Reviews written by registered user
madisonwisconsinite

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21 reviews in total 
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Immortals (2011)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
I quite liked this film, but racial ethnicity was inappropriately broad, 29 July 2015
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I often find myself wondering "what's the dark-skinned person doing in a film about _______?" In this case, it is Greek mythology, but there are Negros and Indians in it. This is European history or proto-history or mythology, however you want to look at it, and that does not mean African or Indian Subcontinent stories. It is a bit like all of the old American westerns with Europeans playing the American Indians. That's just not really right. Then, too, Chinese detective Charlie Chan was never played by an Asian actor. Putting black men and Indian women into this story just isn't right. They are as out of place as the pumpkins in the recent miniseries about Pharaoh Tutankhamen. All of that said, it was a very entertaining story, well-acted by appealing lead actors, of some ancient mythology. I did find the vast numbers of Titans at the end a bit much. The gods kept doing them in, and more and more and more kept on coming at them. I may be wrong, but in my recollection, there were twelve Titans, who, among them, spawned 15 Titanic children. The film is very well worth watching, and if you have a penchant for very handsome men showing a bit of skin, it will appeal to you on that count, too.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
The Queen of Mean paid millions to berate the poor, 18 June 2015
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The scowling Judith Sheindlin is paid a very substantial amount of money to be mean and rude to poor people. Never before had anyone been paid SO much money to be so mean to so many people who have so little money. She looks very happy and friendly, smiling in the photo they show on the advertising to watch her show, but she says things to the "contestants" in her courtroom which we certainly would NOT tolerate if they were said by publicly paid judges. The insults we hear her hurl are often very offensive. "Shhhh!!!" and "just a second," she often admonishes the parties politely; but it doesn't take much for her to move on to her more natural rudeness. While she admonishes contestants not to use their own vernacular as the try to tell her their stories, she has no hesitation using Yiddish words that many or most of them don't understand. I wonder how often people are puzzled at the possible meaning of "kerfuffle." I do have to confess, I wouldn't mind hearing her explain to many of them that "axe" is not the way to pronounce "ask." Still, if you enjoy watching the wicked witch of the west in a nicer looking form, as she berates poor people, Judge Judy may be for you. I just don't think it is right for society to so substantially enrich an already wealthy woman who seems to so much enjoy being nasty to people.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
good humor, sometimes HILARITY, without raunchiness, 5 June 2015
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Personally, my ONLY criticism to this film is the rampant heterosexism it shows. Plenty of female scantily clad characters, but do we get much of a look at the sexy Andrew McCarthy shirtless? No. I got nine genuine belly laughs while watching this movie, for only the second time. First saw it within a year of it coming out. Just watched it again in 2015, and it was still fresh in the quality of the story, and Bernie's refusal to . . . well, what Bernie "refuses" to do, you'll have to find out from watching it. Andrew, you were one of my first serious actor crushes as a teen, thanks for entertaining me. This film also features shooters that shoot more than six times - by who, and at what, you must watch to find out. I would also have to say that the film probably doesn't need to take two whole hours to tell its story. The scene with the speedboat dodging around the channel markers was a hoot.

Pathfinder (1987)
This film is a MUST SEE for anyone who wants to exercise the mind, 25 May 2014
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a story about the Sámi people, to enlighten my reader, here's the beginning of a wikipedia article about them: "The Sami people, also spelled Sámi or Saami, are the indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting the Arctic area of Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway."

The English title, Pathfinder, is rendered as Ofelaš in the Sámi language, and the film is also known as Veiviseren in Norwegian. Around the 1000 CE a warlike people called Tchudes (or Tsjuderen?), pillage and plunder from others in northern Scandinavia. As they brutally exterminate a Sámi family in a remote area, teenage son Aigin the last of his family being dragged to a hole in the ice and plunged under, but escapes the slaughter. He evades capture and killing at the hands of these marauders and skis overland to a far-off Sámi camp. Alas, his hosts are worried he might not have been able to hide his tracks, and fearful of these bloodthirsty people, the Sámi decide to flee to the coast. Aigin stays to avenge his family's murder. Unfortunately, the Tschudes capture him before he can do anything, and force him to lead them to the other Sámi.

Although forced to guide them, Aigin has a surprise plan to annihilate these savage people before they can reach the Saami camp. This ancient coming-of-age story is very well told, with the main dialog in Sámi, translated to the viewer's language, while the words of the Tschudes, not translated, are left for the viewer to contemplate..

People who lack any experience with indigenous original peoples who remain evolved with the land that has supported them for millennia, NEED to experience this look at life from the perspective of a culture unpolluted by the corruption of external forces and religion.

"Raste," a Noaidi of the Sámi village where Aigin escapes to, speaks to the young man about his anger and desire to avenge himself and his family against the Tchudes who killed them: Raste: Thoughts of revenge are darkening your mind. Remember, we are but parts of the whole, parts of the infinite brotherhood. The Tchudes have forgotten it. Don't you forget, lad. Aigin: I'm not part of any brotherhood, I am alone. Raste: You may feel that way now, but trust me, you too are bound to this infinite brotherhood . . . . with unbreakable bonds. Listen and remember what I say. This morning, I saw the reindeer bull for the third time in my life. The first time I saw it, I was your age. The second time I was in the prime of my life; and today is the third time. Listen now, and remember. The reindeer has come for the last time. Aigin: And what does that mean? Raste disappears.

I recommend a read of wikipedia's article on the Sámi/Saami people, the English version has links to the article in sixty-four other languages, including Suomi, and the unrelated regional languages Svenska, Norsk nynorsk, Norsk bokmål, Nederlands, and Dansk.

Great American Film unsuitable for broadcast/cable/satellite airing, 9 September 2013
9/10

For starters, this film really makes you feel like you are right there on the streets of Brooklyn. It is a period piece, as you see the twin towers of the WTC still clearly sticking up on the horizon at far left at one of the frequent hangouts for the main characters. However, this film is a classic example of what is very badly wrong with America today: our government is so overly concerned with censoring out bad words in everyday speech, that more than 10% of the dialog is BLEEPED out, and you cannot follow what the BLEEP is happening in the BLEEPING movie so you have to go and get a different BLEEPING copy from the BLEEPING library to get an idea of what the BLEEP was being talked about in the movie. So well constructed, you would think people followed these characters around with HD cameras neatly concealed on them, capturing all of the daily lives of a collection of low level criminal miscreants in 1990s New York. But don't bother trying to watch it through some pay broadcasting, if you hear even one BLEEP early on, you'll only get angry that you can't tell what the BLEEP the characters are angry about. I doubt that it would be sold to you with no censorship in the USA, so either rent it on DVD, or better get it free from your local library, and enjoy hearing what real Americans talk like in that place and time and mindset.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Jeopardy! not as good as it used to be, 25 March 2013
4/10

I remember when I was young and Art Fleming hosted a program that truly tested the smartness and savvy of viewers and contestants, with a serious challenge of their knowledge about useful and practical information. Science, History, Geography, Politics, these were the kind of categories that would come up to test the minds of the contestants. The new program has become all-too-much a test of how much pop junk info you've got in your head, what celebrity married whom, which Shakespeare play has a redheaded man who wears black shoes and brown socks, which sports team did such and such or which athlete lost or won what contest. I was talking to one of my brothers the other day, and he summed it up that today's society has got to place too high a value on useless information, and become too little concerned about teaching young people things that will benefit them throughout their lives. If it would be of absolutely ZERO value to you if you were marooned on a desert island, you might be less brilliant, and more of the other kind of "maroon" à la Bugs Bunny, to know the latest about the Kardashians, Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears; who killed Roger Rabbit?, and which country won the most medals for synchronized swimming at the 2004 Olympics (were there Olympics in 2004?); than if you know the significance 3.14159, that there are 2.2 pounds in a kilogram, 5,280 feet in a mile, that -40C = -40F, that the USA is a Constitutional Republic and not a Democracy, what the Federal Reserve System is, or other actually useful information. Shame on those who have taken a great and classic game show, and dumbed it down. I've also noticed that, historically, men were much, MUCH more likely to win the game than women; and have heard recently that there are or were allegations that Jeopardy! altered the clues in some way to favor female contestants. I don't know if they did, or didn't, but there have been an increasing number of women winning on Jeopardy, with certain characteristics in common. Finally, I also have a problem with the change that allows a winner to keep being a winner, for days, weeks, even longer if he/she is "good" enough. Think what it would be like, you've waited two and a half years for your chance to get on the show. You've paid for your airfare out to Los Angeles, you're in a hotel, you've got your good clothes all dry-cleaned, and it isn't even until the fourth day you've reported to the studio that you get your chance, and you go out onto the set only to find yourself facing a champion who has been on the show for three weeks and has got the method of buzzing in down pat. You don't stand much of a chance. You wind up in third place, and get $1,000.00 for your appearance. Alas, you spent a lot more than that getting out there and staying in your hotel, but hey, you get to say that you were on Jeopardy!

Comanche (1956)
1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
classic "boston tea party" Cavalry versus Indians movie, 11 January 2010
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There's nothing like seeing close-ups of actors portraying Native Americas / American Indians, who have blue eyes. The huge "buck" who throws a man off a cliff (when he's actually at the top of a sloping hill) is somewhat familiar Austro-Hungarian actor Mike Mazurki. The movie is really lame, just another celebration of the story of European subjugation of a continent through complete lack of respect for other cultures. And we wonder why Muslims don't love us? Might be worth watching by film students who want to learn how NOT to make a movie. If you don't grasp my meaning by my summary, maybe you would like this film. Granted, the production values are high, but the overwhelming white-bias that the film typifies should not be lost on viewers. Quanah Parker in a headdress with bison horns is typical Hollywood fluff. The most ethnic of actors portraying characters of any significance in this film is Nestor Paiva, whose role include such distinguished native portrayals as a Po-Ho chief and a Native Guide, on the animated series, Jonny Quest. Comanche is worth watching if you are bored and have nothing else to do, but don't pay money to rent it! I will grant, for the sake of full disclosure, the following: (1) I am NOT an American Indian, and (2) I DO have a degree in American Indian Studies from the University of Wisconsin.

Great plot, good action, can be taken serious, but . . ., 23 December 2009
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really get tired of fight-action films where men keep getting pummeled to within an inch of their lives, then, the next minute, they're back up and running and ready for the fight to continue, as though they'd just finished warming up. When the Sandman was sent into the firey furnace near the end, you just KNEW he was going to climb back out, in this case, flaming on fire, but his hair wasn't burned, and it would be the first thing to flame away. Come on, Hollywood or "canadawood," quit with all the malarkey of this sort, make the fighting scenes realistic and believable, and don't make us have to adjust our brains with this kind of un-killable warriors. It was a great film, but the intense fighting scenes just push beyond the limit.

9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
NOT an objective presentation, 20 December 2009
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is not obvious from viewing this film (so I recommend viewers research the people who present their case in it) but this presentation on the realities of Islam, and its encouragement of violence and intolerance against all non-Muslims is lacking objectiveness, and also completely fails to factor in the human condition. It is one thing to document that the Koran says many things about how a devout Muslim is required to interact with non-Muslims, but any realist is able to realize that not every human who feels himself or herself to be a follower of Islam, will agree with and comply with all tenets of that faith and system. There is reason to call much about the presenters into question, such that viewers need to see the presentation with a healthy skepticism; don't swallow it all, hook, line, and sinker, without some thinking of your own.

One specific, for instance, is researching the person Walid Shoebat; who claims to be a former Muslim who perpetrated an act of terrorism in Bethlehem. There are many wise people in the world who believe neither of these assertions. I am not nor have I ever been a Muslim. I have never read the Koran. I am not a Christian, nor a member of _any_ faith. But I am an intelligent and discerning human. While the film is quite disturbing, in its presentation of how SOME Muslims view their obligation to Islam; I remind you that there is more to Islam than the views of the fundamentalists. Just as their are fundamentalists and evangelical Christians, so, too, there are variations in the intensity of belief and obligation among Jews and Muslims.

When you watch this film, you need to have the salt shaker on hand. One grain will not be enough, you'll need more. Please use your own mind and think for yourself, research what is presented, and evaluate the state of the world and how Islam fits within it based on more than what is said in 98 minutes of video. There is a common thread of political affiliation among those who put this film together, indicating a definite bias. Be your own brain.

The Marine (2006)
GENUINE Decorated Marine comments on "the Marine", 26 December 2008
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well, I served in the Marine Corps for 8 years, four of them were in South Carolina. I left with a Rifle Expert 10th Awd, Pistol Expert 4th Awd, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Marine Corps Medal, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service, Air Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and other basic service awards. I also had a car with South Carolina license plate NAH-339 - and then, as now, they only put them on the BACK of a vehicle. This movie was lame, I mean, REALLY lame. Aside from the fact that clearly none of the film ever spent ANY time even close to the South Carolina setting it purported to have, it was unrealistically ludicrous throughout, and almost without merit as decent viewing material. I waited more than one year for my turn to see a copy from my library on DVD. It was definitely NOT worth the wait, but since I saw it without paying, I have no regrets. If you paid to see it, IMHO you did not get your money's worth. When they got the the reference of the terminator, and the bad guy refused to die, I would have just ejected the DVD if I weren't watching the movie with another person who I was embarrassed to have attempted to entertain with it.


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