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L'important c'est d'aimer (1975)
Worst French Movie Ever Made
I just bought the DVD of this film and will never cease regretting it. This is the most awful Romy Schneider film I have seen, and I have seen most of her movies, including the ones filmed in Germany (Sissi, etc.).
The 70's produced the weirdest films and I probably should have known better: if Klaus Kinski was in it, it cannot be good. But I love Romy Schneider and so I went for it.
I will probably never see this movie again because I couldn't sit through this pretentious crap twice. I cannot understand how anyone could like this film. I didn't even like Romy in it, and that says a lot, given that she's one of my favorite actresses.
If one reads the description of the movie plot, one is deceived as the story is not as simply told as described. I wish I could get my money back, but I bought the DVD from Amazon.de (Germany) - too much hassle to return it. I'll just throw in the trash instead and good riddance.
I was not thrilled
I really didn't like this movie that much. It was promising in the beginning, but it was a let-down in the end. I didn't care much for the sub-plots either.
For instance, Kate Winslet's character, we don't know whether she lives or dies. What happened to Gwyneth Paltrow's lover in Chicago, was he infected by her? In my opinion, this should have been explored more.
One big blunder was made with the population numbers: San Francisco, CA, does not have a population of 3.5 million! There are not even a million people living in that city.
I did like the acting and basically, the movie is not totally bad, but it could have been a lot better.
The end - DAY 1 - yeah, blame it on the animals. That was my biggest dislike. So much for a thriller that isn't one...
The Help (2011)
Definitely Oscar Material
I can only echo the other reviews already written about this outstanding movie.
The performances are incredible, especially Viola Davis, who shines in her role.
Credit also goes to Tate Taylor, who wrote the screenplay and directed this wonderful film.
The story is poignant, but also funny, and describes the racism that took place in the South during the Sixties.
I can only highly recommend THE HELP.
DO NOT miss this movie. It's one of the best of 2011, if not THE best.
Meek's Cutoff (2010)
Meek's Cutoff is a weak movie. We are forced to watch the daily monotonous routine of three families lost on the way to Oregon. Their seemingly incompetent leader Steven Meek (played by the unrecognizable Bruce Greenwood) assures them that they will reach their goal shortly and that they will find water... neither promise is being kept. Along the way they encounter a lone Native American, who is despised by Meek since, as he claims, knows "what they are capable of". Since the Indian's native language is not translated via subtitles, the movie viewer is in the same boat at the characters in the movie: We don't know what he is saying. We don't know whether he understands what the Americans are saying.
While Meek is still on the "warpath" and wants to get rid of the Indian, one of the wives, Emily Tetherow, played by Michelle Williams, has been showing some compassion and protects him from Meek. This is about the only scene in the movie that stirred some emotion in me. The rest did not impress me at all and I certainly didn't like the ending... "let the audience decide". In my opinion, this is the weakest part of the movie and I hate endings that are loose ends.
Of the other characters, Solomon Tetherow, played by Will Patton, seemed the most likable next to his wife (Michelle Williams). However, I did get a sense of their hardship and desperation, but didn't feel much sympathy for their plight. All in all, the movie is not as poetic as the critics make it out to be, nor is it a masterpiece. This is definitely not a Must-See movie...
Les amours imaginaires (2010)
Boring, boring, boring
What an awful film! The worst I have seen in many moons. It's not worth writing any details about this trash. Xavier Dolan fancies himself as a filmmaker? Ha, ha! The guy bites his fingernails! Did anyone else notice that in the close-ups?
The story itself was not bad and could have been told in a much more interesting way. The testimonies about relationships we hear from people who have nothing to do with the main characters, are tossed at us in between scenes and only distract and do not enhance the film.
Les amours imaginaires? I imagine Dolan doesn't know much about l'amour...
What a non-thriller !!!
I have read most of the reviews and agree with all the ones that rate this to be a bad movie. The plot, which has been described numerous times by reviewers, is full of holes and too unbelievable to make a good thriller out of it. My biggest pet-peeve with this film, however, is that the director/writer (and whoever else) did not consider that there are people who actually know Berlin very well. To have the taxi driver (played by Diane Kruger) pick up Neeson's character from the Adlon Hotel, which is in the center of Berlin (near the Brandenburg Gate) and drive southeast to the Oberbaum-Bridge to get to Tegel Airport (which is in the NORTHWEST - totally opposite direction), is utterly ridiculous. I guess they needed a river for the accident scene, and there are no rivers near Tegel Airport. The Oberbaum-Bridge is spectacular and the Spree river is perfect for the scene. The other big blunder is the address of Bruno Ganz' character who lives on Liebenstrasse Allee. What a joke! Anyone who speaks German (like me) knows it's either Liebenstrasse or Lieben Allee (both of which are fictitious). It's like saying John Smith lives on Broadway Street Boulevard (duh!). This movie is full of cheap thrills, like car chases and fights where the bad guys must lose. All these actors are wasted in this movie. I had high expectations for this film because the trailer looked really good. Nothing good about this Hollywood crap...
Nürnberg und seine Lehre (1948)
Most important trial ever
"Nürnberg und seine Lehre" - the original title of this documentary - is very compelling and well put together. Aside from the importance of its contents, I must say that I was distracted by the poor quality of the film. I was under the impression that it had been restored, but it didn't seem like it. Most of the time, the heads of people were cut off and the poor pronunciation of German names by Liev Schreiber, the narrator, didn't help either. They should have picked someone more apt to pronounce some of the more difficult names like Joachim von Ribbentrop or Hjalmar Schacht.
However, the film is a crucial documentary as it gives inside to the key people of the so-called Third Reich and its demise. Germans who blindly followed Hitler find out at the end that they were lied to and betrayed by their Führer who broke all promises he ever made to them. Even though I don't have any sympathy for any of the Hitler followers, I was surprised by such statements. The film shows not only the crimes committed against 6 million Jews, but also the cruelties inflicted upon the Germans who were mentally ill or handicapped. They were deemed "useless eaters". It also shows the destruction WWII had brought to Europe. It's a painful reminder that dictators and war have no place in a free world.
A righteous man
"Where I stand - The Hank Greenspun Story" is an amazing documentary about a man that hardly anybody knows about. Even the writer/director Scott Goldstein admitted that he had never heard of Hank before he started the research for his movie. I saw this film at the Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival with Mr. Goldstein present. Everyone in the audience was mesmerized. It's an incredible story of an incredible man who fought for justice all his life. Hank Greenspun has done more for this country than anyone can imagine. It is an absolute MUST-SEE movie, an eye opener to say the least. I hope this film will get distribution, since (as Scott Goldstein explained) it has only been shown at film festivals. If you have the chance to see it, don't miss it!!!
One of Rob Reiner's Best
"Flipped" is superbly directed by Rob Reiner and in my book, one of his best movies. It's a wonderfully told coming-of-age story, which I could relate to in many ways. The main two characters, Juli and Bryce, are very likable. Their parents, played by Penelope Ann Miller and Aidan Quinn, Rebecca de Mornay and Anthony Edwards, respectively, are believable in their roles, which they play excellently. I liked the fact that the story is told from two points of views, Bryce first and then Juli. If you want to see a really feel-good movie, instead of watching some dumb comedy or shoot 'em up flick, go see FLIPPED! You will not regret it.
Mao's Last Dancer (2009)
Brilliant and Classic
Mao's Last Dancer is a brilliantly made movie, thanks to the flawless direction of Bruce Beresford. I had not even heard of this film until I saw a local ad for it. I also didn't know about the book. I watched this movie with eyes wide open! The dancing blew me away, and yes, I have to admit, I cried several times. The story of Li Cunxin is amazing. He is played magnificently by Chi Cao (as an adult), who, I understand, is a well known Chinese dancer in his own right. Bruce Greenwood, which I like very much, plays the role of the Houston Ballet Director with absolute perfection. Several reviews have included the plot of the film, so I'm not going to get into here. I only want to stress to everyone who has not seen this movie, don't miss it!!! And bring a box of hankies...