Reviews written by registered user
|21 reviews in total|
First, to be extremely clear, this is not a documentary as described.
This is nothing but a piece of propaganda from director/producer Alanis
In 1905 agreement was reached for certain Indian tribes to permanently cede lands to the Crown. Now, the Indians don't like the deal they made and want something different - so propaganda like this abounds.
They now want to rely on oral history. If you remember the campfire gossip game where something is whispered in one ear and 20 ears later the story is different, you are on the right track. Or, try the family fish story. 80 years ago great grandpa caught a 6 pound pike; but later when he told the story, it was 8 pounds, then 10. Then grandpa talks of his dad catching a 12 pounder, then it's 14 pounds. Then my dad talks of his grandpa's 16 pounder - or was it 18? And when I tell the story, I remember it being over 20 pounds. Well, that is what this propaganda piece does - the culmination of story telling where the Indians remember something very different than what was written - so the government should honour this fantasy agreement created in their minds.
Various Indians are trotted on to the screen to tell how their ancestors heard something different than what was written and a white professor opines how misunderstanding may have arisen.
Aboriginals (and latte sipping liberals who support them because it is fashionable and never taking time to learn the facts) will likely love the movie as it pushes their positions. For the rest, it is a waste of time as it does not explore the issues fully or have any intellectual discussion of the issues.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A 75-90 minute storyline dragged out into a 143 minute snoozefest. Pitt
and Blanchett, the main reason most would turn to this, are really bit
players in the overall tableau and add nothing by their presence other
than their name draw. Minimal English (maybe a quarter of the dialogue)
with many subtitles during Spanish, Arabic and Japanese scenes. Much of
the film is random shots that the Director uses to fill time to try and
make up for a very flimsy and poorly developed simplistic plot.
Blanchett, playing an American tourist, is shot early in the movie while riding in a tour bus in Morocco. A widowed Japanese businessman has an oversexed virgin deaf-mute daughter with some serious psychological problems. A Moroccan father gives his two young sons a rifle to try and keep jackals away from the goats. A Hispanic nanny takes two American children to a relative's wedding in Mexico. All are connected and the movie eventually shows you how - though the writing has given it all away early on leaving little to do but wait and wait and wait until the film finally ends the misery - if you can keep from nodding off.
Grossly over-rated ... but PR is PR. Certainly the gay and artsy
communities are happy to see the film made for the groundbreaking it
does - but groundbreaking does not equal good film-making.
The plot is relatively predictable - think back to Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn in "Same Time, Next Year". Two lovers meet on a regular basis for a number of years while living separate lives the rest of the time. Big deal, this time the two lovers are gay cowboys. Yes, it was a love story - but a poorly done love story that drags on and on and on - then abruptly falls off a cliff and ends too quickly.
The acting starts off mediocre and doesn't get much better. Randy Quaid was OK in "Category 6: Day of Destruction" (TV) but hasn't had a really decent part since "Hard Rain". This was a big step backwards. Jake Gyllenhaal is weak (though the ladies seem to drool a lot when he is around) and heartthrob Heath Ledger plays below his capabilities.
If you can ignore the less than stellar acting and look at the scenery, the location in the Canadian Rockies is absolutely spectacular and the cinematography is incredible. Also nice to see Linda Cardellini from ER with a minor part which she handled well - look forward to seeing more of her on the big screen. Look for good things in the future from Kate Mara.
I can only suggest the movie's reception was largely a product of all the hype - but as they say in Texas, this one is all hat and no cattle!
Catchy theme song ... lots of young angst but it should have been left
on the stage where it is powerful. Unfortunately the weak acting,
predictable plot lines (well, predictable to those more mature - maybe
not to a twentysomethings) reduce a powerful stage production to a
plodding draggy disjointed snoozefest. The five hundred twenty five
thousand six hundred minutes they sing about is what it felt like while
I sat through it.
To be fair, I am late 40's and I know who I am - my years of finding myself and tilting at windmills have given way to earning a living and being a responsible. Watching the early scene about rent left me thinking about the landlord being defrauded. I would have enjoyed this far more 30 years ago when I was watching Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar so I will cut some slack to those that are still in that head space BUT, this one STILL should have remained on stage.
As background, in 1942, the Federal government appropriated lands from
a native band in Ontario for military purposes and gave them $50,000.
In 1981 they gave them an additional $2.5 million and are negotiating
to return the lands.
In 1995 a group of native protesters cut the fence at a nearby Provincial Park (here they are called protesters - if anyone else did this they would be trespassers or terrorists)and proceeded to occupy the park. When the Ontario Provincial Police attempted to regain the lands, a mêlée ensued and a young native man was shot.
The movie tells the story of the events with the objectivity of Michael Moore in Fahrenheit 9/11. The natives and left wingers will love the spin while conservatives will hate it.
The acting is weak throughout, though not surprising given the lacklustre cast. Dakota House plays an angry young man (ooo - what a HUGE stretch for Dakota), Gordon Tootoosis is there (he is always there when they film a native movie in Canada) and Gary Farmer is his generally enjoyable self (some may remember him from the first season of Forever Knight).
All in all a pretty mediocre production released as the Ipperwash hearings are resumed (coincidence I'm sure) - with the Premier (when the incident occurred) slated as an upcoming witness.
'Tis the season for magical Christmas shows where we are whisked away
from our dreary lives for a couple of hours of love and joy and hope.
The movie is actually 5 mini-stories woven together by a freak snow storm on Christmas eve - an aspiring writer (Eric Szmanda) looks for encouragement from an off beat aunt (Mary Tyler Moore); a woman's philandering husband (Jason Priestley) is "stranded" away from home; a would-be maid of honor (Poppy Montgomery) watches her friend's wedding self destruct; a divorced mom (Jennifer Esposito) agonizes over her young son going to his father's home for Christmas Day and a widow (Camryn Manheim) tries to block out last Christmas when her husband died. In each story, the snowstorm leads to some interesting changes to the character's lives.
The cast won't have to book time off for award shows but they all played their parts adequately and let us walk away feeling that all is right with the world. Two hours of non-demanding escapism to a happier place, ideal to relax with on a lazy holiday evening.
The only thing about it worth watching is to see if it could possibly
get any worse! In the original language, it is plagued with poor
writing and worse acting - add to that very poor English voice-overs
and you have an eyesore.
The plot revolves around two low-life friends who become involved with a white slave trader.
Voyeurs may want to watch for the occasional glimpses of skin provided, but other than that don't even waste the videotape to record it - you obviously won't want to stay up to 3 or 4 a.m. to watch it - and that is the only time it may ever air.
The reincarnations are still easy to look at - jiggle is still jiggle -
the acting is even more underwhelming than the original. Sorry gals, but
are mere cardboard caricatures of the originals. Aaron Spelling's
understanding of the TV viewing public is lost in the buffoon created by
Then, of course, I am old school and this DOES give a whole new generation of teenage boys the opportunity to debate over the finest angel - Farrah's blatant sexiness, Jaclyn's prom queen sweetheart next door or Kate's smarts and tomboyish good looks.
It was a nice trip down memory lane, remembering the ground Spelling broke, but don't miss any sleep waiting up for this one. Good soundtrack though!
(PS Trekkies, was that Michael Dorn in a brief fur-clad cameo?)
Cheech and Chong had some good lines and were social commentary of the day. This is a fourth rate take-off with no redeeming value. The gags, such as they are, are old and tired; the acting is poor; the premise is ridiculous. Try watching that old Indian movie - oh yah - that was the test pattern.
Chintzy effects, lousy dubbing, I can't begin to itemize all the ways this movie was horrid. It looks like it was produced by Grade 3 boys with their parent's video camera. Your time is better spent watching your neighbor's vacation video.
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