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6 reviews in total 
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Gladiator (2000)
6 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
An overrated, grotesque commentary on the 'Civilized' Romans and the folks who love to watch them, 7 January 2004

I suppose that any movie with excessive violence and a passable soundtrack can now officially qualify as 'great' in our society, so it should come as no surprise that 'Gladiator' is critically renowned. Still, did we have to witness a grinning seven year old boy being trampled ruthlessly by horsemen? Did we have to hear the line "They tell me your son squealed like a girl as he was nailed to the cross, and that your wife moaned like a whore as she was ravaged over... and over... and over again?" Thank you, Ridley Scott.

It's sad that people are so casually able to dismiss stomach-churning moments such as these in the film...for what? For a supposed hero's hollow 'vengeance' that may or may not ever come to fruition? For Russell Crowe's rugged (cough) good looks? Whatever the reason, it's bad enough that the average audience continues to have such a fascination with 'bloodlust', but that gratuitous violence towards children (even though fictionalized) now passes as part of the overall entertainment package...what does that say about us as a society?

Happiness (1998)
1 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Worse than watching 100 'Gilligan's Island' episodes in a row, 6 March 2003

This movie was not just bad, it was an abomination that actually made "The Stupids" starring Tom Arnold seem like a deep, worthwhile film in comparison. Filled with just about every perversion imaginable, including a father who's a closet pedophile and secretly lusts after his young son's friends.

I've heard this movie called a 'black comedy', but there was nothing even remotely funny about it. Kids are used as props for running gags (or worse) throughout the film. Every person in this film is so completely selfish and devoid of depth that they make you long for the quiet dignity of Pauly Shore's characters. The plot line is ridiculous and offensive. Oh yes, and the ending has not one redeeming quality. But other than that...GREAT film!

In all seriousness, this stunningly horrible film is one that you should avoid at all costs. If you find yourself so desperate for entertainment that you're considering renting this movie, may I suggest that you take a trip to your local laundramat instead? There you will be able to watch clothes dry through little round glass windows, an endeavor that I promise you will be far more interesting and amusing than viewing "Happiness" ever could be.

1 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
Good Lord this was a horrible movie, 4 March 2003

This film was laughably bad. The adults in the film are all brutish savages, and the plot line was non-existent. Apparently, a kid is pulled out of school to work for his father as a sheep herder, and suffers abuse at the hands of the man (who, judging from the film, couldn't have had an IQ much higher than 3). The next thing you know, the kid is about 18 and is still trying to figure out a way to run off. Horribly acted and, unlike movies of the same genre (Acla) this film was so pathetically scripted that you couldn't even care about the characters. A complete and utter zero.

If you're looking for a "Mystery Science Theater" type experience where you can sit around with some of your buds and laugh at a truly horrible movie, then 'Padre Padrone' is the one for you!

Lamb (1985)
5 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
What a complete waste of time, 4 March 2003

This was a terrible movie; the ending is grotesque and completely wrecked the film. The sad part is that it had the potential to be special- Liam Neesan was excellent, and Hugh O'Connor did a nice job for a little kid. But it's as if the director said, "Let's make sure we throw in an ending that the audience WILL NOT accept, and then we can go home for the day."

Unless you watch movies in order to feel really unhappy, I'd avoid this one at all costs.

Aclà (1992)
5 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Without question, the worst movie I've ever seen, 4 March 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

WARNING: (contains spoilers)

And the point of making this movie was....?

I've never seen anything like it. An utterly grim, hopeless tale of a young boy sold into slavery by his own father (you read it right). This kid, who can't be more than 11 years old, goes off to work in the mines. Once there, he is continually propositioned for sex by adult workers, witnesses his new friends being beaten by the brutish boss, and earns a beating himself for falling asleep on overnight guard duty of soome sulfur. He runs away and returns home, where his mother ridicules him until his father shows up to claim him and bring him back (yes, another child beating takes place). He runs away again, is caught again, and thus we are forced to witness perhaps the most graphic, nauseating, stomach-turning case of child abuse ever shot on film, complete with realistic screams and cries. The movie ends with the kid returning to the mine completely devoid of hope, resigned to being a slave.

I can just see the director in the meeting with the movie's writers and producers before they shot this travesty. "Hey guys, let's shoot a film where we can put as much child abuse and exploitation in it as we can, and then throw the audience an ending that will make them want to vomit!" And apparently, the producers must have nodded and said, "Good, let's go with it!' because that's exactly what they did.

A truly wretched use of the cinema, and a film I wish I had never seen. Unless you somehow enjoy going to the movies to become deeply depressed, I'd suggest that you avoid this film at all costs.

18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
A sweet, harmless film, 4 March 2003

John Thaw is a an excellent actor. I have to admit that I was impressed by his range in the role of a crusty old curmudgeon who reluctantly agrees to take in an evacuee from the streets of London (WWII time era).

That being said, the film is also excellent. A very moving story with a satisfying ending. Some of the characters are a little underdeveloped (the school teacher in particular), but none of them are essential to the plot. Basically, the story is about the old man and the boy, and the film needs little else.