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I try to write in English the best I can, but my mother tongue is French, so please forgive my messed up syntax or vocabulary.
Wonderfully rendered and creative
This movie is a superb adaptation of the flabbergasting manga series by genius Taiyo Matsumoto; the director has truly made a tremendously good work! The actors are well-chosen and very good in their role, the picture is great (a "manga-style" centring, which is very interesting) and the story never gets boring, even if the film is over two hours.
I was impressed and have only very few negative comments to make, but I think they only concern things that have been lost in translation. The movie needs a certain knowledge of Japanese society to be fully understood, but is also funny to anyone who does not know much about it. Deliciously delirious!
Un 32 août sur terre (1998)
I guess this is the kind of movie you'll like if you call a sheet of paper totally painted in a single color «art».
Long. Uninteresting (for the scenario part I mean, the visuals are quite good). Falsely "profound". I still can't believe the 3 minutes scene where they are sitting in the desert, looking at each other, than looking at the ground, then looking at each other, etc. No, I don't think action is required for a movie to be good, but I do believe a plot and a decent scenario is always a good idea.
And what to say about the end? When I saw it all I could think of was «I think I saw 10 movies that ended this way», and I felt like laughing (I believe it was supposed to make you cry, not sure, the "ambiance" thing everyone is talking about seems not to have worked on me). I believe listening to the silence is an activity as exciting as watching this movie.
Les dangereux (2002)
Surprisingly, not bad
Not bad. Not bad at all. But not too good either. The story is really bad, unoriginal, idiotic, BUT many situations in it are very funny. Most of the actors played very well (except for Veronique Cloutier, who seemed out of the picture a lot, I thought, and oh god! her song was so bad I plugged my ears). One think bugged me: there are a lot of very violent (disgusting) scenes which I could have passed... I usually don't expect to be closing my eyes each 5-10 minutes when watching a comedy.
I had promised myself not to watch it, because the critics said it was the worst movie of the year, and worst quebecer movie of all times, but when I saw the trailer I laughed a lot at some of the jokes and I thought «well...maybe I should give it a try? And hey, 4$CAN at the video club is not the end of the world». Ended up I liked the movie. See, we should never believe the critics: after all, they were all unanimous in thinking that this movie was the worst rubbishy of the year, but everyone I know that had the courage to rent it anyways said it «wasn't as bad as they said».
Cruising Bar (1989)
Bad movie with not so bad actor...
Many people recommended me to see this movie, and I still don't understand why! I was told that it was not a masterpiece but that it was still an entertaining comedy, so I sat down in front of my TV with that in mind.
I think I must have laughed out loud twice during the whole movie, which is a bad thing for a comedy. I'll simply put it this way: the story and the concept of a single actor doing the four main roles were very interesting, and the main actor was pretty good, but the situations in which the characters had to go through were, for the most, not funny nor original. Some things were also very predictable and some scenes just lasted too long for what they had to show.
I'm not the kind of person who follows TV series, but this one is really incredible so I watched it every single day!!!
The show is extremely funny because all the actors (or at least those of the 2000-2001 season) are very talented and you can feel the pleasure they are having playing their character. They are/were almost all part of improvisation leagues so they are used to doing a lot of mimics, which is good for a comic show. Also the story is original in it's way of making fun of other shows like "Star Trek" and the references to music/cinema/sports are always well placed.
The episodes aren't equal in quality, but usually even the worst ones make you laugh at least twice or thrice. The way it is filmed also is pretty interesting: the camera moves a lot and always films in a weird angle.
Even if they say it was a show «made for children», everyone from 6 to 100 years old, should like it. An extraordinary show!
A captivating, very touching movie
If I had to use only one word to describe this movie, I'd say "strong". This movie is intense, thought-provoking and at the same time it is very smart.
I think it's pathetic that people said it was either white or black just because it was one of Falardeau's work (and that he's doing "propaganda" for the separatists). That is like saying soveregnists are too dumb to understand what they are fighting for, but the true stupid ones are those who didn't see the shades of grey in this movie. This film was not intended to show "bad guys" and "good guys", it was a movie about five men living hell in a small house for an entire week. Quebecers know their story, so the movie does not tell all the events that happened in Quebec during that time, it tells about something nobody is sure about, because what happened in this little house is only known by the five guys that were there. The movie is based on a book written by one of the guy, 12 years later, but Falardeau also read -many- documents about the events to be sure he was sticking to the facts when it came to the political/historical elements [read his book "La liberté n'est pas une marque de yogourt", for more info].
The "felquistes" have a heart in this movie, but some people think this is just to make us believe they were the "good guys". I believe thinking that is idiotic, because if the felquistes are shown as being nice, it doesn't mean the movie says they did not make a mistake. And a big one. See, that's what I meant about the shades of grey. Also, for younger Quebecers or people outside Quebec, a whole dimension of the movie --and of the felquist act-- is not understood, and that is when they [the felquists] say that they worked for English bosses that did anything they wanted to them. People tend to think the guy that says that in the movie is only talking about HIS situation, but he's talking about the general situation of Quebecers at that time: slaves to the English, "inferior" people that could not be given respectable roles in companies.
The dialogues are very interesting and the actors deliver an incredible performance. The silences toward the end of the film are heavy and highly dramatic... A true must-see for people interested in this part of Quebec's history, but you must know the political/historical/social setting to understand.
Les invasions barbares (2003)
A movie you must watch
I did not know too much what to expect when I went to watch this movie: I had already seen «Le déclin de l'empire américain» and hadn't liked it, but the critics said «Les Invasions Barbares» was a masterpiece. Well, this hour and forty minutes in the projection room was very entertaining!
First of all, the actors are [almost] all -very- good. Rousseau really impressed me, Marie-Josée Croze also (no wonder she won the Best Actress Palme at Cannes!!), and all the actors that were in the first part, 17 years ago, kept the same level of high quality acting. Someone mentioned in another critic here on IMDb that they seemed like they were always reading their script, but I do not approve. They were just using a very good quality French, to illustrate that they are very cultivated persons. And you can see at a moment that the younger generations (the son and his wife, and also Nathalie) do not talk the same way at all (much poorer language) and are not at all as much cultivated. You see the embarrassment they have when they hear their parents talking and that they don't know what they are saying, and it's a critic of the let-go that the schools underwent at a certain time in Québec and that was never corrected.
Talking about the context, I do not know if people outside Québec will understand it as much as we do, because it has a lot to do with our culture and the context here (like for the overcrowded hospitals and the guys of the syndicate), but I also know the movie was amputated of 10 minutes (hey, that's long!) for the international version, entirely getting rid of all the Sophie Lorain and Micheline Lanctot scenes (and Denis Bouchard also, consequently? I hope not! He's really funny).
Finally, it's a movie everyone should see! Funny and touching at the same time, it'll probably help Quebec's cinema make it's way internationally -- and it deserves it because Quebec's cinema is a very interesting and high quality cinema, even if some people here tend to underestimate it --.
Not that good
This movie got very much attention here in Québec when it was created for the simple reason that it was the first film of that type created in Quebec. It became a classic and people felt «mature» and «intelligent» watching it, but by stepping back we can say now that it was really not such a big deal.
The whole movie takes place in one day. It's a pack of discussions some university teachers that are friends together have concerning the men/women relations and sex (sex in History of humanity and sex in their personal life). It's a «talk-movie», where action is only secondary (and there is almost none).
The characters are interesting. Those cultivated people with such a lack of morality, they really made me depressed. They make us sick, but at a same time they seem very likeable. And the actors make the characters look so real that you really think you are assisting to those discussions.
For the image it's very, and I mean -very- simple. The camera travels around, with a few different angles and that's all. But it doesn't really matter, it's not the kind of movie that requires extreme good quality image.
Finally, I only recommend this movie to people interested in quebecois cinema, because everyone here knows it, but otherwise it's not so good. Also maybe it's interesting to watch only because it's a Denys Arcand movie...
Just be sure of one thing: whether or not you watch this movie, be sure to watch it's sequel, Les Invasions Barbares, which is a masterpiece.
Good movie, nothing more
The reason why «Un homme et son péché» got so much attention from the public and the medias was that the original story is a classic here in Québec. The movie is not truly a masterpiece, but it's still good to watch.
The story was changed: there is a lot more sexuality in this version and, unfortunately, some things do not make sense because all the references to the importance of religion at that time in Québec are gone.
I believe the dialogues sometimes sounded very fake, but it also depended of the actor. I think the girl that did Simone could really take some more acting courses (but it's only a small role) and Karine Vanasse also is not as superb as some said. I even found it difficult at some moments to understand what emotions she was trying to project.
The music was beautiful and the scenery magnificent!
I'd like to comment some of the actors performance: Lebeau was great, Seraphin really made me sick and it was the kind of performance that after, in each movie I see the guy, I see Seraphin, his greatest role (like when you see Audrey Tautou and you think «Amélie!»). Roy Dupuis's performance was better in this movie than in any one I saw before, he did quite a good job [for once]. Also some characters like the one Benoit Briere incarnates and also the priest were very convincing. And finally, I believe if Vanasse works a bit more, she'll end up being a quite good actress (hey, she's very young, so she has time to learn).
The ending scene with the double-meaning scream of Seraphin «C'est moé qui brûle!!!» also brings a lot of emotion and some depth.
La turbulence des fluides (2002)
When I saw the trailer of the movie and read the synopsis, I thought "Wow! This is going to be such a great movie!", but let me tell you I did not get what I was expecting.
The movie is a never-ending circle: at each time there is a new element, it ends up just like the other one before "because it's a movie about the resemblance of love and the tides, the sea" (as Manon Briand said herself in French when I saw her). It was a falsely profound movie, falling into total esotericism.
There were some funny parts, but the movie was not a comedy. The scenery was nice and the quality of the images was good too. The actors were good, but they were playing characters for whom I was unable to develop any kind of sympathy.
I believe this movie will be appreciated by many (and I was already proven that), but I think it's only OK to watch but not great at all.
[Actually, Luc Besson did about nothing in the movie. It was only his studio that helped a bit at realizing the film.]