mardi 31 mars 2015

Day Watch — The grimy Russian fantasy finally makes a lot of sense — 8*/10

  • Scenario: It's full of nice ideas and details. After seeing the confusing first instalment (read review here), it's a joy to watch this final chapter that takes the time to explain a few things without doing so or patronizing us. It also heightens the value of having watch the preceding chapter. One of the rare sequel that's better than the original. I guess money helped.
  • Dialogs: As previously.
  • Characters: Much more depth to the characters now.
  • Actors: Even better work on the part of everyone.
  • Photography: Improved camera work probably because they didn't have to hide things anymore.
  • Sound: As previously.
  • Special effects: Much improved, even good looking.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? For all fantasy lovers, especially those who have watched the first chapter. Or anyone looking for a flick with a grimy setting.

lundi 30 mars 2015

Night Watch — Fantasy lovers will be interested in this grimy Russian battle — 7*/10

  • Scenario: Very interesting background story and setup, as well as a world with captivating inner workings. Good intro, intrigue and ending.
  • Dialogs: Won't comment on the account of being in Russian. The subtitles have nice animation, making the dialogs easier to assimilate for the readers.
  • Characters: The main one is well developed, the others are simple, but varied and non-stereotypical.
  • Actors: Good work, but difficult to say when you don't speak a word of Russian.
  • Photography: The choppy camera work in combat scenes serves nicely, but is probably there to simplify the edit and cover budget limitations. The grimy sets and decors are very barbaric and well used. Nice costumes.
  • Sound: Nice music and score.
  • Special effects: Acceptable, but mostly covered up in edit to save money, because the few ones that are there in full are not that good.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Mostly for fantasy fans who want to see something different. Others should probably pass.

dimanche 29 mars 2015

Parallels — A sci-fi that needs a good budget or a TV series to be better — 7*/10

  • Scenario: It has great ideas, it would have been fabulous with a large budget, the story gets more and more engrossing as you progress, even though it starts a little bit to stereotypical, however, it does have the feel of a pilot and not a movie.
  • Dialogs: Good.
  • Characters: Simple.
  • Actors: Good work for the most part.
  • Photography: It's all on par with a low budget film or a TV episode.
  • Sound: Nice, but not much more.
  • Special effects: Minimal.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a nice sci-fi, but without any expectations.

samedi 28 mars 2015

Astérix: Le domaine des dieux — Le meilleur depuis Cléopatre — 9*/10

J'ai été énormément bien surpris par ce dernier dessin animé d'Astérix. Les blagues sont multiples, parfois subtiles, et utilisent exactement le même ton que dans les bandes dessinées. De plus, l'histoire est proche de l'originelle, quoique ça fait un bout de temps et je ne suis pas en mesure de comparer en ce moment. Les détails fourmillent, la qualité des dessins est exemplaire, les dialogues sont rigolos, l'action continue, et le rythme du scénario captivant.

À voir. Adultes et enfants aimeront. Les fanatiques d'Astérix adoreront.

jeudi 26 mars 2015

The Gunman — Too much of a mishmash to be any more than an action flick — 7*/10

  • Scenario: Is it an assassin/spy flick, an intrigue, is it about global politics, revenge, or even romance? That's the basic problem of this film, it doesn't have a definite identity. There's a lot of action, but also enough slow scenes to give a different vibe, yet not so much as to get a good dark mood or some solid psychological intensity. It's entertaining, though.
  • Dialogs: Pretty good.
  • Characters: Shallow for the most part. I really hated Felix, a total asshole.
  • Actors: Good work, especially for Sean Penn, who's really cut, and Javier Bardem.
  • Photography: Nice
  • Sound: Good music and score.
  • Special effects: Good.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a nice action flick, as well as Penn or Bardem fans.

mercredi 25 mars 2015

Avis de mistral — Excellente histoire de famille sans trop de chichi — 8*/10

Une histoire de famille moderne avec toutes ses défis. De beaux paysages, des moments touchants, des frustration d'adolescents, des conflits et des réconciliation mettant en vedette, entre autre, Jean Reno et Hugo Dessioux, mieux connu comme HugoToutSeul sur YouTube.

À voir si vous ne recherchez pas de l'action.

lundi 23 mars 2015

Only Lovers Left Alive — Extremely low key but still delicious vampire movie — 9*/10

  • Scenario: Very slow development, as low key as it gets, no action at all, but you get to feel everything down to the smallest particle, which, in a way, is how these vampires go through life. The result is much better than what the synopsis might entail.
  • Dialogs: Simple, elegant and right with the tone.
  • Characters: Grounded, as real as you can make those, and with a lot of depth.
  • Actors: Beautiful work on the part of everyone. Cast members include Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin, Jeffrey Wright, and John Hurt.
  • Photography: Smooth camera work, amazingly detailed and well thought out sets and decors.
  • Sound: Perfect music and score, very moody.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Anyone who likes a slow developing and moody movie or vampire aficionados who don't mind the lack of action. A must discover.

dimanche 22 mars 2015

District 9 — An incredible sci-fi with a very novel and surprising setting — 10*/10

  • Scenario: When you don't know what to expect this flick is very disorienting at first, because everything is new and barely ressembles anything you've seen before. It's done as a faux documentary that slowly mixes in more and more "live" footage. It is gripping, emotionally heavily loaded, even though the story starts a little bit pathetically, it is gritty, dirty, it has an incredible background setting, as well as a ton of action, and it is full of details. The tension builds up throughout the movie and never lets you go as you learn slowly what this is all about.
  • Dialogs: Very realistic. The South African accent is sometimes difficult to understand, but it adds to the charged atmosphere.
  • Characters: Even if you don't get to know them all, they all leave you with a nice deep impression including the shallower roles. The main character is amazingly well built psychologically.
  • Actors: Great work on the part of everybody.
  • Photography: The camera work and effects get you right in with the characters. The sets, decors and costumes are perfect.
  • Sound: The music and score are strong and moving.
  • Special effects: Perfection. They feel absolutely real. If "prawn" type aliens and technology landed on Earth, they would look and feel exactly like that.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Anyone who doesn't mind violence or sci-fi. It's a must.

This is director Neill Blomkamp's first feature length movie and it's a masterpiece.

samedi 21 mars 2015

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl — This is THE pirate movie — 10*/10

  • Story: Well told with laughter, dark magic and a nice sound intrigue. It will captivate everyone.
  • Characters: Archetypical, but each is very interesting, unique, and well developed.
  • Dialogs: Glib, solid, funny.
  • Scenario: A roller coaster. Fast paced action mixed with nice moody scenes. Amazing battle scenes, with great sword fighting of high caliber and realism.
  • Actors: This is where Johnny Depp created his famous character Jack Sparrow who is now the default standard in any pirate world. Personally, I don't think Orlando Bloom is a good actor, but he did give here his best performance ever, and credible one, that he has yet to equal. All cast members did and great job and they include Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush and Jonathan Pryce.
  • Photography: Good action camera work. Amazingly beautiful sets and decors with loads of details, as were the impeccable costumes.
  • Sound: Absolutely stupendous music and score that bring out alternatively dread or fun, but mostly a great urge to shout, yell and join in the action.
  • Special effects: Marvellous. Great attention to details and perfect rendering which can still amaze today, more than 10 years later.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Anyone who doesn't mind action. A must see.

This is the best of the series without a doubt. The novelty and attention to details make it paramount.

jeudi 19 mars 2015

Excalibur — This was once the finest movie on Arthurian legends — 6*/10

  • Story: Makes you want to see more of the legends.
  • Characters: Simple. The most interesting one are Merlin, Uther and Morgana.
  • Dialogs: Too structured, not natural enough.
  • Scenario: Well paced.
  • Actors: Good performances, except for those playing Arthur and Lancelot who are unfortunately the worst of the lot. Cast members include Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, and Helen Mirren.
  • Photography: Acceptable. Sets, decors and costumes show their age from time to time.
  • Sound: Nice music and score, sometimes amazing. ADR is a bit below expectation. The ambient foley sounds are inadequate when it comes to weapons and armors.
  • Special effects: Not too many of them, aged badly.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those who want to watch a fantasy classic. Don't expect too much, take into consideration its age.

mercredi 18 mars 2015

Conan the Barbarian — The legendary character in his original and greatest screen incarnation — 10*/10

  • Story: The storytelling transitions us with great smoothness from infancy to present and unto destiny. The narration is superb using Mako's singular voice.
  • Characters: The characters are just perfect. I love the wizard and Subotai.
  • Dialogs: Very little and that's fine suiting the genre to a dot.
  • Scenario: Tight with many different types of scenes and an inescapable momentum, like an avalanche.
  • Actors: Great work by everyone. Arnold Schwarzenegger was made to play this role, very few words and all attitude, his sword forms are attention grabbing. Let us not forget the incredible performance of James Earl Jones. Cast members also include Max von Sydow, and Mako.
  • Photography: Excellent. The scenes are gritty and realistic, something that wasn't well done at the time.
  • Sound: Perfect music and score that truly transport you and put your right in the action or gives you shivers and heighten the suspense.
  • Special effects: It's not a special effect movie, and that's a good thing because those that are present tend to show their age. Fortunately, there's few of them and usually very short, so they're easily overlooked.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Anyone who likes action fantasy. The film has aged well, even considering the special effects.

The collector's edition as a few nice additions and a fuller ending. Robert E. Howard's character is legendary and you can see the hand of Oliver Stone in the screenplay for its sheer genius.

mardi 17 mars 2015

Legend — The old gold standard for fantasy movies — 9*/10

  • Story: It's your basic heroic fairytale, lavishly heaped with all the magical dust that could be thrown at it at the time. Extremely enjoyable.
  • Characters: Nice and simple.
  • Dialogs: Very theatrical and well done.
  • Scenario: Very quick development, even short. You can't get bored.
  • Actors: Great performance by all. Cast members include Tim Curry, Tom Cruise and Mia Sara.
  • Photography: Nice.
  • Sound: Good music and score, fortunately not too 80s until the end credit.
  • Special effects: Aging, unfortunately, but not too badly considering the era.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those who like a good fantasy movie and don't mind if it looks a little old.

This was for a long time the gold standard for fantasy movies, until TLOTR, and it still posses its magnificent aura. I consider it one of Ridley Scott's finest piece.

I'll review the Director's Cut at a later date.

lundi 16 mars 2015

Savages — A drug fuelled action flick fitting the mold — 7*/10

  • Story: It's a twisted drug story with plots and counter plots mixed with a sort of love triangle. It's very interesting, but has a number of flaws mainly in the too slick way some things are done. I must also say that I don't like the two phases ending, the narrative is a little weird at first, and some things are too predictable. However, the entertainment value is high.
  • Characters: Interesting, simple yet not too shallow.
  • Dialogs: Nothing impressive.
  • Scenario: Well paced, lots of action, a bit too smooth.
  • Actors: Bizarrely, the main roles are not done by the best actors. The better ones include Salma Hayek, John Travolta and Benicio Del Toro.
  • Photography: Nice.
  • Sound: Nice music and score.
  • Special effects: Nice.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for good entertainment who don't mind violence and blood.

This is not one of Oliver Stone's best production. A bit disappointing.

dimanche 15 mars 2015

The Scribbler — Not your average psycho movie, a must try for explorers — 8*/10

  • Story: Very interesting with lots of novel concepts or at least novel twists on old ones.
  • Characters: Nicely built. Some are simple and don't need much more, while the main ones well fleshed out.
  • Dialogs: Love them, except of the psychiatric talk and the final speech who is a bit too "final philosophical monolog" for my taste. We could have live with a shorter version or none at all.
  • Scenario: Overall, it's great. However, there are a few flaws, mostly related to multiple personality disorder and the psychiatric hospital. They can be overlooked, and if you can, the result is a great entertaining flick.
  • Actors: Solid work on the part of everyone, except the male cop and the male assistant psychiatrist who were barely believable. Cast members include Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg and Eliza Dushku.
  • Photography: Very nicely done.
  • Sound: Great music and score to plunge you in this dark tale.
  • Special effects: Acceptable, sometimes even good, except for the crap they're trying to pass as the burn machine and the light in the eyes.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those who want a great novel story and a nice intrigue, but don't mind if some parts of the movie are below minimum standard.

samedi 14 mars 2015

Detention — Totally out of whack and full of references — 7*/10

  • Story: It's difficult to understand anything in this freaky succession of barely related events. It's winks after winks to different horror movies riding a fine line between a goofy comedy and a parody.
  • Characters: Simple and caricatural.
  • Dialogs: Fast and funny.
  • Scenario: It's more than a simple roller coaster, because it spins every which way until the plots really thickens. It doesn't make any sense before then.
  • Actors: Nice silly work on the part of everyone. Cast members include Dane Cook.
  • Photography: Acceptable.
  • Sound: Nice music and score.
  • Special effects: Good.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those who want to see something totally crazy and don't mind violence and gore.

vendredi 13 mars 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel — Lost some of its charm, but not totally devoid of it — 7*/10

  • Story: Lost some of its caliber in this new instalment. Compared to the first one, the story is more confusing, even figuring some wanna be philosophy.
  • Characters: They seem to become a sort of parody of their former selves with their various antics.
  • Dialogs: Very interesting, but annoying in the case Sonny Kapoor which is an enormous diarrhea of words.
  • Scenario: The pace is hectic and doesn't let us appreciate what is happening. The scenes are cut fast and crude. The wedding dance scene is pretty nice though, it shows off the Indian's famous capabilities for dance choreography in movies.
  • Actors: Mostly good work. Cast members include Dev Patel, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, and, unfortunately, Richard Gere which didn't give too bad a performance.
  • Photography: Very nice, sometimes beautiful.
  • Sound: Good music and score.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? For those who want to know why they did a sequel and are curious to know what happens. Just don't expect the same caliber. It's more of the same without the same attention to quality. It's not the best, it's the second best and it shows. However, it is entertaining, if nothing else.

mercredi 11 mars 2015

Unfinished Business — You might like it, but don't get your hopes up — 6*/10

  • Story: It walks a the fine line between pitiful and pathetic. It's full of good ideas, yet the result is poor. It's based on too many things that are just not true.
  • Characters: There's barely any. I couldn't tolerate the role of the young guy, Mike Pancake.
  • Dialogs: Probably the best part of the flick. Sometimes it's funny.
  • Scenario: Acceptable. If you want to see breasts without watching a porno, this is the film for you, and they're nice too. You see what I mean about this movie?
  • Actors: Acceptable work, but no more than that. Cast members include Vince Vaughn, James Marsden and Tom Wilkinson.
  • Photography: Acceptable.
  • Sound: Acceptable music and score.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? For diehard Vaughn fans or if you've got a few hours to waste.

Bram Stoker's Dracula — The original story is still one of the best — 9*/10

  • Story: The amazing director Francis Ford Coppola tried to stay close to Bram Stoker's original dark romance story that gave birth to Dracula, and the onscreen result is quite gripping. 
  • Characters: Well done. The primary characters are strong, the secondary ones seem to have been done in a slightly caricatural manner, in an homage to the long line of Dracula movies, I think.
  • Dialogs: Very novelistic.
  • Scenario: Excellent. A great pace that keeps us riveted and our adrenaline up. It's full of action, romance and eroticism.
  • Actors: I don't really like Gary Oldman in this role even if he did a good job, and I think that Keanu Reeves didn't serve us as good a performance as he could have, but the rest did very well. Cast members include Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Richard E. Grant, Tom Waits, and Monica Bellucci.
  • Photography: Good.
  • Sound: Great music and score. Entrancing.
  • Special effects: Some purposefully chosen special effects give the production an old feel to it, like the miniatures and the very dark sets, an other sort of homage to its predecessors, I think. With those effects are mixed what used to be state of the art and are now aging, like the mists. The result is still quite enjoyable if you're looking at it from the right point of view.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for a dark tale or doomed ancient romance and, of course, vampire aficionados.

mardi 10 mars 2015

Chappie — An amazing sci-fi with everything and a cherry on top! — 10*/10

  • Story: It starts and it gives you the impression of a Robocop riff, but quickly evolves into a AI kinda flick with action and violence ensuing. By the end, you're ready to cry for the emotional charge. It's a mind blast.
  • Characters: They seem simplistic at first, and they might be a bit simple, but as the story evolves you get to know them more and more until you're unsure where to stand exactly about any of them. Excellent.
  • Dialogs: Simple and perfect.
  • Scenario: Not far from perfection. I'd just say he seems to learn a bit too quickly, jumping a few intermediary steps, but it's quickly forgotten as the story grips you.
  • Actors: Good solid work. Cast members include Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman and Dev Patel.
  • Photography: Nice, sometimes astounding.
  • Sound: Good music and score, incredible ambient and special effect sounds which really puts you IN the movie.
  • Special effects: Perfection.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Everyone, because it has everything. Of course, it contains action and violence, but not so much as to detract the vast majority of viewers. Only the most sensible souls should abstain. However, it's not a comedy, but you'll smile a few times, if no more.

An other incredible movie by Neill Blomkamp, creator of District 9.

lundi 9 mars 2015

Interview with the Vampire — What it feels like to be a vampire — 10*/10

  • Story: Astoundingly detailed and with a profound melodramatic background. Really captivates you and makes you understand what kind of quandary a vampire can find himself in.
  • Characters: Extremely well built with great depth.
  • Dialogs: Scintillating. Perfect for the genre and the subject.
  • Scenario: Nicely paced, excellent for a more low key flick like this fantasy documentary/biography type production.
  • Actors: Excellent performance on everyone's part. Cast members include Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, a very young Kirsten Dunst who got shot into the spotlight with this film, Christian Slater, and Thandie Newton.
  • Photography: Great.
  • Sound: Good music and score.
  • Special effects: Perfect for the time and aged very well.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those who like a good dark story and any vampire or fantasy fan. Beware, though, action is not a big part of it, but there is some.

samedi 7 mars 2015

Midnight Son — An usual vampire movie that could have been so much more — 6*/10

  • Story: Interesting concepts with lots of novel ideas. Unfortunately, poor execution ruins it all.
  • Characters: Acceptable.
  • Dialogs: Good if a bit weird.
  • Scenario: Nice slow pace. However, the only well done scene is the last one. Very powerful.
  • Actors: A few of them are good, most aren't.
  • Photography: Poor. Except for the last scene.
  • Sound: Acceptable music, poor score and even unacceptable at one point.
  • Special effects: Acceptable.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Only if you really need to and are curious as well as being a vampire fan who likes the unusual.

vendredi 6 mars 2015

Kiss of the Damned — Chilling psychological vampire film with a few novelties — 9*/10

  • Story: Chilling, dark and somber. Very psychological with a slow development, a number of surprises and a few new looks on the genre. Love the end.
  • Characters: Interesting and well made, except for the writer whom we'd wish a be more development, his story is too simple. In other cases, great depth and inner conflicts or ruthless intelligence with an edge of subtle madness.
  • Dialogs: Very interesting. Perfect for the genre.
  • Scenario: Well built with an incredible pace for such a short movie. The few very sexy scenes are just lovely. My favorite scene is the philosophical discussion between vampires, just perfect and very representative of the movie.
  • Actors: Great work on the part of everyone. Cast members include Michael Rapaport and Milo Ventimiglia.
  • Photography: Nice.
  • Sound: Good music and excellent dark dissonant score that reminds me a bit of The Shining giving you chills without even trying.
  • Special effects: Acceptable.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? It's for everyone who don't mind blood or a slow development. Of course, vampire lovers should definitively watch.

Byzantium — I highly recommend this vampire film if you don't mind the unusual — 9*/10

  • Story: Very unusual. Lots bizarre elements mixed in with a few recognizable ones. A number of big surprises.
  • Characters: Well developed with a nice depth to them.
  • Dialogs: Solid.
  • Scenario: Great pacing and montage, get you riveted.
  • Actors: Excellent work on the part of everyone.
  • Photography: Nice.
  • Sound: Good music and score.
  • Special effects: Acceptable.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a different type of vampire movie.

jeudi 5 mars 2015

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen — An easy witty romance to be discovered — 8*/10

  • Story: Love the details. Very captivating. Excellent overall. However, it falls flat from the moment they open the sluice. After that, it seems creativity went out the window.
  • Characters: Nice, with plenty of details for the most part.
  • Dialogs: Great with pleasant structure, wit and repartee.
  • Scenario: Nicely split up between the different parts.
  • Actors: Great work on the British side. The Yemenite side wasn't as strong, but probably just because the movie was aimed at occidentals so they didn't pay as much attention to the "foreign" roles. Cast members include Ewan McGregor, who was great in this very low key role, Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas.
  • Photography: Pretty.
  • Sound: Nice music and score.
  • Special effects: None visible.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a romantic movie that doesn't look too much like one.

mercredi 4 mars 2015

She's the Man — Very light romantic comedy for easy entertainment — 6*/10

  • Story: It's your basic identity switch romantic comedy with multiple love triangles. There's absolutely no deviations from the standard. Funny is its main thing as well as has some strong female roles.
  • Characters: Simple.
  • Dialogs: Simple and at times a little forced.
  • Scenario: Nice pacing.
  • Actors: Channing Tatum really makes this flick. He's the best actor by a long shot. The others are acceptable. The better ones include Amanda Bynes, which is not that believable as a soccer player or a guy, and David Cross who does his little thing.
  • Photography: Acceptable.
  • Sound: Acceptable music and score.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a simple romantic comedy and have some time to waste, or for Tatum fans.

lundi 2 mars 2015

Tonight You're Mine — A love story born when animosity met a prophet — 9*/10

  • Story: Simple and elegant. Novel and classic. Very well told. Much better than what the synopsis might lead you to believe.
  • Characters: Weirdly enough, the lack of depth doesn't seem to be a problem. Maybe it's because it's such a simple story to tell.
  • Dialogs: Great. Realistic.
  • Scenario: Excellent pacing. The length, even though short, is just right.
  • Actors: Excellent work on the part of everyone.
  • Photography: Nice. The inclusion of non-setting or non-controlled filmed shots is great.
  • Sound: The music is absolutely brilliant.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those who love music, concerts, rock bands or those who want to see a different love story.

Another title for it seems to be « You Instead ».

dimanche 1 mars 2015

The Best Offer — Eerie and unusual movie that's always on the verge of giving us goose bumps — 9*/10

  • Story: Entrancing. Very unusual details. Fascinating intrigue that is only hinted at throughout the movie. One thing, though, the ending doesn't connect back to his final state which seems like a flaw.
  • Characters: Captivating with nice hidden depth. Not all motivations are explained, but enough to make us wonder at the end.
  • Dialogs: Solid.
  • Scenario: Well built, with a slow development that gives us an eerie feeling.
  • Actors: Excellent work on the part of everyone. Cast members include Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess and Donald Sutherland.
  • Photography: Beautiful.
  • Sound: The music and score are etherial and perfect for the piece.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? For those looking for mysterious feel and slow development. A must discover if you don't need action.