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All reviews - Movies (6489) - TV Shows (12)

An average movie

Posted : 1 month, 2 weeks ago on 10 September 2020 08:39 (A review of Beyond the Lights)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since I have a weak spot for Gugu Mbatha-Raw and since it was available on Netflix, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, to be honest, it wasn’t really a strong story. Fortunately, Gina Prince-Bythewood managed to make the most of this rather generic material. Above all, I was again so impressed by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Indeed, not only she never looked more gorgeous but she was also so charismatic and I think she gave here one of her best performances so far. Nate Parker was not bad either and he had nice a chemistry with Mbatha-Raw but his character could have been more developed. However, Minnie Drivers character was just a walking stereotype and she was rather annoying each time she was involved. They did try to make her character more complex towards the end but it came way too late, Im afraid. Eventually, it could have been interesting to tell the story more from her point of view instead of turning her into the usual evil-mother-ready-to-do-anything-to-become-rich. I know, it might seem that it didnt really like this movie but, while I still think the story was rather weak, the directing was actually quite solid and, above all, Gugu Mbatha-Raw was just quite fascinating to behold. It’s too bad that, after being praised for this lead part and also for ‘Belle’ (which I still need to see), she spent the next years playing in some minor parts in some rather forgettable movies. 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. 



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An average movie

Posted : 1 month, 2 weeks ago on 9 September 2020 08:57 (A review of How to Be Single)

To be honest, I didn’t have some really huge expectations regarding this movie but since there was a decent cast involved, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, even if the concept did have potential, it could have been better developed though. I mean, right from the start, they gave us Dakota Johnson’s character putting aside her boyfriend because she supposedly wanted to discover herself but, in fact, it was a really d*ck move. Of course, her whole plan backfired but it felt more like she got what she deserved and this misguided beginning resulted in that I never really cared about what she was going through. It’s too bad as they could have easily chosen a different approach that didn’t ruin the main character right out of the gate. Still, I won’t blame Dakota Johnson who was once again so charismatic and the rest of the cast was also quite solid. However, it was Rebel Wilson who really stole the show and, even though she keeps playing the same character over and over again in most of her movies, she was still really funny here. To be honest, they could have developed her character but, except having her following a similar trajectory to the one followed by Tom, which would have pretty tedious, I’m not sure what they could have done with her. In fact, even though most of the supporting characters were not bad at all, there were probably too many of them and, as a result, they were all involved in some half-baked subplots. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, it was still a decent watch though and I think it might be worth a look but only if you really like the genre.      



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A classic

Posted : 1 month, 2 weeks ago on 8 September 2020 09:14 (A review of The Endless Summer (1966))

Since I kept hearing some really good things about this flick, I was really eager to check it out. In fact, the first time I heard about it was more than 30 years ago. Indeed, back then, one of my best friends and his two older brothers who were really into this kind of sports were really hyped by this movie. Well, I’m surprised it took me so long to finally watch the damned thing but, at least, it was really worth it. Eventually, what made this movie worked so well was the fact that it was a movie about surfing, made by surfers, for the surfers. Well, the first striking thing was the fact it was shot without any recorded sound. Indeed, instead, they had some rather annoying soundtrack and some non-stop comments from Bruce Brown, the director of this movie. Even though this narration might seem silly sometimes, or even discriminating when they get to Africa, when the guy talks about the technicality of surfing, especially for someone like me who has never been on a surfer board, it was actually quite fascinating. I have to admit that I was expecting them to go to many more exotic locations like South America or Asia but, after all, they spent most of their time only in Africa and Australia. I was also rather bewildered by the fact that, in Hawaï, there were some pretty great waves and the weather was constantly fine through the whole year so what’s the point of going anywhere else? On the other hand, you could argue that the point was in fact to discover some unknown surfing spots, some places where nobody had surfed before, and to discover the world in the process which was something rather uncommon back in the 60’s. Indeed, another impressive thing about this movie was how old it actually is. While watching these guys doing some amazing tricks on their surf, you might think it was shot 20 or 30 years ago but, in fact, it was made a whopping 60 years ago. Anyway, to conclude, even it wasn’t really flawless, it was still a really interesting watch and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in this subject. 



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A good movie

Posted : 1 month, 3 weeks ago on 7 September 2020 09:01 (A review of I'm Thinking of Ending Things)

I had no idea what to expect from this flick but since it was directed by Charlie Kaufman and since it was available on Netflix, I was quite eager to check it out. Well, as usual with Kaufman, it turned out to be an extremely challenging movie. Basically, it is the kind of movies where nothing seems to be what it might seem to be. For example, something as simple as the name of the main character was changed various times on purpose. On top of that, the whole thing started pretty much as a rather bleak and gloomy affair and there was at first not much chemistry with this couple. However, the fact that they were both extremely articulate and much smarter than me slowly made them quite appealing to me. And who was this girl Jessie Buckley?!? I had never seen her before, she pretty much came out of nowhere, but she really impressed me and I will definitely check her other movies whenever I have an opportunity. Eventually, sometimes, this movie did feel like watching a very long episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ and to be honest, I don’t think I understood half of the damned thing. Especially during the 3rd act, when they started to dance in this school, they pretty much lost me. Eventually, what was Kaufman trying to achieve with this tale? However, even if I never fully grasped the damned thing, the fact that it made me think and wonder was well worth a few extra points from me. Anyway, to conclude, even though it turned out to be a really complex movie, I wouldn’t expect less from Charlie Kaufman, it was still a decent watch and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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An average movie

Posted : 1 month, 3 weeks ago on 6 September 2020 06:45 (A review of Café Society)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since I have been following Woody Allen’s career for more than 20 years, I was still quite eager to check it out. Well, eventually, even this movie wasn’t one of his worst, it wasn’t one of his best either. I mean, the whole thing was pretty neat to look at and it was probably one of his most gorgeous movies visually speaking (I’m not surprised that it turned out to be his most expensive movie so far). Unfortunately, even if the story was not completely boring, it was borderline weak and even lazy. For example, I thought there was some dramatic curve missing. Indeed, first, you get to see the main character going to Hollywood and, without too much effort, he gets a decent jobs and a very nice girl. Then, he goes to New York and, again, without too much effort, he gets an even better job and another very nice girl. Even later on when he meets again his former love, still nothing really dramatic occurred. At least, Jesse Eisenberg was a fine choice to play the lead, obviously representing a younger version than Woody Allen, but at least it wasn’t completely unbelievable that such girls like Kristen Stewart or Blake Lively would fall for him. On the other hand, I think it was the first time I saw Kristen Stewart playing in a period piece and, to be honest, she wasn’t really convincing. To make things worse, I don’t think that she had much chemistry with either Jesse Eisenberg or Steve Carrell. Concerning Carrell, I guess he was not bad but he didn’t really impress me either and I wish they stuck with Bruce Willis (who was apparently fired and replaced by Allen) who would have been an interesting choice for this part. Finally, for me, it was pretty much impossible to watch this movie without thinking about the shenanigans in Woody Allen’s private life as he famously married the adopted daughter of his girlfriend. With this movie, it seems that he once again tried to argue that, when you are in love, there is nothing you can do about it and that it can happen to anyone at any moment in time. In this case, he completely downplayed the fact that Vonnie was constantly switching between an older man and his nephew. Seriously, there is not a single moment during which she paused to acknowledge the fact that what she was doing might be slightly messed up. In my opinion, it was rather awkward but it was also quite reminiscent with Allen’s own behavior. Anyway, to conclude, even it was another forgettable effort from Woody Allen, I guess it is still worth a look but only if you are really interested in this director. 


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An average movie

Posted : 1 month, 3 weeks ago on 4 September 2020 10:54 (A review of Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Like anyone else, I was quite impressed by what Margot Robbie did in ‘Suicide Squad’ so I was quite eager to see this new movie focusing on Harley Quinn. Well, even though it might sound surprising, I actually enjoyed ‘Suicide Squad’ slightly more than this movie. Sure, I might be giving David Ayer’s movie too much credit but, at least, the squad itself was really awesome and badass. I mean, it was nice that this time around most of the team behind this movie, not only the characters but also the people behind the camera, were some women and they made sure that these characters were not displayed as some lust objects (which is usually the case with female comic-books characters) but, to be honest, I wasn’t really impress by the end-result. For example, before watching this movie, I kept hearing that Mary Elizabeth Winstead was amazing but, seriously, her outfit was just so lame. The fact that her character came really late in this story didn’t help either. Even worse was Rosie Perez who was completely miscast. Indeed, they should have hired someone like Sigourney Weaver or Linda Hamilton or someone slightly younger like Angelina Jolie or Milla Jovovich. Basically, they should have chosen someone who could really kick some ass convincingly. However, a bigger issue was that the whole plot of having all the characters chasing some diamond was just so generic and tedious. I mean, it was a great idea to focus on Harley Quinn’s breakup with the Joker and showing how she struggled to get her life back together without him (it was still rather weird that the guy never showed up since there was a major event in Gotham’s underworld). Unfortunately, it seemed that the makers struggled to expand her story beyond this promising beginning. Still, there is no doubt that Harley Quinn remains such a neat character and, once again, Margot Robbie completely rocked this performance. Anyway, to conclude, even if it didn’t really blow me away, it was still a decent watch though and it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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An average movie

Posted : 1 month, 3 weeks ago on 3 September 2020 09:21 (A review of Slaughterhouse Rulez)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but there was a nice cast involved and the title was pretty badass so I thought I might as well check it out. Well, to be honest, I wasn’t really impressed by the end-result. Indeed, there were a couple of interesting ideas and a few nice jokes but most of it was a rather weak mishmash of various genres. Indeed, it took place in a posh British public school but there was also some pseudo ecological message about fracking which was probably the weakest idea they came up with but also some ugly monsters showing up during the 3rd act. On top of that, there were a bunch of half-baked sub-plots such as Simon Pegg’s relationship with Margot Robbie’s character and the suicide of a student and it made the whole thing even more random than it already was. Since there were so much stuff going on, there was therefore barely enough time to develop the characters as well and, eventually, none of them was really interesting or entertaining. It seems that the makers wanted to go for a B feature vibe which wasn’t necessarily a bad idea but this choice became clear just way too late and the end-result was never convincing and, to be honest, often rather pathetic. Anyway, to conclude, even if the whole thing was rather harmless, it was still rather weak and I don’t think it is really worth a look. 



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An average movie

Posted : 1 month, 3 weeks ago on 2 September 2020 09:16 (A review of The Judge)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since there was a nice cast involved and since it seemed to have a decent reputation, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, to be honest, I was surprised by how little I actually cared about the damned thing after all. I mean, sure, there was indeed a decent cast but the story was just terribly generic and predictable. Seriously, they basically mixed ‘Doc Hollywood’ with the tale of a man going back to his hometown 20 years later (somehow, I couldn’t find a good example of another movie with a similar plot which shows how actually bland this concept is). At least, ‘Doc Hollywood’ was a sweet flick which didn’t take itself so seriously. Eventually, the only real neat thing with this movie was to see Robert Downey Jr. finally playing something else than Tony Star for the MCU. Indeed, even if it really gave a huge push to his career, it also completely sidetracked him. Anyway, in spite of the rather tepid material, Downey was still pretty good though and, without him, the whole thing would have been a real chore to watch. I have to admit that Robert Duvall was actually not bad at all either, even if his nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role was probably exaggerated. However, the rest of the cast (Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D'Onofrio, Dax Shepard, Leighton Meester) was just completely wasted with some poorly developed characters and some half-baked sub-plots. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, the damned thing was still rather harmless and I guess it is still worth a look if only to see Robert Downey Jr. shining in something else than a super-hero robotic suit. 



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A good movie

Posted : 1 month, 3 weeks ago on 1 September 2020 10:40 (A review of Cell 211)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it seemed to have a decent reputation, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, I’m glad I didn’t know anything about the damned thing before watching it because there were quite a lot of unexpected twists. Eventually, the most striking thing about this movie was actually not to witness how this man would manage to survive this ordeal, it was to see how these rioters were portrayed. Indeed, right from the start, you would assume that they were all some worthless troublemakers but, slowly, you discover that they were actually dealing with some rather desperate men who were pretty much at the end of their rope. And, yet, somehow, it didn’t completely convince me though. Indeed, even though I did like the story and how it was developed, after all, it was still rather hard to believe. Furthermore, even if the relationship between Malamadre and Juan Oliver was probably the most interesting thing in this movie, I’m not sure if it was really believable that Malamadre wouldn’t kill him as soon as some suspicions were raised against him. On the other hand, it could be possible that, right from the start, Malamadre actually figured out that the guy was not a prisoner but since he was so impressed by his bold move, he wondered how long he would last and decided to let me do his thing. Afterwards, even if he knew that the guy was fake, he still became somehow more reliable than all the lowlifes in his jail and Malamadre eventually even rooted for him. However, even if it might be an interesting theory, it was still far-fetched though. Anyway, to conclude, even it wasn’t flawless, it was still a strong thriller and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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An average movie

Posted : 1 month, 4 weeks ago on 31 August 2020 08:27 (A review of The Horde (2009))

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but it had been suggested by another Listal member and, in fact, I took me many years to finally watch the damned thing. Well, to be honest, I think I would have been more able to appreciate it when it had been released 10 years ago. Indeed, in the meantime, I saw around 10 seasons of ‘The Walking Dead’ and dozens of other zombie flicks so I wasn’t exactly impressed by this one. I mean, I know it was a cheap flick but I never felt like I was watching an actual ‘horde’ of zombies. At least, it was neat to see a French zombie flick and it was interesting that it was taking place in the ‘banlieue’ (a French ghetto) but, eventually, the makers didn’t do much with this environment after all. Concerning the concept, it was not a bad idea to have these gangsters teaming up with these cops against these zombies but the introduction was still pretty awkward though. Furthermore, except for Eriq Ebouaney, I didn’t care much for any of the actors involved as none of them was really charismatic but they were not helped by the fact that their characters were not developed whatsoever. At least, it got more entertaining as soon as René got involved. Still, I have to admit that it was neat to see some French film makers trying to deliver a badass zombie flick and the end-result was at least visually quite satisfying. Anyway, to conclude, even if it didn’t really blow me away, I have to admit it was still a decent watch and it is worth a look, at least, if you are really like the genre. 



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