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Glorious 39 (2009)
Takes its place as one of the Great Movies
I've heard this movie is considered a thriller. This movie is many things but a thriller is the least of them. Like the great movies this movie has a theme and a overall moral that is vital to learn. This movie is really about the nuances and many forms of racism and bigotry. A subject Stephen Poliakoff in his genius has shown in the past with many of his other films. Of course many of the Great Films were not recognized at the time of their release. And unfortunately Glorious 39 is one of them.
This movie is beautifully filmed in wonderful locations. In this once again Poliakoff does not disappoint. Anne begins her journey in the English countryside a member of one of the great aristocratic families right before the events of World War 2. Amazingly during this journey she see's the insidious nature of racism and bigotry as it takes possession of her family and eventually robs her of them (it may have been there all along with the times). One of the most potent scenes of the film is when Anne's observant cousin warns her "they don't really love you". With the revelation of Anne's ancestry and the showing of their true regard for Anne during the course of the movie Anne begins to realize this fact and at the end makes her escape from the strange, racist and corrupt family.
Were they in the right to try to appease Hitler? Looking at England at that time it is doubtful that they would have won a war with Hitler's Germany. America was supremely isolationist. And Russia had signed their own peace treaty with Germany. But looking back and seeing how events played out it shows more that ever the importance of always doing the right thing. Still this takes almost a back stage to the real theme of this movie. The genius of Poliakoff has always been his theme's and how he reveals them over the course of the film in his own marvelous way. Be sure to check out his next work "Dancing on The Edge" a five-part series set to debut new years 2013.
The Shadow Line (2011)
Shallow and negative
**** Spoilers **** I watched the whole series, all 7 episodes and I understood it all, nothing here too hard to understand. This show has been compared to The Wire. Very unfortunate since such a contrast shows this series flaws. The Wire was realistic the events believable. You felt these things *could* happen in this world and did. I don't think The Shadow Line aspires to this. All the events and corruption, betrayal for a police pension? I was as incredulous as Jonah Gabriel when he asked the former cop on the boat if he was actually disguising all that corruption for altruism.
Most of the acting was good. Most of the story was good but I never just look at that. I look at the overall plot and the effect the series will have on the world. Is the overall plot believable? No. Is this a warning of what could really happen in the world? Of course not. This is the new millennium folks not the 70's. I have a little more faith in the police force in Britain than that. Besides if millions of dollars suddenly show up in the police pension fund someone is going to notice.
The series is called the Shadow Line. a reference to the moral line the characters draw in themselves. Bad morals were well documented but the other side, the good side is almost completely absent. At the end of the series Gatehouse and Patterson ask is it so clear to draw that line? Jonah Gabriel says to Gatehouse "of course"... honestly I was waiting to hear more. Obviously the good side of "THE SHADOW LINE" is not well represented here.
I don't need a happy ending, but the ending in this film was negative in the extreme.