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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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People who added this item 312 Average listal rating (233 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.9
Barbie (2023)

Notes: It actually reminded me of 'The Super Mario Bros Movie' which was also released the same year as both movies were dealing with some seemingly hopeless and lame topics but both movies turned out to be extremely successful. In this case, I have to admit that it was quite impressive how much Greta Gerwig managed to get out of this material. Furthermore, Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, probably the best candidates to represent some really life Barbie and Ken, were perfectly cast. In fact, Robbie turned out to be rather bland after all but she wasn't helped by the fact that she had to play 'Stereotypical' Barbie while Gosling got to play some kind of unhinged frustrated moronic version of Ken and he definitely stole the show in the process. Concerning the rest of the movie, Gerwig tried to tie a seemingly deep critic of our sexist male-dominated world with a very generic tale of Barbie adventuring into the real world but, while it was a decent attempt, it was a little bit too much. Indeed, even though it was and still is the most famous doll ever produced, it is still only a plastic doll after all. Eventually, did it really deserve to be such a massive blockbuster success? Well, it seems that the audience got tired of all these sequels, reboots and remakes and we are apparently all yearning for something more original, even though, in this case, it was dealing with one of the most popular toys in the world so it was still some famous IP.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 305 Average listal rating (221 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.4
Oppenheimer (2023)

Notes: A usual with Christopher Nolan, this movie it was visually really neat and the directing was top-notch. Above all, Oppenheimer was such a fascinating character, easily one of the best characters Nolan as ever worked with. His quest to create the first atomic bomb was also so interesting because it would change our world forever and its impact is still topical nowadays. So, the story was great but I’m not sure Nolan’s approach completely worked. Indeed, at times, it felt as if you either needed to have read the book or have Wikipedia at all times open or that you had to be a massive history buff to keep track of everything and above all everybody involved. Concerning the cast, well, Cillian Murphy was rightfully praised, the guy was amazing and easily delivered one of the best performances of his career. I wish I could say the same about the rest of the cast though. It’s not that anyone was bad, I was more bothered by the fact that so many showed up for barely nothing. It was especially frustrating with Matt Damon, Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh who all seemed to have some more substantial characters and, yet, they were given so little to do after all. Even Robert Downey Jr., after getting stuck playing Tony Stark for so many years, who was finally given the opportunity to do something else, didn’t really impress me because the focus on this conflict with Lewis Strauss was, in my opinion, a rather poor idea. Anyway, even though I might seem harsh, the damned thing was still really good though.
johanlefourbe's rating:

Notes: I just loved the damned thing after all and I'm really glad we managed to catch this amazing sequel on the big screen this time. Anyway, it was again visually so neat, there were maybe slightly too many details but the end-result was still quite amazing to behold. It's also the reason why such multiverse features actually works better with animation because, this way, they could tweak each dimension, give its own specific visual identity, which would be much harder to achieve with a live-action feature. It was also neat to see Miles Morales growing up and becoming an anxious and insecure teenager. In general, it was a much more emotional feature, probably the most emotional Spider-Man feature ever made so far. I mean, not only Spider-Man had to live a life of secrets and loneliness but, in this case, he was even called an anomaly which was then tracked down by 100's of other Spider-Men and Women. Eventually, the only minor issue I had was that, nowadays, we get just too many movies dealing with multiverses (Hell, even the last Best Picture Academy Award winner was a multiverse feature), even if, in this case, I have to admit that it is slightly unfair since its predecessor was the first movie to explore this genre. It was also impressive that even though it was really long, even though it was only half of this story, there was never a dull moment and I was completely entertained from the beginning until the end.
johanlefourbe's rating:

Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I have never been a fan of Roald Dahl’s books film adaptations. However, I really did love ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ which is, as far as I’m concerned, Anderson’s best movie so far and, well, the famous writer and the indie film director seemed to be once again a match made in heaven. Indeed, as usual with this director, the whole thing was a visual treat but, above all, it was such a fun tale and, combined with Anderson’s quirky directing style, it was just a marvel to behold. The fact it was a short feature was also perfect because I do believe that this way of telling a story for at least 90 mins could have been rather exhausting and/or annoying after a while. The only thing missing, at least, if you would compare it to his most recent directorial efforts, is that he didn’t get a huge cast to play each character by some famous actor but, instead, he chose to have only a handful of actors playing several characters but I thought it was rather distracting. Fortunately, it wasn't a big deal though and the damned thing was a real blast.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 134 Average listal rating (89 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.7

Notes: Even if some people might be worried about the extensive running time, Martin Scorsese, one of the greatest masters, delivered here an impressive tale of greed and love. To be honest, I have to admit that it didn't know much about the Osage and the terrible tragedy that happened on them and you get the opportunity here to learn more about them. However, their tragic fate was not really the main focus here or, at least, in my opinion, it wasn't the biggest asset in this movie. After all, I was above all fascinated by DiCaprio who delivered here one of his very best performances. Indeed, his character was so complex, he was probably one of the most confused men I have ever seen on the silver screen. Basically, he was an average White male who was promised some easy money and, like every White American man at the time, he didn't care one bit about the Indians. And, yet, somehow, he actually fell in love with this beautiful sharp Indian woman who also loved him back. But, then, how could he possibly try to kill this woman, possibly the only person on Earth who actually cared for him, and wipe out also all her family if he loved her so much? On paper, it wouldn't make any sense at all and, yet, DiCaprio was always convincing. It was just so fascinating to see him going through a seemingly endless roller coaster of completely contradicting emotions. Of course, it was also a blast to see him facing Robert De Niro, another film icon, and some of their scenes together were amazing but De Niro's character was so much more one-note and therefore not quite so fascinating. Anyway, it was a great epic, that's for sure.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 49 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
Past Lives (2023)

Notes: Since I’m myself an immigrant myself, son of an immigrant, I’m always fascinated by such stories, especially when it is so perfectly handled as it was definitely the case here. Indeed, with this movie, you didn’t have 1 but 3 fascinating intricate characters and, as a result, it was probably the best love triangle I have ever seen. Indeed, there was no good guy, no bad guy, only some really realistic and convincing human-beings dealing with some complex feelings. As pointed out by Arthur himself, in a weaker movie, he would have probably been the evil jealous White husband doing everything he can to prevent his wife to see her childhood crush. But, even if he was a nice guy who really loved his wife, it doesn’t mean that his situation was easy though. Concerning his wife, Nora, she was probably the character who got the most screen time and it was just so fascinating to see her wrestling with her past, her present, her culture baggage, and, eventually, you don’t get some clean clear-cut answers but that’s how it goes in real life and that’s how it’s supposed to be. Concerning Jung Hae Sung, you get the feeling that he will never really manage to let go of this childhood romance but you spend enough time with him to see that, even if he cherished every minute he spent with Nora, he was so compassionate towards her, even towards her husband, it was quite inspiring to behold. Another interesting thing is that they argued that Nora made her choice to be where she ended up but, in fact, she never really made this choice in the first place. Indeed, it was her parents who took the decision to immigrate to Canada, she would have never made this choice at 12 years old, and you can only wonder what would have been her relationship with Jung Hae Sung if her parents who have decided to stay in South Korea. Anyway, the damned thing was just so fascinating and it is easily one of the best movies I have seen this year.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 77 Average listal rating (50 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.8

Notes: Well, it turned out to be a really challenging movie and, to be honest, I'm not surprised that it turned out to be a flop when it was released. It's not that it was bad, it's just that it was constantly borderline unpleasant and, frankly, rather exhausting to watch. I mean, basically, it is a very disturbing movie dealing with a very disturbed man and people describing it as a 3 hour long bad trip wouldn't be far off actually. In fact, I'm still shaken up by the whole thing and I think it is the first movie I have ever saw which you should never watch under the influence of drugs. Seriously, I can't imagine someone with some severe psychiatric issues watching this movie. The other thing which was hard to handle with the damned thing was that it was so relentless. Indeed, from the very first minute until the very last image, it was a never ending psychotic nightmare which lasted almost 3 hours. Seriously, there was not a single scene during which they took a breather, when people were acting normally, when nothing weird was going on. And, yet, the damned thing was so ambitious, so wild, it was obvious that they worked really hard on this one to deliver something quite unique which is so rare nowadays. Furthermore, Joaquin Phoenix, who's definitely one of the best actors at work nowadays, delivered another strong performance here but, to be honest, it would be nice to see him playing someone who's not completely miserable for once.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 39 Average listal rating (23 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 6.9
May December (2023)

Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I had no idea what it was actually about before watching this movie and it took me a while to figure out what the hell was going on but it made the whole thing even more rewarding. Eventually, I was actually floored by the damned thing. I have noticed that it was described as a camp comedy by some reviewers but, even though I understand what they meant, that’s not how I experienced it, at least, not most of it. In fact, it did impact me on a very personal level, much more than I expected. Indeed, I’m currently in the middle of an ugly divorce, I was married for 20 years and it was apparently a very abusive relationship. When we met, she was 34 years old, married with 2 children, I was 23 years old and I recognized so many things in Gracie’s behavior and Joe’s behavior, it was actually quite heartbreaking. I can’t imagine going through this if I would have been 10 years younger. As a result, even though, like everyone else, I was impressed by Julianne Moore’s and Natalie Portman’s performances, I was also really impressed by Charles Melton. Indeed, with barely any dialogues, he played such a stunted man, he was quite pitch-perfect. I think it’s the first time that I really understood the extent of the damages, for a teenaged boy, to have a sexual relationship with a much older woman. In this case, it was even worse since he was only 12 years old. After all this, I have to admit that I had some trouble to focus on Natalie Portman’s fine work because, sure, this couple or whole family was pretty messed up, but this actress definitely had some major issues as well. As a result, this movie was probably the worst advertisement I have ever seen regarding the acting profession.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 17 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.6

Notes: To be honest, even though I did like it, I'm afraid it didn't really impress me that much after all. In fact, when I think about it, except for 'Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi' which might be the best animated feature ever made, that's actually what I felt with all Miyazaki's movies after all. Sure, as expected, the hand-drawn animation was once again just amazing and only therefore it is worth watching the damned thing. My favorite part was when the main character was rushing through the fire trying to reach his mother which was just so evocative. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I never really cared enough about the story and/or the characters involved. I mean, as far as I was concerned, it all seemed to be some rather basic Miyazaki narrative tropes after all. Indeed, it was dealing with a young character moving to a new unknown place to live and this main character was apparently struggling with his parents negligence and/or absence but these are some recurring themes that keep coming back again and again in his work. As a result, this final movie didn't seem to tackle anything really new. Concerning this fantasy world in which the main character entered at some point, to be honest, I'm afraid I lost grip on it almost immediately. I mean, where did he end up to? Who were all these strange people and creatures? What the hell was going on? Above all, and that was the main issue, did I really care? Not really, I'm afraid. Anyway, even if it didn't really work for me, it was still an intriguing animated feature though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 17 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.7

Notes: When I heard that my filmclub would see it, I was quite disappointed because I was on holiday in France. Well, somehow, I managed to convince my mother in France to see it together so I still managed to watch the damned thing after all. Fortunately, it was definitely worth it out though. Indeed, I have watched all the previous movies from Jonathan Glazer but it was easily the best one he has made so far. Basically, it gave such a fascinating and chilling glimpse of the normalization of extreme discrimination. At the end of the day, if you keep hearing such ideas and seeing such behaviour, it will seem normal to most people and I think that's what was perfectly displayed in this movie. On top of that, Glazer and the cast did an incredible job to make sure that this is typical Nazi family was displayed as the most average family you could imagine. Indeed, they were kind to each other, they just wanted to enjoy life like any normal human-being, the fact that they lived next to the closest place to look like Hell on Earth was just an afterthought for them. The fact that, 80 years later, there is such a frightening rise of extreme-right politics all over Europe made the damned thing even more topical. On one hand, we are condemning such past events but, on the other hand, we are obsessed by our own comfort closing our eyes regarding how we treat foreigners, immigrants and refugees. Seriously, many people might argue that both situations are not the same but I think that they are actually extremely similar.
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People who added this item 324 Average listal rating (240 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.4

Notes: I have to admit that I actually ended up with some mixed feelings about the damned thing. Maybe it was due to the fact that my expectations were too high after hearing some many great things about this movie or it was because I saw it at home and maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had managed to see it in the movie theater. Still, there is no denying that it was a really satisfying sequel and even an improvement on its predecessor. Indeed, the damned thing was just so spectacular, you have to appreciate all the efforts they took to avoid green screens and to make it look as real as possible. As a result, the action scenes were just visceral and quite thrilling to behold. It was also pretty neat how they tried to emulate Tony Scott’s directing style, especially with the intro. However, what made this movie really stand out from its predecessor was the emotional baggage involved. Indeed, Maverick did grow older, by the time this 2nd movie was taking place, the guy should have retired or at least been promoted but he basically spent his whole career burning bridges which was maybe cute when he was younger but not so much nowadays. On top of that, he was still struggling with what happened to Goose so many years ago and the scene with Val Kilmer, himself a cancer survivor, was quite heartbreaking. Basically, Maverick was this time much more vulnerable which made him a much more interesting character.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 258 Average listal rating (202 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7
The Northman (2022)

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.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 19 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.7

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.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 99 Average listal rating (70 ratings) 7.4 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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Notes: It’s too bad that Netflix did provide only the version dubbed in Hindi instead of the original version in Telugu. Still, it turned out to be such a f*cking blast, I have seen around 7000 movies and I had never seen anything like this. Seriously, it was probably one of the craziest movies I have ever seen. Basically, they took so many different genres such as action, romance, comedy, drama, historical epic, patriotic propaganda,… and cranked up all these genres to the max and, even though it should have been a total disaster, it actually worked so well. On top of that, it featured some of the most exhilarating action scenes I have seen and, without ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’, it would have been hands-down visually the most impressive movie released in 2022. It also featured one of the most fascinating bromances. Eventually, I still think that there were a (few) dull moments. Above all, I didn’t care much for the half-baked romance between Bheem and Jenny and it was pretty obvious that this romance was added just so that Bheem could find Malli in a completely random way. In fact, since he knew that Malli had been abducted by the governor and his wife, I don’t understand why it was supposed to be so difficult to find Malli’s location. Still, it was some minor flaw and the whole thing was just so freaking entertaining.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 146 Average listal rating (105 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.3

Notes: Well, even if this movie won’t be for everyone, I really enjoyed the damned thing though. Indeed, it is dark, nihilistic and, above all, really funny. In fact, I was actually expecting something really over-the-top and absurdist but I was amazed by how realistic it turned out to be after all. Basically, the bottom line with this movie is that even though, after millions of years, the human-being has become the most advanced specie on Earth, we still make incredibly idiotic decisions on a daily basis. I think they focused on the rich and super-rich above all because it is even more frustrating and pathetic with them because they have access to endless resources but, most of the time, they don’t do anything worthwhile or interesting with these resources. However, as displayed in the 3rd act, the rest of the population is probably not much better after all. Indeed, as soon as Abigail took command of the operation on this (supposedly) deserted island, you could feel a general cheer in the movie theater. At that point, we all believed that she would do better than the rest but, unfortunately, as soon as she was on top of the hierarchy and had a powerful position, she started to take some questionable and even moronic decisions. In my opinion, it displayed that, well, humanity will probably always be doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again, no matter the circumstances. Eventually, I guess the only way to handle this rather ghastly conclusion is to keep your sense of humor.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 123 Average listal rating (75 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4
Tár (2022)

Notes: Well, I didn't expect to be blown away like this. To be honest, it's not an easy movie, in fact, it turned out to be a very complex character study and I'm not sure if it really required almost 3 hours of running time. Indeed, it takes forever before the world of Lydia Tár starts to finally unravel and, while I was watching the damned thing, I thought it was rather frustrating that we didn't get more information about her past, her lies and her alleged abuses. The fact that so many elements were kept in the dark probably didn’t help. It's only afterwards that I understood that we saw this whole story only through her own perspective and, eventually, this approach was quite brilliant. Basically, to reach this position, she did many great things and a lot more that was probably not so great but, above all, she created her own bubble from which she (thought she) could control her own narrative. As a result, she constantly filtered everything that didn't fit in the character and story she had created. She did it so much at this point that it was not a wonder that she started to loose her grip on what was real or not but I guess that's something rather common with pathological liars. In a similar way, you don't see or hear what other people really thinks of her. Basically, it's a tale about how power corrupts people and the fact that it centers on a woman (a fact which has been criticized by some viewers) was really intriguing. Eventually, it was a fascinating character and, of course, Cate Blanchett delivered here a career-best performance.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 199 Average listal rating (135 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7

Notes: Martin McDonagh had a rather spotless track-record so far but it was easily his best most gorgeous movie so far. Indeed, the action was taking place on some remote island on the coast of Ireland and McDonagh definitely made the most of this beautiful place. On top of that, the cast all gave some really top-notch performances (Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan). My appreciation also had to do with the fact that I understood the point of view of both men. Indeed, I was actually much younger than Colm, around 16 years old, when I became seriously bored by the people around me and I had a strong desire to take my distance. On the other hand, Pádraic’s reaction to the change of behavior of his best friend was also quite understandable and I get why he tried to get back this relationship because, according to him, there was nothing wrong with it in the first place. Another thing about this movie that really worked was how they perfectly managed to match some seemingly contradicting tones. Indeed, you had a lot of sweet quirky humor but also some dark period drama and it was really neat how McDonagh managed to make it all work together. Unfortunately, even though it all seemed to work out, the final act seriously derailed the whole thing though. Indeed, towards the end, it became terribly bleak and, to be honest, well, they actually lost me there. Anyway, even if the ending did feel like a cold shower, it was still a solid movie.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 26 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7

Notes: Right away, it reminded me of her girl I used to know back in France who was also born in South-Corea and was adopted as a baby. We always got along very well and I wonder if her journey to self-discovery was similar to what happened in this movie (it was probably not so messy though). On top of that, because I'm half-French and half-Dutch, I could easily identify with the main character, even if her struggle was so much heavier for her than it was for me. As a result, this whole tale of conflicted cultural identities deeply appealed to me and it was handled in such a subtle way. The fact that it was dealing with a complex and flawed character made the whole thing even more fascinating to behold. Park Ji-Min, who was not even an actress before this movie, should also be praised for her performance which was pretty much pitch-perfect. Eventually, the only aspect that slightly dragged down the whole thing was possibly the fact that the structure was quite chaotic. Indeed, the main character kept making some drastic decisions and it was sometimes a little bit difficult to keep track of what was actually going on in her life. On the other hand, this approach actually made sense as it actually displayed how confused she was most of the time. Eventually, you might wonder if she eventually managed to find some peace of mind at some point but there is a fair chance that she will always have to deal with her inner struggle some way or another.
johanlefourbe's rating:

Notes: To be honest, during the first hour, I was actually slightly worried. Indeed, after watching so many movies and TV-shows, usually in the super-hero genre, dealing with some multiverses, I wasn’t exactly thrilled by this indie feature tackling a similar concept. Sure, compared to the Marvel productions, the Daniels had to work with a seemingly microscopic budget and the movie was full of cute and/or weird little ideas. However, eventually, it still seemed to be yet another movie about some evil guy coming from some other multiverse threatening all living things which was pretty much exactly the same thing I already saw time and time again in other recent super-hero features. Fortunately, during the second half, it finally became obvious that it was actually something entirely different after all. Indeed, at some point, it became obvious that playing with multiverses was not actually the endgame after all, it was just a cool messy playground but, what this movie had and all the other multiverse-related productions missed (except for the Spider-Man animated features), was a really strong emotional core. Even though the bad guy was called Jobu Tupaki, it was actually Joy all along, the main’s character daughter, something everyone else in the movie seemed to forget, except Evelyn herself. As a result, it went beyond the usual fight between Good and Evil but it turned out to be actually a deep and profound reflection on how messy, chaotic and unpredictable life can be and about all the relationships we have along the way. Eventually, we make a 1000 of decisions on a daily basis and all these decisions seem and are meaningless on some level and, yet, each decision shapes who we are on the long term.
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People who added this item 458 Average listal rating (327 ratings) 7.4 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.
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People who added this item 54 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 7.8 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.
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People who added this item 51 Average listal rating (32 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.
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People who added this item 185 Average listal rating (133 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.
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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.
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People who added this item 184 Average listal rating (121 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.3

Notes: Unfortunately, pretty much like with ‘Phantom Thread’, ‘Inherent Vice’ and ‘The Master’, even though I admired the work done, to be honest, the damned thing never really grabbed me though. For some reasons, it did remind me of the last movie directed by Quentin Tarantino, ‘Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood’. Indeed, pretty much like Tarantino did, Anderson focused on a time and place which was really dear to him, the San Fernando Valley at the beginning of the 70’s. However, except for Anderson, did anyone else really care about this subject? Well, I didn’t, at least, not really. On top of that, there was something really awkward about this burgeoning romantic relationship between this 15 year old kid and a 25 year old woman. I mean, can you imagine if they would have switched around the genders? If a 25 year old dude was circling around a 15 year old girl? It would have been even more cringe-inducing. When I was around the same age, I have to admit that I was seriously fantasizing on my older sister’s friends so I could definitely identify with the main character but these girls were all 3 or 4 years older than me, not 10. There were also some details that bothered me. For example, what was the time line? How come Gary never had to go to school? How could a 15 year old teenager manage to open a shop selling water beds and later on some pinball palace? There was also the fact that the two main characters both looked really average and they were hardly charismatic but I have to admit that it did make them really relatable. On top of that, there is no doubt that Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim, both with no acting experience, did deliver some really strong naturalistic performances.
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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.9

Notes: Of course, the first thing you might think is that it was a gimmick to tell a documentary as an animated feature but I think it worked so well to handle this sensitive material. It was something that they already did with ‘Vals Im Bashir’ which was also a really haunting movie. In both movies, the advantage with this approach is that it does create a surreal vibe which does fit with the traumas experienced by the main ‘character’. In this case, it also allowed to keep their identity strictly anonymous. In general, this approach provided a lot of flexibility for the makers and you might wonder why it’s not used more often. Indeed, it’s always a drag when a character has to be played by at least 3 different actors because there is no way that they will look a like. Furthermore, some scenes were so distressing, nightmarish would be actually a better word, you might wonder if it would be doable with some very young actors or if you should inflict this on such young actors. Eventually, this movie is not really an easy watch, it was in fact super intense and I think it will take me a while to let go of the whole thing. I wonder if people who are so against immigration would be able to watch this movie, listen to this dramatic tale and still decide afterwards to look the other way. The bottom line is that, no matter the drastic measures you might take, people will keep making such extremely hazardous journey because they basically have no hope. Most of them probably don’t realize how poorly they will be eventually received which is so heartbreaking and shameful for me. That this guy was also a homosexual on top of everything he already had to face was almost too much to handle.
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People who added this item 28 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5

Notes: Asghar Farhadi delivered here another fascinating humanistic tale and the end-result was once again quite spellbinding to behold. In fact, the story itself which was based on something that apparently really happened in Iran was not the most interesting aspect in this movie. As usual with this director, what was mostly interesting was the attention and depth he gave to the characters, especially the main character. Indeed, the guy was quite charismatic with his gentle smile but, fortunately, he turned out to be so much more complex than just a pretty face. Indeed, at first, you obviously root for the guy but, eventually, even if he was never really dishonest, he was never completely honest either. I mean, what if these gold coins would have been enough to cover his debt? What if his debtor would have accepted the 70.000 tomans and let him pay the rest over time? In these cases, it would have been really doubtful that he would have given them back to their rightful owner. There was also the fact that he got into an ugly fight with Bahram which displayed how flawed and also self-centered he was. But, on the other hand, are you sure you would handle much better such a situation? Indeed, with almost all conflicts, we are all always convinced that we are doing the ‘right’ thing at least for our own benefit but, as displayed in this movie, what is right and what is wrong is highly subjective. Eventually, you get such a mirror effect and it made me reflect on my own life wondering if I really did act the right way during such major conflicts.
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People who added this item 224 Average listal rating (161 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
Nomadland (2020)

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 106 Average listal rating (67 ratings) 7.7 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 17 Average listal rating (12 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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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 219 Average listal rating (164 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 168 Average listal rating (123 ratings) 7.7 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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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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People who added this item 234 Average listal rating (160 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5

Notes: Well, even though it is considered as a dark comedy, I thought it was above all really nauseating to watch. Maybe it was due to the fact that I saw only a couple of months ago ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’ which was already dealing with a similar story but in a completely different way. Above all, it was a huge reminder how f*cked up men have been treating women pretty much every since the dawn of time and I can’t imagine how a guy could watch this movie without feeling any amount of guilt or disgust, no matter how many pop-songs they might throw into the mix. Even if it was probably not the original goal, I think that it was also a good reminder that, even though many Americans might argue otherwise, College is actually not so great after all. Indeed, the so-called amazing College life seems to be a lot about getting drunk out of your mind, resulting in young girls being raped by young boys and young boys rapping young girls. Coming back on the movie itself, I think it was a mistake that the only guy Cassandra would accept to go on a date with would be someone who went to the exact same school around the exact same time period as she did. As a result, even though they mentioned a whole bunch of people who went to school with hem (the thing that actually triggered her to start with her vengeance plan), they never discussed or even mentioned this tragedy which didn’t make much sense. Still, there is no doubt that Carey Mulligan was really good and she probably delivered her career best performance here.
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People who added this item 150 Average listal rating (93 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4

Notes: Even though I did like it, to be honest, it never really blew me away though. First of all, I think there was a lack of context. Indeed, when these characters arrived in Arkansas, they had a whole life in South-Korea and then again another life in California but you learned so very little about what happened back then and, as a result, I couldn't really compare their current situation with what they had before and make up my mind on my own if it was indeed an improvement or not. The other thing that bothered me was the fact that, while Jacob maybe didn't focus on his family, at least, he had a very specific goal in mind, I don't think that Monica was given the same curtesy. Indeed, what did she actually want? What did she expect when she knew that they were going to live in a farm in the middle of nowhere in Arkansas? As a result, I was constantly rooting for Jacob which was probably unfair and I wish we got more involved in their arguments (which apparently started way before they got to Arkansas) to get a better understanding of this woman who was pretty much reduced to a whining sour wife. This lack of information was probably due to the fact that the story was told from David's perspective but, to be honest, telling such stories from the point of view of a very young child is usually rather frustrating, at least, as far as I'm concerned. Still, there is no denying that it was visually neat with a very nice nostalgic gentle mood. Furthermore, the relationship between David and his grandmother was pure gold and it's too bad it was cut short by a cruel stroke. Finally, after 'The Walking Dead' and 'Burning', Steven Yeung gave here another completely different and yet really strong performance and the range displayed by this actor so far is just quite impressive.
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People who added this item 432 Average listal rating (324 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 381 Average listal rating (269 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 728 Average listal rating (543 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.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 878 Average listal rating (685 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.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 135 Average listal rating (96 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5
The Farewell (2019)

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.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 327 Average listal rating (245 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4

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.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 448 Average listal rating (326 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.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 560 Average listal rating (425 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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