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La boîte (2001)
A bunch of young men tries to operate a night-club in a small town of France, despite the competition of an older man. Claude Zidi was never a genius, but through the years of his long carreer, he had made some pretty funny films. Most of these were with veteran stars like DeFunes, Noiret, LHermitte, Depardieu, Pierre Richard, etc. For this one, he tries with younger actors. And he fails : this movie is just awful, stupid, boring and empty. There is nothing funny here. There is no ideas and the story - there is a story ? - is predictible. And it's very sexiest for young women. Zidi thinks they're all pieces of meat. And I will never understand why we have to hear English music in a French movie. Don't waste your time with this one : there are many very funny French movies you can see, and
some were from Claude Zidi.
Good quality movie, but...
First of all, thanks Glaschu and vive Toronto too ! Seems that there's only the two of us who have seen this movie... This is a good quality film, in an intimate european style, but sometimes it's too
melodramatic. I'm sure that young Emile Nelligan was not really like that. The movie shows an idealization of a life of a poet: you know, the guy that always suffering every minute of the day... I think it's a myth. But I like the movie for the late 19th century settings. It really represents the bourgeois life in a very conservative
Quebec. Note that all the young poets dreams about Paris and
France. In fact, most of our best artists of that time had to go to Paris to learn and express themselves in a more free way. I had wish that the movie show us more of Charles Gill, a drunken friend of Nelligan, who was the most original poet of that time, after Nelligan. Charles Gill died in 1918 and, next year, he was published ! That shows you the difficuties for artists of that time to find ways to express themselves in the public sphere (And the complete work of Charles Gill will be published only in... 1999!). Note also the presence of the young Idola St-Jean, in love with Nelligan. She will be an important feminist of Quebec, fighting for the right of women to vote. She will also be one of the rare women teaching in an university. She will die in 1936, few years before Nelligan and the right for women to vote. For the facts about the Quebec of the late 19st and early 20st, it's a very fine movie.
The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)
Why am i writing this ?
That's a good question ! Because I'm only adding the same type of comments of some other users. The Coen Brothers never makes a dull film, because they don't make movies but cinema, as a part of a creative and artistic demonstration. This film is school-of-cinema stuff ! For those, like me, who thinks that USA Cinema reachs 80 % of it's peak in the 1940's,
they surely love this film. It's kind of tribute of the Film-Noir genre. The use of shadows makes me think about the Edward Dymytryk movies of 1945-1950. Billy Bob Thornton looks like a bored Humphrey Bogart and the settings of the late 1940's is simply fabulous. It's a cool film, like a J.J. Cale record at 3 AM, with a good cigarette and a glass of whiskey. It's also very slow and that's a great quality. Films are, in fact, pictures and are made to watch, not to be heard. This one is simply beautiful to see. There's also a strange sense of humour about hair !
2001: A Space Travesty (2000)
Bad to the bone, but...
All is already said ! But I watch this horrible thing until the end, because I have a souvenir about it. All the sequences of the Opera de Paris was, in fact, shot in my hometown of Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada. It was done in the Thompson Theatre, which was, from 1928 to 1979, the cinéma Capitol, our own little movie palace. All the original stuff still exists today, as they were in 1928. This is really a beautiful old movie theatre. This film was made in 1999, and we, from Trois-Rivières, had fun watching the extras (all local people) come in of the old store, which was rent as the dressing room. It took one week to shot the scenes, but the crew was there for about 3 weeks, giving job to many people of my town. It's a strange feeling to see the old Capitol theatre in a movie! In 1998, there was another movie shot in the same place, starring Bette Middler. That's why I look at this horrible movie : memories from the summer of 1999 ! By the was, Mr. Nielsen was very kind to all the people of my town.
Une jeune fille à la fenêtre (2001)
Beautiful arty film
In 1925, a young country girl, knowing that she had less than a year to live, goes to the big city to learn the piano from a famous teacher. That's only an excuse to have fun, live fast, drink hard, smoke a lot, dance all night: to be a perfect flapper. After
falling in love with a Black jazz musician, she realise that this kind of life was not was she was looking for. This is a slow beautiful arty film, in a very European mood.Francis Leclerc, in his first film, shows us that he a a very good technique, creativity, imagination, and credibility. All the young actors are very good, but perhaps the star of the film, Fanny Malette, is a little bit cold... This is a very different kind of movie for a Quebec production. It shows us that North-American modernity was also present in Quebec big cities in the 1920's. Most of the times, Quebec film's about periods before 1940 shows us only the rural conservative side of our society. As an author, in 1999, I had a book, Perles et Chapelet, which presents a similarity with this film : the flappers. A filmaker have read my book (I won't tell her name!) and she said to me it had the potential for a very good film, but she said that Quebec's producers have no money to put in a setting of the past. When I saw UNE JEUNE FILLE À LA FENÊTRE, it stucks me : there are not many setting in the streets. Francis Leclerc did it with a low budget, and that's why he concentrates on the actors. I think a American or a French film about the subjects (the flappers) or that era (the 1920's) will have shown us more outside settings.
A very good and senstive piece of work for Mr. Leclerc. Let's hope many other films from him !
Soup to Nuts (1925)
One of so many thousandsTh
This is a fast 4 or 5 minutes comedy, in the tradition of Mack Sennett's films. Everybody runs all the time and gets knocks. There have been thousands af shorts like this one in the silent era, but it's rare to see them today. I saw it on TV, at the end of a Douglas Fairbanks film. There was only that title : Soup to nuts. No actors, no director. Thanks to IMDB to help me find this one ! The story ? A butler gets the house all messed up ! That's it, folks!
Le placard (2001)
He did it
Francis Veber is a master of intelligent French comedy. For years, he make us laugh. It was hard for him to follow DÎNER DE CONS, a very unique movie and a big success. But Veber dit it very well with this one. Great cast from veterans French stars, funny situations and dialogues, and Veber shows us again his big quality : the film is fast. Just 1 hour 20 minutes. Never too long ! A good comedy is always fast! Let's hope nobody in Hollywood will think about a remake. French comedies are always funny when they stay French.
The Gift (2000)
Bad, but not really mediocre
Good acting : bad story, bad movie. I heard this kind of statement a thousand times about American movies. People who wants to see a certain actor or actress will always go to see them in any kind of movie. Because I love Cate Blanchett, I watch this from minute one to the end. Cate was sensitive and very good, so are most of the actors. This is the only good point about this bad film. It's full of clichés (storm, shadows, thunder, rain, slow motion) and stereotypes (women are victims, chief of police is almost dumb). It's also badly written, and so and so directed. But, like in 90 % of most American films, it's easy to see the bad guy, the killer : it's the only character who smokes cigarettes. That's what I called propaganda. I hope to see Cate Blanchett in more European films.
Don't break any record of creativity or originality
Baseball is a great sport, but an horrible subject for movies. Except perhaps for EIGHT MEN OUT, or films where the sport is not the principal subject, like COBB, FIELDS OF DREAM, FEAR STRIKES OUT or BULL DURHAM, a comedy. Every time someone tries to make a serious film about baseball, it always fail. Billy Crystal offers us nothing original. His film is full of clichés : abusive slow motions (on the crucial moments, of course) stupid special effect when we see the ball coming right to us, horrible heavy orchestral muzak (on the crucial moments, of course). But the two young actors, Pepper & Jane, are doin' a very fine job. Also, Crystal offers us a good early sixties set. Hey! How about a movie about Barry Bonds breaking McGwire record ? And, in a few years, how about a film about Vladimir Guerrero breaking Bonds record ? I hope that some day Spike Lee will make his movie about Jackie Robinson. That will be the best serious baseball movie of all time.
Please, Emily, don't ever do that again
Emily Watson was fabulous in BREAKING THE WAVES and wonderful even in a bad film like ANGELA'S ASHES. She is the kind of actress I want to see all her films, because I'm sure she will always be good. But here comes Trixie and... I can't believe that this great actress have been involed in such a ugly mess! The best work from Emily is her films made in European countries. So please, Emily, don't ever came back to the USA for making movies. The only way you could express yourself in a intelligent way is in European films. So please, stay there, and leave the mess to American actresses. They're good at it.