2017 log (1)

(2 Jan) La La Land (2016, Damien Chazelle) 95
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(4 Jan) Silence (2016, Martin Scorsese) 91
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(6 Jan) Swiss Army Man (2016, Daniels) 94
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(13 Jan) Matilda (1996, Danny DeVito) 77
[ Somehow I’d never seen this ‘90s family classic, otherwise it would be one of my favorites from childhood. This is every bit as much as a live action cartoon as the “Home Alone” or “Addams Family” movies, maybe even more so, thanks to Danny DeVito’s eye-popping visual style. Mara Wilson is an absolute delight in the title role, especially as she learns to use her mutant powers, “X-Men”-style! ]

(13 Jan) Nelly (2017, Anne Émond) 85
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(18 Jan) Split (2017, M. Night Shyamalan) 76
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(19 Jan) Les Mauvaises herbes (2016, Louis Bélanger) 79
[ Starting with an obvious homage to “Birdman”, followed by a quick action scene, “Les Mauvaises herbes” instantly grabbed my attention, before the opening titles were even over. It then gets into a nice groove which will please fans of Alexis Martin’s acting and writing – this is very much in the spirit of his classic “Matroni et moi”. Equally fun and smart and surprisingly heartfelt, the film also stars Gilles Renaud and breakthrough actress Emmanuelle Lussier Martinez, who totally steals the film. We grow to really love these three characters, who share a lot of insightful dialogue. And then there’s these exciting genre tropes that pop up here and there, via Luc Picard’s shylock character. Good times! ]

(21 Jan) The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola) [ review ] 100

(23 Jan) Avant les rues (2016, Chloé Leriche) 74
[ This calls for a bit of a mea culpa. Clearly, I should have gone to see this when it came out, instead of fearing it would basically be a dull, well-meaning kind of thing. It’s actually right up my alley, with amazing visuals, strains of lyricism, some genre elements early on, and at the same time, this fascinating you-are-there quasi-documentary feeling. Now, it is pretty slow at times and ultimately light on plot, but there’s enough great filmmaking on display to keep us interested. ]

(27 Jan) Le Pacte des anges (2016, Richard Angers) 54
[ The opening with Marc Messier hunting in the fog, set to Serge Nakauchi Pelletier’s score, is kinda awesome. And as it goes on, it remains pretty well shot/directed, though the writing is iffy. This is basically a B-movie thriller, which sounds fun, except it takes itself too seriously, as is often the case. Marc Messier and Émile Schneider are great, in any case. ]

(28 Jan) Sharknado: The Fourth Awakens (2016, Anthony C. Ferrante) 37
[ There’s a moment late into this fourth “Sharknado” in four years where Ian Ziering is in a Mech suit and Tara Reid is a Terminator/Iron Man-style robot, and they’re flying over Niagara Falls to get to a quantum box or something… And you know what, for that brief moment, it got just exquisitely silly enough for me to enjoy it. Otherwise, it’s more of the same: disaster porn, celebrity cameos, dumb references (often merely repeating famous movie quotes), CGI gore and yes, tornadoes of sharks. I hope we’re not supposed to care about these characters and all their kids, but hey, it’s on Netflix, and it’s watchable enough. ]