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Yves Saint Laurent (2014)
For fashion lovers. That's it.
I was recommended this movie by my sister who is, like many girls, really into fashion. For her Yves Saint-Laurent represents one of the great masters of fashion. A man that was born to make women look beautiful. Now that said, I really don't see anything in the movie a man who is not particularly into fashion could like about it. The story of YSL is boring at best. Not his actual life but the way he is portrayed. Falling into drugs at a pretty young age and not being able to ever keep it together during the majority of his life. He had a boyfriend/manager who is used as the person telling the story of the fashion legend. By the end of the movie, I don't know if you feel like you have find out loads of things about YSL that you didn't know, you are just left to wonder how his boyfriend put up with him for so long.
A Great documentary about one the greatest bands of my lifetime.
Oasis climbed to success at an amazing speed. They went from performing together for a few times to recording an album and gaining some fame and momentum, to recording a second album and becoming the biggest band on the planet. At their peak, they claimed to be better than the Beatles. Well, I don't know about that, but I guarantee that the legion of fans they had, that could have filled up a stadium 2 weeks in succession is not something to take jokingly. Either way, we are not here to discuss the quality of the band, but rather, the quality of the documentary. My opinion: the documentary is great, but I don't know if I am biased and that the cheer pleasure of seeing footage of one of my favorite bands makes me the worst person to give an opinion about it. Let's put it this way: unless you hate the Gallaghers, what you find in the documentary is guys with great personality, full of desire to enjoy life who became rock stars and lit up the world. I think that's a good enough reason to watch anything.
The Guilt Trip (2012)
Barbra Streisand and well and truly passed her best, and she no longer has the pulling power to make a movie a box office hit. However, I suppose, she is still a big enough star to pick what movies she will be acting on, and therefore commits little mistakes with her choices. This flick is nothing amazing, but compared to the enormous amount of crap that one has to watch, it's decent, funny and makes for a good watch. I am sure I will never watch it again, but if someone was to asked me a recommendation for a funny comedy to watch over the weekend, something where your mind is free to relax and helps you to forget work, your boss, and your wife's boyfriend, this is it. At least, that's my opinion. I know that most people seem to differ. I enjoyed it.
Fantastic Four (2015)
Fantastic? Rather rubbish four.
I mean I don't know. I guess there's an age when these movies make no sense to watch. I just turned 40 and as a kid I used to read the Fantastic four adventures, spiderman, Ironman, Captain America, and more. Marvel was really something I adored. Unfortunately, when I watch it now, and I see the actors that play the characters, the lack of charisma they all have, I am made to wonder whether they should have ever bothered to turn Marvel characters into movie heroes. Captain America the movie is a disgrace, Ironman is worth less than my shirt, Fantastic four is so absurd and silly that you are made to wonder if the intention was to create a comedy. The characters are rubbish, the actors are rubbish, the whole thing is rubbish. First and last time I watch Marvel movies. This is an absolute insult to comic fans. If it wasn't because I watched it at my friend's place, I'd ask for my money back.
La isla mínima (2014)
The Spanish True detective
I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. I knew it had had comparisons with True Detective and it was very similar in setting (desolate and expansive) and the atmosphere/relationship between the two detectives. The actors, especially Pedro (the younger detective) were perfectly cast. Pedro almost underacted, but that set a kind of thought provoking atmosphere and worked really well against Juan, the other 'old regime' detective. One thing I've wondered about since watching it is the urinary tract infection Juan seemed to be suffering with that was just one of a few threads that were never really answered and because they weren't central to the plot you didn't feel they needed to be.
Great film either. There's life in Spanish cinema beyond Almodovar. Thanks God!
Don't Breathe (2016)
Three teenagers go around houses stealing valuables to resell them and make a profit. Although of a very young age, their dexterity when committing a robbery is quite remarkable. One day, they decide to go for a bigger pay day and enter the house of an old man who supposedly keeps $300000 in his house. What the three burglars don't know is that this blinded old man used to be a marine and he moves around the house like a cat at night. What should have been a straight forward robbery becomes an run for your life situation, where the marine will hunt them down one by one. The mechanics of the movie do not feel like anything new, and although you can guess a few of the things that will happen throughout, there's enough suspense to keep you entertained till the end. I would have preferred a different ending, but I keep that for myself. All in all, a decent enough movie. I have discussed it with a few friends and they all agreed that it is quite watchable. So there you go.
Mr. Church (2016)
Watch it for a good siesta.
Mr Church might be a good effort by Eddie Murphy to finally get rid of that comedian tag, but it won't be good enough for his long life dream of winning an Oscar. While I love the guy and some of his movies are truly entertaining, his claims that he would never get and Oscar because he was black were completely nonsensical. Eddie, you are not getting an Oscar because your movies are plainly silly comedies that people watch in an attempt to have a good digestion after a large meal. Your name has got no business being in the Oscars nominations. Now, at least if he wants to put himself in contention Mr Church might be a good way for us to see Mr Murphy as a serious actor. What is the problem? The problem is that Mr Church is a very average movie with nothing to really captivate you. If want to be on the edge of your seat, you have a better chance watching The Golden State Warriors taking on the bottom team in the NBA this year.
Lights Out (2016)
An award winning short film turned into a movie.
I remember watching the short movie that motivated this film. That hopeless fat lady who finds herself observed by a strange and traumatizing creature in her flat that appears every time the lights are turned out. The funny thing is that for most people I have talked to, the short movie was a lot better than the long version. I have to say I could not agree more. While lights out is definitely watchable, the explaining of where that creature comes from makes the movie that little bit more completely than needed to be. In the end, the whole thing becomes a succession of almost intense moments, almost gripping moments, that leave you a little deflated. I guess not every movie needs to be of the highest standard. You have got to accept that in the creative world there's good, there's bad, and there's also mediocre. I guess Lights out fits into the last bracket.
I Stil see Harry Potter.
Imperial is a decent movie. There's definitely a good story behind and the acting is OK, but I cannot help but see Harry Potter everywhere. Daniel Radcliffe is Harry Potter man. I see him flying on a broom, his eyebrows are made to be covered by huge nerdy glasses. His hair is to looks long and thick. What the hell happened to him? He goes around being a skinhead who tries to infiltrate a white supremacist group without any magic trick? I know I know
It's my bad. I should not let myself be dragged into this thinking. I have too much experience behind a movie geek. But man, Matthew Perry is Chandler, Pierce Brosnan is Bond, and Daniel Radcliffe is Potter. Unless time goes by, he gets grey hair, and grows a good 10 inches, I will still see him as that. Still, for those who can get passed what I couldn't, Imperium once again is a good movie. Good enough.
Tough to watch
There are two types of movies that I don't like. Movies that take place on a plane, and movies that unfold in mountains or frozen lands. No need to say that I was destined to dislike Everest. Well, surprise surprise. I didn't. I actually quite liked it. I think Everest is a good movie, that wins points also for being a movie based on real events. Everest makes you wonder what pushes men and women to put themselves through the need to walk the highest and most demanding mountain on earth, especially knowing that too many of them do not survive this crazy adventure. The movie tells the story of a group that decides to go up the mountain when bad weather is approaching. Bad management and a surprisingly awful storm traps many of the mountaineers. A mix of survival knowledge, luck and perseverance will be needed to go through the toughness of what lies ahead. Will they all make it? You'll need to watch the movie to find out.
Blind Dating (2006)
I don't wish I was blind because that would be an overstatement, but deep down I feel that it would have been better than watching this monstrous horror of a movie. A blind man who tries to find love by faking that he actually can see. Obviously, the guy is so good at faking it and girls are so dumb that no one actually notices that the guy is totally blinded. Meanwhile, his brother tries to set him up with hookers who are super hot, and he gets upset cause he only wants to find true love. Will he find it? Well, do I really need to answer this question. What do you think? How does the heroe of a movie like this ends up? Marrying a lovely girl or forever alone? Exactly. This movie is punishing. It's worse than door to door selling and getting each potential customer slamming the door on your face. The worst thing is that I watched it right after "40 year old Virgin". As I look back I wonder what the hell did I do to inflict so much pain on myself.
The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)
You don't need to be a scientist to know what you will find in a movie such as "40 year old virgin". A miserable man who goes through with nothing more than his job to keep him busy. During a poker game, his friends find out that he is virgin and they all go on a quest to help him overcome this situation. He goes through training, expert tips, he waxes his chest, and in everything he does the outcome is always mostly on the funny side. A movie like this is nothing more than a quick fix if you have nothing to do, or if you are in a super good mood and you feel that anything will make you laugh. Everything away from these two states of mind will make you feel as if you are being tortured by the worst possible crew of movie makers put together. Will they make you laugh? Not really? will you smile? maybe? Does it deserve your time? probably not.
The Martian (2015)
What is a long movie or it felt really long?
Better read the synopsis before watching The Martian. I did not. That's why I thought it would be some fun sci-fi movie about astronauts landing in Mars and having to defend themselves from the attack of creatures from another planet. Well, that wasn't what the movie was, and I wish it would be. The first hour of the Martian felt long, dragging and utterly boring. Matt Damon, left alone by himself in Mars spends the first half of the movie regurgitating technicalities to a camera where he records himself while explaining what he has to do to survive alone in this new "home". If he didn't it would be just impossible for people to understand all the things he is doing. In the second half the movie, a rescue mission gets ready to pick him up, so they talk an talk and talk again in endless meetings about what needs to be done to save their man while the world is watching. Although this second part is slightly more entertaining than the first one, I really could not wait for the movie to finish. Boring! It's all i can say.
The Invitation (2015)
When is the action starting?
A couple who lost their child in a tragic accident reunite for dinner with their new respective partners and a few friends after two years of no contact. The father of that kid feels that something weird is happening in the house as the hosts are locking the doors of the house, the windows, and are treating their guest in a slightly bizarre way. Unfortunately, he is the only one who seems to question all the things happening in the house, to the point where people are wondering what is wrong with him. The thing is that you spend over 3/4 of the movie wondering if something is really happening of it's only in the protagonist's head, and all while they are all talking at the table with the most boring of conversations. So, i would suggest that you watch the first five to ten minutes watching the movie, then you skip to the last fifteen, cause really nothing happens in between, and you could claim that you watched "The invitation".
Captain Fantastic (2016)
One of the best I have seen in a long time.
I watched this movie today without knowing anything about it. The combination of name and Poster was enough to catch my attention. Captain fantastic tells the story of a dad who travels on a bus with his kids while living a very unique life of survival away from the modern world. The kids are trained to hunt, to fight, to survive under any circumstances on top of receiving top notch education from their father. The thing is that the kids are not that young anymore, and they start to understand that the way they are living is turning them into freaks more than unique individuals. The most grown-ups start to put up to their father although they respect the way he has raised them. Their slow integration into the reality of society results in some funny conversations and situations but that remain quite serious at the same time. I have to say I have really loved Captain Fantastic as it is not very often that you come across a movie that feels that little bit different from the rest. If you loved Little Miss Sunshine, this might be one to watch.
Hands of Stone (2016)
Ah! The great Roberto Duran
First of all, I am a big boxing fan so there was no chance I was going miss this one. Came out in the cinemas and got my tickets to go watch it. Roberto Duran was a member of what people called the "Fantastic four" (Duran, Hearns, Hagler, Leonard). A bunch of unique fighters who met in the late 70's and early 80's and had some of the most entertaining fights in boxing history. Roberto Duran was the smallest of them all and went from lightweight to middleweight to challenge them and gave a tremendous account of himself. The movie is fun to watch whether you like boxing of not. Its shows the tough upbringings of the life of this magnificent champion, how he never goes to school but ends marrying a well educated women, the needs to prove himself in every outing not only for him but also for his country which was undermined by the power of the US. Duran was a great fighter and somehow justice has been done by giving this man a movie that confirms him as one of the true greats in boxing history.
What was the movie about?
You see, this is what happens when you watch a bad movie and you do not write a review straight away. I watched Superbad a couple of weeks ago and have been wanting to write about since. I am now desperately trying to remember what the movie was about and I seriously have no idea what I watched. I suppose that it is enough to make a point about the quality of the movie. It may well be the least memorable movie I ever watched or surely one of them. I am obviously finding it extremely difficult to write and finish this review. The 10 lines that are required of me from IMDb seem like an almost impossible task to complete. I may as well talk about the weather in Madrid. Today was a lovely day, nice and mild with a lovely sun baking the Manzanares river in the morning. Perfect for a walk, and perfect to forget movies such as superbad. I am sure it has been said before, but the title of the movie couldn't fit the quality of the movie any better. Superbad is indeed superbad.
I know a director needs to stick to reality when he does a movie based on real events, but somehow, I can't help but think that he could have done a lot more with the story of a Hip Hop star who got murdered in strange circumstances. Notorious rose to stardom in the blink of an eye, at least for the American audience. His catchy lyrics and great personality made him a superstar in no time. However, a sort of conflict between the East and West Coast emerged, and the resulting tension that arose form the situation ended up with the lives of two of the brightest rap stars of the decade. Now, the disappointing is that everything I just wrote I already knew before watching the movie. What else did I learn? Well Notorious seemed a bit of a nerd when he was young, he slept with loads of women, and smoked pot. I could have guessed 2 out of these 3. I don't think Notorious is a particularly good or bad movie. Just very average, but I have the sneaky feeling you can get a better deal but watching some of the documentaries about his life on Youtube.
The Danish Girl (2015)
The acting is brilliant. No question. It is so good that the guy deserved an Oscar for it. As for the story itself, the subject is so far away from what I like that it never felt really entertaining. The story of a Danish painter who is married to a lovely woman painter and poses for her one day so she can finish a painting about a ballerina. The ballerina being unavailable, she asks her husband to dress as a woman. What the husband experiences is indescribable unless you have had some transvestite interests, but the point is that what he feels right there is life changing. For him, being dressed as a woman is what he loves, and he feels that he is a woman trapped in a man's body. A woman that he will call Lily. What starts as a silly playful act turns out to be something that brings unhappiness to the couple, as the wife fights for her husband to stop dressing as a woman. Unfortunately, everything escalates to the point where her husband and Lily become two different people of whom Lilly has more possibilities of surviving.
During a road trip that leads them into a wooded area, four friends near hit a stranger before wrecking their car on a tree. The foursome and the stranger decide to seek help from a nearby village. A village that proves to be dangerous. Everything in this movie feels extremely amateurish. From the mise en scene, to the actors, the script, the shots, and the rubbish set-up. The poor image quality I didn't mind so much. The rest, on the other hand, made for a particular viewing experience. In fact, the movie is so bad that I found myself amused by it. Like when you hear a bad joke, that is so bad that it actually makes you smile a little. By the 20 minute mark I started to think and hope that the surrealist quality was all intentional but was it? I'm not even sure.
Source Code (2011)
Jake Gylenhall again!
I am such a big fan of this guy's movies. When was the last time I watched a movie that Jake featured and wasn't good? I cannot remember. Although "Source Code" is not my favorite, i found it to be really entertaining. In this film, Jake Gyllenhaal is a soldier that wakes up in someone else's body and through an experiment by the government, he has got 8 minutes to find the bomber in a train. When the bomb goes off and Stevens finds himself in the pod again. He is sent back another time, yet still cannot find out anything. This sequence is repeated over and over again, until he is able to complete the mission, cause if he does, he is in in fact, changing the reality of today. A little bit like what happens in back to the future 2. The movie has tension, drama, and has an uncertain ending. All of it make for a movie that may not have you on the edge of your seat, but that is intense enough to make you alert until the end.
Sing Street (2016)
Sing to change your life.
You might be a loner, an outsider, and a laughing stock, but if you can sing and compose songs, you can turn your life around and even steal the heart (or almost) of the girl you like who is older than you and dates more mature guys. This is more of less the story of Sing Street. The whole movie includes a lot of singing, and is a step away from being a musical. Surprisingly enough, the songs which are often rubbish in this kind of production were actually enjoyable. In general, I must admit that I kind of liked the movie. Not my favorite by any means but just good enough to recommend it to a youngish crowd. Still, if you are into movies where music is kind of the key element, there are better options out there. The Boat that rocked and Begin Again are two good examples.
Jake. Why always him?
I think I cannot praise enough the fact that Jake Gyllenhaal seems to be unable to do a bad movie. I cannot recall one. In this case, in Demolition, he plays the role of a successful investment banker who suffers the death of his wife in a car crash. Not knowing how to redirect his life, he starts faltering at work, and starts spending some time with a customer service rep and her young son. Through the multiple phone calls he makes to complain about faulty vending machines, he finds in the customer service rep a friend wiling to listen to him. Slowly, thanks to this new found friend, he starts rebuilding his life, while developing a liking for the demolition of all sort of things, including his old life.
The Nice Guys (2016)
Kind of nice.
The movie is one of those weirdest but fun but weird to watch movies. The one thing that I feel is to be noted is the incredible connection you feel between the actors. Although, I would not have bet on them being a good duo, they actually deliver really well. The whole story, full of weirdness evolves around the supposed killing of a porn actress that a young kid witnesses from the commodity of his own home. The two protagonists go from being enemies to having to help each other to solve this weirdest criminal story. Serious, often humorous, "The Nice Guys" make up for a good watch but might not be everyone's favorite. I don't consider this to be a movie for every palate. It's more of a you either love it or hate it kind of movie.
Lovely family movie/story.
This movie reminded me enormously of a British flick called Marvelous which was beyond a doubt one of my favorites of 2015. Radio is the name given to a black kid who seems a little mentally retarded and walks around town pushing a shopping cart full of things that he collects. One day, he intercepts a football and decides to keep it instead of returning it to the team who was playing with it. Trouble starts for Radio when the team decides to retaliate and teach him a lesson. However, the team's manager is not happy about how his team handles the situation and decides to take Radio under his wing. Little by little, Radio starts to become an icon of the team, and of the high school itself. A new life starts for him under the tutelage of his new found friend. Not everything will be a piece of cake as many students will see Radio as nothing else but a buffoon to make fun of