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114 reviews in total 
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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Taking cartoon villains and making them flesh and blood one can root for, 7 August 2016

It's about 8.5 worth of a movie in my book, for some real good acting and well written roles. That is, some well written roles, had it been true with all the characters in this movie, this would've been a real masterpiece, but all too often it did fall short of the quality performance of Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Joel Kinnaman. there are a few other solid performances which didn't get their characters developed enough to shine like these three, especially Viola Davis who's very good as the perfect government agent that sees nothing but getting their job done, but truth is her role is too one dimensional, and there was room for real depth here. Same is true with Jai Courtney and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Jared Leto, isn't bad in his role, but it's hardly a role to speak about, and he was hyped from here to forever, so it was a letdown. But the roles that were properly written were really superb and the three actors I mentioned did them great justice. This together with a reasonable plot and solid technical aspects of this production, make it a worth your while movie. But once again this could've been a lot better, and the fact it's not is plain shame.

Slack Bay (2016)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful, surreal , macabre and unexplained, 15 July 2016

It's a surreal macabre comedy, populated mostly by nasty cartoons, many of them are simply grotesque. While Bruno Dumont, the writer director of this film does tell us a very clear story, namely we all will understand what did actually take place on this bay, he never bothers explaining the reasons for the bizarre behavior of his cartoon characters. So we get an unsolveable mystery filled with mean caricatures of the uppermost bourgeoisie and of the police. He does get some of the best actors and actresses in France hamming their way through this weird story. And I would've rated it higher if I thought there was a reason behind this folly. One thing is sure, even if Dumont has some bizarre reasoning for this story - he doesn't want to reveal it to his audience.

One more issue I have to refer to: the name of this film. In English its Slack Bay, which alludes to the bay and to the nature of its residences. In Hebrew it became Disappearance Bay alluding to the mystery taking place there. The French name, that probably is the original is Ma Loute, the name of one of the main characters of this movie. Each name signifies different intentions, and I can't see why the original French name wasn't kept. You don't really have to translate a name.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
As close to pure cinema as they come, 15 July 2016

As far as I know this is the first time the illustrious Studio Ghibli has cooperated with a director outside Japan. Still they gave it their trade mark detailed approach to the depiction of nature, and since the whole story is about nature, and about human beings as a part of nature - it counts. What we get is a fable/fairy tale, about a survivor-castaway getting to a deserted island with no human or other land in sight. And the surprising story of his life following that event. I don't do spoilers, and almost anything I could add would be a spoiler. So I'll limit myself to one more remark - the absence of dialogue works for this movie and in a way make this fantastic story more real. Words seem unnecessary as the story develops.

Though it's animation, it's not exactly made for children, but it could work very well for children viewing it. The auditorium in the Jerusalem Film Festival was packed with children and I didn't hear a single complaint.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
It's so much fun watching it you might forget it's a documentary, 15 July 2016

As a rule I don't rate documentaries. I hardly ever watch'em. The only documentaries I do watch are about cinema, or has a curious cinematic twist about the way they were made, otherwise count me out. So obviously this one is about cinema, but the reason I did rate it and I'm even writing a review about it is the sheer fun of watching it. It's just like sitting with a bunch of friends and listening to one of them who's a great story teller, telling about all sorts of things you thought you knew. And all of a sudden all those things you thought you knew are seen in vivid new colors, completely fresh.

The Michelson couple is one of the most charming couples you'll ever meet. They're funny, witty and amazing storytellers. The outcome is simply riveting, and if you do love cinema it's a must see. you'll learn so much about the way things work behind the scenes, you wouldn't forgive yourself if you did miss it.

A French comedy with very little laughter, 12 July 2016

It's a comedy that settles for smiles, mostly wry ones. A story of a would be loser (once again - I don't believe there's such a thing, but people do use the term). Kind sensitive and unable to say no for real. Everybody around him knows it, and they all take advantage of it. Pushing his life into a surreal spin, in which reality itself loses touch with reality.

It takes some very good acting, a carefully balanced plot - it could easily slip into an all out farce, and that, obviously, wasn't the intention of Dominik Moll - the director and of Gilles Marchand who helped him with the script. The line between sanity and common sense is also being blurred, in the best way. I think this kind of dual balance is best kept in French comedies. There are similar stories being made elsewhere - they end up over the fine lines that this film succeeds not to cross. It does makes you think, what's a loser, is it so bad being one. Who's insane who isn't and who lives in a bigger cage.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
When you have three stories, choose one, or make three films., 12 July 2016

Just because the same heroine stars in the three stories covered by this film it doesn't mean we have a single movie on our hands. In fact Terence Davies does here three continuous movies without stopping between them. The first is the story of childhood with a tyrannical father, the second is the story of coming out from his shadow into an independent adult life, the third one is about WW1 and its Scotish victims. It might've worked together in the novel, it doesn't work as a single film. There's no focus' each of the stories loses from having to share screen time with the other two, becoming no more than another weak link in a chain that stretches too long. The cinematography, on the other hand is of the highest class, the acting is mostly very professional and the characters mostly ring true. It could be broken into a decent TV series, with some added scenes, or it could be made as three different films, it wasn't and it's our loss.

Tower (2016)
An action film, pretending to be an animated documentary, 11 July 2016

Don't get me wrong, it's a great film, but in my book this is simply not a documentary. It does use the tools of a documentary, so we all know that these events did take place exactly as told, but what we all see is nothing short of an action film. The fact that this action film did happened, and the people telling us this story were actually there when it happened doesn't make it any less of an action film.

One more point I have to relate to. The usage of animation as the main tool for telling the story. It's more than a gimmick. It might have something to do with the very practical reasons mentioned in the Q&A session we had after the screening at the 2016 JFF, but it has one more effect. It makes all the special effects: the ones used to describe the surreal feeling of the victims lying wounded on the hot pavement, and the real pictures of the actual characters flashing on screen every now and again, all of them become an equal part of the same reality the film is showing us. If we were watching a live action film with special effects used for certain specific moments, these moments would become an unreal part of a true story. As is, everything we see is just as real, and that's another part of what makes this film so unique.

7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
About faith and morals in the post WW2 Poland, 11 July 2016

That's why I go to film festivals, (mostly the Jerusalem Film Festival). For the opportunity of seeing such rare masterpieces. A perfect blend of acting - especially the three leads but there's not a single false note from any of the characters we get to see on screen; Cinematography; and story telling.

Lou de Laage, Agata Buzek and Agata Kulesza, are simply superb in their roles, but they are only the cherries on the top of one of the best ensemble works I've ever seen. The cinematography is breathtaking. And the story, it's more than a simple story about the horrors of war, and how it preys on the innocents. It's a story about the morals of faith. About believing in god's grace comes what may, as opposed to believing in the holiness of life. If you get a chance to see it, don't miss it - you won't regret it.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A technical wonder, but without enough substance, 10 July 2016

The biggest wonder of this film is that it had most of its audience sitting all the way through. For almost 2 hours of every minute detail of the last days of Louis the 14th, the greatest king France has ever known. Truth is though we do follow every minute detail we don't really see every thing. In fact what we do see is mostly close ups of the faces of the protagonists (mostly the face of Jean-Pierre Leaud who does a superb work as the dying king betrayed by his body, but keeping his mind sharp to the very last moment), we often only get to hear whats taking place while we keep on seeing these close ups. The result is a very beautiful, claustrophobic film, with very little plot development and very little action. Theatrical in the most cinematographic way - namely it's very theatrical but we always get to see it through the eye of the camera, did I forget to mention loads of close ups. So I did stay focused all the way to the end. And I do appreciate the technical mastery of the director and the cinematographer. And the acting was first class. But there's too little of any other element that could make it into a real masterpiece.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Based on a false premise, and still a decent film, 5 June 2016

I want to say at the very beginning that at the base of this prequel/sequel is a false premise, or a logical fallacy. If one does remember the first movie, there's no way this one can be truly connected to the same story and characters. This is simply a story line that was stretched and contorted so another movie could be created with Charlize Theron as the evil queen and Chris Hemsworth as the huntsman, everything else didn't matter, the producers thought they could get some more money from the struggle between these two and the rest simply had to fit in. I knew that before I went to see this one, and I was practically ready to hate it. I didn't. And once again, the main reason is the acting. To be more precise, it's the three actresses pulling this unlikely story from start to end. Charlize Theron, once again menacing and chilling as the evil queen, with less fragility and less humanity. Which is, in my book the worst fault of this movie: if one does decide to further develop the characters of the first movie, the starting point should've been the origins of Ravena's hate for all men, and of human emotions. The creative team didn't go this way, the in fact made Ravena a two dimensional cartoon. Only Charlize Theron brilliance manages to make her somewhat relatable. Then there's Jessica Chastain as Sara with a performance filled with subtleties and nuances, managing to look like a fierce warrior and still make us feel she has a beating heart in her chest. But both Jessica Chastain and Charlize Theron pale in front of the real standout performance of this film, that's the one of Emily Blunt. The truth is, she does have the best written role in the film, and she carries it and in fact the entire movie all the way through. If only they could do the same for Charlize Theron, this could've been a real something to see. But even as is, the movie is surprisingly engaging and entertaining.

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