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12 reviews in total 
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This Should Be Shown In Every High School In America...., 8 September 2009

...and become the basis for a year long course that would touch on history, sociology, politics, economics, law, and media literacy. There could also be a college level version of the course also, the controversy generated would be just as educational as the, no doubt, there are still many American's who still don't "get" what the organized labor movement was/is all about.

This is a movie of a play on the life of labor leader Harry Bridges with some additional filmed scenes that was broadcast over PBS TV on Labor Day. The play is essentially a one man show in which THE MAN is Ian Ruskin, whose performance reincarnates the words and the spirit of a great working man.

The play is beautifully captured on film by director by Academy Avard winner Haskell Wexler.

Go see it for yourself, any way you can!!!

0 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Terribly Terrific Tarantino Treat, 21 August 2009

This, for me, is Tarantino's best yet.

The acting, directing and story are so good that the movie didn't really need any of the usual gimmick/games that Tarantino uses to embellish his movies. The substance of the movie was rich and deep enough that the cheap laughs and absurdist humor weren't spoilers so much as amusing distractions.

Tarantino is more than capable of making a straight movie, undiluted with cutsie stylistic tricks, that could knock yer socks off....and this movie proves that point as most of it is indeed, unburdened by gimmickry.

I can't say much about the opening scene without spoiling it....suffice it to say that the drastically extended dramatic suspense was stupendous.

The movie seemed to run about an hour and a half....but was actually wayyyyy longer. Even so, I would have enjoyed seeing another 30 minutes at least.

The brutally crazy massively psychotic violence of war is portrayed in a manner which, while externally graphic, is on occasion, lacking in a certain sense of reality......on the other hand, that's to be expected in a QT film, eh?

Overall, this is a highly entertaining and somewhat distressing movie that may have you contentedly cheering and "rooting" for a result that one should normally find revolting and repellent.

Go see it asap; this is one that is best seen on the big screen.....and yes the music and soundtrack are also very nicely done.

District 9 (2009)
2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
7 Academy Award Least!, 15 August 2009

District 9 manages to be a kick ass science fiction adventure/action movie that enlightens even more than it entertains.

The "illegal aliens" in this case are indeed extraterrestrial and many of the "humans" turn out to be monstrous creatures. I won't spoil it for you by saying too much, but keep an eye on all the political/moral implications that make this "science fiction" movie as relevant as today's newspaper.

The acting is uniformly superb and the characterizations are 100% believable. Obviously the director, Neill Blomkamp, has done a fantastic job and I bet he gets nominations for both directing and the wonderful screenplay. Sharlto Copley clearly deserves a nomination as best actor.

The special effects/sound etc all work brilliantly to create a world and a situation that is (if one were to think a bit) so unlikely as to be nearly impossible; yet the movie manages to immersively grab you and not let go for two hours that seem more like twenty minutes.

On a (relatively speaking) shoestring budget of 30 million bucks Peter Jackson has produced a masterpiece here; I only hope that the inevitable sequel lives up to the quality of part one!

Asylum (2005)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Disturbing and Difficult to Bear, But Brilliant None the Less, 31 March 2009

Natasha Richardson shines in this challenging role. She shows how intelligent and seemingly well put together women can put up with abusive male behaviour

It was very telling that her exquisitely portrayed boredom and contempt for her husband's 50's style sexist piggery was so extreme that she made flying into the arms of a deranged (but magnetic) madman seem catastrophically credible.

All three of the men in her character's life are deeply and profoundly flawed...though in comparison to the other two, he husband was a *relatively* decent fellow.

All the performances are excellent. Ian McKellen does an outstanding job of portraying a fiendishly manipulative malevolent psycho-toxic sick puppy. Of course, he "rises to the top" and becomes a great "success".

If you're looking for the typical Hollywood trite "happy ending" look elsewhere. It's clear why this never won an Oscar since the movie is so dark and enraging and even depressing; but Richardson's performance here was indeed worthy of an Academy Award.

It's a shame this gifted talent and lovely human being was cut short in her life and career, she will be missed...and remembered.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A Sick and Stupid Film That Celebrates The Banality of Evil, 11 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The bits with the remote and the talking to the camera make it clear that the film maker wants to rub his crap into the viewers face.

This is one big mind ****. (Not sure if one is allowed to say **** here.) Not entertaining but it does hold one's attention if only to see how "it" turns out.

I am so so so glad that I didn't pay to see this movie. I'm only sorry that I borrowed it on a whim based on the promising trailer I saw in a theater.

I should have read some of the reviews here first! lol This is a form of pathological pornography that, as I said, (and it bears repeating) celebrates and even glorifies the banality of evil.

There is nothing "artistic" about this garbage nothing "redeeming".

The performances were good, kudos to the actors. They were only following orders for a payday.

The fault lies with the idiot who thought this was a "message" that needed to be spread.

This is a sick sad sucky movie that only serves to spread negative pathological memes and cheapen human life. I wonder how many sickos have been "inspired" by this pathetic piece of excrement.

I wish I had a time machine remote so I could erase having seen this turd of a movie that glorifies sociopathic sadistic murderers and sends a message that life sucks and there's no hope.

Well **** you Michael Haneke.

31 out of 53 people found the following review useful:
An Alternative Approach To Heath That Deserves a Serious Consideration, 21 November 2008

This well made documentary presents a perspective that will likely raise the ire of the medical establishment.

On one level it's about the "Gerson Therapy"; but it's really about so much more than simply eating organic vegetables, you really have to see it for yourself. The last two minutes or so are very inspiring.

If you're the type that believes what you're told and blindly follows the dictates of the "conventional wisdom" and the "proper authorities"; then run away from "A Beautiful Truth".

On the other hand, if your mind is open and you have a concern about your health, the health of your family and friends, and of the biosphere in general; then this is a must see.

From my perspective, the film goes a bit over the top in some of it's implications. It's not perfect and it doesn't have "all the answers" IMHO. But, I have to tell you that most of it "rings true".

The POV of the young fellow at the center of the storyline brings the viewer back to an essential perspective throughout. It's a feature length documentary that flows as free and smoothly as any good movie.

This is a life affirming documentary that has great production values, music, cinematography and just maybe.....might influence some people in ways that save or extend their lives.

And that's a *good* thing!

The 11th Hour (2007/I)
80 out of 115 people found the following review useful:
The Most Important Film of 2007, 17 August 2007

Kudos to Leonardo DiCaprio for putting his time and money into this outstanding documentary.

Let's face it, any informed/intelligent/objective person already knows that we're on a greased path toward species extinction and that we must "change course". "The 11th Hour" is an excellent vehicle for increasing the numbers of folks in that category (...and for reinforcing the knowledge base/commitment of those who think that that they "already know this stuff").

"The 11th Hour" goes way beyond simply pointing at problems. This wonderful documentary provides a fairly sharp focus on practical/viable solutions and serves up some inspiring/motivating ideas/insights.

The use of captivating cinematography and stunning images make for a powerful impact.

I hope that the production company releases a book that details/documents the observations/assertions/conclusions of film's experts. Such a volume (if done well) would serve as an excellent part of any school curriculum.

The 11th hour is a must see if you... about whether or not there is a human race around in the next couple of hundred years. about the quality of life for your children and their children over the next 50 years.

...are a young person who expects to be around for the next 60 to 80 years; then this is all about your future.

As one watches "The 11th Hour" it becomes painfully clear that it doesn't matter how rich or powerful one may be; there can be no escaping the inexorable consequences of the indefensibly insane/unsustainable global industrial/economic model; a model clearly based on little more than short term greed.

As effective/good as "The 11th Hour" is at conveying factual data in a way that holds your could have gone in a totally different direction.

A dramatic feature film needs to be made that more fully captures/documents the emotional and existential impact of the consequences of current environmental policies: a kind of "Erin Brockovitch" of Global Warming/Climate Change. Clearly, this isn't the last word in this genre.

This is not a crisis that is "out there" in some vague future. Real people's lives are being destroyed now. There are many millions of "canaries in the coal mine" of our biosphere for whom climate change is life and death issue in the near term.

Bottom lines: "The 11th Hour" is a powerful documentary that manages to alarm without fear mongering and to paint a bleakly honest picture without engendering hopelessness.

Go see/support this movie. The last half hour alone (which deals very positively with aspects of the political dimension) is worth the price of admission.

Stardust (2007)
7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Campy Cotton Candy for The Eyes: Star "Dust" Indeed, 12 August 2007

"Stardust" is a massively derivative Hollywood production with stunning visuals and a deliciously sweet performance from Claire Danes as the fallen star.

It was great to see a brilliant dash of Peter O'Toole in a brief cameo role.

The seduction scene between sultry slave girl Kate Magowan and Ben Barnes as the young Dunstan Thorn set things up nicely...but it was downhill from there on.

The eternally lovely Michelle Pfeiffer delivers a slightly flawed but entertaining performance as the nasty witch.

Robert De Niro's improbable characterization of a closeted flying ship's captain was good for chuckles and will likely sell a few million extra tickets by itself; but was a distraction from what could have been a much better movie.

If you're looking for light pleasant summer diversion "Stardust" may do the trick.

BTW Check out the website; it's better than the movie!

Sunshine (2007)
6 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
"Sunshine" Aims High And Falls Flat, 29 July 2007

As a Science Fiction buff I had to go see this. The reviews were generally positive; and it has seven plus here on IMDb.

Perhaps my expectations were raised too high; but I was quite disappointed with virtually all elements of the film except the images of Sol. This ain't no Alien or Blade Runner or even Solaris.

The soundtrack was coarse and overly loud, the casting was lightweight, the direction hyper, the story had great potential but was burdened by a pedestrian script.

Some of the science seemed way off base. I have no idea how they all managed to seem to be operating in a normal gravity field; that one was the weirdest.

Finally, given the redundancy/resiliency evidenced of the AI system in other parts of the movie, the key blunder that the whole movie turns on is utterly uncredible (as in unbelievable).

On the other hand if you're looking for sheer cartoonish science fiction that makes lots of noise and even more pretensions; this is your baby.

Hot Fuzz (2007)
3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Wayyyy Over Rated, 6 May 2007

I was, literally, nodding off through parts of the first two thirds of this.

The last third was fun; but not worth sitting through the set up.

The various homages to American action/cop flicks were clever and well done; but they didn't carry the film.

The funny bits (and there were quite a few) were lost in the general miasma of boredom.

If you want to pay to see a movie that sarcastically skewers village life in the Cotswalds; this is your nirvana.

I confess, I allowed the 8.2 rating to strongly influence my decision to pay $10.50 to see this. I should have actually read more of the actual reviews. LOL

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