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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Holmes' Victims Got Off Easy..., 23 August 2013
1/10 least they didn't have to sit through this piece of garbage!

Take an interesting subject and present it with the directorial finesse of a mentally retarded 12-year-old on Quaaludes who's just been handed a video camera and you'll come up with something pretty close to this pseudo-documentary. I'm not sure what was more entertaining, the fake mustaches in imminent danger of falling off during the reenactments or trying to count the number of different ways the director tried to use the same three pictures of the perpetrator.

And let's not forget the 1,914 uses of the closing-iris-fade-to-black effect (not sure what it's called but if you managed to get through at least 10 minutes of this cinematic abortion then you'll know what I'm referring to.) Perhaps the best use of "H.H. Holmes - America's First Serial Killer" would be as a primer on how *not* to edit a movie.

Look up "amateurish" in the dictionary and it'll lead you to HHH-AFSK. Those with in interest in the exploits of the good doctor would be best served to read Erik Larson's "The Devil in the White City" or, at the very least, to look him up on Wikipedia.

Ugh...I think I need to go take a shower.

"Roots" (1977)
0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Powerful..but what's up with that music?!?, 11 August 2004

My fiancée and I just rented the entire Roots saga on DVD. For both of us it's the first time we've seen it since 1977. We watched it over the period of three days and came away from it moved and intrigued.

I was 10 years old in 1977 but I remember that even then I was hooked on the story, so much so that the following year I tackled the book (one of the best I've ever read.) As an adult, the story and the characters have had an even greater impact on me.

As was the case at the time, the acting is somewhat heavy-handed and the sets are not exactly what I'd consider to be convincing. I'm no botanist but I'd venture to guess that there weren't too many oak trees in Kunta Kinte's village in the late 1700's (or now, for that matter.)

Like any TV adaptation, liberties were taken. Most of them are of minor consequence given the scope and importance of the project as a whole (so quit your grumbling about Chicken George not knowing who is father was!) This is a film that appeals to the viewer's heart more than his/her head and in that respect it succeeds admirably.

I won't bother with a synopsis; if you're reading this most likely already seen the film and are simply looking to see what others thought of it. About all I can say is that this film--this story--moved me and has stayed with me for almost 30 years. How anyone can watch it and come away less-prejudiced is beyond my understanding.

The two things I'd like to comment on are the music and Tom (aka Jesus Christ.) Is it me or did the music seem to be inappropriately cheerful and bouncy at the worst times (i.e. the scene after Kunta's whipping, after Kizzy's rape, etc.) The next time you watch it, listen and see if you agree.

The other annoyance was that of Tom. I liked his character and I think that the actor did a credible job with what he was given but come on...Jesus Christ himself wouldn't have been so wise, patient and forgiving! Seemed a bit too good to be true.

I don't know how much of the book/film was conjecture or outright fiction but, in the end, it worked for me. It worked for me enough that I now intend on digging a bit deeper to see what I can learn about this remarkable family.