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(Thanks to put your own list in the comments.)
Swiss cinema is not really good, not really interesting, generally overrated (especially Swiss movies from the 70s). Though, my faves are (strongly recommended) :
Donna Leon (2000)
A perfect TV-series
I read half of the Donna Leon novels (which I liked) and the series is a very clever and very faithful adaptation of them. The writers/producers/director(s) have been able to add small charming details (of everyday life, such as the special relationship between Elettra and Brunetti) that make it even better, and delete those not absolutely necessary and required.
The series, made by the Germans (and not by the Americans or the Italians)(Italians do not know the novels since they are not translated into their language, oh!) is very well produced : budgets were obviously high, the series was shot in Venice, Italy, which means they have not made fun of the spectators All key players - Germans - not only pass for real Venetians but are simply perfect, especially (Brunetti's) Uwe Kockisch (he seems to be 45 y-o but has actually 20 more, huh!). My faves are ...all women characters/actresses, yes !
Strongly recommended !
La fête à Henriette (1952)
How did I come to La Fête à Henriette
How did I come to "La Fête à Henriette", besides the fact that I am a Cinephile?
First. I was always (since its release) very fond of "Le Magnifique" (1973), almost the only Belmondo one I love (I wrote/detailed the French Wikipedia article). It's the story of a writer (Belmondo) who writes a spy/thriller book, who meets a beautiful student lady (Bisset), who encounters problems with his publisher and who, finally, mixes all these elements in his book. It means we movies goers can watch two stories with the very same actors, in the real world and in the book. Without any doubt (imho), "Le Magnifique" is one of the ten best French comedies ever.
I was indeed very in love with the idea of throwing the reality in the fiction. Of course I knew it was not the first time some Mise en Abyme was put in a film but it was obviously the first time with a writer avenging his poor real life in his books.
Second. Then, recently, TCM Europe showed a lot of Audrey Hepburn movies I never saw. Among them was "Paris - When It Sizzles" (1964), with William Holden. Right after a few minutes I knew for sure where the idea of "Le Magnifique" came from! Holden plays a screenwriter who is very late in delivering his next opus and Hepburn is sent to him in Paris by the Hollywood producer to speed up the writing. Besides the predictable love story, the film divides itself in two parts, their reality and the fiction they're writing together and Hepburn (150% fabulous as always) and Holden play the four characters. The movie is real fun end very entertaining and very intelligently conceived.
Third. Knowing a new gem like this "Paris", I read on the net (en.wikipedia for instance) everything I could about it, whoa, just to learn it was an adaptation of a French movie, "La fête à Henriette" (1952). By chance, there was some discussion about it on an IMDb board and, as wrote user Benoît A. Racine in his comment, "A pen pal from the IMDb was good enough to send me a VHS copy of this French classic unavailable in America." I got a DVD instead he he and, as well, the film is not watchable in Europe. Many thanks again to "him" for his help and his sending to me the Duvivier one.
I finally watched it and noticed all converging points between "Paris" and "Henriette". Let's say "Henriette" is much more conceptual and less entertaining than "Paris", more of a game with the spectator and less of a logical story form A to Z (it's not its goal anyhow). Clearly the biggest difference with "Paris" and "Le Magnifique" is the fact that the actors of the reality (the writers of a script and their numerous secretaries) do not play in the fiction. The main point according to me is really: more conceptual.
Besides, it's pretty fun to see some actors (Auclair, Seigner, Roux) quite young in "Henriette" because they were known at that time and later more as second range stars: their true career came later, in the movies or on the stage. Robin was an important star in the 40s and 50s.
If you want to learn more: Reading over here all comments by reliable IMDb users rastar-1, dbdumonteil, writers_reign and Benoît A. Racine will bring you everything relevant you need about the movie: the plot, the style, the inventive director, the great actors, etc.
Finally, I have to confess I have not seen a lot of Duvivier's movies: I know very well "Marianne de ma jeunesse", which is a very special story, plenty out of time, deeply concerned with poetry and fantasy; I know as well the two "Don Camillo" he made with Fernandel; "La Femme et le panting" with Bardot from a book by Louÿs I read; "La Belle équipe" with Gabin... and it seems to be all. To bad because only "Marianne" and "Henriette" show he is a very important director in history, much more than most of the Nouvelle vague ones, and who was a visionary. Very worth to see, both the movie and any other film by him. "Henriette", a must see!
overrated and annoying
i do not understand at all why this movie received such good grades from critics - - i've seen tens of documentaries (on TV) about the wine world which were much much better when (if) you watch it, please think of two very annoying aspects of mondovino : first, the filming is just awful and terrible and upsetting : to me, it looked like the guy behind the camera just received the material and was playing with it : plenty of zooms (for no purpose other than pushing the button in/out) for instance - - i almost stopped to watch it because of that ! secondly, the interviewer (the director i think) is not really relevant : he looks like and ask questions like a boy scout, not like a journalist, even if the general idea and themes would have been interesting, too bad conclusion: overrated documentary, maybe only for guys who do not know nothing about wine => not recommended at all (2/10)
Blood Work (2002)
The book is much much better
Here, that's to understand why "Blood Work" is a pity. This text is above all for people who read the book and watched the "movie" and like comparisons.
Warning : SPOILERS AHEAD ! Blood Work is an adaptation of the eponymous and very good book by Michael Connelly. The problem of the movie is the writers and/or the producers made very bad choices in their adaptation of the book.
- An egoist Clint Eastwood (or his people) bought the rights of the book for himself, because the start of this story is just great (an ex-inspector, McCaleb, with a transplanted heart inquires about the assassinated woman who gave him her heart! OK, it's just a digest's digest). Clint is much too older, and not only for the character. Why did he just not choose a 40-year one, there are plenty? Clint is not credible at all, unfortunately.
- The writers and/or producers made changes about two main characters of the book. First, McCaleb's "best friend", Buddy, sees his name changed and he becomes eventually the killer and, secondly, the killer of the book disappears in the movie! (Two characters in the book = one actor/one paycheck in the movie!) In the book, you discover the killer only at the very end of the investigation. So, it's a very, very bad choice and Michael Connelly himself "joked" (joked, really?) about that: in the books following Blood Work, Buddy (still alive) is complaining about his death in the movie. Such a bad idea (not only for him)!
- The writers and/or producers deleted the best scene of the book, the one who helps McCaleb to discover who is the killer (I won't say anymore about this scene and the killer! It's so great! Please read the book).
- A macho choice. (And why? In the book, it makes possible for McCaleb to get some information!) The woman character, Graciella Rivers, is an ER nurse in the book (which means good education) and in the movie she becomes a waitress (let's say less education). Women belittled, again! The movie is 110 min. of bad choices, bad directing, bad writing and incoherence. Even Eastwood and Daniels are not watchable.
Blood Work is a bloody work. I think this kind of story (because of its complexity and richness) would have been much better as a 3-to-4 hours made-for-TV movie, wouldn't it?
King Kong (2005)
What a joke !?
King Kong, a good movie ?! What a joke + crookedness !
I watched the movie yesterday, and this one is just ridiculous : the chase with the diplodocus is ridiculous (and badly made), the scene with Naomi charming the ape is ridiculous (and no fun), the capture of the Kong is ridiculous (this King can beat T-rex but a few men can put it on the ground with a few ropes, huh?!), the car chase is ridiculous, so many scenes are ri-di-cu-lous... It's a shame and it's kiddy.
The worst is, the writers did not bring anything new in that story but bugs, just to scare teenagers or what ?! In the 20th century, we learned so much about animal behaviour and in this movie what do you get ? Nothing !
Bad bad bad !
I do not like that much Guillermin's, but only Jessica Lange is worth more than the Jackson one!
Very good indeed
i strongly recommend it to anybody who likes good plots, good actors (even if not well known)(often, it's just better that way), science and/or science fiction presented in an intelligent way on the (small) screen, good special effects even if they did not have billions of dollars to produce it...
much better than any war in the stars...
there was only one comment which was not necessary: talking about the comet, the commentator says that LIFE was maybe brought on earth through a comet... that's fun, there must be always a chance for a magic way, huh?! That's what's great about LIFE, can come anywhere, no need of extern force
Alien: Resurrection (1997)
At the 8th minute of Alien resurrection we learn about Ripley's return as a clone (from blood cells). Not even she returns with an alien foetus in her body (!!!)(which means alien physiology is that strong it can let such an information in every human cell)(do they say that aliens and humans share DNA? If yes, ouch!) but she returns with all her memories!!!
Really, really weak to say the least. The point is only: Ripley must return and they can make money of it. Too bad. (Ok OK, we do not know nothing about alien technology and physiology but they do not seem to have developed a lot: they just are beasts.)
Would have it been worse if the producers just told us "Ok Ripley is just back and who cares how", "Ripley, before she died in opus 3, was quickly replaced by a robot", or "Ripley and the alien baby are back together because of the 18th creationism law".
As says Ron Perlman in the Behind-the-scenes featurette on the DVD, "We would... do... anything... for money..."
Idea for Alien 5: the alien baby lost in space at the end of the 4th movie, because of the attraction law, will reconstruct itself... wow, so close to earth...............
Weak, weak movie.
Pushing Tin (1999)
Are air traffic controllers really like that?
If the point of the movie is to depict jerks it perfectly works. I mean, the air traffic controllers of Pushing tin are, like, in their 30s or 40s and are still comparing who's got the longer penis (the basketball challenge, the other one with the matches...). They earn a lot of money (a wife mentions 800'000 dollars a year, right?!) and still eat bacon and eggs or this kind of stuff for their lunch. Bravo, that's culture and power! And obviously they wear their sunglasses even in their sleep.
I sincerely hope that air traffic controllers are not behaving like this bunch of idiots.
It's strange to dislike a movie because of unlikable characters, I admit.
SPOILERS or kind of... :
My favorite "jerks" scene is the one when Nick (Cusack) invites Mary (Jolie) in a typical Italian restaurant. The manager brings a carafe of wine telling them it's the best wine of the house. In such a carafe!!! I like that one!
A very good dialog occurs between Nick and his wife. He cheated on her and she doesn't know it. One evening when he comes home she is crying because she just told the children they will have to live without dad. For Nick it means she now knows and wants to break up so he wants to start to explain his cheating on her when he understands she was talking about... HER dad's death. Great. EXCELLENT!
The last scene of the movie is... bad and ridiculous, you know, the happy ending as usual...
To play a jerk such as Nick needs a very good actor. Cusack is the one. Applause!
Blueberry the movie, a joke?
Blueberry-the-comics is a kind of myth in the french world of comics and one of its creator (Giraud aka Gir aka Moebius) is well-known in the States as well (worked on The silver surfer, by the way not his best opus). Charlier, the writer, wrote very good Blueberry stories indeed, and I do not know why the authors of the movie forgot these. Yet the stock is amazing.
The movie is, to say the least, ridiculous, pretentious, useless, and it's bad written, bad starred, bad everything... OK OK some landscapes are great but it does not make a movie, you agree?!
The sad thing is (we are in the 21st, aren't we?), the authors are obviously Castenada and shamanism disciples, yep! They have to grow up. Take us away from these shamanism crooks!
You have to know that here in Europe, most of the medias gave VERY BAD grades to the movie: people are laughing at it... that's why I'm very surprised to read here at IMDb good reviews even if, as we say in french, "tous les goûts sont dans la nature" (one man one taste): must be people from the production...
A total waste!