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All reviews - Movies (7524) - TV Shows (9)

An average movie

Posted : 2 months, 3 weeks ago on 26 January 2024 08:47 (A review of Black Christmas)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it was starring Imogen Poots and since it was available on Netflix, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, I was pretty sure that it was a remake of a vintage horror flick (which I haven’t seen) but I didn’t realize that it was yet already the 2nd remake less than 15 years after the previous one (which I haven’t seen either). Well, the only remarkable thing about this 3rd version is that it turned out to be even worse than the previous one which already had a seriously lame reputation. In fact, I think the concept actually had some potential. Indeed, it turned out to be some kind of feminist slasher flick involving some sorority girls but, unfortunately, pretty much nothing worked with the damned thing, I’m afraid. First of all, even though Imogen Poots was not bad in spite the rather abysmal material, the rest of the cast was just so completely forgettable but I have to admit that they were not helped by the fact their characters were all so poorly developed. Another huge mistake was to add some really convoluted and totally unnecessary mythology about black magic. Seriously, what was the added value? Furthermore, it didn’t make much sense. Sure, this fraternity might get away with killing one girl but you might wonder what was supposed to be their next move after wiping out whole sorority houses like that. Finally, and it was probably what bothered most the horror fans, the action was just really tame and you might wonder if aiming for a PG13 rating was really the best strategy. Anyway, to conclude, I wonder if my rating was maybe not too generous here but the damned thing was definitely pretty weak and you should probably avoid it. 



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A bad movie

Posted : 2 months, 3 weeks ago on 25 January 2024 09:14 (A review of Arsenal)

To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting much from this flick but since it was starring Nicolas Cage, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, unfortunately, as expected, it turned out to be another dreadful direct-to-VOD action flick. Indeed, it had all the typical trademarks of the genre such as some ugly yellow filters through the whole duration. It was also directed by Steven C. Miller, possibly one of the worst directors ever and you had Lydia Hull playing (very badly) a minor role (Seriously, I can’t believe that I have seen already a dozen movies starring this girl, always in this dreadful genre). Above all, I thought this movie was just a huge mess, even more than usual. I mean, at some point, you see the two main characters when they were kids going home and there is an unidentified woman and man sitting there in the living room. Later on, the man did shoot himself but what happened to the woman? Then, you get to see these kids going to the arcade without ever acknowledging what happened before and, there, somehow, completely randomly, the older boy meets some kingpin played by Nicolas Cage. And it went on and on like this with an endless succession of some very clunky scenes poorly together one after the other. Another funny thing was to compare John Cusack who barely acted at all and Nicolas Cage who was acting too much but, even if it didn’t really work, Cage at least did try to do something with his character. The weird thing is that the concept actually had some potential. Indeed, I could imagine a gritty drama focusing on these two boys growing up in some very toxic environment. On one hand, you would have the big brother always covering and protecting his young brother who would then become successful while the big brother would get completely sucked in this dark underworld becoming a major f*ck-up in the process. Unfortunately, the makers apparently didn’t really care at all about what they were actually doing and the end-result was pretty dreadful so you should definitely avoid it. 



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An average movie

Posted : 2 months, 3 weeks ago on 24 January 2024 11:21 (A review of Heading South)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it was directed by Laurent Cantet, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, it was the first movie I saw dealing with female sex tourism and, only therefore, it made this movie so intriguing. The first thing I learned is that, even though I thought it was something fairly recent, it actually exists since much longer than I thought, as it was depicted in this movie. Coming back on the movie itself, I have to admit that the first scene was rather disorienting but it turned out to be a very efficient way to show how desperate the people living in such countries are. Eventually, nobody there (man and women) decides to go into the prostitution for fun or because they are some kind of moral deviants, 99% of the time they choose this path because it might be the only option they have. So, it definitely had some some potential but I’m afraid Cantet never had a good grip on the subject. Eventually, you might wonder if a middle-aged white guy was really the best choice to tell the stories of various rich middle-aged white women looking for sex and affection with some much younger black dudes. As a result, neither group was properly developed, especially the native folks living in Haïti. At some point, you did get to hear Albert’s thoughts but, to be honest, they barely had anything to do with the problematic displayed and, afterwards, well, it’s anyone’s guess what the folk out there might have felt or think about all this. Obviously, they did spend more time on these women but the end-result was still hardly satisfying though. It’s a combination between the facts that Cantet apparently didn’t know how to handle these characters and the fact that, beside Charlotte Rampling who was fine as usual, the actresses involved were rather weak. It was also a mistake to have them involved in some love triangle. Anyway, to conclude, even though it seemed to be a failed opportunity, since it’s the only movie I know dealing with this subject, it was still an interesting watch and I think it is worth a look. 



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A good movie

Posted : 2 months, 3 weeks ago on 23 January 2024 09:32 (A review of White Zombie)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it was starring Bela Lugosi, I thought I might as well check it out. I remember it very well, I actually saw ‘Ed Wood’ in the movie theater when it was released (and it is still one of the best movies ever delivered by Tim Burton). Well, it’s funny that I took me 30 years to finally see an actual vintage horror feature starring Lugosi. After ‘Dracula’ (which I unfortunately still haven’t seen yet), it must be one of his most famous movies but, to be honest, it wasn’t really good though. Indeed, it was narratively very clunky. For example, at least a 3rd of the story is literally told to us by the characters and not actually displayed on the screen (probably to reduce the costs). Furthermore, all the characters were so poorly developed and underwhelming. Fortunately, Bela Lugosi was pretty good though. Sure, his performance was rather over-the-top but it perfectly fit the material. A nice touch was that Lugosi did pronounce ‘Monsieur’ in a really perfect French accent (I’m French myself). Sure, it’s a small detail but it shows that, even though the guy was typecast in such cheesy horror features, I do believe that he was actually a solid actor. And, yet, I have to admit that the damned thing still worked though. I mean, it did help that it was short and, to be honest, if I would have watched it when I was younger, I probably would have seriously dislike it. Eventually, it all depends if you feel a connection with the mood which was fairly creepy and terribly cheesy at the same time. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, it was still a decent watch and it is worth a look, especially if you like in the genre or if you are interested in Bela Lugosi’s work.



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An average movie

Posted : 2 months, 3 weeks ago on 22 January 2024 09:23 (A review of Ordinary Love)

To be honest, I didn’t have such huge expectations with this movie but since it was starring Liam Neeson and since it was available on Netflix, I thought I might as well check it out. Well, it was probably the least exciting title I have seen in a while. Seriously, they could have also called it ‘Bland romance involving average people’. Okay, I might be a little but harsh because the damned thing was actually not bad at all. Above all, it was so refreshing to see Liam Neeson finally starring in a drama instead of another average action flicks which has been unfortunately his main focus ever since he made ‘Taken’ already more than 15 years ago. It was also pretty neat to see Lesley Manville, such an underrated actress, playing the lead for once. Anyway, the two actors delivered some solid performances and they were quite convincing as a couple. Unfortunately, in spite of their effort, there was nothing really groundbreaking about the damned thing. Still, it was an interesting touch that they didn’t go too deep into the death of their only child. Of course, as a viewer, you are intrigued by what might have happened at the time but it wasn’t obviously not the point of this movie. Furthermore, it didn’t really matter for the characters, for them, she was taken from them way too soon and it was enough information for the viewers regarding this matter. On the other hand, I thought they were both rather unfazed by Peter’s tragic prospects. I mean, it was to be expected that, during her treatment, Joan would become acquainted with someone in such a predicament but I thought that both her and her husband were rather untouched by meeting a man who would fairly soon die of the same (or a similar version of the same) disease that Joan was dealing with. 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 : 2 months, 4 weeks ago on 20 January 2024 12:56 (A review of Breaking News in Yuba County)

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. To be honest, it’s only when the movie started that I discovered that it was actually directed by Tate Taylor which might explained why so many interesting actors did eventually get involved in such a weak feature. Indeed, even if the damned thing didn’t turn out to bet a total disaster, it wasn’t far from it though. Eventually, it seems that Taylor watched too many movies directed by the Coen brothers and thought he could somehow emulate their style. The biggest giveaway was probably Regina Hall’s character. Indeed, with her 80’s haircut and anything but flattering wardrobe, your first reaction is to dismiss her like all the other weirdo’s showing up in this movie. However, fairly quickly, it was actually pretty obvious that she was actually the smartest of the bunch which was basically exactly the same approach the Coen brothers took to handle Frances McDormand’s character in ‘Fargo’. Anyway, beside being apparently a hopeless copycat, this movie was also the perfect example that black humor is not such an easy genre to handle after all. In fact, it is actually hard to pinpoint what was the biggest issue here. Indeed, right from the start, the story was just too convoluted and terribly underwhelming. There were also too many characters involved for a movie barely running 90 mins and, to make things worse, most of these characters were unlikeable, pathetic but, above all, really tedious. Concerning Tate Taylor, ever since the success of ‘The Help’ (a movie with a really tainted legacy), his track-record has been rather patchy but I’m afraid this movie is probably his all-time low so far. Anyway, to conclude, I think I was rather generous with my rating here, the damned thing was just really weak and you should probably avoid it. 



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A good movie

Posted : 2 months, 4 weeks ago on 19 January 2024 02:47 (A review of Bye Bye Morons)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it did win the César of the Best movie of the year, I thought I might as well check it out. I remember it very well, when I was growing up in France in the 90’s, ‘Bernie’, Albert Dupontel’s directorial debut, became at the time a huge cult-classic among my peers in my home country.  Well, almost 30 years later, I still haven’t watched the damned thing but it was pretty neat to see this other directorial effort. Anyway, the damned thing turned out to be quite intriguing, even if I strongly wonder if it was the best movie released at the time. I mean, the title was awesome (literally, it actually means ‘Farewell cunts’) and the tone was definitely original. Indeed, Dupontel is apparently famous for his black humor and there was plenty of it here, that’s for sure. However, not everything did work though. For example, even if I could completely identify with the way Adrien was completely unable to express his love to the girl he had a crush on, the way he was stalking her was however just so f*cking creepy though. However, what really won me over was once again Virginie Efira. I discovered her only quite recently but, with each new movie, she keeps impressing me (it does help that I did watch only her recent movies because the rom-coms she made at the beginning of her career do seem to be rather lame). This movie was no exception. Sure, Efira was as usual quite charismatic but it went really beyond that. Indeed, the balance she managed to find for her character, between the tragic and the comic, was just really neat and no one else in the cast did nail it so perfectly as she did. And I shouldn’t forget to mention the ‘Thelma & Louise’ ending which was rather surprising but also quite powerful, and quite frankly, even unforgettable. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, 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 : 3 months ago on 18 January 2024 09:51 (A review of Cavalcade)

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but since it did win the Best Picture Academy award, I thought I might as well check it out. It’s usually considered as the most obscure Best Picture winner ever but, in fact, it was actually a big box-office success when it was released. Indeed, it was apparently adapted from a very popular Noël Coward’s play which was so intricate, so technically complex, that it was pretty much impossible to show it around the world so the audience at the time were apparently thrilled with this adaptation. Well, I have to admit that the concept was intriguing. Indeed, you get to see 30 years of British history through the eyes of this family which was pretty cool. It was especially interesting how much wars these folks had to face and, by the time this movie was released, only 6 years later, they would have to face yet another war, probably the biggest world conflict ever. I think we tend to forget, in Western Europe, how lucky we are that we never had to face the hardships of war for already 80 years. So, there was definitely some potential but, to be honest, I still struggled to really care about the damned thing though. I think the main issue was the fact that all the characters involved were rather underwhelming. On top of that, at the ending, I thought it was rather bewildering that the Marryots seemed to be rather content on how their lives turned out to be when, in fact, both their children died before them in some really tragic circumstances. I mean, eventually, they did end up with no children, no grand-children either and most people who ever did start a family would be seriously crushed by this. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, it was still a decent watch and I think it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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An average movie

Posted : 3 months ago on 17 January 2024 09:17 (A review of Wuthering Heights)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this flick but, since I have a weak spot for Kaya Scodelario, I thought I might as well check it out. I actually already saw the vintage version of this classic story with Laurence Olivier playing Heathcliff but, to be honest, I have to admit that I didn’t remember much about it. Well, it must be the gloomiest love story ever written and I do believe it is an acquired taste. At least, Andrea Arnold really went for it, it was visually neat and the mood was pretty much pitch-perfect. In fact, even though you might think that it was a passion project for Arnold, it was hardly the case as many directors were actually attached to this movie before she finally got involved. Eventually, what made her adaptation probably most unique was her choice to cast black actors to play Heathcliff which was an intriguing approach but, to be honest, I’m not so sure if adding a racial angle to this love story was such a great idea. However, something that bothered me even more was the fact that the actors playing the younger versions of Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw and the actors playing the older versions of these characters didn’t look alike at all. For example, Kaya Scodelario is famous for her deep blue eyes while Shannon Beer had clearly some dark brown eyes. I mean, none of the actors involved were bad at all but it felt almost like I was watching 2 unrelated movies. The weird thing was that Shannon Beer was/is only 5 years younger than Scodelario so you might wonder if one actress couldn’t have played the character at both ages  after all. Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, 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 : 3 months ago on 16 January 2024 02:55 (A review of Where the Crawdads Sing)

I had no idea what to expect from this flick, in fact, I wanted to check it out because I really liked the title and because Daisy Edgar-Jones seemed to be an intriguing new actress. It’s only afterwards that I discovered that it was actually adapted from a bestseller but I did expect it. Anyway, to be honest, I did end up with some mixed feelings which was apparently the case also for most of the critics. I mean, there is always something intriguing about people who manages to live in the wilderness like this and Daisy Edgar-Jones definitely delivered a solid performance. However, even though the little Kya looked dirty which was understandable considering how she lived and seemed to be starving most of the time, the older Kya looked way too clean and her whole situation looked just too idyllic. To make things worse, from the moment she met Tate as a grown-up, the whole thing did start to feel like a Nicholas Sparks’s novel which was, I hope, not the intended effect. Concerning the twist ending, it was actually fairly easy to figure out. Indeed, with such courtroom thrillers, from the point that the main character is going to walk away fairly easily after all, then, you can be pretty sure that they have actually done it. However, in this case, it gave the whole thing a rather shady morality. Since Chase was a violent douchebag, was she then allowed to kill him without retribution? Was it supposed to be the solution for her mother? To kill her father and dump his body somewhere in the marsh? By the way, you might wonder, since she had apparently whole masterplan, how on Earth living the body lying around was the only option she could choose from? Anyway, to conclude, in spite of its flaws, I have to admit that it was still a decent watch though and Edgar-Jones will definitely be an actress to follow in the future. 



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