• The Room (2003)

    I've finally discovered this movie because of the release of The Disaster Artist which is about the making of this film and the fact that one of my local cinemas has screened this film for one hundred months in a row.

    There are movies that are so bad that they are genuinely entertaining like the vivid and weird Samurai Cop. Other films are so bad that they are genuinely horrible and don't have anything going for them like the vapid Hobgoblins. The Room is actually a mixture of both types of bad movies. The first thirty minutes of the film were extremely hard to sit through and basically just consisted of poorly shot soft porn scenes. However, the final hour or so was so absurd with numerous strange subplots and a certain raise in tension that it kept my attention until the end.

    There are a few elements that I genuinely like. First of all, the camera work isn't too bad if compared to numerous contemporary low budget flicks with shaky camera perspectives. Secondly, Juliette Danielle isn't only nice to look at but has a certain appeal as confused sociopath and careless femme fatale. Thirdly, Tommy Wiseau's acting skills, even though they are wooden, definitely have a memorable and unique touch and aren't like anything I have ever seen in my life. Fourthly, the movie's soundtrack blends in very well. I wouldn't call it great but it serves its purpose in the different scenes.

    The other elements are so bad that they keep my attention. The acting skills vary from below average to bad. The dialogues are so thin, repetitive and wooden that an average elementary school student could have come up with something more intriguing. The main story could be described in three sentences but takes more than one hour and a half hours to unfold in a painfully slow development. The numerous unnecessary subplots going nowhere are cringe-worthy oddities that turn out being unintentionally memorable. The decorations and settings look cheap, fake and misplaced. The overlong sex scenes look so unreal that they are actually everything but exciting.

    Among the biggest oddities are the random spoon pictures, the main character's friends making love in his living room for no apparent reason, the emotionless dialogue about breast cancer, the numerous random football scenes and the two fake scenes involving characters tripping and getting injured. My favorite part is however the scene in the flower shop with the overtly quick exchange of senseless dialogue lines. This scene alone shows everything this film is about: a random scene with an unimportant side character, weak acting skills, bland dialogues, ordinary settings and unintentionally funny improvisation.

    The Room might have several purposes. It shows us how not to make a movie. It's a great party flick to watch with your friends to switch your brains off. It's a welcome distraction from your everyday lives. It's bizarre, goofy and almost surreal in its very unique style. It's a movie you won't ever forget. These are perhaps unintentional accomplishments that most serious films however fail to achieve which is why Tommy Wiseau still deserves some serious respect for his project.

    Despite its numerous obvious flaws, it's a weird experience you won't forget anytime soon which is exactly why this disaster of a movie became a cult classic. The sad thing is that Tommy Wiseau put so much passion into this project that I would honestly recommend watching this movie over any exchangeable contemporary superhero sequel flooding the world's cinemas. The Room is one of those movies you should have watched once in your lifetime for all the reasons stated above. I'm sure I will watch it again with a bunch of friends after having just discovered this film on my own this week.

    Partager via Gmail Delicious Technorati Yahoo! Google Bookmarks Blogmarks Pin It

    votre commentaire
  • Suburbicon (2017)

    Suburbicon is a movie that doesn't deserve the overwhelmingly negative critics it gets. The movie is an ambitious mixture of a crime flick, dark comedy and social drama in almost equal parts. This isn't unusual for a script by the talented Coen brothers but Suburbicon is particularly out-thought and precise.

    First of all, we have the story of a mysterious home invasion in a seemingly perfect town that leads to the murder of a physically disabled mother.

    Secondly, the film portrays the small-town stereotypes of the late fifties in a humorous manner and also includes a solid dose of situation comedy.

    Thirdly, the movie shows us the struggles of an African-American family in an otherwise homogeneous all-white neighbourhood.

    In addition to this original mixture, the film is extremely stylish and portrays small-town stereotypes of the late fifties perfectly, including exchangeable family houses, flashy clothes and robust vehicles.

    The movie includes numerous talented actors who are challenged to play unusual roles and deliver good to great jobs. Matt Damon really convinces as two-faced family father, Julianne Moore plays two roles and portrays both a bitter and disabled family mother as well as her manipulative and superficial sister and child actor Noah Jupe has his international breakthrough as he performs a shy and antisocial but also open-minded and clever boy. Even the secondary roles are unique and played by talented actors. One has to point out Gary Basaraba who plays a sympathetic but tough uncle, Oscar Isaac convinces as an investigative insurance agent and Glenn Fleshler impresses as scary villain.

    If the acting is so convincing, it's due to the great work of the great directing effort. George Clooney is obviously rather known as an actor but he proves that he can also direct a great movie and I would even say that his precise work here is better than many of the somewhat superficial roles he has played in his career. It's great to see that George Clooney is still trying out new things so late in his career.

    Some negative critics here focus on the fact that the movie portrays the racism of an all-white neighbourhood towards an African-American family and even shows the display of a Confederate flag in one scene where an angry mob smashes the windows of the family house. First of all, it's a matter of fact that racism was very present in those neighbourhoods of the United States of America back in the fifties and it sadly still is an issue today if we witness the numerous cases of police violence against African-American citizens. Secondly, the movie also shows that some residents aren't participating in the protests but rather trying to ignore it in order to not get into any trouble with their neighbours which was an attitude several people had back in those days. Thirdly, a few select people are shown which are helping the African-American family the best they can and it's a particularly clever move that the movie focuses on the friendship of a black and a white boy who show the ignorant adults around them that there is hope for peaceful coexistence in the future. Therefore, the movie isn't biased or left-wing propaganda as some angry reviewers try to make you think but a balanced and realistic portrait of a flawed society. Finally, the scene with the Confederate flag isn't offensive because the display of this flag is often associated with white supremacy. If you have a Confederate flag in your yard, you should seriously ask yourself what kind of person you are. This flag isn't anything to be proud of.

    To keep it short, Suburbicon is an entertaining, original and stylish movie that mixes crime flick, dark comedy and social drama in a perfectly balanced way. Ignore the negative critics and enjoy one of the greatest movies of the year. The fact that the incredibly boring Blade Runner 2049 gets so much critical acclaim while Suburbicon is unjustifiably criticized proves once more that popular opinions don't mean much when it comes to understanding a piece of art.

    Partager via Gmail Delicious Technorati Yahoo! Google Bookmarks Blogmarks Pin It

    votre commentaire
  • The Visit (2015)

    M. Night Shyamalan is one of the most fascinating and controversial contemporary directors. His newest independent movie goes back to his roots and offers an increasingly addicting plot, a solid acting performance and a twist that is so simple you might not even see it coming. The creative Indian artist manages to make a convincing movie despite a limited budget, a rather unexperienced crew and a lot of found footage material that is usually employed in some of the worst contemporary horror films like ''Devil's Due''. In this movie, the idea of the found footage material makes sense for once and even adds some intimate depth to the two main characters. The fact that two young and rather unknown actors are taking the lead somehow adds to the credibility of the scenario. Even the limited budget turns out to be an advantage since this movie comes around without any distracting special effects. Still, the camera angles, the lighting techniques and the soundtrack are decently chosen and add to an overall positive impression.

    What makes this movie stand out is its curious mixture of genres. In fact, M. Night Shyamalan once said that there are three different versions of this film and I'm really curious to watch the other two. One version is an over-the-top comedy flick, the second is a creepy horror movie and the cinematic choice that I'm reviewing right now is in fact a convincing mixture of both. Let's add that the beginning of this movie almost feels like a mixture of a documentary and a reality television show.  

    Most of the times, humorous horror movies can't convince me and feel ridiculous to me since I even disliked the original ''Evil Dead'' flicks. In this clever case, the movie starts with a few awkward scenes where the audience might not be sure whether they should laugh or feel scared which adds to the overall uneasy atmosphere of the film. In the beginning, one doesn't clearly know where this movie is going to lead us. There are a few creepy horror movie sequences. Other moments feel like light slapstick comedy scenes. The behaviour of some characters shows hints at a solid psycho thriller. The background story of the movie includes dramatic elements. M. Night Shyamalan leads us to a surprisingly coherent and entertaining potpourri of genres before the final thirty minutes of this cinematic cut clearly prove that this version ends up being a gruesome psycho thriller or horror movie. The twisting and turning story is so captivating that the final twist comes almost unexpectedly despite its simplicity.

    It has become an almost popular trend to expose M. Night Shyamalan's most recent efforts to unjustified prejudice but let me tell you that true fans of this director and the psycho thriller and horror genres will get more than they could expect from this movie. Despite its subtle diversity, this film is to the point and never loses its clear guiding line. Despite its slow build-up, the film always remains entertaining and even gripping. This movie might not be the director's opus magnum but its mixture of grounded cinematic elements and experimental influences from diverse genres makes this one of the director's best movie of the past ten years and one of the better psycho thrillers or horror movies of a rather unconvincing cinematic year 2015. If you are a sucker for any of these two genres, I can warmly recommend this movie to you. 

    Partager via Gmail Delicious Technorati Yahoo! Google Bookmarks Blogmarks Pin It

    votre commentaire
  • Tusk (2014)

    ''Tusk'' is a movie that goes off the beaten paths. It's a potential cult movie which will be adored by some and despised by others for decades to come. It's almost impossible to have a neutral or no opinion on this controversial movie. It's not a question about getting it or not, it's simply a matter of personal tastes.

    The story is quickly told. An American pod-cast host ends up in the isolated mansion of an old seaman in Manitoba who wants to share some stories about his life. One gets to know that the old fool is in fact a dangerous serial killer who despises mankind because he got intimidated, raped and tortured by the society after the brutal killing of his parents. The only thing that has ever shown respect to him was a walrus that saved him from a shipwreck in Northern Russia. In order to survive on an isolated island, the serial killer had to make the decision to kill his saviour just hours before he got saved. He regrets that decision and in order to relive this pivotal moment in his life again and to take revenge on a society that made him suffer all life long, the serial killer kidnaps, mutilates and tortures young men to transform them into walruses. While the imprisoned pod-cast host gets now mentally and physically unstable and begins more and more to act like a wild animal, his grounded partner and his cheating girlfriend realize that he is in danger. They arrive in Canada and team up with a drug addict and ex-police officer from Quebec to save their friend or what remains of his human body and soul.

    The film is a grotesque that mixes black comedy, drama, horror and thriller elements all at once. The movie has many changes of tone. When you see the two main characters fooling around, the tone is humorous. A few moments later, you assist a burial after a suicide and the tone gets accusatory. The movie then cuts to an actress who is crying her heart out and complains about her cheating boyfriend as the tone gets depressing. Seconds later, she herself cheats on her boyfriend and the whole scene suddenly feels ironical. This film is filled with these fascinating changes of tones. You constantly change your mind about the different characters as well. The main character looks like a superficial idiot during his show in the beginning of the movie. His partner looks like the friendlier and smarter guy. His girlfriend looks like a confident, faithful and serious person. The villain of the story looks like an innocent old fool. Thirty minutes later, the main character has some intellectual dialogues and proves that he is not as dumb as one might have thought. His partner betrays his best friend by sleeping with his girlfriend who suddenly looks fragile, superficial and unfaithful. The old fool has become an intimidating criminal with a horrible past. 

    It's not just the tone that changes, the overall mood also does. What starts as a juvenile comedy movie in the key of ''The Interview'' turns into a bleak body horror film like ''The Human Centipede'', gets a touch of a crime comedy movie like ''Good Cop, Bad Cop'' and becomes an existential and nearly philosophical drama like the ending of ''I Saw The Devil'' for example. 

    Those who say that this movie is bland, superficial and thoughtless are wrong. This movie has more memorable scenes than ten others together. It's a matter of taste whether you like these scenes or not. The scenes of the burial and the close-up on the crying girlfriend shook me up. The ring-tone of the main character's cell phone and the weird dialogue between the French Canadian police officer and the serial killer in front of a shack made me laugh out loud. The torture scenes in the old mansion and the closing part in a zoo made me feel disgust, horror and sadness at once. 

    The movie also includes many cultural elements in a humorous way. The idea of including the topic of Duplessis' orphans in the movie was brilliant and shows that the makers of the movie know what they are talking about. The food topic and especially the details about poutines in the movie were completely absurd and hilarious at the same time. The discussions about hockey and especially the Quebec Nordiques were the best jokes about Quebeckers I have ever heard and I have witnessed many lukewarm attempts.


    I'm going to admit that this movie is difficult. Those who are looking for a typical American comedy movie might get shocked by the explicit torture scenes. Those who are looking for a sinister body horror film may not dig the humorous parts. This film is not for closed-minded and light-hearted people who just want to get entertained. This movie will haunt you long after it ended in one way or another. All the things mentioned above make this film something really special. It's one of the few movies that still try to innovate at all costs. The more I think about the movie, the more I appreciate it and feel like watching it over and over again. If my review intrigued you and you consider yourself an open-minded and tough cineast, I can only warmly recommend you this incredibly entertaining mixture of the joyful and the woeful. For anyone else, try this at your own costs but don't tell me I didn't warn you. 

    Partager via Gmail Delicious Technorati Yahoo! Google Bookmarks Blogmarks Pin It

    votre commentaire
  • Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)

    The first "Sin City" was a revolutionary movie in my opinion in terms of its comic book style, violent film noir atmosphere and intriguing storytelling involving switches between several plot lines that were loosely bound together. While many mediocre American movies quickly got many unnecessary sequels, one of the very best Hollywood films of the past ten years had to wait more than nine years for its second strike to be released. This is also the reason for the rather disappointing sales figures as many younger fans of the original have grown older and forgotten about the first part, younger audiences might not have heard about the excellent original yet and worn-out superhero movies in the key of "Guardians Of The Galaxy" as well as the wave of exchangeable dystopian teenage flicks like "Divergent" are what younger audiences prefer to watch these days.

    Let me tell you that these people are missing out on a highly atmospheric, breathtaking and stylistic follow-up that brings back the magic of the original and only fails to beat it because this movie is slightly shorter and the four stories told in here are a little bit less original than the four ones told nine and a half years earlier. This being said, it would be a wise choice to watch the first movie again before you get to see its sequel because the new film refers to several events that have happened before in Sin City. 

    The style and spirit of the movie has been copied many times after its original release in rather similar flicks like "V for Vendetta" (2006), "Max Payne" (2008) and "The Spirit" (2008) which just proves how influencing the original was. That's why the sequel feels a little bit like one has seen similar stuff before but let's not forget that this franchise is the one that started this whole unique extravagant comic book style. If you like the aforementioned movies, you will also adore this movie that is hold in classic black and white with a few colourful parts here and there that make stand out certain body parts or objects. I'm still fascinated by this classic and yet revolutionary way to design a movie. The sinister and often sarcastic stories, the excellent soundtrack and the bleak characters that all have their dark sides add much to the gripping atmosphere of the movie. Especially the actors are doing an outstanding job in this movie. Mickey Rourke convinces as brutal yet charming outlaw, Josh Brolin excels as broken man with a raw appearance but a soft core who definitely makes me forget that his character was performed by Clive Owen in the first film, Powers Boothe delivers as antisocial, corrupt and pitiless politician and Eva Green perfectly portrays the sexy yet evil miss misery. Even the secondary characters like the suicidal Jessica Alba, the silent beauty and elegant killing machine Jamie Chung or the short role of Bruce Willis as a desperate ghost or guardian angel can entirely convince. The cameos of Lady Gaga and other famous people are also a nice addition to this film. The clash of all these characters leads to many brutal yet artistic fight scenes where the blood is flowing, explicit but honestly passionate dialogues take place and several scenes including explicit yet elegant nudity are shown. This is a highly entertaining mixture including lots of black humour and sarcasm, tons of over-the-top action sequences, some moments filled with extreme emotions and a solid base of tension and a high dose of sex appeal. Weak or conservative minds as well as young children should therefor definitely avoid this movie.


    In the end, if you liked the original "Sin City", you will also like its high above average but not classic sequel "Sin City: A Dame To Kill For". If you haven't watched these movie, you have definitely missed out on two of the most atmospheric, original and vivid Hollywood movies of the past ten years. Go and correct your mistakes of the past now. Along with the experimental crazy ride filled with star actors that was Luc Besson's "Lucy", this is by far the best movie of the not-so-young year 2014 for me. This is the only current movie franchise I definitely want to carry on, no matter if the majority misjudges this excellent movie and prefers to watch its trendy fast-food cinema. This kind of art isn't for everyone and this is what makes this so unique. 

    Partager via Gmail Delicious Technorati Yahoo! Google Bookmarks Blogmarks Pin It

    votre commentaire

    Suivre le flux RSS des articles de cette rubrique
    Suivre le flux RSS des commentaires de cette rubrique