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An average movie

Posted : 11 years, 5 months ago on 16 November 2012 09:59 (A review of Michael)

It is interesting to note that even though, thanks to ‘Pulp Fiction’, John Travolta made one of the most impressive comebacks ever, he still continued to make his share of flops but he always managed nonetheless to remain on the A list this time. This flick is one of those turkeys and it is arguably one of the least popular movies starring Travolta. Honestly, even though I had some low expectations, I don’t think it was that bad at all and I enjoyed most of it. Indeed, I thought it was pretty neat to have an angel portrayed as a misfit. I mean, if I recall correctly, he was not really a thug, just an angel who wanted to enjoy what life has to offer and I thought it was an interesting idea. I thought that Travolta did a decent job and William Hurt was just really good, as usual. Hurt is a terrific actor, one of the best in the 80’s, and I will never understand how he just disappeared from the limelight in the 90’s. A real shame and waste of talent. Andie MacDowell was not bad and charming as usual but rather underused, I’m afraid. Still, even though I thought it was not bad at all, it was still nothing really impressive. The point is that even though Nora Ephron started with an interesting idea, there was an obvious lack of any ambition and the whole thing never went much further than your standard romantic comedy and that was rather disappointing. Still , to conclude, in spite of its reputation, I still think it is a rather decent comedy and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like John Travolta.


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A bad movie

Posted : 11 years, 5 months ago on 16 November 2012 09:20 (A review of Costa! (2001))

I always find it pretty neat to watch some Dutch movies from time to time but, honestly, some of them are just plain terrible. For example, I had some rather low expectations concerning this one and it was indeed pretty much as bad as I thought it would be. The weird thing is it was really popular when it was released… It does make you wonder about the values and taste of the Dutch people. Anyway… A long time ago, I have seen ‘Volle Maan’ and it was just about the very same drill. Indeed, the directing was non-existent, the dialogues were pathetic and the characters were barely developed. It was supposed to give you this nice and warm feeling that you usually get during the summer holiday but the only thing I thought while watching this is ‘Gosh! This place does look really lame …’. The only remotely attracting aspect was to see a whole bunch of young Dutch actors as some of those became pretty famous afterwards, at least in the Netherlands (Georgina Verbaan, Daan Schuurmans, Katja Schuurman, Michiel Huisman, Nadja Hüpscher, Peggy Jane de Schepper, Charly Luske). A part from that, it was pretty pathetic to watch and I was completely bored during the whole thing. To conclude, it is pretty bad and not worth a look whatsoever even if you are interested in Dutch movies.


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An average movie

Posted : 11 years, 5 months ago on 15 November 2012 01:40 (A review of Un week-end sur deux)

It is one of the most obscure movies I have seen and I don't expect you have heard about it. I don’t expect you to know Nicole Garcia either. She has a decent reputation as an actress in France but I’m sure she is pretty much unknown abroad. Honestly, I'm not very familiar with her acting career but I have seen most of the movies she has directed and I really like her style. It’s too bad that not more women direct movies since female directors have usually really different sensitivity than their male counterpart and make some striking features. Anyway, this movie was her directing debut, even though it was far from being her best movie, I thought it was a solid drama. Indeed, at the center, you have Nathalie Baye playing the lead character, and she was really good and basically carried the whole thing. Eventually, she would be nominated for the César of the Best actress (the Césars are the French Oscars, if you didn’t know). Like I said before, even though it is an interesting debut, it is not completely successful though. I mean, the plot was rather murky, if there was any plot at all, and the main character, even though she was interesting, was rather annoying and I had a hard time caring about her and what she was going through. Still, even though it is nothing amazing, it remains an interesting drama and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like French movies.


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An average movie

Posted : 11 years, 5 months ago on 15 November 2012 11:13 (A review of Fired Up!)

How did I end up watching this flick? What the hell was I thinking?!? As you may have noticed, I often waste my time with some terrible garbage. I guess I’m kind of masochist in some way… Anyway, this is the kind of movies which, as soon as you know what it is about, you usually drop any expectation you might have had. Indeed, the plot was rather lame and the whole thing was rather hopeless. Still, I must admit it, there were here and there some funny things and it was sometimes so stupid, I couldn’t help laughing during some bits. As usual, I always manage to find some redeeming features even in the worst case scenarios… Honestly, the whole thing actually had some potential. I mean, those two guys were completely shallow and if the makers would have chosen a darker cynical approach, trashing the whole cheerleading culture, it could have been something, not really amazing, but at least more interesting than this. Unfortunately, even though the poster displays a huge ‘FU’, they still managed to get a PG13 rating out of something which obviously should have been R rated. As a result, not only the whole thing was barely funny, it was also terribly tame and watered down. Anyway, to conclude, don’t be fooled by my rating here, I was extremely generous, basically it is a really average comedy and it is not really worth a look even if you like the genre.


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A good movie

Posted : 11 years, 5 months ago on 15 November 2012 08:34 (A review of Die Hard: With a Vengeance)

In fact, I was this movie in the theater when it was released and I was about 15 years old  at the time (back then, it was the highest grossing movie of the year). Yesterday, I re-watched it again about 17 years later with Nick, my step-son who is now 15 years old and it doesn’t get cooler than that. Even though this flick is not as awesome as the first legendary installment, it is still an improvement on the second movie and it is a really solid action flick, no doubt about it. Indeed, the action scenes were really cool and it was a great choice to move the action to New York. Above all, it was a great move to give McClane a decent sidekick and who else than Samuel L. Jackson could deliver such a bad-ass performance against one of the most iconic characters? Jackson just had his breakthrough performance in ‘Pulp Fiction’ a year before and in 2000, he and Willis will be reunited again for ‘Unbreakable’, another fine (and really underrated) feature. Furthermore, Jeremy Irons was also a very good villain. Sometimes, there are some discussions about the fact that Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons are in fact British portraying German bad guys and some argue it was a strange choice. I think the nationality of the actors and the characters is rather irrelevant in my opinion. Indeed, Rickman and Irons are some amazing actors and that’s why they were both pretty awesome in this franchise. Still, even though I enjoyed most of it, this movie was still not really flawless. Indeed, after a while, the whole thing kind of lost some steam after a great start. Furthermore, one of the greatest issues with this franchise is that each installment has to be bigger, louder and more convoluted than the previous movie and, this time, the victim was the plot has the whole thing was pretty far-fetched. I mean, it was fun and entertaining, that’s for sure, but I never believed in what was happening and it was hardly as engaging as the first installment was. Still, to conclude, even though I’m not a huge fan of action movies, I really like this one and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.


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A good movie

Posted : 11 years, 5 months ago on 14 November 2012 09:48 (A review of Pure)

It must be one of the most obscure movies starring Keira Knightley but I thought it was a pretty good flick. She did this one just before her breakthrough performance in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’. For once, she wasn’t showing up in some period piece and I thought it was kind of refreshing and she didn’t have the lead part but I thought she gave a solid performance. As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure that Molly Parker was the lead either. I always thought Parker is a rather interesting actress but she never really managed to breakthrough on the silver screen. She was also pretty good in here but I thought she still looked too good to portray a heroin addict. Eventually, both actress were upstaged by Harry Eden, portraying the young boy around which the story is taking place. Even though the whole thing is a rather standard drug drama, thanks to his amazing and heartbreaking performance, he made the whole thing really stand out. I have seen him a few years later playing the Artful Dodger for Polanski’s ‘Oliver Twist’,and it was also the best performance in this movie. He was definitely a talented little fellow and I wonder what he is up to now. Anyway, even though it is nothing really original or mind-blowing, I thought it was a solid drug drama and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.


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A good movie

Posted : 11 years, 5 months ago on 14 November 2012 09:00 (A review of Nurse Betty)

It has been a while since I saw this flick and I thought it was time for a re-watch. Actually, I’m rather surprised by the low ratings here on Listal and on IMDb as I thought it was a pretty good movie. Back then, Neil LaBute was an upcoming director with a promising future and it’s too bad he never became as good as I hoped but he made some solid features and this movie is definitely a good example. It was also when Renée Zellweger was a rising star and she was definitely on the top of her game at that time. Like I said before, I thought it was a pretty good flick, some kind of quirky dark comedy with loads of fantasy elements and it could have been a Coen Brothers feature. I thought the cast was excellent (Renée Zellweger, Morgan Freeman, Chris Rock, Greg Kinnear, Aaron Eckhart, Crispin Glover, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Elizabeth Mitchell). Even though Zellweger was indeed pretty good and even won a Golden Globe, I was above all impressed by Morgan Freeman. Indeed, it might sound surprising but, in my opinion, it is the best performance he has given in his prestigious career. The point is that even though Freeman always give some solid performances, they are basically always the same character (the wise old man). This time, I thought it was a far more complex character, Freeman was quite fascinating and the chemistry he had with Chris Rock was awesome and often hilarious. About the plot, I enjoyed most of it even though they pushed the fantasy a little too far for my taste. Not only Betty did manage to find her idol but he believed she was some kind of method actress, when it was pretty obvious she was a crazed fan. But it didn’t stop here… He even brought her on the set of the show and, at the end, she even got a part. Of course, since it was a fantasy, everything was possible, I get that, but it still has to remain engaging somehow. Still, there were some brilliant moments, especially when Freeman and Rock were together and I really enjoyed the whole thing. Anyway, to conclude, I really don’t agree with the low ratings, I think it is a very solid dark comedy and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.


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A good movie

Posted : 11 years, 5 months ago on 13 November 2012 09:51 (A review of Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her)

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this flick but I was really attracted by the all-star female cast. Basically, the movie itself is a typical hyperlink feature. For those who don’t know, hyperlink cinema is where the characters or action reside in separate stories, but a connection or influence between those disparate stories is slowly revealed to the audience. I usually like this genre but the major flaw (especially concerning this movie) is that you sometimes end up with some several half-baked stories instead of a fully fleshed one. Still, even though it was nothing really amazing, I really enjoyed this movie. Indeed, the cast was very good (Glenn Close, Cameron Diaz, Calista Flockhart, Kathy Baker, Amy Brenneman, Valeria Golino, Holly Hunter) and all gave some strong performances. I was especially impressed by Cameron Diaz who was very convincing as a blind woman. Who thought she could be that good? It’s just too bad she wastes her time with her usual annoying hysterical chicks. I thought the directing was also very efficient and it was a really promising directing debut for Rodrigo Garcia , the son of the great Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez. To conclude, I thought it was a pretty good flick and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.


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An average movie

Posted : 11 years, 5 months ago on 13 November 2012 09:04 (A review of Tamara Drewe)

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this flick but since I have a weak spot for Stephen Frears’ work, I thought I should give it a try anyway. Apparently, it is an adaptation of a graphic novel which was also a loose adaptation of a book written by Thomas Hardy , ‘Far from the madding crowd’. To be honest, I already didn’t enjoy much the movie also adapted from this book directed by John Schlesinger and starring Julie Christie so I wasn’t really optimistic. Eventually, I was in fact pleasantly surprised by the beginning. Indeed, it was really funny, I really enjoyed all those wacky characters and I thought it could lead to something better than I thought. Unfortunately,  the main character turned out to be terribly dull. All right, she had a pretty face and looked really hot but the only reason any of the characters (especially the male ones) gave her any attention was only because of her looks, not her wits. They also tried to convince us that she was also very smart and clever but I was never convinced. Furthermore, I thought it utterly unbelievable that she would end up having an affair with Nicholas Hardiment. I mean, the guy was a womanizer, that’s for sure, but he usually got some dimwitted women. If they picked up a really charming actor, maybe I could have bought it but not how they portrayed the character. The fact that Hardiment gets obsessed with her really fit the character and Roger Allam did a very good job as well but it was really unconvincing how he managed to have her. Basically, he comes to her doorstep, she let him in and they have sex! With no real shred of explanation. So, the whole thing was rather half-baked but it remained watchable thanks to the solid directing and the very good supporting characters. I really wonder how is the comic book now. Anyway, in spite of its flaws, it remains a decent British comedy and I think it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre.


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An average movie

Posted : 11 years, 5 months ago on 12 November 2012 11:12 (A review of Arthur and the Invisibles)

I always had some mixed feelings about Luc Besson’s work. On one hand, he has always been one of the most ambitious French directors, he has directed some very interesting movies (especially ‘ Nikita’ ) and he has even invented his own style (‘cinéma du look’ ). On the other hand, I didn’t like many of his movies (‘Léon’ is one of the most overrated movies ever made in my opinion), his style is highly superficial and 90% of the movies he produced were just disposable garbage. So, before watching this flick, I was rather skeptical. Just like Madonna, Luc Besson was so arrogant, he thought he could also write children books and adapt those in some very expensive animated features. Still, I must admit the whole thing was not bad at all. Indeed, the CGI animation was just really gorgeous. It was honestly some of the best I have ever seen and I have seen a lot of animated features. It was really beautiful, really detailed, and managed to have its own style, really different from what comes from the USA or Japan. Unfortunately, the story was nothing really amazing and really pedestrian. Some could argue that since it is a kids flick, it doesn’t really matter but I don’t agree at all. We shouldn’ t patronize children and give them some unoriginal, uninspired or stupid stories to watch, considering the wealth of great family features out there, it is entirely unnecessary. To conclude, even though the story is rather disappointing (something recurrent in Besson’s work…), it remains a decent feature thanks to the amazing animation and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.


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