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Added by johanlefourbe on 13 Aug 2010 02:53
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1001 Movies Chosen By Johanlefourbe

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2022

People who added this item 194 Average listal rating (146 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.1


Notes: Well, as far as I was concerned, I thought it was visually impressive and I really enjoyed the tense dark ominous mood. I have to admit that I was little concerned after I saw the trailer which, to be honest, didn’t really impress me as it made the whole thing look like a rather basic vengeance tale. Indeed, the biggest challenge for Robert Eggers was to turn this classic Scandinavian legend which had inspired countless other stories such as ‘Hamlet’ or even ‘The Lion King’ into something new and, if I have to be honest with myself, he didn’t really succeed. Sure, I loved the visuals and how was I completely immersed in this vintage Viking world but the whole thing was still too predictable. I have to admit that I didn’t see coming the scene when Amleth’s mother pretty much shattered his already fairly demented psychological state by revealing her true feelings about his father and even himself. However, it was the only surprising thing that occurred during more than 2 hours of mayhem. Still, the general madness and the bleakness of the whole endeavor was very much appreciated. Eventually, if you see the current state of our world, 1000 years later, our inclination for violence didn’t really change, the only thing which has evolved is that we don’t use such seemingly innocent axes anymore but missiles capable of wiping out a whole building. In the meantime, we still manage to fight for the most dubious reasons and we will keep doing it because that’s our tragic nature.
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People who added this item 373 Average listal rating (269 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: Eventually, I actually really enjoyed Matt Reeves’s approach. Indeed, somehow, he managed to get even grittier than Christopher Nolan and, at this point, the only way to be more realistic would be to drop the super-hero costume all together. Basically, it was some kind of neo-noir detective story, something which has been done many times in the Batman comic-books but never in the movie adaptations. Anyway, it was really cool to see this character playing detective with James Gordon and Catwoman as his sidekicks. I also really liked the idea of Bruce Wayne being a rich recluse as it made much more sense. Indeed, how can you go all night along fighting crime and during the day having another full agenda pretending to be a rich playboy? So, the approach and the tone were really neat but, unfortunately, the story was entertaining but not really great after all, I’m afraid. I mean, it started really promisingly but, to be honest, if you would remove the intricate mind-games of the Riddler, it was all rather pretty generic and straightforward after all. I’m not blaming Paul Dano (I wish I didn't know he would be the Riddler at least a full year before the movie was released though), he gave a really solid performance, but I wasn’t really impressed by his plan after all. The fact that the damned thing was too long (which was even more surprising since it wasn’t even an origin story) certainly didn’t help. Anyway, I still thought it was an intriguing take on this character.
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People who added this item 184 Average listal rating (156 ratings) 5.1 IMDB Rating 7


Notes: Once again, Pixar didn’t disappoint, that’s for sure and it is impressive how far ahead they are still in the overcrowded CGI animated features market. Sure, the damned thing looked amazing, I wouldn’t expect less from these guys, but it went so much deeper than that. Indeed, even though it might seem at first to be about a girl suddenly turning into a red panda, it was actually about puberty and it was really neat how well they tackled such a tricky subject. Indeed, after watching so many movies, I think I could count on a single hand all the movies which actually managed to do something interesting and/or believable on this topic. In this case, their biggest asset was the main character, Meilin, who was so convincing, so pitch-perfect, I think she was hands-down one of the best characters created by Pixar. I also loved her tight group of friends. Eventually, even though the whole thing was entertaining, they always took these characters and what they were going through seriously and the end-result was just spellbinding to behold. To be honest, I wish they made her struggle a little bit longer with her ‘curse’ and, eventually, she got it under control too fast in my opinion. Furthermore, I didn’t care much about the whole scheme of making money with her ability of becoming a red panda but these were some really minor flaws.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 67 Average listal rating (42 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.2


Notes: Well, I have to admit that it turned out to be quite an entertaining documentary. Sure, maybe it wasn’t really educational but it was a fun watch and the way they mixed the whole thing with some thriller elements was actually quite effective. First of all, I have never used Tinder but this documentary certainly didn’t make this app attractive, at least, not to me. Eventually, with Tinder but also similar apps, the issue is that it seems that most men are seriously distracted by sex or the idea of having sex while women are seriously distracted by materialism. Indeed, how could you otherwise explain that these 3 women (and probably countless others) fell for exactly the same pictures and exactly the same speeches? Concerning Simon Leviev A.K.A. Shimon Hayut, well, you can say whatever you want about the guy but I thought he was actually quite a brilliant con artist, even if there were some flaws in his scheme. Indeed, if I understand it correctly, it implied that he would have to constantly spend the money he was defrauding without building up a safety net in case everything would go south which was bound to happen at some point. Still, even though I understand why Cecilie Fjellhøy and Ayleen Charlotte would give him some money, I thought it was much more difficult to understand why Pernilla Sjöholm did it. I mean, Cecilie and Ayleen were after all completely in love with the guy so I think it’s understandable that you would do such a thing for your partner. However, why you would give so much money to a ‘good’ friend that you have known for maybe a few months? At least, it was actually pretty cool to see these 3 women teaming up to bring him down, even if he would then spend only 5 months in an Israeli jail.
johanlefourbe's rating:


Notes: The damned thing turned out to be such a sweet nostalgic vintage slice of life and I thoroughly enjoyed it. To be honest, you might wonder if the animation genre was really required to tell this tale since it could have been just as well shot as a standard live-action feature but I think this choice made sense. Indeed, even if we think we have some clear memories from our childhood, it is actually always a heightened recollection of what actually happened and, with animation, there was no better way to convey this surreal feeling. Furthermore, I loved how Linklater looked back into such deep details into his childhood and it is really impressive how he managed to tell this story through the eyes of a young kid. I also really appreciate how he didn’t sugar-coat anything. Indeed, I think it’s pretty obvious that he loved his childhood but he was definitely not shy to show that not everything was perfect, even far from it, but it actually made the whole thing even more interesting to behold. Eventually, the only thing that didn’t really work for me was Stan pretending that he went on a secret mission on the moon a couple of months before Apollo 11. Sure, I do understand that the kid had a wild fantasy and was therefore fantasizing about taking part in this legendary mission but, as far as I was concerned, it didn’t really have any added value, especially since the main character was not apparently such a huge fan of the race to space or of NASA in general. Anyway, even if it was maybe not a masterpiece, I really enjoyed the damned thing though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1


Notes: The damned thing turned out to be so much more interesting than I expected. Obviously, there is the fact that there is a war in Ukraine right now, a war seemingly completely insane for anyone living outside Russia, which makes this movie even more topical. However this movie turned out to be above all a spellbinding thriller about the failed attempt to kill Navalny and how the guy discovered himself most of the conspiracy behind this murder attempt. I’m actually surprised that this incredible story didn’t get more media coverage at the time. I mean, I remember that they mentioned that Navalny probably got poisoned by the Russian secret services but the details provided in this movie were just flabbergasting and, at times, you wonder if Putin and his goons didn’t watch too many average spy thrillers. Concerning Navalny, I did appreciate that they didn’t display him as someone perfect but his dedication to this cause was really impressive and inspirational. I mean, most people after surviving such a murder attempt would definitely never go back to Russia (after all, there is always the possibility to fight the regime from abroad) but Navalny, instead, decided to go back there as soon as it was physically possible for him. Of course, he got arrested the minute he arrived there and you might wonder if we will ever see him ever again. If you combine these dramatic events with the current war in Ukraine, you get such a grim image of Russia and, especially, of Vladimir Putin.
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Notes: First of all, I have to admit that I had never heard of Lacey/Leo Baker before watching this movie but his journey definitely turned out to be quite amazing. I mean, if nothing else, it does show how urgent it is for a trans person to go through their transition if a top athlete decides to let got of the most prestigious competition in the world to focus instead on this process. In this case, it was even more historical since it was the first time ever that skateboarding was included in the Olympic Games. But it was something made crystal clear in this movie, Baker was going through hell during his 14 years career as he was constantly handled as a girl, as a female skateboarder, which was something going completely against who he actually was. Even for a supposedly ‘cool’ sport like skateboarding, it does seem to be a major issue but can you imagine how it must be in the more mainstream sports? For example, in football (or soccer), it is extremely rare that a professional player will come out as gay. Furthermore, even after leaving the competition, Leo still managed to keep skateboarding probably in a much more satisfying way and such opportunities would probably not be available in many other sports. Still, it doesn’t diminish the fact that his journey was just so impressive and so inspiring. I mean, at some point, he was one of the best female skateboarders in the world and, even if he might have hated this label, the pressure coming from everywhere to keep delivering whatever they were asking for was just huge.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 5.8


Notes: I have to admit that I had no idea what this movie was about before watching the damned thing but, eventually, it turned out to be another appalling documentary dealing with the outrageous poor state of the healthcare system in the US today. This time, they focused on the staggering numbers of childbirth deaths among American black women and, well, these statistics were so bad, it made the US pretty much look like a third world country. Indeed, the death rate linked to childbirth is so much higher than any Western country and, when you focus on black women, the numbers goes up even more. It displayed once again that the excessive capitalism practiced in the United States is such a broken system (that it has inspired all the other countries in the world is such a pity, even a real shame, but that’s another discussion) as you get to see that the goal for many hospitals is to cut the costs by having a staggering number of C sections. However, C sections are not only really hazardous, even in the best case scenario, it is so traumatic for all the mothers involved. Basically, human lives, especially black lives, don’t really matter, only profits do. To be honest, even though the topic was really interesting, this movie was still missing something to become really fascinating though. On the other hand, you might wonder if a more artistical or fancy approach would have been really appropriate in this case though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.7


Notes: I had to admit that I wasn’t disappointed at all by this movie. First of all, I thought it was such a fun and charismatic group of friends. It was also really neat to see them in their own sheltered environment, even if my feelings were mixed on this matter. Indeed, one on hand, it is so great that they could get together, be themselves, enjoy being together, without being harassed by the usual bigots. However, it is also incredibly sad that a whole group of the population still has to hide themselves so they simply could live, not much more than that. Even though it was a point which wasn’t really developed here, it was also pretty obvious that most of them had barely or no contact anymore with their biological families making their bond even more meaningful. Even if I’m not gay myself, it seems that they did their best to be faithful and realistic regarding the gay community and it was quite interesting to dive into this world. Eventually, even if some of the characters were fairly well developed, I’m afraid it was still not enough to make them really fascinating though. The fact that they were stuck in a rather typical modern Jane Austen’s adaptation probably didn’t help. It’s not that it was such a terrible idea, it’s just that it was a rather unoriginal and safe option. However, even if it was missing something to be really a masterpiece, it was still a really solid romantic-comedy though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 63 Average listal rating (37 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 5.7


Notes: By now, we all know that the life of Marilyn Monroe A.K.A. Norma Jeane Baker was probably not so great after all but Andrew Dominik pushed this idea even further and gave us the bleakest vision on her life that you could possibly imagine. Basically, according to this movie, everything in her life was heavily traumatic, her childhood, her career, her stardom, her pregnancies, her romantic relationships,… Seriously, the damned thing was just relentless. The end-result was basically some kind of feverish nightmare but, unfortunately, the movie didn’t have much else to offer and the fact that it did last almost 3 hours probably didn’t help. The funny thing is that, after all this time, you don’t actually learn much about Monroe, except that her life really sucked from the very beginning until the very end. And, yet, even though the approach chosen to tell the story of this legendary pop icon actually backfired, the damned thing was still fascinating somehow. Indeed, as usual with Dominik, the directing was strong as he constantly mixed up the aspect ratios and moved back and forth between black-and-white and color. And, of course, Ana de Armas gave here a really strong performance. Sure, there was a debate because de Armas is actually Cuban but I think she looked just stunning and it went beyond that as she completely disappeared in this character.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3


Notes: Since I’m a huge fan of ‘Oldboy’, I was just so eager to see this movie. First of all, I have to admit that it was rather tricky to watch a South-Korean movie with Dutch subtitles and, as a result, it took me a while to get a good grip on this rather complex story. Unfortunately, even though I did enjoy most of it, even though it turned out to be really intriguing, I never thought it was really fascinating though. Still, the damned thing was pretty good though. Indeed, I didn’t expect that, on top of being an entertaining detective story, it would be also such a romantic tale as well. It displayed that, solving the case and finding who’s guilty is not everything. As displayed in this movie, it can be so much more complex than what you usually get with the genre, especially when feelings might have a major impact on the proceedings. Concerning the two main characters, the Chinese woman was really complex and I really appreciated the depth they gave to this character. It was also thanks to Tang Wei who gave a really strong performance. On the other hand, I had more trouble to care about the South Korean investigator. I won’t blame Park Hae-il who did a fine job, it’s just that the guy was so clean and straight and, eventually, I never thought that his character was really interesting. The whole gimmick of the insomniac detective was also rather derivative but I have to admit that it did create a interesting surreal dreamy mood. Anyway, all in all, it was definitely another fine directing effort from Chan-Wook Park.
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2021

People who added this item 422 Average listal rating (293 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 8


Notes: Well, maybe I wasn’t in the right mood but I actually really struggled to get into the damned thing after all. It’s not that I don’t have any affinity with the material. Indeed, I did read the book (which I really loved) and I watched David Lynch’s version (which I didn’t hate) but it was at least 20 years ago which was actually pretty cool since I didn’t remember everything in details. I don’t know, I have always been rooting for Denis Villeneuve but it seems that his SF flicks are getting not only bigger but also more pretentious each time around and I hope he will finally go for some other genre when he is done with ’Dune’. I mean, the whole thing was visually really neat, I wouldn’t expect less from this director, it is still a fascinating world and there were tons of charismatic and interesting characters and, yet, the damned thing never really grabbed me. Eventually, you might wonder if such a straightforward adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic book was the best approach and, maybe, Alejandro Jodorowsky with his completely bonkers project was actually right. Of course, you might argue that I shouldn’t muse over a movie which was never made but it seems that turning this story into another SF blockbuster extravaganza only amplified the weaknesses of this story.
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Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I had actually never heard of the Harlem Cultural Festival that took place in 1969 but I’m not the only one. Indeed, while Woodstock became the most famous festival that ever took place, this festival was actually largely forgotten, at least, by the mainstream audience. What was even more surprising was that they actually did film everything but it took a staggering 50 years before someone finally released the damned thing. Apparently, back then, nobody cared about spreading this magnificent piece of Black power, love and creativity which was basically censored in spite of its actually very positive message. Concerning the festival itself, I have to admit that I didn’t know about half of the performers but it didn’t matter and they were all really good. The fact that appearing on this stage meant so much for them really transpired in their performances which were very often quite electrifying. Eventually, the only thing that prevented this movie from becoming really epic was the fact that they reduced 40 hours of footage to only 2 hours. I mean, the documentary about Woodstock was lasting 3 hours for a reason and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have had the same impact if it would have been shorter. In this case, with an extra hour or even more, they could have fleshed out even more some of the performances or some portraits of the artists and people involved. Still, it wasn’t a deal-breaker and the damned thing was really awesome to behold.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 49 Average listal rating (35 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.6


Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that that I’m not really familiar with Bo Burnham’s work. Indeed, I did see his directorial debut, ‘Eighth Grade’, but that was pretty much it though. Well, this was something completely different but it was definitely quite a massive artistic tour-de-force. Indeed, while we were all stuck at home (myself, I have been working from home for more than a year and who knows when it’s going to end?), Burnham made this comedy special completely on his own in this little room but it was impressive how creative he still managed to be. Indeed, the guy was most of the time quite hilarious and, even though more than half of the duration was filled up with some songs, I actually enjoyed those which I didn’t really expect. As the weeks go by, even months, you see his hair and beard growing and he is basically telling the viewers that his mental state was actually deteriorating and you hope that it is an act so you can keep smiling but it might have been genuine after all. In this case, the whole lockdown didn’t have much impact on my lifestyle but many people did suffer severely mentally from this ‘new normal’. Even the room itself becomes some kind of character and you might wonder if its mess might reflect Burnham’s own state of mind.
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Notes: I have to admit that I didn’t know much about Fred Hampton and it was really neat to learn more about this inspiring guy. Indeed, that he had accomplished so much and that he had reached such wisdom at such a young age was just really impressive and it would have been interesting to find some actors who were actually around the same age of their characters (Indeed, Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield were both at least 10 years older than their characters). Still, there is no denying that Kaluuya and Stanfield both delivered such strong performances, they were both quite pitch-perfect and seriously spellbinding to behold. So, the whole thing was strong and delivered an important message in the process and, yet, it was still missing something to completely win me over though. First of all, even though it was dealing with a really interesting story, the whole thing was still rather predictable. Indeed, from the moment you see Bill O'Neal meeting FBI agent Roy Mitchell for the first time, everything else happening afterwards was hardly surprising. I wonder also if it wouldn’t have worked better if it would have been more nuanced. Indeed, even with the most controversial black character, Bill O'Neal, they displayed a lot of compassion (basically, the guy was pressured by the FBI to work for them) whereas most of the white characters didn’t get the same curtesy. I mean, Martin Sheen was praised for his performance playing some kind of monstruous version of J. Edgar Hoover but, to be honest, it was borderline caricatural. Anyway, even if it was maybe not a masterpiece, it was still a fascinating tale with 2 awesome performances.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 55 Average listal rating (37 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.8


Notes: Eventually, the Dutch master didn’t disappoint, at least, not me as it turned out to be a massive Verhoeven festival. Indeed, he went pretty much all the way with some over-the-top hallucinations, violence, blood, full frontal nudity and some good old sex. Seriously, even if probably not everything did work, the whole thing was still seriously intense. Eventually, he gave us all the various ways anyone at the time might approach religion (as a real vocation, as a capitalist enterprise, as a powerful political weapon, as a simple way to get fed or a way to escape a toxic household). What I enjoyed the most was how ambiguous Benedetta was until the very end. Indeed, was she some kind of con artist? A complete lunatic? Another sexually frustrated nun? An actual prophet who could communicate with God, somehow? Or maybe it was a combination of all this all together. Well, you won’t get any easy answer which was the movie’s biggest strength but also its weakness. Indeed, at the end, all the other characters’s thoughts, feelings and motivations were pretty clear but Benedetta remained an impenetrable wall which was slightly frustrating and, yet, it made her rather fascinating. I also think that the whole lesbian relationship was not very well linked with her religious ‘awakening’. The best thing that I can think of was that, by being touched by Bartolomea’s love, she was then more able to get in touch with God? Or maybe, after all these years of sexual abstinence, it pretty much blew up her fragile mind? Anyway, even if it wasn’t flawless, Verhoeven delivered here another intense roller coaster.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.6


Notes: I have to admit that Rebecca Hall really impressed me with her directorial debut. Indeed, she gave such a heartfelt and fascinating look on the complexity and the hardship it might entail to be black or Mixed-race in the US back in the 20’s (but you could say that it still does apply for today I’m afraid). Of course, at first, you would be inclined to blame Clare for the choices she made but it is actually fairly easily to judge her if you (like myself) are white and have enjoyed all the privileges of the white middle-class through your whole life. Furthermore, even though Irene made a more moral choice, she hardly seemed to be happier than her friend. And that’s the heart-breaking conclusion made by this movie, the fact that every black and woman are stuck in some jail, no matter the choices they might make on how to live their lives. Indeed, what choices do they have? Since they are black, they always will be at best marginalized, bullied, discriminated and, in the worst-case scenarios, they might even get killed by some angry mob or some average cop just because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. By pretending to be white, even it might seem to be morally wrong, there would be some clear advantages to be part of the ruling class. However, as displayed in this movie, by making this choice, they would just end up in another kind of cage. Another option might be to actually leave the country, an option argued a couple of times by Brian, Irene’s husband. The only thing I was missing was that I never really understood why Irene and Brian were so obsessed by Clare though but it was definitely not a deal-breaker.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 167 Average listal rating (122 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.8


Notes: Well, even though this movie did receive some stellar reviews, to be honest, I really struggled to connect with the damned thing. I mean, sure, it was very well made and some of the scenes were just gorgeous to look at. Furthermore, there was no doubt that the cast also delivered some really strong performances (Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirsten Dunst). And, yet, somehow, it never grabbed me. What bothered me was the fact that the 4 main characters were all rather pathetic. Let's start with Phil Burbank. Basically, the guy turned out to be a closeted gay man who was pissed off with everyone around him but probably even more with himself. He is pretty much what would have happened to Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar if they would have never met each other. Concerning Peter Gordon, he was probably the most misleading of the bunch. Indeed, at first, he might seem to be a rather fragile soft-spoken (probably autistic) young man but he actually turned out to be a rather nifty cold-blooded killer after all. Concerning George Burbank, he was probably the most enigmatic of the bunch, not because he was so fascinating but because he suddenly disappeared and only showed up sporadically during the 2nd act. Rose Gordon did get more screentime than her husband but it's too bad that, most of the time, she was just drinking herself to death which got old fairly quickly. Anyway, you might think that they were all fascinating but, as far as I'm concerned, they were all rather sad, mediocre and, above all, never really interesting to behold. Still, I have to admit that it was a decent watch though but not much more than that.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 69 Average listal rating (50 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.3


Notes: As usual with Paolo Sorrentino, the damned thing was visually really strong, especially the opening scenes, and the guy always provides a fairly mesmerizing mood. Furthermore, I have to admit that the beginning was actually quite hilarious, even if I did have a hard time to keep track of all the characters involved and what was actually going on. Unfortunately, they didn’t keep up this energy much longer and the rest of the movie was then intriguing but, to be honest, not much more than that. There was also the issue of the main character, obviously based on Sorrentino himself. I mean, afterwards, I understand that the guy was someone who was more an observer, noticing all kinds of interesting and odd things about anyone crossing his path which eventually will be really helpful when he would become a film director at some point. However, even if I did appreciate the fact that Sorrentino made sure that this younger version of himself was not displayed as some kind of genius, it did backfire since he was really passive and not really fascinating after all. Furthermore, his aspiration of becoming a film director completely came out of the blue and I think it was the first time I saw someone dreaming of becoming a film maker who had actually watched so very few movies (a fact acknowledged by the character himself). The fact that the guy would eventually become one of the most heralded Italian directors was even more frustrating, at least, to me who has watched more than 6000 movies so far. Anyway, even if it didn’t completely win me over, it was still a very well made film.
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Notes: To be honest, it really took me a while to get into it. Indeed, at first, I was wondering why I should care about the supposedly difficult life of a girl who was young, healthy, bright and attractive. The fact that she did cheat with her boyfriend in every possible way, except for having sex, with a random stranger definitely didn’t help. It’s only afterwards that I understood that it was actually done on purpose, to show that she wasn’t just another cute perfect girl in your typical romantic-comedy, that she was an actually really flawed and messed-up human being like everyone else. I just loved this slow built-up and I’m just amazed how they made me slowly invest myself in this character for who I felt very little at first. Eventually, from the moment that she dumped her first boyfriend, I finally started to care more about what she was going through and, by the time she did eat these mushrooms, I was completely sold. It was actually such a deep humanist portrait of a young woman struggling to find herself and making sense of her life. However, to be honest, I did think that the ending was rather weak though. Indeed, I wish that she didn’t end up with a really cool fancy job, like most of us do. Furthermore, to make her witness her 2nd ex-boyfriend ending with another woman with a baby (when they probably did break up because she got pregnant) was just a really awkward choice that the makers made because they explicitly wanted to go for the completely opposite that you usually get in the romantic-comedy genre. Still, except for that, the whole thing was pretty much flawless and seriously spellbinding to behold.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 90 Average listal rating (53 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2


Notes: Well, even though the original ‘West Side Story’ is one of the very few musicals that I really enjoyed, to be honest, I really struggled to care about this remake though. Sure, there was no doubt that it was technically fine, the whole thing was visually very well done and Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler had a solid chemistry. However, it still felt rather pointless to come up with another really faithful adaptation of the famous stage musical. Indeed, the 1961 version was already quite faithful but above all it was already pretty much downright amazing. Of course, they tweaked some elements, the most obvious and welcome update was to have a completely Latin cast to play the Sharks and other Puerto Rican characters. However, even in this case, they could have gone further by casting some actual teenagers as, except for Rachel Zegler, all the actors were still much older than their respective characters. Anyway, even though the critics were super enthusiast, as far as I was concerned, this new version felt rather redundant and the fact that this movie (and the older version) are really long probably didn’t help. I can understand the appeal for Spielberg to finally direct a musical, one of the very few genres he never tackled yet in his career, but imagine if, in 2060, some heralded director would decide to remake the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy just because he loved it so much back then when he was a kid?
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 85 Average listal rating (59 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.3


Notes: Since I kept hearing some really good things, I had some rather high expectations but, to be honest, I didn’t expect to be blown away like this. Indeed, it turned out to be quite a rollercoaster of emotion. The recent war in Ukraine also added an extra emotional layer as, in any war, the biggest victims are always the children as, any war, civil or not, is something completely incomprehensible for them. Above all, it completely shatters their world as it was clearly displayed in this movie. So, after reading this, you might expect a heartbreaking drama but it went so much further than that. It was also so sweet and displayed that Belfast, before it was destroyed by decades of conflict, was actually a bright community where kids and people lived in peace and harmony in spite of the economic hardship. As a result, as a viewer, you want them to leave as soon as possible because we all know what will eventually happen but it was easier said than done for this family who loved their lives in this city and would have to leave everything behind for a (probably hostile) new country. And, yet, in spite all this, it was often actually quite hilarious because you see everything through the eyes of this funny little boy whose innocence had not been completely tarnished by this dreadful conflict. Of course, you might praise his parents for doing the ‘right thing’ by not taking sides but it is anyone guess how they long they could have remained neutral without facing the consequences. Eventually, the result was Kenneth Branagh himself, a heralded British director and actor who, after all these years, finally decided to look back at this pivotal moment in his life.
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2020

People who added this item 207 Average listal rating (149 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3


Notes: First of all, What a year for Chloé Zhao! She was supposed to release her first huge blockbuster with 'Eternals'. However, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, it was postponed until late 2021 but, in the meantime, she managed to make and release this much smaller indie feature which turned out to be one of the most talked about movies during the awards season. On top of that, I have always been fascinated by such alternative lifestyles so I definitely had some rather high expectations. Well, even though I thought it was indeed a beautiful movie with another pitch-perfect performance from Frances McDormand who’s apparently challenging Meryl Streep for the title of best actress alive, to be honest, it didn’t really blow me away though. Of course, you could argue that nothing much really happened through the whole thing but it didn’t really bother me. It might have to do with the fact that, even though McDormand was brilliant through the whole thing, even though her character went through some life changing events, she didn’t seem to really evolve after all. Eventually, the biggest issue was maybe the fact that every single person on the road was just so freaking nice. I mean, I have to admit that this lack of conflict was refreshing but, to be honest, it seems rather unlikely that none of them had a bad bone whatsoever. Eventually, even if it was unintentional, it did turn the whole thing into some kind of commercial for the nomadic lifestyle. Still, even though I wasn’t completely sold, it was quite fascinating to see these people taking some distance from our rather decadent capitalistic way of life and seeming pretty happy in the process.
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People who added this item 96 Average listal rating (62 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.4


Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I was rather sceptical at first. Indeed, I have to admit that I had never heard of this musical of even of Alexander Hamilton himself before watching this flick. To make things worse, in general, I’m not a huge fan of musicals and the idea of watching 150 mins of non-stop singing with no straight dialogue whatsoever on a single stage didn’t sound really appealing to me. However, to my surprise, I really loved the damned thing. Indeed, right from the very first song, I was impressed by the lyrics and the singing skills of this crew and I was pretty much hooked. It did help that Lin-Manuel Miranda had some major hip-hop influence for his lyrics and it was rather surprising how well it worked within such an historical context. But the damned thing was not only seriously entertaining, it was educational and, within a little more than 2 hours, you get also some fascinating crash-course about a crucial period of the history of the United States. Eventually, this movie was also a great reminder that the USA as a country, in spite of its flaws and various mistakes, remains intriguing and, to go back to its foundations and focus on its most overlooked founding father was just so fascinating.
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People who added this item 94 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: Even if I probably didn’t learn anything really new, it was still an intriguing documentary with a whole bunch of people much smarter than me. I have to admit that, at first, the content was fairly depressing and it slowly became even darker and, towards the end, it was pretty much the most nightmarish doomsday scenario that you could imagine. At least, I’m glad I’m part of the last generation which was born before the internet and the smartphones and, as a result, I don’t actually use any social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram so I didn’t really have to feel guilty while watching the damned thing. Still, as a parent, I became slightly worried for my youngest daughter though. Indeed, she is now 14 years old and pretty much spends all her free time on her smartphone so, to hear how hurtful it could be for her on so many levels was slightly distressing. Anyway, is the situation so bad after all? I mean, when I was growing up in the 80’s and the 90’s, people were complaining that we were watching too much television, then they were complaining that our video-games were just too violent,... On the other hand, in this case, the scale is actually here much bigger and the usage is also so much intense, it just never stops. Furthermore, there is also an actual conscious choice to actually manipulate the users which was never really the case with TV and video-games. Eventually, how will it all end? Difficult to say and, if you would believe some people, nobody even knows what is really actually going on anymore.
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People who added this item 348 Average listal rating (275 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: Well, the guys from Pixar have done it again. Indeed, they have produced yet another masterpiece. Of course, the animation was gorgeous, I wouldn’t expect less from them, and the jazz music was really sweet as well, but, above all, the depth of the story and the themes developed was just really impressive. You might argue that it might be too similar to ‘Inside Out’, Pete Docter’s previous directing effort, but I didn’t bother me. Basically, this movie was some kind of a mix of ‘Inside Out’ with ‘Coco’ and ‘Up’ with some body-switching as well. Regarding the body-switching thing, you can imagine that they could have made the whole movie about this (how many movies have been made around this concept?) and it would have been still fairly successful anyway. However, and that’s where the movie really stands out from the competition, they went just way beyond that. Basically, they tackled the biggest question ever which is ‘What is the meaning of life?’, even if both characters were not even aware of this quest and this journey was just quite spellbinding. I also really appreciate the fact that, even though the main character seemed to be a decent guy, he was also flawed which made him so much more human and identifiable. Basically, the damned thing was just fascinating to behold.
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People who added this item 138 Average listal rating (92 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.8


Notes: Unfortunately, even though I really admired the work done, to be honest, I can’t say I was really blown by the end-result though. I mean, as usual with David Fincher, it was visually really impressive and I loved the way he tried to reproduce the vibe of a movie from the same time period. Furthermore, Herman Mankiewicz was an interesting character and Gary Oldman gave another really strong performance. However, the first issue was already the fact that, beside Mankiewicz, none of the other characters were developed whatsoever. However, the biggest problem was that, even though this movie was obviously a passion project for Fincher (it was even written by his father years ago), it was interesting at best but never really fascinating, I’m afraid. In a sense, you could compare it to ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ which was basically Tarantino’s love songs to the end-60’s Hollywood, in this case, Fincher brought us back to the 1930's Hollywood with his meticulous attention to the details but, just like with Tarantino’s acclaimed opus, I just didn’t care much like they both did. Furthermore, concerning the conception of ‘Citizen Kane’, it didn’t go really deep after all. I mean, basically, Mankiewicz locked himself up in some lodge in the middle of nowhere and delivered one of the best screenplays ever written, that’s it. Anyway, even if I didn’t care much the material, it was still another fine directing effort by David Fincher.
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People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7.4


Notes: To be honest, even though I did like this movie, I have to admit that I was actually expecting more from the damned thing. I mean, Dick Johnson seemed to be a great guy and I’m glad for Kirsten Johnson that she seemed to have such a great relationship with both her parents but I’m afraid I was never really grabbed by her movie. I was also not sure about the final act. It’s not that I thought it was shocking, it’s more that it all felt rather misleading to me. I mean, Kirsten Johnson might argue that she made this movie to help her father to prepare for the end of his life but I think it was pretty obvious that he did it more as a favour to her then actually for himself. In fact, in my opinion, this project was made partially out of a sense of guilt from Kirsten Johnson who mentioned that she didn’t have any footage of her mother when she was still Alzheimer free. As a compensation, she then decided to make a full-length feature focusing on her father before he became seriously demented. Still, there is no denying that the damned thing was really original, in fact, it was a unique picture, and only therefore, it gets some extra points from me.
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People who added this item 138 Average listal rating (100 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: I wish had a better knowledge of the historical background and of all the protagonists involved before watching this movie. Indeed, during the first 15 mins, there was so much information to digest, so many names to remember, I have to admit that I did struggle to get a good grip on the damned thing. Fortunately, as soon as the trial began, it became much more straightforward. In fact, it was probably one of the most incredible but also ridiculous trials I have ever seen. In my opinion, it was another proof of how actually rigged the American judicial system was and actually still is. Indeed, I believe that, before any US trial even starts, most of the time, the accused is actually considered as guilty or innocent solely based on their economical, social, racial and, in this case, political background. Of course, you have tons of American movies showing some nail-biting trials during which you wonder what the outcome might turn out to be but the reality is much more predictable and disheartening, I’m afraid. I have noticed that Sacha Baron Cohen was praised for his performance and he was indeed really good but, in my opinion, he stood out mostly because he had the most and probably the only really multi-layered character. That’s the tricky thing when you have 7 accused (plus Bobby Seale) and 2 hours of running time, as a result, except for Abbie Hoffman and maybe Tom Hayden, all the characters were defined with 1 or 2 scenes and were reduced to one specific character stroke. Anyway, even if it didn’t completely blow me away, it was still a solid watch though.
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Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I was at first not really interested as I expected it to be another predictable vintage flick about Blues. And, indeed, during the first scene, you get to see Ma Rainey and Levee performing on stage, the tension between them was just so obvious and the whole thing seemed to be about a talented jazz musician and his jealous band leader. Fortunately, it went just way deeper than that and, at the center, you had Chadwick Boseman who not only delivered his very last performance but, actually, the very best performance of his tragically short career. To think that the guy was in the middle of his battle against cancer will working on his movie was not only quite mind-bkowing but also did add another tragic layer to this tormented character. Indeed, at first, Levee might seem to be another cocky trumpet player but he turned out to be so much more complex. Basically, even though the guy had some skills and seemed to be confident, he had been also heavily traumatised by life in general and, if you expect this movie to end up with a glorious happy-ending with Levee becoming the next Jazz sensation, you will be quite disappointed. In fact, while all the black characters were constantly cracking jokes, you could feel that under the surface, they were actually all some damaged goods and they were actually almost constantly functioning in survival mode. Concerning Viola Davis, she gave here also another strong performance but even though this woman was just as complex as Levee was, I think she didn’t get enough running time to fully develop her character. Anyway, the damned thing turned out to be much more interesting than I expected and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you want to see Chadwick Boseman shining one last time.
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Notes: Well, as usual with Charlie Kaufman, it turned out to be an extremely challenging movie. Basically, it is the kind of movies where nothing seems to be what it might seem to be. For example, something as simple as the name of the main character was changed various times on purpose. On top of that, the whole thing started pretty much as a rather bleak and gloomy affair and there was at first not much chemistry with this couple. However, the fact that they were both extremely articulate and much smarter than me slowly made them quite appealing to me. And who was this girl Jessie Buckley?!? I had never seen her before, she pretty much came out of nowhere, but she really impressed me and I will definitely check her other movies whenever I have the opportunity. Eventually, sometimes, this movie did feel like watching a very long episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ and to be honest, I don’t think I understood half of the damned thing. Especially during the 3rd act, when they started to dance in this school, they pretty much lost me. Eventually, what was Kaufman trying to achieve with this tale? However, even if I never fully grasped the damned thing, the fact that it made me think and wonder was well worth a few extra points.
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People who added this item 186 Average listal rating (135 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: To be honest, it took me a while to get the damned thing. Indeed, not only I was expecting a very light comedy but I’m not a huge fan of alcohol in general. However, if it might seem to be only about a group of four rather pathetic guys who decides to get drunk because they are all stuck in some kind of middle-crisis, it went actually way beyond that. Indeed, many might make the mistake of thinking that this movie was about drinking but, in fact, it was a movie about living. Basically, life can be incredibly dull and monotonous and, if you’re unlucky, it can be terribly tough and full of hardships. Eventually, the only way to live a full life is through experiences and experiments. Basically, from time to time, we should all try to get outside this tiny little box that society has given us, to go against the rules, to push our boundaries, or simply do something rather foolish because otherwise what’s the point? Of course, as displayed in this movie, it can be hazardous or even dangerous (eventually, one of them died and two nearly broke down their family in the process) but, at least, they tried something instead of going through the motions until the very end. When the movie started, the main character didn’t drink because it was the reasonable thing to do, he didn’t want to dance and was incredibly sad. At the end, at least, he was having fun with his students (something unthinkable a while back) and he was dancing again, even if he still looked sad. Eventually, even though it might seem to be a rather silly movie promoting excessive drinking, it turned out to be a really life affirming picture, something we desperately need in this time of worldwide crisis.
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People who added this item 149 Average listal rating (108 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.2


Notes: The most bewildering thing was that it took a whopping 30 years until Anthony Hopkins was finally provided with a part which was actually worthy of his tremendous talent. Indeed, the guy was just amazing and gave here one of the most pitch-perfect performances even delivered on the silver screen. Beside Hopkins at the top of his game, it was also a rather fascinating movie about dementia. Indeed, one of the usual stereotypes about people suffering of Alzheimer's disease is that they don’t remember anymore who their loved ones actually are. In this case, they went much deeper than this cliché and displayed that, the more confused Alzheimer’s patients get, the more they lose their grip on time and space. This process is probably also speed up by moving to a retirement home but to keep such a high maintenance patient at home might not be a better option, I’m afraid. Eventually, that’s probably what happened at some point, the main character was brought to a retirement home, maybe weeks before, maybe months before, but instead of making some new mental landmarks, like we all do, his scrambled brain never managed to handle this big change in his life. This whole process was so well displayed and it was just so heart-breaking to see this man who might have been brilliant at some point desperately shouting ‘I’m an intelligent man’, without mentioning the ending scene during which he cries for his mother.
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People who added this item 63 Average listal rating (42 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.4


Notes: The damned thing turned out to be quite sad and depressing, that’s for sure. Eventually, the most nauseating thing, at least for me, was the toxic masculinity constantly surrounding these poor girls. Seriously, it was pretty much everywhere, at school, at work, at home, in the public transports, … Even the seemingly gentle guy in the bus had a rather creepy agenda and helped them out just because he wanted to ‘score’. Of course, you might argue that not all guys are so bad but I’m afraid this description might not to be so far from reality. Concerning the whole abortion thing, well, it’s rather sad that, after years of women fighting to have the rights to make their own choices regarding their own body, it seems that the US are now going backwards on this matter. What they seem to forget is that an abortion will always be a traumatic experience and, by making the whole process more and more awkward and complicated, it only makes the whole experience even more awful for all these poor girls and women, as displayed in this movie. Still, even if the movie was well made and newcomers Sidney Flanigan and Talia Ryder both gave some really strong performances, was this movie much better than any other movies dealing with teenager abortion released during the last 30 years? Indeed, at the end of the day, it was a little bit dry and the fact that you never get to learn these two girls outside this major tragedy probably didn’t help. Anyway, it was still a really solid drama though.
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2019

People who added this item 409 Average listal rating (307 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.3
1917 (2020)


Notes: Like many other heralded movies released in 2019, even if I really liked the damned thing, it didn’t really blow me away though. The point was that, sure, it was indeed visually and technically impressive. However, even though the story was decent enough, to be honest, it was nothing really original or amazing. At least, the plot wasn’t as ridiculous as it was in ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (a movie with an amazing intro but otherwise seriously overrated). Indeed, everything happening was fairly realistic but, again, there was nothing really ground-breaking about these 2 soldiers involved in some seemingly impossible mission to bring a crucial message. Furthermore, pretty much like Christopher Nolan with ‘Dunkirk’, Sam Mendes chose a realistic approach regarding his characters but, while this approach definitely has its merits, it also has its downside. I mean, on one hand, you really feel that you are dealing with some average soldiers, that they could be anyone, the boy-next-door, yourself, your brother,… However, on the other hand, you do end up with some ‘average’ characters who were barely charismatic and who didn’t have any real distinctive features or personalities. Still, there is no doubt that the visuals by Roger Deakins (easily one of the best cinematographers at work nowadays) were just so impressive and it is possible that I would have enjoyed this movie more if I had seen it on the silver screen and not at home.
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People who added this item 363 Average listal rating (254 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: Basically, it was some kind of modern version of ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ but while this fairly outdated movie only scratched the surface of this topic, this movie however went so deep, giving such a thoughtful and well balanced analysis on the subject. Above all, the biggest strength of this movie was to properly developed both sides of the equation displaying how devastating the whole process can be. I mean, it did make sense that Nicole wanted to get back to Los Angeles but it did make just as much sense that Charlie wanted to keep his whole family in New York. I did help as well that Scarlett Johansson gave here the best performance of her career so far (Adam Driver was also pretty amazing though). This movie also provides the best explanation on why most relationships are actually pretty much doomed to fail nowadays. Indeed, basically, the main reason why Nicole and Charlie eventually got a divorce was because they both wanted it all. Indeed, to make it work, one of them should have been able to sacrifice their own wish, Nicole could have stayed in New York or Charlie could have dropped his work and go to live in Los Angeles but neither of them wanted to let it go. But to have it all is just a massive pipe dream which crushes so many couple like the one displayed here. And, yet, this amazing movie shows how messy we are but also that our messy nature makes us, human beings, actually quite fascinating to behold.
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People who added this item 693 Average listal rating (522 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.5


Notes: I can imagine that, if you are not familiar with Bong Joon Ho's work, the constant changes of tone can be rather overwhelming. However, as far as I'm concerned, I always thought it was so bold and I don't know many directors who can so easily blend a drama, with a comedy, a thriller and a social satire. This mix was pretty much irresistible and I loved the way the Korean director kept setting the audience on the wrong foot. On top of that, it was also a great critic on our current way of life in which the gap between rich and poor is getting only bigger. Basically, even if they are geographically close by, the two extreme sides of our society seem to live in two completely different worlds with barely no connection or communication between them whatsoever. Eventually, the only thing that didn't really work for me were the massive switch the 'poor' family kept doing during the whole duration. Indeed, when they would be together, they would always all act like some pathetic and hopeless drunks but, from the moment they would be with the 'rich' family, they would suddenly completely change their behaviour, manners and speech in such a drastic way that it would make any professional spy like James Bond really jealous. Anyway, to conclude, even if it was maybe not a complete home-run, it was still a really wild and bold directing effort from Bong Joon Ho.
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Notes: Eventually, I think it turned out to be Quentin Tarantino's most challenging movie so far which was not necessarily a bad thing, in the contrary, but I wish this challenge would have been more rewarding. I mean, I really liked it but it just never left like a real home-run to me. Still, on the technical side, it was just a marvel to watch. Indeed, Tarantino went very far in the mood and the details to create a believable version of Hollywood at the time. On top of that, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio were both pretty good and I was above all impressed by DiCaprio who gave here actually one of his best performances. However, what the main point was probably the nostalgia that Tarantino has for this time and place but, if you don't share this feeling, well, there are so many references that you will either miss or even won't care at all. On top of that, even if it is something you probably should expect from this director, the whole thing was pretty random. Indeed, in 'Pulp Fiction', you had also such seemingly random mess but every single scene did end up being crucial, which wasn't really the case here. Still, I have to admit that I never saw coming the twist at the end as Tarantino used the same trick he did with 'Inglourious Basterds', rewriting history in the process, but it was actually pretty neat and it worked better this time around. Anyway, if it didn't completely win me over, it was still a really bold project, much more interesting than all these remakes, reboots and sequels that you get to see nowadays at the movie theater.
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Notes: The tricky thing is that it is in fact a really predictable story and, yet, it was still quite fascinating to behold and easily one of the best love stories I have seen in a very long time. To be honest, eventually, we don’t learn much about these two young women after all but, from the very first moment they met each other, there was such a massive chemistry between them. Obviously, Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel should be praised as they both delivered such strong performances, especially since their characters usually didn’t say what they thought but used mostly only their eyes. The fact that I have always been fascinated by Art, especially painting, made me enjoy this movie even more, even if the portrait was basically only an excuse for these 2 girls to spend as much time together as possible. The interesting thing about this doomed love story was that, even though it might seem tragic, somehow, because it did last only a few days, the memory of these few passionate days will always remain perfect, pretty much like the story of Orpheus and Eurydice which was read by the characters during this movie. Finally, it was also a tale about freedom, or at least, the yearning for freedom. Indeed, from the moment Héloïse’s mother left them, for the very first and maybe also the last time in their lives, they could enjoy the freedom of being themselves without any social boundaries, even Sophie the servant. I also wonder what to make of the fact that all the male characters have been removed or erased and maybe it was also linked to this feminist idea of freedom as men are mostly responsible for most of the literal and figurative shackles in every women’s lives.
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People who added this item 832 Average listal rating (657 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.4
Joker (2019)


Notes: To be honest, even though I did like this movie, I can’t say I was completely blown away after all. In fact, it took me a while to figure out what actually bothered with this movie which had been virtually universally loved so far. Was it the saturation? I mean, we get such an overdose of super-hero movies. Even with the Joker himself, it has been already at least the 5th iteration of this iconic character in 30 years and, even if Joaquin Phoenix was quite amazing, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and even Mark Hamill were just as heralded as he was. Furthermore, even though they are all making a big fuss about the fact that this movie could be a revolution in this genre, in my opinion, the story was actually rather basic and predictable. I mean, it was a decent story but this tale of a rather sad mentally ill man slowly becoming homicidal was not really original. Eventually, the genius moves from Todd Philips was not to deliver a great story but to include the Joker in the mix and to have this popular character played by one of the best actors around. Seriously, if you would remove these 2 elements, I wonder if this movie would make so many waves. And, yet, there is no denying that, once again, Joaquin Phoenix gave us here another intense and spellbinding performance. Basically, the whole thing was some kind of amazing dark one-man-show and Phoenix definitely made the most of it.
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People who added this item 129 Average listal rating (93 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5


Notes: To be honest, I don’t think that the story was really so original. For example, back in the 90’s, Ang Lee got his breakthough with ‘Xi yan’ which was about a gay Asian guy living in New York who tries to marry some girl just to please his parents still living in Hong Kong. Still, Lulu Wang did direct a beautiful movie and I really enjoyed the sad and nostalgic approach. Indeed, what is at the centre of this tale is not really the lie to the grandmother but how the main character is torn apart between two vastly different cultures. As a result, she is in fact seriously disoriented and doesn’t belong anywhere, neither in China or in the USA. Another thing that impressed me with this movie was the pitch-perfect performance by Awkwafina. Indeed, I had seen a couple of her movies and she can be indeed really funny but it was pretty neat to see her turn down her comedic skills (and usual hysteria) and deliver such a solid dramatic performance. I wish that they did develop more her relationship with the other characters but this approach did make sense though. Indeed, the main character had spent so many years abroad that, even though she knows her relatives, she never really managed to build a bond with them, except with her grandmother. Anyway, it was a really solid drama, perfectly showing how alienating it can be to be bicultural.
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People who added this item 385 Average listal rating (283 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4


Notes: To be honest, it was not completely sold by this movie. Indeed, from the moment you see these two men showing up on this shore, you actually pretty know how it will all end. To make things worse, nothing much really happened afterwards, except seeing the two characters switching between being more or less friendly with each other and vastly antagonizing one another. Still, there is no denying that this movie was quite impressive to behold. First of all, there was the visual aspect. Indeed, the damned thing did look quite amazing and even though black-and-white movies are not so rare nowadays, here, it perfectly fit the story and the tone chosen by Eggers. Then, the whole thing was seriously minimalistic, there were basically only two characters but the two actors involved both delivered some very strong performances, in fact some of the best performances of their respective careers. For Willem Dafoe, it is quite amazing that, after a career going over more than 4 decades and more than 100 movies, the guy still can come up with such powerful stuff and a couple of the speeches/soliloquies he made were just simply amazing and unforgettable. Concerning Pattinson, he had to face a Dafoe at the top of his game and he actually managed to be pretty much just as convincing as his colleague was. For the people still making fun of him because, 10 years ago, he did show up in the ‘Twilight’ franchise, well, if the guy keeps impressing like this, he might actually become one of the most interesting actors of his generation.
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People who added this item 432 Average listal rating (328 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.9
Jojo Rabbit (2019)


Notes: Even though I did appreciate the original approach chosen by Taika Waititi, I’m afraid it was still too whimsical for my taste though. Still, there is no denying that Waititi was quite hilarious playing some kind of stupid childlike version of Adolf Hitler. However, I think it was a mistake to show all the Nazi characters as being some harmless morons. I mean, some of them were actually really smart and unfortunately not harmless at all. In general, it was probably the biggest issue with this movie, not the fact that it was a comedy, but the fact it actually trivialized how dreadfully tragic this war was for pretty much everybody involved, even the Germans. In a similar fashion, it seemed fairly easy for a 10-year-old boy to keep a Jewish girl hidden in his house. Indeed, if you’re familiar with Anne Frank’s story, it was actually hard to swallow the fact that they kept running around in the house and scream at each other when people in this predicament actually had to remain completely silent for months. Of course, you could argue that this story was told from the point of view of a very young boy and while this approach definitely had some merit, it still didn’t completely work though. Indeed, the idea of showing the war from the point of view of a kid who basically had been completely brainwashed by the Nazi propaganda was actually quite fascinating but I wish they displayed him really struggling with conflicting ideas and feelings. Unfortunately, this process was greatly undermined by the fact that he started to change his mind way too fast and way too easily after only a few conversations with Elsa. Anyway, in spite of its flaws, it was still a decent watch though.
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People who added this item 300 Average listal rating (221 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4
Uncut Gems (2019)


Notes: To be honest, I had some trouble to really connect with the damned thing. I don’t know, maybe, I have seen by now too many movies dealing with a degenerate gambling addict to really care. Seriously, within the first 5 minutes, it was pretty obvious how the whole thing would go. Still, I have to admit that I didn’t see the ending coming but, while it was shocking, it was after all hardly surprising, considering the highly destructive behaviour of the main character. Another thing was that, except for the main character, none of the other characters were developed as they were all reduced to being some indirect or direct victims of his gambling addiction. There was the rather weird exception of Julia who suddenly, out of nowhere, was upgraded during the ending to a mighty sidekick who had to handle the biggest bet of the movie. Of course, you could argue that the guy was at this point so desperate that he grabbed the only person available at that moment. On the other hand, it was pretty neat to see Kevin Garnett and The Weeknd playing more or more less themselves and I will definitely not blame Adam Sandler. Indeed, many critics considered that he delivered his best work in this movie and I would have to agree with them. Furthermore, the Safdie brothers delivered here a gritty and convincing underworld where Jewish jewelers in New York have to deal on a regular basis with famous athletes and hip-hop artists because they all really love their bling-bling.
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People who added this item 423 Average listal rating (307 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: Of course, like many other movie buffs, I had been anxiously waiting for this movie. Indeed, after almost 25 years, Martin Scorsese was working again with Robert De Niro on a massive gangster epic involving an impressive cast including the likes of Al Pacino. I mean, this combo Scorsese-De Niro-Pacino sounded already like movie heaven and when the critics turned out to be wild enthusiast, my expectations went sky high. Well, eventually, I find it rather difficult to judge this movie after all and, to be honest, I wasn’t really blown like I was expecting to be. First of all, even though the CGI deaging of the main cast had pretty much doubled the costs of the production, I didn’t feel it was really convincing. Seriously, I was constantly wondering what age their characters were supposed to be and it was pretty obvious through the whole duration that all the actors (Robert de Niro (75), Al Pacino (78) and Joe Pesci (75)) were so much older than their respective characters. Even if ‘Gemini Man’ was a major flop and a rather average action flick, at least, the 20 year old version of Will Smith was just mindblowing to behold. Concerning the character themselves, I thought that Russell Bufalino was actually the most interesting one. Indeed, if Al Pacino delivered a solid performance, to be honest, Jimmy Hoffa felt rather clueless or at least really reckless considering the way he handled the threats from the mob. Concerning Frank Sheeran, De Niro was fine as well but I was missing some kind of drive behind his actions. Still, even if this story might seem to be pretty basic, it was not a simple movie, especially due to the fact that it was Scorsese’s longest movie so far and I think I would need to rewatch it at some point to make up my mind for good about the damned thing.
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People who added this item 507 Average listal rating (390 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: Basically, it turned out to be a very classic murder mystery but I still really enjoyed it though. Above all, I think was very well written and it was probably by far the smartest script delivered by Rian Johnson so far. Indeed, it seemed that the clue around Harlan Thrombey’s sudden death was given fairly early on but, obviously, the whole thing turned out to be slightly more intricate than that. Furthermore, there was such a great cast involved (Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Christopher Plummer, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell) and they were all game, especially Daniel Craig who definitely delivered here one of his best performances. It’s too bad that Blanc was disappearing from time to time when they would focus on some other characters because the guy was so much fun. Concerning the rest of the characters, most of them turned out to be barely developed after all but I guess it was rather inevitable with a big cast like this one. Eventually, the only thing that slightly did bother me was the whole gimmick around Marta puking each time she tells a lie. Indeed, I thought it was actually rather weak and the fact that she was one of the very few characters who actually knew almost everything made it rather easy for Benoit Blanc to eventually crack this case. Anyway, even if the damned thing was maybe nothing really ground-breaking, it was still seriously entertaining.
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2018

People who added this item 21 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 8.2


Notes: Well, it turned out to be one of the finest documentaries I have seen in a very long time. What I liked the most was that there were just so many interesting layers. First of all, even though you might feel nothing about skateboarding, you'll have to admit that there was something quite spellbinding about watching these guys dashing through such a ugly urban landscape doing some incredible tricks. Indeed, in such a socially and economically deprived environment, they still found a way to push themselves creatively, honing their skills through hours of training, delivering something artistic while their relatives completely ignored them. But, of course, the whole thing went just way beyond skating. It was also an intimate look on these skaters and the fact that the director was one of them was something that you rarely get to see since, most of the time, a documentary maker is basically an outsider. As a result, the whole thing was just as much about Bing Liu himself than about his two friends. Concerning his buddies, it did help that they were both really charismatic. Anyway, I could go on forever, basically, it was a really strong documentary.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 502 Average listal rating (372 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3


Notes: I really loved the damned thing and it turned out to be the best horror film I have seen for a very long time, no less than that. To be honest, it is definitely a slow-burn movie and, if you would expect a standard horror flick, you would be disappointed since at least 3/4 is actually a family drama. In fact, many viewers consider this movie as a drama but I can't remember the last time I watched a movie mixing these two genres so well. As a result, the dramatic parts managed to ground the story and the characters and you had more time to get to know and care about them. Still, the last 30 minutes, when the horror part finally really kicked in, were just so unsettling and pretty damned f*cking scary, it was just an awesome way to conclude this tale. Sure, you could argue that the outcome was after all rather predictable but it worked just fine for me. On top of that, I just loved that, even though some stuff was explained, they didn't chew out everything freaking details and the fact that some of it remained mysterious made the whole thing even more spellbinding to behold. And, of course, Toni Collette displayed once again that she is a terribly underrated character actress as she delivered here another really strong performance.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 422 Average listal rating (308 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5


Notes: I have always been a big fan of Spike Lee but, to honest, it had been years since the guy made something really amazing. Fortunately, he made an impressive comeback with this movie. Indeed, it worked on so many levels. It was a fun and entertaining police thriller, a sometimes hilarious satire and it also had a powerful message and it is so rare to find a movie managing to mix so many tones and doing it so well. The main character, very well played by John David Washington was also complex and interesting showing some genuine internal conflict between his loyalty to his black folks but also towards his colleagues and his work as a cop. Eventually, in my opinion, the main core was to show that racism in general and the Ku Klux Klan in particular are basically based on ignorance because, at the end of day, it is ridiculous to argue that the color of your skin should make you a better or a worse person. Anyway, eventually, it turned out to be a really entertaining and powerful movie.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 216 Average listal rating (160 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: I wasn’t disappointed and the damned thing really deserves its stellar reputation. Apparently, Hirokazu Koreeda has the reputation of being the greatest humanist director at work nowadays and, after watching this movie, it is pretty easy to understand why. Basically, this time around, Koreeda focused on a group of people who has been rejected and pretty much forgotten by the common society and who are now living in a marginal lifestyle with its own rules and moral code. Koreeda’s masterstroke was that he never judges or praises the characters and, for the first 90 minutes, you see how they cope living completely in the margin of our society. So, it was already quite interesting with some complex 3 dimensional characters but, during the last act, they managed to push the whole concept even further. Basically, after a tragic event which was doomed to happen at some point,they completely get sucked back into our world and it all became seriously heart-breaking and even more powerful than it already was. Eventually, following ‘Like Father, Like Son’, this movie was an even stronger argument from Koreeda that the strongest bond between the members in a family is not blood but love.
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