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.