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All reviews - Movies (7249) - TV Shows (9)

A classic

Posted : 2 months, 1 week ago on 23 March 2023 11:26 (A review of Miracle on 34th Street)

To be honest, I usually don’t care at all about Christmas movies but since this one was a classic and since it was available on Disney+, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, at first, I was worried that this movie would be pretty cheesy but, slowly, I have to admit that the damned thing actually won me over. Indeed, even if you don’t believe in Santa Claus (I sure never did), it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy Christmas, in the contrary, and I always loved this holiday. Eventually, the whole point of this movie was not if Santa Claus was real or not or if Kris Kringle was actually really Santa Claus or not, this movie was actually mostly about the Christmas spirit. I especially enjoyed this segment during which Macy’s owner discovered that the most profitable way to manage a store is by actually helping their customers, even if it meant sending them to their competitors. Of course, their best wild card was Edmund Gwenn who was just so pitch-perfect in this role. Without him, I’m not sure if the movie would have really worked, he was deservedly praised for his performance and, so far, he is the only actor to have ever won an Academy Award for playing Santa Claus. The fact that the lovely Maureen O'Hara was involved also definitely helped, even if the change of heart made by her character was probably too abrupt.  On the other hand, how it was handled with Susan Walker (I didn’t recognize Natalie Wood at all by the way) was much more subtle and so well done. Sure, the whole trial thing was rather silly and, above all, Granville Sawyer was a lame cartoonish bad guy but I understand that they needed to have some conflict at some point. Anyway, to conclude, even if I don’t think it is really a masterpiece, I have to admit that it is easily one of the best Christmas movies I have seen and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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An average movie

Posted : 2 months, 1 week ago on 22 March 2023 12:21 (A review of Final Cut)

First of all, I have to admit that I had never heard of this movie so I had no idea what to expect from it. I actually ended up watching the damned thing because, the last time I went to France, my sister gave me this movie on DVD. To be honest, it took me a while to figure out that it was shot with a single take, at least, the first 30 mins. Anyway, the end-result was not really amazing. I mean, thanks to the single take, you really get the feeling that you are actually witnessing a movie shoot, that’s for sure. However, even if it was probably supposed to be hilarious to see this movie crew struggling to shoot a very lame zombie movie while actually facing an actual zombie apocalypse, well, it was actually more pathetic than really entertaining, I’m afraid. However, it didn’t last long and, after around 30 mins, they went back in time and displayed how this project started. Well, this new development was not bad, at least, it was not as lame as this one-take zombie film was and it was nice to see these characters in their every day life but the damned thing still didn’t dazzle me. Then, you had the final act which turned out to be some kind of making-off of the one-take zombie flick displayed at the beginning and, then, it finally started to work for me. Indeed, the jokes started to land and the damned thing finally became really fun to watch. There was a major plot-hole though. Indeed, how did they manage to record the dialogues? Another thing that I enjoyed was how they displayed that making a movie, even a bad one, can be super stressful but also super fun. Eventually, I didn’t know this either, but my brother pointed out that it was actually a remake of a Japanese movie which, according to him, made this French version rather lame and really pointless. As far as I’m concerned, the meta concept had some potential and the final act was really entertaining but I didn’t care much about anything else though. 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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A good movie

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 21 March 2023 10:22 (A review of Portrait of Madame Yuki)

To be honest, it seemed to be a rather obscure movie but since it was directed by Kenji Mizoguchi and since it was available on YouTube, I thought I might as well check it out. First of all, even though the video I saw on YouTube was fine visually speaking, the subtitles were however completely messed up though. Seriously, 50% of the time, I had to figure out what the hell they were trying to say which was just so frustrating. Well, even if the circumstamces to watch it were far from being ideal, I still liked the damned thing though. The first thing I enjoyed was its visual aspect. Indeed, I wonder where in Japan they shot this movie but Mizoguchi delivered here a beautiful movie with some really neat shots. Concerning the rest of the movie, I wonder if it was supposed to be some kind of allegory of Japan in general. Indeed, you could say that Yuki Shinano represented the past of Japan and was more noble, gentle but also weak, old-fashioned and seemingly out of touch. On the other hand, her husband Naoyuki could represent modern Japan with his brutal, arrogant even decadent behavior and, yet, even if his attitude was mostly reprehensible, he was also stronger, more straightforward and seemingly more efficient than his wife. Even the way they dressed underlined this idea. Eventually, even if the makers and viewers were rooting for Yuki Shinano/traditional Japan, she was bound to loose against Naoyuki/modern Japan, even if his future prospects didn’t seem to be really bright after she was gone. Of course, I might be completely wrong here and maybe it wasn’t at all what Mizoguchi intended here. However, even if it was all fairly intriguing, to be honest, it was also rather flat after all. I mean, from the start, Yuki was introduced as being terribly miserable and submissive and her husband was introduced as being a major *sshole and, from this point on, this circle of abuse was repeated endlessly until the very end but not much else happened after all. Eventually, you wish that these characters might evolve somehow but, instead, they got stuck and it felt rather redundant at some point. Anyway, to conclude, even if it didn’t completely work, it was still an interesting watch and it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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An average movie

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 20 March 2023 08:29 (A review of On Chesil Beach)

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect from this flick but since it was starring Saoirse Ronan, I thought I might as well check it out. Usually, I try to know as little as possible before watching a movie and, in this case, I was really wondering what they were getting at for quite a long time. At first, I thought it was about a cute couple who was going to have sex for the very first time and I loved the way they took their time. It reminded me how it went down with me and I wish I handled it differently at the time. Anyway, there is probably nothing more magical than having sex for the very first time with someone you love. However, it turned out to be something completely different after all. Indeed, after all, Florence was actually repulsed somehow by the idea of having sex which pretty much ruined their wedding night and even ended their marriage before it even started. Well, this turn of events did slightly ruin my romantic fantasy but it did have some potential though. Still, I'm afraid the whole thing never really worked though. Indeed, first of all, instead of constantly giving us some quaint idyllic love scenes, they could have provided some scenes during which you could sense that this couple might have some problem in this area in the future. At first, I was also annoyed by the fact that Florence never talked about it before with Edward but, back in the 60’s, nobody talked about sex (in fact, I have to admit that I never talked about it with the first girls I slept with). A weird narrative choice was also to show 2 or 3 completely random scenes during which it was implied that Florence might have been molested by her father when she was a child which was pretty huge but the movie did nothing with this information and it should have been either properly developed or removed completely. The fact that Edward threw the towel right away while he was in so love with her was also rather bewildering. I mean, why didn’t he try to figure this out with her for at least a couple of weeks? The fact that 10 years later she got remarried and DID get two kids in the process was also unnecessarily cruel. Anyway, to conclude, even if the damned thing was really flawed, I still think it was an interesting movie though and it was a pretty good argument that you should always engage in pre-marital sex before making such a life changing commitment. 



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A very good movie

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 19 March 2023 02:42 (A review of Busy Bodies)

I have noticed that many classic movies starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are available on YouTube and I thought it would be the opportunity to rediscover their work. This was the 4th Laurel & Hardy short I saw and probably the last one for the time being but I have to admit that I really enjoyed the damned thing though. It’s interesting because I thought that ‘The Music Box’, which was one the first I saw during this cycle, was slightly disappointing but I guess I might have needed some time to get used again to their humor which I used to love so much when I was a kid. Anyway, this time around, Stan and Ollie were working at some sawmill, the movie was focusing on a simple routine working day and I really appreciate how straightforward this setup was. During the opening scene, I was rather floored by their ‘car radio’ which was an hilarious precursor of our modern car CD players (which, in the mean time, have also already disappeared from our cars…. Gosh, it makes me feel so old…). When they finally arrived at the sawmill, well, it was basically some non-stop slapstick gags and most of them were just so funny. The ending, during which Ollie was going through some labyrinthine conduct, was also so elaborate, much more than what they usually deliver in their movies, but the ingenuity displayed was just really neat and it was the perfect way to end a very entertaining short. Anyway, to conclude, it is basically another classic with Laurel and Hardy and, if you like their work, you should definitely check it out.



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A very good movie

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 17 March 2023 09:00 (A review of Tit for Tat)

I have noticed that many classic movies starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are available on YouTube and since I loved these guys so much when I was a kid, I thought it would be the opportunity to rediscover their work. Well, from all the Laurel and Hardy shorts I have seen recently, it was the one I did enjoy the most. In fact, it was a sequel, the only one they made, following the success of ‘Them Thar Hills’, another short they had made the year before. Anyway, this time, they basically started a shop and, on opening day, they discovered that the owner of the shop next door was the same guy they argued with in ‘Them Thar Hills’. Eventually, even though they had a shop, they didn’t do much selling after all and, instead, they kept arguing with Charlie Hall’s character. There was also some random guy who kept stealing some stuff from their shop every two minutes which was also quite hilarious. Sure, the damned thing was maybe not really original but I like the fact that they started their feud with their neighbor right from the start and most of their gags were just so funny. My favorite bit was probably when Ollie came downstairs and made it seem as if something unsavory might have happened with his neighbor’s wife while it was obviously not the case. Anyway, to conclude, it is basically another classic with Laurel and Hardy and, if you like their work, you should definitely check it out.



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A good movie

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 16 March 2023 01:24 (A review of Sudden Fear)

To be honest, I had never heard of this movie, I came across it by accident on YouTube but since it seemed to have a solid reputation, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, it turned out to be a nice film noir, even if the story was rather flimsy and generic. Indeed, from the start, it was pretty obvious that there was something fishy about Lester Blaine and it was never really convincing that a bright woman like Myra Hudson would fall head over heels like that for a guy she basically barely knew. Fortunately, the directing by David Miller was really efficient (it would be easily one of his best movies) and, above all, there was a top-notch cast involved. Back then, Joan Crawford was at top of her game or at least, her power. Indeed, she was the executive producer, she hired the screenwriter and the director and also cast her co-stars. Anyway, apparently, she knew what she was doing since this movie is considered by many as one of the last good movies she made and, even though I’m not really familiar with her work, I thought she was indeed really good here. Especially with her eyes, she was just so expressive. Concerning the rest of the cast, a few months ago, I saw ‘Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool’ so it was pretty cool to see a movie actually starring Gloria Grahame. Well, I have to admit that she actually impress me here and I hope I will see more of her work in the future. Concerning Jack Palance, it had been ages since I saw this guy, this movie was actually his big break in the business and he definitely turned out to be a perfect choice to play this character. I also enjoyed the ending. Indeed, somehow, Myra Hudson got cold feet which completely made sense and everything happening afterwards was actually quite nail-biting. Of course, they had to find a way to still ‘punish’ Lester and Irene, that was predictable and not really interesting, but I really liked the fact that Myra changed her mind at the last minute. Anyway, to conclude, even if it was not a masterpiece, 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 : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 15 March 2023 09:58 (A review of Worth)

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, it turned to be an intriguing drama. Indeed, I thought it was interesting to see the point of view of a lawyer on this massive tragedy, Michael Keaton was a perfect choice to play the main character and he delivered here another strong performance. However, none of the other characters was developed whatsoever, even the character play by Stanley Tucci, but that wasn’t the biggest issue with this movie though. Indeed, even though the material was definitely interesting, to be honest, they didn’t do really interesting with it after all. Basically, back then, Ken Feinberg was supposed to find a way to settle this tragedy, at least, on a financial level, for the US government and for the victims, and while this process might seem cruel, inhuman and insensitive, it was also crucial for the US economy and the US in general in order to not literally collapse. Well, even though I thought Feinberg had some solid rational arguments, I was not one of the victim though and, for them, his terms were unacceptable. And, yet, just a few days before the deadline, the guy still managed to get around 95% of the victims to sign this deal but that was actually what went wrong with this movie. Indeed, in my opinion, instead of actually displaying how he actually did it, they spent too much time showing that they didn’t agree with what he proposed on and on again. Eventually, they argued that, by talking with some of them (they were around 7000 estimated victims), he managed to turn this thing around but it was not really convincing. First of all, he might have talked to 100 of them at best and, eventually, they all accepted the settlement he proposed, albeit a different version of it but still. Eventually, the whole thing felt too much like a tribute to the awful pain and sorrow suffered by these victims and to the tremendous work accomplished by Feinberg and his team when it should have been more about the actual process of getting to them accept such a financial settlement in such dreadful circumstances. 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 are interested by this subject.



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A good movie

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 14 March 2023 12:24 (A review of Remember)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it was directed by Atom Egoyan, I thought I might as well check it out. First of all, even though Egoyan was arguably one of the most interesting directors in the 90’s, to be honest, his most recent movies turned out to be all seriously disappointing. Well, at least, this movie did have a solid IMDb rating (it still got some rather weak reviews though) so I was hopeful. Eventually, the damned thing was not bad at all after all. Basically, it turned out to be some kind of Nazi hunting thriller combined with a geriatric version of ‘Memento’ and, while it might sound preposterous (it actually was), I think Egoyan actually made the most of it. Indeed, it wasn't really realistic to have a 90 year old guy chasing some Nazis while he was forgetting most of the time where he was and what he was actually doing but they actually handled this material very seriously and I really liked this approach. On top of that, the late Christopher Plummer was a fine choice to play the main character and the guy was pretty much pitch-perfect here. Concerning the ending, it was quite shocking and pretty awesome but, to be honest, it didn’t make much sense. Indeed, in fact pretty much like with ‘Memento’, the way Zev would forget things seemed to be really convenient as he would always manage to remember his wife Ruth, his friend Max but not his hidden identity. The whole dementia thing also added an extra layer as the world, pretty much like Zev, is slowly forgetting what happened back then. Eventually, it was such an interesting thought, after all these years, should we actually keep chasing these pathetic old guys? Apparently, Egoyan obviously made up his mind and, according to him, they should be executed in front of their children and grand-children and I’m not sure if I completely agreed with this but the debate on this subject was just quite intriguing. Anyway, to conclude, even if it was not a masterpiece, it was still a decent watch and I think it is worth a look, especially if you are interested in Atom Egoyan’s work. 



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An average movie

Posted : 2 months, 3 weeks ago on 13 March 2023 12:41 (A review of Paranormal Activity 3)

Since I didn’t like ‘Paranormal Activity 2’ at all, I had some really low expectations regarding this sequel but, since it was available on Netflix, I thought I might as well check it out. The first funny thing with this movie was that at least 50% of the trailer didn’t end up in the actual movie which did piss off a lot of eager viewers (I don’t watch trailers so it didn’t bother me). Anyway, as mentioned before, I thought ‘Paranormal Activity 2’ was pretty lame but, to be honest, I saw it years ago, I have to admit I didn’t remember much about it and I’m not sure how this 2nd sequel did fit in in this franchise. If I understand correctly, it all started in the present with Katie and Kristi (Katie was the girl in the very first ‘Paranormal Activity’, I’m pretty sure I recognized her) and, then suddenly, we went back to the 80’s when Katie and Kristi were some little girls? To be honest, I’m not sure if it all made sense narratively speaking but, anyway, somehow, I thought the damned thing was not bad at all after all even if, by now, the whole concept was certainly becoming redundant. I don't know, it probably had to do with the fact that I had such low expectations and also to the fact I hadn’t seen a movie from this franchise for more than 5 years. Anyway, I thought the damned thing was quite effective and I was actually on the edge of my seat through the whole duration. To conclude, even though I had lost hope with this franchise a long time ago, I have to admit that this 3rd instalment turned out to be actually quite entertaining and I think it is worth a look but probably only if you really like the genre. 



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