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ljw1004

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16 reviews in total 
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13 (2010/I)
32 out of 55 people found the following review useful:
Preposterous in a bad way, 12 February 2011
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is about an underground "game". It a game of pure random chance. You have a 78% chance of being killed, 17% chance of surviving, and 5% chance of walking out with a little under two million dollars.

Rich people dress up in tuxedos, act all high-class, and bet on which participant will win. The bookies offer odds. How can they offer odds on a game of pure random chance? It doesn't make sense. It's a dumb excuse for voyeuristic sadism.

Jason Stretham enters his brother into the game three times in a row, giving him a 99% chance of dying. Why would the brother do this? Why would Stretham? Why would he act all surprised when his brother dies? Okay, so the plot is particularly stupid. The characters in it are preposterous. Also the pacing is ponderous. This film has no redeeming qualities.

Iceman (1984)
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Endearing film but frustrating, 11 February 2011
5/10

A prehistoric man from 20 to 40 thousand years ago is found frozen in a block of arctic ice. A research team find him, manage to bring him back to life, and try to figure out how to interact with him.

The performances feel genuine. The first dynamic is between the scientists who want to chop up his body and learn its biochemistry to better humankind vs those who want to study his habits and interact with him. The second dynamic is between the iceman and the ethnographer who gains his trust and friendship.

All the time I was watching it, I was angry at the ham-fisted incompetence of the researchers. Sure, I know, this is a movie and so the scriptwriters put in bumbling incompetence to push the plot forward. But just imagine if it a prehistoric man really were brought to life. It would be such a marvellous opportunity for interaction and learning, and even a halfway competent research team would make something better of it.

So, all the time, I was angry at the scriptwriters for cheating humanity and the iceman of this chance, and this didn't leave space to enjoy the film. 5/10.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Pointless lack of communication, 11 February 2011
5/10

The Terminal's two chief protagonists are unable to communicate, and unable to recognize that they're not communicating.

One is a clueless immigration official of a major international airport who has apparently never dealt with a non-English-speaker and who is apparently unable to find a translator. Another is an impossibly inept tourist.

Why should we care to watch a film about failure to communicate at even the most basic level -- when communication is so easy, and should be easy in this situation, and is what all our lives are about anyway? I don't know. I switched it off half way through. Wha a waste of talented actors and an interesting premise.

Witty!, 19 September 2003
8/10

This is a witty, good-hearted spoof of superhero films. Don't read the reviews. Just click on the "Memorable Quotes" link to the left while in a silly mood. You'll find them hilarious, and you'll enjoy the film even more. (and if you don't find them funny, stop being such a po-face!)

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A fairy tale, 17 February 2003
9/10

This film is an adult sci-fi fairy tale. It has the sentiment, the structure, the archetypes expected of a fairy tale. It also mixes in some religious themes -- genesis at the start, hell in the middle, heaven at the end. If you've forgotten how to enjoy fairy tales, or how to appreciate magic in a story, you won't enjoy this film at all. I haven't forgotten, and I loved every minute of it.

the force is with it, 30 May 2002
10/10

A great film.

Other viewers have complained that the romantic dialog is poor. True, it's not modern. In fact it's just different, in the same sort of style as Victorian novels or the Arabian Nights. Which is quite appropriate and credible in the heavily stylised "Galatic Republic" in which the film is set. Other viewers have complained that the politics are complicated. True, the goals of the factions are not spelt out explicitly. But we're an intelligent audience, able to put two and two together, and can understand with a little effort precisely what is happening and why. More viewers have complained that Anakin is whiney. I think he exhibits very well the arrogance of youth and power. You see him encountering his own limitations, and the limitations set by others, and straining against both. There's one particular scene where he gives in to his rage. In the aftermath, the recriminations are like those of God to Cain: "what have you done?"

The Boys (1962)
7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Compelling to watch fragments of recollection build up into a whole, 20 October 2001
8/10

Four young men in 1962 London stand accused of murder. The story of the night in question unfolds through the evidence they give in court, in segments of flashback. The film is not a drama about lawyers. Instead, the drama happens Memento-style as we revisit each event on the night from a different perspective, and build up a solid picture of what they are like. This made it strangely, unexpectedly compelling, especially since we never know which side to believe. It was also interesting to see 1962 life, how these young men dress more formally and behave more politely than we do now, but are also more aggressive and rough.

A beautiful fairy-tale, 21 September 2001
9/10

A.I. is a beautiful fairy-tale. David, the young robot, is expelled from his safe home to face adversity. He helps someone, who becomes his companion. We see a dark side, of David and of the world, just like in every fairy-tale. And finally at the end David becomes complete, and understands. If you're young enough to remember the magic of fairy-tales, you'll be entranced by this film.

To the pure in spirit, all things are pure, 7 June 2001
7/10

There's something remarkable about Bill and Ted. Though they go to hell (literally), yet they suffer no ill. Why? Because of their irrepressible cheerfulness, honesty and generosity of spirit. They escape from hell by challenging Death to a game of chess, and then twister! This is a parody of the deeply serious and philosophical Antonius Block in Ingmar Bergman's Seventh Seal; he played chess with death, and lost. Bill and Ted win. I think there's something to be said for their naive cheerfulness.

Memento (2000)
Much to think about, 2 April 2001
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As everyone has already said, this is a superb film -- well paced, well shot, full of suspense. It makes you think in two ways. First: what exactly was the plot, and why? (after you've discussed this with your friends, visit the film's web site www.otnemem.com to find more evidence and spoilers). Second: philosophical questions about how we shape our lives through our will and through our decisions. The final scene is tremendously provocative in this respect, as well as being a perfect end to the film.


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