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All reviews - Movies (20) - TV Shows (1) - DVDs (21) - Books (1) - Games (2)

For Sasha review

Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 13 June 2015 02:05 (A review of For Sasha)

In 1967, three recent French grads arrive in Israel to visit their best friends Sacha and Laura who idealistically have dedicated themselves to the military base just beyond the Syrian border, Sacha becoming an army officer while Laura teaches violin to children in the nearby village. Soon old attractions are rekindled as a love triangle, or rectangle, or pentagon develops since everyone has the hots for Sophie Marceau. Who can blame them? The friends aren't particularly likable but King Douchebag is definitely Simon who carries a secret agenda regarding a 6th friend Maryanne who died a few years ago when they all lived in Paris. The confrontations and resolutions are mostly melodramatic, and although there is some nice cinematography the film exhibits delusions of grandeur with extraneously stirring music swells and wide shots by thinking it's 'Lawrence of Arabia' with this overstrung material. The Isaeli locations provide all the realism you need with immersive cultural touches including perhaps the most moving scene represented by a visit to Jerusalem's Wailing Wall. However a couple important scenes with dialogue in Hebrew sure could've been subtitled! The ending achieves a sad note which would have hit harder if our character investment was greater.


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De l'autre côté du lit review

Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 13 June 2015 02:03 (A review of De l'autre côté du lit)

Sometimes I can deduce what a movie was aiming for during the conception phase when the realization on screen comes up short. This switching of gender roles shoots out of the gate looking like a great entertainment, then for whatever reason loses the grip of its intentions and winds up being enjoyable while falling short of its goal. While the premise is scarcely believable - a wife takes legal action to switch her job as harried homemaker and part-time jewelry salesperson with her husband, owner of a tool sales & rental business - it feels fresh, and the enthusiastic participation of stars Sophie Marceau and Danny Boon makes it easy to swallow.


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With Love... from the Age of Reason review

Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 7 June 2015 12:52 (A review of With Love... from the Age of Reason)

Delightful, uplifting flight of fancy creatively told about dreams, identity, and being true to yourself. An aggressive, assured business broker begins receiving letters from her 7-year-old self, written during the "age of reason", as she instructed her small hometown solicitor to deliver following her 40th birthday to remind her of her childhood aspirations. However, Maguerite at 40 is now the more professional-sounding Margaret and none too pleased to be reminded of her rural upbringing and long-buried memories scarred by her father leaving and being evicted from their home. In the hands of a studio like Disney, this would be utterly predictable, instead we are treated to twists, unexpected encounters, and a satisfying conclusion. A crowd-pleaser to be sure, but in the mold of 'Amelie'. Margaret has a good heart but tends to express her frustration with bitterness, and Sophie Marceau is terrific at playing this character who frequently shows a snippy side yet retains our sympathies. She delivers among her finest performances, deftly mingling comedy and light drama with ease and really giving Margaret a fully rounded personality so that we fully understand her reluctance to embrace her past. A movie that thoroughly entertains while giving plenty of juicy food for thought: am I the same person that I was or that I thought I would be? What has changed? Who will I be in future? I loved this movie and its thoughtful witty script which includes the following wisdom from Oscar Wilde: "One's dreams must be big enough so as not to lose sight of them."


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Female Agents review

Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 7 June 2015 12:51 (A review of Female Agents)

Or, The Dowdy Half-Dozen? Female Agents shines some light on a rather unknown slice of World War Two history in which women were recruited and trained by the British government to act as spies in occupied France. Sophie Marceau's character was inspired by one such real life French agent named Lise de Baissac, one of only six women to be decorated with honors by the military during that war. While her backstory and future detailed in the epilogue are given a true account, what happens during the film is pure fiction! That's why her name was changed, since this mission never really occurred. Even so, the film capably presents a scenario that could have happened and thus offers an exciting couple hours of action and espionage as five women and their CO are dispatched to extract a disguised British geologist with knowledge of the imminent D-Day invasion from a German hospital. Torture scenes are wincing & convincing, as is Sophie with her stone-cold determination and ability to operate a sniper rifle. I also recommend you read the Telegraph's obituary on Lise de Baissac, who died in 2004 at age 98 and gave the director the idea for making this film. [Link removed - login to see]


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LOL review

Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 7 June 2015 12:49 (A review of LOL)

Three trimesters in the lives of a handful of bratty highschoolers and their efforts to have fun despite their constantly interfering parents. A movie pandering to the teen market where all the teachers are foolish and all parents are authoritarian assholes. The lone exception is top-billed Sophie Marceau, mother of main character Lola (or Lol for short, hence part of the unclever title), experiencing the most character development during her efforts to cope with her daughter's rebelliousness, her rekindled physical relationship with her ex-husband, and finding sparks fly after meeting a handsome policeman. She gives her customary compelling layered performance, and to be blunt this would be insufferable without her. Lola is a decent actress too but her Lola is so petty and fickle that it's difficult to summon much sympathy for her. Their contentious relationship is the most interesting facet, especially when parallels are drawn showing that despite the generation gap they are not that different, a screenplay focusing more on that would've been more worthwhile than the usual boyfriend woes and search for a good buzz.

Demonstrates a conspicuous love for American culture (and it's still funny hearing speakers of such a beautiful language pronounce "cool") while unreservedly making fun of the English during a field trip to London. Also holds time-capsule worthy distinction as showcasing the worst dude haircuts in movie history - admittedly they are in a band, but still the out-of-control Arctic Monkey scruffiness is already hilariously passe at just 7 years old.


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Trivial review

Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 7 June 2015 12:48 (A review of Trivial)

I'm a little torn about the rating, I was ready to give 3.5 based on the in-the-moment experience, but some facets don't add up for me afterwards. Which side of a film has the greater effect, the immediate impact or the following deconstruction? That's always a good argument for discussion. 3 stars is still a positive review on my scale, and the movie is certainly better than the average user score indicates.

A cop (Christophe Lambert) traumatized by the death of his wife returns to the force perhaps before he's ready, as his concerned peers talk about his seeing ghosts of her. On that first day back, he is visited by a mysterious woman who seems to know him and instructs him to visit a certain room in a fancy hotel. There he learns about the disappearance of the hotel owner and discovers the secret Room 401 adorned with photos and memorabilia of the woman he met - an actress named Victoria who died in 1970. Is she real or another figment of his troubled mind? That is the springboard for this mystery which starts cautiously but then really picks up the pace. 2nd-time director Sophie Marceau effectively disorients the viewer in certain instances by using abrupt editing techniques and camera motions so that our confusion mirrors Lambert's when his focus gets scattered. She throws in a great car chase and occasional doses of humor, particularly with a female officer named Fred who antagonizes her partner every time she eats food in the cruiser. I've only seen Lambert in his stonefaced English roles so I was pleasantly surprised at his ability to carry this movie. Marceau also devised the story, co-wrote the screenplay, and plays the part of the furtive femme fatale, so there must have been some bigtime wish fulfillment going on with the dozens of glamour photographs used as scenery dressing that she got to pose for adorned in styles from the 1960s. In hindsight the motivations seem murky and not wholly convincing, but at least during the screening you blissfully won't have time to think too much about them.


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Anthony Zimmer review

Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 7 June 2015 12:47 (A review of Anthony Zimmer)

Effective low-key thriller enhanced by short bursts of tensely gripping action. Greatly superior to the limp American remake " The Tourist ", make sure you see this one first to avoid the same anger I relived because the major surprise had already been spoiled. Even worse, that movie only survived by cheating with its characters' behavior, while "Anthony Zimmer" makes more logical sense while planting some shrewd clues. Admittedly that one features a ravishing Angelina Jolie, but an enticingly enigmatic Sophie Marceau doesn't get seated at the table by the kitchen door either.


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I'm Staying! review

Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 7 June 2015 12:47 (A review of I'm Staying!)

An ignored housewife Marie-Dominique finally has enough of her philandering & insulting husband Bertrand and especially his obsession with cycling by verbally ending their 10-year marriage and begins her own affair with a noncommittal artist. Devastated by realizing what he's lost, the husband is determined to winkle his way back into her life, much to her dismay, by becoming her lover's best friend! Yep, that's the French style of comedy for you! Some funny moments, especially with Bertrand involving his bike, but I feel it could have been even more. The biggest appeal is seeing Sophie Marceau reunited after 10 years with her Fanfan co-star Vincent Perez, and they haven't lost any of their passionately barbed chemistry.


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Belphegor: Phantom of the Louvre review

Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 7 June 2015 12:46 (A review of Belphegor: Phantom of the Louvre)

A box-office hit in France, at least their version of The Mummy meets Night In The Museum boasts a setting among many of the greatest artworks of the world. Otherwise this is one big fat laughably ridiculous mess! Somehow an Egyptian mummy's spirit infiltrates the electrical system of the Louvre, then later possesses the body and mind of ever beauteous Sophie Marceau. Guards and service personnel are killed nightly by "the phantom" but the museum is not closed for the flimsiest reasons, and no further precautions are taken to stop the mayhem. Two civilians wander at will through dangerous restricted construction areas under the city without anyone even telling them so much as to put on a hardhat. Sophie and Frederic Diefenthal the electrician she meets have a good rapport, but too often she's sent into a zombified stupor under the control of Belphegor. If not for getting a brief flash of her fabulous French fanny, one would feel really cheated.


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The World Is Not Enough review

Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 7 June 2015 12:45 (A review of The World Is Not Enough)

Another big & loud Bond film that goes on far too long. A couple good action sequences and a sexy, twisted, conniving villain in Sophie Marceau help a lot. Notable for two other casting choices: the welcome wit of John Cleese stepping in as the new Q, and the unfathomly bad Denise Richards as -- wait for it -- a nuclear physicist!


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