Reviews written by registered user
|14 reviews in total|
I confess: the movie was a disappointment. The book and the deepness of the characters is far superior. A book of course has far more potential when it comes to describe a large family over generations and their internal battles. The genealogy is important to understand the various relationships and I admit having had to go back to earlier passages to reposition the players. The book is magnificently constructed with far more content to the "investigation" and the development of Lisbeth's character. It also seems that the book's intermediate end (what did really happen to Harriet) did not please the director, so he took a shortcut: open for discussion. In conclusion, people who did not read the book are likely to give the movie a higher rating. To them I strongly recommend to get the book and ... enjoy it.
The movie is good and kept me in a tensed mode from beginning to end. While the music more than underscores the strong emotions felt by Nina, the Black Swan revolves solely on Nina and Nathalie Portman. Her performance is unique, remarkable, just mind blowing. Rarely have I seen an actor or actress so immensely inside of his/her character. This is an Oscar award, hands up. Back to the movie: take Nathalie Portman out and replace her with a good actress and you have a flop. My vote is a 10 for Nathalie and if the movie receives any other award, it will result from the deep emotion which Nathalie attaches to the movie. Like a magnificent perfume which remains for a very, very long time.
With so many movies on the market, I confess I check IMDb ratings before buying a theater ticket, a DVD or rent one. So 7.5 is rather high and I bought the DVD. It is however a disappointment. The story line is completely predictable in every sense: Lens' murder, the young junkie salvage, the avenging, the lady inspector persistence to follow it by the books, Noel's fate. From the beginning, the pace is very slow and I was patient, expecting it to accelerate as a function of the elements build up. Well, there is no build up. Less than a minute is sufficient to describe the movie in its content and motive. A bit thin. Except for the sound mastering, this movie has very little to offer, unless you want to get more familiar with British ground zero urbanism. And by the way, in the avenger style movie, I thought Charles Bronson did a more exciting job!
This movie reminds me of a visit to a modern art gallery some years ago. I thought the paintings were terrible and if there was any meaning to it, I could not find it. I met a critic, well renowned, who explained me in pompous and over-intellectual terms, why these all were a chef d'oeuvre. Here I am, trying to make sense of "A Serious Man". Is it a black comedy filled with Jewish humor? Is it a search into deep religion and the unknown paths of God? Or is it a disguised acid criticism of a type of Jewish community? Reading the many positive comments did not help. On a closing note, Rene Magritte was considered the leading surrealist painter in Belgium but was snubbed by his Parisian surrealist colleagues and "friends". For his personal amusement and maybe revenge, he painted provocative bad surreal paintings, exhibited in a Paris gallery. Did the Coen brothers attempted something similar, getting square with part of the Jewish community? Who knows ... God maybe?
Many angles are possible to represent personality disorders. Delivering an exciting movie with this subject is a challenge which I believe writer/director Marina de Van succeeded with beautifully. The tension and attention span gradually increase as does the spectator disorientation with subtly changing details to full decors. The physical changes are superbly rendered and here again the spectator starts to loose his/her reference points. In other words, we are inside Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci and move with her/them to try and understand. Both actresses perform splendidly and beyond feeling for their life's search, one leaves the movie with a strong bond for both personalities. In summary, I liked the movie for the storyline, the subtle crescendo along the time line, the actresses performance and the total attention span to try and understand (if I had been part of their life, I would have tried to help, but probably to no avail). I am a little sad for the low rating (6 at the time of this review).
It must be. The movie met the highest ratings at the Cesar awards. Nothing less than best actor, best cinematography, best director, best editing, best film, best production design, best supporting actor, best writing and best promising actor. So I must confess: I understand nothing of movies. What I saw here was a young immigrated crook integrating far better in a prison environment than in real life. I suppose that there is a message behind all of this? Let me try. French prisons are abounding in Arab-Muslims-Corsican-African prisoners? When you learn to speak Corsican, obey Corsican orders and kill who you are asked to, you become member of the club? French prisons wardens are corrupted by the power of some inmates? The French judicial system is so weak that it does not even check what inmates really do when on temporary leave? Nobody speaks any decent French anymore (I saw the movie in its original French version)? And finally, the measure of success for a young immigrated crook is to get out of prison, be greeted by your sister in law, by now a widow, soon to become your future wife, and be followed by a bunch of expensive cars, crammed full with other successful immigrates. This richness probably impressed all the movies Experts. I told you I understand nothing of movies, although I very much liked Le Mari de la Coiffeuse, Leon, Quai des Orfevres, Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain, Le Grand Bleu, Le Pacte des Loups, Le Salaire de la Peur, Le Cinquieme Element, Les Diaboliques (should I continue?).
This is who we are. This is who they are, the Dolphins. The movie is shocking, as is any holocaust. And let's agree that only Humans are capable of mass destruction in their own species and across any other species. Beyond the horror of the slaughtering, there are fundamental questions opening a large debate. Let me pose a few: * How far can we ethically go in killing for food and for profit? * At what level of intelligence in a species does killing become murder? * Should a small nation have the right to fish so much beyond its own population need, purely for economical profit? I don't have the answers. What is clear is that such debates will not take place because of the huge business implications involved. So let's get back to the movie-documentary. One needs guts and courage for the actions taken by the crew and the activists (in its most positive meaning). This by itself already deserves a 10 rating. The tone of the movie is remarkable as is the calm of the activists. There are moments in the movie where my blood literally boiled. The movie keeps however all along a dignified reserve, even during the most atrocious and bloody scene where silence is the only escape for the people who did the movie and for us, the spectators. And I will use silence as well to contain all my anger.
I have developed a large DVD library over the years, some 1,000 today! There are only a few which I will see more than once or twice. And The General's Daughter is one I keep seeing with pleasure. You will have read many reviews, scattering ratings from 1 to 10, as usual, but with a poor average rate. I personally like the movie for its excellent tempo and accompanying music. Travolta, Cromwell and Stowe fit their respective role perfectly. The global integration of filming, dialogs, acting and plot come out exactly right. So of course I try to understand why the rating is so poor. I have read criticism regarding the poor adaptation from the book, the way the army is depicted so unjustly, the average performance of Travolta and his annoying southern accent and more. Well, we have the right to our choices and own judgment. On a closing note, I wish people would stop repeating the plot in their reviews: it's boring, redundant and does not provide a bit of film analysis.
Let me go counter-current to all the praising reviews. Nothing wrong with being critical when considering the tons of new movies produced by a wealthy industry. The script at first sight looks good, dramatic and moving. Given a little more thought however, serious flaws appear. The most important is that the movie is constructed from a series of other movies parts/ideas and reproduced as clichés: the imprisonment of soldiers in a hole, their forced video declaration and the execution of a fellowman; a declared dead soldier resurrecting; the brother affair with his sister in law; the obnoxious father waving the image of the example brother; the bad brother growing to the nice guy, playing with kids in the snow. And I could find more should I have a second viewing (no thank you). Another annoying flaw is the adult language and behavior of the elder daughter. Sorry, I don't buy it. And then finally Toby McGuire. I don't dispute his acting, I just don't see him as a credible adult. His voice, looks and acting belong to the teenager's world and Spiderman. Sorry for his fans. Sorry also to Mr. Sheridan and his producers, far more is needed to be at the top.
This is a difficult film to rate considering its content versus its cinematography. Let's review the latter. The plot, scenario, jigsaw build-up, imagination, creativity and filming are really excellent. Sound and camera effects are mastered as well as scene lighting. For this I would give it an 8-9. How about rating the movie with its content? It is one thing to reflect on the deepest and sadistic side of human nature while dealing with an overall story concept. This was beautifully executed with The Silence of the Lambs. But in Saw III sadistic torture becomes the centerpiece. When further listening to comments by Leigh Whannell and director Daren Lynn Bousman, it shows that both enjoyed the subject and wanted to please the viewers. That is one thing which disturbed me. Then there is the subtle perversion to show the Jigsaw in a more understandable if not positive way: he is not a murderer, in opposition to Amanda, and the rules of his game always enable the victim to escape, at the expense of great pain of course. Finally, each civilization has its wave of torture, the most bloody examples going back to the Mayas, the Spanish Inquisition and more recently the Nazis. Do our present times miss torture to explain the appearance of the sagas of Saw and Hostel?
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