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 (6489) - TV Shows (12)

An average movie

Posted : 2 months, 1 week ago on 18 August 2020 11:35 (A review of McFarland, USA)

Even though I didn’t have some huge expectations, since this movie was directed by Niki Caro and since it was available on Disney+, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, in the sub-genre of the inspirational sports tale based on a true story, to be honest, it was hardly original but it was still fairly entertaining. Indeed, even if Kevin Costner is not the box-office draw he used to be, the guy is still quite charismatic and he was a fine choice to play this coach. However, even though they spent enough time to show that he had absolutely no experience in coaching a cross-country team, they didn’t really display how he became such a great coach after all. And, yet, the main issue was in fact that they spent too much on Kevin Costner’s character and not enough on the actual runners. Seriously, I don’t think I would be able to name all the 7 runners even though I saw the movie just yesterday. I mean, 3 of them were pretty much reduced to the ‘Diaz brothers’, except for Danny whose only characteristic was that he was a little bit chubby (in fact, even though the real Danny Diaz did really help winning the title back in ’87, he wasn’t overweight at all which shows how poorly developed these characters were). Concerning the rest of the McFarland community, well, it wasn’t much better I’m afraid. Indeed, the movie started with a string of negative Latino stereotypes and ended with another string of Latino stereotypes which were at least positive this time. And, yet, in spite of its flaws, it was still a touching story. Indeed, the life in McFarland seemed rather rough and the future pretty much hopeless for these kids but, thanks to this sport and this coach, it did open so many doors for them and it gave this community something to be really proud of. Anyway, to conclude, even though it was fairly generic, I have to admit that it was still a decent inspirational sports tale and it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



0 comments, Reply to this entry

A classic

Posted : 2 months, 1 week ago on 17 August 2020 09:00 (A review of Tokyo Story)

Since I kept hearing some pretty good about this movie, I was quite eager to check it out. Well, even though I definitely could see why this movie has such a stellar reputation, to be honest, I still struggled to really connect with the damned thing. The point is that this movie is actually very simple and very complex at the same time. Indeed, it is simple in the sense that Ozu didn’t use any gimmicks or visual tricks to shot his movie as it was composed of static shots with minimal cuts. In a similar fashion, it was dealing with some average people with no secret agenda or deep secrets and nothing really extraordinary happened to any one of them through the whole duration. And, yet, it was such a complex movie in the sense that Ozu never tells you what the characters are actually thinking or feeling, he doesn’t tell you what he himself is actually thinking or feeling about what is showing you and is certainly not telling the viewers what they should be thinking or feeling. It is definitely a nice approach but it is also quite disorienting following years of watching rather dumb US movies in which every piece of information is pretty much spoonfed to the viewers. Still, what the hell did Ozu mean with his movie?!? The more I think about it, the more I believe that this movie was actually dealing with the meaning of life, no less than that. It might explain why it is still completely relevant even 70 years later for someone like me who was born in Europe and had no direct connection with Japanese culture. Indeed, basically, for the most of our lives, we will struggle some way or another to connect with other people, even with the people the closest to us. As a result, we are all pretty much very lonely and it is fitting that Noriko, the nicest person in this movie, is actually the loneliest. Anyway, to conclude, even if it didn’t really blow me away, it was still a strong movie and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



0 comments, Reply to this entry

A good movie

Posted : 2 months, 1 week ago on 16 August 2020 07:16 (A review of The Sandlot)

Since this movie had a decent rep and since it was available on Disney+, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, I have to admit that most of it worked really well. In my case, we didn't have baseball but we would play football/soccer for hours and this movie perfectly captured the awesome feeling to be part of such a group of kids and the joy of playing such a game with all your energy and passion. Some of the other episodes outside the field like when they went to the swimming pool for example were also pretty much pitch-perfect. Still, there were a couple of things that bothered me though. The first thing was Scotty Smalls's incapacity to throw a freaking baseball. Seriously, that was just so lame. Instead, they could have displayed him as being average or even weak but to show a 12 year kid not being able to throw a ball was borderline idiotic. To make things worse, how come he had never heard of Babe Ruth, especially since he really loves to play baseball?!? I mean, it would be like a kid who loves to play basketball but had never heard of Michael Jordan and it seemed rather unlikely. Finally, I think the makers spent too much on the dog AKA 'The Beast'. Sure, as kids, we were all terrified by some neighbourhood evil dog at some point but I wish they didn't spend so much running time on this topic. Anyway, to conclude, even it wasn't flawless, I still enjoyed the damned thing, it is in fact probably one of the best movies I have seen in this genre so it is definitely worth a look.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

An average movie

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 14 August 2020 08:20 (A review of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil)

To be honest, even though ‘Maleficent’ was not bad, I don’t think it really required a sequel but, obviously, since this movie had been fairly successful at the box-office, a follow-up was unavoidable, I’m afraid. Still, there was a major obstacle to overcome. Basically, in the previous movie, they spent the whole duration to convince us that Maleficent was not so bad after all so how should you then approach this character in a sequel? By making her bad again? Well, even though this movie was called ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’, there wasn’t so much evil about her. In fact, even though Maleficent was supposed to be the main character, the movie never really focused on her and I think during a third of the running time, she wasn't involved at all. And, yet, I don’t think it was a total failure though. First of all, nowadays, we don’t get very often the opportunity to see Angelina Jolie acting in a movie and she was still pretty much pitch perfect in this role. Furthermore, the diner scene was actually promising and did remind me of ‘Shrek 2’. Seriously, it could have been so much more fun if they would have taken a completely different direction, showing how Maleficent struggled to act as a ‘regular’ person. Unfortunately, it did last only for a few minutes and, soon, the lovely Michelle Pfeiffer (the actual Evil witch in this movie, as if one Evil witch was not enough already…) launched her conspiracy which was just terribly generic and predictable. There was also a rather half-baked sub-plot dealing with other fairies like Maleficent which was added just to make sure she had something to do but it did backfire because, by adding even more characters in the mix, there was even less focus on her. Anyway, even if it was rather a misguided sequel, it was still watchable though and I guess it might be worth a look if you like the genre. 



0 comments, Reply to this entry

An average movie

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 13 August 2020 09:20 (A review of Blue Thunder)

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect from this flick and the only reason I actually ended up watching the damned thing was because it was available on Netflix and because another listal member advised me to check it out. I wonder if this movie had been an inspiration for the TV-show 'Airwolf' which came out 1 year this movie released. I do have to admit that I did watch 'Airwolf' when I was a kid but, while the concept was maybe fun when I was 12 years old, it just looks so lame now. Indeed, even though I have a weak spot for Roy Scheider, I really struggled to care about the damned thing. Of course, I do understand that the whole point was to have some cool action scenes with some fancy helicopter but, I'm sorry, the story was just so ludicrous and barely made sense. Seriously, there was not 1 but even 2 scenes of the pilots playing Peeping toms which displayed the level of this movie. I mean, to focus on a helicopter pilot working with the LAPD was not such a bad idea but how do you engage such a character in the action as this job was by nature rather passive? Well, in this case, they turned him into some kind of detective which was just rather ridiculous. Even more problematic was the fact the 'evil' plan of the bad guys was never really clear to me. Apparently, there was some kind of conspiracy with some rather obscure political agenda but it was just so poorly developed. And, of course, you had Malcolm McDowell playing his usual bad guy (when the guy actually had an intense phobia of flying...) and it was so sad that, barely 10 years after 'A Clockwork Orange', his career was already going pretty much nowhere. Anyway, to conclude, even though this movie was apparently fairly successful when it was released, I thought it was terribly lame and I don't think it is really worth a look. 



0 comments, Reply to this entry

An average movie

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 12 August 2020 10:05 (A review of Black Is King)

I have to admit that I’m not really a huge fan of Beyoncé and I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it was available on Disney+, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, pretty much like ‘Homecoming’ that she released last year on Netflix, even though this movie also received some stellar reviews, to be honest, I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the end-result. I mean, it was visually really neat and Beyoncé who wore so many costumes was especially quite gorgeous but, like some other similar movies like ‘The Wall’ or ‘Moonwalker’, it did feel slightly pretentious. At least, Beyoncé didn’t make the mistake of adding some plot which is usually misguided in this genre but it did make the whole thing pretty random. Furthermore, I understand that this movie was supposed to be a visual companion to her album ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ which was itself linked to the remake of ‘The Lion King’ but, except for a few quotes coming from the film which would come up really randomly, the link with this movie was just too thin. Finally, pretty much like with ‘Homecoming’, even if I did respect the work done and the strong artistic vision, to be honest, there was not a single song that really blew me away. Concerning the message provided, with the current ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, it couldn’t have been more topical though. Of course, some might be offended (with such a title, she was already asking for some trouble) but, for the black folk who has been undermined, humiliated, oppressed and discriminated for centuries, they could definitely use such a powerful statement. Anyway, to conclude, I wonder why the critics praised this movie so much (right now, I has only a 5.5 rating from the IMDb viewers) but, even if I wasn’t really impressed, it was still a decent watch and it is worth a look, especially if you are interested in Beyoncé. 



0 comments, Reply to this entry

A good movie

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 11 August 2020 06:42 (A review of Loving Vincent)

Since I kept hearing some interesting things about this movie, I was quite eager to check it out. To be honest, I struggled a little bit to judge this movie. I mean, on one hand, it was visually so impressive, it felt like diving in so many Van Gogh paintings which would then come to live and this concept was just so creative, artistic and spellbinding to behold. However, on the other hand, even though Van Gogh did paint only for a rather short period of time, he did eventually become one of the most famous painters and by now there has been so many movies about him, many more than about other artists. Well, in this case, unfortunately, beside its incredible visual concept, this movie didn't have such an interesting tale to tell, I'm afraid. I mean, there were a couple of interesting ideas, for example, I did like going back where Van Gogh lived and worked but before he became really famous. However, who was this guy Armand Roulin? He seemed to be a really random choice to play the lead and the fact that we didn't learn anything about him and that nothing really noteworthy happened to him either didn't help at all. Then, during his journey, he kept interviewing people who did see Van Gogh from time to time but eventually they barely had a relationship with him after all so it was hardly surprising that they all contradicted each other. Finally, the idea of turning the final hours of Van Gogh into a murder mystery might have sounded promising on paper but it was rather misguided after all. I mean, it was a known fact that the guy was heavily tormented and, even if he didn't shoot himself, he probably still wanted to die anyway so this whole goose chase felt rather pointless after all. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, it was still a visually fascinating movie, something completely unique, and only therefore it is definitely worth a look.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

An average movie

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 10 August 2020 06:24 (A review of Dying of the Light)

Obviously, I wasn't expecting much from this flick, in fact, all the people involved, Paul Schrader, Nicolas Cage and Anton Yelchin, even advised people to avoid it but I still ended up watching this movie. To be honest, it is rather difficult to judge the damned thing. I mean, it was apparently butchered by the producers in post-production and the end-result was indeed pretty lame. Basically, it was a really generic and boring spy tale with no pulse whatsoever. Still, there were a couple of red flags which made me wonder if it could have worked anyway. First of all, Nicolas Cage has become one of the most underwhelming actors at work nowadays and even though his character had some potential, Cage didn't really impress me at all here. Then, Anton Yelchin was even less convincing and even though I always had a weak spot for the young actor who died too soon, I'm afraid he was completely miscast here. Eventually, would the movie have been much better if Schrader would have released it the way he wanted to? To be honest, I doubt it. Apparently, a couple of years laters, he made his own cut but it hasn't been officially released, in fact, this other version is pretty much illegal, so I don't think I will ever have the opportunity to watch it. As far as I'm concerned, I think the whole thing was meant to be a B feature right from the beginning but, after the shooting was done, Schrader suddenly argued that it could be something completely different than what was the producers were expecting from the very beginning. Anyway, to conclude, with or without the drama around the making of this movie, the damned thing was pretty weak and I don't think it is really worth a look.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

A good movie

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 9 August 2020 06:10 (A review of Anelka: Misunderstood)

Everyone who's slightly familiar with French football, at least, from my generation, has heard about Nicolas Anelka so I have to admit that I was quite eager to check this documentary. Indeed, pretty much from the very beginning of his career, Anelka became the black sheep of the French football, probably even more than Eric Cantona in the 90's. Obviously, with this movie, you get a pretty good summary of his 20 years career during which he played for more than 10 clubs in 7 different countries. Eventually, you might still wonder if the whole thing has not been a huge waste. I mean, on one hand, Anelka was very early on in his career on the verge of becoming the biggest player of the planet but he never fulfilled these expectations. On the other hand, following his retirement, you get to see him with his wife and kids living a quiet life in Dubai so was it all so bad after all? The point was that Anelka kept saying that he was a highly motivated professional but his behaviour of jumping ship every 2 years didn't display much motivation in my opinion. Concerning his behaviour outside the field, even if the makers tried to rehabilitate his image, he still seemed to be a guy who didn't give a f*ck about anything except for himself and, since football is a team sports, well, it's hardly surprising that it never really worked. There was still something rather shocking though. Indeed, back in 2010, during the world cup debacle, like any one else, I was convinced that the French national football team at the time was pretty much the worst team that ever existed mostly for their despicable behaviour. However, thanks to this movie, I discovered that the French newspaper pretty much made up what Anelka said and that the French coach, Raymond Domenech, only denied it 10 years later. I mean, the damage and aftermath following this scandal was huge and to blame it mostly on Anelka because he was an easy target was seriously lousy. Anyway, even if I would have appreciate some comments from people who didn't support him, it was still a decent documentary and it is worth a look, especially if you are interested in this subject.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

An average movie

Posted : 2 months, 3 weeks ago on 6 August 2020 12:09 (A review of Kidnap)

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this flick but since I have a weak spot for Halle Berry, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, even though she did win an Academy Award always 20 years ago, I’m afraid that this time is long gone and, nowadays, she usually shows up for this kind of B features. Seriously, in this case, the first 15 mins were just really tedious and pretty much cringe-inducing to behold. Sure, I understand that they needed to introduce the main character somehow but, to be honest, if it was to provide something so generic, they could have just as well skipped it as far as I’m concerned. However, I have to admit that I was actually quite surprised when this mother saw the actual kidnappers and started to follow them. Indeed, from this point on, I was actually wondering what would happen next and, above all, the whole thing became a wild chase, one of the best I have seen in a long time, and it was actually pretty damned entertaining to behold. Unfortunately, it seems that the makers got stuck and never managed to properly develop the rest of the movie. I mean, the chase was quite thrilling but it probably took too much of the running time and everything happening before and after was just pretty weak. During the 3rd act, while she was finally done chasing those kidnappers, it became the typical vigilante garbage, a genre I usually despise and the reason why so many Americans still think that they should have easy access to guns, and nothing happening there was either surprising, interesting or entertaining to behold. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of a few redeeming features, the damned thing was still pretty weak and I don’t think it is really worth a look. 



0 comments, Reply to this entry