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msbsegal

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14 reviews in total 
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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Sobibor, 14 October 1943, 20 December 2010
10/10

I read the comments made about this movie by some viewers. Except for the first comment, which is to the point, the others are not even worth a remark. In the movie, Mr. Yehuda Lerner, who lives in Israel, speaks in Hebrew, which I am sure the commentator knows not better than Yiddish, although those are both completely different languages, like say German and English! Being French and Israeli, I want to say in the strongest possible terms that Ms. Francine Kauffman, who translates, does a very professional job and gives a fair projection of what Mr. Lerner expresses. His smile is that of a shy and naïf person thrown into a surrealistic situation.

The commentators, who have been lucky enough never to spend even 1 day in a concentration camp should be very wise to refrain from making those aberrant and abhorring remarks on the life on the 3rd-Reich-concentration-camps-planet: here in Israel we had a few years ago the famous or infamous "Ivan Demianouk" or Ivan the Red" trial in Jerusalem : this Ivan played one of the savage and beastly part at Sobibor. So many details given by Mr. Lerner support the testimonies of the witnesses called to the bar at this trial. I am not sure but I think that Mr. Lerner was one of the witnesses.

In any case, I wanted to thank Mr. Lanzmann for making this movie, without embellishments tricks or useless images. The testimony given by Mr. Lerner is more than enough, and at the end, the reading of all the transports made from all over Europe to the path of death at Sobibor is extremely true and important against all those, who dare deny even the existence of the Holocaust – Shoah.

I recommend this testimony to all especially those, who research and study this terrible and dreadful period in the history of mankind.

15 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
Professor Robert Merle passed away in 2004, 17 February 2008

17 Feb 2008

I have just discovered that my revered Professor Robert Merle had passed away in 2004, and I feel a pinch in my heart.

He taught English Literature at the Paris University. He wrote his PhD thesis on Oscar Wilde and made some astounding revelation and discoveries, at that time. But he taught us also Shakespeare, Jane Austen, etc. My love of Austen' s novels come from sitting at his lectures.

At the beginning of WWII, Prof. Merle fled the debacle of the French Army; on the beach of Dunkirk he managed to get himself on the English boat that took him to free London, and this true story his very well depicted in "Weekend at Zuydcoote", which is a true biographical story, and very well played by Jean-Pierre Belmondo. I must say that he was twice taken prisoner by the Germans and interned in POW camps, from which he tried to escape. He told us, I remember very well, that we should be aware of sleeping on concrete slabs, but sleeping on wood was quite healthy. I did remember this good advice 20 years later...

He was a strong supporter of the Algerian Ben-Bella, who was of course murdered in a plane crash : if a man loves his country and wants the best for it, he should be killed.....

The late Professor Robert Merle, the tremendous author of "The Day of the Dolphin", and others, was a great lecturer; I will always remember his jokes, good humor and immense knowledge of the English Literature.

I am sad he is gone; I feel a slice of my youth is gone with him, even though I do have all the softening memories.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) : a gem deserving 10 / 10, 7 February 2008

07 FEB 2008 Owing to my good studies at Paris University under the tutorial of the late Professor Robert Merle, the tremendous author of "Weekend à Zuydcoote", "The Day of the Dolphin", etc., who wrote is PhD thesis on the life and work of Oscar Wilde,

Writing this comment I have just discovered that my revered Professor had passed away in 2004, and I feel a pinch in my heart, yet his teaching, jokes, good humor and immense knowledge of the English Literature - which got him on the boat that took him to free London after the debacle of the French Army at the beginning of WWII; "Weekend at.." is a true biographical story - will always remain in my mind and in my heart; this is a true Byronian addendum

So owing to my said studies and my preferred taste, I know most of Oscar Wilde's work by heart, and especially TIOBE. I read some of the comments, the ones, who like this version and the ones, who do not appreciate it.

No one has underlined that the strength of Oscar Wilde's wit is his brilliant, sharp and acute use of paradox, which my Random Dictionary defines as:"1/ a seemingly contradictory or absurd statement that expresses a possible truth; 2/ a self-contradictory and false proposition; 3/ a person, thing or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature; 4/ an opinion or statement contrary to commonly accepted opinion." or in the case of Oscar Wilde all the 4 propositions very smartly intertwined in this play, his very best. Of course he uses paradox in his previous plays, but here in TIOBE he has achieved the top effects of all the 4 paradox possibilities at their best. And this is what makes this play so enjoyable not only at the time of Queen Victoria, but at any given time : mothers will always try to get the best possible match for their off-springs, and this was true in 1890 and in 1990 and in 2002..... Nothing has changed, except for the way we dress, speak, etc. And as one commentator wrote very sensibly, in this version "we do not hear four-letter words, farts, burps, or see tits, and more buttocks, "

I must say that I have found this version of the play very true to the intention of the author, and no, Oscar Wilde would not turn in his grave, I am sure he would be very pleased and have a great time. I want to add that all the actors, including the two butlers Edward Fox and Patrick Godfrey, have done a terrific job, and I want to say that Dame Judi Dench has done tremendously with Lady Bracknell (which I thought she had not done so well with Lady De Bourg in the latest version of P&P), I may not like so much the additions of the Muses in the bushes, etc.., but this is a movie and not a PLAY on a stage.

A play may lend itself to interpretations and some changes, since there are no clear-cut limits imposed by the author. Regarding P&P, for instance, the author has written in the NOVEL exactly all he or she, she in this example, wants to see and all she needs to bring her ideas to the mind of the readers, this is why I tend to be very demanding of the directors to respect the text of the authors : they cannot do what they jolly well please !!!

Please go and enjoy !

Open House (2003) (TV)
Open House (2003) : good family show, 6 February 2008
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

07 FEB 2008 I saw it to-day on cable TV and enjoyed it, true story about everyday life people, their struggles, fights, pains and hopes and joys.

The commentary written "corny spoilers" is completely wrong, and it missed the story in such an amazing way, I wonder why did you not correct the more evident mistakes ? In any case other commentators got the story right.

I think the acting was good and convincing, they all played and made the story a great movie. If you do not like romance then this is not for you, but if you do like it, then you will have a great time and get some healthy advice on many subjects. Sit back and enjoy !

4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Pride & Prejudice – 2005 Joe Wright, 4 December 2007

I saw it yesterday on cable TV, and I am disappointed: this version is not an adaptation of the book, it is something supposed to be P & P.

The cinematography and the music score are great and I enjoyed both immensely.

But I have not liked at all the changes made to the book that were absolutely not necessary, like the scene when Darcy proposes to Elizabeth for the first time : why was it shot under the rain in the outside? And they looked like they were going to kiss... Was that really necessary, or when Elizabeth, with her Uncle and Aunt, visits Pemberley House, they visit a display of Greek statues but in the book all they see are miniatures and quite acollestion of them, she hears the piano and she peeps through the door to watch Georgiana playing, this is unheard of as decent behavior at any time, especially at that time, the same for the famous Lady De Bourg visit at Longbourne : in the middle of the night ? Even the pompous vicious and haughty Lady would not stoop down to such demeanor.

Transforming Longbourne into a farm with animals and fowls, etc, and in general the dreary house, bad furniture, rather dirty place: there is no mention whatsoever of anything of the sort in the novel; or all this linen on the lines, there all the time, never taken down even when it rains, it is strange because it does not belong to the novel and does not add anything so important to the plot it had to be added.

Mr. Bennet was a gentleman and as such had the estate of an esquire, he spent most of his time in his library reading, some time walking his dogs, shooting etc. but not gardening !!!! and certainly not in one bed with his wife, whom he could not stand and made nasty jokes behind her back, even at her face. The shot of Elizabeth on the swing, with muddy bare feet, I do not know why they did this; it is not in the book. Neither this invention of a Mr. Hill.

A PLAY may lend itself to interpretations and some changes, since there are no clear-cut limits imposed by the author. But regarding P&P the author has written in the NOVEL exactly all he or she, she in this example, wants to see and all she needs in order to bring her ideas to the mind of the readers, this is why I tend to be very demanding of the directors to respect the text of the authors : they cannot do what they jolly well please !!!

As for the characters, Elizabeth is OK, so is Darcy, his cousin Fitzwilliam, Jane and Bingley, Georgiana and the other Bennet sisters. However, Mrs. Bennet has not enough fits, Mr. Bennet chuckles much too much, Wickham does not look pervert enough, Lady De Bourg is not vicious enough – Judy Dench is a bit too soft –, and Miss De Bourg does not look sick enough, Mr Collins is doing just fine and Charlotte is OK. Overall, it is not bad if you forget it is supposed to be based on Jane Austen superb novel, but if you are like me a dedicated fan, you cannot help yourself and will always compare it with the brilliant BBC series, which is top (only the costumes did no look right to me).

It is a pity this version was mishandled.

21 out of 50 people found the following review useful:
WAR AND PEACE : French mini- TV series, 6 November 2007
5/10

I just saw the first part and I agree with the other commentator, it is very disappointing. He mentions the Audrey Hepburn version. I would like to mention that as French was the language of the Russian aristocracy, 2/3 of the book was written in French with Russian translation added in the footnotes, funny I think... Therefore, I would like to praise again the Bondartchouk version, I would say it is the ultimate version and nothing can come even close to it: for me, who read the book in the original Russian, this is the true interpretation of what Tolstoy would have wanted. And you ask why ? Because Sergey Bondartchouk followed the book line after line, and included all the most minute details. It was thoroughly researched and everything was absolutely perfect, the dresses, the carriages, the furniture, the sets, etc. If you have not seen, do try to get it, it is a great work of art.

In this mini series, most of the details are wrong, but the worst mistake is in the cast : here, Sonia is brunette and Natasha is blonde, in the book it is the reverse, this point is essential. A blonde Natasha is unheard of. I would like to refer your readers to the good old book : Ivanhoe. At one point, Sir Walter Scott, through De Bois Guilbert, makes a comparison between blonde women and brunettes, and he says that women with dark hair have more zest, are more lively, have some inner fire, it is not a sic quotation but I remembered this remark because I thought it was quite to the point.

So Natasha, who is the pinnacle of life, if not life itself, cannot be a bland pale blonde, not that I would hurt blonds, but this Natasha lacks some sparks, some shine in her eyes. The rest of course is not important anymore.

Sorry, it is not up to par.

N.B.: I feel I must add a few lines to explain that the point I have made at Natasha being a blonde instead of a brunette as expressly required by Tolstoy, is not a futile headstrong idea of mine but is quite well based :

In Tolstoy's masterpiece, the young Countess Natasha is the epitome of absolute purity and youth, kindness, truthfulness,loyalty to friends, she is like a breath of fresh spring air, so he makes her a blue-eyed brunette. Her blond cousin Sonia is about her age, but she is more of a blur, and though she has many good qualities,she lacks this sparkle spring-like personality which is exemplified by Natasha.

At the end of the spectrum, the utmost evil woman is, as required by the author, the EXTREMELY BEAUTIFUL BLOND Helene Kuragin, whose family is ruined and poor as a mice, and who manages to grasp the Count Bezukhov, not for love, or so she plays it, but of course for his immense fortune, which should help save hers. She is a real bi---, she is nasty, even before the marriage she gets a lover and gets her naive husband "des cornes" so big that the horns of a full grown-up male deer should seem small compared to what she makes her husband wear. But as there is Justice, she dies of her own infidelities....

In any case, if you have this evil Helen as a blond, how can you visualize a blond Natasha as being in a completely different category ? If the Director etc would have given to their Natasha blue lens and a brown or black wig, they might have done the trick, but they did not ask me, did they !!!!!

So now I hope IDMB readers will fully understand my point of view.

Monsieur Joseph (2007) (TV)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Monsieur Joseph, 20 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw it yesterday on the French TV Channel 2, and I am not sure what to think about it. I am in doubt if I know what Georges Simenon wanted to write in this book and I do not know when he wrote it. Then I cannot say what the writers and Director have done with this novel and how true to the book they are. It is quite a far cry from all the "Maigret" series, which I have seen performed by various great actors.

Here we have a police investigation of the disappearance of a young married woman Tina brought about by her nasty mother and her hooligan-like brother : they both hate Joseph, Tina' s husband, because he is not a true born French, like they are, he is a stranger, he came from Algeria 40 years before, he is what is known as a "Pied Noir". So if the movie is about the xenophobic behavior of the French simple minded people of a small village, then it is not so special, you meet with this types everywhere in democracies, in the Third World – no place is xenophobia-free. That the French do not like the Pieds Noirs, who arrived in the '60s in France fleeing Algeria, that is not new. I found the treatment of this theme pushed to its extreme, when the so-called friends bar Mr. J.' s entrance to the "friendly" bistro, where he used to come for his coffee every morning : one patron prevents his entrance. I thought this is too much. And of course is one of the reason for the bitter end.

As for the complaint to the Commissaire De Police, it seemed to me very far from the usual top French movies of this genre. It seemed to me a bit too Americanized, like the Assistant to the boss who is a nice black girl.... The Commissaire does not think Mr. J. has done it, but he investigates. The long interrogation of Mr. J. of course reminded me of the great and famous "La Garde a Vue", the wife who disappears, the other body discovered and the rapist never found and everyone in the village quite happy to point a big finger at Mr. J. Eventually many days later, an eyewitness comes with a lead as big as an elephant and nothing : what does the Commissaire do with it ? We do not know, yet we know from the witness that Mr. J. did not do it, so why the movie does not show the results of the investigation ? Why the Commissaire does not reveal to the bloodthirsty xenophobic populace the truth of the witness testimony, which may have changed somewhat the attitude of the "friends" towards poor Mr. J.?

The end is similar to the one in "La Garde a Vue", except that there it was appropriate and here it is just a kind of "la morale" at the end of the fable, it adds nothing there are so many better ways to go about it, like move to a new city meet new friends, etc.

The actors are OK, they carry the performance of all this, Daniel Prevost is a well-known actor, as for Mr. Langlois, the Director I saw some other work from him much more captivating like "The Virus", which I recommend.

I really do not know where lies the fault here : with the novel, the writers, or the director. Something is missing. I do hope someone else will see this movie and comment on it.

19 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Les Amants du Flore or the literary Paris during the years 1930 – 1960, 13 December 2006
10/10

I must begin by saying that although I live in Israel, I am born in Paris, France and I got my first degree from the University of Paris. French literature and philosophy, French or otherwise, were part of our curriculum for the Baccalaureat. So, the background presented in the movie is quite authentic, and the Flore is the famous cafe on the Montparnasse Boulevard, where this Circle would meet. As far as I know the Cafe still exists but was more a place of meeting for the gay's community. Just like the Coupole, they have lost some of the lustre, which I remember from my youth when I used to go there with my late parents on Sundays afternoon...

I just saw the film and I must say that Laurant Deutsch looks exactly like Sartre, same looks, same glasses, and same pipe. Simone de Beauvoir was less known to me but I did read her first novel "L'Invite" – the Guest, which is mentioned in the movie. I seem to remember that there were talks about them, but every one seemed to know about it like the fact that they never married and that she never had children. Sartre died in 1980 and Simone in 1984, they are buried in the famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery, together with Balzac, Chopin, Proust (and even Jim Morrison from The Doors), and all the others.

We see Albert Camus, Francois Mauriac, we hear about Andre Malraux, Aragon etc. Some of them were fanatic communists like Aragon and his friend / wife Elsa, and others. The impact of WWII on all involved, on the life in France, in Paris, is quite well described as well as the rather uninvolvement of Sartre to help one member, who was a Jew, and shot by Nazis in the street – which was a much better end than the camps. So I do think he was a bit of a racist, he used Simone, and she, out of devotion and knowing how much he depended on her and knowing also what a genius he was, she gave up on her own happiness for him. The episode about the Chicago guy was news to me. But many details on this whole set have been new to me.

The actors play very convincingly some parts, which are pretty tough, Deutsch is great, and so is Anna Mouglalis, and the other members of the cast are quite good. The movie script is well researched and fits properly the personages and the period; on the whole it is quite enjoyable, apart from the nude scenes, which I think are unneeded. A good movie for those, who like this genre.

"NCIS" (2003)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
N. C. I. S. – A great series, fascinating, interesting, funny, grasping, I love it, 16 November 2006
10/10

This is one of the very best series created in the USA, but it is not surprising, Bellisario at his best (I remember Air Wolf).

Being Israeli, and having to live in terrorist surroundings, any one who takes terror seriously, hunts it and brings it down even if it is only a movie, has my full support. When Gibbs says "we don't negotiate with kidnappers", or whatever, I thought to myself "how right he is...".

I get a great deal of pride in seeing MOSSAD mentioned in various series in all episodes related with fighting terrorists..... Ziva David is a good example. By the way the name comes from the word "zahav", which in Hebrew means gold and "ziva" is the feminine form so she could be "Goldie". The bit about Ari being a MOSSAD agent and going to the States to do some terrorists actions, seems to me a bit out of context, I do not think that in reality such a situation could happen, but in a movie... the screen has wide shoulders. When we consider all the terror acts, which took place in 2006 in London, Madrid, Israel, etc., : In French we say "tous les moyens sont bons" all means are justified to get them. I hope the USA catches Ben Laden...

It is true that Weatherly plays very well the role of DiNozzo (it means the nose in Italian or close to it ? suits him well), but I can't stand this type of person. Don't you have laws in the States about bothering women ? His attitude towards McGee is also unbearable. I love Abby, Dr. Mallard and Gibbs' dry sense of humour. And also Agent Todd.

The Hallmark Channel shows the series every week days, and Star World once a week. Yesterday I saw with my husband "See no evil", at long last I managed my anti-American series husband to sit and enjoy. He said "This was a very good episode". He liked it very much. And I must say this is quite a compliment coming from him.

I hope they will continue with more and more episodes.

8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
The greatest series of them all Walker, Texas Ranger, 1 November 2006
10/10

Walker, Texas Ranger is the best series I have watched on TV. For such an expert in martial arts, Walker never boosts of his know-how, keeps his calm and cool at all times. I read many of the comments, and I do not understand the critics : do other law-enforcement series differ ? I have seen other American, British, French, German and Austrian police or detective series, do they begin without some crime and don't the heroes always get the bad evil ones. In 95% of the cases we get the right good and of course expected ending, otherwise it would not be part of this type of series. In what way then does Walker T. R. differ ? Well it is set as part of the community: Chuck Norris in his private life is a concerned citizen fighting drugs etc. This is brought to life in many episodes when he helps poor kids get out of the gangs; he fights the gangs and brings the killers to trial; He gets help from friends, fighters like himself or former gangs members or former convicts to get pupils and students get rid of the drugs vicious circle. And you think yes it is a movie but may be one can learn a lesson and try to copy the movie in real life schools and colleges and get rid of gangs, drugs, drugs dealers etc. Why not try ? I also like very much the episodes with White Eagle and the customs and way of life of the Indians. Some of the scenes are simply fascinating and esoteric, full of very interesting mysticism, I mean it seriously no joke. For me some of these scenes have a complex meaning and remind me of things I have read in the Jewish literature.

The whole cast gives a great support to WTR, and as one commentator said they have become part of my family too. My husband knows that if I get the chance to put my hand on a Walker episode, nothing is more important – it is watching a good friend giving you a good time.


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