AKA is the story of a disaffected youth's search for love, status, and identity in late 1970s Britain. 18-year old Dean is handsome and bright, but feels hampered by his working-class ... See full summary »
In the 19th century London, a young girl falls for a famous womanizing criminal and they decide to get married. Her family strongly disapproves so her father "the king of thieves" gets the gangster arrested.
A DEA agent and a local sheriff have to wrestle with their consciences as they start raids on local farmers, who have started growing marijuana simply to keep their farms operational. Story... See full summary »
Arthur J. Nascarella,
Richie and Eddie are in charge of the worst hotel in the UK, Guest House Paradiso, neighbouring a nuclear power plant. The illegal immigrant chef has fled and all the guests have gone. But ... See full summary »
When 25-year-old New Yorker Eric Traber gets fired from his job and kicked out of his apartment, he fears the worst. But his best friend, Ziggy, shows up A.W.O.L. from the Peace Corps and ... See full summary »
A mute dancer teaches movement to adoring kids and wins the dance contest every Saturday night at a cavernous Brooklyn disco, makes the final cut for a Broadway show but is dismissed when ... See full summary »
"Strange Fruit" had everything that makes a legendary rockband: Money, Fame, Success, Groupies, a Singer who died of drugs and even a divine ending, when lightning struck the stage during ... See full summary »
After an expose on NFL players causes a series of lawsuits, a reporter gets fired. A loyal editor nonetheless gives him a freelance story to work on. It seems that an athletic 19 year old ... See full summary »
James Le Gros,
Alex Abramov is Mossad secret agent looking after some bad guys. He falls in love with young music student Thea, but can not reveal himself and sends her gifts secretly. Thea first thinks ... See full summary »
"Aawks-furrd". According to the introductory voice-over, this is where True Blue is set. It seems this was a token attempt not to completely alienate an American audience. For this is a story where poor misguided Oxford rowers draft in wicked Americans to help beat the apparently unstoppable Force Of Nature that is Cambridge University, which has been so unsporting as to actually win the last Boat Race. We are thus drawn into a picturesque but insane world where the motto is "six months' torture for a lifetime's pride". Unfortunately, we have to take part in some of the torture as rowers and coaches bitch at each other about training too much.
If the film could impart some of the ambition and dedication of top athletes to an ideal of winning (as does the book True Blue), then it would be exciting and disturbing. Similarly, if it could give an impression of their personal sacrifices it would remind us of how remarkable the Boat Race actually is in the sport of rowing. Unfortunately, the film falls between the two stools. It fails to show the personal lives of the squad beyond caricatures where bitterness and childish pranks are the norm, and therefore fails to create any sympathy with the characters; yet it also fails to do justice to the sport, showing us actors desperately trying to row as they bat up and down the boat, failing to make any impression on the boat speed except throwing up a lot of water at the camera. Rowing should be a sport that is smooth and beautiful, not rushed and convulsive.
It is only when the film stops using actors and hires real rowers, drops the clunky script (who could forget such lines as "That's unconscionable!"?) and shows us an actual race that the director's skill can come through. He has been spending the rest of the film showing us beautiful but pointless shots of the sun rising over the dreaming spires of Oxford. In this way, the portrayal of the Boat Race itself almost makes up for the excruciating moroseness of the Blue Boat squad that has been flung at us for the last hour.
In the end, if you want to see some nice shots of Oxford, see some well-built rowers in Lycra and hear a pseudo-"Chariots of Fire" soundtrack, you could watch this film. Or you could do a ten-thousand metre work session on a rowing machine, which would be shorter and less painful.
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