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173 reviews in total 
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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A Hackneyed Propganda Piece, 14 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is not a fact-based documentary.

Although I am not an economist, it is clear to me that the stories that are being told are not even internally consistent, so are tremendously suspect. For example, in the international flow of money discussion, they conflate consumer dollars with public spending and deficits. These are two separate issues.

When money becomes devalued, it typically results in inflation. Since we have low inflation, which contradicts their premise, they make up the "fact" that inflation isn't being reported accurately. (Yes, another government conspiracy).

They also attribute the decline in real worker wages to monetary policy, but it makes more sense that it comes from globalization and lower wages in other countries causing manufacturing to move out of America and downward wage pressure domestically.

They also fail to mention the disadvantages of money based on a commodity. Since that commodity is openly traded, it can cause wild fluctuations in the value of the dollar that are not a result of real economic activity.

They also don't mention that gold is capricious. There is nothing inherently valuable about gold. It could be iron, copper or dryer lint. It's just something that we ascribe a value to... just like paper money.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Superb Acting, Direction and a Great Plot, 26 October 2013

It is a rare joy to see all of the elements of superb movie making come together. If you are a fan of "feel good" movies, well, this is the not one of them. It is exceptionally crafted in every way and the creative result is an exceptional, emotive movie.

The plot is straightforward - parents who are so wrapped up in their own lives, they fail to see the collateral damage to those around them, most notably, their daughter, played by Onata Aprile who turns in an understated, heartfelt performance. The other cast members, Juilanne Moore and Alexander Skarsgård add to the stellar performances. The compelling actress, Joanna Vanderham, is exceptional in this and "The Paradise", which I am currently enjoying. I hope to see more of her in the future.

I highly recommend this movie. It draws you in with no overt manipulation. The direction and cinematography add to a wonderful movie.

Australia (2008)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
It Could Have Been So Much More, 7 December 2009

I was hoping for an epic, historical movie along the lines of "The English Patient" or "Dr. Zhivago". That's a lot to ask, of course, but this fell short in one, important key area - writing.

The cinematography was exceptional. This was beautifully filmed. The acting and direction was well above average as well, although the movie started out being a little campy and settled into a more serious tone, thank goodness. The plot premise was fine, but unfortunately, the script writers were exceedingly uncreative. All of the characters were archetypes, with nothing unusual or unpredictable. There was a little mysticism thrown in, which was a little hard for me to swallow. This was supposed to be a realistic movie and that angle tainted it somewhat.

This could have been exceptional. It's clear a lot of money was spent on the movie. However, it was ultimately just average.

Side Effects (2005/I)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Worst Movie in a Long Time, 9 November 2009

I was expecting a romantic comedy, perhaps with a predictable plot. All that to say, I wasn't expecting much. I got a lot less than not much.

All technical aspects of this movie are quite awful in a quite obvious way. The direction, editing, acting (except for Heigl), and soundtrack were deplorable. The romance was not developed. The tension between the characters was not revealed to any degree. There was no chemistry.

There were scenes that didn't belong and some scenes that we had to be mind readers to follow, because there was no dialog and no coherent acting skills to fill in the gaps.

It was a horrible mess.

Bride Wars (2009)
61 out of 105 people found the following review useful:
Ill-Conceived and Executed from All Perspectives, 11 January 2009

This is easily in the bottom 20 movies of all time for me. I was a captive audience member and would not have chosen it myself. I expected a lighthearted romantic comedy, which I can tolerate although that's not my favorite genre.

For starters, who in the world is the target demographic for this disaster? I would guess it's tweener girls, but I wouldn't want my daughters to see women acting petty and selfish. The two lead characters are awful people acting in cruel ways. I sort of like dark comedies, but this didn't play as a dark comedy, either.

The premise is horrible. The writing doesn't take it anywhere. The acting even wasn't all that great. There was nothing special about the direction.

This is a real dog. As I yelled to the groom in the movie, "Run away. Just run away!"

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Meandering Plot Makes for a Boring Movie, 30 June 2008

This should have been my kind of movie. I was anticipating a well-acted, plot-driven film with an historical angle and the timeless notion of the greed that drives many people.

The movie started out well, albeit a little slow paced. The character development was good and the plot points were relevant. Once the Day-Lewis character achieved a level of stature, the plot started to become incoherent. It meandering along, explaining little in the way of motivation. It lost direction and never found its way. At the end, I just couldn't wait for it to be over.

I think Day-Lewis turned in an Oscar-worthy performance, but the entropy of the plot made for a very big disappointment.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Lame Treatment of an Interesting Plot, 27 January 2008

In spite of Drew Barrymore's presence in the movie, I was hopeful that she would be the old bad actress. Sadly, the majority of the other actors put in a poor performance as well. Even Jennifer Jason Leigh, who has put in good performances in the past, had trouble with this character.

The dialog is very stilted. I haven't read the book, but the conversations didn't come across as real at all. The direction is quite poor. At times it seems like the actors are waiting for their mark. Some of the fantasy scenes, most with Drew Barrymore, are campy and don't flow well with the rest of the movie.

I would recommend staying away from this turkey.

Spun (2002)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
An Incomprehensible Mess of Nothing, 27 May 2007

I was expecting a gritty drama of life as a drug seeker. Unfortunately, the writers chose to interject campy comedy into the rather stoned script, so all notion of interest went away quickly. The direction and editing were second rate. One of Brittany Murphy's rants was so poorly edited, the point of the dialog was lost.

There was some good acting by the primary cast of characters. John Leguizamo did an exceptional job as did Brittany Murphy. Mena Suvari also turned in a good performance. Much of the rest of the cast were B actors, turning in some awful performances. The two gals that portrayed the liquor store clerks must have really been clerks because they certainly weren't actors. Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts demonstrated their expected second rate skills.

The story line also went into animated trip scenes that I felt were just pornographic. I am not prudish about such things, but it was not relevant to advancing the story or helping us understand the characters. Certainly, I don't need to see a turd drop. What was the point of that? In all this is a mess of a movie. It suffers from bad writing, horrible direction and a severe shortage of good acting. If you are interested in some tales of drugs, skip this flick and rent "Requiem for a Dream".

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A Different Tale of Non-Traditional Love, 6 January 2007

In order for me to get properly engaged in a movie, I have to relate to most of the major players. As such, I tend to shy away from gay-themed movies, because I just can't relate to the characters and their situations. This movie is different.

I found all of the characters to be extremely well-written. There was a lot of depth-of-character in all of the parts, both major and minor ones. This movie stayed away from clichés and took a fresh look at the complexities of love and the expectations that we have about our relationships. Perhaps the best compliment is that I had no idea how this movie was going to end. That's rare in modern romance movies.

The acting was exceptional as well. Paul Rudd seems to be taking shallow roles in shallow comedies like "Ron Burgundy" lately, but it's clear from this that he can engage in serious acting. I wasn't terribly impressed with Jennifer Anniston's acting in "Friends", but it's clear from this film - and subsequent work - that she is capable of acting with considerable depth.

I was quite surprised at the relatively low rating from the IMDb crowd. It is quite possible that is was marketed wrong. I watched this on HBO and it was billed as a romantic comedy. No way. This is a very dramatic movie, with some deeply sad and heartfelt moments.

I recommend this movie very highly if you are interested in character-centered, movies with complex, expressive emotions.

The Gospel (2005)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Thin, Predictable Plot, but Great Music, 10 December 2006

This movie was every bit of what I expected. I didn't expect a profound and complex story. I didn't expect great acting, but I found some very good acting. I rented the movie mainly to see how Tamyra Gray had what it takes to carry a good share of a movie - and of course to hear her sing.

I think she pulled it off. Her acting skills came across quite well. I hope to see her in more mainstream films in the future. The other cast members did a good job of acting, too.

The music in this film is exceptional.

Although this is by no means a fantastic movie, I think it deserves more than the 2.7 rating that the IMDb members gave it.

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