Archive for the ‘1991’ Category

John Singleton’s groundbreaking debut movie is on netflix. It’s a neo-classic because of its cultural impact and historic importance, but it’s not a cinematographic masterpiece. There are a few original scenes, like the one in which the main character tells his dad a lie about having lost his virginity. But overall, it’s all very basic. The acting is remarkable, and was the start of many current successful actors’ careers. Ice Cube delivers the best performance. Lawrence Fishburne is great as well. Same for Angela Bassett. Morris Chestnut and Cuba Gooding Jr showcase their talent, but aren’t always on point. They are all intriguing to watch and the story is captivating as well, even though nothing much happens. The movie just shows how life is in a south central residential town where decent people try to deal with the dangers of their neighborhood, being drug addiction, violence and crime. A remake would be more violent, full of sex and superficial conversations. This one gives food for thought. Just too bad that nothing much has changed since 1991. The movie’s story could easily have been told today.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0101507

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Visiting Rouen and Normandy, there is no escape to local guides talking about Gustave Flaubert’s literary masterpiece Madame Bovary. Set in the mid 19th Century, the scandal novel focuses on the adulterous wife of a local doctor. She’s a peasant girl, lucky to get married to a man with fame and money, yet feels bored and starts cheating on him in order to find more happiness and more stature. She dies at the end. Sorry for the spoiler.

The story has been filmed many times and there’s a new release planned for later this year. But the most famous one in France for the time being is the version of Claude Chabrol with Isabelle Huppert.

She’s great. She doesn’t quite manage making you like her character and there are several scenes where she’s overacting with emotions, but that’s probably a director’s decision. The setting is quite okay. And there is some humor. But the story is such a bore! And the directing isn’t all that professional for such a famous and famed director. The costume design is excellent, but the soundtrack makes you want to press the mute button as soon as there’s a non dialogue scene. It’s made in the nineties, but feels like it was made in the early seventies.

You somehow wish that James Ivory and Ismael Merchant had done something with this story.

The book most likely is better than the movie. However, I’m glad I don’t have to read it anymore to know what it is about.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102368