Reviews written by registered user
|5 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Spoilers, perhaps? (The whole thing is spoiled.)
I don't see much value in excoriating an already amply panned production, but this mess needs all the dumping on it can get. This was bad enough for a history buff as myself, but to present this as a primer for WWI and WWII "neophytes" is an outrage. The evidence of low budget/low quality is evident immediately to anyone who has even the most rudimentary knowledge of either war. The late 1915 helmets showing up in 1914 and earlier, the mismatched weaponry represented in re-enactments of both wars-- B-17s serving as Heinkels and Dorniers??? Germans using cold war era Russain armor? When I first saw an SS officer (?) standing behind Hitler, it was one thing to have the collar tabs of an Unterscharfuehrer with officer's epaulets, but seeing a Wehrmacht general's hat tucked under his arm was something inexcusable.(Yeah, I'm 'showing off' a bit...) It was that type of indifference to detail that exemplifies what's wrong this entire production. If the big details are grossly inaccurate, and the little details reinforcing an overt indifference to the thought put into a project, how can there be any reason to believe there is a shred of merit in the project? Which, ultimately, there wasn't. If this channel is attempting to get back to its "roots" this is a miserable way to do it. I have no problem with them trying to simplify history for a new generation of viewers, but for crying out loud, at least be accurate. That's the shame of this half-a**ed production. It demonstrated how far this channel has fallen, and how indifferent they have become to their viewers.
One of those movies that on the surface is great but one logical question at any point in the film puts it right in the dumpster. The elaborate capture scheme, the blown extraction, the hostage situation while coming up with plan "B" all falls apart when you attempt to find the logic in their actions. Why not grab him off the street once they have solid ID? (Perhaps the evil doc and the missus commuted together? Still, a snatch and grab would still make more sense and be less risky.) Wouldn't you tie him up a little better in the back of the van? I don't think any agent in the world would put that much trust in pharmaceuticals. Hope for the best and plan for the worst. Back at the ranch after their rollicking escape, why agonize over plan B? Shoulda just busted a cap in him in the back of the van and headed for home. Or, if getting him back to Isreal was a that big a priority, but the secondary option falls apart, knock him off in the apartment and... head for home. I couldln't help but think that's what the folks in Tel Aviv would have ordered. (Check our "Munich", Mossad had no problem with "snuff and run" in that story.)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Possible Spoiler (s)...
Was looking forward to it, if fact glad that another "reality channel" was dipping into the mini-series market such as History with the Hatfields and McCoys. More disappointed in this than the aforementioned. While the H&M on History was over-melodramatic and flirting with silly, it was still riotously entertaining and the performances by the cast were from very good to superb. Most of the cast in Klondike seem to be on lithium. H&M did a great job in developing characters, using every chance they were on screen to expose their motivations, flaws, strengths, and did it through dialogue and interaction with other characters-- even gestures. In Klondike this very important facet of storytelling is handled by one-line descriptions or a pat phrase. The pacing of Klondike is another issue, break neck for twenty minutes and snailish for forty. Tim Roth-- who is soooooo underutilized they could have put a cardboard Tim Roth mask on a mannequin and wheeled him around-- is the resident thug/soulless usurper, but in watching the show you have to wonder if he's not behaving that way out of simple boredom. He seems to bore the hell out of whoever he's threatening, anyway. The business woman (so uninteresting her name escapes me) is also victim to the writing. What drives her? What brought her to Dawson City? Mom died in childbirth? Well if that don't make ya wanna head to the boonies and sell booze, what would? Al Swearingen she ain't. The hooker? Drop me with a preacher and the turnaround is miraculous. Again, couldn't she have fared better as a gal-fer-rent in San Francisco or New York? One would think you have to be pretty motivated to peddle your virtue if you're going to go through all that trouble to find a whorehouse with the Help Wanted sign...? Her transition from saloon trollop to Florence Nightengale strains belief. Richard Madden is serviceable-- again a victim of the script-- but comes nowhere near the performance he gave us in Game of Thrones. Sam Shepard is the only cast member who seems to be trying to inject a little life into his character, but again the limits of the script seem to hogtie him.
I won't go into the RCMP or the Natives, but they also fall victim to cliché.
The camera work is a delight. The setting spectacular. The mud looks real. Otherwise, an overall disappointment.
Clint should never have gotten behind the camera for this one, much
less back in front of it. It's been stated over and over about how
clichéd this movie is, and that's probably its strongest point. It's
downhill after that. The acting-- Clint's in particular-- is dreadful.
I applaud the use of Hmong character's, but they should also be able to
perform. Nope. The worst part of this film, for me, is that it is
supposed to be "courageous"-- so white-boy Clint spews as many slurs as
he can, scattergunning epithets for every ethnic group he can come up
with-- but dare not whisper the "N" word--even in a potentially
"appropriate" scene-- which makes him totally unbelievable. If he was
at all true to his character it would have popped out of his mouth
smoother than "zipperhead", as living in Detroit would've afforded
ample opportunity to hone that facet of his racism. His disdain for
Asians had over 50 years to get rusty before the new neighbors showed
Beyond overrated. Had anyone besides our beloved Clint-- and I mean that!-- been involved in this we're talking' straight to DVD, because it's STILL not too lousy a movie for Hollywood to make.
This short accomplishes what mainstream Hollywood-- more often than not-- fails to do in 2 1/2 hrs. You have a solid grasp of every character in the film. You develop sympathy and disgust, you see what makes them tick. And everyone of them is genuine. Maybe even the zombie. The kids are believable, and in fifteen minutes you have a full understanding of how complicated they are, and a genuine feel for their complications. To convey that in fifteen minutes of silly whimsy is truly a work of genius. It also provided a solid sense of place and the social circumstances surrounding what truly is a complete story. No mean feat. I loved it.