This season finale is excellent and resolving lots of acts in a nice and tidy way. It is not groundbreaking and it uses classic series tools, but I liked all of it.
One thing I must say (what would a review be without a negative comment, right?), I really did not like the character of the headteacher (and I'll purposely won't give him an uppercase), and maybe that's all right, because he's supposed not to be liked by the audience.
I really hope that this is only the first season of a show that will hopefully continue for a couple of more years. But at the same time, I can probably imagine the show becoming uninteresting as soon as Maeve and Otis are together. Therefore, maybe it's best to leave it there.
Anyway, what I will mostly remember from this series is the utterly perfect casting of the main protagonists. And this is the moment where I finally use their names and I apologize not to have use their names predominantly before. Emma Mackey as Maeve, Asa Butterfield as Otis, Ncuti Gatwa as Eric and Gillian Anderson as Jean.
An excellent season finale of an equally excellent (first?) season. I give it 7 out of 10 and I already miss the characters. Hopefully I'll meet them again in a year and chances are that I will be disappointed, but I guess the morale of the story is not to overanalyze things and simply go with the flow. And since time flies so fast anyway, I don't think it will be that long. And for those who are reading this review in the future (well... in your present), you may simply click on "Next episode" and be able to read right away what I will write in one year. And... oh, fuck me!
And I must say I feel free bad that I only have one episode to watch, as the first season only has eight episodes, which is actually quite perfect if you ask me! No time to get bored.
I give it 5 out of 10. Good.
I give it 5 out of 10.
One thing I actually really disliked was the ending scene. This type of hommage to "O Captain My Captain" clearly did not work and felt fabricated.
One more thing, the main actors portraying Otis, Maeve and Eric are really, really great findings! The casting director needs an award ASAP. They really nailed it. As my friend Gruic once said to me, "they are the shadow of their own light." And I will end my review on that.
I give it 5 out of 10. Good.
This all started with a very bad trailer and only a remote interest because of Gillian Anderson's participation. This ends up experience a very fun series and I am really surprised by that.
Oh, and I forgot. I cannot wait to see what will be Maeve's reaction when her new boyfriend finally reveals to her that Otis actually "shrinked 'em".
I give it 7 out of 10. Excellent. Maybe it should only deserve a 6, but I liked it very much.
Here, the director, which is also a drafter (drawing artist), purposely try to create something bigger. And, from my humble opinion, it works... most of the time.
The first part of the movie is outstanding. Simply brilliant. This is the story of a young kid who is, for the lack of a better word, impertinent. The young actor, Kacey Mottet Klein, is wonderful. What makes his performance even better is that he's got a Swiss accent from Lausanne, that is giving him an oddity that works perfectly.
Twenty-two minutes into the film, we leave the young kid to experience the adult life of Serge Gainsbourg. There is a clear cut and I must say I found the first story more interesting. As if the story of an impertinent kid could have been a movie on its own. There's this magic with kids that you don't find with adults. And suddenly, the magic is less present. But still, the film keeps being interesting. We get to meet many famous people from great eras and at the end, this is a story about facing our own demons. And the very imaginative scenes are very enjoyable.
I give it 7 out of 10. Excellent.
After three episodes, I must say that the characters are very good. I will watch all the episodes of this first season, that's now a certainty.
I give it 5 out of 10. Good.
Anyway, I give it 4 out of 10. Not bad, but not good. Pure average.
Let me get this straight, I would have never ever watched this series if not for Gillian Anderson, an actress I find particularly talented.
I must say I was surprised by the production quality of the show. While it is far from being a groundbreaking exercise, there are definitely high production values in this show. The opening shot actually tells it all from the start. The editing is fast and we go straight to the point.
I give it 5 out of 10. A good and fun exercise. Nothing more, nothing less.
I give it 5 out of 10. The album is not good, but the final song is genius. The last album of a great artist.
After two reggae albums, Serge Gainsbourg, once again, completely changes his style and, this time, goes towards a modern rock style coming straight from New York. Recorded in New Jersey, the album is having really a great sound that is so iconic from the 80's and just beautiful. I love it.
In terms of the lyrics, Serge Gainsbourg is writing very simple yet efficient lyrics. A few aphorisms between French and English, a nice song and that's a wrap! But some texts are very rough and, while not very thoughtful, work. While I prefer when he spent the time to write lyrics for "Histoire de Melody Nelson", I must admit I also very much enjoy these simple and rough lyrics.
The album ends with the beautiful song "Lemon Incest", sang with his daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg. The result is truly magnificent and you'd be really stupid to think that this song is anything but a song from a loving father purposely trying to provoque while never crossing the yellow line.
I give it 8 out of 10. A beautiful sound and rough but great lyrics.
The album starts with beautiful words. We are far from the fun aphorisms. Serge Gainsbourg tells a story, utilizing and leveraging the true power of words and mastering an art form. This is so powerful that Gainsbourg uses the past simple (passé simple) to set the story, which is very simple. An older man drives with his Rolls Royce and suddenly hit a younger woman called Melody. At the end of the opening seven-minute song, he finally asks her name:
- Tu t'appelles comment ? (What's your name?)
- Melody comment ? (Melody what?)
- Melody Nelson.
All is said.
Second song, "Ballade de Melody Nelson" a beautiful and simpler song, but with Jean-Claude Vannier's classical arrangements are beyond words. Simply magical. The entire exercise is totally mastered and I will here stop with the superlatives. At least for a sentence.
Third song, "Valse de Melody". A crazy beautiful waltz, in which the narrator explains that the Sun is rare, but that everything moves around with Melody.
But during the sixth and joyful song, suddenly everything stops. We can hear the sound of the wind, and the narrator explains that he lost his beauty in a plane crash.
The album then ends with beautiful voices from beyond the grave.
I give it 10 out of 10. A perfect timeless classic. Music beyond music. A perfect symbiosis between words and music. As Serge would say... "pas dégueu" (not disgusting).
But back on the album, Serge Gainsbourg finds the inspiration with Jane and composes a full album for her. The result is fantastic. The first song, "Je t'aime moi non plus", although not composed for her originally, is extremely iconic. Brigitte Bardot has recorded it with him originally, but decided not to release it. Gainsbourg thinks that it is a great song and decides to record it with Jane Birkin. For aficionados of Gainsbourg, I would strongly recommend to listen to both versions and make up your mind.
What I love about Jane Birkin's way of singing is that some notes are so high that she aims for those in a sublime and original way, exacerbating the emotions of the words.
"69 année érotique" is also a very iconic song, in a very similar slightly erotic theme.
"Elisa", taken from the soundtrack of "L'horizon", is once again a beautiful and classic song from Gainsbourg.
Serge also re-records two songs, that he originally composed for others, "Sous le soleil exactement" (for the movie "Anna", sung by Anna Karina) and "Les sucettes" (the highly erotic and sensual song composed for France Gall).
"Manon", is one of my favorite songs from Gainsbourg (but I have so many that I don't even see the point of counting). Composed for the movie "Manon 70", I find it highly original, complex and overall beautiful.
I give it 8 out of 10. As superb as Jane on the cover of the album.
Not mentioning the great songs that come straight from previous albums, here are my favorite original songs from this one:
"Un jour comme un autre"
"L'eau à la bouche", that was released on the soundtrack of the eponymous film
I give it 6, only referring to the original songs. The others were part of previous albums.
"Docteur Jekyll et Monsieur Hyde"
"Bonnie And Clyde"
"Qui est 'In', qui est 'Out'"
I give it 8 out fo 10. Superb.
Anna is the soundtrack of the eponymous film, starring Anna Karina, Jean-Claude Brialy. The album is totally different from the previous studio albums from Gainsbourg. Since this is a soundtrack, most people do not even know about it, and that is a shame. The album is excellent and almost look like a first try at a concept album.
I really loved the oddities, such as Jean-Claude Brialy and Serge Gainsbourg talking/singing about women on some very interesting music. In a way, this is slam album before the slam style even existed.
In a way, this is the real beginning of Gainsbourg, as we know him. This album plays with melodies, Gainsbourg talks in some songs, the rules are all broken and this is suddenly much more interesting and exciting than a typical album with a few great songs and lots of boring ones.
"Sous le soleil exactement"
"Pas mal, pas mal du tout"
"Rien rien j'disais ça comme ça"
"Un poison violent, c'est ça l'amour"
"De plus en plus, de moins en moins"
"Him: Avec elle tout est possible, pour moi ce sera merveilleux pour la première fois.
Her: Avec lui tout s'rait possible, malgré que ce ne soit jamais bien la première fois. Ce s'rait sûrement pas mal, et puis d'mieux en mieux, après quoi ça irait de plus en plus mal."
I give it 6 out of 10. Very good.
INSPIRATION v PLAGIARISM
Interestingly, Gainsbourg will also later be known as someone who makes deep... "hommages". You probably do not know that his famous song "New York USA" is actually taken from a Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olatunji, titled "Akiwowo". "Joanna" and "Marabout" are also songs taken from the same artist, respectively "Kiyakiya" and "Gin-go-lo-ba". And don't look for this artist's name within the album, as Gainsbourg did not provide any credits. This is where I think, we are closer to plagiarism than inspiration. But since this is Gainsbourg we are talking about, this is about taking something and making it grandiose. Suddenly, an unknown melody is getting the Gainsbourg's touch and getting an entirely new dimension. "New York USA" is a sublime song, there is no denying it. So, if you want to call some of Gainsbourg's work as plagiarism, you have to first add a positive adjective. Brilliant plagiarism is what comes to my mind.
"New York USA"
"Ces petits riens"
I give it 6 out of 10. Very good. 4 great songs.
"Chez les yé-yé"
"No No Thanks No"
"Chez les yé-yé"
I give it 6 out of 10. Very good.
"Black Trombone", a wonderful song that I could listen endlessly. This is just pure jazz!
"Vilaines filles, mauvais garçon", not a perfect song, but clearly the first attempt at pop and ye-ye.
"La javanaise", such a classic song. What I like as well is that the recording of Gainsbourg's voice is a bit saturated, and it works so well.
"Un violon, un jambon", just fun.
I give it 6 out of 10. Very good. Gainsbourg starts to become very, very interesting.
"En relisant ta lettre" is an interesting writing style.
"Chanson de Maglia" is having a calm and nice melody.
"Les femmes c'est du chinois" is a nice song, in which Gainsbourg talks about a few women.
I give it 5 out of 10. Good.
I give N°2 2 out of 10. I find this iron and I think this may not be really deserved, but this shows a clear transition from some other magnificent albums. Overall, I'm probably too rough here, but I don't like this album at all.
Gainsbourg already talks about women and behind all of that, you can already sense that you are in front of a misogynist feminist. And I like to end this review on an aphorism of my own. I think this is the best way for me to show my respect to one of my favourite artists and pay my own little tribute.
I give it 5 out of 10. Good. A groundbreaking first song followed by very interesting and not so powerful other songs. A great style, but it deserves more work.
I had seen Captain America in all the Marvel movies, except this one. In those films, he's perfect, always dead serious and at the end not much fun. In a sense, he's the perfect opposite to the wildly fun Iron Man.
And then, my friend Gruic gave me the spark to go back and watch the entire MCU from the beginning:
- Iron Man was fun!
- The Incredible Hulk had a good first part, but then was really average.
- Iron Man 2 was a disaster.
- Thor was a great surprise, as I expected a really bad film and saw quite the opposite.
So here comes Captain America: The First Avenger. Let me jump right to it. I loved it! It reminded me of the good old stories with Nazis performing with paranormal activities. In a way, this film is almost like a depiction of the video game Return to Castle Wolfenstein. It got the all package. Nazis, references to the Führer, great and stylish design, train heist, a scent of the 40's, fights in planes, you name it!
But let me start with the beginning.
The reason I hated Captain America so much is that he was perfect. You should have seen my face when I discovered him as a frail and small man at the beginning of that film. That was just brilliant, truly magnificent. It was so much fun, every frame was a delight to watch. I actually never learned what was the backstory of this character and how he actually became Captain America.
Suddenly, Captain America actually has a name, Steve Rogers. He's being bullied and you cannot not root for him. Because we always love seeing the little guys succeeding against the bullies. That's why we all love Back to the Future and Marty McFly going against big bullies.
Also, in this film, we actually never know if Captain America is immortal or not. Of course, from the beginning, we know he will reappear in the future (or actually in the present day), but throughout the film, we just see him as extremely strong, or even a step further (obviously, even the strongest person couldn't manage a shield like he does.) I think that was extremely clever, as I really physically hate watching immortal characters fighting each other on screen. This is more boring that watching a cloud moving.
I really liked the concept of providing only this power to a weak man, so that he would never forget where he came from. That really touched a chord in me and I think this is a concept you can duplicate on other areas of life as well.
Also, I was very surprised to see Hugo Weaving in that film. He is so talented to play bad guys, as we, once again, all loved him as the bad guy in The Matrix (I said The Matrix, I did not mention the sequels, all right?) And his red face, àla The Mask was pure evil and worked beautifully. The contrast with the white from his teeth (yeah, that may be an odd comment) was really great. That was the designer in me talking here. Moving on.
The look of the film is really great as well, and while I am sure I would not have gone this way if I was a producer on this film, I must admit that the modern look worked very well. It embeds quite nicely with the old touch and we still are able to breath this scent from the 40's - I'm talking about the 1940's, in case someone reads this review thirty years from now.
So, overall, this is really a big action movie, without too much meat on the bone, but still very, very enjoyable. Therefore, I am really surprised to give it 7 out of 10. I was so sure to experience an awful film that I may raise the bar a little bit too much. Maybe I'll review it in a few years and will give it only a 6 or even a 5. But surely, I won't give a lower rating than this. Go, Cap!
I started to hear about Fortnite a couple of months ago. A few instances here and there. Just the name. I did not know really what it was or what was the concept. I guess at one point I knew it was a game. And then I saw the icon of the mobile game. And I remember watching a video review of an iPad and the reviewer talked about Fortnite. I almost knew in advance that I might lose lots of useful hours of my life by installing it. But as the banned commercial from the original Xbox said, "life is short, play more."
So, I installed it on my 2017 iPad Pro 10.5-inch. The first feeling I had was to feel completely lost. In the beginning of the game, you've got the ability to kill everyone, without actually killing anyone. It felt so random I really did not understand what was happening. And as soon as I had got a grip of it, the game stopped and I was in... a flying bus going over a mysterious island. Well... okay, I guess. And suddenly, I was thrown out of the bus without any warning, jumping towards an island I knew nothing about.
LET'S PLAY A GAME!
And then, the really fun began! Oh, boy. I quickly understood that that was the real game. An island, 100 players, FIGHT! The goal? Become the very last man standing. The concept, while totally not new, felt really refreshing in its great and simple implementation. I became hooked in a couple of minutes.
MOBILE v PC v CONSOLE
After playing for a while on the iPad Pro only, I then was surprised to learn that there was a Playstation 4 version... and that version was free! I jumped on my PS4, removed all the dust out of it, and had no clue how to start it! I promise this is true. I checked the electricity, I really could not switch it on. I had to Google "how to start slim PS4" to learn where was the button. Yes, it had been a while I played with my console.
The game's design was just amazing. Maybe most games from today look that good, but at least, coming back from the mobile version, the console version was visually outstanding! The stars, the light, the all package. But, unfortunately, I hated that version. The reason? The controllers. Because Fortnite is an odd game. Nine times out of ten, when hit, you die instantly. This is not a game where you have to shoot and shoot and shoot at someone to kill him/her. It is not a game where you regenerate automatically by just waiting behind a tree. No, in Fortnite, you spend lots of time getting there, and then all ends very quickly. Better get ready for it. And better play with proper input device. The gamepad felt totally wrong to carefully hit someone extremely quickly. Because, as mentioned, when you've got to kill someone, you usually just have a second and that's it. You cannot afford to slowly aim at someone. You need ultimate precision. So, maybe there's a way to play with a mouse and keyboard on the PS4. Actually, let me Google that...
- Done! -
Wow, okay. So, let me explain. First, you can definitely hook a keyboard and mouse to your Playstation. Second, Fortnite will actually separate the players by input device. What that means is that if you play with a gamepad, like most of the population, you'll be playing versus people with gamepads. But if you play with a keyboard and mouse, then you'll be playing against the same type of population. Just by thinking of it, I would say that this seems like a fair solution. Why would you put people with a disadvantage against others with better material? Of course, I'm sure that some people reading these words will say that they can play as good as the others with a gamepad, but I'm not interested in debating minorities. For most people, playing with a gamepad is less precise and therefore more difficult. That's a fact and yes, the truth not only exists but matters.
Back to the explanation, you can then not change the input device while you are playing. The game would not allow it. You can only do this while being in the lobby. You'll see not only your region but your input device on the upper right corner of your screen. Maybe by the time you read this review, this icon will be someplace else, as we live in a world where nothing is permanent, except for this awesome Website that you are on. But I digress.
PREVIOUSLY... ON FORTNITE
One of the great element of Fortnite is that it utilizes all the latest techniques and feels truly modern. You can play sitting on your couch at home on your Playstation 4 against people using their smartphone in a train in Brazil or a tablet in Tokyo. Welcome to the wonderful world of technology, I guess. Not only that, but like with TV series, there are seasons in the game. I was really positively surprised when a 9-year old told me this while playing the game with the voice chat feature on. (More on that later). Indeed, every once in a while, a new season is released, meaning that the map is changing. Suddenly, I went from season 6 to 7 and there was snow, new elements, new tools, new vehicles. This provides an outstanding way to change the gameplay and making things more interesting and financially, keeping your audience interested of course. Remember the crazy period when Pokemon Go was released? For about three weeks, all the young kids in the world (at least in the rich countries) were outside, chasing Pokemons. I must admit I was one of them, even going outside in the middle of the evening just to get a rare Pokemon. Hell, I even started to randomly take the bus in an effort to get Pokemons... without any effort. I think I am revealing way too much about me in this review, time to be more formal.
Season 7 introduced, to me, one of the best features of all. Planes! Suddenly, you could jump into a small plane and the battle was not only taking place on earth, but also in the sky. This is so much fun that all I want right now is to stop this review and play a game. Yeah, I'm that excited about this game. There also the possibility to have team players joining you and standing on your wings while you fly it through the sky.
Did I mention the storm? Jee, I forgot about that. I guess I should have started with that. So, while the island is quite big and the number of players keep going down throughout a match, the size of the island where you can stand also keeps shrinking. The clever idea was to introduce a kind of electrical storm (I'm sure there is a backstory for that, which I'm not aware), which reduces your game area so much that at the end, you always end up with just a handful of players fighting each other in a very secluded area. Get ready for the end!
FROM A CAMPER...
Yes, I am a camper. I play such video games like I live, very securely and wanting to master my environment. I play video games like if I was living it. Let me ask you that question, and I apologize in advance if I shouldn't mix video games and real suffering, but hey, didn't I say that life was short at the beginning of this review? So, in real life, during war time, if you knew there would be 100 people outside, wanting to desperately kill you, would you run around the streets, ride motorcycles in empty fields and run towards the enemy? Well, not me. Let me tell you what I would do if suddenly 100 people were outside my window. I would first take as much ammunitions as I could get, and then I would hide myself. Anywhere. In the basement, in a hole in the ground, in the attic, anywhere. So, that's my technique. Or at least that was my technique before the release of the planes. I would just get my stuff and run in a house and hide there. The problem is of course that there's the storm shrinking (actually increasing), so you usually cannot stay hidden for very long.
...TO A FREQUENT FLYER
This is when I became a flyer. As soon as I saw the planes in season 7, I took off and stayed there for so long that I think the studio that created Fortnite should award me tons of miles and make me a frequent flyer. I probably shouldn't share my awesome technique, but anyway, let me share the brilliancy of my master plan. Time for a quote from The Dark Knight Rises first:
- Now what's the next step of your master plan?
- Crashing this plane...
Enters Hans Zimmer's music. Tam tam, tam tam tam tam.
Oops, too much quote for today.
As I was saying, my master plan is a three-steps plan:
1. Step One! You shall find some resources. That means finding a proper gun and more if you want. That usually serves no purpose, as the end is always very quick.
2. Step Two! A plane you must find! Jump into a plane. Preferably always the same. Why changing a great recipe for victory?
3. Step Three! Fly, you must. Just fly as much as possible, until the storm is so big that you can only leave it.
4. Step Four! Hide in a tree. Yes, that's my awesome secret technique. If you are lucky, there may be a big tree where you can hide in the final area. Just find one if you can and hide within the top side of it.
5. Step Five! Kill or be killed. This is the ultimate step. And you know what? Figure it out yourself! And pray you don't end up against yours truly! *
This game also has a very fun option, which I actually stopped using for a very obvious reason.
You have the ability to use voice chat in the team mode. I first thought this was great, but ended up 9 times out of 10 with... little kids. This was actually super cute and very fun. I made a 9-year old friend from France, Max, that actually taught me most of what I shared here. I use this opportunity to thank him, in case one day he ends up on this review. He told me about the seasons (I had no clue), a few expressions like "being top one!" (that means winning, obviously) and we started talking about various things. When I was waiting for him to come back from school to play, we would have discussions about school and when my girlfriend saw me doing that, I suddenly felt very out of place. I had another friend who used to call me "Brother", and I always wondered if he would imagine who I was. Actually, that's the beauty of video game. Like in sport, no one cares who you are, what color you are, where you come from, you are all equal and have fun together. And I find it very cool.
Still, I would recommend not using voice chat, as this is a step too much for me. I much prefer being calm and playing alone, as most team players are super bad anyway and die before I even touch on the ground.
Oh, that reminds me, I just forgot about another step! Let me call this one:
0. Step Zero! Stay in the air as much as possible at first. What I always do is this. I stay in the flying bus until it reaches the end of the island and throws you away (bollocks!, to say with an Irish accent). Then, I open my... umbrella (or any other option you have to fly) and stay in the air as long as possible.
Because this is a game of numbers. You are number 100 and you need to be number 1. So, do you think you have more chance against 100 people or against 50? Because if you stay in the air as much as possible, most of the time, when I touch the ground, there are only about 60 players remaining. That means that actually, I never play against 100 players, but against 60. I really don't understand why most of the people just jump into a fight and always die after a few seconds or minute. People are sheep. Learn to be different, young apprentice, and you may finish Top 1, as my friend Max would say.
An outstanding game. I give it 9 out of 10. Outstanding. And I say hi to Max!
* Actually, if you end up against me, your odds will be entirely in your favor. I usually die at the end.
Although there were a few grammatical errors (although probably not as much as in this review), I liked the style as well and found a couple of interesting sentences, such as "The FBI in Washington was now as crooked as his thoughts." or "his eyes older but still blue with a sparkle of pain."
I give it 5 out of 10. Good.
After directing The Incredible Hulk (2008), Kenneth Branagh is back behind the camera to direct the first instalment of Thor. I must say I was captivated by the first part of the film. I was surprised to actually enjoy the story and while the second half does not deliver as much and the story lags and does not progress, it is still a good and enjoyable movie at the end.
I give it 5 out of 10. Good.
The biggest problem of this film is its complete lack of story. There is no clear storyline. During the opening of the film, we think that we might have a nice confrontation between Tony Stark and Mickey Rourke's character. But the confrontation takes place very quickly, at the Monaco Grand Prix. And then, nothing.
We go from one scene to another, and it is as boring as random.
The movie could have been much better if it had been actually much simpler. There are some good ideas, about the character being able to hack and pilot the Iron Man suit. But it is not well developed and does not follow the standard story-arc.
ECCENTRIC OR STUPID?
In the first film, Tony Stark was both eccentric and fun. Here, he is just mostly annoying and acting in a very stupid way. As an example, the congressional hearing is really painful to watch.
Iron Man 2 also introduces the character of Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson. Since she has no special power, except being gorgeous and doing some karate, she is not interesting at all.
ONE MORE THING...
And just a small thing, the people speaking in French in Monaco have actually a very pronounced accent that is nowhere from there. I always wonder how they cannot find French speaking people in Hollywood.
John Favreau does the job and I don't have much to say about the direction, which is pretty clean.
I give it 3 out of 10. Bad.
I first saw this film when I was a kid, and I remember vividly two images. The one with the lady evacuating eggs from her mouth and the one with the autopilot made out of air balloon.
Looking at it as an adulte, I am stunned to see how great this film was. And I think the main reason is that the film is extremely serious. Isn't that ironic? It doesn't try to wink at the camera, it simply throws jokes at the audience like punches in a heavy championship match.
ONE JOKE EVERY TEN SECONDS
While the actors are portraying their characters in an extremely serious matter, the film is filled with so many jokes, but if I had some time to lose, I would calculate the number of jokes and make up an average per minute. would say the film is on average showing one joke every ten seconds. That's approximately 500 jokes and that takes lots of imagination and, overall, hard work.
NOT AFRAID TO PUNCH!
Released in 1980, this film would surely be highly edulcorated if it was released in today's society. The stewardess can be seen doing a fellatio to the autopilot, black people have their own language, old people are snoring coke, etc.
I give it 7 out of 10. An excellent comedy.
EDWARD NORTON... REALLY?
As I stated in the Iron Man review, the casting of the lead actor is crucial, and even more in a superhero movie. Because there is so much backstory. So, who's playing Hulk, you might ask? Edward Norton. Yeah. Fight Club Edward Norton. As much as Robert Downey Jr. was just a perfect match for the eccentric Tony Stark, Norton is not. And the reason is simple. Edward Norton is having a baby face, that is totally incompatible with the monster-like Hulk.
Don't get me wrong, the first part of the film is good. Edward Norton is living in the favelas, which is such an iconic location. The first shot from director Kenneth Branagh is really outstanding. The movie starts off as a great spy movie, but unfortunately, this is a Hulk movie and we know we'll have to sit through the usual scenes.
And of course, soon enough, we are drawn into the old lover cliché (Liv Tyler), the very boring video game-like scenes, but much worse, we have to sit through scenes with the very bad military. The General is clearly the most annoying character from that film. He's got everything, the attitude, even the moustache.
Also, for a reason I really don't understand, Hulk is not looking at all like Norton. Not even the haircut, nothing. Therefore, it makes it extremely difficult or even impossible to root for the Banner/Hulk character.
But at least, most of the scenes with CGI are taking place in the dark or at night. Except in the worst part, when Hulk is in a big field and that the military keep shooting at him.
Not a bad film, but really not a good one either. A clear average. I give it 4 out of 10.
After an old friend (Guigui) shared how ecstatic he was about the Doctor Who saga, I then went ahead and tried to discover it for myself.
I opened up Netflix and searched for Doctor Who, and since the original series was not there, I simply chose the oldest episode I could find. This is that episode. Season 5, episode 1.
Here we go!
As I expected, being a UK show, the format is clearly different from the usual US cinemascope-like series. But you know what? That felt actually pretty good! Because the show, or at least that particular episode, is very good!
I was really surprised by the excellent quality of the soundtrack. The music, obviously recorded with a real live orchestra, is such an important part of that episode, and gives it a fantastic feeling.
As I discovered, this is the first episode of lead actor Matt Smith. And I was, once again, quite surprised, as he seems like the perfect fit. Smith is beautifully portraying this fun and wit character.
Meanwhile, the story is really interesting, with Doctor Who meeting a young girl, only to reappear 12 years later.
I give it 7 out of 10. Excellent.
This album starts in a way that is quite experimental. The creator of The X-Files series, Chris Carter, can be heard talking about being visitors on this rock, and then you don't even have the time to light a Morley, as all the tracks have no real pause between them.
As a purist, I would normally be against adding voiceovers on top of original music. Not only that, but the dialogue is usually from other episodes. For instance, when you'd expect the dialogue from the end of Nisei (when Mulder jumps on a train), you actually get the dialogue from Anasazi.
But I must say that it works damn well. The dialogue chosen is so iconic that it embeds beautifully within the great music from Mark Snow.
For many X-Philes, the admirers of The X-Files, this album is more than just a disc. It encompasses emotions beyond the normal. Because many of them grew up with the show and, suddenly, this simple TV series became much more.
I think I have listened to the following tracks for more than a thousand of times, really. Here are my favorite tracks from the album:
- Progigno De Axis
- Exoptare Ex Veritas
This album is beyond X-Cellent. I give it 8 out of 10.
I give it 7 out of 10. A very fun and addictive little game. Nothing more, nothing less.
Iron Man is the first movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Looking at it ten years later, it is very easy to see now how it started a global phenomenon and a multi-billion dollars franchise.
As in all movies, the casting is an essential part of the success of the magic of the film. But here, in superhero movies, I think it's even more important. Because casting a superhero seems, to me, more difficult than casting a "normal" character. Superheroes are so iconic that a wrong casting decision can ruin an entire line-up of films (i.e. Ben Affleck as Batman... anyone?)
So, how is Robert Downey Jr. in that role? Simply put, perfect. He *is* the character. He has this kind of friendly madness and oddity that we all love by Downey Jr. He makes everything he touches funny, ironic and interesting.
OVER THE TOP
Clearly, even though this is a superhero film, I want gravity. What I mean by that is that I need to care and feel for the characters and story. And I cannot do that if we break the rules of cinema.
There is one precise moment when I think the movie broke it and that I disliked it. When Iron Man escapes the terrorist compound in flames, you can see him flying extremely high into the sky, only to fall in the sand with just a few scratches. Anyone falling from that high would be dead. Simple as that.
There were then a few other mentions, such as when Tony Stark tries to flies for the first time in his lab. Those moments are fun, but a bit too immature and cartoonish to me.
Meanwhile, Jeff Bridges is such a talented actor that it was a no-brainer. But thinking of it, I don't think he would have been anyone's first choice for that part. This is clearly a brilliant casting decision. Jeff Bridges plays it true and never goes over the top, as so many actors do when portraying bad characters.
The story is very simple and that's why I liked it. We are not in front of a story with portals, other worlds, scepters and other non-sense. To summarize, Tony Stark is working in a weapon factory. He gets kidnapped and builds a robot to escape, becoming Iron Man in the process. While getting his revenge, he realizes that his weapons were used against children and wants to go out of that business. But a Senior Executive (Obadiah Stane, played by Jeff Bridges) from the company does not want to allow that and uses another robot to fight him.
I could give it 4 (average), 5 (good) or 6 (very good). The reason I don't give it 4 is that it is enjoyable and fun. And there are no scenes when you look at the ceiling thinking "Gosh, this is awful." Also, I won't give it 6, as the film is still quite immature and not really satisfying. So, overall, I'll give it 5. A good and fun movie.
I give it 10 out of 10. One of the best games I've had the privilege to play.
At one point, Neo loses his eyes in a fight with Agent Smith impersonated by Bane. The resolution takes about ten seconds. He hast just lost eyesight and already he makes a joke about it, saying to Trinity that she'll have to drive.
I give it 2 out of 10. A worthless ending of a saga that started beautifully.
An outstanding game. I give it 9 out of 10.
BACK TO CGI
The opening of the film is very similar to the one from The Matrix, yet it is clearly different. What made the film so great is suddenly gone. You see, recreating the magic of a film into a sequel is dead hard. The reason is simple. Magic is magical, right?
The first thing that you see is the absence of realism. Suddenly, Trinity is fighting in a video-game-like environment. The beauty of the first film was not CGI, it was a great mix of both CGI and real images. Here, computers are once again over-used and our over-trained eyes know the difference before we even do ourselves.
But much worse, a little bit after, when finally in the Matrix, Neo is fighting countless versions of Agent Smith. I remember that at the time, this scene was hyped by the producer Joel Silver as a groundbreaking scene. But the result is far from it. Because everyone can obviously see that at one point, lead actor Keanu Reeves is replaced by a CGI version. It is so obvious that it is basically doing much worse than the original film, with a much bigger budget and years after.
By going over the top, the result is actually less than in the original film.
The first part of the film is boring as hell. The entire Zion scenes are as bad as it can get. The new characters are stupid and the actors can only provide a very bad performance because having nothing in their hands but a very bad script.
What is really, really bad is that in the first film, we had this great analogy of our own society and a psychological analysis of it all. What is stupid in The Matrix Reloaded is that even when the people are saved from the Matrix, they are still are stupid as before. Even more, since they are now within reality. We get scenes after scenes of captains talking to generals talking to councillors. This is as boring as the Star Wars prequels' political scenes.
The scenes taking place within The Matrix are far more superior than the rest and in a way it is a shame, as the film could have really been great. And the film could have been saved in post. Give me a few days, and I give you a much shorter and better cut of the film. If I had time to spare, I would really do it. I heard about The Matrix Dezionized fan cut, but it is pretty bad, I think.
There are countless ways to end this film in order to either have a great cliffhanger with The Matrix Revolutions or simply end in a nice way. Well, the Wachowskis did it the worst possible way. This last shot on the bad guy is really awful.
I give it 3 out of 10. Bad.
The game is superb on so many levels.
I give it 9 out of 10. Outstanding.
Released in 1999, The Matrix is one of those films that turned moviegoers to the 21th century.
I was 15 at the time this movie came out, and I remember precisely going with some friends in the nearest city to watch it on the big screen, and then coming back and mimicking the fight scenes while waiting for the train. I was hooked instantly and the film had a huge impact on our generation.
I had purchased the Nokia 8110 phone, the same as the one from the film, I had bought the sunglasses as well, even though there were not exactly like the ones from the film - anyway.
While the film is visually revolutionary, its story-arc structure is classic. Discovery, the inciting moment (Neo is joining the Matrix), the moment where we think that all hope is lost (the ship under attack and Neo dead), the climatic resolution (Neo becomes the One and saves the day) and the epilogue (Neo flies!).
The special effects were truly revolutionary in 1999 and watching this film almost twenty years after, I must say they did aged well. There is a right mix of CGI and real effects. CGI cannot go without real effects (while the opposite can.)
The sets of the film are truly terrific.
Visually, the movie is sublime. Green is the color, but this is way beyond that.
The score from Don Davis is extremely powerful and working beautifully.
The story is great because we can all relate to Neo, being stuck in a life that feels real but is not. I really loved this concept, as well as the references to Alice in Wonderland.
One of the reason the film works so well is because the Matrix feels real, in a sense that the characters can actually die within the Matrix. This makes this film completely different from most of the superhero movies, where the superheroes are actually usually invincible.
An outstanding sci-fi movie. I give it 9 out of 10.
I give it 9 out of 10. Outstanding.
I hated that film. First, the beginning is not working at all. We feel no connection whatsoever with Natalie Portman's character. What is ironic is that the beginning of the film is extremely emotional, but I did not feel a glimpse of an emotion towards Portman having lost her husband. And believe me, I am a very easy audience when it comes to falling for emotions.
Second, the film is visually unappealing to me. The countless light flares make us thing that we are watching a bad movie from J.J. Abrams, but since I did not see Spock in the movie, I guess he did not direct this one.
Third, the flashbacks of the movie are really, really boring and not providing much meat on the already inexistent bone.
The movie lasts for two hours, but it could easily have been a 40-something minute episode of a TV series. To be frank, this may have been an okay Star Trek or Stargate episode. Nothing more.
(Do not read further as I will drop the only spoiler of the movie and spoil the entire film for you. You have been warned.)
And out of almost two hours, the conclusion takes maybe ten minutes. Natalie Portman (I have no clue what was her character's name an do not care one bit) seems to be back from the so-called Shimmer. But no, she actually died and was replaced by an alien. End of story. Credits rolling.
While I liked that particular second when we realize that she has been replaced and that this alien is actually reuniting with her lover, I really don't think it deserved an entire film just for that.
A very bad film, I give it 2 out of 10. Don't watch it.
But what's really interesting is that this Master System version is actually much better than the Sega Genesis version! That is quite odd and a proof that more power doesn't necessarily means a better game.
I give it 7 out of 10. Excellent.
On a still catchy soundtrack, we move forward into the water and have to destroy all the boats and helicopters.
Design-wise, the boats look like fish, which is a very clever thing, as they also react very fast and almost have fish abilities.
The game itself is not very long, but it is still great. The overall concept is extremely simple and very, very addictive. So addictive, that I end my review here and go back playing this superb game.
I give it 8 out of 10. Superb.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein is one of my all-time favorite games. I'm only talking about the single player part, as I don't care about multiplayer mode.
The cinematic portions of the game are real fun. Sure, there is no subtlety, but that's not the point of this game. This game is about shooting Nazi AND Nazi-created monsters. There are many surprises throughout the game and overall it was much fun.
I give it 9 out of 10. A classic.
In the late 90's, the thing to do was 3D. So, even though Super Mario was just awesome in 2D, Nintendo jumped on it and created this game, which I never actually played for more than a few minutes. Hence a very poor review for what I think is a very poor game as well.
I give it 2 out of 10. 3D nonsense.
Also, the graphics are much more different from the classic Super Mario games and that is quite a relieve. At the time, there was no complex consoles where you had to use a smartphone and a tablet and whatnot. Just a Super Nintendo and a great game. Nothing less, nothing more.
One thing that was deeply annoying though, was baby Mario crying for most of the game. The reason is that I used to play so fast and so careless that I would get hit and then had to save the baby each time.
I give it 8 out of 10. A superb game.
As for the game, it may look completed outdated today, twenty years later, but I can assure you that I really was hooked and couldn't stop playing this game.
I give it 8 out of 10. Superb.
First, the story is very complex and far from anything I had seen before at the time. This is not about saving yet another princess or killing people simply for the sake of it. You can clearly see that lots of work went into the story.
The animation was really well done.
I give it 10 out of 10. A classic.
Visually, the backstory of Cygnus, with his late mother laying in the icy sea is phenomenal. To make it even more perfect, we discover that his cloth is hidden in the middle of an ancient ice mountain. Just wonderful.
The rest of the episode is quite similar to the first two. We get a fight, we think the good guy will lose... only to see him winning at the end.
A wonderful visual introduction of Hyoga. I give it 8 out of 10.
Still, the story of Seiya looking for his sister is really compelling and works beautifully. Seiya decides to fight and win the Galactic Tournament, in order to find his sister.
I give it 6 out of 10. Very good.