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Black Swan (2010)
Oh why o why??
Apologies for the bad review, I can't even seem to make the effort to write about this film.
Such a freaking waste of a good idea. I don't know where to start. This is the sort of movie you know it'll be irretrievably bad after you've passed the first 10 minutes. God, I hate that feeling. I'm actually very very angry that such an interesting and unusual plot idea has been butchered the way it's been. It's bland, badly written, full of awful clichés at every level and about every 2 minutes. And the camera moves are nauseous.
Flat, unemotional, linear, unconvincing, so annoyingly predictable. I'm embarrassed for Vincent Cassel. How did he ever end up in such a mess of a film? I'm no prude at all, but the sex is so obviously gratuitous (and badly directed, think either Charmed, Buffy or Angel) that it made me cringe. Why bother at all in this case, just stick doing TV shows! I'm no ballet expert but for the little knowledge I have of this Art I sense every actual ballet dancer will find this appalling. They even managed to make the music sound bad. Tchaikovsky butchered too!! Waste, waste and more waste. I wish this film could be wiped off from the surface of the planet and be done again. The only redeemable thing is the excellent work of the costume designer.
Another case of Emperor's new clothes even if I do respect other people's opinions, I truly believe this is one of the worst films ever made that leaves you with a bitter frustration thinking of what it could have been. :(
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
I'm famously known for loving old movies but I just couldn't go through this one. I've never read the book, maybe I should. This film is irritating in many aspects. Even not being an apostle of the politically correct, I found the part of Mickey Rooney as Holly's Japanese neighbour just plain stupid and embarrassing. There's absolutely nothing funny in his performance. I felt no sympathy for the characters, the dialogues are shallow and uninteresting.
The rest of the story is tiresome and boring and I wouldn't be surprised that Audrey Hepburn didn't feel comfortable in this role (especially if she thought she was a miscast). I gave a 2 star for the costumes and glimpses of beautiful New-York but not enough to keep me awake.
A real shame...
L'auberge espagnole (2002)
Flat and tasteless
If I was to vote for creative and imaginative content, it'd get a 0/10. Comedy content? 0/10 Actor's performance? 0/10 This film has been one of my most painful disappointments as I'm quite a fan of Klapisch until he starts to write his own films. If he had any dignity, he would never have allowed to have this piece of 'caca' (French word for pooh) released. Was he even here during the script writing? If you have experiences of multi-cultural flat sharing, this film will make you wonder how on earth it's possible to come out with such a plate of tasteless plot, bland characters when there are so many things that could be written about. The lead actor is about as interesting as a toilet brush and rapidly becomes despicable/irritating as the rest of the lot (the insipid girlfriend and married woman). You come out of that film wondering what is was all about. Absolute waste of time.
The Musketeer (2001)
How to lousy a beautiful story
You'll get a one for that. I got it for 'free' from my DVD rental company and I wish they hadn't sent me that piece of crap. I found most of the actors awful topped up with bad acting, bad plot, bad music, bad dialogues.
I cringe to see how Alexandre Dumas masterpiece has been disfigured. D'Artagnan is very handsome but totally weak, doesn't have the attitude. And what really really annoys me is this: Louis XIII and Anne d'Autriche were supposed to be in their mid-twenties at the time the story takes place. Deneuve? Mesguich? They must be joking. The only exception is maybe Tim Roth who is the only convincing character with brilliant acting.
I can't find anything that'd really make it worth to watch. It tastes just too damn American probably made by amateurs who have no pride in doing quality cinema. A substandard supermarket product for the masses.
Deep Impact (1998)
Spare me the sentimentalism
On the contrary of other comments, I found rather the special effects rather good (though running up a hill with a tsunami like wave is not gonna get you anywhere). Again another movie that insults my intelligence. I sometimes don't understand American directors. Do they have any pride whatsoever? The lottery thing, what kind of nonsense was that? In whole logic, we all know that in order to survive we would need to spare women and children first. If we start thinking of survival, then it would have some serious ethical questions. It just does not make any sense at all.
Let's say we're not going to dwell too much on this, what about this tiresome sentimentalism, these contrived pseudo-acts of heroism (I leave my 'seat' to this poor woman with a child, we're going to sacrifice ourselves to save the planet, I'm marrying my classmate so she can come to the Ark with me - but if so, this would mean there's one more person than the 1,000,000 people allowed in the ark - aaah crap!). I'll better stop here, the film was completely ruined by all this nonsense. This film just makes me think that you need a pretty shrunk tight brain to swallow that. I guess my brains need bigger challenges.
Grand Hotel (1932)
What a bore
I've always heard about the 'great' Greta Garbo and I completely fail to understand what all the fuss is about. I found her rather plain (neither good looking nor ugly just plain boring), moving with the grace of an elephant (though she's supposed to be a ballerina!) and her acting is absolutely unbearable. What's all these frowning and sighing and jumping and ridiculous overacted emotions? She looked like a big bad acting clown. I couldn't stop laughing when she was trying to get her lover through the hotel's switchboard (this is supposed to be a scene charged with drama or I'm completely wrong). This must be one of the worst ever scenes shot in a film. Sorry even if the character is supposed to be a drama queen, it's just simply ridiculous.
Joan Crawford (my only reason to watch the movie) on the contrary is so refreshing, bigger than life like a red little dot on that big bland bit of nonsense. She's got everything that Garbo lacks and definitely is the true shining start of Grand Hotel.
I remember how overwhelmed I felt when the scene on the first TV appearance starts with 'Transmission'. It felt so surreal. I loved that movie because somehow it forces you to do your part and pay attention to what is not said or obvious. Yes Ian Curtis's life is dull and uninteresting if you approach it with a cold eye. But what can anyone expect with a life well...so short? Like many incredible talents he was about to blossom, this was just the beginning of something much more bigger and intense. It was raw energy.
I completely had empathy for this young man marrying at 19 getting stuck in a marriage-mortgage-9 to 5 job hell when obviously he was meant for something different. Paying the consequences for a decision taken too young, and being propelled to fame so quickly unable to cope with the pressure and energy that it takes when it was obvious he'd never make it very far. I hope the people who will watch the film will remember this and the context of the 70's. I think Corbijn did a fine job at portraying the desperate situation Ian Curtis was in, doubled with illness and depression. Sam Riley is incredibly convincing at portraying these feelings, the guilt, the doubts, the inevitable spiral where Ian Curtis was doomed to fall.
The choice of shooting the film in B&W was of course intentional and as Corbijn said, I too cannot think of the film being shot in colour. It perfectly renders the darkness and sober atmosphere of JD's world. The film is full of strong contrasts which completely defines what JD's music feels to me: Energetic Depressive
Harry the Psycholeech @contains loads of spoilers@
Harry's character reminds me of quite a few strange people I've met in my life (fortunately not to that extent) and I think Moll and Lopez did a pretty good job at making us feel terribly uncomfortable. Harry though not talking new age and flying saucers is easy to spot as first class weirdo with an underlying sickly obsession for Michel. Bad luck for Michel.
The obsession probably sprouted during the time they shared at high school and suddenly knows no boundaries. With obvious manipulative tricks he manages to intrude Michel's family life only to end in absolute horror. In this regard, I can't stop thinking of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley, Ferdinand/Freddy (The Collector) and Evelyn Draper ('Play Misty for me').
Despite I enjoyed this film for all the untied subplots and the truly scary weird repulsive Harry, it could have been developed much further psychologically than it is. Michel at some point seems to lose all common sense and moral (which was an interesting idea) then shifts back to 'reason' which lead to a rather boring and unconvincing ending: Michel driving the soundproof, aircon'd 4x4 car Harry has gifted him like nothing ever happened (parents, brother, Harry's girlfriend and Harry all together dead in the cesspool). In my opinion that's the weakness of the film.
Nanny McPhee (2005)
I really really had a good time watching this film, just exactly what I needed to escape a bit exactly what movies used to be when I was a child. Some will say it's way too predictable but some It's not a movie aiming at delivering a high level of suspense. It's a good tale with some wise moments. I especially like the parts when Nanny McPhee let the children take their own decisions and warn them about the consequences. I personally find this in real life to be an extraordinary way of dealing with children. The filming and set are beautiful (though I found the colors way too loud) and some moments are really funny exactly the sort of things children candidly laugh at (tricks played by the children, food fight). The thing I didn't like so much is that the relationship between Mr Brown and Evangeline is not really developed in the first part of the movie. He doesn't even seem to show any interest in her whatsoever. Even though we know from the start they'll get married at the end, it's kind of abrupt when they declare their love to each other. Small children will like this film as well as any grown up who's got a good dose of nostalgia and who kept one's child's spirit.
Insanely idiotic and vapid
I ended up watching this movie by chance and considering how hard I can resist to walk out a theatre to give the film a chance, I inflicted myself some serious pressure not to walk away.
I honestly can't think of anything redeeming. The storyline is so bland I can only picture a bunch of 14yo Beavis and Butthead teenagers writing this on a clownpointed Saturday detention assignment. The characters are weak and predictable. The so called 'great' life David has is boring beyond words and looks like a mere cliché of a pure teenage fantasy. The way the story goes turns him into a little unappealing selfish spoiled boring knucklehead. Oh lord, prevent me from cringing. CRINGE CRINGE CRINGE! Jamie Bell is an awful actor and so irritating, Samuel L. Jackson is out of place, Rachel Bilson tries her best but what's all the fuss about these people? I'd damn myself for eternity for taking part even in a minor role of this movie. The end is just even worse, fizzling out into the outer space of vergognaland.
Save your money, that's the best advice I can give.
Mon ange (2004)
Inequal, a bit tiresome towards the end
Two things I would like to say first: The film takes place in Belgium and partly in Netherlands. You can see in several scenes that both languages (French and Flemish) are used on signs. The second thing is that Colette is not a prostitute. The only reason she's 'on the window' at the beginning of the film is that she's at the right time to get pregnant and is looking for a man on that sole purpose and in the faint hope she'll get back her lover. She clearly mentions it's a one off. It's a bit far fetched I agree. Better not dwell on that though or you'll find an endless list of incoherences.
The first hour of the film has a good pace then completely loses its intensity after that getting at times really slow and almost boring. As if the writer had written the last part of the film in a rush or as if his imagination has dried up. I don't think it really serves the film, feels clumsy. The best interpretation comes from the young Rottiers. He's the only character I was finally interested in. Not that Vanessa Paradis is not good but her acting tends to always sound the same. It also would have been more clever if visually she'd have been dressed up/made up very differently from the real life. The chemistry between the two is obvious nonetheless.
Globally I found that film disappointing. One of the best scenes is the one in the motel though it lacks of continuity in the story. The worst being when she finally visits her ex lover. I don't know if it's a matter of miscast or anything but it doesn't sounds very credible.
Loses its charm after a while
I remember being of the anti-titanic bunch when the film was released. Would I have to go and see the movie at a theatre it was simply impossible. Theatres were full at each session even if the movie was on heavy rotation all over Paris (France).
One day I just thought to myself that it couldn't be THAT bad if so many people after so many months were still going to watch it if not re-watch it or even re-re-re-watch it! I gave in one day and I can assure you that the theatre was still full. I must say I really liked it the first time. Like in the old times, big fat sumptuous cinema!
Now having seen it several times on a format that should be excommunicated (TV), I found a lot of annoying if not irritating things in it. I still like the film globally but there are real spoilers. First once someone made you aware that some parts of the movie have been made using a computer, you can't help spotting them and thinking that navy crew in the background at the beginning of the film have a funny way of walking a bit like playdoh men. Other stuff bothered me a lot eg Rose doing a 'finger' when they take the lift to go to a lower level of the boat. Was it necessary? Is it plausible at such a time in the history? It kinda makes you think 'oh man they can't be serious!'.
Pompous, pretentious, boring! From a French reviewer
I wish I could find something good about this film but helas... I really tried hard watching it at different times but still, it's almost unbearable to watch. I really envy non french-speakers who may then not be affected by the terrible acting (but the script is basically awful so the actors may not be totally responsible). This film is discontinued, the storyline is either too slow or too fast, no identification with the characters is possible, it's just uncanny. The actors seem to 'recitate' their part with no emotion (Deneuve has such a monotonous and unconvincing tone of voice. Vincent Perez is very good-looking but truly has no talent whatsoever). Everything happens abruptly with no real continuity, the editing is appalling. We don't see that much of the Vietnam either and these bits of history do nothing for the film. What this film lacks above all is depth, it just goes in different directions with no coherence. Bits of this and bits of that, I find HARD to believe this film got an award for the best foreign film. The landscapes maybe? I certainly would recommend 'The Lover' inspired by Marguerite Duras' novel of the same name as well as films like 'Cyclo' or 'the scent of the green papaya'. A different aspect of the Vietnam but far more interesting.
Endless Love (1981)
Far so far from the book
I guess what stroke me the most is how far the film is from the actual book. A very bland and 'nice' version of it. All the essence and meaning of the book are lost into something soppy, superficial and totally commercial. Generally the story is horribly amputated of the core elements like the obsession and the passion. The worst are certainly the love scenes. I don't think I have seen love scenes so badly filmed and acted (what are these stupid smiles on Jade-Brooke Shields face when David is making love to her?). Also at some point in the film, when David goes to the Butterfield house after he's been banished, looking through the window, you can see Jade's dad snogging a young girl who looks like the age of Jade. This is barely noticeable but come on it just does not make sense with the rest of the story as it is presented in the film!! Curiously I can't say I absolutely disliked it. The cast is somehow good (even if the acting tends to be poor) and the film exudes nostalgia of the late 70's early 80's period. But that's all it is.