“The war on democracy” by John Pilger

Warning: this is a great documentary, one of the best I have seen in a long time. It is so well done that once I finished it I considered committing suicide. Pilger is a great story teller and he shows you with accuracy how you live in a bubble and you don’t know it.

In the name of ” national security” the USA have for decades intervened in countries that were seen as dangerous just because they were applying democracy ( should I say real democracy?) and were rejecting the american model. Although Pilger sometimes skim a few facts – such as Chavez ambiguous power- he certainly knows his History and has the guts to show you what you were too blind to see.

Great great documentary. It is a must. I can’t sleep now.

“A bunch of amateurs” with Burt Reynolds

The plot is extremely simple. An almost has-been Hollywood movie star decides to accept an offer to play Shakespeare’s King Lear in England in the hope it will revive his career and put some distance between his unhappy aspiring actress of a daughter.

Now it’s easy to guess- things don’t go according to plan. Reynolds ends up in a small village in Devon and has to deal with a team of amateurs. Nobody’s happy. But life is made of challenges and all ends well.

Reynolds face-lift is a disaster and it’s beyond me why actors and actresses do cosmetic surgery when their bread is earned thanks to their expression and their acting. Anyway. The man has some experience under his belt and it shows.  The bunch of amateurs have their charms but the truth is that this film is sadly missing the point. It should attract English viewers as it is a UK comedy. But it just shows what everybody over here knows already about small villages and  the lovely country and its people. It should attract US viewers but showing them how their well known habits are challenged overseas. By it’s all too boring to really bother.

It was 2 h of my life that I can’t have back. It was simple- but I’m afraid it was just that.

Sorry Burt.

“Quantum of solace” with Daniel Craig

Let’s not beat around the bush, I didn’t like it. Bond appears to be more and more on the cold blood killer than the ingenious gentleman who handles shooting as he would casually play chess. The cation is of course impressive- one of the qualities of the movie- and Craig is a good action hero. The girls though….OK, I’m heterosexual, so maybe I’m biased – but both Bond girls were utterly naive and boring. Dame Judi Dench and Money Penny are sexier- thank God for them.

I wish something was done about those Bonds. Craig is good in action but the scenariis- please, please, please…Let’s not destroy a legend. I want the gentleman Bond, not the common thug.

We’ll see what the next one has in store…

“The tale of Despereaux”

Kids movie. A mouse saves the day in a kingdom where soup was popular. A rat deviates the course of things and humans, rats and mice end up being unhappy. Of course it takes a David to put things right and show his world that you should never underestimates someone smaller than you.

My girls ( aged now 6 and soon 5) loved it. It had enough action and events to keep me awake. As it wasn’t a Disney movie the graphics were refreshing and quite elegant. The story is good enough.

For small children though.

“Yes man” with Jim Carrey

I never was a fan of Jim Carrey at his beginnings. Ace Ventura was boring me to death. But when Carrey started playing things such as ” Truman show” or “The number 23”, I became interested. Because the guy has talent- a lot of it- if given the chance. “Yes man” was a film I really was longing to go and see for the plot and for the main actor.

Amazingly I was happy throughout the movie. Carrey’s performance was great and believable. Getting older suits him wonderfully. The guy is becoming seriously sexy. George Clooney- you’re not my type. The plot was good. A guy who’s trying to stay on the safe side ( aka turning into a zombie) ends up in a seminar where he’s being questioned about his beliefs and challenged to seize opportunities. Being on the superstitious side, he follows the plan- with hilarious consequences. But there is something more skin deep than that. The opportunities – although a bit stretched on the reality side- prove that every challenge can be worth taking in life.  Carrey discovers that life is worth living and good things ensue.

That is truly an optmistic movie. It doesn’t make you feel stupid and it shows that you can have a life outside the box. The money issue that we are spammed with at the moment is put back in its right perspective.

Carrey, you made my day. All my family liked it. I will buy the dvd and plague friends and family to go and see it.

It is not a masterpiece. But it is the very best movie  have seen this year.

“Tropic Thunder” with Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black and Steve Coogan

So this is the very controversial Ben Stiller new movie – and first, if I’m not mistaken, as a director. Controversial- no wonder. And if it doesn’t go down with Hollywood and American people, I can only say that I’m not surprised- although I’m so glad that a bunch of actors have taken the risk to show that they know how bad some of their maneurisms and politics are.

The story is simple; you take a bunch of high profile actors, you sent them to Vietnam to shoot a historic and expensive war movie and when things go pear shape, you send them in the middle of nowhere and try to get the best out of them. Does it work? Hell yeah.

It’s gory, it’s violent , Hollywood actors and all the different methods they might use are put on top of the cake and to end it beautifully you know that the guys who had the guts to do this movie know that we know- America may not be so great after all.

It is a great movie. Not politically correct whatsoever- which is so refreshing. The actors- all of them- are such a caricature that you can only smile. The topic is the most controversial anyway in the States ( although I suspect that economy will be next pretty soon).

Support Ben Stiller and his cast of actors. They took a great risk in this business- to show the naked emperor. The cameo appearances are stunning.

Not for kids under 15. Not for people who want lovely fairy tales.

“Hellboy 2”

Ok,this is a boy thing. While waiting for the movie to start I saw two middle aged women come into the movie theatre and sit down two rows away from us. I said to my husband – who had been dying to see Hellboy for months and had asked me to join him which I did for the love of him-: ” I bet you that these two are in to watch ” Mamma mia!”. Mamma mia! was being played on the next screen. I was called sexist and warned that I was prejudiced. I didn’t think so. I just believe that no woman in her right mind would go and see it if she over 33. Sure enough when the title was displayed the two ladies go out as fast as they could…

Ok I am over 33 and I stayed. FOR THE LOVE OF A MAN. I have to make this clear. And it wasn’t too bad if you’re a comic fan ( which I’ve stopped being about 20 years ago). But after seing Hulk, Iron man, Batman and a few other in the course of the last 6 months I guess my interest has vaguely faded. Hellboy was what you expect: rough but tender, funny and sweet, stubborn but not immune to learn lessons. I could see the guys in the room rejoiced when he whimpered :” I am ready to dye for her but she asks me to do the dishes!”. My husband pointed it out as soon as we were in the street. He is a highly intelligent man but that what comics do to you : they paint everything in black and white and make you belive that that’s how the world should be. I answered that I was ready to die for him too. Did it mean that nobody should do the dishes and let it pile up until one of us die? Another thing- you die once, but the dishes has to be done everyday. How do you deal with this? What if my husband doesn’t die for me and I let him get away with no dishes done? What if I die for him and he has never done the dishes?. By then I think he had gotten my point. Just don’t rub me the wrong way- or the next step will be to forbid you to go and see comics movies.

So all in all it was another modern fairy tale, with a philosophical ending. Everybody’s agree to it although I trust most of us are not really concerned. MS Blair was at best sulking. Ron Perlman did his best to show emotions. Thank goodness there was some humour in it.

My verdict: good for the male side of the family- but be ready to defy their own prejudice. Maybe go with them – just to be on the safe side and know what the enemy is doing…..Lo

“In Bruges” with Colin Farell and Brendan Gleeson

I do not like Farell one bit and his puppy expressions are leaving me cold. But the story of this movie seemed interesting and I was ready to give it a go. So you have two killers sent to Bruges after a job went tragically wrong. ( How can a killer’s work go tragically wrong? Go and see it). Gleeson plays the guys who knows right from wrong and has some life experience behind him. Farell plays Father McGuire ( Watch “Father Ted” if you don’t know what I am talking about). They wait all day in Bruges for a call that should give them another go. Both have very different expectations from this journey- and from each other. And Bruges is not all that it seems.

With an unexpected tenderness this film takes you behind curtains. It wasn’t without reminding me of “Gun shy” with Sandra Bullock and Liam Neeson, although the latest was much more Hollywood like. You end up liking the main protagonists although my opinion of Farell remains low. It is a great movie.

Not for kids under 15 I’d say – it’s an 18 on the box. Gleeson is superb. Ralph Fiennes plays the psychopaths better and better each day. I guess that Farell is himself?

“Heavens knows Mr Allison” with Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum

John Huston very obviously saw himself as a guys’guy. His movie display an array of tough guys who are not stupid enough to hide their feelings and it worked like a beauty. I had been waiting to see this film for about a decade- knowing that Deborah Kerr will never do any movies again forces me to delay my pleasures in order to look forward to the years to come. Anyway. I was a bit careful about this one as she played – again- a nun. Looked like there was a trend back then in the 50’s with Audrey Hepburn, Deborah Kerr and a few others doind it. usually at the end they get the guys. So the twist here was interesting- she gets the guys, yes, and he doesn’t die or get punished for it, but….You wanna know, you watch it.

It takes place during the second world war. Kerr plays a nun left stranded on an atoll in the middle of the Pacific. Mitchum is the G.I. who survives a bombing and reachs the atoll on a raft. To make things harder our two main characters have to survive avoiding the Japanese who soon invade the place. So you have suspense, war, comedy, tragedy and an improbable love story. It is Hollywood- it ends well and very morally. Mitchum plays the G.I who is a tad simple and Kerr the one without life experience but a higher education and loads of compassion. Two extremes left on an island.

Huston liked his actors and it shows. Leave this movie on the shelf if you’re not a fan of the 50’s topics. Otherwise it is an honest little film and you can measure the progress we’ve made in half a century on moral grounds and life experience. But we wouldn’t probably know how to survive on an atoll nowadays- not without internet anyway.

“You don’t mess with the Zohan” with Adam Sandler

Why did I go to see this one again? Zohan is an Israeli secret agent who does unbelievable things. Yup this is another of Sandler’s thick comedies where he teaches lessons to the whole wide world. Anyway. This secret agent as secret aspirations- to become a hairdresser and to leave the army as long as Israelis and Palestinians don’t try really to reach a peace agreement. Hello New York and welcome to reality…eeerrr….Hollywood’s one I mean. Zohan will reach his dreams, make peace with his worst enemy and create in New York his own peaceful world. Medias ( I know I have them in the nose lately) marvelled that Israel and Palestine didn’t react more strongly to this but truth be told, Sandler doesn’t do much damage to either parties. My guess is that the Americans come worst in this film and their diplomats were fully aware of it. Now leaving the political scene I must admit that Sandlers is the type of guy that sends messages through his messages. In this one, gays, older women, dogs and idiots all have the right to be loved and he demonstrates it with a total lack of gusto. Anyway, well done Mr Sandler, let’s move on to the next one. I wonder who read the scenarios and decide that they can go through with them. At least it wasn’t as bad as any of the last Eddie Murphy’s films. DO NOT GO TO SEE EDDIE MURPHY’S MOVIES. Please. Please. Please. I will allow Sandler’s in exchange.