Express Reviews (7)

I'm back with more express reviews! I've been to the cinema quite a lot lately because they have this promotion of tickets at 5€ instead of the usual almost 9€, and I've rediscovered the local library, so hopefully more express reviews will come soon.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

"What is a Lobby Boy? A Lobby Boy's completely invisible, yet always in sight. A Lobby Boy remembers what people hate. A Lobby Boy anticipates the client's needs before the needs are needed. A Lobby Boy is, above all, discreet to a fault."
This is a story about a time bygone told through the narrator of The Author. In a Central European country, the legendary concierge M. Gustave and the lobby boy Zero find themselves at the center of a murder mystery. Mixing humour and drama, Wes Anderson creates a beautiful movie which I strongly recommend you to watch if you still haven't.

The Wolf of Wall Street 

Jordan Belford becomes one of the more powerful Wall Street brokers through not very legal procedures. And manages not to get caught for most of the movie! Really, one hour into the movie I wished they would catch him and for shit to go down, but Mr. Martin Scorsese loves his 3 hour-long movies and won't cut a single frame even though we got the point that these people are corrupt and high on every illegal substance pretty early on. 

Had the movie been 2 hours-long, maybe I would have liked it because the acting is good (I'm still not sure if I agree with people who say DiCaprio should have won the Oscar because his character reminds me a lot of other characters that he has played before) and the idea behind the plot is good, even the development. But seriously, three hours is overdoing it and you lose your audience's attention.

How to Train your Dragon 2

Five years after the events of HTTYD, the inhabitants of the island of Berk have learned to work together with dragons instead of hunting them down. However, not all vikings have dropped the old habits, so it's up to Hiccup and Toothless to fight a villain who wants to control dragons for his destructive aims.

Despite a couple of flaws and clichés here and there, I liked the sequel better because, in a way, I prefer the "let's work together" narrative better than the "pretending to be someone that you're not and liar revealed" narrative. The animation and the music are beautiful, there is humour and drama, and the message they are trying to get across is not as "on your face" as I expected for a kids' film. Actually, I think both children and adults can enjoy it. Unless you're a smartass teenager (here's looking at you, kid who was sitting next to us and couldn't shut up during the whole screening).

Begin Again

After Dave makes his big break as a singer, he and Gretta move together to New York City, only to have him cheat on her weeks later. When she thinks that she has hit rock bottom, a friend of hers forces her to perform one of her songs in front of an audience, among who is a depressed, recently fired production manager. Together they will embark on a very special musical project that will help them find their way to happiness... and love?

First off: I love cheesy, romantic films, and Begin Again falls into this category (should I call it genre?). With that said, the whole getting-over-bad-things part is the interesting part, while cheesy, feels quite real (leaving aside the fact that all of this happens in a time span of maybe a month? The movie never really states that), and I'm really, really glad that [SPOILER] Gretta and Mark Ruffalo's character don't end up together because, quoting my dad, "he could be her father" - not that that means a lot to Hollywood these days, but still. [END OF SPOILER].Girls, it's the type of movie your boyfriend will not want to watch with you. Adam Levine is in it and Keira Knightley sings better than I expected, though worse than the movie is trying to make us believe.

Short Term 12

Grace works at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers and is very good at it. What most don't know, however, is that she has a troubled past of her own.

I don't normally like child actors because, more often than not, it's obvious that they have learned a script and are repeating the words by hard (sometimes it even seems like they're reading from a teleprompter). There was a point in the movie when I started to wonder if these kids were actually casted at an actual foster-care facility. The characters and their personal dramas made me cry more than I'm willing to admit. The pace is slow, but it's supposed to be that way. This is a real story and it feels that way.

I just don't understand what went on in the Spanish distributors' minds when they went for Las vidas de Grace (The Lives of Grace), because while a big part of the movie is indeed about her, it's not just about her, and the use of the plural here sounds misleading: I expected a movie about a woman having an affaire, when I first read the title in Spanish, and that's exactly the opposite of what the movie is about.


Maleficent wasn't always bad, and this is the "real" story of the fairy tale that we all know. This is wrong in so many ways that it deserves a whole entry to itself. With animated gifs and rage memes. Coming soon. Maybe.

Bon Appetit 

Dani, a Basque cook, finds a job at a famous restaurant in Zurich and soon makes friends and falls in love with Hanna, the restaurant's sommelier. Despite the fact that he has a girlfriend back home and that she is having an affaire with their boss, the chef Thomas Wackerle, Dani doesn't give up on his pursuit to make Hanna love him back.

A Spanish film that is actually decent? Really? Really. Although most of it is in English and has some German and Spanish here and there. I was expecting a cheesy, Hollywood-style romantic comedy and what I found was a story about love but also about feeling alone. I related to the character of Dani, an immigrant to a snowy land and feeling that he doesn't really belong there, and, despite the slight disappointment that I felt as the credits rolled, the ending of the story is what had to be.

Big Fish

Will Bloom is tired of hearing his father, Ed Bloom, tell stories about his life because he believes them to be lies that his father uses to make himself look important. But are they?

Why hadn't I seen this movie before if I claim to be a big Ewan McGregor fan, you ask? Yeah... I ask myself the same question. Ed Bloom's life is told to us through a series of flashbacks that will make the audience wonder, like Will, how much is true and how much is fiction. But who cares, really? It's a beautiful movie. For a moment I even forgot it was a Tim Burton movie.