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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A beautiful and graphic derivation from classic genres that make it a masterpiece, 6 November 2014

If you are a filmmaker or you appreciate a film that is derivative of classic literature, history, and the class system, watch Snowpiercer!

The concept for Snowpiercer originated in a french graphic novel "Le Transperceneige" created in the early 80's - a time in history when the Cold War was beginning to thaw, liberty was taking over the world, and the concept of pollution was turning into a global cause.

Korean Director Bong Joon-ho (my new director hero) stumbled on to an illegal Korean translation of Le_Transperceneige in a book store and he read it in its entirety once he cracked it open.

I've been extremely fortunate in my life to study films from around the world since my mother taught literature and film, and wrote a book on world cinema. Many of today's filmmakers will acknowledge influence by contemporary or modern greats such as the likes of Scorsese, Spielberg, Hitchcock, and Kurosawa, when they don't know any of the films that inspired these greats.

Within Snowpiercer, first and foremost, I see 1925's USSR film "Battleship Potemkin," then Germany's 1927 incredible expressionistic film "Metropolis," and then France's "Germinal," first put to screen in 1913, with numerous remakes, including my favorite version from 1993 starring Gérard Depardieu who's performance was brilliant. There are other influences, particularly some German films from UFA in the 30's and 40's, and topping off with an ending that's typical of the French New Wave.

Snowpiercer presents poverty at its worst, a class system that is evil, and a time and place where industry has destroyed the world. This movie is amazing and brilliant. Not allowing this movie to have a wide release in the USA was a huge mistake, and the release company just had absolutely no idea or clue as to what they actually had. This film will slowly circulate and people will see it, and its brilliance will be eventually be known.

If you ever have a chance, see the old films I mentioned. You will be shocked as to how the themes and concepts of these films have survived in filmmaking today.

Tammy (2014)
35 out of 70 people found the following review useful:
Tammy is a decent little black comedy., 6 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

TAMMY is a decent little movie and is NOT anything like BRIDESMAIDS! Critics are panning the film, because the critics want that absurdity and comedy of Hangover & Bridesmaids. This film was written by Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone, and directed by Ben Falcone. It's a simple little black comedy with some really good actors! There are some extremely funny moments, but most importantly there is a story to follow that pretty much keeps on track. It's like Thelma & Louise, but it's later when Louise is now an elderly alcoholic living with her daughter, and she decides to hit the road again with her grand daughter - played by McCarthy. What's different about Tammy is how alcohol can really effect a family. So I applaud McCarthy and Falcone for a wonderful first endeavor, and I encourage any Mellissa McCarthy fan to see it. You won't be disappointed if you understand that its NOT BRIDESMAIDS!

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A realistic view of location filming making Hollywood style, 28 September 2006

This is a well crafted documentary within a documentary that truly touches on the conceit, egos, and ridiculousness of how Hollywood Film Producers can act.

Zak Penn has obviously been there, done that, and he chooses some of the best film makers to help him bring the ridiculousness to life.

I've been in this business since the 80's, and quite frankly, it wasn't until the "sonar gal" jumped into the water that I realized that this was a carefully thought out mocumentary. The "real" film makers were totally convincing. There's a good reason for that. They have all been put in dangerous situations because some Hollywood Producer or Director put them there.

Since the beginning of film making, good people have lost their lives because some producer thought with his ego instead of good sense.

Good job Penn and Herzog! What a catharsis for great film makers who'd rather get a hairball then deal with a Hollywood type Producer that just got out of primary school...


"Psych" (2006)
153 out of 173 people found the following review useful:
Clever and absolute fun to watch!, 8 July 2006

The first episode was a delight and so much fun to watch. They have managed to pick a fantastic buddy team that has perfect timing. Plenty of hearty laughs with this one.

It's unusual for a pilot to have well developed characters, but Psych does dispose of this stereotype.

The series does give us (the audience) a chance to think for ourselves and allows us to figure out "who dun it?" before Sean does. There are even little kinks here and there to throw us off. I like that.

I can't wait to see more episodes, and I'm setting up a season pass on the DVR.

Good job USA!

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Simply Marvelous!!!, 4 July 2006

Most young people today have no idea what a real movie is. They know nothing about narrative, antagonists, or what a hero actually is. Audience's want action and adventure without a plot. Audiences have lost the art of enjoying a movie.

The original Superman as played by Christopher Reeve was more than just a movie when it came out. It utilized the blue screen in a way that would create a revolution in movie making style. Audience's actually thought Superman could really fly. Christopher Reeve became the modern day iconic physical representation of the comic character. None of the sequels ever captured what the first movie did. Even the original score became an anthem for fans.

Superman Returns, once again captures the child in us all and makes us think that a man can actually fly. A hero that represents "truth and justice." Someone with great power that transcends racial and cultural barriers.

Brandon Routh reminds us of Christopher Reeve and then adds to Superman with a bit of his own style. What more can any Superman movie fan ask for? Kevin Spacey reminds us of Gene Hackman. Both actors of substantial caliber, with Spacey's Luther equitable, and just as wonderful.

Iconic and Christ similarities? Sure. Similar to the first movie? You bet. A stale score? Heck no. They even make it more appealing. Makes you believe in Superman? Yes! The movie makes you want to click your hills together and repeatedly say "I believe, I believe..." Forget the critics. You can't not like something about this movie!

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Modern day Shakespeare that's meticulously perfect!, 22 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

At Home with the Braithwaites would make Shakespeare stand up and cheer! Every story line truly intertwines with the other. The best example of how the subplot should support the main plot. Braithwaites has it all comedy, murder-?, passion, and love of the family. Often, you will find characters delightfully twisted with an ethos that you actually end up identifying with and you realize that you have friends and family that are just like them - or just like you. Perhaps that is why the show is so successful.

Series one begins with Alison Braithwait winning the lottery at 38 million pounds due to the fact that her youngest daughter Charlotte bought her a ticket as a birthday present. Realizing that husband David, who is having an affair, daughter Virginia, who fixes cars and loves women, daughter Sarah, who's sleeping with the neighbors kid "Phil", and Charlotte, who's always plotting revenge, can be as greedy as they get, she hides her winnings and creates the Jane Crowther Trust.

Deception and mistrust lead to fantastic tails that will have you on pins and needles waiting for the next episode!

4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Amidst politics and criticism, it's a good story, 11 November 2003

Saving Jessica Lynch is a TV docudrama that was literally thrown together within months following the dramatic rescue of Private Jessica Lynch in the first weeks of `Iraqi Freedom.' There was much skepticism for many who even considered working on the project do to the quick timing. To this day, rumor and innuendo still surround the facts.

NBC claims that this particular version of events are the story rights of Mohammed Al Rehaief, the Iraqi lawyer who risked his life and family by telling American Soldiers of Lynch's where abouts. Yet, the movie starts long before Al Rehaief's participation, and the circumstances surrounding events without Al Rehaief are apparent matter of fiction, creative conjecture, and public record, that the creators have handled well. But there will always be this question, that I hope critics will answer, who does this story really belong to?

With all politics aside, and much to my surprise, this movie was particularly enthralling with its suspense, action, and heart felt drama.

The movie starts with the military convoy of the 507th maintenance support vehicles in the dark desert, headlights bouncing light and shadows between vehicles and blowing sand, quickly setting a desolate and soon to be lost mood. With a lack of communication and an aberrant GPS device, choosing the right turn is negligible. The chosen road takes the convoy to the small town of Nasiriya, where all types of Iraqi fighters are seemingly eager to shoot their first American. The tempo methodically builds as the Iraqi fighters push a school bus out into the street causing the convoy to abruptly come to a halt. A long pause for thought and what to do adds to the tension. A plan for escape ensues, but it quickly unravels as the Iraqi's open fire, bullets ricocheting and penetrating all the vehicles at once. Trying to see through the barrage of gunfire as if driving through a pounding rain storm, Lynch's vehicle driven by her close friend Lori Piestewa, crashes into a supply truck.

The passengers of the supply truck, which include soldiers Shoshona Johnson and Patrick Miller, attempt to lend aid to Lynch's vehicle. While dodging bullets, they realize and assume that all are lost, including Lynch.

The devastating battle continues. Patrick Miller and the unknown `blonde' soldier's heroics go practically unnoticed, but that does not stop the drama of the moment or performances from painting a descriptive picture of what essentially happened. We even see Shoshana Johnson take a shot in the ankle. A significant and identifiable moment for woman in the military.

The Iraqi fighters take the surviving soldiers Edgar Hernandez, Joseph Hudson, Shoshona Johnson, Patrick Miller, and James Riley as Prisoners of War. Jessica Lynch is then pulled from the bullet ridden vehicle by the Iraqi's, her seemingly lifeless body, dropped to the ground.

An Iraqi soldier dressed in black, presumably Fedayin, notices that Jessica is still alive, and he orders his men to take the remaining bodies and Jessica away.

Lynch is taken to a warn out hospital where the Fedayin impose their headquarters amongst doctors and patients. With trepidation, a woman doctor makes several clandestine attempts to comfort Jessica. While visiting his wife, who is also a doctor at the hospital, Mohammed Al Rehaief discovers that Lynch is being held. Al Rahaief begins to wrestle with his own conscious and how his family has been affected by Hussein's regime. We even see his neighbor, a woman, being dragged down the street behind a truck because she merely waved at an American helicopter. With years of watching his people tortured, and fearing for the future life of his own little girl, it appears that his selfless decision to contact the US military didn't even take a second thought.

Al Rehaief walks out into the desert at night after the Fedayin imposed curfew, and finds a military regiment to share his news. In a horrifying moment, Al Rehaief is secured at gun point, and shrouded with a bag over his head before being brought to the commander. At one point, Al Rehaief even asks if he will be tortured.

The discovery of the location of a missing soldier, let alone a 19 year old young woman who wants to be a kindergarten teacher, creates great concern and interest to the white house. `We leave no soldier behind' rings true in this story. Without much hesitation, the military takes a leap of faith in believing Al Rehaief's story, and organizes one of the most carefully calculated and meticulous rescues that even the best writers in Hollywood gulped and stuttered at.

Although we as an audience know the outcome, watching the rescue events unfold in this docudrama brings out an emotion of recent memory of watching the specifics on CNN in green. Even though the creators have mixed fact with fiction, the fact that this young woman was rescued in the condition she was in with the help and aid of Iraqi citizens is truly a miracle. The story of the 507th and downed pilots David S. Williams and Ronald Young Jr. is one that needs to be told. Someday it would be nice if there was a narrative that is a compilation of each of their stories, and that it be made into a feature film with all of their blessings.

`Saving Jessica Lynch' is unauthorized by Lynch, and I think it was made and released too quickly and without proper consent. But this story was put together well, and did not particularly exploit the soldiers as feared by critics. It was most certainly worth seeing.