mardi 31 janvier 2017

Horns — A fantasy flick that's all about a murder mystery — 8*/10

This might not be a blockbuster, but it's a very good flick. It's a lot fun, not in a comedy sense, but in a satisfactory sense. Nice fantasy stuff, nice intrigue, nice music and a captivating story.

Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple and Heather Graham.

Synopsis & information:

The Founder — A fascinating story lead by a single person — 8*/10

It's all about Michael Keaton and his great performance. I mean the story is very interesting and well put together, but what really makes it come alive and make it this captivating is his performance. I highly recommend seeing it.

Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Laura Dern and Patrick Wilson.

Synopsis & information:

lundi 30 janvier 2017

iBoy — A simple yet really entertaining sci-fi flick — 8*/10

This is the kind of movie where most of the characters don't act according to the usual mold. That's refreshing and it makes for an entertaining story eve if it's a simple one. I also love the basic background idea, even though it's totally nonsensical.

If you're looking for some good and easy to enjoy, this is it.

A Netflix original.

Synopsis & information:

jeudi 26 janvier 2017

20th Century Women — A powerful and uplifting movie about the reality of women — 9*/10

Slow and so well constructed. Extremely interesting. You can't help but smile and root for those women and that boy. Excellent feminist view port. It's emotionally complex, but it's not a downward drag. On the contrary, it's kind of inspiring.

Annette Bening, Elle Fanning and Greta Gerwig.

Synopsis & information:

You can hear the 98 sec of Jimmy Carter's speech about consumerism that's in the movie here (there's more too after):

Monster Trucks — Nice little sci-fi for the whole family — 6*/10

Funny, light, entertaining and better than expected. Still, it's a bit more for the children. I liked the creature design, but that pink stuff, really? Great ideas, just too young.

Danny Glover (small role).

Synopsis & information

vendredi 20 janvier 2017

Sing — Great animation film fun for all — 8*/10

It's easy to love this flick. As adults, there are a myriad of great little jokes and some awesome music. It's even touching. As a kid, it's full of silly stuff and bright colors, although some might shed a tear or two. No worries, though, it's very positive. A must for the family.

Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson and John C. Reilly.

Synopsis & information

mercredi 18 janvier 2017

Focus — A nice little romantic comedy about con artists — 7*/10

Being a movie about con, you expect con everywhere. The thing is, it's never where you think it is. That's good. However, as a script, it doesn't take any risk, although the cons are nice. If you don't look for them too much, you'll see them. That being, it's entertaining and has a nice little fun romance thrown in the mix.

Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Adrian Martinez.

Synopsis & information

mardi 17 janvier 2017

A Monster Calls — A beautiful fantasy tale about a hard emotional time — 9*/10

Not an easy tale. Very touching and emotional. However, it is not a damaging tale, it will not drag you down into darkness and leave you there. It is compelling, captivating and extremely well told with great visuals, especially those side stories.

Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones and Liam Neeson.

Synopsis & information

Hidden Figures — An inspiring historic film about black women in technology — 9*/10

Crisp, well-told story with a good dose of entertainment, especially through the humor, but also through character development and a bit of tension. Highly recommended.

Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons and Mahershala Ali.

Synopsis & information

lundi 16 janvier 2017

Silence — Only for the Christians and the religious-minded — 6*/10

Long and heavy. I generally recognize the genius of Martin Scorsese, but this movie wasn't for me. I just could not connect.

Synopsis & information

mercredi 11 janvier 2017

Assassin's Creed — There's very little good to say about it — 5*/10

  • Overall: Action, special effects, interesting ideas, but nothing else. It seems more like a setup for what follows than a real movie.
  • Who is it for? Those who really feel like they should see it.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons and Michael Kenneth Williams.
  • Cameos: Brendan Gleeson.
  • Style: Action flick that can't really pick a style.
  • Pacing: Crap.
  • Intro: Interesting, probably the best part since the background idea is the best part of this flick.
  • Story: It would have been much better if they had simply chosen a time period to tell the story in. As they did it, you don't get attached to anything and it feels like an intro to the next chapter.
  • Ending: Not really an ending. Almost boring.
  • Epilogue: They had to show it kept on going or else this movie would have been a complete waste of time.
  • Dialogs: Weak, at best.
  • Characters: Really, really simple.
  • Acting: Solid. Probably one of its saving grace.
  • Visuals: Solid.
  • Special Effects: Perfect.
  • Afterthoughts: I wasn't expecting much, but I was still disappointed.

Underworld: Blood Wars — Good, but like some others it isn't very innovative — 6*/10

  • Overall: After the first Underworld (read my review here), the others were really redundant. They keep talking about the same thing over and over again. It gets even a bit boring, but it's full of action.
  • Who is it for? Those looking for more of the same are in luck.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Kate Beckinsale.
  • Style: Dark vampire-werewolf action.
  • Pacing: Too quick. Too many of the things you need to assimilate are over in the blink of an eye. You have no time to really feel them.
  • Intro: Being a follow-up chapter in a long list, you really need the background to understand the situation. Beyond that, it's dull.
  • Story: Simple and very linear, but it does have a lot of content. Too much to be well processed given the editing. Loved the Northern coven idea, a definite high point.
  • Ending: Well, it is what it is. On par with the story.
  • Epilogue: Well, they had to open the door to the next chapter, hadn't they?
  • Dialogs: Simple.
  • Characters: Simple.
  • Acting: Good, actually this is one of the two best aspects of this flick.
  • Visuals: Pretty.
  • Special Effects: This is the second thing that's any good.
  • Costumes: Great.
  • Afterthoughts: Could have been better. Could have been worst (and some of the other movies of the franchise have been). I wasn't too disappointed and I was entertained.

Underworld — A good dark vampire versus werewolves action film — 7*/10

  • Overall: This is the kind of flick that's easy to like and be entertained by. Lots of good things, few weak ones.
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for some action, vampires or werewolves.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Kate Beckinsale, Michael Sheen and Bill Nighy.
  • Style: Dark vampire-werewolf action.
  • Pacing: Quite fast with a few pauses. Very good.
  • Intro: Good. Narrated monologue.
  • Story: Lots of action, a nice little intrigue, some betrayals, a few reversals and romance. Everything you need to keep things interesting.
  • Ending: Abrupt. Although it had been going on for a little while, the finishing touch kind of comes too easily.
  • Epilogue: Short. A few words, a few images. Just right.
  • Dialogs: Simple, but interesting.
  • Characters: Well built, with nice complexities, but without enough depth.
  • Acting: Surprisingly solid, although there are two exceptions. The character of Kraven is overplayed, I think, and the one of Michael Corvin is played too weakly, you can't really feel him.
  • Visuals: Love the dark look. Grimy for the werewolves, sleek and chic for the vampires.
  • Special Effects: Great, but you can see a few minor imperfections, now. It used to be amazing.
  • Costumes: Great.
  • Afterthoughts: Although it has a lot of strengths, with the exception of one actor, this film actually feels as good as it could have been and I'm not sure why. I think it's a combination of that actor, the characters and the ending.

lundi 9 janvier 2017

The Dark Knight — The best Batman movie ever made to date — 9*/10

  • Overall: For its grit and realism, it is definitely great work by Christopher Nolan. There are some genius things and a few weaker things. It's all about the Joker.
  • Who is it for? Those looking for a psychotic realistic version of Gotham.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Christian Bale, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman.
  • Setting: DC Comics universe, in a realistic version.
  • Style: Dark action superhero.
  • Story: Very detailed and captivating with many successive plots. There are a few good risks that were taken, many action scenes, solid Joker moments. Realistic. Dark.
  • Ending: Amazingly good, thanks to the Joker.
  • Epilogue: It's not a waste of time and it's short.
  • Dialogs: The Joker's are great, the rest, not so much.
  • Characters: Here, the Joker is the top dog. The rest lack depth and usually fall into some form of stereotypes or other, especially the bad guys. Batman isn't so bad, but why do they have to make his voice so gravely all the time?
  • Acting: My hat goes to the Joker, once again. A royal performance, the best since Nicholson (read my review here), maybe even better. Others are pretty solid too, no complaints here.
  • Visuals: Realistic.
  • Special Effects: Great.
  • Afterthoughts: I saw it multiple times and still see the jewel, although personally, I don't like the stark realistic look and some of the stereotypes.

samedi 7 janvier 2017

Iron Man 2 — A very worthy sequel to a solid superhero film — 8*/10

  • Overall: It's rare you see a second chapter as good as the first one (read my review here). Another touchdown by director-actor Jon Favreau.
  • Who is it for? Anyone who even remotely likes superhero flick. It's great sci-fi too.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke, Jon Favreau, Don Cheadle, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson and Paul Bettany.
  • Cameos: Kate Mara, Leslie Bibb, Clark Gregg, John Slattery, DJ AM, Stan Lee and Elon Musk.
  • Setting: Marvel universe.
  • Style: Superhero action fun.
  • Pacing: Intense.
  • Story: Here, we can feel the more anti-hero side of Tony Stark. It's still a light action flick, but with a slightly darker edge. The comical part comes more from his business nemesis who pulls us in a different direction giving us a multi-tiered challenged.
  • Ending: The final touch is a bit easy.
  • Epilogue: The usual.
  • Dialogs: Witty, intelligent and well done, except for the Russian bad guy. Personally, I think they made him just a bit too inarticulate.
  • Characters: Well developed and with nice depth, especially for a superhero flick. The Russian bad guy again draws the short straw and gets heavily stereotyped.
  • Acting: Great.
  • Visuals: Nice.
  • Special Effects: Great.
  • Afterthoughts: Excellent entertainment. Very surprised at the evenness of the quality.

The Avengers — The best superhero movie ever made — 10*/10

  • Overall: Incredible action, great story, excellent characters, full of jokes and spectacular special effects. A masterwork by the amazing Joss Whedon.
  • Who is it for? Anyone, unless you truly hate the genre.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Clark Gregg and Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Cameos: Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany.
  • Setting: Marvel universe.
  • Style: Superhero action fun.
  • Pacing: Intense.
  • Intro: Action packed.
  • Story: Huge action, complex, detailed and highly entertaining.
  • Ending: Explosive and very heroic.
  • Epilogue: Nice. With Marvel, it always leads to something else.
  • Dialogs: Slick, witty and fun.
  • Characters: Most of them are interesting and funny, while other are much simpler.
  • Acting: Great for most of them. I just love Mark Ruffalo as Banner, the best interpretation yet.
  • Visuals: Astounding. Huge.
  • Special Effects: Perfect.
  • Afterthoughts: I was simply wowed when I saw it.

vendredi 6 janvier 2017

Passengers — An awesome sci-fi with a great story — 9*/10

  • Overall: Amazing. The preview doesn't do it justice, but at least, it doesn't sell any of the punches.
  • Who is it for? Everyone, unless you really hate sci-fi.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne.
  • Cameos: Andy Garcia.
  • Setting: Outer space.
  • Style: Slick sci-fi about space travel with some romantic development.
  • Pacing: Perfect.
  • Intro: Slow. It gets you right in so smoothly you're not even aware of it. Then you forget you're watching a movie.
  • Story: Although there are some tense action moments, this is about the chain of events, even more than about the characters themselves. This is about their life and their predicament. A solid little intrigue. The only real negative point would be the apparition of the "lie". Fortunately this doesn't take over the whole scenario, which is as it should be.
  • Ending: Quite amazing if somewhat predictable.
  • Epilogue: Short, fun and unexpected. Great.
  • Dialogs: Well structured and very interesting. This is the engine of the film.
  • Characters: Solidly built with nice depth and realistic attitude.
  • Acting: Amazing.
  • Visuals: Fucking superb. Intensely beautiful on the big screen.
  • Special Effects: Perfect.
  • Afterthoughts: I couldn't have asked for more. It's a must see.

Back to the Future — A still enjoyable classic that marked a generation — 8*/10

  • Overall: Fun, full of great details, funky sci-fi and a captivating story.
  • Who is it for? Anyone who doesn't looking back.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Crispin Glover.
  • Style: A cool underdog adventure where sci-fi and time traveling play a background role to entertainment even though they're the main subjects.
  • Pacing: Quick.
  • Intro: Standard setup of places, characters and events.
  • Story: A great adventure that has little moral value and a lot of exciting things happening. You can't help but be pulled in.
  • Ending: Easy.
  • Epilogue: The consequence of fudging with the past explained with a setup for the next chapter.
  • Dialogs: Quick, fun, slick. Some are showing age a bit while still sounding good.
  • Characters: This is a character-driven story, it's all about them, their quirks, motivations and actions, but they're stereotyped. Few of them have any depths, but they are all very interesting and well portrayed.
  • Acting: Very good.
  • Visuals: Great attention to details.
  • Special Effects: Very few and only one showing its age.
  • Costumes: A bit on the clean side, but that's 1985 for you.
  • Music: Very entertaining.
  • Score: Extremely lively and well set.
  • Afterthoughts: 30 years later and I still enjoyed watching it. It might have lost some of its luster, we don't do things the same way anymore, but it still shines.

mardi 3 janvier 2017

Why Him? — You're average romantic comedy with nice sensibilities — 6*/10

  • Overall: Funny, if uninventive, with heart and good sensible feminist values although it doesn't look like it at first and it is about the two guys.
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking for a good laugh.
  • Synopsis & information
  • Known actors: James Franco, Bryan Cranston and Megan Mullally.
  • Cameos: Cedric the Entertainer, Steve Aoki, Elon Musk, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.
  • Setting: Mostly .COM rich California.
  • Style: Romantic comedy, on the juvenile side.
  • Intro: Pathetic, awkward and bad.
  • Story: Lots of funny moments derived from clashing styles. There are some very juvenile jokes, but the flick also mostly avoided the easy plot elements like the lies, the mistaken identities, and the I-will-not-forgive-you.
  • Ending: This is where there's some feminism sensibility. If they had cut it just before the elevator pitch, it would have been pretty good. Now, it's just too much.
  • Epilogue: As bad as they come.
  • Dialogs: Funny.
  • Characters: Funny, with a good sense of depth, even though there are a few stereotypes involved. This is probably the movie's strongest aspect.
  • Acting: Good.
  • Afterthoughts: Had some good fun, pretty much what I expected, minus the horribly long epilogue.