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Good, but why overdo it
I know, a filmmaker must earn his money back with some profit, of course. The story of this film is excellent: what to think about the adoption of a seemingly intelligent nice looking 9 year old girl, that for the parents slowly (for us viewers to soon) appears to be a psychotic 32 years old monster, that kills everyone that comes in her way? I have three questions to the directors of this film: 1) why in such a early stage we viewers have to be aware of the destructive character of this girl, 2) why is the father character such an unbelievable blind person and 3) why do mothers or women in these kind of movies always have to be such hysterical neurotical figures? In my opinion this film could have been much better and more suspenseful if these things were less overdone. Yet it's a good movie for a broad audience.
Not for me
It is funny that many people first decide in what category this movie should be classified (horror, sci-fi, etc) and then comment on the fact it does not answer to their expectations of a horror or sci-fi movie. What for me is important that I can in some way identify with the main character or with one of the main characters in the movie. With this movie I couldn't. Not at all. The Mel Gibson character was so far away, so strange to me, that I had difficulty to watch the complete film till the end, an end, that puzzled me even more. Those children with their aluminum caps made me understand why in some parts of the world these refer to nutty people who believe everything concerning radiation and outer space humbug. The acting was OK though.
Why Inception is not worth a 9
Films are fictions of a director, based on a story. The story may be an existing story (a book, a true story) or pure fantasy; a film should always have a meaning, worth watching and must relate to the logic, to the reasoning of the viewers. To make films more interesting and challenging for the experienced viewer, directors may use different techniques like reversing or mixing the chronological sequence of scenes and temporarily confusing the viewer with dream scenes. These techniques should not be used just to make the movie more 'difficult' or more 'intellectual'; they should add an artistic value to the story. If you'd take away these 'tricks', you should still have left a solid story. 'Inception' is a bit different in the sense that the dream technique is maybe more important than the story. Maybe it is the story. Here the dreams are deliberately directionally started by an obscure apparatus in a suitcase and some wires, dreams that function on different levels or layers, each with some logical, preponderant illogical characteristics, but all very realistic, confusing dreams and reality; not only for the viewer, but also for the characters. That's the good part. The bad part is that the logic of the story is completely lost. We are watching a pudding of in itself highly attractive action scenes on different dream levels, in strange ways interacting with themselves. The actions are the results of what the principle characters dream up, we guess. Then why so much fuzz, so much bustle, and why not dream up a less complicated and less violent way to find your wife and children, which are dead, alive or only exist in you dreams? Dreams are uncontrollable, you might say. That is true, but the essence of this movie is, that the dreams in this movie are controllable. That is why this movie is not honest and does not touch your feelings. It is just a sequence of impressive actions, served with an intellectual intended sauce of dream states which after some researching do not make a lot of sense. My idea is that the high reviews on the IMDb-site have to do with viewers that are accustomed to video games, which use these concepts of complicated means of finding the solution or goal. For them it is all about the game, not about logic, reasoning and films that move you.
Someone Else's Child (1994)
What an extremely possessive woman!
I just saw this movie and it made me wonder about Americans, if this movie at all is representative for cases like these. Therefore is was a good movie. It makes you think about the egoistic characteristics of some women and a judicial system that struggles with the rights of a child. I myself have a adoptive child, so I am a little bit biased. In my opinion the woman, who does everything to get back her biological child is crazy. If it was not for the fact that these adoptive parents abused their child, it would have been an absurd exhibition of a extremely possessive woman who for 'natural' reasons went on a rampage to satisfy her "biological" feelings that could have damaged both children. Of course the movie was too sweet to make it really realistic, but the story was OK.
Shocking, but so very Dutch
Being of Dutch origin and reading Dutch newspapers almost daily, I should have known about the existence of this film. But I did not. By accident I came across this DVD at my favorite movie-letter. This is the first full length Dutch feature film I ever saw and I must say, I am impressed. It is a very typical Dutch film-too much emphasis on family problems and never ending discussions about understanding each other-, the story though is very acceptingly with the stumbling role of the Dutch version of the CIA (the AIVD)and the political lack of interest in finding out the truth. Pim Fortuyn was too big for Holland, his violent death was too much for the rather closed and upright society, that Holland in fact still is. The repetition of the things politicians of that time ventilated about Fortuyn was shocking and amazing. It is obvious that Holland is still suffering about his loss and about the circumstances that lead to his brutal death.The wound is too fresh to be dealt with in a objective manner. Theo van Gogh tried to do that and was also murdered, although for different reasons, you might think. But there is a connection for sure.
Black. White. (2006)
For me, not being from the USA, this experiment, or show, was very revealing about Americans and their awkward hangups. I am a 'white' male, married to a 'brown' woman, and we have a 'black' adopted child. We live in a 75% 'black' population on a small Caribbean island. First of all the experiment. Scientificly seen this experiment failed. I mean, what was the hypothesis? That black people are very different from white people? That white people are prejudiced towards black people and/or the other way around? That it is impossible for white people to act as black people and/or the other way around? That black people are so hypersensitive to white behavior, that most of the time racism is not the right word for that behavior? In this experiment it is all of the above. It is scientifically a mess. But it is a lot of fun to watch. Secondly. In my opinion Bruno, the white father, was very clear and truthful in his pronouncements. He did not experience any racism or discrimination in the weeks that he walked around as a black man. He was also very clear in saying that he did not like the black scene. I found the black father (who, on our island, would not dare to designate himself as black; he is too white for that) ridiculous in demanding of his son to feel offended when a white person used the N-word. Very revealing. In my life long experience as a white person between people of color, I have to agree with Bruno. Namely, that many (not all) black people are too sensitive, if confronted with white peoples behavior and utterance. But I also think, that white people have an unwitting superiority complex, that sometimes gives the impression that they downgrade other races. And some of them really do that. They are the real racists. The white women in this experiment are incredibly naive. And therefore very interesting to watch and see their eyes opening. Finally, after all my years living between -and with- people of different colors, I must say, we are different. All my real friends are white. I cannot help that. There is one exception: my son is my best friend. And I hope he will never be ashamed of my whiteness. Because also that I cannot help.
The Lost City (2005)
Good, but too much excess baggage
Is is a pity that most comments are about the politics. Garcia's point of view may a little bit one sided, but that's the story he wants to tell. The cinematography is beautiful, the family situation is realistic, the arrogance of the rebels very well portrayed and the growing love between two people is well paced. But the film is edited in an way that annoyed me. Why mix the assault on Batista with music and dancing? Why are there so many scenes, that have nothing to do with the story? What was Bill Murray doing in this film? By the way, Ines Sastre -first time I saw her- is a very beautiful and special lady. Just to watch her is worth while.