Reviews written by registered user
|48 reviews in total|
We can always criticize Hollywood for bringing movies that are intended
to toss some smoke to the viewer by presenting something new with
repeated formulas and recycled plots we have seen somewhere else
before. The same goes for "Southpaw"... apart from the fact that
there's something more lying inside this story about a boxer's
redemption. The answer to it is the trust it puts into the strength of
its actors and the gripping emotions that come with it.
There's a little sparkle that starts to light up inside of us during the very first minutes of the movie. And even if we barely have the time to see Gyllenhaal and McAdams' characters, we didn't need more because we were instantly dragged towards an emotional charge that never abandons the plot and whose "legacy" is carried on the main actor's shoulders.
Gyllenhaal doesn't skip a beat and keeps his character's pain and rage constantly vivid in every detail - we feel it because we've somewhat experienced in our lives what it means to lose someone we love and feel lost afterward. We felt the struggle coming after the loss of a bond as strong as that one. That's why his performance is relentless and immaculate.
Truth is that the genuine side of "Southpaw"'s plot is based on the main character's fall and his irreproachable route to stand up again, reach the top once more. Only this time, the fight has completely changed and the goals are different, goals that make us question what we really fight for in our life.
You already know this story but not told under these terms. Hollywood has crafted good flicks about fighters/boxers in the last few years and "Southpaw" follows a line that is close to the more recent "Warrior", starring Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy due to its "underdog" screenplay. What makes this movie different from the rest is the ineluctable emotion that never departs and befalls us, stirring and stirring our inner feelings.
We don't always need to criticize a movie for its predictability. "Southpaw" is predictable but it's also honest in assuming itself as such because its purpose - and I believe, Antoine Fuqua's purpose - is to divert our attention towards something more meaningful. And when a movie pierces the bone to reach our heart and soul with this impact, then it deserves our respect and acknowledgment.
"Southpaw" is, quite simply, liberating.
After making us laugh with the unconventional romantic comedy 'Crazy,
Stupid, Love', the Ficarra/Requa pair switch the tape to a comedy-crime
flick that keeps their game up as well.
It's your typical love story in not so typical romantic standards, as two thieves played by Will Smith and Margot Robbie fall in love after the first one teaches the latter how to make a criminal living.
The story has some very interesting twists that you didn't see coming and Will Smith fuels this big time as the cool and smooth Nicky.
'Focus' never stops pumping. It's pure entertainment with pace, rhythm and flair. Somewhere between Guy Ritchie's 'Snatch' and Matthew Vaughn's 'Layer Cake', less violent, sarcastic or crude. And with a touch of some Hollywood love.
Oh, and did I mention it features Margot Robbie?
Maybe it's fair to say that Blake Lively steals the show. Not just only
for her natural beauty that fits the role for reminding us of cinema's
most iconic blonde actresses. No. She drives the movie forward with
elegance and wit, just as a lead actress should do.
It's a strange tale this 'Age of Adaline'. Instead of a Benjamin Button aging backwards, we get a woman that stopped getting old - at least from the outside - for more than 50 years. And, afraid of becoming a 'curiosity', she never stops running away and changing her identity, leaving her daughter behind and putting love on the sidelines. Until she meets Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman).
We know from the beginning of the movie we're being fooled by a plot that, when you think about it, seems ludicrous, narrowly shallow and sometimes bold. But we buy it and the secret is that it's purely, almost innocently, charming.
Moreover, having Harrison Ford's contribution of an old man still heart broken because of that 'one girl who got away', is a genuine performance which also makes this worth watching.
Your mind will make you skeptical to the plot line but your eyes won't leave the screen. So hey, what can you do? Sometimes movies are about that too.
There's a certain fragrance of change and singularity in this piece,
that not only looks for the nostalgia of past times, but also tries to
implement a vivid and modern style in its aesthetic effort and
The poetry emerges in the long sequence-plans, in the editing's softness, in the conversations and dialogs, and the actor's expressions. But it's a kind of cinema that we learn to love as time passes by. Its effects are not immediate, its impact is not immediate. The appreciation comes later.
What we can say is that Davies has conceived an intimate work, a powerful romantic drama. To be seen and seen again.
Even if the idea of taking the White House by storm is the most remote,
unthinkable and impossible plan to make, the movie's pace is so quick
that we end up swallowing the theory and forget the reality, deluded by
explosions, gunshots, fights, blood, deaths and tons of expensive
military vocabulary that tries to give that sense of credibility to the
Antoine Fuqua's new piece of work is, however, more of the same of what we have seen before, only being audacious at suggesting a North Korean terrorist attack to the United States' political heart.
And along comes Gerard Butler, the iron Scottish playing the typical "one man army" role that wipes out an entire paratrooper battalion in a matter of seconds. It's almost as if we are witnessing a game of "Call of Duty" set in Washington, in legendary difficulty.
Resuming, "Olympus Has Fallen" is an impish action movie, that doesn't ask for permission to ignite the screen with a nearly apocalyptic Washington, D.C landscape. This cheesy but, nonetheless, watchable film, is what happens when you cross "Die Hard" with a North Korean invasion.
Young Portuguese director Miguel Gomes plunges us into two narratives
that are nothing less than pure poetry.
The screenplay and refined narration, the delicate but still frenetic soundtrack that dances through Joana Sá's piano keyboards, the contrasting photography (not new, not old), as well as the roaming melancholy of Lisbon and Africa's landscapes, drive us to a distant, dream-like, almost abstracted dimension.
"Tabu" is truly a cinematic synesthesia, an artistic portrait that, inexplicably, grabs its viewers from the first minute. A genuine pearl that will endure in our thoughts for quite some time. A triumph.
One of those examples of how the choice of a specific director is
essential for a screenplay's success. Truth is, if "Looper" had gone to
someone else's hands, it could have probably lost itself in the dust of
the genre's usual clichés.
In a time where Christopher Nolan's "Inception" still slams its weight, Rian Johnson delivers us an alternative story, refreshing from what has been done lately. It's not just about the meticulous plot where all the pieces seem to fit almost naturally, it's the easiness of how it flows to the screen, in a way that immediately introduces the viewer into the movie's rhythm. Even if it's a piece of sci-fi action, Johnson prefers to focus himself on the storytelling instead of blasting around with visual effects. This is really clear in its style, specially in "Brick", his modern homage to the "cinéma noir", and where he collects all the points - that's why the film shines more than recent others.
Other good aspects: the beautiful photography and the numerous "slow-motion" plans, always without forcing too much. Joseph Gordon-Levitt show us once again why he is one of the most interesting actors around, as he can, quite so hauntingly, appropriate Bruce Willis' way of acting and put it into his own performance, in order to enhance the two of them's similarity.
Strange mixing between Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" and Steven Spielberg's "Minority Report". Possibly a subtle "clin d'oeil" to these masters in a delicious sci-fi essay - 8/10.
It starts slowly, tensely, in a way to let the viewer digest the
conclusion of a dark, cruel thematic: an organized battlefield between
teenagers, in which only one survives.
Close to "Battle Royale", Gary Ross chooses to focus on a specific character: Katniss. This conveys a more humane approach than the cult Japanese flick. However, even if not abundantly graphic, violence reigns. Much is due to the beautiful photographic work, the consistency of the young actors and Ross' detailed directing; a true orchestration of action, drama and tension - the support to this movies' dynamic.
Here we have a thought on how natural violence lives with us everyday and the way we accept it, almost indifferently. As well as we accept it naturally while watching this film - 7/10.
Christopher Nolan had the difficult task to overcome himself after
2008's unforgettable "The Dark Knight". And truth is that he doesn't
let anyone down by delivering a final chapter, I dare saying, at the
level of it's predecessor.
Set in a tense and anarchic landscape, Gotham City is the stage to a mesmerizing visual showdown, beautifully orchestrated by Hans Zimmer's accurate soundtrack. The plot itself unveils slowly but also precisely leaving no loose ends and where all the pieces keep fitting themselves like in a perfect puzzle.
Concerning the villain for this ultimate Batman disclosure, expectations where high due to Heat Ledger's mythic performance in the previous film. However, Tom Hardy's impersonation is a success, not superior to Ledger but equally special. The British actor is able to embody in perfection the character of a brutal and revolutionary Bane, with a way of expressing himself both scary and addictive, leaving the viewer long for his presence on screen. As for the rest of the luxurious cast, they deliver performances that underline a more human side that the English director has achieved to input throughout the series.
"The Dark Knight Rises" is a masterpiece that confirms the versatility of someone like Christopher Nolan, without a doubt, the most competent, talented and unquestionably remarkable filmmaker of our times. And it is time to give him credit for that.
I was kind of curious on seeing this movie, after reading about it. I
thought it would be something different from the
'kick-ass-pointless-action' stereotypes performed by former Karate
champion Jean-Claude Van Damme - and it really up-leveled my
Jean-Claude Van Damme is the main star in this film, delivering the best performance in his 'average' career. He does a very comfortable role, filled with some touching dramatic moments that stunningly convince the spectator. The monologue scene for example, not only reveals his skills as an actor as well as some dark details of what seems to be his personal life.
Mabrouk El-Mechri handles us a confident direction and writing, specially focusing on a personal side instead of JCVD as an actor, as well as approaching his charisma in Belgium.
This is Van Damme emotionally naked, reborn and suiting in a very powerful role. I just hope we have the chance of seeing more from him in this shape...
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