many, minor characters involved. Eventually, Amédée Lange, the title character, was maybe sweet and innocent but he was also rather spineless, at least, until the last act, and seriously gullible. The fact that René Lefèvre and Florelle didn't have much chemistry probably didn’t help. Eventually, even though the characters individually were not really interesting, as a group, they were actually quite fascinating and Renoir did manage to create here a convincing microcosm, some kind of time capsule which captured the blue collar people in France back in the 30's. I also did appreciate the Communist vibe when Batala was gone and his employees took over the company as a cooperative organization with some much better results than while Batala was running things. Sure, it probably seemed to be too idyllic, too good to be true, but it was a nice fantasy. Anyway, to conclude, even it won't belong among Renoir's masterpieces, it was still pretty good and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.


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A good movie

Posted : 11 months ago on 18 May 2023 06:56 (A review of The Other Side of Hope)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it was directed by Aki Kaurismäki, I was quite eager to check it out. Well, it had been a while since I have seen a movie from this director, probably almost 10 years, but within a few mins, I immediately recognised his work. Indeed, Kaurismäki has a unique visual style, all his movies have the same dreary mood, as if Finland must be the most depressing country in the world and, of course, there is his deadpan humor, probably his most famous trademark. This time, his movie was focusing on the immigration crisis. Sure, you could say that his previous movie 'Le Havre' was also dealing with this topic but, in this case, you could see how it was handled in Finland which was quite interesting. Basically, like most countries such as France and Netherlands where I lived for a very long time, in Finland, they have apparently also no clue how to handle this issue. In their case, it seems that they have some super strict rules which are both ridiculous and inhuman. Fortunately, in Kaurismäki's fictional world, even though his characters might all seem to be pathetic, they also seem to have a good heart after all and, on their level, they try to help as much as they can. It's important to note that Sherwan Haji who played the Syrian immigrant was really good here and completely fit in Kaurismäki's deadpan style. To be honest, I'm not sure if mixing up this tale about an old Finnish guy buying a seemingly hopeless restaurant with the heartbreaking survival of a Syrian refugee really worked so well together, most of the time, it felt like watching two different movies at the same time. 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 Aki Kaurismäki's work.


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An average movie

Posted : 11 months, 1 week ago on 16 May 2023 12:07 (A review of Joe Bell)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it was starring Mark Wahlberg and since it was available on Netflix, I thought I might as well check it out. I have to admit that I didn’t know the details about this true story and, at first, I was slightly confused that Jadin was actually involved since I was pretty sure that one of his sons actually died (was it then the little brother who actually died?). However, it turned out that they went for the gimmick of pretending for a while that Jadin actually didn’t die and was walking through the US with his father. Sure, it wasn’t really original and it wasn’t very well developed but it didn’t bother me that much. However, a bigger issue was the use of a scrambled chronology though. Indeed, it is in general an overused and, above all, really useless gimmick which has no really added value and it was definitely the case with this movie. Still, the story was not bad at all and it was nice to see Wahlberg trying something more dramatic than his usual action flicks. Still, even though it was a decent effort from Wahlberg, at the end of the day, it felt as if he only scratched the surface on what could have been done with such an interesting and complex character. On top of that, it didn’t help that he was often upstaged by Reid Miller who managed to make his character so strong and quite fascinating to behold even if he was not even actually the lead. Eventually, even though the movie was supposed to be about Joe Bell, you might wonder if a movie focusing instead on Jadin Bell would not have been more interesting after all. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, 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 : 11 months, 1 week ago on 14 May 2023 03:18 (A review of Playmobil: The Movie)

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this flick but since I have a weak spot for Anya Taylor-Joy, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, when it was released, it was a commercial and critical flop and, indeed, I'm afraid it turned out to be really lame. Of course, it's pretty obvious that they got their inspiration from 'The Lego Movie' but the end-result with this rather shameless rip-off was even more disappointing than you could possibly imagine, that's for sure. I mean, where to start? At least, I have to admit it was neat that this world did combine all kinds of playmobil toys all together but it was probably the only thing that did work, I'm afraid. Indeed, they started with an intro in the real world which is such an overused and vastly ineffective gimmick but, in this case, it was even more cringe-inducing than usual. On top of that, to do everything like anyone else, they also had to add some songs but they were all so pathetic. The story was not much better though as the concept was just generic and tedious and the fact that none of the characters involved was actually entertaining whatsoever probably didn’t help. Concerning Anya Taylor-Joy, it was a rare misstep in an otherwise rather flawless career. Eventually, you can't blame her for getting involved in an animated feature like anyone else and, on top of that, a few years later, she would redeem herself with 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie' which was, at least, a huge box-office hit. Anyway, to conclude, I gave this movie a few extra points because I guess it might be slightly more enjoyable for young children but, eventually, the damned thing was just really weak and I think I was actually rather generous with my rating for this movie. 


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A good movie

Posted : 11 months, 1 week ago on 13 May 2023 11:54 (A review of Hands Off the Loot)

I already saw this movie but since it was a while back and since it was available on Netflix, I thought I might as well check it out again. Well, I have to admit that I barely remembered the damned thing so a rewatch was definitely worth it. Basically, it turned out to be a very solid French film noir. Sure, the plot was fairly generic and predictable but it was still quite entertaining. Indeed, Jacques Becker managed to create here such a vivid and convincing underworld. In fact, even though I’m French, I still had to turn on the subtitles from time to time because all the characters were using such a vintage slang with a vocabulary quite foreign for modern French speakers like me. Concerning Jean Gabin, this movie apparently revived his career at the time. Anyway, he was definitely one of the best French actors and, on top of that, with Steve McQueen and Samuel L. Jackson, he could easily compete for the title of coolest actor ever, especially after watching this movie. Basically, the guy really ruled here and I'm pretty sure his character was an inspiration for Danny Ocean in 'Ocean's Eleven', at least, for Soderbergh's version. The most awesome thing was to see him seducing every single girl, all at least 30 years younger than him, with such an ease and charisma. Another neat aspect was the fact was that, even though Max seemed to be on top of things at all time, he still didn't manage to prevent the tragic conclusion of this movie but this bittersweet ending was actually more than welcome. This movie was also the acting debut of Lino Ventura, a fairly famous actor in France who had a striking resemblance with Sylvester Stallone. Anyway, to conclude, even though it might not be a masterpiece, I really enjoyed it and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.


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An average movie

Posted : 11 months, 1 week ago on 12 May 2023 08:32 (A review of Stavisky...)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it was directed by Alain Resnais and since it was available on Netflix, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, after all these years, I have to admit that I’m still not familiar with this director’s work but, even though I have seen only 6 of his movies so far, I’m already impressed by his versatility as all his movies were so completely different from one and another. In this case, the material was interesting but, to be honest, the movie itself was not really impressive though. The main issue was that the story was rather disjointed. Serge Alexandre Stavisky was apparently a notorious con artist in France back in the 30’s who might have had some political connections. However, instead of showing these actual connections, they gave us some scenes involving Leon Trotsky’s exile in France where he lived for 2 years which was rather bewildering since Stavisky and Trotsky never had any contact for real or during this movie. Another issue was that, even though Anny Duperey and Charles Boyer were fine, they were given just too little to do. At least, Jean-Paul Belmondo was even better and a perfect choice to play the lead character. Eventually, Stavisky was basically displayed as a massive bipolar, it was mentioned a couple of times that he struggled with bouts of depression and the best moments where when he seemed to be doubting but this most interesting aspect of the character was barely developed after all. Instead, you get to see him going from one meeting to another, always playing the coolest cat in the room, which felt rather redundant at some point. Another even weaker narrative gimmick was when they gave us the supporting characters testifying about him during some commission. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, it was still a decent watch though and I think it is worth a look, especially if you are interested in Alain Resnais’s work. 



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An average movie

Posted : 11 months, 1 week ago on 11 May 2023 09:54 (A review of King of Thieves)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since there was a nice cast involved, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, I have always had a weak spot for the heist genre and, even though this movie didn’t get much love when it was released, I thought it was fairly entertaining. Basicall, it turned to be some kind of geriatric version of ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ and the cast involved was pretty much pitch-perfect (Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay, Ray Winstone, Michael Gambon). It was also neat that the heist seemed to be doable, instead of something really far-fetched, even though it was surprising that there was not a single security guard on the premises at night or even through the whole Easter weekend. On the other hand, it was actually based on a real heist, the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company was actually notorious for his lack and/or outdated security and it went out of business a few months after this robbery took place. It was also interesting how this affair took a dark turn during the 2nd act as all these robbers seemed to get along fine at first but then started to turn on each other. That’s also an issue with this genre, the fact that they tend to really glamorize such robbers but, in fact, most of them are no gentleman and this movie really displayed how dangerous and mean-spirited this occupation actually is. Unfortunately, the whole 3rd act barely worked at all and pretty ruined the whole thing, I’m afraid. First of all, even though all the characters worked fine, ‘Basil’ was barely developed whatsoever. In fact, who was this guy? What was his actual relationship with Brian Reader? Another issue was that they really struggled to further develop this story during this last act. Eventually, I wish they explained better how a group of seasoned robbers would manage to completely botch the final phase of this robbery. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, it turned out to be a decent watch and I think it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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A bad movie

Posted : 11 months, 2 weeks ago on 9 May 2023 08:05 (A review of Un amour de sorcière)

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. I remember when this movie was released in France though. Back then, Vanessa Paradis was one of the most famous singers in France and she was eager to start a side career as actress. Unfortunately, after ‘Elisa’ which was a big critical and commercial success, this plan was almost instantly derailed by this massive misfire. Indeed, it was a huge flop and, to be honest, it turned out to be even worse than I expected. The first really annoying thing was the fact they dubbed all the characters. Indeed, the French actors dubbed themselves, rather poorly, but, even worse, the US actors were dubbed by some French actors which was just so cringe-inducing. Seriously, if you want everybody to speak French, why didn’t they set the action in France with some French characters instead? Concerning the story itself, it seems that it was conceived as a family feature but I can’t imagine young kids being entertained by this. Indeed, it was dealing with some rather convoluted mythology around good and bad witches but, above all, the end-result was just so tedious to behold. At least, Paradis was just so charming and charismatic, especially back then, but it was probably the only thing that worked with this movie. The rest of the cast (Jean Reno, Jeanne Moreau, Gil Bellows) all gave some rather pathetic performances but I guess they were not helped by the fact that their characters were really lame. Eventually, a few years later, Vanessa Paradis would fall in love with Johnny Depp, got pregnant within a few months so she took a break and it was only during the 2010’s that she would finally have a real acting career. Anyway, to conclude, the damned thing was a big waste of time for all the people involved and you should probably avoid it. 



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A good movie

Posted : 11 months, 2 weeks ago on 7 May 2023 06:38 (A review of A.K.)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since I have always been a huge fan of Akira Kurosawa and since it was available on Netflix, I thought I might as well check it out. On top of that, this making-off was shot by Chris Marker so it seemed to be the opportunity to have a great filmmaker analysing the last masterpiece of another great filmmaker. On top of that, 'Ran' was probably the only film directed by Kurosawa that I did see twice, even if it was a while back, so I wouldn't be completely lost while they were showing how this movie was created. Well, even though it might have sounded great on paper, it turned out to be a decent watch but not much more than that, I'm afraid. Indeed, eventually, you get the feeling that Marker only scratched the surface here. Furthermore, even if it was expected, the tone was just too reverent. Seriously, at least half of the duration was about the fact that everybody, even Marker himself, called Kurosawa 'Sensei' which was probably not the most interesting thing to learn about the Japanese director. Eventually, it seems that, suddenly, it was all forgotten how he struggled to get fundings back in the 70's in Japan, in fact, even back then, 'Ran' was actually financed by a French producer. At least, it was a great reminder that I should watch much more movies directed by Kurosawa. I mean, I was doing pretty good when I was younger and I saw quite a lot of his movies but I should pick this up again at some point. Anyway, to conclude, even if the material probably deserved better, it was still an interesting movie and it is worth a look, especially if you are interested in Akira Kurosawa's work.


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A good movie

Posted : 11 months, 2 weeks ago on 5 May 2023 07:39 (A review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3)

Of course, since I have been faithfully following the MCU from the very beginning, I was quite eager to check this last instalment of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Well, even though it turned out to be a decent watch, to be honest, it didn’t really blow me away though. Eventually, the thing that bothered me the most was the fact that the damned thing was just too damned long. Seriously, when will they learn that such blockbusters really don’t need to be more than 2 hours long? It’s too bad because it was actually a great idea to focus on Rocket’s mysterious past. On top of that, the scenes involving this character when he was young with his freakish friends were some of the best scenes ever delivered by the MCU, no less than that, However, there is no way that his tale required a whopping 150 mins of running time. Eventually, 90 mins would have been just fine or they should have combined it with something else. It was also rather disappointing what they did with Adam Warlock who was basically the only new character in the mix. Indeed, the character was pretty cool and Will Poulter did what he could with the material provided but, eventually, he was simply given just too little to do and it seems that this character could have been easily removed. Still, this group of characters was and still is really awesome. Indeed, except maybe Groot, they are all so messed-up and so traumatized, it makes them all flawed but also so much more interesting than most of the super-heroes out there and, eventually, it all makes sense that they have such a strong bond. Anyway, to conclude, even if it doesn’t belong to the best MCU instalments, it was still quite entertaining and it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre.  



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