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ac4aq

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5 reviews in total 
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Avatar (2009)
4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Outstanding entertainment!, 20 December 2009
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

James Cameron's Avatar is spectacular, as one might expect in a half-billion dollar film. One of the few films in recent years that I've wanted to view a second time. The 3-D process is used to excellent effect and the characters are mostly well portrayed. Somewhat pessimistic about human social development in the future. My only regret is that the story really wants for something original. It's a combination of elements of the following previous productions.

1) Dances with Wolves. A member of a conquering race is seduced by the cultural sophistication of an abused, exploited and supposedly inferior people.

2) Devil in the Dark. Miners inadvertently destroy the eggs of the mother Horta on Janus VI, Eve of her species.

3) Lost in Space. Suspended animation required due to the less than C speed of spacecraft, hence lengthy flights and limited stores. Also see Space Seed.

4) Return to Tomorrow. Transferrence of consciousness from one person to another by technological means. Also Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, in which T'Lar accomplished this at death by mystical methods.

5) When Women had Tails. Well, all the blue people have tails in this one.

6) The Keebler Elves. They all lived in a big hollow tree, too.

7) Marvin the Martian. Unobtainium sounds somewhat like Eludium, as in the Eludium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator. See also Pergium.

Excellent entertainment but a rather predictable climax, with the de rigeur face-to-face confrontation between hero and villain. I rank it about #14 of all films I've seen, right behind Easy Rider (which cost about 800 times less).

jHh

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Essential to the understanding of American culture., 18 November 2009
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A film to be viewed if only for the preservation of performances by icons of American culture, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and the inimitable Cab Calloway.

Far and away the best of the NBC's Saturday Night alumni films, though that is to damn with faint praise. Only 'Caddyshack' is in the same level of merit.

Fantasy and music in perfect proportion, though the unstinting use of filthy language makes this a production unsuitable for children or adults easily offended.

The National Socialist White Peoples' Party could have been deleted without loss of any kind to the film. While Skokie Nazis may have been topical at the time of the filming, their inclusion is not amusing or entertaining in any way now.

Background traverses wrong way when the Bluesmobile is revolving during first police chase scene, though this has been amply discussed.

No shootings, stabbings, the only violence is comic. No nudity, no sexual situations but repellent language galore. No drug abuse but much tobacco consumption and some ethanol use.

View the musical scenes if not the entire film.

jHh

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Accurate, unfortunately., 1 October 2009
8/10

An accurate portrayal of the sinking of USS Indianapolis and worthwhile for telling a tale of survival under the most desperate conditions which can be imagined. Also the most damning indictment of leadership failure since Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade.

It was my misfortune, and that of the US Navy, that I viewed this production less than 3 days before I was to report to RECTRACOMGLAKES to begin what I expected to be my naval career. My confidence in the superiors appointed over me was shattered, particularly in Officers O-6 and above who might be reasonably expected not to misplace something as substantial as a heavy cruiser. My service was short, to my regret.

As for the court-martial of CAPT C.B. McVey, the practice of choosing a scapegoat in the aftermath of preventable disaster causing great loss of life appears to be endemic in the USN. Decades later, in the wake of the gun turret explosion aboard USS Iowa, naval investigators fabricated a fantastic tale of 'gay romance run amok' as the cause.

In the near twenty years gone by I hope that things have improved in the Navy. Most, enlisted and officers alike serve with great dedication and professionalism. Unfortunately a few bad apples spoils the barrel.

jHh

4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
An utterly depraved production., 20 December 2007
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Departed is the film which sets a benchmark for depravity in a production by a major motion picture studio in that it amounts to little more than star-studded snuff porn. It features filthy dialogue, completely implausible when spoken by disciplined law enforcement officers in an open forum. It includes murder by gunfire ad nauseam, not unlike viewing the Zapruder film of the assassination of President Kennedy a dozen times in swift succession. The script is mechanical, the plot turns are shocking but certainly not surprising. The development of the characters is poor, just the usual suspects.

On the lighter side, the demise of Det. Queenan (Martin Sheen) provides comic relief, falling to his death in the manner made famous by Wile E. Coyote in numerous animated short subjects, all that's missing is the whistling sound effect. Regrettably Queenan is not indestructible and is not resurrected in the next scene.

What remains to me the greatest shock of all is that this feature release won several awards, including Best Motion Picture of the Year! It must have indeed been a vast wasteland in Hollywood in 2006 for this can of raw sewage to be so voted. I must look in the almanac and see if Private School (For Girls) won Best Picture in 1983, as it certainly was a more deserving production.

Folks, life is short. Don't waste on hour of it on The Departed. And don't reward those who profit from it with so much as a nickle. If you feel you must view this, watch it on a friend's cable TV, as I unwittingly did.

jHh

13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Superlative musical scenes, 20 September 2005
10/10

One of my ten all-time favorite films, primarily for the superb musical scenes, including the opening 'Brazil' and the closing 'Polka-Dot Polka' but the 'Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat' is just fantastic! The plot is simple, just enough to string together the musical scenes, a few laughs and some unintended poignancy. Of those young soldiers and sailors who gathered to listen to Benny and Carmen sing, which of these bright young lives were cast into the dustbin of war? For anyone who enjoys musicals, for anyone who appreciates psychedelia this film is the ne plus ultra.

jHh