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Ghostbusters (2016)
6/10
What is it with all the blah blah in there ? I should join in !
3 October 2016
There's a thing when you get older, you can shut up kids.

Timeless classic I was born then, saw it, the original, and walked home without bothering anyone about the timeless wonder I'd just witnessed. Although the special effect were very, very impressive at the time.

In fact I didn't see it in a theater back then, I was too busy saving money to buy the sneakers Ray Parker Jr. wore in the music video, and I also wanted the neon bedside lamp but it was out of my league, finally I got it on Christmas but it is not the point there.

OK the "reboot" isn't very great. I had fun anyway. As in Feig's previous movies, the written oneliners and jokes fall flat, but thanks to a great cast the improv included in the final cut saves the day. Don't serve me the "that kind of production is so planned, there's none of that": it's blatant.

Which brings me to Hemsworth... yeah, he's funny in this. But me too can play a houseplant and be funny in this. And I've nothing against the guy I think he's a fairly good actor.

The thing that really annoyed me was Hemworth's momentum (yeah, everybody gets one, large cast, plenty of meals to serve, some egos in the way maybe, or agents, well, everybody gets its five minute of brilliance) was a direct and complete rehash of a very famous scene from The Mask.

They not only pulled that off, but even brought back the scene, on repeat, to animate the first half of the end credits. So proud. So much fun. Hemsworth is actually required to say this, you can distinctively hear him say "so much fun" during the process.

The other half of the end credits is about special effects and prop design auto-satisfaction.
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10/10
A brilliantly crafted piece of cinema
3 October 2016
I don't often give a ten, but this time here goes my vote.

I didn't rush to see this one because I didn't care much about the first Conjuring. It is lost somewhere in my memory between Insidious and some other movie I forgot about. The design of the Anabelle doll bothered me to begin with.

Anyway, I finally watched The Conjuring 2, driven by favorable critics and word of mouth, and I am really glad I did.

Of course it's a James Wan ghost movie, so they throw everything in but the kitchen sink, although I think the kitchen sink got thrown out at some point, but I loved every part of the ride.

The Warren couple works in this one. There is real chemistry. The kids are all great. A kid in a horror movie is usually a low point, useful to generate compassion but also to make the rest of the cast look good, but there you have three of them, who seem to effortlessly deliver, well, anything. They performed so well I almost didn't notice.

The efficient reenactment of the 70's period is a real pleasure, but the movie doesn't just rely on the tricks (and bells, and whistles) of that proficient era. I really think they tried to sponge out ideas and mood from recent horror greats. I felt some Babadook in there. And a hint of It Follows maybe.

Clearly the creative department (because there is plenty of creativity nonetheless) tried hard on this, which is great, because they didn't have to. They would have made their money anyway.

Thank you Mr Wan. Very hard.
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4/10
Good thing the action starts before the end credits
29 September 2016
Character buildup. For most of the movie. Too bad they are so two dimensional it hurts, some drastic change of behavior is supposed to be intriguing when it's just a welcomed announcement that things are actually moving towards the ending, which is obvious right from the start.

Don't miss the blatant, obnoxious plot device near the middle, or you might actually get surprised by some detail at the end. The Hand That Rocks The Cradle even had that more subtly, in addition with a decently paced script. Which is another crappy movie, but fairly entertaining for its time.

Acting isn't bad, until daddy throws his fit, but the plot is bad, predictable, and dare I say, unimaginative. A TV movie from the 80's.
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Buried (2010)
8/10
Compelling, brilliant.
14 September 2010
I thought this movie would either have its last half and climax in a box, or be chockful with flashbacks and subplots, but nope. Just a guy in a box for the whole length of the movie.

Yet, what a ride. I can't believe the nerve of the screenplay writer, sitting at his desk with such a goal. But he got the job done for sure. Lifting the gimmicky premise to surprising levels.

Yes there are a (very) few scenes that weren't that necessary, still you stand at the edge of your seat waiting for what will happen next, and if not all occurrences are equal in thrills and revelations, it all blends in a terrific experience.

I really don't care for people saying the lighter should have burned most of the available oxygen, or that the cell phone shouldn't get any reception. Given the plot those concerns are stupid.

A few words about the man of the hour, Ryan Reynolds gives an excellent performance here indeed, but (how to put that right?) it didn't seem like a very hard role to pull off. Maybe I'm wrong, and he pulled that off effortlessly. Anyway dumb me thought he was just a pretty face romcom actor but I learned that he enjoyed playing parts in many indies that I missed and will try to check out.

The ending may or may not satisfy you, anyway like in most good movies, and often in life, the journey is more interesting than the destination.
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3/10
Offensive in every way
10 March 2010
How could anybody raise any money for this. Marketed as a Harry Potter/Jeunet ripoff, that piece of garbage goes out of its way to steal from any source of successful and/or creative popular material, only doing it wrong in an unimaginative, exploitative attempt to cash on people's (and especially children's) stupidity.

Nobody is spared, Grinn, J.K.Rowling, Del Toro, Burton, S.King, W.Golding... and a copious amount of French references, with Goscigny and Jeunet being the most obvious.

Modern and politically correct winks are included of course, the single cool and integrated black kid shows up when needed, pop culture references, and so on.

Any attempt at originality is ill-advised, if not completely, utterly sick.

CGI is everywhere it shouldn't be. Many visuals are good, but many times unnecessary CGI elements are shouting "look at me ! I'm a process" on the screen. Like a phony print on a building, things like that.

Needless to say, any decent performance (by the kids) gets drowned with the boat.

The whole mess feels like a cheap, unlicensed, toxic copy of a plastic smurf village set.
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7/10
A lot of fun
10 January 2010
Marcello (Mastroianni) is the tenth victim. Caroline (Ursulla Andress), an American woman, hunts him down, and tries to attract him in a trap ("I came to Rome to conduct an inquiry on the sexual conduct of Italian men"), but he doesn't trust her, so she insists ("Look, I represent millions of unsatisfied American women!"). This film a real slice of the sixties, and an unsung reference of Austin Powers - a few minutes into the movie will convince you of that.

Design from the future all over the place, the usual garish yet drab colours, improbable main theme, trendy symbolism : who cares about everybody shooting at each other, the important things here are that Ms Andress has to look her best, that Marcello has to be the perfect Italian taciturn macho stereotype ("Telling the truth? Nobody likes the truth. I blush when I tell the truth") and that the last 15 minutes have to make no sense whatsoever.

A pop-artsy excuse for an Italian romp, served with lightness and hearty fun. Don't expect "Le Prix Du Danger" here !
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Crank (2006)
10/10
It's not a DVD, it's a molotov cocktail
20 September 2009
I hate reviews that start with a nth synopsis. But here goes: The guy wakes up at the beginning, and watches a video where he learns that if his heartbeat rate goes too low, he'll die.

Well, it's pretty much WYSIWYG from then on.

Some people might miss this title, thinking it's basically "Speed" with a guy playing the role of the bus. Well they shouldn't, because there is a lot more in there. Yes, there are a lot more movies referenced. But the film makers are proud of their references, and they give them a royal treatment.

How they managed to include splotches of humor, and genuine cinematographic art in such a ride is a mystery for me. I thought I was in for another one of Besson's "Transporter" kind of fluff, but how wrong I was.

And on top of it all Statham's charisma literally drips off the screen! I can't wait to see the sequel.
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Rampage (2009)
8/10
Is it because I expected so little that I found this movie so great?
6 September 2009
The only movie I had seen from Boll was House Of The Dead. It was a lot of fun because it was so bad. I read reviews of other movies he made, and I suspect they weren't much better. I was infuriated with what he did with the Alone In The Dark franchise, with guns and bimbo scientist and all.

I went to see Rampage (at the L'Etrange Festival) with a smirk on my face. I missed the 15 first minutes and I'm almost glad I did: the lousy messages, the jump cuts, the ad lib dialogue were about to get me out of here. But the actors weren't bad, things kept moving, so I played along.

Then started the said "rampage". There is not much to tell about it. It feels like Boll wanted to stick the nose of GTA players into their own *bip*, asking "So you thinks that's funny? See what it's like, is that so much fun anymore?" The movie gets better every minute. By the end of it I also wondered if the beginning was playing on the fact that we expect something stupid, illogical and aimless from his movies.

The logic is not without faults, but nothing that couldn't be discussed, the humour is great, scarce and surprisingly witty, overall, for me it was a success. If you get a chance to watch it, stick with it, at the end you might find yourself surprised at how it got there, from where it started.

As a side comment I would like to add that Mr Boll is a very nice person, on the first day of the festival he stood in the middle of the multiplex for hours (without boxing gloves) just to talk with people. I'm familiar with festivals and you don't see a lot of directors doing that.
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