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ArthurDental

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40 reviews in total 
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Agora (2009)
4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
This is a work of fiction, 6 February 2011
9/10

So it's comedy to accuse it of "inaccuracies".

No one ever has claimed this is the true story of Hypatia. It's not perfect, and it's not for everyone, but like Agora said, question everything. Including this movie.

It's not like early Christians didn't slaughter women and children of the unbelievers. It's not like they didn't chase out the Jews. It's not like they didn't murder one of the brightest female (and human) minds ever.

If you're so focused on defending your faith, maybe you've missed the whole point of the movie.

So get over it.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Forget the "Lifetime Movie" tag, 10 October 2010
8/10

Lifetime movies have a certain reputation, and when I saw it in the name of the movie, currently available on Hulu, I was going to pass it up. But the title was atypical and intriguing, so I looked it up on IMDb and saw a good review (although I thought it was rated 5 at the time, and now it's apparently at 7; mystery). I decided to give it a try, and was very pleasantly surprised.

The acting was, for the most part, fantastic. The camera-work was competent, and the story intricate. The dialog is well-written and when I thought I figured it out, there was another twist. It was very well worth the time.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Controversial - actress forced to perform for film?, 26 June 2009
1/10

According to the article at http://blog.ifeng.com/article/2737487.html, one of the actors in the film, Carina Lau, was forced to appear in this movie for free. She was the victim of an infamous kidnapping shortly before this movie was made, and later photos of her in distress were published in a magazine, which has since been forced to shut down and its publisher sent to jail. The actress denies she was assaulted but there was a movie leaked on net that allegedly showed her being gang-raped. (The Hong Kong press, out of respect for her, has mostly refused to report on the incident, but google will turn up a few articles about it.)

55 out of 88 people found the following review useful:
A must-see for the American public, 26 April 2009
9/10

Character-wise, this movie doesn't have the complex figures of the best political thrillers. Dialogs are the brightest. Editing is great and the music's appropriate without being too prominent. But those are small quibbles when it comes to one of the most honest major features to come out in a long time. You'll hardly know where the facts end and where the fiction begins, because so much of it, barely obscured by a change of name, is real. As much a fiction this movie is, it may as well be a documentary.

I watched this in a mostly empty theater on a Sunday night. Americans, they told you so.

Sands of Oblivion (2007) (TV)
17 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
Not as bad as the rating suggests, 26 December 2008
9/10

I'm rating this movie based on the average tripe that shows up on Scifi, often unfit for the name of the channel. Having said that, this is still an enjoyable escape for an afternoon or evening.

The plot is quite original, and it's a shame it wasn't used in a major feature production. Still, the plot was fast-moving and not too hole-y. And while it was a budget production, the effects were very serviceable and did not detract from the film. The second-to-final fight scene, in particular, sums that up. It has to be seen to be believed.

Having two leads from the Firefly cast didn't hurt, either. So it was a real surprise to find it getting 3.7 on IMDb. I think a bit of it has to do with a question posted on the message board here: what's an Egyptian God, "a false god", doing with the Ten Commandments?

If you're not a fundamentalist like that, I think you can enjoy this film.

Rock Monster (2008) (TV)
5 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Dumb characters ruin a non-story, 8 June 2008
2/10

The story is not predictable, because you can describe it in a short paragraph. The rest of it was simply filler - a guy trying to walk to another town after failing to do so in a car and seeing it destroying two vehicles; the rock monster being blown to the ground after hitting a car with its fist and making it explode, but not at the least bit affected by a grenade; the monster throwing trees and cars around at attackers, but does nothing except getting stabbed by a guy coming at it with a sword. that sort of thing.

I don't want to call anyone names, but I think the only people that calls this movie good is either involved in the production, or, well, let's not go there.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful country, ugly nations, 6 April 2008
6/10

"Ryan's Daughter" is a story about Ireland, and an unwitting one of religion. It is difficult otherwise to portray scenes of a man being blown away by a shotgun from behind, crawling vainly away, or of women and children picking up ammunition and dynamites.

The plot revolves around Rose, a young woman who married her idol, local schoolteacher Charles Shaughnessy. She discovered on her wedding night that he is, well, frigid in bed. When a young English major arrived in town, predictable problems arose.

Father Hugh, described as sympathetic, helpful, and heroic, slapped Rose when she asked for more from her passionless marriage. This action, ultimately, made those of the protagonists inevitable.

The scenery is fantastic, however, with giant waves crashing against rocks on the beach, sun set over the horizon, grasses over the rolling hills. If only it could compensate for the formulaic, leaden script.

To be humane, the writers allowed Charles, the husband, to be understanding and offer half of their property when he realized how much Rose and the major were in love. In reality, Ireland did not remove its constitutional ban on divorces until 1996, in a move opposed by no political party, but the Catholic Church and Mother Teresa, who flew half way around the world to campaign against such an immoral act.

Without religious admonitions to the contrary, men and women would discover more about each other before committing to lifelong contracts.

And what of the political and military conflicts underlying the Irish story? They were not struggles for democracy. They were caused simply because one group, the Protestants, historically held the upper hand, but eventually another, the "Irish" would have it no more. Indeed, a more accurate description would describe the conflicts as between those two religious groups, not the English or Irish. After all, Northern Ireland would not have been a problem if there weren't those, the Irish Protestants, who had little problem with British rule.

And so without religions, most of the conflicts portrayed by this movie would have frittered away.

Oh yes, the acting is quite wooden, in no small part due to the one-dimensional characters.

You may wish to fast-forward through the scenes and immerse in the visuals. Five years and $12 million, that's what it took.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
OK, what's the point?, 3 April 2008
5/10

I like drama. I like deep emotions and great acting. This movie has some of the former and much of the latter. But at the end, you'll still be wondering why Muriel, a virtually flawless woman (except for, if you want to put it that way and as far as I can tell, a physically weak kid), want to put in all that work into restoring the life of Macon. It's not even that the death of his own child led to a cocooned life; it turns out all his siblings are like that, if not more so. In real life, a very attractive woman like Muriel is not going to put in that effort to transform a man, because if she does it for one why wouldn't she do it for all the others? I find the supposed blossoming romance totally unrealistic. Like Macon realized, he's no catch, while she's the best thing that could ever come along. And that's the way it would have stayed - in real life. She had to do all the work to get him to open up, literally giving her body in the process to do so. It was all give and no take. Ain't gonna happen, my friend.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Must-see climate change film for young and old (spoiler at the end), 30 March 2008
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I wasn't going to comment on this film, but seeing the negative reactions of so many on this site, I couldn't let them have the say.

Yes, this is not a true documentary, and it shouldn't have been presented as such. It's a melodramatic, overly so at some points. It is not as high-quality as some people would like, or demand. But it saddens my heart that that's what they care about, because in their overzealous want for entertainment, they forget the problem they produce.

What's more crass than blaming the bears and walruses for becoming extinct? Never before in the history of Earth has one species destroyed, and continues to destroy the habitats of almost all major animals in the world, except those that have been domesticated or useful in some way. Volcanoes and asteroids may have led to the extinction of huge numbers of species at regular intervals; one group - the dinosaurs - may have dominated the world and probably made certain animals extinct. But it was a natural world. New species arise where others fall.

When we have melted - judging from the negativity here, it's a matter of when - the frozen poles, we not only have destroyed mighty species like polar bears to the history book, we'll have made sure that nothing but much smaller and less unique ones will fill their place. Evolution doesn't take decades to produce replacement. It needs hundreds of thousands, millions of years, and with human depopulation of the natural world, nothing will have the chance to do so.

This film should have made skeptics think twice and change their ways. That it fails to do so in so many cases shows what humans are capable of, not in compassion, or generosity, but in greed, self-importance, and apathy.

*spoiler* The walrus that gave its life for a "kid" walrus probably would have done better were it as "intelligent."

Carolina Moon (2007) (TV)
9 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
Better than your average TV movie, 16 March 2008
7/10

Once it started rolling I forgot this is a TV movie, until I chanced upon the IMDb page and started reading the comments. I'm very surprised to see a few very negative comments about this film. It may not be the perfect supernatural thriller or mystery story, but it's got great acting and some beautiful actresses, which let's face it, does help, and I'm not talking about supermodel, centerfold kinds of looks. (For those interested in men, they aren't bad either. Well, most of them.) It is of course about a psychic woman, but only touches upon the supernatural and does not run away with it. It has a villain, a serial killer, but keeps you guessing at who he, or she, may be. And unlike so many stories set in America's Bible Belt, you can't tell the good and bad guys based on their religiosity, their gods. It does confront, somewhat in passing, many grave societal issues, including child abuse, religious violence, gender inequality, and others, without being overly dramatic or moralizing.

This movie is a breath of fresh air, made with care not only about the writing, the dialog, but also a care to avoid the clichés that make most TV movies so pedestrian and predictable.

I never read the book, so it could well be superior. All I know is, Carolina Moon ain't bad at all.


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