Average User Score: 7.1Jun 23, 2012There are countless ways love manifests itself and this movie brings one such variation to the audience in a most charming manner. The two main characters, Arthur Martin and Baya Benmahmoud, played oh so well by Jacques Gamblin and Sara Forestier, could not be more opposites, yet they will be attracted to each other because it simply was meant to be, as nature follows a path for the best. Indeed, Arthur is a conservative, clinical, repressed individual whose life was shaped by his upbringing; Sara is a volatile emotional, leftist whose life was equally shaped by her upbringing. Their parents lives are culturally polar (Jewish and Muslim) but share similar struggle and so Arthur and Sara find that to be their common bond, in addition to their most satisfying sexual relationship. I just wanted to take a bite out of Sara, but in a very good way; I found Arthur very sympathetic.
There was a passage in the film that sort of explained the scientific expression 'hybrid vigor'; I found this to be particularly fascinating and of course, I subscribe to it wholeheartedly. Sara liberates Arthur from his repression and he provides her with the real affection she was always deserving of; a romantic comedy movie could hardly do better.
Too often, comedy is mistaken for hilarious premise or funny storytelling; comedy is roughly defined though, as a drama with light and amusing characters, typically with a happy ending and we tend to forget this. It's one reason so many movies are categorized as romantic comedies. I rather like the genre and believe it lends itself to a more fulfilling experience than action movies or thrillers which tend to be judge more rigorously. Don't get me wrong I need my fix of those as well. If you like foreign (non Hollywood) films, you should love this one; if on the other hand you haven't yet realized such a variety enriches you movie-going experience, try. I recommend this movie in either case.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.2Jun 23, 2012I was curious to see if this movie could deliver on the plot and performances level, it did so
sufficiently for me. As in most movies of the genre, especially from Hollywood, you can
pretty much expect the outcome to be no big surprise. The good guys win; if you dismiss
every movie for that reason, you will be dismissing most movies from Hollywood. In Man
On The Ledge, it's the ride from the beginning to the end you should find interesting.
Anyone who feels queasy looking down from high places will find this movie exciting; if you
suffer from vertigo, be prepared to be catching your breath in a few scenes. I liked the idea
of this movie's plot, the lead character Nick Cassidy, an escaped convict, is committing a
daring heist to prove he was not guilty of that very crime a few years before. Cassidy is
providing a diversion so his team can execute the heist, and a solid diversion it is.
Though there aren't big names in the flick, there are experienced actors who deliver performances like the professionals they are. Ed Harris and
Titus Welliver are such experienced actors whose characters are familiar to us. They have played these roles countless times before; they play
their bad guy roles just the way we expect them to in this movie. Edward Burns is also playing a relatively familiar good guy role. Sam
Worthington, who plays lead Nick Cassidy delivers a solid performance as does Jamie Bell in his role as Nick's brother. Genesis Rodriguez is in
fine form, one you'll not tire of seeing, really. The movie has all the key elements a good heist should have; suspense, twists and turns, all are
present. If the last couple of movies you watched recently were dramas, Man On The Ledge will be a nice change of pace, so I recommend it on
that basis. I quite enjoyed it.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.4May 29, 2012In some instances, having a good idea of how the movie is likely to go can be a killjoy; then, all that can make that movie watchable, if it indeed has a predictable ending, would be very good and relentless action, in the case of action thriller, or extremely interesting characters in a psychological drama. This movie is by no means the latter, but as an action thriller, the former, it does provide almost non-stop action, once the basic prologue scenes are done. Denzel Washington plays the role of Tobin Frost, a veteran intelligence operative who is wanted as a traitor by the US, since he went off the grid ten years prior. He resurfaces after getting his hands on the most incriminating bit of information, the kind that would ruin the careers of high-ups in international intelligence, including the CIA. Not since his role as Creasy, in Man on Fire? did I find myself cheering for the bad guy, who, after all, is not as bad as the system. Frost seeks refuge at a US consulate in South Africa, to dodge assassins; he is moved to a safe house where the CIA hopes to extract information from him. The minder of the safe house is Matt Weston, played by Ryan Reynolds; he was bored out of his mind until he got call into action. He has all the skill sets to be an operative and has been preparing for that. When the safe house is besieged by the same assassins, Weston is left to deal with Frost. All the while at CIA headquarters, the team that heads the safe house operations starts budding heads with other CIA sections and from that point, the story becomes rather predictable. Yet, the characters of Weston and Frost, in addition to those of Barlow, played by Brendan Gleeson, and Linklater, played by Vera Farmiga, sort of keep you interested in watching the rest of the action. The supporting cast of Farmiga, Glesson, Sam Shepard, Robert Patrick and Ruben Blades certainly adds a bankable element to the production. Washington and Reynolds do justice to their roles; their characters are compelling enough.There are no big surprises plot-wise, but it's actually that tried and true paradigm of corrupt security intelligentsia that we find comfort in seeing again in the throw of much action. Why make up a nonsensical plot when we are already sold on a given premise? I got what I expected and watched it for that reason; I'd be hard pressed to be too negative. I'll go out on a safe ledge and recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Man on Fire.… Expand
Average User Score: tbdMay 17, 2012After I watched the trailers, I knew I had to see this movie. I had not yet seen a Mario Van Peebles directed movie I liked until this one. It helped that supporting actors Michael Clarke Duncan, who has 90 movies under his belt, and Tom Skerritt who has 150 movies under his belt, have face recognition.
As for Morgan Simpson, who has the lead in this movie, he was completely unknown to me but I was sold on his performance. He wrote the story so he had the benefit of knowing exactly what his character was suppose to feel and why.
The story has a few weak spots but they do not deter the viewer from keeping focused on all the good points. To use an expression in the film, Duncan delivers some fortune cookie wisdom, but it is no less valuable wisdom as far as I was concerned. Even the music delivers wisdom to those who pay attention. The music in the movie is really good, unless you hate the blues and country styles (especially the blues). The story has in the first 75% to 80% of the movie a well planned set-up for a surprise you don't see coming and which may bring tears to some viewers with kinder hearts. Thankfully, Skerritt's character made a point in the movie that you need to cry sometimes to purge the sadness that will otherwise weigh you down and it feels better after. We all know that to be true.… Expand
Average User Score: tbdMay 17, 2012I would call Harry Nilsson a maverick because he refused to conform and took an unorthodox stand for an artist in his business, the very definition of the word. I just recently watched the 2010 version of the documentary (earlier versions are not as complete according to my research) and though I was familiar with his musicography I knew little about his life; this film filled that void. It is an excellent biodocumentary; I trust you will come to the same conclusion. I only got to know all his music in recent times but it's never too late to discover good music and a voice like his. The editing is faultless and the special effects montage of the stills make them come alive.Other reviews comment about the movies festivals overwhelming positive response for this movie; the movie did live up to those comments.
The movie explains why he was such a well kept secret; his music was very popular and many other artists praised and used his work but the man did not want to be a public figure he just wanted his work to be appreciated. What a life this movie depicts. Once you start watching it, you don't want to stop and as some other reviewers wrote it could have lasted three hours and still would have watched it all; this is especially true if you know even a little about his music. Just to make a point that will get the message of who he was: John Lennon said he was his favourite, Paul McCartney had two favourite artists, Brian Wilson and Harry Nilsson, Brian Wilson praised Harry in this documentary and Randy Newman said he felt honoured to have Nilsson make an album exclusively of his songs despite the record companies reticence. I chose to write this review at this particular time for a reason; I'm glad it was about this documentary and I'll leave at that. I hope you discover Harry Nilsson from his music and this movie may just help you do that.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.9May 17, 2012I know of only one real try at making a silent movie since the genre died of natural death in the thirties; that was the Mel Brooks 1976 parody 'Silent Movie'. I did not go to see that film and don't plan to. While technically not a real silent movie, 'The Artist' is as close as you'll ever come to it; it has an actual soundtrack which is almost exclusively music with very few sound effects and, like Brooks' film, only one word is spoken, hence, it can't be called a silent movie.
If it had not fared so well at all my usual sources and all the unusual ones as well, I doubt I would have bothered watching it; heyâ… Expand
Average User Score: 7.1May 17, 2012This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The interrogation scenes at the beginning of the movie are crucial to the understanding of several of the escapees' mindset later on. If you miss the first few minutes, you will not be able to appreciate the full struggle of the main players. If you like the movie "The Great Escape, keep in mind "The Way Back" is nothing at all like it. In Siberia, the guards and the army don't bother to run after the escapees, nature is expected to ensure their demise. A terrific cast was entrusted with a script that has enough meat in it to satisfy the most difficult character actors. This was an ensemble performance by default. As the tagline says, the escape from the gulag was just the beginning. Tough terrain, harsh, very harsh weather, etc., etc., and when they reached the border, crossing out of Russia, they find they are faced with the same damn communist system in neighbouring countries, the system they ran away from back in the gulag. The actors don't curse but you will feel like cursing for them. As you can expect, the cinematography is an important part of the movie as it must convey the journey's difficulties. In other words, the more beautiful the scenery is, the tougher the challenge. The special effects that turn the escapees into living corpses were well done. Conspicuously, nothing sexual happens to the character of Saoirse Ronan; when you consider the circumstances, it is a miracle or a matter the writer or director could not come to terms with. I suspect the latter. This movie was the surprise drama of the year so far for me. No popcorn and coke with this movie; this is a coffee movie, if you get my drift.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.9May 17, 2012I have to praise Ian Mackenzie Jeffers and Joe Carnahan for a terrific script as well as the latter for a fine piece of directing. I like much of his work and have seen most of what he's written and or directed in recent years; he is versatile and happily, in this movie, he has shown us he can do excellent character development work. I can hardly think of anyone better than Liam Neeson for the lead role. The premise of the movie is rather straightforward: A sharpshooter, Neeson, hired to protect roughnecks working at an oil facility in Alaska, from local wildlife, boards with them on a plane as they set off for their periodic break; a storm hits the plane hard and it crashes, killing most aboard. The remaining group of survivors attempt to make out of the tundra, with wolves at their heels.
Not since the 2010 movie "The Way Back" have I seen a survival movie with as good cinematography, outstanding soundtrack and deep character development. Neeson plays a character both haunted and sooth by the memory of his wife through flashbacks he has when he tries to mentally escape their predicament, a back-story that keeps us intrigued; wolves are the dominant specie of that wasteland and the movie makes us feel that intensely. Nature is the other foe in this drama. Both the plane crash scenes and the shots of the tundra, and later the Alaska wilderness are done with a flair for realism. The movie caps off as it finally lets us in on the story of Neeson's wife, so we can understand the earlier passages of his melancholia; then the very last shots are a truly poetic finale. The movie deserves all the good critics and rating it has received so far.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.8May 16, 2012Throughout this movie, the talented Vadim Perelman uses beautiful cinematographic moments to enhance the already heavy melodrama that is 'House of Sand and Fog'. There are no better words to describe the genre of this movie than tragedy, and that's why so, so many of the reviews use it. It was exactly that, a tragedy. The talented Ben Kingsley was certainly a good choice to play the lead role here; no one can play foreign characters with as much attention to details, deliver high emotion with as much reserve as Kingsley. My last review (You Kill Me) where he was mentioned happens to have referred to this movie 'House of Sandâ… Expand