I'm way behind again. First three, more on its way.A Good YearMax Skinner is a succesful banker and he earns loads of money on the stockmarket. But then he finds out that his uncle Henry died. He left his mansion and the winegardens to him. He leaves to France with the intention of selling it as fast as possible for as much money as possible. But old memories, the gorgeous France and two beautiful women, make him overthink his decision.
Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott are not the first names that comes to mind when thinking about a romantic comedy. Still Crowe took the lead and Scott was the director. And this was probably the reason why I didn't really got into the movie.
First, big compliments to how gorgeous the movie looks. On one side, we have the chill, cold, blue London which looks soulless and hasty. On the other hand we have the wonderful France. It looks fantastic on it's own with the nice mansion, great nature with a fantastic way to light it. But they used a colorfilter here as well to make it very warm, relaxed and really give it a feel good feeling. This is also noticeable in the flashbacks with Albert Finney, unfortunately, there aren't many of them.
The story is not that special and very predictable. But that's not a problem. It is a romantic comedy. But they could have done more. There were different storylines that got started and closed that could have a lot more potential. The legendary wine for example. But it hardly got any attention. The lovestory isn't very credible either. This is mostly the blame of Crowe. He is not believable. I've got a feeling that romantic comedies aren't really his genre. When he tries to be funny, it is forced and not believable.
The script isn't helping either. It makes him look like someone who only gives a crap about himself. He goes to France, but not because of his uncle's death, but because he could get a lot of money for the mansion. Sure that's logical, but it takes such a long time till he cares for something else. Actually only after he returns to London. There it shows that he hasn't changed a bit. But later he realise that. That he don't fit in the blue, cold, hasty England, but he belongs in hte warm, relaxed France. This realisation is just to sudden and not credible, and that didn't help the movie.
The acting is gooed. Crowe may not convince in funny intended scene's, but in the serious parts he is a lot better. The rest of the cast is great. There are two gorgeous women that looks very nice, but can act very good too. The flashbacks are stolen by Albert Finney and the little Freddie Highmore knows to convince me again.
So I enjoyed this movie, especially the nice images and the good acting. Too bad that storywise they missed some changes and thanks to Crowe and a for him unsympathetic script, the lovestory never really gets started.
---The Italian JobCharlie Crocker has just been released from jail. He finds out that a friend of his, was planning on stealing a lot of money in Italië, right under the nose of the maffia. But he didn't survived it. Charlie decides to finish his plan succesfully. He only needs a team, a bus and three Mini Coopers. But is that enough?
Last year I saw the remake which was fantastic. Of course I was curious and wanted to see the original with Caine from 1969. And unfortunately, it dissappoint a bit.
The story is different then the remake. It really is all about the heist. They take the time to build up the story and prepare the heist. There are some great scenes in it, where they practice and test certain aspects of the heist. With of course the fantastic oneliner: "You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" Great line. Then they go to Italië to preform the heist.
This last part is certainly not bad and the pursuit in the mini's is a lot of fun. Only the moment of the heist was pretty uncredible and silly. This could have easily gone wrong in the the way they did. That could have been better. What is bad too, is that they decide to throw some slapstick in the mix. For example, there is a completly useless scene on the roof of an airport. Why this scene is in the movie is a mystery to me. And then they deleted a slapstick scene just because it wouldn't fit the movie. Not very logical. Besides that, the team are a bunch of morons which also didn't help the credibility of the heist. And the financial mastermind is a dumb character too. Same for the professor. No idea what they do in the movie. Thankfully Charlie Crocker is credible, otherwise the heist was doomed to fail.
The ending is ok, a real cliffhanger. Only there wasn't a sequel and you are left with a unsatisfying feeling. Why the financial mastermind takes credit for it is stupid too. Personally I would have done the ending different. The storyline with the maffia isn't closed either. But they would have continued that in the sequel.
The acting is not that great either. Thankfully Caine steals the show als Charlie Crocker. Fantastic character that always stays cool. But what people like Noel Coward and especially Benny Hill do in this movie, is a mystery for me. They are not only unbelieveable characters, they bring down the credibility of the story. The rest of the team too.
The movie looks great, especially the shots in the mountains. Gorgeous. The chase scenes are of course less spectaculair then the remake, but I enjoyed the chasing in the mall, the tunnels and on the roofs a lot. The songs are good. The Self Preservation Society is a nice song, but after a few times it gets annoying.
So if though it can't reach the same level as the remake, I enjoyed it. But the not so credible characters bring down the story and the credibility of the heist.
---ValentineIt's 2001 and Valentine's Day is approaching. Everyone is looking for it. Especially a group of rfiend that were in the same class in 1988. But before this day filled with love comes, one of the girls is killed in a horrible way. They also receive sick presents and Valentine's cards. The police are left without a clue. Who is behind all this? A jealous ex? Or someone from the past with revenge on his mind?
A standard slasher that never gets really bloody or shows a lot of gore. The story is predictable and you know who remains in the end. I watched the movie a few years ago but I wasn't sure about who the real killer was. And now, I'm still unsure. Some things don't make sense or are correct. Yes, it creates confusion, but you don't do that with giant plotholes. I don't understand what some of the characters do in the movie and why some got killed. There are also some confrontations between characters that happen really sudden, come out of nowhere and don't make any sense. What I did like (and I didn't notice it until some online said it) is that the murders take place like the characters said it in the beginning. If someone didn't said it, I wouldn't have noticed it. But a very nice detail. Same with the Valentine's gits. Very nice.
The acting is not special either. The victims are only used for as meat for the killing machine and you don't care for them because they aren't really sympathetic. They are also stupid and do dumb things. Being half naked and call things like "Hello? Is someone there?", walk in dark rooms and investigate every single creepy sound. All cliches are used. Only David Boreanaz and Katherine Heigl (who haven't read the complete script) are good. Denise Richards is very nice to look at. Especially in her last scene. The rest of the characters didn't do anything for me.
So this is a clichematic slasher with out anything special and without interesting or sympathic characters. The Valentine's Day theme is nice, but they do nothing with it and there isn't very bloody or gory either.