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richard-markowski

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4 reviews in total 
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13 Hours (2016)
13 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
mostly terrible, 2 April 2016
3/10

first the good. i mean there were genuinely tense moments in this, the action elements in this were fine though not without their own issues of accuracy. so there's that.

the bad. just on a technical level there were some annoying continuity errors... long evening shadows and it tells us its 1pm, midday sun and it says 8pm, walking through a building at 10pm and it looks like sunlight is coming in through the windows. i mean, it's as easy to get this sort of thing right as wrong, so i dunno.

more substantially, this is straight up propaganda - it goes unremarked that there is a covert CIA outpost there in the first place. the locals are portrayed as sub-human, it really would have been a short leap to them sprouting horns. the local CIA head is portrayed as a dribbling idiot, and the private security detail as the faultless heroes of the piece. the private security guys ponder the injustice of not receiving public recognition while others do... what they do get, of course, is lots of money. there was also a tasty bit of condescension where a guy who is protecting US spies in a foreign land for money, turns to a libyan and tells him his compatriots need to sort their country out! give me strength.

i'm also left scratching my head as to why it was called 13 hours, but anyway.

5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Not completely without merit, 3 August 2014
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This documentary contained interesting information, but as a film it rather fails. It doesn't really make enough use of the strong visuals of this massive machine, and there's a bit too much of the video blog type content with some protagonists being terrifyingly large with their features taking up the full height of the screen. Poor resolution was evident at some points, as were out of focus subjects - this was distracting at a time when one should be thinking about what these people were actually saying. There was also a bit of artificial not-quite-drama inserted when something broke and they had to fix it... there was a delay of a couple of months to a 20 year long project with no hard deadline, so it was a bit of a shoulder shrugging moment for me. Some of the sound editing was a bit weird for no apparent reason too.

Contrary to other reviewers, I actually thought the human element - technical ratio was good (given the target general audience) and I found myself quite satisfied with the resolution (which was of course quite outside the power of the film makers), although the implications of it were not teased out that much.

A bit of a missed opportunity. Watch it to learn interesting stuff, not for a cinematic treat.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
I would have to say "meh", 28 July 2013
5/10

I should say at the outset that not only I am no fashionista, but that the fashion industry as a whole gives me the serious irrits. That should actually be a good starting point for this film as I came in with very low expectations, and I guess it's fair to say they were about met. This is, essentially, a bog standard, talking heads documentary, lacking any sort of dramatic arc or thread to hold the collection of anecdotes together. The only real point of interest for me was the creation of the seasonal window displays, which were breathtakingly and beautifully over the top, and without these this film would have rated a 3... maybe that's a bit harsh. As with any good documentary, I was hoping this film would make me care about something I didn't, but unfortunately what was not the case here.

Godspell (1973)
0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
so bad it's substantially worse than "so bad it's good", 23 November 2012
1/10

i'm cursed by a long held personal policy of never failing to watch a movie to the end, in order to form an informed judgement. on account of this, less then half way through i have it playing in the background while writing this, and even that's after scouring the internet to find out what the hell (sic) this was all about.

the music in this is OK for the period i guess, sounds a bit hillsongy, but to each his own... and as noted by others, the scenes involving the WTC also add some poignancy. so that's the one star then. i watched this immediately after watching the passion of the Christ, which was a breeze in comparison. the hammy voices, the infuriating re-enactments of various parables, the portrayal of Christ as a borderline simpleton. awful awful awful, and i know it's been 40 years, but i wish everyone even peripherally involved in this abomination ill will.