Reviews written by registered user
nbott

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54 reviews in total 
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Open Water (2003)
Real World Drama, 13 August 2004
7/10

Are we so taken by Hollywood filmmaking techniques that we can not recognize a truly original story when we see it? This film is very believable and I was quite moved by the real situation suffered by two very sympathetic characters. Every moment in this drama is real. The conversations between the two characters abandoned by fate is exactly what one would imagine between two people caught up in such a situation. This is a simple story told quite effectively.

I was held in suspense from the moment these two wonderful people were abandoned by a boat crew not attentive enough to their jobs. These things happen and I found myself believing it could happen. The feeling of abandonment was chilling. Have we not all had nightmares about being abandoned?

I found the ending to be real also. I will not disclose it here but it was a surprise to me. But then this is not a Hollywood feel-good sappy film. I would congratulate the filmmakers if I could. Bravo indeed! Highly Recommended.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
An Unusual Family Drama, 2 August 2004
8/10

I personally found this film to be both believable and deeply moving. It is really an old-fashioned family drama with a twist. What is the twist? There has been a dramatic change in daddy since he left home years ago and our heroine has really two mothers. She is also coming of age and likes a boy she meets.

The acting by all concerned is quite excellent and the film's pacing holds your attention. I was deeply moved at the mother's feelings of betrayal, the daughter's feelings of rejection by her father and the "father"'s coming to terms with having a daughter and dealing with his changes. There is even a slightly crippled good hearted young lad in the picture. This is traditional film making exploring the nature of real-life relationships.

I personally knew someone who underwent this operation late in life and it was a tragedy. One can only try to understand the angst of someone who feels that nature has made a mistake and deeply desires to change it.

This film is really worthy of a viewing. Check it out.

23 out of 36 people found the following review useful:
Thoroughly Unbelievable, 22 July 2004
3/10

Jodie Foster and Michael Ontkean playing French war resistors is a stretch of the imagination I could not entertain. This story should have been in French with French actors and actresses. I really do not like films that have English lines but songs that are in French etc. At least they did not attempt to have phony French accents. I hope Mr. Chabrol was paid well for this lapse in his usual brilliant film career. This is truly the worst film I have seen directed by this classic filmmaker. Towards the end of the film there is a bit of script writing involving a love-obsessed Nazi and Jodie Foster that is one of the silliest things I have ever seen. This film, as so many others do, seems to enjoy depicting Germans during World War II as somehow not intelligent. Storytellers seem to forget that they almost conquered all of Europe. This VHS will definitely be donated to the next charity yard sale in my neighborhood. Skip this film.

Four Jacks (2001)
3 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
An Idiotic Film, 11 June 2004
1/10

Four Guys (Jacks) go into the restaurant business with a fifth Guy and lose all common sense. They allow themselves to be abused worse than textile workers at the turn of the century without simply leaving the situation. This is truly one of the worst films I have ever seen. I just hope I can resell this item to someone who might like it.

It is true that it holds your attention if you can let the illogical plot developments not bother you too much. It is very silly throughout however especially once a stranger enters the restaurant. Who is he? Guess.

12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
A Desperate Journey, 1 October 2003
10/10

At the conclusion, I sat stunned near tears. I am often impressed with films I am viewing but I rarely am left speechless. This film is one of those moments when film history is being written. I assumed all along that this was the telling of a true story because of its documentary style. But it is merely representative of the many such stories that happen every day in this cruel exploitative business of people smuggling.

This film makes it's point without being ponderous or preachy. I felt I was there with these beautiful unfortunate young men on the horrendous journey to escape their life of poverty in a refugee camp. This film maker should be given some type of international award for his courage in making this film about this subject matter. I never felt more appreciative of my apartment than I did last night when I got home.

Highly Recommended. 10 points.

23 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
Daily Life Goes On Under Foreign Occupation, 19 September 2003
10/10

I will long remember the acting of Clara Khoury in the main role in this film. I do not know if she is a professional actress or not, but she could be. She acts beautifully with her eyes and facial expressions. Many of the greatest films in history especially by French and Italian filmmakers have used non-professional actors in their films. The film is especially valuable in showing the fact that normal everyday life can go on even under foreign occupation.

I admit to bias in favor of the Palestinians in their quest for freedom from Israeli occupation, but I actually thought this film was deeply moving as pure drama. The visual sweep of the film, the music and the deeply moving poetic fragment at the end were almost overwhelming.

I certainly hope that Kino Video or some such distributor of quality foreign films will pick this up for distribution, although I suspect certain influential political action committees might object.

Highly Recommended.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A Great Drama of Emotional Conflict, 14 May 2003
10/10

This film is a drama of great emotional depth. We can feel the conflict in the young man who feels he must act to inform on his mother. His devotion to an often stern father is equal to the love he also feels for his mother. The motivations of all the characters are very clear if one follows the story closely. This is a powerful film of conflicting emotions. The young man must know for sure how his father died and this is the method he takes to find out.

The film is a beautiful piece of cinematic art with a great film score. The direction is flawless and the ending is surprising. I can not even imagine any American director with the ability to tell a story of such depth with such intense feeling and truth. Highly Recommended. A Masterpiece. 10 out of 10

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A Masterpiece About Love and Loss, 10 April 2003
10/10

I have decided that this film is a masterpiece. In fact, I can not see anything at all wrong with it. It has all the characteristics that make a good film including superb acting, believability, cinematography, music and editing. If I were dying of a heart defect, I would want to live life to the fullest just as our heroine does. I personally think that the filmmaker has created a wonderful milieu for this powerful emotional drama of love and loss. The characters have depth and I found myself wanting to be there with them. Highly Recommended 10 out of 10.

Thesis (1996)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A Shocking Cartoon Feature, 9 April 2003
6/10

This film is rather interesting and held my attention. However, too many games are played on the viewer before the film reaches its telegraphed conclusion. The motivation behind the actions of most of the characters is not spelled out and they almost seem like cartoon characters not real people. One of the actors reminds me of a Spanish Johnny Depp in his approach to acting and Noriega is always his wonderful brooding self. Ana Torrent plays a character that is actually quite stupid. It is hard to believe that anyone in her positions in this film would have responded the way that she does. The characters not only do not have much character, they do not have any ability to judge the character of other people.

Having said all this, I still enjoyed watching the film. It's just important to suspend normal judgment and go with the flow. The story line itself is certainly shocking and may be the real reason that it holds the attention of movie fans. Mildly Recommended. 6 out 10.

24 out of 35 people found the following review useful:
One Hell of a Shocking Finale, 8 April 2003
9/10

It is the finale of this film that redeems any possible weakness of the story one may entertain in one's mind as one views this film. The ending is so overwhelming, I had to watch it again at once. I then rewatched parts of the film just to luxuriate in the brilliant acting of Albert Finney. This is truly a masterpiece. There have been some criticisms of Ms. Bisset's acting etc, but this is small potatoes compared to the sheer genius of this story and its' realization. The music in the opening credits sets the tone and immediately draws you into the film. You know something profound will happen in the film and to you as you watch this film. Highly Recommended.


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