lasttimeisaw

IMDb member since September 2004
    Highlights
    2016 Oscars
    Highlights
    2014 Oscars
    Highlights
    2013 Oscars
    Highlights
    2010 Oscars
    Highlights
    2006 Oscars
    Lifetime Total
    250+
    Lifetime Image
    1+
    Top Reviewer
     
    IMDb Member
    15 years

Reviews

La famille Bélier
(2014)

Cinema Omnivore - The Bélier Family (2014) 7.4/10
"On the one hand, Paula's pedestrian life of school, singing training, budding romance and earnest friendship rides on a familiar narrative trajectory with an engaging tempo (though her first period incident risks to be too crude); on the other hand, her family's unique "deafness" is deftly exploited to elicit many surprising responses, such as the heart-felt confession that "being deaf is an advantage!" from Paula's mother Gigi (Viard); the tactful foley arrangement offering a deaf person's perspective of "listening" and Rodolphe's tender touch of feeling her vocal chord when Paula belts out; to say nothing of the killer finale, when Paula simultaneously sings and gestures Michel Sardou's JE VOLE in the audition, that is magically tearjerking and uplifting at the same time."

read the full view on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks!

Perceval le Gallois
(1978)

Cinema Omnivore - Perceval (1978) 6.3/10
"Our hero is Perceval, one of King Arthur's legendary Knights of the Round Table, but played by a callow, gauche Luchini, a diametrical opposite of an invincible, valiant medieval jouster in appearance, there is an almost farcical overtone to the seriousness on display, perhaps, this is also intentional toward emotional disengagement, yet, sitting through the ongoing peroration demands quite an effort, especially for those who are not francophone, Rohmer's sedulous and fastidious coaxing of the ancient wording is unavoidably lost in translation."

read my full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Sasameyuki
(1983)

Film Review - The Makioka Sisters (1983) 8.1/10
"Each sister is engaged in their own affairs, but Ichikawa's film (its Japanese title can be literally translated as "light snow") allots the lion's share to Sachiko and Yukiko, and the matchmaking arrangement preceded by precise calculation of all the conceivable conditions ("background" should be investigated through and through, no mentally disturbed mother-in-law lurking in the dark), the sheer canniness and the business-like action is astounding (death certificates of diseased wife and children are tossed over the dinner table), and Yukiko, played by beloved Japanese actress Yoshinaga with a comely reticence, extraordinarily wears down the mounting pressure and grinding process, to claim her hard-won victory, a good match is worth the wait, especially when eligible ones are few and far between during the wartime; whereas Sakuma, so adroitly embodies Sachiko's diligence and tenuous discomposure under a painstakingly maintained graciousness that comes naturally with age and savoir faire."

read my full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Picnic
(1955)

Film Review - Picnic (1955) 7.4/10
"A rumbustious picnic follows, Logan marshals an appreciatively large number of extras to show off the down-home jollification, everyone has a whale of a time, even Hal seems to integrate into the chipper mass, yet, small talk can touch a raw nerve when his rodomontade is punctured by Alan's brusque remarks, he is an outsider, a loser who hasn't achieved anything, a bum with a cap in hand. That said, the potency of his outward virility becomes an ravishing draw of the opposite side, to Millie, he epitomizes the ideal manhood that stirs her adolescent feelings; to Rosemary, he reminds her of what she misses in a man and someone whom she can only abjectly desire in vain, since her bloom is long off the rose; but to Madge, they strike as a perfect match, their affections are mutual, only will she give up a financially secured life to explore an alternative one of uncertainty, what brings them together is elemental passion, but does that make for a viable ballast for a lifelong commitment, that is the sticking point here, and PICNIC certainly sticks to its guns on that matter, even Madge's final change of mind is too contrived and entirely impractical under that circumstances (for a play it works because of the urgency to reach the finish line, whereas in a film, it is almost too blatant a wish fulfillment to wrap things up with such hurriedness)."

read my full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Nine
(2009)

Film Review - Nine (2009) 6.4/10
"Cotillard as Guido's neglected and chronically suffering wife Luisa, who has the privilege with two songs to perform, and kills it in TAKE IT ALL (Oscar nominated for songwriter Maury Yeston), is the only character that dares to taunt and confront Guido's depravity, sympathetic and unyieldingly compelling, she should be the MVP among the whole cast in a perfect world, yet in reality, wrongly campaigned in the leading category to secure Cruz a supporting actress nomination, her high-wire act is sacrificed by the shameless campaign subterfuge operated by the now notorious Weinstein company, another reason that a decade after its release, any attempt of reassessment is nipped in the bud, and NINE's financial loss has only been matched by Tom Hopper's CATS (2019), in hindsight, Dame Judi Dench, we all love her, might be advised to steer away from Hollywood glossy musicals, that would be a blessing to all of us."

read my full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Adam's Rib
(1949)

George Cukor's ADAM'S RIBS 1949, 7.4/10
"Alternating the Bonner's diurnal litigation with their nightly domestic activity, Cukor's film engenders more zest and zinger behind the closed door, interposing a scene-stealing David Wayne as a brazen third wheel, the songwriter living across the door, who has the chutzpah to chant Cole Porter's "Farewell, Amanda" to woo the woman, and minutes later, flamboyantly shoot the putdowns to her miffed husband, yet, under the safer hands of Tracy and Hepburn, they quip, spat, smooch, reconcile in a whirlpool of screwball-light tempo, and that final waterworks-turning trick briskly conduces to the leitmotif in question, difference aside, equality reigns."

read the full review on my blog: cinema omnivore

The Invisible Man
(2020)

a neatly orchestrated genre fare putting a traumatized woman in the dead center.
"One must dismiss the wafting thought that whoever acquires the power of invisibility, using it to torment his escaped girlfriend would be a first priority, only a sadist will do that, and this notion is engraved deeply in our mind as Cecilia fearlessly if lonesomely fights her worst enemy, with those who are close to her cluelessly imperiled. Creepy moments are finely conjured up with discretion, no jump-scare or shrilling sound effect required, special effects are frugally applied to a dazzling chill (an abrupt throat-slitting, or the gravity-defying grappling against an invisible assailant), with a $7 million budget, Whannell is well cut out for economy, and after a faux-closure that goes against our aforementioned engraved notion, a final giving-him-the-taste-of-his-own-medicine coup de thêàtre accentuates the damage caused by traumatic bonding and a gaslit woman's vindication, it also, if too readily, can be read as a warning to give pause to anyone who are involved in a relation between an ingénue and a seemingly omnipotent control freak."

read the full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Synonymes
(2019)

SYNONYMS nails it color to the mast of Yoav's radical severance of his fatherland, but Lapid's triumph ultimately feels unearned
"Plumb on the very first night, he passes out in the cold and empty apartment, after his belongings are stolen when he is taking a shower, rescued by the neighbors Émile (Dolmaire), a well-off young man inspiring to be a man of letters, and his oboe-playing girlfriend Caroline (Chevillotte), the trio strikes up an amicable if blunt bond, Yoav receives monetary aid from Émile, in return, he imparts him his own life story in Israel as inspirations for the latter's literature creation, and his belated carnal knowledge with Caroline is simply icing on the cake which improbably leads to a marriage proposal and an obscure fallout."

read the full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Nothing Like a Dame
(2018)

four thespians extraordinaire allure us to dig into their inexhaustible and indelible bodies of work
"Apart from strewing inviting footage and old photos relative to specific topics, mostly in the subjects' salad days, and occasionally, shots of the picturesque location, to ginger up the chipper if unrelieved tittle-tattle, the film has little else to offer in terms of cinematic flourishes, solely banking on the natural charisma of the four national treasures, Smith's first-class comic timing, Dench's spry verve, Atkins' disarming modesty and Plowright's congenital amicability, respectively. "

read my full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Crimson Tide
(1995)

Tony Scott's CRIMSON TIDE inculcates a valuable lesson in the face of a conflict of wills
"Interleaving references of Star Trek and comic books as a mood lightener (purportedly courtesy of Quentin Tarantino's uncredited tinkering of the script) is a smart move, but the film's real zinger is its tactful examination of the generational divide and bigotry under a male-oriented bell jar, while Washington's dark pigmentation distinguishes himself as a well-deserved, racism-flouting victor, but betrayed by the subservient character of Lieut. Darik Westerguard (Carroll), the only other black officer in the top tier, who squarely goes to the mat for Ramsey, Scott's film is not as blithely colorblind as it seems prima facie, more interestingly, through Ramsey and Hunter's banter about the provenance of Lipizzaner (the right answer is neither Portugal nor Spain, but the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria), the apposite shorthand of men's own intrinsic limitation, we are alert to that any scale of man-made disaster can be triggered by a single individual's monomania, which unwittingly renders the supposedly reassuring coda, that only POTUS has the say-so to unleash a nuclear holocaust, in much distress and fear of the year 2020."

read the full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Pillow Talk
(1959)

a class act of Hollywood rom-com, adopts a chicly bright palette, and puts split-screen gimmicks into good use
"In comparison, Hudson is equally, if not more, apposite and captivating in characterizing Brad's duo personae, nailing the southern accent and is earnest in his affection and discombobulation, even in the face of the covertly self-referential limp-wristed jest (slightly offensive nonetheless), and the running gags of Brad being mistaken as a woman trapped inside a man's body, he is totally on the ball with a superb air of relaxedness that is disarmingly requisite for a romantic leading character, not to mention the chemistry between him and Day simply and miraculously works!"

read my full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks!

Fin de siglo
(2019)

Lucio Castro's debut feature is a masterpiece of minimalism, adroitly avails itself of its bare-bones, pedestrian elements to register the more surreal atmospherics
"Present day, Ocho (Barberni), an Argentinian poet living in New York, visits Barcelona and stays in an Airbnb apartment, hooks up with a local guy named Javi (Pujol), it all starts like Andrew Haigh's WEEKEND (2011), sex first, conversation later. During a later getting-to-know-you chat-up under the city's purple afterglow, we are told, Ocho has recently broken up with his boyfriend of 20 years, Javi is married with his husband, they are in an open relationship and together have a toddler daughter, and Ocho is caught off guard when Javi mentions that they have met 20 years ago."

read my full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach
(1968)

an ascetic paean paying deferential homage to one of the most accomplished musicians of all time
"Each and every music piece is observed with mostly, a static, single take that framed with a particularly deliberated angle that often overlooks its subject, illustrious musicians - conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt and Austrian music ensemble Concentus Musicus Wien, among others, offering full rendering of Bach's baroque éclat, whether it is from a single harpsichord, or an ensemble with chorus. For any classical music connoisseur and Bach votary, the film is an ascetic paean paying deferential homage to one of the most accomplished musicians of all time, and for those less familiar with Bach's works, it constitutes an edifyingly melodious piece to wide our horizons and nourish our sensoria, however unrelieved its modus operandi is."

Married to the Mob
(1988)

Playing fire with danger, and then putting on a straight face when one's laughter line start to quiver, that's none-so-secret recipe of Demme's mob comedy
"Spiked with haphazard, slo-mo shoot-'em-up set pieces where no blood is allowed to spurt onto the screen, MARRIED TO THE MOB is at its most charming when comically toys with Angela's plight and lets Pfeiffer shine with her unrivaled gorgeousness viscerally tinted with angst and yearning, fully elicits her seriocomic bent that no '80s-bad hairdo can blot out, and in the result, Modine is mostly sidelined as an innocuous doll, his Mike might never be emotionally mature enough for Angela a posteriori, yet, on screen, they are merely adorable together."

read the full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Shirkers
(2018)

a classic lesson from the school of hard knocks, and an overdue exorcism that feels salutary to everyone who was duped for their youthful naiveté
"Henceforth, audience's curiosity is sizably whetted, and Tan's ensuing quest of "who is Georges Cardona" spirits us away to Cardona's hometown, interviewing his acquaintances and ex-wife (whose image is gingerly pixelated and only referred as "the widow"), and discloses a vague picture what a man he was, Nosferatu is the ostensible consensus: a fabulist who is envious of the achievement of his protégés, which he is not above to undermine at his convenience. Georges makes for such a fascinating case of mental complexity, the first impression he makes on others: emitting congeniality that incongruent with the cold glint in his eyes, might be the best encapsulation, however, SHIRKERS seem to pull punches in burrowing deeper into the truth (a half measure in our post-truth paranoia), whether it is from Tan's own equivocal interrelation with Georges, or the widow's conspicuous "I don't know anything about it" disclaimer."

Emma.
(2020)

one can only comment lamentably, all's well that ends well
"Many eligible bachelors and maidens dwell in Emma's village, and under the impression that she is a born matchmaker after facilitating the knot-tying of her governess and the wealthy widower Mr. Weston (Whelan and Graves), her next goal is Harriet Smith (Goth), a young girl of obscure lineage, yet, Emma deems the tenant farmer Robert Martin (Swindells) is below Harriet's status (a classist prejudice that Emma is apparently oblivious to), in lieu, she tries to pair Harriet with the seemingly convivial local vicar Mr. Elton (O'Connor), to the obvious objection of George Knightley (Flynn), the brother of her brother-in-law, that the outcome leaves Harriet heartbroken and prompts Mr. Elton to a swift marriage with a girl hailed from elsewhere."

read the full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Cats
(2019)

as it turns out, everyone desperately wants a new life out of this abysmal, exorbitant catastrophe
"Oscillating between a cat's immanent quadruped gait and its human player's biped posture, from the word go, CATS betrays the misalignment of its content's anthropomorphism and its cast's zoomorphism, which becomes perniciously distracting for audience to emphasize with the uncanny creatures on the screen, unlike in a live theater, where performers' spontaneity and virtuosity can keep viewers riveting and suspending any disbelief, here, this fancifully concocted, pre-recorded commodity with every feline impersonator slinking, leaping and dancing in perfect synchrony, belting out in perfect pitch, has a much harder time to win its fans of a different medium."

read the full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

White Christmas
(1954)

Sadly, WHITE CHRISTMAS' magic diminishes when there is no Christmas tree or snow to facilitate our expectant preparedness
"After ending up with a sisters act Betty and Judy Haynes (Clooney and Vera-Ellen), in Pine Tree, Vermont for the Christmas season, Wallace and Davis buckle down to help revitalize the inn owned by their former commanding officer in WWII, General Waverly (Jagger, embodying the star-spangle wholesomeness without a hitch), by bringing their entire hit musical to the place, a stunt will provide dear reminiscence for the retired general, whose livelihood is at stake if there is not enough patronage in this seemingly snow-less season, miracles, even a meteorological one will occur to save the day, gracing the festive atmospherics with a patriotic congratulation, but most importantly, it is an elderly military man's easily bruised pride that should be treated with kid gloves."

read the full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Citizen Kane
(1941)

Rosebud is a nostalgic nod of innocence comes across only after everything is dead and gone in the final shot
"Content-wise, Kane is a quintessential egomaniac and talented entrepreneur who tries rather hard to alleviate the ingrown guilt of his bountiful lucre he has received on a silver platter (spawn from the discovery of a gold mine on his mother's property), one chief reason why he enters the fourth estate and runs for office, is to give voice to the underprivileged, downtrodden and voiceless, eventually, his enterprising ambition is punctured by multiple defeats, from his disreputable rival and his own idiocy apropos of marital bliss, Kane's second marriage with the ill-endowed wannabe-singer Susan (Comingore) writs large as the last straw for this bigot's delusions of grandeur, to face the music that omnipotence is never an attainable asset for any human being."

read my full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
(2020)

BIRDS OF PREY is a messy enterprise that cannot extricate itself from its stock tropes and the jejune comic book contents
"Self-parodying references are legion, McGregor's historic villain mannerism is utterly derivative and cringeworthy (culminating in the scene where Roman bullies a female patron in his clip joint, a cameo by Bojana Novakovic, the nearest thing we can obtain from visceral acting in the whole shebang), the psionic power of Dinah Lance aka. Black Canary (Smollett-Bell) is roundly inconsistent with whatever has happened thus far, Rosie Perez's Renee Montoya is the carbon copy of a wronged detective from any '80s bad cop movie, and she duly plays as a one, only here she is a middle-aged lesbian, but queer sexuality still remains a taboo in the mainstream superhero universe, only faint homoerotic implications are hinted between Roman and his BFF Victor Zsasz (Messina), however, in the face of the waving flag of the coalition of a "united girl power", any sexuality (queer or otherwise) is left cowardly untapped."

read the full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Benny & Joon
(1993)

as regards the prospect of this unorthodox union of the fool and the crazy, how long is a piece of string?
"Not so often we have a mentally disturbed protagonist in a movie who is not confined in a dismal asylum, still that option hangs there like a ticking bomb which Benny mulls over constantly, on the one hand, while their life is not by any rate, uncomfortable (Benny is a garage owner), he feels opportunity of any romance is snuffed by the noble responsibility of taking care of Joon (but that is not strictly the case), and on the other hand, this selfless deed serves him greatly, as a dedicated caretaker, a self-sacrificing brother, Benny really enjoys his heroic devotion, even during a date with potential love interest Ruthie (Moore), he is compelled to let that out to elevate himself above his peers, "my life is complicated...." which is sharply rebuked by Ruthie, who is more than the nice neighborly girl one might expect her to be, and knows how to draw the line."

read my full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Gambit
(1966)

Insofar as a vintage caper, GAMBIT can still pass as a viable escapism fare
"Outstanding for its faux-sumptuous art direction (looking dated to today's eyes though, especially the security system guarding the precious art collections), costumes (Nicole's cheongsams are timeless knockouts!) and foley artistry (which earned the film 3 Oscar nominations), GAMBIT loses some of its zest when the lovey-dovey whiff pluming into the story, Harry loosens his stiff upper lip and the air of haunter while Nicole simply yields to the spell of a bouquet of flowers, their temperamental incompatibility is pared down, taken over by less fetching romantic heebie-jeebies. Luckily, GAMBIT still has an ace in the hole, the payoff of Harry and Shahbandar's "who can outfox who" macho gamble is a win-win situation, or more specially, one wins (both the girl and the material profit) while the other has no apparent loss."

"Not so often we have a mentally disturbed protagonist in a movie who is not confined in a dismal asylum, still that option hangs there like a ticking bomb which Benny mulls over constantly, on the one hand, while their life is not by any rate, uncomfortable (Benny is a garage owner), he feels opportunity of any romance is snuffed by the noble responsibility of taking care of Joon (but that is not strictly the case), and on the other hand, this selfless deed serves him greatly, as a dedicated caretaker, a self-sacrificing brother, Benny really enjoys his heroic devotion, even during a date with potential love interest Ruthie (Moore), he is compelled to let that out to elevate himself above his peers, "my life is complicated...." which is sharply rebuked by Ruthie, who is more than the nice neighborly girl one might expect her to be, and knows how to draw the line."

read my full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Destry Rides Again
(1939)

George Marshall's DESTRY RIDE AGAIN starts as a revisionist western but ends as a curate's egg
"As per usual, audience can always bank on Stewart's aw-shucks geniality and Dietrich's assertive allure for some quality time, and among the second fiddlers, Mischa Auer is a gas as the henpecked husband of Ms. Callahan, infatuated with Frenchie, but also miffed for being only a substitute of his wife's deceased first husband, he is vindicated at last, but what about Frenchie? It seems that a woman of her profession, temperament and appeal can never merit a sanguine ending. Elsewhere, the deployment of a collective, implacable momentum of womenfolk is novel for its time, but is too rashly executed to finish off the story, which has regressed to the genre's traditional (retribution and quick on the draw moment), soppy (someone is worth dying for), low-rent (chaotic mob action) fanfare without much contrition or hesitation, still, it is a curate's egg."

read the full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Le sens de la fête
(2017)

if gauged by the skill and felicity of producing seriocomic crowdpleaser with a perfect balance of bonhomie and sobriety, the Nakache-Toledano duo is a shoo-in par excellence
"For what it is worth, Nakache and Toledano strenuously and cunningly condenses the current society into this microcosmic activity, where each character is imbued with distinct personality to cover the whole scope of human foibles, the hotheaded, potty-mouthed chief assistant Adèle (Haidara), is always at loggerheads with the pompous DJ James (Lellouche), a substitute who cannot get the approval of the payer; waiter Julien (Macaigne), also Max's brother-in-law and a compulsory grammar corrector (he was a teacher before), finds out the bride Héléna (Chemla) is an old acquaintance he carries a torch for, to save face, he pretends to be one of the wedding guests, but his 17th costume, in which every waiter is requested to be attired, is a dead giveaway; also among the outfit is the eccentric wedding photographer Guy (Rouve), who roundly loathes the ubiquity of cellphone shutterbugs, and his high school apprentice Bastien (Naccache), eventually what plays out is that the former has much to learn from the technology-savvy latter."

read the full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

Kei zik
(1989)

MIRACLES emerges as an all-around achievement for Chan, both as its director and the actor
"Attributed his stroke of luck to the rose he has bought from the kindhearted flower vendor Madam Kao (Kuei), Kuo gets into a habit of buying a rose from her every day to keep his luck streak, meantime, after winning the respect from his henchmen, save the treacherous Fei (Lo Lieh), who holds the grudge that he should take his place, and aided by his right-hand man Uncle Hoi (Wu), Kuo decides to go straight by transforming their illicit business into managing a legal nightclub, headlined by the show-stopping chanteuse Yang (Mui), with whom he becomes romantically linked."

read my full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

See all reviews