Reviews written by registered user
benign_man

9 reviews in total 
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19 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
'Start with certainties and you will end up in doubts' (Cotter Smith to Stuart Townsend), 14 July 2006
10/10

After reading some of the negative comments of certain viewers here on this new series I was intrigued to watch it so I could get a personal opinion. To begin with, there's not even a single episode of the old Night Stalker of the seventies that I missed and that because I'm a huge fan.

This new series has very little in common with the original ,old series. That, however, doesn't make it bad. Perhaps giving the series the same title was a promotional mistake but the series is definitely not.

Stuart Townsend is a superb actor, carrying with him very convincingly the air of a very special, talented reporter whose life was messed up by an, unexplained tragedy ,something that makes his life even more lonely and tortured but at the same time fills him with the resolution to find out. This necessary feeling Stuart conveys to the audience in an exceptional way.

Gabrielle Union is a very clever young reporter who in this group of three, plays the role of the doubting Thomas in a unique way .The audience senses an attraction and a respect for Kolchac but at the same time some fear that the man might be unstable and therefore untrustworthy. She prefers to distrust any references to the occult or mystery but also has the honesty to acknowledge something extraordinary when it happens. She gives a very good account of that sort of person and is an excellent actress apart from being very sweet and extremely sexy.

Equally talented and a very interesting character is the actor Eric Jungmann who plays the role of their assistant. An eager young journalist trying with enthusiasm and diligence to get into the gist of reporting he is all the time swayed between the 2 protagonists with the equally strong character trying to built the right profile of the pro he wants to be at the same time maintaining a balance with where his own instinct leads him.

Finally a very solid and convincing performance from the actor Cotter Smith who plays the role of the experienced,sometimes tough editor who however has a genuine love and interest in his reporters whom he wishes to succeed in their missions every time.

All in all I find this series very thrilling and really hope it goes on forever.

The Omen (2006)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Not up to the level of the original one!, 7 June 2006
5/10

I'd like to make a few comments only since a lot of viewers have been very informative about this film.

This re-make falls short of my expectations since I'm an avid horror film fan and in particular of the excellent original one with Gregory Peck ,who also happens to be one of my most favourite actors of all time.

To begin with,the cast are not very much into their roles.Perhaps because they aren't the right choice.Their expressions of their feelings were shallow and unconvincing.Only Stiles went near,but still I think she is miscast for her role,talented though she may be.Her looks,her face,her style,are just not compatible for a woman who would be the wife of the ambassador of the United States.She is too youngish and sweet,not sophisticated,not the ambitious type she should look.

Liev Schreiber is too unemotional,he tries but seems somehow he can't put himself deep into this role.His most interesting scenes are when there is some action.Unfortunately he also doesn't fit the profile of an American ambassador.A politician is more complex,more elaborate,more stylish if you want.Just like Gregory Peck was when he played the part.Apart from talent,you also have to look the part.And these people didn't.

Mia Farrow is a top notch ,very experienced performer who was very good in her role,and although I admire her a lot,I think Mrs.Baylock of the old gem,was far more frightening and convincing as a sinister nanny,an apostate of the devil,than Mia.Mia is too sweet and a very aristocratic and beautiful woman to be cast in this kind of role.

To make a final comment.If you want to see this film at the best it has to offer because it is a powerful film with a very interesting and popular theme find and rent the old one made I think in 1978.Not only Gregory Peck but all the rest of the cast were excellent in their roles,and the original film is a gem. But if you can't find it near you or are bored to search or just want to kill a boring night with a few friends,go see it.It's not a bad film,and it has a strong plot.It only happens to be a little more than average.

Serenity (2005)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A science fiction film with a lot of important social and personal messages, 17 February 2006
10/10

Reading through the comments by various people one can see that a lot of various aspects of the film both positive and negative have been covered.

Of course those who have good feelings about this film are the vast majority.A lot of thousand of people are giving it very good marks.Very unusual that,especially nowadays,for a new film to be so loved and approved and a science fiction film at that! I'd only like to add a few comments that might not have been mentioned.

What are its strengths?Of course there are a few weak points but there is no masterpiece without flaws.

To my mind it has 2 very ,very strong points.Firstly it gives a message against oppressive universality against a ''new world order''(ring any bells?)against an empire that wants to impose ,to ''meddle'' as River says and limit people's will and freedom.All of us want a peaceful,harmonious society where order will prevail and yet all of us hide a revolutionary deep down inside that awakes every time this ''order'' is in danger of being abused for the sake of some corrupt,power hungry people.In a time when peoples of the world have awoken and are asking for more freedom,democracy,peace and make claims for better living standards for all,this film expresses very fluently the revolutionary in most of us.

The second strong point is that apart from all the cast being extremely talented and very well chosen to play their respective roles, they also are very lovable characters and one can't help becoming very fond of them.In fact,as I've talked to most friends who have seen this, they found the series the film is based on profoundly addictive.

This series as well as the film have ''huge success'' written all over them and I simply can't imagine the sheer stupidity of the person who decided to discontinue this series against ,as it seems,worldwide approval.It makes me suspicious therefore,that political reasons may be behind this utterly ridiculous,decision.

Anyways like the majority of people worldwide I'm thrilled both with the film and the series and I wish the latter started again and lasted for as long as possible.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Many interpretations can be given but what's the most likely?, 26 December 2005
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film has driven people to various conclusions but I fear most have lost its basic message as I understood it.Most friends here say that Sharon kills her daughter because of impatience and loses paradise because of an ''ocean'' of pride.That to me couldn't be more wrong.

I wonder if the viewers who ascribed to this notion really were focused on the film.She killed her daughter because her child was suffering from hunger as well as psychologically ,missing her father and suffering for not being able to see him in Heaven faster.She killed out of compassion.If there were somebody who was impatient that was her little daughter.Sharon herself was suffering from doubts whether she was right or wrong to have taken her daughter to the desert with her.At a point in the film when she cannot endure her daughter's torment,before killing she says to her that she cannot let her suffer because of her mistake.But remember her little girl suggested many times in the film that they should commit suicide so they could go to their father in heaven faster.The little daughter is presented as misguided.

The film at this point commits a crippling theological error.No Christian denomination accepts,that anyone who dies with the conviction that committing suicide to get to heaven quicker is right,can enter Heaven.Quite the contrary this is a totally misguided view that condemns you to hell.So one could say that at this moment the film loses touch with Christian reality.

However the question that the film asks is,right from the start I think, ''Does God have the right to test us?''To me this the question the whole film centers around.

Religion has philosophy in it and logic but it also has mystery.Some things we Christians believe simply because of our mystical communication with God.Because it ''feels right''.Personally I believe that yes, God has the right to test us,but he does this to help us purify our soul.Even Jesus Himself allowed Satan to test him in the desert as we all know.And he showed total devotion to God.Total trust.

I guess Sharon's answer to the film's question was ''no'' and that is why the end shows her condemned by her anger towards God ,defying this right of His.She is condemned to a kind of Hell since there are various levels of Hell as of Paradise since justice is served even in this respect.After all not all people are Saints neither all criminals equally vicious and evil.

But there can be no proper moral conclusions because sadly the film just prior to this point is damaged by the theological error I mentioned earlier.God loves us you see,and isn't looking for reasons to damn us to hell.He sent His only Son to die on the cross for us for our salvation.He would never therefore test us to the point where we would break and lose our soul.Only to the point that we would understand some things and be saved.And here lies the error of this interesting film.

The belief of whether one should endure God's test or accept it,comes from deep,real faith.And we must have faith on Him who suffered for our sake.The film has interesting performances,is well made,but unfortunately,it is flawed.

17 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
The most vivid ,accurate,thruthful and touching film made on the passion of Chirst ever!, 24 November 2005
10/10

This excellent film added something the other films made on Christ lacked.A genuine feeling of old time.

Whether by the use of the languages of the time or by the exquisite photography that is really masterly you get the real sense of being there and living the last days of Christ on Earth as if by a distance,unseen but still there.

Moreover Christ ,His Mother, His friends e.t.c are portrayed as real people in the most realistic way I have ever seen.We see at a time Christ teasing His mother,playing with Her and we feel Their human side so close to us and our family.We feel the human side of Jesus in a very simple ,convincing way.

I will agree with some who state that there is a lot of violence in this film.Brutal violence.But I will disagree with some who say it is TOO MUCH.Unfortunately,that's what things were like at that time.So anybody who wants to see the true suffering of Christ will have to himself be tortured in a way psychologically,because it is really painful to see any human being suffer so,how much more then an adored person like Christ?But if He was able to suffer so much for the people,I think that we could at least put up with watching it.It will be painful,shocking,emotional but it is the truth of what happened and if you love truth you must brace yourself to endure it.At least that's what I did.

And I found myself more appreciative of the love that Christ has for us to go through this for our salvation.To not feel hate for his tormentors because he wanted to save them too.To not feel hate for some of his fellow countrymen who gave him to their brutal oppressors in an act of treachery and cowardice,surrendering to painful death and torture one of their own people.To not feel hate towards the people who crucified him the Romans,because they ''did not know what they were doing''.

Christ's immense love for the people is what defeated Satan who is depicted in a very imaginative way as a fallen angel in decadence.I would say that his presentation is like a masterly picture in a museum.The actor who played that part is terribly talented in managing to give us an idea of a once powerful, now bitter being in a fallen state far from the grace and light of God.A sad picture and quite contributing in mood to the whole film.Unfortunately,having had some experience with the occult myself,I would say that he is of uglier and more frightening form,green brownish in complexion.I know that to some this statement sounds ridiculous but not to those who know of such things.

The actor who played the part of Christ was also very convincing and humane ,simple but touching and made the idea of Christ in my head,more realistic,simple,vivid and lovable than before.The whole cast of course were excellent in their roles especially the European actors who had real class in their expression and talk.Very high quality acting.And I liked the actor Hristo Shopov in the role of Pilate very much.

All in all the best film ever on the Passion of Christ.

29 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Unbeleivably shallow and idiotic!, 9 October 2005
1/10

Usually I'm lenient towards even bad movies since I respect artists like actors and think that everybody is entitled to a mistake.Sometimes,even a bad movie has some acceptable moments and it even manages to throw the spotlight to a new potentially talented young actor/actress.This ,however,without a doubt is the most superficial and idiotic totally unconvincing horror film I have ever watched and the only horror one gets is out of its abysmally low level.It's a disgrace and a total waste of one's money and time.Companies or artists participating in such crimes against the cinema should be put away.

I wonder how on earth these movie companies come out with decisions to produce such garbage.Don't they realise that it will hit them back big time?And the disrespect to the viewer is infuriating!!! The mark of 1 is very flattering ,it should get something like 0,000001.

102 out of 177 people found the following review useful:
A modest masterpiece !, 24 September 2005
10/10

When one reads here the opinions of a lot of fellow cinema lovers on this film they will realise that there are a lot of creditable variables by which one perceives the ''right'' course this film should have taken.

To my mind though,technicalities and possible directorial ''irregularities'' are not what's most important about this film.This film shows strong ,excellent performances by all the main actors and the director has managed to make this seem like a real story that could have happened to just anybody.

We don't see the horrible violence of ''The Exorcist'' nor are the images and scenes shown as scary.What we see, lays emphasis on the drama and suffering of a girl and touches on the human side of things.I think that the perspective of this film is to a have more a social impact,not so much to be a horror film.

It conveys a lot of messages and stresses how important it is to have integrity how sometimes you have to sacrifice your ambitions ,to do what your heart tells you.How some life experiences change us,our personality,and give us a true,deeper wisdom and understanding of life.How they can make us revise some views that previously we thought were unshakeable.

Finally,the film provides an explanation why sometimes God allows some horrible things to take place and some people to become martyrs.

I do agree though that for a materialistic,atheistic person this film might be less ''thrilling'' than he would have expected it to be.I have called it a ''modest masterpiece'' because in a simple,humane,full of strong performances way,it touches our hearts and strengthens our beliefs in justice,moral values,and for those of us who believe,in God and His mercy.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Excellent documentary that captures the spirit of Voodoo, 30 July 2005
10/10

A deep and simple,realistic cultural inference that explains the nature of Voodoo and what it means to Black African people.Nice photographic work and music as well.

The film explains that this culture,is neither evil nor good but it utilizes forces of nature or some deities African people believe in to perform important tasks that contribute to a community's stability and justice.It's up to the Voodoo priests whether it will be employed for benign or evil aims.

However,it is also mentioned that there is a minority of Voodoo experts that are paid to kill people irrespective of justice or not and evidence is shown that such individuals can even kill from a distance or just by uttering words.

All in all , a thrilling and captivating film.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Not what it should be but slightly amusing nevertheless, 5 March 2005
6/10

The beginning was promising ,having a few imaginative scenes and quite terrifying as well.However after a few minutes the film starts losing its grip on the viewer.Basically it's the male actors' fault.They are portrayed as silly American middle class students full of immaturity and silly,lackluster jokes.

The main male character,Tom Everett Scott,could be satisfying but I think he should have been made to look less silly and out of place as many a time he is.He has his moments though.

On the other hand,Julie Delpy,is much more convincing and interesting as a character and apart from her talent she's also very sexy.

So overall,it's not a great movie but it's not too bad to watch in order to relax on a weekday night either.