Explore
 Lists  Reviews  Images  Update feed
Categories
MoviesTV ShowsMusicBooksGamesDVDs/Blu-RayPeopleArt & DesignPlacesWeb TV & PodcastsToys & CollectiblesComic Book SeriesBeautyAnimals   View more categories »
Listal logo
All reviews - Movies (7524) - TV Shows (9)

A classic

Posted : 1 month ago on 15 March 2024 12:08 (A review of The Blue Angel)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it seemed to have a decent reputation (it is included in the ‘1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die’ list, among other things), I thought I might as well check it out. To be honest, it took me a while to get into the damned thing. The fact that the copy I saw was pretty bad probably didn’t help but I also believe that the first half was rather slow. Indeed, it seemed that it was dealing with a frustrated teacher who entertained the same sexual fantasies that his pupils had and I thought the guy was actually rather pathetic and not really interesting. However, it all changed when the guy decided to actually marry Lola Lola. Indeed, it was such a surprising turn of events and it didn’t seem to be make any sense to everyone, his colleagues, Lola, her colleagues,… And that’s when the movie did start to become fascinating. Indeed, how could this decision actually make sense to Professor Immanuel Rath himself? Behind his stiff demeanor, was he actually some kind of closeted romantic? Eventually, you never really found out why he made this choice but watching his downward spiral was so spellbinding to behold. It was definitely a strange character and the main reason why he actually worked was because Emil Jannings gave here such a strong performance (it’s a pity that arguably one of the best actors that ever lived would eventually become a major Nazi sympathizer). Concerning Marlene Dietrich, she got her breakthrough with this movie (she would eventually make 6 more movies with Josef von Sternberg) and she was, of course, pretty good but, in my opinion, her character was much more straightforward than Immanuel Rath and therefore less interesting. Anyway, to conclude, even though it might be a tricky movie, it is a classic and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.



0 comments, Reply to this entry

A very good movie

Posted : 1 month ago on 14 March 2024 12:39 (A review of Anatomy of a Fall )

Since I kept hearing some pretty good things about this flick (it did with the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, among other things), I was quite eager to check it out. Well, I wasn’t disappointed, that’s for sure. Indeed, it must be hands down one of the very best legal procedurals I have ever seen and the damned thing was just to subtle, so cleverly put together, I’m not surprised that it also won the Academy Award for the Best Original Screenplay. Eventually, I was expecting that they would show some flashbacks so that you could get a better idea about who was this woman and this man and what was exactly their relationship but it happened only once because the victim had actually recorded this conversation (while his wife actually didn’t know about it, something my ex-wife used to do all the time but that’s another story). Anyway, this approach was just so effective because, as a result, you are basically on the bench during this trial, listening to the testimonials. On top of that, everybody from the defense, from the prosecution, the judges, everything they said did make sense which was just so refreshing compared to the black-and-white characters that you get in your usual Hollywood production. Sure, you might have some personal opinion about which theory might be correct but every character was so well written, the dialogues were razor sharp, it was just spellbinding to behold. Eventually, there were very little evidence and, at the end of the day, either you believe this woman or you don’t and if you expect this movie to give some easy answers, I’m afraid you will be disappointed. The fact that we, as a viewer, have to go through this process was difficult enough but to witness her son (by the way, the kid who played this character was just so amazing) going through this process as well was just so heartbreaking. I mean, in his case, either his father did commit suicide or his mother killed him, in both scenarios, the end-result will remain so tragic. The fact that his accident and his subsequent handicap was at the center of the tensions between his parents was also really heavy for the poor boy. Concerning Sandra Hüller, she was just amazing delivering such a pitch-perfect performance resulting in such a complex character. Anyway, to conclude, I really loved the damned thing and it is definitely worth a look. 



0 comments, Reply to this entry

A good movie

Posted : 1 month ago on 13 March 2024 11:00 (A review of Ferrari)

To be honest, it has been at least 20 years since Michael Mann has delivered a great movie but, since I have always had a weak spot for his work, I was willing to give him once again the benefit of the doubt. Furthermore, I have to admit that the subject matter did sound really cool. Well, even if it didn’t turn out to be a masterpiece, it was at least miles better than the abysmal ‘Blackhat’. Indeed, Ferrari must be the most famous car brand in the world and I think that the time period chosen, instead of going for a full biography of the famous Italian, was an interesting choice. However, even though everything going on in his professional life was quite intriguing, the focus on his private life didn’t work that well though. I’m not saying that his private life was not interesting (it was certainly less fascinating than his achievements on the race tracks and in the car business though) but, when the movie starts, there had been already so much going on with this love triangle, so much had happened already between them that you don’t get to see, anyway, the end-result did feel rather half-baked. The fact that Shailene Woodley was rather miscast probably didn’t help either. Sure, neither Adam Driver or Penélope Cruz are actually Italian but they were certainly convincing which was definitely not the case with Woodley. Concerning Cruz, I have to admit that I’m going myself through a very ugly divorce with a difficult ex-partner right now so her hysterical behavior was hard to swallow but it had actually nothing to do with her performance which was fine. Eventually, I was mostly impressed by Adam Driver who once again completely disappeared in this character. Even though he might not look like a movie star, he is slowly becoming one of the most interesting actors of his generation, no less than that. Concerning the rest of the movie, it looked really neat and convincing. Furthermore, Mann did a great job shooting the racing scenes with such vintage cars and I definitely could feel the velocity and how hazardous it was to actually drive one of these. Anyway, to conclude, even if it wasn’t a complete home-run, it was a decent comeback from Michael Mann and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in this director’s work.



0 comments, Reply to this entry

An average movie

Posted : 1 month ago on 12 March 2024 12:20 (A review of Drinking Buddies)

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, I don’t think it was bad at all. Indeed, there was something really genuine about these 4 characters and the cast involved was pretty good, especially Olivia Wilde who probably delivered here her best performance so far. Eventually, it reminded me somehow of ‘Past lives’, my favorite movie from 2023, and it is definitely a compliment, even if Joe Swanberg’s directorial effort never became really amazing though. Of course, the fact that none of the characters was really fascinating was probably an issue but I think I was mostly bothered by the constant drinking and the constant flirting, at work and outside. Sure, with such a title, it was to be expected but it didn’t seem to be really healthy (the fact that I really don’t like alcohol drinking probably didn’t help). Furthermore, even if they were working for a brewery, it was weird to see them drinking so often, during their lunch break for example, while they were actually at work. Then, there was the constant flirting between Kate and Luke. I know, some people love to engage this way with their co-workers but I really don’t like this kind of behavior, especially when the flirters are actually already involved in some relationships. In fact, the constant boozing and constant flirting with someone unavailable also reminded me of ‘Temptation Island’ (I have to admit it, this TV-reality show was a huge guilty pleasure of mine at some point) but I’m afraid it’s not really a compliment this time. 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 like the genre. 



0 comments, Reply to this entry

An average movie

Posted : 1 month, 1 week ago on 11 March 2024 12:13 (A review of Always Shine)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but, since it was starring [Link removed - login to see] and since it was available on Netflix, I thought I might as well check it out. While watching this movie, I noticed that the director, Sophia Takal, did sound familiar and it’s only afterwards that I discovered that she directed afterwards the recent dreadful remake of ’Black Christmas’. Fortunately, this previous directorial effort was at least watchable. In my opinion, this movie turned out to be the worst commercial ever regarding the acting profession, especially for women. Indeed, you had 2 fairly charismatic women, on one hand, one of them was struggling to breakthrough and, at almost 30 years old, she was fearing that she might be actually already too old. On the other hand, the one had more success but she was clearly involved in some projects that really didn’t interest her and, to make things worse, most of them included plenty of nudity, something she was obviously not thrilled about. Seriously, they made this job look so depressing but this must be not far from the truth, I’m afraid. Beside that, there was also such an ominous atmosphere, it made the whole thing actually quite uncomfortable to watch. Obviously, it was done on purpose so I was fine with that but, to be honest, the damned thing became almost cringe-inducing to behold. Another issue, at least, for me, was I had a hard time to care about these 2 young women. Indeed, Beth, arguably the prettier girl, was nice but also actually rather boring and with Anna, who was actually more interesting, her behavior was actually seriously off-putting. At least, there is no doubt that Mackenzie Davis did deliver a strong performance here. The best scene which was so representative of the movie in general was when she was hitting on a guy in a restaurant quite successfully and then managed to completely antagonize him within a few mins only. Anyway, to conclude, even if it wasn’t a real home-run, it was still a decent watch though and I think it is worth a look.



0 comments, Reply to this entry

A bad movie

Posted : 1 month, 1 week ago on 9 March 2024 12:37 (A review of Acts of Vengeance)

I wasn’t expecting much from the damned thing but, since it was starring Antonio Banderas, I thought I might as well check it out anyway. Well, as expected, it turned out to be one of these dreadful direct-to-VOD hack jobs. To be honest, I have to admit that it wasn’t the worst movie I have seen in this genre so my rating might seem a little bit harsh. Still, the damned thing was so weak, the only redeeming feature was that it was rather short. Where should I start? Everything from the title to the poster, to the font used for the credits, the action scenes, the performances of the actors involved, seriously, everything felt so cheap. It also took forever to really take off and, even when it finally did take off, the concept barely worked. I mean, how was the main character supposed to investigate the murders of his wife and kid if he took a vow of silence? Seriously, it didn’t seem really practical. Eventually, the answer provided by the movie was that he only had to look someone deep in the eyes to get the answers to his question, without asking an actual question. Sure, it does sound ridiculous and it was probably even worse on the silver screen. At least, it was one of the very few vigilante features which didn't end up with the main character killing his target and I have to admit that it was rather refreshing. However, the fact that the alternative was to bring the perpetuator to justice didn’t seem to work either since Frank Valera himself used  to be part of a seemingly rotten justice system which didn’t seem really efficient to provide the right punishment for people who really deserved it. Anyway, to conclude, the damned thing was a waste of time and you should probably avoid it. 



0 comments, Reply to this entry

An average movie

Posted : 1 month, 1 week ago on 9 March 2024 07:49 (A review of Wrath of Man)

To be honest, even though Guy Ritchie was a really promising director at some point, I can't remember the last time one of his movies really impressed me. However, I really liked the idea of him working again with Jason Statham after 16 long years so I was actually eager to check this movie (In fact, I have to admit that I actually saw first 'Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre' which turned out to be surprisingly weak). Unfortunately, instead of making again a fun Guy Ritchie joint like 'Snatch' or 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels', they made instead a typical Jason Statham action flick which was rather disappointing, at least, as far as I was concerned. First of all, I have to admit that I haven't seen 'Le convoyeur' but, since it has been added on Netflix recently, I will probably check it out at some point. Anyway, the concept had some potential but I didn't care much about the approach though. Basically, in contrary to Ritchie's earlier work with Statham, there was no humor whatsoever, the damned thing was just so dreary dead-serious, it was almost depressing to watch. Sure, the characters had some continuous banter with each other but it was never actually funny and, to be honest, most of the dialogues were actually rather pathetic. Concerning the story, I have to admit that it was actually well made and fairly entertaining but, eventually, I don't think it all really made sense. For example, they made it seems as if it was the only cash truck company in Los Angeles, otherwise, why would these group of military attack again a cash truck from the same company? And what was this all about the main character questioning his female co-worker in the middle of the night? What was the added value regarding the rest of the story? Anyway, to conclude, I think I was actually generous with my rating here but I guess it might still be worth a look if you like the genre.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

An average movie

Posted : 1 month, 1 week ago on 8 March 2024 11:04 (A review of Tokyo Chorus)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it was directed by Ozu and since it was on YouTube, I thought I might as well check it out. It is always rather strange to see a silent Japanese movie while, back then, in the US and in Europe, they had already started to deliver movies with sound for quite a while already. Since I already had the same experience with ‘Hijôsen no onna’ from the same director, I didn’t surprise me that much this time around though. Concerning the movie itself, I don’t think I’m an Ozu expert, not yet at least, but from all the movies I have seen from the Japanese master so far, it was easily the one which impressed me the least. Sure, as usual with Ozu, there was no real plot which didn’t bother me but the whole thing felt just really too light for my taste. Basically, nothing much was really going on which is a trademark of this director but I also didn’t care much about the characters involved which was much more problematic. The first scene was also rather bewildering and it’s only towards the end that I understood that it was actually some kind of gym class in high school. Seriously, none of these guys looked young enough to play someone in high school. Concerning the rest of the movie, it was basically a genuine slice-of-life and I guess it was a nice time bubble showing how Japanese people used to live back then at beginning of the 30’s but, as far as I was concerned, this movie didn’t really have much else to offer. At least, it was pretty neat to see again the same kid who was so awesome in ‘Otona no miru ehon - Umarete wa mita keredo’, possibly my favorite movie directed by Ozu so far. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, it was still a decent watch and it is worth a look, at least, if you are really interested in Yasujirô Ozu's work.



0 comments, Reply to this entry

A very good movie

Posted : 1 month, 1 week ago on 7 March 2024 10:22 (A review of Custody)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it did win the César of the Best movie of the year, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, I was definitely impressed by the damned thing after all. The fact that I’m going myself right now through a really nasty divorce obviously amplified the impact this movie had on me. Anyway, I really enjoyed the realistic and subtle approach. Indeed, at first, it was fairly neutral and I was actually at first rooting for the father which I think is understandable considering the struggles I had to face during my own divorce proceedings. However, from the first moment Julien spent some time again with his father, the kid was acting so unhinged (by the way, the performance by Thomas Gioria was actually quite mind-blowing), it seemed obvious that something ominous might be actually going with this father. Eventually, Antoine turned out to be a major narcissist after all. The funny thing is that my wife very often accused me during our relationship and during our divorce to be a narcissist which was and still is some major bullsh*t. In this movie, you really get to see how an actual narcissist works. Basically, the guy was going through some major mood swings which were fairly unpredictable but he was still aware enough to be able to adapt his behavior in public so, for the general public, he might seem like a very nice and even warm guy. To be honest, the way it down spiraled during the final act felt slightly rushed so I think its movie which could have used 30 mins of extra running time. There was also the fact while every scene involving Julie was equally fascinating and heartbreaking to behold, the older sister was however barely developed though. Indeed, you barely get to see her and hear her thoughts and you wonder why they added a sub-plot about her pregnancy and about her seemingly suddenly making a run for it (it was seriously not clear what she was doing in her last scene). Anyway, it was all fairly half-baked, I’m afraid. Still, to conclude, in spite of these minor flaws, the damned thing was actually quite spellbinding to behold and it is definitely worth a look. 



0 comments, Reply to this entry

A classic

Posted : 1 month, 1 week ago on 6 March 2024 10:23 (A review of Judgment at Nuremberg)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it had a very strong reputation, I was quite eager to check it out. Well, eventually, I wasn’t disappointed, that’s for sure. Indeed, it turned out to be such a complex and fascinating look on this famous trial. Sure, what the Nazi’s did was one of the worst tragedies in the whole humankind history but what were they/we actually supposed to do with the Germans after the war was over? On one hand, you can’t held them all responsible for what happened but, on the other hand, it is really frustrating to keep hearing everything single one of them saying that they had really no idea about what was going on in the concentration camps. That’s why the very last scene with Spencer Tracy and Burt Lancaster was pure gold and pitch-perfect. Indeed, if you get to see on a daily basis people getting arrested for various reasons and never coming back or even people getting killed for really dubious reasons, even if you don’t know all the details, you actually know enough. Concerning Spencer Tracy, even though he is sometimes mentioned as one of the greatest movie actors of all time, it was actually the first time that the guy really impressed me and I finally understood why he was so highly regarded. Eventually, the only minor critic I might have was about the fact that, earlier on, they made a switch with the German characters and made them speak in English. Indeed, I think it would have been better to keep the German languages and add some subtitles. On the other hand, they would have lost most of the stellar cast involved (Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Judy Garland) and I have to admit they were all really good here. Anyway, to conclude, it was quite spellbinding and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



0 comments, Reply to this entry