samedi 27 février 2016

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny — A pale sequel — 6*/10

  • Story: It wants to followup the footstep of the original, but only brings to the table a weak story. The action is okay, the little bit of intrigue present is not worth it, and the romances have no depth.
  • Setting: A gorgeous imaginary version of medieval China.
  • Style: It's wire work martial art and everything is very much black and white, good and evil.
  • Pacing: The lack of material made the pacing a bit boring. I almost stopped it during the first third, but it picked up a bit, enough to be entertaining.
  • Ending: Easy and predictable, without flair.
  • Dialogs: Simple, straight out of the mold.
  • Characters: Simple.
  • Acting: Acceptable.
  • Known actors: Michelle Yeoh.
  • Visuals: Good, but the color were oversaturated.
  • Special Effects: Nice.
  • Costumes: Nice.
  • Sound: Nice.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Entertainment value: Good, but no more than that.
  • Who is it for? Those who like wire work martial arts set in an imaginary ancient China. The fan of the original will most probably be disappointed.

jeudi 25 février 2016

How to Be Single — Funny and empowering for women... in some ways — 7*/10

  • Story: In so many ways, it is the opposite of the title, yet it seems to break its own rhythm to find ways to make the title true. So, the message isn't clear and that's unfortunate because the movie is really funny, full of unusual twists and turns which mostly try to step away from the usual romantic comedy trappings.
  • Ending: All in all well done scenario wise, but the actual screen rendition could have been done better.
  • Dialogs: Really funny.
  • Characters: They're not complex, but they aren't stereotyped either, which is good, and you can really get a nice feeling for what kind of person they are.
  • Acting: Very funny and well done. The "eyes song" elements are badly rendered, though.
  • Known actors: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann and Damon Wayans Jr.
  • Visuals: Beautiful, yet simple, full of details. Still, not the kind of apartment most people can afford, but I think the characters could.
  • Camera Work: Some interesting things.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Entertainment value: Pretty high.
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for something that's silly with a few somewhat serious elements mixed in.

mardi 23 février 2016

Spotlight — A true story extremely well told — 9*/10

  • Story: Very engrossing and captivating. Drama that makes you think without making you cry or feel horrible.
  • Setting: Very quiet and subdued, almost pensive, journalistic tone for the most part. Great period details.
  • Style: Contrary to most true story, you feel like there's a lot of meat to it. Is it because the fact were manipulated to a larger degree? I would think not, I think it's just because the events were such that the resulting scenario had the potential to be that good.
  • Pacing: Great, never a dull moment. It's so interesting that it goes by astonishingly fast, it doesn't feel like two hours.
  • Ending: At the end, you feel good, no doubt about it. However, since it's based on true events, it's not a stunner, but it is very well done.
  • Dialogs: Solid. Keeps you easily abreast of what's happening.
  • Characters: Very well developed.
  • Acting: Superb. You could really feel lots of nuance on the part of everyone, not just raw or blunt force emotions.
  • Known actors: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Billy Crudup.
  • Score: Must have been good because I was totally focused on what was happening.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Entertainment value: Excellent, if you don't need action.
  • Who is it for? Those who like films based on true events, or anyone looking for great and well nuanced acting.

jeudi 18 février 2016

Zoolander 2 — Ridiculously silly comedy for the fans — 6*/10

  • Story: Interesting with an intrigue that wasn't haft bad. While a lot of fun, the main problem of this new chapter is that it tried to do too much while being a sequel. The story ended up being stretched very thin. That being said, it's just as silly as its predecessor, which I still watch on a regular basis (read my review here).
  • Style: Totally off the wall ridiculous to maximize laughter. It works, but at times, it's a bit much, even compared to the original.
  • Ending: Could have been easily better.
  • Acting: Well done, in a silly way.
  • Known actors: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penélope Cruz, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, Sting, Benedict Cumberbatch, Fred Armisen, Christine Taylor, Milla Jovovich, Jerry Stiller and John Malkovich.
  • Cameos: Anna Wintour, Susan Sarandon, Kiefer Sutherland, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Billy Zane, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Tommy Hilfiger, Valentino Garavani, Marc Jacobs, M.C. Hammer, Susan Boyle.
  • Synopsis & information:
  • Entertainment value: Good, but you gotta like the style.
  • Who is it for? Mainly Zoolander fans or those looking for something really silly as well as Stiller, Wilson or Ferrell fans.

I think this is the kind of flick that's better when you watch it a second time. I laughed my ass off a few time, but I think it needs to sink in to then really appreciate it. The original was better in great part because of the novelty. However, even with the first one, it took a second look for me to really get into it.

mardi 16 février 2016

Brooklyn — A woman's simple and beautiful emotional coming of age journey — 9*/10

  • Story: Poignant, better than one could imagine after all the noise made about the film, because it's simple even if it's full of details and it's not romantically or emotionally full of itself. No huge drama, just lots of emotions normal people are used to swim with. There's even a good number of laughs.
  • Setting: Very realistic. I don't know if it's historically accurate, but it certainly feels like it, if a bit clean. It's all presented strictly from the point of view of the woman coming of age and that is excellent.
  • Ending: Great.
  • Dialogs: Solid, realistic.
  • Characters: Lots of depth, especially emotional.
  • Acting: Perfect.
  • Known actors: Saoirse Ronan and Jim Broadbent.
  • Visuals: Oversaturated colors that really captivates.
  • Camera Work: Some excellent shots, but for an exception. Lots of closeup that give intimacy and a personal point of view.
  • Costumes: Excellent, probably very close to the period in question.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Entertainment value: Very good, much more so if you like the genre.
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a nice period piece with a simple romance. It's excellent and I recommend it to anyone, but it might not be for everyone.

Monsieur Lazhar — Touchant, simple et très bien monté — 8*/10

Ce film ne s'empêtre pas dans son histoire. Elle évolue lentement au gré de nos émotions. Touchant, aux émotions fortes sans être trop dramatique, on ne peut que regarder, absorber et réfléchir. Bien que le personnage principal soit adulte, ce sont les enfants qui sont les vraies étoiles de cette production. Bien que l'histoire d'immigration semble parfois secondaire, le film en vaut la peine. C'est beau et je le recommande à tous.

Synopsis & information

Deadpool — Fucking hilarious hero flick and powerful entertainment — 8*/10

  • Story: A straight forward origin story with tons of wink to the hero genre. Lots of action and humour. I loved the rough rider romance until they got the bad news. Then, it changed too abruptly for my taste. More over, his investigation is just a series of repetition, although the change of costume is interesting. That being said, what's not to love about the rest?
  • Style: Achronological with a humorous self-satirical narration by the main onscreen character directed straight at the viewer breaking the usual barrier between a movie and its audience. You gotta like the style, but even if you don't, it's funny as hell.
  • Pacing: Fast with a few breaks that are still intense.
  • Ending: Predictable, but the jokes helped.
  • Dialogs: Extremely funny and very witty. Totally perfect.
  • Characters: Simple, even as super heroes go.
  • Acting: Great performance by the main characters. The others... meh.
  • Known actors: Ryan Reynolds (excellent as the witty Deadpool), Morena Baccarin (she's just awesome!) and T.J. Miller.
  • Special Effects: Not perfect, but still great.
  • Music: Excellent choices, usually very funny ones.
  • Score: Awesome, you're right in the action.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Entertainment value: Very, very high.
  • Who is it for? Any one looking for action or fun and super hero fans.

vendredi 12 février 2016

Something's Gotta Give — Light and funny romantic comedy — 6*/10

  • Scenario: It doesn't break the mold, but it does have its moments. Hilarity is its strong selling point. You'll have fun. It's not complicated and easy to laugh at without real embarrassment or silly antics, even the unceasing crying and writing, which was a bit much, was funny.
  • Setting: Beautiful and nice to look at though. Rich. As usual, Hollywood is presenting an image of the American dream that the average citizen can't afford.
  • Ending: Too easy, rosy and sweet. Cut it at the bridge before the taxi arrives and it would already be much better.
  • Dialogs: Interesting, well articulated and pretty funny.
  • Characters: Simple with nice details.
  • Acting: Good, although the parts are easy to play.
  • Known actors: Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Amanda Peet, Keanu Reeves, Jon Favreau and Paul Michael Glaser.
  • Special Effects: Few, but well done to the exception of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Entertainment value: Pretty good if you don't mind that it's using an age old recipe.
  • Who is it for? Those looking for something easy, romantic and funny and any Keaton or Nicholson fans.

mercredi 10 février 2016

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies — A good entertaining mix of concepts — 6*/10

  • Story: Great intro, there was also a certain effort made to build an intrigue, lots of details, and the match making kept our attention well enough. However, the zombie crisis and pandemonium seemed almost like an afterthought at times. I know that was the idea, but then why was the climactic event about zombies?
  • Setting: Very interesting zombie concepts and quite well developed if a bit over narrated, all of it set in an unusual time period which made it a solid choice.
  • Pacing: Well done, nice balance between quiet and action.
  • Ending: Poor. There wasn't enough meat to it, especially compared to the rest of the film.
  • Dialogs: I think the quality of this flick reside in its dialogs. Not by their craft, no, but by how they navigate us through the story, because they are the one keeping us entertained, really.
  • Characters: Good, if simple and archetypical.
  • Acting: Varied in quality, but mostly good. Fighting was poor, barely made the cut as far as I'm concerned, especially for one of the girls.
  • Visuals: Appealing.
  • Special Effects: No reproach, very well done.
  • Costumes: Pretty good overall to the exception of a few unfortunate choices.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Entertainment value: Good.
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a new zombie concept or those who like the P&P type of setting as well as the zombie genre. Don't expect too much, though.

mardi 9 février 2016

The Little Death — Extraordinary in its simplicity — 8*/10

  • Scenario: Well woven tales with an incredibly perfect ending. It starts awkward, prosaic, even a bit boring, but as the stories evolve and cross each other, finely crafted elements emerge making this a surprisingly solid film. The overarching themes are simple and by all means there is nothing really new to the whole scenario, but the quality is in the details and the small unusual twists. Not quite full on romantic, it's definitively about romantic relations.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? I recommend it to everyone, unless you're not interested in seeing the grey areas in relationships, the little trials and uncertainties that often make a big mess and from which can romance or breakups emerge.

Anomalisa — Psychological and intellectual stop-motion animation drama — 7*/10

  • Scenario: Many of the elements composing this film are part of the narrative and the logic, even the medium is. Some of them I found really annoying at first, but got to understand what they were about as the story developed. Complete understanding doesn't really occur until the final straight and the goal of this piece isn't really entertainment, so be ready. That being said, it's a solid production and is worth seeing if you're in the mood for something intellectual.
  • Known actors:  David Thewlis and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for something intellectual rather than entertaining.

The Island — Nice sci-fi with explosive action — 6*/10

  • Scenario: Good story and very interesting setting leading to some solid action. However, the ending is weak, if logical, and some of the choices made in the scenario are uninspired at best. Michael Bay has done much better in his career.
  • Known actors: Scarlett Johansson, Ewan McGregor, Djimon Hounsou, Sean Bean, Steve Buscemi, Michael Clarke Duncan and Ethan Phillips.
  • Visual & sound: Pretty spectacular with only a few visual blemish or flaws.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a new sci-fi action flick.

lundi 8 février 2016

Valentine's Day — Sweet light and easy to watch romantic comedy — 6*/10

  • Scenario: Well, sometimes the story lines are a bit rushed, they feel a bit empty and the whole production is pretty fluffy. However, there are no big problems with it, it is well acted and interesting with a nice pace. You'll easily get attached to the characters as well as the overall positive mood. Often the quality of a movie is define by its watchability, so it means that you'll find here a good entertainment value even if it isn't, by any stretch of the imagination, a masterpiece.
  • Known actors: Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, Ashton Kutcher, Bradley Cooper, Topher Grace, Queen Latifah, Kathy Bates, Julia Roberts, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Patrick Dempsey and Taylor Lautner.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for something light and sweet without any annoying flaw.

mardi 2 février 2016

Room — A softly told drama — 8*/10

  • Scenario: It is a very soft movie underlying a very harsh reality. It's difficult to really judge this piece. It's novel in a number of ways. It doesn't center around the crime, the victim, the aggressor or even the events. It centers around the boy's perception which makes it unique for this kind of story. That fact makes the rest feel a little bit empty as if there was enough meat around the bone, but I wouldn't change it, it's right as it should be. Great narration that helps understand his world. No explosive drama, just touching moments. The ugliness is slightly remote making the whole film much easier to watch. Perfect ending.
  • Known actors: Brie Larson, Joan Allen and William H. Macy.
  • Visual & sound: Very appropriate to the discovery.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for something different and soft in the drama range.

lundi 1 février 2016

Ashby — A nice mixed bag of funny and serious — 7*/10

  • Scenario: Interesting, even if some choices were a bit easy, others proved very solid. Lots of little stories might have made the result a little fluffier than a more rigorous treatment would have, but it has still solidified in an entertaining piece. Some laughs and some very serious stuff makes it difficult to pigeonhole this film, which in turns probably heighten the overall quality. I find myself almost incapable of classifying it. Yes there is a bit of romance, yes there is a bit of comedy, yes there is a bit of drama, but it's neither of the three. There's even sport and some guns.
  • Known actors: Mickey Rourke, Nat Wolff, Emma Roberts, Sarah Silverman, Kevin Dunn and Michael Lerner.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Those looking for something interesting that will give you a bit of everything.