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A well fleshed out story that shows the failings of the Canadian judicial system
The average Canadian will think this film is about the events that unfolded one morning in which four mounties lost their lives. It isn't, and it shouldn't be.
The focus is instead on the perpetrator's past -- how a man who was responsible for the rape and exploitation of the town's young, was known for aggression and intimidation against any who sided with the law against him, and was also known for his love of all things related to firearms was able to get off with a few slaps on the wrist and a total of two years in jail.
The movie makes it blatantly obvious that the local police force and many of Mayenthorpe's citizens wrung their hands in impotent frustration, crippled to inaction in order to tow the line with a judicial system that pays them back with no justice whatsoever.
A great story that fleshes things out -- bridging the disconnect that was so prevalent between the newspaper headlines and an actually understanding of what happened that day in Mayenthorpe -- and more importantly that there were many chances to stop it well before it took place.
In God We Trust (2000)
Have You Got Enough Points for Heaven?
What would happen if you died, and were destined to live the rest of eternal life in hell, on the technicality that not quite enough good deeds had been done to qualify for eternal bliss in the great above? Most likely what the main character in this hilarious short does: RUN LIKE HELL!!!
This film is a fast paced race for survival with a man on a mission to amend his life -- after escaping the halls of judgement -- while a bunch of angels track him down for a kill. In the style of "Run Lola Run" the main character speeds along from destination to destination overcoming obstacles along the way. The plot is much less serious than the aforementioned movie however, and comes up with hilarious scenarios for our hero to deal with.
With great cinematography, accompanying music, and a great sense of humor this is one short not to miss!
You can see it if you like at www.atomfilms.com
Gordy, a "yawn" for the whole family
Over the years I have watched many family films that can be just as entertaining for an adult as a child. The recent "Chicken Run" is one that comes to mind. "Gordy", however is not one of these films.
Its plot follows sappy, unentertaining, and stereotypical characters who make fun of a child's intelligence with cheesy humour and predictable actions that leaves out any chance for suspense or laughs.
The only thing this movie provoked me to think about was Gimme a break!"
The Negotiator (1998)
Sapcey and Jackson at their best
This film is one of the most intelligent action movies that I have ever seen. The plot twists are intriuging, and not as shallow as the average film in the genre. The story is very origional, and the cast have characters that aren't the normal "skin deep/sterotypical" overblown, testosterone filled heroes. Each has definite flaws, which adds flavor and dynamics to the picture as a whole. This is a movie all involved can be proud of!
Fawlty Towers (1975)
A British Sitcom Classic
To most, nothing could be more relaxing than a vacation, particularly if the locale happens to be a beach-side resort. In most cases, I am sure this would be true. However Fawlty Towers, a hotel in the renowned British coastal town of Torquay, is not the ideal destination for those who want to keep their wits. It is, nevertheless a brilliant setting for those of you that find a chuckle in watching others create havoc. Do not get the wrong impression though. There is nothing wrong with Fawlty Towers, nor the town of Torquay itself. It happens to be those that run the hotel that make it such a despicable place to stay. With an obnoxious manager, his wife who has a tongue sharper than the cleanest cut butcher-knife, a waiter with little English comprehension and less common-sense, and a hostess who always tries to stay out of trouble (but never does) this hotel is little more than a den of mischief hidden behind a mirage of class and sophistication.
All these above elements combine to make one of the most successful comical television programs of all time: Fawlty Towers. Each single episode is a full story in itself, but all share a strong bond. In every one, the manager, Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) tries to run a business in the hopes of making a respectable profit. Unfortunately for him though, he seems to lack anything at all that resembles people skills. Having no patience, courtesy, nor respect he has the negative effect of disgracing everyone in his presence (even when he tries not to). His wife, Sybil (Prunella Scales) who seems to have the brains to run the operation is unable to compensate for her husband's flaws because she either is diverted by her constant urges to gossip, or is in the wrong place at the wrong time (away when her husband is screwing up most). The ineptness of Basil Fawlty is only held in check with the help of his two assisting employees, Manuel (Andrew Sachs), a verbally-challenged Spaniard from Barcelona , and Polly (Connie Booth), a local girl, with good intentions. Even with their help situations often become out of hand, because they have faults that are sometimes just as obvious as those portrayed by Mr. Fawlty.
Daily activities of the hotel are continually confusing and maddening for both guests and hosts. Fawlty Towers would not be the success it is without more than flaws in character to work with. The writers of the series must be either ingenious plot manipulators, or be extremely depraved in every sense of the word, as every situation encountered uses the most of the setting and characters to warp the plot and twist it into something that resembles reality, but with the ideals of probability thrown out the window.
Perhaps the reason the comedy was made with only twelve episodes was to keep the quality of the series at a premium. It is due to the quality of acting, script, and original ideas that sets this British comedy apart from the many others that have been televised over the years, and why it continues to be a classical representation of British humour.
Great Expectations (1998)
A Creative "Attempt" at a Literary Masterpiece
Hollywood and the movie industry have made many bold moves over the past decade in bringing to life old classics. None however have been done more boldly than the remoulding of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and Charles Dicken's Great Expectations. Both are daring attempts to rebirth a storyline from the distant past, as a tale told in our modern times. I say attempt because in both cases, as good a job the cast and crew did, there was something lacking in these new renditions. Great Expectations, the movie, lacks many qualities that make the novel a success. It cannot be said to be a total loss, the basic elements are intact, it is only the embellishments Charles Dickens developed in the novel to make the story more realistic that are missing.
One success, I must admit that I observed while watching the film was the rich visual setting. Although not taking presented in the same place, or era Great Expectations, the movie, is a feast for the eyes. It captivates the mind with beautiful shots of the rural Florida coast life, and yet still retains the jumbled, rundown atmosphere that is described of Pip's small birthplace in a small English town. These qualities of squalor are evident in the impoverished coastal fishing village of the movie. The best achievement in cinematography, is the in-depth views of Pardiso Perduto, a sister mansion to the decaying Satis house of the novel. Even the scenes of New York, the city of "expectations" for our youthful protagonist, Finn, has contrasting aspects of rich beauty and unsightly slums that the London of the nineteen century demonstrated. This is the most major achievement for the film; to capture on film a most ingenious modern equivalent of Charles Dicken's astute descriptions.
Unlike some attempts to revamp literary successes the movie at least retains some of the dignity of Dicken's work. The core of his novel is intact within the screenplay. Also many ingenious ideas were used in some plot changes, and cinematography. Overall it is not a bad representation of the novel.
Could have had potential
Bean, the movie takes one of the most renowned British comedians, Rowan Atkinson, in one of his most famous roles, which is subjected to the most imaginative and hilarious situations on T.V, yet is recycled into a mesh of previously used props, and pressed into a (yawn) boring plot. Almost as good as watching Bean reruns.