2010 log (9)

(1 Sep) Machete (2010, Robert Rodriguez & Ethan Maniquis) [ review ] 72

(2 Sep) Dirty Dancing (1987, Emile Ardolino) 77
[ This here is a bona fide dancing movie musical, where the story is almost an afterthought, an excuse for all the dance scenes. Those are the moments through which the characters are defined, as they move their bodies, on their own or with each other… As such, this is not unlike a porno (it’s “dirty” dancing, remember?)… Or like a martial arts movie, more unexpectedly, what with all the training montages, the elusive special move the protagonist only masters during the final showdown (the lift!), etc. Patrick Swayze’s Johnny Castle is the missing link between John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever” and Mark Wahlberg in “Boogie Nights”, with a touch of Elvis in “Tickle Me” (look it up). And Jennifer Grey is cute and fun as the rich daddy’s girl who slums it with him. Set in 1963, the movie is filled with great music from the era (Be My Baby, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Hey Baby, Do You Love Me, Wipe Out, etc.), plus a few anachronistic but amusingly cheesy ’80s numbers (She’s Like the Wind, (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life). Good times! ]

(4 Sep) Deux de la vague (2010, Emmanuel Laurent)
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(7 Sep) À l’origine d’un cri (2010, Robin Aubert) 89
[ Noir comme le fond d’un cendrier, dur comme un poing sur la gueule, amer comme un lendemain de veille, douloureux comme un coeur brisé, À l’origine d’un cri n’est pas un film facile à regarder, mais on devine qu’il a été encore plus dur à écrire et réaliser. Surtout que bien qu’il s’agisse d’une oeuvre de fiction, Robin Aubert y a inclus beaucoup d’éléments de son propre vécu. Drame familial sur fond de road movie, le film d’Aubert raconte l’histoire d’un jeune homme (Patrick Hivon) qui, en compagnie de son grand-père (Jean Lapointe), arpente les motels et tavernes du Québec à la recherche de son père (Michel Barrette), parti en cavale avec le cadavre de sa femme récemment décédée (Véronique Beaudet). Bien que les horreurs qu’on y retrouve ne soient pas de nature fantastique comme dans Saints-Martyrs-des-Damnés, le premier long métrage d’Aubert, À l’origine d’un cri n’est pas un film terre-à-terre pour autant. ]

(9 Sep) American Faust: From Condi to Neo-Condi (2010, Sebastian Doggart)
(11 Sep) Hermafrodita (2010, Albert Xavier 53
(12 Sep) Skin (2010, Anthony Fabian) 31
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(10 Sep) Flipped (2010, Rob Reiner) 6
[ Rob Reiner a à son actif quelques très bons films (This Is Spinal Tap, Stand by Me, When Harry Met Sally…), mais aussi beaucoup d’oeuvres éminemment oubliables, cette adaptation du roman jeunesse de Wendelin Van Draanen étant l’exemple le plus récent. On y rencontre Bryce (Callan McAuliffe), un garçon agacé par les attentions de sa voisine et camarade de classe Juli (Madeline Carroll), jusqu’à ce qu’il développe soudainement lui aussi des sentiments pour elle… Prévisible, bêtement nostalgique et insupportablement mièvre, Flipped fait par ailleurs une utilisation excessive de la narration en voix off. Le seul élément distinctif du film est la façon dont chaque événement est montré tour à tour du point de vue du garçon puis de celui de la fille, mais il ne fait finalement que nous forcer à endurer chaque scène médiocre deux fois plutôt qu’une. Misère! ]

(12 Sep) Mean Girls (2004, Mark Waters) [ review ] 71

(13 Sep) La fille coupée en deux (2007, Claude Chabrol) 68
[ Being a big fan of Ludivine Sagnier, I’d been meaning to watch this film for a while now, ever since it came out directly on DVD here in Quebec (a shame, I know), to be precise. Of course, the passing of Chabrol yesterday gave me a further incentive to finally pop this in the DVD player, and I’m glad I did. This story of an older intellectual (François Berléand) who falls for a beautiful blonde weather girl (Sagnier) is nothing we haven’t seen before (in fact, it’s almost exactly the same premise as Anne Fontaine’s “La fille de Monaco”) and Chabrol’s direction is certainly old-fashioned (the same film could have been made in 1967 with little alteration), but there’s an intelligence, an observational acuteness and a Nouvelle Vague-ish wit at work here that is thoroughly compelling. At times, I couldn’t stant Berléand and Benoît Magimel’s characters, a pair of obscenely wealthy, self-centred pricks who in no way deserve a cute, spunky young thing like Sagnier’s character. Thankfully, Chabrol’s film is almost all about calling them out on their bullshit. Gorgeously shot, the film also takes a few nifty turns during the third act, and the finale is just about perfect. ]

(14 Sep) Incendies (2010, Denis Villeneuve) [ review ] 87

(14 Sep) (500) Days of Summer (2009, Marc Webb) 93
[ It’s pretty crazy how the same movie can make you happy and sad… I guess the same way that you can love and hate a girl at the same time, especially after she’s dumped you. Bitch. Marc Webb’s extraordinary debut would be best described as an anti-romantic comedy, in as much as it’s not about love conquering all, it’s about love making you fall on your face. In that way, it’s not unlike “High Fidelity” (with which it also shares an impeccable taste in music) and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (with which it also shares fractured chronology storytelling). It’s also got a general Cameron Crowe vibe, its use of voice-over narration is very “Magnolia”, and with the achingly beautiful and wonderfully quirky female lead being played by Zooey Deschanel, it’s impossible not to think of “All the Real Girls”… So it borrows a few tricks from other films, but only from the best, and never to the point where it feels derivative. Webb’s film is way too obviously heartfelt and sincere for that, plus Joseph Gordon-Levitt is amazingly convincing and relatable, which seals the deal.

Note: this is a repost of a blurb written in July 2009 after I first saw the film. ]

(15 Sep) The Town (2010, Ben Affleck) 75
[ Après Gone Baby Gone, son prometteur premier long métrage en tant que réalisateur, Ben Affleck revient avec un autre drame criminel bien huilé, adaptation du roman Prince of Thieves de Chuck Hogan. À la fois une prenante peinture de milieu et un film d’action haletant, The Town met en vedette Affleck lui-même dans le rôle du leader d’un groupe de braqueurs de banques habitant le quartier Charlestown de Boston. Autour de lui, on trouve une impeccable brochette d’acteurs incluant Jeremy Renner en bandit au caractère explosif, Jon Hamm en agent du FBI et Pete Postlethwaite en caïd de la pègre irlandaise. Seule fausse note: la peu crédible histoire d’amour entre le personnage d’Affleck et la gérante (Rebecca Hall) de la dernière banque qu’il a volée. ]

(16 Sep) Le Poil de la bête (2010, Philippe Gagnon) 39
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(21 Sep) A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop (2010, Zhang Yimou) 57
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(21 Sep) The Social Network (2010, David Fincher) [ review ] 92

(23 Sep) 2 Frogs dans l’Ouest (2010, Dany Papineau) 21
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(27 Sep) Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967, John Huston) 52
[ Part of the Directors Series ]

(27 Sep) The American President (1995, Rob Reiner) 65
[ Schmaltzy, cutesy, preachy… This is a post-’80s Rob Reiner flick all right. But then again, it’s written by Aaron Sorkin, so it’s all kinds of witty and snappy, and what a cast! Just having Michael Douglas as the widowed President and Annette Bening as the new woman he’s dating is a treat, but look at the supporting cast: Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, David Paymer, Richard Dreyfuss, John Mahoney, Wendie Malick… Pretty, pretty good. ]

August / October