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Grande école (2004)
When I first read a summary about this film I thought, "Please, not another coming out story of a poor college boy who discovers in his junior year that he likes boys more than girls..." And, yes, basically that's what you're in for.
This movie could have worked as a comedy (Paul and Agnes betting who gets to sleep with Louis-Anault first would have given room to a lot of hilarious situations)- but no, it's a drama and a good one at that.
What levels the movie really up are the excellent performances by Gregori Baquet and Salim Kechiouche. Their scenes together are the best of the entire film.
Of course, the entire film comes along a bit pretentious with its philosophical over-the-top dialogue that makes you constantly think that no one talks like that, on the other hand- the same kind of dialogue helped "Dawson's Creek" to stay on air for 6 seasons. And that's probably the line where you should place this movie - persons who rate it with "Maurice" opened next to their computer and looking for flaws in this one are maybe not the target audience...
Yossi & Jagger (2002)
Israel's Beautiful Thing.
That a gay themed made-for-TV movie turns out to become one of Israel's biggest box office hits is stunning in itself. But what is truly stunning: The movie is universally touching and wonderful. Excellent performances by all actors, notably the two leads, a good pace and a great soundtrack. After watching it, you will wonder why more gay movies can not be as light-hearted and cute. Except for the obvious dramatic climax (no spoilers here), a film that once again shows that you don't need a drag queen to be funny, no AIDS to be dramatic and no anti-gay violence to be political. Nothing's wrong with this movie at all - except maybe that with its 65 mins running time it betrays its television origins a bit too open and it really does belong rather on a small than a big screen...
Party Monster (2003)
A Disco Bloodbath...
So, first of all, here's the news: Macaulay Culkin is back on the big screen in his first notable lead since Home Alone 2. The actor has grown, but suffers from the child-star disease that somehow he still looks like "this kid in this one movie about that boy that gets stuck at home while his family goes to Paris". All the actors are great in this though. Seth Green as James St. James, narrator of the story and "the original club kid" is especially outstanding and well-cast. The mood of the late 80s / early 90s NY club culture is brought back on-screen with a wonderful soundtrack, hilarious outfits and sharp one-liners. Certainly not the movie of the year, but I guess it will play well once released to DVD.
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
WARNER OWES ME $8 FOR WASTED TIME.
There are two ways to bring something to an end: Come up with a storyline that makes another sequel close to impossible or ending a hit franchise with a really bad film. The Wachotzki Brothers chose for the latter.
Matrix Revolutions is just so not a good movie- even the visual effects, though still great, don't make up for the lack of a good story and plenty of cheesy dialogue.
Plus, instead of watching a revolutionary movie, you get a rundown through cinema history of the past decade: Watch out for resemblances to THE MUMMY, ALIENS-THE RETURN, TERMINATOR and even TITANIC. The once legendary one liners only come across as dull and stupid in this one and as if moviegoers across the world haven't seen it often enough yet, we once again see Trinity do her jump-freeze-hit thing.
And then, without giving away any spoilers, the movie does not supply the hoped for answers, but closes with space wide open for another sequel or a network return as a television series. The credit "SCREENPLAY BY" should definitely make it to IMDB as a crazy credit, because they just can't be serious with that...
Too bad, but there's always the DVD of the first MATRIX, which remains great.
Threat Matrix (2003)
Not bad at all.
In Germany we have this saying that goes 'it's better to do a good copy then to make a bad invention'. I guess this about sums it up for "Threat Matrix", ABC's new '24' like drama, which borrows a lot of the Fox's hit, minus the real-time dramatic. And this is where the good part comes in: You can watch it WITH the occasional chance of missing an episode. As for acting and stories, the episodes I've seen so far are fast-paced, well- acted and well written for a TV show. Come to think that there is a real Threat Matrix report out there, which would give material for endless seasons, one wonders why ABC put this against NBC's MUST SEE TV THURSDAY. I mean, HELLO?!
We had it coming...
How would they justify another installment of the Terminator franchise after the ending of the 2nd movie? Not unlike to what they did to reactivate the Alien series, they did come up with something that makes sense in a strange way. The setup remains the same as in JUDGMENT DAY, with the T-100 out to save John Connor's life. Some of the action sequences even look alike, but I guess with two machines after each other, endless chases and destructions of complex buildings are the only thing you can do. Terminator 3 is a fun movie that'll entertain you through its entire running time, but that you will probably have forgotten the moment you leave the cinema...
The best German gay movie?
I bought the VHS (thank God I didn't spend money on the more expensive DVD) of this movie, as it was being advertised as THE German gay classic. I was very disappointed. Although the idea of the story is great (young man from West- Berlin falls in love with young man from East- Berlin, the wall makes their romance complicated) and all the actors are trying as hard as they can, the movie lacks some serious story-telling capabilities on the director's side. A script is basically non-existent, the musical score is terrible and even "non-candid camera" shots in West- Berlin are terribly photographed. Thumbs up for candid camera shots of every-day life in 1985's East- Berlin and sneaking into a gay bar in communist Germany and for performances by the actors playing the couple. But NOT a must-see.