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- wherever the place
- whatever the support
- to share my experience with others
- to share the other experiences
- because movies are art
- because art is life
- i like writing
- it is sort of a legacy: i leave something behind me
- for people to know me better because reviews are always subjective: when we speak about a movie, we speak about ourselves....
*** After 1269 reviews ***
They come from: 429 DVD (34%); 224 WEB (18%); 180 TV (14%); 126 SCREEN (10%); 125 RENTAL (10%); 74 VHS (6%); 40 DAD (3%); 33 CINEMATHEQUE (3%); 21 VIDEOGAMES (1%); 13 PAYTV (1%) and 4 HOTEL (0%)
*** Since then ***
I stop writing reviews (see my ongoing corresponding LIST for the explanation)
I focus on my ARTITS LISTS: I would like to have 100% in " Titles I have seen " for each of them.
I understand that some title would be impossible to watch because they are just unavailable > those ones will become the leftover on my WATCHLIST.
Note that for a TV SHOW, i rate only the best episode from each season and i put " SEEN " over the other ones.
*** At last ***
I have now a clear definition of my QUARANTINE LIST:
1) the "patient" is related to AWFUL-OVERRATED NAMES: examples > a director WOODY ALLEN, an actor BRAD PITT, an actress NICOLE KIDMAN , the son of, the daughter of, well the FAMILY business, the same ones, generations after generations...
2) the "patient" has a DREADFUL PLOT: examples > BIOPIC, movie about MOVIES, CHEATING, NIGHTLIFE, LGBT, METOO ...
3) the "patient" comes from HIGH-UP : examples > French BOBO, renowned ARCHITEST, skillfull DOCTOR, talented ADVOCATE, successful ARTIST, POTUS, ROYAL, MONEYBAG, FASHION, ...
4) the "patient" is highly VIOLENT and carries a GUN in the poster: examples > MILITARY, COP and other ARMED FORCES, OLD WEST, KUNG-FU and other VIGILANTES...
5) the "patient" is either too SHORT : examples > a music video, a video game, a sketch movie, just a extra, a member of a XXL casting, ... or too TALL : examples > a multi years TV SHOW, ...
6) the "patient" is for DIMWIT : examples > animals ANIMATION, endless SEQUELS, useless PREQUELS, stupid REBOOTS, ...
7) the "patient" is terminally ILL : examples > CANCER, DRUGS, BOOZE, GENETIC DISORDER …
8) the patient has the JAUNDICE, just the awful BLUE-YELLOW colors grading with people are either SMURFS or intensively TANNED !
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Le prix à payer (2007)
# 04 : The price to pay? easy: they are soulless ghouls (dvd)
It's a movie mainly about rich people and their problems and i don't give a s..t, especially if it's french bourgeoisie in Paris. With all their money, their cars, their shopping and fine clothing, their maid, their driver, they don't have any dust of intelligence or wisdom and they are poor in communicating and sharing together. If their only goals in life are money and sex, well, they don't know what life is about. In addition, this movie isn't funny because it tries to make laugh by taking shoots at the daily life of common people, that's to say us! Geraldine is the only welcoming light in this crap and she is clever enough to run away from it.
The Great Train Robbery (1903)
Not to be confused with Crichton novel or movie (web)
The titles are the same as the content for sure but Crichton was set in Victorian Britain in 1864 while here it's America! It's amazing how baby cinema had already create his own visual langage and in less than 10 years: the movie is dynamic, the angle are inspired (it's nearly VR on the top of the train) and maybe the difference with BTF3 or Indy 3 is only the issue of sound and score! For sure i waited the moment when those bandits would be caught because i couldn't imagine a Doberman movie at this time! Moral is safe! The final shot of this bandit shooting the audience at close range is fantastic because it embodies truly what is cinema: a virtual reality filling you with emotions ranging from all the spectre, good to bad! Sure, the action is crude, limited but it's like videogames: the first games invented everything and today games are just the old games done with better technology!
At last, with this movie, i finally reach my destination also because i have now watched 1 movie by year between cinema birth and mine! I really expected that this earlier movies would be boring but they surprise me to be as good (or even better) than today ones and with as talented people: Méliès, DW Griffith, Mary Brian, Louise Brooks and German productions...
European Rest Cure (1904)
As the Griswold, just 81 years before (web)
Like other reviews, i had the same reaction when watching it: it reminds me of National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) because it's about touring in Europe and having funny misadventures. The big difference here is that the locations are not real but just sets: Egypt and Alps are funny because they look very like background. The other change (or rather evolution) is that this Grandpa travels by boat and not by planes! And as others wrote, it's a great moment of cinema to watch the departure of a real Cunar liner: the departure was the same as for the future Titanic but the boat size is definitely smaller, even if we can see that it's full of passengers. With that, we have as bonus a wonderful view of NYC docks by the way. I'm surprised to not have read the usual negative comments about discrimination because the locals are all depicted dumb or thieves (not communities for europeans?)... I invite you to my review for Fights of Nations (1907) to my feeling about this issue and watching this movie, i understand one more thing: when those old movies were shot, travels and news from others countries were not what they are today: actually i think almost all people would have never met an outlander (except in books or in cinema) so other countries were built with imagination and clichés. Anyway, this short movie is quite funny and this is exactly the same kind of fun that the Griswold would meet too!
like my coast to coast trip: after Frisco, now NYC (web)
The movie has an exceptional historical value but what a poor camera operator! Instead of doing a all-around circular shot, the camera goes first from his foot to the sky! Then right to left with the same view than before! It's true that at this time the skyline was less full but however you can already feel than NYC was a megalopolis with buildings really everywhere! It took me ages to find the actual location and i tried to find again this great looking gothic building we see but i failed: the place has changed totally and actually it's a shame that this Old Times Building (now One Times Square) has become just walls to put advertising! It says a lot about the city! I surely passed by it while finishing my trip in NYC because my hotel was just up Times Square on the 7th avenue.
This short documentary has been shot weeks before the terrible quake! And after it, others shot the same path: you can find on the web edit movies with the 2 frames side by side to compare before / after the quake! they say they are synchronized but i doubt it: street lamps are after the quake! What is striking is that we barely see the Ferry building on the end of the street: dust, fog or bad quality, i can't say? Also after the quake, there is much more people outside on the street... But this trip movie has a lot of legends: shot 6 days before, Frisco was full of cars while i understand it was much earlier and in fact there is much less cars that it seems because the cars keep circling around the camera. At last, it's pity: i started my coast to cast american trip here but i don't think i did this travel because my cable car was in a downhill road while here it's completely flat...
Fights of Nations (1907)
Dancing with the Stars (web)
All reviews say: xenophobic, insulting, racist, offensive... Well, i disagree and it's another sad proof that today minds are poor, see evil everywhere and most of all are dumb enough to don't understand fun, comedy! It's a fact that people all over the world don't live the same way, don't react identically. Idiots call that stereotypes, i call that differences. Is it a crime to make fun with the differences? for me, no: fun is an human trait that for one time exist in everyone: rocks don't laugh, neither dogs, neither plants: it's a true gift we have as humans so everything that can make us laugh is good to take! Is it a crime to tell a joke by tackling people? For me, no: that's the nature of the joke to be absurd, grotesque, to mock but that's the way because it's not REAL! Idiots don't understand that people can speak on two levels: fun or serious. Speeches of Hitler were serious so people were worthy to say xenophobic, insulting, racist, offensive... This movie is just fun and we must receive it for that and says either it's funny or it's dumb. Myself, i admit that i didn't understand Mexico-Spain, Scotland, NYC but Hebrew and Sod was quite funny: the first was a bit like our classic Rabbi Jacob, the second was similar to old video game when opponents come from everywhere! The final peaceful reunion in America is just so proud that it needs nothing else to be funny!
La belle au bois dormant (1908)
I didn't sleep (web)
This is the 3rd original production (after Peter Pan -1924 and Zorro - 1920) that would be later adapted by Disney without having seen it by the way. The only fact i know from this fairy tale is from Bettelheim extraordinary book that put this tale as the future of the teen girl. Honestly this movie is visually rich: there is a try in technicolor, the costumes and sets feels Middle Age and the special effects are not that ridiculous: I liked the princess escape in this huge castle because there is a good sense of deep. I noticed that the charming prince kisses her hand (and not her cheek or lips to wake her!). Sure the movie is fast but i tried to read the original tale and it's not a novel either! In a way, we have become slave of long movies by forgetting that some stories can be indeed short and that it's better to have a condensed, bare movie in which every shot is worthy than endless production with holes and decent acts...
A Trap for Santa Claus (1909)
DWG was a real Santa for kid cinema (web)
This is my 3rd DWG movie and 2nd with his favorite actor Walthall. Both are full of talent as proved in the movie and both should be remembered for their decisive work and awarded correctly. A bit like Spielberg, DWG is interested in good story and is fit to every genre: here the movie starts like a difficult drama and finishes indeed like a Xmas tale. I like the way the famous american dream is realized: problems solve with huge money (the same in Pacino Danny Collins) but beyond, the most important is kids joy and wife happiness. Like i have already written, with those very short movie, everything moment is essential and the emotion is deeper and bigger than the diluted movies of today! DWG was really exceptional to repeat the performance over and over and it's not pure luck that I keep stumbling over his movies over and over!
DWG was schyzophrenic ? (web)
I understand nothing: last week, i watched from the same DWG his KKK propaganda Birth of a Nation. Here, with Ramona, it's the extreme: it's a love drama that tells about the genocide of Native Americans. Our so-called white civilized actually exploit the native nation (not slaves but not that different), spoil their land (it belong to them) and uses cold blood killings as way to end problems! All those human rights violations and to date still unpunished are told in a gripping 17 minutes short movie that is actually an adaptation of a famous novel. When i see that today movies asks 2 parts or a TV show to adapt novels and finish boring and empty, we just can applause DWG extraordinary talent with this new media: he shots the essential and edit it with style and rythm. The Ramona was played by the same actress that i saw in Redwoods Romance and honestly i didn't recognize her. But like this one, it's great to see how California was like in the 1910. Initially, i wanted to see Old California from the same DWG and unable to find it, i picked this one instead. It was a great choice and every one who is moved by Jude should was this similar try at the dawn of Hollywood!
What the hell ! (rental)
I discovered the classic piece thanks to Twin Peaks: a mystery entrance in dark woods, saving love in hell and meeting dead people well alive... Then Dan Brown told his version and it was interesting and the adaptation of his novel was visually powerful. So here one century before, i didn't expected much but after a few minutes, i felt very bored: the captions failed to clearly present the 9 circles and visually they look finally a bit all the same: a river or a beach with naked people agonizing... On the screen, Virgil knows all and is so powerful that we can wonder why he needed Dante anyway.. and by the way, her lover Beatrice appears at the beginning and never happens again as Dante gets out from hell. There is some good costumes and special effects and that was like watching a Star Trek Classic but at the end, we are faraway of the power of words and art from Gustave Doré that inspired the movie.
For me, the anti Madame DuBarry (web)
With this other movie from 1919, i discovered French history with an English production and it was about the favorite girl of a king. Here it's the opposite: it's about the favorite boy of a queen and it's a french production about English history! As i don't know the historical facts, i can't comment the story but there is a great dramatic tension: the love triangle (or even square), the ring artefact. Some find useless the captions that explain the scene BEFORE however for me they were essential and without them i would have been lost in the story.
From a production point of view, i'm a bit disappointed: sure the period wardrobe looks cute as well the props but honestly they look like more spanish than british. About the big diva Sara Bernhardt, she left me cold: she was OK with pantomimes but what an awful make-up! her white head with a neck piece looks like she was wearing the Halloween mask, no kidding! And indeed the camera is still and it looks like a taped stage play. In a way, less stupid than King John from 1899 (a silent Shakespeare, appreciate the paradox!) but not a classic as the loves and hates of the mighty bores me ... deeply!
Le mort qui tue (1913)
As good as the old ones from the Sixties (web)
It's funny to meet this famous french franchise at this date and that's precisely my motivation to pick it up! I expected to discover the 1st versions of Fandor, Juve and for sure Fantomas. Of all those early 5 movies, i chose this one because the cover and title was similar to the big mystery french stories and that's indeed what the movie is: a nervous, parisian mystery, a genre in which french cinema excels unlike its poor drama... From all the old french movies i saw so far, this one looks the more modern with a lot of action, sets.. Paris has few moments but they are beautiful from a vintage view. The criminal mind is as devious as the later ones and with his hood, Fantomas is as frightening! Honesty this movie has aged like a very good french red wine and you can taste like a national treasure (even if we saw that France has always been this old country not that open to the new technology!)
Les vacances de Max (1914)
in French, Max = Charlot (web)
Well, until now, the name Max Linder was for me a old cinema in Paris near Musée Grévin. Today, with my backward trip in cinema history, i discover that he was a mega success in my country and in a way, the father of Charlie Chaplin.
With this short example, i admit that the fun and characters are a bit better than Chaplin. I don't say it makes me laugh but there was a smirk due to the extravaganza of his poor wife situation... Beyond, it looks like a french movie: bourgeois characters and mansion, old style not at all appealing.. The only good thing I notice here is the comfort of train: with wood and sofa, they look beautiful and it would have been a great trip with them unlike today wagons where we are stuck like poultry! Anyway i don't think i watch a Max movie again because of his tragic ending with his real wife!
The Birth of a Nation (1915)
Definitely against : Part 2 (rental)
Decidedly, this WWI Americas is very conservative: after a War propaganda (Lusitania), an anti-abortion eugenic pamphlet (My children), here we have an Aryan movie, in which old white enemies during the Secession War become new allies to fight the new Black Power!
What's upsetting is that the movie opens very differently as maybe the only good movie that brings together Lincoln and a family around the war. Usually, we have movie about Lincoln or about the war but never the 2 scales at the same time. Here it's done and it's quite brilliant in production and in cast.
The second part is interesting because previous movies stop at the end of the war (Victory, Emancipation, ...) when all seems good and right while in fact it wasn't this peaceful and empowering road.
But here the change is drastic because it's indeed a KKK propaganda: it's maybe the first movie in which i see indeed black people harassing, threatening, humiliating white people, their children, their vote... It's strange and as a citizen, i would be interested if the facts told in the movie are true or not. So that's why it's a good historical piece because you have a lot of things in it to think and that's explain why this is the last DVD in my french for old movies. So the first 20 years of cinema was just experiments to give this first benchmark... we will see...
Where Are My Children? (1916)
Definitely Against (web)
I don't speak about my opinion on the issue of abortion but about the movie's one. So i'm sure that the Pro would reject it and the Against would praise it! I just notice that having upper classes as main characters is not recent because it already happens in 1916! As today those people are considered flawless, models for ill-born people (like told in the movie) and as expected it's always those shining white angels who sins the much! They moralize everyone but fails to see what happens in their own family! All the more that his wife is not the only one black sheep: her brother nearly abuses the daughter's housekeeper and just denies all responsability when it matters! The other thing that strikes much is the term Eugenic marriage: here it implies that WASP privilegied families marry among themselves to keep the superior gens. Definitely there are (awful) things that will never change. So it's a good movie because you can't just stand still!
A Romance of the Redwoods (1917)
I'm happy cos I got them ... and more (web)
Now i enter the most difficult time in my backward cinema trip because my library has no more DVD for 1917 and before (except Charlot but the clown never makes me laugh!)... So it takes time to pick and find the movie but when i read this title and the story, i was at once motivated: I love forest and those big Redwoods are an amazing view: when i visited Frisco, i touched them over the bay and it was a fantastic moment! So i watched this movie to check if they were there as it's about gold rush California and indeed, the locations of that Cavaleras county seems real and so the scenes are with the cabin are incredible!
But as soon as the movie begins, it's also clear that the movie has much more to offer: simply, you feel that the movie has a solid, fun story, that the director knows how to tell it even without sound and for sure that the cast is excellent to play it! It's not a surprise to see that C B Demille has become a Hollywood legend as Mary Pickford whom i didn't recognize from Mark of Zorro 3 years later...
This movie is fun because we have all the cliches of the Old West already put in 1917 and for those poor empty and blind weepers who laments that women have always been portrayed as feeble, well, they should watch it and they would understand that they lack practice...
This fiery woman who can bring peace to this crude men's world is totally modern and instead of doing stupid reboots, sequels, CGI effects should be used to color this old black and white movie classic!
Not convinced nor by the art, nor by the propaganda (web)
Maybe it's the 1st animated documentary and also maybe the 1st animation for adults... But watching it with eyes having seen Cameron's Titanic, i found the cartoon really poor: the ship is a chinese shadow. The attack looks like a firework. The sinking is the best part but it's deadly slow and not at all impressive as Lusitania didn't break. The human characters are neatly drawn but don't move at all... The story is as empty: Germans is accused of all vices like all usual enemy and the victims are just Who's who Big Names... In a way, world doesn't change that much since 1917!
Madame DuBarry (1919)
I got my french history with a german movie done a century ago! (web)
Now that i'm in depth in the silent movies era, it's clear that today we are dumb to dismiss them! I don't understand why this rich and excellent productions are not promoted while today movies are always on the top being in nothing much gripping than their ancestors! Thousand of words have been written for Coppola's Marie Antoinette and just a few for this one even if it's as sincere and moving!
First of all, those old movies are not really BW but are tainted: yellow, red, blue, green. It's funny to see (and a bit tragic) that today are as much filtered while we have all the technology to give splendid colors like our phones!!
Next, i'm french and while i heard the name of this Madame, i couldn't tell her story so it was very interesting to learn that she was at the top with Louis XV and down at the revolution! This period production is really lavish but for the exteriors, as a french, i can say this is not french architecture and style. The movie is a good drama, great slice of french history and it really means something that sex & power are a such an explosive couple, in the XVIII, XX or XXI.
The Mark of Zorro (1920)
At last a Zorro I like (web)
When i was a kid, the BW Disney show was running on the 3rf french channel!
When i was a teen, the BW Disney show was running on the 3rf french channel!
When i'm an adult, the BW Disney show is still running on the 3rf french channel! So it looks that our 3rd french channel has only 1 show in stock and unfortunately the 1st time i watched it, i was bored and that's like this since 40 years!
So i was a bit anxious before trying this one but as a cinema explorer, Fairbanks is an icon to discover and for sure as a Batman fan, this movie was a essential moment in the Bat mythology!
Now that i watched it, i can say that i had great fun with it! Fairbanks is an excellent actor for comedy and an amazing stunt expert (a bit like the future Bruce Willis); The directing is inspired because it's like watching a play: the camera is cautious to the simmetry and to the depth of the sets (a bit like the future Wes Anderson): the mansions are beautiful, the pueblo breathes Spain and this movie reminds that California was first latin and not at Wasp! The story is like a modern Robin Hood (protect the feeble and justice for all) and it's like the 1st super hero character: double identity, costume, sidekick and even a Zorro-cave and unlike the dreadful Disney show, the story is totally encapsulated and stands in one single one production !
So try it: it's really good fun and a bit like Peter Pan, a proof that Disney has a habit to take others creations!
The Kid (1921)
You are kidding .... (rental)
Honestly, i can't stand Chaplin: i don't like his comedy with very strong effects, his endless pursuits and loud morals... In a way, he doesn't give a choice to his audience: they must laugh, they must cry... I prefer to have my freedom to make an opinion: in the same genre, Mr Bean is really funny and the episode when he receives a baby is more enjoyable than this long one...
Here the only things that i found good: mother and son acting, and the depiction of American slums and nobodies. There is a certain compassion that i can't deny, especially today when slums and nobodies have totally disappeared in American cinema while they have never been so much in the real life. So maybe we need another Charlot today...
Between Hammer & Coppola (rental)
This one is the 1st Dracula ever: even today, the movie is oppressing, dark and frightening and i imagine the huge effect it had at its release. This Orlok / Schrek is really a nightmarish vision and with all the shots he had in the movie, it's funny but at the end, he looked a bit like our 6th French President... Anyway, this movie is also very interesting because the later adaptations of Dracula really takes things from it with bigger production.
Hammer took the 1st part in Transylvania, the tavern, the crypt, etc... while Coppola is more about the2nd: the boat, the asylum, the night call and shadow plays...
The movie also proposes original moments that are truly impressive: the finger cut, the carnivore plant...
At the end, i keep in mind that this is a German movie and that this country was really big and original in that decade (see my other years) but since german cinema has lost its way...
Safety Last! (1923)
Climbing the building & the social ladder (rental)
So far i didn't know the movie, but the moment with Harold grasping the clock of the building is a classic iconic moment of cinema and i couldn't miss that in my movies timeline! Now 80 minutes to get it is maybe a bit too much and if the whole movie is funny, the pace is a bit slow, especially when Harold climbs indeed as he has a lot of adventures between floors.
However this movie offers an incredible sight about the 20s downtown LA and actually we see the hero working hard to earn his life. It's crazy how the world has changed because now having a comedy about being clerk is just impossible! But this movie offers a lot of other things besides the climbing and honestly i found this universe much better, romantic and fun than Chaplin!
Peter Pan (1924)
The one that defines all the others: Disney, Spielberg, and awful Deep (web)
As often (KIng Kong, Snow White), the 1st try is the better for ever: so Peter Pan visual magic doesn't come from Disney but from this old, silent, BW one! A bit like next year Phantom, i'm amazed by the fantastic sets, so real and so poetic and nothing done with CGI :) : the bedroom, the lost boys island, the mermaids, the beach, the pirates ship! The story is really about child fantasy: adventures and parental love and for sure, the cast is amazing: it was good to meet again Mary Brian and that was a surprise to find a girl as Peter! But this Betty is really enthusiastic and i understand why the 2 became friends for life! The animals characters are also great because their suits are so cool: So this movie is just a must-see fantasy and it's clear that there is a visionary at the helm (the author himself) and not a bunch of cupid producers...
Workers of the world, unite ! (rental)
After the childish interlude of Brown of Harvard, in which 1920 America seems to ignore workers fate while being the biggest capitalist country, i'm back to this subjet after Metropolis and this time in CCCP !
I really expected this old movie to be dull, slow, endless and finally, it's a terrific one and the explanation lies with its director, amazing Eisenstein ! His ideas for movies and visual inspiration put him as the best directors ever : he displays cinema tools and language that are still modern, witty and gives soul and heart to something really dark and oppressive. In a way, i felt a bit like in Spielberg Schindler List!
This soviet movie nearly invents the super heroes (the informers), the live photos (as in Harry Potter), the subliminal editing (slaughterhouse / police repression) and the scenes are really classic : the flow of strikers that get loose looks like the Fukushima tsunami, the evil capitalists look like twisted Rich uncle Pennybags from Monopoly game. Even the factory looks frightening and nightmarish with its dark and dangerous workshops, its huge metallic beasts...
For sure, we can say that the story is as black ad white as the pictures but you can find at last a clear, strong built story that says something faraway of the today soup.
Indubitabely, the movie help to think as a citizen and a human being and one of its value is that it explains that Work doesn't make men free !
Brown of Harvard (1926)
One stone, two birds and maybe more (web)
In this digital jungle, it's hard to pick an old movie because by definition, I lack my familiar faces : my loved cast, directors, stories may not still be born yet so it's really about luck and discovering new roads: when i saw the title of this one, i was caught : a movie about Harvard ! Today, this institution is still essential in american legend so it would be great to get into its past !
So this movie is interesting because it seems that we are indeed in the campus but 1 century before : Back then, the big difference with French higher education was already clear : sports are inside the program while in France, they are outside (that's why our sports idols are dumb and our grey matter physically unfit !) ; A bit like the Harry Potter movies, the sports events are exciting traditions for all students, the families and outside. The Harvard stadium is totally amazing and breathtaking and this single university beats all French stadiums, even today !
Paradoxically, the movie is silent about teachings and lessons because we pick up about students lives. And that's when i pick my 2nd bird because the american icon John Wayne is playing : 1st movie for him - OK i didn't see him as a Yale Player but he is really in. I didn't know as well the hero, William Haines but he looks like a very young Russel Crowe as physically as in the loose, cool attitude.
I'm sure that today this movie would be not put in production because this Brown has a aggressive manner of seduction but that doesn't implies that today society is much better ! At last, my last bird was his attraction, the cute Mary Brian : she was so candid, so polite that she motives me to see more of her and that's how i pick my future 1924 movie : Peter Pan ! So finally, i start to map this faraway country of silent movies era !