• Reviews

    Reviews

  • The Mask of ZorroFilm Review: The Mask of Zorro (1998)

    Director: Martin Campbell

    Release date: 1998

    Plot summary: As California is freed from the Spanish in 1821, the legendary Zorro (aka don Diego de la Vega) is captured, his wife is killed and his daughter taken by his ennemy to be raised as his own. 20 years later, de la Vega escapes from his jail and trains a young bandit, Alejandro Murrieta to become his successor as the masked hero.

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  • ThorFilm Review: Thor (and Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok)

    Director: Kenneth Branagh

    Release date: 2011

    Plot summary: After a handful of Frost Giants, Asgard's former ennemies, broke into Asgard's vaults on the day Thor was to become king, Odin banishes his son from Asgard for endangering the realm by provoking Laufey, the Frost Giants' king. He is sent to Earth in a mortal form and shall only recover his powers and the use of his hammer - although he doesn't know it - when he becomes worthy of them. Meanwhile, Thor's mischievous younger brother, Loki, uncovers a hidden truth about his birth and family...

     

    I had better say it straight away, this is a very positive review of Thor (2011) written by a newly-found super-fan of Loki Film Review: Thor (and Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok) ... However, I shall endeavour to remain as neutral as possible in my analyses, but I cannot promise to refrain from inserting smileys and personal comments between parentheses on the way... sorry!

     

    /!\ SPOILER ALERT /!\

    As my purpose in this review is mainly to analyse the tools of myth-making, the plot and the characterization of the different characters throughout the film, I will need to tell much of the plot, punchlines, and the like.

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  • Crimson PeakFilm Review: Crimson Peak

    Director: Guillermo del Toro

    Release date: October 2015

    Plot summary: 10-year-old Edith Cushing, who didn't get to properly say goodbye to her mother because of the closed casket, is visited at night by her ghost. The monster warns her about "Crimson Peak". 14 years later, the now would-be novelist encounters a charming English baronet, Sir Thomas Sharpe. Although her father does not sanction the match, his sudden death - murder - removes any obstacle. Edith, Thomas - and his sister Lucille - thus leave America together to start their new life in the family manor in England. But her mother is not the only ghost Edith is bound to encounter in her life...

     

    As I am supposed to be working on my Master's dissertation - about Jane Austen and Ann Radcliffe - I found myself, of late, doing my best to avoid the subject almost entirely and finding always new ways of culturally entertaining myself instead of actually reading the books... This led me to discover - and incidentally become a huge fan of - Tom Hiddleston (a long review of the Thor series is coming soon(er or later)). Browsing through his filmography, I discovered that he had actually taken inspiration from The Mysteries of Udolpho (the supposed topic of my dissertation) and other gothic romances for his character in Crimson Peak. That was, then, the perfect excuse for me to watch this hugely handsome talented actor while somehow documenting *cough cough* the atmosphere of gothic romances.

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  • Pride and Prejudice Film Review: Pride and Prejudice (2005)

    Director: Joe Wright

    Release date: September 2005

    Plot summary: (a purposefully not very faithful adaptation of Jane Austen's eponymous masterpiece:) Elizabeth Bennet takes a strong dislike in Mr Darcy on their first encounter, while Elizabeth's sister, Jane, falls in love with Darcy's friend, Mr Bingley, who just moved in the neighbourhood. But as the plot advances, Elizabeth is bound to realise that Mr Darcy is not as proud and detestable as she thought, while Jane and Bingley have to overcome classical lovers' issues before being united.

     

    Sorry, did my supposedly neutral plot summary sound partial? Well, then, you are warned: you're not reading the words of a big fan of this film! If, like my best friend, you loved the film, I would advise you strongly not to read the following review...

    I also warn the reader that, since this is an adaptation of one of the most famous and best classics of English literature, I will probably spoil the plot in many occasions, so if you haven't read the book and/or seen an adaptation of it and do not wish to read about the end - or any other part of the story - stop reading this now - and run to the nearest library to buy the original work... now!!

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  • Howl's Moving Castle Book Review: Howl's Moving Castle

    Author: Diana Wynne Jones

    Published: 1986

    Plot summary: After the terrible Witch of the Waste turned her into a 90-year-old lady, formerly 18-year-old Sophie Hatter is forced to seek her fortune on the road. She takes shelter in Howl's moving castle, Wizard Howl having a reputation as bad as the Witch - he hates young women's heart, they say! - but Sophie should be safe on this point now. In the castle, she meets Calcifer, the fire demon, and makes a bargain with him: he'll lift her spell when she breaks the contract he signed with Howl. In the house also lives 15-year-old Michael, Howl's apprentice. Sophie starts working there as a cleaning lady, but things get more and more complex by the minute. The book ends up being a giant jigsaw puzzle of mixed spells that Howl seems to be particularly unwilling to untangle.

     

    For those who thought that Howl's Moving Castle sprang from Hayao Miyazaki's imagination, think again! It was originally a book, written almost 20 years before the Japanese motion picture aired, by a British writer, Diana Wynne Jones. Most of her books were written for children and teenagers and take place in magical worlds.

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  • Channel Blue Book Review: Channel Blue

    Author: Jay Martel

    Published: 2014

    Plot summary: Perry Bunt is an insipid fallen scenarist in Hollywood who now teaches scenario classes. When he follows his favorite student, Amanda Mundo, to her work, he discovers that she is an alien TV producer. Her advanced civilization got rid of violence, impulses and sex millenia ago, and all that is left for them to do now is watch TV all day - reality TV shows produced by filming inferior species on other planets. Earth has always been a very lucrative planet for Galaxy Entertainment because the "Earthles" are so mean, violent, unpredictible... But now, audience rates are dropping and the producers decided to end the show. But beforehand, they programmed a spectacular finale to draw as much audience as possible one more time. Meaning, this is not only the end of the show, they programmed a live destruction of Earth, and Amanda seems to think that only Perry can help her save Earth from anihilation.

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  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand PlanetsFilm review: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

    Director: Luc Besson

    Release date: July 2017

    Plot summary: In the 28th century, the historical core of the space city is contaminated with radiations. When the Commander is abducted by aliens unknown to the database, Major Valerian and Sergent Laureline must enter the "dead zone" to try and retrieve him and unravel the hidden truth about the Mül species.

     

    /!\ This review contains spoilers.

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  • Lately, I've been in a kind of Robin Hood frenzy, watching several films and TV series based on this character. It's always been one of my favorite heros, and Maid Marianne is, I believe, one of the characters I've ever most wanted to impersonate.

    So, here's my personal top 4 (+ special awards) and reviews! Film reviews: which Robin Hood? (keep in mind that I didn't watch all the Robin Hood films, far from it, so it really is a very personal ranking...)

    /!\ spoiler alert /!\

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  • La La LandFilm Review: La La Land

    Director: Damien Chazelle

    Release date: dec 2016

    Plot summary: A young barista from Hollywood dreams of becoming an actress and goes from casting to casting. She meets a jazz pianist and they fall in love.

     

    I just read a few dithyrambic press reviews about this film and I also saw that it has already won many awards and distinctions, in Venice, Toronto, Boston, New-York, at the Golden Globes 2017 and it is nominated for God-knows-how-many Oscars.

    And I am very sorry to announce that this review will be rather different... Film Review: La La Land But I am truly sorry, because I love musicals, I love the very concept and essence of musical, and I really truly wanted to love this film!

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  • Number 11Book Review: Number 11

    Author: Jonathan Coe

    Published: 2015

    Plot summary: Childhood friends Rachel and Alison are about to go on a journey into the strange, surreal heart of Britain in the early years of our new century. Helplessly swept along on tides they can no more understand than control, Rachel and Alsion discover a nation disillusioned by reality yet obsessed with reality TV. They encounter morally bankrupt bankers and people queuing at food banks. And at the centre of this new state of things they find an old family who will do anything to ensure that the country is run for their benefit. (Source: Penguin back cover)

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  • Confessions of a Jane Austen AddictBook Review: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict 

    Author: Laurie Viera Riegler

    Published: 2007

    Plot summary: Courtney Stone, a 21st century L.A. young woman, wakes up in the body of Jane Mansfield, a 19th century signel young lady - and as such, still living at her parents'. She then has to pretend being Jane, while discovering with amazement and adapting to the style of life of her favorite heroins.

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