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Part legitimate, part trash
SO this little film is based around U.S. whistle blowers in regards to the NSA's information gathering programs. I will say that overall it is interesting and a decent film. There are some parts of this that are absolutely legitimate, and another part that is ridiculous. It also features Ed Snowden.
The NSA data collection is a bit of a tricky subject. The NSA collecting data on U.S. citizens is something I think is absolutely wrong and an invasion of privacy. Snowden, in my opinion should not be treated as a hero. I do, however think exposing the domestic spying program was a noble thing and I have no problem with him for that. This is something that should not be done, especially when they lied to Congress in hearings over this. This has been going on for years and I am almost baffled on why people did not know about this before Snowden because PBS did a documentary on this years earlier. That and the questions of privacy are legit.
Now let's get into the weeds a bit. Snowden did not expose JUST the domestic spying program He also exposed operations outside the United States on foreigners and other nations. Why are people upset over that? The NSA is a spying organization. God forbid they actually spy... It also represents a double standard. After 9/11 intel agencies had to shoulder a lot of blame with a lot of people thinking they should have known about 9/11. A lot of people blame intel agencies for having bad intel when it comes to Iraq. Well, what do you want? They are not doing enough if something happens, but they are doing too much when nothing happens and we are safe. I understand foreign countries getting angry that we spied on them. Then again every country spies on others. It's part of securing your own country and when another world leader acts shocked, it is faux shock.
Although I a do not condone this gathering of U.S. citizen data, non U.S. citizens in foreign nations are not subject to the U.S. constitution and to get out raged about spying abroad is just plain idiotic.
Another part of this is an overblowing of what is going on. I agree personal communications should be off limits (when done on U.S. citizens) but the meta data collection pales in comparison to the amount of that can be gathered legally from things like social media. When you post something on social media you are pitting it out to the world. It is very easy for someone to just send a friend request and a lot of people play the "Lets see how many friends I can get," and will approve any and all requests. This makes a lot of things very public. Most sites you join come with disclosures that no one reads. So the NSA has no problem gathering info on us without invading your privacy.
The going after reporters thing is also wrong. We have freedom of the press and the press isn't going to turn down leaks. Publishing is simply what they do and should do. In defense of the NSA though, the existence of these data gathering programs are a genie you cannot put back into the bottle. They exist and because they exist and have the potential to stop some violent acts, the government will do with the tools they have at their disposal. Given what we have seen with the Boston Marathon bombing, two men who the Russian government actually warned us to keep an eye on, it's likely that this is not as big of a threat at this time in comparison to the reach and abilities that Snowden has attributed to it. I will also say that Snowden comes off as paranoid, somewhat delusional and reeks of a young idealist who was intent on trying to make a name for himself in these disclosures. Don't sit and tell me the merits of what you exposed when you expose things other than domestic spying. Especially when it has national security implications. Every U.S. ctizen should have zero problem with a spy agency keeping an eye out on other countries unless you take for granted the relative safety we enjoy.
...and people still refuse to accept facts.
Why does this currently only have a 5.9 star rating on IMDb. I guess stupid is forever, even in the faces of so-called "facts" being obliterated, people will not accept fracking is not destroying the environment.
This whole thing is a result of the digital age of stupidity. Nobody ever finds the need to fact check anymore. There are so many sources for info today so if someone doesn't want to accept facts they just go out and find a source that will just give them facts they want to hear.
This is a great little documentary film unlike the fake documentaries that are so persistent today. An interesting subject that wasn't taken very far popped up which should lead to a bigger discussion. It's the Russian influence in the anti-fracking industry/special interest group.
Is "Climate change" real? I believe it is, but grossly exaggerated as the climate always changes. The big push is an EU creation. Here's how. The "Climate Change," or global warning back then, took center stage at an interesting time. The Berlin Wall had fallen and the Soviet Union was economically defeated. Soon the EU formed. Why? The EU was formed for economic viability, namely, to compete with the U.S.. There was 2 problems the EU had in order to compete. 1, the need for economic aid to combat the USSR was over and this could effect gas prices. 2nd, Europe's oil supply was still controlled by the Russians. This led to a hard truth. No matter how hard the EU tried, Oil prices would hold them back. The U.S. has it's own oil, and Canada to the north is another source for the US. We also refine a lot of the worlds oil. Fuel is cheaper in the U.S..
This lead to the carbon credit, and climate change schemes that not only cost a lot of money, but make no sense because proposals have little to no impact. They do make sense though when you realize that the scheme involves massive U.S. spending, and basically the U.S. doling out tons of dollars to destroy their own economy, while the EU kicks back, and becomes an economic leader because they engineered the whole scam.
This documentary on fracking is worth watching and deserves much better than the ridiculous activist's that are suppressing it, will lead you too believe.
When it comes to intellectual brilliance we sometimes come to the conclusion that an intellectual is infallible and unable to make mistakes. They are too smart to mislead. They are to smart to have their own agendas. That their agenda, and or credentials mean that what they say is the absolute must. Sorry the world doesn't work that way. Let Einstein get in the ring with a heavy weight boxer and the only way out for him would be not getting in there in the first place. Chomskey is a bit like that.
I do agree with most of his theory but it seems too me he missed the mark in one place. He subscribes to the corporate evil theories out there and it puts his theory in a box which is then punched with holes. It is true that Companies want to put ads in newspapers that report stories in ways that fall along their way of thinking. That is common sense, and logic. Where things go astray is the idea that it must follow that because ad money supports newspapers, than those companies are running the newspapers. That is incomplete.
The incomplete part is to assume the ad money is used to leverage papers. That sounds good but no paper is going to get ad money if no one is reading it. Not only that but plenty of companies buy ad space on TV networks that have a seemingly opposing view point.This is not an evil conspiracy by corporations. The simple fact is that corporations have money and are willing to pay for advertising. Those companies would like the world to agree with their point of view and be like minded, but they are far more engaged with making money. You cant make money if they advertise no one is reading/listening/watching where you advertise.
Chomskey is an agenda man just like anyone in politics. Yes, he had an agenda. He wasn't a right wing, or left wing guy. He was a bit libertarian in many things, but here, is where he slews to the left. He liked social "justice" (another name for theft) He liked the idea of the government being a bully...as long as it supports his point of view. So that is where he pushes this off to. He wants to blame corporations because that way he skirts the left by not saying the government is the bad guy, and skirts the libertarian by saying business is good but undue influence and cronism needs to go.
Chomsky, he was mostly a pretty good guy, not all left, not all right, but Ayn Rand is much better than Chomskey The parts about media having an effect and trying to control the public is on point though. Just watch MSNBC, NBC, CNN, ABC, or CBS. They pretty much buried anything that could cost Obama and election....twice.
Standing Army (2010)
The mindless conspiracies of the blind deaf and dumb
Just rewrite history & ignore facts. Here is just a few of the dumb things presented:
Osama Bin Laden developed his hate for the U.S. because of the the First Gulf War.
Bin Laden hates Saudi's for choosing the west's help in Kuwait. He went to the Saudi's begging to let Al Quaeda liberate Kuwait and Iraq. The Saudi's were justified in their decision because had they taken the offer, we would have seen what is going on now. A terrorist army committing crimes against humanity. Saddam would have used chemical weapons, and Iran would have streamed in on mass.
The war for oil theme is in full effect.
War for oil is actually a legitimate. The problem with crying about that? Oil is a commodity that effects every aspect of every thing. Not just the USA. Why do you think Russia annexed the Crimea and will do the same to the rest of the Ukraine. Why do you think the EU pushes "Climate Change." The EU pays more for oil.M ost of our oil is bought from our own sources and Canada. We have oil but our strength keeps the entire market stable.
We have bases everywhere but no other countries have bases in the U.S.
That is because we have the resources to do so, and since the end of WWII we have felt a moral obligation to make sure a WWIII doesn't happen.German lost a war and that is why we are there. We learned from WWI and spent a lot of our money rebuilding those countries and making sure the Soviet Union didn't do to western Europe what they did with places like Poland. I didn't see a lot of West Germans trying to climb the Berlin Wall to get into East Germany.
Bases in Korea.
Our bases in Korea are there because the Korean War never ended! The North Koreans threaten war on a daily basis. South Korea has a darn good economy and standard of living and when they have a recession they know we have their back.
Again, like German Japan lost a war in which atrocities were committed on a scale never seen before. The were not signers of the Geneva convention and used POWs as slave labor, starved them, and executed them and that isn't even touching what they did in China. Now, China is in major disputes with Japan. We are again protecting a country that a lot of blood and money were invested to rebuild.
Lastly, the grand "military industrial complex."
That is a real thing. Not always a bad thing either. We got caught with our pants down on 2 world wars. A lot of lives may have been saved if we didn't start from scratch. No where in this trash is it acknowledged that the MIC quite possibly saved an untold number of lives. Cuba allowed Soviet Nukes to be parked 50 miles from our coast.
The fact that the U.S. has bases all over the world is to protect us and our interests. Host countries benefit deeply from it as well. How well did those Warsaw Pact countries do in comparison to NATO countries. Who would have stopped the Genocide in the Balkans? We waited so long on that one because we were hoping Europe would intervene. Instead they ignored it. People also forget that a majority of operations the Military has run in peace time, and places you never hear about were of the Humanitarian missions. People cry a river about the evils of sending "Special Ops," into foreign countries. DO you know what a majority of Army Special Forces missions are in peace time and in war? Training foreign armies to defend themselves, conducting vaccinations, and building bridges, and irrigation.
The Military industrial complex does keep people employed. The right is always portrayed as the bad guy but it is the left that support the Unions that are manufacturers of Military equipment. So it would cost jobs to cut forces and operations. That is a truth, but that is one of the things that the Constitution expressly tasks the government with, defending the nation. Not entitlement programs, not Climate change, not hand outs, not birth control pills, but defense.
Look around, because you are seeing what happens when the U.S. doesn't get involved. Russia with Putin are on the march, Syria still is bogged down into a 3 way war and none are good guys. Iraq is being turned into a 13th century/Mad Max scene out of some nightmare. China is conducting cyber warfare against us and buzzing our ships with their fighter jets, of which they created through the use of spies. Obama negotiates with Iran with the same strategy Clinton used to keep a nuke away from North Korea, which failed. England tried in the past to negotiate with Hitler and 100 million deaths later we can safely say appeasement is a failed strategy. Since the rest of the world refuses to stand up to anything, then someone needs to do it. I've been to some of these bases. The sampling of locals they used for this piece of anti-U.S. garbage, are not representatives of the majority of those people.
I give it one star for the fact that watching it you can see who the deaf, dumb, and blind people who have no understanding of the world come up with the things they do. If you like this trash, you probably where a tin foil hat to bed in your mom's basement.
Hell and Back Again (2011)
Not really what other reviewers say but still a decent documentary
OK, the reviews on this say that this is some kind of a revolutionary documentary, is pro/anti war neutral, and several others things. But that really isn't the case.
First I will not say it is horrible. It is actually pretty good. My problem is more about what people say about it. The only real thing I see that is different is that expensive cameras were used. That is about it. Watching it you get the feel though, that this is not real and it is a recreation of what happened. That is due to the cameras, but also the dialog going on in the war scenes. Being a veteran, I can say that the dialog going on between soldiers feels a lot more forced. As if, in the fog of a fire fight the cameraman is prompting these guys to talk and it is not just filming things as they happened. I am not sure if that i what was going on, just that through experience, it is pretty suspect that that is what is going on. I don't think that is some kind of dirty trick or anything. It just is what it is.
I also take issue with those that say this is a war neutral film. If you look at the score on this site about this movie it rates high which in today's day and age doesn't happen unless it skews to a "evil empire of the U.S.A." movie. The story of Harris at home also shows mostly the effects of PTSD, and has a bit of feel of a film that says,"Look at the horrible gun culture of the U.S." I think that feeling is veiled in a way that some may be able to say is neutral.
Nobody likes war. Especially those that fight it. The problem is there are people all over the world that think there is never a reason to ever go to war and want us to completely stay away from war. It is a noble thought and gesture, but it has no basis in reality. Neville Chamberlain tried that in the 1930's and it didn't turn out well. The reason that peace at all costs doesn't work because there are other people out there that don't think that way. I think the most recent example is our idiot President Obama facing Mitt Romney in a debate before the 2012 election. Mitt Romney said that Russia was a geo-political enemy of the U.S. Obama's snarky comment was that the 80's are calling and want their president back. There was laughter and the folks at Obama's propaganda network (MSNBC) laughed and made fun of the thought that Russia was in anyway an enemy. Well, they weren't laughing when Russia annexed the Crimea.... Obama forgot that Putin does not think in the "leave everything and one alone fallacy...
PTSD is a tough thing. This movie touches on it, but a lot of what I saw was just a guy who was having trouble coming home from being a big, strong, tough, Member of the military and trying to adjust to being wounded, and to a degree helpless. I think that has more to do with the depression and everything else. That is a huge thing even without PTSD. PTSD has been around since the beginning of human existence, not something just discovered and the hard part about it is that it effects everyone differently and there are no real way to predict how it will effect anyone. Some have an extremely difficult time with it some do not.
All in all, it is not a horrible film, but I really don't think it was a huge, awesome film that should be dressed in a bunch of awards. Many are comparing it to "Restrepo" but if I were to compare the two I would say that "Restrepo" is a far better documentary than this one.Part of that is this movie has no real story, and it is much more disjointed than the other one. Still decent though.
The Weight of Chains (2010)
Interesting...to listen to someone toss blame
As much as people like to hate the U.S. these day I guess someone could blame us for anything. Look, average people in the former Yugoslavia on all sides are mostly good people and everyone has a point of view. Now for the sad part.
Tito held on to power in communist Yugoslavia for quite some time. Although he reigned in a communist nation he still managed to maintain Yugoslavia's sovereignty from the USSR. He did so by skillfully playing both sides. He aided the Soviet Union in the invasion of Hungary, but then admonished the Soviets in Czechoslovakia. Yes, Yugoslavia was held together under Tito for a long time. Was Yugoslavia prosperous? Yes.
Now let's get to some disagreements. Was Yugoslavia a threat because they were a prosperous communist country ? NO. For one, the U.S., although unsuccessful was actually pretty interested in Yugoslavia BECAUSE they were communists. After WWII the eastern Europeans may not have been happy with the Soviet brand of Communism, but they were pretty happy to have been liberated from the Nazi's. Unless you were polish, then the Nazi's and Communists were not much different. Yugoslavia represented a Communist country that was independent of the USSR, an alternative. The U.S. during Tito's era wanted to use Yugoslavia as sort of a propaganda tool. In fact, much of the reason that Yugoslavia was able to prosper at the time was because the U.S. supplied a lot of aid to keep him from the Soviets, and although he wasn't part of the Soviet's (in fact Stalin wanted him dead) empire, he wasn't completely cutting off communications with them either, so he could reap benefits from them as well. Yugoslavia was kind of a spy center/DMZ type place in Europe which was important during the Cold War.
The U.S. wasn't completely cozy with Tito as he sided with Arabs over the Arab-Israeli conflict, but that just adds to the reason the U.S. wasn't responsible for the war. The U.S. wouldn't prod Yugoslavia into a war and side with Muslims, especially when that is the start to the Al Quaeda age, we just pulled out of Somalia, and the first Gulf war had just ended.
What really happened is the Dictator Tito ( He was a man of his age in history, and not exactly a good guy or bad guy) died. That is when fractures started to occur and a recession hit. Anytime a man with Tito's power dies, there is going to be a power vacuum (see Iraq and Egypt for proof). Tito held the country together with an iron fist, he had to. His death in 1980 was bad timing. The USSR had invaded Afghanistan which became their Vietnam. The U.S. was pouring money into Afghanistan and the death of Tito left them in doubt of who may come out of their, a nationalist/communist like Tito, a Soviet friendly communist, a Muslim nation, or a democracy? So the U.S. was pumping up the economy. The unrest and uncertainty doesn't make for sound investments. Finally we now know the USSR was on it's final legs financially and at the end of the decade they had to call the Cold War quits.
You can throw some of the blame on the U.S. for sure. We did throw some support here and there, but you will find that any country in the world will consider their own interests. You also have to remember that at the time the broken up USSR was selling everything and there was a lot of concerns about nukes floating around which had not only the U.S. and Western Europe afraid, but the Russians as well. The end of the Cold War brought about an economic depression as well because before the end the Cold War had been churning the global economy with a sort of "keeping up with the Jones's" game. The US had a purpose in defeating the Russians and when that stopped a lot of safe guards, aid, contracts etc. came to a halt.
I will agree with the movie about Western Europe. Much of Western Europe now thinks they are a bastion of freedom, equality, etc, etc. The problem is they could really care less about anyone or anything. The U.S. got involved BECAUSE other European countries were willing to ignore a genocide in their back yard. President Clinton (who finally sent troops) lists not sending troops sooner as his biggest failure as a President. He wanted very much to let the Europeans take care of their own backyard for once, and they dropped the ball. Today Europe still does nothing for the rest of the world unless you mention Climate Change, because that benefits them economically.
I think everyone had a bit of a hand in this, but as always, everyone feels better if they can blame the U.S. for everything.
Devil's Knot (2013)
Paradise Lost series makes this a little flat
"The Devil's Knot" is the true story of the Robin Hood Hills murder. The movie itself kind of falls flat for me compared to the documentary series that followed the story all the way through.
Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth are strong actors, but this story is well documented from start to finish and it was only a matter of time before a movie was made, especially because people in Hollywood got involved in this one early.
I don't think there was really anything wrong with the movie itself. It is a compelling story and needs to be told. It is just that the "Paradise Lost," series that followed the real players in the story was full of twists and turns that Hollywood's top writers couldn't make this stuff up.
I watched the first documentary when it came out and I was a kid (I was a Metallica fan and their music was used). A couple of years ago I watched the 2 follow ons. If you haven't watched those I say watch this one first. I say that because the series were absolutely captivating when you get into it, and if you watch this first I think you will feel that this falls flat to the real deal. I say the documentaries are captivating, I know that sounds bad given the real crime involved, but it was kind of unbelievable. Then again it is good to illustrate these to a new generation that don't know much about this story. So maybe I am too old to appreciate this movie.
The child's voice narration in this movie just really should have been something they cut in this movie. I understand why it was inserted, but it really wasn't handled very well. It was out of place. If it was done to unnerve people and highlight something, it did, but not exactly in the way that it was meant to do. It's something that has to be done perfectly otherwise cut it, In my opinion, it should have been cut out.
WARNING: Do not read beyond this point if you don't know the story, because this may be a spoiler.
I am still a proponent of the death penalty after the details of what happened here. The system is broken in many ways but it is the best we have. I think some of the appeals process needs to be fixed, and a lot of convicts that were convicted before a lot of the DNA and forensic science that we have now today should be allotted more consideration/appeal hearings in order to be sure of their guilt or innocence as well.
The big part of the system that failed here in my eyes is that the Appeals process just continued to go back to the same Judge. I have all the respect in the world for the occupation Judges serve in and the incredible pressures put on them and the difficult job they do. BUT sometimes when you have that kind of power it is easy to remember you are a human being and can and do make mistakes. If the same Judge gets to handle an appeal he is essentially being asked to admit the prosecutor, jury, or he, himself made a mistake. That's a tall order.
It's a turd.
This "documentary" is a turd. Plain and simple. Much like the Kennedy assassination people will believe whatever it is they want to believe. Case in point. Our Government can't even build a functioning website with an army of people and $600 million dollars to do it with. In an age of all out social media, the internet, and 24 hour news cycles this garbage just proves that the human race, especially people who believe this "inside Job" crap, are getting dumber by the day.
Let's look at another conspiracy and how dumb people are. When crop circles first started popping up in England everyone thought they were made by UFO's. Idiots everywhere came out in their tin foil hats marveling at how no human could have done something like this over night with out anyone seeing or hearing anything. Whole crazy people industries started popping up around this. Suddenly, 2 old British dudes came out and said they had been the ones making them. They showed how they did it, and how they did it so fast, and their demonstrations came out as perfect replicas of the "UFO" ones. Not being able to do something that big and that fast turned out to be entirely possible and only needed 2 old pranksters, 2 wooden planks, and two pieces of rope. Still their are idiots running around refusing to believe that, still say it is ufo's and using all sorts of technology to claim radiation is being emitted from them and every thing else. Grow up and put on your big girl panties believers, truthers, or what ever you call yourselves. At least the Kennedy conspiracy was a small bit believable since most theories talked about a few guys on the grassy knoll. For 9/11 to be an inside job would have taken hundreds of people to be perfectly organized which if you have ever human beings at work, you know that is just impossible.
All Is Lost (2013)
Boring pile of ....
If you like this movie you are probably in your mid 80's, female, and have had a crush on Robert Redford for the last 80 years. This movie should have been named, "An old man at sea making old man faces." Seriously...This is horribly boring. Redford is the only actor in it and it consist of endlessly boring scenes. Most of the time he is just making some kind of bewildered face while staring at objects like as if he has never seen them before. You never even get a hint of why he is out there, but my guess is his family drugged him and put him out to sea because they were tired of paying the bill at his golf course retirement home.
Redford looked like a retired mime in this one, and not a very good one. If you watch this movie all the way through and enjoyed it then you must have developed Alzheimer's and forgot about an hour and a half of the hour and 40 minutes.
One thing that was good though! Someone finally paid the left wing loon(Robert Redford)to shut up! Anybody that watches this and finds it "dazzling"(like it says on the movies cover) must have been dazzled by Redford's recent turn to obscure movies that show how much of a has been he has become. Heck, Olympic curling is more entertaining than this movie. What's he going to do next, make a movie about an old man crashing a golf cart? Hey Grandpa next time just tie the anchor to your ankles and jump in the water so the rest of us can avoid the boring movie.
The least they could have done was provide a little dialog by way of his thoughts or something...then again by the faces and odd pantomime performance I don't really think there was anything going on in his head.
I give it 2 stars just because Robert Redford was a decent actor about 40-50 years ago. Don't watch it, don't rent it. If you get it as a gift, re-gift it to somebody you hate!
A great movie but there are flaws
Important note:I didn't read the books!
I gave the first movie a 9 out of 10 and definitely looked forward to this one. All in all I am very satisfied and liked this movie but there are a few flaws that made rate this one 1 spot lower. I'll try to explain without giving a spoiler, but my small issues will probably only be understood after watching. I do recommend watching.
The acting was solid,the story solid, and it was entertaining. What I subtracted points for is that there is a practical issue when it comes to being able to include/represent all districts. Hopefully this isn't a spoiler, but there is only 1 winner in each evolution of the Hunger Games with the exception being Peta and Catness. 1 winner, not one female and one male winner. Since that last movie stated that "some" Districts have volunteers every year and are a virtual shoe in to win. It makes it puzzling to even have a queue.
My second demotion was that I think that the main event was some what mailed in compared to the first film just utilized to bring the movie to the most important part, the end.
Those aren't huge issues and most people won't catch it or even care.
This was a pretty good movie, so watch it!