2015 log (8)

(4 Aug) Irrational Man (2015, Woody Allen) 75
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(5 Aug) Le Mirage (2015, Ricardo Trogi) 70
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(7 Aug) Fantastic Four (2015, Josh Trank) 61
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(10 Aug) Guibord s’en va-t-en guerre (2015, Philippe Falardeau) 85
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(12 Aug) Straight Outta Compton (2015, F. Gary Gray) 91
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(15 Aug) Alien (1979, Ridley Scott) 92
[ I’ve always been more of an “Aliens” guy, but frankly, I hadn’t watched the original “Alien” in 20 years. The film grips you right away with its establishing shots of the Nostromo, part “Star Wars”, part “2001”. Then the crew wakes up and we quickly get to like the cast: Sigourney Weaver,Tom Skeritt, Veronica Cartwright, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt… This is a true ensemble piece as well as a quasi huis clos – almost the whole story takes place in that spaceship, with those seven people and what the French title refers to as “le huitième passager”… As I remembered, this is a rather slow, much less action-packed than “Aliens” movie, at first anyway. Then again, it’s always riveting thanks to the brilliant art direction and production design, the superb cinematography, the fluid editing, the ominous score and yes, Ridley Scott’s masterful direction. And what about the alien itself, which did get introduced here: the eggs, the way they open, the facehugger, the acid blood, the chestburster, the full-on xenomorph, eyeless with a second set of extending jaws… And with all of that, I’m quite amazed by the way the way the film slowly but surely goes from sci-fi to horror. I think I still like “Aliens” better, but only marginally. ]

(15 Aug) Turbo Kid (2015, François Simard, Anouk Whissel & Yoann-Karl Whissel) 92
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(18 Aug) He’s Just Not That into You (2009, Ken Kwapis) 65
[ For the most part, this ensemble movie is not so much a romantic comedy as an insightful movie about dating and relationships. It juggles around with 8 or 9 characters who are either pathetic, manipulative, naive, cynical, hypocritical… Inevitably uneven, it sometimes falters (the whole Jennifer Connelly/Bradley Cooper thread is lame, though Scarlett Johansson makes for a convincing temptress), but otherwise it kept me involved and entertained enough (the Ginnifer Goodwin/Justin Long stuff, Jennifer Aniston/Ben Affleck, the glorified cameo by Drew Barrymore). Unfortunately, whatever good will it’s earned, it almost entirely spoils when it suddenly decides to go for a series of contrived rom-com happy endings at the end. ]

(19 Aug) Sex Tape (2014, Jake Kasdan) 56
[ It starts with an awesome montage going from the early, sex-filled days of a relationship to the latter, post-wedding-and-kids, nearly sexless stretches. It’s all funny and insightful, plus Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz have great chemistry together. The set-up of them shooting the titular sex tape is also pretty great… But then, when it gets to the part about it getting out and them trying to stop anyone from watching it, the movie becomes increasingly plot-heavy and preposterous. There’s still some funny and/or insightful stuff along the way and Segel and Diaz truly are wonderful together, but I ultimately got why this got bad reviews. I still mostly enjoyed it. ]

(22 Aug) Turbo Kid (2015, François Simard, Anouk Whissel & Yoann-Karl Whissel) 92
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(25 Aug) Limoilou – Le Film (2014, Edgar Fritz) 60
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(28 Aug) The End of the Tour (2015, James Ponsoldt) 81
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(29 Aug) Obvious Child (2014, Gillian Robespierre) 79
[ Running time: 83 minutes. So what, you may ask. Well, even though I’m not against long movies per se, I do feel that the concept of getting-in-then-getting-out is underrated. A comedy, especially, has no business lasting 146 minutes (I’m looking at you, Judd Apatow). I mean, “Dr. Strangelove” lasts 95 minutes! “Annie Hall” lasts 93 minutes! “The Producers” lasts 88 minutes! And those are some of the best comedies of all time! Of course, ultimately, that’s a detail, but I was still happy to discover that “Obvious Child” wouldn’t outlast its welcome. It’s sharp, it’s tight, it’s got great comic timing and it’s pretty moving, too. Not to focus too much on the running time, but it’s really quite impressive how in, like, the opening five minutes, we’ve seen protagonist Donna do a stand-up set, then she gets dumped by her boyfriend and she’s totally heartbreaking. Laughs and tears, in 5 minutes. As Donna, Jenny Slate is an adorable mess, not unlike Greta Gerwig in “Frances Ha”. But with more fart jokes, heh. The story deals with how, shortly after getting dumped, Donna has a one night stand, gets pregnant, then immediately decides to get an abortion. I guess this makes it feminist, but it’s not a big self-important statement film or anything. It remains amusing and touching, mostly concerned about how this one woman deals with this difficult situation. We follow Donna through it and then it’s over, after a brisk 83 minutes. ]

(31 Aug) Mistress America (2015, Noah Baumbach) 83
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

July / September