vineri, 30 septembrie 2011

23-29 September

Johnny English:Reborn(2011)-5/10->Most of the jokes are funny and Atkinson is as likeable as he'll ever be,but at one point the jokes start getting repetitive towards the second half and it's predictable from start to end.

The Turin Horse(2011)-5/10->It's beautifully shot and the sound is impecable,but really nothing happens in this movie and that's shame because the subject had real potential.

3(2011)-4/10->Even though it has good performances and good cinematography,this isn't capable of developing the characters or the interesting premise.

Habemus Papam(2011)-8/10->Even though it is quite predictable and it is a bit tedious,Habemus Papam is worth seeing just for Piccoli's fantastic performance and the grand finale.

duminică, 25 septembrie 2011

Movie Review:Le Havre(2011)

Director:Aki Kaurismaki
Writer:Aki Kaurismaki
Andre Wilms->Marcel Marx
Kati Outinen->Arletty
Jean-Pierre Daroussin->Monet
Blondin Miguel->Idrissa


Le Havre is a film about a shoe-shiner that attempts to save an underage immigrant.It's a good premise,but this subject feels more appropiate for a drama,more than a comedy.This was my opinion,before the movie.But,when the movie started,I was surprised by the unbelievable amount of tasteful and quirky humor.

There is some sort of resemblance to Sylvain Chomet's film,L'Illusioniste(2010),which is also about an old man that takes a young girl under his wing,but that isn't why I thought they seemed to very much alike.It's the fact that Le Havre(even though it's not an animation feature)feels very cartoonish.The characters mostly.Especially,the nosey(no pun intended) cop,Monet.Plus,the main character,Marcel is as cynical as The Illusionist was.

Also,Kaurismaki uses colorful sets and balanced cinematography(in terms of color),which gives us the sensation of an animated film.

A thing that I didn't like about this film,was the obvious cliche on which it stands.That Marcel keeps growing on this kid,Idrissa.I know that this couldn't have been any other way(or I can't just figure one out) and it bugs me.

I loved this film's compability in different genres in some scenes.Most of the scenes with Monet have a noir aura around them.The scenes with Marcel and his wife are very romantic.And so on and so forth.

This ends up being much,much more than a light comedy; it ends up being an emotional,special and witty film.I haven't seen anything else by Kaurismaki 9 out of 10.

sâmbătă, 24 septembrie 2011

Movie Review:We Need To Talk About Kevin(2011)

Director:Lynne Ramsay
Writers:Lynne Ramsay and Rory Kinnear,based on the novel by Lionel Shriver
Tilda Swinton-Eva
John C. Reilly-Franklin
Ezra Miller-Kevin


We Need To Talk About Kevin starts off with an abstract scene which shows a room in which the curtains are beaten by the wind.Not really important.The second scene shows us a tomato fight in which Kevin's mother,Eva is taking part.Here,Ramsay uses a smart metaphor.Eva is drowned into a ton of tomato juice,which is suggested to be the blood-bath,Kevin provokes at school.

Well,first is first,Swinton delivers one of the best female performances this year,because she is able to emote all of her character's feelings.Sad,angry and happy(a rare feeling for this particular character).Actually,she is helped to conjure those feelings perfectly by the writing.

Most of the people haven't seen Ramsay's previous films.I've seen one of them,Morvern Callar(2002),so I might say she has an unique style.A messier style.In the first 40 minutes of the movie there is a lot of "shakiness" in the image and some of the moments in which we only hear music are out of focus.But,it is like this in order to underline that our main character is troubled by the events,her son has triggered.Also,her storytelling techniques are also,very strange.

Miller is spot-on as Kevin.His way of telling his character's monologues,his way of restraining his emotions in order to intrigue us.When I saw him in City Island(2009),I didn't think he was very well-casted,because he had the features of a dramatic character.In my opinion,he resembles Arno Frisch,which played the Benny(a sociopath) in Benny's Video(1992) and Paul(another sociopath) in Funny Games(1997).Both films were directed by Michael Haneke.

Ramsay keeps reminding us that this is viewed from the mother's perspective.For example,when Eva hurts Kevin(when he was younger),he takes him to the hospital and there the doctor tells Eva that Kevin is a wonderful kid,even though we see him as an asshole.

People might tend to compare this with Elephant(2003),a film that is based on real events,but compared to this one,it fails to dissecate the mentality and behaviour of the troubled teenager,mostly because of its running length(81 minutes) and its focus on other characters than the killers.

All in all,this is a great film that succeeds in being both a deep character study and a raw,gut-wrenching drama. 10 out of 10.

joi, 22 septembrie 2011

16-22 September

Drive(2011)-10/10->A tense and overly violent thriller,that strikes us because of its very special cinematography,Refn's unique directing style and Gosling's powerful performance.This is the sort of films that should be made these days.Perfect.

Suicide Room(2011)-2/10->With bad acting and incoherent storytelling,Suicide Room shows us how   an interesting premise can go terribly wrong in the first half hour of a film.

Silent Souls(2010)-9/10->It might be too slow-paced for some(even though it runs just under 80 minutes),but Silent Souls is eerily beautiful,it benefits from a strong narrative and it's an ultimately,thought-provoking experience.

Melancholia(2011)-10/10->Though the concept might seem ridiculous to some,Melancholia's visuals are extremely unique and the acting is fantastic.   

joi, 15 septembrie 2011

09-15 September

Another Year(2010)-9/10->With a simplistic,yet intriguing premise,Leigh directs an often-humorous,unique story about life and love.Also,it benefits from fantastic performances from Broadbent and Manville.A bit overlong,though.

Kill The Irishman(2011)-7.5/10->Even though it fails to be realistic for time to time and some moments are overly theatrical,Hensleigh succeeds in directing an insightful picture on the life of a mobster that just wouldn't die.Also,Stevenson and D'Onofrio give confident performances.

Everything Must Go(2010)-9/10->This is a sweet,little film with Ferrell in his best shape,a great performance from newcomer Christopher Jordan Wallace,smart dialogue and intelligent humor.

Attack The Block(2011)-9/10->Thrilling from the first five minutes,till the last,this is a stylish sci-fi flick with some hilarious moments.Also,extremely gory and unpredictable.

One Hour Photo(2002)-8/10->This features Robin Williams in his creepiest performance ever and it has unpredictable twists.

The Believer(2001)-8/10->A smart and tense film which is sustained by Gosling's terrific performance.

The International(2009)-6/10->It's beautifully shot,competently edited,Owen gives a good performance and the Guggenheim action scene is fantastic,but The International ends up being incoherent,it's premise is not believable at all and the ending is unsatisfying.

The Adjustment Bureau(2011)-4/10->Damon is great and this has a very intriguing premise,but the premise is underdeveloped and debutant director Nolfi fails in building a coherent and steady storyline.

The Guard(2011)-10/10->Half comedy,half thriller,Donagh succeeds in setting the right tone when he has to and this benefits from genuine Irish humor and Gleeson's performance and character.Also,it's a very quotable movie.

13 Tzameti(2005)-10/10->Babluani succeeds in crafting a Hitchcockian atmosphere by combining the score with the stunning cinematography.Other than that,it works as a suspenseful and smart thriller,but it also works as an unflinchingly violent social commentary.

2046(2004)-5/10->Doyle's cinematography is as appealing as it will ever be and Leung gives a fine performance,but Kar Wai doesn't succeed in doing what he wants,which is re-creating the atmosphere in "In The Mood For Love" and he makes this feel like a bad re-hash.

Eros(2004)-3/10->Antonioni's segment is incoherent and meaningless,even though it's beautifully shot.Soderbergh's segment has a good premise and the dialogue is smart,but the ending is disappointing and also the quantity of erotic content is disappointing.Kar-Wai's segment is the only one that succeeds in living up to the title of this omnibus and it also has good acting and fantastic cinematography.

The Last Exorcism(2010)-6/10->This has good twists and good acting,but it isn't half as scary as it should be.

Innocence(2004)-9/10->This has a very original premise,good acting and outstanding cinematography,but this gets too bizarre and a bit too long.

Mean Machine(2001)-5/10->This is a good take on the original,the humor is ok and the acting is great,but it's cliched and it isn't able to set the tone right. 

Haute Tension(2001)-6.5/10->Indeed it's very suspenseful,very gory and DeFrance pulls off a great performance,but the ending is too unbelievable.

Morvern Callar(2002)-8/10->With stunning cinematography,great editing and Morton giving out her best,Morvern Callar turns out to be an unique film.

Tilva Ros(2010)-8.5/10->This is a harsh portrayal of friendship,that excels because of its capability to be truthful,good acting and killer cinematography.

Loverboy(2011)-4/10->The cinematography is beautiful and Pistereanu shows us yet again that he is one of the most important rising stars in the Romanian film industry,but Loverboy is utterly predictable and most of the dialogue is too dull and uninspired.

Le Gamin Au Velo(2011)-9/10->This is a very bleak film with top-notch performances from its leads and it's beautifully filmed,but the ending is highly unsatisfying.

Oslo,31 August(2011)-10/10->A powerful and gut-wrenching film,which benefits from Anders Danielsen Lie's performance,a smart script and mesmerizing cinematography.

Eldfjall(2011)-8/10->Even though this is a simplistic matter of subject and it feels a bit empty in some places,Eldfjall still surprises us with a fantastic performance from Juliusson,terrific cinematography and a shocking ending.

joi, 8 septembrie 2011

2-8 September

Symbol(2009)-9/10->It has a really creative premise,it provides some sort of food-for-thought and the cinematography is quite beautiful,but the director's storytelling techniques are a bit questionable.Also,it's one of the funniest films I've ever seen.

Horrible Bosses(2011)-8/10->With unpredictable twists,a perfect cast and its terrific humor,this might be 2011's funniest movie.

Life In A Day(2011)-10/10->Life In A Day is very special due to its editing,visuals and its capability to proove that people today still have a creative mind.

Midnight In Paris(2011)-10/10->Allen returns with a fantastic premise,a great cast and some of his best dialogue better.One of his best.All time.

Notre Jour Viendra(2010)-8/10->Cassel's performance,the cinematography and an interesting premise,surpass some of its dialogue's flaws. 

Red State(2011)-9/10->With a sublime performance from Parks,good cinematography and tense dialogue,Red State comes out as a shocking and harsh social commentary on religion and its effects on people.Truly frightening. 

Barney's Version(2010)-9/10->This might be a bit too long,but Giamatti and Hoffman are great,the score is fantastic and the magnificent cinematography make up for it.Great ending,too.

Russian Ark(2002)-6/10->It's an interesting concept the cinematography is great and the narrative part is good,but this gets tedious quite soon.

Bungalow(2002)-9/10->Stunning cinematography,good acting and sharp direction make up for the unrealistic premise.

Windows On Monday(2006)-9.5/10->Even though the premise is quite simple,the unpredictablity of the turning of the situations after the beginning that is combined by Kohler with some terrific character study,make this a great piece of art.

Sleeping Sickness(2011)-9/10->The cinematography is stunning,the premise is good and the acting,too,but this could have been more exciting.The ending is also,great.

The Forest For The Trees(2003)-10/10->With a fantastic performance from Lobau and a simple premise,Ade turns this into a bleak character study which resembles Haneke's earlier work.Touching,yet unsettling.

Everyone Else(2009)-9/10->Ade succeeds in unraveling this slowly,but even though it is quite slow,this captures our attention with the cinematography,good acting and intelligent dialogue.Also the ending ,but this is not as bleak as her previous film.

Vegas(2009)-8/10->The idea is original,the cinematography is truly impressive and the acting is great.It's only flaw might be its unsatisfying ending.

Zero(2009)-6/10->This is overlong and unecessarily messy,but Borowski does an OK job developing the intriguing premise and the cinematography is good.

Friends With Benefits(2011)-9/10->Kunis and Timberlake have strong chemistry and Gluck adds smart dialogue and really funny humor.Worthy follow-up (for Gluck) to Easy A.

New York,I Love You(2009)-4/10->This doesn't even respect the rules of the original idea.This is formulaic and really the writing is really farfetched.

Bad News Bears(1976)-8.5/10->Matthau gives a great performance and this is quite the controversial kid comedy.

Bad News Bears(2005)-5/10->It certainly is more profane than the original and Thornton is as great as Matthau,but this is less exciting and not as funny as the original.

13 Assassins(2010)-10/10->This is a stylish,bold and bloody action flick.It might be a little overlong,but this isn't boring due to Miike's capability to create suspense.Also,the battle scene towards the end,might be one of the most competently made battle scenes ever.

Balada Triste De Trompeta(2010)-9/10->An overly-violent black comedy with clowns.Terribly funny,well-acted and benefits from Iglesia's sharp direction.Also,smarter than you might think.

Pina 3D(2011)-10/10->The most human and touching(no pun intended) 3D experience,we've seen so far.Wenders combines eye-candy with heartfelt confessions.One of the year's best.

miercuri, 7 septembrie 2011

Paris,Je T'Aime


Segment By Segment

Montmartre-Director:Bruno Podalyes-There's nothing much to say here,because this segment doesn't have a word to say.Dull script.Bad acting.That's about it.Terrible way to start an omnibus.This might have been acceptable in the middle of it,but the first impression counts.

Quais De Seine-Director:Gurinder Chadha-Though this starts one way and ends in another,there's good acting and a satisfying ending.

Le Marais-Director:Gus Van Sant-This starts off OK,but it degrades into a pseudo-intellectual conversation,that finishes almost during the development of the premise.I never expected this to be such an incoherent segment from "Elephant" director Gus Van Sant.

Tuileries-Directors:Ethan Coen,Joel Coen-Buscemi is pitch-perfect in this hilarious and unpredictable story of misfortunate events.Also,the cinematography is fantastic.

Loin Du 16e-Directors:Daniela Thomas,Walter Salles-A slow-paced drama,that doesn't bring anything new to the genre,but still packs a dramatic punch.

Porte De Choisy-Director:Christopher Doyle-Though it starts off slowly,this develops into a crazy and joyful romp.But,I would have expected better cinematography from Doyle.

Bastille-Director:Isabel Coixet-Coixet uses strong narrative and smart editing to create a good-to-great segment.

Place De Victoires-Director:Nobuhiro Suwa-Binoche pulls off a good performance and this is quite powerful,until it goes into the supernatural.After that,it's ridiculous.

Tour Eiffel-Director:Sylvain Chomet-This as cartoonish and delightful as you could expect from Chomet to be.I thought of this to be like a prologue for Chomet's  "L'Illusioniste".

Parc Monceau-Director:Alfonso Cuaron-Nolte succeeds in pulling a performance,but this is as dull as it could get.

Quartier Des Enfants Rouges-Director:Olivier Assayas-This has an intriguing premise attached to it,but it goes nowhere with it.

Place Des Fetes-Director:Oliver Schmitz-This benefits from a sublime performance from Boro and impressive editing.A powerful story.

Pigalle-Director:Richard LaGravenese-Two great actors team up in this light comedy.They both make this a delight.

Quartier De La Madeleine-Director:Vincenzo Natali-This has an intriguing premise,but it suffers from  unecessary ridicule and poor execution.

Pere-Lachaise-Director:Wes Craven-Sewell is spot-on as William and the dark humor never seems to miss a note,but the outcome is unsatisfying.

Faubourg Saint-Denis-Director:Tom Tykwer-Tykwer directs this segment with artistic flair,using psychedelic,yet organized editing and strong,touching dialogue and narrative.

Quartier Latin-Directors:Gerard Depardieu,Frederic Auburtin-Rowlands and Gazzara are terrific in this well-written tale of divorce.

14e Arrondissement-Director:Alexander Payne-With great cinematography and good narrative,Payne directs a relaxing and funny segment.

What (most of) these segments have in common

  1. The cinematography-Fortunately,all of these segments succeed in capturing the visual beauty of Paris.
  2. Good acting-Almost all of the segments,feature great acting from known actors(Bob Hoskins,Fanny Ardant,Ben Gazzara,Barbet Schroeder etc.) or great unknown actors(Paul Putner,Seydou Boro,Sergio Castellito etc.).
  3. OK development of the premise-Some might be overdeveloped(Pere-Lachaise) or underdeveloped (Le Marais) or one doesn't even has a clear premise(Montmartre),but most of them succeed in being understood and fully developed.

What (most of) these segments don't have in common

  1. An interesting premise-Sadly,the starting point of many of these segments is often,simple(Bastille) or,even worse,dull(Le Marais).
  2. Impressive editing-Most of the editing in the segments is too simple(Quartier Latin,Pigalle).
  3. A strong narrative-Some segments don't even use it(Quais De Seine) and some use it just as an unnecessary filling.

sâmbătă, 3 septembrie 2011

26 August-1 September

Don't Drink The Water(1994)-6/10->It starts off well and it is hilarious,but its storyline gets extremely incoherent.

Mighty Aphrodite(1995)-8/10->With great acting,an interesting premise and great dramatic interventions from "The Chorus",Mighty Aphrodite is an OK Woody Allen movie.

Everyone Says I Love You(1996)-7/10->It's undeniably fun,it's very well cast and the songs are catchy,but this is light writing from Allen.

Deconstructing Harry(1997)-8/10->The editing is a bit chaotic,but Deconstructing Harry is unique,because of its incredible variation of well-made characters,fantastic dialogue and often times,narrative.

Celebrity(1998)-5/10->This is extremely messy,overlong and it even fails to entertain.The cast and the cinematography partially help.

Sweet And Lowdown(1999)-8/10->Penn and Morton have a lot of chemistry and they are great in this gentle and funny fake biopic,that is flawed in some spots,but it still works.

Small Time Crooks(2000)-8/10->This might seem to be one of Allen's funniest in the beginning,but towards the end it gets uneven.

The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion(2001)-5/10->This is often funny and it has a good premise,but it doesn't quite develop it and it poses more questions than it answers.Plus,the characters are flat.

Hollywood Ending(2002)-4/10->This is played out like a sequel to Celebrity.The only difference between them is that this is even more flawed than the other one.One of Allen's worst so far.

Anything Else(2003)-5/10->The characters are mostly likeable and some moments are funny,but this feels like a complete re-hash of Annie Hall and other great Allen films.

Melinda and Melinda(2004)-4/10->It has a good premise and OK acting,but it is poorly written and it has the vague impression that it is philosophical.

The Social Network(2010)-10/10->With a terrific performance from Eisenberg,fantastic editing and a killer and tensionate score,The Social Network is completely different from what we have seen before.Also,very insightful.

Match Point(2005)-9.5/10->A slow,well acted,classy and philosophical thriller.One of Allen's most different and best in years.

Scoop(2006)-5/10->There is chemistry between Johansson and Jackman,a couple of good jokes and yet again,a good premise,but it's poorly executed and unsatisfying.

Cassandra's Dream(2007)-5/10->Good acting can't make up for a light script and a tangled storyline.

Biutiful(2010)-10/10->Biutiful is a compelling and harsh (mostly harsh) story,which benefits from Bardem's best performance so far,great cinematography and editing,plus sharp directing from Inarritu.

Monster(2003)-8/10->This might be a little bit hard to watch for some viewers,but Theron's and Ricci's performances make it worth your while.

The Hebrew Hammer(2003)-8/10->With a creative premise,humor and a good performance by Goldberg,The Hebrew Hammer is above your average parody.

Party Monster:The Shockumentary(1998)-8/10->It is highly shocking and quite insightful,but it would have helped if it were longer and better edited.

Party Monster(2003)-7/10->It succeeds in re-creating the characters and Culkin pulls off a fantastic performance,but this doesn't quite match the depth of the directors's previous film,a documentary on the same subject.

Brain Dead(1992)-8/10->This is very funny and bloody,but it exaggerates with the gore.

Where The Buffalo Roam(1980)-2/10->Not even the acting can save this from its tedious script and childish execution.Just watch Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas.

Gonzo:The Life And Work of Hunter S. Thompson(2007)-9/10->A very insightful documentary on the works and life of a great jurnalist.