Reviews written by registered user

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47 reviews in total 
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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
One of the best TV episodes of any series ever!, 19 December 2016

Cinematography, editing, meaning, acting. It's all top-notch.

It's actually part prison-concert documentary and part drama. It brought tears to my eyes for how beautiful the music is and how nicely it all came together.

Much needed in a series that has become very silly, especially after the uncomfortable/forced kiss in the last episode.

This episode deserves a lot of praise for the attention it brings to the prison population and the daring of it all. Bravo!

The rest of this review is just filler to get to the needed number of lines required by IMDb. Pretty silly policy and I hope this changes soon.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
masterpiece, 7 September 2016

I'm watching season two right now, and i just have to say: This is fricking good! the story is engaging, the editing is sharp, and the actors are of the highest caliber. It's amazing sometimes how smart it is! And I love the way it can be dreadfully suspenseful in one scene, and then stumble on the most sensitive over-looked aspect of life in another. I cannot pick a favorite character because they are all good, and that's saying something! I also am amazed at the high-quality of even the actors with smaller parts. The direction is impeccable. Who are these directors? Is it God? This show is a giant, and should be ranked with the best. .......... ...... ......... .......... ............ ....... .... ............... ............... ......... ........... ............ ................. ...... .............. ...... ................

Art worth dying for, 31 July 2016

Allegedly, Charlie Parker died while watching a superb juggling act. That makes me think there was something special in that juggling act, something so beautiful that it could bring a person to heave with such excitement to induce a fatal heart-attack.

For viewers who have followed the series, this is the climax. First, when Joan makes her declaration for love, and then, when Don and Peggy's relationship was consummated, and finally, the revealing of the final strategy for the Burger Chef campaign, the episode peaked and answered all questions about these characters. The episode exploded with deftness and profound meaning. Will I watch the next episode? Of course, I'll be loading it after the end of the next sentence. But there is such satisfaction from this episode's writing, development, acting, music choice, and directing, that it could have ended here and I would not have complained.

Love (2015/II)
5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Show me how gentle you can be, 30 November 2015

One of the greatest movies of all time! After "Irreversible" and "Enter the Void", I thought director Gaspar Noe would have reached his peak. I thought either that, or maybe he would have nothing left to show, but this movie satisfies what the characters in the movie are looking for. Towards the end of the movie, one character bemoans the complete absence of "sentimental sexuality" in cinema, and proposes to supply it, and earlier, one of the characters challenges another: "Show me how gentle you can be." This movie is Noe's offering to that challenge. This movie continues in the recent history of French movies that seem to keep erasing the boundary between pornography and art. And yet this movie seems to be one of a kind, thanks to how personal and vulnerable it seems. It seems to be a magnum opus, as do all of Noe's works. That's part of what makes them so thrilling to watch: they all have a distinct spirit of desperation infused in them, a hunger to be great. This movie seems to be ground-breaking in its camera-work, in its story structure, in its handling of nudity and sex. And it's very beautiful. It soars where the latest movies of many formerly great auteurs seem to strain and miss. The cinematography and editing are top-rate, and there are no more devoted actors than these. The soundtrack alone deserves to have a substantial essay written on it, the way it sounds 80s yet contemporary yet futuristic, the way it sounds menacing yet romantic yet hip and yet like the soundtrack to a porno. Perfection!

59 out of 88 people found the following review useful:
There is no one like Woody, the closest thing is Hitchcock, 26 July 2015

Woody has such a full body of work that's stretched for decades, there is hardly anyone to compare him to. That being so, it's even interesting to think about people's reactions when a new one of his movies is released. After watching a new one, the most vocal people tend to try to rank it either at the very top or very bottom of his movies. I think that does the movie-watching experience a disservice.

There's very much to like about this movie and just as many ways to watch it. For one, it's like a classy fun witty and romantic Hitchcock movie, albeit transposed coolly and beautifully to the present-day. For two, Khondji's cinematography is an absolute afternoon delight. For three, the three leads are brilliantly cast and played. For four, it's a fun movie about an ethical experiment. For five, it's a fable-like tale of good and evil, safe and daring. For six, it's a very intense story of girls and women, and the very harrowing gulf between. For seven, it fits majestically within possibly Woody's most noble ambition: to have the same movie be as good a comedy as it is a tragedy as it is a story of triumph, in other words, it's an ambitious script. It's an ambitious script also because of the shifting of narrator throughout, and the way each shift pulls at our sympathies. I was laughing at the same time that I was biting my nails and trying to remember to breathe.

We're truly blessed to be able to watch these when they're new! Future generations will envy us, the way we might envy people who were there to see the new Hitchcock or even the new Chaplin.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Shifts into high gear at Season 1 Episode 5., 24 June 2015

Awesomely detailed sets, costumes, story, acting, crowd directing, and overall production. Reminds me of the Jeremy Brett "Sherlock Holmes" series.

But this series really finds itself in episode 5, when each of the story-lines finds its groove and the cast and crew really give it their all.

Never liked Piven much until this. Frances O'Connor is spell-binding as Mrs. Selfridge!

Oh, and it's true to history, at least the basic backbone of the storyline is.

14 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Gaspar Noe and John Cassavetes win the Oscar, 20 March 2015

Beautiful production in this movie but it's ripped off from Gaspar Noe's movies like "Irreversible" and "Enter the Void". The subject matter and themes are out of John Cassavetes' "Opening Night". In the end, the wonderful cinematography, editing, production, and acting don't really amount to much because the heart is not deep. Yes, the story of a person trying to make something of value and to be appreciated is a good story and has been told well in cinema many times, but this movie didn't seem to believe it. It was more caught up in big names and smirking at Hollywood. Inarritu's "Biutiful" was more worthwhile.

Samsara (2011/I)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Immense, God's-eye-view of our world!, 26 September 2014

Immense! This movie shows us things we're familiar with and things we have never even imagined, and yet it all comes from somewhere in our home, on our planet, within our environment. Framed by Buddhist philosophy and art, we have a god's-eye-view of all continents, all classes, so many cultures and vastly different terrains. We see the endless desert- scape, we see Cairo, the United States, China, Tibet, indigenous peoples of South America, the architecture of Rome, the worshippers of Mecca. We see various trades, the wounded, the dead, families, contrasting political and social agendas. We are left with a feeling of bittersweet grandiosity, the way that Buddhism leaves its adherents. Pain exists, we may never get rid of it. Maybe violence cannot solve violence. Maybe the path of progress is a lot slower than most of us think, maybe the only solution is to take on this weighty all-encompassing compassion that this movie offers up, and pray that it spreads by example and because it is the most virtuous and inevitable way. That's the magic of this movie, that it does not look down on anyone, it seeks to document everyone as they would be documented, and yet there is editorializing, however subtle it is: that we all have the nobility of consciousness, and we are all each as consequential as a fleck of sand upon the Sahara.

Proof that America does comedy best, 18 September 2014

Unique speech pattern, unique material, great show! Starts out with a handful of jokes about fast food, but they're told in such a serious, sly, tongue-in-cheek way that you cannot help busting a gut. He covers sex, religion, race, terminology, currency, but it all feels so fresh because his Southern accent and cool demeanor makes it a perspective that we find we have a void of. It's real in a way that a lot of English, South African, and Irish comedians just can't be. It feels potent and light at the same time! And then there's the jazz accompaniment! What a lovely comedy concert! I'm ready for more! It's in between pot humor, civil rights speaker. He's like a calm, mellow Richard Pryor, a smoother Louis CK, and he carries himself more proudly than Anthony Jeselnik. Winning combo!

Boyhood (2014/I)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Another Linklater gem, possibly even his masterpiece, 14 September 2014

Another gem from director Richard Linklater. You might even call it his masterpiece, I know I'm debating this as I write even now. The premise is: a boy grows physically, intellectually, and spiritually over the years. It is famous for being a movie twelve years in the making, visiting the actors, settings, and even some props every year or two, to not just tell a story, but to literally show it. As I watched the first two or three jumps-in-time, I was very conscious of the rare technique, thinking all sorts of things like about the logistics of such an endeavor, how the actors had to really commit in a way that most actors don't have to, how the director committed and achieved his vision, what that preliminary vision even was, how complete he thought it all out or not, how improvised it was or was not, how much the direction changed over the years. And then, as the years kept jumping, I felt the characters begin to appear. I began to find myself searching inside little Mason and feeling his strengths and fears, his quirks, and mannerisms. I began to find myself watching the other people in his life and watching them age, change, and mature. Melancholy arose, humor arose, neat coincidences arose, goodbyes whisked by. There were surprises like people showing themselves as less wholesome than they first appeared, or people stepping up to the plate after seeming like perpetual losers, somethings seemed vague and never fully connected. But in the end, it felt just like life. It even shows us ourselves in our cute phases through the pop songs that pepper the soundtrack, through the politics of the day, as well as through the the growing prominence of technological gadgetry. But in the end, it's just the rare moments that make the magic, snippets of the boy and his sister as kids fighting, snippets of them hanging with their dad on the weekends, snippets of their mom in the background always trying her best, never asking for repayment, snippets of the pressure to get along with other kids, and snippets of trying to make a place in the world. The photography is poetically beautiful at times, and the editing is unbeatable. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette are astoundingly good, and so is the lead actor, Ellar Coltrane. It's almost impossible to rate or rank it on the same night of having first watched it. It feels like it will take some time to process it and understand what we've really been given. I think that this is its greatest gift, this feeling of having nothing else to compare it with, just like our own lives. All we can say is that it is potent, fragile, and the moment is always new.

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