with the bold text in the example below:

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Playing for keeps by Gabriele Muccino, 2012 (PG-13)

with Gerard Butler (How to train your dragon), Jessica Biel (Total Recall), Noah Lomax, Dennis Quaid (Traffic, The Words), Uma Thurman (Bel Ami, Prime), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Traffic, Ocean's Twelve, Side Effects, Broken City), James Tupper, Judy Greer (The Descendants, Jeff Who Lives at Home, Love and Other Drugs), Abella Wyss, Grant Goodman
From the director of Remember Me, My Love (Ricordati di me) and Seven Pounds

A washed-up, former soccer star attempts to rebuild his relationship with his son and ex-wife by coaching his son's soccer team. His plan to reconnect with his family is met with challenges from the attractive soccer moms who pursue him everywhere.

The representation of mothers in this movie is a little outrageous, going from hysterical to depressed to femme fatale, all definitely having nothing else to do but fancy one man out of their reach... And the stereotypical weak man who succumb to their charm after barely resisting while seemingly madly in love with his ex-wife. Not quite realistic. It is pure fast-food entertainment. Perhaps the only interesting point of the movie is the relationship of the father with his barely known son, the only one who is almost honest and realistic. Anyway, fairytale romantic comedy... of the lowest kind.

Watch Trailer:

Friday, August 30, 2013

Miss Congeniality by Donald Petrie, 2000 (PG-13)

with Sandra Bullock (Two Weeks Notice, The Blind Side, The Heat), Michael Caine (The Dark Knight Rises, Sleuth, Now You See Me), Benjamin Bratt (Traffic), William Shatner, Candice Bergen, Ernie Hudson, Heather Burns (Two Weeks Notice), Melissa De Sousa, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Steve Monroe, Christopher Shea, Marco Perella

Unpolished and disheveled, FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) needs a serious makeover before going undercover as a Miss United States beauty pageant contestant to catch a psychopathic terrorist who's threatened to blow up the proceedings. A beauty consultant (Michael Caine) is hired to transform Hart from "Dirty Harriet" into a beauty queen -- with hilarious and surprisingly effective results, much to her partner's (Benjamin Bratt) shock.

I didn't realize Sandra Bullock was an expert in FBI dysfunctional agents for comedy. She does it well, tho. And I have a taste for Michael Caine refined roles. And the whole behind the scene of the beauty contest was of some interest. The movie is a comedy, not that smart, funny enough, already quite old-fashioned, entertaining enough on a flight from Paris to New York...

Watch Trailer

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dead Man Down by Niels Arden Oplev, 2013 (R)

with Colin Farrell (In Bruges, Total Recall), Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), Terrence Howard (The Princess and the Frog), Dominic Cooper, Isabelle Huppert (Ma Mere, White Material, The Piano Teacher, Amour), Luis Da Silva Jr., Stu Bennett, Franky G. (The Italian Job), Declan Mulvey, John Cenatiempo, Roy James Wilson
From the director of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor)
Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace star as two strangers, irresistibly drawn to each other, whose mutual desire for revenge unravels in an escalating trail of violence.

Besides the romantic aspect which is not really convincing, the story is quite interesting, dark, dynamic, with unexpected twists and turns, twist and turns (again reminded me of Payback)... I have more and more problems believing Noomi Rapace as a feminine person, her sex-appeal is below zero... An interesting note is the character of the mother, Isabelle Huppert, as her ordinary characters, a "little" off and so french, how not to love her!

Watch trailer:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Man of Steel by Zack Snyder, 2013 (PG-13)

with Henry Cavill (Immortals), Amy Adams (Julie and Julia, The Master, Trouble with the Curve, The Fighter), Michael Shannon (Take Shelter, Mud), Diane Lane (The Legend of Bagger Vance), Russell Crowe (Robin Hood, American Gangster, The Next Three Days, Broken City), Antje Traue (Pandorum), Harry J. Lennix, Richard Schiff (Solitary Man), Christopher Meloni (True Blood), Kevin Costner (The Bodyguard), Ayelet Zurer, Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, Contagion), Dylan Sprayberry, Cooper Timberline, Richard Cetrone, Mackenzie Gray, Julian Richings, Mary Black, Samantha Jo, Michael Kelly (Now You See Me, Did you Hear About The Morgans?, The Adjustment Bureau, House of Cards - season 1), Rebecca Buller, Christina Wren, David Lewis, Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica), Doug Abrahams, Brad Kelly, Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica), Mike Dopud (Battlestar Galactica)
From the director of "300"

A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

Man of steel is the symbol of a new generation of movies made to make us feed from violence, special effect and faked induced essential emotions, such as fear, nostalgia, loss, love. Everything is shifting from one combat of extraordinary destruction to a tiny moment of dialogue, summarizing a pretending relationship we are supposed to bound to, or a very intelligent strategy we cannot understand so there is no need to expand on, then back to violence, back and forth, with no sense of storytelling, nor humor. It is not a drama, it is not a comedy, it is definitely not intelligent, and it doesn't make anyone feel better about humans, or superheroes, it is a useless cold made movie from templates. It is an action movie. Or perhaps action is good enough, destruction movie might do then. Terrible and tiring.
Oh, and worst of all, the cast is amazing, which makes it even more of a waste...

Most relevant reviews read afterwards:
"The movie consists of endless declamation, endless violence."
- David Denby, New Yorker, July 1, 2013

watch trailer:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mud by Jeff Nichols, 2012 (PG-13)

with Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Magic Mike, The Paperboy) Tye Sheridan (The Tree of Life), Jacob Loflan, Reese Witherspoon (This Means War), Sarah Paulson (Game Change), Ray McKinnon (Take Shelter), Sam Shepard (Fair Game), Michael Shannon (Take Shelter), Paul Sparks, Joe Don Baker, Johnny Cheek, Bonnie Sturdivant, Stuart Greer, Clayton Carson Pryor
from the director of Take Shelter

Mud is an adventure about two boys, Ellis and his friend Neckbone, who find a man named Mud hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Mud describes fantastic scenarios-he killed a man in Texas and vengeful bounty hunters are coming to get him. He says he is planning to meet and escape with the love of his life, Juniper, who is waiting for him in town. Skeptical but intrigued, Ellis and Neckbone agree to help him. It isn't long until Mud's visions come true and their small town is besieged by a beautiful girl with a line of bounty hunters in tow.

McConaughey is playing on the edge, again, after Magic Mike and even closer to the mood of The Paperboy. Somehow tho, he doesn't get to have the main role, Mud is someone just because those two kids decide to give him credits and help him. Ellis (Tye Sheridan) is a fascinating boy entering adolescence with bright ideas about justice, love and innocence. Tye Sheridan plays him to the perfection. That kid will go far, I hope. Anyway, the movie is slow, dark, somehow fascinating because it belongs to a world that is our own, but for most of us, completely foreign, with a profound realism.

watch trailer:

Superman Returns by Bryan Singer, 2006 (PG-13)

with Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, James Marsden, Frank Langella (All Good Things), Eva Marie Saint, Parker Posey, Kal Penn, Sam Huntington, Kevin Spacey (House of Cards (season 1), Margin Call) Marlon Brando (Superman: The Movie), Tristan Lake Leabu, David Fabrizio, Ian Roberts, Vincent Stone, Jack Larson, Noel Neill

The Man of Steel returns to the big screen with this continuation of the icon's film legacy that picks up after the events of the first two Christopher Reeve films. Some time has passed since the events of Superman II and the world has gotten used to life without Superman (Brandon Routh) ever since his puzzling disappearance years earlier. Upon his return, he finds a Metropolis that doesn't need him anymore, while Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has moved on with another young suitor Richard White (James Marsden) in the meantime. As the hero begins to tackle the fact that life on Earth has continued without him, he is forced to face his old arch-nemesis Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) and restore the life that was once his.

I was surprised, as this is so close to the four original Reeve's Superman. Same story, a few years later with technology moving to TV. Same characters, different actors... And I never noticed our similar Gene Hackman could be to Kevin Spacey. Excellent Lex Luthor! Anyway, even Kate Bosworth who looks so radically different from Margot Kidder felt like a Lois Lane after a while. The story is a bit predictable, but we love so much the characters it is ok. Nothing else but a sequel, with a touch of nostalgia.

Watch Trailer:

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Superman 4: The Quest for Peace by Sidney J. Furie, 1987 (PG)

with Christopher Reeve (Superman: The Movie, Superman 2, Superman 3), Gene Hackman (Enemy of the State, Superman: The Movie, Superman 2), Jackie Cooper (Superman: The Movie, Superman 2, Superman 3), Marc McClure (Superman: The Movie, Superman 2, Superman 3), Jon Cryer, Sam Wanamaker, Mark Pillow, Mariel Hemingway (Deconstructing Harry), Margot Kidder (Superman: The Movie, Superman 2, Superman 3), Damien McLawhorn, William Hootkins, Jim Broadbent (Another Year, The Iron Lady, Cloud Atlas), Stanley Lebor, Don Fellows, Robert Beatty (Superman 3)

With global superpowers engaged in an increasingly hostile arms race, Superman (Christopher Reeve) leads a crusade to rid the world of nuclear weapons. But Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), recently sprung from jail, is declaring war on the Man of Steel and his quest to save the planet. Using a strand of Superman's hair, Luthor synthesizes a powerful ally known as Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow) and ignites an epic battle spanning Earth and space.

There is one what wasn't necessary either. The bad guys are too much of the same, and not that interesting. Perhaps the only point of originality, and fun is the change of management of the Daily Planet, and the sudden infatuation of the new boss's daughter for Clark Kent, creating awkward situations for him and the superman relationship with Lois.

watch trailer:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Superman 3 by Richard Lester, 1983 (PG)

with Christopher Reeve (Superman: The Movie, Superman 2), Richard Pryor, Jackie Cooper (Superman: The Movie), Marc McClure, Annette O'Toole, Annie Ross, Pamela Stephenson, Robert Vaughn, Margot Kidder (Superman: The Movie, Superman 2), Gavan O'Herlihy

Aiming to defeat the Man of Steel (Christopher Reeve), wealthy executive Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn) hires bumbling but brilliant Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor) to develop synthetic kryptonite, which yields some unexpected psychological effects in the third installment of the 1980s Superman franchise. Between rekindling romance with his high school sweetheart (Annette O'Toole) and saving himself, Superman must contend with a powerful supercomputer.

This one is perhaps the stupidest Superman Movie. I honestly found Richard Pryor most irritating. But well, he has his moments, such as skying. Anyway, it was an interesting trip to time to see how computer looked like and were manipulated back then, and how complicated it seemed to be.

Watch trailer:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Superman 2 by Richard Lester and Richard Donner, 1981 (PG)

with Christopher Reeve (Superman: The Movie), Gene Hackman (Enemy of the State, Superman: The Movie), Terence Stamp (Superman: The Movie, Get Smart), Margot Kidder (Superman: The Movie), Ned Beatty (Rango, Superman: The Movie), Sarah Douglas, Jack O'Halloran (Superman: The Movie), Jackie Cooper (Superman: The Movie), Valerie Perrine (Superman: The Movie), Susannah York, John Ratzenberger (Cars)

Following Superman: The Movie
Three escaped criminals from the planet Krypton test the Man of Steel's mettle in this hit sequel. Led by Gen. Zod, the Kryptonians take control of the White House and partner with Lex Luthor to destroy Superman and rule the world.

Now that I have seen the four Reeve's Superman, my favorite is definitely this one! General Zod (Terence Stamp) has the most amazing lines, my best being: [looking at the Presidential Seal on the floor of the Oval Office] "I see you are practiced in worshiping things that fly. Good. Now, rise before Zod." I think also the plot went in an interesting direction, where Lois and Clark are now together... Yes, call me a romantic :) Anyway, this is probably the wittiest one, with the ping pong between Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) and Zod.

watch trailer:

The Heat by Paul Feig, 2013 (R)

with Sandra Bullock (Two Weeks Notice, The Blind Side, Miss Congeniality, Gravity), Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Demian Bichir (Don't Tempt Me, Weeds), Marlon Wayans, Michael Rapaport, Jane Curtin, Spoken Reasons, Dan Bakkedahl, Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave), Michael McDonald, Thomas F. Wilson
From the director of Bridesmaids and Nurse Jackie

Uptight and straight-laced, FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is a methodical investigator with a reputation for excellence--and hyper-arrogance. Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy), one of Boston P.D.'s "finest," is foul-mouthed and has a very short fuse, and uses her gut instinct and street smarts to catch the most elusive criminals. Neither has ever had a partner, or a friend for that matter. When these two wildly incompatible law officers join forces to bring down a ruthless drug lord, they become the last thing anyone expected: buddies.

Haven't seen Sandra Bullock as good since "Two Weeks Notice" where she was, as well, some sort of uptight, more on the hippie side tho... And Melissa McCarthy, oh well, she is in her best style, pretty much the same character as in Bridesmaids, vulgar, violent, fast and witty. So the movie gets to drive us on a wild ride with those two, which therefor doesn't need much of a plot. But there is. Ok, it is not the brightest thriller of all time, the story holds, and who cares, all we wanna see is how the two phenomenons can actually get the job done. And it is funny. Ah, the trailer is funny, and you would think they put it all in it, as I did. But they actually didn't. There is MUCH more to come in the movie.

watch trailer:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

In Time by Andrew Niccol, 2011 (PG-13)

with Amanda Seyfried (Chloe), Justin Timberlake (The Social Network, Bad Teacher, Trouble with the Curve), Cillian Murphy, Vincent Kartheiser, Olivia Wilde (The Words, The Next Three Days, Tron: Legacy, Deadfall, People Like Us), Johnny Galecki, Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike, Beastly), Matt Bomer (Magic Mike), Shyloh Oostwald, Yaya Alafia, Ethan Peck, Toby Hemingway
From the director of Gattaca, The Truman Show, Lord of War, S1m0ne (Simone)...

In a near future where aging stops at 25, time is the new currency and the wealthy can live forever. When Will Salas inherits decades of life from a wealthy murdered man, he's pegged as the suspect by the corrupt Time Keepers, who enforce the law.

Interesting more for such an amazing director. I wonder what made this movie turn into a teenager one, perhaps the cast being overall around 25 years old, or the lack of substantive content. I felt David Fincher was going in the same direction, strange... The concept was great tho, with a whole market of time, a science fiction film that recreates an organization of the society, which I always like. But the truth is that in terms of district organization of the world, it reminds me of the Hunger Games, in terms of circles of the society and the love story, it reminds me of Upside-Down, or for that case, the other way around since "In Time" arrived first... But basically, most of it is again and again the same story...

Watch Trailer:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Upside Down by Juan Solanas, 2012 (PG-13)

with Kirsten Dunst (All Good Things, The Virgin Suicides, Melancholia), Jim Sturgess (One Day, Cloud Atlas), Timothy Spall (The King's Speech), Vlasta Vrana, Blu Mankuma, James Kidnie, Frank M. Ahearn, Janine Theriault, Jayne Heitmeyer

Adam lives on a poverty-stricken world, while Eden is from its affluent twin planet, and their love sparks an interplanetary incident. Social stigma, family and government forces work to keep them apart, but they'll stop at nothing to be together.

The idea is great. Two planets and new set of rules, a society divided... and somehow it turned out to be a fairy tale. Which is ok, I think I actually liked so much the rules of gravity, and how the story unravels, that the whole cheesiness of the love story got well digested. The landscapes are stunning. Oh well, I think the ending is a little shady with the gravity problem solving, or not solving? Finally, I loved Kirsten Dunst, who, for once doesn't play a traumatized girl.

Watch trailer:

Brokeback Mountain by Ang Lee, 2005 (R)

with Heath Ledger (Casanova), Jake Gyllenhaal (Source Code, Love and Other Drugs), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine), Anne Hathaway (Alice In Wonderland, Rachel Getting Married, Valentine's Day, Love and Other Drugs, The Dark Knight Rises, One Day, Get Smart), Randy Quaid, Linda Cardellini, Anna Faris, Scott Michael Campbell, Kate Mara (House of Cards, 127 hours, Deadfall), Cheyenne Hill, Brooklynn Proulx, Tom Carey
From the director of Life of Pi and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

While working together near Wyoming's Brokeback Mountain in 1963, sheepherders Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar begin an increasingly passionate affair. But keeping their relationship a secret from their wives proves agonizing and all-consuming.

This is a classic. The movie will require you to slow down tremendously, so you can start enjoying every silence, understand every subtle change in everyone's behavior, and flow through the whole of their life. The cast is amazing, the dialogues almost non-existent... It is a beautiful and important movie. And Sad...

watch trailer:

Monday, August 5, 2013

Payback by Brian Helgeland, 1999 (R)

with Mel Gibson (The Beaver), Gregg Henry, Maria Bello (Thank You For Smoking, The Cooler, Beautiful Boy), David Paymer (The Five-Year Engagement), Bill Duke, Deborah Kara Unger (The Game), John Glover (Alice in Wonderland), William Devane, Lucy Liu, Jack Conley, Kris Kristofferson (Deadfall)

A career criminal's wife and former partner steal the money he lifted from the Chinese triads, shoot him and leave him for dead -- or so they think. But five months later, he's back and ready to exact his revenge.

I loved this film noir, back in time, when I first saw it. The cast is perfect, the characters reckless, ethics are gone, the main objective of the not-so-bad guy is revenge, and money, but revenge seems to suit him well if any trouble along the way. The women around are whores, SM or not, or heavy junky. You either die killed or overdosed. There is no light, the whole movie is shot with a bluish tone, and shades of black. Mel Gibson looks like himself, apparently some modern version of Mad Max (I haven't seen it yet...). He is perfect, and somehow funny, in a dark kind of way. Awesome.

watch trailer:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Jack Reacher by Christopher McQuarrie, 2012 (PG-13)

with Tom Cruise (Eyes Wide Shut, Knight and Day, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Oblivion, Cocktail), Rosamund Pike (Pride and Prejudice, Surrogates, An Education, Barney's Version), Richard Jenkins (The Visitor, Eat Pray Love, The Visitor, Liberal Arts), Werner Herzog (My Best Fiend, Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski), David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Lincoln The Paperboy), Jai Courtney, Vladimir Sizov, Robert Duvall (Thank you for smoking), Josh Helman, Michael Raymond-James

When ex-military cop Jack Reacher investigates an elite sniper charged with killing five people, he teams up with a beautiful defense lawyer -- and they soon find themselves drawn into a dangerous cat-and-mouse game in this exciting thriller.

Well done action movie. Interesting, well-rhythmed, interesting cast, somehow funny and cynical, dark. I liked it. Ok, the story is still about some American hero and a foreigners mafia, which makes it unoriginal, but the characters are originals. Now that I think about it, it reminds me of "Payback" that I just saw again.

watch trailer: