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28 reviews in total 
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54 out of 92 people found the following review useful:
Another Christian Persecution Strawman Movie For The Faithful To Knock Down, 2 August 2016

Firstly, I'm an atheist. I was raised a devout Episcopalian but I often refer to myself as a secular humanist & non-believer but raised with culturally Christian views. Having said that, I noticed right away at the scene in the history class that nothing Melissa Hart said actually violated any hard & fast 1stAMD separation issues. She was within her rights to share those historical facts. She responded to a question in a history class about historically specific correlations between traditions in non-violent protest and passive resistance. Maybe she could have omitted the lengthy scripture quote from the Gospel---but a sound argument could be made that even that was academically relevant too. So...IMHO it was quite relevant and legal. Remember...I'm not a "believer". No school board would take this complaint seriously. I actually think that the ACLU might have defended Melissa Hart!!! It's obvious that the movie makers are trying to unfairly demonize the "freedom from religion" crowd (a rapidly growing demographic BTW) as fanatically unreasonable and angry. In fact, I've found that the exact opposite is usually true. Just research the landmark Kitzmiller vs Dover School board case. As to the ongoing portrayal of atheists and liberal religious types throughout the film, it's an inartfully constructed "straw man" set up for the express purpose of getting easily knocked down. Poor Christians! They have a Biblical persecution complex and are happiest when they can imagine being burned at the stake by the ACLU and a shouting, un-Churched mob of pagan non-believers! Wait 'til you see how they depict the ACLU lawyers as basely motivated by notoriety, power politics and publicity. Not very good...and not persuasive. I think most people can see through this bit of evangelical agitprop whether religious or non-religious.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
An Under-celebrated Sci-Fi-Horror Classic...who knew in 1978?, 20 November 2015

What do these people all have in common? Donald Sutherland ... Brooke Adams Jeff Goldblum Veronica Cartwright Leonard Nimoy Kevin McCarthy They all had roles in one of the most underrated sci-fi/horror films of all time. It's a pleasure to revisit it every time---and that has been often. 7.4/10.0 on IMDb and I concur. Notably, this 1978 remake of this 1956 classic, unfolds with almost ~zero~ soundtrack music to garnish the scenes or the dialogue. Occasionally some orchestral trumpets blare to accompany forthcoming shocks. I won't bore you with a plot synopsis. Who hasn't seen one of the versions of it? It's an iconic grandparent to many sci-fi offspring over the past 3 decades. BTW; just an aside...a young Jeff Goldblum has already begun to carve out his specialty niche in 'Snatchers-2'; e.g; the fast-talking eccentric whose free associating dialogue keeps the film moving at a brisk pace... (yet with no particular goal in mind.) Goldblum has this particular 'shtick' patented...reacting to scenes like they were Rorschach inkblots is a colorful additive. Alba's Real Science Ratings give it an acceptable RSR...i.e; it's realistic except for stretches the "MacGuffin" (the body snatching pods.)

The Woman (2011/I)
A mad Australian country lawyer seems normal but..., 3 November 2015

When a deliciously mad Australian country lawyer, with all the appearance of being "normal", captures and attempts to "civilize" a feral member of a violent clan that has roamed the northeast coast for years, much latent, longstanding family dysfunction erupts. Incredulously outrageous mayhem soon ensues. Only Australia could have produced this dark, multi-layered film with so much targeted irony. The title carries a well-deserved 6.1/10.0 on I.M.Db...but the brief synopsis fails to fully describe its twisted content. I found it thoroughly diverting & sometimes grizzly through its 100 minutes. Warning! It's tough at times for those with weaker constitutions.

White God (2014)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
About Trust, Rejection & Alienation---Both Human & Canine, 12 September 2015

I agree this was hard to watch but based upon its description, I was expecting a different movie altogether. I read most of the other reviews and was surprised to find that no one mentioned the important secondary story of the young 13 y/o girl, Lili, who was struggling with trust & intimacy issues. It was the same struggle that Nagen, the dog, was enduring. Both felt distrusting; both needed love and intimacy. I was fascinated by their parallel journeys and how Lili was so passionately committed to finding Hagen. It was as if she and Hagen were connected at the soul. The father had issues but I could see he was wounded and struggling too--- against his own sense of rejection. I'm sure he didn't know how to love. The scenes with the dog fighting were unbearable. I cringe inside just to imagine how disfigured a man's spirit must be to participate in these spectacles of gore and sadism. I agree, Hagen was the star but I thought Lili did a grand job too. She had an obvious talent for music. I wonder what the connection between the trumpet in the bathroom that quieted Hagen down was all about. I'll have to watch this has all kinds of interesting thematic sidebars. It's clear the filmmaker had more than just a movie about the horrors of dog fight abuse in mind. That was just the leitmotif for all the varied themes within an excellent film. I strongly recommend for all these reasons. Hope this contributed some added POVs on this title. BTW: I too must ask...why "White God"?

The Timber (2015)
16 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
Frustratingly incomprehensible...presumptuously pretentious, 10 July 2015

Frustratingly incomprehensible. Meh. I don't know why young directors like long, pretentious pauses between phrases in the dialogue. Even more puzzling is why actors of the cell phone & video generation mumble & slur their lines inaudibly with affected Brando- like breathiness. Why is it de rigueur these days to shoot quick unexpected of camera cut sequences of puzzling esoteric views that resemble a Georgia O'Keeffe landscape? After 30 minutes of this kind of desultory visual rambling, one grows catatonic relative to what trickiness will come next...the eyes widen and pinwheel...the mind numbs & wanders off... But it's all damn irritating for those of us who actually expected a good tale, well-told. (All these sophomoric devices seemingly serve to cover up the lack of a good script and the absence of a worthwhile story.) This soporific "western" resembles a film school project more than a work meant for human consumption. Presumptuously pretentious, "The Timber" fails at almost every level that I've come to expect of film, except the yawn quotient.

"Reign" (2013)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Like serialized beach reading from Teen Beat magazine..., 17 June 2015

I settled in for something akin to 'The Tudors' (SHO). Within 15 mins I found myself immersed in a fraudulent historical world. A bevy of teen beauty queens with flawless skin and strangely modish dress surround a brunette Mary (brunette?). Contempo rockish music pipes & drums out loudly (reminiscent of the canceled Starz series 'Camelot') as mangled 17th century British history begins to unfurl. Then it hits me! Check the production company! This can't be BBC. It wasn't... CBS Television Studios. Truly horrid. Before it was 33% done, I switched off episode 1,(which was trimmed to a 42 minute hour to accommodate American commercial breaks). Don't waste your time if you actually expect historical drama, which unbelievably, is how it's misidentified.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A laugh a minute..., 24 May 2015

This movie was incredibly bad. It was literally an insufferably amateurish attempt at lurid, psycho-sexploitation cinema. For 1976, it was so anachronistic that it had the feel of a 50s B-movie. It featured Ben Johnson in a wooden role and the character of a local bumbling deputy, who was supposed to be comic relief, but his buffoonery was inserted so awkwardly that it simply added more pitiful misery to the town's overall effort. A truly horrible film...yet somehow, like a train wreck, I couldn't seem to stop watching as I prepared for the next ridiculous encounter with an inept, helpless screaming prom queen. Afterthought: where were all the guns? Texarkana...and no one had a gun until 4/5ths of the film was done?

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Only A Sense of Duty Compels Me..., 24 October 2013

Only a sense of duty compels me to waste more time on this review. A few others have written comments so well expressed and so on-the- money that I must include some quotable lines:

~Viktor Vedmak (realvedmak) from Canada~ "Whoever made this should either stop making movies or stop doing drugs." "This entire movie is basically extended torture scene." "It really would not surprise me if somebody prone to seizures got one from attempt to watch this crap."

~Robo E from Australia~ "The Acting - OMG, Really what were they thinking. My speak n tell could do a better job."

~mike-ryan455 from United States~ "Amazingly boring mixed with nerve jangling audio!" "You think I am making this up? I wish I were. This one hurt my eyes and my brain. It even hurt my ears with amazingly clanging, jangling noise they called music."

Thanks guys. Your comments not only gave me insight but validation of my own post-viewing impression---(as well as a good laugh-out- loud.) Here's what can add:

1. The screenplay had language, which was meant to support a plot involving hi-tech climate warfare, ominous networks & computer chips, was so awful & sleep-inducing, it sounded like it was transcribed from technical conference meetings at a plumbers' convention---but with substitutions of computer hardware lingo to give it some authenticity.

2. The audio was was an experience worse than the American surge in Iraq--- from the Iraqi side. Also, as the climate attack got underway, loud noises like static discharges, but pumped up in volume, would unrelentingly pop & hiss. Re: Video effects=> Every 2-3 minutes, I'm guessing because of the electromagnetic nature of the attack, the video would be disrupted with electrical interference across the screen like a loud static smear... (this silly audio/video effect was obviously added in post-production editing) It hurt both my eyes, my ears and my sci-fi quality standards.

#3. To sum it up, like the others said, the acting was non-existent. The screenplay was wooden like a used parts manual. But, the female lead Catalina Soto-Aguilar, a newcomer to me, was lovely eye candy... (now you know why I watched it to the end.) So thanks for all the humorous LMAO comments. It seems we agree.

Dinotasia (2012)
3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Best Pop-Science CGI Dino Tale Ever, 23 May 2013

In the style of Walking With Dinosaurs, et al, Dinotasia presents a credible CGI depicted speculation of how dinosaur habitation on earth might have played out. Having some experience in the subject, I delighted in the sound paleontology and the accurate prehistory depicted. Some license was taken to infuse a little anthropomorphic appeal into the tale and, consequently, it was like I had a front row seat on a beautifully animated diorama of the age. Starting from the late Permian, it spans the Triassic and Jurassic and on through the early & late Cretaceous periods. Vignettes though they were, I was transfixed by the mini-stories of various dinosaur characters, followed as they struggled to hunt, reproduce, adapt and survive. I found myself even cheering-on several protagonist Tyrannosaurus Rexes, heroes until the end of the late Cretaceous at 65 Ma.

Was it entertainment? Sure. I always have liked Werner Herzog, who narrated the film, though sparsely. Most of it required no narrative but his thick German accent was not distracting to my accustomed ear when it emerged from the soundtrack music...which was terrific too. I recommend it wholeheartedly for pretty much any age group.

Super 8 (2011)
Better Second Time around, 26 August 2012

This got better on the second viewing. Gotta feeling it may keep improving. Although on its surface a sci-fi film, it has warm, satisfying character development reminiscent of "Stand By Me". Elle Fanning turns in a performance with remarkable depth. It has a clever role-within-role device in the movie when, acting in an amateur video shot by her peers, she delivers in an amateur acting role within her role of "Alice" that surprises everyone with its unexpected skill. I was equally encouraged by her talent.

The story is plausible and full... the characters are fleshed out has just enough quirky balance between sci-fi creature feature and coming-of- age story to deliver the goods. Spielberg is involved somehow...not sure how...but it shows.

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