Tag: Mathieu Amalric

The French Dispatch

Seven years, Wes? SEVEN YEARS?

No. Don’t blame this on the Pandemic. The French Dispatch is your first live action movie in 7 years. Honestly, I thought The Grand Budapest Hotel came out earlier than that, so 7 years is a little shocking, because it certainly feels like a decade. Yes, I know we had Isle of Dogs, but that was stop motion.

Come on Wes. You used to churn out these films like buttah.

And it took a long time for this quirky little number to get made and released. This should not have been a 7 year wait. Did you have to wait for Timothée Chalamet‘s schedule to clear up?!

That Timothee, so hot right now.

The French Dispatch is sort of about a newspaper insert from a small town in France, that tells news of the world and Europe in their periodical, specifically for the people in Kansas, due to very specific plot reasons. You know. Quirkiness.

The writers for the paper are great though, and the main editor, Arthur Howitzer, Jr. (Bill Murray), has been running it for 50 years. He wants his writers to not be unlimited in their potential and will not try to limit their word count or cut sections out if it ruins their vision. As long as their articles sound like they wrote it that way on purpose and they don’t cry in his office, he will be fine.

This movie is actually about its final issue, because with Arthur’s death, in his will was to dismantle the paper and cease operations completely. This movie is about the final three main stories of the paper, a smaller city piece, and of course, an obituary.

Starring literally ever actor ever a Wes Anderson movie and more, a whole lot of people are involved in these three stories. Benicio Del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Steve Park, Owen Wilson, Bob Balaban, Henry Winkler, Lois Smith, Tony Revolori, Denis Ménochet, Larry Pine, Christoph Waltz, Cécile de France, Liev Schreiber, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Elisabeth Moss, Jason Schwartzman, Fisher Stevens, Griffin Dunne, and Anjelica Huston.

A lot of people close together staring towards the camera. Classic Wes shot.
Alright, so was the wait worth it? Or did I overhype it?

I probably overhyped it. I went in not knowing anything about the film, and honestly, a few smaller stories is not usually what I hope for in a film. A bigger plot with subplots, sure.

Technically there is one bigger plot, but it is also relatively minor compared to the three main stories. So why do I care if it is three main stories? Well, if two of the stories are great, and the other is okay, then the whole film doesn’t feel really great anymore.

I definitely feel the stories weren’t even in quality or whimsy. The middle story in particular left a lot to be desired for me, despite elements I liked. My favorite would be the first one, in the prison, although narratively, I don’t know how this person became a normal writer for the paper, and why they are telling this story in their issue that is so far in the past. The third story was fine, but confusing for a bit and that is…less fine.

Overall, this might be the most Wes-Andersy film ever that he has made, and it is incredibly weird. Probably his most black and white and just…strange. He did try a lot with this film, and I guess wanted to tell stories he didn’t think were strong enough for a solo film.

The cinematography, colors, and dialogue are superb of course, but that was to be expected.

3 out of 4.

Sound of Metal

Screeching, loud, the most awful noises you have often heard, that is likely the Sound of Metal. Oh, this movie means metal music? Fine.

Screeching, loud, the most awful noises you have often heard. Har har har. Okay, I don’t like Metal, but in reality, I just don’t like screamo-metal, it does nothing to me, but it does put me to sleep which is strange given how intense it is.

In this film, the Sound of Metal it turns out will mean more than one thing as well, but I won’t get into that fact. I will say that it definitely feels like a combination of The Sound of Music and The Sound of Silence, which are famous “sound of” things. I think by the end of all of this, Sound of Metal will and should be as famous as those two as well.

The sound of drums go buhbuhbuhbam.

Ruben (Riz Ahmed) is a metal man, not a robot, just a guy who plays metal. He is a drummer, he goes into clubs, he plays it loud. He is in a band with his girlfriend (Olivia Cooke) of a few years. They live their life in an RV, traveling the US, playing gigs, getting money, and moving on. They are working on making a big name for themselves, and eventually, it might work.

But one day, Ruben wakes up with ear problems that don’t seem to go away. He can’t hear well. He tries to perform a gig, and it goes like shit, and so he sees a doctor. Apparently his hearing loss is so bad, and getting worse, they suggest he quits rock altogether. He needs to rest his ears before they can properly diagnose it, and stop it from going even lower, before even considering things like cochlear implants.

Another note about Ruben? He is a former addict. Basically all drugs were his drugs, and he has been clean for four years, but this is the type of thing that will cause a man to break, and his normal sponsor can’t do much if he can’t really hear. So he gets set up in this little out of nowhere place, for addicts, who yes, also happen to be deaf. Joe (Paul Raci) takes him in, to start his process into the deaf community, to learn sign language, even though Ruben doesn’t want any aspect of it. He wants the implants. He wants to continue his rock journey with his love (who cannot stay with him for these weeks).

What is a potential rock star to do? Also starring Mathieu Amalric.

Congrats to the make up team for making Olivia Cooke look extremely homeless.

Sound of Metal is incredible. It gives us a story that isn’t done much, if at all, and really drives into the implications of the events around it. Obviously one person losing their hearing, and trying to cope with it, doesn’t affect a lot of people besides their band mates and friends/family, but there is a lot going on in Ruben’s life and lifestyle that is being uplifted. It is a scary situation for anyone to be in, despite the deaf community being very open and loving community.

In the deaf community, things like cochlear implants have a lot of divisiveness amongst it members, for plenty of fine reasons. This movie doesn’t say one choice is good and the other is bad, because that is clearly up to individuals, but the discussions are still heard and the problems that arise from these decisions are still important.

Ahmed gives a wonderful performance, wearing a lot on his face. We still get to hear him speak, but going through his trauma and potentially career ending injury, either caused by his career or something genetic, can change a lot of people. I also enjoyed Cooke, in the limited screen time she was given, and watching her own transformation. Raci was wonderful, and was a great person to lead the commune given his own real life experiences and deaf traits.

I also have to give it up to the sound editing/mixing teams. They let us go through Ahmed’s journey with him, more or less, and I love that for the most part sign language when used was not given subtitles.

Sound of Metal is hardcore, well acted, and surely one of the better movies of this year.

4 out of 4.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Hah. Wes Anderson. For those that don’t read every post I make, Wes Anderson is a strange guy for me. Every movie I reviewed for the site that he directed, I have love love loved. But that was only two movies. The other one I saw I just didn’t really get, and thought it was weird. Yet still, I was excited for this new one.

So excited, I am pretty pissed off that they forced The Grand Budapest Hotel to be a limited release. It broke some records for its release. Like, most money gained from a super super limited release. But only two cities? That is crap. There is no reason for that. I am lucky I even got to see it so soon as I had to drive three hours to see it, weeks after its “release date”. Maybe I am more annoyed because it wasn’t even advertised as a limited release, so I have to imagine it was just a last minute change.

But I guess I expected Anderson to be a dick if he could, so there is that.

This story in a story is about The Grand Budapest Hotel, as you might have guessed. It used to be a…grand old place, but recently, it has gone under some bad times. The clientele is no longer the elite, the staff is no longer extremely efficient, and really it is in shambles. That is why a young writer (Jude Law) is so interested to meet its current owner, Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham), to hear his story about he acquired the hotel and his vast fortune.

M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) is a man amongst boys. He used to be the concierge, a god amongst men. Working morning to night, every day, he made sure the rich guests felt welcome at the hotel and would do anything to please them. Including the extremely rich Madame D (Tilda Swinton) who stays at the hotel for weeks every year.

Well, she dies, mysteriously. Also, her will was changed last minute as well it seems. Apparently M. Gustave was left her priceless painting, pissing off the ungrateful and evil family. Now, they also think M. Gustave killed her!

It is up to the help of his Lobby Boy, Zero (Tony Revolori) to help prove his innocence, get him out of jail, and in general, save the day!

Also featuring a shit ton of people. Here they are, roughly, in order of importance: Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldbloom, Saoirse Ronan, Mathieu Amalric, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson.

This scene represents birth.

Ahhhh, quirky Wes Anderson movie!

This one took a little bit to get going, trying to figure out just what the movie would be about. It takes place over three time periods, technically, so the story needs time to get started.

But when it does? Man. This movie was hilarious. Ralph Fiennes, although I don’t know how to say his name, is a terrific actor and a charismatic character in this film. You can’t take your eyes off of him whenever he is on the screen. And it works so well. Much laughter, much ridiculousness.

This film has a lot of Anderson standards, with his camera work and use of colors.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is also a bit more crass than his other recent movies. Some nakedness, some death scenes, all a bit extreme. But I think that made it a little bit better.

Definitely as good as the trailer made it seem to be, and one of the best early movies of 2014.

4 out of 4.

Quantum Of Solace

Shocking to probably no one, I don’t know a lot about Bond. While growing up, my parents didn’t like it, so I never was exposed to it and didn’t care. I knew the basics, I played the GoldenEye game. I know his favorite drink…kind of, and know he is friends with letters. But that is about it. I watched my first James Bond movie ever a few weeks ago, Casino Royale. I bought Quantum of Solace a year ago, just couldn’t watch it without Casino first! But I figured with Skyfall, I better get to getting, or else you will all leave me for another site.

But yeah. JameS Bond trivia. I am the suck at it. I thought Casino Royale was decent, took too long to get to the Casino for my taste though.

Desert 1
Watching my second James Bond movie? Excuse me while I get all hot and bothered. And dry. Dry from the title.

Hey guys James Bond (Daniel Craig). He does Bond things. Someone tries to kill M (Judi Dench) but Bond is like, no, and kills him first. But they find out he is a hitman and was also hired by Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) to kill his then girlfriend Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko).

I am doing so bad at this plot already. But that Dominic Greene guy? He is our major baddie. But the girlfriend is not our bond girl. For that, we have Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton), another MI6 agent. Calm down everyone, he can only seduce so many women at a time.

Either way shit happens, eco-terrorism, groundwater, whatever. Felix Jones (Jeffrey Wright) is back in this, and his handler (David Harbour) who I only bring up because he looks funny.

Greene is a member of Quantum, an environmentalist group. Got the name now? But they are trying to get some Oil stocks in Bolivia, weird.

Desert 2
If you google image searched this movie, you would think this is all that happened.

Alright, second Bond movie I’ve ever seen, and well, it was alright.

I still don’t see the major appeal. After all, the James Bond lifestyle is so ingrained in our culture now, it is hardly as impressive. I thought the speed boat chases early on were pretty cool. But man, the scenery? Could have been a lot better, the desert was very unattractive to be in for that long. And man, the title! The title doesn’t make me curious, it makes me weary. It feels like random words put together, and doesn’t actually mean anything. I don’t like that feeling.

But since I am rambling and just saying nothing, I should end this madness. Probably necessary if you want to see Skyfall, obviously. I think I liked Casino Royale more.

2 out of 4.

Mesrine: Public Enemy #1

If you have no idea who Mesrine is, then you should probably read the review of part one, of this two part movie series. That way you knowledge can increase by about 3% on the subject!

cheers mate
Knowledge, it makes you happy.

After the events of the first film, Mesrine (Vincent Cassel) found himself alone, on the run, and mad. How does Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 begin? Shit, with Mesrine dying. Spoilers? Not really. Hopefully you would guess a nationwide gangster ended his career in prison or in death. Why they started with his body, not sure.

Last time we got to see kidnapping, killing, some extortion and breaking away from the police twice.

Well this movie is really no different. Some more escapes, some more kidnapping. He has different lovers in this film (Ludivine Sagnier). Some notable police workers (Oliver Gourmet and Christophe Vandevelde). And of course new accomplices and criminals (Gerard Lanvin, Mathieu Amalric, and Samuel Le Bihan).

Why be vague? I explained that last time. Because its all about the experience, damn it.

Get out of here
There must be some kind of way out of here, said the gangster to the thief. In prison.

But is it ust as good? To me, it didn’t feel as good. It is a bit longer, but I think a lot could have been cut out. Overall, it just felt like more of the same.

Maybe my problem is considering it two movies (you know, because it was released that way…) and not as one super really long movie. But in that case, overall it might have been better to just make it like a long three hour movie instead of a little bit over four hours overall. I guess it is because it became more of a biography and really did want to talk about all of his exploits. Not just the cool shit. I respect that, but I didn’t care about most of it.

I will say his death was kind of bad ass, as were his escapes. I also loved that everytime he got caught he was generally happy. Posing for the press, making great courtroom stands and what not. Then you know, escaping. Well done Mesrine.

2 out of 4.