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All reviews - Movies (6550) - TV Shows (12)

A good movie

Posted : 1 month, 3 weeks ago on 26 November 2020 11:18 (A review of Athlete A)

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, it turned out to be a really strong documentary but, to be honest, even though it was sometimes shocking, some of it was actually hardly surprising, I’m afraid. Eventually, the only critic I might have was that the whole thing was rather scattered. Indeed, most of the duration was about the massively creepy and even rather horrifying Larry Nassar but, sometimes, it felt like the makers wanted to go beyond that and show that the gymnastics world, in general, on that such high competitive level, is actually based on child cruelty. I know my wife has always been a huge fan of gymnastics and she watches it on TV on a regular basis but I would rather skip it from now on. In this documentary, it was also argued that the cruelty regarding this young children is something specific to this sport but, while it seems to be indeed on a rather extreme level in this sport, in almost all major sports, children are scouted at a very young age. For example, in football (soccer), in Europe or South America, a young talent can be scouted at 12 years old and sent to a football training camp. It is pretty much what happened to Lionel Messi who spent basically his whole life playing in one form or another for the FC Barcelona. Coming back to Larry Nassar, I wonder why the USA Gymnastics didn’t quietly get rid off him and get some other doctor instead? I mean, Bela and Marta Karolyi, even if they might seem pretty evil as well, were the cornerstone of the whole training programme but Nassar didn’t seem to be some kind of wonder doctor. Anyway, to conclude, even if I wish they went a little bit deeper on the problematic of having such young children competing at such a high level, the whole thing was still quite heart-breaking and really interesting to behold and it is definitely worth a look.



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An average movie

Posted : 1 month, 3 weeks ago on 25 November 2020 10:03 (A review of 21 & Over)

I wasn’t expecting much from the damned thing but since I have a weak spot for Miles Teller, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, to be honest, I have to admit that the beginning was actually promising. I mean, sure, Miles Teller was basically playing his usual smartass guy but he was just really fun and, above all, this trio of friends was quite charismatic and surprisingly well developed. On top of that, the prospect of watching them going through a wild night of binge drinking sounded pretty neat. Unfortunately, just way too early in the movie, Jeff Chang got way too drunk and the rest of the movie was about his buddies struggling to get him home in one piece. Seriously, the whole idea was hardly entertaining, I’m afraid, and I don’t really understand why the makers ruined a perfect opportunity to see some charismatic characters doing some wild sh*t while being under the influence of alcohol and/or other illegal substances. It’s exactly for the same reason why I never really understood the appeal of ‘The Hangover’. Basically, with this massively popular R rated comedy, we were in fact deprived of one seriously wild night in Sin City. At least, in this case, you still get to see the 2 remaining characters having some fun and the Tower of Power in particular was actually pretty neat. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of a rather misguided approach, I actually had a weak spot for these guys and I think the damned thing is actually worth a look, at least, if you really like the genre. 



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An average movie

Posted : 1 month, 3 weeks ago on 23 November 2020 10:43 (A review of The Trials of Cate McCall)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since I have a weak spot for Kate Beckinsale, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, I think the damned thing actually had some potential and I especially did appreciate the fact that, during the first trial, the accused, her boyfriend, the judge, the cops, basically, pretty much everyone involved turned out to be either dirty, nasty or creepy or any combination of these attributes. Unfortunately, the main character was just so focused on finding out the ‘truth’ when, in fact, a top lawyer should know, what the job is about, it’s defending your client so she actually did her job. So, the material was interesting but the approach was rather disappointing, I’m afraid. Coming back to the main character, they spent too much time on her private life and I have seen too many times the whole gimmick of the struggling recovering alcoholic to really care. The fact that Beckinsale was never really convincing, especially next to Nick Nolte who was basically born to play such characters, didn’t help either. I mean, if you decide to play an addict, at least, you should make sure that you don’t look like a top-model. Anyway, the thing that really ruined this movie for me was actually the ending though. Seriously, to see her turning against her client was just not only completely unethical but, above all, pretty lame. I mean, they provided some sound arguments that everything is never really black-and-white in such trials but, suddenly, they made this really far-fetched u-turn to show that ‘justice will prevail’ after all which was seriously hard to swallow. Anyway, to conclude, in spite a couple of decent ideas, this movie just didn’t work for me and I don’t think it is really worth a look after all. 


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A good movie

Posted : 1 month, 3 weeks ago on 23 November 2020 11:38 (A review of Ben Is Back)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it was starring Julia Roberts, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, concerning Roberts, I was definitely one of her most interesting parts and I have to admit that she was not bad at all but, to be honest, I didn’t think that she was really convincing though. Still, I think she should be praised for tackling something so much more challenging than her usual work. Eventually, I had more issues with how the damned thing was written. Indeed, during the whole first half, the characters kept mentioning some past events that the audience didn’t witness so I felt I constantly had to catch up with them because of the lack of information which was rather frustrating. However, right when I was finally getting a better grip on the whole thing, they started this dog business which, in my opinion, completely derailed this tale. Seriously, how did it suppose to make sense that some major drug dealer would kidnap a dog to get back at a former employee?!? I mean, the best part was that he didn’t even leave any message or clues telling who was behind this snatching so you had to assume that the guy knew that Ben would roam all over the city until he find out he was behind all this. Even with this explanation, the whole thing was just way too far-fetched. Sure, I get the idea, the point was to get Ben’s mother sucked in his dark world for a little while but I still think it was seriously convoluted. Without mentioning the fact that drug lords usually don’t hire junkies to be their dealers because they are completely unreliable. However, there was one thing that completely worked and made the whole thing quite spellbinding to behold and it was Lucas Hedges’s pitch-perfect performance. I already noticed him before and, with each new part, he seemed to be more and more interesting but, here, he just simply blew me away. Indeed even if the story was sometimes rather shaky, he was always completely convincing, showing only through his eyes a variety of emotions going from sadness, despair, self-pity, self-disgust but also kindness, intelligence and street smart and so many other things. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, I still think it is worth a look, if only for Hedges’s fine performance. 



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An average movie

Posted : 2 months ago on 20 November 2020 09:19 (A review of How to Make Love Like an Englishman)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since there was a decent cast involved, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, even though the title was promising (at least, the one they used in Canada), unfortunately, it turned out to be a seriously underwhelming romantic comedy. Seriously, it was the kind of romantic comedy during which pretty much nothing worked, I’m afraid. I mean, basically, the whole point was to have Richard ending up with Olivia but the way to get there was just so convoluted, so unconvincing but, above all, not entertaining whatsoever. The basic idea was that Richard was supposed to be a major womanizer and, yet, within the first 5 mins, he was already in a long-term relationship with Kate. On top of that, there was this weird awkward scene during which he was hitting hard on Kate’s sister and, yet, none of the characters ever mentioned that fact afterwards. Anyway, even though Salma Hayek and Jessica Alba were both quite gorgeous as usual, their characters were eventually barely developed whatsoever and, if you would believe this movie, the only reason that Brosnan’s character was ever interested in them was because of their looks. Eventually, his relationship with his father was actually much more interesting thanks to a really solid Malcolm McDowell who basically stole the show every time he was on the screen which shows how poorly this movie was put together. Anyway, to conclude, even though the damned thing was rather harmless, it was still seriously weak and I don’t think it is worth a look, even if you really like the genre.



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An average movie

Posted : 2 months ago on 19 November 2020 08:03 (A review of Third Person)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it was directed by Paul Haggis and since there was a really nice cast, I was quite eager to check it out. Well, almost 10 years after winning (or stealing) the Best Picture Academy Award with ‘Crash’, Haggis came up again with another ambitious hyperlink feature, this time, with a slight surreal edge. So, on paper, it must have sounded like a sure winner, especially with a such a stellar cast involved. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a massive pretentious mess after all. Basically, its greatest strength was the cloud of mystery around all the characters involved and, as a result,  you keep guessing until the end, wondering who the hell are these people and how could they be connected with each other. Unfortunately, very soon, it turned out fairly quickly that, in spite of the effort of all the actors involved, none of these characters were actually interesting and it was the same about their own respective subplots. Eventually, the explanation at the end, that most of it was actually invented by this writer played by Liam Neeson, was not only completely predictable but also the laziest way to tie up an hyperlink feature like this one. At least, it was nice to see Liam Neeson playing something else than a badass guy in some generic action flick and you won’t hear me complaining about watching Olivia Wilde running around naked. Anyway, to conclude, my rating is probably too generous here, it has been a while since I have seen such an ambitious project turning out to be so empty and pretentious but I guess it might still be worth a look though, if only for the actors involved.


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A good movie

Posted : 2 months ago on 18 November 2020 09:29 (A review of Little Women)

I wasn’t really dying to see another adaptation of this classic US novel but since it had been very well received, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, to be honest, I still don’t think it is such a great story (I might have to read the book at some point to really judge it though) but Greta Gerwig definitely made the most of it. Concerning the directing and the writing, Gerwig had been really praised for her work but, to be honest, I had some mixed feelings. I mean, on one hand, it was clearly an ambitious project but, on the other hand, what was so ambitious about adapting a classic book which had been adapted so many times before? Concerning the back-and-forth in time, it is an overused gimmick which I see way too often nowadays and, in this case, it was only mildly effective. Anyway, something neat thing about this story is that it always allowed the makers to assemble an all-star female cast and this version certainly didn’t disappoint on that level (Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, Eliza Scanlen). To be honest, Watson’s and Scalen’s roles turned out to be rather thankless as they were not really fleshed out and it shows that this story might work better as a mini-series to have more running time to properly develop each sister. However, there is no doubt that Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh were both quite impressive. I think I had a slight preference for Pugh as she was so convincing playing the same character at two very different stages of her life. Eventually, I have to admit that these characters were actually all really neat and the relationship between these sisters was just really sweet and entertaining to behold. I wasn’t really so sure about their relationship with the male characters though. Indeed, there was not much time to explain why Meg thought that John Brooke was so amazing and the switch made by Laurie from Jo to Amy still felt rather jarring. Anyway, to conclude, even if I think it was slightly overrated, it was still a decent watch and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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A very good movie

Posted : 2 months ago on 17 November 2020 09:58 (A review of Zero for Conduct)

Since I kept some really interesting things about this flick, I was really eager to check it out. First of all, Jean Vigo is one of these mythic movie directors who managed to deliver only one masterpiece (‘L’atalante’) before dying very young. Vigo did also manage to direct a few shorts and this one is probably the most famous one. Well, to beginning with, I just loved this title. I mean, even though this movie was made 60 years before I myself went to junior high-school in France, I completely could identify myself with these kids who felt completely misunderstood by the school and by the establishment in general. In their case, it was actually much worse though since, at least, I didn’t have to sleep there. This movie also displayed the unrest and melancholy that you can experience at this age, when you start to realize that your games are becoming childish and that you discover that the grown-ups around you are not so great after all. So, the approach was definitely quite realistic and I’m pretty sure that this movie must have been a major inspiration for François Truffaut when he made ‘Les quatre cents coups’ 25 years later. However, in spite of Vigo’s realistic approach, there was also a few seriously surrealist moments, the kind of wild combination you would see only back then when they were still experimenting on how to make a movie and these few surrealist bits made the whole thing even more unique and even quite poetic. The only critic I might have was that the whole thing was pretty random and none of the characters was really developed but, since it was a rather short movie, it was understandable. Anyway, to conclude, I really loved the damned thing and I think it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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A good movie

Posted : 2 months ago on 16 November 2020 11:42 (A review of Trumbo)

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 there was a decent cast involved, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, I was well aware that Dalton Trumbo had been blacklisted and that he had kept working using fronts and aliases but I didn’t know the full extent of it (For example, I didn’t know he actually spent some time in jail) and only therefore, it was a really interesting movie. It was also interesting to see that Trumbo, before he was blacklisted, was probably the most in-demand writer in Hollywood at the time and the Blacklist completely derailed his career when he was basically at the top of his game, which did remind me of what happened to Muhammad Ali. And, yet, Trumbo still managed to be productive in the US. while many blacklisted directors actually moved to Europe, even if it was to mass produce some garbage, and, at some point, he more or less managed to bring down the Blacklist system in the process. So, the material was actually quite fascinating but, to be honest, I wasn’t really sure about the approach they chose. Indeed, even if most of the characters kept saying that the situation was really serious, even downright dramatic, the tone remained actually really light. Sure, it might have made the whole thing easier to swallow but I’m not sure if it was so much more entertaining this way and, above it really undermined the impact of this tale. In a similar way, even though I did like Bryan Cranston’s performance, it did turn Dalton Trumbo into some funny eccentric guy but it felt rather reductive to me. Anyway, to conclude, even if it wasn’t really a masterpiece, it was still a decent watch and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in this subject.



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An average movie

Posted : 2 months ago on 13 November 2020 09:50 (A review of Anna)

I didn’t have some great expectations regarding this flick but since it was directed by Luc Besson, I was still eager to check it out. Following the debacle around ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ (a movie which wasn't so bad in my opinion), EuropaCorp, Besson’s film production, was on the verge of bankruptcy so he apparently decided to take no risk with his following directing effort. However, as a result, he did deliver something terribly derivative and, even more problematic, it turned out to be another flop at the box-office. Well, to be honest, I didn’t care much for the damned thing. First of all, following the footsteps of Anne Parillaud, Milla Jovovich, Rie Rasmussen, Louise Bourgoin, Scarlett Johansson and Cara Delevingne, Sasha Luss was the latest gorgeous lady that Besson had chosen to headline his action flick but, to be honest, even though she did look fine, her performance was rather weak though. A bigger issue was that the whole thing was just so poorly written. I mean, I actually have a weak spot for the genre, the action flicks dealing with a lethal female spy, but this movie was pretty much a really weak version of ‘Nikita’, which is still by far my favourite movie from Besson. For example, half of the time the Russian characters were speaking Russian with each other and the other half, they were suddenly speaking English with each other which shows how lazy the damned thing was. Furthermore, to make the whole thing look more complicated than it actually was, they went for a mixed-up chronology which was usually more annoying than really effective. Of course, the main character had to have some rather meaningless love affairs with not one but two other spies but, beyond the fact that Sasha Luss had very little chemistry with her co-stars, it all felt rather random and gratuitous. Anyway, to conclude, even if I have actually seen worse from Besson, the damned thing was still pretty weak and I don’t think it is really worth a look. 



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