vendredi 31 mai 2013

Fast & Furious 6 — More of the same but simpler — 5*/10

Fast & Furious 6 is the latest incarnation of the series, and you could say it's a reduction.

The good. The races and the fights. Lots of them.

The bad. The story is interesting only because it has a lot of action.

The ugly. Really bad dialogs, way too easy.

The result. If you like the previous chapters, you'll probably be interested in seeing it. The rest of the population better just watch one of the 5 others.


jeudi 30 mai 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness — Plunge further into its modern incarnation — 8*/10

Star Trek Into Darkness is the second adventure of the USS Enterprise since the reset of the series, and it follows its older Star Trek (review still to come) brother in style while accommodating the originals a little bit more.

The good. Lots of very funny moments. Slick presentation and dialogs. Interesting scenario. Superb special effects. Nice work with the 3D. Excellent choice of cast making the crew pretty incredible.

The actors. My favorites, in order of preference starting with my most favorite, are: Simon Pegg as Scotty, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Chris Pine as Kirk, John Cho as Sulu, and Karl Urban as Bones.

The bad. The revival lost some of its originality by incorporating a lot more Star Trek lore into its core, but that's forgivable. 3D was totally unnecessary. The show I saw had some blurry scenes because the theatre did a bad job with the 3D. 3D is still definitively a gimmick.

The ugly. In a scene, a crew member asks dextrous help, yet end up easily yanking everything out: weak. At the end, they went for high drama, yet totally screwed it up afterward.

The result. An excellent sci-fi movie with a lot to please the real trekkies. If you like the previous chapter, you'll like this one too.


The Hangover Part III — The craziness hits up an other level — 7*/10

The Hangover Part III is the third chapter of the series. If you liked the others, you'll like this one.

The good. Many hilarious moments. Nice twists in the scenario.

The bad. It starts at a really weird angle, and it takes a little while before it gets to the nice stuff.

The ugly. It's simple slapstick humor.

The result. It's not for everyone, but it's funny.


lundi 27 mai 2013

Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer — As likable as the first one — 6*/10

Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer is a fitting sequel to Fantastic Four.

The good. Better A story, with sensible B and C story. Incredible Galactus effects.

The actors. The same.

The bad. The humor is not as good, if still present and done on the same tone. It lacks a bit of polish and the best example of that is that it tells a larger story in much less time.

The ugly. Nothing really obvious.

The result. If you like the first one, you'll most likely like this one too.


Fantastic Four — Very light but full of action — 7*/10

Fantastic Four is a worthy representation of those super heroes.

The good. Great quips, bantering, and funny lines. Solid action. Nice special effects.

The actors. Jessica Alba makes Sue Storm even better, stronger, more intelligent, and with more character than in the comics. A big improvement, and a very hot one! Chris Evans is the perfect Torch, smart ass and spectacular, even though the comic character was much more PC. Ioan Gruffudd didn't give us a great performance as Richard Reed, and presented a weaker persona than in the books. Michael Chiklis is a good actor, but his Thing suit is disappointing. And Julian McMahon, even though he's not a stellar actor plays the arrogant sociopath Dr. Doom brilliantly.

The bad. Easy dialogs with little meaningful content. Very light story, it's surprising that it runs over 2h.

The ugly. The breakup between Ben Grimm and his wife is too quick, we can't feel it.

The result. Nice entertainment if you appreciate super heroes or action.


Batman — It introduced a darker version of that super hero — 8*/10

Batman is the seminal version by Tim Burton. It was the first good Batman movie, and it took decades until it was ever bettered. When it came out, it was a stunner!

The good. Excellent score by Danny Elfman that truly puts us in the mood. Original songs by Prince. Great photography that really gives life to the Gotham City of the comic books. Superb vision by Burton. Very interesting story. Well built scenario with a good pace.

The actors. Jack Nicholson is the real star of the movie. Not only is he the best actor, but he fits the role of the insane Joker perfectly. Michael Keaton has always left me cold as Batman, but he does a credible job, if nothing else.

The bad. The miniatures are starting to show, but considering the age of the movie, it's easy to see that the original work was excellent, and it doesn't detract us from the story.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. A great super hero movie, if you don't mind a bit of age. Highly recommended to the fans of Burton and Nicholson.


dimanche 26 mai 2013

The Lady — See a documentary on her life instead — 5*/10

The Lady tackles the life of a great personality and presents to us one of the great fights for human rights, but does not deliver a movie.

The good. Solid acting on the part of Michelle Yeoh. Picturesque photography.

The bad. The scenario is just a series of event that doesn't try to give any cohesion to the whole.

The ugly. Fails to raise interest.

The result. A biography that would have been better as a straight documentary.


Collateral — Slow, moody, and tense, it's a great watch — 9*/10

Collateral is a crime movie like few others, by Michael Mann.

The good. Great score. Excellent music. Solid and logical scenario. Captivating story. Nicely built characters with good depth, except for Felix and the FBI agents. Good camera work, if with some odd choices at time. The mood is impeccably set. It's smoothly done, slowly built up, and it's kept throughout the flick.

The actors. Tom Cruise makes his first appearance as a criminal, and he gives us a great performance. Jamie Foxx is not doing his "thing", and by doing that, he perfectly complements Cruise. His character is the opposite of what he usually does, showing his true capabilities. It's a turning point for both actors.

The bad. Nothing

The ugly. She keeps running with her high heels. Seriously?

The result. A great film with action, mood, intrigue, and even some romance. Easily something a lady could watch.


samedi 25 mai 2013

X-Men 3 — Great new mutants in a poor production — 5*/10

X-Men 3 is a very weak movie, yet I still watch it from time to time, just because it part of the X-Men saga.

The good. Juggernaut is fantastic! Ellen Page is a great choice for the role of Kitty, as well Kelsey Grammer for Beast.

The bad. So many logical flaws in the scenario, it's idiotic.

The ugly. Awkward cookie cutter dialogs. Weak scene construction. Drama that rarely translate into emotions.

The result. I can't recommend it because of  it poor quality, unless you really want to see an other X-Men movie.


X-Men 2 — A great super powered sequel — 7*/10

X-Men 2 is what should be expected of a sequel, something the fan of the original X-Men can be proud of. It helps that it was the same director, Bryan Singer.

The good. The same action packed super battle, with bantering, a bit of intrigue, and an interesting story. Incredible attack on the White House. As a bonus, we're introduced to new super heroes.

The actors. About the same performance.

The bad. The CG doesn't show as much as in X1, but there's a bunch of logical flaws in the scenario. Not too bad, but slightly distracting. The Wolverine's hairdo is messed up in the intro and conclusion.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. Yet an other good super powered action flick.


X-Men — Super powered humans battle it out — 8*/10

X-Men is the Marvel super hero movie that finally made it and launched them on a series of quality film. It made it because it was great.

The good. Lots of super action. Nice displays of powers. Interesting story. A bit of intrigue. Well done bantering. A few odd references to the comic books for the fans. Great battles.

The actors. Hugh Jackman is perfect as the Wolverine, he's just missing a bit of bulk, but the attitude is there. Patrick Stewart is also right on as professor X. Ian McKellen makes a great super villain as Magneto. At that point James Marsden wasn't well known and this role is a little bit weak for him, he can perform better. Although Halle Berry was already a star, and she fits her role to perfection, it didn't stretch her acting talent at all. Anna Paquin plays the sweet Rogue with a good sense of dramatic flair.

The bad. The CG are starting to show. They're not too old yet, but we can see them on the edge. The story is pretty basic compared to the intrigue we can find in the comics. And Cyclops never was such a twerp in the books.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. Great super hero entertainment.


vendredi 24 mai 2013

The Business of Strangers — 24 hours with two different but equally driven women — 9*/10

The Business of Strangers is about the world of those women jockeying their lives in the phallocentric spheres of our society. It's a great movie done with very little.

The good. Simple yet very elegant mood and settings. Solid editing. Interesting, realistic, and straight forward story. Nicely put together characters who evolve before our eyes.

The actors. In this production, we can see Julia Stiles starting to spread her wings and some of her potential. However, as much as I love her, Stockard Channing is the real star here. She portrays the power business woman, her struggle and her changes of mood, with incredible clarity.

The bad. The emptiness of ordinary lives usually filled with glitz and details by Hollywood can be slightly disorienting here. I think it's perfect, but not for everyone.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. Very low key character driven film. Don't expect a dazzling display, turn on your brain, and you won't be disappointed.


jeudi 23 mai 2013

The Great Gatsby — The 20s of New York in one big spectacular gulp — 7*/10

The Great Gatsby is the definition of the american dream and its inherent flaws.

The good. Spectacular settings. Nice intrigue. Very interesting characters. The wild, boisterous, and almost beyond imagining party scenes are well crafted and meticulously put together. The dialogs are captivating.

The actors. Leonardo DiCaprio once more shows the range and quality of his acting. Joel Edgerton plays the snob to perfection. Tobey Maguire is good as the impressionable youth, but his intro felt forced a bit.

The bad. The CG details are lacking realism, but it makes for a certain dream effect. There's a lack of depth in the scenario.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. Incredible entertainment.


Groove — The archetypical underground rave — 10*/10

Groove is the perfect rave in the sense that it's not commercial, it's from the fringe by locals, there's no alcohol, it's small, and everybody is having fun. However, nothing is perfect and so the night goes...

The good. Excellent music. You meet almost every kind of raver. The characters are nice, well developed, and acted just right. Each scene has something special and represent a usual occurrence in a rave. You can feel the ecstasy taking hold, and you can live the tracks as if you were dancing the floor. The dialogs, interactions, actions, reactions, settings, and costumes are very realistic.

The bad. Nothing.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. If you've ever experienced a rave, after seeing this, you'll be looking for your next one.


mercredi 22 mai 2013

The Last Boy Scout — Lots of action with a lot of swearing — 7*/10

The Last Boy Scout is an action hero movie with a dirty mouth. It's one of the first mainstream movie to use the F word in all its variations and glory multiple times in each scene.

The good. Plenty of action. Funny banter. Tough hero. Interesting intrigue.

The actors. Bruce Willis plays a dirty version of his seminal role, John McClane. Halle Berry started her rise on the big screen in this flick.

The bad. The hero does a lot of killing, yet he's not handcuffed once.

The ugly. The lackeys are walking caricatures.

The result. Nice action entertainment with a bit of intrigue. If you're a fan of Willis, I highly recommend it.


mardi 21 mai 2013

At Any Price — An agrarian story with tragedy — 6*/10

At Any Price shows the nasty little ordinary things we do to get us ahead of others, and the not so ordinary or little.

The good. It's a frank view of what industrial farmers go through in regards to GMOs. You also really get into the shoes of the father.

The actors. It's was difficult for me to see Dennis Quaid, who usually plays heroic figures, if only family ones at time, give life to such a flawed character. To his credit, he did it very well.

The bad. There's a number of scenes where we don't relate very well to what's happening. The director doesn't make us feel or understand what's on the screen.

Ugly. Lack of depth in most secondary characters. The B and C stories are too thin.


The Big Wedding — Get swept up in this rich improbable tale — 7*/10

The Big Wedding a cavalcade of stories in one big event.

The good. Lots of things happening. Intricate and fascinating scenario. Well detailed scenes and sets. Funny dialogs and characters. Very slick and polished.

The actors. A star studded cast. Difficult to wreck a production with so much talent. My favorites: Topher Grace and Katherine Heigl. It's nice to see Robert De Niro playing such a cooky role so well.

The bad. Too many closing of loops at the end. However, I don't know what I would have cut. It's nice as is, but the value of the film is just diminished by such neat finish. The husband of Heigl's character is really lame.

The ugly. The lesbian thing was just badly done. A "fetish"? Really? Isn't she more like bisexual? Whatever, it was probably put together by somebody with a conservative view on the subject. Also, the final reveal on the part of the biological mother: totally unnecessary.

The result. A light flick with high value entertainment. There's something for almost everyone. I recommend it.


Lethal Weapon — A mold for modern law enforcement action flick — 8*/10

Lethal Weapon is now a classic of law enforcement action, and at its release, it put Mel Gibson on the map.

The good. Plenty of action. Great main characters. Nice intrigue. Interesting story. Very well paced scenario.

The actors. Mel Gibson is definitively the best of the bunch as the crazy suicidal Martin Riggs. Danny Glover is pretty good too as his more conservative partner Roger Murtaugh who has a heart of gold and hidden depths of ruthlessness.

The bad. The age of the movie is showing in a number of places, but not too much. Still pretty acceptable. The bad guys have no depth at all.

The ugly. The actor playing the jumper is just terrible.

The result. Excellent action geared entertainment if you can get past the age.


lundi 20 mai 2013

Blue Valentine — How bad relationships can be for some — 8*/10

Blue Valentine is a hard movie to watch. It shows how the institution of marriage can be a trap to be wary of. It works for some, but for others, it might be destructive.

It also underline how manipulative some people can be and what tools they can use. Love does not conquer all, the same way as unconditional love is a sickness, not a value to be held high. Some people you cannot help, and you have to save yourself and those you love.

Not for the emotionally sensitive.


The Fugitive — A riveting chase with action and intrigue — 8*/10

The Fugitive has its plot pulled out of an 80s TV show with credible success. I don't know if the fans of the original series liked it, but I did.

The good. Captivating story. Well built scenario and characters resulting in a nice intrigue. Gripping pace that won't let you down and give you only a few pauses. Solid action and acting.

The actors. Commendable work by Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones.

The bad. Lee Jones' character and actions as well as his whole work structure are a bit over the top.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. If you like intrigue, Ford, Lee Jones, or a story about a guy trying to clear his name, it's definitely for you. If you like action, you'll also find your entertainment. There's even a bit of romance and a cap on the violence so the ladies might find their own too.


dimanche 19 mai 2013

Your Sister's Sister — A simple story with nice twists and turns — 8*/10

Your Sister's Sister is your independent take on relationship, which is much closer to life than Hollywood's.

The good. Extremely realistic reactions and chain of events. Superb ending, just right. Heartfelt. Interesting and refreshing story. Good acting. Nice twists and turns in the scenario.

The actors. All three give us nice performances, but Emily Blunt really shines a little brighter. She's so lovable.

The bad. The intro is awkward. Some of the camera work is below par.

The ugly. Him looking at the mother and kids at the diner. Unnecessary, distracting, and in a style not keeping with the rest of the film.

The result. I highly recommend to everyone who likes movies that are different and don't require a lot of action.


The Virgin Suicides — Drama can come from the best of intentions and the worst — 10*/10

The Virgin Suicides is the first film by Sofia Coppola, and what a debut. Low key, yet very poignant.

The good. Excellent acting, nothing over dramatic, but you can feel the depth of the trauma. Great score that accompany the mood to put us right there with them. The editing, the pacing, and the introduction meld us into the story. A scenario that rivets our interest even though very little happens.

The actors. This movie has put Kirsten Dunst on everybody's map, as she shows her talent. The parents played by James Woods and Kathleen Turner are incredibly well interpreted. Josh Hartnett is spot on as the hot stuff of the school. And Danny DeVito is perfect in his small cameo as a psychiatrist.

The bad. Not suited to everyone, because it is low key and very sad.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. A must see if you're not repelled by life's drama.


samedi 18 mai 2013

Somewhere — A slice of life where the story is the lack of one — 8*/10

Somewhere is an other one of Sophia Coppola's low key movie. At first, you're totally disoriented by the lack of any coherent story. It's a day to day account of the life of a middle star actor in Hollywood. There's no emphasis on anything. It feels empty, but you get settled in by the rhythm, the innocuous events that barely have the polish of interest. You don't understand where it's going until the very end, when you're there. It's unusual, to say the least, just like the camera shots.

The good. It's totally different from the rest. Once more you can see that Francis Ford Coppola passed his genius to his daughter. The deglamorizing of Hollywood stardom pulls you in reluctantly. It's refreshing.

The actors. Stephen Dorff probably didn't have to dig very deep to flesh out this character, but I'll give him credit to be able to render it so flawlessly without falling into the trap of non-acting. Elle Fanning really puts the sparkle that keeps us interested in the piece.

The bad. It's not for everyone, because almost nothing happens, and quite frankly, you have to let go to get in. Only then will you get over the first 20 minutes and settle into the mood.

The ugly. The stripper scenes. Some polish would have been nice. I know it's to give an awkward feel to his life, but the bad camera shots, the pole sounds, and lack of stripping talent was pushing it a bit.

The result. I highly recommend it to anyone unafraid of low key movies and everyone who likes even just a little Sophia's work.


Tombstone — Gunslinging with a good flair for action — 8*/10

Tombstone tells a tale that's been told over and over again, but manages to make it interesting.

The good. Well done decor and costumes. Nice photography. Plenty of shootout. Interesting story.

The actors. Kurt Russell did a credible job as Wyatt Earp, but it's probably the extent of his capabilities as you can see his limitations from time to time. Val Kilmer is absolutely excellent as his cultured, but edgy friend, Doc Holliday. Sam Elliott and Bill Paxton both give nice performances as his brothers.

The bad. The river scene is of poor quality, Russell overdoing it by a fair margin, probably under the direction of the director. There are a few scenes where he's not at his best, but that one is the worst.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. Excellent western action entertainment. Recommended to those who like the genre and the fans of Russell or Kilmer.


vendredi 17 mai 2013

Get the Gringo — Where thinking fast is the only thing keeping you alive — 7*/10

Get the Gringo is an unusual prison movie with plenty of double-cross, smart moves, and violence, all set in Mexico.

The good. Gritty and rough environment with a very different setting and lots of details. Are Mexican prisons really like that? I don't know, but it's still interesting. Nice story. Well paced scenario. Well made action and violence.

The bad. Mel Gibson still plays a character relatively close to his usual roles. The American bad guys are lame.

The ugly. This flick doesn't bring anything new to the genre.

The result. Solid entertainment nonetheless if you're looking for some dirty violence. Much better than what you'd expect. If you're a Gibson fan, it's a must.


jeudi 16 mai 2013

The Company You Keep — Interesting, but could have been so much more — 6*/10

The Company You Keep wants to tackle a number of issues like journalistic integrity, the powers that be, the radical movements, but ends up messing it up.

The good. What keeps this movie up and alive is Shia LaBeouf's performance. It's energetic and well done. Overall, interesting subject. Good pace.

The actors. Beside LaBeouf, Robert Redford's character is a bit bland, as are most of the others when they're not just overly simplistic.

The bad. The scenario gives us one of the master key too easily. And the movie should have stopped at the boat sailing off. Let the viewer imagine the rest, no need to pre-chew everything.

The ugly. What kind of FBI task force is that? They look like amateurs. I'm not talking about their effectiveness, I'm talking about how they're represented on screen. They feel weightless.

The result. It could have been more. If you're interested in that kind of thing, go ahead, but don't expect too much.


Trainspotting — Hold on to your hats and be ready for an off-road ride — 10*/10

Trainspotting is what happens when you chose something different than the rest of society.

The good. The imagery, the metaphors, and the camera work plunge us right into what he's feeling, into his world. Incredible scenario. Extremely well told story. Spot on pace and length, with superb editing. Excellent ending, couldn't imagine better. Silly laughs and perspective from time to time to break the gloominess.

The actors. Ewan McGregor is perfect in this hectic role. The rest of the cast is almost just as good. I'll simply mention Kelly Macdonald that totally caught my attention. Love her.

The bad. The scottish accent is a tough nut to crack. Some of the characters are difficult to understand at time.

The ugly. Some scenes are difficult to watch.

The result. Very entertaining. A stark image that everyone should watch.


mercredi 15 mai 2013

The Basketball Diaries — How low can a street kid go — 10*/10

The Basketball Diaries is the movie that showed exactly how much acting potential Leonardo DiCaprio has.

The good. Gripping sad story. Extreme realism and superb acting, you really get into their shoes, very immersive. You get to understand their story, their situation. Tight well executed scenes. Nice camera work. Solid score.

The actors. Not only does Leonardo DiCaprio shine like a true star, but Mark Wahlberg also shows his talent. The rest of the cast is almost as impeccable.

The bad. The end scene on the stage is badly staged. No pun intended. It's a bit awkward, but it's easily forgivable.

The ugly. It pictures drugs as a social disease whereas their use is actually a symptom of an underlying problem. But then, everybody thinks that, because that's the official story.

The result. It's a forbidding tale, but everyone should watch it and understand.


mardi 14 mai 2013

Iron Man 3 — An incredible blast of action and Stark technology — 8*/10

Iron Man 3 is the what a sequel should be, as good as the original. It's better than Iron Man 2, and equals in many ways the original Iron Man. The only reason one might say it's not as good as the first one, it's because the first one had so many original quirks that are only copied in this sequel.

The good. Incredible action. Seamless astounding special effects. Lots of good jokes. Great immersive photography. Interesting story.

The actors. Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow were just as good as in the previous episodes, but Ben Kingsley almost steals the shows as The Mandarin. So incredibly surprising.

The bad. The scenario is pretty straight forward and doesn't bring anything new to the table, but who cares? The bad guy is a trifle simple, no depth. No need for 3D, it's just as good in 2D.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. A must see, unless you can't stand Robert Downey Jr., super heroes, action or bloodless violence. See it on a giant IMAX screen with the best sound even if it means seeing it in 3D, an experience not to be missed.


Requiem for a Dream — Human beings exposed in their weakest state — 10*/10

Requiem for a Dream is about losing a battle against your inner demons, and putting them to sleep with an artificial dream machine.

The good. Masterful editing and camera shots giving an incredible inside perspective. A score that plunges us rapidly into that world and its sad story and keeps us there. A well built scenario revolving around weak, but very human characters.

The actors. Great performance by the our four protagonist. Jared Leto as the focus point. Ellen Burstyn as his mother. Jennifer Connelly as his girlfriend. Marlon Wayans as his friend and partner.

The bad. Tough to watch.

The ugly. Things you might not want to think about.

The result. A gritty perspective on how fragile humans are, and to what extreme they will go to bury their angst. A must see if you're ready for it.


lundi 13 mai 2013

Thirteen — A broken situation all too common in life — 10*/10

Thirteen is a teenage nightmare where parents get lost and where a life can be easily consumed.

The good. An incredibly dramatic rendition of things going out of control. A simple story, mesmerizing by its truthful reflection of reality. Perfect acting. Powerful scenes. Dialogs that are so well built they could escape the lips of any parent or teen.

The actors. Stellar performance by everyone. I'll just mention the main characters. Evan Rachel Wood as our main girl. Nikki Reed as her best friend. Holly Hunter as her mother.

The bad. Nothing.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. A troubling film that should be watched by everyone, but beware the drama, be ready for it.


vendredi 10 mai 2013

The Notebook — Turn back the clock and listen to what romance was — 9*/10

The Notebook is the pinnacle of romance without getting sickly sweet. It's an early to mid 20th century mentality with a bit of modernism.

The good. Very captivating and emotional story. Great acting. Excellent period setting, sets, and costumes. Well paced scenario. Nice slow music. Superb photography.

The actors. Ryan Gosling is quite charming, in a very affirmative and slightly obsessive way. Rachel McAdams is sweet, intelligent, and fiery. James Marsden plays the beau to perfection. Joan Allen is just detestable as the controlling southern mother.

The bad. The CG geese in the intro are so fake they're blinding. And the "now" part of the flick is just not as well put together, not as slick, as the past.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. A flick highly recommended for the hopelessly romantic.


500 Days of Summer — Life is an ironic conflicted sarcastic bitch — 9*/10

500 Days of Summer is what happens when life puts you in a situation you're not ready to handle, with people of opposite interests.

The good. Excellent editing. Great timeline handling. Very interesting characters. Nice moody story. Realistic events, actions, and consequences. Solid dialogs.

The actors. The obsessive love sick puppy portrayed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt could hardly have been better played. He gives the role a certain innocence and a dose of logic. Zooey Deschanel, who's usual characters are very sweet, plays an indifferent and disabused, almost callous, version of her usual role. And Geoffrey Arend plays the annoying idiot/clueless well-meaning friend pretty well.

The bad. The diverse situations can be uncomfortable to watch at time.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. A film that will force you to take position.


jeudi 9 mai 2013

My Awkward Sexual Adventure — Battling to get a sex skill upgrade — 7*/10

My Awkward Sexual Adventure is about relationship obsession and sexual abilities. People tend to obsess over their relationship and screw it up because of that. This movie is a good example of that.

The good. Jonas Chernick, the writer who also plays the main character, and Sean Garrity, the director, know a thing or two about strip clubs, strippers, and massage parlors, because they are well portrayed, if on the gritty side. The characters are solid and very interesting, if a bit simple. Lots of good laughs. Refreshing take on life. The end is well made and realistic. The end credit scene is absolute genius! I loved it, and I left the theater smiling at the montage.

The bad. The intro is very uncomfortable to watch because the guy is so totally incompetent, however, it gets better. The "month later" transition is awkward at best, but you get right over it. The start of the end credit comes abruptly right in the middle of the screen while there's voice over from the couple.

The ugly. There's still this idea that somebody has to get out of the sex trade to have a life.

The result. If you get over the uncomfortable part at the start, you'll have fun.


mercredi 8 mai 2013

The Devil Wears Prada — For the fashion concious or the goal oriented — 7*/10

The Devil Wears Prada is about setting goals and achieving them.

The good. Nice clothes. Glamour. Well built and well paced script. Very interesting story. Entertaining laughs. Solid dialogs.

The actors. Meryl Streep is perfect as the driven cold calculating top editor. It suits her better than mousy anxious mother. Anne Hathaway gives us a very good performance as the wide eyed innocent, and her transformation is very believable. Emily Blunt has the same aplomb as the competitive shallow fashion obsessed assistant. Finally, Stanley Tucci is surprisingly well tailored for the career man with the cold look but soft heart.

The bad. Why would she wants grilled cheese in Boston, when he was so unsupportive and refused to understand her situation? That's ridiculous. He acted like a self-centered child.

The ugly. Nothing, really.

The result. Light and entertaining movie. Recommended to fashion lovers.


Twelve Monkeys — Ready for a slow crude take on a fatal pandemic? — 8*/10

Twelve Monkeys is the kind of movie that gets much better with time. With each subsequent viewing, you start appreciating something new, understanding the story a little bit more, and linking new plots elements. I'm saying this because the settings and scenes are rather crude and unpleasant to assimilate, even though the final product is incredible.

The good. Tight logical story. Engrossing scenario that gets better with time. Excellent acting. Interesting treatment of a fairly common theme. Great details. Nice conception of the future.

The actors. Bruce Willis plays the dislocated and slightly unhinged hero to perfection. Great acting. Madeleine Stowe is just right as the unwilling but open-minded participant. Brad Pitt's mad interpretation is pure genius and an obvious precursor of his role in Fight Club (review still to come).

The bad. The whole flick will not please everybody for its gruesome take, the slow development, and the logical conclusion, which I must admit is as it should be. It is morally disappointing and a slightly simple considering the circumvolutions of the story itself.

The ugly. Nothing ugly there, but the rawness of it all.

The result. Watch it. Let a year go by. Watch it again.


mardi 7 mai 2013

Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor — Not really worth it — 5*/10

Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor wants to be a cautionary tale, but ends up being moralistic.

The good. It is a good representation of the temptations faced by a person who hasn't experienced all that life has to offer. Nice connection with the B story looping back to the A story. Nice acting. Interesting series of events.

The bad. The introduction, with the start of the narration about the "sister". Lousy at best. The end with the "I will put and end to it". Clarity doesn't happen as a lighting strike. If you remove the story telling from the movie, it's already much better. And finally, a violent abuser doesn't operate like that.

The ugly. If you listen to this movie, it seems to condone a number of reprehensible things. It's permissible to continue even if she says no because you believe she really wants you. Religion is the answer to everything. If you have AIDS, you will end up alone.

The result. Skip it, unless you're christian.


lundi 6 mai 2013

The Fifth Element — Max fun and max action in an almost burlesque future — 8*/10

The Fifth Element a sci-fi action extravaganza by Luc Besson.

The good. Funny. Outrageous settings and costumes. Wildly imaginative technology and prognostics for the future. Lots of action.

The actors. Bruce Willis is in his middle phase. Not his best performance, but still pretty good. Gary Oldman is right as the evil Zorg, the trash of humanity. Ian Holm give us a great performance as the overwhelmed and slightly klutzy priest. Milla Jovovich's role doesn't require much of her, but she's simply adorable. And finally, Chris Tucker is fantastic as the extremely annoying radio DJ. It takes a few times seeing the flick to get used to him, but he's just perfect.

The bad. The story is your basic save the world concept, with the ultimate evil, the criminals helping out, and the good guys, which include the army. Nothing inventive there.

The ugly. The pet is too obviously a puppet.

The result. Lots of sci-fi fun.


Soldier — Adaptability is key to a soldier — 7*/10

Soldier is a simple and easy movie to watch.

The good. Finally, a script that introduce a character without visible emotions and of little words that stays with it. An audience expect these flesh machines to become more human, but it's illogical. This flick doesn't pander to those desires and make good use of it. That's great continuity. Nice action. Good concepts and ideas. Well designed planet. Interesting story.

The actors. Kurt Russell is perfect for that role.

The bad. The spaceship special effects are showing their age a bit, but they're still acceptable. The combat scenes are nice to watch, but lack realism.

The ugly. The wars during the introduction are very weak. Fortunately, it's a short moment to pass through.

The result. A nice action film for a some good entertainment. If you're a Russell fan, it's a must.


dimanche 5 mai 2013

Chronicle — What would happen if real teens got super powers? — 7*/10

Chronicle is the Blair Witch Project of the super hero flicks.

The good. Surprising. Funny. Immersive.

The actors. Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, and Michael B. Jordan who play the main characters give us a very good performance. You really get into the mood of those guys goofing around, it's crazy. DeHaan, who played the troubled kid, is even excellent. Nice ending.

The bad. At some point, the hand-held camera premise got a bit constrictive and they had to find an other camera totting character, the blogger. That was one too many, and you loose the intimate feeling of the group.

The ugly. When they couldn't keep the hand-held camera premise anymore, they shifted to include CC camera. There's even a shot done from a point of view where there's no "naturally occuring" camera.

The result. Really worth the seeing, just don't expect perfection.


Bernie — Stranger and stranger for those who like different — 6*/10

Bernie a fictional documentary mixed in with fictional story telling based on a real story. Now, this is not some kind of cheap reenactment, it's a true movie, and the result is much stranger than fiction.

It's captivating with a surprising performance by Matthew McConaughey and an equally unusual one by Shirley MacLaine. Jack Black is in his elements when incarnating this truly strange characters, and gives us his best.

Now, be ready for some backcountry small town Texan mentality and some really bizarre events. If you are, you'll do fine. If not, don't bother watching.

I recommend it to Jack Black fans, audiences who really like offbeat story, or those based on real events. The others might want to stay clear, because it's not for everyone.


Every Day — And you thought nobody else was struggling like you — 7*/10

Every Day is every family's scenario. An ordinary midlife crisis, a slightly rebellious child, a difficult parent... it could be anyone, and it serves as a mirror telling people who look upon it: "Yes, it happens to others too. It's not easy, but you can make it."

The good. The acting is well dosed, just right to make us feel at home. The script keeps event popping in, but does not become overly complex. The story is dynamic, yet quiet. The dialogs, characters, and background are realistic, without dragging us into the mundane or the boring.

The actors. Liev Schreiber is the steadfast husband and father who's running into a wall. Good performance. Helen Hunt is the daughter, wife, and mother who is lost. For once, I did not find her annoying, and I must give her credit for keeping her performance on par with the flick. Carla Gugino as the sexy fun seeking coworker, Eddie Izzard as the flamboyant boss, and Brian Dennehy as crotchety old father are what gives the film its piquant. Well done.

The bad. I think all this production needs to really have more punch is a bit more polish in almost all departments while avoiding becoming slick which would loose the "anyone" feel.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. A bit of entertainment for everyone, but don't expect any action or big gestures. This is about "every day".


Charlie's Angels — See them in a modern action packed format — 7*/10

Charlie's Angels is an excellent modernization of the old TV series.

The good. Beautiful sexy women. Lots of action, fights and wirework. Nice car chases and wrecks. Good funny dialogs. Interesting story. Great score and music.

The actors. Cameron Diaz is at her most adorable and charming in a very innocent and clueless way. She's just perfect. Drew Barrymore is obviously living a dream job, and it shows she's having fun. Lucy Liu is more impish than we've ever seen her before, in a very serious manner, which is a strange combination. There's no denying it, all three angels had a blast doing this flick and gave us a excellent performance. Bill Murray is very funny, and a great complement to the girls. Crispin Glover is the star of the villains, we just can't get enough of him. Sam Rockwell over does it a bit, but nicely. Finally, I'll just mention some other good performance in decreasing order of magnitude: Luke Wilson, Kelly Lynch, Tim Curry, Matt LeBlanc, and LL Cool J.

The bad. Very simple villain. More over, his awkwardly social cover is creepy.

The ugly. The mainframe. If you know anything about computer, and security, this is very lame.

The result. Excellent entertainment with fun and action.


samedi 4 mai 2013

Priest — A great idea that was sabotaged by a weak scenario — 5*/10

Priest is vampire movie without much substance.

The good. Very imaginative ideas for a world which is pretty compelling.

The bad. Most scene are poorly constructed, and the dialogs are weak, which gives us no real attachment to the action.

The ugly. The intro scene. It is without feeling. It is a tragedy, but we can't relate to it or understand it, we don't have any reference points.


The Thieves — A very complex caper with lots of surprises — 7*/10

The Thieves is a South Korean movie that will demand your full attention.

The good. An ensnaring story line that will push you to see it to the end with a ever greater astonishments. The scenario is incredibly well built with plots within plots, revenge, love, distrust, and new twists at every turn. No character is safe from death. A Ton of action. Good editing and camera work. Nice sets.

The bad. A few cliché. Shallow motivations.

The ugly. The afro-hair Chinese thief who's not a very good actor.

The result. Great entertainment, but don't expect any depth.


Any Given Sunday — Can make anyone appreciate professional american football — 9*/10

Any Given Sunday is the best football movie ever made, a master piece by Oliver Stone.

The good. Perfect editing. The way the images are melded just sucks you right in. Great photography. Excellent score and music. Superb football action. Razor sharp dialogs. Complete characters. Solid cast that fit incredibly well together. Very involved story with a good number of sub-story, all interesting and well developed. Nicely paced scenario, with good emotional breaks and powerful action scenes. It's a long film with lots of meat and every minute is worth it, they even used the final generic to pitch us the epilogue. Nicely done. Great ending.

The actors. Al Pacino is playing his best role here. He gets away from his usual angry almost psychotic roles into a more mellow and near sentimental human being, but still very much troubled and imperfect. Cameron Diaz, for once, plays a hard nut to crack, tough, nowhere near nice and she does it extremely well. Dennis Quaid plays the hero, again, and does it superbly as he always does. Jamie Foxx does his thing as the cool and bitter professional athlete.

Now for the smaller roles that round up this flick and elevate it to greatness. LL Cool J plays the money grabbing star to perfection. Matthew Modine plays a institutionalized game-first team doctor who faces Aaron Eckhart as the do-gooder in a battle over the health of the player. Jim Brown is the perfect tough defensive coach with a heart of gold and a head full of the glory days. Lela Rochon is the sweet intelligent life partner of the third string quarterback. Lauren Holly is the hateful witch trying to control her legendary husband. Lawrence Taylor captures our attention as the bruised captain and keystone of the defensive team. Bill Bellamy plays a young receiver. And Andrew Bryniarski denotes himself as the rough angry offensive line man.

The bad. The opposing team design. The costumes look like they were done last minute, not part of a professional football league.

The ugly. Nothing, it's near damn perfect.

The result. A football movie that's so well made, anyone can enjoy it. See it.


vendredi 3 mai 2013

30 Beats — Going from one sexual encounter to an other without sex scenes — 5*/10

30 Beats has the feel of a low budget movie. There are interesting things in the lot, especially the psychic experience, but overall, the acting is subpar, the editing awkward, and logic is not always there to meet us.

If you've got some time to spare and you like scenarios that present a patchwork of life, this might be for you.


Jerry Maguire — Watch it for the romance and be entertained by the antics — 7*/10

Jerry Maguire is now pop culture reference material. "You had me at Hello" and "You complete me" are some of the most commonly quoted movie phrase in North America. Underneath that is a romance born of unusual circumstances.

The good. Very interesting story with a unique setup. Well paced scenario. Excellent character psychology and interactions.

The actors. Tom Cruise goes all out, but his best scenes are the ones where he's calm. Cuba Gooding Jr. is just spot on as the self-centered athlete. And Renée Zellweger is at her cutest and most vulnerable as the lost single mother.

The bad. Acting exaggerations on the part of Cruise and Gooding. It's probably what made it popular in the first place, but watching it now, for the third time, it's unnerving. Also, the kid might have been cute the first time you see the flick, but he's really not a good child actor.

The ugly. Quarterback Troy Aikman shows once again that professional athlete can't act to save their lives. It's a good thing he's got only two lines.

The result. Very good entertainment for the romantics with a bit of sport thrown in the mix.


jeudi 2 mai 2013

11.6 — Un crime pas comme les autres pour un film pas comme les autres — 8*/10

11.6 est un film simple, linéaire et sans rebondissement dont l'intérêt provient strictement du personnage principal, sa vie, son ami, sa compagne, sa mère, son cousin, son boulot, ses motivations... L'intérêt secondaire arrive après la fin, à s'imaginer la suite, ce qu'il a fait.

Les deux tiers du films sont passé à mettre en place les éléments clés. Ça tire en longueur, mais on peut apprécier le travail. Ce qui donne très peu de place à l'acte même et à son dénouement tout à fait inusité. De plus, on ne nous donne pas d'explication, ce qui est une beauté dans un monde cinématique où l'on nous donne habituellement tout cuit et pratiquement pré-mâché.

Lorsque le générique de la fin s'est mis à dérouler, je suis resté assis là à penser pendant presque une minute. Il n'y a qu'un seul autre film qui m'a fait cet effet-là.

À apprécier sans attentes.


Alien³ — Gritty, down and dirty fight to the finish — 8*/10

Alien³ is, to me, the unloved child of the Alien series. If not as good as the other two preceding it, David Fincher's attempt was a successful one nonetheless. It came full circle by going back to "weaponless" confrontation with the beast. I think that, combined with a revolting dirty low-tech environment, rebuffed most watchers.

The good. Imaginative environment. Tight scenario with many chills and thrills. Captivating story. Great photography. Excellent costume and dialogs. Simple and touching relation between Ripley and the doctor. Very interesting characters. Excellent cast.

The actors. Sigourney Weaver outdid herself with this evolution of her heroic persona, a truly great performance. Charles Dance seems to be the true complement to our female lead and played it to perfection. The whole lot of convicts and jailers was astonishingly good, I'll just give special mentions to Paul McGann, Christopher Fairbank, and Charles S. Dutton.

The bad. Unfortunately, the alien's CG effects are starting to show their age, and it can be distracting at time.

The ugly. The intro. It's not logical. There can be no eggs there. The queen had lost her egg producing sac. That's probably what turned off most hardcore Alien fans. It did me. It took me a while to go past that and see the quality of this film. Since this blatant mistake was the basis of the whole scenario, it left very few advocators.

The result. A great sci-fi thriller. Should be seen with an open mind if you like the first two installments of the franchise.


mercredi 1 mai 2013

Upside Down — Be transported and live a romance with different laws of physics — 8*/10

Upside Down is a romance between two people of opposite worlds in a imaginative setting.

The good. The details imbued in each world and the creative imagination behind the universe. The photography is spectacular. The story is captivating, and you get a sense of wonder throughout the film. Good score. Well built scenario.

The actors. Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess effortlessly carry us on their romance, and Timothy Spall is excellent as the lovable easy going partner in crime.

The bad. The tone of the voice-over. It aimed for fairy tale, but we got sweet and sticky. Beyond the suspension of disbelief needed to assimilate the existence these planets, we're subjected to many logical flaws during the course of the film. Nothing outrageous, but enough to be a distraction from time to time.

The ugly. Trying and failing to give a logical reason for the existence of these worlds, as if it could scientifically exist. It was done at the onset in a few word, and it just didn't make sense.

The result. A great escape from our mundane world to be seen on a large screen.


Aliens — Colonial marines locked in firefights with alien bugs, a must see — 9*/10

Aliens is an other incredible sci-fi by James Cameron done in his early days. A thrilling action packed sequel to the original masterpiece, Alien.

The good. Action, lots of it. Well thought out characters. Captivating and thrilling story. Very diversified scenario. Many surprises. Same meticulous setup. Even stronger female lead. Dark human ambitions still manipulating events. Spectacular climactic event.

The actors. Sigourney Weaver gives us an other great performance as the now legendary heroic survivor. Michael Biehn is the mellow corporal Hicks who grounds us and Ripley in a solid fashion. Paul Reiser manages a great performance where you just love to hate him. Lance Henriksen, as Bishop, shares with us his calm demeanor while looking completely innocent. And Bill Paxton gives an amazing performance as the high strung over-confident braggart.

The meh. The power loaders are great, but could have been done just a little better. Some of the special effects are showing a bit of age, but everything taken into consideration, it's barely noticeable.

The bad. Apone's pre-drop rousing orders. Compared to the rest of the dialogs, it's a little weak.

The ugly. Nothing. It's too good for that.

Th result. A horror movie packed with combat action scenes and lots of firepower. It doesn't get any better than that. See it.