mercredi 21 décembre 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — A worthy member of the saga — 7*/10

  • Overall: Great entertainment with strong special effects and lots of action. Epic adventure with an epic ending.
  • Who is it for? Anyone who like sci-fi even a little bit, and, of course, the fans.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Forest Whitaker and Mads Mikkelsen.
  • Cameos: James Earl Jones.
  • Setting: A long time ago in a galaxy far far away...
  • Style: Epic sci-fi adventure.
  • Pacing: Fast. Even a bit too fast.
  • Intro: One of the weak spots. We jump from place to place without having a good feel of where we are or where we're going. Some emotions are also lost. Beyond that, it's pretty interesting.
  • Story: Lots of things happening, but all in a very linear fashion. Still, it's difficult not to get into it and be transported. It made the rebellion and the socio-political framework a lot more real than Episode IV ever could.
  • Ending: It's strongest part to be sure. The choices are epic. Extremely satisfying.
  • Epilogue: None. Yeah!
  • Dialogs: Solid. Nothing imaginative. Loved the new android, although not giving percentages felt wrong for his character.
  • Characters: They steered away from the archetypical stereotypes, for the most part. That felt really good. Although it's difficult at first, by the end of the film, you have a great feel for them.
  • Acting: I'm not sure if it's due to the fact that things were so compressed that almost no scene, to a few exceptions, really did not allow the actors to show their natural emotional depth, but it gave me the impression that they underperformed. Even though they were satisfactory, I've seen them do better in other movies. It was great to hear James Earl Jones once again, but he seemed to have lost some of this aplomb. His lines were delivered a little more mushily. All of that being said, best Star Wars acting ever, better than Episode VII (read my short review here).
  • Visuals: Well done, sometimes breathtaking. The best was the tropical battle.
  • Special Effects: Great, to the very notable exception of the animation of Tarkin. The other characters they brought back from Episode IV fared much better. They were more simply cut and pasted.
  • Score: Loved the old parts. Not so sure about the newest ones. Hated the new title score, awkward at best.
  • Afterthoughts: My initial slight disappointment turned into delighted entertainment and I do not regret paying full price.

mardi 20 décembre 2016

Collateral Beauty — Beautiful sentimental piece that could have been more — 6*/10

  • Overall: You'll be touched, you'll be captivated, but you might be disappointed if you’re expecting something different.
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for something emotional, but simple and slick.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley and Michael Peña.
  • Setting: New York middle upper class.
  • Style: Emotional story designed to give you a sad smile.
  • Intro: It's not bad, per se, it's just straight from the standard mold and it's that particular trick woefully unnecessary.
  • Story: Extremely interesting ideas, full of nice details and even a few side stories that are well built. Touching.
  • Ending: Weak. Not because it's not good or uninteresting, but really, why? That was a good idea, but not nearly imaginative enough to be as good as the core of the story.
  • Epilogue: Could have done without that. It was already pretty clear without it.
  • Dialogs: Solid. Intelligent. Sometimes witty or funny.
  • Characters: Well developed. Nice depth, even if a few of them are archetypes.
  • Acting: Excellent, although Will Smith looks like he has been there and has done that and I think the little girl's father-hating phase sublimated too quickly, but I blame the director for that. Loved Edward Norton and Helen Mirren.
  • Visuals: Beautiful, on the too-slick side.
  • Afterthoughts: I loved it, but I was still disappointed because the ending just wasn't up to the quality of the rest of the flick.

dimanche 18 décembre 2016

Office Christmas Party — The kind of crazy thing that's perfect to pick you up — 6*/10

  • Overall: Turn your brain off and enjoy this fun ride. You won't be able to help yourself, you'll laugh. 
  • Who is it for? Anyone in the mood for some Holiday cheers.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Jennifer Aniston, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer and Abbey Lee.
  • Story: Extremely simple, silly, wacky, crazy, oft time impossible, but always funny. There's some action, a lot of booze, many naked people and urinal jokes, literally. 
  • Ending: Of course, it's a Christmas story, so you can imagine. 
  • Dialogs: Witty, funny, stupid.
  • Characters: Simple, but very funny. Lots of crazy people.
  • Acting: This is where the movie shines, this is how all the silliness and craziness get sold, and how!
  • Afterthoughts: Great entertainment, I absolutely had the best of time.

mercredi 14 décembre 2016

Miss Sloane — A powerful piece about a powerful woman — 9*/10

  • Overall: Great psychological tension and superb intellectual puzzles that features a strong female model.
  • Who is it for? Everyone. 
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Jessica Chastain and John Lithgow.
  • Cameos
  • Setting: The high power political arena.
  • Style: An intrigue or suspense, but quite either and a mostly both. It's great. Very intellectual.
  • Pacing: Perfect. You lose yourself in it.
  • Intro: Even though it uses an old trick, it does it with great impact. 
  • Story: Captivating, full of details, suspenseful, powerful, a great intellectual battle with amazing plots and counter plots. The mood is amazing and enveloping. 
  • Ending: Excellent. If you're quick enough, you'll see it coming a little while beforehand, just long enough to appreciate the stratagem.
  • Epilogue: Short, to the point. Even though it doesn't serve any purpose, it does settle us back down, which should be the only goal of any good epilogue. 
  • Dialogs: Powerful.
  • Characters: Strong female lead, powerful women's voices, lots of depth to them all, well developed and very realistic. 
  • Acting: Amazing.
  • Visuals: Powerful.
  • Camera Work: Some really superb work here.
  • Costumes: Slick, chic and perfect.
  • Afterthoughts: I was stunned, even if I anticipated something good. What surprised me the most was the way it passed its ethical stances without sounding preachy.

I loved the fact that male sex work for female clients was so simply presented without drama or judgment. The male escort is kind of an incompetent and invasive, but at least it turned out alright.

I can't believe this is rated so low. Patriarchy at its worst again?

Manchester by the Sea — For those in need of an emotional flick — 8*/10

  • Overall: Very emotional drama with interesting ideas and unusual choices. Great, but for a single detail.
  • Who is it for? Anyone wanting to feel something powerful.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Casey Affleck.
  • Setting: Low-middle class small town America.
  • Style: Emotional drama.
  • Pacing: Slow.
  • Story: Well told, with strong emotional ties between the characters. However, there's barely any change in them as the story progresses. It kills the possibility of a story, it turns the film more into an anecdote than a movie.
  • Ending: It ends too realistically. I rarely say that, but it made me think too much of a biography, because there is no real ending. It sort of just stops. Even historical movies do better. It might be courageous to do so, but you still need to be able, as an audience, to be left with something or else you have no attachment and you just forget about it.
  • Dialogs: Very realistic. Powerful.
  • Characters: Impressive emotional depth and solid realism.
  • Acting: Perfect. Very realistic. Casey Affleck's best performance to date.
  • Score: Very classical with great effect, but sometimes, it can take you by surprise or be a bit repetitive.
  • Afterthoughts: As I watched, I could sense a great movie in the making, with only a few weak spots, but the ending, just... I won't say it ruined it, but it did diminish its accomplishment.

mercredi 7 décembre 2016

Bad Santa 2 — So much better than I would have ever thought — 7*/10

  • Overall: If you can get through the first 30 minutes, then you'll discover a twisted crass comedy.
  • Who is it for? Anyone that's not too easily offended. You'll have a lot of fun.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox and Christina Hendricks.
  • Cameos: Mike Starr.
  • Setting: Low-life criminals.
  • Style: Irreverent crass criminal comedy.
  • Intro: Very bad. You can think of all the worst clichés about a sequel you can imagine and they've all been put there.  The first 30 minutes is awful and pathetic.
  • Story: Once you get over the boring big hump in the beginning, then you get to the juicy funny part. It's a riot, it doesn't care what it's doing, it's very much sex-positive, very empowering for women and there's plenty of surprises.
  • Ending: I liked the final twists. They're fun.
  • Epilogue: Loved it. There's the predictable stuff, then there's the hilarious bit, although I would have left out the pillow grabbing that's just a stupid awkwardly done misdirection.
  • Dialogs: Very funny.
  • Characters: Stupid, simple and very interesting. By the end, you finally understand the kid, but at first, it's totally dumbfounding. I especially loved the female roles.
  • Acting: Solid for the most part.
  • Afterthoughts: I only saw it because I like the irreverence of the first one (read my review here). I'm glad I did, it surprised me a lot and I laughed aplenty. An excellent surprise.

Hacksaw Ridge — An amazingly well-told story of World War II — 9*/10

  • Overall: Much better than the previews let on. A captivating story from end to end. A superb work by director Mel Gibson.
  • Who is it for? Anyone not afraid of violence.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Andrew Garfield, Hugo Weaving, Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington.
  • Setting: Working class America and one World War II Pacific island battle.
  • Style: An inspiring war movie and biography.
  • Pacing: Nice and smooth transition from one event to the other, slowly cranking up the heat.
  • Intro: It's probably its most grievous weakness. The initial scene is an overused stratagem that is not used to its best here.
  • Story: I was riveted. I forgot I was in a theater. Let me be clear, though, all the elements of a cheesy story are there, but they're deconstructed, or maybe I should simply say they were put back together for the benefit of the preview. In a way it's a good thing, because by watching the it, you're not spoiled the really delicious elements. No single things follow the usual script, they're always a wild card or . It's touching, it's gut wrenching, it will make you spill a few tears. It's inspiring.
  • Ending: Solid. Worthy of fiction.
  • Epilogue: One of the rare occasions where I didn't mind the comparison with the real people.
  • Dialogs: Great.
  • Characters: Amazing. Great depth and well rendered. Even though the main character is religious, it doesn't turn into a preachy flick. More than that, even though those are American troops, it doesn't turn into a USA rally. It's a personal story. The story of one man dedicated to his principles and the battalion he's in with.
  • Acting: Can't ask for more. Near perfect.
  • Visuals: Excellent.
  • Special Effects: They're good, but there are a number of occasions that you do feel that you are in a studio. Hugo Weaving’s best performance to date. Probably not Vince Vaughn's most convincing, but pretty good.
  • Afterthoughts: I wasn't going to see it because it looked preachy and full of clichés. I would have missed a gem.

jeudi 1 décembre 2016

Nocturnal Animals — A psychological movie you should open your mind to — 10*/10

  • Overall: A masterfully brooding, riveting, yet beautiful film by Tom Ford.
  • Who is it for? Anyone who likes a good moody movie.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon and Isla Fisher.
  • Cameos: Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough and Michael Sheen.
  • Setting: The very successful. Way above the masses.
  • Style: Brooding, psychological near suspense.
  • Pacing: An incredible almost continuous stop-and-go. It feels slow, really slow, like being stuck in thick molasse, because what happens is so tense and it doesn't happen all at once. Nonetheless, things proceed at a steady pace, inescapably, sometimes against our will.
  • Intro: The credits are difficult to watch, because we don't like that kind of harsh reality, but also because movies usually convey only beauty even when it's ugly.
  • Story: It takes you to the edge, tensed, and suspends you there for what seems like a long time. You can't help, but be on this edge... and finally jump. Then, it takes you down slowly into reality, making you see that not everything is as you'd like it to be. I love the way the stories are mixed and paralleled. The mood is masterful. Some scenes are difficult, gut wrenching. You would want to do anything but what happened. Still it is riveting.
  • Ending: Absolutely perfect.
  • Epilogue: None, whatsoever. Love it!
  • Dialogs: Powerful, simple, to the point.
  • Characters: Great, realistic, extremely deep and well developed. 
  • Acting: Amazingly strong.
  • Visuals: Incredibly beautiful in a very pure manner,  but also in a realistic way.
  • Costumes: Beautiful.
  • Score: Very moody. Perfect.
  • Afterthoughts: I was blown away by this production and absolutely loved it. Only two little things bothered me. Unfortunately, it panders to two ideas we too often circulate in society that are completely false and make a lot of people miserable. First that we always turn into our parents. Second, that if we love someone we should try everything to make it work. Beyond that, I think it's perfect.

Moana — Colorful animation full of laughs that could have been much better — 6*/10

  • Overall: The setting is interesting, beautiful and captivating, but its story is simple. 
  • Who is it for? The kids will love it, but adults will be able to appreciate it.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Dwayne Johnson.
  • Cameos: Alan Tudyk.
  • Setting: This is where the strength of this film resides, great presentation of the Pacific island culture.
  • Style: Colorful adventure animation for kids.
  • Intro: Nicely done.
  • Story: Rather simple, too many songs. Funny, though.
  • Ending: Interesting resolution, if simple.
  • Epilogue: Interesting. There's even a little thing after the credits, which is not really necessary to see, it's just a nice joke.
  • Dialogs: Very funny.
  • Characters: Strong female lead as heroin. Extremely funny sidekick and companion, even the companion's sidekick idea is great.
  • Acting: Good.
  • Visuals: Colorful. Very strong. Full of details. 
  • Special Effects: I saw only one mistake.
  • Afterthoughts: I liked it and was pleasantly entertained, but I was also disappointed that the story, including the ending, felt so light.

jeudi 24 novembre 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — A sure thing when it comes to entertainment — 8*/10

Disclaimer: I only saw the first Harry Potter and it wasn't to my taste. Never read any of the books. Not interested, even though I'm a huge fantasy reader.
  • Overall: Great movie with lots of details and beautiful things.
  • Who is it for? Anyone, even kids, unless you don't like fantasy.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell and Zoë Kravitz.
  • Cameos: Jon Voight, Ron Perlman and Johnny Depp.
  • Setting: A parallel and fantastic 1926 New York City.
  • Style: Lots of magic fantasy film.
  • Intro: Quickly captivates.
  • Story: Captivating, on two fronts. The first, and most immediate, immerses you completely in the world and makes you fall for the four main good guys/gals. It's full of details and nice developments thanks to J. K. Rowling's imagination. In conjunction with the second one, you get a very full movie full of action and great character moments, even some romance and a few touching moments. It easily fills the 2h15.
  • Ending: Nicely done.
  • Epilogue: There's more than one and each is done well, that is giving us some news without feeling like they have to make everything all pretty and stupid, avoiding some major script traps.
  • Dialogs: Lots. Full of nice details. A bit of wit, a bit of fun, all solidly done.
  • Characters: The four main ones are very well developed with lots of details and you can't help but be captivated by them. The rest, with the exception of Credence, are rather simple, but the movie isn't about them, so it's not so bad, even though it is its biggest weakness.
  • Acting: Major props to Eddie Redmayne. Excellent body acting and emotional relevance. His other three compatriots, as well as Ezra Miller, are to me commended for their work, but the rest have such simple roles that it's difficult to say anything about them.
  • Visuals: Beautiful, imaginative and well rendered.
  • Special Effects: A few mistakes, but acceptable.
  • Camera Work: Do not see it in 3D. There's a few traveling shots that were mediocre in 2D that could probably be very bad in 3D.
  • Costumes: Great.
  • Afterthoughts: An easy movie to enjoy and really worth it.

mardi 22 novembre 2016

The Edge of Seventeen — A silly comedy that doesn't shy away from realism — 8*/10

  • Overall: Fun and quite taking. It feels very real and yet it has a totally silly impossible vibe to it. A great mix.
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for some fun mixed in with some serious stuff.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson.
  • Setting: Well-off suburbia.
  • Style: Silly comedy with realistic settings.
  • Intro: The usual childhood recap. Well done, quite funny, with really nice details.
  • Story: It's full of great details that make you really pay attention as well as really serious subjects that are taken in a silly manner yet treated with respect.
  • Ending: You could see it coming, but there's a nice funny twist on it.
  • Dialogs: Witty, sometimes a bit dramatic or over the top. You're never sure what you're going to get at any given time and it makes the whole experience that much more interesting.
  • Characters: Great characters, even though they're not that complex they have a certain emotional depth and some surprising realism to them. That really makes them come really close to the perfection (in terms of silly-serious comedy).
  • Acting: Solid. My hat to them.
  • Visuals: A bit too clean, but it makes for a good escape from reality.
  • Afterthoughts: I was really surprised and I totally enjoyed myself. Everyone should see it.

jeudi 17 novembre 2016

Arrival — The must-see of the year, even if you don't really like sci-fi — 10*/10

  • Overall: Perfect. Very novel. A masterpiece by Denis Villeneuve.
  • Who is it for? A must see. It's a sci-fi like you've never seen.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.
  • Style: Introspective realistic sci-fi, but it's so much more.
  • Pacing: Amazing. This is one of its greatest strengths.
  • Intro: Great, especially once you understand the ending.
  • Story: Mostly tense with unreal or introspective moments incredibly done. It transports you somewhere completely different. The real world fades to something barely known and you live again. Plus, it has a very strong sentimental dimension to it. And the mood... the mood is incredible, thick enough to hack at with a machete and sharp enough to shave.
  • Ending: Things get into focus and the film bloom. It's as if a beautiful butterfly would morph into something even more beautiful.
  • Dialogs: Always full of meaning.
  • Characters: This is not a character movie, so they barely have any importance. Except for the main one, the others are rather simple, but you don't get to spend enough time with any of them to notice, so everything is fine.
  • Acting: Excellent. Can't ask for more.
  • Visuals: Astounding. Masterful.
  • Special Effects: Perfect.
  • Camera Work: Riveting choices. Lots of thought went into it and it shows.
  • Score: Very reminiscent of 2001. Not so much the score itself, I find it much better, but the way it is built and used.
  • Afterthoughts: It's one of those movies that you never forget.

mercredi 16 novembre 2016

Trolls — Colors for the kids witty silliness for the adults — 7*/10

  • Overall: Extremely entertaining piece that easily transport you to that special world where few things make sense in our boring world.
  • Who is it for? Kids will love it for all the colors and crazy stuff, the adults will appreciate it for the really complex silliness involved.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Christine Baranski and Jeffrey Tambor.
  • Cameos: Russell Brand, Gwen Stefani and John Cleese.
  • Setting: Silly colorful fantasy world.
  • Style: Silly fantasy adventure animation.
  • Intro: Great, gives you all the background information and it's superb.
  • Story: It's not very complex, but it's done with panache and many interesting details. If you think about it a little bit, the silliness is just a crazy way to do wittiness. I wish there wasn't so much singing. At least, it's nice and funny at times.
  • Ending: Well done.
  • Epilogue: Nice, but it's very predictable.
  • Dialogs: Funny. Unstoppable. 
  • Characters: Very interesting if simple. They're so sparkly you can't help but laugh.
  • Visuals: Extremely colorful and in a great style.
  • Afterthoughts: Thoroughly entertained. Well worth it.

mardi 15 novembre 2016

Mr. Right — An action comedy full of crazy surprises — 8*/10

  • Overall: This is not a big production, but the entertainment value is super high, especially if you like things done differently.
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for a bit of action and some fun.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Anna Kendrick, Sam Rockwell and Tim Roth.
  • Style: Crazy action comedy.
  • Intro: Really fun.
  • Story: It goes in bold directions that are really novel and refreshing. The action is tight and short. The silliness is nicely funny. Nice little intrigue. The tone is light, yet there are lessons hidden in there. If the story is rather simple, the rest is anything but.
  • Ending: Well done.
  • Epilogue: Unnecessary, but funny.
  • Dialogs: Funny, crazy and witty.
  • Characters: I love them all. Heavy dose of crazy in there.
  • Acting: Just right.
  • Afterthoughts: Total surprise, thoroughly entertained.

samedi 12 novembre 2016

True Memoirs of an International Assassin — Solid light action comedy — 7*/10

  • Overall: Very exciting and funny.
  • Who is it for? Anyone wanting to have a good time.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Kevin James, Zulay Henao, Andy Garcia and Rob Riggle.
  • Cameos: Ron Rifkin and Katie Couric.
  • Style: Action spy comedy.
  • Pacing: Fast.
  • Intro: Really funny. A great innovative way to put us into context.
  • Story: Full action, lots of plots, counter plots and silly situations.
  • Ending: It's cool, but it's gotta a major shoulder flaw.
  • Epilogue: Kinda nice, funny, but I'd change the last sentence.
  • Dialogs: Funny, borderline witty.
  • Characters: Great, but simple. Love the CIA guys, great main character, strong leading lady even though she falls a bit too much into a stereotype if counter gender one. The Russian is over done, but this is a silly movie after all, although they could have come up with something like the president who is hilarious.
  • Acting: Loved Kevin James, great role for him.
  • Afterthoughts: Had a lot of fun watching. Great production by Netflix.

vendredi 11 novembre 2016

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest — Great ending to this series — 8*/10

  • Overall: This third and final installment is great and it helps validate the existence of the second chapter (read my review here) which felt too light, but still cannot best the first one (read my review here) which had an incredible mood and is a must see for everyone.
  • Who is it for? Those who wants to know how it all ends. A must for the fans of the series.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Noomi Rapace.
  • Style: Intrigue, criminal investigation, court case.
  • Pacing: Slow and measured.
  • Story: Great detective work and nice deep background. Excellent setup. Loved it all.
  • Ending: Immensely satisfying, almost orgasmic. Finally.
  • Epilogue: Necessary, if a bit weak or anticlimactic.
  • Dialogs: Solid. Again, though, it's difficult to say with the subtitles.
  • Characters: Well developed. The bad guys finally overcome the simplicity of the second chapter.
  • Acting: Great.
  • Visuals: More harmonious than the second chapter, but not as much as captivating as the original.
  • Afterthoughts: Absolutely loved it, even on subsequent viewing.

jeudi 10 novembre 2016

Doctor Strange — A very good super hero flick well worth seeing — 8*/10

  • Overall: Extremely entertaining with gorgeous special effects.
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for sci-fi/fantasy or super heroes.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
  • Cameos: Benjamin Bratt.
  • Style: Super heroes or fantasy.
  • Pacing: Fast, maybe a bit too quick when it comes to a few things. The waiting at the door goes by a bit too quickly, we can't really feel it.
  • Intro: Nicely done, we get everything we need to know in a very short time.
  • Story: It's always difficult to do a good first movie with a new super hero. You need the background story and an adventure story at the same time. Usually, like here, the adventure story is rather simple. That being said, the action is amazing and there are a number of good gags.
  • Ending: Very interesting culmination. Solid logic.
  • Epilogue: Simple and to the point.
  • Dialogs: Well done. Funny at times.
  • Characters: What you'd expect from a super hero flick. Simple and entertaining.
  • Acting: Nice. Nothing complex.
  • Visuals: Often gorgeous.
  • Special Effects: Excellent, near perfect.
  • Afterthoughts: I had a lot of fun. Very well done.

The Girl Who Played with Fire — A much more personal tale — 8*/10

  • Overall: Another great intrigue on a more personal level. Not as polished as the original (read my review here), but still amazing entertainment.
  • Who is it for? A must for those who liked the first chapter. The others should start there, not here.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Noomi Rapace.
  • Setting: A weird mix where you can't get hang on things, probably a good reflection of average Sweden. Lacks the polished and more holistic design of the first chapter.
  • Style: Police intrigue.
  • Pacing: A bit hectic, lacking the genius of the original.
  • Story: The intrigue is fascinating, riveting, it is all you can ask of one. However, the rest is not as powerful as its predecessor.
  • Ending: Painful and masterful.
  • Dialogs: Interesting and well made, although it's always difficult to evaluate with subtitles.
  • Characters: The bad guys are too simple.
  • Acting: Great.
  • Afterthoughts: I was riveted the first time I saw it, but even now it is still great.

mercredi 9 novembre 2016

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — An intrigue of an impressive perfection — 10*/10

  • Overall: A brain warper. It will transport you in its world with disarming ease.
  • Who is it for? An absolute must for anyone who isn't too emotionally sensitive.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Noomi Rapace.
  • Setting: Sweden.
  • Style: Intrigue and investigation with strong psychological drama.
  • Pacing: Slow, a perfect stew, right until its culmination.
  • Intro: The setup is quick, everything is put into place right away.
  • Story: Full of details and very psychological. The perfection of this film is in the way the intrigue develops. Each discovery is natural, realistic and very organic. It doesn't feel forced and each time it draws you in more until you're unable to move away, transfixed by the easy flow of events. The mood is absolutely entrancing. Perfect.
  • Ending: Surprising, strong. Perfect.
  • Epilogue: I normally hate epilogues, this one is so well done that it absolutely needs to be there.
  • Dialogs: Great, although, with subtitles, it can be difficult to judge.
  • Characters: Awe inspiring. Incredible depth, extremely well detailed and full of life, or the lack of it.
  • Acting: Powerful. Hypnotic. Perfect.
  • Visuals: Strong, slick, simple, perfect.
  • Special Effects
  • Camera Work
  • Afterthoughts: Even knowing the intrigue, it's still amazing to watch. It's that good. Thoroughly entertained, especially on an intellectual level.

I recommend watching the second chapter too (read my review here).

mardi 8 novembre 2016

Inferno — For the fans of the series only — 6*/10

  • Overall: This third installment is the least interesting chapter (read my review of the first one here and the second one here). Director Ron Howard can do much better.
  • Who is it for? Those who really need to see more of The Da Vinci Code world.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan and Ben Foster.
  • Setting: History rich Europe.
  • Style: Intrigue, with some suspense and a bit of action.
  • Pacing: Awkward.
  • Story: There is an intrigue which is interesting, some action, but what made the original so good, the historical background and the puzzles, just isn't really good.
  • Ending: Mostly action based, which is weird for the type of flick.
  • Dialogs: Interesting. Well made.
  • Characters: Not that interesting or well built. It is the movie's biggest weakness.
  • Acting: Beside Tom Hanks, the rest of the cast is adequate, but not more.
  • Visuals: Nice.
  • Special Effects: Adequate.
  • Afterthoughts: I wasn't expecting much and I didn't get much. I had been disappointed by the second chapter and unfortunately this latest one isn't better, it's a notch down. Still, it is entertaining and I was happy to see Langdon once again. I'm just glad I didn't pay the full price.

lundi 7 novembre 2016

Transformers: Dark of the Moon — Not too bad for a third chapter — 6*/10

  • Overall: Some broken logic steps make it a lesser cousin in the series (read my view of the first one here and the second one here). Still, it's good entertainment.
  • Who is it for? Only the fans of the series or those in need of a sci-fi action fix.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey, John Turturro, Alan Tudyk, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson.
  • Cameos: Julie White, Kevin Dunn, Ken Jeong and Buzz Aldrin.
  • Style: Sci-fi action.
  • Intro: I hate it when they rewrite history. I hated it in the second one, too, but here, they rewrite their own story. Annoying.
  • Story: Simple. Lots of action with some humor.
  • Dialogs: Funny, but simple.
  • Characters: Same as usual. This time, they did give a more involved role to the main female lead which had been a problem in the second chapter.
  • Visuals: Great.
  • Special Effects: Near perfect.
  • Afterthoughts: You have to love Transformers to really appreciate this one, else, it's gonna be a lot stuff without much meat.

samedi 5 novembre 2016

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen — On a much larger scale — 7*/10

  • Overall: It's on par with the first chapter (read my review here) quality-wise, but there's a lot more action.
  • Who is it for? Those looking for an ass-kicking action sci-fi and the fans of the series.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, John Turturro, Julie White, Kevin Dunn, Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson.
  • Style: Action sci-fi.
  • Pacing: Fast.
  • Intro: I don't like the basis for the movie, but that just me.
  • Story: Lots of action, much more than the first chapter. A bit more involved than before, but still simple. Much greater deployment.
  • Ending: Action oriented.
  • Epilogue: Short and forgettable.
  • Dialogs: Very simple.
  • Characters: Very simple. The female lead has a much smaller role even though she's onscreen a lot. It's really disappointing. The soldiers suffer the same fate. This is not a character movie, much less than the original and very few character interactions that are good, especially what passes for a romance.
  • Acting: Okay, I guess.
  • Visuals: Awesome.
  • Special Effects: Perfect, or near enough.
  • Camera Work: A true Michael Bay treatment.
  • Score: Very engaging.
  • Afterthoughts: Great entertainment, but you can't ask for much more.

mardi 1 novembre 2016

Keeping Up with the Joneses — Going for silly with nice character ideas — 6*/10

  • Overall: Interesting and silly with nice character developments. Better than the previews.
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for some fun and a bit of action.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot.
  • Cameos: Patton Oswalt and Kevin Dunn.
  • Setting: Mostly American suburbia.
  • Style: Silly action comedy.
  • Intro: Should have cut the initial action, overdone stratagem. Go straight to the boring funny stuff.
  • Story: Very silly, a tiny intrigue, some nice action, but lots of character moments that really make it better than its peers.
  • Ending: Meh. It's okay. Funny, I guess.
  • Epilogue: Not sure what to think of it.
  • Dialogs: Funny. Silly. There are a few gems in there.
  • Characters: Nicely done. Some very interesting ideas. Well developed. Daringly tries to escape the archetypes.
  • Afterthoughts: Pleasantly entertained.

dimanche 30 octobre 2016

Truffe — Bizarre, simple et très bien monté — 7*/10

Un film de science-fiction légèrement surréaliste et imaginatif qui compte parmi ses figurants Roy Dupuis. Le petit budget ne parait pas trop et les situations sordides ou étranges ne font que nous attirer en plus profondément dans ce monde insolite.

Synopsis & information

jeudi 27 octobre 2016

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back — Action with just a little bit of soul — 6*/10

  • Overall: Entertaining, but certain things are straight cookie cutter stuff.
  • Who is it for? Those looking for action, but aren't worried too much about content.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders and Danika Yarosh.
  • Style: Action super spy assassin.
  • Intro: A bit corny.
  • Story: Sort of interesting with an intrigue that doesn't feel like an intrigue.
  • Ending: Weak.
  • Epilogue: Not too bad.
  • Dialogs: Some are good, others are deplorably over used standards.
  • Characters: The three good guys/gals are nicely done with good interaction between them, but the bad guys are ridiculously simple.
  • Afterthoughts: I was somewhat satisfied, but also a bit disappointed.

jeudi 20 octobre 2016

Hot Fuzz — Silly, witty, hilarious action comedy — 9*/10

  • Overall: You can't go wrong with this flick, it's tightly done and so funny.
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for some witty silliness mixed with some nice action.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent and Timothy Dalton.
  • Cameos: Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Cate Blanchett, Steve Coogan and Peter Jackson.
  • Setting: Sleepy country town, UK.
  • Style: Silly caper with serious cop action.
  • Pacing: Varies, lots of quiet moments cut with intrigue, some action and snappy repartee.
  • Intro: Love it! You really a solid grip on the main character.
  • Story: Its goal is to twist you around until you can't tell up from down, make you laugh with witty remarks and silly situations as well as captivate you with incongruous characters.
  • Ending: Very surprising. Hilarious. Totally out of the left field.
  • Epilogue: Nice and short. Well done.
  • Dialogs: Witty, silly, funny, plenty.
  • Characters: Lovable, quirky and well built.
  • Acting: Great in a very silly way.
  • Afterthoughts: Awesome entertainment. I highly recommend.

mercredi 19 octobre 2016

Star Trek — The best ever made and one accessible to all — 10*/10

  • Overall: The best production ever to come out of the franchise, and relatable enough that anyone can see it without even knowing what Star Trek is all about. Great way to get to know this world.
  • Who is it for? All sci-fi fans, but also anyone interested in a solid character based action flick.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Zoe Saldana, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Karl Urban, Eric Bana and Bruce Greenwood.
  • Cameos: Winona Ryder and Leonard Nimoy.
  • Setting: Far future. 
  • Style: Character based action sci-fi. 
  • Pacing: It almost never stops, a real roller coaster, except for a select few moments that are all character moments. 
  • Intro: It's a boom, right away. 
  • Story: Full of action with incredible levels of details. Gripping.
  • Ending: Just wow.
  • Dialogs: Witty, hilarious at times, or serious, never letting us down. 
  • Characters: Well developed, a certain departure from the originals, but realistically so.
  • Acting: Excellent. 
  • Visuals: Mind blowing, all the time. Awe inspiring.
  • Special Effects: Perfect. 
  • Afterthoughts: The first time, I was blown away. The second time, I couldn't believe how good I still thought it was. I was as riveted as the first time. I highly recommend it 

Vanilla Sky — A weird semi sci-fi that needs to be watched more than once — 8*/10

  • Overall: It's the kind of movie which is better when watched the second time around, it's only then that it really gets as good as it should. Great one by director Cameron Crowe.
  • Who is it for? Those who like mystery based on some science fiction, or those looking to explore a slow movie that will make you think in the end. 
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Jason Lee, Kurt Russell and Timothy Spall.
  • Cameos: Tilda Swinton, Noah Taylor and Michael Shannon.
  • Setting: Rich American upper class. 
  • Style: Dramatic mind fuck.
  • Pacing: Slow, really slow, but not show much as not to capture your interest. 
  • Story: It's a look at youth, late 20s early 30s, its blindness and the long-term effects it can have on us and those we relate to. 
  • Ending: Philosophical. 
  • Dialogs: Almost schizophrenic, very intelligent and strongly emotional. 
  • Characters: Stark and solid, realistic in their own way. 
  • Acting: Amazing. 
  • Visuals: Solid.
  • Special Effects: Good. There are very few of them, but some are getting a bit old, although it's just at the end and they're still good.
  • Afterthoughts: The first time around, I was disappointed by the ending, the second time, I was ready to spend the time thinking it through and pondering the ins and outs. 

Tout en haut du monde — Un film d'animation pour les adultes au coeur d'enfant — 8*/10

Un film qui vous plongera de manière immersive dans une grande aventure. Son style de dessin particulier et très beau, ainsi que ces moments où on nous donne le temps de penser vous transporteront aisément. Les personnages sont attachants, l'histoire bien pensée et la fin courageuse.

Synopsis & information

mardi 18 octobre 2016

The Accountant — Great entertainment with a solid mix of characters and action — 8*/10

  • Overall: Much better than the preview let on. Solid action, great characters.
  • Who is it for? Anyone who doesn't mind action and some violence, it doesn't contain anything graphic really.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal
  • Cameos: Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow.
  • Style: An invigorating yet calm mix of crime and super spy.
  • Pacing: Excellent division between quiet, tense and adrenaline pumping.
  • Intro: Seamless.
  • Story: Very serious, cold and to the point. Lots of things aren't what they seem. Some surprises. Solid clockwork action. Nice little intrigue.
  • Ending: Surprising. Funny.
  • Epilogue: I would totally cut it, it ruins the great ending, even the movie itself. At least, I would cut it before you see him on the road.
  • Dialogs: Precise and full of details.
  • Characters: Well developed and nice depth for the most part. However, there are a few notable exceptions.
  • Acting: Excellent.
  • Visuals: Clean, sober and strong.
  • Score: Solid, except the epilogue song, very weak and not appropriate.
  • Afterthoughts: Surprised and really entertained. Loved my choice here.

lundi 17 octobre 2016

The Girl on the Train — No more than an intrigue — 6*/10

  • Overall: Solid intrigue, but mixed execution, at best.
  • Who is it for? Only those looking for a good intrigue, others should abstain.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Emily Blunt and Allison Janney.
  • Cameos: Lisa Kudrow.
  • Setting: Suburban upper class.
  • Style: Investigation mystery based on infidelity and abusive relationships.
  • Pacing: Awkward. Could not hold focus of the audience well enough.
  • Story: Very interesting intrigue. Nicely dissected storyline. Uninspired backward story.
  • Ending: Well done.
  • Dialogs: Mixed result, at best.
  • Characters: Way too simple, especially the male roles.
  • Acting: Bad male acting, great female leads, especially for the main character, astounding.
  • Visuals: Nice.
  • Camera Work: Great.
  • Afterthoughts: Could have been much better. Disappointed.

mardi 11 octobre 2016

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life — Just for tweens — 5*/10

  • Overall: It could have been much better.
  • Who is it for? Tweens.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Lauren Graham and Rob Riggle.
  • Cameos: Michael Rapaport.
  • Pacing: In many places, it went too fast, we couldn't feel it or it felt wrong.
  • Story: It had so many solid elements to make this a really poignant and funny story, yet it was rushed and crumpled under its own weight.
  • Characters: Too shallow, simple or archetypical.
  • Acting: Surprisingly good and some not so good.
  • Afterthoughts: Very disappointed, yet amazed at some excellent bits lost in the sum of all its parts.

Masterminds — Silly, yet not really as good as it could have been — 5*/10

  • Overall: It's really silly, but it lacks some finish to make it hilarious.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Owen Wilson and Leslie Jones.
  • Style: Silly low IQ criminals.
  • Story: A succession of poor decisions that creates silly situations but never completely gel as a flick.
  • Characters: Unbelievable, but true.
  • Acting: Silly.
  • Costumes: Silly.
  • Afterthoughts: It didn't miss the mark by much. Just a little bit more care and you'd have something hilarious. I enjoyed it, but nothing more.

dimanche 9 octobre 2016

Song of the Sea — An extremely touching and soft story — 9*/10

  • Overall: A sad but marvelous faerie tale.
  • Who is it for? Anyone that doesn't mind a slow pace and a few tears.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Brendan Gleeson.
  • Style: An old folk tale with magic.
  • Pacing: Slow. If you let yourself float on, by the end of the first act, you won't want to stop.
  • Story: No action, but full of meaning. Very touching. Beautiful.
  • Ending: Amazing. Be ready to shed a few tears.
  • Epilogue: It helps. Extremely short.
  • Dialogs: Simple, but just right.
  • Characters: Simple, but well developed.
  • Acting: Solid.
  • Visuals: Extremely beautiful. Very stylized.
  • Afterthoughts: It took me a while to get into it, but it touched me greatly. Loved it.

vendredi 7 octobre 2016

Storks — Interesting ideas, lots of colors and dense witty dialogs — 6*/10

  • Overall: Entertaining, colorful, silly and witty.
  • Who is it for? Mostly kids, but adults will have fun too, if not as much.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Andy Samberg and Kelsey Grammer.
  • Cameos: Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell and Danny Trejo.
  • Pacing: Lots of action, it almost never stops.
  • Story: Very linear, but interesting.
  • Ending: Average at best.
  • Epilogue: Too much.
  • Dialogs: Fast, dense, witty, interesting, captivating. The flick gets its highest mark here.
  • Characters: Very variable quality. Some are great, some are too much, some are super, some are weak...
  • Acting: Nice.
  • Visuals: Colorful and beautiful.
  • Afterthoughts: A bit disappointed, but still entertained. Would have preferred to have paid less.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children — A good fantasy flick for all — 8*/10

  • Overall: A solid Tim Burton movie with a very interesting fantasy world.
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for something fantastic and kids.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield and Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Cameos: Judi Dench, Chris O'Dowd and Terence Stamp.
  • Setting: An alternative fantasy world where people develop peculiar talents.
  • Style: Fantasy children story of good versus bad with some darkness.
  • Story: Lots of nice details, action, suspense, intrigue, magic, a burgeoning romance, some tragedy and multiple dark deeds, all very well handled. Excellent mix of light and dark.
  • Ending: Action intensive and clever.
  • Epilogue: A bit much, but still nicely done.
  • Characters: The bad guys are very simple, but so peculiar they are as interesting as the good guys who are a bit more developed, but still somewhat simple.
  • Acting: Very good.
  • Visuals: Astoundingly beautiful.
  • Special Effects: Almost perfect. Nothing to detract from the story.
  • Afterthoughts: Got out of the cinema very satisfied and well entertained.

samedi 1 octobre 2016

Snowden — A must for all and a great intellectual thriller — 8*/10

  • Overall: Oliver Stone turned something pretty dry, near boring, into an incredibly intense piece. He's a genius who excels at playing with emotions.
  • Who is it for? Everyone. First and foremost, we should all be familiar with that story, it's important for our future. We are going to increasingly be dependent on technology so we should know how it can expose us.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley and Rhys Ifans.
  • Cameos: Nicolas Cage, Tom Wilkinson and Timothy Olyphant.
  • Setting: Behind the computer side of intelligence gathering.
  • Style: Suspense based biographical retelling of real events dramatized for the screen.
  • Story: I have no doubt that what is presented is accurate, even though it is obviously dramatized. That way, it makes for great entertainment as well as being an eye opener. It keeps you riveted from start to finish.
  • Ending: It is what it is since it's based on true events.
  • Epilogue: History is a never ending epilogue.
  • Dialogs: Solid.
  • Characters: Well built.
  • Acting: Excellent, although I'm surprised at Joseph Gordon-Levitt modifying his voice again.
  • Visuals: Great.
  • Special Effects: One of the few films where computer skills are represented correctly.
  • Afterthoughts: It's an important story to tell. I think whistleblowers do not get enough credit for their contribution to society, and his was huge. Thanks for helping, Oliver Stone.

vendredi 30 septembre 2016

The Magnificent Seven — A great wild west action flick — 8*/10

  • Overall: An exciting western done with modern flair for high entertainment value.
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for action with a good story and solid acting.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Haley Bennett and Peter Sarsgaard.
  • Setting: Wild West.
  • Style: Action western done in a vengeance and good guys versus bad guys way.
  • Pacing: Grabs your attention and keeps it riveted to the screen.
  • Intro: Solid.
  • Story: Nothing new to the vengeance justice plot, but it's done right and full of action.
  • Ending: Predictable, but with nice bold risks.
  • Dialogs: Fun, if simple.
  • Characters: Not much to them, just a bunch of archetypes.
  • Acting: Great. Even though their role was really simple, they shone really bright.
  • Visuals: Beautifully set.
  • Afterthoughts: I was surprised at some ending choices and I was totally entertained. I enjoyed myself greatly.

mardi 27 septembre 2016

The Dressmaker — An incredible movie that will fill your emotional cup — 9*/10

  • Overall: Beautiful touching story with strong female roles. Very interesting and entertaining, full of surprises.
  • Who is it for? Anyone, unless you require pervasive action.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Kate Winslet, Hugo Weaving and Liam Hemsworth.
  • Setting: 1950s rural Australia.
  • Style: It's going back to where you came from to show off mixed with the discovering the past.
  • Pacing: A very human scale. You slowly get more and more interested until by the end you're completely engrossed.
  • Intro: Excellent patchwork of scenes until you get the proper introduction.
  • Story: This is more than just a homecoming, there are several secrets to discover and the script is full of surprises and very unusual turns. Incredible emotional realism.
  • Ending: Fitting. Excellent. Loved it.
  • Dialogs: Build with great care.
  • Characters: Great depth and color. The leading man is the only present stereotype.
  • Acting: Powerful. Loved Kate Winslet, but was really impressed by Hugo Weaving.
  • Visuals: Beautiful and complex, full of details.
  • Costumes: Incredible. Loved them.
  • Afterthoughts: Great movie. Extremely satisfied with my choice. I recommend it to everyone. I can't believe it took it a year to get from Australia to our theaters.

vendredi 23 septembre 2016

Mr. Nobody — Be ready for a quiet surreal sci-fi ride — 8*/10

  • Overall: This is the kind of movie that feels very exploratory.
  • Who is it for? Only a few, those who like sci-fi and films that mess with time in a surreal way.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Jared Leto and Rhys Ifans.
  • Style: Almost surreal sci-fi.
  • Story: It's about choices, building time and deconstructing it. A very different sci-fi with romance, sadness, hopes and illusions. You get lost, but you explore so many possibilities.
  • Ending: Could have been stronger. Kinda weak compared to the rest.
  • Characters: You get an excellent feel for those characters that do not fit into your standard stereotypes.
  • Acting: Excellent.
  • Visuals: Strong.
  • Special Effects: Solid, if not perfect.
  • Camera Work: Excellent. Makes the story telling work.
  • Afterthoughts: I thought it was weird, my kind of weird and few others. I loved it because it was so bold in what it tried to convey. My mind felt at ease with the script going in every direction, because it works the same way. I just wished for a different ending.

jeudi 22 septembre 2016

The Fundamentals of Caring — As sweet touching comedy about some serious stuff — 8*/10

  • Overall: A sweet, touching, funny and unexpected Netflix original that lightly goes where humanity's drama waits.
  • Who is it for? Anyone wanting to watch something very humane with a touch of comedy.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Craig Roberts, Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez.
  • Cameos: Bobby Cannavale.
  • Setting: Simple.
  • Intro: It feels like a massive weight is dropped on you, but it gives exactly the right feel the flick.
  • Story: No heavy drama, just really twisted jokes and many funny character moments. Many unexpected turns, a few predictable ones.
  • Epilogue: Short and funny.
  • Dialogs: Very witty, funny and well built. This is one of its major strengths.
  • Characters: Nice depth and extremely well developed.
  • Acting: Great, almost flawless.
  • Afterthoughts: I was pleasantly surprised, had been nicely entertained and was satisfied with my choice.

mardi 20 septembre 2016

Bridget Jones's Baby — The best one of the series yet — 7*/10

  • Overall: I was pleasantly surprised and nicely entertained for the most part. Still, it came up short on some points.
  • Who is it for? The fans of the series or anyone curious enough about the idiosyncrasies of such a character.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey and Emma Thompson.
  • Cameos: Jim Broadbent.
  • Setting: Well off English individuals.
  • Style: Standard romantic comedy.
  • Story: Interesting, very funny, not pathetic as some of the previous chapters were, and some excellent decisions as far as how events unfolded. However, the fighting between the men, even though I've seen worst, was a bit too rom-com. That's now how it happens in real life. More over, I would have been very happy without all the flashbacks of passed movies.
  • Ending: This is where they dropped the ball. Predictable and way too easy.
  • Dialogs: Funny, if simple. Loved the narration as always.
  • Characters: Simple.
  • Score: Great. Nice modern twist in some places.
  • Afterthoughts: I was disappointed by the end, but I still enjoyed myself. Hopefully, there won't be another one after this.

jeudi 15 septembre 2016

Sully — This is a great flick to watch — 9*/10

  • Overall: Excellent movie that captures the essence of an event the way we all imagined it. Superb work by director Clint Eastwood, if a tiny bit biased.
  • Who is it for? Everyone. It's a must (almost).
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney and Anna Gunn.
  • Cameos: Michael Rapaport.
  • Style: Quiet drama with a few very tense events.
  • Pacing: Great back and forth.
  • Intro: Excellent idea. 
  • Story: Loved the way it’s told, makes those 208 seconds very interesting.
  • Ending: Considering it's based on real events, it's pretty solid. The speech by the woman, however, was a bit, just a bit, much for me.
  • Dialogs: Great, very realistic in some places but maybe a bit too perfect in others.
  • Characters: The bad guys weren't gray enough, I am doubtful they were correctly portrayed, which has been a controversy surrounding the film.
  • Acting: Beyond reproach.
  • Special Effects: Seamless.
  • Score: Seamless, except for the light music when the ferries are assisting which seemed odd.
  • Afterthoughts: Great satisfaction, but I wasn't surprised to read about the controversy. Makes for a nice movie, though.

The Wild Life (Robinson Crusoe) — Just terrible — 3*/10

mardi 13 septembre 2016

Mechanic: Resurrection — A bad action flick with bad special effects — 4*/10

  • Overall: I was bored and disappointed after 15 minutes. 
  • Synopsis & information
  • Acting: Tommy Lee Jones was great. He was the only thing good in this film and the main reason why I went to see it. I love Jessica Alba, but she wasn't given much to work with.
  • Special Effects: There weren't terrible, but you could see they were special effects without even trying.
  • Camera Work: Some parts didn't even have focus.
  • Afterthoughts: Wasted my time. Learn from my mistake, please.

jeudi 8 septembre 2016

Morgan — A nice low key moody tense science-fiction film — 8*/10

  • Overall: Interesting intrigue and suspense based sci-fi with a bit of action.
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for some low-key but tense sci-fi just a bit of violence.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Kate Mara, Michelle Yeoh and Paul Giamatti.
  • Cameos: Brian Cox.
  • Setting: Isolated research center deep in the wood.
  • Style: Moody, tense sci-fi.
  • Intro: A shock, then the long quiet. Slightly unsettling. You get into the mood right away.
  • Story: The science-fiction part is intellectual, because there are no visible signs of it. The mood is tense throughout. You don't know what's what and who's who. There's a palpable intrigue, but it's sort of hidden. There's violence, sometimes action. It's very moody.
  • Ending: Great. Surprising. Loved it.
  • Epilogue: It makes the movie. Perfect.
  • Dialogs: Realistic, intense.
  • Characters: Each character is extremely well developed and with nice depth. If we could feel them as much as we do, there would be no movie or it would be really bad. More over, there's no real presence of archetypes. Very well done.
  • Acting: Excellent. Across the board.
  • Visuals: Beautiful, haunting.
  • Afterthoughts: Very satisfied. I thought for a while just as the conclusion was getting underway that it would fall apart and lose the mood it had built all along, but no. Really nice.

Interestingly enough, this flick passes the Bechdel test.

mardi 6 septembre 2016

Hell or High Water — It's a solid ride but it will also make you think — 9*/10

  • Overall: A gritty dirty modern far west movie, but on a very personal level. Quiet, almost.
  • Who is it for? I think everyone should take a good look at it, but I know not everybody is going to like it. Those looking for action might get bored. Those looking for introspection might not like the bit of violence there is. There's more to it than the preview lets you imagine.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Ben Foster, Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges.
  • Setting: Poor dirty grimy Texan rural counties.
  • Style: Crime done for the right reason trying to avoid the consequences.
  • Pacing: A few actions sequence with many quiet reflective lull.
  • Intro: Not wasting a second and getting right where we want to be. Grabs the attention quick before the credits. Perfect.
  • Story: Yes, it's about robbing banks, but it's not so much about how. It's more about whom. Whom does it, who's looking for them and who's around. It's about a place, a time and a multitude of reasons. It's about making up your mind and pushing an idea to its ultimate conclusion.
  • Ending: It's more like an epilogue, but without it, the film would have less of a character pull. It's great as it is.
  • Dialogs: Not always perfect, but they make the audience really feel what's happening.
  • Characters: Great. Well developed. Can't ask for more. You even get to like the little characters. It's a character flick first and foremost.
  • Acting: Excellent, even for Jeff Bridges who still mumble his lines with that thick accent he's been using these past few years. At least, here, it makes sense.
  • Visuals: Grimy. Perfect.
  • Costumes: Perfect.
  • Afterthoughts: You know they're playing with our sense of just and right, as opposed to justice, and the financial events of the last decades, and it makes you think.

The 9th Life of Louis Drax — Too many flaws and mistakes — 5*/10

  • Overall: Lots of good ideas and a great packaging, unfortunately, the script was poorly thought through.
  • Who is it for?
  • Afterthoughts: Disappointed.

jeudi 1 septembre 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings — A very magical story that will transport you — 8*/10

  • Overall: A fascinating story, incredibly well told. Beautiful and magical.
  • Who is it for? Everyone and anyone. I totally recommend it.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey and Ralph Fiennes.
  • Cameos: George Takei.
  • Setting: Imaginary medieval Japan.
  • Style: Stop-motion animation for both children and adults.
  • Pacing: Excellent mix that keeps you riveted to the screen.
  • Intro: Solid. The mystery is complete.
  • Story: Partly sad, party funny, full of details, magic and action, it's the kind of story that transports you where it wants with incredible ease. It's simple, yet you navigate the mysteries always waiting for the next morsel of truth and that's breathtakingly captivating.
  • Ending: Some very imaginative and courageous elements, but it's still a bit weak.
  • Dialogs: Solid.
  • Characters: Well built, if a bit simple.
  • Acting: Good.
  • Visuals: Gorgeous!
  • Music: Love the end credits song.
  • Score: Great.
  • Afterthoughts: It easily mesmerizes, but the ending is not as filling as the rest and left me wanting. That being said, I did not regret paying full price to see it, because it's a great film.

mardi 30 août 2016

The Infiltrator — A tense yet human investigation in the 1980s cocaine trade — 8*/10

  • Overall: A great undercover story done on a personal level that makes it really relatable.
  • Who is it for? A must see, if you like criminal cases.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo and Benjamin Bratt.
  • Setting: 1980s Miami.
  • Style: Tough suspenseful police drama.
  • Intro: Well done. A typical end of one mission before the next.
  • Story: You see them craft their way in and build their identity. You witness the successes, the lucky deals and the mistakes. However, what is special is that you get to know them, cops and criminals, on a personal level. That way, it's really easy to understand what is happening on a human level.
  • Ending: Solid, but with a flaw. Also, since it's based on real events, it's nothing spectacular, just the closing of a case.
  • Dialogs: Great. On the spot.
  • Characters: Well developed. You can really understand them.
  • Acting: Superb.
  • Afterthoughts: I was glad I was part of that mission. I understood what had happened, but also how they felt.

Little Men — A soft family film that will put things in perspective — 9*/10

  • Overall: It's a soft and very impactful conflict between family values and capitalism. It's a quiet fight between unequal pressures with the kids as collateral.
  • Who is it for? Those looking for something that feels real and that's about families without heavy drama.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Jennifer Ehle and Greg Kinnear.
  • Cameos: Alfred Molina.
  • Setting: Brooklyn, New York City, middle-class families, low and high.
  • Style: Very realistic quiet drama.
  • Pacing: Not too slow, not too quick. Things develop at their own pace without creating any dead air.
  • Intro: You jump in just at the right place, the stage is cleverly set, you immediately know what stuff each of the characters are made of and the rest goes pretty smoothly.
  • Story: Very realistic, easy to immerse yourself into and relate. It is a fact of life, things don't always go as you'd wish, but you try your best even though you could have done better. You know what's the right thing to do. The thing is, can you do it? You can't simply bury your head in the sand. That being said, the just of it is pretty basic, but it's all about how each character deals with it. Central is the relationship between the two boys.
  • Ending: Perfect. Just like life.
  • Epilogue: The end is the epilogue.
  • Dialogs: Very realistic and well built.
  • Characters: Great depth and realism.
  • Acting: Superb. Just.
  • Visuals: Very solid.
  • Afterthoughts: This is a movie that leaves you with a bit of introspection, a few flashbacks from your childhood and a sense of sadness even though it is not sad. It is life, after all.

samedi 27 août 2016

Men in Black — Still extremely entertaining sci-fi even after all these years — 8*/10

  • Overall: Great entertainment, very original with lots of fun and action. Just a few CGIs that are getting a bit old.
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for some really interesting sci-fi who don't mind a few shots that look their age.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Vincent D'Onofrio, Linda Fiorentino and Rip Torn.
  • Setting: 1997, New York City.
  • Style: High action sci-fi comedy.
  • Pacing: Fast with a few very short breathers.
  • Intro: The bug flight is annoying after the first time, but the rest is great and gets you right in and very intrigued without giving away too much. Don't like the in-studio look, but it's a style.
  • Story: You settle in this weird unknown parallel universe with style and fun, then the action starts and it gets even funnier with a lot of action. Very stylish. Nice intrigue.
  • Ending: Solid. Loved it. Special effects getting a bit old here and there.
  • Epilogue: Funny. Like it.
  • Dialogs: Very funny with lots of words.
  • Characters: Very well done, nice depth, if simple.
  • Acting: Great, if a bit too slick for Smith, but it's a solid style and funny. D'Onofrio is amazing.
  • Special Effects: Most hold the road still, while others show their age. Can be appreciated anyway.
  • Score: Nice and weirdly nice, by the great Danny Elfman.
  • Afterthoughts: In the years following its debut, it was always a great watch, extremely entertaining. It was a hit. Now, it's still nice to watch, because it's a good movie, but the CGIs do get a bit old. 

vendredi 26 août 2016

Jurassic Park — A classic wonderland movie adventure by Steven Spielberg — 8*/10

  • Overall: Even if the CGIs are a bit old, it still holds good and the story is full of adventure that easily transports the audience.
  • Who is it for? Anyone who loves dinosaurs and wants to see the original, which is still the best of the franchise.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Samuel L. Jackson and Wayne Knight.
  • Cameos
  • Setting: 1993, a remote South American island.
  • Style: A modern adventure sci-fi for the whole family.
  • Pacing: Nice smooth rides made of a mix of action and character moments.
  • Intro: Great. Starts in the thick of it without revealing anything, then calms down to build up to the real action.
  • Story: It's the kind of adventure any kid would wish for and the kind of danger any sane person would want to avoid. Some humor, tons of action, many tense moments, nice character interactions and a lot of science.
  • Ending: Solid.
  • Dialogs: Very interesting, even captivating, funny at times.
  • Characters: Extremely well built, archetypical stuff, except for the lawyer and even then, there's something to appreciate. The only weak one is the head of security, rather simple.
  • Acting: Solid, even excellent for some, except the head of security.
  • Special Effects: Were astounding, but still quite good.
  • Score: Superb work by the great master, John Williams.
  • Afterthoughts: In 1993, I had been completely blown away, as was anyone else who saw it. State-of-the-art computer graphics that felt totally real to us, because we only had animatronics before. Also, there was great scientific pains taken to make them as realistic as possible in every way.
    Now, 23 years later, anyone new to the movie wouldn't feel the magic, because its computer graphics do not equal those we have today, but the story, characters and adventure still feel great.

jeudi 25 août 2016

War Dogs — A very special experience that will probably captivate you — 8*/10

  • Overall: Very interesting, unusual and entertaining.
  • Who is it for? Those who like to see the dirty tricks of this world.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Jonah Hill and Miles Teller.
  • Setting: The seedy underbelly of the gun trade.
  • Style: Dramatic character conflict and double-crossing business deals.
  • Intro: Bad use of future events. It's an overused trick.
  • Story: Very interesting ideas and you could really feel the sense of power. You easily get gripped and reeled in. However, the love story didn't feel real. There's also an overall sense of the pathetic which is kind of bizarre, but maybe that was the point.
  • Ending: Nicely done. Unusual. Frank.
  • Epilogue: Unexpected turn of events, but it feels a bit too good.
  • Dialogs: Excellent. It is all about the dialogs and the narration.
  • Characters: Well felt.
  • Acting: Great, you could really feel what was happening.
  • Visuals: Perfectly tied to the story.
  • Score: Great.
  • Afterthoughts: Mostly loved seeing it.

Ben-Hur — Roman versus Jews through the life of two men — 6*/10

  • Overall: A very solid and entertaining piece. Nothing too harsh, nothing too pretty. However, something always felt missing.
  • Who is it for? Anyone interested in a story set in the ancient Mediterranean world or related to Jesus.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Morgan Freeman.
  • Setting: Ancient Rome.
  • Style: Gritty, with a bit of violence.
  • Pacing: Some parts felt rushed, not letting the audience take in the moment or the meaning.
  • Story: Good overall, but not great. Some part didn't gel really well. Maybe it's because they tried to redo the original too much. Best part was the time as a rower. The mood and the ambiance was perfect.
  • Ending: I really didn't expect this, but it's way too rosy.
  • Characters: Surprisingly, with how much back story we had, they didn't seem to have much depth to any of them.
  • Acting: Good, but missing the spark to make it great.
  • Visuals: Very nice.
  • Special Effects: Good scenery, bad horse in the stand.
  • Camera Work: Some nice things.
  • Costumes: In some cases, it looked too modern. Love the Roman garbs, though.
  • Music: Bad choice for the end credits, too modern.
  • Afterthoughts: It all felt empty, as if they going through the motion of making a movie about that particular subject, or recreating what had been done before.