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simon-d-cesair

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20 reviews in total 
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I have read so many bad reviews, but it didn't stop me from going! (TINY SPOILERS INCLUDED), 13 September 2013
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So I just came home from watching Insidious: Chapter 2, and I have to say I am glad that I have read so many bad reviews, because my expectations were actually at the lowest point, and guess what?! I ended up loving it! Most of the reviews talk about how the two characters Specs and Tucker get more airtime and give the shock moments a comedic twist which is annoying, but I can only recall one moment, which came out of nowhere, and made the whole movie theater laugh out loud. But besides that I think the movie was much darker and scarier than part one, and even though there wasn't any graphic violence I thought it was very disturbing for a PG-13 movie. Insidious didn't make me jump at all, but Chapter 2 had at least three unexpected scares waiting for me. This one guy next to me kept flinching, and nervously played something on his phone to distract himself, it was hilarious!

I love James Wan as a director because you can be sure if he makes a sequel, it will be deeply connected to the previous part(s). Just like in the Saw movies you will be surprised at all the things that happened in part one Insidious, and suddenly make sense because they are explained in Chapter two; on top of that Wan gave the whole storyline a great amount of depth and new twists. The camera work is still excellent, but why wouldn't it be?! The acting performances are… well, still not Oscar worthy, but perfect for the storyline. The music and shock moments are more intense this time and definitely more evolved, and Mr. Wan even has a small part in the movie: As a desktop background! :D

What I noticed was the fact that part two begins where part one left off at, but the children look older, about two years, which is the time frame between Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2. ;) Oh, well. The editing was a little weird this time as well: It felt like some scenes were just randomly put together, one moment it was day time, the next it was in the middle of the night. Also, the grandmother, a.k.a. Josh's mother was up at 2:30 a.m. and walked around like it was early in the evening or morning. Weird. But since the rest of the movie was very satisfying I can overlook those things. HOWEVER, There is one thing I couldn't ignore, which actually messed up my experience a little: I felt like they pulled an ending out of their asses that could be used to make another sequel. But I would much rather see different movies with new ideas than the same old stories. So I hope there is no sequel coming.

This is not a review like I normally write, but I wanted to share my thoughts while they were still fresh! Insidious: Chapter 2 is It's definitely worth a watch, and if your lower your expectations like I did, you might end liking it even more than the original. :D

My Rating: Insidious: 6.5/10 Insidious: Chapter 2: 7.5/10

12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
A Weird Movie that will Leave you Confused and Uneasy, 12 August 2013
5/10

Long Story Short: The Story evolves around Alicia (Juno Temple) – an emotionally fragile young woman, who visits her cousin Sarah (Emily Browning) in Chile. Together with Sarah's boyfriend Agustín (Agustín Silva), Agustín's sister Barbara (Catalina Sandina Moreno), and their very strange friend Brink (Michael Cera) they travel to the countryside. But things aren't as pleasant as they are supposed to be, and especially Brink turns out to be very insensitive and doesn't show any sympathy for Alicia retentiveness. What was meant to be a relaxing vacation for Alicia soon turns into a horrifying experience.

Review: Magic Magic is often advertised as a horror movie, however, I would say it's more of a psychological thriller with a very dark and intense undertone. Juno Temple is giving a master performance, her acting is on point and very disturbing. Michael Cera plays this psycho, who shows not only anti-social but also sadistic tendencies, and everyone was wondering if he would be able to portray a character like Brink. I think he did great, but at the same time, he annoyed the living hell out of me. The camera-work is stunning, and the landscape shots are beautiful. The movie starts very strong and interesting, but leaves you clueless not only until the end, but even past that. There is absolutely no conclusion, the audience is completely left in the dark, and even though the tension and suspense rises it turns out to be a thick cloud of confusion. It seems like someone came up with a good idea but ran out of time to write a satisfying ending. So let's just end it somehow, because at the end of the day indie movies are supposed to keep you guessing and that's what makes them artistic. Not true. Furthermore, character development is hardly existing, and even if Juno Temple convinced with her performance, I couldn't relate to her character because I didn't know enough about her. Magic Magic is not a bad movie but towards the end there are just too many questions unanswered, which might be very unsatisfying.

20 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
A smooth Thriller without any Surprises, 27 June 2013
6/10

You might like this movie if you enjoyed: Columbus Circle (1996), Brake (2012)

Long Story Short: Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), a former Military photojournalist, has lost her sight due to an incident in Afghanistan. She lives in a penthouse with her boyfriend Ryan (Andrew W. Walker) and feels safe there even though her sister (Kaniehtiio Horn) and brother-in law (Trevor Hayes) constantly tell her that they don't trust Ryan. It turns out that Ryan does have a secret and, which gets Sarah in great danger.

Review: I have never heard of that movie before but I thought I give it a shot, and it was not a bog let down, but I wasn't blown away either. The beginning is very strong and has a few "Edge- of- your- seat" – moments, but it doesn't keep this pace up, especially since there aren't any twists besides one tiny one at the beginning. I am not sure how her past of being a photojournalist in Afghanistan helped developing the story either, as far as I am concerned they didn't even have to mention why she was blind. All these flashbacks from her past seemed like fillers to me. The acting was decent, I saw a few nice skyscraper shots, but I was hoping for a big reveal at the end which didn't happen. Penthouse House is definitely a one- time watch but not a bad one.

Rating: 5.5

A Winner, 25 June 2013
8/10

You might like this movie if you enjoyed: Toy Story (1995), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Rise of The Guardians (2012)

Long Story Short: Monsters University is the prequel of Monsters, Inc. and tells the story of how Marty and Sullivan became friends and two of the top workers at Monsters, Inc., a company that scares children in order to generate power for their own city.

Review: I haven't laughed like that in a while, as a matter of fact one scene was so funny to me I couldn't stop laughing for about two minutes (hint: it involves a snail). It doesn't matter what age you are, I am sure Monsters University can put a smile on your face. The graphics haven't changed much since Monsters, Inc., but even then they seemed flawless, and the characters are equally funny or scary. Helen Mirren as the creepy principle was the perfect choice. Monsters University is definitely worth watching on the big screen and deserved the first position at the box office this weekend.

The Purge (2013/I)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Killing the save the Country, 21 June 2013
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You might like this movie if you enjoyed: Panic Room (2002), The Strangers (2008)

Long Story Short: In 2022 the American government has managed to keep the unemployment rate at 1%, crime is at an all time low, and violence barely exists. Except for one night of the year: The Purge allows people to release all the hatred and stress they have built up inside by killing and vandalizing for 12 hours without any consequences. For the Sandins, who live in a wealthy neighborhood and have one of the best alarm systems, it has become routine to lock themselves up for this period of time, but this night is different.

Review: I heard so many bad things about this movie, including that it is racist, a waste of a good idea, false advertisement etc.

With these comments on my mind I went to see The Purge and I must say it wasn't bad at all. I think most people expected a slaughter fest and one shock scene after another, and the trailer might have actually given that impression, however, it was more of a psychological thriller, which I didn't mind at all. And how exactly was it racists? Because a black man was being hunted by a bunch of white folks?

DON'T READ THE NEXT SENTENCE IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE YET: If you haven't noticed, the black man was actually the hero at the end. YOU MAY NOW CONTINUE!

I think what the writers tried to show is that (sadly) a lot of anger and hatred goes towards other races, so it is what it is. But who knows, writers have a purge every day, because they could actually let their frustrations out by creating characters they don't like and kill them off or otherwise. Nobody really knows why they have the focus on a black victim in this movie. Any thoughts on that?

The idea of the movie was new and interesting. I think the 86 minutes went by very fast and I enjoyed the movie. I was definitely hoping for more background information about who created the purge and how other countries feel about it. Furthermore there haven't been any character developments or even an introduction, and I therefore didn't connect with the protagonists. The ending wasn't bad, but came very abrupt and I hope they will come out with a second part that hopefully has a bigger budget, so they can deliver a better story with more twists. The Purge was a huge commercial success and is definitely worth a one- time watch if you liked Panic Room (2002) or The Strangers (2008). But I don't think it is necessary to see it in the movie theater, better rent or buy it.

Rating: 6.5/10

Prank (2013/I)
18 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
Can we stop making movies with a hand-held camera now?, 18 June 2013

You might like this movie if you enjoyed: The Last Excorcism (2010), Chronicle (2012)

Long Story Short: Three teens plan to take revenge on their bully and document their every move on camera to show the creation of an epic prank. But things get out of hand and soon a fun idea turns into a nightmare.

Review: Prank is entirely filmed with a hand-held camera. The goal of these movies is to work with a low budget but also to create a more authentic atmosphere. We all remember the mother of these movies – The Blair With Project (1998) – and how excited everyone was to see this "real" footage. But the reactions were different: many loved it, some got nauseas, while others got bored or fell asleep. I think End of Watch was the only documentary-style movie that succeeded in what it was trying to do, and Chronicle was okay, too. But as far as the shooting-style goes this movie failed. The concept of Prank is very interesting and shows how far things can actually go when bully victims strike back, but at some point the story was all over the place and became totally unrealistic, but then again, when I think about it, things like that could actually happen. Or not? The acting was decent, the dialogues probably,too, but the constant turning on and off of the camera got on my nerves and I was more annoyed than interested. They definitely should have worked more on the storyline, given the the characters more depth, and made a regular movie. If you like these kind of movies watch it, otherwise I wouldn't really recommend it.

Rating: 4.5/10

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Definitely a weaker WWE-Production!, 18 June 2013
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You might like this movie if you enjoyed: See No Evil (2006), The Perfect Getaway (2009), Evil Dead (2013)

The Story: A gang of rednecks kidnap a wealthy couple, planning to make the big buck by torturing them until they give away their bank information. But the couple is not as harmless as they might seem.

Review: I have recently watched The Call and thought, "Wow, WWE are stepping up their game." But then I watched this little piece of – I wanna say trash – and now I guess The Call was just a lucky pick. The characters are flat, and their action are very weird sometimes, the dialogues are dull, and to be honest the whole story just doesn't make any sense. However, the gore effects are decent and the actors are actually doing a nice job. But again, good actors can't make up for a crappy script. See No Evil which is another WWE- release was an okay movie, but compared to No One Lives it is a masterpiece.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
What a Ride!, 18 June 2013
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You might like this show if you enjoyed:

Dollhouse (2009), Ringer (2011)

Storyline:

Sarah's daughter is being raised by her foster mother, who moved from Great Britain to the United States because Sarah doesn't have her life under control. One night at the subway she witnesses a young woman taking off her shoes, putting down her purse and jumping in front of a train. Right before the she takes her life, Sarah gets a glimpse at her face; she looks exactly like Sarah. Instinctly Sarah grabs the purse and walks off. Desperate to get her daughter back, she decides to take over the mysterious woman's life, but she doesn't have a clue about what she gets herself into.

Review:

I haven't heard much about Orphan Black, but man, was I blown away. The pilot gets you hooked already; there have been movies about someone taking over someone else's life, but this is so much different. It takes you in a whole new direction and the writing is phenomenal. A tiny spoiler: In the first two episodes you already get to know that the woman on the tracks isn't the only one that looks exactly like Sarah, so Tatiana Maslany is actually playing at least 5 different characters. And the great thing about it is that you actually believe you see 5 different people. – End of Spoiler Tatiana Maslany is an amazing actress and I honestly have no idea where she came from, or why she was hiding from us. By the way, she looks like the love child of Alyssa Milano and Leah Remini. This Show is so brilliant and as far as the story goes it has endless potential and can basically go anywhere, which this season has already proved. 2012 was the year of Scandal, but 2013 is the year of Orphan Black. Hands down, this is one of the best drama shows (with a touch of sci-fi) I have seen in many many years.

Watch it, you won't be disappointed!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Amazing Images of an enchanted and magical world!, 18 June 2013
7/10

You might like this movie if you enjoyed: Return to Oz (1985), Alice in Wonderland (2009), The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012)

The story in one sentence: An arrogant circus magician finds himself in an enchanted world and has to prove that he is more than just a charlatan.

Storyline: Oscar Diggs (James Franco) – also known as Oz – is an arrogant circus magician with very little success who is playing with every woman he comes across. When one of the circus artists finds out that he gave a music box to his wife – one of his tricks to get into a woman's "heart" – he chases him through the entire area. Oz jumps into a balloon and cuts the robe lose only to get sucked into a bad twister. Scared for his life he gets swept away and wakes up in an enchanted, colorful world like he has never seen before. He meets Theodora (Mila Kunis), a witch that explains that he is in Oz. When he tells her that his name is Oz as well, she assumes that he is the wizard everyone is looking for to free the people of Oz from the wicked witch. After he hears that whoever kills the witch has a lot of gold waiting for him he confirms that he is the one everyone is waiting for. He makes Theodora fall in love with him by giving her another music box claiming that it was a gift from his grandmother. Theodora's sister Evanora (Rachel Weisz) seems sceptical and questions Oz's true intentions. On his way to find and kill the wicked witch he makes friends with a monkey and a porcelain doll. But when he faces Glinda (Michelle Williams), the witch who everyone claims to be wicked he notices that she looks exactly like one of his former romances. Is Glinda the wicked witch? Is someone playing a game with him? How will Theodora react when she figures out that he might have feelings for Glinda? And how is a fake magician going to fight against a powerful witch?

Review: Oz the Great and Powerful is a very cute tale of how the wizard of Oz actually came to life. Many critics think that having a male lead character for an Oz-tale is a major step back for witches and women, but I strongly disagree. Yes, the major focus should be – as the title hints – on the wizard, but fact is there are three powerful women who the movie couldn't live without. The witches left a much bigger impression in my opinion than the wizard. But what is this movie really about? Is it about who is more important in out society, men or women? No, obviously certain critics are too busy being bitter and resentful. The movie shows that you need to believe in yourself first in order to help others. You need to love yourself first before you love others. And most importantly never give up. So I give a big fat DUH to all of you who are trying to outrage the women in this world for being neglected in this movie, because you are very wrong. But that's just how I feel.

The movie delivers probably the most stunning cinematography I have seen this year and the transition from the black and white treatment into color is almost breath taking. I fell in love with the images and creatures of Oz. All the actors give a nice performance with what they are given, and here is where I have to take points off: What the actors were given is a thin storyline. The dialogues were not bad, flat or frustrating in any way but I missed the magic. I remember I watched Return to Oz many many years ago and was totally intrigued by it but I didn't get that from this movie, especially at the beginning which seemed very long. However, I have to admit that the amazing graphics almost made me forgot about my disappointment. Plus the monkey was hilarious!

Oz the Great and Powerful is an enchanting and colorful family movie with a few flaws here and there, but still very enjoyable.

My rating: 6.5/10

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Fully Loaded!, 18 June 2013
7/10

You might like this movie if you enjoyed: Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997), Red Riding Hood (2011), Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

The story: Hansel and Gretel find themselves left alone in the woods by their father. They discover a gingerbread house, not knowing that an evil witch lives in it who eats children. The witch catches them and locks them in a cage, but luckily, Gretel can outsmart her, and pushes her in her own oven. Many year later the two have become bounty hunters and known as the famous witch hunters Hansel and Gretel. Their latest mission: 11 children have been missing from a village and the mayor wants the siblings to track them down. The two are sure that witches are involved.

Review: Like many fantasy movies in 2013 Hansel and Gretel was not as successful as expected. I remember that it was supposed to be released some time in 2012, but it was postponed. My guess is they didn't want to compete with Snow White and The Huntsman and Mirror Mirror. But they should have, because neither of these two movies was as fast- paced, or held as much action as this one. The movie doesn't have much of a story or great dialogues but that's not important, because it has everything else: Great graphics, over-the top gore – which works in this case-, a sexy cast, creepy villains, and lots and lots of action. It is definitely a trip you don't want to miss, if you need a movie that won't make you fall asleep.

Rating: 6.5/10

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