jeudi 28 juillet 2016

Corpse Bride — A beautiful and creepy stop animation film by Tim Burton — 8*/10

  • Overall: Enchanting, in a creepy way. Touching romantic story. Could have done without the singing.
  • Who is it for? For fantasy lovers, Burton fans and anyone looking for a creepy love story or some good stop animation.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp, Tracey Ullman and Christopher Lee.
  • Style: Very Tim Burton.
  • Pacing: Quick and to the point, it is short after all, especially if you don't take into account the songs.
  • Intro: Annoying singing.
  • Story: There lies a hidden intrigue within this fantastic touching love story based on a very simple premise.
  • Ending: An interesting little twist in how it happened, even if the end result was generally predictable.
  • Dialogs: Neat.
  • Characters: Quite fantastic, well made and thoroughly thought out.
  • Acting: Solid.
  • Visuals: Beautiful.
  • Music: Haunting and perfect, by Danny Elfman. The singing was totally unnecessary.

Star Trek Beyond — The third of the reboot and still going strong — 8*/10

  • Overall: Very entertaining with the same quality as the preceding two. Not as stupendously epic with more introspection, but just as enjoyable.
  • Who is it for? Star Trek or sci-fi fans.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho and Anton Yelchin who will be sorely missed.
  • Setting: Far distant future.
  • Style: Deep space conflict.
  • Pacing: This time the action is interspersed with quiet reflections.
  • Story: Nice. Nothing ultra-complex but made well enough to keep you captivated. The little intrigue is well set, the action fabulous and the technology as fun as ever.
  • Ending: Predictable, but extremely enjoyable, especially the music trick.
  • Epilogue: Nice.
  • Dialogs: Funny. Loved it.
  • Characters: Just as interesting and captivating as ever.
  • Acting: Great.
  • Visuals: Stupendous.
  • Special Effects: Near perfect with the exception of the first motocross run, right after it materializes.

Read my review of the preceding chapter here.

Casino — A violent mobster drama that's now a classic — 10*/10

  • Overall: Tense, violent and excellent. One of the great movies by legendary director Martin Scorsese.
  • Who is it for? Those looking for an intense crime drama.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci (his best performance ever) and James Woods.
  • Setting: Rich criminals in Las Vegas.
  • Style: Violent mobster drama.
  • Pacing: Slow development but always captivating.
  • Intro: Extensive, rich with details. You get completely immersed in the situation.
  • Story: Unfolds in a dramatic way, with almost never a dull or happy moment.
  • Ending: Everything goes to shit and folds up squarely.
  • Epilogue: Interesting. Violent.
  • Dialogs: Solid and extremely believable.
  • Characters: Incredible depth.
  • Acting: Superb. Perfect. Almost too perfect.
  • Special Effects: The explosion is getting a little old, but still excellent.
  • Costumes: Eye popping.

mardi 26 juillet 2016

L'audition — Un drame doux et touchant qui vous captivera avec aise — 8*/10

Un excellent premier film en tant qu'écrivain-réalisateur pour l'acteur Luc Picard. C'est peut-être un drame, mais ce n'est pas le genre violent psychologiquement ou autrement. Chaque scène est apportée avec soins et une certaine tendresse. Les personnages et les évènements sont réalistes, bien portés et ils soutiennent l'attention avec aise. Vous serez touchés et attristés, mais sans voir votre coeur exploser. Vous rirez même à quelques reprises.

Synopsis & information

Ice Age: Collision Course — Adults will be bored — 4*/10

  • Overall: Kids will like the funny silly cartoons, but adults will sigh all the way through and be bored most of the time with barely a smile here or there.
  • Synopsis & information

vendredi 22 juillet 2016

C.R.A.Z.Y. — Un drame québécois profondément ancré en nous — 10*/10

Ce film à l'histoire bien tranquille d'une famille québécoise quand même ordinaire du dernier quart du vingtième siècle ne peut laisser personne indifférent, surtout ceux ayant dans vécu dans une période rapprochée de la leur. Elle fait appel à plusieurs concepts éternels de la vie de famille et des confrontations générationnelles entre pères et fils ainsi qu'entre frères.

D'une perfection abrutissante, on dirait qu'aucun détail n'a échappé à la production. Tous les membres de l'équipe ont dû mettre leur 100% pour arriver à un tel résultat. La vision est extraordinaire, le résultat impeccable.

À voir.

Synopsis & information

Ghostbusters — The perfect remake, an ode to the original — 9*/10

  • Overall: Hilarious. Great entertainment. It's not a masterpiece, but it might as well be! A bit sillier than the original; just as much fun, though! (Read my review of the original here.)
  • Who is it for? Everybody. A must see, unless you don't like sci-fi and you don't want to laugh either.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig.
  • Cameos: Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts and Ozzy Osbourne. The only missing from the original cast is Rick Moranis. More over, Harold Ramis died in 2014 or I'm sure he would have been in there. He will be sorely missed.
  • Setting: A New York City full of paranormal activities.
  • Style: Like the original, it is its own genre, a genre where you'll have incredible fun, but not only that. It's a sort of semi horror suspense made with sci-fi and fantasy as well as action, all viewed through a comedy lens. There's even a bit of intrigue in it. What's not to love?
  • Pacing: The interest level is always high, but the action scenes are well interspersed with comedy stuff and important bits filling up the story.
  • Intro: Right to it, funny and sets the tone admirably.
  • Story: Full of details, great ideas and superb entertainment. Just like the original. Fight scene near the end is awesome. I'm just sad there isn't as much reference to paranormal literature. It was quite the important thing before and put a certain interesting flavor to it. I know I'm just being picky.
  • Ending: Too easy? Again, I'm being picky, because it's quite good. I love what they did with it, although I would have left the destruction. Maybe it was just costlier.
  • Epilogue: Nice to see. Opening wide the doors to a lucrative franchise. Please stay until after the credit, especially if you know the original. Anyway, the credits are fun to watch.
  • Dialogs: Great. Witty and funny.
  • Characters: Excellent. You can really feel each of the characters, their motivations and mind set. I don't know who had the idea to put women as the leading roles in this remake but it was genius. It gave women a good place in science-fiction, fantasy and movies in general. They didn't even try to recreate the original characters in feminine form but gave them each a new personality showing that women can stand on their own.
  • Acting: Superb and hilarious.
  • Visuals: Jaw dropping.
  • Special Effects: Exactly what it should have been in the original had the technology existed then. 3D not worth it at all, there's only a single shot that's really good. It's a gag I never saw before and it's hilariously disgusting.
  • Music: I prefer the original theme song, but once you're used to the new one it's not so bad either.
  • Sound: This is where IMAX really shines. Absolutely worth it, but not if it includes the 3D.

mercredi 20 juillet 2016

Braveheart — It captured the imagination then and it still does now — 9*/10

  • Overall: Epic medieval story by actor-director Mel Gibson that will easily transport you. 
  • Who is it for? Anyone wanting to watch a grandiose story. Short attention spans should abstain, because it is very long and develops slowly. It is also quite violent.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, John Kavanagh, Brendan Gleeson and Tommy Flanagan.
  • Cameos: Brian Cox.
  • Setting: Grubby, dirty medieval England and Scotland.
  • Style: Gritty sometimes gory folk hero war story with a side of romance. Lots of different elements make for a complete tale.
  • Pacing: There are multiple culmination points and multiple paces to the storytelling which gathered together build a great narration. It is quite long, almost three hours.
  • Intro: Slowly sets the tone and immerses us in the story.
  • Story: It has a lot to tell and it takes its time to do it. Full of action, battles, angry Scots and some romance, it is no wonder it was such a success and it is still now a cultural reference.
  • Ending: Gripping. Gut wrenching.
  • Epilogue: Could have done without it, although it is pretty moving.
  • Dialogs: Well rendered.
  • Characters: They all have very palpable personality. As you get to know each of them, you get to understand each of them without a doubt.
  • Acting: Superb.
  • Visuals: Beautiful in a gritty way. The film is getting old and you can see it, but you can still appreciate the quality.
  • Special Effects: Only a few disappointing mishaps that you usually only see on subsequent watch.
  • Costumes: Excellent designs, very realistic.
  • Score: Gripping, grandiose.

mardi 19 juillet 2016

The Legend of Tarzan — A welcome change of storyline to the classic — 7*/10

  • Overall: Better and more complex than the trailer would suggest. Lots of action, high adventure and a bit of romance.
  • Who is it for? Anyone. Women will especially appreciate Tarzan.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Margot Robbie, Alexander Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz and Djimon Hounsou.
  • Setting: Colonial times.
  • Style: Hero kind of jungle adventure flick.
  • Story: This take on the after Tarzan base story is good while it provides us at the same time with all of what came before without boring us. Lots of detailed events with a nice complexity as far as the situation is concerned. There's a number of flaws, including the skiff, which was ridiculous, and the vine drop on the train, but they're not too bad.
  • Ending: That's where it gets boring.
  • Epilogue: Although unnecessary, it ties things together without pandering to the audience which is as good as an epilogue goes.
  • Characters: You really get to hate the bad guy because they really pushed it, but then Tarzan and Jane are as unidimensional as it gets. That being said, Tarzan is full of nice details and Jane is not too much of a doll (but still is one). The biggest problem here is that there are no gorilla "tribe" that acts like that. A smaller one problem is that all the African tribesmen are apparently bodybuilders.
  • Acting: Solid.
  • Visuals: Gorgeous. Worth seeing on the big screen.
  • Special Effects: Very few mistakes and all of them near invisible.

lundi 18 juillet 2016

Taxi — Une détente et des rires assurés avec ce film d'action sur quatre roues — 7*/10

Un film de voitures qui a bien vieilli et en met plein la vue. Un scénario bourré de jolis détails de la part de Luc Besson. De la vitesse, des rires, du ridicule et une petite romance incluant l'actrice Marion Cotillard. À voir.

Synopsis & information

dimanche 17 juillet 2016

Brave — Have a great time watching this animation for all — 8*/10

  • Overall: A great story that will be easily appreciated by adults and enjoyed by children.
  • Who is it for? Anyone who wishes for a good entertainment. Highly recommend.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Emma Thompson.
  • Setting: Old Scottish highlands.
  • Style: A small (in reach) epic fantasy story.
  • Pacing: Perfect.
  • Intro: Good presentation even if the basis of the plot is a tired old subject.
  • Story: Full of details with a great fantastic story. Lots of action, many laughs, a bit of silliness and touching at times.
  • Ending: Action driven and gripping. Some of it is predictable.
  • Epilogue: Funny.
  • Dialogs: Good, but most expressions, especially those of the lords, are just too modern, if not obviously so.
  • Characters: Well thought out, if a bit simple.
  • Acting: Solid.
  • Visuals: Breathtaking. High definition is a must to appreciate.

jeudi 14 juillet 2016

Ghostbusters — An incredible funny sci-fi classic — 8*/10

  • Overall: If you don't mind some dated special effect, this is a great funny flick full great ideas.
  • Who is it for? Those who want to see the original or any 1980s sentimental.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Rick Moranis.
  • Setting: Amazing, original and detailed ideas in good old 1980s New York City. 
  • Style: Sci-fi fantasy comic adventure flick. No crazy 1980s hairdo or clothes.
  • Pacing: Solid. Great build up and setup.
  • Intro: Incredible mood setter and right to the point. You immediately get what the rest of the movie will be like.
  • Story: Events slowly unfolds, full of nice details. You get to know each of the characters, understand the logic and setup the final confrontation which is epic.
  • Dialogs: Funny, full of little jewels.
  • Characters: Great with nice depths and each with its own idiosyncrasy. Full of details. None of the usual archetypes, it actually defined new ones that can be found in many of the movies that followed.
  • Acting: Great in a comedic.
  • Special Effects: Now dating a bit, but not too bad. They didn't try to go beyond what they could do some most of them are respectable. Not all of them, however.
  • Camera Work
  • Music: Funny, really catchy.
  • Score: Awesome.

The Secret Life of Pets — Laughs and fun for kids and adults — 7*/10

  • Overall: Hilarious bits but with also a few weak elements.
  • Who is it for? Anyone who wants to laugh. Children will love it.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Lake Bell and Albert Brooks.
  • Setting: Very colorful perfect version of a pastel New York.
  • Style: Silly goofy children animation peppered with adult jokes.
  • Intro: Quick, yet everything is clear.
  • Story: Very interesting series of improbable events with many laughs and some things that just don't work. Birds should fly as a main mode of transportation.
  • Ending: Predictable, but nicely done.
  • Epilogue: Cute.
  • Dialogs: Some fun, some too easy.
  • Characters: Some are well developed, others are very simple.
  • Acting: Some good, some great.
  • Visuals: Very beautiful. Love the style. 

mercredi 13 juillet 2016

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates — Just too juvenile a comedy — 5*/10

  • Overall: Juvenile and exaggerated. You have to really turn your brain off to come close to appreciate this flick.
  • Who is it for? No one, unless you're really high or brainless.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Anna Kendrick, Zac Efron, Aubrey Plaza, Adam Devine and Stephen Root.
  • Intro: No confusion, right to it.
  • Story: Succeeding number of ridiculous events. Sometimes you lose yourself in it, but then Mike goes off a wire and you automatically tune out.
  • Ending: Give me a break.
  • Dialogs: Mostly crap. Sentences of the word deprived.
  • Characters: Very superficial, you can barely see something resembling reality from time to time. The four main ones lack a full brain between themselves.
  • Acting: They achieved what they were aiming for, so I have to salute them for it. Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick did really well and you remove the stupid antics of Adam Devine and you'd probably have something that's actually watchable and funny.

Awake — Excellent intrigue and a nice simmering suspense — 8*/10

  • Overall: It's not perfect, but the intrigue will easily get you going and the suspense will then pick up.
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a nice intrigue with a bit of suspense. Nothing scary there.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Hayden Christensen, Jessica Alba and Terrence Howard.
  • Cameos: Christopher McDonald.
  • Setting: Very rich.
  • Style: An intrigue that hides everything from you until each reveal.
  • Pacing: A very nice crescendo.
  • Intro: Pretty much straight to the point.
  • Story: At first glance, it looks like a romance, but it turns into something else halfway through. Feels realistic. Nice tension. Good twists. First time around, you really get caught up in the intrigue.
  • Ending: The last line is lame or badly delivered, I don't know, but it's really annoying.
  • Characters: A bit simple, but you can really feel them.
  • Acting: Nice performance on the part of everyone, but Hayden Christensen is probably showing the limit of his capabilities.

samedi 9 juillet 2016

American Psycho — A murderer's violent trail, sure, but not just that — 7*/10

  • Overall: Tense, violent and surprising. Not for a relax evening.
  • Who is it for? Those looking for some psychological suspense and violence with a certain offbeat flair.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Christian Bale (one of his best role), Reese Witherspoon and Willem Dafoe.
  • Setting: Produced in 2000 it is done as a period piece of the late 80s within the circles of rich investment bankers and socialites.
  • Style: It is part parody and critique of the era and social strata, part psychotic episode and sociopathic killing spree without explicit visuals.
  • Pacing: Very controlled. Gradual.
  • Intro: Slowly meshes the audience with the main characters. Smooth.
  • Story: It grows bit by bits until it culminates, so the viewer gets used to what's happening. The mental state of the main character and its incremental disintegration is done with obvious care.
  • Ending: Quite a shock and a bit confusing until it sinks in. It is what makes the movie.
  • Dialogs: A master piece of saying nothing with so many words representing the superficiality of that type of person.
  • Characters: Solid and well built.
  • Acting: Incredibly on the spot.
  • Visuals: Showing their age. Combine that with the fact that it's a period piece and part parody, it feels older than it is. It wasn't so bad when I first saw it, but now, 16 years later, it's a combination that’s flawed. It's still possible to appreciate it, though.

Mad Max — A cult classic that's a bit old now — 6*/10

  • Overall: You might not like it (anymore), but it was the beginning of something great.
  • Who is it for? Those old enough to remember seeing in the 80s and want a refresher or Mel Gibson fans. Others will find it terribly out of date. Stick with the latest incarnation.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Mel Gibson. This is what put him on the map.
  • Setting: Near apocalypse with a smidge of civilization left.
  • Style: High octane asphalt mayhem.
  • Story: Rather simple, but it pulls you in.
  • Ending: Satisfying.
  • Dialogs: Dated.
  • Characters: Simple.
  • Acting: Pretty solid.
  • Visuals: Didn't age too well. It feels really old and it gets in the way of the enjoyment.
  • Special Effects: Limited on budget even for the time.
  • Camera Work: Excellent work on the chases.

Aladdin — A classical animation that's hilarious — 8*/10

  • Overall: The graphics date a little and it's purposefully riddled with anachronisms, but it's so funny and well done.
  • Who is it for? Everyone. A must see. Children as well as adults who are not afraid of a little old-style animation and songs.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Robin Williams.
  • Style: Old Disney. Unfortunately full of songs.
  • Pacing: Great.
  • Intro: Perfect. It totally draws you in with jokes and mystery.
  • Story: Lots of very interesting development, action, laughter, plots and counter plots.
  • Ending: Nice little twist how they finally trick him, but overall it's predictable.
  • Dialogs: So fucking witty and funny.
  • Characters: The genie and the bird are excellent. The others are rather simple, fitting their stereotypes.
  • Acting: Beyond Belief for the genie and the bird. The others are good, if nothing extraordinary.
  • Visuals: Beautiful, but their age is starting to show.
  • Music: Solid, even if we could have done without the musical numbers. Truly catchy.

vendredi 8 juillet 2016

40 Days and 40 Nights — Pretty funny standard romantic comedy — 6*/10

  • Overall: Everything about sex and relationship in there is bullshit, but the situations are pretty funny.
  • Who is it for? Those who are used to the standard model of relationship and want to laugh.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Josh Hartnett.
  • Cameos: Stanley Anderson.
  • Setting: Too hip, too posh, too many hot girls.
  • Style: Romantic comedy with silly juvenile stuff and impossible situations.
  • Intro: Nice. Really puts you into context.
  • Story: In that stupid cookie cutter way, it all makes sense and is pretty interesting, because you're always wondering what's going to happen next and how it is going to end.
  • Ending: Nice twist with a predictable final.
  • Dialogs: Interesting. Witty at times. Easy.
  • Characters: Shallow, but not too stereotypical.
  • Acting: Good. Even great for the main ones.
  • Visuals: Nice.

jeudi 7 juillet 2016

Swiss Army Man — It's like being on the psychotropic substance — 8*/10

  • Overall: Completely offbeat, weird, surreal and silly, verging on the psychotic.
  • Who is it for? Not everyone. If you want to experiment something different, this might be for you.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe.
  • Style: The adventure of a delusional mind with silly almost juvenile humor and a sad context.
  • Pacing: Slow.
  • Intro: Right into it, almost brutal, which leaves a lot of space for the main body.
  • Story: Plenty of silly moments mixed with the search for deeper understanding. It's light and heavy at the same time. It's definitely gripping.
  • Ending: Disappointing. Although what is happening is solid, logical and very well made, the production value isn't there to maintain the high quality we're used from the beginning. It makes us lose confidence in the movie and stop our suspense of disbelief. That is very unfortunate, because the rest was excellent. It's probably just a bad decision between the story versus the means to make it happen. Maybe a different route should have been taken.
  • Dialogs: Amazing.
  • Characters: The main two are just superb and psychologically deep. There shouldn't have been any others. I like movies with just one or two characters, even three or a handful, but there's a point where it becomes too many to have a cozy enough cast and so few that it looks cheap.
  • Acting: Perfect as far as the main characters are concerned. Incredible performances. The others are just not up to the task, maybe not given enough material to work with. I don't know. The contrast is harsh. I liked the little girl, though.
  • Visuals: Incredible. They easily maintain our mind in the state where it's supposed to be.

The BFG — Definitively for children, enjoyable by adults — 7*/10

  • Overall: Sweet fantasy world versus overly simple real world.
  • Who is it for? Children first and foremost because they will love it, then adults who like fantasy and don't mind a bit of simplicity.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Mark Rylance.
  • Cameos: Bill Hader.
  • Setting: A mix between a clever fantasy world done in CGI and the real world.
  • Style: A child's wild adventurous and imaginative mind.
  • Intro: Gets you in the mood right away. Smooth, quick and well done.
  • Story: Simple. The best parts are about the giant world, which means that the last part is less enjoyable.
  • Ending: Nice details, if predictable.
  • Epilogue: The same... Nice details, if predictable.
  • Dialogs: Solid. Obvious testament to its book-form origin.
  • Characters: Three are really good, the main ones: the girl, the BFG and the main bad giant. The others are really simple.
  • Acting: The three main characters are very well portrayed. The others weren't given much.
  • Visuals: Great, almost eye popping at times. Full of details.
  • Special Effects: Very well done, the mix of real and CGI is great, except for a few times where the BFG's hands interacted with the girl.

I'm slightly disappointed by Steven Spielberg, although, it's probably because it's more a story for kids. The work on the giants' world is amazing, but the whole thing about the queen annoys me, she just doesn't have that kind of power, but then it's fantasy and it's probably what's in the book. So, I'm not sure what to think.

Our Kind of Traitor — Disappointing suspense with Russians and spies — 6*/10

  • Overall: At first it's interesting, then it's not. It could have been much more.
  • Who is it for? Those in need of a spy flick.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris and Stellan Skarsgård.
  • Setting: At first, lavish, then minimalist.
  • Style: A mix of Russian mafia and average spy.
  • Pacing: A first, tense, then it feels undefined.
  • Intro: A bit jerky, difficult to get into it.
  • Story: It almost feels like they ran out of budget halfway through. You have nice tension in the beginning, but then you get entangled in bureaucracy and half-ass plans with incompetents. Too bad.
  • Ending: Gutsy and well done, if a bit simple.
  • Epilogue: Interesting, but still simple.
  • Dialogs: Between average and simple.
  • Characters: Well defined but without real emotional depth.
  • Acting: Good.

vendredi 1 juillet 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence — Worse than the first one, more grandiose special effects — 5*/10

  • Overall: Lots of beautiful action and special effects, with very little else. The sequel, though, maybe...
  • Known actors: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jeff Goldblum, Brent Spiner, Bill Pullman and William Fichtner.
  • Style: Pure action sci-fi, devoid of anything else.
  • Pacing: Fast.
  • Intro: I don't remember an intro. That's how bad it was.
  • Story: Many logical flaws. First part is absolutely boring. Second part more entertaining, but empty.
  • Ending: Predictable.
  • Epilogue: Overstated the sequel. That sequel, though, could be amazing, if they try even just a little bit more than the first two chapters which doesn't make me believe they will.
  • Dialogs: Absolute crap. Only the dialogs of the scientists Levinson and Okun were any good, and strictly because they were funny.
  • Characters: To give an idea of the dearth of interest, only the old ones were anywhere near good and still fell short. All the new ones had the depth of a puddle.
  • Acting: Good, especially considering what they were working with.
  • Visuals: Beautiful. The 3D wasn't too bad, no mistakes, but not really worth it.
  • Special Effects: Spectacular.
  • Sound: Full IMAX sound was incredible.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Who is it for? Die-hard fans of action or sci-fi. Others should abstain.