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Mission Pays Basque (2017)
much better than expected
Only watched this because it was available in a very short entertainment menu on my long haul flight. After Bienvenue chez les ch'tis and similar movies, my expectations were pretty low. Actually the actors are spot on and the plot, even if slightly ridiculous, stays entertaining.
The only thing is it doesn't show half of the magnificent potential that this region of France has (yeah yeah I know Pays Basque is also and mostly on the Spanish side). No one goes does there without enjoying the super beaches, the hills and mountains, the food... The people certainly have their own way, customs and language, but they are actually very welcoming and that's something the movie shows pretty nicely.
Oh and Parisians are not all pricks, well most of them, not all.
Disgusting, painful and totally unnecessary
If you want to ruin a perfectly fine Sunday evening that is the right movie for it. The photography is already a pain to go through (5 shades of grey basically), but the movie pulls all the biblical / mystical / psychotic strings that are best left alone. I think that DA's director career is taking a nosedive, good movies like Pi and the Wrestler are not doing enough to mask the sick feelings created by Mother! and Requiem for a dream. I'm not even mentioning Noah which got a generous 3/10 from me.
Some people see brilliance where I can only see garbage, so perhaps I'm missing something, but I think I am better for it.
A Star Is Born (2018)
Alright movie, good performance from both actors, a bad end
No need to repeat all the nice things that have been said by others: acting is very good, especially on Bradley Cooper's side, directing is fine, photography is ok, music is good.
I love drama, I don't go for cheesy etc... but honestly the movie has nowhere to go once Brad hangs himself and for once you want it to end on a high note. Just my opinion but this was a very vain ending to a solid movie.
A solid emotional movie, great acting
Saw this on a flight back from Africa, I always get drawn to the French movies I have missed, not disappointed.
The main actress Diane Rouxel plays an incredibly fine line between her emotions, her physical abilities and weaknesses and her random career choices in the army. Her acting at the side of seasoned actor Lambert Wilson is really amazing.
It was a pleasure to see again the very cold environment of the Ecole Navale in Lanveoc where I spent some time, the setting is like another character in the movie as it always feels too big for the little humans living in it. I thought a bit less of the commando training part that was a far cry from the very tough reality of it... and whatever your position is in the navy you will always spend a bit of time on the ships which is not the case and could have added another dimension to the movie.
If you manage to find this movie, make sure you watch it!
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
I was surprised Ridley Scott wasn't going to direct 2049 but Villeneuve proved to be worthy of the task. The cast is spot on, the photography is excellent, the sound effects are chilling, the universe is splendid, it is almost there. It is hard to pinpoint an obvious flaw in the movie and that's why I still rated it 8 out of 10. But there's not enough of Jared Leto, the streets of Chinatown are not packed enough, the pod where K lives is too much inspired from the 5th Element, the pace of the movie is quite random and for a film that long you expect more tension, some lengthy western confrontations, well just a bit more. You want more inventions like in the original one where every single object on stage was a specific design. Villeneuve respected the sets of the original, very good, but maybe just a bit too much, he should have owned this new universe. And honestly the new Nexus have no extra features and they can even get trashed by a human bare handed? Tiny bits of frustration all consolidated by the obvious clues that a #3 is already in the making. You don't enjoy a movie as the ultimate one if you feel that the end of the story is in a sequel. And when one respects a movie enough to wait 35 years before the next sequel... it defeats the purpose to make the audience feel the next one is much closer than that.
Now that was dull!
Looks to me like Mr Nolan's director career is on the same track as Mr Night's (shamaya, Shimalaya, whatever). Their first or second movies (Memento, superb) were by far their best and it's all downhill from there (Interstellar, yuk).
Dunkirk kind of lets you down on all accounts. No attention paid to the anachronisms (modern buildings, container cranes... lol). No characters whatsoever, except as solid as usual Mark Rylance. The storyline would fill half a page on a notepad. Seeing each scene from three different perspectives at different times does not make the film any better, just the story shorter. No suspense, no action, no acting, no nothing.
Photography is decent, but it's not Private Ryan or Band of brothers.
Honestly don't bother, watch it on freeview in 2 years you'll be equally disappointed.
not bad, some bits missing
Having worked in investment banks as a trader for many years, I always watch movies related to the industry. Some cannot capture the atmosphere of a trading room but this one actually does. Even if some bits are a bit simplistic -for that kind of size Kerviel traded a lot on the phone and with a lot more discretion-. Also a key component of JK being able to cheat the Soc Gen was to access the middle office system thanks to his previous position; this is totally absent from the movie. The fun part is the characters: his boss played by Demaison is exactly the kind of fat f**k psychos you find on a trading desk, FX plays it perfectly. Also his further bosses (the meerkat midget and the curly hair) are very close to their real life counterparts... Believe me I've know them (sorry guys). Basically those clowns had no clue what was going on and never questioned a trader who was making his budget 10 times over. They only lost 5 billion, making them the worst desk managers of all time. JK was totally out of his depth, dishonest andincompetent never makes a good combination but Soc Gen should haveknown better. Served them well.
Worth watching, way better than JK's book at least.
Now You See Me 2 (2016)
Avoid at all costs
There's bad movies, there's movies so bad they're good and then there'es that: NYSM2. Bad title, bad actors, no plot, horrible CGI there is nothing to save the movie from total disaster. I haven't ranked a movie so low since "London has fallen" but what can you expect from a director whose credits are some Justin Bebeeere stuff, GI Joe nonsense and Step Up soup? Do not buy a ticket, do not rent the movie, just stay away and we might avoid a number 3!
Bastille Day (2016)
Poor, very poor
I don't bash every bad movie I watch otherwise that would be a full time job. Just saw this one on Amazon Prime -would not have bothered otherwise- and it makes a good distraction when you are ironing your shirts, but not more. Action sequences are OK, not great, not bad. The rest is terrible, the scenario ridiculous, the characters very forgettable. Shame when you put together actors like Idris Elba, Kelly Reilly (Pot luck, the Russian dolls) and Charlotte Le Bon (the hundred foot journey). Jose Garcia lands another weird role after Tout schuss which is even worse. 3/10 just for the action. Come on Idris do something!
You should only watch a Besson movie if...
if Jean Reno is in it (plus the 5th element). This is not causality but a rule of thumb, like eating oyster only in the 'R' months.
Big Luc said he would only direct 10 movies, and really he should have stopped at 6 or 7...
Leon was the last really good one, and the Fifth Element the last one worth your 10£ for the big screen.
If you're hangover and the two fingers method doesn't work, run to HMV, get Lucy, that will work a treat.
Honestly if Besson could only go back to the old days and focus on real characters in a twisted but normal life, there's a good chance his inspiration would come back and he would treat us with another Subway or Nikita. Good LUCk
Only God Forgives (2013)
Loved Drive, hated OGF -at the first viewing-
Picked up the DVD on my way home as I was surprised such a recent movie would be only 3£... and I loved Drive.
My first viewing of it : it is not worth 3 £. But I hated Pulp Fiction -not to be compared- the first time and I now love it, and a few others went this way, so I will watch it again in a year or so and my opinion might then be totally different.
Still when you watch OGF, you do it with Drive at the back of your mind, and the slow captivating tempo of Drive -and the brilliant soundtrack- seems to have been diluted here to something unbearable. It's like Drive is a lovely macchiato to the average action movie brutal expresso, but OGF is a nasty American filter coffee. Bad comparison, but you get it.
There are some very good reviews here of people who appreciated the Greek tragedy and the philosophy of it, but even if I saw some of this in it, I didn't enjoy it.
Keep you posted in a year!
Une nuit (2012)
a good 90 minutes
It's not bad, it's not great. Interesting format, similar to Collateral.
Zem and Forestier are very good, the rest of the cast a bit more random. Gives you a new perspective on the 'monde de la nuit a Paris'...
But the scenario lacks some depth and shooting at night is not easy; Philippe Lefebvre is clearly not Michael Mann even if he directs the actors pretty well.
A good change from Hollywood take on police movies. If you likes this one, check out Olivier Marchal's work, A la petite semaine and Ne le dis a personne, good French stuff!
Diamant 13 (2009)
After a bunch of seriously dark French thrillers directed by Olivier Marchal (36, MR73, Les Lyonnais, the TV series Braquo), I was keen to see Marchal and Depardieu reunited. Well, it just doesn't work this time: Olivier is clearly better behind the camera and Gerard behind a bar counter. The tempo is pretty random, cops and villains seem to make appointments to fight each other or walk casually in the most obvious traps. The scenario is weak as American coffee; who would believe that 280-pound pure fat Gerard can take on trained killers or that a burning car on a 20 meters wide pier would stop a death squad... Avoid, and if you missed 36 or Braquo go for those instead! On a slightly different note, add 'A la petite semaine' to your watch list for good measure.
Forces spéciales (2011)
Very disappointing. There's a decent budget, a couple of decent actors -Hounsou, Magimel - (sorry not you Diane! and Tcheky Karyo not at his best), but it is just too unrealistic to be enjoyable. I am not going to repeat the other critics made about the fight scenes, they are all justified unfortunately. The director mentioned in an interview that the actors went to Lorient to spend some time with the commandos, it is not obvious they have learnt anything there about close combat. The photography is pretty neat, but Rybojad has to stop abusing the signature shot of Michael Bay (you know the camera revolving around the actors). It just looks like a Luc Besson production, which is not a compliment. Maybe if you are 14 years old, otherwise don't bother.
Fantasia chez les ploucs (1971)
Very much overlooked, brilliant piece of madness
I must have seen the movie 4 or 5 times before reading the book - in French - and honestly I have a preference for the movie. This is a great piece of madness that you can put right between King of hearts, The Devil by the tail or even A clockwork orange... Clearly something snapped in the early 70's and resulted in unforgettable quotes, crazy design, clothes, hairdos and dance styles. And to have Ventura and Jean Yanne playing a couple of crooked rednecks just sums it up. Of course for it's even better with Mireille Darc at the top of her... art let's say. Maybe it's a movie one should see only when high as a kite, but I would say it's a must see.
A great Marseille movie
I have to say I'm not a fan of Besson's productions, but this one is a good surprise. If you're looking for a very clever plot, forget it. But if you want to enjoy beautiful views of the glorious city of Marseille and have a thrill at the gangster's atmosphere it used to live in, this is the one. Jean Reno is solid like usual, Kad Merad -such a good actor- doesn't find his comfort zone in the bad guy, Marina Fois is brilliant, what on earth is Richard Berry doing in his own movie where his role has no impact? Overall a good moment, not Borsalino or French connection, but i definitely recommend it. If you want to see more of this mysterious city, try to locate the following titles: Comme un aimant, Taxi, Un ange, FC 1 and 2, Borsalino 1 and 2, movies with Raimu...