2016 log (5)

(9 May) X-Men: Apocalypse (2016, Bryan Singer) 63
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(13 May) High-Rise (2016, Ben Wheatley) 90

(16 May) The Flash S02E21 “The Runaway Dinosaur” (2016, Kevin Smith)
[ I’m intrigued by the mix of comic book sci-fi and melodrama but, obviously, seeing this one episode out of context, having never watched “The Flash” before, makes it hard to get everything and feel really involved. As for the fact that Kevin Smith directed it, he does a solid job, but if I didn’t know he was at the helm, I don’t know that I would have noticed. ]

(17 May) Lethal Weapon (1987, Richard Donner) 92
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(18 May) Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016, Nicholas Stoller) 75
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(19 May) The Nice Guys (2016, Shane Black) 87
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(20 May) Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012, Bill Condon) 70
[ Well, what do you know: it took until the last episode before they actually made a good movie! This is by far the best film in the series, right from the opening sequence, which fulfills the promise of the final shot of “Part 1”, showing Bella (Kristen Stewart, better than ever in this franchise) finally transforming into a vampire, going hunting and testing her powers. It’s over the top and kinda ridiculous, as these flicks tend to be, but for once, it’s genuinely exciting and fun and sometimes downright hilarious – even intentionally so sometimes! Bella vs. a cougar? So awesome. I also loved the early scene when Bella learns about the WTF moment from the previous outing. “”You imprinted on my daughter? She’s a baby!” Then overall, while some of the previous movies were boring and uneventful, needlessly stretching things, this one is full of action and drama, finally delivering payoffs to everything we’ve seen before, up to the final confrontation with the Volturi, which is actually pretty damn thrilling and heartbreaking… Though I haven’t decided yet if the bullshit twist that follows ruins it or not. In any case, I enjoyed how they wrapped things up afterwards, almost convincing us that this has been a wonderfully romantic love story all along. ]

(21 May) Team America: World Police (2004, Trey Parker) [ review ] 92

(22 May) Simon les nuages (1990, Roger Cantin) 87
[ “On fait pas ‘comme’ : c’est pour de vrai.” Saw a gorgeous 35mm print of this at Cinémathèque québécoise, which looked really warm and luminous and colorful – qualities that define the movie as a whole, a truly wonderful children’s film that made me feel nostalgic AF. Written and directed by Roger Cantin, screenwriter of the classic “La Guerre des tuques”, this similarly introduces a group of rowdy, endearing Québécois kids (Hugolin Chevrette-Landesque, Patrick St-Pierre, Jessica Barker, Benoît Robitaille, Naad Joseph, Charles-André Therrien, Isabelle Lapointe), who seem to live mostly out of sight from the adult world. They go on a fun and exciting adventure throughout Sainte-Lucie-de-Bagot and beyond, following the titular Simon’s dreams and believing that this is more than a game. Both intimate and epic, “Simon les nuages” climaxes with a confrontation with an awesome stop-motion dinosaur. This is an underrated gem that deserves to be more widely seen. ]

(25 May) Justin Bieber’s Believe (2013, Jon M. Chu)
[ I’ve been a Belieber since the “Baby” days and I loved the hell out of “Never Say Never”, his first Chu-directed documentary/concert film that depicted his incredible rise to fame. I believe there’s another great flick to be done about his “lost year” and his subsequent comeback/redemption with “Purpose”, but this here “Believe”, about the album and tour of the same name, is not all that illuminating. This is about a not that dramatic transition period, when Justin wasn’t that cute kid anymore, but before he became a “trainwreck”, the latter of which is only briefly touched upon in Chu’s film, which was shot before things got really bad for the young artist. This remains an enjoyable enough watch, but only if you’re a diehard Bieber fan. ]

(26 May) Notting Hill (1999, Roger Michellu) 62
[ Here’s a sweet, enjoyable if conventional romantic comedy, with a meet-cute followed by a series of mishaps and misunderstandings until the inevitable happy end. Of course, there’s the twist that the girl is the world’s biggest movie star, but that’s ultimately almost just a detail. Thank God for Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, who are as charming as it gets. ]

(27 May) Infinitely Polar Bear (2015, Maya Forbes) 71
[ This is a pretty odd one: a bright and breezy indie quasi comedy, but with a rather dramatic premise and many uncomfortable, heartbreaking scenes. It’s an autobiographical film inspired by the writer-director’s childhood being raised by her manic-depressive father (Mark Ruffalo) while her mother (Zoe Saldana) was getting her MBA in New York. Said father is wildly unpredictable and sometimes unbearable, but he also clearly has a good heart, which is why I guess Maya Forbes decided not to make this a dark and heavy picture… Like I said, it’s pretty odd, but it ultimately works, thanks in no small party to the always amazing Ruffalo. ]

(28 May) Jenny’s Wedding (2015, Mary Agnes Donoghue) 73
[ Sure, it’s shot like a TV movie, there are some overly melodramatic beats, and it might feel like it was made “for the hets”. But hey, it moved me to tears, so whatever. The characters are really well written, I thought, in addition to being wonderfully played by Katherine Heigl, who’s never been better than as Jenny, a lesbian who finally comes out to her family before her wedding; Linda Emond and Tom Wilkinson as her parents; Grace Gummer as her sister; Matthew Metzger as her brother; and my beloved Alexis Bledel as her fiancée. ]