Reviews

14 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
10/10
Conversation with God
18 November 2006
Before seeing the movie, I have read Conversation with God written by NEALE DONALD WALSCH. Although I always had a very high spiritual life, these (3) books were a revelation to me. I was also talking to God but only in a form of monologue. The movie and the books show otherwise; God can actually make dialogs with you if only your heart is receptive. I was in that state of mind when I saw the film. A great story (like I was expected) in a small film. Being an independent low budget movie directed by a not very skilled director (S. Simon) did not bother me at all, because the emotion and the message went through and made this story as one of the most important film of the decade. To me the other great movie similar to this one is THE TRUMAN SHOW. None of these has or will make money. But that is not important. I am persuaded the CONVERSATION WITH GOD will touch thousand of people and that's the most important mission for this story. Figures set up to 7 million people, (and still counting) who read the books. My feeling is that at least several thousand of people will be deeply touched by the movie. As a viewer I believe in this s touching story for two reasons: the magic writing of Neale Donald Walsch but more than that the credibility of the character personified by a great actor Henry Czerny. ( Mission Impossible /Boys of St-Vincent) Neale Donald Walsch in real life was 50 years old with a broken neck when he first started living homeless. And Henry Czerny played that with a rare sensibility and a true conviction. Thanks to both Neale and Henry. Please go see that movie who ever you are either you read or not the books. You too can talk with God because God will always be there for you and …me

9/10 Roger Cardinal Canada.
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10/10
Edward Norton is no illusion.
31 August 2006
Edward Norton is certainly one of the most brilliant actor of his generation. One can remember his first role in Primal Fear and we knew we had a strong actor in the making. Norton showed that Primal Fear was no luck and he went on with solid performances in movies like: The Score, Fight Club, American History X and many more. What characterizes Norton is his ability of disappearing behind different characters. His versatility makes him one the best and intriguing actor of his generation with Leonardo di Caprio, and some others.

The Illusionist is one of the rare films this year which is not an action pack, a thriller, an horror slick or a comedy. The Illusionist is much more than that. This movie is the essence of cinema. Like cinema nothing you see is real!!! It's all a big illusion.

In this movie fellow actors teamed up with Norton to give the audience a real troubling romantic story rarely seen on the silver screen. I'd like to mention the excellent Paul Giametti ( Lady in the Water, Sideways) along with distinguished beautiful Jessica Biel and the subtle Rufus Sewell in the revolting Prince Leopold.

The cinematography takes, here, a serious option for best in the next Oscar race. Dick Pope pictured Vienna at the turn of the century like we never seen before.

If you haven't seen this movie run to see it. Not only you'll spend a good time but you will also see a superb performance by an actor names ED NORTON who is not an illusion.

10 out 10 The movie of the year.

Roger Cardinal 30-08-06
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10/10
Mona Lisa smiles because….
5 June 2006
THE DA VINCI CODE Mona Lisa smiles because….

She knows that the Holy Grail is still missing and Jesus is still a bachelor. Even though Don Brown and Ron Howard have tried very hard to bring to their own conclusion both mysteries.

Although most of the French press at the Cannes Film Festival laugh at Don Brown theory of Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene and have a progeny still living today. Also the Vatican threw a warning to all Catholics, that Jesus was not 'a married man of divine inspiration'. Of course all that controversy suited the movie into bankable publicity.

In my book, the movie is a prime rate political and historical thriller. The acting performances throughout the film are the best seen in this decade. Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon is equal to his talent and credibility Audrey Tautou (Sophie Neveu) is perhaps the talent revelation of this movie with Paul Bettany, as Silas an albinos monk who wears a bloody silica on top of flogging himself to expire his sins. Only Ian Mc Lelland ( Sir Leigh Teabing ) doesn't seem to belong to this story.

Ron Howard is a skilled movie maker. He knew how to weave this very complicated story concocted by Don Brow, a prolific writer who sold over 60 millions of his book THE DA VINCI CODE which became the most sold novel in the world at all time.

The locations are breathtaking and rarely have we never seen such of powerful locations on the silver screen. The photography and the editing are Oscar material.

I haven't read the book and I found easy to follow the complicated and fast story line. But if you pay attention and get involved in Sophie Neveu and Robert Langdom chase you grab the spiritual force behind this great picture. I give it a ten out of ten and I wish Ron Howard and his crew the best of luck at the Oscar night, next spring.

Mona Lisa will keep smiling knowing that was all fiction just like the Priory of Sion secret organization that Leonardo Da Vinci would have been a member. Despite bad and controversial publicity Brian Grazer (producer) will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Roger Cardinal Boucherville Canada
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1/10
Call the cops a crime is being committed.
9 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Brokeback Mountain Call the cops a crime is being committed.

A crime of being a boring movie from a stupid and fastidious script, a cast of two juvenile actors and finally a very bad work of direction from Ang Lee etc.

I don't understand the craze for such a phony movie. Almost everything in this movie sounds and looks false. The story itself is pure baloney where two cowboys in need of affection (sex) decide to do it like any dog would copulate, with an other one, on the spur of the moment. What a ridiculous and bad taste start for a 'romantic movie' Jack ( Jake Gyllenhaal ) invites his partner Ennis ( Heath Ledger) to join him in the tent to get some warmth… And then bingo 'we're in love' for worse or better. But, there no 'better' in this story. Everything goes from bareback seduction to a rotten divorce leaving confused and dazzled kids and wides.

The ending is more pathetic than anything else I've ever seen in movies in recent years. Jack is killed for being gay and Ennis goes on living with a soil shirt and jeans jacket. Wow!!! A 12 years kid would have though of this.

Brokeback Mountain is a forbidden movie and I urge the public not to see it. Because it's extremely disturbing in bad taste, in lack of excitement and in stupidity.

2 out of 10 The 2 points are for the beauty of the locations in the Canadian Rockies that emerge magnificently in this mishmash film.

Roger Cardinal (Sputtosi) 08/01/06
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10/10
Almost a masterpiece.
15 May 2003
I worship Denys Arcand's talent as a writer and even more as a director. I must have seen almost all of the Canadian movies, ``Les Invasions Barbares`` is in my book, the number one of all time Canadian movies. I could sense from the screen that Arcand had a great time writing this screenplay which follows a previous movie with the same characters 17 years ago. Arcand in his wisdom aims at a character's driven story, because, not only they have a lot to do, but they also have a lot to say about life, death, hope, failures, freedom and about epicurean happiness. The dialogues are witty, funny by moments, very bitter by other times. Denys Arcand's own culture is reflecting in the characters metaphysical concerns,like for instance, when Remy (Remy Girard) talks to the nun about all the abuses of the Catholic Church and the devastation of wars in general.

Arcand is like a good yogurt; he has culture and it shows through the film.

The cast is pertinent, except for Sophie Lorain who thinks that you just have to shout to show anger and some kind of irritation She demonstrates here, the one dimension actress she is.Talent wise, some are better than others. We all know how good Remy Girard is, so it's no surprise to have him here delivering a top performance. In an American movie Girard would end up with an Oscar nomination for best actor I think Dorothée Berryman is also exploding with fire but the true revelation is Stéphane Rousseau. For a stand up comic,he plays like a real pro. Furthermore, he has a multi level of emotion in his cold heart capitalist spoiled wiz kid who becomes a son, not only caring for his sister, but finally shows love for his father on his death bed. Other actors deserve a very praiseworthy mention like Yves Jacques, Marie-Josée Croze, Roy Dupuis, Jean Marc Parent and even the tall Bulgarian masseuse. There some great scenes in this movie but one is simply dazzling; when they all come and give their touching farewell to the dying king (Remy) This scene will remain an anthology of brilliant film making for the hundred years to come. For us Canadians, Denys Arcand is our Costa Gavras, our Martin Scorsese, our Henry Ford, our Elia Kasan. Denys Arcand is defenitely our number one director

I don't think that ``Les Invasions Barbares`` will become a popular commercial hit like Seraphin or Les Boys, but this Canadian movie could cause some serious up sets at Cannes, specially this year when the American are almost absent.

Merci Monsieur Arcand

Roger Cardinal Director
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The Lost Daughter (1997 TV Movie)
10/10
See it again
30 March 2003
Lately, I saw a re-run of this riveting TV movie .

It's a very captivating sad story based on actual facts that happened in Switzerland, in France and in Canada a few years ago. This compelling drama is starring RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN (Torn Birds) along with the best crop of the German talent: Helmut Griem (Cabaret) Chistoph.M.Orth (Eden) Michael Mendl( Amen) Susanna Simon as a first timer.

The story relates the hopeless journey of a rich Westerner (Chamberlain) through his journey to find his daughter who disappeared between Montréal and Zurich to a mysterious sect called the Order of the Solar Temple ( inspired by the Medieval Templars) . This very peculiar sect recruits his followers on the basis of wealth, high education and physical beauty for the women. The father's itinerary takes him to a wild chase, where everybody remains silent, from Montréal to Zurich. One day, by a twist of fate someone takes him on the lead of his missing daughter. But what he discovered about his daughter is devastating.

The story is well directed by Roger Cardinal who gave the movie a sense of urgency by keeping the audience on their toes at all time. Add to this, the magistral music of composer Philippe Leduc and you have a powerful drama that everybody should see to make sure that the errors of the past never happen again.

I recommend this movie and I gave it 8/10.
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Dead Silent (1999)
10/10
A penny for your thoughts
9 August 2002
It's amazing what you can do with little money. DEAD SILENT being a low budget movie delivers its promises.

Too bad we don't see Rob Lowe more often on the silver screen. Lowe is at its best in this riveting thriller . No wonder he went from DEAD SILENT straight to the TV mega hit The West Wing .

DEAD SILENT 8 out of 10

Sputtosi Toronto.
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Captive (1998)
10/10
Captivating
17 June 2002
CAPTIVE/ I suspect that the director didn't have a good script to work on and a decent budget to work with. Altough CAPTIVE is a simple story, predictable at times, it remains a consistent piece of dark drama.

Erika Eleniak and Michael Ironside are very convincing in their roles. but it's an unknown actor Noël Burton that steals the show as Dr.Haggar. I wish we see more of this actor in other movies.

Out of 10, I give it 6/

Sputtosi
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Dragonfly (2002)
10/10
Seeing is believing.
23 February 2002
Believe takes you there. This is the theme that drags Dragonfly to almost perfection. The story is compelling, emotional, intelligent and takes the audience trough the magic of a powerful fable.

Tom Shaydyac directed this movie with great skill and boldness. Although he had one of the best screenplay of the year in his hands. But the force behind all of this is Kevin Costner.Not only he is deeply credible in the part of Dr.Jos Darrow but he takes the character to a level of a great performance.Kevin Costner has not been too lucky in his roles since Water World but at least he's is honest and dedicated in his choices, good or bad.

Kathy Bates in her supporting role is not only intriguing but she brings an other dimension to the story. Dragonfly is subtle and will charm more than one heart. Dragonfly's ending will fill anyone, who choose to see this movie, with happiness for a long time.

A must see movie. 8/10

Sputtosi
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2/10
A good story but so cold...
18 February 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Monster's Ball has been directed by a Swiss born film maker Marc Forster. That, maybe, explains why Monster's Ball sits on a solid story but like a swiss cheese, is full of holes. And this cheese has no real flavor and the director serves it cold. So cold that the story lacks emotion and feelings. And who is the King of hidden emotion in movies today? Billy Bob Thornton! He plays the same cold character over and over. The only difference in this movie, he smiles at time and even laughs in one scene. That's an improvement over his part in The Man Who Wasn't There. In Monster's Ball Hank (Thornton) never shows his emotion. Never. Not even when he says to his son that he hates him, not even when he takes his old sick father to a home, not even when he makes love to Leticia (Halle Berry) Nothing transpires from his inner feelings. Conflicts are based on on human emotion of all sort: rage, happiness, envy, fear, craving, serenity, love, hatred, etc. Hank (Thornton) lives through all of them but you have to guess his frame of mind as the story evolves. Sometimes he talks about it. That is not enough. Audiences do not want to know they want to see.

Halle Berry is good and credible in her part. But, by all means she do not deliver a "performance".Therefore it seems odd that she got nominated as best actress. But I'm afraid that's all she will get: a nomination.

The most serious flaw makes the story not too credible. Since Hank and Leticia live in the same small city, not very far from the penitentiary, and Hank knows her last name which is the same then her husband jailed and Leticia never asks what Hank does in life. Odd, very odd!!! Even after Leticia shows Hank drawings done by her jailed husband Hank still doesn't click. That's highly improbable. They will eventually find out about each other but for those who haven't see the movie yet I don't want to be a spoiler.

Now Marc Forster, second time director, shows his lack of experience so much, that he tries to create some visual of his own by using erratic and non interesting angles and uses too often the split focus technique when two persons talk. It really takes the focus away from the dialogue.

For all these reasons and more I give a 4/10. Like I said, this movie was sitting on a great script too bad Forster did not deliver.

Sputtosi.
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Birthday Girl (2001)
Nicole Kidman is really a gift.
11 February 2002
The Birthday Girl is the surprise of the season. This movie had very little advertising, no media campaign, just a small story, based on a very thin script directed by a small time director, with a modest budget. But like a jack in a box Nicole Kidman pops out and turns this pic. in a very enjoyable journey through laughs and tears.in a very subtle and intelligent interpretation of a Russian Internet bride. Nicole Kidman deserves 3 nominations for best actress: Moulin Rouge,The Others and The Birthday Girl. Nicole Kidman always makes eclectic choices and she's right all the time. The proof she did not get a part in Vanilla Sky. In The Birthday Girl she is supported by a solid cast. The director made a smart pick by choosing France's finest actors in Vincent Cassel and Mathieu Kassovitch. The Birthday Girl is a genuine, fresh, surprising movie. If you want to spend a good time and admire the beauty and the talent of Nicole Kidman go and see that movie which deserves 7 out of 10 .

Sputtosi
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I Am Sam (2001)
Sean Penn deserves an Oscar nomination.
6 February 2002
Sean Penn deserves an Oscar nomination for best actor in a very touching and compelling story. No one should remains cold facing such a powerful human drama. After all, are we in a way or the other, all mentally handicaped? Jessie Nelson (director)handles the story in a very brave and honest way. Her casting is almost perfect although Michelle Pfeiffer sometimes plays over the top. But Dakota Fanning gives one of the best performance by a kid in many years. Remember that name DAKOTA FANNING. she'll be a huge star in the future. It's the short but so effective part of the foster mother, played by Laura Dern, which synthetizes best the emotional response from the audience. I have hear in other reviews that I Am Sam was a"chick' movie. Let me tell you, that in a full house on a Saturday night, a lots of "roasters" were sobbing too.I Am Sam deserves 8 out 10. A must see movie.

Sputtosi
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1/10
The most over rated movie of the decade.
30 January 2002
The most over rated movie of the decade. Their publicist deserves a raise. First, all characters are lacking credibility except Sissy Spacek. The father (Tom Willkinson who was great in The Full Monty) ) is acting more like a fisherman than a doctor. Todd Field, being an actor himself, do not know how to direct other actors. Ex. Marisa Tomei seems totally lost in this story. She never knows if she should laugh,cry, explode or shut up. The story is so predictable including the ending. There is no real emotion in this film. All the characters are cold without any dimension just like the photography. How can you miss the spectacular Maine seaside in a movie. The light is dull as well as the story itself. In the Bedroom could have been a TV movie but again who would have watch it to the end.
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1/10
The most over rated movie of the decade.
30 January 2002
The most over rated movie of the decade. Their publicist deserves a raise. First, all characters are lacking credibility except Sissy Spacek. The father is acting more like a fisherman than a doctor. Todd Field, being an actor himself, do not know how to direct other actors. Ex. Marisa Tomei seems totally lost in this story. She never knows if she should laugh,cry, explode or shut up. The story is so predictible including the ending. There is no real emotion in this film. All the characters are cold without any dimension just like the photography. How can you miss the spectacular Maine seaside in a movie. The light is dull as well as the story itself. In the Bedroom could have been a TV movie but again who would have watch it to the end.
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