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Picture This!

Not a bad picture
Not a bad picture (no pun intended). It's a nice little raw comedy about a guy who finds out all the people he's snapping shots with his camera phone end up in his apartment. He decides to try to get a shot of his favorite model.

The very funny ending is well delivered and I won't spoil it for you here. Needless to say, it flows very well with the weird premise of this short film.

It's a very dry production and is a little raw sometimes. I'd like to think it's a desired effect, but I get the impression that's the highest level of production that was available. If you don't mind the unstable cameras, you shouldn't be too distracted from the film.

Enjoy it for what it is and you'll like it in the end.

L'inventaire fantôme

Phantom Pleasure
This was a very original concept and it was beautifully executed. The animation and the music in this short film give it an outer world feel.

It's the story of a bailiff that goes to a collector's home to seize some of his goods. When he finds the collector's secret storage room, he's in for a shock when he begins flagging objects with his "To be seized" tickets.

There is very little dialogs in this animated short, but in my opinion it doesn't make it any less good. In fact, it makes it more accessible because of the french voice-overs (although when I watched it, the few lines were subtitled). I'm French, so I can vouch that the translations were accurate and faithful to the original lines.

The only thing I can negatively comment on is that it's very short (I know, it's supposed to be short). But, I think another 5 minutes to explain why the bailiff goes to the collector's home would have been a nice intro. Perhaps it is fitting that the bailiff's motives are as obscure as the general "feel" of this short film.

It's hard to describe and comment on what I loved about this short animation without spoiling anything. Needless to say, I did not address the surprise ending - that, you'll need to experience for yourself.

Shooting Blanks

Excellent production
I was impressed by the whole production of this short. If you get a chance to catch this little film, it's worth seeking out.

The story is quite original: cupid is a drunk trying to figure out his purpose and correcting his past mistakes.

The actors give it a near perfect delivery, and I hope to see more of their work. I love the last scene and the actor gives a very powerful performance.

Although this movie is very short, it deserves a lot of praise, in all aspects of its excellent production. The script is very original and the characters immerse you into the film very easily. I believe this is the first short film I rate a 9 out of 10. Go find it.

Noël Blank

Very touching (for lack of a better word)
Wow, a very good short film. I'll try to comment as much as I can without spoiling anything. It's mostly about an Alzheimer dad that goes home to spend a Christmas with his son. He has trouble remembering his son but his son pushes on and tries to give him a good Christmas.

There's a twist at the end, which I won't mention, so you have to go watch it. You won't be disappointed. It's very touching (for lack of a better word).

The acting is very good, especially the actor that plays the dad. I happened on this film on Movieola, I wish I had it recorded so I could see it again. When you get to the end, you kinda want to watch it over to see the little clues you missed. So pay attention, even if the first 3/4 of it seems slow. In the end, you'll understand my comment title "very touching".

If you want something different, this is true gem.


A True Surprise
This witty little film was very, very well done.

At first, I didn't like the visuals - it's a little off-color and grainy. A fine touch for the art fan I suppose.

But the story and the delivery makes this an incredible journey - even if it lasts only a few minutes.

The actors are very good at moving the story forward in so little time. You kinda feel like making this film was very fun experience.

If you get a chance to catch this little movie, it's worth a look. In the end you really do get a surprise.

(I wish there wasn't this minimum 10 lines of text - otherwise, this sentence wouldn't be here).


Very good psychological insight
This is a very good short film and I was very pleased to fall upon it. I've been trying to find it on DVD somewhere without success, but if you do happen to see it, it's worth a look.

I was very interested in this film mainly because of my work in mental health - and the writer has a very good way of showing abnormal illness behaviors on screen.

It's hard for people to understand why someone would do so many things that are considered bizarre. Maybe some will think that this movie is an extreme - believe me, this happens. The main actress is very convincing.

If you can find it, it's a very good psychological insight into the abnormal behaviors of a normal person.

How William Shatner Changed the World

The evolution of the Star Trek era
This documentary makes a very nice overview of the evolution of the Star Trek era and how the show changed the world. Of course, it doesn't take itself seriously and Shatner is even able to laugh at his own short sightedness.

You will probably fall into two categories: those who think Star Trek is overrated and those who think Star Trek is underrated. I think I fall somewhere in the middle. Star Trek is based on a world that was evolving even before the show ever took the air. But I think it was a catalyst for the speed at which the technical evolution was occurring.

Worth viewing if you remotely like Star Trek and a nice showcase of the evolution of technology as pushed by "Star Trek geeks".

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Better than I expected
For the genre of the movie and the fact that it had the "sequel" curse to fight, I think this movie was better than I expected. The locations were great and the action, even if the movie was a little long, was well worth seeing it in theaters. I know a lot of people are iffy about the ending, but I found it was well done. It's not like it leaves you in the middle of the adventure, you still get a sense of it being an entity on its own.

The only things I didn't like about it were 1) the make-up (ok, Keira's beautiful but does her face have to look pristine after a fight?), and 2) the big difference in accents and "level of education" between characters.

If you approach the movie like you're going to see a movie version of a book - and you know the story could have been better - you'll still like the experience. And because, not in spite of, the ending, it's a lot better than I expected.

Superman Returns

Great special effects, but not that great
OK, it's a good movie so it gets 7 out of 10. But it's dragged out far too long, and in my opinion, the key actors are too young to pull off their "perceived maturity". I mean, if Superman's been gone for the past 5 years, and we consider that it's a sequel to Superman II, how come he still looks like he's 18 years old, know what I mean? Bosworth herself is only 23 years old and she even looks younger than her age.

But there are some nice surprises and Kevin Spacey's performance, although short, is very good. I like the plot though, I just wish they had characters (as opposed to playing characters) to deliver it a little better. Clark for example, spends almost all his on screen time just driving the point that he acts like a dork. (Clark = Superman? nah!).

There's something missing about this movie - but I guess I let my love for the hero and my knowledge of the past superman movies/stories fill in the gaps. My hopes were up too high maybe. The special effects are great but that goes without saying for any Hollywood movie during the past decade - bigger and better to try to get you to buy that popcorn. Expect a good movie, and that's what you'll get - good.


Two versions: which one did you see?
I had to give a spoiler warning but I promise to make it light. I'm writing this review because I saw two different cuts of this movie, and one was definitely better than the other.

The first half the movie seems the same in both versions, so I won't comment on it. But the climax and ending is very different. Just so you can identify which one you saw, without me spoiling too much, try to remember if you saw the sphere at the very end of the movie. If you didn't, you saw the crappy version. The climax of them trying to escape near the end is cut down to barely there, and it seems like although this was done to put more time on the plot, I find it suffers because you don't really understand the full impact of their "powers". For those who saw the bigger, better ending, you know what these "powers" start to do while they try to escape.

While both versions of this movie are average and don't really deserve a viewing unless you're a fan of the genre, I have to admit one version definitely lacks thrill near the end. If you didn't see the cut where you see the sphere in the end (and it would be obvious), it might explain why it wasn't quite as enjoyable as it could have been. I give the dull cut a 5/10, and the sphere cut a 7/10 - so I'll vote halfway at 6/10.

Underworld: Evolution

Completes the mythology
I found this movie held up to my expectations quite nicely. That said, you still have to expect a little typical vampire/werewolf movie "cheese". But compared to all others of the genre, this is definitely on top of the list.

The movie completes the mythology that was touched upon in the first installment. I've very happy that most if not all characters/actors from the first movie came back to paint a much deeper background story for Celine.I'm sure some will say that it lacks a certain thrill/suspense of the first one, but since the action scenes are a little more tasteful this time around, hopefully it won't diminish your hunger for good old action scenes. On a semi-technical note, I'm glad the director didn't follow the popular trend with a lot of slow motion fight scenes because in my opinion they are really well done.

I kind of wish they would stop there because it would be a shame to go for a trilogy with a bad third movie. But, you a get a sense that such a third film would have to go the way of tragedy to be at all successful, such as a play from Shakespeare we all know.

A definite must see in theaters for fans of the genre, and a good cheap night treat for the casual moviegoer.

Æon Flux

A refreshing take on live action anime
I don't get all the low votes for this movie. If you take this movie for what it is, it's very enjoyable.

I guess most people won't be able to appreciate the subtly of this movie - and trying to describe it in this review is very difficult. It's not for everyone, that's for sure. The plot is light but that's what it's supposed to be. It's like a painting: you might say, well it's just an apple and I've seen lots of apples, and that's that. But it's in the way, the style, the choices made in its delivery that make this movie a piece of art. But if you're comparing it to every other apple out there, you're missing the point of its originality.

If you like sci-fi, go see it. If you like anime, go see it but don't expect a direct translation. While it's the same apple, it's a whole other medium, and as such, a unique viewing experience.

Danny Deckchair

Finally a romantic comedy a guy can watch
This little movie was very refreshing from the usual romantic comedy machine that Hollywood cranks out just to make a few bucks from romance novel loving ladies.

Here's the point: it was a little funny, it was a little romantic, it was a little dramatic, and it was fun to watch. The acting isn't overdone and really makes you get in with the characters. I took a few points off for the editing, sometimes it jumps around a little too much, but for me it wasn't too distracting since everything else made up for it.

Following the romance story of a guy that falls from the sky in a woman's backyard - doesn't it sound intriguing?

If you like the genre, definitely a different, refreshing pick - and one that guys can watch without regret. But if you're not in the mood for a little romance story, save it for another time.

Saw II

A great sequel - a rare thing
This movie is awesome! Even if you don't like the genre, it would be hard to admit this movie is not a worthy sequel. This movie leaves an impression on me not unlike another of my favorites, Cube (thanks LGF!).

The ending caught be a little by surprise, and not many movies can do that to me. It also holds some of the goriest scenes I've seen. It also answers some of my questions left from the first movie, although if you're not looking for them, it won't be obvious.

I wish I could spoil the movie and talk about all the awesome things in it. But if you're reading this wondering if you should see it in theaters - RUN! Everyone in the theater was at the edge of their seats. You definitely will miss the atmosphere if you wait to watch it at home.

Only if you hated the first movie should you pass on this sequel - everyone else, enjoy it!

Miss Météo

A Guilty Pleasure
A very nice little film about weather girl turning 40 and looking for love. Although I'm not usually fond of the romantic comedy genre, this one is at least up to par with the usual American flavor. A few spins on the genre, which I won't spoil for you here, still makes it very original even if the story is quite predictable.

The acting is what really keeps you interested in the characters. But, if you don't hold at least a small interest in them, the story itself probably won't keep you watching. The editing of the movie is quite remarkable, and you probably wouldn't notice it unless you take a minute to consider how easy it was to immerse yourself into this movie. Some of the jokes don't translate well if you're not french, but it's definitely worth a look if you can relate to the movie.

Definitely a great production and if you like the genre, a guilty pleasure.

I Heart Huckabees

I love comedies - this isn't it
I have to start by admitting that this movie is quite original and has a great cast.

That being said, that's pretty much all I liked about it.

There's something significant missing to this movie - and perhaps it is fitting that the true fans of this movie spend their time wondering what that is.

It definitely looked like the cast had more fun playing the parts than we did watching them. Perhaps it would make an incredible presence on Broadway compared to the average hit at the box office.

I really like this genre, so it pains me that I couldn't give this a better rating. The movie definitely is interesting, but it's not that funny, so don't let the "comedy" classification sway you too much. And you better like the cast, because if you don't, the story probably won't keep you interested.

With all this said, if you're wondering if you should watch this movie or not, I say go ahead, because it hit a lot of people in the right place : their heart.

Lost in Translation

It will leave its mark
This movie left quite a mark on me. It's hard to pinpoint why. I'm sure some of you just don't get the good reviews this movie is getting. And if you've already seen the movie and didn't like it, this isn't going to convince you.

But, if you're wondering if you should see this movie at all, then let me help you. If you're not in a hurry, if you like talking to strangers, if you're not afraid of being alone - then yes, see this movie. The movie takes its time to really get into the characters because that's what it's ultimately about. It's about people that enter our lives only for a short time, but change who we are for the rest of our lives.

I'm probably never going to see this movie again. And perhaps that's a good thing. The movie left a little mark in me that I'm sure would be ruined by watching it a second time. Maybe some of it is because most of the movie is about getting to know the characters, and I know them already.

This is a situation where you just have to decide to jump in, hold your breath until the end, and have confidence that the director knew what she was doing. And if she succeeds with you, the movie will leave its mark.


Simple look into the complication that is love
This is a nice little movie, if you're in the right mood for it. It's a pretty simplistic approach into the act of falling in love, out of love and everything in between. The four main characters weave in and out of each other's lives.

I'm sure it's easy for a few out there to recognize themselves in this movie. Each character goes through the cycle from victim to aggressor in some form of another.

And for those who don't relate, they probably didn't enjoy the movie as much. The narrow viewer-ship and the simplicity of the script is the only notch I'm taking out for the rating of this movie.

If you can figure out that ultimately the movie is about lies, then everyone can relate to that. In the end, one of the characters takes you to the end of their journey, and you kind of feel like the movie lied to you - so you really get to relate. But if you're not into that kind of thing, perhaps the movie will have you feel a little raw.

Very good acting and a nice little movie - if you like the genre.

The Bone Snatcher

Good effort, didn't pull it off in the end (litterally)
I think it's easy to give this movie a little more praise than it deserves. But, if this movie had come out in the 1950s, it would have been a smash hit. Since I'm not really from that generation, I can't fully appreciate them, and I couldn't fully appreciate this one either.

The characters don't really know what foot to stand on, and I don't know who to blame, the actors or the script. Even in the face of devastating tragedy, people's personalities don't flipflop as much as the characters did in this movie. The only good moments of the movie come too late and too short to appreciate them. Thought I must admit, the special effects are pretty good for a movie of this type & budget.

Without ruining anything, let's just say that the climax to the movie is shorter than and as exciting as, well, this review. And the actual "winding down" ending of the movie - which in typical films lasts but a few minutes - is longer than the actual climax of the film.

I hope you have a good imagination - you'll need it to give this movie the extra humph it needs to deserve your attention.

The Butterfly Effect

Surprise performances all around
I was really apprehensive about Kutcher making a "serious" movie (if you can call it that). But he, and including most others, really did a good job emoting the characters.

I really love stories based on time travel, so I'm very picky when it comes to reviewing movies about them. I must admit, this movie wasn't as stupid or cheesy as it could have been. I thought the premise was very good, and the ending shows a side of true love that isn't always preferred in typical "Hollywood" romance type movies.

The ultimate sacrifice by both the son and the father has to be commended even though it's not really the most enjoyable part of the movie (or, with the father, not that obvious either).

All in all, a very tight little film, you'll definitely like it if you like the genre.

Phone Booth

Every time a phone rings, an angel gets its revenge
This was a very entertaining movie. Even if the thrills weren't that strong, the plot was still original enough to keep you right in the movie.

The only down side, I thought, was the performance of the two women, especially Katie Holmes. She gives an emotional performance equivalent to a hand puppet. I wish I could blame the script or the director, but unfortunately, she's like that in many of her other movies.

Whether you think the villain, Sutherland, is crazy or sane in this movie, I think you'll agree he pretty much steals the show - as a character and as an actor.


Very regrettable
I don't understand how this movie was allowed to get away with such a bad script. Perhaps this was the child of someone that really, really wanted to make a movie - and had money to spare.

The acting was very poor. Nothing was subtle when it was supposed to be, and it seemed somewhat overdone. At the very best, this could have been short (30 minutes) and I still wouldn't have felt its slim entertainment value.

Very rarely do I ever regret watching a movie. Unless you're a fan of Stallone and just want to brag that you've seen all his movies, stay away from this one.

The Incredibles

Stretched out but overall OK
Overall a good movie. The only problem for me is that it seems stretched out a bit. At times, it seems that plot points are only there to setup jokes (or attempts) that aren't really that special.

The voices provided are really good, and the animation is very fluid. Everything about the plot is easily predictable, mainly because the "hints" they throw at you are so big they're not really hints. They're kind of like the guess stars that get 2 minutes in the first half of CSI: you know they're coming back and they're guilty. Kind of like this review.

I still think it's a good movie, even though I know there are reasons why it could be better. If you're looking for an animated movie to watch with the kids and enjoy it yourself, you can't go wrong with this one.

Garden State

Very enjoyable
This is a very enjoyable movie. The performances are great - not too distracting and not overdone.

I was surprised how much I liked this movie. I put off seeing it for so long because I was sure I wouldn't like it. The movie really puts Natalie Portman's finesse in view - which isn't often showcased in her typical choice of movies.

Don't expect too much, or you'll be disappointed. This is an average slice of an average life. If anything else, this movie shows you how quick your life can turn around - if you want it to. If you like the spirit of the movie Napoleon Dynamite, you'll like this one. Just don't expect it to be funny.

The Grudge

It looks better than it feels
This movie looks good and is artistically creative. But, unless you're into that kind of thing or need a project for art school, it's style probably won't be enough to keep to interested in it.

As far as the plot, it's like most remade Asian movies out there: lost in translation. I think producers believe they have to dumb down movies for American audiences. It certainly seems over the past years that they try to fit everything into a PG-13 so they can get more people stuffed into the theatres. I believe this movie would have definitely found an audience if they would have put it up a notch to an R level and given the movie more backbone. The average 13 year old will get a few scares, but what about the rest of us that want to enjoy the other 84 minutes of the movie? The movie certainly feels like a super-extended version of a preview. By the time it gets down to business, it's not that interesting anymore. You find yourself looking for the remote to fast-forward for the good part that just seems to never come.

It may not be as bad as other thriller movies out there, but unless you really, really enjoy the genre, you might want to skip this one.

If you're reading this review wondering if you should watch it, I suggest Darkness instead (aka The Dark) with Anna Paquin. Both movies are about the same, but at least Darkness has engaging actors to fill the empty space in the plot.

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