Gabriel (2007)

If entertaining was the goal set by the team behind this film, I am afraid they missed it.

Gabriel is the kind of film you can hardly imagine who would love to watch it with the aim to spend a genuinely enjoyable moment. Because like entertaining, enjoyable isn’t either quite a good word to refer this film to.

The action of the film takes place in purgatory and as the names says it, archangel Gabriel is the one we follow here in his fight to literally rid the hell out of the place and save the souls of its inhabitants. There you have it ; my open-mindedness made me watch a film that reveals the likelihood of its quality, or the lack of, right in its synopsis. Indeed, how can you pretend to ever make a good film out of this?

Okay, the number of films that managed to reach some goals with worse initial plot lines than what we have here is uncountable by now, but at least, millions were spent for most of them to make up for the lack of creativity in the scenario.

Gabriel was made with $140,000. It’s not obvious, but you can see it. Or actually you can’t ; it’s way too dark in every way. It’s almost annoying to see it grossed ten times the budget spent because the incredible lack of depth of the characters and the ridiculous tone of some lines that just shouldn’t be told at some specific moments tend to kill the credibility of this film.

The few interesting idea that we can however find there are unfortunately not enough exploited to prevent the dramatic moments from falling apart. It’s like there is an extra useless/counterproductive line in most scenes of the film, the kind of line coming like a straw breaking the camel’s back.

Instead of making them speak too much it would have been more interesting to have a nicer work on the framing of the characters and how they could have been much more than just people randomly finding themselves there to fight against each other. Because a fight really is what watching this film until the end represents.

 

 

 

 

 

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Demolition Man (1993)

The americanness only few actors could draw like Sylvester Stallone does really makes it somehow hard to believe that Demolition Man’s director is Italian.

This first fact that we have to admit isn’t the relevant in the appreciation of the film, however remains a non-negligible one from a list of surprising elements about the film and its director.

Demolition Man may seem ludicrous for some, maybe because the bad guy is just too unjustifiably crazy and bad, or as it may appear in 2014, that the foreseen future isn’t dark/pessimistic enough; but in the science-fiction category it certainly lies far from the worst we can get.

Indeed, apart from offering a few interesting views of a supposedly pacifist future society we’ll keep in mind a script written with quite a few streaks of brilliance and even subtlety, enhanced by the maintenance of an interesting satiric tone lingering throughout the film.

Sylvester Stallone has accustomed us with an awful lot of action films that millions would still watch as a catharsis like so many others would play violent action video games, but this film will stand out because holding a whole elaborated set of ideas to surround that action.

Demolition Man represents thus a good entertaining piece of cinematographic work, in which the innovations are all the more appreciable when we realize it was produced over 20 years ago now, and as the director’s first film.

 

Django Unchained (2012)

A long shot showing us the perfect woman from head to toe, rap music to describe an atmosphere at a time when the phonograph didn’t even exist, a giant tooth swaying with its spring at the top of a stage-coach.  Long sentences describing a long film. Or is it reality that’s too short? Are we setting free only from the chains of slavery ? Or the chains of classic slavery cinema codes ?

Well these are the questions Quentin Tarantino makes you ask, with Django Unchained.

Abolishment isn’t the goal here, it actually barely is a mean in a story which complexity and yet simplicity goes beyond all scenaristic barriers ever set. Your life and who you are doesn’t depend on the place you come from or the ethnic background you have, all that matters is what you do. That’s how we define ourselves as humans or at least should and Django can do things, just as Dr. King Schultz who changes his life and by a clever twist of scenario ironically disguised by a role play becomes Django’s assistant, after setting him free from slavery in quite an unconventional manner.

That indeed is the term Tarantino proves once again here to be the living cinematographic definition. As if he had set himself a “convention of unconvetion” that many previous films could account for, all the surrealism we find in Django Unchained (pictures, music, dialogue) creates a strong feeling of uncanny and yet seem seems so familiar.

These are moments you have lived, sights you have seen, it’s the floating intangible cloud between your perception and everyone’s reality, the experience. The feeling when you get to live a scene in slow-mo with the chance to get an eternal caption of it before someone shakes you as if you had passed out. In all this, Django is the hero and like no other he isn’t the only one who’s set free, because with this film, we all are to dream away.

The Power of Kung Fu

There are a lot of animation films that just leave you « aww, this was cute ! ». You even shed a few tears sometimes, and life goes on, you spent a very nice moment and the day after you almost forget you watched it.

King Fu Panda is one of those films that just doesn’t leave you like that ; because it goes way beyond the cute stage. It brings meaning. A lot of it.

We’ve seen old wise characters in animation or non animation films ; the cinema is full of them, but in how many have you seen this same character leaving the world as beautifully, poetically and in the end so brilliantly imagined way for the main target that is the young public ? We almost wish we could disappear like time when the time is up.

Through the beauty of scenes like this,  Kung Fu Panda delivers a somehow unique style to kindle children to fundamental questions about life and alternative (for the genre) yet very imaginative and encouraging  ways to consider it.

Oogway: Quit, don’t quit? Noodles, don’t noodles? You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the “present.”

Lines like the preceding shows you the remarkable depth this film was written and conceinved with, apart from the very impactful and significant messages the whole actin is built upon.

Making the best out of everything, that everyone has his own strength, union, fraternity, solidarity, cohesion only represent a few of these universal elements we all need to cherish and that are thoughtfully represented in this film.

Full of surprises, good jokes, master strokes, these finally are what we can find plenty of in such a well animated film realisation that the results not only stands as a perfect film for children, but a perfect film for children of the universe we all are.

The Bottoms – 01052014

Every month, Justanotherlight shamelessly proposes you to see the list of the most neglected articles of the website, the ones that have drawn little attention.

As of 01/05/2014:

The Sound – Spring 2013 : Semi Final 2 1
One bookmark 1
5 Pictures of 1
iTunes ? 1
Précipice 1
A l’intention de France 3… 1
The only = The one ? 1
Fats Domino : This Is Fats 1
Agnes : Veritas 1
Eurovision 2014 : Sweden (4/4) 1
Radio recommendation : WUCF – FM 1
100 Words about Beverley Knight 1
The Bottoms – 0804214 1
iTunes ? 1
Eurovision 2014 : Greece 1
Time to “Join” 1
01JF13 : Semi Final 2 Results 1
Eurovision 2014 : Sweden (3/4) 1
Un souffle du passé 1
01JF13 : Semi Final 1 Results 1
5 Pictures of 1

 

A trip to Stockholm : Day 3 1
Eurovision 2014 : Norway (3/3) 1
Congratulations Heilsarmee ! 1
#JoinUs : 13 Portugal 1
#JoinUs : 10 Belgium 1
A radio script : Challenges 1
#JoinUs : 09 Ukraine 1
(unknown or deleted) 1
#JoinUs : 14 The Netherlands 1
(unknown or deleted) 1
01JF13 : Semi Final 4 1
La Provence de Frédo : 01 Venelles 1
2014 1
iTunes? 1
The Tops – 040214 1
01JF13 : Second Chance Round 1

The second part of this post focuses on the countries from which people haven’t really wandered around the website, only stopping at one page.

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After Earth (2013)

In the category of « what will become of Earth ? » films, recently, we’ve had the work of art that is After Earth released in 2013, or kind of.

Taking place in a non specified year apparently in the future, the story is about a family, well a father and his son who are pretty much the futuristic version of G.I Joes, the son more trying to become one when the father, who is the boss of them all (yeah Will Smith couldn’t not be) is almost retiring.

Last excitements, if ever we can consider this film exciting, are to be found in this “mission” after their trip through space which was supposed to take them – once again – to an unspecified place, accidently ends on Earth, a planet that has curiously become unliveable for mankind.

Among the considerable lists of curious choices made for this film, well, the air on Earth isn’t breathable anymore: Will Smith junior indeed has to drink from small “capsules” in order to get fresh oxygen and yet he has to accomplish a mission in a place – our planet – where the fauna and flora have grown bigger and more dangerous like they’ve never been as if humankind has always been the only needing oxygen…

All in all, it’s on a lie based on the number of this capsules that we’re be provided with the supposedly melodramatic scene but certainly the most ridiculous of the film, when junior gets to have its first rebellious argument against senior.

Finally, a $130 million budget for a good lecture about how to control fear from Will Smith, seriously being the only good reason to watch this film, may seem a little bit too much in the end, just like the $244 millions that were paid by the people who went to see it in the cinemas. They certainly got tricked by the kind of trailer that is actually more interesting to watch than the film. They really do seem to have become a common practice.

 

 

Diplomatie (2014)

Du 24 au 25 Août 1944, Paria a été sauvée de la destruction totale par les nazis. C’est toutes les coulisses de cet événement marquant de l’histoire contemporaine que le réalisateur  Volker Schlöndorff  s’évertue de nous faire découvrir avec une multitude de procédés des pas moins brillants.

Raoul Nordling, est à ce moment de la dernière année de guerre consul de Suède depuis quelques années. Bien que né à Paris d’un père suédois qui lui a offert une éducation relativement stricte, il ne parle pas du tout l’allemand. Cela ne l‘empêchera pas d’être en contact très rapproché avec le Général Dietrich von Choltitz, pour le dissuader de commettre un acte absurde qui n’aurait que satisfait la volonté d’Hitler, à savoir la destruction de la capitale.

C’est en effet suite à des résultats probants, fruits d’un travail acharné fourni par les membres de son consul que la libération de milliers de prisonniers de guerre à paris eu lieu, quelques semaines avant que Nordling se retrouve face à Von Choltitz, par demande du General Leclerc.

Pour les trois quarts du film, c’est dans un huis-clos que nous nous retrouvons donc à assister  à une des plus magistrales des négociations du cinéma de ces dernières années.

Le travail des scénaristes dans ce film est véritablement remarquables ; échanges richement fournis, des fulgurances en répliques, figures de style, tournures parfois même « croustillantes » par le duo Niels Arestrup, André Dussollier qui fonctionne à la perfection.

Malgré un léger bémol que l’on pourrait émettre sur la possible insistance à certains points qui peut faire figure de répétition, la raison même de l’accès du personnage de Nordling au lieu principal de l’action et l’histoire qui y est liée font preuve d’une brillance unique.

Non seulement de Paris, on sent alors également que c’est bien au delà de la métropole dont l’avenir est plaidé, un poids si efficacement représenté dans le jeu d’acteur qu’il constitue une autre force de ce film, le risque étant présent partout même concernant la vie privée des personnages, à travers une portée qui atteint donc tous les niveau de l’homme.

Diplomatie est une réalisation remarquable qui nous ramène avec puissance à un évènement historique que l’on s’approprie ou réapproprie ainsi en s’y sentant rattaché, parce qu’il nous concerne tous.

La Belle et la Bête (2014)

La Belle et la Bête ? En 2014 ? N’y a-t-il pas assez de créativité dans l’immensité du monde pour réaliser quelque chose d’inédit et d’une qualité telle qu’il serait repris ? représentent les questions qui me sont venues à l’esprit quand j’ai entendu que le conte allais sortir dans une nouvelle version au cinéma. Je sais que je suis très loin d’avoir été le seul à penser ça. Puis, on m’a incité à aller le voir et donc pour le Printemps du Cinéma je me suis dit allé, allons-y, sans plus d’entrain.

La surprise a donc été d’autant plus agréable pour moi de pouvoir constater le talent qui ressort grandement dans cette réalisation de Christophe Gans qui signe ici son 6e film en tant que réalisateur.

L’atmosphère du conte est, au-delà du remarquable, puissamment maintenue est travaillée avec des scènes d’un esthétisme unique offrant des images d’une beauté parfois la frontière du stupéfiant. Quelque soit le ton des diverses scènes qui se succèdent, de plus triste au plus joyeux, du plus dramatique au plus drôle, c’est à travers un véritable rêve que l’on se balade, dans cette infinité d’image parfois représentant un paysage si vaste mais si fermé par la peur et l’oppression que ressent Belle pendant une bonne partie de l’histoire.

Effectivement, le pouvoir de cette version réside grandement dans cette projection des sentiments sur l’atmosphère et le cadre entier de l’histoire, dans chacun de ses recoins ne laissant aucune échappatoire au spectateur de se laisser atteindre, toucher par cette histoire tellement singulière. La résolution parfaite des chacun de ses éléments et inter intrigues font toujours de ce conte une des plus agréable à lire et à voir.

Si l’on s’était donc perdu dans tout ce qu’il y a de plus moderne, inédit mais d’une portée universelle encore quasi-négligeable, Christophe Gans nous offre non seulement une piqure de rappel mais aussi une version d’un conte, marquée dans notre temps, à travers des techniques visuelles fortes fournies par un travail visiblement considérable et une équipe d’acteur très soigneusement constituée pour des rôles qui leur sied comme cela n’est pas toujours aussi évident dans d’autres réalisations.

Nous nous trouvons donc face à un film qui concentre nombre des meilleurs arguments du cinéma ; dont le rêve, pour donner, de ce conte une des plus belles versions combattant ainsi le plus bête des préjugés.

 

The Tops – 040214

Here you’ll find the Top 10 of the most visited posts to be found on this very blog (as of 04 / 02 / 2014) :

1 | L’arnaque Claudine Tavernier   (17,8 %) = 

2 | Eurovision Song Contest 2013 : Reviews and predictions (5/7) (2,7 %) =

3 | Lena Meyer-Landrut : My Cassette Player  (2,2 %) =

4 | Eurovision Song Contest 2013 : Reviews and predictions (4/7)  (2 %) =

5 | Eurovision 2014 : Switzerland’s SRF Internet Selection (The best of) (1,8 %) +1

6 | Eurovision Song Contest 2013 : Reviews and predictions (6/7) (1,8 %) -1

7 | Un festival d’affiches (1970′s) (1,7 %) +3

8 | Un festival d’affiches (1950′s) (1,5 %) -1

9 | Un festival d’affiches (1960′s) (1,4 %) -1

10 | 2002 : Believe – A Spiritual Romance (1,3 %) -1

The universal trek of humanity

A very long trip through space and time to understand the depths and the complexity of human behaviours and feelings ; that’s pretty much what we het whenever an episode of the worldwide famous Star Trek is on.

These series were followed at the time they were originally aired by a non negligible number of people among whom what society calls, this type of person it has now apparently become trendy to be ; the Geeks.

The relationship is understandable and you really can’t deny that after decades of exclusion and seclusion and even bullying, they eventually found a way to talk to the majority by using codes we all understand to deliver a pretty simple message; that is we all are geeks somehow. And this is how in this recent fashion of the 2010’s, films that are produced and released, about stories originally written for television or for the pleasure of the comic readers, are so popular today, and will surely keep on coming and going over again in the future, especially with we consider the link with technological  advancement through times.

It always is a story that takes us in a land and/or period only in dreams we can find ourselves, and this can only duplicate the appeal of the film, this time taking place in 2259 between Earth and other planets in the immensity of the universe.

So obviously, one could see quite some conceit in this conception that humans are so big the whole universe has to bear its problems, but there’s nothing more human than that, and the fight good/evil will always remain one of the core elements. An element that is all the more remarkably dealt with that the board between both is permanently questioned.

The characters remain strongly established and very keenly worked and played, like fundamentally anchored representatives of the different personality traits that characterise us all , Spoke remaining genuinely fascinating.

We thus can’t help but feel part of the trips and the fights led by the crew of the USS Enterprise through time and space, because this is how, once the film is over, we command our own ships.