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17 reviews in total 
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The detail devil rises ..., 20 January 2015

I caught this rather odd "documentary" on the History Channel recently. It appears to be a documentary about a documentary/propaganda film made for the USAAF in World War 2, but slowly deteriorates into a self indulgent mess as somewhat amateurish and inappropriate graphics make distracting appearances. No doubt the makers thought it looks 'cool', but to those with even a little knowledge of the events it looks, frankly, stupid. The researchers should be ashamed - stock footage of Stukas are presented as enemy 'fighters', and then the B17 engages P47s and Spitfires. B17s morph into Lancasters on occasion, and there are scenes of night bombing, which was the prerogative of the RAF. It could have been interesting, but ends up as a triumph of awkward styles over substance.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Tested by time ..., 22 June 2012

This piece of work, originally made for TV as a BBC "Play for Today", was considered by many as being quite reactionary for its time. It still is, and given the climate of today's commercial world, remains just as relevant. In many ways, perhaps even more relevant...

Filmed in a semi-documentary style, it preempts the hand held style by some decades. Many of the cast were not professional actors, but actual dockers, which enhances the authenticity and feel of the whole film.

The workers vs management industrial battle depicted is not new, and although the insidious involvement of the government and overt use of the military in the dispute is disturbing, it is surprising how open it all is. One can't help but think that in a 'modern' democracy such tactics would be far more covert.

Corner Store (2010) (V)
A real surprise ..., 26 February 2012

... that I happened across whilst grazing through the satellite channels. Yousef is a Christian Palestinian running a small convenience store in San Francisco. He seems an unremarkable man, unfailingly polite to his customers, who see little beyond his public, retail face. At the beginning of this documentary, his customers are then told his story of the past 10 years. What follows shows just how remarkable an apparently ordinary man can be. Yousef is an extraordinary, driven man - driven by overwhelming, unconditional love for his family, yet so self effacing that it seems impossible that he could tolerate such an experience. This is an emotional roller-coaster for the viewer, so heaven knows what it must have been like for Yousef & his family. If you would like to know what humility is, watch this...

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Fiction based on fact based on fiction ..., 3 February 2012

This is an enjoyable action movie with some nice points of difference from the the usual fare presented in this genre. Firstly, there are no "good guys" or "bad guys" - everyone's essentially a very murky shade of grey. Secondly, the plot is a straightforward 'revenge for money' story, but with some added complications in the contract requirements. Thirdly, the ending is satisfyingly annoying, but ultimately consistent with the thread of reluctance that runs through the film.

I had assumed that the movie was a remake of the old James Caan flick, but quickly realised it was based on the Ranulph Feinnes' book "The Feather Men", which I have read a couple of times and still resides on my book shelf. That book asserts it is based on fact, but many have doubts (including myself), and it probably blurs the line between truth and fiction. The facts are that the men involved in the Battle of Mirbat did die in accidents, but Ranuplh Feinnes concocted a conspiracy tale around those facts. Some changes were made from the book (e.g. the helicopter pilot dies in an aircraft accident, not a crude 'shower incident'), but this was probably too complicated from a technical point of view to present to a general audience. I lived in and worked with the military in Oman for some six years during that period and the depiction of the expat lifestyle in Oman is fanciful, to say the least! However, these are minor niggles and do not detract from an enjoyable 90 minutes or so

3 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Disappointing, 17 July 2005

I had seen Lee Evans in a couple of movies, and also on a few chat shows. I bought this DVD on the basis of that, and viewers' comments on a number of internet sites. Evans is a manic performer, but was slow too start - this show apparently featured "new" material, but contained many "old" jokes. Obviously he can do no wrong in some people's eyes, but the interjection of "f*ck" or "f*cking" every few seconds actually detracts from the overall performance. Having said that, there are some wonderful moments, and astute observations on the human condition. He is a surprisingly good singer, and the appearance of his father at the end is a touching moment (though the musical segment goes on too long)

6 out of 10

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A Thai Pilgrim's Progress...., 30 August 2004

Watched this recently with a Thai lady - we both loved this film, that starts out deliberately naive and corny and descends into something darker whilst retaining a degree of pathos. The style of the film changes to meet the changing mood - the English subtitles are quite accurate, though some nuances are lost. All round good performances from the main characters Worth while...

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Tedium personified, 2 August 2004

I learnt that Aramiac as a language is not a particularly attractive on the ear. After the novelty of that wore off after the first five minutes, I found the rest of the movie tedious in the extreme. The Roman army seemed to have a discipline problem, contrary to most historical accounts, and that the rank & file found it difficult to follow simple orders (or there was just a misunderstanding between flog & flay?). Personally, I'd have got really p***ed off and had a go at them myself and tried to take one with me - might not win, but would have come a bloody good 2nd...

I presume the ending was pretty much predictable, as I had had enough by the time the cross had been dropped again ....

U-571 (2000)
Excellent suspense drama, but..., 11 May 2000

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie - great action, suspense, effects (especially the sound). Overall the cast did a good job conveying their fear & frustration. So why the but...?

The film score was overpowering and intrusive at times - the drip, drip of water and creaking of rivets would have been far more atmospheric by themselves...

Much has already been made of the "Hollywood History" aspect of this movie. Suffice to say that it is NOT a documentary, however there were a few suspensions of belief necessary...

The ending was terribly lame, an a US Navy PBY in the Western Approaches in 1941, or any year?? I don't think so...

Overall though, well worth seeing, and on the big screen only

This is a submission..., 20 March 2000

Oh dear. My daughter's reaction to the question "how did you like that" as we left the theatre was "it was alright..." That is the equivalent of the kiss of death from this particular eight year old.

It was slow, predictable and one of the worst scripts I have ever heard. Even Tim Robbins had enough half way through the movie, and committed suicide. It was so bad I nearly burst out laughing at that scene!

The only saving grace was that we went to the afternoon matinee so the total loss was limited to $9.

YAWN....., 7 February 2000

I seemed to yawn in unison with the sharks' mouths through this. My 8 year old daughter thought it was a comedy. Stiff acting from both the humans and the computer generated sharks...

The premise was quite interesting - turning degenerative brain diseases around by using extracts from artificially enhanced sharks' brains. Presumably it would also turn the patients in to ravenous cannibals... now there's a movie.

A reluctant 4

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