Reviews written by registered user
Sjaff

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13 reviews in total 
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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Senator George S. McGovern: A Man for All Seasons, 19 November 2005
10/10

What you didn't know about Senator George McGovern and presidential candidate George McGovern is captured by director Stephen Vittoria in this documentary which should be required viewing by all who care about our country and our election process. But it's far more. It's the story of how a distinguished professor of history, with all the values and integrity that we would like to attribute to those who enter politics and determine much of our destiny, sacrifices a secure and magnificent life with his family, for that which might make our country safer, more respected, and less corrupt. He does this because he believes it can be done to save the lives of those young Americans dying needlessly in an unjustifiable war in Vietnam. And he does it so that he and his family and all Americans can have real hope for the future. That's what we wanted then, that's what we hoped for in our leaders then, and that's, oddly what we still want so desperately in this perilous world now. There are moments in the film that remind us of things you will recall or be fascinated to know because you didn't really know the truth then. Some of what you had thought, which you will see, was totally false. You'll not only learn of the frailty of our democracy due to television, election time, commercial spots but with 20-20 hindsite, you'll see how we, the American voters, were tricked. The comic, genius of political observation, Dick Gregory, and so many magificant observers of history in the film provide intelligent even humorous observations about our lives and our system of government. It really doesn't matter what side you're on. Considering where we find ourselves today, where our nation's young soldiers, men and women are fighting in Iraq, the film tells us, bluntly that we have not really learned, or grown, or done much about our historic blunders. It's shocking. In the time of George McGovern's presidential bid against President Nixon, who would later resign in disgrace (lest he be impeached and thrown out of office), we had a choice. We could correct the mistakes of how we go into war, in Vietnam under two administrations (Johnson and Nixon), in which lost us 60,000 Americans, and wounded so many more, or we could "stay the course," as we do today. This extraordinary look into our past is like a roadmap to the future. It demonstrates how the nature of American politics does not change nomatter how obvious the truth is, particularly delivered by a 500-1 shot as was McGovern. Senator McGovern, for over a decade, had opposed our involvement in the war in Vietnam and pledged, above all, that if elected he would bring our troops home and end the senseless deaths of our young and brave men and women, fighting soldiers. This film is a tribute to a man, a former fighter pilot (35 missions in WWII), a respected senator from South Dakota and candidate for the presidency. Smear tactics from Nixon's party's CREEP, that will shock you and amaze you, and even the strange occurrences related to the attempted assassination of George Wallace will make your jaw drop. But through it all Senator McGovern had hope and gave the working people hope, the poor and isolated people hope where none had existed since the days of President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. You'll see images and hear words of that time when it was marvelous to have someone with the courage. And you'll see the power of a political machine that constantly tried to crush him. I ask you to find this film. Order it online in DVD when it's out. Read the interview in VENICE MAGAZINE (written by Alex Simon and published by Nancy Bishop). This is so important to all of us if we are ever to have hope again about our nation and our leaders. And it's as appropriate now because we are again locked in a front page war that was so similar. Don't rob yourself of this great film about one great man who would have made a difference in this nation's course. There aren't many but it gives us a slim sense of hope that there might be someone to renew our hope again and make American all that we want it to be and make us safe.

Ali (2001)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Ali Great Film - Ali is A Great Human Being, 24 January 2005
10/10

Through the good graces of my dear friend of more than 35 years, Dick Gregory, I had the honor to meet and know The Champ, Ali, for a few visits, mostly at fights but even at his home after his last triumph in winning the world championship. Believe me when I tell you, he is just as great and as charismatic as we all think he is. It was truly hard for him to be in such a position, as champion of the World, only because that much fame and success always means making some choices. Take the big money or risk losing everything because or your total commitment to The Civil Rights Movement? To be for or against and obviously unjust war in Vietnam? He had to choose between the best and easiest life or one of conflict and the worst choice of all, standing up for your beliefs including those which meant going to prison and possibly losing everything. But Ali will always stand as a world champion of people -- whatever that means. That might be why he is possibly the most famous person in the world. The film's entertaining.

Dick Gregory is more than a friend and counsel to Ali. They have agreed that African Americans had a calling just as Dr. King did. Though it caused Ali many potentially successful years as an champion. Ali and Gregory made their work part of their calling and they have made an indelible mark on the history and the evolution of The Civil Rights Movement and the truth about what happened to America as a result of our being in Vietnam. This is a film that everyone should see -- particularly if they are confused about racism. This is an historic film as well as one that entertains from the first frame to the last.

12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
On TV Movies Top Ten List, 1 November 2001
10/10

Delbert Mann is one of the greatest directors of our time, an Oscar-winning director for "Marty," and a pioneer of great television. In this film his skills are as good as they get. His work with Walter Matthau demonstrates how he understands Matthau's intelligence and depth. Mann's choice of Susan Blakely is notable because she's got the brilliance as an actress to be able to hold her own with someone like Matthau. This is an example of what TV Movies should be and can be if the talent is both on the page and on the screen.

The Closet (2001)
14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
One of France's Classics, 8 July 2001
10/10

This film is so funny that it will probably be purchased by an American film company for a remake. The company will pay not attention to the brilliance of the actors who made it such a hit and will replace the entire film and the primarly stars with our "American" stars, thus reducing this incredible piece of work to an average comedy. Please tell me I'm wrong.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
One of France's Greatest Comedies, 8 July 2001
10/10

This is a true and timeless classic French comedy. The excellence in terms of its execution by the writer, director and actors is superb. I understand it was a play and won several "Oscars" from the French Academy. Predictably, it was purchased by a U.S film company -- fortunately a very good one. Even the director is going to be the same for the remake for the U.S. market. If only they could use the same brilliant actors for the remake -- then the gem would be duplicated.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
One of France's Greatest Comedies, 8 July 2001
10/10

This is a true and timeless classic French comedy. The excellence in terms of its execution by the writer, director and actors is superb. I understand it was a play and won several "Oscars" from the French Academy. Predictably, it was purchased by a U.S film company -- fortunately a very good one. Even the director is going to be the same for the remake for the U.S. market. If only they could use the same brilliant actors for the remake -- then the gem would be duplicated.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
One of France's Greatest Comedies, 8 July 2001
10/10

This is a true and timeless classic French comedy. The excellence in terms of its execution by the writer, director and actors is superb. I understand it was a play and won several "Oscars" from the French Academy. Predictably, it was purchased by a U.S film company -- fortunately a very good one. Even the director is going to be the same for the remake for the U.S. market. If only they could use the same brilliant actors for the remake -- then the gem would be duplicated.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Roy Scheider and Susan Blakely -- Great Match!, 24 June 2001
10/10

We have seen a lot of films on cable that attempt to repeat the high action films in the theatres but few do as well as this one particularly because it's so well cast. Roy Scheider as President of the United States with a bit of a roving eye and Susan Blakely as his no "b.s." Chief of Staff lock horns in a particularly realistic scene at the top of the film. Wish we could see more of them together. They are powerful opposite each other and Blakely shows her power as an artist. Is there a possibility of another film with these two?

5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Ryan O'Neal: A New Beginning, 27 May 2001
10/10

There are many people in the movie business who understand this film. It's something that is influential for all people who watch movies, in the theaters, on cable, video, dvd, or wherever. Don't ever forget that this is a medium that covers the entire world. So what this film has to say, in an very pleasing and entertaining way, is that there are, as in any other business, some problems. No one shines better or is a more interesting part of this film than Ryan O'Neal. He plays his part with total authenticity. You should look for that. So many "top" directors respect O'Neal's acting skills that you should notice here. Kubrick once said to me that Ryan was the the best actor he'd ever cast in a role (i.e. "Barry Lyndon") and he told me that before Ryan had even finished the film. Kubrick considered O'Neal a master at his craft. And Peter Bogdanovich's film editor, Verna Fields, who edited many of his Oscar-nominated films, including "Paper Moon," told me that Ryan was a perfect actor because he was so able to adapt to whatever was asked of him. She won an Oscar for "Jaws" and when I talked to her later she said that "Barry Lyndon" belonged in the Louvre museum in Paris.

While O'Neal was a major film star for his elegant looks, he was far more than that in the eyes of the creative people who made films with

him. He's an actor's actor, a director's actor, and he is not even remotely a person about whom we should speak in the past tense. He has

a disease, and we all know people who do. I predict that if his film with Pacino doesn't merit an Oscar nomination, one will soon.

Ryan O'Neal has the heart of a fighter. He will always have the heart of a figher. And I guarantee you this is one fight he will win.

S. Jaffe

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
The Funniest Film On Martians with A Clever Twist, 1 May 2001
10/10

There are few really hilarious films about science fiction but this one will knock your sox off. The lead Martian's Jack Nicholson take-off is side-splitting. The plot has a very clever twist that has be seen to be enjoyed. This is a movie with heart and excellent acting by all. Make some popcorn and have a great evening.


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