jeudi 30 avril 2015

It Follows — Great idea but without enough meat — 7*/10

  • Scenario: Solid suspense with a few original ideas, mainly in how it paces the scenario and its realistic approach, but the story doesn't work. I'm all for leaving things to the imagination, but as it stands, it lacks cause and conclusion, leaving only the suspense. It's thrills for the sake of thrills. It feels like two third of a movie. Weak.
  • Dialogs: Realistic.
  • Characters: Well done.
  • Actors: Great work on the part of everyone.
  • Photography: Nice camera work.
  • Sound: The music and score make for real chills but I'm not sure if it's the result of genius or luck since a lot of it is low quality.
  • Special effects: Seamless, except for the blood in the pool.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those who love thrillers just because of their jarring effect and therefore don't require any fluff.

mercredi 29 avril 2015

The Lorax — Very colorful and imaginative animation — 8*/10

  • Scenario: The story is simple and is devoid of surprising twists, but the world it evolves in is completely unique, full of incredible details and very imaginative.
  • Dialogs: Nice.
  • Characters: Simple. The mayor is a boring archetype without any shades.
  • Actors: Nice voice work. Cast members include Zac Efron, Taylor Swift and Danny DeVito.
  • Photography: Extremely colorful.
  • Sound: Nice music and score.
  • Special effects: Great animation.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Everyone looking for something light and well made.

mardi 28 avril 2015

Furious Seven — Damn good action but with a simple minded story — 7*/10

  • Scenario: Unimaginative predictable revenge scenario with super spy assassins and a bunch of logical flaws. At least in this incarnation of the series, the whole production had more flair than the few preceding ones and the action is amazing. Overly sexy models probably account for women not liking it as much as men, but that's just another predictable notch on this flick's belt.
  • Dialogs: Mostly dull, sometimes funny.
  • Characters: Boring.
  • Actors: Except for Kurt Russell and Djimon Hounsou who gave very nice performances, everyone else more or less just made the mark. Cast members include Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson.
  • Photography: Astounding.
  • Sound: Action geared music and score.
  • Special effects: Excellent.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? The fans of the series or action seekers.

Siberian Education — Strong moody Russian tale of woe and respect — 8*/10

  • Scenario: Incredible tale, told in a slow but very powerful way, with many interesting turns and unusual choices. Superb mood, dramatic, poignant and riveting, if you go beyond the first quarter that is. Some synopsis present this as a gangster's tale, which is also an alternative English title for the production, but it has nothing to do with what such a spin brings to mind. On the contrary, it's almost a social or anthropological study. Excellent.
  • Dialogs: Very strong.
  • Characters: A bit too simple. The boys are even drawn line for line from the overused archetypes we see in every boy's club.
  • Actors: Great work on the part of everyone. Cast members include John Malkovich, Peter Stormare and Eleanor Tomlinson.
  • Photography: Excellent visuals.
  • Sound: Solid music and score, but there was a few places where the ADR, or voice over, was poorly made. Also, the fact that the actors are speaking English with a Russian accent is annoying and it takes a long time for it to stop being bothersome.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a different or moody drama.

samedi 25 avril 2015

Sound of My Voice — It's a slow developing intrigue that turns into a solid mind fuck — 7*/10

  • Scenario: It's realistic and slow moving. Actually, not much happens. It's a true intrigue in the sense that you're always trying to guess what is really happening, from the first scene to the last. It leaves everything on the table at the end, and it doesn't try to close any loop, which is something that all great movies should aspire to. Overall, an excellent mind fuck.
  • Dialogs: Solid and very realistic.
  • Characters: Well built.
  • Actors: Excellent work on the part of everyone. Cast members include Brit Marling.
  • Photography: Nice, nothing extraordinary.
  • Sound: Nice.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a true enigma without any need for action.

vendredi 24 avril 2015

Twixt — A gothic intrigue to be watched with a very open mind — 7*/10

  • Scenario: The story is sometime difficult to follow because there are many pieces to the puzzle and they only come together slowly. It becomes very intriguing as the events unfold, but took me more than half the film before finally getting behind this unusual vision of Francis Ford Coppola.
  • Dialogs: Realistic, sometime cryptic.
  • Characters: Some are well developed, others are pretty thin.
  • Actors: Good work. Cast members include Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Elle Fanning and David Paymer.
  • Photography: Good, but sometimes jerky to heighten mystery.
  • Sound: Solid music and score.
  • Special effects: They feel low budget and I don't know if it's done on purpose to give the movie a special voice. They're not so bad as to completely distract from the performance.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those wanting to discover something very different or fans of Francis Ford Coppola.

jeudi 23 avril 2015

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 — Only for the hardcore fans — 5*/10

There isn't much to this flick. Only hardcore fans of the first chapter should give it any thoughts. It's barely good enough for a rental.

Clouds of Sils Maria — Pause in your life and take the time to watch this — 9*/10

  • Scenario: This is about the passage of time and coming to grips with it. It's about how history repeats itself. This script has no conclusion, only some subtle revelations. You keep expecting things to happen, but they do not. Like in real life, things are not explained, they are not clear, they can be frustrating and sometimes you just get lost. It is a movie to reflect, not to be entertained.
  • Dialogs: Realistic and very intelligent.
  • Characters: Deep and well developed. No archetypes here.
  • Actors: Excellent work on the part of everyone. Cast members include Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Chloë Grace Moretz.
  • Photography: Beautiful.
  • Sound: Solid music and score.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those who do not mind thinking when watching or after having watched a movie.

mardi 21 avril 2015

The Cabin in the Woods — This is how you get creative with an old tired genre — 8*/10

  • Scenario: This is a slasher movie, no doubt about it, but it's so different. The story, especially its premise, is what stands out. There are many creative as well as unexpected twists and turns packed with a number of great novel ideas. I particularly loved the intro and the ending, perfect.
  • Dialogs: Good.
  • Characters: Innovative, if simple.
  • Actors: Good work on the part of everyone. Cast members include Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, and Sigourney Weaver.
  • Photography: Nice.
  • Sound: Nice music and score.
  • Special effects: Detailed, if not always perfect.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those who want to see a different kind of slasher movie, even those who normally do not like the genre, like me. Sensitive souls should abstain.

dimanche 19 avril 2015

Speed Racer — The silliest movie the Wachowskis have ever made — 7*/10

  • Scenario: The global frame of the story is not new, but the Wachowskis do give it an incredible spin. It's so silly and out there, that it took me more than half the movie to get into the right mindset, but by the end I could really believe that the main character was in the zone and believe in the world the directors built. There's a lot of driving action in this weird flick, and if you have the patience for it, you will most likely enjoy it.
  • Dialogs: Very comic book.
  • Characters: Simple, even caricatural, but then so's the film. The most annoying character is the little brother Spritle and he takes some getting use to. Fortunately, he calms down at some point, and he is part of the silly nature of the flick.
  • Actors: Good work on the part of everybody. Cast members include John Goodman, Christina Ricci, Susan Sarandon, Richard Roundtree and Emile Hirsch.
  • Photography: Extremely colorful. A very special treatment that requires getting used to.
  • Sound: Nice music and score.
  • Special effects: A very special treatment that requires getting used to.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Wachowskis fans or those looking for something very different and silly.

jeudi 16 avril 2015

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet — A great adventure for one so young — 8*/10

  • Scenario: Sentimental, very touching. Interesting tale with lots of imaginative ideas. I think the clear demarcation point of this movie is the treatment given to the story telling, everything is viewed through a child's very innocent lens.
  • Dialogs: Excellent. Again, you can feel them simplified by a child's perception of things.
  • Characters: Nicely done, even if pretty simple which is, again I think, a portrayal done from a child's perspective.
  • Actors: Great work on the part of everyone. Cast members include Helena Bonham Carter and Rick Mercer.
  • Photography: Great colorful work.
  • Sound: Good music and score.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a kid living an adventure with some touching moments.

The 3D is just not worth it, close to bad.

Cinderella — Revised, adapted and very colorful, but otherwise bland — 6*/10

  • Scenario: Slightly revised fairy tale, with nice additions. However, the emotions they want us to feel are just not translating right, we feel nothing. They are plastered all over the place without introducing us to them.
  • Dialogs: Mechanicals, at best.
  • Characters: Overly simple.
  • Actors: Except for Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter who both did a nice job with very little, as well as Holliday Grainger to a lesser extent, the rest of the cast barely made par.
  • Photography: Charming, with incredibly detailed and colorful sets, decors and costumes.
  • Sound: Nice music and score, no more.
  • Special effects: Beautiful, just one of two very minor details wrong.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those who want to revisit the fairy tale in a grownup setting.

To fully enjoy this tale of course, you need to believe in the whole prince charming crap.

That glass slippers of this tale have annoyed me for a long time. The ancient French version mentions slippers made of "vair" which is a posh type of fur trimming used in the 13th and 14th century, but is also pronounced like "verre" which means glass. So "vair" instead of being accurately translated as vair (which is the correct English word for that type of fur) was mistranslated to glass. Ghastly.

mardi 14 avril 2015

These Final Hours — The apocalypse done differently and personal — 7*/10

  • Scenario: A realistic approach to the doomsday scenario. Nothing epic, but rather personal, with a number of novel if sometime boring anecdotes. The result is very thoughtful and entertaining on a certain level.
  • Dialogs: Good and realistic.
  • Characters: Well built, even though the main character is slightly difficult to pigeonhole, probably because he doesn't make a lot of sense. He feels like an awkward construct to move the story forward, but by the end, you do believe in him.
  • Actors: Good work on the part of everyone.
  • Photography: Solid.
  • Sound: Good music and score.
  • Special effects: I loved the last scene, up to the very few last seconds where they lost me.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those who want to see an apocalypse scenario done differently.

While We're Young — An entertaining juxtaposition of funny and emotionally awkward — 8*/10

  • Scenario: Nice novelty, I really liked the subject and the way it made fun of a lot of things. It's funny on many occasions and yet there are a lot of moments where it feels incredibly awkward emotionally. The whole thing about integrity, being yourself and understanding others. Unfortunately, the movie would have been much better without the "a year later" ending. It's superfluous and only there to satisfy those test audiences they previewed the flick to. How annoying.
  • Dialogs: Goofy, yet sincere.
  • Characters: Well built with a good sense of depth.
  • Actors: Solid work on the part of everyone. Cast members include Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried and Charles Grodin.
  • Photography: Nice.
  • Sound: Very good music and score.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? For those who need more than just a comedy, those who need to think a bit, or Stiller fans.

lundi 13 avril 2015

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone — A silly thing to see simply for its laugh factor — 6*/10

  • Scenario: The subject has rarely been treated with such irreverence. With a number of good ideas, it easily makes you laugh, even though the scenario is kind of predictable. The epilogue scene is absolutely hilarious!
  • Dialogs: Funny.
  • Characters: Most are interesting, even if Burt's initial ego is incredibly annoying. The most captivating one, though, is Steve Gray.
  • Actors: Good work on the part of everyone. Cast members include Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey, James Gandolfini, Alan Arkin, and Jay Mohr.
  • Photography: Nice.
  • Sound: Good music and score.
  • Special effects: Nice.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a silly and goofy comedy, or Carell fans.

dimanche 12 avril 2015

Michael Clayton — A realistic legal embroilment about a big company's dirty secrets — 7*/10

  • Scenario: A story of lawyers and a big company with its secrets. The premise isn't new, but the treatment is unusual, it's from the lawyers' point of view. It presents us with a few nice unpredictable turns here and there. It's low key and it feels very real, without fluff. Unfortunately, it also feels little empty and without focus.
  • Dialogs: Very realistic.
  • Characters: Well developed and with nice depth.
  • Actors: Great work on the part of everyone. Cast members include George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson and Sydney Pollack.
  • Photography: Nice.
  • Sound: Good music and score setting the perfect mood.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a realistic legal suspense without embellishment and close to no action.

vendredi 10 avril 2015

Get Hard — Hilarious antics for some excellent enternainment — 6*/10

  • Scenario: The story is pathetically simple, but that's not what this movie is about. It's about the antics of the two main characters. It's hilarious if juvenile. Excellent entertainment value.
  • Dialogs: Very funny.
  • Characters: Simple.
  • Actors: It might not be one of Will Ferrell best performance, but it was good. I don't like Kevin Hart, but there's a few times where he impressed me, especially the courtyard scene. Other performance vary from poor to good.
  • Photography: Nice.
  • Sound: Good music and score.
  • Special effects: Minimal.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for easy laughter and any fans of Ferrell or Hart.

mercredi 8 avril 2015

Boychoir — A touching drama about an angry young boy finding his way — 8*/10

  • Scenario: Predictable, but not in a boring way. It's your basic underprivileged boy meets inspiring teacher story adapted to choir. Nice entertainment value overall.
  • Dialogs: Good.
  • Characters: The main character is well built with a nice background which reminds us of a mix between the boy in Terminator 2 and the blond boy in Basketball Diaries, but the rest of the boys are shallow and very simple. The adults are well done, if sometimes slightly stereotypical.
  • Actors: Great work on the part of the adults and the main character. Cast members include Dustin Hoffman, Josh Lucas, Kathy Bates and Eddie Izzard.
  • Photography: Nice.
  • Sound: Excellent music.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a nice touching story.

Promised Land — A nice story about a rural community faced with current issues — 7*/10

  • Scenario: This is not your usual good small town folks versus big bad corporation. It's more subtle than that. It shows a more humane and personal face of the problem with a few nice twists. Very interesting and well made.
  • Dialogs: Solid, realistic.
  • Characters: Very well built and interesting.
  • Actors: Very good work on the part of everyone. Unusual roles for both Matt Damon and Frances McDormand. Damon was particularly spot on for such a low key and subtle performance. Cast also includes Hal Holbrook.
  • Photography: Nice and simple.
  • Sound: Very subtle music and score done by the incredible Danny Elfman.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a nice rural story or something with ecological issues, and, of course, Damon fans.

A solid film by Gus Van Sant.

mardi 7 avril 2015

Fair Game — Not bad if you're interested in the subject and like true story flicks — 7*/10

  • Scenario: This is a smear campaign and media battle scenario, not a spy flick, although it does have some undertone of that. Like most scenario based on a true story, it's a bit of a let down, even if in this case, it is pretty well built.
  • Dialogs: Strong.
  • Characters: Interesting, well built.
  • Actors: Naomi Watts delivered a good performance, but Sean Penn, whom I don't really like much, made the par without trying to do any better.
  • Photography: Nice.
  • Sound: Nice.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those who want to hear more about the Iraq War, WMDs, and like a film based on true events.

lundi 6 avril 2015

Gran Torino — An urban tale close to perfection — 9*/10

  • Scenario: There are a few elements that you'll recognize immediately, but mostly, this scenario is full of novelty. More over, the movie isn't about what the synopsis might imply, it's about opening up your horizon, but done in a fairly unconventional way. I just love the end, although no gang would have waited at the house to be picked up. Although it has a violent angry vibe to it, it contains very little actual violence.
  • Dialogs: Priceless. Just perfect. Love the Asian sister's repartee.
  • Characters: You have your basic grumpy old man with a heart of gold. He's really annoying, but not so much as to discourage continued viewing and you really get attached to him. Even though that's a bit predictable, the way it happens is not. 
  • Actors: Solid work on the part of everyone. Cast members include Clint Eastwood and John Carroll Lynch.
  • Photography: Good camera work and sets.
  • Sound: Nice music and score.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? It's a must see, unless you need glamorous settings.

Another incredible film by Eastwood as a director.

vendredi 3 avril 2015

The Riot Club — A well done nasty drama about sploilt little shits — 8*/10

  • Scenario: You might think you know where this is going, but actually, the story is story takes a number of unusual turns. This is the type of film that will make you hate it because there are so many events and deeds in it that are pathetically nasty.
  • Dialogs: Excellent.
  • Characters: Inflammatory and well built.
  • Actors: Excellent work.
  • Photography: Nice.
  • Sound: Solid music and score.
  • Special effects: None.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a nasty drama with original turns.

mercredi 1 avril 2015

Home — A great animation flick that anyone should see for a lot of fun — 8*/10

  • Scenario: Lots of details, novel ideas as well as an incredibly well thought out world. However, it is a tad predictable with no innovation in terms of story flow. They didn't even capitalize on a dramatic event, I guess to keep the children from crying. That being said, it's still extremely entertaining.
  • Dialogs: Very funny and plentiful.
  • Characters: The two main characters are well developed, but the rest are rather simple.
  • Actors: Good voice acting on the part of everyone. I don't normally like Jim Parsons, but he completely fit the bill and made the role come alive. Cast members include Rihanna, Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez.
  • Sound: Amazingly nice music and score.
  • Special effects: Beautiful as well as bountiful colors and great animation.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for a good animation movie, adults and children alike.