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sapphire_dragon-1

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12 reviews in total 
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Seen in a new light, 15 November 2013
7/10

I watched this show along with Xena when I was a kid and I was always a bigger fan of Xena but watching the reruns now I have come to appreciate Hercules in whole new light. For one thing the show was a lot more cleverer than I remember, though maybe it's because I grew up and now understand the adult situations better. But I love how they took contemporary society issues and placed them in ancient Greece, and they treated the characters like as if they were a character set in modern times, makes them so easily relatable. Also I love it's sheer positivity. Today in most media our heroes are so jaded and as much as that darkness and complexity is fascinating it is a little demoralizing. Sorbo's Hercules in today's media is almost a breath of fresh air as a character who despite his own tragedies and what he has seen still believes in good and goes out of his ways to not compromise his values.

On a note about mythological accuracy. Most Greek Myths have alternate versions as it is so what would constitute an accurate portrayal? Not to mention that many Greek myths mirror Mesopotamia myths which in turn were practically rewritten by the Romans just replacing Greek names with Roman ones. If you ask me the writers of Hercules were honoring the spirit of mythology by rewriting myths to suit our own society.

Fighter (2007/I)
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
kung fu movie set in the real world, 23 February 2013
9/10

In regards to comparisons with Bend It Like Beckham I would say this film is like it's older mature cousin. Bend It Like Beckham was cute, fun with a traditional Hollywood fairytale story. This film strips all the Hollywood fairytale and plonks the story in the mundane real world. The romance is careful and considered with real world reactions, the family reconciliation doesn't leave you with a happy happy family feeling, the Yoda equivalent offers opportunities but no answers and seems helpless through most of the film and the main character's kung fu obsession doesn't end with all conquering victory.

What you do get instead is a character tug of war where one side wants her to be a traditional Turkish girl and the other wants her to embrace modern Western idealism. For me this is what makes the film clever. It's not simply about a girl trying to overcome her limitations but a girl fighting to not be boxed in by any ones social norms whether it be Eastern or Western. The Western lifestyle is not held up as some moral superior as it is in many other films of this nature. This film is simply about a girl trying to forge her own path without having to embrace everyone else's values.

As a final note I noticed a lot of people thinking she is being kicked out of her martial arts class at the beginning of the film due to aggression. While it is true she is aggressive she's not being kicked out. The teacher notices her frustration at having no challenging opponents because she has out skilled everyone in the class the teacher feels be better of in a more advanced school. If you ask me this is good teaching and I wish more teachers were this observant.

11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Please make children shows like this again, 25 December 2011
10/10

When you look at kids shows today you can't believe the things you watched when you were a kid. Today no one would make a show like this because now it's politically incorrect. And if they did it would be marketed for older teenagers. This show had violence, complexity, depth, realism, moralistic debates and good wry humour. Today's show's for the same age group by comparison are childish, shallow and plain silly which don't get me wrong they have a place in our TV viewing habits but when it is the only thing you can give your kids to watch, well it's rather sad.

This was a show were they didn't shy from the fact that predators eat prey, the characters had real personality clashes and there was no fully good or fully bad character they all had a bit of both. They even dealt with the issues of death, loss and grief. We have become so afraid of children getting hurt our TV shows treat our kids like idiots. I was 7 to 8 when I watched this show and I understood all the themes and moral dilemmas moreover I wanted to know about them and since parents aren't going discuss things like that with a 7 yr old kid I really got to thank shows like this for helping me build a moral character.

Come on TV land be daring make kids shows like this again. Kids need stimulation not constant mindless candy floss.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Modern Retelling of Beauty and the Beast, 4 February 2011
7/10

Like all the other reviewers here I came across this film by accident on TV. I have to admit considering that obesity is a becoming a pandemic problem in Western countries it is surprising not more films are made about it and it's underlying problems. I think that was what I really loved about this film, it had an original topic even if they used the story arc of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. This a sophisticated and genuine film and even if it doesn't move you to tears it will definitely touch you.

Tip: Keep watching after credits, there is an extra scene. I don't really see the purpose of this scene but you can watch it for yourself and decide.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful film, 10 September 2010
10/10

I've only watched two Portuguese films so I'm no expert on it's cinema but I just loved this film. It's sweet, moving, funny, dramatic, tearful, intriguing and truly heart felt. You can totally understand why all the men love Salome. How can you not? You really feel like if she was real she could see into your soul. The character is one of the most "real" feeling characters I've seen in cinema in a long time. It's a film that just feels authentic, you never find yourself doubting it's authenticity. The actors were perfect, the script was great, the sets fantastic and the directing seemed flawless. I reckon even if you don't like foreign films you would love this one. It is a film worth reading the subtitles for.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Great Popcorn film, 20 August 2010
6/10

OK so this film is perhaps not the most clever film, and it doesn't have ass kicking special effects and it won't leave your head reeling in philosophical thoughts, but it is a genuinely charming film.

It is cute, it will put a smile on your face and you can just zone out for an hour and half, and I have to say it's nice to have a popcorn flick that is just a cute film. Hollywood these days seems to require loads of action or gross out humour to be a popcorn flick so it's kind of nice to watch a film that isn't so intense for a change. I personally enjoyed this film and would watch it again. It was fun. It doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense or the plot is just dumb. It's just fun and you still care abut the characters and that's all that really matters

1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
There are better holocaust movies., 16 June 2010
4/10

Spielberg's so intent on telling the whole history of the Jews of Poland after Germany's invasion that the story gets lost, and I find myself only watching with curiosity rather than empathy.

The characters of Schindler and Goethe I enjoyed they're portrayal and think the actors did a good job but on a whole I felt like the film was trying to tell me something rather than make me feel something.

I don't mean any offense to Spielberg but I've seen European holocaust films that are less than half the length of this film and they are ten times more powerful than this one. This film is over hyped. If you really believe this is the best holocaust film there is, then you haven't seen enough of them.

Storm (2005)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Not what you expect, 6 February 2010
7/10

From the plot outline I read I was expecting one of those save the world sci-fi films but instead what to me this film seemed to be about was a sort of tug of war for by the angel and demons for the soul of DD. It seemed to me the character Lova was meant to be an angel sent to get DD to remember his sins, repent and become a better person where as "man in suit" (we never get his name and that is literally his credit) is the Devil, trying to keep DD in his sinful ways so that his soul will end up in Hell. I don't think anyone else got this impression but there were things in the film like when Lova says she is sensitive to fire, that made me think she was an angel and the other guy the devil.

But if you're reading this and thinking that sounds cheesy and lovey dovey (because lets face it the US versions of these types of movies are) then don't worry, it's dark and gritty and doesn't shy away form the hard stuff to a point where you question whether you should feel sorry for this character. And there's no Bible bashing (except for the scene where a Jesus of Latter Saints guy asks the Devil if he wants to be saved by Jesus). And though the ending might make some people think "but I want to know more" I found myself rather satisfied with the ending. Over all I liked this film, it was a refreshing, if not violent take on Angels vs Devil themed films.

Acting not seen in years, 7 January 2010
7/10

Reading all the reviews they covered most of the relevant points. The thing about this film it is not a kung fu movie, it's not about demonstrating the great skills of kung fu, so I think it is a bit unfair to compare it to the movie Hero, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon or House Of Flying Daggers. And the characters are not meant to be martial artists but swordsman, which is a totally different skill set. I would compare this more to road movies, because it is more of a road movie, (where characters physical moving through an environment is symbolic of the character's inner change.) If your looking for a movie with amazing battle scenes this is not it. It's a character driven movie, about ethical and moral dilemmas, loyalty and honour and the bonds of brotherhood. For me what blew me out of the water was the acting, it's been a long time since I've seen demeanor acting like that. I don't know if it was perfect casting or perfect directing but the main actors looked completely involved in their character, in the way they moved , the way they walked even just sitting in a chair you'd think that is how that character would sit in the chair. They got all the nuances right never once you thought that's the actor coming through. Been a long time since I've seen acting that particular. My only real gripe, is if you are going to get a Japanese actor to play the Japanese character, couldn't you get Turks to play Turks? Or at least someone more passable for Turkish because Chinese looks nothing like Turkish.

Lumumba (2000)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The Best Political Film Ever ( spoiler only if you are unfamiliar with Congo history), 25 December 2009
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When it comes to political movies I usually come out feeling empty. They generally take up some moralistic stance and you have a clear good vs bad story line as if it is some sort of Batman movie.

But with Lumumba it is the first movie I've seen that showed politics for what it is, and the real issues of trying to rule a country of broken people who have known no other rule but violence. There were no good or bad there were just interests and conflicts of interest. This is the only political movie in my opinion that one can come out of it truly learning something. Especially for anyone with their eye on politics as a career this movie shows you, you cannot rule on what you want for a country, but what the country wants from you.

That's why I disagree with a lot of reviews that say everyone comes of bad, I think they come of too idealistic, (the Belgians want the perfect colony, Lumumba wants a perfect Unity Congo, Tshombe wants wealth and riches, America wants the perfect ally against communism, Russia wants the perfect aide for Communism). And the Congolese? They come off used and abused, ( best example in the movie when Général Janssens tells his black troops your government lied to you and it leaves them all in an uproar) they are always being pulled and pushed into supporting this person or another.

This movie shows in politics a mistake can cost you dearly and this movie everyone makes mistake after mistake until it escalates and ends up destroying the country. Their intentions might be good (or at least in the characters opinion), but it's everyone's mistakes that lead to the downfall of Congo. I don't think anyone is bad in this film, I just think they want too much from people sick of giving and want to start taking.

Overall, it's not just the best political film, it is a great film in general. Acting is fabulous (Eriq Ebouaney as Lumumba was perfect casting I really believe him) script flawless, editing perfect pace, and production value higher than I expected for a central African film. A must watch.


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